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American Imperialism Bulletin, 2020

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[Sep 28, 2020] From Conflict to Crisis- The Danger of U.S. Actions by Jeanne M. Haskin

Sep 28, 2020 | www.amazon.com

In the United States, a great deal of study and energy goes into promoting respect for democracy, not just to keep it alive here but also to spread it around the world. It embraces the will of the majority, whether or not its main beneficiaries have more resources than other citizens do, as shown by the election of President Obama, who promised hope and change for the suffering majority, but did not sit long in office before being subjected to an economic vote of no-confidence.

Those who claim we run a plutocracy (government for the rich by the rich) -- or that we're victims of a conspiracy contrived by a shadow government -- are right while being wrong.

Our government is beyond the reach of ordinary American citizens in terms of economic power. However, the creation of a system to keep the majority of the populace at the losing end of a structure which neither promised nor delivered a state of financial equality was a predictable extension of the economic system the U.S. government was formed to protect.

... .... ...

Forty years of Cold War and the ultimate realization that abuse of the communist system and a hierarchy of privilege proved that system to be vulnerable to selfishness -- in common with the triumphant capitalist countries.

Because any desired outcome can be written into an equation to exclude unwanted facts or inputs by holding some things constant while applying chosen variables that may not hold true under every historical circumstance, it's considered "falsifiable" and therefore "scientific." But only if it appeals to the right people and justifies a given political need will it become sacrosanct (until the next round of "progress").

.... .... ...

Abusive Self- Interest

In 1764, twenty- five years before the embrace of Madame Guillotine (when heads rolled literally to put the fear of the mob into politics), contempt for the filth and poverty in which the French commoners lived while the nobility gorged on luxury goods showed how arrogant they were, not just in confidence that their offices of entitlement were beyond reproach and unassailable, but that mockery and insult in the face of deliberate deprivation would be borne with obedience and humility.

It certainly affected Smith's outlook, since he wrote The Wealth of Nations with a focus on self- interest rather than moral sentiments. And while this may be purely pragmatic, based on what

he witnessed, he also wrote about the potential for self- interest to become abusive, both in collusion with individuals and when combined with the power of government. Business interests could form cabals (groups of conspirators, plotting public harm) or monopolies (organizations with exclusive market control) to fix prices at their highest levels. A true laissez- faire economy would provide every incentive to conspire against consumers and attempt to influence budgets and legislation.

Smith's assertion that self- interest leads producers to favor domestic industry must also be understood in the context of the period. While it's true that the Enlightenment was a movement of rational philosophy radically opposed to secrecy, it's important to understand that this had to be done respectfully , insofar as all arguments were intended to impress the monarchy under circumstances where the king believed himself God- appointed and infallible, no matter his past or present policies, and matters were handled with delicacy. Yet, Smith's arguments are clear enough (and certainly courageous enough) to be understood in laymen's terms.

In an era when the very industry he's observing has been fostered by tariffs, monopolies, labor controls, and materials extracted from colonies, he did his best to balance observation with what he thought was best for society. It's not his fault we pick and choose our recipes for what we do and don't believe or where we think Smith might have gone had he been alive today.


The New Double Standard

The only practical way to resolve the contradiction between the existing beneficiaries of state favoritism in this period and Smith's aversion to it is to observe that the means to prevent competition and interference with the transition from one mode of commerce to another that enhances the strength of the favored or provides a new means to grow their wealth is to close the door of government intervention behind them and burn any bridges to it.

In psychological terms, the practice of "negative attribution" is to assume that identical behavior is justifiable for oneself but not another. It may not be inconsistent with a system of economics founded on self- interest, but it naturally begs a justification as to why it rules out everyone else's self- interest. The beauty of this system is that it will always have the same answer.

You may have guessed it.

Progress.

Reallocation of Assets

It was always understood that capitalism produces winners and losers. The art of economizing is to gain maximum benefit for minimum expenditure, which generally translates to asset consolidation and does not necessarily mean there is minimum sacrifice. There's an opportunity cost for everything, whether it's human, financial, environmental, or material. But the most important tenet of free market capitalism is that asset redistribution requires the U. S. government to go to DEFCON 1, unless assets are being reallocated for "higher productivity," in which case the entire universe is saved from the indefensible sin of lost opportunity.

Private property is sacred -- up until an individual decides he can make more productive use of it and appeals to the courts for seizure under eminent domain or until the government decides it will increase national growth if owned by some other person or entity. In like manner, corporations can suffer hostile takeovers, just as deregulation facilitates predatory market behavior and cutthroat competition promotes an efficiency orientation that means fewer jobs and lower incomes, which result in private losses.

In the varying range of causes underlying the loss of assets, the common threat is progress -- the "civilized" justification for depriving some other person or entity of their right to own property, presumably earned by the sweat of their brow, except their sweat doesn't have the same champion as someone who can wring more profit from it. The official explanation is that the government manages the "scarcity" of resources to benefit the world. This is also how we justify war, aggression, and genocide, though we don't always admit to that unless we mean to avoid it.


Perfectly Rational Genocide

History cooperates with the definition of Enlightenment if we imagine that thoughtfulness has something to do with genocide. In the context of American heritage, it has meant that when someone stands in the way of progress, his or her resources are "reallocated" to serve the pursuit of maximum profit, with or without consent. The war against Native Americans was one in which Americans either sought and participated in annihilation efforts or believed this end was inevitable. In the age of rational thought, meditation on the issue could lead from gratitude for the help early settlers received from Native Americans to the observation they didn't enclose their land and had no concept of private property,

to the conviction they were unmotivated by profit and therefore irreconcilable savages. But it takes more than rational thought to mobilize one society to exterminate another.

The belief in manifest destiny -- that God put the settlers in America for preordained and glorious purposes which gave them a right to everything -- turned out to be just the ticket for a free people opposed to persecution and the tyranny of church and state.

Lest the irony elude you, economic freedom requires divorcing the state from religion, but God can be used to whip up the masses, distribute "It's Them or Us" cards, and send people out to die on behalf of intellectuals and investors who've rationalized their chosenness.

CHAPTER TWO: INSTILLING THE ILLUSION OF CHOICE

Selfishness may be exalted as the root and branch of capitalism, but it doesn't make you look good to the party on the receiving end or those whose sympathy he earns. For that, you need a government prepared to do four things, which each have separate dictums based on study, theorization, and experience.

Coercion: Force is illegitimate only if you can't sell it.
Persuasion: How do I market thee? Let me count the ways.
Bargaining: If you won't scratch my back, then how about a piece of the pie?
Indoctrination: Because I said so. (And paid for the semantics.)

Predatory capitalism is the control and expropriation of land, labor, and natural resources by a foreign government via coercion, persuasion, bargaining, and indoctrination.

At the coercive stage, we can expect military and/ or police intervention to repress the subject populace. The persuasive stage will be marked by clientelism, in which a small percentage of the populace will be rewarded for loyalty, often serving as the capitalists' administrators, tax collectors, and enforcers. At the bargaining stage, efforts will be made to include the populace, or a certain percentage of it, in the country's ruling system, and this is usually marked by steps toward democratic (or, more often, autocratic) governance.

At the fourth stage, the populace is educated by capitalists, such that they continue to maintain a relationship of dependency.


The Predatory Debt Link

In many cases, post- colonial states were forced to assume the debts of their colonizers. And where they did not, they were encouraged to become in debt to the West via loans that were issued through international institutions to ensure they did not fall prey to communism or pursue other economic policies that were inimical to the West. Debt is the tie that binds nation states to the geostrategic and economic interests of the West.

As such, the Cold War era was a time of easy credit, luring postcolonial states to undertake the construction of useless monoliths and monuments, and to even expropriate such loans through corruption and despotism, thereby making these independent rulers as predatory as colonizers. While some countries were wiser than others and did use the funds for infrastructural improvements, these were also things that benefited the West and particularly Western contractors. In his controversial work Confessions of an Economic Hit Man , John Perkins reveals that he was a consultant for an American firm (MAIN), whose job was to ensure that states became indebted beyond their means so they would remain loyal to their creditors, buying them votes within United Nations organizations, among other things.

Predatory capitalists demand export- orientations as the means to generate foreign currency with which to pay back debt. In the process, the state must privatize and drastically slash or eliminate any domestic subsidies which are aimed at helping native industry compete in the marketplace. Domestic consumption and imports must be radically contained, as shown by the exchange rate policies recommended by the IMF. The costs of obtaining domestic capital will be pushed beyond the reach of most native producers, while wages must be depressed to an absolute bare minimum. In short, the country's land, labor, and natural resources must be sold at bargain basement prices in order to make these goods competitive, in what one author has called "a spiraling race to the bottom," as countries producing predominantly the same goods engage in cutthroat competition whose benefactor is the West.

Under these circumstances, foreign investment is encouraged, but this, too, represents a loaded situation for countries that open their markets to financial liberalization. Since, in most cases, the

IMF does not allow restrictions on the conditions of capital inflows, it means that financial investors can literally dictate their terms. And since no country is invulnerable to attacks on its currency, which governments must try to keep at a favorable exchange rate, it means financial marauders can force any country to try to prop up its currency using vital reserves of foreign exchange which might have been used to pay their debt.

When such is the case, the IMF comes to the rescue with a socalled "bailout fund," that allows foreign investors to withdraw their funds intact, while the government reels from the effects of an IMF- imposed austerity plan, often resulting in severe recession the offshoot of which is bankruptcies by the thousands and plummeting employment.

In countries that experienced IMF bailouts due to attacks on their currencies, the effect was to reset the market so the only economic survivors were those who remained export- oriented and were strong enough to withstand the upheaval. This means they remained internationally competitive, which translates to low earnings of foreign exchange. At the same time that the country is being bled from the bottom up through mass unemployment, extremely low wages, and the "spiraling race to the bottom," it is in an even more unfavorable position concerning the payment of debt. The position is that debt slavery ensues, as much an engine of extraction as any colonial regime ever managed.


The Role of Indoctrination

The fact that it is sovereign governments overseeing the work of debt repression has much to do with education, which is the final phase of predatory capitalism, concluding in indoctrination. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the lesson to the world was that socialism can't work, nor were there any remaining options for countries that pursued "the third way" other than capitalism. This produced a virulent strain of neoliberalism in which most people were, and are, being educated. The most high- ranking of civil servants have either been educated in the West or directly influenced by its thinking. And this status of acceptance and adherence finally constitutes indoctrination. The system is now self- sustaining, upheld by domestic agents.

While predatory capitalism can proceed along a smooth continuum from coercion to persuasion to bargaining to formal indoctrination, the West can regress to any of these steps at any point in

time, given the perceived need to interfere with varying degrees of force in order to protect its interests.


Trojan Politics

Democracy is about having the power and flexibility to graft our system of government and predatory capitalism onto any target country, regardless of relative strength or conflicting ideologies. An entire productive industry has grown up using the tools of coercion, persuasion, bargaining, and formal indoctrination to maximize their impact in the arena of U. S. politics. Its actors know how to jerk the right strings, push the right buttons, and veer from a soft sell to a hard sell when resistance dictates war, whether it's with planes overhead and tanks on the ground or with massive capital flight that panics the whole world.

When the U. S. political economy goes into warp overdrive, its job proves far more valuable than anything ever made in the strict material sense because there's never been more at stake in terms of what it's trying to gain. It's the American idea machine made up of corporations, lobbyists, think tanks, foundations, universities, and consultants in every known discipline devoted to mass consumerism, and what they sell is illusory opportunity dressed in American principles. They embrace political candidates who'll play by elitist rules to preserve the fiction of choice, and, in this way, they maintain legitimacy, no matter what kind of "reallocation" is on the economic agenda.

The issue is not whether we'll question it, but who we'll applaud for administering it.

In the Information Age, perception management is king.


[Sep 26, 2020] The origin of Full Spectrum Dominance Doctrine

Sep 26, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Anatol Lieven's recent piece, How the west lost , describes this moral defeat of the 'west' after its dubious 'victory' in the cold war:

Accompanying this overwhelmingly dominant political and economic ideology was an American geopolitical vision equally grandiose in ambition and equally blind to the lessons of history. This was summed up in the memorandum on "Defence Planning Guidance 1994-1999," drawn up in April 1992 for the Bush Senior administration by Under-Secretary of Defence Paul Wolfowitz and Lewis "Scooter" Libby, and subsequently leaked to the media. Its central message was:
...
While that 1992 Washington paper spoke of the "legitimate interests" of other states, it clearly implied that it would be Washington that would define what interests were legitimate, and how they could be pursued. And once again, though never formally adopted, this "doctrine" became in effect the standard operating procedure of subsequent administrations. In the early 2000s, when its influence reached its most dangerous height, military and security elites would couch it in the terms of "full spectrum dominance." As the younger President Bush declared in his State of the Union address in January 2002, which put the US on the road to the invasion of Iraq: "By the grace of God, America won the Cold War A world once divided into two armed camps now recognises one sole and pre-eminent power, the United States of America."

But that power has since failed in the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, during the 2008 financial crisis and now again in the pandemic.

[Sep 25, 2020] I see Pompeo as the quintessential opportunist of this moment (beyond his spiritual master of course, B-Nut.)

Sep 25, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

vinnieoh , Sep 22 2020 21:41 utc | 27

Probably counting on the desperate vanity and ego of Trump with the looming election to not shorten the length of the leash on Pompass. Pompass must also have noticed that Trump is willing to shove the homeland into civil war in order to claim victory, so maybe Pompass finally has the latitude to slake his bloodthirstiness.

Since I'm wondering down the path of speculation, a bit further into the murk. If there is one thing that characterizes the US today from the highest to the low, it is corruption. I submit that this corruption finds its zenith in the military, and especially the procurement train: any engagement with a near-peer (or the coalition/bloc we're talking about here,) and the rot and corruption will collapse this empire in upon itself. I've had this suspicion for some time, and believe if the going got rough the collapse would come rather quickly and completely.

[Sep 25, 2020] US standard "negotiating" techniques

Highly recommended!
Sep 25, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ashino , Sep 23 2020 9:23 utc | 67

http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2020/09/russia-steals-everything.html
Comment by Reader Dark Fate
EXCERPTs

Following a long line of very arrogant american imperial "negotiators", mr oblivion billingslea used standard "negotiating" techniques like

(a) accusing the other side of crimes Americans have committed first and forever, eg, extreme lying, bad faith argumentation, military aggression, foreign government security breaching, assassination and poisoning [as in american presidents and independent thinkers], and of course, electoral cheating;

(b) putting the opponent in the "negotiation process" on the defensive or back foot by stating false news allegations amplified by the media controlled by the american empire;

(c) offering nothing useful or commitable to be done by the empire, and yet "magnanimously" demanding the moon as opponents' concessions, eg, russian, iranian and chinese nuclear weapons limits, but not for nato's development and deployment, and; (d) after making impossible demands, the imperials accuse the opponents of hostility and unwillingness to "negotiate".

The russians can skillfully agree by stating that they only require the americans to reduce their nukes to 320 pieces like china, and in less than five years.

This is why it is very important for sovereign nations to read the guidebook, called the "idiot's guide on running the american empire", and developing deep and lasting solutions.

As for the other american imperial military "advantages", eg, constellation of "aggression" satellites, andrei forgot to mention that these can be shot or burned down in minutes easily by russia, china and even iran, as these stations cannot hide or run away in earth orbits.

Replenishment of weapons and military supplies after 3 months is rather doomed as the cheap, mass production and manufacturing facilities do not exist. Which must be re-created somehow but now
American lands are the targets. Much, Much Different Than WW2 !!

And of course, russia can always nuke down the USA and its vassal countries, and thus permanently ruin their economies for a decade or more, they don't know how to run defense -- this was always the fatal weakness of all bullies - if they'll have enough time to "learn it"... let's see... I doubt this.

Let's see americans try to start and conduct a nuclear war after too many spy, internet and gps satellites are shot down. Russia can even do this today using conventional explosives, and the world will be shocked how helpless the american military and economy can be made even without using russian nukes.

There are countries still immune to the numerous american imperial diseases that are already documented daily in zerohedge postings. The better countries still have lots of parents telling their kids to study and work hard so they can have better lives than their ancestors.

In oregon and california, they teach unemployable kids to burn something or somebody sometime before dinner.

CdVision • 11 hours ago
I was about to say that what now comes out of the US & Trump's mouth in particular, is Orwellian. But that credits it with too much gravitas. The true comparison is Alice in Wonderland:
"Words mean whatever I want them to mean".

Ashino , Sep 23 2020 9:29 utc | 68
Reminiscence of the Future.. ( http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2020/09/russia-steals-everything.html)
Russia "Steals Everything" !! (Not just China, oops... ???!!!!)
And Jesus Christ was an American and was born in Kalamazoo, MI. It is a well-known fact. So Donald Trump, evidently briefed by his "utterly competent and crushingly precise aids", knows now that too! !!! LOL

Time For Daily Auto-Hypnosis, Comrades. !!!

https://vz.ru/news/2020/9/19/1061259.html
https://www.Путин-сегодня.ru/archives/108431
https://vk.com/deebeepublic?w=wall-197487820_23447
(Digital Translation)

> US President Donald Trump claims that Russia developed hypersonic weapons after allegedly stealing information from the United States.

> According to him, "Russia received this information from the Obama administration," Moscow "stole this information." Trump said that "Russia received this information and then created" the rocket, reports TASS.

> "We have such advanced weapons that President Xi, Putin and everyone else will envy us. They do not know what we have, but they know that it is something that no one has ever heard of. "

->We are the foremost and always number one. Everything is invented only by us, the rest can only either steal, or be gifted with our developments for good behavior. This situation is eternal, unchanging, everyone lags behind American Tikhalogii at least 50 years (the time frame was chosen so that even a 20-year-old would lose heart, "what's the point of trying to catch up, it won't work anyway, in my lifetime"). It was, is, and will be, this is the natural course of events.

All this is delivered in the format of the classic Sunday sermon of the American provincial Protestant church, coding the parishioners for further deeds and actions. And it worked effectively, creating in some basalt confidence "we are better because we are better", in others - "I don't mind anything for joining this radiant success, I'm ready for anything, I'll go for any hardships and crimes, if only There".

Only now it worked. In a situation where the frequency of pronouncing such mantras is more and more, emotions are invested in them too, but in fact everyone understands that this is what autohypnosis does not work.

The poor have stolen from the United States, if you look at it, literally everything. And 5G and the superweapon of the gods. Moreover, a pearl with a characteristic handwriting is not copy / paste, but move / paste, you bastards. Therefore, the United States does not even have any traces of developments left - the guys just sit in an empty room, shrug their hands, "here we have a farm of mechanical killer dolls, with the faces of Mickey Mouse overexposed, and now look - traces of bast shoes and candy wrappers from "Korkunov" only, ah-ah-ah, well, something like that, ah. "

At the same time, there are no cases of sabotage, espionage - whole projects were simply developed, developed, brought to a working product, and then the hob - and that's it, and disappeared. And this became noticeable only after years. And all the persons involved are like "wow, wow."

Psychiatric crazy fool of the head, no less.

But due to the fact that all of the above theses are driven very tightly into the template for the perception of the world, both those who voiced these theses and the listeners are satisfied.

Because the post-American post-hegemonic world is not terrible because in some ratings another country will be higher there, and Detroit will never be rebuilt "as it was". It is scary because it is not clear how to live for people who had no support in the form of global goals, faith, philosophy of life, and all this was replaced by narcissism on the basis of "successful success is my second self".

This means that the moment when this issue has to be resolved must be delayed to the last. Leaving the whole topic on the plane "we were offended, we are offended, we were dishonest, which means we have the right to any action" is not a bad move.

It's a pity that it doesn't really affect the essence of what is happening.

< >

[Sep 25, 2020] The End Of The 'Rules Based International Order'

Notable quotes:
"... Accompanying this overwhelmingly dominant political and economic ideology was an American geopolitical vision equally grandiose in ambition and equally blind to the lessons of history. This was summed up in the memorandum on "Defence Planning Guidance 1994-1999," drawn up in April 1992 for the Bush Senior administration by Under-Secretary of Defence Paul Wolfowitz and Lewis "Scooter" Libby ..."
"... In the early 2000s, when its influence reached its most dangerous height, military and security elites would couch it in the terms of "full spectrum dominance." ..."
"... Bhadrakumar describes how the 'west', through its own behavior, created a mighty block that now opposes its dictates. He concludes ..."
"... Quintessentially, Russia and China contest a set of neoliberal practices that have evolved in the post-World War 2 international order validating selective use of human rights as a universal value to legitimise western intervention in the domestic affairs of sovereign states. On the other hand, they also accept and continuously affirm their commitment to a number of fundamental precepts of the international order -- in particular, the primacy of state sovereignty and territorial integrity, the importance of international law, and the centrality of the United Nations and the key role of the Security Council. ..."
"... The rules are follow the dictates of our western neo-colonial institutions like the World Bank, the IMF et all. ..."
"... Its a pretty simple concept backed by the attack dog of the US military. ..."
"... 'Rules based order' was always a euphemism for exceptionalism of one kind or another. The term was invented to avoid having to say 'rule of law', which invited criticism because even the most minimal amount of law (such as Geneva conventions, ICC etc) was rejected in practice and in policy by the leading members of the actually existing world order. ..."
"... Rumor says the "Wolfowitz Doctrine" also envisioned the balkanization of Russia (the document is still classified, but it leaked to a NYT journalist at the time, who published a report on it). ..."
"... It is not over in the sense that the West hasn't given up in its attempts to take over the world. But as the "exceptionalist" western countries decline, they will go even crazier and crazier and there will be full blown hysteria. ..."
"... In this sense, the rule based order will be over as there will be only disorder and animalistic, crazed western rage and bullying. The West is like a trapped animal. It will start pouncing, raging and snarling like a wild animal. This is the real nature of the West. A hungry wild animal that needs to feed. ..."
"... But behind the liberal mask, there are hateful eyes and gnashing teeth, and hunger and greed for other people's resources. ..."
"... Expressed in words, the West's face says "I'm the best and you are nothing! Give me your stuff! And this is how it will forever be!" ..."
"... As Putin has said, the US is no longer agreement capable. ..."
"... Instead of bringing Russia into the Western liberal democracies (with the threat of major nuclear war now drastically reduced) the now Anglo-Zionist Empire just looted it. ..."
"... Actually the Trump Administration has done far more against Russia than all US administrations from the last 30 years. Do not listen what they say, look at what they do. Right now the US in a full blown Cold War with Russia with ever increasing attacks ..."
"... Rules based international order .... the U.S. functions as the the Supreme Court for the U.N. , 'we have invoked snapback sanctions and extended the arms embargo on Iran indefinitely and are enforcing it'. UN, 'but your vote failed'. ..."
"... Rules based International Order is the dog whistle for global private finance controlled economies. It is sad that we are in a civilization war with China/Russia about who runs international finance going forward and yet there is no discussion of the subject but instead all sorts of proxy conflicts. ..."
"... The US is not just facing relative decline -- the fact that others are catching up in key ways. The US is also facing absolute decline -- the fact that it is suffering a degradation of capacities and is losing competitive battles in key areas. Examples of absolute decline include the Russian and Chinese military-technological revolutions based on anti-ship and hypersonic missiles and air defense systems; Chinese 5G; China's demonstrative success in suppressing COVID and its overall manufacturing power; the declining quality of life for most Americans; and the collapse of American institutional competence. ..."
"... Related to this, we can't separate these dynamics from the political economy of the states in question. China, in particular, is showing that an interventionist state, with high levels of public ownership, is essential to qualitative power, human security, and economic and social development. ..."
"... Psssst, learning Russian is easier than Chinese and we already know a few Russian words, such as novichok. ..."
"... Russia after the Cold War was a shambles and today it remains a weak economy with a limited role on the world stage, concerned mainly with retaining some of its traditional areas of influence. China is a vastly more formidable competitor. If the US (and the UK, if as usual we tag along) approach the relationship with Beijing with anything like the combination of arrogance, ignorance, greed, criminality, bigotry, hypocrisy and incompetence with which western elites managed the period after the Cold War, then we risk losing the competition and endangering the world. [my emphasis] ..."
"... It is not over in the sense that the West hasn't given up in its attempts to take over the world. ..."
"... The contest between the Empire and the upstarts is not over by a long shot. What the West HAS lost is the "inevitability" argument. But for the upstarts to actually prevail in their "multi-lateral" vision, they have to actually entice countries to join them despite threats and intimidation from the Empire. ..."
"... The Empire's power-elite KNOW that Russia, China, and allies of Russia-China don't want to be subject to their "rules-based order". The Empire is actively working to undermine, subvert, and divide the countries that oppose it. While also securing their own territories/population via intimidation and propaganda. ..."
"... On rules based disorder and the capitulation of Merkel and her BND lapdogs to the 'hate Russia' fulminations of the UKUSA morons. I see that the German Parliament has NOT TAKEN its red pills these days and is reluctant to swallow the BS. ..."
"... My late father as an army officer prosecuted Japanese war criminals for their atrocities now the Anglo-Zionists are the pre-eminent war criminals and their leaders loudly proclaim "our values" as a pathological and propagandistic form of projection. Is it possible they are unaware of their blatant hypocrisy ? ..."
"... There is no "international law" and no "international order." There is only relative power. And when those powers clash, as seems inevitable, the world is in for a major nuclear war, and probably preceded by several more regional wars. Meanwhile, the US internally is collapsing into economic disaster, social unrest, political and social oppression, infrastructure failure, and medical disasters. We'll probably be in martial law sometime between November 3 and January 21 if not beyond that period, just for starters. ..."
"... America's "Rules-Based International Order" is a Goebbelsian euphemism for a Lies-Based Imperial Order, led by the USA and its war criminal allies (aka the self-styled Free World). ..."
"... The true nature of this America-led order is exposed by the USA's war of aggression against Iraq (which violated international law and had no United Nations sanction) and its decades-long War on Terrorism, which have murdered hundreds of thousands of people and maimed, immiserated, or refugeed millions of more people. ..."
"... The Empire is very much alive and dangerous. Ask Iran, ask Syria, as the Palestinians, ask the Russians, ask the Chinese. Ask numerous African nations. Even Pangloss was not so stupidly naive. ..."
"... quite right. 'Rules based order' was always a euphemism for exceptionalism of one kind or another. ie US and its "allies" is basically asking the rest of the world to finance their (the US et al) version of a welfare state. ..."
"... China and rest of the worlds foreign central banks stopped growing their foreign exchange reserves (on net) in 2014 leaving the US in a sort of limbo. ..."
"... "Major powers maintaining cooperation, at least not engaging in Cold War-style antagonism, is the important foundation of world peace. China is committed to maintaining cooperation among major powers, as well as being flexible in the balance of interests acceptable to all parties. The problem is the Trump administration is hysterically shaping decoupling and confrontation between Beijing and Washington, and has been mobilizing more forces to its side at home and abroad. Those US policymakers are deliberately splitting the world like during the Cold War. ..."
"... The first 'Cold War' was entirely contrived. The US knew the Soviet Union was weak and had no agenda beyond maintaining security and its own reconstruction after WW2. There was no threat of a Western European invasion, or of the USSR spreading revolution globally. All that Cold War ideology is a lie. And the same lying is taking place about China today. No difference. ..."
"... It's good to see discussion here of the nefarious role of the American far-right neocon warmongers in the State Department, intelligence services and military leadership just before the turn of the new century. What I have never seen clearly explained, however, is the connection between these very dangerous forces and the equally cynical and reactionary Israeli politicians and the Mossad, as well as Saudi Arabian officials. ..."
Sep 25, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

The 'western' countries, i.e. the United States and its 'allies', love to speak of a 'rules based international order' which they say everyone should follow. That 'rules based order' is a way more vague concept than the actual rule of law:

The G7 is united by its shared values and commitment to a rules based international order. That order is being challenged by authoritarianism, serious violations of human rights, exclusion and discrimination, humanitarian and security crises, and the defiance of international law and standards.

As members of the G7, we are convinced that our societies and the world have reaped remarkable benefits from a global order based on rules and underscore that this system must have at its heart the notions of inclusion, democracy and respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms, diversity, and the rule of law.

That the 'rules based international order' is supposed to include vague concepts of 'democracy', 'human rights', 'fundamental freedoms', 'diversity' and more makes it easy to claim that this or that violation of the 'rules based international order' has occurred. Such violations can then be used to impose punishment in the form of sanctions or war.

That the above definition was given by a minority of a few rich nations makes it already clear that it can not be a global concept for a multilateral world. That would require a set of rules that everyone has agreed to. We already had and have such a system. It is called international law. But at the end of the cold war the 'west' began to ignore the actual international law and to replace it with its own rules which others were then supposed to follow. That hubris has come back to bite the 'west'.

Anatol Lieven's recent piece, How the west lost , describes this moral defeat of the 'west' after its dubious 'victory' in the cold war:

Accompanying this overwhelmingly dominant political and economic ideology was an American geopolitical vision equally grandiose in ambition and equally blind to the lessons of history. This was summed up in the memorandum on "Defence Planning Guidance 1994-1999," drawn up in April 1992 for the Bush Senior administration by Under-Secretary of Defence Paul Wolfowitz and Lewis "Scooter" Libby, and subsequently leaked to the media. Its central message was:
...
While that 1992 Washington paper spoke of the "legitimate interests" of other states, it clearly implied that it would be Washington that would define what interests were legitimate, and how they could be pursued. And once again, though never formally adopted, this "doctrine" became in effect the standard operating procedure of subsequent administrations. In the early 2000s, when its influence reached its most dangerous height, military and security elites would couch it in the terms of "full spectrum dominance." As the younger President Bush declared in his State of the Union address in January 2002, which put the US on the road to the invasion of Iraq: "By the grace of God, America won the Cold War A world once divided into two armed camps now recognizes one sole and pre-eminent power, the United States of America."

But that power has since failed in the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, during the 2008 financial crisis and now again in the pandemic. It also created new competition to its role due to its own behavior:

On the one hand, American moves to extend Nato to the Baltics and then (abortively) on to Ukraine and Georgia, and to abolish Russian influence and destroy Russian allies in the Middle East, inevitably produced a fierce and largely successful Russian nationalist reaction. ...

On the other hand, the benign and neglectful way in which Washington regarded the rise of China in the generation after the Cold War (for example, the blithe decision to allow China to join the World Trade Organisation) was also rooted in ideological arrogance.

Western triumphalism meant that most of the US elites were convinced that as a result of economic growth, the Chinese Communist state would either democratise or be overthrown; and that China would eventually have to adopt the western version of economics or fail economically. This was coupled with the belief that good relations with China could be predicated on China accepting a so-called "rules-based" international order in which the US set the rules while also being free to break them whenever it wished; something that nobody with the slightest knowledge of Chinese history should have believed.

The retired Indian ambassador M.K. Bhadrakumar touches on the same points in an excellent series about the new Chinese-Russian alliance:

Bhadrakumar describes how the 'west', through its own behavior, created a mighty block that now opposes its dictates. He concludes:

Quintessentially, Russia and China contest a set of neoliberal practices that have evolved in the post-World War 2 international order validating selective use of human rights as a universal value to legitimise western intervention in the domestic affairs of sovereign states. On the other hand, they also accept and continuously affirm their commitment to a number of fundamental precepts of the international order -- in particular, the primacy of state sovereignty and territorial integrity, the importance of international law, and the centrality of the United Nations and the key role of the Security Council.

While the U.S. wants a vague 'rules based international order' China and Russia emphasize an international order that is based on the rule of law. Two recent comments by leaders from China and Russia underline this.

In a speech in honor of the UN's 75th anniversary China's President Xi Jinping emphasized law based multilateralism :

China firmly supports the United Nations' central role in global affairs and opposes any country acting like boss of the world, President Xi Jinping said on Monday.
...
"No country has the right to dominate global affairs, control the destiny of others or keep advantages in development all to itself," Xi said.

Noting that the UN must stand firm for justice, Xi said that mutual respect and equality among all countries, big or small, is the foremost principle of the UN Charter.

No country should be allowed to do whatever it likes and be the hegemon or bully, Xi said. "Unilateralism is a dead end," he said.
...
International laws should not be distorted or used as a pretext to undermine other countries' legitimate rights and interests or world peace and stability, he added.

The Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov went even further by outright rejecting the 'western rules' that the 'rules based international order' implies:

Ideas that Russia and China will play by sets of Western rules under any circumstances are deeply flawed , Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with New York-based international Russian-language RTVI channel.

"I was reading our political scientists who are well known in the West. The following idea is becoming louder and more pronounced: it is time to stop applying Western metrics to our actions and stop trying to be liked by the West at any cost . These are very reputable people and a rather serious statement. It is clear to me that the West is wittingly or unwittingly pushing us towards this analysis. It is likely to be done unwittingly," Lavrov noted. "However, it is a big mistake to think that Russia will play by Western rules in any case, just like thinking this in terms of China."

As an alliance China and Russia have all the raw materials, energy, engineering and industrial capabilities, agriculture and populations needed to be completely independent from the 'west'. They have no need nor any desire to follow dubious rules dictated by other powers. There is no way to make them do so. As M.K. Bhadrakumar concludes :

The US cannot overwhelm that alliance unless it defeats both China and Russia together, simultaneously. The alliance, meanwhile, also happens to be on the right side of history. Time works in its favour, as the decline of the US in relative comprehensive national power and global influence keeps advancing and the world gets used to the "post-American century."

---
P.S.
On a lighter note: RT , Russia's state sponsored international TV station, has recently hired Donald Trump (vid). He will soon host his own reality show on RT . The working title is reportedly: "Putin's Apprentice". The apprenticeship might give him a chance to learn how a nation that has failed can be resurrected to its former glory.

Posted by b on September 22, 2020 at 17:59 UTC | Permalink


Kali , Sep 22 2020 18:18 utc | 1

The Liberal International Order or Pax Americana are synonyms for The Rules Based Order. The plan that was followed for years was the outline given by Zbigniew Brzezinski and the Trilateral Commission in The Grand Chessboard to "contain" the ambition of Russia, China, and Iran over their interest to expand into Central Asia and the Middle East. Brzezinski changed in 2016, so did Kissinger, Brzezinski wrote that it was time to make peace and to integrate with Russia, China and Iran. But the elites had changed by then, newer people had taken over and no longer followed Brzezinski.
circumspect , Sep 22 2020 18:27 utc | 2
The rules are follow the dictates of our western neo-colonial institutions like the World Bank, the IMF et all. We will own you and you will do what we say and those are the rules. Any challenge to our authority will lead to war, economic ruin or both.

Its a pretty simple concept backed by the attack dog of the US military.

ptb , Sep 22 2020 18:37 utc | 3
'Rules based order' was always a euphemism for exceptionalism of one kind or another. The term was invented to avoid having to say 'rule of law', which invited criticism because even the most minimal amount of law (such as Geneva conventions, ICC etc) was rejected in practice and in policy by the leading members of the actually existing world order.
Patrick Armstrong , Sep 22 2020 18:52 utc | 4
Can't resist tooting my own horn.
https://patrickarmstrong.ca/2017/04/29/the-west-actually-lost-the-cold-war-it-turned-victory-into-defeat/
vk , Sep 22 2020 19:05 utc | 5
Rumor says the "Wolfowitz Doctrine" also envisioned the balkanization of Russia (the document is still classified, but it leaked to a NYT journalist at the time, who published a report on it).

.. .. ..

Passer by , Sep 22 2020 19:43 utc | 9
It is not over in the sense that the West hasn't given up in its attempts to take over the world. But as the "exceptionalist" western countries decline, they will go even crazier and crazier and there will be full blown hysteria.

In this sense, the rule based order will be over as there will be only disorder and animalistic, crazed western rage and bullying. The West is like a trapped animal. It will start pouncing, raging and snarling like a wild animal. This is the real nature of the West. A hungry wild animal that needs to feed.

All the liberalism is just self-congratulation about how exceptionalist it is. It is born out of narcisism and self-obsession during the "good times" of the West.

But behind the liberal mask, there are hateful eyes and gnashing teeth, and hunger and greed for other people's resources.

The real face of it is hateful and snarling. And it will be fully exposed during the next 10 years, as the West goes crazy and it becomes a hungry wild animal that desperately needs to feed.

Expressed in words, the West's face says "I'm the best and you are nothing! Give me your stuff! And this is how it will forever be!"

Countries need to stay out from the wild animal and carry a big stick just in case, until it succumbs from its internal hatreds and contradictions.

gepay , Sep 22 2020 19:44 utc | 11

As Putin has said, the US is no longer agreement capable. As b. outlines. the US elites no longer follow the rule of law. This is even true within the US. The US inherited the role formerly played by the British Empire after WW2.

The national security apparatus of both the US and the Soviet Union kept the Cold War going. Notice how soon after JFK was assassinated Khrushchev was deposed. Gorbachev rightly stopped the Soviets superpower regime. As Dmitri Orlov points out - Empire hollowed out the Soviet Union and he sees it doing the same to the US.

Instead of bringing Russia into the Western liberal democracies (with the threat of major nuclear war now drastically reduced) the now Anglo-Zionist Empire just looted it. The life expectancy of Russians fell 7 years in a decade until rescued by Putin.

It can now be seen that the Nixon-Kissinger opening up to China was not to gain access to its large market potential but to gain access to hundreds of millions of cheap, disciplined, and educated workers. The elites starting in the 70s became greedier. Jet travel,electronic communication, and computers allowed the outsourcing of manufacture.

The spread of air conditioning allowed even the too hot south to be a location. First in the US as the factories began their march through the non union southern states onto Mexico. Management from the north could now live in air conditioned houses, drive air conditioned cars and work in air conditioned offices.

The 70s oil inflation led to stagnation as the unionized labor were powerful enough to get cost of living raises. With the globalization of labor union power in the US has been destroyed. As Eric X Li points out China's one party rule actually changes policies easier than the Western democracies.

So China's government hasn't joined in with the West in just creating wealth for the top 1% and debt for the real economy.

As b. pointed out, the Anglo Zionist policies created the mutual benefit partnership of Russia and China. The Chinese belt and road initiative appears to be intent on creating a large trading zone that could benefit those involved. The US is just using sanctions and the military to turn sovereign functioning countries that don't go along with it into failed states and their infrastructure turned to rubble

Roy G , Sep 22 2020 20:11 utc | 13
Now, the US is forced into puppeteering the UN in order to maintain the illusion of the 'rules based order,' even as it slides further and further away from any meaningful international cooperation:

Fortunately for the world, the United States took responsible action to stop this from happening. In accordance with our rights under UNSCR 2231, we initiated the snapback process to restore virtually all previously terminated UN sanctions, including the arms embargo. The world will be safer as a result.

The United States expects all UN Member States to fully comply with their obligations to implement these measures. In addition to the arms embargo, this includes restrictions such as the ban on Iran engaging in enrichment and reprocessing-related activities, the prohibition on ballistic missile testing and development by Iran, and sanctions on the transfer of nuclear- and missile-related technologies to Iran, among others. If UN Member States fail to fulfill their obligations to implement these sanctions, the United States is prepared to use our domestic authorities to impose consequences for those failures and ensure that Iran does not reap the benefits of UN-prohibited activity.

https://www.state.gov/the-return-of-un-sanctions-on-the-islamic-republic-of-iran/

Passer by , Sep 22 2020 20:15 utc | 16
Any type of enmity btw the two countries under Trump is pure theater.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Sep 22 2020 20:07 utc | 10

Actually the Trump Administration has done far more against Russia than all US administrations from the last 30 years. Do not listen what they say, look at what they do. Right now the US in a full blown Cold War with Russia with ever increasing attacks.

foolisholdman , Sep 22 2020 20:22 utc | 17
Pompeo talks more or less continually about "China's bullying behaviour". To me it is wonderful that he can say this with a straight face. (Perhaps it is a result of his lessons in the CIA on "how to lie better".)All the countries that have engaged with China have benefitted from it, whether as salesmen or as recipients of aid or loans at advantageous rates. The countries that have engaged with America have mostly (All?) lost. (The fifty+ countries invaded and wrecked since WW2 or the NATO "allies" or the countries attacked with sanctions.) Either their economies were destroyed or billions upon billions of dollars were paid to the US MIC. The NATO member countries have got what from their membership? Formerly, they had "Protection" from an imaginary Soviet threat, more recently "Protection" from an equally imaginary Russian threat! Some bargain, that!
Christian J. Chuba , Sep 22 2020 20:38 utc | 18
Rules based international order .... the U.S. functions as the the Supreme Court for the U.N. , 'we have invoked snapback sanctions and extended the arms embargo on Iran indefinitely and are enforcing it'. UN, 'but your vote failed'.

U.S, 'we have the right to seize cargo between any two countries transported in international waters based on U.S. federal appeals court decision even though the transaction in no way involves the U.S. We call this Freedom of Navigation and why we need to have aircraft carriers in the South China Sea and Arabian Gulf'

We are completely and totally insane.

psychohistorian , Sep 22 2020 20:41 utc | 19
Rules based International Order is the dog whistle for global private finance controlled economies. It is sad that we are in a civilization war with China/Russia about who runs international finance going forward and yet there is no discussion of the subject but instead all sorts of proxy conflicts.

Thanks for the posting b as it gets to the core myths around the global private finance jackboot on the neck of countries in the West.

profk , Sep 22 2020 20:59 utc | 22
The US is not just facing relative decline -- the fact that others are catching up in key ways. The US is also facing absolute decline -- the fact that it is suffering a degradation of capacities and is losing competitive battles in key areas. Examples of absolute decline include the Russian and Chinese military-technological revolutions based on anti-ship and hypersonic missiles and air defense systems; Chinese 5G; China's demonstrative success in suppressing COVID and its overall manufacturing power; the declining quality of life for most Americans; and the collapse of American institutional competence.

Related to this, we can't separate these dynamics from the political economy of the states in question. China, in particular, is showing that an interventionist state, with high levels of public ownership, is essential to qualitative power, human security, and economic and social development.

Capitalism might enrich a few, but it is the primary cause of America's relative and absolute decline.

jayc , Sep 22 2020 21:01 utc | 23
US and allied military analysts have been talking over the last year or so of the need to enter a single focus and total "wartime" posture throughout our societies, with all financial and industrial output directed to the "war". This has influenced the information/ propaganda efforts, but also the uptick in military manoeuvres around Taiwan and renewed NATO pressure directed at Russia (including the recent provocative B52 flights). Don't think Russia/China can be tricked into over-reacting, but some kind of loss-of-life military confrontation may be what the rules-based side is looking for as the population at large will probably not accept a "wartime sacrifice" regimen without such.
Kiza , Sep 22 2020 21:26 utc | 26
Very well written article.

Whilst Russia and China are creating a truly new, unique and creative alliance and a market of everything, in Australia the "authorities" are sicking their police dogs on poor grannies sitting on park benches. This image of five brainless armed state goons in a show of force over two quiet little grannies really puts things into perspective. It must be that New World Order that Soros and puppets always talked about.

Psssst, learning Russian is easier than Chinese and we already know a few Russian words, such as novichok.

Leser , Sep 22 2020 21:42 utc | 29
Great analysis b and connecting the dots.

The post scriptum stopped the clock for me. Has our host slipped into our drink there a profound prophecy, disguised as jesting?

Many agree something big will happen (break?) soon, possibly with the elections. The other thing is the Americans' ability to change course, drop all baggage, and run off in a new, even the opposite direction with unfettered enthusiasm (and ferocity). No people has a greater capacity for almost instant renewal, once it chooses to.

I also notice that the spoof takes good aim at The Donald's peculiarities, though in a fair and human way. The proverbial Russian warmth, or a humorous invitation?

Meanwhile, I enjoy my newfound optimism in these dark times. Thanks b!

uncle tungsten , Sep 22 2020 21:59 utc | 32
Thanks b and on Anatol Lieven in the Prospect story (fairy story?)...
Russia after the Cold War was a shambles and today it remains a weak economy with a limited role on the world stage, concerned mainly with retaining some of its traditional areas of influence. China is a vastly more formidable competitor. If the US (and the UK, if as usual we tag along) approach the relationship with Beijing with anything like the combination of arrogance, ignorance, greed, criminality, bigotry, hypocrisy and incompetence with which western elites managed the period after the Cold War, then we risk losing the competition and endangering the world. [my emphasis]

Lieven simply does not see it. Has it ever occurred to Lieven that colonialism just might be rejected by both Russia and China and that there might be no competition? Does Lieven watch too much football?

What is it that endangers the world in Lieven's petite cortex? This verbose Lieven tosh is littered with fancy sentences trawled from here and there but always presented to us from a narrow dimensional mind with limited analysis and seemingly zero interrogation.

again:- "then we risk losing the competition and endangering the world"...

So Lieven thinks the current behaviour of the US hegemon and its collaborator the UK is innocuous? These were the two nations that blithely squandered the "peace dividend" from the end of cold war as he describes and have led us to this time of perpetual war. A perpetual war that he does not mention, does not allude to, does not treat as an important driver behind the current global mistrust and disengagement from the USUK drive for global dominance.

Lieven is putting lipstick on his pig and screaming about losing the competition to the imagined wolf outside his prison.

Beneath contempt.

Jackrabbit , Sep 22 2020 22:09 utc | 33
Passer by @Sep22 19:43 #8
It is not over in the sense that the West hasn't given up in its attempts to take over the world.
I agree. The contest between the Empire and the upstarts is not over by a long shot. What the West HAS lost is the "inevitability" argument. But for the upstarts to actually prevail in their "multi-lateral" vision, they have to actually entice countries to join them despite threats and intimidation from the Empire.

_________________________________

Passer by @Sep22 20:15 #14

Right now the US in a full blown Cold War with Russia with ever increasing attacks.
Yes. We still see the narratives like of Trump as Putin-lover despite the debunking of Russiagate and the clear evidence of Cold War tensions. The incessant propaganda reeks of desperation.

<> <> <> <> <> <>

Some seem to think that the Empire is cornered.

Aha! We've got you now, you scoundrels!

LOL.

The Empire's power-elite KNOW that Russia, China, and allies of Russia-China don't want to be subject to their "rules-based order". The Empire is actively working to undermine, subvert, and divide the countries that oppose it. While also securing their own territories/population via intimidation and propaganda.

!!

uncle tungsten , Sep 22 2020 22:53 utc | 36
On rules based disorder and the capitulation of Merkel and her BND lapdogs to the 'hate Russia' fulminations of the UKUSA morons. I see that the German Parliament has NOT TAKEN its red pills these days and is reluctant to swallow the BS. It would be satisfying to see the collective wisdom of the Parliament to exceed that of the BND. But then that is a low bar.
karlof1 , Sep 22 2020 22:55 utc | 37
An excellent look into the seemingly mundane but important business of negotiating arms control agreements is offered here: Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov's interview with the newspaper Kommersant, published on September 22, 2020 . Excerpt:

"For our part, we more than once described a balanced and mutually acceptable framework for future agreements in this sphere during our contacts with the American negotiators. Aware of the difficulties on the path forward in light of how widely different our approaches are, we proposed extending the New START as it was originally signed.

"We do not want any unilateral advantages, but we will not make any unilateral concessions either. A deal may be possible if the United States is ready to coordinate a new document on the basis of the balance of interests, parity and without expecting Russia to make unilateral concessions. But this will take time. We can have time to do this if the treaty is extended."

As predicted, the Outlaw US Empire makes an offer it knows will be refused so it can then blame Russia for being an unreliable negotiating partner--a trick we've all seen before.

Lavrov conducted a short interview with Sputnik mostly about Belarus and Ukraine and much of which is a rehash.

Passer by , Sep 22 2020 23:07 utc | 39
@Jackrabbit | Sep 22 2020 22:09 utc | 31

I agree. The contest between the Empire and the upstarts is not over by a long shot. What the West HAS lost is the "inevitability" argument. But for the upstarts to actually prevail in their "multi-lateral" vision, they have to actually entice countries to join them despite threats and intimidation from the Empire.

Yes, the big question remaining is to predict what will happen and when. This is what the real deal is. And I'm sure they are working on that in the Intel agencies. It can certainly be predicted that the US and the EU will be significantly weaker in 2030 that today. Will this be enough is the question.

We now have some new information about US long term health as published by CBO. Very interesting numbers.

They predict lower population growth and lower GDP growth for the US than previously estimated, as well as higher debt rates. US federal debt is to reach 195 % of GDP by 2050 under best case scenario.

http://www.crfb.org/papers/analysis-cbos-2020-long-term-budget-outlook

Analysts also seem to agree that the Covid 19 crisis further weakened the US vis a vis China, as the Chinese economy significantly outperformed almost everyone else this year, more than expected before the crisis.

I will also mention two important recent numbers. This year:

1. China, for the first time, became the biggest trading partner for the EU, beating the US.

2. China's retail market overtook the one of the US.

kiwiklown , Sep 22 2020 23:41 utc | 41
Posted by: vk | Sep 22 2020 19:05 utc | 4 -- "....Eurasia is where most of human civilization lives, it's the "World Island" - the world island not in the military sense, but in the economic sense. Every path to human prosperity passes through Eurasia - that's why the USA can't "let it alone" in the first place, while the reverse is not true, that is, Eurasia can give to the luxury of letting the Americas alone."

Excellent observation, VK.

Even if the World Island (thanks for your formulation) trades with itself, within itself, there is sufficient mass to last a century, during which the arrogantly exceptional West might just wake up from their Century of Humiliation.

Meanwhile, inertia alone will ensure that the West forgets that their vaunted "civilisation" was fed, watered, enriched by the Silk Route that came from the East -- from the Middle Kingdom (China) and from the Middle East (which is "middle", as you pointed out above, because all wealth passes through that region).

Paul , Sep 23 2020 0:02 utc | 43
Yes there are rules which are observed more by their breach than their observance: The Geneva Conventions. Just ask Julian Assange.

I find it incredible that the Anglo-Zionist captive nations can sign, ratify, incorporate into domestic law and then sign the additional protocol, making themselves high contracting parties, which requires them to report all and any breaches to Geneva, then ignore all the above commitments. One of these commitments includes educating their citizens on the basic provisions of the conventions. Again they haven't bothered, that could expose their hypocrisy to the public.

Even the bandit statelet signed but I am yet to see just one example of its application in the seventy plus years of its barbaric and bloodthirsty occupation of Palestine.

Interestingly, the conventions prohibit the occupied from signing away one iota of their territory to the occupier. So much for what Claude Pictet's Commentary to the Fourth Geneva Convention calls "alleged annexations." This book is available from the ICRC.

My late father as an army officer prosecuted Japanese war criminals for their atrocities now the Anglo-Zionists are the pre-eminent war criminals and their leaders loudly proclaim "our values" as a pathological and propagandistic form of projection. Is it possible they are unaware of their blatant hypocrisy ?

It seems the New World Order has some familiar and unsurprising antecedents:

https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/452693/New-world-order-pledged-to-Jews-80-years-ago

Hold on tight, hubris is always fatal:

https://asiatimes.com/2020/09/pompeo-threatens-to-light-the-fuse-in-persian-gulf/

Jen , Sep 23 2020 0:09 utc | 44
Uncle Tungsten @ 30:

Anatol Lieven comes from an educated and cultured family in Britain's upper middle class layer. His older siblings - he is the youngest of five children - include a High Court judge (Dame Natalie Lieven), a Cambridge University professor / historian (Dominic Lieven) and a psychologist / linguistics researcher (Elena Lieven). They haven't done badly for a family from the old Baltic German aristocratic elite that used to serve the Russian empire as administrators for the Livonia governorate.

The British Lievens might see themselves as gatekeepers and interpreters of what the ruling classes desire (or appear to desire) and communicate that down to us. Hence their positions in intellectual and academic occupations - no engineers, technicians or academics in the physical or biological sciences among their number.

Anatol Lieven is right though about "competition", in the sense I believe he is using it: it is "competition" for supposed global leadership and influence as only the British and Americans understand it. Life as British and American elites understand it is the annual football competition writ large; there can only be one winner and the worst position to be in is second place and every other place below it. Never mind that what Russia and China have in mind is a vision of the world with multiple and overlapping leadership roles dispersed among nations according to various criteria: this ideal is simply too much for the Anglosphere elites to understand, let alone digest and accept.

Still, I wonder why Anatol Lieven is teaching in a university in Qatar of all places. Family influence and reputation must only go so far.

Richard Steven Hack , Sep 23 2020 0:54 utc | 47
Posted by: lizard | Sep 22 2020 21:59 utc | 29

if you aren't at least a little prepared for a disruption in critical supplies, and choose instead to waste time commenting on online forums, it won't matter how up to date you are on "rules based international order" vs. "international law". at that point the reality will be something like this: if you aren't holding it, you don't have it, and if you can't defend it, you won't be keeping it for long.

Got that absolutely right.

There is no "international law" and no "international order." There is only relative power. And when those powers clash, as seems inevitable, the world is in for a major nuclear war, and probably preceded by several more regional wars. Meanwhile, the US internally is collapsing into economic disaster, social unrest, political and social oppression, infrastructure failure, and medical disasters. We'll probably be in martial law sometime between November 3 and January 21 if not beyond that period, just for starters.

This month is National Preparedness Month. I recommend watching the following videos from well-known "preppers" who have been warning about this stuff for years.

78 Days Will Determine the Fate of America
5 Things You Need To Do Before the U.S. Election

A playlist of 23 videos for National Preparedness Month:
30 Days of Preparedness Collaboration - 2020

And this one from The Urban Prepper, an IT guy who is exceptionally well organized and logical in his videos. I recommend subscribing to his channel. He avoids most of the excessive "doom and gloom" hype that afflicts a lot of prepper channels and is oriented more about urban survival than "backwoods bushcraft" since most people live in cities.
Prepping 101: Prepping Architecture Diagram for Gear Organization

And if you don't watch anything else, watch this one from Canadian Prepper - he's absolutely right in this one and it specifically applies to the barflies here:
What is Really Going On? Its WORSE Than You Think

Jun , Sep 23 2020 1:06 utc | 48
Meanwhile, inertia alone will ensure that the West forgets that their vaunted "civilisation" was fed, watered, enriched by the Silk Route that came from the East -- from the Middle Kingdom (China) and from the Middle East (which is "middle", as you pointed out above, because all wealth passes through that region).
Posted by: kiwiklown | Sep 22 2020 23:41 utc | 39

============================================================================================

Thereby we have the answer to America's longest war:

https://twitter.com/danieldumbrill/status/1290456155286900737?lang=en

Richard Steven Hack , Sep 23 2020 1:19 utc | 50
Oh, and this one from Canadian Prepper in which he muses about whether and why we actually *want* the SHTF situation to occur. This one would resonate with a lot of the commentary here about the social malaise and the psychological reasons for it. Maybe nothing really new for some, but definitely relevant.

Society is Collapsing: Prepare for the Next Phase

uncle tungsten , Sep 23 2020 1:47 utc | 51
Jen #42
Still, I wonder why Anatol Lieven is teaching in a university in Qatar of all places. Family influence and reputation must only go so far.

Thank you that backgrounder explains a lot. Perhaps like Englanders before him he finds Qatar, safe and rewarding PLUS mounds of finest hashish and titillating company. From my understanding it is a grotesque abuser of human rights and everyone has a price.

ak74 , Sep 23 2020 2:15 utc | 52
America's "Rules-Based International Order" is a Goebbelsian euphemism for a Lies-Based Imperial Order, led by the USA and its war criminal allies (aka the self-styled Free World).

The true nature of this America-led order is exposed by the USA's war of aggression against Iraq (which violated international law and had no United Nations sanction) and its decades-long War on Terrorism, which have murdered hundreds of thousands of people and maimed, immiserated, or refugeed millions of more people. These crimes against humanity have been justified by Orwellian American lies about "Weapons of Mass Destruction," "fighting terrorism," or the curious events of Sept. 11th.

This America "Rules-Based" order is one drenched in the blood of millions of people--even as it sanctimoniously disguises itself behind endless propaganda about defending liberal democracy or the rule of law.

Truly, America and its allies can take their malignant Rules-Based Disorder back to Hell, where they all belong.

Two decades of US "war on terror" responsible for displacing at least 37 million people and killing up to 12 million
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/09/09/cost-s09.html?view=print

Erelis , Sep 23 2020 3:01 utc | 53
Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 23 2020 0:50 utc | 44

"Thus your "side note" has no "relevance" whatsoever."

You sound like some podunk UN official from a podunk country trying to impress a waitress in a NYC bar. The Empire is very much alive and dangerous. Ask Iran, ask Syria, as the Palestinians, ask the Russians, ask the Chinese. Ask numerous African nations. Even Pangloss was not so stupidly naive.

uncle tungsten , Sep 23 2020 3:02 utc | 54
Jun #46

Thank you - YES that is the answer and always has been PLUS there will be no pipeline from Iran through Afghanistan to Pakistan and on to China. There will be NO overland pipeline or rail route to sound the death knell to the maritime mafia.

milomilo , Sep 23 2020 3:33 utc | 55
Please vote for trump 2020. no president destroy America from inside like what trump did. The goal is to accelerate American empire destruction and grip in this world. What better way to put such clown along his circus in white house. he will make a mess of everything and will definitely bring America down

i hope he win 2020 and America explode into civil war and chaos. With America destroyed internally , they wont have time to invade Venezuela or Iran

milomilo , Sep 23 2020 3:37 utc | 56
Remember , if Biden win 2020 , American foreign policy will revert into normalcy that means seeking alliance with EU and 5 eyes in a more meaningful way , aka giving them preferential treatment on trade..

all that to box in china and russia , reenable TPP , initiate the delayed venezuela overt invasion other than covert

this is dangerous for the whole world , not that it will save US in the long run but it will increase real shooting conflict with china and russia.. So focus on trump victory in 2020 , the more controversial the win the better , lets push america into chaos

defaultcitizen , Sep 23 2020 3:41 utc | 57
I appreciate the time and thought that goes into a post like this; all without a popup ad trying to sell me ANOTHER item I just bought via Amazon, in spite of the fact that I am among the least likely to want another right now. Voice of reason crying in the wilderness and all that.

The rule The Capitalist Ogres promote as the heart of Civilization is simply the age-old Golden Rule. Those with the gold, make the rules.

j. casey , Sep 23 2020 12:28 utc | 75
In the very short-term (3 months?) what is the outcome of US/Nato seizure of ships and cargo in international water?
chris m , Sep 23 2020 13:42 utc | 79
@ptb
quite right. 'Rules based order' was always a euphemism for exceptionalism of one kind or another. ie US and its "allies" is basically asking the rest of the world to finance their (the US et al) version of a welfare state.

as US et al can no longer fund their own unaffordable welfare promises made to their own electorates, they have to call on the rest of the world to do so (China has been effectively funding the US budget deficit since they entered the WTO.
and the EU (mainly Germany) was doing the same before China's entry into WTO)

China and rest of the worlds foreign central banks stopped growing their foreign exchange reserves (on net) in 2014
leaving the US in a sort of limbo.

chris m , Sep 23 2020 13:47 utc | 80
PS addendum: if you've ever wondered who has been financing the GWOT since 2001; it was the Chinese.
karlof1 , Sep 23 2020 15:21 utc | 82
chris m @80--

Well, you're sorta correct; it was all those nations including China that bought Outlaw US Empire debt. China certainly knows better now and for almost a decade now it's purchases--and those of the rest of the world -- of said debt have declined to the point where a huge crisis related to the debt pyramid threatens all those aside from the 1% living within the Outlaw US Empire. The Judo involved was very instructive.

karlof1 , Sep 23 2020 16:21 utc | 85
"Trump's UN address censured" headlines Global Times article that reviews yesterday's UNGA. Domestic BigLie Media didn't like what it heard from Trump:

"Commenting on the US' performance, many Western media tended to view US as being 'isolated,' and its unilateral efforts 'widely derided....'

"Some US media outlets cannot stand Trump's accusations. A WSJ report said many Democrats blamed Trump for "isolating the US and diluting American influence in the WHO or other bodies."

It went on to say Trump's threat of withdrawal is often used as leverage to "influence partner countries, or get allies to pay more for shared defense."

"Some US media linked Trump's address to his widely blamed effort to re-impose sanctions on Iran, saying his address came as 'UN members push back against Washington,' AP reported.

"Wednesday's Washington Post article reported that the Trump administration walked on a 'lonely path' at the UN where the US attacked WHO, and embarked on the 'widely derided' effort to snap back Iran sanctions.

"A week before the UN General Assembly, US media NPR predicted that the US 'appeared to be isolated' at this year's General Assembly, saying that Trump's 'America First' agenda left him out of sync with America's traditional allies as it has a long record of pulling out of international agreements, including one meant to tackle the world's climate crisis."

So, Trump's attack on China's environmental record was beyond hypocritical and ought to be termed psychopathic prevarication. The best comment from the article well describes the Trumptroll @53:

"'Trump's smears and attacks against China were apparently aimed at campaigning for his reelection. Only his die-hard fans - those who do not care about truth but support him - will buy his words ,' Ding Yifan, a researcher at the Institute of World Development of the Development Research Center of the State Council, told the Global Times." [My Emphasis]

And isn't that really the basic issue--the truth? 75 years of lies by the Outlaw US Empire to cover it's continuous illegalities and subversion of its own fundamental law while killing and displacing tens of millions of people. Guardian of the Free World my ass! More like Guardian of the Gates of Hell.

vk , Sep 23 2020 16:40 utc | 86
More on the situation of the "rules based international order":

The Eurozone economy stopped recovering and stagnated in September (PMI)

And here's a more general picture on the state of global capitalism today:

The 90% world economy (UNCTAD report)

karlof1 , Sep 23 2020 16:45 utc | 87
Yes, I'm biased, but anyone seeking truth and invoking the Rule of Law would find themselves at odds with the Outlaw US Empire. Today's Global Times Editorial makes the following key observations:

"Major powers maintaining cooperation, at least not engaging in Cold War-style antagonism, is the important foundation of world peace. China is committed to maintaining cooperation among major powers, as well as being flexible in the balance of interests acceptable to all parties. The problem is the Trump administration is hysterically shaping decoupling and confrontation between Beijing and Washington, and has been mobilizing more forces to its side at home and abroad. Those US policymakers are deliberately splitting the world like during the Cold War.

"The impulse to promote a cold war is the ultimate version of unilateralism, and shows dangerous and mistaken arrogance that the US is almighty. Everyone knows that the US is declining in its competitiveness under the rules-based international system the US itself initiated and created. It wants to build a new system more beneficial to itself, and allow the US to maintain its advantage without making any effort. This is simply impossible."

My research is pointing me to conclude the First Cold War was contrived so the Outlaw US Empire could impose privately owned finance and corporations and the political-economies connected to them upon the world lest the collective forces that were the ones to actually defeat Fascism gain control of their national governments and shape their political-economies into the public/collectively owned realm where the benefits would flow to all people instead of just the already powerful. That's also the intent of imposing a Second Cold War. Some seem to think there's no ideological divide at play, but as I've ceaselessly explained there most certainly is, thus the intense demonization of both Russia and China--the Strategic Competition also is occurring in the realm of Ideas. And the only tools available for the Outlaw US Empire to use are lies, since the truths involved would encourage any neutral nation to join the Win-Win vision of China and Russia, not the Zero-sum bankruptcy pushed by the Parasites controlling the Empire.

psychohistorian , Sep 23 2020 17:07 utc | 88
@ karlof1 | Sep 23 2020 15:56 utc | 84 and forward with the links and quotes...thanks

I do like the confirmation Pepe quote, thanks

It is sad to understand that much of the US population does not have the mental clarity to see that Trump is no different than Biden when it comes to fealty to the God of Mammon. Way too many Americans think that replacing Trump with Biden will make things all better.

The end of the rules based international order/global private finance cannot end soon enough, IMO

Timothy Hagios , Sep 23 2020 17:19 utc | 90
farm ecologist @ 89

Patrick Armstrong publishes the sitreps (and other content) at https://patrickarmstrong.ca/

karlof1 , Sep 23 2020 18:07 utc | 92
psychohistorian @88--

Thanks for your reply! As I discussed with the Missus last night, IMO only the people regaining control over the federal government can rescue themselves from the multiple dilemmas they face--the most pressing being the Debt Bomb and control of the monetary and fiscal systems by private entities as exemplified by the Federal Reserve and Wall Street, both of which employ the Financial Parasites preying on the nation's body-politic. Undoing all the past wrongs requires both Congress and the Executive be captured by The People who can then write the laws to end the wrongs while arresting and prosecuting those responsible for the last 20+ years of massive fraud. The biggest components would be ending the Federal Reserve, Nationalizing all the fraudster banks, writing down the vast majority of debt, and disbanding NATO thus ending the overseas empire. Those are the most fundamental steps required for the USA to avoid the coming calamity brought about by the Neoliberals. I also have finally developed my thesis on where, why and how that philosophy was developed and put into motion.

profk , Sep 23 2020 18:16 utc | 94
karlof,

The first 'Cold War' was entirely contrived. The US knew the Soviet Union was weak and had no agenda beyond maintaining security and its own reconstruction after WW2. There was no threat of a Western European invasion, or of the USSR spreading revolution globally. All that Cold War ideology is a lie. And the same lying is taking place about China today. No difference.

The key issues for the US were:

1. it needed western european capitalist states to buy US manufactured exports. Those states had to remain capitalist and subordinate to the US, i.e. to avoid what Acheson called 'neutralism' in world politics.

2. the US wanted gradual decolonization of the British and French empires so that US firms could access markets and resources in those same territories. but the US feared revolutionary nationalism in the colonies and the potential loss of market access by the former colonial powers, which would need resources from the post-colonial world to rebuild after WW2.

The key event which cemented the 'Cold War' in Europe was the division of Germany, which Carolyn Eisenberg shows was entirely an American decision, in her important book, Drawing the Line.

The driving force of all this, though, was the economic imperatives of US capitalism. The US needed to restore and save capitalism in Western Europe and Japan, and the Cold War was the ideological framework for doing so. The Cold War ideology also allowed the US to frame its meddling in Korea, Guatemala, Iran, etc.

The late historian Gabriel Kolko wrote the best analyses of these issues. His work is much better than the New Left 'revisionist' US historians.

karlof1 , Sep 23 2020 20:01 utc | 96
profk @94--

I agree with your recap and second your appraisal of Gabriel Kolko. Eisenberg's work somehow escaped my view but will no longer thanks to your suggestion.

But I see more to it all as the First Cold War had to occur to promote the financialization of the USA's industrial Capitalism which began within the USA in 1913 and was abruptly interrupted by the various market crashes, the failure of the international payments system and subsequent massive deflation and Great Depression. A similar plan to outsource manufactures to its colonies and commonwealth and financialize its economy was began in the UK sometime after the end of the US Civil War. At the time in England, the school of Classical Political-Economists and their political allies (CPE) were attempting to rid the UK and the rest of Europe of the last vestiges of Feudalism that resided in the Rentier and Banking Classes, the former being mostly populated by Royalty and its retainers. Land Rent was the primary source of their income while it was the stated intent of the CPE to change the tax burden from individuals and businesses to that of Land Rent and other forms of Unearned Income. That movement came swiftly on the heels of the abolition of the Slave Trade which was a vast source of Royal income. Recognizing this threat to the basis of their wellbeing, the Royals needed to turn the tables but in such a manner where their manipulation was secret because of the vast popularity of the CPE's agenda. Thus began the movement to discredit the CPE and remove their ideas from discourse and later completely from the history of political-economy. And there was another problem--German Banks and their philosophy inspired by Bismarck to be totally supportive of German industry, which provided the impetus for its own colonial pursuits primarily in Africa.

Within that paragraph is my thesis for the rise of Neoliberalism, much of which Dr. Hudson documents but hasn't yet gotten to/revealed the root cause of the counter revolution against the CPE. IMO, that reactionary movement underlies far more, particularly the growing animosity between the UK and Germany from 1875 to 1914. As Eisenberg's research proves, there's much more past to be revealed that helps to resolve how we arrived at the times we now face.

karlof1 , Sep 23 2020 20:16 utc | 97
CitizenX @95--

Indeed, as Hudson and Max Keiser ask: Why pay taxes at all since the Fed can create all the credit required. I've written about the pros and cons of Secession here before which are quite similar to those existing in 1861. In Washington for example, how to deal with all the Federal property located there. Just as Ft. Sumter didn't belong to South Carolina, the many military bases there don't belong to Washington. Trying to seize it as the South Carolinians attempted in 1861 merely creates the casus belli sought by Trump. Now if you could get the vast majority of the military stationed in Washington to support your cause, your odds of resisting would greatly improve.

IMO, trying to regain public control over the Federal government would be much easier.

uncle tungsten , Sep 23 2020 21:21 utc | 98
karlof1 #85

Thank you brother karlof1, YES, the minotaur indeed but where is Theseus and Ariadne when we need them? Please don't tell me that Biden and Harris are the 'chosen ones' - that would mock the legend and prove that the gods are truly crazy :))

karlof1 , Sep 23 2020 22:48 utc | 101
ooops *elicit* uncle tungsten @98--

Well, they've clearly been chosen; they're just not THE CHOSEN and IMO would never qualify.

By contrast, here's Maduro's UNGA statement , a man clearly superior in all respects to either Biden or Trump or any of their vassals.

karlof1 , Sep 24 2020 0:31 utc | 103
It seems to me that a review is required, that we need to turn back the clock to an earlier analysis whose veracity has only been boosted by subsequent events. So here from 2011: "On November 3, 2011, Alan Minsky interviewed me on KPFK's program, 'Building a Powerful Movement in the United States' in preparation for an Occupy L.A. teach-in." Here's a brief excerpt to remind people what this is all about:

"Once people realize that they're being screwed, that's a pre-revolutionary situation. It's a situation where they can get a lot of sympathy and support, precisely by not doing what The New York Times and the other papers say they should do: come up with some neat solutions. They don't have to propose a solution because right now there isn't one – without changing the system with many, many changes. So many that it's like a new Constitution. Politics as well as the economy need to be restructured. What's developing now is how to think about the economic and political problems that are bothering people. It is not radical to realize that the economy isn't working. That is the first stage to realizing that a real alternative is needed. We've been under a radical right-wing attack – and need to respond in kind. The next half-year probably will be spent trying to spell out what the best structure would be."

Billosky , Sep 24 2020 6:19 utc | 104
It's good to see discussion here of the nefarious role of the American far-right neocon warmongers in the State Department, intelligence services and military leadership just before the turn of the new century. What I have never seen clearly explained, however, is the connection between these very dangerous forces and the equally cynical and reactionary Israeli politicians and the Mossad, as well as Saudi Arabian officials.

Like many others, I have been slowly won over to the position that the attacks of 9-11, and especially the totally unprecedented collapses of the three WTC towers, could only have been caused by the precisely timed explosion of previously installed demolition materials containing nanothermite. But if one accepts that position the immediately subsequent question is "Who planned and carried out the attacks?" Many people have claimed it was the Mossad, others that it was the Mossad in concert with the US neocons etc., -- many of whom were Israeli/US dual citizens -- but even now, so many years after the horrific events, I can find no coherent account of how such conspirators, or any others for that matter, might actually have carried out WTC building demotions. Do any of you know of sources on the matter that have made good progress on connecting the dots and explaining what precisely happened -- the easier part -- and how exactly it was carried out, by whom, and how they have managed to get away with it for all this time?

Piotr Berman , Sep 24 2020 14:04 utc | 106
Lieven: If the US (and the UK, if as usual we tag along) approach the relationship with Beijing with anything like the combination of arrogance, ignorance, greed, criminality, bigotry, hypocrisy and incompetence with which western elites managed the period after the Cold War, then we risk losing the competition and endangering the world.[my emphasis]

Uncle Tungsten: Lieven simply does not see it. Has it ever occurred to Lieven that colonialism just might be rejected by both Russia and China and that there might be no competition? Does Lieven watch too much football?

What is it that endangers the world in Lieven's petite cortex?
-------
It is clear to me that Tungsten does not understand Lieven because Lieven does not cross all t's and dot all i's. There can be two reasons for Lieven style: (1) a British style, leaving some conclusions to the reader, it is not elegant to belabor the obvious (2) Lieven works in a pro-Western feudal state and that particular piece appeared in a neo-liberal outfit where it is already a clear outlier toward (what I see as) common sense. Neo-liberals view themselves as liberals, "tolerating a wide spectrum of opinion", but with clear limits about the frequency and content for the outliers of their tolerance.

Back to "endangering the world", how "loosing competition to China" can result in huge mayhem? I guess that Tungsten is a little dense here. The sunset of Anglo-Saxon domination can seem like the end of the world for the "members" of that domination. But a longer historical perspective can offer a much darker vision of the future. First, there is a clash of two blocks, one with superior industrial production, domination of markets of assorted goods -- both as importer and exporter, etc, the other with still superior military technology and combative spirit.

Recall (or check) the situation in east Asia ca. 1240 AD. One of the major power was Song China, after a calamitous defeat roughly 300 years later, diminished Song China succeeded in developing all kinds of practical and beautiful goods and vibrant commerce while having quite inept military. The second major power was the Mongols. You can look up the rest.

USA stresses the military types of pressures, and seeing its position slipping too far, they may resort to a series of gigantic "provocations" -- from confiscation of property by fiat, like they did to Venezuela, to piracy on open seas, no cargoes can move without their approval and tribute, from there things can escalate toward nuclear war.

More generally, western decline leads to decrease of wealth affecting the lower classes first but gradually reaching higher, enmity toward competitors, then hatred, such processes can have dire consequences.

Importantly, these are speculations, so stopping short of spelling them out is reasonable. However, give some credit to Lieven for "the combination of arrogance, ignorance, greed, criminality, bigotry, hypocrisy and incompetence with which western elites managed the period after the Cold War".

Noirette , Sep 24 2020 16:24 utc | 108
On the rule-based world order. Scattered thoughts.

The article by Lieven was good in one aspect: it at least mentioned the crazy economic template aka imho 'religion' that lead to a part of this mess. For the rest, hmm. The 'rules based international order' was always pretty much a phoney scaffold, used for presentation to hide, cover up, legitimised many goings on (after WW2 I mean.)

Like a power-point extolling xyz product, with invented or 'massaged' charts and all., with tick boxes for what it positive or followed. (Fairness, Democracy, etc. etc. as 'Natural' 'Organic' etc. Total BS.)

In these kinds of discussions I am always reminded of the 'rights of the child' which in CH are taught in grade 3-5, with a boiled down text, logo type pix, etc. It is very tough on teachers, and they often only pretend to push the content. There are many immigrant children in CH and the natives know that the 'rights' are not respected and not just in 'jungles' (anarchist / animalistic hot spots) as they say. The kids go nuts - as they still more or less believe that they 'have a voice' as it called -- the parents follow the kids, lotsa troubles. OK, these are aspirations - but 'democracy' (purposely used as a calling card following advice from a well-know ad agency..) is so as well. And presenting aspirations that can't possibly be achieved in any way, when not a smiley joke about meeting God or flying to Mars, and is socially important, is not well received.

Anyway, since the invasion of Iraq (totally illegal according to any standards) leading to the biggest demos in the world ever, a loud indignant cry, which invasion the UN condoned, ppl (in my experience, in CH, F, It) no longer have a shred of belief in 'international rules'. Which of course makes them more 'nationalist' in the sense of acting in the community, close at hand, as the Intl order is a shit-scene.

Passer by , Sep 24 2020 20:06 utc | 109
Do you have sources for the last two facts, about China overtaking the US as main trading partner to Europe and as retail market?

Posted by: fx | Sep 24 2020 11:41 utc | 105

China becomes EU's top trading partner from Jan-July: Eurostat

https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202009/17/WS5f63070da31024ad0ba7a2fa.html

China retail market expected to overtake US this year

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/china-overtake-u-world-largest-135614391.html

https://www.asiatimesfinancial.com/we-will-be-top-economy-by-year-end-china-media-outlet-says

[Sep 25, 2020] Fiona Hill still pushes "Russian Meddling" narrative

It is difficult to teach old chickenhawk a new tricks. Looks like she is a real "national security parasite" and will stay is this role till the bitter end.
"America's world management, NATO, the European Union and the construction of establishments and alliances the US constructed after World War II have taken a hit." took hit because of the crisis of neoliberalism not so much because of Russia resistance to the USA neoliberal domination and unwillingness to became a vassal state a la EU states, Japan and GB.
Her hostile remark confirms grave mistake of allowing immigrants to occupy high position in the US foreign policy hierarchy. They bring with themselves "ancient hatred"
Only a blind (or a highly indoctrinated/brainwashed) person is unable to see where all these neocon policies are leading...
Notable quotes:
"... America's world management, NATO, the European Union and the construction of establishments and alliances the US constructed after World War II have taken a hit ..."
"... "They lost the entire US political class ..."
Sep 25, 2020 | newschant.com

Fiona Hill, the National Security Council's senior director for European and Russian affairs till 2019, says divisions are rising inside the Kremlin over the knowledge of persevering with a "dirty tricks" marketing campaign that's had combined outcomes and will now face diminishing returns.

On the one hand, Russia's 2016 affect operations succeeded past the Kremlin's wildest goals. The US-dominated, unipolar world that Putin has lengthy railed in opposition to is now not. America's world management, NATO, the European Union and the construction of establishments and alliances the US constructed after World War II have taken a hit. "On that ledger, wow, yes, basically over-fulfilled the plan," mentioned Hill.

At the identical time, getting caught in the act of making an attempt to sabotage US democracy has proved pricey. "They lost the entire US political class and politicized ties so that the whole future of US-Russia relations now depends on who wins in November," she mentioned.

[Sep 24, 2020] What Will Be The Foreign Policy Of The Next US President by Thierry MEYSSAN

Notable quotes:
"... Each of these two camps wields rhetoric that masks its true practice. Democrats and Republicans pose as heralds of the "free world" in the face of "dictatorships", as defenders of racial, gender and sexual orientation discrimination, and as champions of the fight against "global warming". The Jacksonians, for their part, take turns denouncing the corruption, perversity and ultimately hypocrisy of their predecessors while calling to fight for their nation and not for the empire. ..."
"... The two camps have in common only the same cult of force; whether it is at the service of the empire (Democrats and Republicans) or the nation (Jacksonians). ..."
Sep 08, 2020 | orientalreview.org

The U.S. 2020 presidential campaign pits two radically different visions of the United States: empire or nation?

On the one hand, Washington's claim to dominate the world by "containment" – a strategy articulated by George Kennan in 1946 and followed by all presidents until 2016 – and on the other hand, the rejection of imperialism and the desire to facilitate the fortunes of Americans in general – a strategy articulated by President Andrew Jackson (1829-37) and taken up only by President Donald Trump (2017-20).

Each of these two camps wields rhetoric that masks its true practice. Democrats and Republicans pose as heralds of the "free world" in the face of "dictatorships", as defenders of racial, gender and sexual orientation discrimination, and as champions of the fight against "global warming". The Jacksonians, for their part, take turns denouncing the corruption, perversity and ultimately hypocrisy of their predecessors while calling to fight for their nation and not for the empire.

The two camps have in common only the same cult of force; whether it is at the service of the empire (Democrats and Republicans) or the nation (Jacksonians).

The fact that the Jacksonians unexpectedly became a majority in the country and took control of the Republican Party adds to the confusion, but should not confuse Trumpism with what the Republican ideology has been since World War II.

In reality, Democrats and Republicans tend to be well-to-do people or professionals in new technologies, while Jacksonians – like the "yellow vests" in France – are rather poor and professionally tied to the land from which they cannot escape.

... ... ...

The Jacksonian agenda

As soon as he took office, Donald Trump questioned the Rumsfeld/Cebrowsky strategy of annihilating the state structures of all the countries of the "Broader Middle East" without exception and announced his wish to bring home the troops lost in the "war without end". This goal remains at the top of his priorities in 2020 ("Stop Endless Wars and Bring Our Troops Home").

As a result, he excluded the Director of the CIA and the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee from regular meetings of the National Security Council. In so doing, he deprived the supporters of imperialism of their main tool of conquest.

See:
- " Presidential Memorandum: Organization of the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council ", by Donald Trump, Voltaire Network , 28 January 2017. And " Donald Trump winds up "the" organization of US imperialism ", by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Anoosha Boralessa, Voltaire Network , 31 January 2017.

There followed a battle for the presidency of this council with the indictment of General Michael T. Flynn, then his replacement by General H. R. McMaster, the exceptionalist John R. Bolton, and finally Robert C. O'Brien.

In May 2017, Donald Trump called on U.S. allies to immediately cease their support for jihadists charged with implementing the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy. This was the Riyadh speech to the Sunni heads of state and then to NATO heads of state and government. President Trump had declared NATO obsolete before changing his mind. However, he obtained not the abandonment of Russia's policy of containment, but the halving of the credits used for this purpose and the allocation of the funds thus preserved to the fight against jihadism. In doing so, it partially stopped making NATO an instrument of imperialism and turned it into a defensive alliance. It has therefore demanded that its members contribute to its budget. Support for jihadism, however, was pursued by the supporters of imperialism with private means, notably the KKR Fund.

See:
- " Presidential Memorandum: Plan to Defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ", by Donald Trump, Voltaire Network , 28 January 2017.
- " Donald Trump's Speech to the Arab Islamic American Summit ", by Donald Trump, Voltaire Network , 21 May 2017.
- " Remarks by Donald Trump at NATO Unveiling of the Article 5 and Berlin Wall Memorials ", by Donald Trump, Voltaire Network, 25 May 2017.

Hence his watchwords: "Wipe Out Global Terrorists Who Threaten to Harm Americans" and "Get Allies to Pay their Fair Share.

Like the Democrats and Republicans, the Jacksonian Donald Trump is committed to restoring the capabilities of his armies ("Maintain and Expand America's Unrivaled Military Strength"). Unlike his predecessors, he did not seek to transform the Pentagon's delusional management by privatizing one department at a time, but rather developed a plan to recruit researchers to compete technologically once again with the Russian and Chinese armies.

See:
- " National Security Strategy of the United States of America ", December 2017. And " Donald Trump's National Security Strategy ", by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Voltaire Network , 26 December 2017.

Only Donald Trump's desire to regain primacy in missile matters is supported by Democrats and Republicans, although they do not agree on how to achieve it ("Build a Great Cybersecurity Defense System and Missile Defense System") : the tenant of the White House wants the USA to equip itself alone with these weapons that it can eventually deploy on the territory of its allies, while its opponents want to involve the allies in order to maintain their hold on them. From the point of view of the Democrats and Republicans, the problem is obviously not withdrawing from the Cold War disarmament treaties to build a new arsenal, but the loss of means of diplomatic pressure on Russia.

A professional politician, Joe Biden hopes to restore the imperial status of the former First World Power.

The program of Democrats and non-party Republicans

Joe Biden proposes to focus on three objectives: (1) reinvigorate democracy (2) train the middle class to cope with globalization (3) regain global leadership.

- Reinvigorate democracy : in his words, this means basing public action on the "informed consent" of Americans. In doing so, he used Walter Lipmann's 1922 terminology, according to which democracy presupposes "manufacturing consent". This theory was discussed at length by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky in 1988. It obviously has nothing to do with the definition formulated by President Abraham Lincoln: "Democracy is government of the people, by the people, for the people".

Joe Biden believes he is achieving his goal by restoring the morality of public action through the practice of "political correctness". For example, he condemns "the horrible practice [of President Trump] of separating families and placing the children of immigrants in private prisons," without saying that President Trump was merely applying a democratic law to show its futility. Or he announces that he wants to reaffirm the condemnation of torture that President Trump justified, without saying that the latter, like President Obama, has already banned the practice while maintaining life imprisonment without trial in Guantánamo.

He announced his intention to convene a Summit for Democracy to fight against corruption, to defend the "Free World" against authoritarian regimes, and to advance human rights. In view of his definition of democracy, it is a question of uniting allied states by denouncing scapegoats for what is wrong (the "corrupt") and promoting human rights in the Anglo-Saxon sense and especially not in the French sense. That is to say, to stop police violence and not to help citizens to participate in decision-making. This summit will launch an appeal to the private sector so that new technologies cannot be used by authoritarian states to monitor their citizens (but the USA and its NSA can always use them in the interest of the "Free World").

Finally, Joe Biden concludes this chapter by highlighting his role in the Transatlantic Commission for Electoral Integrity alongside his friends, former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who overthrew the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, and Michael Chertoff, former US Secretary of Homeland Security, who put all US citizens under surveillance. Not forgetting John Negroponte who organized the Contras in Nicaragua and Daesh in Iraq.

- Educating the middle class to cope with globalization . Joe Biden believes that the politics that have been pursued since the dissolution of the USSR have led to the rapid disappearance of the middle class, and that training the remaining middle class in the use of new technologies will prevent the relocation of their jobs.

- Renewing U.S. leadership . In the name of democracy, this means stopping the rise of "populists, nationalists and demagogues. This formulation helps us understand that democracy, according to Joe Biden, is not only the fabrication of consent, but also the eradication of the popular will. If demagogues pervert democratic institutions, populists serve the popular will and nationalists serve the community.

The Oval Office of the White House is looking for a tenant.

Joe Biden then specifies that he will stop wars "forever"; a formulation that seems to support the same goal as the Jacksonians, but differs in terminology. It is in fact a question of validating the current adaptation of the system to the limits imposed by President Trump: why make US soldiers die abroad when one can pursue the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy with jihadists at a lower cost? All the more so since when he was only an opposition senator, Joe Biden gave his name to the plan to partition Iraq that the Pentagon was trying to impose.

A verse follows on the enlargement of NATO to include Latin American, African and Pacific allies. Far from being obsolete, the Alliance will once again become the heart of U.S. imperialism.

Finally, Joe Biden pleads for the renewal of the 5+1 agreement with Iran and disarmament treaties with Russia. The agreement with President Hassan Rohani aims to classically divide Muslim countries into Sunni and Shia, while the disarmament treaties aim to confirm that the Biden administration would not envisage a global confrontation, but the continued containment of its competitor.

The program of the Democratic Party candidate and non-party Republicans concludes with the assurance of joining the Paris Accord and taking leadership in the fight against global warming. Joe Biden specifies that he will not give gifts to China, which is relocating its most polluting industries along the Silk Road. On the other hand, he omits to say that his friend, Barack Obama, before entering politics, was the drafter of the statutes of the Chicago Carbon Emissions Trading Exchange. The fight against global warming is not so much an ecological issue as a matter for bankers.

Conclusion

It must be said that everything is opposed to a clarification. Four years of upheavals by President Trump have only succeeded in replacing the "endless wars" with a low-intensity private war. There are certainly far fewer deaths, but it is still war.

The elites who enjoy imperialism are not ready to give up their privileges.

So it is to be feared that the U.S. will be forced to go through an internal conflict, a civil war, and break up like the Soviet Union once did.

[Sep 24, 2020] Obama, his pet Wookie and Critical Race Theory

Sep 24, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Reign in Fact , 6 hours ago

"" President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday to stop funding to federal government contractors who hold critical race theory training sessions."

YES!! "Silence is complicity" as leftarded sheep often bleat, and silence in the face of this ultra-racist bullsh!t has gone on far too long. Never should've been allowed to begin with.

Son of Loki , 6 hours ago

Obama and his pet Wookie encouraged it.

Nunyadambizness , 4 hours ago

His pet Wookie Biden?

[Sep 23, 2020] Obama is not the first black president. He is black on the outside, but a white liberal on the inside. The same is true of Kamala Harris

Obama in foreign policy was Bush III. Another puppet of MIC
Sep 23, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

FND 11 hours ago

" And now, America had elected a black man to the highest office in the land."

Obama is not the first black president. He is black on the outside, but a white liberal on the inside. The same is true of Kamala Harris. The first black president would be someone like Tim Scott or Al Sharpton. Someone who grew up in African American culture.

[Sep 23, 2020] COUP 53 Sheds New Light on How CIA and MI6 Brought Tyranny to Iran

Sep 23, 2020 | www.blacklistednews.com

Trailer for COUP 53, a new documentary on the joint CIA-MI6 operation to overthrow the democratically elected government of Iran.

The coup that toppled a democratically elected government in Iran in August 1953 and replaced it with a tyrannical monarchy that lasted 25 years was an intelligence operations whose effects are still felt to this day.

A new documentary recounts the crime with special attention to the often-overlooked role (at least in the United States) of the British.

(If you live in the United States, you can stream COUP 53 here. If you live in the United Kingdom, you can stream here. As with all quality journalism, it will cost you something.)

From the nonprofit National Security Archive , which found some of the key documents cited in the film.

Britain's Secret Intelligence Service – MI6 – took part in the 1953 kidnapping of the chief of police of Tehran, Iran, according to a recently recovered interview of an ex-MI6 operative that is featured in a new documentary film, COUP 53. The full interview transcript has been posted for the first time by the National Security Archive.

The MI6 operative was a named Norman Darbyshire, described as:

elusive figure who was a key contributor to Britain's clandestine approach toward Iran in the early 1950s and whose final words on the coup, provided for the Granada Television series End of Empire , were never aired.

In the interview, Darbyshire said that the Americans took too much credit for ousting Prime Ministers Mohammed Mossadegh, and replacing him with a general. Mossadegh was described as a communist sympathizer because he was calling for the British petroleum company to pay the same royalty fee that American oil companies paid to the Saudis.

What helps make this item noteworthy is the near-total lack of publicly available official records on Britain's role during the oil nationalization crisis starting in 1951. Closing in on 70 years after the fact, authorities continue to withhold archival records about the coup. (The Americans in 2017 published what will probably be the last significant official release of their records, although more are known to still be classified.)

Source: COUP 53: New Documentary on Overthrow of Iran's Mosaddeq | National Security Archive

MORE: Iran's intelligence services today.

[Sep 21, 2020] How the west lost by Anatol Lieven

Highly recommended!
A very good article. A better title would be "How neoliberalism collapsed" Any religious doctrine sonner or later collased under the weight of corruption of its prisets and unrealistic assumptions about the society. Neoliberalism in no expection as in heart it is secular religion based on deification of markets.
He does not discuss the role of Harvard Mafiosi in destruction of Russian (and other xUSSR republics) economy in 1990th, mass looting, empowerment of people (with pensioners experiencing WWII level of starvation) and creation of mafia capitalism on post Soviet state. But the point he made about the process are right. Yeltsin mafia, like Yeltsin himself, were the product of USA and GB machinations
Notable quotes:
"... If the US (and the UK, if as usual we tag along) approach the relationship with Beijing with anything like the combination of arrogance, ignorance, greed, criminality, bigotry, hypocrisy and incompetence with which western elites managed the period after the Cold War, then we risk losing the competition and endangering the world. ..."
"... One of the most malign effects of western victory in 1989-91 was to drown out or marginalise criticism of what was already a deeply flawed western social and economic model. In the competition with the USSR, it was above all the visible superiority of the western model that eventually destroyed Soviet communism from within. ..."
"... These beliefs interacted to produce a dominant atmosphere of "there is no alternative," which made it impossible and often in effect forbidden to conduct a proper public debate on the merits of the big western presumptions, policies or plans of the era ..."
"... This was a sentiment I encountered again and again (if not often so frankly expressed) in western establishment institutions in that era: in economic journals if it was suggested that rapid privatisation in the former USSR would lead to massive corruption, social resentment and political reaction; in security circles, if anyone dared to question the logic of Nato expansion ..."
"... Accompanying this overwhelmingly dominant political and economic ideology was an American geopolitical vision equally grandiose in ambition and equally blind to the lessons of history. This was summed up in the memorandum on "Defence Planning Guidance 1994-1999," drawn up in April 1992 for the Bush Senior administration by Under-Secretary of Defence Paul Wolfowitz and Lewis "Scooter" Libby, and subsequently leaked to the media ..."
"... By claiming for the US the right of unilateral intervention anywhere in the world and denying other major powers a greater role in their regions, this strategy essentially extended the Monroe Doctrine (which effectively defined the "western hemisphere" as the US sphere of influence) to the entire planet: an ambition greater than that of any previous power. The British Empire at its height knew that it could never intervene unilaterally on the continent of Europe or in Central America. The most megalomaniac of European rulers understood that other great powers with influence in their own areas of the world would always exist. ..."
"... "A stable and healthy polity and economy must be based on some minimal moral values" ..."
"... Many liberals gave the impression of complete indifference to the resulting immiseration of the Russian population in these years. At a meeting of the Carnegie Endowment in Washington that I attended later, former Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar boasted to an applauding US audience of how he had destroyed the Russian military industrial complex. The fact that this also destroyed the livelihoods of tens of millions of Russians and Ukrainians was not mentioned. ..."
"... This attitude was fed by contempt on the part of the educated classes of Moscow and St Petersburg for ordinary Russians, who were dubbed Homo Sovieticus and treated as an inferior species whose loathsome culture was preventing the liberal elites from taking their rightful place among the "civilised" nations of the west. This frame of mind was reminiscent of the traditional attitude of white elites in Latin America towards the Indio and Mestizo majorities in their countries. ..."
"... I vividly remember one Russian liberal journalist state his desire to fire machine guns into crowds of elderly Russians who joined Communist demonstrations to protest about the collapse of their pensions. The response of the western journalists present was that this was perhaps a little bit excessive, but to be excused since the basic sentiment was correct. ..."
"... If the post-Cold War world order was a form of US imperialism, it now looks like an empire in which rot in the over-extended periphery has spread to the core. The economic and social patterns of 1990s Russia and Ukraine have come back to haunt the west, though so far thank God in milder form. The massive looting of Russian state property and the systematic evasion of taxes by Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs was only possible with the help of western banks, which transferred the proceeds to the west and the Caribbean. This crime was euphemised in the western discourse (naturally including the Economist ) as "capital flight." ..."
"... The indifference of Russian elites to the suffering of the Russian population has found a milder echo in the neglect of former industrial regions across Britain, Western Europe and the US that did so much to produce the votes for Brexit, for Trump and for populist nationalist parties in Europe. The catastrophic plunge in Russian male life expectancy in the 1990s has found its echo in the unprecedented decline in white working-class male life expectancy in the US. ..."
"... Perhaps the greatest lesson of the period after the last Cold War is that in the end, a stable and healthy polity and economy must be based on some minimal moral values. ..."
"... Those analysing the connection between Russia and Trump's administration have looked in the wrong place. The explanation of Trump's success is not that Putin somehow mesmerised American voters in 2016. It is that populations abandoned by their elites are liable to extreme political responses; and that societies whose economic elites have turned ethics into a joke should not be surprised if their political leaders too become scoundrels. ..."
Sep 21, 2020 | prospectmagazine.co.uk

A s the US prepares to plunge into a new cold war with China in which its chances do not look good, it's an appropriate time to examine how we went so badly wrong after "victory" in the last Cold War. Looking back 30 years from the grim perspective of 2020, it is a challenge even for those who were adults at the time to remember just how triumphant the west appeared in the wake of the collapse of Soviet communism and the break-up of the USSR itself.

Today, of the rich fruits promised by that great victory, only wretched fragments remain. The much-vaunted "peace dividend," savings from military spending, was squandered. The opportunity to use the resources freed up to spread prosperity and deal with urgent social problems was wasted, and -- even worse -- the US military budget is today higher than ever. Attempts to mitigate the apocalyptic threat of climate change have fallen far short of what the scientific consensus deems to be urgently necessary. The chance to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and stabilise the Middle East was thrown away even before 9/11 and the disastrous US response. The lauded "new world order" of international harmony and co-operation -- heralded by the elder George Bush after the first Gulf War -- is a tragic joke. Britain's European dream has been destroyed, and geopolitical stability on the European continent has been lost due chiefly to new and mostly unnecessary tension with Moscow. The one previously solid-seeming achievement, the democratisation of Eastern Europe, is looking questionable, as Poland and Hungary (see Samira Shackle, p20) sink into semi-authoritarian nationalism.

Russia after the Cold War was a shambles and today it remains a weak economy with a limited role on the world stage, concerned mainly with retaining some of its traditional areas of influence. China is a vastly more formidable competitor. If the US (and the UK, if as usual we tag along) approach the relationship with Beijing with anything like the combination of arrogance, ignorance, greed, criminality, bigotry, hypocrisy and incompetence with which western elites managed the period after the Cold War, then we risk losing the competition and endangering the world.

One of the most malign effects of western victory in 1989-91 was to drown out or marginalise criticism of what was already a deeply flawed western social and economic model. In the competition with the USSR, it was above all the visible superiority of the western model that eventually destroyed Soviet communism from within. Today, the superiority of the western model to the Chinese model is not nearly so evident to most of the world's population; and it is on successful western domestic reform that victory in the competition with China will depend.

Hubris

Western triumph and western failure were deeply intertwined. The very completeness of the western victory both obscured its nature and legitimised all the western policies of the day, including ones that had nothing to do with the victory over the USSR, and some that proved utterly disastrous.

As Alexander Zevin has written of the house journal of Anglo-American elites, the revolutions in Eastern Europe "turbocharged the neoliberal dynamic at the Economist , and seemed to stamp it with an almost providential seal." In retrospect, the magazine's 1990s covers have a tragicomic appearance, reflecting a degree of faith in the rightness and righteousness of neoliberal capitalism more appropriate to a religious cult.

These beliefs interacted to produce a dominant atmosphere of "there is no alternative," which made it impossible and often in effect forbidden to conduct a proper public debate on the merits of the big western presumptions, policies or plans of the era. As a German official told me when I expressed some doubt about the wisdom of rapid EU enlargement, "In my ministry we are not even allowed to think about that."

This was a sentiment I encountered again and again (if not often so frankly expressed) in western establishment institutions in that era: in economic journals if it was suggested that rapid privatisation in the former USSR would lead to massive corruption, social resentment and political reaction; in security circles, if anyone dared to question the logic of Nato expansion; and almost anywhere if it was pointed out that the looting of former Soviet republics was being assiduously encouraged and profited from by western banks, and regarded with benign indifference by western governments.

The atmosphere of the time is (nowadays notoriously) summed up in Francis Fukuyama's The End of History , which essentially predicted that western liberal capitalist democracy would now be the only valid and successful economic and political model for all time. In fact, what victory in the Cold War ended was not history but the study of history by western elites.

"The US claiming the right of unilateral intervention anywhere in the world was an ambition greater than that of any previous power"

A curious feature of 1990s capitalist utopian thought was that it misunderstood the essential nature of capitalism, as revealed by its real (as opposed to faith-based) history. One is tempted to say that Fukuyama should have paid more attention to Karl Marx and a famous passage in The Communist Manifesto :

"The bourgeoisie [ie capitalism] cannot exist without constantly revolutionising the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society All fixed, fast-frozen relations with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away; all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify the bourgeoisie has through its exploitation of the world market drawn from under the feet of industry the national ground on which it stood. All old established national industries have been destroyed or are daily being destroyed "

Then again, Marx himself made exactly the same mistake in his portrayal of a permanent socialist utopia after the overthrow of capitalism. The point is that utopias, being perfect, are unchanging, whereas continuous and radical change, driven by technological development, is at the heart of capitalism -- and, according to Marx, of the whole course of human history. Of course, those who believed in a permanently successful US "Goldilocks economy" -- not too hot, and not too cold -- also managed to forget 300 years of periodic capitalist economic crises.

Though much mocked at the time, Fukuyama's vision came to dominate western thinking. This was summed up in the universally employed but absurd phrases "Getting to Denmark" (as if Russia and China were ever going to resemble Denmark) and "The path to democracy and the free market" (my italics), which became the mantra of the new and lucrative academic-bureaucratic field of "transitionology." Absurd, because the merest glance at modern history reveals multiple different "paths" to -- and away from -- democracy and capitalism, not to mention myriad routes that have veered towards one at the same time as swerving away from the other.

Accompanying this overwhelmingly dominant political and economic ideology was an American geopolitical vision equally grandiose in ambition and equally blind to the lessons of history. This was summed up in the memorandum on "Defence Planning Guidance 1994-1999," drawn up in April 1992 for the Bush Senior administration by Under-Secretary of Defence Paul Wolfowitz and Lewis "Scooter" Libby, and subsequently leaked to the media. Its central message was:

"The US must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests We must maintain the mechanism for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role "

By claiming for the US the right of unilateral intervention anywhere in the world and denying other major powers a greater role in their regions, this strategy essentially extended the Monroe Doctrine (which effectively defined the "western hemisphere" as the US sphere of influence) to the entire planet: an ambition greater than that of any previous power. The British Empire at its height knew that it could never intervene unilaterally on the continent of Europe or in Central America. The most megalomaniac of European rulers understood that other great powers with influence in their own areas of the world would always exist.

While that 1992 Washington paper spoke of the "legitimate interests" of other states, it clearly implied that it would be Washington that would define what interests were legitimate, and how they could be pursued. And once again, though never formally adopted, this "doctrine" became in effect the standard operating procedure of subsequent administrations. In the early 2000s, when its influence reached its most dangerous height, military and security elites would couch it in the terms of "full spectrum dominance." As the younger President Bush declared in his State of the Union address in January 2002, which put the US on the road to the invasion of Iraq: "By the grace of God, America won the Cold War A world once divided into two armed camps now recognises one sole and pre-eminent power, the United States of America."

Nemesis

Triumphalism led US policymakers, and their transatlantic followers, to forget one cardinal truth about geopolitical and military power: that in the end it is not global and absolute, but local and relative. It is the amount of force or influence a state wants to bring to bear in a particular place and on a -particular issue, relative to the power that a rival state is willing and able to bring to bear. The truth of this has been shown repeatedly over the past generation. For all America's overwhelming superiority on paper, it has turned out that many countries have greater strength than the US in particular places: Russia in Georgia and Ukraine, Russia and Iran in Syria, China in the South China Sea, and even Pakistan in southern Afghanistan.

American over-confidence, accepted by many Europeans and many Britons especially, left the US in a severely weakened condition to conduct what should have been clear as far back as the 1990s to be the great competition of the future -- that between Washington and Beijing.

On the one hand, American moves to extend Nato to the Baltics and then (abortively) on to Ukraine and Georgia, and to abolish Russian influence and destroy Russian allies in the Middle East, inevitably produced a fierce and largely successful Russian nationalist reaction. Within Russia, the US threat to its national interests helped to consolidate and legitimise Putin's control. Internationally, it ensured that Russia would swallow its deep-seated fears of China and become a valuable partner of Beijing.

On the other hand, the benign and neglectful way in which Washington regarded the rise of China in the generation after the Cold War (for example, the blithe decision to allow China to join the World Trade Organisation) was also rooted in ideological arrogance. Western triumphalism meant that most of the US elites were convinced that as a result of economic growth, the Chinese Communist state would either democratise or be overthrown; and that China would eventually have to adopt the western version of economics or fail economically. This was coupled with the belief that good relations with China could be predicated on China accepting a so-called "rules-based" international order in which the US set the rules while also being free to break them whenever it wished; something that nobody with the slightest knowledge of Chinese history should
have believed.

Throughout, the US establishment discourse (Democrat as much as Republican) has sought to legitimise American global hegemony by invoking the promotion of liberal democracy. At the same time, the supposedly intrinsic connection between economic change, democracy and peace was rationalised by cheerleaders such as the New York Times 's indefatigable Thomas Friedman, who advanced the (always absurd, and now flatly and repeatedly falsified) "Golden Arches theory of Conflict Prevention." This vulgarised version of Democratic Peace Theory pointed out that two countries with McDonald's franchises had never been to war. The humble and greasy American burger was turned into a world-historical symbol of the buoyant modern middle classes with too much to lose to countenance war.

Various equally hollow theories postulated cast-iron connections between free markets and guaranteed property rights on the one hand, and universal political rights and freedoms on the other, despite the fact that even within the west, much of political history can be characterised as the fraught and complex brokering of accommodations between these two sets of things.

And indeed, since the 1990s democracy has not advanced in the world as a whole, and belief in the US promotion of democracy has been discredited by US patronage of the authoritarian and semi-authoritarian regimes in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, India and elsewhere. Of the predominantly Middle Eastern and South Asian students whom I teach at Georgetown University in Qatar, not one -- even among the liberals -- believes that the US is sincerely committed to spreading democracy; and, given their own regions' recent history, there is absolutely no reason why they should believe this.

The one great triumph of democratisation coupled with free market reform was -- or appeared to be -- in the former communist states of Central and Eastern Europe, and this success was endlessly cited as the model for political and economic reform across the globe.

But the portrayal of East European reform in the west failed to recognise the central role of local nationalism. Once again, to talk of this at the time was to find oneself in effect excluded from polite society, because to do so called into question the self-evident superiority and universal appeal of liberal reform. The overwhelming belief of western establishments was that nationalism was a superstition that was fast losing its hold on people who, given the choice, could everywhere be relied on to act like rational consumers, rather than citizens rooted in one particular land.

The more excitable technocrats imagined that nation state itself (except the US of course) was destined to wither away. This was also the picture reflected back to western observers and analysts by liberal reformers across the region, who whether or not they were genuinely convinced of this, knew what their western sponsors wanted to hear. Western economic and cultural hegemony produced a sort of mirror game, a copulation of illusions in which local informants provided false images to the west, which then reflected them back to the east, and so on.

Always the nation

Yet one did not have to travel far outside the centres of Eastern European cities to find large parts of populations outraged by the moral and cultural changes ordained by the EU, the collapse of social services, and the (western-indulged) seizure of public property by former communist elites. So why did Eastern Europeans swallow the whole western liberal package of the time? They did so precisely because of their nationalism, which persuaded them that if they did not pay the cultural and economic price of entry into the EU and Nato, they would sooner or later fall back under the dreaded hegemony of Moscow. For them, unwanted reform was the price that the nation had to pay for US protection. Not surprisingly, once membership of these institutions was secured, a powerful populist and nationalist backlash set in.

Western blindness to the power of nationalism has had several bad consequences for western policy, and the cohesion of "the west." In Eastern Europe, it would in time lead to the politically almost insane decision of the EU to try to order the local peoples, with their deeply-rooted ethnic nationalism and bitter memories of outside dictation, to accept large numbers of Muslim refugees. The backlash then became conjoined with the populist reactions in Western Europe, which led to Brexit and the sharp decline of centrist parties across the EU.

More widely, this blindness to the power of nationalism led the US grossly to underestimate the power of nationalist sentiment in Russia, China and Iran, and contributed to the US attempt to use "democratisation" as a means to overthrow their regimes. All that this has succeeded in doing is to help the regimes concerned turn nationalist sentiment against local liberals, by accusing them of being US stooges.

"A stable and healthy polity and economy must be based on some minimal moral values"

Russian liberals in the 1990s were mostly not really US agents as such, but the collapse of Communism led some to a blind adulation of everything western and to identify unconditionally with US policies. In terms of public image, this made them look like western lackeys; in terms of policy, it led to the adoption of the economic "shock therapy" policies advocated by the west. Combined with monstrous corruption and the horribly disruptive collapse of the Soviet single market, this had a shattering effect on Russian industry and the living standards of ordinary Russians.

Many liberals gave the impression of complete indifference to the resulting immiseration of the Russian population in these years. At a meeting of the Carnegie Endowment in Washington that I attended later, former Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar boasted to an applauding US audience of how he had destroyed the Russian military industrial complex. The fact that this also destroyed the livelihoods of tens of millions of Russians and Ukrainians was not mentioned.

This attitude was fed by contempt on the part of the educated classes of Moscow and St Petersburg for ordinary Russians, who were dubbed Homo Sovieticus and treated as an inferior species whose loathsome culture was preventing the liberal elites from taking their rightful place among the "civilised" nations of the west. This frame of mind was reminiscent of the traditional attitude of white elites in Latin America towards the Indio and Mestizo majorities in their countries.

I vividly remember one Russian liberal journalist state his desire to fire machine guns into crowds of elderly Russians who joined Communist demonstrations to protest about the collapse of their pensions. The response of the western journalists present was that this was perhaps a little bit excessive, but to be excused since the basic sentiment was correct.

The Russian liberals of the 1990s were crazy to reveal this contempt to the people whose votes they needed to win. So too was Hillary Clinton, with her disdain for the "basket of deplorables" in the 2016 election, much of the Remain camp in the years leading up to Brexit, and indeed the European elites in the way they rammed through the Maastricht Treaty and the euro in the 1990s.

If the post-Cold War world order was a form of US imperialism, it now looks like an empire in which rot in the over-extended periphery has spread to the core. The economic and social patterns of 1990s Russia and Ukraine have come back to haunt the west, though so far thank God in milder form. The massive looting of Russian state property and the systematic evasion of taxes by Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs was only possible with the help of western banks, which transferred the proceeds to the west and the Caribbean. This crime was euphemised in the western discourse (naturally including the Economist ) as "capital flight."

Peter Mandelson qualified his famous remark that the Blair government was "intensely relaxed about people becoming filthy rich" with the words "as long as they pay their taxes." The whole point, however, about the filthy Russian, Ukrainian, Nigerian, Pakistani and other money that flowed to and through London was not just that so much of it was stolen, but that it was escaping taxation, thereby harming the populations at home twice over. The infamous euphemism "light-touch regulation" was in effect a charter
for this.

In a bitter form of poetic justice, however, "light-touch regulation" paved the way for the 2008 economic crisis in the west itself, and western economic elites too (especially in the US) would also seize this opportunity to move their money into tax havens. This has done serious damage to state revenues, and to the fundamental faith of ordinary people in the west that the rich are truly subject to the same laws as them.

The indifference of Russian elites to the suffering of the Russian population has found a milder echo in the neglect of former industrial regions across Britain, Western Europe and the US that did so much to produce the votes for Brexit, for Trump and for populist nationalist parties in Europe. The catastrophic plunge in Russian male life expectancy in the 1990s has found its echo in the unprecedented decline in white working-class male life expectancy in the US.

Perhaps the greatest lesson of the period after the last Cold War is that in the end, a stable and healthy polity and economy must be based on some minimal moral values. To say this to western economists, businessmen and financial journalists in the 1990s was to receive the kindly contempt usually accorded to religious cranks. The only value recognised was shareholder value, a currency in which the crimes of the Russian oligarchs could be excused because their stolen companies had "added value." Any concern about duty to the Russian people as a whole, or the fact that tolerance of these crimes would make it grotesque to demand honesty of policemen or civil servants, were dismissed as irrelevant sentimentality.

Bringing it all back home

We in the west are living with the consequences of a generation of such attitudes. Western financial elites have mostly not engaged in outright illegality; but then again, they usually haven't needed to, since governments have made it easy for them to abide by the letter of the law while tearing its spirit to pieces. We are belatedly recognising that, as Franklin Foer wrote in the Atlantic last year: "New York, Los Angeles and Miami have joined London as the world's most desired destinations for laundered money. This boom has enriched the American elites who have enabled it -- and it has degraded the nation's political and social mores in the process. While everyone else was heralding an emergent globalist world that would take on the best values of America, [Richard] Palmer [a former CIA station chief in Moscow] had glimpsed the dire risk of the opposite: that the values of the kleptocrats would become America's own. This grim vision is now nearing fruition."

Those analysing the connection between Russia and Trump's administration have looked in the wrong place. The explanation of Trump's success is not that Putin somehow mesmerised American voters in 2016. It is that populations abandoned by their elites are liable to extreme political responses; and that societies whose economic elites have turned ethics into a joke should not be surprised if their political leaders too become scoundrels.

About this author Anatol Lieven Anatol Lieven is a professor at Georgetown University in Qatar and the author among other books of America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism and (with John Hulsman), Ethical Realism: A Vision for America's Role in the World More by this author More by Anatol Lieven Will Qatar be reduced to a Saudi client state? July 18, 2017 Why the left needs nationalism January 3, 2017 Pakistan has survived -- now can it prosper?

[Sep 21, 2020] Pompous Pompeo continues his antics: Pompeo mocked for saying 'no other state' can block MULTILATERAL sanctions US wants to impose on Iran despite UNSC pushback

Sanctions will cost money not only to Iran, but to the USA too.
Sep 21, 2020 | www.rt.com

"If at any time the United States believes Iran has failed to meet its commitments, no other state can block our ability to snap back those multilateral sanctions," Pompeo declared in a statement posted on his official Twitter account on Sunday evening.

The top US diplomat was referring to the avalanche of sanctions Washington has been hellbent on slapping on Tehran after the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) overwhelmingly rejected the US resolution to extend a 13-year arms embargo against the Islamic Republic past October earlier this week.

The humiliating defeat , which saw only one member of the 15-nation body (the Dominican Republic) siding with the US, while China and Russia opposed the resolution, and all other nations, including France and the UK, abstained, did not discourage Washington, which doubled down on its threat to hit Iran with biting sanctions.

... ... ...

"Of course other states can block America's ability to impose multilateral sanctions. The US can impose sanctions by itself, but can't force others to do it," Nicholas Grossman, teaching assistant professor at the Department of Political Science, University of Illinois, tweeted.

"That's what 'multilateral' means. Is our SecState really this dumb?" Grossman asked.

Daniel Larison, senior editor at the American Conservative, suggested that Pompeo might be having a hard time grasping the meaning of the word 'multilateral'.

Some argued that Pompeo could not be unaware of the contradictory nature of his statement. Dan Murphy, former Middle East and South Asia correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, called it "one of the most diplomatically illiterate sentences of all time."

"I guess the end game here is [to] alienate the rest of the world even further to feed his persecution complex?" Murphy wrote.

John Twomey, 16 August, 2020

Explanation. What Pompeo understands and what many others can't grasp is that the US decides if their sanctions are "multilateral" because the USA speaks for all other countries whether they like it or not.

My Opinion, 17 August, 2020

Reminiscing of his shady past as a new CIA recruit he said. "We lied, we cheated and we stole". Apparently, Mikey didn't do all too well in his literature classes, either and that's why the most suitable candidate from zionists perspective.

[Sep 21, 2020] Stephen Cohen Has Died. Remember His Urgent Warnings Against The New Cold War by Caitlin Johnstone

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God
"... In a world that is increasingly confusing and awash with propaganda, Cohen's death is a blow to humanity's desperate quest for clarity and understanding. ..."
Sep 19, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

Stephen F Cohen, the renowned American scholar on Russia and leading authority on US-Russian relations, has died of lung cancer at the age of 81.

As one of the precious few western voices of sanity on the subject of Russia while everyone else has been frantically flushing their brains down the toilet, this is a real loss. I myself have cited Cohen's expert analysis many times in my own work, and his perspective has played a formative role in my understanding of what's really going on with the monolithic cross-partisan manufacturing of consent for increased western aggressions against Moscow.

In a world that is increasingly confusing and awash with propaganda, Cohen's death is a blow to humanity's desperate quest for clarity and understanding.

I don't know how long Cohen had cancer. I don't know how long he was aware that he might not have much time left on this earth. What I do know is he spent much of his energy in his final years urgently trying to warn the world about the rapidly escalating danger of nuclear war, which in our strange new reality he saw as in many ways completely unprecedented.

The last of the many books Cohen authored was 2019's War with Russia? , detailing his ideas on how the complex multi-front nature of the post-2016 cold war escalations against Moscow combines with Russiagate and other factors to make it in some ways more dangerous even than the most dangerous point of the previous cold war.

"You know it's easy to joke about this, except that we're at maybe the most dangerous moment in US-Russian relations in my lifetime, and maybe ever," Cohen told The Young Turks in 2017. "And the reason is that we're in a new cold war, by whatever name. We have three cold war fronts that are fraught with the possibility of hot war, in the Baltic region where NATO is carrying out an unprecedented military buildup on Russia's border, in Ukraine where there is a civil and proxy war between Russia and the west, and of course in Syria, where Russian aircraft and American warplanes are flying in the same territory. Anything could happen."

Cohen repeatedly points to the most likely cause of a future nuclear war: not one that is planned but one which erupts in tense, complex situations where "anything could happen" in the chaos and confusion as a result of misfire, miscommunication or technical malfunction, as nearly happened many times during the last cold war.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/kqQbK_6meM8?feature=oembed

"I think this is the most dangerous moment in American-Russian relations, at least since the Cuban missile crisis," Cohen told Democracy Now in 2017. "And arguably, it's more dangerous, because it's more complex. Therefore, we -- and then, meanwhile, we have in Washington these -- and, in my judgment, factless accusations that Trump has somehow been compromised by the Kremlin. So, at this worst moment in American-Russian relations, we have an American president who's being politically crippled by the worst imaginable -- it's unprecedented. Let's stop and think. No American president has ever been accused, essentially, of treason. This is what we're talking about here, or that his associates have committed treason."

"Imagine, for example, John Kennedy during the Cuban missile crisis," Cohen added. "Imagine if Kennedy had been accused of being a secret Soviet Kremlin agent. He would have been crippled. And the only way he could have proved he wasn't was to have launched a war against the Soviet Union. And at that time, the option was nuclear war."

"A recurring theme of my recently published book War with Russia? is that the new Cold War is more dangerous, more fraught with hot war, than the one we survived," Cohen wrote last year . "Histories of the 40-year US-Soviet Cold War tell us that both sides came to understand their mutual responsibility for the conflict, a recognition that created political space for the constant peace-keeping negotiations, including nuclear arms control agreements, often known as détente. But as I also chronicle in the book, today's American Cold Warriors blame only Russia, specifically 'Putin's Russia,' leaving no room or incentive for rethinking any US policy toward post-Soviet Russia since 1991."

"Finally, there continues to be no effective, organized American opposition to the new Cold War," Cohen added. "This too is a major theme of my book and another reason why this Cold War is more dangerous than was its predecessor. In the 1970s and 1980s, advocates of détente were well-organized, well-funded, and well-represented, from grassroots politics and universities to think tanks, mainstream media, Congress, the State Department, and even the White House. Today there is no such opposition anywhere."

"A major factor is, of course, 'Russiagate'," Cohen continued. "As evidenced in the sources I cite above, much of the extreme American Cold War advocacy we witness today is a mindless response to President Trump's pledge to find ways to 'cooperate with Russia' and to the still-unproven allegations generated by it. Certainly, the Democratic Party is not an opposition party in regard to the new Cold War."

"Détente with Russia has always been a fiercely opposed, crisis-ridden policy pursuit, but one manifestly in the interests of the United States and the world," Cohen wrote in another essay last year. "No American president can achieve it without substantial bipartisan support at home, which Trump manifestly lacks. What kind of catastrophe will it take -- in Ukraine, the Baltic region, Syria, or somewhere on Russia's electric grid -- to shock US Democrats and others out of what has been called, not unreasonably, their Trump Derangement Syndrome, particularly in the realm of American national security? Meanwhile, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has recently reset its Doomsday Clock to two minutes before midnight."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/owbMRxC382A?feature=oembed

And now Stephen Cohen is dead, and that clock is inching ever closer to midnight. The Russiagate psyop that he predicted would pressure Trump to advance dangerous cold war escalations with no opposition from the supposed opposition party has indeed done exactly that with nary a peep of criticism from either partisan faction of the political/media class. Cohen has for years been correctly predicting this chilling scenario which now threatens the life of every organism on earth, even while his own life was nearing its end.

And now the complex cold war escalations he kept urgently warning us about have become even more complex with the addition of nuclear-armed China to the multiple fronts the US-centralized empire has been plate-spinning its brinkmanship upon, and it is clear from the ramping up of anti-China propaganda since last year that we are being prepped for those aggressions to continue to increase.

We should heed the dire warnings that Cohen spent his last breaths issuing. We should demand a walk-back of these insane imperialist aggressions which benefit nobody and call for détente with Russia and China. We should begin creating an opposition to this world-threatening flirtation with armageddon before it is too late. Every life on this planet may well depend on our doing so.

Stephen Cohen is dead, and we are marching toward the death of everything. God help us all.

medium.com

lay_arrow

novictim , 55 minutes ago

People are just now starting to realize that possible alternate path. But the Demoncrats in the USA must first be put down, politically euthanized, along with their neocon never-Trump Republican partners. And that cleaning up is on the way. Trump's second term will be the advancement of the USA-Russia initiative that is so long overdue.

PerilouseTimes , 48 minutes ago

Putin won't let western billionaires rape Russia's enormous natural resources and on top of that Putin is against child molesters, that is what this Russia bashing is all about.

awesomepic4u , 1 hour ago

Sad to hear this.

What a good man. It is a real shame that we dont have others to stand up to this crazy pr that is going on right now. Making peace with the world at this point is important. We dont need or want another war and i am sure that both Europe and Russia dont want it on their turf but it seems we keep sticking our finger in their eye. If there is another war it will be the last war. As Einstein said, after the 3rd World War we will be using sticks and stones to fight it.

Clint Liquor , 44 minutes ago

Cohen truly was an island of reason in a sea of insanity. Ironic that those panicked over climate change are unconcerned about the increasing threat of Nuclear War.

thunderchief , 41 minutes ago

One of the very few level headed people on Russia.

All thats left are anti Russia-phobic nut jobs.

Send in the clowns.

Stephen Cohen isn't around to call them what they are anymore.

Eastern Whale , 55 minutes ago

cooperate with Russia

Has the US ever cooperated with anyone?

fucking truth , 3 minutes ago

That is the crux. All or nothing.

Mustafa Kemal , 49 minutes ago

Ive read several of his books. They are essential, imo, if you want to understand modern russian history.

Normal , 1 hour ago

The bankers created the new CCP cold war.

evoila , 19 minutes ago

Max Boot is an effing idiot. Tucker wiped him clean too. It was an insult to Stephen to even put them on the same panel.

RIP Stephen.

Gary Sick is the equivalent to Stephen, except for Iran. He too is of an era of competence which is and will be missed as their voices are drowned out by neocon warmongers

thebigunit , 17 minutes ago

I heard Stephen Cohen a number of time in John Bachelor's podcasts.

He seemed very lucid and made a lot of sense.

He made it very clear that he thought the Democrat's "Trump - Russia collusion schtick" was a bunch of crap.

He didn't sound like a leftie, but I'm sure he never told me the stuff he discussed with his wife who was editor of the left wing "The Nation" magazine.

Boogity , 9 minutes ago

Cohen was a traditional old school anti-war Liberal. They're essentially extinct now with the exception of a few such as Tulsi Gabbard and Dennis Kucinich who have both been ostracized from the Democrat Party and the political system.

[Sep 20, 2020] Darren Beattie Tucker Carlson Discuss Color Revolutions The Plot To Oust President Trump

Trump represent new "national neoliberalism" platform and the large part of the US neoliberal elite (Clinton gang and large part of republicans) support the return to "classic neoliberalism" at all costs.
Highly recommended!
The essence of color revolution is the combination of engineered contested election and mass organized protest and civil disobedience via creation in neoliberal fifth column out of "professionals", especially students as well as mobilizing and put on payroll some useful disgruntled groups which can be used as a foot soldiers, such as football hooligans. Large and systematic injection of dollars into protest movement. All with the air cover via domination in a part or all nation's MSM.
Norm Eisen - Wikipedia quote "From 1985 to 1988, between college and law school, Eisen worked as the Assistant Director of the Los Angeles office of the Anti-Defamation League . He investigated antisemitism and other civil rights violations, promoted Holocaust education and advanced U.S.–Israel relations ."
He served as US ambassador in Chich Republic from 2011 to 2014. Based on his experience wrote that book Democracy's Defenders published by The Brookings Institution, a neoliberal think tank, about the role of US embassy in neoliberal revolution in Czechoslovakia (aka Velvet Revolution of 1989) which led to the dissolution of the country into two. BTW demonstrations against police brutality were an essential part of the Velvet Revolution
Notable quotes:
"... Same tactics - color revolutions they (Soros, Nuland/Kagan, Eisen, McCain when alive) used to overthrow Orthodox countries in Eastern Europe. Belarus the latest. Ukraine (Orange, Maidan) 2014. Georgia (Rose rev). Serbia, Montenegro. Use young people who have bad sense of history and are more sympathetic to the "West." ..."
Sep 16, 2020 | www.youtube.com

P McGill , 3 days ago

This is, without ANY question, one of Tucker's most important segments that he has ever done. IT IS EXTREMELY-RARE THAT """they""" ARE EXPOSED, BY-NAME, SO OPENLY AND DIRECTLY, BUT, IT HAPPENED, TONIGHT.

CJ Daly , 4 days ago

Please bring back Dr. Darren Beattie back. More info. on the color revolutions, Mr. Eisen, crew, and their relationship to mail in voting fraud and their impact on the 2020 election is needed. If Mr. Eisens methods are to be used in the 2020 election mass awareness is needed.

john doe , 2 days ago

This is not about Trump. The endgame of the deep state is to enslave people through social division. The election is a wrestling match for entertainment.

Chuck Emmorll , 2 days ago

Norm Eisen's loyalty? Israel?

viewoftheaskew , 3 days ago (edited)

Norm Eisen..., "Obama's Ethics Czar" wow that's a triple oxymoron lol.

Hapa Nice Day , 3 days ago (edited)

Purple is the color of this revolution. Remember the outfits Bill and Hillary wore when Hillary conceded to Trump.

Dave being , 2 days ago

Sounds like what's happening in Venezuela.

John Singer , 1 day ago

The deep state are plotting against the American people 24/7. Russia hoax was a coup, they will try it again.

sandra macey , 3 days ago

Sheesh, he looks scared. I hope he's being well protected now. Darren is a very brave man who is trying to tell the citizens of the US that there is malice aforethought towards the President and this election. It is now not a choice between Republicans or Democrats, it is a fight between good and evil. I'm sure Trump and his team are aware of the playbook and will do everything they can to sort this, with God's help. It may get hairy, but trust the plan.

Jordan Spackman , 2 hours ago

I have a feeling dems will "rig for red" to frame republicans for voter fraud, overlooking the overwhelming amount of voter fraud in favor of Biden Harris. Causing outrage and calls to remove the President from office and saying Biden actually won. When he really did not. Be prepared. Stay strong.

Peter Jones , 3 days ago

Same tactics - color revolutions they (Soros, Nuland/Kagan, Eisen, McCain when alive) used to overthrow Orthodox countries in Eastern Europe. Belarus the latest. Ukraine (Orange, Maidan) 2014. Georgia (Rose rev). Serbia, Montenegro. Use young people who have bad sense of history and are more sympathetic to the "West."

Nick Name , 2 days ago

american people still don't know and can't understand what's happening and what their government is doing, even right now it's happening in Belarus, it happened in Ukraine, Venezuela, Hong Kong and etc. and now it's happening in your own country, wake up people and don't forget who's behind all this - a NGO founded by CIA called NED (National endowment for democracy), Soros and his NGOs and the deep state.

[Sep 18, 2020] Novichok, Navalny, Nordstream, Nonsense, by Craig Murray

Novichok is now a visit card of MI6
Notable quotes:
"... As soon as Novichok was mentioned, I knew it was geopolitics and not internal Russian politics. ..."
"... NOVICHOK is a highly toxic and contagious substance. The reason why "it didn't kill the Skripals" is because it was never used on the Skripals just as it has not been used on Navalny. In both cases there would have been dozens of collateral victims. From the moment Navalny started to reel with pain during the domestic commercial flight to 4 days later when amid treatment in Berlin it is reasonable to estimate that 300 to 400 people had been in his proximity. Not one of them has shown or known to have contaged symptons. Let us list the narrative. ..."
"... I think my estimate of a total 300 to 400 people within the first 3 to 4 days having been within close proximity to Navalny is quite reasonable. If he was really was infected with an horrific chemical warfare agent, why would he even be allowed into Germany ? ..."
"... In political terms he is a cult leader of an SPB/Moscow elitist metropolitan cult that does not give a damn about most of Russia. ..."
"... Who benefits? For certain not the Joe Publics of UK, Russia and Germany but maybe the likes of Exxon, chevron, bp etc might. ..."
"... I suspected Navalny may be connected to our 'trusted friend' Browder. Now I know for sure. ..."
"... At some point, as background noise, there was some news read out on the radio. After the segment about the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, NordStream 2 and possible EU sanctions the taxi driver shook his head and said thoughtfully: "Yeah, mommy is stuck " ..."
"... "What mommy?" asked the taxi driver. "That same one, Angela Merkel. You know why Navalny was surrendered to Germany? Let me explain." And then, for a quarter of an hour, the taxi driver presented a coherent theory of what happened, worthy of study at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which answered all the questions that had been bothering me. ..."
"... Operatives at the German Ministry of International Affairs, who sympathized with Schröder's SPD, got in touch with Yulia Navalny (his wife) and offered to hospitalize him in a clinic in Germany. Yulia agreed, and appealed to Putin. ..."
"... The next day Berlin announced that analysis results showed poisoning with a cholinesterase inhibitor. This was its last warning shot. Then there was another phone call, to warn that the next time "Novichok" will be found. Moscow refused, and promised Minsk a billion dollars on that very day. ..."
"... There followed an attempt by Fritz Merz, Angela Merkel's deputy in the DCU, to lean on Merkel to shut down NordStream 2, but he swiftly got his ears boxed by the business lobby of German companies that invested in this pipeline and, whining and whimpering, crawled back into his hole. ..."
"... Then Lukashenko, being a tough nut to crack, presented an intentionally amateurish intercept of secret diplomatic communications between Poland and Germany in which they discussed their plans for poisoning Navalny. Now they are sitting in Warsaw and Berlin and have no idea how to respond to this movie -- to deny or to pretend that they didn't notice it. What a dilemma! ..."
"... If Merkel announces that it is the crime of the century in which a great Russian opposition figure has been fiendishly poisoned with "Novichok," then she would be obligated to sever all relations with the bloody regime and present evidence. But there won't be any evidence to present. And nobody will allow her to freeze the completion of the pipeline. Otherwise German companies, which invested in NordStream 2 will take the Reichstag even ahead of the irate German citizens. In either case, DCU/CSU will face a defeat. ..."
"... But what about Russia's friend Gehrhard Schröder? Being the chairman of the board of the NordStream 2 company and head of the SPD, he looks into the future with confidence and optimism. In any case, CDU/CSU will be deflated and SPD will reinforce its position in the Bundestag and either independently or in coalition with other parties will install its own leader as Bundeskanzler. NordStream 2, which has been in political limbo for a few years, will be completed and enter into service at full rated capacity very quickly. ..."
Sep 03, 2020 | craigmurray.org.uk

Matt , September 5, 2020 at 13:08

As soon as Novichok was mentioned, I knew it was geopolitics and not internal Russian politics.

Tatyana , September 5, 2020 at 17:01

Information about a mysterious woman appeared in the ru-net.
https://life.ru/p/1341159
https://aif.ru/society/people/kto_takaya_mariya_pevchih

A 33-year-old young woman who recently flew in from London. On August 15 she celebrated her birthday and then went with Navalny on the working trip. When the plane urgently landed in Omsk for Navalny's hospitalization, the woman also remained on the ground in the 'Ibis Siberia Omsk' hotel, waiting for Alexei to recover. She left from Russia to Britain on August 22.

Maria Konstantinovna Pevchikh (Мария Константиновна Певчих) born in 1987, russian. In 2010 she graduated from the sociological faculty of Moscow Lomonosov State University.

Lives in London. Fond of sports, trains under the program of "Navy Seals", an elite US military unit, owns bookstores in the UK and Australia.

Have close ties with Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Yevgeny Chichvarkin. Joined Navalny's activity in 2009. At that time, she was 22-year-old and worked as an assistant to one of the British parliamentarians.

It is alleged that the family and relatives do not know this woman.

Her photo
https://static.life.ru/publications/2020/7/21/17582829481.74346.jpg
https://cont.ws/uploads/pic/2020/9/%D0%B0%D0%BF%D0%B0.jpg

The investigation previously published a chronology of events here
https://ria.ru/20200821/khronologiya-1576110899.html
They discovered that in Tomsk the blogger's company has booked seven rooms for four people, Navalny himself spent the night in a different room that was recorded in his name.

Laguerre , September 5, 2020 at 21:13

"The USA is perfectly willing to fight Russia to the last European NATO member.." That may be right, but I don't see why you're vituperative.

Republicofscotland , September 5, 2020 at 21:23

"WTF are you talking about? The USA is perfectly willing to fight Russia to the last European NATO member.."

Peter. An Ex-CIA man, of whom I've long forgotten his name used to say the same thing about Saudi Arabia, that the Saudis were willing to fight Iran down to the last American soldier.

Squeeth , September 6, 2020 at 17:06

Myth, the US state blames the pusillanimity of the public for its tactics of ultraviolence. The Russians would be drowning in their own blood were it not for Russian military power and the Chinese alliance.

Wikikettle , September 5, 2020 at 19:25

Sorry, they had the cheek to fly over Russian Air space many times taking pics.

Peter Moritz , September 5, 2020 at 18:20

and here some info about the lovely rogue Navalny:

"Recall that Alexei Navalny has two suspended sentences and is involved in several criminal cases at once.

"In December last year, he was sentenced in the case of embezzlement of money from the Yves Rocher company to a three and a half years suspended sentence. His brother Oleg was sentenced to a real three and a half years in prison.

In 2013, Navalny, who in 2009 worked as an adviser to the governor of the Kirov region, was found guilty of embezzling property of the state-owned company Kirovles and sentenced to five years in a general regime colony. He was taken into custody in the courtroom and placed in a pre-trial detention center, but the very next day the Kirov regional court changed the measure of restraint to a recognizance not to leave. As a result, the sentence was changed to a suspended one.

In addition, the Investigative Committee is investigating the case of the theft of 100 million rubles from the SPS party against Alexei Navalny since the end of December 2012.

Activists of Navalny's team – deputy of the Zyuzino metropolitan area Konstantin Yankauskas, as well as entrepreneurs Nikolai Lyaskin and Vladimir Ashurkov – are suspected of fraud related to violation of the procedure for financing the campaign in the election of the mayor of Moscow.

Navalny has repeatedly found himself in the role of a defendant in claims for the protection of honor and dignity – for throwing slanderous publications into the Internet. So, recently, the Lublin Court of Moscow satisfied such a claim by the chairman of the State Duma Committee on Economic Policy, Innovative Development and Entrepreneurship Igor Rudensky."

(machine translated from here: https://vz.ru/news/2015/10/8/771336.html )

https://i2.wp.com/en.eurobelarus.info/files/175/225/navalny_kollag_1_.jpeg
The last picture should make clear what type of person the West again associates with .

Border Bus , September 5, 2020 at 19:31

If it comes to it, we must make sure that the likes of steele, urban, stoltenberg etc are right out there at the FRONT

Giyane , September 6, 2020 at 05:30

Tatyana

I have the same feeling as you. Russophobia simply indicates the bastards are working together against us the steeple. Chinaphobia maybe indicates the Chinese leadership and US leadership jointly want to cull the older generation with bio warfare.

Since none of UK , US. Russia nor China are democracies, their only task is to manage the narrative they tell the people. If I was to go out and buy a product made in China, half the cost would be for transport or profit to the dealer. That is a shared enterprise. One party for example manufactures a diesel generator, while the Western parties sit on their bums and take profit.

Sounds too cosy to me.

Mr Howard S Marks , September 7, 2020 at 01:24

You are really missing the point. NOVICHOK which you should know was developed (though not originally invented) in a lab in Soviet Uzbekistan, which following post Soviet independence, was dismantled by the CIA who took the samples back home to the USA. So it is the Americans not the Russians who have the original well-spring.

https://www.nytimes.com/1999/05/25/world/us-and-uzbeks-agree-on-chemical-arms-plant-cleanup.html

NOVICHOK is a highly toxic and contagious substance. The reason why "it didn't kill the Skripals" is because it was never used on the Skripals just as it has not been used on Navalny. In both cases there would have been dozens of collateral victims. From the moment Navalny started to reel with pain during the domestic commercial flight to 4 days later when amid treatment in Berlin it is reasonable to estimate that 300 to 400 people had been in his proximity. Not one of them has shown or known to have contaged symptons. Let us list the narrative.

  1. Original domestic commercial flight, passengers, crew & colleagues travelling with him
  2. Ambulance to Russian hospital in Omsk ambulance crew
  3. Doctors, nurses, officials, press and Navalny family at hospital in Omsk
  4. German doctors arrived the next day, working along side Russian doctors whom they praised and credited with saving Navalny's life.
  5. Russian doctors agree to release Navalny for medivac transport against their own medical advice, respecting Navalny family wishes.
  6. Ambulance crew once again takes Navalny in the reverse direction back to the airport where the private jet was waiting. Introducing the patient with the "military grade nerve agent" oozing out of his skin to a new flight crew.
  7. Plane lands in Berlin and a German ambulance crew now handles the human chemical warfare torpedo. Note the German ambulance crew members had short sleeves. If the German Gov believed there was a possibility of a Novichok type substance at play why was the official greeting party not all dressed up like those Mi5 Salisbury central casting extras in Hazmat suits?
  8. The convoy arrives at the hospital in Berlin handing Navalny over to the German team no doubt comprised of endless staff members.

I think my estimate of a total 300 to 400 people within the first 3 to 4 days having been within close proximity to Navalny is quite reasonable. If he was really was infected with an horrific chemical warfare agent, why would he even be allowed into Germany ?

Howard Marks , September 7, 2020 at 01:38

As for Navalny and the Russian administration and the Russian public, they both view him as useful but not likeable. The Putin administration has made good use of reports by Navalny's anti-corruption group to expose both people in government and in business.

The Russian public watches the Youtube videos of Navalny's reports to the tune of millions of hits & clicks. However as a person Alexei Navalny is not like and for good reason. This is reflected in his 2% poll rated that due to all the current focus has moved up to 4% for Navalny as a potential "politician" (he is actually already a failed one) 4% is his high water mark.

The likes of The Guardian and The Independent have portrayed Navalny over the years as some kind of Russian Nelson Mandela when in fact Navalny is a better educated more sophisticated Tommy Robinson. Only Navalny is even more racist than so-called "Tommy Robinson" as I don't even recall him ever saying "All Muslims are cockroaches" as Navalny was once quoted to have said.

In political terms he is a cult leader of an SPB/Moscow elitist metropolitan cult that does not give a damn about most of Russia. He and his political cohorts such as Ms Sobol offer not one single policy for the people of the Russian Heartland. Who are far better cared for and better represented by Valdimir Putin, whom the Heartland people lovingly address as Vladimirovich, President Putin's middle name. Navalny is even more Neo-Liberal and far less small "l" liberal in general values and mindset than President Putin.

Tatyana , September 7, 2020 at 09:17

The description is very accurate, and the definition of "elite metropolitan cult" hit the bull's eye. Young people think that being an oppositionist is being active, fashionable, trendy (also at protests you can post photos on Instagram!) Unfortunately, if they are asked specific questions, they cannot answer. They are there for self-expression.

--

People follow ideas, Navalny's idea is not clear, where is the plan, where is the perspective? Looking at Navalny's activity, I feel they are trying to sell me something.

E.g. his website promotes the Smart Voting system
https://navalny.com/p/6418/
the title is "Do you want it like in Belarus? Here is a list of candidates, find yours"
the first paragraph point is "to support the rebellious people in word, action and money is very right, but you may do even more right thing "
the second "it is impossible to use your vote wisely without our smart voting system", a call to action "register"
the third "a few brave Spartans (sic!) broke through Putin's evil cordons and you can support them here is how:
1. Check out the list of candidates. Transfer money to someone you like

Well, actually I sell something myself and I wright similar marketing texts. Compare:
"Are you in search of Boho, Ethnic or Tribal fashion? You're in the right place Our unique *** is the way to express your style!

Does your daughter think of cutting off her gorgeous long hair? Get a pair of our *** for her to show your love and care Here is how: visit our shop *** Choose the one you like and let us work on the perfect *** crafted especially for you "

When people create an online store of political candidates, it is not credible. Our electoral system means collecting signatures, real signatures of living people, not collecting money.

Ryszard Daniel , September 7, 2020 at 17:16

Thank you for your courage to speak the truth Mr. Murray. I am trying to do it sometimes too here in the Netherlands, but I am an engineer, not a politician or journalist, so my means and persuasive talents are limited. However – to stay on the topic of poison – it feels good to see that the anti-Russian propaganda has not poisoned all minds in West Europe yet.

Tatyana , September 7, 2020 at 19:30

It's only today that I've realised who is Prigozhin. He is the owner of Concord group, they were those russian with whom Trump conspired to win elections!

Prigozhin sent 1 million roubles to Charite for Navalny.

Uncle Sam , September 8, 2020 at 09:02

He sent 1 million rubles while at the same time demanding 29 million rubles from Navalny's group. Это было издевательство

Tatyana , September 8, 2020 at 09:42

He demands 88 millions, I wrote about it previously. It is a demand due to court's decision. I don't think it was издевательство, it looks more like Prigozhin is afraid of being accused of poisoning 🙂

Nigel , September 9, 2020 at 17:18

Russophobes these days, which is an enormous section of the population, will believe anything dastardly about that country and its leadership. The narrative here, that doesn't stand up to the slightest scrutiny as Murray shows, is that the Russians are bumbling villains that couldn't kill a wet paper bag.

Another narrative is that they didn't kill Navalny on purpose. It's just "a warning", etc.. A villain is a villain.

One BS story is as good as another. Of course, there should be a delay between one fiction and the next one. However, the old saying still applies: throw enough sh*t and something is bound to stick.

At the interpersonal level, it's sometimes simpler to simply exaggerate the exaggeration: e.g., Putin is a villain and look at what he did to dirty my underwear; there's a Putin under your bed; yeah, and what about the bad weather we've been having? Putin, of course.

And it's not like any of this is new, e.g., US President Reagan: "Russia has been outlawed forever. Bombing begins in 5 minutes."

Border Bus , September 11, 2020 at 17:16

Who benefits? For certain not the Joe Publics of UK, Russia and Germany but maybe the likes of Exxon, chevron, bp etc might.

banagher , September 11, 2020 at 17:44

Interessant, ein Bericht aus der Prwda:

https://www.pravda.ru/society/1528118-Alexey_Navalny/

Tatyana , September 11, 2020 at 19:03

banagher, thanks a lot for the link! I suspected Navalny may be connected to our 'trusted friend' Browder. Now I know for sure.

banagher , September 12, 2020 at 09:37

In einem kritischen Bericht in Deutschland wird auch auf die investigative Tätigkeit von "Bellincat" erwähnt,

https://www.heise.de/tp/features/Nawalny-hat-sich-angeblich-fast-vollstaendig-erholt-und-soll-noch-staerker-bewacht-werden-4890152.html

banagher , September 12, 2020 at 09:39

sorry soll heissen: investigativen Bericht ..

George Craik , September 13, 2020 at 07:31

This is copied from Dimitry Orlov

Taxi Drivers Know Everything

It so happened that yesterday I was coming home in a taxi. The taxi driver, who looked like Bill Murray, turned out to be very talkative: during the trip, as often happens, we touched on all subjects, from the weather to blondes behind the wheel.

At some point, as background noise, there was some news read out on the radio. After the segment about the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, NordStream 2 and possible EU sanctions the taxi driver shook his head and said thoughtfully: "Yeah, mommy is stuck "

"What mommy?" I inquired.

"What mommy?" asked the taxi driver. "That same one, Angela Merkel. You know why Navalny was surrendered to Germany? Let me explain." And then, for a quarter of an hour, the taxi driver presented a coherent theory of what happened, worthy of study at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which answered all the questions that had been bothering me.

This is how it all came down.

At the beginning of August everybody was preparing for the elections in Belarus -- Belarus itself, as well as Russia and countries in the EU. It was an exciting game in which everybody placed bets on their own candidate. But I must immediately warn you that what we were observing was just the visible part of the iceberg, while the underwater currents were known only to a few.

Moscow and Minsk were demonstratively smashing dishes, shouting at each other and pulling each other by the hair, creating the illusion of a complete break in relations. This was as intended!

Europe, content and relaxed, was rubbing its hands and already seeing how it will very soon kick out "Europe's last dictator" and install a Belorussian Juan Guaido clone in Minsk, grabbing this delectable piece for itself.

The elections were held. Everybody froze. Not bothering to wait for the election results to come in, on orders from the Polish provocateur [Telegraph channel] Nexta the Belorussian white-red-white [Nazi occupation flag] opposition marched into battle.

At first everything was going to plan. Excited white-red-white crowds flooded the streets and started threatening the police, officials and journalists, starting skirmishes and strikes. Slovak and Spanish ambassadors in Belarus spoke out in support of the protesters and "came over to the side of the people." This was also as intended. It looked like just a bit more of this and ["Europe's last dictator"] Lukashenko would fall.

But then Moscow entered into the game. It recognized the outcome of the elections [which Lukashenko won] and started to support him organizationally, informationally and financially. Europe had to ramp up pressure. But how?

Nexta was crapping bricks and exhorting the white-red-white activists to get more active, but they just couldn't get any traction in their attempts to seize power. They turned out to be too weak compared to their own people.
And then, luckily, Navalny was poisoned. In any case, that's what some people imagined.

Operatives at the German Ministry of International Affairs, who sympathized with Schröder's SPD, got in touch with Yulia Navalny (his wife) and offered to hospitalize him in a clinic in Germany. Yulia agreed, and appealed to Putin.

Then the German minister of foreign affairs walked into Bundeskanzlerin's office and laid his joker on the table: "We can take away Navalny for treatment. If Moscow tries to prevent this, we will cause a loud scandal. We'll get his body and then decide how to play this." Merkel found this proposal attractive and, not thinking too long, agreed. Moscow did not object to Navalny's transfer.

After Navalny was brought to Germany and delivered to the Charité clinic in a cortège consisting of 12 cars, mommy Angela called Moscow and demanded: Russia must stop supporting Lukashenko, otherwise we will announce that Navalny had been poisoned with "Novichok." Moscow refused and increased support of Lukashenko, declaring that it has created a reserve of special forces to be sent into Belarus and take control -- just in case anyone makes a sudden move.

The next day Berlin announced that analysis results showed poisoning with a cholinesterase inhibitor. This was its last warning shot. Then there was another phone call, to warn that the next time "Novichok" will be found. Moscow refused, and promised Minsk a billion dollars on that very day.

At that point, Berlin's patience ran out. Navalny was immediately transferred to a military hospital, where it was immediately "discovered" that he had been poisoned with "Novichok." It was not possible to find "Novichok" while he was at Charité because journalists and officials could demand to see the test results, while at a military hospital such requests would be denied: the information is secret. But not even "Novichok" could force Moscow to stop supporting Minsk. Russia's prime minister Mikhail Mishustin was dispatched to Minsk with a briefcase bulging with papers to sign.

There followed an attempt by Fritz Merz, Angela Merkel's deputy in the DCU, to lean on Merkel to shut down NordStream 2, but he swiftly got his ears boxed by the business lobby of German companies that invested in this pipeline and, whining and whimpering, crawled back into his hole.

Then Lukashenko, being a tough nut to crack, presented an intentionally amateurish intercept of secret diplomatic communications between Poland and Germany in which they discussed their plans for poisoning Navalny. Now they are sitting in Warsaw and Berlin and have no idea how to respond to this movie -- to deny or to pretend that they didn't notice it. What a dilemma!

The interim result is thus as follows: Navalny is alive and well, sitting quietly in a German military hospital and inquiring periodically when he will be allowed to go home. But he won't be allowed to go home any time soon.

Now, a year ahead of elections, parliamentary electoral campaign is starting in Germany. Merkel's DCU/CSU coalition doesn't have a lot of popular support as it is. Some people are even now ready to take the Reichstag with their bare hands and put their own flag on top of it. And then we have this toxic story with "Novichok"!

If Merkel announces that it is the crime of the century in which a great Russian opposition figure has been fiendishly poisoned with "Novichok," then she would be obligated to sever all relations with the bloody regime and present evidence. But there won't be any evidence to present. And nobody will allow her to freeze the completion of the pipeline. Otherwise German companies, which invested in NordStream 2 will take the Reichstag even ahead of the irate German citizens. In either case, DCU/CSU will face a defeat.

But if she slams the transmission into reverse, apologizes and returns Navalny to Russia, claiming that what happened was an unfortunate series of errors, and punishes everybody who had put her in this situation to the full extent of German law, this won't save the situation either. German voter's won't forgive Merkel over the loss of Germany's international authority, loss of influence in Europe and total incompetence in handling foreign affairs, and will still punish her at the polls.

Therefore, her only choice is to bide her time, sitting with one buttock on each of two chairs -- blaming Russia for deploying "Novichok" and simultaneously supporting the completion of NordStream 2. But we are about to see a flood of eyewitness reports, photographs and documents from the various hospitals where the VIP patient has been treated, knocking out one of the two chairs. And so the possibility that Merkel's retirement will occur before her term is up should not be dismissed. In that case, she will have been unable to beat Helmut's Kohl's 16-year record as Bundeskanzler.

But what about Russia's friend Gehrhard Schröder? Being the chairman of the board of the NordStream 2 company and head of the SPD, he looks into the future with confidence and optimism. In any case, CDU/CSU will be deflated and SPD will reinforce its position in the Bundestag and either independently or in coalition with other parties will install its own leader as Bundeskanzler. NordStream 2, which has been in political limbo for a few years, will be completed and enter into service at full rated capacity very quickly.

When we rolled up to my house, the taxi driver asked: "Do you play chess?"

"Sometimes," I nodded.

In chess, there is a variation called "poisoned pawn." Your opponent, trying to gain material advantage, takes this pawn, ends up trapped and inevitably loses.

As I was getting out of the taxi, somewhat perplexed, I asked the taxi driver where he got all this information. He smiled a sad Bill Murray smile and answered: "From my brother. He lives in Germany and also works as a taxi driver." It was at this moment that I realized that taxi drivers know everything.

Source: SKonst https://aftershock.news/?q=user/182

[Sep 18, 2020] September 14, 2001- The Day America Became Israel - Antiwar.com Original

Notable quotes:
"... Apocalypse Now- ..."
"... Wall Street Journal ..."
"... War on the Rocks ..."
"... An Army Like No Other: How the Israel Defense Forces Made a Nation ..."
"... a defense industry with a country ..."
Sep 18, 2020 | original.antiwar.com

September 14, 2001: The Day America Became Israel

by Maj. Danny Sjursen, USA (ret.) Posted on September 18, 2020

This article is dedicated to the memory of an activist, inspiration, and recent friend: Kevin Zeese. Its scope, sweep, and ambition are meant to match that of Kevin's outsized influence. At that, it must inevitably fail – and its shortfalls are mine alone. That said, the piece's attempt at a holistic critique of 19 years worth of war and cultural militarization would, I hope, earn an approving nod from Kevin – if only at the attempt. He will be missed by so many; I count myself lucky to have gotten to know him. – Danny Sjursen

The rubble was still smoldering at Ground Zero when the U.S. House of Representatives voted to essentially transform itself into the Israeli Knesset , or parliament. It was 19 years ago, 11:17pm Washington D.C. time on September 14, 2001 when the People's Chamber approved House Joint Resolution 64, the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) "against those responsible for the recent attacks." Naturally, that was before the precise identities, and full scope, of "those responsible" were yet known – so the resolution's rubber-stamp was obscenely open-ended by necessity, but also by design.

The Senate had passed their own version by roll call vote about 12 hours earlier. The combined congressional tally was 518 to one. Only Representative Barbara Lee of California cast a dissenting vote , and even delivered a brief, prescient speech on the House floor. It's almost hard to watch and listen all these years later as her voice cracks with emotion amidst all that truth-telling :

I am convinced that military action will not prevent further acts of international terrorism against the United States. This is a very complex and complicated matter

However difficult this vote may be, some of us must urge the use of restraint. Our country is in a state of mourning. Some of us must say, let's step back for a moment and think through the implications of our actions today, so that this does not spiral out of control

Now I have agonized over this vote. But I came to grips with opposing this resolution during the very painful, yet very beautiful memorial service. As a member of the clergy so eloquently said, "As we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore."

For her lone stance – itself courageous, even had she not since been vindicated – Rep. Lee suffered insults and death threats so intense that she needed around-the-clock bodyguards for a time. It's hard to be right in a room full of the wrong – especially angry, scared, and jingoistic ones. Yet the tragedy is America has become many of the things we purport to deplore: the US now boasts a one-trick-pony foreign policy and a militarized society to boot.

Endless imperial interventions and perennial policing at home and abroad, counterproductive military adventurism, governance by permanent "emergency" fiat, and an ever more martial-society? We've seen this movie before; in fact it's still playing – in Israel. Without implying that Israel, as an entity, is somehow "evil," theirs was simply not a path the US need or ought to have gone down.

"A Republic, If You Can Keep It"

In the nearly two decades since its passing, the AUMF has been cited at least 41 times in some 17 countries and on the high seas . The specified nations-states included Afghanistan, Cuba (Guantanamo Bay), Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Iraq, Kenya, Libya, Philippines, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Jordan, Turkey, Niger, Cameroon, and the broader African "Sahel Region" – which presumably also covers the unnamed, but real, US troop presence in Nigeria, Chad and Mali. That's a lot of unnecessary digressions – missions that haven't, and couldn't, have been won. All of that aggression abroad predictably boomeranged back home , in the guise of freedoms constrained, privacy surveilled, plus cops and culture militarized.

Inevitably, just a few days ago, every publication, big and small, carried obligatory and ubiquitous 9/11 commemoration pieces. Far fewer will even note the AUMF anniversary. Yet it was the US government's response – not the attacks themselves – which most altered American strategy and society. For in dutifully deciding on immediate military retaliation, a "global war," even, on a tactic ("terror") and a concept ("evil") at that, this republic fell prey to the Founders' great obsession . Unable to agree on much else, they shared fears that the nascent American experiment would suffer Rome's " ancestral curse " of ambition – and its subsequent path to empire. Hence, Benjamin Franklin's supposed retort to a crowd question upon exiting the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, on just what they'd just framed: "A republic, if you can keep it!"

Yet perhaps a modern allegory is the more appropriate one: by signing on to an endless cycle of tit-for-tat terror retaliation on 9/14, We the People's representatives chose the Israeli path. Here was a state forged by the sword that it's consequently lived by ever since, and may well die by – though the cause of death, no doubt, would likely be self-inflicted. The first statutory step towards Washington transforming into Tel Aviv was that AUMF sanction 19 years ago tonight.

No doubt, some militarist fantasies came far closer on the heels of the September 11th suicide strikes: According to notes taken by aides, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld waited a whole five hours after Flight 77 impacted his Pentagon to instruct subordinates to gather the "best info fast. Judge whether good enough to hit [Saddam Hussein] at same time Not only [Osama Bin Laden]." As for the responsive strike plans, "Go massive," the notes quote Rumsfeld as saying. "Sweep it all up. Things related and not."

Nonetheless, it was Congress' dutiful AUMF-acquiescence that made America's Israeli-metamorphosis official. The endgame that ain't even ended yet has been dreadful. It's almost impossible to fathom, in retrospect, but remember that as of September 14, 2001, 7,052 American troops and, very conservatively, at least 800,000 foreigners (335,000 of them civilians) hadn't yet – and need not have – died in the ensuing AUMF-sanctioned worldwide wars.

Now, US forces didn't directly kill all of them, but that's about 112 September 11ths-worth of dead civilians by the very lowest estimates – perishing in wars of (American) choice. That's worth reckoning with; and needn't imply a dismissive attitude to our 9/11 fallen. I, for one, certainly take that date rather seriously.

My 9/11s

There are more than a dozen t-shirts hanging in my closet right now that are each emblazoned with the phrase "Annual Marty Egan 5K Memorial Run/Walk." This event is held back in the old neighborhood, honoring a very close family friend – a New York City fire captain killed in the towers' collapse. As my Uncle Steve's best bud, he was in and out of my grandparents' seemingly communal Midland Beach, Staten Island bungalow – before Hurricane Sandy washed many of them away – throughout my childhood. When I was a teenager, just before leaving for West Point, Marty would tease me for being "too skinny for a soldier" in the local YMCA weight-room and broke-balls about my vague fear of heights as I shakily climbed a ladder in Steve's backyard just weeks before I left for cadet basic training. Always delivered with a smile, of course.

Marty was doing some in-service training on September 11th, and didn't have to head towards the flames, but he hopped on a passing truck and rode to his death anyway. I doubt anyone who knew him would've expected anything less. Mercifully, Marty's body was one of the first – and at the time, only – recovered , just two days after Congress chose war in his, and 2,976 others' name. He was found wearing borrowed gear from engine company he'd jumped in with.

I was a freshman cadet at West Point when I heard all of this news – left feeling so very distant from home, family, neighborhood, though I was just a 90 minute drive north. Frankly, I couldn't wait to get in the fights that followed. It's no excuse, really: but I was at that moment exactly 18 years and 41 days old. And indeed, I'd spend the next 18 training, prepping, and fighting the wars I then wanted – and, ( Apocalypse Now- style ) "for my sins" – "they gave me."

Anyway, Marty's family – and more so his memory – along with the general 9/11 fallout back home, have swirled in and out of my life ever since. In the immediate term, after the attacks my mother turned into a sort of wake&funeral-hopper, attending literally dozens over that first year. As soon as Marty had a headstone in Moravian Cemetery – where my Uncle Steve once dug graves – I draped a pair of my new dog tags over it on a weekend trip home. It was probably a silly and indulgent gesture, but it felt profound at the time. Then, soon enough, the local street signs started changing to honor fallen first responders – including the intersection outside my church, renamed "Martin J. Egan Jr. Corner." (Marty used to joke , after all, that he'd graduated from UCLA – that is, the University, corner of Lincoln Avenue, in the neighborhood.)

Five years later, while I was fighting a war in a country (Iraq) that had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks, Marty's mother Pat still worked at the post office from which my own mom shipped me countless care packages. They'd chat; have a few nostalgic laughs; then Pat would wish me well and pass on her regards. When some of my soldiers started getting killed, I remember my mother telling me it was sometimes hard to look Pat in the eye on the post office trips – perhaps she feared an impending kinship of lost sons. But it didn't go that way.

So, suffice it to say, I don't take the 9/11 attacks, or the victims, lightly. That doesn't mean the US responses, and their results, were felicitous or forgivable. They might even dishonor the dead. I don't pretend to precisely know, or speak for, the Egan family's feelings. Still, my own sense is that few among the lost or their loved ones left behind would've imagined or desired their deaths be used to justify all of the madness, futility, and liberties-suppression blowback that's ensued.

Nevertheless, my nineteen Septembers 11th have been experienced in oft-discomfiting ways, and my assessment of the annual commemorations, rather quickly began to change. By the tenth anniversary, a Reuters reporter spent a couple of days on the base I commanded in Afghanistan. At the time the outpost sported a flag gifted by my uncle, which had previously flown above a New York Fire Department house. I suppose headquarters sent the journalist my way because I was the only combat officer from New York City – but the brass got more than they'd bargained for. By then, amidst my second futile war "surge," and three more of the lives and several more of the limbs of my soldiers lost on this deployment, I wasn't feeling particularly sentimental. Besides, I'd already turned – ethically and intellectually – against what seemed to me demonstrably hopeless and counterproductive military exercises.

Much to the chagrin of my career-climbing lieutenant colonel, I waxed a bit (un)poetic on the war I was then fighting – "against farm boys with guns," I not-so-subtly styled it – and my hometown's late suffering that ostensibly justified it. "When I see this place, I don't see the towers," I said, sitting inside my sandbagged operations center near the Taliban's very birthplace in Kandahar province. Then added: "My family sees it more than I do. They see it dead-on, direct. I'm a professional soldier. It's not about writing the firehouse number on the bullet. I'm not one for gimmicks." It was coarse and a bit petulant, sure, but what I meant – what I felt – was that these wars, even this " good " Afghan one (per President Obama), no longer, and may never have, had much to do with 9/11, Marty, or all the other dead.

The global war on terrorism (GWOT, as it was once fashionable to say) was but a reflex for a sick society pre-disposed to violence, symptomatic of a militarist system led by a government absent other ideas or inclinations. Still, I flew that FDNY flag – even skeptical soldiers can be a paradoxical lot.

Origin Myths: Big Lies and Long Cons

Although the final approved AUMF declared that "such acts [as terrorism] continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States," that wasn't then, and isn't now, even true . The toppled towers, pummeled Pentagon, and flying suicide machines of 9/11 were no doubt an absolute horror; and such visions understandably clouded collective judgment. Still, more sober statistics demonstrate, and sensible strategy demands, the prudence of perspective.

From 1995 to 2016, a total of 3,277 Americans have been killed in terrorist acts on US soil. If we subtract the 9/11 anomaly, that's just 300 domestic deaths – or 14 per year. Which raises the impolite question: why don't policymakers talk about terrorism the same way they do shark attacks or lightning strikes? The latter, incidentally, kill an average of 49 Americans annually. Odd, then, that the US hasn't expended $6.4 trillion, or more than 15,000 soldier and contractor lives , responding to bolts from the blue. Nor has it kicked off or catalyzed global wars that have directly killed – by that conservative estimate – 335,000 civilians.

See, that's the thing: for Americans, like the Israelis, some lives matter more than others. We can just about calculate the macabre life-value ratios in each society. Take Israel's 2014 onslaught on the Gaza Strip. In its fifty-day onslaught of Operation Protective Edge, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) killed 2,131 Palestinians – of whom 1,473 were identified as civilians, including 501 children. As for the wildly inaccurate and desperate Hamas rocket strikes that the IDF "edge" ostensibly "protected" against: those killed a whopping four civilians. To review: apparently one Israeli non-combatant is worth 368 Palestinian versions. Now, seeing as everything – including death-dealing is "bigger in Texas" – consider the macro American application. To wit, 3,277 US civilians versus 335,000 foreign innocents equals a cool 102-to-1 quotient of the macabre.

Such formulas become banal realities when one believes the big lies undergirding the entire enterprise. Here, Israel and America share origin myths that frame the long con of forever wars. That is, that acts of terror with stateless origins are best responded to with reflexive and aggressive military force. In my first ever published article – timed for Independence Day 2014 – I argued that America's post-9/11 "original sin" was framing its response as a war in the first place. As a result, I – then a serving US Army captain – concluded, "In place of sound strategy, we've been handed our own set of martyrs: more than 6,500 dead soldiers, airmen, sailors, and marines." More than 500 American troopers have died since, along with who knows how many foreign civilians. It's staggering how rare such discussions remain in mainstream discourse.

Within that mainstream, often the conjoined Israeli-American twins even share the same cruelty cheerleaders. Take the man that author Belen Fernandez not inaccurately dubs "Harvard Law School's resident psychopath:" Alan Dershowitz. During Israel's brutal 2006 assault on Lebanon, this armchair-murderer took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal with a column titled " Arithmetic of Pain ."

Dershowitz argued for a collective "reassessment of the laws of war" in light of increasingly blurred distinctions between combatants and civilians. Thus, offering official "scholarly" sanction for the which-lives-matter calculus, he unveiled the concept of a "continuum of 'civilianality." Consider some of his cold and callous language:

Near the most civilian end of this continuum are the pure innocents – babies, hostages at the more combatant end are civilians who willingly harbor terrorists, provide material resources and serve as human shields; in the middle are those who support the terrorists politically, or spiritually.

Got that? Leaving aside Dershowitz's absurd assumption that there are loads of Palestinians just itching to volunteer as "human shields," it's clear that when conflicts are thus framed – all manner of cruelties become permissible.

In Israel, it begins with stated policies of internationally- prohibited collective punishment. For example, during the 2006 Lebanon War that killed exponentially more innocent Lebanese than Israelis, the IDF chief of staff's announced intent was to deliver "a clear message to both greater Beirut and Lebanon that they've swallowed a cancer [Hezbollah] and have to vomit it up, because if they don't their country will pay a very high price." It ends with Tel Aviv's imposition of an abusive calorie-calculus on Palestinians.

In 2008, Israeli authorities actually drew up a document computing the minimum caloric intake necessary for Gaza's residents to suffer (until they yield), but avoid outright starvation. Two years earlier, that wonderful wordsmith Dov Weisglass, senior advisor to then Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, explained that Israeli policy was designed "to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger."

Lest that sound beyond the pale for we Americans, recall that it was the first female secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, who ten years earlier said of 500,000 Iraqi children's deaths under crippling U.S. sanctions: "we think, the price is worth it." Furthermore, it's unclear how the Trump administration's current sanctions- clampdown on Syrians unlucky enough to live in President Bashar al Assad-controlled territory is altogether different from the "Palestinian diet."

After all, even one of the Middle East Institute's resident regime-change-enthusiasts, Charles Lister, recently admitted that America's criminally-euphemized "Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act" may induce a "famine." In other words, according to two humanitarian experts writing on the national security website War on the Rocks , "hurting the very civilians it aims to protect while largely failing to affect the Syrian government itself."

It is, and has long been, thus: Israeli prime ministers and American presidents, Bibi and The Donald, Tel Aviv and Washington – are peas in a punishing pod.

Emergencies as Existences

In both Israel and America, frightened populations finagled by their uber-hawkish governments acquiesce to militarized states of "emergencies" as a way of life. In seemingly no time at all, the latest U.S. threshold got so low that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo matter-of-factly declared one to override a congressional-freeze and permit the $8.1 billion sale of munitions to Gulf Arab militaries. When some frustrated lawmakers asked the State Department's inspector general to investigate, the resultant report found that the agency failed to limit [Yemeni] civilian deaths from the sales – most bombed by the Saudi's subsequent arsenal of largesse. (As for the inspector general himself? He was " bullied ," then fired, by Machiavelli Mike).

Per the standard, Israel is the more surface-overt partner. As the IDF-veteran author Haim Bresheeth-Zabner writes in his new book , An Army Like No Other: How the Israel Defense Forces Made a Nation , Israel is the "only country in which Emergency Regulations have been in force for every minute of its existence."

Perhaps more worryingly, such emergency existences boomerang back to militarized Minneapolis and Jerusalem streets alike. It's worth nothing that just five days after the killing of George Floyd, an Israeli police officer gunned down an unarmed, autistic, Palestinian man on his way to a school for the disabled. Even the 19-year-old killer's 21-year-old commander (instructive, that) admitted the cornered victim wasn't a threat. But here's the rub: when the scared and confused Palestinian man ran from approaching police at 6 a.m. , initial officers instinctually reported a potential "terrorist" on the loose.

Talk about global terror coming home to roost on local streets. And why not here in the States? It wasn't but two months back that President Trump labeled peaceful demonstrators in D.C., and nationwide protesters tearing down Confederate statues, as "terrorists." That's more than a tad troubling, since, as noted, almost anything is permissible against terrorists, thus tagged.

In other words, the Israeli-American, post-9/11 (or -9/14) militarized connections go beyond the cosmetic and past sloganeering. Then again, the latter can be instructive. In the wake of the latest Jerusalem police shooting, protesters in Israel's Occupied Territories held up placards declaring solidarity with Black Lives Matter (BLM). One read: "Palestinians support the black intifada." Yet the roots of shared systemic injustices run far deeper.

Though it remains impolitic to say so here in the US, both "BLM and the Palestinian rights movement are [by their own accounts] fighting settler-colonial states and structures of domination and supremacy that value, respectively, white and Jewish lives over black and Palestinian ones." They're hardly wrong. All-but-official apartheid reigns in Occupied Palestine, and a de-facto two-tier system favoring Jewish citizens, prevails within Israel itself. Similarly, the US grapples with chattel slavery's legacy, lingering effects institutional Jim Crow-apartheid, and its persistent system of gross, if unofficial, socio-economic racial disparity.

Though there are hopeful rumblings in post-Floyd America, neither society has much grappled with the immediacy and intransigency of their established and routine devaluation of (internal and external) Arab and African lives. Instead, in another gross similarity, Israelis and Americans prefer to laud any ruling elites who even pretend towards mildly reformist rhetoric (rather than action) as brave peacemakers.

In fact, two have won the Nobel Peace Prize. In America, there was the untested Obama: he the king of drones and free-press-suppression – whose main qualification for the award was not being named George W. Bush. In Israel, the prize went to late Prime Minister Shimon Peres. According to Bresheeth-Zabner, Peres was the "mind behind the military-industrial complex" in Israel, and also architect of the infamous 1996 massacre of 106 people sheltering at a United Nations compound in South Lebanon. In such societies as ours and Israel's, and amidst interminable wars, too often politeness passes for principle.

Military Mirrors

Predictably, social and cultural rot – and strategic delusions – first manifest in a nation's military. Neither Israel's nor America's has a particularly impressive record of late. The IDF won a few important wars in its first 25 years of existence, then came back from a near catastrophic defeat to prevail in the 1973 Yom Kippur War; but since then, it's at best muddled through near-permanent lower-intensity conflicts after invading Southern Lebanon in 1978. In fact, its 22-year continuous counter-guerilla campaign there – against Palestinian resistance groups and then Lebanese Hezbollah – slowly bled the IDF dry in a quagmire often called " Israel's Vietnam ." It was, in fact, proportionally more deadly for its troops than America's Southeast Asian debacle – and ended (in 2000) with an embarrassing unilateral withdrawal.

Additionally, Tel Aviv's perma-military-occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip hasn't just flagrantly violated International law and several UN resolutions – but blown up in the IDF's face. Ever since vast numbers of exasperated and largely abandoned (by Arab armies) Palestinians rose up in the 1987 Intifada – initially peaceful protests – and largely due to the IDF's counterproductively vicious suppression, Israel has been trapped in endless imperial policing and low-to-mid-level counterinsurgency.

None of its major named military operations in the West Bank and/or Gaza Strip – Operations Defensive Shield (2002), Days of Penitence (2004), Summer Rains (2006), Cast Lead (2008-09), Pillar of Defense (2012), Protective Edge (2014), among others – has defeated or removed Hamas, nor have they halted the launch of inaccurate but persistent Katyusha rockets.

In fact, the wildly disproportionate toll on Palestinian civilians in each and every operation, and the intransigence of Israel's ironclad occupation has only earned Tel Aviv increased international condemnation and fresh generations of resistors to combat. The IDF counts minor tactical successes and suffers broader strategic failure. As even a fairly sympathetic Rand report on the Gaza operations noted, "Israel's grand strategy became 'mowing the grass' – accepting its inability to permanently solve the problem and instead repeatedly targeting leadership of Palestinian militant organizations to keep violence manageable."

The American experience has grown increasingly similar over the last three-quarters of a century. Unless one counts modern trumped-up Banana Wars like those in Grenada (1983) and Panama (1989), or the lopsided 100-hour First Persian Gulf ground campaign (1991), the US military, too, hasn't won a meaningful victory since 1945. Korea (1950-53) was a grinding and costly draw; Vietnam (1965-72) a quixotic quagmire; Lebanon (1982-84) an unnecessary and muddled mess ; Somalia (1992-94) a mission-creeping fiasco; Bosnia/Kosovo (1992-) an over-hyped and unsatisfying diversion. Yet matters deteriorated considerably, and the Israeli-parallels grew considerably, after Congress chose endless war on September 14, 2001.

America's longest ever war, in Afghanistan, started as a seeming slam dunk but has turned out to be an intractable operational defeat. That lost cause has been a dead war walking for over a decade. Operations Iraqi Freedom (2003-11) and Inherent Resolve (2014-) may prove, respectively, America's most counterproductive and aimless missions ever. Operation Odyssey Dawn, the 2011 air campaign in pursuit of Libyan regime change, was a debacle – the entire region still grapples with its detritus of jihadi profusion, refugee dispersion, and ongoing proxy war.

US support for the Saudi-led terror war on Yemen hasn't made an iota of strategic sense, but has left America criminally complicit in immense civilian-suffering. Despite the hype, the relatively young US Africa Command (AFRICOM) was never really "about Africans," and its dozen years worth of far-flung campaigns have only further militarized a long-suffering continent and generated more terrorists. Like Israel's post-1973 operations, America's post-2001 combat missions have simply been needless, hopeless, and counterproductive.

Consider a few other regrettable U.S.-Israeli military connections over these last two decades:

The wear and tear from the South Lebanon occupation and from decades of beating up on downtrodden and trapped Palestinians damaged Israel's vaunted military. According to an after-action review, these operations"weakened the IDF's operational capabilities." Thus, when Israel's nose was more than a bit bloodied in the 2006 war with Hezbollah, IDF analysts and retired officers were quick – and not exactly incorrect – to blame the decaying effect of endless low-intensity warfare.

At the time, two general staff members, Major Generals Yishai Bar and Yiftach Ron-Tal, "warned that as a result of the preoccupation with missions in the territories, the IDF had lost its maneuverability and capability to fight in mountainous terrain." Van Creveld added that: "Among the commanders, the great majority can barely remember when they trained for and engaged in anything more dangerous than police-type operations."

Similar voices have sounded the alarm about the post-9/11 American military. Perhaps the loudest has been my fellow West Point History faculty alum, retired Colonel Gian Gentile. This former tank battalion commander and Iraq War vet described "America's deadly embrace of counterinsurgency" as a Wrong Turn . Specifically, he's argued that "counterinsurgency has perverted [the way of] American war," pushed the "defense establishment into fanciful thinking," and thus "atrophying [its] core fighting competencies."

Instructively, Gentile cited "The Israeli Defense Forces' recent [2006] experience in Lebanon There were many reasons for its failure, but one of them, is that its army had done almost nothing but [counterinsurgency] in the Palestinian territories, and its ability to fight against a strident enemy had atrophied." Maybe more salient was Gentile's other rejoinder that, historically, "nation-building operations conducted at gunpoint don't turn out well" and tend to be as (or more) bloody and brutal as other wars.

Fast forward a decade, and B?n Tre's ghost was born again in the matter-of-fact admission of the IDF's then chief of staff, General Mordecai Gur. Asked if, during its 1978 invasion of South Lebanon, Israel had bombed civilians "without discrimination," he fired back : "Since when has the population of South Lebanon been so sacred? They know very well what the terrorists were doing. . . . I had four villages in South Lebanon bombarded without discrimination." When pressed to confirm that he believed "the civilian population should be punished," Gur's retort was "And how!" Should it surprise us then, that 33 years later the concept was rebooted to flatten presumably (though this has been contested) booby-trapped villages in my old stomping grounds of Kandahar, Afghanistan?

In sum, Israel and America are senseless strategy-simpatico. It's a demonstrably disastrous two-way relationship. Our main exports have been guns – $142.3 billion worth since 1949 (significantly more than any other recipient) – and twin umbrellas of air defense and bottomless diplomatic top-cover for Israel's abuses. As to the top-cover export, it's not for nothing that after the U.S. House rubber-stamped – by a vote of 410-8 – a 2006 resolution (written by the Israel Lobby) justifying IDF attacks on Lebanese civilians, the "maverick" Republican Patrick Buchanan labeled the legislative body as " our Knesset ."

Naturally, Tel Aviv responds in kind by shipping America a how-to-guide for societal militarization, a built-in foreign policy script to their benefit, and the unending ire of most people in the Greater Middle East. It's a timeless and treasured trade – but it benefits neither party in the long run.

"Armies With Countries"

It was once said that Frederick the Great's 18th century Prussia, was "not a country with an army, but an army with a country." Israel has long been thus. It's probably still truer of them than us. The Israelis do, after all, have an immersive system of military conscription – whereas Americans leave the fighting, killing, and dying to a microscopic and unrepresentative Praetorian Guard of professionals. Nevertheless, since 9/11 – or, more accurately, 9/14/2001 – US politics, society, and culture have wildly militarized. To say the least, the outcomes have been unsatisfying: American troops haven't "won" a significant war 75 years. Now, the US has set appearances aside once and for all and " jumped the shark " towards the gimmick of full-throated imperialism.

There are, of course, real differences in scale and substance between America and Israel. The latter is the size of Massachusetts, with the population of New York City. Its "Defense Force" requires most of its of-age population to wage its offensive wars and perennial policing of illegally occupied Palestinians. Israeli society is more plainly " prussianized ." Yet in broader and bigger – if less blatant – ways, so is the post-AUMF United States. America-the-exceptional leads the world in legalized gunrunning and overseas military basing . Rather than the globe's self-styled " Arsenal of Democracy ," the US has become little more than the arsenal of arsenals. So, given the sway of the behemoth military-industrial-complex and recent Israelification of its political culture, perhaps it's more accurate to say America is a defense industry with a country – and not the other way around.

As for 17 year-old me, I didn't think I'd signed up for the Israeli Defense Force on that sunny West Point morning of July 2, 2001. And, for the first two months and 12 days of my military career – maybe I hadn't. I sure did serve in its farcical facsimile, though: fighting its wars for an ensuing 17 more years.

Yet everyone who entered the US military after September 14, 2001 signed up for just that. Which is a true tragedy.

This originally appeared at Popular Resistance .

Danny Sjursen is a retired US Army officer and contributing editor at Antiwar.com His work has appeared in the NY Times, LA Times, The Nation, Huff Post, The Hill, Salon, Popular Resistance, and Tom Dispatch, among other publications. He served combat tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan and later taught history at his alma mater, West Point. He is the author of a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge . His forthcoming book, Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War is now available for pre-order . Sjursen was recently selected as a 2019-20 Lannan Foundation Cultural Freedom Fellow . Follow him on Twitter @SkepticalVet . Visit his professional website for contact info, to schedule speeches or media appearances, and access to his past work.

Copyright 2020 Danny Sjursen

[Sep 18, 2020] Middle East Peace and Trump's New Art of the Deal by Larry Johnson - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Notable quotes:
"... He thinks the Palestinians will accept permanent helot status? Maybe so... But is that something we should relish? ..."
"... And what of Syria? What of Syria? Evidently Trump considered murdering President Assad two years ago. Is he going to abandon regime change now? is he going to abandon the policy of Pompeo and Jeffries? ..."
"... My guess is that the acceptability for Helot status of Palestinians will depend on how much worse it is compared to the status of Palestinian equivalents elsewhere. Syria and Lebanon certainly look far less attractive. ..."
"... Also, from my admittedly limited experience, Palestinians aren't exactly homogenous, Gaza =! West Bank. ..."
"... If the Israelis are smart (and I think they are), they will continue to exploit Palestinian disunity by not having one helot status but several, with privileges to repress and boss around the lesser helots (perhaps even some less desirable Israelis) awarded to the higher helots. ..."
"... The neocons have been firmly ensconced in ME policy since Reagan. At least Trump made a little bit of lemonade. Nothing earth shattering IMO but moved the ball forward 10 yds and away from own goals under the so-called experts & strategists of the past decades. ..."
"... Support for Israel and its maximalist dreams has always been bipartisan. ..."
"... The colonel has a much more realistic take on this: the intention is to co-opt the Arab states into forcing the Palestinians to accept permanent helot status. Not quite slaves but closes to it. ..."
"... There would be many ways to describe that, but I suspect "peace plan" would rank amongst the less accurate ones. ..."
"... I also remember when the Trump admin killed the Gen. Suleimani late last year the same people also touted it a national security success. This is shameful pattern. ..."
"... Just because Jared Kushner, Berkowitz (Kushner's mini-me), David Friedman and the Zionist anti-American paid shills of Christians United For Israel et.al put Israel's interest first does not make it a success for American interests abroad. Trump does not know two things about the ME. He just obeys orders from this outside 'advisors' when it comes to ME policy. ..."
"... When I read that " If you look at relatively successful integration/assimilations in history, jointly overcoming something that was threatening to both typically ranked pretty highly as a cause." I think that The Islamic Republic of Iran is what is being offered or used as that cause. ..."
"... But if the present and future Israelis believe this means that the total advantage is totally theirs to press, then present and future Palestinians will continue searching for ways to make their unhappiness felt. But that outcome would not be Trump's fault. That outcome would be the majority-likudnic Israelis' choice. ..."
"... the problem with "outside in" strategy is that implies that if conditions are bad enough for the Palestinians, they will agree to any deal Trump can force down their throats. Instead, Palestinians have been offered terrible deals since 2000 (ie., a state that is never going to be a real state with permanent Israeli control over its borders, air space, and water tables ..."
"... The smarter plan is to acknowledge that the Zionists killed the Two-State Solution, and Palestinians might as well push this into an anti-Apartheid struggle. ..."
Sep 18, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

turcopolier , 16 September 2020 at 08:52 AM

All

It is clear that the heat has gone away in the fabled "Arab Street" over the issue of Israel. If that were not so, the rulers would not have dared to do this. That being so ... It will be very interesting to see how many people from these two countries go to Israel to visit holy sites like the al-Aqsa Mosque. There have not been many religious tourists from Egypt and Jordan. This is what the Israelis call pilgrims. Trump thinks that he can bring Saudi Arabia into such a deal? Good! Let's see it. He thinks that Iran can be brought into such a deal? Wonderful! Let's see it.

He thinks the Palestinians will accept permanent helot status? Maybe so... But is that something we should relish?

And what of Syria? What of Syria? Evidently Trump considered murdering President Assad two years ago. Is he going to abandon regime change now? is he going to abandon the policy of Pompeo and Jeffries?

I suggest that security should be very tight on airline flights from Bahrein and the UAE.

eakens , 16 September 2020 at 10:03 AM

I suspect this has less to do with peace and more to do with lining up a coalition against Iran. He's signing peace deals at the white house the same day he not only threatens Iran for a make believe assassination plot against our South African Ambassador, but admits he wanted to assassinate Assad.

He's making a big mistake though if he thinks Iranians will behave and respond similarly to the Arabs, and they are certainly not North Koreans.

He's being frog marched into a war with Iran while his ego is being stroked under the guise of a Nobel peace prize.

nbsp; tjfxh , 16 September 2020 at 11:17 AM

What say about Alastair Crooke's "Maintaining Pretence Over Reality: 'Simply Put, the Iranians Outfoxed the U.S. Defence Systems'" at Strategic Culture Foundation?

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/09/14/maintaining-pretence-over-reality-simply-put-iranians-outfoxed-us-defence-systems/

A.I.S. , 16 September 2020 at 11:49 AM

@ turcopolier:

Excellent questions.

My guess is that the acceptability for Helot status of Palestinians will depend on how much worse it is compared to the status of Palestinian equivalents elsewhere. Syria and Lebanon certainly look far less attractive. The other issue is the degree with which Arab elites can "reroute" Anti Israeli into Anti Iranian sentiments on the Arab street.

Also, from my admittedly limited experience, Palestinians aren't exactly homogenous, Gaza =! West Bank.

If the Israelis are smart (and I think they are), they will continue to exploit Palestinian disunity by not having one helot status but several, with privileges to repress and boss around the lesser helots (perhaps even some less desirable Israelis) awarded to the higher helots.

I think this will be fairly hard though. Various Historical, religion and cultural issues specific to the situation make it quite hard for Arabs to actually assimilate into Israeli society. There is also a lack of a unifying foe to unite against. If you look at relatively successful integration/assimilations in history, jointly overcoming something that was threatening to both typically ranked pretty highly as a cause.

Leith , 16 September 2020 at 12:01 PM

"I suggest that security should be very tight on airline flights from Bahrein and the UAE."

Bingo! I won't be flying on Gulf Air or FlyDubai.

Jack , 16 September 2020 at 02:12 PM

The neocons have been firmly ensconced in ME policy since Reagan. At least Trump made a little bit of lemonade. Nothing earth shattering IMO but moved the ball forward 10 yds and away from own goals under the so-called experts & strategists of the past decades.

The TDS afflicted media couldn't bear that some lemonade was made. Wolf Blitzer interviewing Jared Kushner was all about pandemic nothing about the implications or process to having couple gulf sheikhs recognize Israel. The fact is that these gulf sheikhs only paid lip service to the plight of the Palestinians in any case. This formalizes what was reality. The "Arab Street" have always been a manifestation of whatever were powerful manipulations. The manipulators have been coopted in the current lemonade making. In any case Bibi must be very pleased. He didn't have to give up anything in his difficult domestic political predicament.

Jack , 16 September 2020 at 02:44 PM

https://twitter.com/partynxs/status/1306015487273377792?s=21

Support for Israel and its maximalist dreams has always been bipartisan.

Serge , 16 September 2020 at 05:18 PM

The arabs simply do not care anymore, from Morocco to Oman. Their spirit totally broken by the "Arab spring", youth disillusioned and jobless. The only dream left for most is to ape the western lifestyle. The others are fighting in wars.

I can see one of two futures, a Clean Break: Securing the Realm-style one in which all of the arabs live life as helots under the thumb of a Greater Israel. This would bring relative economic prosperity to most of the helots.

Yeah, Right , 16 September 2020 at 06:03 PM

I think I see the flaw in this article: ..."If that turns out to be the case and this maneuver succeeds in ultimately bringing about a two state solution for Israel and the Palestinians,"...

Surely you don't believe that these maneuvers are intended to bring about a Palestinian state?

The colonel has a much more realistic take on this: the intention is to co-opt the Arab states into forcing the Palestinians to accept permanent helot status. Not quite slaves but closes to it.

There would be many ways to describe that, but I suspect "peace plan" would rank amongst the less accurate ones.

Polish Janitor , 16 September 2020 at 06:14 PM

One running theme that I have been seeing from the former so-called neocon critics and ME wars opponents (Michael Scheuer comes to mind) is their uncontrollable exhilaration for any terrible so-called F.P. 'success' that the Trump admin achieves in the ME.

I also remember when the Trump admin killed the Gen. Suleimani late last year the same people also touted it a national security success. This is shameful pattern.

Just because Jared Kushner, Berkowitz (Kushner's mini-me), David Friedman and the Zionist anti-American paid shills of Christians United For Israel et.al put Israel's interest first does not make it a success for American interests abroad. Trump does not know two things about the ME. He just obeys orders from this outside 'advisors' when it comes to ME policy.

It it exactly what it is. Israel normalized relations with the most notorious dictatorships and wants to implement Pegasus spying program and wide-scale surveillance (among other nefarious things) in UAE and Bahrain. How is that a success for America? America should stay out of these Israeli-first trouble making schemes and stay neutral or out of there.

Let me tell you what a F.P. success is, OK? It would have been a huge success if America was able to lure Iran into its orbit to fend of the Chinese communists out of the region and out of our lives and have a stronger alliance with regards to its upcoming Cold War with China.

It would have been successful for America to balance China out with Iran, India, Turkey and Afghanistan, and not let China to invest billions in Haifa port (close to U.S. military forces there) a major hub of its Belt and Road initiative and a huge blow to U.S. new Cold war effort against China.

Think about it.

Allow me to raise a few points: first of all , every single one of these brutal backward Arab dictatorships has had low key but crucial relations with Israel since the Cold War and they just made it open, Big deal! Second, this joyfulness for a hostile anti-american country is quite sad for two reasons:

1. that Larry touts it as a success for America, which is anything but a success for America. It is a success for Bibi and Trump's evangelical/zionist sugar daddies to cough up some Benjamins for Trump's campaign and his GOP/Likudniks. I guess nowadays our judgement is so clouded and inverted that MAGA and MIGA are considered inseparable.

2. The delusion that dems are bitterly angry and anti-Israel (because they are anti-Trump) and therefore it automatically becomes an issue of partisan support for Trump and whatever he does. This idea is so absurd that I won't get into it. Dems were the first to congratulate Israel.

I would like Larry to tell me what he thinks of H.R. 1697 Israel Anti-Boycot Act which punishes American citizens for practicing their god-given 2nd Amendment rights. or the 3.8 billion of aid, or the the gifting of Golan heights to Bibi? Are these big foreign policy success too?

What the Arab-Israeli normalization means:

*The U.S. wants out of the ME to focus on China, a wet dream that Israel favors especially post Cold War. It does not want secular, (semi) democratic sovereign states around it, and if anyone pays attention close enough they do whatever they can to prevent any kind of political reform and change of government to occur among Arab nations. Israelis are staunch supporters of Saudi, Bahraini, UAE, Jordanian, and Egyptian dictatorships in the MENA region.

Israel will now be better positioned to roll-back any kind of grassroots reform in the ME with the help of their now openly pro-Israeli Arab rulers by directing policies to these backward rulers to divest from human development and political reform and instead invest more in security, tech, surveillance.

This trend also explains Israeli constant opposition to the Iran Deal, which would have had further ramifications for political reform and accelerated weakening of Hardliners in Tehran and a better position for America to pivot to China with the help of a moderated Iran. Israel does not want a powerful democratic nation near its borders, and especially not in Iran. Just take a look at Israel's neighbors and tell me how many of them are democratic and friendly with Israel and how does Israel behave when there are secular Arab democratic states around it?

John Merryman , 16 September 2020 at 10:17 PM

In the end, it's all just tribal superstition. Logically a spiritual absolute would be the essence of sentience, from which we rise, not an ideal of wisdom and judgement, from which we fell. The fact we are aware, than the myriad details of which we are aware.

One of the reasons we can't have a live and let live world is because everyone thinks their own vision should be universal, rather than unique. So the fundamentalists rule.

The reason nature is so diverse and dense is because it isn't a monoculture. Irrespective of our technology, we are still fairly primitive, in the grand scheme of things.

different clue , 17 September 2020 at 02:42 AM

A.I.S.,

When I read that " If you look at relatively successful integration/assimilations in history, jointly overcoming something that was threatening to both typically ranked pretty highly as a cause." I think that The Islamic Republic of Iran is what is being offered or used as that cause.

If this all ends up in the longest run leading to today's and tomorrow's Israelis accepting the lesser Israel that Rabin ended up deciding would be necessary for a lesser-but-still-real Palestine to emerge as a real country resigned with both resigned enough to that outcome that they would tolerate eachother's separate independence over the long term, then this will go somewhere good.

But if the present and future Israelis believe this means that the total advantage is totally theirs to press, then present and future Palestinians will continue searching for ways to make their unhappiness felt. But that outcome would not be Trump's fault. That outcome would be the majority-likudnic Israelis' choice.

Mathias Alexander , 17 September 2020 at 04:53 AM

To have a two state solution Israel will have to leave enough of Palestine without Jewish settlement for there to be room for another state. Their actions show that they have no intention of doing that.

Matthew , 17 September 2020 at 09:26 AM

Larry: the problem with "outside in" strategy is that implies that if conditions are bad enough for the Palestinians, they will agree to any deal Trump can force down their throats. Instead, Palestinians have been offered terrible deals since 2000 (ie., a state that is never going to be a real state with permanent Israeli control over its borders, air space, and water tables)

The smarter plan is to acknowledge that the Zionists killed the Two-State Solution, and Palestinians might as well push this into an anti-Apartheid struggle. The gerontocracy that rules the PA will soon pass away. The younger generation of Palestinians are much more sophisticated.

As a trial lawyer, I see this type of behavior all the time. If you offer someone essentially nothing, they lose nothing by rejecting it. The Arab dictators will not be around forever. And before Camp David, the Palestinians have suffered far worse than they are suffering now.

BABAK MAKKINEJAD , 17 September 2020 at 09:55 AM

Matthew:

For any kind of Peace in Palestine, Jerusalem must revert back to Muslim Sovereignty.

It is all about who calls the shots there; just as it was 800 years ago.

Artemesia , 17 September 2020 at 10:35 AM

Matthew: Your description of Trump's strategy is no different from Vladimir Jabotinsky's 1923 Iron Wall doctrine
http://www.marxists.de/middleast/ironwall/ironwall.htm
and
https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/quot-the-iron-wall-quot

In short: "We Jews know that Arabs (Palestinians) will never, ever voluntarily give up hope of resisting Jewish demands, and Jews will never stop with Jewish demands: that all of Palestine become Jewish.
Since 'voluntary' will not work, only force -- an Iron Wall -- will suffice.
Jabotinsky defines "Iron Wall" as the enforcement capacity of an outside power:

"we cannot promise anything to the Arabs of the Land of Israel or the Arab countries. Their voluntary agreement is out of the question. Hence those who hold that an agreement with the natives is an essential condition for Zionism can now say "no" and depart from Zionism. Zionist colonization, even the most restricted, must either be terminated or carried out in defiance of the will of the native population. This colonization can, therefore, continue and develop only under the protection of a force independent of the local population – an iron wall which the native population cannot break through. This is, in toto, our policy towards the Arabs. To formulate it any other way would only be hypocrisy.

Not only must this be so, it is so whether we admit it or not. What does the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate mean for us? It is the fact that a disinterested power committed itself to create such security conditions that the local population would be deterred from interfering with our efforts."

Be aware that Benjamin Netanyahu's father, Benzion, was Jabotinsky's administrative assistant, then replacement, in New York; that Bibi is very much heir to the ideological fervor of Jabotinsky & of Benzion; and that Benzion and Benjamin laid out the blueprint for the GWOT at the Jerusalem Conference July 4, 1979
https://www.amazon.com/International-Terrorism-Challenge-Benjamin-Netanyahu/dp/0878558942

Trump plays only a walk-on role in this carefully scripted 150 year old zionist drama.

turcopolier , 17 September 2020 at 10:58 AM

Babak

To "Muslim Sovereignty?" No. It should be an international city.

turcopolier , 17 September 2020 at 11:30 AM

james

"there isn't a lot of difference between KSA and these fiefdoms of uae and bahrain.." A total crock. you obviously have never been to either of these places.

BABAK MAKKINEJAD , 17 September 2020 at 11:46 AM

Col. Lang:

Who or what Legitimate Authority would administer such an International City?

None has ever existed.

Artemesia , 17 September 2020 at 12:00 PM

Jews can have Jerusalem if they return Washington, DC to full USA sovereignty.

[Sep 18, 2020] Exposing war crimes should always be legal. Committing and hiding them should not by Caitlin Johnstone

Sep 18, 2020 | www.rt.com

By Caitlin Johnstone , an independent journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Her website is here and you can follow her on Twitter @caitoz ...Amid all the pedantic squabbling over when it is and is not legal under US law for a journalist to expose evidence of US war crimes, we must never lose sight of the fact that (A) it should always be legal to expose war crimes, (B) it should always be illegal for governments to hide evidence of their war crimes, (C) war crimes should always be punished, (D) people who start criminal wars should always be punished, (E) governments should not be permitted to have a level of secrecy that allows them to start criminal wars, and (F) power and secrecy should always have an inverse relationship to one another.

The Assange case needs to be fought tooth and claw, but we must keep in mind that it is so very, very many clicks back from where we need to be as a civilization. In an ideal situation, governments should be too afraid of the public to keep secrets from them; instead, here we are begging the most powerful government in the world to please not imprison a journalist because he arguably did not break the rules that that government made for itself.

Do you see how far that point is from where we need to be?

It's important to remember this. It's important to remember that the amount of evil deeds power structures will commit is directly proportional to the amount of information they are permitted to hide from the public. We will not have a healthy world until power and secrecy have an inverse relationship to each other: privacy for rank-and-file individuals, and transparency for governments and their officials.

"But what about military secrets?" one might object. Yes, what about military secrets? What about the fact that virtually all military violence perpetrated by the world's largest power structures is initiated based on lies ? What about the utterly indisputable fact that the more secrecy we allow the war machine, the more wars it deceives the public into allowing it to initiate?

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1028347374765318144&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Fop-ed%2F501031-caitlin-johnstone-exposing-war-crimes%2F&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=219d021%3A1598982042171&width=550px

In a healthy world, the most powerful government on Earth wouldn't be trying to squint at its own laws in such a way that permits the prosecution of a journalist for telling the truth.

In a healthy world, the most powerful government on Earth wouldn't prosecute anyone for telling the truth at all.

In a healthy world, governments would prosecute their own war crimes, instead of those who expose them.

In a healthy world, governments wouldn't commit war crimes at all.

In a healthy world, governments wouldn't start wars at all.

In a healthy world, governments would see truth as something to be desired and actively sought, not something to be repressed and punished.

In a healthy world, governments wouldn't keep secrets from the public, and wouldn't have any cause to want to.

In a healthy world, if governments existed at all, they would exist solely as tools for the people to serve themselves, with full transparency and accountability to those people.

We are obviously a very, very far cry from the kind of healthy world we would all like to one day find ourselves in. But we should always keep in mind what a healthy world will look like, and hold it as our true north for the direction that we are pushing in.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

By Caitlin Johnstone , an independent journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Her website is here and you can follow her on Twitter @caitoz

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.


Reality007 3 hours ago 18 Sep, 2020 10:07 AM

Unfortunately, no criminals that have committed or covered up war crimes, decades ago to present, will ever be indicted. They are all above the law while all innocents that revealed the truths must pay highly. We can only pray and hope for the best for Julian Assange.
Fred Dozer Reality007 1 hour ago 18 Sep, 2020 12:16 PM
I see nothing wrong with robbing banks in criminal controlled countries. These governments, murder, cheat, lie, & steal.
T. Agee Kaye 2 hours ago 18 Sep, 2020 11:10 AM
The right of a people to know what their government is doing, and the potential consequences of those actions on the people, nation, and society, is inalienable. The exposure of war crimes and any corruption is not illegal and cannot be made illegal. The trial of Assange is not about the legality of Assange's actions. It is a display of the influence that criminal interests have over the government and judiciary. It is an attempt to create legitimacy by creating precedent. Murder has plenty of precedent. It will never be legitimate.
Jewel Gyn 3 hours ago 18 Sep, 2020 10:21 AM
Agreed but having said that, we are not living in a perfect world. Bully with big fists exist and the lesser countries just stood by frustrated and sucking their thumbs, silent lest they be targeted for voicing out. And you can see clearly why US is walking away from any form of organised voice eg UN.
Odinsson 2 hours ago 18 Sep, 2020 10:51 AM
What we need in the case of Julian Assange is factual reporting. While the motivation to prosecute Assange is most likely political, there would be no ability to prosecute him were it not for his active support of PFC Manning's hacking of a DOD information system. It is not unlawful to publish classified information which was provided to you, so long as you are not involved in the criminal acts leading to the exfiltration of the data. Had Assange not aided PFC Manning by looking up hash codes in spreadsheets of known password to hash code translations then the grand jury would not have indicted him. FWIW, it is my opinion that the statute of limitations expired long ago and this should be grounds for dismissal of all charges against him.
jholf 1 hour ago 18 Sep, 2020 12:04 PM
These world leaders, claim to be Christians, ... their God 'commands', "Thou shalt not kill." Yet, for more than 6 decades, that is exactly what each of these Christian Commanders in Chief, have done for no reason, other than to fill the pockets of the elite. A man is known by his deeds, Assange gave us truth, while these world leaders gave us war and destructi

[Sep 18, 2020] no title

Notable quotes:
"... McCarthy gets all the credit because they named the era after him, but he was by and large J. Edgar Hoover's front man. ..."
www.rollingstone.com
Before he was a journalist and a novelist, before he was a globe-trotting war correspondent and a historian with an eye for ordinary people that led extraordinary lives, Scott Anderson was a child of the Cold War. His father worked for the State Department, which took the Anderson family to South Korea, Taiwan, and Indonesia. All three countries were located on the new fault lines of the geopolitical struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union, anti-communism and communism, the "Yanks" and the "Reds." [ Before he was a journalist and a novelist, before he was a globe-trotting war correspondent and a historian with an eye for ordinary people that led extraordinary lives, Scott Anderson was a child of the Cold War. His father worked for the State Department, which took the Anderson family to South Korea, Taiwan, and Indonesia. All three countries were located on the new fault lines of the geopolitical struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union, anti-communism and communism, the "Yanks" and the "Reds." [ [ [ Find the Book ]

At the time, the Reagan administration was backing the right-wing Salvadoran government in its war against leftist rebels, yet another front in the anti-communism campaign. The incident planted a simple question in Anderson's mind: How had it come to this? As a kid, Anderson watched his father grow disillusioned with his country's crusade against communism and the folly of the Vietnam War.

But Anderson himself didn't fully grasp the contradictions, hubris, and stupidity of the American empire's obsession with anti-communism until the spring of 1984, when he watched a young woman's body dumped and retrieved with grim efficiency by a group of soldiers on a side street in San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador. At the time, the Reagan administration was backing the right-wing Salvadoran government in its war against leftist rebels, yet another front in the anti-communism campaign. The incident planted a simple question in Anderson's mind: How had it come to this?

In his absorbing new book The Quiet Americans: Four CIA Spies at the Dawn of the Cold War -- A Tragedy in Three Acts , Anderson answers that question by zeroing in on a critical juncture in time, the dawn of the Cold War from 1944 to 1956, and on four spooks who not just witnessed but shaped history during that period of time. It would be too on the nose to say Anderson's book reads like Graham Greene's classic The Quiet American , but Anderson masterfully weaves together the lives of Frank Wisner, a genteel Southerner who climbs the ranks of the CIA only to fall into despair and take his own life after the U.S.'s betrayal of revolutionaries in eastern Europe; Ed Lansdale, a CIA legend who has been called "the American James Bond" and the "T.E. Lawrence of Asia"; Peter Sichel, a German Jewish refugee who traded currency on the black market to fund covert U.S. operations across Europe; and Michael Burke, a black-ops specialist who directed commando operations behind the Iron Curtain. Each man would meet a different fate, but taken together they capture in vivid detail the early days of the CIA and the origins of the Cold War.

But The Quiet Americans book is more than a real-life le Carré tale. By focusing on the post-World War II period and the critical early days of the Cold War, Anderson's story raises questions about the rise of American empire and how the trajectory of the 20th and 21st century could have looked so much differently. "If FDR had lived even another year, probably what happened in Eastern Europe would have looked quite a bit different," Anderson tells Rolling Stone , referring to the upheaval on the European continent after World War II. "I think that Stalin would have responded to FDR. Again, this is a great what if?"

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

Rolling Stone: I've read so many end-of-the-Cold-War stories and end-of-World-War-Two stories. But with this time period from 1944 to 1956, I found myself absorbing the history as much as the characters and their stories. How did you come to zero in on this period in not just American history but world history?
Scott Anderson: As I say at the beginning of the book, I'm very much a product of the Cold War. It was something I spent a lot of time thinking about growing up. And then seeing the residue of it in war reporting in the '80s and '90s. When did it all start to go south? When did all this get locked into place where there was this stalemate that went on forever and that I think is currently damaging to an American standing around the world?

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I was reading some books about FDR while World War II was going and this idea that this was going to be the end of the age of empires, the dismantling of the British and the French empires, and that America was going to be this this kind of beacon of freedom and the spreader of democracy around the world. And then by the early '50s, with the CIA knocking over the regimes in Guatemala and in Iran, there was an incredible turnaround in this 12-year period.

Did you have any of these globe-trotting larger than life characters in mind when you picked this time period?
I always want to write history that focuses on people who are at the front lines or the players in the field rather than the generals or diplomats. When you're talking about the Cold War, the people on the front lines were spies, which kind of works out. I'd rather write about spies than accountants. I'd heard of Wisner and I'd heard of Ed Lansdale. If you read much at all about Vietnam stuff, Lansdale is pretty prominent. But the other two [Sichel and Burke] I'd never heard of. I looked at, I don't know, 20, 25 different CIA agents through this period. And invariably there were a lot of guys who did cool stuff for a while, but then went to the State Department or were sitting in the embassy somewhere. Or I couldn't find any paper trail for them. And I really needed that.

And so out of all these people I looked at, I ended up with exactly these four. With Peter Sichel, he's kind of like finding the proverbial chest of letters in the attic sort of thing. He's still alive, still incredibly sharp, the last surviving member of this generation of the early CIA guys. And had been very prominent. In fact, I probably did eight or nine interviews with him. So he was a real find. It was kind of a treasure hunt.

What I found so fascinating about Frank Wisner is his evolution over the course of the book, from a true believer and early CIA booster to, in the case of Eisenhower and the "new look" policy, a cautionary voice or a skeptic. The guy asked, "Is this right policy? What are we getting ourselves into?"
I don't think you could put Wisner in a novel. He starts out as this gung ho guy, the Mighty Wurlitzer he creates, and he just wants to start fires everywhere. He's this deeply emotional guy and he really takes this stuff personally. And I think he just sees coming over his desk the endless list of disasters and agents disappearing and being executed, he really did change.

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The incredible irony with the Hungarian Revolution is here, finally, is the thing that he's been fighting for the last 10 years. And just the irony that he's in Europe when it happens, he goes down to the border. He sees all the refugees pouring across the border. And has a complete emotional collapse that he never really recovers from.

Along with Lansdale, he is probably the best known because he was so prominent in the early CIA. And most people think of him as just like I said earlier, this is rabid right wing anti-communist, but the Eisenhower people scared him. And by then he had seen all these operations just fail. And I think he started thinking we have to approach this in a different way. And, of course, he wasn't listened to.

You bring an interesting background and experience to in this case a work of history, being a journalist, foreign correspondent, war correspondent who has written extensively from the places that you also write about decades, generations earlier in this book and obviously in your book Lawrence in Arabia . How do those things interplay?
I suspect that even more than the war reporting the fact I grew up overseas and I didn't spend any time in the States until I was a teenager, in a funny way, gave me not an outsider's perspective but a semi-outsider's perspective on this country.

In thinking of war, I can think back to the very first war I went to, which was in 1983 in Beirut, and it was just before the Marine barracks there got blown up. I was there about a month before that. The American troops on the ground were getting shot at already. A few had been killed. And I remember standing out in front of the American embassy in Beirut that had been destroyed a few months earlier with a massive truck bomb. There was a 19 year old soldier -- about my age -- sitting on top of a tank in front of the American embassy. We just got talking and he said, "Can I ask you a question? Why are we here?"

He had no clue why they were there or what in fact their mission was. Not to take anything away from him but I doubt he could have found Beirut on a map. He was just some kid out of Kansas or something. And I've seen that again and again with American troops around the world that they really don't understand why they're where they are or what they're supposed to be doing. Again, it goes back to this notion that we're coming in to liberate people. And I think these poor bastards in the field are constantly surprised why the locals are putting IEDs on them or shooting at them. That's not true with the British and the French and former imperialists. They seem to have a much better sense of well, we're here, if the French go in to Indonesia to knock some heads because of an insurgency or a guerrilla war going on, they kind of know they're doing it for their own self-interest or their country's self-interest and they have this kind of imperial mandate to do it. And I think British likewise. But Americans, they just don't think that way. The rest of the world thinks of them that way. But they don't.

You write about the Red Scare and the very profound effect it had on U.S. foreign policy and on the institutions and people in The Quiet Americans . We all know who Roy Cohn is, Joe McCarthy, the black lists in Hollywood. But how did the Red Scare seep into America's actions abroad?

Out of the four people I write about, two of them were direct victims of the Red Scare. Frank Wisner and Peter Sichel were both at different times investigated for their possible leftist connections. And in Frank Wisner's case, because of a relationship he'd had with this Romanian woman during the war and who then maybe had gone on to pass information to the Soviets afterwards. J. Edgar Hoover hated Frank Wisner. At one point, right when Eisenhower was coming to the presidency, it looked like Wisner was probably going to be chosen to be the next CIA director like clockwork right after the election, Hoover reopened investigation into Wisner, something that had been going on now for seven years. Until Wisner died in '65, it was always hanging over his head.

McCarthy gets all the credit because they named the era after him, but he was by and large J. Edgar Hoover's front man.

So what you saw was the Red Scare play out on an international level or the level of foreign policy in two really significant ways. One was obvious: When you are in the height of the Red Scare, there's no downside to if you in the CIA to launch an operation that was going to fail or that or that would overthrow a democratic regime. You can only run into trouble if it looks like you're obstructing the American advance against the communists.

The great irony of the CIA's covert operations around the world in the '40s and '50s was that the most successful aspects of it were the soft power ones -- Radio Free Europe, Voice of America. This kind of battle for hearts and minds started in Europe as this kind of intellectual counter movement against the communists overseas. There was a program where we'd sent hundreds of thousands of books overseas and had these open libraries. They were sponsoring Langston Hughes and putting on Porgy and Bess in Berlin. It actually had a huge cultural effect. And all that disappeared during the Red Scare.

When I finished the book, I feel like there are many ways to describe it, but on one sort of more abstract level, I almost came away feeling like it was sort of counterintuitive in the history of American empire or at least a sort of American interventionism and meddling overseas. And that there was a moment, a sort of a crossroads, where the U.S. didn't go down this path that it did. Did you set out to do that?

I felt it kind of came about pretty organically. To my mind, there are two great turning points or potential turning points that where things could have gone the other way. One being FDR dying like three weeks before the end of the war. I do think that if FDR had lived even another year, probably what happened in Eastern Europe would have looked quite a bit different. I think that Stalin would have responded to FDR. Again, this is a great what if? I think he would have been more equipped to deal with what was happening in Eastern Europe. Where I think Truman was just like a deer in headlights. So for about two years, he still seemed to labor under this idea that Oh, maybe we can deal with the Soviets. Maybe our wartime alliance can still be repaired until finally in 1947, he comes out with the Truman Doctrine, he starts the CIA, but at that point it's too late. All of Eastern Europe is essentially sewn up at that point.

I think the other great turning point is around the time of Stalin's death and the Hungarian Revolution. There are probably three or four times, culminating in the Hungarian Revolution, when the Kremlin was sending out peace feelers to the West. They were the ones who started talking about peaceful coexistence. And every time, the Eisenhower administration, led by John Foster Dulles, spurned them. And so I think that's the second great turning point to me, and you really see it in the Hungarian Revolution where, on one day, Khrushchev decides, We have to let Hungary go. We can't fight back. We're going to liberalize all of Eastern Europe . Basically, he was talking about what Gorbachev did 33 years later. And then in one day, he flips around and thinks to himself, "Well, if the Americans were going to do anything about Hungary, they would have done it by now." Then from that time, you see Khrushchev changing and he becomes more and more hard line. And so the Cold War goes on for another 33 years.

Another key turning point in the future course of Middle Eastern history is the overthrow of Mosadegh in Iran, which you write about. I always come back to the what if with Iran. If we had not done that, what would Iran look like today?

The astonishing thing to me is I've spent a lot of time in the Middle East is, you know, you look at old pictures of Iran or Egypt or, you know, anywhere in the Middle East, Iraq from the 1950s and they're very westernized. America had huge influence in the 1950s in that region, as it did in a lot of other regions around the world.

All of that was squandered by the overthrow of Mosadegh, and the fact that for a number of years after the coup there the CIA bragged about their role. You know, this is a great triumph. And it was really probably not until like the mid-'70s when they said Oh, you know what? Maybe we shouldn't be bragging about this so much. And then, of course, the shah is overthrown, you have a Islamic fundamentalist regime come in, and now, throughout that part of the world, though this is complicated by Israel, of course, you've seen this incredible swing back to this Islamic fundamentalism everywhere. Even in American satellites like Egypt, you would never have seen a woman in a burqa in Cairo 15, 20 years ago. You see it all the time now.

These things tend to have a second life and it's a bad life from the standpoint of American power and prestige. History is weird, how a certain event comes along and how, only in hindsight, you can see what a crucial turning point it probably was.

[Sep 17, 2020] Why the Blob Needs an Enemy by ARTA MOEINI

Highly recommended!
Crisis of neoliberal undermines the USA supremacy and the US elite hangs by the stras to the Full Specturm Domionanc edoctrine, whih it now can't enforce and which is financially unsustainable for the USA.
Collapse of neoliberalism means the end of the USA supremacy and the whole political existence on the USA was banked on this single card.
Notable quotes:
"... In America, this unfortunate status quo in support of primacy persists even in the Trumpian Age and within debates around the eccentric and unconventional presidency of Donald Trump. In fact, despite all the talk of political polarization in the United States, it appears that when it comes to naming new threats and enemies to "contain," "deter," and deem "existential," bipartisan consensus is found swiftly and quite readily. ..."
"... In a recent speech delivered in Europe, the U.S. defense secretary and former corporate lobbyist for Raytheon, Mark Esper, unified these two faces of the Janus that embodies the North Atlantic foreign policy establishment. Esper referred to both China and Russia as disruptive forces working to unravel the international order, which "we have created together," and called on the international community to preserve that order by countering both powers. As it stands, we are on the path to a series of cold wars throughout this century, if not a hot conflict between rival great powers that could spiral into World War III. Despite increased calls for realism and restraint in foreign policy, primacy is alive and well. ..."
"... There is, however, a more significant psychosociological reason for the blob's remarkable persistence. When it comes to foreign policy, Western policymakers today suffer from a Manichean worldview, a caustic mindset crystalized during a decades-running Cold War with the Soviet Union. ..."
"... Frozen in this Cold War mindset, the Atlanticist blob has internalized the bipolar moment that followed the Second World War, treating it as a permanent fixture and the normal state of the international system. In fact, the bipolar and unipolar periods we have undergone over the past 75 years are nothing but aberrations and historical anomalies. In truth, the reality of the international system tends toward multi-polarity -- and at long last it appears that the system is self-correcting. The North Atlantic establishment came of age during that time of exception, forming its (liberal) identity through the process of "alterity" and in a nemetic opposition to communism. ..."
"... Not surprisingly then, the North Atlantic elites continue to seek adversaries to demonize and "monsters to destroy" in order to justify their moral universalism and presumed ideological superiority, doing so under the garb of a totalizing and absolutist idea of exceptionalism. ..."
Sep 09, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The international order is no longer bipolar, despite the elites' insistence otherwise. Fortunately there is hope for change.

Despite its many failings and high human, social, and economic costs, American foreign policy since the end of the Second World War has shown a remarkable degree of continuity and inflexibility. This rather curious phenomenon is not limited to America alone. The North Atlantic foreign policy establishment from Washington D.C. to London, which some have aptly dubbed the "blob," has doggedly championed the grand strategic framework of "primacy" and armed hegemony, often coated with more docile language such as "global leadership," "American indispensability," and "strengthening the Western alliance."

In America, this unfortunate status quo in support of primacy persists even in the Trumpian Age and within debates around the eccentric and unconventional presidency of Donald Trump. In fact, despite all the talk of political polarization in the United States, it appears that when it comes to naming new threats and enemies to "contain," "deter," and deem "existential," bipartisan consensus is found swiftly and quite readily.

On the Left, and in the wake of President Trump's election, the Democratic establishment began fixating its wrath on Russia–adopting a confrontational stance toward Moscow and fueling fears of a renewed Cold War. On the Right, the realigning GOP has increasingly, if at times inconsistently, singled out China as the greatest threat to U.S. national security, a hostile attitude further exacerbated in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Alarmingly, Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, has recently joined the hawkish bandwagon toward China, even attempting to outflank Trump on this issue and attacking the president's China policy as too weak and accommodating of China's rise.

In a recent speech delivered in Europe, the U.S. defense secretary and former corporate lobbyist for Raytheon, Mark Esper, unified these two faces of the Janus that embodies the North Atlantic foreign policy establishment. Esper referred to both China and Russia as disruptive forces working to unravel the international order, which "we have created together," and called on the international community to preserve that order by countering both powers. As it stands, we are on the path to a series of cold wars throughout this century, if not a hot conflict between rival great powers that could spiral into World War III. Despite increased calls for realism and restraint in foreign policy, primacy is alive and well.

Indeed, the dominant tendency among many foreign policy observers is to overprivilege the threat of rising superpowers and to insist on strong containment measures to limit the spheres of influence of the so-called revisionist powers. Such an approach, coupled with the prospect of ascendant powers actively resisting and confronting the United States as the ruling global hegemon, has one eminent International Relations scholar warning of the Thucydides Trap.

There are others, however, who insist that the structural shifts undermining the liberal international order mark the end of U.S. hegemony and its "unipolar moment." In realist terms, what Secretary Esper really means to protect, they would argue, is a conception of "rules-based" global order that was a structural by-product of the Second World War and the ensuing Cold War and whose very rules and institutions were underwritten by U.S. hegemony. This would be an exercise in folly -- not corresponding to the reality of systemic change and the return of great power competition and civilizational contestation.

What's more, the sanctimony of this "liberal" hegemonic order and the logic of democratic peace were both presumably vindicated by the collapse of the Soviet Union and its totalitarian system, a black swan event that for many had heralded the "end of history" and promised the advent of the American century. A great deal of lives, capital, resources, and goodwill were sacrificed by America and her allies toward that crusade for liberty and universality, which was only the most recent iteration of a radically utopian element in American political thought going back to Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine. Alas, as it had eluded earlier generations of idealists, that century never truly arrived, and neither did the empire of liberty and prosperity that it loftily aimed to establish.

Today, the emerging reality of a multipolar world and alternate worldviews championed by the different cultural blocs led by China and Russia appears to have finally burst the bubble of American Triumphalism, proving that the ideas behind it are "not simply obsolete but absurd." This failure should have been expected since the very project the idealists had espoused was built on a pathological "savior complex" and a false truism that reflected the West's own absolutist and distorted sense of ideological and moral superiority. Samuel Huntington might have been right all along to cast doubt on the long-term salience of using ideology and doctrinal universalism as the dividing principle for international relations. His call to focus, instead, on civilizational distinction, the permanent power of culture on human action, and the need to find common ground rings especially true today. Indeed, fostering a spirit of coexistence and open dialogue among the world's great civilizational complexes is a fundamental tenet of a cultural realism.

And yet, despite such permanent shifts in the global order away from universalist dichotomies and global hegemony and toward culturalism and multi-polarity, there exists a profound disjunction between the structural realities of the international system and the often business-as-usual attitude of the North Atlantic foreign policy elites. How could one explain the astonishing levels of rigidity and continuity on the part of the "blob" and the military-industrial-congressional complex regularly pushing for more adventurism and interventionism abroad? Why would the bipartisan primacist establishment, which their allies in the mainstream media endeavor still to mask, justify such illiberal acts of aggression and attempts at empire by weaponizing the moralistic language of human rights, individual liberty, and democracy in a world increasingly awakened to arbitrary ideological framing?

There are, of course, systemic reasons behind the power and perpetuation of the blob and the endurance of primacy. The vast economic incentives of war and its instruments, institutional routinization and intransigence, stupefaction and groupthink of government bureaucracy, and the significant influence of lobbying efforts by foreign governments and other vested interest groups could each partly explain the remarkable continuity of the North Atlantic foreign policy establishment. The endless stream of funding from the defense industry, neoliberal and neoconservative foundations, as well as the government itself keeps the "blob" alive, while the general penchant for bipartisanship around preserving the status quo allows it to thrive. What is more, elite schools produce highly analytic yet narrowly focused and conventional minds that are tamed to be agreeable so as to not undermine elite consensus. This conveyor belt feeds the "blob," supplying it with the army of specialists, experts, and wonks it requires to function as a mind melding hive, while in practice safeguarding employment for the career bureaucrats for decades to come.

There is, however, a more significant psychosociological reason for the blob's remarkable persistence. When it comes to foreign policy, Western policymakers today suffer from a Manichean worldview, a caustic mindset crystalized during a decades-running Cold War with the Soviet Union. The world might have changed fundamentally with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the bipolar structure of the international system might have ended irreversibly, but the personnel -- the Baby Boomer Generation elites conducting foreign policy in the North Atlantic -- did not leave office or retire with the collapse of the USSR. They largely remain in power to this day.

Every generation is forged through a formative crisis, its experiences seen through the prism that all-encompassing ordeal. For the incumbent elites, that generational crisis was the Cold War and the omnipresent threat of nuclear annihilation. The dualistic paradigm of the international system during the U.S.-Soviet rivalry bred an entire generation to see the world through a black-and-white binary. It should come as no surprise that this era elevated the idealist strain of thought and the crusading, neo-Jacobin impulse of U.S. foreign policy (personified by Thomas Jefferson and Woodrow Wilson) to new, ever-expanding heights. Idealism prizes a nemesis and thus revels in a bipolar order.

Frozen in this Cold War mindset, the Atlanticist blob has internalized the bipolar moment that followed the Second World War, treating it as a permanent fixture and the normal state of the international system. In fact, the bipolar and unipolar periods we have undergone over the past 75 years are nothing but aberrations and historical anomalies. In truth, the reality of the international system tends toward multi-polarity -- and at long last it appears that the system is self-correcting. The North Atlantic establishment came of age during that time of exception, forming its (liberal) identity through the process of "alterity" and in a nemetic opposition to communism.

Not surprisingly then, the North Atlantic elites continue to seek adversaries to demonize and "monsters to destroy" in order to justify their moral universalism and presumed ideological superiority, doing so under the garb of a totalizing and absolutist idea of exceptionalism. After all, a nemetic zeitgeist during which ideology reigned supreme and realism was routinely discounted was tailor-made for dogmatic absolutism and moral universalism. In such a zero-sum strategic environment, it was only natural to demand totality and frame the ongoing geopolitical struggle in terms of an existential opposition over Good and Evil that would quite literally split the world in two.

Today, that same kind of Manichean thinking continues to handicap paradigmatic change in foreign policy. A false consciousness, it underpins and promotes belief in the double myths of indispensability and absolute exceptionality, suggesting that the North Atlantic bloc holds a certain monopoly on all that is good and true. It is not by chance that such pathological renderings of "exceptionalism" and "leadership" have been wielded as convenient rationale and intellectual placeholders for the ideology of empire across the North Atlantic. This sense of ingrained moral self-righteousness, coupled with an attitude that celebrates activism, utopianism, and interventionism in foreign policy, has created and reinforced a culture of strategic overextension and imperial overreach.

It is this very culture -- personified and dominated by the Baby Boomers and the blob they birthed -- that has made hawkishness ubiquitous, avoids any real reckoning as to the limits of power, and habitually belittles calls for restraint and moderation as isolationism. In truth, however, what has been the exceptional part in the delusion of absolute exceptionalism is Pax Americana, liberal hegemony, and the hubris that animates them having gone uncontested and unchecked for so long. That confrontation could begin in earnest by directly challenging the Boomer blob itself -- and by propagating a counter-elite offering a starkly different worldview.

Achieving such a genuine paradigm shift demands a generational sea-change, to retire the old blob and make a better one in its place. It is about time for the old establishment to forgo its reign, allowing a new younger cohort from among the Millennial and post-Millennial generations to advance into leadership roles. The Millennials, especially, are now the largest generation of eligible voters (overtaking the Baby Boomers) as well as the first generation not habituated by the Cold War; in fact, many of them grew up during the "unipolar moment" of American hegemony. Hence, their generational identity is not built around a dualistic alterity. Free from obsessive fixation on ideological supremacy, most among them reject total global dominance as both unattainable and undesirable.

Instead, their worldview is shaped by an entirely different set of experiences and disappointments. Their generational crisis was brought on by a series of catastrophic interventions and endless wars around the world -- chief among them the debacles in Afghanistan and Iraq and the toppling of Libya's Gaddafi -- punctuated by repeated onslaughts of financial recessions and domestic strife. The atmosphere of uncertainty, instability, and general chaos has bred discontent, turning many Millennials into pragmatic realists who are disenchanted with the system, critical of the pontificating establishment, and naturally skeptical of lofty ideals and utopian doctrines.

In short, this is not an absolutist and complacent generation of idealists, but one steeped in realism and a certain perspectivism that has internalized the inherent relativity of both power and truth. Most witnessed the dangers of overreach, hubris, and a moralized foreign policy, so they are actively self-reflective, circumspect, and restrained. As a generation, they appear to be less the moralist and the global activist and more prudent, level-headed, and temperamentally conservative -- developing a keen appreciation for realpolitik, sovereignty, and national interest. Their preference for a non-ideological approach in foreign policy suggests that once in power, they will be less antagonistic and more tolerant of rival powers and accepting of pluralism in the international system. That openness to civilizational distinction and global cultural pluralism also implies that future Millennial statesmen will subscribe to a more humble, less grandiose, and narrower definition of interest that focuses on securing core objectives -- i.e., preserving national security and recognizing spheres of influence.

Reforming and rehabilitating the U.S. foreign policy establishment will require more than policy prescriptions and comprehensive reports: it needs generational change. To transform and finally "rein in" North Atlantic foreign policy, our task today must be to facilitate and expedite this shift. Once that occurs, the incoming Millennials should be better positioned to discard the deep-seated and routinized ideology of empire, supplanting it with a greater emphasis on partnership that is driven by mutual interests and a general commitment to sharing the globe with the world's other great cultures.

This new approach calls for America to lead by the power of its example, exhibiting the benefits of liberty and a constitutional republic at home, without forcibly imposing those values abroad. Such an outlook means abandoning the coercive regime change agendas and the corrosive projects of nation-building and democracy promotion. In this new multipolar world, America would be an able, dynamic, and equal participant in ensuring sustainable peace side-by-side the world's other great powers, acting as "a normal country in a normal time." Reflecting the spirit of republican governance authentically is far more pertinent now and salutary for the future of the North Atlantic peoples than is promulgating the utopian image of a shining city on a hill.

Arta Moeini is research director at the Institute for Peace and Diplomacy and a postdoc fellow at the Center for the Study of Statesmanship. Dr. Moeini's latest project advances a theory of cultural realism as a cornerstone to a new understanding of foreign policy.

The Institute for Peace and Diplomacy will be co-sponsoring "The Future of Grand Strategy in the Post-COVID World," with TAC, tonight at 6 p.m. ET. Register for free here .

[Sep 17, 2020] Military desperados and Mattis "military messiah syndrome" by Scott Ritter

Highly recommended!
I always assumed that Trump was the candidate of MIC in 2016 elections, while Hillary was the candidate of "Intelligence community." But it looks like US military is infected with desperados like Mattis and Trump was unable fully please them despite all his efforts.
But it looks like US military is infected with desperados like Mattis and Trump was unable fully please them despite all his efforts. Military desperados are not interested in how many American they deprived of decent standard of living due to outside military expenses. All they want is to dominate the word and maintain the "Full Spectrum Dominance" whatever it costs.
Sep 16, 2020 | www.rt.com

... ... ...

It is Trump's tortured relationship with the military that stands out the most, especially as told through the eyes of former Secretary of Defense Jim 'Mad Dog' Mattis, a retired marine general. It is clear that Bob Woodward spent hours speaking with Mattis -- the insights, emotions and internal voice captured in the book show a level of intimacy that could only be reached through in-depth interviews, and Woodward has a well-earned reputation for getting people to speak to him.

The book makes it clear that Mattis viewed Trump as a threat to the US' standing as the defender of a rules-based order -- built on the back of decades-old alliances -- that had been in place since the end of the Second World War.

It also makes it clear that Mattis and the military officers he oversaw placed defending this order above implementing the will of the American people, as expressed through the free and fair election that elevated Donald Trump to the position of commander-in-chief. In short, Mattis and his coterie of generals knew best, and when the president dared issue an order or instruction that conflicted with their vision of how the world should work, they would do their best to undermine this order, all the while confirming to the president that it was being followed.

This trend was on display in Woodward's telling of Trump's efforts to forge better relations with North Korea. At every turn, Mattis and his military commanders sought to isolate the president from the reality on the ground, briefing him only on what they thought he needed to know, and keeping him in the dark about what was really going on.

In a telling passage, Woodward takes us into the mind of Jim Mattis as he contemplates the horrors of a nuclear war with North Korea, and the responsibility he believed he shouldered when it came to making the hard decision as to whether nuclear weapons should be used or not. Constitutionally, the decision was the president's alone to make, something Mattis begrudgingly acknowledges. But in Mattis' world, he, as secretary of defense, would be the one who influenced that decision.

Mattis, along with the other general officers described by Woodward, is clearly gripped with what can only be described as the 'Military Messiah Syndrome'.

What defines this 'syndrome' is perhaps best captured in the words of Emma Sky, the female peace activist-turned adviser to General Ray Odierno, the one-time commander of US forces in Iraq. In a frank give-and-take captured by Ms. Sky in her book 'The Unravelling', Odierno spoke of the value he placed on the military's willingness to defend "freedom" anywhere in the world. " There is, " he said, " no one who understands more the importance of liberty and freedom in all its forms than those who travel the world to defend it ."

Ms. Sky responded in typically direct fashion: " One day, I will have you admit that the [Iraq] war was a bad idea, that the administration was led by a radical neocon program, that the US's standing in the world has gone down greatly, and that we are far less safe than we were before 9/11. "

Odierno would have nothing of it. " It will never happen while I'm the commander of soldiers in Iraq ."

" To lead soldiers in battle ," Ms. Sky noted, " a commander had to believe in the cause. " Left unsaid was the obvious: even if the cause was morally and intellectually unsound.

his, more than anything, is the most dangerous thing about the 'Military Messiah Syndrome' as captured by Bob Woodward -- the fact that the military is trapped in an inherited reality divorced from the present, driven by precepts which have nothing to with what is, but rather by what the military commanders believe should be. The unyielding notion that the US military is a force for good becomes little more than meaningless drivel when juxtaposed with the reality that the mission being executed is inherently wrong.

The 'Military Messiah Syndrome' lends itself to dishonesty and, worse, to self-delusion. It is one thing to lie; it is another altogether to believe the lie as truth.

No single general had the courage to tell Trump allegations against Syria were a hoax

The cruise missile attack on Syria in early April 2017 stands out as a case in point. The attack was ordered in response to allegations that Syria had dropped a bomb containing the sarin nerve agent on a town -- Khan Shaykhun -- that was controlled by Al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic militants.

Trump was led to believe that the 59 cruise missiles launched against Shayrat Airbase -- where the Su-22 aircraft alleged to have dropped the bombs were based -- destroyed Syria's capability to carry out a similar attack in the future. When shown post-strike imagery in which the runways were clearly untouched, Trump was outraged, lashing out at Secretary of Defense Mattis in a conference call. " I can't believe you didn't destroy the runway !", Woodward reports the president shouting.

" Mr. President ," Mattis responds in the text, " they would rebuild the runway in 24 hours, and it would have little effect on their ability to deploy weapons. We destroyed the capability to deploy weapons " for months, Mattis said.

" That was the mission the president had approved, " Woodward writes, clearly channeling Mattis, " and they had succeeded ."

The problem with this passage is that it is a lie. There is no doubt that Bob Woodward has the audio tape of Jim Mattis saying these things. But none of it is true. Mattis knew it when he spoke to Woodward, and Woodward knew it when he wrote the book.

There was no confirmed use of chemical weapons by Syria at Khan Shaykhun. Indeed, the forensic evidence available about the attack points to the incident being a false flag effort -- a successful one, it turns out -- on the part of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamists to provoke a US military strike against Syria. No targets related to either the production, storage or handling of chemical weapons were hit by the US cruise missiles, if for no other reason than no such targets could exist if Syria did not possess and/or use a chemical weapon against Khan Shaykhun.

Moreover, the US failed to produce a narrative of causality which provided some underlying logic to the targets that were struck at Khan Shaykhun -- "Here is where the chemical weapons were stored, here is where the chemical weapons were filled, here is where the chemical weapons were loaded onto the aircraft." Instead, 59 cruise missiles struck empty aircraft hangars, destroying derelict aircraft, and killing at least four Syrian soldiers and up to nine civilians.

The next morning, the same Su-22 aircraft that were alleged to have bombed Khan Shaykhun were once again taking off from Shayrat Air Base -- less than 24 hours after the US cruise missiles struck that facility. President Trump had every reason to be outraged by the results.

But the President should have been outraged by the processes behind the attack, where military commanders, fully afflicted by 'Military Messiah Syndrome', offered up solutions that solved nothing for problems that did not exist. Not a single general (or admiral) had the courage to tell the president that the allegations against Syria were a hoax, and that a military response was not only not needed, but would be singularly counterproductive.

But that's not how generals and admirals -- or colonels and lieutenant colonels -- are wired. That kind of introspective honesty cannot happen while they are in command.

Bob Woodward knows this truth, but he chose not to give it a voice in his book, because to do so would disrupt the pre-scripted narrative that he had constructed, around which he bent and twisted the words of those he interviewed -- including the president and Jim Mattis. As such, 'Rage' is, in effect, a lie built on a lie. It is one thing for politicians and those in power to manipulate the truth to their advantage. It's something altogether different for journalists to report something as true that they know to be a lie.

On the back cover of 'Rage', the Pulitzer prize-winning historian Robert Caro is quoted from a speech he gave about Bob Woodward. " Bob Woodward ," Caro notes, " a great reporter. What is a great reporter? Someone who never stops trying to get as close to the truth as possible ."

After reading 'Rage', one cannot help but conclude the opposite -- that Bob Woodward has written a volume which pointedly ignores the truth. Instead, he gives voice to a lie of his own construct, predicated on the flawed accounts of sources inflicted with 'Military Messiah Syndrome', whose words embrace a fantasy world populated by military members fulfilling missions far removed from the common good of their fellow citizens -- and often at conflict with the stated intent and instruction of the civilian leadership they ostensibly serve. In doing so, Woodward is as complicit as the generals and former generals he quotes in misleading the American public about issues of fundamental importance.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Scott Ritter

is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer and author of ' SCORPION KING : America's Suicidal Embrace of Nuclear Weapons from FDR to Trump.' He served in the Soviet Union as an inspector implementing the INF Treaty, in General Schwarzkopf’s staff during the Gulf War, and from 1991-1998 as a UN weapons inspector. Follow him on Twitter @RealScottRitter

See also:

Whose side are generals on? As Joint Chiefs chairman APOLOGIZES for standing by Trump, Biden confident of military support The military is trapped in an inherited reality divorced from the present

Caitlin Johnstone: Tens of millions of people displaced by the 'War On Terror', the greatest scam ever invented Misleading the American public


Jewel Gyn 21 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 12:23 AM

Whichever construct you want to believe, the fact remains that US has continued to sow instability around the world in the name of defending the liberty and freedom. Which brings to the question how the world can continue to allow a superpower to dictate what's good or bad for a sovereign country.
Johan le Roux Jewel Gyn 18 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 03:42 AM
The answer you seek is not in the US's proclaimed vision of 'democracy' ot 'rescuing populations from the clutches of vile dictators.' They just say that to validate their actions which in reality is using their military as a mercenary force to secure and steal the resources of countries.
Joaquin Montano 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 04:57 PM
Bob Woodward was enshrined as a great, heroic like journalist by the Hollywood propaganda machine, but reality is he is a US Security agent pretending to be a well informed/connected journalist. And indeed, he is well informed/connected, since he was a Naval intelligence man, part responsible of the demise of the Nixon administration when it fell out of grace with the powerful elites, and the Washington Post being well connected with the CIA, the rest is history. And as they say, once a CIA man, always a CIA man.
DukeLeo Joaquin Montano 22 hours ago 16 Sep, 2020 11:36 PM
That is correct. Woodward is a Naval intelligence man. The elite in the US was not happy about Nixon's foreign policy and his detante with the Soviet Union. Watergate was invented, and Nixon had nothing to do with it. However, it brought him down, thank's to Woodward.
NoJustice Joaquin Montano 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:48 PM
But he also exposed Trump's lies about Covid-19.
lectrodectus 17 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 04:45 AM
Another first class article by ....Scott .. The book makes it clear that Mattis viewed Trump as a threat to the Us' standing as the defender of a " rules -based order -built on the back of decades -old alliances-that had been in place since the end of the second World War". It also makes it clear that " Mattis and the Military officials he oversaw placed defending this order above the implementing the will of the American People " These old Military Dinosaurs simply can't let go of the past, unfortunately for the American people / the World I can't see anything ever changing, it will be business as usual ie, war after War after War.
Jonny247364 lectrodectus 5 minutes ago 17 Sep, 2020 09:53 PM
Just because donny signs a dictact it does not equate to the will of the americian people. The americian people did not ask donny to murder Assad.
neeon9 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:56 PM
"a threat to the US’ standing as the defender of a rules-based order –" Who made that a thing? who voted for the US to be the policeman of the planet? and who said their "rules" are right? I sure didn't, nor did anyone I know, even my american friends don't know whose idea it was!
fezzie035fezzm 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:29 PM
It's interesting to note that every president since J.F.K. has got America into a military conflict, or has turned a minor conflict into a major one. Trump is the exception. Trump inherited conflicts (Afghanistan, Syria etc) but has not started a new one, and he has spent his three years ending or winding down the conflicts he had inherited.
NoJustice fezzie035fezzm 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:34 PM
Trump increased military deployment to the Middle East. He increased military spending. He had a foreign general assassinated. He had missiles fired into Syria. He vetoed a bill that would limit his authority to wage war. Trump is not an exception.
T. Agee Kaye 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 05:59 PM
Good op ed. 'Rage is built on a lie' applies to many things.
E_Kaos T. Agee Kaye 7 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 02:46 PM
True, the beginning of a new narrative and the continuation of an old narrative.
PYCb988 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 07:25 PM
Something's amiss here. Mattis was openly telling the press that there was no evidence against Assad. Just Google: Mattis Newsweek Assad.
erniedouglas 12 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 09:14 AM
What was Watergate? Even bet says there were tapes of a private relationship between Nixon and BB Rebozo.
allan Kaplan 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:03 PM
Continuation of a highly organized and tightly controlled disinformation campaign to do one singularly the most significant and historically one of the most illegal act of American betrayal... overthrow American elections at any and all costs to install one of the most deranged, demoralized sold out brain dead Biden and his equally brown nosing Harris only to unseat a legally and democratically elected US president according to our Constitution! Will their evil acts against America work? I doubt it! But at a price that America has never before seen. Let's sit back and watch this Rose Bowl parade of America's dirtiest of the dirty politics!
E_Kaos allan Kaplan 7 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 02:49 PM
"brown nosing harris", how apropos with the play on words.
Bill Spence allan Kaplan 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:29 PM
Both parties and their politicians are totally corrupt. Why would anyone support one side over the other? Is that because you believe the promises and lies?
custos125 17 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 04:35 AM
Is there any evidence that both Mattis and Woodward knew that the allegations of a Syrian use of chemical weapons by plane were not true, a false flag? On the assumption of this use, the capacity to fly such attack and deploy such weapons was destroyed for some time. I recommend reading of Rage, it is quite interesting, even if some people will not like it and try to keep people away from the book.
E_Kaos custos125 7 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 02:58 PM
My observations were: 1 - where were the bomb fragments 2 - why use rusted gas cylinders 3 - how do you attach a rusted gas cylinder to a plane 4 - were the rusted gas cylinders tossed out of a plane 5 - how did the rusted gas cylinders land so close to each other My conclusion - False Flag Incident
neeon9 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:58 PM
The is only one threat to peace in the world, and it's the US/Israeli M.I.C.. War mongering children, who actually believe, against all reason, that they are the most worthy and entitled race on earth! they are not. The US has been responsible for more misery in the world than any other state, which isn't surprising given how many Nazi's were resettled there by the Jews. They are also the only Ppl on the planet who think a nuclear war is winnable! How strange is that!
NoJustice 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:22 PM
So everything is a lie because Woodward didn't mention that there was no evidence found that linked the Syrian government to the chemical attack?
Strongbo50 6 minutes ago 17 Sep, 2020 09:58 PM
The left is firing up the Russian Interference narrative again, how Russia is trying to take the election. The real truth is in plain sight, The main stream media is trying to deliver Biden a win, along with google yahoo msn facebook and twitter. I say, come on Russia, if you can help stem that tide of lies please Mr Putin help. That's a joke but the media is real. And Woodward in his old age wants one more trophy on his mantle.
CuttySark 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 05:41 PM
Trump has become the great white whale. Seems like there are Ahab's everywhere willing to shoot their hearts upon the beast to bring it down whatever the cost. I think it was this kind of rage and attitude that got Adolf off to a good start.
NoJustice CuttySark 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 05:44 PM
He's an easy target because he keeps screwing up.
Gryphon_ 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:59 PM
The Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon. Never in my life have I seen a newspaper that lies as much as the post. Bob Woodward works for the post.

[Sep 16, 2020] Fake News About Iran, Russia, China Is U.S. Journalism's Daily Bread

Notable quotes:
"... But CNN has and will continue to repeat the allegations as fact, so it's mission accomplished for the deep state. As another poster said on this board about manufacturing consent: "It is important to discuss the story, not its credibility, the more the discussion, the more the reaction and the more it reinforces the narrative." ..."
"... In the 1920s (or 30s), far-rightist Karl Popper coined the concept of systematic manipulation of "public opinion". This would become a hallmark of Western Civilization in the post-war. The public opinion theory states that the masses don't have an opinion for themselves or, if they have, it is sculpting/flexible. The dominant classes can, therefore, guide the masses like a shepherd, to its will. ..."
"... It is an insult to the noble profession, to call what the mainstream media in the west, especially in the USA do, journalism. In my opinion what they do is propaganda and stenography on behalf of those who are in power. I am not sure who coined the term but "presstitution" is not a bad attempt at describing their profession. ..."
"... While the western corporate media lie on a continuous basis - and that has the predictable effect - what is more insidious is not these acts of commissions ( meaning lies), but their acts of omission (meaning excluding or deemphasizing important contextual information) leading people to make the wrong conclusions. NPR in the US is an excellent example of such presstitution. ..."
"... Why are the US promoting conflict with China, with Russia? Why are they beating Europe, maybe with the intention to destroy it? Why is a new civil war in the US promoted? ..."
"... Normal (geopolitically interested) people would think: against China it is better to come together and unite, at least US & Europe, but eventually Russia included. For instance take the population of these three together: far less than China's. ..."
"... Journalism in the US is so superficial, it is a drop above the uppermost wavy comb. Not worth to pay attention to it. ..."
"... Other than few independent blog site such as this, every media outlet is in the service of its home government or foreign sponsors. Only born-suckers take the corporate media at face value. Modern journalism is nothing but an aggressive propaganda racket. ..."
"... Using lies (bearing false witness) to cause murder and theft are not exactly a new phenomenon. These 'groups of individuals', which are employing these fabricated deceptions, are doing nothing less than trying to commit murder and theft. ..."
"... Everything that was accomplished (albeit incompletely or moderately) through the New Deal and then the abortive Great Society absolutely spooked the oligarchy. Lifting much of the working class out of absolute wage slavery to the point where the next rung on Maslow's ladder was at least visible. And when it all culminated in the late 60's and early 70's with the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, the Surface Mining act, and various labor protection measures, the wealthy owner class decided the proles had gained too much power to influence "their" captive government. ..."
"... What differs, however, is the presentation. Trump is criticized (not praised) for being allegedly soft on Russia and Biden criticized for being allegedly soft on China. This clever trick ensures that just about everybody is onboard the bash-China-and-Russia train. ..."
"... In a violently polarized society, with red-blue antagonism reaching ridiculous heights, people tend to act exclusively in contradiction to the cult figure they hate so much. ..."
"... I've been saying for years here to watch the documentary - Century of the Self. If you want to learn about and understand America, its all here. Government, Corporations, Consumerism, Militarism, Deep State, Psychology, Individual selfishness and mental illness. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJ3RzGoQC4s ..."
Sep 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Every few days U.S. 'intelligence' and 'officials' produce fake claims about this or that 'hostile' country. U.S. media continue to reproduce those claims even if they bare any logic and do not make any sense.

On June 27 the New York Times and the Washington Post published fake news about alleged Russian payments to the Taliban for killing U.S. troops.

The stories ran on the outlets' front pages.

Two week later the story was shown to have no basis :

[T]hat the story was obviously bullshit did not prevent Democrats in Congress, including 'Russiagate' swindler Adam Schiff, to bluster about it and to call for immediate briefings and new sanctions on Russia .

Just a day after it was published the main accusation, that Trump was briefed on the 'intelligence' died. The Director of National Intelligence, the National Security Advisor and the CIA publicly rejected the claim. Then the rest of the story started to crumble. On June 2, just one week after it was launched, the story was declared dead .
...
The NYT buried the above quoted dead corpse of the original story page A-19.

Despite that the Democrats continued to use the fake story for attacks on Donald Trump.

Yesterday the commander of the U.S. forces in the Middle East drove a stake though the heart of the dead corpse of the original story:

Two months after top Pentagon officials vowed to get to the bottom of whether the Russian government bribed the Taliban to kill American service members , the commander of troops in the region says a detailed review of all available intelligence has not been able to corroborate the existence of such a program.

"It just has not been proved to a level of certainty that satisfies me," Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of the U.S. Central Command, told NBC News. McKenzie oversees U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

But as one fake news zombie finally dies others get resurrected. Politico's 'intelligence' stenographer Natasha Bertrand produced this nonsensical claim :

The Iranian government is weighing an assassination attempt against the American ambassador to South Africa, U.S. intelligence reports say, according to a U.S. government official familiar with the issue and another official who has seen the intelligence.

News of the plot comes as Iran continues to seek ways to retaliate for President Donald Trump's decision to kill a powerful Iranian general earlier this year, the officials said. If carried out, it could dramatically ratchet up already serious tensions between the U.S. and Iran and create enormous pressure on Trump to strike back -- possibly in the middle of a tense election season.

U.S. officials have been aware of a general threat against the ambassador, Lana Marks, since the spring, the officials said. But the intelligence about the threat to the ambassador has become more specific in recent weeks. The Iranian Embassy in Pretoria is involved in the plot, the U.S. government official said.

Ambassador Lana Marks is known for selling overpriced handbags and for her donations to Trump's campaign. To Iran she has zero political or symbolic value. There is no way Iran would ever think about an attack on such a target. Accordingly the South African intelligence services do not believe that there is such a threat:

South African Minister of State Security Ayanda Dlodlo said the matter was "receiving the necessary attention" and that the State Security Agency (SSA) was "interacting with all relevant partners both in the country and abroad, to ensure that no harm will be suffered by the US Ambassador, including any other Diplomatic Officials inside the borders of our country."

However, an informed intelligence source told Daily Maverick that although the "matter has been taken seriously as we approach all such threats, specifically, there appears to be, from our perspective, no discernible threat. Least of all from the source that it purports to emanate from.

There was "no evidence or indicator", the source said, so the plot was "not likely to be real". The "associations made are not sustainable on any level but all precautions will be put in place".

The source suggested this was an instance of the "tail wagging the dog", of the Trump administration wielding a "weapon of mass distraction" to divert attention from its failures in the election campaign running up to President Donald Trump's re-election bid on November 3.

The spokesperson for the Iranian ministry of foreign affairs, Saeed Khatibzadeh, strongly denied the allegation in the Politico report which he called "hackneyed and worn-out anti-Iran propaganda".

In January the U.S. assassinated the Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad. Soleimani led the external campaigns of the Iranian Quds Forces. He was the one who orchestrated the campaign that defeated the Islamic State. His mythic-symbolic position for Iran and the resistance in the Middle East is beyond that of any U.S. figure.

There is simply no one in the U.S. military or political hierarchy who could be seen as his equal. Iran has therefore announced that it will take other ways to revenge the assassination of Soleimani.

As an immediate response to the assassination of Soleimani Iran had launched a precise missile attack against two U.S. bases in Iraq. It has also announced that it will make sure that the U.S. military will have to leave the Middle East. That program is in full swing now as U.S. bases in Iraq are again coming under daily missile attacks :

More than eight months after a barrage of rockets killed an American contractor and wounded four American service members in Kirkuk, Iraq, militia groups continue to target U.S. military bases in that country, and the frequency of those attacks has increased.

"We have had more indirect fire attacks around and against our bases the first half of this year than we did the first half of last year," Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander of the U.S. Central Command, said. "Those attacks have been higher."
...
McKenzie's comments came just hours after he announced the United States would be cutting its footprint in Iraq by almost half by the end of September, with about 2,200 troops leaving the country .

Just hours agon two Katyusha rockets were fired against the U.S. embassy in Baghdad's Green Zone. Two British/U.S.convoys also came under attack . U.S. air defense took the missiles down but its anti-missile fire is only further disgruntling the Iraqi population.

These attacks are still limited and designed to not cause any significant casualties. But they will continue to increase over time until the last U.S. soldier is withdrawn from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and other Middle East countries. That, and only that, is the punishment Iran promised as revenge for Soleimani's death.

The alleged Iranian thread against the U.S. ambassador to South Africa is just another fake news propaganda story. It is useful only for lame blustering:

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump - 3:04 UTC · Sep 15, 2020

According to press reports, Iran may be planning an assassination, or other attack, against the United States in retaliation for the killing of terrorist leader Soleimani, which was carried out for his planning a future attack, murdering U.S. Troops, and the death & suffering...
...caused over so many years. Any attack by Iran, in any form, against the United States will be met with an attack on Iran that will be 1,000 times greater in magnitude!

The danger of such fake stories about Russia or Iran is that they might be used to justify a response in the case of a false flag attack on the alleged targets.

Should something inconvenient happen to Ambassador Lana Marks the Trump administration could use the fake story as an excuse to respond with a limited attack on Iran.

It is well known by now that U.S. President Donald Trump is lying about every time he opens his mouth. Why do U.S. journalists presume that the agencies and anonymous officials who work under him are more truthful in their utterings than the man himself is hard to understand. Why do they swallow their bullshit?

Posted by b on September 15, 2020 at 11:50 UTC | Permalink


jo6pac , Sep 15 2020 12:01 utc | 1

Amerikas propaganda machine never sleeps and sadly to many people believe the BS
Sunny Runny Burger , Sep 15 2020 12:27 utc | 2
US and European journalists are also lying constantly, that's why. Even when they make embarrassing attempts at "being unbiased" or "factual". Do they understand it? Many might not, but some do, perhaps fewer than anyone would think reasonable.

Btw a lot of these "journalists" in Europe in particular openly self-identify to "the left" or even as socialists and communists or "greens". So much for ideology as some kind of solution: entirely worthless and superficial.

Christian J. Chuba , Sep 15 2020 12:44 utc | 3
But CNN has and will continue to repeat the allegations as fact, so it's mission accomplished for the deep state. As another poster said on this board about manufacturing consent: "It is important to discuss the story, not its credibility, the more the discussion, the more the reaction and the more it reinforces the narrative."

Just for laughs, I looked at the reviews of Gordon Chang's book, 'The Coming Economic Collapse of China' to see if I could figure out the reasoning and one of the reviewers said that China weakens because they lack a free press to hold their govt accountable. I had a good laugh at that one.

vk , Sep 15 2020 12:54 utc | 4
There's an objective explanation for that.

In the 1920s (or 30s), far-rightist Karl Popper coined the concept of systematic manipulation of "public opinion". This would become a hallmark of Western Civilization in the post-war. The public opinion theory states that the masses don't have an opinion for themselves or, if they have, it is sculpting/flexible. The dominant classes can, therefore, guide the masses like a shepherd, to its will.

Friedrich von Hayek - a colleague of Popper and father of British neoliberalism (the man behind Thatcher) - then developed on the issue, by proposing the institutionalization of public opinion. He proposed a system of three or four tiers of intellectuals which a capitalist society should have. The first tier is the capitalist class itself, who would govern the entire world anonymously, through secret meetings. These meetings would produce secret reports, whose ideas would be spread to the second tier. The second tier is the academia and the more prominent politicians and other political leaderships. The third tier is the basic education teachers, who would indoctrinate the children. The fourth tier is the MSM, whose job is to transform the ideas and opinions of the first tier into "common sense" ("public opinion").

Therefore, it's not a case where the Western journalists are being fooled. Their job was never to inform the public. When they publish a lie about, say, Iran trying to kill an American ambassador in South Africa, they are not telling a lie in their eyes: they are telling an underlying truth through one thousand lies. The objective here is to convince ("teach") the American masses it is good for the USA if Iran was invaded and destroyed (which is a truth). They are like the modern Christian God, who teach its subjects the Truth through "mysterious ways".

Nathan Mulcahy , Sep 15 2020 12:56 utc | 5
It is an insult to the noble profession, to call what the mainstream media in the west, especially in the USA do, journalism. In my opinion what they do is propaganda and stenography on behalf of those who are in power. I am not sure who coined the term but "presstitution" is not a bad attempt at describing their profession.

Unfortunately they have been amazingly successful in brainwashing people. One current example, from numerous ones that could be cited, is the public's opinion on Julian Assange. .

While the western corporate media lie on a continuous basis - and that has the predictable effect - what is more insidious is not these acts of commissions ( meaning lies), but their acts of omission (meaning excluding or deemphasizing important contextual information) leading people to make the wrong conclusions. NPR in the US is an excellent example of such presstitution.

What I am saying is nothing new to the bar flies here. But I am extremely distressed when I see how poorly informed (propagandized, brainwashed) the vast majority of the people I know are. Let's say a decade ago, ideological polarization was the main reason why it was so difficult to have an open discussion on important issues the US. Today it has become even more difficult because, thanks to the success of the presstitutes, people also have different sets of "facts". And most alarmingly, after successfully creating a readership who believe in alternative "facts", the mainstream presstitutes are moving on to creating a logic-free narrative. Examples include Assad supposedly gassing his people when he was winning (even though that was guaranteed to produce western intervention against him). A more recent example is the Navalny affair. Sadly, very sadly, way too many people are affected.

Gerhard , Sep 15 2020 13:07 utc | 6
Hi, thanks, and sorry, but: why does nobody look behind the curtain?

Why are the US promoting conflict with China, with Russia? Why are they beating Europe, maybe with the intention to destroy it? Why is a new civil war in the US promoted?

Are these random developments of history? Are laws of history behind that?
NO!! Surely not!

Normal (geopolitically interested) people would think: against China it is better to come together and unite, at least US & Europe, but eventually Russia included. For instance take the population of these three together: far less than China's.

If something is going against the common sense, then there should be a reason behind. This reason I recommend You, with due respect, to find - and to uncover the plan.

Journalism in the US is so superficial, it is a drop above the uppermost wavy comb. Not worth to pay attention to it.

The actual demand is to understand and to show the forces playing deep underwater.
And to preview where these forces are determined to strike against.

Kind regards, Gerhard

DG , Sep 15 2020 13:30 utc | 7
They are all Judith Miller now.
morongobill , Sep 15 2020 13:39 utc | 8
Like the famed slogan of septic tank pumpers, the Gray Lady's masthead should read, "Your shit is our bread and butter!"
ptb , Sep 15 2020 13:53 utc | 9
Yep. We're into some pretty overt 1984 territory now... It's really a shame.
Richard Steven Hack , Sep 15 2020 14:37 utc | 10
Gareth Porter's latest on "Russian hacking"...

Dark Web Voter Database Report Casts New Doubts on Russian Election Hack Narrative

A new report showing that US state-level voter databases were publicly available calls into question the narrative that Russian intelligence "targeted" US state election-related websites in 2016.

The problem with these sorts of accusations about "state-sponsored" hacking is they assume that because a target has some connection to a state or some political activity that it means the hackers are "nation-state". In reality, personal identification information (PII) is a commodity on the black market, along with intellectual property - and *any* hacker will target *any* such source of PII. So the mere fact that it is an election year, and that voting organizations are loaded with PII, makes them an obvious target for any and every hacker.

"Oregon's chief information security officer, Lisa Vasa, told the Washington Post in September 2017 that her team blocks 'upwards of 14 million attempts to access our network every day."'

This is the usual ridiculous claim from almost every organization. They treat every Internet packet that hits their firewall as being an "attempt to access" the network (or worse, a "breach" - which it is not.) Which is technically true, but would only be relevant if they had *no* firewall - a setup which no organization runs these days. By definition, 99.99999% of those attempts are random mass scans of a block of IP addresses by either a hacker or some malware on someone else's machine - or even a computer security researcher attempting to find out how many sites are vulnerable.

Hoarsewhisperer , Sep 15 2020 14:52 utc | 11
"It just has not been proved to a level of certainty that satisfies me," Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of the U.S. Central Command, told NBC News. McKenzie oversees U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Barflies should write Gen Frank McKenzie inside the back cover of their diaries, and count the days until we hear of/from him again. I've a feeling he's crossed a line and knows precisely what he's doing and why. Imo, the Swamp has just been put on notice.

Sakineh Bagoom , Sep 15 2020 14:54 utc | 12
Posted by: vk | Sep 15 2020 12:54 utc | 4
In the 1920s (or 30s), far-rightist Karl Popper coined the concept of "public opinion".

vk, I can't find anything regarding this coinage. Could you please provide a link.
Wiki is specially devoid of it and it goes back to 16 century.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_opinion The term public opinion was derived from the French opinion publique which was first used in 1588 by Michel de Montaigne in the second edition of his Essays

juliania , Sep 15 2020 15:12 utc | 13
Thank you, b. In this world of illusion that mainstream press provides it is forgivable that we cannot even convince members of our own families that are dear to us of the underlying truths behind what these masters of deception continue to print. Surely they only do so because livelihoods are threatened, and the public perceptions are reaching a critical point where belief in what they write, read by the diminishing numbers of faithful few, reaches a pinnacle of perception and spills chaotically down into a watershed of realization.

I remember when we were told what happens on the top floor of the New York Times. It opened my eyes. And perhaps here also, b is providing a chink through which we may glimpse what is happening in military circles in fields of operation where facts collide with fiction:

"We have had more indirect fire attacks around and against our bases the first half of this year than we did the first half of last year," Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander of the U.S. Central Command, said. "Those attacks have been higher."
...
McKenzie's comments came just hours after he announced the United States would be cutting its footprint in Iraq by almost half by the end of September, with about 2,200 troops leaving the country.
vk , Sep 15 2020 15:13 utc | 14
@ Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Sep 15 2020 14:54 utc | 12

On Hayek's "tiering", google "IHS model" ("pyramid of social change") and his book "The Intellectuals and Socialism".

On Popper's conception of "public opinion", see "The Open Society and Its Enemies" (1945). Yes, the term itself is not Popper's invention - he never claimed to have done so. But he gave it a "twist", and we can say nowadays every Western journalist's conception of "public opinion" is essentially Popper's.

Kooshy , Sep 15 2020 15:36 utc | 18
Why do swallow their bullshit?

because on matters related to Iran, China and Russia, they are not independent, there is no real difference between the two camps in US, Biden' foreign policy which is endorsed and supported by NYT and WP is not that different than Trump's, if not more radical. There is no free press in US, as matter of fact, as long as this United Oligarchy of America exist there will be no free press.

Sakineh Bagoom , Sep 15 2020 15:50 utc | 20
OK, I admit it. I read this rag, just because Paul Pillar posts there. And yes, there is an "Iran derangement" syndrome in US, where people go to sleep and dream Iran. They wake up from wet dream of bloody Iranian babies, asking, have we sanctioned Iran today? https://responsiblestatecraft.org/2020/09/14/when-it-comes-to-iran-how-many-failures-is-enough-for-pompeo/
jayc , Sep 15 2020 16:01 utc | 22
As well, this fake news propaganda barrage continues in the context of determined censorship of alternative media and social media - a campaign which has been largely promoted by the liberal intelligentsia in the US, in the name of reducing "fake news." Having to live within an ever-widening swamp of utter BS is wearying and mind-numbing - also to the point, one may assume.
Kooshy , Sep 15 2020 16:19 utc | 23
Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Sep 15 2020 12:56 utc | 5

Yes, I agree, IMO/observation, the US Government, the political parties and their supportive media are rapidly ideologically polarizing their constituencies to two hard entrenched ideological camps (which as you say has become hard shelled impenetrable). Except on one common ideological point, which almost all the population has been and is being brain washed as young as first grade, this common used term, which shield you from needing to investigate or form any other opinion is: US has always been, is and will be a "force for good" by its constitution, no matter what she has done or will do. This sentence when fully believed and carved in one' mind from childhood is very difficult to erase and crack. These two ideologically opposing camps about 70% of the population will not want to hear any fact or not, other than what they are told and believed all their life.

Noirette , Sep 15 2020 16:59 utc | 31
Re. K. Popper and topic above:

"Unlike utopian engineering, piecemeal social engineering must be "small scale," Popper said, meaning that social reform should focus on changing one institution at a time. Also, whereas utopian engineering aims for lofty and abstract goals (for example, perfect justice, true equality, a higher kind of happiness), piecemeal social engineering seeks to address concrete social problems (for example, poverty, violence, unemployment, environmental degradation, income inequality). It does so through the creation of new social institutions or the redesign of existing ones. These new or reconfigured institutions are then tested through implementation and altered accordingly and continually in light of their effects. Institutions thus may undergo gradual improvement overtime and social ills gradually reduced. Popper compared piecemeal social engineering to physical engineering. Just as physical engineers refine machines through a series of small adjustments to existing models, social engineers gradually improve social institutions through "piecemeal tinkering." In this way, "[t]he piecemeal method permits repeated experiments and continuous readjustments" (Open Society Vol 1., 163).

Only such social experiments, Popper said, can yield reliable feedback for social planners. In contrast, as discussed above, social reform that is wide ranging, highly complex and involves multiple institutions will produce social experiments in which it is too difficult to untangle causes..."

from: https://iep.utm.edu/popp-pol/

So Top-Down with a vengeance, but softly, softly, hunting for 'good results', for what and how these are defined is left out entirely, and who exactly runs the process...? (Btw China sorta follows this approach with 'social experiments' gathering data that is analysed etc. to improve governance.)

Biswapriya Purkayast , Sep 15 2020 17:16 utc | 33
Don't forget that the only time the Amerikastani Empire's warmongering imperialist media called Trump "presidential" was when he launched missiles at Syria on false pretences in support of al Qaeda.
David G , Sep 15 2020 17:16 utc | 34
The statement by praetor McKenzie probably won't do much to remove the "Russian bounties" tale from the received Beltway belief structure, where it lodged immediately upon publication, any more than earlier refutations, or its inherent implausibility, did. I see the bounties regularly referred to by Dems and Dem-adjacent media as established fact.

In the same light, it's worthwhile to read the Politico article on the alleged Iranian designs on the purse princess and try to spot other fictions included as supposedly factual background, some qualified as being American assertions, but others presented as undisputed fact, such as:

This new one about the plot to get the ambassador in Pretoria may be too trivial to get sustained attention, but it will show up as background in some future Politico article or the like, joining the rest in the Beltway's version of reality, which at this point is made almost entirely of these falsehoods encrusting on each other, decade after decade, creating the phony geopolitical mindscape these people live in.

Mere factual refutation – even from otherwise establishment-approved sources – won't remove these barnacles. For instance, in February the NY Times itself published a debunking of the initial account that it was an Iran-backed Shia militia, as opposed to Salafist I.S.-affiliated forces, that killed that U.S. contractor last December. But the good (if delayed) reporting is forgotten; the lie persists. The same fate awaits McKenzie's dismissal of the Russian bounties nonsense.

conspiracy-theorist , Sep 15 2020 18:04 utc | 37
The thoughtful reader would at this point stop and ponder. "Fake News About Iran, Russia, China Is U.S. Journalism's Daily Bread". I agree with this statement. But not just U.S. Journalism. Minimally U.K. Journalism is on-board, if not tutoring the Yanks in the art of Journalism. And then there is Europe herself, she too has armies of Journalists and many Journals. They too mostly fake around in general.

Now then, that leave Journalism in "Iran, Russia, China". It is fine trait to root for underdogs but Journalism in these states is also subject to a highly controlled and managed environment. It is disingenuous to ignore these facts.

Given this congregation of "fakers", worldwide, it is very reasonable to question the very "fight" that these "fakers" keep telling us is on between the "adversaries".

vinnieoh , Sep 15 2020 18:24 utc | 40
Good to see so many being able to name the operation of the official narrative. It serves also another purpose, witnessed by one of the most consequential actions of all, the wanton abandonment of international law and accountability - the GWOT and the launching of same in Afghanistan and Iraq. That other purpose is to create cover for those, elected in our name, to avoid responsibility.

"Who knew?" asked the soulless Rumsfeld. And the refrain returned from the hollowed out halls of the Greatest Democracy On Earth (tm) - "We were misled!", "Look it says so right there in the official narrative, REMEMBER?" But the misleaders are never rounded up and never face any consequences, cause truth be told all that voted for the AUMF belong in the pokey. And the congressional class of '02-'03 would do the same thing all over again, 'cause the narrative's got their back.

karlof1 , Sep 15 2020 18:34 utc | 41
Despite the future grimness predicted by 1984 , the ability and effectiveness of Media Structures to openly lie and thus herd the public to embrace the preferred Narrative hasn't turned out quite the way Orwell thought it might. Former authoritarian blocs learned the hard way that it's better to tell their citizens the truth and actively engage them in governance, while the Anglo-Imperial powers have gone in the opposite direction, thus the question why? IMO, the longstanding Narrative related to the mythical Dream has greatly eroded in the face of Reality, while at the same time the Rentier Class and the Duopoly it controls needs to try and obfuscate what it's doing. And thus we've seen the rise of BigLie Media to be used for the purpose of Divide and Rule. There're numerous works detailing how and why; two of the more important are Manufacturing of Consent and J is for Junk Economics . Part of the overall process of dumbing-down populations is the deliberate destruction of the educational process, particularly in the areas of philosophy and political-economy/history, which are essentially connected as one when considering the History of Ideas or a sub-area like the Philosophy of Science.

Such a dumbing-down of a nation's populous can be measured, the USSR and its Warsaw Bloc being the most evident, but also The Inquisition and its affect on the advancement of science within the regions it ruled, and the inward turning of China during the Ming Dynasty which allowed for its subjugation by Western forces beginning in the 16th Century. Most recently, this is evident in China's passing the Outlaw US Empire in terms of geoeconomics and thus overall geopolitical power. An explanation for India's inability to match China's development can be found in its refusal to do away with its semi-feudal caste system and not educate its masses so they can become a similar collective dynamo as in China. At the beginning of his brief tenure, JFK noted the Knowledge Gap that existed between a USSR that was nearing its intellectual heights (although that wasn't known then) and the USA whose educational system effectively excluded @60% of students from having the opportunity to advance. There would never have been a Dot.Com economy without JFK's initiative to improve educational outcomes. There seems to be a notion within the Outlaw US Empire's elite that an well educated populace presents a danger to their rule and they can get by using AI and Robotics to further their future plans. Here I'd refer such thinkers to the lessons provided by the failure of Asimov's Galactic Empire in his Foundation series of books--particular their reliance on AI, robotics, dumbing-down the populace to the point where no one recalls how atomics functioned. The sort of balance sheet being constructed by the Fed cannot repair or replace crumbling infrastructure or train the engineers needed to perform the work.

So, what continual BigLie Media lies tell us is the continued downward spiral of the West's intellectual abilities will continue while an East that values the Truth and Discovery moves on to eclipse it, mainly because the West has stopped trying, thinking it's found a better way based on the continual amassing of Debt, which is seen as wealth on their balance sheets. Ultimately, the West thinks the one person holding all the assets as the winner of its Zero-sum Monopoly Game is a better outcome than having millions of people sharing the winnings of a Win-Win system that promotes the wellbeing of all. I can tell you now which philosophy will triumph, but you all ought to be capable of reasoning that outcome.

Steve , Sep 15 2020 18:59 utc | 43
After a sound and an in-depth analysis, b sometimes confounds me with his credulity. Take this sentence for example: "Why do U.S. journalist presume that the agencies and anonymous officials who work under him are more truthful in their uttering than the man himself is hard to understand. Why do swallow their bullshit?" Of course there is no daylight between the US, and indeed the whole Western governments, and its Press. Other than few independent blog site such as this, every media outlet is in the service of its home government or foreign sponsors. Only born-suckers take the corporate media at face value. Modern journalism is nothing but an aggressive propaganda racket.

Mark2 , Sep 15 2020 19:13 utc | 45

You only have to look at who owns the media and who their close friends are, to understand why the media says what it says or lies what it lies ! It's an industry promoting the elites self-interest, creating fictioous enemy countries to feed the arms industry and create US domestic mass paranoia. The Israeli lobby groups are at the wheel of the whole dam clown car.
chet380 , Sep 15 2020 19:45 utc | 46
Even more admiration for coining 'Vichy Press'.
uncle tungsten , Sep 15 2020 20:39 utc | 49
Biden is outed in his coup machinations by Fort Russ a tale told with a bit of media spin.
Josh , Sep 15 2020 20:40 utc | 50
Using lies (bearing false witness) to cause murder and theft are not exactly a new phenomenon. These 'groups of individuals', which are employing these fabricated deceptions, are doing nothing less than trying to commit murder and theft.
Josh , Sep 15 2020 20:41 utc | 51
These acts happen to constitute real crimes, or at least attempted criminal acts, in reality.
Yeah, Right , Sep 15 2020 22:07 utc | 53
No doubt the two propaganda streams will merge until we will be told that the CIA now believes that Iran will attempt plausible deniability by funnelling the money through Putin, who will offer it to the Taliban by way of a bounty on the Ambassador's head.

The CIA's wet dream: the Taliban does it, Putin arranged it, but it was all Iran's fault, leading to:
A) infinite occupation of the poppy fie.... sorry, Afghanistan
B) even more sanctions on Russia
C) war with Iran

What's not to like?

spindoctor , Sep 15 2020 23:18 utc | 56
Posted by: vk | Sep 15 2020 12:54 utc | 4
In the 1920s (or 30s), far-rightist Karl Popper coined the concept of "public opinion".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystallizing_Public_Opinion published 1923.

spindoctor , Sep 15 2020 23:25 utc | 57
Posted by: vk | Sep 15 2020 12:54 utc | 4

From the link just cited:

'"Public opinion", according to Bernays, is an amorphous group of judgments which are not well elaborated even in the head of a single average individual. He extracts a quotation from Wilfred Trotter, which states that this average man has many strong convictions whose origin he can't explain (Instincts of the Herd in Peace and War, p. 36). People's minds have "logic-proof compartments" which must be approached by means beyond the rational. (pp. 61–68).'

vk , Sep 16 2020 1:12 utc | 58
@ Posted by: spindoctor | Sep 15 2020 23:18 utc | 56

Yes, I forgot to mention this very important book. If I'm not mistaken (and I may be), Popper got the term from Bernays.

Popper, von Hayek... these guys are the fathers of neoliberalism. I'm not mentioning backyard intellectuals here. They shaped the West as we know it today and, if you're a Westerner and wants to understand the civilization you live in, you have to know what they formulated.

Just to clear that off: I don't agree with Popper's (or Bernays, for that matter) conception on "public opinion". The Marxist conception of ideology is much more complete and precise scientifically.

ptb , Sep 16 2020 1:35 utc | 59
@karlof1 41

Speaking of education (although of science/tach, rather than critical thinking)...

Add in the migration of top-level educated individuals. In the US, an underdeveloped primary/secondary school system creates room at the university/grad level to absorb talent from the rest of the world. For many years, this was a source of competitive advantage -- imported human capital is better than home grown, because if you import, you take it away from someone else. Clever!

It was not that big a deal for the US if social mobility of native born lower and middle classes was stifled somewhat. (and I would say it still would not be a big deal if the resources of the country were not so grossly mismanaged/wasted/stolen).

But in the current century, or certainly the decade now ending, China alone can fill every US grad school science/tech program and still have people to spare for itself. Other parts of the world are right up there as well.

And then you have computers. Sometime between 2000 and 2010, computers became pretty much cheap enough that you could give one to a every kid, even in families of limited means. Provided the primary/secondary education system is there to support it, a country could develop as much tech talent as they had population. The first generation of kids whose childhood took place under this condition is now coming out of university - I would think vastly greater in numbers than any amount the US (or Euro) higher educational system can absorb. Should be a pretty serious shifting of gears in how human capital is distributed worldwide.

But none of this is about critical thinking. Few systems of organizing society actually promote that ... it tends to happen in spite of the organizing principles, rather than because of them. Nor are the most educated (regardless of country of origin) any less susceptible to the propaganda - if anything they are more so, due to the design of the message, because it is more important that they receive it. You want a book recommendation that talks about that, check out 'Disciplined Minds' by Jeff Schmidt (though perhaps with an overly pessimistic outlook -- people can recognize the reality he describes and deal with it... it is only the more naive/idealistic types who fall extra hard for the mythology and then find themselves in a conflict they can't handle). There are lots of other avenues to take too... about the psychology of self-discovery, discovery of self-vs-social-organism etc....

uncle tungsten , Sep 16 2020 4:34 utc | 61
Conspiracy-theorist #37

Exactly that and yet we are constantly fed a diet from the bottom of the barrel. NYT? WAPO? They are rags. Gutter press peddling drivel. Surely there are more erudite and critical publications in this world than these USA drivel sheets. I am aware of good journalism in Switzerland and elsewhere but currently separted from a device adequate to translate and quote.

Thank you Conspiracy-theorist it I way past time we escaped the neverending story of BS + HATE.

Greg L , Sep 16 2020 6:12 utc | 62
And this tidbit? Deep state is as deep state does... Trump Claims He Wanted To Assassinate Syrian President Assad, But Mattis Opposed It
vato , Sep 16 2020 7:49 utc | 63
A propos fake news, John Helmer reports on the Navalny saga and was lately on the Gorilla radio podcast with Chris Cook to discuss the newest events. It's a one-hour-talk but very enjoyable listening to Helmer. You can also follow his reports on his blog Dances With Bears .
vinnieoh , Sep 16 2020 12:55 utc | 64
karlof1 | Sep 15 2020 18:34 utc | 41

Try this on for size. This is a conclusion I arrived at several decades ago, wrote about several times, but not recently.

Everything that was accomplished (albeit incompletely or moderately) through the New Deal and then the abortive Great Society absolutely spooked the oligarchy. Lifting much of the working class out of absolute wage slavery to the point where the next rung on Maslow's ladder was at least visible. And when it all culminated in the late 60's and early 70's with the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, the Surface Mining act, and various labor protection measures, the wealthy owner class decided the proles had gained too much power to influence "their" captive government.

The princes and barons of industry and finance were very open about their complaints. The advance of regulation on their ability to pollute and to exploit must stop or they would take their bundles of riches and go elsewhere. It is what Saint Ronny was ALL about. And so all that got fat and filthy rich during the real American Century took their wealth where regulation and labor fairness and justice didn't exist to continue their exorbitant profit taking.

And then they imported those cheap products here to wreak what was left of our industrial base and to impress on all of us that they remain the boss, the real power. Drive down wages, destroy pensions and safety nets and put US proles back into wage slavery. Remember the 80's and 90's when Wal-Mart basically told established and storied US manufacturers "either you produce the goods we want for what our Asian suppliers can make them for, or you're finished." And that is exactly what happened. Wal-Mart was just the vanguard, it is now ubiquitous. Another aspect of this assault was forcing us proles into the stock market through our pensions and retirement funds so as to make us all sympathetic to de-regulation - so as not to hurt OUR bottom line. Many labor unions became just a sick symbiosis with the industries they "served."

Incomplete and observational, I am not erudite or lettered, but I think it is an accurate narrative.

Edward , Sep 16 2020 13:05 utc | 65
There is a curious schizophrenia where the U.S. press will treat presidential claims about foreign affairs as a sacred truth but treat claims denying adultery, such as in the Lewinski affair, as dismissible.
Geoff , Sep 16 2020 13:20 utc | 66
Living in the USA (Steve Miller classic) has always seemed to me about dealing with falsehood and deception. US highschool seemed like he time for me when the formidable pressure to conform became completely nonsensical, perhaps because it was so utterly cruel, but also because it seemed untruthful. You basically were required to accept modes if behavior and thought that seemed alien to human behavior, but were presented as the sine quo non of how to be. How to succeed, how to live. It seems to me that if you were attempting to retain truthfulness, this conformity was rife with logical fallacies of every sort which if you tried to deal with them, or confront them, you were ostracized or at worst outcast.

In the many years since, it seems like everything else, once a person adopts untruthful behavior, it is next to impossible to change course, so you deal with all kinds of people who have doubled down on their personal deceptions. Marriages based on financial success come to mind, and are like any deception, the cause of incredible dis ease and misey.

There is a philosophical concept I came upon called parrhesia that Foucault gives a fantastic series of lectures on which can be found by searching the web, that investigates the perils implicit in telling truth to falsehood, and the many disasters and tragedies that have befallen human kind in the attempts to do so.

I've come to think that humans by nature are basically incapable of avoiding whatever it is that is "truth." Because over and over life seems to present situations that are the unswervingly the same to everyone. Youth and aging, for example, and the end result never varies, like illness, death, and dying. And everyone has their own similar story navigating the human predicaments and facing an inalterable "truth," which might be in this example, death.

My wonder as I observe life as I age, is what is the damage done to those not only who try their honest best to remain truthful, but what is the damage done to those who cannot escape an adopted untruth and refuse to let go of it. I suppose in this moment of history, you need only look at pandemic, wildfires, and conflicts to see how far human beings have digressed from an Eden. But there must be a purpose to it all? Like, trying to cling to any kind of integrity.

Old and Grumpy , Sep 16 2020 13:31 utc | 67
You think international fake news is just a Trump thing? Just off the top of my head we have thins like Tonkin Bay, Kuwait babies being massacred by Iraqi troops, my personal favorite Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, and a multiple of mean Assads killing their people with poison. That is just a bipartisan few. We have one political party, who serves the deep state. The deep state serves the interests of Wall Street and more importantly the Rothschild world banking system. Give the spooks a lot of credit they let us have two "choices" while controlling both. Think of it as a neo fascism kinda thing that ironically finances the anti fascists. The press is just a means to an end. Assume everything is an agenda, and read the independents for some actual thought. I may not agree with you all the time, but I do love you MoA. Thank you for all your work.
ptb , Sep 16 2020 14:02 utc | 68
@64 vinnieoh

'spooked oligarchy...reforms..culminated in ..70s'

Yep. When committed Dem's go off on Trump, it's deeply felt but kindof a ritual rant. Bring Ralph Nader into the conversation, just mention him in passing, and the response becomes live! Betrayal, danger of being shown up again!

William Gruff , Sep 16 2020 14:12 utc | 69
Old and Grumpy @67 has a good point. Anyone suggesting that fake news is in any way related to Trump being President are big parts of the problem for why fake news persists in the first place. Suggesting that it is because of Trump, and thus implying that the fake news will go away when Trump does, is either profoundly ignorant, or profoundly deceitful, though probably both. Trump ranting about fake news exposed the problem and forced it into the public discourse. Those rants did not create the problem.
ptb , Sep 16 2020 14:36 utc | 70
Re: @Geoff 66

"You basically were required to accept modes if behavior and thought that seemed alien to human behavior ... ... forced to double down"

I had short but deeply influential conversation right out of college with a recruiter/HR manager from Raytheon, of all places. He talked about exactly what you said. He spoke, in a hypothetical third person, about a mid-career guy with a mortgage and family who finds themselves questioning the defense industry. How that isn't the best place to be in, mentally. I changed my career plans that day, forever thankful for the encounter.

However, regarding people being able to avoid unpleasant realities, he was of the opinion that for most people, it is possible to do so. Even beneficial. (Except of course for the recipients of his company's products. I didn't say that but I think he figured out that I was thinking it). The issue, from the point of view of running an effective organization, is what happens if the doubters and believers start to mix? Part of his assigned task was to simply keep out people curious enough to ask too many questions. That's one of the "benefits" of really polarizing politics too.

William Gruff , Sep 16 2020 15:33 utc | 71
Geoff @66:

"My wonder as I observe life as I age, is what is the damage done to those not only who try their honest best to remain truthful, but what is the damage done to those who cannot escape an adopted untruth and refuse to let go of it."

That's what modern pharmaceuticals are for, and why one in six Americans (officially) are prescribed them. If we include the numbers of Americans who self-medicate with alcohol and/or grey/black market pharmaceuticals, then the proportion would be a bit (quite a bit) larger. People who succeed at being truthful (mostly to themselves) are not confronted with cognitive dissonance mind-quakes; however, such individuals are confronted with experiencing the retch reflex when consuming mass media.

Is being truthful vs embracing the lies then half-dozen of one and six of the other? I find satisfactory peace of mind from being truthful and simply avoiding the primary vector of deception; the mass media. Noble individuals like our host and some of the posters here will slog through that vile cesspool of lies and fish out the little nuggets of truth that leak out. It is selfish of me to leave such dirty work to others, but at least I am not hermetically isolated on a mountain somewhere.

J Swift , Sep 16 2020 16:12 utc | 74
Kooshy @ 23

An interesting thought. I have long had the feeling that a large part of the obviously orchestrated drive to almost define both of the two US parties with really incredibly unimportant issues like bathroom preferences were designed to split the voters as equally as possible, so that to swing elections one had only to control the votes of a very small number of tie breakers. I still think this is likely true, but I do think you make an important point that a lot can be learned about what is truly important to the PTB by reflecting on the topics that aren't being argued over.

Compare the "two" US political parties, and you will note that while they seem to be getting ever more extreme and irreconcilable and quasi-religious in their differences, these differences are always on the periphery. Both parties are being indoctrinated with certain common beliefs they will take for granted because they are never talked about -- because these points are not allowed to be in contention. So while even something like climate change can be a big divider (no worries, there's money to be made on both sides of that issue, and means of control); but you will never hear debate about

1. America is the greatest ever!

2. America is always and unquestionably a force for good, and even it's proven bad things (kidnapping, rendition, and torture programs) are done "for the greater good."

3. Unbridled capitalism is the only way, and the privatization and unwinding of any vestiges of social programs, like education, social security, and even utilities and infrastructure, is always a good thing deserving of priority.

4. Individualism is the best, if not only, way. To be a hero you must strike alone against the bad guys/the system/the government; someone who rallies others, causes forces to be gathered and united, unionized, whatever are discouraged or ignored.

5. "Leadership" in the affairs of others around the world is American right, responsibility, and destiny. Having the largest, almost entirely offensively oriented military on earth is essential; and having it, we must use it to get our money's worth.

6. Omnipresent "intelligence" services equal safety and are absolutely required for life to be normal. I'm sure there are other examples of "universally agreed" doctrines in the US, but these are some that leap out.

Noirette , Sep 16 2020 16:32 utc | 75
These crazy MSM lies Anecdote. Last Sat (Geneva, Switz.) I spoke to 20 ppl whom I know somewhat, all know I like to discuss news etc. I said, weird news this week, making no mention of Navalny. 18/20 believed Putin poisoned Navalny and brought it up spontaneously! There is something so appealing and narratively 'seductive' about spies and 'opponents' (Skripal ) and mysterious poisons used by evil doers etc. that fiction just flows smoothly into fact or whatever is 'real.'

I had to mention Assange myself to most, but there the reaction was very mixed, most thought Assange was being persecuted, or it was 'not right', and took this story seriously in one way or another - 4 ppl claimed not to know the latest news. Here, NGOs, Leftists and Others have made demands for him to be offered asylum in Switz, so he has been front page.

In F.

https://www.lematin.ch/story/l-asile-pour-julian-assange-est-demande-a-la-suisse-327216661898

Besides that (I'm always interested in from-the-ground view-points, experiences, so post some myself) what is going on is monopoly consolidation:

Mega MSM in cahoots with the MIC, Big Pharma, Big Agri, Finance, and so on. Corporations joining up their positions bit by bit while also competing in some ways, bribing and owning the Pols. who are front-men and women tasked with providing a lot of drama, manufactured agitation, etc., which in turn is fodder for the MSM, etc.

Overall, the most important sector to watch is the GAFAM, 1, the reign of the middle men is close at hand (control information, both the channels and the content, and commerce up to a point.) All this leaves out energy considerations, another vital topic left aside.

1. google apple facebook amazon microsoft

karlof1 , Sep 16 2020 17:02 utc | 78
ptb @59--

Thanks for your reply! I've touched on the topic of human capital and its development occasionally here, positing it's the #1 asset of all nations. Those nations who neglect to develop their own human capital are bound to become deficient when it comes to basic comparative advantages with other nations, particularly as political-economy shifts from being materialistic to knowledge-based; thus Pepe Escobar agreeing wholeheartedly with my comment about India. (He added this article to his FB timeline and I posted my comment there.)

From 1999-2003, I was involved in developing distance learning platforms for the rapidly advancing ability to learn outside of a school's four walls. The other educators I worked with and myself had great hopes for the virtual classroom and what it might do to aide both teachers and students. At the time we thought this development would provide a great opportunity for the third member of the educational team--parents--to play a greater role in the process since active parental involvement was proven to generate better student outcomes. But for that to be properly implemented, equitable funding for all school districts became an even greater issue than it was already. This issue highlighted the huge problems related to financing education at a moment when BushCo Privatizers began to seriously threaten what was already in place. And that problem has only worsened, the vast disparities being very evident thanks to COVID-forced distance learning. The primary reason good teachers can't be retained is the entire system's a massive Clusterfuck. And computers aren't substitutes for even poor teachers. And parents are even more aloof from becoming involved in the process than ever before.

The dumbing-down I mention is now entering its third generation. The educational structure needs to be completely refitted nationally, but I wouldn't give that task to any of the fuckwits employed by the past three administrations--Yes, I'm arguing education needs to be a completely federal program instead of the 53 different school systems in states and territories; and yes, I'm aware of the pitfalls and potential corruption that poses, which is a microcosm of all the problems at the federal level of government. This problem is yet another very basic reason why the Duopoly and its backers need to be ousted from government and kept as far away as possible as the structure is torn down and rebuilt--The USA will never be great again until that is done.

jared , Sep 16 2020 17:16 utc | 79
@ J Swift | Sep 16 2020 16:12 utc | 74

I suggest that the reason that the media focus on the ridiculous is to convince the public that there is nothing important happening - except where the MSM wants the participation of the public as in with anti-Russia, anti_China, anti-Socialism, etc. Good to get the public participation directed at harmless targets.

They've got to fill the papers with something. The public must be kept warm, comfortable, semi-comatose, watching cat videos...

Last thing anybody wants is the involvement of the public, they will only screw everything-up or try anyway.

karlof1 , Sep 16 2020 17:40 utc | 80
vinnieoh @64--

Thanks for your reply! Your explanation sadly is correct, but it was put into motion prior to Reagan becoming POTUS. The tools used to undo the New Deal were put into place before FDR became POTUS. And FDR's unwillingness to prosecute those who attempted to overthrow his government provided that faction to infiltrate government and eventually attempt to undo the good that was done prior to WW2. When looked at closely, American society was generally quite Liberal in the positive aspects of that term and during the Depression was becoming ever more Collectivist with the war advancing that even further. At the war's end, it was paramount for the forces taking control of the nation to push the public to the right and away from its collectivist proclivities. Where we find ourselves today thus is not an accident of history but an engineered outcome. You may recall voices on the Right accusing Liberals and their organizations of engaging in Social Engineering. Those accusations were projections since it was actually forces on the Right that were maneuvering society to the Right while assiduously applying the principle of Divide and Rule to create a condition where they would be immune from political challenge, which is where we are now.

A few understand this ugly truth and how we arrived here. What's missing is scholarship that links the changes that began in the 1870s with today's situation. Yes, there're good examinations of various pieces of the overall puzzle. But it appears that only Hudson and those in his small circle have figured it out; yet, they haven't produced a complete history that encapsulates it all. And for us to have a realistic chance to undo what's been done, we need to know how it all transpired.

robin , Sep 16 2020 17:56 utc | 81
Antonym @ 60
"There are big differences between Trump and Biden regarding their foreign policies: Trump is hard on Xi-China and soft on Putin Russia, while Biden is the reverse."

I don't share your view. The current administration's foreign policy is very much aligned with that of past administrations and the diplomatic circus surrounding the Skripal affair alone is evidence that nobody is soft on Russia.

What differs, however, is the presentation. Trump is criticized (not praised) for being allegedly soft on Russia and Biden criticized for being allegedly soft on China. This clever trick ensures that just about everybody is onboard the bash-China-and-Russia train.

In a violently polarized society, with red-blue antagonism reaching ridiculous heights, people tend to act exclusively in contradiction to the cult figure they hate so much.

If a Trump hater hears the criticism that the president is too soft on Russia, he will readily grab the bash-Russia stick hoping to score a few hits on Trump. The same person's reaction to a criticism on Biden will be either indifference or angry denial. In either case, he will not be opposed to the bash-Russia nor the bash-China movement.

The dem hater's reaction is similar. Indifference to the soft-on-Russia claim (ie. no opposition to the bash-Russia movement) and active support for the China-bashing.

Curmudgeon , Sep 16 2020 18:13 utc | 82
The article and subsequent discussion brings to mind Dawkins discussion of Memes and Memetics. Not those pesky internet memes. The propaganda war is fierce, and almost without exception the people here are poking and prodding perhaps without being able to put the finger on the "EZ button". This is war, baby, so one thinks the following link may be useful:

https://www.thefreelibrary.com/Memetic+warfare%3a+the+future+of+war.-a0263040903

Wherein: " Ideally the virus of the mind being targeted will be overwritten with a higher fidelity, fecundity, and longevity memeplex in order to assure long term sustainability. When this is not practical, it is still possible to displace a dangerous memeplex, by creating a more contagious benign meme utilizing certain packaging, replication, and propagation tricks."

The lie is irrelevant, whether true or false, it must be believable, and it must successfully replicate.

J Swift , Sep 16 2020 20:34 utc | 85
karlof1 @ 80

You are right, the early FDR days were, in hindsight, one of the most important in setting the course of the US for the next century, and unfortunately Big Business won, taking us on a long, ugly road to the right. I agree this would be a most fascinating history book if some of those respected, genuinely knowledgeable people you often cite could collaborate on an opus.

Yes, most people do not know that the wide ranging labor laws implemented at that time were actually not meant to empower organized labor, but to limit it. Perhaps FDR thought it was the best he could do for the working class, but I tend to think it was more a case of him thinking that by outlawing general strikes, wildcat strikes, strikes in support of other unions, and setting up an NLRB with a lot of political control by business, the powers who had so recently let it be known they were ready to actively try to overthrow the government might be mollified. I think he feared the US was at the cusp of a revolution, and perhaps it was. Whether or not if would have been better had that been allowed to proceed is the big question.

lulu , Sep 16 2020 20:58 utc | 86
Anti-China activists funded by NED & Co make up all sorts of horrid stories online, which are then picked up by MSM and political NGOs to spoon feed world audiences/viewers. Viola, you have "fact-based" anti-China news!

Here is an example how an Uyghur activist in Canadian continue to her make-up-to-believe "1 million Uyghurs in concentration camp" is caught on Twitter red handed .

This is literally what these overseas Uyghur activists do all day. Putting a random caption on a video they ripped down from a medical worker's tiktok in China. And people believe it. They'd even believe if the follow up rebuttal is that this is a forced labour doctor.

Another one: There's a guy (Arslan Hidayat, Aussie Uighur) on Twitter who takes footage of ordinary people doing ordinary things, sets them in China and invents a fantastical and sinister scenario.

His twitter functions as the aggregator of fake anti-China propaganda from the past few years.

CitizenX , Sep 16 2020 21:11 utc | 87
Ed Bernays (Freuds Nephew)

Glad to see his name mentioned here. I've been saying for years here to watch the documentary - Century of the Self. If you want to learn about and understand America, its all here. Government, Corporations, Consumerism, Militarism, Deep State, Psychology, Individual selfishness and mental illness.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJ3RzGoQC4s

karlof1 , Sep 16 2020 21:34 utc | 88
j Swift @85--

Thanks for your reply! JK Galbraith in his American Capitalism: The Concept of Countervailing Power lamented what you recap in your 2nd paragraph and that there was thus no power capable of offsetting Big Business although one was sorely needed. As I wrote, some very sharp minds have written about small segments of the overall movement toward totalitarianism since the 1870s, Galbraith's 1952 book being one that's still worth reading.

[Sep 16, 2020] So You Want To Overthrow The State: Ten Questions For Aspiring Color Revolutionaries

Sep 16, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

1. Do I have the facts straight?

Karl Marx said that " Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it ." I doubt very much that you will know which changes you need to make if you don't have a very good idea about your starting point. In his book Factfulness and in his many excellent online presentations, the late Swedish Professor of International Health Hans Rosling identifies a lot of the ways things have gotten better , especially for the world's poorest.

Suppose, for example, that you encounter the name " Milton Friedman ," perhaps in connection with lamented "neoliberalism" and maybe in connection with human rights abuses perpetrated by the brutal Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. Friedman has been denounced as the "father of global misery," and his reputation has taken another beating in the wake of the fiftieth anniversary of his 1970 New York Times Magazine essay " The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits ," which I suspect most people haven't read past its title. But what happened during "The Age of Milton Friedman," as the economist Andrei Shleifer asked in a 2009 article ? Shleifer points out that "Between 1980 and 2005, as the world embraced free market policies, living standards rose sharply, while life expectancy, educational attainment, and democracy improved and absolute poverty declined." Things have never been so good, and they are getting better , especially for the world's poor.

In 2008, there was a bit of controversy over the establishment of the Milton Friedman Institute at the University of Chicago, which operates today as the Becker Friedman Institute (it is also named for Friedman's fellow Chicago economist Gary Becker ). In a blistering reply to a protest letter signed by a group of faculty members at the University of Chicago, the economist John Cochrane wrote, "If you start with the premise that the last 40 or so years, including the fall of communism, and the opening of China and India are 'negative for much of the world's population,' you just don't have any business being a social scientist. You don't stand a chance of contributing something serious to the problems that we actually do face." Nor, might I add, do you stand much of a chance of concocting a revolutionary program that will actually help the people you're trying to lead.

2. What makes me so sure I won't replace the existing regime with something far worse?

I might hesitate to push the aforementioned button because while the world we actually inhabit is far from perfect, it's not at all clear that deleting the state overnight wouldn't mean civilization's wholesale and maybe even perpetual collapse. At the very least, I would want to think long and hard about it. The explicit mention of Frantz Fanon and Che Guevara in the course description suggest that students will be approaching revolutionary ideas from the left. They should look at the results of populist revolutions in 20th century Latin America, Africa, and Asia. The blood of many millions starved and slaughtered in efforts to "forge a better society" cries out against socialism and communism, and macroeconomic populism in Latin America has been disastrous . As people have pointed out when told that "democratic socialists" aren't trying to turn their countries into Venezuela, Venezuelans weren't trying to turn their country into Venezuela when they embraced Hugo Chavez. I wonder why we should expect WLU's aspiring revolutionaries to succeed where so many others have failed.

3. Is my revolutionary program just a bunch of platitudes with which no decent person would disagree?

In 2019, Kristian Niemietz of London's Institute of Economic Affairs published a useful volume titled Socialism: The Failed Idea That Never Dies , which you can download for $0 from IEA . He notes a tendency for socialists and neo-socialists to pitch their programs almost exclusively in terms of their hoped-for results rather than in terms of the operation of concrete social processes they hope to set in motion (on this I paraphrase my intellectual hero Thomas Sowell ).

Apply a test proposed a long time ago by the economist William Easterly: can you imagine anyone seriously objecting to what you're saying? If not, then you probably aren't saying anything substantive. Can you imagine someone saying "I hate the idea of the world's poor having better food, clothing, shelter, and medical care" or "It would be a very bad thing if more people were literate?" If not, then it's likely that your revolutionary program is a tissue of platitudes and empty promises. That's not to say it won't work politically–God knows, nothing sells better on election day than platitudes and empty promises–but you shouldn't think you're saying anything profound if all you're saying is something obvious like "It would be nice if more people had access to clean, drinkable water."

... ... ...

7. How has it worked the other times it has been tried?

Are you considering "land reform," whether land expropriation and redistribution, or straight up collectivization? Satellite images of the effects of land reform in Zimbabwe should make you think twice.

Years before the Russian Revolution, Eugene Richter predicted with eerie prescience what would happen in a socialist society in his short book Pictures of the Socialistic Future ( which you can download for $0 here ). Bryan Caplan, who wrote the foreword for that edition of Pictures and who put together the online " Museum of Communism ," points out the distressing regularity with which communists go from "bleeding heart" to "mailed fist." It doesn't take long for communist regimes to go from establishing a workers' paradise to shooting people who try to leave. Consider whether or not the brutality and mass murder of communist regimes is a feature of the system rather than a bug. Hugo Chavez and Che Guevara both expressed bleeding hearts with their words but used a mailed fist in practice (I've written before that "irony" is denouncing Milton Friedman for the crimes of Augusto Pinochet while wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt. Pinochet was a murderous thug. Guevara was, too). Caplan points to pages 105 and 106 of Four Men: Living the Revolution: An Oral History of Contemporary Cuba . On page 105, Lazaro Benedi Rodriguez's heart is bleeding for the illiterate. On page 106, he's "advis(ing) Fidel to have an incinerator dug about 40 or 50 meters deep, and every time one of these obstinate cases came up, to drop the culprit in the incinerator, douse him with gasoline, and set him on fire."

... ... ...

9. What will I do with people who aren't willing to go along with my revolution?

Walter Williams once said that he doesn't mind if communists want to be communists. He minds that they want him to be a communist, too. Would you allow people to try capitalist experiments in your socialist paradise? Or socialist experiments in your capitalist paradise (Families, incidentally, are socialist enterprises that run by the principle "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.")? Am I willing to allow dissenters to advocate my overthrow, or do I need to crush dissent and control the minds of the masses in order for my revolution to work? Am I willing to allow people to leave, or will I need to build a wall to keep people in?

10. Am I letting myself off the hook for questions 1-9 and giving myself too much credit for passion and sincerity?

The philosopher David Schmidtz has said that if your best argument is that your heart is in the right place, then your heart is most definitely not in the right place. Consider this quote from Edmund Burke and ask whether or not it leads you to revise your revolutionary plans:

"A conscientious man would be cautious how he dealt in blood. He would feel some apprehension at being called to a tremendous account for engaging in so deep a play, without any sort of knowledge of the game. It is no excuse for presumptuous ignorance, that it is directed by insolent passion. The poorest being that crawls on earth, contending to save itself from injustice and oppression is an object respectable in the eyes of God and man. But I cannot conceive any existence under heaven (which, in the depths of its wisdom, tolerates all sorts of things) that is more truly odious and disgusting, than an impotent helpless creature, without civil wisdom or military skill, without a consciousness of any other qualification for power but his servility to it, bloated with pride and arrogance, calling for battles which he is not to fight, contending for a violent dominion which he can never exercise, and satisfied to be himself mean and miserable, in order to render others contemptible and wretched." (Emphasis added).

[Sep 14, 2020] While We're at It by R. R. Reno

Notable quotes:
"... On the strength of Adrian Vermeule's review last month (" Liturgy of Liberalism ," January 2017), I picked up Ryszard Legutko's The Demon in Democracy: Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societies . Legutko sees many parallels between the communism that dominated the Poland of his youth and the political-social outlook now treated as obligatory by Eurocrats and dominant in America, which he calls "[neo]liberal democracy." ..."
"... One parallel struck me as especially important: "Communism and [neo]liberal democracy are related by a similarly paradoxical approach to politics: both promised to reduce the role of politics in human life, yet induced politicization on a scale unknown in previous history." We're aware of the totalitarian dimension of communism. But liberalism? Isn't it supposed to be neutral with respect to substantive outlooks, endorsing only the constitutional and legal frameworks for free and fair political debate? Actually, no. Liberals always assert that liberalism is the view of politics, society, and morality "most adequate of and for modern times." ..."
"... [Neo]Liberalism, Legutko points out, is committed to dualism, not pluralism. He gives the example of Isaiah Berlin, who made a great deal out of the importance of the pluralism of the liberal spirit. Yet "Berlin himself, a superbly educated man, knew very well and admitted quite frankly that the most important and most valuable fruits of Western philosophy were monistic in nature." This means that liberalism, as Berlin defines it, must classify nearly the entire history of Western thought (and that of other cultures as well) as "nonliberal." Thus, "the effect of this supposed liberal pluralism" is not a welcoming, open society in which a wide range of substantive thought flourishes, but "a gigantic purge of Western philosophy, bringing an inevitable degradation of the human mind." ..."
"... The purge mentality has a political dimension. Since 1989, European politics has shifted away from a left vs. right framework toward "mainstream" vs. "extremist." This is a telling feature of [neo]liberal democracy as an ideology. "The tricky side of 'mainstream' politics is that it does not tolerate any political 'tributaries' and denies that they should have any legitimate existence. Those outside the mainstream are believed to be either mavericks and as such not deserving to be treated seriously, or fascists who should be politically eliminated." ..."
"... Lumpenproletariat ..."
"... Legutko speaks of "lumpenintellectuals." These are the professors and journalists who buttress the status quo by rehearsing ideological catechisms and exposing heretics. We certainly have a lumpenintelligentsia ..."
"... I regularly read two lumpenintellectuals in order to understand the orthodoxies of our political mainstream: Tom Friedman over at the New York Times and Bret Stephens at the Wall Street Journal . The former is a cheerleader for today's globalist orthodoxies, complete with ritual expressions of misgivings. The latter eagerly plays the role of Leninist enforcer of those orthodoxies ..."
"... Weekly Standard ..."
"... The Weekly Standard ..."
Sep 14, 2020 | www.firstthings.com

♦ Boys and girls are different. There, I've said it, a heresy of our time. We're not supposed to suggest that a woman shouldn't fight in combat, or that an athletic girl doesn't have a right to play on the boys' football team -- or that a young woman doesn't run a greater risk than a young man when binge drinking. We are not supposed to reject the conceit that the sexes are interchangeable, and therefore a man can become a "woman" and use the ladies' bathroom.

Male and female God created us. I commend this heresy to readers. Remind people that boys in girls' bathrooms put girls at risk, and that Obergefell is a grotesque distortion of the Constitution. True -- and don't miss the opportunity to say, in public, that men and women are different. This is the deepest reason why gender ideology is perverse. As Peter Hitchens observes in this issue (" The Fantasy of Addiction "), there's a great liberation that comes when, against the spirit of the age, one blurts out what one knows to be true.


♦ Great Britain recently announced regulatory approval for scientists to introduce third-party DNA into the reproductive process. The technological innovation that allows for interventions into the most fundamental dimensions of reproduction and human identity is sure to accelerate. Which is a good reason for incoming President Trump to revive the President's Council on Bioethics. (It existed under President Obama, but was told to do and say nothing.) We need sober reflection on the coming revolution in reproductive technology. Trump should appoint Princeton professor Robert P. George to head the Bioethics Commission. He has the expertise in legal and moral philosophy, and he knows what's at stake. (See " Gnostic Liberalism ," December 2016.)


On the strength of Adrian Vermeule's review last month (" Liturgy of Liberalism ," January 2017), I picked up Ryszard Legutko's The Demon in Democracy: Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societies . Legutko sees many parallels between the communism that dominated the Poland of his youth and the political-social outlook now treated as obligatory by Eurocrats and dominant in America, which he calls "[neo]liberal democracy."

One parallel struck me as especially important: "Communism and [neo]liberal democracy are related by a similarly paradoxical approach to politics: both promised to reduce the role of politics in human life, yet induced politicization on a scale unknown in previous history." We're aware of the totalitarian dimension of communism. But liberalism? Isn't it supposed to be neutral with respect to substantive outlooks, endorsing only the constitutional and legal frameworks for free and fair political debate? Actually, no. Liberals always assert that liberalism is the view of politics, society, and morality "most adequate of and for modern times."

This gives [neo]liberalism a partisan spirit all the more powerful because it is denied.

Although such words as "dialogue" and "pluralism" appear among its favorite motifs, as do "tolerance" and other similarly hospitable notions, this overtly generous rhetorical orchestration covers up something entirely different. In its essence, liberalism is unabashedly aggressive because it is determined to hunt down all nonliberal agents and ideas, which it treats as a threat to itself and to humanity.

[Neo]Liberalism, Legutko points out, is committed to dualism, not pluralism. He gives the example of Isaiah Berlin, who made a great deal out of the importance of the pluralism of the liberal spirit. Yet "Berlin himself, a superbly educated man, knew very well and admitted quite frankly that the most important and most valuable fruits of Western philosophy were monistic in nature." This means that liberalism, as Berlin defines it, must classify nearly the entire history of Western thought (and that of other cultures as well) as "nonliberal." Thus, "the effect of this supposed liberal pluralism" is not a welcoming, open society in which a wide range of substantive thought flourishes, but "a gigantic purge of Western philosophy, bringing an inevitable degradation of the human mind."


The purge mentality has a political dimension. Since 1989, European politics has shifted away from a left vs. right framework toward "mainstream" vs. "extremist." This is a telling feature of [neo]liberal democracy as an ideology. "The tricky side of 'mainstream' politics is that it does not tolerate any political 'tributaries' and denies that they should have any legitimate existence. Those outside the mainstream are believed to be either mavericks and as such not deserving to be treated seriously, or fascists who should be politically eliminated."


♦ Karl Marx coined the term Lumpenproletariat . Lumpen means "rag" in German, and its colloquial meanings include someone who is down-and-out. According to Marx, this underclass has counter-revolutionary tendencies. These people can be riled up by demagogues and deployed in street gangs to stymie the efforts of the true proletariat to topple the dominant class.

Legutko speaks of "lumpenintellectuals." These are the professors and journalists who buttress the status quo by rehearsing ideological catechisms and exposing heretics. We certainly have a lumpenintelligentsia , left and right: tenured professors, columnists, think tank apparatchiks, and human resources directors.


I regularly read two lumpenintellectuals in order to understand the orthodoxies of our political mainstream: Tom Friedman over at the New York Times and Bret Stephens at the Wall Street Journal . The former is a cheerleader for today's globalist orthodoxies, complete with ritual expressions of misgivings. The latter eagerly plays the role of Leninist enforcer of those orthodoxies.


♦ Bill Kristol recently stepped down as day-to-day editor at the Weekly Standard . .... As he put it with characteristic humor, "Here at The Weekly Standard , we've always been for regime change."...


[Sep 14, 2020] Russia -- The Revolt of "Net Hamsters" by by Alexey Sidorenko

Notable quotes:
"... This post is part of our special coverage Russia Elections 2011 . ..."
"... This post is part of our special coverage Russia Elections 2011 . ..."
Dec 05, 2011 | globalvoices.org

This post is part of our special coverage Russia Elections 2011 .

The day after the elections , Russians got together to rally against election fraud. Even though the United Russia party, according to preliminary results, is to lose some 77 seats compared to the previous Duma, most of the protesters considered the election to be neither fair, nor free (see our previous reports on the web crackdown and massive violation reports).

After the polls closed on Dec. 4, Solidarnost movement invited protesters to Chistye Prudy metro station in Moscow, while the Communists, also unhappy with the election results, organized their rally at Pushkinskaya square. Solidarnost movement represenatives, most of whom have no political arena except street actions and the blogosphere, managed to bring thousands of people together (while crowd estimates vary significantly, the most balanced assessment seems to be from 8,000 to 10,000 people).

Chistye Prudy

People began gathering for the Solidarnost event at around 19:00 MSK. Georgiy Alburov posted a picture of the line to the site of the rally:

Line to the Chistye Prudy rally. Photo by Georgiy Alburov

Line to the Chistye Prudy rally. Photo by Georgiy Alburov

British journalist Shaun Walker tweeted [ru]:

Thousands out in cold/rain baying for free elections, Putin to be sent to prison. Never seen anything on this scale. Definite change of mood

The overall coverage was chaotic as the mobile Internet stopped working in the area and people couldn't upload videos and pictures. LiveJournal kept the chronology of the events here [ru].

Only later in the evening people were able to upload videos [ru] from the rally and particularly the speech [ru] by Alexey Navalny, who was among the most popular politicians of the event. His speech probably best describes the essence of the current events:

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

Alexey Navalny shouted:

"We have our voices. We exist. Do we exist?"

The crowd replied: "Yes!"

And then: "They can call us microbloggers or net hamsters. I am a net hamster! And I'll bite [these bastards' heads off.] We'll all do it together! Because we do exist! [ ] We will not forget, we will not forgive"

The reference to 'net hamsters' (a pejorative term for politically-engaged Internet commenters) and their political will to change the country has destroyed the myth of the slacktivist nature of political engagement online. Navalny has specifically emphasized 'forgetting/forgiving' to show that netizens do not necessarily have a short attention span often ascribed to them.

On to Lubyanka

After several speeches made by the opposition politicians, the crowd moved on towards Lubyanka Square, where the head office of the Federal Security Service is located. The video [ru] uploaded by user bigvane depicts Muscovites moving to Lubyanka and chanting "Free elections":

https://www.youtube.com/embed/1_NMbJTGCk8?feature=oembed

Most of the activists, however, were soon stopped on their way. Ilya Barabanov tweeted a picture of the blocked road:

Blocked road. Photo by Ilya Barabanov

Blocked road. Photo by Ilya Barabanov

Twenty minutes after the aforementioned photo was made, Alexey Navalny was detained by the police. Ilya Barabanov was detained three minutes after Navalny. (See this great photo report made by ridus.ru correspondents here [ru].)

But even the detention didn't break the rebellious and quite positive spirit of the protesters. Navalny, while sitting in a police bus together with other activists, shared an instagram photo of the cheerful detained protesters:

'I'm sitting in a police bus with all the guys. They all say hi.' Photo by Alexey Navalny

'I'm sitting in a police bus with all the guys. They all say hi.' Photo by Alexey Navalny

Another video , also shot inside a police bus, showed protesters discussing the salaries of police officers, laughing a lot.

The Hamster Revolution

The most interesting part of the post-election rebellion is not its peaceful manner (also an important feature compared to violent nationalist riots), but its new demographics. Tvrain.ru field reporter said that the crowd consisted mainly of the "intelligentsia, hipsters, and young people." "It is a fashionable rally," said the reporter. Later, these observations were added: the age of the protesters was between 16 and 33 and for many of those who were detained this was the first street action experience. As Vera Kichanova tweeted :

Lyosha Nikitin writes that he is the only one of the 16 people in the police bus who had been detained before. Others were taking part in a rally for the first time!

***

Meanwhile, levada.ru, the site of Levada Center polling and sociological research organization, has been DDoSed [ru] and the contents of epic-hero.ru were removed [ru] by the hosting provider.

This post is part of our special coverage Russia Elections 2011 .

[Sep 14, 2020] Is Biden an old-school right-wing Democrat war criminal.

Sep 14, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

booboo , 6 hours ago

"The Past is Prologue

It is September 2020. Americans are focused on an election between an Orange Fascist criminal and an old-school right-wing Democrat war criminal. Where Donald Trump projects chaos and disorder, Biden projects stability, order, and a return to normalcy. If Trump is the virus, then surely Biden is the cure"

so this *** clown spends 5000 words on the criminal operation in Libya under Obama/Biden/Clinton which leave the country in utter chaos and this is his money shot? Orange man bad fascist, old school democrat War Criminal normal.

what a load of tripe

Ace006 , 5 hours ago

A+. He provides much needed clarity and perspective on the Libyan tragedy and then crashes into the usual delusional, leftist landfill of fascism, murder of black youth, BLM (all hail), and Biden as, so help me, some kind of a cure for anything.

... ... ...

[Sep 14, 2020] The Plot Against Libya- An Obama-Biden-Clinton Criminal Conspiracy -

Sep 14, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

The Plot Against Libya: An Obama-Biden-Clinton Criminal Conspiracy


by Tyler Durden Fri, 09/11/2020 - 23:40 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

Authored by Eric Draitser via Counterpunch.org,

The scorching desert sun streams through narrow slats in the tiny window. A mouse scurries across the cracked concrete floor, the scuttling of its tiny feet drowned out by the sound of distant voices speaking in Arabic. Their chatter is in a western Libyan dialect distinctive from the eastern dialect favored in Benghazi. Somewhere off in the distance, beyond the shimmering desert horizon, is Tripoli, the jewel of Africa now reduced to perpetual war.

But here, in this cell in a dank old warehouse in Bani Walid, there are no smugglers, no rapists, no thieves or murderers. There are simply Africans captured by traffickers as they made their way from Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Eritrea, or other disparate parts of the continent seeking a life free of war and poverty, the rotten fruit of Anglo-American and European colonialism. The cattle brands on their faces tell a story more tragic than anything produced by Hollywood.

These are slaves: human beings bought and sold for their labor. Some are bound for construction sites while others for the fields. All face the certainty of forced servitude, a waking nightmare that has become their daily reality.

This is Libya, the real Libya. The Libya that has been constructed from the ashes of the US-NATO war that deposed Muammar Gaddafi and the government of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. The Libya now fractured into warring factions, each backed by a variety of international actors whose interest in the country is anything but humanitarian.

But this Libya was built not by Donald Trump and his gang of degenerate fascist ghouls. No, it was the great humanitarian Barack Obama, along with Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Susan Rice, Samantha Power and their harmonious peace circle of liberal interventionists who wrought this devastation. With bright-eyed speeches about freedom and self-determination, the First Black President, along with his NATO comrades in France and Britain, unleashed the dogs of war on an African nation seen by much of the world as a paragon of economic and social development.

But this is no mere journalistic exercise to document just one of the innumerable crimes carried out in the name of the American people. No, this is us, the antiwar left in the United States, peering through the cracks in the imperial artifice – crumbling as it is from internal rot and political decay – to shine a light through the gloom named Trump and directly into the heart of darkness.

There are truths that must be made plain lest they be buried like so many bodies in the desert sand.

The War on Libya: A Criminal Conspiracy

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To understand the depth of criminality involved in the US-NATO war on Libya, we must unravel a complex story involving actors from both the US and Europe who quite literally conspired to bring about this war, while simultaneously exposing the unconstitutional, imperial presidency as embodied by Mr. Hope and Change himself.

In doing so, a picture emerges that is strikingly at odds with the dominant narrative about good intentions and bad dictators. For although Gaddafi was presented as the villain par excellence in this story told by the Empire's scribes in corporate media, it is in fact Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, former French President Nicholas Sarkozy, French philosopher-cum-neocolonial adventurist Bernard Henri-Levy, and former UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who are the real malevolent forces. It was they, not Gaddafi, who waged a blatantly illegal war on false pretenses and for their own aggrandizement. It was they, not Gaddafi, who conspired to plunge Libya into chaos and civil war from which it is yet to emerge. It was they who beat the war drums while proclaiming peace on earth and good will to men.

The US-NATO war on Libya represents perhaps one of the most egregious examples of US military aggression and lawlessness in recent memory. Of course, the US didn't act alone as a wide cast of characters played a role as the French and British were keen to involve themselves in the reassertion of control over a once lucrative African asset torn from European control by the evil Gaddafi. And this, only a few years after former UK Prime Minister and Iraq war criminal Tony Blair met with Gaddafi to usher in a new era of openness and partnership.

The story begins with Bernard Henri-Lévy, the French philosopher, journalist, and amateur foreign service officer who fancied himself an international spy. Having failed to arrive in Egypt in time to buttress his ego by capitalizing on the uprising against former dictator Hosni Mubarak, he quickly shifted his attention to Libya, where an uprising in the anti-Gaddafi hotbed of Benghazi was underway. As Le Figaro chronicled , Henri-Levy managed to talk his way into a meeting with then head of the National Transition Council (TNC) Mustapha Abdeljalil, a former Gaddafi official who became head of the anti-Gaddafi TNC. But Henri-Levy wasn't there just for an interview to be published in his French paper, he was there to help overthrow Gaddafi and, in so doing, make himself into an international star.

Henri-Levy quickly pressed his contacts and got on the phone with French President Nicholas Sarkozy to ask him, rather bluntly, if he'd agree to meet with Abdeljalil and the leadership of the TNC. Just a few days later, Henri-Levy and his colleagues arrived at the Élysée Palace with TNC leadership at their side. To the utter shock of the Libyans present, Sarkozy tells them that he plans to recognize the TNC as the legitimate government of Libya. Henri-Levy and Sarkozy have now, at least in theory, deposed the Gaddafi government.

But the little problem of Gaddafi's military victories and the very real possibility that he might emerge victorious from the conflict complicated matters as the French public had become aware of the scheme and was rightly lambasting Sarkozy. Henri-Levy, ever the opportunist, stoked the patriotic fervor by announcing that without French intervention, the tricolor flag flying over five-star hotels in Benghazi would be stained with blood. The PR campaign worked as Sarkozy quickly came around to the idea of military intervention.

However, Henri-Levy had a still more critical role to play: bringing the US military juggernaut into the plot. Henri-Levy organized the first of what would be several high-level talks between US officials from the Obama Administration and the Libyans of the TNC. Most importantly, Henri-Levy set up the meeting between Abdeljalil and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. While Clinton was skeptical at the time of the meeting, it would be a matter of months before she and Joe Biden, along with the likes of Susan Rice, Samantha Power, and others would be planning the political, diplomatic, and military route to regime change in Libya.

The Americans Enter the Fray

There would have been no war in Libya were it not for the US political, diplomatic, and military machine. In this sense, despite the relatively meager US military involvement, the war in Libya was an American war. That is to say, it was a war that could not have happened were it not for the active collaboration of the Obama Administration with its French and British counterparts.

As Jo Becker of the NY Times explained in 2016, Hillary Clinton met with Mahmoud Jibril, a prominent Libyan politician who would go on to become the new Prime Minister of post-Gaddafi Libya, and his associates, in order to assess the faction now garnering US support . Clinton's job, according to Becker, was "to take measure of the rebels we supported" – a fancy way of saying that Clinton attended the meeting to determine whether this group of politicians speaking on behalf of a diverse group of anti-Gaddafi voices (ranging from pro-democracy activists to outright terrorists affiliated with global terror networks) should be supported with US money and covert arms.

The answer, ultimately, was a resounding yes.

But of course, as with all America's warmongering misadventures, there was no consensus on military intervention. As Becker reported, some in the Obama Administration were skeptical of the easy victory and post-conflict political calculus. One prominent voice of dissent, at least according to Becker, was former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Himself no dove, Gates was concerned that Clinton and Biden's hawkish attitude toward Libya would ultimately lead to an Iraq-style political nightmare that would undoubtedly end with the US having created and then abandoned a failed state – exactly what happened.

It is important to note that Clinton and Biden were two of the principal voices for aggression and war. Both were supportive of the No-Fly Zone from early on, and both advocated for military intervention. Indeed, the two have been simpatico in nearly every war crime committed by the US in the last 30 years, including perhaps most egregiously in support of Bush's crime against humanity that we call the second Iraq War.

As former Clinton lackey (Deputy Director of Secretary of State Clinton's Policy Planning staff) Derek Chollet explained, "[Libya] seemed like an easy case." Chollet, a principal participant in the American conspiracy to make war on Libya who later went on to serve directly under Obama and at the National Security Council, inadvertently illustrates in stark relief the imperial arrogance of the Obama-Clinton-Biden liberal interventionist camp. In calling Libya an "easy case" he of course means that Libya was a perfect candidate for a regime change operation whose primary benefit would be to boost politically those who supported it.

Chollet, like many strategic planners at the time, saw Libya as a slam dunk opportunity to turn the demonstrations and uprisings of 2010-2011, which quickly became known as the Arab Spring, into political capital from the Democratic camp of the US ruling class. This rapidly became Clinton's position. And soon, the consensus of the entire Obama Administration.

Obama's War Off the Books

One of the more pernicious myths of the US war on Libya was the notion – propagated dutifully by the defense lobbyists-cum-journalists at major corporate media outlets – that the war was a cheap little war that cost the US almost nothing. There were no American lives lost in the war itself (Benghazi is another mythology to be unraveled later), and very little cost in terms of "treasure", to use that despicable imperialist phrase.

But while the total cost of the war paled in comparison to the monumental-scale crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, the means by which it was funded has cost the US far more than dollars; the war on Libya was a criminal and unconstitutional endeavor that has further laid the groundwork for the imperial presidency and unconstrained executive power. As the Washington Post reported at the time:

Noting that Obama had said the mission could be paid for with money already appropriated to the Pentagon, [former House Speaker] Boehner pressed the president on whether supplemental funding would be requested from Congress.

Unforeseen military operations that require expenditures such as those being made for the Libyan effort normally require supplemental appropriations since they are outside the core Pentagon budget. That is why funds for Afghanistan and Iraq are separate from the regular Defense Department budget. The added costs for some of the operations in Libya are minimal But the expenditures for weapons, fuel and lost equipment are something else.

Because the Obama Administration did not seek congressional appropriations to fund the war, there is very little in the way of paper trail to do a proper accounting of the costs of the war. As the cost of each bomb, fighter jet, and logistical support vehicle disappeared into the abyss of Pentagon accounting oblivion, so too did any semblance of constitutional legality. In essence, Obama helped establish a lawless presidency that not only has little respect for constitutionally mandated checks and balances, but completely ignores the rule of law. Indeed, some of the crimes that Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr are guilty of have their direct corollary in the Obama Administration's prosecution of the Libya war.

So where did the money come from and where did it go? It's anybody's guess really, unless you're one of those rubes who likes taking the Pentagon's word for it. As a Pentagon spokesperson told CNN in 2011, "The price tag for U.S. Defense Department operations in Libya as of September 30 [was] $1.1 billion. This included daily military operations, munitions, the drawdown of supplies and humanitarian assistance." However, to illustrate the downright Orwellian impossibility of discerning the truth, Vice President Joe Biden doubled that number when speaking on CNN, suggesting that "NATO alliance worked like it was designed to do, burden-sharing. In total, it cost us $2 billion, no American lives lost."

As is painfully evident, there is no clear way to know how much was spent other than to take the word of those who prosecuted the war. With no congressional oversight, and no clear documentary record, the war on Libya disappears down the memory hole, and with it the idea that there is a separation of powers, Congressional authority to make war, or a functioning Constitution.

America's Dirty War in Libya

While the enduring memory of Libya for most Americans is the political theater that resulted from the attack on the US facility in Benghazi that killed several Americans, including US Ambassador Stevens, it is not nearly the most consequential. Rather, America's use of terrorist groups (and the insurgents who emerged from them) as military proxies may perhaps be the real legacy from a strategic perspective. For while the corporate media presented the narrative of spontaneous protests and uprisings to overthrow Gaddafi, it was in fact a loose network of terror groups that did the dirty work.

While much of this recent history has been buried by bad reporting, establishment mythmaking, and conspiracist muddying of the truth, it was surprisingly well reported at the time. For example, as the New York Times wrote of one of the primary US-backed forces on the ground during the war in 2011:

"The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group was formed in 1995 with the goal of ousting Colonel Qaddafi. Driven into the mountains or exile by Libyan security forces, the group's members were among the first to join the fight against Qaddafi security forces Officially the fighting group does not exist any longer, but the former members are fighting largely under the leadership of Abu Abdullah Sadik [aka Abdelhakim Belhadj]."

Even at the time, there was considerable unease among Washington's strategic planners that the Obama Adminstration's embrace of a terror group with known links to al-Qaeda could prove to be a major blunder. "American, European and Arab intelligence services acknowledge that they are worried about the influence that the former group's members might exert over Libya after Colonel Qaddafi is gone, and they are trying to assess their influence and any lingering links to Al Qaeda," the Times noted.

Of course, those in the know at the various US intelligence agencies already had a pretty good sense of who they were backing, or at least the elements likely to be involved in any US operation. Specifically, the US knew that the areas from which it was drawing anti-Gaddafi opposition forces was a hotbed of criminal and terrorist activity.

In a 2007 study entitled "Al-Qa'ida's Foreign Fighters in Iraq: A First Look at the Sinjar Records" which examined the origins of various criminal and terrorist groups active in Iraq, the Combating Terrorism Center at the US Military Academy at West Point concluded that:

"Almost 19 percent of the fighters in the Sinjar Records came from Libya alone. Furthermore, Libya contributed far more fighters per capita than any other nationality in the Sinjar Records, including Saudi Arabia The apparent surge in Libyan recruits traveling to Iraq may be linked with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group's (LIFG) increasingly cooperative relationship with al-Qa'ida which culminated in the LIFG officially joining al-Qa'ida on November 3, 2007 The most common cities that the fighters called home were Darnah [Derna], Libya and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with 52 and 51 fighters respectively. Darnah [Derna] with a population just over 80,000 compared to Riyadh's 4.3 million, has far and away the largest per capita number of fighters in the Sinjar records."

It was known at the time that the majority of the anti-Gaddafi forces hailed from the region including Derna, Benghazi, and Tobruk – the "Eastern Libya" so often referred to as anti-Gaddafi – and that the likelihood that al-Qaeda and other terror groups were among the ranks of the US recruits was very high. Nevertheless, they persisted.

Take the case of the February 17 Martyrs Brigade, charged by the US with guarding the CIA facility in Benghazi at which Ambassador Stevens was murdered. As the Los Angeles Times reported in 2012:

"Over the last year, while assigned by their militia to help protect the U.S. mission in Benghazi, the pair had been drilled by American security personnel in using their weapons, securing entrances, climbing walls and waging hand-to-hand combat The militiamen flatly deny supporting the assailants but acknowledge that their large, government-allied force, known as the Feb. 17 Martyrs Brigade, could include anti-American elements The Feb. 17 brigade is regarded as one of the more capable militias in eastern Libya."

But it wasn't just LIFG and al-Qaeda affiliated criminal groups entering the fray thanks to Washington rolling out the blood-stained red carpet.

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A longtime asset of the US, General Khalifa Hifter and his so-called Libyan National Army have been on the ground in Libya since 2011, and have emerged as one of the primary forces vying for power in post-war Libya. Hifter has a long and sordid history working for the CIA in its attempts to overthrow Gaddafi in the 1980s before being resettled conveniently near Langley, Virginia. As the New York Times reported in 1991:

The secret paramilitary operation, set in motion in the final months of the Reagan Administration, provided military aid and training to about 600 Libyan soldiers who were among those captured during border fighting between Libya and Chad in 1988 They were trained by American intelligence officials in sabotage and other guerrilla skills, officials said, at a base near Ndjamena, the Chadian capital. The plan to use the exiles fit neatly into the Reagan Administration's eagerness to topple Colonel Qaddafi.

Hifter, leader of these failed efforts, became known as the CIA's "Libya point man," having taken part in numerous regime change efforts, including the aborted attempt to overthrow Gaddafi in 1996. So, his arrival in 2011 at the height of the uprising signaled an escalation of the conflict from an armed uprising to an international operation. Whether Hifter was directly working with US intelligence or simply complimenting US efforts by continuing his decades-long personal war against Gaddafi is somewhat irrelevant. What matters is that Hifter and the Libyan National Army, like LIFG and other groups, became part of the broader destabilization effort which successfully toppled Gaddafi and created the chaotic hellscape that is modern Libya.

Such is the legacy of the US dirty war on Libya.

The Past is Prologue

It is September 2020. Americans are focused on an election between an Orange Fascist criminal and an old-school right-wing Democrat war criminal. Where Donald Trump projects chaos and disorder, Biden projects stability, order, and a return to normalcy. If Trump is the virus, then surely Biden is the cure.

It is September 2020. Libya prepares to enter its eighth year of civil war. Slave markets like the one in Bani Walid are as common as youth literacy centers were in Gaddafi's Libya. Armed gangs and militias wield power even in areas nominally under government control. A warlord regroups in the East as he looks to Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates for support.

It is September 2020 and the US-NATO war on Libya has faded to a distant memory as other issues like Black Lives Matter and police murder of Black youth have captured the public imagination and discourse.

But these issues are, in fact, united by the bond of white supremacy and anti-Blackness. The Libya once known as the "Jewel of Africa," a country that provided refuge for many sub-Saharan African migrant workers while maintaining independence from the US and the former colonial powers of Europe, is no more. In its place is a failed state that now reflects the kind of vicious anti-Black racism forcefully suppressed by the Gaddafi government.

Libya as the global exemplar of the exploitation and disposability of the black body.

Squint a little and you can see President Joe Biden getting the old band back together. Hillary Clinton welcomed into the Oval Office as an influential voice, someone to give words to the demented thoughts of the living corpse serving as Commander-in-Chief. Derek Chollet and Ben Rhodes laughing together as they buy another round at their favorite DC hangout, toasting to the re-establishment of order in Washington. Barack Obama as the éminence grise behind the political resurgence of the liberal-conservative dominant structure.

But in Libya, there is no going back, no fixing the past to escape the present.

Perhaps the same might be true of the United States.

AVmaster , 13 hours ago

Number of wars the boy king and his minions started: 6, that we know of: Ukraine, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan.

(Not withstanding the proxy wars during the "muslim spring" like in egypt)

Number of wars Trump has started: 0

This is NOT including the ongoing wars that trump inherited but has dialed back somewhat, like reduced troop presence in iraq/afghan.

fucking truth , 12 hours ago

Trump hasn't started any but he still feeds the beast, hopefully his next four will see a correction to this behaviour,one can only hope.

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GreatUncle , 3 hours ago

Has no choice.

The economic reality is the MIC is a big part of the US domestic economy.

Shut that down and you would go into a full blown depression.

If you build bullets, missile, bombs, F35's etc. they have to be used or you have to start scrapping them.

The issue though is not the MIC as such but the lack of any moral integrity and disregard for human life by those mentioned in the article. Once the country was put into this position by them it is much more difficult to extract.

Now I think those in the article should be prosecuted for not going to Congress to declare a war and fund it correctly as this is supposed to be the check and balance of a rogue president.

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Bollixed , 2 hours ago

Regarding the MIC, many of those companies consist of manufacturing entities comprised of engineers, factory infrastructure and logistics infrastructure funded by government spending that could realistically be 'retooled' to produce things that could benefit society instead of piss money away on the tools of destruction. America is in need of a massive infrastructure overhaul from our electric grid to our transportation modes to name just two. Nothing is preventing those MIC giants from refocusing their efforts toward a better America versus the current focus they are paid to undertake. It's a matter of priorities and right now I find their priorities misplaced and vulgar.

The money is available at their current funding rates, the manpower and brain power is there, what is lacking is the will to turn the ship around and start putting humans before profits. There is no need to go into a full blown depression as with the shut down of that capacity if those entities are given a mandate to redirect their output for the good of society and create things of lasting value. In other words, take the retooling mindset that turned refrigerator factories into weapons factories like they did in WW2 and take the weapons factories and turn them into entities for the betterment of society. And then wean them off of the government teat.

DeepStateThrombosis , 3 hours ago

Unused funds from the Pentagon can be redirected to the Wall and other Defense protections not known to the public at this time.

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DaiRR , 1 hour ago

DemoRats and NeoCons will try every way possible to keep the wars going.

The USA is incredibly blessed to have Donald J. Trump in the White House.

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muggeridge , 11 hours ago

To think Americans demonstrated in the millions to stop the Vietnam war exposed as a fraud by Daniel Ellsberg in the PENTAGON PAPERS. Obama did admit that the removal of Ghadaffy was his biggest foreign policy mistake. Clinton also in trouble over Tunisia while Secretary of State with US ambassador killed in 2012. She took responsibility but was found not to have acted improperly by US Congress. However her part in this tragedy remains an open question. Today the only Middle Eastern country still standing IRAN supported by China. Syria supported by Russia. Cold Wars never go away?


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GreatUncle , 3 hours ago

Cold war is an inevitable consequence of a MIC that must continually produce and expend munitions to keep its part of the economy going.
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scaleindependent , 10 hours ago

Final Jeopardy, genius!

What is Syria and Iran?


HIS acts against those countries ARE acts of war.

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muggeridge , 10 hours ago

Regime Change as our modus operandi to serve the cause of military superiority as if pre-set by computer.

How everything became war and the military became everything by Rosa Brooks Tales of the Pentagon.

Something funny happened on the way to the forum; Broadway musical. Hail Caesar?

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CheapBastard , 7 hours ago

Hey, military contractors have to put food on the table also, even if it means murdering millions of innocent people in Yugoslavia (like Clinton did) or in the middle east (like Bush and Obama did).

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GreatUncle , 3 hours ago

Yep some people don't get it.

With all the military contractors now moved into peaceful protests maybe we actually need more war to keep them gainfully employed.

Get the picture?


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SoilMyselfRotten , 3 hours ago

HIS acts against those countries ARE acts of war

Don't forget also blockading Venezuela


No1uNo , 9 hours ago

No Libya story is complete without mentioning David Shayler- the MI6 agent turned whistleblower who was tasked with blowing up Gaddafi in his car - but refused to do so when he was accompanied by his wife and children. (under the Tony Blair govt). -yep.
Shayler later went into a bizarre series of personas -which is understood by many as self preservation tactic - (testimony of mentally unstable is not recognised in court - so no threat).

Then there's the covert ratlines of gathering the ex-Libyan army weapons & shipping them to ISIS Syria via Turkey and White Helmets (see James Corbett) organised by HRC via Benghazi -so no rescue for US Ambassador & team (RIP) HRC prefer'd keep op covert. Carrier 50 miles off coast -HRC killed US Diplomats & support team. -Biden knew.

Also check out the courageous Dilyana Gaytandzhieva who runs armswatch .com and some SM in her name. for laypersons overview of extent of games-within-games & wheels-within-wheels in arms trade/ chem weapons "research". She's currently researching the Beirut bombings - which will be another revelation when it hits.

sauldaddy , 11 hours ago

That awkward moment when you find out the first Black President brought slavery BACK to Africa .....Q- That awkward moment when you find out the first Black President brought slavery BACK to Africa

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. . . _ _ _ . . . , 13 hours ago

Qaddafi kept African migrants out of the Mediterranean and away from Europe's shores.
Sarkozy couldn't allow that knowing what was in store for Europe.
He predicted what would happen to Europe were he to be deposed. He was right. Macron's (and Merkel's) policies are proof.
That and the gold dinar was his undoing.
.
P.S. Don't tell the leftists, but Libya was the only case of a successful socialist state. On second thought, it might be funny to see them publicly defending Qaddafi.

Ms No , 13 hours ago

That may work for a while when you pull black gold out of the ground, for a while. Oil declines and free **** armies breed faster. Then you are Saudi Arabia and we are about to see how that ends up.

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not dead yet , 12 hours ago

Libyan youth unemployment was over 30% because these spoiled kids with their families getting oil checks in the mail every month refused to do menial jobs. Qaddafi kept the black Africans out of the boats by letting them do the work the kids and other Libyans thought was beneath them. A lot of the money the Africans made they sent home which was spent in the local economies which increased jobs there. Libya also invested heavily in Africa which created lots of jobs. These actions kept the number of Africans headed to Europe a trickle. Once Qaddafi was gone so were all the jobs in Libya and the money that flowed into Africa dried up and jobs were lost. A lot of businesses the Libyans created in Africa were confiscated by the local governments and no doubt given to cronies who ran them into the ground.

No1uNo , 9 hours ago

Gaddafi thought wrongly that job description would save him. Also suggested trading oil for €uro's over dollar$, which blew the lid on powder keg. In the end they say it was the oil, though my thinking was DC think tanks didn't want a monied "Mexico" on south coast of Euroland - could make Europe too financially powerful & too difficult to control.

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. . . _ _ _ . . . , 6 hours ago

I had heard about selling oil for Euros in relation to Saddam, but not to Qaddafi. Qaddafi was about the gold Dinar.
??

No1uNo , 6 hours ago

Yep, it's what can happen if I'm not careful when I post and try to watch a documentary at the same time.
Thanks for your vigilance.

In case anyone's interested: ex-mossad agent - 57mins
https://archive.org/details/victor-ostrovsky-1995

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Steverino , 13 hours ago

Find the Libyan gold that dissapeard.... and one likely finds the source of the overthrow....

quanttech , 13 hours ago

try the french treasury...

Bill300 , 12 hours ago

Look no further than Hillary's brother. General Gage, a former Special Forces Colonel, had been hired by Hillary, et al, to assemble a merc army to secure Qaddafi's gold amidst the fog of war and transport it to Haiti to be laundered thru Hugh Rodham's little gold mine. Does anyone really think Obama sold enough books to buy a $12M seaside mansion in Massachusetts and the Washington DC home?

These people are so evil.

Justapleb , 12 hours ago

That's certainly titillating. Do you have a source that puts these things together?

I tried some Google searches, but I already know those searches are censored so it is not an easy thing to find

dark pools of soros , 4 hours ago

you gotta get your hands dirty if you want to know whats in the soil

DaCrustyDad , 13 hours ago

Imagine if some country invaded us and slaughtered about 23.5 million (apples for apples based on the 500k civilians killed out of 7,000,000)? Obama and the Clinton's should be playing basketball at Pelican Bay the rest of their lives at best.

quanttech , 12 hours ago

It's mind boggling.

Trump dropped 7400 bombs on Afghanistan in 2019. That would be like 60,000 bombs dropping on the US one year.

Arch_Stanton , 9 hours ago

Libya was a modern, secular Arab state. A model for the rest of Islam. Who the f@@k decided it was appropriate to reduce Libya to a 19th century sh1thole?

Shifter_X , 9 hours ago

Hillary ******* Clinton

Constitution101 , 6 hours ago

on instruction from the cabalist banksters who never permit a rival currency system.

Qaddafi's gold-backed dinar throughout Nth Africa would have exposed and displace their petrodollar scam in which they infinitely print their cronies untold trillion$.

end the fed, and all central banks.

Best Satan in Town , 6 hours ago

That's the story in a nutsh-ell

desertboy , 10 hours ago

The petrodollar centrality gets monotonously overplayed. For anyone who cares to look, the geopolitics of the West/NATO are the geopolitics of all its central bank owners as an interlinked group, who are keeping all their options open.

Destroying Libya went beyond the petrodollar to the fight for influence in Africa's future, where France's history in Africa has made it the designated hitter. Note the new CFR-type buzz on a "resurgent France" due to this role.

No1uNo , 8 hours ago

I maintained elsewhere on this thread, was advice of DC think tanks he was taken out. Because a well funded, well educated, low cost, labor factory resource state on south coast of eurozone makes europe too competitive to DC tank's interests. (and open Africa's growing economy to cheap - outside eurozone - euro profiting business interests).

Gaddafi was never a threat to Europe, but europe buying his oil and building his economy......different story.

No1uNo , 9 hours ago

B-I-N-G-O !
get your case of beer for that one!

not dead yet , 11 hours ago

Qaddafi would have not met with death if he only wanted to sell oil in the Gold Dinar. Instead he wanted the Gold Dinar as the currency for all of Africa. The system was being set up along with 4 central banks to manage African economic and monetary affairs when Libya was attacked. Libya also invested heavily in Africa creating lots of jobs and enhancing communications. Unlike the IMF and World Bank with their draconian edicts attached to their loans, like no loans for fossil fueled power plants and other eco garbage, almost guaranteeing default the Libyan Development Fund attached no such garbage to their loans making success possible. Europe was charging Africa $500 million a year for use of their satellites. Qaddafi ponied up $300 million of the $400 million needed to put up Africa's first satellite screwing Europe out of $500 million a year. Qaddafi was also the driving force for Africa for Africans and which kept US African command and it's troops out of Africa. Now the US has troops all over Africa. Qaddafi really was bad. Bad for Western exploitation of Africa.

At the time of Qaddafi's demise the Libyan Development Fund had $32 billion in banks around the world. Western governments and media tried to claim it was money stolen by Qaddafi. Last I knew the Libyan's, the rightful owners of that money, haven't seen a penny.

Constitution101 , 6 hours ago

great info.

got a good concise source?

dark pools of soros , 4 hours ago

you have to dig deep to get little nuggets of truth about Libya since so many sides want to tarnish and twist to push their agenda and greed on its riches

SmokeyBlonde , 12 hours ago

America, as a country, deserves whatever happens just for electing and re-electing Obama.

Far too many grifters, Bolsheviks, pedocrats, and sub-moron IQ feral ghetto rats oh-so-pleased with themselves for being so enlightened and bringing chaos to the whole F'n world.

ReflectoMatic , 11 hours ago

The Democrats are working with the globalist at the United Nations & World Economic Forum. The program being run is the destruction of the United States and elimination of humans, per instructions from "The Cult of Rasur", which is located in the jungle at Mount Rasur in Costa Rica but now renamed as the United Nations University For Peace. The university teaches occult and meditation and only graduates 20 students per year, those students then take positions of influence within the UN. The cult was founded by Maurice Strong & Dr Muller, Strong also created the Agenda 21 & World Economic Forum, plus in 1982, the more exclusive secret group of 300 called just "World Forum" which met in Vail Colorado near his hippie commune at the Baca Grande in the San Luis Valley.

The GAIA Theory which was converted into GAIA Religion at the Maurice Strong Hippie Commune in Colorado. David Perkins was there, apparently one of the first hippies to arrive at the commune around 1978. In this podcast we get a rare look into the mindset of the globalist and the creation of Agenda 21.

http://radiomisterioso.com/audio/David_Perkins_6_21_18.mp3

It's not clear if David Perkins & his partner, Chris O'Brian, are aware of Maurice Strong & Klaus Schwab conducting the special and secret World Forum of 300 at Vail in 1982. At that 1982 event the concepts David Perkins describes, combined with concepts gotten by paranormal activities at Mount Rasur in Costa Rica, were passed down to the 300 and thus began the creation that has brought the world to a standstill.

Chris O'Brian has an interesting podcast also, describing the Maurice Strong hippie commune, in this he describes meeting Lawrence Rockefeller at the commune.

https://slvoices.com/2019/12/21/the-mysterious-san-luis-valley-part-1/

I saw it posted here that Amschel Rothschild Said Rothschilds Have Met with Satan met the Devil in Colorado , now we know where in Colorado.

And finally, who the heck is this guy, the one in the middle? MJ-12 captured this photo of him in Hollywood in 1972, he was then usually seen in company of Curtis LeMay, grandson of the General who founded JPL NASA MJ-12, then in 1982 he was at that World Forum in Vail and in charge of covertly poisoning them all with LSD. He was born in Berkley or Alameda in 1951 while his mother was at theater watching "Day The Earth Stood Still". Seems there is a message which needs to be understood.

https://vault.myvzw.com/webcs/7V1ewnG0Xl

David Champaign, night manager at the Christie Lodge in Avon Colorado, can give further description and verification that the ultra-secret World Forum did occur.

If you listened to that podcast, there was mention of the "group of psychics" at the Baca hippie commune. The guy in the photo, the link just above, the photo was taken in the presence of Allen J Funk MJ-12, Funk's only friend took the photo, Bob Custer. Bob shared hotel rooms with the Stones & Monkeys while on concert tour as official photographer. The guy in the photo and Bob were taken one night, in Allen's white Cadillac convertible, to a house in the hills east of JPL Pasadena. There he met Bob's ex, Val, and Val's work associates, the work Val and associates did was some secret psychic project in Central America and perhaps in Colorado, usually Val just came over to Bob's house to visit when Val was not off at those remote locations. Secret about it they were.

Shifter_X , 8 hours ago

These are self-loathing humans. Imagine wanting to destroy the human race.

SMH

bobroonie , 13 hours ago

Obama bombed Libya in defense of Islamic terrorists he sold weapons to. 600 requests for more security from Ambassador Stevens unanswered.. But when defense contractor Osprey Global's Sidney Blumenthal called Clinton gave him special treatment. Lots of money to be made for a defense contractor and the Secretary of State that starts the war.

not dead yet , 12 hours ago

At the time Stevens died, he was not murdered he died of smoke inhalation as the invaders set the place on fire and the safe room wasn't air tight, Benghazi was the most dangerous place on earth for diplomats. Attempted murders and kidnappings of diplomats were so rife that most governments closed their missions and evacuated their people. Stevens was well aware of this and he went to Benghazi, the US Embassy is in Tripoli, anyway with his last meeting running guns with the Turks. By doing so he signed his death warrant. According to many at the time Stevens was begging for more security shortly before he left for Benghazi he was offered a military security detachment that was already in Tripoli and Stevens refused. Seems Stevens and Hillary didn't want the military to know what they were up to.

quanttech , 12 hours ago

the ambassador got what was coming to him. he was a terrorist, plain and simple.

the rest of the Americans were rescued ... by Qadaffi loyalists. the Americans are shy to admit this.

David2923 , 5 hours ago

Facts you probably do not know about Libya under Muammar Gaddafi:

• There are no electricity bills in Libya; electricity is free for all its citizens.

• There is no interest on loans, banks in Libya are state-owned and loans given to all its citizens at 0% interest by law.

• If a Libyan is unable to find employment after graduation, the state pays the average salary of the profession as if he or she is employed until employment is found.

• Should Libyans want to take up a farming career, they receive farm land, a house, equipment, seed and livestock to kick start their farms – all for free.

• Gaddafi carried out the world's largest irrigation project, known as the Great Man-Made River project, to make water readily available throughout the desert country.

• A home considered a human right in Libya. (In Qaddafi's Green Book it states: "The house is a basic need of both the individual and the family, therefore it should not be owned by others.")

• All newlyweds in Libya receive 60,000 Dinar (US$ 50,000 ) by the government to buy their first apartment so to help start a family.

• A portion of Libyan oil sales is credited directly to the bank accounts of all Libyan citizens.

• A mother who gives birth to a child receives US $5,000.

• When a Libyan buys a car, the government subsidizes 50% of the price.

• The price of petrol in Libya is $0.14 per liter.

• For $ 0.15, a Libyan local can purchase 40 loaves of bread.

• Education and medical treatments are free in Libya. Libya can boast one of the finest health care systems in the Arab and African World. All people have access to doctors, hospitals, clinics and medicines, completely free of charge.

• If Libyans cannot find the education or medical facilities they need in Libya, the government funds them to go abroad for it – not only free but they get US $2,300/month accommodation and car allowance.

• 25% of Libyans have a university degree. Before Gaddafi only 25% of Libyans were literate. Today the figure is 87%.

• Libya has no external debt and its reserves amount to $150 billion – though much of this is now frozen globally.

Here is photo of the man who helped kill the Col shaking hands with the Col. https://news.antiwar.com/2011/03/03/un-postpones-praising-gadhafis-human-rights-record/

Vivekwhu , 5 hours ago

You have explained why Libya was perfectly ripe for looting by the US Evil Empire and its slave states.

dark pools of soros , 5 hours ago

Yes I've been shining a light on this for years. The true history of Libya should red pill EVERYONE that can still think for themselves.

We are destroying George Washington statues while worshiping a black african american president who destroyed the one rare prosperous socialist African nation.. which now has slave trading!!!! all because it didn't share it's water to french/italian bottlers. And of course the Gold Dinar becoming the African currency.

Lokiban , 11 hours ago

Gadhaffi's two mistakes leading to this war.
Threaten to sell his sweet oil in gold dinars

Threaten French president Sarkozy to pull out all of his money out of France and reveal to the public the donations he made to the French presidential campaign of Sarkozy, which we know is illegal because foreigners can't donate money.

That sealed his fate. America needed to stop this gold for oil scheme just like it did in Iraq and French president Sarkozy's presidency was ont he line.

NuYawkFrankie , 12 hours ago

Slick Willy --> War Criminal

Chimp --> War Criminal

Obongo --> War Criminal

Hillarity --> War Criminal

Groper Joe --> War Criminal

Etc... etc... etc...

Are you at least BEGINNING to see a pattern here???

If not, you soon will do as 'the chickens come home to roost' and ZOG focusses it's attention on YOUR a$$!

Apeon , 11 hours ago

Apparently you are not old enough to remember Johnson

NuYawkFrankie , 8 hours ago

I'm holding "Johnson" as we speak... and the most I can accuse him of is being a naughty - sometimes a VERY naughty- boy. Looks like he's due for another spanking!

NAV , 2 hours ago

But in Libya, there is no going back, no fixing the past to escape the present.

Perhaps the same might be true of the United States.

Obama left this country and Libya in rags, what else is there to say.

Yet Obama lives, while Gaddafi is dead, a man who had the good of his people in mind and already was using primary water from which eventually all of Africa could be watered and developed into a paradise for his people, a people who live on a continent rich with more natural resources than any other.

But this could not be allowed by the Devil's Globalists who want to own all the world's resources in order to make beggars of all mankind. Obama was their man. He not only betrayed Africa but all men for a $40,000,000 pot of silver proffered by the world enemy of liberty - the DEEPSTATE.

NAV , 2 hours ago

But in Libya, there is no going back, no fixing the past to escape the present.

Perhaps the same might be true of the United States.

Obama left this country and Libya in rags, what else is there to say.

Yet Obama lives, while Gaddafi is dead, a man who had the good of his people in mind and already was using primary water from which eventually all of Africa could be watered and developed into a paradise for his people, a people who live on a continent rich with more natural resources than any other.

But this could not be allowed by the Devil's Globalists who want to own all the world's resources in order to make beggars of all mankind. Obama was their man. He not only betrayed Africa but all men for a $40,000,000 pot of silver proffered by the world enemy of liberty - the DEEPSTATE.

you know it makes sense , 5 hours ago

Who writes this crap and who believes a word of it ?.

No mention that Gaddafi planned to set up a new gold backed African money to sell his oil rather than the euro or the dollar. 143+ tons of gold and 140 tons of silver went missing.

www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2016/01/06/new-hillary-emails-reveal-true-motive-for-libya-intervention/

truepublica.org.uk/global/hillary-emails-reveal-nato-killed-gaddafi-stop-libyan-creation-gold-backed-currency/

It was because of this lie and NATO's involvement in the destruction of Libya that both Russia and China vowed never again to allow this to happen to another country

taglady , 7 hours ago

Trump: "lock her up" became "she's been through enough." What has she been through exactly? "Make America great again" became we need to bail out Boeing and the rest because of an "invisible enemy." It's invisible alright, because it doesn't exist. The only invisible enemy are the parasites shoveling our money into their own very deep pockets in every conceivable way. Like Biden and his entire family and the Clintons and the Obamas and many others have been doing for many years. Like Bush and Cheney made out so well after 911. That's how Gates and the pharmaceutical industry became so bloated while real Americans have struggled to make ends meet.

taglady , 7 hours ago

Interesting coalition between finance, government and media. Like when Bush announced the necessary, unconstitutional war and changes to our society after 911. We didn't get to vote on these changes. No referendum ever happened. Just an announcement in the media and media spin on public opinion, then preplanned actions by corrupt officials. This alliance was never more obvious than during the cv response. We are censored and silenced while liars and thieves are given the bully pulpit to beat us over the head with their idiocracy to enrich very few parasites, again. Then the public is blamed for the rogue actions of government/ business/media. America is bad. We just keep voting for these dummies. Except our voting system is run by the same corrupt dummies who keep getting re-elected. Hmmm. Just like they did to Kadafi and many others. Suddenly Libya is poor. What happened to all of Kadafi's gold? Probably the same thing that happened to the Pentagon trillions and SS "surplus" and public pensions across America. Taxation without representation leaves us broke, without a voice and broken. What are we going to do about it?

Iconoclast27 , 1 hour ago

The problem is you believe imperialism and colonialism has ended in the African continent when that clearly isn't the case, this Libyan regime change op being the latest example of interference you are claiming no longer exists.

John C Durham , 1 hour ago

Actually the end of colonialism that FDR ("Winston, Colonialism is the Cause of this War. This war is going to end all Colonialism".) wished for is hardly over. We got Democratic Party's Truman, not the great Henry Wallace, remember?

Libya only proves this true.

LEEPERMAX , 5 hours ago

America's "BOTCHED CIA OPERATION OF THE CENTURY" as they funneled GADDAFI WEAPONS from the PORT OF BENGHAZI into SYRIA as OBAMA & CO. completed their agenda to DESTABILIZE THE MIDDLE EAST and eventually ALL OF EUROPE.

NO MORE . . . NO LESS

QABubba , 5 hours ago

This is the very reason I sat out the 2016 election. They say citizens don't vote foreign policy but I did. The "We came, we saw, he died" statement illustrated that our leaders didn't have a clue as to the geopolitical damage we had done. The US supported a "no fly zone" in the UN Security Council. Russia supported it. Gaddafi declared his own, stating that none of his air force would fly. The US and their allies quickly "redefined" it to mean they could destroy his air force on the ground, and once destroyed, any of his antiaircraft guns, and once destroyed, any of his tanks and artillery (which don't fly), and his troop convoys.

Gaddafi's, Russia's, perhaps North Korea's big mistake was believing the US would stand by their agreement in the UN Security Council. This and the Eastward creep of Nato may very well be the deciding factor's in Putin's view that he has no responsible actors in the West to deal with. North Korea was watching. Any dream of getting a denuclearized North Korea just receded by about 50 years.

And of course, our presstitute media had a starring role as always. The average American thinks this was a just war, and knows nothing of the slave markets, and nothing about the flood of African immigrants, who are majority muslim, and have no plans whatsoever to assimilate, into Europe. The leaders of France and supposedly Great Britain have stabbed their citizens in the back, as they will now have to watch European culture destroyed.

Vivekwhu , 6 hours ago

Many thanks are due to Draitser for this excellent report on the vile activities of the US Evil Empire in Libya. The power motives have been laid bare, but the massive greed of the US/EU imperial elites have not been detailed. The greed for Libyan oil by France and Italy is well known but the US also looted Libyan gold, just as they looted Ukrainian gold after the 2014 Maidan coup.

By removing Gaddaffi (and who can forget Clinton's evil words "We came, we saw, he died") and looting the gold they scuppered the plans to create a gold-backed dinar for all of Africa, that would have challenged the use of USD, French-controlled "Franc" and other fiat currencies.

That would have been shocking for the US/EU imperial elite that regards Africa as their private fiefdom to loot at will.

Combined with a lust for power, the US/EU imperial elites have an insatiable greed. After all, what use is an empire if the elites can't gorge themselves at will?

lastugro , 10 hours ago

... and Medvedev led Russia abstained (did not veto the vote) at the UNSC session where the intervention was approved. Russia bears a tacit responsibility.

Michael Norton , 11 hours ago

Obama supplied ISIS with leftover weapons from the Libya operation to take out Bashar Assad in Syria. That didn't work out for him too well, did it? Got an ambassador and some CIA spooks killed in Benghazi.

dogfish , 9 hours ago

And Trump steals the oil, the oil that is desperately needed by the suffering Syrians. Trump is a real humanitarian.

Maghreb2 , 5 hours ago

Obama believed every word he was fed about the R2P Right to Protect fantasy concocted at the U.N. At the same time if you knew how dangerous the man was with his Green Revolution and Desert sorcery you would have had him killed.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/apr/12/barack-obama-says-libya-was-worst-mistake-of-his-presidency

The first step of his plan was the Libyan African Gold Dinar which would have been a commodity backed gold cuerrency. This would have broken Rothschild and most of the colonial banking systems. On its own it was a just move but not even the Chinese could have an African Bloc form that fast with that much growth. Imploding the CFA system would have destroyed France as we know it and made it poorer than Poland.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mandrake/3520920/Now-Nat-Rothschild-hobnobs-with-Gaddafi-jnr.html

https://panamapapers.sueddeutsche.de/articles/573aeac75632a39742ed39a0/

Second factor was his ruthless plans to deal with his Islamic Nationalist and Monarchist "Brothers". Gaddafis Green revolution could have spread across the desert wastes and easily overthrown the Al Sauds and trapped Arab natioanlists in their citites. Not a powerful fighter but understood desert warfare. It was the cost of Soviet equipment and the French adapted technicals that made him weaker. The Wars of the Sahara desert like those of Polisario Front and Libyan Chad War were decided by mobility.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sand_War

Finally there were reports amongst the occultists that the man was obsessed with the Occult and the Djinn. Giving a warlord his own banking system and access to African black Magic was enough even for the Jesuits to view the man as a threat to global peace. Rumours the djinns warned him of advance of air strikes and gave strength to his soldiers in the deserts made him a force to be reckoned with in his borders. The association with Abu Nidal is rumoured to have revealed things about the nature of these desert beings. If he had the innate gift for it his tribe probably would have joined us at some point. Reports he had fallen out with the real Green a man a sage and advisor to the Islamic leaders point to a major rupture with the Islamic creed.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khidr

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senusiyya

https://eng-archive.aawsat.com/theaawsat/news-middle-east/colonel-gaddafi-using-african-magic-to-prolong-his-reign-libyan-rebel-officer

Only God can really judge whether his plan to emancipate Africa was his own power grab to free the continent or another mad man trying to join the global elite by enslaving them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hwiCkU73NA

Maghreb2 , 5 hours ago

The Moroccans learnt a lot from that mess. Islamic world lacks something like the Jesuits to keep these things under wraps.

https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-goldman-sachs-libya/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USJCcZGbb7w

SmokeyBlonde , 4 hours ago

It would appear, at this point in time, that regardless of motive of his plan, the US-backed alternative has turned out far worse. The only positive result is more money in the pockets of the MIC and the opportunity to play war games in the desert.

Maghreb2 , 2 hours ago

Like I said he was a dangerous man. It takes one to rock the boat like he did. End of the day the system could have been put in place for the African Gold Standard to start to expand into areas that were tired of the Central African Franc system but it would have destroyed Rothschild and led to hundreds of million of Black Muslims having resources to throw at Israel.

https://www.investigaction.net/fr/macron-libye-la-rothschild-connection/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_African_CFA_franc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjyRchz8PFY

Making Chad, Senegal and Mali into something like Yugoslavia with Chinese and Russian Weaponry was beyond the imaginings of Africom. Would have lowered the birth rates with the development and solved the migration and economic crisis. Having these countries like Sweden would have also created living space for white liberals who were highly educated. Instead all the money vanished with the Kleptokrats. Its only insane Facists who want dead Africans on their doorsteps in Berlin and on the television that agree with this madness.

Euafrica, Eurabia could be avoided by making sure the Africans slow their birth rates through development and saving wealth rather than following it to Europe when the big men run with gold and dollars.

At the same time he was known as a devil to the Arabs and the dissidents. Sort of like Rockefeller with the company towns and corporate face. You ask the bastards to resign and why all these people has vanished and gives you statistics on how many electrical appliances have been handed out and says he was never in charge and you don't know how the system works.

https://www.countercurrents.org/janson170812.htm

Hard to say but he played the game. Robbed Bunker Hunt which was enough for us. Bunker C%nt as we called him when he tried to bring down the Morgue in Texas. Stuff like that is why the Illuminati are feared. Its hard for anyone to gauge what is going on and what the domino effects are. He was trained by the Americans and British and supplied with Socialist apparatus. Gianni Agnelli the suavest yid since Joseph kept NATO off his back. He had ties to the U.S deep State as well but that goes back to Wheelus.

https://www.nytimes.com/1986/09/24/business/libya-s-fiat-stake-sold-for-3-billion.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheelus_Air_Base

https://www.nytimes.com/1973/08/09/archives/bp-and-bunker-hunt-sue-coastal-states-on-libya-oil-alternative.html

Like we said about the Occult everyone has a backer but that man had demons watching over him. According to some. Thin line between a Djinn and Shaytan when politics and murder get involved.

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/gaddafis-son-had-fingers-cut-off/news-story/ca6d3416e46441842ac8aca3edb11cb7

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcgNqHnjLK8

freedommusic , 5 hours ago

Failed nation states make a perfect platform for a profitable global criminal enterprise.

voting machine , 6 hours ago

Allen Dulles couldn't have scripted this operation any better.

This is right out of the CIA hand book. Regime change 101

Jackprong , 7 hours ago

As is painfully evident, there is no clear way to know how much was spent other than to take the word of those who prosecuted the war. With no congressional oversight, and no clear documentary record, the war on Libya disappears down the memory hole, and with it the idea that there is a separation of powers, Congressional authority to make war, or a functioning Constitution.

Got an answer for this: CUTBACKS!

bshirley1968 , 3 hours ago

" The story begins with Bernard Henri-Lévy, the French philosopher, journalist, and amateur foreign service officer who fancied himself an international spy. "

"Lévy was born in 1948 in Béni Saf , French Algeria , to an affluent Algerian Jewish family. "

you_do , 6 hours ago

The war against Libya is a crime .

The arguments for it are mostly fake .

The real reason is the threat against the `dollar`.

JeanTrejean , 6 hours ago

It's the Frenchmen Sarkozy and B.H. Levy who are responsible for this agression.

The USA and NATO (outside Europe) were just "dumb followers".

Vivekwhu , 6 hours ago

Nothing dumb about Obomber: why did he loot and murder in Libya (or Yemen, Ukraine, Syria etc)? Because he CAN!!!

Joiningupthedots , 21 minutes ago

Everything The West touches turns to rat ****.

Mercifully Russia recognised its mistake with Libya and stepped in to save Syria from the same fate.

Every country, its military bandits politicians involved in the unprovoked attack and subsequent destruction of Libya can be considered........WAR CRIMINALS.

Hopefully one day they will be stupid enough to attack Russia or China and be completely destroyed for their stupidity.

OTBorder@CA , 1 hour ago

First of all, Gadhafi gave an unconditional surrender that was brokered by international diplomatic channels over a month before our invasion. Obama & his minions ignored it. We knew many pilots that flew "missions" over Libya during this war & were involved in a massive bombing campaign. Don't forget the Wikileaks where France signed onto the war on the condition they got a % of Libya's gold. My wish is that someday history will tell the truth about the bastard Obama. Read the Lost Arab Spring by, Walid Phares to see all of the other Countries Obama tried to overthrow & have radical Islamic Terrorists replace the peaceful governments.

csc61 , 1 hour ago

The author gives these idiots far too much credit. People must come to the understanding that presidents and politicians (on all sides) simply do as they're told. It is the hidden hand, the international financiers, who are ruining the world. Politicians are mere pawns ... minions willing to sell their souls for a few short years of presumed power, only to scurry off afterward to play the role of elder statesmen. Politicians are nothing more than privileged degenerates who proved early in their political lives they could be easily corrupted and compromised. It is not them who do the damage directly - these things would happen no matter who's in charge. No, they're simply the ones pushed out front to sign documents and take blame for the world's ruination ... a small price they are willing to pay to feed their narcissistic appetites.

Mentaliusanything , 7 hours ago

I would caption that image as "Who is going first to the platform and rope... Biden thinks he has won a Prize and is excited , The Kenyan says you first Bro (loser) and the white Privileged woman is laughing as she says , You have nothing on Me... Bitches, I bury mine deep and dead, I do not swing

Scipio Africanuz , 8 hours ago

Fair enough..

Now that we've completed stage 1 of the harvest, perhaps we ought boost the Republic of Liberty, and hopefully, temper the anxious wrath of folks..

Libya was a catastrophic mistake, borne of hubris, vanity, intellectual rigidity, vainglory, and confusion. Hubris on the part of some, Sarkozy comes to mind, vanity on the part of some, Hillary Clinton comes to mind, confusion on the part of some, Obama comes to mind, and Ideological rigidity on the part of some, Biden comes to mind, and vainglorious pride on the part of some, the security establishment and their directors come to mind..

Having cleared that, it's no use crying over spilt milk, what's necessary, if the humility to acknowledge errors is available, is contributing rationally, and pernitently, to fixing the errors, and not by the same thinking that led to the errors, but fresh thinking that ought now understand that..

What's sown, is what's reaped, but MERCY it is, mitigates the harvests of depravity, via the provision of energy to restitute, and make amends..

The caveat however, is that mercy is NEVER deployed without REPENTANCE and RECALIBRATION,
which are the foundational pillars that make MERCY provide the energy to effect RESTITUTION..

Having clarified that, it's pertinent to inform, that Providence is NOT interested, in any way, shape, or form, in the damnation of anyone and why?

Well, which loving father is interested in the damnation of his children, no matter how depraved?

Still, patience ought not be mistaken for coddling and why?

With one, patience, the intent is to provide time for change..

With the other, coddling, the gambit is the turning of blind eyes to depravity..

But seeing as God, the Almighty Father is CONSISTENTLY Just, we can conclude then, that patience is the prerequisite for either Mercy or Damnation and how so?

Because if patience is deployed, and the depraved utilize it to change, then their salvation is self directed..

And if not, utilized that is, then their damnation as well, is self obtained..

And thus is the Justice and Honor of Divine Providence satisfied..

It's that simple..

And on that note VP Biden, we'll no longer refer to you as that, but as Joseph..

That ought awaken in you the grave responsibility on your shoulders, like that of the Biblical Joseph, whose father made for him, a "Coat of MANY colors.."

And if you be perceptive Joseph, you're now about to wear E Pluribus Unum (Coat of many colors..), created as a singular garment (ONE NATION..), for a reason (the glorification of Provident Divinity..
)

And the glorification?

That E Pluribus Unum (coat of many colors created as a singular garment..), ought demonstrate to all who see it worn, the goodness, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, and LOVE of the Provider of the Coat..

And considering Joseph, that in service of the Republic, you've not withheld the fruit of your loins, it's appropriate then, that you ought now demonstrate that love for the Republic, by putting it first, just as you'd put the fruits of your loins first, except above Divine Providence, known to you, as God Almighty..

So then Joseph, as we begin the next stage of the harvest, remember your oath that "you keep your promises..", you'll be judged by that oath..

And Joseph, "a promise is a debt..", it MUST be paid..

And to boost you energetically, here's Parton the Sweet Voiced Nightingale..

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=h7I_9MMcWvk

Good luck and God speed...

[Sep 11, 2020] John Brennan's CIA Trump Task Force by Larry C Johnson

Sep 11, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

I was mildly amused by Paul Sperry's recent tweet announcing as "breaking news" that Obama's CIA Director, John Brennan, set up a Task Force to target Donald Trump. This should not be considered something "new." I reported on this almost one year ago (October 2019 to be precise). You can check out the original pieces here and here . The following provides an updated, consolidated piece.

While chatting in late October 2019 with a retired CIA colleague, he dropped a bombshell–he had learned that John Brennan set up a Trump Task Force at CIA in early 2016. One of my retired buddy's friends, who was still on duty with the CIA in 2016, recounted how he was approached discreetly and invited to work on a Task Force focused on then Presidential candidate Donald Trump. The Task Force members were handpicked instead of following the normal procedure of posting the job. Instead of opening the job to all eligible CIA personnel, only a select group of people were invited specifically to join up. Not everyone accepted the invitation, and that could be a problem for John Brennan

A "Task Force" normally is a short term creation comprised of operations officers (i.e., guys and gals who carry out espionage activities overseas) and intelligence analysts. The purpose of such a group is to ensure all relevant intelligence capabilities are brought to bear on the problem at hand. I am not talking about an informal group of disgruntled Democrats working at the CIA who got together like a book club to grouse and complain about the brash real estate guy from New York. It was a specially designed covert action to try to destroy Donald Trump.

A "Task Force" is a special bureaucratic creation that provides a vehicle for bring case officers and analysts together, along with admin support, for a limited term project. But it also can be expanded to include personnel from other agencies, such as the FBI, DIA and NSA. Task Forces have been used since the inception of the CIA in 1947. Here's a recently declassified memo outlining the considerations in the creation of a task force in 1958. The author, L.K. White, talks about the need for a coordinating Headquarters element and an Operational unit "in the field", i.e. deployed around the world.

While a "Task Force" can be a useful tool for tackling issues of terrorism or drug trafficking, it is not appropriate or lawful for collecting on a U.S. candidate for the Presidency. But Brennan did it with the blessing of the Director of National Intelligence, Jim Clapper.

A Task Force operates independent of the CIA " Mission Centers " (that's the jargon for the current CIA organization chart).

So what did John Brennan do? My friends said that a Trump Task Force was running in early 2016 and may have started as early as the summer of 2015. Recruitment to Task Force included case officers (i.e., men and women who recruit and handle spies overseas), analysts and admin personnel were recruited. Not everyone invited accepted the offer. But many did.

But this was not a CIA only operation. Personnel from the FBI also were assigned to the Task Force. We have some clues that Christopher Steele's FBi handler, Michael Gaeta, may have been detailed to the Trump Task Force ( see here ).

So what kind of things would this Task Force do? The case officers would work with foreign intelligence services such as MI-6, the Italians, the Ukrainians and the Australians on identifying intelligence collection priorities. Task Force members could task NSA to do targeted collection. They also would have the ability to engage in covert action, such as targeting George Papadopoulos. Joseph Mifsud may be able to shed light on the CIA officers who met with him, briefed on operational objectives regarding Papadopoulos and helped arrange monitored meetings. Was the honey pot (i.e., the attractive woman) named Azra Turk, who met with George Papadopoulos, part of the CIA Trump Task Force?

The Task Force also could carry out other covert actions, such as information operations. A nice sounding euphemism for propaganda, and computer network operations. There has been some informed speculation that Guccifer 2.0 was a creation of this Task Force.

In light of what we have learned about the alleged CIA whistleblower, Eric Ciaramella, there should be a serious investigation to determine if he was a part of this Task Force or, at minimum, reporting to them.

When I described this development last November to one friend, a retired CIA Chief of Station, his first response was, "My God, that's illegal." We then reminisced about another illegal operation carried out under the auspices of the CIA Central American Task Force back in the 1980s. That became known to Americans as the Iran Contra scandal.

We know one thing for certain about he work of this Task Force–it failed to produce any intelligence to corroborate the specious claim that Donald Trump was colluding with the Russians. Even though the despicable Brennan has continued to insist that Trump was/is under the thumb of Putin, he failed to provide any substantive information in the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment that supported the claim.


Deap , 08 September 2020 at 11:38 PM

The curious "leaks" of Michael Cohen tapes on both Cuomo and Zucker, broadcast by Tucker Carlson, makes me think Cohen also has some Trump tapes.

Cohen of course would be be more than willing to drop any Trump tapes into Tucker Carlson's lap too - or at least work a tease dropping these bit player tapes on others first to weasel a Trump pardon for Cohen at the 11th hour, in return for not dumping his Trump tapes pre-election on Carlson's lap too.

Do you think these "leaked" Cohen tapes are just coincidentally coming out now - or was Micheal Cohen a fifth column all along, and even in direct cahoots with Brennan too? Other Trump business partners were IC assets, why not Cohen who would do anything for a buck and publicity.

Deap , 08 September 2020 at 11:49 PM

The night before the Mueller report came out pundit Brennan on prime time TV (whomever he was working for CNN, MSNBC?) claimed Trump would be facing multiple indictments.

The next day when his distinguished punditry proved 100% false, Brennan then claimed on prime time TV his source (sources?) were obviously wrong. And they moved quickly on to the next topic.

Brennan was obviously operating off of some form of inside intelligence (or just making things up for effect and a paycheck?) .

Just a few lines were uttered on both nights, but now in retrospect, Brennan did admit some sort of intelligence gathering group was passing on this critical information to him - bogus or not. He claimed was in some sort of insider loop.

It would be good to review both those pre-and post Mueller report statements now. Who was he hoodwinking and should he have been paid for his "insights"?

Deap , 08 September 2020 at 11:52 PM

Was Brennan's "source" Michael Cohen?

walrus , 09 September 2020 at 06:33 AM

Cohen is a know nothing "would be if they could be". I have described this type before. He had no access to Trump, the person, as opposed to a tenuous business relationship with Trump the company.

Fred , 09 September 2020 at 08:06 AM

"But Brennan did it with the blessing of the Director of National Intelligence, Jim Clapper. " Obama isn't mentioned at all? I wonder who was actually running the show.

turcopolier , 09 September 2020 at 08:48 AM

Fred
IMO Obama was VERY careful about this.

Fred , 09 September 2020 at 09:10 AM

Col.,

I'm sure he was. He's being very careful about all the current actions on the left too. He'll be running what's left of the democratic party, if they don't succeed in bringing down the constitutional republic this election.

TV , 09 September 2020 at 10:25 AM

So, where's Durham?
Hiding under his desk or.....making a deal for a partnership in a big time DC law firm (the swamp)?

Jack , 09 September 2020 at 10:58 AM

Sir,

For a community organizer Obama is pretty crafty. He found favor with the Chicago big money who backed him for the Illinois legislature and then the Senate. And then directly to the presidency. Now he's best friends with David Geffen and Richard Branson and hangs out with the billionaire class.

He is the "puppeteer" of the Democratic Party, IMO. I'm convinced that if Biden fails, Michelle will run and likely beat an establishment Republican in 2024.

plantman , 09 September 2020 at 11:56 AM

Larry,

Who do you think was the ringleader in this operation: Brennan, Comey or Clapper?
To me, it seems most likely that it was Brennan (with Obama's reluctant approval). Comey and Clapper don't strike me as the kind of guys who would risk everything on an operation that could backfire.

What I'd really like to know is whether Director Brennan communicated with elites outside the agency who might have encouraged the spying to begin with. Can you clarify this point? Does the CIA take orders or instructions from powerful-connected elites outside of the agency??

scott s. , 09 September 2020 at 12:01 PM

It seems we know that NSA identified unreasonable queries of their comms database in 2016, leading Adm Rodgers to shut off access. Immediately after, we see FBI getting involved and setting up Crossfire Hurricane. After the election, we see FBI working with DoJ NSD to move the op into a special counsel organization which then runs the op. It appears the Senate Select Committee (Burr/Warner) was complicit in the op, not to mention Schiff.

FakeBot , 09 September 2020 at 12:37 PM

I'm not sure Obama wants to run the Democratic party. It's likelier he wants to secure his legacy and play a supportive role within the party rather than lead it.

Deap , 09 September 2020 at 01:58 PM

Obama's community organizing skills are null. It was only a title; never an actual product. He will remain the token figure head of the party; but hot heads under the radar are now its life and blood of the Democrat party today. With no small dose of our tax dollars.

Democrats produce nothing; they only consume. There is a brewing turf war within the Democrat party between their historic connection to the government unions and the new socialists - two very different forces with two very different goals. Ironically, the Democrat government unions created the new wave of Democrat socialists.

Watch how this play out - Biden is clueless about what is now seething under his titular party head. Didn't Biden promise he would put Alexandra Cortez in a key administrative position?

akaPatience , 09 September 2020 at 02:09 PM

I remember the eye-opening essay about the CIA Trump task force, especially in light of Brennan's self-assured posture that only briefly slumped (along with all of his brethren on the Left) when the Mueller report finally came out and dashed such great expectations. We can only hope that the Durham probe will expose and at the very least somehow strongly condemn and spell out WITH EVIDENCE in no uncertain terms any seditious activity. After hearing that Trey Gowdy doubts any more prosecutions will come of the probe, I'm not going to hold my breath for perp walks.

Laughably, the Left's still beating that same old Russian Dead Horse though. Just as with the DNC's lackluster national convention, I'm surprised, almost shocked actually, that in spite of the overwhelming support of the "creative class", Democrats can't come up with a better hoax. On the other hand I can't remember the last time I was dying to see a new film, buy a new book or recording, or tune into a new TV drama, so while it could just be me, I suspect the "creative class" ain't quite what it used to be...

Re: Michael Cohen comments: I have to agree with walrus and take exception to the MSM characterization of Cohen as "Trump's personal attorney". My husband and I have a small real estate company but even so, we've simultaneously employed several attorneys for various personal and business needs and our holdings are minuscule compared to Trump's. SO I seriously doubt that the MSM's inference about Cohen's role and insight into Trump's private and business dealings - that he knows all - is greatly exaggerated.

Deap , 09 September 2020 at 04:16 PM

Cohen does not need to "know all", if he was recording Trump. He just has to dole out a few juicy sound bites prior to Nov, with our without context when they did contact each other pre-2016.

Cohen's chance to make Trump squirm since Cohen just demonstrated he was willing to do this to Cuomo and Zucker - so will he or won't he IF he has Trump tapes too - just crude talk at this point would not be welcome as Trump tries to take the edge off his usual "gruff" personality.

No magic carpet to the White House for anyone. I also think people don't like giving any race like this away too early in the game - all the prior elections have swung back and forth almost daily, until they finally broke on election day.

Even John McCain and Romney were still nip and tuck until the final hours if one watched certain indicators. Ironically, the only race called conclusively before election day was Clinton-Trump 2016, and we know how that finally worked out. So more cat (Trump) and mouse (Biden) on a seesaw for a few more months.

All of which begs to say, where the heck is the Durham Report and when will we start seeing accountability for Democrat/Obama high crimes and misdemeanors?

There is a deep cynicism even in California that "no one gets punished" for anything any more, unless you are unlucky enough to be a law abiding, responsible person. Everyone else gets a free ride and a double standard of justice - and it is causing a lot of anger out here. "Law and order" is a building hunger our west.

Christie , 09 September 2020 at 05:00 PM

I hope Larry or someone on this forum can discuss this new Mondoweiss piece, pertaining mostly to the G2, Flynn, and Steele material:

https://mondoweiss.net/2020/09/israel-is-cited-often-in-senate-report-as-link-to-russian-interference-but-our-media-ignore-the-connection/

Various independent media journalists covered the 'favor' Flynn did for Israel, but not the MSM.

This Lee Smith piece may have been discussed here before, but if not, comments would be welcome on that as well.

"How Russiagate Began with Obama's Iran Deal Domestic Spying Campaign",

https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/russiagate-obama-iran

nbsp; Bill H , 09 September 2020 at 05:48 PM

Where is the Durham Report? Hahaha. We've had the Durham Report. One small fish indicted. That's it. Were you really expecting more?

I said when the "investigation" was first made public that it was a red herring, a tool to keep us from making noise because we would be pinning our hopes on this "report" that would make everything wonderful. I said then that it would never be anything but a pacifier dangling in front of our noses, like a carrot keeping a donkey dragging the cart along.

nbsp; akaPatience , 09 September 2020 at 06:08 PM

Correction: I meant to say I DON'T doubt the MSM's characterization of Cohen's insight is exaggerated.

Back to the main topic: I wonder if, as in the FBI anti-Trump efforts, there's any damning CIA electronic evidence like texts or emails?

Deap , 10 September 2020 at 12:22 AM

This article came out in May 2020 - essentially why did Obama want to frame Flynn?

It was Iran-gate; not Russia-Gate that drove the Obama spying and the Russia-gate cover-up, according to this author.. Was this the motivation for the Trump Task Force in your post- to spy on Team Trump to learn if they were going to undo Obama's Iran "legacy", particularly since Flynn was advising them? https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/russiagate-obama-iran

The Flynn Spygate unraveling is far more credible as Iran-gate, and ties up many of the very loose ends, much better than the Russia-gate nonsense. If this is the more credible explanation of Obama's Spygate, what happened after this article was published several months ago in May, during the height of the "pandemic". Has this theory been debunked?

And is its current article re-circulation right now tying Obama to Iran-gate spying the reason Adam Schiff, out of no where, is back to screaming Russia-gate yet again?

And everyone else on the left is back to screaming high crimes, misdemeanors and impeachment ......yet again. Gheesh - long and complicates article but it did gel for me. Including explaining the always mysterious role played by Samatha Powers, the Queen of US Unmaskers.

Still waiting to hear more about Obama's Ambassador to that tiny Italian enclave San Marino, that got in his licks unmasking Flynn too. Who was he fronting at the time. And why San Marino?

Deap , 10 September 2020 at 12:52 AM

Connecting the dots - Obama's San Marino Ambassador unmasks Micheal Flynn

The Atlantic Media Company, parent company of the Atlantic Magazine the wife of Obama's former US Ambassador to Italy - Linda Douglass -, who himself had been curiously caught up among the many 11th hour unmaskings of Gen Flynn. For as yet undisclosed reasons.

Atlantic Magazine, part of the Atlantic Media Group, now partly owned by Steve Job's very wealthy widow Laurane Jobs and rabid anti-Trumper, is taking great delight dropping bogus bombs against Trump, that can't even last for a 24 hour credibility cycle. With the promise of many more to come.

Will Linda Douglass be delving into her husband and San Marino Ambassador's great treasure trove of Obama era unmaskings to provide these daily TDS hit pieces? A classified no-no. Or just continue to make stuff up.

Or does this recent leftist media hit piece frenzy mean Russia-gate, Iran-gate and/or Obama Spy-gate is finally going to be broken open?

Such a small, small world. Why was Obama's Ambassador to San Marino unmasking Micheal Flynn? And his wife just happens to now work for the Atlantic Magazine.

j. casey , 10 September 2020 at 10:51 AM

Mr. Johnson:

May I suggest an article updating the recent moves in the Flynn case? Looks like the prosecution is playing to time?

Thanks.

nbsp; Jimmy_W , 10 September 2020 at 12:25 PM

Deap,
Iran-Gate might be the motivating, proximate cause for Obama to approve the overall "counterintelligence" mission. With Russia-Gate the legal cover / excuse. For Brennan / Comey / et al, however, it does not seem like the personal reason for their involvement. The Trump anti-Borg inclinations is probably what motivated the Borg to go after him.

Artemesia , 10 September 2020 at 02:28 PM

Deap, my initial reaction to your mention of an Italian connection was to point to Michael Ledeen, Flynn's co-author and, apparently, consultant - colleague.

Ledeen is known for his Italian connections -- he is thought to have been responsible for the yellow-cake fabrication that pushed along Iraq war.

But the SanMarino connection appears to be on the other side of the ledger that Ledeen inhabits -- tho one should put nothing past that crafty warmonger.

https://militarist-monitor.org/profile/michael-ledeen/

"Iran has long been Ledeen's bête noir, arguing that .the country has been heavily involved in supporting attacks against U.S. forces in hotspots across the globe.[9] "No matter how well we do, no matter how many high-level targets we eliminate, no matter how many cities, towns, and villages we secure, unless we defeat Iran we will always be designing yet another counterinsurgency strategy in yet another place. We are in a big war, and Iran is at the heart of the enemy army." '

If Flynn's anti-Iran sentiments are as unhinged as Ledeen's, then I have little sympathy for his troubles, even though it appears that Ledeen's view prevailed in the Trump administration. Flynn: twice back-stabbed.

I followed John Kerry's and Wendy Sherman's negotiations carefully; I listened to hours and hours of the Congressional debates over the deal -- not a treaty, the debates seemed a sop to Congress; I listened as Iranian representatives (Mousavian, iirc) explained that the Deal was not good for Iran and most Iranians understood that, but that Iranians would go along to show good faith; because they were backed into a corner; and because of the belief that an Iran that was engaged in robust trade with Europeans & others would "come in from the terror cold." I was at American University when Obama announced that the JCPOA was affirmed.

From an "America First" perspective I endorse(d) Obama's vision, as the Forward article explained it:

"[JCPOA} was his instrument to secure an even more ambitious objective -- to reorder the strategic architecture of the Middle East.

Obama did not hide his larger goal. He told a biographer, New Yorker editor David Remnick, that he was establishing a geopolitical equilibrium "between Sunni, or predominantly Sunni, Gulf states and Iran." According to The Washington Post's David Ignatius, another writer Obama used as a public messaging instrument, realignment was a "great strategic opportunity" for a "a new regional framework that accommodates the security needs of Iranians, Saudis, Israelis, Russians and Americans."

The catch to Obama's newly inclusive "balancing" framework was that upgrading relations with Iran would necessarily come at the expense of traditional partners targeted by Iran -- like Saudi Arabia and, most importantly, Israel. Obama never said that part out loud, but the logic isn't hard to follow: Elevating your enemy to the same level as your ally means that your enemy is no longer your enemy, and your ally is no longer your ally."

From my America First pov, "rebalancing" USA relations such that Israel -- not a formal ally and never a trustworthy informal ally (ask survivors of USS Liberty), and other states in MidEast all held positions on a more level playing field in the eyes of American foreign policy, is appealing.

The Forward article failed to mention Ledeen, but it was, unsurprisingly, unapologetically pro-Israel and from a decidedly Jewish perspective.


The Forward's tone and underlying assumptions were and are offensive to me.


Keith Harbaugh , 10 September 2020 at 05:28 PM

Regarding the statement
"The Task Force members were handpicked instead of following the normal procedure of posting the job.
Instead of opening the job to all eligible CIA personnel, only a select group of people were invited specifically to join up."
Two questions naturally arise:
Who was doing the selection, and
was the politics of the candidates a factor, perhaps a very big factor, in the selection process?

For another case where "the right people" were requested by a political officer, consider this:
Flynn Docket #231 (dated 2020-06-24), Strzok's Notes, quotes "P" saying:
"Make sure you look at this [matters dealing with Flynn] - have the right people on it".
This was also mentioned in a Senate floor speech by Chuck Grassley:
https://www.grassley.senate.gov/news/news-releases/grassley-flynn-investigation-what-did-obama-and-biden-know-and-when-did-they-know

"Right" to whom, and by what criteria?
Did the FBI director not know this was an important matter, which required the best investigators?
In any case, we can see who was put on it, such Trump-haters as Strzok, Page, and Clinesmith.
Just Trump's bad luck, or something more deliberate?

Deap , 10 September 2020 at 06:20 PM

Artemesia, thanks for your insights.

There was not really an "Italian" connection in the Iran-gate piece bur rather the curiosity why Obama's Italian ambassdor had interests in unmasking Michael Flynn, since his name showed up on the odd list of Obama persons who did unmask Flynn.

His name being there - Ambassador Phillips - may have been there due to his other Obama connections, or his wife Linda Douglass' Obama connections. Or his wife's current connection to the tabloid Atlantic Magazine.

Not really anything Italian per se, or even wee San Marino. Other than perhaps a mutual veneration for things Machiavellian-as this unfolding story twists and turns..

[Sep 11, 2020] MSM's attempts to spin Trump's attacks on senseless wars as disrespect for military at large are a dismal distortion of reality -- RT Op-ed

Notable quotes:
"... By Tony Cox , a US journalist who has written or edited for Bloomberg and several major daily newspapers. ..."
"... "Trump has lost the right and authority to be commander in chief," ..."
"... "despicable comments" ..."
"... "Killing generals could get to be a habit with me." ..."
"... "right and authority" ..."
"... "when it's required for national security and a last resort." ..."
"... "pattern of public statements ..."
"... Like this story? Share it with a friend! ..."
Sep 11, 2020 | www.rt.com

MSM's attempts to spin Trump's attacks on senseless wars as disrespect for military at large are a dismal distortion of reality 11 Sep, 2020 12:06 Get short URL © Getty Images / David Dee Delgado 29 Follow RT on RT

By Tony Cox , a US journalist who has written or edited for Bloomberg and several major daily newspapers. The New York Times and CNN are desperate to paint Donald Trump as an enemy of the military, due to his desire not to get involved in pointless wars. But this is simply not true, and Trump has the backing of many soldiers.

Someone should tell the New York Times, CNN and other mainstream media outlets that soldiers don't actually like getting killed or maimed for no good reason. Nor do they like generals and presidents who spill their blood in vain.

Alas, ignorance of these obvious truths probably isn't the issue. This is likely just another case of the biggest names in news pretending to not get the point so they can take the rest of us along for a ride in their confidence game of alternative reality.

The latest example is the New York Times spinning President Donald Trump's critique this week of Pentagon leadership and the military industrial complex as disrespect for the military at large. "Trump has lost the right and authority to be commander in chief," the Times quoted retired US Marines General Anthony Zinni as saying. Zinni cited Trump's alleged "despicable comments" about the nation's war dead – reported last week by The Atlantic , citing anonymous sources – as one of the reasons Trump "must go."

ALSO ON RT.COM After Trump helps crush ISIS, end Korea nuke tests and avoid new wars, Republican haters warn he 'imperiled America's security'

Never mind that Trump and all on-the-record administration sources denied The Atlantic's report. The Times couldn't resist when the pieces seemed to fit so well together for the military's latest propaganda campaign against Trump. First the president disses the troops, calling them "losers" and "suckers," then he has the temerity to say Pentagon leaders want to fight wars to keep defense contractors happy.

Except the pieces don't fit. The many people who occupy so-called boots on the ground don't have the same interests as the few people who send them to war. In fact, combat troops are given reason to hate the generals who send them to die when there's not a legitimate national security reason for the war they're fighting. And the US has fought a long line of wars that didn't serve the nation's national security interests. Even when a war is justified, the interests of top brass and front-line soldiers often clash.

Remember that great 1967 war movie, ' The Dirty Dozen' ? A group of 12 soldiers who were condemned to long prison sentences or execution in military prison for their crimes were sent on a 1944 suicide mission to kill high-ranking German officers at a heavily defended chateau far behind enemy lines. After succeeding in the mission and escaping the Germans, the lone surviving convict, played by tough-guy actor Charles Bronson, told the mission leader, "Killing generals could get to be a habit with me."

ALSO ON RT.COM NATO cannot survive a second Trump term

So no, New York Times, speaking out against ill-advised wars does not equal bashing the military. And sorry, General Zinni, but generals, defense contractors and their media mouthpieces don't get to decide who has the "right and authority" to be commander in chief. The voters decided that already, and they expressed clearly that they don't want senseless and endless wars and foreign interventions.

The Times cited General James McConville, the Army's chief of staff, as saying Pentagon leaders would only recommend sending troops to combat "when it's required for national security and a last resort." And no, it wasn't a comedy skit. What's the last US war or combat intervention that measured up to that standard? Let's just say the late Bronson, who died in 2003 at the age of 81, was a young man the last time that happened.

CNN tried a similar ploy on Sunday, while trying to sell the "losers" and "suckers" story in an interview with US Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie. Host Dana Bash said the allegations fit a "pattern of public statements " by the president because Trump called US Senator John McCain a "loser" in 2015 and said McCain shouldn't be considered a hero for being captured in the Vietnam War. She repeatedly suggested to Wilkie, who didn't take the bait, that Trump's attacks on McCain, who died in 2018, showed disrespect for the troops.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1302611067995074561&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Fop-ed%2F500455-trump-military-media-lies%2F&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=219d021%3A1598982042171&width=550px

Apparently, this follows the same line of propagandist thought which told us that saying there are rapists among the illegal aliens entering the US from Mexico – which is undeniably true – equals saying all Mexicans are rapists. In CNN land, a bad word about McCain is a bad word about all soldiers.

McCain was a warmonger who didn't mind getting US troops killed or backing terrorist groups in Syria. If he had his way , many more GIs would be dead or disabled, because the intervention in Syria would have been escalated and the US might be at war with Iran. Soldiers wouldn't want their lives wasted in such conflicts.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=339455679800700928&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Fop-ed%2F500455-trump-military-media-lies%2F&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=219d021%3A1598982042171&width=550px

All wars are hard on the people who have to fight them, but senseless wars are spirit-crushing. An average of about 17 veterans commit suicide each day in the US, according to Veterans Administration data . Veterans account for 11 percent of the US adult population but more than 18 percent of suicides.

The media's deceiving technique of trying to pretend that ruling-class chieftains and front-line grunts are in the same boat reflects a broader campaign of top-down revolution against populism. The military is just one of several pro-Trump segments of the population that must be turned against the president. Other pro-Trump segments, such as police , are demonized and attacked.

Trump has managed to keep the US out of new wars and has drawn down deployments to Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan – despite Pentagon opposition. His rival, Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden, can be expected to rev up the war machine if he takes charge. His foreign policy adviser, Antony Blinken, lamented in a May interview with CBS News that Trump had given up US "leverage" in Syria.

Trump also has turned around the VA hospital system, ending decades of neglect that left many veterans to die on waiting lists.

Like past campaigns to oust Trump, the notion that he's not sufficiently devoted to the troops might be a tough sell. No matter how good their words may sound, the people who promote endless wars without clear objectives aren't true supporters of the rank and file.

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[Sep 11, 2020] DoD Confirms $10-$20 Billion COVID Bailout For Contractors After Trump Blasted Military-Industrial Complex -

Sep 11, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

DoD Confirms $10-$20 Billion COVID Bailout For Contractors After Trump Blasted Military-Industrial Complex by Tyler Durden Fri, 09/11/2020 - 09:45 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

This is surely the last thing the American people want to hear, but it does confirm President Trump's recent statements saying that top Pentagon brass essentially seeks out constant wars to keep defense contractors "happy": the Department of Defense plans to cut major military contractors a $10 billion to $20 billion COVID bailout check .

Defense One reports : "With lawmakers and the White House unable to come to an agreement on a new coronavirus stimulus package, it's unlikely that money requested to reimburse defense contractors for pandemic-related expenses will reach these companies until at least the second quarter of 2021, according to the Pentagon's top weapons buyer."

Defense undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment, Ellen Lord, in recent statements has indicated the private defense firm stimulus would cover the period from March 15 to Sept. 15 and is estimated at "between $10 and $20 billion."

President Trump at Andrews Air Force Base, via AP.

"Then we want to look at all of the proposals at once," Lord said at a press briefing Wednesday. "It isn't going to be a first in, first out, and we have to rationalize using the rules we've put in place what would be reimbursable and what's not."

And strongly suggesting that it won't be the last of such stimulus for defense firms who have already profited immensely off post 9/11 'wars of choice' launched under Bush and Obama, Lord said , "I would contend that most of the effects of COVID haven't yet been seen."

To recall, here's what Trump said at the start of this week :

"I'm not saying the military's in love with me," Trump added , as he advocated for the removal of U.S. troops from "endless wars" and lambasted NATO allies that he says rip off the U.S. "The soldiers are."

"The top people in the Pentagon probably aren't because they want to do nothing but fight wars so all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy," he added.

"Some people don't like to come home, some people like to continue to spend money," the president said. "One cold-hearted globalist betrayal after another, that's what it was."

The "outrage" that followed included reporters claiming that Trump's words were "unprecedented".

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13084989113709670?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13084989113709670-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com&rid=www.zerohedge.com&width=890

But that's far from the truth, as Glen Greenwald reminded his fellow journalists:

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=true&id=1303109722468429824&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fafter-trump-lambasted-endless-wars-enriching-defense-firms-dod-confirms-10-20-billion&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=219d021%3A1598982042171&width=550px NEVER MISS THE NEWS THAT MATTERS MOST

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Well over a half-century ago, Eisenhower warned, "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex . The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."

And further: "We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."

[Sep 10, 2020] Steele -Acted Crazy- - FBI Handler Says -People's Ears Were Bleeding- -

Sep 10, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Steele "Acted Crazy" - FBI Handler Says "People's Ears Were Bleeding"


by Tyler Durden Thu, 09/10/2020 - 16:40 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

Authored by Eric Felten via RealClearInvestigations.com,

"Crazy" was the term the FBI agent used to describe the behavior of Christopher Steele, author of the now-debunked Trump-Russia dossier. "I've seen crazy source-related stuff in 20 years in New York and this was one of the craziest," the veteran agent testified to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Christopher Steele: "I'm very upset about – we're very upset – about the actions of your agency," Steele said, according to Gaeta. Using the first person plural, Steele likely meant himself and his client, Fusion GPS head Glenn Simpson. Victoria Jones/PA via AP

Nevertheless, the FBI continued to rely on Steele's allegations – that Donald Trump and his team were conspiring with Russians who possessed compromising information – to justify its surveillance of the Trump campaign. Without evidence to verify Steele's claims, the FBI fell back on its assertion that the former British intelligence agent was reliable.

The previously unreported testimony of FBI agent Michael Gaeta is found on page 900 of the fifth and final volume of the Senate committee's probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election. It raises new questions about the basis of the FBI's investigation of the Trump campaign, Crossfire Hurricane, and the declarations it made to the FISA court in four separate applications submitted to spy on American citizens.

Gaeta had a long history with the London-based Steele, who had started his own firm, Orbis Business Intelligence, after leaving the British spy service MI6 in 2009. Between 2013 and 2016, the bureau had paid Steele $95,000 to pass along tidbits on Eurasian organized crime; Gaeta was his contact at the bureau . It was Gaeta whom Steele approached in July 2016 with wild and depraved stories of collusion and kompromat. Gaeta became the "handling agent" for Steele's participation in Crossfire Hurricane. Among his tasks was to get Steele paid (a process that came along slowly) and to see to it that Steele didn't violate the FBI's rules on confidentiality.

This requirement for discretion created a conflict of interest for Steele, who was also being paid for the same information by the Washington-based firm Fusion GPS. Fusion, in turn was being paid by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign for opposition research on Trump. The Democrats wanted Steele's information spread far and wide. They also wanted to be able to claim that the FBI was investigating the allegations. Paid FBI informants, however, are not allowed to tell anyone of their work for the FBI or of the bureau's investigations.

Gaeta was astonished, then, when shortly before the 2016 election an article appeared in Mother Jones titled "A Veteran Spy Has Given the FBI Information Alleging a Russian Operation to Cultivate Donald Trump." The sub-headline asked, "Has the bureau investigated this material?" Gaeta was convinced Steele was the source for the article and confronted him about it. Steele readily admitted he was behind the Mother Jones story.

The conversation that followed and its aftermath have been described before, but in bloodless ways that fail to capture the importance of that confrontation in determining Steele's reliability and credibility. For example, a Justice Department inspector general report says "Handling Agent 1 advised Steele that he must cease collecting information for the FBI, and it was unlikely that the FBI would continue a relationship with him."

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13084989113709670?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13084989113709670-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com&rid=www.zerohedge.com&width=890 "Listen, Is It About the Money?"

Here's how Gaeta recounted that conversation to the Senate: "Listen, is it about the money?" Gaeta asked Steele. "Because we have the money now. Is it about the money?" The FBI had promised, but had yet to deliver to Steele, $15,000 for one meeting with Crossfire Hurricane agents. The bureau had further promised Steele he would be paid "significantly" for his Trump-Russia research.

Gaeta assumed at first a delay in payment had made Steele go rogue.

"Yes, I'm owed the money, but that's secondary," Steele told Gaeta. "I'm very upset about – we're very upset – about the actions of your agency." By the "we" in "we're very upset" one can reasonably infer that Steele was speaking about himself and his client, Fusion GPS head Glenn Simpson (whose client, not counting cutouts, was Hillary Clinton's campaign).

The handling agent was shocked: "I had no idea what he was talking about." Before Gaeta could inquire further, Steele started railing about ''your Director" and his "reopening of the investigation." This was an apparent reference to former FBI Director James Comey's decision to reopen the probe into Hillary Clinton's private email server after 340,000 copies of State Department emails between Clinton and her close personal aide, Huma Abedin, were discovered on a laptop used by Abedin and her husband, Anthony Weiner. He was a disgraced congressman under investigation by the bureau's New York office for sending sexually explicit messages and photos to an underage girl.

At which point it all became clear to the handling agent:

"I'm now understanding that he did this because he was upset that the Director's reopening of the investigation was going to negatively affect the election for Hillary Clinton."

The handling agent described his reaction to Steele's behavior as "surprise and disbelief." Gaeta told the Senate that Steele's actions and attitude weren't just "crazy source-related stuff," but "one of the craziest" the veteran agent had seen in two decades of handling sources. The words are significant: Steele's behavior with the FBI has been characterized as a sort of professional disagreement, uncomfortable perhaps but not unreasonable. Gaeta's blunt assessment casts things in a much harsher light and undercuts subsequent efforts by the FBI's top officials to rehabilitate Steele in order to justify using his "reporting."

Although it has been downplayed until now, Steele's acting out – and his overtly declared partisan motivations -- constituted a crisis for the bureau, so much so that the handling agent describes it in violent terms:

"After that point – after everybody digests what happened," Gaeta told the Senate committee, "[p]hones were ringing at that point; people's ears were bleeding."

Bill Priestap, left, with Michael Horowitz, DoJ inspector general. Priestap vouched for Steele's reliability, and that misrepresentation is important because it was Priestap who was responsible for the official launch of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation in the first place. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Whose ears would those have been? Gaeta's first call likely would have gone to Bill Priestap, assistant director of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division.

He had just been made Gaeta's point of contact at FBI headquarters.

"Management said we were going to close him," Gaeta told the Senate.

"At that point it's just obvious. That's all you could do." The "management" was Priestap, according to Inspector General Michael Horowitz. "Priestap decided that Steele had to be closed immediately." Gaeta drew up the paperwork and Steele was removed from the list of official bureau sources on Nov. 17, 2016.

In the wake of Donald Trump's election, President Obama ordered a multi-agency "Intelligence Community Assessment" of Russian interference in the presidential campaign. James Comey, the director whose actions had prompted Steele to go outside the bureau in the first place, now pushed for Steele's "reporting" to be included in the document, even though none of it had been corroborated. Comey called Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

"I informed the DNI that we would be contributing the [Steele] reporting (although I didn't use that name) to the IC [Intelligence Community] effort," Comey reported in an email to his top deputies the next day.

"I told him the source of the material, which included salacious material about the President-Elect, was a former [REDACTED] who appears to be a credible person."

First in the list of recipients of Comey's email was Priestap.

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Priestap would have known from Gaeta that Steele's behavior was among the "craziest" the handling agent had run into in two decades of source work. He would have known also that, by his own admission, Steele's motivations were to promote Hillary Clinton's campaign apparently by sabotaging Trump's. Yet Priestap went along with Comey's presentation of Steele as a credible source. More than that, Priestap promoted the idea of including Steele's allegations in the intelligence assessment, himself writing to the CIA and describing the former British spy as "reliable."

Finally, Priestap vouched for Steele's reliability even though he later admitted to the Justice Department inspector general that he "understood that the information [from Steele] could have been provided by the Russians as part of a disinformation campaign."

Steele Cast as 'Person of Integrity'

But that's not how Steele's materials were presented to the secret FISA court. Shortly after the election, Priestap went with FBI agent Peter Strzok to London to see if they could rehabilitate Steele's credibility by gathering the opinions of "persons who previously had professional contacts with Steele." They found some who described Steele as "smart" and a "person of integrity" But several lamented Steele's "poor judgment" or "lack of judgment" and his habit of "pursuing people [with] political risk but no intel value." But because Priestap and Strzok did not find any former colleagues to say Steele made things up out of whole cloth, the Crossfire Hurricane team declared him to be credible for the purpose of justifying surveillance warrants.

The willingness of the assistant director for counterintelligence to misrepresent essential information is important because it was Priestap who was responsible for the official launch of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation in the first place.

Gaeta explained to senators just how serious and irrevocable a break it was to "close" a source: ''Once he's closed, nobody is allowed – we can't talk to him."

In this case, that practice was not followed. Priestap's apparent rationale was that the decision to close Steele as a source was not made because he offered unfounded claims but because he had violated confidentiality agreements by sharing them with the press. And so, the FBI continued to gather new "reporting" by Steele. One of channels was David Corn, the Mother Jones reporter who had written the article about Steele's accusations. Corn was a longtime friend of then-FBI General Counsel James Baker. Their children had gone to the same school years before and carpooled. Corn gave Steele memos to Baker and then Baker passed them on to Priestap. Thus the strange situation in which an assistant director of the FBI forbade agents from talking to Steele because of the source's indiscretion with Mother Jones and then proceeded to gather Steele materials through a back-channel relationship with Mother Jones.

Strange, yes, perhaps even crazy.

fxrxexexdxoxmx2 , 1 hour ago

They will never give up reshaping this story.

Here is the truth

Barack Hussein Obama used the DOJ,FBI, CIA, State Department to spy on his campaign rival.

Those loyal to him then used the same agencies in an COUP attempt to remove a duly elected President.

End of story, no spin.

JimmyJones , 1 hour ago

Oh I love President Trump for completely exposing the Deep State and their partners in Crime at the MSM...

BaNNeD oN THe RuN , 58 minutes ago

"completely exposing the Deep State"??

This is but a small corner of a huge termite infestation.

Blondefire , 1 hour ago

The only thing crazier than the Steele dossier are the deaths of Seth Rich and Epstein, or HRC maintaining a private email server which was literally a superhighway for highly classified information to be funneled directly to China for which no one ever suffered even trivial consequences, or HRC and WJC supporting the Uranium One deal along with Sleepy Joe and selling materials vital to our national defense to our sworn enemies, or Obummer being elected to any office higher than dog catcher, or the entire set of circumstances surrounding the death of Justice Scalia and the complete lack of curiosity on the part of the "impartial press", or the deaths of innocent patriots in Benghazi during an arms deal gone wrong, or the complete lack of curiosity on the part of the "impartial press" on the Las Vegas massacre and resultant civilian deaths during an arms deal gone wrong, or the current situation across the nation with civilian police forces being slandered and defunded, with officers being arrested or encouraged to resign en masse, presumably to create a vacuum which can only be filled by a national police force of some sort and probably overseen by the DHS, or almost any of the other headlines from the past 10 years.

MitchRyderAndTheDetroitWheels , 59 minutes ago

I am only 70 and I wouldn't piss on any of the members of the FBI/CIA/Congress if they were on fire. They are all useless to the common good of this country. The entire government workforce in DC needs to be fired starting this afternoon. The most useless MFers on the planet work in city/count/state/federal government. It takes 7 of them to do the job of one good associate.

Bay of Pigs , 1 hour ago

Huma Abedin. Oh yeah, I remember her.

Anyone know what happened to her husband's laptop?

MitchRyderAndTheDetroitWheels , 1 hour ago

Lindsey Graham isn't going to do **** about anything going forward because he like his useless butt boy John McCain are knee deep in this coup.

MrBoompi , 1 hour ago

Steele is a criminal along with a long list of others, starting off with Obama and Brennan.

MitchRyderAndTheDetroitWheels , 56 minutes ago

Barr has 2 more weeks before The Donald has to stand and use the Pulpit....it's ugly now with the dems coming everyday with a new scheme for Trump to have to counter. The good news is the MSM is Chicken Little at this point. Only a F fool believe anything they say since 95% of everything they say about Trump is already negative.

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I love your wife , 1 hour ago

How come the fact that Steele is a foreigner never comes in to play?

mikka , 1 hour ago

He is an "allied" foreigner.

BetterOffDead , 27 minutes ago

Are we sure he is retired from MI-6? Sounds like foreign interference in our election, sponsored by a candidate for president. Good thing she didn't win, she would have been impeached for this! /sarc


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Ditch , 1 hour ago

There are no good actors in any of these stories. And don't tell me to just wait for Sessions, Horrorwitz,Dumbham ...

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Joebloinvestor , 51 minutes ago

The FBI acts with impunity and no integrity.

Slammofandango , 15 minutes ago

Just to be clear, Steele was paid by the FBI, with our tax dollars, to meet with the FBI so as to lend legitimacy to fiction created by a company paid to smear Hillary Clinton's political opposition, with itself being paid with other funds that came by way of a law firm hired by Hillary Clinton.

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Freespeaker , 26 minutes ago

Rod Rosenstein is complicit. He should lose his pension and other gov benefits. He should be seriously considered for prosecution.


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RickyLaFleur , 14 minutes ago

Shadowgate explains why these outsourced contractors are the root of the problem. We have been advised.

Freespeaker , 9 minutes ago

They are part of the problem. But really it is just another way to cover things up.

sborovay07 , 21 minutes ago

The treasonists behind the coup, other than 1, still remain free. Strzok, instead of making license plates, has his 2nd book coming out. Meanwhile, the individual who could have exposed the hoax, Julian Assange, is withering away in prison. It has been so obvious for a number of years that the Deep State operatives on both sides of the political spectrum still control the system. Most Americans are not aware of this as the MSM/Socialist/Marxist/Globalist/DeepState cabal will never admit their crimes. Assange, as in my book, Dad, Why Are You Still Talking About Saul Alinsky, He's Been Dead Since 1972? Socialism and the Deep States War on Our Constitution, tells a tale to Congress that the Deep State and Obama treasonists never want you to hear. They need to pay!!!

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LOL123 , 22 minutes ago

Priestap may have been the first on list from comey but that's not the first source of dossier.

"

Rahm Emmanuel, who became President Obama's chief of staff, wouldn't allow him (sidney blumenthal) near the Obama White House. Hillary kept him, however, at a $10,000 a month sinecure at the Clinton Foundation where he went on to be instrumental in creating the bengaziscandal from his "Libyan sources."

Trey Gowdy said that the FBI used information from Hillary Clinton hatchet man Sidney Blumenthal to corroborate the Steele dossier.

"I have seen each factual assertion listed in that dossier, and then I've seen the FBI's justification. And when you're citing newspaper articles as corroboration for a factual assertion that you have made, you don't need an FBI agent to go do a Google search," said Gowdy, a former South Carolina congressman and member of the House Intelligence Committee, in a Fox News interview.

"And when the name Sidney Blumenthal is included as part of your corroboration, and you're the world's leading law enforcement agency, you have a problem," Gowdy said.In 2018, Gowdy hinted that Blumenthal was responsible for the creation of the dossier.

"When you hear who the source or one of the sources of that information is, you're going to think, 'Oh my gosh, I've heard that name somewhere before. Where could it possibly have been?'" Gowdy said in February 2018

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/trey-gowdy-claims-hillary-clinton-hatchet-man-sidney-blumenthal-was-used-to-corroborate-steele-dossier

Blumenthal, you recall , was an assistant senior advisor to President Clinton from 1997 to 2001, the prime Clinton scandal years, following a career as a writer for the New Yorker. He was a prime witness in the grand jury testimonies over the Monica Lewinsky scandal and famous for leaking creepy stories about the Ken Starr special prosecutor investigation to the press, and came to be known as a man who would do anything for the Clintons. He got a reputation so slimey that even Rahm Emmanuel, who became President Obama's chief of staff, wouldn't allow him near the Obama White House. Hillary kept him, however, at a $10,000 a month sinecure at the Clinton Foundation where he went on to be instrumental in creating the Benghazi scandal from his "Libyan sources." These days, he's affiliated with David Brock's Media Matters, the slime machine featured by Sharyl Attkisson in her bestseller, The Smear: How Shady Politcal Operatives Control What You See, What You Think and How You Vote .

Since then, he's got Clinton in this Steele dossier mess. You'd think Hillary would not want to have anything to do with him after Benghazi, but they're birds of a feather. Blumenthal is to Clinton as Ben Rhodes is to Obama.

Blumenthal was on Hillarys retainer and he is really good at making **** up and getting FBI/CIA involved so much so that he was NOT ALLOWED IN OBAMAS WHITE HOUSE.

To try and pin this on Priestap is a joke.

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Freespeaker , 1 hour ago

Halper, Steele and Mifsud should testify publicly.


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Shifter_X , 23 minutes ago

No one talks about the true origins of the "pee" story anymore

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-11/how-4chan-mcfooled-john-mccain-buzzfeed-and-cia-believing-trumps-golden-showers

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-10/4chan-claims-have-fabricated-anti-trump-report-hoax

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I Write Code , 49 minutes ago

Spooks is all crazy.

Makes Hillary seem almost norbal.

[Sep 09, 2020] Proof of collusion at last! - IRRUSSIANALITY

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The Guardian ..."
"... BNE Intellinews ..."
"... bne IntelliNews ..."
"... The idea, therefore, that Paul Manafort was an agent of influence for the Russian government flies against everything we know about what he actually did. As for Kilimnik, maybe he is a Russian intelligence agent – I'm not in a position to say. But if he is, he's a very weird one, who spent years actively pushing the Ukrainian government to pursue a policy which directly contradicted Russian interests. ..."
"... None of this, needless to say, appears in the US Senate report. Instead, the report chooses to focus on the apparently shocking revelation that Manafort shared Trump campaign polling data with Kilimnik, as if this sharing of private information was in some ways a massive threat to national security and proof that Manafort was working for the Russians. The fact that both Manafort and Kilimnik spent years doing their damnedest to undermine Russia is simply ignored. Go figure! ..."
Sep 09, 2020 | irrussianality.wordpress.com

PROOF OF COLLUSION AT LAST! SEPTEMBER 2, 2020 PAULR 18 COMMENTS

Despite the secondary roles played some bit part actors in the Russiagate drama, the central figure in allegations that Donald Trump colluded with the Russian government to be elected as president of the United States has always been Trumps' onetime campaign manager Paul Manafort. The recent US Senate report on Russian 'interference' in the 2016 presidential election thus started off its analysis with a long exposé of Manafort's comings and goings.

Simply put, the thesis is as follows: while working in Ukraine as an advisor to 'pro-Russian' Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich, Manafort was in effect working on behalf of the Russian state via 'pro-Russian' Ukrainian oligarchs as well as Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska (a man with 'close ties' to the Kremlin). Also suspicious was Manafort's close relationship with one Konstantin Kilimnik, whom the US Senate claims is a Russia intelligence agent. All these connections meant that while in Ukraine, Manafort was helping the Russian Federation spread its malign influence. On returning to the USA and joining the Trump campaign, he then continued to fulfill the same role.

The fundamental flaw in this thesis has always been the well-known fact that while advising Yanukovich, Manafort took anything but a 'pro-Russian' position, but instead pressed him to sign an association agreement with the European Union (EU). Since gaining independence, Ukraine had avoided being sucked either into the Western or the Russian camp. But the rise of two competing geopolitical projects – the EU and the Russia-backed Eurasian Union – was making this stance increasingly impossible, and Ukraine was being put in a position where it would be forced to choose. This was because the two Unions are incompatible – one can't be in two customs unions simultaneously, when they levy different tariffs and have different rules. Association with the EU meant an end to the prospect of Ukraine joining the Eurasian Union. It was therefore a goal which was entirely incompatible with Russian interests, which required that Ukraine turn instead towards Eurasia.

Manafort's position on this matter therefore worked against Russia. Even The Guardian journalist Luke Harding had to concede this in his book Collusion , citing a former Ukrainian official Oleg Voloshin that, 'Manafort was an advocate for US interests. So much so that the joke inside [Yanunkovich's] Party of Regions was that he actually worked for the USA.'

If anyone had any doubts about this, they can now put them aside. On Monday, the news agency BNE Intellinews announced that it had received a leak of hundreds of Kilimnik's emails detailing his relationship with Manafort and Yanukovich. The story they tell is not at all what the US Senate and other proponents of the Trump-Russia collusion fantasy would have you believe. As BNE reports:

Today the Yanukovych narrative is that he was a stool pigeon for Russian President Vladimir Putin from the start, but after winning the presidency he actually worked very hard to take Ukraine into the European family. As bne IntelliNews has already reported, Manafort's flight records also show how he crisscrossed Europe in an effort to build support in Brussels for Yanukovych in the run up to the EU Vilnius summit.

On March 1, his first foreign trip as newly minted president was to the EU capital of Brussels. The leaked emails show that Manafort influenced Yanukovych's decision to visit Brussels as first stop, working in concert with his assistant Konstantin Kilimnik In a memorandum entitled 'Purpose of President Yanukovych Trip to Brussels,' Manafort argued that the decision to visit Brussels first would underscore Yanukovych's mission to "bring European values to Ukraine," and kick start negotiations on the Association Agreement.

The memorandum on the Brussels visit was the first of many from Manafort and Kilimnik to Yanukovych, in which they pushed Yanukovych to signal a clear pro-EU line and to carry out reforms to back this up.

To handle Yanukovych's off-message antics, Manafort and Kilimnik created a back channel to Yanukovych for Western politicians – in particular those known to appreciate Ukraine's geopolitical significance vis-à-vis Russia. In Europe, these were Sweden's then foreign minister Carl Bildt, Poland's then foreign minister Radosław Sikorski and European Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Fule, and in the US, Vice President Joe Biden.

"We need to launch a 'Friends of Ukraine' programme to help us use informal channels in talks on the free trade zone and modernisation of the gas transport system," Manafort and Kilimnik wrote to Yanukovych in September 2010. "Carl Bildt is the foundation of this informal group and has sufficient weight with his colleagues in questions connected to Ukraine and the Eastern Partnership. ( ) but he needs to be able to say that he has a direct channel to the President, and he knows that President Yanukovych remains committed to European integration."

Beyond this, the emails show that Manafort and Kilimnik also tried hard to arrange a meeting between Yanukovich and US President Barack Obama, and urged Yanukovich to show leniency to former Prime Minister Yuliia Timoshenko (who was imprisoned for fraud).

It is noticeable that the members of the 'back channel' Manafort and Kilimnik created to lobby on behalf of Ukraine in the EU included some of the most notably Russophobic European politicians of the time, such as Carl Bildt and Radek Sikorski. Moreover, nowhere in any of what they did can you find anything that could remotely be described as 'pro-Russian'. Indeed, the opposite is true. As previously noted, Ukraine's bid for an EU agreement directly challenged a key Russian interest – the expansion of the Eurasian Union to include Ukraine. Manafort and Kilimnik were therefore very much working against Russia, not for it.

The idea, therefore, that Paul Manafort was an agent of influence for the Russian government flies against everything we know about what he actually did. As for Kilimnik, maybe he is a Russian intelligence agent – I'm not in a position to say. But if he is, he's a very weird one, who spent years actively pushing the Ukrainian government to pursue a policy which directly contradicted Russian interests.

None of this, needless to say, appears in the US Senate report. Instead, the report chooses to focus on the apparently shocking revelation that Manafort shared Trump campaign polling data with Kilimnik, as if this sharing of private information was in some ways a massive threat to national security and proof that Manafort was working for the Russians. The fact that both Manafort and Kilimnik spent years doing their damnedest to undermine Russia is simply ignored. Go figure!

[Sep 06, 2020] Oh, look, no masks! And you thought that Obama official dirty tricks will be unmasked up by the investigation done by the Mueller team?

Sep 06, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

... ... ...

And in the nation's capital - Play it again, Sam.

Oh, look, no masks! And you thought that got covered up by the investigation done by the Mueller team? Let's go over this one more time:

The document declassified by DNI Grenell shows that there were 14 unique days when the NSA received requests to "unmask"--the first was on 30 November 2016 by UN Ambassador Samantha Power and the last came on 12 January from Joe Biden. There were two separate requests on the 14th of December by Samantha Power, which indicates two separate NSA reports. Samantha Power would not have to submit two requests for the same document.

[Sep 01, 2020] Are We Deliberately Trying to Provoke a Military Crisis With Russia by Ted Galen Carpenter

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... There has been a long string of U.S. provocations toward Russia. The first one came in the late 1990s and the initial years of the twenty-first century when Washington violated tacit promises given to Mikhail Gorbachev and other Soviet leaders that if Moscow accepted a united Germany within NATO, the Alliance would not seek to move farther east. Instead of abiding by that bargain, the Clinton and Bush administrations successfully pushed NATO to admit multiple new members from Central and Eastern Europe, bringing that powerful military association directly to Russia's western border. In addition, the United States initiated "rotational" deployments of its forces to the new members so that the U.S. military presence in those countries became permanent in all but name. Even Robert M. Gates, who served as secretary of defense under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama, was uneasy about those deployments and conceded that he should have warned Bush in 2007 that they might be unnecessarily provocative. ..."
"... Such provocative political steps, though, are now overshadowed by worrisome U.S. and NATO military moves. Weeks before the formal announcement on July 29, the Trump administration touted its plan to relocate some U.S. forces stationed in Germany. When Secretary of Defense Mike Esper finally made the announcement, the media's focus was largely on the point that 11,900 troops would leave that country. ..."
"... Among other developments, there already has been a surge of alarming incidents between U.S. and Russian military aircraft in that region. Most of the cases involve U.S. spy planes flying near the Russian coast -- supposedly in international airspace. On July 30, a Russian Su-27 jet fighter intercepted two American surveillance aircraft; according to Russian officials, it was the fourth time in the final week of July that they caught U.S. planes in that sector approaching the Russian coast. Yet another interception occurred on August 5, again involving two U.S. spy planes. Still others have taken place throughout mid-August. It is a reckless practice that easily could escalate into a broader, very dangerous confrontation. ..."
"... The growing number of such incidents is a manifestation of the surging U.S. military presence along Russia's border, especially in the Black Sea . They are taking place on Russia's doorstep, thousands of miles away from the American homeland. Americans should consider how the United States would react if Russia decided to establish a major naval and air presence in the Gulf of Mexico, operating out of bases in such allied countries as Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. ..."
"... I think this has been bipartisan policy since at least 1947. Unlikely to change anytime soon, even with realists gaining ground. Perhaps expanding NATO east, sending support to Ukraine, and intervening in Syria (despite attempts to leave, the best we can get at this point are small troop reductions that most likely are redeployed to neighboring countries) aren't the best idea after all? ..."
"... they think Russia is a weak state and can do nothing therefore they are free to do as they please. ..."
"... the US leadership wants ether country to take a shot at some thing US. Then then can scream and stomp their feet that no one on earth is allowed to trade with ether country and the US can block all trade with ether country. ..."
"... The other thing at play is Americans love it when their leaders act like gangsters. That's why leaders do it. Nothing will get you votes faster in the US than saying your going to kill people. I see US citizens try that non-sense about it's all Washington we don't want that. But you keep voting for people that are going to give you the next war fix. When you stop they will stop. ..."
"... if people are convinced that Russia is a weak state -- then it is easier to approve adventures abroad -- including ringing Russia. ..."
"... Please explain to me, a Russian person, what kind of anti-American policy Russia is spreading in countries? If we exclude acts of counteraction against American expansion and aggression against Russia? ..."
"... The only people that are destroying Americans are within our borders, wielding power to fulfill their mission -- enrich themselves, keep the borders open, and our military all over the globe. ..."
"... I think there is a third option besides escalation and deescalation - exhaustion. Projecting power across the globe is expensive, it is a slow but steady drain on US resources, which are needed elsewhere (for example to quell the riots in major US cities). ..."
"... I see it as exhaustion by corruption. The US military is increasingly bureaucratic, political and ineffectual. Our weapons are gold-plated, hyper-tech focused and require highly-skilled people to maintain them, which means we can't quickly train new people up. The weapons themselves are so complex and expensive that there is no way to manufacture them at scale quickly. ..."
"... Read Jean Lartegy's "The Centurions." That is the direction where the tactically brilliant, but strategically incompetent US military leadership is headed. ..."
"... Stop focusing on what Trump says and look at what his administration does. Troops in Poland and Eastern Europe, Nord Stream 2, intrusive US reconnaissance flights along Russia's borders, support of Ukraine, interference with Russian patrols in Syria, the continuing attempt to destabilize Assad in Syria, the destruction of JCPOA, global sanctions campaign on Russia among others, withdrawal from arms control treaties, accusation that Russia was cheating on INF treaty, hiring dozens of anti-Russia hardliners, etc, etc. ..."
"... I don't think US-Russian cooperation is doable at this point--or any time soon. Given how erratic US policy is--yawing violently from one direction to another--Russia has no reason to accept the damage to its relationship with China that shifting to a strategic arrangement with the US would entail. The risk is too high and the potential rewards too uncertain. ..."
"... We have pretty much alienated the Russian state under Putin, and now we're trying to wait him out, with the expectation that there is no one of his capabilities to maintain the strategic autonomy of the Russian state in the longer term and that once he exits the scene, some Yeltsin-like stooge will present himself. ..."
"... Everyone is focusing on Russia because of the Russia hoax. Dems started a new cold war based on an irrational fear that Russia was threatening our democracy. ..."
"... The foreign policy elite dislikes Russia, always has, and will do anything to keep this "adversary" front and center because their prospects for prestige, power and position depend upon the presence of an enemy. As an example see Strobe Talbot and Michael McFaul. ..."
Aug 28, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Tensions are becoming dangerous in Syria and on Russia's back doorstep. US soldiers stand near US and Russian military vehicles in the northeastern Syrian town of al-Malikiyah (Derik) at the border with Turkey, on June 3, 2020. (Photo by DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

A dangerous vehicle collision between U.S and Russian soldiers in Northeastern Syria on Aug. 24 highlights the fragility of the relationship and the broader test of wills between the two major powers.

According to White House reports and a Russian video that went viral this week, it appeared that as the two sides were racing down a highway in armored vehicles, the Russians sideswiped the Americans, leaving four U.S. soldiers injured. It is but the latest clash as both sides continue their patrols in the volatile area. But it speaks of bigger problems with U.S. provocations on Russia's backdoor in Eastern Europe.

A sober examination of U.S. policy toward Russia since the disintegration of the Soviet Union leads to two possible conclusions. One is that U.S. leaders, in both Republican and Democratic administrations, have been utterly tone-deaf to how Washington's actions are perceived in Moscow. The other possibility is that those leaders adopted a policy of maximum jingoistic swagger intended to intimidate Russia, even if it meant obliterating a constructive bilateral relationship and eventually risking a dangerous showdown. Washington's latest military moves, especially in Eastern Europe and the Black Sea, are stoking alarming tensions.

There has been a long string of U.S. provocations toward Russia. The first one came in the late 1990s and the initial years of the twenty-first century when Washington violated tacit promises given to Mikhail Gorbachev and other Soviet leaders that if Moscow accepted a united Germany within NATO, the Alliance would not seek to move farther east. Instead of abiding by that bargain, the Clinton and Bush administrations successfully pushed NATO to admit multiple new members from Central and Eastern Europe, bringing that powerful military association directly to Russia's western border. In addition, the United States initiated "rotational" deployments of its forces to the new members so that the U.S. military presence in those countries became permanent in all but name. Even Robert M. Gates, who served as secretary of defense under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama, was uneasy about those deployments and conceded that he should have warned Bush in 2007 that they might be unnecessarily provocative.

As if such steps were not antagonistic enough, both Bush and Obama sought to bring Georgia and Ukraine into NATO. The latter country is not only within what Russia regards as its legitimate sphere of influence, but within its core security zone. Even key European members of NATO, especially France and Germany, believed that such a move was unwise and blocked Washington's ambitions. That resistance, however, did not inhibit a Western effort to meddle in Ukraine's internal affairs to help demonstrators unseat Ukraine's elected, pro-Russia president and install a new, pro-NATO government in 2014.

Such provocative political steps, though, are now overshadowed by worrisome U.S. and NATO military moves. Weeks before the formal announcement on July 29, the Trump administration touted its plan to relocate some U.S. forces stationed in Germany. When Secretary of Defense Mike Esper finally made the announcement, the media's focus was largely on the point that 11,900 troops would leave that country.

However, Esper made it clear that only 6,400 would return to the United States; the other nearly 5,600 would be redeployed to other NATO members in Europe. Indeed, of the 6,400 coming back to the United States, "many of these or similar units will begin conducting rotational deployments back to Europe." Worse, of the 5,600 staying in Europe, it turns out that at least 1,000 are going to Poland's eastern border with Russia.

Another result of the redeployment will be to boost U.S. military power in the Black Sea. Esper confirmed that various units would "begin continuous rotations farther east in the Black Sea region, giving us a more enduring presence to enhance deterrence and reassure allies along NATO's southeastern flank." Moscow is certain to regard that measure as another on a growing list of Black Sea provocations by the United States.

Among other developments, there already has been a surge of alarming incidents between U.S. and Russian military aircraft in that region. Most of the cases involve U.S. spy planes flying near the Russian coast -- supposedly in international airspace. On July 30, a Russian Su-27 jet fighter intercepted two American surveillance aircraft; according to Russian officials, it was the fourth time in the final week of July that they caught U.S. planes in that sector approaching the Russian coast. Yet another interception occurred on August 5, again involving two U.S. spy planes. Still others have taken place throughout mid-August. It is a reckless practice that easily could escalate into a broader, very dangerous confrontation.

The growing number of such incidents is a manifestation of the surging U.S. military presence along Russia's border, especially in the Black Sea . They are taking place on Russia's doorstep, thousands of miles away from the American homeland. Americans should consider how the United States would react if Russia decided to establish a major naval and air presence in the Gulf of Mexico, operating out of bases in such allied countries as Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.

The undeniable reality is that the United States and its NATO allies are crowding Russia; Russia is not crowding the United States. Washington's bumptious policies already have wrecked a once-promising bilateral relationship and created a needless new cold war with Moscow. If more prudent U.S. policies are not adopted soon, that cold war might well turn hot.

Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow in security studies at the Cato Institute and a contributing editor at The American Conservative, is the author of 12 books and more than 850 articles on international affairs. His latest book is NATO: The Dangerous Dinosaur (2019).


Tradcon 5 days ago • edited

I mean, I think this has been bipartisan policy since at least 1947. Unlikely to change anytime soon, even with realists gaining ground. Perhaps expanding NATO east, sending support to Ukraine, and intervening in Syria (despite attempts to leave, the best we can get at this point are small troop reductions that most likely are redeployed to neighboring countries) aren't the best idea after all?

Mike P Tradcon 4 days ago

This is a very anti American article! Patriots know that where the U.S. gives political or economic ground Russia and other adversaries will fill the vacum with policies intended to destroy American peoeple. So no, it is not a bad idea to be involved in Syria and Ukraine in fact it is a very good idea.

northernobserver Mike P 4 days ago

The entire framing of Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the Muslim Brotherhood as "pro American" and those who oppose them as "anti American" is delusional.
Russia is a weak state trying to maintain its natural spheres of influence along the Curzon line. Why has the State Department/ Pentagon decided to try and roll this back? How the F to they expect Russia to react. How would America react if a foreign power tried to turn Mexico into a strategic asset. So why is it ok to make Ukraine into a Nato member? It's reckless and ultimately it is pointless. Weakening Russia further serves little strategic purpose and potentially threatens to destabilize the Balkans and mid east with Turkish adventurism. What will America do if the Turks seize Rhodes under some pretext?

Syria is another case of State Department midwits not understanding the results of their regime change. What purpose does it serve to put a Sunni extremist government in Damascus. How hateful do you have to be to subject Syria's minorities to genocide at the hands of an ISIS sympathetic government? How do you delude yourself that such a regime will serve America's interests in the long run? So you can own Iran before the election? You are trading victory today for permanent loss tomorrow. It's insane.

Aen Elle northernobserver 4 days ago
How the F to they expect Russia to react.

Just like you, they think Russia is a weak state and can do nothing therefore they are free to do as they please. Also, since Turkey is a NATO member and as such an ally to the U.S. shouldn't you be cheering in good faith for Turkey and against Russia?

Bianca Aen Elle a day ago

You got that one. Because Turkey is a thorn in NATO side. It has massive economic interests in Russia, China and the rest of Asia. The "adventure" in Syria is coordinated with Russia to the last detail, while playacting tensions. US problem in Syria is not Russia or Turkey, but Russia AND Turkey.

As US is frowning at Egypt Al-Sisi , or Saudi MBS -- it is because they frown at Egypt AND Russia, as well as Saudi Arabia AND Russia.
Basically, countries nominally counted in OUR camp are frowned upon when collaborating with the ENEMY countries.
Our foreign policy is stuck in Middle East -- and cannot get unstuck. Cannot be better illustrated then Pompeo addressing Republican convention from Jerusalem.

The only way Russia can challenge encirclement is by challenging US in its home away from home -- Middle East. And creating new realities in the ground by collaborating with the countries in the region -- undermining monopoly.

And as the entire world is hurting from epidemic related economic setbacks, Russia and China are economies that are moving forward. And nobody in the Middle East can afford to ignore it.

J Villain northernobserver 4 days ago

I agree with you with the exception of Russia being weak. One day the US which has never seen any thing in advance will push Russia one time to many and find the Russian Army in Poland and Romania. That is if China doesn't take out some thing precious to the US in the mean time like a U2, aircraft carrier etc.

There are two things at play here. The first is the US leadership wants ether country to take a shot at some thing US. Then then can scream and stomp their feet that no one on earth is allowed to trade with ether country and the US can block all trade with ether country.

The other thing at play is Americans love it when their leaders act like gangsters. That's why leaders do it. Nothing will get you votes faster in the US than saying your going to kill people. I see US citizens try that non-sense about it's all Washington we don't want that. But you keep voting for people that are going to give you the next war fix. When you stop they will stop.

PJ London J Villain a day ago

I agree with your assessment except Russia will not put troops into any country without the express request from the legitimate government. They are not going into Poland and especially not Romania (Transnistria maybe) why would they? The countries do not have any resources that Russia wants. The only reason to put troops into Belarus is to maintain a distance between Poland and the borders.

Russia needs nothing from the rest of the world except trade. Un-coerced, free trade. This drives the US corporations crazy as no one will trade with the US anymore without coercion.

PS the same goes for China with the proviso that Taiwan is part of China and needs to be reabsorbed into the mainstream. It will take +20 years but China just keeps the pressure on until there will be no viable alternative.

Bianca northernobserver a day ago

It has never meant to serve American interests. Ever. Once you put it in perspective, it makes sense.

But if people are convinced that Russia is a weak state -- then it is easier to approve adventures abroad -- including ringing Russia.

The problem for never satiated Zealots is the following -- regional powers in the Middle East are hitching their wagons to Eurasian economic engine. That is definitely true of Turkey, Egypt and even Saudi Arabia. The tales of Moslem Brotherhood are here to interpret something today from the iconography from the past. And to explain today what an entirely different set of leaders did -- be that few years ago or one hundred years ago. Same goes for iconography of Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Communism, Socialism, authoritarianism, and other ISMS.

Those icons serve the same purpose as icons in religion or in cyber-space. You look at them, or you click -- and the story and explanation is ready made for your consumption. Time to watch actions -- not media iconography to tell us what is going on.

Tradcon Mike P 4 days ago

If we're being purely ideological here those with an overtly internationalist disposition (barring leftists) are those who want to be involved overseas, hardly ones to go on about national interest or pride. Its been a common stance associated with American Nationalism and Paleoconservatives to be anti-intervention, these people (of which I consider myself a part) can hardly be bashed for holding unpatriotic views.)

Russia has a declining population, and an economy smaller than that of Spain. Its hardly a threat and our involvement in Eastern Europe was relatively limited pre-2014 and even so the overall international balance of power hasn't shifted after Russian annexation of Crimea, and the Ukrainians proved quite capable of defending their nation (though not so capable as to end retake separatist strongholds.

Alexandr Kosenkov Mike P 3 days ago

Please explain to me, a Russian person, what kind of anti-American policy Russia is spreading in countries? If we exclude acts of counteraction against American expansion and aggression against Russia? What ideological foundations does Russia have after 1991? Isn't Russia's actions a guerrilla war on the communications of the self-proclaimed "Empire of Good", which is pursuing a tough offensive policy? And is it not because the Russians support a significant part of Putin's initiatives (despite a number of Putin's obvious shortcomings) precisely because they have experience of cooperation with the "Empire of Good" in the 90s: give loans, corrupt officials and deputies, put Russian firms under control big American companies, and then just give orders from the White House.
PS. I beg your pardon my google english

Bianca Mike P a day ago

Another Zealot in Patriot garb. The only people that are destroying Americans are within our borders, wielding power to fulfill their mission -- enrich themselves, keep the borders open, and our military all over the globe.

kouroi 4 days ago • edited

It would be interesting to read the minds of the US pilots engaged in these activities. My guess is that the cognitive dissonance energy in those heads is equivalent to the biggest nuclear bomb ever exploded...

Vhailor 4 days ago

Hmmm... I think there is a third option besides escalation and deescalation - exhaustion. Projecting power across the globe is expensive, it is a slow but steady drain on US resources, which are needed elsewhere (for example to quell the riots in major US cities).

In a major crisis this could lead to a breaking point. What if some US adversary decides to double down and attack (directly or by proxy) US troops and the US will not be able to respond? A humiliating defeat combined with an exhausted public decidedly set against military adventures abroad could cause a rapid retrenchment and global withdrawal.

Kent Vhailor 4 days ago

I see it as exhaustion by corruption. The US military is increasingly bureaucratic, political and ineffectual. Our weapons are gold-plated, hyper-tech focused and require highly-skilled people to maintain them, which means we can't quickly train new people up. The weapons themselves are so complex and expensive that there is no way to manufacture them at scale quickly.

The DOD today is only about personal political position, and grubbing tax-payer dollars for self-aggrandizement. In any real war with a real adversary, we wouldn't stand a chance.

Vhailor Kent 4 days ago

I wouldn't be so pessimistic regarding US military capabilities and I'm neither a US citizen or a fan of US global hegemony.

The US armed forces are made up of professionals. There are some universal advantages and disadvantages of such forces. A professional army is good at fighting wars but bad at controlling territory because of its limited size and higher costs-per-soldier. In order to control territory you need "boots on the ground" in great numbers, standing at checkpoints and patrolling the countryside. They didn't have to be trained to the level of Navy SEALS, for them it is enough if they can shoot straight and won't be scared from some fireworks and the US lacks such forces.

kouroi Vhailor 4 days ago

So how is one going to get the millions of manpower to fulfill these tasks? Pauperize the masses so that joining the army becomes the only viable solution? Introduce the Draft? Provide a pathway for US citizenship for any foreigner that joins, establishing a US Foreign Legion?

And then, how you'll have enough boots on the ground to pacify Russia or China. It took more than a month to establish and secure the beach heads in Bretagne in France in 1944. How do you think you can even get those boots to land in Russia or China, when you know that the ICBMs are going to start flying towards the continental US if something like this will ever happen?

Vhailor kouroi 4 days ago

So how is one going to get the millions of manpower to fulfill these tasks? Pauperize the masses so that joining the army becomes the only viable solution? Introduce the Draft?

It is no longer possible to introduce the draft in the US - even mentioning it would lead to social unrests.

Baruch Dreamstalker Vhailor 4 days ago

The idea of a soft-mandatory year of service with a military option has been floated. It generates neither unrest nor interest.

alan Vhailor 21 hours ago

Read Jean Lartegy's "The Centurions." That is the direction where the tactically brilliant, but strategically incompetent US military leadership is headed.

Scaathor Kent 4 days ago

In addition, those gold-plated weapon systems often do not work as advertised. Look how the multi-billion IADS of the Saudis couldn't protect their refinery complex from a cruise missile attack from Yemen. Look at the embarrassing failures of the LCS and Zumwalt ship classes, and the endless problems with the Ford CVN. The F35 is proving a ginormous boondoggle that will massively enrich LM shareholders but will do squat for US military capabilities.

kouroi Vhailor 4 days ago

It will go on as long as the US is able to benefit of its present ability to print money and have the world use that money...

Baruch Dreamstalker William Toffan 15 hours ago

The alternative is an incumbent who runs against the condition of his own country as an outsider. It take an idiot to support that.

PJ London Feral Finster a day ago

He already did and the Military ignored him.
He backtracked with endless excuses and conditionals.
https://www.nbcnews.com/new...
**
Bill Clinton once reportedly told senior White House reporter Sarah McClendon, "Sarah, there's a government inside the government, and I don't control it."
**
Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men's views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organised, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.
– Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States (1856-1924)
**
Do you really think that the adults with so much to lose would allow an idiot like Trump (or Clinton or Obama or Bush) to actually run things?

Feral Finster PJ London a day ago

And then, like the cuck he is, Trump knuckled under. "I like oil!"

Dan Greene bumbershoot 3 days ago

Stop focusing on what Trump says and look at what his administration does. Troops in Poland and Eastern Europe, Nord Stream 2, intrusive US reconnaissance flights along Russia's borders, support of Ukraine, interference with Russian patrols in Syria, the continuing attempt to destabilize Assad in Syria, the destruction of JCPOA, global sanctions campaign on Russia among others, withdrawal from arms control treaties, accusation that Russia was cheating on INF treaty, hiring dozens of anti-Russia hardliners, etc, etc.

I'll repeat: Focus on what Trump does, not what he says, and then total up the pro-Russia and anti-Russia actions of this administration and see what that reveals.

peter mcloughlin 4 days ago

A danger with this "new Cold War" is the assumption it will end like the first one – peacefully. If this is the thinking among policy-makers we are in a very perilous situation. History shows that fatal miscalculations contributed to the First World War, and as a consequence the second. Today there is no room for miscalculation, which will set off unstoppable escalation into a third.
https://www.ghostsofhistory...

I Don't Matter 4 days ago

Russians deliberately repeatedly ram an American vehicle, but I'm sure it's all our fault. Shouldn't have worn that skirt I guess.
Before y'all armchair Putin experts say all your loving things: you have nothing to contribute unless you speak fluent Russian. I watched the video taken and published by the Russians and it was pretty clear what they were doing.

Feral Finster I Don't Matter 4 days ago

The United States is not invited in Syria or wanted. Russian troops are in Syria at the invitation of the legitimate and recognized government.

Whatever happens to American troops there is deserved.

dba12123 . I Don't Matter 3 days ago • edited

Something critical is being missed entirely. The United States has invaded Syria without a mandate from the UN. Its' president has explicitly stated that it is the intention of the US to take Syria's oil. Both are violations of international law. Any hostile action taken against the illegal US presence in Syria is justifiable as self defense. While the US presence in Syria is illegal, Russia's presence is not. Russia was invited into Syria by the UN recognized Syrian government to assist it in defending against the US regime change by Al Qaeda proxy operation..

hooly 4 days ago

establish a major naval and air presence in the Gulf of Mexico, operating out of bases in such allied countries as Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.

What would happen if China or Russia established bases in the Caribbean and Latin America? Trump joked about selling Puerto Rico, what if the Chinese bought it?

L RNY 4 days ago

If the Israeli's have a problem with Russia being in Syria then Israel should deal with it. Its not our problem and Russia is not our enemy. Infact India is bringing closer relations between Russia and Japan. Which do you want? Russian antagonism because Israel doesn't want Russians in Syria or Russian partnership with India, Japan, Australia and the US dealing with China? Remember....you could spend 1000 years in the middle east and not make a dent in the animosities between peoples there...so one is a futile endeaver...while the other has great benefit.

Carlton Meyer 4 days ago

Note that Russian soldiers are in Syria at the request of its government to help fend off foreign invaders. The American troops are there illegally, with no UN or even Congressional authorization.

Also