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[Dec 21, 2019] Please consider looking at the Wikileaks video linked below? It illustrates a barbaric type of war crime-free unaccountability to "international law," including a lawless US military Rules of Engagement modus operandi

Mar 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

ChuckOrloski says:

March 12, 2019 at 5:25 pm GMT • 200 Words @AnonFromTN Superfluously impossible, AnonfromTN said: "It is simple, really. The US needs a law prohibiting anyone with dual citizenship to hold public office."

Hi AnonfromTN.

Hard to comprehend how you persist to deny how the "US law" is Zionized. (Zigh) Israeli "dual citizenship and holding "Homeland" public office is an irretractable endowment lawlessly given to US Jews by ruling international Jewry.

They barged into our Constitution like a cancer and feast upon The Bill of Rights.

What's worse now is how livin' the "American dream" has reversed, and at present, President t-Rump demands huge increases in war funding.
No one gets informed that future wars converge with Israel's will.

Please consider looking at the Wikileaks video linked below? It illustrates a barbaric type of war crime-free & unaccountability to "international law," including a lawless US military Rules of Engagement modus operandi, which governed the serial killing activity of an Apache attack chopper crew in the Baghdad sky. Look close at the posed threat!

Tell me AnonfromTN? As you likely know, Bradley Chelsea Manning is, and under "Homeland" law, in-the-klink for exposing the war crimes to America. Is their one (1) US Congressman raising objection to the imprisonment? Fyi, you can look at the brave writing of Kathy Kelly on the Manning case, and which appears at Counterpunch.org.

AnonFromTN , says: March 12, 2019 at 6:01 pm GMT

@ChuckOrloski I can only agree. The patient (the US political system) is too far gone to hope for recovery. As comment #69 rightly points out, our political system is based on bribery. Lobbyism and donations to political campaigns and PACs are perfectly legal in the US, while all of these should be criminal offenses punished by jail time, like in most countries. Naturally, desperate Empires losing their dominant position resort to any war crimes imaginable, and severely punish those who expose these crimes.

I can add only one thing: you are right that greedy Jews are evil, but greedy people of any nationality are just as evil as greedy Jews. Not all greedy globalists and MIC thieves are Jews, but they are all scum. I watch with dismay the US Empire heading to its crash. Lemmings running to the cliff are about as rational as our degenerate elites. Israel influence is toxic, but that's not the only poison the Empire will die from.

[Dec 21, 2019] Syria Accuses US Of Stealing Over 40 Tons Of Its Gold by Eric Zuesse

Mar 08, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

by Tyler Durden Fri, 03/08/2019 - 23:55 240 SHARES Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

The Syrian National News Agency headlined on February 26th, "Gold deal between United States and Daesh" (Daesh is ISIS) and reported that,

Information from local sources said that US army helicopters have already transported the gold bullions under cover of darkness on Sunday [February 24th], before transporting them to the United States.

The sources said that tens of tons that Daesh had been keeping in their last hotbed in al-Baghouz area in Deir Ezzor countryside have been handed to the Americans, adding up to other tons of gold that Americans have found in other hideouts for Daesh, making the total amount of gold taken by the Americans to the US around 50 tons, leaving only scraps for the SDF [Kurdish] militias that serve them [the US operation].

Recently, sources said that the area where Daesh leaders and members have barricaded themselves in, contains around 40 tons of gold and tens of millions of dollars.

Allegedly, "US occupation forces in the Syrian al-Jazeera area made a deal with Daesh terrorists, by which Washington gets tens of tons of gold that the terror organization had stolen, in exchange for providing safe passage for the terrorists and their leaders from the areas in Deir Ezzor where they are located."

ISIS was financing its operations largely by the theft of oil from the oil wells in the Deir Ezzor area, Syria's oil-producing region, and they transported and sold this stolen oil via their allied forces, through Turkey, which was one of those US allies trying to overthrow Syria's secular Government and install a Sunni fundamentalist regime that would be ruled from Riyadh (i.e., controlled by the Saud family) . This gold is the property of the Syrian Government, which owns all that oil and the oil wells, which ISIS had captured (stolen), and then sold. Thus, this gold is from sale of that stolen black-market oil, which was Syria's property.

The US Government claims to be anti-ISIS, but actually didn't even once bomb ISIS in Syria until Russia started bombing ISIS in Syria on 30 September 2015, and the US had actually been secretly arming ISIS there so as to help ISIS and especially Al Qaeda (and the US was strongly protecting Al Qaeda in Syria ) to overthrow Syria's secular and non-sectarian Government. Thus, whereas Russia started bombing ISIS in Syria on 30 September 2015, America (having become embarrassed) started bombing ISIS in Syria on 16 November 2015 . The US Government's excuse was "This is our first strike against tanker trucks, and to minimize risks to civilians, we conducted a leaflet drop prior to the strike." They pretended it was out of compassion -- not in order to extend for as long as possible ISIS's success in taking over territory in Syria. (And, under Trump, on the night of 2 March 2019, the US rained down upon ISIS in northeast Syria the excruciating and internationally banned white phosphorous to burn ISIS and its hostages alive, which Trump's predecessor Barack Obama had routinely done to burn alive the residents in Donetsk and other parts of eastern former Ukraine where voters had voted more than 90% for the democratically elected Ukrainian President whom Obama's coup in Ukraine had replaced . It was a way to eliminate some of the most-undesired voters -- people who must never again be voting in a Ukrainian national election, not even if that region subsequently does become conquered by the post-coup, US-imposed, regime. The land there is wanted; its residents certainly are not wanted by the Obama-imposed regime.) America's line was: Russia just isn't as 'compassionate' as America. Zero Hedge aptly headlined "'Get Out Of Your Trucks And Run Away': US Gives ISIS 45 Minute Warning On Oil Tanker Strikes" . Nobody exceeds the United States Government in sheer hypocrisy.

The US Government evidently thinks that the public are fools, idiots. America's allies seem to be constantly amazed at how successful that approach turns out to be.

Indeed, on 28 November 2012, Syria News headlined "Emir of Qatar & Prime Minister of Turkey Steal Syrian Oil Machinery in Broad Daylight" and presented video allegedly showing it (but unfortunately providing no authentication of the date and locale of that video).

Jihadists were recruited from throughout the world to fight against Syria's secular Government. Whereas ISIS was funded mainly by black-market sales of oil from conquered areas, the Al-Qaeda-led groups were mainly funded by the Sauds and other Arab royal families and their retinues, the rest of their aristocracy. On 13 December 2013, BBC headlined "Guide to the Syrian rebels" and opened "There are believed to be as many as 1,000 armed opposition groups in Syria, commanding an estimated 100,000 fighters." Except in the Kurdish areas in Syria's northeast, almost all of those fighters were being led by Al Qaeda's Syrian Branch, al-Nusra. Britain's Center on Religion & Politics headlined on 21 December 2015, "Ideology and Objectives of the Syrian Rebellion" and reported: "If ISIS is defeated, there are at least 65,000 fighters belonging to other Salafi-jihadi groups ready to take its place." Almost all of those 65,000 were trained and are led by Syria's Al Qaeda (Nusra), which was protected by the US

In September 2016 a UK official "FINAL REPORT OF THE TASK FORCE ON COMBATING TERRORIST AND FOREIGN FIGHTER TRAVEL" asserted that, "Over 25,000 foreign fighters have traveled to the battlefield to enlist with Islamist terrorist groups, including at least 4,500 Westerners. More than 250 individuals from the United States have also joined." Even just 25,000 (that official lowest estimate) was a sizable US proxy-army of religious fanatics to overthrow Syria's Government.

On 26 November 2015, the first of Russia's videos of Russia's bombing ISIS oil trucks headed into Turkey was bannered at a US military website "Russia Airstrike on ISIS Oil Tankers" , and exactly a month later, on 26 December 2015, Britain's Daily Express headlined "WATCH: Russian fighter jets smash ISIS oil tankers after spotting 12,000 at Turkish border" . This article, reporting around twelve thousand ISIS oil-tanker trucks heading into Turkey, opened: "The latest video, released by the Russian defence ministry, shows the tankers bunched together as they make their way along the road. They are then blasted by the fighter jet." The US military had nothing comparable to offer to its 'news'-media. Britain's Financial Times headlined on 14 October 2015, "Isis Inc: how oil fuels the jihadi terrorists" . Only America's allies were involved in this commerce with ISIS -- no nation that supported Syria's Government was participating in this black market of stolen Syrian goods. So, it's now clear that a lot of that stolen oil was sold for gold as Syria's enemy-nations' means of buying that oil from ISIS. They'd purchase it from ISIS, but not from Syria's Government, the actual owner.

On 30 November 2015 Israel's business-news daily Globes News Service bannered "Israel has become the main buyer for oil from ISIS controlled territory, report" , and reported:

An estimated 20,000-40,000 barrels of oil are produced daily in ISIS controlled territory generating $1-1.5 million daily profit for the terrorist organization. The oil is extracted from Dir A-Zur in Syria and two fields in Iraq and transported to the Kurdish city of Zakhu in a triangle of land near the borders of Syria, Iraq and Turkey. Israeli and Turkish mediators come to the city and when prices are agreed, the oil is smuggled to the Turkish city of Silop marked as originating from Kurdish regions of Iraq and sold for $15-18 per barrel (WTI and Brent Crude currently sell for $41 and $45 per barrel) to the Israeli mediator, a man in his 50s with dual Greek-Israeli citizenship known as Dr. Farid. He transports the oil via several Turkish ports and then onto other ports, with Israel among the main destinations.

After all, Israel too wants to overthrow Syria's secular, non-sectarian Government, which would be replaced by rulers selected by the Saud family , who are the US Government's main international ally .

On 9 November 2014, when Turkey was still a crucial US ally trying to overthrow Syria's secular Government (and this was before the failed 15 July 2016 US-backed coup-attempt to overthrow and replace Turkey's Government so as to impose an outright US stooge), Turkey was perhaps ISIS's most crucial international backer . Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's leader, had received no diploma beyond k-12, and all of that schooling was in Sunni schools and based on the Quran . (He pretended, however, to have a university diploma.) On 15 July 2015, AWD News headlined "Turkish President's daughter heads a covert medical corps to help ISIS injured members" . On 2 December 2015, a Russian news-site headlined "Defense Ministry: Erdogan and his family are involved in the illegal supply of oil" ; so, the Erdogan family itself was religiously committed to ISIS's fighters against Syria, and they were key to the success of the US operation against Syrians -- theft from Syrians. The great investigative journalist Christof Lehmann, who was personally acquainted with many of the leading political figures in Africa and the Middle East, headlined on 22 June 2014, "US Embassy in Ankara Headquarter for ISIS War on Iraq – Hariri Insider" , and he reported that the NATO-front the Atlantic Council had held a meeting in Turkey during 22-23 of November 2013 at which high officials of the US and allied governments agreed that they were going to take over Syria's oil, and that they even were threatening Iraq's Government for its not complying with their demands to cooperate on overthrowing Syria's Government. So, behind the scenes, this conquest of Syria was the clear aim by the US and all of its allies.

The US had done the same thing when it took over Ukraine by a brutal coup in February 2014 : It grabbed the gold. Iskra News in Russian reported, on 7 March 2014 , that "At 2 a.m. this morning ... an unmarked transport plane was on the runway at Borosipol Airport" near Kiev in the west, and that, "According to airport staff, before the plane came to the airport, four trucks and two Volkswagen minibuses arrived, all the truck license plates missing." This was as translated by Michel Chossudovsky at Global Research headlining on 14 March, "Ukraine's Gold Reserves Secretly Flown Out and Confiscated by the New York Federal Reserve?" in which he noted that, when asked, "A spokesman for the New York Fed said simply, 'Any inquiry regarding gold accounts should be directed to the account holder.'" The load was said to be "more than 40 heavy boxes." Chossudovsky noted that, "The National Bank of Ukraine (Central Bank) estimated Ukraine's gold reserves in February to be worth $1.8 billion dollars." It was allegedly 36 tons. The US, according to Victoria Nuland ( Obama's detail-person overseeing the coup ) had invested around $5 billion in the coup. Was her installed Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk cleaning out the nation's gold reserves in order to strip the nation so that the nation's steep indebtedness for Russian gas would never be repaid to Russia's oligarchs? Or was he doing it as a payoff for Nuland's having installed him? Or both? In any case: Russia was being squeezed by this fascist Ukrainian-American ploy.

On 14 November 2014, a Russian youtube headlined "In Ukraine, there is no more gold and currency reserves" and reported that there is "virtually no gold. There is a small amount of gold bars, but it's just 1%" of before the coup. Four days later, bannered "Ukraine Admits Its Gold Is Gone: 'There Is Almost No Gold Left In The Central Bank Vault'" . From actually 42.3 tons just before the coup, it was now far less than one ton.

The Syria operation was about oil, gold, and guns. However, most of America's support was to Al-Qaeda-led jihadists, not to ISIS-jihadists. As the great independent investigative journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva reported on 2 July 2017 :

"In December of last year while reporting on the battle of Aleppo as a correspondent for Bulgarian media I found and filmed 9 underground warehouses full of heavy weapons with Bulgaria as their country of origin. They were used by Al Nusra Front (Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria designated as a terrorist organization by the UN)."

The US had acquired weapons from around the world, and shipped them (and Gaytandzhieva's report even displayed the transit-documents) through a network of its embassies, into Syria, for Nusra-led forces inside Syria. Almost certainly, the US Government's central command center for the entire arms-smuggling operation was the world's largest embassy, which is America's embassy in Baghdad.

Furthermore, On 8 March 2013, Richard Spenser of Britain's Telegraph reported that Croatia's Jutarnji List newspaper had reported that "3,000 tons of weapons dating back to the former Yugoslavia have been sent in 75 planeloads from Zagreb airport to the rebels, largely via Jordan since November. The airlift of dated but effective Yugoslav-made weapons meets key concerns of the West, and especially Turkey and the United States, who want the rebels to be better armed to drive out the Assad regime."

Also, a September 2014 study by Conflict Armaments Research (CAR), titled "Islamic State Weapons in Iraq and Syria" , reported that not only east-European, but even US-made, weapons were being "captured from Islamic State forces" by Kurds who were working for the Americans, and that this was very puzzling and disturbing to those Kurds, who were risking their lives to fight against those jihadists.

In December 2017, CAR headlined "Weapons of the Islamic State" and reported that "this materiel was rapidly captured by IS forces, only to be deployed by the group against international coalition forces." The assumption made there was that the transfer of weapons to ISIS was all unintentional.

That report ignored contrary evidence, which I summed up on 2 September 2017 headlining "Russian TV Reports US Secretly Backing ISIS in Syria" , and reporting there also from the Turkish Government an admission that the US was working with Turkey to funnel surviving members of Iraq's ISIS into the Deir Ezzor part of Syria to help defeat Syria's Government in that crucial oil-producing region. Moreover, at least one member of the 'rebels' that the US was training at Al Tanf on Syria's Jordanian border had quit because his American trainers were secretly diverting some of their weapons to ISIS. Furthermore: why hadn't the US bombed Syrian ISIS before Russia entered the Syrian war on 30 September 2015? America talked lots about its supposed effort against ISIS, but why did US wait till 16 November 2015 before taking action, "'Get Out Of Your Trucks And Run Away': US Gives ISIS 45 Minute Warning On Oil Tanker Strikes" ?

So, regardless of whether the US Government uses jihadists as its proxy-forces, or uses fascists as its proxy-forces, it grabs the gold -- and grabs the oil, and takes whatever else it can.

This is today's form of imperialism.

Grab what you can, and run. And call it 'fighting for freedom and democracy and human rights and against corruption'. And the imperial regime's allies watch in amazement, as they take their respective cuts of the loot. That's the deal, and they call it 'fighting for freedom and democracy and human rights and against corruption around the world'. That's the way it works. International gangland. That's the reality, while most of the public think it's instead really "fighting for freedom and democracy and human rights and against corruption around the world." For example, as RT reported on Sunday , March 3rd, about John Bolton's effort at regime-change in Venezuela, Bolton said: "I'd like to see as broad a coalition as we can put together to replace Maduro, to replace the whole corrupt regime,' Bolton told CNN's Jake Tapper." Trump's regime wants to bring clean and democratic government to the poor Venezuelans, just like Bush's did to the Iraqis, and Obama's did to the Libyans and to the Syrians and to the Ukrainians. And Trump, who pretends to oppose Obama's regime-change policies, alternately expands them and shrinks them. Though he's slightly different from Obama on domestic policies, he never, as the US President, condemns any of his predecessors' many coups and invasions, all of which were disasters for everybody except America's and allies' billionaires. They're all in on the take.

The American public were suckered into destroying Iraq in 2003, Libya in 2011, Syria in 2011-now, and so many other countries, and still haven't learned anything, other than to keep trusting the allegations of this lying and psychopathically vicious and super-aggressive Government and of its stenographic 'news'-media. When is enough finally enough ? Never? If not never, then when ? Or do most people never learn? Or maybe they don't really care. Perhaps that's the problem.

On March 4th, the Jerusalem Post bannered "IRAN AND TURKEY MEDIA PUSH CONSPIRACY THEORIES ABOUT US, ISIS: Claims pushed by Syrian regime media assert that US gave ISIS safe passage out of Baghuz in return for gold, a conspiracy picked up in Tehran and Ankara" , and simply assumed that it's false -- but provided no evidence to back their speculation up -- and they closed by asserting "The conspiracies, which are manufactured in Damascus, are disseminated to Iraq and Turkey, both of whom oppose US policy in eastern Syria." Why do people even subscribe to such 'news'-sources as that? The key facts are hidden, the speculation that's based on their own prejudices replaces whatever facts exist. Do the subscribers, to that, simply want to be deceived? Are most people that stupid?

Back on 21 December 2018, one of the US regime's top 'news'-media, the Washington Post, had headlined "Retreating ISIS army smuggled a fortune in cash and gold out of Iraq and Syria" and reported that "the Islamic State is sitting on a mountain of stolen cash and gold that its leaders stashed away to finance terrorist operations." So, it's not as if there hadn't been prior reason to believe that some day some of the gold would be found after America's defeat in Syria. Maybe they just hadn't expected this to happen quite so soon. But the regime will find ways to hoodwink its public, in the future, just as it has in the past. Unless the public wises-up (if that's even possible).

[Dec 21, 2019] The USA lost in Syria in a sense that the opposing coalition incl. Iran and Russia couldn t be faced off successfully.

Feb 26, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Noirette , Feb 25, 2019 1:03:07 PM | link

The USA 'lost' in Syria, the opposing coalition incl. Iran and Russia couldn't be faced off successfully.

Destroying Afgh., Iraq, Lybia, - all 'failures' in the sense of not garnering 'advantage' for the USA as a territory, a Federated Nation, its citizens, its trade, boosting hopeful expansion, etc. One aim rarely mentioned is keeping allies on board, e.g. Sarkozy's France, to invade Lybia. In France many say it was Sark I who did DE-ss-troy! Lybia.

The word *failure* is based on the acceptance of a stated aim reminiscent of old-style-colonialism: grab resources, exploit super-cheap labor, control the natives, mine, exploit, shunt the goods / profits to home base.

If the aim is to stop rivals breathing, blast them back to the Stone Age, the success is good but relative. (see Iraq.) Private GloboCorps (e.g. Glencore.. ) are in charge behind the curtain, many Gvmts are just stooges for them in the sense of unawoved partnerships, the one feeding into the other, in a kind of desperado death spiral.

I have always been struck by the fact that Oil Projects / Management in Iraq, even wiki gives lists that shows major movers and profiteers are not USA oil cos. / interests, but China, Malaysia, many others.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petroleum_industry_in_Iraq

So, after multiple failures in one region, time to turn closer to home, the backyard, S. America...

[Jul 29, 2019] Michael Hudson Trump s Brilliant Strategy to Dismember US Dollar Hegemony by Michael Hudson

Highly recommended!
Looks like the world order established after WWIII crumbed with the USSR and now it is again the law if jungles with the US as the biggest predator.
Notable quotes:
"... The root cause is clear: After the crescendo of pretenses and deceptions over Iraq, Libya and Syria, along with our absolution of the lawless regime of Saudi Arabia, foreign political leaders are coming to recognize what world-wide public opinion polls reported even before the Iraq/Iran-Contra boys turned their attention to the world's largest oil reserves in Venezuela: The United States is now the greatest threat to peace on the planet. ..."
"... Calling the U.S. coup being sponsored in Venezuela a defense of democracy reveals the Doublethink underlying U.S. foreign policy. It defines "democracy" to mean supporting U.S. foreign policy, pursuing neoliberal privatization of public infrastructure, dismantling government regulation and following the direction of U.S.-dominated global institutions, from the IMF and World Bank to NATO. For decades, the resulting foreign wars, domestic austerity programs and military interventions have brought more violence, not democracy ..."
"... A point had to come where this policy collided with the self-interest of other nations, finally breaking through the public relations rhetoric of empire. Other countries are proceeding to de-dollarize and replace what U.S. diplomacy calls "internationalism" (meaning U.S. nationalism imposed on the rest of the world) with their own national self-interest. ..."
"... For the past half-century, U.S. strategists, the State Department and National Endowment for Democracy (NED) worried that opposition to U.S. financial imperialism would come from left-wing parties. It therefore spent enormous resources manipulating parties that called themselves socialist (Tony Blair's British Labour Party, France's Socialist Party, Germany's Social Democrats, etc.) to adopt neoliberal policies that were the diametric opposite to what social democracy meant a century ago. But U.S. political planners and Great Wurlitzer organists neglected the right wing, imagining that it would instinctively support U.S. thuggishness. ..."
"... Perhaps the problem had to erupt as a result of the inner dynamics of U.S.-sponsored globalism becoming impossible to impose when the result is financial austerity, waves of population flight from U.S.-sponsored wars, and most of all, U.S. refusal to adhere to the rules and international laws that it itself sponsored seventy years ago in the wake of World War II. ..."
"... Here's the first legal contradiction in U.S. global diplomacy: The United States always has resisted letting any other country have any voice in U.S. domestic policies, law-making or diplomacy. That is what makes America "the exceptional nation." But for seventy years its diplomats have pretended that its superior judgment promoted a peaceful world (as the Roman Empire claimed to be), which let other countries share in prosperity and rising living standards. ..."
"... Inevitably, U.S. nationalism had to break up the mirage of One World internationalism, and with it any thought of an international court. Without veto power over the judges, the U.S. never accepted the authority of any court, in particular the United Nations' International Court in The Hague. Recently that court undertook an investigation into U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan, from its torture policies to bombing of civilian targets such as hospitals, weddings and infrastructure. "That investigation ultimately found 'a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes and crimes against humanity." ..."
"... This showed that international finance was an arm of the U.S. State Department and Pentagon. But that was a generation ago, and only recently did foreign countries begin to feel queasy about leaving their gold holdings in the United States, where they might be grabbed at will to punish any country that might act in ways that U.S. diplomacy found offensive. So last year, Germany finally got up the courage to ask that some of its gold be flown back to Germany. U.S. officials pretended to feel shocked at the insult that it might do to a civilized Christian country what it had done to Iran, and Germany agreed to slow down the transfer. ..."
"... England refused to honor the official request, following the direction of Bolton and U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo. As Bloomberg reported: "The U.S. officials are trying to steer Venezuela's overseas assets to [Chicago Boy Juan] Guaido to help bolster his chances of effectively taking control of the government. The $1.2 billion of gold is a big chunk of the $8 billion in foreign reserves held by the Venezuelan central bank." ..."
"... But now, cyber warfare has become a way of pulling out the connections of any economy. And the major cyber connections are financial money-transfer ones, headed by SWIFT, the acronym for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, which is centered in Belgium. ..."
"... On January 31 the dam broke with the announcement that Europe had created its own bypass payments system for use with Iran and other countries targeted by U.S. diplomats. Germany, France and even the U.S. poodle Britain joined to create INSTEX -- Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges. The promise is that this will be used only for "humanitarian" aid to save Iran from a U.S.-sponsored Venezuela-type devastation. But in view of increasingly passionate U.S. opposition to the Nord Stream pipeline to carry Russian gas, this alternative bank clearing system will be ready and able to become operative if the United States tries to direct a sanctions attack on Europe ..."
"... The U.S. overplaying its position is leading to the Mackinder-Kissinger-Brzezinski Eurasian nightmare that I mentioned above. In addition to driving Russia and China together, U.S. diplomacy is adding Europe to the heartland, independent of U.S. ability to bully into the state of dependency toward which American diplomacy has aimed to achieve since 1945. ..."
"... By following U.S. advice, countries have left themselves open to food blackmail – sanctions against providing them with grain and other food, in case they step out of line with U.S. diplomatic demands. ..."
"... It is worthwhile to note that our global imposition of the mythical "efficiencies" of forcing Latin American countries to become plantations for export crops like coffee and bananas rather than growing their own wheat and corn has failed catastrophically to deliver better lives, especially for those living in Central America. The "spread" between the export crops and cheaper food imports from the U.S. that was supposed to materialize for countries following our playbook failed miserably – witness the caravans and refugees across Mexico. Of course, our backing of the most brutal military dictators and crime lords has not helped either. ..."
"... But a few years ago Ukraine defaulted on $3 billion owed to Russia. The IMF said, in effect, that Ukraine and other countries did not have to pay Russia or any other country deemed to be acting too independently of the United States. The IMF has been extending credit to the bottomless it of Ukrainian corruption to encourage its anti-Russian policy rather than standing up for the principle that inter-government debts must be paid. ..."
"... It is as if the IMF now operates out of a small room in the basement of the Pentagon in Washington. ..."
"... Anticipating just such a double-cross, President Chavez acted already in 2011 to repatriate 160 tons of gold to Caracas from the United States and Europe. ..."
"... It would be good for Americans, but the wrong kind of Americans. For the Americans that would populate the Global Executive Suite, a strong US$ means that the stipends they would pay would be worth more to the lackeys, and command more influence. ..."
"... Dumping the industrial base really ruined things. America is now in a position where it can shout orders, and drop bombs, but doesn't have the capacity to do anything helpful. They have to give up being what Toynbee called a creative minority, and settle for being a dominant minority. ..."
"... Having watched the 2016 election closely from afar, I was left with the impression that many of the swing voters who cast their vote for Trump did so under the assumption that he would act as a catalyst for systemic change. ..."
"... Now we know. He has ripped the already transparent mask of altruism off what is referred to as the U.S.-led liberal international order and revealed its true nature for all to see, and has managed to do it in spite of the liberal international establishment desperately trying to hold it in place in the hope of effecting a seamless post-Trump return to what they refer to as "norms". Interesting times. ..."
"... Exactly. He hasn't exactly lived up to advanced billing so far in all respects, but I suspect there's great deal of skulduggery going on behind the scenes that has prevented that. ..."
"... To paraphrase the infamous Rummy, you don't go to war with the change agent and policies you wished you had, you go to war with the ones you have. That might be the best thing we can say about Trump after the historic dust of his administration finally settles. ..."
"... Yet we find out that Venezuela didn't managed to do what they wanted to do, the Europeans, the Turks, etc bent over yet again. Nothing to see here, actually. ..."
"... So what I'm saying is he didn't make his point. I wish it were true. But a bit of grumbling and (a tiny amount of) foot-dragging by some pygmy leaders (Merkel) does not signal a global change. ..."
"... Currency regime change can take decades, and small percentage differences are enormous because of the flows involved. USD as reserve for 61% of global sovereigns versus 64% 15 years ago is a massive move. ..."
"... I discovered his Super Imperialism while looking for an explanation for the pending 2003 US invasion of Iraq. If you haven't read it yet, move it to the top of your queue if you want to have any idea of how the world really works. ..."
"... If it isn't clear to the rest of the world by now, it never will be. The US is incapable of changing on its own a corrupt status quo dominated by a coalition of its military industrial complex, Wall Street bankers and fossil fuels industries. As long as the world continues to chase the debt created on the keyboards of Wall Street banks and 'deficits don't matter' Washington neocons – as long as the world's 1% think they are getting 'richer' by adding more "debts that can't be repaid (and) won't be" to their portfolios, the global economy can never be put on a sustainable footing. ..."
"... In other words, after 2 World Wars that produced the current world order, it is still in a state of insanity with the same pretensions to superiority by the same people, to get number 3. ..."
"... Few among Washington's foreign policy elite seem to fully grasp the complex system that made U.S. global power what it now is, particularly its all-important geopolitical foundations. As Trump travels the globe, tweeting and trashing away, he's inadvertently showing us the essential structure of that power, the same way a devastating wildfire leaves the steel beams of a ruined building standing starkly above the smoking rubble." ..."
"... He's draining the swamp in an unpredicted way, a swamp that's founded on the money interest. I don't care what NYT and WaPo have to say, they are not reporting events but promoting agendas. ..."
"... The financial elites are only concerned about shaping society as they see fit, side of self serving is just a historical foot note, Trumps past indicates a strong preference for even more of the same through authoritarian memes or have some missed the OT WH reference to dawg both choosing and then compelling him to run. ..."
"... Highly doubt Trump is a "witting agent", most likely is that he is just as ignorant as he almost daily shows on twitter. On US role in global affairs he says the same today as he did as a media celebrity in the late 80s. Simplistic household "logics" on macroeconomics. If US have trade deficit it loses. Countries with surplus are the winners. ..."
"... Anyhow frightening, the US hegemony have its severe dark sides. But there is absolutely nothing better on the horizon, a crash will throw the world in turmoil for decades or even a century. A lot of bad forces will see their chance to elevate their influence. There will be fierce competition to fill the gap. ..."
"... On could the insane economic model of EU/Germany being on top of global affairs, a horribly frightening thought. Misery and austerity for all globally, a permanent recession. Probably not much better with the Chinese on top. I'll take the USD hegemony any day compared to that prospect. ..."
"... Former US ambassador, Chas Freeman, gets to the nub of the problem. "The US preference for governance by elected and appointed officials, uncontaminated by experience in statecraft and diplomacy, or knowledge of geography, history and foreign affairs" https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_882041135&feature=iv&src_vid=Ge1ozuXN7iI&v=gkf2MQdqz-o ..."
"... Michael Hudson, in Super Imperialism, went into how the US could just create the money to run a large trade deficit with the rest of the world. It would get all these imports effectively for nothing, the US's exorbitant privilege. I tied this in with this graph from MMT. ..."
"... The Government was running a surplus as the economy blew up in the early 1990s. It's the positive and negative, zero sum, nature of the monetary system. A big trade deficit needs a big Government deficit to cover it. A big trade deficit, with a balanced budget, drives the private sector into debt and blows up the economy. ..."
Feb 01, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

The end of America's unchallenged global economic dominance has arrived sooner than expected, thanks to the very same Neocons who gave the world the Iraq, Syria and the dirty wars in Latin America. Just as the Vietnam War drove the United States off gold by 1971, its sponsorship and funding of violent regime change wars against Venezuela and Syria – and threatening other countries with sanctions if they do not join this crusade – is now driving European and other nations to create their alternative financial institutions.

This break has been building for quite some time, and was bound to occur. But who would have thought that Donald Trump would become the catalytic agent? No left-wing party, no socialist, anarchist or foreign nationalist leader anywhere in the world could have achieved what he is doing to break up the American Empire. The Deep State is reacting with shock at how this right-wing real estate grifter has been able to drive other countries to defend themselves by dismantling the U.S.-centered world order. To rub it in, he is using Bush and Reagan-era Neocon arsonists, John Bolton and now Elliott Abrams, to fan the flames in Venezuela. It is almost like a black political comedy. The world of international diplomacy is being turned inside-out. A world where there is no longer even a pretense that we might adhere to international norms, let alone laws or treaties.

The Neocons who Trump has appointed are accomplishing what seemed unthinkable not long ago: Driving China and Russia together – the great nightmare of Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski. They also are driving Germany and other European countries into the Eurasian orbit, the "Heartland" nightmare of Halford Mackinder a century ago.

The root cause is clear: After the crescendo of pretenses and deceptions over Iraq, Libya and Syria, along with our absolution of the lawless regime of Saudi Arabia, foreign political leaders are coming to recognize what world-wide public opinion polls reported even before the Iraq/Iran-Contra boys turned their attention to the world's largest oil reserves in Venezuela: The United States is now the greatest threat to peace on the planet.

Calling the U.S. coup being sponsored in Venezuela a defense of democracy reveals the Doublethink underlying U.S. foreign policy. It defines "democracy" to mean supporting U.S. foreign policy, pursuing neoliberal privatization of public infrastructure, dismantling government regulation and following the direction of U.S.-dominated global institutions, from the IMF and World Bank to NATO. For decades, the resulting foreign wars, domestic austerity programs and military interventions have brought more violence, not democracy.

In the Devil's Dictionary that U.S. diplomats are taught to use as their "Elements of Style" guidelines for Doublethink, a "democratic" country is one that follows U.S. leadership and opens its economy to U.S. investment, and IMF- and World Bank-sponsored privatization. The Ukraine is deemed democratic, along with Saudi Arabia, Israel and other countries that act as U.S. financial and military protectorates and are willing to treat America's enemies are theirs too.

A point had to come where this policy collided with the self-interest of other nations, finally breaking through the public relations rhetoric of empire. Other countries are proceeding to de-dollarize and replace what U.S. diplomacy calls "internationalism" (meaning U.S. nationalism imposed on the rest of the world) with their own national self-interest.

This trajectory could be seen 50 years ago (I described it in Super Imperialism [1972] and Global Fracture [1978].) It had to happen. But nobody thought that the end would come in quite the way that is happening. History has turned into comedy, or at least irony as its dialectical path unfolds.

For the past half-century, U.S. strategists, the State Department and National Endowment for Democracy (NED) worried that opposition to U.S. financial imperialism would come from left-wing parties. It therefore spent enormous resources manipulating parties that called themselves socialist (Tony Blair's British Labour Party, France's Socialist Party, Germany's Social Democrats, etc.) to adopt neoliberal policies that were the diametric opposite to what social democracy meant a century ago. But U.S. political planners and Great Wurlitzer organists neglected the right wing, imagining that it would instinctively support U.S. thuggishness.

The reality is that right-wing parties want to get elected, and a populist nationalism is today's road to election victory in Europe and other countries just as it was for Donald Trump in 2016.

Trump's agenda may really be to break up the American Empire, using the old Uncle Sucker isolationist rhetoric of half a century ago. He certainly is going for the Empire's most vital organs. But it he a witting anti-American agent? He might as well be – but it would be a false mental leap to use "quo bono" to assume that he is a witting agent.

After all, if no U.S. contractor, supplier, labor union or bank will deal with him, would Vladimir Putin, China or Iran be any more naïve? Perhaps the problem had to erupt as a result of the inner dynamics of U.S.-sponsored globalism becoming impossible to impose when the result is financial austerity, waves of population flight from U.S.-sponsored wars, and most of all, U.S. refusal to adhere to the rules and international laws that it itself sponsored seventy years ago in the wake of World War II.

Dismantling International Law and Its Courts

Any international system of control requires the rule of law. It may be a morally lawless exercise of ruthless power imposing predatory exploitation, but it is still The Law. And it needs courts to apply it (backed by police power to enforce it and punish violators).

Here's the first legal contradiction in U.S. global diplomacy: The United States always has resisted letting any other country have any voice in U.S. domestic policies, law-making or diplomacy. That is what makes America "the exceptional nation." But for seventy years its diplomats have pretended that its superior judgment promoted a peaceful world (as the Roman Empire claimed to be), which let other countries share in prosperity and rising living standards.

At the United Nations, U.S. diplomats insisted on veto power. At the World Bank and IMF they also made sure that their equity share was large enough to give them veto power over any loan or other policy. Without such power, the United States would not join any international organization. Yet at the same time, it depicted its nationalism as protecting globalization and internationalism. It was all a euphemism for what really was unilateral U.S. decision-making.

Inevitably, U.S. nationalism had to break up the mirage of One World internationalism, and with it any thought of an international court. Without veto power over the judges, the U.S. never accepted the authority of any court, in particular the United Nations' International Court in The Hague. Recently that court undertook an investigation into U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan, from its torture policies to bombing of civilian targets such as hospitals, weddings and infrastructure. "That investigation ultimately found 'a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes and crimes against humanity." [1]

Donald Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton erupted in fury, warning in September that: "The United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court," adding that the UN International Court must not be so bold as to investigate "Israel or other U.S. allies."

That prompted a senior judge, Christoph Flügge from Germany, to resign in protest. Indeed, Bolton told the court to keep out of any affairs involving the United States, promising to ban the Court's "judges and prosecutors from entering the United States." As Bolton spelled out the U.S. threat: "We will sanction their funds in the U.S. financial system, and we will prosecute them in the U.S. criminal system. We will not cooperate with the ICC. We will provide no assistance to the ICC. We will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die on its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us."

What this meant, the German judge spelled out was that: "If these judges ever interfere in the domestic concerns of the U.S. or investigate an American citizen, [Bolton] said the American government would do all it could to ensure that these judges would no longer be allowed to travel to the United States – and that they would perhaps even be criminally prosecuted."

The original inspiration of the Court – to use the Nuremburg laws that were applied against German Nazis to bring similar prosecution against any country or officials found guilty of committing war crimes – had already fallen into disuse with the failure to indict the authors of the Chilean coup, Iran-Contra or the U.S. invasion of Iraq for war crimes.

Dismantling Dollar Hegemony from the IMF to SWIFT

Of all areas of global power politics today, international finance and foreign investment have become the key flashpoint. International monetary reserves were supposed to be the most sacrosanct, and international debt enforcement closely associated.

Central banks have long held their gold and other monetary reserves in the United States and London. Back in 1945 this seemed reasonable, because the New York Federal Reserve Bank (in whose basement foreign central bank gold was kept) was militarily safe, and because the London Gold Pool was the vehicle by which the U.S. Treasury kept the dollar "as good as gold" at $35 an ounce. Foreign reserves over and above gold were kept in the form of U.S. Treasury securities, to be bought and sold on the New York and London foreign-exchange markets to stabilize exchange rates. Most foreign loans to governments were denominated in U.S. dollars, so Wall Street banks were normally name as paying agents.

That was the case with Iran under the Shah, whom the United States had installed after sponsoring the 1953 coup against Mohammed Mosaddegh when he sought to nationalize Anglo-Iranian Oil (now British Petroleum) or at least tax it. After the Shah was overthrown, the Khomeini regime asked its paying agent, the Chase Manhattan bank, to use its deposits to pay its bondholders. At the direction of the U.S. Government Chase refused to do so. U.S. courts then declared Iran to be in default, and froze all its assets in the United States and anywhere else they were able.

This showed that international finance was an arm of the U.S. State Department and Pentagon. But that was a generation ago, and only recently did foreign countries begin to feel queasy about leaving their gold holdings in the United States, where they might be grabbed at will to punish any country that might act in ways that U.S. diplomacy found offensive. So last year, Germany finally got up the courage to ask that some of its gold be flown back to Germany. U.S. officials pretended to feel shocked at the insult that it might do to a civilized Christian country what it had done to Iran, and Germany agreed to slow down the transfer.

But then came Venezuela. Desperate to spend its gold reserves to provide imports for its economy devastated by U.S. sanctions – a crisis that U.S. diplomats blame on "socialism," not on U.S. political attempts to "make the economy scream" (as Nixon officials said of Chile under Salvador Allende) – Venezuela directed the Bank of England to transfer some of its $11 billion in gold held in its vaults and those of other central banks in December 2018. This was just like a bank depositor would expect a bank to pay a check that the depositor had written.

England refused to honor the official request, following the direction of Bolton and U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo. As Bloomberg reported: "The U.S. officials are trying to steer Venezuela's overseas assets to [Chicago Boy Juan] Guaido to help bolster his chances of effectively taking control of the government. The $1.2 billion of gold is a big chunk of the $8 billion in foreign reserves held by the Venezuelan central bank."

Turkey seemed to be a likely destination, prompting Bolton and Pompeo to warn it to desist from helping Venezuela, threatening sanctions against it or any other country helping Venezuela cope with its economic crisis. As for the Bank of England and other European countries, the Bloomberg report concluded: "Central bank officials in Caracas have been ordered to no longer try contacting the Bank of England. These central bankers have been told that Bank of England staffers will not respond to them."

This led to rumors that Venezuela was selling 20 tons of gold via a Russian Boeing 777 – some $840 million. The money probably would have ended up paying Russian and Chinese bondholders as well as buying food to relieve the local famine. [4] Russia denied this report, but Reuters has confirmed is that Venezuela has sold 3 tons of a planned 29 tones of gold to the United Arab Emirates, with another 15 tones are to be shipped on Friday, February 1. [5] The U.S. Senate's Batista-Cuban hardliner Rubio accused this of being "theft," as if feeding the people to alleviate the U.S.-sponsored crisis was a crime against U.S. diplomatic leverage.

If there is any country that U.S. diplomats hate more than a recalcitrant Latin American country, it is Iran. President Trump's breaking of the 2015 nuclear agreements negotiated by European and Obama Administration diplomats has escalated to the point of threatening Germany and other European countries with punitive sanctions if they do not also break the agreements they have signed. Coming on top of U.S. opposition to German and other European importing of Russian gas, the U.S. threat finally prompted Europe to find a way to defend itself.

Imperial threats are no longer military. No country (including Russia or China) can mount a military invasion of another major country. Since the Vietnam Era, the only kind of war a democratically elected country can wage is atomic, or at least heavy bombing such as the United States has inflicted on Iraq, Libya and Syria. But now, cyber warfare has become a way of pulling out the connections of any economy. And the major cyber connections are financial money-transfer ones, headed by SWIFT, the acronym for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, which is centered in Belgium.

Russia and China have already moved to create a shadow bank-transfer system in case the United States unplugs them from SWIFT. But now, European countries have come to realize that threats by Bolton and Pompeo may lead to heavy fines and asset grabs if they seek to continue trading with Iran as called for in the treaties they have negotiated.

On January 31 the dam broke with the announcement that Europe had created its own bypass payments system for use with Iran and other countries targeted by U.S. diplomats. Germany, France and even the U.S. poodle Britain joined to create INSTEX -- Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges. The promise is that this will be used only for "humanitarian" aid to save Iran from a U.S.-sponsored Venezuela-type devastation. But in view of increasingly passionate U.S. opposition to the Nord Stream pipeline to carry Russian gas, this alternative bank clearing system will be ready and able to become operative if the United States tries to direct a sanctions attack on Europe.

I have just returned from Germany and seen a remarkable split between that nation's industrialists and their political leadership. For years, major companies have seen Russia as a natural market, a complementary economy needing to modernize its manufacturing and able to supply Europe with natural gas and other raw materials. America's New Cold War stance is trying to block this commercial complementarity. Warning Europe against "dependence" on low-price Russian gas, it has offered to sell high-priced LNG from the United States (via port facilities that do not yet exist in anywhere near the volume required). President Trump also is insisting that NATO members spend a full 2 percent of their GDP on arms – preferably bought from the United States, not from German or French merchants of death.

The U.S. overplaying its position is leading to the Mackinder-Kissinger-Brzezinski Eurasian nightmare that I mentioned above. In addition to driving Russia and China together, U.S. diplomacy is adding Europe to the heartland, independent of U.S. ability to bully into the state of dependency toward which American diplomacy has aimed to achieve since 1945.

The World Bank, for instance, traditionally has been headed by a U.S. Secretary of Defense. Its steady policy since its inception is to provide loans for countries to devote their land to export crops instead of giving priority to feeding themselves. That is why its loans are only in foreign currency, not in the domestic currency needed to provide price supports and agricultural extension services such as have made U.S. agriculture so productive. By following U.S. advice, countries have left themselves open to food blackmail – sanctions against providing them with grain and other food, in case they step out of line with U.S. diplomatic demands.

It is worthwhile to note that our global imposition of the mythical "efficiencies" of forcing Latin American countries to become plantations for export crops like coffee and bananas rather than growing their own wheat and corn has failed catastrophically to deliver better lives, especially for those living in Central America. The "spread" between the export crops and cheaper food imports from the U.S. that was supposed to materialize for countries following our playbook failed miserably – witness the caravans and refugees across Mexico. Of course, our backing of the most brutal military dictators and crime lords has not helped either.

Likewise, the IMF has been forced to admit that its basic guidelines were fictitious from the beginning. A central core has been to enforce payment of official inter-government debt by withholding IMF credit from countries under default. This rule was instituted at a time when most official inter-government debt was owed to the United States. But a few years ago Ukraine defaulted on $3 billion owed to Russia. The IMF said, in effect, that Ukraine and other countries did not have to pay Russia or any other country deemed to be acting too independently of the United States. The IMF has been extending credit to the bottomless it of Ukrainian corruption to encourage its anti-Russian policy rather than standing up for the principle that inter-government debts must be paid.

It is as if the IMF now operates out of a small room in the basement of the Pentagon in Washington. Europe has taken notice that its own international monetary trade and financial linkages are in danger of attracting U.S. anger. This became clear last autumn at the funeral for George H. W. Bush, when the EU's diplomat found himself downgraded to the end of the list to be called to his seat. He was told that the U.S. no longer considers the EU an entity in good standing. In December, "Mike Pompeo gave a speech on Europe in Brussels -- his first, and eagerly awaited -- in which he extolled the virtues of nationalism, criticised multilateralism and the EU, and said that "international bodies" which constrain national sovereignty "must be reformed or eliminated." [5]

Most of the above events have made the news in just one day, January 31, 2019. The conjunction of U.S. moves on so many fronts, against Venezuela, Iran and Europe (not to mention China and the trade threats and moves against Huawei also erupting today) looks like this will be a year of global fracture.

It is not all President Trump's doing, of course. We see the Democratic Party showing the same colors. Instead of applauding democracy when foreign countries do not elect a leader approved by U.S. diplomats (whether it is Allende or Maduro), they've let the mask fall and shown themselves to be the leading New Cold War imperialists. It's now out in the open. They would make Venezuela the new Pinochet-era Chile. Trump is not alone in supporting Saudi Arabia and its Wahabi terrorists acting, as Lyndon Johnson put it, "Bastards, but they're our bastards."

Where is the left in all this? That is the question with which I opened this article. How remarkable it is that it is only right-wing parties, Alternative for Deutschland (AFD), or Marine le Pen's French nationalists and those of other countries that are opposing NATO militarization and seeking to revive trade and economic links with the rest of Eurasia.

The end of our monetary imperialism, about which I first wrote in 1972 in Super Imperialism, stuns even an informed observer like me. It took a colossal level of arrogance, short-sightedness and lawlessness to hasten its decline -- something that only crazed Neocons like John Bolton, Elliot Abrams and Mike Pompeo could deliver for Donald Trump.

Footnotes

[1] "It Can't be Fixed: Senior ICC Judge Quits in Protest of US, Turkish Meddling," January 31, 2019.

[2] Patricia Laya, Ethan Bronner and Tim Ross, "Maduro Stymied in Bid to Pull $1.2 Billion of Gold From U.K.," Bloomberg, January 25, 2019. Anticipating just such a double-cross, President Chavez acted already in 2011 to repatriate 160 tons of gold to Caracas from the United States and Europe.

[3] ibid

[4] Corina Pons, Mayela Armas, "Exclusive: Venezuela plans to fly central bank gold reserves to UAE – source," Reuters, January 31, 2019.

[5] Constanze Stelzenmüller, "America's policy on Europe takes a nationalist turn," Financial Times, January 31, 2019.

By Michael Hudson, a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City, and a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. His latest book is "and forgive them their debts": Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption from Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year< Jointly posted with Hudson's website


doug , February 1, 2019 at 8:03 am

We see the Democratic Party showing the same colors. Yes we do. no escape? that I see

drumlin woodchuckles , February 1, 2019 at 9:43 am

Well, if the StormTrumpers can tear down all the levers and institutions of international US dollar strength, perhaps they can also tear down all the institutions of Corporate Globalonial Forced Free Trade. That itself may BE our escape . . . if there are enough millions of Americans who have turned their regionalocal zones of habitation into economically and politically armor-plated Transition Towns, Power-Down Zones, etc. People and places like that may be able to crawl up out of the rubble and grow and defend little zones of semi-subsistence survival-economics.

If enough millions of Americans have created enough such zones, they might be able to link up with eachother to offer hope of a movement to make America in general a semi-autarchik, semi-secluded and isolated National Survival Economy . . . . much smaller than today, perhaps likelier to survive the various coming ecosystemic crash-cramdowns, and no longer interested in leading or dominating a world that we would no longer have the power to lead or dominate.

We could put an end to American Exceptionalism. We could lay this burden down. We could become American Okayness Ordinarians. Make America an okay place for ordinary Americans to live in.

drumlin woodchuckles , February 1, 2019 at 2:27 pm

I read somewhere that the Czarist Imperial Army had a saying . . . "Quantity has a Quality all its own".

... ... ...

Cal2 , February 1, 2019 at 2:54 pm

Drumlin,

If Populists, I assume that's what you mean by "Storm Troopers", offer me M4A and revitalized local economies, and deliver them, they have my support and more power to them.

That's why Trump was elected, his promises, not yet delivered, were closer to that then the Democrats' promises. If the Democrats promised those things and delivered, then they would have my support.

If the Democrats run a candidate, who has a no track record of delivering such things, we stay home on election day. Trump can have it, because it won't be any worse.

I don't give a damn about "social issues." Economics, health care and avoiding WWIII are what motivates my votes, and I think more and more people are going to vote the same way.

drumlin woodchuckles , February 1, 2019 at 8:56 pm

Good point about Populist versus StormTrumper. ( And by the way, I said StormTRUMper, not StormTROOper). I wasn't thinking of the Populists. I was thinking of the neo-etc. vandals and arsonists who want us to invade Venezuela, leave the JCPOA with Iran, etc. Those are the people who will finally drive the other-country governments into creating their own parallel payment systems, etc.

And the midpoint of those efforts will leave wreckage and rubble for us to crawl up out of. But we will have a chance to crawl up out of it.

My reason for voting for Trump was mainly to stop the Evil Clinton from getting elected and to reduce the chance of near immediate thermonuclear war with Russia and to save the Assad regime in Syria from Clintonian overthrow and replacement with an Islamic Emirate of Jihadistan.

Much of what will be attempted " in Trump's name" will be de-regulationism of all kinds delivered by the sorts of basic Republicans selected for the various agencies and departments by Pence and Moore and the Koch Brothers. I doubt the Populist Voters wanted the Koch-Pence agenda. But that was a risky tradeoff in return for keeping Clinton out of office.

The only Dems who would seek what you want are Sanders or maybe Gabbard or just barely Warren. The others would all be Clinton or Obama all over again.

Quanka , February 1, 2019 at 8:29 am

I couldn't really find any details about the new INSTEX system – have you got any good links to brush up on? I know they made an announcement yesterday but how long until the new payment system is operational?

The Rev Kev , February 1, 2019 at 8:43 am

Here is a bit more info on it but Trump is already threatening Europe if they use it. That should cause them to respect him more:

https://www.dw.com/en/instex-europe-sets-up-transactions-channel-with-iran/a-47303580

LP , February 1, 2019 at 9:14 am

The NYT and other have coverage.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2019/01/31/world/europe/europe-trade-iran-nuclear-deal.amp.html

Louis Fyne , February 1, 2019 at 8:37 am

arguably wouldn't it be better if for USD hegemony to be dismantled? A strong USD hurts US exports, subsidizes American consumption (by making commodities cheaper in relative terms), makes international trade (aka a 8,000-mile+ supply chain) easier.

For the sake of the environment, you want less of all three. Though obviously I don't like the idea of expensive gasoline, natural gas or tube socks either.

Mel , February 1, 2019 at 9:18 am

It would be good for Americans, but the wrong kind of Americans. For the Americans that would populate the Global Executive Suite, a strong US$ means that the stipends they would pay would be worth more to the lackeys, and command more influence.

Dumping the industrial base really ruined things. America is now in a position where it can shout orders, and drop bombs, but doesn't have the capacity to do anything helpful. They have to give up being what Toynbee called a creative minority, and settle for being a dominant minority.

integer , February 1, 2019 at 8:43 am

Having watched the 2016 election closely from afar, I was left with the impression that many of the swing voters who cast their vote for Trump did so under the assumption that he would act as a catalyst for systemic change.

What this change would consist of, and how it would manifest, remained an open question. Would he pursue rapprochement with Russia and pull troops out of the Middle East as he claimed to want to do during his 2016 campaign, would he doggedly pursue corruption charges against Clinton and attempt to reform the FBI and CIA, or would he do both, neither, or something else entirely?

Now we know. He has ripped the already transparent mask of altruism off what is referred to as the U.S.-led liberal international order and revealed its true nature for all to see, and has managed to do it in spite of the liberal international establishment desperately trying to hold it in place in the hope of effecting a seamless post-Trump return to what they refer to as "norms". Interesting times.

James , February 1, 2019 at 10:34 am

Exactly. He hasn't exactly lived up to advanced billing so far in all respects, but I suspect there's great deal of skulduggery going on behind the scenes that has prevented that. Whether or not he ever had or has a coherent plan for the havoc he has wrought, he has certainly been the agent for change many of us hoped he would be, in stark contrast to the criminal duopoly parties who continue to oppose him, where the daily no news is always bad news all the same. To paraphrase the infamous Rummy, you don't go to war with the change agent and policies you wished you had, you go to war with the ones you have. That might be the best thing we can say about Trump after the historic dust of his administration finally settles.

drumlin woodchuckles , February 1, 2019 at 2:39 pm

Look on some bright sides. Here is just one bright side to look on. President Trump has delayed and denied the Clinton Plan to topple Assad just long enough that Russia has been able to help Assad preserve legitimate government in most of Syria and defeat the Clinton's-choice jihadis.

That is a positive good. Unless you are pro-jihadi.

integer , February 1, 2019 at 8:09 pm

Clinton wasn't going to "benefit the greater good" either, and a very strong argument, based on her past behavior, can be made that she represented the greater threat. Given that the choice was between her and Trump, I think voters made the right decision.

Stephen Gardner , February 1, 2019 at 9:02 am

Excellent article but I believe the expression is "cui bono": who benefits.

hemeantwell , February 1, 2019 at 9:09 am

Hudson's done us a service in pulling these threads together. I'd missed the threats against the ICC judges. One question: is it possible for INSTEX-like arrangements to function secretly? What is to be gained by announcing them publicly and drawing the expected attacks? Does that help sharpen conflicts, and to what end?

Oregoncharles , February 1, 2019 at 3:23 pm

Maybe they're done in secret already – who knows? The point of doing it publicly is to make a foreign-policy impact, in this case withdrawing power from the US. It's a Declaration of Independence.

whine country , February 1, 2019 at 9:15 am

It certainly seems as though the 90 percent (plus) are an afterthought in this journey to who knows where? Like George C.Scott said while playing Patton, "The whole world at economic war and I'm not part of it. God will not let this happen." Looks like we're on the Brexit track (without the vote). The elite argue with themselves and we just sit and watch. It appears to me that the elite just do not have the ability to contemplate things beyond their own narrow self interest. We are all deplorables now.

a different chris , February 1, 2019 at 9:30 am

Unfortunately this

The end of America's unchallenged global economic dominance has arrived sooner than expected

Is not supported by this (or really the rest of the article). The past tense here, for example, is unwarranted:

At the United Nations, U.S. diplomats insisted on veto power. At the World Bank and IMF they also made sure that their equity share was large enough to give them veto power over any loan or other policy.

And this

So last year, Germany finally got up the courage to ask that some of its gold be flown back to Germany. Germany agreed to slow down the transfer.

Doesn't show Germany as breaking free at all, and worse it is followed by the pregnant

But then came Venezuela.

Yet we find out that Venezuela didn't managed to do what they wanted to do, the Europeans, the Turks, etc bent over yet again. Nothing to see here, actually.

So what I'm saying is he didn't make his point. I wish it were true. But a bit of grumbling and (a tiny amount of) foot-dragging by some pygmy leaders (Merkel) does not signal a global change.

orange cats , February 1, 2019 at 11:22 am

"So what I'm saying is he didn't make his point. I wish it were true. But a bit of grumbling and (a tiny amount of) foot-dragging by some pygmy leaders (Merkel) does not signal a global change."

I'm surprised more people aren't recognizing this. I read the article waiting in vain for some evidence of "the end of our monetary imperialism" besides some 'grumbling and foot dragging' as you aptly put it. There was some glimmer of a buried lede with INTEX, created to get around U.S. sanctions against Iran ─ hardly a 'dam-breaking'. Washington is on record as being annoyed.

OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL , February 1, 2019 at 1:41 pm

Currency regime change can take decades, and small percentage differences are enormous because of the flows involved. USD as reserve for 61% of global sovereigns versus 64% 15 years ago is a massive move. World bond market flows are 10X the size of world stock market flows even though the price of the Dow and Facebook shares etc get all of the headlines.

And foreign exchange flows are 10-50X the flows of bond markets, they're currently on the order of $5 *trillion* per day. And since forex is almost completely unregulated it's quite difficult to get the data and spot reserve currency trends. Oh, and buy gold. It's the only currency that requires no counterparty and is no one's debt obligation.

orange cats , February 1, 2019 at 3:47 pm

That's not what Hudson claims in his swaggering final sentence:

"The end of our monetary imperialism, about which I first wrote in 1972 in Super Imperialism, stuns even an informed observer like me."

Which is risible as not only did he fail to show anything of the kind, his opening sentence stated a completely different reality: "The end of America's unchallenged global economic dominance has arrived sooner than expected" So if we hold him to his first declaration, his evidence is feeble, as I mentioned. As a scholar, his hyperbole is untrustworthy.

No, gold is pretty enough lying on the bosom of a lady-friend but that's about its only usefulness in the real world.

skippy , February 1, 2019 at 8:09 pm

Always bemusing that gold bugs never talk about gold being in a bubble . yet when it goes south of its purchase price speak in tongues about ev'bal forces.

timbers , February 1, 2019 at 12:26 pm

I don't agree, and do agree. The distinction is this:

If you fix a few of Hudson's errors, and take him as making the point that USD is losing it's hegemony, IMO he is basically correct.

Brian (another one they call) , February 1, 2019 at 9:56 am

thanks Mr. Hudson. One has to wonder what has happened when the government (for decades) has been shown to be morally and otherwise corrupt and self serving. It doesn't seem to bother anyone but the people, and precious few of them. Was it our financial and legal bankruptcy that sent us over the cliff?

Steven , February 1, 2019 at 10:23 am

Great stuff!

Indeed! It is to say the least encouraging to see Dr. Hudson return so forcefully to the theme of 'monetary imperialism'. I discovered his Super Imperialism while looking for an explanation for the pending 2003 US invasion of Iraq. If you haven't read it yet, move it to the top of your queue if you want to have any idea of how the world really works. You can find any number of articles on his web site that return periodically to the theme of monetary imperialism. I remember one in particular that described how the rest of the world was brought on board to help pay for its good old-fashioned military imperialism.

If it isn't clear to the rest of the world by now, it never will be. The US is incapable of changing on its own a corrupt status quo dominated by a coalition of its military industrial complex, Wall Street bankers and fossil fuels industries. As long as the world continues to chase the debt created on the keyboards of Wall Street banks and 'deficits don't matter' Washington neocons – as long as the world's 1% think they are getting 'richer' by adding more "debts that can't be repaid (and) won't be" to their portfolios, the global economy can never be put on a sustainable footing.

Until the US returns to the path of genuine wealth creation, it is past time for the rest of the world to go its own way with its banking and financial institutions.

Oh , February 1, 2019 at 3:52 pm

The use of the stick will only go so far. What's the USG going to do if they refuse?

Summer , February 1, 2019 at 10:46 am

In other words, after 2 World Wars that produced the current world order, it is still in a state of insanity with the same pretensions to superiority by the same people, to get number 3.

Yikes , February 1, 2019 at 12:07 pm

UK withholding Gold may start another Brexit? IE: funds/gold held by BOE for other countries in Africa, Asian, South America, and the "stans" with start to depart, slowly at first, perhaps for Switzerland?

Ian Perkins , February 1, 2019 at 12:21 pm

Where is the left in all this? Pretty much the same place as Michael Hudson, I'd say. Where is the US Democratic Party in all this? Quite a different question, and quite a different answer. So far as I can see, the Democrats for years have bombed, invaded and plundered other countries 'for their own good'. Republicans do it 'for the good of America', by which the ignoramuses mean the USA. If you're on the receiving end, it doesn't make much difference.

Michael A Gualario , February 1, 2019 at 12:49 pm

Agreed! South America intervention and regime change, Syria ( Trump is pulling out), Iraq, Middle East meddling, all predate Trump. Bush, Clinton and Obama have nothing to do with any of this.

Oregoncharles , February 1, 2019 at 2:12 pm

" So last year, Germany finally got up the courage to ask that some of its gold be flown back to Germany. "

What proof is there that the gold is still there? Chances are it's notional. All Germany, Venezuela, or the others have is an IOU – and gold cannot be printed. Incidentally, this whole discussion means that gold is still money and the gold standard still exists.

Oregoncharles , February 1, 2019 at 3:41 pm

Wukchumni beat me to the suspicion that the gold isn't there.

The Rev Kev , February 1, 2019 at 7:40 pm

What makes you think that the gold in Fort Knox is still there? If I remember right, there was a Potemkin visit back in the 70s to assure everyone that the gold was still there but not since then. Wait, I tell a lie. There was another visit about two years ago but look who was involved in that visit-

https://www.whas11.com/article/news/local/after-40-years-fort-knox-opens-vault-to-civilians/466441331

And I should mention that it was in the 90s that between 1.3 and 1.5 million 400 oz tungsten blanks were manufactured in the US under Clinton. Since then gold-coated tungsten bars have turned up in places like Germany, China, Ethiopia, the UK, etc so who is to say if those gold bars in Fort Knox are gold all the way through either. More on this at -- http://viewzone2.com/fakegoldx.html

Summer , February 1, 2019 at 5:44 pm

A non-accountable standard. It's more obvious BS than what is going on now.

jochen , February 2, 2019 at 6:46 am

It wasn't last year that Germany brought back its Gold. It has been ongoing since 2013, after some political and popular pressure build up. They finished the transaction in 2017. According to an article in Handelblatt (but it was widely reported back then) they brought back pretty much everything they had in Paris (347t), left what they had in London (perhaps they should have done it in reverse) and took home another 300t from the NY Fed. That still leaves 1236t in NY. But half of their Gold (1710t) is now in Frankfurt. That is 50% of the Bundesbanks holdings.

They made a point in saying that every bar was checked and weighed and presented some bars in Frankfurt. I guess they didn't melt them for assaying, but I'd expect them to be smart enough to check the density.

Their reason to keep Gold in NY and London is to quickly buy USD in case of a crisis. That's pretty much a cold war plan, but that's what they do right now.

Regarding Michal Hudsons piece, I enjoyed reading through this one. He tends to write ridiculously long articles and in the last few years with less time and motivation at hand I've skipped most of his texts on NC as they just drag on.

When I'm truly fascinated I like well written, long articles but somehow he lost me at some point. But I noticed that some long original articles in US magazines, probably research for a long time by the journalist, can just drag on for ever as well I just tune out.

Susan the Other , February 1, 2019 at 2:19 pm

This is making sense. I would guess that tearing up the old system is totally deliberate. It wasn't working so well for us because we had to practice too much social austerity, which we have tried to impose on the EU as well, just to stabilize "king dollar" – otherwise spread so thin it was a pending catastrophe.

Now we can get out from under being the reserve currency – the currency that maintains its value by financial manipulation and military bullying domestic deprivation. To replace this old power trip we are now going to mainline oil. The dollar will become a true petro dollar because we are going to commandeer every oil resource not already nailed down.

When we partnered with SA in Aramco and the then petro dollar the dollar was only backed by our military. If we start monopolizing oil, the actual commodity, the dollar will be an apex competitor currency without all the foreign military obligations which will allow greater competitive advantages.

No? I'm looking at PdVSA, PEMEX and the new "Energy Hub for the Eastern Mediterranean" and other places not yet made public. It looks like a power play to me, not a hapless goofball president at all.

skippy , February 2, 2019 at 2:44 am

So sand people with sociological attachment to the OT is a compelling argument based on antiquarian preferences with authoritarian patriarchal tendencies for their non renewable resource . after I might add it was deemed a strategic concern after WWII .

Considering the broader geopolitical realities I would drain all the gold reserves to zero if it was on offer . here natives have some shiny beads for allowing us to resource extract we call this a good trade you maximize your utility as I do mine .

Hay its like not having to run C-corp compounds with western 60s – 70s esthetics and letting the locals play serf, blow back pay back, and now the installed local chiefs can own the risk and refocus the attention away from the real antagonists.

ChrisAtRU , February 1, 2019 at 6:02 pm

Indeed. Thanks so much for this. Maybe the RICS will get serious now – can no longer include Brazil with Bolsonaro. There needs to be an alternate system or systems in place, and to see US Imperialism so so blatantly and bluntly by Trump admin – "US gives Juan Guaido control over some Venezuelan assets" – should sound sirens on every continent and especially in the developing world. I too hope there will be fracture to the point of breakage. Countries of the world outside the US/EU/UK/Canada/Australia confraternity must now unite to provide a permanent framework outside the control of imperial interests. The be clear, this must not default to alternative forms of imperialism germinating by the likes of China.

mikef , February 1, 2019 at 6:07 pm

" such criticism can't begin to take in the full scope of the damage the Trump White House is inflicting on the system of global power Washington built and carefully maintained over those 70 years. Indeed, American leaders have been on top of the world for so long that they no longer remember how they got there.

Few among Washington's foreign policy elite seem to fully grasp the complex system that made U.S. global power what it now is, particularly its all-important geopolitical foundations. As Trump travels the globe, tweeting and trashing away, he's inadvertently showing us the essential structure of that power, the same way a devastating wildfire leaves the steel beams of a ruined building standing starkly above the smoking rubble."

http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/176373/tomgram%3A_alfred_mccoy%2C_tweeting_while_rome_burns

Rajesh K , February 1, 2019 at 7:23 pm

I read something like this and I am like, some of these statements need to be qualified. Like: "Driving China and Russia together". Like where's the proof? Is Xi playing telephone games more often now with Putin? I look at those two and all I see are two egocentric people who might sometimes say the right things but in general do not like the share the spotlight. Let's say they get together to face America and for some reason the later gets "defeated", it's not as if they'll kumbaya together into the night.

This website often points out the difficulties in implementing new banking IT initiatives. Ok, so Europe has a new "payment system". Has it been tested thoroughly? I would expect a couple of weeks or even months of chaos if it's not been tested, and if it's thorough that probably just means that it's in use right i.e. all the kinks have been worked out. In that case the transition is already happening anyway. But then the next crisis arrives and then everyone would need their dollar swap lines again which probably needs to cleared through SWIFT or something.

Anyway, does this all mean that one day we'll wake up and a slice of bacon is 50 bucks as opposed to the usual 1 dollar?

Keith Newman , February 2, 2019 at 1:12 am

Driving Russia and China together is correct. I recall them signing a variety of economic and military agreement a few years ago. It was covered in the media. You should at least google an issue before making silly comments. You might start with the report of Russia and China signing 30 cooperation agreements three years ago. See https://www.rbth.com/international/2016/06/27/russia-china-sign-30-cooperation-agreements_606505 . There are lots and lots of others.

RBHoughton , February 1, 2019 at 9:16 pm

He's draining the swamp in an unpredicted way, a swamp that's founded on the money interest. I don't care what NYT and WaPo have to say, they are not reporting events but promoting agendas.

skippy , February 2, 2019 at 1:11 am

The financial elites are only concerned about shaping society as they see fit, side of self serving is just a historical foot note, Trumps past indicates a strong preference for even more of the same through authoritarian memes or have some missed the OT WH reference to dawg both choosing and then compelling him to run.

Whilst the far right factions fight over the rudder the only new game in town is AOC, Sanders, Warren, et al which Trumps supporters hate with Ideological purity.

/lasse , February 2, 2019 at 7:50 am

Highly doubt Trump is a "witting agent", most likely is that he is just as ignorant as he almost daily shows on twitter. On US role in global affairs he says the same today as he did as a media celebrity in the late 80s. Simplistic household "logics" on macroeconomics. If US have trade deficit it loses. Countries with surplus are the winners.

On a household level it fits, but there no "loser" household that in infinity can print money that the "winners" can accumulate in exchange for their resources and fruits of labor.

One wonder what are Trumps idea of US being a winner in trade (surplus)? I.e. sending away their resources and fruits of labor overseas in exchange for what? A pile of USD? That US in the first place created out of thin air. Or Chinese Yuan, Euros, Turkish liras? Also fiat-money. Or does he think US trade surplus should be paid in gold?

When the US political and economic hegemony will unravel it will come "unexpected". Trump for sure are undermining it with his megalomaniac ignorance. But not sure it's imminent.

Anyhow frightening, the US hegemony have its severe dark sides. But there is absolutely nothing better on the horizon, a crash will throw the world in turmoil for decades or even a century. A lot of bad forces will see their chance to elevate their influence. There will be fierce competition to fill the gap.

On could the insane economic model of EU/Germany being on top of global affairs, a horribly frightening thought. Misery and austerity for all globally, a permanent recession. Probably not much better with the Chinese on top. I'll take the USD hegemony any day compared to that prospect.

Sound of the Suburbs , February 2, 2019 at 10:26 am

Former US ambassador, Chas Freeman, gets to the nub of the problem. "The US preference for governance by elected and appointed officials, uncontaminated by experience in statecraft and diplomacy, or knowledge of geography, history and foreign affairs" https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_882041135&feature=iv&src_vid=Ge1ozuXN7iI&v=gkf2MQdqz-o

Sound of the Suburbs , February 2, 2019 at 10:29 am

When the delusion takes hold, it is the beginning of the end.

The British Empire will last forever
The thousand year Reich
American exceptionalism

As soon as the bankers thought they thought they were "Master of the Universe" you knew 2008 was coming. The delusion had taken hold.

Sound of the Suburbs , February 2, 2019 at 10:45 am

Michael Hudson, in Super Imperialism, went into how the US could just create the money to run a large trade deficit with the rest of the world. It would get all these imports effectively for nothing, the US's exorbitant privilege. I tied this in with this graph from MMT.

This is the US (46.30 mins.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ba8XdDqZ-Jg

The trade deficit required a large Government deficit to cover it and the US government could just create the money to cover it.

Then ideological neoliberals came in wanting balanced budgets and not realising the Government deficit covered the trade deficit.

The US has been destabilising its own economy by reducing the Government deficit. Bill Clinton didn't realize a Government surplus is an indicator a financial crisis is about to hit. The last US Government surplus occurred in 1927 – 1930, they go hand-in-hand with financial crises.

Richard Koo shows the graph central bankers use and it's the flow of funds within the economy, which sums to zero (32-34 mins.).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YTyJzmiHGk

The Government was running a surplus as the economy blew up in the early 1990s. It's the positive and negative, zero sum, nature of the monetary system. A big trade deficit needs a big Government deficit to cover it. A big trade deficit, with a balanced budget, drives the private sector into debt and blows up the economy.

skippy , February 2, 2019 at 5:28 pm

It should be remembered Bill Clinton's early meeting with Rubin, where in he was informed that wages and productivity had diverged – Rubin did not blink an eye.

[Jun 22, 2019] The Myopia of Interventionists by Daniel Lariso

Feb 22, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Andrew Bacevich recalls Madeleine Albright's infamous statement about American indispensability, and notes how poorly it has held up over the last twenty-one years:

Back then, it was Albright's claim to American indispensability that stuck in my craw. Yet as a testimony to ruling class hubris, the assertion of indispensability pales in comparison to Albright's insistence that "we see further into the future."

In fact, from February 1998 down to the present, events have time and again caught Albright's "we" napping.

Albright's statement is even more damning for her and her fellow interventionists when we consider that the context of her remarks was a discussion of the supposed threat from Iraq. The full sentence went like this: "We stand tall and we see further than other countries into the future, and we see the danger here to all of us." Albright was making a general claim about our supposed superiority to other nations when it came to looking into the future, but she was also specifically warning against a "danger" from Iraq that she claimed threatened "all of us." She answered one of Matt Lauer's questions with this assertion:

I think that we know what we have to do, and that is help enforce the UN Security Council resolutions, which demand that Saddam Hussein abide by those resolutions, and get rid of his weapons of mass destruction, and allow the inspectors to have unfettered and unconditional access.

Albright's rhetoric from 1998 is a grim reminder that policymakers from both parties accepted the existence of Iraq's "weapons of mass destruction" as a given and never seriously questioned a policy aimed at eliminating something that did not exist. American hawks couldn't see further in the future. They weren't even perceiving the present correctly, and tens of thousands of Americans and millions of Iraqis would suffer because they insisted that they saw something that wasn't there.

A little more than five years after she uttered these words, the same wild threat inflation that Albright was engaged in led to the invasion of Iraq, the greatest blunder and one of the worst crimes in the history of modern U.S. foreign policy . Not only did Albright and other later war supporters not see what was coming, but their deluded belief in being able to anticipate future threats caused them to buy into and promote a bogus case for a war that was completely unnecessary and should never have been fought.

[Mar 17, 2019] Mueller uses the same old false flag scams, just different packaging of his forensics-free findings

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... It appears the FBI, CIA, and NSA have great difficulty in differentiating between Russians and Democrats posing as Russians. ..."
"... Maybe the VIPS should look into the murder of Seth Rich, the DNC staffer who had the security clearance required to access the DNC servers, and who was murdered in the same week as the emails were taken. In particular, they should ask why the police were told to stand down and close the murder case without further investigation. ..."
"... What a brilliant article, so logical, methodical & a forensic, scientific breakdown of the phony Russiagate project? And there's no doubt, this was a co-ordinated, determined Intelligence project to reverse the results of the 2016 Election by initiating a soft coup or Regime change op on a elected Leader, a very American Coup, something the American Intelligence Agencies specialise in, everywhere else, on a Global scale, too get Trump impeached & removed from the Whitehouse? ..."
"... Right. Since its purpose is to destroy Trump politically, the investigation should go on as long as Trump is in office. Alternatively, if at this point Trump has completely sold out, that would be another reason to stop the investigation. ..."
"... Nancy Pelosi's announcement two days ago that the Democrats will not seek impeachment for Trump suggests the emptiness of the Mueller investigation on the specific "collusion" issue. ..."
"... We know and Assange has confirmed Seth Rich, assassinated in D.C. for his deed, downloaded the emails and most likely passed them on to former British ambassador Craig Murray in a D.C. park for transport to Wikileaks. ..."
"... This so-called "Russiagate" narrative is an illustration of our "freedom of the press" failure in the US due to groupthink and self censorship. He who pays the piper is apt to call the tune. ..."
"... Barr, Sessions, every congressmen all the corporate MSM war profiteer mouth pieces. They all know that "Russia hacked the DNC" and "Russia meddled" is fabricated garbage. They don't care, because their chosen war beast corporate candidate couldn't beat Donald goofball Trump. So it has to be shown that the war beast only lost because of nefarious reasons. Because they're gonna run another war beast cut from the same cloth as Hillary in 2020. ..."
"... Mar 4, 2019 Tom Fitton: President Trump a 'Crime Victim' by Illegal Deep State DOJ & FBI Abuses: https://youtu.be/ixWMorWAC7c ..."
"... Trump is a willing player in this game. The anti-Russian Crusade was, quite simply, a stunningly reckless, short-sighted effort to overturn the 2016 election, removing Trump to install Hillary Clinton in office. ..."
"... Much ado about nothing. All the talk and chatter and media airplay about "Russian meddling" in the 2016 election only tells me that these liars think the American public is that stupid. ..."
"... Andrew Thomas I'm afraid that huge amounts of our History post 1947 is organized and propagandized disinformation. There is an incredible page that John Simpkin has organized over the years that specifically addresses individuals, click on a name and read about them. https://spartacus-educational.com/USAdisinformation.htm ..."
"... It's pretty astonishing that Mueller was more interested in Roger Stone and Jerome Corsi as credible sources about Wikileaks and the DNC release than Craig Murray! ..."
"... Yes, he has done his job. And his job was to bring his royal Orangeness to heel, and to make sure that detente and co-operation with Russia remained impossible. The forever war continues. Mission Accomplished. ..."
Mar 17, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

O Society , March 16, 2019 at 7:55 am

The Truth is Out There. I Want to Believe!

Same old scams, different packaging. That's New & Improved for you.

http://opensociet.org/2019/03/16/the-return-of-the-hidden-persuaders

Raymond Comeau , March 15, 2019 at 12:35 pm

I could not suffer through reading the whole article. This is mainly because I have watched the news daily about Mueller's Investigation and I sincerely believe that Mueller is Champion of the Democrats who are trying to depose President Donald Trump at any cost.

For what Mueller found any decent lawyer with a Degree and a few years of experience could have found what Mueller found for far far less money. Mueller only found common crimes AND NO COLLUSION BETWEEN PRESIDENT TRUMP AND PUTIN!

The Mueller Investigation should be given to an honest broker to review, and Mueller should be paid only what it would cost to produce the commonplace crimes Mueller, The Democrats, and CNN has tried to convince the people that indeed Trump COLLUDED with RUSSIA. Mueller is, a BIG NOTHING BURGER and THE DEMOCRATS AND CNN ARE MUELLER'S SINGING CANARYS! Mueller should be jailed.

Bogdan Miller , March 15, 2019 at 11:04 am

This article explains why the Mueller Report is already highly suspect. For another thing, we know that since before 2016, Democrats have been studying Russian Internet and hacking tactics, and posing as Russian Bots/Trolls on Facebook and other media outlets, all in an effort to harm President Trump.

It appears the FBI, CIA, and NSA have great difficulty in differentiating between Russians and Democrats posing as Russians.

B.J.M. Former Intelligence Analyst and Humint Collector

vinnieoh , March 15, 2019 at 8:17 am

Moving on: the US House yesterday voted UNANIMOUSLY (remember that word, so foreign these days to US governance?) to "urge" the new AG to release the complete Mueller report.

A non-binding resolution, but you would think that the Democrats can't see the diesel locomotive bearing down on their clown car, about to smash it to pieces. The new AG in turn says he will summarize the report and that is what we will see, not the entire report. And taxation without representation takes a new twist.

... ... ...

Raymond Comeau , March 15, 2019 at 12:38 pm

What else would you expect from two Political Parties who are really branches of the ONE Party which Represents DEEP STATE".

DWS , March 15, 2019 at 5:58 am

Maybe the VIPS should look into the murder of Seth Rich, the DNC staffer who had the security clearance required to access the DNC servers, and who was murdered in the same week as the emails were taken. In particular, they should ask why the police were told to stand down and close the murder case without further investigation.

Raymond Comeau , March 15, 2019 at 12:47 pm

EXACTLY! But, Deep State will not allow that. And, it would ruin the USA' plan to continue to invade more sovereign countries and steal their resources such as oil and Minerals. The people of the USA must be Ostriches or are so terrified that they accept anything their Criminal Governments tell them.

Eventually, the chickens will come home to roost and perhaps the USA voters will ROAST when the crimes of the USA sink the whole country. It is time for a few Brave Men and Women to find their backbones and throw out the warmongers and their leading Oligarchs!

KiwiAntz , March 14, 2019 at 6:44 pm

What a brilliant article, so logical, methodical & a forensic, scientific breakdown of the phony Russiagate project? And there's no doubt, this was a co-ordinated, determined Intelligence project to reverse the results of the 2016 Election by initiating a soft coup or Regime change op on a elected Leader, a very American Coup, something the American Intelligence Agencies specialise in, everywhere else, on a Global scale, too get Trump impeached & removed from the Whitehouse?

If you can't get him out via a Election, try & try again, like Maduro in Venezuela, to forcibly remove the targeted person by setting him up with fake, false accusations & fabricated evidence? How very predictable & how very American of Mueller & the Democratic Party. Absolute American Corruption, corrupts absolutely?

Brian Murphy , March 15, 2019 at 10:33 am

Right. Since its purpose is to destroy Trump politically, the investigation should go on as long as Trump is in office. Alternatively, if at this point Trump has completely sold out, that would be another reason to stop the investigation.

If the investigation wraps up and finds nothing, that means Trump has already completely sold out. If the investigation continues, it means someone important still thinks Trump retains some vestige of his balls.

DH Fabian , March 14, 2019 at 1:19 pm

By last June or July the Mueller investigation has resulted in roughly 150 indictments for perjury/financial crimes, and there was a handful of convictions to date. The report did not support the Clinton wing's anti-Russian allegations about the 2016 election, and was largely brushed aside by media. Mueller was then reportedly sent back in to "find something." presumably to support the anti-Russian claims.

mike k , March 14, 2019 at 12:57 pm

From the beginning of the Russia did it story, right after Trump's electoral victory, it was apparent that this was a fraud. The democratic party however has locked onto this preposterous story, and they will go to their graves denying this was a scam to deny their presidential defeat, and somehow reverse the result of Trump's election. My sincere hope is that this blatant lie will be an albatross around the party's neck, that will carry them down into oblivion. They have betrayed those of us who supported them for so many years. They are in many ways now worse than the republican scum they seek to replace.

DH Fabian , March 14, 2019 at 1:26 pm

Trump is almost certain to be re-elected in 2020, and we'll go through this all over again.

Tom , March 14, 2019 at 12:00 pm

The very fact that the FBI never had access to the servers and took the word of a private company that had a history of being anti-Russian is enough to throw the entire ruse out.

LJ , March 14, 2019 at 2:39 pm

Agreed!!!! and don't forget the FBI/Comey gave Hillary and her Campaign a head's up before they moved to seize the evidence. . So too, Comey said he stopped the Investigation , thereby rendering judgement of innocence, even though by his own words 'gross negligence' had a occurred (which is normally considered grounds for prosecution). In doing so he exceeded the FBI's investigative mandate. He rationalized that decision was appropriate because of the appearance of impropriety that resulted from Attorney General Lynch having a private meeting on a plane on a runway with Bill and Hillary . Where was the logic in that. Who called the meeting? All were Lawyers who had served as President, Senator, Attorney General and knew that the meeting was absolutely inappropriate. . Comey should be prosecuted if they want to prosecute anyone else because of this CRAP. PS Trump is an idiot. Uhinfortunately he is just a symptom of the disease at this point. Look at the cover of Rolling Stone magazine , carry a barf bag.

Jane Christ , March 14, 2019 at 6:51 pm

Exactly. This throws doubt on the ability of the FBI to work independently. They are working for those who want to cover -up the Hillary mess . She evidently has sufficient funds to pay them off. I am disgusted with the level of corruption.

hetro , March 14, 2019 at 10:50 am

Nancy Pelosi's announcement two days ago that the Democrats will not seek impeachment for Trump suggests the emptiness of the Mueller investigation on the specific "collusion" issue. If there were something hot and lingering and about to emerge, this decision is highly unlikely, especially with the reasoning she gave at "so as not to divide the American people." Dividing the people hasn't been of much concern throughout this bogus witch hunt on Trump, which has added to his incompetence in leavening a growing hysteria and confusion in this country. If there is something, anything at all, in the Mueller report to support the collusion theory, Pelosi would I'm sure gleefully trot it out to get a lesser candidate like Pence as opposition for 2020.

James Clooney , March 14, 2019 at 11:17 am

We know and Assange has confirmed Seth Rich, assassinated in D.C. for his deed, downloaded the emails and most likely passed them on to former British ambassador Craig Murray in a D.C. park for transport to Wikileaks.

We must also honor Shawn Lucas assassinated for serving DNC with a litigation notice exposing the DNC conspiracy against Sanders.

hetro , March 14, 2019 at 3:18 pm

Where has Assange confirmed this? Assange's long-standing position is NOT to reveal his sources. I believe he has continued to honor this position.

Skip Scott , March 15, 2019 at 7:15 am

It has merely been insinuated by the offering of a reward for info on Seth's murder. In one breath he says wikileaks will never divulge a source, and in the next he offers a $20k reward saying that sources take tremendous risk. Doesn't take much of a logical leap to connect A to B.

DH Fabian , March 14, 2019 at 1:30 pm

Are you aware that Democrats split apart their 0wn voting base in the 1990s, middle class vs. poor? The Obama years merely confirmed that this split is permanent. This is particularly relevant for Democrats, as their voting base had long consisted of the poor and middle class, for the common good. Ignoring this deep split hasn't made it go away.

hetro , March 14, 2019 at 3:24 pm

Even more important is how the Democrats have sold out to an Establishment view favoring neocon theory, since at least Bill Clinton. Pelosi's recent behavior with Ilhan Omar confirms this and the split you're talking about. My point is it is distinctly odd that Pelosi is discouraging impeachment on "dividing the Party" (already divided, of course, as you say), whereas the Russia-gate fantasy was so hot not that long ago. Again it points to a cynical opportunism and manipulation of the electorate. Both parties are a sad excuse to represent ordinary people's interests.

Skip Scott , March 15, 2019 at 7:21 am

She said "dividing the country", not the party. I think she may have concerns over Trump's heavily armed base. That said, the statement may have been a ruse. There are plenty of Republicans that would cross the line in favor of impeachment with the right "conclusions" by Mueller. Pelosi may be setting up for a "bombshell" conclusion by Mueller. One must never forget that we are watching theater, and that Trump was a "mistake" to be controlled or eliminated.

Cindy Haddix , March 14, 2019 at 8:04 am

Mueller should be ashamed that he has made President Trump his main concern!! If all this investigation would stop he could save America millions!!! He needs to quit this witch-hunt and worry about things that really need to be handled!!! If the democrats and Trump haters would stop pushing senseless lies hopefully this would stop ? It's so disgusting that his democrat friend was never really investigated ? stop the witch-hunt and move forward!!!!

torture this , March 14, 2019 at 7:29 am

According to this letter, mistakes might have been made on Rachel Maddow's show. I can't wait to read how she responds. I'd watch her show, myself except that it has the same effect on me as ipecac.

Zhu , March 14, 2019 at 3:37 am

People will cling to "Putin made Trump President!!!" much as many cling "Obama's a Kenyan Muslim! Not a real American!!!". Both nut theories are emotionally satisfying, no matter what the historical facts are. Many Americans just can't admit their mistakes and blaming a scapegoat is a way out.

O Society , March 14, 2019 at 2:03 am

Thank you VIPS for organizing this legit dissent consisting of experts in the field of intelligence and computer forensics.

This so-called "Russiagate" narrative is an illustration of our "freedom of the press" failure in the US due to groupthink and self censorship. He who pays the piper is apt to call the tune.

It is astounding how little skepticism and scientifically-informed reasoning goes on in our media. These folks show themselves to be native advertising rather than authentic journalists at every turn.

DH Fabian , March 14, 2019 at 1:33 pm

But it has been Democrats and the media that market to middle class Dems, who persist in trying to sell the Russian Tale. They excel at ignoring the evidence that utterly contradicts their claims.

O Society , March 15, 2019 at 3:50 pm

Oh, we're well beyond your "Blame the middle class Dems" stage.

The WINNING!!! team sports bullshit drowns the entire country now the latrine's sprung a leak. People pretend to live in bubbles made of blue or red quite like the Three Little Pigs, isn't it? Except instead of a house made of bricks saving the day for the littlepiggies, what we've got here is a purple puddle of piss.

Everyone's more than glad to project all our problems on "THEM" though, aren't we?

Meanwhile, the White House smells like a urinal not washed since the 1950s and simpletons still get their rocks off arguing about whether Mickey Mouse can beat up Ronald McDonald.

T'would be comic except what's so tragic is the desperate need Americans have to believe, oh just believe! in something. Never mind the sound of the jackhammer on your skull dear, there's an app for that or is it a pill?

I don't know, don't ask me, I'm busy watching TV. Have a cheeto.

https://opensociet.org/2018/12/18/the-disneyfication-of-america/

Sam F , March 13, 2019 at 6:45 pm

Very good analysis clearly stated, especially adding the FAT timestamps to the transmission speeds.

Minor corrections: "The emails were copied from the network" should be "from the much faster local network" because this is to Contradict the notion that they were copied over the internet network, which most readers will equate with "network." Also "reportedin" should be "reported in."

Michael , March 13, 2019 at 6:25 pm

It is likely that New Knowledge was actually "the Russians", possibly working in concert with Crowdstrike. Once an intelligence agency gets away with something like pretending to be Russian hackers and bots, they tend to re-use their model; it is too tempting to discard an effective model after a one-off accomplishment. New Knowledge was caught interfering/ determining the outcome in the Alabama Senate race on the side of Democrat Doug Jones, and claimed they were merely trying to mimic Russian methods to see if they worked (they did; not sure of their punishment?). Occam's razor would suggest that New Knowledge would be competent to mimic/ pretend to be "Russians" after the fact of wikileaks' publication of emails. New Knowledge has employees from the NSA and State department sympathetic to/ working with(?) Hillary, and were the "outside" agency hired to evaluate and report on the "Russian" hacking of the DNC emails/ servers.

DH Fabian , March 13, 2019 at 5:48 pm

Mueller released report last summer, which resulted in (the last I checked) roughly 150 indictments, a handful of convictions to date, all for perjury/financial (not political) crimes. This wasn't kept secret. It simply wasn't what Democrats wanted to hear, so although it was mentioned in some lib media (which overwhelmingly supported neoliberal Hillary Clinton), it was essentially swept under the carpet.

Billy , March 13, 2019 at 11:11 pm

Barr, Sessions, every congressmen all the corporate MSM war profiteer mouth pieces. They all know that "Russia hacked the DNC" and "Russia meddled" is fabricated garbage. They don't care, because their chosen war beast corporate candidate couldn't beat Donald goofball Trump. So it has to be shown that the war beast only lost because of nefarious reasons. Because they're gonna run another war beast cut from the same cloth as Hillary in 2020.

Realist , March 14, 2019 at 3:22 am

You betcha. Moreover, who but the Russians do these idiots have left to blame? Everybody else is now off limits due to political correctness. Sigh Those Catholics, Jews, "ethnics" and sundry "deviants" used to be such reliable scapegoats, to say nothing of the "undeveloped" world. As Clapper "authoritatively" says, only this vile lineage still carries the genes for the most extremes of human perfidy. Squirrels in your attic? It must be the damned Russkies! The bastards impudently tried to copy our democracy, economic system and free press and only besmirched those institutions, ruining all of Hillary's glorious plans for a worldwide benevolent dictatorship. All this might be humorous if it weren't so funny.

And those Chinese better not get to thinking they are somehow our equals just because all their trillions invested in U.S. Treasury bonds have paid for all our wars of choice and MIC boondoggles since before the turn of the century. Unless they start delivering Trump some "free stuff" the big man is gonna cut off their water. No more affordable manufactured goods for the American public! So there!

As to the article: impeccable research and analysis by the VIPS crew yet again. They've proven to me that, to a near certainty, the Easter Bunny is not likely to exist. Mueller won't read it. Clapper will still prance around a free man, as will Brennan. The Democrats won't care, that is until November of 2020. And Hillary will continue to skate, unhindered in larding up the Clinton Foundation to purposes one can only imagine.

Joe Tedesky , March 14, 2019 at 10:02 pm

Realist,

I have posted this article 'the Russia they Lost' before and from time to time but once again it seems appropriate to add this link to expound upon for what you've been saying. It's an article written by a Russian who in they're youth growing up in the USSR dreamed of living the American lifestyle if Russia were to ever ditch communism. But . Starting with Kosovo this Russian's youthful dream turned nightmarishly ugly and, as time went by with more and yet even more USA aggression this Russian author loss his admiration and desire for all things American to be proudly envied. This is a story where USA hard power destroyed any hope of American soft power for world unity. But hey that unity business was never part of the plan anyway.

https://slavyangrad.org/2014/09/24/the-russia-they-lost/

Realist , March 15, 2019 at 10:38 pm

right you are, joe. if america was smart rather than arrogant, it would have cooperated with china and russia to see the belt and road initiative succeed by perhaps building a bridge or tunnel from siberia to alaska, and by building its own fleet of icebreakers to open up its part of the northwest passage. but no, it only wants to sabotage what others propose. that's not being a leader, it's being a dick.

i'm gonna have to go on the disabled list here until the sudden neurological problem with my right hand clears up–it's like paralysed. too difficult to do this one-handed using hunt and peck. at least the problem was not in the old bean, according to the scans. carry on, sir.

Brian James , March 13, 2019 at 5:04 pm

Mar 4, 2019 Tom Fitton: President Trump a 'Crime Victim' by Illegal Deep State DOJ & FBI Abuses: https://youtu.be/ixWMorWAC7c

DH Fabian , March 13, 2019 at 5:55 pm

Trump is a willing player in this game. The anti-Russian Crusade was, quite simply, a stunningly reckless, short-sighted effort to overturn the 2016 election, removing Trump to install Hillary Clinton in office. Trump and the Republicans continue to win by default, as Democrats only drive more voters away.

Howard , March 13, 2019 at 4:36 pm

Thank you Ray McGovern and the Other 17 VIPS C0-Signers of your National Security Essay for Truth. Along with Craig Murray and Seymour Hirsch, former Sam Adams Award winners for "shining light into dark places", you are national resources for objectivity in critical survival information matters for our country. It is more than a pity that our mainstream media are so beholden to their corporate task masters that they cannot depart from the company line for fear of losing their livelihoods, and in the process we risk losing life on the planet because of unconstrained nuclear war on the part of the two main adversaries facing off in an atmosphere of fear and mistrust. Let me speak plainly. THEY SHOULD BE TALKING TO YOU AND NOT THE VESTED INTERESTS' MOUTHPIECES. Thank you for your continued leadership!

James Clooney , March 14, 2019 at 11:28 am

Roger Ailes founder of FOX news died, "falling down stairs" within a week of FOX news exposing to the world that the assassinated Seth Rich downloaded the DNC emails.

DH Fabian , March 13, 2019 at 6:03 pm

Google the Mueller investigation report from last June or July. When it was released, the public response was like a deflated balloon. It did not support the "Russian collusion" allegations -- the only thing Democrats still had left to sell. The report resulted in roughly 150 indictments for perjury/financial crimes (not political), and a handful of convictions to date -- none of which had anything to do with the election results.

Hank , March 13, 2019 at 6:19 pm

Much ado about nothing. All the talk and chatter and media airplay about "Russian meddling" in the 2016 election only tells me that these liars think the American public is that stupid. They are probably right, but the REAL reason that Hillary lost is because there ARE enough informed people now in this nation who are quite aware of the Clinton's sordid history where scandals seem to follow every where they go, but indictments and/or investigations don't. There IS an internet nowadays with lots of FACTUAL DOCUMENTED information. That's a lot more than I can say about the mainstream corporate-controlled media!

I know this won't ever happen, but an HONEST investigation into the Democratic Party and their actions during the 2016 election would make ANY collusion with ANY nation look like a mole hill next to a mountain! One of the problems with living in this nation is if you are truly informed and make an effort 24/7 to be that way by doing your own research, you more-than-likely can be considered an "island in a sea of ignorance".

Tom , March 14, 2019 at 12:13 pm

We know that the FBI never had access to the servers and a private company was allowed to handle the evidence. Wasnt it a crime scene? The evidence was tampered with And we will never know what was on the servers.

Mark McCarty , March 13, 2019 at 4:10 pm

As a complement to this excellent analysis, I would like to make 2 further points:

The Mueller indictment of Russian Intelligence for hacking the DNC and transferring their booty to Wikileaks is absurd on its face for this reason: Assange announced on June 12th the impending release of Hillary-related emails. Yet the indictment claims that Guccifer 2.0 did not succeed in transferring the DNC emails to Wikileaks until the time period of July 14-18th – after which they were released online on July 22nd. Are we to suppose that Assange, a publisher of impeccable integrity, publicly announced the publication of emails he had not yet seen, and which he was obtaining from a source of murky provenance? And are we further to suppose that Wikileaks could have processed 20K emails and 20K attachments to insure their genuineness in a period of only several days? As you will recall, Wikileaks subsequently took a number of weeks to process the Podesta emails they released in October.

And another peculiarity merits attention. Assange did not state on June 12th that he was releasing DNC emails – and yet Crowdstrike and the Guccifer 2.0 personna evidently knew that this was in store. A likely resolution of this conundrum is that US intelligence had been monitoring all communications to Wikileaks, and had informed the DNC that their hacked emails had been offered to Wikileaks. A further reasonable prospect is that US intelligence subsequently unmasked the leaker to the DNC; as Assange has strongly hinted, this likely was Seth Rich. This could explain Rich's subsequent murder, as Rich would have been in a position to unmask the Guccifer 2.0 hoax and the entire Russian hacking narrative.

https://medium.com/@markfmccarty/muellers-new-indictment-do-the-feds-take-us-for-idiots-5406ef955406

https://medium.com/@markfmccarty/how-did-crowdstrike-guccifer-2-0-know-that-wikileaks-was-planning-to-release-dnc-emails-42e6db334053

Sam F , March 13, 2019 at 7:06 pm

Curious that Assange has Not explicitly stated that the leaker was Seth Rich, if it was, as this would take pressure from himself and incriminate the DNC in the murder of Rich. Perhaps he doesn't know, and has the honor not to take the opportunity, or perhaps he knows that it was not Rich.

James Clooney , March 14, 2019 at 11:40 am

View the Dutch TV interview with Asssange and there is another interview available on youtube in which Assange DOES subtly confirmed it was Seth Rich.

Assange posted a $10,000 reward for Seth Rich's murders capture.

Abby , March 13, 2019 at 10:11 pm

Another mistaken issue with the "Russia hacked the DNC computers on Trump's command" is that he never asked Russia to do that. His words were, "Russia if you 'find' Hillary's missing emails let us know." He said that after she advised congress that she wouldn't be turning in all of the emails they asked for because she deleted 30,000 of them and said that they were personal.

But if Mueller or the FBI wants to look at all of them they can find them at the NYC FBI office because they are on Weiner's laptop. Why? Because Hillary's aid Huma Abedin, Weiner's wife sent them to it. Just another security risk that Hillary had because of her private email server. This is why Comey had to tell congress that more of them had been found 11 days before the election. If Comey hadn't done that then the FBI would have.

But did Comey or McCabe look at her emails there to see if any of them were classified? No they did not do that. And today we find out that Lisa Page told congress that it was Obama's decision not to charge Hillary for being grossly negligent on using her private email server. This has been known by congress for many months and now we know that the fix was always in for her to get off.

robert e williamson jr , March 13, 2019 at 3:26 pm

I want to thank you folks at VIPS. Like I have been saying for years now the relationship between CIA, NSA and DOJ is an incestuous one at best. A perverse corrupted bond to control the masses. A large group of religious fanatics who want things "ONE WAY". They are the facilitators for the rogue government known as the "DEEP STATE"!

Just ask billy barr.

More truth is a very good thing. I believe DOJ is supporting the intelligence community because of blackmail. They can't come clean because they all risk doing lots of time if a new judicial mechanism replaces them. We are in big trouble here.

Apparently the rule of law is not!

You folks that keep claiming we live in the post truth era! Get off me. Demand the truth and nothing else. Best be getting ready for the fight of your lives. The truth is you have to look yourself in the mirror every morning, deny that truth. The claim you are living in the post truth era is an admission your life is a lie. Now grab a hold of yourself pick a dogdamned side and stand for something,.

Thank You VIPS!

Joe Tedesky , March 13, 2019 at 2:58 pm

Hats off to the VIP's who have investigated this Russian hacking that wasn't a hacking for without them what would we news junkies have otherwise to lift open the hood of Mueller's never ending Russia-gate investigation. Although the one thing this Russia-gate nonsense has accomplished is it has destroyed with our freedom of speech when it comes to how we citizens gather our news. Much like everything else that has been done during these post 9/11 years of continual wars our civil rights have been marginalized down to zero or, a bit above if that's even still an argument to be made for the sake of numbers.

Watching the Manafort sentencing is quite interesting for the fact that Manafort didn't conclude in as much as he played fast and loose with his income. In fact maybe Manafort's case should have been prosecuted by the State Department or, how about the IRS? Also wouldn't it be worth investigating other Geopolitical Rain Makers like Manafort for similar crimes of financial wrongdoing? I mean is it possible Manafort is or was the only one of his type to do such dishonest things? In any case Manafort wasn't charged with concluding with any Russians in regard to the 2016 presidential election and, with that we all fall down.

I guess the best thing (not) that came out of this Russia-gate silliness is Rachel Maddow's tv ratings zoomed upwards. But I hate to tell you that the only ones buying what Ms Maddow is selling are the died in the wool Hillary supporters along with the chicken-hawks who rally to the MIC lobby for more war. It's all a game and yet there are many of us who just don't wish to play it but still we must because no one will listen to the sanity that gets ignored keep up the good work VIP's some of us are listening.

Andrew Thomas , March 13, 2019 at 12:42 pm

The article did not mention something called to my attention for the first time by one of the outstanding members of your commentariat just a couple of days ago- that Ambassador Murray stayed publicly, over two years ago, that he had been given the thumb drive by a go-between in D.C. and had somehow gotten it to Wikileaks. And, that he has NEVER BEEN INTERVIEWED by Mueller &Company. I was blown away by this, and found the original articles just by googling Murray. The excuse given is that Murray "lacks credibility ", or some such, because of his prior relationship with Assange and/or Wikileaks. This is so ludicrous I can't even get my head around it. And now, you have given me a new detail-the meeting with Pompeo, and the complete lack of follow-up thereafter. Here all this time I thought I was the most cynical SOB who existed, and now I feel as naive as when I was 13 and believed what Dean Rusk was saying like it was holy writ. I am in your debt.

Bob Van Noy , March 13, 2019 at 2:33 pm

Andrew Thomas I'm afraid that huge amounts of our History post 1947 is organized and propagandized disinformation. There is an incredible page that John Simpkin has organized over the years that specifically addresses individuals, click on a name and read about them. https://spartacus-educational.com/USAdisinformation.htm

Mark McCarty , March 13, 2019 at 4:18 pm

A small correction: the Daily Mail article regarding Murray claimed that Murray was given a thumbdrive which he subsequently carried back to Wikileaks. On his blog, Murray subsequently disputed this part of the story, indicating that, while he had met with a leaker or confederate of a leaker in Washington DC, the Podesta emails were already in possession of Wikileaks at the time. Murray refused to clarify the reason for his meeting with this source, but he is adamant in maintaining that the DNC and Podesta emails were leaked, not hacked.

And it is indeed ludicrous that Mueller, given the mandate to investigate the alleged Russian hacking of the DNC and Podesta, has never attempted to question either Assange or Murray. That in itself is enough for us to conclude that the Mueller investigation is a complete sham.

Ian Brown , March 13, 2019 at 4:43 pm

It's pretty astonishing that Mueller was more interested in Roger Stone and Jerome Corsi as credible sources about Wikileaks and the DNC release than Craig Murray!

LJ , March 13, 2019 at 12:29 pm

A guy comes in with a pedigree like that, """ former FBI head """ to examine and validate if possible an FBI sting manufactured off a phony FISA indictment based on the Steele Report, It immediately reminded me of the 9-11 Commission with Thomas Kean, former Board member of the National Endowment for Democracy, being appointed by GW Bush the Simple to head an investigation that he had previously said he did not want to authorize( and of course bi partisan yes man Lee Hamilton as #2, lest we forget) . Really this should be seen as another low point in our Democracy. Uncle Sam is the Limbo Man, How low can you go?

After Bill and Hillary and Monica and Paula Jones and Blue Dresses well, Golden Showers in a Moscow luxury hotel, I guess that make it just salacious enough.

Mueller looks just like what he is. He has that same phony self important air as Comey . In 2 years this will be forgotten.. I do not think this hurts Trumps chances at re-election as much as the Democrats are hurting themselves. This has already gone on way too long.

Drew Hunkins , March 13, 2019 at 11:59 am

Mueller has nothing and he well knows it. He was willingly roped into this whole pathetic charade and he's left grasping for anything remotely tied to Trump campaign officials and Russians.

Even the most tenuous connections and weak relationships are splashed across the mass media in breathless headlines. Meanwhile, NONE of the supposed skulduggery unearthed by Mueller has anything to do with the Kremlin "hacking" the election to favor Trump, which was the entire raison d'etre behind Rosenstein, Brennan, Podesta and Mueller's crusade on behalf of the deplorable DNC and Washington militarist-imperialists. It will be fascinating to witness how Mueller and his crew ultimately extricate themselves from this giant fraudulent edifice of deceit. Will they even be able to save the most rudimentary amount of face?

So sickening to see the manner in which many DNC sycophants obsequiously genuflect to their godlike Mueller. A damn prosecutor who was likely in bed with the Winter Hill Gang.

Jack , March 13, 2019 at 12:21 pm

You have failed. An investigation is just that, a finding of the facts. What would Mueller have to extricate himself from? If nothing is found, he has still done his job. You are a divisive idiot.

Skip Scott , March 13, 2019 at 1:13 pm

Yes, he has done his job. And his job was to bring his royal Orangeness to heel, and to make sure that detente and co-operation with Russia remained impossible. The forever war continues. Mission Accomplished.

Drew Hunkins , March 13, 2019 at 2:12 pm

@Jack,
Keep running cover for an out of control prosecutor, who, if he had any integrity, would have hit the bully pulpit mos ago declaring there's nothing of substance to one of the most potentially dangerous accusations in world history: the Kremlin hacking the election. Last I checked it puts two nuclear nation-states on the brink of potential war. And you call me divisive? Mueller's now a willing accomplice to this entire McCarthyite smear and disinformation campaign. It's all so pathetic that folks such as yourself try and mislead and feed half-truths to the people.

You're failing Jack, in more ways than you know.

Gregory Herr , March 13, 2019 at 9:13 pm

https://www.kcrw.com/culture/shows/scheer-intelligence/liberals-are-digging-their-own-grave-with-russiagate-2019-03-08

Drew, you might enjoy this discussion Robert Scheer has with Stephen Cohen and Katrina vanden Heuvel.

Realist , March 15, 2019 at 3:38 am

Moreover, as the Saker pointed out in his most recent column in the Unz Review, the entire Deep State conspiracy, in an ad hoc alliance with the embarrassed and embarrassing Democrats, have made an absolute sham of due process in their blatant witch hunt to bag the president. This reached an apex when his personal lawyer, Mr. Cohen, was trotted out before congress to violate Trump's confidentiality in every mortifying way he could even vaguely reconstruct. The man was expected to say anything to mitigate the anticipated tortures to come in the course of this modern day inquisition by our latter day Torquemada. To his credit though, even with his ass in a sling, he could simply not confabulate the smoking gun evidence for the alleged Russian collusion that this whole farce was built around.

Tom , March 14, 2019 at 12:30 pm

Mueller stood with Bush as he lied the world into war based on lies and illegally spied on America and tortured some folks.

George Collins , March 13, 2019 at 2:02 pm

QED: as to the nexus with the Winter Hill gang wasn't there litigation involving the Boston FBI, condonation of murder by the FBI and damages awarded to or on behalf of convicted parties that the FBI had reason to know were innocent? The malfeasance reportedly occurred during Mueller time. Further on the sanctified diligence of Mr. Mueller can be gleaned from the reports of Coleen Rowley, former FBI attorney stationed in Milwaukee??? when the DC FBI office was ignoring warnings sent about 9/11. See also Sibel Edmonds who knew to much and was court order muzzled about FBI mis/malfeasance in the aftermath of 9/11.

I'd say it's game, set, match VIPS and a pox on Clapper and the complicit intelligence folk complicit in the nuclear loaded Russia-gate fibs.

Kiers , March 13, 2019 at 11:47 am

How can we expect the DNC to "hand it " to Trumpf, when, behind the scenes, THEY ARE ONE PARTY. They are throwing faux-scary pillow bombs at each other because they are both complicit in a long chain of corruptions. Business as usual for the "principled" two party system! Democracy! Through the gauze of corporate media! You must be joking!

Skip Scott , March 13, 2019 at 11:28 am

"We believe that there are enough people of integrity in the Department of Justice to prevent the outright manufacture or distortion of "evidence," particularly if they become aware that experienced scientists have completed independent forensic study that yield very different conclusions."

I wish I shared this belief. However, as with Nancy Pelosi's recent statement regarding pursuing impeachment, I smell a rat. I believe with the help of what the late Robert Parry called "the Mighty Wurlitzer", Mueller is going to use coerced false testimony and fabricated forensics to drop a bombshell the size of 911. I think Nancy's statement was just a feint before throwing the knockout punch.

If reason ruled the day, we should have nothing to worry about. But considering all the perfidy that the so-called "Intelligence" Agencies and their MSM lackeys get away with daily, I think we are in for more theater; and I think VIPS will receive a cold shoulder outside of venues like CN.

I pray to God I'm wrong.

Sam F , March 13, 2019 at 7:32 pm

My extensive experience with DOJ and the federal judiciary establishes that at least 98% of them are dedicated career liars, engaged in organized crime to serve political gangs, and make only a fanatical pretense of patriotism or legality. They are loyal to money alone, deeply cynical and opposed to the US Constitution and laws, with no credibility at all beyond any real evidence.

Eric32 , March 14, 2019 at 4:24 pm

As near I can see, Federal Govt. careers at the higher levels depend on having dirt on other players, and helping, not hurting, the money/power schemes of the players above you.

The Clintons (through their foundation) apparently have a lot of corruption dirt on CIA, FBI etc. top players, some of whom somehow became multi-millionaires during their civil service careers.

Trump, who was only running for President as a name brand marketing ploy with little desire to actually win, apparently came into the Presidency with no dirt arsenal and little idea of where to go from there.

Bob Van Noy , March 13, 2019 at 11:09 am

I remember reading with dismay how Russians were propagandized by the Soviet Press Management only to find out later the depth of disbelief within the Russian population itself. We now know what that feels like. The good part of this disastrous scenario for America is that for careful readers, disinformation becomes revelatory. For instance, if one reads an editorial that refers to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, or continually refers to Russian interference in the last Presidential election, then one can immediately dismiss the article and question the motivation for the presentation. Of course the problem is how to establish truth in reporting

Jeff Harrison , March 13, 2019 at 10:41 am

Thank you, VIPs. Hopefully, you don't expect this to make a difference. The US has moved into a post truth, post reality existence best characterized by Karl Rove's declaration: "we're an empire now, when we act, we create our own reality." What Mr. Rove in his arrogance fails to appreciate is that it is his reality but not anyone else's. Thus Pompous can claim that Guaido is the democratic leader in Venezuela even though he's never been elected .

Gary Weglarz , March 13, 2019 at 10:21 am

Thank you. The next time one of my friends or family give me that glazed over stare and utters anymore of the "but, RUSSIA" nonsense I will refer them directly to this article. Your collective work and ethical stand on this matter is deeply appreciated by anyone who values the truth.

Russiagate stands with past government propaganda operations that were simply made up out of thin air: i.e. Kuwaiti incubator babies, WMD's, Gaddafi's viagra fueled rape camps, Assad can't sleep at night unless he's gassing his own people, to the latest, "Maduro can't sleep at night unless he's starving his own people."

The complete and utter amorality of the deep state remains on display for all to see with "Russiagate," which is as fact-free a propaganda campaign as any of those just mentioned.

Marc , March 13, 2019 at 10:13 am

I am a computer naif, so I am prepared to accept the VIPS analysis about FAT and transfer rates. However, the presentation here leaves me with several questions. First, do I understand correctly that the FAT rounding to even numbers is introduced by the thumb drive? And if so, does the FAT analysis show only that the DNC data passed through a thumb drive? That is, does the analysis distinguish whether the DNC data were directly transferred to a thumb drive, or whether the data were hacked and then transferred to a thumb drive, eg, to give a copy to Wikileaks? Second, although the transatlantic transfer rate is too slow to fit some time stamps, is it possible that the data were hacked onto a local computer that was under the control of some faraway agent?

Jeff Harrison , March 13, 2019 at 11:12 am

Not quite. FAT is the crappy storage system developed by Microsoft (and not used by UNIX). The metadata associated with any file gets rewritten when it gets moved. If that movement is to a storage device that uses FAT, the timestamp on the file will end in an even number. If it were moved to a unix server (and most of the major servers run Unix) it would be in the UFS (unix file system) and it would be the actual time from the system clock. Every storage device has a utility that tells it where to write the data and what to write. Since it's writing to a storage device using FAT, it'll round the numbers. To get to your real question, yes, you could hack and then transfer the data to a thumb drive but if you did that the dates wouldn't line up.

Skip Scott , March 14, 2019 at 8:05 am

Jeff-

Which dates wouldn't line up? Is there a history of metadata available, or just metadata for the most recent move?

David G , March 13, 2019 at 12:22 pm

Marc asks: "[D]oes the analysis distinguish whether the DNC data were directly transferred to a thumb drive, or whether the data were hacked and then transferred to a thumb drive, eg, to give a copy to Wikileaks?"

I asked that question in comments under a previous CN piece; other people have asked that question elsewhere.

To my knowledge, it hasn't been addressed directly by the VIPS, and I think they should do so. (If they already have, someone please enlighten me.)

Skip Scott , March 13, 2019 at 1:07 pm

I am no computer wiz, but Binney has repeatedly made the point that the NSA scoops up everything. If there had been a hack, they'd know it, and they wouldn't only have had "moderate" confidence in the Jan. assessment. I believe that although farfetched, an argument could be made that a Russian spy got into the DNC, loaded a thumb drive, and gave it to Craig Murray.

David G , March 13, 2019 at 3:31 pm

Respectfully, that's a separate point, which may or may not raise issues of its own.

But I think the question Marc posed stands.

Skip Scott , March 14, 2019 at 7:59 am

Hi David-

I don't see how it's separate. If the NSA scoops up everything, they'd have solid evidence of the hack, and wouldn't have only had "moderate" confidence, which Bill Binney says is equivalent to them saying "we don't have squat". They wouldn't even have needed Mueller at all, except to possibly build a "parallel case" due to classification issues. Also, the FBI not demanding direct access to the DNC server tells you something is fishy. They could easily have gotten a warrant to examine the server, but chose not to. They also purposely refuse to get testimony from Craig Murray and Julian Assange, which rings alarm bells on its own.

As for the technical aspect of Marc's question, I agree that I'd like to see Bill Binney directly answer it.

[Mar 17, 2019] VIPS- Mueller's Forensics-Free Findings

Highly recommended!
Mar 13, 2019 | Consortiumnews

The final Mueller report should be graded "incomplete," says VIPS, whose forensic work proves the speciousness of the story that DNC emails published by WikiLeaks came from Russian hacking.

MEMORANDUM FOR: The Attorney General

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: Mueller's Forensics-Free Findings

Executive Summary

Media reports are predicting that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is about to give you the findings of his probe into any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump. If Mueller gives you his "completed" report anytime soon, it should be graded "incomplete."

Major deficiencies include depending on a DNC-hired cybersecurity company for forensics and failure to consult with those who have done original forensic work, including us and the independent forensic investigators with whom we have examined the data. We stand ready to help.

We veteran intelligence professionals (VIPS) have done enough detailed forensic work to prove the speciousness of the prevailing story that the DNC emails published by WikiLeaks came from Russian hacking. Given the paucity of evidence to support that story, we believe Mueller may choose to finesse this key issue and leave everyone hanging. That would help sustain the widespread belief that Trump owes his victory to President Vladimir Putin, and strengthen the hand of those who pay little heed to the unpredictable consequences of an increase in tensions with nuclear-armed Russia.

There is an overabundance of "assessments" but a lack of hard evidence to support that prevailing narrative. We believe that there are enough people of integrity in the Department of Justice to prevent the outright manufacture or distortion of "evidence," particularly if they become aware that experienced scientists have completed independent forensic study that yield very different conclusions. We know only too well -- and did our best to expose -- how our former colleagues in the intelligence community manufactured fraudulent "evidence" of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

We have scrutinized publicly available physical data -- the "trail" that every cyber operation leaves behind. And we have had support from highly experienced independent forensic investigators who, like us, have no axes to grind. We can prove that the conventional-wisdom story about Russian-hacking-DNC-emails-for-WikiLeaks is false. Drawing largely on the unique expertise of two VIPS scientists who worked for a combined total of 70 years at the National Security Agency and became Technical Directors there, we have regularly published our findings. But we have been deprived of a hearing in mainstream media -- an experience painfully reminiscent of what we had to endure when we exposed the corruption of intelligence before the attack on Iraq 16 years ago.

This time, with the principles of physics and forensic science to rely on, we are able to adduce solid evidence exposing mistakes and distortions in the dominant story. We offer you below -- as a kind of aide-memoire -- a discussion of some of the key factors related to what has become known as "Russia-gate." And we include our most recent findings drawn from forensic work on data associated with WikiLeaks' publication of the DNC emails.

We do not claim our conclusions are "irrefutable and undeniable," a la Colin Powell at the UN before the Iraq war. Our judgments, however, are based on the scientific method -- not "assessments." We decided to put this memorandum together in hopes of ensuring that you hear that directly from us.

If the Mueller team remains reluctant to review our work -- or even to interview willing witnesses with direct knowledge, like WikiLeaks' Julian Assange and former UK Ambassador Craig Murray, we fear that many of those yearning earnestly for the truth on Russia-gate will come to the corrosive conclusion that the Mueller investigation was a sham.

In sum, we are concerned that, at this point, an incomplete Mueller report will fall far short of the commitment made by then Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein "to ensure a full and thorough investigation," when he appointed Mueller in May 2017. Again, we are at your disposal.

Discussion

The centerpiece accusation of Kremlin "interference" in the 2016 presidential election was the charge that Russia hacked Democratic National Committee emails and gave them to WikiLeaks to embarrass Secretary Hillary Clinton and help Mr. Trump win. The weeks following the election witnessed multiple leak-based media allegations to that effect. These culminated on January 6, 2017 in an evidence-light, rump report misleadingly labeled "Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA)." Prepared by "handpicked analysts" from only three of the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies (CIA, FBI, and NSA), the assessment expressed "high confidence" in the Russia-hacking-to-WikiLeaks story, but lacked so much as a hint that the authors had sought access to independent forensics to support their "assessment."

The media immediately awarded the ICA the status of Holy Writ, choosing to overlook an assortment of banal, full-disclosure-type caveats included in the assessment itself -- such as:

" When Intelligence Community analysts use words such as 'we assess' or 'we judge,' they are conveying an analytic assessment or judgment. Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact. Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary High confidence in a judgment does not imply that the assessment is a fact or a certainty; such judgments might be wrong."

To their credit, however, the authors of the ICA did make a highly germane point in introductory remarks on "cyber incident attribution." They noted: "The nature of cyberspace makes attribution of cyber operations difficult but not impossible. Every kind of cyber operation -- malicious or not -- leaves a trail." [Emphasis added.]

Forensics

The imperative is to get on that "trail" -- and quickly, before red herrings can be swept across it. The best way to establish attribution is to apply the methodology and processes of forensic science. Intrusions into computers leave behind discernible physical data that can be examined scientifically by forensic experts. Risk to "sources and methods" is normally not a problem.

Direct access to the actual computers is the first requirement -- the more so when an intrusion is termed "an act of war" and blamed on a nuclear-armed foreign government (the words used by the late Sen. John McCain and other senior officials). In testimony to the House Intelligence Committee in March 2017, former FBI Director James Comey admitted that he did not insist on physical access to the DNC computers even though, as he conceded, "best practices" dictate direct access.

In June 2017, Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr asked Comey whether he ever had "access to the actual hardware that was hacked." Comey answered, "In the case of the DNC we did not have access to the devices themselves. We got relevant forensic information from a private party, a high-class entity, that had done the work. " Sen. Burr followed up: "But no content? Isn't content an important part of the forensics from a counterintelligence standpoint?" Comey: "It is, although what was briefed to me by my folks is that they had gotten the information from the private party that they needed to understand the intrusion by the spring of 2016."

The "private party/high-class entity" to which Comey refers is CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity firm of checkered reputation and multiple conflicts of interest, including very close ties to a number of key anti-Russian organizations. Comey indicated that the DNC hired CrowdStrike in the spring of 2016.

Given the stakes involved in the Russia-gate investigation – including a possible impeachment battle and greatly increased tension between Russia and the U.S. -- it is difficult to understand why Comey did not move quickly to seize the computer hardware so the FBI could perform an independent examination of what quickly became the major predicate for investigating election interference by Russia. Fortunately, enough data remain on the forensic "trail" to arrive at evidence-anchored conclusions. The work we have done shows the prevailing narrative to be false. We have been suggesting this for over two years. Recent forensic work significantly strengthens that conclusion.

We Do Forensics

Recent forensic examination of the Wikileaks DNC files shows they were created on 23, 25 and 26 May 2016. (On June 12, Julian Assange announced he had them; WikiLeaks published them on July 22.) We recently discovered that the files reveal a FAT (File Allocation Table) system property. This shows that the data had been transferred to an external storage device, such as a thumb drive, before WikiLeaks posted them.

FAT is a simple file system named for its method of organization, the File Allocation Table. It is used for storage only and is not related to internet transfers like hacking. Were WikiLeaks to have received the DNC files via a hack, the last modified times on the files would be a random mixture of odd-and even-ending numbers.

Why is that important? The evidence lies in the "last modified" time stamps on the Wikileaks files. When a file is stored under the FAT file system the software rounds the time to the nearest even-numbered second. Every single one of the time stamps in the DNC files on WikiLeaks' site ends in an even number.

We have examined 500 DNC email files stored on the Wikileaks site. All 500 files end in an even number -- 2, 4, 6, 8 or 0. If those files had been hacked over the Internet, there would be an equal probability of the time stamp ending in an odd number. The random probability that FAT was not used is 1 chance in 2 to the 500th power. Thus, these data show that the DNC emails posted by WikiLeaks went through a storage device, like a thumb drive, and were physically moved before Wikileaks posted the emails on the World Wide Web.

This finding alone is enough to raise reasonable doubts, for example, about Mueller's indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking the DNC emails given to WikiLeaks. A defense attorney could easily use the forensics to argue that someone copied the DNC files to a storage device like a USB thumb drive and got them physically to WikiLeaks -- not electronically via a hack.

Role of NSA

For more than two years, we strongly suspected that the DNC emails were copied/leaked in that way, not hacked. And we said so. We remain intrigued by the apparent failure of NSA's dragnet, collect-it-all approach -- including "cast-iron" coverage of WikiLeaks -- to provide forensic evidence (as opposed to "assessments") as to how the DNC emails got to WikiLeaks and who sent them. Well before the telling evidence drawn from the use of FAT, other technical evidence led us to conclude that the DNC emails were not hacked over the network, but rather physically moved over, say, the Atlantic Ocean.

Is it possible that NSA has not yet been asked to produce the collected packets of DNC email data claimed to have been hacked by Russia? Surely, this should be done before Mueller competes his investigation. NSA has taps on all the transoceanic cables leaving the U.S. and would almost certainly have such packets if they exist. (The detailed slides released by Edward Snowden actually show the routes that trace the packets.)

The forensics we examined shed no direct light on who may have been behind the leak. The only thing we know for sure is that the person had to have direct access to the DNC computers or servers in order to copy the emails. The apparent lack of evidence from the most likely source, NSA, regarding a hack may help explain the FBI's curious preference for forensic data from CrowdStrike. No less puzzling is why Comey would choose to call CrowdStrike a "high-class entity."

Comey was one of the intelligence chiefs briefing President Obama on January 5, 2017 on the "Intelligence Community Assessment," which was then briefed to President-elect Trump and published the following day. That Obama found a key part of the ICA narrative less than persuasive became clear at his last press conference (January 18), when he told the media, "The conclusions of the intelligence community with respect to the Russian hacking were not conclusive as to how 'the DNC emails that were leaked' got to WikiLeaks.

Is Guccifer 2.0 a Fraud?

There is further compelling technical evidence that undermines the claim that the DNC emails were downloaded over the internet as a result of a spearphishing attack. William Binney, one of VIPS' two former Technical Directors at NSA, along with other former intelligence community experts, examined files posted by Guccifer 2.0 and discovered that those files could not have been downloaded over the internet. It is a simple matter of mathematics and physics.

There was a flurry of activity after Julian Assange announced on June 12, 2016: "We have emails relating to Hillary Clinton which are pending publication." On June 14, DNC contractor CrowdStrike announced that malware was found on the DNC server and claimed there was evidence it was injected by Russians. On June 15, the Guccifer 2.0 persona emerged on the public stage, affirmed the DNC statement, claimed to be responsible for hacking the DNC, claimed to be a WikiLeaks source, and posted a document that forensics show was synthetically tainted with "Russian fingerprints."

Our suspicions about the Guccifer 2.0 persona grew when G-2 claimed responsibility for a "hack" of the DNC on July 5, 2016, which released DNC data that was rather bland compared to what WikiLeaks published 17 days later (showing how the DNC had tipped the primary scales against Sen. Bernie Sanders). As VIPS reported in a wrap-up Memorandum for the President on July 24, 2017 (titled "Intel Vets Challenge 'Russia Hack' Evidence)," forensic examination of the July 5, 2016 cyber intrusion into the DNC showed it NOT to be a hack by the Russians or by anyone else, but rather a copy onto an external storage device. It seemed a good guess that the July 5 intrusion was a contrivance to preemptively taint anything WikiLeaks might later publish from the DNC, by "showing" it came from a "Russian hack." WikiLeaks published the DNC emails on July 22, three days before the Democratic convention.

As we prepared our July 24 memo for the President, we chose to begin by taking Guccifer 2.0 at face value; i. e., that the documents he posted on July 5, 2016 were obtained via a hack over the Internet. Binney conducted a forensic examination of the metadata contained in the posted documents and compared that metadata with the known capacity of Internet connection speeds at the time in the U.S. This analysis showed a transfer rate as high as 49.1 megabytes per second, which is much faster than was possible from a remote online Internet connection. The 49.1 megabytes speed coincided, though, with the rate that copying onto a thumb drive could accommodate.

Binney, assisted by colleagues with relevant technical expertise, then extended the examination and ran various forensic tests from the U.S. to the Netherlands, Albania, Belgrade and the UK. The fastest Internet rate obtained -- from a data center in New Jersey to a data center in the UK -- was 12 megabytes per second, which is less than a fourth of the capacity typical of a copy onto a thumb drive.

The findings from the examination of the Guccifer 2.0 data and the WikiLeaks data does not indicate who copied the information to an external storage device (probably a thumb drive). But our examination does disprove that G.2 hacked into the DNC on July 5, 2016. Forensic evidence for the Guccifer 2.0 data adds to other evidence that the DNC emails were not taken by an internet spearphishing attack. The data breach was local. The emails were copied from the network.

Presidential Interest

After VIPS' July 24, 2017 Memorandum for the President, Binney, one of its principal authors, was invited to share his insights with Mike Pompeo, CIA Director at the time. When Binney arrived in Pompeo's office at CIA Headquarters on October 24, 2017 for an hour-long discussion, the director made no secret of the reason for the invitation: "You are here because the President told me that if I really wanted to know about Russian hacking I needed to talk with you."

Binney warned Pompeo -- to stares of incredulity -- that his people should stop lying about the Russian hacking. Binney then started to explain the VIPS findings that had caught President Trump's attention. Pompeo asked Binney if he would talk to the FBI and NSA. Binney agreed, but has not been contacted by those agencies. With that, Pompeo had done what the President asked. There was no follow-up.

Confronting James Clapper on Forensics

We, the hoi polloi, do not often get a chance to talk to people like Pompeo -- and still less to the former intelligence chiefs who are the leading purveyors of the prevailing Russia-gate narrative. An exception came on November 13, when former National Intelligence Director James Clapper came to the Carnegie Endowment in Washington to hawk his memoir. Answering a question during the Q&A about Russian "hacking" and NSA, Clapper said:

" Well, I have talked with NSA a lot And in my mind, I spent a lot of time in the SIGINT business, the forensic evidence was overwhelming about what the Russians had done. There's absolutely no doubt in my mind whatsoever." [Emphasis added]

Clapper added: " as a private citizen, understanding the magnitude of what the Russians did and the number of citizens in our country they reached and the different mechanisms that, by which they reached them, to me it stretches credulity to think they didn't have a profound impact on election on the outcome of the election."

(A transcript of the interesting Q&A can be found here and a commentary on Clapper's performance at Carnegie, as well as on his longstanding lack of credibility, is here .)

Normally soft-spoken Ron Wyden, Democratic senator from Oregon, lost his patience with Clapper last week when he learned that Clapper is still denying that he lied to the Senate Intelligence Committee about the extent of NSA surveillance of U.S. citizens. In an unusual outburst, Wyden said: "James Clapper needs to stop making excuses for lying to the American people about mass surveillance. To be clear: I sent him the question in advance. I asked him to correct the record afterward. He chose to let the lie stand."

The materials brought out by Edward Snowden in June 2013 showed Clapper to have lied under oath to the committee on March 12, 2013; he was, nevertheless, allowed to stay on as Director of National Intelligence for three and half more years. Clapper fancies himself an expert on Russia, telling Meet the Press on May 28, 2017 that Russia's history shows that Russians are "typically, almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever."

Clapper ought to be asked about the "forensics" he said were "overwhelming about what the Russians had done." And that, too, before Mueller completes his investigation.

For the steering group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity:

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) is made up of former intelligence officers, diplomats, military officers and congressional staffers. The organization, founded in 2002, was among the first critics of Washington's justifications for launching a war against Iraq. VIPS advocates a US foreign and national security policy based on genuine national interests rather than contrived threats promoted for largely political reasons. An archive of VIPS memoranda is available at Consortiumnews.com.

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Tags: Bill Binney Donald Trump Hillary Clinton James Clapper James Comey Mike Pompeo Robert Mueller Veteran Intelligence Professional for Sanity VIPS WikiLeaks


[Mar 16, 2019] Boeing 737 Crashes Raise Tough Questions on Aircraft Automation - Bloomberg

Mar 16, 2019 | www.bloomberg.com

Tom Enders just couldn't resist the swipe at the competition. It was June 2011, and the chief executive officer of Airbus SE was on a stage at the Paris air show after the planemaker won in a matter of days an unprecedented 600 orders for its upgraded A320neo airliner, while Boeing Co. stood on the sidelines.

"If our colleagues in Seattle still maintain we're only catching up with their 737, I must ask myself what these guys are smoking," Enders blurted out, to the general amusement of the audience, while Boeing representatives at the back of the room looked on.

Boeing had wavered on its decision whether to follow Airbus's lead and re-engine the 737 or go with an all-new aircraft. Customers were willing to wait for "something more revolutionary," as Jim Albaugh, at the time Boeing's head of commercial aircraft, said then.

But the European manufacturer's blow-out success with the A320neo, essentially a re-engined version of its popular narrow-body family, would soon force Boeing's hand.

As the A320neo became the fastest-selling plane in civil aviation history as Airbus picked off loyal Boeing customers like American Airlines Group Inc. , the U.S. company ditched the pursuit of an all-new jet and responded in July 2011 with its own redesign, the 737 Max.

"The program was launched in a panic," said Sash Tusa, an analyst at Agency Partners , an equity research firm in London. "What frightened Boeing most of all was losing their biggest and most important customer. American Airlines was the catalyst."

It turned out that Chicago-based Boeing wasn't too late to the party in the end: While the Max didn't quite replicate the neo's order book, it did become the company's fastest seller as airlines scrambled to cut their fuel bills with new engines that promised savings of 20 percent or more. All told, the Max raked in about 5,000 orders, keeping the playing field fairly level in the global duopoly between Airbus and Boeing.

Close Scrutiny

Now the 737 Max is grounded globally, after two almost factory-fresh jets crashed in rapid succession. As a result, the repercussions of Boeing's response to Airbus's incursion are under the microscope. Getting particular scrutiny are the use of more powerful, fuel-saving engines and automated tools to help pilots control the aircraft.

After the grounding, Boeing said that it "continues to have full confidence in the safety of the 737 Max, and that it was supporting the decision to idle the jets "out of an abundance of caution." The company declined to comment beyond its public statements.

In late October, a plane operated by Lion Air went down minutes after taking off in Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board. Then on March 10, another 737 Max crashed, this time in Ethiopia en route to Kenya. Again, none of the 157 people on board survived the impact.

There are other similarities that alarmed airlines and regulators and stirred public opinion, leading to the grounding of the 737 Max fleet of more than 350 planes. According to the Federal Aviation Administration , "the track of the Ethiopian Airlines flight was very close and behaved very similar to the Lion Air flight."

How Boeing Safety Feature Became a Suspect in Crashes: QuickTake

After decades of steadily declining aircraft accidents, the question of how two identical new planes could simply fall out of the sky minutes after takeoff has led to intense scrutiny of the 737 Max's systems. Adding to the chorus in the wake of the crash was President Donald Trump, who lamented the complexities of modern aviation, suggesting that people in the cockpit needed to be more like nuclear physicists than pilots to command a jet packed with automated systems.

"Airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly. Pilots are no longer needed, but rather computer scientists from MIT," the president said in the first of a pair of tweets on March 12, darkly warning that "complexity creates danger."

Analog Machine

Automation plays a limited role in the 737 Max. That's because the aircraft still has essential analog design and layout features dating back to the 1960s, when it was conceived. It's a far older concept than the A320, which came to market at the end of the 1980s and boasted innovations like fly-by-wire controls, which manipulate surfaces such as flaps and horizontal tail stabilizers with electrical impulses and transducers rather than heavier hydraulic links.

Upgrading the 737 to create the Max came with its own set of issues. For example, the 737 sits considerably lower to the ground, so fitting the bigger new engines under the wings was a structural challenge (even with the squished underbelly of the engine casing). In response, Boeing raised the front landing gear by a few inches, but this and the size of the engines can change the plane's center of gravity and its lift in certain maneuvers.

Boeing's technical wizardry for the 138- to 230-seat Max was a piece of software known as the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS. It intervenes automatically when a single sensor indicates the aircraft may be approaching a stall. Some pilots complained, though, that training on the new system wasn't sufficient and properly documented.

"The benefits of automation are great, but it requires a different level of discipline and training,'' said Thomas Anthony, director of the Aviation Safety and Security Program at the University of Southern California. Pilots must make a conscious effort to monitor the plane's behavior. And reliance on automation means they will take back control only in the worst situations, he said.

Errant Sensor

With the Lion Air crash, data from the recovered flight recorders points to a battle in the cockpit between the software and the pilots who struggled in vain to keep control. The data showed that an errant sensor signaled the plane was in danger of stalling and prompted the MCAS to compensate by repeatedly initiating a dive. The pilots counteracted by flipping a switch several times to raise the nose manually, which temporarily disabled MCAS. The cycle repeated itself more than two dozen times before the plane entered its final deadly dive, according to the flight data.

With the flight and cockpit voice recorders of the Ethiopian plane now in France for analysis, the interaction between the MCAS system and the pilots will again be under close scrutiny, probably rekindling the broader debate about who or what is in control of the cockpit.

That man-versus-machine conundrum has been central to civil aviation for years. Automation has without doubt made commercial flying much safer, as planemakers added systems to help pilots set engine thrust, navigate with greater precision and even override human error in the cockpit.

For example, automation on modern aircraft keeps pilots within a so-called flight envelope to avoid erratic maneuvers that might destabilize the aircraft. Analyses of flight data show that planes have more stable landings in stormy, low-visibility conditions when automation is in charge than on clear days when they land by sight.

Sully's Miracle Landing

The most daring descent in recent memory, Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger's landing of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River in early 2009, is Exhibit A of how an interconnected cockpit worked hand-in-hand with an experienced pilot. Automatic pitch trim and rudder coordination assisted manual inputs and kept the Airbus A320 steady on its smooth glide into the icy water. The drama showed that automation can play a crucial support function, provided a pilot is fully trained and the aircraft properly maintained.

"Some people are saying modern aircraft such as the 737 Max are too complex," said Dave Wallsworth, a British Airways captain on the Airbus A380 double-decker. "I disagree. The A380 is a far more complex aircraft and we fly it very safely every day. Pilots are capable of understanding aircraft systems so long as the manuals contain the information we need."

Airbus traditionally has pushed the envelope on automation and a more modern cockpit layout, with larger screens and steering by joystick rather than a central yoke, turning pilots into something akin to systems operators. Boeing's philosophy, on the other hand, has been to leave more authority in the hands of pilots, though newer designs also include some computerized limits. Like Airbus planes, the latest aircraft from Seattle -- where Boeing makes most of its jetliners -- are equipped with sophisticated autopilots, fly-by-wire controls or systems to set speed during landings.

"The big automation steps came in the 1980s with the entry into service of the A320 and the whole fly-by-wire ethos," said John Strickland, an independent aviation analyst. "I don't think automation per se is a problem, we see it in wide-scale use in the industry, and as long as it is designed to work hand-in-hand with pilots and pilots understand how to use it, it shouldn't be an issue."

Erratic Movements

But the counter-argument is that increasingly complex systems have led computers to take over, and that many pilots may have forgotten how to manually command a jet -- particularly in a moment of crisis. That criticism was leveled at Airbus, for example, after the mid-Atlantic crash of Air France Flight 447 in 2009 that killed all 228 people on board. Analysis of the flight recorders showed the crew was confused by stall warnings and unreliable speed readings, leading to erratic maneuvers that ended in catastrophe.

>

"I grew up on steam gauges and analog, and the modern generation on digital and automation," said Jon Weaks, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association and a Boeing 737 captain for the Dallas-based airline. "No matter what you grew up on, you have to fly the plane. If the automation is doing something you don't want it to do or that you don't understand, you have to disconnect it and fly the plane."

A 2013 report by the FAA found more than 60 percent of 26 accidents over a decade involved pilots making errors after automated systems abruptly shut down or behaved in unexpected ways. And the 2016 inspector general's report at the FAA noted that as the use of automation increases, "pilots have fewer opportunities to use manual flying skills."

"As a result, the opportunities air carrier pilots have during live operations to maintain proficiency in manual flight are limited and are likely to diminish," the report found.

The grounding of the 737 Max fleet has left Boeing in crisis. The company couldn't get through with its message that the plane was safe to fly, as the group of regulators and airlines idling the jet kept expanding. The 737 program is Boeing's cash cow, accounting for a third of its profit, and Boeing's stock dropped sharply in the days after the disaster.

Get in Line

The Max gave Boeing a relatively cheap path back into the narrow-body game that it was at risk of losing to the Airbus neo. At the time, Boeing had to make a quick decision, as it was still burdened financially by the 787 Dreamliner wide-body that was over budget and behind schedule.

Both manufacturers have said they won't come out with an all-new single-aisle model until well into the next decade, preferring to wait for further technological advancements before committing to massive spending. The success of both the neo and the Max bought the companies that extra time, with orders books stretching years into the future.

Half a century after it was launched almost as an afterthought, the 737 program has become the lifeblood of Boeing that helps finance the rest of the corporation -- the biggest U.S. exporter. It's the one aircraft that Boeing cannot afford to give up.

"The Max was the right decision for the time," said Richard Aboulafia, an aviation analyst with the consultancy Teal Group . "Yes, there may be an issue with MCAS needing a software patch. Yes, there may need to be some additional training. But these are not issues that cause people to change to the other guys' jet. The other guys have a waiting line, and when you get to the back of that line, you burn more fuel."

-- With assistance by Alan Levin, Benjamin D Katz, Margaret Newkirk, Michael Sasso, and Mary Schlangenstein

[Mar 16, 2019] Kept Secret For 17 Years Intel Memo Warned Bush's Iraq Invasion To Create Perfect Storm

Mar 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

A newly declassified US intelligence memo has been unearthed this week and featured in a bombshell Wall Street Journal report. It proves that the year prior to the Bush administration's 2003 invasion of Iraq the White House was expressly warned in great detail of all that could and would go wrong in the regime change war's aftermath, including the Sunni-Shia sectarian chaos and proxy war with Iran that would define Iraq and the whole region for years following. And crucially, it reveals that seven months before the US invasion of Iraq, American intelligence officials understood that Osama bin Laden was likely "alive and well and hiding in northwest Pakistan" -- important given that a key Bush admin claim to sell the war was that Saddam Hussein and bin Laden were "in league" against the United States.

The July 2002 memo was authored by William Burns, then serving as assistant secretary of state for near eastern affairs, and though clearly dismissed by the Bush neocons making the case for war, proved prescient on many levels. "Following are some very quick and informal thoughts on how events before, during and after an effort to overthrow the regime in Baghdad could unravel if we're not careful, intersecting to create a 'perfect storm' for American interests," Burns wrote in the memo, classified 'Secret' and sent to Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Saddam Hussein waves to supporters in Baghdad, Wednesday, October 18, 1995. AP file photo

The classified memo's existence was first brought to the public's attention through Knight Ridder's reporting in July 2003, which sought to reveal at the time there were pockets of dissenting voices in the State Department and intelligence community pushing back against the absurd White House claim that the whole operation would be a "cakewalk" and US troops would be greeted as "liberators". And there's Vice President Dick Cheney's infamous declaration that the military effort would take "weeks rather than months."

Now, sixteen years after the start of the war the "perfect storm" intel briefing has been made public in fully redacted form and it affirms, as the WSJ reports , "Diplomats accurately forecast many setbacks: sectarian violence, attacks on U.S. troops, Iranian intervention and long road to structural change ." Out of this came the rise of ISIS and the continued unleashing of regime change and sectarian chaos on neighboring Syria.

The ten page memo outlines a litany of catastrophic doom and gloom scenarios resulting from the invasion which would destabilize not only Iraq, but unleash sectarian hell on the entire region .

Here are but a handful of the memo's many warnings which later proved right on target, as summarized by the military reporting website Task & Purpose :

"I don't mean to be pessimistic, because I really do believe that if we do it right this could be a tremendous boon to the future of the region, and to U.S. national security interests," the memo stated. "But we should have no illusion that it will be quick or easy."

And further contradicting Cheney's "weeks rather than months" claim, the memo accurately predicted that U.S. troops would have to stay for, "Five years – maybe four if we're lucky, ten if we're not."

Read the full newly declassified and unredacted intelligence memo here .

Some further interesting highlights from the July 2002 'Secret' report are below.

* * *

Osama bin Laden hiding in Pakistan (the Bush admin claimed Saddam and bin Laden were in cahoots)

"Osama bin Laden turns out to be alive and well and hiding in NW Pakistan. We press Paks, internal stresses grow in Pakistan."

Iran and Syria targeted next

"Following US warnings that it would take the war on terrorism to all groups with global capabilities, Iran and Syria hold summit meeting, decide US has targeted them."

Iran and Syria "strengthen positions in face of perceived US threat against them following action in Iraq."

Sectarian score settling and Shia uprising

"This means night becomes the time for revenge, all over Iraq. A horrible wave of bloodletting and private vengeance begins... US forces are helpless to stop the countrywide phenomenon. Police, intelligence, senior military, and Baath Party officials effectively go into hiding..."

"Shia religious and political leaders, unhappy with composition of provisional government and determined to secure greater share of power in post-Saddam Iraq... This leads to more violent confrontations, and deaths, and the riots become a political tool to demonstrate power and increase leverage against Sunnis and Kurds..."

Long US quagmire to put down sectarian powder keg

"Faced with inchoate and escalating disorder in the provinces, the US faces an agonizing decision: step up to a more direct security role, or devolve power to local leaders."

"The Shia in the south, quietly aided by Iran, stage major revolt, taking over local government offices and killing interim officials."

Weapons from Saddam's army will disappear (to be later used against US occupation)

"Law and Order, collecting weapons. We won't get them, most will go to ground."

"All for one, one for all, free for all - deals, short-term scrambles. It will be every clan for itself."

[Mar 16, 2019] Never believe anything until it has been officially denied. it surely is just a coincidence that their blackout occurred at a point in time when a foreign coup attempt was underway, rather than 9 or 6 or 3 months ago.

Mar 16, 2019 | peakoilbarrel.com

ProPoly

x Ignored says: 03/14/2019 at 4:30 pm
Venezuela production is not only being hit by the blackout – which seems to have damaged their overall grid capacity – but by new sanctions. Their diluent supplier has just stated they will stop business.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-reliance/reliance-halts-diluents-export-to-venezuela-not-raised-oil-buying-idUSKBN1QU240

Watcher x Ignored says: 03/15/2019 at 2:35 am
Perhaps useful to note that Maduro was just as incompetent 6 months ago as presumably he is now. He was just as incompetent 9 months ago as presumably he is now. And indeed, he was just as incompetent three months ago as he is now. In fact we could take it back years.

Thus, it surely is just a coincidence that their blackout occurred at a point in time when a foreign coup attempt was underway, rather than 9 or 6 or 3 months ago. Sabotage could not be involved because we're told that incompetence and corruption is responsible, of the sort that just happened to manifest itself at this point in time.

The 20 folks who are alleged to have died in hospitals from lack of power just coincidentally died at this particular point in time. Because it is merely coincidence, the saboteurs probably cannot be tried for murder.

Power has apparently been restored. Oil will resume its flow at whatever magnitude.

ProPoly x Ignored says: 03/15/2019 at 10:29 am
Rust doesn't sleep. You ignore something long enough it's gonna fail.

This is just their worst grid failure, far from the first.

Watcher x Ignored says: 03/15/2019 at 11:43 am
Ahh, rust has a feel for coincidence, too.
Brazilian Guy (in ironic mode) x Ignored says: 03/15/2019 at 12:44 pm
Of course there are no coincidences, just the things that the CIA, the Illuminati, the freemasons, the jewish bankers and the Martians wanted to happen.
TechGuy x Ignored says: 03/16/2019 at 12:48 am
"Thus, it surely is just a coincidence that their blackout occurred at a point in time when a foreign coup attempt was underway, rather than 9 or 6 or 3 months ago. Sabotage could not be involved because we're told that incompetence and corruption is responsible, of the sort that just happened to manifest itself at this point in time."

I am sure the US is trying to speed up the process. After all, those Aid buses were not torched by Mo or his supporters but by Western agents. Its difficult to know who is really to blame for the blackout, but the US has an agenda to take control over VZ. I would not rule out the US causing it.

Hightrekker x Ignored says: 03/16/2019 at 9:38 am
"Never believe anything until it has been officially denied".
– Claud Cockburn

[Mar 16, 2019] CIA Blames Its Proxy For Its Raid On North Korea's Embassy In Spain

Another CIA false flag?
Notable quotes:
"... At least two of the 10 assailants who broke into the embassy and interrogated diplomatic staff have been identified and have connections to the US intelligence agency ..."
"... Some of the assailants were Asian and spoke Korean language. They were probably from the South Korean National Intelligence Service (NIS), a subsidiary of the CIA know for its extremely hawkish politics. It often rigged elections in South Korea in support of hawkish conservatives candidates. ..."
"... A story was thought up and pushed to the favorite CIA outlet, the Washington Post . It wasn't the CIA which did it, writes the Post's national security reporter, it was a CIA controlled 'regime change' organization. ..."
"... The White Helmets, the MI-6 organization for 'regime change' in Syria, has the website domain "www.syriacivildefense.org". Cheollima's website domain is "www.cheollimacivildefense.org". The logos of the two organization are also somewhat similar. ..."
Mar 15, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

March 15, 2019 CIA Blames Its Proxy For Its Raid On North Korea's Embassy In Spain james , Mar 15, 2019 7:15:08 PM | link

The CIA is the main suspect in the military style raid on the North Korean embassy in Madrid. It now launched a somewhat hapless effort to deflect from it. The original Spanish report said :

At least two of the 10 assailants who broke into the embassy and interrogated diplomatic staff have been identified and have connections to the US intelligence agency. The CIA has denied any involvement but government sources say their response was "unconvincing."

That the CIA is the main suspect in the assault was reported on Wednesday in the Spanish mainstream paper El Pais . The paper made the extra effort to publish an abbreviated English language version . It was widely picked up by other international outlets . Some of the assailants were Asian and spoke Korean language. They were probably from the South Korean National Intelligence Service (NIS), a subsidiary of the CIA know for its extremely hawkish politics. It often rigged elections in South Korea in support of hawkish conservatives candidates.

Attacking a foreign embassy in a third country is far out of bounce of international law and diplomatic decency. After the El Pais report something had to be done to direct the attention away from the CIA and to find some other culprit.

A story was thought up and pushed to the favorite CIA outlet, the Washington Post . It wasn't the CIA which did it, writes the Post's national security reporter, it was a CIA controlled 'regime change' organization.

A shadowy group trying to overthrow Kim Jong Un raided a North Korean embassy in broad daylight

In broad daylight, masked assailants infiltrated North Korea's embassy in Madrid, restrained the staff with rope, stole computers and mobile phones, and fled the scene in two luxury vehicles.

The group behind the late February operation is known as Cheollima Civil Defense , a secretive dissident organization committed to overthrowing the Kim dynasty, people familiar with the planning and execution of the mission told The Washington Post.
...
People familiar with the incident say the group did not act in coordination with any governments. U.S. intelligence agencies would have been especially reluctant to do so given the sensitive timing and brazen nature of the mission. But the raid represents the most ambitious operation to date for an obscure organization that seeks to undermine the North Korean regime and encourage mass defections, they say.

The CIA agents, led by torture queen Gina Haspel, are snowflakes who would never break the law or cause some international outrage. It must have been some independent group:

"This group is the first known resistance movement against North Korea, which makes its activities very newsworthy," said Sung-Yoon Lee, a North Korea expert at Tufts University.

The identity of the assailants is a particularly sensitive topic given the delicate nature of Trump and Kim's relationship.
...
Any hint of U.S. involvement in an assault on a diplomatic compound could have derailed the talks , a prospect the CIA would likely be mindful of.

Derailing the talks was and is exactly what Trump's National Security Advisor John Bolton wanted to do. We know that because the Post reported it on February 20, two days before the raid on the embassy and seven days before the Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi:

Last month, in a lengthy speech at Stanford University, [Trump's special envoy Stephen E.] Biegun set out his vision for North Korea to dismantle its plutonium and uranium enrichment facilities in exchange for "corresponding measures" by the United States.

Hawks such as Bolton have fiercely opposed this "step-by-step" process in favor of maintaining maximum pressure through economic sanctions that would, in theory , force a better deal by eroding North Korea's resolve.

Tasking the CIA to raid a North Korean embassy to spoil the talks is exactly a thing John Bolton would do. The Post's shameful attempt to make believe otherwise is laughable :

"Infiltrating a North Korean embassy days before the nuclear summit would throw that all into jeopardy," said Sue Mi Terry, a former Korea analyst at the CIA . "This is not something the CIA would undertake."

The agency declined to comment.

We can of course fully believe the 'former' CIA analyst's assertion that the CIA never do such a thing. Aside from Bolton's urge to sabotage the negotiations it would have had no motive. Except, of course, it would have many:

Experts say the computers and phones seized in the raid amount to a treasure trove of information that foreign intelligence agencies are likely to seek out from the group.

In 2017 Spain asked the North Korean ambassador Kim Hyok Chol to leave. He is now the leader of the negotiations with the United States. To know everything about him is important. He may even be susceptible to blackmail:

The assailants also possess a video recording they took during the raid, which they could release anytime, said one person who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive and illegal operation.

The Spanish language version of the El Pais report had a side box that might explain the possible content of a video (machine translated):

One of the darkest aspects of the assault on the North Korean Embassy in Madrid is the interrogation to which the head of the command, who called himself The Entrepreneur, subjected the charge of business, leading the diplomatic delegation since the ambassador was expelled. The head of the commando separated the diplomat from the rest of the hostages and locked himself alone with him. It is not known what he intended, but the current head of the Pyongyang delegation in Madrid probably knows a lot about Kim Hyok Chol, head of the North Korean delegation in the nuclear negotiations before the US, with whom he coincided when the latter was ambassador in Madrid, between 2014 and 2017.

Mentioning a video recording taken during the raid is supposed to sow 'fear and doubt' in the North Korean negotiator.

The new Washington Post /CIA story goes on to describe the 'regime change' organization that is supposed to divert from the direct CIA involvement in the raid:

The Cheollima group, which also goes by the name Free Joseon, came to prominence in 2017 after it successfully evacuated the nephew of Kim Jong Un from Macau when potential threats to his life surfaced. The nephew was the son of Kim Jong Nam, the North Korean leader's exiled half brother who was assassinated in a nerve-gas attack in a Malaysian airport in 2017.

...

For safety reasons, the leader of the group does not disclose his name, and his identity is known only to a small group of people.

Cheollima is the name of a mythical horse in Chinese and Korean folklore. The Joseon dynasty ruled Korea from 1392 to 1897. It went down when Japan tried to gain control of the country which it achieved a few years later.

Kim Jong Nam was killed on February 13, 2017. In a redacted video his son Kim Han-sol thanks the people who picked him up. (They might want to use him as a future replacement for Kim Jong-un.) The video was recorded on February 15 2017 ("my father was killed two days ago"). It was published on March 7 2017 on a Cheollima channel on Youtube created on March 4 2017. The Cheollima website domain the group uses was anonymously registered in March 2017. It was updated on November 29 2918 shortly after the South Korean NIS received new orders from its headquarter in Washington DC.

Cheollima/Free Joseon also seeks defectors from North Korea. On February 28 2019 (not "in March" as the Post claims), the very same day the Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi failed , Cheollima published a manifest that clearly aims at 'regime change' in North Korea:

WE DECLARE ON THIS DAY the establishment of Free Joseon, a provisional government preparing the foundations for a future nation built upon respect for principles of human rights and humanitarianism, holding sacred a manifest dignity for every woman, man, and child.

We declare this entity the sole legitimate representative of the Korean people of the north.

The U.S. driven 'regime change' attempt in Venezuela also has a figure that claims to be the "sole legitimate representative" while having zero power in that country.

The English version of the manifest reads like it was written by someone who is a native English speaker or at least studied English literature:

Joseon must and shall be free. Arise! Arise, ye who refuse to be slaves!

We reject the chains of our historic unrequited grief, declare henceforth a new era in our history, and prepare the way for a New Joseon. We therefore proclaim the birth of our revolution and our intentions towards building a more just and equal society, as truest expressions of the shared affections of our people.

A report on the manifest launch in the British Sun remarks :

The Cheollima Civil Defense (CCD) organisation has declared itself as a shadow government which is working to overthrow the regime.
...
Not a lot is known about the CCD but some people believe it is linked to South Korea's spy agency.

The White Helmets, the MI-6 organization for 'regime change' in Syria, has the website domain "www.syriacivildefense.org". Cheollima's website domain is "www.cheollimacivildefense.org". The logos of the two organization are also somewhat similar.


Is there a corporate design/marketing company specialized in spy service cutouts for 'regime change'?

The 'former' CIA analyst in the Post piece 'predicts' that there will be more 'embassy raid' operations:

"In its messaging, the group said they have formed a provisional government to replace the regime in Pyongyang," said Terry, who is a scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. "They have now shown the seriousness of their intent and some capabilities to carry out operations. We will see in the coming months the extent of their capabilities."

While the CIA makes a hapless attempt to cover its traces in Madrid, North Korea continues to follow its game plan for the next round of negotiations. It prepares the public for a U.S. failure :

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will soon decide whether to continue diplomatic talks and maintain his moratorium on missile launches and nuclear tests, a senior North Korean official said Friday, adding that the U.S. threw away a golden opportunity at the recent summit between their leaders.
...
She said Pyongyang now has no intention of compromising or continuing talks unless the United States takes measures that are commensurate to the changes it has taken -- such as the 15-month moratorium on launches and tests -- and changes its "political calculation."

The North Korean statement blames Bolton and Secretary of State Pompeo for the failure of the negotiations while it empathizes a special relation between Kim and Trump.

The signaled satellite launch by North Korea will proceed. It will push the Trump administration back to the starting point of its efforts to 'denuclearize' North Korea.

The difference now is that North Korea has earned good will in China and Russia. It showed its willingness to negotiate and stuck to its commitments made in the Joint Declaration in Singapore while the U.S. obviously refused to fulfill its parts. China and Russia already gave North Korea some unofficial 'sanction relief'. They are unlike to again support the failed 'maximum pressure' approach the Trump administrations once set out with.

The hapless CIA nonsense will not change those facts.

Posted by b on March 15, 2019 at 06:50 PM | Permalink

Comments thanks for this b.. fascinating.. reality is stranger then fiction.. trust the wapo prints mostly fiction to run to the cias rescue..

yeah, i just can't imagine the cia doing anything bad... that would really be unlike them!! the logo designers are going to have to be more creative, but until such time as they are, we can count on such branding that appears to come out of the same graphic design outfit.. i wonder how the poodle spain proceeds from here??


Zachary Smith , Mar 15, 2019 7:24:22 PM | link

Tasking the CIA to raid a North Korean embassy to spoil the talks is exactly a thing John Bolton would do.
So it was probably Bolton after all. If he had no authority to issue orders within the CIA, things would have been lots fuzzier with that "proxy". Especially if somebody was waving around shopping bags full of large bills. The other day at the xymphora site the blogger wrote this:
More Bolton hyper-aggression on multiple fronts. Bolton out of control is the best example of the complete deterioration of Trump. Remember it was Sheldon who forced Trump to appoint him, and the equally incompetent Abrams. One of the problems with the Deep State animosity towards Trump is that the 'adults' who would normally move in to fix this have relatively little influence over Trump, who is now flailing away under the influence of shekels and the most obvious blackmail I've ever seen.
Influence! But only today did I read a comment which caused me to add 2 + 2 to get 4.

It has to be Mossad-Epstein nasty pedophilia videos.

Maybe Trump will fire Bolton and Abrams. That's not the outcome I expect if the apartheid Jewish state holds videos demonstrating behavior both sinful and criminal.

Sally Snyder , Mar 15, 2019 7:26:01 PM | link
Here is an article that looks at what one former U.S. president had to say about trusting his own intelligence network:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2019/02/americas-intelligence-community-can.html

Given the current world geopolitical situation and the American intelligence network's close involvement in the Russian meddling narrative, it's looking this former president's assessment was prescient.

Yonatan , Mar 15, 2019 7:28:04 PM | link
"Is there a corporate design/marketing company specialized in spy service cutouts for 'regime change'?" (presumably rhetorical)

https://alexandrabader.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/otporinterna.jpg

steve , Mar 15, 2019 7:31:50 PM | link
It was not me defence does not work in real life. In the master of reality distortion field it is accepted effective SOP. My SITRAP tells me that this operating system is due to crash.
John , Mar 15, 2019 7:35:53 PM | link
Some more context on "Cheollima," in Korean mythology the Cheollima arrives to sanctify the founder of a new dynasty, thus quite literally a reference to "regime change." Also, Joseon is both a reference to the last dynasty and a reference to the official name of North Korea, which prefers "Joseon" to South Korea's "Han." Both terms are frequently used in Juche ideology, meaning they've worked out a communications strategy for this outfit that fits with the ruling ideology of the Communist Party.
robjira , Mar 15, 2019 8:11:15 PM | link
"We will see in the coming months the extent of their capabilities."
Followed by...
"While the CIA makes a hapless attempt to cover its traces in Madrid..."
My god, are these fkrs even trying to be subtle anymore, or are they (as the Saker has asserted) just that stupid? They sure as sheise aren't doing very well at the "cover its traces" part...
I'd also like to add that despite all the cracks about "little rocket man," "fat boy," pie, and cakes, etc., Kim Jong Un is proving to be just about as sharp as Kim Il Sung (I hear Kim's sister, Kim Yo Jong is also very bright).
Excellent report; many thanks once again, b.
DontBelieveEitherPropaganda , Mar 15, 2019 8:17:49 PM | link
@B: Thanks for connecting the dots. Thats the great strength of MoA IMHO, that you put all details together, revealing the whole picture. Those details, that even supposed first class journalists dont (want to) remember. Thus enabling a look on the deeper truths.

@John: Thanks for the background info!

Trump IS being blackmailed. Not by Russia, but by Sheldon Adelson and Co. With the neocons in the admin being the price DJT and we all now pay.
That this can not end well, no matter if with Trump or Clinton or whoever, should be clear by now. The USA and us their vassals are on a path on which there are no happy endings i fear. Only crash and burn, and the near hope to rebuild something liveable out of the ruins. Dystopia.

dltravers , Mar 15, 2019 8:20:57 PM | link
Do not forget the Democrats hand in this. They want Trump to fail. They held the Cohen hearings while Trump was negotiating with Kim in Vietnam. Clearly that was intended to show that Trump is weak and not in control. Joined together with the embassy raid it shows the NK leadership that any promises made are not likely to be kept by the next administration.

Trump needs to change tack by backing off slightly on his demands and getting the UN more involved bypassing his national security establishment.
I cannot recall there ever being a regime change organization directed at North Korea.

All of this is obvious, the war party is using its resources to push North Korea away from the table. In my opinion the South is way to smart to swallow that BS. The South does have its war hawks as well but it appears that the desire for reunification is quite strong.

Piotr Berman , Mar 15, 2019 8:30:00 PM | link
The Tick 201 The Little Wooden Boy, part 2, dialog around 5:50 of the You Tube video:

Wonder Woman: "So it is true! The Swiss mean to take over the City!"

Anonymous person with gray mustache, a leader of a masked group, all armed in huge and very special Swiss Army Knives: "No, no, no, no! Silly American woman, we are certainly Swiss, but our actions IN NO WAY represent the policies of the Swiss government. Actually, we are more like, err, criminals."

Wonder Woman: "Yea, this is what they all say."

David , Mar 15, 2019 8:42:15 PM | link
Another possibility not mentioned is the possibility of a false flag operation carried out by the NOKO's themselves (or some other entity).
Jackrabbit , Mar 15, 2019 8:46:07 PM | link
1) AFAIK Bolton can't order the CIA to do anything.

2) If Bolton has any 'pull' it's because he is a neocon and advances their agenda (but he can't order CIA to do anything).

3) Gina Haspel is Brennan's gal at CIA. Trump appointed her as well as others connected to his (supposed) enemies like:

- VP Pence, long-time friend of John McCain;

Bolton, who Trump had praised long before the election;

William Barr, who is close to Robert Mueller;

4) In foreign policy, Trump plays the good cop to the Deep State's bad cop.

5) We've seen apologists give numerous excuses for Trump:

- he's a foreign policy neophyte, getting played by the neocons!

- he's playing 11-dimensional chess!

- Bolton!

The same sort of excuses were made for Obama, USA's previous faux populist President.

When people tire of the excuses, maybe they will start to see how a) faux populism is a political model that serves the establishment and b) revisit the 2016 Presidential election and connect the memory-holed dots:

- the Deep State wanted a nationalist President to counter the challenge from Russia-China ( Kissinger alluded to MAGA in his WSJ Op-Ed in August 2014) ;

- Trump was the ONLY populist running on the Republican side (out of 19 candidates!) ;

- Trump was close to the Clintons for years (even their daughters are close) ;

- Felix Sater worked for Trump for over a decade while an informant for Robert Mueller's FBI (Sater's family had Russian mob connections) ;

- Virtually all of the dubious Russian oligarch ties attributed to Trump are Jewish and are likely (if not known to be) more connected to Israel than Russia;

- Sanders was a sheepdog (this 25-year friend of Hillary's was not a real candidate) ;

- Hillary deliberately alienated key voter groups (Sanders progressives, BLM blacks, 'delorable' whites) ;

- CIA/MI6 'meddled' in the election and arranged to trap Wikileaks and Flynn and agents of Russia/Turkey.


6) USA/Trump/neocons were never interested in Korean peace. The first Summit was a PR event to further the Trump psyop.

.
Welcome to the rabbit hole.

Jen , Mar 15, 2019 9:12:00 PM | link
Jackrabbit @ 12 beat me in saying that John Bolton has no authority over the CIA to tell them to do anything but he's head of the NSA and that organisation could have been tasked with organising the raid using mercenaries.
Jackrabbit , Mar 15, 2019 9:40:15 PM | link
Jen

John Bolton is National Security Advisor (NSA), and as the name implies, it is an ADVISORY position (with no formal command authority):

The National Security Advisor participates in meetings of the National Security Council (NSC) and ... is supported by NSC staff who produce research and briefings ...

The influence and role of the National Security Advisor varies from administration to administration and depends not only on the qualities of the person appointed to the position, but also on the style and management philosophy of the incumbent President....

National Security Agency (NSA) is headed by Gen. Paul M. Nakasone:

... (NSA) is a national-level intelligence agency of the United States Department of Defense, under the authority of the Director of National Intelligence [DNI] . The NSA is responsible for global monitoring, collection, and processing of information and data for foreign and domestic intelligence and counterintelligence purposes ...
Jackrabbit , Mar 15, 2019 9:45:44 PM | link
Jen

I'm glad you reiterated the point (that Bolton has no such authority). It's an important one.

I rarely beat you at making important points, and even rarer do I make them as well as you do!

bevin , Mar 15, 2019 9:53:49 PM | link
No Bolton can't order the CIA to do anything. But he can indicate to the Korean Intelligence Service (Formerly known as the Korean CIA) that an attack on the Embassy would be a good thing to do.
There are rogue players here, one is the ultra right Korean deep state. Another is Japan. Both are committed to keeping US troops in Korea and to continuing to treat the North as an enemy.
Then there is the influence, in both Korea and Japan, of the Pentagon or elements within it equally committed to maintaining the status quo: permanent war with the North, permanent control over South Korea's forces, butting up to China's border, and the continued hostility between Japan and China.
One thing we do know is that the South Korean government will not have approved of this raid.
Sasha , Mar 15, 2019 9:59:37 PM | link
@Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 15, 2019 8:46:07 PM | 12

Agree in that Trump is not innocent at all, as clearly states Miles Copeland in an article linked by P. Armstrong in his last Russian SitRep ....

Ordinarily, when you get an order from headquarters you never obey it the first time because you're not sure they mean it. It might be some guy telling you to do something to get himself off the hook, being on record as having ordered it. So you always wait until the second time. But if there's a White House code word, you'd better take it seriously. The message from the White House said he was to assassinate Lumumba(...)

(...)my complaint has been that the CIA isn't overthrowing enough anti-American governments or assassinating enough anti-American leaders, but I guess I'm getting old. What's keeping the agency inactive is Congress and disinformed public opinion(...

Especially interesting the part dedicated to poisonoing, Skripal case comes to mind, taking into account the coordianted effort in expelling diplomats and the US expelling more than anybody, even than UK...

Trump approves all this outrage, it has his seal all the way...

Jackrabbit , Mar 15, 2019 10:20:47 PM | link
bevin:
But he can indicate to the Korean Intelligence Service ...
Any NSA that stepped out of bounds like that with out authorization would be sacked.

The point stands: Trump is not being undermined or blind-sided by Bolton, Trump approves of what Bolton does and has done.

In fact, Trump has admired Bolton for a long time. Two and a half years before appointing Bolton as NSA, Trump mentioned Bolton as someone that is his "go to" person for military/foreign affairs :

CHUCK TODD:

Who do you talk to for military advice right now? ... is there a go-to for you?

DONALD TRUMP:

Yeah, probably there are two or three. I mean, I like Bolton. I think he's, you know, a tough cookie, knows what he's talking about . Jacobs is a good guy--

CHUCK TODD:

Do you mean Ambassador John Bolton--

DONALD TRUMP:

Yes. I think he's terrific --

CHUCK TODD:

You mean Colonel Jack Jacobs?

DONALD TRUMP:

Colonel Jack Jacobs is a good guy. And I see him on occasion.

karlof1 , Mar 15, 2019 10:26:10 PM | link
With this quite obvious violation of International Law on top of the seemingly infinite previous violations, Pompeo and Bolton have tag teamed to tell the ICJ they'll sanction anyone that comes after any Outlaw US Empire individual, the threat itself likely being against the UN Charter and thus unlawful. I really don't have much further comment on this incident other than to reiterate that the United States of America should no longer be called that as it now proven beyond all doubt to be the Outlaw US Empire--internationally, the USA's Federal government's an Outlaw and must be treated as such. It's time to flip GW Bush's ultimatum on its head and tell every nation on the planet that if you're with the Outlaw US Empire then you're also an Outlaw, part of its Evil designs and abettor of its crimes. The UK & Zionistan have already proven themselves to be the top accomplices, with France and Canada their juniors. It's long past time to form an international posse, and no nation can claim ignorance.
mourning dove , Mar 15, 2019 10:38:43 PM | link
damn b, you just tear it up, thank you so much!!

[Mar 16, 2019] Pity The Nation War Spending Is Bankrupting America

Notable quotes:
"... As investigative journalist Uri Friedman puts it, for more than 15 years now, the United States has been fighting terrorism with a credit card , "essentially bankrolling the wars with debt, in the form of purchases of U.S. Treasury bonds by U.S.-based entities like pension funds and state and local governments, and by countries like China and Japan." ..."
"... For decades, the DoD's leaders and accountants have been perpetrating a gigantic, unconstitutional accounting fraud, deliberately cooking the books to mislead the Congress and drive the DoD's budgets ever higher, regardless of military necessity ..."
"... That price gouging has become an accepted form of corruption within the American military empire is a sad statement on how little control "we the people" have over our runaway government. ..."
Mar 16, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Pity The Nation: War Spending Is Bankrupting America

by Tyler Durden Fri, 03/15/2019 - 23:50 9 SHARES Authored by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

"Pity the nation whose people are sheep

And whose shepherds mislead them

Pity the nation whose leaders are liars

Whose sages are silenced

And whose bigots haunt the airwaves

Pity the nation that raises not its voice

Except to praise conquerors

And acclaim the bully as hero

And aims to rule the world

By force and by torture

Pity the nation oh pity the people

who allow their rights to erode

and their freedoms to be washed away "

-- Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poet

War spending is bankrupting America.

Our nation is being preyed upon by a military industrial complex that is propped up by war profiteers, corrupt politicians and foreign governments.

America has so much to offer -- creativity, ingenuity, vast natural resources, a rich heritage, a beautifully diverse populace, a freedom foundation unrivaled anywhere in the world, and opportunities galore -- and yet our birthright is being sold out from under us so that power-hungry politicians, greedy military contractors, and bloodthirsty war hawks can make a hefty profit at our expense.

Don't be fooled into thinking that your hard-earned tax dollars are being used for national security and urgent military needs.

It's all a ruse.

You know what happens to tax dollars that are left over at the end of the government's fiscal year? Government agencies -- including the Department of Defense -- go on a "use it or lose it" spending spree so they can justify asking for money in the next fiscal year.

We're not talking chump change, either.

We're talking $97 billion worth of wasteful spending .

According to an investigative report by Open the Government, among the items purchased during the last month of the fiscal year when government agencies go all out to get rid of these "use it or lose it" funds: Wexford Leather club chair ($9,241), china tableware ($53,004), alcohol ($308,994), golf carts ($673,471), musical equipment including pianos, tubas, and trombones ($1.7 million), lobster tail and crab ($4.6 million) , iPhones and iPads ($7.7 million), and workout and recreation equipment ($9.8 million).

So much for draining the swamp .

Anyone who suggests that the military needs more money is either criminally clueless or equally corrupt, because the military isn't suffering from lack of funding -- it's suffering from lack of proper oversight.

Where President Trump fits into that scenario, you decide. Trump may turn out to be, as policy analyst Stan Collender warned, " the biggest deficit- and debt-increasing president of all time ."

Rest assured, however, that if Trump gets his way -- to the tune of a $4.7 trillion budget that digs the nation deeper in debt to foreign creditors, adds $750 billion for the military budget , and doubles the debt growth that Trump once promised to erase -- the war profiteers (and foreign banks who "own" our debt) will be raking in a fortune while America goes belly up.

This is basic math, and the numbers just don't add up.

As it now stands, the U.S. government is operating in the negative on every front: it's spending far more than what it makes (and takes from the American taxpayers) and it is borrowing heavily ( from foreign governments and Social Security ) to keep the government operating and keep funding its endless wars abroad .

Certainly, nothing about the way the government budgets its funds puts America's needs first.

The nation's educational system is pathetic (young people are learning nothing about their freedoms or their government). The infrastructure is antiquated and growing more outdated by the day. The health system is overpriced and inaccessible to those who need it most. The supposedly robust economy is belied by the daily reports of businesses shuttering storefronts and declaring bankruptcy. And our so-called representative government is a sham.

If this is a formula for making America great again, it's not working.

The White House wants taxpayers to accept that the only way to reduce the nation's ballooning deficit is by cutting "entitlement" programs such as Social Security and Medicare, yet the glaring economic truth is that at the end of the day, it's the military industrial complex -- and not the sick, the elderly or the poor -- that is pushing America towards bankruptcy.

We have become a debtor nation , and the government is sinking us deeper into debt with every passing day that it allows the military industrial complex to call the shots.

Simply put, the government cannot afford to maintain its over-extended military empire.

" Money is the new 800-pound gorilla ," remarked a senior administration official involved in Afghanistan. "It shifts the debate from 'Is the strategy working?' to 'Can we afford this?' And when you view it that way, the scope of the mission that we have now is far, far less defensible." Or as one commentator noted, " Foreclosing the future of our country should not be confused with defending it ."

To be clear, the U.S government's defense spending is about one thing and one thing only: establishing and maintaining a global military empire.

Although the U.S. constitutes only 5% of the world's population, America boasts almost 50% of the world's total military expenditure , spending more on the military than the next 19 biggest spending nations combined.

In fact, the Pentagon spends more on war than all 50 states combined spend on health, education, welfare, and safety.

The American military-industrial complex has erected an empire unsurpassed in history in its breadth and scope, one dedicated to conducting perpetual warfare throughout the earth.

Since 2001, the U.S. government has spent more than $4.7 trillion waging its endless wars .

Having been co-opted by greedy defense contractors, corrupt politicians and incompetent government officials, America's expanding military empire is bleeding the country dry at a rate of more than $32 million per hour .

In fact, the U.S. government has spent more money every five seconds in Iraq than the average American earns in a year.

Then there's the cost of maintaining and staffing the 1000-plus U.S. military bases spread around the world and policing the globe with 1.3 million U.S. troops stationed in 177 countries (over 70% of the countries worldwide).

Future wars and military exercises waged around the globe are expected to push the total bill upwards of $12 trillion by 2053 .

The U.S. government is spending money it doesn't have on a military empire it can't afford.

As investigative journalist Uri Friedman puts it, for more than 15 years now, the United States has been fighting terrorism with a credit card , "essentially bankrolling the wars with debt, in the form of purchases of U.S. Treasury bonds by U.S.-based entities like pension funds and state and local governments, and by countries like China and Japan."

War is not cheap, but it becomes outrageously costly when you factor in government incompetence, fraud, and greedy contractors .

As The Nation reports :

For decades, the DoD's leaders and accountants have been perpetrating a gigantic, unconstitutional accounting fraud, deliberately cooking the books to mislead the Congress and drive the DoD's budgets ever higher, regardless of military necessity. DoD has literally been making up numbers in its annual financial reports to Congress -- representing trillions of dollars' worth of seemingly nonexistent transactions -- knowing that Congress would rely on those misleading reports when deciding how much money to give the DoD the following year.

For example, a leading accounting firm concluded that one of the Pentagon's largest agencies " can't account for hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of spending ."

Unfortunately, the outlook isn't much better for the spending that can be tracked.

A government audit found that defense contractor Boeing has been massively overcharging taxpayers for mundane parts, resulting in tens of millions of dollars in overspending. As the report noted, the American taxpayer paid :

$71 for a metal pin that should cost just 4 cents; $644.75 for a small gear smaller than a dime that sells for $12.51: more than a 5,100 percent increase in price. $1,678.61 for another tiny part, also smaller than a dime, that could have been bought within DoD for $7.71: a 21,000 percent increase. $71.01 for a straight, thin metal pin that DoD had on hand, unused by the tens of thousands, for 4 cents: an increase of over 177,000 percent.

That price gouging has become an accepted form of corruption within the American military empire is a sad statement on how little control "we the people" have over our runaway government.

Mind you, this isn't just corrupt behavior. It's deadly, downright immoral behavior.

The U.S. government is not making the world any safer. It's making the world more dangerous. It is estimated that the U.S. military drops a bomb somewhere in the world every 12 minutes . Since 9/11, the United States government has directly contributed to the deaths of around 500,000. Every one of those deaths was paid for with taxpayer funds.

The U.S. government is not making America any safer. It's exposing American citizens to alarming levels of blowback, a CIA term referring to the unintended consequences of the U.S. government's international activities. Chalmers Johnson, a former CIA consultant, repeatedly warned that America's use of its military to gain power over the global economy would result in devastating blowback .

Those who call the shots in the government -- those who push the military industrial complex's agenda -- those who make a killing by embroiling the U.S. in foreign wars -- have not heeded Johnson's warning.

The U.S. government is not making American citizens any safer . The repercussions of America's military empire have been deadly, not only for those innocent men, women and children killed by drone strikes abroad but also those here in the United States.

The 9/11 attacks were blowback . The Boston Marathon Bombing was blowback . The attempted Times Square bomber was blowback. The Fort Hood shooter, a major in the U.S. Army, was blowback .

The transformation of America into a battlefield is blowback.

All of this carnage is being carried out with the full support of the American people, or at least with the proxy that is our taxpayer dollars.

The government is destabilizing the economy, destroying the national infrastructure through neglect and a lack of resources, and turning taxpayer dollars into blood money with its endless wars, drone strikes and mounting death tolls.

As Martin Luther King Jr. recognized, under a military empire, war and its profiteering will always take precedence over the people's basic human needs.

Similarly, President Dwight Eisenhower warned us not to let the profit-driven war machine endanger our liberties or democratic processes.

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. [ ] Is there no other way the world may live?"

We failed to heed Eisenhower's warning.

The illicit merger of the armaments industry and the government that Eisenhower warned against has come to represent perhaps the greatest threat to the nation today.

It's not sustainable, of course.

Eventually, inevitably, military empires fall and fail by spreading themselves too thin and spending themselves to death.

It happened in Rome. It's happening again.

The America empire is already breaking down.

We're already witnessing a breakdown of society on virtually every front, and the government is ready.

For years now, the government has worked with the military to prepare for widespread civil unrest brought about by "economic collapse, loss of functioning political and legal order , purposeful domestic resistance or insurgency, pervasive public health emergencies, and catastrophic natural and human disasters."

For years now, the government has been warning against the dangers of domestic terrorism , erecting surveillance systems to monitor its own citizens, creating classification systems to label any viewpoints that challenge the status quo as extremist, and training law enforcement agencies to equate anyone possessing anti-government views as a domestic terrorist.

We're approaching critical mass.

As long as "we the people" continue to allow the government to wage its costly, meaningless, endless wars abroad, the American homeland will continue to suffer: our roads will crumble, our bridges will fail, our schools will fall into disrepair, our drinking water will become undrinkable, our communities will destabilize, our economy will tank, crime will rise, and our freedoms will suffer.

So who will save us?

As I make clear in my book, Battlefield America: The War on the American People , we'd better start saving ourselves: one by one, neighbor to neighbor, through grassroots endeavors, by pushing back against the police state where it most counts -- in our communities first and foremost, and by holding fast to what binds us together and not allowing politics and other manufactured nonrealities to tear us apart.

Start today. Start now. Do your part.

Literally and figuratively, the buck starts and stops with "we the people."


I am Groot , 2 minutes ago link

We have socialism in all of the wrong places !

When we should be paying our seniors a generous amount of social security and pensions to people who earned them, we are paying illegals and their kids to come to America and act like parasites. Our children will be debt slaves because of Congress.

We are also paying trillions to the MIC and three letter agencies with absolutely no oversight. We pay hundreds of thousands of totally useless government employees including the military and over a 1000 bases on foreign soil.

Eisenhower warned against letting the MIC take control of the country.

Tiger Rocks Dale , 5 minutes ago link

It's fine. Tyler dudrden is my hero.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IK1Vt3NvmUs

rtb61 , 5 minutes ago link

What is weird, you spend that money on infrastructure, which would substantially improve the economy through gained efficiencies and you can afford to waste it but if you waste it, you can not spend it on infrastructure to be able to afford to burn it, blow it up, fire it or just plain dump it.

Well, it is pretty clear, from the screams of the insiders, the reform is coming and they know it. The louder the rants of screams of the establishment, the closer they are to losing.

Look at what they do, they kill people for profit, if they could silence us by killing us, they would, they can not, they have already lost, now it is just a matter of political grind and legal process, to root them out and then investigate and prosecute them, en mass.

They had total control for decades and most knew nothing, now control is broken and most people know.

Tiger Rocks Dale , 14 minutes ago link

The only reason I'm reckless is because I've been there and done that.

Tiger Rocks Dale , 12 minutes ago link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IK1Vt3NvmUs

marysimmons , 11 minutes ago link

Ditch the ABM and INF treaties. Extend NATO to Russia's borders. Regime change in Ukraine. Demonize Putin/Russia. Then claim umpteen billions more needed for national defense. Wonderful.

Davidduke2000 , 15 minutes ago link

this article would not have seen the light of day on facebook or youtube, but thanks to Tyler of zerohedge with his total respect for free speech, people can learn why their country is bankrupt.

PaulHolland , 16 minutes ago link

Its funny. Less than 40 years after the cold war and the Russian successor state is putting on the same trick to the USSA that doomed the USSR. Russia is lean and mean now and its forcing the US to spend just truly insane amounts on weapons.

desertboy , 5 minutes ago link

That's just dumb.

The forces destroying the US are the same that destroyed (and created) the USSR.

But, you keep watching your puppet show.

DEDA CVETKO , 19 minutes ago link

War spending has always - ALWAYS! - since at least the late 19th Century - been an instrument of wealth redistribution: from the poor to the rich.

The only question I have is: where did all that wealth go? It would be fun to collect the dots and find out who now owns AT LEAST $3 TRILLION stolen from the Pentagon since 2001.

PaulHolland , 14 minutes ago link

I don't get this stolen bit. Nothing is stolen from US tax payers. Its US debt holders that get screwed. The US is one big worldwide theft of finished goods , resources and capaital

DEDA CVETKO , 8 minutes ago link

indeed, but we are talking road robbery within a heist within a burglary here.

Here's why:

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/11/02/pentagon-cant-account-for-21-trillion-thats-not-typo.html

Davidduke2000 , 10 minutes ago link

nothing is lost or stolen, the defense department is totally careless with the people's money.

$20 billions of weapons were left in Iraq after the us left but the funny part they were left in far warehouses that only ISIS got hold of them.

If I was a conspiracy theorist , I would say they left these weapons on purpose for isis to wage war and invade Syria which they did, but all this stuff was in vain as all these weapons got destroyed by the Russians and the american people lost $20 billion.

DEDA CVETKO , 7 minutes ago link

Nothing is stolen, but $21 trillion is missing????

Nice try, dude, nice try.

desertboy , 3 minutes ago link

It didn't go anywhere - just redistributed around the globe.

ebworthen , 20 minutes ago link

"All hail Caesar!"

Welcome to the New Rome, ruled by the Military Industrial Complex (M.I.C.) and the Bansksters (Wall Street, FED, Treasury, Corporations, Insurers) and their bought corrupt CONgress members.

"Save for retirement!" to pay the bonuses of the rats above.

"Support the Troops!" to die for the corrupt rats above.

[Mar 15, 2019] Venezuela Facts You Don't Hear from the Mainstream Media

Mar 15, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Alpi57 , Mar 14, 2019 6:27:37 PM | link

Sorry to break up the Brexit party and change subjects. The Brits will be fine. It is just a messy divorce.

On to more important subjects:

https://www.mintpressnews.com/ricardo-hausmann-morning-venezuela-neoliberal-brain-behind-juan-guaidos-economic-agenda/256185/


S , Mar 14, 2019 8:08:16 PM | link

Irish independent MPs Clare Daly and Mick Wallace battle against imperialist sell-out MPs in the Irish Parliament on the issue of Venezuela: Venezuela Facts You Don't Hear from the Mainstream Media . Great watch.
karlof1 , Mar 14, 2019 8:21:03 PM | link
Maduro assassination attempt via drone confirmed as Outlaw US Empire operation.

Well Pelosi, here we have attempted murder as a high crime to Impeach Trump, Pence, Pompeo, Bolton and Abrams with, or is that something too "trivial" for you!

[Mar 15, 2019] Patriots Turning To #YangGang In Response To Trump, Conservatism Inc. Failure by James Kirkpatrick

Mar 15, 2019 | www.unz.com

The dark horse candidate of the 2020 Democratic primary is entrepreneur Andrew Yang , who just qualified for the first round of debates by attracting over 65,000 unique donors. [ Andrew Yang qualifies for first DNC debate with 65,000 unique donors , by Orion Rummler, Axios, March 12, 2019]

Yang is a businessman who has worked in several fields, but was best known for founding Venture for America , which helps college graduates become entrepreneurs. However, he is now gaining recognition for his signature campaign promise -- $1,000 a month for every American.

ORDER IT NOW

Yang promises a universal entitlement, not dependent on income, that he calls a "freedom dividend." To be funded through a value added tax , Yang claims that it would reduce the strain on "health care, incarceration, homeless services, and the like" and actually save billions of dollars. Yang also notes that "current welfare and social program beneficiaries would be given a choice between their current benefits or $1,000 cash unconditionally."

As Yang himself notes, this is not a new idea, nor one particularly tied to the Left. Indeed, it's been proposed by several prominent libertarians because it would replace the far more inefficient welfare system. Charles Murray called for this policy in 2016. [ A guaranteed income for every American , AEI, June 3, 2016] Milton Friedman suggested a similar policy in a 1968 interview with William F. Buckley, though Friedman called it a "negative income tax."

He rejected arguments that it would cause indolence. F.A. Hayek also supported such a policy; he essentially took it for granted . [ Friedrich Hayek supported a guaranteed minimum income , by James Kwak, Medium, July 20, 2015]

It's also been proposed by many nationalists, including, well, me. At the January 2013 VDARE.com Webinar, I called for a "straight-up minimum income for citizens only" among other policies that would build a new nationalist majority and deconstruct Leftist power. I've retained that belief ever since and argued for it here for years.

However, I've also made the argument that it only works if it is for citizens only and is combined with a restrictive immigration policy. As I previously argued in a piece attacking Jacobin's disingenuous complaints about the "reserve army of the unemployed," you simply can't support high wages, workers' rights, and a universal basic income while still demanding mass immigration.

Yang is justifying the need for such a program because of automation . Again, VDARE.com has been exploring how automation may necessitate such a program for many years . Yang also discussed this problem on Tucker Carlson's show , which alone shows he is more open to real discussion than many progressive activists.

Yang is also directly addressing the crises that the Trump Administration has seemly forgotten. Unlike Donald Trump himself, with his endless boasting about "low black and Hispanic unemployment," Yang has directly spoken about the demographic collapse of white people because of "low birth rates and white men dying from substance abuse and suicide ."

Though even the viciously anti-white Dylan Matthews called the tweet "innocuous," there is little doubt if President Trump said it would be called racist. [ Andrew Yang, the 2020 long-shot candidate running on a universal basic income, explained , Vox, March 11, 2019]

Significantly, President Trump himself has never once specifically recognized the plight of white Americans.

Of course, Yang has foolish, even flippant policies on other issues. He wants to make Puerto Rico a state . He supports a path to citizenship for illegal aliens, albeit with an 18-year waiting period and combined with pledges to secure the border and deport illegals who don't enroll in the citizenship program. He wants to create a massive bureaucratic system to track gun owners, restrict gun ownership , and require various "training" programs for licenses. He wants to subsidize local journalists with taxpayer dollars, which in practice would mean just paying Leftist activists to dox people in their communities.

(Though as some have pointed out, with a thousand dollars a month no matter what, right-wingers wouldn't have to worry as much about being targeted by journofa ).

Indeed, journalists, hall monitors that they are, have recognized that President Trump's online supporters are flocking to Yang, bringing him a powerful weapon in the meme wars. (Sample meme at right.) And because many of these online activists are "far right" by Main Stream Media standards, or at least Politically Incorrect, there is much hand-waving and wrist-flapping about the need for Yang to decry "white nationalists." So of course, the candidate has dutifully done so, claiming "racism and white nationalism [are] a threat to the core ideals of what it means to be an American". [ Presidential candidate Andrew Yang has a meme problem , by Russell Brandom, The Verge, March 9, 2019]

But what does it mean to be an American? As more and more of American history is described as racist, and even national symbols and the national anthem are targets for protest, "America" certainly doesn't seem like a real country with a real identity. Increasingly, "America" resembles a continent-sized shopping mall, with nothing holding together the warring tribes that occupy it except money.

President Trump, of course, was elected because many people thought he could reverse this process, especially by limiting mass immigration and taking strong action in the culture wars, for example by promoting official English. Yet in recent weeks, he has repeatedly endorsed more legal immigration. Rather than fighting, the president is content to brag about the economy and whine about unfair press coverage and investigations. He already seems like a lame duck.

The worst part of all of this is that President Trump was elected as a response not just to the Left, but to the failed Conservative Establishment. During the 2016 campaign, President Trump specifically pledged to protect entitlements , decried foreign wars, and argued for a massive infrastructure plan. However, once in office, his main legislative accomplishment is a tax cut any other Republican president would have pushed. Similarly, his latest budget contains the kinds of entitlement cuts that are guaranteed to provoke Democrat attack ads. [ Trump said he wouldn't cut Medicaid, Social Security, and Medicare . His 2020 budget cuts all 3 , by Tara Golshan, Vox, March 12, 2019] And the president has already backed down on withdrawing all troops from Syria, never mind Afghanistan.

Conservatism Inc., having learned nothing from candidate Donald Trump's scorched-earth path to the Republican nomination, now embraces Trump as a man but ignores his campaign message. Instead, the conservative movement is still promoting the same tired slogans about "free markets" even as they have appear to have lost an entire generation to socialism. The most iconic moment was Charlie Kirk, head of the free market activist group Turning Point USA, desperately trying to tell his followers not to cheer for Tucker Carlson because Carlson had suggested a nation should be treated like a family, not simply a marketplace .

President Trump himself is now trying to talk like a fiscal conservative [ Exclusive -- Donald Trump: 'Seductive' Socialism Would Send Country 'Down The Tubes' In a Decade Or Less , by Alexander Marlow, Matt Boyle, Amanda House, and Charlie Spierling, Breitbart, March 11, 2019]. Such a pose is self-discrediting given how the deficit swelled under united Republican control and untold amounts of money are seemingly still available for foreign aid to Israel, regime change in Iran and Venezuela, and feminist programs abroad to make favorite daughter Ivanka Trump feel important. [ Trump budget plans to give $100 million to program for women that Ivanka launched , by Nathalie Baptiste, Mother Jones, March 9, 2019]

Thus, especially because of his cowardice on immigration, many of President Trump's most fervent online supporters have turned on him in recent weeks. And the embrace of Yang seems to come out of a great place of despair, a sense that the country really is beyond saving.

Yang has Leftist policies on many issues, but many disillusioned Trump supporters feel like those policies are coming anyway. If America is just an economy, and if everyone in the world is a simply an American-in-waiting, white Americans might as well get something out of this System before the bones are picked clean.

National Review ' s Theodore Kupfer just claimed the main importance of Yang's candidacy is that it will prove meme-makers ability to affect the vote count "has been overstated" [ Rise of the pink hats , March 12, 2019]. Time will tell, but it is ominous for Trump that many of the more creative and dedicated people who formed his vanguard are giving up on him.

[Mar 15, 2019] Will Democrats Go Full Hawk by Jack Hunter

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Warren could have easily gone either way, succumbing to the emotive demands of the Never Trump mob. She instead opted to stick to the traditional progressive position on undeclared war, even if it meant siding with the president. ..."
"... Bravo Congressman Khanna. And to those progs who share his sympathies with those of us who have consistently opposed US military adventurism. Howard Dean's comments that American troops should take a bullet in support of "women's rights" in Afghanistan (!) only underscores why he serves as comic relief and really should consider wearing tassels and bells. ..."
"... Trump – and Bernie – put their fingers on the electoral zeitgeist in 2016: the oligarchy is out of control, its servants in Washington have turned their backs on the middle class, and we need to stop getting into stupid, needless wars. ..."
"... "Principles", LOL? What principles? When have Democrats ever not campaigned on a "bring them home, no torture, etc" peace platform and then governed on a deep state neocon foreign policy, with entitlements to drone anyone on earth in Obama's case? At least horrible neocon Republicans are honest enough to say what they believe when they run. ..."
"... Hillary was full hawk. It was Trump who said he was less hawkish. Yeah, he hasn't lived up to that either. But Democrats can't go hawkish in response. They already were the hawks. ..."
Mar 14, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

When President Donald Trump announced in December that he wanted an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria, there was more silence and opposition from the Left than approval. The 2016 election's highest-profile progressive, Senator Bernie Sanders, said virtually nothing at the time. The 2018 midterm election's Left celeb, former congressman Beto O'Rourke, kept mum too. The 2004 liberal hero, Howard Dean, came out against troop withdrawals, saying they would damage women's rights in Afghanistan.

The liberal news outlet on which Warren made her statement, MSNBC, which had already been sounding more like Fox News circa 2003, warned that withdrawal from Syria could hurt national security. The left-leaning news channel has even made common cause with Bill Kristol and other neoconservatives in its shared opposition to all things Trump.

Maddow herself has not only vocally opposed the president's decision, but has become arguably more popular than ever with liberal viewers by peddling wild-eyed anti-Trump conspiracy theories worthy of Alex Jones. Reacting to one of her cockamamie theories, progressive journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted , "She is Glenn Beck standing at the chalkboard. Liberals celebrate her (relatively) high ratings as proof that she's right, but Beck himself proved that nothing produces higher cable ratings than feeding deranged partisans unhinged conspiracy theories that flatter their beliefs."

The Trump derangement that has so enveloped the Left on everything, including foreign policy, is precisely what makes Democratic presidential candidate Warren's Syria withdrawal position so noteworthy. One can safely assume that Sanders, O'Rourke, Dean, MSNBC, Maddow, and many of their fellow progressive travelers' silence on or resistance to troop withdrawal is simply them gauging what their liberal audiences currently want or will accept.

Warren could have easily gone either way, succumbing to the emotive demands of the Never Trump mob. She instead opted to stick to the traditional progressive position on undeclared war, even if it meant siding with the president.

... ... ...

Jack Hunter is the former political editor of Rare.us and co-authored the 2011 book The Tea Party Goes to Washington with Senator Rand Paul.


WorkingClass March 13, 2019 at 10:36 pm

Only a crushing defeat and massive casualties on the battlefield will cause ANY change in foreign policy by either party.
PAX , says: March 13, 2019 at 10:45 pm
The antiwar movement is not a "liberal" movement. Hundreds of mainly your people addressed the San Francisco board of supervisors asking them to condemn an Israeli full-fledged attack on Gaza. When they were finished, without objection from one single supervisor, the issued was tabled and let sink permanently in the Bay, never to be heard of again. Had the situation been reversed and Israel under attack there most probably would have been a resolution in nanoseconds. Maybe even half the board volunteering to join the IDF? People believed Trump would act more objectively. That is why he got a lot of peace votes. What AIPAC wants there is a high probability our liberal politicians will oblige quickly and willingly. Who really represents America remains a mystery?
Donald , says: March 13, 2019 at 11:40 pm
"That abiding hatred will continue to play an outsized and often illogical role in determining what most Democrats believe about foreign policy."

True, but the prowar tendency with mainstream liberals ( think Clintonites) is older than that. The antiwar movement among mainstream liberals died the instant Obama entered the White House. And even before that Clinton and Kerry and others supported the Iraq War. I think this goes all the way back to Gulf War I, and possibly further. Democrats were still mostly antiwar to some degree after Vietnam and they also opposed Reagan's proxy wars in Central America and Angola. Some opposed the Gulf War, but it seemed a big success at the time and so it became centrist and smart to kick the Vietnam War syndrome and be prowar. Bill Clinton has his little war in Serbia, which was seen as a success and so being prowar became the centrist Dem position. Obama was careful to say he wasn't antiwar, just against dumb wars. Gore opposed going into Iraq, but on technocratic grounds.

And in popular culture, in the West Wing the liberal fantasy President was bombing an imaginary Mideast terrorist country. Showed he was a tough guy, but measured, unlike some of the even more warlike fictitious Republicans in that show. I remember Toby Ziegler, one of the main characters, ranting to his pro diplomacy wife that we needed to go in and civilize those crazy Muslims.

So it isn't just an illogical overreaction to Trump, though that is part of it.

polistra , says: March 14, 2019 at 2:18 am
Won't happen. Gabbard is solid and sincere but she's not Hillary so she won't be the candidate. Hillary is the candidate forever. If Hillary is too drunk to stand up, or too obviously dead, Kamala will serve as Hillary's regent.
ked_x , says: March 14, 2019 at 2:48 am
The problem isn't THAT Trump is pulling the troops out of Syria. The problem is HOW Trump is pulling the troops out of Syria. The Left isn't fighting about 'keeping troops indefinitely in Syria' vs pulling troops out of Syria'. Its a fight over 'pulling troops out in a way that makes it so that we don't have to go back in like Obama and Iraq' vs 'backing the reckless pull out Trump is going to do'.
Kasoy , says: March 14, 2019 at 3:42 am
Will Democrats go full hawk?

For Democrats, everything depends on what the polls say, which issues seem important to get elected. They will say anything, no matter how irrational & outrageously insane if the polls say Democrat voters like them. If American involvement in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan are less important according to the polls, Democratic 2020 hopefuls will not bother to focus on it.

For True Christian conservatives, everything depends on how issues line up to God's laws. Polls do not change what is morally right, & what is morally evil.

Connecticut Farmer , says: March 14, 2019 at 8:47 am
"I am glad Donald Trump is withdrawing troops from Syria. Congress never authorized the intervention."

Bravo Congressman Khanna. And to those progs who share his sympathies with those of us who have consistently opposed US military adventurism. Howard Dean's comments that American troops should take a bullet in support of "women's rights" in Afghanistan (!) only underscores why he serves as comic relief and really should consider wearing tassels and bells.

M. Orban , says: March 14, 2019 at 9:35 am
Having grown up under communism, I learned that it is dangerous but inevitable that propagandists eventually come to believe their own fabrications.
Argon , says: March 14, 2019 at 11:23 am
Kasoy: "For True Christian conservatives, everything depends on how issues line up to God's laws. Polls do not change what is morally right, & what is morally evil."

I think that needs the trademark symbol, i.e True Christians™

What do True Scotsmen do?

Dave , says: March 14, 2019 at 12:53 pm
Recent suggests that more Christian Identity Politics will not keep us out of unwise wars.
Dave , says: March 14, 2019 at 1:19 pm
The Second Coming of Jack Hunter. Given his well-documented views on race, it's no surprise he's all in on Trump. That surely outweighs Trump's massive spending and corruption that most true libertarians oppose.
EarlyBird , says: March 14, 2019 at 3:04 pm
Trump – and Bernie – put their fingers on the electoral zeitgeist in 2016: the oligarchy is out of control, its servants in Washington have turned their backs on the middle class, and we need to stop getting into stupid, needless wars.

Of course, the left would come out against puppies and sunshine if Trump came out for those things.

But if they are smart, they'd recognize that on war, or his lack of interest in starting new wars, even the broken Trump clock has been right twice a day.

Erin , says: March 14, 2019 at 3:11 pm
The flip side of this phenomenon is that so many Republican voters supported Trump's withdrawal from Syria. Had it been Obama withdrawing the troops, I suspect 80-90% of Republicans would have opposed the withdrawal.

This does show that Republicans are listening to Trump more than Lindsey Graham or Marco Rubio on foreign policy. But once Trump leaves office, I fear the party will swing back towards the neocons.

Andrew , says: March 14, 2019 at 5:14 pm
"Principles", LOL? What principles? When have Democrats ever not campaigned on a "bring them home, no torture, etc" peace platform and then governed on a deep state neocon foreign policy, with entitlements to drone anyone on earth in Obama's case? At least horrible neocon Republicans are honest enough to say what they believe when they run.

Dopey Trump campaigned on something different and has now surrounded himself with GOP hawks, probably because he's lazy and doesn't know any better.

Bernie, much like Ron Paul was, 180 degrees away, is the only one who might do different if he got into office, and the rate the left is going he may very well be the nominee.

Mark Thomason , says: March 15, 2019 at 11:23 am
Hillary was full hawk. It was Trump who said he was less hawkish. Yeah, he hasn't lived up to that either. But Democrats can't go hawkish in response. They already were the hawks.

The least bad comment on Democrats is that everyone in DC is a hawk, not just them.

[Mar 15, 2019] Will Democrats Go Full Hawk The American Conservative

Mar 15, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

In 2019, it is.

When President Donald Trump announced in December that he wanted an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria, there was more silence and opposition from the Left than approval. The 2016 election's highest-profile progressive, Senator Bernie Sanders, said virtually nothing at the time. The 2018 midterm election's Left celeb, former congressman Beto O'Rourke, kept mum too. The 2004 liberal hero, Howard Dean, came out against troop withdrawals, saying they would damage women's rights in Afghanistan.

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The liberal news outlet on which Warren made her statement, MSNBC, which had already been sounding more like Fox News circa 2003, warned that withdrawal from Syria could hurt national security. The left-leaning news channel has even made common cause with Bill Kristol and other neoconservatives in its shared opposition to all things Trump.

Maddow herself has not only vocally opposed the president's decision, but has become arguably more popular than ever with liberal viewers by peddling wild-eyed anti-Trump conspiracy theories worthy of Alex Jones. Reacting to one of her cockamamie theories, progressive journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted , "She is Glenn Beck standing at the chalkboard. Liberals celebrate her (relatively) high ratings as proof that she's right, but Beck himself proved that nothing produces higher cable ratings than feeding deranged partisans unhinged conspiracy theories that flatter their beliefs."

The Trump derangement that has so enveloped the Left on everything, including foreign policy, is precisely what makes Democratic presidential candidate Warren's Syria withdrawal position so noteworthy. One can safely assume that Sanders, O'Rourke, Dean, MSNBC, Maddow, and many of their fellow progressive travelers' silence on or resistance to troop withdrawal is simply them gauging what their liberal audiences currently want or will accept. Warren could have easily gone either way, succumbing to the emotive demands of the Never Trump mob. She instead opted to stick to the traditional progressive position on undeclared war, even if it meant siding with the president.

[Mar 15, 2019] If Germany tries to close NATO conmmand center very likely, a color revolution will break out in Germany

Mar 15, 2019 | nationalinterest.org

Allalin 2 days ago ,

Can anyone confirm what will happen when Germany will shut down those US Command Center (NATO) because Germany is able to finance their own. (US Personal has to go) Nato support Act is an US Law and not an authorized NATO Law

Nick Klaus Allalin 2 days ago ,

Very likely, a color revolution will break out in Germany

[Mar 14, 2019] Looks like Trump is not an interventionist. But because he is a narcissist, you could get into a crisis situation with Iran, and you end up with what becomes a sort of fast-moving test of manhood

This diplomat is a typical neocon (or at least a diplomat with the "US world leadership" delusion ) , and belong to the sad category of US politicians and foreign service officials who in 1991 decided that the USA can rule the globe. They spend tremendous amount of money(stolen from US citizens) and thousand of US servicemen lives to prove that. The US now can't give the world what they want as neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization that the USA pushed in definitely in crisis like Bolshevism was in 80th in the USSR (while trump is definitely is not Gorbachov, he might be the US Khrushchev). Trump "national neoliberalism" is not a solution, and in this part I would agree with Burns
Generally the State Department is real nest of neocon vipers and without cleaning it nothing can be done in the US foreign policy. It would be that same old, same old.
That's why most interview is just and repeating of standard State Department talking points. But the end of interview is somewhat interesting. Looks like the US have a real risk to step in the same rake again and unleash the war with Iran.
Mar 14, 2019 | www.theatlantic.com

... ... ...

Burns: Oh, no, it's a very real worry, in my view.

I don't know President Trump, but my impression is he's not an interventionist. But because he is a narcissist, you could get into a crisis situation with Iran, and you end up with what becomes a sort of fast-moving test of manhood. You can end up with collisions that may be inadvertent at their outset but can escalate quite rapidly. There can be that temptation to just assert a muscular American response -- which sometimes makes perfect sense, but if it's not carefully harnessed can lead in some dangerous directions. Especially at a time when we've sowed such unease among our allies. That's when adversaries are most likely to test.

Fallows: One more question about this era in U.S. relations with the world. Trump's essential argument is that everybody has been screwing us. What's the comparably visceral answer to that?

Burns: The truth is some people have been screwing us. Anybody who got elected in 2016 would have had to work hard to try to change the terms of engagement with allies like NATO and change the terms of engagement with rivals like China in terms of trade, and investment practices as well.

But in making that argument that everybody has been screwing us, the current president is just about punching back against people bilaterally and unilaterally. And not recognizing that what sets us apart from lonelier powers like China and Russia is our alliances, and our capacity to build coalitions. It's our capacity to adapt the rules of existing institutions and develop rules of the road. It's understanding that set of strengths.

I think this administration, and this president, have demonstrated almost willful ignorance of that set of strengths for the United States. Especially at this moment on the international landscape, that matters more than ever.

That's the great risk.

[Mar 14, 2019] Boeing 737 Max an artificial intelligence event by James Thompson

Mar 14, 2019 | www.unz.com

Conventional wisdom is that it is too early to speculate why in the past six months two Boeing 737 Max 8 planes have gone down shortly after take off, so if all that follows is wrong you will know it very quickly. Last night I predicted that the first withdrawals of the plane would happen within two days, and this morning China withdrew it. So far, so good. (Indonesia followed a few hours ago).

Why should I stick my neck out with further predictions? First, because we must speculate the moment something goes wrong. It is natural, right and proper to note errors and try to correct them.(The authorities are always against "wild" speculation, and I would be in agreement with that if they had an a prior definition of wildness). Second, because putting forward hypotheses may help others test them (if they are not already doing so). Third, because if the hypotheses turn out to be wrong, it will indicate an error in reasoning, and will be an example worth studying in psychology, so often dourly drawn to human fallibility. Charmingly, an error in my reasoning might even illuminate an error that a pilot might make, if poorly trained, sleep-deprived and inattentive.

I think the problem is that the Boeing anti-stall patch MCAS is poorly configured for pilot use: it is not intuitive, and opaque in its consequences.

By the way of full disclosure, I have held my opinion since the first Lion Air crash in October, and ran it past a test pilot who, while not responsible for a single word here, did not argue against it. He suggested that MCAS characteristics should have been in a special directive and drawn to the attention of pilots.

I am normally a fan of Boeing. I have flown Boeing more than any other plane, and that might make me loyal to the brand. Even more powerfully, I thought they were correct to carry on with the joystick yoke, and that AirBus was wrong to drop it, simply because the position of the joystick is something visible to pilot and co-pilot, whereas the Airbus side stick does not show you at a glance how high the nose of the plane is pointing.

http://www.unz.com/jthompson/fear-of-flying-and-safety-of-gruyere/

Pilots are bright people, but they must never be set a badly configured test item with tight time limits and potentially fatal outcomes.

The Air France 447 crash had several ingredients, but one was that the pilots of the Airbus A330-203 took too long to work out they were in a stall. In fact, that realization only hit them very shortly before they hit the ocean. Whatever the limitations of the crew (sleep deprived captain, uncertain co-pilot) they were blinded by a frozen Pitot air speed indicator, and an inability to set the right angle of attack for their airspeed.

For the industry, the first step was to fit better air speed indicators which were less likely to ice up. However, it was clear that better stall warning and protection was required.

Boeing had a problem with fitting larger and heavier engines to their tried and trusted 737 configuration, meaning that the engines had to be higher on the wing and a little forwards, and that made the 737 Max have different performance characteristics, which in turn led to the need for an anti-stall patch to be put into the control systems.

It is said that generals always fight the last war. Safety officials correct the last problem, as they must. However, sometimes a safety system has unintended consequences.

The key of the matter is that pilots fly normal 737s every day, and have internalized a mental model of how that plane operates. Pilots probably actually read manuals, and safety directives, and practice for rare events. However, I bet that what they know best is how a plane actually operates most of the time. (I am adjusting to a new car, same manufacturer and model as the last one, but the 9 years of habit are still often stronger than the manual-led actions required by the new configuration). When they fly a 737 Max there is a bit of software in the system which detects stall conditions and corrects them automatically. The pilots should know that, they should adjust to that, they should know that they must switch off that system if it seems to be getting in the way, but all that may be steps too far, when something so important is so opaque.

What is interesting is that in emergencies people rely on their most validated mental models: residents fleeing a burning building tend to go out their usual exits, not even the nearest or safest exit. Pilots are used to pulling the nose up and pushing it down, to adding power and to easing back on it, and when a system takes over some of those decisions, they need to know about it.

After Lion Air I believed that pilots had been warned about the system, but had not paid sufficient attention to its admittedly complicated characteristics, but now it is claimed that the system was not in the training manual anyway. It was deemed a safety system that pilots did not need to know about.

This farrago has an unintended consequence, in that it may be a warning about artificial intelligence. Boeing may have rated the correction factor as too simple to merit human attention, something required mainly to correct a small difference in pitch characteristics unlikely to be encountered in most commercial flying, which is kept as smooth as possible for passenger comfort.

It would be terrible if an apparently small change in automated safety systems designed to avoid a stall turned out have given us a rogue plane, killing us to make us safe.


Anatoly Karlin , says: Website March 11, 2019 at 2:36 pm GMT

Pilots are used to pulling the nose up and pushing it down, to adding power and to easing back on it, and when a system takes over some of those decisions, they need to know about it.

I have read that Boeing kept MCAS out of the limelight as otherwise the 737 MAX would need to be certified as a new plane and airlines would need to do $$$ pilot retraining, making their product less competitive.

James Thompson , says: Website March 11, 2019 at 3:09 pm GMT
@Anatoly Karlin Interesting. It is certainly hard to understand why MCAS was shrouded in secrecy, when it was potentially lethal.
Captain 737 , says: March 11, 2019 at 7:38 pm GMT
Interesting response from a "by-stander", who compares a sophisticated aircraft with a new model car !!!

As an experienced captain on 737s (not the MAX) I say, let the investigation begin; and let us not have by-standers giving their penny worth. A normal 737 . is there also an abnormal 747 or 777 or 787, or a 737 ??

Pilots carry the can . but, are the most respected profession in the world. What ever happened, let the investigation decide the outcome, and not the "un-trained" (is there such a term !!!!).

If one takes a look at the (released to date) information about the Lion Air crash – "unreliable airspeeds" (the airspeed indicator is providing erroneous information during a critical phase of flight (like climb out after take-off)) could have been the cause of that aircraft crash – not AI.

A simple explanation – the airspeed indicator is "unreliable", as one moment the indication is under-speed, then overspeed, followed by under-speed, and so it goes; like a yoyo going up and down; the indicated speed is erroneous and the pilots cannot rely on what is presented on the airspeed indicator. Pilots, according to the Boeing Training Manual, are trained to handle unreliable airspeeds – the key is to fly the plane based solely on pitch attitude and thrust (there are memory items for unreliable airspeed occurrences, along with the reference items in aircraft's Quick Reference Handbook – the QRH (Boeing term) is the pilots "bible" for any issues and problems when the aircraft is in the air !! ).

The point of the above paragraph is to enlighten the 'un-trained' as to not speculate too soon with ideas and a "hypothesis" of what may have happened, until the knowledgeable ones – the aircraft manufacturer (probably being the most knowledgable), the country's aviation authority, the engine manufacturer, and (dear I say) the FAA (the Yanks just cannot help themselves delving into other countries' affairs; when for 9/11 not one minutes was spent by anyone (FAA, Boeing, no one) investigating the so-called crashes of four aircraft – on one day, within one and a half hours of each other, and in the most protected airspace in the world (got the hint !!) – I have digressed, though for reason .. have completed their investigations.

I can assure you that no pilot wants to crash a plane we (pilots) all want to live to 100, and beyond.

Humans make mistakes, but technology needs humans to correct technology's mistakes. Boeing build reliable and trustworthy aircraft; pilots undertake their duties in a safe and controlled manner (according to training and aircraft manufacturer stipulated standards); but errors happen – and the investigator is there to establish what happened, so that these do not happen again. Unfortunately, it is just possible that the cause of the first MAX accident is the same as the second. But, let the knowledgable ones determine that fact – and let me, and us, not speculate.

AI in the MAX hhmmmmm – let Boeing release that information, before we start speculating again (on AI – is an auto pilot AI; the B737 I fly has two auto pilots; is that double AI ??).

To the rest of the travelling public – airline travel remains, and has been, the safest form of transport for decades. I am confident that the status quo will remain.

Time will reveal the answers to these two accidents, when the time is right – when the investigators (for both) have concluded their deliberations.

My guess is, the majority of people will have forgotten these two MAX events (but, for those who have lost loved ones), as some other crisis/event will have occurred in their lives and/or in the world.

Dieter Kief , says: March 11, 2019 at 7:38 pm GMT
@Anatoly Karlin

737 MAX would need to be certified as a new plane and airlines would need to do $$$ pilot retraining, making their product less competitive.

Short sighted businessmen – Nothing lasts for long

Joni Mitchell – – – Chinese Cafè on Wild Things Run Fast

The Anti-Gnostic , says: Website March 11, 2019 at 7:45 pm GMT
I think the problem is that the Boeing anti-stall patch MCAS is poorly configured for pilot use: it is not intuitive, and opaque in its consequences.

I think that's the case with a lot of current technology. Human factors and tactileness don't seem to get much weight in current engineering.

Simply Simon , says: March 12, 2019 at 12:26 am GMT
@Captain 737 I respect your analysis especially coming from a seasoned 737 captain. I have over 5,000 flying hours in single and twin-engine, conventional and jet, all military. I have not flown since 1974 so the advances in auto-pilot technology are beyond my comprehension. My question to you is simple–I think. If the aircraft took off in VFR conditions I assume the pilots knew the pitch attitude all during the takeoff phase. Is there no way to manually overpower the auto-pilot once the pilots knew the pitch attitude was dangerously high or low?
kauchai , says: March 12, 2019 at 2:37 am GMT
If this is a made in china airplane, the empire would mobilize the whole world to ground the entire fleet. The diatribes, lies, cruel sick jokes, lawsuits, etc, etc, would fly to the heavens.

But NO, this is an empire plane. Designed, built and (tested?) in the heart of the empire. And despite the fact that more than 300 people had died, IT IS STILL SAFE to fly!

LOL! LOL!

Anonymous [414] Disclaimer , says: March 12, 2019 at 3:41 am GMT
Quite a short and to-the-point article, although the link to "artificial intelligence" is tenuous at best.

What is sold as Artificial Intelligence nowadays is massive statistical processing in a black box (aka as "Neural Network Processing"), it's not intelligent. The most surprising fact is that it works so well.

Neural Networks won't be in high-assurance software soon. No-one knows what they really do once configured (although there are efforts underway to attack that problem ). They are impossible to really test or design to specification. Will someone underwrite that a system incorporating them does work? Hardly. You may find them in consumer electronics, research, "self driving cars" that never really self-drive without surprises and possibly bleeding edge military gear looking for customers or meant to explode messily anyway.

But not in cockpits. (At least I hope).

Check out this slideshow about the ACAS-X Next Generation Collision Airborne Collision Avoidance System. It has no neural network in sight, in fact if I understand correctly it doesn't even have complex decision software in-cockpit: it's all decision tables precomputed from a high-level, understandable description (aka. code, apparently in Julia) to assure safe outcome in a fully testable and simulatable approach.

In this accident, we may have a problem with the system, as opposed to with the software. While the software may work correctly and to specification (and completely unintelligently) the system composed of software + human + physical machinery will interact in interesting, unforeseen, untested ways, leading to disaster. In fact the (unintelligent software + human) part may disturbingly behave like those Neural Networks that are being sold as AI.

Anonymous [414] Disclaimer , says: March 12, 2019 at 4:16 am GMT
A disquieting item on your morning cereal box:

https://www.stripes.com/news/us/boeing-cited-by-pentagon-over-quality-concerns-going-back-years-1.522343

https://www.stripes.com/news/air-force/air-force-won-t-accept-any-more-boeing-tankers-until-manufacturing-process-is-cleaned-up-1.571108

Anonymous [427] Disclaimer , says: March 12, 2019 at 4:46 am GMT
@Anatoly Karlin I'm guessing that it would require a change in the TCDS and possibly a different type rating, which would be anathema for sales.

I'm a little airplane person, not a big airplane person (and the 737 is a Big Airplane even in its smallest configuration) but I know there have been several instances where aircraft had changes that required that pilots of the type have a whole different type rating, even though the changes seemed minor. I'm guessing airlines are training averse and don't want to take crews off revenue service beyond what is statutorily required. The margins in airline flying are apparently much leaner now than in the glory days.

I never approved of allowing fly by wire in commercial airliners, I never even really liked the idea of FADEC engine control (supervisory DEC was fine) because a classical advantage of gas turbines (and diesels) was that they could run in an absolutely electrically dead environment once lit. Indeed, the J-58 (JT11-D in P&W parlance) had no electrical system to speak of beyond the instrumentation: it started by mechanical shaft drive and ignited by triethyl borane chemical injection. The Sled could make it home on needle-ball and alcohol compass, and at least once it did. Total electrical failure in any FBW aircraft means losing the airplane. Is the slight gain in efficiency worth it? I'm told the cables, pulleys, fairleads and turnbuckles add 200 pounds to a medium size airliner, the FBW stuff weighs 80 or so.

The jet transports we studied in A&P school had a pitot head and static port on either side of the flight deck and the captain and F/O had inputs from different ones, though IIRC the altimeter and airspeed were electrically driven from sensors at the pitot head or inboard of it. I have a 727 drum-pointer (why are three pointer altimeters even legal anymore??) altimeter and it has no aneroids, just a couple of PCBs full of TTL logic and op amps and a DB style connector on the back. Do crews not cross check airspeed and altitude or is there no indicator to flag them when the two show something different?

Also, not being a jet pilot myself, my understanding is that anyone with T-38 experience is forever after thinking in terms of AOA and not airspeed per se, because that airplane has to be flown by AOA in the pattern, and classically a lot of airline pilots had flown Talons. Is there no AOA indicator in the 737? Flying in the pattern/ILS would make airspeed pretty dependent on aircraft weight, and on a transport that can change a lot with fuel burn, do they precisely calculate current weight from a totalizer and notate speeds needed? (I presume airliners don't vary weight other than fuel burn, not being customarily in the business of throwing stuff out of the airplane, although they used to fly jumpers out of a chartered 727 at the parachute meet in Quincy)

dearieme , says: March 12, 2019 at 12:00 pm GMT
@Captain 737 Why are you pretending to be a pilot, and a pompous one at that?
dearieme , says: March 12, 2019 at 12:06 pm GMT
Many problems in the world arise because many computing people reckon themselves very clever when they are merely rather clever. And often they combine what cleverness they have with a blindness about humans and their ways. I shouldn't be at all surprised if programmers at Boeing decided that they always knew better than pilots and doomed the planes accordingly.

I saw recently an expression that made me grin: "midwits". It describes rather well many IT types of my acquaintance.

dearieme , says: March 12, 2019 at 12:51 pm GMT
Another human cost of midwittery:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6797193/More-500-village-postmasters-wrongly-hounded-stealing-millions-system.html

Fabian Forge , says: March 12, 2019 at 4:55 pm GMT
@fish And that's the problem, as Mr. Kief also points out. The individuals at the decision making level (let's call them "executives") don't or can't think that far ahead, at least when the corporation they run is concerneed.

It really is a time-preference problem.

Fabian Forge , says: March 12, 2019 at 5:06 pm GMT
@dearieme One corollary is that the Midwits take such joy in their cleverness that they assume their wit has value in and of itself. This is most evident when they design clever solutions to invented problems. Billions of dollars of venture capital have been set on fire in that way, when technical and financial midwittery combine.
Dieter Kief , says: March 12, 2019 at 10:55 pm GMT
@Andrei Martyanov It's almost nitpicking. But – James Thompson says it above: The MCAS in this Boing model 737 MAX 8 is used to cover up a basic construction flaw. This has undoubtedly worked for quite some time – but it came with a risk. And this risk might turn out to have caused numerous deaths. In this case, if it will turn out, that the MACS system didn't do what it was supposed to do and thus caused numerous deaths – will this then be looked upon as a problem of the application of artificial intelligence? Yes, but not only . It was a combination of a poorly built (constructed) airliner and software, which might not have been able to compensate for this flawed construction under all conditions.

It's cheaper to compensate via software – and this might (might) turn out to be a rather irresponsible way to save money. But as I said: Even in this case, the technical problem would have to be looked upon as twofold: Poor construction plus insufficient software compensation. I'd even tend to say, that poor construction would then be the main (=basic) fault. With the zeitgeisty (and cheap!) software-"solution" for this poor construction a close second.

Eagle Eye , says: March 12, 2019 at 11:25 pm GMT
@Captain 737 Curiously, this is "Captain 737″'s first and only comment here.

It's almost as if Boeing hired a high-priced PR firm whose offerings include pseudonymous online "messaging" to "shape opposition perceptions" etc. Note the over-obvious handle. (Just like globalist shills like to pretend to be regular blue-collar guys in small fly-over towns.)

By their words shalt ye know them.

PREDICTION: In 3-4 years, we will "discover" a long paper trail of engineers warning early on about the risk of hastily kludging a half-assed anti-stall patch MCAS onto a system that had undergone years of testing and refinement WITHOUT the patch.

Only somebody PAID not to see the problem could fail to perceive that this means that as so altered, the ENTIRE SYSTEM goes back to being technically immature.

Anonymous [427] Disclaimer , says: March 13, 2019 at 12:00 am GMT
@Dieter Kief What "basic construction flaw" are we discussing here? The 737 airframe is pretty well established and has a good record-there have been incidents but most have been well dealt with.
Dieter Kief , says: March 13, 2019 at 12:39 am GMT
@Anonymous I've read today, that in the aviation world there is a consensus, that what James Thompson says in his article is right:
"Boeing had a problem with fitting larger and heavier engines to their tried and trusted 737 configuration, meaning that the engines had to be higher on the wing and a little forwards, and that made the 737 Max have different performance characteristics, which in turn led to the need for an anti-stall patch to be put into the control systems."

– A German engineer wrote in a comment in the Berlin daily Die weLT, this construction flaw makes the 737 MAX 8 something like a flying traktor . He concluded, that Boing proved, that you can make a tractor fly, alright. But proper engineering would have looked otherwise – and would for sure had come at a higher cost.
(The different performance charactersitics mentioned by James Thompson is an extraordinarily nice way to express, that the 737 MAX 8 is a tad more likely to stall, just because of the very design-changes, the bigger turbines made necessary. And this is a rather nasty thing to say about an airplane, that a new design made it more likely to stall! ).

Sparkon , says: March 13, 2019 at 1:54 am GMT
@Anonymous

What "basic construction flaw" are we discussing here? The 737 airframe is pretty well established and has a good record.

I 'm not so sure about the good record, and I too suspect the underlying problem is the 737 itself – the entire 737 airframe and avionics.

Worst crash record

LET 410 – 20
Ilyushin 72 – 17
Antonov AN-1 – 17
Twin Otter – 18
CASA 212 – 11
DC-9/MD80 – 10
B737-100 / 700 – 10
Antonov 28 – 8
Antonov 32- 7
Tupolev 154- 7

[a/o 2013 – my bold]

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/Least-safe-aircraft-models-revealed/

The 737 family is the best selling commercial airliner series in history with more than 10,000 units produced. However, this airplane in its various configurations has had many crashes since it first entered service in 1968.

[Mar 14, 2019] Was Boeing 737-MAX crash an artificial intelligence event or an artificial lack of intelligence event

Mar 14, 2019 | www.unz.com

fenestol , says: March 12, 2019 at 11:07 am GMT

An Artificial Intelligence Event?

No, a lesson in the perils of kludge engineering. The 737-MAX is the equivalent of a 1990 Mexican VW Beetle retrofitted with a modern V8 and electronic stability control.

[Mar 14, 2019] Who Attacked the North Korean Embassy in Spain

Mar 14, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The BBC reports on a very strange story from Spain about last month's attack on the North Korean embassy:

Spanish investigators are probing an alleged attack on the North Korean embassy in Madrid.

On 22 February, a group of 10 assailants reportedly broke into the building, tying up, beating and interrogating eight people inside.

The incident took place just days before a key summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

And now there are reports US intelligence services were involved.

The alleged involvement of men with ties to the CIA was first reported in the Spanish daily El Pais . According to El Pais ' sources, the men that attacked the embassy may have been looking for information on North Korean diplomat Kim Hyok-chol, who had served as North Korea's ambassador to Spain until he was expelled in 2017. Kim has also been one of the leading officials involved in the negotiations with the U.S. over the last year.

Whatever the reason for it, invading another state's embassy and assaulting the personnel there obviously constitute gross violations of the conventions governing protections for diplomatic facilities. Judging from these reports, the attack was extraordinarily brazen and risky. It is doubtful that any information obtained from the devices that the assailants stole could have been worth the risk of attacking an embassy and beating up embassy staffers, but someone must have thought it was. If anyone connected with the U.S. government was involved, both Spain and North Korea will be understandably outraged. The intelligence committees in Congress should look into this matter to determine what role, if any, the U.S. government had in this incident.

Sid Finster March 14, 2019 at 12:41 pm

Note that El Pais is the Spanish equivalent of "solidly MSM", not the National Enquirer or Antisemitic Conspiracy Theorist Weekly Roundup.

[Mar 14, 2019] The Fog of Politics

Nov 19, 2016 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

"People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage. Intellectual myopia, often called stupidity, is no doubt a reason. But the privileged also feel that their privileges, however egregious they may seem to others, are a solemn, basic, God-given right. The sensitivity of the poor to injustice is a trivial thing compared with that of the rich."

John Kenneth Galbraith

The sugar high of the Trump election seems to be wearing a bit thin on Wall Street. I had said at the time that I thought they would just execute the trading plans they had in place in their supposition that Hillary was going to win. And this is what I think they did, and have been doing.

And so when the thrill is gone, and dull reality starts sinking in, I suspect we are going to be in for quite a correction.

However, I am tuning out the hysteria from the Wall Street Democrats, especially the pitiful whining emanating from organizations like MSNBC, CNN, and the NY Times, because they have discredited themselves as reliable, unbiased sources. They really have.

They may just be joining their right-leaning peers in this, but they still do not realize it, and think of themselves as exceptional, and morally superior. And the same can be said of many pundits, and insiders, and very serious people with important podiums in the academy and the press.

Hillary was to be their meal ticket. And their anguish at being denied a payday for their faithful service is remarkable.

We are being treated to rumours that Trump is going to appoint this or that despicable person to some key position. I am waiting for him to show his hand with some actual decisions and appointments.

This is not to say that I am optimistic, not in the least. I am not, and I most certainly did not vote for him (or her for that matter). But the silliness of the courtiers in the media is just too much, too much whining from those who had their candy of power and money by association expectations taken away.

I am therefore very interested in seeing who the DNC will choose as chairperson. Liz Warren came out today and endorsed Ellison, which I believe Bernie Sanders has done as well. He is no insider like Wasserman-Schulz, Brazile, or Dean.

The Democratic party is at a crossroads, in a split between taking policy positions along lines of 'class' or 'identity.'

By class is meant working class of the broader public versus the moneyed interests of financiers and tech monopolists. Identity implies the working with various minority groups who certainly may deserve redress for real suppression of their rights and other financial abuses, but in a 'splintering' manner that breaks them down into special interest groups rather than a broader movement of the disadvantaged.

Why has this been the establishment approach of the heart of the Democratic power circles?

I think the reason for this Democratic strategy has been purely practical. There was no way the Wall Street wing of the Democratic party could make policy along lines of the middle class and the poor, and keep a straight face, while gorging themselves in a frenzy of massive soft corruption and enormous donations from the wealthiest few who they were thereby expected to represent and to serve.

And so they lost politically, and badly.

The average American, of whatever identity, finally became sick of them, and rejected the balkanization of their interests into special identity groups that could be more easily managed and messaged, and controlled.

This was a huge difference that we saw in the Sanders campaign, almost to a fault. Not because he was wrong necessarily, but because it was so unaccustomed, and insufficiently articulated. Sanders had his heart in the right place, perhaps, but he lacked the charisma and outspokenness of an FDR. Not to mention that his own party powers were dead set against him, because they wanted to keep the status quo that had rewarded them so well in place.

It is not at all obvious that the Democrats can find themselves again. Perhaps Mr. Trump, while doing some things well, will take economic policy matters to an excess, and like the Democrats ignore the insecurity and discontent of the working class. And the people will find a voice, eventually, in either the Democratic party, or something entirely new.

This is not just an American phenomenon. This has happened with Labour and Brexit in the UK, and is happening in the rest of the developed nations in Europe. One thing that the ruling elite of the West have had in common is a devotion to corporate globalisation and inequality.

And that system is not going to 'cohere' as economist Robert Johnson had put it so well.

With all this change and volatility and insecurity, it appears that people will be reaching for some sort of safe haven for themselves and their resources. So far the Dollar index has benefited from this, not because of its virtues, but from the weakness and foundering of the others.

I am afraid that the confidence in the Dollar as a safe haven is misplaced, especially if things go as I expect that they will with the US economy under a Trump administration. But that is still largely in his hand,s to be decided and written. We have yet to see if he has the will and mind to oppose the vested interests of his own party and the corporate, moneyed interests.

That is an enormous, history-making task, requiring an almost historic moral compass. And so I am not optimistic.

Have a pleasant evening.

[Mar 13, 2019] Boeing, The FAA, And Why Two 737 MAX Planes Crashed

Notable quotes:
"... To implement a security relevant automatism that depends on only one sensor is extremely bad design. To have a flight control automatism engaged even when the pilot flies manually is also a bad choice. But the real criminality was that Boeing hid the feature. ..."
"... The Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed went down in a similar flight profile as the Indonesian plane. It is highly likely that MCAS is the cause of both incidents. While the pilots of the Ethiopian plane were aware of the MCAS system they might have had too little time to turn it off. The flight recorders have been recovered and will tell the full story. ..."
"... The FAA certifies all new planes and their documentation. I was for some time marginally involved in Airbus certification issues. It is an extremely detailed process that has to be followed by the letter. Hundreds of people are full time engaged for years to certify a modern jet. Every tiny screw and even the smallest design details of the hardware and software have to be documented and certified. ..."
"... How or why did the FAA agree to accept the 737 MAX with the badly designed MCAS? How could the FAA allow that MCAS was left out of the documentation? What steps were taken after the Indonesian flight crashed into the sea? ..."
"... That the marketing department has more say than the engineers who design and test the hardware and the software in passenger jets tells us a great deal about the Potemkin-style workplace culture that prevails in Boeing and similar large US corporations. The surface sheen is more important than the substance. The marketing brochures and manuals are no different from mainstream news media in the level of BS they spew. ..."
"... The Indonesian pilots did not have the time to figure out and realise that something else was controlling the plane's flight, much less deactivate what is effectively a second autopiloting system. ..."
"... B is right. This is a criminal act of deception and fraud thats cost hundreds their lives. Boeing executives responsible should be prosecuted and then jailed. ..."
"... while all the technical discussion around how to fly a plane is truly interesting, what's really at issue here is corporate and institutional betrayal of trust. ..."
"... The corporate aspect is Boeing, obviously. The institutional aspect is FAA, which used to lead the world in trust when it came to life and death matters. ..."
"... But now, in what Bloomberg, even while trying to support FAA, has no choice but to report as a "stunning rebuff" to FAA's integrity, countries around the world are grounding this flawed plane. Germany, among others, has closed its airspace to the 737. ..."
"... "Should anyone be flying 737MAXes before the black box data has been evaluated?" ..."
"... Before, the civilian airliners were falling out of the sky because of an immature technology, that is because of the learning curve. Now that the technology involved is fully mature the airliners are falling out of the sky for profit taking. ..."
"... Is it really so hard to connect the secrecy about MCAS and why it was needed in the first place? The lawyers will have a ball of the decade with this: the defendant created a secret software solution to turn a Lego airplane into a real airplane, made the software dependent on a single sensor, and made it difficult to switch the software off. ..."
"... I cannot believe that Boeing shares dropped only 7.5%, this is a statement of how untouchable Boeing is and how protected it will be by the Corrupt. ..."
Mar 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Boeing, The FAA, And Why Two 737 MAX Planes Crashed psychohistorian , Mar 12, 2019 4:55:32 PM | link

On Sunday an Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed, killing all on board. Five month earlier an Indonesian Lion Air jet crashed near Jakarta. All crew and passengers died. Both airplanes were Boeing 737-8 MAX. Both incidents happened shortly after take off.

Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are now grounded about everywhere except in the United States. That this move follows only now is sad. After the first crash it was already obvious that the plane is not safe to fly.

The Boeing 737 and the Airbus 320 types are single aisle planes with some 150 seats. Both are bread and butter planes sold by the hundreds with a good profit. In 2010 Airbus decided to offer its A-320 with a New Engine Option (NEO) which uses less fuel. To counter the Airbus move Boeing had to follow up. The 737 would also get new engines for a more efficient flight and longer range. The new engines on the 737 MAX are bigger and needed to be placed a bit different than on the older version. That again changed the flight characteristics of the plane by giving it a nose up attitude.

The new flight characteristic of the 737 MAX would have require a retraining of the pilots. But Boeing's marketing people had told their customers all along that the 737 MAX would not require extensive new training. Instead of expensive simulator training for the new type experienced 737 pilots would only have to read some documentation about the changes between the old and the new versions.

To make that viable Boeing's engineers had to use a little trick. They added a 'maneuver characteristics augmentation system' (MCAS) that pitches the nose of the plane down if a sensor detects a too high angle of attack (AoA) that might lead to a stall. That made the flight characteristic of the new 737 version similar to the old one.

But the engineers screwed up.

The 737 MAX has two flight control computers. Each is connected to only one of the two angle of attack sensors. During a flight only one of two computer runs the MCAS control. If it detects a too high angle of attack it trims the horizontal stabilizer down for some 10 seconds. It then waits for 5 seconds and reads the sensor again. If the sensor continues to show a too high angle of attack it again trims the stabilizer to pitch the plane's nose done.

MCSA is independent of the autopilot. It is even active in manual flight. There is a procedure to deactivate it but it takes some time.

One of the angle of attack sensors on the Indonesian flight was faulty. Unfortunately it was the one connected to the computer that ran the MCAS on that flight. Shortly after take off the sensor signaled a too high angle of attack even as the plane was flying in a normal climb. The MCAS engaged and put the planes nose down. The pilots reacted by disabling the autopilot and pulling the control stick back. The MCAS engaged again pitching the plane further down. The pilots again pulled the stick. This happened some 12 times in a row before the plane crashed into the sea.

To implement a security relevant automatism that depends on only one sensor is extremely bad design. To have a flight control automatism engaged even when the pilot flies manually is also a bad choice. But the real criminality was that Boeing hid the feature.

Neither the airlines that bought the planes nor the pilots who flew it were told about MCAS. They did not know that it exists. They were not aware of an automatic system that controlled the stabilizer even when the autopilot was off. They had no idea how it could be deactivated.

Nine days after the Indonesian Lion Air Flight 610 ended in a deadly crash, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive.


bigger

The 737 MAX pilots were aghast. The APA pilot union sent a letter to its members:

"This is the first description you, as 737 pilots, have seen. It is not in the AA 737 Flight Manual Part 2, nor is there a description in the Boeing FCOM (flight crew operations manual)," says the letter from the pilots' union safety committee. "Awareness is the key with all safety issues."

The Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed went down in a similar flight profile as the Indonesian plane. It is highly likely that MCAS is the cause of both incidents. While the pilots of the Ethiopian plane were aware of the MCAS system they might have had too little time to turn it off. The flight recorders have been recovered and will tell the full story.

Boeing has sold nearly 5,000 of the 737 MAX. So far some 380 have been delivered. Most of these are now grounded. Some family members of people who died on the Indonesian flight are suing Boeing. Others will follow. But Boeing is not the only one who is at fault.

The FAA certifies all new planes and their documentation. I was for some time marginally involved in Airbus certification issues. It is an extremely detailed process that has to be followed by the letter. Hundreds of people are full time engaged for years to certify a modern jet. Every tiny screw and even the smallest design details of the hardware and software have to be documented and certified.

How or why did the FAA agree to accept the 737 MAX with the badly designed MCAS? How could the FAA allow that MCAS was left out of the documentation? What steps were taken after the Indonesian flight crashed into the sea?

Up to now the FAA was a highly regarded certification agency. Other countries followed its judgment and accepted the certifications the FAA issued. That most of the world now grounded the 737 MAX while it still flies in the States is a sign that this view is changing. The FAA's certifications of Boeing airplanes are now in doubt.

Today Boeing's share price dropped some 7.5%. I doubt that it is enough to reflect the liability issues at hand. Every airline that now had to ground its planes will ask for compensation. More than 330 people died and their families deserve redress. Orders for 737 MAX will be canceled as passengers will avoid that type.

Boeing will fix the MCAS problem by using more sensors or by otherwise changing the procedures. But the bigger issue for the U.S. aircraft industry might be the damage done to the FAA's reputation. If the FAA is internationally seen as a lobbying agency for the U.S. airline industry it will no longer be trusted and the industry will suffer from it. It will have to run future certification processes through a jungle of foreign agencies.

Congress should take up the FAA issue and ask why it failed.

Posted by b on March 12, 2019 at 04:39 PM | Permalink

Comments next page " @ b who wrote
"
But the engineers screwed up.
"

I call BS on this pointing of fingers at the wrong folk

Engineers get paid to build things that accountants influence. The West is a world in which the accountants have more sway than engineers.

It is all about the money b and to lead folks in some other direction is not like what I think of you.

The elite that own global private finance and everything else killed those people in the planes because they set the standards that the accountants follow and then force the engineers to operate within

The profit narrative is bad for humanity.


bj , Mar 12, 2019 4:57:15 PM | link

A whistleblower at Boeing would have been nice.
bevin , Mar 12, 2019 5:00:23 PM | link
"Congress should take up the FAA issue and ask why it failed."
If there had been any chance of that happening, the planes would probably still be flying and dead passengers alive.
This, if you are right and I suspect that you are, is symptomatic of an empire dying of corruption. It is no accident that both the new secretary of defence and the neo-con cult itself were born of Boeing. A fact memorialised in the UK where the Blairites rally in the Henry Jackson society.
Lochearn , Mar 12, 2019 5:00:42 PM | link
Last night I wrote on a previous thread:
Over the space of a few months 2 almost new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft have crashed. Rather than going to the expense of designing an entirely new fuselage and normal length landing gear for its larger and much more powerful 737 MAX engines Boeing stuck with the now ancient 737 fuselage design that sits only 17 inches from the ground – necessitating changes to the positioning of the engines on the wing, which together with the vast increase in power, created aerodynamic instability in the design that Boeing tried to correct with software, while not alerting pilots to the changes.
Through the 1980s and early 1990s Boeing executives had largely resisted pressure from Wall Street to cut staff numbers, move plant to non-union states and outsource. The 777 was the last real Boeing, though significant outsourcing did take place – but under the strict control and guidance of Boeing engineers. After the "reverse" takeover of MacDonnell Douglas in 1997 the MDD neoliberal culture swamped Boeing and its HQ was moved from the firm's home near Seattle to Chicago so executives could hobnob with speculators. Wall Street had taken down another giant.
David Park , Mar 12, 2019 5:01:36 PM | link
The story I have most interest in, at the moment, is the state of the power blackout in Venezuela and whether this was a cyber attack by the United States. If it was, it is, in my opinion, a weapon of mass destruction and a very major war crime. The story seems to be fading from the news so I'm hoping b. will be able to gather more information about it.

But I find every story by b, worthwhile!

Ghost Ship , Mar 12, 2019 5:04:07 PM | link
I don't know if this is true by my sister who was an engineer working on military jets said that she'd heard that because of various design requirements, the 737-MAX was inherently unstable but stability was provided by the fly-by-wire system. In military jets, this feature provides greater maneuverability and survivability but has no place on civilian aircraft as the outcome of a system failure would be catastrophic with the pilots being unable to do anything about it. Anyone heard anything similar?
james , Mar 12, 2019 5:09:31 PM | link
b - thanks for addressing this.. subservient canada is also flying them still..) canada is going the same way as the usa-faa - into a ditch long term... it is really sad for the people who have died and for the fact that as @1 psychohistorian notes - the decisions are being put in the hands of the wrong people...
Barbara Ann , Mar 12, 2019 5:11:56 PM | link
Excellent piece b.
karlof1 , Mar 12, 2019 5:13:53 PM | link
Gotta agree with psychohistorian @1, that the engineers aren't totally responsible. Deregulation pukes at FAA, bean counters at Boeing and their managers who approved it all are morally culpable. Airline executives aren't immune either, although many will likely plead ignorance.
mourning dove , Mar 12, 2019 5:17:18 PM | link
If the US were a sane country, a Congressional investigation would follow, but it's not, and Congress is going to be more concerned with Boeing's bottom line than in public safety or the integrity of the FAA. That's probably why the planes haven't been grounded in the US. Congress is much more likely to impede investigation and accountability.
dave , Mar 12, 2019 5:17:28 PM | link

the dreamliner is the plane of the future barack hussein obarmie


The Boeing Broken Dreams Al Jazeera Investigations

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvkEpstd9os

karlof1 , Mar 12, 2019 5:19:49 PM | link
David Park @5--

You'll want to read this !

Steven , Mar 12, 2019 5:26:50 PM | link
You omit important facts: the pilots know by heart how to quickly cut off electronic control of the stabilizers and fly manually. The pilots on the preceding lion air flight had had the same problem, and immediately solved it. The defective sensor should have been immediately replaced, and would have in the United States. On the next flight, the pilots (the copilot being quite unexperienced) spent 10 minutes not doing what they were trained to do in an emergency where the stabilizers are out of control: disable them.

When some flight crews get it right, but others don't, it's not a design flaw but a problem with the flight crews.

I can't agree with your conclusions.

Lochearn , Mar 12, 2019 5:30:48 PM | link
Through the history of Boeing senior executives lived in modest middle-class houses. They traveled on Boeing aircraft to get pilot's responses. But when Phil Condit (Wall Street's man) took over he immediately bought private jets and started living the lifestyle. The difference between productive capitalism and financial capitalism.
Tom Welsh , Mar 12, 2019 5:34:56 PM | link
"How or why did the FAA agree to accept the 737 MAX with the badly designed MCAS?"

Because it would be against the state religion to stop, or delay, a huge corporation earning even more money.

dave , Mar 12, 2019 5:36:39 PM | link
the broken dreams documentary above spells it out very clearly the documentary is from 2014.
it even has undercover folks in the boeing factory saying they would not fly on one.


if you fly you should watch that old al jazeera investigation.
the company does not pay tax and
the head of boeing paid himself 100s of millions of dollars

corporate manslaughter
could be

Zachary Smith , Mar 12, 2019 5:39:20 PM | link
But the bigger issue for the U.S. aircraft industry might be the damage done to the FAA's reputation.

I'd counter this by asking "what reputation?"

I've known for years how it took take a "smoking hole" for the FAA to get off the can and actually do something about a problem with an airplane or airline. But things evolve, and here we have TWO such smoking holes and the FAA still allows it to fly. I'm not trying to pick on the current FAA leader, for the man is utterly typical of the people who are allowed to gain his position. From his wiki:

But the bigger issue for the U.S. aircraft industry might be the damage done to the FAA's reputation.

Elwell joined Airlines for America (A4A) in 2013[3] where he was the Senior Vice President for Safety, Security, and Operations. Elwell left this role in 2015.

(Skipping to the A4A wiki:) Airlines for America
Officially, the A4A has announced five "core elements" of a national airline policy include reducing taxes on the industry, reducing regulation , increased access to foreign markets, making the industry more attractive for investors , and improving the air traffic control system.

I suspect that grounding the 737-MAX would contradict the goal of "making the industry more attractive for investors".

More on the FAA's Tombstone Mentality

About an hour ago I sent out an all-points email suggesting my family members avoid boarding a 737 MAX until the facts are better known and solutions are in place. The FAA may not care about them taking risks, but I sure do.

Tom Welsh , Mar 12, 2019 5:39:22 PM | link
Boeing has a get-out-of-jail-free card.

"Boeing is among the largest global aircraft manufacturers; it is the fifth-largest defense contractor in the world based on 2017 revenue, and is the largest exporter in the United States by dollar value".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing

Jen , Mar 12, 2019 5:39:56 PM | link
I agree with Psychohistorian @ 1 in less forthright terms: the engineers did not "screw up". On the contrary they most likely did what they could with the money and the time deadline they were given to carry out what essentially was a patch-up job that would make Boeing look good, save money and maintain its stock in sharemarkets.

Probably the entire process, in which the engineers played a small part - and that part in which they had no input into whoever was making the decisions - was a disaster from start to finish. The engineers should have been consulted at an early stage in the re-design of the aircraft's flight and safety features. Only when the appropriate re-design has been tested, changed where necessary and given the thumbs-up by relevant pilots' unions and other organisations with regard to passenger safety can the marketing department go ahead and advise airlines who buy the redesigned planes what training their pilots need.

That the marketing department has more say than the engineers who design and test the hardware and the software in passenger jets tells us a great deal about the Potemkin-style workplace culture that prevails in Boeing and similar large US corporations. The surface sheen is more important than the substance. The marketing brochures and manuals are no different from mainstream news media in the level of BS they spew.

One can think of other organisations where the administration has more power in the corporate decision-making process and eats up more of the corporate budget while the people who do the actual work are increasingly ignored in boardrooms and their share of the budget correspondingly decreases. Hospitals and schools come to mind.

Lochearn , Mar 12, 2019 5:45:36 PM | link
@ 19

Boeing got taken over Wall Street, which means cheapest solution to anything. Engineers are stuck with what they are given. What part of that do you still not understand.

viking3 , Mar 12, 2019 5:55:18 PM | link
A mitigating factor to the flightcrew is the take-off to 10,000ft is the busiest time. There is enough going on without having to deal with runaway stab. This is especially true for new crew to a new aircraft. Rode in many cockpits before 9.11.01 when company employees were allowed and the standing rule was no conversations below 10,000 and keep you eyes open for traffic. I also include my Maintenance brethren in that equation. Spent 30 years as a Avionics Tech. on both military and commercial aircraft so I am not really fond of giving flightcrew a break but I might this time.
karlof1 , Mar 12, 2019 5:59:13 PM | link
Jen @19--

Dilbert , the comic strip , from today and yesterday nails the marketing angle. And this isn't the first time Scott Adams has targeted marketers.

ancientarcher , Mar 12, 2019 5:59:44 PM | link
Good point @4 Lochearn

Why is Boeing suffering from this design problem and not A320neo is that 737's wings are much lower to the ground than the A320. Unfortunately, more fuel-efficient engines require a larger air inlet, so the newer generation engines are much larger than the previously installed V2500 or CFM56 (anyone can verify that - the older engines are much, much smaller than the newer ones).

When Airbus introduced the Pratt & Whitney GTF on its A320s (calling it the neo - new engine option), it led to an increase (high single digits %) increase in fuel efficiency. Boeing had to respond to that. If they wanted to increase the height of the wings of the 737 from the ground, they would have had to redesign the fuselage which would have cost billions (and which they should have done, in hindsight). Instead, they listened to the investors and the bean counters as you have called them here and they jiggled the position of the wings a bit and introduced the new automatic stabiliser.

The people at Boeing are good or at least the engineers are. Imagine how many times this problem would have been brought up by someone for him/her to be shut down. It's not like they were not aware of the issue, but they were unwilling to let their bottom line suffer. Instead, they were okay with carrying the risk of killing hundreds of people.

That is what boggles my mind!

dh-mtl , Mar 12, 2019 6:00:43 PM | link
Lochearn | Mar 12, 2019 5:00:42 PM | 4;
Posted by: Ghost Ship | Mar 12, 2019 5:04:07 PM | 6

Agree with both of your comments. It looks like the 55 year old 737 air-frame design, which is very low to the ground when compared to more modern designs, is incompatible with the bigger engines required for fuel efficiency.

Being very low to the ground, Boeing was forced to put the engines out in front, which upset the airplane's balance, making the plane essentially unstable. To counter the instability they added the 'MCAS?' control system.

This solution violates a fundamental tenant of design for safety-critical systems. The tenant of 'fail-safe'. If something goes wrong the system is supposed to fail in a manner that preserves safety. For the 737 Max, when the this stability control system fails, the plane is fundamentally unstable. For this system it is not 'fail-safe'. It is 'fail-crash'.

Why would Boeing do this? Because Bombardier was building a clean sheet design, that would eat the 737's lunch. Boeing (and Airbus) were desperate to do something quick to minimize the 20% fuel burn advantage of the C-series. The more modern Airbus 320 air frame allowed it to re-engine their plane. Boeing's did not. But Boeing went ahead anyway and built an fundamentally unstable airplane, because the alternative was to walk away from their most important market.

To me, this looks like it could be catastrophic for Boeing. It reminds me of G.M.'s 'Corvair' moment (Unsafe at any speed), from the 1960s.

Jen , Mar 12, 2019 6:02:28 PM | link
Steven @ 13: The Indonesian Lion Air jet still crashed with all onboard dying, even after the pilots did as you said. B's post explains why: the MCAS system has to be deactivated separately as it is still active when autopilot is off and the pilots are flying manually. The Indonesian pilots did not have the time to figure out and realise that something else was controlling the plane's flight, much less deactivate what is effectively a second autopiloting system.
james , Mar 12, 2019 6:09:41 PM | link
how is this for reassuring? press release from boeing today... this info is from someone else, and i haven't verified it..

"For the past several months and in the aftermath of Lion Air Flight 610, Boeing has been developing a flight control software enhancement for the 737 MAX, designed to make an already safe aircraft even safer."

witters , Mar 12, 2019 6:10:37 PM | link
"Boeing got taken over Wall Street, which means cheapest solution to anything. Engineers are stuck with what they are given. What part of that do you still not understand."

Why they colluded with and indeed implemented what they knew to be - and now proven to be - a mass killing system. What do you not understand here?

james , Mar 12, 2019 6:11:02 PM | link
very un- assuring.. https://gizmodo.com/boeing-promises-to-release-software-update-for-737-max-1833224836
Whozhear , Mar 12, 2019 6:15:58 PM | link
Great article B.

There is much more behind the covering up of this "design flaw" from the start. The concept that, in this day and age, sensors used in the aviation field and close to brand new are defective is a stretch of the imagination. The current effort by Boeing to do a software upgrade, I suspect, is cover for something more damaging.

How easy is it these days to access the MAX's operation and flight control computers? Can it be done via WI-fi or Bluetooth from the airfield? We are well aware that in the newer heavies Seattle can take basic control via satellite.

Whozhear , Mar 12, 2019 6:19:12 PM | link
@ 5

You may also find this interesting........ https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/4837334.html

Steven , Mar 12, 2019 6:24:25 PM | link
@jen @james

You clowns don't understand what you're telling me I'm "getting wrong." MCAS ISN'T part of the autopilot, and I never said it was.

737 pilots have to be able to do about 10 procedures in their sleep. One is when the electrical control of the horizontal stabilizers doesn't work; Aa few steps but basically pull a breaker and revert to manual control only, no power assist.

The crew on the previous flight did this and flew on with zero problem.

It's outrageous that lionair didn't find out why emergency procedures had had to be used and fix them before they let the airplane fly again.

If airlines do not adhere to Minimal safety standards, it's not Boeing's fault if it's planes crash.

Jonathan , Mar 12, 2019 6:35:04 PM | link
@35 Steven,

Is Boeing paying you to miss this part:

"This is the first description you, as 737 pilots, have seen. It is not in the AA 737 Flight Manual Part 2, nor is there a description in the Boeing FCOM (flight crew operations manual)," says the letter from the pilots' union safety committee. "Awareness is the key with all safety issues."
Kadath , Mar 12, 2019 6:41:49 PM | link
Well it's good to know that Canada is still allowing this death trap to fly, I couldn't bare the thought that Boeing might lose more stock value merely because of a defective product that kills! Seriously though, the silence from the Canadian media on this subject is deafening. CBC news didn't even cover the banning of these planes in the rest of the world until an hour ago and even then they seemed more concerned about the impact on Boeing then the you know 300 people killed because of this flawed plane. Eventually (before Friday) I think Canada will be forced to ground it's fleet of 737-8s. With the current corruption scandal, Trudeau is too weak right now to stand up in Question period and claim the 737-8s are safe to fly. Even Trump is getting in on the action and blaming Boeing for the accidents. FAA may end up being the biggest loser from this situations with a huge hit to its' trustworthiness, I remember when the FAA would issue emergency maintenance/inspection orders after any crash suspected to be caused by maintenance issues and ground entire fleets of aircraft if two planes crashed within 2 years. You know, the FAAs behaviour now reminds me of the old Soviet joke, "our planes never crash, their just indefinitely delayed"
Meshpal , Mar 12, 2019 6:46:17 PM | link
These people did not die they were murdered. Long ago, I had worked with Boeing on a computer project and I had the highest respect for the company and engineers. Facts and reality were paramount for Boeing. Things started a slow downhill slope when that TWA flight that was accidentally shot down by a missile. I noticed how uncomfortable the engineers were to talk about it – just a short comment that the fuel tank was not the cause. When politics and management go away from reality and facts, it is just a matter of time. But for the life of me I do not understand how Boeing can come to this:

Fault 1: As B says, it should never have been designed like this.
Fault 2: Don't tell the pilots about MCSA.
Fault 3: Real time flight tracking altitude data show wild swings – red light ignored. No need to wait for a plane to crash.
Fault 4: Lion Air Flight 610 crash showed that this MCSA system is at fault and nothing much was done. The murder of 189 people.
Fault 5: Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 murdering an additional 157 people.
Fault 6: FAA says everything is ok.

Especially the Ethiopian Flight 409 crash should never have happened. This issue became well known to engineers and flight crews world wide after Lion Air. A good question is: was the disable MCSA switch now a memory item or a check list item for the flight crew? Or did Boeing want to wait for the final report of Lion Air?

I noticed that the Ethiopian pilot was not western, but looks like from Indian decent. I would not doubt his abilities, but rather say that he would follow the rules more than a western pilot. Western pilots would network and study this thing on their own and would not wait for Boeing. They would have penciled this into their flight deck routine - just to be safe.

JohnT , Mar 12, 2019 6:51:38 PM | link
David Park #5

I read this yesterday regarding the Venezuela power outages. Possible Stuxnet infestation ala Iran 2010?

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/03/11/trump-regime-electricity-war-in-venezuela-more-serious-than-first-believed.html

Alpi57 , Mar 12, 2019 6:54:45 PM | link
One can always find a benefit in the sanctions, albeit coincidental. Iran avoided a lot of damage from Boeing. They had ordered 140 of 737's. All got canceled. Congratulations.
ancientarcher , Mar 12, 2019 6:59:53 PM | link
@40 Alpi57
Iran always has the option of buying the Irkut MC-21 which in my opinion is the best narrowbody plane that anyone can buy now. Fully redesigned body with significantly higher composite percentage and comes with the best engine in the world for narrowbodies - the P&W GTF. And Russia will be happy.

What's not to like

Likklemore , Mar 12, 2019 7:07:19 PM | link
Before you guys and gals bash b, hop over to Zerohedge citing Dallas Morning News revealing FAA database Pilots on Boeing 737Max complained for months...Manual inadequate ...criminally insufficient .just for starters.
karlof1 , Mar 12, 2019 7:10:30 PM | link
james @32--

That Canada didn't is crazy :

"In a remarkable rebuke, nations from the U.K. to Australia have rejected public reassurances from the FAA and grounded Boeing's 737 Max."

Hoarsewhisperer , Mar 12, 2019 7:28:54 PM | link
I was a big fan of the 6-part BBC doco series Black Box from the 1990s. The main conclusion drawn was that the industry is way too fond of blaming as many mishaps as possible on Pilot Error, and way too slow to react to telltale signs that a particular aircraft model might have a fatal flaw. There was a tendency to ignore FAA edicts for inspection of a suspected design weakness. Two cases that come to mind were incorrectly locked DC 9 cargo doors ripping off with a big chunk of the plane plus half a dozen occupied seats, and a tendency of 727s to nose-dive into the "surface" at Mach 0.99.

I'll be very surprised if any part of b's analysis, conclusions and predictions turns out to incorrect.

World 3 - USA 0 , Mar 12, 2019 7:31:57 PM | link
Lights in Venezuela on. US Boeing stocks down. More evidence for the Lockheed f-16 downing. Reports it was a dogfight between an old MiG-21 (with modernised radar and missiles) that brought the modern US Lockheed f-16 down and maybe not from a launch of MiGs modern bvr missile.

Things are looking up.

Zachary Smith , Mar 12, 2019 7:33:32 PM | link
@ ancientarcher @41

The problem with a "new" airplane is the Western Content. Over a certain percentage, the US basically controls the situation. Another issue is servicing the things. If an airplane is sitting in Podunk Airport with a broken widget, the airline wants it fixed right now! Some planes like the 737 have been around for decades and there are probably parts for it - even at Podunk. A new plane will probably be grounded until a new part is transported in - a process which will take many hours even in the best of circumstances. Advantage to the 737 and other 'legacy' airplanes.

Just saw an interesting headline at Reuters - I'd suppose it is some friendly advice from Wall Street disguised as "news".

Breakingviews - Boeing needs to think faster than its watchdog

Change "watchdog" to "lapdog" and that would be about right. It seems to me a sensible proposal, for if Boeing must take a beating out of this, the company ought to at least adopt a pose of "really caring" and "doing the right thing". Try for the brownie points.

psychohistorian , Mar 12, 2019 7:40:55 PM | link
@ Zachary Smith who wrote
"
It seems to me a sensible proposal, for if Boeing must take a beating out of this, the company ought to at least adopt a pose of "really caring" and "doing the right thing".
"

China is coming to teach the West morals which are currently ranked below profit and ongoing private control of global finance

aspnaz , Mar 12, 2019 7:54:05 PM | link
@35 Steven

The Ethiopian airlines flight was an international flight, so the pilots will have been certified to international standards. I don't know the details of international standards for type training, but you are basically saying that the fault is not with Boeing, it is with the type training of international pilot crews. Can you elaborate and does this mean that we are equally in danger regardless of the aircraft model and that it is just coincidence that both these crew failures were on 737 Max models?

EV , Mar 12, 2019 8:07:08 PM | link
The evidences and recognizably legitimate information (there is always a lot of through-the-hat blather-yap from internet-"engineers") suggests thrust angle, not structure or CG destabilization. "larger" engines are not necessarily significantly heavier, but, today, and if more efficient, will be larger diameter for more fan, for more thrust (which in jet and fan engines is more power). Larger diameter nacelles will require modification of placement, higher, lower, larger weight will require modification of placement, forward, backward. Clearance restrictions may require modification of engine thrust-line angle, relative to fuselage, and fuselage-fit control surface lines (which include flight surfaces). Thrust changes with thrust changes, which means thrust-angle change will change thrust-effect at differing thrust amounts: Take-off and climb thrusts are near maximums, wherefore angular component will be near max then (cruise maximums are less, or less effective, or radical, for altitude air thinning).

What this means is that if larger engines on a 737 MAX, for larger bulk are slightly angled for clearance,the angling may have little effect except in specific instances and attitudes, such as take-off and climb. It sounds as if Boeing angled thrust slightly for engine fitting, and assumed a computer control fix could handle the off-line thrust component effect during the short duration times it was sufficient to effect flight characteristics, which, if the thrust-angling was up, would add a nose-up tail-down thrust rotation component, greater at greater power. to compensate which the software would add nose-down control surface counteraction, as incident described.

What it sounds like the pilot in the first, non-crash, case most likely did, that saved the aircraft, was not 'disable' an automatic system he had no information about, for it being not intended for disablement, but was reduce power, reducing the off-line thrust effect, so the auto system backed off. In the other incidents, especially if the airports were get-em-high-fast airports (to 'leave' the noise at the airport) the pilots would incline to not reduce power, and would be more likely to get into a war with the too automated auto-system, the way Tesla drivers can do with their over-automated systems.

All auto-control "AI" systems need human-override options built in, so that human-robot stand-offs to impact cannot occur. The real culprits in stand-off accident situations are the techie-guppies who think robotic control can always do everything better, and fail to think of the situation where the "right" response is wrong.

Jen , Mar 12, 2019 8:19:36 PM | link
Steven @ 35:

Lion Air's engineers had previously identified and tried to fix issues with the jet that crashed in October 2018.

The day before the jet took off from Jakarta airport and crashed, killing all 189 onboard, one of its Angle of Attack sensors had been replaced by engineers in Denpasar. Unfortunately the source I checked (see link below) doesn't say if this replacement AoA sensor was the one linked to the computer running the MCAS on the flight.

https://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=20181029-0

fast freddy , Mar 12, 2019 8:26:15 PM | link
Bean Counters:

Delta once initiated a fuel saving measure whereby aircraft were insufficiently topped off with fuel to prevent pilots from wasting fuel. Once this information began to leak, the measure was ended.

psychohistorian , Mar 12, 2019 8:40:43 PM | link
@ fast freddy with the Bean Counters example

Thanks for Bean Counters! I so much wanted to use Bean Counters in my rant but thought I should stick to their standard appellation....

Bean Counters need to be taken seriously because they are not going to go away in any form of social organization and represent where the rubber meets the road when it comes to social decision making/risk management

Bean Counters (along with their bosses) need to be required to place morals as a higher value than profit and forced to operate with maximum public transparency and input; then, all will be good.

Pnyx , Mar 12, 2019 8:41:19 PM | link
Thank you for the accurate information. The basic problem seems to be that the low-consumption engines protrude too far. A well-designed, reliable aircraft becomes a faulty design. To try to solve this using software is a precarious approach. The FAA should have rejected this in principle. But because to design an aircraft completely from scratch naturally takes longer and would have given the competitor Airbus time to take over the to much market share, this 'solution' was accepted. This type of corruption will cost the u.s. a lot.

But first let's wait for Tronald's tweet, which will certainly be aired by tomorrow at the latest, in which he states that the 737 Max is a great, great aircraft - if not the best ever...

Kiza , Mar 12, 2019 8:49:51 PM | link
There is no doubt that both Boeing and FAA are to blame, but we pay the Government to ensure safety. Businesses have always chased profit, some more ruthlessly than others. But when the real corruption sets in then the Government regulator works for the businesses at the expense of the public . Regarding FAA reputation, there was a time when US was the leader in aviation, military as well as commercial. This means that the best experts were in US and thus FAA had the best and the most knowledgeable people. It is similar with FDA, all countries in the World used to follow the touchstone drug approvals by FDA. Now the "Federal" in any US acronym has become a synonym for "Corruption" (FBI anyone?).

The expertise does not matter any more, only greasing of the hands does. In the old times, anyone from FAA whose signature was on this planes approval to fly would get a life sentence in jail. But 330 people dead is less than a days worth of US global victims - business as usual for US. It is just that these victims are getting much more publicity than the silent victims. We will be lucky if anyone influential from FAA even resigns let alone goes to jail. There will be many more dead before the World understands this new reality.

Would you fly on any Boeing plane designed or delivered after the company was taken over by the Wall Street wizards in the 90s?

Peter AU 1 , Mar 12, 2019 8:53:28 PM | link

Re the engineers - they agreed to build an out of balance aircraft (thrust vs weight and drag) and to try and rectify this with software. What we will do for money. Both the bean counters and engineers are at fault, perhaps the beancounters and shiney butts more so as they did not inform buyers and pilots of the faults.
Hoarsewhisperer , Mar 12, 2019 8:56:22 PM | link
Posted by: fast freddy | Mar 12, 2019 8:26:15 PM | 52
(Fuel 'economy')

QANTAS once decreed that pilots rely on brakes and treat reverse thrust as emergency-only procedure, until a 747 skidded off the end of a runway with the nose-wheel inside the cabin and bruised engines = lots of down-time + very large repair bill.

Clueless Joe , Mar 12, 2019 8:58:46 PM | link
Fast Freddy:

Not just Delta; Ryanair did the same, at least until there was a major storm in Spain (Valencia, I think) and all flights had to be rerouted to other airports. That was fine, with dozens of planes flying around waiting for a window to land, until the handful of Ryanair planes that had been rerouted to Madrid and other places called for emergency landings, because they didn't have enough fuel to fly for even 30 minutes longer than planned flights.

I'm still amazed that the EU regulators and EU fucking commission didn't downright dismantle such a bloody greedy and downright criminal company. That they basically did nothing is proof enough, imho, of the insane level of capitalism-worship and of corruption going on in Brussels (of course it's even worse in Washington DC, but that's basically a given).

bevin , Mar 12, 2019 9:19:41 PM | link
the toronto star is carrying this story
Headline:
"Ottawa exempts Boeing 737 Max jets from standards meant to minimize passenger injuries"

"Air Canada and WestJet are flying the Boeing 737 Max aircraft exempt from regulatory standards meant to limit passenger injuries in the event of an accident, the Star has learned."

What does it mean?

Pft , Mar 12, 2019 9:51:59 PM | link
B is right. This is a criminal act of deception and fraud thats cost hundreds their lives. Boeing executives responsible should be prosecuted and then jailed.

Instead the safety agency regulating them will cover it up, backed by the criminal congress.

We see similar crimes against humanity being committed in many other areas. FDA, CDC, EPA, FCC , USDA, etc covering up for Big Agra, Big Pharma, Big Telecom with dangerous products like vaccines, glyphosate,4G/5G, GMO foods, gene edited livestock, etc. Safety standards are lax and inadequate, safety testing is minimal and in some cases fraudulent or completely lacking. Defects and adverse effects are covered up. A revolving door between these agencies and the industry they cover presents significant conflict of interest. These industries finance congressional members campaigns. Public safety is sacrificed for the greater good (profits and personal gain). Whistleblowers are muzzled, attacked or ridiculed as the MSM are their lap dogs.

That said, the airline industry has had a remarkable safety record over the last 30 years if you can overlook their failure to have adequate locks on cockpit doors in 2001. However, the lack of competition and increasing corruption and continuing moral decay we see in society , government and industry has obviously taken its toll on the industry. This is inexcusable. Heads should roll (dont hold your breath).

El Cid , Mar 12, 2019 9:57:08 PM | link
Congress flies on these aircraft to and fro from Washington to their districts. It is to their interests to have these Boeing 737 permanently grounded.
ben , Mar 12, 2019 10:13:18 PM | link
psycho @1 said;"The West is a world in which the accountants have more sway than engineers."

Case closed, and anyone who thinks senior execs should be prosecuted and jailed are right.

BUT, never would happen in today's pro-corporate U$A mentality..

Profits uber alles!!

Kadath , Mar 12, 2019 10:23:36 PM | link
Re: 59 Bevin, "Ottawa exempts Boeing 737 Max jets from standards meant to minimize passenger injuries"

- what this means is that Washington called Ottawa and ordered little Justin that he had to allow the 737 8's to fly and Justin said yes sir! However, someone at the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, told Justin that the threat these plane pose to travellers was so obvious that they couldn't just ignore it and that they would instead have to issue a waiver to show that they have done due diligence - apparently this person or someone else within the department then called the Star in order to leak the information and embarrass Justin into reversing his decision. I imagine tomorrow at 4:00pm during the question hour, Justin will get raked through the coals over his - Justin's whole defense of his actions during the Lavin scandal has been "I needed to protect Canadian jobs", I imagine the NDP or Conservatives will then retort something along the lines of "you'll break the law to protect Jobs, why won't you obey the law to protect Canadian lives!", I should point out that 8 Canadians were killed in the most recent crash in Ethiopia

paul , Mar 12, 2019 10:28:00 PM | link
Steven @ 35: watch this

from 2014: 32min in john woods aerospace engineer whistle blower https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvkEpstd9os

acementhead , Mar 12, 2019 10:39:09 PM | link
Steven is correct. Totally correct. I suspect that he is an airline pilot, as am I. Everybody else is wrong at least in part and most between 50% and 100%(The description of the cause of the QANTAS hull loss).

Pilots MUST know all about aircraft systems operation. It is crazy for Boeing to have functions not in the AFM.

The system in question is not operative with autopilot engaged. In manual flight if at any time one gets an uncommanded stab trim movement one should immediately disable electrical trim(One switch, half a second, no "procedure" required. In manual flight if the trim wheel moves and you hadn't touched the trim switches you have uncommanded trim. Immediately disable electrical trim.

There is procedure for reestablishment of electrical trim, that does take time. The defeat of the runaway trim does not take time. B737 has provision for manual trim(but it's very slow.

Bob , Mar 12, 2019 10:47:40 PM | link
Also a very interesting read about the JT610 Flight https://www.satcom.guru/2018/11/first-look-at-jt610-flight-data.html
VietnamVet , Mar 12, 2019 10:47:49 PM | link
I grew up reading Boeing's weekly employee newspaper. Times have changed too much since then. Moving the headquarters from Seattle to Chicago and a second 787 assembly line in South Carolina to bust their unions are proof that Boeing is a multinational corporation superior to national governments. The company is the Empire's armorer for profit. It is criminal to design an unstable passenger airplane that must be controlled by fly by wire sensors and computers to stay in the air. The problem is the aircraft industry duopoly and deregulation. Airbus has lost at least three aircraft to problems with the pilot computer interface. I was shocked when NBC put this first last night. I though it would be silenced. I blame Trump Derangement Syndrome. His trade wars and dissing have ticked off the world. When China grounded the 737 Max 8 everybody followed to show what they really think about the North American Empire. This could be devastating to the last manufacturing industry left in the USA.
Deal , Mar 12, 2019 10:58:29 PM | link
Boeing in my view took a cynical decision. That is, there would only be a few crashes within a set period. Thus the insurance companies would pick up the tab for their profits. However the loss of two planes so close together could destroy the company. The aforesaid insurance companies will not pay a single dime if they can stick corporate murder charges onto Boeing.

This smells of the Ford Pinto scandal where Ford knew that there was a problem with the fuel system if the car was rear-ended ( the vehicle burst into flames ) but it was cheaper to pay the compensation than fix the problem.

Kalen , Mar 13, 2019 12:25:40 AM | link
B is missing the point that fitting new engines caused airplane to take off close to stalling horizontal speeds and angles at very low altitude and more steeply ascending to flight altitude and that has left little time for pilots to react. That is very dangerous as much weaker tail wind may confuse pilots and sensors. To remedy that without recertification AI software was installed to react faster and overriding actions of pilot who was assumed not be aware of situation at the moment he had to immediately react at the latest.

Lack of sensor redundancy is also criminal as determination of sensor malfunction is critical for pilot. That is AI application correcting "human" physical mental deficiencies and that is deadly trap.

If it goes to court, interesting case will be, whose error was that as MCAS system acted correctly against pilot based on faulty sensor causing pilot to make mistake recovering from correct but suicidal software actions.

People must be warned of cultish trust in technology and AI which is ultimate guilty party together with greed that killed those people.

Pft , Mar 13, 2019 1:01:16 AM | link
Frances@70

There are unlimited dollars for any intervention they choose, publicly allocated or not. There is a reason 21 trillion in pentagon spending is unaccounted for. This does not count dark money from illicit means used to fund covert operations.

The fact its public just means Trump wants congress to sanction it, which they will. Seized Venezuela assets will serve as collateral for future reimbursement.

Grieved , Mar 13, 2019 1:02:08 AM | link
@65 acementhead - "It is crazy for Boeing to have functions not in the AFM"

No, it's criminal. And while all the technical discussion around how to fly a plane is truly interesting, what's really at issue here is corporate and institutional betrayal of trust.

The corporate aspect is Boeing, obviously. The institutional aspect is FAA, which used to lead the world in trust when it came to life and death matters.

But now, in what Bloomberg, even while trying to support FAA, has no choice but to report as a "stunning rebuff" to FAA's integrity, countries around the world are grounding this flawed plane. Germany, among others, has closed its airspace to the 737.

This situation has only a little to do with how to fly a plane. It has vastly more to do with the face of capitalism we see leering at us as our families live their last few moments, on the way to the ground. It has to do with how the corporate spin departments will attempt to cover up and evade responsibility for these crimes.

And it has to do with how the global consumer market will start to book its flights based not on price or time or seat location but on make of plane.

And despite your claim that "Everybody else is wrong at least in part..." , I doubt very much that most of the commenters here are wrong in their appreciation of the situation.

snake , Mar 13, 2019 1:07:41 AM | link
@68 No Deal

I don't think Boeing made a decision, they had little choice (stockholders were first, the jobs were essential to the politicians, and market share would become competitive if Boeing dropped out), it was the pressure of the system that charted their course.

Capitalism is about competition in a just, fairly well managed government regulated environment. In order for capitalism not to over step the bounds of competitive capitalism; government must remain present, to prevent foul play and to deny all hints of monopoly power...

Capitalism without an honest government becomes organized crime or, worse, it degenerates to allow private enterprise and special interest to dictate how the rule making and military arms of government should be used, against domestic and foreign competition. . Economic Zionism is what I call this last degenerative stage.

Defensively EZ teaches the winner to completely and totally destroy the infrastructure, the resources and the people (including competitive personnel with the brains to develop competition) of those who refuse to conform or those who insist on competing; offensively , EZ teaches the winner to take all and to take-over, own and keep the goodies taken from those destroyed, and in the matter of profit making and wealth keeping EZ teaches only winners are allowed to produce-and -profit everyone else is to be made to feed the monopoly that eliminated competition produced. The residual of eliminated, decimated competitive opposition = monopoly power

It is the king of the mountain monopoly that produces the wealth and power and feeds the corruption that makes the rich richer.

I think this case makes clear, privatization of government responsibility nearly always turns sour . The Government should take over and keep the operation of all of the Airlines strictly in government hands (privatization is proven to be problematic). When I grew up all of the airlines were so tightly regulated they were part of the government; the airlines were investors and operators following government rules and regulations. pricing was based on point to point fixed in price and terms (and the same for all airlines) and that was a time when aircraft design was not so accurate, meals were served and jets were nearly not existent but still there were very few accidents. Same for the Trucking Industry and the railroad.. Why should roads be government obligations, but rail, trucks and planes be privately owned?

I am not a communist or a socialist, I just know that private influence will always find a way to wrongly influence public sector employees when private interest wants something from government.

V , Mar 13, 2019 1:43:43 AM | link
VietnamVet | Mar 12, 2019 10:47:49 PM | 67

Agreed!

For a number issues/reasons, I quit flying in 2007, vowing never to set foot in an aircraft again. Trains or ships, okay. So far so good; the 737 Max just firms my rsolve...

Circe , Mar 13, 2019 2:17:54 AM | link
The aircraft did not undergo piece by piece certification or type certification . It underwent supplemental type certification that shortens the investigative process.

max 8 Certification

This is a potential disaster for Boeing. The stock is falling and it'll go into free fall if decision is made to ground this aircraft. FAA will also face a legal tsunami. If this is the reason they didn't ground the planes yet; it's going to look really damning when the find themselves in court later.

Hoarsewhisperer , Mar 13, 2019 2:21:34 AM | link
This is shaping up to be unnecessarily messy for the industry. Yesterday's Oz edition of PBS Newshour went over most of the topics touched on in b's posting but stopped short of finger-pointing although it insinuated that Boeing had blundered. Today's edition posed a question I was going to pose here...

"Should anyone be flying 737MAXes before the black box data has been evaluated?"

The answer, delivered by a female ex-Inspector General (of precisely what I didn't hear) is "No. Absolutely not!"

james , Mar 13, 2019 2:39:06 AM | link
@35 steven... i will take that as a compliment, referring to me as a clown.. i have high regard for clowns, although i don't think there is anything funny about the topic at hand.. innocent people dying and it being based on a corporation that might be negligent in it's responsibility to it's passengers, is something we will have to wait and find out about.. i am definitely not thinking it is pilot error here, as you suggest.. i saw what the canadian airpilot association said - essentially they don't believe Canada should be flying them either, as i read it..

@43 karlof1.. as i pointed out in the link @7 - the fact canada allows them to continue to be flown makes no sense to me..poor judgment call is what it looks like to me.. the canuck gov't and etc are living in the shadows of what b has described about the FAA.. a lot of credibility is on the line here as i see it..

i apologize for not reading all the comments, as i was out most of the day and just got back..

acementhead , Mar 13, 2019 2:48:25 AM | link

Kalen said

"...fitting new engines caused airplane to take off close to stalling horizontal speeds and angles at very low altitude and more steeply ascending to flight altitude and that has left little time for pilots to react. That is very dangerous as much weaker tail wind may confuse pilots and sensors. ..."

This is absolute garbage. Nothing but a "word salad" it has nothing to do with reality.

The Ethiopian crash is due to a useless pilot. A different crew, on the same plane, the day before had the same problem. They handled it correctly, which is EASY, and completed the day's flying without problem. Third world airlines have HUGE numbers of absolutely incompetent pilots.

Anyone interested in the operational aspects of this should go to an aviation site. PPRUNE has some good discussion of this event. There are a few idiots posting but very few. Most people there are very knowledgeable. I had a look at Airliners.net mostly rubbish.

Peter AU 1 , Mar 13, 2019 3:16:03 AM | link
Kalen 69
Installing the new engines changed the angle of thrust. In a balanced aircraft, engine thrust is pushing centrally on wight and drag.
If the thrust is below center of weight, it will nose up while accelerating. If thrust is below center of drag, the aircraft will be trying to nose up while cruising.

The original aircraft was most likely balanced, with thrust centered to weight and drag. Mounting new engines lower means the aircraft will tend to nose up when accelerating, and nose up during cruise. Relying on sensors and software to keep an unstable aircraft stable is not a good thing. To not notify pilots of this problem is worse than not a good thing.

psychohistorian , Mar 13, 2019 3:24:41 AM | link
@ acementhead with insistence that the pilot was at error.

Without the black box data you are sticking your **ck out a long way. I find it interesting that in both your comments you are insistent that the pilot was the problem. You wrote in your first comment
"
Pilots MUST know all about aircraft systems operation. It is crazy for Boeing to have functions not in the AFM.
"
The 2nd sentence is your only criticism of Boeing but then you spend the rest of the comment describing what the pilot should have done.....before black box data says what happened.

Kiza , Mar 13, 2019 3:45:44 AM | link
When a relative asked me recently why did the new Ethiopian plane crash, I generated a sound-bite like explanation. Before, the civilian airliners were falling out of the sky because of an immature technology, that is because of the learning curve. Now that the technology involved is fully mature the airliners are falling out of the sky for profit taking.

The scariest thing is that 737MAX model was a botched Boeing reaction to the market change towards budget flight. If the plane manufacturer and the approval authority were prepared to cut corners so badly to remain "market competitive", one can only imagine the compromises that budget airlines are making to sell cheap whilst increasing profits. Some airlines must be treating planes worst than buses are treated by the bus companies.

US citizens entrust their wallets to the private bank, The Federal=Corrupt Reserve, which prints money and gives it to the most exceptional among the exceptional (did you think that there was no hierarchy within the exceptionality?). We entrust our heads to the Federal=Corrupt Aviation Administration whose bureaucrats work for the porky revolving door consulting jobs that come after a stint in the Corrupt.

Kiza , Mar 13, 2019 4:01:48 AM | link
@Peter AU 1

As Aussies would say: using software to solve a hardware problem is like putting lipstick on a pig. More than 300 people dead are a terrible testament to this wisdom.

Yet, it is fascinating that you are blaming the engineers and some others are asking in the comments for whistleblowers in Boeing and FAA.

Well, if I were an engineer at Boeing I would probably have resigned if asked to do this design monstrosity of putting unfitting engines on a differently designed plane - creating a Lego airplane, but I never had a home mortgage over my head. Regarding whistleblowing, we all know how suicidal it is, why do supposedly intelligent people expect other to be so dumb to commit one? Before you expect others to self-sacrifice ask yourself if you would do so in their shoes.

b , Mar 13, 2019 4:01:57 AM | link
It seems that the U.S. now wants to manipulate the investigation of the Ethiopian Airlines crash. WSJ U.S., Ethiopia Maneuver Over Crashed Plane's Black Boxes Washington wants NTSB to download data from recorders, while African nation's officials prefer U.K. experts.
U.S. air-safety investigators on Tuesday engaged in intense behind-the-scenes discussions with their Ethiopian counterparts regarding where the black-box recorders found amid the wreckage of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 will be downloaded, according to people familiar with the matter.
Peter AU 1 , Mar 13, 2019 4:15:37 AM | link
Kiza 85 "Before you expect others to self-sacrifice ask yourself if you would do so in their shoes."
"Self sacrifice" ... Most of my life I have been self employed, but for a few years when I was young and then as I got older and ill health slowed me down, I have worked for others.

If told to do a job that I believed was destined to fail, I would pull out. What you call self sacrifice simply comes down to money, and as I put in an earlier comment "what we do for money" Engineers that put this schumozzel together were simply putting in the hours to received their pay check at the end of the week with no thought as to the people hurt or killed when this bodge job failed. The fault is equally with engineers who sell their souls for money and the bean counters who did not inform purchasers or pilots.

Kalen , Mar 13, 2019 4:16:24 AM | link
@aceme..

What you wrote is asinine garbage, my friend. Everybody except for bribed FAA dumped B737 Max 8 until notice. It is simply too dangerous to fly.

It is you who are trolling for Boeing, the problem was discovered five months ago never fixed, blamed pilots despite previous complaints. Now FAA admitted that fact by demanding software fix in April or they will ground the fleet. PILOT ERROR????? Of course not and they know it.

Not only worldwide airlines dumped this model so far but also they closed the airspace for them in EU, China, HK etc.,because the plane is dangerous and may require recertification of plane and pilots since Boeing lied about it and its flight parameters,p the trust was broken, they were cheating with deadly consequences was revealed. Expect hundreds of lawsuits, as American were also onboard.

Interestingly that anti-stalling software cannot be disabled on the ground only in flight in manual mode only after it was engaged exactly for reasons I mentioned about near-stalling dangerous flight parameters.

Peter AU 1 , Mar 13, 2019 4:27:42 AM | link
b 86

US Boeing are very much competing with France airbus and also the coming Chinese Russian airliner. The US is very much batting for the home team (as the mad monk told the Australian Broadcasting Commission to do so).

Kiza , Mar 13, 2019 6:14:40 AM | link
Is it really so hard to connect the secrecy about MCAS and why it was needed in the first place? The lawyers will have a ball of the decade with this: the defendant created a secret software solution to turn a Lego airplane into a real airplane, made the software dependent on a single sensor, and made it difficult to switch the software off.

The networked Western pilots learned how to compensate for the faulty design, but non-networked foreign pilots never got in on the flying tricks needed for this new plane because it was never been in their training. Also, the critical sensor may not be available on an airport in Ethiopia or Indonesia or .....

I cannot believe that Boeing shares dropped only 7.5%, this is a statement of how untouchable Boeing is and how protected it will be by the Corrupt.

[Mar 13, 2019] Stephen Colbert, millionaire mouthpiece for billionaire war mongers. tried to ambush Tulsi and failed.

In this interview with Colbert, Tulsi Gabbard discussed what should be one of the biggest scandals of the 21st century -- war in Syria and support of jihadists by the USA government
Tulsi demonstrated again "courage under fire". Evidently hostile Colbert is a more dangerous opponent then Megan McCain, even if he asked basically the same questions. His popularity adds to the weight of the questions. .
Notable quotes:
"... America is not the "policeman of the world". It is the military enforcer of its multinational corporations. ..."
"... Oh my God Colbert. Hack and establishment stooge. Embarrassing line of questioning. ..."
"... They ALL try to pin her on Syria, Assad, how can she be non-interventionist and still support the military, etc etc etc. ..."
"... It's SERIOUSLY as though they're all reading from the same exact script verbatim. Someone could put together a soundbyte of all of the different anchors asking the same questions sycnhronized I bet. ..."
"... @Animus Nocturnus the same recycled questions about meeting Assad she has answered 1000 times before isnt journalism. Journalism is what you need to get NEW information. ..."
"... T his is just one hack beating the war drum. ( dog whistling I believe the new term is) and pushing American exceptionalism ..."
"... Wow.... Colbert is being quite the little imperialist! Thanks for nothing Colbert. ..."
"... Colbert did the Clintons bidding, again ... he tried to ambush Tulsi, but Tulsi was too good, and also right! I'm with Tulsi. I donated, and I want the USA to be involved in the world too, to be a force for good. GO TULSI GABBARD!! ..."
Mar 13, 2019 | www.youtube.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0jnKb8MDks

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard explains a 2020 foreign policy platform that is largely informed by her own experience serving in the military.

Ben Norton @BenjaminNorton

In this rare mainstream interview, @ TulsiGabbard discussed what should be one of the biggest scandals of the 21st century (which Colbert has never mentioned on his show):

In its war on Syria, the US armed and trained far-right Salafi-jihadist rebels, empowering al-Qaeda and ISIS

Sumerian Hero 1 day ago

Tulsi dismantled every single one of Golbert's CIA talking points. She's f*** amazing!

RasJam Kebraraw 1 day ago

CBS evolved Colbert into his own satire.. I miss the old him.

Bob Gillis 1 day ago

America is not the "policeman of the world". It is the military enforcer of its multinational corporations.

Veronica Reid 1 day ago

Ashamed of Colbert asking the same questions as CNN. Shame, shame, shame!

LoSt GaNdalF 1 day ago

Very disappointed in Colbert. I mean I know he is part of the establishment. But to see it in action hurts

dirtcom7 1 day ago

Oh my God Colbert. Hack and establishment stooge. Embarrassing line of questioning.

bob Saget 13 hours ago

Yea Colbert is bought and paid for by his NBC/corporate masters, anti-war pro peace is not allowed, we spend $700 billion dollars a year on the military. They will smear anyone who tries to stop that gravy train and he's one of their puppets that does that smearing. 8

Animus Nocturnus 8 hours ago

Actually, that was a great line of questioning. Instead of the wish-wash "how are you, how are the kids, what did you ate today" bullshit, he asked real questions and she was able to give real answers. That's what journalism should look like, and how people running for high government jobs should be interviewed.

Those are jobs that require people who know their stuff instead of entertainers.

And you will only know about how the people runnig for those jobs will conduct themselves if they get asked tough questions. And she did a great job answering those questions.

MawcDrums, 6 hours ago (edited)

@Animus Nocturnus

The thing is they "sound like" real questions, BUT, and this is a HUGE but, they are the EXACT SAME questions she has received from every other mainstream media interview I've seen with her.

They ALL try to pin her on Syria, Assad, how can she be non-interventionist and still support the military, etc etc etc.

And then some cute jab about Hawaii as if to say "Sorry about that". It's despicable and it's happening to Bernie and all of the true progressive candidates (AOC as well).

It's SERIOUSLY as though they're all reading from the same exact script verbatim. Someone could put together a soundbyte of all of the different anchors asking the same questions sycnhronized I bet.

dirtcom7, 4 hours ago

@Animus Nocturnus the same recycled questions about meeting Assad she has answered 1000 times before isnt journalism. Journalism is what you need to get NEW information. Hence the NEWS.

This is just one hack beating the war drum. ( dog whistling I believe the new term is) and pushing American exceptionalism

Ron Widelec, 23 hours ago

Wow.... Colbert is being quite the little imperialist! Thanks for nothing Colbert.

Jesse Prevallet, 1 day ago

Colbert,

if you had any of your 3 kids serving in the military right now, you would not be such a mouthpiece for the empire. Grow a spine and ask a real question instead of these CIA lapdog questions

Robert S, 23 hours ago

Colbert did the Clintons bidding, again ... he tried to ambush Tulsi, but Tulsi was too good, and also right! I'm with Tulsi. I donated, and I want the USA to be involved in the world too, to be a force for good. GO TULSI GABBARD!!



[Mar 13, 2019] US withdraws embassy personnel, calling presence a "constraint" on US actions in Venezuela - World Socialist Web Site by Bill Van Auken

Mar 13, 2019 | www.wsws.org

Washington announced late Monday that it is withdrawing all of its embassy personnel from Caracas in what may signal preparations for a direct US military intervention to consummate the protracted regime change operation unleashed against Venezuela.

"This decision reflects the deteriorating situation in Venezuela as well as the conclusion that the presence of U.S. diplomatic staff at the embassy has become a constraint on U.S. policy," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.

Pressed at a State Department press conference Tuesday as to what Pompeo meant by "constraint," Elliott Abrams, the Trump administration's special envoy for regime change in Venezuela, said that it was "prudent to take these folks out" because their presence made it "more difficult for the United States to take the actions that it needed to do to support the Venezuelan people."

Asked whether military intervention was being prepared and if the Maduro government should see Pompeo's statement as a threat, Abrams, a former Reagan administration State Department official who oversaw vast war crimes in Central America in the 1980s and was convicted of lying to Congress about an illegal operation to fund the "contra" terrorist war against Nicaragua, responded that he would "continue to say, because it is true, all options are on the table."

[Mar 13, 2019] Germany's Über Hypocrisy Over Venezuela by Finian Cunningham

Notable quotes:
"... When Guaido returned to Venezuela on March 4 he was greeted at the airport by several foreign diplomats. Among the receiving dignitaries was Germany's envoy Daniel Kriener. ..."
"... What's more, the explicit backing of Juan Guaido by Germany's envoy was carried out on the "express order" of Foreign Minister Heiko Maas , according to Deutsche Welle. ..."
"... Russia's envoy to the UN Vasily Nebenzia, at a Security Council session last month, excoriated the US for its gross violation of international law with regard to Venezuela. Moscow's diplomat also directed a sharp rebuke at other nations "complicit" in Washington's aggression, saying that one day "you will be next" for similar American subversion in their own affairs. ..."
"... German politicians, diplomats and media were apoplectic in their anger at perceived interference by the US ambassador in Berlin's internal affairs. Yet the German political establishment has no qualms whatsoever about ganging up – only weeks later – with Washington to subvert the politics and constitution of Venezuela. ..."
Mar 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Germany has taken the lead among European Union member states to back Washington's regime-change agenda for Venezuela. Berlin's hypocrisy and double-think is quite astounding.

Only a few weeks ago, German politicians and media were up in arms protesting to the Trump administration for interfering in Berlin's internal affairs. There were even outraged complaints that Washington was seeking "regime change" against Chancellor Angela Merkel's government.

Those protests were sparked when Richard Grenell, the US ambassador to Germany, warned German companies involved in the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline with Russia that they could be hit with American economic sanctions if they go ahead with the Baltic seabed project.

Earlier, Grenell provoked fury among Berlin's political establishment when he openly gave his backing to opposition party Alternative for Germany. That led to consternation and denunciations of Washington's perceived backing for regime change in Berlin. They were public calls for Grenell to be expelled over his apparent breach of diplomatic protocols.

Now, however, Germany is shamelessly kowtowing to an even more outrageous American regime-change plot against Venezuela.

Last week, the government of President Nicolas Maduro ordered the expulsion of German ambassador Daniel Kriener after he greeted the US-backed opposition figure Juan Guaido on a high-profile occasion. Guaido had just returned from a tour of Latin American countries during which he had openly called for the overthrow of the Maduro government. Arguably a legal case could be made for the arrest of Guaido by the Venezuelan authorities on charges of sedition.

When Guaido returned to Venezuela on March 4 he was greeted at the airport by several foreign diplomats. Among the receiving dignitaries was Germany's envoy Daniel Kriener.

The opposition figure had declared himself "interim president" of Venezuela on January 23 and was immediately recognized by Washington and several European Union states. The EU has so far not issued an official endorsement of Guaido over incumbent President Maduro. Italy's objection blocked the EU from adopting a unanimous position.

Nevertheless, as the strongest economy in the 28-member bloc, Germany can be seen as de facto leader of the EU. Its position on Venezuela therefore gives virtual EU gravitas to the geopolitical maneuvering led by Washington towards the South American country.

What's more, the explicit backing of Juan Guaido by Germany's envoy was carried out on the "express order" of Foreign Minister Heiko Maas , according to Deutsche Welle.

"It was my express wish and request that Ambassador Kriener turn out with representatives of other European nations and Latin American ones to meet acting President Guaido at the airport," said Maas.

"We had information that he was supposed to be arrested there. I believe that the presence of various ambassadors helped prevent such an arrest."

It's staggering to comprehend the double-think involved here.

Guaido was hardly known among the vast majority of Venezuelans until he catapulted on to the global stage by declaring himself "interim president". That move was clearly executed in a concerted plan with the Trump White House. European governments and Western media have complacently adopted the White House line that Guaido is the legitimate leader while socialist President Maduro is a "usurper".

That is in spite of the fact that Maduro was re-elected last year in free and fair elections by a huge majority of votes. Guaido's rightwing, pro-business party boycotted the elections. Yet he is anointed by Washington, Berlin and some 50 other states as the legitimate leader.

Russia, China, Turkey, Cuba and most other members of the United Nations have refused to adopt Washington's decree of recognizing Guaido. Those nations (comprising 75 per cent of the UN assembly) continue to recognize President Maduro as the sovereign authority. Indeed, Russia has been highly critical of Washington's blatant interference for regime change in oil-rich Venezuela. Moscow has warned it will not tolerate US military intervention.

Russia's envoy to the UN Vasily Nebenzia, at a Security Council session last month, excoriated the US for its gross violation of international law with regard to Venezuela. Moscow's diplomat also directed a sharp rebuke at other nations "complicit" in Washington's aggression, saying that one day "you will be next" for similar American subversion in their own affairs.

Germany's hypocrisy and double-think is, to paraphrase that country's national anthem, "über alles" (above all else).

German politicians, diplomats and media were apoplectic in their anger at perceived interference by the US ambassador in Berlin's internal affairs. Yet the German political establishment has no qualms whatsoever about ganging up – only weeks later – with Washington to subvert the politics and constitution of Venezuela.

How can Germany be so utterly über servile to Washington and the latter's brazen criminal aggression towards Venezuela?

It seems obvious that Berlin is trying to ingratiate itself with the Trump administration. But what for?

Trump has been pillorying Germany with allegations of "unfair trade" practices. In particular, Washington is recently stepping up its threats to slap punitive tariffs on German auto exports. Given that this is a key sector in the German export-driven economy, it may be gleaned that Berlin is keen to appease Trump. By backing his aggression towards Venezuela?

Perhaps this policy of appeasement is also motivated by Berlin's concern to spare the Nord Stream 2 project from American sanctions. When NS2 is completed later this year, it is reckoned to double the capacity of natural gas consumption by Germany from Russia. That will be crucial for Germany's economic growth.

Another factor is possible blackmail of Berlin by Washington. Recall the earth-shattering revelations made by American whistleblower Edward Snowden a few years back when he disclosed that US intelligence agencies were tapping the personal phone communications of Chancellor Merkel and other senior Berlin politicians. Recall, too, how the German state remarkably acquiesced over what should have been seen as a devastating infringement by Washington.

The weird lack of action by Berlin over that huge violation of its sovereignty by the Americans makes one wonder if the US spies uncovered a treasure trove of blackmail material on German politicians.

Berlin's pathetic kowtowing to Washington's interference in Venezuela begs an ulterior explanation. No self-respecting government could be so hypocritical and duplicitous.

Whatever Berlin may calculate to gain from its unscrupulous bending over for Washington, one thing seems clear, as Russian envoy Nebenzia warned: "One day you are next" for American hegemonic shafting.


cracowMenger , 2 hours ago link

Germany already forgot, how they blew up Yugoslavia.

It was because of German diplomacy plotting and meddling, that Croatia and Slovenia announced their abandonment of federation of Balkan states - which Yugoslavia de facto was.

Another reason for this, was to destroy a forming Hexagonale - an alliance of central and southern european states.

As long as Germany has its imperial resentements, there will be no peace in Europe.

mafuke , 2 hours ago link

The author does not know much about "Germany"!!!

Germany has been defeated, humiliated and made a colony 74 years ago.

Of cause it is not a sovereign country. But anyway it´s government is of cause disgusting.

RioGrandeImports , 2 hours ago link

They want in on the Venezuelan petroleum game if/when regime change happens, obviously. Aruba (controlled by the Dutch) is about 20miles off the coast of Venezuela and and there is a small but significant population of German Venezuelans in Venezuela.

CITGO was was trying to restart the large refinery located in Aruba not long back, haven't heard anything about it lately.

Mike Rotsch , 3 hours ago link

Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation

The Strategic Culture Foundation. A culture of strategy? That sounded interesting. So I dug.

". . . Benefiting from the expanding power of the Internet, we work to spread reliable information, critical thought and progressive ideas ." That explains why I'm seeing socialists defending socialists. What a surprise. Not very critical if you ask me, but definitely "progressive" to the core.

And as for the author, nearly every one of his articles attack the US and its allies. You'd think that if he's writing for the Strategic Culture Foundation, he'd be into critical thought . Meaning, we'd see some minuses and pluses in his work. The fact that we don't, makes him a propagandist, not a journalist. Then again, is there such a thing as a journalist anymore these days ?

I'd like to think so. Yet, when you evaluate someone's work and see little more than the fermenting of hatred and discontent, there has to be a motive. For him, it could be personal, given the amount of passion and conspiracy theory that he puts into his hatred. For his employers, though, the motive seems to be strategic .

Anyway, it's disappointing to find it here at ZH, but I guess the bills must get paid somehow.

Moribundus , 5 hours ago link

Mogherini said on Tuesday in UN:

"Military intervention in Venezuela is totally unacceptable."

She opposed the US and the self-appointed Guaido.

It follows that she had to act not only with the consent of Berlin and Paris, but in their mandate. This suggests that the EU has reassessed the situation and changed its position on President Maduro.

Berlin has come to know that the EU has created an international contact group, including Germany and France. The group is conducting talks with the Venezuelan government and with the opposition, aiming to achieve a peaceful solution to the critical situation in Venezuela, and as the group spokesman said, everything will be done to make the solution democratic.

The unnamed French source claims that Beijing and Moscow are behind the change of Berlin and Paris.

Recriminator , 5 hours ago link

"Hypocrisy" or "getting it right for a change" - that is the question ! Merkel, the putative Conservative, has sold her own people down the river many times in the last few years. She has demonstrated the George W Bush style, over the people in her own Party. And the results are obvious.

Now, after ruining her country both culturally and financially, she makes ONE correct decision. Hardly HYPOCRISY; more like contrition for her ineptitude.

HankPaulson , 6 hours ago link

Look, this is simple - to understand it you only need to know two facts:

1. Politicians are amoral, lying scum.

2. Germany lacks and so is desperate for fossil fuel.

Cast Iron Skillet , 6 hours ago link

Well, Merkel is doing a good job of protecting Germany's interests by opposing the U.S. regarding North Stream 2. The German stand on Venezuela is disappointing, but they might be figuring no skin off their back, since Venezuela is not in Europe, so might as well appease cheeto head.

napper , 6 hours ago link

Three Major Morons in Western Europe: Macron, Merkel, May.

researchfix , 6 hours ago link

Maduro will outlive all these 3 jokers.

DomMagdeburg2002 , 6 hours ago link

Shocking, right? Lol. I could have written this article myself. Just had this conversation with a friend here regarding German hypocriscy. Germany is a true vassal nation run by puppets. Highlights the total lack of coordination at the highest levels of German government. They just can't concieve that anyone is onto their game but it is blatanly obvious to anyone who can chew gum and walk simultaneously. The link to the demographic crisis (and by exstension the coming pension crisis) to the importation of "refugees" is a bit harder for many to see but still plainly obvious if one tries just a little. Truly sad state of affairs in all of Europe only masked over by the ECB. At least for now.

Element , 7 hours ago link

After almost 1 week it seems Venezuela is still around 85% to 90% blacked-out


'We call it survival': Venezuelans improvise solutions as blackout continues

With the crisis in its sixth day, neighbors are sharing generators, contraband supplies and skills for survival

Joe Parkin Daniels and Patricia Torres in Caracas

Tue 12 Mar 2019 18.30 AEDT

Last modified on Wed 13 Mar 2019 03.06 AEDT

People use their mobile phones at the Distribuidor Altamira -main exit of Francisco Fajardo highway- where they can get telephone service during a partial power outage in Caracas on March 9, 2019.

At a street corner in eastern Caracas, Rosa Elena stepped from her car and started picking handfuls of leaves from a modest tree growing at the roadside. "This is neem," she said. "It's high in sugar and great in a tea." Her interest was more than academic: Rosa Elena is diabetic, and when the lights went out in Venezuela last Thursday, she began to worry that the blackout would ruin her insulin supply, which must be kept refrigerated. Since then she has been making rounds of the city, stockpiling neem leaves, which some people believe can be used to control diabetes.

As a crippling blackout drags into a sixth day, Venezuelans are being forced to improvise solutions for a crisis that is affecting every aspect of daily life. Although there is intermittent power in the capital, some neighbourhoods have been in the dark since last week, and schools and businesses will remain closed on Tuesday.

Food has rotted in refrigerators, hospitals have struggled to keep equipment operating, and people gather on street corners to pick up patchy telephone signals.

At Residencias Karina, an apartment complex in the south-eastern municipality of Baruta – the power was still off on Monday evening, and residents had come together to share expertise and survival tactics. One elderly resident has lent his generator to the operation, with cables running up the side of the red-brick building into a flat where neighbours charge their phones. To stop the device overheating or getting rained out, they have fashioned a cover out of cardboard and tarpaulin.

In ordinary times, petrol is practically free in Venezuela, due to government subsidies. But power cuts have put many pumps out of action, and fuel is hard to come by. It is illegal to fill jerry cans at petrol stations, so people are often forced to resort to the black market to obtain fuel for generators. "The government calls it contraband – we call it survival," said Carolina, one resident who preferred not to give her surname for fear of reprisals.

Members of the Bolivarian National Police escort a tanker as they help organize the distribution of drinking water to residents of San Agustin neighbourhood in Caracas on March 11, 2019, while a massive power outage continues affecting parts of the country.

Another neighbour, Pedro Martínez, was once a farmer in the country's vast western plains, and has brought his own unique skillset to the team. "I'm a campesino," he said. "I don't know about phones and I can live without them. But I do know how to salt meat." Martínez has been turning the residents' supplies of beef into jerky, so food supplies can last longer. "The chicken and the fish people had is already rotten," he said.

Late on Sunday night, the housing complex was rocked by a string of explosions after an electrical substation caught fire in circumstances which remain unexplained. "It sounded like a plane taking off," said Carolina, as the stench of burnt plastic drifted across from the smouldering power plant. The explosion added to a sense of desperation in a neighbourhood that had already seen outbreaks of looting. Residents have mounted lookouts to warn of the government security forces and paramilitary gangs called colectivos, who they fear will take down their jerry-rigged infrastructure. "It's like Jumanji here," Martínez said. "Except instead of elephants and lions running around it's the national guard and colectivos."

Residents have started pumping water from a well behind the front gate, and taking turns to carry supplies to elderly neighbours on higher floors. Water is in short supply across the city: at a pharmacy in the upmarket commercial neighbourhood of Las Mercedes, the queue for bottled water stretched for several blocks – longer than the line outside some petrol stations. Moisés de Lima, a homeowner and new father, loaded gallon bottles of water into his car. He was stockpiling in expectation of a prolonged crisis.

"We are in a wartime economy now," De Lima said, his voice trembling with anger. "This is what this government has done to us, and it has the nerve to just make excuses and play the blame game." On Monday night Maduro made a conspiratorial televised address to the nation, claiming the power cut was part of a "demonic" plot dreamed up in the White House by Donald Trump in an attempt to plunge Venezuela into chaos and justify a military invasion and occupation. Most locals, however, are convinced the cause is years of under-investment, mismanagement and corruption. "Chavistas have been in power for 20 years and we have had 20 years of energy crises," said De Lima , who paid for his water in dollars, which swiftly became the de facto currency as cashpoints and card-readers went out of action. "After 20 years, you can't blame other people for your problems."

Outside La Carlota military airbase near the centre of the city, locals had descended on a tap outside a local police station, bringing empty bottles, jugs and tubs. Waiting in line was Jeancary Lugo, a business administrator, who was dismayed by the efforts of some storekeepers to profit from the crisis. "On Friday, I bought a bag of ice from a store for $1.50. Yesterday they wanted $8," she complained. "There's a lot of solidarity here but there's also people taking advantage. I feel like they are [trying to] rob us."

Across the road, dozens of national guardsmen lined up, with riot shields and gas masks at the ready. "Is this what Venezuela deserves?" one person in line shouted at a police officer by the station house. The officer shrugged. "In the command centre there's no water either, and electricity comes and goes. We're all suffering the same," he said.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/12/we-call-it-survival-venezuelans-improvise-solutions-as-blackout-continues

They're so screwed at this point ...


Venezuela: Guaidó under investigation for 'sabotage' of power grid

Tom Phillips Latin America correspondent

Wed 13 Mar 2019 06.20 AEDT

First published on Wed 13 Mar 2019 05.13 AEDT

Venezuelans head to collect water from a sewage canal at the river Guaire in Caracas. President Nicolás Maduro has alleged a US attack crippled the country's electrical system.

Venezuela's chief prosecutor has asked the country's supreme court to open an investigation into opposition leader Juan Guaidó for alleged involvement in the "sabotage" of the country's power grid. Tarek Saab announced the inquiry on Tuesday, a day after the embattled president, Nicolás Maduro, accused Donald Trump of masterminding a "demonic" plot with the country's opposition to force him from power.

Guaidó – who most western governments now recognize as Venezuela's legitimate interim leader – is already under investigation for allegedly fomenting violence, but authorities have not tried to detain him since he violated a travel ban and then returned home from a tour of Latin American countries. Saab said the case against Guaidó also involves messages allegedly inciting people to robbery and looting during the crippling blackout which began on Thursday.

Maduro's political foes and many specialists believe the nationwide blackout is the result of years of mismanagement, corruption and incompetence. "We are in the middle of a catastrophe that is not the result of a hurricane, that is not the result of a tsunami," Guaidó told CNN on Sunday. "It's the product of the inefficiency, the incapability, the corruption of a regime that doesn't care about the lives of Venezuelans."

But in a televised nationwide address on Monday night Maduro accused the White House of launching an imperialist "electromagnetic attack". Critics condemned it as a cynical attempt to deflect criticism of his regime's responsibility. "The United States' imperialist government ordered this attack," Maduro claimed in his 35-minute speech, only his second significant intervention since the crisis began last week. "They came with a strategy of war of the kind that only these criminals – who have been to war and have destroyed the people of Iraq, of Libya, of Afghanistan and of Syria – think up." Maduro alleged the US had conducted the attack – in league with "puppets and clowns" from the Venezuelan opposition – to create "a state of despair, of widespread want and of conflict" that would justify a foreign intervention.

Maduro, who gave no evidence for his claims, gave little hint that an end was in sight to a crisis that the opposition blames for at least 21 deaths and many fear could plunge the country into violence and turmoil. On Tuesday, the foreign minister, Jorge Arreaza, ordered US diplomats to leave the country within 72 hours. "The presence on Venezuelan soil of these officials represents a risk for the peace, unity and stability of the country," the government said in a statement. The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, had announced on Monday night that Washington was withdrawing all remaining diplomatic staff from Caracas. "This decision reflects the deteriorating situation in Venezuela as well as the conclusion that the presence of US diplomatic staff at the embassy has become a constraint on US policy," Pompeo tweeted.

Maduro has been fighting for political survival since January when Guaidó declared himself Venezuela's legitimate leader and was swiftly recognised as interim president by dozens of western nations including the US and Britain. Maduro's many opponents – who blame him for an economic collapse that has triggered the most severe migration crisis in recent Latin American history – ridicule his claims that the outage is part of a White House conspiracy. Anna Ferrera, a student activist in Caracas, said: "They go around and around saying this was sabotage and how the US always sabotages things and the empire is going against Venezuela. But they haven't given any [credible] explanation. "They always make up stories to explain the flaws of the system. This is outrageous," added Ferrera, who said she feared many might accept Maduro's version because the blackout had knocked out communication systems across the country, giving his administration a monopoly on information.

Dimitris Pantoulas, a Caracas-based political analyst, said Maduro had appeared "worried, anxious and absolutely desperate" in his Monday night broadcast, suggesting the situation was dire. "It is clear, from what he said, that the government does not control the situation (nobody does) and they do not have any plan or strategy," Pantoulas tweeted.

In his speech, Maduro, who inherited Hugo Chávez's Bolivarian revolution after his 2013 death, vowed that the supposed attack on Venezuela's grid would be thwarted. "Victory belongs to us," he declared. "What you can be certain of is that sooner rather later, in the coming days, we will win this battle definitively. We will win – and we will do it for Venezuela. We will do it for our homeland. We will do it for you. We will do it because of our people's right to happiness."

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/12/venezuela-juan-guaido-maduro-sabotage-blackout

An epic cautionary tale of the danger of electing loony left governments, led by hopey water-melons and warped and insane neo-communist idiots. These poor sad scared people are going to be stuffed for at least the next generation.

cashback , 7 hours ago link

An epic cautionary tale of not bowing to the wishes of evil empire on life support.

BorraChoom , 6 hours ago link

Cruise Missiles are next.

Kokito , 1 hour ago link

[ have you heard of WW II? ] - Never

Germany excuse in WWII: "just obeying orders"
Germany excuse in VZ: "just obeying orders"

Some people never learn. It is obvious that Germany after ww2 became a US vassal following the dictamenes from WDC otherwise it will face the consequences.

With Germany awash with migrant crime - no go areas - their women and children afraid to go to swimming pools, concerts, new year celebrations, rather than deal with their own horrific issues they want to overthrow a democratically elected leader - just another USA poodle state

Thom Paine , 8 hours ago link

Somehow a Geopolitical and MIC penis snuck into Trump's arse.

US hoping for another home assisted 9/11 so they can spend another few trillion on MIC hardware.

NiggaPleeze , 7 hours ago link

Nah, the Orange Messiah doesn't need an excuse. He'll cut SS and Medicare for the poor while giving trillions to his oligarch buddies in tax cuts and crony capitalist MIC contracts, while spending huge treasury to advance ZioNazism and Bolshevism worldwide. TrumpTARDs suck his mushroom to his satisfaction in any event.

dogfish , 7 hours ago link

Trumps only virtue is his ability to lie with a straight face and without remorse that's how billion airs are made.

NiggaPleeze , 6 hours ago link

It definitely helps to be a psychopath or sociopath - it's harder to really **** people good if you have empathy or a conscience.

Blackfox , 7 hours ago link

Photo of Merkel in her Communist uniform.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2328536/Angela-Merkel-Communist-links-new-image-uniform-released.html

[Mar 13, 2019] Anti-Semitism Pandemic! by C.J. Hopkins

Mar 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

Virologists are working around the clock to map the genome of this scurrilous scourge, about which very little is known, other than that it has a sudden onset, and attacks the language center of the brain, causing the sufferer to express opinions about "Zionism," "globalism," "the Israel lobby," "banks," and other code words for "Jews." Patients appear to be unaware that they are spouting these anti-Semitic code words until they are told they are by the corporate media, or their colleagues, or some random account on Twitter, at which point their symptoms alter dramatically, and they suffer a series of petit mal seizures, causing them to repeatedly apologize for unintentionally advocating the extermination of the entire Jewish people and the establishment of a worldwide Nazi Reich.

At the moment, Britain is taking the brunt of it. Despite the best efforts of the ruling classes and the media to contain its spread, several new cases of anti-Semitism have been reported throughout the Kingdom, or at least among the Labour Party, which, at this point, has been so thoroughly infected that it resembles a neo-Nazi death cult .

Jeremy Corbyn, who contracted the virus more or less the moment he assumed the leadership, is now exhibiting symptoms of late-stage disease. Reliable sources close to the party, reached for comment at a brunch in Qatar with Tony Blair and a bunch of Saudis, report that Corbyn is running around Momentum HQ in full Nazi regalia, alternately heiling Hitler and looking for journalists to apologize to.

Another Labour MP, Chris Williamson, had to be summarily quarantined after publicly apologizing for not apologizing for inciting a gathering of Labour members to stop apologizing for refusing to apologize for being disgusting anti-Semites or something basically along those lines. Owen Jones is fiercely denying denying that the party is a hive of Nazis, and that he ever denied that denying the fact that there is zero actual evidence of that fact is essential to preserving what is left of the party, once it has been cured of anti-Semitism, or disbanded and reconstituted from scratch.

Emergency measures are now in effect. A full-scale Labour Party lockdown is imminent. Anyone not already infected is being advised to flee the party, denounce anyone who hasn't done so as "a Hitler-loving Corbyn-sympathizer," and prophylactically apologize for any critical statements they might have made about Israel, or "elites," or "global capitalism," or "bankers," or anything else that anyone can construe as anti-Semitism ( preferably in the pages of The Guardian ).

Nor has the Continent been spared! What at first appeared to be a series of spontaneous protests against Emmanuel Macron, economic austerity, and global capitalism by the so-called "Yellow Vests" in France has now been officially diagnosed as a nationwide anti-Semitism outbreak. In a heroic attempt to contain the outbreak, Macron has dispatched his security forces to shoot the eyes out of unarmed women , pepper spray paraplegics in wheelchairs , and just generally beat bloody hell out of everyone . Strangely, none of these tactics have worked, so France has decided to join the USA, the UK, Germany, and the rest of the empire in defining anti-Zionism as form of anti-Semitism , such that anyone implying that Israel is in any way inherently racist, or a quasi-fascist Apartheid state, or making jokes about "elites" or "bankers," can be detained and prosecuted for committing a "hate-crime."

Meanwhile, in the United States (where Donald Trump, "U.S. patient zero," had already single-handedly infected the vast majority of the American populace, and transformed the nation into an unrecognizable, genocidal Nazi Reich), the anti-Semitism virus has now spread to Congress, where Representative Ilhan Omar (reputed to be a hardcore member of the infamous " Axis of Anti-Semitism ") has apparently totally lost her mind and started talking about the Israel lobby, and the billions of dollars the U.S. government provides to Israel on an annual basis, and other Israel-related subjects one simply does not talk about (unless one writes for The New York Times and isn't a hijab-wearing Muslim, in which case it's completely fine to characterize support for Israel as being " bought and paid for by the Israel lobby ").

OK, I know, you're probably questioning the fact that this anti-Semitism pandemic just sprang up out of the ether one day, more or less in perfect synch with the Russian plot to destroy democracy that Vladimir Putin set in motion the moment the Global War on Terror seemed to be running out of steam. If you are, you need to close this essay, pull up either MSNBC or The Guardian website on your phone, and inoculate yourself against such thoughts. That conspiratorial type of thinking is one of the early warning signs that you have been infected with anti-Semitism! Unless you act now to protect yourself, before you know it, you'll be raving about "the ruling classes," "globalist elites," "austerity," "neoliberalism," "the Israel lobby," or even "Palestinians."

... ... ...

C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and political satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play Publishing (USA). His debut novel, ZONE 23 , is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant Paperbacks. He can be reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org .


Edward Huguenin , says: March 11, 2019 at 3:08 pm GMT

"Anti-semite" has lost its sting, because every justified criticism of the fully nuclear armed, viciously apartheid, theocratic Zionist Israeli government is declared to be anti-semitism. The word is so overused and misapplied as to be useless. Indeed, to be declared "anti-semite" by the Israel Lobby is to be declared a person of high moral conscience.

Long live BDS!

August , says: March 11, 2019 at 3:53 pm GMT
Anti-Semitism is a myth, anti-non-semitism is real.
kikz , says: March 11, 2019 at 4:03 pm GMT
"Another Labour MP, Chris Williamson, had to be summarily quarantined after publicly apologizing for not apologizing for inciting a gathering of Labour members to stop apologizing for refusing to apologize for being disgusting anti-Semites or something basically along those lines. Owen Jones is fiercely denying denying that the party is a hive of Nazis, and that he ever denied that denying the fact that there is zero actual evidence of that fact is essential to preserving what is left of the party, once it has been cured of anti-Semitism, or disbanded and reconstituted from scratch."

brilliant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! y, it's much the same here across the pond.

[Mar 13, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard: The US Government s Treatment of Wikileaks Will Have a Chilling Effect on Investigative Reporting

Notable quotes:
"... If the government can change the designation of Wikileaks from being a news organization (Obama Administration's designation of Wikileaks) to a 'hostile intelligence service' (Trump Administration's designation), then any entity – online and offline – is in danger of being designated a hostile intelligence agency if they carry out investigative reporting that the US government or a particular administration considers to be hostile to itself. ..."
"... This will have a chilling effect on investigative reporting of powerful government agencies or officials, including the president, intelligence agencies, etc. This is a serious breach of our constitutional freedoms and every American – Democrat, Republican or Independent – must stand up against it." ..."
"... This is a follow-up to similar statements she's made about WikiLeaks before. During an event in New Hampshire, she said the stolen information that WikiLeaks published had "spurred necessary change." During her Concord meet and greet she said: "Obviously the information that has been put out has exposed a lot of things that have been happening that the American people were not aware of and have spurred some necessary change there." ..."
Mar 09, 2019 | heavy.com
...Today she wrote on Facebook:

If the government can change the designation of Wikileaks from being a news organization (Obama Administration's designation of Wikileaks) to a 'hostile intelligence service' (Trump Administration's designation), then any entity – online and offline – is in danger of being designated a hostile intelligence agency if they carry out investigative reporting that the US government or a particular administration considers to be hostile to itself.

This will have a chilling effect on investigative reporting of powerful government agencies or officials, including the president, intelligence agencies, etc. This is a serious breach of our constitutional freedoms and every American – Democrat, Republican or Independent – must stand up against it."

... ... ...

You can see her Facebook post and the responses below.

... ... ...

This is a follow-up to similar statements she's made about WikiLeaks before. During an event in New Hampshire, she said the stolen information that WikiLeaks published had "spurred necessary change." During her Concord meet and greet she said: "Obviously the information that has been put out has exposed a lot of things that have been happening that the American people were not aware of and have spurred some necessary change there."

Her response was an answer to a question about President Donald Trump's administration seeking to prosecute Julian Assange. Just this week, Chelsea Manning was jailed for not answering questions from a grand jury about Assange. She refused to testify before a grand jury investigation regarding WikiLeaks, AP shared . She said she objected to the secrecy of the grand jury process and had already shared everything that she knows. Because prosecutors granted her immunity for her testimony, she said she couldn't invoke the Fifth Amendment to defend her right not to speak.

The emails from the DNC shared by WikiLeaks did indeed ultimately bring about some changes, including lesser power to superdelegates in 2020. Donna Brazile, former DNC chairwoman, has said that the DNC primary in 2016 was "rigged" against Bernie Sanders. Brazile herself had even leaked some debate questions to Hillary Clinton before her debate with Sanders. Brazile has said that the DNC worked closely with Clinton's campaign in 2016 because it needed the money, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz let Clinton's campaign help cover the DNC's debt in exchange for some level of control, the Miami Herald reported . The DNC is supposed to be impartial during Democratic presidential primaries, but Brazile said that was not the case.

... ... ...

In July 2016, Wasserman Schultz stepped down as chair of the DNC after WikiLeaks published DNC emails that showed the organization strongly favored Clinton over Sanders during the primary. Brazile briefly served as interim chair before Tom Perez took over.

When DWS resigned, many supporters said the resignation was not enough . Bernie Sanders had demanded her resignation after nearly 20,000 DNC emails were released by WikiLeaks that showed she and others in the DNC had a clear bias against Sanders.

Sanders himself said that he believed Debbie Wasserman Schultz should resign:

I asked and demanded Debbie Wasserman Schultz's resignation many, many months ago and I state that again. I don't think she is qualified to be the chair of the DNC. Not only for these awful emails which revealed the prejudice of the DNC, but also because we need a party that reaches out to working people and young people and I don't think her leadership style is doing that."

However, DWS was allowed to resign after the 2016 Convention, which angered some. Meanwhile, Clinton praised DWS and gave her an honorary position on her campaign.

... ... ...

One of the emails that WikiLeaks leaked showed a letter from Darnell Strom and Michael Kives to Tulsi Gabbard, saying they were very disappointed that she had resigned from the DNC to endorse Bernie Sanders. The email read in part: "For you to endorse a man who has spent almost 40 years in public office with very few accomplishments, doesn't fall in line with what we previously thought of you. Hillary Clinton will be our party's nominee and you standing on ceremony to support the sinking Bernie Sanders ship is disrespectful to Hillary Clinton. A woman who has spent the vast majority of her life in public service and working on behalf of women, families, and the underserved. You have called both myself and Michael Kives before about helping your campaign raise money, we no longer trust your judgement so will not be raising money for your campaign "

Recent reports have indicated that the U.S. may be considering prosecuting Julian Assange.

[Mar 13, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard on WikiLeaks' Julian Assange

Tulsi Gabbard: The U.S. Government's Treatment of Wikileaks Will 'Have a Chilling Effect on Investigative Reporting'
See also Tulsi Gabbard on the issues - TulsiGabbard.org
Mar 13, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Micah W , 2 weeks ago

She doesn't have a policy ready yet on the issue, and it is an important one she needs to address better than this. FWIW, she follows Wikileaks on Twitter and she is critical of the Deep State- which is better than Bernie Sanders. It matters to me and most Americans, I believe, that she would not pursue Julian Assange. It also matters that she believes in very strong progressive taxation. Top marginal rate over a million needs to start at 50 percent. Progressively increase the rate so it becomes impossible to become a billionare. This is about fairness and making sure that a single person does not have control of that many resources. I prefer to talk about resource distribution instead of wealth inequality.

Lynzi Wildheart , 2 weeks ago

Tulsi is the bravest candidate for standing against war!! This should indeed be our first consideration. Please donate to her effort, even if it's just $5!! She needs 65,000 donations from different people in at least 30 states!! Please donate!! Go Tulsi!!!

Marc A , 1 week ago

Donated! - For once let's say 'No Wars', 'Yes to health care', 'Yes we like to spend our $s here in the U S of A', 'Let's free ourselves from Employer health care bondage!'. Why not divert billions of dollars that feed wars go to our health care, our schools. And yes to retrain those people whom current system is forcing to go back into tunnels and dig dirt to make money. America is great when her people are living great lives! -- Why not make funds available to retrain these wonderful people in jobs above ground? Do you know the risks to health working underground? At minimum you must heard of Radon gas in basements, right? causes cancer. And basements are only a few feet deep!. Come on people do you really want this work for your children and their children? no you do not. You deserve to have shot at good life, a healthy shot!

[Mar 13, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard comments on WikiLeaks' Julian Assangr are encouraging for anti-war independents'

Nikki2 comment on Youtube: "GUYS! Tulsi needs 65,000 individual donations to get into the debates. Even if she's not your #1 candidate, please donate a small amount so she can bring the foreign policy/regime change conversation to the debates"
Mar 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

RobinG , says: March 12, 2019 at 8:11 pm GMT

@ChuckOrloski Chelsea Manning is imprisoned (from the article you cited) "for refusing to testify in front of a secretive Grand Jury." The regime is after Julian Assange, so they're trying to squeeze Manning. Not happening!

BTW, Tulsi Gabbard on WikiLeaks' Julian Assange

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r96RWyhDPS0

[Mar 13, 2019] No, Dual Loyalty Isn't Okay by Philip Giraldi

Mar 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

Paul , says: March 12, 2019 at 8:38 am GMT

The new congresswoman Ilhan Omar is experiencing what happens to one who will not grovel before the Zionist Lobby and its Washington henchmen.
Anonymous [246] Disclaimer , says: March 12, 2019 at 9:05 am GMT
Is there any other nation that wields such a stranglehold on any other as Israel does the United States? Is there any other nation that has so completely surrendered its sovereignty to another as has the United States to Israel. Does any other country (size of Israel) strike fear and dread into the hearts of its lawmakers to the point of complete serfdom as Israel does the US? Can any other country allow any foreign country to override its head of state to address lawmakers as Israel has done to the US in the case of Obama, despite his complete servility to Israel, thereby rendering himself a victim of dual abuses: racism and disregard of American sovereignty? Has any other country sacrificed so many of its citizens for wars on behalf of any other country as we have done for Israel? Can any other country receiving billions of dollars of taxpayers money in aid and military hardware shamelessly call the shots as Israel does with America, with America not as much as questioning orders from Israel? Can we realistically celebrate Independence Day with so much fanfare when another country has us so completely by the balls as to make a mockery of the word "independence". Can any country strip any other of its sovereignty as Israel has done to the US, including undermining its constitutional guarantees of freedom of expression, with our total collusion? Having raised all these questions, can there be realistic grounds for hoping for a ray of light at the end of the tunnel, short of a comprehensive revolution that would rehabilitate a nation led by quislings into one of principled men and women?
EliteCommInc. , says: March 12, 2019 at 10:08 am GMT
Allow me to state for the record . . .

anyone here who chooses to hate me. I recognize that that you have the right to do so. And that that right s Constitutionally protected. You are entitled to your feelings.

What I must object to and call into question is your attempt to engage in acts that in any threaten, thwart, disrupt my right as a US citizen to access every aspect of what is guaranteed to me by the US constitution. That includes manufacturing false claims to undermine the same.

I will defend your right to your feelings and your right to express them in a manner in accordance with the first amendment. I cannot support acts that deprive myself my constitutional rights in any manner.

I am not a promoter of hate, but I certainly recognize the right that people have for their feelings and the desire to one's express them.

TimeTraveller , says: March 12, 2019 at 10:10 am GMT

[Bret Stephens] attributes to her "insidious cunning" and "anti-Jewish bigotry" observing how "she wraps herself in the flag, sounding almost like Pat Buchanan when he called Congress "Israeli-occupied" territory."

If what Rep. Omar said wasn't too different from what Mr. Buchanan said previously, why haven't we heard a peep out of him on this issue?

The silence is deafening.

jacques sheete , says: March 12, 2019 at 11:47 am GMT

a liar and a hypocrite, and that alone should disqualify them for office.

Hello?

Where the bleep have you been, Pardner? You got that exactly backwards; mendacity and hypocrisy are mandatory minimum qualifications for the positions.

Ms. Omar is dis qualified because she is honest enough to speak the truth.

Now, go learn to shoot straight before shooting off yer mug, and you can start with this,

I must take issue with your observation that Mr. Truman is an habitual liar, not because I disagree with you, but because I disagree with your manner in presenting it as a derogatory statement. Is not the ability of lying necessary to political leadership ?

-EUSTACE MULLINS, In Our Readers' Opinion, The American Mercury, November 1951, pp. 51-54

And this, which illustrates several points regarding politicians, their characteristics and motives.:

Two candidates for political office in a debate

SAUSAGE-SELLER
No, Cleon, little you care for his reigning in Arcadia, it's to pillage and impose on the allies at will that you reckon; you wish the war to conceal your rogueries as in a mist, that Demos may see nothing of them, and harassed by cares, may only depend on yourself for his bread. But if ever peace is restored to him, if ever he returns to his lands to comfort himself once more with good cakes, to greet his cherished olives, he will know the blessings you have kept him out of, even though paying him a salary; and, filled with hatred and rage, he will rise, burning with desire to vote against you. You know this only too well; it is for this you rock him to sleep with your lies.

Aristophanes, The Knights, 424 BC

Do you really believe Ms. Omar is rocking us to sleep with her lies about Israel?

JC , says: March 12, 2019 at 12:17 pm GMT
until there is a much larger block of anti israel congresspeople nothing is going to change. What is the USs interest? They sure are not interested in making things better for the majority/middle class. All the while continuing to enrich the already too wealthy ever more. Media is a lying POS and yet people still watch Fox or Cnn or msnbc. All of them produce nothing but propaganda garbage. Unfortunately, it seems like most in the USA just don't care. In Venezuela look at the protesters the US media sets up and/or loves so much, try that in the USA and you'll end up in jail.
Anon23 , says: March 12, 2019 at 12:25 pm GMT
For me, Ilhan Omar's statements were the most exciting political event in decades. I'm not surprised that she is being punished, but the viciousness of the attacks have certainly gone up a notch.

America's big mistake: allowing all the media to congeal into one big bullhorn that is controlled by Jewish interests. As long as they control the media there will be no national debate of zionist power in America.

Another great article by Giraldi. He is consistently the most forceful and articulate writer regarding the subversion of America's national interests to Israel.

anarchyst , says: March 12, 2019 at 1:14 pm GMT
As much as I despise Omar's politics, in this case she is right to expose the dirty politics that Israel uses on it's "friend and ally" the United States of America.
AIPAC is the most powerful foreign lobby in the United States and has done more to influence and damage the American political process than just about any other lobby. It is a loosely-guarded secret that, in order to garner jewish support, prospective politicians must sign a loyalty oath promising support for Israel. This, in itself is un-American and borders on treason. Failure to sign the loyalty oath almost always assures a political death. AIPAC will spend millions to elect a candidate as long as he "toes the Israeli line".
Remember the USS Liberty (GTR-5), the American naval vessel that was deliberately attacked with massive loss of American lives (an act of war) by "our friend and ally" Israel on June 8, 1967. If I had my way, Israel would have been turned into a "glass parking lot" on June 9, 1967.
As an aside, we must constantly hit our politicians with charges of treason, citing the "loyalty oaths" to Israel that almost all of them have signed.
DESERT FOX , says: March 12, 2019 at 1:44 pm GMT
Dual citizens of Israel are through out the US government and have given America unending wars and debt and an unconstitutional FED and IRS. No dual citizen from any nation should be able to hold office in any government or state or county or city government in the US, no one can serve two masters and citizens of Israel serve Israel and that is why America has been at war for 18 years and counting in the Mideast!
APilgrim , says: March 12, 2019 at 1:53 pm GMT
No government official, for ANY NATION, should have dual citizenship.

No one with Caliphate, or Communist sympathies, should serve in high-level positions.

Dual Citizens should be driven from the land.

[Mar 13, 2019] This school-mandated allegiance seeped into even the most casual conversations. I remember once debating with my group of friends whether we'd rather serve with the Israeli Defense Forces or the U.S. military. Even though all of us, and our parents, were born and raised in the United States, we were unanimous: we'd rather fight for Israel.

Mar 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

Bardon Kaldian , says: March 12, 2019 at 7:34 p m GMT

There you are:
https://forward.com/opinion/420715/jewish-leaders-denounce-dual-loyalties-while-demanding-fealty-to-israel/

Israel was everywhere at the Jewish day school I attended in New York. The Israeli and American flags were proudly displayed together, no matter that I, like the majority of my classmates, was not Israeli.

This alone might be innocuous, a loose cultural affinity that would be familiar in a French or German language academy. But in Jewish day school life, outright political mobilization for Israel and its policies was a requirement.

Every year we would be "strongly encouraged" to attend the Salute to Israel parade on New York's Fifth Avenue. Teachers were marshals, and mocking stories about pro-Palestinian activists were exchanged in class the following day.

One year, we were outright required to join a protest in support of Israel, during the school day, at the United Nations.

This school-mandated allegiance seeped into even the most casual conversations. I remember once debating with my group of friends whether we'd rather serve with the Israeli Defense Forces or the U.S. military. Even though all of us, and our parents, were born and raised in the United States, we were unanimous: we'd rather fight for Israel.

With any other cultural group in America, for any other country, these statements would be shocking. After all, when was the last time you heard of an Italian-American birthright trip to Sicily? But for American Jews, the centrality of allegiance to Israel in our communal organizations is the norm.

[Mar 13, 2019] Australia doesn't allow dual citizenship by its national MPs and senators

Mar 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

Wizard of Oz , says: March 12, 2019 at 3:04 pm GMT

There is one big omission in your article PG. If you read more than the tweet from Rep. Juan Vargas that you linked as

"Questioning support for the US-Israel relationship is unacceptable."

you must have been pleased by the deluge (maybe hundreds) of Tweets uniformly condemning him and including many from people claiming believably to be Jews.

BTW Australia doesn't allow dual citizenship by its national MPs and senators and has had in the last few years a previously unparalleled spate of challenges to members already seated in Parliament. The courts have interpreted the constitutional provision strictly and MPs whose Italian born mothers filled in a form which gave them Italian citizenship without their knowledge have been caught (or at least been taken to court).

I would tend to argue that dual citizenship should be declared but that it is up yo the voters to decide whether they want to be represented by someone who isn't only an Australian. There are counterarguments however and avoidance of America's Israel First situation is certainly one of them.

wayfarer , says: March 12, 2019 at 4:17 am GMT
"Undercover Footage Zionists Don't Want You to See!"
AnonFromTN , says: March 12, 2019 at 3:45 pm GMT
It is simple, really. The US needs a law prohibiting anyone with dual citizenship to hold public office. Stated allegiance to any other country should be treated as high treason, which it is. However, I don't see Congress doing any of this: we all know what happens when the improvements in henhouse safely is in the hands of foxes.
Ilyana_Rozumova , says: March 12, 2019 at 3:51 pm GMT
Anyway All US political system is running on bribery. So the bribery is legal and cannot be tackled.
The only way to go is to distinguish the bribery and divide it into two groups.
Patriotic bribery and non patriotic bribery.
jo6pac , says: March 12, 2019 at 3:57 pm GMT
https://prepareforchange.net/2018/06/22/89-of-our-senators-and-congress-hold-dual-citizenship-citizenship-with-israel/

No comment needed

Ilyana_Rozumova , says: March 12, 2019 at 4:10 pm GMT
Here is a funny thing!!!!!!!!!
The Arabs have a proper English word for bribery: Backshish.
1 It is done in the back, so nobody sees it.
2 Shish means you should be quiet about it.
Ilyana_Rozumova , says: March 12, 2019 at 5:16 pm GMT
What bribery you may ask.
So what are those prepayed trips to Israel where the Congress people are treated as kings, and they have chance to make love to the Jewish wall of the temple. They stick their wishes written on paper into crevices of the wall. (Not too many records if the wall did take care of their wishes.}

... ... ...

renfro , says: March 12, 2019 at 5:56 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN You dont have to be a dual citizen be a traitor.

So what the US needs is an amendment to the Constitution expanding the definitions of treason and subversion to better reflect the modern day realities of our political system.

Perhaps suggest to the Magnificent Three that they put forth a bill calling for that.

JoaoAlfaiate , says: March 12, 2019 at 6:03 pm GMT
If you have any doubts about the accuracy of this article and whether Rep. Omar has been telling the truth, just ask yourself:

How many of our Solons and senior members of the Executive Branch attend the annual AIPAC gathering?

How many Congress critters take money from pro israel PACs?

the grand wazoo , says: March 12, 2019 at 7:02 pm GMT
Another Phil Geraldi gem.

What makes this piece meaningful is he is 100% correct. Representative Ilhar Omar should be applauded for her bravery. She truly is courageous, as she not only risks her political career but also her life. And by doing so she leaves open the door for others to follow. We'll soon see how serious the Zionists take this matter.

JFK called for AIPAC to register as a foreign agent, however sense his murder not one politician has ever mentioned it again. I think this says a lot about how much influence that particular lobby has. Too much.

[Mar 13, 2019] Dual loyalty is a fuzzy term. Why not go back to the tried-and-true fifth column?

Mar 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

Parasitic caste watch , says: March 12, 2019 at 2:11 pm GMT

Dual loyalty is a fuzzy term. Why not go back to the tried-and-true fifth column? These domestic Zionazis are Israel's fifth column. They constitute the vanguard of an international, and their program is clearly shown here:

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/MENARegion/Pages/ILIndex.aspx

Israel leads a counterrevolutionary plan and conspiracy for bad-faith subversion of all your human rights including your human right to peace. Israel's existence depends on domestic Apartheid, totalitarian repression in client states such as the US, and continual threats to peace worldwide. The government of Israel has forfeited its sovereignty by shirking its responsibility to protect with the crime against peace of aggression and the crime against humanity of extermination. In consequence, it must give way to a free Palestine.

The only way you're going to shake off Israel's fifth column is end Israel. You've got to do to Israel what we did to South Africa.

Johnny Walker Read , says: March 12, 2019 at 2:35 pm GMT
"No politician can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve America and Israel."

My translation of Matthew 6:24

renfro , says: March 12, 2019 at 6:09 pm GMT
@jo6pac There are 40 Jews in the house and senate .that is not 89% of the total 500 congressmen and senators.

Crap claims like this are actually harmful to the effort to get the Jewish Fifth Column and Israel out of the US because the lie will be pointed out and much fun made of the nutcases by the uber Jews.

Stick to facts .the facts are bad enough.

Grigor , says: Website March 12, 2019 at 6:51 pm GMT
Duel citizenship is only acceptable if one citizenship is from where you were born, over which you had no choice, and the other is where you have chosen to live, made your home, and become a citizen thereof. Two citizenship by choice is a sham: getting the benefactors of one but maintaining your loyalty to another.

[Mar 13, 2019] Neoconservatives use of projection

Mar 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

Felix-Culpa, March 12, 2019 at 2:04 pm GMT • 200 Words

[Stephens] attributes to her "insidious cunning" and "anti-Jewish bigotry" observing how "she wraps herself in the flag, sounding almost like Pat Buchanan when he called Congress "Israeli-occupied" territory." And it's all " how anti-Zionism has abruptly become an acceptable point of view in reputable circles. It's why anti-Semitism is just outside the frame, bidding to get in.

Let's examine how and why the cunning and bigotry of Bret Stephens gets projected by him onto Ilhan Omar.

1. Charge, sans evidence, your opponent with your own crimes and repeat the charge ad nauseam.

2. In lieu of refutation of your opponent's argument, train your reader to identify his argument as galling chutzpah and your galling chutzpah as an argument.

3. Double down on the accusatory inversion and invoke anti- Semitism: It is not the Jewish demand that the USA shut-up and bow down before Israel which is threatening to provoke an anti-Semitic reaction; no: anti-Semitism results from acknowledging as legitimate a scrutiny of the claims and aims of the Zionist state.

Mr. Stephen's rhetoric is an admission that he and his kind hate Jews, insisting as it does on the implicit acceptance of Jewish identity as irrational and homicidal. His rhetoric also represents an ultimatum to the USA: honor Israel's irrational hatred and killing of its neighbors or you are guilty of irrationally killing Jews.

This is known as desperation and is an infallible sign that yet another false Jewish messiah – Neoconservatism-has failed.

[Mar 12, 2019] White House Proposes Huge Increase in War Funding

So much for ending foreign wars and using money to increase standard of living of workers and lower middle class...
Mar 12, 2019 | news.antiwar.com
Jason Ditz Posted on March 11, 2019 March 11, 2019 Categories News Tags Pentagon , Trump As had been previously reported late last week , President Trump has unveiled a budget plan which, in addition to cutting social spending across the board, would seek a huge increase in military spending , centered almost entirely on war funding.

US military spending is always by far the largest on the planet, several times the amount of the next highest spending, China. But while other nations like China and Russia are scaling back their budgets, the Pentagon's budget, as ever, continues to rise.

Trump's proposal would bring the overall defense budget for 2020 to $750 billion. This includes a $544 billion base-line defense budget, which is not in and of itself a huge increase. But on top of that will be a nearly $100 billion in the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) Fund , and a $9 billion "emergency" funding request meant to make up for the money already taken from the military to build the border wall.

Using the OCO budget as an avenue for driving military spending up has been a common tactic in recent decades, though it had fallen out of favor in the past few years. The OCO has been heavily criticized because its nature makes it effectively a black hole, allowing the Pentagon to shuffle money around to different projects as it sees fit.

Exploding the OCO, nearly tripling it from the current year's levels, while keeping base funding roughly in line, seems meant to allow the administration to present themselves as keeping past commitments, while fueling a precipitous spending increase all the same.

[Mar 12, 2019] Just ask the Iraqis and Syrians.

Mar 12, 2019 | www.unz.com

Asagirian , says: Website March 12, 2019 at 4:27 pm GMT

Zionist-controlled US carried out globalist-pogroms or globogroms all over the world, esp against Muslim nations. Just ask the Iraqis and Syrians. (As for Palestinians, they got it bad from Ziogroms.)

Jewish elite love to talk about 'Munich', but the Munich moment in our world is about stopping Judeo-Nazi supremacists from hatching another war, such as against Iran.

Someone must draw a line in the sand and say NO. Jewish Power has crossed too many lines.

If there is World War III, it will have been instigated mainly by the Tribe.

[Mar 12, 2019] "One nation, under God and all of his defense contractors "

Notable quotes:
"... I thought we lived in a corporate state and since the Supreme Court has ruled corporations have rights – the voting morons already have loyalty to their corporate masters – "one nation, under God and all of his defense contractors " ..."
Mar 12, 2019 | www.unz.com

never-anonymous , says: March 12, 2019 at 5:23 pm GMT

I thought we lived in a corporate state and since the Supreme Court has ruled corporations have rights – the voting morons already have loyalty to their corporate masters – "one nation, under God and all of his defense contractors "

Anti-Semitism theater – a carefully staged social movement organized by Government owned media to divide the peons and make them hate each other. Real hate-group profit lies in charging for vast quantities of militarism but making just enough to kill women and children overseas.

Back home the flag waving patriots insist they need a giant military with weapons for anyone who can pay to protect them and their families. Dual loyalty to the Jewish lobby and the defense lobby.

[Mar 12, 2019] Note on the loss of power of Jewish lobby in the US Congress due to inflation

Mar 12, 2019 | www.unz.com

Ilyana_Rozumova says: March 12, 2019 at 2:31 pm GMT

We do not know the value of 30 pieces of silver today, but I do presume that Jewish bribes of Congress people are also hit by inflation. (like food). Or not?

[Mar 12, 2019] No, Dual Loyalty Isn't Okay by Philip Giraldi

Mar 12, 2019 | www.unz.com

The Solons on Capitol Hill are terrified of the expression "dual loyalty." They are afraid because dual loyalty means that one is not completely a loyal citizen of the country where one was born, raised and, presumably, prospered. It also suggests something more perverse, and that is dual citizenship, which in its present historic and social context particularly refers to the Jewish congressmen and women who just might be citizens of both the United States and Israel. There is particular concern over the issue at the moment because a freshman congresswoman Ilhan Omar has let the proverbial cat out of the bag by alluding to American-Jewish money buying uncritical support for a foreign country which is Israel without any regard to broader U.S. interests, something that everyone in Washington knows is true and has been the case for decades but is afraid to discuss due to inevitable punishment by the Israel Lobby.

Certainly, the voting record in Congress would suggest that there are a lot of congress critters who embrace dual loyalty, with evidence that the loyalty is not so much dual as skewed in favor of Israel. Any bill relating to Israel or to Jewish collective interests, like the currently fashionable topic of anti-Semitism, is guaranteed a 90% plus approval rating no matter what it says or how much it damages actual U.S. interests. Thursday's 407 to 23 vote in the House of Representatives on a meaningless and almost unreadable "anti-hate" resolution was primarily intended to punish Ilhan Omar and to demonstrate that the Democratic Party is indeed fully committed to sustaining the exclusive prerogatives of the domestic Jewish community and the Jewish state.

The voting on the resolution was far from unusual and would have been unanimous but for the fact that twenty-three Republicans voted "no" because they wanted a document that was only focused on anti-Semitism, without any references to Muslims or other groups that might be encountering hatred in America. That the congress should be wasting its time with such nonsense is little more than a manifestation of Jewish power in the United States, part of a long-sought goal of making any criticism of Israel a "hate" crime punishable by fining and imprisonment. And congress is always willing to play its part. Famously, American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) official Steven Rosen once boasted that he could take a napkin and within 24 hours have the signatures of 70 Senators on it, reflective of the ability of the leading pro-Israel organization to impel the U.S. legislature to respond uncritically to its concerns.

Ilhan Omar has certainly been forced to apologize and explain her position as she is under sustained attack from the left, right and center as well as from the White House. One congressman told her that "Questioning support for the US-Israel relationship is unacceptable." Another said "there are many reasons to support Israel, but there is no reason to oppose Israel" while yet another one declared that all in Congress are committed to insuring that the "United States and Israel stand as one."

But Omar has defended herself without abandoning her core arguments and she has further established her bona fides as a credible critic of what passes for U.S. foreign policy by virtue of an astonishing attack on former President Barack Obama, whom she criticized obliquely in an interview Friday , saying "We can't be only upset with Trump. His policies are bad, but many of the people who came before him also had really bad policies. They just were more polished than he was. That's not what we should be looking for anymore. We don't want anybody to get away with murder because they are polished. We want to recognize the actual policies that are behind the pretty face and the smile." Presumably Omar was referring to Obama's death by drone program and his destruction of Libya, among his other crimes. Everything she said about the smooth talking but feckless Obama is true and could be cast in even worse terms, but to hear the truth from out of the mouth of a liberal Democrat is something like a revelation that all progressives are not ideologically fossilized and fundamentally brain dead. One wonders what she thinks of the Clintons?

The Democrats are in a tricky situation that will only wind up hurting relationships with some of their core constituencies. If they come down too hard on Omar – a Muslim woman of color who wears a head covering – it will not look good to some key minority voters they have long courted. If they do not, the considerable Jewish political donations to the Democratic Party will certainly be diminished if not slowed to a trickle and much of the media will turn hostile. So they are trying to bluff their way through by uttering the usual bromides. Senator Kristin Gillibrand of New York characteristically tried to cover both ends by saying "Those with critical views of Israel, such as Congresswoman Omar, should be able to express their views without employing anti-Semitic tropes about money or influence." Well, of course, it is all about Jews, money buying access and obtaining political power, with the additional element of supporting a foreign government that has few actual interests in common with the United States, isn't it?

As Omar put it, "I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country " She also tweeted to a congressional critic that "I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee." Gilad Atzmon, a well known Jewish critic of Israel, observed drily that "How reassuring is it that the only American who upholds the core values of liberty, patriotism and freedom is a black Muslim and an immigrant "

But such explicatory language about the values that Americans used to embrace before Israel-worship rendered irrelevant the Constitution clearly made some lightweights from the GOP side nervous. Megan McCain, daughter of thankfully deceased "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" Senator John McCain appears on a mind numbing talk-television program called The View where she cried as she described her great love for fellow Israel-firster warmonger former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman as "like family," before launching into her own "informed" analysis: "I take the hate crimes rising in this country incredibly seriously and I think what's happening in Europe is really scary. On both sides it should be called out. And just because I don't technically have Jewish family that are blood-related to me doesn't mean that I don't take this seriously and it is very dangerous, very dangerous what Ilhan Omar is saying is very scary to me."

The New York Times also had a lot to say, covering the story on both its news and op-eds pages daily. Columnist Michelle Goldberg, who is usually sensible, criticizes Omar because of her "minimizing the legacy of the holocaust" and blames her because "she's committed what might be called, in another context, a series of microaggressions -- inadvertent slights that are painful because they echo whole histories of trauma." In other words, if some Jews are indeed deliberately corrupting American politics on behalf of Israel and against actual U.S. interests using money to do so it is not a good idea to say anything about it because it might revive bad historical – or not so historical – memories. It is perpetual victimhood employed as an excuse for malfeasance on the part of Jewish groups and the Jewish state.

Another Times columnist Bret Stephens also takes up the task of defenestrating Omar with some relish, denying that "claims that Israel uses money to bend others to its will, or that its American supporters 'push for allegiance to a foreign country'" are nothing more than the "repackage[ing] falsehoods commonly used against Jews for centuries." He attributes to her "insidious cunning" and "anti-Jewish bigotry" observing how "she wraps herself in the flag, sounding almost like Pat Buchanan when he called Congress "Israeli-occupied" territory." And it's all " how anti-Zionism has abruptly become an acceptable point of view in reputable circles. It's why anti-Semitism is just outside the frame, bidding to get in." He concludes by asking why the Democratic Party "has so much trouble calling out a naked anti-Semite in its own ranks."

Stephens clearly does not accept that what Oran claims just might actually be true. Perhaps he is so irritated by her because he himself is a perfect example of someone who suffers from dual loyalty syndrome, or perhaps it would be better described as single loyalty to his tribe and to Israel. Review some of his recent columns in The Times if you do not believe that to be true. He has an obsession with rooting out people that he believes to be anti-Semites and believes all the nonsense about Israel as the "only democracy in the Middle East." In his op-ed he claims that "Israel is the only country in its region that embraces the sorts of values the Democratic Party claims to champion." Yes, a theocratic state's summary execution of unarmed protesters and starving civilians while simultaneously carrying out ethnic cleansing are traditional Democratic Party programs, at least as Bret sees it.

People like Stephens are unfortunately possessors of a bully pulpit and are influential. As they are public figures, they should be called out regarding where their actual loyalties lie, but no one in power is prepared to do that. Stephens wears his Jewishness on his sleeve and is pro-Israel far beyond anyone else writing at The Times . He and other dual loyalists, to be generous in describing them, should be exposed for what they are, which is the epitome of the promoters of the too "passionate attachment" with a foreign state that President George Washington once warned against. If the United States of America is not their homeland by every measure, they should perhaps consider doing Aliyah and moving to Israel. We genuine Americans would be well rid of them.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is <a://www.councilforthenationalinterest.org%2C/" title="http://www.councilforthenationalinterest.org%2C/" href="http://www.councilforthenationalinterest.org%2C/">www.councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is <a:inform@cnionline.org" title="mailto:inform@cnionline.org" href="mailto:inform@cnionline.org">inform@cnionline.org .

Bragadocious , says: March 12, 2019 at 4:18 am GMT

Stephens wears his Jewishness on his sleeve and is pro-Israel far beyond anyone else writing at The Times

Amazingly the Times has actually improved from 30 years ago, when their op-ed page included Abe Rosenthal and William Safire, two of the most repulsive Zionists to ever appear in print. I still remember Safire's campaign against Bobby Inman. Inman's 1994 press conference is still a classic. (The good part begins at 23:00)

[Mar 12, 2019] Not Looking Good -- Trump Attacks Coulter, Congressional GOP Cucking On Immigration by Washington Watcher

Mar 12, 2019 | www.unz.com

See, earlier by Ann Coulter: Trump's Failing On Immigration. Don't Ask Me To Lie About It

Three weeks ago, after Donald J. Trump abandoned the government shutdown and declared a national emergency to get some funding for his border wall, I asked: Did Trump Save His Presidency? Maybe -- IF He Doesn't INCREASE Legal Immigration . Unfortunately, and incredibly given his campaign promises , Trump has repeatedly said since then that he has indeed pivoted to increasing legal immigration -- reportedly under the influence of his daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka and Jared Kushner . Trump may still be saved by the Party of Hysterical Screeching 's inability to accept even victory (because increasing legal immigration would be demographic victory for them) at his hands. But in the interim, without Presidential leadership, it appears likely that the Congressional Stupid Party will not take up the various measures that could stem America's immigration disaster -- above all, the Merkel-type catastrophe now unfolding on the southern border.

Weirdly, Trump abruptly attacked Ann Coulter , one of his earliest and most eloquent backers , on Twitter Saturday night, perhaps signaling he is repudiating the immigration patriotism he won on -- or perhaps that he knows Ann is right:

In reality of course, "major sections of the wall" have not been built. And the administration suffered yet another defeat in the courts last week over its attempts to enforce immigration law. [ In another blow to Trump, judge rules in favor of ACLU in family separations case , by Maria Sacchetti, The Washington Post , March 8, 2019] Trump is fighting, to his credit, but he simply is not winning on the border.

Coulter has consistently demanded the president implement the immigration platform he campaigne d on and her recent (admittedly savage) criticism isn't much different from what she has said since the beginning of Trump's tenure. See, recently Ann Coulter To Donald Trump: Hey, Commander! Start Commanding!

The difference lies in Trump himself. [ Anti-Immigration Groups See Trump's Calls for More Legal Immigrants as a Betrayal , by Michael D. Shear, The New York Times , March 8, 2019]

Jared Kushner is currently leading negotiations with the Cheap Labor Lobby to craft a bill that will likely increase guest worker visas. It's unclear what exactly will end up in this legislation, but it is guaranteed to enrage immigration patriots. [ Globalist Business Groups with Koch, Bush Ties Dominate Immigration Talks at White House , by John Binder, Breitbart , February 26, 2019]

Congressional Republicans also seem uninterested in immigration patriotism.

Many Republicans want to block President Trump's national emergency declaration on the border -- the one good thing Trump has recently done on immigration–because it goes against their " principles ." Thirteen House Republicans voted to block the executive order last month. "The president doesn't get to just declare an emergency for something that Congress has deliberated many times over the past several years," Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, a libertarian, said of why he sponsored legislation to stifle the national emergency. [ Rep. Justin Amash: 'The President Doesn't Get To Just Declare an Emergency' , by Joe Seyton, Reason, February 26, 2019]. Amash was joined by a group primarily made up of squishy Republicans. [ Meet the 13 Republicans who rebuked Trump over his national emergency , by Bridget Bowman, Roll Call , February 26, 2019]

Trump's executive order is receiving even more pushback from Senate Republicans. Senators such as Shelly Moore-Capito (R-West Virginia) and Susan Collins think the national emergency is "concerning" and believe Trump already has enough wall money without the declaration. [ GOP wants Trump to back off on emergency , by Alexander Bolton, The Hill , March 6, 2019]

Four Republican Senators have announced their intention to vote for legislation to block the national emergency: Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Thom Tillis, and usual Trump ally Rand Paul. More are likely to announce their support for this measure as the vote approaches this week. Pat Toomey and Todd Young, both who are close with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, want to propose resolutions to give cucky Republicans a way to voice their disapproval without voting with the Democrats.

The resolutions would convey the message that Republicans want border security, but don't want to take the necessary actions to fund said border security. Sen. Mike Lee of Utah wants to pass a resolution that would restrict the president's emergency powers and place a 30-day or 60-day time limit on how long they can be in effect without congressional approval.

McConnell announced Monday that he could not prevent passage of legislation blocking Trump's national emergency declaration. The New York Times declared this announcement as proof that Trump has lost influence within his own party. [ Trump's Grip Shows Signs of Slipping as Senate Prepares to Block Wall Emergency , By Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Emily Cochrane, The New York Times , March 4, 2019]

The good news is that Trump will most likely veto this legislation and Congress doesn't have enough votes to override the veto. The President is also threatening senators who vote for the block with stiff consequences. [ Senate Republicans divided ahead of vote on disapproval of national emergency , by Ted Barrett, CNN , March 7, 2019] There is little chance the President will sign a bill that overrides his own action, even if his close advisers tell him to do so. Trump's instincts would never allow such behavior.

The bad news: it's a sign congressional Republicans have no will to support immigration patriotism at the moment. This is very bad considering the immigration bills that may come before them in the near future, including the possible White House measure on guest worker visas. House Democrats are set to introduce a new DREAM Act that will legalize at least 1.8 million illegals and extend Temporary Protected Status for hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals.

Congressional Republicans need to get their act together to kill these pieces of legislation. But they may be at the forefront in support of them. Last fall, multiple Republican senators, including the appalling Thom Tillis, proposed a bill that would double the number of H-2b visas and screw over low-skilled American workers. And last month, several Republicans -- alas, including supposed immigration patriot Tom Cotton -- championed the easement of some regulations on H-1b visas.

The better hope for killing a guest worker expansion lies with the Democrats. Anyone with a brain realizes this would be bad for American workers and benefits greedy corporations. Democrats have never been too fond of this plan, as evidenced by their skepticism about its expansion in the Gang of Eight Amnesty. [ Gang of 8 defends guest worker plan , by Seung Min Kim, Politico , May 13, 2013]. What better way to portray Trump as a phony populist in 2020 than to skewer him for this gift to the cheap labor lobby?

The House Democrats' proposed DREAM Act will probably go nowhere–unless Trump includes that idea in his immigration package. There are some positive signs that the White House won't do this; and that Republicans would block its passage. Kushner floated the idea of giving green cards for Dreamers in exchange for wall funding during shutdown negotiations earlier this year. That plan was firmly opposed by conservative senators who thought it was insanity [ A "go big" idea to end the shutdown , by Jonathan Swan, Axios , January 23, 2019]

Though Congress and the White House seem set on terrible immigration ideas, it's worth remembering there are alternative patriotic immigration proposals they could push. All of these ideas would not likely pass the current Congress, but they would shape the immigration debate in a positive direction ahead of the 2020 election.

El Chapo Act:

This bill proposed by Sen. Ted Cruz would confiscate the money of drug lords like Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman and allocate it to building the wall. Cruz reintroduced the proposal in February and believes the government could obtain $14 billion out of El Chapo's drug profits through this law [ Sen. Ted Cruz's solution to border wall impasse: Make El Chapo pay for it , by Deanna Paul, The Washington Post , February 13, 2019]. This would be more money than Trump currently has for wall construction and would send a strong message to the cartels. The president himself has said Sen. Cruz's idea is "interesting." There is no reason Republicans shouldn't hold a vote on this bill and make Democrats stand up for drug cartels.

Kate's Law:

This bill, named after Kate Steinle who was murdered by an illegal alien, would institute harsher penalties for illegals caught re-entering the country. This measure passed the House in 2017, but it died in the (n.b. GOP-controlled)Senate [ Senate Has Not Voted On Kate's Law Five Months After It Passed The House With Bipartisan Support , by Will Racke, The Daily Caller , December 1, 2017].

Trump should resurrect the bill. Yes, it's passage is less likely with a Democrat-controlled House. That doesn't matter. The president needs to convey he still wants to crack down on illegal immigration and that his opponents favor criminal aliens over American citizens.

Along with the El Chapo Act, probably has the best chance at passage among the ideas the Trump admin could push as multiple Democrats voted for it back in 2017. There is still a chance enough Democrats would vote for it again to achieve passage.

No Sanctuary for Criminals Act:

This act would cut Sanctuary Cities off from federal law enforcement funds and it was also passed by the House in 2017, albeit by a smaller margin than Kate's Law. It also went nowhere in the (GOP-controlled) Senate. If Republicans want to highlight the chaos created by Democrat policies, they should revive this bill and remind Americans that Trump stands up for law and order. This act, however, does have less chance of passage as it was more strongly opposed by Democrats [ Dems block Senate vote on sanctuary cities , by Alexander Bolton, The Hill , February 13, 2018]

Mandatory e-Verify:

Requiring all American companies to use e-verify seems almost too good of an idea for Republicans. The bill explicitly protects American workers and puts the onus on employers to make sure they only hire those who are here legally. This should receive bipartisan support as both parties want to portray themselves as the true protectors of American workers.

House Republicans included the measure in their DACA deal last year, so they are aware of this proposal [ Goodlatte offers E-Verify mandate, farm worker fix for immigration bill , by John Bresnahan, Politico , June 26, 2018]. We just need one patriot Republican to stand up and offer mandatory e-Verify. This proposal also has a decent chance of passage.

Override the Flores Settlement:

This 1997 court decision has handcuffed the Trump administration's ability to enforce immigration law and is directly responsible for the current border collapse. It has allowed liberal judges to deem it unlawful for the government to detain illegal alien minors for more than 20 days. It also has allowed for these minors to have better access to asylum as they remain in America undetained. Some Republican lawmakers, including Ted Cruz, suggested legislative action in the last congressional session to correct this loophole [ The History of the Flores Settlement , by Matt Sussis, Center for Immigration Studies , February 11, 2019].

A bill to end this policy would not likely pass as many Republicans shrank from the Trump's family detention policies last summer [ Here Are the Republicans Opposing Migrant Family Separation , by Jeff Cirillo, Roll Call , June 19, 2018]. That doesn't change the fact that the Trump administration needs this legislation to avoid further court losses and to shift public discussion on family detention to focus on Democratic preference for illegal immigrants.

Eliminating birthright citizenship:

There is no way that this idea would pass Congress, but it does have the backing of the President and one prominent Republican senator. Trump said he may eliminate birthright citizenship by executive order and Sen. Lindsey Graham proposed a bill to do so right before the 2018 election. [ Lindsey Graham Seconds Trump Proposal to End Birthright Citizenship , by Niels Lesniewski, Roll Call , October 30, 2018]

Those plans, however, seem to have disappeared since then. But Trump still seems interested in the issue -- he mentioned it in his speech to CPAC -- and events may prompt the president to revisit the topic. A bill would cause an uproar within Congress and among the Republican caucus, let alone an executive order. And that's good. If Trump wants to have a serious discussion on citizenship and reduce the negative effects of mass immigration, then he must force this issue into the public square.

Javanka would likely oppose any such effort, so perhaps their White House influence would have to be minimalized from what it is today for this to happen.

The RAISE Act:

The RAISE Act would halve America's yearly immigration intake and structure our system to be more "merit-based." It would also cap annual refugee numbers at 50,000 and eliminate the diversity visa lottery. The bill was introduced by Sens. Tom Cotton and David Perdue with Trump's backing in August 2017. But (again, despite GOP control of Congress) nothing happened.

If Trump wants to show he still puts America first ahead of 2020, he could resurrect the RAISE Act. There is no chance it would pass, but it would force Republicans to run on the plan and win the seats necessary to pass it in Trump's second term.

These are some positive things Trump and Republicans can do. Whether they choose to do them is up to them.

It's not looking good.

Washington Watcher [ email him ] is an anonymous source Inside The Beltway.

[Mar 11, 2019] CNN 2020 Town Hall Live Stream Time, How to Watch Tulsi Gabbard, Pete Buttigieg, John Delaney at SXSW

Mar 11, 2019 | www.newsweek.com

Gabbard is set to lay out her vision for the country and her 2020 candidacy during a live presidential town hall starting at 8 p.m. ET. The "Live From SXSW" event Sunday will be moderated by CNN's Dana Bash and Jake Tapper. The event will air live on CNN , CNN International and CNN Español channels.

[Mar 11, 2019] Anyone remember Mullah Omar

Notable quotes:
"... That 93% of all personnel that are employed by the CIA are paper pushers in Langley and just 7% are in the field, of which I read sometime ago, has a ring of truth to me. ..."
Mar 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

David , Mar 10, 2019 2:18:10 PM | link

Anyone remember Mullah Omar, the deceased leader of the Taliban? The U.S. military and intelligence services claimed over and over again that he was hiding in Pakistan. Bette Dam finds (pdf) that he wasn't:
After 2001, Mullah Omar never stepped foot in Pakistan, instead opting to hide in his native land -- and for eight years, lived just a few miles from a major U.S. Forward Operating Base that housed thousands of soldiers.

In late 2001, after the U.S. invasion, Mullah Omar resigned as leader of the Taliban and the movement officially surrendered to Hamid Karzai who promised them reconciliation. The U.S. did not like that and launched a vengeful campaign against all former Taliban member. Eighteen years later the U.S. is suing for peace.

Mullah Omar lived quietly, meditated and studied religious text. Allah remarked on his death:

On April 23, 2013, Mullah Omar passed away. That day, Jabbar Omari told me, the hot, dry lands of southern Afghanistan experienced something he'd never seen before: a hail storm. I assumed it was hagiographic bluster, but later I found a U.S. army publication referring to that day: "More than 80 Task Force Falcon helicopters were damaged when a sudden unprecedented hailstorm hit Kandahar Airfield April 23, where nearly half of the brigade's helicopters were parked."
The fact that Mullah Omar's death was suppressed for two years even from high-level official sources, indicates to me that the theory bin Laden died in 2001 is very plausible. We even have a similar progression of statements regarding their respective health, doubts of whether they were alive at the respective time, etc.

Of course, both terror leaders were kept "alive" for geopolitical reasons. Once ISIS (and later Russia/China) took over as a serious threat in the corporate media narrative, they no longer had to cling to those old phantoms.

Jose Garcia , Mar 10, 2019 2:38:46 PM | link

The story on Omar is astonishing, but to me not surprising. If the US spends billions on finding one guy, and at the end of the day, he is literally just down the road, it shows how incompetent and useless our intelligence gathering has become.

That 93% of all personnel that are employed by the CIA are paper pushers in Langley and just 7% are in the field, of which I read sometime ago, has a ring of truth to me.

Stupidity has a firm grip on our rulers, and they are getting, not only us but many others, killed for absolutely no reason. And the dunces called the American voter, keep re-electing them. It leaves me breathless.

[Mar 11, 2019] Not one critical word about people throwing Molotov cocktails

Mar 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Rufus , Mar 10, 2019 1:06:59 PM | link

On the NYT story, you have to love how transparent the propaganda is, and yet they (Bolton, Pompeo, Rubio) don't care whatsoever. Oh, and not one critical word about people throwing Molotov cocktails. Like that's a perfectly normal, non-violent means of protest.

Glenn Greenwald also has a good one on this.

https://theintercept.com/2019/03/10/nyts-expose-on-the-lies-about-burning-humanitarian-trucks-in-venezuela-shows-how-us-govt-and-media-spread-fake-news/

[Mar 11, 2019] Military industrial complex might struggle for relevance as the country

Mar 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

ben , Mar 10, 2019 9:31:32 PM | link

IF this article has validity, there was absolutely no play on MSM anywhere.

"A group of progressive lawmakers including Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ro Khanna, Elizabeth Warren, and many others are signing onto a pledge saying that they will not support the endless "forever wars" that the U.S. loves to engage in. This is a big leap forward, and it shows that the military industrial complex might struggle for relevance as the country continues to move to the left. Ring of Fire's Farron Cousins discusses this."

https://trofire.com/2019/03/05/progressive-lawmakers-team-up-to-stop-americas-forever-wars

[Mar 09, 2019] Another crazy demand: Trump Asks Germany, Japan To Pay For Being Occupied

Notable quotes:
"... The multi-polar world is quickly becoming a reality and the US empire is in decline. Doubtful this brouhaha about 'protection money' will change that trend in any meaningful way. ..."
Mar 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Rollings | Mar 8, 2019 12:35:35 PM | link

The simplistic explanation is tempting:

The multi-polar world is quickly becoming a reality and the US empire is in decline. Doubtful this brouhaha about 'protection money' will change that trend in any meaningful way.

The only other explanation is this really is 4D chess on Trump's part where he sees these silly shakedown attempts as the most efficient way of getting the US out of NATO.

[Mar 09, 2019] Germany served its sentence; now the US troops should simply leave the country

Mar 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

m , Mar 8, 2019 11:38:31 AM | link

Thanks B. This is how empires end, or at least one way. Hubris gets them every time. I for one will be glad to see US troops at the very least reduced in Italy, and for all of Europe for that matter.

Especially now that the INF is dead. And I hear that Italy is now looking at embracing China's B&R Initiative. I say have at it! There's the shiver waiting to run up Washington's spine. You might find this amusing, too: > https://thesaker.is/us-treats-luxembourg-like-a-vassal-state-or-us-imperial-hubris-gone-bonkers/ Little Luxembourg. It does bring a big smile. Keep going, Trump. You're on the right track. More Art of the Deal, anyone?

BM , Mar 8, 2019 11:38:41 AM | link

Oh, what a perfect graphic depiction! Spot on!
james , Mar 8, 2019 11:40:05 AM | link
thanks b... descriptive pic!!! why are american bases all over the planet anyway?
ab initio , Mar 8, 2019 11:42:03 AM | link
This will be good for every one. Trump demands the Germans and Japanese pay for US protection, which they reject and the US military goes home. Isn't that an excellent outcome for all parties?
Elliott A , Mar 8, 2019 11:42:10 AM | link
Thank you for yet another good and humorous post.

The only section that is slightly unclear is, "The only sound reason to keep the 30,000 U.S. troops in Germany is to prevent them from moving to Poland from where they could threaten the country."

Surely the US occupation of Germany has been tacitly or latently threatening and controlling and dominating and bullying and extorting Germany for around 74 years?

So what major difference would it make if they were moved a few hundred kilometers away?

Kick 'em out! Germany has more than served her sentence!

A clarification would be much appreciated.

ab initio , Mar 8, 2019 11:49:49 AM | link
The European people should support Trump in his desire to eliminate NATO. Of course the Deep State in both Europe and the US will fight it tooth and nail. Maybe the #GiletsJaunes who have been erased from western media will finally topple the Party of Davos candidate Macron. And similar populist movements in other European countries can topple other Deep State stooges from western Europe. Merkel is already on her way out as the CDU/CSU combine and the Social Democrats implode in Germany.
Jose Garcia , Mar 8, 2019 11:52:33 AM | link
Extortion because you're broke. We don't have the money to pay for it, so this administration resorts to mob tactics to keep the scam going. "The government and us are cut from the same cloth." Sam Giancana, former Chicago mob boss.
Zachary Smith , Mar 8, 2019 11:54:49 AM | link
If that graphic is any indication of public opinion in Germany, things are even worse than I'd heard.

There has been a small series of events where the German Government gave the US meddlers a shove-off. First was the new gas pipeline Nord 2 - they refused to fold for perfectly good economic reasons. Next was the German rejection of the horrible F-35. Recently I'm seeing headlines about Germany and the Chinese 5G company.

Germany won't ban Huawei from 5G auction

Given all of this, I'm beginning to doubt if the Germans will allow the US to plant new short-range nuclear missiles on their soil. Becoming a WW3 target for no good reason except to please the US of A Imperia wouldn't seem to be a very clever move on their part.

BM , Mar 8, 2019 11:55:54 AM | link
I agree with Elliott A that it is better to have the US troops in Poland than in Germany - and better that the inviters of the US troops then become the target for the defensive nuclear missiles they force Russia to deploy rather than Germany.

Furthermore, if Poland is forced to pay the full cost of their invited US guests, maybe their voters will eventually come to their senses and vote in more rational Polish politicians.

Spectacular own goal, Trump!

dh , Mar 8, 2019 12:00:27 PM | link
The Poles may want them but they won't be paying for it. Nice of Donald to ask though rather than tell .... has he been talking diplomacy classes?
Elliott A , Mar 8, 2019 12:06:26 PM | link
Thank you, BM.

The Poles are generally pseudo-Catholic and mercenary, pro-American in-name-only; as soon as it could hit them in the pocket, they will pipe down very quickly and balk/bridle.

Hence Poland is a worthy (temporary) stopover for the US (including the NSA) when evicted from Germany. The fact that Merkel is out soon is dangerous because she doesn't really G/A/F, and will defer the decision to the next poor blighter.

There could be a treaty in place that says American troops can remain in Germany until the year 2500 but Trump's just shot himself in the foot again by giving Germany a get-out clause.

Kadath , Mar 8, 2019 12:07:23 PM | link
Zero hedge is reporting that Pence went a bit further than that and urged Germany To provoke Russian Navy in the Kerch Strait by sending ships there in a freedom of navigation exercise. Strangely enough Merkel said she was willing to provoke Russia, but thought doing it wouldn't accomplish anything so she didn't want to provoke Russia for no reason. God, how insane are these idiots. And now it looks like in response Pence/Trump will extort Germany for not being mindlessly obedient enough.
BM , Mar 8, 2019 12:07:51 PM | link
Merkel is already on her way out as the CDU/CSU combine and the Social Democrats implode in Germany.
Posted by: ab initio | Mar 8, 2019 11:49:49 AM | 6

The problem is though, that the Deep State have already reserved their places in Merkel's successors, the AfD. All of these right-wing "populist" parties acros Europe seem to be no more than a cynical vehicle for the Deep State to hijack popular discontent and channel it into a new form of slavery to replace the old. Hence Steve Banner's dubious and highly dangerous politicking for the so-called populist movement in Europe.

A real future lies in Jeremy Corbyn and maybe also a few other left-wing parties in Europe (as long as they don't become compradors like Syriza) - but the Deep State is fighting Corbyn tooth and nail. In Germany there is Die Linke who have some good people and some good policies (from my limited knowledge!) - but their popularity is still in the doldrums, unfortunately.

JohninMK , Mar 8, 2019 12:08:50 PM | link
Wow, if he is asking us to pay for the US occupation does that mean that if we say no that he will take them home? Or is it an empty threat?

A very dangerous question to even think about asking let alone encourage it.

karlof1 , Mar 8, 2019 12:14:11 PM | link
And of course, the extortion must be paid in US Dollars. Clearly, the threat is all about keeping Dollar Hegemony alive by reducing the massive trade deficit. I see AfD making capital thanks to this. As for Japan, Russia will not sign a Peace Treaty with it until all foreign military forces are removed--a condition that's been reiterated several times over the last few months to which I've linked. Okinawans are furious at being twice colonized and are at the end of their rope. So far they've been peaceful, but I think it's clear to them by now that the only way to remove the foreign vermin is to literally push them into the sea. Korea's situation's been discussed on that thread.

For the domestic Outlaw US Empire, shutting down the Overseas Empire of Bases and the related destabilization projects globally would save @ $1 Trillion/year--an utter wastage of monies for projects that are decidedly NOT in the National Interest. And as most here understand, the world would be more peaceful if the Outlaw US Empire would cease being an Outlaw and an Empire. And it would become cleaner too as the US Military is the most polluting entity on the planet.

Ghost Ship , Mar 8, 2019 12:17:52 PM | link
>>>> dh | Mar 8, 2019 12:00:27 PM | 10

Isn't Poland offering to pay the United States $2 billion to establish a base called Fort Trump?

BTW, perhaps this is a ruse to remove all U.S. troops from Syria. I'd love to be there when Elliott "debt collector" Abrams turns up demanding the money from Assad. There is an opportunity for one of the greatest reality TV programs ever (I'm a neo-con, get me out of here) which makes me wonder if that's Trump's reason for this scheme.

stevelaudig , Mar 8, 2019 12:19:30 PM | link
All Americans needs to protect Americans in the US is a coast guard and a border patrol. Everything else is either protection for corporations doing business [which should be added to the price of their products/services to reflect true costs] or empire.
Elliott A , Mar 8, 2019 12:19:55 PM | link
Yes, it's another damp squib, another no-win, another over-promise, another posture, like all the others.

This is all Trump knows and integrity never enters the equation.

Any sign of that border wall, that the Mexican government was going to pay for?

Not exactly "The Art of The Deal". more like one long and embarrassing suicide note.

I don't exactly dislike Trump particularly as he has "Mullered" a number of cretinous insiders whom required a reality check but he is hindbound by his capinet; none of his plans went through and he is in it well over his depth particularly since he appears to be suffering from ADHD, dementia and schizophrenia - just what you need in the Commander-in-Chief?

Ger , Mar 8, 2019 12:20:34 PM | link
On the bright side, you can get a bigly discount for being a faithful toady and swearing allegiance to the US of A. Wonder where the US 'leaders' got the idea of swearing allegiance to a foreign power?
Lavrenty , Mar 8, 2019 12:21:04 PM | link
A Fort Trump in Poland? Maybe...

https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/10/08/fort-trump-is-a-farce-poland/

Ghost Ship , Mar 8, 2019 12:24:34 PM | link
>>>> karlof1 | Mar 8, 2019 12:14:11 PM | 15
....the world would be more peaceful if the Outlaw US Empire would cease being an Outlaw and an Empire....

Trump's just demonstrated that by staying out of the very recent Indo-Pakistan incident. Maybe he didn't want Americans dying in the shithole that is the sub-continent. Maybe he didn't see any opportunity to line his own pocket. Whatever his reason, he did the right thing. Would Hillary have done the same? I don't know.....

psychohistorian , Mar 8, 2019 12:25:28 PM | link
Thanks for the posting b LOL!!!!

Empire is getting the rest of its plates spinning so that must mean that the end is getting closer. I don't think that the Philippine's plate is spinning fast enough so Trump needs to give it some special love.

Pretty soon we will need a plate spinning scorecard just to keep track of all the action.

Syria
Iran
Ukraine
Venezuela
Russia
China
Korea
EU w/ NATO
and now Germany and Japan

What plates am I missing?

Think about how much of the peoples resources are going to keeping these plates spinning.

Who are going to come to the table with what arguments when the debt music stops?

Zanon , Mar 8, 2019 12:31:41 PM | link
For Germans here,
Is there any party in Germany being against US forces in Germany? Or if not being against, atleast questioning this issue?
Rollings , Mar 8, 2019 12:35:35 PM | link
The simplistic explanation is tempting:

* Trump has driving desire to be seen as the first businessman president.
* The appeal of Trump making 'allies pay their fair share' any reality check on how counterproductive the effort is to the waning US empire
* Trump's unique candidacy put him in the White House without any real foreign policy staff who would have long ago gotten Trump to abandon the silly idea - at least after he was elected.

The multi-polar world is quickly becoming a reality and the US empire is in decline. Doubtful this brouhaha about 'protection money' will change that trend in any meaningful way.

The only other explanation is this really is 4D chess on Trump's part where he sees these silly shakedown attempts as the most efficient way of getting the US out of NATO.

mk , Mar 8, 2019 12:42:27 PM | link

btw - The picture is probably from the Duesseldorf Carnival.
GM , Mar 8, 2019 12:51:49 PM | link
American troops pack up your shit and get the f*ck out, oh and here's an invoice for $100 billion to cover the cost of cleaning up your toxic waste.
Thanks for your business.
David Wooten , Mar 8, 2019 12:52:15 PM | link
"They are neither needed nor wanted."

The only Germans that want them are restaurants and shops located near the bases and other businesses that cater to them.

Yes, Trump's new policy is very welcome if it gets Germany to kick them out or, better yet, get out of NATO. I wonder if Trump intends it - or is he just plain stupid?

hopehely , Mar 8, 2019 12:52:16 PM | link
From the article:
Victor Cha, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said the administration was sending a deliberate message by demanding "Cost Plus 50" from South Korea first , even though that effort fell short.

Ouch, poor SK. What a timing, straight after 'successful' NK talks.
With allies like that, who needs enemies?
dh , Mar 8, 2019 12:53:42 PM | link
@16 Only $2 billion? Would that be a lump sum up front or payable in installments? Can't see Donald falling for it.
KD , Mar 8, 2019 12:57:36 PM | link
Ghost Ship @ 21
In that incident an aged MIG21 from India downed a F16 from Pakistan.
Also there is a $20bil project going on in India to make F16 locally.
https://in.reuters.com/article/lockheed-india/lockheed-sees-potential-exports-of-200-f-16-jets-from-proposed-indian-plant-idINKCN1PF1CG?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social

I guess the atmosphere was just not right to poke the nose in else it would have been ideal scenario.

AriusArmenian , Mar 8, 2019 1:08:21 PM | link
Perhaps this will finally get the EU to kick the US and its NATO out.

But I don't underestimate the ability of EU elites to crawl to the US. It's like second nature. And they get their pockets stuffed full of dollars to be kept in line.

BraveNewWorld , Mar 8, 2019 1:22:44 PM | link
Let me guess the free loading douche bag country that gets the most support from the US will magically be excluded from these demands yet again.

I sure hope they try this protection racquet in Iraq. The government is already under huge pressure to kick the Americans out after Trumps visit there last month.

Lysander , Mar 8, 2019 1:38:09 PM | link
What's America's plan to maintain economic wealth at the end of the debt spiral and dollar collapse????

I have an idea!! Tribute! Hey, it worked for the Aztecs. Soon many countries will see it as a small price to pay to avoid having democracy brought to their countries. Previous versions of this scheme, such as buying US treasury debt knowing full well it will never be repaid wont cut it anymore. So we are moving towards the real thing.

Vato , Mar 8, 2019 1:56:22 PM | link
When I used to play football in my young days (i.e. soccer for the american lads here), I had to pass by a huge US military base in the south of Germany each time in order to reach the training ground. But strangely, I never challenged the necessity of that base in the first place - probably due to my lack of geopolitical, historical consciousness. Only after they build a second, even bigger base directly on the opposite side of the road and after two combat helicopters - for the first time - flew directly above my head, I finally became aware and started to question things. I wonder how many people that drive the same road each day actually do feel the same...
Anyway, thank you b and thanks to all the well-experienced forumites for providing the vital informations and inputs that helped me to better understand what is going on after all.
Alaric , Mar 8, 2019 2:04:56 PM | link
Is trump trying to get the US booted from Europe?

This is quite a slap in the face as the US has been raising tensions with Russia and any conflict with Russia would likely cause the destruction of Europe.

jv , Mar 8, 2019 2:07:06 PM | link
Wondering how this will play out in places such as the Persian Gulf state of Bahrain where the U.S. actually pays the dictator to lease the Navy and Air Force bases? Where the U.K. pays the dictator for a British naval facility, too, which is shared?

Remember when Bahrain and other Arab countries in the Persian Gulf didn't want bases to be called bases? Instead they were each a Regional Operations Support Establishment, aka ROSE. Surely there's a different term now, but we still pay to lease bases.

Nemesiscalling , Mar 8, 2019 2:10:58 PM | link
Give trump credit: he raises the issue. And by doing so he gives people the opportunity to be thrust into the act of questioning.

I continue to believe that this is really the overriding attribute of his presidency. What people like the Germans do with this opportunity is entirely incumbent on them. But it is an opportunity nonetheless, and as b correctly asserts, this is a welcomed change from the political grab ass of the preceding administrations.

Jen , Mar 8, 2019 2:23:58 PM | link
We should wish good luck to the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) in hosting US bases: not only will they have to foot the cost of hosting US forces but their entire economies by now must be revolving around being open-air military barracks. All while their own citizens are voting with their feet.
Jen , Mar 8, 2019 2:30:14 PM | link
Psychohistorian @ 22: You're missing large parts of Africa (possibly Djibouti where there's a US base; Rwanda which is a US satrapy under President Paul Kagame; western Africa where there are offshore oil and gas deposits) and Georgia where the US operates a bioweapons laboratory.
Drew , Mar 8, 2019 2:38:57 PM | link
Once again, on the surface this is obvious extortion. But I can't help but think this is really a purposeful 'own goal.' I know this is likely giving Trump too much credit, but in a parallel universe this is exactly what you would do if you had a hidden agenda to enfeeble the US to cause our eventual pull back. There's no political way to slowly scale back our involvement, but there is a way to overreach under everyone's noses and get the same end result. Is this a 666d chess move or just what happens as empire descends into chaos, grasping at straws? Either way I'm fine with the obvious result!
Likklemore , Mar 8, 2019 2:49:53 PM | link
We are seeing the true colors. What we now have are Co-Presidents: Bolton, Trump; and Co-Vice Presidents Pompous and Pence. The 4 morons do not realize they are isolating the U.S.A. and hastening rejection of the USD.
Adhere my diktat and keep purchasing our T-bills.

RT cites Bloomberg Merkel refuses to send Navy ships to Russia's shores, rebuffs US pressure

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has allegedly stood up to pressure from Washington as she declined a proposal by Vice President Mike Pence to send German Navy ships towards Russia's Crimea, Bloomberg reports, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter. Pence allegedly wanted German ships to sail through the Kerch Strait separating Crimea from mainland Russia. France, [.]
pretzelattack , Mar 8, 2019 3:13:14 PM | link
next, trump asks venezuela to pay in advance for the invasion. in usd.
Emmanuel Goldstein , Mar 8, 2019 3:59:51 PM | link
This is an utterly brilliant Empire-killing move by Trump. Speaking of the UK I wonder how much we will be asked to pony up for the US air bases and troops still in the UK 75 years after D-day. This should hit just after Brexit and we may have a different government in the chair......
chuck newsum , Mar 8, 2019 4:08:51 PM | link
the germans would be owned by the russian,gadaffi saddam hussein serbia and hitler if it was not for uk and usa.
we keep the world safe and stop irania and the hamas terroist pushing israel into the sea.

i say to the germans pay the man or be invaded by evil doers

john , Mar 8, 2019 4:09:12 PM | link
i know it's an old trope...it goes all the way back to 2016...but i smell weaponized flatulence.
james , Mar 8, 2019 4:14:29 PM | link
lol to the last two posts...
Jonathan , Mar 8, 2019 4:26:37 PM | link
pretzelattack @42,

That's not how a leveraged buyout works.

karlof1 , Mar 8, 2019 4:29:06 PM | link
Although I didn't read or watch, it appears most major BigLie Media have published/aired this story, a point I was curious about since Friday's usually a slow news day, thus begging the question: What's the public's reaction? Might there be a groundswell calling for returning the troops home so that both the occupied nation and the occupier save monies? And what of the opposite argument, that even more troops and bases are needed to defend against the Red and Yellow Menace?
Deltaeus , Mar 8, 2019 4:42:01 PM | link
If I was a president who could not step too far out of line due to powerful forces all around me, I would take the ideas of neocons et al and push them even further over the line past reasonable.
No-one in power could argue against me because I'm implementing their ideas, even though I'm taking them too far.
But pushing things too far creates real resistance, and makes the real policies obvious, and brings about the end of the empire.

I might decide to:
1. Move the US embassy to Jerusalem, to make it clear who calls the shots
2. Demand that NATO countries pay more and publicly disrespect their leaders
3. Demand that Germany and Japan pay for their occupation
4. Obviously attack Venezuela (in contrast to previous less-obvious attacks)
5. and other increasingly outrageous demands until the vassals get fed up

Meanwhile I'd do other things that I have to do to keep the powerful forces happy.
I may be a terrible person with no 3-d chess master plan, but perhaps things would be different after my term. And "different" might approximate "better".

karlof1 , Mar 8, 2019 4:49:28 PM | link
OT--FYI--OT--WOW!

"Obama was a smiling murderer, says Ilhan Omar" And of course, she's 100% correct. As Ben Norton noted in this tweet , Omar's words were citied in a Politico article that he linked. You'll note, that by extension she also called Trump a murderer, just not as "polished."

karlof1 , Mar 8, 2019 4:58:29 PM | link
Deltaeus @49--

There's merit in your argument. For example, the so far small contingent of anti-war Progressive Democrats either were elected or emboldened thanks to Trump, Rep. Omar being the most prominent example. The same could be said of pushing the far-right's policy goals, as that's also generated resistance. Too bad the initial call for resistance was based on the Russiagate hoax. Time will tell!

teri , Mar 8, 2019 4:59:53 PM | link
Okay. If you don't get your weekly payola, then shut down the foreign bases. Only thing is, what do we do with all these armed people trained to kill on command, looking for some action in between saying the Pledge of Allegiance and painting Bible verses on bombs?

I sure as shit don't want them all coming back here, loitering around in the US. Got too many cops on steroids as it is.

psychohistorian , Mar 8, 2019 5:05:44 PM | link
@ teri who wrote
"
I sure as shit don't want them all coming back here, loitering around in the US. Got too many cops on steroids as it is.
"
Its called karma


I live here too....the energy needs to be refocused on planet rehab and going to the stars along with my standard make global finance public

Hoarsewhisperer , Mar 8, 2019 5:35:10 PM | link
It will fun to watch this developing:

It sure will.
Especially the Neocons as they scramble around trying to collect all the rust flakes to glue them back onto dilapidated USA's dilapidated Foreign Policy.

ADKC , Mar 8, 2019 5:44:06 PM | link
I'm sorry, but many people posting here are delusional about Trump's motives.

For a start, none of the issues discussed in this post would cause the American people much in the way of dispute. Broadly, most Americans would think that other countries should pay for US "support". Americans disagree quite a bit about "The Wall" and gender issues around public restrooms; but not so much about the issues raised in this post. So there IS NO RESISTANCE, and WILL NOT BE ANY RESISTANCE, within the US, on getting countries to pay.

Other countries might have problems but what other countries think has never been much of an issue for Americans.

The issue of getting other countries to pay is about cost and the out-of-control US debt. And, also, about Trump electioneering.

Should other countries refuse to pay (or request US troops to leave), then they can expect to be sanctioned or economically damaged. Just consider how France (a US ally) had one of their prize jewel (world-beating) nuclear technology intellectual assets, Alstom's Arabelle steam turbine , taken from them by the US. This happened way before Trump so demonstrates how the US operates (the art of the [coercive] deal is the way the US rolls). France, and in particular Macron, who was French Finance/Economic Minster, at the time, had no choice but to accept the takeover. Macron actually appeared quite gleeful about it (Macron was effectively working for US, not French, interests).

Ghost Ship , Mar 8, 2019 5:47:59 PM | link
Can Columbia or Kosovo afford to pay? Or will Washington increase the financial support they give to those countries to cover the bill.

As for NATO, the core system was based on the countries that are members providing a reliable easily-secured base for American expeditionary forces to attack and invade one of the two countries that are at the heart of the Eurasian landmass. In exchange for that the United States bankrolled NATO. If Trump breaks that bargain, what incentive is there for the core members of NATO to allow wars to be fought on their territory particularly now that Putin has said he is focused on improving the lives of ordinary Russians rather than going to war with Europe but will make sure that the decision centres of any countries that attack or are somehow involved in an attack on Russia will be destroyed. None as far as I can see, so it looks like it'll be goodbye NATO.

james , Mar 8, 2019 6:04:23 PM | link
@55ADKC - why would other countries pay to have the usa military on their soil? this explains the whole agenda of fearmongering that has been in overdrive 24/7 since i was a kid... nothing else explains it.. keep the fear up to justify this craziness.. i can't see anyone paying for it.. i sure wouldn't want that if i was german, japanese or south korean for example... now, maybe the leaders of these countries are going to be faced with a stark choice... side with this b.s., or get removed from office... i praise trump for bringing this forth and hope that he strikes a big fat zero from the countries that have usa bases on them...
Seamus Padraig , Mar 8, 2019 6:12:39 PM | link
@23

Die Linke are officially opposed to NATO and want Germany to withdraw from it.

arby , Mar 8, 2019 6:18:07 PM | link
I think Trump believes the hype fed to Americans forever that the US soldiers are the good guys and they really are protecting these countries. He also has a reputation for squeezing contractors etc.
To MAGA he thinks it needs better deals and more people sending money in.

These are his motives and not 4d chess.

dh , Mar 8, 2019 6:45:47 PM | link
@59. I think that's right. He genuinely believes US forces are out there protecting 'our allies' and keeping the world safe for democracy etc. But he also thinks 'our allies' are taking advantage of American generosity. This is a common sentiment among Trump voters.
arby , Mar 8, 2019 6:49:46 PM | link
I think most Americans think they are protecting the world.
iv> i agrees we are the white hatters many folks hate the uk and usa and norway for are freedoms.
we need to be able to affords a big bat to stomp the evil doers if we cannot afford the big bat folks must suffer.
the uk and usa tax payers are sick of paying for new bats to protect the world if the world does not pay for protection new hitlers arrafats,gadaffis and hezbollah terrosits will be along soon to take are democrasy

Posted by: chuck newsum , Mar 8, 2019 6:50:20 PM | link

i agrees we are the white hatters many folks hate the uk and usa and norway for are freedoms.
we need to be able to affords a big bat to stomp the evil doers if we cannot afford the big bat folks must suffer.
the uk and usa tax payers are sick of paying for new bats to protect the world if the world does not pay for protection new hitlers arrafats,gadaffis and hezbollah terrosits will be along soon to take are democrasy

Posted by: chuck newsum | Mar 8, 2019 6:50:20 PM | link

Yeah, Right , Mar 8, 2019 6:54:05 PM | link
What better evidence that the MIC is bankrupting the USA?

This is how empires fall - the cost of empire bleeds them white and eventually hollows them out to such a degree that collapse becomes inevitable.

The USA is in for a massive shock over this: it believes those "allies" have no choice but to pay that extortion money.

But they do have a choice.

All these treaties have a withdrawal clause, and it doesn't seem to occur to the Americans that it's not just Uncle Sam who can invoke it.

My money is on the Phillipines to be the first to invoke their clause. South Korea next, and only then the gutless Europeans.

Australia last, or maybe not at all.

Gonna be ugly when all 800 overseas military bases are in Oz. Not sure Sydney Harbour is able to accommodate all those warships....

ADKC , Mar 8, 2019 6:57:39 PM | link
james @57

Because they are (particularly, in Europe) occupied countries and many things can be done to ensure compliance (economic, gladio operations, sanctions, theft of assets, prosecution for any offence [no matter how small, incidental, or accidental] if a dollar is involved, influx of refugees, war [directly or adjacent to target country], removal of post-colonial areas of influence, instigating financial collapse [Deutche Bank is supposed to be very vulnerable and would effect the entire EU/world], etc).

Why couldn't France protect Alstom? Would France be able to resist if the US targeted the African CFA countries (which are France's neo-colonial milk-cows and essential to the economic well-being of France and detrimental to the African people subject to the CFA franc)?

You "praise Trump" for raising this issue but it's just the same old, same old.

The only place relatively secure is the Chinese/Russia milieu but that's the other side of the real "wall" and restricts the expansion of OBOR. And the price (for Russia and China) is having the entire western nuclear arsenal aimed at you.

Whether or not any payments are actually made will make no difference; US troops will remain in occupied territory. (BTW: Europe will pay, the key is Germany. If Germany refuse to pay the rest will follow. But Germany can't fudge this; it would amount to open resistance and a re-negotiation of the outcome of the 2nd World War and, unless the US want to give up the fruits of their 1945 victory, I don't see that happening. Germany will realise that, if the US insist, they will have to comply; it's the direct consequence of losing the war and being occupied.]


Piotr Berman , Mar 8, 2019 6:57:53 PM | link
Moving American troops to Poland? Surely, the benefits are many. First, since the size of the military is much smaller than in Warsaw block times, there are many military grounds. Particularly in areas where forests are larger, climate harsher, and local men are fond of beating up strangers when they get drunk. Local roads are crappy and American soldiers are prone to hit side road trees. To summarize, martial skills and spirit are bound to improve.

For even better results, they should be moved to Estonia, Latvia and Finnmark, areas bordering Russian Federation. OTOH, fleecing Balts would be like squeezing blood from stone. E.g. Lithuania is an exemplary NATO member, spending 2% of GDP on the military, and yet they cannot afford a tank.

Hoarsewhisperer , Mar 8, 2019 7:01:03 PM | link
Posted by: arby | Mar 8, 2019 6:18:07 PM | 59

He's already said he doesn't believe the hype. He said it 60 Minutes after his inauguration...

"We've spent 6 Trillion dollars in the Middle East....6 Trillion! We could have rebuilt America twice. It's unfair what's happened to the American people, and we're gonna put a stop to it."

Remember now?

arby , Mar 8, 2019 7:05:21 PM | link
He believes the hype that America is protecting the world. He just thinks that the protected should at least pay for it.
Peter AU 1 , Mar 8, 2019 7:05:53 PM | link
The countries Trump wants to hit with fees are those he wanted the US military to pull out of anyway. The cold war relics. Europe, Korea ect. Any bases to do with Israel Iran Venezuela will not be hitting up the host country for extortion money. Bases he wants to use to pressure China will also likely be exempt.
Those that do get hit with the fees, Trump doesn't give a shit if the US stays or leaves, so long as the US is well paid if it stays.
Yeah, Right , Mar 8, 2019 7:06:07 PM | link
@55 If the NATO countries refuse to pay then Trump can't respond by imposing sanctions on the individual countries.

Well, he could, but what is the point?

The USA can't sanction the EU, China and Russia. That is economic suicide.

Trump would be creating a rival trade bloc that is many times bigger than the US economy. The American nightmare for over a century.

English Outsider , Mar 8, 2019 7:06:41 PM | link
BM @ 13

I don't think Corbyn is the Messiah you take him for. He has sound ideas on not bombing foreigners - unusual in a British politician - but apart from that he's a busted flush. Not even close observers care to predict who will come out on top in the mud wrestling at Westminster but if Corbyn makes it watch him accommodate.

.

With great respect, "b", and as happens rarely, I don't believe this article is on target. America is the spine and most of the muscle of European defence. Forget Aachen. It'll be a long time before any purely European defence force is up to scratch.

The Europeans are hoping that America will hold the fort in the meantime. That's not an alliance. It's a marriage of temporary convenience.

Presumably the Americans must be sensing that.

https://www.euractiv.com/section/defence-and-security/news/nine-european-countries-to-formalise-eu-defence-force-plan/

/

BraveNewWorld , Mar 8, 2019 7:08:50 PM | link
Of course the other problem with this is it makes the American forces official mercenaries rather than national forces and all the legal consequences that flow from that.
Augustin L , Mar 8, 2019 7:16:52 PM | link
History first as tragedy and later as a farce. Alexander Solzhenitsyn: "Beria reported only to Stalin and Stalin reported only to Satan." Now Bolton reports only to Trump and Chump reports only to Sreadsheets. So much winning and multi-dimensional chess... It's deplorable. Lol
Yeah, Right , Mar 8, 2019 7:17:30 PM | link
@59 and @60 This is why the shock will be all the more stunning to the Americans.

Its "allies" have no problem with Uncle Sam spending like a drunken sailor. As far as they are concerned, well, who cares.

But if Trump insists THEY pay for American profligacy then they are going to say "no".

American pundits will then pontificate on how much MORE it would cost those allies, and the response will be: don't be stupid, we won't spend money to protect ourselves against a threat that doesn't exist.

Because - and let's be honest here - in a post-NATO world the only military threat to Europe will be the USA, and the US Army will be on the other side of the Atlantic.

karlof1 , Mar 8, 2019 7:17:31 PM | link
I see a number of comments where the question's begged: Just what nation intends to invade Europe such that the continuing Outlaw US Empire's occupation's warranted? Putin and Xi want Europe to join the EAEU/BRI confab--invasion via commerce?!

It appears the Anti-Communist Crusade is having a hard time dying in some quarters, particularly where continually invoking it is required dogma by controlling interests.

arby , Mar 8, 2019 7:18:21 PM | link
I think Trump and his MAGA boils everything down to money. Money goes out and money comes in. His job is to slow the money going out and get more money coming in. I think it is that simple. You get bombed by our smart freedom and democracy bombs then you should be decent enough to pay for it. Also our bases are protecting you from getting bombed by evildoers bombs. You should definitely pay for that. Why are we?
Pft , Mar 8, 2019 7:34:09 PM | link
I'd like to see a study of the amount of money spent into the local economy by the occupation forces in Germany, Japan and South Korea. Not just by the military but by the servicemen, families, civilian contractors for housing, travel, schools, food, entertainment, etc

Obviously paying to be occupied is not happening, but there is some logic to the idea that the occupied receive some economic benefits from being occupied, including but not limited to a reduction in spending on their own military.

Elliott A , Mar 8, 2019 7:39:53 PM | link
This is, frankly, a lot of nonsensical showboating that will not have any actual effect on anything.

-- "Pay us or we will leave"
-- "We are not paying"
-- "Um?"

There's probably more bullshit going on behind the scenes but this just looks RIDICULOUS, as does the Venezuelan adventure.

God Bless America!

karlof1 , Mar 8, 2019 7:44:39 PM | link
Pft @76--

Any spending into the local economy is dwarfed by the amount of ecological damage done--just look at Subic Bay or Okinawa. And yes, studies have been done into both aspects; I've read them, but have no links.

Pft , Mar 8, 2019 7:50:32 PM | link
Horsewhisperer@66

." It's unfair what's happened to the American people, and we're gonna put a stop to it."

Trump just does not believe in others hype, only his own hype. So show me evidence he is stopping the spending which was his main point in what was infaur to Americans. Spending on the military is even higher, 6 trillion is now 8 trillion even if the accountants still cant tell who got paid

If Trump has shown us anything it is that he believes in the hype that whats good for Big Business is good for America. Even his request for more money from NATO countries is a request/demand to buy more from the MIC and not money to offset US military spending.

Sure, the reasons for the increased military spending are bogus, but he adds fuel to supposed conflicts with Iran, Russia, China, North Korea that allows him to justify more spending. Trumps just replaced Obama/Bush hype with his own personal hype. Call it Trump hype.

jonku , Mar 8, 2019 7:50:43 PM | link
Pft, that's what economist Michael Hudson has been saying:

The US military spending overseas during the Vietnam war resulted in a balance of payments crisis, with the surprise solution being the recycling of USD from offshore economies back into the US financial sector.

And it's been going on ever since.

I'll try to get a link ... Super Imperialism also recently linked by the indefatigable karlof1.

The larger America's balance-of-payments deficit becomes, the more dollars end up in the hands of European, Asian and Near Eastern central banks, and the more money they must recycle back to the United States by buying U.S. Treasury bonds.

It's worthwhile to read any and all of Hudson's writings, including his autobiographical essay. He has worked in the belly of the beast; Chase Manhattan bank and Standard Oil (Exxon) just for starters, the Treasury and Finance departments of USA and Canada amongst others.

Here's that Michael Hudson Autobiography . It's both a video soliloquy and transcript.

Yeah, Right , Mar 8, 2019 8:24:52 PM | link
@70 English Outsider care to identify the military threat that US forces "have to hold the fort" over until the Europeans get their shit together?

Who, exactly, is itching to invade Europe once US forces leave?

If US forces leave then the need for European countries to increase their military spending is negligible.

Indeed, it would be based on a single calculation: how big a threat is the USA?

ben , Mar 8, 2019 8:26:56 PM | link
OK fine, more hot air and theater. The BS spewed by this admin. is just friggen endless.

Beats talking about real issues facing 99% of Americans...

juliania , Mar 8, 2019 8:31:01 PM | link
People, people!...Where will the military go? It's so obvious, it is staring us in the face...

Space!

Ah, but not just space --

Mars!

The War Planet!

And best of all -- there's no people there! They can have their war games ad infinitum!!! To boldly go...ok, I know, that dates me...

But oh my, blow it up! Blow it all up!! Keep on making horrible weapons, ship them off to Mars! Raytheon on steroids; what's not to love????? Trump will go down in history - no - up, up, and AWAY!!! [Just think - he'll have to visit the troops at Thanksgiving, take them a turkey - oh and take any Bushes and Boltons and Obamas and Clintons with him as it is rather far, a few Thanksgivings away but who's counting?]

And let there be peace on earth. So, be it!

Augustin L , Mar 8, 2019 8:36:01 PM | link
Trump making brothels great again and declaring a truce to Chinese honey traps on US soil. The front goy is seriously compromised, deplorables will rue the day... https://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/article227186429.html?fbclid=IwAR1FkjigXKFOf8gcPoKRqwqfqSLRuzPNDig5sg7XWtBQClavo73RQRsVWYs
c1ue , Mar 8, 2019 8:51:38 PM | link
People are really thinking too hard.
The Trump strategy is simple a la "The Apprentice":
Get a bunch of ambitious people to commit to deliver to outlandish goals. These goals are set such that achieving or failing them, the blame goes to the failure but the success goes to the leader.
If they fail: "You're Fired"
If they succeed: "I'm Brilliant"
Jiri , Mar 8, 2019 8:54:23 PM | link
With the Soviets out of Germany it is only appropriate that the other three move out too.

I am surprised why this wasn't negotiated then.

Jackrabbit , Mar 8, 2019 9:00:37 PM | link
This proposal broadens USA's demand that Germany terminate its plans to obtain energy imports from Russia via Northstream. Trump has already asserted publicly (weeks ago) that the added cost of LNG imports should be viewed as a defense-related cost. Via this new mechanism, the cost will be not be borne 100% by Germany.

To understand why this new approach is likely to work, please read ADKC's comments.

Pundits may poke fun but the AZ Empire is deadly serious and most AZ elites will be supportive. Especially when they are insulated from the cost (as they are).

james , Mar 8, 2019 9:22:14 PM | link
@6ADKC... i agree with arbys view on this... trump and an undue number of americans probably think they are doing some good protecting others.. it's laughable! now, as to your question about france and alstrom... i don't know the specifics, but i know how easily euro politicians, and politicians in general can be bought... i think it is excellent trump is raising this issue, as i hope the leadership in these poodle countries recognize their goose will be cooked soon enough, as ordinary people won't stand for it.. so, i am simplifying here and i have to race out and will be back later to add more.. i see what you and jackrabbit are getting at, but at some point this mafia-gangster strategy is going to collapse.. maybe i am too naive, or idealistic.. i will give you that!
Bob , Mar 8, 2019 9:45:15 PM | link
Zanon @23 you might follow this german website http://luftpost-kl.de/
Interesting links from there:
https://www.ewg.org/research/update-mapping-expanding-pfas-crisis
https://partner-mco-archive.s3.amazonaws.com/client_files/1524589484.pdf
https://theintercept.com/2018/11/30/pfoa-and-pfos-cause-lower-sperm-counts-and-smaller-penises-study-finds/
https://theintercept.com/2018/02/10/firefighting-foam-afff-pfos-pfoa-epa/
NemesisCalling , Mar 8, 2019 9:50:15 PM | link
@87 jackrabbit

Your assessment is fine and not without merits but the other variable you seem to be missing is the German people and others in Europe, themselves.

Will this cowtowing to the US bullying not in the end fully ensconse their leaders as the globalist shills they truly are and thus lead to their demise? That is what b us alluding to. We are unaware of Trump's motivations, here, but that is inconsequential when we are talking about him waking up the people of Europe to finally give US the boot.

haze , Mar 8, 2019 9:51:19 PM | link
86

Well it was sort of ...

https://www.rt.com/usa/germany-us-pact-komossa-978/

lysias , Mar 8, 2019 10:08:12 PM | link
"There's room at the top, they are telling you still, but first you must learn to smile as you kill," sang John Lennon.

Obama learned that lesson.

Zachary Smith , Mar 8, 2019 10:37:57 PM | link
While cruising around the internet tubes I ran into a casual remark about Syria to the effect that since the US is doing an occupation there, aren't "we" entitled to payment? If there is any truth to a spate of recent headlines, the neocons have already solved that one.

U.S. Forces Steal Tons Of Gold Captured By ISIS In Syria, Iraq

How would ISIS have acquired any tonnage of gold? Perhaps it was part-payment for the oil they sold until the Russians intervened. (the US sure didn't bother those sales!) More likely they stole it from citizens and businesses. There have been LOTS of reports about the US secretly rescuing ISIS fighters. Now here is yet another motive for those airlifts. I predict any such gold will be quickly melted down so as to make it forever untraceable. Would Pompeo or Bolton do such a thing?

Hmm. That's a really hard one.

Zachary Smith , Mar 8, 2019 10:46:32 PM | link
@ lysias #92

Oh my, but your post triggered the memory of yet another post I saw earlier.

Obama was a smiling murderer, says Ilhan Omar

It's bad enough that Omar tackled AIPAC, but to dump on Saint Obama is likely to get her pegged as a "self-hating negro". Wonder what Speaker Nancy will do this time? Threaten to waterboard her?

Steven Keith , Mar 8, 2019 11:12:13 PM | link
Speaking of invasions and occupation...

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ہم انگلینڈ،کینڈا،جرمنی،اسپین،
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MarkU , Mar 8, 2019 11:12:50 PM | link
@70 English Outsider.

Re: "America is the spine and most of the muscle of European defence."

Defence against whom exactly? People pushing the narrative that the Russian Federation is a menace never mention the numbers involved. The European countries have roughly 3 times the population, 5 times the military spending and a massive advantage in GDP, look it up. If you add the US to the equation then more like 5 times the population and 15 times the military spending. The Russians have nukes of course but with the odds stacked up so spectacularly against them I don't blame them for thinking they need them as a deterrent. If you had another adversary in mind don't be shy.

Pft , Mar 8, 2019 11:36:05 PM | link

Jonku@80

Thanks for the links. I have been following Hudson for the last 12 years and agree with much of what he says. I do disagree that dollar holdings are a tax on other countries. These dollars for the most part are paid to companies for goods and services. They exchange some of this with their central bank to invest locally or pay expenses. The central bank then prints their local currency out of thin air to exchange. The USD are then counted as reserves which allows them to create more local currency by 10+ times, depending on their reserve requirements. This money is spent or invested in the local economy.

The USD reserves can also be used to fund their own trade deficits with other countries, or pay of USD denominated loans

A lot has changed since 1971. After the Vietnam War was winding down the US pulled out of Bretton Woods as Hudson anticipated. They then established the Petrodollar which was not anticipated. This put more USD into the hands of OPEC nations as they were told to accept only USD and in return would be allowed higher oil prices, and much was recycled back to the US, but they and the rest of the world had other options.

This option was the Eurodollar which began in the 60's in a limited fashion . A later sub-option was Eurodollars in the many tax havens, which developed first on British territories and then in the Carribean.

These options being exercised limited the amount of dollars coming back to the US and caused higher interest rates in order to attract some more of the dollars back.

The 1985 Plaza accord put in place an agreement to weaken the dollar with the US to buy more imported goods as they encouraged more US companies to move offshore to produce in low wage countries to keep inflation down. In return the deficits would be funded by other countries resending back the USD they received by buying treasuries. This was when the US realized they could spend and run up fiscal/trade deficits without consequences, and so they did. Oh my.

Then after the fall of the Soviet Union and the subsequent looting bu oligarchs the Eurodollar Market, especially in the tax havens , exploded even further as these oligarchs and western investors transferred their stolen loot to these offshore tax havens which were already loaded with dollars from the criminal drug trade (mafia-five eyes) and multinational corporations evading taxes at home

In 1990 the Fed then made it easier for US banks to import and use these Eurodollars by setting a zero reserve requirement (same as Fed Funds) on Eurodollar deposits which they could then loan out at many order of magnitudes. This fueled the great credit and asset bubbles using drug money and stolen Soviet asset money which came in to buy Trumps property and stocks. It also allowed banks to increase credit to cash strapped consumers who felt the pinch of neoliberalism and globalization, since the banks were flush with cheap cash. This led to the Great Collapse in 2008

Added to this Eurodollar supply from 1993 was Chinas own oligarchs growing increasingly rich from US investment/trade and from converting the peoples assets to individual party members who wanted a safe place to hide their loot and evade taxes in China

Quantitative Easing following the crash of 2008 provided another source of a cash influx for the US. Toxic waste from foreign and local banks were bought with USD printed from thin air.

Recent Quantitative Tightening meant trouble though. So Trumps new tax measures made it possible for US corporations to return Eurodollars hidden offshore which is fueling stock buybacks and propping up the market. If not for this a 2008 collapse would be here.

When the next crash happens, I am sure the US will surprise us yet again. Pretty sure the fix will be named Green something or another and a Carbon Dollar/Tax


Friar Ockham , Mar 9, 2019 12:14:47 AM | link
What Pres. Trump is doing is a clever ploy to start bringing the troops home as promised. That is his way of announcing the event.
james , Mar 9, 2019 1:38:28 AM | link
@70 english outsider.. i agree with @13 BM... however, the msm in the uk is so warped, maybe they will succeed in marginalizing corbyn.. i thought this article today from jonathan cook was pretty good.. as for the usa being the backbone of europe military and etc.. europe needs to grow a spine themselves and stop taking it in the rear from the usa.. this suggestion from trump is a good place to start by saying no... maybe the poodles are incapable.. that sounds like what you are saying..

@pft... i think i agree with you, although i don't study the financial dynamics enough.. the bailout from 2008 will be followed by more bailouts.. they will just be bigger... that is the name of the game - bust and bailout.. bailing out the banks, until the world asks for something different..

iv> Trump May Charge Allies Up To 600% More For Hosting US Troops
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-03-08/trump-may-charge-allies-600-more-hosting-us-troops

Posted by: John Smith , Mar 9, 2019 2:12:24 AM | link

Trump May Charge Allies Up To 600% More For Hosting US Troops
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-03-08/trump-may-charge-allies-600-more-hosting-us-troops

Posted by: John Smith | Mar 9, 2019 2:12:24 AM | link

[Mar 09, 2019] Exploiting Holocast tragedy to promote a Zionist agenda

Mar 09, 2019 | www.unz.com

JoaoAlfaiate , says: March 9, 2019 at 2:22 pm GMT

From the University of Chicago Magazine (believe it or not), October, 1999:

" who invented the Holocaust the first place? Who decided to capitalize the noun "holocaust" and transform genocide into a political weapon and fund raising tool? "

" its message of an exclusivity in suffering-serving to promote a Zionist agenda ."

[Mar 09, 2019] The people attacking these monuments are effectively declaring that they want a civil war

Ukrainian nationalists vs blacks in the USA
Mar 09, 2019 | www.unz.com

kerdasi amaq , says: March 7, 2019 at 1:24 pm GMT

Why would only blacks object to existence of these monuments? What about the purported victors of that war? They could have objected but did not. The people attacking these monuments are effectively declaring that they want a civil war, as I see it.

This disrespect for civility must be punished.

opaque windows , says: March 9, 2019 at 11:44 am GMT
Icons of outstanding accomplishment seem nearly always to be about war.. and the political figures that made the Oligarchs filthy rich prosecuting a war that killed millions. The more dead, the bigger the statute.
Where are the monuments to Watson and Crick, Newton, the persons that discovered penicillin, the engines that convert energy from one form to a more usable other form or statutes of the persons that founded our great universities or the persons that discovered how to capture electricity and make available in every household?

Few icons to those that have made the quality of our lives better are ever produced, Why?
Probably because the war mongers would have none of that.. Oligarchs own 90% of the press, the media, and
means of communicating their wars, no damn invention that makes life better for the displicibles is going to get into the way of profit making wars that fund so much of Economic Zionism.

Consider the recent invention at the U of Australia where hard work discovered 2,200 different places in the world, where a combination of sunlight and wind energy can produce and store sufficient energy to supply 24/7 all the energy the entire world needs on the power grid. Not a word of it in the media. Soon I expect to see a monument to the shock and awe bastards?

[Mar 08, 2019] The Map That Shows Why Russia Fears War With US

Mar 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

Agent76 , says: March 7, 2019 at 11:25 pm GMT

February 26, 2019 The Empire: Now or Never

Many people I talk to seem to think American foreign policy has something to do with democracy, human rights, national security, or maybe terrorism or freedom, or niceness, or something. It is a curious belief, Washington being interested in all of them. Other people are simply puzzled, seeing no pattern in America's international behavior. Really, the explanation is simple.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/51174.htm

Nov 29, 2016 The Map That Shows Why Russia Fears War With US

https://youtu.be/L6hIlfHWaGU

[Mar 08, 2019] The Orientalism of Western Russophobia by Max Parry

Mar 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

Last year marked the 40th anniversary of the publication of Edward W. Said's pioneering book, Orientalism , as well as fifteen years since the Palestinian-American intellectual's passing. To bid farewell to such an important scholar shortly after the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, which Said fiercely criticized until his dying breath before succumbing to leukemia, made an already tremendous loss that much more impactful. His seminal text forever reoriented political discourse by painstakingly examining the overlooked cultural imperialism of colonial history in the West's construction of the so-called Orient. Said meticulously interrogated the Other-ing of the non-Western world in the humanities, arts, and anthropology down to its minutiae. As a result, the West was forced to confront not just its economic and political plunder but the long-established cultural biases filtering the lens through which it viewed the East which shaped its dominion over it.

His writings proved to be so influential that they laid the foundations for what is now known as post-colonial theory. This became an ironic category as the author himself would strongly reject any implication that the subjugation of developing countries is a thing of the past. How apropos that the Mandatory Palestine-born writer's death came in the midst of the early stages of the 'War on Terror' that made clear Western imperialism is very much alive. Despite its history of ethnic cleansing, slavery, and war, the United States had distinguished itself from Britain and France in that it had never established its own major colonies within the Middle East, Asia or North Africa in the heart of the Orient. According to Said, it was now undergoing this venture as the world's sole remaining superpower following the end of the Cold War with the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Today's political atmosphere makes the Bush era seem like eons ago. Thanks to the shameful rehabilitation of neoconservatism by centrist extremists, Americans fail to understand how Trumpism emerged from the pandora's box of destructiveness of Bush policies that destabilized the Middle East and only increased international terrorism. Since then, another American enemy has been manufactured in the form of the Russian Federation and its President, Vladimir Putin, who drew the ire of the West after a resurgent Moscow under his leadership began to contain U.S. hegemony. This reached a crescendo during the 2016 U.S. Presidential election with the dubious accusations of election interference made by the same intelligence agencies that sold the pack of lies that Iraq possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction. The establishment has even likened the alleged intrusion by Moscow to 9/11.

If a comparison between the 2001 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 Americans and the still unproven allegations of Russian meddling seems outrageous, it is precisely such an analogy that has been made by Russiagate's own biggest proponents, from neoconservative columnist Max Boot to Hillary Clinton herself . Truthfully, it is the climate of hysteria and dumbing down of discourse to such rigid dichotomies following both events where a real similarity can be drawn. The 'with us or against us' chasm that followed 9/11 has reemerged in the 'either/or' post-election polarity of the Trump era whereby all debate within the Overton window is pigeonholed into a 'pro vs. anti-Trump' or 'pro vs. anti-Russia' false dilemma. It is even perpetrated by some on the far left , e.g. if one critiques corporate media or Russiagate, they are grouped as 'pro-Trump' or 'pro-Putin' no matter their political orientation. This dangerous atmosphere is feeding an unprecedented wave of censorship of dissenting voices across the spectrum.

In his final years, not only did Edward Said condemn the Bush administration but highlighted how corporate media was using bigoted tropes in its representations of Arabs and Muslims to justify U.S. foreign policy. Even though it has gone mostly undetected, the neo-McCarthyist frenzy following the election has produced a similar travesty of caricatures depicting Russia and Vladimir Putin. One such egregious example was a July 2018 article in the Wall Street Journal entitled "Russia's Turn to Its Asian Past" featuring an illustration portraying Vladimir Putin as Genghis Khan. The racist image and headline suggested that Russia is somehow inherently autocratic because of its past occupation under the Mongol Empire during its conquest of Eastern Europe and the Kievan Rus state in the 13th century. In a conceptual revival of the Eurocentric trope of Asiatic or Oriental despotism, the hint is that past race-mixing is where Russia inherited this tyrannical trait. When the cover story appeared, there was virtually no outcry due to the post-election delirium and everyday fear-mongering about Russia that is now commonplace in the media.

The overlooked casual racism used to demonize Russia in the new Cold War's propaganda doesn't stop there. One of the main architects of Russiagate, former Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, in an interview with NBC's Meet the Press on the reported meddling stated :

"And just the historical practices of the Russians, who typically, almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, which is a typical Russian technique. So we were concerned."

Clapper, whose Office of the DNI published the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections", has been widely praised and cited by corporate media as a trustworthy source despite his previous history of making intentionally false statements at a public hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee denying that the National Security Agency (NSA) was unconstitutionally spying on U.S. citizens.

The disclosures of NSA activities by whistleblower Edward Snowden that shocked the world should have discredited Clapper's status as a reliable figure, but not for mainstream media which has continuously colluded with the deep state during the entire Russia investigation. In fact, the scandal has been an opportunity to rehabilitate figures like the ex-spymaster complicit in past U.S. crimes from surveillance to torture. Shortly after the interview with NBC, Clapper repeated his prejudiced sentiments against Russians in a speech at the National Press Club in Australia:

"But as far as our being intimate allies, trusting buds with the Russians that is just not going to happen. It is in their genes to be opposed, diametrically opposed, to the United States and to Western democracies."

The post-election mass Trump derangement has not only enabled wild accusations of treason to be made without sufficient evidence to support them, but such uninhibited xenophobic remarks to go without notice or disapproval.

In fact, liberals have seemingly abandoned their supposed progressive credence across the board while suffering from their anti-Russia neurological disorder. In an exemplar of yellow journalism, outlets like NBC News published sensational articles alleging that because of the perceived ingratiation between Trump and Putin, there was an increase in Russian 'birth tourism' in the United States. More commonly known by the pejorative 'anchor babies', birth tourism is the false claim that many immigrants travel to countries for the purpose of having children in order to obtain citizenship. While there may be individual cases, the idea that it is an epidemic is a complete myth  --  the vast majority of immigration is motivated by labor demands and changes in political or socio-economic factors in their native countries, whether it is from the global south or Eastern Europe. Trump has been rightfully criticized for promoting this falsehood regarding undocumented immigrants and his executive orders targeting birthright citizenship, but it appears liberals are willing to unfairly apply this same fallacy toward Russians for political reasons.

... ... ...

Yee , says: March 7, 2019 at 3:26 am GMT

This connected continents of Europe and Asia have 70% of the world population, so it is the center of the world. But the United States is not a local power, it's thousands of miles away from it. Therefore, the US NEEDS conflicts in Europe and Asia to maintain its influence in the world stage and its status of "safe haven for capita", as it found out in WW2 that can be very profitable.

Peace and integration in Europe and Asia is the last thing the US wants. This is why it'd try its hardest to stir up tension in Europe, Asia and MiddleEast. The Russians were naive to believe it was about Communism.

World dominance has been very profitable for the capital class, whether the cost for world dominance worth it for the working class, is open for debate, as citizens of the dominate nation enjoy nice benefits too.

[Mar 08, 2019] Eyewitness of one of players involved exiting building 7 on the morning of 9/11.

Mar 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

Agent76 , says: March 8, 2019 at 2:42 am GMT

@onebornfree Here is a eyewitness of one of players involved exiting building 7 on the morning of.

May 25, 2014 FDNY 9/11 Survivor Witness and Whistleblower Speaks on WTC 7

Listen very carefully starting at the '20' second mark! As a firefighter on 9/11, he was at Ground Zero and was there when Building 7 came down.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ePPdUUISQOs

[Mar 07, 2019] Guardian adopted nazy propaganda cartoons to demonize Russia

Mar 07, 2019 | www.unz.com

Steve Bell cartoon of Putin in The Guardian (left) contrasted with Nazi propaganda (right).

[Mar 07, 2019] Are you ready? Here is all the data Facebook and Google have on you by Dylan Curran

Highly recommended!
Google stores your location (if you have location tracking turned on) every time you turn on your phone. You can see a timeline of where you've been from the very first day you started using Google on your phone. After reading this you might start sympathizing to Ted Kaczynski ;-)
Notable quotes:
"... Google stores search history across all your devices. That can mean that, even if you delete your search history and phone history on one device, it may still have data saved from other devices . ..."
"... Google stores information on every app and extension you use. They know how often you use them, where you use them, and who you use them to interact with. That means they know who you talk to on Facebook, what countries are you speaking with, what time you go to sleep. ..."
"... Google stores all of your YouTube history, so they probably know whether you're going to be a parent soon, if you're a conservative, if you're a progressive, if you're Jewish, Christian, or Muslim, if you're feeling depressed or suicidal, if you're anorexic ..."
"... Facebook also stores what it thinks you might be interested in based off the things you've liked and what you and your friends talk about (I apparently like the topic "girl"). ..."
"... The data they collect includes tracking where you are, what applications you have installed, when you use them, what you use them for, access to your webcam and microphone at any time, your contacts, your emails, your calendar, your call history, the messages you send and receive, the files you download, the games you play, your photos and videos, your music, your search history, your browsing history, even what radio stations you listen to. ..."
Mar 28, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

The harvesting of our personal details goes far beyond what many of us could imagine. So I braced myself and had a look .

A slice of the data that Facebook keeps on the author: 'This information has millions of nefarious uses.' Photograph: Dylan Curran W ant to freak yourself out? I'm going to show just how much of your information the likes of Facebook and Google store about you without you even realising it. Google knows where you've been

Google stores your location (if you have location tracking turned on) every time you turn on your phone. You can see a timeline of where you've been from the very first day you started using Google on your phone.

Here is every place I have been in the last 12 months in Ireland. You can see the time of day that I was in the location and how long it took me to get to that location from my previous one.

Google stores search history across all your devices. That can mean that, even if you delete your search history and phone history on one device, it may still have data saved from other devices .

Click on this link to see your own data: myactivity.google.com/myactivity

Why have we given up our privacy to Facebook and other sites so willingly?
Google has an advertisement profile of you

Google creates an advertisement profile based on your information, including your location, gender, age, hobbies, career, interests, relationship status, possible weight (need to lose 10lb in one day?) and income.

Click on this link to see your own data: google.com/settings/ads/

Google knows all the apps you use

Google stores information on every app and extension you use. They know how often you use them, where you use them, and who you use them to interact with. That means they know who you talk to on Facebook, what countries are you speaking with, what time you go to sleep.

Click on this link to see your own data: security.google.com/settings/secur

Google has all of your YouTube history

Google stores all of your YouTube history, so they probably know whether you're going to be a parent soon, if you're a conservative, if you're a progressive, if you're Jewish, Christian, or Muslim, if you're feeling depressed or suicidal, if you're anorexic

Click on this link to see your own data: youtube.com/feed/history/s

The data Google has on you can fill millions of Word documents

Google offers an option to download all of the data it stores about you. I've requested to download it and the file is 5.5GB big , which is roughly 3m Word documents.

Manage to gain access to someone's Google account? Perfect, you have a diary of everything that person has done

This link includes your bookmarks, emails, contacts, your Google Drive files, all of the above information, your YouTube videos, the photos you've taken on your phone, the businesses you've bought from, the products you've bought through Google

They also have data from your calendar, your Google hangout sessions, your location history, the music you listen to, the Google books you've purchased, the Google groups you're in, the websites you've created, the phones you've owned, the pages you've shared, how many steps you walk in a day

Click on this link to see your own data: google.com/takeout

Facebook has reams and reams of data on you, too

Facebook offers a similar option to download all your information. Mine was roughly 600MB, which is roughly 400,000 Word documents.

This includes every message you've ever sent or been sent, every file you've ever sent or been sent, all the contacts in your phone, and all the audio messages you've ever sent or been sent.

Click here to see your data: https://www.facebook.com/help/131112897028467

Facebook Twitter Pinterest 'A snapshot of the data Facebook has saved on me.' Photograph: Dylan Curran Facebook stores everything from your stickers to your login location

Facebook also stores what it thinks you might be interested in based off the things you've liked and what you and your friends talk about (I apparently like the topic "girl").

Somewhat pointlessly, they also store all the stickers you've ever sent on Facebook (I have no idea why they do this. It's just a joke at this stage).

They also store every time you log in to Facebook, where you logged in from, what time, and from what device.

And they store all the applications you've ever had connected to your Facebook account, so they can guess I'm interested in politics and web and graphic design, that I was single between X and Y period with the installation of Tinder, and I got a HTC phone in November.

(Side note, if you have Windows 10 installed, this is a picture of just the privacy options with 16 different sub-menus, which have all of the options enabled by default when you install Windows 10)

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Privacy options in Windows 10. Photograph: Dylan Curran They can access your webcam and microphone

The data they collect includes tracking where you are, what applications you have installed, when you use them, what you use them for, access to your webcam and microphone at any time, your contacts, your emails, your calendar, your call history, the messages you send and receive, the files you download, the games you play, your photos and videos, your music, your search history, your browsing history, even what radio stations you listen to.

Facebook told me it would act swiftly on data misuse – in 2015 | Harry Davies
Here are some of the different ways Google gets your data

I got the Google Takeout document with all my information, and this is a breakdown of all the different ways they get your information.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest 'My Google Takeout document.' Photograph: Dylan Curran

Here's the search history document, which has 90,000 different entries, even showing the images I downloaded and the websites I accessed (I showed the Pirate Bay section to show how much damage this information can do).

Facebook Twitter Pinterest 'My search history document has 90,000 different entries.' Photograph: Dylan Curran Google knows which events you attended, and when

Here's my Google Calendar broken down, showing all the events I've ever added, whether I actually attended them, and what time I attended them at (this part is when I went for an interview for a marketing job, and what time I arrived).

Facebook Twitter Pinterest 'Here is my Google calendar showing a job interview I attended.' Photograph: Dylan Curran And Google has information you deleted

This is my Google Drive, which includes files I explicitly deleted including my résumé, my monthly budget, and all the code, files and websites I've ever made, and even my PGP private key, which I deleted, that I use to encrypt emails.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Google can know your workout routine

This is my Google Fit, which shows all of the steps I've ever taken, any time I walked anywhere, and all the times I've recorded any meditation/yoga/workouts I've done (I deleted this information and revoked Google Fit's permissions).

Facebook Twitter Pinterest And they have years' worth of photos

This is all the photos ever taken with my phone, broken down by year, and includes metadata of when and where I took the photos

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Google has every email you ever sent

Every email I've ever sent, that's been sent to me, including the ones I deleted or were categorised as spam.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest And there is more

I'll just do a short summary of what's in the thousands of files I received under my Google Activity.

First, every Google Ad I've ever viewed or clicked on, every app I've ever launched or used and when I did it, every website I've ever visited and what time I did it at, and every app I've ever installed or searched for.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest 'They have every single Google search I've made since 2009.'

They also have every image I've ever searched for and saved, every location I've ever searched for or clicked on, every news article I've ever searched for or read, and every single Google search I've made since 2009. And then finally, every YouTube video I've ever searched for or viewed, since 2008.

This information has millions of nefarious uses. You say you're not a terrorist. Then how come you were googling Isis? Work at Google and you're suspicious of your wife? Perfect, just look up her location and search history for the last 10 years. Manage to gain access to someone's Google account? Perfect, you have a chronological diary of everything that person has done for the last 10 years.

This is one of the craziest things about the modern age. We would never let the government or a corporation put cameras/microphones in our homes or location trackers on us. But we just went ahead and did it ourselves because – to hell with it! – I want to watch cute dog videos.

NOTE: A caption was corrected on 28 March 2018 to replace "privacy options in Facebook" with "privacy options in Windows 10".

Dylan Curran is a data consultant and web developer, who does extensive research into spreading technical awareness and improving digital etiquette

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