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Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine as the cornerstone of the neocons disastrous foreign policy

Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA and weakens not enhances national security

News Neoconservatism Recommended Links Israel lobby Threat inflation as neocon primary tool Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine NSC -- a sinister organization that controls the President and ensure militarization of the USA foreign policy
The History of Media-Military-Industrial Complex Concept New American Militarism  American Exceptionalism American neocons delutional attempt to secure global hegemony Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism War is Racket New American Militarism
Blob attacks Trump: Viper nest of neocons in state department fuels Ukraingate American Imperialism, Transnational Capitalist Class and Globalization of Capitalism Neoliberal debt slavery Disaster capitalism Predator state From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss "F*ck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place
Obama: a yet another Neocon Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS The ability and willingness to employ savage methods The History of Media-Military-Industrial Complex Concept Wolfowitz Doctrine IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism
Mayberry Machiavellians Robert Kagan Max Boot Paul Wolfowitz Resurgence of neofascism as reaction on crisis of neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Leo Strauss and the Neocons
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Mayberry Machiavellians Corporatism John Dilulio letter Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Neoliberal Propaganda: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few Politically Incorrect Humor Etc

Due to the size introductory article was converted to a separate page: Neocon foreign policy as a disaster for the USA


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The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.

And while you're studying that reality-judiciously, as you will-we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."[2]

An unnamed aide to George W. Bush (later attributed to Karl Rove:

Reality-based community - Wikipedia

[Jul 21, 2021] Germany commits to action if Russia uses energy as weapon -Nuland

Jul 21, 2021 | www.msn.com

Arby's Just Quietly Discontinued These 6 Menu Items See Dolly Parton Recreate Her Iconic "Playboy" Cover 43 Years Later

WASHINGTON, July 21 (Reuters) - Germany has committed to take action on its own and back action at the European Union level should Russia seek to use energy as a weapon or take aggressive action against Ukraine, U.S. Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland said on Wednesday.

"Should Russia attempt to use energy as a weapon or commit further aggressive actions against Ukraine, Germany will take actions at the national level and press for effective measures at the European level, including sanctions, to limit Russian export capabilities in the energy sector," Nuland told lawmakers, adding that Germany would support an extension of the Russia-Ukraine transit agreement that expires in 2024. (Reporting By Arshad Mohammed and Jonathan Landay)

[Jul 21, 2021] Russia And Germany Win War Over Nord Stream 2

Notable quotes:
"... Two world wars were fought to keep Germany down. The stated purpose of NATO is to keep the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans down. ..."
"... IMO US didn't cause NS2 friction because it thinks it benefits Russia, but exactly because it benefits Germany too much. ..."
"... You know, NATO, "Keep the Germans down..." and all that. US must not permit it's vassals to become too economically stronger than their master. They want to drag everyone they can down with them (and in shitter US goes) so they can still be king of the hill (or ad least shitter bottom). ..."
"... The most important point to know is that US hegemony in Europe is predicated on fear and hostility between Germany and Russia. ..."
"... There are many limitations to European strategic autonomy -- and the EU embodies those limits in many ways -- but the case of NS2 demonstrates an independent streak in German strategy. It amounts to a zero sum loss for Washington. ..."
"... Lebanon does illustrate the incredible reach of the Empire. A leverage so long that every door leads to self immolation. Your mention of the current spyware scandal is right on point. These are instruments of absolute power. ..."
"... While Trump is certainly no representative of humanity, it just as certainly doesn't look like his rise was in the playbook of the dominant faction of the oligarchy. Trump really seems to fit the mould of a Bonapartist, though recast in the context of contemporary America. This would indicate that the imperial oligarchy is in crisis, which itself could lead to fractures in the empire, and among the empire's vassals in particular. ..."
Jul 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Russia And Germany Win War Over Nord Stream 2

The sanctions war the U.S. waged against Germany and Russia over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline has ended with a total U.S. defeat.

The U.S. attempts to block the pipeline were part of the massive anti-Russia campaign waged over the last five years. But it was always based on a misunderstanding. The pipeline is not to Russia's advantage but important for Germany. As I described Nord Stream 2 in a previous piece :

It is not Russia which needs the pipeline. It can sell its gas to China for just as much as it makes by selling gas to Europe.
...
It is Germany, the EU's economic powerhouse, that needs the pipeline and the gas flowing through it. Thanks to Chancellor Merkel's misguided energy policy - she put an end to nuclear power in German after a tsunami in Japan destroyed three badly placed reactors - Germany urgently needs the gas to keep its already high electricity prices from rising further.

That the new pipeline will bypass old ones which run through the Ukraine is likewise to the benefit of Germany, not Russia. The pipeline infrastructure in the Ukraine is old and near to disrepair. The Ukraine has no money to renew it. Politically it is under U.S. influence. It could use its control over the energy flow to the EU for blackmail. (It already tried once.) The new pipeline, laid at the bottom of the Baltic sea, requires no payment for crossing Ukrainian land and is safe from potential malign influence.

Maybe Chancellor Merkel on her recent visit to Washington DC finally managed to explain that to the Biden administration. More likely though she simply told the U.S. to f*** off. Whatever - the result is in. As the Wall Street Journal reports today:

The U.S. and Germany have reached an agreement allowing completion of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, officials from both countries say.

Under the four-point agreement, Germany and the U.S. would invest $50 million in Ukrainian green-tech infrastructure, encompassing renewable energy and related industries. Germany also would support energy talks in the Three Seas Initiative, a Central European diplomatic forum.

Berlin and Washington as well would try to ensure that Ukraine continues to receive roughly $3 billion in annual transit fees that Russia pays under its current agreement with Kyiv, which runs through 2024. Officials didn't explain how to ensure that Russia continues to make the payments.

The U.S. also would retain the prerogative of levying future pipeline sanctions in the case of actions deemed to represent Russian energy coercion, officials in Washington said.

So Germany will spend some chump change to buy up, together with the U.S, a few Ukrainian companies that are involved in solar or wind mill stuff. It will 'support' some irrelevant talks by maybe paying for the coffee. It also promises to try something that it has no way to succeed in.

That's all just a fig leave. The U.S. really gave up without receiving anything for itself or for its client regime in the Ukraine.

The Ukraine lobby in Congress will be very unhappy with that deal. The Biden administration hopes to avoid an uproar over it. Yesterday Politico reported that the Biden administration preemptively had told the Ukraine to stop talking about the issue :

In the midst of tense negotiations with Berlin over a controversial Russia-to-Germany pipeline, the Biden administration is asking a friendly country to stay quiet about its vociferous opposition. And Ukraine is not happy.

U.S. officials have signaled that they've given up on stopping the project, known as the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, and are now scrambling to contain the damage by striking a grand bargain with Germany.

At the same time, administration officials have quietly urged their Ukrainian counterparts to withhold criticism of a forthcoming agreement with Germany involving the pipeline, according to four people with knowledge of the conversations.

The U.S. officials have indicated that going public with opposition to the forthcoming agreement could damage the Washington-Kyiv bilateral relationship , those sources said. The officials have also urged the Ukrainians not to discuss the U.S. and Germany's potential plans with Congress.

If Trump had done the above Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi would have called for another impeachment.

The Ukrainian President Zelensky is furious over the deal and about being told to shut up. But there is little he can do but to accept the booby price the Biden administration offered him:

U.S. officials' pressure on Ukrainian officials to withhold criticism of whatever final deal the Americans and the Germans reach will face significant resistance.

A source close to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Kyiv's position is that U.S. sanctions could still stop completion of the project, if only the Biden administration had the will to use them at the construction and certification stages. That person said Kyiv remains staunchly opposed to the project.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration gave Zelensky a date for a meeting at the White House with the president later this summer , according to a senior administration official.

Nord Stream 2 is to 96% ready. Its testing will start in August or September and by the years end it will hopefully deliver gas to western Europe.

Talks about building Nord Stream 3 are likely to start soon.

Posted by b on July 21, 2021 at 17:13 UTC | Permalink


corvo , Jul 21 2021 17:23 utc | 1

Did Merkel also get Biden to promise that neither he nor any of his clients (AQ, ISIS, etc. etc. etc.) would perpetrate any "unfortunate incidents" or "disruptions" on NS 2?

And would any such promises be worth the breath that uttered them?

Down South , Jul 21 2021 17:42 utc | 2
But it was always based on a misunderstanding. The pipeline is not to Russia's advantage but important for Germany

I'm afraid it is you who doesn't understand. Two world wars were fought to keep Germany down. The stated purpose of NATO is to keep the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans down.

They weren't trying to block NS2 to keep Russia out but to keep Germany down,

Abe , Jul 21 2021 17:44 utc | 3
I beg to differ. IMO US didn't cause NS2 friction because it thinks it benefits Russia, but exactly because it benefits Germany too much.

You know, NATO, "Keep the Germans down..." and all that. US must not permit it's vassals to become too economically stronger than their master. They want to drag everyone they can down with them (and in shitter US goes) so they can still be king of the hill (or ad least shitter bottom).

That is why there is also pressure for all western countries to adopt insane immigration, LGBT, austerity policies and what not. What a better way to destroy all these countries, both economically and culturally, or adleast make them far more worse than US, it is only way US can again become "powerhouse", like after WW2.

psychohistorian , Jul 21 2021 17:46 utc | 5
Does this represent a fracturing of the EU? or maybe a change in direction?

What b is pointing out about how if it were Trump....only means that the bullying approach by empire didn't work and now we are seeing face saving bullying and backpedaling like crazy in some areas.

I roll my eyes at this ongoing belief that Trump represented humanity instead of all or some faction of the elite....as a demigod it seems.

Hoyeru , Jul 21 2021 17:54 utc | 6
the "facts" as you state them are not quite right.

1. China is ruthless. They waited until the last possible second to sign a deal with Iran, thus ensuring they are getting the best possible price for Iran's oil, basically robbing Iran blind. The poor Iran didn't have a choice but to agree. Even today, Putin will NOT say how much China is paying for gas on Siberia pipeline and a lot of people think China is robbing Russia blind on the deal. A second Siberia line without a NS2 will put Russia is very bad negotiation position and China in very good one, giving them the advantage to ask for any price of Russia and get it.

2. Merkel is leaving anyway in September and thw Green party that will be taking over HATES RUssia with passion. The NS2 is far from done deal, it needs to be insured. Plus it will fall under the EU 3rd energy package making sure Germany doesn't use it 100% . The NS2 will never be 100 usable, the Green party will see to that. AT best it will be only 50% usage.

And so on and so on. Funny how in today's world, we all have different facts. My facts are different than YOUR facts. My facts are just as relevant as your facts.

librul , Jul 21 2021 17:55 utc | 7
A most worthwhile read:
What is more, the most dangerous potential alliance, from the perspective of the United States, was considered to be an alliance between Russia and Germany. This would be an alliance of German technology and capital with Russian natural and human resources.

The article explains a lot, more than just Germany or Russia.

https://newcoldwar.org/stratfor-chiefs-most-blatant-coup-in-history-interview-from-dec-2014/

Interview was from done a few months after the US coup in Ukraine.

Arch Bungle , Jul 21 2021 17:56 utc | 8
Posted by: Down South | Jul 21 2021 17:42 utc | 2

They weren't trying to block NS2 to keep Russia out but to keep Germany down...

Germany would be 'down' no matter how much financial power it accumulates - i.e regardless of NS2. The imperial garrison at Rammstein AFB will make sure of that. What the Americans fear is the symbolic meaning of NS2 in terms of geopolitical influence for Russia. The loss of maneuverability against Russia that results from a key vassal not being able to move in complete obedience to Uncle Sam's wishes.

Max , Jul 21 2021 17:58 utc | 9
The pipeline construction battle has been won, not the energy flow war.

The Financial Empire is most likely resorting to some CHARADE to find an excuse to later stop the gas flow through Nord Stream 2. Empire's bullying was clearly exposed through sanctions and it LOST the battle of stopping the pipeline construction. So it moves to the next battle to find an excuse to stop the gas flow. Empire's evil intent is visible in these words, "the U.S. also would retain the prerogative of levying future pipeline sanctions in the case of actions deemed to represent Russian energy coercion, officials in Washington said."

The Financial Empire has worked hard over the last century to prevent Germany from allying herself with Russia. It wants to control energy flowing in Eurasia and its pricing. The war will be only won when the Financial Empire is defeated and its global pillars of power DISMANTLED.

"The 'heartland' was an area centered in Eurasia, which would be so situated and catered to by resources and manpower as to render it an unconquerable fortress and a fearsome power; and the 'crescent' was a virtual semi-arc encompassing an array of islands – America, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Japan – which, as 'Sea Powers,' watched over the Eurasian landmass to detect and eventually thwart any tendency towards a consolidation of power on the heartland."

Has the Financial Empire stopped interfering in other regions?

karlof1 , Jul 21 2021 18:15 utc | 10
Curious. Late yesterday Sputnik published this article with a decidedly different message:

"US, Germany Threaten Retaliatory Action Against Russia in Draft Nord Stream 2 Accord - Report...."

"As the US and Germany have reportedly reached a deal on the Nord Stream 2 project, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing the obtained draft text of the agreement, that it would threaten sanctions and other measures if Russia tried to use energy as a 'weapon' against Ukraine , though it did not specify what actions could provoke the countermeasures.

"According to the report, in such a case, Germany will take unspecified national action , a decision that may represent a concession from Chancellor Angela Merkel, who had previously refused to take independent action against Moscow over the gas pipeline that will run from Russia to Germany." [My Emphasis]

The article continues:

"On Tuesday, Ned Price, a spokesman for the US State Department, told reporters that he did not have final details of an agreement to announce, but that 'the Germans have put forward useful proposals, and we have been able to make progress on steps to achieve that shared goal, that shared goal being to ensure that Russia cannot weaponize energy ."

" The US was hoping for explicit language that would commit Germany to shut down gas delivery through Nord Stream 2 if Russia attempted to exert undue influence on Ukraine . Germany, on the other hand, has long rejected such a move, stating that such a threat would only serve to politicize a project that Merkel stresses is solely commercial in nature." [My Emphasis]

The overall motive appears to be this:

"The accord would also commit Germany to use its influence to prolong Ukraine's gas transit arrangement with Russia beyond 2024, possibly for up to ten years . Those talks would begin no later than September 1, according to the news outlet." [My Emphasis]

So, here we have the Outlaw US Empire meddling in the internal affairs of three nations--Germany, Russia and Ukraine. Ukraine cannot afford Russian gas as it has no rubles to pay for it. Thus if Ukraine has no money to buy, then why should Gazprom be obliged to give it away freely? What about other European customers who rely on gas piped through Ukraine; are they going to see what they pay for get stolen by Ukraine? And what happens when the pipelines breakdown from lack of maintenance since Ukraine's broke thanks to the Outlaw Us Empire's coup that razed its economy? Shouldn't the Empire and its NATO vassals who invaded Ukraine via their coup be forced to pay for such maintenance? And just who "weaponized" this entire situation in the first place?

Mar man , Jul 21 2021 18:21 utc | 11
From my understanding, NS 2 was mutually beneficial for Germany and Russia. As noted, Germany desperately needs energy and relying on the outrageously priced and unreliable US LNG was not a viable option.

Russia benefits also.
1.No more high transit fees Russia pays Ukraine. I imagine some of that was finding its way into US pockets after 2014.
2.Ukraine supposedly helped itself to plenty of stolen gas from the pipeline. That will stop.
3.Ukraine was occasionally shutting down the pipeline for political reasons until Russia paid the ransom. Not anymore.

So, Russia and Germany were both highly motivated to finish the pipeline ASAP.

Down South , Jul 21 2021 18:31 utc | 12
Arch Bungle @ 8
Germany would be 'down' no matter how much financial power it accumulates - i.e regardless of NS2.

The imperial garrison at Rammstein AFB will make sure of that.

Putin not too long ago (can't find the article now) said he was prepared to help Europe gain its independence should they wish to do so, Rammstein or no Rammstein.

What the Americans fear is the symbolic meaning of NS2 in terms of geopolitical influence for Russia. The loss of maneuverability against Russia that results from a key vassal not being able to move in complete obedience to Uncle Sam's wishes.
What they fear should this deal go ahead is a Germany/Russia/China Axis that would control the world island and thus the world.
Hoarsewhisperer , Jul 21 2021 18:33 utc | 13
I was convinced that the US of Assholery had lost its infantile anti-NS2 'battle' in September 2020, after watching an episode of DW Conflict Zone in which Sarah Kelly interviewed Niels Annen, Germany's Deputy FM. Annen came to the interview armed to the teeth with embarrassing facts about US hypocrisy including, but not limited to, the fact that USA, itself, buys vast quantities of petroleum products from Russia each year.

The interview is Google-able and, apart from pure entertainment value, Sarah is much easier on the eye than Tim Sebastian...

A.L. , Jul 21 2021 18:34 utc | 14
@Hoyeru | Jul 21 2021 17:54 utc | 6

1. China is ruthless. They waited until the last possible second to sign a deal with Iran, thus ensuring they are getting the best possible price for Iran's oil, basically robbing Iran blind.

Hmmm... I seem to remember Iran shafting China on the south Pars gas field when it looked like the JCPOA was looking likely...

If this memory of mine was correct (it may not be) then you really can't blame China for a little commercial payback.

In any case it was shown as soon as JCPOA Mk.1 was passed Iran RAN, not walked, to smooch up to the west for business, not China, not Russia. So if its just business for Iran then its just business for China.

There's no loyalty discount without loyalty.

robin , Jul 21 2021 18:38 utc | 16
I agree with Down South 2 and Abe 3.

In our eagerness to expose the empire's shortcomings in a quick 'gotcha!' moment we shouldn't rush head first into false premises. To suggest Dear Uncle Sam is concerned with anything other than his own navel is naive. He's the man with the plan. He knows that down the road, Oceania's eastern border won't run along the Dnieper but right off the shore of Airstrip One.

Stonebird , Jul 21 2021 18:59 utc | 17
As has been mentioned before, the NN2 pipeline gives Germany leverage over Russia , not the other way around.

US => Germany => Russia.
Which is now plan b for the US. If then they can use their leverage over Germany to steer it in any direction it wants to vs. Russia.

This will probably be followed by "targeted" sanctions on specific Politicians, Bankers and Heads of industry. They only need to propose such sanctions individually for them to have an effect. Using Pegasus for inside information to Blackmail those it wants to.
*****

Example of a sanctions racket :

Similar to the potential sanctions on any Lebanese Politian or Group Leaders if they get Oil from Iran, Russia or China. The Lebanese population be damned.

"Apparently US Treasury has informed the government of Lebanon, that if any Oil products from Iran make it into Lebanon, in any way; the government of Lebanon and all its members will be sanctioned. This includes the Central Bankers"

Just in case you didn't understand how the crisis in the country is manufactured.

Pegasus again:

"leaks on the targets of Israeli spy program Pegasus, show hundreds in Lebanon including the elected leadership of every party, every media outlet, & every security agency, have been targeted by clients in 10 countries; all belonging to the Imperialist camp.

But it is very easy to guess by looking at who are the external imperialist forces active in Lebanon. USA/UK/France/Turkey/Germany/Canada/Israel/Qatar; that's eight. Plus Saudi Arabia."
*******

PS. Lebanon; This comes as a response to Sayyed Nasrallah stating in his last speech that if the State in Lebanon is not able to provide fuel, he will bring it at the expense of Hizbullah from Iran, dock it in the port of Beirut, and dared anyone to stop it from reaching the people.
*****

Germany will only be the latest victim as the Mafia-US "protection" racket is ramped up.

Lysander , Jul 21 2021 18:59 utc | 18
Both b and the many commenters raise excellent points. Yes, the US wants to hurt both Russia and Germany. And yes the US *definitely* fears close cooperation between Moscow and Berlin. But the main take home lesson is that the US failed despite enormous efforts to block NS2. Russo-German cooperation is inevitable and the world will be better for it.
Passer , Jul 21 2021 19:02 utc | 19
Posted by: Hoyeru | Jul 21 2021 17:54 utc | 6

>>a lot of people think China is robbing Russia blind on the deal

Why would be Russia building Power of Siberia 2 and 3 to China then? Or selling LNG too? You don't have much knowledge on the topic, the way it looks. A giant gas plant was built near the border with China, the second biggest gas plant in the world, because the gas for China is rich in rare elements, thus turning Russia in of the the biggest producers of strategic helium, not to mention extracting many other rare elements. China gets gas that has been cleaned of anything valuable from it, with the exception of the gas itself.

>>merkel is leaving anyway in September and thw Green party that will be taking over

The latest polls show clear lead for CDU/CSU. And it looks like its too late.

>>the NS2 will never be 100 usable, tthe Green party will see to that. AT best it will be only 50% usage.

Do you even follow what has been going on? Germany is free not to buy russian gas, that is, to be left without gas if this is what it wants.

Do you see how nat gas prices exploded in Europe recently? Do you know why is that? Because Russia refuses to sell additional volumes via Ukraine's network. It is a message to finish the issues with NS 2 pipeline faster and then everything will be fine, there will be plenty of space for new gas volumes, and the gas price will drop.

robin , Jul 21 2021 19:12 utc | 21
@ A.L. 14

It is the UNSC resolutions of 2006, 2007 and 2010 which have laid the backbone for the incremental diplomatic, economic and material warfare against Iran. Without them, there would be no narrative framing Iran as an outlaw nor justification for crippling sanctions. That Iran should even be subjected to the JCPOA is in itself an objective injustice.

Each of these resolutions could easily have been blocked by the two permanent members of the UNSC we go to much lengths on this forum to depict as selfless adversaries of the Empire. All they had to do was raise a finger and say niet. In other words, by their actions, these two members placed Iran in a very disadvantageous trading position.

So, did they profit from this position of strength?

karlof1 , Jul 21 2021 19:24 utc | 23
It seems few care, but Sputnik followed its article from yesterday I linked to @10 with another that features an interview with Glenn Diesen . It reiterates:

"According to the draft deal, obtained by Bloomberg, Washington and Berlin would threaten sanctions and other retaliation if Russia 'tries to use energy as a weapon against Ukraine', with Germany being obligated to take unspecified actions in the event of Russian 'misbehaviour' . [My Emphasis]

The article then turns to the interview:

"Professor Glenn Diesen of the University of South-Eastern Norway has explained what is behind the US-Germany row is." [That last "is" appears to be a typo]

I suggest barflies pay close attention to Dr. Diesen who's the author of an outstanding book on the geoeconomics of Russia and China, Russia's Geoeconomic Strategy for a Greater Eurasia . I judge the following Q&A to be most relevant:

"Sputnik: The Biden administration waived sanctions on the firm behind the gas project, Nord Stream 2 AG, and its chief executive, Matthias Warnig. At the same time, Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated in June that the pipeline project was a Russian tool for the coercion of Europe and signaled that the US has leverage against it. What's behind Washington's mixed signals with regard to the project? How could they throw sand in Nord Stream 2's gears, in your opinion - or are Blinken's threats empty?

"Glenn Diesen: The mixed signals demonstrate that the completion of Nord Stream 2 was a defeat for the US. Biden confirmed that he waived sanctions because the project was near complete. Sanctions could not stop the project [link at original], rather they would merely continue to worsen relations with Berlin and Moscow. The best approach for Washington at this point is to recognise that Nord Stream 2 is a done deal, and instead Washington will direct its focus towards limiting the geo-economics consequences of the pipeline by obtaining commitments from Berlin such as preserving Ukraine's role as a transit state [Link at original].

"The US therefore waives sanctions against Nord Stream 2, yet threatens new sanctions if Berlin fails to accept US conditions and limitations on Nord Stream 2. Blinken's threats are loaded with 'strategic ambiguity', which could be aimed to conceal that they are merely empty threats . However, strategic ambiguity is also conducive to prevent Berlin from calculating the "costs" and possible remedies to US threats. Furthermore, ambiguity can be ideal in terms of how to respond as it is not a good look to continuously threaten allies." [Emphasis original]

The professor's closing remarks are also very important regarding Merkel's successor. Where I disagree is with the notion that the Outlaw US Empire has geoeconomic leverage over the EU--military yes, but the Empire is just as uncompetitive versus the EU as it is versus China.

A.L. , Jul 21 2021 19:25 utc | 24
@robin | Jul 21 2021 19:12 utc | 21

So, did they profit from this position of strength?

Of course they did, let's be real. China and Russia are not going to be the all benevolent saviors of the world, they never were, never will.

They will always serve their interests first and foremost. Sometimes, they do get suckered into UNSC resolutions like those you spoke of. Sometimes, there're backroom horse trading that we're not privy to and little countries are just chips on the table...

The best we can hope for is that they can behave with more integrity than currently shown by the incumbent anglospheric bloc in their re-ascendancy.

Either we ditch the UNSC system or everybody get nukes, because i can't see the current UNSC members willing ditch their own, ever.

Prof , Jul 21 2021 19:30 utc | 26
Lysander is correct. The most important point to know is that US hegemony in Europe is predicated on fear and hostility between Germany and Russia.

Types of interdependence between Germany and Russia, eg. NRG security, are a direct threat to US dominance over Europe as a whole.

There are many limitations to European strategic autonomy -- and the EU embodies those limits in many ways -- but the case of NS2 demonstrates an independent streak in German strategy. It amounts to a zero sum loss for Washington.

c1ue , Jul 21 2021 19:47 utc | 28
Way too much confusion over what Nord Stream 2 really means.

1) Russian gas transiting Ukraine had already fallen from 150 bcm to the high 90s/low 100s before Nord Stream 2 goes online. Even after NS2 goes online, a significant amount of Russian gas will still transit via Ukraine.

2) Energy demand generally increases over time, not decreases. Russian gas exports aren't increasing in a straight line, but keep in mind that there are significant new competitors now and in the process coming online. These include Azerbaijan as well as the ongoing pipeline struggle through the Black Sea/Turkey/Eastern Med.

I never believed there was any chance of NS2 not completing; the only question was when.

robin , Jul 21 2021 20:00 utc | 30
@ Stonebird | Jul 21 2021 18:59 utc | 17

Lebanon does illustrate the incredible reach of the Empire. A leverage so long that every door leads to self immolation. Your mention of the current spyware scandal is right on point. These are instruments of absolute power.

What we need now is a worldwide Me Too movement to denounce this leverage. Taking that first step would require a lot of courage for any blackmailed individual, but the one little breach could lead to a flood of world citizens just about fed up with the Empire's shit.

William Gruff , Jul 21 2021 20:12 utc | 32
psychohistorian @5

It pains me that I do not remember exactly who it was, but one of the more erudite posters here mentioned some time ago that Trump seemed more like a Bonapartist figure than a fascist or a typical and simple representative of a faction in the oligarchy. While Trump is certainly no representative of humanity, it just as certainly doesn't look like his rise was in the playbook of the dominant faction of the oligarchy. Trump really seems to fit the mould of a Bonapartist, though recast in the context of contemporary America. This would indicate that the imperial oligarchy is in crisis, which itself could lead to fractures in the empire, and among the empire's vassals in particular.

It is unwise to downplay the significance of Trump coming to power in 2016, regardless of what feelings one may have about the individual himself. The conditions that led to the rise of Trump not only persist, but have intensified. Those conditions cannot be resolved by mass media gaslighting and social media censorship, which actually seems to be having an effect more like holding the emergency relief valve on a boiler closed; it quiets an annoying sound, but causes the underlying issue to grow more severe.

Basically, further splits in the EU are inevitable. It is the timing of those splits that is difficult to predict, but the accuracy of that prediction hinges upon the accuracy of our assessment of events occurring now. Interestingly, Trump is still part of these unfolding events.

Christian J. Chuba , Jul 21 2021 20:33 utc | 34
Fracturing NATO and the West hmmm ... If Germany gains any independence from U.S. coercion they are 'fracturing Europe'. Bad Germany.

Germany must forever remain a vassal state of the U.S. by allowing the U.S. to use another vassal state to control their energy supply. And who says we don't believe in freedom. Neocons are such vile creatures. Always twisting words but remember, whenever they say something, the exact opposite is true.

schmoe , Jul 21 2021 21:00 utc | 37
One issue underlying this fiasco is I believe that the neocons / Atlantic Council were 100% certain that Russia did not have the expertise to lay pipelines at the required depths, and once Allseas was facing sanctions, the project would never be completed.

**********************************************************

Re: China/Russia deal

I believe that the exact pricing formula for Power of Siberia is confidential, but this much is known:

"The price of Russian gas supplies to China increased in the second quarter of 2021 for the first time since deliveries started via the Power of Siberia pipeline in 2019, but daily delivery volumes fell in April, Interfax reported on Sunday.

Russian gas giant Gazprom GAZP.MM has said it supplied China with 3.84 billion cubic metres of gas via the Power of Siberia pipeline in its first year of operation.

Citing Chinese customs data, Interfax said the price of gas increased to $148 per thousand cubic metres, rising from $121 in the first quarter, and reversing a downward trend."

**********************************************************************************

Also, Victoria Nuland informed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today about Biden's cave to Russia. That must have been brutal for her. Regardless, nice to see a rare display of sanity from s US administration.

Baron , Jul 21 2021 21:16 utc | 39
@librul | Jul 21 2021 17:55 utc | 7

The primary and only objective of the US Foreign policy vis-a-vis Europe since WW2 has been to prevent Russia and Germany (now read the German run EU project) coupling up, that's it, nothing else matters on Europe.

The completion of N-2 presents a serious blow tho this aim, the new pipeline is a must for Germany, it must get finished, without it Germany's supply of energy would have been almost fully controlled by the Americans who have either direct or indirect authority over every major source of hydrocarbons except for Venezuela and Russia, the latter only partly, the Ukrainian pipeline is fully in their sphere of influence.

Energy fuels everything from private dwellings to major corporations, it's together with labour and technology the most important ingredient in every economy. To lose control of it would have been a catastrophe for Germany, in particular if one takes into account the secret treaty between Germany and the Allies (read the US) from 1949.

"On 23 May 1949, the Western Allies ratified a new German constitution, known as the "Basic Law" or Grundgesetz. However, two days prior, a secret state treaty - Geheimer Staatsvertrag - was also signed to grant complete Allied control over education and all licensed media, press, radio, television and publishing houses until the year 2099. This was confirmed by Major-General Gerd-Helmut Komossa, former head of German Military Intelligence in his book, "Die Deutsche Karte" or The German Card".

Has anyone read the Komossa's book in full?

karlof1 , Jul 21 2021 21:18 utc | 40
schmoe @37--

What's interesting about Power of Siberia-1 is that the gas is being stripped -- refined at the newly completed Amur Gas Plant -- of its components prior to being piped into China. I don't know if Germany's petrochemical industry will be deprived in similar manner with NS2.

CD Waller @36--

Nothing in the energy production realm is carbon neutral. ROSATOM has mastered the fuel cycle which means most if not all toxic waste will now be burned for energy. New reactors do NOT use water as coolant. Clearly you need to update what you know about nuclear power.

Jackrabbit , Jul 21 2021 21:31 utc | 41
The Russian 'victory' is very narrow and mostly consists of the patience and determination to follow-thru while consistently being derided/attacked by Western media, pundits, and politicians:
  1. Since Russia/Gasprom owns NS2 100% (paying for half the construction cost outright and financing the rest), there was never much need to stop construction, only to stop/limit consumption. The 'trick' was to find a way to accomplish US/NATO goals that would not make German leaders look like puppets.
  2. Biden's approach looks good compared to Trump's heavy-handed approach. As they are BOTH spokesman of the Empire's Deep State, we can surmise that this is merely good cop / bad cop theatrics.
  3. This USA-GERMAN agreement makes Germany appear to voluntarily support EU/NATO - a good thing(tm) that most Germans will accept without question. But behind the scenes, it's unlikely that there was ever any real choice, just a mutual desire to fashion a 'smart' policy that didn't undermine German political leaders.
  4. Germany can now be pressured to support USA-Ukraine belligerence - if they don't they will be portrayed as not living up to their obligations to US/NATO/EU/Ukraine as enshrined in this agreement.
  5. If Russia retaliates against German purchase reductions in any way they will be labeled as a politically-driven, unreliable supplier. That will 'invite' sanctions and spark efforts to force EU/Germany to eliminate all Russia goods from their markets.
  6. Russia and China are likely to be increasingly linked in Western media/propaganda. Deficiencies of one or the other will apply to BOTH.
The next few winters in EU will be very interesting.

!!

karlof1 , Jul 21 2021 21:44 utc | 43
Baron @39--

Thanks very much for mentioning Komossa's book!! Here's a very short but illuminating article about book and author . There appear to be copies available for downloading, but I've yet to find one.

karlof1 , Jul 21 2021 22:40 utc | 48
Jackrabbit @41 incorrectly says Russia owns NS2 100% It's owned by Nord Stream 2 AG, and here's its website listing its financial investors, while its shareholders/owners are global. The company is located in Zug, Switzerland. Here we are told who the financial companies are :

"In April 2017, Nord Stream 2 AG signed the financing agreements for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project with ENGIE, OMV, Royal Dutch Shell, Uniper, and Wintershall. These five European energy companies will provide long-term financing for 50 per cent of the total cost of the project."

As with the first string, Russia doesn't own it 100% nor did it finance it completely; rather, its stake was @50% It appears both Nord Streams will be managed from the same location in Zug. I hope the company produces a similar sort of book to record its accomplishment as it did for the first string pair, which can be found and downloaded here .

Jackrabbit , Jul 21 2021 22:55 utc | 50
karlof1 @Jul21 22:40 #48

This Deutsche Welle (DW) explainer details NS2 ownership and financing :

Who is paying for it: Russia's energy giant Gazprom is the sole shareholder of the Nord Stream 2 AG , the company in charge of implementing the €9.5 billion ($11.1 billion) project. Gazprom is also covering half of the cost. The rest, however, is being financed by five western companies: ENGIE, OMV, Royal Dutch Shell, Uniper and Wintershall.
Emphasis is mine.

<> <> <> <> <>

Nord Stream 2 AG is a German company that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Russia's Gazprom. The German subsidiary has borrowed half of the construction cost but is 100% owner of the NS2 project.

!!

Jackrabbit , Jul 21 2021 23:07 utc | 53
From karlof1's link to Nord Stream 2 AG's Shareholder and Financial Investors page makes it clear that NordStream 2 AG is a subsidiary of Gazprom international projects LLC, which is, in turn, a subsidiary of Gazprom. Under "Shareholder" there is only one company listed: Gasprom.

PS I was mistaken: Nord Stream 2 AG is a Swiss company, not a German one.

!!

schmoe , Jul 21 2021 23:20 utc | 56
Jackrabbit @ 41

I am no sure if this is that plausible:

"4. Germany can now be pressured to support USA-Ukraine belligerence - if they don't they will be portrayed as not living up to their obligations to US/NATO/EU/Ukraine as enshrined in this agreement.

If Russia retaliates against German purchase reductions in any way they will be labeled as a politically-driven, unreliable supplier. That will 'invite' sanctions and spark efforts to force EU/Germany to eliminate all Russia goods from their markets."

Germany has been portrayed as not living up to its NATO obligations one way or another since about 1985, and with respect to NS 2, since 2018. They do not seem fazed - maybe a Green win would change that. If the USA-Ukraine get (more) belligerent, Germany might be less likely to insist on Ukraine gas transit after 2024.

Jackrabbit , Jul 21 2021 23:20 utc | 57
The Russian government owns a majority of Gazprom. As majority owner they can be said to control the company and with that control comes an inescapable political dimension.

For the purposes of this discussion: the Russian government has biggest stake in the financial success of Nord Stream 2. That "success" depends on gas sold, not simply the completion of NS2 construction.

!!

[Jun 22, 2021] The Imperial Pottery Barn rule: "What cannot be owned must be broken"

Highly recommended!
Jun 22, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

robin , Jun 22 2021 19:33 utc | 14

Posted by: Down South | Jun 22 2021 18:01 utc |

They say madness is doing the same thing over and over again and each time expecting a different result.

There's nothing mad about this strategy. If it doesn't make sense, your premise is probably wrong.


Think of it as the Imperial Pottery Barn rule :

"What cannot be owned must be broken"

Weaver , Jun 22 2021 19:50 utc | 18

Robin, "the Imperial Pottery Barn rule" is an extremely good analogy. I'm going to have a hard time citing you if I ever use that. I've also seen US foreign policy described as "rubblization," with regard to Syria especially.

[Jun 21, 2021] Why china is not helping syrian goverment

Jun 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Keith McClary , Jun 21 2021 21:08 utc | 27

@dh:
The US is cozying up to Mohammad al-Jolani of AQ, re-branded as Hay-at Tahrir al-Sham, or HTS.
https://thegrayzone.com/2021/06/09/washington-positioning-syrian-al-qaeda-mohammad-jolani-asset/

Ian2 , Jun 21 2021 21:17 utc | 28

"For some reason, China provides almost no humanitarian support for Syria...China should at the very least donate $1 billion a year in humanitarian assistance to Syria. It's hard to understand China's indifference considering the extent it affects their security. Sometimes I wonder who wastes more money on the military in relation to otehr spending on foreign affairs. China's $250 billion military budget in 2020 or America's $800 billion military spending last year?"<\blockquote>

posternnn | Jun 21 2021 19:32 utc | 7:

From what I gather China sees Syria as a national interests of Israel, Iran, Russia and Turkey. The last thing they want is to step on their toes especially when some of them are their allies and or in the process of being lobbied to switch sides.

dh , Jun 21 2021 21:26 utc | 29

@26 I don't put Syria and Afghanistan in the same bag. The US is in Syria to protect Israel from Iran and Hezbullah. Going into Afghanistan was a reaction to the Twin Towers bombing.....Bin Laden, Bush, we must do something etc.. I could be wrong but I see the Taliban as quite pragmatic. Of course the MSM wants us to think they are just a bunch of bloodthirsty muslim fanatics.

A.L. , Jun 21 2021 22:49 utc | 38

Posted by: posternnn | Jun 21 2021 19:32 utc | 7

It almost seems like China is under some kind of pressure not to help Syria even with humanitarian help.

China has given political cover to Syria at the UN. It is also probable that its been agreed between putin and xi that Syria is to be a Russian show. For China to fly in vaccines now would not make Russia look good.

Additionally there aren't much military nor political ties between Syria and Chinese in the past like there were between Syria and Russia. To do much more uninvited would breach Chinese's own policy of non-interference of others internal affairs. Remember this whole Syria saga is dressed up and still designated as a civil war by the UN...

In any case there's much we don't know, what's not to say China isn't bankrolling something behind the scenes with Russia as the frontman?

Assad have said those who have helped Syria in its hour of need will be rewarded in its reconstruction. When that time comes and the contracts doled out we'll know for certain.

[Jun 21, 2021] All War is for economic reasons

Jun 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

VetinLA , Jun 21 2021 19:25 utc | 6

Red Rider @ 2 said; "All War is for economic reasons."

Always has been, always will be. No matter the reasons given to the peons.

Max , Jun 21 2021 20:11 utc | 13

What is the fastest way to create lots of DEBT (money)? Wars, civil war, technological waves, credit bubbles (speculative, housing,...), infrastructures...

What is the real purpose of war? To capture & control more areas for EXPLOITATION? War is the fastest way to create lots of debt for all parties.

"the real value of a conflict, the true value, is in the debt it creates. You control the debt, you control everything."

Money Power = Land x Lives x Loans

Putting Afghanistan in further debt, enables it to be exploited... What are its revenue sources? Who pays for its security and infrastructure? Will NATO leave by September?

Who wants to make us all, whether we be nations or individuals, slaves to debt?

[Jun 21, 2021] The War On Afghanistan Is Lost But The U.S. Still Tries To Keep A Foot In Its Door

Jun 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jen , Jun 21 2021 20:17 utc | 17

Those Uyghur jihadists stuck in Idlib province in Syria and in refugee camps in Turkey are bound to get a warm welcome from the Taliban when Ankara finally ships them off to Kabul as part of this proposed "security force" to protect the airport so the CIA can continue to ship out its heroin.

Don Bacon , Jun 21 2021 20:28 utc | 20

The US MSM is ablaze with "Taliban against Afghan forces" headlines, conveniently forgetting that the Taliban are Afghan forces too, in fact they preceded the current "Afghan forces" in government until the US intervention.
So why do their guys always beat our guys? Because their guys fight for their country and our guys fight for us.
Max , Jun 21 2021 20:33 utc | 21
@ ToivoS, why did the U$A withdraw from Vietnam? There was conscription in the U$A, thereby the rich were at risk. Also, the U$A was being constrained by money creation due to the gold standard. Both of these issues have been addressed.

Name a nation that the U$A has WITHDRAWN its military after occupying it, other than Vietnam. Aren't we still in Germany, Japan, South Korea, ...?

It ain't over 'til it's over.

How much DEBT has the Afghanistan conflict created so far? In trillions? Who got that money?

Don Bacon , Jun 21 2021 20:34 utc | 22
@ CJC #10
re: . . . Turkey to retain control of airport after NATO withdraws
It's more than NATO.
The US-Taliban agreement:
The United States is committed to withdraw from Afghanistan all military forces of the United States, its allies, and Coalition partners, including all non-diplomatic civilian personnel, private security contractors, trainers, advisors, and supporting services personnel within fourteen (14) months following announcement of this agreement. . . here
Don Bacon , Jun 21 2021 20:39 utc | 24

@ Max
re: . . . why did the U$A withdraw from Vietnam?
The US had no choice because the conscription-based US Army was broken, with troops refusing to obey orders and fragging their superiors etc. . .So Washington pulled out the troops and ended the draft.

Don Bacon , Jun 21 2021 20:49 utc | 25

The US "experts" who are crying about a possible, or inevitable, return to Talban government haven't read the agreement.
The US-Taliban Agreement of Feb 29, 2020 called for all foreign forces to leave Afghanistan by May 2021, and recognized that the outcome would be a return to a Taliban government. For example one agreement condition, II-5:: "The Taliban will not provide visas, passports, travel permits, or other legal documents to those who pose a threat to the security of the United States and its allies to enter Afghanistan." . . here

Don Bacon , Jun 21 2021 22:23 utc | 35

re: Why is the US in Afghanistan?
Decades ago Washington had its own "Silk Road" strategy, to move into the -Stans in Central Asia after the uSSR breakup. There was a large interest in Kazakhstan up north, as well as the other -Stands including Afghanistan. It was of course a road to nowhere but as we know the creeps in Washington ain't too bright. There were no seaports to accommodate this road, for one thing. There were some other considerations, like an energy pipeline, but it was all just going nowhere until 9-11 came along, giving the US to do what it does worst, employ its military.

Don Bacon , Jun 21 2021 22:33 utc | 36

@ Abe 32
re: This simplistic "views" are as inaccurate as insulting.
You need to get out more.
. . .from Fragging: Why U.S. Soldiers Assaulted Their Officers in Vietnam

During its long withdrawal from South Vietnam, the U.S. military experienced a serious crisis in morale. Chronic indiscipline, illegal drug use, and racial militancy all contributed to trouble within the ranks. But most chilling of all was the advent of a new phenomenon: large numbers of young enlisted men turning their weapons on their superiors. The practice was known as "fragging," a reference to the fragmentation hand grenades often used in these assaults. . . here
Canadian Cents , Jun 21 2021 23:03 utc | 40

Glad to hear that Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan is not letting the US use Pakistan as a base for its continued machinations, in spite of heavy US pressure, and that Pakistan as a whole was saying #AbsolutelyNot. Kudos Pakistan.

According to M. K. Bhadrakumar:

"Washington is now considering the hiring of Pentagon contractors (mercenaries) to secure Kabul airport. But that will be a hugely controversial step with grave consequences, as apparent from Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's brusque rejection of the very idea of American military presence on Pakistani soil in relation to the Afghan situation."

MKB also places all this into the context of "the US' grand project to create rings of instability in [Russia and China's] adjacent regions -- Ukraine, Belarus, Moldavia, Hong Kong, Myanmar, Afghanistan."

https://www.indianpunchline.com/fizz-is-gone-from-biden-putin-summit/

Biswapriya Purkayast , Jun 21 2021 23:27 utc | 41

*Mi 9 or Mi 17 helicopters. There is no Mi 19.

You forget the ISIS group that magically appeared in Afghanistan a few years ago. The same group that immediately attacked the Taliban, forcing the Taliban to dedicate its best forces to countering the threat instead of fighting the puppet child sex slaver Quisling warlord regime. What's more likely than continuing the occupation in the name of "fighting ISIS"? Just like Iraq was reinvaded and reoccupied in the name of "fighting ISIS" and continues to be occupied to this day?

[Jun 12, 2021] Scrap Sanctions Warfare! by Oliver Boyd

Looks like UNZ commenters are not fans of the US government :-)
Jun 09, 2021 | www.unz.com

Sanctions are the "gentlemanly" neo-imperial language of gunboat diplomacy, never better expressed than the attempts of the British government in the early 1950s to discipline a newly democratic Iran. First the British Labour Government, then a Conservative government under a splenetic Churchill, tried to put a halt to the runaway popularity of Mohammed Mossadegh, prime minister of Iran, and his policy to shut down the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and nationalize Iran's own oil. The British sabotaged their own company, refused to distribute the oil, and did everything else they could to impoverish Iran. This was only after the AIOC had refused to budge from its insistence on taking practically all of the profits and to refrain from treating Iranian oil workers as subhuman. Ironically, the British needed AIOC money to finance their own program of industrial nationalization and the welfare state. As is so often the case, the "sanctions" merely hardened anti-imperial sentiment, and were succeeded by a joint US-UK directed regime-change coup d'etat

None of this need suggest a diminution in the importance of national sovereignty. Sovereign nations should be free to trade with whomsoever they choose, to protect which domestic industries they consider worthy of protection. That is their right. They also have the right to enter into trade agreements with others for the purpose of regulating the conditions of trade between them, provided that they enter into such agreements without duress, bribery or punishment.

Questions of Definition

The Council for Foreign Relations (CFR) explains that sanctions have become one of the most favored tools for governments to respond to foreign policy challenges. The term sanctions can refer to travel bans, asset freezes, arms embargoes, capital restraints, foreign aid reductions, and trade restrictions, and represent efforts to coerce, deter, punish, or shame entities that are considered by those who wield them to endanger their interests. They are generally viewed as a lower-cost, lower-risk course of action in calculations that balance diplomacy against war. Yet sanctions can be just as devasting in terms of loss of human life. They may be particularly attractive in the case of policy responses to foreign crises in which national interest is considered less than vital, or where military action is not feasible.

Sanctions that blanket entire populations generally do most damage to poorer and more vulnerable social strata, who lack the means to avoid or compensate for their consequences. The USA has more than two dozen sanctions regimes. Some target specific countries such as Cuba and Iran, others target specific categories of person or institution or even specific named individuals. Sanctions have been used in efforts of counterterrorism, counter-narcotics, nonproliferation, democracy and human rights promotion, conflict resolution, and cybersecurity. They are frequently applied as a form of punishment or reprisal for behavior in which it is alleged that the target has engaged and of which the applying entity disapproves.

In the case of the UN Security Council sanctions resolutions must pass the fifteen-member council by a majority vote and without a veto from any of the five permanent members: the United States, China, France, Russia, and the United Kingdom. The most common types of UN sanctions, binding for all member states, are asset freezes, travel bans, and arms embargoes. The UN relies on member states for enforcement, with all the idiosyncrasies and abuses that this entails. The council-imposed sanctions against Southern Rhodesia in 1966 were intended to undermine Ian Smith's white supremacist regime and were followed in 1977 by another set of comprehensive UN sanctions against apartheid South Africa. They have been applied more than twenty times since 1990 against targeting parties to an intrastate conflict, as in Somalia, Liberia, and Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

The European Union imposes sanctions as part of its Common Foreign and Security Policy. They must receive unanimous consent from member states in the Council of the European Union, the body that represents EU leaders. The EU has levied its sanctions more than thirty times. Individual EU states may also impose harsher sanctions independently within their national jurisdiction.

The USA resorts to economic and financial sanctions more than any other country. Presidents may issue an executive order that declares a national emergency and invokes special powers to regulate commerce for a period of one year, unless extended by the president or terminated by a joint resolution of Congress. Most of the more than fifty states of emergency declared by Congress remain in effect today. Congress may pass legislation imposing new sanctions or modifying existing ones.

In 2019, the United States had comprehensive sanctions regimes on Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Sudan, and Syria, as well as more than a dozen other programs targeting individuals and entities (currently some 6,000). Existing U.S. sanctions programs are administered by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), while other departments, including State, Commerce, Homeland Security, and Justice, may also play an integral role. The secretary of state can designate a group a foreign terrorist organization or label a country a state sponsor of terrorism, both of which have sanctions implications. State and local authorities may also contribute to enforcement efforts.

The practice of sanctions received a significant boost with the formation of the World Trade Organization, which recognizes the legitimacy of sanctions as a response to the failure of parties in a trade dispute to reach agreement on satisfactory compensation. A complainant may ask the Dispute Settlement Body for permission to impose trade sanctions against the respondent that has failed to implement. The complainant's retaliatory response may not go beyond the level of the harm caused by the respondent. The complainant should first seek to suspend obligations in the same sector as that in which the violation or other nullification or impairment was found, unless the complainant considers it impracticable or ineffective to remain within the same sector The complainant is allowed countermeasures that are in effect and would in other circumstances be inconsistent with the WTO Agreement. In other words, the result is that a complainant responds to one trade barrier with another trade barrier, contrary to the liberalization philosophy underlying the WTO. Such measures are nearly always harmful for both the complainant and the target. Although such retaliation requires prior approval by the DSB 1, the countermeasures are applied selectively by one Member against another. The suspension of obligations is temporary and the DSB is obligated to maintain a review of the situation for as long as there is no implementation. The suspension must be revoked once the Member concerned has fully complied with the DSB's recommendations and rulings.

In a 2019 decision the WTO allowed China to impose trade sanctions on $3.6 billion of American goods on the grounds that the USA had not followed WTO rules in the way it imposed duties on what it regarded as unfairly cheap Chinese goods. The ruling concluded a case that China brought against the USA in 2013 that stemmed from levies placed on more than 40 Chinese goods. At issue were subsidies that the USA accused China of providing to its companies so that they can sell goods more cheaply overseas.

The case touched on some of the deep politics of neoliberalism for which the WTO is supreme icon, and which make the very notion of sanctions problematic as evidenced in frequent criticisms of the WTO . These are that free trade benefits developed countries more than developing countries; that countries should trade without discrimination means a local firm is not allowed to favor local contractors, giving an unfair advantage to multinational companies and imposing costs for local firms; ; it is important that nations be allowed to assist in the diversification of their economies and not be penalized for favoring emerging industries; free trade is not equally sought across different industries "" notably, both the US and EU retain high tariffs on agriculture, which hurts farmers in developing economies; principles of free trade often ignore environmental considerations, considerations of labor equity and cultural diversity.

After 9/11 "" still one of the least understood events in modern history "" and amidst the subsequent US invasions of the sovereign countries of Afghanistan and Iraq, and de-stabilization of many others (including Libya, Syria, Ukraine), the USA set about disrupting what it deemed the financial infrastructure supporting terrorists and international criminals, (but not including the USA itself). The Patriot Act awarded Treasury Department officials far-reaching authority to freeze the assets and financial transactions of individuals and other entities suspected of supporting terrorism, and broad powers to designate foreign jurisdictions and financial institutions as "primary money laundering concerns." Treasury needs only a reasonable suspicion""not necessarily any evidence""to target entities under these laws. The centrality of New York and the dollar to the global financial system means these U.S. policies are felt globally. Penalties for sanctions violations can be huge in terms of fines, loss of business, and reputational damage. Sanctions regimes today increasingly impact not merely the primary targeted countries or entities but also those who would do business with such countries or entities.

Questions of Effectiveness

Sanctions have a poor track record, registering a modest 20-30 percent success rate at best, according to one source, Emily Cashen, writing for World Finance in 2017. According to leading empirical analyses, between 1915 and 2006, comprehensive sanctions were successful, at best, just 30 percent of the time. The longer sanctions are in place, the less likely they are to be effective, as the targeted state tends to adapt to its new economic circumstances instead of changing its behavior.

Examples of "successful" applications of sanctions (always judged from the very partial viewpoint of those who impose them) are said to include their role in persuading the Iranian leadership to comply with limits to its uranium enrichment program. But if this was "success," why then did the USA break its agreement with Iran in 2018? And why was there an agreement in the first place if Iran had never had nuclear weapons nor was likely to produce them on its own account without serious provocation. Sanctions are also said to have pressured Gadaffi in handing over the Lockerbie suspects for trial, renouncing the nation's weapons of mass destruction and ending its support for terrorist activities. But then, if that was "success," why did NATO bomb Libya back to the stone age in 2011?

Sanctions that are effective in one setting may fail in another . Context is everything. Sanctions programs with relatively limited objectives are generally more likely to succeed than those with major political ambitions. Furthermore, sanctions may achieve their desired economic effect but fail to change behavior. Only correlations, not causal relationships, can be determined. The central question is one of comparative utility: Is the imposition of sanctions better or worse than not imposing sanctions, from whose viewpoint, and why? Best practices are said to combine punitive measures with positive inducements; set attainable goals; build multilateral support; be credible and flexible: and give the target reason to believe that sanctions will be increased or reduced based on its behavior.

In cases where the targeted country has other trading options unilateral measures have no real impact or may be counterproductive. Sanctions against Russia over Ukraine may have simply helped to push Russia closer to its eastern neighbors, notably China. To bypass sanctions Russia has shifted its trade focus towards Asia. Asian non-cooperation with the sanctions helps explain why Russia was expecting to grow its trade with China to $200bn by 2020. For several countries in western Europe, the sanctions had a double-edged sword. Russia is the European Union's third largest commercial partner, and the EU, reciprocally, is Russia's chief trade partner, accounting for almost 41 percent of the nation's trade prior to the sanctions. In 2012, before the Ukrainian crisis began, the EU exported a record €267.5bn ($285bn) of goods to Russia. Further, US sanctions against Russia increasingly and patently had nothing to do with Ukraine and everything to do with US interest in exploiting its imperial relationship with West European vassal states to grow its LNG (liquefied natural gas) market in competition with Russia, and by doing everything possible to obstruct "" and to coerce European nations into helping it obstruct "" Russia's Nord Stream 2 oil and gas pipeline that will bring cheap Russian oil to Europe without passing through Ukraine. The very opposite of principles of globalization and free trade.

The USA can afford to be aggressive in sanctions policies largely because (for the time being, and that time is getting shorter by the day) there is no alternative to the dollar and because there is no single country export market quite as attractive (for now and even then, one must wonder about China) as the USA. Sanctions that are effective in one setting may fail in another. Context is everything. Sanctions programs with relatively limited objectives are generally more likely to succeed than those with major political ambitions. Furthermore, sanctions may achieve their desired economic effect but fail to change behavior. Only correlations, not causal relationships, can be determined. The central question is one of comparative utility: Is the imposition of sanctions better or worse than not imposing sanctions, from whose viewpoint, and why? Best practices are said to combine punitive measures with positive inducements; set attainable goals; build multilateral support; be credible and flexible: and give the target reason to believe that sanctions will be increased or reduced based on its behavior.

Sanctions and Human Misery

Since the early 1990s, the US, Europe and other developed economies have employed sanctions on other nations more than 500 times , seeking to assert their influence on the global stage without resorting to military interventions. Yet military interventions tend to happen in any case suggesting that in some cases the sanctions are intended to "soften up" the target prior to armed conflict). The economic stranglehold of stringent sanctions on Iraq after the successful allied invasion of 1991 caused widescale malnutrition and prolonged suffering, and a lack of medical supplies and a shortage of clean water led to one of the worst humanitarian crises in modern history. Sanctions all but completely cut off the oil trade. Iraq lost up to $130 billion in oil revenues during the 1990s, causing intense poverty to many Iraqi civilians. Prior to the embargo, Iraq had relied on imports for two thirds of its food supply. With this source suddenly cut off, the price of basic commodities rose 1,000 percent between 1990 and 1995. Infant mortality increased 150 percent, according to a report by Save the Children, with researchers estimating that between 670,000 and 880,000 children under five died because of the impoverished conditions caused by the sanctions. Then US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright notoriously excused this horrendous slaughter as "worth the price ." During the Gulf War, almost all of Iraq's essential infrastructure was bombed by a US-led coalition, leaving the country without water treatment plants or sewage treatment facilities, prompting extended outbreaks of cholera and typhoid.

Targeted sanctions can be equally devastating. The de facto boycott on Congolese minerals, for example, has led to the loss of more than 750,000 jobs in the nation's mining sector. The loss of income resulting from this mass redundancy has had a severe impact on child health in the nation, with conservative estimates recording a 143 percent increase in infant mortality. Despite an international shift away from comprehensive sanctions, this Congolese suffering indicates targeted measures are still not free from ethical quandaries.

Application of sanctions became more popular at the end of the first cold war because previously targeted nations could negotiate for relief with the oppositional superpower. In the succeeding era of greater enthusiasm for sanctions it became clear that they could have dire consequences for civilian populations, and this helps account for increased popularity of targeted sanctions.

Sanctions of Spite: Syria and the Caesar Act

There are many current examples of the murderous horror of the impact of sanctions by "civilized," usually western powers, especially when their targets are poorer countries such as Venezuela and Syria. Not untypically, some of the behaviors that the imperialists seek to change are themselves the consequence of past imperial aggression.

The secular regime of Bashar Assad in Syria has faced a ten-year existential threat from the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda affiliates, ISIS and other jihadist entities supported by an array of global and regional actors including the USA, UK, and other NATO members, Israel, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the UAE. Whatever the regime's defects they are at the very least comparable and in some cases dwarfed by those of many of Syria's opponents in the Arab world. The significance of genuine popular support for Assad , demonstrated in numerous polls, has been marginalized by western mainstream media. The regime's survival, with air support from Russia and ground support from Hezbollah and Iran, is extraordinary by any measure. Yet the USA has continued to interfere in the affairs of Syria with a view to its continuing impoverishment and destabilization by allowing Turkey to occupy large areas of the north west and populate these with jihadist emigrees; funding Kurdish forces to secure Syria's oil resources on behalf of the USA, and for maintaining prisons and camps for ISIS supporters, by maintaining its own military bases; and permitting a constant succession of Israeli bombing attacks on what Israel claims are Iranian-backed militia or Syrian Arab Army militia working in collaboration with Iran; and approving further Israeli incursions into the Golan Heights.

Defeat of ISIS and recovery of non-Kurdish areas outside of Idlib by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) took place in conditions of considerable economic challenge, exacerbated by US-imposed sanctions against both Syria and its neighbor Lebanon. This had a corrosive impact on relations among top regime figures. Bashar al-Assad's billionaire first cousin and richest man in Syria, Rami Makhlouf, complained in early 2020 of regime harassment and arrests of employees. Until then, the Makhlouf family enjoyed exclusive access to business opportunities and monopolies on hotels, tobacco, and communications, partly camouflaged by a philanthropic empire that assisted many Syrians through the conflict . Some $30 billion of the country's wealth, representing 20% of all deposits in Lebanese banks, was trapped by Beirut's financial implosion, exacerbated by the unprecedented explosion "" possibly accidental, possibly sabotage "" in the city's harbor area on August 4. Syrian businessmen needed Beirut's banks to conduct business abroad, and to evade sanctions. A regime crackdown on money transfer companies made matters worse by creating a dollar shortage , depriving thousands of families who were dependent on foreign remittances. Before the explosion, purchasing power of the Syrian pound was already worth 27 times less than before the start of the conflict.

Deteriorating economic conditions ravaged Syria's surviving pretensions to socialist principle. In the first decade of Bashar's rule, there had been big gains in healthcare in terms of available beds, hospitals, and nursing staff. But by now there were 50% fewer doctors, 30% fewer hospitals. Before the conflict, 90% of pharmaceutical needs were filled by Syrian factories. By 2018 those factories which remained had trouble getting raw materials and replacement parts for equipment because of sanctions. Before the conflict there was improved land irrigation and food security. In 2011, abject poverty stood at less than one percent, rising to 35 percent by 2015. The percentage of those facing food insecurity had fallen from 2.2% in 1999 to 1.1% in 2010. Now, 33% lacked food security. One third of homes were damaged or destroyed, 380,000 killed and 11 million displaced since 2011.

Economic conditions were worsened by ever tightening economic sanctions and US enforcement of the so-called Caesar Act from June 2020 (named after a faked human rights scandal in 2015). The Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act sanctioned the Syrian government, including President Bashar al-Assad, for alleged war crimes. The purposes were to cripple Syria for the purposes of regime change, while luring Russia further into the Syrian quagmire. The Act targeted 39 individuals and entities, including the president's wife, Asma. Anyone doing business with the regime, no matter where, was potentially vulnerable to travel restrictions and financial sanctions. The Caesar Act smeared the Syria Central Bank as a "˜money laundering' institution and sought to render it impossible for Syrian companies to export and import from Lebanon. It made it difficult or impossible for Syrians abroad to transfer money to family members. The Act contributed to devaluation of the Syrian pound which tumbled from 650 Syrian pounds to one US dollar in October 2019 to 2600 to the US dollar in summer 2020.

The Caesar Act (alongside legal initiatives in Europe designed to charge senior administration officials with war crimes) were designed to stymie reconstruction, hit the construction, electricity, and oil sectors, and cripple the Lebanese private companies that would otherwise lead reconstruction efforts. Sanctions prevented non-U.S. aid organizations from assisting reconstruction. An opposition leader predicted it would result in " even greater levels of destitution, famine, and worsening criminality and predatory behavior " and would precipitate regime change, migratory flight, excess deaths, and youth deprivation. In a climate of regulatory confusion, sanctions often encourage over-compliance. Prospects of reconstruction investment funds from Russian companies were negatively impacted . Blumenthal ascribed responsibility for the Caesar sanctions initiative to a "years-long lobbying campaign carried out by a network of regime-change operatives working under cover of shadowy international NGOs and Syrian-American diaspora groups." The country had already suffered severe US and EU economic sanctions. A 2016 UNESCO report found that sanctions had brought an end to humanitarian aid because sanctions regulations, licenses, and penalties made it so difficult and risky (Sterling 2020). In 2018, United Nations Special Rapporteur, Idriss Jazairy, observed that sanctions impacted negatively on

"agricultural inputs and outputs, medicines, on many dual use items related to water and sanitation, public electricity and transportation, and eventually on rebuilding schools, hospitals and other public buildings and services, are increasingly difficult to justify, if they ever were justifiable "

After 500,000 civilians returned to Aleppo following its liberation in 2016, US sanctions and UN rules prohibited reconstruction. Returnees were allowed "shelter kits" with plastic but rebuilding with glass and cement walls was not allowed because "˜reconstruction' was prohibited.

In brazen acknowledgment of US support for the HTS terrorists of Idlib, the Caesar Act exempted Idlib province, as well as the northeast areas controlled by US troops and the SDF. It designated $50 million for "˜humanitarian aid' to these areas. Other US allies pumped in hundreds of millions of dollars more in aid, further exacerbating pressure on the Syrian pound and substantially increasing prices for all commodities in regime-controlled areas.

Syria experts Joshua Landis and Steven Simon critiqued the logic of US sanctions policy, arguing that the:

"best-designed sanctions can be self-defeating, strengthening the regimes they were designed to hurt and punishing the societies they were supposed to protect."

They recalled the destruction of Iraq's middle class in the 1990s, when US sanctions killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis:

"Their effect was gendered, disproportionately punishing women and children. The notion that sanctions work is a pitiless illusion." .

Several European nations (Italy, Poland, Austria, Greece, Hungary) indicating unease with the continuing stagnation of US and EU sanctions policy, restored tacit contacts with Damascus. While the EU was an important source of humanitarian aid for internally displaced people in Syria and for displaced Syrians abroad, it continued to refrain from dealing directly with Damascus or from support for reconstruction efforts, on the grounds of continuing instability.

Conclusion

Under indubitably wise international leadership, acting within a framework of equitable political power among nation states whose sovereignty is sacrosanct, then perhaps sanctions policies might sometimes be strategically appropriate. These conditions clearly do not apply. The increasing weaponization of sanctions is a powerful contribution to a crumbling world order, one that invokes the grave danger of over-reaction by an aggrieved victim, in a context of intense economic and military competition between rival nuclear powers.

Oliver Boyd-Barrett is Professor Emeritus at Bowling Green State University, Ohio, and at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He is an expert on international media, news, and propaganda. His writings can be accessed by subscription at Substack at https://oliverboydbarrett.substack.com.


MarkU , says: June 8, 2021 at 11:44 am GMT "¢ 1.6 days ago

A comprehensive roundup of the sanctions-based aggression being imposed on the world by the bankster dominated west. I really don't think the majority of citizens have a clue what is being done by their rulers, nor any idea of the sheer hatred being fostered by those actions. The time for waking up is well overdue, the west has been sucked dry by those same policies (especially the US) and the fall is imminent.

onebornfree , says: "¢ Website June 8, 2021 at 4:40 pm GMT "¢ 1.4 days ago

"The increasing weaponization of sanctions is a powerful contribution to a crumbling world order, one that invokes the grave danger of over-reaction by an aggrieved victim, in a context of intense economic and military competition between rival nuclear powers."

Fact: "War is the health of the state" [Randolph Bourne]- meaning, the "business" of governments is always war- war on its citizens, war on other nations, it never ends.

Tom Marvolo Riddle , says: June 9, 2021 at 6:56 am GMT "¢ 18.8 hours ago

Invade the world, invite the world. Economic cold war vs. 1/3 of the world's landmass and population. Seemingly purposeful hollowing out of it's middle class, the abolition of educational/societal standards to placate the demands of wokeness and the replacement of it's historical population with an eclectic mix of third world strivers, corrupt east asians and south american day laborers. Oh, and an increasingly debt centric economy.

The USA is obviously a very prudent country which focuses on it's own long term survival first and foremost. I expect it to do quite well in the coming years.

GMC , says: June 9, 2021 at 7:19 am GMT "¢ 18.5 hours ago
@beavertales

My good friend in Canada says that it seems to be a "BioSecurity Fascist State" forming also. And it's not against Cuba , it's against the populace of Canada. Worse than anything in the US.

V. K. Ovelund , says: June 9, 2021 at 1:04 pm GMT "¢ 12.7 hours ago

Sanctions strike hard at the very essence of positive international relationship "" trade.

U.S. economic sanctions are insulting, provocative, corrosive and largely ineffective. However, trade is hardly the essence of positive international relationship.

Claude Frédéric Bastiat was simply wrong. If instead of his special pleading, he had said, "When soldiers cross borders, goods will not," then he might have come nearer the truth; but Bastiat instead reversed cause and effect, which is why ideologically committed free traders continue to celebrate his ill-supported, ahistorical epigram to this day: "When goods do not cross borders, soldier will."

Britain traded massively with Germany right up until Britain attacked Germany in 1914. Germany traded even more massively with the Soviet Union right up until Germany attacked the Soviet Union in 1941. Were it not for Japanese trade with China, the Mukden Incident that, in 1931, opened the conflict that developed into World War II in Asia""well, it probably would not have occurred. In short, the trade premise that underlies your article needs to be revisited.

bayviking , says: June 9, 2021 at 2:49 pm GMT "¢ 11.0 hours ago

Sanctions is war. US wars are always cloaked behind our alleged love for democracy and freedom, but alleged friends beginning with Saudi Arabia and impacting every country South of our border, prove we are liars, interested only in preserving the best interests of our wealthiest citizens.

The purpose of US foreign policy is to enhance the profits of global US Corporations regardless what the consequences are to local targeted populations. The US has extraordinary power over the EU, but the Russian pipeline is evidence that EU support is cracking.

Shame on the USA for failing to respect the national sovereignty of other nations big and small. Our constitutional form of government is not a model example of the fruits of democracy and freedom, as both are crippled by original design, for profit prisons and schools, toll roads, and the moral hazards imposed by misguided religious fanatics who impose their will on a disinterested public.

Rev. Spooner , says: June 9, 2021 at 4:21 pm GMT "¢ 9.4 hours ago

Winston Churchill was a great one for blockades. Churchill, the MoFker is responsible for 5 million deaths. During the 2nd World War he shipped grain from India to Britain and left the Indians to starve. Five million Bengalis and east Indians died of starvation. Let's hope when the tide turns all this is forgotten and forgiven.
The war against Japan was instigated by blocades.
The war against Iran is the next.

Blade , says: June 9, 2021 at 5:46 pm GMT "¢ 8.0 hours ago

Syria policy has nothing to do with oil or Assad being a dictator. It is a continuation of Israel's policies. The whole purpose of these wars is to establish an independent Kurdish state so that the pressure on Israel could be reduced and states in the region could be destabilized. While the US was busy trying to fight Israel's wars in ME, China has become a strategic threat with no signs of slowing down the process of overtaking the US as the dominant superpower of the world. Despite all the damage these policies have caused, even the so-called conservatives in the US keep repeating nonsensical ideas like "Kurds deserve a state." Not realizing that there is no such thing as "deserving a state" or that this just a zionist project that offers nothing to the US.

Regarding China, sanctions should be used more not less, unless the US wants to be the secondary power. However, they are not needed with other countries. In ME, the US should wash its hands off Israel and let the most moral army of the world protect their own country. That country is a huge liability and problem for the US, it offered the US nothing other than selling American military secrets and earning 1.5 billion Muslims' disdain. To counter Russia and Iran, the US should double down on cooperating with Turkey, increase investments and military support so that Turks can be more active in Central Asia and Afghanistan as well. This is the smartest and the most efficient way for the US to achieve its goals in Asia and ME. Which would be slowing China's growth, Russia's creeping in the South, and Iranian activity in Arab ME.

However, the US basically does the opposite of everything it should. Turning neutral/unfriendly with Turkey is one of the dumbest things the US foreign service could do, considering the fact that Turks are the historical enemies of all three of China, Russia, and Iran, and they did exactly that? Why? For Israel whose feelings were hurt by Erdogan of course. Currently, the US government is a hostage to vocal minorities and interest groups. Therefore, its relative decline will not stop unless actual Americans with no double allegiances step up and take back their government.

nsa , says: June 9, 2021 at 8:44 pm GMT "¢ 5.0 hours ago
@beavertales

Canada is a pathetic American colony, selling their resources cheap in return for being allowed to have a few crappy hockey teams and access to degenerate American entertainment. The Brits tell them to murder white Germans, they do it. The Americans tell them to murder Afghans, they do it...

Zina , says: June 9, 2021 at 10:50 pm GMT "¢ 2.9 hours ago

The US government is a menace to all, including the US population. All US presidents are war criminals, and sanctions are only one aspect of their endless criminality.

Beagle , says: June 9, 2021 at 11:31 pm GMT "¢ 2.3 hours ago

Sanctions are the modern day adaptation of siege warfare. It's essentially a "˜starve them out' approach to foreign policy. Theoretically, one presumes, the goal is to cause enough instability to harm the targeted regime. But I can't think of a single time they have succeeded at anything but causing mass suffering to those at the bottom of the power pyramid.

In the case of sanctions on Iraq and the subsequent corrupt Oil-For-Food Program, the sanctions became a vehicle to transfer billions of dollars to oligarchs and their pet politicians" as usual.

[Jun 06, 2021] US Troops Die for World Domination, Not Freedom Consortiumnews

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"... Please Support Our Spring Fund Drive! ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
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Jun 06, 2021 | consortiumnews.com

US Troops Die for World Domination, Not Freedom May 31, 2021 Save

On Memorial Day, Caitlin Johnstone says it's important to block the propaganda that helps feed a steady supply of teenagers into the imperial war machine.

Airman placing U.S. flags at military graves, May 27. (Arlington National Cemetery, Flickr)

By Caitlin Johnstone
CaitlinJohnstone.com

V ice President Kamala Harris spent the weekend under fire from Republicans, which of course means that Kamala Harris spent the weekend being criticized for the most silly, vapid reason you could possibly criticize Kamala Harris for.

Apparently the likely future president tweeted "Enjoy the long weekend," a reference to the Memorial Day holiday on Monday, instead of gushing about fallen troops and sacrifice.

That's it, that's the whole entire story. That silly, irrelevant offense by one of the sleaziest people in the single most corrupt and murderous government on earth is the whole entire basis for histrionic headlines from conservative media outlets like this :

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1398784636193488897&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fconsortiumnews.com%2F2021%2F05%2F31%2Fus-troops-die-for-world-domination-not-freedom%2F&sessionId=8c4db816a251b9ec8a405c5ae95098e3aa132642&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

Harris, the born politician, was quick to course correct.

"Throughout our history our service men and women have risked everything to defend our freedoms and our country," the veep tweeted . "As we prepare to honor them on Memorial Day, we remember their service and their sacrifice."

https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?visual=true&url=https%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F1059031867&show_artwork=true&maxwidth=860&maxheight=1000&dnt=1&utm_campaign=wtshare&utm_medium=widget&utm_content=https%25253A%25252F%25252Fsoundcloud.com%25252Fgoing_rogue%25252Fus-troops-die-for-world-domination-not-freedom&utm_source=caitlinjohnstone.com

Listen to this article.

Which is of course complete bullshit. It has been generations since any member of the U.S. military could be said to have served or sacrificed defending America or its freedoms, and that has been the case throughout almost the entirety of its history. If you are reading this it is statistically unlikely that you are of an age where any U.S. military personnel died for any other reason than corporate profit and global domination, and if you are it's almost certain you weren't old enough to have had mature thoughts about it at the time.

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Whenever you criticize the U.S. war machine online within earshot of anyone who's sufficiently propagandized, you will invariably be lectured about the second World War and how we'd all be speaking German or Japanese without the brave men who died for our freedom. This makes my point for me: the fact that apologists for U.S. imperialism always need to reach all the way back through history to the cusp of living memory to find even one single example of the American military being used for purposes that weren't evil proves that it most certainly is evil.

But this is one of the main reasons there are so very many movies and history documentaries made about World War II: it's an opportunity to portray U.S. servicemen bravely fighting and dying for a noble cause without having to bend the truth beyond recognition. The other major reason is that focusing on the second World War allows members of the U.S. empire to escape into a time when the Big Bad Guy on the world stage was someone else.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-1&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1399109694334046211&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fconsortiumnews.com%2F2021%2F05%2F31%2Fus-troops-die-for-world-domination-not-freedom%2F&sessionId=8c4db816a251b9ec8a405c5ae95098e3aa132642&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

From the end of World War II to the fall of the U.S.S.R., the U.S. military was used to smash the spread of communism and secure geostrategic interests toward the ultimate end of engineering the collapse of the Soviet Union. After this was accomplished in 1991, U.S. foreign policy officially shifted to preserving a unipolar world order by preventing the rise of any other superpower which could rival its might.

A 1992 article by The New York Times titled " U.S. Strategy Plan Calls For Insuring No Rivals Develop ," reporting on a leaked document which describes a policy known as the Wolfowitz Doctrine after then-Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Paul Wolfowitz, reads as follows:

"In a broad new policy statement that is in its final drafting stage, the Defense Department asserts that America's political and military mission in the post-cold-war era will be to insure that no rival superpower is allowed to emerge in Western Europe, Asia or the territory of the former Soviet Union.

A 46-page document that has been circulating at the highest levels of the Pentagon for weeks, and which Defense Secretary Dick Cheney expects to release later this month, states that part of the American mission will be 'convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests.'

The classified document makes the case for a world dominated by one superpower whose position can be perpetuated by constructive behavior and sufficient military might to deter any nation or group of nations from challenging American primacy."

This is all U.S. troops have been fighting and dying for since the Berlin Wall came down. Not "freedom", not "democracy" and certainly not the American people. Just continual uncontested domination of this planet at all cost: domination of its resources, its trade routes, its seas, its air, and its humans, no matter how many lives need to risked and snuffed out in order to achieve it. The U.S. has killed millions and displaced tens of millions just since the turn of this century in the reckless pursuit of that goal.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/26O-2SVcrw0?enablejsapi=1&autoplay=0&cc_load_policy=0&iv_load_policy=1&loop=0&modestbranding=1&fs=1&playsinline=0&controls=1&color=red&rel=0&autohide=2&theme=dark&

And, as Smedley Butler spelled out 86 years ago in his still-relevant book War is a Racket , U.S. military personnel have been dying for profit.

Nothing gets the gears of industry turning like war, and nothing better creates chaotic Wild West environments of shock and confusion during which more wealth and power can be grabbed. War profiteers pour immense resources into lobbying , think tanks and campaign donations to manipulate and bribe policy makers into making decisions which promote war and military expansionism, with astounding success . This is all entirely legal.

It's important to spread awareness that this is all U.S. troops have been dying for, because the fairy tale that they fight for freedom and for their countrymen is a major propaganda narrative used in military recruitment. While poverty plays a significant role in driving up enlistments as predatory recruiters target poor and middle class youth promising them a future in the nation with the worst income inequality in the industrialized world, the fact that the aggressively propagandized glorification of military "service" makes it a more esteemed career path than working at a restaurant or a grocery store means people are more likely to enlist.

Without all that propaganda deceiving people into believing that military work is something virtuous, military service would be the most shameful job anyone could possibly have; other stigmatized jobs like sex work would be regarded as far more noble. You'd be less reluctant to tell your extended family over Christmas that you're a janitor at a seedy massage parlor than that you've enlisted in the U.S. military, because instead of congratulating and praising you, your Uncle Murray would look at you and say, "So you're gonna be killing kids for crude oil?"

And that's exactly how it should be. Continuing to uphold the lie that U.S. troops fight and die for a good cause is helping to ensure a steady supply of teenagers to feed into the gears of the imperial war machine. Stop feeding into the lie that the war machine is worth killing and being killed for. Not out of disrespect for the dead, but out of reverence for the living.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium . Her work is entirely reader-supported , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking her on Facebook , following her antics on Twitter , checking out her podcast on either Youtube , soundcloud , Apple podcasts or Spotify , following her on Steemit , throwing some money into her tip jar on Patreon or Paypal , purchasing some of her sweet merchandise , buying her books Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix , Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers .

This article was re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News .



Em , June 1, 2021 at 09:52

Instead of annually memorializing those dead youth, who were, in one way or the other, coerced to go off to foreign lands to kill or be killed, by other youth, in the name of a piece of dead symbolic cloth, wouldn't it be a better idea to honor them, while alive in the prime of living (the world over) by affording them the means to learn, leading by example, to discover for themselves – how to think critically as to what the real options are, collectively as well as individually, for survival and thriving.

CNfan , June 1, 2021 at 04:06

"Global domination" for the benefit of a predatory financial oligarchy.

Peter Loeb , June 1, 2021 at 09:11

Read William Hartung's "Prophets of War " to understand the dynamics.

Peter in Boston

Thom Williams , May 31, 2021 at 20:12

Re: CorsortiumNews, Joe Lauria, Caitlin Johnstone, Realist, & Rael Nidess, M.D.

Thank you all for speaking your truth in this dystopian human universe so apparently lacking human reason and understanding. As is so wisely introduced and recognized herein, the murderous depravity of the "Wolfwitz Doctrine" being and remaining the public policy formulation of our national governance, both foreign and domestic, is a fact that every U.S. citizen should consider and understand on this Memorial Day.
As Usual,
EA

Realist , May 31, 2021 at 17:27

Well stated, perfectly logical again on this subject as always, Caitlin. You out the warmongers for their game to fleece the public and rape the world all so a handful of already fat, lazyass but enormously wealthy and influential people can acquire, without the slightest bit of shame, yet more, more and more of everything there is to be had. You and General Butler.

Will this message get through, this time? Maybe the billionth time is the charm, eh? Can the scales suddenly fall from the eyes of the 330 million Americans who will then demand an immediate end to the madness? On the merits, it's the only conclusion that might realise any actual justice for our country and the rest of the world upon whose throat it keeps a knee firmly planted.

Sorry, nothing of the sort shall ever happen, not as long as the entire mercenary mass media obeys its corporate ownership and speaks nothing but false narratives every minute of every day. Not as long as the educational system is really nothing more than a propaganda indoctrination experience for every child born in the glorious USA! Not as long as every politician occupying any given office is just a bought and paid for tool of the Matrix with great talents for convincing the masses that 2 + 2 = 3, or 5, or whatever is convenient at the time to benefit the ledgers of their plutocrat masters.

What better illustrates the reality of my last assertion than the occupancy of the White House by Sleepy/Creepy Joe Biden who, through age alone, has been reduced to nothing more than a sack of unresponsive meat firmly trussed up with ropes and pulleys that his handlers pull this way or that to create an animatronic effect apparently perfectly convincing to the majority of the American public? Or so they say, based upon some putative election results.

Truly, thanks for the effort, Caitlin. I do appreciate that some have a grasp on the truth. I look forward to its recapitulation by yourself and many others to no effect on every Memorial Day in the USA. It would be unrealistic of me to say otherwise.

Rael Nidess, M.D. , May 31, 2021 at 12:54

Kudos for being one of a very few to mention the central driving ethic behind U.S. foreign policy since the demise of the USSR: The Wolfowitz Doctrine. As central today as it was when first published.

[Jun 03, 2021] US March Oil Production Rebounds Strongly From Winter Storm Low

Jun 03, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

RON PATTERSON IGNORED 06/03/2021 at 7:34 am

Dennis,

If all sanctions on Iran are lifted, very soon, they may reach 3.5 million barrels per day by Q1 2022, but no way before then. I doubt they will ever reach 3.8 million again.

At any rate, to get to 29.54 million bpd by Q4 OPEC would need to increase production by 4.5 million bpd from April's production level. Dennis, we both know that is not going to happen.

[Jun 01, 2021] Shades of dementia: Bidden claims that human rights R us.

May 31, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Don Bacon , May 31 2021 0:12 utc | 29

Believe it or not, the president says that human rights R us.

Hear that, BLM? Women? Asian Americans? Hispanics? homeless? heavily indebted students? . . the list goes on.

Biden said so, May 30, 2021

"I had a long conversation -- for two hours -- recently with President Xi, making it clear to him that we could do nothing but speak out for human rights around the world because that's who we are. I'll be meeting with President Putin in a couple of weeks in Geneva, making it clear that we will not -- we will not stand by and let him abuse those rights." . . here

..reminds me of Aeschylus: "In war, truth is the first casualty."

[May 30, 2021] A Critical Shift In The War For Oil by Tom Luongo

May 30, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats. 'n Guns blog,

Biden backed down on Nordstream 2 and, at The Davos Crowd's insistence, he will back down on the JCPOA.

Davos needs cheap energy into Europe. That's ultimately what the JCPOA was all about. The basic framework for the deal is still there. While the U.S. will kick and scream a bit about sanctions relief, Iran will be back into the oil market and make it possible for Europe to once again invest in oil/gas projects in Iran.

Now that Benjamin Netanyahu is no longer going to be leading Israel, the probability of breakthrough is much much higher than last week. The Likudniks in Congress and the Senate just lost their raison d'etre. The loss of face for Israel in Bibi's latest attempt to bludgeon Gaza to retain power backfired completely.

U.S. policy towards Israel is shifting rapidly as the younger generations, Gen-X and Millennials, simply don't have the same allegiance to Israel that the Baby Boomers and Silent generations did. It is part of a geopolitical ethos which is outdated.

So, with some deal over Iran's nuclear capability in the near future, Europe will then get gas pipelines from Iran through Turkey as well as gain better access to the North South Transport Corridor which is now unofficially part of China's Belt and Road Initiative.

Russia, now that Nordstream 2 is nearly done, will not balk at this. In fact, they'll welcome it. It forms the basis for a broader, sustainable peace arrangement in the Middle East. What's lost is the Zionist program for Greater Israel and continued sowing dissent between exhausted participants.

But the big geopolitical win for Davos, they think, is that by returning Iran to the oil markets it will cut down on Russia's dominance there. That the only reason Russia is the price setter in oil today, as the producer of the marginal barrel, is because of Trump taking Iranian and Venezuelan oil off the market.

With these negotiations ongoing and likely to conclude soon I'm sure the thinking is that this will help save Iranian moderates in the upcoming elections. But with Iran's Guardian Council paving the way for Ebrahim Raeisi to win the election that is also very unlikely( H/T to Pepe Escobar's latest on this ) :

So Raeisi now seems to be nearly a done deal: a relatively faceless bureaucrat without the profile of an IRGC hardliner, well known for his anti-corruption fight and care about the poor and downtrodden. On foreign policy, the crucial fact is that he will arguably follow crucial IRGC dictates.

Raeisi is already spinning that he "negotiated quietly" to secure the qualification of more candidates, "to make the election scene more competitive and participatory". The problem is no candidate has the power to sway the opaque decisions of the 12-member Guardian Council, composed exclusively by clerics: only Ayatollah Khamenei.

I have no doubt that Iran is, as Escobar suggests, in post-JCPOA mode now and will walk away from Geneva without a deal if need be, but Davos will cut the deal it needs to bring the oil and gas into Europe while still blaming the U.S. for Iran's nuclear ambitions because they've gotten what they actually wanted, Netanyahu out of power.

Trump's assault on Iran did what Neocon belligerence always does, increase domestic sympathies for hardliners within the existing government. I told you his assassinating Gen. Qassem Soleimani was not only a mistake but a turning point in history , it sealed the alliance between Russia/China/Iran into a cohesive one which no amount of Euro-schmoozing will undo.

Seeing the tenor of these negotiations and the return of Obama to the White House, the Saudis saw the writing on the wall immediately and began peace talks with Iran in Baghdad put off for a year because of Trump's killing Soleimani.

The Saudis are fighting for their lives now as the Shia Crescent forms and China holds the House of Saud's future in its hands.

Syria will be restored to the Arab League and all that 'peace' work by Trump will be undone quickly. Because none of it was actually peaceful in its implementation. Netanyahu is gone, Israel just got defeated by Hamas and now the rest of the story can unfold, put on hold by four years of Jared Kushner's idiocy and U.S. neoconservatives feeding Trump bad information about the situation.

The Saker put together two lists in his latest article (linked above) which puts the entire situation into perspective:

The Goals:
  1. Bring down a strong secular Arab state along with its political structure, armed forces, and security services.

  2. Create total chaos and horror in Syria justifying the creation of a "security zone" by Israel not only in the Golan but further north.

  3. Trigger a civil war in Lebanon by unleashing the Takfiri crazies against Hezbollah.

  4. Let the Takfiris and Hezbollah bleed each other to death, then create a "security zone," but this time in Lebanon.

  5. Prevent the creation of a Shia axis Iran-Iraq-Syria-Lebanon.

  6. Break up Syria along ethnic and religious lines.

  7. Create a Kurdistan which could then be used against Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran.

  8. Make it possible for Israel to become the uncontested power broker in the Middle-East and force the KSA, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, and all others to have to go to Israel for any gas or oil pipeline project.

  9. Gradually isolate, threaten, subvert, and eventually attack Iran with a broad regional coalition of forces.

  10. Eliminate all centers of Shia power in the Middle-East.

The Outcomes:
  1. The Syrian state has survived, and its armed and security forces are now far more capable than they were before the war started (remember how they almost lost the war initially? The Syrians bounced back while learning some very hard lessons. By all reports, they improved tremendously, while at critical moments Iran and Hezbollah were literally "plugging holes" in the Syrian frontlines and "extinguishing fires" on local flashpoints. Now the Syrians are doing a very good job of liberating large chunks of their country, including every single city in Syria).

  2. Not only is Syria stronger, but the Iranians and Hezbollah are all over the country now, which is driving the Israelis into a state of panic and rage.

  3. Lebanon is rock solid; even the latest Saudi attempt to kidnap Hariri is backfiring. (2021 update: in spite of the explosion in Beirut, Hezbollah is still in charge)

  4. Syria will remain unitary, and Kurdistan is not happening. Millions of displaced refugees are returning home.

  5. Israel and the US look like total idiots and, even worse, as losers with no credibility left.

The net result is everyone in the region who were aggressors are now suing for peace. This is why I expect some kind of deal that returns Iran to the global economy. There's no way for Germany's shiny new trade deal with China to work without this.

Trump's hard line against Iran was always a mistake, even if Iran's nuclear ambitions are real. But with the Open Skies treaty now a dead letter the U.S. has real logistical problems in the region and they only multiply if Erdogan in Turkey finally chooses a side and gives up his Neo-Ottoman ambitions, now very likely.

But when it comes to economics, as always, Davos has this all backwards vis a vis oil. They still think they can use the JCPOA to drive a wedge between Iran and Russia over oil. They still think Putin only cares about oil and gas sales abroad. It's clear they don't listen to him because the policy never seems to change.

So, to Davos, if they bring 2.5 to 3 million barrels per day from Iran back online and oil prices drop, this forces Russia to back down militarily and diplomatically in Eastern Europe. With a free-floated ruble the Russians don't care now that they are mostly self-sufficient in food and raw material production.

None of that will come to pass. Putin is shifting the Russian economy away from oil and gas with an announced ambitious domestic spending plan ahead of this fall's State Duma elections. Lower or even stable prices will accelerate those plans as capital no longer finds its best return in that sector.

This carrot to Iran and stick to Russia approach of Brussels/Davos is childish and it will only get worse when the Greens come to power in Germany at the end of the year. Unless the German elections end in a stalemate which is unforeseen, the CDU will grand coalition as the junior partner to the Greens, just as Davos wants it.

Don't miss the significance of the policy bifurcation either when it comes to oil. The Biden administration is trying to make energy as expensive as possible in the U.S. -- no Keystone Pipeline, Whitmer trying to close down Enbridges's Line 5 from Canada into Michigan, etc. -- while Europe gets Nordstream 2 from Russia and new, cheap supplies from Iran.

This is what had Trump so hopping mad when he was President. This is part of why he hated the JCPOA. Israel and the EastMed pipeline was what should have been the U.S. policy in his mind.

Now, those dreams are dead and the sell out of the U.S. to Davos is in full swing. Seriously, Biden/Obama are going to continue on this path of undermining U.S. energy production until they are thrown out of office, either by the overwhelming shame of the election fraud lawsuits which recall Senators from Arizona, Georgia and Michigan, the mid-term elections which brings a more pro-Trump GOP to power or by military force. That last bit I put a very low probability on.

Bottom line, for now global oil prices have likely peaked no matter what drivel comes out of John Kerry's mouth.

The Brent/WTI spread will likely collapse and go negative for the first time in years as Iran's full oil production comes online over the next two years while U.S. production falls. We'll see rising oil prices in the U.S. while global supply rises, some of which China is getting at a steep discount from who? Iran.

Meanwhile Russia continues to hold the EU to account on everything while unmasking the not just the latest Bellingcat/MI6/State Dept. nonsense in Belarus surrounding the arrest of Roman Petrosovich, but also filling the void diplomatically left by a confused and incompetent U.S. policy in the Middle East.

If I'm the Bennett in Israel, the first phone call I make after taking office is to no one other than Putin, who now holds the reins over Iran, Hezbollah and a very battle-hardened and angry Syria who just re-elected Assad because he navigated the assault on the country with no lack of geopolitical skill.

Because it is clear that Biden/Obama, on behalf of Davos , have left Israel out to twist in the wind surrounded by those who wish it gone. We'll see if they get their wish. I think the win here is clear and the days of U.S. adventurism in the Middle East are numbered.

The oil wars aren't over, by any stretch of the imagination, but the outcome of the main battles have decisively shifted who determines what battles are fought next.

* * *

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wellwaddyaknow 2 hours ago (Edited)

About time that fcking Project for the New American Century(aka Greater Israel from the Nile to the Euphates) got derailed .

Fcking useless neocon sh its gutted and bankrupted the U.S. for their fcked up ziosh it garbage.

Sheldon Adelson belongs in the Aus witz Mengele suite in hell. He was the biggest cheerleader for the last 20 years of this hell on earth that was created in the middle east.

Woodenman 2 hours ago remove link

Trump got it *** backwards , he should have defunded Israel and fast tracked Iran to be a nuclear power, Iran is an oil producer, what does Israel do for us?

Would I care that Israel cannot sleep at night knowing Iran has the bomb, not at all.

AGuy 37 minutes ago

" what does Israel do for us? "

Keeps the ME unstable so the US has the excuse to keep a lot of military resources in the ME, in the name of being the worlds policemen. Plus the US needs to protect the Petro dollar, but at this point I don't think that will matter soon considering the amount of money printing & spending the US is doing at the momement.

wellwaddyaknow 2 hours ago (Edited)

Soleimani was very good at destroying ISIS trash.

And which countries backed ISIS?

JR Wirth 2 hours ago

NeoCon tears as the world attempts to move on from deranged foreign policy. Will the US throw a fit and drag the world into war? Let's call Tel Aviv and find out.

Der Steppenwolf 2 hours ago remove link

Iran already sells huge amounts of oil to China and likely many others, there just isn't going to be a significant increase in Iranian oil hitting the market as a result of any deal. Moreover, this relatively small increase will occur over time. Even if Iran eventually increases production the 2.5-3 million bpd the author cites, world consumption in 2021 is forecast to increase about 6 million bpd over 2020. Considering these facts any changes in Iranian oil production should do little to affect the overall price.

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AGuy 42 minutes ago

" Iran has huge potential to increase production "

I doubt that very much. Iran has very old oil fields which have been producing since the 1920s. Global Oil production peaked in 2018 & is now in permanent decline. Iran could increase NatGas production, but Oil production is in permanent decline.

Apollo 32 minutes ago

God, I hope half of the above comes true. Bibi needs to be court martialed and Israel needs to go back into smaller and more peaceful version of itself (if that is even possible) . USA can just bugger off home, and try to deal with transgendered army, president's dementia and critical race theory nonsense first.

What the world needs is less wars, less central bankers screwing the game and less stealing of other people's natural resources. Instead it just more plain old hard work, honest trading and no bs diplomacy.

dead hobo 1 hour ago (Edited) remove link

Amazingly perfect analysis.

Israel will survive. I wish them well.

So many US wars are oil based. Lies abound to cover this up. Neocon Economics turns every war opportunity into a profit center. No Profit = No War potential. Whenever you see a Neocon pumping a war somewhere, you need to look for who will make scads of money from it.

Trump isn't an angel. He's the guy who destroyed Establishment Republicanism. That begat populism. I detested him working his book when he pumped QE and ZIRP. I considered it a temporary price to pay to remove Establishment Republicans from the world. Yes, the US also needed a good Front Door with a lock. He also did good there. Trump playing the Imperialism Game clumsily worked in the favor of Peaceful Coexistence. Probably by mistake. Ok by me if everyone else declares peace anyway.

The US economy can still outpower anyone even if it is forced to play fair.

This brings us to the Deep State. Who exactly are they?

Are they Neocons who want war profits by making it look like others are the war mongers? Are they anti-peace as long as it doesn't start a full blown war - providing a profit can be made from it by their oligarch bosses?

Or is the Deep State the Davos oriented oligarchs who wants the 99% to whistle while they work to support uncountable billions of dollars flowing into the asset piles of the 1%?

Why did the Deep State allow the BLM / Antifa / Democrat cabal take over? Are they stupid? Or did they think Covid-19 along with these freaks would work in their favor somehow?

Is the Deep State only common ordinary Imperialism? Is it only oil, and natural gas and who gets to control the markets? Ukraine has a lot of natural resources. Is that a coincidence?

https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/what-are-the-major-natural-resources-of-ukraine.html

What is it about Peaceful Coexistence that makes them go crazy?

What does The Deep State really want?

AGuy 49 minutes ago

" The only difference will be the wars will be fought for lithium and other rare metals. "

Unlikely Oil will remain the King for causing wars. electricification of transportation is doomed to fail. First average Americans cannot afford EV. heck they are struggling with cheaper ICE vehicles. Auto loan duration have ballooned & most Americans are rolling over debt from their older vehicle when they buy a new one. Second the grid is struggling. Most of the older power plants are getting replaced by NatGas fired plants & at some point we are going to see NatGas prices shoot up. Much of the US grid was built in the 1930s & 1940s and will need trillions just to maintain it and replace equipment & power lines operating beyond their expected operating lifetime.

The US economy is slowly collapsing: Mountains of debt, demographics, dumbed down education, and worthless degrees for Millennials, failing infrastructure (ie I-40 bridge). We are on borrowed time.

AJAX-2 1 hour ago remove link

The fly in the ointment is that the banksters desperately need higher oil prices to prop up their derivative portfolios. As a result, they are at odds with the Davos Crowd and their desire for cheap/plentiful oil for Europe. We shall see who prevails.

AGuy 1 hour ago

" The fly in the ointment is that the banksters desperately need higher oil prices to prop up their derivative portfolios. "

Nope:

Higher oil prices leads to higher defaults, which is likely to trigger derivative losses. Banker shady deals come under congressional\agency scrutiny usually ending with billion dollar fines, and bad press. A lot of banks probably will get nationalized when the next banking crisis happens & all those bankers will lose out on the financial scams they play.

European Monarchist 46 minutes ago remove link

Currently:

  1. The Syrian state has survived, and its armed and security forces are now far more capable than they were before the war started (remember how they almost lost the war initially? The Syrians bounced back while learning some very hard lessons. By all reports, they improved tremendously, while at critical moments Iran and Hezbollah were literally "plugging holes" in the Syrian frontlines and "extinguishing fires" on local flashpoints. Now the Syrians are doing a very good job of liberating large chunks of their country, including every single city in Syria).

  2. Not only is Syria stronger, but the Iranians and Hezbollah are all over the country now, which is driving the Israelis into a state of panic and rage.

  3. Lebanon is rock solid; even the latest Saudi attempt to kidnap Hariri is backfiring. (2021 update: in spite of the explosion in Beirut, Hezbollah is still in charge)

  4. Syria will remain unitary, and Kurdistan is not happening. Millions of displaced refugees are returning home.

  5. Israel and the US look like total idiots and, even worse, as losers with no credibility left.

The net result is everyone in the region who were aggressors are now suing for peace. This is why I expect some kind of deal that returns Iran to the global economy. There's no way for Germany's shiny new trade deal with China to work without this.

ut218 2 hours ago remove link

Solarcycle 25 had a bad start. By 2028 people will realize we are in a period of global cooling. oil prices will soar

Itinerant 18 minutes ago

There won't be major investments of European majors in Iran's oil industry.

  • For Iran, Western partners have proved too fickle
  • For Western corporations, the risk is too great for long term investment.

China will be reaping most of the investement opportunities.


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Marrubio 1 hour ago

.... the NWO & Davos idiotards ,they have been trying since March for oil not to exceed the $ 70 barrier and they are not succeeding. Week after week they try to lower the price, frightening with the covid, the production of Iran or whatever, and the following week the oil rises again. The only thing left for them is mass slaughter ... but now people know that what is going to kill them is in the "vaccine". Of course they will be stupid enough to do it; if they have shown anything it is that they are profoundly idiots. They will not be successful in getting cheap oil, simply because PeakOil is running since 2018 and since then oil production decreases at 5% per year: -5% per year, I am telling to the NWO deep idiotards.

European Monarchist 55 minutes ago (Edited)

Interesting, but it remains to be seen where this is going, short term and long.

Now that Benjamin Netanyahu is no longer going to be leading Israel, the probability of breakthrough is much much higher than last week. The Likudniks in Congress and the Senate just lost their raison d'etre. The loss of face for Israel in Bibi's latest attempt to bludgeon Gaza to retain power backfired completely.

U.S. policy towards Israel is shifting rapidly as the younger generations, Gen-X and Millennials, simply don't have the same allegiance to Israel that the Baby Boomers and Silent generations did. It is part of a geopolitical ethos which is outdated.

So, with some deal over Iran's nuclear capability in the near future, Europe will then get gas pipelines from Iran through Turkey as well as gain better access to the North South Transport Corridor which is now unofficially part of China's Belt and Road Initiative.

Russia, now that Nordstream 2 is nearly done, will not balk at this. In fact, they'll welcome it. It forms the basis for a broader, sustainable peace arrangement in the Middle East. What's lost is the Zionist program for Greater Israel and continued sowing dissent between exhausted participants.

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Einstein101 55 minutes ago remove link

Now the Syrians are doing a very good job of liberating large chunks of their country, including every single city in Syria).

Really? Hell no! The Syrians and the mighty Russians and the Hezbollah for many months now are not able to overcome lowly terrorists militia in northern Syria's Idlib. Plus, the Israelis has been launching hundreds of airstrikes over Syria while the Russian made Syrian anti air defense can do nothing about it.

[May 30, 2021] How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States by Daniel Immerwahr

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... No other book out there has the level of breadth on the history of US imperialism that this work provides. Even though it packs 400 pages of text (which might seem like a turnoff for non-academic readers), "How to Hide an Empire" is highly readable given Immerwhar's skills as a writer. Also, its length is part of what makes it awesome because it gives it the right amount of detail and scope. ..."
"... Alleging that US imperialism in its long evolution (which this book deciphers with poignancy) has had no bearing on the destinies of its once conquered populations is as fallacious as saying that the US is to blame for every single thing that happens in Native American communities, or in the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, etc. Not everything that happens in these locations and among these populations is directly connected to US expansionism, but a great deal is. ..."
"... This is exactly the kind of book that drives the "My country, right or wrong" crowd crazy. Yes, slavery and genocide and ghastly scientific experiments existed before Europeans colonized the Americas, but it's also fair and accurate to say that Europeans made those forms of destruction into a bloody artform. Nobody did mass slaughter better. ..."
Feb 19, 2019 | www.amazon.com
4.6 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews Reviews

Jose I. Fuste, February 25, 2019

5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive yet highly readable. A necessary and highly useful update.

I'm a professor at the University of California San Diego and I'm assigning this for a graduate class.

No other book out there has the level of breadth on the history of US imperialism that this work provides. Even though it packs 400 pages of text (which might seem like a turnoff for non-academic readers), "How to Hide an Empire" is highly readable given Immerwhar's skills as a writer. Also, its length is part of what makes it awesome because it gives it the right amount of detail and scope.

I could not disagree more with the person who gave this book one star. Take it from me: I've taught hundreds of college students who graduate among the best in their high school classes and they know close to nothing about the history of US settler colonialism, overseas imperialism, or US interventionism around the world. If you give University of California college students a quiz on where the US' overseas territories are, most who take it will fail (trust me, I've done it). And this is not their fault. Instead, it's a product of the US education system that fails to give students a nuanced and geographically comprehensive understanding of the oversized effect that their country has around our planet.

Alleging that US imperialism in its long evolution (which this book deciphers with poignancy) has had no bearing on the destinies of its once conquered populations is as fallacious as saying that the US is to blame for every single thing that happens in Native American communities, or in the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, etc. Not everything that happens in these locations and among these populations is directly connected to US expansionism, but a great deal is.

A case in point is Puerto Rico's current fiscal and economic crisis. The island's political class share part of the blame for Puerto Rico's present rut. A lot of it is also due to unnatural (i.e. "natural" but human-exacerbated) disasters such as Hurricane María. However, there is no denying that the evolution of Puerto Rico's territorial status has generated a host of adverse economic conditions that US states (including an island state such as Hawaii) do not have to contend with. An association with the US has undoubtedly raised the floor of material conditions in these places, but it has also imposed an unjust glass ceiling that most people around the US either do not know about or continue to ignore.

To add to those unfair economic limitations, there are political injustices regarding the lack of representation in Congress, and in the case of Am. Samoa, their lack of US citizenship. The fact that the populations in the overseas territories can't make up their mind about what status they prefer is: a) understandable given the way they have been mistreated by the US government, and b) irrelevant because what really matters is what Congress decides to do with the US' far-flung colonies, and there is no indication that Congress wants to either fully annex them or let them go because neither would be convenient to the 50 states and the political parties that run them. Instead, the status quo of modern colonial indeterminacy is what works best for the most potent political and economic groups in the US mainland. Would

This book is about much more than that though. It's also a history of how and why the United States got to control so much of what happens around the world without creating additional formal colonies like the "territories" that exist in this legal limbo. Part of its goal is to show how precisely how US imperialism has been made to be more cost-effective and also more invisible.

Read Immerwhar's book, and don't listen to the apologists of US imperialism which is still an active force that contradicts the US' professed values and that needs to be actively dismantled. Their attempts at discrediting this important reflect a denialism of the US' imperial realities that has endured throughout the history that this book summarizes.

"How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States" is a great starting point for making the US public aware of the US' contradictions as an "empire of liberty" (a phrase once used by Thomas Jefferson to describe the US as it expanded westward beyond the original 13 colonies). It is also a necessary update to other books on this topic that are already out there, and it is likely to hold the reader's attention more given its crafty narrative prose and structure Read less 194 people found this helpful Helpful Comment Report abuse

David Robson, February 26, 2019
Why So Sensitive?

5.0 out of 5 stars Why So Sensitive?

This is exactly the kind of book that drives the "My country, right or wrong" crowd crazy. Yes, slavery and genocide and ghastly scientific experiments existed before Europeans colonized the Americas, but it's also fair and accurate to say that Europeans made those forms of destruction into a bloody artform. Nobody did mass slaughter better.

The author of this compelling book reveals a history unknown to many readers, and does so with first-hand accounts and deep historical analyses. You might ask why we can't put such things behind us. The simple answer: we've never fully grappled with these events before in an honest and open way. This book does the nation a service by peering behind the curtain and facing the sobering truth of how we came to be what we are.

Thomas W. Moloney, April 9, 2019
This is a stunning book, not to be missed.

5.0 out of 5 stars This is a stunning book, not to be missed.

This is a stunning book, not to be missed. If you finished Sapiens with the feeling your world view had greatly enlarged, you're likely to have the same experience of your view of the US from reading this engaging work. And like Sapiens, it's an entirely enjoyable read, full of delightful surprises, future dinner party gems.

The further you get into the book the more interesting and unexpected it becomes. You'll look at the US in ways you likely never considered before. This is not a 'political' book with an ax to grind or a single-party agenda. It's refreshingly insightful, beautifully written, fun to read.

This is a gift I'll give to many a good friend, I've just started with my wife. I rarely write reviews and have never met the author (now my only regret). 3 people found this helpful

P , May 17, 2019
Content is A+. Never gets boring/tedious; never lingers; well written. It is perfect. 10/10

4.0 out of 5 stars Content is A+. Never gets boring/tedious; never lingers; well written. It is perfect. 10/10

This book is an absolutely powerhouse, a must-read, and should be a part of every student's curriculum in this God forsaken country.

Strictly speaking, this brilliant read is focused on America's relationship with Empire. But like with nearly everything America, one cannot discuss it without discussing race and injustice.

If you read this book, you will learn a lot of new things about subjects that you thought you knew everything about. You will have your eyes opened. You will be exposed to the dark underbelly of racism, corruption, greed and exploitation that undergird American ambition.

I don't know exactly what else to say other than to say you MUST READ THIS BOOK. This isn't a partisan statement -- it's not like Democrats are any better than Republicans in this book.

This is one of the best books I've ever read, and I am a voracious reader. The content is A+. It never gets boring. It never gets tedious. It never lingers on narratives. It's extremely well written. It is, in short, perfect. And as such, 10/10.

Sunny May 11, 2019
Excellent and thoughtful discussion regarding the state of our union

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and thoughtful discussion regarding the state of our union

I heard an interview of Daniel Immerwahr on NPR news / WDET radio regarding this book.

I'm am quite conservative and only listen to NPR news when it doesn't lean too far to the left.

However, the interview piqued my interest. I am so glad I purchased this ebook. What a phenomenal and informative read!!! WOW!! It's a "I never knew that" kind of read. Certainly not anything I was taught in school. This is thoughtful, well written and an easy read. Highly recommend!!

[May 28, 2021] Biden aministsration is building a coalition to challenge China. It wants to neutralize Russia. Nord Stream 2 is an element of contention

May 20, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Max , May 19 2021 21:16 utc | 26

@ Old man of the sea | May 19 2021 20:46 utc | 22

One can't blame everything on Israel. Yes, it is part of five eyes, more like SIX eyes.

Biden (JB) is building a coalition to challenge China. JB's administration wants to neutralize Russia. Nord Stream 2 is an element of contention and by making a concession JB is making Germany and Russia happy. Agree, that its completion will be a "huge geopolitical win for Putin". Let's see when Nord Stream 2 becomes fully operational. Time will tell.

Russia's main focus is De-Dollarization, stability in Russia and in its neighborhood.

China's announcement about Bitcoin led to it dropping by 30%. What will China, Russia, Turkey and Iran announcement about the U$A dollar do to its value and the market? When will China become the #1 ECONOMY?

THE MOST DANGEROUS DECADE: 2018-2028

Stonebird , May 19 2021 21:42 utc | 29

Old man of the sea | May 19 2021 20:46 utc | 22

The US is now the largest provider of LNG, so there is relatively little more financial advantage to be gained from a direct confrontation with Germany or Russia. Political maybe, but the dedollarisation is starting to take hold. (Aside; even Israel depends on the strength of the dollar to continue, like musical chairs, when the music stops there will be precious few chairs left ). The Gas/Oil lobbies in the US who are behind the sanctions may have some other trick up their sleeve, but the deflation of Zelensky in Ukraine, and the opening up of a steal-fest of Ukrainian assets might compensate.

***
Note that the West has closed Syrian Embassies so as to stop Syrians voting for Assad. They steal it's oil, and Syria is still next to Israel and doing relatively well in spite of tanker bombings, and missiles. It is also possible that, as you say, there is a price for non-interference in Israel itself.

[May 28, 2021] Obama's follow-up to "Dreams from My Father" will be "Sins of My Mother"

May 19, 2021 | www.unz.com

Wokeness is just a detail, not the biggest one by any means, of a vast socio-economic collapse of neoliberalism.

chris , says: May 14, 2021 at 7:13 am GMT • 5.8 days ago

What wokeness does mandate for my son (who is studying biology) to be told in his class that he is the carrier of "white guilt" even though his ancestors never interacted with blacks, let alone blacks in the USA.

Obama's follow-up to "Dreams from My Father" will be "Sins of My Mother"

Stephen Paul Foster , says: Website May 14, 2021 at 10:58 am GMT • 5.7 days ago

" [C]orporate "America" which is now flooding all its advertisements with the "correct" races in total disregard to that race's real percentage of the population "

Yes, for corporate America, the U.S. demographic is composed mainly of young, beautiful, smart looking "black folks" with a few flabby, pasty white dullards to heighten the contrast.

[May 28, 2021] A book on the crimes of the international coalition in Syria was presented in Moscow.

May 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

alaff , May 19 2021 20:13 utc | 16

It is unlikely that you will see this news on CNN or BBC.

A book on the crimes of the international coalition in Syria was presented in Moscow. The book is called 'Crimes of the US-led international coalition in Syria'. The study is based on interviews with over 200 Syrian citizens who witnessed the crimes of the international coalition. They reportedly allowed the authors to use their testimony in legal proceedings, including in international courts. The conference dedicated to the presentation of the book was attended by the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Syrian Arab Republic to the Russian Federation, Riad Haddad.

The presented facts prove that the US-led coalition systematically destroyed Syrian hospitals, schools, markets, mosques, houses of civilians, which, according to international humanitarian law, qualifies as war crimes. Each of the facts is personalized with an accurate indication of the identity of the victim and the circumstances of the crime, and is also accompanied by their requests to use this evidence to appeal to national and international courts.

The book is available for reading online (so far only in Russian).

Btw, earlier, in February, an exhibition of the same name was held, which was visited by Sergey Naryshkin, Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation.

[May 28, 2021] Insider View- The Tragedy of the U.S. Deep State by Pepe Escobar

May 16, 2021 | www.unz.com

The_seventh_shape , says: May 13, 2021 at 4:12 pm GMT "¢ 3.4 days ago

Clearly there is no coherence or logic to US foreign policy even from its own warped viewpoint. If they really regard China as the number one adversary then they should be courting Russia, that is, doing what the Nixon administration did with China to help contain the USSR.

One can only surmise that it's the Zionist faction that is pushing for hostility towards Russia because of Russia interfering with Israel's Mid-East plans, so the Zionist faction with its regional interests is undermining the efforts of the deep state elements more interested in world hegemony.

JasonT , says: May 14, 2021 at 2:01 am GMT "¢ 3.0 days ago
@Curious_Paul

I think this gives a good over view of the terrain:

https://www.globalresearch.ca/exposing-the-giants-the-global-power-elite-prof-peter-phillips/5652352

dimples , says: May 16, 2021 at 10:49 am GMT "¢ 16.0 hours ago

"Then, we basically gave permission for Saddam Hussein to invade Kuwait as a ploy to send in our advanced army to knock him out and demonstrate our superiority to the world in weaponry, which very much demoralized the Russians and put the fear of God into Islamic oil. Then we created the Star Wars fiction. Russia to our surprise lost their nerve and collapsed."

Can't really buy this silly Deep State propaganda from Mr S. The Berlin Wall collapsed in November 1989. After this the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Cold War was surely inevitable. USMIC needed a new theatre of war in a hurry to keep itself in the style to which it is accustomed. Gulf War I, beginning with the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq in August 1990, was clearly planned in advance in order to install US bases in the Middle East as the "˜pivot' to use the currently popular term to this new theatre. This long term planning all bore juicy malevolent fruit not long after with 911, Gulf War 2 and the War on Terror. It's only now, with the Middle East petering out as the preferred theatre of operations that the new pivot is under way with the beatup for a new cold war with China.

Sarah , says: May 16, 2021 at 11:09 am GMT "¢ 15.7 hours ago

He describes them as "our values",

"our values" is continually repeated by US politicians and the MSM like a mantra.

when the US has no values left but anarchy, looting, and burning down hundreds of cities.

And also war, bombing, killing, assassination of the indocent leaders, impoverishment of the others, overthrow of the insubordinate governments ("Color revolutions").

Arthur MacBride , says: May 16, 2021 at 12:20 pm GMT "¢ 14.5 hours ago

Every picture tells a story = USA & China (lol)
Could have added Old Masked Joe and the Camel for further effect "¦

Anyway"

I had trouble believing this account by the mysterious Mr S, though it does make good copy, perhaps more as entertainment. So skimmed after the first few mentions of the Deep State, Mr S's professed Christianity and his concern for Afghans.

The "Deep State" is a more or less meaningless buzzword on a par with Alex "Medicine Man" Jones and his "Illuminati" and it's getting as dated as that imho.
WHO are these people, Mr S ? Names, please.

We are to believe that a long-serving high echelon member in USG professes Christianity in a Gangster Cartel, which is what USG is and the source of the gross immorality, murder, looting, permanent war, occupations which is poisoning the world and has been such for a long time, well over a century "¦
Russia, by contrast, is a Christian country.
And you are fighting it, Mr S, as well as continuing to serve gangsters "¦

Basically this article is just bullshit, sorry to be blunt.
Worse, it doesn't say anything new except that the zio's have sacrificed their old man Kissinger as this USG "christian" indicates.

Gidoutahere , says: May 16, 2021 at 2:51 pm GMT "¢ 12.0 hours ago

Kissinger sprinkles his talk with preemptive catch words such as "free markets", "democracy", and as noted here "principles"...

His greatest coup was was the petrodollar which reigned for decades; free markets huh? His petrodollar scheme is crumbling and the age of missiles is neutering the US's imperial ambitions. He is wallowing about in outdated imperial nostalgia.

Bardon Kaldian , says: May 16, 2021 at 3:30 pm GMT "¢ 11.3 hours ago

Conspiracy theory drivel. So called "Deep State" are American elites, who are not unanimous about most points; it was R.M. Nixon- not Kissinger, not some imaginary Deep State segment which even does not exist- who decided to completely change policy towards Communist China. And there, Nixon showed that he was, despite his failings, a remarkable statesman.

The entire text is a paranoid fantasy.

Z-man , says: May 16, 2021 at 4:03 pm GMT "¢ 10.8 hours ago

It's the Zionists/NEOCON/globalist CABAL's fault for pushing Russia towards China.

FB , says: "¢ Website May 16, 2021 at 4:04 pm GMT "¢ 10.7 hours ago
@alwayswrite ion. Just in the last few months the SpaceX Crew Dragon has finally come online and that is an excellent achievement""although Nasa is still buying seats on Soyuz, just in case.

The Boeing Starliner spacecraft is flying with the Russian engines, although not yet with live crew. Good thing there's a Russian "˜superstore' for space tech where you can do one-stop shopping, eh?

I'm not going to get into the Chinese program, which also bought its entire manned space program lock, stock and barrel from Russia. They also bought advanced Russian engines, but unlike the US, they have been able to knock off their own versions [YF100], which now power their big Long March 5 rocket.

Oh, and the Russians landed their first rover on Mars back in 1971, the first spacecraft to land successfully on another planet.

ricpic , says: May 16, 2021 at 4:16 pm GMT "¢ 10.5 hours ago

There's an inherent contradiction I've never been able to understand.

On the one hand the Deep State wants the United States to be and continue to be the world hegemon. Ergo the playing off of China against Russia, as well as other ploys undercutting potential challengers.

On the other hand the Deep State was all in on the deindustrialization of America, the great offshoring of whole industries and the jobs they provided. Offshoring has clearly weakened America's position as world hegemon.

What gives?

FB , says: "¢ Website May 16, 2021 at 4:57 pm GMT "¢ 10.4 hours ago
@GMC xt generation gets better yet and so on. It is not an instant process, but China is very systematic and determined and they will get there sooner than people may think.

And finally a word about why it is important to have numbers in terms of hard science intellectuals. It is like society in general""the bottom slice is going to be barely competent; the majority in the middle are going to be average"¦and the top ten percent are going to be the ones that actually do all of the work, in terms of advancing of the state of the art. And from that top group, only a few INDIVIDUALS are really going to be visionaries that have a chance at transforming the technology and solving the really big problems.

Obviously if you have a larger pool to start with, you will have more of those key achievers at the top.

lysias , says: May 16, 2021 at 5:26 pm GMT "¢ 10.0 hours ago
@dimples

It may have been in the self-interest of people in the MIC to continue Cold War conditions, but a patriot would put the good of the Republic over his own self-interest. The late Lt. Gen. William Odom, former Director of the National Security Agency, was such a man. He was as close to the center of the American Deep State as anyone could be.

I know from Odom's writings that he shared at least many of the views of Mr. S. Odom himself may be gone, but his opinions may survive in his aides, friends, and associates.

Desert Fox , says: May 16, 2021 at 6:07 pm GMT "¢ 9.3 hours ago

The tragedy of the ZUS deep state department is , that is controlled and populated with zionists, as is the entire ZUS government and the deep state chain dogs aka the CIA, the FBI, the NSA, all of the 17 chain dog departments are under zionist control,

FB , says: "¢ Website May 16, 2021 at 6:32 pm GMT "¢ 8.9 hours ago
@alwayswrite tinued to circle Mars and transmit images back to Earth for another eight months.

Mars 3 Spacecraft

The cause of the failure may have been related to the extremely powerful martian dust storm taking place at the time which may have induced a coronal discharge, damaging the communications system. The dust storm would also explain the poor image lighting.

""Mars 3 Lander, Nasa

And yes, it was the Russian RD180 engines that have launched ALL US mars missions since 2005.

FB , says: "¢ Website May 16, 2021 at 8:59 pm GMT "¢ 6.4 hours ago
@SafeNow eing expressed now about the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Although it has churned out hundreds of papers, nothing groundbreaking has ever come of it.

Quantum computing is also turning out to be a nothingburger, as some of us had predicted long ago. But if the point is to sell the sizzle and not the steak, then all of these "˜great' projects have been a wonderful "˜marketing' success, with untold millions of trees having given their life for the glossy magazines that breathlessly trumpeted all of this hullabaloo. Only to end up in the landfill.

So to get back to your question about US pharma "˜scientists', I would place them just slightly above the municipal sanitation worker that will be emptying my bin tomorrow, in the overall scheme of things. Maybe a better person to ask would be Bill Gates?

[May 28, 2021] The Global Financial Syndicate will use all kind of distractions to mask the MONETARY power and divide the populace

Notable quotes:
"... The Global Financial Syndicate will use all kind of distractions to mask the MONETARY power and divide the populace to continue its control & dominance through monetary imperialism. The world is a playground for "evil spirits." ..."
May 17, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Max , May 16 2021 15:56 utc | 21

One need to understand the STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENT correctly, clearly, and comprehensively to live & light our world. What is your strategic construct of the national and international control system?

The Global Financial Syndicate will use all kind of distractions to mask the MONETARY power and divide the populace to continue its control & dominance through monetary imperialism. The world is a playground for "evil spirits."

How does the Financial Empire increase its control & POWER over a region? It likes turning each region into its suzerainty and an Animal Farm (Top-Down Control Structure - Democracy/Republic/...) internally by controlling its money supply through the central-private banking system.

Global Financial Empire's strategy:

Monetary Power = Lands x Lives x Loans. The key CONTROL elements of the Financial Empire within a suzerainty are:

When it comes to the international realm it seeks following freedoms:

The Global Financial Syndicate controls, finances and corrupts policies such as those in the U$A administration by its financing the substitution of national leaders with employees of the Financial Syndicate, such as Biden, Draghi, Yellen, Juncker, Macron,... Globalization is meant to establish the global financial syndicate's rule everywhere, hierarchically from top to bottom, in contrast to the democratic right of citizens to self-determination and the responsibility of governments towards their citizens.

Who wants to make us all, whether we be nations or individuals, slaves to debt?

Monetary Imperialism – What Next?

[May 28, 2021] Nuances of the right to vote and Liz Cheney

Both Liz Cheney and Mitt The Bitch Romney are examples of the filthy neocons...
Notable quotes:
"... [in case of Cheney] The war monger doesn't fall far from the tree. ..."
"... Amazing how the liberal news outlets are now supporting a Cheney. But they know more war equals more rating ..."
May 09, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Mike Rotsch 10 minutes ago

. . . which has caused some GOP leaders to fear alienating female Republican voters, particularly educated suburbanites who will be key votes in the 2022 elections.

When I first met my wife, she told me women shouldn't have the right to vote. It was instant love.

A Girl In Flyover Country 59 minutes ago

[in case of Cheney] The war monger doesn't fall far from the tree.

Rise21 42 minutes ago remove link

Amazing how the liberal news outlets are now supporting a Cheney. But they know more war equals more rating

yochananmichael 51 seconds ago

its time for the republicans to rid itself of chicken hawk warmongers like Cheney.

He father disbanded there Iraqi Army which was supposed to provide security, causing an insurgency and 5000 dead American boys and countless maimed.

vic and blood PREMIUM 4 minutes ago

Cheney's benefactors have erected massive billboards all over the state, 'thanking her for defending the Constitution.'

She has an incredible war chest, and sadly, money and advertising decides a lot of elections.

[May 24, 2021] Knowing what is going on in Germany right now is helpful to understanding the strange goings on in the USAi and its dreams of eternal empire

May 24, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , May 24 2021 3:19 utc | 111

Strange news of the fatherland... knowing what is going on in Germany right now is helpful to understanding the strange goings on in the USAi and its dreams of eternal empire. It ain't clear sailing yet for NS2!

Here is the story from Wolfgang Streeck in New Let Review.

An excerpt to tease your attention:

If your country is part of an international empire, the domestic politics of the country that rules yours are your domestic politics too. Whoever speaks of the Europe of the EU must therefore also speak of Germany. Currently it is widely believed that after the German federal elections of 24 September this year, Europe will enter a post-Merkel era. The truth is not so simple.

In October 2018, following two devastating defeats in state elections in Hesse and Bavaria, Angela Merkel resigned as president of her party, the CDU, and announced that she would not seek re-election as Chancellor in 2021. She would, however, serve out her fourth term, to which she had been officially appointed only seven months earlier.

Putting together a coalition government had taken no less than six months following the September 2017 federal election, in which the CDU and its Bavarian sidekick, the CSU, had scored the worst result in their history, at 32.9 percent (2013: 41.5 percent). (Merkel's record as party leader is nothing short of dismal, having lost votes each time she ran. How she could nevertheless remain Chancellor for 16 years will have to be explained elsewhere.) In the subsequent contest for the CDU presidency, the party's general secretary, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, appointed by Merkel only in February 2018, narrowly prevailed over two competitors.

After little more than a year, however, when Merkel publicly dressed her down for a lack of leadership, Kramp-Karrenbauer resigned and declared that she would not run for Chancellor in 2021 either. A few months later, when von der Leyen went to Brussels, Kramp-Karrenbauer got Merkel to appoint her minister of defense. The next contest for the party presidency, the second in Merkel's fourth term, had to take place under Corona restrictions; it took a long time and was won in January 2021 by Armin Laschet, Prime Minister of the largest federal state, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). To prevent the comeback of an old foe of hers, Friedrich Merz, Merkel allegedly supported Laschet behind the scenes.

While Laschet – a less-than-charismatic Christian-Democratic middle-of-the-roader and lifelong Merkel loyalist – considered the party presidency to be a ticket to the CDU/CSU candidacy for Chancellor, it took three months for this to be settled. As CDU/CSU politics go, the joint candidate is picked by the two party presidents when they feel the time has come, under four eyes; no formal procedure provided.

Thus Laschet needed the agreement of Markus Söder, Prime Minister of Bavaria, who didn't keep it a secret that he believed himself the far better choice. In the background, again, there was Merkel, in the unprecedented position of a sitting Chancellor watching the presidents of her two parties pick her would-be successor in something like a semi-public cock-fight. After some dramatic toing-and-froing, Laschet prevailed, once more supported by Merkel, apparently in exchange for his state's backing for the federal government imposing a 'hard' Covid-19 lockdown on the entire country...

...There will also be differences on the Eastern flank of the EU, where Baerbock, following the United States, will support Ukrainian accession to NATO and the EU, and finance EU extension in the West Balkans. That she will also cancel North Stream 2 will be a point of contention in a Baerbock/Scholz government.

Laschet will be more inclined towards France and seek some accommodation with Russia, on trade as well as security; he will also hesitate to be too strongly identified with the US on Eastern Europe and Ukraine. But then, he will be reminded by his Foreign Minister, Baerbock, as well as his own party that Germany's national security depends on the American nuclear umbrella, which the French cannot and in any case will not replace. (my emphasis)


[May 24, 2021] French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warned on Sunday of the risk of "long-lasting apartheid" in Israel

May 24, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Մասիս , May 24 2021 6:59 utc | 124

The Roots of Coincidence

France is was denying any discomfort with Zionism for 52 years. but since yesterday effect of Plate tectonics are perceptible.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warned on Sunday of the risk of "long-lasting apartheid" in Israel. The veteran politician [and high rank French official for 40 years with solid connection to French weapons trade] made the remarks in an interview with LCI TV NewsChannel, RTL radio and Le Figaro newspaper [ three major MSM]

https://www.lefigaro.fr/politique/jean-yves-le-drian-met-en-garde-israel-contre-un-risque-d-apartheid-envers-ses-populations-arabes-20210523


from Guardian.ng


French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warned on Sunday of the risk of "long-lasting apartheid" in Israel in the event the Palestinians fail to obtain their own state.
Le Drian is one of the first senior French officials to use the term "apartheid" in reference to Israel , which has angrily denied any policy of racial discrimination.
The veteran politician made the remarks in an interview with RTL radio and Le Figaro newspaper in reference to the clashes between Jews and Arabs that erupted in several Israeli cities during the latest conflict.
The violence, which revealed simmering anger among Israeli Arabs over the crackdown on Palestinians in Jerusalem, shattered years of peaceful coexistence within Israel.
"It's the first time and it clearly shows that if in the future we had a solution other than the two-state solution, we would have the ingredients of long-lasting apartheid," Le Drian said, using the word for the white supremacist oppression of blacks in South Africa from 1948 to 1991.
Le Drian said the "risk of apartheid is high" if Israel continued to act "according to a single-state logic" but also if it maintained the status quo.
"Even the status quo produces that," he said.
He added that the 11-day conflict between Hamas and Israel had shown the need to revive the moribund Middle East peace process.
https://guardian.ng/news/france-sees-risk-of-apartheid-in-israel-paris-france/
"We have take one step at a time," he said, expressing satisfaction that US President Joe Biden had reiterated support for creating a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
Israel's latest offensive against Hamas killed 248 people in the Gaza Strip, including 66 children, and wounded over 1,900, the Hamas-run health ministry said.
Meanwhile, rockets fired by Palestinian armed groups into Israel killed 12 and wounded around 357 others, Israeli police said.

Long-lasting apartheid usually ends badly

--//--

@ James & al.
Please, enjoy a little more Roots of Coincidence


Grieved , May 24 2021 7:05 utc | 125

@120 m - "Iron Dome system according to Israeli sources..."

The point is not the numbers taken from the sales brochure of the system. The point is, what does the penetration of the fantasy shield do to the Israeli psyche?

Israel initiated the ceasefire, without conditions. After 11 days, it could take no more.

Israel has failed to protect itself from the indigenous population that it was oppressing. Palestine has won a victory that changes the game and changes the world.

The entire regional Resistance now knows that Palestine alone can hold the enemy in check. And all the Palestinians everywhere are completely united with only the Resistance as their leader.

Over at the Saker just now, a speech from Hezbollah acknowledges proudly that Palestine itself is now the leading edge of the struggle to remove Israel from the Middle East, and that Hezbollah yearns for the day when it joins side by side with the Palestinians to drive the oppressor from the land.

Palestine as it says could keep up this barrage against Israel for six months - just Palestine alone. And the damage from such a thing would not be measured in how few or how many individual persons were killed by those rockets. The damage would be measured by the scream of madness and defeat from the Zionist oppressor, thrown down by the indigenous populace and cast out of the land in abject fear.

Paul , May 24 2021 8:02 utc | 126
As barflies can see, There may be an undefined 'ceasefire' but the 100 year old ethnic cleansing project in the rest of Palestine continues:

Israel's Daily Toll on Palestinian Life, Limb, Liberty and Land

(Compiled by Leslie Bravery, Palestine Human Rights Campaign, Auckland, New Zealand)
18 May 2021 {Main source of statistics: Palestinian Monitoring Group (PMG): http://www.nad.ps/ NB:The period covered by this newsletter is taken from the PMG's 24-hour sitrep ending 8am the day after the above date.}
We shall always do our best to verify the accuracy of all items in these IOP newsletters/reports wherever possible [e.g. we often suspect that names of people and places that we see in the PMG sitreps could be typos; also frequently the translation into English seems rather odd ~ but as we do not speak Arabic, we have no alternative but to copy and paste these names from the PMG sitreps!] – please forgive us for any errors or omissions – Leslie and Marian.
206 projectiles
launched from Gaza

82 air strikes (157)

Very many
Israeli attacks

158 Israeli
ceasefire violations

21 raids including
home invasions

11 killed – 261 injured

Economic sabotage

43 taken prisoner

Night peace disruption
and/or home invasions
in 6 towns and villages
Home invasions: 09:20, Nazlet al-Sheikh Zaid - 09:20, al-Arqa - 04:00, Anabta - 03:30, Madama - 03:30, Tel.
Peace disruption raids: 14:40, Beitunya - 16:05, Um Safa village - 03:20, Bir Zeit - dawn, Bil'in - 17:40, Tura village - 18:55, Ya'bad - 19:45, Zububa - 06:30, Tubas - 18:05, Quffin - 04:00, Tulkarem - 20:00, Aqraba - 13:45, al-Azza UN refugee camp - 13:45, Aida UN refugee camp - 18:10, al-Khadr - 18:10, Janata - 20:15, Tuqu - 03:00, al-Ubeidiya - dawn, Husan - dawn, al-Ubeidiya.
Ceasefire violations – Palestinian missile attacks: Gaza enclave: From 07:00 until 07:00 the following day 206 projectiles were launched towards the Green Line from Northern Gaza, Gaza City, Central Gaza and Khan Yunis.
Ceasefire violations – Palestinian missile attacks: Gaza enclave: From 07:00 until 07:00 the following day, 206 projectiles were launched towards the Green Line from Northern Gaza, Gaza City, Central Gaza and Khan Yunis.
Ceasefire violations – Palestinian missile attacks: Northern Gaza – 53 projectiles launched towards the Green Line.
Ceasefire violations – Palestinian missile attacks: Gaza – 81 projectiles launched towards the Green Line.
Ceasefire violations – Palestinian missile attacks: Central Gaza – 17 projectiles launched towards the Green Line.
Ceasefire violations – Palestinian missile attacks: Khan Yunis – 38 projectiles launched towards the Green Line.
Ceasefire violations – Palestinian missile attacks: Khan Yunis – 17 projectiles launched towards the Green Line.
Ceasefire violations – air strikes: Gaza enclave – from 07:00 until 07:00 the following day, Israeli warplanes carried out 82 air strikes, launching 157 missiles onto Gaza. There were 7 killed, 50 injured, 35 homes destroyed and much damage caused.
Ceasefire violations – air strikes: Northern Gaza – Israeli warplanes launched 21 air strikes – 35 missiles: 16 injured and 10 homes destroyed.
Ceasefire violations – air strikes: Gaza – Israeli warplanes launched 17 air strikes – 27 missiles: 6 killed (including a child), 15 injured (including women and children) and 7 homes destroyed.
Ceasefire violations – air strikes: Central Gaza – Israeli warplanes launched 14 air strikes – 20 missiles: 11injured and 6 homes destroyed.
Ceasefire violations – air strikes: Khan Yunis – Israeli warplanes launched 13 air strikes – 46 missiles: 1 killed, 14 injured and 10 homes destroyed.
Ceasefire violations – air strikes: Rafah – Israeli warplanes launched 17 air strikes – 29 missiles. 3 injured and 2 homes destroyed.
Ceasefire violations – Israeli attacks: Gaza enclave: From 07:00 until 07:00 the following day, the Israeli Army and Navy pounded Central Gaza, Khan Yunis and Rafah.
Israeli Army attacks – 18 wounded: Jerusalem – Israeli Occupation forces opened fire, with live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters on protesters in Shuafat, al-Zaim, al-Jib, Beit Ijza, Qalandiya, near the villages of Qatanna and al-Issawiya, as well as in Abu Dis, al-Eizariya and at the entrances to Hizma, al-Sawahrah al-Sharqiya, Anata, the al-Ram road junction, Bab al-Amoud area and al-Wad Street in Jerusalem Old City. 18 protesters were wounded.
Israeli Army attack: Jerusalem – 18:00, Israeli Occupation forces opened fire on Palestinian motor vehicles in the Sheikh Radwan neighbourhood.
Israeli Army attacks – 3 killed – 72 wounded: Ramallah – Israeli forces in or near al-Bireh, Sinjil, Aboud, Ni'lin, al-Mughayer, Deir Jarir, Kafr Malik, Nabi Salih, Ein Qiniya, Ras Karkar, Kharbatha Bani Harith, Beit Sira, al-Jalazoun refugee camp, fired live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters towards protesters, killing 3 people, Muhammad Mahmoud Hamid (24), Adham Fayez Al-Kashef (20) and Islam Wael Fahmy Barnat, and wounding 72. There were many tear gas casualties.
Israeli Army attacks – 4 wounded: Jenin – Israeli troops, manning the Jalamah and Dotan checkpoints and at the southern entrance to Silat al-Dahr, fired live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters towards protesters, wounding 4 people and causing several tear gas casualties.
Israeli Army attacks – 7 wounded: Tulkarem – Israeli forces, manning the Einav checkpoint and troops in Tulkarem, Quffin, Zit and at the entrance to Beit Lid, fired live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters towards protesters, wounding 7 and causing several tear gas casualties.
Israeli Army attacks – 8 wounded: Qalqiliya – Israeli Occupation forces, at the entrances to Azun, Hajjah, and Kafr Qaddum as well as near Jayus, Hablat and at the Eyal crossing, fired live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters towards protesters, wounding 8 people and causing several tear gas casualties.
Israeli Army attacks – 33 wounded: Nablus – Israeli Army positions, near the Huwara checkpoint, the intersection of Osirin and Sarra villages and near the entrances to Qusra, Beta, Jama'in, Naqoura, Deir Sharaf, Burin, Madama, Asirah al-Qibliya, Yutma, al-Labban al-Sharqiya, Odla, al-Sawiyah and the village of Tal, fired live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters towards protesters, wounding 33 people and causing several tear gas casualties.
Israeli Army attacks: Salfit – Israeli troops, near the entrances to Deir Istiya, Qarawat Bani Hassan, al-Zawiya and the northern entrance to Salfit, fired live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters towards protesters. There were several tear gas casualties.
Israeli Army attacks – 18 wounded: Bethlehem – Israeli forces, present at Bilal Bin Rabah Mosque, the Aida refugee camp, northern entrance to Tuqu', western entrance to Beit Fajar, Um Rakba area of al-Khadr and entrance to Husan, fired live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters towards protesters, wounding 18 people and causing several tear gas casualties.
Israeli Army attacks – 1 killed: Hebron – morning, Israeli Occupation forces, positioned in the Old City, opened fire on and killed a resident: Islam Fayyad Zahida (32).
Israeli Army attacks – 30 wounded: Hebron – the Israeli Army, positioned in the Bab al-Zawiya area of Hebron and in the Old City, as well as near the entrances to Beit Ummar, Bani Naim, Tarqumiya, Khurasa village, the al-Aroub refugee camp and on Halhul Bridge, fired live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters towards protesters, wounding 30 people and causing several tear gas casualties.
Economic sabotage: Gaza -- the Israeli Navy continues to enforce an arbitrary fishing limit.
Home invasion: Jenin – 09:20, Israeli Occupation forces raided the villages of Nazlet al-Sheikh Zaid and al-Arqa, and invaded a house.
Home invasion – boy (aged 15) abducted : Tulkarem – 04:00, Israeli troops raided Anabta and abducted 15-year-old Muhammad Salam Wajih Rasheed.
Home invasions: Nablus – 03:30, Israeli forces raided Madama and Tel villages and invaded a number of homes.
Israeli police and settlers' mosque violation: 23:00, Israeli Occupation police invaded the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque, filming the Mosque and its facilities.
Israeli Army – 7 wounded – rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters: Tubas – Israeli Occupation forces, manning the Tayasir checkpoint and in the village of Atouf, fired rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters towards protesters, wounding 7 people and causing several tear gas casualties.
Israeli Army – 5 wounded – rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters: Jericho – Israeli forces, at the northern and southern entrances to Jericho, as well as outside the Aqbat Jaber refugee camp, fired rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters towards protesters, wounding 5 people and causing several tear gas casualties.
Occupation settler violence: Jerusalem – 18:00, Israeli settlers stoned a family home, on the outskirts of the village of Beit Ijza.
Occupation road casualties: Bethlehem – 16:40, an Israeli settler drove his motor vehicle over and hospitalised a 19-year-old Abdullah Saqr Saad, near Khalet Iskarya.
Raid: Ramallah – 14:40, Israeli Occupation forces raided and patrolled Beitunya.
Raid: Ramallah – 16:05, Israeli forces raided and patrolled Um Safa village.
Raid – 1 taken prisoner: Ramallah – 03:20, Israeli troops raided Bir Zeit, taking prisoner one person.
Raid – 1 taken prisoner: Ramallah – dawn, the Israeli Army raided Bil'in village, taking prisoner one person.
Raid: Jenin – 17:40, Israeli troops raided and patrolled Tura village.
Raid: Jenin – 18:55, Israeli soldiers raided and patrolled Ya'bad.
Raid: Jenin – 19:45, Israeli Occupation forces raided and patrolled Zububa village.
Raid: Tubas – 06:30, Israeli forces raided and patrolled Tubas.
Raid: Tulkarem – 18:05, the Israeli Army raided and patrolled Quffin.
Raid: Tulkarem – 04:0 Israeli troops raided Tulkarem.
Raid: Nablus – 20:00, Israeli soldiers raided and patrolled Aqraba.
Raid – UN refugee camps: Bethlehem – 13:45, Israeli Occupation forces raided and patrolled the al-Azza and Aida UN refugee camps in Bethlehem.
Raid: Bethlehem – 18:10, Israeli forces raided and patrolled al-Khadr and Janata.
Raid – 2 abductions: Bethlehem – 20:15, Israeli troops raided Tuqu and abducted two 16-year-old youths: Muhammad Khaled Nasrallah and Sind Talal Al-Amor.
Raid: Bethlehem – 03:00, Israeli soldiers raided and patrolled al-Ubeidiya.
Raid – 2 taken prisoner: Bethlehem – dawn, the Israeli Army raided Husan village, taking prisoner two people.
Raid – 2 taken prisoner: Bethlehem – dawn, Israeli Occupation forces raided al-Ubeidiya, taking prisoner twopeople.
Restrictions of movement (14): 11:30, entrance to Turmusaya- 11:20, tightened procedures at Huwara - 12:00, tightened procedures at Kifl Haris - 12:50, entrance to al-Zawiya - 11:25-12:30, al-Nashash road junction - 14:10, entrance to al-Walaja village - midnight, entrance to Marah Mualla - 09:15, entrance to the Fahs area, south of Hebron - 18:45, entrance to Sa'ir - Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing closed - al-Mantar-Karni crossing closed - al-Shujaiyeh crossing (Nahal Oz) closed - Sufa crossing closed - al-Awda Port closed.
[NB: Times indicated in Bold Type contribute to the sleep deprivation suffered by Palestinian children]
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If any of our subscribers should like to reproduce complete, in full and unedited, these In Occupied Palestine daily newsletters that would be very welcome!
If you no longer wish to receive these emails, please let us know and if you have friends or family who would like to receive them ask them to contact us at sumud1@outlook.com
...

[Message clipped] View entire message

Մասիս , May 24 2021 11:11 utc | 137

@ Paul, "100 year old ethnic cleansing project in the rest of Palestine continues", but
Tectonic plates still moving, collapse of an edifice of complacency

David Horovitz is the founding editor of The Times of Israel. He previously edited The Jerusalem Post (2004-2011) and The Jerusalem Report (1998-2004).
Published a shaking OP ED

Losing the war: The rising cost of Israel's lapsed support for 2-state solution

Must read

"It doesn't matter that Hamas is a repressive, misogynistic, homophobic, Islamist terrorist organization that fires thousands of rockets indiscriminately at innocent civilians all over the State of Israel...
[...]
It doesn't matter...
[...]
Again, it doesn't matter, because we are no longer avowedly seeking, even in principle, a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- the currently and foreseeably insoluble Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And since we no longer avowedly aspire to be part of the solution, we are increasingly perceived as part of the problem, as rejectionists.
[...]
Israel still has plenty of friends, and plenty of support, including crucially in the US. Three EU foreign ministers chose to make a solidarity visit to bombed Israeli homes at the height of the conflict. But the ground is shifting dangerously.
Many of us, this writer emphatically included, regard a two-state solution as essential if we are not to lose either our Jewish majority, or our democracy, or both, forever entangled among millions of hostile Palestinians. Many of us, this writer emphatically included, cannot currently see a safe route to such an accommodation.

For the last time, it doesn't matter. So long as Israel does not place itself firmly and distinctly on the side of those seeking a viable framework for long-term peace and security for ourselves and for the Palestinians, we will be regarded as blocking that framework. And even when facing an enemy so patently cynical, amoral and intransigent as Hamas, militarily strong Israel will be held responsible for the loss of life on both sides of the conflict.
We may keep on winning the battles, though they will get harder if fighting spreads to and deepens on other fronts. But we will be gradually losing the war.

[May 12, 2021] No doubt the US/UK deep state, now more than ever, are busy trying to sow conflict and division in Eurasia

May 12, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Canadian Cents , May 13 2021 0:38 utc | 76

An interesting read from Pepe Escobar at Saker's site, related to the comments by Max @24 and JB @25:
https://thesaker.is/insider-view-the-tragedy-of-the-us-deep-state/

No doubt the US/UK deep state, now more than ever, are busy trying to sow conflict and division in Eurasia, to divide-and-rule Mackinder's "World Island" and hence the world.

[May 09, 2021] Children from Parents Exposed to Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster Show No Genetic Damage

May 09, 2021 | science.slashdot.org

(usnews.com) 80 There's no evidence of genetic damage in the children of parents who were exposed to radiation from the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster in Ukraine, researchers say.

Several previous studies have examined the risks across generations of radiation exposure from events such as this, but have yielded inconclusive results. In this study, the investigators analyzed the genomes of 130 children and parents from families where one or both parents were exposed to radiation due to the Chernobyl accident, and where children were conceived afterward and born between 1987 and 2002.

There was no increase in gene changes in reproductive cells of study participants, and rates of new germline mutations were similar to those in the general population, according to a team led by Meredith Yeager of the U.S. National Cancer Institute, in Rockville, Md.

[May 08, 2021] US Officials Claim That Iraqi Kurds Helped To Kill Qassam Soleimani

May 08, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Sam F , May 8 2021 16:16 utc | 1

Hardly anything of that - besides the murder of Soleimani - is mentioned in the Yahoo piece. There is not one word on Muhandis, his role in Iraq or the consequences of his death. There is no mention of the Iraqi parliament vote or of the ongoing attacks on U.S. units in Iraq.

Instead the piece prominently emphasizes alleged Kurdish collaboration in the assassination:

In late December 2019, Delta Force operators and other special operations members began filtering into Baghdad in small groups. Kurdish operatives, who played a key role in the killing, had already started infiltrating Baghdad International Airport by that point, going undercover as baggage handlers and other staff members.
...
The three sniper teams positioned themselves 600 to 900 yards away from the "kill zone," the access road from the airfield, setting up to triangulate their target as he left the airport. [...] A member of the Counter Terrorism Group (CTG), an elite Kurdish unit in northern Iraq with deep links to U.S. Special Operations, helped them make the wind call from down range.
...
After the strike, according to two U.S. officials, a Kurdish operative disguised as an Iraqi police officer walked up to the wreckage of Soleimani's vehicle, snapped photographs and quickly obtained a tissue sample for DNA confirmation before walking away and vanishing into the night.

Muhandis and Soleimani were revered by the Shia majority in Iraq. The revelation of Kurdish involvement in Soleimani's death might have harsh consequences for Iraqi Kurds.

If the Kurds were really involved why was this released? Why does it come in a piece that is more or less a recap of already known stuff? What are the motives of those who revealed this?

I for one do not believe those claims.

Who is interested in (re-)launching an ethnic civil war in Iraq?


The Yahoo piece then comes to the consequences of the attack:

Iran reacted with predictable fury to Soleimani's killing, lobbing dozens of ballistic missiles at two U.S. bases in Iraq. Though no one was killed, Pentagon officials later said more than 100 service personnel were diagnosed with traumatic brain injury.

But the rocket attack was just a "slap in the face," said Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, and did not represent Iran's full retaliation for the killing. U.S. officials and experts believe that Iran may eventually attempt a high-profile assassination of a senior U.S. official or a terrorist attack aimed at a U.S. facility.

The 'U.S. officials and experts' believe that they are way more important than they really are. Iran's Supreme Leader Ajatollah Khamenei, who was extremely near to Soleimani , has let it known that there is no one of Soleimani's caliber in U.S. ranks who could be taken out as revenge. There will be no Iranian assassination campaign of U.S. politicians or military leader.

Fears of such only shows that the former Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, one of the initiator of the assassination of Soleimani, is a craven milquetoast :

Tucked into the appropriations bill signed by President Trump in the final days of 2020 was $15 million set aside to provide protective services to "former or retired senior Department of State officials" who "face a serious and credible threat from a foreign power or the agent of a foreign power" because of the work they did while in office.

The real second part of the revenge that is still coming was announced by Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah:

What do we mean by just punishment? Some are saying this must be someone of the same level as Qassem Soleimani - like Chairman of Joint Chiefs, head of @CENTCOM, but there is no one on Soleimani or Muhandis' level. Soleimani's shoe is worth more than Trump's head, so there's no one I can point to to say this is the person we can target.

Just punishment therefore means American military presence in the region, U.S. military bases, U.S. military ships, every American officer and soldier in our countries and regions. The U.S. military is the one who killed Soleimani and Muhandis, and they will pay the price. This is the equation.
...
The response to the blood of Soleimani and Al-Muhandis must be expulsion of all U.S, forces from the region.

General Esmail Qaani, Soleimani's replacement as commander of the Quds Brigade, confirmed Nasrallah's statement:

Going Underground on RT @Underground_RT - 00:14 UTC · Jan 6, 2020

Esmail Qaani, the new leader of Iran's IRGC Quds Force:
"Our promise is to continue the path of martyr Soleimani. Due to the martyrdom of #Soleimani, our promise will be the expulsion of the US from the region in different steps."

These are not empty threats but a military project that will play out over the next years. I would not bet on the U.S. as the winner of that war.

Posted by b on May 8, 2021 at 15:50 UTC | Permalink

The Kurds have long been associated with Israeli secret agencies, and Israeli bribes-from-aid to US politicians are the determinant of US ME policy. So Israel via Yahoo news was likely celebrating to provoke Iran or for similar purposes.


Jen , May 8 2021 20:56 utc | 25

The Yahoo article sure is a real slap in the face to the Kurdish forces working with the West in occupying northern Iraq and NE Syria. No doubt it was written to deflect Iraqi and Iranian anger away from Western interference in the Middle East towards the Kurds to get a sectarian war going to justify continued Western occupation and meddling.

Who are Jack Murphy and Zach Dorfman anyway? From what I could find of Dorfman on search engines, he is a writer employed or associated with the Aspen Institute headquartered in Washington DC writing on cyber-security topics. That might suggest he and the other writer were fed this information or farrago about Kurdish involvement in Soleymani's assassination from the usual anonymous sources.

Jen , May 8 2021 21:16 utc | 27

Question @ 6:

Read that paragraph from the MoA article carefully and understand that such an undertaking means ridding the entire Middle Eastern region of all US military interference. This surely includes forcing the US to leave Saudi Arabia and other ME nations with their heads stuck in the US backside.

Understand also that other Western nations also have forces, mercenaries and "advisors" in the Middle East and their removal from the region is just as much important but less urgent. If the chief bully can be thrown out first, its minions will follow like the craven cowards they are. No doubt the British and the French will try to keep a toehold in the region through proxy forces but whether those govts have the backbone to keep going is another question.

[May 03, 2021] Some other countries of the world just aren't swallowing Bidan and his handlers worshipping of all things non-white..

May 03, 2021 | www.unz.com

Defender , says: April 30, 2021 at 8:51 am GMT • 18.6 hours ago

Some other countries of the world just aren't swallowing Bidan and his handlers worshipping of all things non-white..

https://www.youtube.com/embed/CBS8TYLO_A0?feature=oembed

BorisMay , says: April 30, 2021 at 1:38 pm GMT • 13.8 hours ago
@Chris Moore to eternal servitude as debt slaves.

*** Please Note: Russia is not weak considering that it has the ability to nuke America in to ashes within 30 minutes, or any other bunch of idiots that chooses to step over her red lines. Okay the US has 350 million people compared to 150 million Russians, but the US is irrevocably divided and Russia is fully united even the Muslim minority is united with the State in Russia. A divided house can not stand no man can serve two masters. On top of that the US has no moral values whereas Russia is a Christian country where marriage is between a man and a woman, by State law. Biden can fly all the queer flags he likes but he still leads a divided nation with a corrupt State comprised of dual passport holders, amoral materialists and deluded mentally challenged idiots like Waters and Pelosi.

[May 03, 2021] US generals to the Director of DNA: Either supply the facts or shut up

May 03, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Stonebird , Apr 28 2021 18:38 utc | 18

These folks have had it with the constant stream of baseless propaganda U.S. intelligence is spilling over the world:

Dear Director of National Intelligence,

we, the the 4-star Generals leading U.S. regional commands all over the world, are increasingly concerned with about the lack of evidence for claims you make about our opponents.

We, as true believers, do not doubt whatever judgment you make about the harmful activities of Russia, Iran and China. However - our allies and partners do not yet subscribe to the bliss of ignorance. They keep asking us for facts that support those judgments

Unfortunately, we have none that we could provide.

You say that Russia thought to manipulate Trump allies and to smear Biden , that Russia and Iran aimed to sway the 2020 election through covert campaigns and that China runs covert operations to influence members of Congress .

Media reports have appeared in which 'intelligence sources' claim that Russia, China and Iran are all paying bounties to the Taliban for killing U.S. soldiers. Fortunately no soldier got hurt by those rumors.

Our allies and partners read those and other reports and ask us for evidence. They want to know how exactly Russia, Iran and China are doing these things.

They, of course, hope to learn from our experience to protect their own countries.

Currently we are not able to provide them with such information. Your people keep telling our that all of it is SECRET.

We therefore ask you to declassify the facts that support your judgments. *

Sincerely

The Generals

----
PS: * Either that or shut the fuck up.

Look, The generals and the intelligence agencies haven't won a war for a long time. So now they will fight each other . At least ONE of them will win this time ! Success.

[May 03, 2021] Why George W. Bush Was a Horrible President

Notable quotes:
"... By Lambert Strether of Corrente. ..."
"... Don't deny W his agency. As I followed the horrors, from Vietnam to Iraq to Syria to Central America and elsewhere, the full list that was visible anyway, of the W regime, it sure seemed clear to me that W played the bumbling yuk very well. ..."
"... the dumb cluck thing was mostly an act. he was deliberately talking that way not only to paint himself as stupid, but also because those in power assume we must be spoken to as children (they've studied president speeches since JFK have decreased from high school level to 6th grade in complexity, word usage etc). ..."
"... In our kayfabe duoparty system, it also gave the "opposing" side the "W is a Chimp" talking point to harp on (dress rehearsal for the same stuff against tRUMP). ..."
"... Abu Ghraib was not an anomaly, Con Son Island served the same purpose during the Vietnam War. When I was young I was proud to be an American Citizen, we had the Bill of Rights, the Military was controlled by Civilians and their oath was to defend the Constitution from "All Enemies Foreign and Domestic.". I have been horrified, ashamed and deeply saddened by what has happened in the US over the last half Century or so. ..."
"... I view the 2008 election as the major failing-to-turn-back-when-we-had-the-chance point. Obama could have undone Bush's worst policies, but instead he cemented them into place forever. ..."
"... Our elites are both stupid and evil, but Bush is more stupid and Obama is more evil ..."
"... you are 40 years off the mark-It was Reagan who's brand of avuncular fascism, celebrating stupidity as a virtue who paved the way. ..."
"... albrt: I agree with your take. Obama campaigned as an anti-war candidate (at least wrt Iraq). He then proceeded to "˜surge' into Afghanistan and added Libya, Syria, and Yemen, to the regime change mix. Never a thought given to prosecuting the war criminals: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Tenet, Feith, Wolfowitz, Powell, et al; much less even consider a truth and reconciliation commission. ..."
"... Obama was equally complicit in this never ending horror show and, I am hopeful, history will hold him equally accountable. ..."
"... Is it not written that Margaret Thatcher's true legacy was Tony Blair? If that is true, then the true legacy of Dubya is Obama. ..."
"... As far as harm that George W. Bush did and launched (illegal/immoral wars, domestic surveillance, tax cuts for the wealthy"¦.) Bush should take the award. ..."
"... When Obama deliberately and with malice aforethought turned all the admitted (and in fact proudly self-avowed) war-criminals and criminals-against humanity loose, free and clear under "look forward not back", he routinised and permanentized the up-to-that-very-minute irregular and extra-constitutional novel methods of governance and practice which the Cheney-Bush Administration had pioneered. Obama deliberately made torture, aggressive war, etc. "legal" when America does it and "permanent" as long as America is strong enough to keep doing it. ..."
"... The Greatest Disappointment in History. No-one else comes close, in terms of the sheer numbers of people globally who he let down. The Bait and Switch King, The Great Betrayer. After the nightmare of Bush we got him and his "˜eloquence', pulling the wool over the dazzled sheeple's eyes while he entrenched the 1% and the neocon MI complex, his paymasters, and sponsors for his entry into the overclass. ..."
"... Lambert, you forgot this one" Biden presents Liberty Medal to George and Laura Bush Instead of a war crimes trial at the Hague, Biden gave him a (family bloging) medal! ..."
"... A Clean Break: A New Strategy For Securing the Realm ..."
"... It's really sickening to see George W being "rehabilitated" and made to look like some kind of a senior statesman, when he should be hauled off to the Hague to spend the rest of his life in prison for war crimes. For me, his election in 2000 was mostly the beginning of the end of the rule of law in this country. As a result, the U.S. has Guantanamo, the Patriot Act, in addition to all the other events mentioned, and don't forget he tried to privatize Social Security. ..."
"... and welfare "reform", the crime bill. Talk of privatizing SSI made commonplace acceptable. Repeal of Glass Steagall. They were going to do to healthcare what oBLAM succeeded at, 20 years before him but got sidelined by Lewinsky's blue dress stains. Clintoon is a criminal and so is his spouse, and he did his share of damage everywhere. people who think otherwise might be looking back with nostalgia on a simpler (pre 9.11) time. ..."
"... Jeff Wells wrote some interesting essays in the Bush years, though many of his connections were a bit too far out, even for me. He had some striking collateral evidence for his concept of High Weirdness in high places "" sex abuse, torture and magick figuring prominently, juxtaposed with political skulduggery, and financial crimes and misdemeanours. The Gannon/Guckert affair, the Franklin ring and Gary Caradori were the sort of thing that laced his quite penetrating analyses of events. Facts were jumping off points for speculations, but given our lack of facts his imaginings were a nourishment of sorts, though often very troubling indeed. ..."
"... People have been brain washed by the glossed over history of the US they are taught. It gives people a false belief of our past. The phrase American Exceptionalism comes to mind. It is a myth. The real history is out there but you have to search it out. From it's beginning continuing to today our government is responsible for bad behavior. ..."
"... We Americans have this thing called exceptionalism which among other things creates the idea that our government is more virtuous than others. ..."
"... We are not at Hitler/Stalin/Mao standards ""yet"" but who's to say that could never happen here? One of the bafflements of the 20th century was how a civilized people descended into the dark barbarism of Nazi Germany. ..."
"... Noam Chomsky observed some thirty years ago that if the Nuremberg standards were applied to all the post-war American Presidents, then all of them would hang. ..."
"... We have such a dismal record. Little George was the most audacious of all our criminal presidents, but he has plenty of company. My question is now, looking back, why was the USA incapable of organizing a peaceful world after WW2? I start there. 1945. ..."
May 03, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on April 25, 2021 by Lambert Strether

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Recently, the political class has been working hard to rehabilitate George W. Bush into an elder statesman, no doubt to continue the liberal Democrat conversion of suburban Republicans, with headlines like " George Bush reborn as the nation's grandfather " (the London Sunday Times, but you know it will migrate over here), " George W Bush is back "" but not all appreciate his new progressive image " (Guardian), " Bush calls on Congress to tone down "˜harsh rhetoric' about immigration " (CNN), and "George W Bush reveals who he voted for in 2020 election "" and it wasn't Biden or Trump " (the Independent. Bush wrote in Condaleeza Rice, who Exxon once named a tanker for). I could go on. But I won't. These stories from major outlets seem to be erasing early coverage like " The 7 worst moments of George W. Bush's presidency " (WaPo, 2013), " The blood on George W Bush's hands will never dry. Don't glorify this man " (The Guardian, 2017), " Reminder: George W. Bush Is Still Very, Very Bad " (Vice, 2018), " Seth Meyers: Don't Let Trump Make You Forget How Awful George W. Bush Was " (Vanity Fair, 2020), and " We Shouldn't Have to Remind People George W. Bush Was a Terrible President : (Jacobin, 2020). That's unfortunate, because George W. Bush (hereafter "Bush"; the "W" distinguishes him from his spook Yankee patrician Dad, oil bidnessman George H.W. Bush). As with so much else that is fetid in the miasmic air of our current liberal Democrat dispensation, Bush's rehabilitation begins with the Obamas, in this case Michelle Obama, in this iconic photo:

(The backstory: " Michelle Obama Reveals What Really Happened During Her Sweet Exchange With George W. Bush ," and "Michelle Obama: George W. Bush is "˜my partner in crime'[1] and "˜I love him to death' ").

Bush became President in the year 2000. That was "" let me break out my calculator "" 2021 "" 2000 = 21 years ago. It occurs to me that our younger readers, born in 2000, or even 1990, may not know how genuinely horrid Bush was, as President.

I was blogging even back then, and I remember how horrid Bush was; certainly worse than Trump, at least for Trump's first three years in office, until the Covid pandemic. To convey the full horror of the Bush years would not a series of posts, but a book. The entire experience was wretched and shameful.

Of the many horrors of the Bush years, I will pick three. (I am omitting many, many others, including Hurricane Katrina , the Plame Affair , Medicare Part D, the Cheney Energy Task Force , that time Dick Cheney shot an old man in the face , Bush's missing Texas Air National Guard records , Bush gaslighting the 2004 Republican National Convention with terror alerts, and on and on and on. And I didn't even get to 9/11, " You've covered your ass ," WMDs, and the AUMF. Sorry. It's exhausting.) I'm afraid my recounting of these incidents will be sketchy: I lived and blogged in them, and the memories of the horror well up in such volume and detail that I lose control of the material. Not only that, there was an actual, functioning blogosphere at that time, which did great work, but unfortunately most of that work has succumbed to link rot. And my memory of events two decades ago is not as strong as it could be.

The White House Iraq Group

Here I will rely on excerpts from Colonel Sam Gardiner's (PDF) "Truth from These Podia: Summary of a Study of Strategic Influence, Perception Management, Strategic Information Warfare and Strategic Psychological Operations in Gulf II" (2003), whose introduction has been saved from link rot by the National Security Archive and a full version by the University of Leeds . I would bet, long forgotten even by many of those who blogged through those times. ("Gulf II" is what we refer to as the "War in Iraq.") Quoting from the full version:

You will see in my analysis and comments that I do not accept the notion that the first casualty of war is truth. I think we have to have a higher standard. In the most basic sense, Washington and London did not trust the peoples of their democracies to come to right decisions. Truth became a casualty. When truth is a casualty, democracy receives collateral damage.

Seems familiar. (Gardiner's report can be read as a brilliant media critique; it's really worth sitting down with a cup of coffee and reading it all.)[2] More:

My research suggests there were over 50 stories manufactured or at least engineered that distorted the picture of Gulf II for the American and British people . I'll cover most in this report. At the end, I will also describe some stories that seem as if they were part of the strategic influence campaign although the evidence is only circumstantial.

What becomes important is not each story taken individually. If that were the case, it would probably seem only more of the same. If you were to look at them one at a time, you could conclude, "Okay we sort of knew that was happening." It is the pattern that becomes important. It's the summary of everything. To use a phrase often heard during the war, it's the mosaic. Recognizing I said I wouldn't exaggerate, it would not be an exaggeration to say the people of the United States and UK can find out more about the contents of a can of soup they buy than the contents of the can of worms they bought with the 2003 war in the Gulf.

The White House was, naturally, at the center of the operation:

One way to view how the US Government was organized to do the strategic communications effort before, during and after the war is to use the chart that was used by the Assistant Deputy Director for Information Operations. The center is the White House Office of Global Communications, the organization originally created by Karen Hughes as the Coalition Information Office. The White House is at the center of the strategic communications process"¦.

Handy chart:

And:

Inside the White House there was an Iraq Group that did policy direction and then the Office of Global Communications itself.

Membership of the White House Iraq Group:

So, in 2020 Bush's write-in vote for President was Condi Rice, the [x] Black [x] woman who helped run a domestic disinformation campaign for him in 2003, to sell the Iraq War to the American people. Isn't that"¦. sweet?

Of course, I was very naive at that point. I had come up as a Democrat, and my first real political engagement was the Clinton impeachment. Back in 2003, I was amazed to discover that there was a White House operation that was planting fake stories in the press "" and that I had been playing whackamole on them. At a higher level, I was disturbed that "Washington and London did not trust the peoples of their democracies to come to right decisions." Now it all seems perfectly normal, which is sad.

Torture at Abu Ghraib

There are a lot of images of our torture prison in Iraq, Abu Ghraib. This one ( via ) is not the most famous , but to me it is the most shocking:

What kind of country sets dogs on a naked prisoner? Well, my kind of country, apparently. (Later, I remember discussing politics with somebody who came from a country that might be considered less governed by the rule of law than my own, and they said: "Abu Ghraib. You have nothing to say." And they were right.)

For those who came in late, here's a snapshot (the detail of the story is in fact overwhelming, and I also have pity for the poor shlubs the brass tossed into that hellhole[3].) From the Los Angeles Times, " Few have faced consequences for abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq " (2015):

[A] 44-year-old Al Jazeera reporter named Salah Ejaili, said in a phone interview from Qatar that he was arrested in 2003 while covering an explosion in the Iraqi province of Diyala. He was held at Abu Ghraib for 48 days after six days in another facility, he said.

"Most of the pictures that came out in 2004, I saw that firsthand "" the human pyramid where men were stacked up naked on top of each other, people pulled around on leashes," he said in the interview, with one of his attorneys translating. "I used to hear loud screams during the torture sessions."

Ejaili says he was beaten, left naked and exposed to the elements for long periods, and left in solitary confinement, among other acts.

"When people look at others who are naked, they feel like they're animals in a zoo, in addition to being termed as criminals and as terrorists," he said. "That had a very strong psychological impact."

The plaintiffs also say they suffered electric shocks; deprivation of food, water and oxygen; sexual abuse; threats from dogs; beatings; and sensory deprivation.

Taha Yaseen Arraq Rashid, a laborer, says he was sexually abused by a woman while he was cuffed and shackled, and also that he was forced to watch a female prisoner's rape.

Ejaili said that his face was often covered during interrogations, making it difficult for him to identify those involved, but that he was able to notice that many of the interrogators who entered the facility wore civilian clothing.

His attorneys, citing military investigations into abuses at Abu Ghraib and other evidence, say the contractors took control of the prison and issued orders to uniformed military.

"Abu Ghraib was pretty chaotic," said Baher Azmy, legal director for the Center for Constitutional Rights, which brought suits against CACI and L-3 Services. "They were involved in a conspiracy with the military police to abuse our clients.""¦. Eleven U.S. soldiers were convicted in military trials of crimes related to the humiliation and abuse of the prisoners.

(So Abu Ghraib is a privatization story, too. Oddly, whoever signed the contract never ended up in court.) All this seemed pretty shocking then. But now we know that the Chicago Police Department ran a torture site at Homan Square while Rahm Emanuel, Obama's Chief of Staff, was Mayor , so perhaps this is all perfectly normal too.

Warrantless Surveillance and the Destruction of the Fourth Amendment

Here is the wording of the Fourth Amendment :

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers , and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

If our legal system had the slightest shred of integrity, it would be obvious to the Courts, as it is to a six-old-child, that what we laughingly call our "personal" computers and cellphones contain "paper," not in the tediously literal sense of a physical material made from wood fibre, but in the sense of content . Bits and bytes are 20th Century paper, stored on silicon and hard disk platters. Of course a warrant should be needed to read what's on my phone, ffs.

That Fourth Amendment common sense did not prevail is IMNSHO due in large part to Bush's program of warrantless surveillance, put in place as part of the Global War on Terror. Here again, the complexity is overwhelming and took several years to unravel. I'm afraid I have to quote Wikipedia on this one :

A week after the 9/11 attacks, Congress passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists (AUMF), which inaugurated the "War on Terror". It later featured heavily in arguments over the NSA program.

Soon after the 9/11 attacks President Bush established the President's Surveillance Program. As part of the program, the Terrorist Surveillance Program was established pursuant to an executive order that authorized the NSA to surveil certain telephone calls without obtaining a warrant (see 50 U.S.C. § 1802 50 U.S.C. § 1809). The complete details of the executive order are not public, but according to administration statements, the authorization covers communication originating overseas from or to a person suspected of having links to terrorist organizations or their affiliates even when the other party to the call is within the US.

In October 2001, Congress passed the Patriot Act, which granted the administration broad powers to fight terrorism. The Bush administration used these powers to bypass the FISC and directed the NSA to spy directly on al-Qaeda via a new NSA electronic surveillance program. Reports at the time indicate that an "apparently accidental" "glitch" resulted in the interception of communications that were between two U.S. parties. This act was challenged by multiple groups, including Congress, as unconstitutional.

The precise scope of the program remains secret, but the NSA was provided total, unsupervised access to all fiber-optic communications between the nation's largest telecommunication companies' major interconnected locations, encompassing phone conversations, email, Internet activity, text messages and corporate private network traffic .

Of course, all this is perfectly normal today. So much for the Fourth Amendment, good job. (You will note that the telcos had to be in on it; amusingly, the CEO of Qwest, the only telco that refused to participate, was charged and convicted of insider trading, good job again.) The legal aspects of all this are insanely complex, but as you see from my introduction, they should be simple.

Conclusion

Here's a video of the Iraqi (now in Parliament) who threw shoes at Bush (who got off lightly, all things considered):

https://www.youtube.com/embed/OM3Z_Kskl_U

We should all be throwing shoes at Bush, seriously if not literally. We should not be accepting candy from him. We should not be treating him as an elder statesman. Or a "partner in crime." We should not be admiring his paintings. Bush ran a bad, bad, bad administration and we are living with the consequences of his badness today. Bush is a bad man. We are ruled by bad people. Tomorrow, Obama!

NOTES

[1] Indeed.

[2] For example, I vividly remember playing whack-a-mole as a blogger with the following WMD stories: Drones, weapons labs, WMD cluster bombs, Scuds, nuclear materials from Niger, aluminum tubes, and dirty bombs. They one and all fell apart on close inspection. And they were only a small part of the operation, as Gardiner shows in detail.

[3] My personal speculation is that Dick Cheney had a direct feed from the Abu Ghraib torture chambers to the White House, and watched the proceedings live. Some of the soldiers burned images of torture onto CDs as trophies, and the prison also had a server, whose connectivity was very conveniently not revealed by the judge in a lawsuit I dimly remember being brought in Germany. So it goes.


flora , April 25, 2021 at 6:46 pm

Does anyone believe that W, son of H. W. Bush, H. W. son of Senator Prescott Bush, would have been been pres without that familial lineage and its important govt connections? The pity is W wasn't smart enough to grasp world politics and the US's importance as an accepted fulcrum in same beyond his momentary wants. imo. Brent Scowcroft and others warned him off his vain pursuits. The word "squander" come to mind, though I wish it did not.

flora , April 25, 2021 at 7:43 pm

See for example Kevin Phillips' book American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush . ( Kevin Phillips is a great modernist American historian, imo, who saw the rise of Nixon before anyone else.)

Teejay , April 27, 2021 at 10:16 am

" saw the rise of Nixon"? Phillips worked on the '68 campaign.

JTMcPhee , April 25, 2021 at 8:12 pm

Don't deny W his agency. As I followed the horrors, from Vietnam to Iraq to Syria to Central America and elsewhere, the full list that was visible anyway, of the W regime, it sure seemed clear to me that W played the bumbling yuk very well.

He did what he set out to do, no doubt with careful guidance from that sh!t of a father (magically turned into a laid-in-state "statesman") and mother-of-string-of-pearls, and of course Cheney and the rest of the corpo-gov policy gang.

The Consent Manufacturers are whitewashing an evil man and his slicker but equally evil successor and his glamorous spouse.

Helluva job, Georgie! Full marks for kicking the world a long way down a dark road.

anon y'mouse , April 26, 2021 at 12:24 pm

the dumb cluck thing was mostly an act. he was deliberately talking that way not only to paint himself as stupid, but also because those in power assume we must be spoken to as children (they've studied president speeches since JFK have decreased from high school level to 6th grade in complexity, word usage etc).

see Pelosi's daughter's film of his campaign trail. He's no Angel Merkel, but sly enough for politics in this country and most third world corruptocracies.

In our kayfabe duoparty system, it also gave the "opposing" side the "W is a Chimp" talking point to harp on (dress rehearsal for the same stuff against tRUMP).

Tom Stone , April 25, 2021 at 6:49 pm

Abu Ghraib was not an anomaly, Con Son Island served the same purpose during the Vietnam War. When I was young I was proud to be an American Citizen, we had the Bill of Rights, the Military was controlled by Civilians and their oath was to defend the Constitution from "All Enemies Foreign and Domestic.". I have been horrified, ashamed and deeply saddened by what has happened in the US over the last half Century or so.
And it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

ambrit , April 25, 2021 at 7:00 pm

You actually "˜blogged' back when we had to use punch cards to program our PCs? How oh how did you clamber on up out of "the Well" so many times a week? I am somewhat convinced that the Hollerith Cards Protocol was the origin of the Twitter 140 character limit.

I also "lived through" the "˜Reign of "W""˜ and see it as a Time of Prophecy. Most of the things we are now staring down the barrel of were effectuated then.

I may be foilly, (may be? who am I kidding,) but I view the 2000 election as a major turning point of American history.

albrt , April 25, 2021 at 7:20 pm

I view the 2008 election as the major failing-to-turn-back-when-we-had-the-chance point. Obama could have undone Bush's worst policies, but instead he cemented them into place forever.

Our elites are both stupid and evil, but Bush is more stupid and Obama is more evil.

drumlin woodchuckles , April 26, 2021 at 12:08 am

So was the 1963 " election at Dealey Plaza". Very pivotal.

Susan the other , April 26, 2021 at 1:56 pm

I go with JFK's assassination too. But little George is a close second.

Paul Whalen , April 26, 2021 at 6:42 am

you are 40 years off the mark-It was Reagan who's brand of avuncular fascism, celebrating stupidity as a virtue who paved the way.

Jason , April 26, 2021 at 6:59 am

All the pomp and circumstance surrounding the personage of the President serves to conceal the people behind the scenes who vetted and groomed said president, and actively advise him while in office. It's in this way that a Jimmy Carter may be viewed as a gentle soul so far as presidents go, but he was actually vetted by Brzezinski on behalf of the CFR goons. Once in office he was then advised by Brzezinski and Volcker, among other assorted lunatics. And he gladly took their advice the entire time. That's how he came to be president in the first place. And so it goes.

Ashburn , April 26, 2021 at 4:29 pm

albrt: I agree with your take. Obama campaigned as an anti-war candidate (at least wrt Iraq). He then proceeded to "˜surge' into Afghanistan and added Libya, Syria, and Yemen, to the regime change mix. Never a thought given to prosecuting the war criminals: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Tenet, Feith, Wolfowitz, Powell, et al; much less even consider a truth and reconciliation commission.

Obama was equally complicit in this never ending horror show and, I am hopeful, history will hold him equally accountable.

km , April 25, 2021 at 7:19 pm

Is it not written that Margaret Thatcher's true legacy was Tony Blair? If that is true, then the true legacy of Dubya is Obama.

Tom Doak , April 25, 2021 at 7:43 pm

That gives W too much credit. Obama continued the legacy of Cheney.

John Wright , April 25, 2021 at 9:58 pm

Could you explain your view that Obama and Trump are "worse than that" (Bush-Cheney).?

As far as harm that George W. Bush did and launched (illegal/immoral wars, domestic surveillance, tax cuts for the wealthy"¦.) Bush should take the award.

Obama did push for military action in Libya, but at least held back from Syria.

The administrations after Bush "kicked the can down the road" but he initiated the events they simply continued. And Trump did attempt to pull troops back from Bush initiated wars. How is Trump worse than Bush? What are your metrics?

drumlin woodchuckles , April 25, 2021 at 10:04 pm

I am just a commenter here, but I would say that . . .

When Obama deliberately and with malice aforethought turned all the admitted (and in fact proudly self-avowed) war-criminals and criminals-against humanity loose, free and clear under "look forward not back", he routinised and permanentized the up-to-that-very-minute irregular and extra-constitutional novel methods of governance and practice which the Cheney-Bush Administration had pioneered. Obama deliberately made torture, aggressive war, etc. "legal" when America does it and "permanent" as long as America is strong enough to keep doing it.

He did some other things like that which I don't have time to mention right now. Maybe others will beat me to it.

Most of all, by slickly conning or permitting to self-con numbers of people about "hope and change" to come from an Obama Administration, he destroyed all hope of hope. He destroyed hope itself. Hope is not a "thing" any more in this country, thanks to Obama.

He may also have destroyed black politicians' dreams of becoming America's " Second Black President" for several decades to come. Been there, done that. Never Again. But since I am not Black, that is not my problem. That is something Black America can thank Obama for, if they decide to wake up to the fact of that reality.

Of course , if the Evil Countess Draculamala becomes President after Biden, then I guess I will be proven wrong about that particular observation.

tegnost , April 25, 2021 at 10:47 pm

Bush was the set up guy, Obama was the closer

norm de plume , April 26, 2021 at 6:51 am

The Greatest Disappointment in History. No-one else comes close, in terms of the sheer numbers of people globally who he let down. The Bait and Switch King, The Great Betrayer. After the nightmare of Bush we got him and his "˜eloquence', pulling the wool over the dazzled sheeple's eyes while he entrenched the 1% and the neocon MI complex, his paymasters, and sponsors for his entry into the overclass.

Last, does any single person with the possible exception of Hillary Clinton, bear so much responsibility for the election of Trump?

quackery , April 26, 2021 at 7:57 am

When Obama campaigned for president he claimed he wanted to get rid of nuclear weapons. Instead, he upgraded the nuclear arsenal.

Mr Grumpy , April 26, 2021 at 10:28 am

It is ironic that the far right views Obama as the antichrist but they benefited from all of his policies.

Cat Burglar , April 26, 2021 at 11:19 am

Remember that Obama voted in favor of FISAA, the bill that immunized Bush and his flunkies from prosecution for their felony FISA violations, as a senator, not long before the presidential election. It was impossible to make myself vote for him after that.

Hotei , April 25, 2021 at 11:53 pm

Excellent documentation of that lineage here: http://www.obamatheconservative.com/

Norm Norton , April 26, 2021 at 11:14 am

"Is it not written that Margaret Thatcher's true legacy was Tony Blair?" If that is true, then the true legacy of Dubya is Obama."

And for Obama, Trump!

upstater , April 25, 2021 at 7:42 pm

Lambert, you forgot this one" Biden presents Liberty Medal to George and Laura Bush Instead of a war crimes trial at the Hague, Biden gave him a (family bloging) medal!

Jason , April 25, 2021 at 7:51 pm

Thanks Lambert. I'd add that the intelligence being sent to the "White House Iraq Group" was being manufactured by the Office of Special Plans (OSP) which was set up and run by Douglas Feith and Paul Wolfowitz. Following Feith's history and connections alone is a fruitful endeavor for those so inclined.

Among other things, Feith co-authored, along with Richard Perle and David Wurmser, the A Clean Break: A New Strategy For Securing the Realm paper prepared for the prime minister of a certain foreign country. This is back in 1996. Around the same time the PNAC boys were formed by Kagan and Kristol and started selling the same policy prescriptions vis a vis Iraq to the pols and public here.

Feith was also fired from the NSC back in the early 80's for passing classified information to some little country. Fast forward to his OSP days and, lo and behold, his employee Larry Franklin is convicted of the same thing, along with Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman of AIPAC.

That's just a taste of the malfeasance.

John , April 25, 2021 at 8:26 pm

I guess sometimes people need to be reminded that water is wet. The Buddhists say that ignorance is the root poison. True dat. Especially in Amrika.

JTMcPhee , April 25, 2021 at 8:56 pm

This stuff has gone on forever. What amount of ventilation is needed to blow this kind of dung out of the Augean stables of geopolitics? Not much chance of that anyway, given all the incentives and and interests"

Is it luck that Putin and Xi might be a little less monstrous?

Elizabeth , April 25, 2021 at 10:20 pm

It's really sickening to see George W being "rehabilitated" and made to look like some kind of a senior statesman, when he should be hauled off to the Hague to spend the rest of his life in prison for war crimes. For me, his election in 2000 was mostly the beginning of the end of the rule of law in this country. As a result, the U.S. has Guantanamo, the Patriot Act, in addition to all the other events mentioned, and don't forget he tried to privatize Social Security.

His eight years as president, for me, was a horror show. What really bothers me is that he got away with all of it "" and now he's hailed as an eminence gris. I can't help but think that his rehabilitation is to remind us all of how bad Orange Man was "" Obama was just as bad because he cemented everything W did "" and more.

Thanks for the horrible memories.

Joe Hill , April 25, 2021 at 11:02 pm

I understand you disagree with the policies of Mr Bush, but war crimes?

Please describe what charges would be brought against him if you were to prosecute at a war crimes tribunal.

Yves Smith , April 26, 2021 at 3:23 am

That is an assignment, which is a violation of our written site Policies. This applies to reader comments when you could easily find the answer in less than 30 seconds on Google rather than being a jerk and challenging a reader (or even worse, me derivatively) on bogus grounds.

https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/28000/amr510972011en.pdf

Robert Gray , April 26, 2021 at 1:57 am

> For me, [W's] election in 2000 was mostly the beginning of the end of the rule of law in this country.

At this moment I'm writing it is still early days for this thread: there are only 24 comments. In these comments are named many bad people. However, one name that does not (yet) appear is "˜Clinton'. W was a monster as president (and likely remains a monster as a human being) but surely Billy Jeff needn't yield to him in his contempt for the rule of law.

Yves Smith , April 26, 2021 at 2:29 am

I loathe Bill Clinton but nothing he did approaches the Iraq War in the level of damage to the US and many foreign countries"¦.starting with Iraq.

Robert Gray , April 26, 2021 at 3:52 am

Quite right, of course. My comment was specifically in regard to his disdain for and abuse of the rule, and rôle, of law in the American polity, e.g., his perjury > disbarment. Sort of like the famous photograph of Nelson Rockefeller who, while serving as VP, was captured giving the finger to a group of protestors; Clinton also oozed that kind of hubristic impunity.

Alex Cox , April 26, 2021 at 12:01 pm

Regarding Clinton, the damage he caused to his own country and the world was substantial. The destruction of Yugoslavia caused considerable mayhem "" in addition to bombing and breaking apart a sovereign nation, it enabled "liberals" to feel good about war again, and paved the way for the invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, etc.

And the damage done by NAFTA was enormous "" in terms of leading to deaths of despair in both the US and Mexico I suspect NAFTA has a higher domestic "body count" than any of the subsequent forever wars.

anon y'mouse , April 26, 2021 at 12:33 pm

and welfare "reform", the crime bill. Talk of privatizing SSI made commonplace acceptable. Repeal of Glass Steagall. They were going to do to healthcare what oBLAM succeeded at, 20 years before him but got sidelined by Lewinsky's blue dress stains. Clintoon is a criminal and so is his spouse, and he did his share of damage everywhere. people who think otherwise might be looking back with nostalgia on a simpler (pre 9.11) time.

little known covered up crime from his ARK days is the selling of HIV tainted blood (taken from prisoners) to Canada, among other things.

yet another who had credible rape allegations. which damages our image at home and abroad.

tegnost , April 25, 2021 at 10:36 pm

Total Information Awareness https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/homefront/preemption/tia.html

Adm. John Poindexter"¦ https://www.nytimes.com/1990/04/08/us/poindexter-is-found-guilty-of-all-5-criminal-charges-for-iran-contra-cover-up.html
yep, that one"¦

drumlin woodchuckles , April 26, 2021 at 12:14 am

I read that for the very briefest time, somebody or other was selling Total Information Awareness memorabilia with the Total Information Awareness symbol on it. I wish I had thought to buy a Total Information Awareness mug.

I imagine knockoffs and parodies exist, but I am not sure the real thing is findable any more.

Darius , April 25, 2021 at 10:43 pm

After Dennis Rader, the Wichita serial killer, murdered someone, the cops always found his semen on the floor next to the mutilated victim. He got sexual pleasure out of gruesome murder. This is how I always pictured Cheney's attitude toward torture. Well. I tried not to actually picture it.

Kevin Carhart , April 26, 2021 at 12:06 am

Bush also whipped votes for Kavanaugh, during the cuddly years.

https://theweek.com/speedreads/798796/george-w-bush-reportedly-working-phones-kavanaugh

Colonel Smithers , April 26, 2021 at 4:26 am

Thank you, KC.

Kavanaugh accompanied Bush fils on his state visit to the UK. Even then, Kavanaugh was being touted as a future Supreme Court judge.

The Rev Kev , April 26, 2021 at 3:48 am

Talk about your target rich environment. Where do you even start? Where do you begin? A serial business failure, draft dodger, military deserter, drunk driver "" and all that was before he became President. A man so incurious about the world "" just like Trump "" that he never even owned a passport until he actually became President and who never knew that Islam (prior to the Iraq invasion) , for example, was just not one religion but was divided into Sunni and Shia in the same way Christianity is divided into "" mostly "" Protestant and Catholics. But to me he was always the "Frat Boy President". His family always protected him from his many flaws and he never had to grow up like his father had to in WW2. Even as President he never grew into the job, again, just like Trump.

Lambert gives a few good reminders but there were many others and these are just the top of my head. He cared little for the US Constitution and called it nothing more than a goddamn scrap of paper. He officially made the US a torture nation, not only by pretending that US laws did not apply in Guantanamo bay but also aboard US Navy ships for which laws definitely did apply. As part of a movement to make America an oil-fueled hegemony for the 21st century, he invaded Iraq with the firm intention on invading Iran next so that Washington would have a firm grip on the fuel pump of the world. As he said "" "America is addicted to oil." He dropped the ball on 9/11 through over-obsessing on Iraq and in the immediate aftermath sent jets around the country "" when all jets were grounded "" to fly Saudi royalty back to Saudi Arabia before the FBI could interrogate them about all their knowledge of the attack. All this to hide his very deep connections with the Saudis.

I could go on for several more paragraphs but what would be the point? For the neocons he was a great fronts-man to be followed by a even greater one. I sometimes think that if Biden was a "˜real' Republican, then he would have been a great vice-president for Bush. And now the establishment and their trained seals in the media are trying to make him out as "America's Favourite Uncle" or something so that when he dies, he will have the same sort of funeral as John McCain did. And I predict that tens of thousands of veterans around the country will then raise their glasses to him "" and then pour the contents on the ground.

Colonel Smithers , April 26, 2021 at 4:22 am

Thank you, Lambert.

W's rehab continues in the UK MSM, not just the Independent. The worst offenders are probably the Grauniad and Channel 4, both Blairite.

The rehab mirrored the rise of Trump. His lack of interest in war upset these preachy imperialists.

Using Michelle Obama to facilitate the rehab brought id pol into the equation and made it easier. It was remarkable how often the above photo is used in the neo liberal and neo con media.

The Rev Kev , April 26, 2021 at 5:43 am

Thank you, Colonel. That foto is remarkable and I suspect that the origins for the idea for it may lay on the other side of the pond as it seemed so familiar-

https://www.scmp.com/magazines/style/celebrity/article/3110070/netflixs-crown-shows-how-princess-diana-chose-her-own

drumlin woodchuckles , April 26, 2021 at 5:36 am

There is a blog called Rigorous Intuition 2.0. Many of its blogposts are about the Bush period and Bush related subjects and events. ( Many others are not). The sections on 9/11, Iraq, and Katrina probably have the highest percent of Bush-related blogposts, in case one is interested.

norm de plume , April 26, 2021 at 7:26 am

Jeff Wells wrote some interesting essays in the Bush years, though many of his connections were a bit too far out, even for me. He had some striking collateral evidence for his concept of High Weirdness in high places "" sex abuse, torture and magick figuring prominently, juxtaposed with political skulduggery, and financial crimes and misdemeanours. The Gannon/Guckert affair, the Franklin ring and Gary Caradori were the sort of thing that laced his quite penetrating analyses of events. Facts were jumping off points for speculations, but given our lack of facts his imaginings were a nourishment of sorts, though often very troubling indeed.

Tony massey , April 26, 2021 at 1:58 pm

Who needs to make shit up during those years?
The facts"¦the shit he actually did, was glossed over or simply forgotten.
If shit was made up about his sorry ass i didn't bother checking, Sir.
I just assumed it was true.
Bushies destroyed the country. If there's a country in 100 years they'll be paying for those years.
And then came obama and big Mike

jackiebass63 , April 26, 2021 at 6:14 am

People have been brain washed by the glossed over history of the US they are taught. It gives people a false belief of our past. The phrase American Exceptionalism comes to mind. It is a myth. The real history is out there but you have to search it out. From it's beginning continuing to today our government is responsible for bad behavior.

Some scholars like Noam Chomsky write about our real history. Unfortunately most people don't read this material. They are content with our glossed over shining star version of US history that unfortunately continues to be taught in our educational system , starting in elementary school continuing through a 4 year college education. Our system of government is so corrupted , I don't believe it can be fixed.

Jason , April 26, 2021 at 7:17 am

Arguing over degrees of presidential evil. Perfect.

farmboy , April 26, 2021 at 8:03 am

Nixon was rehabbed so he could open China, Kissinger got to keep his mantle. W portrayed by Josh Brolin pretty good take. Nice to see dunking on GW, but the cycle of rehabilitation is due. The question is can he do some good or is there too much mud on his boots. Can't see W as a new Jimmy Carter. Glossing over history begins the moment it's made. Makes me miss LBJ

Carlos Stoll , April 26, 2021 at 9:23 am

Between 1998 and 2000, under the rule of Saddam Hussein, about 1000 prisoners from Abu Ghraib prison were executed and buried in mass graves. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Ghraib_prison How many Abu Ghraib prisoners did the US army execute?

The Rev Kev , April 26, 2021 at 9:48 am

Tell me again how many Iraqis were killed by the US Army because they were doing their own version of "Red Dawn"? And that tens if not hundreds of thousands of Iraqis would still be alive if Saddam was simply left in place. Here is a video to watch while you have a little think about it-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfvFpT-iypw (17:46 mins)

Phil in KC , April 27, 2021 at 8:02 am

We Americans have this thing called exceptionalism which among other things creates the idea that our government is more virtuous than others. It's a useful idea in that it calls us to be different and better than the average nation, and certainly different and better than a cruel dictatorship. But it's also a dangerous idea because too many of us actually believe it to be true. Our atrocities are different in kind, but the scale is the same.

We are not at Hitler/Stalin/Mao standards ""yet"" but who's to say that could never happen here? One of the bafflements of the 20th century was how a civilized people descended into the dark barbarism of Nazi Germany.

Deschain , April 26, 2021 at 10:55 am

"(I am omitting many, many others, including Hurricane Katrina, the Plame Affair, Medicare Part D, the Cheney Energy Task Force, that time Dick Cheney shot an old man in the face, Bush's missing Texas Air National Guard records, Bush gaslighting the 2004 Republican National Convention with terror alerts, and on and on and on. An I didn't even get to 9/11, "You've covered your ass," WMDs, and the AUMF. Sorry. It's exhausting.)"

You left out the housing bubble and the GFC!

Mr Grumpy , April 26, 2021 at 10:58 am

Agree with all the criticism of Bush, Cheney, Obama. On a lighter note, my father-in-law is a high tech oil prospector in W Texas, much of it in Midland, overlapping in time with W. Both members of the Petroleum Club (been there once, very stuffy) and worked out at the same gym. Naturally, my wife asked if he had ever seen W naked. Her dad wouldn't answer, but did turn beet red. We take this as confirmation.

Phil in KC , April 26, 2021 at 12:24 pm

Noam Chomsky observed some thirty years ago that if the Nuremberg standards were applied to all the post-war American Presidents, then all of them would hang. Chomsky could not have imagined the future sequence of presidents from that point forward, but certainly they did not break the chain of criminality. My point is that Bush is not unique in the type of crimes, just the enormity of them. But I also believe he set new standards (lower) for shamelessness. Remember his smirk?

But also remember Obama joking about killing people.

John Wright , April 26, 2021 at 3:25 pm

Remember the comedy skit in which GWB "looked" for Iraq WMD's in the Oval office as part of the White House Correspondent's dinner?

Anyone with any sense of decency would have refused to do this skit, but Bush apparently followed his handlers' advice to get some laughs. That the USA was led by someone of such limited talent for 8 years speaks volumes. Years ago, a New York Times reader wrote that Hillary Clinton is a "well-connected mediocrity".

That comment may be true for ALL of the recent political candidates, from both parties, for a great many years.

LBJ was definitely not mediocre (civil rights/war on poverty), and would be viewed far more favorably, maybe as great, if he had pulled out of Vietnam rather than escalating. Carter in his post presidency has much to recommend. Post presidency Bush is painting his portraits rather than having any retrospective regrets for the harm he did.

Susan the other , April 26, 2021 at 2:27 pm

We have such a dismal record. Little George was the most audacious of all our criminal presidents, but he has plenty of company. My question is now, looking back, why was the USA incapable of organizing a peaceful world after WW2? I start there. 1945. How did our ideology become so inept? And everything I have read about our failures over the years is contrasted with what might have been. We have operated under a system that could not function without extraction. There was always a sell-by date on the cover; one that we tried to ignore. There's no doubt in my mind that it has finally failed completely. Ignominiously. But we have also learned and come to admit certain realities. The most important one is that there can be no more war; civilization cannot survive a modern war. So, ironically, our advanced warfare might well bring a peaceful world without world war. And our advances in science (mostly militarily inspired) will help us now survive.

Sue inSoCal , April 26, 2021 at 4:56 pm

Lambert, thank you for this piece. I won't repeat what others have opined. I've had a real problem with Michelle Obama being the rehabilitation cheerleader leader for Dubya. Imho, we lost all of our rights under the odious Patriot Act, which was pre-written. Russ Feingold was the lone Senate holdout. And I recall Byrd's ire and rant at the tome they had no time to read, but he caved. It went downhill from there. The links below, (apologies, I don't know how to fashion a hot link..) are about Bush's crimes and Amnesty International's exhaustive investigation of them.

I don't have the citation anymore, and I've knocked myself out trying to find it. But there exists a UN human rights commission memo suggesting (?) Obama to do a number of things: hold Bushco accountable for war crimes etc, as well as address what is termed as "systematic racism" in incarceration (and more). I had printed it out a number of years ago and can't find it.)
I'm not buying that Bush fils is any elder statesman. He and his cronies used torture, extreme rendition, hired mercenaries and completely destabilized the Middle East. We still don't have our rights back, and I'm betting the Patriot Act will never go away. (Nor will data mining under the guise of "targeted advertising" and sold to..the military.) The NYT's link is how Obama elected to rug sweep and just move ahead! I look forward to Lambert's take on the Obama administration..

https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/28000/amr510972011en.pdf

https://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/12/us/politics/12inquire.html

techpioneer , April 26, 2021 at 4:56 pm

Finally, someone has the courage to point out the obvious. An excellent article, well researched and nicely nuanced.

I'm disappointed with the remedy proposed, however. Throwing shoes is not enough; it's merely symbolic. The potential crimes committed here, including lying us into war, the extent of torture committed, and practices that violate international military norms and intelligence require a transparent and impartial investigation. One possible venue is the International Criminal Courts in the Hague.

I've been told many times that sunlight can be an effective deterrent against disease.

[May 03, 2021] Why Barack Obama Was a Horrible President

Notable quotes:
"... By Lambert Strether of Corrente . ..."
"... Bloggers on the Bus ..."
"... while on the other hand ..."
"... while on the other hand ..."
"... while on the other hand ..."
"... correct the record ..."
"... I am omitting not prosecuting bankers for accounting control fraud, the HAMP debacle, the mortgage settlement debacle, destroying a generation of black wealth with his housing policies ..."
"... it was VP at BOH ..."
"... I could go on, like many of us, but what’s the point. ..."
"... ‘fresno dan April 27, 2021 at 6:46 am’ ..."
"... ‘Obama in Flint epitomizes the man’ ..."
May 03, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on April 26, 2021 by Lambert Strether

By Lambert Strether of Corrente .

Our political class does not believe that Barack Obama is a candidate for rehabilitation (“ revered by liberals, moderates and even some Republicans “) despite recently pivoting to a consensus that his response to the Great Financial Crash was not all it could be . Even today, it’s almost impossible, get anybody to the left of Joe Lieberman ( Obama’s mentor ) to say that Obama was a bad President. d As Matt Stoller writes in The Boston Review :

Even today you cannot get a single elected left-wing politician to say that Obama was a bad president. Think about that. We cannot have an honest discussion of what it meant to use power when Democrats were in charge, so the language of dissension is polluted with incoherent nonsense. All the grand philosophical musing and Democratic Socialists of America study groups do not matter when not a single elected official outside the Republican Party can make the simple, obvious point that Obama’s policies straight up made things worse.

This was not some capitalist plot. There was a lot of dissent within the Democratic Party about whether it was a good idea to do what Obama did. I was part of a network of people who tried to fight against the foreclosure nonsense and opposed Obama’s handing Puerto Rico over to hedge funds [ here ]. We lost. And the people who made public explanations about these fights lied to cover up for Obama’s bad choices. They lied because some of them are frauds, but also because it was painful not to; Democratic voters and many left-wing voters were and still are deeply hostile to any criticism of Obama. He is beloved; according to Gallup polling, 95 percent of Democrats have a favorable view of him. To the extent there is skepticism, it is framed in ways that avoid admitting that his actions systemically ruined millions of lives.

Well, I’m happy to call Obama a bad President, because he was. Of the many horrors of the Obama years, I will pick three. (I am omitting not prosecuting bankers for accounting control fraud , the HAMP debacle, the mortgage settlement debacle, destroying a generation of black wealth with his housing policies , the kill list disposition matrix , whacking a US citizen with a drone strike and no due process , ObamaCare and not single payer, the ObamaCare website collapsing on launch (with nobody held accountable), not closing Gitmo , the Afghanistan surge , enabling Google’s monopoly on search , creating the conditions for Trump .) All three are chosen to show continuties with the Bush Administration, rather than differences. Again I will beg your indulgence for sketchiness, since 2021 â€" 2008 = 13 years ago, and I’m operating mostly from memory, despite having blogged through those years, just as I blogged through the Bush years. As with Bush, a full accounting would be book-length. Or perhaps there should be a podcast, which would take hundreds of episodes. (Hmm. Not a bad idea. The podcast would have the same title as this post.)

Legitimizing Warrantless Surveillance

You will remember Bush’s program of warrantless surveillance from the post on Bush. The battle against it was conducted under the confusing banner of “FISA Reform†(that is, the battle framed not that Bush’s actions destroyed the Fourth Amendment, but that the process of FISA authorization was not properly followed). Nonetheless, the blogosphere of that time played a big role in that battle (I was there, albeit peripherally) which Eric Boehlert describes well in his book Bloggers on the Bus . Here is a long excerpt (the legislation in the first sentence is FISA Reform). I’ve added the highlighting:

So, where was Obama on “FISA Reform� That depends. From Politifact :

In October 2007, Obama spokesman Bill Burton issued this unequivocal statement to the liberal blog TPM Election Central: “To be clear: Barack will support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies .â€

Key segments of the Democratic base â€" enjoying substantial influence in the run-up to the Democratic presidential primaries â€" were pleased. “This is the kind of leadership we need to see from the Democratic candidates,†MoveOn spokesman Adam Green said at the time.

Obama clinched the Democrat nomination on June 4, 2008. Nomination safely in hand, he changed his mind on “FISA Reformâ€[1] in July:

In October, Obama had vowed to help filibuster an update of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that gave telecommunication companies that had cooperated with President Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program immunity from lawsuits.

The Senate voted Wednesday on the bill updating FISA â€" which had a provision to shield telecommunications companies that had cooperated in the surveillance. Obama joined the 68 other senators who voted to send the bill to the president’s desk.

No filibuster! Putting Fourth Amendment issues aside, if you think that granting corporations retroactive immunity for multiple felonies is a really bad idea from the standpoint of the [genuflects] rule of law, then Obama’s flip-flop â€" let’s just go ahead and call it a betrayal â€" is a bad act by a bad President. (On the bright side, Obama’s pivot looks like an inflection point: Where Democrats won the loyalty or at least the alliance of the intelligence community, which worked so for them in 2016-2020.)

Legitimizing Torture

You will also remember torture under the Bush administration , and there was plenty of it, more than merely Abu Ghaib .[1] One would think that a professor of Constitutional Law â€" as his supporters constantly reminded us Obama was, albeit without mentioning his non-tenure track status â€" would favor prosecuting war crimes , particularly war crimes committed on a political opponent’s watch, in service of a war that professor putatively opposed. No such luck. From ABC’s “The Week†on January 10, 2009 (10 days before Inauguration Day[2]). Watch the weaseling!

STEPHANOPOULOS: The most popular question on your own website is related to this. On change.gov it comes from Bob Fertik of New York City and he asks, “Will you appoint a special prosecutor ideally Patrick Fitzgerald to independently investigate the greatest crimes of the Bush administration, including torture and warrantless wiretapping.â€

OBAMA: We’re still evaluating how we’re going to approach the whole issue of interrogations, detentions, and so forth. And obviously we’re going to be looking at past practices and I don’t believe that anybody is above the law. On the other hand I also have a belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards . And part of my job is to make sure that for example at the CIA, you’ve got extraordinarily talented people who are working very hard to keep Americans safe. I don’t want them to suddenly feel like they’ve got to spend all their time looking over their shoulders and lawyering (ph).

STEPHANOPOULOS: So, no 9/11 commission with Independence subpoena power?

OBAMA: We have not made final decisions, but my instinct is for us to focus on how do we make sure that moving forward we are doing the right thing . That doesn’t mean that if somebody has blatantly [nice qualifier] broken the law, that they are above the law. But my orientation’s going to be to move forward .

STEPHANOPOULOS: So, let me just press that one more time. You’re not ruling out prosecution, but will you tell your Justice Department to investigate these cases and follow the evidence wherever it leads?

OBAMA: What I â€" I think my general view when it comes to my attorney general is he is the people’s lawyer. Eric Holder’s been nominated. His job is to uphold the Constitution and look after the interests of the American people, not to be swayed by my day-to-day politics. So, ultimately, he’s going to be making some calls, but my general belief is that when it comes to national security, what we have to focus on is getting things right in the future, as opposed looking at what we got wrong in the past .

Stephanopolous really should have said “I’ll take that as a ‘no.'†And how is there an “other hand†to “I don’t believe that anybody is above the law� Fast forward to the administration Obama created the conditions for, and we see the results. From the Atlantic, “ Obama’s Legacy of Impunity for Torture “, on the nomination of “ Bloody Gina “:

The 44th president, Barack Obama, bears a measure of responsibility for the recklessness of his successor, in particular Trump’s decision to appoint Gina Haspel, the Central Intelligence Agency’s deputy director, to run the agency itself. Haspel oversaw a black site during the Bush era where at least one detainee, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, was tortured*.

Haspel also then played a role in a decision to destroy recordings of CIA detainees being tortured.

The Obama administration’s actions helped entrench a standard of accountability that stretches from beat cops to CIA officials, one in which breaking the law in the line of duty is unpunishable, but those suspected of a crimeâ€"particularly if black, Muslim, or undocumentedâ€"can be subjected to unspeakable cruelty whether or not they are ultimately guilty.

In a country where a CIA official like Haspel can destroy evidence in order to obstruct a federal investigation, and not only escape prosecution but rise to become the head of the agency, it is no wonder that the president and his allies behave as though the possibility of the law catching up to them is not merely remote, but a kind of absurdity.

So, thanks to Obama, we’ve legitimized torture, and a torturer became the head of the CIA. That was a bad act by a bad President.

Implementing Dick Cheney’s Energy Plan

President Bush, in the second week of his administration, charged his Vice-President, Dick Cheney, with heading up an Energy Task Force . Larry Schweiger describes the result in “ The Climate Crisis and Corrupt Politics: Overcoming the Powerful Forces that Threaten our Future “:

So we have Cheney and Obama working together to create fracking. Obama is, in fact, proud of this:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/YDfHH8zAIUU

“That was me, people.†Setting the Earth on fire for money. Come to think of it, signing the Paris Accords while on the other hand making the US the world’s number one oil producer is a lot like supporting the rule of law while on the other hand “looking forward and not back†when laws are broken, and a lot like promising to filibuster a bill granting retroactive immunity to lawbreaking corporations while on the other hand not doing so.

Conclusion

We are ruled by bad people and have been for years. Madison, of course, expected this, but his system seems to have broken down Federalist 51 :

But the great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department, consists in giving to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachments of the others. The provision for defense must in this, as in all other cases, be made commensurate to the danger of attack. Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.

No longer is ‘the interest of the man … connected with the constitutional rights of the place†(that is, of the office). If that were true, Bloody Gina would not have headed the CIA. It’s not even clear that the government can “control itself,†or “control the governed,†except by propaganda and violence, as our continuing public health debacle shows. I don’t know what the answer to this is, but I do think it begins with the recognition that we are ruled by bad people. Simply replacing “bad people†with “good people†does not have a record of success, since the “good†quickly become “bad.â€[3] How to rebuild our political economy so that we seem to be governed by angels even though we are not is a question that I cannot answer. But it is a question increasingly before us.

NOTES

[1] One of the more amusing aspects of the Bush Administration’s approach to torture was watching them devise euphemisms for it: “ enhanced interrogration ,†“rough treatment,†and “severe tactics.â€

[2] So many happy people.

[3] For example .


njbr , April 26, 2021 at 7:41 pm

If only we were a perfect people with a perfect government with perfect elected leaders making perfect policy.

So much room for failureâ€"a target rich environment for writers.

Who the eff’ would be your perfect president to suit your perfect dreams?

Obamaâ€"not perfect but certainly better than those who came before or after.

Could “Jesus Christ†be elected?

Katiebird , April 26, 2021 at 7:54 pm

Did you read this post (just asking).

(Please delete if my rudeness is unacceptable but I am curious)

ChrisAtRU , April 26, 2021 at 8:36 pm

You’re in the right here, and too polite about it … ;â€")

If I didn’t know better, I’d say our not-so-esteemed OP was trying to correct the record .

#IYKWIM

ChuckTurds , April 27, 2021 at 6:45 am

The OP serves as a fantastic example of the Obomba apologists. The old ‘yeah but imagine if the other guy got elected’ BS. As if that ‘worse’ potential outcome absolves all the wrong doing committed by the actual president.

Alfred , April 26, 2021 at 8:08 pm

“No longer is ‘the interest of the man … connected with the constitutional rights of the place†(that is, of the office). â€

It’s not about perfection. It’s about the complete co-option of power granted by election to liars who basically say, “Whaddya gonna do aboudit?â€

Spring Texan , April 26, 2021 at 8:20 pm

It’s not about perfection, it’s about NOT DOING ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE THINGS and doing and condoning torture.

Alfred , April 26, 2021 at 8:28 pm

ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE THINGS. Yeah, it’s not about perfection, just tone it down a little, FHS. Is that the right tone now?

JTMcPhee , April 26, 2021 at 9:09 pm

Might be so â€" so many of My Fellow ‘Muricans are all happy that it seems to appear that possibly it might be the case that due consideration may be given to exploring what should or could be done to put a frame around some conceptual elements of what could eventually gel into the skeleton of an approach to making some well-considered and gradual changes to the way bidness is conducted in the Empire.

Clear enough?

Got to keep that powder dry…

Charlotte Ritchie , April 26, 2021 at 8:24 pm

If only we had: universal health care like every single other developed country; if only we had a $15 or higher, living wage; if only we had a massive infrastructure project; if only college grads weren’t drowning in student debt; if only we were ending all of our Mideast wars; if only we had paid family and medical leave; if only we had tried to stop climate change; if only we had strong unions and excellent labor policy, etc.
IF ONLY OBAMA had even tried to implement some of these policies! I agree with this author and others of similar views. Obama had more charm than any president, probably ever, but he was a bad president!

JTMcPhee , April 26, 2021 at 9:14 pm

He might still have a second career (after knee-knocking with filthy-rich people) as a televangelist. Some of them are equally slick, using the same rhetorical trickery and symbol manipulation, and they sure drag in the (is it tax-free?) megabucks!

dcblogger , April 27, 2021 at 9:57 am

Obama was the first Democratic President with commanding majorities in the House and Senate. He could have been great. He had a unique opportunity to take meaningful action on Global Warming, something he was elected to do. Instead he increased production of fossil fuels. History will NOT be kind to Obama.

urblintz , April 26, 2021 at 9:19 pm

“Jesus Christ†could never be elected.

He’d be accused of anti-semitism…

by “liberal†Democrats.

BenLA , April 26, 2021 at 11:20 pm

So true,
Can you imagine the hit pieces they would through at jc?
LOL
COMMIE JESUS
haha, too funny

fresno dan , April 27, 2021 at 6:26 am

BenLA
April 26, 2021 at 11:20 pm
https://www.eatliver.com/socialism/

Equitable > Equal , April 28, 2021 at 9:48 am

Nailed it

cocomaan , April 27, 2021 at 8:55 am

Honestly, I’m not seeing much of a difference between GWBush and Obama, in Lambert’s post. War, extra legal killings and black sites, surveillance, bailing out finance, etc.

John Wright , April 27, 2021 at 12:55 pm

The loss of life (assuming there is some USA citizenry moral concern about the deaths/injuries of non-US citizens from the USA initiated wars) and the large expenditure in resources (by some estimates 6 trillion dollars in Afghanistan/Iraq) make the damage Bush did far worse.

The 6 trillion dollars represents a lot of hydrocarbons dug/pumped up and converted into CO2 and could have been diverted into USA infrastructure or world betterment..

Per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Iraq_War

“Population-based studies produce estimates of the number of Iraq War casualties ranging from 151,000 violent deaths as of June 2006 (per the Iraq Family Health Survey) to 1,033,000 excess deaths (per the 2007 Opinion Research Business (ORB) survey).â€

A million Iraqi deaths is about 3% of their population corresponding to about 10 million deaths in the USA’s larger population if a foreign power invaded the USA and behaved similarly.

And the Iraq war was promoted by Bush and cohorts.

I continue to see a LOT of difference between Bush’s actively pursued cumulative damage and Obama’s “kick the can down the road†damage.

There is a LOT of difference in the “cumulative damage balance sheets†of Bush vs Obama.

Neither is admirable, but the prime mover/instigator Bush was far worse.

NotTimothyGeithner , April 27, 2021 at 9:09 am

Since you are comparing Obama to the Christian Messiah, could you offer evidence of his near perfection or is this a you have to take it on faith kind of thing?

Darius , April 27, 2021 at 9:16 am

OK liberal. More perfect would be one who wasn’t so servile to organized money. Also, Lambert left out Obama’s “pivot†to the deficit while unemployment raged. I wanted to tear my hair out. Obama’s biggest crime was his embrace of austerity in the midst of a depression. That’s why Trump was elected.

NotTimothyGeithner , April 27, 2021 at 10:58 am

One reason Obama has to be defended with such ludicrous arguments is the couple of times he wasn’t praised but was actually criticized he did the less wrong thing. Look at our current President, his supporters never bring up the one good thing he did which was force Obama to take a still cowardly stand on gay marriage. They won’t credit Biden with it because shows how accountability works. Biden put Obama on the spot, and Obama was forced to react. Biden didnt offer excuses about secret negotiations. Obama’s desire for celebrity could have been used to make him a reasonable President, but his followers wanted to go to brunch.

Michael Fiorillo , April 27, 2021 at 12:27 pm

It was David Geffen and other wealthy gay Democratic donors who forced Obama’s hand on gay marriage. Not to discount what Biden did â€" one of the few honorable things in a very long career â€" but it was the money that spoke loudest.

lyman alpha blob , April 27, 2021 at 10:51 am

Better than those who came before or after?!?! Don’t you think that’s an awfully low bar?

I mean it’s arguably better to be executed by electric chair than being flayed alive, but I’d still choose neither.

km , April 27, 2021 at 11:29 am

I know, I know, we gotta be realistic and elect smooth war criminals.

Lambert Strether , April 27, 2021 at 11:48 am

> Who the eff’ would be your perfect president to suit your perfect dreams?

Eff DR?

Hyenox , April 27, 2021 at 11:54 am

Obama was not perfect but he sang ‘Amazing Grace’ at a black church so I guess that makes everything OK but he was a convincing fraud and maybe a better salesman than Trump.

KD , April 26, 2021 at 8:32 pm

What if you had a two party system in which each party grandstands on certain issues when out of power and then when elected, did the same damn thing?

Acacia , April 26, 2021 at 8:34 pm

Thanks for this. It’s a substantial entrée for a discussion that is long overdue in many circles (I.e., why Saint Obama was never saintly). I have a question:

No longer is ‘the interest of the man … connected with the constitutional rights of the place†(that is, of the office). If that were true, Bloody Gina would not have headed the CIA.

If the US govt were to conform to this Madisonian vision, would the CIA even exist?

JTMcPhee , April 26, 2021 at 10:04 pm

SOMEbody has to be the “rough men who keep us safe in our ignorant beds at night,†am I right? But there’s “always†been “state security†people who are programmed, apparently in the womb, to come out wanting to emulate Beria and Wild Bill Donovan and the Dulles brothers and Prescott Bush (who “allegedly†orchestrated attempt to remove FDR by a military coup, hoping a really respected Marine General, twice Medal of Honor recipient, would lead the coup and the new “government.†https://allthatsinteresting.com/the-business-plot I haven’t looked, but I wonder if the CIA archives have anything on the subject…

And that General, Smedley Butler, turns out to be a Class Traitor and whistleblower, who published and lectured on the subject of “War Is A Racket:â€

War Is A Racket

WAR is a racket. It always has been.

It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small “inside†group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

In the World War [I] a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows.

How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle? How many of them dug a trench? How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets? How many of them parried a bayonet thrust of an enemy? How many of them were wounded or killed in battle?

Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They just take it. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few â€" the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill.

And what is this bill?

This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations.

For a great many years, as a soldier, I had a suspicion that war was a racket; not until I retired to civil life did I fully realize it. Now that I see the international war clouds gathering, as they are today, I must face it and speak out.

Again they are choosing sides. France and Russia met and agreed to stand side by side. Italy and Austria hurried to make a similar agreement. Poland and Germany cast sheep’s eyes at each other, forgetting for the nonce [one unique occasion], their dispute over the Polish Corridor…. https://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.html

The whole screed is worth reading and studying, including the prescription for how to rein in the looters.

km , April 27, 2021 at 11:32 am

Keep in mind that after the War of 1812, the United States was never invaded, even though for much of its history, it had almost no standing army to speak of and a weak navy.

Yet somehow, the United States survived the Age of Imperialism unscathed, and the fact that we lacked a CIA, an NSA or a Pentagon to tell us that Freedom is Slavery and War is Peace or that we have always been at war with Eastasia didn’t seem to bother us much.

Librarian Guy , April 27, 2021 at 1:27 pm

Not entirely accurate. Don’t forget that in March, 1916, General Pancho Villa ran a quick incursion into Columbus, New Mexico, killing 18, including 8 US soldiers. The Villa forces actually suffered worse casualties under submachine gun fire, but looted a bit, including weapons.

The ultra-imperialst faux “progressive†Woodrow Wilson was encouraged to retaliate and, of course, did so, sending a large force under Pershing into Mexico. Obviously USA empire really expanded beyond “Manifest Destiny†indigenous killing and displacement earlier, under McKinley, and obviously the theft of half of Mexico leading to “New Mexico†did lead to blowback of this kind even a century ago.

The Wikipedia page is pretty solid on the events. In fact, I was previously unaware of a later Mexican troop incursion into Texas in May of ’16. Sometimes the aggrieved bite back. Wiki link at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pancho_Villa_Expedition

ian , April 27, 2021 at 6:40 pm

Is it a screed if it is true and on-point?
I think he called it perfectly.

Telee , April 26, 2021 at 9:00 pm

Don’t forget that Obama tried to cut Social Security with the appointment of Erskin Bowles and Alan Cranston to the †cat food commission,†two politicians who were opposed to social security. Then he bailed out the banks with trillions and no conditions while not helping people stay in their homes led to 9 million losing their homes and this hit blacks the hardest. Meanwhile his justice department didn’t investigate let alone indict any banker for fraud so Obama established the principle that the perpetrators of loan fraud leading to the mortgage crisis are too big to jail. Yes, that’s right, he gave perpetrators of felonies which led to the near collapse of the whole economic system legal immunity! Many of the foreclosed homes were acquired by asset managers who now rent them out.
Yes, and his ACA did not include a public option in spite of campaign promises. The irony here is while he refused to provide a public option to private insurance, there is now a private option to public health insurance, Medicare. Under his watch, private insurance ( Medicare Advantage) has now attracted 40% of the 60 million who qualify for Medicare. So while a majority of Americans want some kind of government health insurance or Medicare for all, we’ll probably end up with the private scam, Medicare Advantage for all. That’s real progress for for profit health insurers. At the same time he promised the pharmaceutical companies that the government would not use its purchasing power to negotiate the price of medicines.
And he promised to let workers gain union representation via a card check but didn’t do it in 8 years.
The hope and change rhetoric amounted to nothing but another betrayal.

Dean , April 26, 2021 at 10:06 pm

But he did all that with style an in a palatable anodyne way.

Darius , April 27, 2021 at 9:21 am

Don’t forget his telegenic family. Such a nice man.

Librarian Guy , April 27, 2021 at 1:30 pm

Like Barack and Michelle’s wonderful friend Li’l Bushy the 2nd, who they tried (half successfully) to politically rehabilitate.

Some of TPTB will assure you that despite his clownish show as Prezinet, George the Lesser is truly kind and even, despite all appearances, “intelligentâ€. Evidently the Obamas feel the same way.

Sue inSoCal , April 27, 2021 at 3:26 pm

Lambert, thank you for this. I shall not argue with you! At all! Criticism of Obama is not acceptable, I have found. My description of him has always been “Bush Lite.†Does anyone recall those little whispers between W and Obama during the transition? I’ve always been skeptical about just “going forward.†Bygone crimes will be bygone crimes. Big crimes. Crimes against humanity. As for the banks, I believe that had a couple of bankers gone to jail for fraud, we may not have ended up with a Trump, because he may not have felt as untouchable.
Finally, as Telee notes, I’m sure what we’ll get as Medicare For All will indeed be the odious Medicare Advantage. No one else has mentioned that or cares to discuss it. I’ve raised the issue on Tarbell. (Crickets.) I doubt we’ll ever rid ourselves of the blood sucking, fraudulent corporate medical complex.

James Dodson , April 27, 2021 at 7:50 pm

agree with you i became disabled again 2002 , medicare advantage was and is a fraud .never signed up FOR IT. last week or 2 weeks ago . people leaving the ( advantage plan ) going back to the real MEDICARE .

Steve Adams , April 28, 2021 at 2:15 am

Dropping mine next go around. You basically gain nothing as hospital administrators have gone during Covid-19 to where the money is, killer intubated mechanical ventilators and ditched the highly effective Hyperbaric oxygen therapy. If this were China they would have been shot already and their organs harvested.

Alternate Delegate , April 26, 2021 at 9:13 pm

Please add to charge sheet:

â€" Selecting “Bankruptcy Bill†Biden as his VP

â€" Betraying workers after promising to pass card check union organizing ( Employee Free Choice Act )

ambrit , April 26, 2021 at 9:51 pm

And to think that I was once taken to task for describing our “Saintly Diverse Chief Executive†of years gone bye as a glorified Lawn Ornament of disreputable Antebellum Southern extraction.
I bring this up as a reminder of how the “times†can change.
It is also a reminder of just how much “soft power†Obama had available to him in the beginning of his term. That he threw that all away is the real crime.
To cut the man some slack, averse as I am to do so, I will observe that he was enmeshed from the beginning in the Clinton Triangulated Democrat Party.

Michaelmas , April 26, 2021 at 10:02 pm

Lambert S: I am omitting not prosecuting bankers for accounting control fraud, the HAMP debacle, the mortgage settlement debacle, destroying a generation of black wealth with his housing policies

You’re wrong to omit those things and you’re too kind to Obama. What happened in 2008 was nothing less than a coup by Wall Street and the financial predator class.

If one goes into the archives as far back as 2005-6, one can find the smarter minds on Wall Street figuring out how they weren’t going to have a replay of FDR and the New Deal when the financial collapse came this time around.

That’s why Bernanke was installed at the Fed in February 2006, and that’s why Obama got more money for his presidential campaign from Wall Street than any previous presidential candidate in history. Wall Street knew what was coming and wanted a front man.

The fact that Obama simultaneously came from their own class â€" his grandmother, who essentially raised him, was president of the Bank of Hawaii â€" and was half-black, so that the masses of American mopes could buy into that and any critics of the coup that he fronted for could be deflected and vilified with cries of “racist, racist,†made Obama ideal.

It was a coup by the financial criminal class, in which they not only evaded punishment but also continued their pillaging and immiseration of the vast mass of Americans. Obama fronted for it.

Michael , April 26, 2021 at 10:29 pm

I agree this was one of the greatest failures of any president ever.
He “unwittingly†destroyed rising black wealth by failing to act. More black misleadership.
By turning a blind eye, he ushered in the institutionalization, from top to bottom, of residential real estate fraud as a legitimate business. The magnitude of today’s unpaid rents fall directly on the man’s shoulders.

I could go on, like many of us, but what’s the point.

BTW, it was VP at BOH

Michaelmas , April 27, 2021 at 12:27 am

it was VP at BOH

Yeah, you’re right.

I could go on, like many of us, but what’s the point.

What’s the point? Well ….

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/payback-s-a-bitch

Kurtismayfield , April 26, 2021 at 10:53 pm

And he got paid very, very well after he left. Which was the whole point of every decision he made.. to get the post bribe.

Darius , April 27, 2021 at 10:54 am

Obama was the consummate courtier. He’s hard-wired to court the favor of the king. Part of his problem as president was the role reversal. He didn’t know what to do with the idea that now people we’re supposed to kiss his butt, not the other way around. He sure did try though with people like Jamie Dimon and Mitch McConnell.

Basil Pesto , April 27, 2021 at 12:45 am

you’re too kind to Obama.

Not something I suspect Lambert is used to hearing!

Telee , April 27, 2021 at 10:02 am

Obama did a great job in exacerbating inequality in the US. The rich have more than recovered from the 2008 debacle while the bulk of the people have still not caught up to pre 2008 levels of income.

Elizabeth , April 26, 2021 at 10:47 pm

Lambert, for all the reasons mentioned in your post, and more too numerous to be mentioned here as a terrible president, his “Terror Tuesdays†was what shook me. His meeting with John Brennan on each Tuesday to decide which “terror†suspect to have droned next was something I’m not likely to ever forget. This went beyond how any civilized, decent human being would act. His statement that, “I’m really good at killing people†was probably the only truth he told.

I never voted for Obama because I thought he was a fraud from the beginning. This country has had horrible presidents since Clinton,(I’m sure there were some before him) but I think Bush/Obama were two of the worst this country has had and have done everlasting damage to â€" in my lifetime. Another thing that struck me about Obama from the beginning was that he had “dead eyes†â€" flat, emotionless eyes..

Acacia , April 27, 2021 at 12:26 am

I also felt he was a fraud from day one. The signs were there, and the alternative media did report on the boatload of donor money he received from Wall St, the health insurance lobby, et al. (I guess we could think of it as a down payment on the Martha’s Vineyard estate), but good liberals voted for him anyway.

Regarding “Terror Tuesdaysâ€, I wonder how many drone strikes Obama approved by phone from the ninth hole of the golf course.

LowellHighlander , April 27, 2021 at 9:29 am

Acacia, thanks for pointing to the alternative media’s reporting on Obama’s taking a boatload of donor money from Wall Street. It was in CounterPunch â€" which, if I remember correctly, was another one of those media entities disparaged by the spooks at “ProporNot†â€" where I read an illuminating article by Ms. Pam Martens. I read this in hard copy, and I believe the edition I read was from February 2008. [And I hope you, Ms. Smith, don’t mind that I plugged a like-minded writer, but I think she should be recognized.] Ms. Martens noted how Obama took advantage of coding of industries (back then, it was the “SIC†code) to dupe the public into thinking that he was not taking Wall Street money. Worked like a charm, as Ms. Martens more-or-less predicted.

I should also say that, as a Veteran, I was quite dismayed by many in the anti-war movement (in which I was active back then, in the Imperial Capital) who fell for Obama, instead of backing Cynthia McKinney. When Obama said he was only against “dumb warsâ€, I instantly interpreted that as a loophole through which a blind person could drive a Mack truck, and yet so many in the movement fell for it. It was a lonely time, to be sure.

km , April 27, 2021 at 11:34 am

I also sensed that Obama was a fraud from the beginning, or if not a fraud, that he would prove to be weak and easily manipulated. I never voted for him, not in 2008 or in 2012.

But people wanted to believe in the man, and for eight years, too many people made excuse after pathetic excuse for the man. Even today, the excuses continue, because people want to badly to believe.

John Wright , April 27, 2021 at 11:55 am

Another gift to Obama was that he was able to claim he was opposed to the Iraq War.

He wasn’t a US Senator at the time, so he did not have to vote yay/nay.

His opposition was limited to a critical speech, which was used as evidence of his opposition of the war.

Obama was an orders of magnitude better conman than Trump. Many in America believed that Trump was a conman, but Obama largely avoided this description.

I know people who still believe Obama wanted and tried to do the right things but was prevented by the “evil†Republicans.

Adolph Reed described Obama’s future behavior very early.

from https://willshetterly.medium.com/adolph-reed-was-the-first-writer-to-see-who-obama-was-991fc1504d19

“Adolph Reed was the first writer to see who Obama was. In 1996, Reed wrote about him in The Village Voice:â€

“In Chicago, for instance, we’ve gotten a foretaste of the new breed of foundation-hatched black communitarian voices; one of them, a smooth Harvard lawyer with impeccable do-good credentials and vacuous-to-repressive neoliberal politics, has won a state senate seat on a base mainly in the liberal foundation and development worlds. His fundamentally bootstrap line was softened by a patina of the rhetoric of authentic community, talk about meeting in kitchens, small-scale solutions to social problems, and the predictable elevation of process over program â€" the point where identity politics converges with old-fashioned middle-class reform in favoring form over substance. I suspect that his ilk is the wave of the future in U.S. black politics, as in Haiti and wherever else the International Monetary Fund has sway. So far the black activist response hasn’t been up to the challenge. We have to do better.â€

albrt , April 26, 2021 at 11:06 pm

If the title said “Barack Obama was a Horrible President†I would agree and the text would support the headline.

But this post and yesterday’s post purported to tell us why we have horrible presidents. So why do we?

Personally, I think it is because the United States is in the process of collapsing. The horribleness of our presidents both confirms that the collapse is happening and ensures that the collapse will continue until the United States no longer exists, probably less than a decade from now.

But I would be very interested in other views on why our presidents are so horrible.

Acacia , April 27, 2021 at 12:36 am

Our vaunted republic has been taken over by a duopoly of corporatists. They carefully vet and choose Presidents from their network of cronies, while pretending it’s the choice of the people. E.g., what else are the superdelegates for? Result: a series of horrible leaders. Trump was an exception in that he slipped around the usual process of vetting and show democracy, like a rat that entered a fancy restaurant via the service entrance, and for that he had to be annihilated.

Jason , April 27, 2021 at 5:47 am

The exception that recently said his greatest accomplishment in office was the corporate tax cuts. Trump merely used their fraudulent ways in his own interest. He out-frauded the frauders by recognizing their game and one-upping them. Yay. As for the rest of us?

Trump was surrounded by and gladly operated in the same morass of financial and corporate shysters and Israel-firsters that the previous administrations were inundated with.

Jason , April 27, 2021 at 6:01 am

Adding, I’d like to preempt right now any thought that this is in any way a defense of Obama, who I despise. It’s simply a reminder that Trump is an absolute con too (obviously).

Punxsutawney , April 27, 2021 at 12:25 am

Let’s not forget Mr. TPP here, who put more energy into trying to sell the democracy destroying TPP and ISDS than he did trying to get the public option into the ACA. Not that they had any intention of doing so. Standing just a stones throw from the outsourced grave of my wife’s career and lecturing us on how wonderful it was going to be, and how we should stop complaining and take our medicine. But what do I know, I’m just an F’n retard. The administration’s term, not mine.

And then there was austerity, the cat food commission, and no doubt his administration’s failures economically helped set the stage for Trump.

WobblyTelomeres , April 27, 2021 at 10:14 am

You left out the Panama Treaty. He did a cake walk on that one. See https://panamapapers.org/

Jackman , April 27, 2021 at 1:03 am

Personally, I think the worst thing Obama did was to rob those who suffered from his dreadful economic policies from the dignity of being able to understand why they had failed, why they suddenly had a lot less, or nothing. All his charm and eloquence was marshaled to make sure that people would never identify the true villains of their collapsing personal narratives. And the media was only too happy to comply, as Obama fluently escorted millions into self-loathing and despair, with nary a shred of hope. Of course, the absence of a single banker conviction was all part of that narrativeâ€"they didn’t do anything wrong, it’s just more complicated than you think, because, well, because you don’t have the sophistication of an investment banker to really understand, and maybe if you went to a better college, or a college at all…… It all created the carcass of civil society that Trump so effectively weaponized with resentment and anger.
And then of course we were all forced to listen to the endless excuses of our friends and colleagues, often good people who had worked hard to elect him, and knew exactly what he had promisedâ€"after all, he’s an effective speaker, no?â€"and now were forced into wild and tortured tales of why he couldn’t, or wouldn’t, or shouldn’t, do all those great things he had said he believed in.
I thought I hated Bush, but I didn’t vote for him, and knew he was a bad guy. But the Obama betrayal? That hit deep, deeper than Bush. He twisted so many of my friends and relatives into raving fools. He normalized nearly every Bush atrocity, and still walks the earth like a great man.
I remember when Bernie first hit the campaign trail in 2015 and began to point very directly to the 1%. You could feel the electricity surge through the population like a lightning bolt, hitting places that had lain dormant for decades. The power of narrative is everything. Obama was the worst, an absolutely abominable President.

Big Tap , April 27, 2021 at 2:41 am

Also Obama opened up the Arctic to oil exploration, full assault on the press by threatening to use the Espionage Act, campaigning to end wars but created around 3-4 new conflicts (bombing of Libya, Syria, and Yemen), and used more armed drones than George W. Bush did.

Lee Too , April 27, 2021 at 2:02 pm

“Obama fluently escorted millions into self-loathing and despairâ€.

This is beautifully said.

I am very late to this discussion, but would like to add that I think of Obama as an example of the Dunning-Krueger effect. That is, he was/is an intellectual flyweight â€" and not so much “educated†as “groomed†â€" and this ENABLED him to be so satisfied with himself.

Brunches with Cats , April 27, 2021 at 2:57 am

The article and comments provide sufficient evidence that Obama was well beyond your (Rose) garden-variety fraud. The clarifying moment for me was his speech in Hiroshima, delivered with heart-rending sincerity and conviction (I was getting choked up even though I could never stand the sound of his voice), all while putting the finishing touches on his $1 trillion nuclear weapons modernization plan. An article in The Diplomat called it irony, “a missed opportunity.†I call it the epitome of cold, calculating evil.
https://thediplomat.com/2016/05/obamas-hiroshima-speech-a-missed-opportunity/

P.S. “President†shouldn’t be capitalized (especially not this one), unless it’s used as a title directly before the executive person’s name.

everydayjoe , April 27, 2021 at 5:00 am

No sitting US President or ex President deserves the Nobel peace price. That says a lot..having said that, Obama’s book also shows the inner workings of his world view…he was conflicted too many a times.

tegnost , April 27, 2021 at 9:42 am

He paid lip service to his conscience.
He resolved all of his conflicts in the same way, in the service of money.
No violence to the social order allowed.
Violence to all the people being screwed by the social order?
…well that’s ok, they need to learn to get in line…

WobblyTelomeres , April 27, 2021 at 3:39 pm

He paid lip service to his conscience that which a sociopath thinks people with consciences have.

FIFY!

The Rev Kev , April 27, 2021 at 5:39 am

Back in 2008 I thought that America had finally caught a break in having Obama come into office as by that stage, George Bush was getting to be downright clownish with his Presidency. The first warning though was just after he had been elected when it came out that his campaign had gotten two advertising awards. It was at that point I remembered the articles trying to warn people that Obama was not who people though he was which I had just assumed at the time were Republican screeds. It did not take long after that for him to show his true colours. The number of crimes that he did, the looting that he allowed are mentioned here in some detail but I thought to take a 10,000 foot view of his Presidency.

When Bill Clinton was President, he really allowed neoliberalism to take over America by having the media and defence corporations to consolidate, removing laws that had been in place since the days of FDR, etc. and it took Wall Street less than a decade to steer America into a ditch because of all this. But during the time following you had George Bush as President who let loose the dogs of the neocons in an attempt to secure American hegemony for the rest of the 21st century but which actually revealed America’s limitations of power and which taught other nations how to fight back against America. Between the destruction of the middle class, the disruption in the world as America caused chaos in one country after another, the militarization of the police, etc. all set rifts into motion at home. So in 2008 the stage was set.

What was critically needed was a reformist President who would bring back law and order to America and the rest of the world. Who would reverse course on the destruction of the world through climate change. Who could develop mature relations with such countries like Russia, China, Cuba, Iran, etc and come to some sort of diplomatic accommodation. One who could take advantage of public feeling and tame Wall Street and put the bankers back in their box. America desperately needed a change of direction before it steered right into the coming iceberg fields. Instead you got Obama who doubled down on the worse of America and put his foot down on the pedal with every fiber of his exceptional soul. The rifts in American now became chasms which resulted in Trump being elected followed by Biden who is now doubling down on everything in an attempt to make America great again.

The one best chance for America to get back on course and reform itself and you had Obama come in and help betray Americans instead to the worse of their own kind â€" and all for his own personal wealth and aggrandizement. History will judge him harshly.

fresno dan , April 27, 2021 at 6:46 am

The Rev Kev
April 27, 2021 at 5:39 am
https://www.quorum.us/data-driven-insights/under-obama-democrats-suffer-largest-loss-in-power-since-eisenhower/
President Obama entered the White House with his party touting a 60 seat majority in the Senate and 257 seat majority in the House. Democrats now hold a 48* seat minority in the Senate and 194 seat minority in the House â€" a net loss of 12 and 64 seats respectively.
In 2009, President Obama’s party controlled both chambers of 27 state legislatures. Eight years later, Democrats control both chambers in only 13 states.
=====================================
Inadvertent…or intended? At best, startling incompetency.

The Rev Kev , April 27, 2021 at 9:03 am

‘fresno dan
April 27, 2021 at 6:46 am’

Actually it was worse than that, dan. Under Obama, the Democrats lost nearly 1,000 State legislator seats as well. Democrat party finances had collapsed too which was why Hillary was able to go in and buy it up before the 2016 elections-

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/1/10/14211994/obama-democrats-downballot

Dwight , April 27, 2021 at 12:43 pm

And now we hear so many complaints about the electoral college, but nothing about how much further Obama put us from the 2/3 of state legislatures necessary to change it. Assuming we even want or need to to do that â€" I think Democrats need to make their case in every state, and Obama purposefully undermined that by rejecting the 50-state strategy.

miningcityguy , April 27, 2021 at 9:50 am

Adolph Reed saw Obama for what he was early in Obama’s career. In 1996 Reed wrote in the Village Voice: †In Chicago, for instance,we’ve gotten a foretaste of the new breed of foundation-hatched black communitarian voices; one of them, a smooth Harvard lawyer with impeccable do-good credentials and vacuous â€" to repressive neoliberal policies, has won a state senate seat on a base mainly in the liberal foundations and development worlds.â€

Michael Fiorillo , April 27, 2021 at 10:25 am

“… you had Obama come in and help betray Americans…â€

Because that’s what he was hired to do.

A quick glimpse at his political career in Chicago, to say nothing of Adolph Reed’s prescient assessment in 1996 (!), should have revealed his duplicity and narcissism. Then, taking Lieberman as his mentor upon entering the Senate should have also told us everything we needed to know.

On a personal level, I can’t bear the sound of his voice, or the banality of his “soaring†rhetoric.

km , April 27, 2021 at 11:36 am

At least you got wise. Lots of people just kept doubling down.

Sound of the Suburbs , April 27, 2021 at 4:32 pm

When the US needed an FDR it got an Obama.

drumlin woodchuckles , May 1, 2021 at 5:36 am

And he will just laugh, as he counts his money.

jackiebass63 , April 27, 2021 at 6:18 am

Presidents are elected on their message to voters. For Obama it was hope and change. Trump won on make America great again. These are great slogans because they say nothing. It is left up to the voter to interpret what it means. I’m a life long registered Democrat.I didn’t vote for Obama either time. This was because I observed Obama during his time in the senate. Obama wasn’t my idea of a real democrat. He was a Wall Street democrat. They are really what used to be called moderate Republicans. As long as monkey trumps everything, we won’t have a government that represents the people.

Jason , April 27, 2021 at 6:38 am

Obama in Flint epitomizes the man. Flint needed Federal aid to help clean their drinking water. Giving these deplorables money they don’t deserve is against elite priorities and would set a bad precedent. Cue Obama, who gladly goes and puts on not one â€" but two â€" separate performances where he delights in faking taking a sip of water. He has the audacity to say “This is not a stunt†as he’s in the middle of performing his show for the people of Flint. He then repeated his performance backstage for a smaller media audience. All of this was done eagerly, without a hint of remorse or conscience.

I’ve actually gotten a few Obamaphiles to at least stop and think for a moment upon viewing his disgusting display in Flint.

The Rev Kev , April 27, 2021 at 6:57 am

‘Obama in Flint epitomizes the man’
Yeah, I think that you have it there. He actually showed what was in his soul in Flint.

Darius , April 27, 2021 at 11:03 am

He did tell them, “I see you.†That’s what liberals say when they’re about to screw you.

Steve Ruis , April 27, 2021 at 8:38 am

I made a similar list to this one, but mine was much longer, when Mr. Obama left office. One disaster you left off, understandable because of your economic and political focus, was, well, Arne Duncan. After writing my first draft, I found I had added the former Secretary of Education’s name to the list three times. The failure of the Obama administration to defend and support public education is a lasting smear on our society.

And his lack of effort to directly help Black people, for fear of seeming to have a bias was also unsupportable. What President doesn’t have a bias or two or twenty?

Jason , April 27, 2021 at 8:57 am

Obama’s Scandals List:

https://obamascandalslist.blogspot.com/2009/10/table-of-contents.html

I believe this was put together by Hugh, who comments frequently at Ian Welsh’ site.

km , April 27, 2021 at 11:38 am

Interesting, as Hugh comes off as a Team D homer.

Jason , April 27, 2021 at 11:48 am

We’re all interesting people.

Librarian Guy , April 27, 2021 at 1:36 pm

I love Welsh’s site, and yes, Hugh is very big on US “humanitarian†interventions. Those swarthy complexioned people living abroad don’t know what’s good for them, but Hugh is very confident that the empire does, despite the historical record.

Jason , April 27, 2021 at 4:21 pm

I don’t like his “humanitarian interventionist†mindset either.

This is a damn good list.

michael hudson , April 27, 2021 at 9:19 am

Well, I always refer to the Obama Depression, from 2008 onward, and we are still in it. There was no recovery. All the GDP growth since 2008 has accrued to only 5% of the population. (Pavlina Tscherneva’s charts)
But we need to go beyond Obama. The problem is the Democratic Party itself. THEY produced him, and Joe Lieberman tutored him on just whom to serve. And he locked in the DNC’s right-wing control (while dismantling local Democratic politics in red states).
In that sense he really was a Republican. But it’s necessary to trace how he wrecked the Democrats.

Darius , April 27, 2021 at 9:31 am

Obama was embarrassed by economic stimulus. His was supposed to be the presidency that established centrist neoliberal austerity and show everyone how great it is. Everyone who mattered, that is. It wasn’t supposed to be cleaning up after a depression. So he had to be dragged into action and almost immediately “pivoted†to the deficit. That eventually gave us Trump.

Noone from Nowheresville , April 27, 2021 at 12:41 pm

Obama was an inspiring 1 percenter. If I recall, the Kennedys were early promoters as well.

Republican / Democrat? Seriously why do we care these days? If Lambert wrote this article from the perspective of the top 5% of the global elite looking at the executive, legislature, and judiciary successes and failings at the federal / state / international levels, how dramatically different would this article be? What would the score cards for Democrat v. Republican look like? How would they overlap and compliment one another?

I suspect Clinton, Bush and Obama would be considered highly excellent executives / politicians if one’s grading standards use the top 5%’s objectives and goals as the guidelines.

We like to say special interests and bribes are the “reason.†If only there were “good†politicians… There are extremely good politicians. Look at all the changes that have happened to our society in the last few decades and how they are accelerating with only minor bumps in the road to said changes.

Until we accept that the political class is part and parcel of the top 5% and treat them as true adversaries, societal changes at a global level will continue on its death cult course.

Just think… if we were to lose half of the global population how that would rise the standard of living. It would certainly solve a lot of global problems even if it created others. Yeah, I really do believe that there are people in positions of power thinking that way.

John Hacker , April 27, 2021 at 10:06 am

Good morning,
I remember before his 100 days were up, he dismantled the grassroots coalition that gave him the Presidency. He is alive, his family are alive. I do not know what i would do. America is a scary place. Sun’s nice in Miami.
Pusillanimously,
John

drumlin woodchuckles , May 1, 2021 at 5:31 am

His personal ambition was to become America’s first billionaire ex-president.

His ambition for his daughters is to elevate them up into the Bush Class. . . . . the High High High global gentry. Martin Luther King’s dream, no doubt.

And Black America , in its millions, is beside itself with worshipful humble servile pride in their Obama.

Donald , April 27, 2021 at 10:07 am

Add Yemen to the list. There was zero excuse for this. Yes, they wanted to reassure the Saudi “ regime†( we never call our scumbag allied governments “ regimesâ€) after the Iranian agreement ( which was one good thing Obama did). But obviously the war would be be long massive crime and that was true from the start. I once saw a YouTube link where John Kirby, a State Department spokesman, was explaining to a Russian reporter that Saudi bombing of civilians was due to an imprecision in the targeting process, while Russian bombing in Syria was a crime. I never get over how amazingly hypocritical people are on this. Of course, our own bombing of Fallujah, Mosul, and Raqqa was every bit as destructive as anything the Russians did in Aleppo.

I found that most liberals I spoke to online and in real life in 2016 didn’t know about Yemen and when I told them, with one or two exceptions they brushed it off or assumed there was some good reasons for it or even used the “ placate the Saudis†justification. Everything has to be run through a partisan filter before judging it as right or wrong. And if Obama was responsible, it couldn’t be that bad.

Michael Carano , April 27, 2021 at 10:53 am

Let us not forget foreign policy: Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Honduras. Even though his Cuba and Iran policy were hits in between the second base and center field, he still only batted below 150 and continually left runners on base.

Susan the other , April 27, 2021 at 11:49 am

It seems like an eternity since Obama took office. Hope and change. I’m forever amazed at how much we learn and change as a community in such short periods of time. We should have a tab, like the Top Ten ideas of the year. Since Obama’s pathetic debacle the country has changed so much it’s hard to even make a list. We are no longer naive politically, we are no longer naive economically, we are watching the military like doves; we are not in denial about our unexceptionalism, we are serious about our overconsumption and the environment, and we don’t seem to even care about political promises; we are now demanding the things we need â€" we know everything went to hell. So maybe it’s hopelessness and change. Because if you have hope you just keep hanging on to the same old crap. When Obama proved to be ineffective, when he wept during his SOTU and asked the electorate to “demonstrate†more for social equality, when he caved to the banks and ruined every spark of hope in America, America did indeed change. Powerful voices came through the fog (think NC here) and there’s no going back.

Phil in KC , April 27, 2021 at 11:53 am

He lost me when he appointed Geitner for Treasury. I shouldn’t say “lost me†so much as “showed me his true character.â€

He was so arrogant that he thought his charm and brilliance would win over rank and file Republicans in the House and Senate. Failed.

He did that one big thingâ€"the ACAâ€"but let Congress mangle and distort the thing so badly. He could have lowered the age of eligibility for Medicare to 55 but for Joe Lieberman, who decided against it.

In retrospect, a Romney win would have been a better outcome in 2012. As we know, Romney is not the “strict conservative†he presented to the Tea Party in order to gain their favor. He would have governed as a New England liberal Republican, ala Rockefeller, perhaps. Instead, we got four more years of neo-liberal mush.

But most damning: “No one is above the law, but on the other hand . . .â€

LawnDart , April 27, 2021 at 12:13 pm

Obama’s words were not simply empty of meaning, their misuse created a vacuum that drew in angst, hopelessness and rage.

I don’t know whom to hold more in contempt, the man or those who enabled him.

LawnDart , April 27, 2021 at 6:29 pm

And I’ll note that directing his DOJ to work hand-in-glove with private equity to shut down the OCCUPY movement appears nowhere on this list.

In light of the recent J6 “coup,†what’s the alternative should peaceful protest no longer be possible?

Sound of the Suburbs , April 27, 2021 at 5:04 pm

I used to live on the surface.
I didn’t really have time to analyse anything in detail, and I got my information from the mainstream media.
Bill Clinton was a good President, and the Republicans were behaving terribly trying to remove him from office.
New Labour were really going to change things in the UK, I thought this was just what the UK needed.
The Iraq war seemed sensible enough; Saddam Hussein was a terrible leader and needed to be removed.

Then I had more time to look at things in more detail.
The more you scratch away at the surface and look underneath, the worse it gets.
The image of Bill Clinton that I had received from the mainstream media gave no indication of some of the awful legislation he passed.
I was firmly behind New Labour when they were in office, but I am now pretty sure they were not who I thought they were.
I was still pretty near the surface when Barack Obama came into office and things did look very hopeful.
I won’t be surprised by any revelations now.

Sound of the Suburbs , April 27, 2021 at 5:17 pm

Ignorance is bliss, but I can’t get back to the surface now.

Anthony K Wikrent , April 28, 2021 at 10:47 am

During Obama’s Presidency, I used to argue that Obama’s terrible policies were not the result of his being malicious or evil, but because he was thoroughly trained and indoctrinated in neo-liberalism. This explains Obama’s awful economic policies, but it does not explain, to my satisfaction, the first two examples Lambert uses â€" surveillance, and torture.

As I have sought for a solution to the problems USA and the world faces, I have since come to also realize that elites are trained â€" not just in USA but all over the world â€" to be ruthless and vindictive. That is how they rise to the top of any organization they are in. I think part of this is captured by Ian Welsh’s argument that managers are taught to make all decisions using cost-benefit analysis to some degree. I think a very large part of it is captured by Thorstein Veblen’s analysis of the ruling Leisure Class. Marxist analysis, I have concluded does not offer much in the way of understanding the psychology of sociopathy that characterizes elites. Veblen offers many insights on this, Marx does not. This is why Marxists cannot explain why actual socialism or communism failed to change human nature, but Veblen can. All other analysts of elites psychopathology since Veblen, including Wolin and Hedges, basically restate what Veblen already wrote a century and a quarter ago.

Another conclusion I have reached from all this searching, inquiring, and pondering, is that the principles of civic republicanism offer workable solutions out of this accelerating vortex of catastrophe. First, civic republicanism demands that the rights and needs of community be given equal, and sometimes greater, weight, than individual liberty, while at the same time demanding the creation and maintenance of institutions devoted to preserving individual liberty. In essence, civil republicanism recognizes and accepts that there are some really bad parts of human nature, and that governments must be instituted to guard against the effects of these. Socialists and communists are just plain wrong in their belief that changing or eliminating property relations and who owns the means of production will result in a better human nature.

Second, civic republicanism demands an active promotion of “the good.†Now, of course, you can debate what “the good is†at any given moment, or for any given society, but this is exactly why public education grounded in classics such as Plato, Euripides, Plutarch, Milton, Shakespeare, is indispensable to self-government and the maintenance of liberty. But to see what I mean about an active promotion of “the good†just look at the life and achievements of Benjamin Franklin, especially the various voluntary, charitable, and political institutions he helped establish and create.

Looking at Obama, I think that is the key element that was missing: the personal determination, which was never inculcated in him through his thorough education in neoliberalism, to do good. Cost benefit analysis was drilled into him, but not a wide-ranging examination and understanding of doing good.

In the end, how a society behaves will be determined by what the members of that society believe. In USA, we have discarded civic republicanism â€" aided and abetted by a wrong-headed leftist insistence that racism and empire were baked into the USA from the beginning â€" and replaced it with the neoliberal insistence that only markets are the true and just arbiter of human affairs, not humans themselves.

drumlin woodchuckles , May 1, 2021 at 5:22 am

The reason you dare not condemn Obama in public is because his worshipful millions of black worshippers will call you racist and will Wokemail and Wokestort you to †take your racist racism against Obama back, you racist.â€

Don’t believe it? Try it and see.

I remember reading about how the black racist comedian Trevor Noah played the racist card against people noting Obama’s corruption. I can’t find the referrence now on my search prevention engines.
So I will just send along this other link about the racist comedian Trevor Noah’s documented racism in another context.
https://thebrag.com/trevor-noah-controversial-remarks-indigenous-women/

[May 03, 2021] US/NATO Troops Patrolling Opium Poppy Fields in Afghanistan

May 03, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , Apr 28 2021 22:44 utc | 29

Hoarsewhisperer #10

Ditto. I am sure the CIA will be grinding the generals as we speak. Even the letter in Politico could well be one of their strategies. I posted a piece in the open thread yesterday from The HILL that was pure propaganda.

USA is not alone in losing guerrilla warfare.

Watch for Biden announcing a 'shake up' of the military command in the next few weeks/months.

The US military 2021 retreat from Kabul will result in a slaughter in the USA.

I see the Pentagon pulling the plug on the opium income for the CIA. Now THAT is the real war. So the CIA now has to pay its mercenary army to defend the harvest and extraction. That added cost to the CIA will not be taken lightly.

arby , Apr 28 2021 22:53 utc | 31

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 28 2021 22:44 utc | 29

"So the CIA now has to pay its mercenary army to defend the harvest and extraction."

Seems to me it is the taxpayer that is paying for defending the fields.

US/NATO Troops Patrolling Opium Poppy Fields in Afghanistan

[May 03, 2021] A Lifetime -at War- -

Notable quotes:
"... By Tom Engelhardt. Originally published at TomDispatch ..."
"... New York Times ..."
"... I supported the rule of law and human rights, not to mention the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. ..."
"... In these years, one key to so much of this is the fact that, as the Vietnam War began winding down in 1973, the draft was ended and war itself became a “voluntary†activity for Americans. In other words, it became ever easier not only to not protest American war-making, but to pay no attention to it or to the changing military that went with it. And that military was indeed altering and growing in remarkable ways. ..."
"... “The dislike of government spending, whether on public investment or consumption, is overcome by concentrating government expenditure on armaments†..."
"... “The dislike of government spending, whether on public investment or consumption, is overcome by concentrating government expenditure on armaments†..."
"... “Large-scale armaments are inseparable from the expansion of the armed forces and the preparation of plans for a war of conquest. They also induce competitive rearmament of other countries.†..."
May 03, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

A Lifetime “at War†Posted on April 30, 2021 by Yves Smith

Yves here. Englehardt describes how US war-making has been a continuing exercise starting with World War II. It’s important to recognize that before that, US military budgets were modest both in national and global terms. But with manufacturing less specialized, the US was able to turn a considerable amount of its productive capacity to armaments in fairly short order.

A second point is as someone who was in Manhattan on 9/11, I did not experience the attacks as war. I saw them as very impressive terrorism. However, I was appalled at how quickly individuals in positions of authority pushed sentiment in that direction. The attack was on a Tuesday (I had a blood draw and voted before I even realized Something Bad had happened). I was appalled to see the saber-rattling in Bush’s speech at the National Cathedral on Friday. On Sunday, I decided to go to the Unitarian Church around the corner. I was shocked to hear more martial-speak. And because the church was packed, I had to sit in the front on the floor, which meant I couldn’t duck out.

By Tom Engelhardt. Originally published at TomDispatch

Here’s the strange thing in an ever-stranger world: I was born in July 1944 in the midst of a devastating world war. That war ended in August 1945 with the atomic obliteration of two Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, by the most devastating bombs in history up to that moment, given the sweet code names “Little Boy†and “Fat Man.â€

I was the littlest of boys at the time. More than three-quarters of a century has passed since, on September 2, 1945, Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu and General Yoshijiro Umezu signed the Instrument of Surrender on the battleship U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay, officially ending World War II. That was V-J (for Victory over Japan) Day, but in a sense for me, my whole generation, and this country, war never really ended.

The United States has been at war, or at least in armed conflicts of various sorts, often in distant lands, for more or less my entire life. Yes, for some of those years, that war was “cold†(which often meant that such carnage, regularly sponsored by the CIA, happened largely off-screen and out of sight), but war as a way of life never really ended, not to this very moment.

In fact, as the decades went by, it would become the “infrastructure†in which Americans increasingly invested their tax dollars via aircraft carriers , trillion-dollar jet fighters, drones armed with Hellfire missiles, and the creation and maintenance of hundreds of military garrisons around the globe, rather than roads, bridges, or rail lines (no less the high-speed version of the same) here at home. During those same years, the Pentagon budget would grab an ever-larger percentage of federal discretionary spending and the full-scale annual investment in what has come to be known as the national security state would rise to a staggering $1.2 trillion or more.

In a sense, future V-J Days became inconceivable. There were no longer moments, even as wars ended, when some version of peace might descend and America’s vast military contingents could, as at the end of World War II, be significantly demobilized. The closest equivalent was undoubtedly the moment when the Soviet Union imploded in 1991, the Cold War officially ended, and the Washington establishment declared itself globally triumphant. But of course, the promised “peace dividend†would never be paid out as the first Gulf War with Iraq occurred that very year and the serious downsizing of the U.S. military (and the CIA) never happened.

Never-Ending War

Consider it typical that, when President Biden recently announced the official ending of the nearly 20-year-old American conflict in Afghanistan with the withdrawal of the last U.S. troops from that country by 9/11/21, it would functionally be paired with the news that the Pentagon budget was about to rise yet again from its record heights in the Trump years. “Only in America,†as retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and historian William Astore wrote recently, “do wars end and war budgets go up.â€

Buy the Book

Of course, even the ending of that never-ending Afghan War may prove exaggerated. In fact, let’s consider Afghanistan apart from the rest of this country’s war-making history for a moment. After all, if I had told you in 1978 that, of the 42 years to follow, the U.S. would be involved in war in a single country for 30 of them and asked you to identify it, I can guarantee that Afghanistan wouldn’t have been your pick. And yet so it’s been. From 1979 to 1989, there was the CIA-backed Islamist extremist war against the Soviet army there (to the tune of billions and billions of dollars). And yet the obvious lesson the Russians learned from that adventure, as their military limped home in defeat and the Soviet Union imploded not long after â€" that Afghanistan is indeed the “graveyard of empires†â€" clearly had no impact in Washington.

Or how do you explain the 19-plus years of warfare there that followed the 9/11 attacks, themselves committed by a small Islamist outfit, al-Qaeda, born as an American ally in that first Afghan War? Only recently, the invaluable Costs of War Project estimated that America’s second Afghan War has cost this country almost $2.3 trillion (not including the price of lifetime care for its vets) and has left at least 241,000 people dead, including 2,442 American service members. In 1978, after the disaster of the Vietnam War, had I assured you that such a never-ending failure of a conflict was in our future, you would undoubtedly have laughed in my face.

And yet, three decades later, the U.S. military high command still seems not faintly to have grasped the lesson that we “taught†the Russians and then experienced ourselves. As a result, according to recent reports, they have uniformly opposed President Biden’s decision to withdraw all American troops from that country by the 20th anniversary of 9/11. In fact, it’s not even clear that, by September 11, 2021, if the president’s proposal goes according to plan, that war will have truly ended. After all, the same military commanders and intelligence chiefs seem intent on organizing long-distance versions of that conflict or, as the New York Times put it , are determined to “fight from afar†there. They are evidently even considering establishing new bases in neighboring lands to do so.

America’s “forever wars†â€" once known as the Global War on Terror and, when the administration of George W. Bush launched it, proudly aimed at 60 countries â€" do seem to be slowly winding down. Unfortunately, other kinds of potential wars, especially new cold wars with China and Russia (involving new kinds of high-tech weaponry) only seem to be gearing up.

War in Our Time

In these years, one key to so much of this is the fact that, as the Vietnam War began winding down in 1973, the draft was ended and war itself became a “voluntary†activity for Americans. In other words, it became ever easier not only to not protest American war-making, but to pay no attention to it or to the changing military that went with it. And that military was indeed altering and growing in remarkable ways.

In the years that followed, for instance, the elite Green Berets of the Vietnam era would be incorporated into an ever more expansive set of Special Operations forces, up to 70,000 of them (larger, that is, than the armed forces of many countries). Those special operators would functionally become a second, more secretive American military embedded inside the larger force and largely freed from citizen oversight of any sort. In 2020, as Nick Turse reported, they would be stationed in a staggering 154 countries around the planet, often involved in semi-secret conflicts “in the shadows†that Americans would pay remarkably little attention to.

Since the Vietnam War, which roiled the politics of this nation and was protested in the streets of this country by an antiwar movement that came to include significant numbers of active-duty soldiers and veterans, war has played a remarkably recessive role in American life. Yes, there have been the endless thank-yous offered by citizens and corporations to “the troops.†But that’s where the attentiveness stops, while both political parties, year after endless year, remain remarkably supportive of a growing Pentagon budget and the industrial (that is, weapons-making) part of the military-industrial complex. War, American-style, may be forever, but â€" despite, for instance, the militarization of this country’s police and the way in which those wars came home to the Capitol last January 6th â€" it remains a remarkably distant reality for most Americans.

One explanation: though the U.S. has, as I’ve said, been functionally at war since 1941, there were just two times when this country felt war directly â€" on December 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and on September 11, 2001, when 19 mostly Saudi hijackers in commercial jets struck New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

And yet, in another sense, war has been and remains us. Let’s just consider some of that war-making for a moment. If you’re of a certain age, you can certainly call to mind the big wars: Korea (1950-1953), Vietnam (1954-1975) â€" and don’t forget the brutal bloodlettings in neighboring Laos and Cambodia as well â€" that first Gulf War of 1991, and the disastrous second one, the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Then, of course, there was that Global War on Terror that began soon after September 11, 2001, with the invasion of Afghanistan, only to spread to much of the rest of the Greater Middle East, and to significant parts of Africa. In March, for instance, the first 12 American special-ops trainers arrived in embattled Mozambique, just one more small extension of an already widespread American anti-Islamist terror role ( now failing ) across much of that continent.

And then, of course, there were the smaller conflicts (though not necessarily so to the people in the countries involved) that we’ve now generally forgotten about, the ones that I had to search my fading brain to recall. I mean, who today thinks much about President John F. Kennedy’s April 1961 CIA disaster at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba; or President Lyndon Johnson’s sending of 22,000 U.S. troops to the Dominican Republic in 1965 to “restore orderâ€; or President Ronald Reagan’s version of “aggressive self-defense†by U.S. Marines sent to Lebanon who, in October 1983, were attacked in their barracks by a suicide bomber, killing 241 of them; or the anti-Cuban invasion of the tiny Caribbean island of Grenada that same month in which 19 Americans were killed and 116 wounded?

And then, define and categorize them as you will, there were the CIA’s endless militarized attempts (sometimes with the help of the U.S. military) to intervene in the affairs of other countries, ranging from taking the nationalist side against Mao Zedong’s communist forces in China from 1945 to 1949 to stoking a small ongoing conflict in Tibet in the 1950s and early 1960s, and overthrowing the governments of Guatemala and Iran, among other places. There were an estimated 72 such interventions from 1947 to 1989, many warlike in nature. There were, for instance, the proxy conflicts in Central America, first in Nicaragua against the Sandinistas and then in El Salvador, bloody events even if few U.S. soldiers or CIA agents died in them. No, these were hardly “wars,†as traditionally defined, not all of them, though they did sometimes involve military coups and the like, but they were generally carnage-producing in the countries they were in. And that only begins to suggest the range of this country’s militarized interventions in the post-1945 era, as journalist William Blum’s “ A Brief History of Interventions †makes all too clear.

Whenever you look for the equivalent of a warless American moment, some reality trips you up. For instance, perhaps you had in mind the brief period between when the Red Army limped home in defeat from Afghanistan in 1989 and the implosion of the Soviet Union in 1991, that moment when Washington politicians, initially shocked that the Cold War had ended so unexpectedly, declared themselves triumphant on Planet Earth. That brief period might almost have passed for “peace,†American-style, if the U.S. military under President George H. W. Bush hadn’t, in fact, invaded Panama (“Operation Just Causeâ€) as 1989 ended to get rid of its autocratic leader Manuel Noriega (a former CIA asset, by the way). Up to 3,000 Panamanians (including many civilians) died along with 23 American troops in that episode.

And then, of course, in January 1991 the First Gulf War began . It would result in perhaps 8,000 to 10,000 Iraqi deaths and “only†a few hundred deaths among the U.S.-led coalition of forces. Air strikes against Iraq would follow in the years to come. And let’s not forget that even Europe wasn’t exempt since, in 1999, during the presidency of Bill Clinton, the U.S. Air Force launched a destructive 10-week bombing campaign against the Serbs in the former Yugoslavia.

And all of this remains a distinctly incomplete list, especially in this century when something like 2 00,000 U.S. troops have regularly been stationed abroad and U.S. Special Operations forces have deployed to staggering numbers of countries, while American drones regularly attacked “terrorists†in nation after nation and American presidents quite literally became assassins-in-chief . To this day, what scholar and former CIA consultant Chalmers Johnson called an American “empire of bases†â€" a historically unprecedented 800 or more of them â€" across much of the planet remains untouched and, at any moment, there could be more to come from the country whose military budget at least equals those of the next 10 (yes, that’s 10!) countries combined, including China and Russia.

A Timeline of Carnage

The last three-quarters of this somewhat truncated post-World War II American Century have, in effect, been a timeline of carnage, though few in this country would notice or acknowledge that. After all, since 1945, Americans have only once been “at war†at home, when almost 3,000 civilians died in an attack meant to provoke â€" well, something like the war on terror that also become a war of terror and a spreader of terror movements in our world.

As journalist William Arkin recently argued , the U.S. has created a permanent war state meant to facilitate “endless war.†As he writes, at this very moment, our nation “is killing or bombing in perhaps 10 different countries,†possibly more, and there’s nothing remarkably out of the ordinary about that in our recent past.

The question that Americans seldom even think to ask is this: What if the U.S. were to begin to dismantle its empire of bases, repurpose so many of those militarized taxpayer dollars to our domestic needs, abandon this country’s focus on permanent war, and forsake the Pentagon as our holy church? What if, even briefly, the wars, conflicts, plots, killings, drone assassinations, all of it stopped?

What would our world actually be like if you simply declared peace and came home?


Hemanth Kumar , April 30, 2021 at 8:11 am

Here in Asia, many people think the dropping of atomic bombs on Japan was an act of flaying the dying horse, since Japan was staring at defeat even without the bombs. It was a totally callous act of the USA to drop the bombs just to “test their efficacyâ€.

Why then the bombs could not have dropped on Germany that was still waging war at that time? Asians smirk and say one) the “collateral†damage of radiation etc., to neighbours like France who were Allies and two) they were (and are) ‘whites’; unlike Japan and its neighbours.

NotTimothyGeithner , April 30, 2021 at 9:40 am

The war in Europe was over when the bomb was first tested.

The Rev Kev , April 30, 2021 at 9:43 am

I think that you have the dates mixed up. The war against Germany in Europe ended on May 7th and the testing of the first atom bomb was not until 16th July when the first bomb went off at Alamogordo in New Mexico. The following month the two remaining atom bombs that the US had were dropped on Japan. In short, the bombs arrived too late to use in Europe.

JBird4049 , April 30, 2021 at 3:57 pm

The bomb was built with Berlin being the first target, but because the war ended a year sooner than what everyone thought it would and making the very first bombs took longer than planned, it was used on Japan. It was probably used as a demonstration for the Soviets, but considering that sixty-six other large Japanese cities had already been completely destroyed by “conventional†firebombing, and in Tokyo’s case, with greater casualties than either nuclear bombing, the Bomb wasn’t really needed. The descriptions and the personal accounts of the destruction of Tokyo (or Dresden and Hamburg) are (if that is even possible) worse than of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Honestly, just what new and excitingly horrific ways of killing people the atom bomb used was not clearly understood. They generally thought of it as a bigger kaboom in a smaller package. And honestly, being pre-cremated during an entire night with your family and neighbors in the local bomb-shelter or dying after a few days, weeks, or even a month from radiation poisoning, is not really a difference is it?

WobblyTelomeres , April 30, 2021 at 6:28 pm

“More bang for the buck†is the phrase I heard years ago at Los Alamos.

John Wright , April 30, 2021 at 11:56 am

Another view has the dropping of the atomic bombs was a message, not to Japan, but to the Soviet Union.

From https://www.nytimes.com/1995/07/30/books/did-we-need-to-drop-it.html

“FOR 20 years after Harry Truman ordered the atomic bomb dropped on Japan in August 1945, most American scholars and citizens subscribed to the original, official version of the story: the President had acted to avert a horrendous invasion of Japan that could have cost 200,000 to 500,000 American lives. Then a young political economist named Gar Alperovitz published a book of ferocious revisionism, “Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam†(1965). While acknowledging the paucity of evidence available at the time, he argued that dropping the atomic bomb “was not needed to end the war or to save lives†but was Truman’s means of sending a chastening message to the Soviet Union.â€

Timh , April 30, 2021 at 1:32 pm

If we accept that at face value, then certainly the second bombing was unecessary. The threat would have been enough. But the US had a second bomb design to test…

BCD , April 30, 2021 at 4:13 pm

Few things working here. The US needed Japan to surrender quickly before Stalin invaded (which they asked him to do) so he couldn’t get his forces onto the island where the Allies couldn’t stop him. Most Japanese feared Stalin and preferred surrendering to the US but the Japanese government was trying to use talks with the USSR to get better terms than unconditional surrender (little did they know Stalin was licking his chops for more territory under his iron curtain).

The first bomb design (little man) was significantly less ambitious, it was so certain to function they never tested it because a study had proven there was almost no chance it would fail.

Fat boy was the scientific leap in technology needing to be demonstrated. Building little man was mostly a matter of enriching Uranium vs Fat boy Plutonium enrichment harder and detonation mechanism more complicated. However the end result was a bomb that could produce significantly higher yields with smaller amounts of fissionable material where both the size of the bomb could be significantly reduced and the yield of the device could be significantly scaled up at the same time.

Fat boy demonstrated the USA could someday be putting nukes on V2 rockets recently smuggled out of Germany. Even more important Fat boy is a precursor to the mechanism that initiates the H bomb fusion devices that Edward Teller would soon be Dr Strangloving.

Even after Trinity Fat boy still had very high odds of failure. They feared looking like fools if it failed and the USSR ended up with the Plutoniumt. As a result the US Air Force dropped little man first because it was certain to work. After the 1st bomb dropped, the Soviets declared war and began their invasion of Japan which forced Truman’s hand to drop Fat boy too. Even after Fat Boy, war mongers in Japan still refused to surrender where Emperor Hirohito finally overruled them and although there was a military coupe attempted, it failed.

Thus ended the most bloody conflict in the history of human kind.

Harold , April 30, 2021 at 7:52 pm

I’m not saying it isn’t true, but is there any actual evidence that the bombs were dropped as “a message to the Soviet Union†and not to speed the end of the war?

Also, who exactly wanted to send this “message� The US generals were against it, I understand.

Jason , April 30, 2021 at 9:23 pm

An apologia on bomb design, manufacture, and real-world application!

These ones weren’t even atomic:

https://i0.wp.com/wrongkindofgreen.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/libya-before-and-after-1.jpg

And look what they can do. Yay bombs.

Tom Pfotzer , April 30, 2021 at 9:25 am

“What would our world actually be like if you simply declared peace and came home?â€

a. All those families whose livelihood is based on waging war would have to find a new job. These people will fight tooth and nail to avoid change

b. The resource grabs by the rich people behind the Oz-like curtain would fail. Their fate would be that of the English aristocrats who have to rent out their castles in order to maintain a roof over their head. These people will fight tooth and nail to avoid change

c. The general public would have a fire-hose of newly-available resources to direct toward activities which benefit all the rest of the families outside A and B above

d. Fear-based leverage by the few over the many would be diminished. Attention would be re-directed toward valid problems we all face

=====

There’s an interesting question which I see posed from time to time, and often ask myself. It runs thus:

“Who decides who our “enemies†are, and why they are “enemies�

This is a fundamental question which I believe very few of us can currently answer accurately. Yet this question carries a $1.2T per year consequence. That’s a lot of money to allocate toward something we know nothing about.

One time I asked an acquaintance â€" who spent a career at CIA â€" that question. His reply was “Why, Congress decides who our enemies are, and why. Congress then tells the CIA what to doâ€.

I wasn’t sure if he truly believed that. It’s quite possible he did, of course, and I’m sure many of the people in group A above surely do think they’re doing honorable and patriotic work.

Group B above â€" the people who are actually moving the chess pieces of “the Great Game†â€" they are pretty clear on who defines our “enemies†and why they are “enemiesâ€. And they wisely don’t stand in front of podiums and explain their actions. These people aren’t visible, or explained, or known because it’s better for them not to be.

The way to combat manipulation by these predators is to:

a. Know them by their actions. Predators predate.
b. Don’t participate. In order for them to predate, they need minions. Don’t be a minion. Instead…
c. Be the giver, the creator and the constructor of things that are of no use to predators

NotTimothyGeithner , April 30, 2021 at 10:06 am

It’s not the soldiers but the contractors who live in dumpy overpriced holes like Northern Virginia.

As to your acquaintance, my godfather was in the CIA in the 60’s and a bit into the 70’s, and he might not say Congress as much as the President’s Chief of Staff as threat they choose what the President sees. You have to remember it’s primarily an organization of boring paper pushers looking to get promoted which requires political patronage. Imagine getting the Canada desk. You’ll be at a dead end unless you paint it as a grave threat. Then there is information overload and just the sheer size of the US. They would file reports, he mentioned an incident in Africa in the wake of decolonization when y godfather was stationed there that maybe warranted the President’s attention, but to get information to the President’s CoS took so long, it was in the President’s daily newspaper before the report could be handled. By then, why care, given the size of the US? Who can get to the Chief of Staff? Congress, so everyone else lobbies them. The CIA director is an appendage of the CoS.

When the President wants something, everyone jumps, but when the President doesn’t care, everyone is jockeying get for patronage.

HH , April 30, 2021 at 10:35 am

The war machine is sustained by plutocrats and their sociopathic flunkies in the national security state. How this works is clearly depicted in “The Devil’s Chessboard,†by David Talbot, a deeply depressing chronicle of how Allen Dulles and his brother John Foster Dulles did the dirty work of US corporations worldwide. The arrogance, impunity, and irresponsibility of these men established the framework of our secret government, which remains intact to this day.

It would be pleasant to believe that this evil persists because of public ignorance, but like the good Germans of the Nazi era, Americans accept that deception, torture, and murder are routinely practiced on our behalf to maintain our high standard of living and to keep us “safe.†The reverence for the operatives of the US national security state is evident throughout our popular culture, and that is a damning judgment on the American people.

Tom Pfotzer , April 30, 2021 at 11:17 am

Yes. Succinctly stated, and quite correct.

Of course the core problems are stationed at the place hardest to get to: right between our ears. This complicity disease runs deep and wide.

While I often succumb to that same despondency you mentioned, occasionally I interrupt the doom tape to notice that there’s a lot of people who are paddling hard toward a new ethos…like the posters here @ NC, for ex.

So today I’m going to indulge in a little happiness. Plant a tree. Do something good, something durable, something hopeful.

Something that offers no real hope of rent extraction potential.

:)

JBird4049 , April 30, 2021 at 8:53 pm

It was nice being accused of supporting the terrorists because I supported the rule of law and human rights, not to mention the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

WTF do some people think that the Founders wanted an extremely small army, a large organized militia, and passed the Bill of Rights? It was a reaction to what the British Army did to them (using much of the same tactics as the current “justice†system does today.) The ignorance and lack of thinking is really annoying.

Much of what the British military did was not good. Even now some of it would not be allowed in a court of law, but I do not recall them being nearly as violent, brutal, or deadly in their tactics while enforcing the King’s Law as the current regime or the local police are. That the milder British tactics caused a civil war with in a decade, and that the people then had less to fear from an occupying army as we do from “our†police is disturbing to think on.

But wars always come home, don’t they? Faux toughness on the supposed baddies here with claims of treason and insurrections on protests and riots now that often would hardly be in the news fifty years ago, so great was the protests and riots happening then. The cry to use the same tactics that did not work overseas to be used here at home. “To keep us safe.â€

Swamp Yankee , May 1, 2021 at 2:06 am

There’s truth to this, but once the war was really on, British and Tory/Loyalist brutality had decisive effects on public opinion, putting lots of people into the Whig/Patriot camp. Tom Paine makes great efforts to publicize British sexual assaults, looting, and general thugishness as they chase the Continental Army across New Jersey in 1776; the cruelty of backcountry British cavalry officers and Tory rangers in the Carolinas was legendary as the war reaches its latter phases.

And there was brutality on the other side, too, especially for Loyalist elites who faced a kind of “social death.†It was a war, after all, as well as a social revolution. It wasn’t France in 1789 or Russia in 1917, but it was rough, especially given the small population size.

FluffytheObeseCat , April 30, 2021 at 11:36 am

Except as Engelhardt just pointed out, the national security state does not “maintain our high standard of livingâ€. It’s an immense net drain on our standard of living. The only Americans made well-to-do or wealthy by it are those who are directly involved in supplying contract goods and services to the system.

FriarTuck , April 30, 2021 at 3:41 pm

I don’t know if Americans “accept†it as opposed to taking a dim view of being able to affect change.

The levers the average person has to change the behavior of the state is infinitesimal. Add to that the scope of action and Overton window mediated by the hypernormalized press ecosystem just means those in power get to act without restraint.

Hell, Obama literally said “We tortured some folks†and the media and government barely shrugged. To my knowledge, no one went to jail, no one was brought up in the Hague, and some of the same ghouls that perpetrated such crimes got cushy commenter jobs in the media.

Right now, localities can’t even keep their police from regularly killing citizens.

What does the average person do in the face of such things?

Jason , April 30, 2021 at 5:07 pm

Hell, Obama literally said “We tortured some folks†and the media and government barely shrugged. To my knowledge, no one went to jail, no one was brought up in the Hague, and some of the same ghouls that perpetrated such crimes got cushy commenter jobs in the media.

No one went to jail. Certainly no one went before the Hague. No bankers went to jail either. Even during the nutty Reagan administration, people went to jail for financial shenanigans. Some got long sentences. Hell, the Iran-Contra stuff was at least covered and people were indicted, even if they all got pardoned. Not anymore. These shenanigans are the norm and happen right out in the open. I’d imagine some of it’s been given legal cover. It seems like it’s become the expected behavior within these circles. To act otherwise â€" to attempt to be honest, in other words â€" is seen as weak and is mocked as fiercely as a weaker child on the playground might be.

It’s just a continuing regression. And as you note, it’s an excellent career builder:

“Looking for a job in mainstream media? Research has shown that reducing your sense of ethics and morality actually helps you get ahead.â€

John Wright , May 1, 2021 at 1:53 pm

I like to quote a radio advertisement that a local Northern California bail bondsman ran on one local radio station years ago.

“Friends don’t let friends do timeâ€.

LowellHighlander , April 30, 2021 at 10:59 am

Doubtless, Ms. Smith and Ms. Engelhardt have provided a key public service here. And I speak as a veteran, decorated for service in the War Over Oil (a.k.a. the “Persian Gulf Warâ€).

Between the vast economic inequality currently raging in our country, the social stratification enabled by access to colleges and universities accepted as “eliteâ€, the trashing of Constitutional protections (e.g. the 4th Amendment, now thoroughly eviscerated owing to the “PATRIOT ACTâ€), and the rampaging rule by “intelligence agencies†over foreign policy, I see no reason why any father should tell his children that this is a country worth fighting and dying for. [Think: China] Of course, the Empire â€" just as Rome did in its dying days â€" will be able to find enough desperately poor who will take the king’s shilling and don the uniform.

If anyone wishes to prove me wrong, let them work for a substantive “peace dividend†for a 2-3 years. Then we can sit down and talk; I’ll buy the ale.

tegnost , April 30, 2021 at 11:38 am

I think Englehart is a “Mr.†but I don’t want to get myself in trouble with the gender neutralization crowd

LowellHighlander , April 30, 2021 at 12:41 pm

oops; my apologies to all.

Rod , April 30, 2021 at 12:25 pm

And here is a nice companion reading alluding to Media collusion by a CNN colluder:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/29/opinions/lies-told-to-sustain-us-and-uk-mission-in-afghanistan-walsh/index.html

from the above article:

In these years, one key to so much of this is the fact that, as the Vietnam War began winding down in 1973, the draft was ended and war itself became a “voluntary†activity for Americans. In other words, it became ever easier not only to not protest American war-making, but to pay no attention to it or to the changing military that went with it. And that military was indeed altering and growing in remarkable ways.

Because, imo,

Since the Vietnam War, which roiled the politics of this nation and was protested in the streets of this country by an antiwar movement that came to include significant numbers of active-duty soldiers and veterans, war has played a remarkably recessive role in American life.

Despite having already ‘pledged’ at my Uncles Invitation, with the Draft’s End, I had great hope my future would see the great Peace Dividand rather than 9 more Opportunity Conflicts.
Little did that then 21 year old see the brilliance in that Pentagon Strategy.
I Now firmly support a No Exemption Draft for all post HS.
Military Service being only one, and a restricted one, of many counter-balancing options available for Public Service for that cohort.

Frank Little , April 30, 2021 at 12:42 pm

This article reminded me of one of the best Congressional Research Service reports that I’ve read: Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2020 . Despite being just a list of dates and locations with a brief description, it comes in at around 50 pages, which I think is a testament to how important foreign military engagement has been to the growth of the US even before 1945. Between these foreign wars and the genocidal war against the indigenous people of the continent I think it’s fair to say this country has been at war since its founding.

juno mas , April 30, 2021 at 6:16 pm

Correct. Even the so called Louisiana Purchase was not really a purchase of land, but a faux “option†to engage in land treaties with the native Americans;.the US chose Indian Wars and relocation treaties that have been violated repeatedly. (This territory is now known as the Red States.)

The rest of the land extending to the west coast was acquired through conquest with the new nation of Mexico. I guess the only real honest acquisition would be Seward’s Icebox.

JBird4049 , April 30, 2021 at 8:30 pm

>>I guess the only real honest acquisition would be Seward’s Icebox.

Alaska has only been inhabited for a few tens of thousands of years. I would think that the natives should have some say about who “owns†the land even though the Russian Empire did say that they did. The reasons sometimes included the use of guns. As for stealing Mexico’s territory, again that was, and in some areas still is, inhabited by natives who somehow became under the “governance†of New Spain or the country of Mexico despite not being asked about it and often still a majority part of the population in many areas when Mexico lost control.

Often, Europeans or Americans would show up somewhere, plant a flag, and say that they claimed or owned the very inhabited land, sometimes with farms and even entire cities. Rather arrogant, I would say.

Harold , April 30, 2021 at 8:49 pm

“Whatever happens, we have got
The Maxim gun, and they have not.â€

juno mas , April 30, 2021 at 9:44 pm

I agree. Seward’s Icebox was not empty at time of sale. My understanding is that Seward thought it was. So faraway, so cold; no one would be living there, right?

As I’ve commented here many times, it was small pox not small bullets that allowed the Old World to take the New. There were estimates of 20 million native Americans living on the land now known as Mexico and the US. 90% were felled by Old World disease before Custer lost his scalp to the northern Plains Indians. In a fair fight the Indians would be enforcing the treaties.

It is amazing how the US continues to engage in war and still lose: Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq. . .Ukraine?

kgw , April 30, 2021 at 5:58 pm

I remember the words of Patrick Henry in his speech on the floor of the Virginia legislature debating the passing of the new constitution…

In particular, his views on the standing army : “What does a farmer in Virginia have to fear from a farmer in France?â€

Democracy Working , April 30, 2021 at 10:29 pm

For nearly a decade now every time I’ve read about the war in Afghanistan I’ve thought about Tim Kreider’s mordant 2011 cartoon We Could’ve Had The Moon, Instead We Get Afghanistan . Ten years later, that $432 billion has ballooned to $2.3 trillion (and more) and every word he wrote still stands. :-(

The author has retired from cartooning and now focuses on essay writing.

Sound of the Suburbs , May 1, 2021 at 4:37 am

We are going to have to halt the production lines.
The warehouses are full of bombs already, there is no more room.

Biden to the rescue; he’s started dropping bombs already.
When you have a large defence industry, you need war.
The only purpose is to use up the output from the defence industry.

This is what they realised in the 1940s, but we forgot.
http://delong.typepad.com/kalecki43.pdf

“The dislike of government spending, whether on public investment or
consumption, is overcome by concentrating government expenditure on
armamentsâ€

Sound of the Suburbs , May 1, 2021 at 4:47 am

Ran out of edit time.
Should be two quotes.

“The dislike of government spending, whether on public investment or consumption, is overcome by concentrating government expenditure on armamentsâ€

“Large-scale armaments are inseparable from the expansion of the armed forces and the preparation of plans for a war of conquest. They also induce competitive rearmament of other countries.â€

These were the lessons they learnt from the 1930s.

Susan the other , May 1, 2021 at 12:18 pm

So now, here we are. And how do we create a peaceful world? Refit the US military for a sustainable world. It will prove to be very useful. We and other advanced nations still have the advantage for prosperity but we should not abuse it. The whole idea back in 1945 was for the world to prosper. So I’ll just suggest my usual hack: Get rid of the profit motive. It’s pure mercantilism. And totally self defeating in a world seeking sustainability for everyone.

Philip Ebersole , May 1, 2021 at 1:35 pm

The Manhattan Project was an enormously expensive enterprise with two components â€" the development of a uranium bomb (Oak Ridge) and a plutonium bomb (Hanford, WA).

If no bomb had been used, the project would have been considered a waste of time, and there would have been a congressional investigation. If only one bomb had been used, half the cost would have been considered a waste.

I’m not saying these were the only reasons for dropping the bombs. The event was, as they say, “overdetermined.â€

[May 03, 2021] Escobar- US, Europe, The Vienna JCPOA 'Shadowplay'

May 03, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Few people, apart from specialists, may have heard of the JCPOA Joint Commission. That’s the group in charge of a Sisyphean task: the attempt to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal through a series of negotiations in Vienna.

The Iranian negotiating team was back in Vienna yesterday, led by Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araghchi. Shadowplay starts with the fact the Iranians negotiate with the other members of the P+1 â€" Russia, China, France, UK and Germany â€" but not directly with the US.

That’s quite something: after all, it was the Trump administration that blew up the JCPOA. There is an American delegation in Vienna, but they only talk with the Europeans.

Shadowplay goes turbo when every Viennese coffee table knows about Tehran’s red lines: either it’s back to the original JCPOA as it was agreed in Vienna in 2015 and then ratified by the UN Security Council, or nothing.

Araghchi, mild-mannered and polite, has had to go on the record once again to stress that Tehran will leave if the talks veer towards “bullyingâ€, time wasting or even a step-by-step ballroom dance, which is time wasting under different terminology.

Neither flat out optimistic nor pessimistic, he remains, let’s say, cautiously upbeat, at least in public: “We are not disappointed and we will do our job. Our positions are very clear and firm. The sanctions must be lifted, verified and then Iran must return to its commitments.â€

So, at least in the thesis, the debate is still on. Araghchi: “There are two types of U.S. sanctions against Iran. First, categorized or so-called divisional sanctions, such as oil, banking and insurance, shipping, petrochemical, building and automobile sanctions, and second, sanctions against real and legal individuals.â€

“Second†is the key issue. There’s absolutely no guarantee the US Congress will lift most or at least a significant part of these sanctions.

Everyone in Washington knows it â€" and the American delegation knows it.

When the Foreign Ministry in Tehran, for instance, says that 60% or 70% has been agreed upon, that’s code for lifting of divisional sanctions. When it comes to “secondâ€, Araghchi has to be evasive: “There are complex issues in this area that we are examiningâ€.

Now compare it with the assessment of informed Iranian insiders in Washington such as nuclear policy expert Seyed Hossein Mousavian : they’re more like pessimistic realists.

That takes into consideration the non-negotiable red lines established by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei himself. Plus non-stop pressure by Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, who are all JCPOA-adverse.

But then there’s extra shadowplay. Israeli intel has already notified the security cabinet that a deal most certainly will be reached in Vienna. After all, the narrative of a successful deal is already being constructed as a foreign policy victory by the Biden-Harris administration â€" or, as cynics prefer, Obama-Biden 3.0.

Meanwhile, Iranian diplomacy remains on overdrive. Foreign Minister Javad Zarif is visiting Qatar and Iraq, and has already met with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim al Thani.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, virtually at the end of his term before the June presidential elections, always goes back to the same point: no more US sanctions; Iran’s verification; then Iran will return to its “nuclear obligationsâ€.

The Foreign Ministry has even released a quite detailed fact sheet once again stressing the need to remove “all sanctions imposed, re-imposed and re-labeled since January 20, 2017â€.

The window of opportunity for a deal won’t last long. Hardliners in Tehran couldn’t care less. At least 80% of Tehran members of Parliament are now hardliners. The next President most certainly will be a hardliner. Team Rouhani’s efforts have been branded a failure since the onset of Trump’s “maximum pressure†campaign. Hardliners are already in post-JCPOA mode.

That fateful Fateh

What none of the actors in the shadowplay can admit is that the revival of the JCPOA pales compared to the real issue: the power of Iranian missiles.

In the original 2015 negotiations in Vienna â€" follow them in my Persian Miniatures e-book â€" Obama-Biden 2.0 did everything in their power to include missiles in the deal.

Every grain of sand in the Negev desert knows that Israel will go no holds barred to retain its nuclear weapon primacy in the Middle East. Via a spectacular kabuki, the fact that Israel is a nuclear power happens to remain “invisible†to most of world public opinion.

While Khamenei has issued a fatwa clearly stating that producing, stockpiling and using weapons of mass destruction â€" nuclear included â€" is haram (banned by Islam), Israel’s leadership feels free to order stunts such as the sabotage via Mossad of the (civilian) Iranian nuclear complex at Natanz.

The head of Iran’s Parliament Energy Committee, Fereydoun Abbasi Davani, even accused Washington and London of being accomplices to the sabotage of Natanz, as they arguably supplied intel to Tel Aviv.

Yet now a lone missile is literally exploding a great deal of the shadowplay.

On April 22, in the dead of night before dawn, a Syrian missile exploded only 30 km away from the ultra-sensitive Israeli nuclear reactor of Dimona. The official â€" and insistent â€" Israeli spin: this was an “errantâ€.

Well, not really.

Here â€" third video from the top â€" is footage of the quite significant explosion. Also significantly, Tel Aviv remained absolutely mum when it comes to offering a missile proof of ID. Was it an old Soviet 1967 SA-5? Or, rather more likely, a 2012 Iranian Fateh-110 short range surface-to-surface, manufactured in Syria as the M-600 , and also possessed by Hezbollah?

A Fateh family tree can be seen in the attached chart. The inestimable Elijah Magnier has posed some very good questions about the Dimona near-hit. I complemented it with a quite enlightening discussion with physicists, with input by a military intel expert.

The Fateh-110 operates as a classic ballistic missile, until the moment the warhead starts maneuvering to evade ABM defenses. Precision is up to 10 meters, nominally 6 meters. So it hit exactly where it was supposed to hit. Israel officially confirmed that the missile was not intercepted â€" after a trajectory of roughly 266 km.

This opens a brand new can of worms. It implies that the performance of the much hyped and recently upgraded Iron Dome is far from stellar â€" and talk about an euphemism. The Fateh flew so low that Iron Dome could not identify it.

The inevitable conclusion is this was a message/warning combo. From Damascus. With a personal stamp from Bashar al-Assad, who had to clear such a sensitive missile launch. A message/warning delivered via Iranian missile technology fully available to the Axis of Resistance â€" proving that regional actors have serious stealth capability.

It’s crucial to remember that when Tehran dispatched a volley of deliberately older Fateh-313 versions at the US base Ayn al-Assad in Iraq, as a response to the assassination of Gen Soleimani in January 2020, the American radars went blank.

Iranian missile technology as top strategic deterrence. Now that’s the shadowplay that turns Vienna into a sideshow.

[May 03, 2021] Biden is privatising the war in Afghanistan. 18,000 private contractors will stay behind to maintain a landing area for U.S. aircraft should the need arise.

May 03, 2021 | www.unz.com

Katrinka , says: April 30, 2021 at 11:36 am GMT • 15.8 hours ago

@KenH

Biden is privatising the war in Afghanistan. 18,000 private contractors will stay behind to maintain a landing area for U.S. aircraft should the need arise. According to war monger Lynn Cheney the "troops will never leave". The U.S. National Guard has been fighting undeclared wars all over the ME for twenty years and legislation is being proposed at the state level to end the abuse. I personally know one man who has done three tours in Iraq as a National Guardsman.

I totally agree with your comments concerning the U.S. government here at home. It is Bolshevism 2.0.

[May 02, 2021] Should Victoria Nuland get a Peace Nobel Price after Obama?

Bothe were upt to ears involved in 2014 EuroMaydan color revolution
May 02, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

blumenthal 5 hours ago

a disgusting person, this "lady" is responsible for many human lives, but that doesn't matter, Kissinger and Obama got a Nobel Peace Prize for mass murder, maybe she is next....

Sir Edge 2 hours ago (Edited)

Victoria Nuland Is Now Highest-Ranking Member Of US Foreign Service

I Have Shock Fatigue ...

Unknown 3 hours ago

This Neoliberal ... made a career out of Russophobia.

popeye 32 minutes ago remove link

Same as it always was. If you want ta assess an American President, don't listen to what they say, watch who they appoint.

When you assess in this manner, you don't find many good'uns.

NuYawkFrankie 5 hours ago (Edited)

Sicky Vicky Nuldelman...

the Kiev Cookie Monster from HELL!

SoDamnMad 4 hours ago

Passing out cookies while the CIA sharpshooters shot at both sides, killing policemen and protestors to ferment rioting. Why else would they cut down all the trees on those streets except to prevent anyone from noticing where the bullets came from.

2banana 5 hours ago (Edited) remove link

Obama overthrew the legitimately elected government of the Ukraine with the help of this creature.

They got rid a mildly pro Russian administration and installed a rabidly anti Russian administration without an election.

Talk about foriegn government interface. And Pelosi got so upset over some Russian Facebook ads.

What they didn't count on is that some Ukrainians in the Dunbass and Crimea would actually pick up arms and fight this massive corruption (unlike the docile Americans who do nothing).

_arrow
otschelnik 4 hours ago

Cookies Nuland is a neocon.

Her husband is Robert Kagan at Brookings and founder of the New American Century.

Robert's brother Fredrick is another neocon working for the Republicans over at the American Enterprise Institute.

Fredrick's wife is Kimberly who has her own think tank, the Institute for the Study of War which designs regime change programs with the help of social media and other means.

Cookies used to be at another one Center for New American Strategy.

The donors of these groups reads like the A-list of our MIC, Ratheon, Boeing, UTX, Northrup-Grumman.....

All the neocons in one family.

zitch 4 hours ago remove link

Nurse Ratchet.

Max21c 4 hours ago

Cookies Nuland = 15 to 20k dead, 30 to 40k wounded, 1.6 million displaced persons.

and she handed out a few batches of cookies.

Secret Weapon 1 hour ago

Pure psychopath.

Snidely 3 hours ago

No surprise, scum usually floats to the top

judgement put 4 hours ago remove link

"Nuland like her boss Joe Biden may have unfinished business in Ukraine ..."

Absolutely. That business is called facing justice.

European Monarchist 1 hour ago (Edited)

Question: How many non-(((tribal))) people do you know who, with a single Bachelor of Arts degree in Russian literature, political science, and history, have moved to the highest echelons of the U.S. Government in just a few short years???

Victoria Nuland

Early life and education[ edit ]

Victoria Nuland was born in 1961 to Sherwin B. Nuland , a surgeon, and Rhona McKhann. [8] She graduated from Choate Rosemary Hall in 1979. [9] She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University in 1983, where she studied Russian literature, political science, and history. [10]

Career[ edit ]

From 1993 to 1996, during Bill Clinton's presidency, Nuland was chief of staff to Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott before moving on to serve as deputy director for former Soviet Union affairs. [11]

From 2003 to 2005, Nuland served as the principal deputy foreign policy adviser to Vice President **** Cheney , exercising an influential role during the years the U.S. invaded and occupied Iraq.

From 2005 to 2008, during President George Bush's second term, Nuland served as U.S. ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Brussels, where she concentrated on mobilizing European support for the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan. [12]

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

European Monarchist 1 hour ago

The insane and quite kosher Biden Administration is pushing Russia into the arms of China, possibly even the EU, when we should be friends with Russia.

Have a look at Joe Biden's Deep State Kosher Cabinet:

https://i.postimg.cc/x8TKqSBG/The-Deep-State-Kosher-Biden-Cabinet.jpg

(((They))) run our U.S. State Department and the American intelligence community, while Biden is not exactly firing on all thrusters.

Packard27 3 hours ago

Before it is too late, we all ought to be demanding to know exactly what is America's strategic interest in fighting WW III in defense of central Europe? What do the Germans, French, Italians, Danes, Austrians, Finns, Norwegians, Swedes, and Brits all say about stumbling into another continental war for yet another no-name country like a Ukraine or Serbia?

Once the guns begin to fire and American blood is spilled (see: Great Britain, August 1914-November 1918), posts like this will be quickly censored. Forewarned is forearmed.

12Y_LURKER 3 hours ago remove link

I've seen things unfold the last few years to my dismay but other's victory --

That's power.

To be honest, I'm not sure this is the future you wanted.

Son of Captain Nemo 3 hours ago (Edited)

"To be honest, I'm not sure this is the future you wanted. "

Please forgive my leaving out the /s. But since this ( https://www.ae911truth.org/ ) came to fruition and will be seeing it's 20th Anniversary without justice to quote the "beast" that was denied -"What difference does it make"!...

[May 02, 2021] Victoria F*ck The EU Nuland Is Now Highest-Ranking Member Of US Foreign Service

Judging from comments ZH crowd were not impressed by this Biden appointment
May 01, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Rick Rozoff via AntiWar.com,

On Thursday the US Senate confirmed Victoria Nuland as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs , which has been described as the fourth most important position in the State Department. Though as the first three are filled by political appointees and the other by a career foreign service officer, the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs is the highest-ranking member of the US Foreign Service .

In an appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in April as part of her confirmation process, she reflected on her thirty-two years in the Foreign Service working for five presidents of both parties and nine secretaries of state. She retailed some of her "historic moments" in that career, among them "working on tough arms control problems and conflicts from Rwanda to Haiti to Bosnia and Kosovo." But what she expressed as her last-listed and perhaps proudest moment was, while she served as Deputy Chief of Mission at NATO, the military bloc for the first time activating its Article 5 collective defense clause, which contributed to the now twenty-year-old war in Afghanistan , a comprehensive naval interdiction mission in the Mediterranean Sea (Operation Active Endeavor) and European AWACS flights over the U.S. along with several other missions.

Ambassador Victoria Nuland, via Anadolu/Getty Images

A major part of her career has been spent at NATO headquarters: she was Deputy Permanent Representative (ambassador) to NATO from 2000-2003 and Permanent Representative from 2005-2008. In both positions she was instrumental in recruiting military forces from NATO allies and partners for the war in Afghanistan, with NATO military personnel also stationed in Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Pakistan. At one point 130,000 of the 150,000 foreign troops in the country served under NATO command in the International Security Assistance Force: service members from 54 countries. Never before or since have troops from so many nations fought in a war, much less in one theater of war or one country.

She also worked on promoting seven nations to NATO membership at the historic Istanbul, Turkey summit in 2004: Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia. All are in Eastern Europe; all but Slovenia were members of the defunct Warsaw Pact; three – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – were Soviet republics. Bulgaria and Romania provided the U.S. and NATO with eight military bases in the following two years. NATO has flown fighter jets from air bases in Latvia and Lithuania for years, in the case of the second nation since 2004.

Her State Department biography states she also served as Deputy to the Ambassador­-at-Large for the Newly Independent States of the former Soviet Union in the 1990s (That was likely under Strobe Talbott, later president of the Brookings Institution.) She had a brief stint as a faculty member at the National War College. And she was Principal Deputy National Security Advisor for Vice President Dick Cheney from 2003 to 2005; that is, during and immediately after the invasion of Iraq.

During the transition period in Russia immediately following the dissolution of the Soviet Union she worked at what is described as covering Russian internal politics at the American embassy in Moscow and served on what the State Department termed the Soviet Desk in Washington. She is, in short, a seasoned Russia hand. She is reported to speak Russian and "a smattering" of Chinese, having worked in Guangzhou, China (1985-86) and at the State Department's Bureaus of East Asian and Pacific Affairs the following year. She was in Mongolia in 1988 where she has been credited with assisting in setting up the first American embassy in the nation that is wedged between Russia and China.

She was a visiting fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations twice, and the second time, as a State Department fellow, she directed a Council on Foreign Relations task force on "Russia, its Neighbors and an Expanding NATO." She has also been a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution , and a senior counselor at the Albright Stonebridge Group of former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. And she is on the board of the National Endowment for Democracy. (Her husband, Robert Kagan, is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and member of the Council on Foreign Relations and was a member of the defunct Project for the New American Century, of which he was a key founder along with Bruce P. Jackson, also past president the U.S. Committee on NATO/Expand NATO. Both Nuland and Kagan are now Democrats.)

But the world would likely never have heard of her until now except for her role in engineering the overthrow of the government of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014. Her face was first revealed to viewers outside the State Department, the National War College and major think tanks as she was handing out food to anti-government rioters in Kiev at the beginning of that year .

Having been appointed Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs the preceding year, she became the major American official assigned to Ukraine during the crisis of late 2013 and early 2014. In a leaked phone conversation of January 28, 2014 between her and American ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, the two provided future historians with a textbook-perfect specimen of engineering a coup, replete with the exact people who would lead the post-coup "transitional government." Three and a half weeks before President Yanukovych was deposed.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/L2XNN0Yt6D8

When the tape appeared on YouTube it created an international furor, not because of what it revealed about plotting the overthrow of a government which shares a 1,200-mile border with the U.S.'s nuclear rival Russia, not because it exposed the most naked form of interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation, not because shortly afterward the plot resulted in a what is now a seven-year war with the ever-worsening prospect of a direct military confrontation between the U.S. and NATO on one side and Russia on the other – no, but because the diplomat with decades of diverse experience said, when the ambassador raised the issue of the European Union's role in the transition, "F-ck the EU." That made the conversation noteworthy.

The only outrage in the West was over the fact that the contents of a private conversation has been divulged. Russia was blamed of course. Three years later Hillary Clinton denounced the leak as an example of Russia "weaponizing" intelligence information. She had no objection to overthrowing a friendly government and plunging Europe into a new war.

Yesterday no doubt there was rejoicing and exultation in Kiev. There should have been weeping and gnashing of teeth in the Donbass and Crimea. And grave concern in Moscow. Nuland like her boss Joe Biden may have unfinished business in Ukraine. y_arrow


Dumpster Elite 5 hours ago

Now that the Globalists are back in control at the White House, I would love to have a betting pool about where the next forever war will be started. MIC says, "There is once again profit to be had." Wonder how much the Biden crime family stands to gain?

domoga 5 hours ago

At least we understand what the policy will be.

fishpoem 1 hour ago

Woopee! Another blood-thirsty war-mongering Talmudic joins the State Department. Her father was, of all things, a bioethics professor. He taught her nothing? https://www.nndb.com/people/567/000120207/

Smart secular **** that I know are absolutely against foolish wars and war crimes against civilians. And yet dual-citizen Talmudics so abundant in Washington serve the interests of the military industrial complex with ruthless enthusiasm. Do they not know what war crimes are? Have they never heard of Eichmann?

Lucius Quinctius 2 hours ago (Edited)

Someone in the comment section a ways back described US Foreign policy as the varying unguided summation of random power vectors .A good description.

The financial aristocracy , the banks and industries ,the governments and media they control and own outright have different goals .The result is a myopic ,sclerotic insistence on clinging to an antique Cold War scheme of familiar enemies and arrangements.

Problem is the world has its own organic geopolitical evolution. It will not fit into the little antique Cold War boxes Nuland and her ilk insist on. This American ancien regime is,on this course, bound for failure.A literal bloody failure.

An intelligent, nimble American foreign policy would facilitate and manage Russian integration into Europe, creating a peaceful and rewarding alliance between two resonant cultures.

Instead we have this ugly Nuland creature, the representative of a failing , arrogant , retrograde clique, divorced from the sentiments and interests of the people.

It will not get better.

play_arrow
consider me gone 2 hours ago remove link

With rigged elections going forward, policy will be more consistent. Will it be wiser? No, but it will be consistently unwise.

Sarrazin 3 hours ago (Edited)

Victora Nuland is a warmongering psychopath, no wonder she's a high ranking US servicewomen.

Habeeb 5 hours ago

Like the African slave trade war is big buisness. Just trace where all those poor Ukrainian girls are going.

Lord Raglan 5 hours ago

nice to see Xiden get some new blood in the Foreign Service, given how successful foreign policy was under Barry Soetero

Pdunne 3 hours ago

Her career has been one of the reasons Foreign Policy in the USA is failing.

[Apr 29, 2021] Crisis in American expertise- Washington has a dangerous destructive pattern of willful ignorance on Russia by Natylie Baldwin

Notable quotes:
"... Bernie Sanders in 2016, the self-described democratic socialist "showed little interest or knowledge about US-Russia relations and the attendant dangers of a new cold war." Instead, Sanders was ultimately content to mimic the juvenile and Manichean "democracies versus authoritarians" model of international relations. ..."
"... in the Obama era, as mediocre academics like Celeste Wallander were given positions on the National Security Council, and an ideologue like Michael McFaul was bizarrely appointed as ambassador. ..."
"... Under Biden – who caved to pressure from the foreign policy blob to not appoint Rojansky – the advisers who are in place or in line, including Jake Sullivan , Antony Blinken , Madeleine Albright/Hillary Clinton adviser Wendy Sherman, the German Marshall Fund's Karen Donfried , and State Department nominee Victoria Nuland represent more of the same dangerous ineptitude and strident thinking. Many of these advisers, like their predecessors, have little on-the-ground experience with contemporary Russia. ..."
"... Neoconservative ideologue Nuland, of course, is a slightly different case in that she has put her boots on the ground in the region. Unfortunately, that experience includes facilitating the dangerously divisive 2014 coup in Ukraine, without which Crimea would still be in Ukraine and the Donbass would be at peace. Competent officials would have warned Obama and Biden that the Maidan would lead to consequences like these. ..."
"... importantly, this 'perceived enemy' and its corresponding narrative sells... it enriches the military complexes, CIA etc. Even if it sounded unbelievable and outrageous, they will still be regurgitated and at best, given a new guised repackaging ..."
"... the author assumes that the mistakes made by advisors to Obama and others were because of incompetence, when in fact it should be seriously considered they were actually quite deliberate and planned ..."
"... the job was NOT to deliver facts to the public; the job was to tell the public how to think and what to believe; ie. anti-Russia propaganda. ..."
Apr 29, 2021 | www.rt.com
The rejection of Matthew Rojansky's candidacy as a Russia adviser to Joe Biden represents an escalation, and not a departure, from a pervasive bipartisan American pattern of dangerous ignorance about Russia in the post-Soviet era.

It was reported last week that Joe Biden's government would not be hiring Rojansky, of the Kennan Institute think tank, to help form policy towards Russia. Though the analyst is known as a moderate realist regarding Russia issues – in other words, he is not a virulent anti-Moscow ideologue – he was considered too controversial to be allowed a hearing during White House deliberations on policy regarding the world's largest country.

Rojansky's sin? Unlike many of the current crop of foreign policy officials, he actually has some expertise and experience on the subject.

While the scholar's fate may be a glaring and extreme example of an anti-Russia mindset in Washington that is counterproductive, it represents only a new low, and not a change from a pervasive bipartisan pattern in the post-Soviet era.

Those who aspire to, or attain, the most powerful executive position in the United States have shown a disturbingly willful ignorance of Russia. I learned from a former State Department official that, in response to a renowned Russia expert attempting to brief presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in 2016, the self-described democratic socialist "showed little interest or knowledge about US-Russia relations and the attendant dangers of a new cold war." Instead, Sanders was ultimately content to mimic the juvenile and Manichean "democracies versus authoritarians" model of international relations.

Similarly, an American business executive told me that, during a lunch with him and other leaders of commerce at the US Embassy in Moscow in 2012, then-Vice President Joe Biden showed no interest in his interlocutors' suggestions that it was in the US' best interests to partner with Russia after they offered social, economic, and strategic justifications for their view.

Biden seemed to see the meeting as an opportunity to lecture on his position rather than to learn or seek insight on Russia.

Moreover, once a US president is in power, the advisers that are appointed to counsel the commander in chief about Russia have been less than impressive from the 1990s onward. Condoleezza Rice served as an expert in the George Bush Senior administration and was wrong about the impending collapse of the Soviet Union. During her stint as secretary of state in the second term of the junior Bush administration, her Russian counterparts who spent significant time with her made the observation that Rice was "a Soviet expert, and not a Russia expert."

There was little improvement in the Obama era, as mediocre academics like Celeste Wallander were given positions on the National Security Council, and an ideologue like Michael McFaul was bizarrely appointed as ambassador.

According to investigative journalist Gareth Porter, advisers to Obama were so utterly incompetent that those serving in the administration really didn't think Russia had the ability or inclination to counter Washington's provocative actions in Syria, and therefore they did not plan for that possibility. This incompetence was also highlighted by Obama's public comments to the Economist in 2014, in which he claimed that Russia didn't make anything, immigrants didn't go there, and male life expectancy was 60 years – three claims that anyone with actual expertise on Russia should have easily known were false.

In fact, at that point, Russia was the second most popular migration destination in the world, after America itself, while average lifespans have been converging with those of the US over the past decade. As for manufacturing, Obama said these words at a time when the US, for instance, was totally reliant on Russian rockets for access to space, having retired its own unreliable Space Shuttle fleet. If he had access to a competent adviser on the subject, would he have made these mistakes?

Under Biden – who caved to pressure from the foreign policy blob to not appoint Rojansky – the advisers who are in place or in line, including Jake Sullivan , Antony Blinken , Madeleine Albright/Hillary Clinton adviser Wendy Sherman, the German Marshall Fund's Karen Donfried , and State Department nominee Victoria Nuland represent more of the same dangerous ineptitude and strident thinking. Many of these advisers, like their predecessors, have little on-the-ground experience with contemporary Russia.

Neoconservative ideologue Nuland, of course, is a slightly different case in that she has put her boots on the ground in the region. Unfortunately, that experience includes facilitating the dangerously divisive 2014 coup in Ukraine, without which Crimea would still be in Ukraine and the Donbass would be at peace. Competent officials would have warned Obama and Biden that the Maidan would lead to consequences like these.

It takes a special kind of hubris for the US political class to keep thinking they can get away with this level of sloppiness in understanding the world's other nuclear superpower – a country so massive that it straddles two major continents and is the sixth largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity – without serious consequences. At what point will God's providence run out?

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

If you like this story, share it with a friend!

Natylie Baldwin is author of "The View from Moscow: Understanding Russia and U.S.-Russia Relations," available at Amazon. She blogs at http://natyliesbaldwin.com/ .

See also


ewel Gyn 9 hours ago 9 hours ago

"Washington has a dangerous & destructive pattern of wilful ignorance on Russia in post-Soviet era" It is not just wilful ignorance per se. Without a 'perceived enemy', the narrative for Russia will fall apart. Ditto China, Iran, N Korea et al.

But importantly, this 'perceived enemy' and its corresponding narrative sells... it enriches the military complexes, CIA etc. Even if it sounded unbelievable and outrageous, they will still be regurgitated and at best, given a new guised repackaging, but with the antiquated contents remaining intact.

dotmafia 6 hours ago 6 hours ago
Good article, but, the author assumes that the mistakes made by advisors to Obama and others were because of incompetence, when in fact it should be seriously considered they were actually quite deliberate and planned. In the example of Obama's remarks to The Economist, the job was NOT to deliver facts to the public; the job was to tell the public how to think and what to believe; ie. anti-Russia propaganda.
Levin High 8 hours ago 8 hours ago
It used to be said that you couldn't be fired for buying IBM, now days in the US you seem to be hired for blaming Russia.
apothqowejh 9 hours ago 9 hours ago
The US State Department is packed with idiots, political appointees, ideologues and globalist nut jobs. Their lack of anything remotely like competence is as astonishing as the CIA's full on embrace of evil.
wowhead1977 4 hours ago 4 hours ago
The cabal in America always want to blame Russia. I'm a American citizen and have no problem with Russia. These so called sanctions on other countries is a control tactic that most Americans didn't vote for. This race baiting tactic is from The Fabian Society play book. Wolf in sheep's clothing is the Fabian Society logo.

We must realize that our Party's most powerful weapon is racial tension. By propounding into the consciousness of the dark races, that for centuries have been oppressed by the Whites, we can mold them to the program of the Communist Party ... In America, we will aim for subtle victory. While enflaming the color people minority against the Whites, we will instill in the Whites, a guilt complex for the exploitation of the color people.

We will aid the color people to rise to prominence in every walk of life, in the professions, and in the world of sports and entertainment. With this prestige, the color people will be able to intermarry with the Whites, and begin a process which will deliver America to our cause." ~ Israel Cohen - Fabian Society Founder

[Apr 27, 2021] Gauleiter: Swedish Filmmaker Exposes Biden Corruption In Eastern Europe And Ukraine

Apr 27, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Norwegian , Apr 25 2021 14:19 utc | 9

Must see video

Gauleiter: Swedish Filmmaker Exposes Biden Corruption In Eastern Europe And Ukraine

Norwegian , Apr 25 2021 14:34 utc | 11

@Norwegian | Apr 25 2021 14:19 utc | 9

Btw, I think the filmmaker is Finnish, not Swedish. This is judging from his dialect and the video contents.

@jared and @Lelush : Thank you

[Apr 24, 2021] Blinken's Winking and Nodding to the Neocons -- Strategic Culture

Apr 24, 2021 | www.strategic-culture.org

Biden's Western Hemisphere foreign policy is not much different from that of Obama's, Wayne Madsen writes.

Like proverbial bad pennies, the neocon imperialists who plagued the Barack Obama administration have turned up in force in Joe Biden's State Department. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has given more than winks and nods to the dastardly duo of Victoria Nuland, slated to become Blinken's Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, the number three position at the State Department, and Samantha Power, nominated to become the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Nuland and Power both have problematic spouses who do not fail to offer their imperialistic opinions regardless of the appearance of conflicts-of-interest. Nuland's husband is the claptrappy neocon warmonger Robert Kagan, someone who has never failed to urge to prod the United States into wars that only benefit Israel. Power's husband is the totally creepy Cass Sunstein, who served as Obama's White House "information czar" and advocated government infiltration of non-governmental organizations and news media outlets to wage psychological warfare campaigns.

True to form, Blinken's State Department has already come to the aid of Venezuela's right-wing self-appointed "opposition leader" Juan Guaido, whose actual constituency is found in the wealthy gated communities of Venezuelan and Cuban expatriates in south Florida and not in the barrios of Caracas or Maracaibo.

Blinken and his team of old school yanqui imperialists have also criticized the constitutional and judicially-warranted detention of former interim president Jeanine Áñez, who became president in 2019 after the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) government of President Evo Morales was overthrown in a Central Intelligence Agency-inspired and -directed military coup. The far-right forces backing Áñez were roundly defeated in the October 2020 election that swept MAS and Morales's chosen presidential candidate, Luis Arce, back into power. It seems that for Blinken and his ilk, a decisive victory in an election only applies to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, not to Arce and MAS in Bolivia.

It should be recalled that while Blinken was national security adviser to then-Vice President Biden in the Obama administration, every sort of deception and trickery was used by the CIA to depose Morales in Bolivia and President Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela. In fact, the Obama administration, with Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, claimed its first Latin American political victim when a CIA coup was launched against progressive President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras. Today, Honduras is ruled by a right-wing kleptocratic narco-president, Juan Orlando Hernández, whose brother, Tony Hernández, is currently serving life in federal prison in the United States for drug trafficking. For the likes of Blinken, Power, Nuland, and former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice, who currently serves as "domestic policy adviser" to Biden, suppression of progressive governments and support for right-wing dictators and autocrats have always been the preferred foreign policy, particularly for the Western Hemisphere. For example, while the Biden administration remains quiet on right-wing regimes in Central America that are responsible for the outflow of thousands of beleaguered Mayan Indians to the southern U.S. border with Mexico, it has announced that Trump era sanctions on 24 Nicaraguan government officials, including President Daniel Ortega's wife and Nicaragua's vice president, Rosario Murillo, as well as three of their sons – Laureano, Rafael, and Juan Carlos – will continue.

Biden's Western Hemisphere foreign policy is not much different from that of Obama's. Biden and Brazilian far-right, Adolf Hitler-loving, and Covid pandemic-denying President Jair Bolsonaro are said to have struck a deal on environmental protection of the Amazon Basin ahead of an April 22 global climate change virtual summit called by the White House. A coalition of 198 Brazilian NGOs, representing environmental, indigenous rights, and other groups, has appealed to Biden not to engage in any rain forest protection agreement with the untrustworthy Bolsonaro. The Brazilian president has repeatedly advocated the wholesale deforestation of the Amazon region. Meanwhile, while Biden urges Americans to maintain Covid public health measures, Bolsonaro continues to downplay the virus threat as Brazil's overall death count approaches that of the United States.

Blinken's State Department has been relatively quiet on the Northern Triangle of Central America fascist troika of Presidents Orlando of Honduras, Alejandro Giammattei of Guatemala, and Nayib Bukele of El Salvador. Instead of pressuring these fascistas to democratize and stop their genocidal policies toward the indigenous peoples of their nations, Biden told Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador that he would pump $4 billion into supposed "assistance" to those countries to stop the flow of migrants. Biden is repeating the same old American gambits of the past. Any U.S. assistance to kleptocratic countries like those of the Northern Triangle has and will line the pockets of their corrupt leaders. Flush with U.S. aid cash, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador will be sure to grant contracts to greedy Israeli counter-insurgency contractors always at the ready to commit more human rights abuses against the workers, students, and indigenous peoples of Central America.

Biden is also in no hurry to reverse the freeze imposed by Donald Trump on U.S.-Cuban relations. Biden, whose policy toward Cuba represents a fossilized relic of the Cold War, intends to maintain Trump's freeze on U.S. commercial, trade, and tourism relations with Cuba. Biden's Homeland Security Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, a Jewish Cuban-American expatriate, is expected to reach out to right-wing Cuban-Americans in south Florida in order to ensure Democratic Party inroads in the 2022 and 2024 U.S. elections. Therefore, even restoring the status quo ante established by Barack Obama is off-the-table for Biden, Blinken, and Mayorkas. The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Cuban-American and ethically-challenged Democrat Bob Menendez, has stated there will be no normalization of pre-Trump relations with Cuba until his "regime change" whims are satisfied. Regurgitating typical right-wing Cuban-American drivel, Mayorkas has proclaimed after he was announced as the new Homeland Security Secretary, "I have been nominated to be the DHS Secretary and oversee the protection of all Americans and those who flee persecution in search of a better life for themselves and their loved ones." The last part of that statement was directed toward the solidly Republican bloc of moneyed Cuban, Venezuelan, Nicaraguan, and Bolivian interests in south Florida.

While Blinken hurls his neocon invectives at Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Cuba, he remains silent on the repeated foot-dragging by embattled and highly unpopular right-wing Chilean President Sebastian Pinera on implementing a new Constitution to replace that put into place in 1973 by the fascist military dictator General Augusto Pinochet. The current Chilean Constitution is courtesy of Richard Nixon's foreign policy "Svengali," the duplicitous Henry Kissinger, an individual who obviously shares Blinken's taste for "realpolitik" adventurism on a global scale.

While Blinken has weighed in on the domestic politics of Bolivia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba, he has had no comment on the anti-constitutional moves by Colombian far-right authoritarian President Ivan Duque, the front man for that nation's Medellin narcotics cartel. It would also come as no surprise if Blinken, Nuland, and Power have quietly buttressed the candidacy of right-wing banker, Guillermo Lasso, who is running against the progressive socialist candidate Andrés Arauz, the protegé of former president Rafael Correa. Blinken can be expected to question the results of the April 11 if Lasso cries fraud in the event of an Arauz victory. Conversely, Blinken will remain silent if Lasso wins and Arauz cries foul. That has always been the nature of U.S. Western Hemisphere policy, regardless of what party controls the White House.

[Apr 19, 2021] Gorbachev and Yeltsin didn't want or wish for disasters due to the results they got (and maybe their tasks were impossible in their context). Clear mistakes were made and crimes "allowed", far too much was rushed and ill thought out

Apr 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Sunny Runny Burger , Apr 19 2021 18:47 utc | 20

Don't make simple things complicated the irony of starting this way for this post lol :D (of course everything is complicated as well as simple, language betrays us all).

· The people of the Warsaw pact and then the Russians did what they did for themselves and not for others, and they did it by themselves. It went well as long as the people were in charge (ie. the initial actions) but the politicians then soon messed it up as politicians anywhere are bound to do.

Gorbachev and Yeltsin didn't want or wish for disasters due to the results they got (and maybe their tasks were impossible in their context). Clear mistakes were made and crimes "allowed", far too much was rushed and ill thought out. The politicians had no way of being prepared any more than they would be in the US right now.

· The US is out-competed, dysfunctional, and trapped in a cycle of excuses in order to shoehorn their labyrinth of lies into their current reality. All people lie despite this clear lesson as to why no one should, it is the lies one tells without realizing they are lies that are the worst. This is much like the USSR was but easily even worse.

Will people in Europe and the US manage to duplicate the fall of the Warsaw pact and the USSR? Right now it looks unlikely but remember or be aware that no one predicted the fall of the Iron Curtain or the Politburo and most if not all outsiders in "the west" had trouble believing it and understanding it when it happened or even now (and especially people on both/all sides that are running on ideological biases as fuel).

(Our systems and models do not capture reality and can not, not even theoretically, a different bigger discussion which boils down to the Shannon limit in the end (but I notice thermodynamics is contentious among some so why would I invite that much work?)).

A repeat of history is not necessary nor automatic; the US isn't doing anything to stop its own ongoing fall, at least not anything that I have noticed.

Because b is right.

(I really hope the CPC has a better grasp on this than that article vk posted hints at because I want a stable prosperous China and that includes/demands the continuation of the CPC and the way they have shaped and structured the Chinese system which is noticeable for not taking the USSR approach that worked itself into a blind alley despite decades of repeated attempts at reform (hell even Stalin tried)).

[Apr 19, 2021] Why now -- Trey Gowdy on Biden's move to pull troops from Afghanistan

This was Bush racket. Invasion on false pretenses to establish a foothold and get to former USSR republic. This move was initially a big success (and Putin helped by using his influence on Northern Alliance) but later backfire. In other words this was typical imperial policy.
Apr 19, 2021 | www.youtube.com

Gary Buchanan , 3 days ago

This time, let's don't leave all our equipment and ammunition for them to use against us.

Julie Monarch , 3 days ago

Shut the door! That's how you stop them from coming.

R. Dillon , 3 days ago

I would guess 2 things, 1. He's hoping if he ends the war then none of the terrorists that just snuck in won't attack. 2. He plans on starting a war elsewhere.

Cris Renner , 3 days ago

Please, get them out of office, before they do anymore damage!!!

Clarence Spangle , 3 days ago

"Obama may have gotten (U.S. soldiers) out wrong, but going in is, to me, the biggest single mistake made in the history of our country." -- Donald J. Trump

Ratpatrol Renegade , 3 days ago

Afghanistan's a racket. We're rebuilding their country instead of America. Power plants hospitals and schools that they're never going to use

[Apr 19, 2021] Biden's Russia-China Tactic Is To Wage War AND To Ask For Cooperation. It Will Fail

Apr 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Clueless Joe , Apr 17 2021 19:04 utc | 12

The policies of the Biden administration towards Russia and China are delusional. It thinks that it can squeeze these countries but still successfully ask them for cooperation. It believes that the U.S. position is stronger than it really is and that China and Russia are much weaker than they are.

It is also full of projection. The U.S. accuses both countries of striving for empire, of wanting to annex more land and of human rights violations. But is only the U.S. that has expanding aspirations. Neither China nor Russia are interested in running an empire. They have no interest in planting military bases all over the world. Though both have marginal border conflicts they do not want to acquire more land. And while the U.S. bashes both countries for alleged human rights issues it is starving whole populations (Yemen, Syria, Venezuela) through violence and economic sanctions.

The U.S. power structures in the Pentagon and CIA use the false accusations against Russia and China as pretense for cold military and hot economic wars against both countries. They use color revolution schemes (Ukraine, Myanmar) to create U.S. controlled proxy forces near their borders.

At the same time as it tries to press these countries the U.S. is seeking their cooperation in selected fields. It falsely believes that it has some magical leverage.

Consider this exchange from yesterday's White House press briefing about Biden asking for a summit with Putin while, at the same time, implementing more sanctions against Russia:

Q What if [Putin] says "no," though? Wouldn't that indicate some weakness on the part of the American administration here?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I think the President's view is that Russia is on the outside of the global community in many respects, at this point in time. It's the G7, not the G8. They have -- obviously, we've put sanctions in place in order to send a clear message that there should be consequences for the actions; the Europeans have also done that.

What the President is offering is a bridge back. And so, certainly, he believes it's in their interests to take him up on that offer.

The G7 are not the 'global community'. They have altogether some 500 million inhabitants out of 7.9 billion strong global population. Neither China nor India are members of the G7 nor is any South American or African country. Moreover Russia has rejected a Russian return into the G7/8 format:

"Russia is focused on other formats, apart from the G7," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a brief statement ..

Russia has no interest in a summit which would only be used by the U.S. to further bash Russia. Why should it give Biden that pleasure when there is nothing that Russia would gain from it. Russia does not need a 'bridge back'. There will be no summit.

... ... ...

If Biden wants cooperation with Russia or China he needs to reign in the hawks and stop his attacks on those countries. As he is not willing or capable of doing that any further cooperation attempts will fall flat.

The U.S. has to learn that it is no longer the top dog. It can not work ceaselessly to impact Russia's and China's military and economic security and still expect them to cooperate. If it wants something it will first have to cease the attacks and to accept multilateral relationships.

Posted by b on April 17, 2021 at 17:53 UTC | Permalink

"It can not work ceaselessly to impact Russia's and China's military and economic security and still expect them to cooperate"
You have to understand the USA. They're doing it against Europe on a daily basis, and it actually works... Get them confused why it doesn't always work against others.


Mao Cheng Ji , Apr 17 2021 19:17 utc | 15

It's interesting what's happening right now (in the past hour or so).

First: Russian and Belorussian news about the arrest of leaders (or key participants) of an attempted military coup in Belarus, planned by the US security services.

Then, 30 minutes later: the Czechs expel 18 Russian diplomats, accusing them of spying and of connection to some explosion back in 2014.

I could've been skeptical about the details of the first story, but the second one seems to confirm it. The second story appears to be an obvious attempt to squeeze the first one out of the news. And who else could order the Czech government to do this with a 30 minute notice?

oglalla , Apr 17 2021 19:27 utc | 18

Wouldn't Oceania rulers love to print more of their own currency to buy up all the paper rights to industrial output without having to invest in the factories or anything else! They love this kind of business model.

"The secret of success is to own nothing but control everything."

Because of what's at stake and how little I trust Oceania, I confess I no longer have an opinion about global warming. Even if many of its scientists are *earnest*, who obtained, processed, and stored the data before they started building models? Those institutions are capable of anything.

[Apr 19, 2021] Biden's Sanctions Leave Russia's Stocks and Bonds in Stalemate

Apr 19, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

The U.S. has leveled sanctions on Russia over election interference and cyberattacks, including barring U.S. financial institutions from buying new domestically issued Russian government debt.

The Biden Administration went where Presidents Obama and Trump had not, barring U.S. financial institutions from buying new domestically issued Russian sovereign bonds. The move excluded the secondary market, though. Anyone can still trade the so-called OFZs already in circulation. And it was matched by a substantial carrot: a dovish speech on Russia by Biden, floating a potential summit with Putin this summer.

The market had feared worse, says Vladimir Tikhomirov, chief economist at BCS Global Markets in Moscow. The ruble is still down 4%, and stocks 3%, since Russia stoked tensions a month ago by massing troops on Ukraine's border. That is despite buoyant oil prices that should benefit Russia. "Everyone was discussing direct punishment of Russian companies or a cutoff from SWIFT," he says, referring to the backbone for global financial transactions. "The actual sanctions turned out to be relatively mild."

Global investors have been fleeing the OFZ market without any push from the White House. Foreigners' share of outstanding bond holdings have fallen to 20% from about a third last summer, notes Aaron Hurd, senior currency portfolio manager at State Street Global Advisors.

Political risk still depresses the value of Russian assets by 15%, Tikhomirov estimates. That is reasonable considering Biden's options for escalating sanctions, says Daniel Fried, an Atlantic Council fellow who was the State Department's sanctions coordinator under Obama. "He could move into the secondary debt market, restrict state-owned energy companies' ability to raise capital, or go after the money hidden by Putin and his cronies," he says. "It could get to be a pretty tight squeeze."

To close the political risk gap, Putin needs to at least restore calm with Ukraine, risking domestic political face after a month of hyping the alleged threat from Russia's southern neighbor. The coming week offers two opportunities for Putin to move toward Biden's proffered stable relationship, Tikhomirov says. He could sound friendly in an annual state of the nation address scheduled for April 21, and he could turn up (virtually) for the global climate summit Biden has called on April 23-24.

These may be far overshadowed by Alexei Navalny, the Russian opposition leader who is on hunger strike in a maximum-security prison outside Moscow. Navalny-allied doctors said April 17 he could "die within days" without outside medical intervention. Backing off from its merciless treatment of Navalny would also look like an embarrassing climb-down from the Kremlin's point of view.

Hurd expects a stalemate where Russian assets could nudge higher as oil prices remain firm and the Central Bank of Russia raises interest rates. Putin will make few concessions with his party facing parliamentary elections in September, he predicts. Washington will be constrained by the European Union's reluctance to stiffen anti-Russian measures. "The ruble could still go higher from here, but we remain tentative over the next six months," he says.

Putin has essentially accomplished the goal he set after his 2014 invasions of Ukraine, a self-sufficient Russia that can pursue its perceived security interests without worrying what the rest of the world thinks, says Yong Zhu, portfolio manager for emerging markets debt at DuPont Capital Management.

Government debt amounts to a mere 18% of gross domestic product, and in a pinch can be serviced domestically. That keeps yields too low to pay for the country's geopolitical turbulence, he concludes: 10-year Russian domestic bonds pay about 7% annually, compared with 9% for Brazil or South Africa. "Russia doesn't really need anything beside the iPhone," Zhu quips.

Self-reliance has also spelled isolation from the capital and talent that could lift Russia to its proper place in global innovation and growth. But Putin and his regime seem to like it that way.

[Apr 19, 2021] You have to be careful around them

Apr 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

NotBob , Apr 17 2021 19:24 utc | 16

robert@3 :

While I agree with 99% of your post, there is one point that I think needs to be keeping in mind. While the populace of this particular manure-hole certainly has its equal share of dumb creatures, the people running things cannot be so easily dismissed. The problem as I see it is they have a great deal of a certain kind of intelligence, as someone said "smart, but not wise". They are educated, but insane. The cream of the crop that has gone sour. In my travels I would often ask people what they actually thought of "Americans". An Indonesian man responded " soft, but cunning. You have to be careful around them."

If these cunning, insane, power hungry creatures were simply dumb and not truly evil, we might be in less of a shit show (nod to psychohistorian) than we are.


Ruben Chandler , Apr 17 2021 22:23 utc | 42

@ NotBob | Apr 17 2021 19:24 utc | 16

Aleister Crowley of all people summed up these kind of people:

A cunning combination of rat and ape.

Biswapriya Purkayast , Apr 18 2021 0:55 utc | 63

After 20 years of regular interaction with Amerikastanis online and in real life, I have realised that they live in a parallel universe in which Hollywood is the arbiter of truth. They genuinely believe that anything they choose to imagine is the truth just because they imagine it.

A couple of days ago when the Imperialist States admitted its "Russia Bounty" story was concocted, the people who had shrieked to the skies about it last year had a chance to apologise. Did they? They ignored it. It did not happen because they chose to believe it didn't.

[Apr 14, 2021] Biden's Presidency Will Be Destroyed By His Foreign Policy

Apr 14, 2021 | turcopolier.com

Posted on April 8, 2021 by Larry Johnson

Dementia Joe and his coterie of enablers have embarked on a foreign policy that is likely to result in a new war that will endanger America and further a growing perception that the United States is weak and divided. There are three troublesome flashpoints (Ukraine, China and Iran) that could explode at any time and catapult our nation into a costly, deadly military confrontation. Topping the list is the Ukraine.

The corrupt dealings in Ukraine over the last four years by Joe and Hunter Biden leaves them completely compromised and subject to coercion, even blackmail. With this as a backdrop the decade long effort by the United States to weaken Russia's influence in eastern Ukraine has been revived with Biden's arrival in the White House.

Let me first introduce you to some essential facts:

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Pages: 1 2 This entry was posted in As The Borg Turns , Borg Wars , Larry Johnson , Russia . Bookmark the permalink . ← No platform for the Left here China Joe Biden is the enemy of the constitution → 32 Responses to Biden's Presidency Will Be Destroyed By His Foreign Policy
  1. Pat Lang Pat Lang says: April 8, 2021 at 9:54 pm

    LJ

    Try to remember to turn the page counter on. Reply

  2. Avatar Ishmael Zechariah says: April 8, 2021 at 10:50 pm

    Larry Johnson,
    If the Ukraine blows so will Syria! Then the situation might transition from nemesis to tisis in short order. Here is a strangely appropriate analysis with just one word blanked out.
    In the years ahead, _____________ will assuredly find itself in new international crises involving nations or groups that have powerful leaders. In some cases, these leaders may have a special, dangerous mindset that is the result of a "hubris-nemesis complex." This complex involves a combination of hubris (a pretension toward an arrogant form of godliness) and nemesis (a vengeful desire to confront, defeat, humiliate, and punish an adversary, especially one that can be accused of hubris). The combination has strange dynamics that may lead to destructive, high-risk behavior. Attempts to deter, compel, or negotiate with a leader who has a hubris-nemesis complex can be ineffectual or even disastrously counterproductive when those attempts are based on concepts better suited to dealing with more normal leaders.
    https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monograph_reports/2005/MR461.pdf
    We, too, pray for sanity.
    Ishmael Zechariah Reply

  3. Avatar Walrus says: April 8, 2021 at 11:22 pm

    Larry, I unfortunately agree with your observations and conclusion.

    I would add that in my opinion, the Russians are a lot more determined, as are the Chinese and Iranians, then the generally self absorbed younger generations in the West. "Woke" culture has no answer to sunken warships, downed aircraft and body bags. Do the SJWs want to die for LBGTIQ rights in Russia or another of their pet obsessions de jour? I don't think so.

    My concern for President Biden and America is that, if Ukraine attacks, unless President Putin succeeds in delivering a very short, sharp and successful lesson to Ukraine there is not going to be a clear path forward to a negotiated armistice. If that doesn't happen through bad luck, the fog of war, etc. Then I don't think Biden has the intelligence to get us out of the mess.

    If you add to that the possibility that Zelensky may demand American support "or else" when he starts to lose then we are in very very dangerous territory. If I were the Chinese, I would just stand back and watch. Taiwanese independence is a meaningless concept without American military backing and I'm sure the Taiwanese know it.

    The wild card to me is what is Israel's attitude? Is it possible that they might be a moderating influence for a change? Reply

    • Avatar Thomas says: April 9, 2021 at 8:08 pm

      Oh, yeah .!!!!!! The country that shoots women and children who get too close to the fence they have constructed in PALESTINE on other people"s land will be the moderating party. Or maybe Mad Dog Bolton.

      Try getting real, and come up with real world situations. Not some fantasy of killers acting like kittens. The Russians seem more balanced in responding to such provocations than the U.S. & it's gang of follower- puppets. How long would any of the these follower-puppets be able to go toe to toe with Russia in all-out-war situation. I'd bet less than 24 hours, probably far less. Or as a Chinese General once asked: would you want to give up Los Angeles to save Tiwan? The U.S. doesn't seem to have any sort of reliable anti-missile defence system. Would Ole Uncle Joe really like to get into such pissing contest so early on in his term of presidency? Maybe I am wrong, but from what I have seen so far, he just seems to be throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. In this game, if one blunders, the walls vanish, an the lights go out. Reply

  4. Avatar Andrei Martyanov says: April 9, 2021 at 12:42 am

    Russia moves cannon boats and amphibious vessels from Caspian Sea to the Black Sea, but in reality these combatants are perfect for operations in shallow waters and that means Azov Sea and Ukraine's South-Western flank. These ships can form both a surface group capable of dispatching anything Ukraine may have on Azov Sea, plus form excellent tactical amphibious group which can land a battalion or two of marines and support them with fire from the sea, both artillery and MLRS. Of course, there are other forces Russia has there but it is a good way to give Caspian Flotilla a chance for yet another combat deployment, after its missile ships spearheaded first salvos of 3M14 cruise missiles at ISIS targets in Syria in 2015. Here are some of those ships:
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/ce/Caspian_Corvette_Astrakhan_2.jpg

    Russia has an overwhelming firepower in the Black Sea proper and whatever the US is sending there is primarily for ISR purposes in case Ukies go bananas and decide to attack Donbass in death by cop scenario. The US will not interfere in any meaningful way other than supplying Ukies with recon data. Reply

  5. Avatar Peter Reichard says: April 9, 2021 at 6:28 am

    It is bigger than Biden or even the Military Industrial Complex. The establishment foreign policy apparatus transcends political parties and has a continuity that survives changes in administrations. It is obsessed with Russia. It opposed not just communism but Russia itself so when the Berlin wall fell for it the Cold War never ended and it successfully pursued the the break up and looting of the Russian Empire and the relentless eastward march of NATO. Putin pushed back on this resulting in him being demonized by the orchestrated Western media. Trump for all his faults had at least a halfway rational view of these matters but now the Borg is back and spoiling for a fight. I never cease to be amazed by the stupidity of these people, their apparent lack of understanding of the importance of Ukraine and Sevastopol in Russian history and their inability to read a map or know the basics of military operations to see the obvious indefensibility of Ukraine's eastern border. The danger now is that Ukraine's leaders will overestimate the support they think they have from the United States and start something they can't stop. This has the feel of 1914. Reply

    • Avatar Thomas says: April 9, 2021 at 9:00 pm

      Or the Georgian/Russian of 2008 when Georgia attacked on Russian territory. President Bush was talking tough, saying he would send aid to Georgia on warships. But the rules governing ships entering the Bosferus proscribed such stuff, aND Bush ended doing nothing. The Russians quickly neutralized the Georgian forces and pushed deeper into Georgia where they currently remain. The odiot who started the mess was forced out of Georgia & was afterwards appointed a governor or some such in Ukraine. But I think that too went bad. Such is the level of governance in Ukraine. Reply

  6. Avatar john kliss says: April 9, 2021 at 6:35 am

    The last 5 Ukros killed were killed by mines. The contact line has many zones where minefields are employed by both sides. It appears some were killed in their own minefield according to local reports. Civilians in the LPR and DPR have been killed by incoming fire, most recently a 5 year old boy. Of course OSCE is worthless except as a "bean counter"; who fired what and where is too much to record.. Reply

  7. Avatar JohninMK says: April 9, 2021 at 7:09 am

    Another good analysis there LJ.

    US defence attache with a group was up at the front yesterday as well as the comic.

    Ukraine really has its back up against the wall financially. This year with big interest payments due and no way to get the funds as the IMF seems to hit its limit on their 'we're never getting it back' budget. Their only steady source of funds is ironically Russia with the gas transit fees guaranteed at $7B total over the next four years, much of which will go to the EU and IMF as interest payments. After that the gas fees will drop to zero as the gas transits move to TurkStream and NS2. With nothing to pay Russia, apart from the little mentioned oil transit fees, Russia may stop shipping gas/coal/electricity for local consumption as well. At that point either Ukraine crashes or someone else has to pick up the bill.

    Although Kiev will lose dramatically there are very good reasons why Kiev would push the button. Will they ever again have this PR opportunity to play the innocent victim? Reply

  8. Avatar BillWade says: April 9, 2021 at 7:51 am

    Earlier this morning I saw a pic of Zelenskiy visiting the front, behind him was a makeshift field tent with a sign on it, the sign is in Ukrainian but translates as "Vietnam". Is Biden serious about backing Zelenskiy, I guess we'll find out soon enough. Reply

  9. Avatar jonst says: April 9, 2021 at 8:34 am

    wondering if anyone can point me to a fairly, anyway, reliable, (assuming one exists) 'war games scenario' document on an attempted invasion of Taiwan by China. Intuitively, it would seem a difficult challenge, especially given China's lack of any appreciable experience in seaborne invasion. Thanks in advance for any help anyone can provide, and my apologies upfront LJ if you deem this offtopic. Reply

    • Avatar Yeah, Right says: April 9, 2021 at 7:58 pm

      Not meaning to be a smart-alec about it, but why assume that an invasion has to be "seaborne"?

      In WW2 the Royal Navy had total control of the waters around Crete. So the Germans simply went over the top of them and invaded the island from the air.

      It was very definitely touch and go for a while until German paratroopers managed to capture an airfield, and from that point it was all over.

      No idea how well defended Taiwanese airfields are, but the PLA would only need to capture one and, again, the final result will not be in doubt. Reply

      • Avatar jon stanley says: April 10, 2021 at 9:49 am

        well, the quick answer to your question would be 'fine, alter my initial question to include war games scenarios on airborne attacks on Taiwan. The glib answer might be, Taiwan is not Crete. And the Chinese PLA are not the Wehrmacht. Who, by the time of the Crete attack had built up a record that included many successful airborne attacks. I see no such history with the PLA. That, by no means rules it out. But, in any event, I can't imagine the PLA would role the dice, SOLELY, on an airborne attack. They would have to have a seaborne plan of attack, in case Plan A failed. So, in any event, I would be still be in search of that war games scenario. Reply

  10. Avatar Seamus Padraig says: April 9, 2021 at 8:38 am

    Absent any new evidence, I am going to continue to assume that this is really about Nordstream II. The Biden Junta are probably planning on having their Ukrainian cat's paw make a lunge at DNR/LNR, forcing the Russians to intervene directly. Ukraine, of course, is not actually a full NATO member, so no Article 5 will be triggered. Instead, Washington just self-righteously hollers 'Russian aggression!' and demands that Merkel immediately shut down Nordstream II -- the Russian pipeline into Germany -- just before it's ready to go online.

    And then, as a lush reward for their undying loyalty, the Germans get to import frack-gas and oil all the way from the US at four or five times the market rate. Problem solved! Reply

    • Avatar Terence Reeves-Smyth says: April 9, 2021 at 12:52 pm

      you are correct – the Ukraine state does not really want the return of the Donbass region let alone Crimea as it would result in a complete change in the balance of power in the Ukraine with the Russian-speaking population being able to form the government, as it had done pre 2014. They really want to push the Germans into stopping Nord Stream 2 by provoking Russia Reply

  11. Avatar Some Dude says: April 9, 2021 at 9:11 am

    Struggling to understand how a Ukraine with such supposedly strong ties to National Socialists of a century ago managed to end up with a Jewish comedian as President. Reply

  12. Avatar J says: April 9, 2021 at 10:20 am

    Larry, Colonel,

    Here's a backgrounder from the Ukraine military veterans of the Ukraine's 93rd Brigade's point of view. This was the period of 2014-2015.

    93: the Battle for Ukraine – first days of the war
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cMBPN3rjXU

    93: the Battle for Ukraine – around Donetsk Airport
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AtszHyy8rY Reply

  13. Avatar J says: April 9, 2021 at 11:28 am

    Here's the viewpoint of Ukraine Army's snipers who are primarily composed of volunteer housewives. While to D.C. and Moscow, it's part of their sphere of political chess, however to those on the front lines, it is survival and protection of their loved ones.

    The Female Fighters of Ukraine's Forgotten War
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGVc4HPhanc Reply

  14. Avatar Ed Lindgren says: April 9, 2021 at 11:57 am

    Almost half a century ago, I took a course in the German language as a refresher during the summer session at my local junior college. The woman who taught the course was a native Ukrainian. She told the class a little about her background.

    When the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union, she was in her mid- to late-teens. She had an intense dislike (hatred) of the Russians and took a job working for the German military government of occupation as an interpreter. She said they had welcomed the Germans as liberators from the oppression of the Soviet Communists.

    Later, when the Red Army juggernaut was rolling west through Ukraine, she realized that it would not be good for her long-term prospects to remain at home. She chose to move west with the retreating German army. Subsequent to the end of the war in Europe, she rattled around for awhile in displaced person camps, and ultimately made her way to the United States.

    I have no reason to doubt the veracity of her story. This was my first introduction to the enmity between the Russians and the Ukrainians. Reply

  15. Avatar Deap says: April 9, 2021 at 7:32 pm

    Biden is a tin-hat emperor moving tin soldiers in his bathtub at play time. Surrounded by self-selected idiots who make him dangerous as hell. This is what his "return to decency" looks like? May he be struck down deaf and dumb. Reply

  16. Avatar Deap says: April 9, 2021 at 7:42 pm

    Two front war – Russia moving into Ukraine at the same time China moves on Taiwan. They put their wet fingers up to the wind to see which way the Biden operation blows.

    And they could not escape the conclusion this was the time to strike if there is any fortuitous time to strike. Biden and his new team muddle deeply into reckless ineptitude. And Kamala Harris doesn't have anything to wear. Reply

    • Avatar Yeah, Right says: April 10, 2021 at 3:22 am

      An odd thesis. The Russians are signally very, very strongly that they do not want the Ukraine to start a war by attacking the rebels in Donbass.

      They could not be more explicit if they sent a hypersonic cruise missile through Zelensky's office window with a sign on it that reads "Don't start something you won't even live to regret".

      They very clearly do not think that this is "the time to strike", nor even that they think there is a "fortuitous time" for them to go to war with Ukraine.

      If Ukraine strikes first then, sure, they'll strike back. But I fail to see how anyone can come to the conclusion that the Russians are provoking this when it is very clearly the Ukies and their promoters in the White House who are pushing these buttons.

      Similarly with Taiwan.

      The Chinese are not provoking this. They made their red lines clear to everyone as far back as Nixon's trip to China i.e. if the USA sticks to a one-China-policy then the mainland will refrain from using force against Taiwan.

      But the USA is not sticking to the one-China-policy. Recent US diplomatic moves look exactly like what it is: maneuverings to prepare for when the Taipei government declares independence.

      Which is crazy.

      But in both cases the USA may well provoke a conflict and then dump their patsies like a discarded toy.

      Which would be beyond crazy. It would be an outcome so loopy that there isn't even a word to describe it. Reply

      • Avatar Eol says: April 10, 2021 at 3:20 pm

        Thank you for setting it straight.. it seems pretty evident Russia does not want a war but is sure as hell ready to finish this business if a war is pushed on to them and pushed on to them by the Americans. Ukraine has been armed by the U.S , funded by the IMF, and cheered by NATO. They will not do a single thing without their owners permission. Reply

  17. Avatar BillWade says: April 10, 2021 at 11:06 am

    Hunter's dad and his administration is making Trump look like the greatest statesman that ever lived. Reply

  18. Avatar J says: April 10, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    Back in December 2020 Putin had an expanded meeting with his Defense Ministry Board. In it he laid out several items and agendas to be carried out by the Military Staff.
    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/64684

    The recent reinforcements by the Russian MOD to counter NATO along the Ukraine border region, it appears that the MOD has deployed the incorporation of their (RChBD) capabilities into their Military Field Hospitals. And it appears that Putin has authorized deployment of their Iskander near the Ukraine border. The Iskander is multi-faceted, EMP, fuel air explosive, as well as thermonuclear. Back in 2015 Putin authorized nuclear employment should they be needed.
    https://coffeeordie.com/russian-field-camps/
    https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/russian-ground-troop-units-and-iskander-ballistic-missiles-identified-at-ukrainian-border-by-janes
    https://eng.mil.ru/en/structure/forces/ground/structure/rhbz.htm
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9K720_Iskander

    March 24th saw Ukraine's Zelensky virtually declaring war against the Russian Federation. One can not rule out Zelensky using the trade deals with Doha and use the direct flights between Kiev and Doha to smuggle in Jihad's from Syria and Libya to fight in Donbas. Zelensky on March 3rd in a joint press conference with the European Council President in Kiev stated that the retaking of Crimea from Russia was now Ukraine Official Policy.
    https://asiatimes.com/2021/04/ukraine-redux-war-russophobia-and-pipelineistan/ Reply

  19. Avatar J says: April 11, 2021 at 10:42 am

    Colonel,

    Speaking of 'foreign policy', question is who will win out -- D.C. or Tel Aviv?

    'The model' is headed to D.C. to try and convince our IC's head-cheeses that the Iran JCPOA isn't such a good deal, and Tel Aviv is trying to get him an audience with his high-arsed the 'King', China Joe. If D.C. swallows 'the model's' spiel, then they're bigger suckers than they already appear to be.

    Mossad chief said heading to Washington in bid to block US return to Iran deal
    https://www.timesofisrael.com/mossad-chief-said-heading-to-washington-in-bid-to-block-us-return-to-iran-deal/ Reply

    • Avatar Deap says: April 11, 2021 at 12:30 pm

      Assume this Mossad meeting will take place between Kackling Kamala who will be channeling Obama-Jarrett; or will it be Stinking Liar Susan Rose channeling Obama-Jarrett? But the Big Guy will be out to lunch. Reply

  20. Avatar English Outsider says: April 12, 2021 at 10:08 am

    Mr Johnson – this was posted today by a commenter on Dr North's blog.

    https://nos.nl/nieuwsuur/artikel/2376246-audio-tapes-of-thousands-of-overheard-conversations-a-reconstruction-of-the-mh17-disaster.html Reply

[Apr 14, 2021] Robert Kagan's Project for a New American Century facing new unexpected challanges in Ukraine which became a failed state

Notable quotes:
"... I have a feeling, it's only a feeling right now, that the looted black hole that's Ukranazistan after 7 years of "freedom " is such a drain that the EUNATO gangsters behind the Maidan would love to palm the ruins off to Russia. "Here, you broke it, you own it." ..."
Apr 14, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Biswapriya Purkayast , Apr 11 2021 12:10 utc | 119

I have a feeling, it's only a feeling right now, that the looted black hole that's Ukranazistan after 7 years of "freedom " is such a drain that the EUNATO gangsters behind the Maidan would love to palm the ruins off to Russia. "Here, you broke it, you own it."


Tom , Apr 11 2021 4:36 utc | 96

Patrick Armstrong "Sunbeams From Cucumbers: The View From the Khanate of Kaganstan" showcases the lack of wit and wisdom of those running the Ukrainian program. Truly scary.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2021/04/10/sunbeams-from-cucumbers-view-from-khanate-of-kaganstan/

Tom , Apr 11 2021 3:25 utc | 89

hat fading sound (the doppler effect) one is hearing is time passing by the Robert Kagan's Project for a New American Century PNAC. That other little known effect, the doper effect, where dumb ideas coming at you seem smart is still having an effect on those running the western geopolitical policy. For how much longer will this go on and when will the penny hit the floor? The increased pitch of the vitriol emanating from the PNAC leads me to believe that this too shall pass, and soon.

jayc , Apr 11 2021 3:18 utc | 87

The western press is portraying the events of the past few weeks as representing an unmotivated unilateral Russian troop buildup.

Canada's Globe and Mail yet again deliberately deceives its readers with omission-plagued reporting which the author must know is wrong. This includes describing the Minsk agreements as "the Kremlin's version of how to make peace" which are being utilized in an "enforcement operation" featuring a "coercive use of force" meant to "induce Kyiv, Berlin and Paris" to accept "Moscow's terms." Awful reporting by any objective measure.
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/world/article-ukrainian-commander-sees-parallels-with-2014-as-russian-military-build/

Meanwhile, a Heritage Foundation flunky describes "spontaneous" Russian deployments designed to "keep Ukraine out of organizations such as the EU or NATO".

Russia should be opposed because: "Modern Ukraine represents the idea in Europe that each country has the sovereign ability to determine its own path, to decide with whom it has relations, and how and by whom it is governed."
https://www.arabnews.com/node/1840341

Both reporters make the same observation in opening paragraphs, supporting the notion that these pieces are derived from a distributed script or collection of talking points:

1) "For weeks, Russian social media accounts have been flooded with videos showing long convoys of tanks, troop trucks and artillery pieces "

2) "Dozens of videos in social media posts show hundreds of Russian tanks and armored vehicles pouring into the region."

Cesare , Apr 11 2021 2:29 utc | 84

It's been made clear that a Ukrainian attack on the D & L republics would be met with a direct Russian intervention into the conflict and likely would result in the loss of the whole of the disputed oblasts to the separatist republics. Russia has no intention of eliminating Ukraine or occupying Kyiv, but that kind of defeat in the east would spell the end of what political stability remains in Ukraine and likely lead to a new Maidan against Zelensky and possibly further secessions. That's the real downside of this for Russia. Ukraine is threatening to immolate itself as a form of brinksmanship.

Failing that death wish, only if Moscow somehow agrees to stay out of the war does this have the remotest possibility of achieving what the Kyiv government needs. Otherwise it will not attack.

Piotr Berman , Apr 11 2021 2:23 utc | 83

Time is in Russia's favor: let the Ukraine continue to serve as a financial black hole to the IMF. Let the Western Ukrainians continue to emigrate en masse to Poland and then to the rest of the EU and the UK. Russia has already received some 1 million Eastern Ukrainian; those are probably the more well-educated, more productive Ukrainians, ...

Posted by: vk | Apr 11 2021 1:20 utc | 77

This is rather sketchily related to reality.

1. Ukraine is not a "black hole for the IMF". They got a smallish credit, and now they are being denied extensions on rather preposterous grounds, and Ukraine is charged for the unused credit line. Contrary to Nulands boasting, the West keeps Ukraine on a leash with a rather skimpy budget.

2. There is no clear distinction between migration patterns. The one time I was in Russia, the tourist guide on a one-day bus trip was from Rivne -- in Poland in years 1918-39. And as Polish medical workers go to Spain etc., Ukrainian once fill the vacant positions, and they may come from any place. Ditto with the "quality of workers". Poland has more of seasonal jobs in picking crops (while Poles do it further West) than Russia, Russia perennially seeks workers ready to accept extra pay in less than benign climes. The closest to truth is scooping engineers and highly qualified workers from factories that before worked for Russian market, including military, replaced with Russian factories and, when needed, Ukrainian know-how. That is pretty much accomplished -- predominantly from the Eastern Ukraine. As a result, the remaining workforce is so-so from east to west.

Kristof , Apr 11 2021 7:24 utc | 105

US defense attache Col. Brittany Stewart pays tribute to the grave of #Ukraine Right sector DUK #neonazi Slipak
https://twitter.com/Malinka1102/status/1380555940597006336

Piotr Berman , Apr 11 2021 12:27 utc | 121

Khomchak does not want war, which was basically clear from his terrifying speech in the parliament where he proclaimed the military to be "ready for every scenario", and than describing a series of "buts" that prompted a young impressionable deputy from the ruling party to text "Time to get out from Ukraine". It was a vision of "terrible civilian losses in Donbass" and somehow related and strongly implied vision of Russian battalions traipsing along the banks of Dnieper (perhaps even near the capital).

In the last 10 years, Russia modernized her forces, improved morale and got field experience on rotation -- especially the air force. Ukraine -- not so much. Ukraine has numerically impressive army if you compare to NATO countries like Poland, but that is predicated on using cheap weapons, and absolutely not affordable with NATO standards that stress very expensive weapons (thus Poland, with similar military budget as Ukraine, has 3-4 times smaller military). But cheap weapons require domestic production, and not-NATO weapons were produced with many parts from Russia etc. Russia had no huge problem replacing parts from Ukraine using new factories and engineers in part from Ukraine (fluent in Russian and presumably loyal). But Ukraine could not do the reverse.

A sprinkling of NATO standard high tech would not help more than it help in Afghanistan, where locals are armed and trained for nearly 20 years. It seems that NATO standard is a perverse form of disarmament -- high expense, but the military with reduced capabilities. Like Lithuania that valiantly exceeds 2% pledge and cannot afford tanks (or they got several? they had none the last time I checked).

So here is a dilemma in the concept of war in Ukraine. It may scare Europeans to abjectly defer to USA and break all trade etc. with Russia, and follow assorted other diktats. But what if they are REALLY scared, and decide that patching up the relations with Russia is the only realistic alternative? EU cannot rely on easy deficit money to the extend that USA can, and even before the pandemic the national budgets were in sorry shape in many countries, I suspect than now even in Germany the picture is grim (Germans have much higher standards concerning the budget than Italians, so to them the picture may look very grim). Pandemic also undermine the trust in the government and, I guess, in USA -- no photo ops of ships from USA bearing huge loads of vaccines...

Skiffer , Apr 11 2021 12:32 utc | 122

I'll throw my 5 cents behind naive optimism, or even wishful thinking, in interpreting the situation as a theatrical performance on the part of the Ukraine, the intent of which was to garner attention from "international allies" who were growing increasingly distant and disinterested. Being recently relegated to a topic rather than participant in discussions between world leaders, and a low-priority one at that, prompted the government to irrationally escalate tensions in order to demonstrate an urgent need of supervision; like a rowdy child feeling neglected by the baby-sitter. Not excluding, of course, that this scheme was hatched by US advisors who themselves stand to benefit from being moved up a notch in the cue of priorities with the US administration, who I don't believe had much interest in navigating a full-blown crisis in the Ukraine at present.

What's left is to talk the suicidal patient down from the roof, with assurances of support in the form of condemnations of Russian aggression, while maintaining, as much as possible, the illusion that the suicidal patient is actually a respectable businessman, that the asylum is a prosperous tech enterprise and that the care-takers haven't lost control of the facility and aren't themselves insane. This doesn't exclude the possibility of the patient jumping, or any number of events taking place that might prompt the "law enforcement agency" to go in and restore order, but I do see this situation more as having put the Maidan-coalition on the back-foot and having to disentangle themselves, rather than a carefully pre-planned and coordinated operation.

J Swift , Apr 11 2021 15:56 utc | 130

@ Biswapriya Purkayast #123

You might not be wrong about oddly quiet neocon propagandists. I recently read a pretty well written piece which postulated that these propaganda operations are highly coordinated, and that they seem to often dial back their attacks a bit shortly before a renewed campaign, as if to ensure maximum effect when they launch their new one.

https://www.stalkerzone.org/closing-the-topic-of-mh17/

[Apr 14, 2021] Apparently, Yuri Andropov had a contingency plan on the event of the disintegration of the USSR - and yes, it included the partition of the Ukraine into two ("east bank Ukraine" and "west bank Ukraine"

Apr 14, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Apr 10 2021 21:41 utc | 54

Interesting interview. Apparently, Yuri Andropov had a contingency plan on the event of the disintegration of the USSR - and yes, it included the partition of the Ukraine into two ("east bank Ukraine" and "west bank Ukraine" - probably West of the Dnieper, East of the Dnieper). It's in Russian, so maybe inconsistencies with automatic translation may exist:

Петр Авен: "У Гайдара было вполне имперское сознание"

The interview is with Russian neoliberal banker (of the circle of Yeltsin and Gaidar, St. Petersburg intelligentsia) Viktor Loshak, from "Alfa-Bank group" (machine translation). He was a working under Shatalin in the 1980s, so he's allegedly an eye witness (primary source) of the alleged plans.

He also claims that the St. Petersburg neoliberals never intended to end the Union, and that what really happened in the 1990s wasn't intended. Smells like revisionism to me, but ok, the St. Petersburg circle was never known for their intellectual prowess, so it's possible.

--//--

@ Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Apr 10 2021 21:07 utc | 51

It has in the sense that the Ukraine wants to restore its entire territory, not just some part of it. There is no scenario where, it being able to reconquer LPR-DPR, it would leave Crimea with Russia.

vk , Apr 10 2021 22:22 utc | 57

ERRATA: @ 53, I said the interviewed was Viktor Loshak. Loshak is the interviewer. The interviewee (the Alfa-Bank banker) is Petr Aven.

[Apr 02, 2021] America Is Back- Collides With A Multipolar Reality

Apr 02, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Patroklos , Apr 1 2021 20:35 utc | 26

The World Health Organization recently published its report on the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus which has caused the Covid-19 pandemic. Most scientist agree that the virus is of zoonotic origin and not a human construct or an accidental laboratory escape. But the U.S. wants to put pressure on China and advised the Director General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom, to keep the focus on China potential culpability. He acted accordingly when he remarked on his agency's report:

Although the team has concluded that a laboratory leak is the least likely hypothesis, this requires further investigation, potentially with additional missions involving specialist experts, which I am ready to deploy.

The U.S. State Department fetched the pass and ran with it. It asked its allies to sign on to its Joint Statement on the WHO-Convened COVID-19 Origins Study which requests more unhindered access in China:

The Governments of Australia, Canada, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Slovenia, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America remain steadfast in our commitment to working with the World Health Organization (WHO), international experts who have a vital mission, and the global community to understand the origins of this pandemic in order to improve our collective global health security and response. Together, we support a transparent and independent analysis and evaluation, free from interference and undue influence, of the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this regard, we join in expressing shared concerns regarding the recent WHO-convened study in China, while at the same time reinforcing the importance of working together toward the development and use of a swift, effective, transparent, science-based, and independent process for international evaluations of such outbreaks of unknown origin in the future.

The most interesting with the above statement is the list of U.S. allied countries which declined to support it,

Most core EU countries, especially France, Spain, Italy and Germany, are missing from it. As is the Five-Eyes member New Zealand. India, a U.S. ally in the anti-Chinese Quad initiative, also did not sign. This list of signatories of the Joint Statement is an astonishingly meager result for a U.S. 'joint' initiative. It is unprecedented. It is a sign that something has cracked and that the world will never be the same.

The first months of he Biden administration saw a rupture in the global system. First Russia admonished the EU for its hypocritical criticism of internal Russian issues. Biden followed up by calling Putin a 'killer'. Then the Chinese foreign minister told the Biden administration to shut the fuck up about internal Chinese issues. Soon thereafter Russia's and China's foreign ministers met and agreed to deepen their alliance and to shun the U.S. dollar. Then China's foreign minister went on a wider Middle East tour. There he reminded U.S. allies of their sovereignty :

Wang said that expected goals had been achieved with regard to a five-point initiative on achieving security and stability in the Middle East, which was proposed during the visit.

"China supports countries in the region to stay impervious to external pressure and interference, to independently explore development paths suited to its regional realities ," Wang said, adding that the countries should " break free from the shadows of big-power geopolitical rivalry and resolve regional conflicts and differences as masters of the region ."

Wang's tour was topped off with the signing of a game changing agreement with Iran:

Suffice to say, the China-Iran pact deeply is embedded within a new matrix Beijing hopes to create with the Arab states of the Persian Gulf and Iran. The pact forms part of a new narrative on regional security and stability.

The "U.S. led rules based international order" is finally finished . Russia and China buried it :

Countries in Asia and further afield are closely watching the development of this alternative international order, led by Moscow and Beijing. And they can also recognise the signs of increasing US economic and political decline.

It is a new kind of Cold War, but not one based on ideology like the first incarnation. It is a war for international legitimacy, a struggle for hearts and minds and money in the very large part of the world not aligned to the US or NATO.

The US and its allies will continue to operate under their narrative, while Russia and China will push their competing narrative. This was made crystal clear over these past few dramatic days of major power diplomacy.

The global balance of power is shifting, and for many nations, the smart money might be on Russia and China now.

The obvious U.S. countermove to the Russian-Chinese initiative is to unite its allies in a new Cold War against Russia and China. But as the Joint Statement above shows most of those allies do not want to follow that path. China is a too good customer to be shunned. Talk of human rights in other countries might play well with the local electorate but what counts in the end is the business.

Even some U.S. companies can see that the hostile path the Biden administration has followed will only be to their detriment. Some are asking the Biden gang to tone it down :

[Boeing] Chief Executive Dave Calhoun told an online business forum he believed a major aircraft subsidy dispute with Europe could be resolved after 16 years of wrangling at the World Trade Organization, but contrasted this with the outlook on China.

"I think politically (China) is more difficult for this administration and it was for the last administration. But we still have to trade with our largest partner in the world: China," he told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Aviation Summit.

Noting multiple disputes, he added: " I am hoping we can sort of separate intellectual property, human rights and other things from trade and continue to encourage a free trade environment between these two economic juggernauts. ... We cannot afford to be locked out of that market. Our competitor will jump right in."

Before its 737 MAX debacle Boeing was the biggest U.S. exporter and China was its biggest customer. The MAX has yet to be re-certified in China. If Washington keeps the hostile tone against China Boeing will lose out and Europe's Airbus will make a killing.

Biden announced that "America is back" only to be told that it is no longer needed in the oversized role that it played before. Should Washington not be able to accept that it can no play 'unilateral' but will have to follow the real rules of international law we might be in for some interesting times :

Question: Finally, are you concerned that deteriorating international tensions could lead to war?

Glenn Diesen: Yes, we should all be concerned. Tensions keep escalating and there are increasing conflicts that could spark a major war. A war could break out over Syria, Ukraine, the Black Sea, the Arctic, the South China Sea and other regions.

What makes all of these conflicts dangerous is that they are informed by a winner-takes-all logic. Wishful thinking or active push towards a collapse of Russia, China, the EU or the U.S. is also an indication of the winner-takes-all mentality. Under these conditions, the large powers are more prepared to accept greater risks at a time when the international system is transforming . The rhetoric of upholding liberal democratic values also has clear zero-sum undertones as it implies that Russia and China must accept the moral authority of the West and commit to unilateral concessions.

The rapidly shifting international distribution of power creates problems that can only be resolved with real diplomacy. The great powers must recognize competing national interests, followed by efforts to reach compromises and find common solutions.

Russia's president Vladimir Putin has repeatedly asked for a summit of leaders of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council:

Putin argued that the countries that created a new global order after World War II should cooperate to solve today's problems.

"The founder countries of the United Nations, the five states that hold special responsibility to save civilisation, can and must be an example," he said at the sombre memorial ceremony.

The meeting would "play a great role in searching for collective answers to modern challenges and threats," Putin said, adding that Russia was "ready for such a serious conversation."

Such a summit would be a chance to work on a new global system that avoids unilateralism and block mentality. As the U.S. is now learning that its allies are not willing to follow its anti-China and anti-Russia policies it might be willing to negotiate over a new international system.

But as long as Washington is unable to recognize its own decline a violent attempt to solve the issue once and for all will become more likely.

Posted by b on April 1, 2021 at 17:52 UTC | Permalink

Very thought provoking b, I wish time off brought me back firing on all cylinders like this!

No doubt vk will chime in here better than I but it surely cannot be a matter of "if America decides". There are historical forces at work in this financialized phase of late capitalism that are not grasped by the US leadership, let alone factored into intelligent policy debates. Biden is an arch-lobbyist for the vested interests which compel the US's unilateral and interventionist foreign policy. I'm quite sure he is incapable of 'deciding' anything (not just mentally but institutionally). But the underlying dynamic of world-historical change is beyond him and his whole country. The die was cast long ago when the Soviet Union fell and the US couldn't help themselves. Junkies for unilateralism since 1989, they will keep shooting up until they OD (Boeing notwithstanding...). I suspect they will end up like the schizoid UK, psychologically unable to accept increasing and humiliating losses of empire until it hits the bottom of the dustbin of History.

[Apr 02, 2021] Between mid- and late March, the American pillaged 112 truckloads of Syria's wheat from this facility

Apr 02, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , Apr 1 2021 23:33 utc | 62

Looting is what the USA does everywhere it goes.

Syrian people need their wheat to just survive but the war criminal repeatedly steals it.

Starvation via military invasion and looting is a war crime.

"Though the Biden forces dismantled their illicit military base at the silos, in February, the criminal American troops have returned several times, to empty the grain, so many times that it might be convenient to create a template and just fill in the dates. Between mid- and late March, the American war criminals pillaged 112 truckloads of Syria's wheat from this facility."

[Mar 31, 2021] The US-China meeting in Anchorage took place 75 years almost to the day of the Winston Iron Curtain speech in Fulton, Missouri

Blinken is no Churchill
Mar 31, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Baron , Mar 31 2021 21:40 utc | 27

The US-China meeting in Anchorage took place 75 years almost to the day of the Winston Iron Curtain speech in Fulton, Missouri. Just as the latter signalled a break point in the uneasy, war forced cohabit of the West with the communist Soviet Union, so too the Anchorage will enter the history as the break point in the US hegemony threatening collaboration of the West and China.

Since WW2, no other nation, not even Russia, has confronted the US so firmly and so publicly as did Yang Jiechi, one of the ruling member of the Chinese Politburo when he said that "the United States does not have the qualification to speak to China from a position of strength'.

That was a slap in the face the Americans will have to respond to, and it's in the nature of the response one will find whether the American Governing elite is prepared to share power or go for a confrontation.

[Mar 30, 2021] Blinken calls warmonger Madelaine Albright his "role model"

Mar 30, 2021 | odysee.com



Channel profile picture @Dwaine.Castle852 2 hours ago

I hope that someone sends her a pair of the Nike Satan sneakers. Perhaps with the blood of a few children inside. Channel profile picture @Tsigantes 2 hours ago

'role model' ?
We are warned....for what "it's worth" !

[Mar 30, 2021] Delusions of neocon Blinken

The real question is not about his neocon delusions, which are pretty predictable, but about the ability for the USA project global dominance in the decade to come.
Blinken is a marionette. And pretty much second rate even in that.
Notable quotes:
"... Let's consider this headline for a moment: "Blinken Accuses China of Trying to Undermine US-Dominated World Order." Blinken provides us with a definition of that "world order" in his own words cited in the article: "'... preserve the rules-based international order, in which we have all invested so much over the past 75 years , and which has served our interests and values well'." [My Emphasis] ..."
Mar 30, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
karlof1 , Mar 30 2021 17:08 utc | 28

Let's consider this headline for a moment: "Blinken Accuses China of Trying to Undermine US-Dominated World Order." Blinken provides us with a definition of that "world order" in his own words cited in the article: "'... preserve the rules-based international order, in which we have all invested so much over the past 75 years , and which has served our interests and values well'." [My Emphasis]

Clearly, he's referring to the rules put in place by the UN Charter. But as we at this bar all know, it's the Outlaw US Empire for whom Blinken works that's the #1 criminal when it comes to violating the UN Charter which is why it's "served our interests and values well."

Now when we turn to reality, it become very clear that China seeks to uphold the UN Charter--it's one of the foundational members of the newly established Friends of the UN Charter Group that the Outlaw US Empire will certainly snub because of the reality of its actual relations to that Act and Organization .

Indeed, what is being said by the very formation of that Group is a big NO!! to the Outlaw US Empire's attempt to say it abides by the system it's continuously violated for the past 75+ years. Yet, it's also clear that NO!! isn't being shouted out by global media enough, particularly when Outlaw US Empire officials give such an excellent opportunity to be rebuffed and ridiculed for their lies.

We have many good writers here who could take Blinken's words and turn them into an indictment of himself and the nation he represents. That implies that writers for global publications are just as good but need to examine the framing of their articles. Peace won't come to our planet unless the Outlaw Bully Nation is daily accused for what it is and does.

NATO is a distinct minority yet it holds the world captive in a terroristic manner. It's well past time to stop groveling and kow-towing and to stand-up and call out the bullshitters for what they are since being nice isn't getting us anywhere.

[Mar 30, 2021] Life after death for the neoconservatives by DAVID P. GOLDMAN

Mar 19, 2021 | asiatimes.com

...Apart from Biden's ABC interview, the nomination of Victoria Nuland as undersecretary of state for political affairs has sent an unmistakable signal to Moscow and, more importantly, to America's European allies.

In early 2014 Nuland was taped on a cell phone call with America's ambassador to the Ukraine ordering the composition of the next Ukrainian government after the Maidan coup, in the tone of a colonial viceroy.

Told that there might be some difficulties, Nuland explained that the UN was being enlisted in support and said, "That would be great, I think, and help glue this thing." She added, "And, you know, fuck the EU." German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the time denounced the remark as "unacceptable." That sort of faux pas normally would rate being assigned a diplomatic mission to the South Pole, but such is Washington's ideological fervor that Nuland survived and resurfaced.

Nuland is a neoconservative, a former deputy national security adviser to then-vice president Dick Cheney, as well as the spouse of Robert Kagan, one of the most persistent advocates of global transformation via the projection of American power.

In 2014, she believed that the American-backed Maidan rebellion in Ukraine could be repeated in Russia. Regime change in Russia has been the fixed idea of the American neocons and large parts of the intelligence community since Putin took over from the corrupt, ineffectual and alcoholic Boris Yeltsin in 1999.

Moscow (and Paris and Berlin) will read the reinstatement of Nuland as well as Biden's public denunciation of Putin as signs that Washington really believes in regime change in Moscow.

Putin has his internal problems, to be sure, but the party most likely to supersede him is not pro-American democrats but, rather, "Eurasianist" elements of the military and security forces who think that Putin has been too soft on the West.

... ... ...

Marx said on the occasion of Napoleon III's 1851 coup that great historical events occur twice, the first time as tragedy and the second as farce. The neoconservatives may be back in business under the Biden administration, but they lack the wherewithal at home and abroad to do very much damage.

At the height of their influence during the George W Bush administration, the belief that America's chief export should be democracy held sway in Washington, and its ideologues ruled the Republicans with the party discipline of a Trotskyite sect.

Their ideology is a sort of right-wing Marxism. Being determines consciousness, taught Marx, and ideology arises from the social structure. For Marx, that meant that communism would create a New Man free of the vices of capitalism; for the neoconservatives, it meant that the mere forms of democratic governance would create democrats.

America's allies laughed at them. Germany's foreign minister at the time was Joschka Fischer, now an elder statesman of the Green Party.

A couple of years ago he told me, "It was a matter of great good fortune that I started my career on the extreme left of politics. When I came to Washington as foreign minister during the [George W Bush] administration and met the neoconservatives, I instantly recognized them as the old comrades! I got the book by Richard Perle and David Frum, An End to Evil, and took Trotsky's Permanent Revolution from my bookshelf, and compared them page by page. Except for some changes in terminology, they were the same book."

The neo-conservatives persuaded Bush and his successor Barack Obama to spend over $6 trillion on the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria. According to a recent report from the Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs at Brown University the total spending was $6.4 trillion and the study also finds that more than 801,000 people have died as a direct result of fighting.

Meanwhile America lost industrial jobs at the fastest rate in its history, and America's trade deficit ballooned to $600 billion a year. It failed to export democracy, but also stopped exporting anything else. It all came to a horrible end in the Great Financial Crisis of 2008.

America had a freer hand in 2001 when George W Bush took office than any power since Rome; Russia had gone bankrupt in July 2008 and China still was a small dark cloud on the strategic horizon. In those days one spoke of America as a "hyperpower" rather than a "superpower."

And America dumbed it away in a dozen years in its quixotic resolve to "seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world," as Bush declared in his second Inaugural Address (ghostwritten by neocon ideologues Bill Kristol and Charles Krauthammer).

Although the neoconservatives for the most part abominated Donald Trump, they were responsible for his improbable march to the presidency. Between 2000 and 2009, US manufacturing employment fell to 11 million from 17 million.

Trump's tirade against "endless wars" set him apart from all the other Republican candidates, who dragged the Bush legacy behind them like the chains on Marley's ghost, and his appeal to the gutted industrial towns of the upper Midwest secured his majority in the Electoral College.

With the diminution of American power, the neoconservatives have become less a menace than an annoyance. America doesn't have another $5 trillion to throw away on what Trump called endless wars; it has to borrow almost that much every year to cover federal expenditures, including the income subsidies that are holding up the US economy by its collar.

The American population cheered George W Bush's 2003 invasion of Iraq in a grim national mood following the attack on the World Trade Center two years earlier, but has no stomach for foreign wars today. China stood aside at the UN Security Council on the Iraq issue; today its military power rivals America's, at least in the Pacific.

Just what do the Louis Napoleons of the US national security establishment have in mind? Victoria Nuland, that is, Robert Kagan, wrote in the March/April issue of Foreign Affairs:

The time has come to tell Americans that there is no escape from global responsibility, that they have to think beyond the protection of the homeland. They need to understand that the purpose of NATO and other alliances is to defend not against direct threats to US interests but against a breakdown of the order that best serves those interests. They need to be told honestly that the task of maintaining a world order is unending and fraught with costs but preferable to the alternative.

A failure to be square with the American people has led the country to its current predicament, with a confused and angry public convinced that its leaders are betraying American interests for their own nefarious, "globalist" purposes. The antidote to this is not scaring the hell out of them about China and other threats but trying to explain, again, why the world order they created still matters. This is a job for Joe Biden and his new administration.

There is no way to parse out of Kagan's peroration what sort of policy he has in mind. As matters stand, Joe Biden will stand as the godfather to a Chinese-Russian-European coalescence that will dominate Eurasia and the world economy.

[Mar 30, 2021] Even before the targets in Yemen had been "legally" designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization Obama used cluster bombs to shred dozens of women and children in a failed attempt to hit members of "al Qaida in Yemen (AQY)".

Mar 30, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , Mar 30 2021 13:04 utc | 1

Even before the targets in Yemen had been "legally" designated as
a Foreign Terrorist Organization Obama used cluster bombs to shred
dozens of women and children in a failed attempt to hit members of
"al Qaida in Yemen (AQY)".
.
The war crime immediately became a dirty Obama secret, covered up
with the help of the MSM, in particular ABC.
.
An enthusiastic White House had leaked to their contacts at ABC that
Obama had escalated the War on Terror, taking it to another country,
Yemen. This was December 17, 2009 only days after Obama had returned
from his ceremony in Oslo where he proudly accepted the Nobel Peace
Prize.
.
ABC was thrilled with their scoop and in manly voices announced
the escalation in the War on Terror.
.
The very next day ABC went silent forever about it, joining the cover up
of a war crime.
.
Hillary Clinton, by the way, committed her own act of cover up.
Covering her butt by backdating a memo.
.
The designation of a organization as a FTO (Foreign Terrorist Organization)
is not official nor legal until it is published in the Federal Register.
An oversight? Obama attacked Yemen before Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
had done the paperwork to make the killing legal?
.
The designation was not published until a month later, January 19, 2010.
Hillary Clinton back dated the memo she published in the Register with the date of
December 14, 2009, to somewhat cover her butt.
.
Obama's acceptance speech in Oslo for the Nobel Peace Prize was December 10th.
.
Yemen leaders agreed to participate in Obama's coverup saying it was their
own Yemen forces that had accidentally shredded dozens of women and children.
.
Obama was grateful to the Yemen leaders. The Yemen leaders were not
honored in Oslo. But, ironically, Obama ended his speech honoring women
and children, days before he ordered their slaughter.
.
Obama in Oslo, December 10, 2009:
.
"Somewhere today, a mother facing punishing poverty
still takes the time to teach her child, scrapes together what
few coins she has to send that child to school -- because she
believes that a cruel world still has a place for that child's
dreams.
.
Let us live by their example. We can acknowledge that oppression will
always be with us, and still strive for justice. We can admit the
intractability of deprivation, and still strive for dignity. Clear-eyed,
we can understand that there will be war, and still strive for peace.
We can do that -- for that is the story of human progress; that's the
.
hope
.
of all the world; and at this moment of challenge,
that must be our work here on Earth.
.
Thank you very much.
(Applause.)
.
One week later Obama shredded dozens of women and children in Yemen
and covered it up.
.
Here is ABC's Brian Ross using his most masculine voice to boast about Obama's attack:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHcg3TNSRPs
.
Wikileaks cable corroborates evidence of US airstrikes in Yemen (Amnesty Intl)
https://www.amnesty.org/en/press-releases/2010/12/wikileaks-cable-corroborates-evidence-us-airstrikes-yemen/
.
Actual cable at Wikileaks:
https://search.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/10SANAA4_a.html
.
More at ABC [12/18/2009]:
https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/cruise-missiles-strike-yemen/story?id=9375236
https://web.archive.org/web/20190624203826/https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/cruise-missiles-strike-yemen/story?id=9375236 ">https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/cruise-missiles-strike-yemen/story?id=9375236">https://web.archive.org/web/20190624203826/https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/cruise-missiles-strike-yemen/story?id=9375236
https://web.archive.org/web/20190725171012/https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/cr ">https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/cr">https://web.archive.org/web/20190725171012/https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/cr

Norwegian , Mar 30 2021 15:09 utc | 10

@librul | Mar 30 2021 13:04 utc | 1

You can thank Thorbjørn Jagland for the Obama Nobel Price. He and Stoltenberg were buddies in the same party.

[Mar 28, 2021] Bidens missteps so early on are a very worrying indicator that his foreign policy team is worse than just being malign. They are incompetent. Thats a very dangerous combination.

Mar 28, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

PlutoniumKun , March 27, 2021 at 8:25 am

To go back to a previous BTL discussion on Patrick Cockburns recent article in Counterpunch, Bidens missteps so early on are a very worrying indicator that his foreign policy team is worse than just being malign. They are incompetent. Thats a very dangerous combination.

I don't think the Russians, Chinese, or most other major countries (apart from Europe) had a fundamental problem with Trumps approach. They understood him, and were quite happy to ignore his bombast and threats and focus instead on what was happening in the real world. But things are different for someone like Biden, and I'm very surprised nobody in his team seem to realise this. When he talks on the record, its assumed that it is a reflection of a real policy. At first, I thought maybe he was just doing the usual new guy in power thing of talking tough to set the ground for later compromises (the opposite of Obama, who appeared very weak to other leaders, and then just looked indecisive when his policies turned more hardline). But that does not seem to be the case so far.

I've no idea what the final outcome will be, but I do think that this is one of those points in history where things take a very sharp and irreparable change in direction. Obviously, things have been brewing for years, but the ineptness of US foreign policy seems to have created a strategic Russian/China alliance which will force many countries to make some very hard choices about which side of the fence they are on.

On a related note, I woke up this morning to find that a speech by Lawrence P. Wilkerson, who is associated with the conservative paleoconservatives is getting very wide circulation in China (you know this has to be officially approved otherwise it disappears very rapidly on WeChat. He makes a claim that the CIA back in the early '00's intended to use the Uigurs as a sort of proxy army to destabilise China. For all sorts of reasons, I would doubt that, but it is now widely believed among Chinese people, even those who have no liking for the CCP. The notion that the Uigurs are a sort of third force within China, and as such need to be destroyed now seems to be very deeply embedded in Chinese thinking, and the interference by 'official' western NGO's are undoubtedly making things much worse for them.

pjay , March 27, 2021 at 9:41 am

"[Wilkerson] makes a claim that the CIA back in the early '00's intended to use the Uigurs as a sort of proxy army to destabilise China. For all sorts of reasons, I would doubt that, but it is now widely believed among Chinese people, even those who have no liking for the CCP."

Just curious as to what your reasons would be for doubting this. The CIA has been doing precisely this all over the world for over 70 years. There is a clear pipeline between the Uighurs in China and the CIA-supported "rebels" in Syria. The expatriate Uighur organizations that are integral to the Western propaganda apparatus is supported and amplified by the NED and other CIA fronts, as your last sentence implies. This is not to deny the historical Uighur desire for autonomy in Western China, nor to defend Chinese policies toward them. Rather, it is to acknowledge the CIA's use of ethnic tensions to sow chaos and division in non-conforming nations *everywhere*.

PlutoniumKun , March 27, 2021 at 10:32 am

Its unlikely because:

1. The US has had little to no success in its many attempts to establish an intelligence foothold in China. There is zero evidence, direct or indirect, that it has had any successful contact with Uigur groups directly, although contacts via others, such as the Pakistani or Turkish intelligence agencies are possible. If there was even the tiniest amount of evidence of such a link, the Chinese would be broadcasting it from the skies, and not just re-messaging out tired CT stuff. Chinese intelligence is far ahead of the US in that region, so they would certainly know if something like that was happening.

2. Uigur groups in general such as we know about them tend to be as virulently anti Western as anti Han Chinese. All evidence suggests that the brand of Islam that has been belatedly introduced into those regions is essentially second hand Wahhabism (traditionally, they were never all that religious).

3. Any such attempt could be easily countered by China – simply by dumping Uigur radicals into Afghanistan to bolster the Taliban, or anywhere else that would create trouble. The fact that they haven't done this strongly suggests that the Chinese themselves see no link.

4. US military intelligence is often a misnomer, but even the CIA can't be stupid enough to think that fostering another islamic state on the borders of Afghanistan is anything but a terrible idea.

Of course, no doubt some mid ranking CIA officer may have circulated some report saying more or less 'hey, maybe we can use those Uighurs or whatever they are called'. But thats an entirely different thing from suggesting that there have been active links and a strategy for using them to destabilise the borders of China. The reality is that the US has been entirely unsuccessful in any attempts (when they've been made) to undermine China via internal Chinese ethnic or religious groups.

Incidentally, the reliability of Wilkerson (who I actually quite like and who says some interesting things), on that topic can be measured by his statement that the invasion of Afghanistan was motivated by an attempt to stop the Belt and Road Initiative. It's quite impressive intelligence if that was the case as the invasion predated the Belt and Road Initiative by more than a decade.

David , March 27, 2021 at 10:57 am

Yes, I think the important point is your last one. It's not out of the question that on a rainy afternoon in Virginia some junior CIA analyst amused himself by sketching out such an idea, and one day the product may leak and be presented as "proof." But for the reasons you give, the political leaders who would have to approve the scheme would turn it down, even if it were physically possible. I doubt it would be, actually: from what little information is publicly available, the US seems to be having little or no luck penetrating that area.

pjay , March 27, 2021 at 11:48 am

Thanks for the systematic reply. I appreciate each of your points, and pretty much agree with the first one – including your comment about Turkish intelligence. But regarding the others, the fact that we are talking about anti-Western Wahabist radicals does not mean the CIA (or elements of the CIA or other military/intelligence operations) would hesitate to weaponize them if possible. We did this in Afghanistan, Bosina, Kosovo, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Chechnya etc. Indeed, we seemed to *welcome* the fostering of an Islamic State in Eastern Syria, because the various jihadists were a means to destroy the Syrian government. When the goal is to foster chaos and destruction in order to *undermine* an existing state, the calculus of unleashing the head-choppers is different than if we were actually interested in fostering stability in the region. I admit that such a strategy might sound insane to *us*, but Einstein's definition of insanity seems to rule our National Security Establishment.

David , March 27, 2021 at 1:28 pm

Not PK, but I would suggest these cases are not only different from each other, but also different from the Uigurs. Essentially, there was a war going on in all of these cases, and the US (and they were scarcely the only ones) decided to try to get a bit of influence by arming one or more of the factions. This is a tactic which is as old as arms themselves, and has a pretty spotty record of success, if that. Its advantage is that it is low-key and doesn't require a massive presence (the classic case is the Soviet Union and the Chinese flooding Africa with AK-47s and copies in the 1960s and 1970s). But the cases you mention are very disparate. In Bosnia there do seem to have been some (illegal) CIA deliveries to the Muslims in violation of the embargo, but these were very small scale and in any event the Muslims were one of the major parties to the conflict, as well as constituting the de facto government in Sarajevo, because the other ethnicities had withdrawn. Likewise, and in spite of preening memoirs and films, the US influence in Afghanistan was quite small : the mujahideen were already forming in the 1970s, and the only contribution the US really made was to supply anti-aircraft missiles, which complicated the Russians' existence quite a bit. But actually fomenting and arming an insurgency next to one of the three or four major powers on the planet, with highly skilled intelligence services? There is stupidity and there's downright insanity.

upstater , March 27, 2021 at 7:33 pm

I the 1950s, the CIA and MI6 trained and armed the "Forest Brothers" in the Baltics. Neutral Sweden and Finland were across hundreds of km of water. Land access was through Soviet territory or satellites. There was no significant international trade or commerce in the area at the time. Yet they had tens of thousands of well supplied (for that era) resistance fighters that took a decade for the USSR to stomp out.

To suggest that today's CIA is incapable of stirring things up in a well-connected Xinjiang when thousands of foreigners travel there, tons of business shipments and international flights and road transport is a mystifying statement. Particularly after CIA's decades of experience managing jihadis all across North Africa, Mideast and Central Asia, more than a few being Uigurs.

And suggesting that the only thing the US supplied the Afghan jihadis were Stinger missiles is far off the mark. It was a multi-billion dollar per year operation conducted by the US with collaboration of the ISI and Saudis. All those tens of thousands of jihadis didn't arrive by camels and make slingshots.

I agree "There is stupidity and there's downright insanity" in fomenting troubles in Xinjiang. The US has already passed that test. Many times.

Yves Smith , March 27, 2021 at 10:06 pm

*Sigh*

We are three generations past the 1950s. Not a relevant example.

The US is not even remotely as good as you'd have to believe to accept this theory. For starters, we don't begin to have enough people with native level language competence, much the less willing to live there long enough to be trusted. They'll take our arms, but our directives?

It is in the interest of the CIA to take credit for all sorts of things where their role was non-existent to marginal because funding.

PlutoniumKun , March 27, 2021 at 2:20 pm

David put it so much better than I could.

I can't claim any great knowledge or insight into the region, but the notion that the Uighurs were part of a grand CIA strategy, or that they have had sufficient influence in the region to manipulate them into opposing China, just doesn't pass the smell test. Unfortunately, like the notion that Covid is spread on frozen food, so far as I can tell it is now considered 'a fact' by most Chinese, inside and outside the country. As a result, even Chinese who strongly dislike their government are not at all bothered by reports coming out of the region.

For what its worth, I knew an English guy who lived for a few years in Urumqi with his Chinese wife about 15 years ago. He was virulently anti-muslim and didn't much like the non-Chinese locals he met, but I remember at the time that said that what he saw around him convinced him that things were going to end very badly for the Uighurs, the Chinese were just waiting for the opportunity to wipe them out. I was in Tibet at that period (I was fortunate to get a visa on the last year solo traveller were allowed in) and witnessed the way Tibetans were openly abused on the street by Chinese soldiers. Even Tibetans said that the Uighurs got it worse.

drumlin woodchuckles , March 27, 2021 at 5:53 pm

The US government and privately motivated US citizens have no credibility on this issue. That means if anyone is going to raise it, it will have to be someone other than America or Americans.

That doesn't change the fact of Great Han Lebensraum genocide-policy against the Uighurs on the part of the Chinese Communazi Party. And Chinese statements about their Lebensraum genocide against Uighuria are just as much hasbara as Israeli statements about antiPalestinianitic persecution in the Occupied West Bank.

And if that purely-private opinion of a mere U S citizen makes any Great Han hasbarists ( or might I say . . . Hansbarists) on this thread mad, then that makes me happy.

Fern , March 27, 2021 at 6:14 pm

Your friend was English; I have not seen this attitude on the part of Chinese friends or Chinese I've talked with. I was traveling on a domestic flight in China a number of years ago and found myself sitting on a plane next to a random Chinese soldier -- a memorably tall, handsome young man. He spoke English well enough to have a discussion (the relaxed atmosphere and the need to pass the time does wonders when it comes to breaking down language barriers). Major Uighur terror attacks and unrest had been in the news (around 2009), so I asked him what he thought about it. He said that he grew up in Xinjiang. His parents were Han Chinese who had first come to Xinjiang during the cultural revolution to build some local infrastructure/improvement project (he described it to me but I don't remember the details). They saw their goal as improving conditions in the region. Of course, the government wanted to solidify Chinese presence in that region of their country, but I heard no hint of anger or derision toward the Uighur. He said he was very concerned that the Uighur people were happy and he hoped China could find a way to mend the relationship. He said that growing up, there were many mixed Chinese/Han marriages and that "people say" that mixed Han/Uighur marriages produced the most physically beautiful children. I didn't see any evidence of the malignant racism you describe on the part of your English friend.

Strong central governments vs violent separatist movements tend to create lasting problems. Growing up in a border state over 100 years after our own civil war, I grew up with the fact that many people had still not let go of that resentment. Southerners still maintained a sense of grievance back then. The Maryland state song that I learned as a child is only now being decommissioned by the state legislature. One stanza refers to the "Northern scum".

This week's WaPo headline: "Maryland poised to say goodbye to state song that celebrates the Confederacy".

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/maryland-state-song-repealed/2021/03/22/7a88fda4-89e8-11eb-bfdf-4d36dab83a6d_story.html

drumlin woodchuckles , March 27, 2021 at 10:40 pm

If your Han Chinese interlocutor's feelings are widely shared among the ruled-over rather than ruling-over ordinary majority of Han citizens, then it would appear that it is the MonoParty RegimeGovernment ruling over China which is Communazi, not the people as such.

Regardless, it will be up to countrygovs which have moral standing in this area to comment or not, not the US anymore. At least for now.

Probably the Uighurs have it even worse than Tibetans because Uighuria is very inhabitable by Han settlers whereas Tibet is high and dry enough that ( I have read), that lowland-adapted Hans have trouble physically coping over time with the lower oxygen levels at Tibet altitude.
If that is so, then the High Tibetan Plateau at least would not provide Lebensraum for millions of Han Settlers in any case, so why clear the Tibetans off the plateau and out of existence? Not so much need, in Tibet's case.

Keith Newman , March 27, 2021 at 2:43 pm

@PlutoniumKun
I have no knowledge about points 1 to 3, but totally disagree with point 4.
The hubris and desire of the US alphabet agencies to meddle is remarkable. A current example is the CIA support of jihadis in Syria that the US military itself is fighting against.
Interesting caution re Wilkerson – do you have a link?

The Rev Kev , March 27, 2021 at 10:03 am

Here is a link to an article talking about that talk PK. Having a coupla thousand Uygurs in Syria gaining combat experience for use later who knows where was probably proof enough for China of western intentions. Just think of the other Jihadists who have been used in places like Libya and the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war and the Chinese would be drawing their own conclusions-

https://archive.ph/lMHQy#selection-2325.214-2325.220

[Mar 28, 2021] China Signs 25-Year Deal With Iran in Challenge to the U.S-

Mar 28, 2021 | www.msn.com

A draft copy of the accord that surfaced on media last year showed plans for long-term supply of Iranian crude to China as well as investment in oil, gas, petrochemical, renewables and nuclear energy infrastructure.

Lured by the prospect of cheaper prices, China has already increased its imports of Iranian oil to around 1 million barrels a day, eroding U.S. leverage as it prepares to enter stalled talks with Tehran to revive a nuclear deal.

The Biden administration has indicated that it's open to reengaging with Iran after then-President Donald Trump abandoned the accord nearly three years ago and reimposed economic sanctions, but the two sides have yet to even agree to meet. Iran exported around 2.5 million barrels of oil a day before American penalties resumed.

Iran's closer integration with China may help shore up its economy against the impact of the U.S. sanctions, while sending a clear signal to the White House of Tehran's intentions. Wang Yi, who arrived in Tehran on Friday, also met with Rouhani to discuss the nuclear deal.

In a televised speech, Rouhani raised the prospect of restrictions being eased before the end of his second and final term as president in early August.

"We're ready for the lifting of sanctions," he said on Saturday. "If obstacles are removed, all or at least some sanctions can be lifted."

[Mar 28, 2021] Iran, China sign strategic long-term cooperation agreement

Mar 28, 2021 | www.politico.com

No additional details of the agreement were revealed as Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Chinese counterpart Wang Yi took part in a ceremony marking the event.

me title=

The deal marked the first time Iran has signed such a lengthy agreement with a major world power. In 2001, Iran and Russia signed a 10-year cooperation agreement, mainly in the nuclear field, that was lengthened to 20 years through two five-year extensions.

Before the ceremony Saturday, Yi met Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and special Iranian envoy in charge of the deal Ali Larijani.

Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for Iran's Foreign Ministry, on Friday called the agreement "deep, multi-layer and full-fledged."

The deal, which had been discussed since 2016, also supports tourism and cultural exchanges. It comes on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Iran.

The two countries have had warm relations and both took part in a joint naval exercise in 2019 with Russia in the northern Indian Ocean.

Reportedly, Iran and China have done some $20 billion in trade annually in recent years. That's down from nearly $52 billion in 2014, however, because of a decline in oil prices and U.S. sanctions imposed in 2018 after then-President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. unilaterally out of a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, saying it needed to be renegotiated.

Iran has pulled away from restrictions imposed under the deal under those sanctions in order to put pressure on the other signatories -- Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China -- to provide new economic incentives to offset U.S. sanctions.

[Mar 28, 2021] Iran, China sign strategic long-term [25 yr] cooperation agreement

Mar 28, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

HICKORY IGNORED 03/28/2021 at 12:29 pm

Thanks Dennis.
It is easy for us to discount the production capacity of Iran, however this could be a mistake.
If China needs oil it will fund production in Iran, regardless of the 'worlds' concern over Iranian nuclear and regional ambitions [very aggressive ambitions that are largely theocratically driven].

This weekend-
'Iran, China sign strategic long-term [25 yr] cooperation agreement
The agreement covers a variety of economic activity from oil and mining to promoting industrial activity in Iran, as well as transportation and agricultural collaboration.'
https://www.politico.com/news/2021/03/27/iran-china-agreement-478236

[Mar 26, 2021] All wars are bankers wars

Mar 24, 2021 | www.unz.com

Mefobills , says: March 24, 2021 at 2:02 pm GMT

History doesn't repeat, but it sure as hell rhymes.

The Revolutionary and Civil war was fought against finance capital; where said capital emanated mostly from London. By 1912 the U.S. was no longer Industrial Capitalist, but had been usurped by Finance Capitalism, and of course the (((usual suspects))) were pulling strings in the background.

WW2 was the now finance capitalist allies against the industrial capitalist axis powers.

The run up to WW2 had the axis "industrial capitalist" powers exit the London based finance capitalist "sterling" system. Churchill even admitted to the reason why the allies attacked.

http://www.renegadetribune.com/winston-churchill-germanys-unforgivable-crime/

Germany's most unforgivable crime before the Second World War was her attempt to extricate her economic power from the world's trading system and to create her own exchange mechanism which would deny (((world finance))) its opportunity to profit.

Finance capital exported jobs from the U.S. and the West toward China; this in order to take wage arbitrage. China then rope-a-dopes the dummies from the west, and uses its state credit and industrial capitalist system to acquire intellectual know-how, and climb the industrial curve.

Finance capitalist are slowly being cut-out of taking wage arbitrage from China and realize that their "assets" over there, can be taken by the Chinese state at any time. Now they want war to secure their asset position, and to buy more of China at a war time fire sale price.

Finance capital runs the same playbook over and over. The bad guys won in WW1 and 2. The (((international))) finance class works behind the scenes to take sordid gain on humanity, including mass death.

If your government is festooned with ne0-con Jews, then that should be strong signal that your country is not sovereign, but instead is operated by stealth with finance capital and its oligarchs.

This time around is different, China and Russia will exit the dollar system, and the western finance capitalist class can do nothing but make idle threats. Some will argue that the West will resort to nukes.

Maybe? I'm assuming that our (((friends))) are not completely insane, as they would lose their capital and asset position. Their greed will stop them from destroying themselves, and us.

Rev. Spooner , says: March 24, 2021 at 3:42 pm GMT • 10.8 hours ago

"If your government is festooned with ne0-con Jews, then that should be strong signal that your country is not sovereign, but instead is operated by stealth with finance capital and its oligarchs. "
You are a wise man Mefobills

Rurik , says: March 24, 2021 at 4:42 pm GMT • 9.8 hours ago
@Mefobills

If your government is festooned with ne0-con Jews, then that should be strong signal that your country is not sovereign, but instead is operated by stealth with finance capital and its oligarchs.

"When the law no longer protects you from the corrupt, but protects the corrupt from you – you know your nation is doomed."

And she would know.

[Mar 26, 2021] The net result of neocon policies of Biden administration

Money spend on military adventures of the neoliberal empire are money stolen from common people
Mar 26, 2021 | www.unz.com

Jeff Davis , says: March 24, 2021 at 5:11 pm GMT • 9.3 hours ago

@ko

Actually, it is the ***American people*** who are fucked. The little people that is. Fucked on behalf of Israel/Neocons, the MIC, the Neolibs, and the other "owners" of the country.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/rsL6mKxtOlQ?feature=oembed

The good news is that when the above have thoroughly looted the country, and the rest of the world sheds the by then worthless US dollar, and the City on the Hill becomes the Toothless Slum on the Hill,

[Mar 26, 2021] Biden foreign policy is counterproductive and can only lead to more isolation.

Mar 26, 2021 | www.unz.com

bayviking , says:

waw , says: March 25, 2021 at 9:25 pm GMT • 23.3 hours ago

The sooner America collapses, the safer the rest of the world will be, excluding the Ashkenazi

[Mar 26, 2021] Stavridis "oversaw operations in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria."

Mar 26, 2021 | www.unz.com

annamaria , says: March 24, 2021 at 8:07 pm GMT • 2.0 days ago

@Anonymous that a strong American military and national security posture is the best guarantor of peace and the survival of our values and civilization.

Stavridis has been at the forefront of the mass slaughter known as the implementation of the Oded Yinon Plan for Eretz Israel:

From 2002 to 2004, Stavridis commanded Enterprise Carrier Strike Group, conducting combat operations in the Persian Gulf in support of both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

Stavridis "oversaw operations in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria." In short, this prominent racketeer is dripping with the blood of hundreds of thousands of the victims.

[Mar 26, 2021] At this point, why should Taylor lament that Mexican-American soldiers proudly display the Mexican flag? Why not, when the US flag represents nothing abroad but 'twerking', Zionist supremacism

Edited for clarity; racial slurs are removed... Paradoxically recently due to summer riots the attitude toward Zionism among the US public slightly improved, as least as far as domestic policies are concerted...
Mar 26, 2021 | www.unz.com

Priss Factor , says: Website March 25, 2021 at 6:04 am GMT • 1.6 days ago

American Renaissance has done important work, but it is ultimately useless because it pulls its punches or willfully misses what should be the main target: Zionist Supremacist Power. Take Jared Taylor's commentary of the US military in the video below. It's pure Pat-Condell. He blames everything but will not name the power behind the mess. Shhhh about the Zionists.


https://www.bitchute.com/embed/03vYmvgpmBQi/

At this point, why should Taylor lament that Mexican-American soldiers proudly display the Mexican flag? Why not, when the US flag represents nothing abroad but 'twerking', Zionist supremacism, Wars for Israel, mindless animus toward Russia, ridiculous paranoia about China, nonstop hatred toward Iran, complete nonsense about Venezuela, BLM stupidity, and global dissemination of globo-homo ludicrousness? Americanism meant something when Anglo-Americans(and those properly Anglo-Americanized) ruled the nation with pride and confidence. Then, Americanism was based on the Great Compromise: A move toward a more merit-and-rule-based on the part of Anglo-Americans who took the land from the Indians, brought blacks in chains, and encouraged mass-immigration to develop the land. In return, non-Anglos would acknowledge the Anglo-foundation of America and try to be Good Americans. That compromise is no longer relevant because the US is now totally Zionist-supremacist, meaning the New Americanism is predicated on just about everyone and everything revolving around the question of "Is it great for Zionists?" If Zionists want it, they get it eventually. No wonder the First and Second Amendments are now hanging by a thread. Zionists don't like the Constitution now that they got total power.

Other than Zionists, Jared Taylor should be blaming his own Wasp kind. Why did they hand over power to the Zionists almost completely? That was the beginning of much of the rot since. Taylor bitches about blacks, Mexicans, and etc. not being properly patriotic in the new order, but who created the new order? Zionists spearheaded the making of New America, but Wasps just played along. If Wasps are such worthless cucks to Zionists, why should it be surprising that nonwhites would no longer respect whites? Of course, given that most nonwhites would find it odd if Zionists told them, "Americanism = Zionist Greatness", Zionists encourage the next-best-thing, which is anti-whiteness or 'scapewhiting'(scapegoat whitey for everything), as it unites all nonwhites with Zionists in the War on Whiteness. War on Whiteness or WOW is great for Zionists as it morally shames and paralyzes whites into having no pride and prestige, which translates into having no will and agency. Filled with shame and 'white guilt', whites become mired in mode of redemption, the terms of which are decided by Zionists who advise Total Support for Zion, More Wars for Israel, More Diversity, and More Globo-Homo(proxy of Zionist Power).

The source of the problem is the Zionist-White relations. When whites handed over power to Zionists, Zionists made the key decisions, and those have been premised on whatever-necessary-to-secure-Zionist-power. #1 priority for Zionists is then White Submissivism to Zionist Supremacism. If Taylor will not discuss Zionist Power, it's like complaining about the smoke without mentioning the fire. Also, does it make sense for whites to bleat about blacks, browns, yellows, and etc. when whites themselves cravenly collaborate with Zionist Power? Whites, especially the elites, don't stand for what is good for America as a whole. They suck up to Zionists and support Zionist identity & Zionism. When whites act like that, why should nonwhites be good American patriots? Whites have led the way in betraying the original Americanism. In some ways, nonwhites, such as blacks into black power and Mexican-Americans into Mexican pride, are more admirable because, at the very least, they are tribal-patriotic about their own kind. In contrast, whites have betrayed both White Power and Traditional Americanism. They are now allergic to anything white-and-positive but also utterly lack a general sense of Americanism. White 'liberals' love to virtue-signal by supporting blacks, diversity, & globo-homo, AND white 'conservatives' love to cuck-signal by waving the Israeli Flag & yapping about how Israel is "America's best, greatest, closest, and dearest ally." Both groups fail at simple generic patriotism based on rules and principles. For white 'liberals', blacks are higher than other groups, and for white 'conservatives' it's Zionists-uber-alles.

In the current order, Zionists encourage nonwhites to wave their own identitarian flag AGAINST whiteness while encouraging whites to wave the Zionist flag. In a way, one might say this Zionist strategy is foolish. After all, if nonwhites are made to be anti-white and if whiteness is made to be synonymous with support-for-Israel and praise-of-Zionists, might it not lead to nonwhites being anti-Israel and anti-Zionist as well? After all, if whiteness = love-for-Zionists whereas non-whiteness = anti-whiteness, wouldn't it lead to non-whiteness = anti-Zionistness since whiteness is so closely associated with cucking to Zionists?

Zionists bank on two factors in this strategy. They figure (1) nonwhites are too dumb to connect the dots or (2) even if nonwhites connected the dots and became more critical of Israel & Zionist Power on account of whiteness = support-for-Zion, it will draw whites even closer to Zion as white-knight-defenders of Israel against the rising tide of darkies. We see scenario 2 play out with both Mitt Romney and Jared Taylor. They hope that powerful Zionists will like them more if they stand with Zionists against the 'antisemitic' darkies.

It's like Zionists encourage Ilhan Omar to be anti-white while white conzos beat their chests as noble defenders of Zionists from 'Anti-Semites'.

[Mar 26, 2021] The True Battle of Chernobyl Uncensored

Mar 26, 2021 | www.youtube.com

1/7 - The True Battle of Chernobyl Uncensored

2/7 - The True Battle of Chernobyl Uncensored

3/7 - The True Battle of Chernobyl Uncensored

4/7 - The True Battle of Chernobyl Uncensored

5/7 - The True Battle of Chernobyl Uncensored

6/7 - The True Battle of Chernobyl Uncensored

7/7 - The True Battle of Chernobyl Uncensored

[Mar 22, 2021] Biden Picks a Pointless Fight with Russia - Eunomia

Mar 22, 2021 | daniellarison.substack.com

The Russian government is responding angrily to Biden's derisive comments about Putin:

The Kremlin has reacted angrily to US President Joe Biden's remarks that Russian leader Vladimir Putin is "a killer," calling the comment unprecedented and describing the relationship between the two countries as "very bad."

U.S.-Russian relations have been deteriorating steadily over the last ten years, and it always seemed unlikely that Biden would improve them. Now there will be even less of a chance that Biden can work constructively with his Russian counterpart. The president's blunt answer to a rather silly question from George Stephanopoulos has further damaged the relationship to neither country's benefit. Anatol Lieven observed recently that this is a "completely unnecessary confrontation with Russia" at a time when the U.S. needs Russian cooperation on some important issues. Lieven cites U.S. reentry into the JCPOA and extricating U.S. forces from Afghanistan as his examples of issues where Russian cooperation could be very valuable, but he could have added new negotiations on future arms control agreements as well. Making progress on any one of these becomes much more challenging when our president is gratuitously insulting theirs. For an administration that prides itself on practicing diplomacy, they have a funny way of showing it.

[Mar 22, 2021] Nephew has described the destruction of Iran's economy as "a tremendous success," and lamented during a visit to Russia that food was still plentiful in the country's capital despite mounting US sanctions.

Mar 22, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Mao , Mar 21 2021 16:06 utc | 14

The Joseph Biden administration has named Richard Nephew as its deputy Iran envoy. As the former principal deputy coordinator of sanctions policy for Barack Obama's State Department, Nephew took personal credit for depriving Iranians of food, sabotaging their automobile industry, and driving up unemployment rates.

Nephew has described the destruction of Iran's economy as "a tremendous success," and lamented during a visit to Russia that food was still plentiful in the country's capital despite mounting US sanctions.

Nephew's appointment to a senior diplomatic post suggests that rather than immediately returning to the JCPOA nuclear deal, the Biden administration will finesse sanctions illegally imposed by Trump to pressure Iran into an onerous, reworked agreement that Tehran is unlikely to join.

https://thegrayzone.com/2021/03/08/biden-iran-envoy-starving-civilians-pain-sanctions/


jayc , Mar 21 2021 17:56 utc | 23

Mao #14

Grayzone's report is fascinating in a "banality of evil" kind of way.

https://thegrayzone.com/2021/03/08/biden-iran-envoy-starving-civilians-pain-sanctions/

Nephew's "simple framework" for "sanctions to perform their expected function" reads like a torturer's manual (replace "target state" with "prisoner"):

- identify objectives for the imposition of pain and define the minimum necessary remedial steps that the target state must take for pain to be removed

- understand as much as possible the nature of the target, including its vulnerabilities, interests, commitment to whatever it did to prompt sanctions, and readiness to absorb pain

-develop a strategy to carefully, methodically, and efficiently increase pain on those areas that are vulnerabilities while avoiding those that are not

-monitor the execution of the strategy and continuously recalibrate its initial assumption of target state resolve, the efficacy of the pain applied in shattering that resolve, and how best to improve the strategy

etc

farm ecologist , Mar 21 2021 18:10 utc | 25

Kudos to Alan Macleod and MintPressNews (cited above by b) for providing further evidence of how the US and its allies don't care about human suffering and death as long as they are able to further their political goals. A previous article in this series uncovers this striking bit of disregard for human life in the 2020 Annual Report of the US Department of Health (sic) and Human Services:


Combatting malign influences in the Americas: OGA (Office of Global Affairs) used diplomatic relations in the Americas region to mitigate efforts by states, including Cuba, Venezuela, and Russia, who are working to increase their influence in the region to the detriment of US safety and security. OGA coordinated with other U.S. government agencies to strengthen diplomatic ties and offer technical and humanitarian assistance to dissuade countries in the region from accepting aid from these ill intentioned states. Examples include using OGA's Health Attaché office to persuade Brazil to reject the Russian COVID-19 vaccine, and offering CDC technical assistance in lieu of Panama accepting an offer of Cuban doctors.

Translation: Deaths in Brazil are skyrocketing, but at least we prevented them from using that damned Russian vaccine.

[Mar 22, 2021] In Syria, The War Of Hunger Is Taking Over From The War Of Guns

Mar 22, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Patrick Cockburn via The Unz Review,

US sanctions have brought the number of Syrians who are close to starvation to 12.4 million, or 60% of the country...

Great dollops of hypocrisy invariably accompany expressions of concern by outside powers for the wellbeing of the Syrian people. But even by these low standards, a new record for self-serving dishonesty is being set by the Caesar Civilian Protection Act , the new US law imposing the harshest sanctions in the world on Syria and bringing millions of Syrians to the brink of famine .

Supposedly aimed at safeguarding ordinary Syrians from violent repression by President Bashar al-Assad , the law is given a humanitarian garnish by naming it after the Syrian military photographer who filmed and smuggled out of the country pictures of thousands of Syrians killed by the government. But instead of protecting Syrians, as it claims, the Caesar Act is a measure of collective punishment that is impoverishing people in government and opposition-held areas alike.

Bad though the situation in Syria was after 10 years of warfare and a long-standing economic embargo, the crisis has got much worse in the nine months since the law was implemented on 17 June last year. It has raised the number of Syrians who are close to starvation to 12.4 million, or 60 per cent of the population, according to the UN.

Already, more than half a million children under the age of five are suffering from stunting as the result of chronic malnutrition . As the Syrian currency collapsed and prices rose by 230 per cent over the last year, Syrian families could no longer afford to buy basic foodstuffs such as bread, rice, lentils, oil and sugar.

"The war of hunger scares me more than the war of guns," says Ghassan Massoud, the Syrian actor famous for playing Saladin in the 2005 Ridley Scott film Kingdom of Heaven . A politically neutral and popular figure in Syria, Massoud is quoted as saying that government employees are earning 50,000 Syrian pounds ($13/£9) a month when they need 800,000 Syrian pounds to survive. "I am a vegetarian but I do not accept that a citizen is not able to eat meat because a kilo costs 20,000 Syrian pounds."

The Caesar Act threatens sanctions on any person or company that does business with Syria and thereby imposes a tight economic siege on the country . Introduced just as the Covid-19 epidemic made its first onset in Syria last summer and soon after the implosion of the Lebanese economy to which Syria is closely linked, the law has proved the final devastating blow to Syrians who were already ground down by a decade of destruction .

It was supposedly aimed at Assad and his regime, but there was never any reason to believe that it would destabilize them or compel them to ease repression. Since they hold power, they are well placed to control diminished resources. As with the 13 years of UN sanctions directed against Saddam Hussein between 1990 and 2003, the victims were not the dictator and his family but the civilian population. Iraqi society was shattered, with results that are still with us, and the same is now happening in Syria.

[Mar 22, 2021] Ten Years On, Syria is Almost Destroyed. Who Is To Blame?"

Mar 22, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

jayc , Mar 21 2021 17:09 utc | 19

Bhadrakumar: "Ten Years On, Syria is Almost Destroyed.Who Is To Blame?"

https://www.indianpunchline.com/ten-years-on-syria-is-almost-destroyed-whos-to-blame/

A concise summary. A cold geopolitical decision by arch war criminal Obama, following decades of meddling.
The destructions of Iraq, Syria, and Libya are the most serious state-led crimes of this century, yet in the western bubble the fingers point to Crimea, Xinjiang, and Hong Kong. Bhadrakumar's "Animal Farm" reference is apt.

[Mar 21, 2021] Blinken, like his boss, is a complete moron.

Mar 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , Mar 21 2021 3:55 utc | 181

Blinken, like his boss, is a complete moron. He blew it with his patronising threatening 'rules based order' drivel because he has no expertise. Blinken has been doing this for a decade or two: Syria, Libya, Turkey, Afghanistan, Iran, and on and on. He has the form of a killer, the mind of a killer and the intentions of a mass murderer. He has proven the latter and is the type of global ambassadorial psychopath that one should meet with once and then never meet again.

The USA has lost its mind and every day that passes proves that point.

This bar deserves broader analysis of other quarters of the planet and no more references to the Guardian or NYT.


Mao , Mar 21 2021 5:58 utc | 186

Three Takeaways from China-U.S. Alaska Meeting

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd3isU3mpx8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCtMl_0h6P4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHAbhZovh2E

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NszIE48KE_Y

Mao , Mar 21 2021 5:58 utc | 187

Posted by: willie | Mar 20 2021 15:31 utc | 116

A majority of american ambassadors are rich businessmen and women,who have not the slightest idea what diplomacy is about.

Stop Letting Rich People Buy Ambassadorships
President Biden could score a quick win by dismantling the donor-to-ambassador pipeline.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/18/opinion/biden-ambassadors-donors.html

Biden under pressure to tap fewer political ambassadors than Trump, Obama
Donors are growing impatient as Biden delays naming coveted ambassador posts.

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/03/15/biden-political-ambassadors-476050

curmudgeon , Mar 21 2021 6:52 utc | 190
I know that the United States and its leaders are determined to maintain certain relations with us, but on matters that are of interest to the United States and on its terms. Even though they believe we are just like them, we are different. We have a different genetic, cultural and moral code. But we know how to uphold our interests. We will work with the United States, but in the areas that we are interested in and on terms that we believe are beneficial to us. They will have to reckon with it despite their attempts to stop our development, despite the sanctions and insults. They will have to reckon with this.

The author provides basic but essential definition of conflict resolution. The USians either don't understand or defy it.
oldhippie , Mar 21 2021 7:25 utc | 192

James @ 170

Your link to statement by Blinken & Sullivan is propaganda as you say. It is also an expression of how deeply limited and very stupid these two are. They have no idea what just hit them.

[Mar 21, 2021] The alternative to a rules-based order is a world in which might makes right and winner takes all and that would be a far more violent and unstable world," Blinken said. Coming from the Empire this is not an explanation but rather a threat

Mar 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

William Gruff , Mar 20 2021 19:30 utc | 140

"The alternative to a rules-based order is a world in which might makes right and winner takes all and that would be a far more violent and unstable world," Blinken said.

Coming from the Empire this is not an explanation but rather a threat.

james , Mar 20 2021 19:38 utc | 141

@ 139 william gruff... i never thought of it like that, but i think you are right to characterize it that way... the language of a bully is on regular display thanks the exceptional nation... i have gotten so used to it, i overlook this feature..

[Mar 21, 2021] As long ago as the 80s Reagan was told about the reality of nuclear winter. In A Man Without a Country, Kurt Vonnegut described how scientists explained to G.W. Bush that a nuclear exchange of even a moderate duration and size, could still depopulate the earth of most of its people.

Mar 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Copeland , Mar 19 2021 22:37 utc | 54

The madness of the Outlaw Empire is not about to shrink from bringing down the curtain on the human race, if that's what it takes to see their power of command obeyed. The US, as it is today, doesn't respect any nation's sovereignty and is mostly indifferent to allies and foes alike. The regime considers itself the only sovereign worthy of such title on earth; and expects to be allowed to run the table at its pleasure, or else it will supervise the burning down of the house.

Biden meanders about, not even possessed of his right mind, holding on to the delusions and lies of several presidents who lately came before him; and he is just the man to keep all the fires of destruction burning, while the torture of innocence is unceasing, and as the arrogant demands made against other countries become more absurd. What else is more obvious? These are the things we have seen foreshadowed before and after 9/11.

As long ago as the 80s Reagan was told about the reality of nuclear winter. In A Man Without a Country , Kurt Vonnegut described how scientists explained to G.W. Bush that a nuclear exchange of even a moderate duration and size, could still depopulate the earth of most of its people. The Bush Administration, toying with the idea of deploying baby nukes, for strategic exigency, short of total war, went with "guesswork" rather than prudent scientific advice. It was their best guess that the circumspect, abbreviated use of nukes wouldn't destroy humanity itself, or cause ice age conditions, or bring about global starvation.

[Mar 21, 2021] Sabre rattling is about all the USA has left. A bunch of old men with a world view from the 1950s whose own virility is long gone is not going to come to an epiphany about their encroaching impotence

At least in the conduct between civilized countries, a minimum level of protocol and respect matters. It may make much of a difference especially when dealing with conflicts. And the conduct of the US americans is worrying. They are behaving like rabid dogs.
Mar 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
gottlieb , Mar 19 2021 19:39 utc | 9

Toothless sabre rattling is about all the USA has left. A bunch of old men with a world view from the 1950s whose own virility is long gone is not going to come to an epiphany about their encroaching impotence. The Establishment has no other choice, absent common sense and critical thinking, but to double-down on arrogant self-righteousness bred by sophomoric jingoism that defines 'shallow.'

Empire is crumbling before our eyes. The question is will it take the rest of the world with it as it falls into its own footprint.


Et Tu , Mar 19 2021 19:51 utc | 12

Perhaps one of the more predictable mistakes the US will commit next, is misinterpret the stern warnings of the past few days by Russia, China and even NK, as evidence the new Biden/Blinken regime is less feared or respected than the Trump/Pompeo one.

I suspect a more accurate interpretation would be, "ok, you had the crazy guy for 4 years and we cut you some slack, hoping once the grown ups were back we could reason as adults, but if you're gonna carry on with the same attitude, basically, Democrat or Republican, you can all summarily go fxxx yourselves".

Particularly at the end of the term, the Obama regime was already being met by a very hostile China and Russia, well before Trump took over with his less than diplomatic style (or lack thereof). Anyone recall the airport security debacle with China during Obama's last weeks?

Christian J. Chuba , Mar 19 2021 19:55 utc | 14

How our interaction w/China was reported FOX did a full throated, fake narrative just to suit their pro-Trump agenda. When they quoted, 'you cannot talk to us from a position of strength' they made is sound like the Chinese were scoffing at Blinken's weakness rather than his moral turpitude. They made it sound like Blinken surrendering to his Chinese overlords, squandering the strong hand the Trump gave him.

In FOX land, all that matters is that you come up with a great sounding argument. The truthfulness of that arguments is not relevant.

vk , Mar 19 2021 20:05 utc | 17

The USA's situation is very dire indeed. The Americans are resorting more and more to "Hail Mary" moves to keep their hegemonic position.

And even then they're blundering. I would not be surprised at all if they start to straight out have to falsify diplomatic transcripts in order to try to create something favorable to them.

Canadian Cents , Mar 19 2021 20:07 utc | 19

Related to US-China tensions, if anyone likes documentary shows, CNA (Channel News Asia, a broadcaster out of Singapore) has a good four-part documentary released in January 2021 called "When Titans Clash", about the US-China trade/tech tensions, that I would recommend. (I watched the first two yesterday and will watch the other two this weekend.)

Each of the 4 parts is about 48 minutes long and available for watching on YouTube and CNA's website too.

When Titans Clash - part 1 of 4 - Pride & Shame - The Roots of US-China Tensions
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FL2gBUxblO8

When Titans Clash - part 2 of 4 - The Real Losers of the US-China Trade War
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mYrWYSTW28

When Titans Clash - part 3 of 4 - A US-China Tech War - The True Costs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8XnLW26bmg

When Titans Clash - part 4 of 4 - US or China - Will Southeast Asia Have to Pick a Side
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJ8A5jiGICM

Touches on some of the things ak74 mentioned in his comment on the other thread: outsourcing, deindustrialization, the US dollar as reserve currency, etc.

It's from Pearl Forss who was also involved in CNA's 2015-2019 series " The New Silk Road ", about China's BRI, that I can recommend as well.

[Mar 21, 2021] How do we change a nation state that has so thoroughly morphed into an advertising and marketing phony, aided and abetted by so many deluded morons?

Mar 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

vetinLA , Mar 20 2021 5:24 utc | 98

Many great observations tonight, but all, beg the question; How do we change a nation state that has so thoroughly morphed into an advertising and marketing phony, aided and abetted by so many deluded morons?

[Mar 21, 2021] Going to be a lot of very confused people at Foggy Bottom. They may never have experienced this degree of contempt before.

Mar 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Yeah, Right , Mar 19 2021 22:08 utc | 46

This is interesting. Apparently both the Russians and the Chinese have concluded that Biden intends to use "CornPop" faux-macho posturing as his foreign policy, and they have both decided that "f**k that, let's nip this in the bud".

Because it looks like they have decided they have had a gut-full of US "exceptionalism" and are quite determined to say so. To anyone, but especially to the Americans.

Going to be a lot of very confused people at Foggy Bottom. They may never have experienced this degree of contempt before.


karlof1 , Mar 19 2021 22:10 utc | 47

ak74 @39--

I about fell on the floor when I read Blinken's words, my first thought being "this klutz has zero knowledge of history since 1588 and just admitted as much. In China, Blinken would never achieve any position of power.

The decadence of the Outlaw US Empire's government is like so many prions turning brain tissue into a swiss-cheese-like mass and then boasting about how finely tuned are its cognitive abilities. And when Harris is installed, we'll have a genuine novice in charge--The Blind leading the Blind.

It's no wonder the Chinese sought an audience with Lavrov ASAP.

[Mar 21, 2021] The Americans have completely lost the culture of negotiation. If there are no elementary human manners, then what kind of agreements can we talk about?

Mar 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ian2 , Mar 20 2021 1:53 utc | 85

The Americans have completely lost the culture of negotiation. If there are no elementary human manners, then what kind of agreements can we talk about? A sad picture. And dangerous. A madman with nuclear weapons (and chemical weapons, by the way) is not the best option for a reliable negotiating partner.

alaff | Mar 19 2021 20:44 utc | 32:

And Bio-weapons.

[Mar 12, 2021] Oil Spill Caused By Israeli Attacks On Iranian Oil Bound for Syria

Mar 12, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Oil Spill Caused By Israeli Attacks On Iranian Oil Bound for Syria Jen , Mar 12 2021 10:39 utc | 5

The Wall Street Journal reports today:

Israel has targeted at least a dozen vessels bound for Syria and mostly carrying Iranian oil out of concern that petroleum profits are funding extremism in the Middle East, U.S. and regional officials say, in a new front in the conflict between Israel and Iran.

Since late 2019, Israel has used weaponry including water mines to strike Iranian vessels or those carrying Iranian cargo as they navigate toward Syria in the Red Sea and in other areas of the region. Iran has continued its oil trade with Syria, shipping millions of barrels and contravening U.S. sanctions against Iran and international sanctions against Syria.

Some of the naval attacks also have targeted Iranian efforts to move other cargo including weaponry through the region, according to U.S. officials.

The attacks on the tankers carrying Iranian oil haven't been previously disclosed. Iranian officials have reported some of the attacks earlier and have said they suspect Israeli involvement.

The 'exclusive' leak to the WSJ , by U.S. officials(!), is designed to damage the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahoo.

It explains a number of recent incidents which Israel had claimed to be 'Iranian aggressions' but which were caused by Israel itself or were in obvious retaliation for Israeli deeds.

In mid February oil which had leaked from an unknown tanker damaged the beaches of Palestine :

Israel closed all its Mediterranean beaches until further notice on Sunday, days after an offshore oil spill deposited tons of tar across more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) of coastline in what officials are calling one of the country's worst ecological disasters.

Activists began reporting globs of black tar on Israel's coast last week after a heavy storm.
...
The Environmental Protection Ministry and activists estimate that at least 1,000 tons of tar, a product of an oil spill from a ship in the eastern Mediterranean earlier this month, have already washed up on shore. The ministry is trying to determine who is responsible. It declined commenting on details of the investigation because it was ongoing.

What made this event curious was the unusual Israeli attempt to censor reporting on it :

Cont. reading: Oil Spill Caused By Israeli Attacks On Iranian Oil Bound for Syria

Posted by b at 9:17 UTC | Comments (21) Surely one significant aspect of this story is that US govt officials, speaking as they always do "anonymously", informed none other than the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal. Does Rupert Murdoch no longer support Binyamin Netanyahu? Has Netanyahu's appeal dimmed somewhat since the death of US casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson whose newspaper "Israel Hayom" was a big Netanyahu supporter? Is the Biden-soon-to-be-Harris administration tiring of Netanyahu and keen to throw him and his wife Sara under a huge bus?

Take a gander at this news, MoA barflies!

Alleged contract with husband 'grants Sara Netanyahu veto over Mossad, IDF '

"... A former senior official from Israel's Aerospace Industries claims to have first-hand knowledge of the 15-page long legal contract between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara, writes The Times of Israel.

In a video interview, posted on the internet, David Arzi, former vice president of commercial and civil aviation at Israel Aerospace Industries, says he was allowed to read clauses of the contract in 1999, during Netanyahu's first stint as prime minister, by the Prime Minister's lawyer and cousin David Shimron ...

...The legal contract signed by the couple, he says, grants Sara Netanyahu (Sara Ben-Artzi prior to her marriage) far-reaching control over their life. Accordingly, she is reportedly allowed to sign off on appointments of the heads of Mossad intelligence agency, Shin Bet domestic security service, and the Israeli military.

In line with the contract, according to Arzi, the prime minister vows not to take any overnight trip without taking along his wife, by profession an educational and career psychologist, who is also allegedly permitted to take part in top-secret meetings ...

... "She authorises the following appointments, the head of the Mossad, the head of the Shin Bet and the IDF chief of staff. And that is in writing, she has to give the authorization in writing, if not, it is a violation of the contract," continues the ex-Aerospace Industries' official.

He adds in the video that violation of the contract would result in Benjamin Netanyahu "forfeiting all their property to her."

Regarding finances, the alleged contract stipulates that Sara Netanyahu wields major control as well.

"There was a very detailed section that she would handle their finances It was written that he would not have credit cards, only she would. And if he needed money she would give it to him," says Arzi in Hebrew, as quoted by the outlet ..."

Well, talk about Israel being the only democracy in the Middle East when the place seems to be run by wannabe Queen Hatshepsut.


Mao Cheng Ji , Mar 12 2021 10:50 utc | 6

@Bemildred 4 "Pres. Biden is, like Trump, a vindictive man, and he does not like Nuttyahoo."

I don't think this has anything to do with anyone's (and especially Biden's, who probably doesn't remember who Netanyahu is) alleged personality traits. This is not how things are done. An official leak published by WSJ should have a better explanation, imo.

Stonebird , Mar 12 2021 10:50 utc | 7
I gather that Israel has made attacks on 12 Iranian tankers. Surprising that there have not been MORE than one "oil spill".
traducteur , Mar 12 2021 12:48 utc | 8
Shot themselves in the foot again, have they? The Zios are good at doing that. The day is coming when they will make one misstep too far and go over the edge.
! خلاص
snake , Mar 12 2021 13:24 utc | 9
U.S. officials then leak the whole scheme to the WSJ to stop Netanyahoo from continuing the self-defeating campaign. USA officials don't release this kind of information without a purpose.

Jen @ 5 thinks maybe "Rupert Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal may no longer support Binyamin Netanyahu?

<== to jen I add the conspiracy theory that Maybe the official anonymous disclosure reflects wall streets concern that Netanyohoo is a husband victim of something like this which uses marriage contracts to cover for spouse side family control over appointments, to the head of the Mossad, to the head of the Shin Bet and to the IDF chief of staff. I can not imagine any other reason for documents exposed here today to have been written and their terms enforced.

Why where those documents written is my question? great work B.

Christian J. Chuba , Mar 12 2021 14:18 utc | 10
They fall into the pit they dig for others I knew something was up when both the Mossad and Defense Minister went out of their way to disavow the Israeli EPA minister's claim. MoA, I know that you are pining for, and holding a torch for Donald J. Trump, the Insurrector and Chief, but his Administration would NEVER leak this to the press.

Israel's lesson only attack Iranian tankers in the Red Sea. That will harm their new found friends, the Saudis, Egyptians, and Sudan but I don't think Netanyahu cares about them.

Tadlak Davidowitsch , Mar 12 2021 14:26 utc | 11
Bravo, B!
So many distortioners would have written that these oil spills ravaged "the coasts of Israël". You put tne matter straight through calling entire the stretch of coastline between Egypt and Lebanon "the coast of Palestine. Thank You!
chola3 , Mar 12 2021 14:32 utc | 12
the US is unhappy because there is a deal after Iran retaliation for Soleimani:

Iran Russia and others to go along with the Covid thing so the west and others can reduce petroleum consumption in stages

(saudi wells are emptying and attempts to loot Russia/Iran has fizzled. Venezuela/Canada stuff too expensive)

A few naughty stunts are good optics for everyone but Israel will not be allowed to be a loose cannon.

Sarah Sponda , Mar 12 2021 14:32 utc | 13
The U.S. might have done this because they want Gantz to win in the upcoming elections so there can finally be a war against Iran.
Christian J. Chuba , Mar 12 2021 14:37 utc | 15

Why would Israel pollute their own shores by attacking an Iranian ship in the Mediterranean?

Please do not say 'false flag'. The most simple explanation is that the Izzies figured that the Iranians (or ship owner) would direct the tanker to the nearest port for repairs, there are several in Egypt. Victimized tankers likely did that before, but in this case, the Capt decided to make a run for Syria.

the pair , Mar 12 2021 15:52 utc | 19
the oil is obviously anti-semitic. just look at all the time it spends hanging out with saudis and texans!
Jackrabbit , Mar 12 2021 15:52 utc | 20
US Intelligence Reveals Israel Has Bombed "Dozens" Of Iranian Oil Tankers
... a new bombshell report in The Wall Street Journal on Thursday reveals Israeli intelligence has been waging its own tanker sabotage campaign against the Iranians over the past two years ...

It also appears part of the Israeli and US campaign to essentially starve the Assad government and bring it to its knees, further amidst near weekly Israeli airstrikes inside the war-torn country. The new report clearly suggests US intelligence officials knew about the covert tanker sabotage campaign in real time, and may have even assisted in some level of the planning or operations ...


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

Why didn't they tell us about the continuing tanker war when they announced that the Israeli ship was "struck" by an explosion?

One must wonder if they are revealing this now because Israel's story about the tanker being attacked lacks credibility. They desperately want us to believe that the damage to the ship was NOT a false flag (Israeli sabotage of their own vessel).

But it gets even better. They also implicitly excuse (depict sympathetically) Israel's attacks on Iranian tankers ... because they oppose Assad and Biden's Iran initiative. Where is the condemnation for such behavior?

!!

gottlieb , Mar 12 2021 16:28 utc | 21

Yes, interesting as to the motives. One hopes this is part of a plan of strategery to 'de-escalate' the wag-the-dog mentality that runs the 'Middle East' foreign policy of the US. War with Iran is insane. Those who foment war with Iran are insane. It is good to walk it all back. Is this what is happening? We'll soon know.

[Mar 09, 2021] Hal Turner Radio Show - RUSSIA SYRIA BOMB OIL STORAGE FACILITIES BEING USED BY U.S., TURKEY ISRAEL INSIDE SYRIA

Mar 09, 2021 | halturnerradioshow.com

The Syrian Arab Army and Russian forces inside that country, fired Tochka Ballistic missiles at Oil Storage Tank Facilities being occupied by and used by the United States, Turkey and Israel, inside Syria. Giant explosions levelled most of the storage tank farms, rendering it impossible for the US, Turkey or Israel to continue STEALING Syrian Oil; something that has been going on for years while the US was allegedly "fighting ISIS."

... ... ...

Images coming out of Syria provide irrefutable proof the missiles used were Russian Tochka, also known in NATO circles as the SS-21.

The video below comes from a COVERT INTELLIGENCE SOURCE inside Syria, from directly next to the destroyed and burning oil storage tank farm: (Article continues below green subscriber only area below)

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The missile debris in the second video above makes clear this was a RUSSIAN attack. Initial intelligence estimates are saying Russia intentionally destroyed these Syrian oil storage facilities, likely with the permission of the Syrian government, to put an end to the rampant THEFT of Syrian oil by the United States, Turkey and most recently, Israel.

Conservative estimates reported that, during it's battle against ISIS, the USA stole $30 Million a month. Later when Turkish troops entered Syria allegedly to contain the Kurds, Turkey began stealing the oil too, raising the amount stolen to about $60 Million a month. Most recently, Israel allegedly joined the theft, and was allegedly stealing another 20-30 Million for themselves each month, causing Syria to lose upwards of $100 Million a month to this theft ring.

No one knows who is getting all the oil money. Speculation exists that it is greasing the pockets of American military higher-ups, American politicians, and those of similar position in both Turkey and in Israel. Russia just slapped all of them in the face and destroyed their money pipeline. They can't steal the oil anymore because Russia just smashed the needed oil storage facilities from which the oil was being smuggled out of Syria.

With its free money pipeline cut off, the "Deep State" is likely to go berserk, and thus my former colleagues in the Intel Community tell me the push will be "on" in the Intel and military communities, to drive the US to direct war against Russia inside Syria.

My former colleagues also told me that the most immediate and likely retaliation will be a major escalation inside eastern Ukraine, as the US and the West strike back to cause big trouble for Russia.

The most staggering warning from my former colleagues is that "this situation could rapidly escalate to direct warfare, inside Syria, between the US and Russia, with a second front opened against Russia by Europe, with warfare in Ukraine on the continent of Europe."

We could be seeing the actual outbreak of what history may call World War 3.

No other mass media outlets are covering this either in the US or in Europe. Both the American people and folks in Europe are blissfully unaware of how badly things have just escalated. If war breaks out, the civilian populations in American and Europe will be caught completely off-guard and with no preparations.

Prep now. Have emergency food, emergency water, spare supplies of medicines you may need. Spare fuel. Have a way to generate electricity. Have CB or HAM radios for communications.

If this goes bad, it will go bad fast.

MORNING UPDATE

March 6, 2021 - 7:30 AM EST

The Russian missiles not only struck oil storage tank farms, they also went after the oil smuggling tanker trucks as well. Entire parking areas filled with hundreds of smuggler tanker trucks were hit and destroyed.

This killed a number of truck drivers, but it also sent a message to every other truck driver: Don't be involved in stealing Syrian Oil for the Americans or anyone else, or YOU can be blown up too.

In one fell swoop, Russia stabbed the Syria smuggling and oil theft operation, directly in its heart. Even if teh US, Turkey and Israel _wanted_ to continue stealing, no one in his right mind will drive a smuggling truck for them; for fear of being blown to bits by Russia missiles again.

The "Deep State" has had its illegal oil smuggling cash cow, slaughtered by Russia last night.

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MORNING UPDATE

March 6, 2021 - 7:30 AM EST

The Russian missiles not only struck oil storage tank farms, they also went after the oil smuggling tanker trucks as well. Entire parking areas filled with hundreds of smuggler tanker trucks were hit and destroyed.

This killed a number of truck drivers, but it also sent a message to every other truck driver: Don't be involved in stealing Syrian Oil for the Americans or anyone else, or YOU can be blown up too.

In one fell swoop, Russia stabbed the Syria smuggling and oil theft operation, directly in its heart. Even if teh US, Turkey and Israel _wanted_ to continue stealing, no one in his right mind will drive a smuggling truck for them; for fear of being blown to bits by Russia missiles again.

The "Deep State" has had its illegal oil smuggling cash cow, slaughtered by Russia last night.

[Mar 09, 2021] Sanctions and the loss in $31Bn for Venezuela was designed to and in fact did hurt the poorest of the poor and the working 'middle' class in that country.

Mar 09, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

_K_C_ , Mar 9 2021 23:35 utc | 32

Posted by: Bobby | Mar 9 2021 18:40 utc | 10

Because the $31Bn (which is probably understated) would primarily have gone to the lower classes in which the U.S. caused humanitarian disaster is most prevalent. Rich, formerly colonial Venezuelan families don't give a shit. The and their ex-pat kids live most of the year in Miami or Vancouver or Madrid. The white upper class in Venezuela is the exact group from which Mr. Random Guy-do emanates and who he represent. They live in gated communities including in the hills around Caracas and their stores are likely fully stocked (as reported by Max Blumenthal last year). However, they are a small minority compared to the indigenous peoples who these sanctions are DESIGNED to hurt. The bank accounts of the colonials are safe while a small number, relatively speaking, of pro-Chavista/Maduro operatives are completely cut off by the Empire.

Same thing in ANY country that the USA is sanctioning. Have a look at Biden's Iran envoy's statements about everyday Iranian people.

https://thegrayzone.com/2021/03/08/biden-iran-envoy-starving-civilians-pain-sanctions/

In response to online criticism, Nephew has claimed that "the main target" of the sanctions regime he designed was "the oligarchs." But his book on "The Art of Sanctions" tells another story.

Nephew fondly recalls how he structured sanctions to sabotage Iranian economic reforms that would have improved the purchasing power of average people. The Obama administration destroyed the economic prospects of Iran's working-class majority while ensuring that "only the wealthy or those in positions of power could take advantage of Iran's continued connectedness," he wrote. As "stories began to emerge from Iran of intensified income inequality and inflation," Nephew pronounced another success.

As he made clear, the rising inequality "was a choice" that Washington "made on the basis of helping to drive up the pressure on the Iranian economy from internal sources." Nephew went on to claim credit for October 2012 protests brought on by the devaluation of Iran's currency.

So these sanctions and the loss in $31Bn for Venezuela was designed to and in fact did hurt the poorest of the poor and the working 'middle' class in that country.

michaelj72 , Mar 10 2021 0:44 utc | 38

thanks to profk at #13 for the link .

here's a snippet, about Venezuela and the US supported/directed economic terrorism, which has obviously caused much economic mayhem and dislocation, humanitarian disaster, and a large number of deaths (I have seen figures up to hundred thousand or more, from the food and medicine sanctions etc. Not to mention England stealing Venezuela's gold. I would imagine the real death toll is quite a bit larger)

https://newleftreview.org/sidecar/posts/smarter-empire

"......Subversion in Venezuela, by contrast, might not require as much 'engagement'. In Cuba the government is stable and the opposition isolated. In Venezuela, by contrast, the Maduro government faces a deep economic crisis (dramatically and intentionally exacerbated by US sanctions) and major public discontent. Betting on Maduro's vulnerability, Biden continues to recognize the self-appointed 'president' Juan Guaidó. Under Obama, Biden courted Guaidó ally Leopoldo López – a so-called political prisoner arrested for inciting violent protests that killed dozens of people – who is now calling for Biden to lead a renewed international effort to topple Maduro. US support for the far-right forces of Guaidó and López is intended to prevent a deal between Maduro and the more pragmatic elements of the opposition. Such a deal might alleviate Venezuela's economic crisis, but it could leave Maduro in power and thus derail the US's regime change agenda.

In late 2018 Biden complained that Trump's 'intensified sanctions on Venezuela have been clouded by sabre-rattling' and 'clunky sloganeering'. At that time, those intensified sanctions had already killed an estimated 40,000 civilians, with an unknown number of additional deaths after Trump imposed harsher measures in 2019. But the goal of regime change had not succeeded. Trump's crime in Venezuela was not his lethal denial of food and medicine to the population, but rather his 'faulty execution' of the policy. This critique informs Biden's current roadmap for Venezuela, which hinges on refining the sanctions to inflict maximum political damage. Secretary Blinken argues that sanctions must be honed 'so that regime enablers really feel the pain', while González favours a 'smart' use of 'multilateral sanctions' over Trump's go-it-alone programme...."

[Mar 06, 2021] Biden's -Nothing Will Fundamentally Change- Promise Extends To His Foreign Policy

Mar 06, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Laguerre , Mar 4 2021 18:27 utc | 1

"America is back" claimed Joe Biden to no ones amusement. But the world has changed after four years of Trump and after a pandemic upset the world. The U.S. position in this world and its role in it have thereby also changed. To just claim one is back without adopting to the new situation promises failure.

As candidate Joe Biden promised that there would be no changes.

Joe Biden to rich donors: "Nothing would fundamentally change" if he's elected

Former Vice President Joe Biden assured rich donors at a ritzy New York fundraiser that "nothing would fundamentally change" if he is elected.

Biden told donors at an event at the Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan on Tuesday evening that he would not "demonize" the rich and promised that " no one's standard of living will change, nothing would fundamentally change ," Bloomberg News reported.

That Biden statement destroyed the illusion of those who had hoped that he would lift the standard of living for the average Amercian.

Biden stayed true to his words at the fundraiser. There will be no rise in the minimum wage. The $2,000 checks he promised to all voters will now be only $1,400 checks. They will also be heavily means tested . Those who made more than $80,000 in 2019 but lost their income in 2020 will get no check at all.

Even as they hold the White House and the House and Senate majorities the Democrats are unable or unwilling to deliver basic progress. This will likely cost them their House majority in 2022 and the presidency in 2024.

Biden's "nothing will fundamentally change" attitude extends into foreign policy.

Secretary Pompeo @SecPompeo - 0:29 UTC · Dec 21, 2019
Today, the #ICC prosecutor raised serious questions about the ICC's jurisdiction to investigate #Israel. Israel is not a state party to the ICC. We firmly oppose this unjustified inquiry that unfairly targets Israel . The path to lasting peace is through direct negotiations.
---
Secretary Antony Blinken @SecBlinken - 1:34 UTC · Mar 4, 2021
The United States firmly opposes an @IntlCrimCourt investigation into the Palestinian Situation. We will continue to uphold our strong commitment to Israel and its security, including by opposing actions that seek to target Israel unfairly.

With that, and with its lack of punishment for the Saudi clown prince, the Biden administration has blinked on human rights which it had emphasized in earlier statements .

That nothing will change is also expressed in two policy papers the Biden administration released yesterday. The early emphasis on human rights, which distinguished it from the Trump administration, is already gone.

The common theme is now 'democracy' as if that were not just a form of government but a value in itself.

The White House published an Interim National Security Strategic Guidance (pdf). The paper is dripping with ideological LGBTQWERTY librulism. Its central claim is that 'democracy' is under threat:

At a time when the need for American engagement and international cooperation is greater than ever, however, democracies across the globe, including our own, are increasingly under siege . Free societies have been challenged from within by corruption, inequality, polarization, populism, and illiberal threats to the rule of law. Nationalist and nativist trends – accelerated by the COVID-19 crisis – produce an every-country-for-itself mentality that leaves us all more isolated, less prosperous, and less safe. Democratic nations are also increasingly challenged from outside by antagonistic authoritarian powers. Anti-democratic forces use misinformation, disinformation, and weaponized corruption to exploit perceived weaknesses and sow division within and among free nations, erode existing international rules, and promote alternative models of authoritarian governance. Reversing these trends is essential to our national security .

It then singles out China:

We must also contend with the reality that the distribution of power across the world is changing, creating new threats. China , in particular, has rapidly become more assertive. It is the only competitor potentially capable of combining its economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to mount a sustained challenge to a stable and open international system. Russia remains determined to enhance its global influence and play a disruptive role on the world stage. Both Beijing and Moscow have invested heavily in efforts meant to check U.S. strengths and prevent us from defending our interests and allies around the world. Regional actors like Iran and North Korea continue to pursue game-changing capabilities and technologies, while threatening U.S. allies and partners and challenging regional stability. We also face challenges within countries whose governance is fragile, and from influential non-state actors that have the ability to disrupt American interests.

To fight China the U.S. will (ab)use its allies:

We can do none of this work alone. For that reason, we will reinvigorate and modernize our alliances and partnerships around the world. For decades, our allies have stood by our side against common threats and adversaries, and worked hand-in-hand to advance our shared interests and values. They are a tremendous source of strength and a unique American advantage, helping to shoulder the responsibilities required to keep our nation safe and our people prosperous. Our democratic alliances enable us to present a common front, produce a unified vision, and pool our strength to promote high standards, establish effective international rules, and hold countries like China to account.

Good luck with that. Neither the European U.S. allies, nor the Asian ones, have any interest in following the U.S. into a confrontation with China. It is their greatest trading partner and they do not perceive it as an ideological or security threat.

A speech Secretary of State Anthony Blinken gave yesterday touches on the same points. It is headlined A Foreign Policy for the American People

The main theme is again 'democracy':

The more we and other democracies can show the world that we can deliver, not only for our people, but also for each other, the more we can refute the lie that authoritarian countries love to tell, that theirs is the better way to meet people's fundamental needs and hopes. It's on us to prove them wrong.

So the question isn't if we will support democracy around the world, but how.

We will use the power of our example. We will encourage others to make key reforms, overturn bad laws, fight corruption, and stop unjust practices. We will incentivize democratic behavior.

But we will not promote democracy through costly military interventions or by attempting to overthrow authoritarian regimes by force. We have tried these tactics in the past. However well intentioned, they haven't worked. They've given democracy promotion a bad name, and they've lost the confidence of the American people. We will do things differently.

The "lie that authoritarian countries love to tell, that their's is the better way to meet people's fundamental needs and hopes" is targeted at China. But that China did and does much better than the U.S. to meet its people's needs and hope is not a lie. The pandemic has again demonstrated that.

The last quoted paragraph has seen some positive attention on social media. But it is based on a falsehood. The U.S. has not once used military means to 'promote democracy'. Not ever. It has used war to gain markets and power, to destroy its competition. The neo-conservatives have claimed to be motivated by 'democracy promotion'. But that was always just a pretext to hide the real reasons for waging war. Iraq became democratic not because the U.S. wanted it to be that. In fact, after invading Iraq the the U.S. pro-consul Paul Bremer tried to prevent universal elections in Iraq. Only the insistence of Ayatollah Sistani on a universal vote led to a somewhat democratic system in Iraq.

Blinken is, just like Pompeo before him, focused on China:

And eighth, we will manage the biggest geopolitical test of the 21st century: our relationship with China.

Several countries present us with serious challenges, including Russia, Iran, North Korea. And there are serious crises we have to deal with, including in Yemen, Ethiopia, and Burma.

But the challenge posed by China is different. China is the only country with the economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to seriously challenge the stable and open international system – all the rules, values, and relationships that make the world work the way we want it to , because it ultimately serves the interests and reflects the values of the American people.

That there is no change from the Trump to the Biden administration in hostility to China is disappointing only for those who had expected some:

Pang Zhongying, a specialist in international relations at Ocean University of China, said Beijing would be disappointed with the Biden administration's approach to "continue and even elevate" the tough policies of the Trump era and to strengthen alliances to deal with China.

"There does not seem to be any change yet in the serious tensions in China-US relations," he said. "I think there may be some frustration in Beijing that after more than 40 days [of the new administration] they have not seen any change but there is actually more pressure from the US."

Beijing will manage the conflict and it is likely to see it as a chance.

The U.S. failure to adopt to new circumstances will accelerate its demise. The U.S. empire was a historical abnormality and its twilight is near :

[The Realist professors of International Relations David Blagden and Patrick Porter] observe America's "position as 'global leader' is premised on a set of impermanent and atypical conditions from an earlier post-war era", but " the days of incontestable unipolarity are over, and cannot be wished back ". The result is that "overextension abroad, exhaustion and fiscal strain at home, and political disorder feed off one another in a downward spiral, cumulatively threatening the survival of the republic".

The US empire is, then, at an impasse. Its moral and political justification of overseeing a global order of universal liberal democracy -- the closest real-world equivalent to the Kantian perpetual peace that has both motivated and eluded liberal idealists for the past two centuries -- is now beyond its capabilities to maintain.
...
How does this end for America? Biden and the presidents after him will be forced to make a hard choice: whether to retrench to a smaller and more manageable empire, or to risk a far greater and more dramatic collapse in defence of global hegemony.

Biden has made his choice. Nothing will fundamentally change under him. He is thereby likely to repeat all of Trump's foreign policy failures. There will be no new JCPOA with Iran nor will there be any win for the U.S. in the Middle East. North Korea will continue to test bombs and missiles. The U.S. will continue to be stuck in Afghanistan. The Chinese-Russian alliance will strengthen. U.S. allies will further distance themselves from it.

We can not yet know what, at what point will cause the collapse of U.S. hegemony. But we are coming more near to it.

Posted by b on March 4, 2021 at 18:04 UTC | Permalink

Did anybody expect anything else?

Bemildred , Mar 4 2021 18:28 utc | 2

Frankly, Biden's speech to the grand poobahs sounded more like a plea for understanding than a promise, and if you take what the policy paper says at face value it suggests that "Biden" understands that we have to change to compete. It is also an admission that they have presided over a period of decline in Uncle Sugar land, so of course they don't want to dwell on that. I think Biden is worried the "owners" wom't let him do anything.

And it is totally appropriate that Biden is the guy up there trying to deal with this mess, because he as one of the prime intigators or the present situation, going back 40 years.

Prof K , Mar 4 2021 18:43 utc | 3
Patrick Porter's book, The False Promise of Liberal Order, is good.

But, his realist critique of vulgar liberal propaganda for US imperialism doesn't locate the source or material roots of US grand strategy.

Realist theory understands power, hegemony and balancing only in terms of military power. That is the only currency of power in realist thinking, because realism rests on a state centricity which insists on the autonomy of the state from any social or economic factors. Military power is thus all that remains.

This theory obviously fails to explain the real history of US foreign policy, which has used militarism and other tools in support of strategic economic interests on a global scale, primarily in the South. The military balance of power is by and large only an expression of the economic balance of power and the class interests of ruling classes derived from it.

Porter and other realists point out the contradictions of liberal theory and practice but fail to provide a scientific explanation for consistent US policies.

dsfco , Mar 4 2021 18:54 utc | 4
"The Chinese-Russian alliance will strengthen."

There is a partnership currently but it's not yet an alliance. The rationale for one is very strong. Russia needs China or it will be overwhelmed by a hostile US and fairly hostile Europe. China needs Russia to save it from a resource embargo by US and allies. Together they will form a huge power bloc in Eurasia combining their respective territories with joint influence over Central Asia. Other countries in Asia like South Korea, Vietnam and India will see bloc and decide to stay neutral or side with the China-Russia bloc.

As compelling as this vision is it hasn't happened yet. It takes time sure but there must be reluctance from within the countries and other challenges. Which side is dragging its feet more? It would be interesting to understand why things aren't moving faster.

Canadian Cents , Mar 4 2021 19:02 utc | 5
As Ron Paul observed in Biden's Syria Attack: An Actual Impeachable Offense :

When President Biden says "America is back," what he really means is "the war party is back." As if they ever left.

The neocons just shifted their attention to the other side of the same coin.

eps , Mar 4 2021 19:25 utc | 6
As compelling as this vision is it hasn't happened yet. It takes time sure but there must be reluctance from within the countries and other challenges. Which side is dragging its feet more? It would be interesting to understand why things aren't moving faster.
Posted by: dsfco | Mar 4 2021 18:54 utc | 4

A guess: PRC having vastly greater economic power thinks its share of influence should be greater. Russia having vastly superior military power & technology, disagrees. For example the Chinese government might like access to the most advanced Russian military technology; the Russians having been invaded many times from both East & West, probably take the long view.

[Mar 06, 2021] We've Gone To A Liberal Form Of John Bolton -- Rand Paul Blasts Biden's Foreign Policy

Mar 06, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

This week the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a confirmation hearing for Wendy Sherman, nominated by the Biden White House to serve as deputy secretary of state.

The career diplomat answered the usual questions on how she views United States posture toward American rivals and official enemies like Russia, China, and Iran. Once again it was Sen. Rand Paul who had the most direct pushback and biting criticism against an administration that seems bent on returning to the foreign adventurism and unilateral military interventionism of the Obama and Bush years.

"We've gone to a liberal form of John Bolton," Paul said of President Biden during his turn to question Sherman. Paul is especially outraged over Biden's Syria strike without consulting Congress last week.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/8HanUqh_-CE

During the above exchange with Wendy Sherman, Paul in his concluding remarks had blasted away at Biden's vision of the world, citing past failed Democratic-led military interventions in places like Libya, Yemen, and Syria.

"I think we've gone to a liberal form of John Bolton with your new boss and that's something I'm really concerned with," Paul said.

"All I will say is that we're bombing now again in Syria without Congressional approval and we're sending more convoys in there without Congressional approval . It's a messy war - it's been going on forever, there's nothing good that's going to come out of our involvement," Paul explained in his statement.

"People say 'well US lives are at risk' ... yeah because we put'em there . We put them in the middle of a civil war that's largely over but can continue if we keep putting troops into there... to put our troops as a 'trip wire' to get involved in a further escalation of this war."

And that's when the Republican Senator from Kentucky blasted President Biden on his Syria stance and general interventionist foreign policy:

"I hope that we'll be sane voices and I hope that you'll be one of those," he said addressing Sherman.

"But I don't have a great deal of confidence that we've actually gone away from John Bolton, I've think we've gone to a liberal form of John Bolton with your new boss, and that's something I'm very concerned with ."

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1367631736591421442&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fgeopolitical%2Fweve-gone-liberal-form-john-bolton-rand-paul-blasts-bidens-foreign-policy&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=e1ffbdb%3A1614796141937&width=550px

Sherman in response had tried to claim that the Biden admin is not trying to get more deeply involved in the Syria conflict, but maintained the 'countering ISIS' stance that the Pentagon has used for years to argue it must continue the occupation of the northeast portion of the country.

[Mar 06, 2021] The USA goverment has lost control of its mercenary army. I don't assume that "Biden" necessarily knew about it beforehand. All that stuff about civilian control is "exaggerated", that corporate trough is mighty tasty. It's common in a lot of places, almost a norm. The CIA is very fond of taking its own advice too.

Mar 06, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bemildred , Mar 6 2021 7:46 utc | 87

The USAi has lost control of its occupying army. Xerxes had the same problems in his ancient chain of command.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 6 2021 6:02 utc | 82

Yes. I think it has always been that way with a couple of historical exceptions. So it's what I look for, and why when things happen, I don't assume that "Biden" necessarily knew about it beforehand. All that stuff about civilian control is "exaggerated", that corporate trough is mighty tasty. It's common in a lot of places, almost a norm. The CIA is very fond of taking its own advice too.

If you want to read "Catch-22" by Joe Heller, he's not kidding about all that.

Regarding that particular incident I ran into a piece yesterday that framed it just like that, and attempt to get an unconsidered response by some officer with ideas. But they hit the wrong people.

The Russians and/or Syrians seem to be tearing it up in Northern Aleppo. The Russian military, on the other hand, seems to have its shit unusually well put together these days. I don't think there is anybody else I can say that about. They do much with little.


Norwegian , Mar 6 2021 7:51 utc | 88

@uncle tungsten | Mar 6 2021 0:20 utc | 59
These are not normal people in charge. They have lost their minds.
I agree with that. It applies especially to the US, but you can include the rest of the western "leaders" with the same diagnosis. In fact there is a huge vacuum of sanity being filled with total insanity, there are no real leaders. They have all been assassinated like Olof Palme in Sweden or totally corrupted like Jens Stoltenberg and Boris Johnson.

Now these corrupt idiots are getting scared and are doubling down with criminal and insane behavior. We nee