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[Mar 29, 2019] America is a banana republic! FBI chief agrees with CIA on Russia alleged election help for Trump

Comey was a part of the coup -- a color revolution against Trump with Bremmen (possibly assigned by Obama) pulling the strings. That's right. This is a banana republic with nukes.
Notable quotes:
"... "Earlier this week, I met separately with FBI [Director] James Comey and DNI Jim Clapper, and there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election," the message said, according to officials who have seen it. ..."
"... Comment: The FBI now flip-flops from its previous assessment: FBI rejects CIA assessment that Russia influenced presidential election ..."
www.sott.net
Reprinted from RT

FBI and National Intelligence chiefs both agree with the CIA assessment that Russia interfered with the 2016 US presidential elections partly in an effort to help Donald Trump win the White House, US media report.

FBI Director James B. Comey and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper are both convinced that Russia was behind cyberattacks that targeted Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her campaign chairman, John Podesta, The Washington Post and reported Friday, citing a message sent by CIA Director John Brennan to his employees.

"Earlier this week, I met separately with FBI [Director] James Comey and DNI Jim Clapper, and there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election," the message said, according to officials who have seen it.

"The three of us also agree that our organizations, along with others, need to focus on completing the thorough review of this issue that has been directed by President Obama and which is being led by the DNI," it continued.

Comment: The FBI now flip-flops from its previous assessment: FBI rejects CIA assessment that Russia influenced presidential election to help Trump win, calling info "fuzzy and ambiguous"

... ... ...

[Dec 31, 2016] Like Iraq WMD Fiasco, Russia Story Does Not Add Up

If such attempts were really registered, the question is were those attempts to hack US sites from Russian IP space a false flag operation, probably with participation of Ukrainian secret services? '
As one commenter noted: "The Ukrainian government have been trying to drive a wedge between the West and Russia for years for their own political advantage."
If so what is the agenda outside obvious attempt to poison Us-Russian relations just before Trump assumes presidency. Neocon in Washington are really afraid losing this plush positions. And there is the whole colony of such "national security professionals" in Washington DC. For example Robert Kagan can't do anything useful outside his favorite Russophobic agenda and would be an unemployed along with his wife, who brought us Ukrainian disaster.
Notable quotes:
"... President Obama issued a terse statement seeming to blame Russia for the hack of the Democratic National Committee emails. "These data theft and disclosure activities could only have been directed by the highest levels of the Russian government," he wrote. ..."
"... The problem with this story is that, like the Iraq-WMD mess, it takes place in the middle of a highly politicized environment during which the motives of all the relevant actors are suspect. Nothing quite adds up. ..."
"... Now we have this sanctions story, which presents a new conundrum. It appears that a large segment of the press is biting hard on the core allegations of electoral interference emanating from the Obama administration. ..."
"... Did the Russians do it? Very possibly, in which case it should be reported to the max. But the press right now is flying blind. ..."
"... Maybe the Russians did hack the DNC, but the WikiLeaks material actually came from someone else? There is even a published report to that effect, with a former British ambassador as a source, not that it's any more believable than anything else here. ..."
"... We ought to have learned from the Judith Miller episode. Not only do governments lie, they won't hesitate to burn news agencies. In a desperate moment, they'll use any sucker they can find to get a point across. ..."
"... The Joint Analysis Report from the FBI contains an appendix that lists hundreds of IP addresses that were supposedly "used by Russian civilian and military intelligence services." While some of those IP addresses are from Russia, the majority are from all over the world, which means that the hackers constantly faked their location. ..."
"... "If I was the Chinese and I wanted to make it look like the Russians did it, I would use Russian language within the code, I would use Russian techniques of breaking into the organization," McAfee said, adding that, in the end, "there simply is no way to assign a source for any attack." ..."
"... I have a problem understanding why the powers that be can't understand the widening gap between their on podium statements and the average persons view. Are they hoping to brainwash, or really believe it, or just leaving a video record for posterity that might sway historical interpretation of the current time? ..."
"... A little OT, but how many people realize that Israel (less than half the population of the former Palestine) has taken complete control of ALL water and has decreed that 3% of that water may be directed to the Palestinians! ..."
"... It's been said that on average Americans are like mushrooms – "Keep 'em in the dark and feed 'em shit!" ..."
"... And THAT, from what I've read in OPEN literature (obviously) about what is known by our cyber threat intel community, read on tech sites, and seen on the outstanding documentary program CyberWar about the Eastern European hacking community, is a OUTRIGHT BLATANT LIE. ..."
"... NOTE that he may actually believe that because that is what he may have been TOLD, just as Bush was told there were WMDs in Iraq, but as I've pointed out, the clumsy errors allowing the malware to be so very EASILY traced back to "supposedly" Russia are beyond belief for any state-sponsored outfit, especially a Russian effort. ..."
"... Note that the user info for TWO BILLION Yahoo email accounts was stolen and they left no traces which then led the FBI to conclude that it must have been "state sponsored." ..."
"... We are left with two basic options. Either they are simply stupid or their is a larger agenda at hand. I don't believe they are stupid. They have been setting fires all around this election for months, none of them effective by themselves, but ALL reinforcing the general notion that Trump is unfit and illegitimate. ..."
"... I do not believe this is just random panic and hyperbole. They are "building" something. ..."
"... This is what is must have been like being a Soviet Citizen in 1989 or so. The official media was openly laughed at because its lies were so preposterous. ..."
"... Sadly, the JAR, as the Joint Analysis Report is called, does little to end the debate. Instead of providing smoking guns that the Russian government was behind specific hacks, it largely restates previous private-sector claims without providing any support for their validity. Even worse, it provides an effective bait and switch by promising newly declassified intelligence into Russian hackers' "tradecraft and techniques" and instead delivering generic methods carried out by just about all state-sponsored hacking groups." ..."
"... WORSE than "delivering generic methods carried out by just about all state-sponsored hacking groups." It should have said "by just about anyone using 'in the wild' malware tools." ..."
"... The Russians probably have a lot of information about USG employees, contractors, etc, via hacking, recording, etc than Wikileaks. But, as a general rule, intelligence agencies do not dump it into the public domain because you don't want a potential adversary know what you know about him lest he investigate and close off the means of obtaining that information. The leaks came from elsewhere. ..."
"... Smells like a "false flag" operation, like the USA/NATO Operation Gladio in Europe. ..."
"... McCain and the War Hawks have had it out for Russia for a long time, and the Neo-cons have been closing in on the borders of Russia for some time. What will be interesting is when Trump meets with the CIA/NSA et al. for intel briefings on the alleged hacking. Hopefully, Trump will bring along VP Pence, Mad Dog and the other Marine generals (appointees) for advice. I suspect that the "false flag" nature of the hacking excuse will be evident and revealed as the pretext for the Neo-con anti-Russia agenda moving forward. ..."
"... McCain is the real thug, and an interferer in foreign elections (Kiev) and seems to have no real scruples. ..."
"... After Victoria Nuland brags about the USA spending $5 billion to overthrow the elected Ukraine government, how these Russia-phobes have any credibility is beyond me. Just shows that the consolidation of the media into a few main propaganda outlets under Bill Clinton (who also brought the Neo-cons into foreign policy dominance) has reached its logical apex. The Swamp is indeed a stinking, Corrupt miasma. ..."
"... Russia a country of 170 million surrounded by NATO military bases and 800 million people in the EU and USA is the threat? The US alone spends 12 times as much on its military annually than Russia. It's not Russia invading and overthrowing secular governments in the Muslim world. ..."
"... If I remember correctly the CIA claimed their intelligence sources came from unspecified 'allies'. It seems rather crucial to establish who these allies actually are. If it were Germany that would be one thing, however it is more than likely to be the Ukraine. ..."
"... So if Obama had actually produced evidence that the Russians had hacked Hilary's illegal, unprotected email setup in her Chapaqua basement/closet how would that change the ***content*** of the emails? It wouldn't. ..."
"... Obama is failing to convince the world that Russia is a bunch of whistle blowers on his corrupt regime. All of the emails detailing corruption and fraud are true (unchallenged), however Obama wants to suggest they were obtained illegally from an illegal email server? That is Obama's bullshit defense for the corrupt behavior? ..."
Dec 30, 2016 | mishtalk.com

Yesterday, President Obama expelled 35 Russian "Operatives" from the Russian Embassy .

Is there any evidence those expelled are "intelligence operatives"? Any hard evidence Russia was behind the Hillary hacks? Any credible evidence that Putin himself is to blame?

The answers are No, No, and No. Yet, once again the American press is again asked to co-sign a dubious intelligence assessment.

... ... ....

Something Stinks

The Rolling Stone comments Something About This Russia Story Stinks

In an extraordinary development Thursday, the Obama administration announced a series of sanctions against Russia. Thirty-five Russian nationals will be expelled from the country. President Obama issued a terse statement seeming to blame Russia for the hack of the Democratic National Committee emails. "These data theft and disclosure activities could only have been directed by the highest levels of the Russian government," he wrote.

The problem with this story is that, like the Iraq-WMD mess, it takes place in the middle of a highly politicized environment during which the motives of all the relevant actors are suspect. Nothing quite adds up.

If the American security agencies had smoking-gun evidence that the Russians had an organized campaign to derail the U.S. presidential election and deliver the White House to Trump, then expelling a few dozen diplomats after the election seems like an oddly weak and ill-timed response. Voices in both parties are saying this now.

Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham noted the "small price" Russia paid for its "brazen attack." The Democratic National Committee, meanwhile, said Thursday that taken alone, the Obama response is " insufficient " as a response to "attacks on the United States by a foreign power."

The "small price" is an eyebrow-raiser.

Adding to the problem is that in the last months of the campaign, and also in the time since the election, we've seen an epidemic of factually loose, clearly politically motivated reporting about Russia. Democrat-leaning pundits have been unnervingly quick to use phrases like "Russia hacked the election."

This has led to widespread confusion among news audiences over whether the Russians hacked the DNC emails (a story that has at least been backed by some evidence, even if it hasn't always been great evidence ), or whether Russians hacked vote tallies in critical states (a far more outlandish tale backed by no credible evidence ).

As noted in The Intercept and other outlets, an Economist/YouGov poll conducted this month shows that 50 percent of all Clinton voters believe the Russians hacked vote tallies.

And reports by some Democrat-friendly reporters – like Kurt Eichenwald, who has birthed some real head-scratchers this year, including what he admitted was a baseless claim that Trump spent time in an institution in 1990 – have attempted to argue that Trump surrogates may have been liaising with the Russians because they either visited Russia or appeared on the RT network. Similar reporting about Russian scheming has been based entirely on unnamed security sources.

Now we have this sanctions story, which presents a new conundrum. It appears that a large segment of the press is biting hard on the core allegations of electoral interference emanating from the Obama administration.

Did the Russians do it? Very possibly, in which case it should be reported to the max. But the press right now is flying blind.

Maybe the Russians did hack the DNC, but the WikiLeaks material actually came from someone else? There is even a published report to that effect, with a former British ambassador as a source, not that it's any more believable than anything else here.

We just don't know, which is the problem.

We ought to have learned from the Judith Miller episode. Not only do governments lie, they won't hesitate to burn news agencies. In a desperate moment, they'll use any sucker they can find to get a point across.

Where the Hell is the Evidence?

'I Can Guarantee You, It Was Not the Russians'

John McAfee, founder of the security firm McAfee Associates, says 'I Can Guarantee You, It Was Not the Russians' .

The Joint Analysis Report from the FBI contains an appendix that lists hundreds of IP addresses that were supposedly "used by Russian civilian and military intelligence services." While some of those IP addresses are from Russia, the majority are from all over the world, which means that the hackers constantly faked their location.

McAfee argues that the report is a "fallacy," explaining that hackers can fake their location, their language, and any markers that could lead back to them. Any hacker who had the skills to hack into the DNC would also be able to hide their tracks, he said

"If I was the Chinese and I wanted to make it look like the Russians did it, I would use Russian language within the code, I would use Russian techniques of breaking into the organization," McAfee said, adding that, in the end, "there simply is no way to assign a source for any attack."

Question of Patriotism

It's not patriotic to accept accusations as facts, given US history of lies, deceit, meddling, and wars.

Related

keepitsimple , December 30, 2016 1:41:03 at 1:41 PM
The gullibility and ignorance of the typical media lapdog is appalling, and whores like McCain and Graham will use them shamelessly to promote their twisted, warmongering agenda. The same old story, over and over again.
Bobdough , December 30, 2016 10:51:52 at 10:51 PM
Not gullibilty, but complicity
The_Fish , December 30, 2016 2:07:19 at 2:07 PM
I have a problem understanding why the powers that be can't understand the widening gap between their on podium statements and the average persons view. Are they hoping to brainwash, or really believe it, or just leaving a video record for posterity that might sway historical interpretation of the current time?

No problem if they deliver proof.

James Greenberg , December 30, 2016 6:30:47 at 6:30 PM
Read 1984. It will explain EVERYTHING.
The_Fish , December 30, 2016 7:05:07 at 7:05 PM
Net control very likely in Europe soon with public administration of the web/content. Might at least help reduce the unemployment rate. Looked over the 2016 Bilderberg attendees too. MSM attendees interesting vs political bias they exhibit.

Whoever thinks there aren't people behind the scenes with a plan is naive and woe betide anyone upsetting that plan.

Crysangle , December 30, 2016 8:56:05 at 8:56 PM
Unemployment rate read last refuge from the official economy. Not the alt. web that takes away motivation, it is a pressure valve for people who find the official direction nothing short of insulting. The majority of social media users won't be distracted.

Noticed zh on Italy for you if you had not picked it up

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-30/italy-urges-europe-begin-censoring-free-speech-internet

Michael G , December 31, 2016 9:53:11 at 9:53 AM
A little OT, but how many people realize that Israel (less than half the population of the former Palestine) has taken complete control of ALL water and has decreed that 3% of that water may be directed to the Palestinians!

Over ten million get running water for 12 hrs a week, while in Israel (borders move every day as the world says nothing) there are no water restrictions zero! So, while Palestinians struggle to live in hot barren desert conditions (food and medicine is also denied children die of treatable cancer often as medication is blocked), a 5 min drive away millions of gallons are used to create a green, lush paradise for the Jewish Masters!

Did you know US laws were changed in 1968 to allow "Dual Citizens" to be elected and appointed to government positions and today many of the top posts are citizens of Israel and America WTF?

Trump needs to make a daily dose of Red Pills the law

Michael G , December 31, 2016 9:58:31 at 9:58 AM
Oops the 10M fig is a bit high but it's at least double the Jewish population, yet they get 97% this is slow moving genocide yet it's never even acknowledged
Greg , December 30, 2016 2:07:48 at 2:07 PM
Syria is about gas pipelines. Corporations want to profit from the gas pipeline through the region and wr the people are supposed to send our children to war over it and pay taxes tpbsupport the effort. Rissia wants pipelines from their country under the Black sea and Irans pipelines to the north. The US is supporting Qatar pipeline and LNG from our own shores to the EU.
The_Fish , December 30, 2016 2:09:55 at 2:09 PM
Some rumours Obama to be considered for UN role and Cameron NATO.
Germ , December 30, 2016 2:13:34 at 2:13 PM
It's been said that on average Americans are like mushrooms – "Keep 'em in the dark and feed 'em shit!"
Winston , December 30, 2016 3:43:28 at 3:43 PM
"These data theft and disclosure activities could only have been directed by the highest levels of the Russian government," (Obama) wrote.

And THAT, from what I've read in OPEN literature (obviously) about what is known by our cyber threat intel community, read on tech sites, and seen on the outstanding documentary program CyberWar about the Eastern European hacking community, is a OUTRIGHT BLATANT LIE.

Note he avoided the phrase, "slam dunk"

Winston , December 30, 2016 3:52:29 at 3:52 PM
NOTE that he may actually believe that because that is what he may have been TOLD, just as Bush was told there were WMDs in Iraq, but as I've pointed out, the clumsy errors allowing the malware to be so very EASILY traced back to "supposedly" Russia are beyond belief for any state-sponsored outfit, especially a Russian effort.

Note that the user info for TWO BILLION Yahoo email accounts was stolen and they left no traces which then led the FBI to conclude that it must have been "state sponsored."

fingerhole , December 30, 2016 5:24:36 at 5:24 PM
Any government that claims a right to secrecy over its affairs is going to use lying as a policy.
Steven milgrom , December 30, 2016 4:17:51 at 4:17 PM
Snowden says that it is auite easy to trace the source of the hackers.
madashellowell , December 30, 2016 4:21:48 at 4:21 PM
We are left with two basic options. Either they are simply stupid or their is a larger agenda at hand. I don't believe they are stupid. They have been setting fires all around this election for months, none of them effective by themselves, but ALL reinforcing the general notion that Trump is unfit and illegitimate.

I do not believe this is just random panic and hyperbole. They are "building" something.

Fred Rogers , December 31, 2016 1:25:43 at 1:25 PM
Well, it is an established and accepted fact that Richard Nixon was a very intelligent guy. None of Nixon's detractors ever claimed he was stupid, and Nixon won reelection easily.

Tricky Dick was just a tad "honesty challenged", and so is Obama. They were/are both neo-keynesians, both took their sweet time ending stupid wars started by their predecessors even after it was clear the wars were pointless.

Then again, I doubt Obozo is as smart as Nixon. Soros is clearly the puppeteer controlling what Obama does. Soros is now freaking out that his fascist agenda has been exposed.

vooch , December 30, 2016 5:18:15 at 5:18 PM
This is what is must have been like being a Soviet Citizen in 1989 or so. The official media was openly laughed at because its lies were so preposterous.
Winston , December 30, 2016 5:24:35 at 5:24 PM
http://arstechnica.com/security/2016/12/did-russia-tamper-with-the-2016-election-bitter-debate-likely-to-rage-on/

Excerpt:

"While security companies in the private sector have said for months the hacking campaign was the work of people working for the Russian government, anonymous people tied to the leaks have claimed they are lone wolves. Many independent security experts said there was little way to know the true origins of the attacks.

Sadly, the JAR, as the Joint Analysis Report is called, does little to end the debate. Instead of providing smoking guns that the Russian government was behind specific hacks, it largely restates previous private-sector claims without providing any support for their validity. Even worse, it provides an effective bait and switch by promising newly declassified intelligence into Russian hackers' "tradecraft and techniques" and instead delivering generic methods carried out by just about all state-sponsored hacking groups."

WORSE than "delivering generic methods carried out by just about all state-sponsored hacking groups." It should have said "by just about anyone using 'in the wild' malware tools."

The_Fish , December 30, 2016 5:54:31 at 5:54 PM
2015 Bilderberg. Looking down the attendees and subjects covered. Interesting some of the main anti-Brexit groups had representatives there, suggests HC picked for 2016 US election, Cyber-security and etc. Look at the key topics. How they all helped define 2016. So many current intertwined themes.

Little people upset the apple-cart? http://www.globalresearch.ca/bilderberg-chooses-hillary-clinton-for-2016/5454829

wootendw , December 30, 2016 6:01:33 at 6:01 PM
"We just don't know "

The Russians probably have a lot of information about USG employees, contractors, etc, via hacking, recording, etc than Wikileaks. But, as a general rule, intelligence agencies do not dump it into the public domain because you don't want a potential adversary know what you know about him lest he investigate and close off the means of obtaining that information. The leaks came from elsewhere.

greg , December 30, 2016 9:09:50 at 9:09 PM
One of the leakers is dead, we know that.
joelg5 , December 30, 2016 6:35:45 at 6:35 PM
Smells like a "false flag" operation, like the USA/NATO Operation Gladio in Europe.

McCain and the War Hawks have had it out for Russia for a long time, and the Neo-cons have been closing in on the borders of Russia for some time. What will be interesting is when Trump meets with the CIA/NSA et al. for intel briefings on the alleged hacking. Hopefully, Trump will bring along VP Pence, Mad Dog and the other Marine generals (appointees) for advice. I suspect that the "false flag" nature of the hacking excuse will be evident and revealed as the pretext for the Neo-con anti-Russia agenda moving forward.

The CIA it is now widely believed was part of the Deep State behind the JFK assassination when JFK took an independent view, so Trump will need the USA Marines on his side. McCain is the real thug, and an interferer in foreign elections (Kiev) and seems to have no real scruples.

After Victoria Nuland brags about the USA spending $5 billion to overthrow the elected Ukraine government, how these Russia-phobes have any credibility is beyond me. Just shows that the consolidation of the media into a few main propaganda outlets under Bill Clinton (who also brought the Neo-cons into foreign policy dominance) has reached its logical apex. The Swamp is indeed a stinking, Corrupt miasma.

Perhaps the Clinton Foundation and nascent Obama foundation feel it in their financial interests to nurture the misma.

Cha-ching, cha-ching. Money to be made in demonizing Russia.

Ron J , December 31, 2016 12:32:19 at 12:32 PM
"The CIA it is now widely believed was part of the Deep State behind the JFK assassination when JFK took an independent view "

All the circumstantial evidence pointed to Oswald. No one has ever proven otherwise, in over 50 years.

After 50 years of being propagandized by conspiracy book writers, it isn't surprising that anything is widely believed at this point. The former curator of the 6th Floor Museum, Gary Mack, believed there was a conspiracy, but over time came to realize that it was Oswald, alone.

CJ , December 30, 2016 8:15:54 at 8:15 PM
When liberal Rolling Stone questions the Obama/DNC propaganda, you know for certain that they have lost even their base supporters (the ones that can still think). The BS has just gotten too stupid.
Truth seeker , December 30, 2016 9:32:32 at 9:32 PM
Why is the WSJ strongly supporting Obama here but also saying he waited way to long to make this move? I don't always agree with them nor do I with you.

Ok I haven't read the comments but would only say that when Vladimir Putin the once leader of the KGB becomes a preacher and starts criticizing the West for abandoning its Christian roots, it's moral dignity, that for me doesn't just stink, it raises red flags all over the place. I think Trump and some of the rest of u r being set up here-like lambs to the slaughter. Mish your naïveté here surprises me!

Bobdough , December 30, 2016 11:00:12 at 11:00 PM
The Russians are coming!

Russia a country of 170 million surrounded by NATO military bases and 800 million people in the EU and USA is the threat? The US alone spends 12 times as much on its military annually than Russia. It's not Russia invading and overthrowing secular governments in the Muslim world.

greg , December 30, 2016 9:52:15 at 9:52 PM
Germany takes back its gold from US. Finally, after the Fed Res refused an audit request. http://www.pravdareport.com/business/finance/27-12-2016/136521-gold-0/
Simon Hodges , December 31, 2016 7:57:09 at 7:57 AM
If I remember correctly the CIA claimed their intelligence sources came from unspecified 'allies'. It seems rather crucial to establish who these allies actually are. If it were Germany that would be one thing, however it is more than likely to be the Ukraine.

The Ukranian government have been trying to drive a wedge between the West and Russia for years for their own political advantage. If I was Trump then when I took office I would want an extremely thorough investigation into the activities of the CIA by a third reliable party.

Seenitallbefore , December 31, 2016 9:48:10 at 9:48 AM
Don't be stupid. The Russians did it. CNN reported it, so it must be true.
Winston , December 31, 2016 10:22:42 at 10:22 AM
Supporting -EXACTLY- the points I've previously made here: Russian Hackers Said To "Penetrate US Electricity Grid" Using Outdated Ukrainian Malware

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-31/russian-hackers-said-penetrate-us-electricity-grid-using-outdated-ukrainian-malware

Excerpt: But was it really Russian meddling? After all, how does one prove not only intent but source in a world of cyberespionage, where planting false flag clues and other Indicators of Compromise (IOCs) meant to frame a specific entity, is as important as the actual hack.

Robert M. Lee, CEO and founder of cybersecurity company Dragos, which specializes in threats facing critical infrastructure, also noted that the IOCs included "commodity malware," or hacking tools that are widely available for purchase.

He said:

1. No they did not penetrate the grid.
2. The IOCs contained *commodity malware* – can't attribute based off that alone.

Fred Rogers , December 31, 2016 1:09:53 at 1:09 PM
So if Obama had actually produced evidence that the Russians had hacked Hilary's illegal, unprotected email setup in her Chapaqua basement/closet how would that change the ***content*** of the emails? It wouldn't.

Obama is failing to convince the world that Russia is a bunch of whistle blowers on his corrupt regime. All of the emails detailing corruption and fraud are true (unchallenged), however Obama wants to suggest they were obtained illegally from an illegal email server? That is Obama's bullshit defense for the corrupt behavior?

And as "proportional retaliation" for this Russian whistle blowing, Obozo is evicting 35 entertainment staff from the Russian embassy summer camp?

I doubt Hollywood or San Francisco has the integrity to admit they backed the wrong loser when they supported Obozo but they should think about their own credibility after January 20th. Anyone who is still backing Obozo is just too stupid to tie their own shoes much less vote

[Dec 30, 2016] The Coup against Trump and His Military

Firstly, this coup is not against a standing President, but targets an elected president set to take office on January 20, 2017. Secondly, the attempted coup has polarized leading sectors of the political and economic elite. It even exposes a seamy rivalry within the intelligence-security apparatus, with the political appointees heading the CIA involved in the coup and the FBI supporting the incoming President Trump and the constitutional process. Thirdly, the evolving coup is a sequential process, which will build momentum and then escalate very rapidly.
Notable quotes:
"... In the past few years Latin America has experienced several examples of the seizure of Presidential power by unconstitutional means, which may help illustrate some of the current moves underway in Washington. These are especially interesting since the Obama Administration served as the 'midwife' for these 'regime changes'. ..."
"... Firstly, this coup is not against a standing President, but targets an elected president set to take office on January 20, 2017. Secondly, the attempted coup has polarized leading sectors of the political and economic elite. It even exposes a seamy rivalry within the intelligence-security apparatus, with the political appointees heading the CIA involved in the coup and the FBI supporting the incoming President Trump and the constitutional process. Thirdly, the evolving coup is a sequential process, which will build momentum and then escalate very rapidly. ..."
"... In the wake of her resounding defeat, Candidate Stein usurped authority from the national Green Party and rapidly raked in $8 million dollars in donations from Democratic Party operatives and George Soros-linked NGO's (many times the amount raised during her Presidential campaign). This dodgy money financed her demand for ballot recounts in selective states in order to challenge Trump's victory. The recounts failed to change the outcome, but it was a 'first shot across the bow', to stop Trump. It became a propaganda focus for the neo-conservative mass media to mobilize several thousand Clintonite and liberal activists. ..."
"... The 'Big Lie' was repeated and embellished at every opportunity by the print and broadcast media. The 'experts' were trotted out voicing vitriolic accusations, but they never presented any facts and documentation of a 'rigged election'. Everyday, every hour, the 'Russian Plot' was breathlessly described in the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Financial Times, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, BBC, NPR and their overseas followers in Europe, Asia, Latin America, Oceana and Africa. The great American Empire looked increasingly like a 'banana republic'. ..."
"... The coup intensified as Trump-Putin became synonymous for "betrayal" and "election fraud". As this approached a crescendo of media hysteria, President Barack Obama stepped in and called on the CIA to seize domestic control of the investigation of Russian manipulation of the US election – essentially accusing President-Elect Trump of conspiring with the Russian government. Obama refused to reveal any proof of such a broad plot, citing 'national security'. ..."
"... Obama's last-ditch effort will not change the outcome of the election. Clearly this is designed to poison the diplomatic well and present Trump's incoming administration as dangerous. Trump's promise to improve relations with Russia will face enormous resistance in this frothy, breathless hysteria of Russophobia. ..."
"... Ultimately, President Obama is desperate to secure his legacy, which has consisted of disastrous and criminal imperial wars and military confrontations. He wants to force a continuation of his grotesque policies onto the incoming Trump Administration. ..."
"... Trump's success at thwarting the current 'Russian ploy' requires his forming counter alliances with Washington plutocrats, many of whom will oppose any diplomatic agreement with Putin. Trump's appointment of hardline economic plutocrats who are deeply committed to shredding social programs (public education, Medicare, Social Security) could ignite the anger of his mass supporters by savaging their jobs, health care, pensions and their children's future. ..."
"... If Trump defeats the avalanching media, CIA and elite-instigated coup (which interestingly lack support from the military and judiciary), he will have to thank, not only his generals and billionaire-buddies, but also his downwardly mobile mass supporters (Hillary Clinton's detested 'basket of deplorables'). ..."
"... He embarked on a major series of 'victory tours' around the country to thank his supporters among the military, workers, women and small business people and call on them to defend his election to the presidency. He will have to fulfill some of his promises to the masses or face 'the real fire', not from Clintonite shills and war-mongers, but from the very people who voted for him. ..."
"... It is true there is breaking news today but you certainly won't hear it from the mainstream media. While everyone was enjoying the holidays president Obama signed the NDAA for fiscal year 2017 into law which includes the "Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act" and in this video Dan Dicks of Press For Truth shows how this new law is tantamount to "The Records Department of the Ministry of Truth" in George Orwell's book 1984. ..."
"... What we have to do is prove that there is an organization that includes George Soros, but is not limited to him personally–you know, a kosher nostra! ..."
"... I would dearly like to know what Moscow and Tel Aviv know about 9-11. I suspect they both know more than almost anyone else. ..."
"... Those dastardly Russkies have informed and enlightened the American public for long enough! This shall not stand! ..."
"... What I have against Obama is his regime-change war in Syria, his State Department enabled coup in Ukraine, his support of Saudi war/genocide against Yemen, his destruction of Libya, his demonization of Putin, and his bringing us to a status near war in our relations with Russia. ..."
"... Obama has been providing weapons, training, air support and propaganda for Terrorists via their affiliates in Syria, and now directly. This is a felony, if not treason. ..."
Dec 28, 2016 | www.unz.com

Introduction

A coup has been underway to prevent President-Elect Donald Trump from taking office and fulfilling his campaign promise to improve US-Russia relations. This 'palace coup' is not a secret conspiracy, but an open, loud attack on the election.

The coup involves important US elites, who openly intervene on many levels from the street to the current President, from sectors of the intelligence community, billionaire financiers out to the more marginal 'leftist' shills of the Democratic Party.

The build-up for the coup is gaining momentum, threatening to eliminate normal constitutional and democratic constraints. This essay describes the brazen, overt coup and the public operatives, mostly members of the outgoing Obama regime.

The second section describes the Trump's cabinet appointments and the political measures that the President-Elect has adopted to counter the coup. We conclude with an evaluation of the potential political consequences of the attempted coup and Trump's moves to defend his electoral victory and legitimacy.

The Coup as 'Process'

In the past few years Latin America has experienced several examples of the seizure of Presidential power by unconstitutional means, which may help illustrate some of the current moves underway in Washington. These are especially interesting since the Obama Administration served as the 'midwife' for these 'regime changes'.

Brazil, Paraguay, Honduras and Haiti experienced coups, in which the elected Presidents were ousted through a series of political interventions orchestrated by economic elites and their political allies in Congress and the Judiciary.

President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton were deeply involved in these operations as part of their established foreign policy of 'regime change'. Indeed, the 'success' of the Latin American coups has encouraged sectors of the US elite to attempt to prevent President-elect Trump from taking office in January.

While similarities abound, the on-going coup against Trump in the United States occurs within a very different power configuration of proponents and antagonists.

Firstly, this coup is not against a standing President, but targets an elected president set to take office on January 20, 2017. Secondly, the attempted coup has polarized leading sectors of the political and economic elite. It even exposes a seamy rivalry within the intelligence-security apparatus, with the political appointees heading the CIA involved in the coup and the FBI supporting the incoming President Trump and the constitutional process. Thirdly, the evolving coup is a sequential process, which will build momentum and then escalate very rapidly.

Coup-makers depend on the 'Big Lie' as their point of departure – accusing President-Elect Trump of

  1. being a Kremlin stooge, attributing his electoral victory to Russian intervention against his Democratic Party opponent, Hillary Clinton and
  2. blatant voter fraud in which the Republican Party prevented minority voters from casting their ballot for Secretary Clinton.

The first operatives to emerge in the early stages of the coup included the marginal-left Green Party Presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein, who won less than 1% of the vote, as well as the mass media.

In the wake of her resounding defeat, Candidate Stein usurped authority from the national Green Party and rapidly raked in $8 million dollars in donations from Democratic Party operatives and George Soros-linked NGO's (many times the amount raised during her Presidential campaign). This dodgy money financed her demand for ballot recounts in selective states in order to challenge Trump's victory. The recounts failed to change the outcome, but it was a 'first shot across the bow', to stop Trump. It became a propaganda focus for the neo-conservative mass media to mobilize several thousand Clintonite and liberal activists.

The purpose was to undermine the legitimacy of Trump's electoral victory. However, Jill Stein's $8 million dollar shilling for Secretary Clinton paled before the oncoming avalanche of mass media and NGO propaganda against Trump. Their main claim was that anonymous 'Russian hackers' and not the American voters had decided the US Presidential election of November 2016!

The 'Big Lie' was repeated and embellished at every opportunity by the print and broadcast media. The 'experts' were trotted out voicing vitriolic accusations, but they never presented any facts and documentation of a 'rigged election'. Everyday, every hour, the 'Russian Plot' was breathlessly described in the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Financial Times, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, BBC, NPR and their overseas followers in Europe, Asia, Latin America, Oceana and Africa. The great American Empire looked increasingly like a 'banana republic'.

Like the Billionaire Soros-funded 'Color Revolutions', from Ukraine, to Georgia and Yugoslavia, the 'Rainbow Revolt' against Trump, featured grass-roots NGO activists and 'serious leftists', like Jill Stein.

The more polished political operatives from the upscale media used their editorial pages to question Trump's illegitimacy. This established the ground work for even higher level political intervention: The current US Administration, including President Obama, members of the US Congress from both parties, and current and former heads of the CIA jumped into the fray. As the vote recount ploy flopped, they all decided that 'Vladimir Putin swung the US election!' It wasn't just lunatic neo-conservative warmongers who sought to oust Trump and impose Hillary Clinton on the American people, liberals and social democrats were screaming 'Russian Plot!' They demanded a formal Congressional investigation of the 'Russian cyber hacking' of Hillary's personal e-mails (where she plotted to cheat her rival 'Bernie Sanders' in the primaries). They demanded even tighter economic sanctions against Russia and increased military provocations. The outgoing Democratic Senator and Minority Leader 'Harry' Reid wildly accused the FBI of acting as 'Russian agents' and hinted at a purge.

ORDER IT NOW

The coup intensified as Trump-Putin became synonymous for "betrayal" and "election fraud". As this approached a crescendo of media hysteria, President Barack Obama stepped in and called on the CIA to seize domestic control of the investigation of Russian manipulation of the US election – essentially accusing President-Elect Trump of conspiring with the Russian government. Obama refused to reveal any proof of such a broad plot, citing 'national security'.

President Obama solemnly declared the Trump-Putin conspiracy was a grave threat to American democracy and Western security and freedom. He darkly promised to retaliate against Russia, " at a time and place of our choosing".

Obama also pledged to send more US troops to the Middle East and increase arms shipments to the jihadi terrorists in Syria, as well as the Gulf State and Saudi 'allies'. Coincidentally, the Syrian Government and their Russian allies were poised to drive the US-backed terrorists out of Aleppo – and defeat Obama's campaign of 'regime change' in Syria.

Trump Strikes Back: The Wall Street-Military Alliance

Meanwhile, President-Elect Donald Trump did not crumple under the Clintonite-coup in progress. He prepared a diverse counter-attack to defend his election, relying on elite allies and mass supporters.

Trump denounced the political elements in the CIA, pointing out their previous role in manufacturing the justifications (he used the term 'lies') for the invasion of Iraq in 2003. He appointed three retired generals to key Defense and Security positions – indicating a power struggle between the highly politicized CIA and the military. Active and retired members of the US Armed Forces have been key Trump supporters. He announced that he would bring his own security teams and integrate them with the Presidential Secret Service during his administration.

Although Clinton-Obama had the major mass media and a sector of the financial elite who supported the coup, Trump countered by appointing several key Wall Street and corporate billionaires into his cabinet who had their own allied business associations.

One propaganda line for the coup, which relied on certain Zionist organizations and leaders (ADL, George Soros et al), was the bizarre claim that Trump and his supporters were 'anti-Semites'. This was were countered by Trump's appointment of powerful Wall Street Zionists like Steven Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary and Gary Cohn (both of Goldman Sachs) to head the National Economic Council. Faced with the Obama-CIA plot to paint Trump as a Russian agent for Vladimir Putin, the President-Elect named security hardliners including past and present military leaders and FBI officials, to key security and intelligence positions.

The Coup: Can it succeed?

In early December, President Obama issued an order for the CIA to 'complete its investigation' on the Russian plot and manipulation of the US Presidential election in six weeks – right up to the very day of Trump's inauguration on January 20, 2017! A concoction of pre-cooked 'findings' is already oozing out of secret clandestine CIA archives with the President's approval. Obama's last-ditch effort will not change the outcome of the election. Clearly this is designed to poison the diplomatic well and present Trump's incoming administration as dangerous. Trump's promise to improve relations with Russia will face enormous resistance in this frothy, breathless hysteria of Russophobia.

Ultimately, President Obama is desperate to secure his legacy, which has consisted of disastrous and criminal imperial wars and military confrontations. He wants to force a continuation of his grotesque policies onto the incoming Trump Administration. Will Trump succumb? The legitimacy of his election and his freedom to make policy will depend on overcoming the Clinton-Obama-neo-con-leftist coup with his own bloc of US military and the powerful Wall Street allies, as well as his mass support among the 'angry' American electorate. Trump's success at thwarting the current 'Russian ploy' requires his forming counter alliances with Washington plutocrats, many of whom will oppose any diplomatic agreement with Putin. Trump's appointment of hardline economic plutocrats who are deeply committed to shredding social programs (public education, Medicare, Social Security) could ignite the anger of his mass supporters by savaging their jobs, health care, pensions and their children's future.

If Trump defeats the avalanching media, CIA and elite-instigated coup (which interestingly lack support from the military and judiciary), he will have to thank, not only his generals and billionaire-buddies, but also his downwardly mobile mass supporters (Hillary Clinton's detested 'basket of deplorables').

He embarked on a major series of 'victory tours' around the country to thank his supporters among the military, workers, women and small business people and call on them to defend his election to the presidency. He will have to fulfill some of his promises to the masses or face 'the real fire', not from Clintonite shills and war-mongers, but from the very people who voted for him.

(Reprinted from The James Petras Website by permission of author or representative)

Kirt December 28, 2016 at 3:19 pm GMT

A very insightful analysis. The golpistas will not be able to prevent Trump from taking power. But will they make the country ungovernable to the extent of bringing down not just Trump but the whole system?

John Gruskos , December 28, 2016 at 4:16 pm GMT

If the coup forces President Trump to abandon his America First campaign promises by appointing globalists eager to invade-the-world/invite-the-world, then the coup is a success and the Trump campaign was a failure.

Robert Magill , December 28, 2016 at 5:30 pm GMT

Ultimately, President Obama is desperate to secure his legacy, which has consisted of disastrous and criminal imperial wars and military confrontations

The current wave of icon polishing we constantly are being asked to indulge seems a bit over the top. Why is our president more devoted to legacy than Jackie Kennedy was to the care and maintenance of the Camelot image?

Have we ever seen as fine a behind-the-curtain, Wizard of Oz act, as performed by Barrack Obama for the past eight years? Do we know anything at all about this man aside from the fact that he loves his wife and kids?

Replies: @Skeptikal I expect Obama loves his kids.

Great analysis from Petras.
So many people have reacted with "first=level" thinking only as Trump's appointments have been announced: "This guy is terrible!" Yes, but . . . look at the appointment in the "swamp" context, in the "veiled threat" context. Harpers mag actually put a picture on its cover of Trump behind bars. That is one of those veiled invitations like Henry II's "Will no one rid me of this man?"

I think Trump understands quite well what he is up against.

I agree completely with Petras that the compromises he must make to take office on Jan. 20 may in the end compromise his agenda (whatever it actually is). I would expect Trump to play things by ear and tack as necessary, as he senses changes in the wind. According to the precepts of triage, his no. 1 challenge/task now is to be sworn in on Jan. 20. All else is secondary.

Once he is in the White House he will have incomparably greater powers to flush out those who are trying to sideline his presidency now. The latter must know this. He will be in charge of the whole Executive Branch bureaucracy (which includes the Justice Department). , @animalogic Oh, yes, Robert -- To read the words "Obama" & "legacy" in the same sentence is to LOL.

What a god-awful president.

An 8 year adventure in failure, stupidity & ruthlessness.

The Trump-coup business: what a (near treasonous) disgrace. The "Russians done it" meme: "let's show the world just how stupid, embarrassing & plain MEAN we can be". A trillion words -- & not one shred of supporting evidence.... ?! And I thought that the old "Obama was not born in the US" trope was shameless stupidity --

If there is any bright side here, I hope it has convinced EVERY American conservative that the neo-con's & their identical economic twin the neoliberals are treasonous dreck who would flush the US down the drain if they thought it to their political advantage.

Brás Cubas , December 28, 2016 at 6:17 pm GMT

Excellent analysis! Mr. Petras, you delved right into the crux of the matter of the balance of forces in the U.S.A. at this very unusual political moment. I have only a very minor correction to make, and it is only a language-related one: you don't really want to say that Trump's "illegitimacy" is being questioned, but rather his legitimacy, right?

Another thing, but this time of a perhaps idiosyncratic nature: I am a teeny-weeny bit more optimistic than you about the events to come in your country. (Too bad I cannot say this about my own poor country Brazil, which is going faster and faster down the drain.)

Happy new year!

schmenz , December 28, 2016 at 9:05 pm GMT
@John Gruskos If the coup forces President Trump to abandon his America First campaign promises by appointing globalists eager to invade-the-world/invite-the-world, then the coup is a success and the Trump campaign was a failure.

Exactly...

Svigor , December 28, 2016 at 9:28 pm GMT

The recounts failed to change the outcome, but it was a 'first shot across the bow', to stop Trump. It became a propaganda focus for the neo-conservative mass media to mobilize several thousand Clintonite and liberal activists.

On the contrary, this first salvo from the anti-American forces resulted in more friendly fire hits on the attackers than it did on its intended targets. Result: a strengthening of Trump's position. It also serve to sap morale and energy from the anti-American forces, helping dissipate their momentum.

The purpose was to undermine the legitimacy of Trump's electoral victory.

And it backfired, literally strengthening it (Trump gained votes), while undermining the anti-American forces' legitimacy.

The purpose was to undermine the legitimacy of Trump's electoral victory. However, Jill Stein's $8 million dollar shilling for Secretary Clinton paled before the oncoming avalanche of mass media and NGO propaganda against Trump. Their main claim was that anonymous 'Russian hackers' and not the American voters had decided the US Presidential election of November 2016!

This was simply a continuation of Big Media's Full Capacity Hate Machine (thanks to Whis for the term; this is the only time I will acknowledge the debt) from the campaign. It has been running since before Trump clinched the nomination. It will be no more effective now, than it was then. Americans are fed up with Big Media propaganda in sufficient numbers to openly thwart its authors' will.

The big lie, as you refer to it, hasn't even produced the alleged "report" in question. The CIA supposedly in lockstep against Trump (I don't buy that), and they can't find one hack willing to leak this "devastating" "report"? It must suck. Probably a nothing burger.

This is all much ado about nothing. Big Media HATES Trump. They want to make sure Trump and the American people don't forget that they HATE Trump. It's a broken strategy, doomed to failure (it will only cause Trump to dig in and go about his agenda without their help; it certainly will not break him, or endear him to their demands). Trump's voters all voted for him in spite of it, so it won't win them over, either. Personally, I think Trump's low water mark of support is well behind him. Obviously subject to future events.

Trump denounced the political elements in the CIA, pointing out their previous role in manufacturing the justifications (he used the term 'lies') for the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

CIA mouthpieces have been pointing and sputtering in response that it was not they who cooked the books, but parallel neoconservative chickenhawk groups in the Bush administration. The trouble with this is that the CIA did precious little to counter the chickenhawks' narrative, instead choosing to assent by way of silence.

Personally, I sort of doubt this imagined comity between Hussein and the CIA Ever seen Zero Dark Thirty ? How much harder did Hussein make the CIA's job? I doubt it was Kathryn Bigelow who chose to go out of her way to make that movie hostile to Hussein; it's far more likely that this is simply where the material led her. I similarly doubt that the intelligence community difficulties owed to Hussein were in any way limited to the hunt for UBL.

Replies: @Seamus Padraig

The trouble with this is that the CIA did precious little to counter the chickenhawks' narrative, instead choosing to assent by way of silence.
That's not entirely accurate. CIA people like Michael Scheuer and Valery Plame were trying to undermine the neocon narrative about Iraq and WMD, not bolster it. At that time, the neocons controlled the ranking civilian positions at the Pentagon, but did not yet fully control the CIA This changed after Bush's re-election, when Porter Goss was made DCI to purge all the remaining 'realists' and 'arabists' from the agency. Now the situation in the opposite: the CIA is totally neocon, while the Pentagon is a bit less so.

So even if what Trump is saying is technically inaccurate, it's still true at a deeper level: it was the neocons who lied to us about WMD, just as it is now the neocons who are lying to us about Russia.

Lieutenant Morrisseau , December 28, 2016 at 11:27 pm GMT

MAN PAD LETTER – DM 24 DEC 2016

I think Obama's right-in-the-open [a week or so ago] authorization for the sale and shipping [?] of "man pads" to various Syrian rebel and terrorist forces is insane, and may be contrary to law.

Yes, I have no trouble calling it TREASON. It is certainly felony support for terrorists.

Man pads are shoulder held missile launchers that can destroy high and fast aircraft .such as commercial passenger airlines [to be blamed on Russia?] and also any nations' fighter/bombers .such as Russia's Air Force planes operating in Syria still–that were invited to do so by the elected government of Syria which is still under attack by US proxy [terrorist] forces. Syria is a member in good standing of the UN.

Given this I think we are all in very great danger today–now– AND I think we have to press hard to reverse the insane Obama move vis a vis these man pads.

This truly is an emergency.

TULSI GABBARD'S BILL MAY BE TOO LITTLE TOO LATE. It may even be just window dressing or PR. [That could be the reason Peter Welch has agreed to co-sponsor it.... The man never does anything that is real and substantive and decent or courageous.]

IN ANY EVENT both Gabbard and Welch via this bill have now acknowledged
that Obama and the US are supporting terrorists in Syria [and elsewhere]–a felony under existing laws. –Quite possibly an impeachable offense.

"Misprision" of treason or misprision of a felony IS ITSELF A FELONY.

If Gabbard and Welch KNOW that the man-pad authorization and other US support
for terrorists in Syria and elsewhere is presently occurring, I THINK THEY NEED TO FORCE PROSECUTION UNDER EXISTING LAWS NOW, rather than just sponsoring a sure-to-fail NEW LAW that will prevent such things in the far fuzzy future–or NOT.

Respectfully,

Dennis Morrisseau
US Army Officer [Vietnam era] ANTI-WAR
–FOR TRUMP–
Lieutenant Morrisseau's Rebellion
FIRECONGRESS.org
Second Vermont Republic
POB 177, W. Pawlet, VT USA 05775
dmorso1@netzero.net
802 645 9727

• Replies: @Bruce Marshall The Man Pad Letter is brilliant!

It needs to be published as a feature story.

Yes finally someone has the guts to say it: Obama is a traitor and terrorist.

Said by a true antiwar hero, Lt. Morrisseau who said no to Vietnam, while in uniform, as an officer in the U.S. Army. The New York Times and CBS Evening News picked it up back in the day. It was big, and this is bigger, same war though, just a different name: Its called World War III, smouldering as we speak.

Again I do urge Unz to contact Denny and get this letter up as a feature. Note that it has been sent to Rep. Gabbard and Rep. Welch. so it is a vital, historic action, may it be recognized.

BTW Rep. Tulsi Gabbards Bill is the Stop Arming Terrorist Act.

Bruce Marshall , December 29, 2016 at 6:05 am GMT • 100 Words @Lieutenant Morrisseau MAN PAD LETTER - DM 24 DEC 2016


I think Obama's right-in-the-open [a week or so ago] authorization for the sale and shipping [?] of "man pads" to various Syrian rebel and terrorist forces is insane, and may be contrary to law.

Yes, I have no trouble calling it TREASON. It is certainly felony support for terrorists.

Man pads are shoulder held missile launchers that can destroy high and fast aircraft ....such as commercial passenger airlines [to be blamed on Russia?] and also any nations' fighter/bombers....such as Russia's Air Force planes operating in Syria still--that were invited to do so by the elected government of Syria which is still under attack by US proxy [terrorist] forces. Syria is a member in good standing of the UN.

Given this......I think we are all in very great danger today--now-- AND I think we have to press hard to reverse the insane Obama move vis a vis these man pads.

This truly is an emergency.

TULSI GABBARD'S BILL MAY BE TOO LITTLE TOO LATE. It may even be just window dressing or PR. [That could be the reason Peter Welch has agreed to co-sponsor it.... The man never does anything that is real and substantive and decent or courageous.]

IN ANY EVENT both Gabbard and Welch via this bill have now acknowledged
that Obama and the US are supporting terrorists in Syria [and elsewhere]--a felony under existing laws. --Quite possibly an impeachable offense.

"Misprision" of treason or misprision of a felony IS ITSELF A FELONY.

If Gabbard and Welch KNOW that the man-pad authorization and other US support
for terrorists in Syria and elsewhere is presently occurring, I THINK THEY NEED TO FORCE PROSECUTION UNDER EXISTING LAWS NOW, rather than just sponsoring a sure-to-fail NEW LAW that will prevent such things in the far fuzzy future--or NOT.

Respectfully,

Dennis Morrisseau
US Army Officer [Vietnam era] ANTI-WAR
--FOR TRUMP--
Lieutenant Morrisseau's Rebellion
FIRECONGRESS.org
Second Vermont Republic
POB 177, W. Pawlet, VT USA 05775
dmorso1@netzero.net
802 645 9727

The Man Pad Letter is brilliant!

It needs to be published as a feature story.

Yes finally someone has the guts to say it: Obama is a traitor and terrorist.

Said by a true antiwar hero, Lt. Morrisseau who said no to Vietnam, while in uniform, as an officer in the U.S. Army. The New York Times and CBS Evening News picked it up back in the day. It was big, and this is bigger, same war though, just a different name: Its called World War III, smouldering as we speak.

Again I do urge Unz to contact Denny and get this letter up as a feature. Note that it has been sent to Rep. Gabbard and Rep. Welch. so it is a vital, historic action, may it be recognized.

BTW Rep. Tulsi Gabbards Bill is the Stop Arming Terrorist Act.

• Replies: @El Dato Hmmm.... If I were GRU I would offer Uber services to the recipients of the manpads all the way up to West European airports (not that this is needed, just take a truck, any truck).

What will the EU say if smouldering wreckage happens?

Especially as Obama won't be there to set the overall tone.

Oh my. Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

Mark Green says: • Website Show Comment Next New Comment December 29, 2016 at 6:39 am GMT • 600 Words

This is a good article but there's been a sudden shift. Incredibly, Obama has finally gotten some balls in his dealings with Israel. And Trump is starting to sound like a neocon!

Maybe Trump is worried enough about a potential coup to dump his 'America First' platform (at least for now) to shore up vital Jewish support for his teetering inauguration. This ploy will require a lot of pro-Zionist noise and gesturing. Consequently, Trump is starting to play a familiar political role. And the Zio-friendly media is holding his feet to the fire.

Has the smell of fear pushed Trump over the edge and into the lap of the Zionist establishment? It's beginning to look that way.

Or is Trump just being a fox?

Let's face it: nobody can pull out all the stops better than Israel's Fifth Column. They've got the money, the organization skills, the media leverage, and the raw intellectual moxie to make political miracles/disasters happen. Trump wants them on his side. So he's is tacitly cutting a last-minute deal with the Israelis. Trump's Zionized rhetoric (and political appointments) prove it.

This explains the apparent reversal that's now underway. Obama's pushing back while Trump is accommodating. And, as usual, the Zions are dictating the Narrative.

As Israel Shamir reminds us: there's nothing as liberating to a politician as leaving office. Therefore, Obama is finally free to do what's right. Trump however is facing no such luxury. And Bibi is more defiant than ever. This is high drama. And Trump is feeling the heat.

Indeed, outgoing Sec. John Kerry just delivered a major speech where he reiterated strongly US support for a real 'Two State' solution in Israel/Palestine.

And I thought the Two State Solution was dead.

Didn't you?

Kerry also criticized Israel's ongoing confiscation of the Occupied Territories. It was a brilliant analysis that Kerry gave without the aid of a teleprompter. Hugely impressive. Even so, Kerry did not throw Israel under the bus, as claimed. His speech was extremely fair.

This renewed, steadfast American position, coupled with the UNSC's unanimous vote against Israel (which Obama permitted by not casting the usual US veto) has set the stage for a monumental showdown. Israel has never been more isolated. But it's Trump–not Obama–that's looking weak in the face of Israeli pressure.

Indeed, the international Jewish establishment remains uniquely powerful. They may be hated (and appropriately so) but they get things accomplished in the political arena. Trump understands this all-too-well.

Will Trump–out of fear and necessity–run with the mega-powerful Jews who tried to sabotage his campaign?–Or will he stay strong with America First and avoid "any more disasterous wars". It's impossible to say. Trump is speaking out of both sides of his mouth.

I get the feeling that even Trump is unsure of where all this is going. But the situation is fast approaching critical mass. Something's gotta give. The entire world is fed up with Israel.

Will Trump blink and take the easy road with the Zions?–Or will he summon Putin's independent, nationalistic spirit and stay the course of 'America First'?

Unfortunately, having scrutinized the Zions in action for decades, I'm fearful that Trump will go Pure Washington and run with the Israeli-Firsters. This will fortify his shaky political foundation. I hope that I'm wrong about this but the Zions are brilliantly equipped to play both sides of America's political divide. No politician is immune to their machinations.

• Replies:

@Authenticjazzman

Okay so you voted twice for BO, and now for HC, so what else is new.

Authenticjazzman, "Mensa" society member of forty-plus years and pro jazz artist. ,

@Seamus Padraig

In general, I agree with a good portion of your analysis. A few minor quibbles and qualifications, though:

Incredibly, Obama has finally gotten some balls in his dealings with Israel.
Not really. Since he's a lame-duck president and the election is over, he's not really risking anything here. After all, opposition to settlements in the occupied territories has been official US policy for nearly 50 years, and when has that ever stopped Israel from founding/expanding them? No, this is just more empty symbolism.
And I thought the Two State Solution was dead.
It's been dead foreever. The One State solution will replace it, and that will really freak out all the Zios.
They may be hated (and appropriately so) but they get things accomplished in the political arena. Trump understands this all-too-well.
Oderint dum metuant ("Let them hate, so long as they fear.") - Caligula ,

@Rurik

Trump will go Pure Washington and run with the Israeli-Firsters. This will fortify his shaky political foundation. I hope that I'm wrong about this but the Zions are brilliantly equipped to play both sides of America's political divide. No politician is immune to their machinations.
I'm hoping that Trump is running with the neocons just as far as is necessary to pressure congress to confirm his cabinet appointments and make sure he isn't JFK'd before he gets into office and can set about putting security in place to protect his own and his family's lives.

For John McBloodstain to vote for a SoS that will make nice with his nemesis; Putin, will require massive amounts of Zio-pressure. The only way that pressure will come is if the Zio-cons are convinced that Trump is their man.

Once his cabinet appointments are secured, then perhaps we might see some independence of action. Not until. At least that is my hope, however naïve.

It isn't just the Zio-cons that want to poke the Russian bear, it's also the MIC. Trump has to navigate a very dangerous mine field if he's going to end the Endless Wars and return sanity and peace to the world. He's going to have to wrangle with the devil himself (the Fiend), and outplay him at his own game. , @map I wish people would stop making a big deal out of John Kerry's and Barack Obama's recent stance on Israel. Neither of them are concerned about whatever injustice happened to the Palestinians.

What they are concerned with is Israeli actions discrediting the anti-white, anti-national globalism program before it has successfully destroyed all of the white nations. That is the real reason why they want a two-state solution or a right of return. If nationalists can look at the Israeli example as a model for how to proceed then that will cause a civil war among leftists and discredit the entire left-wing project.

Trump, therefore, pushing support for Israel's national concerns is not him bending to AIPAC. It is a shrewd move that forces an internecine conflict between left-wing diaspora Jews and Israeli Jews. It is a conflict Bibi is willing to have because the pet project of leftism would necessarily result in Israel either being unlivable or largely extinct for its Jewish population. This NWO being pushed by the diaspora is not something that will be enjoyed by Israeli Jews.

Consider the problem. The problem is that Palestinians have revanchist claims against Israel. Those revanchist claims do not go away just because they get their own country or they get a right of return. Either "solution" actually strengthens the Palestinian claim against Israel and results in a vastly reduced security stance and quality of life for Israelis. The diaspora left is ok with that because they want to continue importing revanchist groups into Europe and America to break down white countries. So, Israel makes a small sacrifice for the greater good of anti-whitism, a deal that most Israelis do not consider very good for themselves. Trump's support for Israeli nationalism short-circuits this project.

Of course, one could ask: why don't the Israeli Jews just move to America? What's the big deal if Israel remains in the middle east? The big deal is the kind of jobs and activities available for Israelis to do. A real nation requires a lot of scut work. Someone has to do the plumbing, unplug the sewers, drive the nails, throw out the trash. Everyone can't be a doctor, a lawyer or a banker. Tradesmen, technicians, workers are all required to get a project like Israel off the ground and maintained.

How many of these Israelis doing scut work in Israel for a greater good want to do the same scut work in America just to get by? The problem operates in reverse for American Jews. A Jew with an American law degree is of no use to Israelis outside of the money he brings and whether he can throw out the trash. Diaspora Jews, therefore, have no reason to try and live and work in Israel.

So, again, we see that Trump's move is a masterstroke. Even his appointment to counter the coup with Zionists is brilliant, since these Zionists are rich enough to both live anywhere and indulge their pride in nationalist endeavors. ,

@RobinG "

As Israel Shamir reminds us: there's nothing as liberating to a politician as leaving office. Therefore, Obama is finally free to do what's right . "

THEN WHY DOESN'T HE DO WHAT'S RIGHT? As Seamus Padraig pointed out, the UN abstention is "just more empty symbolism."
Meanwhile...
The Christmas Eve attack on the First Amendment
The approval of arming terrorists in Syria
The fake news about Russian hacking throwing Killary's election

Aid to terrorists is a felony. Obama should be indicted.

@Tomster

Most of the Western world is much sicker of the head-choppers in charge of our 'human rights' at the UN (thanks to Obama and the UK) than it is of Israel. It is they, not we, who have funded ISIS directly.

Pirouette , December 29, 2016 at 7:08 am GMT

The real issue at stake is that Presidential control of the system is non existent, and although Trump understands this and has intimated he is going to deal with it, it is clear his hands will now be tied by all the traitors that run the US.

You need a Nuremburg type show trial to deal with all the (((usual suspects))) that have usurped the constitution. (((They))) arrived with the Pilgrim Fathers and established the slave trade buying slaves from their age old Muslim accomplices, and selling them by auction to the goyim.

(((They))) established absolute influence by having the Fed issue your currency in 1913 and forcing the US in to three wars: WWI, WWII and Vietnam from which (((they))) made enormous profits.

You have to decide whether you want these (((professional parasitical traitors))) in your country or not. It is probably too late to just ask them to leave, thus you are faced with the ultimate reality: are you willing to fight a civil war to free your nation from (((their))) oppression of you?

This is the elephant in the room that none of you will address. All the rest of this subject matter is just window dressing. Do you wish to remain economic slaves to (((these people))) or do you want to be free [like the Syrians] and live without (((these traitor's))) usurious, inflationary and dishonest policies based upon hate of Christ and Christianity?

Max Havelaar , December 29, 2016 at 10:45 am GMT

My guess: the outgoing Obama administration is in a last ditch killing frenzy, to revenge Aleppo loss!

The Berlin bus blowup, The Russian ambassador in Turkey killed and the Red army's most eminent Alexandrov's choir send to the bottom of the black sea.

Typical CIA ops to threaten world leaders to comply with the incumbent US elite.

Watch Mike Morell (CIA) threaten world leaders:

• Replies: @annamaria The prominence of the "perfumed prince" Morell is the most telling indictment of the so-called "elites" in the US. The arrogant, irresponsible (and untouchable) imbeciles among the real "deciders" in the US have brought the country down to a sub-civilization status when the US does not do diplomacy, does not follow international law, and does not keep with even marginal aspects of democracy home and abroad. The proliferation of the incompetent and opportunists in the highest echelons of the US government is the consequence of the lack of responsibility on the top. Morell - who has never been in combat and never demonstrated any intellectual vigor - is a prime example of a sycophantic and poorly educated opportunist that is endangering the US big time.
Karl , December 29, 2016 at 11:20 am GMT

the "shot across the bow" was the "Not My President!" demonstrations, which were long before Dr Stein's recount circuses.

They spent a lot of money on buses and box lunches – it wouldn't fly.

Nothing else they try will fly.

Correct me if I am wrong . plain ole citizens can start RICO suits against the likes of Soros.

@Seamus Padraig
Correct me if I am wrong . plain ole citizens can start RICO suits against the likes of Soros.
It seems you may be on to something:
RICO also permits a private individual "damaged in his business or property" by a "racketeer" to file a civil suit. The plaintiff must prove the existence of an "enterprise". The defendant(s) are not the enterprise; in other words, the defendant(s) and the enterprise are not one and the same.[3] There must be one of four specified relationships between the defendant(s) and the enterprise: either the defendant(s) invested the proceeds of the pattern of racketeering activity into the enterprise (18 U.S.C. § 1962(a)); or the defendant(s) acquired or maintained an interest in, or control of, the enterprise through the pattern of racketeering activity (subsection (b)); or the defendant(s) conducted or participated in the affairs of the enterprise "through" the pattern of racketeering activity (subsection (c)); or the defendant(s) conspired to do one of the above (subsection (d)).[4] In essence, the enterprise is either the 'prize,' 'instrument,' 'victim,' or 'perpetrator' of the racketeers.[5] A civil RICO action can be filed in state or federal court.[6]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racketeer_Influenced_and_Corrupt_Organizations_Act#Summary

What we have to do is prove that there is an organization that includes George Soros, but is not limited to him personally--you know, a kosher nostra!

mp , December 29, 2016 at 11:23 am GMT

In the past few years Latin America has experienced several examples of the seizure of Presidential power by unconstitutional means Brazil, Paraguay, Honduras and Haiti experienced coups

The US is not at the stage of these countries yet. To compare them to us, politically, is moronic. In another several generations it likely will be different. But by then there won't be any "need" for a coup.

If things keep up, the US "electorate" will be majority Third World. Then, these people will just vote as a bloc for whomever promises them the most gibs me dat. That candidate will of course be from the oligarchical elite. Trump is likely the last white man (or white man with even marginally white interests at heart) to be President. Unless things drastically change, demographically.

El Dato , December 29, 2016 at 11:39 am GMT
@Bruce Marshall The Man Pad Letter is brilliant!

It needs to be published as a feature story.

Yes finally someone has the guts to say it: Obama is a traitor and terrorist.

Said by a true antiwar hero, Lt. Morrisseau who said no to Vietnam, while in uniform, as an officer in the U.S. Army. The New York Times and CBS Evening News picked it up back in the day. It was big, and this is bigger, same war though, just a different name: Its called World War III, smouldering as we speak.

Again I do urge Unz to contact Denny and get this letter up as a feature. Note that it has been sent to Rep. Gabbard and Rep. Welch. so it is a vital, historic action, may it be recognized.

BTW Rep. Tulsi Gabbards Bill is the Stop Arming Terrorist Act.

Hmmm . If I were GRU I would offer Uber services to the recipients of the manpads all the way up to West European airports (not that this is needed, just take a truck, any truck).

What will the EU say if smouldering wreckage happens?

Especially as Obama won't be there to set the overall tone.

Oh my.

Authenticjazzman , December 29, 2016 at 1:00 pm GMT
@Mark Green This is a good article but there's been a sudden shift. Incredibly, Obama has finally gotten some balls in his dealings with Israel. And Trump is starting to sound like a neocon!

Maybe Trump is worried enough about a potential coup to dump his 'America First' platform (at least for now) to shore up vital Jewish support for his teetering inauguration. This ploy will require a lot of pro-Zionist noise and gesturing. Consequently, Trump is starting to play a familiar political role. And the Zio-friendly media is holding his feet to the fire.

Has the smell of fear pushed Trump over the edge and into the lap of the Zionist establishment? It's beginning to look that way.

Or is Trump just being a fox?

Let's face it: nobody can pull out all the stops better than Israel's Fifth Column. They've got the money, the organization skills, the media leverage, and the raw intellectual moxie to make political miracles/disasters happen. Trump wants them on his side. So he's is tacitly cutting a last-minute deal with the Israelis. Trump's Zionized rhetoric (and political appointments) prove it.

This explains the apparent reversal that's now underway. Obama's pushing back while Trump is accommodating. And, as usual, the Zions are dictating the Narrative.

As Israel Shamir reminds us: there's nothing as liberating to a politician as leaving office. Therefore, Obama is finally free to do what's right. Trump however is facing no such luxury. And Bibi is more defiant than ever. This is high drama. And Trump is feeling the heat.

Indeed, outgoing Sec. John Kerry just delivered a major speech where he reiterated strongly US support for a real 'Two State' solution in Israel/Palestine.

And I thought the Two State Solution was dead.

Didn't you?

Kerry also criticized Israel's ongoing confiscation of the Occupied Territories. It was a brilliant analysis that Kerry gave without the aid of a teleprompter. Hugely impressive. Even so, Kerry did not throw Israel under the bus, as claimed. His speech was extremely fair.

This renewed, steadfast American position, coupled with the UNSC's unanimous vote against Israel (which Obama permitted by not casting the usual US veto) has set the stage for a monumental showdown. Israel has never been more isolated. But it's Trump--not Obama--that's looking weak in the face of Israeli pressure.

Indeed, the international Jewish establishment remains uniquely powerful. They may be hated (and appropriately so) but they get things accomplished in the political arena. Trump understands this all-too-well.

Will Trump--out of fear and necessity--run with the mega-powerful Jews who tried to sabotage his campaign?--Or will he stay strong with America First and avoid "any more disasterous wars". It's impossible to say. Trump is speaking out of both sides of his mouth.

I get the feeling that even Trump is unsure of where all this is going. But the situation is fast approaching critical mass. Something's gotta give. The entire world is fed up with Israel.

Will Trump blink and take the easy road with the Zions?--Or will he summon Putin's independent, nationalistic spirit and stay the course of 'America First'?

Unfortunately, having scrutinized the Zions in action for decades, I'm fearful that Trump will go Pure Washington and run with the Israeli-Firsters. This will fortify his shaky political foundation. I hope that I'm wrong about this but the Zions are brilliantly equipped to play both sides of America's political divide. No politician is immune to their machinations.

Okay so you voted twice for BO, and now for HC, so what else is new.

Authenticjazzman, "Mensa" society member of forty-plus years and pro jazz artist.

Agent76 , December 29, 2016 at 1:59 pm GMT

D.C. has passed their propaganda bill so I am not shocked.

Dec 27, 2016 "Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act" Signed Into Law! (NDAA 2017)

It is true there is breaking news today but you certainly won't hear it from the mainstream media. While everyone was enjoying the holidays president Obama signed the NDAA for fiscal year 2017 into law which includes the "Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act" and in this video Dan Dicks of Press For Truth shows how this new law is tantamount to "The Records Department of the Ministry of Truth" in George Orwell's book 1984.

Skeptikal , December 29, 2016 at 3:00 pm GMT
@Robert Magill
Ultimately, President Obama is desperate to secure his legacy, which has consisted of disastrous and criminal imperial wars and military confrontations
The current wave of icon polishing we constantly are being asked to indulge seems a bit over the top. Why is our president more devoted to legacy than Jackie Kennedy was to the care and maintenance of the Camelot image?

Have we ever seen as fine a behind-the-curtain, Wizard of Oz act, as performed by Barrack Obama for the past eight years? Do we know anything at all about this man aside from the fact that he loves his wife and kids? https://robertmagill.wordpress.com/2016/12/09/barry-we-hardly-knew-ye/

I expect Obama loves his kids.

Great analysis from Petras.

So many people have reacted with "first level" thinking only as Trump's appointments have been announced: "This guy is terrible!" Yes, but . . . look at the appointment in the "swamp" context, in the "veiled threat" context. Harpers mag actually put a picture on its cover of Trump behind bars. That is one of those veiled invitations like Henry II's "Will no one rid me of this man?"

I think Trump understands quite well what he is up against.

I agree completely with Petras that the compromises he must make to take office on Jan. 20 may in the end compromise his agenda (whatever it actually is). I would expect Trump to play things by ear and tack as necessary, as he senses changes in the wind. According to the precepts of triage, his no. 1 challenge/task now is to be sworn in on Jan. 20. All else is secondary.

Once he is in the White House he will have incomparably greater powers to flush out those who are trying to sideline his presidency now. The latter must know this. He will be in charge of the whole Executive Branch bureaucracy (which includes the Justice Department).

animalogic , December 29, 2016 at 3:01 pm GMT • 100 Words

@Robert Magill

Ultimately, President Obama is desperate to secure his legacy, which has consisted of disastrous and criminal imperial wars and military confrontations
The current wave of icon polishing we constantly are being asked to indulge seems a bit over the top. Why is our president more devoted to legacy than Jackie Kennedy was to the care and maintenance of the Camelot image?

Have we ever seen as fine a behind-the-curtain, Wizard of Oz act, as performed by Barrack Obama for the past eight years? Do we know anything at all about this man aside from the fact that he loves his wife and kids? https://robertmagill.wordpress.com/2016/12/09/barry-we-hardly-knew-ye/

Oh, yes, Robert -- To read the words "Obama" & "legacy" in the same sentence is to LOL.
What a god-awful president.
An 8 year adventure in failure, stupidity & ruthlessness.
The Trump-coup business: what a (near treasonous) disgrace. The "Russians done it" meme: "let's show the world just how stupid, embarrassing & plain MEAN we can be". A trillion words - & not one shred of supporting evidence . ?! And I thought that the old "Obama was not born in the US" trope was shameless stupidity --
If there is any bright side here, I hope it has convinced EVERY American conservative that the neo-con's & their identical economic twin the neoliberals are treasonous dreck who would flush the US down the drain if they thought it to their political advantage.

Seamus Padraig says: • Website

@Svigor

The recounts failed to change the outcome, but it was a 'first shot across the bow', to stop Trump. It became a propaganda focus for the neo-conservative mass media to mobilize several thousand Clintonite and liberal activists.
On the contrary, this first salvo from the anti-American forces resulted in more friendly fire hits on the attackers than it did on its intended targets. Result: a strengthening of Trump's position. It also serve to sap morale and energy from the anti-American forces, helping dissipate their momentum.
The purpose was to undermine the legitimacy of Trump's electoral victory.
And it backfired, literally strengthening it (Trump gained votes), while undermining the anti-American forces' legitimacy.
The purpose was to undermine the legitimacy of Trump's electoral victory. However, Jill Stein's $8 million dollar shilling for Secretary Clinton paled before the oncoming avalanche of mass media and NGO propaganda against Trump. Their main claim was that anonymous 'Russian hackers' and not the American voters had decided the US Presidential election of November 2016!
This was simply a continuation of Big Media's Full Capacity Hate Machine (thanks to Whis for the term; this is the only time I will acknowledge the debt) from the campaign. It has been running since before Trump clinched the nomination. It will be no more effective now, than it was then. Americans are fed up with Big Media propaganda in sufficient numbers to openly thwart its authors' will.

The big lie, as you refer to it, hasn't even produced the alleged "report" in question. The CIA supposedly in lockstep against Trump (I don't buy that), and they can't find one hack willing to leak this "devastating" "report"? It must suck. Probably a nothing burger.

This is all much ado about nothing. Big Media HATES Trump. They want to make sure Trump and the American people don't forget that they HATE Trump. It's a broken strategy, doomed to failure (it will only cause Trump to dig in and go about his agenda without their help; it certainly will not break him, or endear him to their demands). Trump's voters all voted for him in spite of it, so it won't win them over, either. Personally, I think Trump's low water mark of support is well behind him. Obviously subject to future events.

Trump denounced the political elements in the CIA, pointing out their previous role in manufacturing the justifications (he used the term 'lies') for the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
CIA mouthpieces have been pointing and sputtering in response that it was not they who cooked the books, but parallel neoconservative chickenhawk groups in the Bush administration. The trouble with this is that the CIA did precious little to counter the chickenhawks' narrative, instead choosing to assent by way of silence.

Personally, I sort of doubt this imagined comity between Hussein and the CIA Ever seen Zero Dark Thirty ? How much harder did Hussein make the CIA's job? I doubt it was Kathryn Bigelow who chose to go out of her way to make that movie hostile to Hussein; it's far more likely that this is simply where the material led her. I similarly doubt that the intelligence community difficulties owed to Hussein were in any way limited to the hunt for UBL.

The trouble with this is that the CIA did precious little to counter the chickenhawks' narrative, instead choosing to assent by way of silence.

That's not entirely accurate. CIA people like Michael Scheuer and Valery Plame were trying to undermine the neocon narrative about Iraq and WMD, not bolster it. At that time, the neocons controlled the ranking civilian positions at the Pentagon, but did not yet fully control the CIA This changed after Bush's re-election, when Porter Goss was made DCI to purge all the remaining 'realists' and 'arabists' from the agency. Now the situation in the opposite: the CIA is totally neocon, while the Pentagon is a bit less so.

So even if what Trump is saying is technically inaccurate, it's still true at a deeper level: it was the neocons who lied to us about WMD, just as it is now the neocons who are lying to us about Russia.

Seamus Padraig says: • Website December 29, 2016 at 3:25 pm GMT • 1

@Mark Green This is a good article but there's been a sudden shift. Incredibly, Obama has finally gotten some balls in his dealings with Israel. And Trump is starting to sound like a neocon!

Maybe Trump is worried enough about a potential coup to dump his 'America First' platform (at least for now) to shore up vital Jewish support for his teetering inauguration. This ploy will require a lot of pro-Zionist noise and gesturing. Consequently, Trump is starting to play a familiar political role. And the Zio-friendly media is holding his feet to the fire.

Has the smell of fear pushed Trump over the edge and into the lap of the Zionist establishment? It's beginning to look that way.

Or is Trump just being a fox?

Let's face it: nobody can pull out all the stops better than Israel's Fifth Column. They've got the money, the organization skills, the media leverage, and the raw intellectual moxie to make political miracles/disasters happen. Trump wants them on his side. So he's is tacitly cutting a last-minute deal with the Israelis. Trump's Zionized rhetoric (and political appointments) prove it.

This explains the apparent reversal that's now underway. Obama's pushing back while Trump is accommodating. And, as usual, the Zions are dictating the Narrative.

As Israel Shamir reminds us: there's nothing as liberating to a politician as leaving office. Therefore, Obama is finally free to do what's right. Trump however is facing no such luxury. And Bibi is more defiant than ever. This is high drama. And Trump is feeling the heat.

Indeed, outgoing Sec. John Kerry just delivered a major speech where he reiterated strongly US support for a real 'Two State' solution in Israel/Palestine.

And I thought the Two State Solution was dead.

Didn't you?

Kerry also criticized Israel's ongoing confiscation of the Occupied Territories. It was a brilliant analysis that Kerry gave without the aid of a teleprompter. Hugely impressive. Even so, Kerry did not throw Israel under the bus, as claimed. His speech was extremely fair.

This renewed, steadfast American position, coupled with the UNSC's unanimous vote against Israel (which Obama permitted by not casting the usual US veto) has set the stage for a monumental showdown. Israel has never been more isolated. But it's Trump--not Obama--that's looking weak in the face of Israeli pressure.

Indeed, the international Jewish establishment remains uniquely powerful. They may be hated (and appropriately so) but they get things accomplished in the political arena. Trump understands this all-too-well.

Will Trump--out of fear and necessity--run with the mega-powerful Jews who tried to sabotage his campaign?--Or will he stay strong with America First and avoid "any more disasterous wars". It's impossible to say. Trump is speaking out of both sides of his mouth.

I get the feeling that even Trump is unsure of where all this is going. But the situation is fast approaching critical mass. Something's gotta give. The entire world is fed up with Israel.

Will Trump blink and take the easy road with the Zions?--Or will he summon Putin's independent, nationalistic spirit and stay the course of 'America First'?

Unfortunately, having scrutinized the Zions in action for decades, I'm fearful that Trump will go Pure Washington and run with the Israeli-Firsters. This will fortify his shaky political foundation. I hope that I'm wrong about this but the Zions are brilliantly equipped to play both sides of America's political divide. No politician is immune to their machinations.

In general, I agree with a good portion of your analysis. A few minor quibbles and qualifications, though:

Incredibly, Obama has finally gotten some balls in his dealings with Israel.

Not really. Since he's a lame-duck president and the election is over, he's not really risking anything here. After all, opposition to settlements in the occupied territories has been official US policy for nearly 50 years, and when has that ever stopped Israel from founding/expanding them? No, this is just more empty symbolism.

And I thought the Two State Solution was dead.

It's been dead for ever. The One State solution will replace it, and that will really freak out all the Zios.

They may be hated (and appropriately so) but they get things accomplished in the political arena. Trump understands this all-too-well.

Oderint dum metuant ("Let them hate, so long as they fear.") – Caligula

Seamus Padraig says: • Website December 29, 2016 at 3:28 pm GMT

@Karl the "shot across the bow" was the "Not My President!" demonstrations, which were long before Dr Stein's recount circuses.

They spent a lot of money on buses and box lunches - it wouldn't fly.

Nothing else they try will fly.

Correct me if I am wrong.... plain ole citizens can start RICO suits against the likes of Soros.

Correct me if I am wrong . plain ole citizens can start RICO suits against the likes of Soros.

It seems you may be on to something:

RICO also permits a private individual "damaged in his business or property" by a "racketeer" to file a civil suit. The plaintiff must prove the existence of an "enterprise". The defendant(s) are not the enterprise; in other words, the defendant(s) and the enterprise are not one and the same.[3] There must be one of four specified relationships between the defendant(s) and the enterprise: either the defendant(s) invested the proceeds of the pattern of racketeering activity into the enterprise (18 U.S.C. § 1962(a)); or the defendant(s) acquired or maintained an interest in, or control of, the enterprise through the pattern of racketeering activity (subsection (b)); or the defendant(s) conducted or participated in the affairs of the enterprise "through" the pattern of racketeering activity (subsection (c)); or the defendant(s) conspired to do one of the above (subsection (d)).[4] In essence, the enterprise is either the 'prize,' 'instrument,' 'victim,' or 'perpetrator' of the racketeers.[5] A civil RICO action can be filed in state or federal court.[6]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racketeer_Influenced_and_Corrupt_Organizations_Act#Summary

What we have to do is prove that there is an organization that includes George Soros, but is not limited to him personally–you know, a kosher nostra!

annamaria , December 29, 2016 at 4:36 pm GMT

@Max Havelaar My guess: the outgoing Obama administration is in a last ditch killing frenzy, to revenge Aleppo loss!

The Berlin bus blowup, The Russian ambassador in Turkey killed and the Red army's most eminent Alexandrov's choir send to the bottom of the black sea.

Typical CIA ops to threaten world leaders to comply with the incumbent US elite.

Watch Mike Morell (CIA) threaten world leaders:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZK2FZGKAd0

The prominence of the "perfumed prince" Morell is the most telling indictment of the so-called "elites" in the US. The arrogant, irresponsible (and untouchable) imbeciles among the real "deciders" in the US have brought the country down to a sub-civilization status when the US does not do diplomacy, does not follow international law, and does not keep with even marginal aspects of democracy home and abroad. The proliferation of the incompetent and opportunists in the highest echelons of the US government is the consequence of the lack of responsibility on the top. Morell – who has never been in combat and never demonstrated any intellectual vigor – is a prime example of a sycophantic and poorly educated opportunist that is endangering the US big time.

• Agree: Kiza • Replies: @Anonymous
The arrogant, irresponsible (and untouchable) imbeciles among the real "deciders" in the US have brought the country down to a sub-civilization status when the US does not do diplomacy, does not follow international law, and does not keep with even marginal aspects of democracy home and abroad.
It is corrupt, annamaria, corrupt to the very core, corrupt throughout. Any talk of elections, honest candidates, devoted elected representatives, etc., is sappy naivete. They're crooks; the sprinkling of decent reps is minuscule and ineffective.

So, what to do? , @Max Havelaar A serial killer, paid by US taxpayers. By universal human rights laws he would hang.

Maybe the Russian FSB an get to him.

Durruti , December 29, 2016 at 4:57 pm GMT

Nice well written article by James Petras.

I agree with some, mostly the pro-Constitutionalist and moral spirit of the essay, but differ as to when the Coup D'etat is going to – or has already taken place .

The coup D'etat that destroyed our American Republic, and its last Constitutional President, John F. Kennedy, took place 53 years ago on November 22, 1963. The coup was consolidated at the cost of 2 million Vietnamese and 1 million Indonesians (1965). The assassinations of JF Kennedy's brother, Robert Kennedy, R. Kennedy's ally, Martin L. King, Malcolm X, Fred Hampton, John Lennon, and many others, followed.

Mr. Petras, the Coup D'etat has already happened.

Our mission must be the Restore our American Republic! This is The Only Road for us. There are no shortcuts. The choice we were given (for Hollywood President), in 2016, between a psychotic Mass Murderer, and a mid level Mafioso Casino Owner displayed the lack of respect the Oligarchs have for the American Sheeple. Until we rise, we will never regain our self-respect, our Honor.

I enclose a copy of our Flier, our Declaration, For The Restoration of the Republic below, for your perusal. We (of the Anarchist Collective), have distributed it as best we can.

Respect All! Bow to None!

Merry Christmas!

God Bless!

[MORE]
For THE RESTORATION OF THE REPUBLIC

"We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles "

The above is a portion of the Declaration of Independence , written by Thomas Jefferson.

We submit the following facts to the citizens of the United States.

The government of the United States has been a Totalitarian Oligarchy since the military financial aristocracy destroyed the Democratic Republic on November 22, 1963, when they assassinated the last democratically elected president, John Fitzgerald Kennedy , and overthrew his government. All following governments have been unconstitutional frauds. Attempts by Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King to restore the Republic were interrupted by their murder.

A subsequent 12 year colonial war against Vietnam , conducted by the murderers of Kennedy, left 2 million dead in a wake of napalm and burning villages.

In 1965 , the U.S. government orchestrated the slaughter of 1 million unarmed Indonesian civilians.

In the decade that followed the CIA murdered 100,000 Native Americans in Guatemala.

In the 1970s , the Oligarchy began the destruction and looting of America's middle class, by encouraging the export of industry and jobs to parts of the world where workers were paid bare subsistence wages. The 2008, Bailout of the Nation's Oligarchs cost American taxpayers $13trillion. The long decline of the local economy has led to the political decline of our hard working citizens, as well as the decay of cities, towns, and infrastructure, such as education.

The impoverishment of America's middle class has undermined the nation's financial stability. Without a productive foundation, the government has accumulated a huge debt in excess of $19trillion . This debt will have to be paid, or suffered by future generations. Concurrently, the top 1% of the nation's population has benefited enormously from the discomfiture of the rest. The interest rate has been reduced to 0, thereby slowly robbing millions of depositors of their savings, as their savings cannot stay even with the inflation rate.

The government spends the declining national wealth on bloody and never ending military adventures, and is or has recently conducted unconstitutional wars against 9 nations. The Oligarchs maintain 700 military bases in 131 countries; they spend as much on military weapons of terror as the rest of the nations of the world combined. Tellingly, more than half the government budget is spent on the military and 16 associated secret agencies.

The nightmare of a powerful centralized government crushing the rights of the people, so feared by the Founders of the United States, has become a reality. The government of Obama/Biden, as with previous administrations such as Bush/Cheney, and whoever is chosen in November 2016, operates a Gulag of dozens of concentration camps, where prisoners are denied trials, and routinely tortured. The Patriot Act and The National Defense Authorizations Act , enacted by both Democratic and Republican factions of the oligarchy, serve to establish a legal cover for their terror.

The nation's media is controlled , and, with the school systems, serve to brainwash the population; the people are intimidated and treated with contempt.

The United States is No longer Sovereign

The United States is no longer a sovereign nation. Its government, The Executive, and Congress, is bought, utterly owned and controlled by foreign and domestic wealthy Oligarchs, such as the Rothschilds, Rockefellers, and Duponts , to name only a few of the best known.

The 2016 Electoral Circus will anoint new actors to occupy the same Unconstitutional Government, with its controlling International Oligarchs. Clinton, Trump, whomever, are willing accomplices for imperialist international murder, and destruction of nations, including ours.

For Love of Country

The Restoration of the Republic will be a Revolutionary Act, that will cancel all previous debts owed to that unconstitutional regime and its business supporters. All debts, including Student Debts, will be canceled. Our citizens will begin, anew, with a clean slate.

As American Founder, Thomas Jefferson wrote, in a letter to James Madison:

"I set out on this ground, which I suppose to be self evident, 'that the earth belongs in usufruct to the living':"

"Then I say the earth belongs to each of these generations, during it's course, fully, and in their own right. The 2d. Generation receives it clear of the debts and incumberances of the 1st. The 3d of the 2d. and so on. For if the 1st. Could charge it with a debt, then the earth would belong to the dead and not the living generation."

Our Citizens must restore the centrality of the constitution, establishing a less powerful government which will ensure President Franklin Roosevelt's Four Freedoms , freedom of speech and expression, freedom to worship God in ones own way, freedom from want "which means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peace time life for its inhabitants " and freedom from fear "which means a world-wide reduction of armaments "

Once restored: The Constitution will become, once again, the law of the land and of a free people. We will establish a government, hold elections, begin to direct traffic, arrest criminal politicians of the tyrannical oligarchy, and, in short, repair the damage of the previous totalitarian governments.

For the Democratic Republic!
Sons and Daughters of Liberty
florent.defeu@yahoo.com

Anonymous , December 29, 2016 at 5:02 pm GMT

@annamaria The prominence of the "perfumed prince" Morell is the most telling indictment of the so-called "elites" in the US. The arrogant, irresponsible (and untouchable) imbeciles among the real "deciders" in the US have brought the country down to a sub-civilization status when the US does not do diplomacy, does not follow international law, and does not keep with even marginal aspects of democracy home and abroad. The proliferation of the incompetent and opportunists in the highest echelons of the US government is the consequence of the lack of responsibility on the top. Morell - who has never been in combat and never demonstrated any intellectual vigor - is a prime example of a sycophantic and poorly educated opportunist that is endangering the US big time.

The arrogant, irresponsible (and untouchable) imbeciles among the real "deciders" in the US have brought the country down to a sub-civilization status when the US does not do diplomacy, does not follow international law, and does not keep with even marginal aspects of democracy home and abroad.

It is corrupt, annamaria, corrupt to the very core, corrupt throughout. Any talk of elections, honest candidates, devoted elected representatives, etc., is sappy naivete. They're crooks; the sprinkling of decent reps is minuscule and ineffective.

So, what to do?

• Replies: @Bill Jones The corruption is endemic from top to bottom.

My previous residence was in Hamilton Township in Monroe County, PA . Population about 8,000.
The 3 Township Supervisors appointed themselves to township jobs- Road master, Zoning officer etc and pay themselves twice the going rate with the occupant of the job under review abstaining while his two palls vote him the money. Anybody challenging this is met with a shit-storm of propaganda and a mysterious explosion in voter turn-out: guess who runs the local polls?

The chief of the local volunteer fire company has to sign off on the sprinkler systems before any occupation certificate can be issued for a commercial building. Conveniently he runs a plumbing business. Guess who gets the lion's share of plumbing jobs for new commercial buildings?

As they climb the greasy pole, it only gets worse.

Meanwhile the routine business of looting continues:

My local rag (an organ of the Murdoch crime family) had a little piece last year about the new 3 year contract for the local county prison guards. I went back to the two previous two contracts and discovered that by 2018 they will have had 33% increases over nine years. Between 2008 and 2013 (the latest years I could find data for) median household income in the county decreased by 13%.

At some point some rogue politician will start fighting this battle.

Miro23 , December 29, 2016 at 5:31 pm GMT

If the US is split between Trump and Clinton supporters, then the staffs of the CIA and FBI are probably split the same way.

The CIA and FBI leadership may take one position or another, but many CIA and FBI employees joined these agencies in the first place to serve their country – not to assist Neo-con MENA Imperial projects, and they know a lot more than the general public about what is really going on.

Employees can really mess things up if they have a different political orientation to their employers.

Rurik , December 29, 2016 at 5:42 pm GMT

@Mark Green This is a good article but there's been a sudden shift. Incredibly, Obama has finally gotten some balls in his dealings with Israel. And Trump is starting to sound like a neocon!

Maybe Trump is worried enough about a potential coup to dump his 'America First' platform (at least for now) to shore up vital Jewish support for his teetering inauguration. This ploy will require a lot of pro-Zionist noise and gesturing. Consequently, Trump is starting to play a familiar political role. And the Zio-friendly media is holding his feet to the fire.

Has the smell of fear pushed Trump over the edge and into the lap of the Zionist establishment? It's beginning to look that way.

Or is Trump just being a fox?

Let's face it: nobody can pull out all the stops better than Israel's Fifth Column. They've got the money, the organization skills, the media leverage, and the raw intellectual moxie to make political miracles/disasters happen. Trump wants them on his side. So he's is tacitly cutting a last-minute deal with the Israelis. Trump's Zionized rhetoric (and political appointments) prove it.

This explains the apparent reversal that's now underway. Obama's pushing back while Trump is accommodating. And, as usual, the Zions are dictating the Narrative.

As Israel Shamir reminds us: there's nothing as liberating to a politician as leaving office. Therefore, Obama is finally free to do what's right. Trump however is facing no such luxury. And Bibi is more defiant than ever. This is high drama. And Trump is feeling the heat.

Indeed, outgoing Sec. John Kerry just delivered a major speech where he reiterated strongly US support for a real 'Two State' solution in Israel/Palestine.

And I thought the Two State Solution was dead.

Didn't you?

Kerry also criticized Israel's ongoing confiscation of the Occupied Territories. It was a brilliant analysis that Kerry gave without the aid of a teleprompter. Hugely impressive. Even so, Kerry did not throw Israel under the bus, as claimed. His speech was extremely fair.

This renewed, steadfast American position, coupled with the UNSC's unanimous vote against Israel (which Obama permitted by not casting the usual US veto) has set the stage for a monumental showdown. Israel has never been more isolated. But it's Trump--not Obama--that's looking weak in the face of Israeli pressure.

Indeed, the international Jewish establishment remains uniquely powerful. They may be hated (and appropriately so) but they get things accomplished in the political arena. Trump understands this all-too-well.

Will Trump--out of fear and necessity--run with the mega-powerful Jews who tried to sabotage his campaign?--Or will he stay strong with America First and avoid "any more disasterous wars". It's impossible to say. Trump is speaking out of both sides of his mouth.

I get the feeling that even Trump is unsure of where all this is going. But the situation is fast approaching critical mass. Something's gotta give. The entire world is fed up with Israel.

Will Trump blink and take the easy road with the Zions?--Or will he summon Putin's independent, nationalistic spirit and stay the course of 'America First'?

Unfortunately, having scrutinized the Zions in action for decades, I'm fearful that Trump will go Pure Washington and run with the Israeli-Firsters. This will fortify his shaky political foundation. I hope that I'm wrong about this but the Zions are brilliantly equipped to play both sides of America's political divide. No politician is immune to their machinations.

Trump will go Pure Washington and run with the Israeli-Firsters. This will fortify his shaky political foundation. I hope that I'm wrong about this but the Zions are brilliantly equipped to play both sides of America's political divide. No politician is immune to their machinations.

I'm hoping that Trump is running with the neocons just as far as is necessary to pressure congress to confirm his cabinet appointments and make sure he isn't JFK'd before he gets into office and can set about putting security in place to protect his own and his family's lives.

For John McBloodstain to vote for a SoS that will make nice with his nemesis; Putin, will require massive amounts of Zio-pressure. The only way that pressure will come is if the Zio-cons are convinced that Trump is their man.

Once his cabinet appointments are secured, then perhaps we might see some independence of action. Not until. At least that is my hope, however naïve.

It isn't just the Zio-cons that want to poke the Russian bear, it's also the MIC. Trump has to navigate a very dangerous mine field if he's going to end the Endless Wars and return sanity and peace to the world. He's going to have to wrangle with the devil himself (the Fiend), and outplay him at his own game.

Art , December 29, 2016 at 7:36 pm GMT • 100 Words

I do not like saying it, but the appointment of the Palestinian hating Jew as ambassador to Israel has disarmed the Jew community – they can no longer call Trump an anti-Semite – the most power two words in America. The result is that the domestic side of the coup is over.

The Russian thing has to play out. The Jew forces will try and make bad blood between America and Russia – hopefully Trump and Putin will let it play out, but really ignore it.

If we get past the inauguration, the CIA is going to be toast. GOOD!

Peace - Art

• Agree: Seamus Padraig • Replies: @RobinG "If we get past the inauguration...."

Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats today (effective Friday) - doing his best to screw things up before Trump takes office. Will he start WWIII, then say Trump can't transition during war?

Obama has authorized transfer of weapons, including MANPADS, to terrorist affiliates. If we are at war with terrorists, isn't this Treason? It is most certainly a felony under the Patriot Act - providing aid, directly or indirectly, to terrorists.

A Bill of Impeachment against Obama might stave off WWIII.

Francis Boyle writes:

"... I am willing to serve as Counsel to any Member of the US House of Representatives willing to put in a Bill of Impeachment against Obama as soon as Congress reconvenes-just as I did to the late, great Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez on his Bill to Impeach Bush Sr. on the eve of Gulf War I. RIP.

Just have the MOC get in touch with me as indicated below.

Francis A. Boyle
Law Building
504 E. Pennsylvania Ave.
Champaign IL 61820 USA
217-333-7954 (phone)
217-244-1478 (fax)

Svigor , December 29, 2016 at 9:52 pm GMT

That's not entirely accurate. CIA people like Michael Scheuer and Valery Plame were trying to undermine the neocon narrative about Iraq and WMD, not bolster it.

True.

alexander , December 29, 2016 at 10:08 pm GMT • 200 Words

Dear Mr. Petras,

It seems that our POTUS has just chosen to eject 35 Russian diplomats from our country, on grounds of hacking the election against Hillary.

Is this some weird, preliminary "shot across the bow" in preparation for the coming "coup attempt" you seem to believe is in the offing ?

It seem the powers-that-be are pulling out all the stops to prevent an authentic rapprochement with Moscow.

What for ?

It makes you wonder if there is more to this than meets the eye, something beyond the sanguine disgruntlement of the party bosses and a desire for payback against Hillary's big loss ?

Does anyone know if Russia is more aware than most Americans of certain classified details pertaining to stuff ..like 9-11 ?

Why is cooperation between the new administration and Moscow so scary to these people that they would initiate a preemptive diplomatic shut down ?

They seem to be dead set on welding shut every single diplomatic door to the Kremlin there is , before Trumps inauguration.

Perhaps something "else "is being planned ..Does anyone have any ideas whats going on ?

• Replies: @annamaria

"They seem to be dead set on welding shut every single diplomatic door to the Kremlin there is , before Trumps inauguration."

The subtitles are quite direct in presenting the US deciders as criminal bullies: http://www.fort-russ.com/2016/12/russia-obama-was-most-evil-president.html

@Tomster What does Russian intelligence know? Err ... perhaps something like that the US/UK have sold nukes to the head-choppers of the riyadh caliphate, say (knowing how completely mad their incestuous brains are?). Who knows? - but such a fact could explain many inexplicable things.

RobinG , December 29, 2016 at 10:25 pm GMT

@Art I do not like saying it, but the appointment of the Palestinian hating Jew as ambassador to Israel has disarmed the Jew community – they can no longer call Trump an anti-Semite – the most power two words in America. The result is that the domestic side of the coup is over.

The Russian thing has to play out. The Jew forces will try and make bad blood between America and Russia – hopefully Trump and Putin will let it play out, but really ignore it.

If we get past the inauguration, the CIA is going to be toast. GOOD!

Peace --- Art

"If we get past the inauguration ."

Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats today (effective Friday) – doing his best to screw things up before Trump takes office. Will he start WWIII, then say Trump can't transition during war?

Obama has authorized transfer of weapons, including MANPADS, to terrorist affiliates. If we are at war with terrorists, isn't this Treason? It is most certainly a felony under the Patriot Act – providing aid, directly or indirectly, to terrorists.

A Bill of Impeachment against Obama might stave off WWIII.
Francis Boyle writes:
" I am willing to serve as Counsel to any Member of the US House of Representatives willing to put in a Bill of Impeachment against Obama as soon as Congress reconvenes-just as I did to the late, great Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez on his Bill to Impeach Bush Sr. on the eve of Gulf War I. RIP. Just have the MOC get in touch with me as indicated below.

Francis A. Boyle
Law Building
504 E. Pennsylvania Ave.
Champaign IL 61820 USA
217-333-7954 (phone)
217-244-1478 (fax)

• Replies: @Art Hi RobinG,

This is much ado about nothing - in a NYT's article today - they said that the DNC was told about being hacked in the fall or winter of 2015 - they all knew the Russian were hacking all along!

The RNC got smart - not the DNC - it is 100% their fault. Right now they look real stupid.

Really - how pissed off can they be?

Peace --- Art

p.s. I do not blame Obama – he had to do something – looks like he did the minimum.

map , December 29, 2016 at 10:41 pm GMT

@Mark Green This is a good article but there's been a sudden shift. Incredibly, Obama has finally gotten some balls in his dealings with Israel. And Trump is starting to sound like a neocon!

Maybe Trump is worried enough about a potential coup to dump his 'America First' platform (at least for now) to shore up vital Jewish support for his teetering inauguration. This ploy will require a lot of pro-Zionist noise and gesturing. Consequently, Trump is starting to play a familiar political role. And the Zio-friendly media is holding his feet to the fire.

Has the smell of fear pushed Trump over the edge and into the lap of the Zionist establishment? It's beginning to look that way.

Or is Trump just being a fox?

Let's face it: nobody can pull out all the stops better than Israel's Fifth Column. They've got the money, the organization skills, the media leverage, and the raw intellectual moxie to make political miracles/disasters happen. Trump wants them on his side. So he's is tacitly cutting a last-minute deal with the Israelis. Trump's Zionized rhetoric (and political appointments) prove it.

This explains the apparent reversal that's now underway. Obama's pushing back while Trump is accommodating. And, as usual, the Zions are dictating the Narrative.

As Israel Shamir reminds us: there's nothing as liberating to a politician as leaving office. Therefore, Obama is finally free to do what's right. Trump however is facing no such luxury. And Bibi is more defiant than ever. This is high drama. And Trump is feeling the heat.

Indeed, outgoing Sec. John Kerry just delivered a major speech where he reiterated strongly US support for a real 'Two State' solution in Israel/Palestine.

And I thought the Two State Solution was dead.

Didn't you?

Kerry also criticized Israel's ongoing confiscation of the Occupied Territories. It was a brilliant analysis that Kerry gave without the aid of a teleprompter. Hugely impressive. Even so, Kerry did not throw Israel under the bus, as claimed. His speech was extremely fair.

This renewed, steadfast American position, coupled with the UNSC's unanimous vote against Israel (which Obama permitted by not casting the usual US veto) has set the stage for a monumental showdown. Israel has never been more isolated. But it's Trump--not Obama--that's looking weak in the face of Israeli pressure.

Indeed, the international Jewish establishment remains uniquely powerful. They may be hated (and appropriately so) but they get things accomplished in the political arena. Trump understands this all-too-well.

Will Trump--out of fear and necessity--run with the mega-powerful Jews who tried to sabotage his campaign?--Or will he stay strong with America First and avoid "any more disasterous wars". It's impossible to say. Trump is speaking out of both sides of his mouth.

I get the feeling that even Trump is unsure of where all this is going. But the situation is fast approaching critical mass. Something's gotta give. The entire world is fed up with Israel.

Will Trump blink and take the easy road with the Zions?--Or will he summon Putin's independent, nationalistic spirit and stay the course of 'America First'?

Unfortunately, having scrutinized the Zions in action for decades, I'm fearful that Trump will go Pure Washington and run with the Israeli-Firsters. This will fortify his shaky political foundation. I hope that I'm wrong about this but the Zions are brilliantly equipped to play both sides of America's political divide. No politician is immune to their machinations.

I wish people would stop making a big deal out of John Kerry's and Barack Obama's recent stance on Israel. Neither of them are concerned about whatever injustice happened to the Palestinians.

What they are concerned with is Israeli actions discrediting the anti-white, anti-national globalism program before it has successfully destroyed all of the white nations. That is the real reason why they want a two-state solution or a right of return. If nationalists can look at the Israeli example as a model for how to proceed then that will cause a civil war among leftists and discredit the entire left-wing project.

Trump, therefore, pushing support for Israel's national concerns is not him bending to AIPAC. It is a shrewd move that forces an internecine conflict between left-wing diaspora Jews and Israeli Jews. It is a conflict Bibi is willing to have because the pet project of leftism would necessarily result in Israel either being unlivable or largely extinct for its Jewish population. This NWO being pushed by the diaspora is not something that will be enjoyed by Israeli Jews.

Consider the problem. The problem is that Palestinians have revanchist claims against Israel. Those revanchist claims do not go away just because they get their own country or they get a right of return. Either "solution" actually strengthens the Palestinian claim against Israel and results in a vastly reduced security stance and quality of life for Israelis. The diaspora left is ok with that because they want to continue importing revanchist groups into Europe and America to break down white countries. So, Israel makes a small sacrifice for the greater good of anti-whitism, a deal that most Israelis do not consider very good for themselves. Trump's support for Israeli nationalism short-circuits this project.

Of course, one could ask: why don't the Israeli Jews just move to America? What's the big deal if Israel remains in the middle east? The big deal is the kind of jobs and activities available for Israelis to do. A real nation requires a lot of scut work. Someone has to do the plumbing, unplug the sewers, drive the nails, throw out the trash. Everyone can't be a doctor, a lawyer or a banker. Tradesmen, technicians, workers are all required to get a project like Israel off the ground and maintained. How many of these Israelis doing scut work in Israel for a greater good want to do the same scut work in America just to get by? The problem operates in reverse for American Jews. A Jew with an American law degree is of no use to Israelis outside of the money he brings and whether he can throw out the trash. Diaspora Jews, therefore, have no reason to try and live and work in Israel.

So, again, we see that Trump's move is a masterstroke. Even his appointment to counter the coup with Zionists is brilliant, since these Zionists are rich enough to both live anywhere and indulge their pride in nationalist endeavors.

• Replies: @joe webb masterful interpretation here. But I doubt it , in spades. Trump cooled out the soccer moms on the Negroes by yakking about Uplift. And he reduced the black vote a tad. That was very clever, but probably did not come from Trump.

As for "The problem is that Palestinians have revanchist claims against Israel. Those revanchist claims do not go away just because they get their own country or they get a right of return. Either "solution" actually strengthens the Palestinian claim against Israel and results in a vastly reduced security stance and quality of life for Israelis."

That is a huge claim which is not substantiated with argument. If the Palestinians sign a peace treaty with Israel, and then continue to press their claims...Israel would have the moral high ground to beat hell out of them. Clearly, the jews got the guns, and the Palestinians got nothing but world public opinion.

Please present an argument on just how Palestinians and other Arabs could continue to logically and morally challenge Israel. Right now, the only thing preventing Israel from cleansing Israel of Arabs is world public opinion. That public opinion is real and a huge factor.

I have been arguing that T. may be outfoxing the jews, but I doubt it now.
Don't forget the Christian evangelical vote and Christians generally who have a soft spot in their brains for the jews.

Also, T's claim that he will end the ME wars is a big problem if he is going to go after Isis, big time, in Syria or anywhere else. He has put himself in the rock/hard place position. I don't think he is that smart. I voted for him of course and sent money, but...

Joe Webb , @RobinG "A real nation requires a lot of scut work. Someone has to do the plumbing, unplug the sewers, drive the nails, throw out the trash."

Perhaps you'd like to discuss why so much of this and other "scut work" is done by Palestinians, while an increasing number of Israeli Jews are on the dole. Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

Realist , December 29, 2016 at 11:05 pm GMT • 100 Words

"The 'experts' were trotted out voicing vitriolic accusations, but they never presented any facts and documentation of a 'rigged election'. Everyday, every hour, the 'Russian Plot' was breathlessly described in the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Financial Times, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, BBC, NPR and their overseas followers in Europe, Asia, Latin America, Oceana and Africa."

You left out Fox, most of their news anchors and pundits are rabidly pro Israel and anti Russia.

There is a pretty good chance, since all else has failed so far, Obama will declare 'a special situation martial law'. And you can be sure many on both sides of Congress will comply. This will once again demonstrate who is on the power elite payroll. If this happens hopefully the military will be on Trumps side and round up those responsible and proper justice meted out.

joe webb , December 29, 2016 at 11:35 pm GMT • 200 Words

@map I wish people would stop making a big deal out of John Kerry's and Barack Obama's recent stance on Israel. Neither of them are concerned about whatever injustice happened to the Palestinians.

What they are concerned with is Israeli actions discrediting the anti-white, anti-national globalism program before it has successfully destroyed all of the white nations. That is the real reason why they want a two-state solution or a right of return. If nationalists can look at the Israeli example as a model for how to proceed then that will cause a civil war among leftists and discredit the entire left-wing project.

Trump, therefore, pushing support for Israel's national concerns is not him bending to AIPAC. It is a shrewd move that forces an internecine conflict between left-wing diaspora Jews and Israeli Jews. It is a conflict Bibi is willing to have because the pet project of leftism would necessarily result in Israel either being unlivable or largely extinct for its Jewish population. This NWO being pushed by the diaspora is not something that will be enjoyed by Israeli Jews.

Consider the problem. The problem is that Palestinians have revanchist claims against Israel. Those revanchist claims do not go away just because they get their own country or they get a right of return. Either "solution" actually strengthens the Palestinian claim against Israel and results in a vastly reduced security stance and quality of life for Israelis. The diaspora left is ok with that because they want to continue importing revanchist groups into Europe and America to break down white countries. So, Israel makes a small sacrifice for the greater good of anti-whitism, a deal that most Israelis do not consider very good for themselves. Trump's support for Israeli nationalism short-circuits this project.

Of course, one could ask: why don't the Israeli Jews just move to America? What's the big deal if Israel remains in the middle east? The big deal is the kind of jobs and activities available for Israelis to do. A real nation requires a lot of scut work. Someone has to do the plumbing, unplug the sewers, drive the nails, throw out the trash. Everyone can't be a doctor, a lawyer or a banker. Tradesmen, technicians, workers are all required to get a project like Israel off the ground and maintained. How many of these Israelis doing scut work in Israel for a greater good want to do the same scut work in America just to get by? The problem operates in reverse for American Jews. A Jew with an American law degree is of no use to Israelis outside of the money he brings and whether he can throw out the trash. Diaspora Jews, therefore, have no reason to try and live and work in Israel.

So, again, we see that Trump's move is a masterstroke. Even his appointment to counter the coup with Zionists is brilliant, since these Zionists are rich enough to both live anywhere and indulge their pride in nationalist endeavors.

masterful interpretation here. But I doubt it , in spades. Trump cooled out the soccer moms on the Negroes by yakking about Uplift. And he reduced the black vote a tad. That was very clever, but probably did not come from Trump.

As for "The problem is that Palestinians have revanchist claims against Israel. Those revanchist claims do not go away just because they get their own country or they get a right of return. Either "solution" actually strengthens the Palestinian claim against Israel and results in a vastly reduced security stance and quality of life for Israelis."

That is a huge claim which is not substantiated with argument. If the Palestinians sign a peace treaty with Israel, and then continue to press their claims Israel would have the moral high ground to beat hell out of them. Clearly, the jews got the guns, and the Palestinians got nothing but world public opinion.

Please present an argument on just how Palestinians and other Arabs could continue to logically and morally challenge Israel. Right now, the only thing preventing Israel from cleansing Israel of Arabs is world public opinion. That public opinion is real and a huge factor.

I have been arguing that T. may be outfoxing the jews, but I doubt it now.
Don't forget the Christian evangelical vote and Christians generally who have a soft spot in their brains for the jews.

Also, T's claim that he will end the ME wars is a big problem if he is going to go after Isis, big time, in Syria or anywhere else. He has put himself in the rock/hard place position. I don't think he is that smart. I voted for him of course and sent money, but

Joe Webb

• Replies: @map The revanchist claim that I refer to is psychological, not moral or legal. Palestinians think their land was stolen in the same way Mexicans think Texas and California were stolen. That feeling will not change just because they get a two-state solution or a right of return. What it will result in is a comfortable base from which to continue to operate against Israel, one that Israel can't afford.

It is Nationalism 101 not to allow revanchist groups in your country.

The leftists are being consistent in their ideology by opposing Israel, because they are fully on board going after what looks like a white country attacking brown people and demanding not to be dismantled by anti-nationalist policies. Trump suggesting the capital go to Jerusalem and supporting Bibi is just triangulation against the left.

I feel sorry for the Palestinians and I think they have been treated very shabbily. They did lose a lot as any refugee population would and they should be comfortably repatriated around the Muslim Middle East. I don't know who is using them or for what purpose.

Stebbing Heuer says: • Website December 29, 2016 at 11:36 pm GMT

Does anyone know if Russia is more aware than most Americans of certain classified details pertaining to stuff ..like 9-11 ?

I would dearly like to know what Moscow and Tel Aviv know about 9-11. I suspect they both know more than almost anyone else.

annamaria , December 29, 2016 at 11:50 pm GMT

@Realist "The 'experts' were trotted out voicing vitriolic accusations, but they never presented any facts and documentation of a 'rigged election'. Everyday, every hour, the 'Russian Plot' was breathlessly described in the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Financial Times, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, BBC, NPR and their overseas followers in Europe, Asia, Latin America, Oceana and Africa."

You left out Fox, most of their news anchors and pundits are rabidly pro Israel and anti Russia.

There is a pretty good chance, since all else has failed so far, Obama will declare 'a special situation martial law'. And you can be sure many on both sides of Congress will comply. This will once again demonstrate who is on the power elite payroll. If this happens hopefully the military will be on Trumps side and round up those responsible and proper justice meted out.

The obscenity of the US behavior abroad leads directly to an alliance of ziocons and war profiteers. Here is a highly educational paper on the exceptional amorality of the US administration: http://www.voltairenet.org/article194709.html
"The existence of a NATO bunker in East Aleppo confirms what we have been saying about the role of NATO LandCom in the coordination of the jihadists The liberation of Syria should continue at Idleb the zone is de facto governed by NATO via a string of pseudo-NGO's. At least, this is what was noted last month by a US think-tank. To beat the jihadists there, it will be necessary first of all to cut their supply lines, in other words, close the Turtkish frontier. This is what Russian diplomacy is currently working on."
Well. After wasting the uncounted trillions of US dollars on the war on terror and after filling the VA hospitals with the ruined young men and women and after bringing death a destruction on apocalyptic scale to the Middle East in the name of 9/11, the US has found new bosom buddies – the hordes of fanatical jihadis.

• Replies: @Realist Great observations. Thanks. Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
Art , December 30, 2016 at 1:06 am GMT • 100 Words @RobinG "If we get past the inauguration...."

Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats today (effective Friday) - doing his best to screw things up before Trump takes office. Will he start WWIII, then say Trump can't transition during war?

Obama has authorized transfer of weapons, including MANPADS, to terrorist affiliates. If we are at war with terrorists, isn't this Treason? It is most certainly a felony under the Patriot Act - providing aid, directly or indirectly, to terrorists.

A Bill of Impeachment against Obama might stave off WWIII.
Francis Boyle writes:
"... I am willing to serve as Counsel to any Member of the US House of Representatives willing to put in a Bill of Impeachment against Obama as soon as Congress reconvenes-just as I did to the late, great Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez on his Bill to Impeach Bush Sr. on the eve of Gulf War I. RIP. Just have the MOC get in touch with me as indicated below.

Francis A. Boyle
Law Building
504 E. Pennsylvania Ave.
Champaign IL 61820 USA
217-333-7954 (phone)
217-244-1478 (fax)

Hi RobinG,

This is much ado about nothing – in a NYT's article today – they said that the DNC was told about being hacked in the fall or winter of 2015 – they all knew the Russian were hacking all along!

The RNC got smart – not the DNC – it is 100% their fault. Right now they look real stupid.

Really – how pissed off can they be?

Peace - Art

p.s. I do not blame Obama – he had to do something – looks like he did the minimum.

• Replies: @RobinG Hi Art,

I try to write clearly, but if this is your response I've failed miserably. My interest in the hacking is nil.

What I have against Obama is his regime-change war in Syria, his State Department enabled coup in Ukraine, his support of Saudi war/genocide against Yemen, his destruction of Libya, his demonization of Putin, and his bringing us to a status near war in our relations with Russia.

Obama has been providing weapons, training, air support and propaganda for Terrorists via their affiliates in Syria, and now directly. This is a felony, if not treason.

Svigor , December 30, 2016 at 2:20 am GMT • 100 Words

Looks like I spoke too soon:

http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/312132-fbi-dhs-release-report-on-russia-hacking

The feds have now released their reports, detailing how the dastardly Russians darkly influenced the 2016 presidential election by releasing Democrats' emails, and giving the American public a peek inside the Democrat machine.

Those dastardly Russkies have informed and enlightened the American public for long enough! This shall not stand!

RobinG , December 30, 2016 at 5:37 am GMT

@Art Hi RobinG,

This is much ado about nothing - in a NYT's article today - they said that the DNC was told about being hacked in the fall or winter of 2015 - they all knew the Russian were hacking all along!

The RNC got smart - not the DNC - it is 100% their fault. Right now they look real stupid.

Really - how pissed off can they be?

Peace --- Art

p.s. I do not blame Obama – he had to do something – looks like he did the minimum.

Hi Art,

I try to write clearly, but if this is your response I've failed miserably. My interest in the hacking is nil.

What I have against Obama is his regime-change war in Syria, his State Department enabled coup in Ukraine, his support of Saudi war/genocide against Yemen, his destruction of Libya, his demonization of Putin, and his bringing us to a status near war in our relations with Russia.

Obama has been providing weapons, training, air support and propaganda for Terrorists via their affiliates in Syria, and now directly. This is a felony, if not treason.

• Replies: @Art
What I have against Obama is his regime-change war in Syria, his State Department enabled coup in Ukraine, his support of Saudi war/genocide against Yemen, his destruction of Libya, his demonization of Putin, and his bringing us to a status near war in our relations with Russia.
RobinG --- Agree 100% - some times I get things crossed up --- Peace Art
anon , December 30, 2016 at 6:33 am GMT

https://www.us-cert.gov/sites/default/files/publications/JAR_16-20296A_GRIZZLY%20STEPPE-2016-1229.pdf

This is a very underwhelming document.

I assume that everyone agrees that the final outcome of the security breach was that 'Wikileaks' leaked internal emails of Clinton Campaign Manager Pedesta and DNC emails regarding embarrassing behavior.

No one is suggesting that the leaked information is 'fake news'.

An alternative hypothesis is that the Wikileaks material was, in fact, leaked by members of the Democratic campaign itself.

Given that Podesta's password was 'P@ssw0rd' - does it take Russian deep state security to hack?

From WikiLeaks:

"From:eryn.sepp@gmail.com To: john.podesta@gmail.com Date: 2015-02-19 00:35 Subject: 2 things

Though CAP is still having issues with my email and computer, yours is good to go. jpodesta p@ssw0rd

The report is 13 pages of mostly nothing.

Note the Disclaimer:

DISCLAIMER: This report is provided "as is" for informational purposes only. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information contained within. DHS does not endorse any commercial product or service referenced in this advisory or otherwise. This document is distributed as TLP:WHITE: Subject to standard copyright rules, TLP:WHITE information may be distributed without restriction. For more information on the Traffic Light Protocol, see https://www.us-cert.gov/tlp .

• Replies: @Seamus Padraig
An alternative hypothesis is that the Wikileaks material was, in fact, leaked by members of the Democratic campaign itself.
His name was Seth Rich, and he did software for the DNC


Realist , December 30, 2016 at 8:17 am GMT

@annamaria The obscenity of the US behavior abroad leads directly to an alliance of ziocons and war profiteers. Here is a highly educational paper on the exceptional amorality of the US administration: http://www.voltairenet.org/article194709.html

"The existence of a NATO bunker in East Aleppo confirms what we have been saying about the role of NATO LandCom in the coordination of the jihadists... The liberation of Syria should continue at Idleb ... the zone is de facto governed by NATO via a string of pseudo-NGO's. At least, this is what was noted last month by a US think-tank. To beat the jihadists there, it will be necessary first of all to cut their supply lines, in other words, close the Turtkish frontier. This is what Russian diplomacy is currently working on."

Well. After wasting the uncounted trillions of US dollars on the war on terror and after filling the VA hospitals with the ruined young men and women and after bringing death a destruction on apocalyptic scale to the Middle East in the name of 9/11, the US has found new bosom buddies - the hordes of fanatical jihadis.

Great observations. Thanks.

map , December 30, 2016 at 9:16 am GMT

@joe webb masterful interpretation here. But I doubt it , in spades. Trump cooled out the soccer moms on the Negroes by yakking about Uplift. And he reduced the black vote a tad. That was very clever, but probably did not come from Trump.

As for "The problem is that Palestinians have revanchist claims against Israel. Those revanchist claims do not go away just because they get their own country or they get a right of return. Either "solution" actually strengthens the Palestinian claim against Israel and results in a vastly reduced security stance and quality of life for Israelis."

That is a huge claim which is not substantiated with argument. If the Palestinians sign a peace treaty with Israel, and then continue to press their claims...Israel would have the moral high ground to beat hell out of them. Clearly, the jews got the guns, and the Palestinians got nothing but world public opinion.

Please present an argument on just how Palestinians and other Arabs could continue to logically and morally challenge Israel. Right now, the only thing preventing Israel from cleansing Israel of Arabs is world public opinion. That public opinion is real and a huge factor.

I have been arguing that T. may be outfoxing the jews, but I doubt it now.
Don't forget the Christian evangelical vote and Christians generally who have a soft spot in their brains for the jews.

Also, T's claim that he will end the ME wars is a big problem if he is going to go after Isis, big time, in Syria or anywhere else. He has put himself in the rock/hard place position. I don't think he is that smart. I voted for him of course and sent money, but...

Joe Webb

The revanchist claim that I refer to is psychological, not moral or legal. Palestinians think their land was stolen in the same way Mexicans think Texas and California were stolen. That feeling will not change just because they get a two-state solution or a right of return. What it will result in is a comfortable base from which to continue to operate against Israel, one that Israel can't afford.

It is Nationalism 101 not to allow revanchist groups in your country.

The leftists are being consistent in their ideology by opposing Israel, because they are fully on board going after what looks like a white country attacking brown people and demanding not to be dismantled by anti-nationalist policies. Trump suggesting the capital go to Jerusalem and supporting Bibi is just triangulation against the left.

I feel sorry for the Palestinians and I think they have been treated very shabbily. They did lose a lot as any refugee population would and they should be comfortably repatriated around the Muslim Middle East. I don't know who is using them or for what purpose.

• Replies: @Tomster "treated very shabbily" indeed, by other Arabs - who have done virtually nothing for them. , @joe webb good points. Yet, Palestinians ..."They should be comfortably repatriated around the Muslim Middle East." sounds pretty much like an Israel talking point. How about
Israel should be dissolved and the Jews repatriated around Europe and the US?

Not being an Idea world, but a Biological World, revanchism is true enough up to a point. Of course The Revanchists of All Time are the jews, or the zionists, to speak liberalize.

As for feelings that don't change, there is a tendency for feelings to change over time, especially when a "legal" document is signed by the participating parties. I have long advocated that the Jews pay for the land they stole, and that that payment be made to a new Palestinian state. A Palestinian with a home, a job, a family, and a nice car makes a lot of difference, just like anywhere else.

(We paid the Mexicans in a treaty that presumably ended the Mexican war. This is a normal state of affairs. Mexico only "owned" California, etc, for about 25 years, and I do not think paid the injuns anything for their land at the time. Also, if memory serves, I think Pat Buchanan claimed somewhere that there were only about 10,000 Mexicans in California at the time, or maybe in the whole area under discussion..)

How Palestine stolen property, should be evaluated I leave to the experts. Jews would appear to have ample resources and could pony up the dough.

The biggest problem is the US evangelicals and equally important, the nice Episcopalians and so on, even the Catholic Church which used to Exclude Jews now luving them. This is part of our National Religion. The Jews are god's favorites, and nobody seems to mind. Kill an Arab for Christ is the national gut feeling, except when it gets too expensive or kills too many Americans.

As I have said, Trump is in between the rock and the hard place. If he wants to end the Jewish Wars in the ME, he cannot luv the jews, and especially he cannot start lobbing bombs around too much...even over Isis and the dozens of jihadist groups, especially now in Syria.

Sorry but your "comfortably repatriated" is a real howler. There is no comfort to be had by anybody in the ME. And, like Jews with regard to your points about revanchism in general, Palestinians have not blended into the general Arab populations of other countries, like Lebanon, etc.. Using your own logic, the Palestinians will continue to nurse their grievances no matter where they are, just like the Jews.

The neocon goals of failed states in the Arab World has been largely accomplished and the only way humpty-dumpty will be put back together again is for tough Arab Strong Men to reestablish order. Like Assad, like Hussein, etc. Arab IQ is about 85 in general. There is not going to be
democracy/elections/civics lessons per the White countries's genetic predisposition.\

For that matter, Jews are not democrats. Left alone Israel, wherever it is, reverts to Rabbinic Control and Jehovah, the Warrior God, reigns. Fact is , that is where Israel is heading anyway.
Jews never invented free speech and rule of law, nor did Arabs, or any other race on the planet.

The Jews With Nukes is of World Historical Importance. And Whites have given them the Bomb, just as Whites have given Third World inferior races, access to the Northern Cornucopia of wealth, both spiritual and material. They will , like the jews, exploit free speech and game the economic system.

All Semites Out! Ditto just about everybody else, starting with the Chinese.

finally, if the jews had any real brains, they would get out of a neighborhood that hates them for their jewishness, their Thefts, and their Wars. Otoh, Jews seem to thrive on being hated more than any other race or ethnic group. Chosen to Always Complain.

Joe Webb

Seamus Padraig says: • Website Show Comment Next New Comment December 30, 2016 at 2:05 pm GMT

@anon https://www.us-cert.gov/sites/default/files/publications/JAR_16-20296A_GRIZZLY%20STEPPE-2016-1229.pdf

This is a very underwhelming document.

I assume that everyone agrees that the final outcome of the security breach was that 'Wikileaks' leaked internal emails of Clinton Campaign Manager Pedesta and DNC emails regarding embarrassing behavior.

No one is suggesting that the leaked information is 'fake news'.

An alternative hypothesis is that the Wikileaks material was, in fact, leaked by members of the Democratic campaign itself.

Given that Podesta's password was 'P@ssw0rd' -- does it take Russian deep state security to hack?

From WikiLeaks:

"From:eryn.sepp@gmail.com To: john.podesta@gmail.com Date: 2015-02-19 00:35 Subject: 2 things

Though CAP is still having issues with my email and computer, yours is good to go. jpodesta p@ssw0rd

The report is 13 pages of mostly nothing.

Note the Disclaimer:

DISCLAIMER: This report is provided "as is" for informational purposes only. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information contained within. DHS does not endorse any commercial product or service referenced in this advisory or otherwise. This document is distributed as TLP:WHITE: Subject to standard copyright rules, TLP:WHITE information may be distributed without restriction. For more information on the Traffic Light Protocol, see https://www.us-cert.gov/tlp.

An alternative hypothesis is that the Wikileaks material was, in fact, leaked by members of the Democratic campaign itself.

His name was Seth Rich, and he did software for the DNC.

• Replies: @geokat62
His name was Seth Rich, and he did software for the DNC.
"Was" is the operative word:

Julian Assange Suggests That DNC's Seth Rich Was Murdered For Being a Wikileaker

https://heatst.com/tech/wikileaks-offers-20000-for-information-about-seth-richs-killer/ , @alexander Given all the hoaky, "evidence free" punitive assaults being launched against Moscow today ....combined with the profusion of utterly fraudulent narratives foisted down the throats of the American people over the last sixteen years...

Its NOT outside of reason to take a good hard look at the "Seth Rich incident" and reconstruct an outline of events(probably) much closer to the truth than the big media would ever be willing to discuss or admit.

Namely, that Seth Rich, a young decent kid (27) who was working as the data director for the campaign, came across evidence of "dirty pool" within the voting systems during the DNC nomination ,which were fraudulently (and maybe even blatantly) tilting the results towards Hillary.

He probably did the "right thing" by notifying one of the DNC bosses of the fraud ..who informed him he would look into it and that he should keep it quite for the moment...

.I wouldn't be surprised if Seth reached out to a reporter , too, probably at the at the NY Times, who informed his editor...who, in turn, had such deep connections to the Hillary corruption machine...that he placed a call to a DNC backroom boss ... who , at some point, made the decision to take steps to shut Seth's mouth, permanently...."just make it look like a robbery (or something)"

Seth, not being stupid, and knowing he had the dirt on Hillary that could crush her (as well as the reputation of the entire democratic party)......probably reached out to Julian Assange, too, to hedge his bets.

In the interview Julian gave shortly after Seth's death, he intimated that Seth was the leak, although he did not state it outright.

Something like this sequence of events (with perhaps a few alterations ) is probably quite close to what actually happened.

So here we have a scenario, where the D.N.C. Oligarchs , so corrupt, so evil, so disdainful of the electorate, and the democratic process , rig the nomination results (on multiple levels) for Hillary..and when the evidence of this is found, by a decent young kid with his whole life ahead of him, they had him shot in the back.....four times...

And then "Big Media for Hillary", rather than investigate this horrific tragedy and expose the dirty malevolence at play within the DNC , quashes the entire narrative and grafts in its place the"substitute" Putin hacks..... demanding faux accountability... culminating with sanctions and ejections of the entire Russian diplomatic corp.......all on the grounds of attempting to "sully American Democracy"
.

But hey, that's life in the USA....Right, Seamus ?

Skeptikal , December 30, 2016 at 2:38 pm GMT • 100 Words

"what looks like a white country attacking brown people and demanding not to be dismantled by anti-nationalist policies. "

The longer Israel persists in its "facts-on-the-ground" thievery, the less moral standing it has for its white country. And it is a racist state also within its own "borders."

A pathetic excuse for a country. Without the USA it wouldn't exist. A black mark on both countries' report cards.

geokat62 , December 30, 2016 at 2:52 pm GMT @Seamus Padraig
An alternative hypothesis is that the Wikileaks material was, in fact, leaked by members of the Democratic campaign itself.
His name was Seth Rich, and he did software for the DNC.

His name was Seth Rich, and he did software for the DNC.

"Was" is the operative word:

Julian Assange Suggests That DNC's Seth Rich Was Murdered For Being a Wikileaker

https://heatst.com/tech/wikileaks-offers-20000-for-information-about-seth-richs-killer/


RobinG , December 30, 2016 at 4:02 pm GMT

@map I wish people would stop making a big deal out of John Kerry's and Barack Obama's recent stance on Israel. Neither of them are concerned about whatever injustice happened to the Palestinians.

What they are concerned with is Israeli actions discrediting the anti-white, anti-national globalism program before it has successfully destroyed all of the white nations. That is the real reason why they want a two-state solution or a right of return. If nationalists can look at the Israeli example as a model for how to proceed then that will cause a civil war among leftists and discredit the entire left-wing project.

Trump, therefore, pushing support for Israel's national concerns is not him bending to AIPAC. It is a shrewd move that forces an internecine conflict between left-wing diaspora Jews and Israeli Jews. It is a conflict Bibi is willing to have because the pet project of leftism would necessarily result in Israel either being unlivable or largely extinct for its Jewish population. This NWO being pushed by the diaspora is not something that will be enjoyed by Israeli Jews.

Consider the problem. The problem is that Palestinians have revanchist claims against Israel. Those revanchist claims do not go away just because they get their own country or they get a right of return. Either "solution" actually strengthens the Palestinian claim against Israel and results in a vastly reduced security stance and quality of life for Israelis. The diaspora left is ok with that because they want to continue importing revanchist groups into Europe and America to break down white countries. So, Israel makes a small sacrifice for the greater good of anti-whitism, a deal that most Israelis do not consider very good for themselves. Trump's support for Israeli nationalism short-circuits this project.

Of course, one could ask: why don't the Israeli Jews just move to America? What's the big deal if Israel remains in the middle east? The big deal is the kind of jobs and activities available for Israelis to do. A real nation requires a lot of scut work. Someone has to do the plumbing, unplug the sewers, drive the nails, throw out the trash. Everyone can't be a doctor, a lawyer or a banker. Tradesmen, technicians, workers are all required to get a project like Israel off the ground and maintained. How many of these Israelis doing scut work in Israel for a greater good want to do the same scut work in America just to get by?

The problem operates in reverse for American Jews. A Jew with an American law degree is of no use to Israelis outside of the money he brings and whether he can throw out the trash. Diaspora Jews, therefore, have no reason to try and live and work in Israel.

So, again, we see that Trump's move is a masterstroke. Even his appointment to counter the coup with Zionists is brilliant, since these Zionists are rich enough to both live anywhere and indulge their pride in nationalist endeavors.

"A real nation requires a lot of scut work. Someone has to do the plumbing, unplug the sewers, drive the nails, throw out the trash."

Perhaps you'd like to discuss why so much of this and other "scut work" is done by Palestinians, while an increasing number of Israeli Jews are on the dole.

RobinG , December 30, 2016 at 4:32 pm GMT

@Mark Green This is a good article but there's been a sudden shift. Incredibly, Obama has finally gotten some balls in his dealings with Israel. And Trump is starting to sound like a neocon!

Maybe Trump is worried enough about a potential coup to dump his 'America First' platform (at least for now) to shore up vital Jewish support for his teetering inauguration. This ploy will require a lot of pro-Zionist noise and gesturing. Consequently, Trump is starting to play a familiar political role. And the Zio-friendly media is holding his feet to the fire.

Has the smell of fear pushed Trump over the edge and into the lap of the Zionist establishment? It's beginning to look that way.

Or is Trump just being a fox?

Let's face it: nobody can pull out all the stops better than Israel's Fifth Column. They've got the money, the organization skills, the media leverage, and the raw intellectual moxie to make political miracles/disasters happen. Trump wants them on his side. So he's is tacitly cutting a last-minute deal with the Israelis. Trump's Zionized rhetoric (and political appointments) prove it.

This explains the apparent reversal that's now underway. Obama's pushing back while Trump is accommodating. And, as usual, the Zions are dictating the Narrative.

As Israel Shamir reminds us: there's nothing as liberating to a politician as leaving office. Therefore, Obama is finally free to do what's right. Trump however is facing no such luxury. And Bibi is more defiant than ever. This is high drama. And Trump is feeling the heat.

Indeed, outgoing Sec. John Kerry just delivered a major speech where he reiterated strongly US support for a real 'Two State' solution in Israel/Palestine.

And I thought the Two State Solution was dead.

Didn't you?

Kerry also criticized Israel's ongoing confiscation of the Occupied Territories. It was a brilliant analysis that Kerry gave without the aid of a teleprompter. Hugely impressive. Even so, Kerry did not throw Israel under the bus, as claimed. His speech was extremely fair.

This renewed, steadfast American position, coupled with the UNSC's unanimous vote against Israel (which Obama permitted by not casting the usual US veto) has set the stage for a monumental showdown. Israel has never been more isolated. But it's Trump--not Obama--that's looking weak in the face of Israeli pressure.

Indeed, the international Jewish establishment remains uniquely powerful. They may be hated (and appropriately so) but they get things accomplished in the political arena. Trump understands this all-too-well.

Will Trump--out of fear and necessity--run with the mega-powerful Jews who tried to sabotage his campaign?--Or will he stay strong with America First and avoid "any more disasterous wars". It's impossible to say. Trump is speaking out of both sides of his mouth.

I get the feeling that even Trump is unsure of where all this is going. But the situation is fast approaching critical mass. Something's gotta give. The entire world is fed up with Israel.

Will Trump blink and take the easy road with the Zions?--Or will he summon Putin's independent, nationalistic spirit and stay the course of 'America First'?

Unfortunately, having scrutinized the Zions in action for decades, I'm fearful that Trump will go Pure Washington and run with the Israeli-Firsters. This will fortify his shaky political foundation. I hope that I'm wrong about this but the Zions are brilliantly equipped to play both sides of America's political divide. No politician is immune to their machinations.

"As Israel Shamir reminds us: there's nothing as liberating to a politician as leaving office. Therefore, Obama is finally free to do what's right . "

THEN WHY DOESN'T HE DO WHAT'S RIGHT? As Seamus Padraig pointed out, the UN abstention is "just more empty symbolism."
Meanwhile
The Christmas Eve attack on the First Amendment
The approval of arming terrorists in Syria
The fake news about Russian hacking throwing Killary's election

Aid to terrorists is a felony. Obama should be indicted.

Art , December 30, 2016 at 4:49 pm GMT

@RobinG Hi Art,

I try to write clearly, but if this is your response I've failed miserably. My interest in the hacking is nil.

What I have against Obama is his regime-change war in Syria, his State Department enabled coup in Ukraine, his support of Saudi war/genocide against Yemen, his destruction of Libya, his demonization of Putin, and his bringing us to a status near war in our relations with Russia.

Obama has been providing weapons, training, air support and propaganda for Terrorists via their affiliates in Syria, and now directly. This is a felony, if not treason.

What I have against Obama is his regime-change war in Syria, his State Department enabled coup in Ukraine, his support of Saudi war/genocide against Yemen, his destruction of Libya, his demonization of Putin, and his bringing us to a status near war in our relations with Russia.

RobinG - Agree 100% – some times I get things crossed up - Peace Art

Tomster , December 30, 2016 at 5:03 pm GMT

@Mark Green This is a good article but there's been a sudden shift. Incredibly, Obama has finally gotten some balls in his dealings with Israel. And Trump is starting to sound like a neocon!

Maybe Trump is worried enough about a potential coup to dump his 'America First' platform (at least for now) to shore up vital Jewish support for his teetering inauguration. This ploy will require a lot of pro-Zionist noise and gesturing. Consequently, Trump is starting to play a familiar political role. And the Zio-friendly media is holding his feet to the fire.

Has the smell of fear pushed Trump over the edge and into the lap of the Zionist establishment? It's beginning to look that way.

Or is Trump just being a fox?

Let's face it: nobody can pull out all the stops better than Israel's Fifth Column. They've got the money, the organization skills, the media leverage, and the raw intellectual moxie to make political miracles/disasters happen. Trump wants them on his side. So he's is tacitly cutting a last-minute deal with the Israelis. Trump's Zionized rhetoric (and political appointments) prove it.

This explains the apparent reversal that's now underway. Obama's pushing back while Trump is accommodating. And, as usual, the Zions are dictating the Narrative.

As Israel Shamir reminds us: there's nothing as liberating to a politician as leaving office. Therefore, Obama is finally free to do what's right. Trump however is facing no such luxury. And Bibi is more defiant than ever. This is high drama. And Trump is feeling the heat.

Indeed, outgoing Sec. John Kerry just delivered a major speech where he reiterated strongly US support for a real 'Two State' solution in Israel/Palestine.

And I thought the Two State Solution was dead.

Didn't you?

Kerry also criticized Israel's ongoing confiscation of the Occupied Territories. It was a brilliant analysis that Kerry gave without the aid of a teleprompter. Hugely impressive. Even so, Kerry did not throw Israel under the bus, as claimed. His speech was extremely fair.

This renewed, steadfast American position, coupled with the UNSC's unanimous vote against Israel (which Obama permitted by not casting the usual US veto) has set the stage for a monumental showdown. Israel has never been more isolated. But it's Trump--not Obama--that's looking weak in the face of Israeli pressure.

Indeed, the international Jewish establishment remains uniquely powerful. They may be hated (and appropriately so) but they get things accomplished in the political arena. Trump understands this all-too-well.

Will Trump--out of fear and necessity--run with the mega-powerful Jews who tried to sabotage his campaign?--Or will he stay strong with America First and avoid "any more disasterous wars". It's impossible to say. Trump is speaking out of both sides of his mouth.

I get the feeling that even Trump is unsure of where all this is going. But the situation is fast approaching critical mass. Something's gotta give. The entire world is fed up with Israel.

Will Trump blink and take the easy road with the Zions?--Or will he summon Putin's independent, nationalistic spirit and stay the course of 'America First'?

Unfortunately, having scrutinized the Zions in action for decades, I'm fearful that Trump will go Pure Washington and run with the Israeli-Firsters. This will fortify his shaky political foundation. I hope that I'm wrong about this but the Zions are brilliantly equipped to play both sides of America's political divide. No politician is immune to their machinations.

Most of the Western world is much sicker of the head-choppers in charge of our 'human rights' at the UN (thanks to Obama and the UK) than it is of Israel. It is they, not we, who have funded ISIS directly.

Tomster , December 30, 2016 at 5:14 pm GMT @alexander

Dear Mr. Petras,

It seems that our POTUS has just chosen to eject 35 Russian diplomats from our country, on grounds of hacking the election against Hillary.

Is this some weird, preliminary "shot across the bow" in preparation for the coming "coup attempt" you seem to believe is in the offing ?

It seem the powers-that-be are pulling out all the stops to prevent an authentic rapprochement with Moscow.

What for ?

It makes you wonder if there is more to this than meets the eye, something beyond the sanguine disgruntlement of the party bosses and a desire for payback against Hillary's big loss ?

Does anyone know if Russia is more aware than most Americans of certain classified details pertaining to stuff.....like 9-11 ?

Why is cooperation between the new administration and Moscow so scary to these people that they would initiate a preemptive diplomatic shut down ?

They seem to be dead set on welding shut every single diplomatic door to the Kremlin there is , before Trumps inauguration.

Perhaps something "else "is being planned........Does anyone have any ideas whats going on ?

What does Russian intelligence know? Err perhaps something like that the US/UK have sold nukes to the head-choppers of the riyadh caliphate, say (knowing how completely mad their incestuous brains are?). Who knows? – but such a fact could explain many inexplicable things.

Tomster , December 30, 2016 at 5:16 pm GMT

@map The revanchist claim that I refer to is psychological, not moral or legal. Palestinians think their land was stolen in the same way Mexicans think Texas and California were stolen. That feeling will not change just because they get a two-state solution or a right of return. What it will result in is a comfortable base from which to continue to operate against Israel, one that Israel can't afford.

It is Nationalism 101 not to allow revanchist groups in your country.

The leftists are being consistent in their ideology by opposing Israel, because they are fully on board going after what looks like a white country attacking brown people and demanding not to be dismantled by anti-nationalist policies. Trump suggesting the capital go to Jerusalem and supporting Bibi is just triangulation against the left.

I feel sorry for the Palestinians and I think they have been treated very shabbily. They did lose a lot as any refugee population would and they should be comfortably repatriated around the Muslim Middle East. I don't know who is using them or for what purpose.

"treated very shabbily" indeed, by other Arabs – who have done virtually nothing for them.

alexander , December 30, 2016 at 5:28 pm GMT

@Seamus Padraig

An alternative hypothesis is that the Wikileaks material was, in fact, leaked by members of the Democratic campaign itself.
His name was Seth Rich, and he did software for the DNC.

Given all the hoaky, "evidence free" punitive assaults being launched against Moscow today .combined with the profusion of utterly fraudulent narratives foisted down the throats of the American people over the last sixteen years

Its NOT outside of reason to take a good hard look at the "Seth Rich incident" and reconstruct an outline of events(probably) much closer to the truth than the big media would ever be willing to discuss or admit.

Namely, that Seth Rich, a young decent kid (27) who was working as the data director for the campaign, came across evidence of "dirty pool" within the voting systems during the DNC nomination ,which were fraudulently (and maybe even blatantly) tilting the results towards Hillary.

He probably did the "right thing" by notifying one of the DNC bosses of the fraud ..who informed him he would look into it and that he should keep it quite for the moment

.I wouldn't be surprised if Seth reached out to a reporter , too, probably at the at the NY Times, who informed his editor who, in turn, had such deep connections to the Hillary corruption machine that he placed a call to a DNC backroom boss who , at some point, made the decision to take steps to shut Seth's mouth, permanently ."just make it look like a robbery (or something)"

Seth, not being stupid, and knowing he had the dirt on Hillary that could crush her (as well as the reputation of the entire democratic party) probably reached out to Julian Assange, too, to hedge his bets.

In the interview Julian gave shortly after Seth's death, he intimated that Seth was the leak, although he did not state it outright.

Something like this sequence of events (with perhaps a few alterations ) is probably quite close to what actually happened.

So here we have a scenario, where the D.N.C. Oligarchs , so corrupt, so evil, so disdainful of the electorate, and the democratic process , rig the nomination results (on multiple levels) for Hillary..and when the evidence of this is found, by a decent young kid with his whole life ahead of him, they had him shot in the back ..four times

And then "Big Media for Hillary", rather than investigate this horrific tragedy and expose the dirty malevolence at play within the DNC , quashes the entire narrative and grafts in its place the"substitute" Putin hacks .. demanding faux accountability culminating with sanctions and ejections of the entire Russian diplomatic corp .all on the grounds of attempting to "sully American Democracy"
.

But hey, that's life in the USA .Right, Seamus ?

joe webb , December 30, 2016 at 6:15 pm GMT

@map The revanchist claim that I refer to is psychological, not moral or legal. Palestinians think their land was stolen in the same way Mexicans think Texas and California were stolen. That feeling will not change just because they get a two-state solution or a right of return. What it will result in is a comfortable base from which to continue to operate against Israel, one that Israel can't afford.

It is Nationalism 101 not to allow revanchist groups in your country.

The leftists are being consistent in their ideology by opposing Israel, because they are fully on board going after what looks like a white country attacking brown people and demanding not to be dismantled by anti-nationalist policies. Trump suggesting the capital go to Jerusalem and supporting Bibi is just triangulation against the left.

I feel sorry for the Palestinians and I think they have been treated very shabbily. They did lose a lot as any refugee population would and they should be comfortably repatriated around the Muslim Middle East. I don't know who is using them or for what purpose.

good points. Yet, Palestinians "They should be comfortably repatriated around the Muslim Middle East." sounds pretty much like an Israel talking point. How about
Israel should be dissolved and the Jews repatriated around Europe and the US?

Not being an Idea world, but a Biological World, revanchism is true enough up to a point. Of course The Revanchists of All Time are the jews, or the zionists, to speak liberalize.

As for feelings that don't change, there is a tendency for feelings to change over time, especially when a "legal" document is signed by the participating parties. I have long advocated that the Jews pay for the land they stole, and that that payment be made to a new Palestinian state. A Palestinian with a home, a job, a family, and a nice car makes a lot of difference, just like anywhere else.

(We paid the Mexicans in a treaty that presumably ended the Mexican war. This is a normal state of affairs. Mexico only "owned" California, etc, for about 25 years, and I do not think paid the injuns anything for their land at the time. Also, if memory serves, I think Pat Buchanan claimed somewhere that there were only about 10,000 Mexicans in California at the time, or maybe in the whole area under discussion..)

How Palestine stolen property, should be evaluated I leave to the experts. Jews would appear to have ample resources and could pony up the dough.

The biggest problem is the US evangelicals and equally important, the nice Episcopalians and so on, even the Catholic Church which used to Exclude Jews now luving them. This is part of our National Religion. The Jews are god's favorites, and nobody seems to mind. Kill an Arab for Christ is the national gut feeling, except when it gets too expensive or kills too many Americans.

As I have said, Trump is in between the rock and the hard place. If he wants to end the Jewish Wars in the ME, he cannot luv the jews, and especially he cannot start lobbing bombs around too much even over Isis and the dozens of jihadist groups, especially now in Syria.

Sorry but your "comfortably repatriated" is a real howler. There is no comfort to be had by anybody in the ME. And, like Jews with regard to your points about revanchism in general, Palestinians have not blended into the general Arab populations of other countries, like Lebanon, etc.. Using your own logic, the Palestinians will continue to nurse their grievances no matter where they are, just like the Jews.

The neocon goals of failed states in the Arab World has been largely accomplished and the only way humpty-dumpty will be put back together again is for tough Arab Strong Men to reestablish order. Like Assad, like Hussein, etc. Arab IQ is about 85 in general. There is not going to be
democracy/elections/civics lessons per the White countries's genetic predisposition.\

For that matter, Jews are not democrats. Left alone Israel, wherever it is, reverts to Rabbinic Control and Jehovah, the Warrior God, reigns. Fact is , that is where Israel is heading anyway. Jews never invented free speech and rule of law, nor did Arabs, or any other race on the planet.

The Jews With Nukes is of World Historical Importance. And Whites have given them the Bomb, just as Whites have given Third World inferior races, access to the Northern Cornucopia of wealth, both spiritual and material. They will , like the jews, exploit free speech and game the economic system.

All Semites Out! Ditto just about everybody else, starting with the Chinese.

finally, if the jews had any real brains, they would get out of a neighborhood that hates them for their jewishness, their Thefts, and their Wars. Otoh, Jews seem to thrive on being hated more than any other race or ethnic group. Chosen to Always Complain.
Joe Webb

Realist , December 30, 2016 at 6:57 pm GMT • 100 Words

Trump has absolutely no support in the media. With the Fox News and Fox Business, first string, talking heads on vacation (minimal support) the second and third string are insanely trying to push the Russian hacking bullshit. Trump better realize that the only support he has are the people that voted for him.

January 2017 will be a bad month for this country and the rest of 2017 much worse.

lavoisier says: • Website Show Comment Next New Comment December 31, 2016 at 1:38 am GMT • 100 Words

@joe webb

Sorry Joe, the "whites" did not give the Jews the atomic bomb. In truth, the Jews were critically important in developing the scientific ideas and technology critical to making the first atomic bomb.

I can recognize Jewish malfeasance where it exists, but to ignore their intellectual contributions to Western Civilization is sheer blindness.

[Dec 22, 2016] Deep State Desperation

Notable quotes:
"... Only John F. Kennedy directly challenged it, firing CIA Director Allen Dulles after the Bay of Pigs disaster. He was assassinated, and whether or not CIA involvement is ever conclusively proven, the allegations have been useful to the agency, keeping politicians in line. The Deep State also co-opted the media, keeping it in line with a combination of fear and favor. ..."
"... Why has the US been involved in long, costly, bloody, and inconclusive wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? ..."
"... Why should the US get involved in similar conflicts in Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Iran, and other Middle Eastern and Northern African hotspots? ..."
"... Isn't such involvement responsible for blowback terrorism and refugee flows in both Europe and the US? ..."
"... Have "free trade" agreements and porous borders been a net benefit or detriment to the US? Why is the banking industry set up for periodic crises that inevitably require government bail-outs? ..."
"... How has encouraging debt and speculation at the expense of savings and investment helped the US economy? ..."
"... The shenanigans in the US after Trump's election-violent protests, hysterical outbursts, the vote recount effort, the proof-free Russian hacking allegations, "fake news," and the attempt to sway electoral college electors-are the desperate screams of those trapped inside. ..."
"... Regrettably, the building analogy is imperfect, because it implies that those inside are helpless and that the collapse will only harm them. In its desperation, incompetence, and corrupt nihilism, the Deep State can wreak all sorts of havoc, up to and including the destruction of humanity. Trump represents an opportunity to strike a blow against the Deep State, but the chances it will be lethal are minimal and the dangers obvious. ..."
"... "War on Terror" + "Refugee Humanitarian Crisis" =European Clusterfuck ..."
"... "War on Drugs" + "Afghan Opium/Nicaraguan Cocaine" =Police State America ..."
Dec 22, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com

Submitted by Robert Gore via StraightLineLogic.com,

The pathetic attempts to undo Donald Trump's victory are signs of desperation, not strength, in the Deep State.

The post World War II consensus held that the USSR's long-term goal was world domination. That assessment solidified after the Soviets detonated an atomic bomb in 1949. A nuclear arms race, a space race, maintenance of a globe-spanning military, political, and economic confederation, and a huge expansion of the size and power of the military and intelligence complex were justified by the Soviet, and later, the Red Chinese threats. Countering those threats led the US to use many of the same amoral tactics that it deplored when used by its enemies: espionage, subversion, bribery, repression, assassination, regime change, and direct and proxy warfare.

Scorning principles of limited government, non-intervention in other nations' affairs, and individual rights, the Deep State embraced the anti-freedom mindset of its purported enemies, not just towards those enemies, but toward allies and the American people. The Deep State gradually assumed control of the government and elected officials were expected to adhere to its policies and promote its propaganda. Only John F. Kennedy directly challenged it, firing CIA Director Allen Dulles after the Bay of Pigs disaster. He was assassinated, and whether or not CIA involvement is ever conclusively proven, the allegations have been useful to the agency, keeping politicians in line. The Deep State also co-opted the media, keeping it in line with a combination of fear and favor.

Since its ascension in the 1950s, the biggest threat to the Deep State has not been its many and manifest failures, but rather what the naive would regard as its biggest success: the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Much of the military-industrial complex was suddenly deprived of its reason for existence-the threat was gone. However, a more subtle point was lost.

The Soviet Union has been the largest of statism's many failures to date. Because of the Deep State's philosophical blinders, that outcome was generally unforeseen. The command and control philosophy at the heart of Soviet communism was merely a variant on the same philosophy espoused and practiced by the Deep State. Like the commissars, its members believe that "ordinary" people are unable to handle freedom, and that their generalized superiority entitles them to wield the coercive power of government.

With "irresponsible" elements talking of peace dividends and scaling back the military and the intelligence agencies, the complex was sorely in need of a new enemy . Islam suffers the same critical flaw as communism-command and control-and has numerous other deficiencies, including intolerance, repression, and the legal subjugation of half its adherents. The Deep State had to focus on the world conquest ideology of some Muslims to even conjure Islam as a plausible foe. However, unlike the USSR, they couldn't claim that sect and faction-ridden Islam posed a monolithic threat, that the Islamic nations were an empire or a federation united towards a common goal, or that their armaments (there are under thirty nuclear weapons in the one Islamic nation, Pakistan, that has them) could destroy the US or the entire planet.

There was too much money and power at stake for the complex to shrink. While on paper Islam appeared far weaker than communism, the complex had one factor in their favor: terrorism is terrifying. In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, Americans surrendered liberties and gave the Deep State carte blanche to fight a war on terrorism that would span the globe, target all those whom the government identified as terrorists, and never be conclusively won or lost. Funding for the complex ballooned, the military was deployed on multiple fronts, and the surveillance state blossomed. Most of those who might have objected were bought off with expanded welfare state funding and programs (e.g. George W. Bush's prescription drug benefit, Obamacare).

What would prove to be the biggest challenge to the centralization and the power of the Deep State came, unheralded, with the invention of the microchip in the late 1950s. The Deep State could not have exercised the power it has without a powerful grip on information flow and popular perception. The microchip led to widespread distribution of cheap computing power and dissemination of information over the decentralized Internet. This dynamic, organically adaptive decentralization has been the antithesis of the command-and-control Deep State, which now realizes the gravity of the threat. Fortunately, countering these technologies has been like trying to eradicate hordes of locusts.

The gravest threat, however, to the Deep State is self-imposed: it's own incompetence. Even the technologically illiterate can ask questions for which it has no answers.

  1. Why has the US been involved in long, costly, bloody, and inconclusive wars in Afghanistan and Iraq?
  2. Why should the US get involved in similar conflicts in Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Iran, and other Middle Eastern and Northern African hotspots?
  3. Isn't such involvement responsible for blowback terrorism and refugee flows in both Europe and the US?
  4. Have "free trade" agreements and porous borders been a net benefit or detriment to the US? Why is the banking industry set up for periodic crises that inevitably require government bail-outs? (SLL claims no special insight into the nexus between the banking-financial sector and the Deep State, other than to note that there is one.) Why does every debt crisis result in more debt?
  5. How has encouraging debt and speculation at the expense of savings and investment helped the US economy?

The Deep State can't answer or even acknowledge these questions because they all touch on its failures.

Brexit, Donald Trump, other populist, nationalist movements catching fire, and the rise of the alternative media are wrecking balls aimed at an already structurally unsound and teetering building that would eventually collapse on its own. The shenanigans in the US after Trump's election-violent protests, hysterical outbursts, the vote recount effort, the proof-free Russian hacking allegations, "fake news," and the attempt to sway electoral college electors-are the desperate screams of those trapped inside.

Regrettably, the building analogy is imperfect, because it implies that those inside are helpless and that the collapse will only harm them. In its desperation, incompetence, and corrupt nihilism, the Deep State can wreak all sorts of havoc, up to and including the destruction of humanity. Trump represents an opportunity to strike a blow against the Deep State, but the chances it will be lethal are minimal and the dangers obvious.

The euphoria over his victory cannot obscure a potential consequence: it may hasten and amplify the destruction and resultant chaos when the Deep State finally topples . Anyone who thinks Trump's victory sounds an all clear is allowing hope to triumph over experience and what should have been hard-won wisdom.

Cheka_Mate -> unrulian •Dec 22, 2016 8:52 PM

Deep State Playback:

Hegelian Dialectics: Thesis + Antithesis = Synthesis

Example

"War on Terror" + "Refugee Humanitarian Crisis" =European Clusterfuck

Or

"War on Drugs" + "Afghan Opium/Nicaraguan Cocaine" =Police State America

Both hands (Left/Right) to crush Liberty

Mano-A-Mano -> Cheka_Mate •Dec 22, 2016 8:54 PM

The DEEP STATE pretends they hate Trump, gets him in office, hoodwinks the sheeple into believing they voted for him, while they still retain control.

Voila!

TeamDepends -> unrulian •Dec 22, 2016 8:55 PM

Remember the Maine! Remember the Lusitania! Remember the USS Liberty! Remember the Gulf of Tonkin! Never forget.

Withdrawn Sanction •Dec 22, 2016 8:52 PM

"In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, Americans surrendered liberties and gave the Deep State carte blanche..."

What a load of crap. The Deep State CAUSED 9/11 and then STOLE Americans' liberties.

StraightLineLogic: Linear thinker, indeed.

WTFUD •Dec 22, 2016 8:56 PM

Shakespeare would have had a field-day with this Material; Comic Tragedy!

BadDog •Dec 22, 2016 9:00 PM

Let justice be done, though the heavens fall.

red1chief •Dec 22, 2016 9:09 PM

Funny how a guy loading up his administration with Vampire Squids is thought to be disliked by the Deep State. Deep State psy ops never ceases to amaze.

[Dec 21, 2016] Russia: The Old-New Official Enemy

Dec 21, 2016 | www.fff.org
by Jacob G. Hornberger December 15, 2016

It is impossible to overstate the stakes involved in the latest controversy over Russia. They involve trillions of dollars in warfare largess to the tens of thousands of bureaucratic warfare-state parasites who are sucking the lifeblood out of the American people.

Ever since the advent of the U.S. national-security state after World War II, America has needed official enemies, especially ones that induce fear, terror, and panic within the American citizenry. When people are fearful, terrified, and panicked, they are much more willing, even eager, to have government officials do whatever is necessary to keep them safe and secure. It is during such times that liberty is at greatest risk because of the propensity of government to assume emergency powers and the proclivity of the citizenry to let them have them.

That's what the Cold War was all about. The official enemies were communism and the Soviet Union, which was an alliance of nations that had Russia at its center. U.S. officials convinced Americans that there was a worldwide communist conspiracy to take over the world, with its principal base in Moscow.

A correlative threat was Red China, whose communist hordes were supposedly threatening to flood the United States.

There were also the communist outposts, which were considered spearheads pointed at America. North Korea. North Vietnam. Cuba, which, Americans were told, was a communist dagger pointed out America's neck from only 90 miles away.

And then there was communism the philosophy, along with the communists who promoted it. It was clear, U.S. officials gravely maintained, that communism was spreading all across the world, including inside the U.S. Army, the State Department, and Hollywood, and that communists were everyone, including leftist organizations and even sometimes under people's beds.

Needless to say, all this fear, terror, and panic induced people to support the ever-growing budgets, influence, and power of the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA, which had become the national-security branch of the federal government - and the most powerful branch at that. Few cared that their hard-earned monies were being taken from them by the IRS in ever-increasing amounts. All that mattered was being kept safe from the communists.

Hardly anyone questioned or challenged this warfare-state racket. President Eisenhower alluded to it in his Farewell Address in 1961, when he pointed out that this new-fangled governmental structure, which he called "the military industrial complex," now posed a grave threat to the freedoms and democratic processes of the American people.

One of those who did challenge this official-enemy syndrome was President John F. Kennedy. At war with his national-security establishment in 1963, Kennedy threw the gauntlet down at his famous Peace Speech at American University in June of that year. There was no reason, Kennedy said, that the Soviet Union (i.e., Russia) and the rest of the communist world couldn't live in peace co-existence and even friendship, even if the nations were guided by different ideologies and philosophies. Kennedy announced that it was time to end the Cold War against Russia and the rest of the communist world.

What Kennedy was proposing was anathema to the national-security state and its ever-growing army of voracious contractors and subcontractors who were feeding at the public trough. How dare he remove the Soviet Union (i.e., Russia) as America's official enemy? How could the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA justify their ever-growing budgets and their ever-growing emergency powers? Indeed, how could they justify the very existence of their Cold War totalitarian-type apparatus known as a "national security state" without a giant official enemy to strike fear, terror, and panic with the American people?

Kennedy was considered a neophyte and an incompetent by the national-security establishment, not to mention an immoral adulterous philanderer who was even sleeping with the girlfriend of a Mafia don. What Kennedy didn't realize, the Pentagon and the CIA believed, was that it was impossible for the United States and the communist world to live in peaceful coexistence. This was a fight to the finish. Kennedy was being lulled, perhaps even blackmailed, into surrendering America to the Reds. He was considered a traitor, a betrayer, and the epitome of naïve. (See: JFK's War with the National Security Establishment: Why Kennedy Was Assassinated by Douglas Horne; The Kennedy Autopsy by Jacob Hornberger; Regime Change: The Kennedy Assassination by Jacob Hornberger; The CIA, Terrorism, and the Cold War: The Evil of the National Security State by Jacob Hornberger; and CIA & JFK: The Secret Assassination Files by Jefferson Morley.)

Once Kennedy was removed from the scene, everything returned to "normal." The Cold War continued. The Vietnam War against the commies in Asia to prevent more dominoes from falling got ramped up. The Soviet Union, Red China, and the worldwide communist conspiracy continued to be America's big official enemies. The military and intelligence budgets continued to rise. The number of warfare state parasites continued soaring.

Seemingly, there was never going to be an end to the process. Until one day, the unexpected suddenly happened. The Berlin Wall came crashing down, East and West Germany were reunited, and the Soviet Union was dismantled, all of which struck unmitigated fear within the bowels of the American deep state.

Oh sure, there was still Cuba, Red China, North Korea, and Vietnam but those communist nations, for some reason, just didn't strike fear, terror, and panic within Americans as Russia did.

U.S. officials needed a new official enemy. Enter Saddam Hussein, the dictator of Iraq, who had served as a partner and ally of the U.S. government during the 1980s when he was waging war against Iran, which, by that time, had become converted from official friend to official enemy of the U.S. Empire. Throughout the 1990s, Saddam was made into the new official enemy. Like the Soviets and the communists, Saddam was coming to get us and unleash mushroom clouds all over America. The American people bought it and, not surprisingly, budgets for the national-security establishment continued their upward soar.

Then came the 9/11 attacks in retaliation for what the Pentagon and the CIA were doing in the Middle East, followed by with the retaliatory invasions Afghanistan and Iraq. Suddenly the new official enemies were "terrorism" and then later Islam. Like the communists of yesteryear, the terrorists and the Muslims were coming to get us, take over the federal government, run the IRS and HUD, and force everyone to study the Koran. The American people bought it and, not surprisingly, budgets for the national-security establishment continued their upward soar.

The problem is that Americans, including U.S. soldiers and their families, are now growing weary of the forever wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan. But U.S. national-security state officials know that if they bring the troops home, the official enemies of terrorism and Islam disappear at the same time.

That's why they have decided to return to their old, tried and true official enemy - Russia and, implicitly, communism. It's why the U.S. broke its promise to Russia to dismantle NATO. It's why the U.S. supported regime change in the coup in Ukraine. It's why the U.S. wants Ukraine into NATO - to enable the U.S. to install missiles on Russia's border. It's why the national-security state is "pivoting" toward Asia - to provoke crises with Red China. It's why they are accusing Russia of interfering with the U.S. presidential election and campaigning for Donald Trump. The aim of it all is to bring back the old Cold War official enemies of Russia, China, and communism, in order to keep Americans afraid, terrified, and panicked, which then means the continuation of ever-growing budgets to all those warfare state parasites who are sucking the lifeblood out of the American people.

With his fight against the CIA over Russian hacking and his desire to establish normal relations with Russia, Donald Trump is clearly not buying into this old, tried-and-true Russia-as-official enemy narrative. In the process, he is posing a grave threat to the national-security establishment and its ever-growing budgets, influence, and power.

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[Dec 20, 2016] Is the slide toward military dictatorship the poarth the the USA will take due to collapse of neoliberlaism

Notable quotes:
"... But "bastard neoliberalism" that Trump represents in his internal economic policy probably is not a solution for the nations problems. It is too early to say what will be the level of his deviation from election promises, but judging for his appointments it probably will be considerable -- up to a complete reverse on certain promises. ..."
"... So I view his election as the next logical step (after the first two by Bush II and Obama) toward military dictatorship. Previous forms of "Inverted totalitarism" -- a neoliberal version of Bolshevism (or, more correctly, Trotskyism -- many neocons were actually former Trotskyites ) seems to stop working. Neoliberal ideology was discredited in 2008. All three: Bolshevism, Trotskyism and neoliberalism might also be viewed as just different flavors of Corporatism. ..."
"... After 2008 crisis, neoliberalism in the USA continues to exist in zombie state: as a non-dead dead, so it will be inevitably replaced by something else. Much like Bolshevism after 1945. How soon it will happen and what will be the actual trigger (the next oil crisis which turns into another round of Great Recession?) and what will be the successor is anybody guess. Bolshevism in the USSR lasted till 1991 or 46 years. The victory on neoliberalism in the Cold War was in 1991 so if we add 50 years then 2041 might be the date. ..."
economistsview.typepad.com

likbez, December 19, 2016 at 09:18 PM

I think the shift from New Deal Capitalism to neoliberalism proved to be fatal for the form of democracy that used to exist in the USA (never perfect, and never for the plebs).

Neoliberalism as a strange combination of socialism for the rich and feudalism for the poor is anathema for democracy even for the narrow strata of the US society who used to have a say in the political process. Like Bolshevism was dictatorship of nomenklatura under the slogan of "Proletarians of all countries, unite!", neoliberalism is more like dictatorship of financial oligarchy under the slogan "The financial elite of all countries, unite!")

In this sense Trump is just the logical end of the process that started in 1980 with Reagan, or even earlier with Carter.

And at the same time [he is] the symptom of the crisis of the system, as large swats of population this time voted against status quo and that created the revolutionary situation when the elite was unable to govern in the old fashion. That's why, I think, Hillary lost and Trump won.

But "bastard neoliberalism" that Trump represents in his internal economic policy probably is not a solution for the nations problems. It is too early to say what will be the level of his deviation from election promises, but judging for his appointments it probably will be considerable -- up to a complete reverse on certain promises.

So I view his election as the next logical step (after the first two by Bush II and Obama) toward military dictatorship. Previous forms of "Inverted totalitarism" -- a neoliberal version of Bolshevism (or, more correctly, Trotskyism -- many neocons were actually former Trotskyites ) seems to stop working. Neoliberal ideology was discredited in 2008. All three: Bolshevism, Trotskyism and neoliberalism might also be viewed as just different flavors of Corporatism.

After 2008 crisis, neoliberalism in the USA continues to exist in zombie state: as a non-dead dead, so it will be inevitably replaced by something else. Much like Bolshevism after 1945. How soon it will happen and what will be the actual trigger (the next oil crisis which turns into another round of Great Recession?) and what will be the successor is anybody guess. Bolshevism in the USSR lasted till 1991 or 46 years. The victory on neoliberalism in the Cold War was in 1991 so if we add 50 years then 2041 might be the date.

And the slide toward military dictatorship does not necessary need to take a form of junta, which takes power via coup d'état. The control of the government by three letter agencies ("national security state") seems to be sufficient, can be accomplished by stealth, and might well be viewed as a form of military dictatorship too. So it can be a gradual slide: phase I, II, III, etc.

The problem here as with Brezhnev socialism in the USSR is the growing level of degeneration of elite and the growth of influence of deep state, which includes at its core three letter agencies. As Michail Gorbachev famously said about neoliberal revolution in the USSR "the process already started in full force". He just did not understand at this point that he already completely lost control over neoliberal "Perestroika" of the USSR. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perestroika

In a way, the US Presidents are now more and more ceremonial figures that help to maintain the illusion of the legitimacy of the system. Obama is probably the current pinnacle of this process (which is reflected in one of his nicknames -- "teleprompter" http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/22/obama-photo-caption-contest-teleprompter_n_1821154.html) .

You probably could elect a dog instead of Trump and the US foreign policy will stay exactly the same. This hissy fits about Russians that deep state gave Trump before December 19, might be viewed as a warning as for any potential changes in foreign policy.

As we saw with foreign policy none of recent presidents really fully control it. They still are important players, but the question is whether they are still dominant players. My impression is that it is already by-and-large defined and implemented by the deep state. Sometimes dragging the President forcefully into the desirable course of actions.

[Dec 18, 2016] Tancredo Would Republican Establishment Use Impeachment to Block Trump Agenda

Notable quotes:
"... Republican leaders in Congress are already sending Trump a subtle but clear warning: accept our business-as-usual Chamber of Commerce agenda or we will join Democrats to impeach you. ..."
"... Impeachment has been the goal of Democrats since the day after Trump won the election, and the Republican establishment will use the veiled threat as leverage to win concession after concession from the Trump White House. ..."
"... There are at least four Trump campaign promises which, if not dropped or severely compromised, could generate Republican support for impeachment: Trump's Supreme Court appointments, abandoning the Trans Pacific Partnership, radical rollback of Obama regulatory projects, and real enforcement of our nation's immigration laws. ..."
"... On regulatory rollback, Congress can legitimately insist on negotiating the details with Trump. But on the other three, immigration, the TPP, and Supreme Court nominees, Trump's campaign promises were so specific - and so popular - that he need not accept congressional foot-dragging. ..."
"... Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell announced this week he will oppose Trump's tax reforms. Senator Lindsey Graham is joining Democrats in sponsoring new legislation to protect the "Dreamers" from deportation after their unlawfully granted legal status and work permits expire. Senator Susan Collins will oppose any restrictions on Muslim refugees, no matter how weak and inadequate the vetting to weed out jihadists. Senator Lamar Alexander aims to protect major parts of Obamacare, despite five years of voluminous Republican promises to "repeal and replace" it if they ever had the power to do so. ..."
"... on the House side, we have the naysayer-in-chief, Speaker Paul Ryan, who refused to campaign with Donald Trump in Wisconsin, and who has vowed to obstruct Trump's most important and most popular campaign promise - an end to open borders and vigorous immigration law enforcement. ..."
"... Donald Trump won a electoral mandate to change direction and put American interests first, beginning with border security. If the congressional Republican establishment chooses to block the implementation of that electoral mandate, it would destroy not only Trump's agenda, it would destroy the Republican Party. ..."
Dec 18, 2016 | www.breitbart.com
Several months ago I was asked what advice I would give to the Trump campaign.

I said, only half joking, that he had better pick a vice presidential candidate the establishment hates more than it hates him. That would be his only insurance against impeachment. Those drums have already begun to beat, be it ever so subtly.

Is anyone surprised how quickly the establishment that Donald Trump campaigned against has announced opposition to much of his policy agenda? No. But few understand that the passionate opposition includes a willingness to impeach and remove President Trump if he does not come to heel on his America First goals.

Ferocious opposition to Trump from the left was expected and thus surprises nobody. From the comical demands for vote recounts to street protests by roving bands of leftist hate-mongers and condescending satire on late-night television, hysterical leftist opposition to Trump is now part of the cultural landscape.

But those are amusing sideshows to the main event, the Republican establishment's intransigent opposition to key pillars of the Republican president's agenda.

Republican leaders in Congress are already sending Trump a subtle but clear warning: accept our business-as-usual Chamber of Commerce agenda or we will join Democrats to impeach you.

If you think talk of impeachment is insane when the man has not even been sworn into office yet, you have not been paying attention. Impeachment has been the goal of Democrats since the day after Trump won the election, and the Republican establishment will use the veiled threat as leverage to win concession after concession from the Trump White House.

What are the key policy differences that motivate congressional opposition to the Trump agenda? There are at least four Trump campaign promises which, if not dropped or severely compromised, could generate Republican support for impeachment: Trump's Supreme Court appointments, abandoning the Trans Pacific Partnership, radical rollback of Obama regulatory projects, and real enforcement of our nation's immigration laws.

On regulatory rollback, Congress can legitimately insist on negotiating the details with Trump. But on the other three, immigration, the TPP, and Supreme Court nominees, Trump's campaign promises were so specific - and so popular - that he need not accept congressional foot-dragging.

Yet, while the President-elect 's transition teams at the EPA, State Department and Education Department are busy mapping ambitious changes in direction, Congress's Republican leadership is busy doubling down on dissonance and disloyalty.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell announced this week he will oppose Trump's tax reforms. Senator Lindsey Graham is joining Democrats in sponsoring new legislation to protect the "Dreamers" from deportation after their unlawfully granted legal status and work permits expire. Senator Susan Collins will oppose any restrictions on Muslim refugees, no matter how weak and inadequate the vetting to weed out jihadists. Senator Lamar Alexander aims to protect major parts of Obamacare, despite five years of voluminous Republican promises to "repeal and replace" it if they ever had the power to do so.

And then, on the House side, we have the naysayer-in-chief, Speaker Paul Ryan, who refused to campaign with Donald Trump in Wisconsin, and who has vowed to obstruct Trump's most important and most popular campaign promise - an end to open borders and vigorous immigration law enforcement.

It is no exaggeration to say that Trump's success or failure in overcoming the opposition to immigration enforcement will determine the success or failure of his presidency. If he cannot deliver on his most prominent and most popular campaign promise, nothing else will matter very much.

So, the bad news for President Trump is this: If he keeps faith with his campaign promises on immigration, for example to limit Muslim immigration from terrorism afflicted regions, which is within his legitimate constitutional powers as President, he will risk impeachment. However, his congressional critics will face one enormous hurdle in bringing impeachment charges related to immigration enforcement: about 90 percent of what Trump plans to do is within current law and would require no new legislation in Congress. Obama disregarded immigration laws he did not like, so all Trump has to do is enforce those laws.

Now, if you think talk of impeachment is ridiculous because Republicans control Congress, you are underestimating the depth of Establishment Republican support for open borders.

The first effort in the 21st century at a general amnesty for all 20 million illegal aliens came in January 2005 from newly re-elected President George Bush. The "Gang of Eight" amnesty bill passed by the US Senate in 2013 did not have the support of the majority of Republican senators, and now they are faced with a Republican president pledged to the exact opposite agenda, immigration enforcement. And yet, do not doubt the establishment will sacrifice a Republican president to protect the globalist, open borders status quo.

The leader and spokesman for that establishment open borders agenda is not some obscure backbencher, it is the Republican Speaker of the House. Because the Speaker controls the rules and the legislative calendar, if he chooses to play hardball against Trump on immigration he can block any of Trump's other policy initiatives until Trump abandons his immigration enforcement goals.

What all this points to is a bloody civil war within the Republican Party fought on the battlefield of congressional committee votes.

Donald Trump won a electoral mandate to change direction and put American interests first, beginning with border security. If the congressional Republican establishment chooses to block the implementation of that electoral mandate, it would destroy not only Trump's agenda, it would destroy the Republican Party.

[Dec 18, 2016] Nickolas Kristof again demonstrates the level of neocons panic and his MIC lobbyist credentials

What a despicable MIC stooge...
Notable quotes:
"... The CIA says it has "high confidence" that Russia was trying to get Trump elected, and, according to The Washington Post, the directors of the F.B.I. and national intelligence agree with that conclusion. ..."
"... Now we come to the most reckless step of all: This Russian poodle is acting in character by giving important government posts to friends of Moscow, in effect rewarding it for its attack on the United States. ..."
"... Rex Tillerson, Trump's nominee for secretary of state, is a smart and capable manager. Yet it's notable that he is particularly close to Putin, who had decorated Tillerson with Russia's "Order of Friendship." ..."
www.nytimes.com

From Donald Trump The Russian Poodle - The New York Times

In 1972, President Richard Nixon's White House dispatched burglars to bug Democratic Party offices. That Watergate burglary and related "dirty tricks," such as releasing mice at a Democratic press conference and paying a woman to strip naked and shout her love for a Democratic candidate, nauseated Americans - and impelled some of us kids at the time to pursue journalism.

Now in 2016 we have a political scandal that in some respects is even more staggering. Russian agents apparently broke into the Democrats' digital offices and tried to change the election outcome. President Obama on Friday suggested that this was probably directed by Russia's president, saying, "Not much happens in Russia without Vladimir Putin."

In Watergate, the break-in didn't affect the outcome of the election. In 2016, we don't know for sure. There were other factors, but it's possible that Russia's theft and release of the emails provided the margin for Donald Trump's victory.

The CIA says it has "high confidence" that Russia was trying to get Trump elected, and, according to The Washington Post, the directors of the F.B.I. and national intelligence agree with that conclusion.

Both Nixon and Trump responded badly to the revelations, Nixon by ordering a cover-up and Trump by denouncing the CIA and, incredibly, defending Russia from the charges that it tried to subvert our election. I never thought I would see a dispute between America's intelligence community and a murderous foreign dictator in which an American leader sided with the dictator.

Let's be clear: This was an attack on America, less lethal than a missile but still profoundly damaging to our system. It's not that Trump and Putin were colluding to steal an election. But if the CIA is right, Russia apparently was trying to elect a president who would be not a puppet exactly but perhaps something of a lap dog - a Russian poodle.

In Britain, Prime Minister Tony Blair was widely (and unfairly) mocked as President George W. Bush's poodle, following him loyally into the Iraq war. The fear is that this time Putin may have interfered to acquire an ally who likewise will roll over for him.

Frankly, it's mystifying that Trump continues to defend Russia and Putin, even as he excoriates everyone else, from CIA officials to a local union leader in Indiana.

Now we come to the most reckless step of all: This Russian poodle is acting in character by giving important government posts to friends of Moscow, in effect rewarding it for its attack on the United States.

Rex Tillerson, Trump's nominee for secretary of state, is a smart and capable manager. Yet it's notable that he is particularly close to Putin, who had decorated Tillerson with Russia's "Order of Friendship."

Whatever our personal politics, how can we possibly want to respond to Russia's interference in our election by putting American foreign policy in the hands of a Putin friend?

Tillerson's closeness to Putin is especially troubling because of Trump's other Russia links. The incoming national security adviser, Michael Flynn, accepted Russian money to attend a dinner in Moscow and sat near Putin. A ledger shows $12.7 million in secret payments by a pro-Russia party in Ukraine to Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort. And the Trump family itself has business connections with Russia.

[Dec 18, 2016] America is a banana republic! FBI chief agrees with CIA on Russias alleged election help for Trump

Notable quotes:
"... "Earlier this week, I met separately with FBI [Director] James Comey and DNI Jim Clapper, and there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election," the message said, according to officials who have seen it. ..."
"... Comment: The FBI now flip-flops from its previous assessment: FBI rejects CIA assessment that Russia influenced presidential election ..."
www.sott.net
Reprinted from RT

FBI and National Intelligence chiefs both agree with the CIA assessment that Russia interfered with the 2016 US presidential elections partly in an effort to help Donald Trump win the White House, US media report.

FBI Director James B. Comey and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper are both convinced that Russia was behind cyberattacks that targeted Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her campaign chairman, John Podesta, The Washington Post and reported Friday, citing a message sent by CIA Director John Brennan to his employees.

"Earlier this week, I met separately with FBI [Director] James Comey and DNI Jim Clapper, and there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election," the message said, according to officials who have seen it.

"The three of us also agree that our organizations, along with others, need to focus on completing the thorough review of this issue that has been directed by President Obama and which is being led by the DNI," it continued.

Comment: The FBI now flip-flops from its previous assessment: FBI rejects CIA assessment that Russia influenced presidential election to help Trump win, calling info "fuzzy and ambiguous"

... ... ...

[Dec 12, 2016] Sundus Saleh, an Iraqi woman, claims that former President George W. Bush and other government officials committed the crime of aggression when they launched the Iraq War, an international war crime that was banned at the Nuremberg Trials

Dec 12, 2016 | www.moonofalabama.org

ALberto | Dec 12, 2016 3:02:04 PM | 2

The Nuremberg Court Trials rulings only apply to 'them' not 'US'

Sundus Saleh, an Iraqi woman, claims that former President George W. Bush and other government officials committed the crime of aggression when they launched the Iraq War, an international war crime that was banned at the Nuremberg Trials.

Saleh filed her lawsuit in March 2013 in San Francisco federal court. The court ruled in December 2014 that the defendants in the lawsuit - George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Paul Wolfowitz - were immune from civil proceedings based on the Westfall Act, a federal law which immunizes government officials from lawsuits for conduct taken within the lawful scope of their authority. Saleh appealed the decision in June 2015.

The Ninth Circuit has not indicated when it will issue an order with respect to Saleh's appeal.

Nuremberg trial also prosecuted Judges unt Doctors.

http://witnessiraq.com/blog/

[Dec 11, 2016] Trump chooses Exxon CEO Tillerson as Secretary of State

Notable quotes:
"... Trump is a big unknown. I think Paul Craig Roberts said it best - give Trump 6 months and then form an opinion. ..."
"... For the moment, I think Tillerson is a far far better pick than Guilliani, Romney or Bolton. ..."
"... "Tillerson might be the worst secretary of state contender on Trump's list" says Wapo. So, he's the best, no doubt!! ..."
"... Almost all professional anti-Russia "Senior Fellows" are dependent on State Department to fund their lobbying. Tillerson a disaster for them ..."
"... Deepening Ties Between Exxon and Russia Run Counter to U.S. Efforts to Punish Putin ..."
www.moonofalabama.org
aaaa | Dec 10, 2016 11:11:04 PM | 94
@35 Trump is a big unknown. I think Paul Craig Roberts said it best - give Trump 6 months and then form an opinion. I'm not too optimistic however; Trump's policies could flop and the hawks could weasel their warmongering in (IRAN + CHINA + ????)

For the moment, I think Tillerson is a far far better pick than Guilliani, Romney or Bolton. I hope that he will acquire the position. He seems to be smart, but also seems to have good character (considering.)

Of course, the inauguration is a few weeks off, so the concern about a soft coup are real ones, especially when the CIA is throwing out the Russia claims.

smuks | Dec 10, 2016 2:36:33 PM | 16

OT (sorry, but I really don't care about so-called 'leaks' and 'hacks'):

Trump chooses Exxon CEO Tillerson as Secretary of State.

Kind of makes me wonder...what if we see the emergence of a new confrontation, between a 'fossil fuel' block comprising the US, Russia and OPEC, and a 'renewables' block of China, the EU and pretty much everyone else? Yep, I admit that's a very long shot.

From The Hague | Dec 10, 2016 2:53:49 PM | 21
#16 Yes! Yeah!
Wonderful

"Tillerson might be the worst secretary of state contender on Trump's list" says Wapo. So, he's the best, no doubt!!
https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2016/12/07/tillerson-might-be-the-worst-one-on-trumps-list/?utm_term=.066b74221ede

Almost all professional anti-Russia "Senior Fellows" are dependent on State Department to fund their lobbying. Tillerson a disaster for them
https://twitter.com/27khv/status/807666659896987648

Deepening Ties Between Exxon and Russia Run Counter to U.S. Efforts to Punish Putin
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/20140827/deepening-ties-between-exxon-and-russia-run-counter-us-efforts-punish-putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen here awarding ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson with the Order of Friendship last year.

chipnik | Dec 10, 2016 3:59:06 PM | 39
@29

... ... ...

John Bolton, dutifully reading from the CIA's Yellow Cake playbook

"I'm obviously aware that people are quite focused on the economy rather than foreign policy issues, but that is something that should and can be altered as people see the nature of the grave threats around the world that we face. We estimate that once Iraq acquires fissile material -- it could fabricate a nuclear weapon within one year."

MIC IS NOW IN CONTROL OF DEFENSE, NSA, CIA AND STATE, AND GOLDMAN IS IN CONTROL OF TREASURY, COMMERCE, OMB, NEC AND FED. THIS IS THE NEO-CON END-GAME: THE 1998-2001 SOFT COUP-HARD COUP, THAT TOOK AMERICA DOWN.

All we need is Ari Fleischer in the role of Bolton's spox to the media, lol. "Mr. Fleischer, please come to the red phone service desk, you have a call waiting." It's all monkey-brain now!

Circe | Dec 11, 2016 12:38:16 AM | 103
There's something very fishy about the choices of Rex Tillerson and John Bolton for SoS and Deputy SoS respectively.

Tillerson has major potential conflicts of interest that the Senate will scrutinize including the award he received from Putin. I'm seriously questioning how Tillerson will get Senate approval. On the other hand, John Bolton, is very popular with most Republicans and hawkish Democrats and will have no problem whatsoever.

I believe this strange combination is a red flag that perfectly illustrates Trump's strategy, which is one of the following:

1. Either Trump deliberately chose someone with close ties to Russia and Putin because he knows he won't be approved by the Senate, and his first choice from the start, John Bolton, will pass with flying colors;

2. Or William Engdahl is right that the Neocon strategy is pivoting and adapting to present circumstances:

His job will be to reposition the United States for them to reverse the trend to disintegration of American global hegemony, to, as the Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz Project for the New American Century put it in their September, 2000 report, "rebuild America's defenses."

To do that preparation, a deception strategy that will fatally weaken the developing deep bonds between Russia and China will be priority. It's already begun. We have a friendly phone call from The Donald to Vladimir the Fearsome in Moscow. Russian media is euphoric about a new era in US-Russia relations after Obama. Then suddenly we hear the war-mongering NATO head, Stoltenberg, suddenly purr soothing words to Russia. Float the idea that California Congressman and Putin acquaintance, Dana Rohrabacher, is leaked as a possible Secretary of State. It's classic Kissinger Balance of Power geopolitics–seem to ally with the weaker of two mortal enemies, Russia, to isolate the stronger, China. Presumably Vladimir Putin is not so naïve or stupid as to fall for it, but that is the plot of Trump's handlers. Such a strategy of preventing the growing Russia-China cooperation was urged by Zbigniew Brzezinski in a statement this past summer.

http://journal-neo.org/2016/11/25/the-dangerous-deception-called-the-trump-presidency/

Let's not forget that the first time Trump was asked during the campaign who he gets foreign policy advice from; the first name that popped up was JOHN BOLTON, and he praised him as being tough. John Bolton was strongly allied with Dick Cheney. Steve Yates, another Neocon, was Cheney's China advisor and is Trump's as well. After reading Engdahl's article, I wrote my own opinion of the Neocon strategy based on Engdahl's and you can read it on the Saker's site here: http://thesaker.is/his-own-man-or-someones-puppet/

But if you find it difficult to read without paragraphs: scroll down through the comments on the Saker's own opinion of Engdahl's piece as that's where my original comment appeared with paragraphs.

http://thesaker.is/is-donald-trump-really-only-a-showman-who-will-prepare-the-usa-for-war/

Something stinks about this Tillerson/Bolton combination. You can read my theory on why Neocons are pivoting to a new strategy of divide and conquer as Engdahl believes, and it has to do with the growing economic bond between China and Iran as well and killing two birds with one stone; invading Iran to contain China and sabotage OBOR.

Note as well, that in courting Russia to isolate China and weaken the growing cooperation between China and Russia, as Engdahl puts it, Russia will ultimately lose its own influence, unless of course Netanyahu has made Putin an offer he can't refuse, since Netanyahu has been courting Putin for quite some time already; and this is very bizarre, since Putin frustrated Netanyahu's plan for Syria.

http://en.europe-israel.org/2016/12/09/russian-diplomat-moscow-jerusalem-friendship-at-highest-point-ever/

Something's very wrong with this picture.

smuks | Dec 11, 2016 1:01:21 PM | 148
So Bolton will be Tillerson's vice-SoS. How much more Neocon can you get? And you seriously believe Trump will 'clean the Augean Stables', 'drain the swamp' and 'open a new book' in foreign policy, esp. relations with Russia? Dream on.

[Dec 08, 2016] Washington Post Appends Russian Propaganda Fake News Story, Admits It May Be Fake

Notable quotes:
"... One of the sites PropOrNot cited as Russian-influenced was the Drudge Report. ..."
"... The piece's description of some sharers of bogus news as "useful idiots" could " theoretically include anyone on any social-media platform who shares news based on a click-bait headline ," Mathew Ingram wrote for Fortune. ..."
"... But the biggest issue was PropOrNot itself. As Adrian Chen wrote for the New Yorker , its methods were themselves suspect, hinting at counter-Russian propaganda - ostensibly with Ukrainian origins - and verification of its work was nearly impossible. Chen wrote "the prospect of legitimate dissenting voices being labeled fake news or Russian propaganda by mysterious groups of ex-government employees, with the help of a national newspaper, is even scarier." ..."
"... Now, at least, the "national newspaper" has taken some responsibility, however the key question remains: by admitting it never vetted its primary source, whose biased and conflicted "work" smeared hundreds of websites, this one included, just how is the Washington Post any different from the "fake news" it has been deriding on a daily basis ever since its endorsed presidential candidate lost the elections? ..."
Dec 07, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com
In the latest example why the "mainstream media" is facing a historic crisis of confidence among its readership, facing unprecedented blowback following Craig Timberg November 24 Washington Post story " Russian propaganda effort helped spread 'fake news' during election, experts say ", on Wednesday a lengthy editor's note appeared on top of the original article in which the editor not only distances the WaPo from the "experts" quoted in the original article whose "work" served as the basis for the entire article (and which became the most read WaPo story the day it was published) but also admits the Post could not " vouch for the validity of PropOrNot's finding regarding any individual media outlet", in effect admitting the entire story may have been, drumroll "fake news" and conceding the Bezos-owned publication may have engaged in defamation by smearing numerous websites - Zero Hedge included - with patently false and unsubstantiated allegations.

It was the closest the Washington Post would come to formally retracting the story, which has now been thoroughly discredited not only by outside commentators, but by its own editor.

The apended note in question:

Editor's Note: The Washington Post on Nov. 24 published a story on the work of four sets of researchers who have examined what they say are Russian propaganda efforts to undermine American democracy and interests. One of them was PropOrNot, a group that insists on public anonymity, which issued a report identifying more than 200 websites that, in its view, wittingly or unwittingly published or echoed Russian propaganda. A number of those sites have objected to being included on PropOrNot's list, and some of the sites, as well as others not on the list, have publicly challenged the group's methodology and conclusions. The Post, which did not name any of the sites, does not itself vouch for the validity of PropOrNot's findings regarding any individual media outlet, nor did the article purport to do so. Since publication of The Post's story, PropOrNot has removed some sites from its list.

As The Washingtonian notes , the implicit concession follows intense and rising criticism of the article over the past two weeks. It was " rife with obviously reckless and unproven allegations, " Intercept reporters Glenn Greenwald and Ben Norton wrote, noting that PropOrNot, one of the groups whose research was cited in Timberg's piece, "anonymous cowards." One of the sites PropOrNot cited as Russian-influenced was the Drudge Report.

The piece's description of some sharers of bogus news as "useful idiots" could " theoretically include anyone on any social-media platform who shares news based on a click-bait headline ," Mathew Ingram wrote for Fortune.

But the biggest issue was PropOrNot itself. As Adrian Chen wrote for the New Yorker , its methods were themselves suspect, hinting at counter-Russian propaganda - ostensibly with Ukrainian origins - and verification of its work was nearly impossible. Chen wrote "the prospect of legitimate dissenting voices being labeled fake news or Russian propaganda by mysterious groups of ex-government employees, with the help of a national newspaper, is even scarier."

Criticism culminated this week when the " Naked capitalism" blog threatened to sue the Washington Post, demanding a retraction.

Now, at least, the "national newspaper" has taken some responsibility, however the key question remains: by admitting it never vetted its primary source, whose biased and conflicted "work" smeared hundreds of websites, this one included, just how is the Washington Post any different from the "fake news" it has been deriding on a daily basis ever since its endorsed presidential candidate lost the elections?

[Dec 06, 2016] Mattis on Our Way of War

Dec 06, 2016 | www.theamericanconservative.com
General Mattis reportedly spoke of his concerns during discussions over attacking Iran and thus fell afoul of the Washington establishment, so President Obama hastened his retirement. Foreign Policy 's Thomas Ricks reported :

Why the hurry? Pentagon insiders say that he rubbed civilian officials the wrong way-not because he went all "mad dog," which is his public image, and the view at the White House, but rather because he pushed the civilians so hard on considering the second- and third-order consequences of military action against Iran. Some of those questions apparently were uncomfortable. Like, what do you do with Iran once the nuclear issue is resolved and it remains a foe? What do you do if Iran then develops conventional capabilities that could make it hazardous for U.S. Navy ships to operate in the Persian Gulf? He kept saying, "And then what?"

Washington did have a "strategy" when it attacked Iraq, the neoconservative one. This was to intimidate the Muslim world with massive bombing, "Shock and Awe" we called it, so all Muslims would be afraid of us and then do what we ordered. Then we planted giant, billion-dollar American air bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. These would, they thought, give us hegemony over Central Asia, intimidate Russia and Iran, while Iraq would turn into a friendly, modern democracy dependent upon Washington. Other Muslim nations would then follow with democratic regimes which would co-operate and obey Washington's plans.

With the neocons discredited, no other strategy has replaced theirs except to "win" and come home. This is not unusual in our history. In past wars American "strategy" has usually been to return to the status quo ante, the prewar situation. Washington violates nearly all of Sun Tzu's dictums for success. Endless wars for little purpose and with no end strategy are thus likely to continue. They are, however, profitable or beneficial for many Washington interests.

[Dec 06, 2016] Why is the USA addicted to war?

www.moonofalabama.org
ben | Dec 3, 2016 2:01:32 PM | 10

http://www.addictedtowar.com/ read the books online. don't let the books format fool you, massive thought, with footnotes.

Penelope | Dec 3, 2016 11:47:02 PM | 59

Ben @ 10, it's not the USA that's addicted to war. Rather it is the US govt AS CAPTURED BY THE OLIGARCHS. Nor is it truly an addiction, but a means to the end of a global oligarchy. It isn't enough to see the evil of US aggression. One must also understand why the international institutions which have usurped nationhood around the world are evil: Fed/IMF system, World Bank, WTO and the entire UN system to which they belong. US hegemony has never been intended as the endgame. Oligarchical global govt is-- initially as a decentralized administration which they are already trying to sell you as "multipolarity".

[Dec 05, 2016] Is war the health of state ?

Notable quotes:
"... I keep trying to point out that these nations are proxies for the global plutocrats that own private finance and everything else. That is the social cancer we need to eliminate. The British people are not all bad any more than all Americans but all of private finance is bad and has been for centuries. ..."
Dec 03, 2016 | www.moonofalabama.org

james | Dec 3, 2016 11:39:28 AM | 2

sst comment -

"b

Well, if you looked at it and decided against it why am I wasting my time? "unlike the U.S. military which is used to destroys foreign cities without much thought of the aftermath" Always with the nasty, sneering, condescending attitude toward us. I remind you that it was the BRITISH army that destroyed your grandparents house, not the US Army. pl"

and the usa has learned and followed the British in so many of it's imperialist ways carrying the mantel for empire building forward into the 20th and 21st century.. enough of British or American bullshit..

psychohistorian | Dec 3, 2016 12:10:21 PM | 4
@ james who wrote " and the usa has learned and followed the british in so many of it's imperialist ways caring the mantel for empire building forward into the 20th and 21st century.. enough of british or american bullshit."

I keep trying to point out that these nations are proxies for the global plutocrats that own private finance and everything else. That is the social cancer we need to eliminate. The British people are not all bad any more than all Americans but all of private finance is bad and has been for centuries.

okie farmer | Dec 3, 2016 12:15:14 PM | 5
"the state made war and war made the state."

Lords of 'Pride and Plunder' by Robert Bartlett

The Crisis of the Twelfth Century: Power, Lordship, and the Origins of European Government by Thomas N. Bisson Princeton University Press, 677 pp., $39.50

One of the major institutions of pre-industrial society, and one that makes it hard for people in the modern Western world fully to grasp the past, is lordship. Lordship means a personal bond, reciprocal but not equal, tying inferiors to superiors, bringing the latter a power over the former that modern democratic and egalitarian ideologies would abhor. We are not accustomed to address others as "Master" or "Mistress," "My Lord" or "My Lady."

Of course modern Western societies are not communities of equals. Vast differences in wealth and access to education exist. But the world of lordship embraced and endorsed those differences. Hierarchy was a valued ideal, and some people considered themselves better born than others-remember those nineteenth-century novels with characters "of good family." The aristocrats ("aristocracy" means "rule by the best") did not court their inferiors. They ruled them, and, if they were just and well disposed, they protected them and furthered their interests. This is what "good lordship" meant. Not all lords, of course, were good. Submission to cruel, arbitrary, or unhinged masters could mean misery or death. Much of the savagery of the French Revolution is to be explained by the fact that thousands of peasants had suffered just such a submission.

Thomas Bisson's new book concerns itself with lordship, that all-pervasive institution, in a formative period of European history, the twelfth century (or rather the "long twelfth century," starting well before 1100 and continuing after 1200). It is an age that evokes for many the majesty of the great cathedrals, like Chartres and Canterbury, the rise of a new kind of intellectual inquiry, embodied in the questing spirit of Abelard or the emergence of the first universities, and the flourishing of the love lyrics of the troubadours and the tales of Arthurian romance. There is even the (now well established but initially paradoxical) notion of "the Twelfth-Century Renaissance." This book, however, presents a different, and much darker, twelfth century.

Bisson, professor of medieval history emeritus at Harvard, is one of the leading historians of the Middle Ages. His early work concentrated on Catalonia, a region with particularly rich archival sources from this period; he has continually expanded both his geographical range and the breadth of the historical questions he asks. In the 1990s he was a participant in a lively debate on the so-called "Feudal Revolution," the theory that a transformation in the patterns of power and authority took place in Europe in the decades around the year 1000. In those years it was argued that older, official, and public structures of justice and administration were replaced by new, more violent, and more localized forms, based on strongmen and their fortresses.

In his new book many of the elements of that "Feudal Revolution" recur, now extended to a later period. Bisson's summary of developments in Catalonia in the years 1020 to 1060 presents such a picture very clearly: there was "a terrifying collapse of public justice and the imposition of a new order of coercive lordship over an intimidated peasantry." Moving on into the twelfth century, the model is still recognizable: there is an "old passing world" ruled by a few nobles, and a "burgeoning new world" of "vicious men," castle-lords and knights prepared to use violence against the despised peasantry. This book is indeed an extended discussion of the issues arising from that earlier debate. Bisson acknowledges that it is "not a systematic treatise, still less a textbook," and those unfamiliar with the period may soon be lost. The book is an interpretation, an individual assessment of European history of that period, one that takes a stand on a dozen debated issues, often in implicit dialogue with other scholars. The main topics are lordship, violence, and the state.

Lordship was a building block of most societies until relatively recently -- serfdom was abolished in Russia only in 1861. Such societies were distinguished by extreme inequalities, made visible by costume and gestures, like bowing and doffing of hats, and often supported by belief in hereditary superiority and inferiority of blood. Collective groupings existed, but were not powerful, and conflict and ambition were channeled more by vertical than horizontal solidarities: retainers, servants, and other followers and dependants sought patronage from the great, not action alongside their peers. At the highest level, lesser aristocrats became followers of great aristocrats, who themselves would be competing for the ruler's favor. Costume dramas set in Tudor England, like Shakespeare in Love and Elizabeth, convey some of the flavor of such a world.

It was the prevalence of lordship that complicates any discussion of the medieval state. Bisson repeatedly uses the far from standard formulations "lord-king," "lord-ruler," and even "lord-archbishop" to convey the point that every ruler of this time was also a lord, a master of men, a patriarch of some kind, possessing his position as inheritance or property, rather than (or as well as) holding it as an office-indeed, he writes, "there is no sign that European people in the twelfth century thought of lordship and office as contrasting categories."

Kings were lords, but also more than lords. Like the great barons, their power was patrimonial: that is, inherited, dynastic, based on ideas of property we might call "private." A king's kingdom was his in the same way that a baron's landed estates were his. Transmission of power was through father-to-son inheritance, not by election. Hence marriages, births, and deaths were the great punctuating points of medieval politics, not caucuses and ballots. Yet a king was also more than just the greatest of the barons. Both the Church and a long secular tradition saw him as having special duties as a ruler, duties that might be called "public."

This dualism of lordship and the state meant that medieval rulership had two distinct faces, which were close to being opposites: on the one hand, the grand promises made at coronation by kings and emperors, to ensure justice and the protection of the weak and the Church; on the other hand, the reality of being a warlord trained in mounted warfare, a leader of proud, hard men, used to wielding lethal edged weapons, and the center of a court full of envy, ambition, and suspicion.

Europe in the eleventh and twelfth centuries was a militarized world: it was "an age of castles," when "those astride horses and bearing weapons routinely injured or intimidated people" -- although, of course, they were still doing it in the thirteenth century, fourteenth century, fifteenth century, and beyond. The Cossacks were still doing it in the twentieth century. This raises a problem. In the absence of even a hint of dependable statistics, it is virtually impossible to weigh up the relative violence of different periods and places of the past. We know all the difficulties involved in dealing with modern crime figures; for the past we rarely have figures of any kind, but must rely on stories told by chroniclers (often ecclesiastical) and interested parties (usually plaintiffs). Historians read the laments, the individual accounts of plunder, murder, and rape, and try to assess whether this was the way life was then, or whether it simply reflects a very bad moment in that world. And while there can be little doubt that levels of violence were higher in the medieval period than in modern Western peacetime societies, we, who live in the aftermath of the worst genocidal atrocities in recorded history, should not make that claim with any complacency.

It is not difficult to gather stories of local violence and oppression from the eleventh and twelfth centuries. But if we put these twelfth-century tales alongside those of the sixth-century historian-bishop Gregory of Tours, whose History of the Franks reveals a world of monstrous cruelty, we might wonder if things had really gotten much worse in the intervening six hundred years. On one occasion, Gregory writes, a noble discovered that two of his serfs had married without his consent: he supposedly said how delighted he was that they had at least not married serfs from another lordship; he promised that he would not separate them, and then kept his word by having them buried alive together. And was the twelfth century any more full of violence than, say, late medieval France, a happy hunting ground for mercenaries and freebooters during the Hundred Years' War?

The rulers of the eleventh and twelfth centuries were trained in, and glorified, war, and expected to live off it, as well as off the tribute of a subjugated peasantry. If such rulers formed "the state" of their day, what are the implications? The state engages in violence; it takes away our property. How then does it differ from a criminal enterprise? This was a question that went back at least as far as Saint Augustine in the fourth century:

What are robber gangs, except little kingdoms? If their wickedness prospers, so that they set up fixed abodes, occupy cities and subjugate whole populations, they then can take the name of kingdom with impunity.

Augustine's ponderings stem from the worrying doubt that states and kingdoms, indeed all lawfully constituted governments, are just the most successful of the robber gangs. This idea, that the state and the criminal gang are but larger and smaller versions of the same thing, was one recurrent strand in medieval thinking. In the words of Gregory VII, the reformist pope of the eleventh century:

Who does not know that kings and dukes had their origin in men who disregarded God and, with blind desire and intolerable presumption, strove to dominate their equals, that is, other men, through pride, plunder, perfidy, homicides, and every kind of crime, under the inspiration of the lord of this world, the devil?

Westerns (like Sam Peckinpah's Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid) often explore the thin line between the gunslinger and the sheriff, or the poignancy of the bandit turned law officer; and the thinness of that line is clear in the Middle Ages. In the fourteenth century the kings of France, wishing to concentrate their forces against the English, called upon their barons to curtail their own feuds and vendettas: "We forbid anyone to wage war (guerre) during our war (guerre)." What the king does and what the feuding nobles do is the same kind of thing-"war." Nowadays, we make a sharper distinction. For instance, in the modern world, someone who takes our property away is either a criminal or a tax collector. If the latter, then it is the state taking our property away, and most people, of most political outlooks, distinguish the lawmakers from the lawbreakers.

Traditionally the state took away people's property in order to finance war. In Charles Tilly's phrase, "the state made war and war made the state." The war-making, tax-raising state is indeed the standard, familiar political unit of modern world history. If we go back in time, do we reach a period when such an entity did not exist?

Bisson is not a scholar who throws the term "state" around freely. Indeed, the conceptual vocabulary of his book is worth a mention. On the one hand, Bisson is happy to use the traditional but deeply contested terms "feudal" and "feudalism," both of which even have entries in his glossary at the end of the book. He can write of "a massive feudalizing of England by the Normans." Some historians would do away with these concepts altogether. Even if some kinds of estates were called "fiefs" (feoda), they argue, why should that fact lead us to a characterization of a whole society? Perhaps a touch of self-questioning is visible in Bisson's embrace of the terminology: "'Feudal monarchy': is this the right concept?" he asks.
In contrast to his acceptance of this traditional terminology, Bisson has a marked tendency to use large conceptual terms with a peculiar, even personal, connotation. "Political" is an example. The bishops of this period, he says, "vied with one another for visible precedence," yet such struggles "were not political disputes; they were concerned with status, not process." A footnote refers us to an infamous incident when the archbishop of York, noticing that the archbishop of Canterbury had a seat higher than his, kicked it over and refused to be seated until he had a seat as high. Now, one might reasonably class this as a nursery tantrum, but why should not a public dispute over precedence count as "political"?
This wariness about the term "political" (usually in scare quotes in the book) is based on the idea that lordship "was personal, affective, and unpolitical in nature." Might it not be clearer to say that the politics of that time was not the same as the politics of ours? It may be that we have here an example of a recurrent dilemma, either to say that the power relations of long ago are not politics at all, or to say that they are, but that we must differentiate between medieval and modern politics. Similarly, we may say that the superior authorities of that time cannot be called states at all; or we can argue that they were, but that we must distinguish medieval and modern states.

One of the most important examples of Bisson's idiosyncratic use of general terms is his treatment of the word "government." He is reluctant even to apply the term to Norman England. "Royal lordship" was not the same thing as "government." Sometimes government is completely absent. Late-twelfth-century Europe was "an ungoverned society," although there were also "proto-governments" at this time; by the mid-thirteenth century "something like government hovered." This unwillingness to see the rulers of the central Middle Ages as constituting "governments" is to be explained partly because, in Bisson's view, the people of that time lacked any understanding of the state as distinct from lordship, but also because there are certain criteria for government, as distinct from lordship, that the rulers did not meet. He identifies three: accountability, official conduct, and social purpose.

"Accountability" is an important term in Bisson's historical vocabulary. Sometimes it means quite literally the rendering of financial accounts, like the Catalan fiscal records which Bisson himself has edited. He emphasizes the birth, in the twelfth century, of "a newly searching and flexible accountability," as simple surveys of resources and fixed revenues, which can be found from early in the Middle Ages, were supplemented by balance sheets of incoming and outgoing assets. The English Pipe Rolls, annual audits of income and expenditures of the royal sheriffs, are a classic example. The English Dialogue of the Exchequer of 1178, or thereabouts, reveals a department of government that is professional, with its own technical expertise, and (in the Dialogue) its own handbook or manual. Slightly later, in 1202, there appears what has been called "the first budget of the French monarchy."

But Bisson also uses the word in a broader sense: accountability means official responsibility, answerability. He associates it with the idea of office. Record-keeping is in fact one test of official status. And true government is "the exercise of power for social purpose," "social purpose" perhaps to be glossed here as "the common good." It is the emergence of "official conduct aimed at social purpose," linked, interestingly, with the rise of public taxation, that, for Bisson, signals the shift of the balance from lordship to government in the thirteenth century.

However, the chronology of state formation in the Middle Ages is a disputed issue. Some historians talk as if there were a stateless period at some point in the central Middle Ages. Others hold the view that, to take one notable example, the kingdom of England of the year 1000 was not only a state but a strong, centralized, and pervasive state. If taxation and a standardized coinage are, in Bisson's words, parts of "a new model of associative power" around the year 1200, then the uniform land tax and centralized currency of eleventh-century England show that that model already existed in some places two hundred years earlier.

What cannot be disputed is that over the course of the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries, the state became increasingly bureaucratic. The documents produced by the English government in the eleventh century could be placed on one large table (even given that monumental oddity, Domesday Book, the extensive survey of land ownership made in 1086 under William the Conqueror). The documents produced by the English government in the thirteenth century fill whole rooms and could never be read in one person's lifetime. Written records supplemented or replaced older oral forms of information gathering, testimony, or command (Michael Clanchy's 1979 masterpiece, From Memory to Written Record, analyzes this development for precociously bureaucratic England in the Norman and Plantagenet period). But more bureaucratic government does not necessarily mean less violent, or even less arbitrary, government.

Historians like bureaucracy, because it feeds their hunger for written sources, the raw material with which they work; but the bond between historians and government is deeper than that. The historical profession grew up in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in close symbiosis with government. Not only was the heart of historical study usually the archives produced by past governments, but many of the students and teachers in those generations, the first to study history as a discipline, entered government service. Charles Homer Haskins, the founding father of American medieval scholarship, was an adviser to Woodrow Wilson at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919.

He was also the teacher of Joseph Strayer, himself the teacher of Bisson. Such academic genealogies can be overplayed, but there is no doubt that all three great medievalists, Haskins, Strayer, and Bisson, demonstrate a deep-rooted concern with the techniques and records of administration, with the procedures of the bureaucrats and officials. Strayer was as familiar with the modern as with the medieval version, since he worked for the CIA One of his most vigorous pieces of work is entitled On the Medieval Origins of the Modern State (1970; one might notice the emphasis on both the "origins" and the "modern"; we live in the modern state; its origins go back a long way, but the state of those days was not the state of ours). The book contains Strayer's cogent definition of feudalism as "public powers in private hands," with that confident assurance that these adjectives, "public" and "private," convey a simple and evident distinction that will arouse no intellectual discomfort in readers. By contrast, Bisson's book is generated in part by his wrestling with such concepts and their implications.

Bisson's book is called The Crisis of the Twelfth Century. "Crisis" means a vitally important or decisive stage in the progress of anything. But in that sense, any century of human history is a crisis. One might even say that this is simply the condition of human life-we are always in an Age of Crisis (although the situation might not always be as alarming as today's). Bisson acknowledges that "'crisis' was not a common word in the verbiage of the day," and the one instance he cites of the contemporary use of the word (in its Latin form discrimen) refers to a succession crisis in Poland in 1180. He wishes to see the various distinct political crises he discusses (such as the Saxon revolt of 1075, the communal insurrection in Laon in 1111, the "anarchy" of King Stephen's reign) as part of "the same wider crisis of multiplied knights and castles."

However, a case can be made that the levels of violence and disorder in this period were largely dictated by the patterns of high politics rather than by a deep-seated structural malaise. Disputed successions, or the accession of a child-king, could indeed upset the world of knights and castles, unleashing the strongmen and their castle-based predatory attacks. Yet a regime of knights and castles could also form the basis for fairly stable feudal monarchies, such as one sees in France and England for most of the thirteenth century. If this is so, there were, of course, crises in the twelfth century, but no Crisis.

The violence and greed of European knights of this period were directed beyond the local victims. Bisson's "long twelfth century" was not only an age of predatory lords in their castles bullying their peasantry but also an age of expansionary, one could say colonialist, violence. Christian armies, led by these predatory lords, crossed into Muslim lands, capturing Toledo in 1085, Jerusalem in 1099, and landing in North Africa in 1148; they destroyed the last remnants of West Slav paganism in the Baltic in 1168; they even turned their formidable fighting strength against their estranged Christian cousins in the Greek East, and sacked Constantinople in 1204. The energies generated in the conflicts between mounted men in the West, and the expertise they acquired in subjugating and fleecing the local peasantry, could be exported. The story of European violence is far from unique, but it was in the central Middle Ages that it took a form that shaped the subsequent history of the world.

A traditional view of the development of European society in the central Middle Ages, a view to be found in textbooks past and present, is that the empire of Charlemagne (747–814) and his successors had important elements of public authority, in the form of officials with delegated powers and courts open to all free men, but that this regime was replaced, around the year 1000, with a heavily militarized and violent world of strongmen in castles, lording it over peasants. Over the course of time this world was, in its turn, transformed by the persistent efforts of the kings of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries into a network of more centralized and bureaucratic states, which led ultimately to modern systems of government. Like every model at this level of generality, as long as people who know something about the subject have created it, there must be some truth in this picture, however little it can be the whole truth. But we might have questions. Was the "old public order" of Charlemagne and his successors so public and so ordered? Was the subsequent regime so close to anarchy?

Bisson adds to this traditional account by thinking deeply about the benefits and disadvantages of government. He is very aware of the inhumanity of the past he studies. He refers, with allusion to the words of the twelfth-century cleric John of Salisbury, to "hunter-lords." John was talking about the way that aristocrats were obsessed with the chase, but we might apply his phrase in a wider sense. Since some theorists believe that human society is imprinted with its origins in hunting packs and the mentality of the pack, the predatory lordship of the central Middle Ages could be conceived of as just such a hunting pack-but its prey being fellow human beings, rather than beasts.

Confronting this world of hunter and hunted, Bisson is inspired by attractively humane impulses. In an earlier book, Tormented Voices, a microhistorical analysis of complaints raised by Catalan peasants in the twelfth century, he stated explicitly that he was attempting "an essay in compassionate history." Likewise in this book. And he looks for public, accountable, official remedies for suffering and oppression. He seems sympathetic to the idea that "power is rightly oriented towards the social needs of people." "If ever government was the solution, not the problem," he writes, "it was so for European peoples in the twelfth century." Is the modern world so happy in its governments? Whether we should endure the violence of the state, as a defense against the yet more fearful violence of our neighbors, and whether there comes a point where the violence of the state must be resisted are great recurrent questions of moral and political life. The questions raised by Bisson's book remain open.

james | Dec 3, 2016 1:03:24 PM | 6
@4 psychohistorian.. and i agree with you in that too.. it has to do with the packaging and a tendency in people to identify with the packaging - in this example 'made in the usa' as some sort of rationale for that social sickness many suffer from called 'patriotism'.. it seems to be especially prevalent in the worst nations, the usa at this point in time being the focal point for much of this marketing...
psychohistorian | Dec 3, 2016 1:28:39 PM | 8
@ okie farmer who added a loooong comment that contained the following about the definition of government:
"
He identifies three: accountability, official conduct, and social purpose.
"

The narrative provided did not get into a discussion of "social purpose" but I think that it is an important concept. The example I would posit is the original humanistic motto of the US, E Pluribus Unum which was instantiated by government creations of the time like the pony express....true socialism, if you need an ism to cling to. Social Security INSURANCE is another example of an instantiation of social purpose.

The original US motto was replaced by In God We Trust in the mid 1950's which, IMO, destroyed the social purpose concept of government and instead tells you to trust the leaders and religious institutions.....reversion to kings and feudalism.

You get the government you demand. What sort of world do you want to pass to the children?

ben | Dec 3, 2016 2:01:32 PM | 10
Why is the U$A addicted to war?

read the books online. don't let the books format fool you, massive thought, with footnotes.

http://www.addictedtowar.com/

[Dec 04, 2016] Much-disputed Iranian nuclear bomb

An interesting warning about possible return of neocons in Hillary administration. Looks like not much changed in Washington from 2005 and Obama more and more looks like Bush III. Both Hillary and Trump are jingoistic toward Iran. Paradoxically Trump is even more jingoistic then Hillary.
Notable quotes:
"... That no one yet claims actually exists, has begun. Once again we seem to be heading down a highway marked "counterproliferation war." What makes this bizarre is that the Middle East today, for all its catastrophic problems, is actually a nuclear-free zone except for one country, Israel, which has a staggeringly outsized, semi-secret nuclear arsenal. ..."
"... And not much has changed since. I recommend as well a piece written even earlier by Ira Chernus on a graphic about the Israeli nuclear arsenal tucked away at the MSNBC website (and still viewable ). ..."
"... Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst and one of the founders of the group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, considers the Iranian and Israeli bombs, and Bush administration policy in relation to both below in a piece that, he writes, emerged from "an informal colloquium which has sprung up in the Washington, DC area involving people with experience at senior policy levels of government, others who examine foreign policy and defense issues primarily out of a faith perspective, and still others with a foot in each camp. We are trying to deal directly with the moral -- as well as the practical -- implications of various policy alternatives. One of our group recently was invited to talk with senior staffers in the House of Representatives about Iran, its nuclear plans, its support for terrorists, and U.S. military options. Toward the end of that conversation, a House staffer was emboldened to ask, 'What would be a moral solution?' This question gave new energy to our colloquium, generating a number of informal papers, including this one. I am grateful to my colloquium colleagues for their insights and suggestions." ..."
"... What about post-attack "Day Two?" Not to worry. Well-briefed pundits are telling us about a wellspring of Western-oriented I find myself thinking: Right; just like all those Iraqis who welcomed invading American and British troops with open arms and cut flowers. ..."
"... In 2001, the new President Bush brought the neocons back and put them in top policymaking positions. Even former Assistant Secretary of State Elliot Abrams, convicted in October 1991 of lying to Congress and then pardoned by George H. W. Bush, was called back and put in charge of Middle East policy in the White House. In January, he was promoted to the influential post (once occupied by Robert Gates) of deputy assistant to the president for national security affairs. From that senior position Abrams will once again be dealing closely with John Negroponte, an old colleague from rogue-elephant Contra War days, who has now been picked to be the first director of national intelligence. ..."
"... Those of us who -- like Colin Powell -- had front-row seats during the 1980s are far too concerned to dismiss the re-emergence of the neocons as a simple case of déjà vu . They are much more dangerous now. Unlike in the eighties, they are the ones crafting the adventurous policies our sons and daughters are being called on to implement. ..."
"... So why would Iran think it has to acquire nuclear weapons? Sen. Richard Lugar, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was asked this on a Sunday talk show a few months ago. Apparently having a senior moment, he failed to give the normal answer. Instead, he replied, "Well, you know, Israel has..." At that point, he caught himself and abruptly stopped. ..."
Sep 22, 2005 | www.washingtonpost.com
That no one yet claims actually exists, has begun. Once again we seem to be heading down a highway marked "counterproliferation war." What makes this bizarre is that the Middle East today, for all its catastrophic problems, is actually a nuclear-free zone except for one country, Israel, which has a staggeringly outsized, semi-secret nuclear arsenal.

As Los Angeles Times reporter Douglas Frantz wrote at one point, "Though Israel is a democracy, debating the nuclear program is taboo A military censor guards Israel's nuclear secrets." And this "taboo" has largely extended to American reporting on the subject. Imagine, to offer a very partial analogy, if we all had had to consider the Cold War nuclear issue with the Soviet, but almost never the American nuclear arsenal, in the news. Of course, that would have been absurd and yet it's the case in the Middle East today, making most strategic discussions of the region exercises in absurdity.

I wrote about this subject under the title, Nuclear Israel , back in October 2003, because of a brief break, thanks to Frantz, in the media blackout on the subject. I began then, "Nuclear North Korea, nuclear Iraq, nuclear Iran - of these our media has been full for the last year or more, though they either don't exist or hardly yet exist. North Korea now probably has a couple of crude nuclear weapons, which it may still be incapable of delivering. But nuclear Israel, little endangered Israel? It's hard even to get your head around the concept, though that country has either the fifth or sixth largest nuclear arsenal in the world." And not much has changed since. I recommend as well a piece written even earlier by Ira Chernus on a graphic about the Israeli nuclear arsenal tucked away at the MSNBC website (and still viewable ).

Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst and one of the founders of the group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, considers the Iranian and Israeli bombs, and Bush administration policy in relation to both below in a piece that, he writes, emerged from "an informal colloquium which has sprung up in the Washington, DC area involving people with experience at senior policy levels of government, others who examine foreign policy and defense issues primarily out of a faith perspective, and still others with a foot in each camp. We are trying to deal directly with the moral -- as well as the practical -- implications of various policy alternatives. One of our group recently was invited to talk with senior staffers in the House of Representatives about Iran, its nuclear plans, its support for terrorists, and U.S. military options. Toward the end of that conversation, a House staffer was emboldened to ask, 'What would be a moral solution?' This question gave new energy to our colloquium, generating a number of informal papers, including this one. I am grateful to my colloquium colleagues for their insights and suggestions." Now, read on. ~ Tom

Attacking Iran: I Know It Sounds Crazy, But...

By Ray McGovern

"'This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous.'

"(Short pause)

"'And having said that, all options are on the table.'

"Even the White House stenographers felt obliged to note the result: '(Laughter).'"

( The Washington Post's Dan Froomkin on George Bush's February 22 press conference)

For a host of good reasons -- the huge and draining commitment of U.S. forces to Iraq and Iran's ability to stir the Iraqi pot to boiling, for starters -- the notion that the Bush administration would mount a "preemptive" air attack on Iran seems insane. And still more insane if the objective includes overthrowing Iran's government again, as in 1953 -- this time under the rubric of "regime change."

But Bush administration policy toward the Middle East is being run by men -- yes, only men -- who were routinely referred to in high circles in Washington during the 1980s as "the crazies." I can attest to that personally, but one need not take my word for it.

According to James Naughtie, author of The Accidental American: Tony Blair and the Presidency , former Secretary of State Colin Powell added an old soldier's adjective to the "crazies" sobriquet in referring to the same officials. Powell, who was military aide to Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger in the early eighties, was overheard calling them "the f---ing crazies" during a phone call with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw before the war in Iraq. At the time, Powell was reportedly deeply concerned over their determination to attack -- with or without UN approval. Small wonder that they got rid of Powell after the election, as soon as they had no more use for him.

If further proof of insanity were needed, one could simply look at the unnecessary carnage in Iraq since the invasion in March 2003. That unprovoked attack was, in my view, the most fateful foreign policy blunder in our nation's history...so far.

It Can Get Worse

"The crazies" are not finished. And we do well not to let their ultimate folly obscure their current ambition, and the further trouble that ambition is bound to bring in the four years ahead. In an immediate sense, with U.S. military power unrivaled, they can be seen as "crazy like a fox," with a value system in which "might makes right." Operating out of that value system, and now sporting the more respectable misnomer/moniker "neoconservative," they are convinced that they know exactly what they are doing. They have a clear ideology and a geopolitical strategy, which leap from papers they put out at the Project for the New American Century over recent years.

The very same men who, acting out of that paradigm, brought us the war in Iraq are now focusing on Iran, which they view as the only remaining obstacle to American domination of the entire oil-rich Middle East. They calculate that, with a docile, corporate-owned press, a co-opted mainstream church, and a still-trusting populace, the United States and/or the Israelis can launch a successful air offensive to disrupt any Iranian nuclear weapons programs -- with the added bonus of possibly causing the regime in power in Iran to crumble.

But why now? After all, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency has just told Congress that Iran is not likely to have a nuclear weapon until "early in the next decade?" The answer, according to some defense experts, is that several of the Iranian facilities are still under construction and there is only a narrow "window of opportunity" to destroy them without causing huge environmental problems. That window, they say, will begin to close this year.

Other analysts attribute the sense of urgency to worry in Washington that the Iranians may have secretly gained access to technology that would facilitate a leap forward into the nuclear club much sooner than now anticipated. And it is, of course, neoconservative doctrine that it is best to nip -- the word in current fashion is "preempt" -- any conceivable threats in the bud. One reason the Israelis are pressing hard for early action may simply be out of a desire to ensure that George W. Bush will have a few more years as president after an attack on Iran, so that they will have him to stand with Israel when bedlam breaks out in the Middle East.

What about post-attack "Day Two?" Not to worry. Well-briefed pundits are telling us about a wellspring of Western-oriented I find myself thinking: Right; just like all those Iraqis who welcomed invading American and British troops with open arms and cut flowers. For me, this evokes a painful flashback to the early eighties when "intelligence," pointing to "moderates" within the Iranian leadership, was conjured up to help justify the imaginative but illegal arms-for-hostages-and-proceeds-to-Nicaraguan-Contras caper. The fact that the conjurer-in-chief of that spurious "evidence" on Iranian "moderates," former chief CIA analyst, later director Robert Gates, was recently offered the newly created position of director of national intelligence makes the flashback more eerie -- and alarming.

George H. W. Bush Saw Through "The Crazies"

During his term in office, George H. W. Bush, with the practical advice of his national security adviser Gen. Brent Scowcroft and Secretary of State James Baker, was able to keep "the crazies" at arms length, preventing them from getting the country into serious trouble. They were kept well below the level of "principal" -- that is, below the level of secretary of state or defense.

Even so, heady in the afterglow of victory in the Gulf War of 1990, "the crazies" stirred up considerable controversy when they articulated their radical views. Their vision, for instance, became the centerpiece of the draft "Defense Planning Guidance" that Paul Wolfowitz, de facto dean of the neoconservatives, prepared in 1992 for then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney. It dismissed deterrence as an outdated relic of the Cold War and argued that the United States must maintain military strength beyond conceivable challenge -- and use it in preemptive ways in dealing with those who might acquire "weapons of mass destruction." Sound familiar?

Aghast at this radical imperial strategy for the post-Cold War world, someone with access to the draft leaked it to the New York Times , forcing President George H. W. Bush either to endorse or disavow it. Disavow it he did -- and quickly, on the cooler-head recommendations of Scowcroft and Baker, who proved themselves a bulwark against the hubris and megalomania of "the crazies." Unfortunately, their vision did not die. No less unfortunately, there is method to their madness -- even if it threatens to spell eventual disaster for our country. Empires always overreach and fall.

The Return of the Neocons

In 2001, the new President Bush brought the neocons back and put them in top policymaking positions. Even former Assistant Secretary of State Elliot Abrams, convicted in October 1991 of lying to Congress and then pardoned by George H. W. Bush, was called back and put in charge of Middle East policy in the White House. In January, he was promoted to the influential post (once occupied by Robert Gates) of deputy assistant to the president for national security affairs. From that senior position Abrams will once again be dealing closely with John Negroponte, an old colleague from rogue-elephant Contra War days, who has now been picked to be the first director of national intelligence.

Those of us who -- like Colin Powell -- had front-row seats during the 1980s are far too concerned to dismiss the re-emergence of the neocons as a simple case of déjà vu . They are much more dangerous now. Unlike in the eighties, they are the ones crafting the adventurous policies our sons and daughters are being called on to implement.

Why dwell on this? Because it is second in importance only to the portentous reality that the earth is running out of readily accessible oil – something of which they are all too aware. Not surprisingly then, disguised beneath the weapons-of-mass-destruction smokescreen they laid down as they prepared to invade Iraq lay an unspoken but bedrock reason for the war -- oil. In any case, the neocons seem to believe that, in the wake of the November election, they now have a carte-blanche "mandate." And with the president's new "capital to spend," they appear determined to spend it, sooner rather than later.

Next Stop, Iran

When a Special Forces platoon leader just back from Iraq matter-of-factly tells a close friend of mine, as happened last week, that he and his unit are now training their sights (literally) on Iran, we need to take that seriously. It provides us with a glimpse of reality as seen at ground level. For me, it brought to mind an unsolicited email I received from the father of a young soldier training at Fort Benning in the spring of 2002, soon after I wrote an op-ed discussing the timing of George W. Bush's decision to make war on Iraq. The father informed me that, during the spring of 2002, his son kept writing home saying his unit was training to go into Iraq. No, said the father; you mean Afghanistan... that's where the war is, not Iraq. In his next email, the son said, "No, Dad, they keep saying Iraq. I asked them and that's what they mean."

Now, apparently, they keep saying Iran ; and that appears to be what they mean.

Anecdotal evidence like this is hardly conclusive. Put it together with administration rhetoric and a preponderance of other "dots," though, and everything points in the direction of an air attack on Iran, possibly also involving some ground forces. Indeed, from the New Yorker reports of Seymour Hersh to Washington Post articles , accounts of small-scale American intrusions on the ground as well as into Iranian airspace are appearing with increasing frequency. In a speech given on February 18, former UN arms inspector and Marine officer Scott Ritter (who was totally on target before the Iraq War on that country's lack of weapons of mass destruction) claimed that the president has already "signed off" on plans to bomb Iran in June in order to destroy its alleged nuclear weapons program and eventually bring about "regime change." This does not necessarily mean an automatic green light for a large attack in June, but it may signal the president's seriousness about this option.

So, again, against the background of what we have witnessed over the past four years, and the troubling fact that the circle of second-term presidential advisers has become even tighter, we do well to inject a strong note of urgency into any discussion of the "Iranian option."

Why Would Iran Want Nukes?

So why would Iran think it has to acquire nuclear weapons? Sen. Richard Lugar, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was asked this on a Sunday talk show a few months ago. Apparently having a senior moment, he failed to give the normal answer. Instead, he replied, "Well, you know, Israel has..." At that point, he caught himself and abruptly stopped.

Recovering quickly and realizing that he could not just leave the word "Israel" hanging there, Lugar began again: "Well, Israel is alleged to have a nuclear capability."

Is alleged to have ? Lugar is chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and yet he doesn't know that Israel has, by most estimates, a major nuclear arsenal, consisting of several hundred nuclear weapons? (Mainstream newspapers are allergic to dwelling on this topic, but it is mentioned every now and then, usually buried in obscurity on an inside page.)

Just imagine how the Iranians and Syrians would react to Lugar's disingenuousness. Small wonder our highest officials and lawmakers -- and Lugar, remember, is one of the most decent among them -- are widely seen abroad as hypocritical. Our media, of course, ignore the hypocrisy. This is standard operating procedure when the word "Israel" is spoken in this or other unflattering contexts. And the objections of those appealing for a more balanced approach are quashed.

If the truth be told, Iran fears Israel at least as much as Israel fears the internal security threat posed by the thugs supported by Tehran. Iran's apprehension is partly fear that Israel (with at least tacit support from the Bush administration) will send its aircraft to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities, just as American-built Israeli bombers destroyed the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak in 1981. As part of the current war of nerves, recent statements by the president and vice president can be read as giving a green light to Israel to do just that; while Israeli Air Force commander Major General Eliezer Shakedi told reporters on February 21 that Israel must be prepared for an air strike on Iran "in light of its nuclear activity."

US-Israel Nexus

The Iranians also remember how Israel was able to acquire and keep its nuclear technology. Much of it was stolen from the United States by spies for Israel. As early as the late-1950s, Washington knew Israel was building the bomb and could have aborted the project. Instead, American officials decided to turn a blind eye and let the Israelis go ahead. Now Israel's nuclear capability is truly formidable. Still, it is a fact of strategic life that a formidable nuclear arsenal can be deterred by a far more modest one, if an adversary has the means to deliver it. (Look at North Korea's success with, at best, a few nuclear weapons and questionable means of delivery in deterring the "sole remaining superpower in the world.") And Iran already has missiles with the range to hit Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Sharon has for some time appeared eager to enlist Washington's support for an early "pre-emptive" strike on Iran. Indeed, American defense officials have told reporters that visiting Israeli officials have been pressing the issue for the past year and a half. And the Israelis are now claiming publicly that Iran could have a nuclear weapon within six months -- years earlier than the Defense Intelligence Agency estimate mentioned above.

In the past, President Bush has chosen to dismiss unwelcome intelligence estimates as "guesses" -- especially when they threatened to complicate decisions to implement the neoconservative agenda. It is worth noting that several of the leading neocons – Richard Perle, chair of the Defense Policy Board (2001-03); Douglas Feith, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy; and David Wurmser, Middle East adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney -- actually wrote policy papers for the Israeli government during the 1990s. They have consistently had great difficulty distinguishing between the strategic interests of Israel and those of the US -- at least as they imagine them.

As for President Bush, over the past four years he has amply demonstrated his preference for the counsel of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon who, as Gen. Scowcroft said publicly , has the president "wrapped around his little finger." (As Chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board until he was unceremoniously removed at the turn of the year, Scowcroft was in a position to know.) If Scowcroft is correct in also saying that the president has been "mesmerized" by Sharon, it seems possible that the Israelis already have successfully argued for an attack on Iran.

When "Regime Change" Meant Overthrow For Oil

To remember why the United States is no favorite in Tehran, one needs to go back at least to 1953 when the U.S. and Great Britain overthrew Iran's democratically elected Premier Mohammad Mossadeq as part of a plan to insure access to Iranian oil. They then emplaced the young Shah in power who, with his notorious secret police, proved second to none in cruelty. The Shah ruled from 1953 to 1979. Much resentment can build up over a whole generation. His regime fell like a house of cards, when supporters of Ayatollah Khomeini rose up to do some regime change of their own.

Iranians also remember Washington's strong support for Saddam Hussein's Iraq after it decided to make war on Iran in 1980. U.S. support for Iraq (which included crucial intelligence support for the war and an implicit condoning of Saddam's use of chemical weapons) was perhaps the crucial factor in staving off an Iranian victory. Imagine then, the threat Iranians see, should the Bush administration succeed in establishing up to 14 permanent military bases in neighboring Iraq. Any Iranian can look at a map of the Middle East (including occupied Iraq) and conclude that this administration might indeed be willing to pay the necessary price in blood and treasure to influence what happens to the black gold under Iranian as well as Iraqi sands. And with four more years to play with, a lot can be done along those lines. The obvious question is: How to deter it? Well, once again, Iran can hardly be blind to the fact that a small nation like North Korea has so far deterred U.S. action by producing, or at least claiming to have produced, nuclear weapons.

Nuclear Is the Nub

The nuclear issue is indeed paramount, and we would do well to imagine and craft fresh approaches to the nub of the problem. As a start, I'll bet if you made a survey, only 20% of Americans would answer "yes" to the question, "Does Israel have nuclear weapons?" That is key, it seems to me, because at their core Americans are still fair-minded people.

On the other hand, I'll bet that 95% of the Iranian population would answer, "Of course Israel has nuclear weapons; that's why we Iranians need them" -- which was, of course, the unmentionable calculation that Senator Lugar almost conceded. "And we also need them," many Iranians would probably say, "in order to deter 'the crazies' in Washington. It seems to be working for the North Koreans, who, after all, are the other remaining point on President Bush's 'axis of evil.'"

The ideal approach would, of course, be to destroy all nuclear weapons in the world and ban them for the future, with a very intrusive global inspection regime to verify compliance. A total ban is worth holding up as an ideal, and I think we must. But this approach seems unlikely to bear fruit over the next four years. So what then?

A Nuclear-Free Middle East

How about a nuclear-free Middle East? Could the US make that happen? We could if we had moral clarity -- the underpinning necessary to bring it about. Each time this proposal is raised, the Syrians, for example, clap their hands in feigned joyful anticipation, saying, "Of course such a pact would include Israel, right?" The issue is then dropped from all discussion by U.S. policymakers. Required: not only moral clarity but also what Thomas Aquinas labeled the precondition for all virtue, courage. In this context, courage would include a refusal to be intimidated by inevitable charges of anti-Semitism.

The reality is that, except for Israel, the Middle East is nuclear free. But the discussion cannot stop there. It is not difficult to understand why the first leaders of Israel, with the Holocaust experience written indelibly on their hearts and minds, and feeling surrounded by perceived threats to the fledgling state's existence, wanted the bomb. And so, before the Syrians or Iranians, for example, get carried away with self-serving applause for the nuclear-free Middle East proposal, they will have to understand that for any such negotiation to succeed it must have as a concomitant aim the guarantee of an Israel able to live in peace and protect itself behind secure borders. That guarantee has got to be part of the deal.

That the obstacles to any such agreement are formidable is no excuse not trying. But the approach would have to be new and everything would have to be on the table. Persisting in a state of denial about Israel's nuclear weapons is dangerously shortsighted; it does nothing but aggravate fears among the Arabs and create further incentive for them to acquire nuclear weapons of their own.

A sensible approach would also have to include a willingness to engage the Iranians directly, attempt to understand their perspective, and discern what the United States and Israel could do to alleviate their concerns.

Preaching to Iran and others about not acquiring nuclear weapons is, indeed, like the village drunk preaching sobriety -- the more so as our government keeps developing new genres of nuclear weapons and keeps looking the other way as Israel enhances its own nuclear arsenal. Not a pretty moral picture, that. Indeed, it reminds me of the Scripture passage about taking the plank out of your own eye before insisting that the speck be removed from another's.

Lessons from the Past...Like Mutual Deterrence

Has everyone forgotten that deterrence worked for some 40 years, while for most of those years the U.S. and the USSR had not by any means lost their lust for ever-enhanced nuclear weapons? The point is simply that, while engaging the Iranians bilaterally and searching for more imaginative nuclear-free proposals, the U.S. might adopt a more patient interim attitude regarding the striving of other nation states to acquire nuclear weapons -- bearing in mind that the Bush administration's policies of "preemption" and "regime change" themselves create powerful incentives for exactly such striving. As was the case with Iraq two years ago, there is no imminent Iranian strategic threat to Americans -- or, in reality, to anyone. Even if Iran acquired a nuclear capability, there is no reason to believe that it would risk a suicidal first strike on Israel. That, after all, is what mutual deterrence is all about; it works both ways.

It is nonetheless clear that the Israelis' sense of insecurity -- however exaggerated it may seem to those of us thousands of miles away -- is not synthetic but real. The Sharon government appears to regard its nuclear monopoly in the region as the only effective "deterrence insurance" it can buy. It is determined to prevent its neighbors from acquiring the kind of capability that could infringe on the freedom it now enjoys to carry out military and other actions in the area. Government officials have said that Israel will not let Iran acquire a nuclear weapon; it would be folly to dismiss this as bravado. The Israelis have laid down a marker and mean to follow through -- unless the Bush administration assumes the attitude that "preemption" is an acceptable course for the United States but not for Israel. It seems unlikely that the neoconservatives would take that line. Rather

"Israel Is Our Ally."

Or so said our president before the cameras on February 17, 2005. But I didn't think we had a treaty of alliance with Israel; I don't remember the Senate approving one. Did I miss something?

Clearly, the longstanding U.S.-Israeli friendship and the ideals we share dictate continuing support for Israel's defense and security. It is quite another thing, though, to suggest the existence of formal treaty obligations that our country does not have. To all intents and purposes, our policymakers -- from the president on down -- seem to speak and behave on the assumption that we do have such obligations toward Israel. A former colleague CIA analyst, Michael Scheuer, author of Imperial Hubris , has put it this way: "The Israelis have succeeded in lacing tight the ropes binding the American Gulliver to Israel and its policies."

An earlier American warned:

"A passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation facilitates the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, infuses into one the enmities of the other, and betrays the former into participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification.... It also gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens, who devote themselves to the favorite nation, facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country." ( George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796 )

In my view, our first president's words apply only too aptly to this administration's lash-up with the Sharon government. As responsible citizens we need to overcome our timidity about addressing this issue, lest our fellow Americans continue to be denied important information neglected or distorted in our domesticated media.

Ray McGovern served as a CIA analyst for 27 years -- from the administration of John F. Kennedy to that of George H. W. Bush. During the early 1980s, he was one of the writers/editors of the President's Daily Brief and briefed it one-on-one to the president's most senior advisers. He also chaired National Intelligence Estimates. In January 2003, he and four former colleagues founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

Copyright 2005 Ray McGovern

[Nov 30, 2016] Secretary of State pick is the biggest test case to see whether Trump, like Obama before him, is going to forget about his populist base and take the carrot Wall Street is offering him

Notable quotes:
"... One thing not mentioned yet, is Trump getting slammed by his populist base for his Secretary of State picks, which seem to come down to Romney and Giuliani. Romney is the worst of Wall Street, a complete tool of the neoliberal program, and Giuliani has a Hillary Clinton-like record on bloated speaking fees and pay-to-play deals with his law firm, Giuliani Partners. ..."
"... That's the biggest test case to see whether Trump, like Obama before him, is going to forget about his populist base and take the carrot Wall Street is offering him. ..."
"... If Trump really wanted to shake things up, he could pick Tulsi Gabbard for Secretary of State, that would be a clever move, far better than Giuliani or Romney. ..."
www.moonofalabama.org

nonsensefactory | Nov 29, 2016 10:59:10 PM | 75

One thing not mentioned yet, is Trump getting slammed by his populist base for his Secretary of State picks, which seem to come down to Romney and Giuliani. Romney is the worst of Wall Street, a complete tool of the neoliberal program, and Giuliani has a Hillary Clinton-like record on bloated speaking fees and pay-to-play deals with his law firm, Giuliani Partners. Either one of those clowns as Secretary of State would be a complete betrayal of everything Trump said he stood for on foreign policy. Romney however is drawing howls of protest from Rust Belt Trump supporters, because he's so pro-NAFTA, pro-TPP:
https://www.thenation.com/article/more-nafta-anyone-romney-positions-free-trade-champion/

That's the biggest test case to see whether Trump, like Obama before him, is going to forget about his populist base and take the carrot Wall Street is offering him. Another big one is whether John Bolton, neocon war pig just like Clinton pals Victoria Nuland and Robert Kagan, ends up with a big foreign policy role. Forget about cooperation with Russia on ISIS in that case. So, those are some serious issues that Trump might want to distract his base from, but they're the major issues that will determine what kind of foreign policy, economic and military, Trump will really pursue.

As far as Jill Stein, what the hell is she doing? The biggest Green Party issue right now should be helping block the Dakota Accesss Pipeline debacle, a consortium of short-sighted interests aiming at exporting Bakken crude overseas, including Warren Buffett, billionaire Democratic supporter, whose in $6 billion to DAPL via Phillips 66, and Kelcy Warren, billionaire Republican supported, CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, another DAPL partner.

Instead she's playing some dumb political game, totally ignoring the one issue any real "Green Party" would be focusing on right now.

nonsensefactory | Nov 29, 2016 11:04:38 PM | 77

P.S. If Trump really wanted to shake things up, he could pick Tulsi Gabbard for Secretary of State, that would be a clever move, far better than Giuliani or Romney.

Here's something on that:
http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/the-administration/307527-tulsi-gabbard-is-the-pick-for-secretary-of-state-not
That would be a real jack move, slapping both the Democratic and Republican establishments, wouldn't it?

[Nov 30, 2016] Trump Loves to Win, But American Generals Have Forgotten How

Notable quotes:
"... By Andrew J. Bacevich, a professor emeritus of history and international relations at Boston University. His most recent book is ..."
"... So, yes, Trump's critique of American generalship possesses merit, but whether he knows it or not, the question truly demanding his attention as the incoming commander-in-chief isn't: Who should I hire (or fire) to fight my wars? Instead, far more urgent is: Does further war promise to solve any of my problems? ..."
"... As a candidate, Trump vowed to "defeat radical Islamic terrorism," destroy ISIS, "decimate al-Qaeda," and "starve funding for Iran-backed Hamas and Hezbollah." Those promises imply a significant escalation of what Americans used to call the Global War on Terrorism. ..."
"... In that regard, his promise to "quickly and decisively bomb the hell out of ISIS" offers a hint of what is to come. ..."
"... To a very considerable extent, Trump defeated Hillary Clinton, preferred candidate of the establishment, because he advertised himself as just the guy disgruntled Americans could count on to drain that swamp. ..."
"... Were Trump really intent on draining that swamp - if he genuinely seeks to "Make America Great Again" - then he would extricate the United States from war. His liquidation of Trump University, which was to higher education what Freedom's Sentinel and Inherent Resolve are to modern warfare, provides a potentially instructive precedent for how to proceed. ..."
"... Celebrity Apprentice ..."
"... Which brings us, finally, to that third question: To the extent that deficiencies at the top of the military hierarchy do affect the outcome of wars, what can be done to fix the problem? ..."
"... The most expeditious approach: purge all currently serving three- and four-star officers; then, make a precondition for promotion to those ranks confinement in a reeducation camp run by Iraq and Afghanistan war amputees, with a curriculum designed by Veterans for Peace . Graduation should require each student to submit an essay reflecting on these words of wisdom from U.S. Grant himself: "There never was a time when, in my opinion, some way could not be found to prevent the drawing of the sword." ..."
"... this is the double failure of Washington. You might give them some credit if they were competent imperialists. But they are the worst of all worlds. They are reckless imperialists who can't even achieve their own stated aims with a modicum of competence. Real imperialists of the past would be rolling around laughing at this lot. ..."
"... They're not imperialists, they're corporatists. Graft is the object, and given that construction companies like Halliburton and mercs like Xe don't bankroll Ds, and since bombing campaigns are easy to keep up/out of the news, the money has now shifted to drones. ..."
"... I think they are imperialists in the sense that, as William Appleman Williams and others have argued, their primary orienting goal is to extend and sustain the US dominance of a world market. ..."
"... If you read what US foreign policy and military planners were saying in after WW2, that's an inescapable conclusion. Your focus on the corporation takes as a given what those planners have felt they need to strategically and militarily secure. Bacevich consistently avoids this issue and so ends up promoting a naive and implicitly hopeful view of US motives and the flexibility with which they can be pursued. ..."
"... It's really quite something to go back and read Dean Acheson testifying to a congressional committee that, unlike the Soviet Union, the US requires steady expansion of the world market to survive. He sounds like Rosa Luxemburg. ..."
"... The US is a nation of racketeers, which are perfecting the corruption of services into means of converting tax revenue into private profits. Some of these services are in fact essential, all have been – at least until recently – unassailable regardless of merit. Examples are housing, education, health care, private transportation and of course "national security". The rackets trace back to the exceptional US economic circumstances of WW2, and the leading racket was well established at the end of the Eisenhower presidency (his CYA address notwithstanding). ..."
"... For the "self-licking ice-cream cone" of military/security/intelligence/public safety expenditures to continue to grow exponentially, it is not only unnecessary for the tax-purchased services and goods to be functional, let alone deliver results – it is positively counterproductive. The question is not whether any captured government institution is dysfunctional, the question is merely whether and how the profitability it delivers to the "accounting control frauds" in charge of the incumbents can be increased. ..."
"... Success in any enterprise requires the definition of a goal. I believe that the goal of U.S. military action in MENA is two-fold: display fealty to Israel and the kings of the Arabian Peninsula; and to grow the corporate coffers of the MIC here at home. Defined in that way, the U.S. military has "hit it outta da park." Winning? Winning was a pipe dream of the likes of Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz. Cheney knew better and took GWB along for a ride. ..."
"... I am highly suspicious that publicly stated goals of the wars were the actual targets. My take is that the actual goal has always been to keep those places in chaos; on US terms and under its control. with a safe US military base to punch those second-rate nations if necessary; By that measure, I believe both the Iraq and Afghan invasions were a success but they cannot pat each other's backs publicly. ..."
"... I think that may have been his point, albeit delivered obliquely, as in his statement that "some wars should not be fought"; his quote from Grant, "There never was a time when, in my opinion, some way could not be found to prevent the drawing of the sword", as well as elsewhere in the piece. ..."
"... Drain the swamp indeed, extricate the military from our national misadventures and retire the top brass more intent on career advancement that the true needs of the nation. Problems solved and we can move on as a nation. Will the world fall apart, if true men and women of honor step forward, I highly doubt it. ..."
"... Pretty radical stuff actually, but something that resonates with many people, people without a voice. Change will come from within the military, and it is refreshing to hear words of sanity form those inside the military system-Tulsi Gabbard for one. ..."
"... There isn't too much of an incentive to win if you're a careerist either which many of them are since the military is a giant welfare program/bureaucracy largely based on licking boots to advance. It might be nice to add another accolade to that fat stack of attendance ribbons on their chests but that's all it is. Also, even if you were super serious about winning the war look at what happened to Shinseki when he clashed with the civilian leadership over the numbers of troops needed to pacify Iraq post-war. He was marginalized and finally canned altogether. ..."
"... James P. Levy , Ph.D. FRHistS, a man who never hid behind a goddamned nom de plume ..."
"... Bacevich has made the point (as have others) that when the draft was eliminated voters no longer had skin in the game and became ambivalent which is why the founding fathers set up the system with the citizen soldier as a cornerstone principle. ..."
"... Andrew Bacevich, as usual, writes a great article. But Grant and Sherman benefited from having a war with a clear goal: destroy the Confederate army and its government. I hesitate to call anything happening with the US in the Middle East or North Africa or SE Asia a "war" of that nature. There are no clear objectives. There are no criteria for an end of the conflict. ..."
"... Instead, this looks a whole lot more like the North's occupation of the South during Reconstruction. We all know how that ended: the North had to pull itself out after an economic depression, more or less leading to a reign of terror through Jim Crow. ..."
"... You make a good, concise case for what the real objectives are for these unending expensive wars. Of course, this level of clarity re these goals are seldom stated to the populace at large. Rather we're mostly fed bullshit about terrrrists and being kept "safe" and other noodleheaded claptrap. ..."
"... Yes, as I said above, the neocons objective have been an abject failure. They display incompetence at all levels. And yet nobody pays the price. And the fact that the neocons don't try to fire the generals who failed (as numerous political leaders in the past have done) is a reflection of both their incompetence and the fact that the wars have become the ultimate in self licking ice creams. ..."
"... Ordinary people make the mistake of believing that the current crop of leaders have their interests in mind at all. They do not. If Clintons Public/Private mumbo jumbo didn't clear you of that thinking I don't know what will. ..."
"... The proper way to think about these things is the neocon plan is succeeding wonderfully but they are truly too short sighted- i.e. stupid in the long term- to understand the consequences. They understand short term profit completely and how to dispense physical power but little else. Consequences and payback are externalized in their world ..."
"... 30 years in lockup for Chelsea Manning is a warning for those, I suspect, who want to say "enough is enough." I also believe that your ability to move up the hierarchy to make those decisions to keep fighting is determined by your willingness to continue to see through the neoliberal project. ..."
"... I disagree to the extent that the ideological neocons had a very clearly stated and unambiguous strategic purpose – re-engineering the world as America's corporate playground, with any possible competitor (i.e. Russia and China) firmly penned in. This meant replacing all the mid-size States which were still refusing to be part of the Washington Consensus. ..."
"... Its no secret or mystery about what they were seeking. In this, they have failed – Afghanistan remains in chaos, Iraq is more Iran controlled than US controlled, Iran still refuses to come to heel, and Russia and China are making increasing inroads to Central Asia, eastern Europe, Africa and South America. The neocon project is slowly unravelling, with Trump hopefully about to put it out of its misery. ..."
"... There are now more people in Washington who's job depends on finding more wars to fight than there are people employed to stop wars. This is the neocons fault, but its not the neocons project – they are just useful idiots for the profiteers. ..."
"... I don't make a distinction between the neocons and the profiteers. The worst possible outcome from this neocon disaster would be for the profiteers, the rentiers, to be able to reconstitute their hold over society- or to hold onto it for that matter. What will it take, complete destruction of the biosphere for people to understand that cooperation is the only means of survival? ..."
"... Part of the problem with the U.S military is that the Army sees enemy #2 as the Air Force and Navy. Gotta get those dollars. Another problem is that the U.S fails at the oft quote dictum of Sun Tzu, know yourself and know your enemy. ..."
"... In America's defense they are great at logistics side of war. ..."
"... Generals and admirals are all adept politicians and bureaucrats. they have to be to get to that level in the structure. War-fighters, no so much, with few exceptions, https://fabiusmaximus.com/2008/01/14/millennium-challenge/ . ..."
"... It's long seemed to me one of the many failings of the species is that some of us produce wise counsel that actually looks to the horizon and beyond, like the fundamental questions articulated by Sun Tzu about whether to commit the peasants who pay for it to a prolonged foreign war with long supply lines that will bankrupt the nation - http://classics.mit.edu/Tzu/artwar.html . And then the idiot few that gain, psychically or monetarily, from conflict, blow that kind of fundamental test of wisdom off and "go to war" or more accurately "send other people to hack and blast each other while the senders get rich." ..."
"... So is it just the inevitable case that Empires rise up, loot, murder, grow the usual huge corrupt capitals and the militaries to support the looting and keep the mopes in line, and finally succumb to some kind of wasting disease where all the corruption and interest-seeking honeycombs and finally collapses the structure? Is there no other way for humans to organize, because so many of us have the drive to dominate and to grab all the pleasure and stuff we can get away with? ..."
"... I've grown up hearing commentaries that echo this one as relating to our foreign policy adventures since WWII, and if you take a results oriented approach, they're probably true. But having gone to school for foreign policy work and talking to people who were involved with the foreign policy apparatus (doing the leg work, not the people at the top who basically have no idea what they're doing), I've become more and more convinced that it's simply incompetence. ..."
"... I think that the people dictating policy are basically a bunch of Tom Friedmans, who are utterly convinced that their empirically wrong views about how policy is executed are correct. Look at Iraq in the aftermath. Not only did they get not understand that the Sunnis and Shia might not have the best of intentions towards each other, but US companies aren't even getting all the plum oil contracts. Now surely a country that guarantees the security of the Iraqi elite could ensure that it's own companies got the best deals? ..."
"... First and foremost the US is the greatest spender in weapons, and why does anyone spend in weapons if there is not plan to use them? The first objective is to use the weapons and avoid piling a dusting mountain of missiles, bombs, or any other kind of armament. Many wars are mainly the testing battlefields for new weaponry. ..."
"... Spreading fear might not be the best strategy but is has clearly been one of the main objectives in some cases, particularly Iraq. ..."
"... The best case of a president looking for an excuse to use the weapons and spread fear was G.W. Bush and Iraq v2.0. The fact that Bush excuses were clumsily manufactured and exposed without shame in the UN is a feature. It means: when we decide that we will attack you nothing will stop us. No democratic control and no international rules can stop us. ..."
"... The Bush Administration arrogantly assumed that all peoples are enough alike that they can be rescued the same way as Western Europeans were - after the Nazis were driven off. This premis was an epic error for the ages. The entire Washington establishment - to include the Pentagon - and the MSM went along with this premis. In many ways they STILL buy into it. ..."
"... You never read MSM articles questioning whether Iraqis or Afghans can buy into republican democracy. The assumption is that the whole world is waiting with baited breath to achieve this Western political-cultural ideal. ..."
"... The correct solution, in 2009, was to NOT expand Afghan operations. I spent many an hour arguing the folly of said expansion. It was inevitable that after any expansion there would be a massive draw down - which would destablize the Kabul government. ..."
"... Pull out of Syria entirely. Stop funding al Nusrah - which is an acknowledged branch of al Qaeda. Egypt has entered the conflict on the side of Assad, Iran and Russia, most recently. The "White Hats" are a fraud. ..."
"... US is caught in a typical occupation trap, where they want a subservient regime that is under their control. Subservient regimes are subservient because they lack a large power base and are dependent on their foreign backers. A subservient regime with a power base does not stay subservient for long, they quickly develop an independent streak at which point you have to overthrow them and install a different, weaker regime. ..."
"... Stabilizing a subservient regime with a weak power base requires US presence and boots on the ground. A subservient regime with a strong power base that can support itself quickly stops being subservient and has to be replaced. A "victory", where US troops would not be necessary for the regime support, means loss of control over the regime. ..."
"... So US is stuck in a loop. Political considerations force them to build up a regime to a point of independence, only to have to tear it down when it looks like it might go against American interests. US military takes the blame because they have to fight the latest insurgent group CIA built up to effect regime change. ..."
"... I would never gainsay that many technocratic, careerist general officers might be looking for ways to enhance their glory and bid up their asking price for CNN slots and board positions at Lockheed Martin. But the swamp you seek to drain has an apex predator; wealthy and powerful civilians. I seem to recall some generals, Eric Shinseki and Jay Garner come to mind, who tried to bring a little truth to power and avoid the biggest mistakes of the Iraq war. ..."
"... Eisenhower's prophecy has metastasized so deeply into the body politic, only a profound change in the views of the citizenry could possibly make a difference. Short of economic or military upheaval, it's hard to see how do we do this when our best paying jobs are strategically sprinkled across the country, making every procurement and every base sacrosanct to even the most liberal, libertarian or even peace-nick politicians? So, isn't the swamp much larger that the military officer corps? Drain this one part, and it would fill back in rather quickly if that was the main thrust of our attack on this nightmare. ..."
"... I suspect Trump is headed to the White House partly because a significant number of people concluded that social upheaval will be hastened by his administration, and that the consequences, whatever they may be, will be worth bearing so that we can rebuild on the ashes of the neoliberal/neoconservative era. ..."
"... Trump played the rubes about safety with his vitriolic Anti-Muslim rhetoric. Although Trump claimed not to want to continue the wars, I seriously doubt he'll do one damn thing to make improvements in this regard. ..."
"... Only Mussolini and Goering had a leg up on MacArthur regarding bling. ..."
"... Unfolding the Future of the Long War, a 2008 RAND Corporation report, was sponsored by the US Army Training and Doctrine Command's Army Capability Integration Centre. It set out US government policy options for prosecuting what it described as "the long war" against "adversaries" in "the Muslim world," who are "bent on forming a unified Islamic world to supplant Western dominance". ..."
"... Well, the US military's performance in WW1 and WW2, often against weak opposition, was less than stunning. They won their battles with massively superior firepower, for the most part. ..."
"... But the real problem does, indeed, lie in Washington; Accepting that the US strategy in Iraq, for example, was indeed to create a pliable, pro-western democratic state, it's not clear that there was actually much the military could do when it started to unravel because of the inherent stupidity of the idea. ..."
"... Nor should we overlook the resulting body count. Since the autumn of 2001, something like 370,000 combatants and noncombatants have been killed in the various theaters of operations where U.S. forces have been active. Although modest by twentieth century standards, this post-9/11 harvest of death is hardly trivial. ..."
"... A dozen terrorism scholars gave a wide range of answers when asked to estimate how many members there are, how the numbers have changed during al Qaeda's lifespan and how many countries the group operates in. Analysts put the core membership at anywhere from 200 to 1,000 ..."
"... Instead it was scaled up into stupid endless Perpetual War without achievable objectives. In retrospect divide $5T by 200-1,000 and consider how little it may have cost if 9/11 had been treated as a criminal act by non-state actors, instead of sticking our foot into the role of destabilizing other sovereign countries, killing /antagonizing the citizens and generally fking up their countries?? ..."
"... I think the US is falling into the old imperialist trap of thinking of these places as countries with capital cities and leaders recognized as such by the population. The British had that issue in the 1770s when they captured the capital(s) of the new US but the revolution didn't stop. External superpower (French) support was able to keep the resistance functioning and the British eventually gave up. Both of those superpowers kept duking it out on other battlefields for another 30 years. ..."
"... The nearest analog to what the US is trying to do in all these places is a lot like the imposition of the Spanish Empire; total destruction of native culture and replacement with Roman forms. The places the Spanish controlled are still broken, so don't look for success in this endeavor anytime soon ..."
"... The nearest analog to what the US is trying to do in all these places is a lot like the imposition of the Spanish Empire ..."
"... Say what you want about the British Empire, but they did leave behind functioning legal and political systems in most of the countries they controlled. In India's case, they also left them a common language since there are so many languages there. Many of the countries remained in the Commonwealth after independence which is something that none of the other colonial powers achieved. ..."
"... I think the key was the British focused on empire as an extension of commerce, not ideology (they already knew they were superior, so they didn't have to prove it, which allows for pragmatism). In the end, when it was clear that they couldn't hold on, they backed out more gracefully than many other empires. ..."
"... The military-industrial complex has perfected the art of putting parts of the design, manufacturing, testing, and deployment of these programs into just about Congressional District so that everybody wants their constituents to have a shot at one part of the trough. ..."
"... This is how empires fall. Asymmetrical economic and military warfare against entrenched bureaucracies and corruption. ..."
"... Sounds like the lament of an aging mafia don that's forgotten what he's talking about is illegal. "Why can't our generals pull off a good old-fashioned smash and grab like they used to? They must be incompetent!" ..."
"... So I don't think an old-fashioned smash & grab has been the goal for a long time. For decades (ever since WWII?) we've been trying to regime change our way to the goal of every Hollywood mad scientist and super-villian: everlasting world dominance. ..."
"... So while China and Russia aim for Eurasian integration, we're all about it's disintegration. We're also determined to keep the EU from ever threatening our dominance. South America is slipping the yoke, but we haven't given up. ..."
"... Here in the "Homeland" (genuflects), on the "home front," in the domestic "battle space," it's important to realize that when the Pentagon says "full-spectrum dominance," that means us, comrades. Wall-to-wall surveillance? Check. POTUS power to execute or disappear dissidents? Check. Torture enshrined in secret laws and the public mind? Check. ..."
"... Obama never renounced FSD. AFAIK it's still the strategy. Why doesn't the esteemed colonel frame his analysis in terms of our official defense posture? Are we any closer to FSD, or not? ..."
"... I'll be impressed when the colonel starts calling our wars crimes against humanity and for their immediate cessation and full reparations. "Moar better generals" will not succeed at accomplishing a basically insane strategy. Until then, I'll file Bacevich under "modified limited hangout." ..."
"... Agreed. I was surprised, too. Of course, it's the working class children in the flyover states who join the military and go to war, and come back maimed or with PTSD to a rotten job market. So that may have been politically astute on Trump's part and, if so, good for him. ..."
"... Let's be brutally frank. The US both wants an empire, but also wants to pretend it is encouraging democracy everywhere. Objectives where the result is deceitful and duplicitous behavior. Ask the Indians about the methods, or the beneficiaries of the "Monroe Doctrine." The British wanted an empire. A simple objective. If you are not England, you are a colony, and we, the English, make the rules. At the heart of American activities is a kernel of deceit. Self determination for people, but only if you do what we say. The kernel of deceit poisons every walk of life connected to Washington. Every single one. ..."
"... The US is called the empire of chaos. It could also be called the empire of Deceit. Do as we say, but we are not taking any responsibility for you if you do what we say. Don't do what we say, and we will fund your opposition until they stuff a dagger up you ass. ..."
"... Think about Democrats using identity politics to claim religious fervor and war used to show being strong on defense. With both political parties using corruption to align power and control at home and abroad. Choosing your enemies carefully, for you will become them. ..."
"... The US military was the first part of the government to be turned into a business, the first neo-liberal institution created in America. The real problem is that the US military is run by managers and not soldiers. The Germans used to make fun of the British Army in WWI by calling it an army of lions led by donkeys. The US military is an army of lions led by managers. ..."
"... If Andrew is looking for a denouement to the Military Industrial complex then one need look no further than the British empire – specifically what made it shrink and shrivel very rapidly. WWI and WWII. The decimation of the economy and the inability to keep spending money to maintain empire is what reversed the entire machine. It will be the same with the US as well. ..."
Nov 30, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Posted on November 29, 2016 by Yves Smith By Andrew J. Bacevich, a professor emeritus of history and international relations at Boston University. His most recent book is America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History. Originally published at TomDispatch

President-elect Donald Trump's message for the nation's senior military leadership is ambiguously unambiguous. Here is he on 60 Minutes just days after winning the election.

In reality, Trump, the former reality show host, knows next to nothing about ISIS, one of many gaps in his education that his impending encounter with actual reality is likely to fill. Yet when it comes to America's generals, our president-to-be is onto something. No doubt our three- and four-star officers qualify as "great" in the sense that they mean well, work hard, and are altogether fine men and women. That they have not "done the job," however, is indisputable - at least if their job is to bring America's wars to a timely and successful conclusion.

Trump's unhappy verdict - that the senior U.S. military leadership doesn't know how to win - applies in spades to the two principal conflicts of the post-9/11 era: the Afghanistan War, now in its 16th year, and the Iraq War, launched in 2003 and (after a brief hiatus) once more grinding on. Yet the verdict applies equally to lesser theaters of conflict, largely overlooked by the American public, that in recent years have engaged the attention of U.S. forces, a list that would include conflicts in Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen.

Granted, our generals have demonstrated an impressive aptitude for moving pieces around on a dauntingly complex military chessboard. Brigades, battle groups, and squadrons shuttle in and out of various war zones, responding to the needs of the moment. The sheer immensity of the enterprise across the Greater Middle East and northern Africa - the sorties flown , munitions expended , the seamless deployment and redeployment of thousands of troops over thousands of miles, the vast stockpiles of material positioned, expended, and continuously resupplied - represents a staggering achievement. Measured by these or similar quantifiable outputs, America's military has excelled. No other military establishment in history could have come close to duplicating the logistical feats being performed year in, year out by the armed forces of the United States.

Nor should we overlook the resulting body count. Since the autumn of 2001, something like 370,000 combatants and noncombatants have been killed in the various theaters of operations where U.S. forces have been active. Although modest by twentieth century standards, this post-9/11 harvest of death is hardly trivial.

Yet in evaluating military operations, it's a mistake to confuse how much with how well . Only rarely do the outcomes of armed conflicts turn on comparative statistics. Ultimately, the one measure of success that really matters involves achieving war's political purposes. By that standard, victory requires not simply the defeat of the enemy, but accomplishing the nation's stated war aims, and not just in part or temporarily but definitively. Anything less constitutes failure, not to mention utter waste for taxpayers, and for those called upon to fight, it constitutes cause for mourning.

By that standard, having been "at war" for virtually the entire twenty-first century, the United States military is still looking for its first win. And however strong the disinclination to concede that Donald Trump could be right about anything, his verdict on American generalship qualifies as apt.

A Never-Ending Parade of Commanders for Wars That Never End

That verdict brings to mind three questions. First, with Trump a rare exception, why have the recurring shortcomings of America's military leadership largely escaped notice? Second, to what degree does faulty generalship suffice to explain why actual victory has proven so elusive? Third, to the extent that deficiencies at the top of the military hierarchy bear directly on the outcome of our wars, how might the generals improve their game?

As to the first question, the explanation is quite simple: During protracted wars, traditional standards for measuring generalship lose their salience. Without pertinent standards, there can be no accountability. Absent accountability, failings and weaknesses escape notice. Eventually, what you've become accustomed to seems tolerable. Twenty-first century Americans inured to wars that never end have long since forgotten that bringing such conflicts to a prompt and successful conclusion once defined the very essence of what generals were expected to do.

Senior military officers were presumed to possess unique expertise in designing campaigns and directing engagements. Not found among mere civilians or even among soldiers of lesser rank, this expertise provided the rationale for conferring status and authority on generals.

In earlier eras, the very structure of wars provided a relatively straightforward mechanism for testing such claims to expertise. Events on the battlefield rendered harsh judgments, creating or destroying reputations with brutal efficiency.

Back then, standards employed in evaluating generalship were clear-cut and uncompromising. Those who won battles earned fame, glory, and the gratitude of their countrymen. Those who lost battles got fired or were put out to pasture.

During the Civil War, for example, Abraham Lincoln did not need an advanced degree in strategic studies to conclude that Union generals like John Pope, Ambrose Burnside, and Joseph Hooker didn't have what it took to defeat the Army of Northern Virginia. Humiliating defeats sustained by the Army of the Potomac at the Second Bull Run, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville made that obvious enough. Similarly, the victories Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman gained at Shiloh, at Vicksburg, and in the Chattanooga campaign strongly suggested that here was the team to which the president could entrust the task of bringing the Confederacy to its knees.

Today, public drunkenness , petty corruption , or sexual shenanigans with a subordinate might land generals in hot water. But as long as they avoid egregious misbehavior, senior officers charged with prosecuting America's wars are largely spared judgments of any sort. Trying hard is enough to get a passing grade.

With the country's political leaders and public conditioned to conflicts seemingly destined to drag on for years, if not decades, no one expects the current general-in-chief in Iraq or Afghanistan to bring things to a successful conclusion. His job is merely to manage the situation until he passes it along to a successor, while duly adding to his collection of personal decorations and perhaps advancing his career.

Today, for example, Army General John Nicholson commands U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan. He's only the latest in a long line of senior officers to preside over that war, beginning with General Tommy Franks in 2001 and continuing with Generals Mikolashek, Barno, Eikenberry, McNeill, McKiernan, McChrystal, Petraeus, Allen, Dunford, and Campbell. The title carried by these officers changed over time. So, too, did the specifics of their "mission" as Operation Enduring Freedom evolved into Operation Freedom's Sentinel. Yet even as expectations slipped lower and lower, none of the commanders rotating through Kabul delivered. Not a single one has, in our president-elect's concise formulation, "done the job." Indeed, it's increasingly difficult to know what that job is, apart from preventing the Taliban from quite literally toppling the government.

In Iraq, meanwhile, Army Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend currently serves as the - count 'em - ninth American to command U.S. and coalition forces in that country since the George W. Bush administration ordered the invasion of 2003. The first in that line, (once again) General Tommy Franks, overthrew the Saddam Hussein regime and thereby broke Iraq. The next five, Generals Sanchez, Casey, Petraeus, Odierno, and Austin, labored for eight years to put it back together again.

At the end of 2011, President Obama declared that they had done just that and terminated the U.S. military occupation. The Islamic State soon exposed Obama's claim as specious when its militants put a U.S.-trained Iraqi army to flight and annexed large swathes of that country's territory. Following in the footsteps of his immediate predecessors Generals James Terry and Sean MacFarland, General Townsend now shoulders the task of trying to restore Iraq's status as a more or less genuinely sovereign state. He directs what the Pentagon calls Operation Inherent Resolve, dating from June 2014, the follow-on to Operation New Dawn (September 2010-December 2011), which was itself the successor to Operation Iraqi Freedom (March 2003-August 2010).

When and how Inherent Resolve will conclude is difficult to forecast. This much we can, however, say with some confidence: with the end nowhere in sight, General Townsend won't be its last commander. Other generals are waiting in the wings with their own careers to polish. As in Kabul, the parade of U.S. military commanders through Baghdad will continue.

For some readers, this listing of mostly forgotten names and dates may have a soporific effect. Yet it should also drive home Trump's point. The United States may today have the world's most powerful and capable military - so at least we are constantly told. Yet the record shows that it does not have a corps of senior officers who know how to translate capability into successful outcomes.

Draining Which Swamp?

That brings us to the second question: Even if commander-in-chief Trump were somehow able to identify modern day equivalents of Grant and Sherman to implement his war plans, secret or otherwise, would they deliver victory?

On that score, we would do well to entertain doubts. Although senior officers charged with running recent American wars have not exactly covered themselves in glory, it doesn't follow that their shortcomings offer the sole or even a principal explanation for why those wars have yielded such disappointing results. The truth is that some wars aren't winnable and shouldn't be fought.

So, yes, Trump's critique of American generalship possesses merit, but whether he knows it or not, the question truly demanding his attention as the incoming commander-in-chief isn't: Who should I hire (or fire) to fight my wars? Instead, far more urgent is: Does further war promise to solve any of my problems?

One mark of a successful business executive is knowing when to cut your losses. It's also the mark of a successful statesman. Trump claims to be the former. Whether his putative business savvy will translate into the world of statecraft remains to be seen. Early signs are not promising.

As a candidate, Trump vowed to "defeat radical Islamic terrorism," destroy ISIS, "decimate al-Qaeda," and "starve funding for Iran-backed Hamas and Hezbollah." Those promises imply a significant escalation of what Americans used to call the Global War on Terrorism.

Toward that end, the incoming administration may well revive some aspects of the George W. Bush playbook, including repopulating the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and "if it's so important to the American people," reinstituting torture. The Trump administration will at least consider re-imposing sanctions on countries like Iran. It may aggressively exploit the offensive potential of cyber-weapons, betting that America's cyber-defenses will hold.

Yet President Trump is also likely to double down on the use of conventional military force. In that regard, his promise to "quickly and decisively bomb the hell out of ISIS" offers a hint of what is to come. His appointment of the uber-hawkish Lieutenant General Michael Flynn as his national security adviser and his rumored selection of retired Marine Corps General James ("Mad Dog") Mattis as defense secretary suggest that he means what he says. In sum, a Trump administration seems unlikely to reexamine the conviction that the problems roiling the Greater Middle East will someday, somehow yield to a U.S.-imposed military solution. Indeed, in the face of massive evidence to the contrary, that conviction will deepen, with genuinely ironic implications for the Trump presidency.

In the immediate wake of 9/11, George W. Bush concocted a fantasy of American soldiers liberating oppressed Afghans and Iraqis and thereby " draining the swamp " that served to incubate anti-Western terrorism. The results achieved proved beyond disappointing, while the costs exacted in terms of lives and dollars squandered were painful indeed. Incrementally, with the passage of time, many Americans concluded that perhaps the swamp most in need of attention was not on the far side of the planet but much closer at hand - right in the imperial city nestled alongside the Potomac River.

To a very considerable extent, Trump defeated Hillary Clinton, preferred candidate of the establishment, because he advertised himself as just the guy disgruntled Americans could count on to drain that swamp.

Yet here's what too few of those Americans appreciate, even today: war created that swamp in the first place. War empowers Washington. It centralizes. It provides a rationale for federal authorities to accumulate and exercise new powers. It makes government bigger and more intrusive. It lubricates the machinery of waste, fraud, and abuse that causes tens of billions of taxpayer dollars to vanish every year. When it comes to sustaining the swamp, nothing works better than war.

Were Trump really intent on draining that swamp - if he genuinely seeks to "Make America Great Again" - then he would extricate the United States from war. His liquidation of Trump University, which was to higher education what Freedom's Sentinel and Inherent Resolve are to modern warfare, provides a potentially instructive precedent for how to proceed.

But don't hold your breath on that one. All signs indicate that, in one fashion or another, our combative next president will perpetuate the wars he's inheriting. Trump may fancy that, as a veteran of Celebrity Apprentice (but not of military service), he possesses a special knack for spotting the next Grant or Sherman. But acting on that impulse will merely replenish the swamp in the Greater Middle East along with the one in Washington. And soon enough, those who elected him with expectations of seeing the much-despised establishment dismantled will realize that they've been had.

Which brings us, finally, to that third question: To the extent that deficiencies at the top of the military hierarchy do affect the outcome of wars, what can be done to fix the problem?

The most expeditious approach: purge all currently serving three- and four-star officers; then, make a precondition for promotion to those ranks confinement in a reeducation camp run by Iraq and Afghanistan war amputees, with a curriculum designed by Veterans for Peace . Graduation should require each student to submit an essay reflecting on these words of wisdom from U.S. Grant himself: "There never was a time when, in my opinion, some way could not be found to prevent the drawing of the sword."

True, such an approach may seem a bit draconian. But this is no time for half-measures - as even Donald Trump may eventually recognize.

DanB November 29, 2016 at 9:05 am

As much s I have appreciated Bacevich's views over the past decade, my reaction to this is that he's asking the wrong questions. Just what would a "victory" in these imperial interventions look like? Does he really think our military is protecting our nation? I don't.

PlutoniumKun November 29, 2016 at 10:21 am

I believe his point is narrower. Victory in Afghanistan and Iraq would (in the eyes of the establishment) have involved the pacification of those countries with pro-capitalist and pro-western nominally democratic governments in charge (i.e. puppets). That is what the explicit and implicit aim of those invasions was to be. The military was charged with achieving those ends, and they failed (as they've failed elsewhere). And yet, even by the criteria set by the establishment, there has been zero accountability.

And this is the double failure of Washington. You might give them some credit if they were competent imperialists. But they are the worst of all worlds. They are reckless imperialists who can't even achieve their own stated aims with a modicum of competence. Real imperialists of the past would be rolling around laughing at this lot.

Colonel Smithers November 29, 2016 at 11:37 am

Thank you. Well said. You are right to make the distinction between competent, incompetent and real imperialists. My parents came to the UK from a colony in the mid-1960s and talk about the colonial officials they came across. It was the same with my grandparents. I have come across the aspiring neo-cons on the make (and on the take) in the City, marking time until they can be parachuted into a safe seat.

Few, if any, speak a foreign language and / or spent much time abroad. They give the impression of playing chess from Tory Central Office or some "think tank", but with other countries and lives of people they know nothing, much less care, about. As we watched Obama being crowned in 2009, one (an aspiring Tory MP and former central office staffer) forecasted that Obama would go down as the worst president in history and added that Bush would go down as one of the greats. I made my excuses and went home.

Foppe November 29, 2016 at 11:54 am

They're not imperialists, they're corporatists. Graft is the object, and given that construction companies like Halliburton and mercs like Xe don't bankroll Ds, and since bombing campaigns are easy to keep up/out of the news, the money has now shifted to drones.

As such, they're not failing, except insofar as they are losing access to markets. And that isn't really the case either, since the iraqi don't form a market that matters; whereas the notional 'rebuilding effort' - which did provide opportunities for looting - is/was pretty much over anyway, once it became impossible to deny it "failed".

hemeantwell November 29, 2016 at 3:06 pm

I think they are imperialists in the sense that, as William Appleman Williams and others have argued, their primary orienting goal is to extend and sustain the US dominance of a world market.

If you read what US foreign policy and military planners were saying in after WW2, that's an inescapable conclusion. Your focus on the corporation takes as a given what those planners have felt they need to strategically and militarily secure. Bacevich consistently avoids this issue and so ends up promoting a naive and implicitly hopeful view of US motives and the flexibility with which they can be pursued.

It's really quite something to go back and read Dean Acheson testifying to a congressional committee that, unlike the Soviet Union, the US requires steady expansion of the world market to survive. He sounds like Rosa Luxemburg.

Crosley Bendix November 29, 2016 at 8:57 pm

Do you have a source for that Dean Acheson quote?

b. November 29, 2016 at 4:06 pm

Close but not quite there yet who benefits?

The US is a nation of racketeers, which are perfecting the corruption of services into means of converting tax revenue into private profits. Some of these services are in fact essential, all have been – at least until recently – unassailable regardless of merit. Examples are housing, education, health care, private transportation and of course "national security". The rackets trace back to the exceptional US economic circumstances of WW2, and the leading racket was well established at the end of the Eisenhower presidency (his CYA address notwithstanding).

For the "self-licking ice-cream cone" of military/security/intelligence/public safety expenditures to continue to grow exponentially, it is not only unnecessary for the tax-purchased services and goods to be functional, let alone deliver results – it is positively counterproductive. The question is not whether any captured government institution is dysfunctional, the question is merely whether and how the profitability it delivers to the "accounting control frauds" in charge of the incumbents can be increased.

There are many aspects of this particular proud strain of dysfunction capitalism – US weapon exports, "foreign aid" to Israel or Saudi Arabia, support for proxy forces, actual direct expenditure of armaments, and of course force modernization and extension are some of the many flavors. The fuel cost alone for moving men and materiel "fuels" entire industries. It would not at all be surprising to find that those 700 bases maintained – and expanded – are completely useless – if not even significant liabilities – while at the same time improving the bottom line of many suppliers. PMC's and the growing industry supporting ever-increasing logistical "needs" are another vector of the disease. Terrorism, of course, and the market for global and domestic surveillance and "public safety", is both a consequence and a pretext. The perfect racket produces its own justification while profit shares increase and "product" cost decrease.

It is the privilege of the continental US that, wedged between two oceans, a colony of the crown and a failed state, that it is largely insulated from the blowback of the various theaters of war profiteering (this is, after all, the major advantage the national security racket has over the competing domestic leeches). It stand to reason that the weaker the coupling to the fallout from profitable dysfunction, the longer trends that cannot continue will.

Iraq 2003 might well have been the last time that any of the major industries involved had any earnest intention to profit from the theater itself. Libya, Syria, Yemen etc. are in the main write-offs, pretexts that open profit channels but not part of it. It is usually ignored that the main issue China and Russia have with the US and its minion states is the abrogation of the concept of sovereign nation stages, going all the way back to Clinton's interventions in the Balkans. By accident or design, US foreign policy is one of scorched earth, preferring failed states to nations capable of resistance. This, too, is a consequence of that "splendid insulation".

steelhead23 November 29, 2016 at 7:18 pm

Bravo – spot on.

Seth November 29, 2016 at 9:24 pm

Yes. As Gen John Smedley Butler said, "War is a racket."

JTMcPhee November 30, 2016 at 8:15 am

Thank you, b., for saying clearly what so many of us perceive dimly through the fog of propaganda, and struggle to name.

Next question: is there a prayer of catalyzing a healthier political economy, or do we ordinary people just live until we die, as best we can manage? Maybe "judiciously studying the actions" and talking learnedly about them among our percipient selves, until even that illusion of action is finally blocked?

"In the end, he found he could not help himself: He loved Big Brother."

steelhead23 November 29, 2016 at 7:10 pm

The truth is that some wars aren't winnable and shouldn't be fought.

Success in any enterprise requires the definition of a goal. I believe that the goal of U.S. military action in MENA is two-fold: display fealty to Israel and the kings of the Arabian Peninsula; and to grow the corporate coffers of the MIC here at home. Defined in that way, the U.S. military has "hit it outta da park." Winning? Winning was a pipe dream of the likes of Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz. Cheney knew better and took GWB along for a ride.

Let us pray that President Trump's small mind and loose tongue substantially degrades the willingness of the U.S.'s partners to continue to play along. May he make America un-great again. Amen.

john bougearel November 30, 2016 at 7:23 am

In the US today, we have raised a whole generation of kids where "winning matters not." To that extent we, and our generals – whether imperialistic or corporatistic, are all "special snowflakes" that deserve "participation trophy's" so we don't cry and act out over not winning. I say give all our general's another star for starting and participating in wars that can't be won to begin with. Where participation and not winning is the objective. Three cheers: hip, hip, hooray!

Kemal Erdogan November 30, 2016 at 5:51 am

I am highly suspicious that publicly stated goals of the wars were the actual targets. My take is that the actual goal has always been to keep those places in chaos; on US terms and under its control. with a safe US military base to punch those second-rate nations if necessary; By that measure, I believe both the Iraq and Afghan invasions were a success but they cannot pat each other's backs publicly.

However, they must now admit that they did not think the case of Iraq through, and the case of Syria is a complete failure, raising the stature of Russia to a super power again, while slowly but surely losing influence on Iraq and Egypt. But, that, arguably, could not have been realistically expected of the generals of the time to predict.

Lee November 29, 2016 at 10:35 am

I think that may have been his point, albeit delivered obliquely, as in his statement that "some wars should not be fought"; his quote from Grant, "There never was a time when, in my opinion, some way could not be found to prevent the drawing of the sword", as well as elsewhere in the piece.

NotTimothyGeithner November 29, 2016 at 11:15 am

Grant's rise from drunk who couldn't get a job in 1861 and W Scott's efforts to recruit Bobby Lee, a guy who was out of the army for years by that point, are indications the general class was never particularly competent.

Norb November 29, 2016 at 12:01 pm

I think you need to re-read the post again. He is asking the right questions and provides a history lesson besides. The beginning paragraphs could be interpreted as the standard, we need victory fare, but all is designed to lead to his final prescription for action- all the while being very diplomatic and appreciative to those who serve in the military.

Drain the swamp indeed, extricate the military from our national misadventures and retire the top brass more intent on career advancement that the true needs of the nation. Problems solved and we can move on as a nation. Will the world fall apart, if true men and women of honor step forward, I highly doubt it.

Pretty radical stuff actually, but something that resonates with many people, people without a voice. Change will come from within the military, and it is refreshing to hear words of sanity form those inside the military system-Tulsi Gabbard for one.

Could Trump shake up the gridlock, we shall see. Like a toxic mine tailing pit, once the retaining walls are breached, the effluence tends to spill out very quickly.

Whine Country November 29, 2016 at 9:22 am

Silly question: Does the fault lie in our generals or in our commander in chief? Which leads to another silly question: Who does our commander in chief answer to?

tony November 29, 2016 at 10:20 am

The Praetorian Guard. aka the CIA and associates.

neo-realist November 29, 2016 at 3:16 pm

In addition to the Praetorian Guard, uber wealthy plutocrats and corporations.

Pete November 29, 2016 at 9:24 pm

The generals seem to be only as effective as the policy they are prescribed to carry out. They ultimately answer to the President. So if they're ordered to carry out an impossible task they will obviously fail and they will kick the can down the road to save their own reputations.

There isn't too much of an incentive to win if you're a careerist either which many of them are since the military is a giant welfare program/bureaucracy largely based on licking boots to advance. It might be nice to add another accolade to that fat stack of attendance ribbons on their chests but that's all it is. Also, even if you were super serious about winning the war look at what happened to Shinseki when he clashed with the civilian leadership over the numbers of troops needed to pacify Iraq post-war. He was marginalized and finally canned altogether.

ambrit November 29, 2016 at 2:05 pm

Yes, the good doctor should resolutely shoulder the burden of "opposition party spokesman" and return to the fray. If we all took every slight and injury offered online to heart, there would be nary a rational word communicated, and, we would have much recourse to the suppressed Rogers Profanisaurus.
Besides, Upstate New York must be cold now, and the Professor spending a lot of time being housebound.

integer November 29, 2016 at 7:37 pm

I stood in James' corner once or twice as he started lashing out, as I thought he was just having a few bad days. It went on and I simply ran out of patience with him when he wrote his farewell screed and signed off with: James P. Levy , Ph.D. FRHistS, a man who never hid behind a goddamned nom de plume

Colonel Smithers November 29, 2016 at 9:38 am

It will be interesting to hear from readers if they have colleagues who are former service men and women. There has been an influx in the City since the crisis, but they were always there in fewer numbers. Some thrive in admin / COO roles, but many are frustrated and last no more than a couple of years. Dad retired from the Royal Air Force in March 1991 after 25 years. He found it difficult to settle in civilian life (employed as a doctor at St Mary's hospital in west London) and left at the end of 1991 for a development project in southern Africa (a year or so of being a middle class welfare junkie masquerading as a Foreign Office adviser) and twenty years working for Persian Gulf despots around MENA.

Whine Country November 29, 2016 at 12:28 pm

I'm a Vietnam vet and I did respond but it has been ignored as usual. The point of my post was that the generals do what they are ordered to do by the commander in chief and the problem lies with whoever that is at any given time. From that flows the logical point that we elect the commander in chief and don't really pay much attention to what he orders. The fault lies with the electorate. Bacevich has made the point (as have others) that when the draft was eliminated voters no longer had skin in the game and became ambivalent which is why the founding fathers set up the system with the citizen soldier as a cornerstone principle. The president at any given time just does what he wants and the only possible means of accountability is through the voting booth. Our wars last stopped when the populace had skin in the game and made it extremely clear to Nixon that we wanted an end. We have met the enemy and he is us.

weinerdog43 November 29, 2016 at 12:48 pm

The fault lies partly with the electorate, but also with Congress. For more than a decade, Charlie Rangel has been introducing bills to reinstate the draft. Crickets from Congress.

I'm a former member of the Selective Service Board, and yes, they still exist. A draft in order to be effective, cannot offer deferments (a la Dick Cheney) and still be fair. Only until those who order the wars have family members (including women) subject to a draft, will we cease our idiotic imperialist impulses.

Norb November 29, 2016 at 1:57 pm

While all you say is true, 40 years of corporate evolution in the political sphere has changed the equation. As the last election cycle has shown, any attempt to alter current relationships will need political activism intended to change the system not just gaining office to make slight course corrections. We as a people are too far off course for that. The Vietnam era was a turning point and business interests mobilized to never let that fiasco- people power- take root again. They have been very successful in their mission, but now they have to deal with the problem of an unwanted and underused population. The unemployable if you will.

Re-instituting the draft is no longer necessary and would be counterproductive to the corporate mission. As long as our current standing army can be paid off, why bother with a draft, it is no longer necessary. You avoid the military coup problem also. Our military continues to be bought off and as long as the economic incentives supporting an excessively large military remain unchallenged, the draft is unnecessary. Unnecessary from the maintenance of corporate power that is. Corporate power must be minimized first, then talk of a draft will make more sense. What values are learned in the military today? USA has ben turned into a corporate brand.

Being poor, unemployable, or one illness away form such a fate is the new skin in the game. While national service is a force that must be worked into our social responsibilities, its true meaning for strengthening and protecting the people has been subverted into a tool for corruption. Voices within the military that call for a return to the ideal of a citizen soldier instead of a mercenary warrior is what I think Bacevich has in mind.

voxhumana November 29, 2016 at 5:41 pm

"now they have to deal with the problem of an unwanted and underused population. The unemployable if you will."

I call them the "discontinued."

cocomaan November 29, 2016 at 10:01 am

Andrew Bacevich, as usual, writes a great article. But Grant and Sherman benefited from having a war with a clear goal: destroy the Confederate army and its government. I hesitate to call anything happening with the US in the Middle East or North Africa or SE Asia a "war" of that nature. There are no clear objectives. There are no criteria for an end of the conflict.

Instead, this looks a whole lot more like the North's occupation of the South during Reconstruction. We all know how that ended: the North had to pull itself out after an economic depression, more or less leading to a reign of terror through Jim Crow.

The United States is trying to do Reconstruction in a whole lot of spheres and is failing at that because it's generally an impossible enterprise.

PlutoniumKun November 29, 2016 at 10:26 am

I would disagree that there were no clear objectives. The objective was to turn Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya, etc., in to countries like Egypt or Jordan or Indonesia – weakened pro-western (or at least western-dependent) puppets with a sheen of democratic respectability, where US corporations could roam free. I don't think there is any need to read anything else into the objectives – that is the 'ideal' for the neocons, and that was their objective, both stated and unstated.

RUKidding November 29, 2016 at 11:11 am

You make a good, concise case for what the real objectives are for these unending expensive wars. Of course, this level of clarity re these goals are seldom stated to the populace at large. Rather we're mostly fed bullshit about terrrrists and being kept "safe" and other noodleheaded claptrap.

Given your definition, however, with which I agree, the Generals have still FAILED. And again, where's the accountability? There is none.

Trump plans to give himself and all the other Oligarchs, and the corporations giant tax cuts. There will be some in the middle class who experience a tax increase. Yet we're supposed to bloat the MIC budget by some huge amount for what purpose?? So Trump can build hotels, golf courses and casinos in Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq? Not being all that snarky.

PlutoniumKun November 29, 2016 at 11:41 am

Yes, as I said above, the neocons objective have been an abject failure. They display incompetence at all levels. And yet nobody pays the price. And the fact that the neocons don't try to fire the generals who failed (as numerous political leaders in the past have done) is a reflection of both their incompetence and the fact that the wars have become the ultimate in self licking ice creams.

Norb November 29, 2016 at 2:50 pm

While a plan might not be 100% successful, I don't see how you characterize the neocon program an abject failure. It is chugging along just fine. If waste and chaos are states of being that directly benefit your program, they are probably 90% successful.

If war is a racket, then the good times roll on and talking about failed generals being replaced, or accountability will be served by getting hold of better generals, those sentiments must make them chuckle when they are discussing their private positions. Win/Win for the neocons.

Ordinary people make the mistake of believing that the current crop of leaders have their interests in mind at all. They do not. If Clintons Public/Private mumbo jumbo didn't clear you of that thinking I don't know what will.

The proper way to think about these things is the neocon plan is succeeding wonderfully but they are truly too short sighted- i.e. stupid in the long term- to understand the consequences. They understand short term profit completely and how to dispense physical power but little else. Consequences and payback are externalized in their world. If you live in the moment, who cares about the future. As the illuminist Karl Rove once stated, "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."

Well, people don't stay passive actors forever. Just as nature cannot absorb carelessness forever. A day of reckoning will come- it alway does. Failure is in the mind of the beholder. It depends on perspective. As the neocons double, tripple, quadruple down on their policies, they will be able to ride the flaming mess into the ground. Think Clinton.

It is up to us- the sane- to realize the success of the neoliberal program and want out- or off- or whatever phrase makes sense. In our wars of misadventure, it will be those in the military that finally say enough is enough. If someone pulls that off, it would be viewed as the most courageous act in decades.

neo-realist November 29, 2016 at 3:30 pm

In our wars of misadventure, it will be those in the military that finally say enough is enough. If someone pulls that off, it would be viewed as the most courageous act in decades.

30 years in lockup for Chelsea Manning is a warning for those, I suspect, who want to say "enough is enough." I also believe that your ability to move up the hierarchy to make those decisions to keep fighting is determined by your willingness to continue to see through the neoliberal project.

PlutoniumKun November 29, 2016 at 5:50 pm

I disagree to the extent that the ideological neocons had a very clearly stated and unambiguous strategic purpose – re-engineering the world as America's corporate playground, with any possible competitor (i.e. Russia and China) firmly penned in. This meant replacing all the mid-size States which were still refusing to be part of the Washington Consensus.

Its no secret or mystery about what they were seeking. In this, they have failed – Afghanistan remains in chaos, Iraq is more Iran controlled than US controlled, Iran still refuses to come to heel, and Russia and China are making increasing inroads to Central Asia, eastern Europe, Africa and South America. The neocon project is slowly unravelling, with Trump hopefully about to put it out of its misery.

The issue of war profiteering is something that I see as something entirely different. What the neocons failed to anticipate was that their Clash of Civilisations would result in a hugely powerful military-industrial process which has become self replicating. There are now more people in Washington who's job depends on finding more wars to fight than there are people employed to stop wars. This is the neocons fault, but its not the neocons project – they are just useful idiots for the profiteers.

Norb November 30, 2016 at 1:09 pm

I don't make a distinction between the neocons and the profiteers. The worst possible outcome from this neocon disaster would be for the profiteers, the rentiers, to be able to reconstitute their hold over society- or to hold onto it for that matter. What will it take, complete destruction of the biosphere for people to understand that cooperation is the only means of survival?

While I agree with what you are saying, if desiring a peaceful world is on your agenda, then every effort must be made to not allow the rentiers to take the position of, well now, we overstepped somewhat, will do better next time.

Making neat divisions is the reason humanity is in the predicament we find ourselves in the first place. We have dissected the whole into so many parts, it is no longer recognizable.

Modernity has been a dissecting force- a unifying force is needed.

Brian M November 30, 2016 at 2:08 pm

I agree with so much of the analysis here. But why do people insist still (especially given his recent appointments) that Trump has any interest at all in putting "it" out of our misery? Color me skeptical.

cocomaan November 29, 2016 at 11:40 am

Hey Kim, as RUKidding says, I wouldn't argue that those are clear objectives, because the generals that are being talked about above aren't being told up front that they are working toward that goal.

Don't get me wrong, I think you're exactly right about those being the objectives.

visitor November 29, 2016 at 1:44 pm

Those are the ultimate political goals and the ends of the wars - but generals are never given them as objectives in this form. Concisely, the objectives of any general are threefold:

1) destroy the enemy forces;
2) break their will to fight;
3) control the territory under dispute.

They learned that at the military academy - after all, these were the fundamental principles articulated by Carl von Clausewitz almost 200 years ago. Well, in those purely military terms, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Yemen and Syria are total failures.

Trump is correct on this point: job not done. At all.

River November 29, 2016 at 4:44 pm

Glad you brought up Carl von Clausewitz. I remember the Newsweek article when Gen. Tommy Franks said there were 9 centers of gravity in Iraq. The article took this as some type of wisdom. It was clear that Franks hadn't even read the Cliff notes version of On War as there is only one center of gravity according to Carl von C in which you focus your effort on.

Probably one reason when Franks was put on the Outback Steakhouse board of directors it did so poorly and was pulled out of Canada. He was a great strategist after all /sarc.

Part of the problem with the U.S military is that the Army sees enemy #2 as the Air Force and Navy. Gotta get those dollars. Another problem is that the U.S fails at the oft quote dictum of Sun Tzu, know yourself and know your enemy.

The U.S seems to create the enemy they would like to fight rather than the one that's actually there and as a nation has no sense of self anymore. They don't understand their limitations or even their strengths it seems. It seems the Pentagon and the Gov. thinks throwing money equals effectiveness. I'd argue that the unlimited money is the problem. Actual innovation often stems from being limited in some way. Mother is the necessity of invention and all that. Look the German assault teams that were born out of desperation in the final days of WWI. This concept helped tremendously in WW2 and it wasn't unlimited money that created them.

In America's defense they are great at logistics side of war.

H. Alexander Ivey November 30, 2016 at 6:10 am

To further this thread as to why the generals have failed:

If the point of these wars is to install a pro-Western style (aka USA business friendly) society and government, a point to which I agree is the reason for the US's fighting, then how, in God's name!, are you going to do that when the point of a military is to destroy things and kill people? (words taken from the cover of DoD's documents). The US military is not to build things and help people! The generals are asked to do what their own training prevents them and those they direct from doing.

JTMcPhee November 29, 2016 at 3:55 pm

Generals and admirals are all adept politicians and bureaucrats. they have to be to get to that level in the structure. War-fighters, no so much, with few exceptions, https://fabiusmaximus.com/2008/01/14/millennium-challenge/ .

From all I can see, it's all about looking, emphasize "looking," STRAC, a term from my callow military youth: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=STRAC , a pejorative applied to ambitious second lieutenants and Real Lifer Troopers with those creases in their fatigues and dress greens you could cut your finger on. And sucking up. And kicking down. and feathering one's nest, both now ("Petraeus scandal puts four-star general lifestyle under scrutiny," https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/petraeus-scandal-puts-four-star-general-lifestyle-under-scrutiny/2012/11/17/33a14f48-3043-11e2-a30e-5ca76eeec857_story.html ) and "going forward" (generals never retreat - they "execute strategic rearward advances to previously prepared positions," as in "Pentagon's revolving door in full swing," http://www.politico.com/story/2013/10/department-of-defenses-revolving-door-in-full-swing-098813 )

Anyone remember this 2010 bit of PowerPoint-ia? "'When we understand that slide, we'll have won the war:' US generals given baffling PowerPoint presentation to try to explain Afghanistan mess," http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1269463/Afghanistan-PowerPoint-slide-Generals-left-baffled-PowerPoint-slide.html (And note the Brass Balls of the contractor, PA Knowledge Group Ltd, claiming a COPYRIGHT over this obvious work-for-hire.) This kind of stuff is the daily grist of the strategic/tactical mill that grinds out body counts, serial deployments in search of missions, and the endless floods of corrupt cash, destabilizing weapons and internal and external subterfuges, along with a lot of wry humor and a large helping of despair for the Troops and the mope civilians who "stand too close to Unlawful Enema Combatants ™".

It's long seemed to me one of the many failings of the species is that some of us produce wise counsel that actually looks to the horizon and beyond, like the fundamental questions articulated by Sun Tzu about whether to commit the peasants who pay for it to a prolonged foreign war with long supply lines that will bankrupt the nation - http://classics.mit.edu/Tzu/artwar.html . And then the idiot few that gain, psychically or monetarily, from conflict, blow that kind of fundamental test of wisdom off and "go to war" or more accurately "send other people to hack and blast each other while the senders get rich."

There's a fundamental problem that to me gets too little attention: What the Empire is doing is an entirely Barmicide game. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/us/barmecide Our rulers here in the Empire are pretty good at the procurement, deployment and logistical mechanics of Milo Minderbinder's complex Enterprise, the "war as a racket" thing, the extracting of public wealth to build shiny or stealthy or smart "systems." But as Bacevitch notes, they get to completely escape from the consequences of Only-tool-in-the-box monomania, of applying the big hammer of "War" to the subtle tasks of creating and maintaining a survivable space for the species. Which patently is not the "goal" in any event. And never answered, as pointed out, is the daring question of "what is the goal/are the goals, and what actions or refraining from actions are likely to get there?"

The talk about "asymmetric warfare" is mostly whining about little wogs who dare to adopt the wisdoms of other ambitious and thoughtful humans, like the Afghans and, yes, even ISIS, on how to defeat (within the terms of the game they are playing and understand that the Empire does NOT understand the terrain or the rules or moves) invaders and colonialists and even corporatists. Though the latter are often victorious in the after-conflict processes, if you can't clobber your enemy, corrupt him! works too.) There are wheels within wheels, of course, and "we mopes" in the Imperial homeland are too busy eking out a survival locally to even try to contemplate let alone understand the complexities of even the Middle East, let alone the Great Game being played out again with Russia and China and the aggressive and Teutonic bosses of the Eurozone All while the "defence" establishment figures out ever more exotic ways to kill humans, via code (genetic and cyber) and "smart weapons" like autonomous killing robots "on land, in air, at sea "

So is it just the inevitable case that Empires rise up, loot, murder, grow the usual huge corrupt capitals and the militaries to support the looting and keep the mopes in line, and finally succumb to some kind of wasting disease where all the corruption and interest-seeking honeycombs and finally collapses the structure? Is there no other way for humans to organize, because so many of us have the drive to dominate and to grab all the pleasure and stuff we can get away with?

pictboy3 November 29, 2016 at 11:51 am

I've grown up hearing commentaries that echo this one as relating to our foreign policy adventures since WWII, and if you take a results oriented approach, they're probably true. But having gone to school for foreign policy work and talking to people who were involved with the foreign policy apparatus (doing the leg work, not the people at the top who basically have no idea what they're doing), I've become more and more convinced that it's simply incompetence.

I think that the people dictating policy are basically a bunch of Tom Friedmans, who are utterly convinced that their empirically wrong views about how policy is executed are correct. Look at Iraq in the aftermath. Not only did they get not understand that the Sunnis and Shia might not have the best of intentions towards each other, but US companies aren't even getting all the plum oil contracts. Now surely a country that guarantees the security of the Iraqi elite could ensure that it's own companies got the best deals?

I think the most probable explanation is that they believed their own propaganda. They believed that the Iraqis wanted to be a liberal democracy with a free market, and that US firms would obviously be the most competitive in a bid for the oil contracts. People like Kerry believe in the ideas of human rights and war crimes, condemning the Russians for bombing Aleppo even though we do the exact same thing with a ever so slightly less flimsy justification.

RUKidding November 29, 2016 at 12:13 pm

Yes, again, good points, esp in re to the fact that US companies aren't even getting the plum oil contracts. We were told by feckless Cheney via W that there would be that magical mythical Iraqi "Oil Dividend" that would not only pay for the War on Iraq – essentially giving us back the money we spent on it (conveniently ignoring the collateral damage of many US combatant deaths, and many hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizen deaths, but who cares about that piddling, trifling detail) – as well as getting more besides.

Eh? And then what? Well that Dick, Cheney, got very very rich offa US taxpayer dollars, and no doubt some other Oligarchs did as well. But we never ever got paid back for our "investment" in "freeing" the Iraqi's from their oppressor, Saddam.

And that salient detail was flushed down the memory hole, and duly noted, that at least the Oligarchs did learn ONE lesson from that bullshit, which is to never ever again even go so far as to make a promise that the hapless proles in the USA will ever see one thin dime from these foreign misadventures.

PlutoniumKun November 29, 2016 at 12:53 pm

I can't talk from personal experience but I've read plenty of foreign policy publications of the type taken seriously by academics and politicians, and I'd agree with you. Some are laughably stupid, they don't know the first thing about the countries they are talking about. It wasn't just Bush jnr in 2002 who didn't know the difference between Shia and Sunni, I strongly suspect that many 'experts' consulted had only the faintest knowledge of what they were dealing with. There are a scary number of second and third rate intellects roaming around sharing their 'knowledge'.

I think the standard textbook for this should be Graham Greenes 'The Quiet American' . I've always been amazed at the prescience of that book (he pretty much predicted the arc of the Vietnam War in 1959), but I always think of the main character, Pyle, when I see yet another Middle Eastern mess. Pyle is a generally well meaning young man with far too much power, who is convinced by some academic that he has the key to sorting out the whole Vietnam mess. Needless to say, lots of innocents die because of his half baked ideas. The establishment is full of Pyles, although many I think are not quite so well meaning.

Ignacio November 29, 2016 at 1:38 pm

I would like to agree with you, but I don't. First and foremost the US is the greatest spender in weapons, and why does anyone spend in weapons if there is not plan to use them? The first objective is to use the weapons and avoid piling a dusting mountain of missiles, bombs, or any other kind of armament. Many wars are mainly the testing battlefields for new weaponry. For that reason, having endless localized wars can be quite useful. Besides using it, the second objective is spread fear. I have it, I have the will to use it, and I am well trained. Spreading fear might not be the best strategy but is has clearly been one of the main objectives in some cases, particularly Iraq.

The best case of a president looking for an excuse to use the weapons and spread fear was G.W. Bush and Iraq v2.0. The fact that Bush excuses were clumsily manufactured and exposed without shame in the UN is a feature. It means: when we decide that we will attack you nothing will stop us. No democratic control and no international rules can stop us.

All the rest is palaver.

Mark P. November 29, 2016 at 5:29 pm

'why does anyone spend in weapons if there is not plan to use them?'

And yet the U.S.'s recent, most stupendously expensive weapons systems are unusable. Literally , they cannot be used for most practical purposes in combat.

The F-35, for instance, has trouble flying and would be bested by air fighters of the previous generation in combat. The Littoral Combat Ship's aluminum superstructure would burn down to the waterline if ever one were hit by a missile (among other problems). And there are other projects that are almost equally ridiculous.

The point is, of course, that with their cost overruns and sheer unusability, these projects continue precisely because they're stupendously profitable. The American economic system is utterly dependent on such military Keynesianism, which is a principle means of redistribution from rich U.S. states to small ones. And consequently we live in a world reminiscent of the world of useless wepfash designers - weapons fashions designers - envisaged by Philip K. Dick's The Zap Gun.

One takeaway may be that the U.S. can either have the largest level of military Keynesianism in history or win its wars. It apparently cannot do both.

voteforno6 November 29, 2016 at 10:37 am

Remember when Trump threatened to fire a bunch of generals? That really upset a lot of people in Washington. Replacing a flag officer is a very complicated affair – they have a whole rotation system set up, to move them from one job to another. That's certainly reflected in the combat commands as well. They all need to check that box, in order to burnish their credentials. It seems to be just achieving that rank is the real accomplishment. Measuring their performance afterward is irrelevant – in that way, it's very similar to how CEOs are treated in the corporate world. It would be nice if Trump fired a bunch of generals, just because we have too many of them already. I don't see that happening, though.

Bill Smith November 29, 2016 at 12:22 pm

Generals get removed. Mattis was retired a year early because he didn't get along with Obama. Whatever "get along' means. Flynn left early. Remember McChrystal?

Enquiring Mind November 29, 2016 at 12:43 pm

Rotation may have benefits of exposure to new areas and skill development opportunities. It may also hide failures, and demonstrate the military equivalent of the "dance of the lemons" that shuffles incompetent, corrupt or lazy principals around to different schools. There is more of a meritocracy in the military, with less overt politicization, although the politics takes different forms. I write that sadly as one from a family that supports the military and has many veterans.

American discussions about military are sidetracked easily by any number of stakeholders. Politicians posture for patriotism (alliteration intended to elicit Porky Pig), while collecting campaign cash. They are only the most visible of those that would shout down or hijack any objective discussion of mission failures or weapons systems debacles such as the F-35. Their less visible neo-con enablers, dual loyalty pundits and effective taskmasters all have their snouts in the trough and their rear ends displayed to the citizens. If there is no other change in DC than to unmask those Acela bandits, then many will applaud.

Eureka Springs November 29, 2016 at 11:03 am

War is failure. Do not engage. And for dawgs sake do not arm, train, fund al Q types. I think the last point in re Trumps way of doing things will be most telling. That would be victory.

Jim Haygood November 29, 2016 at 1:59 pm

Precisely. The US is situated in the safest neighborhood on the planet - oceans on two sides; Canada and Mexico on the other two. All of the other dozens of nations in the western hemisphere get along just fine without a global network of military bases and a 350-ship navy.

What the f*** is our problem? As history demonstrates, a value-subtracting global empire is an infallible recipe for economic decline.

a different chris November 29, 2016 at 11:04 am

To try to look at the bright side, here's the thing about military people who are "uber hawkish", or actually managed to get a nickname like "Mad Dog" . they like decisive, "clean" (funny word to use for blowing people and the landscape to smithereens, but that's what people label it as) engagements where bad guys are taken out and good guys rejoice.

If they are, and I'm sure they are, smart enough to see that this is exactly not what the Middle East messes are, they may well tell Trump "let's just get our stuff and go home".

What we have been trying to do in the ME is not, and has never been (going back to before us, the Russians in Afghanistan) anything where a military makes any sense at all. It's police+political work at best, and despite what we've been turning the police departments into at home, police work is very, very different from military work. Hopefully the warrior types see this, whereas the Hillary Clintons of the world simply won't.

Again, no more than just hoping

Plenue November 30, 2016 at 3:16 am

The US can win any standup fight. We quickly smashed the Taliban's military, and Saddam didn't last long at all. It's the long, grinding guerrilla war that comes after that we inevitably lose. And even there we will win 99% of the engagements (if all else fails, drop a giant bomb on them) and yet sooner or later we'll run home with our tail between our legs.

blert November 30, 2016 at 5:03 am

Washington is addicted to gold-plated occupations. Whereas the only route to success is minimalist, an economy of force strategy. That also entails economy of injuries. Occupying forces ought to spend most of their time like Firemen - in their bunks back at the barracks. That's how success was achieved in the 19th Century. ( British Empire, American nation, French Empire. )

Such a scheme is still working wonders in South Korea. Not a whole lot of casualties that way.

Nation building is crazy all across the ummah. They won't suffer it. You would NOT believe the amount of infrastructure blown up by our Iraqi allies - as a financial hustle.

It took forever for the American Army to figure out that the reason the power system kept crashing was that the fellow building it up was corrupt and cashing in hugely by re-doing the same work five times over. He would pull security off the power grid at point X so that his cousins could dynamite the towers. Yes, he fled when the jig was up.

With his departure, the system started to work. This fiasco was an extreme embarrassement to the US Army and the Iraqi officials. The perp had his whole clan involved. (!) Yes, this story is suppressed. Guess why ?

The dollar figures involved are staggering.

There were hundreds of Shia grifters, too.

Synoia November 29, 2016 at 11:14 am

1. The Generals have won. They are Generals.
2. The Military does not win wars, it prolongs the stalemate until the enemy's economy collapses.
3. With no public definition of win (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria), what is win?
4. The MIC is very lucrative. There are man, many winners there.

Mark P. November 29, 2016 at 5:30 pm

All correct.

blert November 29, 2016 at 11:21 am

The Bush Administration arrogantly assumed that all peoples are enough alike that they can be rescued the same way as Western Europeans were - after the Nazis were driven off. This premis was an epic error for the ages. The entire Washington establishment - to include the Pentagon - and the MSM went along with this premis. In many ways they STILL buy into it.

You never read MSM articles questioning whether Iraqis or Afghans can buy into republican democracy. The assumption is that the whole world is waiting with baited breath to achieve this Western political-cultural ideal.

But Islam proscribes democracy, and these lands are emotionally Islamic in the extreme. When queried, virtually every man demands Shariah law, under Islam.

Changing Afghan culture is what doomed the Soviet 'project.' So the Pentagon was not ever going to touch cultural issues. This has proved very controvesial as Afghans practice pederasty on a grand scale. Likewise, the NATO nations were not going to 'touch' the opium trade.

They were also wholly dependent upon Pakistan for logistics. Ultimately, a second rail route was established at horrific expense across Russia. But no military specific goods could travel by that route.

So the entire campaign was both necessary - to punish al Qaeda and the Taliban - and unwinnable in a WWII sense. There never was a thought about expanding the scope of the conflict up to WWII purportions, of course.

The problem is not that of Pentagon leadership.

The folly starts at the strategic level - straight out of the White House.

It was a mistake for Bush to be so optomistic, grandiose.

It was a mistake for Obama to run away from Iraq. A corps sized garrison force would've permitted him enough influence to stop Maliki from sabotaging his own army - with crony appointments. ( The Shia simply did not have enough senior talent. So he over promoted his buddies and his tribe. This set the stage for ghost soldiers and a collapse in morale across entire divisions. )

The correct solution, in 2011, was to endure - like we have in South Korea.

The correct solution, in 2009, was to NOT expand Afghan operations. I spent many an hour arguing the folly of said expansion. It was inevitable that after any expansion there would be a massive draw down - which would destablize the Kabul government.

The correct solution for both was a steady-state, economy of operations mode - with the US Army largely standing idle in their barracks - letting the locals run all day to day operations.

You end up with the best of all worlds, low American casualties, low interference with the locals, yet a psychological back-bone for young governments – – who are financial cripples.

At this time, the best route is to cut off Pakistan from all Western aid, and to entirely stop Pakistani immigration to the West. Islamabad is as much an enemy of the West as Riyadh or Tehran.

This would also help calm Pakistan down, as it's the cultural embarrassment vis a vis the West that's driving Pakistanis crazy. Let them interact with their blood cousins, the Hindus of India. That'll be plenty enough modernity for Islamabad and Riyadh.

Pull out of Syria entirely. Stop funding al Nusrah - which is an acknowledged branch of al Qaeda. Egypt has entered the conflict on the side of Assad, Iran and Russia, most recently. The "White Hats" are a fraud.

voislav November 29, 2016 at 11:25 am

Comparing "wars" in Iraq and Afghanistan with Civil War or such conflicts confuses the issue and shifts the responsibility from the policy makers to the military. Iraq and Afghanistan are not wars, they are occupations and as such are unwinnable.

US is caught in a typical occupation trap, where they want a subservient regime that is under their control. Subservient regimes are subservient because they lack a large power base and are dependent on their foreign backers. A subservient regime with a power base does not stay subservient for long, they quickly develop an independent streak at which point you have to overthrow them and install a different, weaker regime.

US imposed regimes in Iraq and Afghanistan are classic examples of this. Al-Maliki in Iraq was a marginal figure before becoming prime minister, similar to Karzai in Afghanistan. The new leaders, Ashraf Ghani as the new Afghan president and Haider Al-Abadi as the Iraqi prime minister are both ex-pats that only returned to the country after US occupation. Both Al-Maliki and Karzai have been in power long enough that they were starting to develop a power base and show signs of breaking away from the US, so they had to be replaced.

Stabilizing a subservient regime with a weak power base requires US presence and boots on the ground. A subservient regime with a strong power base that can support itself quickly stops being subservient and has to be replaced. A "victory", where US troops would not be necessary for the regime support, means loss of control over the regime.

So US is stuck in a loop. Political considerations force them to build up a regime to a point of independence, only to have to tear it down when it looks like it might go against American interests. US military takes the blame because they have to fight the latest insurgent group CIA built up to effect regime change.

Mick Steers November 29, 2016 at 11:27 am

I would never gainsay that many technocratic, careerist general officers might be looking for ways to enhance their glory and bid up their asking price for CNN slots and board positions at Lockheed Martin. But the swamp you seek to drain has an apex predator; wealthy and powerful civilians. I seem to recall some generals, Eric Shinseki and Jay Garner come to mind, who tried to bring a little truth to power and avoid the biggest mistakes of the Iraq war.

Ideologues in the administration had other plans. The first being the original sin of the war itself, supported by a vast industry of defense, finance and media interests who knew opportunity when they saw it. As for now, what the hell is the mission that the military is supposed to win? I get the sense we will have our next big, proper war on account of using the military to solve problems that no military could, like say a GWOT.

Eisenhower's prophecy has metastasized so deeply into the body politic, only a profound change in the views of the citizenry could possibly make a difference. Short of economic or military upheaval, it's hard to see how do we do this when our best paying jobs are strategically sprinkled across the country, making every procurement and every base sacrosanct to even the most liberal, libertarian or even peace-nick politicians? So, isn't the swamp much larger that the military officer corps? Drain this one part, and it would fill back in rather quickly if that was the main thrust of our attack on this nightmare.

I suspect Trump is headed to the White House partly because a significant number of people concluded that social upheaval will be hastened by his administration, and that the consequences, whatever they may be, will be worth bearing so that we can rebuild on the ashes of the neoliberal/neoconservative era.

I sympathize, but with three college aged daughters, I was willing to work for, wait for, another shot at a Bernie Sanders shaped attack on the system rather than throwing a Trump grenade. Trump will only disrupt the system by accident, and absolutely unpredictably. His family's interests are superbly served by the status quo, give or take a tax break or another busted union. It's madness not to see his run for presidency as a vanity project run amok. If his cabinet and congress play him right, it's pedal to the metal for the most reactionary, avaricious, vindictive and bellicose impulses in this country.

Someone might get hurt, and with bugger all to show for it.

Leigh November 29, 2016 at 11:30 am

Isn't victory the one thing we seek to avoid ? If there were victory anywhere, it would mean "the end", and everyone knows arm sales cannot, should not, must not, end. After all, it is the only industrial endeavor we are still good at.

RUKidding November 29, 2016 at 12:18 pm

Yes, well there's that as well. And that's not an insignificant issue. So again, the witless proles are fed endless propaganda about terrrrrists and being "safe" in order to keep on keeping on. Trump played the rubes about safety with his vitriolic Anti-Muslim rhetoric. Although Trump claimed not to want to continue the wars, I seriously doubt he'll do one damn thing to make improvements in this regard.

Colonel Smithers November 29, 2016 at 11:40 am

Have readers seen / thought of the amount of decorations modern US generals and admirals wear in comparison to their WW2 equivalents? I know Uncle Sam has been in permanent war for a long time, but does beating up Grenada and Panama count? The other lot to wear a lot of bling are the welfare junkies occupying Buck House.

NotTimothyGeithner November 29, 2016 at 12:38 pm

Compared to Ike and Bradley, but Beedle wrote a book where he claimed credit for single-handedly winning the war. West Point is ultimately a self selective group which poses a set of problems. What kind of kid wants to be a soldier for 30 to 40 years at age 16 when they need to start the application process? No one accidentally winds up at West Point or the other academies anymore. What kind of kid in 1810 thought he could carry on for Washington at age 16? I bet he's arrogant and loves pomp and pageantry.

I'm convinced we need to draft the officer corp from college bound seniors.

rd November 29, 2016 at 2:45 pm

Only Mussolini and Goering had a leg up on MacArthur regarding bling.

Fec November 29, 2016 at 11:48 am

From Nafeez Ahmed , last year:

Unfolding the Future of the Long War, a 2008 RAND Corporation report, was sponsored by the US Army Training and Doctrine Command's Army Capability Integration Centre. It set out US government policy options for prosecuting what it described as "the long war" against "adversaries" in "the Muslim world," who are "bent on forming a unified Islamic world to supplant Western dominance".

susan the other November 29, 2016 at 3:00 pm

Interesting. Rand was enlisted to write up a report almost a decade later on a decision that was made in 2000 when Little George decided to run for office. Making it appear to have just evolved into this situation today, no doubt. Remember Rumsfeld's name for the ME war in 2002 was "Odyssey Dawn". When he first tried to call it a "Crusade" he horrified everyone and had to find something more genteel. But Odyssey Dawn clearly says it all – it will be a very long war and it will carry us around the world and we will stagger in confusion but in the end we will find our way. Not the kind of war you can win by "bombing the shit out of em," as Donald might do. The victory we will get from Odyssey Dawn will be the benefits of attrition and engagement. But the devastation we cause will never be worth it.

Chauncey Gardiner November 29, 2016 at 12:05 pm

Bacevich: "Yet here's what too few of those Americans appreciate, even today: war created that swamp in the first place. War empowers Washington. It centralizes. It provides a rationale for federal authorities to accumulate and exercise new powers. It makes government bigger and more intrusive. It lubricates the machinery of waste, fraud, and abuse that causes tens of billions of taxpayer dollars to vanish every year. When it comes to sustaining the swamp, nothing works better than war."

Appreciated Bacevich's three questions, particularly the second. Far past time to come clean on the real strategy in MENA. The mission and "the job" of military leaders has NOT been to bring America's wars to a timely and successful conclusion. Instead, there is a strategy to balkanize that region, keep it in chaos, keep the American people in perpetual wars and "support our troops" mode, threaten Europeans with a flood of immigrants, assure profits for the MIC and access for oil majors, and simply keep the military and other agencies occupied. "Winning a war" (and subsequent occupation) in terms of "bringing conflicts to a prompt and successful conclusion" doesn't appear to be high on the priority list of those who set the nation's geopolitical and military strategy. Project for a New American Century indeed.

In terms of "draining the swamp" that war has created, as Bacevich points out, the names mentioned as prospective appointees as national security adviser and defense secretary are not cause for optimism that the incoming administration will implement policies that will lead to resolution rather than perpetuating this mess.

David November 29, 2016 at 12:20 pm

Well, the US military's performance in WW1 and WW2, often against weak opposition, was less than stunning. They won their battles with massively superior firepower, for the most part. But many of the same criticisms that Bacevich makes could be, and indeed were, made of the Vietnam War, which is an odd omission from his article. If anything, the level of generalship then was probably worse than it is today.

But the real problem does, indeed, lie in Washington; Accepting that the US strategy in Iraq, for example, was indeed to create a pliable, pro-western democratic state, it's not clear that there was actually much the military could do when it started to unravel because of the inherent stupidity of the idea. At what the military call the "operational" level of war, there seems to have been a complete thought vacuum in Washington. I can imagine successive generals asking the political leadership "yes, but what exactly do you want me to do " and never getting a coherent answer.

optimader November 29, 2016 at 12:48 pm

Nor should we overlook the resulting body count. Since the autumn of 2001, something like 370,000 combatants and noncombatants have been killed in the various theaters of operations where U.S. forces have been active. Although modest by twentieth century standards, this post-9/11 harvest of death is hardly trivial.

http://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/files/cow/imce/papers/2016/Costs%20of%20War%20through%202016%20FINAL%20final%20v2.pdf

figure ~$5T squandered to date

http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424053111903285704576560593124523206
A dozen terrorism scholars gave a wide range of answers when asked to estimate how many members there are, how the numbers have changed during al Qaeda's lifespan and how many countries the group operates in. Analysts put the core membership at anywhere from 200 to 1,000

My recollection is toward the low end ( towards 200ppl) at the time of GWB addle-minded decision to pull the relatively modest special forces resources out of Tora Bora in Afghanistan that had the AlQ Principles in the crosshairs. Instead GWB pursued a bizarre and unrelated non-sequitur mission of tipping over SH in Iraq– allegedly because Saddam had threatened his Dad?

What was a reasonable response with explicit objectives to remedy a criminal act (as well at the time with fairly unanimous sympathies of other Countries) could have been accomplished with a modest Military footprint before getting the fk out of Afghanistan.

Instead it was scaled up into stupid endless Perpetual War without achievable objectives. In retrospect divide $5T by 200-1,000 and consider how little it may have cost if 9/11 had been treated as a criminal act by non-state actors, instead of sticking our foot into the role of destabilizing other sovereign countries, killing /antagonizing the citizens and generally fking up their countries??

Am I missing something here?

annie moose November 29, 2016 at 1:04 pm

oooo ooooo hand flailing wildly I want to build the next 43 million dollar gas station!

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/11/02/pentagon-afghanistan-gas-station-boondoggle/75037032/

rd November 29, 2016 at 1:07 pm

I think the US is falling into the old imperialist trap of thinking of these places as countries with capital cities and leaders recognized as such by the population. The British had that issue in the 1770s when they captured the capital(s) of the new US but the revolution didn't stop. External superpower (French) support was able to keep the resistance functioning and the British eventually gave up. Both of those superpowers kept duking it out on other battlefields for another 30 years.

Yugoslavia was a temporary post-WW II construct based on a personality cult of Tito. When he died, the real Yugoslavia turned out to be a bunch of tribes that really, really hated each other and it all went to pieces.

North America is unusual with a huge moat around it other than a little isthmus at the south end. Even so, there are millions of illegal immigrants that come over that isthmus or cross over the southern moat (Gulf of Mexico/Caribbean) over the years. Only three countries (Mexico, US, Canada) are in play and those borders have been stable for over a century. This was after the US fought a massive civil war to keep that basic structure instead of having another country. Even so, Quebec has come close to secession, Texas and California mumble about it periodically, and Mexico effectively has a civil war with drug cartels. However, this is VERY stable compared to nearly anywhere else in the world, so it leads us to false equivalencies about how other parts of the world should work.

Putting in corrupt leaders with no popular support doesn't work as we have recently proved again in Afghanistan and Iraq after having proved it previously in Vietnam and Cuba (pre-Castro). The Afghanistan outcome may have worked better if the concept of Afghanistan disappeared and NATO had worked with each region to come up with rational boundaries based on historical tribal alliances. T.E. Lawrence had drawn a map like that for Iraq c.1918 but it did not fit the colonial power requirements.. Turkey vs. the Kurds and Iran linking with the Shiites ensured that natural map wasn't going to happen in 2003 either.

So, it is not clear what victory means in these areas. I think in many cases our concept of victory is very different than what the locals think is acceptable. It appears that Assad, Russia, and Iran may be "victorious" in Syria because it is clear they are willing to wipe out the village to save it. They may find that there is nobody left there to rule though, so they will repopulate those areas with allies, thereby probably sowing the seeds for another future war.

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg November 29, 2016 at 1:15 pm

The nearest analog to what the US is trying to do in all these places is a lot like the imposition of the Spanish Empire; total destruction of native culture and replacement with Roman forms. The places the Spanish controlled are still broken, so don't look for success in this endeavor anytime soon

optimader November 29, 2016 at 3:59 pm

The nearest analog to what the US is trying to do in all these places is a lot like the imposition of the Spanish Empire

At least the Spanish had a quantifiable, albeit indefensible objective (resource extraction) that drove their predatory behavior. Our quizzical form of imperialism is a net resource drag with fuzzy morphing objectives

rd November 29, 2016 at 4:38 pm

Say what you want about the British Empire, but they did leave behind functioning legal and political systems in most of the countries they controlled. In India's case, they also left them a common language since there are so many languages there. Many of the countries remained in the Commonwealth after independence which is something that none of the other colonial powers achieved.

I think the key was the British focused on empire as an extension of commerce, not ideology (they already knew they were superior, so they didn't have to prove it, which allows for pragmatism). In the end, when it was clear that they couldn't hold on, they backed out more gracefully than many other empires.

Ranger Rick November 29, 2016 at 1:33 pm

If there's one thing we can hope for in a Trump presidency, it's going to be Trump looking at the disaster of biblical proportions that continues to unfold in the arena of government contracting. It doesn't matter which sector his gaze falls upon, he's going to find an appalling failure in contract negotiation: the F-35, the Zumwalt, the LCS, the KC-46, the B-21 (really, just the idea of cost-plus contracts in general), the SLS, the FCC's Universal Service Fund, the EPA's Superfund, the Department of Education's "Race to the Top" and "No Child Left Behind" mandates, the ACA, the dollar value on whatever classified contract the telecommunications industry has to spy on the American people, the private contractors presently employed by the military to perform its duties - the list is endless.

rd November 29, 2016 at 2:43 pm

The military-industrial complex has perfected the art of putting parts of the design, manufacturing, testing, and deployment of these programs into just about Congressional District so that everybody wants their constituents to have a shot at one part of the trough.

This is how empires fall. Asymmetrical economic and military warfare against entrenched bureaucracies and corruption.

dcblogger November 29, 2016 at 4:08 pm

the only way to win is to not play the game

jo6pac November 29, 2016 at 4:26 pm

potus wants to make money giving speeches after office and also needs $$$$$$$$$$$ for his lieberry.
The merchants of death will hire him for those speeches and send money for lieberry.
The generals of today help the merchants of death make money so when the retire they can go to work for the merchants of death.
The idea is to never win so there is always an enemy so the merchants of death can continue to profit.
The easy way to control a country is to have chaos all the time. This makes easier to steal resources and keep citizens from pulling their own levers of justice. We only have to look at Amerika but other countries around the globe have the same going on. austerity for all.

The .01% would like to thank you for staying at each others throats.

Joaquin Closet November 29, 2016 at 5:14 pm

I matriculated at one of the U.S. Military Service Academies. I had my share of classes on "War Footing," "War Strategies" and "War, War, War – The Scarlet O'Hara Doctrine." (That last one was mine and mine alone.)

And then I took the typical post-grad Naval War College assortment of "think-tanked" war symposiums. All for naught, I must say.

Then came my time in the field. Most of my peers were good soldiers, junior officers and even a few were leaders. But no one I knew had the stomach for the orders passed down – they were seen just as watered-down "march-in-place" bullshit until the next wave of senior leadership flew in.

We junior officers were in the field just as much as our men – I'd say half (or more) of my squadrons were comprised of men and women on their second, third, fourth – or more – tours of duty. I'm so glad they didn't hear the bullshit we had to listen to. In fact, to this day, my greatest gift to my men and women was the translation and humanizing effect of taking bullshit orders and making them palatable for them.

No, we haven't won a war since WWII for many reasons; but, in my humble estimation, the two biggest culprits are politics and logistics. For one, our politicians don't know what it's like to wage war, what it's like for the combatants or the civilians seemingly always caught in the middle. Or what the hell we're going to do in the off-chance that we win one of these puppies.

No, the Generals have not forgotten how to win wars – in fact, there are no generals alive now who ever had the good fortune to win one. So the Generals don't know how to win wars.

Oh, by the way – this was during Vietnam. Nothing has changed.

Wombat November 29, 2016 at 6:28 pm

Glad to read a comment from someone with first hand experience. Generals know how to win conventional wars, where success is measured based on % enemy destroyed or seizing an objective. One could argue Norman Schwarzkopf won the 1st Gulf War, only difference is that U.S. Generals weren't left to perform humanitarian functions after. As the author eludes to - but still doesn't stray from attacking the competence of senior military leaders– without an objective can success be determined? If one's mission as a Colonel is to lead a Brigade security operation on a Forward Operating Base for a year, can he/she be successful based on the author's arbitrary standards of success? I would argue with minimal casualties and no breaches over the year, the mission would be a success, but these everyday successes are neglected. Accordingly, if a Component Combatant Commander leads coalition operations in Iraq for two years with 0.05% coalition casualties and no FOBs being breached, shouldn't that be a success?

It's too bad that General's success can't be measured like their CEO equivalents based on an quarterly earnings, instead they have to answer to often ill-informed civilian leadership being judged by vacant metrics and arbitrary standards by those like Bakevich. At least the military's top executives (Generals) make about 4x their median worker's salary. These men and women could take far better jobs in the MIC or the Corporate Realm, many I'm sure stay for noble reasons to lead their servicemembers.

knowbuddha November 29, 2016 at 5:16 pm

Sounds like the lament of an aging mafia don that's forgotten what he's talking about is illegal. "Why can't our generals pull off a good old-fashioned smash and grab like they used to? They must be incompetent!"

That's so last millennium. We've moved on, don. Smash & grabs are penny ante. Now the game is Full-Spectrum Dominance.

Joint Vision 2020 Emphasizes Full-spectrum Dominance

So I don't think an old-fashioned smash & grab has been the goal for a long time. For decades (ever since WWII?) we've been trying to regime change our way to the goal of every Hollywood mad scientist and super-villian: everlasting world dominance.

What have they actually accomplished? Hard to say, from my vantage point. "Insufficient data," as the old Star Trek computer said.

I know that one of the main goals is to prevent there from ever being any threat to our dominance. So while China and Russia aim for Eurasian integration, we're all about it's disintegration. We're also determined to keep the EU from ever threatening our dominance. South America is slipping the yoke, but we haven't given up.

At the very least, our generals are doing a smashing job of spreading chaos. And then there's weaponized economics.

Here in the "Homeland" (genuflects), on the "home front," in the domestic "battle space," it's important to realize that when the Pentagon says "full-spectrum dominance," that means us, comrades. Wall-to-wall surveillance? Check. POTUS power to execute or disappear dissidents? Check. Torture enshrined in secret laws and the public mind? Check.

On what level are the relevant decisions being made: public discourse, or top security? We're not privy to the councils where super secret intelligence is discussed and the big decisions are made. We're out here, on the receiving end of weapons-grade PSYOPS.

So what are we talking about, here? I don't think analyses based in kayfabe will ever arrive at real insight. Analyzing events in terms of the cover stories meant to dupe us is much ado about nothing.

The above article was published in 2000. Obama never renounced FSD. AFAIK it's still the strategy. Why doesn't the esteemed colonel frame his analysis in terms of our official defense posture? Are we any closer to FSD, or not?

But I must say, nice job of framing the debate. /s

As far as any hope for change under the new don, I don't see any. He'd have to publicly renounce FSD, wind down the empire of bases, and find something to do with all those now in its employ, all while "pivoting" to climate change and rejuvenating the economy, to actually respond to our actual conditions. The Don is many things, but a martyr for peace and Mother Earth ain't one.

I'll be impressed when the colonel starts calling our wars crimes against humanity and for their immediate cessation and full reparations. "Moar better generals" will not succeed at accomplishing a basically insane strategy. Until then, I'll file Bacevich under "modified limited hangout."

integer November 30, 2016 at 12:28 am

Great comment. Thanks.

ewmayer November 29, 2016 at 5:17 pm

"But can he do anything about it?" - Don't go to war without a damn good reason seems like it might be a pretty good start. Despite his typically being all over the map on this – e.g. tough-on-terrorism-and-ISIS – I found myself repeatedly surprised during the primary season at Trump being the only major-party candidate – even including Bernie – to consistently talk good sense on Libya, Syria, Ukraine and Russia.

Lambert Strether November 30, 2016 at 3:30 am

Agreed. I was surprised, too. Of course, it's the working class children in the flyover states who join the military and go to war, and come back maimed or with PTSD to a rotten job market. So that may have been politically astute on Trump's part and, if so, good for him.

VietnamVet November 29, 2016 at 8:00 pm

Andrew Bacevich is correct if one wears blinders and looks strictly at DoD Generals. The reality is that there is a Western Imperium that is intent only on short term profits and has degenerated into looting its own people and destroying sovereign nations. The Vietnam War showed that colonial wars could not be fought with a conscript army. The volunteer US Army is too small to put a platoon of soldiers in every village and town square in Afghanistan let alone Iraq. The endless wars were unwinnable from the get go. The globalist empire is supremely efficient in looting taxpayers, trashing Deplorables and spreading regime change campaigns across the world. The forever wars are being fought by proxy forces with Western military support without a single thought for their deadly consequences to make money.

Synoia November 29, 2016 at 8:32 pm

Let's be brutally frank. The US both wants an empire, but also wants to pretend it is encouraging democracy everywhere. Objectives where the result is deceitful and duplicitous behavior. Ask the Indians about the methods, or the beneficiaries of the "Monroe Doctrine." The British wanted an empire. A simple objective. If you are not England, you are a colony, and we, the English, make the rules. At the heart of American activities is a kernel of deceit. Self determination for people, but only if you do what we say. The kernel of deceit poisons every walk of life connected to Washington. Every single one.

The US is called the empire of chaos. It could also be called the empire of Deceit. Do as we say, but we are not taking any responsibility for you if you do what we say. Don't do what we say, and we will fund your opposition until they stuff a dagger up you ass.

medon November 29, 2016 at 11:40 pm

I don't understand why we're in the Middle East at all. The US seems taken by the 4000 year old, 5th grade concept of controlling the "Fertile Crescent." Why don't we just buy the oil we want at prevailing prices.

Winning for the Boykin-ites is when the Middle East becomes Christian! lol As Smedley said. "It's a racket." Whatever, then there's Israel's push to steal Palestinian gas and pipe it thru Syria and Turkey to markets in the Europe.

blert November 30, 2016 at 4:51 am

1) You've got Qatar crossed up with the West Bank.

2) Israel has plenty of its own natural gas it wants to export.

Helping out Wahhabist Qatar is not in the playbook.

Wahhabish ~ Nazisim in all but name.

They line up almost perfectly right down the line starting with pathological Jew-hatred.

JTMcPhee November 30, 2016 at 10:12 am

HJi, blurt - Can you spell "Hasbarah"?

Davidt November 29, 2016 at 11:49 pm

Think about Democrats using identity politics to claim religious fervor and war used to show being strong on defense. With both political parties using corruption to align power and control at home and abroad. Choosing your enemies carefully, for you will become them.

Dick Burkhart November 30, 2016 at 4:37 am

Right on, Andrew!

Let's just pull out of the Middle East and do everything we can to de-escalate these wars: especially to keep the other great powers out too, unless called back in as a true UN peacekeeping force after the locals have found a way to cool things down.

Clark Landwehr November 30, 2016 at 6:01 am

The US military was the first part of the government to be turned into a business, the first neo-liberal institution created in America. The real problem is that the US military is run by managers and not soldiers. The Germans used to make fun of the British Army in WWI by calling it an army of lions led by donkeys. The US military is an army of lions led by managers.

fresno dan November 30, 2016 at 7:07 am

War on Crime.
War on Poverty.
War on Cancer.
War on Drugs.
War on Terror.

So many, many wars .so little victory.
A cynic might suggest its all a PR campaign

S Haust November 30, 2016 at 12:31 pm

Oddly enough, Tomdispatch does not appear to be on (drum roll)

THE LIST

Are they that stupid and careless or is it meaningful?

Paul Art November 30, 2016 at 3:40 pm

If Andrew is looking for a denouement to the Military Industrial complex then one need look no further than the British empire – specifically what made it shrink and shrivel very rapidly. WWI and WWII. The decimation of the economy and the inability to keep spending money to maintain empire is what reversed the entire machine. It will be the same with the US as well.

As long as the dollar is high and Wall Street keeps it that way, there will be no pressure to do anything different. When people start going hungry and jobless and start getting the bejesus bombed out of them as happened during the blitz then they begin to understand what war truly means. In America there has been no war for too long and the people here know nothing about war's sufferings and privations. There was a little window via the draft during 'Nam' but that's about it. Nothing will happen until a majority of the populace start hurting real bad.

[Nov 25, 2016] Donald Trump tells mainstream media what he really thinks of them

Notable quotes:
"... "Being in front of a fucking firing squad" ..."
"... room full of liars" ..."
theduran.com
President-elect Donald Trump recently had an 'off the record' meeting with members of the American press, aka mainstream media. Such events are not unusual for presidents and future presidents, but according to a variety anonymous sources, Donald Trump has not extended an olive branch to media figures who displayed their open bias against him throughout the campaign. >

According to The Hill, Trump said that being in front of the mainstream media was like, "Being in front of a fucking firing squad". Other sources claim he repeatedly said that he was in a "room full of liars". If he indeed said either of those things, it is difficult to disagree with such an assessment. He also claimed that he "hated" CNN, feelings which seem self-evidently mutual.

According to the generally anti-Trump Politico, the President-elect blasted NBC for using unflattering photographs of him throughout their coverage.

Whether or not these reports are fully accurate is beside the point. Frankly, why would one trust off the record comments from people who publicly slandered Trump on the record and did so without a hint of shame.

What is more significant is what Trump said about his use of social media during his lengthy interview on CBS's 60 Minutes. Here, Trump said that social media is an effective way to bypass big-media and speak directly to the public. He also stated that it is a quick, cheap and effective way to clarify misstatements made by the mainstream media.

This is unequivocally true and it is heartening. To think that a small smartphone has the ability to reach as many and at times even more people than the mainstream media with their millions of dollars worth of cameras, microphones, lights, sets, drivers, vehicles, offices and staff, is a sign that the world is no longer beholden to the arrogant gatekeepers of news, perhaps better referred to as "fake news".

Donald Trump was indeed given a very unfair time by the media and he has no reason to forget nor forgive. He also has no reason to placate them, and frankly due to the power of new-media, online media and his own highly effective use of social media, he doesn't need them.

They are relics of the past and he is a symbol of the future.

Steven Barry

The alt-media is the samizdat (google it) of the internet age. The genie is out of the bottle and there is no putting it back.

Simon

Excellent. Yet even 'IF' the reports of this meeting are exaggerated, there is a fact that is undeniable; The new President is holding Court in his own palace, on top of his own castle, in New York.

All the supplicants are coming to him. Even the Japanese Prime minister. He sits there in the economic capital of the USA rather than being in Washington - where presumably something like the HQ of the Republican Party would be the more normal venue for a president-elect.

Far away in the DC Swamp (which voted 94% Hillary) the politicians, the hacks, the lobbyists the 'professionals' are in panic - there's no way to meet him, no way to do lunch at 30mins notice. All they have is the tragic ghost of BHO wandering around the White House, but the glitz the zeitgeist the locus is now at Trump Tower. Every day we see its lobby and the golden lift in the news.

Many believe nothing will change, but so far there are plenty signs that it has.

tom > Simon

Let's hope the Trump Tower doesn't get 9/11'd.

le-DeplorableFroggy > tom

As long as the Mossad terrorists are kept OUT of the US from now on, and every zionist stooge is either locked up or thrown OUT of this country, NO more israHell/Mossad false flags in the US.

● How Ehud Barak Pulled Off 9-11 - (bollyn dot com/how-ehud-barak-pulled-off-9-11-2)
● MADE IN ISRAEL - 9-11 and the Jewish Plot Against America PDF - (shop.americanfreepress dot net/store/c/25-Israel.html)
● 9-11 EVIL - Israel's Central Role in the September 11, 2001, Terrorist Attacks - (shop.americanfreepress dot net/store/c/25-Israel.html)
● Get the Hell Out of Our Country! Parts 1 to 5 - (veteranstoday dot com/2015/02/05/get-the-hell-out-of-our-country/)
● Israel a cornered rat - "In 10 years there will be no more Israel" - Henry 'Balloonie' Kizzinger - (darkmoon dot me/2014/israel-a-cornered-rat/)
● Netanyahu tells ministers not to talk to Trump's people - (theuglytruth.wordpress dot com/2016/11/21/netanyahu-tells-ministers-not-to-talk-to-trumps-people/#more-162166)

7.62x54r • 3 days ago

US media ( and other NATO media ) are propagandists. The US Big 6 should have their licenses yanked for putting forth a flawed and wholly dishonest product. Screw them.

[Nov 24, 2016] Donald Trumps New York Times Interview Full Transcript - The New York Times

Nov 24, 2016 | www.nytimes.com

FRIEDMAN: What do you see as America's role in the world? Do you believe that the role

TRUMP: That's such a big question.

FRIEDMAN: The role that we played for 50 years as kind of the global balancer, paying more for things because they were in our ultimate interest, one hears from you, I sense, is really shrinking that role.

TRUMP: I don't think we should be a nation builder. I think we've tried that. I happen to think that going into Iraq was perhaps I mean you could say maybe we could have settled the civil war, O.K.? I think going into Iraq was one of the great mistakes in the history of our country. I think getting out of it - I think we got out of it wrong, then lots of bad things happened, including the formation of ISIS. We could have gotten out of it differently.

FRIEDMAN: NATO, Russia?

TRUMP: I think going in was a terrible, terrible mistake. Syria, we have to solve that problem because we are going to just keep fighting, fighting forever. I have a different view on Syria than everybody else. Well, not everybody else, but then a lot of people. I had to listen to [Senator] Lindsey Graham, who, give me a break. I had to listen to Lindsey Graham talk about, you know, attacking Syria and attacking, you know, and it's like you're now attacking Russia, you're attacking Iran, you're attacking. And what are we getting? We're getting - and what are we getting? And I have some very definitive, I have some very strong ideas on Syria. I think what's happened is a horrible, horrible thing. To look at the deaths, and I'm not just talking deaths on our side, which are horrible, but the deaths - I mean you look at these cities, Arthur, where they're totally, they're rubble, massive areas, and they say two people were injured. No, thousands of people have died. O.K. And I think it's a shame. And ideally we can get - do something with Syria. I spoke to Putin, as you know, he called me, essentially

UNKNOWN: How do you see that relationship?

TRUMP: Essentially everybody called me, all of the major leaders, and most of them I've spoken to.

FRIEDMAN: Will you have a reset with Russia?

TRUMP: I wouldn't use that term after what happened, you know, previously. I think - I would love to be able to get along with Russia and I think they'd like to be able to get along with us. It's in our mutual interest. And I don't go in with any preconceived notion, but I will tell you, I would say - when they used to say, during the campaign, Donald Trump loves Putin, Putin loves Donald Trump, I said, huh, wouldn't it be nice, I'd say this in front of thousands of people, wouldn't it be nice to actually report what they said, wouldn't it be nice if we actually got along with Russia, wouldn't it be nice if we went after ISIS together, which is, by the way, aside from being dangerous, it's very expensive, and ISIS shouldn't have been even allowed to form, and the people will stand up and give me a massive hand. You know they thought it was bad that I was getting along with Putin or that I believe strongly if we can get along with Russia that's a positive thing. It is a great thing that we can get along with not only Russia but that we get along with other countries.

JOSEPH KAHN, managing editor: On Syria, would you mind, you said you have a very strong idea about what to do with the Syria conflict, can you describe that for us?

TRUMP: I can only say this: We have to end that craziness that's going on in Syria. One of the things that was told to me - can I say this off the record, or is everything on the record?

[Nov 23, 2016] Ron Paul: Shadow Government May Pull False Flag To Get Trump Into War

www.infowars.com
Former Congressman and Libertarian icon Ron Paul has warned that 'shadow government' neocons could orchestrate a 'false flag' incident in order to drag new president Donald Trump into a fresh war.

"I don't how anybody can say they know what is going to happen," Paul told The Daily Caller, referring to Trump's foreign policy.

"All we need is a false flag and an accident and everybody will be for teaching them a lesson," Paul said, warning that such an event could trigger new foreign entanglement.

"The neocons always talked about it before 9/11 they kept saying, 'we aren't going to get our program in until we have a Pearl Harbor event,'" the former congressman stated, stopping short of saying he believes those attacks were staged.

"I think other countries could use false flags." Paul also added.

Paul also warned that a shadow government will continue to operate when Trump is president, just as it did during Obama's time in office.

"Obama probably was much more attune to a different foreign policy of less aggression but why then does he do it?" Paul said.

"I think there's the shadow government, the military-industrial complex, the CIA, and all the things that can be done because they just melt away and they do exactly what the establishment says." the former Congressman added.

Paul warned that those within the shadow government are seeking to influence Trump now.

"He's very friendly with a lot of them right now, he's talking to them," Paul said, adding that "We don't have a final answer, we have to wait to see who get's appointed."

"He doesn't talk about blowback and coming out of these countries. He has a better policy with Russia but I think he still is talking with the neoconservatives." Paul also stated.

"The deep state is very very powerful and they have a lot of control," Paul said, adding "That is one of my big issues about how shadow government is so powerful in all administrations."

Earlier this month, Paul issued the same warnings, saying that neocons and shadow government figures are going to attempt to infiltrate and influence Trump's presidency and prevent him from achieving successful change.

[Nov 23, 2016] Trump will have as many problems with Ayn Ryan Congress as Obama/Clinton on economic issues

Nov 23, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Cry Shop November 23, 2016 at 6:16 pm

Bankers & Trump

Bankers know you capture catch more flies with money honey.

ewmayer November 23, 2016 at 6:21 pm

"The Trump campaign, meanwhile, delved into message tailoring, sentiment manipulation and machine learning." - Oh, please, this sounds like a stereotypical Google-centric view of things. They of course left out the most important part of the campaign, the key to its inception, which could be described in terms like "The Trump campaign, meanwhile, actually noticed the widespread misery and non-recovery in the parts of the US outside the elite coastal bubbles and DC beltway, and spotted a yuuuge political opportunity." In other words, not sentiment manipulation – that was, after all, the Dem-establishment-MSM-wall-street-and-the-elite-technocrats' "America is already great, and anyone who denies it is deplorable!" strategy of manufactured consent – so much as actual *reading* of sentiment. Of course if one insisted on remaining inside a protective elite echo chamber and didn't listen to anything Trump or the attendees actually said in those huge flyover-country rallies that wasn't captured in suitably outrageous evening-news soundbites, it was all too easy to believe one's own hype.

" former secretary of state Henry Kissinger, who has known Trump socially for decades and is currently advising the president-elect on foreign policy issues " - I really, really hope this is just Hammerin' Hank tooting his own horn, as he and his sycophants in the FP establishment and MSM are wont to do.

Brad November 23, 2016 at 6:33 pm

"Trump dumps the TPP: conservatives rue strategic fillip to China" (Guardian)

Another wedge angle for Trumps new-found RINO "friends" to play. Trump will have as many problems with Ayn Ryan Congress as Obama/Clinton on economic issues.

"The TPP excludes China, which declined to join, proposing its own rival version, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which excludes the US." You see, it is all China's fault. No info presented on why China "declined" to join.

And if Abe's Japan were really an independent country, they'd pick up the TPP baton and sell it to China.

[Nov 23, 2016] Ron Paul Shadow Government May Pull False Flag To Get Trump Into War

www.infowars.com
Former Congressman and Libertarian icon Ron Paul has warned that 'shadow government' neocons could orchestrate a 'false flag' incident in order to drag new president Donald Trump into a fresh war.

"I don't how anybody can say they know what is going to happen," Paul told The Daily Caller, referring to Trump's foreign policy.

"All we need is a false flag and an accident and everybody will be for teaching them a lesson," Paul said, warning that such an event could trigger new foreign entanglement.

"The neocons always talked about it before 9/11 they kept saying, 'we aren't going to get our program in until we have a Pearl Harbor event,'" the former congressman stated, stopping short of saying he believes those attacks were staged.

"I think other countries could use false flags." Paul also added.

Paul also warned that a shadow government will continue to operate when Trump is president, just as it did during Obama's time in office.

"Obama probably was much more attune to a different foreign policy of less aggression but why then does he do it?" Paul said.

"I think there's the shadow government, the military-industrial complex, the CIA, and all the things that can be done because they just melt away and they do exactly what the establishment says." the former Congressman added.

Paul warned that those within the shadow government are seeking to influence Trump now.

"He's very friendly with a lot of them right now, he's talking to them," Paul said, adding that "We don't have a final answer, we have to wait to see who get's appointed."

"He doesn't talk about blowback and coming out of these countries. He has a better policy with Russia but I think he still is talking with the neoconservatives." Paul also stated.

"The deep state is very very powerful and they have a lot of control," Paul said, adding "That is one of my big issues about how shadow government is so powerful in all administrations."

Earlier this month, Paul issued the same warnings, saying that neocons and shadow government figures are going to attempt to infiltrate and influence Trump's presidency and prevent him from achieving successful change.

[Nov 23, 2016] Donald Trump meets with prominent Sanders supporter Tulsi Gabbard

www.theguardian.com

Donald Trump's unorthodox US presidential transition continued on Monday when he held talks with one of the most prominent supporters of leftwing Democrat Bernie Sanders.

The president-elect's first meeting of the day at Trump Tower in New York was with Tulsi Gabbard, a Democratic maverick who endorsed the socialist Sanders during his unsuccessful primary battle with Hillary Clinton.

... ... ...

At first glance Gabbard, who is from Hawaii and is the first Hindu member of the US Congress, seems an unlikely counsellor. She resigned from the Democratic National Committee to back Vermont senator Sanders and formally nominated him for president at the party convention in July, crediting him with starting a "movement of love and compassion", although by then Clinton's victory was certain.

But the Iraq war veteran has also expressed views that might appeal to Trump, criticising Obama, condemning interventionist wars in Iraq and Libya and taking a hard line on immigration. In 2014, she called for a rollback of the visa waiver programme for Britain and other European countries with what she called "Islamic extremist" populations.

In October last year she tweeted: "Al-Qaeda attacked us on 9/11 and must be defeated. Obama won't bomb them in Syria. Putin did. #neverforget911." She was then among 47 Democrats who joined Republicans to pass a bill mandating a stronger screening process for refugees from Iraq and Syria coming to the US.

[Nov 23, 2016] Trump won because Democratic Party governance eviscerated those communities

Notable quotes:
"... Judging by the people who Trump has appointed, it is looking like an ugly situation for the US. If he actually hires people like John Bolton, we will know that a betrayal was certain. While I think that it is probable that he is the lesser evil, he was supposed to avoid neoconservatives and Wall Street types (that Clinton associates herself with). ..."
"... I think it would be a mistake to attribute too much "genius" to Trump and Kushner. It sounds like Kushner exhibited competence, and that's great. But Trump won in great measure because Democratic Party governance eviscerated those communities. ..."
"... This is akin to how Obama got WAY too much credit for being a brilliant orator. People wanted change in '08 and voted for it. That change agent betrayed them, so they voted for change again this time. Or, more accurately, a lot of Obama voters stayed home, the Republican base held together, and Trump's team found necessary little pockets of ignored voters to energize. But that strategy would never have worked if not for Obama's and Clinton's malfeasance and incompetence. Honestly, Hillary got closer to a win that she had a right to. That ought to be the real story. ..."
Nov 23, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Altandmain November 23, 2016 at 5:09 pm

Does anyone else get the overwhelming impression that the US is heading for an impending collapse or serious decline at least, unless it puts a fight it against the status quo?

Judging by the people who Trump has appointed, it is looking like an ugly situation for the US. If he actually hires people like John Bolton, we will know that a betrayal was certain. While I think that it is probable that he is the lesser evil, he was supposed to avoid neoconservatives and Wall Street types (that Clinton associates herself with).

I find it amazing how tone deaf the Clinton campaign and Democratic Establishment are. Trump and apparently his son in law, no matter what else, are political campaigning geniuses given their accomplishments. For months people were criticizing their lack of experience in politics like a fatal mistake..

I think that no real change is going to happen until someone authentically left wing takes power or if the US collapses.

aab November 23, 2016 at 5:30 pm

I think it would be a mistake to attribute too much "genius" to Trump and Kushner. It sounds like Kushner exhibited competence, and that's great. But Trump won in great measure because Democratic Party governance eviscerated those communities.

This is akin to how Obama got WAY too much credit for being a brilliant orator. People wanted change in '08 and voted for it. That change agent betrayed them, so they voted for change again this time. Or, more accurately, a lot of Obama voters stayed home, the Republican base held together, and Trump's team found necessary little pockets of ignored voters to energize. But that strategy would never have worked if not for Obama's and Clinton's malfeasance and incompetence. Honestly, Hillary got closer to a win that she had a right to. That ought to be the real story.

Daryl November 23, 2016 at 6:09 pm

It is not clear to me what exactly a collapse entails. The US doesn't have obvious lines to fracture across, like say the USSR did. (I suppose an argument could be made for "cultural regions" like the South, Cascadia etc separating out, but it seems far less likely to happen, even in the case of continuing extreme economic duress and breakdown of democracy/civil rights).

The US is and has been in a serious decline, and will probably continue.

[Nov 23, 2016] Disrespecting the American Imperial Presidency by Matt Peppe

www.counterpunch.org
The Imperial Presidency of the United States has evolved over the last century to the point that the executive holds certain powers that can be considered dictatorial. Arguably, the most consequential decision in politics is to wage war. The Constitution specifically reserves this right for Congress. The President, as Commander-in-Chief, directs the wars that Congress declares. However, starting with Truman's intervention in the Korean War in 1950 and continuing with invasions of Vietnam, Grenada, Iraq and Afghanistan and the bombings of dozens more countries, the President's ability to unilaterally initiate war with a sovereign nation has been normalized. Congress has not declared war since 1941 despite the fact the U.S. military has intervened in nearly every corner of the world in the years since.

In recent years, George W. Bush assumed the power to kidnap, torture, and assassinate any individual, anywhere in the world, at any time, without even a pretense of due process. Upon replacing Bush, Barack Obama legitimized Bush's kidnapping and torture (by refusing to prosecute the perpetrators or provide recourse to the victims) while enthusiastically embracing the power to assassinate at will. Noam Chomsky has said this represents Obama trashing the 800-year-old Magna Carta, which King John of England would have approved of.

Can there be anything more dictatorial than the power of a single individual to kill and make war at will? While American presidents thankfully do not have the power to unilaterally impose taxes, pass legislation, or incarcerate without charges inside U.S. borders, the illegitimate authority they do possess to carry out unrestrained violence across the world is unquestionably a dictatorial feature.

There has not been a single American president since World War II that has not exceeded his constitutional authority by committing crimes that would meet the standard by which officials were convicted and executed at the Nuremberg trials.

Roosevelt's Executive Order 9066 to imprison Japanese Americans in concentration camps was a flagrant violation of the Fifth Amendment right not to be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.

Truman's firebombing of Tokyo, nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and invasion of Korea violated provisions of multiple treaties that are considered the "supreme law of the land" per Article VI of the U.S. Constitution.

Eisenhower's use of the CIA to overthrow democratically elected presidents in Iran and Guatemala, as well as the initiation of a terrorist campaign against Cuba, violated the UN Charter, another international treaty that the Constitution regards as the supreme law of the land.

Kennedy was guilty of approving the creation of a mercenary army to invade Cuba, as well as covert warfare in Vietnam. Johnson massively escalated U.S. military involvement in Vietnam with the introduction of ground troops, which he fraudulently justified through misrepresentation of the Gulf of Tonkin incident.

Succeeding Johnson, Nixon waged a nearly genocidal air campaign against not only Vietnam but Cambodia and Laos, killing hundreds of thousands of people, destroying ecosystems across Indochina, and leaving an unfathomable amount of unexploded ordnance, which continues to kill and maim hundreds of people each year.

Ford covertly supported the South African invasion of Angola and overtly supported the Indonesian invasion of East Timor. Carter continued supporting the Indonesian occupation of East Timor, as well as providing financial and military support to military dictatorships in Guatemala and El Salvador. Reagan oversaw the creation and operation of a terrorist army in Nicaragua, sponsored military dictatorships throughout Central America, and directly invaded Grenada.

Bush the Elder invaded Panama and Iraq. Clinton oversaw sanctions in Iraq that killed as many as 1 million people, carried out an air war that indiscriminately pulverized civilian targets from 15,000 feet in Serbia, and bombed a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan that produced medications for half the country. Bush the Lesser invaded and occupied Afghanistan and Iraq. Obama continued both of those wars, as well as dramatically expanding the drone assassination program in as many as seven countries.

So I beg to differ with Blow and anyone else who claims the presidency deserves respect. Any institution or position that permits such illegal and immoral actions unchecked should be eradicated and replaced with some alternative that does not.

Liberal Clinton defender Matt Yglesias argues that from a historical perspective, Trump is uniquely dangerous. "(P)ast presidents," Yglesias writes, "have simply been restrained by restraint. By a belief that there are certain things one simply cannot try or do."

It is hard to take such vacuous proclamations with a straight face. As we have seen, every single American president since at least WWII has engaged in serious violations of international and domestic law to cause death, destruction and misery across the world, from murdering individuals without due process to unleashing two nuclear bombs on civilian populations in a defeated country that was seeking to surrender.

When Trump assumes the presidency, he will inherit a frightening surveillance/military/incarceration apparatus that includes a targeted killing program; a vast NSA domestic and international spying network; a death squad (the Joint Special Operations Command); and an extralegal system for indefinite kidnapping and imprisonment at Guantanamo Bay.

Partisans see a problem only when the presidency is in the "wrong" hands. If Obama is at the helm, liberals are fine with unconstitutional mass surveillance or killing an American citizen without charge or trial every now and then. Conservatives trusted Bush to warrantlessly surveill Americans, but were outraged at the Snowden revelations.

Principled opponents recognize that no one should be trusted with illegitimate authority. The hand-wringing and hyperventilation by liberals about the dangers of a Trump presidency ring hollow and hypocritical.

American presidents long ago became the equivalent of elected monarchs, beyond the democratic control of the those they purportedly serve. The occupant of the office is able to substitute his own judgments and whims for a universally applicable set of laws and limits on the exercise of power. It is what Dolores Vek describes as "actually existing fascism." Both parties have contributed to it, the media has normalized it, and the public has accepted its creation and continued existence without rebelling against it. It's time to stop treating the presidency itself with respect and start actively delegitimizing it.

[Nov 23, 2016] Expect the Unexpected

Nov 23, 2016 | www.theamericanconservative.com
This unadmitted ignorance was previously displayed for those with eyes to see it in the Libya debacle, perhaps not coincidentally Clinton's pet war. Cast by the Obama White House as a surgical display of "smart power" that would defend human rights and foster democracy in the Muslim world, the 2011 Libyan intervention did precisely the opposite. There is credible evidence that the U.S.-led NATO campaign prolonged and exacerbated the humanitarian crisis, and far from creating a flourishing democracy, the ouster of strongman Muammar Qaddafi led to a power vacuum into which ISIS and other rival unsavories surged.

The 2011 intervention and the follow-up escalation in which we are presently entangled were both fundamentally informed by "the underlying belief that military force will produce stability and that the U.S. can reasonably predict the result of such a campaign," as Christopher Preble has argued in a must-read Libya analysis at Politico . Both have proven resoundingly wrong.

Before Libya, Washington espoused the same false certainty in advance of intervention and nation-building Iraq and Afghanistan. The rhetoric around the former was particularly telling: we would find nuclear weapons and "be greeted as liberators," said Vice President Dick Cheney. The whole thing would take five months or less, said Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. It would be a "cakewalk." As months dragged into years of nation-building stagnation, the ignored truth became increasingly evident: the United States cannot reshape entire countries without obscene risk and investment, and even when those costly commitments are made, success cannot be predicted with certainty.

Nearly 14 years later, with Iraq demonstrably more violent and less stable than it was before U.S. intervention, wisdom demands we reject Washington's recycled snake oil.

Recent polls (let alone the anti-elite backlash Trump's win represents ) suggest Americans are ready to do precisely that. But a lack of public enthusiasm has never stopped Washington from hawking its fraudulent wares-this time in the form of yet-again unfounded certainty that escalating American intervention in Syria is a sure-fire solution to that beleaguered nation's woes.

We must not let ourselves be fooled. Rather, we "should understand that we don't need to overthrow distant governments and roll the dice on what comes after in order to keep America safe," as Preble, reflecting on Libya, contends . "On the contrary, our track record over the last quarter-century shows that such interventions often have the opposite effect."

And as for the political establishment, let Trump's triumph be a constant reminder of the necessity of expecting the unexpected and proceeding with due (indeed, much overdue) prudence and restraint abroad. If Washington so grossly misunderstood the direction of its own heartland-without the muddling, as in foreign policy, of massive geographic and cultural differences-how naïve it is to believe that our government can successfully play armed puppet-master over an entire region of the world?

Bonnie Kristian is a fellow at Defense Priorities. She is a weekend editor at The Week and a columnist at Rare , and her writing has also appeared at Time , Politico , Relevant , The Hill , and other outlets.

[Nov 22, 2016] Does Clinton's Defeat Mean the Decline of US Interventionism

Notable quotes:
"... Did the United States not know that intervening in "the lands of Islam" would act as a catalyst for Jihad? Was it by chance that the United States intervened only in secular states, turning them into manholes of religious extremism? Is it a coincidence that these interventions were and are often supported by regimes that sponsor political Islam? Conspiracy theory, you say? No, these are historical facts. ..."
"... The South has understood where the North has not: the selective nature of humanitarian interventions reflects their punitive nature; sanctions go to non-client regimes; interventions seem to be a new excuse for the hegemonic ambitions of the United States and its allies; they are a new rationale for NATO after the collapse of the Soviet Union; they are a way to suppress Russia and deprive it of its zones of influence. (3) ..."
"... What a far-sighted motion was that of the coalition of the countries of the Third World (G77) at the Havana Summit in 2000! It declared its rejection of any intervention, including humanitarian, which did not respect the sovereignty of the states concerned. (4) This was nothing other than a rejection of the Clinton Doctrine, announced in 1999, in the wake of the war of Kosovo, which made "humanitarian intervention" the new bedrock, or perhaps the new facade, of the foreign policy of the United States. It was the same policy followed and developed by Hillary Clinton during her tenure as secretary of state. (5) ..."
"... At the moment of this writing, any speculation as to the policy choices of Trump's foreign policy is premature. ..."
"... Like Donald Trump, George W. Bush was a conservative Republican non-interventionist. He advocated "America First," called for a more subdued foreign policy and adopted Colin Powell's realism "to attend without stress" (7) with regard to the Near and Middle East. But his policy shifted to become the most aggressive and most brutal in the history of the United States. Many international observers argue that this shift came as a response to the September 11 attacks, but they fail to note that the aggressive germs already existed within Bush's cabinet and advisers: the neo-conservatives occupied key functions in his administration. ..."
"... Up until now, Trump's links with the neo-cons remain unclear. The best-known neo-cons, Paul Wolfowitz, William Kristol, and Robert Kagan, appear to have lost their bet by supporting Hillary Clinton's candidacy. But others, less prominent or influential, seem to have won it by supporting Trump: Dick Cheney, Norman Podhoretz, and James Woolsey, his adviser and one of the architects of the wars in the Middle East. ..."
"... it is more realistic to suppose that as long as the United States has interests in the countries of the South and the Near and Middle East, so long it will not hesitate to intervene. ..."
"... In this context, Trump's defeat and Clinton's accession are not sufficient reasons to declare the decline of interventionism -- the end of an era and the beginning of another. ..."
"... (Translated from the French by Luciana Bohne) ..."
www.counterpunch.org
... ... ...

If the discourse of humanitarianism seduced the North, it has not been so in the South, even less in the Near and Middle East, which no longer believe in it. The patent humanitarian disasters in Kosovo, Iraq, Libya, and Syria have disillusioned them.

It is in this sense that Trump's victory is felt as a release, a hope for change, and a rupture from the policy of Clinton, Bush, and Obama. This policy, in the name of edifying nations ("nation building"), has destroyed some of the oldest nations and civilizations on earth; in the name of delivering well-being, it has delivered misery; in the name of liberal values, it has galvanized religious zeal; in the name of democracy and human rights, it has installed autocracies and Sharia law.

Who is to blame?

Did the United States not know that intervening in "the lands of Islam" would act as a catalyst for Jihad? Was it by chance that the United States intervened only in secular states, turning them into manholes of religious extremism? Is it a coincidence that these interventions were and are often supported by regimes that sponsor political Islam? Conspiracy theory, you say? No, these are historical facts.

Can the United States not learn from history, or does it just doom itself to repeat it? Does it not pose itself the question of how al-Qaeda and Daesh originated? How did they organize themselves? Who trained them? What is their mobilizing discourse? (1) Why is the US their target? None of this seems to matter to the US: all it cares about is projecting its own idealism. (2)

The death of thousands of people in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya or Syria, has it contributed to the well being of these peoples? Or does the United States perhaps respond to this question in the manner of Madeleine Albright, Bill Clinton's Secretary of State, who regretted the death of five-hundred-thousand Iraqi children, deprived of medications by the American embargo, to conclude with the infamous sentence, "[But] it was worth it "?

Was it worth it that people came to perceive humanitarian intervention as the new crusades? Was it worth it that they now perceive democracy as a pagan, pre-Islamic model, abjured by their belief? Was it worth it that they now perceive modernity as deviating believers from the "true" path? Was it worth that they now perceive human rights as human standards as contrary to the divine will? Was it worth it that people now perceive secularism as atheism whose defenders are punishable by beheading?

Have universal values become a problem rather than a solution? What then to think of making war in their name? Has humanitarian intervention become punishment rather than help?

The South has understood where the North has not: the selective nature of humanitarian interventions reflects their punitive nature; sanctions go to non-client regimes; interventions seem to be a new excuse for the hegemonic ambitions of the United States and its allies; they are a new rationale for NATO after the collapse of the Soviet Union; they are a way to suppress Russia and deprive it of its zones of influence. (3)

What a far-sighted motion was that of the coalition of the countries of the Third World (G77) at the Havana Summit in 2000! It declared its rejection of any intervention, including humanitarian, which did not respect the sovereignty of the states concerned. (4) This was nothing other than a rejection of the Clinton Doctrine, announced in 1999, in the wake of the war of Kosovo, which made "humanitarian intervention" the new bedrock, or perhaps the new facade, of the foreign policy of the United States. It was the same policy followed and developed by Hillary Clinton during her tenure as secretary of state. (5)

The end of interventionism?

But are Clinton's defeat and Trump's accession to power sufficient reasons to declare the decline of interventionism?

Donald Trump is a nationalist, whose rise has been the result of a coalition of anti-interventionists within the Republican Party. They professe a foreign policy that Trump has summarized in these words: "We will use military force only in cases of vital necessity to the national security of the United States. We will put an end to attempts of imposing democracy and overthrowing regimes abroad, as well as involving ourselves in situations in which we have no right to intervene." (6)

But drawing conclusions about the foreign policy of the United States from unofficial statements seems simplistic. At the moment of this writing, any speculation as to the policy choices of Trump's foreign policy is premature. One can't predict his policy with regard to the Near and Middle East, since he has not yet even formed his cabinet. Moreover, presidents in office can change their tune in the course of their tenure. The case of George W. Bush provides an excellent example.

Like Donald Trump, George W. Bush was a conservative Republican non-interventionist. He advocated "America First," called for a more subdued foreign policy and adopted Colin Powell's realism "to attend without stress" (7) with regard to the Near and Middle East. But his policy shifted to become the most aggressive and most brutal in the history of the United States. Many international observers argue that this shift came as a response to the September 11 attacks, but they fail to note that the aggressive germs already existed within Bush's cabinet and advisers: the neo-conservatives occupied key functions in his administration. (8)

Up until now, Trump's links with the neo-cons remain unclear. The best-known neo-cons, Paul Wolfowitz, William Kristol, and Robert Kagan, appear to have lost their bet by supporting Hillary Clinton's candidacy. But others, less prominent or influential, seem to have won it by supporting Trump: Dick Cheney, Norman Podhoretz, and James Woolsey, his adviser and one of the architects of the wars in the Middle East.

These indices show that nothing seems to have been gained by the South, still less by the Near and Middle East. There appears to be no guarantee that the situation will improve.

The non-interventionism promised by Trump may not necessarily equate to a policy of isolationism. A non-interventionist policy does not automatically mean that the United States will stop protecting their interests abroad, strategic or otherwise. Rather, it could mean that the United States will not intervene abroad except to defend their own interests, unilaterally -- and perhaps even more aggressively. Such a potential is implied in Trump's promise to increase the budget for the army and the military-industrial complex. Thus, it is more realistic to suppose that as long as the United States has interests in the countries of the South and the Near and Middle East, so long it will not hesitate to intervene.

In this context, Trump's defeat and Clinton's accession are not sufficient reasons to declare the decline of interventionism -- the end of an era and the beginning of another. The political reality is too complex to be reduced to statements by a presidential candidate campaigning for election, by an elected president, or even by a president in the course of performing his office.

No one knows what the future will bring.

Marwen Bouassida is a researcher in international law at North African-European relations, University of Carthage, Tunisia. He regularly contributes to the online magazine Kapitalis.

(Translated from the French by Luciana Bohne)

[Nov 21, 2016] Trump first and foremost is the symptom, not cause of crisis of neoliberalism in the USA. Ideology is dead, like Bolshevism was dead soon after the end of WWII in the USSR

The Imperial Presidency of the United States has evolved over the last century to the point that the executive holds certain powers that can be considered dictatorial. Arguably, the most consequential decision in politics is to wage war. The Constitution specifically reserves this right for Congress.
Notable quotes:
"... The anger against outsourcing jobs is very real and very dangerous for current corrupt neocon/neolib elite in Washington with their dream of global dominance and global neoliberal empire spanning all countries on all continents much like Trotsky dreamed about global Communist empire. ..."
"... The key information about his real intention would be the candidate for the Secretary of State. But even here uncertainty will remain. For example, it is not completely clear to me that if Bolton would be appointed he will be able to pursue the policies of his neocon past. After all Trump has distinct authoritarian inclinations and Bolton is not stupid enough not to understand that. ..."
"... Hopefully his foreign policy will be less jingoistic that Obama foreign policy. "Our goal is peace and prosperity, not war," said Trump, "unlike other candidates, war and aggression will not be my first instinct." ..."
"... "lovin' Putin" is a propaganda trick which enforces a certain judgment on the US-Russia relations ..."
"... Putin was and remain an obstacle on building global neoliberal empire governed by the USA. So hate toward him by Washington establishment is quite natural. Nothing personal, just business. In other words, demonization of Putin and hysterical anti-Russian campaign (including Hillary attempt to convert Democratic Party into a War party) is just a sign of disapproval of Washington his lack of desire to convert Russian into yet another vassal state. ..."
"... The key question here is not whether Trump will be able to pursue isolationist agenda and improve the US relationship with Russia. The key question is whether he will allowed to do that and resist strong attempts to co-opt him into standard set of neocon policies, which Washington pursued for several decades. ..."
"... Any idea that he will peruse isolationist agenda is undermined by the amount of Iran hawks in his close circle. ..."
"... My impression is that his administration will try to bait Russia in order to prevent any strengthening of China-Russia alliance which was the main blowback of Obama policies toward Russia. ..."
"... This was nothing other than a rejection of the Clinton Doctrine, announced in 1999, in the wake of the war of Kosovo, which made "humanitarian intervention" the new bedrock, or perhaps the new facade, of the foreign policy of the United States. It was the same policy followed and developed by Hillary Clinton during her tenure as secretary of state. (5) ..."
"... The US Empire has been nice to the Russians before. It was called detente and caused almost (not quite) as much hysteria in war-mongering (proto-neoconservative) circles as Trump's 'neo-detente' is causing now. However, the proviso is (and always was) that the warmongering could be ramped up again any time the Americans chose, and of course it was again under Reagan. ..."
"... From the point of view of American imperialism, Trump's plan to (temporarily) be nice to Russia makes a lot of strategic sense: as you point out, under Obama American imperial forces were becoming increasingly overstretched. In any case, for historical reasons, Russia (white, capitalist, Christian) doesn't make as good an enemy as the mysterious dark forces of 'Radical Islam'. ..."
"... So I am guessing under Trump we will see temporary rapprochement with Russia in the East, and more concentration on command and control of the Middle East. I am also guessing Obama's 'Pivot to China' will be allowed to quietly continue. It's also likely the US' policy of quietly picking off 'weak links' in the 'pink tide' in South American (cf Brazil, Honduras) will continue. ..."
"... For the moment I take great comfort in the hostility Trump displayed to Eliot Cohen and his ilk – https://twitter.com/EliotACohen/status/798512852931788800 ..."
"... "After exchange w Trump transition team, changed my recommendation: stay away. They're angry, arrogant, screaming "you LOST!" Will be ugly." ..."
crookedtimber.org

likbez 11.21.16 at 10:41 pm 33

Trump first and foremost is the symptom, not cause of crisis of neoliberalism in the USA. Ideology is dead, like Bolshevism was dead soon after the end of WWII in the USSR.

Trump has two major path of his governance. He might try relying on nationalist insurgence his election provoked and squeeze the "deep state" and neocon cabal in Washington, or he will be co-opted by Republican brass. He probably understand that his positioning during election campaign as a fighter against globalization and neoliberalism excesses in the USA is the key link that provides political support for his administration. And throwing a couple on neocons or banksters against the wall would be a populist gesture well received by American public.

The anger against outsourcing jobs is very real and very dangerous for current corrupt neocon/neolib elite in Washington with their dream of global dominance and global neoliberal empire spanning all countries on all continents much like Trotsky dreamed about global Communist empire.

My feeling is that a lot of people are really ready to fight for Trump and that creates for problem for the "deep state", if Trump "indoctrination" by Washington establishment fails.

Past revolts in some US cities are just the tip of the iceberg. Obama lost not only his legacy with Trump election. He lost his bid to keep all members of top 1% and first of all financial oligarchy that drives the events on 2008 unaccountable.

So "accountability drive" which will be interpreted by neoliberals as "witch hunt" might well be in the cards. I encourage everybody in this blog to listen to the following Trump election advertisement.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2s9AV910NY

Also I would not assume that he is a newcomer to political games. Real estate business is very a political activity. So a more plausible hypothesis is that he is a gifted politician both by nature and due to on the job training received in his occupation.

His idea of creating a circle of advisors who compete with each other and thus allow him to be the final arbiter of major decisions is not new. He is not hostile to conflicts within his inner circle.

The key information about his real intention would be the candidate for the Secretary of State. But even here uncertainty will remain. For example, it is not completely clear to me that if Bolton would be appointed he will be able to pursue the policies of his neocon past. After all Trump has distinct authoritarian inclinations and Bolton is not stupid enough not to understand that.

Hopefully his foreign policy will be less jingoistic that Obama foreign policy. "Our goal is peace and prosperity, not war," said Trump, "unlike other candidates, war and aggression will not be my first instinct."

likbez 44

@41
Chet Murthy 11.22.16 at 5:08 am

There have been two constants in his campaign: "stomp the weaker" and "lovin' Putin". That's it.

"lovin' Putin" is a propaganda trick which enforces a certain judgment on the US-Russia relations . You should better stay above this level in this blog.

Putin was and remain an obstacle on building global neoliberal empire governed by the USA. So hate toward him by Washington establishment is quite natural. Nothing personal, just business. In other words, demonization of Putin and hysterical anti-Russian campaign (including Hillary attempt to convert Democratic Party into a War party) is just a sign of disapproval of Washington his lack of desire to convert Russian into yet another vassal state.

The key question here is not whether Trump will be able to pursue isolationist agenda and improve the US relationship with Russia. The key question is whether he will allowed to do that and resist strong attempts to co-opt him into standard set of neocon policies, which Washington pursued for several decades.

His "Contract with America" does not cover foreign policy issues except rejection of TPP, NAFTA and like.

https://assets.donaldjtrump.com/_landings/contract/O-TRU-102316-Contractv02.pdf

Any idea that he will peruse isolationist agenda is undermined by the amount of Iran hawks in his close circle.

My impression is that his administration will try to bait Russia in order to prevent any strengthening of China-Russia alliance which was the main blowback of Obama policies toward Russia.

Also under Trump the USA might be more selective as running six concurrent conflicts (Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Ukraine). Which during Obama administration proved to be pretty expensive. Libya is now a failed state. In Ukraine the standard of living dropped to the level of $2 per day for the majority of population and the country became yet another debt slave, always balancing on the wedge of bankruptcy. And costs for the USA are continuing to mount in at least three of the six countries mentioned ( profits extracted in Ukraine and Iraq partially offset that). It is unclear whether Trump administration will continue this Obama policy of multiple unilateral engagements but I think is that during Trump administration the resistance to the USA unilateral interventionism will be stronger as neoliberalism itself became much less attractive ideology. Which is more difficult to "export". Similar to the fact that "communism" was more difficult to export after 60th by the USSR. In a way, after 2008 it is a "damaged good" notwithstanding its recent victories in Brazil and Argentina. See for example discussion at:
http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/11/22/does-clintons-defeat-mean-the-decline-of-us-interventionism/

The South has understood where the North has not: the selective nature of humanitarian interventions reflects their punitive nature; sanctions go to non-client regimes; interventions seem to be a new excuse for the hegemonic ambitions of the United States and its allies; they are a new rationale for NATO after the collapse of the Soviet Union; they are a way to suppress Russia and deprive it of its zones of influence. (3)

What a far-sighted motion was that of the coalition of the countries of the Third World (G77) at the Havana Summit in 2000! It declared its rejection of any intervention, including humanitarian, which did not respect the sovereignty of the states concerned. (4) This was nothing other than a rejection of the Clinton Doctrine, announced in 1999, in the wake of the war of Kosovo, which made "humanitarian intervention" the new bedrock, or perhaps the new facade, of the foreign policy of the United States. It was the same policy followed and developed by Hillary Clinton during her tenure as secretary of state. (5)

But, of course, we can only guess how Trump administration will behave.

Hidari 11.23.16 at 8:38 am 51

'The key question here is not whether Trump will be able to pursue isolationist agenda and improve the US relationship with Russia. The key question is whether he will allowed to do that and resist strong attempts to co-opt him into standard set of neocon policies, which Washington pursued for several decades.'

The US Empire has been nice to the Russians before. It was called detente and caused almost (not quite) as much hysteria in war-mongering (proto-neoconservative) circles as Trump's 'neo-detente' is causing now. However, the proviso is (and always was) that the warmongering could be ramped up again any time the Americans chose, and of course it was again under Reagan.

From the point of view of American imperialism, Trump's plan to (temporarily) be nice to Russia makes a lot of strategic sense: as you point out, under Obama American imperial forces were becoming increasingly overstretched. In any case, for historical reasons, Russia (white, capitalist, Christian) doesn't make as good an enemy as the mysterious dark forces of 'Radical Islam'.

So I am guessing under Trump we will see temporary rapprochement with Russia in the East, and more concentration on command and control of the Middle East. I am also guessing Obama's 'Pivot to China' will be allowed to quietly continue. It's also likely the US' policy of quietly picking off 'weak links' in the 'pink tide' in South American (cf Brazil, Honduras) will continue.

'Trump: foreign policy continuity rather than change' may well be a typical graduate thesis in 30 years' time.

reason 11.23.16 at 9:00 am 52

I'm curious how Trump will deal with Erdogan. Erdogan seems to have all the tact and subtlety of an angry Bison and with Trump's thin skin, there is bound to be a conflict at some stage. And Erdogan is not Christian.

kidneystones 11.23.16 at 10:05 am 53

... ... ...

For the moment I take great comfort in the hostility Trump displayed to Eliot Cohen and his ilk – https://twitter.com/EliotACohen/status/798512852931788800

"After exchange w Trump transition team, changed my recommendation: stay away. They're angry, arrogant, screaming "you LOST!" Will be ugly."

[Nov 21, 2016] If Berlusconi is like Trump, what can Italy teach America?

Notable quotes:
"... Many of these people voted for Obama in 2012. The reason they abandoned the Democrats this time is that they hadn't seen any improvement in their lives in the last 4 years. When Trump said Clinton was in the pocket of Wall Street, they agreed. They were right: she is. ..."
"... Berlusconi allied himself both with the nascent Lega and the remains of the neo-fascist MSI, members of which went on to hold high positions in his governments. The effects of this alliance were seen in spectacular fashion at the Genoa G8 meeting, which was used very effectively to outlaw street protest or at least to rebrand anyone protesting against government as 'extremist' (he similarly labelled anyone to his left as 'communist'). ..."
"... The Guardian's Trump nervous breakdown continues apace.... what would you talk about if he didn't exist?? ..."
"... As far as the part of non-deplorable voters are concerned, it is relatively clear what they want: economic security and perspective rather than the choice between unemployment and MacJobs, public services working reasonably well rather than garbage piling up in the streets, respectable political culture rather than corruption and nepotism. ..."
"... Obviously, and not without reason, the confidence of many voters in the ability of the political establishment has faded to a degree allowing exploitation by tycoons presented as 'can-do' strongmen. Neither crying nor shouting at the voters nor agreeing that the N-word is ok will change that. ..."
"... Trump wasn't as bad as Berlusconi however at the end of the day ordinary people are more concerned about their jobs, their own local economies, their hospitals, schools, local taxes, housing costs so in that respect they look to see change not the same oppressive status quo ..."
"... It's why Sarkozy was rejected yesterday outright as people don't want a fake offer and the neoliberal Establishment serving corporates, a bent media and banking interests at the cost to themselves and their families. ..."
Nov 21, 2016 | www.theguardian.com
by Stephanie Kirchgaessner

Berlusconi was Italy's longest serving post war PM. Like Bill Clinton he was a talented totally corrupt, sexually obsessed politician.
Derrick Hibbett 9m ago

People voted for Trump for a variety of reasons. Some wanted abortion made illegal, some were KKK racists. It is pointless trying to "understand their concerns"; they will never support the left.

Others voted for Trump because they believe he provide them with a secure job, with a salary which allows them to support themselves and their families. Many of these people voted for Obama in 2012. The reason they abandoned the Democrats this time is that they hadn't seen any improvement in their lives in the last 4 years. When Trump said Clinton was in the pocket of Wall Street, they agreed. They were right: she is.

The problem is that in the absence of a strong labour movement they were prey to a trickster who has no intention of challenging the corporations.

nadaward 22m ago

Something the article doesn't mention was Berlusconi's bringing of the far right out of the political cupboard.

Berlusconi allied himself both with the nascent Lega and the remains of the neo-fascist MSI, members of which went on to hold high positions in his governments. The effects of this alliance were seen in spectacular fashion at the Genoa G8 meeting, which was used very effectively to outlaw street protest or at least to rebrand anyone protesting against government as 'extremist' (he similarly labelled anyone to his left as 'communist').

I'm not sure that apart from a sort of desire for privatization of the state apparatus Berlusconi has or had strong political views. I think questions such as immigration were used in an instrumental fashion.

It's often said that Berlusconi also brought what in Italy is called the language of the 'Bar Sport' into the political arena. In other words he cancelled the veneer of respectability in political language, with great help from the Lega. There was a sort of 'naughty boy' factor involved in this taboo breaking that had enormous appeal outside of the 'educated classes'. People suddenly felt entitled to let it all hang out and say what they wanted. A sort of nine-year stag night. The more people objected to his version of 'pussy grabbing' the more they could be successfully labelled stuck-up do-gooders.

On the question of the Church and its complicity, I think that had a lot to do with the conservative papacies of the times.

pfcbg 23m ago

I love Donald Donny T. He is a phenomenal leader. Unlike Hillary, he isn't going to ally himself with Islamists of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, but in fact, might crush them. I love Donald Donny T. He might unite with Russia crush Islamists.

qpdarloboy 25m ago

Berlusconi was a front man for the mafia. It's no coincidence that Forza Italia was launched immediately after the judicial investigations into corruption in the existing political parties looked set to wipe out the mafia's hold over Italian politics

Nick Pers 32m ago

it seems like the title of this article is inverted, Trump is like Berlusconi not the other way around. At least chronologically Berlusconi's political engagement was much prior to Trump and even on the financial level according to Forbes magazine Berlusconi is more than twice richer than Trump and obviously had much more media influence, but I do not see how the contrary is true as the title seems to suggest????

Hurrellr 1h ago

The Guardian's Trump nervous breakdown continues apace.... what would you talk about if he didn't exist?? Actually perhaps nervous breakdown is the wrong metaphor, perhaps its more like an orgasm ... he hits the sweet spot, you can protest endlessly... years and years lie ahead of you blathering on about Trump being the devil. The ultimate orgasmic showcasing of virtue. Christmas has come early!

carlygirl 2h ago

While it has received scant attention, Trump has also promised to repeal a 1954 ban that prevents tax-exempt organisations like churches from getting involved in politics, a change that could give churches an even more powerful role in US politics.

Pure idiocy. Putting cults that believe in 'invisible men' in charge of political policy - it would be like the Taliban taking control of Afghanistan.

pollyp57 -> carlygirl 22m ago

The American religious right has a great deal in common with the Taliban - they aren't mad keen on science, they want to impose their own version of social control and they both absolutely agree that women should lip up and get on with the housework.

Peter Krall 2h ago

try and seriously understand what his voters want

What is this supposed to mean? Understanding that some deplorables feel terrorised by the 'p.c.-police' if using the N-word is deprecated and bowing to them? Sorry, no! It may be possible to win the votes of these people by pursuing Trump's/Berlusconi's agenda but if this agenda is to be pursued: why not just let them do it?

As far as the part of non-deplorable voters are concerned, it is relatively clear what they want: economic security and perspective rather than the choice between unemployment and MacJobs, public services working reasonably well rather than garbage piling up in the streets, respectable political culture rather than corruption and nepotism.

Understanding this is the easy part. The problem is delivering. Obviously, and not without reason, the confidence of many voters in the ability of the political establishment has faded to a degree allowing exploitation by tycoons presented as 'can-do' strongmen. Neither crying nor shouting at the voters nor agreeing that the N-word is ok will change that.


Streatham 2h ago

And don't let's forget Berlusconi's pal Blair, he of the 'eye-catching initiatives' like the destruction of Iraq. Trump and Berlusconi together will never be responsible for as much evil as the billionaire Blair - close friend as well, of course, of Bill 'The Sleaze' Clinton.

SpiderJerusalem01 2h ago

People aren't that concerned with tabloid journalism. They worry about jobs, taxes, the economy. You know, the real stuff. But then, when you don't have those worries I guess you can indulge in fluff pieces.

That's why the jig is up for you elitists. The world is changing, and not in your favour. Heh.


Dimitri 3h ago

Of course this whole nightmare can be avoided if the electoral collage actually decides to select the candidate who won the popular vote by over a million and a half...'such stuff as dreams are made on.'...

tictactom -> Dimitri 3h ago

Careful. You'll get ticked off for listening to MSM propaganda talking like that!

FishDog -> Dimitri 3h ago

They will state by state.

Somefing Looms -> Dimitri 2h ago

Clinton stole votes in several large urban areas - those where the returns were abnormally slow to be returned.

imo, Clinton lost the popular vote by millions if a true vote were recorded.

But, even if she didn't, without the Electoral College, a handful of states and even large cities would be choosing the POTUS every term in perpetuity, irrespective of the wishes of those elsewhere in the county.

Why do you think that's a good idea?

shaftedpig 3h ago

Trump wasn't as bad as Berlusconi however at the end of the day ordinary people are more concerned about their jobs, their own local economies, their hospitals, schools, local taxes, housing costs so in that respect they look to see change not the same oppressive status quo .

It's why Sarkozy was rejected yesterday outright as people don't want a fake offer and the neoliberal Establishment serving corporates, a bent media and banking interests at the cost to themselves and their families. If you want to know who the culprit politicos are look at people like Schauble who are openly threatening us and the democracy we voted for. This guy wasn't even elected by us but feels he has a right to dictate to us as one of his political ancestors once tried.

https://mishtalk.com/2016/11/19/wolfgang-schauble-turns-to-threats-and-extortion/

[Nov 21, 2016] Chuck Baldwin -- Trump Supporters Must Not Go To Sleep

Notable quotes:
"... Reince Priebus is an establishment insider. He did NOTHING to help Trump get elected until toward the very end of the campaign. ..."
"... On the other hand, Stephen Bannon is probably a very good pick. He headed Breitbart.com, which is one of the premier "alt-right" media outlets that has consistently led the charge against the globalist, anti-freedom agenda of the political establishment in Washington, D.C. Albeit, Bannon is probably blind to the dangers of Zionism and is, therefore, probably naïve about the New World Order. I don't believe anyone can truly understand the New World Order without being aware of the role that Zionism plays in it. ..."
"... To be honest, the possible appointments of Rudy Giuliani, Chris Christie, John Bolton and especially Newt Gingrich are MORE than troubling. Rudy Giuliani is "Mr. Police State," and if he is selected as the new attorney general, the burgeoning Police State in this country will go into hyperdrive. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is already warning us about this. Chris Christie is a typical New England liberal Republican. His appointment to any position bodes NOTHING good. And John Bolton is a Bush pro-war neocon. But Newt Gingrich is the quintessential insider, globalist, and establishment hack. ..."
"... Newt Gingrich is a HIGH LEVEL globalist and longtime CFR member. He is the consummate neocon. And he has a brilliant mind (NO morals, but a brilliant mind--a deadly combination, for sure). ..."
"... You cannot drain the swamp by putting the very people who filled the swamp back in charge. And that's exactly what Trump would be doing if he appoints Gingrich to any high-level position in his administration. ..."
"... Trump is already softening his position on illegal immigration, on dismantling the EPA, on repealing Obamacare, on investigating and prosecuting Hillary Clinton, etc. ..."
"... What we need to know right now is that WE CANNOT GO TO SLEEP. We cannot sit back in lethargy and complacency and just assume that Donald Trump is going to do what he said he would do. If we do that, we might as well have elected Hillary Clinton, because at least then we would be forever on guard against her forthcoming assaults against our liberties. ..."
"... The difference in this election is that Donald Trump didn't run against the Democrats; he ran against the entire Washington establishment, including the Republican establishment. Hopefully that means that the people who supported and voted for Trump will NOT be inclined to go into political hibernation now that Trump is elected. ..."
Nov 17, 2016 | www.newswithviews.com

After my post-election column last week, a lady wrote to me and said, "I have confidence he [Trump] plans to do what is best for the country." With all due respect, I don't! I agree wholeheartedly with Thomas Jefferson. He said, "In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."

If Donald Trump is going to be anything more than just another say-anything-to-get-elected phony, he is going to have to put raw elbow grease to his rhetoric. His talk got him elected, but it is going to be his walk that is going to prove his worth.

And, as I wrote last week, the biggest indicator as to whether or not he is truly going to follow through with his rhetoric is who he selects for his cabinet and top-level government positions. So far, he has picked Reince Priebus as White House chief of staff and Stephen Bannon as White House chief strategist.

Reince Priebus is an establishment insider. He did NOTHING to help Trump get elected until toward the very end of the campaign. He is the current chairman of the Republican National Committee. If that doesn't tell you what he is, nothing will. Trump probably picked him because he is in so tight with House Speaker Paul Ryan (a globalist neocon of the highest order) and the GOP establishment, thinking Priebus will help him get his agenda through the GOP Congress. But ideologically, Priebus does NOT share Trump's anti-establishment agenda. So, this appointment is a risk at best and a sell-out at worst.

On the other hand, Stephen Bannon is probably a very good pick. He headed Breitbart.com, which is one of the premier "alt-right" media outlets that has consistently led the charge against the globalist, anti-freedom agenda of the political establishment in Washington, D.C. Albeit, Bannon is probably blind to the dangers of Zionism and is, therefore, probably naïve about the New World Order. I don't believe anyone can truly understand the New World Order without being aware of the role that Zionism plays in it.

To be honest, the possible appointments of Rudy Giuliani, Chris Christie, John Bolton and especially Newt Gingrich are MORE than troubling. Rudy Giuliani is "Mr. Police State," and if he is selected as the new attorney general, the burgeoning Police State in this country will go into hyperdrive. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is already warning us about this. Chris Christie is a typical New England liberal Republican. His appointment to any position bodes NOTHING good. And John Bolton is a Bush pro-war neocon. But Newt Gingrich is the quintessential insider, globalist, and establishment hack.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the globalist elite gave Newt Gingrich the assignment of cozying up to (and "supporting") Trump during his campaign with the sole intention of being in a position for Trump to think he owes Gingrich something so as to appoint him to a key cabinet post in the event that he won. Gingrich could then weave his evil magic during a Donald Trump presidential administration.

Newt Gingrich is a HIGH LEVEL globalist and longtime CFR member. He is the consummate neocon. And he has a brilliant mind (NO morals, but a brilliant mind--a deadly combination, for sure). If Donald Trump does not see through this man, and if he appoints him as a cabinet head in his administration, I will be forced to believe that Donald Trump is clueless about "draining the swamp." You cannot drain the swamp by putting the very people who filled the swamp back in charge. And that's exactly what Trump would be doing if he appoints Gingrich to any high-level position in his administration.

Trump is already softening his position on illegal immigration, on dismantling the EPA, on repealing Obamacare, on investigating and prosecuting Hillary Clinton, etc. Granted, he hasn't even been sworn in yet, and it's still way too early to make a true judgment of his presidency. But for a fact, his cabinet appointments and his first one hundred days in office will tell us most of what we need to know.

What we need to know right now is that WE CANNOT GO TO SLEEP. We cannot sit back in lethargy and complacency and just assume that Donald Trump is going to do what he said he would do. If we do that, we might as well have elected Hillary Clinton, because at least then we would be forever on guard against her forthcoming assaults against our liberties.

There is a reason we have lost more liberties under Republican administrations than Democratic ones over the past few decades. And that reason is the conservative, constitutionalist, Christian, pro-freedom people who should be resisting government's assaults against our liberties are sound asleep because they trust a Republican President and Congress to do the right thing -- and they give the GOP a pass as our liberties are expunged piece by piece. A pass they would NEVER give to a Democrat.

The difference in this election is that Donald Trump didn't run against the Democrats; he ran against the entire Washington establishment, including the Republican establishment. Hopefully that means that the people who supported and voted for Trump will NOT be inclined to go into political hibernation now that Trump is elected.

I tell you again: this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change the course of a nation. Frankly, if this opportunity is squandered, there likely will not be another one in most of our lifetimes.

[Nov 21, 2016] Michael Flynn Should Remember Truths He Blurted Out Last Year by DavidSwanson

Notable quotes:
"... New York Times ..."
www.washingtonsblog.com

Michael Flynn, expected to advise Donald Trump on counterproductive killing operations misleading labeled "national security," is generally depicted as a lawless torturer and assassin. But, whether for partisan reasons or otherwise, he's a lawless torturer and assassin who has blurted out some truths he shouldn't be allowed to forget.

For example:

"Lt. Gen. Flynn, who since leaving the DIA has become an outspoken critic of the Obama administration, charges that the White House relies heavily on drone strikes for reasons of expediency, rather than effectiveness. 'We've tended to say, drop another bomb via a drone and put out a headline that "we killed Abu Bag of Doughnuts" and it makes us all feel good for 24 hours,' Flynn said. 'And you know what? It doesn't matter. It just made them a martyr, it just created a new reason to fight us even harder.'"

Or even more clearly:

"When you drop a bomb from a drone you are going to cause more damage than you are going to cause good. The more weapons we give, the more bombs we drop, that just fuels the conflict."

Will Flynn then advise Trump to cease dropping bombs from drones? Or will he go ahead and advise drone murders, knowing full well that this is counterproductive from the point of view of anyone other than war profiteers?

From the same report:

"Asked . . . if drone strikes tend to create more terrorists than they kill, Flynn . . . replied: 'I don't disagree with that,' adding: 'I think as an overarching strategy, it is a failed strategy.'"

So Trump's almost inevitable string of drone murders will be conducted under the guidance of a man who knows they produce terrorism rather than reducing it, that they endanger the United States rather than protecting it. In that assessment, he agrees with the vast majority of Americans who believe that the wars of the past 15 years have made the United States less safe, which is the view of numerous other experts as well.

Flynn, too, expanded his comments from drones to the wars as a whole:

"What we have is this continued investment in conflict. The more weapons we give, the more bombs we drop, that just fuels the conflict. Some of that has to be done but I am looking for the other solutions."

Flynn also, like Trump, accurately cites the criminal 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq as critical to the creation of ISIS:

"Commenting on the rise of ISIL in Iraq, Flynn acknowledged the role played by the US invasion and occupation of Iraq. 'We definitely put fuel on a fire,' he told Hasan. 'Absolutely there is no doubt, history will not be kind to the decisions that were made certainly in 2003. Going into Iraq, definitely it was a strategic mistake."

So there will be no advice to make similar strategic mistakes that are highly profitable to the weapons industry?

Flynn, despite perhaps being a leading advocate of lawless imprisonment and torture, also admits to the counterproductive nature of those crimes:

"The former lieutenant general denied any involvement in the litany of abuses carried out by JSOC interrogators at Camp Nama in Iraq, as revealed by the New York Times and Human Rights Watch, but admitted the US prison system in Iraq in the post-war period 'absolutely' helped radicalise Iraqis who later joined Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and its successor organisation, ISIL."

Recently the International Criminal Court teased the world with the news that it might possible consider indicting US and other war criminals for their actions in Afghanistan. One might expect all-out resistance to such a proposal from Trump and his gang of hyper-nationalist war mongers, except that . . .

"Flynn also called for greater accountability for US soldiers involved in abuses against Iraqi detainees: 'You know I hope that as more and more information comes out that people are held accountable History is not going to look kind on those actions and we will be held, we should be held, accountable for many, many years to come.'"

Let's not let Flynn forget any of these words. On Syria he has blurted out some similar facts to those Trump has also articulated:

"Publicly commenting for the first time on a previously-classified August 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) memo, which had predicted 'the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in Eastern Syria ( ) this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want' and confirmed that 'the Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood, and [Al Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria,' the former DIA chief told Head to Head that 'the [Obama] Administration' didn't 'listen' to these warnings issued by his agency's analysts. 'I don't know if they turned a blind eye,' he said. 'I think it was a decision, I think it was a willful decision.'"

Let that sink in. Flynn is taking credit for having predicted that backing fighters in Syria could lead to something like ISIS. And he's suggesting that Obama received this information and chose to ignore it.

Now, here's a question: What impact will "bombing the hell" out of people have? What good will "killing their families" do? Spreading nukes around? "Stealing their oil"? Making lists of and banning Muslims? Is it Flynn's turn to willfully ignore key facts and common sense in order to "advise" against his better judgment a new president who prefers to be advised to do what he was going to do anyway?

Or can Flynn be convinced to apply lessons learned at huge human cost to similar situations going forward even with a president of a different party, race, and IQ?

[Nov 20, 2016] The Field of Fight How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies by Michael T. Flynn, Michael Ledeen

Trump essentially betrayed Flynn, who tried to did the billing of Kushner and persuade Russia to abstain from anti-Israel vote.
Notable quotes:
"... The big takeaways from this book is the (1) systemic manipulation of intelligence analysts' conclusions to fit political narratives (I have personally seen my work modified to "soften" the message/conclusions for x, y, or z reasons) and (2) Radical Islam is not a new phenomenon that spawned as a response to "American imperialism" as often preached from the lecterns of western universities. ..."
"... There is no love lost between Lt Gen Flynn and President Obama, and Flynn's frustration with Obama's lack of leadership is clear throughout this work. ..."
"... General Flynn is a career Army combat intelligence officer with extensive hard experience mostly in the Middle East, a lifetime Democrat, who seems to understand and is able to clearly and concisely define the threat of Radical Islam (NOT all Islam) far better than both the Bush ("W") and Obama administrations politicos in Washington were willing to hear or accept. ..."
"... in contrast to what his detractors might opine, General Flynn is speaking of Radical Islam as a "tribal cult," and not taking aim at the religion itself. ..."
"... The general's comments on human intelligence and interrogation operations being virtually nonexistent makes one wonder if all the Lessons Learned that are written after every conflict and stored away are then never looked at again - I suspect it's true. ..."
"... My unit, the 571st MI Detachment of the 525th MI Group, ran agents (HUMINT) throughout I Corps/FRAC in Vietnam. The Easter Offensive of 1972 was actually known and reported by our unit before and during the NVA's invasion of the South. We were virtually the only intelligence source available for the first couple of weeks because of weather. Search the internet for The Easter Offensive of 1972: A Failure to Use Intelligence. ..."
"... I totally concur with Lt. General, Michael T. Flynn, US Army, (ret), that any solution to "Radical Islamic Terrorism" today has to also resolve the ideology issue, along side the other recommendations that he discusses in his book. ..."
"... Provocative, bellicose, rhetorical, and patriotic, the author leaves the reader wondering if his understanding of the enemy is hubris or sagacity. Much of that confusion can be attributed to conditioning as a an American and seeing prosecution of American wars as apolitical and astrategic. General Flynn's contribution to the way forward, "Field of Fight" is certainly political and at a minimum operational strategy. His practical experience is normative evidence to take him at his word for what he concludes is the next step to deal with radicals and reactionaries of political Islam. ..."
"... One paradox that he never solved was his deliberate attempt to frame terrorist as nothing more that organized crime, but at the same respect condemn governments that are "Islamic Republics," whom attempt to enforce the laws as an ineffective solution, and attempting to associate the with the other 1.6 billion Muslims by painting them as "Radical Islam." ..."
Nov 20, 2016 | www.amazon.com

SomeRandomGuy July 17, 2016

We're at war, but few people know it... or are willing to accept it.

When I had heard in the news that Lt Gen Flynn might be chosen by Donald Trump as his Vice Presidential nominee, I was quick to do some research on Flynn and came across this work. Having worked in the intelligence community myself in the past several years, I was intrigued to hear what the previous director of the DIA had to say. I have read many books on the topic of Islam and I am glad I picked this up.

The big takeaways from this book is the (1) systemic manipulation of intelligence analysts' conclusions to fit political narratives (I have personally seen my work modified to "soften" the message/conclusions for x, y, or z reasons) and (2) Radical Islam is not a new phenomenon that spawned as a response to "American imperialism" as often preached from the lecterns of western universities.

If you have formed your opinion of Islam and the nature of the West's fight in the Middle East on solely what you hear in the main steam media (all sides), you would do well to read this book as a starting point into self-education on an incredibly complex topic.

There is no love lost between Lt Gen Flynn and President Obama, and Flynn's frustration with Obama's lack of leadership is clear throughout this work. Usually this political opining in a work such as this is distracting, but it does add much-needed context to decisions and events. That said, Lt Gen Flynn did a great job addressing a complex topic in plain language. While this is not a seminal work on

Amazon Customer on November 11, 2016

A critically important work for western civilization.

General Flynn is a career Army combat intelligence officer with extensive hard experience mostly in the Middle East, a lifetime Democrat, who seems to understand and is able to clearly and concisely define the threat of Radical Islam (NOT all Islam) far better than both the Bush ("W") and Obama administrations politicos in Washington were willing to hear or accept.

He supports what he can tell us with citations. Radical Islam has declared war on Western democracies, most of all on the US. Its allies include Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, and others. Their war against us is a long-term effort, and our politicians (except Trump?) don't want to hear it. We need to demand that our politicos prepare for this assault and start taking wise, strong steps to defeat it.

Western Europe may already have been fatally infiltrated by "refugees" who will seek to Islamize it, and current birth rates suggest that those nations will have Muslim majorities in 20 years. General Flynn details what we must do to survive the assault. I bought the Kindle version and began reading it, but then paid more for the audible version so that I could get through it faster. Please buy and read this book!

David Firester on September 2, 2016

Looking Inward First, is What Generates the Strategy-Shifting Process. Flynn Gets This. Few Others Do.

To begin with, I will say that the book is not exactly what one might expect from a recently retired General. For starters, there were numerous spelling errors, an assortment of colloquialisms and some instances in which the prose took on a decidedly partisan tone. The means of documenting sources was something akin to a blog-posting, in that he simply copied and pasted links to pages, right into the body of the work. I would have liked to have seen a more thoroughly researched and properly cited work. All of this was likely due to the fact that General Flynn released his book in the days leading up to Donald J. Trump's announcement of his Vice Presidential pick. As Flynn is apparently a close national security advisor to Trump, I can understand why his work appears to be somewhat harried. Nonetheless, I think that the book's timeliness is useful, as the information it contains might be helpful in guiding Americans' election choices. I also think that despite the absence of academic rigor, it makes his work more accessible. No doubt, this is probably one of Mr. Trump's qualities and one that has catapulted him to national fame and serious consideration for the office he seeks. General Flynn makes a number of important points, which, despite my foregoing adverse commentary, gives me the opportunity to endorse it as an essential read.

In the introductory chapter, General Flynn lays out his credentials, defines the problem, and proceeds to inform the reader of the politically guided element that clouds policy prescriptions. Indeed, he is correct to call attention to the fact that the Obama administration has deliberately exercised its commanding authority in forbidding the attachment of the term "Islam" when speaking of the threat posed by extremists who advocate and carry out violence in the religion's name. As one who suffered at the hands of the administration for speaking truth to power, he knows all too well what others in the Intelligence Community (IC) must suffer in order to hold onto their careers.

In chapter one, he discusses where he came from and how he learned valuable lessons at home and in service to his country. He also gives the reader a sense of the geopolitical context in which Radical Islamists have been able to form alliances with our worst enemies. This chapter also introduces the reader to some of his personal military heroes, as he delineates how their mentorship shaped his thinking on military and intelligence matters. A key lesson to pay attention to in this chapter is what some, including General Flynn, call 'politicization of intelligence.' Although he maintains that both the present and previous administration have been guilty of this, he credits the Bush administration with its strategic reconsideration of the material facts and a search for better answers. (He mentions this again in the next chapter on p.42, signifying this capability as a "leadership characteristic" and later recalls the president's "insight and courage" on p. 154.)

Chapter two of The Field of Fight features an excellent summary of what transpires in a civil war and the manner in which Iraqis began to defect from al-Qa'ida and cooperate with U.S. forces. In this task, he explains for the layperson what many scholars do, but in far fewer pages. Again, this makes his work more accessible. He also works through the process of intelligence failures that are, in his opinion, produced by a superordinate policy failure housed in the upper echelons of the military structure. In essence, it was a misperception (willful or not) that guided thinking about the cause of the insurgency, that forbade an ability to properly address it with a population-centric Counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy. He pays homage to the adaptability and ingenuity of General Stanley McChrystal's Task Force 714, but again mentions the primary barrier to its success was bureaucratic in nature.

The main thrust of chapter 3, aptly named "The Enemy Alliance," is geared toward tying together the earlier assertion in chapter regarding the synergy between state actors like Iran, North Korea, Syria, and the like. It has been documented elsewhere, but the Iranian (non-Arab Shi'a) connection to the al-Qa'ida (Arab Sunni) terrorist organization can't be denied. Flynn correctly points out how the relationship between strange bedfellows is not new in the Middle East. He briefly discusses how this has been the case since the 1970s, with specific reference to the PLO, Iran, Syria, Hamas, Hezbollah, Bosnia and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's. He also references President Obama's "curious sympathy" (p. 92) for enemies in places such as Venezuela and Cuba.

General Flynn then reminds readers of some facts that have either been forgotten, or virtually unknown, by most Americans. Namely, the role that Saddam Hussein actually played with regard to the recruitment of foreign terrorists, the internal policies of appeasement for Islamists in his army and the support he lent to Islamists in other countries (e.g., Egypt, Sudan and Afghanistan). He also reminds the readers of the totalitarian mindset that consumes Islamist groups, such as al-Qa'ida and the Islamic State. All the while, and in contrast to what his detractors might opine, General Flynn is speaking of Radical Islam as a "tribal cult," and not taking aim at the religion itself. This chapter is perhaps the most robust in the book and it is the sort of reading that every American should do before they engage in conversations about the nature of political Islam.

Chapter four is a blueprint for winning what used to be called the 'global war on terror.' Although such a phraseology is generally laughed at in many policy circles, it is clear, as General Flynn demonstrates, that some groups and countries are locked in combat with us and our partners in the West. Yet, as he correctly points out, the Obama administration isn't willing to use global American leadership in order to defeat those who see us, and treat us, as their collective enemy. General Flynn's prescription includes four strategic objectives, which I won't recite here, as I'm not looking to violate any copyright laws. The essence of his suggestions, however, starts with an admission of who the enemy is, a commitment to their destruction, the abandonment of any unholy alliances we have made over the years, and a counter-ideological program for combating what is largely an ideologically-based enemy strong suit. He points to some of the facts that describe the dismal state of affairs in the Arab world, the most damning of which appear on pages 127-128, and then says what many are afraid to say on page 133: "Radical Islam is a totalitarian political ideology wrapped in the Islamic religion." Nonetheless, Flynn discusses some of the more mundane and pecuniary sources of their strength and the means that might be tried in an effort to undermine them.

The concluding chapter of General Flynn's work draws the reader's attention to some of the works of others that have been overlooked. He then speaks candidly of the misguided assumptions that, coupled with political and bureaucratic reasons, slows adaptation to the changing threat environment. Indeed, one of the reasons that I found this book so refreshing is because that sort of bold introspection is perhaps the requisite starting point for re-thinking bad strategies. In fact, that is the essence of both the academic and practical work that I have been doing for years. I highly recommend this book, especially chapter 3, for any student of the IC and the military sciences.

Bob Baker on August 4, 2016
It's ironic that the general wrote about Pattern Analysis, ...

It's ironic that the general wrote about Pattern Analysis, when DIA in late-1971 warned that the Ho Chi Minh Trail was unusually active using this technique.

The general's comments on human intelligence and interrogation operations being virtually nonexistent makes one wonder if all the Lessons Learned that are written after every conflict and stored away are then never looked at again - I suspect it's true.

My unit, the 571st MI Detachment of the 525th MI Group, ran agents (HUMINT) throughout I Corps/FRAC in Vietnam. The Easter Offensive of 1972 was actually known and reported by our unit before and during the NVA's invasion of the South. We were virtually the only intelligence source available for the first couple of weeks because of weather. Search the internet for The Easter Offensive of 1972: A Failure to Use Intelligence.

Amazon Customer on August 1, 2016
A GREAT BOOK FOR UNDERSTANDING THE WAR ON TERROR

At a time when so much is hanging in the balance, General Flynn's book plainly lays out a strategy for not only fighting ISIS/ISIL but also for preventing totalitarianism from spreading with Russia, North Korea and Cuba now asserting themselves - again.

Sadly, because there is some mild rebuke towards President Obama, my fear is people who should read this book to gain a better understanding of the mind of the jihadist won't because they don't like their president being called out for inadequate leadership. But the fact remains we are at war with not just one, but several ideologies that have a common enemy - US! But this book is not about placing blame, it is about winning and what it will take to defeat the enemies of freedom.

We take freedom for granted in the West, to the point where, unlike our enemies, we are no longer willing to fight hard to preserve those freedoms. General Flynn makes the complicated theatre of fighting Radical Islam easier to understand. His experience in explaining how we can and have won on the battlefield gives me great comfort, but also inspires me to want to help fight for the good cause of freedom.

My sincerest hope is that both Trump and Clinton will read this book and then appoint General Flynn as our next Defense Secretary!

Amazon Customer DCC on July 30, 2016
recommend you read " Heretic

I totally concur with Lt. General, Michael T. Flynn, US Army, (ret), that any solution to "Radical Islamic Terrorism" today has to also resolve the ideology issue, along side the other recommendations that he discusses in his book. All of the radical fighting that has taken place in the world, ever since the beginning evolution of the Islamic religion over 1400 years ago, has revolved around radical interpretations of the Qur'an.

Until there is an Islamic religious reformation, there will never be a lasting resolution to the current "Radical Islamic Terrorist" problem. It is a religious ideology interpretation issue. Until that interpretation is resolved within the Islamic world, there will always be continuing radical interpretation outbreaks, from within the entire Islamic world, against all other forms of non-Islamic religions and their evolving cultures.

If you require further insight, recommend you read " Heretic, Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now" , by Ayaan Hirisi Ali. DCC

Aaron Rudroff on July 26, 2016
To be continued...

Provocative, bellicose, rhetorical, and patriotic, the author leaves the reader wondering if his understanding of the enemy is hubris or sagacity. Much of that confusion can be attributed to conditioning as a an American and seeing prosecution of American wars as apolitical and astrategic. General Flynn's contribution to the way forward, "Field of Fight" is certainly political and at a minimum operational strategy. His practical experience is normative evidence to take him at his word for what he concludes is the next step to deal with radicals and reactionaries of political Islam.

One paradox that he never solved was his deliberate attempt to frame terrorist as nothing more that organized crime, but at the same respect condemn governments that are "Islamic Republics," whom attempt to enforce the laws as an ineffective solution, and attempting to associate the with the other 1.6 billion Muslims by painting them as "Radical Islam."

As if there is any relationship to relationship to Islam other than it is the predominant religion in a majority of the area where they commit their criminal activity. As if the political war with terrorist is a function of a label that is of itself a oversimplification of the issues. Indeed, suggesting it is a nothing more than 'political correctness" and ignoring the possibility that it might be a function of setting the conditions in an otherwise polygon of political justice. This argument alone is evidence of the his willingness to develop domestic political will for war with a simple argument. Nevertheless, as a national strategy, it lacks the a foundational argument to motivate friendly regional actors who's authority is founded on political Islam.

In 2008 a national election was held and the pyrrhic nature of the war in Iraq adjudicated via the process of democratic choice that ended support for continued large scale conventional occupation. That there is some new will to continue large scale conventional occupation seems unlikely, and as a democratic country, leaders must find other means to reach the desired end state, prosecuting contiguous operations to suppress, neutralize, and destroy "ALL" who use terrorism to expand and enforce their political will with a deliberate limited wars that have methodological end states. Lastly, sounding more like a General MacArther, the General Flynn's diffuse strategy seems to ignore the most principles of war deduced by Von Clausewitz and Napoleon: Concentration of force on the objective to be attacked. Instead, fighting an ideology "Radical Islam" seems more abstract then any splatter painting of modern are in principle form it suggests a commitment to simplicity to motivate our nation to prepare for and endure the national commitment to a long war.

Since we can all agree there is no magical solution, then normative pragmatism of the likes that General. Flynn's assessment provides, must be taken into account in an operation and tactical MDMP. Ignoring and silencing Subject Matter Experts (SME's) will net nothing more than failure, a failure that could be measured in innocent civilian lives as a statistical body count. I could see General Flynn's suggestions and in expertise bolstering a movement to establish a CORP level active duty unit to prepare, plan, and implemented in phases 0, IV, & V (JP 5-0) . Bear in mind, Counter Insurgency (COIN) was never considered a National strategy but instead at tactical strategy and at most an operational strategy.

William Struse TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 17, 2016
The Crossroads of Our Republic

Several times in its nearly 250 years of existence our Nation has been at a crossroads. Looking back on our War for Independence, the Civil War, and WWII we know the decisions made in those tumultuous times forever altered the destiny of our Republic.

We are once again at one of those crossroads where the battle lines have been drawn, only this time in an asymmetrical war between western democracy and the radical Islamists and nation states who nurture them. In his timely book Field of Fight, Lt. General Michael T. Flynn provides a unique perspective on this war and what he believes are some of the steps necessary to meet this foe.

Field of Fight begins as an autobiography in which the author gives you a sense of who he is as a man and a soldier. This background information then provides the reader with a better perspective through which to evaluate his analysis of the challenges we face as well as the course of action he believes we need to take to meet those challenges.

The following are a few of the guidelines General Flynn proposes for developing a winning strategy in our war with radical Islam and other potential foes:

1. Properly assess your environment and clearly define your enemy;
2. Face reality – for politicians, this is never an easy thing to do;
3. Understand the social context and fabric of the operational environment;
4. Recognize who's in charge of the enemy's forces.

In Field of Fight General Flynn makes the case that we are losing this war with radical Islam because our nation's leadership has failed to develop a winning strategy. Further he opines that our current leaders lack the clarity of vision and moral certitude that understands American democracy is a "better way", that not all forms of human government are equal, and that there are principled reasons worth fighting for - the very basic of those being, "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

I'll admit I'm concerned about the future of our country. As a husband and a father of five I wonder about the world we leaving for our children to inherit. I fear we have lost our moral compass thus creating a vacuum in which human depravity as exemplified by today's radical Islamists thrives.

Equally concerning to me is what happens when the pendulum swings the other way. Will we have the moral and principled leaders to check our indignation before it goes too far? When that heart rending atrocity which is sure to come finally pushes the American people to white hot wrath who will hold our own passions in check? In a nation where Judeo-Christian moral absolutes are an outdated notion what will keep us from becoming that which we most hate?

As I stated at the start of this review, today we are at a crossroads. Once again our nation needs principled men and women in positions of leadership who understand the Field of Fight as described by General Flynn and have the wisdom and courage to navigate this battlefield.

* * *

In summary, although I don't agree with everything written in this book I found it to be an educational read which will provided me with much food for thought over the coming months. As a representative republic choosing good leadership requires that we as citizens understand the problems and challenges we face as a nation. Today radical Islam is one of those challenges and General Flynn's book Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies gives a much needed perspective on the subject.

Terry M Petty on July 16, 2016
Flynn does great with military intelligence, needs more cultural intelligence

Gen Flynn has been in the news a lot lately. He apparently did not get on well in DC with his views on fighting terrorism. That is very relevant now as we are seeking better ways to fight ISIS and terror in general. I read his book today to learn what is on his mind. Flynn had a lot of experience starting in the 82nd Airborne and was almost always in intelligence work. Army intelligence is narrowly focused - where is the enemy, how many of them are there, how are they armed and what is the best way to destroy them. Undoubtedly he was good at this. However, that is not the kind of intelligence we need to defeat ISIS. Flynn's book shows no sign of cultural awareness, which is the context by which we must build intelligence about our opponent. In Iraq, he did learn the difference between who was Sunni and who was Shia but that was it. He shows no sign of any historical knowledge about these groups and how they think and live. In looking at Afghanistan, he seems unaware of the various clans and languages amongst different people. The 2 primary languages of Afghanistan are Pashto and Dari. Dari is essentially the same as Farsi, so the Persian influence has been strong in the country for a long time. Flynn seems totally unaware. Intelligence in his world is obtained from interrogation and captured documents. They are processed fast and tell him who their next target should be. This kind of work is not broad enough to give him a strategic background. He sees USA's challenges in the world as a big swath of enemies that are all connected and monolithic. North Korea, China, Iran, Russia, Syria, ISIS, and so forth. All need to be dealt with in a forceful manner. He never seems to think about matching resources with objective.

This monlithic view of our opponents is obviously wrong. Pres George W Bush tried it that way with the Axis of Evil. The 1950's Cold War was all built in fear of the monolithic Soviet Union and China. All these viewpoints were failures.
Flynn does not see it though. In the book, Flynn says invading Iraq in 2003 might have been the wrong choice. He would have invaded Iran. The full Neocon plan was for 7 countries in 5 years, right after knocking down Iraq, then we would do the same to Iran. I hope we have lost a lot of that hubris by now. But with poor vision by leaders like Flynn, we might get caught up again in this craziness.

To beat ISIS and Al Qaeda type groups we need patience and allies. We have to dry up the source of the terrorists that want to die. That will be done with a combination of cultural outreaches as well as armed force.
I am sure the Presidential candidates will both see that Flynn does not have that recipe. Where is a General that does? We have often made this mistake. Sixty Six years ago, we felt good that Gen Douglas MacArthur "knew the Oriental mind" and he would guid us to victory in Korea. That ended up as a disaster at the end of 1950. I think we are better off at working with leaders that understand the people that are trying to terrorize us. Generals don't develop those kinds of empathic abilities.

[Nov 20, 2016] War Breaks Out Between Neo-Cons And Libertarians Over Trumps Foreign Policy

Notable quotes:
"... "How many people sleep better knowing that the Baltics are part of NATO? They don't make us safer, in fact, quite the opposite . We need to think really hard about these commitments," said William Ruger, vice president of research and policy at the Charles Koch Institute. ..."
"... A prominent member of the outsiders is Rand Paul, skeptic of Bush's foreign policy, who has criticized Bolton in the last few days. Paul on Tuesday blasted Bolton in an op-ed in Rare as "a longtime member of the failed Washington elite that Trump vowed to oppose." ..."
"... However, neo-cons are bad at losing, so they have redoubled efforts to land one of their own next to Trump. Lindsey Graham, a prominent foreign policy hawk in the Senate, issued an endorsement of Bolton on Thursday, saying: "He understands who our friends and enemies are. We see the world in very similar ways." ..."
"... He also slammed Paul's criticism of Bolton: "You could put the number of Republicans who will follow Rand Paul's advice on national security in a very small car. Rand is my friend but he's a libertarian and an outlier in the party on these issues." ..."
"... Meanwhile, the biggest warmonger, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, who has not said who he'd like to see in Trump's cabinet, laid down a marker on Tuesday by warning the future Trump administration against trying to seek an improved relationship with adversary Russia. "When America has been at its greatest, it is when we have stood on the side those fighting tyranny. That is where we must stand again," he warned. ..."
"... MENA is the most important, perhaps the only leverage that the US has to hold the global reserve currency. As long as the US retain the world's money, the US can finance its debt while collecting rent worldwide. Also, the US can export its inflation. ..."
"... No US President can, or will willingly let these three to fail, because the collapse will be horrifying. ..."
"... the U.S. Empire has globalised its reach as an instrument of the deep state and its oligarchy of owner/operators. Ostensibly to bring democracy to the oppressed, its real purpose was to enrich the rent-seekers on the MIC value chain and to protect and serve the private globalist interests who were the clients of the deep state. National funds flow has always been net outbound, and not the other way around, as in any successful precendent for empire. This continues to be true to this day because of the influence the wealthy rent-seekers on this value chain have over the federal government. Simple as that. ..."
"... Raytheon, Lockheed and Boeing are corporate sponsors of the Rockefeller/CFR. James Woolsey, Stephen Hadley, John Bolton, Eliot Cohen and John McCain are CFR members. Also Bill Clinton, Janet Yellen, John Paulson, Lloyd Blankfein and George Soros. See member lists at cfr dot org. Cohen, Bolton, Woolsey, and McCain were also members of PNAC. ..."
"... Yes. Out of NATO, stop the endless pointless wars in the M.E., embrace George Washington and avoiding "foreign entaglements." ..."
"... Agree...but, easier said than done. A large component of our economy is wholly dependent on government funded MIC and arms sales. Dependency on government spending as large part of our economy has seeped into nearly every aspect of our market place. ..."
"... There is a problem with the long term approach...is that the every attempt will be made to stop such a transition in its tracks. Even if it means world war. ..."
"... With modern travel and communications neither policy would work any longer but I'll take nationalism. Bottom line on hawks, the budget is busted out! Cant afford guns and butter anymore. ..."
"... The empire building has made all but a few a lot poorer and the majority on earth more miserable. I am not naive, I know violence is sometimes necessary, but eternal offence as a strategy ensures enemies will find ways to focus on that top dog and beat you. Beside what I think or believe about foreign policy, it doesn't matter we are broke in affording empire. Period. ..."
"... You guys crazy or sumpthin? You want full employment at good wages? All out War is your best bet. No messy "fixing" anything, just flip the switch and off you go. Draft all those troublemakers, turn them into cannon fodder, crank up the printing presses and happy days are here again. ..."
"... What is with you people? It is almost like Saudi Arabia doesn't exist and doesn't buy our politicians. It is almost as if Hillary Clinton never existed, nor her Saudi asset girlfriend (yes, married to an Israeli asset). Look, if you're going to blame the Jews every time, also blame the Wahhabis. And then you might want to also say fuck you to the British who are responsible for both nations. ..."
"... Look, if you're going to blame the Jews every time, also blame the Wahhabis ..."
"... Wahabism/Salafism has been used since Reagan as a weapon for covert war. Saudi Petrodollars recycle back to the U.S. MIC as they pass through the CIA Hillary Clinton approved very large increases in weapons to the Saudi's especially as they funded the Clinton machine. Clintons are CFR agents, and that has a heavy jewish illuminst influence. ..."
"... In what fucking dimension do people this fucking incompetent still have jobs, let alone credibility? Preposterous that they even still have jobs. The US has blown 5-6 trillion on losing one war after the other, has caused massive disorder and chaos in the Mideast to absolutely no one's benefit except Israel, or so Israel believes, and destabilized the entire region to the point that a WWIII could erupt at any moment. ..."
"... Disaster and incompetence at this level can only be rewarded with sackings and terminations across the board. But no, not in the US. The public is more preooccupied with fictional racists and Donald's bawdy pussy talk. ..."
"... Trump has been provided an easy litmus test, who has ever advocated deposing Assad must be rejected, not because Assad is such a great guy, but because those who would replace him are radical islamists all. Russia could be cultivated as a friend and do more for world peace than the Arab world which has a fatal jihad disease. ..."
"... The presidency is more of a ceremonial position now. If the deep state doesn't like the president, it can simply fire him, as it did with Kennedy (and arguably Nixon). It can also make his life a living hell or force a foreign policy showdown as it did with Kennedy and the Bay of Pigs. ..."
"... Controlled demolitions take weeks of planning and preparation. So the implication is that someone planned the WTC7 collapse weeks in advance. WTC7 held a number of offices, including offices of the SEC. Many files were destroyed. ..."
Nov 20, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com
In late October, when it was still conventional wisdom that Hillary was "guaranteed" to win the presidency, the WaPo explained that among the neo-con, foreign policy "elites" of the Pentagon, a feeling of calm content had spread: after all, it was just a matter of time before the "pacifist" Obama was out, replaced by the more hawkish Hillary.

As the WaPo reported , "there is one corner of Washington where Donald Trump's scorched-earth presidential campaign is treated as a mere distraction and where bipartisanship reigns. In the rarefied world of the Washington foreign policy establishment, President Obama's departure from the White House - and the possible return of a more conventional and hawkish Hillary Clinton - is being met with quiet relief ."

The Republicans and Democrats who make up the foreign policy elite are laying the groundwork for a more assertive American foreign policy via a flurry of reports shaped by officials who are likely to play senior roles in a potential Clinton White House.

Oops.

Not only did the "foreign policy" elite get the Trump "scorched-earth distraction" dead wrong, it now has to scramble to find what leverage - if any - it has in defining Trump's foreign policy. Worse, America's warmongers are now waging war (if only metaphorically: we all know they can't wait for the real thing) against libertarians for direct access to Trump's front door, a contingency they had never planned for.

As The Hill reported earlier , "a battle is brewing between the GOP foreign policy establishment and outsiders over who will sit on President-elect Donald Trump's national security team. The fight pits hawks and neoconservatives who served in the former Bush administrations against those on the GOP foreign policy edges."

Taking a page out of Ron Paul's book, the libertarians, isolationists and realists see an opportunity to pull back America's commitments around the world, spend less money on foreign aid and "nation-building," curtail expensive military campaigns and troop deployments, and intervene militarily only to protect American interests. In short: these are people who believe that human life, and the avoidance of war, is more valuable than another record quarter for Raytheon, Lockheed or Boeing.

On the other hand, the so-called establishment camp, many of whom disavowed Trump during the campaign, is made up of the same people who effectively ran Hillary Clinton's tenure while she was Secretary of State, fully intent on creating zones of conflict, political instability and outright war in every imaginable place, from North Africa to Ukraine. This group is pushing for Stephen Hadley, who served as national security adviser under George W. Bush. Another Bush ally, John Bolton whose name has been floated as a possible secretary of State, also falls into this camp.

According to The Hill, other neo-con, establishment candidates floated include Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), outgoing Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), rising star Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), and senior fellow at conservative think-tank American Enterprise Institute and former Sen. Jim Talent (R-Mo.).

"These figures all generally believe that the United States needs to take an active role in the world from the Middle East to East Asia to deter enemies and reassure allies."

In short, should this group prevail, it would be the equivalent of 4 more years of HIllary Clinton running the State Department.

The outsider group sees things differently.

They want to revamp American foreign policy in a different direction from the last two administrations. Luckily, this particular camp is also more in line with Trump's views questioning the value of NATO, a position that horrified many in the establishment camp.

"How many people sleep better knowing that the Baltics are part of NATO? They don't make us safer, in fact, quite the opposite . We need to think really hard about these commitments," said William Ruger, vice president of research and policy at the Charles Koch Institute.

A prominent member of the outsiders is Rand Paul, skeptic of Bush's foreign policy, who has criticized Bolton in the last few days. Paul on Tuesday blasted Bolton in an op-ed in Rare as "a longtime member of the failed Washington elite that Trump vowed to oppose."

... ... ...

However, neo-cons are bad at losing, so they have redoubled efforts to land one of their own next to Trump. Lindsey Graham, a prominent foreign policy hawk in the Senate, issued an endorsement of Bolton on Thursday, saying: "He understands who our friends and enemies are. We see the world in very similar ways."

He also slammed Paul's criticism of Bolton: "You could put the number of Republicans who will follow Rand Paul's advice on national security in a very small car. Rand is my friend but he's a libertarian and an outlier in the party on these issues."

Funny, that's exactly what the experts said about Trump's chances of winning not even two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, the biggest warmonger, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, who has not said who he'd like to see in Trump's cabinet, laid down a marker on Tuesday by warning the future Trump administration against trying to seek an improved relationship with adversary Russia. "When America has been at its greatest, it is when we have stood on the side those fighting tyranny. That is where we must stand again," he warned.

Luckily, McCain - whose relationship with Trump has been at rock bottom ever since Trump's first appearance in the presidential campaign - has zero impact on the thinking of Trump.

Furthermore, speaking of Russia, Retired Amy Col. Andrew Bacevich said there needs to be a rethink of American foreign policy. He said the U.S. must consider whether Saudi Arabia and Pakistan qualify as U.S. allies, and the growing divergence between the U.S. and Israel. "The establishment doesn't want to touch questions like these with a ten foot pole," he said at a conference on Tuesday hosted by The American Conservative, the Charles Koch Institute, and the George Washington University Department of Political Science.

Furthermore, resetting the "deplorable" relations with Russia is a necessary if not sufficient condition to halt the incipient nuclear arms build up that has resulted of the recent dramatic return of the Cold War. As such, a Trump presidency while potentially a failure, may be best remember for avoiding the launch of World War III. If , that is, he manages to prevent the influence of neo-cons in his cabinet.

And then there are the wildcards: those Trump advisers who are difficult to peg into which camp they fall into. One example is retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, who was selected by Trump as his national security adviser. Flynn is a "curious case," said Daniel Larison, senior editor at The American Conservative. The retired Army general has said he wants to work with Russia, but also expressed contrary views in his book "Field of Fight."

According to Larison, Flynn writes of an "enemy alliance" against the U.S. that includes Russia, North Korea, China, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, al-Qaida, Hezbollah, and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. From that standpoint, he is about as "establishment" as they come.

It's also not crystal clear which camp Giuliani falls into. The former mayor is known as a fierce critic of Islamic extremism but has scant foreign policy experience.

Most say what is likely is change.

"Change is coming to American grand strategy whether we like it or not,' said Christopher Layne, Robert M. Gates Chair in National Security at Texas A&M University.

"I think we are overdue for American retrenchment. Americans are beginning to suffer from hegemony fatigue," he said.

And, let's not forget, the tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children who are droned to death every year by anonymous remote-control operators in the US just so the US can pursue its global hegemonic interest. They most certainly have, and unless something indeed changes, will continue to suffer, leading to even more resentment against the US, and even more attacks against US citizens around the globe, and on US soil. Some call them terrorism, others call them retaliation.

Escrava Isaura -> FreezeThese Nov 20, 2016 8:26 AM ,

Help me here with this word (or whatever it means) REALISTS :

Article: Ron Paul's book, the libertarians, isolationists and REALISTS see an opportunity . to intervene militarily only to protect American interests.

So dear Libertarians, as I am about to show you two examples, but the list is long, that you have a problem, because of (US) reality:

1) You are told by the left and right massmedia that the US is something like that: King of natural gas. We'll be the world exporter. That we have enough natural gas for 100 years, or some nonsense like that. But here is the REALITY :

US "still" had to import almost 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in 2015.

https://www.eia.gov/naturalgas/importsexports/annual/

2) Again, you might hear from the left and right massmedia that: US is shale this. US is shale that, even that shale is not oil, but some form of kerogen. In any event, here' the reality: US crude oil imports, by Millions of Barrels a Day: 2014: 7,344 2015: 7,363 As of July 2016: 8,092 (MBD)

http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/pet_sum_snd_d_nus_mbblpd_m_cur-1.htm

Key Point (in my opinion): Libertarians, you can't have both of best worlds -two incomparable believes. You have to chose, otherwise you'll be a hypocrite while being a neocon as well.

BigJim -> Escrava Isaura Nov 20, 2016 8:46 AM ,
What's your point? That if we don't rule MENA, then the people in charge there won't sell us their natural gas?

Lulz

Escrava Isaura -> BigJim Nov 20, 2016 9:39 AM ,

It's more complicated than that.

MENA is the most important, perhaps the only leverage that the US has to hold the global reserve currency. As long as the US retain the world's money, the US can finance its debt while collecting rent worldwide. Also, the US can export its inflation.

No US President can, or will willingly let these three to fail, because the collapse will be horrifying.

Pairadimes -> Escrava Isaura Nov 20, 2016 10:02 AM ,
This construction of the U.S. empire is a myth. Unlike the British, Spanish, French, Portuguese, or any other empire throughout history you care to name, the construction of the U.S. Empire has been a drastic net drain on U.S. finances.

Unlike any preceding empire, which invaded other lands in search of wealth and captured client states to monetize added value, the U.S. Empire has globalised its reach as an instrument of the deep state and its oligarchy of owner/operators. Ostensibly to bring democracy to the oppressed, its real purpose was to enrich the rent-seekers on the MIC value chain and to protect and serve the private globalist interests who were the clients of the deep state. National funds flow has always been net outbound, and not the other way around, as in any successful precendent for empire. This continues to be true to this day because of the influence the wealthy rent-seekers on this value chain have over the federal government. Simple as that.

In the process, the USA has been hollowed out from the inside, and risks imminent collapse. The greatest hope we can hold out for a Trump presidency is a recognition of the truth of this. Bannon gets close sometimes, but I still have my doubts that there is true recognition of just how dire these current circumstances are. In this, people like Ron Paul are right on target - to save the Republic, the Empire and its enabling institutions (like the Fed) must go.

Uzda Farce -> jeff montanye Nov 20, 2016 10:06 AM ,
Raytheon, Lockheed and Boeing are corporate sponsors of the Rockefeller/CFR. James Woolsey, Stephen Hadley, John Bolton, Eliot Cohen and John McCain are CFR members. Also Bill Clinton, Janet Yellen, John Paulson, Lloyd Blankfein and George Soros. See member lists at cfr dot org. Cohen, Bolton, Woolsey, and McCain were also members of PNAC.

Michael Flynn's book "Field of Fight" is co-authored by neocon Michael Ledeen, defender of Israel and promoter of "universal fascism" . Ledeen is a member of the "Foundation for Defense of Democracies" where Trump advisor James Woolsey is chairman. Woolsey, Clinton's ex-CIA director, is also a member of the "Flynn Intel Group".

Tallest Skil -> Stan522 Nov 19, 2016 10:51 PM ,
Fuck the Truman Doctrine . We must return to Glorious Isolationism .
ebworthen -> Tallest Skil Nov 19, 2016 11:08 PM ,
Yes. Out of NATO, stop the endless pointless wars in the M.E., embrace George Washington and avoiding "foreign entaglements."

Drain the M.I.C. and bank/corporation/insurer swamp!

It is about individuals and families, not the vampire squids, trolls, and homunculi that infest the Imperial City.

"Hang 'em high!"

Falcon49 -> ebworthen Nov 20, 2016 7:05 AM ,
Agree...but, easier said than done. A large component of our economy is wholly dependent on government funded MIC and arms sales. Dependency on government spending as large part of our economy has seeped into nearly every aspect of our market place.

The gov expansion into and control of the economy has so distorted the markets, and created so much dependency that we are now in a situation where without it, our economy collapses. It would take decades to fix this problem without collapsing the economy while you are doing it...

However, we would still feel the pain as we transition the economy. There is a problem with the long term approach...is that the every attempt will be made to stop such a transition in its tracks. Even if it means world war.

Raging Debate -> Tallest Skil Nov 20, 2016 6:40 AM ,
With modern travel and communications neither policy would work any longer but I'll take nationalism. Bottom line on hawks, the budget is busted out! Cant afford guns and butter anymore.

The empire building has made all but a few a lot poorer and the majority on earth more miserable. I am not naive, I know violence is sometimes necessary, but eternal offence as a strategy ensures enemies will find ways to focus on that top dog and beat you. Beside what I think or believe about foreign policy, it doesn't matter we are broke in affording empire. Period.

shovelhead -> Raging Debate Nov 20, 2016 8:45 AM ,
You guys crazy or sumpthin? You want full employment at good wages? All out War is your best bet. No messy "fixing" anything, just flip the switch and off you go. Draft all those troublemakers, turn them into cannon fodder, crank up the printing presses and happy days are here again.

Only those doped up hippies worry about nukes. Don't listen to them.

geno-econ -> Stan522 Nov 20, 2016 9:09 AM ,
Dear President Elect Donald Trump,

I hear you do not like yo read, but you must read this ZH post that neatly summarizes the NeoCon influence in Wash. which has run it's course with little tangible returns and many negative debt outcomes including loss of millions of lives . Time to change or face world condemnation worse than Germany received after WWII. America has always been regarded as a savior Nation until the Neocons took over Wash. for narrow corporate, DOD and foreign interests.

You have now heard all the arguments and must decide---compromise will only lead to more strife and possible economic collapse. This is the most important decision of your Presidency ---all other decisions and promises depend on this one.

Sincerely,

Mankind

chosen , Nov 19, 2016 10:43 PM ,
Fuck those stinking neo-con bastards. We are not going to be fighting Israel's wars again. This is the United States, not Israel, no matter how much jew money controls congress and no matter how much jew money controls the media. I hope Trump understands this very clearly.
Krungle -> chosen , Nov 19, 2016 11:00 PM ,
What is with you people? It is almost like Saudi Arabia doesn't exist and doesn't buy our politicians. It is almost as if Hillary Clinton never existed, nor her Saudi asset girlfriend (yes, married to an Israeli asset). Look, if you're going to blame the Jews every time, also blame the Wahhabis. And then you might want to also say fuck you to the British who are responsible for both nations.

The reason "Islamophobia" is even a thing is because Saudis paid Jewish SJWs to make it a thing, all while they pay WASPs like Bolton to go apeshit on non-Wahhabi Muslims.

Yes, before you even start, I'm aware of the claims that the Saudis are some sort of "crypto-Jews". Whatever. They need to be named regardless.

chosen -> Krungle Nov 19, 2016 11:20 PM ,
I don't recall the US fighting any wars that would directly benefit Saudi Arabia. Sure, the Saudis have a lot of money, but they are just a bunch of camel-fuckers who got rich because they are sitting on oil. They are still a bunch of dumb camel-fuckers. They don't have any nukes. I imagine the Saudis do nothing without the approval of the CIA Israel is a whole different story.
Falcon49 -> chosen Nov 20, 2016 5:37 AM ,
Several editions of the Iraq War? Your statement of what they are is moronic.
MEFOBILLS -> Krungle Nov 19, 2016 11:24 PM ,
Look, if you're going to blame the Jews every time, also blame the Wahhabis

Let's deconstruct this statement shall we:

What does America get, especially the Western Illuminist Bankers? All Saudi Petrodollars are to cycle into Western Capital Market, including Western Banks. Saudi's are to buy TBILLs with their petrodollars. All oil is to be priced in dollars, to then create demand for said dollars. Saudi's do not get to own a powerful financial center. (Can you name me a powerful Saudi bank?)

Our Jewish friends are not stupid and have been running the money game since forever.

The Coup for Saudi was actually a British MI6 project. If you trace MI6 back in time, it was an arm of Bank of England. BOE was brought into existence by Jewish Capital out of Amsterrrdaaaamn.

Wahabism/Salafism has been used since Reagan as a weapon for covert war. Saudi Petrodollars recycle back to the U.S. MIC as they pass through the CIA Hillary Clinton approved very large increases in weapons to the Saudi's especially as they funded the Clinton machine. Clintons are CFR agents, and that has a heavy jewish illuminst influence.

So- absolutely, the Salafists are on the side of our Illuminist friends.

The Shites, especially those of Iran/Persia - have had their "funds" absconded with and/or locked up.

So, which side of Islam has our Jewish Illuminist Cabal masters selected?

inosent -> MEFOBILLS Nov 19, 2016 11:58 PM ,
if you can post some reliable source material to support your post I'd like the see it. it generally tracks with my understanding but i could use some solid source material.
MEFOBILLS -> inosent Nov 20, 2016 12:26 AM ,
if you can post some reliable source material to support your post I'd like the see i

Google 1973 Saudi Kissinger deal:

For BOE the sources are more obscure. I personally have tracked them through time using population statistics and the like. I need to write a book, so I can quote myself.

BOE, Cromwell, the Orange Kings - the usurpation of England, are all related by way of Stock Market Capital in Amersterdamn. You can trace our Jewish friends arrival in Amersterdamn with their loss of East West Mechanism (silver gold exchange rates on the caravan routes). They lost it to the portuguese when Vasco de Gama discovered the Sourthern route.

The person who best cataloged these maneuvers was an american Alexander Del Mar - a great monetary historian. Look for his books.

This stuff will take you years of effort, and I applaud anyone who takes it on.

MEFOBILLS -> MEFOBILLS Nov 20, 2016 12:33 AM ,
For the circulation of dollars during Vietnam War, See Hudson's books... especially Super Imperialism

Dr. Bonzo •Nov 19, 2016 11:04 PM

The Republicans and Democrats who make up the foreign policy elite are laying the groundwork for a more assertive American foreign policy via a flurry of reports shaped by officials who are likely to play senior roles in a potential Clinton White House.

In what fucking dimension do people this fucking incompetent still have jobs, let alone credibility? Preposterous that they even still have jobs. The US has blown 5-6 trillion on losing one war after the other, has caused massive disorder and chaos in the Mideast to absolutely no one's benefit except Israel, or so Israel believes, and destabilized the entire region to the point that a WWIII could erupt at any moment.

Disaster and incompetence at this level can only be rewarded with sackings and terminations across the board. But no, not in the US. The public is more preooccupied with fictional racists and Donald's bawdy pussy talk.

A nation of fucking morons. I swear.

Victor999 -> Dr. Bonzo •Nov 20, 2016 4:09 AM

You answered your own question....Israel is the first priority of American foreign policy - always.

Chaos is precisely what Israel ordered in order to weaken central governments of the ME and destroy their military capability. WWIII? Doesn't matter in the least for Israel who will quietly stand aside and let the goyim fight it out, and then pick up the remains. We're all fucking morons for allowing the Jews to take over our money supply, our government, our intelligence services, our media - and hide themselves under the protective cloak of liberalism, political correctness and 'anti-Semitism' to shut down all rational debate and guard them against 'discriminatory' practices.

Neochrome •Nov 19, 2016 11:06 PM

First of all, McStain should STFU, we'll send a nurse to change his depends, no need to get all cranky.

Giuliani's foreign expertise comes down apparently to be so "brave" to kick down Serbs when they are down and to proclaim to their face that they have deserved to be bombarded.

Bolton is exactly opposite of everything that Trump campaigned on.

Again, Mitt doesn't look half-bad considering the alternatives...

Kagemusho •Nov 19, 2016 11:13 PM

The Elite always signal their intent through the Traditional Media...like this:
Empire or Not? A Quiet Debate Over U.S. Role
by Thomas E. Ricks, Washington Post, 21 August 2001 https://ratical.org/ratville/CAH/linkscopy/empireOrNot.html

You will find the bastards were planning for war and just needed their Pearl Harbor 2 in order to launch it. The same PNAC, Office of Special Plans NeoCon nutcases that want to get close to Trump were talking so glibly and blithely about 'empire'. I knew even then that this was the Elite signaling intent, and we all know what happened a few weeks later. This article should provide the benefit of hindsight when considering Cabinet postings. These NeoCon Israel-Firster assholes belong in prison for war crimes!

Salzburg1756 •Nov 19, 2016 11:16 PM

neocon = Israel-Firster

If Trump disempowers them, he will be a great/good president.

the.ghost.of.22wmr -> Salzburg1756 •Nov 20, 2016 12:18 AM

Trump sure sounds like an Israel-firster. How else could you interpret this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQgDgMGuDI0

dunce •Nov 19, 2016 11:17 PM

Trump has been provided an easy litmus test, who has ever advocated deposing Assad must be rejected, not because Assad is such a great guy, but because those who would replace him are radical islamists all. Russia could be cultivated as a friend and do more for world peace than the Arab world which has a fatal jihad disease.

The Kurds have served our shared interests well , but like all Muslims have no real interest in becoming westernized and will turn on us once they have achieved their goals.

UnschooledAustr... -> dunce •Nov 20, 2016 1:50 AM

You are wrong about the Kurds. Besides the Alevites the only sane people in this mess called the islamic world.

shovelhead -> dunce •Nov 20, 2016 9:35 AM

The Kurds are an ethnic identity, not a religious one. While most are of an Islamic rootstock, the are Kurds of various religious beliefs. The Kurds are fighting for an autonomous region where all religions can co-exist without one being dominant and forcing others to conform.

The Kurds problem is they are not physically separated by geography like Sicily, who falls under the Italian State but are still distinctly Sicilian in language and culture while the outside world sees them as Italian.

The Kurds problem is that someone in Europe drew a line on a map without consulting them whether they wanted their traditional homeland to be divided between three different countries.

Dabooda •Nov 20, 2016 12:37 AM

BERNIE SANDERS would be a genius choice for Secretary of State. A kick in the teeth to the Clintonistas and the neocons, an olive branch to liberals of good will, and a hilarious end to the American civil war that the MSM and Soros are trying to drum up. Bernie's foreign policy was the only thing I liked about him.

sinbad2 -> Dabooda •Nov 20, 2016 1:02 AM

What a fantastic idea, political genius.

UnschooledAustr... -> Dabooda •Nov 20, 2016 1:30 AM

I - non-US citizen living in the US - frequently argued that I would have loved seeing Bernie run as VP for Trump.

Not a lot of people who got it. You did.

BTW: Fuck Soros.

Big Ben •Nov 20, 2016 12:51 AM

The presidency is more of a ceremonial position now. If the deep state doesn't like the president, it can simply fire him, as it did with Kennedy (and arguably Nixon). It can also make his life a living hell or force a foreign policy showdown as it did with Kennedy and the Bay of Pigs.

Incidentally, I've been looking at some websites that claim that the 911 attacks could not have happened the way the government claimed. There were actually THREE buildings that collapsed: the North and South Towers and WTC7 which was never hit by an airplane. The government claims it collapsed due to fires, but a whole bunch of architects and structural engineers say that isn't possible. And if you look at the video of the collapse, it looks like a perfect controlled demolition. There have been a number of large fires in steel framed skyscrapers and none of them has caused a collapse. And even if a fire somehow managed to produce a collapse, it would create a messy uneven collapse where the parts with the hottest fires collapse first.

Controlled demolitions take weeks of planning and preparation. So the implication is that someone planned the WTC7 collapse weeks in advance. WTC7 held a number of offices, including offices of the SEC. Many files were destroyed.

Also Steven Jones, a retired BYU physics professor and other scientists have found particles of thermite in the dust from the North and South tower collapses. Thermite is an incendiary used to cut steel. This suggests that the collapse of the the North and South Towers was also caused by something other than an airplane collision.

I have seen claims that GW Bush's younger brother was a high executive in the company that handled WTC security.

So were the 9/11 attacks a preplanned event designed to create support for the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq?

.... ... ...

[Nov 20, 2016] Rand Paul says he will oppose John Bolton and Rudy Giuliani for Secretary of State

Notable quotes:
"... "Bolton is a longtime member of the failed Washington elite that Trump vowed to oppose, hell-bent on repeating virtually every foreign policy mistake the U.S. has made in the last 15 years - particularly those Trump promised to avoid as president," ..."
"... "It's important that someone who was an unrepentant advocate for the Iraq War, who didn't learn the lessons of the Iraq War, shouldn't be the secretary of state for a president who says Iraq was ..."
Nov 20, 2016 | rare.us

Senator Rand Paul said Tuesday in an op-ed for Rare that he would oppose President-elect Donald Trump's rumored selection of former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton as Secretary of State.

"Bolton is a longtime member of the failed Washington elite that Trump vowed to oppose, hell-bent on repeating virtually every foreign policy mistake the U.S. has made in the last 15 years - particularly those Trump promised to avoid as president,"

Paul wrote citing U.S. interventions in Iraq and Libya that Trump has criticized but that Bolton strongly advocated.

Reports since have indicated that former New York City mayor and loyal Trump ally, Rudy Giuliani is being considered for the post.

The Washington Post's David Weigel reports , "Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a newly reelected member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said this morning that he was inclined to oppose either former U.N. ambassador John Bolton or former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani if they were nominated for secretary of state."

"It's important that someone who was an unrepentant advocate for the Iraq War, who didn't learn the lessons of the Iraq War, shouldn't be the secretary of state for a president who says Iraq was a big lesson," Paul told the Post. "Trump said that a thousand times. It would be a huge mistake for him to give over his foreign policy to someone who [supported the war]. I mean, you could not find more unrepentant advocates of regime change."

Related: Rand Paul: Will Donald Trump betray voters by hiring John Bolton?

[Nov 20, 2016] Most individuals Trump is considering for his administration, including those already picked have a deep-seated obsession with Iran. This is very troubling.

www.moonofalabama.org
Posted by: Circe | Nov 19, 2016 8:37:46 PM | 23

95% or more of the individuals Trump is considering for his administration, including those already picked have a deep-seated obsession with Iran. This is very troubling. It's going to lead to war and not a regular war where 300,000 people die. This is a catastrophic error in judgment I don't give a sh...t who makes such an error, Trump or the representative from Kalamazoo! This is so bad that it disqualifies whatever else appears positive at this time.

And one more deeply disturbing thing; Pompeo, chosen to head the CIA has threatened Ed Snowden with the death penalty, if Snowden is caught, and now as CIA Director he can send operatives to chase him down wherever he is and render him somewhere, torture him to find out who he shared intelligence with and kill him on the spot and pretend it was a foreign agent who did the job. He already stated before he was assigned this powerful post that Snowden should be brought back from Russia and get the death penalty for treason.

Pompeo also sided with the Obama Administration on using U. S. military force in Syria against Assad and wrote this in the Washington Post: "Russia continues to side with rogue states and terrorist organizations, following Vladimir Putin's pattern of gratuitous and unpunished affronts to U.S. interests,".

That's not all, Pompeo wants to enhance the surveillance state, and he too wants to tear up the Iran deal.

Many of you here are extremely naïve regarding Trump.

b's speculation has the ring of truth. I've often wondered if Trump was encouraged to run by a deep-state faction that found the neocons to be abhorrent and dangerous.

Aside: I find those who talk about "factions" in foreign policy making to be un-credible. Among these were those that spoke of 'Obama's legacy'. A bullshit concept for a puppet.The neocons control FP. And they could only be unseated if a neocon-unfriendly President was elected.

Jackrabbit | Nov 19, 2016 10:20:57 PM | 26

Trump is turning animosity away from Russia and toward Iran. But I doubt that it will result in a shooting war with Iran. The 'deep-state' (arms industry and security agencies) just wants a foreign enemy as a means of ensuring that US govt continues to fund security agencies and buy arms.

And really, Obama's "peace deal" with Iran was bogus anyway. It was really just a placeholder until Assad could be toppled. Only a small amount of funds were released to Iran, and US-Iranian relations have been just as bad as they were before the "peace deal". So all the hand-wringing about Trump vs. Iran is silly.

What is important is that with Iran as the nominal enemy du jour plus Trump's campaign pledge to have the "strongest" military (note: every candidate was for a strong military), the neocons have no case to make that Trump is weak on defense.

And so it is interesting that those that want to undermine Trump have resorted to the claim that he is close to Jews/Zionists/Israel or even Jewish himself. Funny that Trump wasn't attacked like that before the election, huh?

The profound changes and profound butt-hurt lead to the following poignant questions:

>> Have we just witnessed a counter-coup?

>> Isn't it sad that, in 2016(!), the only check on elites are other elite factions? An enormous cultural failure that has produced a brittle social fabric.

>> If control of NSA snooping power is so crucial, why would ANY ruling block ever allow the another to gain power?

Indeed, the answer to this question informs one's view on whether the anti-Trump protests are just Democratic Party ass-covering/distraction or a real attempt at a 'color revolution'.

[Nov 20, 2016] Trumps Appointment of Pompeo as CIA Chief is Major Fail

Notable quotes:
"... Thank you for this very good link. The swamp cant be drained with an election, the society has been infested and corrupt beyond redemption. There can't be a revolution either, because no charismatic figure could lead it, and the majority of the people prefer to bury their head in the sand. ..."
"... It'd be nice to think that the coming devolution won't be an exact repeat, e.g. a neo-Dark Age for hundreds of years, but who can say? Maybe science and philosophy won't be entirely lost this time around. But of course all speculation is rendered nul and void IF we have WW3 ..."
"... If Trump appoints any vetted neocons to high positions in his administration, he runs the risk of synchronized resignations if he decides to move closer to Russia. ..."
"... Fake Libertarians need to understand that Radical islam is a problem not because of America's wars in the Middle East or NATO. Radical islam is inherently violent. India has been a victim of this virus since the 8th century! India never invaded any country. ..."
Nov 20, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com

CorneliuCodreanu Nov 20, 2016 1:30 AM ,

Trump's Appointment of Pompeo as CIA Chief is Major Fail

http://www.newnationalist.net/2016/11/20/trumps-appointment-of-pompeo-as...

jfb CorneliuCodreanu Nov 20, 2016 8:42 AM ,
Thank you for this very good link. The swamp cant be drained with an election, the society has been infested and corrupt beyond redemption. There can't be a revolution either, because no charismatic figure could lead it, and the majority of the people prefer to bury their head in the sand.

What will eventually happen is an economic implosion and chaos. The "elite" won't be able to finance a repressive force since their "electronic money" will not be trusted, and everything will fall apart.

And years after, small communities will gradually re-emerge since there will be a need to protect the people with a local police force. But the notion of a super-state or even more of a NWO will not survive, after an initial depopulation we'll have something similar than what you had at the begining of the middle age, a life organized around small independant comunities of 3,000 or 5,000 people.

Setarcos jfb Nov 20, 2016 9:54 AM ,
Very close to my thinking ... and a precedent is the demize of the Roman Empire, when Europe devolved into numerous small feudal regions, such as in England for over a thousand years, i.e after numerous internal wars, such as the Wars of the Roses and the reign of Henry VIII, it wasn't until the 1600s and the so-called "Enlightenment" that England was unified ... and it wasn't until the 1700s that Scotland was conquered and "Great Britain" existed, also having incorporated Wales and Ireland, with at least Eire having gained independence during the 1920s, Wales never being really integrated, nor Scotland now moving away from the centre of the whole shebang ... London always.

It'd be nice to think that the coming devolution won't be an exact repeat, e.g. a neo-Dark Age for hundreds of years, but who can say? Maybe science and philosophy won't be entirely lost this time around. But of course all speculation is rendered nul and void IF we have WW3 despite, or because(?) of Trump and similar phenonema in the West.

francis scott f... Nov 20, 2016 2:09 AM ,

BE CAREFUL, MR TRUMP

If Trump appoints any vetted neocons to high positions in his administration, he runs the risk of synchronized resignations if he decides to move closer to Russia.

And when that is picked up by the arch deceivers at the WaPo, NYT, WSJ etc, it will be embarrassing for Mr Trump and for the foreign policy he campaigned on.

Lynn Trainor francis scott falseflag Nov 20, 2016 5:53 AM ,
Mr. Trump, please move closer to Russia - Putin has longed for sane dialogue with the US for the last 8 or more years and has gotten the cold shoulder.
GraveDancer Nov 20, 2016 3:24 AM ,
Fake Libertarians need to understand that Radical islam is a problem not because of America's wars in the Middle East or NATO. Radical islam is inherently violent. India has been a victim of this virus since the 8th century! India never invaded any country.

Islam fundamentally is incompatible with a modern society.

[Nov 19, 2016] The Wall Street Journal Steve Bannon on Politics as War

Notable quotes:
"... He's proud that the first job offer-to former Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn for national security adviser-went to a "registered Democrat," and that the country is going to see "a lot of interesting choices." Mr. Trump "knows how to mix and match, get the best out of people, and I think it says something about what a historic figure he could be." ..."
"... I never went on TV one time during the campaign. Not once. You know why? Because politics is war. General Sherman would never have gone on TV to tell everyone his plans. ..."
"... Breitbart is the most pro-Israel site in the United States ..."
Nov 19, 2016 | www.breitbart.com

Stephen K. Bannon in a rare interview talks with Kimberley A. Strassel of the Wall Street Journal about the winning campaign of Donald J. Trump and his part in helping the president-elect accomplish his vision for America. Bannon also refutes charges of being antisemitic or a white nationalist saying the allegations, "just aren't serious. It's a joke."

Below are a few excerpts from the interview:

... ... ... Why does he think that leftists are so fixated on him? "They were ready to coronate Hillary Clinton. That didn't happen, and I'm one of the reasons why. So, by the way, I wear these attacks as an emblem of pride." Mr. Bannon believes Mr. Trump to be uniquely suited to make the case, as "one of the best political orators in American history, rated with William Jennings Bryan." He's proud that the first job offer-to former Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn for national security adviser-went to a "registered Democrat," and that the country is going to see "a lot of interesting choices." Mr. Trump "knows how to mix and match, get the best out of people, and I think it says something about what a historic figure he could be."

I never went on TV one time during the campaign. Not once. You know why? Because politics is war. General Sherman would never have gone on TV to tell everyone his plans.

"Breitbart is the most pro-Israel site in the United States"

[Nov 19, 2016] Steve Bannon Interviewed Its About Americans Not Getting disposed

Notable quotes:
"... " Like [Andrew] Jackson's populism, we're going to build an entirely new political movement ," he says. "It's everything related to jobs. The conservatives are going to go crazy. I'm the guy pushing a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan. With negative interest rates throughout the world, it's the greatest opportunity to rebuild everything. Ship yards, iron works, get them all jacked up. We're just going to throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks . It will be as exciting as the 1930s, greater than the Reagan revolution - conservatives, plus populists, in an economic nationalist movement." ..."
"... Nobody in the Democratic party listened to his speeches, so they had no idea he was delivering such a compelling and powerful economic message. He shows up 3.5 hours late in Michigan at 1 in the morning and has 35,000 people waiting in the cold. When they got [Clinton] off the donor circuit she went to Temple University and they drew 300 or 400 kids." ..."
"... Bannon on Murdoch: "Rupert is a globalist and never understood Trump" ..."
"... " The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get f-ed over . If we deliver-" by "we" he means the Trump White House "-we'll get 60 percent of the white vote, and 40 percent of the black and Hispanic vote and we'll govern for 50 years. That's what the Democrats missed, they were talking to these people with companies with a $9 billion market cap employing nine people. It's not reality. They lost sight of what the world is about ." ..."
"... ... I'd say, IMO, Steve Bannon is more than an excellent choice for President Trump's team ... Bannon's education, business, work and military experience speaks highly of his abilities ... I wish the MSM would stop labelling him a white nationalist and concentrate on his successful accomplishments and what he could contribute to Trump's cabinet. ..."
Nov 19, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com
Bannon next discusses the "battle line" inside America's great divide.

He absolutely - mockingly - rejects the idea that this is a racial line. "I'm not a white nationalist, I'm a nationalist. I'm an economic nationalist, " he tells me. " The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get f-ed over . If we deliver-" by "we" he means the Trump White House "-we'll get 60 percent of the white vote, and 40 percent of the black and Hispanic vote and we'll govern for 50 years. That's what the Democrats missed, they were talking to these people with companies with a $9 billion market cap employing nine people. It's not reality. They lost sight of what the world is about ."

Bannon's vision: an "entirely new political movement", one which drives the conservatives crazy. As to how monetary policy will coexist with fiscal stimulus, Bannon has a simple explanation: he plans to "rebuild everything" courtesy of negative interest rates and cheap debt throughout the world. Those rates may not be negative for too long.

" Like [Andrew] Jackson's populism, we're going to build an entirely new political movement ," he says. "It's everything related to jobs. The conservatives are going to go crazy. I'm the guy pushing a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan. With negative interest rates throughout the world, it's the greatest opportunity to rebuild everything. Ship yards, iron works, get them all jacked up. We're just going to throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks . It will be as exciting as the 1930s, greater than the Reagan revolution - conservatives, plus populists, in an economic nationalist movement."

How Bannon describes Trump: " an ideal vessel"

It is less than obvious how Bannon, now the official strategic brains of the Trump operation, syncs with his boss, famously not too strategic. When Bannon took over the campaign from Paul Manafort, there were many in the Trump circle who had resigned themselves to the inevitability of the candidate listening to no one . But here too was a Bannon insight: When the campaign seemed most in free fall or disarray, it was perhaps most on target. While Clinton was largely absent from the campaign trail and concentrating on courting her donors, Trump - even after the leak of the grab-them-by-the-pussy audio - was speaking to ever-growing crowds of thirty-five or forty thousand. "He gets it, he gets it intuitively," says Bannon, perhaps still surprised he has found such an ideal vessel. "You have probably the greatest orator since William Jennings Bryan, coupled with an economic populist message and two political parties that are so owned by the donors that they don't speak to their audience. But he speaks in a non-political vernacular, he communicates with these people in a very visceral way. Nobody in the Democratic party listened to his speeches, so they had no idea he was delivering such a compelling and powerful economic message. He shows up 3.5 hours late in Michigan at 1 in the morning and has 35,000 people waiting in the cold. When they got [Clinton] off the donor circuit she went to Temple University and they drew 300 or 400 kids."

Bannon on Murdoch: "Rupert is a globalist and never understood Trump"

At that moment, as we talk, there's a knock on the door of Bannon's office, a temporary, impersonal, middle-level executive space with a hodgepodge of chairs for constant impromptu meetings. Sen. Ted Cruz, once the Republican firebrand, now quite a small and unassuming figure, has been waiting patiently for a chat and Bannon excuses himself for a short while. It is clear when we return to our conversation that it is not just the liberal establishment that Bannon feels he has triumphed over, but the conservative one too - not least of all Fox News and its owners, the Murdochs. "They got it more wrong than anybody," he says. " Rupert is a globalist and never understood Trump. To him, Trump is a radical. Now they'll go centrist and build the network around Megyn Kelly." Bannon recounts, with no small irony, that when Breitbart attacked Kelly after her challenges to Trump in the initial Republican debate, Fox News chief Roger Ailes - whom Bannon describes as an important mentor, and who Kelly's accusations of sexual harassment would help topple in July - called to defend her. Bannon says he warned Ailes that Kelly would be out to get him too .

Finally, Bannon on how he sees himself in the administration:

Bannon now becomes part of a two-headed White House political structure, with Reince Priebus - in and out of Bannon's office as we talk - as chief of staff, in charge of making the trains run on time, reporting to the president, and Bannon as chief strategist, in charge of vision, goals, narrative and plan of attack, reporting to the president too. Add to this the ambitions and whims of the president himself, and the novel circumstance of one who has never held elective office, the agenda of his highly influential family and the end runs of a party significant parts of which were opposed to him, and you have quite a complex court that Bannon will have to finesse to realize his reign of the working man and a trillion dollars in new spending.

"I am," he says, with relish, "Thomas Cromwell in the court of the Tudors."

Life of Illusion nibiru Nov 18, 2016 2:32 PM ,
now that is direct with truth

" The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get f-ed over . If we deliver-" by "we" he means the Trump White House "-we'll get 60 percent of the white vote, and 40 percent of the black and Hispanic vote and we'll govern for 50 years. That's what the Democrats missed, they were talking to these people with companies with a $9 billion market cap employing nine people. It's not reality. They lost sight of what the world is about ."

Deathrips Life of Illusion Nov 18, 2016 2:34 PM ,
William Jennings Bryan!!!! Bonus Points.

http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/documents/1876-1900/william-jennings-bryan-cro...

Read cross of gold about bimetalism. Gold AND Silver

PrayingMantis wildbad Nov 18, 2016 3:51 PM ,
... I'd say, IMO, Steve Bannon is more than an excellent choice for President Trump's team ... Bannon's education, business, work and military experience speaks highly of his abilities ... I wish the MSM would stop labelling him a white nationalist and concentrate on his successful accomplishments and what he could contribute to Trump's cabinet.

........ from wiki ...

Stephen Kevin Bannon was born on November 27, 1953, in Norfolk, Virginia into a working-class, Irish Catholic, pro-Kennedy, pro-union family of Democrats. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 1976 and holds a master's degree in National Security Studies from Georgetown University. In 1983, Bannon received an M.B.A. degree with honors from Harvard Business School.

Bannon was an officer in the United States Navy, serving on the destroyer USS Paul F. Foster as a Surface Warfare Officer in the Pacific Fleet and stateside as a special assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon.

After his military service, Bannon worked at Goldman Sachs as an investment banker in the Mergers & Acquisitions Department. In 1990, Bannon and several colleagues from Goldman Sachs launched Bannon & Co., a boutique investment bank specializing in media. Through Bannon & Co., Bannon negotiated the sale of Castle Rock Entertainment to Ted Turner. As payment, Bannon & Co. accepted a financial stake in five television shows, including Seinfeld. Société Générale purchased Bannon & Co. in 1998.

In 1993, while still managing Bannon & Co., Bannon was made acting director of Earth-science research project Biosphere 2 in Oracle, Arizona. Under Bannon, the project shifted emphasis from researching space exploration and colonization towards pollution and global warming. He left the project in 1995.

After the sale of Bannon & Co., Bannon became an executive producer in the film and media industry in Hollywood, California. He was executive producer for Julie Taymor's 1999 film Titus. Bannon became a partner with entertainment industry executive Jeff Kwatinetz at The Firm, Inc., a film and television management company. In 2004, Bannon made a documentary about Ronald Reagan titled In the Face of Evil. Through the making and screening of this film, Bannon was introduced to Peter Schweizer and publisher Andrew Breitbart. He was involved in the financing and production of a number of films, including Fire from the Heartland: The Awakening of the Conservative Woman, The Undefeated (on Sarah Palin), and Occupy Unmasked. Bannon also hosts a radio show (Breitbart News Daily) on a Sirius XM satellite radio channel.

Bannon is also executive chairman and co-founder of the Government Accountability Institute, where he helped orchestrate the publication of the book Clinton Cash. In 2015, Bannon was ranked No. 19 on Mediaite's list of the "25 Most Influential in Political News Media 2015".

Bannon convinced Goldman Sachs to invest in a company known as Internet Gaming Entertainment. Following a lawsuit, the company rebranded as Affinity Media and Bannon took over as CEO. From 2007 through 2011, Bannon was chairman and CEO of Affinity Media.

Bannon became a member of the board of Breitbart News. In March 2012, after founder Andrew Breitbart's death, Bannon became executive chairman of Breitbart News LLC, the parent company of Breitbart News. Under his leadership, Breitbart took a more alt-right and nationalistic approach towards its agenda. Bannon declared the website "the platform for the alt-right" in 2016. Bannon identifies as a conservative. Speaking about his role at Breitbart, Bannon said: "We think of ourselves as virulently anti-establishment, particularly 'anti-' the permanent political class."

The New York Times described Breitbart News under Bannon's leadership as a "curiosity of the fringe right wing", with "ideologically driven journalists", that is a source of controversy "over material that has been called misogynist, xenophobic and racist." The newspaper also noted how Breitbart was now a "potent voice" for Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

Escrava Isaura The Saint Nov 18, 2016 6:11 PM ,

Bannon: " The globalists gutted the American working class ..the Democrats were talking to these people with companies with a $9 billion market cap employing nine people. It's not reality. They lost sight of what the world is about ."

Well said. Couldn't agree more.

Bannon: " Like [Andrew] Jackson's populism, we're going to build an entirely new political movement I'm the guy pushing a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan.

Dear Mr. Bannon, it has to be way more than $1trillion in 10 years. Obama's $831 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) didn't make up the difference for all the job lost in 2007/08. Manufacturing alone lost about 9 million jobs since 1979, when it peaked.

Trump needs to go Ronald Reagan 180% deficit spending. If Trump runs 100% like Obama, Trump will fail as well.

[Nov 19, 2016] Syrian child disappointed she won't get to be drone-striked by the first female president by Duffel Blog

Nov 13, 2016 | duffelblog.com

ALEPPO, Syria - In the midst of sectarian violence that has overtaken Syria for more than five years, nine-year-old Asil Kassab is shocked by the defeat of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

"I am so unhappy that a woman was not elected President," Asil said, briefly ducking as a bomb from an American MQ-1 Predator drone leveled the hospital behind her. "Hillary Clinton is truly a role model for young girls like me. I was so hoping that she'd be the one to order the drone strike that would inevitably end my life."

Despite Clinton's support for regime change in Syria, leading to what is arguably one of the greatest humanitarian crises of the early century, Kassab surprisingly says she holds no ill will.

"I don't put much stock in the misogynist agenda of American politics," said Kassab, who, like many children, cannot remember a time before the war that has killed 400,000 people, including her family, and created over 4.7 million refugees. "People will always criticize her because she is a woman in a man's world; One who has the audacity to run for President."

"It is sexism that motivates her critics, plain and simple," she added. "It is sexism, and racism, that caused her to lose the election!"

... ... ...

[Nov 18, 2016] Meet Mike Pompeo, The New Director Of The CIA

Notable quotes:
"... Pompeo was close to Trump's running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who served with Pompeo in the House. Last month, Pompeo helped prepare Pence for the vice presidential debate with Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia. ..."
"... Pompeo is a member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence and one of the most vocal critics of the Obama administration's nuclear deal with Iran. ..."
"... He's a supporter of the National Security Agency's controversial bulk data collection program and sought to restore the agency's access to the data it had already collected under the Patriot Act from its inception through late last year. ..."
"... He was elected to Congress in 2010 on a wave of tea party support and with backing from the Koch Industries political action committee. The Wichita-based conglomerate's PAC is well known for its support of conservative candidates. ..."
"... Though Pompeo is generally known for his opposition to Obama administration policies, he's occasionally given heat to some fellow Republicans. Last year, his name was floated as a potential rival to Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin to become House speaker. ..."
"... Pompeo has sponsored numerous bills that would maintain or increase sanctions on Iran over its nuclear weapons program. He's been a staunch opponent of the deal negotiated by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry that eases sanctions in exchange for dismantling the nuclear weapons program. ..."
"... Pompeo has served on the House Select Benghazi Committee. ..."
"... When the committee released its report on the attack in June, Pompeo and Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio released a separate report that was even more sharply critical of Clinton's handling of the affair. They wrote that Clinton intentionally misled Americans about the nature of the attack because Obama was up for re-election. ..."
"... Pompeo has made some controversial statements about Muslims. Weeks after the Boston marathon bombing in 2013, in a speech on the House floor, he not only accused Islamic faith leaders of not doing enough to condemn terrorist attacks, but also suggested they might be encouraging them. ..."
"... Couldn't give a fiddlers fuck about the issues of global warming at this stage and crisis we now face. I just want to know if the asshole is stupid enough to use NATO to get energy for this Country that neither we nor the Saudi's have any longer. ..."
"... If Trump is smart he will engage detente with the Russians at the expense of all of his war mongering staff. ..."
"... Looks like Trump decided to sell us down the river rather than drain the swamp. And now we're caught between his thugs and an army of crazy children in the streets. ..."
"... The buck still stops with Trump and he isn't even in office yet for anyone to judge him fairly. For me that means he gets a year or two. Further, he's a smart guy and I never assumed he was going to bring in 4000+ newbies into his administration. The fucking wheels would lock up immediately. He knows this. He needs competent, loyal people in these roles, period. ..."
"... Trump is already showing himself through his choices. This guy is a hard liner in the push for the govt to trample the constitution and treat the citizens like serfs. ..."
"... The advantage of the Trump win is the exposure that has already happened. The Ds and Rs have been exposed. MSM has been exposed for extreme bias. The rats that double down on their anti-Trump rhetoric think they are hiding their own crimes when really they are exposing themselves for all the world to see. The "Love Trumps Hate" protestors are exposing all their own hypocrisy for all the world to see. ..."
"... Appointing a member of the Bengazhi committee to run the CIA means Hillary is completely FUCKED though. That's a bonus, a big one. ..."
Nov 18, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com

Moments after Donald Trump offered the Attorney General spot to senator Jeff Sessions (which he promptly accepted), it was announced that Trump had also picked rep. Mike Pompeo as CIA director, who likewise accepted.

Trump has offered position of CIA director to US Rep Mike Pompeo and Pompeo has accepted -transition official

- Steve Holland (@steveholland1) November 18, 2016

The selection of Pompeo, a three-term Republican from Wichita, started earlier this week when he met with Donald Trump, according to the president-elect's transition team. Now we know what the meetings were about. Courtesy of McClatchy , here is profile of the new director of America's top spy agency:

* * *

Pompeo originally supported Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's presidential bid. Like most of his Kansas colleagues, Pompeo backed Trump when it was clear the New York real-estate developer would become the Republican presidential nominee, though not enthusiastically.

But Pompeo was close to Trump's running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who served with Pompeo in the House. Last month, Pompeo helped prepare Pence for the vice presidential debate with Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia.

The most prominent Kansas elected official to endorse Trump early on was Secretary of State Kris Kobach, now a member of the Trump transition team and a possible candidate for U.S. Attorney General.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback and recently defeated Rep. Tim Huelskamp are both potential picks for agriculture secretary.

Pompeo is a member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence and one of the most vocal critics of the Obama administration's nuclear deal with Iran.

He's a supporter of the National Security Agency's controversial bulk data collection program and sought to restore the agency's access to the data it had already collected under the Patriot Act from its inception through late last year.

He's a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and Harvard Law School. He's also a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Pompeo, who grew up in the traditionally Republican enclave of Orange County, California, founded Thayer Aerospace, a company that made parts for commercial and military aircraft. After selling Thayer, he became president of Sentry International, a company that manufactures and sells equipment used in oil fields.

He was elected to Congress in 2010 on a wave of tea party support and with backing from the Koch Industries political action committee. The Wichita-based conglomerate's PAC is well known for its support of conservative candidates.

Though Pompeo is generally known for his opposition to Obama administration policies, he's occasionally given heat to some fellow Republicans. Last year, his name was floated as a potential rival to Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin to become House speaker.

Earlier this year, he briefly flirted with a primary challenge to Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran after the state's junior senator appeared to break with Senate Republican opposition to Obama's Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland.

Joe Romance, an associate professor of political science at Fort Hays State University, said it makes sense for Pompeo to consider a job in the executive branch, given the way the stage is set from Kansas to Washington in the next several years.

"He's ambitious," Romance said. "Jerry Moran just got reelected. Roberts is not up until 2020. So where do you need to move? And I don't think Ryan's going anywhere as speaker. So why not?"

Pompeo has sponsored numerous bills that would maintain or increase sanctions on Iran over its nuclear weapons program. He's been a staunch opponent of the deal negotiated by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry that eases sanctions in exchange for dismantling the nuclear weapons program.

In February, Pompeo and two of his Republican House colleagues unsuccessfully sought visas to monitor the country's elections.

When Iran detained a group of American sailors earlier whose ship had wandered into its territorial waters earlier this year, Pompeo introduced a bill requiring the Obama administration to investigate whether Iran violated the Geneva Convention. It didn't become law. The sailors were not harmed, and the Navy later concluded that the sailors had entered Iran's waters by mistake.

Pompeo has served on the House Select Benghazi Committee. The special panel was created in 2014 to probe the Sept. 11, 2012, attack in Libya that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. One of its key targets was former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on whose watch the attack had occurred.

When the committee released its report on the attack in June, Pompeo and Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio released a separate report that was even more sharply critical of Clinton's handling of the affair. They wrote that Clinton intentionally misled Americans about the nature of the attack because Obama was up for re-election.

"Officials at the State Department, including Secretary Clinton, learned almost in real time that the attack in Benghazi was a terrorist attack," Pompeo and Jordan wrote. "With the presidential election just 56 days away, rather than tell the American people the truth and increase the risk of losing an election, the administration told one story privately and a different story publicly."

Pompeo has made some controversial statements about Muslims. Weeks after the Boston marathon bombing in 2013, in a speech on the House floor, he not only accused Islamic faith leaders of not doing enough to condemn terrorist attacks, but also suggested they might be encouraging them.

"When the most devastating terrorist attacks on America in the last 20 years come overwhelmingly from people of a single faith, and are performed in the name of that faith, a special obligation falls on those that are the leaders of that faith," Pompeo said. " Instead of responding, silence has made these Islamic leaders across America potentially complicit in these acts and more importantly still, in those that may well follow."

But last month, three militiamen were arrested in western Kansas in an alleged plot to blow up an apartment complex that's home to Somali Muslim refugees.

Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said statements like Pompeo's were detrimental to policies that keep all Americans safe.

"We believe it's counterproductive to our nation's safety and security because they will act based on their faulty perceptions of Muslims and Islam," Hooper said, "and will not carry out policies based on accurate and balanced information."


wildbad, Nov 18, 2016 8:25 AM ,
I'm stunned by this....bulk collection proponent?
Son of Captain Nemo -> wildbad, Nov 18, 2016 8:30 AM ,
Yep... Like all the rest that pass through the "revolving doors" of D.C. he'll feather his nest and continue "killing some folks" and "torturing some folks".

Only not in Syria or Ukraine -that is for certain!

wildbad -> Son of Captain Nemo, Nov 18, 2016 8:33 AM ,
some of his opinions are concerning but a quick bio read in wikipedia showed some pretty well reasoned unorthodox stances.

he's not a global warming sycophant, nor particularly doctrinaire in things energy. but a bulk collection fan..I was really hoping for someone with a track record of following the fourth amendment.

Son of Captain Nemo -> wildbad, Nov 18, 2016 8:42 AM ,
Couldn't give a fiddlers fuck about the issues of global warming at this stage and crisis we now face. I just want to know if the asshole is stupid enough to use NATO to get energy for this Country that neither we nor the Saudi's have any longer.

We'll know these cocksuckers are sincere when they tell us the truth about the "riches of bakken oil" is 10 years and not 100 and that the systemic looting operation in the ME using our military is counter productive given the tradeoff of war with the Russians and the accumulated debt to fund our misadventures that will never find a buyer!

Only time will tell.

Son of Captain Nemo -> wildbad, Nov 18, 2016 8:56 AM ,
On the road less travelled.

And why February of 2014 changed the calculus of everything including Russia's participation in the booting out of NATO from Syria. https://southfront.org/us-experts-offer-donald-trump-3-steps-for-normali...

If Trump is smart he will engage detente with the Russians at the expense of all of his war mongering staff.

Joe Davola -> Son of Captain Nemo, Nov 18, 2016 9:25 AM ,
Let me preface this by saying I find bulk collection totally an affront to the constitution, however "private" companies already have bulk collection in place. It's only the slightest catalyst from there to the government requiring the companies hand over all that data. I'm surprised people advocate for bulk data openly, when they know the hurdle to cross to access private databases is very low. And that whole shooter's phone charade where Apple "stood up" to the FBI was so much bluster when both sides likely already had the capability that they claimed not to have.
swmnguy -> Joe Davola, Nov 18, 2016 9:32 AM ,
The "hurdle" is even lower than you state. The only "hurdle" is whether they can openly use that data in court. They already have it all. All the data goes through collection "checkpoints."
Billy the Poet -> joeyman9, Nov 18, 2016 9:54 AM ,
Looks like Trump decided to sell us down the river rather than drain the swamp. And now we're caught between his thugs and an army of crazy children in the streets.

This is why I would have preferred seeing Hillary win despite the fact that I voted for Trump. It felt like a con and a con it was, apparently.

lucitanian -> Billy the Poet, Nov 18, 2016 10:22 AM ,
When was it anything but a con. Madness, when you keep doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result. The deep state has you suckered, and you still think its the land of the free. Reality is relative to your perception. Its an extension of what you want to believe. You live with your delusions, no one elses.
froze25 -> Billy the Poet, Nov 18, 2016 11:02 AM ,
Nice we can all be deluded together. I don't mind this choice its not for the CIA director to decide what is constitutional or not, that is for the Supreme court so we the people must challenge the collection and use of the collected data in the Supreme court. The CIA director is to obey the Law as it is presented to him.
new game -> froze25, Nov 18, 2016 11:08 AM ,
obey the Law

lol

Mr. Bones -> froze25, Nov 18, 2016 12:49 PM ,
That's not how the CIA works. They do a mea culpa, then 10 years later the same mea culpa. The spooks were behind torture and secret prisons during the Bush admin, they're behind the not torture that doesn't happen in prisons that we don't admit to. Only the language changed. We all pretend to be offended when we find out that unspeakable acts are being committed in our names, or we deny it - that's been working for the left for 2 terms.
PTR -> Mr. Bones, Nov 18, 2016 1:30 PM ,
Yes, that's what's done to us. One via the Corporate, the other via the State. No lube, though.
The Merovingian -> Billy the Poet, Nov 18, 2016 11:10 AM ,
The buck still stops with Trump and he isn't even in office yet for anyone to judge him fairly. For me that means he gets a year or two. Further, he's a smart guy and I never assumed he was going to bring in 4000+ newbies into his administration. The fucking wheels would lock up immediately. He knows this. He needs competent, loyal people in these roles, period.

Time will tell on this. If his appointments start going apeshit like OBungler's did, then we have a real problem. For individual citizens the choice is clear, hope for the best and keep planning for the worst, which is what I've been doing for the last 12 years+. If you and your family are not prepared for some major disruptions to your way of life and basic daily sustenance, then you better get on it.

Lastly, the deep state is NEVER going away either. Not even sure they can be curbed. I honestly don't have an answer for that one yet except to be prepared to completely and totally unplug from everything, and become 'invisible, passive and benign' to the system itself at some point.

Creepy Lurker -> The Merovingian, Nov 18, 2016 11:45 AM ,
I logged in to thank you for this Voice Of Reason post. I don't know just what people expected. Was he supposed to start appointing random biker dudes to cabinet posts? Come on. To some extent one must work with the system if one is to have any hope of making changes to it.

Like baba looey keeps saying, let the man work, FFS.

Seer -> Creepy Lurker, Nov 18, 2016 12:35 PM ,

Do people demand a really just system? Well, we'll arrange it so that they'll be satisfied with one that's a little less unjust ... They want a revolution, and we'll give them reforms -- lots of reforms; we'll drown them in reforms. Or rather, we'll drown them in promises of reforms, because we'll never give them real ones either!!

DARIO FO, Accidental Death of an Anarchist

Blankone -> The Merovingian, Nov 18, 2016 11:55 AM ,
Trump is already showing himself through his choices. This guy is a hard liner in the push for the govt to trample the constitution and treat the citizens like serfs. But Trump's supporters are ok with it because it is "their guy" doing it, just like the Dems/liberals/whatever were ok with Obama shredding the constitution and killing hundreds of thousands because Obama was "their guy".

The velvet glove will come off soon and you will only have the iron fist.

Yes We Can. But... -> Billy the Poet, Nov 18, 2016 11:30 AM ,
With HRC22, I"d get about 2% of what I'd want.

With Trump, perhaps 60%. I'm happy with that, and will try not to bitch about the 40%.

Don't get me wrong... Putting HRC in a coffin, is a wonderful thing... But my sensibilities tell me that 'DRAINING A SWAMP' is too much of a task for Donald Trump (or anyone else)...

f_s

stacking12321 -> Billy the Poet, Nov 18, 2016 10:28 AM ,
I almost agree with you about Hillary, would have been sweet to see the economy collapse on her watch instead of trumps.

But with Hillary the risk of ww3 would be imminent.

WordSmith2013 -> stacking12321, Nov 18, 2016 11:03 AM ,
MP tore up Hillary during Benghazigate.

http://stateofthenation2012.com/?p=57032

Mike Pompeo destroys Hillary Clinton during prime time!
Seer -> stacking12321, Nov 18, 2016 12:40 PM ,
Not sure if it's going to be "sweet." For sure, though, it's going to collapse. ALL empires collapse (regardless of ideology/religion/leadership).
madmax1965 -> Billy the Poet, Nov 18, 2016 10:32 AM ,
Drain the swamp indeed! I can't believe people thought the Donald would change anything! Same shit different color(literally and figuratively) douchebags!
PT -> Billy the Poet, Nov 18, 2016 11:26 AM ,
Billy: Who is going to help Trump drain the swamp? The current swamp monsters? Why would they want to ruin their own home? That was always the problem.

Either way, I am glad he got in. You knew you were going nowhere with Hillary. If Trump fails then he will prove that outsiders are no good either. The election started out looking like insider vs insider - Clinton vs Bush. That was a good reason for all the voters to stay home, or to write "Me" or "None of the Above" on their ballots - for those who had paper ballots.

If Trump was a Conspiracy then his job was to make the plebs think they had a choice, to drag them to the voting booth, to create the illusion of legitimacy for the new government. If Trump can not change anything then the next "outsider" will have to put on an even bigger show and let us remember, this election will be a hard act to follow. My biggest fear is post-election amnesia, everything is already forgotten, let alone remembered in four years time. Is Wikileaks still chugging away? Where is that fantastic leak that would supposedly send Hillary straight to jail? What came of the Podesta emails? Are his spirits truly cooked? Are all the FBI investigations to be forgotten? Come the next election, are we really going to see crimes greater than the Comet Pizza allegations bubble to the surface? If the alleged crimes of the past year, and especially the last month or week, are forgotten, does that mean they were simply elaborate theatre? Will people remember this past year and, come the next election, declare "Well, look what happened in 2016! If that meant nothing, then how on earth could any other news mean anything? Refuse to participate in the show."

The advantage of the Trump win is the exposure that has already happened. The Ds and Rs have been exposed. MSM has been exposed for extreme bias. The rats that double down on their anti-Trump rhetoric think they are hiding their own crimes when really they are exposing themselves for all the world to see. The "Love Trumps Hate" protestors are exposing all their own hypocrisy for all the world to see.

Worst thing about this election? I paid attention. Politicians lie, especially in the lead up to an election. Everything they say can be safely ignored. Damn shame I got sucked into paying attention to this one - for the first time in my life. But now, in order to gain the attention of people who think like me, the next election will have to have theatrics of an order of magnitude greater than this one. Scary, eh! ;)

TruthHammer -> Billy the Poet, Nov 18, 2016 11:39 AM ,
Not every pick trump makes it going to please everyone. Trump is a hardliner on fighting Terrorism, that means you aren't going to get Assange/Snowden love-ins, or someone trying to destroy the intelligence overreach of the US. Appointing a member of the Bengazhi committee to run the CIA means Hillary is completely FUCKED though. That's a bonus, a big one.

The guy is Half-TeaParty, with NeoCon leanings towards fighting terrorism. Trump is going to be libertarian on War and Interventionism, but Neo-Con on Islamic Terror.

None of that has to do with "not draining the swamp"

Seer -> TruthHammer, Nov 18, 2016 12:48 PM ,
Perfect example of why all this SHIT is going to continue! Terrorism is an idea. It is the PERFECT tool for govts to exert control.

"Islamic Terror?" CIA started it all and the western propaganda machine has churned it into something that morons suck up.

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. - H.L. Mencken

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. H. L. Mencken
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/h/hlmencke101109.html
Argentumentum -> Billy the Poet, Nov 18, 2016 1:15 PM ,
You can ELECT but not SELECT - Trump to Israelis: Together we will stand up to Iran. http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/?p=141817

If voting could change anything ... it would be illegal. Emma Goldman

How many times will the monkeys push the button before they realize they never get the banana?

Big Brother -> joeyman9, Nov 18, 2016 12:42 PM ,
Thanks, man. Big Brother loves you too.
VinceFostersGhost -> BennyBoy, Nov 18, 2016 10:55 AM ,

he not only accused Islamic faith leaders of not doing enough to condemn terrorist attacks, but also suggested they might be encouraging them.

Huh.....really?

Chris Dakota -> BennyBoy, Nov 18, 2016 1:09 PM ,
...

Neocon Invasion of Team Trump Fully Underway Trump must stop neocon takeover of his administration Wayne Madsen

The purge of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie loyalists from the Donald Trump presidential transition team has little to do with Christie's Bridgegate scandal and everything to do with a battle between Bush-era neoconservatives and national security realists for control over key departments of the Trump administration.

It appears that Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner , the publisher of the New York Observer and someone who is aligned with the Likud Party of Israel, is now the de facto chair of the Trump transition team , especially when it comes to national security matters.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence, the official chairman of the team, is concentrating on domestic policy appointments, such as the rumored appointment of Texas Senator Ted Cruz as Attorney General.

Kushner fired Christie and Christie loyalist, former House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers, from the transition team and replaced them with the discredited neocon Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy.

It is likely that Gaffney will seek to bring a host of neocons who championed the U.S. invasion of Iraq into the Trump administration.

Also fired was Matthew Freedman, another Christie loyalist. Kushner never liked Christie because as a federal prosecutor in north Jersey, Christie successfully prosecuted Kushner's father, real estate tycoon Charles Kushner, who received a prison sentence at Christie's urging.

Where one finds the likes of Gaffney, former CIA director James Woolsey, also a member of the Trump transition team, and John Bolton, rumored to be in consideration for Secretary of State or deputy Secretary of State, one will find the other neocons who drove the United States into wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

These include Richard Perle, who claimed U.S. troops invading Iraq would be met with Iraqis throwing "flowers and candy." This editor wrote the following about Perle's fatuous claim in a March 31, 2003, article for CounterPunch: "Perle's military experience does not permit him to distinguish between flowers and candy and bullets and mortar rounds."

There is someone far more sinister than Gaffney, Bolton, and Perle chomping at the bit to join the new administration.

Wayne Madsen Reports has learned from multiple knowledgeable sources that the proponent of neo-fascism, Michael Ledeen, is working closely with former Defense Intelligence Agency chief Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, to ensure that as many neocons from the Bush 43 and Reagan eras find senior positions in the Trump administration.

Flynn co-authored a book with Ledeen that was released in July and titled, "The Field of Flight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies."

The book represents typical neocon pabulum more than it does realism.

In July, Kushner's Observer, unsurprisingly, published a five-star review of the book.

Flynn, who distinguished himself admirably by suggesting that the Obama administration was coddling the Islamic State and its allied jihadists in Syria, appears not to recognize that it has long been the desire of neocons like Ledeen, Perle, Woolsey, and Bolton to divide the Arab nation-states into warring factions so that Israel can hold ultimate sway over the entire Middle East.

Breitbart launched his site in 2007 from Jerusalem, its a Mossad front.

Most of the posters in the begining were Jews and Christian Zionists. They started to use white nationalists during the primary like they used them in Ukraine, then purged.

http://media.breitbart.com/media/2015/11/Screen-Shot-2015-11-17-at-09.04...

I was struck by this photo of Ivanka in cocktail attire, or fox news chick look. She is being used as a distraction for the Jap guys.

https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/styles/article_small/public...

YHC-FTSE -> Chris Dakota, Nov 18, 2016 1:25 PM ,
+1 Once I saw the zionists rubbing shoulders in the thicket of Trump's cabinet, I was hoping for a 50/50 split. But I dare say the zionist neocons' takeover is complete. Mike Pompous-Ass is pure MIC through and through (See Thayer Aerospace).

Another zionist cunt with Israel-first mentality whose only dubious virutes are hatred of muslims and Hillary.

Zero change in domestic and foreign intelligence policies from Hitlery who was planning to go to war with Iran by way of war against the Russo-Syrian alliance.

Any stupid fucker who is a proponent of blanket surveillance is a fucking traitor to every values in individual freedom and rights that I hold dear.

BullyBearish -> Chris Dakota, Nov 18, 2016 1:32 PM ,
The non-Semitic majority of Israel want to demonize the true Semitics (Arabs) by disparaging Islam in order to steal their land and its resources. Since they cannot or do not want to do all of the killing themselves, they use Christians to do their dirty work. The US Christian political leaders (e.g. Pence/Pompeo) have been targetted by Israel:

One of the keys to AIPAC's success is its education arm, the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF). AIEF sponsors trips to Israel for Members of Congress and their staffs, and uses these trips generally relay Likud's view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In all, AIEF spent $2,035,233 sponsoring congressional trips to Israel in 2011, according to data my blog, Republic Report , gathered through the Legistorm database. In contrast, the more moderate Israel lobby J Street - which launched in 2008 to provide an alternative to AIPAC's hawkish advocacy - spent only $45,954 on congressional trips to Israel. J Street's trips, included more extensive meetings with Palestinians and Israeli human rights groups. Which means that J Street was, in this area, outspent by a factor of 44: 1 in 2011. Republic Report has plotted this data into the following chart:

Look at the itinerary (requires free registration with Legistorm) of a nine-day, $20,000 AIEF trip Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) took in August 2011. During his trip, Pompeo was treated to meals, information sessions, tours, and other activities with mostly hawkish high-ranking Israeli officials, academics, and non-profit leaders. The sessions included "Terror from Gaza and Sinai" and "Hamas Next Door." During the nine days, only an hour was spent with Palestinian officials, with a short meeting scheduled in with Salam Fayyad, a Palestinian Authority Prime Minister widely viewed as highly sympathetic to the Israeli government.

Son of Captain Nemo -> Joe Davola, Nov 18, 2016 9:41 AM ,
J D

What you say is in fact true. But it's the "coordination" that takes place between government and industry with that information that is lethal. When NSA "cherry picks" and manipulates that date to remove it's "rivals" (perceived or otherwise) and uses the Justice Department acting as the "stick", you know anything becomes possible!

Seer -> Son of Captain Nemo, Nov 18, 2016 12:49 PM ,
Power corrupts.

[Nov 18, 2016] I gather our President lectured our President Elect on the necessity to stand up to Russia.

Notable quotes:
"... I gather our President lectured our President Elect on the necessity to stand up to Russia. (My first thought is that like that stupid charitable campaign to Stand Up to Cancer!, another place where the phrase was either meaningless or foolhardy.) ..."
"... IF Russia ever started actually interfering in our relations with our neighbors or attempted to get us thrown out of our legal bases in foreign nations, I would say that Barack Obama might have a point. Since we are the party guilty of such actions, he would do better to clean up his own administration's relations with Russia, apologize to Russia, and then STFU. ..."
"... 'Obama Urges Trump to Maintain Pointless, Hyper-Aggresive Encirclement of Russia Strategy, Acknowledge Nuclear Apocalypse "Inevitable"' ..."
"... In the best of circumstances, Obama in his post-presidency will be akin to Jimmy Carter and stay out of politics, less or less. (I think he has exhausted all trust and value.) If he goes the Jimmy Carter route; he is bound to do worse and will fade away. I don't think he'll go the Clinton route unless Michelle tries to run for office. ..."
"... The good people of the US are awaiting DHS' final report on Russia's attempts to hack our elections. We deserve as much. ..."
"... If there's any basis to the allegations it's about time someone provided it. Up till now it's been unfounded assertions. Highly suspect at that. ..."
"... My guess is the whole Russian boogeyman was a ploy to attract those "moderate Republicans" who liked Romney. ..."
"... "My hope is that the president-elect coming in takes a similarly constructive approach, finding areas where we can cooperate with Russia where our values and interests align, but that the president-elect also is willing to stand up to Russia when they are deviating from our values and international norms," Obama said. "But I don't expect that the president-elect will follow exactly our approach." ..."
"... Yes, because "U.S. values" as defined by the actions of the last 16 years have been so enlightened and successful and because the U.S. is a sterling example of adhering to international norms ..."
"... Just how deluded, ignorant or sociopathic does a person need to be that they can say things like that without vomiting? ..."
Nov 18, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Pat November 17, 2016 at 2:38 pm

I gather our President lectured our President Elect on the necessity to stand up to Russia. (My first thought is that like that stupid charitable campaign to Stand Up to Cancer!, another place where the phrase was either meaningless or foolhardy.)

IF Russia ever started actually interfering in our relations with our neighbors or attempted to get us thrown out of our legal bases in foreign nations, I would say that Barack Obama might have a point. Since we are the party guilty of such actions, he would do better to clean up his own administration's relations with Russia, apologize to Russia, and then STFU.

Which I am sure he will do once everyone recognizes that that is the appropriate thing to do. But as we well know everyone else will have to do the heavy lifting of figuring that out before he will even acknowledge the possibility.

Katharine November 17, 2016 at 3:26 pm

The Guardian headline struck me as hilarious:

Obama urges Trump against realpolitik in relations with Russia
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/17/obama-urges-trump-against-realpolitik-in-relations-with-russia

I mean, we can't have people actually taking our real interests into consideration in foreign relations, can we? That would be so–unexceptional.

JSM November 17, 2016 at 10:15 pm

Why not make it affirmative?

'Obama Urges Trump to Maintain Pointless, Hyper-Aggresive Encirclement of Russia Strategy, Acknowledge Nuclear Apocalypse "Inevitable"'

Knot Galt November 17, 2016 at 3:46 pm

In the best of circumstances, Obama in his post-presidency will be akin to Jimmy Carter and stay out of politics, less or less. (I think he has exhausted all trust and value.) If he goes the Jimmy Carter route; he is bound to do worse and will fade away. I don't think he'll go the Clinton route unless Michelle tries to run for office.

In this case, Obama is probably too vain and Michelle being the saner of the two might rein him in? Best of any world would, as you say, STFU. (As the Ex Prez. Obamamometer, that is probably not in the cards.)

OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL November 18, 2016 at 12:28 am

Maybe he will end up like Geo Bush, sitting in the bathtub drooling while he paints childish self-portraits
Or maybe he will end up like OJ, where he tries to go hang out with all his cool friends and they tell him to get lost

Adamski November 18, 2016 at 5:18 am

Ppl still mention him as a master orator, etc. Lots of post presidency speaking engagements I suppose. I'd prefer him not to but then again if he makes enough annually from it to beat the Clintons we might get the satisfaction of annoying them

JTMcPhee November 17, 2016 at 3:53 pm

"legal bases in foreign nations " Another reason why "we" are Fokked, thinking like that.

JSM November 17, 2016 at 4:48 pm

The good people of the US are awaiting DHS' final report on Russia's attempts to hack our elections. We deserve as much.

Steve C November 17, 2016 at 5:08 pm

If there's any basis to the allegations it's about time someone provided it. Up till now it's been unfounded assertions. Highly suspect at that.

NotTimothyGeithner November 17, 2016 at 6:11 pm

My guess is the whole Russian boogeyman was a ploy to attract those "moderate Republicans" who liked Romney.

timbers November 17, 2016 at 5:43 pm

"My hope is that the president-elect coming in takes a similarly constructive approach, finding areas where we can cooperate with Russia where our values and interests align, but that the president-elect also is willing to stand up to Russia when they are deviating from our values and international norms," Obama said. "But I don't expect that the president-elect will follow exactly our approach." What Obama is saying is he wants Russia to join America in bombing hospitals, schools, children, doctors, public facilities like water treatment plants, bridges, weddings, homes, and civilians to list just few – while arming and supporting terrorists for regime change. And if anyone points this out, Russia like the US is supposed to say "I know you are but what am I?"

RMO November 17, 2016 at 6:28 pm

Yes, because "U.S. values" as defined by the actions of the last 16 years have been so enlightened and successful and because the U.S. is a sterling example of adhering to international norms

Just how deluded, ignorant or sociopathic does a person need to be that they can say things like that without vomiting?

Lemmy November 17, 2016 at 2:42 pm

Is this the same Russia that just hacked our election and subverted our fine democracy? Why, President Obama, I believe it behooves you to stand up to Russia yourself. Show President-Elect Trump how it is done sir!

[Nov 16, 2016] US Public Opinion Speaks to Anti-Militarism, the Electorate Votes for Warmongers

Nov 16, 2016 | www.unz.com
Castigating the US electorate as accomplices and facilitators of wars, or at best describing it as ignorant sheep herded by political elites, speaks only to a partial reality; in public opinion polls, even in ones weighted overwhelmingly to the center-right, the American people consistently opposse militarism and wars, past and present.

The right and Left, each in their own way, fail to grasp the contradiction that define US political life, namely, the profound gap between the American public and the Washington elite on questions of war and peace, and the electoral process which results in the perpetuation of militarism. We will proceed to analyze the most recent polling of US public opinion and then turn to the electoral outcomes. In the second part we will discuss the contradictions and raise several ways in which the contradiction can be resolved.

... ... ...

Analysis and Perspectives

On all major issues of foreign policy pertaining to war and peace, the political elite is far more bellicose than the US public; far more likely to ignore wars that threaten national security; more likely to violate the Constitution;and are committed to increasing military spending even as it reduces social programs.

The political elites are more likely to intervene or become "entangled" in Middle East wars, against the opinion of majoritarian popular opinion. No doubt the decidedly oligarchical military-industrial complexes, Israeli power configuration and mass media publicists, are far more influential than the pro-democracy public.

The future portends the political elites' continuation of military policies, increasing security threats and diminishing public representation.

Some Hypothesis on the Contradiction between Popular Opinion and Electoral Outcomes

There is clearly a substantial gap between the majority of Americans and the political elite regarding the military's role overseas, wars, constitutional prerogives, the demonization of Russia, the deployment of US troops to Syria and the US entanglement in Middle East wars, which it is understood to be Israel.

Yet it is also a fact that the US electorate votes for the two major political parties that supports wars, back Middle East alliances with warring states, Saudi Arabia and Israel,and sanction Russia as the main threat to US security.

ORDER IT NOW

Several hypotheses regarding this contradiction should be considered.

1. Close to 50% of the electorate abstain from voting in Presidential and Congressional elections, which most likely includes those Americans that oppose the US military role overseas. In other words the war parties 'win' elections with 25% or less of the electorate.

2. The fact that the mass media vehemently supports one or the other of the two war parties probably influences a minority of the electorate which votes in the elections. However, critics of the mass media have exaggerated their influence because they fail to explain why the majority of the American public respondents are in contrary to the mass media and oppose their militarist propaganda.

3. Many of the anti-militarism Americans who decide to vote for war parties may be choosing the lesser evil. They may decide there are possible degrees of war mongering.

4. Americans who oppose militarism may decide to vote for militarist politicians for reasons other than overseas wars. For example, majoritarian Americans may vote for a militarist politician who secures financing for local infrastructure programs, or dairy subsidies or promises of employment, or lowering the public debt or opposing corrupt incumbents.

5. Americans opposed to militarism may be deceived by demagogic war party presidential candidates who promise peace and who, once in power, escalate wars.

6. Likewise, 'identity politics' can divert anti-militarist voters into supporting war party candidates who claim office because of their race, ethnicity, gender, loyalties to overseas states and sexual preference.

7. The war parties block anti-militarist parties from access to the mass media, especially during electoral debates viewed by tens of millions. War parties establish onerous restrictions for registering anti-militarist parties, voters with non-violent prison records or lacking photo identification or transport to voting sites or time-off from work. In other words the electoral process is rigged and imposes 'forced voting' and abstention: limited choices obligate abstention or voting for war parties.

Only if elections were open and democratic, where anti-militarist parties were allowed equal rights to register and debate in the mass media, and where financial campaigns are equalized will the contradictions between anti-militarist majorities and voters for pro-war elites be resolved.

[Nov 15, 2016] Over half of Ukraines population lives below poverty level

Nov 15, 2016 | eadaily.com
Nearly 60% (58.3%) of the population in Ukraine lives below the poverty line, according to data of the M.V. Ptukha Institute of Demography and Social Surveys, the National Academy of Science of Ukraine.

In 2015, this indicator was half as much – 28.6%. "The poverty index has increased twofold along with the actual cost of living," says Svetlana Polyakova , the leading research fellow at the Living Standard Department at the Demography Institute. "In addition, within the past year, we saw a growth of the poverty level defined by the UN criteria for estimation of internationally comparable poverty line in Central and Eastern Europe."

The highest poverty line was registered among the families having at least one child – 38.6% and pensioners – 23%. The situation may deteriorate this year. According to the State Service of Statistics, savings of Ukrainians in April-June fell by 5.297billion hryvnias (more than $200 million at the current exchange rate).

The cost of living in Ukraine in 2016 makes up 1,544 hryvnias (about $60).

Earlier, Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman said the previous policy of populism and "money printing and distribution to people" made the country weaker and the people poorer.

[Nov 13, 2016] Fears that Trump will be tamed by the deep state and neocons

Nov 13, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com
BabaLooey Nov 12, 2016 9:00 PM ,

An Open Letter To Donald J. Trump

THE ULTIMATE "APPRENTICE"

November 12, 2016

Dear Mr. President-Elect:

I was one of the millions of people that believed in you. Believed what you said. Heard you.

You got "hired" by 60 MILLION people. WE are your boss. YOU BECAME THE EMPLOYEE.

Something you are not used to.

I myself convinced nearly 20 people to vote for you over these last two years. Know what I said?

"He's NOT a politician. He's a business man. He's an outsider – something Washington, D.C. SORELY needs. He's NOT the same 'business as usual' guy. Mr. Trump will change things for the better in Washington. Clean it up. Make peace with Russia – not war. Trump is a BUILDER – not a destroyer. He'll negotiate FAIR deals with countries. Install sensible immigration policies. Reverse the stranglehold on health care policies that have bankrupted millions." I made them see how biased the media was against you. How they lied by omission – and sometimes outright lied about you. (To a person, they NO LONGER WATCH, TRUST, OR HEED the media anymore.)

He'll change the culture of Washington – because that's EXACTLY WHAT IT NEEDS. CHANGE."

Washington has become a den of vipers. Self-enriching criminals that have sucked the life blood out of US – YOUR EMPLOYERS . The phrase; "You're FIRED" must be repeated often to MANY people over the next few years. People that have engorged themselves because of the previous employees, who have mismanaged the nation, and lied to it's people.

Your very words from your speeches that convinced us to hire you. Your platform. Your slogans;

"Make America Great Again." "I'll take back this country for you".

You said that to 60 MILLION of us – and we hired you based on it.

We hired you because we're SICK AND TIRED OF CAREER POLITICIANS. We hired you because we are sick of the GREED, DUPLICITY, THE CORRUPTION of Congress and the past administrations that have enriched the elite, while robbing from the American taxpayer.

Already, the public has noticed that you have had a LOT of the old-guard/same ol' same ol' Republican Washington "insiders" advising you. We understand that you will need some guidance in the first few months. All "apprentices" do.

However, we, as your employers, will NOT TOLERATE THE SAME OL' SAME OL' ANYMORE.

We hired YOU to do the right THINGS. "Drain The Swamp" "Take Our Country BACK".

Commencing January 21, 2017, that's exactly what we demand of you – our new employee.

WE WILL WANT RESULTS. ACTIONS. CHANGE.

WE WILL WANT INVESTIGATIONS. ARRESTS. PROSECUTIONS OF THE PEOPLE THAT WRONGED THIS NATION. STOLE FROM IT. CORRUPTED IT. DAMAGED IT.

Just like you monitored your "apprentices", and judged them on their performances, WE ARE JUDGING YOU. And we are NOT going to be fooled, like the oppositions legions were and are; by a biased media that lies to them. No one is going to get a "pass" anymore. Especially like your immediate predecessor.

That's over.

On January 21, 2017, your official duties commence.

We all wish you the best, and are with you.

The last thing we want to do is tell you;

You're Fired.

blue51 BabaLooey Nov 12, 2016 9:10 PM ,
One fine letter.
espirit blue51 Nov 12, 2016 9:20 PM ,
Concern that President-Elect Trump may not have foreseen what a Medusas' head of Snakes the .gov is.

Think Ron Paul has forewarned him.

It's a nasty and corrupt business.

Kirk2NCC1701 BabaLooey Nov 12, 2016 9:20 PM ,
What!? How does the last line jive with the rest above it?

You must have meant "If you don't perform and deliver as promised, then You're Fired! In the meantime, You're Hired! Welcome Aboard."

BabaLooey Kirk2NCC1701 Nov 12, 2016 9:28 PM ,
Read it again.

"On January 21, 2017, your official duties commence.

We all wish you the best, and are with you.

The last thing we want to do is tell you;

You're Fired."

-----------------------------

IF Trump even reads it (doubtful), he'll get it.

I get your point though Captain.

dreihoden BabaLooey Nov 12, 2016 9:28 PM ,
hear! hear! i second that emotion sir!

FIAT CON BabaLooey Nov 12, 2016 9:30 PM ,
it was just yesterday that I had posted the following to a friend... very similar.

I know, well the Internet people that elected him may and can put tremendous pressure on him to do the right thing... And I expect that to happen...I expect the people to demand through social media that they keep their promises and that they do what they are told by the people that elected them.....can you imagine the damage that could happen if the trump supporters starting to Diss him because he didn't do what he was told by the people that elected him.

I think in the very near future countries will be run by the people of the country via the Internet where everybody's voice counts and the people that want to share their voice will be the actual leaders of the country and the people that want to watch sports and stick their head in the sand will be sheeple.

I think referendums will be a much more common item

BabaLooey FIAT CON Nov 12, 2016 9:55 PM ,
@ Fiat Con

I wrote that in the hopes that someone on the "TTT" (Trump Transition Team) reads it, and maybe, maybe, shows Trump himself.

We all know he trolls different sites - and I'll bet he trolls ZH.

I agree with you; the "internet people" elected him. The "alt-right" (which IS the new media) elected him.

If we had no internet, and had to rely on the MSM, Clinton would have been elected.

Or worse.

But they are now the "old guard ". It is funny....sickening...and sad to watch them flail away like they have relevancy -

THEY don't.

In a big way, this election was a wake up call to THEM (like the NYT piece on here shows), to clean up THEIR act.

NO MORE business as usual. CFR meets and Washington insider parties of poo.

I actually DID convince 18 people to switch from Clinton to Trump (really, it was 12 from Cruz/Bush/Sanders, and 6 outright flip Clinton to Trump).. and ALL of them HAD been a daily staple of watching the MSM.

Getting them to stop was akin to getting a smoker off cigarettes. Some still do - but they NOW know how the MSM LIES.

(One way I showed them? A tape on YouTube of 60 Minutes "editing techniques", linked below, which REALLY opened some eyes)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GG8SjeeV7Y4

MaxThrust BabaLooey Nov 12, 2016 11:08 PM ,
Babalooey

I certainly hope Trump does get to read your post because I agree with it 100%.

We Trump supporters will not be fooled. We will not accept Neocons, CFR members or Israeli Duals.

May I suggest you send a copy of this post to all newspapers in the hope one will print it as an editorial.

BabaLooey MaxThrust Nov 13, 2016 8:31 AM ,
@ MaxThrust

Cheers Max!

The video embedded in this thread - when Ann Coulter was on Bill Maher and got mocked for her backing Trump - in several instances - was me in 2014 and 2015. I got laughed at by many for coming out for Trump back then.

However, what I wrote is true. I literally changed 18 people into Trump supporters from then to now.

The reasons are many - but the MAIN one is;

I'm. PISSED. OFF.

I'm angry as to the mis-management, lies and over-regulation that has killed the little guy in businesses. I'm angry as to the lies and deceit from the bought of main stream media. A whole LOT of other reasons as well.

I am giving free reign for anyone here to re-post this on ANY internet forum they want; Brietbart, Drudge, and ANY online newspaper comment op-ed section they wish.

I only am a commenter here. I choose not to become one on any other forum.

Please copy and paste it anywhere you'd like.

I'm just a little guy. A "peon". However, I did work hard for Trump. I expect no compensation. No recognition.

I DO expect Trump however - to DO WHAT he said. As a political outsider.

I am concerned as to the vipers, old guard Washington insiders, and of course, the Deep State - along with Israel - getting to Trump.

WE didn't elect them. We elected HIM.

So please - have at it. Post away.

I hope my post inspires others to do their own "Apprentice" type open letters to Trump.

He needs to hear from us (and I bet he does troll ZH and other finanical sites.)

[Nov 12, 2016] Neocons Trying to Sneak Into Trump Administration by Jason Ditz

Notable quotes:
"... It's a cliche to say that the cushiest positions of influence in any US administration go to figures who were seen to have brought something to the table during the campaign. ..."
"... a lot of high-ranking neoconservatives are expecting the exact opposite, figuring that they can step right into positions of power and influence despite openly campaigning against Trump. ..."
"... There are more than a few people who would normally be in line for top positions in a Republican White House, but who were very publicly part of the "Never Trump" crowd, attacking him throughout the primary and the general election. These same people are now making public their "willingness" to work with Trump. ..."
"... In other words, they want the usual spoils of victory, but having positioned themselves as so firmly in opposition to Trump's worldview, and to Trump in general, it's not at all clear how willing Trump's transition team is to consider such candidates for important positions. ..."
"... For many of the neocons, this is likely less about getting cushy jobs or fancy titles and more about ensuring that the US remains aggressively interventionist abroad. Indeed, many of these people split with Trump in the first place over concerns he was insufficiently hawkish, and now want jobs that would put them in a position to shift his new administration in those same hawkish directions. ..."
news.antiwar.com
Fiercely Opposed to His Election, 'Never Trump' Crowd Now Seeks Influence

It's a cliche to say that the cushiest positions of influence in any US administration go to figures who were seen to have brought something to the table during the campaign. Yet with the election of Donald Trump, a lot of high-ranking neoconservatives are expecting the exact opposite, figuring that they can step right into positions of power and influence despite openly campaigning against Trump.

There are more than a few people who would normally be in line for top positions in a Republican White House, but who were very publicly part of the "Never Trump" crowd, attacking him throughout the primary and the general election. These same people are now making public their "willingness" to work with Trump.

In other words, they want the usual spoils of victory, but having positioned themselves as so firmly in opposition to Trump's worldview, and to Trump in general, it's not at all clear how willing Trump's transition team is to consider such candidates for important positions.

The early indications are that a lot of the foreign policy-related positions are going to be led by high-ranking former military officials who backed Trump's candidacy, with officials noting that long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have left them with a lot of such officials to choose from.

For many of the neocons, this is likely less about getting cushy jobs or fancy titles and more about ensuring that the US remains aggressively interventionist abroad. Indeed, many of these people split with Trump in the first place over concerns he was insufficiently hawkish, and now want jobs that would put them in a position to shift his new administration in those same hawkish directions.

[Nov 12, 2016] Trump elected as President – risks and opportunities

Notable quotes:
"... Ideally, the next step would be for Trump and Putin to meet, with all their key ministers, in a long, Camp David like week of negotiations in which everything, every outstanding dispute, should be put on the table and a compromise sought in each case. Paradoxically, this could be rather easy: the crisis in Europe is entirely artificial, the war in Syria has an absolutely obvious solution, and the international order can easily accommodate a United States which would " deal fairly with everyone, with everyone - all people and all other nations " and " seek common ground, not hostility; partnership, not conflict ". ..."
"... The truth is that the USA and Russia have no objective reasons for conflict – only ideological issues resulting directly from the insane ideology of messianic imperialism of those who believe, or pretend to believe, that the USA is an "indispensable nation". What the world wants – needs – is the USA as a *normal* nation. ..."
"... The worst case? Trump could turn out to be a total fraud. I personally very much doubt it, but I admit that this is possible. More likely is that he just won't have the foresight and courage to crush the Neocons and that he will try to placate them. If he does so, they will instead crush him. It is a fact that while administrations have changed every 4 or 8 years, the regime in power has not, and that US internal and foreign policies have been amazingly consistent since the end of WWII. Will Trump finally bring not just a new administration but real "regime change"? I don't know. ..."
"... Alexander Solzhenitsyn used to say that regimes can be measured on a spectrum which ranges from regimes whose authority is their power and regimes whose power in in their authority. In the case of the USA we now clearly can see that the regime has no other authority than its power and that makes it both illegitimate and unsustainable. ..."
"... Finally, whether the US elites can accept this or not, the US Empire is coming to an end. ..."
"... With Hillary, we would have had a Titanic-like denial up to the last moment which might well have come in the shape of a thermonuclear mushroom over Washington DC. Trump, however, might use the remaining power of the USA to negotiate the US global draw-down thereby getting the best possible conditions for his country. ..."
Nov 12, 2016 | www.unz.com

So it has happened: Hillary did not win! I say that instead of saying that "Trump won" because I consider the former even more important than the latter. Why? Because I have no idea whatsoever what Trump will do next. I do, however, have an excellent idea of what Hillary would have done: war with Russia. Trump most likely won't do that. In fact, he specifically said in his acceptance speech:

I want to tell the world community that while we will always put America's interests first, we will deal fairly with everyone, with everyone - all people and all other nations. We will seek common ground, not hostility; partnership, not conflict .

And Putin's reply was immediate:

We heard the statements he made as candidate for president expressing a desire to restore relations between our countries. We realise and understand that this will not be an easy road given the level to which our relations have degraded today, regrettably. But, as I have said before, it is not Russia's fault that our relations with the United States have reached this point.

Russia is ready to and seeks a return to full-format relations with the United States. Let me say again, we know that this will not be easy, but are ready to take this road, take steps on our side and do all we can to set Russian-US relations back on a stable development track.

This would benefit both the Russian and American peoples and would have a positive impact on the general climate in international affairs, given the particular responsibility that Russia and the US share for maintaining global stability and security.

This exchange, right there, is enough of a reason for the entire planet to rejoice at the defeat of Hillary and the victory of Trump.

Will Trump now have the courage, willpower and intelligence to purge the US Executive from the Neocon cabal which has been infiltrating it for decades now? Will he have the strength to confront an extremely hostile Congress and media? Or will he try to meet them halfway and naively hope that they will not use their power, money and influence to sabotage his presidency?

I don't know. Nobody does.

One of the first signs to look for will be the names and backgrounds of the folks he will appoint in his new administration. Especially his Chief of Staff and Secretary of State.

I have always said that the choice for the lesser evil is morally wrong and pragmatically misguided. I still believe that. In this case, however, the greater evil was thermonuclear war with Russia and the lesser evil just might turn out to be one which will gradually give up the Empire to save the USA rather than sacrifice the USA for the needs of the Empire. In the case of Hillary vs Trump the choice was simple: war or peace.

Trump can already be credited with am immense achievement: his campaign has forced the US corporate media to show its true face – the face of an evil, lying, morally corrupt propaganda machine. The American people by their vote have rewarded their media with a gigantic "f*ck you!" – a vote of no-confidence and total rejection which will forever demolish the credibility of the Empire's propaganda machine.

I am not so naive as to not realize that billionaire Donald Trump is also one of the 1%ers, a pure product of the US oligarchy. But neither am I so ignorant of history to forget that elites do turn on each other , especially when their regime is threatened. Do I need to remind anybody that Putin also came from the Soviet elites?!

Ideally, the next step would be for Trump and Putin to meet, with all their key ministers, in a long, Camp David like week of negotiations in which everything, every outstanding dispute, should be put on the table and a compromise sought in each case. Paradoxically, this could be rather easy: the crisis in Europe is entirely artificial, the war in Syria has an absolutely obvious solution, and the international order can easily accommodate a United States which would " deal fairly with everyone, with everyone - all people and all other nations " and " seek common ground, not hostility; partnership, not conflict ".

The truth is that the USA and Russia have no objective reasons for conflict – only ideological issues resulting directly from the insane ideology of messianic imperialism of those who believe, or pretend to believe, that the USA is an "indispensable nation". What the world wants – needs – is the USA as a *normal* nation.

The worst case? Trump could turn out to be a total fraud. I personally very much doubt it, but I admit that this is possible. More likely is that he just won't have the foresight and courage to crush the Neocons and that he will try to placate them. If he does so, they will instead crush him. It is a fact that while administrations have changed every 4 or 8 years, the regime in power has not, and that US internal and foreign policies have been amazingly consistent since the end of WWII. Will Trump finally bring not just a new administration but real "regime change"? I don't know.

Make no mistake – even if Trump does end up disappointing those who believed in him what happened today has dealt a death blow to the Empire. The "Occupy Wall Street" did not succeed in achieving anything tangible, but the notion of "rule of the 1%" did emerge from that movement and it stayed. This is a direct blow to the credibility and legitimacy of the entire socio-political order of the USA: far from being a democracy, it is a plutocracy/oligarchy – everybody pretty much accepts that today. Likewise, the election of Trump has already proved that the US media is a prostitute and that the majority of the American people hate their ruling class. Again, this is a direct blow to the credibility and legitimacy of the entire socio-political order. One by one the founding myths of the US Empire are crashing down and what remains is a system which can only rule by force.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn used to say that regimes can be measured on a spectrum which ranges from regimes whose authority is their power and regimes whose power in in their authority. In the case of the USA we now clearly can see that the regime has no other authority than its power and that makes it both illegitimate and unsustainable.

Finally, whether the US elites can accept this or not, the US Empire is coming to an end.

With Hillary, we would have had a Titanic-like denial up to the last moment which might well have come in the shape of a thermonuclear mushroom over Washington DC. Trump, however, might use the remaining power of the USA to negotiate the US global draw-down thereby getting the best possible conditions for his country. Frankly, I am pretty sure that all the key world leaders realize that it is in their interest to make as many (reasonable) concessions to Trump as possible and work with him, rather than to deal with the people whom he just removed from power.

If Trump can stick to his campaign promises he will find solid and reliable partners in Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. Neither Russia nor China have anything at all to gain from a confrontation or, even less so, a conflict with the USA. Will Trump have the wisdom to realize this and use it for the benefit of the USA? Or will he continue with his anti-Chinese and anti-Iranian rhetoric?

Only time will tell.

[Nov 12, 2016] Neocon bottomfeeders now are having the second thoughts

Notable quotes:
"... Some of those applications are coming from the #NeverTrump crowd, the source said, and include former national security officials who signed one or more of the letters opposing Trump. ..."
"... Fifty GOP national security experts signed an August letter saying Trump "would put at risk our country's national security and well-being" because he "lacks the character, values and experience" to occupy the Oval Office, making him "the most reckless president in American history." ..."
"... Another bipartisan letter cited concern about potential foreign conflicts of interest Trump might encounter as president, and called on him to disclose them by releasing his tax returns. Trump has refused to do so, saying he is under audit and will make the returns public only once that is done. ..."
www.cnn.com

The extraordinary repudiation -- partly based on Trump's rejection of basic US foreign policy tenets, including support for close allies -- helped spark the hashtag #NeverTrump. Now, a source familiar with transition planning says that hard wall of resistance is crumbling fast.

There are "boxes" of applications, the source said. "There are many more than people realize."

Some of those applications are coming from the #NeverTrump crowd, the source said, and include former national security officials who signed one or more of the letters opposing Trump. "Mea culpas" are being considered -- and in some cases being granted, the source said -- for people who did not go a step further in attacking Trump personally.

... ... ...

Fifty GOP national security experts signed an August letter saying Trump "would put at risk our country's national security and well-being" because he "lacks the character, values and experience" to occupy the Oval Office, making him "the most reckless president in American history."

Another bipartisan letter cited concern about potential foreign conflicts of interest Trump might encounter as president, and called on him to disclose them by releasing his tax returns. Trump has refused to do so, saying he is under audit and will make the returns public only once that is done.

It remains to be seen what kind of team Trump will pull together, how many "NeverTrumpers" will apply for positions and to what degree the President-elect will be willing to accept them.

There's a fight underway within the Trump transition team about whether to consider "never Trumpers" for jobs, one official tells CNN. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who is leading the transition team, has been working to persuade Trump and other top officials to consider Republicans who openly opposed his campaign. That has caused some friction with those who see no place for people who didn't support their candidate.

[Nov 08, 2016] Clintons Foreign Policy Will Obviously Be More Aggressive, So Why Pretend Otherwise

Nov 08, 2016 | www.theamericanconservative.com
By Daniel Larison James Traub gamely tries to convince us (and himself) that Clinton's foreign policy won't be as aggressive and meddlesome as she says it will be, but he undermines his argument when he says this:

As a senator and later secretary of state, she rarely departed from the counsel of senior military officials. She was far more persuaded of the merits of Gen. David Petraeus and Stanley McChrystal's counterinsurgency plan for Afghanistan, which would have sent an additional 40,000 troops there, than Obama was and maybe even more than then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates was. She rarely departed from Gates on any significant issue. Of course, the one time she did so was on Libya, where she advocated intervention and he did not [bold mine-DL]. On Syria, Clinton may have to choose between her own expressed commitments and a Pentagon that is far more cautious and more inclined to see mishap than are civilian interventionists. I wonder how Kagan-esque she will be in the White House. Less so, perhaps, than she was as secretary of state.

In other words, when military officers recommended a larger escalation, she agreed with them, and when Gates didn't support intervention she didn't agree. Clinton was fine with advice from the military when it meant supporting deeper involvement, but she broke with Gates when he didn't want to take sides in a foreign war. That isn't a picture of someone who consistently heeds military advice, but rather someone who always opts for the more aggressive option available at the time. It doesn't make much sense that Clinton as president would be less "Kagan-esque" than she was as a member of Obama's Cabinet. As president, she will have considerable leeway to do as she sees fit, Congress will be pathetically quiescent as usual, and most of the foreign policy establishment will be encouraging her to do more in Syria and elsewhere. Clinton will be predisposed to agree with what they urge her to do, and in the last twenty years she has never seen a military intervention that she thought was unnecessary or too risky. Why is that suddenly going to change when she has the power of the presidency? In virtually every modern case, a new president ends up behaving more hawkishly than expected based on campaign rhetoric. All of the pressures and incentives in Washington push a president towards do-somethingism, and Clinton has typically been among the least resistant to the demand to "do something" in response to crises and conflicts, so why would we think she would become more cautious once she is in office? I can understand why many of her supporters wish that to be the case, but it flies in the face of all the available evidence, including most of what we know about how Washington works.

Traub makes a number of predictions at the end of his article:

She will not make dumb mistakes. She will reassure every ally who needs reassurance. She will try to mute China's adventurism in the South China Sea without provoking a storm of nationalism. She'll probably disappoint the neocons. She won't go out on any limbs. She won't shake the policymaking consensus.

I don't know where this confidence in Clinton's good judgment comes from, but it seems misplaced. I suppose it depends on what you think smart foreign policy looks like, but there is a fair amount of evidence from Clinton's own record that she is quite capable of making dumb mistakes.

That doesn't just apply to her vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq and her backing for intervention in Libya, but could also refer to her support for sending weapons to Ukraine, her endorsement of "no-fly" and safe zones in Syria, her preference for more sanctions on Iran while negotiations were still taking place, and her belief that the U.S. has to bomb another country to retain its "credibility." All of these are mistakes, and some are quite dumb.

It isn't at all reassuring to know that Clinton will "reassure every ally who needs reassurance," because in practice that means indulging bad behavior from reckless clients and rewarding them with more aid and weapons. Earlier in the article, Traub seems to understand that enabling the Saudis is a bad idea:

This last policy, which for Clinton will come under the heading of "alliance management," would only deepen the violence and sectarian strife rending the region. She would be better advised to tell the Saudis that the United States will reduce its support of their war effort unless they make serious efforts toward a lasting cease-fire.

That would certainly be wiser than offering uncritical backing of their intervention, but what is the evidence that Clinton thinks U.S. support for the war on Yemen needs to be curtailed? Yemen has been devastated in no small part because of Obama's willingness to "reassure" the Saudis and their allies. What other countries will be made to suffer so Clinton can keep them happy? Clinton may disappoint neocons, but then they are disappointed by anything short of preventive war. Even if Clinton's foreign policy isn't aggressive enough to satisfy them, it is likely to be far more aggressive than necessary.

[Nov 08, 2016] Oh, What a Lovely War! Delusional foreign policy could bring disaster

Notable quotes:
"... The American people don't know very much about war even if Washington has been fighting on multiple fronts since 9/11. The continental United States has not experienced the presence a hostile military force for more than 100 years and war for the current generation of Americans consists largely of the insights provided by video games and movies. The Pentagon's invention of embedded journalists, which limits any independent media insight into what is going on overseas, has contributed to the rendering of war as some kind of abstraction. Gone forever is anything like the press coverage of Vietnam, with nightly news and other media presentations showing prisoners being executed and young girls screaming while racing down the street in flames. ..."
"... Given all of that, it is perhaps no surprise that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, neither of whom has served in uniform, should regard violence inflicted on people overseas with a considerable level of detachment. ..."
"... They both share to an extent the dominant New York-Washington policy consensus view that dealing with foreigners can sometimes get a bit bloody, but that is a price that someone in power has to be prepared to pay. One of Hillary's top advisers, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, famously declared that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children due to U.S. led sanctions were "worth it." ..."
"... Hillary Clinton and her advisors, who believe strongly in Washington's leadership role globally and embrace their own definition of American exceptionalism, have been explicit in terms of what they would do to employ our military power. ..."
"... She would be an extremely proactive president in foreign policy, with a particular animus directed against Russia. ..."
"... Hillary has received support from foreign policy hawks, including a large number of formerly Republican neocons, to include Robert Kagan, Michael Chertoff, Michael Hayden, Eliot Cohen and Eric Edelman. James Stavridis, a retired admiral who was once vetted by Clinton as a possible vice president, recently warned of "the need to use deadly force against the Iranians. ..."
"... Hillary believes that Syria's president Bashar al-Assad is the root cause of the turmoil in that country and must be removed as the first priority. . It is a foolish policy as al-Assad in no way threatens the United States while his enemy ISIS does and regime change would create a power vacuum that will benefit the latter. ..."
"... Hillary has not recommended doing anything about Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, all of which have at one time or another for various reasons supported ISIS, but she is clearly no friend of Iran, which has been fighting ISIS. ..."
"... One of Hillary's advisors, former CIA acting Director Michael Morell, has called for new sanctions on Tehran and has also recently recommended that the U.S. begin intercepting Iranian ships presumed to be carrying arms to the Houthis in Yemen. ..."
"... Hillary's dislike for Russia's Vladimir Putin is notorious. Syria aside, she has advocated arming Ukraine with game changing offensive weapons and also bringing Ukraine and Georgia into NATO, which would force a sharp Russian reaction. One suspects that she might be sympathetic to the views expressed recently by Carl Gershman in a Washington Post op-ed that received curiously little additional coverage in the media. Gershman is the head of the taxpayer funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which means that he is a powerful figure in Washington's foreign-policy establishment. NED has plausibly been described as doing the sorts of things that the CIA used to do. ..."
"... She would increase U.S. military presence in the South China Sea to deter any further attempts by Beijing to develop disputed islands and would also "ring China with defensive missiles," ostensibly as "protection" against Pyongyang but also to convince China to pressure North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. One wonders what Beijing might think about being surrounded by made-in-America missiles. ..."
Nov 08, 2016 | www.unz.com

The American people don't know very much about war even if Washington has been fighting on multiple fronts since 9/11. The continental United States has not experienced the presence a hostile military force for more than 100 years and war for the current generation of Americans consists largely of the insights provided by video games and movies. The Pentagon's invention of embedded journalists, which limits any independent media insight into what is going on overseas, has contributed to the rendering of war as some kind of abstraction. Gone forever is anything like the press coverage of Vietnam, with nightly news and other media presentations showing prisoners being executed and young girls screaming while racing down the street in flames.

Given all of that, it is perhaps no surprise that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, neither of whom has served in uniform, should regard violence inflicted on people overseas with a considerable level of detachment. Hillary is notorious for her assessment of the brutal killing of Libya's Moammar Gaddafi, saying "We came, we saw, he died." They both share to an extent the dominant New York-Washington policy consensus view that dealing with foreigners can sometimes get a bit bloody, but that is a price that someone in power has to be prepared to pay. One of Hillary's top advisers, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, famously declared that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children due to U.S. led sanctions were "worth it."

In the election campaign there has, in fact, been little discussion of the issue of war and peace or even of America's place in the world, though Trump did at one point note correctly that implementation of Hillary's suggested foreign policy could escalate into World War III. It has been my contention that the issue of war should be more front and center in the minds of Americans when they cast their ballots as the prospect of an armed conflict in which little is actually at stake escalating and going nuclear could conceivably end life on this planet as we know it.

With that in mind, it is useful to consider what the two candidates have been promising. First, Hillary, who might reasonably be designated the Establishment's war candidate though she carefully wraps it in humanitarian "liberal interventionism." As Senator and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has always viewed a foreign crisis as an opportunity to use aggressive measures to seek a resolution. She can always be relied upon to "do something," a reflection of the neocon driven Washington foreign policy consensus.

Hillary Clinton and her advisors, who believe strongly in Washington's leadership role globally and embrace their own definition of American exceptionalism, have been explicit in terms of what they would do to employ our military power.

She would be an extremely proactive president in foreign policy, with a particular animus directed against Russia. And, unfortunately, there would be little or no pushback against the exercise of her admittedly poor instincts regarding what to do, as was demonstrated regarding Libya and also with Benghazi. She would find little opposition in Congress and the media for an extremely risky foreign policy, and would benefit from the Washington groupthink that prevails over the alleged threats emanating from Russia, Iran, and China.

Hillary has received support from foreign policy hawks, including a large number of formerly Republican neocons, to include Robert Kagan, Michael Chertoff, Michael Hayden, Eliot Cohen and Eric Edelman. James Stavridis, a retired admiral who was once vetted by Clinton as a possible vice president, recently warned of "the need to use deadly force against the Iranians. I think it's coming. It's going to be maritime confrontation and if it doesn't happen immediately, I'll bet you a dollar it's going to be happening after the presidential election, whoever is elected."

Hillary believes that Syria's president Bashar al-Assad is the root cause of the turmoil in that country and must be removed as the first priority. . It is a foolish policy as al-Assad in no way threatens the United States while his enemy ISIS does and regime change would create a power vacuum that will benefit the latter. She has also called for a no-fly zone in Syria to protect the local population as well as the insurgent groups that the U.S. supports, some of which had been labeled as terrorists before they were renamed by current Secretary of State John Kerry. Such a zone would dramatically raise the prospect of armed conflict with Russia and it puts Washington in an odd position vis-à-vis what is occurring in Syria. The U.S. is not at war with the Syrian government, which, like it or not, is under international law sovereign within its own recognized borders. Damascus has invited the Russians in to help against the rebels and objects to any other foreign presence on Syrian territory. In spite of all that, Washington is asserting some kind of authority to intervene and to confront the Russians as both a humanitarian mission and as an "inherent right of self-defense."

Hillary has not recommended doing anything about Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, all of which have at one time or another for various reasons supported ISIS, but she is clearly no friend of Iran, which has been fighting ISIS. As a Senator, she threatened to "totally obliterate" Iran but she has more recently reluctantly supported the recent nuclear agreement with that country negotiated by President Barack Obama. But she has nevertheless warned that she will monitor the situation closely for possible violations and will otherwise pushback against activity by the Islamic Republic. As one of her key financial supporters is Israeli Haim Saban, who has said he is a one issue guy and that issue is Israel, she is likely to pursue aggressive policies in the Persian Gulf. She has also promised to move America's relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a "new level" and has repeatedly declared that her support for Israel is unconditional.

One of Hillary's advisors, former CIA acting Director Michael Morell, has called for new sanctions on Tehran and has also recently recommended that the U.S. begin intercepting Iranian ships presumed to be carrying arms to the Houthis in Yemen. Washington is not at war with either Iran or Yemen and the Houthis are not on the State Department terrorist list but our good friends the Saudis have been assiduously bombing them for reasons that seem obscure. Stopping ships in international waters without any legal pretext would be considered by many an act of piracy. Morell has also called for covertly assassinating Iranians and Russians to express our displeasure with the foreign policies of their respective governments.

Hillary's dislike for Russia's Vladimir Putin is notorious. Syria aside, she has advocated arming Ukraine with game changing offensive weapons and also bringing Ukraine and Georgia into NATO, which would force a sharp Russian reaction. One suspects that she might be sympathetic to the views expressed recently by Carl Gershman in a Washington Post op-ed that received curiously little additional coverage in the media. Gershman is the head of the taxpayer funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which means that he is a powerful figure in Washington's foreign-policy establishment. NED has plausibly been described as doing the sorts of things that the CIA used to do.

After making a number of bumper-sticker claims about Russia and Putin that are either partially true, unproven or even ridiculous, Gershman concluded that "the United States has the power to contain and defeat this danger. The issue is whether we can summon the will to do so." It is basically a call for the next administration to remove Putin from power-as foolish a suggestion as has ever been seen in a leading newspaper, as it implies that the risk of nuclear war is completely acceptable to bring about regime change in a country whose very popular, democratically elected leadership we disapprove of. But it is nevertheless symptomatic of the kind of thinking that goes on inside the beltway and is quite possibly a position that Hillary Clinton will embrace. She also benefits from having the perfect implementer of such a policy in Robert Kagan's wife Victoria Nuland, her extremely dangerous protégé who is currently Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs and who might wind up as Secretary of State in a Clinton Administration.

Shifting to East Asia, Hillary sees the admittedly genuine threat from North Korea but her response is focused more on China. She would increase U.S. military presence in the South China Sea to deter any further attempts by Beijing to develop disputed islands and would also "ring China with defensive missiles," ostensibly as "protection" against Pyongyang but also to convince China to pressure North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. One wonders what Beijing might think about being surrounded by made-in-America missiles.

Trump's foreign policy is admittedly quite sketchy and he has not always been consistent. He has been appropriately enough slammed for being simple minded in saying that he would "bomb the crap out of ISIS," but he has also taken on the Republican establishment by specifically condemning the George W. Bush invasion of Iraq and has more than once indicated that he is not interested in either being the world's policeman or in new wars in the Middle East. He has repeatedly stated that he supports NATO but it should not be construed as hostile to Russia. He would work with Putin to address concerns over Syria and Eastern Europe. He would demand that NATO countries spend more for their own defense and also help pay for the maintenance of U.S. bases.

Trump's controversial call to stop all Muslim immigration has been rightly condemned but it contains a kernel of truth in that the current process for vetting new arrivals in this country is far from transparent and apparently not very effective. The Obama Administration has not been very forthcoming on what might be done to fix the entire immigration process but Trump is promising to shake things up, which is overdue, though what exactly a Trump Administration would try to accomplish is far from clear.

Continuing on the negative side, Trump, who is largely ignorant of the world and its leaders, has relied on a mixed bag of advisors. Former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency General Michael Flynn appears to be the most prominent. Flynn is associated with arch neocon Michael Ledeen and both are rabid about Iran, with Flynn suggesting that nearly all the unrest in the Middle East should be laid at Tehran's door. Ledeen is, of course, a prominent Israel-firster who has long had Iran in his sights. The advice of Ledeen and Flynn may have been instrumental in Trump's vehement denunciation of the Iran nuclear agreement, which he has called a "disgrace," which he has said he would "tear up." It is vintage dumb-think. The agreement cannot be canceled because there are five other signatories to it and the denial of a nuclear weapons program to Tehran benefits everyone in the region, including Israel. It is far better to have the agreement than to scrap it, if that were even possible.

Trump has said that he would be an even-handed negotiator between Israel and the Palestinians but he has also declared that he is strongly pro-Israel and would move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, which is a bad idea, not in America's interest, even if Netanyahu would like it. It would produce serious blowback from the Arab world and would inspire a new wave of terrorism directed against the U.S.

Regarding the rest of the Middle East, Trump would prefer strong leaders, i.e. autocrats, who are friendly rather than chaotic reformers. He rejects arming rebels as in Syria because we know little about whom we are dealing with and find that we cannot control what develops. He is against foreign aid in principle, particularly to countries like Pakistan where the U.S. is strongly disliked.

In East Asia, Trump would encourage Japan and South Korea to develop their own nuclear arsenals to deter North Korea. It is a very bad idea, a proliferation nightmare. Like Hillary, he would prefer that China intervene in North Korea and make Kim Jong Un "step down." He would put pressure on China to devalue its currency because it is "bilking us of billions of dollars" and would also increase U.S. military presence in the region to limit Beijing's expansion in the South China Sea.

So there you have it as you enter the voting booth. President Obama is going around warning that "the fate of the world is teetering" over the electoral verdict, which he intends to be a ringing endorsement of Hillary even though the choice is not nearly that clear cut. Part of the problem with Trump is that he has some very bad ideas mixed in with a few good ones and no one knows what he would actually do if he were president. Unfortunately, it is all too clear what Hillary would do.

[Nov 08, 2016] Does Society "Decide" to Engage in War?

Nov 08, 2016 | comehomeamerica.wordpress.com
Posted on March 7, 2016 by comehomeamerica by Joe Scarry I think if you asked most people, they would say that (a) war is deeply ingrained in society; and (b) society over and over again decides to engage in war.

There is a growing discourse around point (a): people are starting to unpack the idea that "war is deeply ingrained in society," and growing in understanding that this is not the same as saying "war is part of human nature."

I worry that there is less insight around point (b). At least in the United States, I think people continue to believe that war is a societal choice. I think this is not true.

In theory our Constitution is all about the people - through Congress - maintaining control over the decision to go to war. As it stands now, as a practical matter, that's not really what's happening.

I invite people to study the graph of historical US military spending below. It shows that there was a time when military spending went up when the US began to engage in a specific war, and then went back down after that war. Later, that pattern changed.

US Defense Spending - FY 1800 to FY 2010
(More at usgovernmentspending.com )

It is very interesting to consider why this change occurred. (Perhaps that's a topic for a later blog post or two.)

But I think the more fundamental point is:

Does Society "Decide" to Engage in War?

Posted on March 7, 2016 by comehomeamerica by Joe Scarry I think if you asked most people, they would say that (a) war is deeply ingrained in society; and (b) society over and over again decides to engage in war.

There is a growing discourse around point (a): people are starting to unpack the idea that "war is deeply ingrained in society," and growing in understanding that this is not the same as saying "war is part of human nature."

I worry that there is less insight around point (b). At least in the United States, I think people continue to believe that war is a societal choice. I think this is not true.

In theory our Constitution is all about the people - through Congress - maintaining control over the decision to go to war. As it stands now, as a practical matter, that's not really what's happening.

I invite people to study the graph of historical US military spending below. It shows that there was a time when military spending went up when the US began to engage in a specific war, and then went back down after that war. Later, that pattern changed.

US Defense Spending - FY 1800 to FY 2010
(More at usgovernmentspending.com )

It is very interesting to consider why this change occurred. (Perhaps that's a topic for a later blog post or two.)

But I think the more fundamental point is: at some point US society stopped being the "decider" about war. The US began to engage in war, and more war, and more war . . . but US society was no longer really making that decision in any real way.

(Think about US military action during your lifetime. In what ways, if any, did society at large determine what happened?)

If we confront this reality, what might this cause us to do differently?

(Think about US military action during your lifetime. In what ways, if any, did society at large determine what happened?)

If we confront this reality, what might this cause us to do differently?

[Nov 07, 2016] Ron Paul Regardless Of How America Votes, Americans Want A Different Foreign Policy by Ron Paul

Notable quotes:
"... From the surprising success of the insurgent Bernie Sanders to a Donald Trump campaign that broke all the mainstream Republican Party rules – and may have broken the Republican Party itself – what we now understand more clearly than ever is that the American people are fed up with politics as usual. And more importantly they are fed up with the same tired old policies. ..."
"... These results should make us very optimistic about our movement, as it shows that we are rapidly approaching the "critical mass" where new ideas will triumph over the armies of the status quo. ..."
"... We know those in Washington with a vested interest in maintaining a US empire overseas will fight to the end to keep the financial gravy train flowing. The neocons and the liberal interventionists will continue to preach that we must run the world or everything will fall to ruin. ..."
"... We must resist those who are preaching "interventionism-lite" and calling it a real alternative. Claiming we must protect our "interests" overseas really means using the US military to benefit special interests. That is not what the military is for. We must stick to our non-interventionist guns. No more regime change. No more covert destabilization programs overseas. A solid defense budget, not an imperial military budget. US troops home now. End US military action in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and so on. Just come home. ..."
Nov 07, 2016 | ronpaulinstitute.org

I have said throughout this presidential campaign that it doesn't matter much which candidate wins. Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are authoritarians and neither can be expected to roll back the leviathan state that destroys our civil liberties at home while destroying our economy and security with endless wars overseas. Candidates do not matter all that much, despite what the media would have us believe. Ideas do matter, however. And regardless of which of these candidates is elected, the battle of ideas now becomes critical.

The day after the election is our time to really focus our efforts on making the case for a peaceful foreign policy and the prosperity it will bring. While we may not have much to cheer in Tuesday's successful candidate, we have learned a good deal about the state of the nation from the campaigns. From the surprising success of the insurgent Bernie Sanders to a Donald Trump campaign that broke all the mainstream Republican Party rules – and may have broken the Republican Party itself – what we now understand more clearly than ever is that the American people are fed up with politics as usual. And more importantly they are fed up with the same tired old policies.

Last month a fascinating poll was conducted by the Center for the National Interest and the Charles Koch Institute. A broad ranging 1,000 Americans were asked a series of questions about US foreign policy and the 15 year "war on terror." You might think that after a decade and a half, trillions of dollars, and thousands of lives lost, Americans might take a more positive view of this massive effort to "rid the world of evil-doers," as then-president George W. Bush promised. But the poll found that only 14 percent of Americans believe US foreign policy has made them more safe! More than 50 percent of those polled said the next US president should use less force overseas, and 80 percent said the president must get authorization from Congress before taking the country to war.

These results should make us very optimistic about our movement, as it shows that we are rapidly approaching the "critical mass" where new ideas will triumph over the armies of the status quo.

We know those in Washington with a vested interest in maintaining a US empire overseas will fight to the end to keep the financial gravy train flowing. The neocons and the liberal interventionists will continue to preach that we must run the world or everything will fall to ruin. But this election and many recent polls demonstrate that their time has passed. They may not know it yet, but their failures are too obvious and Americans are sick of paying for them.

What is to be done? We must continue to educate ourselves and others. We must resist those who are preaching "interventionism-lite" and calling it a real alternative. Claiming we must protect our "interests" overseas really means using the US military to benefit special interests. That is not what the military is for. We must stick to our non-interventionist guns. No more regime change. No more covert destabilization programs overseas. A solid defense budget, not an imperial military budget. US troops home now. End US military action in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and so on. Just come home.

Americans want change, no matter who wins. We need to be ready to provide that alternative.


Copyright © 2016 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
Please donate to the Ron Paul Institute

[Nov 07, 2016] Election 2016 Playing a Game of Chicken With Nuclear Strategy

The author is a neocon... Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty was deeply unfair as it did not eliminated see based missiles, only ground based one. It is essentially a trap Gorbachov went into.
Notable quotes:
"... On the American side, the weapon of immediate concern is a new version of the AGM-86B air-launched cruise missile, usually carried by B-52 bombers. Also known as the Long-Range Standoff Weapon (LRSO) ..."
"... No wonder former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry called on President Obama to cancel the ALCM program in a recent Washington Post op-ed piece. "Because they… come in both nuclear and conventional variants," he wrote, "cruise missiles are a uniquely destabilizing type of weapon." And this issue is going to fall directly into the lap of the next president. ..."
Nov 07, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
By Michael T. Klare, a professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College and the author, most recently, of The Race for What's Left . A documentary movie version of his book Blood and Oil is available from the Media Education Foundation . Follow him on Twitter at @mklare1. Originally published at TomDispatch

... ... ..

With passions running high on both sides in this year's election and rising fears about Donald Trump's impulsive nature and Hillary Clinton's hawkish one, it's hardly surprising that the "nuclear button" question has surfaced repeatedly throughout the campaign. In one of the more pointed exchanges of the first presidential debate, Hillary Clinton declared that Donald Trump lacked the mental composure for the job. "A man who can be provoked by a tweet," she commented , "should not have his fingers anywhere near the nuclear codes." Donald Trump has reciprocated by charging that Clinton is too prone to intervene abroad. "You're going to end up in World War III over Syria," he told reporters in Florida last month.

For most election observers, however, the matter of personal character and temperament has dominated discussions of the nuclear issue, with partisans on each side insisting that the other candidate is temperamentally unfit to exercise control over the nuclear codes. There is, however, a more important reason to worry about whose finger will be on that button this time around: at this very moment, for a variety of reasons, the "nuclear threshold" - the point at which some party to a "conventional" (non-nuclear) conflict chooses to employ atomic weapons - seems to be moving dangerously lower.

Not so long ago, it was implausible that a major nuclear power - the United States, Russia, or China - would consider using atomic weapons in any imaginable conflict scenario. No longer. Worse yet, this is likely to be our reality for years to come, which means that the next president will face a world in which a nuclear decision-making point might arrive far sooner than anyone would have thought possible just a year or two ago - with potentially catastrophic consequences for us all.

No less worrisome, the major nuclear powers (and some smaller ones) are all in the process of acquiring new nuclear arms, which could, in theory, push that threshold lower still. These include a variety of cruise missiles and other delivery systems capable of being used in "limited" nuclear wars - atomic conflicts that, in theory at least, could be confined to just a single country or one area of the world (say, Eastern Europe) and so might be even easier for decision-makers to initiate. The next president will have to decide whether the U.S. should actually produce weapons of this type and also what measures should be taken in response to similar decisions by Washington's likely adversaries.

Lowering the Nuclear Threshold

During the dark days of the Cold War, nuclear strategists in the United States and the Soviet Union conjured up elaborate conflict scenarios in which military actions by the two superpowers and their allies might lead from, say, minor skirmishing along the Iron Curtain to full-scale tank combat to, in the end, the use of "battlefield" nuclear weapons, and then city-busting versions of the same to avert defeat. In some of these scenarios, strategists hypothesized about wielding "tactical" or battlefield weaponry - nukes powerful enough to wipe out a major tank formation, but not Paris or Moscow - and claimed that it would be possible to contain atomic warfare at such a devastating but still sub-apocalyptic level. (Henry Kissinger, for instance, made his reputation by preaching this lunatic doctrine in his first book, Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy .) Eventually, leaders on both sides concluded that the only feasible role for their atomic arsenals was to act as deterrents to the use of such weaponry by the other side. This was, of course, the concept of " mutually assured destruction ," or - in one of the most classically apt acronyms of all times: MAD. It would, in the end, form the basis for all subsequent arms control agreements between the two superpowers.

Anxiety over the escalatory potential of tactical nuclear weapons peaked in the 1970s when the Soviet Union began deploying the SS-20 intermediate-range ballistic missile (capable of striking cities in Europe, but not the U.S.) and Washington responded with plans to deploy nuclear-armed, ground-launched cruise missiles and the Pershing-II ballistic missile in Europe. The announcement of such plans provoked massive antinuclear demonstrations across Europe and the United States. On December 8, 1987, at a time when worries had been growing about how a nuclear conflagration in Europe might trigger an all-out nuclear exchange between the superpowers, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

That historic agreement - the first to eliminate an entire class of nuclear delivery systems - banned the deployment of ground-based cruise or ballistic missiles with a range of 500 and 5,500 kilometers and required the destruction of all those then in existence. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation inherited the USSR's treaty obligations and pledged to uphold the INF along with other U.S.-Soviet arms control agreements. In the view of most observers, the prospect of a nuclear war between the two countries practically vanished as both sides made deep cuts in their atomic stockpiles in accordance with already existing accords and then signed others, including the New START , the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty of 2010.

... ... ...

To put this in perspective, Russian leaders ardently believe that they are the victims of a U.S.-led drive by NATO to encircle their country and diminish its international influence. They point, in particular, to the build-up of NATO forces in the Baltic countries, involving the semi-permanent deployment of combat battalions in what was once the territory of the Soviet Union, and in apparent violation of promises made to Gorbachev in 1990 that NATO would not do so. As a result, Russia has been bolstering its defenses in areas bordering Ukraine and the Baltic states, and training its troops for a possible clash with the NATO forces stationed there.

... ... ...

On the American side, the weapon of immediate concern is a new version of the AGM-86B air-launched cruise missile, usually carried by B-52 bombers. Also known as the Long-Range Standoff Weapon (LRSO), it is, like the Iskander-M, expected to be deployed in both nuclear and conventional versions, leaving those on the potential receiving end unsure what might be heading their way.

In other words, as with the Iskander-M, the intended target might assume the worst in a crisis, leading to the early use of nuclear weapons. Put another way, such missiles make for twitchy trigger fingers and are likely to lead to a heightened risk of nuclear war, which, once started, might in turn take Washington and Moscow right up the escalatory ladder to a planetary holocaust.

No wonder former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry called on President Obama to cancel the ALCM program in a recent Washington Post op-ed piece. "Because they… come in both nuclear and conventional variants," he wrote, "cruise missiles are a uniquely destabilizing type of weapon." And this issue is going to fall directly into the lap of the next president.

pretzelattack November 7, 2016 at 1:46 am

scanning it, it keeps referring to the obama administration's beliefs about russia, and claims by american officials. given the hysteria about putin allegedly hacking the us election, and the propaganda surrounding the war on terror, i'm reluctant to rely on this kind of evidence.

Lambert Strether November 7, 2016 at 2:29 am

This:

But even Hillary Clinton, for all her experience as secretary of state, is likely to have a hard time grappling with the pressures and dangers that are likely to arise in the years ahead, especially given that her inclination is to toughen U.S. policy toward Russia.

"Even" is a little rich, given that the Clinton campaign has systematically - I hate to use the word, but - demonized* Putin. One can regard the political class as cynically able to turn on a dime when the election is done, but Clinton has also induced her base of "NPR tote baggers" to buy in, and the more massive base is harder to turn. And then of course the neo-cons have gone over to her, and they certainly know which side their bread has blood on.

So, if Clinton wins, the dominant faction of the Democrat Party is - from the leadership through the nomenklatura to the base - committed to a "muscular" foreign policy, including a "No Fly Zone" in Syria, where shooting down a Russian plane would be an act of war, so far as Russia is concerned. (In the last debate, Clinton pointedly didn't answer what she would do in that eventuality.)

It is what it is. We are where we are.

NOTE * I mean, come on. Trump and Comey as Putin's agents of influence? Beyond bizarre.

UPDATE One of the salient features of the bureaucratic infighters who brought about World War I is their utter mediocrity; see this review of The Sleepwalkers , a diplomatic history of how World War I came out. If you want to see real mediocrity in today's terms, read the Podesta emails.

integer November 7, 2016 at 2:50 am

And contrast that quote with:

Whoever is elected on November 8th, we are evidently all headed into a world in which Trumpian-style itchy trigger fingers could be the norm.

So even Hillary Clinton might not be able to handle a world full of Trumpian-style itchy trigger fingers. That's a bit hard to swallow imo.

timotheus November 7, 2016 at 5:35 am

"Muscular" policy towards Russia: [echo "muscular policy! muscular policy!" slow fade]. And we think Putin is a clownish macho.

Joins "innovation", economic "liftoff" and "headwinds", "fight for", etc.

hemeantwell November 7, 2016 at 8:44 am

Agreed. Klare's order of presentation creates a questionable sense of causality by talking first about Russian tech and strategy and then about what appear to be US responses. For example, my understanding of recent developments of low yield nuclear weapons - I'm thinking of the "dial a bomb" - has the US once again opening up a new strategic front the Russians feel compelled to duplicate. His discussion of the Iskander M similarly elides the question of how the Russians think about the B52-based cruise missiles the US has had for years.

He also seems to lose track of a point he introduces by referring to Kissinger's advocacy of the use of low yield nukes. Kissinger's book came out in 1957, and afair only the US had battlefield nuclear missile delivery systems back in early 60s. After Kissinger gained power in the Nixon administration, they both thought that it was useful to look rationally irrational, to set out a logic for dangerous policies in order to make opponents fearful of a catastrophic reaction. The Russians are likely doing the same thing. I'm sure, too, that talking of a low first use threshold is a way to split Europe from the US.

Massinissa November 7, 2016 at 2:38 am

I like the article, but it seems like its putting too much of the fault on Russia.

Roland November 7, 2016 at 3:10 am

This article on nuclear strategy makes no mention of the single most destabilizing thing that happened in nuclear affairs in this century: the USA's unilateral abrogation of the ABM Treaty.

How could the author make such an omission?

The biggest nuclear problem we face is that there are "serious" military and political leaders in the USA who think that their new ABM systems will allow them to burst the shackles of assured-destruction, and thus to actively employ escalation dominance as a foreign policy tool..

integer November 7, 2016 at 5:20 am

political leaders in the USA who think that their new ABM systems will allow them to burst the shackles of assured-destruction

"Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage and those who manage what they do not understand."

― Archibald Putt

charles 2 November 7, 2016 at 5:06 am

The author puts too much emphasis on anti-cities warfare at a pre-strategic level. A strike will be more likely to be an EMP anti-infrastructure strike. In modern societies, one doesn't need to kill people to break their resolve. Disrupting the provision of electricity, mobile, cable and internet connection is amply enough to eliminate the appetite for overseas military adventures.

fajensen November 7, 2016 at 6:13 am

The nukes run on a dead-man switch. If one EMP's "everything", the periodic "please do not launch today, sir"-signal will not reach the silos/submarines and missiles will launch automatically.

We can be pretty sure that the last missiles launched will be salted with some "well, fuck you too!"-concoction to create massive fallout and maybe even some bio-weapons on top for all those weakened immune systems (from the gamma radiation). The USSR did a lot of very high quality research on biological weapons, obviously, everyone else has whatever they had in the 1980's. People who ingest radioactive dust are goners sooner or later. Sooner with bio-weapons on top of the radiation poisoning.

People, especially people "on top" who should be informed and know better, yet still think ABM systems work effectively for any other purpose than moving billions of USD to into the pockets of defense industry cronies, are simply deluded. Even with cooked tests, where the speed and trajectory of the opposition missile is known to the missile defence in advance, the odds of an intercept are low.

Disturbed Voter November 7, 2016 at 6:31 am

The only way to win is not play – War-games

Why would the elites not want to win, compared to the first 70 years of the nuclear age?

fajensen November 7, 2016 at 8:04 am

Why would the elites not want to win, compared to the first 70 years of the nuclear age?

They are like 70-80 years old, geriatrics already, soon diaper-cases. All thes powerful people are in a desparate race with time to "set things right", before they lose all of their faculties (or start smelling of poo so no-one invites them anymore).

Jim A November 7, 2016 at 9:01 am

Even more troubling, Russia has adopted a military doctrine that favors the early use of nuclear weapons if it faces defeat in a conventional war, and NATO is considering comparable measures in response. The nuclear threshold, in other words, is dropping rapidly.

Of course this is the exact mirror image of the US policy during the Cold War. We relied on the threat of "theater nuclear war" to deter the huge Soviet conventional forces that NATO had little chance of stopping with conventional forces. Of course the Germans joked that the definition of a "theater" nuclear weapon was one that went off in Germany.

[Nov 07, 2016] Does the Right Hold the Economy Hostage to Advance Its Militarist Agenda

economistsview.typepad.com

Alex S -> Julio ... , November 05, 2016 at 03:50 PM

We have moved left. The gays and blacks are treated better. We no longer tolerate wars like Vietnam. The Iraq war was an order of magnitude smaller. War helps scientific discovery and progress. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/14/upshot/the-lack-of-major-wars-may-be-hurting-economic-growth.html?_r=0 For more capable nations to help civilize weaker and more chaotic ones is helpful, but leftists won't accept that.
anne -> Alex S... , November 05, 2016 at 04:08 PM
Oh, I understand:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/14/upshot/the-lack-of-major-wars-may-be-hurting-economic-growth.html

June 13, 2014

The Lack of Major Wars May Be Hurting Economic Growth
By Tyler Cowen

[ Who else could possibly have written such an essay? The guy is really, really scary. ]

anne -> anne... , November 05, 2016 at 04:20 PM
http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/beat-the-press/does-the-right-hold-the-economy-hostage-to-advance-its-militarist-agenda

June 14, 2014

Does the Right Hold the Economy Hostage to Advance Its Militarist Agenda?

That's one way to read Tyler Cowen's New York Times column * noting that wars have often been associated with major economic advances which carries the headline "the lack of major wars may be hurting economic growth." Tyler lays out his central argument:

"It may seem repugnant to find a positive side to war in this regard, but a look at American history suggests we cannot dismiss the idea so easily. Fundamental innovations such as nuclear power, the computer and the modern aircraft were all pushed along by an American government eager to defeat the Axis powers or, later, to win the Cold War. The Internet was initially designed to help this country withstand a nuclear exchange, and Silicon Valley had its origins with military contracting, not today's entrepreneurial social media start-ups. The Soviet launch of the Sputnik satellite spurred American interest in science and technology, to the benefit of later economic growth."

This is all quite true, but a moment's reflection may give a bit different spin to the story. There has always been substantial support among liberals for the sort of government sponsored research that he describes here. The opposition has largely come from the right. However the right has been willing to go along with such spending in the context of meeting national defense needs. Its support made these accomplishments possible.

This brings up the suggestion Paul Krugman made a while back (jokingly) that maybe we need to convince the public that we face a threat from an attack from Mars. Krugman suggested this as a way to prompt traditional Keynesian stimulus, but perhaps we can also use the threat to promote an ambitious public investment agenda to bring us the next major set of technological breakthroughs.

* http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/14/upshot/the-lack-of-major-wars-may-be-hurting-economic-growth.html

-- Dean Baker

Alex S -> anne... , November 05, 2016 at 05:15 PM
Three points

1. Baker's peaceful spending scenario is not likely because of human nature.

2. Even if Baker's scenario happened, a given dollar will be used more efficiently in a war. If there is a threat of losing, you have an incentive to cut waste and spend on what produces results.

3. The United States would not exist at all if we had not conquered the territory.

anne -> anne... , November 05, 2016 at 04:24 PM
http://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/files/cow/imce/papers/2016/Costs%20of%20War%20through%202016%20FINAL%20final%20v2.pdf

September, 2016

US Budgetary Costs of Wars through 2016: $4.79 Trillion and Counting
Summary of Costs of the US Wars in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan and Homeland Security
By Neta C. Crawford

Summary

Wars cost money before, during and after they occur - as governments prepare for, wage, and recover from them by replacing equipment, caring for the wounded and repairing the infrastructure destroyed in the fighting. Although it is rare to have a precise accounting of the costs of war - especially of long wars - one can get a sense of the rough scale of the costs by surveying the major categories of spending.

As of August 2016, the US has already appropriated, spent, or taken on obligations to spend more than $3.6 trillion in current dollars on the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria and on Homeland Security (2001 through fiscal year 2016). To this total should be added the approximately $65 billion in dedicated war spending the Department of Defense and State Department have requested for the next fiscal year, 2017, along with an additional nearly $32 billion requested for the Department of Homeland Security in 2017, and estimated spending on veterans in future years. When those are included, the total US budgetary cost of the wars reaches $4.79 trillion.

But of course, a full accounting of any war's burdens cannot be placed in columns on a ledger....

[Nov 07, 2016] Up Against the Wall The American Conservative

Nov 07, 2016 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The War Party called the Peace Party Nazis in 1941, Communists in 1951, Soviet dupes in 1961, dirty hippies in 1971 … must I go on? In 2011, those who heed George Washington's counsel to seek "peace and harmony with all" will be called mullah-headed appeasers of Irano-fascism.

We live in an age in which one is free to view pornography that would make de Sade wince and gore that would make Leatherface retch, yet we have less "free speech," as the Founders would have conceived it, than ever before. The range of permissible political opinions has narrowed to encompass the rat-hair's breadth separating Mitt Romney from Joe Lieberman, and woe betide the straggler who wanders away from the cage.

Blame war. Blame TV. Blame the nationalization of political discourse, as regional variations and individual peculiarities are washed away by the generic slime of poli-talk shows. Radicals-even naïve Tea Partiers or idealistic left-wing kids-are dehumanized in ways unthinkable when America was a free country. No one was barred from the conversation back when there was a conversation. No dispatch ever read, "Wingnut Henry David Thoreau today issued a manifesto from his compound near Walden Pond…"

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The squeezing out even of establishment dissent-especially since 9/11-has left us with an antiwar movement so feeble it makes the Esperanto lobby look like the AARP. Enter the new organization Come Home, America, its name taken from the magnificent 1972 acceptance speech delivered by George McGovern in the last unscripted Democratic convention.

Discussed in recent issues of this magazine, Come Home, America is based on the now decidedly radical premise that young men and women belong home, with their families and in their communities, rather than fighting needless wars on the other side of the globe. I am a small part of what I hope will become a chorus of patriotic dissent ringing from Main Street and Copperhead Road and Martin Luther King Boulevard, from farm and church and coffeehouse.

[Nov 05, 2016] Wall Street and the Pentagon by James Petras

Nov 02, 2016 | The Unz Review

Wall Street and the Pentagon greeted the onset of 2016 as a 'banner year', a glorious turning point in the quest for malleable regimes willing to sell-off the most lucrative economic resources, to sign off on onerous new debt to Wall Street and to grant use of their strategic military bases to the Pentagon.

Brazil and Argentina, the most powerful and richest countries in South America and the Philippines, Washington's most strategic military platform in Southeast Asia, were the objects of intense US political operations in the run-up to 2016.

In each instance, Wall Street and the Pentagon secured smashing successes leading to premature ejaculations over the 'new golden era' of financial pillage and unfettered military adventures. Unfortunately, the early ecstasy has turned to agony: Wall Street made easy entries and even faster departures once the 'honeymoon' gave way to reality. ; The political procurers persecuted center-left incumbents but, were soon to have their turn facing prosecution. The political prostitutes, who had decreed the sale of sovereignty, were replaced by nationalists who would turn the bordello back into a sovereign nation state.

This essay outlines the rapid rise and dramatic demise of these erstwhile 'progeny' of Wall Street and the Pentagon in Argentina and Brazil, and then reviews Washington's shock and awe as the newly elected Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte embraced n