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Obama as neocon in foreign policy bulletin, 2017

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[Dec 29, 2017] Brennan and Morrell might work on creating UAE Intelligence agency modeled after CIA

Notable quotes:
"... It also appears that both Brennan and Morrell are knee deep in it as well. ..."
Dec 29, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

J , 27 December 2017 at 04:19 AM

Colonel, PT,

Has Larry Sanchez stepped over the line?

https://intelnews.org/tag/larry-sanchez/

J , 27 December 2017 at 04:19 AM
Colonel,

It also appears that both Brennan and Morrell are knee deep in it as well.

[Dec 28, 2017] How CrowdStrike placed malware in DNC hacked servers by Alex Christoforou

Highly recommended!
If this is true, then this is definitely a sophisticated false flag operation. Was malware Alperovich people injected specifically designed to implicate Russians? In other words Crowdstrike=Fancy Bear
Images removed. For full content please thee the original source
One interesting corollary of this analysis is that installing Crowdstrike software is like inviting a wolf to guard your chicken. If they are so dishonest you take enormous risks. That might be true for some other heavily advertized "intrusion prevention" toolkits. So those criminals who use mistyped popular addresses or buy Google searches to drive lemmings to their site and then flash the screen that they detected a virus on your computer a, please call provided number and for a small amount of money your virus will be removed get a new more sinister life.
I suspected many of such firms (for example ISS which was bought by IBM in 2006) to be scams long ago.
Notable quotes:
"... Disobedient Media outlines the DNC server cover-up evidenced in CrowdStrike malware infusion ..."
"... In the article, they claim to have just been working on eliminating the last of the hackers from the DNC's network during the past weekend (conveniently coinciding with Assange's statement and being an indirect admission that their Falcon software had failed to achieve it's stated capabilities at that time , assuming their statements were accurate) . ..."
"... To date, CrowdStrike has not been able to show how the malware had relayed any emails or accessed any mailboxes. They have also not responded to inquiries specifically asking for details about this. In fact, things have now been discovered that bring some of their malware discoveries into question. ..."
"... there is a reason to think Fancy Bear didn't start some of its activity until CrowdStrike had arrived at the DNC. CrowdStrike, in the indiciators of compromise they reported, identified three pieces of malware relating to Fancy Bear: ..."
"... They found that generally, in a lot of cases, malware developers didn't care to hide the compile times and that while implausible timestamps are used, it's rare that these use dates in the future. It's possible, but unlikely that one sample would have a postdated timestamp to coincide with their visit by mere chance but seems extremely unlikely to happen with two or more samples. Considering the dates of CrowdStrike's activities at the DNC coincide with the compile dates of two out of the three pieces of malware discovered and attributed to APT-28 (the other compiled approximately 2 weeks prior to their visit), the big question is: Did CrowdStrike plant some (or all) of the APT-28 malware? ..."
"... The IP address, according to those articles, was disabled in June 2015, eleven months before the DNC emails were acquired – meaning those IP addresses, in reality, had no involvement in the alleged hacking of the DNC. ..."
"... The fact that two out of three of the Fancy Bear malware samples identified were compiled on dates within the apparent five day period CrowdStrike were apparently at the DNC seems incredibly unlikely to have occurred by mere chance. ..."
"... That all three malware samples were compiled within ten days either side of their visit – makes it clear just how questionable the Fancy Bear malware discoveries were. ..."
Dec 28, 2017 | theduran.com

Of course the DNC did not want to the FBI to investigate its "hacked servers". The plan was well underway to excuse Hillary's pathetic election defeat to Trump, and CrowdStrike would help out by planting evidence to pin on those evil "Russian hackers." Some would call this entire DNC server hack an "insurance policy."

... ... ...

[Dec 28, 2017] The CIA as Organized Crime How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... By illuminating CIA programs and systems of surveillance, control, and assassination utilized against the civilian population of South Vietnam, we are presented with parallels with operations and practices at work today in America's seemingly perpetual war against terror. ..."
"... Through the policies of covert infiltration and manipulations, illegal alliances, and "brute force" interventions that wreak havoc on designated enemy states, destroy progress and infrastructure under the claim of liberation, degrade the standards of living for people in the perceived hostile nations, "...America's ruling elite empowers itself while claiming it has ensured the safety and prestige of the American people. Sometimes it is even able to convince the public that its criminal actions are 'humanitarian' and designed to liberate the people in nations it destroys." ..."
"... Want to know why the DEA is losing the war on drugs, how torture has become policy? Want to know why the government no longer represents your interests? Look no further. ..."
Nov 27, 2016 | www.amazon.com
Alan Dale on November 27, 2016

5.0 out of 5 stars An Essential Addition to an Essential Body of Work

Of the extraordinarily valuable and informative works for which Mr. Valentine is responsible, his latest, CIA As Organized Crime, may prove to be the best choice as an introduction to the dark realm of America's hidden corruptions and their consequences at home and around the world. This new volume begins with the unlikely but irrevocable framework by which Mr. Valentine's path led to unprecedented access to key Agency personnel whose witting participation is summarized by the chapter title: "How William Colby Gave Me the Keys to the CIA Kingdom."

By illuminating CIA programs and systems of surveillance, control, and assassination utilized against the civilian population of South Vietnam, we are presented with parallels with operations and practices at work today in America's seemingly perpetual war against terror.

Through the policies of covert infiltration and manipulations, illegal alliances, and "brute force" interventions that wreak havoc on designated enemy states, destroy progress and infrastructure under the claim of liberation, degrade the standards of living for people in the perceived hostile nations, "...America's ruling elite empowers itself while claiming it has ensured the safety and prestige of the American people. Sometimes it is even able to convince the public that its criminal actions are 'humanitarian' and designed to liberate the people in nations it destroys."

Mr. Valentine has presented us with a major body of work which includes: The Strength of the Wolf; The Strength of the Pack; The Pheonix Program, to which we may now add The CIA as Organized Crime, and for which we are profoundly indebted.

felixnola on December 6, 2016

5.0 out of 5 stars The Truth About the CIA and What is Instore For You

If you want the inside scoop on the CIA and it's criminal past; this is the book. Additionally, why the Phoenix Program is pertinent for our own times. This book connects the dots.

If you have been wondering why Homeland Security has fusion centers; why the USA Anti-Patriot Act, NDAA and Rex 84 have been passed by Congress; you will get your answer here.

A book every intelligent American needs to read and place in a prominent place in their library. Oh, and don't forget after you read it; spread the word !!! (this book is based upon actual face to face interviews and documents)

Jay Trout on January 2, 2017

5.0 out of 5 stars A crucial tool to understanding present reality. An absolute must read.

Run, don't walk, and get yourself a copy of this book. The author has been warning us for decades about the clear and present danger that is the CIA I was unaware of Valentine's work for most of those years, perhaps because our media outlets (even the "anti-establishment" ones like Democracy Now and The Intercept) have been compromised. Valentine's work has been suppressed since his ground-breaking book on the Phoenix Program.

Not that I didn't know anything about the sordid history. I knew about MK-Ultra, some of the agency's drug running and empire-building exploits. This work goes much deeper and paints a much bigger picture. The extent of the agency's influence is much greater than I had imagined.

This is not another history book about dirty tricks. It is not just about our insane foreign policy and empire building. The cancer of corruption, of outright crime, has metastasized into every agency of the government right here in the US itself. Those dirty tricks and crimes have become domestic policy- in fusion centers and Homeland Security, in the militarization of local police and in Congress, from Wall Street to Main Street. Border Patrol, the DEA, Justice and State have all been compromised.

Want to know why the DEA is losing the war on drugs, how torture has become policy? Want to know why the government no longer represents your interests? Look no further.

The problem is now. We are the new targets.

Read it and weep, but for God's sake, please read it.
A highly informative and comprehensive book, and a scathing, fearless indictment of government corruption.
I cannot overstate it's importance.

Andrew E. Belshaw on December 6, 2016

Disguising Obama's Dirty War Chapter 22

I just picked up this book and have not read it yet--but I am writing this to CORRECT THE RECORD regarding very basic information. There are 446 PAGES (not 286, as listed above). 160 Pages is a big difference--obviously, QUALITY is more important than quantity--but I do feel the listing needs be corrected.

The "Inside Look" feature is also cutting off the last 9 chapters of the book, which are as follows:

PART IV: MANUFACTURING COMPLICITY: SHAPING THE AMERICAN WORLDVIEW

John C. Landon on January 2, 2017

Expose of the CIA mafia

This is a devastating and must-read study of the social and political calamity created by the CIA over the last sixty years. The portrait shows the criminal character of the agency and finally of the government it is said to serve. The portrait is a double shock because it shows not just a sordid corruption but a malevolent 'dark side' mafia-style corruption of american civilization and government. That the CIA controls the drug trade is not the least of the stunning revelations of this history.

[Dec 28, 2017] Regime Change Comes Home: The CIA s Overt Threats against Trump by James Petras

Highly recommended!
This was written almost a year ago. Not author demonstrated tremendous insight which was confirmed by subsequent events.
Notable quotes:
"... The decisive shift to 'regime change' at home has been a continual process organized, orchestrated and implemented by elected and appointed officials within the Obama regime and by a multiplicity of political action organizations, which cross traditional ideological boundaries. ..."
"... The outgoing President Obama mobilized the entire leadership of the security state to fabricate 'dodgy dossiers' linking Donald Trump to the Russian President Vladimir Putin, insisting that Trump was a stooge or 'vulnerable to KGB blackmail'. The CIA's phony documents (arriving via a former British intelligence operative-now free lance 'security' contractor) were passed around among the major corporate media who declined to publish the leaked gossip. Months of attempts to get the US media to 'take the bite' on the 'smelly' dossier were unsuccessful. The semi-senile US Senator John McCain ('war-hero' and hysterical Trump opponent) then volunteered to plop the reeking gossip back onto the lap of the CIA Director Brennan and demand the government 'act on these vital revelations'! ..."
"... Under scrutiny by serious researchers, the 'CIA dossier' was proven to be a total fabrication by way of a former 'British official – now – in – hiding !' Undaunted, despite being totally discredited, the CIA leadership continued to attack the President-Elect. Trump likened the CIA's 'dirty pictures hatchet job' to the thuggish behavior of the Nazis and clearly understood how the CIA leadership was involved in a domestic coup d'état. ..."
"... CIA Director John Brennan, architect of numerous 'regime changes' overseas had brought his skills home – against the President-elect. For the first time in US history, a CIA director openly charged a President or President-elect with betraying the country and threatened the incoming Chief Executive. He coldly warned Trump to ' just make sure he understands that the implications and impacts (of Trump's policies) on the United States could be profound " ..."
Jan 20, 2017 | www.informationclearinghouse.info

The norms of US capitalist democracy include the election of presidential candidates through competitive elections, unimpeded by force and violence by the permanent institutions of the state. Voter manipulation has occurred during the recent elections, as in the case of the John F. Kennedy victory in 1960 and the George W. Bush victory over 'Al' Gore in 2000. But despite the dubious electoral outcomes in these cases, the 'defeated' candidate conceded and sought via legislation, judicial rulings, lobbying and peaceful protests to register their opposition.

These norms are no longer operative. During the election process, and in the run-up to the inauguration of US President-Elect Donald Trump, fundamental electoral institutions were challenged and coercive institutions were activated to disqualify the elected president and desperate overt public pronouncements threatened the entire electoral order.

We will proceed by outlining the process that is used to undermine the constitutional order, including the electoral process and the transition to the inauguration of the elected president.

Regime Change in America

In recent times, elected officials in the US and their state security organizations have often intervened against independent foreign governments, which challenged Washington 's quest for global domination. This was especially true during the eight years of President Barack Obama's administration where the violent ousting of presidents and prime ministers through US-engineered coups were routine – under an unofficial doctrine of 'regime change'.

The violation of constitutional order and electoral norms of other countries has become enshrined in US policy. All US political, administrative and security structures are involved in this process. The policymakers would insist that there was a clear distinction between operating within constitutional norms at home and pursuing violent, illegal regime change operations abroad.

Today the distinction between overseas and domestic norms has been obliterated by the state and quasi-official mass media. The US security apparatus is now active in manipulating the domestic democratic process of electing leaders and transitioning administrations.

The decisive shift to 'regime change' at home has been a continual process organized, orchestrated and implemented by elected and appointed officials within the Obama regime and by a multiplicity of political action organizations, which cross traditional ideological boundaries.

Regime change has several components leading to the final solution: First and foremost, the political parties seek to delegitimize the election process and undermine the President-elect. The mass media play a major role demonizing President-Elect Trump with personal gossip, decades-old sex scandals and fabricated interviews and incidents.

Alongside the media blitz, leftist and rightist politicians have come together to question the legitimacy of the November 2016 election results. Even after a recount confirmed Trump's victory, a massive propaganda campaign was launched to impeach the president-elect even before he takes office – by claiming Trump was an 'enemy agent'.

The Democratic Party and the motley collection of right-left anti-Trump militants sought to blackmail members of the Electoral College to change their vote in violation of their own mandate as state electors. This was unsuccessful, but unprecedented.

Their overt attack on US electoral norms then turned into a bizarre and virulent anti-Russia campaign designed to paint the elected president (a billionaire New York real estate developer and US celebrity icon) as a 'tool of Moscow .' The mass media and powerful elements within the CIA, Congress and Obama Administration insisted that Trump's overtures toward peaceful, diplomatic relations with Russia were acts of treason.

The outgoing President Obama mobilized the entire leadership of the security state to fabricate 'dodgy dossiers' linking Donald Trump to the Russian President Vladimir Putin, insisting that Trump was a stooge or 'vulnerable to KGB blackmail'. The CIA's phony documents (arriving via a former British intelligence operative-now free lance 'security' contractor) were passed around among the major corporate media who declined to publish the leaked gossip. Months of attempts to get the US media to 'take the bite' on the 'smelly' dossier were unsuccessful. The semi-senile US Senator John McCain ('war-hero' and hysterical Trump opponent) then volunteered to plop the reeking gossip back onto the lap of the CIA Director Brennan and demand the government 'act on these vital revelations'!

Under scrutiny by serious researchers, the 'CIA dossier' was proven to be a total fabrication by way of a former 'British official – now – in – hiding !' Undaunted, despite being totally discredited, the CIA leadership continued to attack the President-Elect. Trump likened the CIA's 'dirty pictures hatchet job' to the thuggish behavior of the Nazis and clearly understood how the CIA leadership was involved in a domestic coup d'état.

CIA Director John Brennan, architect of numerous 'regime changes' overseas had brought his skills home – against the President-elect. For the first time in US history, a CIA director openly charged a President or President-elect with betraying the country and threatened the incoming Chief Executive. He coldly warned Trump to ' just make sure he understands that the implications and impacts (of Trump's policies) on the United States could be profound "

Clearly CIA Director Brennan has not only turned the CIA into a sinister, unaccountable power dictating policy to an elected US president, by taking on the tone of a Mafia Capo, he threatens the physical security of the incoming leader.

From a Scratch to Gangrene

The worst catastrophe that could fall on the United States would be a conspiracy of leftist and rightist politicos, the corporate mass media and the 'progressive' websites and pundits providing ideological cover for a CIA-orchestrated 'regime change'.

Whatever the limitations of our electoral norms- and there are many – they are now being degraded and discarded in a march toward an elite coup, involving elements of the militarist empire and 'in`telligence' hierarchy.

Mass propaganda, a 'red-brown alliance, salacious gossip and accusations of treason ('Trump, the Stooge of Moscow') resemble the atmosphere leading to the rise of the Nazi state in Germany . A broad 'coalition' has joined hands with a most violent and murderous organization (the CIA) and imperial political leadership, which views overtures to peace to be high treason because it limits their drive for world power and a US dominated global political order.

James Petras is a Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York. http://petras.lahaine.org/

[Dec 25, 2017] Kamala Harris Pisses Off Intelligence Committee Chairman When She Tries to Control Senate Hearing!

Dec 25, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Published on Nov 9, 2017

Kamala Harris Pisses Off Intelligence Committee Chairman When She Tries to Control Senate Hearing!

[Dec 24, 2017] The Great Puppeteer Counter-revolt of 2017 by Daniel J. Flynn

Notable quotes:
"... "I think it's the obligation of some executive branch officials to refuse to carry that out," former CIA director John Brennan said of the possibility of Donald Trump firing special counsel Robert Mueller. "I would just hope that this is not going to be a partisan issue. That Republicans, Democrats are going to see that the future of this government is at stake and something needs to be done for the good of the future. ..."
"... The American people, after all, elected Trump. Rod Rosenstein elected Mueller. ..."
"... A self-flattering interpretation by the puppeteers imagines Trump voters as Pap Finns resentful of the mere existence of the edumacated elites. Cultural tics surely explain part of this divide. But more so do frustrations with votes repeatedly resulting in policies unwanted by voters. Brennan encouraging employees of the executive branch to subvert the executive comes off as too analogous to the unelected continually sabotaging the will of the electorate that directly caused Trump's election. Trump's supporters certainly see it this way. This fight is an extension of the overall fight that colored the presidential election. ..."
"... policy change ..."
Jul 25, 2017 | www.breitbart.com

Last year, the marionettes rebelled. Naturally, the Great Puppeteer Counter-revolt of 2017 followed.

"I think it's the obligation of some executive branch officials to refuse to carry that out," former CIA director John Brennan said of the possibility of Donald Trump firing special counsel Robert Mueller. "I would just hope that this is not going to be a partisan issue. That Republicans, Democrats are going to see that the future of this government is at stake and something needs to be done for the good of the future. "

Leaving aside the imprudence of the president firing the man investigating his campaign's alleged ties to Russian interference in the 2016 election, Trump certainly possesses the right to dismiss Mueller. Unelected people who work for the man elected president do not possess the right to thwart the legal directives of their boss.

The American people, after all, elected Trump. Rod Rosenstein elected Mueller.

A fine line exists between anonymous, unelected, unaccountable government officials undermining the president's legal directives and such people working to overturn the results of last year's election. One might argue the two as one in the same differing only in degree.

Did the Russians meddle in our electoral process in 2016 or do entrenched bureaucrats do so on a constant basis? How one answers that question dictates one's response to this current controversy.

November's results, one might think, would have sparked epiphanies. Americans voted for a populist outsider to, in his words, "drain the swamp." Brennan's words indicate that the swamp thrives six months after inauguration. The election neither hastened the drain nor chastened the creatures from the swamp. As the late, great Stan Evans oft reflected, people go to Washington imagining it a swamp only to soon regard it as a hot tub. Who wants to vacate a hot tub?

A self-flattering interpretation by the puppeteers imagines Trump voters as Pap Finns resentful of the mere existence of the edumacated elites. Cultural tics surely explain part of this divide. But more so do frustrations with votes repeatedly resulting in policies unwanted by voters. Brennan encouraging employees of the executive branch to subvert the executive comes off as too analogous to the unelected continually sabotaging the will of the electorate that directly caused Trump's election. Trump's supporters certainly see it this way. This fight is an extension of the overall fight that colored the presidential election.

Consider any massive change in America over the last half century or so. The demographic sea change in the United States occurred in large part in spite, not because, of U.S. immigration laws. Courts, not the people, determined the legal status of abortion, gay marriage, school prayer, and much else. On important questions regarding the environment, the internet, and health care unelected bureaucrats make the rules under which we live. Such policy change exposes the metachange of process change that allows unelected people to impose their will on massive numbers of people. Tolerating the hijacking of policy soon leads to empowered hijackers thinking they can hijack the presidency.

The Constitution decrees, "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government." Do the deep-state puppeteers imagine that this principle does not apply to Washington?

Donald Trump attempts to bring down the curtain on the long-running Puppet Show on the Potomac. Naturally, Charlie McCarthy finds this more liberating than Edgar Bergen

[Dec 23, 2017] Neocons and Neoliberals -- Two Masks, One Face by WashingtonsBlog

Notable quotes:
"... Trotsky communism ..."
Nov 10, 2008 | www.washingtonsblog.com

Obama might very well be classified as a "neoliberal". He appears to be appointing leading neoliberals to key positions in his administration .

If you're a liberal, you might think this is great. Instead of the Neoconservatives who have been in power for the last 8 years, we'll now have neoliberals. You may assume that "neoliberals" are new, smarter liberals -- with liberal social policies, but with a stronger, more realistic outlook.

Nope.

In reality, neoliberalism is as dissimilar to true progressive liberal politics as neo-conservatism is to true conservative politics (if you don't know it, most leading neoconservatives are former followers of Trotsky communism -- not very conservative, huh?)

For example, did you know that Ronald Reagan was a leading neoliberal ? In the U.S., of course, he is described as the quintessential conservative. But internationally, people understand that he really pushed neoliberal economic policies.

As former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer Philip Giraldi writes :

Neoconservatives and neoliberals are really quite similar, so it doesn't matter who gets elected in 2008. The American public, weary of preemptive attacks, democracy-promotion, and nation-building, will still get war either way.

And leading neo-conservative strategist Robert Kagan recently said :

Until now the liberal West's strategy has been to try to integrate these two powers into the international liberal order, to tame them and make them safe for liberalism."

So neoconservatives are not really conservative and neoliberals are not really liberal. But neocons and neoliberals are very similar to each other . Neocons are a lot more similar to neoliberals than to true conservatives; neoliberass are more similar to neocons than to real liberals.

Do you get it? Both the Republican and Democratic party are now run by people with identical agendas: make the big corporations richer and expand the American empire.

There is only one party, which simply puts on different faces depending on which "branch" of the party is in power. If its the Democratic branch, there is a slightly liberal social veneer to the mask: a little more funding for social programs, a little more nice guy talk, a little more of a laissez faire attitude towards gays and minorities, and a little more patient push towards military conquest and empire.

If its the Republican branch, there's a little more tough guy talk, quicker moves towards military empire, a little more mention of religion, and a tad more centralization of power in the president.

But there is only a single face behind both masks: the face of raw corporatism, greed and yearning for power and empire.

Until Americans stop getting distracted by the Republican versus Democratic melodrama, America will move steadily forward towards war, empire and -- inevitably as with any country which extends too far -- collapse.

Neoliberalism is neither "new" or liberal. Neoconservativism is neither new or conservative. They are just new labels for a very old agenda: serving the powers-that-be, consolidating power, controlling resources. Whether the iron fist has a velvet glove on it or not, it is still an iron fist.

A true opposition party is needed to counter the never-changing American agenda for military and corporate empire.

https://lockerdome.com/lad/9498954186704486?pubid=ld-6193-3093&pubo=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.washingtonsblog.com&width=747

J R Thompson , September 19, 2012 10:33 PM

This article does much to confuse and disinform. NeoCons are essential modern day Fascists. If you don't recall your politics, Fascists are to the right of Conservatives on the political spectrum. They have nothing to do with Communists who are far to the left. During the 1930s Nazis were the NeoCons. They were Fascists, and they also had the overwhelming support of Muslims, who are also Fascists. Today's NeoLiberals are basically Right Wing and hardly middle of the fence. There is virtually no politics to the left of centre and this is the catalyst for massive economic stagnation, economic collapse, rapidly growing global instability, indemic poverty, and an ongoing threat of pandemic disease and general global conflict. Until we have some form of political balance, we're on the brink of catastrophe, and will probably end up with an enormous mess to clean up.

Guest J R Thompson , June 18, 2014 8:12 PM

The Wiki page disagrees with you.

It says that Neo-Conservatives descend from Trotskeyism.

Grey Winters J R Thompson , June 23, 2014 4:28 PM

Fascism is statism and nothing represents the ultimate power of the state then the liberal. No liberal supports our constitution or a smaller government . But it's innately typical of a liberal to project their agenda onto others.

Malcolm Scott J R Thompson , November 4, 2016 9:18 PM

Fascism, Communism are just different faces of Totalitarianism or Statism. Fascism gives "private" owners (oligarchs) the illusion of freedom.

MisterReason J R Thompson , November 8, 2015 6:27 AM

Your communist professor lied to you.

Communism and Fascism are one degree apart. In Fascism, instead of the elite being part of the government, they are part of the private sector. That is the only difference. They are both mainly concerned with consolidation of power and shaping the culture though control of information. Internationally they operate the same as well, expanding their influence through wars of occupation.

Adnihilo , November 11, 2008 7:16 PM

Thank you for this article! As an author you always seem to be one step ahead of me in articles I've been planning to write! I too have been asserting [in comments mostly at OpedNews] that the economic right political 'values' found in NeoLibs, [short for both NeoLibertarians and Neoliberals] NeoCons, and TheoCons are predominantly the same for months now ever since these corporate bailouts started. This author has a firm grasp on political ideologies as evidenced in his other articles correctly identifying the now $2 trillion in US corporate bailouts as the economic policy of Fascism.

The TheoCons-NeoCons-NeoLibs have taken the country so far to the economic right and up in to an authoritarian level since 2000 that most all in the democratic party, excluding a few like Kucinich and Sanders, have moved from a 'centrist' political ideology to an authoritarian right and moderate conservative political ideology.

Like Anna here more fully displays, the overwhelming majority of Americans just do not have a realistic grasp on global political ideologies, much less their own personal political values. Political party indoctrination and mud slinging has the population wrongly convinced democratic politicians are for the most part 'liberals' when they're economic right NeoLiberals and moderate conservatives while republicans calling themselves 'conservative' are instead radically authoritarian and economic right TheoCons and NeoCons.

When Americans don't understand their own political values, much less those of the candidate they vote for, they will continue to make the wrong choices. This would seem to be exactly what the '1' party corporatist system wants so Americans will only continue making the wrong choices from choosing between 'moderate conservative' Democrats like Obama-Biden, and NeoCon/TheoCon republicans like McCain-Palin. Who better to assert this 1 party economic right NeoLiberal reality than one of the most renown liberal authors and intellectuals than Chomsky in his recent article the Anti-Democratic Nature of US Capitalism is Being Exposed.

Chomsky cites America as a "one-party system, the business party, with two factions, Republicans and Democrats" while putting the blame on this economic crisis where it belongs on the very people who created it, America's NeoLiberals. Anna, if you need more proof I suggest you take a trip to the non partisan web site created by a group of doctorate degreed political ideology professors, political experts and sociologists called Political Compass. I guarantee you these experts are far more learned than you are about political ideologies and political values not just in the US, but around the globe. It will surely shock you to learn based on speeches, public statements and most crucially voting records that Obama is firmly in the authoritarian right quadrant as a moderate conservative.

There you'll see their reasons for this based on his voting record and speeches briefly cited in "While Cynthia McKinney and Ralph Nader are depicted on the extreme left in an American context, they would simply be mainstream social democrats within the wider political landscape of Europe.

Similarly, Obama is popularly perceived as a leftist in the United States while elsewhere in the west his record is that of a moderate conservative. For example, in the case of the death penalty he is not an uncompromising abolitionist, while mainstream conservatives in all other western democracies are deeply opposed to capital punishment. The Democratic party's presidential candidate also reneged on his commitment to oppose the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. He sided with the ultra conservative bloc in the Supreme Court against the Washington DC handgun ban and for capital punishment in child rape cases. He supports President Bush's faith-based initiatives and is reported in Fortune to have said that NAFTA isn't so bad."A way to realistically determine if the candidate you vote for actually represents your own political values is to take the political values test found at political compass here and afterward learn about the inadequacies inherent in the limited age-old traditional left-right economic view of political ideologies.

Then you Anna, along with a host of others, may actually start voting in support of candidates that factually represent your own political values. Or you may find you really aren't this liberal you think you are after all. Regardless, only by learning more about ones' own political values and those of the candidates Americans support will they get the political leaders, type of leadership, and government they actually want....

Alejandro Moreno Adnihilo , July 21, 2016 2:07 PM

Written 8 years ago and yet STILL true, Sanders and Kucinich are still of, by and for the people.

Dave , December 8, 2012 11:06 AM

Libertarian Party. http://www.lp.org

SuperTech86 Dave , November 11, 2015 3:20 AM

Doesn't do anything to stop the advance of corporatism which ultimately leads to tyranny and fascism.

Ian SuperTech86 , September 5, 2016 6:28 PM

Its debatable. Corporations won't be near as interested in a small government that is less willing to do favors for them. What do you suggest as a solution to stop the advancement of corporatism? If your answer is to tax the rich more and grow the government you would just get tyranny. Currently with big government we have both tyranny and fascism.

bosunj , November 10, 2008 5:59 PM

Indeed. One Party. The Corporate party. GOP-DEM are little different than Sunni and Shia! GET OUT WHILE YOU STILL CAN!!

anon bosunj , November 17, 2013 9:43 PM

This is just ignorance -- the Republicans and Democrats are the same, but Sunni and Shia Islam are not just arbitrary branches of some terrorist collective called Islam. I suggest you read more about Islam, it's extraordinarily misunderstood AND--I might add--misinforming people about Islam is an integral part of the agenda of the corporate GOP-DEM elite. I'm not a Muslim, for the record.

Mike , November 10, 2008 6:31 PM

You are confusing the issue. The work neoliberal applies to an economic philosophy which is also sometimes called the Chicago School or the Washington Consensus. It is related to what we often call globalization, and it has to to with "liberalization" of economies, in other words privatization of publicly held industries etc. Liberal in the American political sense it totally unrelated to neoliberal. Neoconservatism is a political philosophy that espouses vanguardism and militant foreign policy. They are related in that their goals dove tail, kind of like apples and oranges are similar in that they are both edible.

[Dec 23, 2017] Ex-CIA Director John Brennan Testified Before House Intelligence Committee About Election Meddling

Now we can view Brennan testimony throw the prism of Steele dossier scandal and Strzok-gate (with whom he who probably has direct contacts)
Please note that the interview was given directly after the appointment of the Special Prosecutor Mueller and at this time many though that Trump was "fully cooked" and that neocon and neoliberal swamp in Washington managed to consume him.
May 23, 2017 | www.npr.org

Former CIA Director John Brennan told the House Intelligence Committee Tuesday that Russia "brazenly interfered in the 2016 election process," despite U.S. efforts to warn it off. Brennan testified in an open session of the committee, one of a handful of congressional committees now investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Brennan said he told his Russian counterpart, the head of Russia's FSB, last August that if Russia pursued its efforts to interfere, "it would destroy any near-term prospect for improvement in relations" between the two countries. He said Russia denied any attempts to interfere.

In his opening statement, Brennan also recounted how he had briefed congressional leaders in August of last year, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees about the "full details" of what he knew of Russia's interference in the 2016 election. Brennan said he became convinced last summer that Russia was trying to interfere in the campaign, saying "they were very aggressive."

Brennan said he is "aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign." Brennan said that concerned him, "because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals," and that it raised questions about whether or not the Russians "were able to gain the cooperation of those individuals." Brennan added he didn't know if "collusion existed" between the Russians and those he identified as involved in the Trump campaign.

While Brennan would not specifically identify any individuals associated with the Trump campaign who had contacts with Russian officials and would not opine as to whether there was any collusion or collaboration, he did tell lawmakers why he was concerned about the contacts occurring against the general background of Russian efforts to meddle in the election. Brennan said he's studied Russian intelligence activities over the years, and how Russian intelligence services have been able to get people to betray their country. "Frequently, individuals on a treasonous path do not even realize they're on that path until it gets to be too late," he said.

Brennan said Russia was motivated to back Donald Trump in the presidential election because of a "traditional animus" between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Russian President Vladimir Putin. He told committee members there had not been a good relationship between Putin and the Clintons over the years. What's more, Brennan said Putin blamed Hillary Clinton's actions as secretary of state during the Obama administration for domestic disturbances inside Russia. He said Putin was concerned Clinton would be more "rigid" on issues such as human rights if elected president.

But Brennan told the committee he believed that Russia anticipated that Clinton would be the likely winner of the presidential race, and that Russia tried to "damage and bloody" her before Election Day. Had she won, Brennan said, Russia would have continued to attempt to "denigrate her and hurt her" during her presidency. If Russia had collected more information about Clinton that they did not use against her during the campaign, Brennan said they were likely "husbanding it for another day."

On another question, Brennan criticized President Trump's reported sharing of classified intelligence with Russia officials. Brennan said if reports were accurate, Trump violated "protocols" by sharing the information with Russia's foreign minister and ambassador to the U.S.

Brennan also said he was "very concerned" by the release of what he said appears to be classified information from the Trump administration. He said there appear to be "very, very damaging leaks, and I find them appalling and they need to be tracked down."

Reacting to Brennan's testimony, a White House spokesman said "This morning's hearings back up what we've been saying all along: that despite a year of investigation, there is still no evidence of any Russia-Trump campaign collusion, that the President never jeopardized intelligence sources or sharing, and that even Obama's CIA Director believes the leaks of classified information are 'appalling' and the culprits must be 'tracked down.'"

Under questioning from Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., Brennan said the Russians have been trying to disrupt Western elections since the 1960s, and that they've quickly adapted to the times. Brennan pointed to the ease with which Russia was able to hack Democratic operatives' emails, which were then published on WikiLeaks.

"The cyber-environment now really provides so much more opportunity for troublemaking and the Russians take advantage of it," he said. Brennan said the use of spear phishing, and "whatever else so that they can then gain access to people's emails, computer systems networks," is something that the Russians are adept at.

He said Russia used WikiLeaks as a "cut-out," or go-between, and that protests by WikiLeaks that it is not working with Russia and Russia's claims it is not working with WikiLeaks are "disingenuous."

[Dec 23, 2017] What Did John Brennan and Anonymous Sources Really Say by Philip Giraldi

The rule for retired intelligence officials is to keep their mouth shut and disappear from the public view. This not the case with Brennan. Probably worried about his survival chances in case of failure, Brennan tries to justified the "putsch" of a faction of intelligence officials against Trump. Nice... Now we have indirect proof that he conspired with Michael Morell to depose legitimately elected president.
Now the question arise whether he worked with MI6 to create Steele dossier. In other words did CIA supplied some information that went to the dossier.
Moreover, since JFK assassination, the CIA is prohibited from spying on American citizens, especially tracking the activities of associates of a presidential candidate, which is clearly political activity.
This alone should have sent warning bells off for Congress critters, yet Brennan clearly persisted in following this dangerous for him and CIA trail. Very strange.
Notable quotes:
"... Speaking to a Russian becomes treasonous ..."
"... The article states that Brennan during the 2016 campaign "reviewed intelligence that showed 'contacts and interaction' between Russian actors and people associated with the Trump campaign." Politico was also in on the chase in an article entitled Brennan: Russia may have successfully recruited Trump campaign aides . ..."
"... The precise money quote by Brennan that the two articles chiefly rely on is "I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and US persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals. It raised questions in my mind whether or not Russia was able to gain the co-operation of those individuals." ..."
"... At a later point in his testimony Brennan also said that "I had unresolved questions in my mind about whether or not the Russians had been successful in getting US persons, involved in the campaign or not, to work on their behalf, again, either in a witting or unwitting fashion," clearly meant to imply that some friends of Trump might have become Russian agents voluntarily but others might have cooperated without knowing it. ..."
"... It is a line that has surfaced elsewhere previously, most notably in the demented meanderings of former acting Director of Central Intelligence Michael Morell. As the purpose of recruiting an intelligence agent is to have a resource that can be directed to do things for you, the statement is an absurdity and Brennan and Morell, as a former Director and acting Director of the CIA, should know better. ..."
"... In his testimony, Brennan also hit the main theme that appears to be accepted by nearly everyone inside the beltway, namely that Russian sought to influence and even pervert the outcome of the 2016 election. Interpreting his testimony, the Post article asserts that "Russia was engaged in an 'aggressive' and 'multifaceted 'effort to interfere in our election." As has been noted frequently before, even though this assertion has apparently been endorsed by nearly everyone in the power structure AKA (also known as) "those who matter," it is singularly lacking in any actual evidence. ..."
"... Last Wednesday, the New York Times led off its front page with a piece entitled Top Russian Officials Discussed How to Influence Trump Aides Last Summer . Based, as always, on anonymous sources citing "highly classified" intelligence, the article claimed that "American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers " The "discussions," which are presumably NSA intercepts of phone calls, reportedly focused on two aides in particular, Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn, both of whom had established relationships with Russian businessmen and government officials. ..."
"... It would appear that the New York Times ' editors are unaware that the United States routinely interferes in elections worldwide and that the action taken in various places including Ukraine goes far beyond phone conversations. In some other places like Libya, Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan the interference is particularly robust taking place at the point of a bayonet, but the Times and Washington Post don't appear to have any problem when the regime change is being accomplished ostensibly to make the world more democratic, even if it almost never has that result. ..."
"... "The "discussions," which are presumably NSA intercepts of phone calls, reportedly ." ..."
"... US is now like USSR? https://pjmedia.com/rogerlsimon/2017/05/29/forget-russian-collusion-we-are-russia/ ..."
"... The end result of Brennan's fulminations likely is nuclear war, since he seems to consider even contact with the Russians treasonous. His view is both fascist and nihilist and treasonous to civilization itself and a threat to our survival. ..."
"... Of course those, their mouth pieces Washpost, CNN and NYT, who still want USA control of the world, have aligned their careers on this policy, do anything to get rid of Trump. As Russia is seen by them as the next country to be subjugated, any talk with this 'enemy' to them is high treason. ..."
"... Mr. Clapper finally found the answer to this 1 billion dollar question why US is suffering in his NBC interview -- it is because Russians are untermensch. Russian genetics is wrong and we all were so sweating and suffering over this whole mess., while the answer was so close, on the surface. ..."
"... "If you put that in context with everything else we knew the Russians were doing to interfere with the election, and just the historical practices of the Russians, who typically, almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique. So we were concerned." ..."
"... This is a fact showing the US' direct meddling in the affairs of another state and in creating a war on a border with Russian federation. Brennan has been so much immersed in lies and politicking and war crimes that it is impossible to expect any decent reasoning from this miserable opportunist. ..."
"... What Goering did say – cogently and precisely – is that, regardless of the form of government, the people can always be quite easily stirred up to want war. The key sentence is this: "All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger". That is exactly what the US, UK and European governments have been doing for years to justify their terrorist scares and their wars of aggression. And Goering was absolutely right to point out that it works just the same in democracies (or "democracies") as under dictatorships. ..."
"... "Apparently we need to focus on protecting our vote from our own government". I very much doubt if the Deep State needs to resort to such small-scale and easily-detected trickery to retain control. As Philip Berrigan pointed out long ago, "If voting made any difference, it would be illegal". ..."
May 30, 2017 | www.unz.com

Speaking to a Russian becomes treasonous

The Washington Post and a number of other mainstream media outlets are sensing blood in the water in the wake of former CIA Director John Brennan's public testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. The Post headlined a front page featured article with Brennan's explosive testimony just made it harder for the GOP to protect Trump . The article states that Brennan during the 2016 campaign "reviewed intelligence that showed 'contacts and interaction' between Russian actors and people associated with the Trump campaign." Politico was also in on the chase in an article entitled Brennan: Russia may have successfully recruited Trump campaign aides .

The precise money quote by Brennan that the two articles chiefly rely on is "I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and US persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals. It raised questions in my mind whether or not Russia was able to gain the co-operation of those individuals."

Now first of all, the CIA is not supposed to keep tabs on American citizens and tracking the activities of known associates of a presidential candidate should have sent warning bells off, yet Brennan clearly persisted in following the trail. What Brennan did not describe, because it was "classified," was how he came upon the information in the first place. We know from the New York Times and other sources that it came from foreign intelligence services, including the British, Dutch and Estonians, and there has to be a strong suspicion that the forwarding of at least some of that information might have been sought or possibly inspired by Brennan unofficially in the first place. But whatever the provenance of the intelligence, it is clear that Brennan then used that information to request an FBI investigation into a possible Russian operation directed against potential key advisers if Trump were to somehow get nominated and elected, which admittedly was a longshot at the time. That is how Russiagate began.

But where the information ultimately came from as well as its reliability is just speculation as the source documents have not been made public. What is not speculative is what Brennan actually said in his testimony. He said that Americans associated with Trump and his campaign had met with Russians. He was "concerned" because of known Russian efforts to "suborn such individuals." Note that Brennan, presumably deliberately, did not say "suborn those individuals." Sure, Russian intelligence (and CIA, MI-6, and Mossad as well as a host of others) seek to recruit people with access to politically useful information. That is what they do for a living, but Brennan is not saying that he has or saw any evidence that that was the case with the Trump associates. He is speaking generically of "such individuals" because he knows that spies, inter alia , recruit politicians and the Russians presumably, like the Americans and British, do so aggressively.

At a later point in his testimony Brennan also said that "I had unresolved questions in my mind about whether or not the Russians had been successful in getting US persons, involved in the campaign or not, to work on their behalf, again, either in a witting or unwitting fashion," clearly meant to imply that some friends of Trump might have become Russian agents voluntarily but others might have cooperated without knowing it.

It is a line that has surfaced elsewhere previously, most notably in the demented meanderings of former acting Director of Central Intelligence Michael Morell. As the purpose of recruiting an intelligence agent is to have a resource that can be directed to do things for you, the statement is an absurdity and Brennan and Morell, as a former Director and acting Director of the CIA, should know better. That they don't explains a lot of things about today's CIA

Brennan confirms his lack of any hard evidence when he also poses the question "whether or not Russia was able to gain the co-operation of those individuals." He doesn't know whether the Americans were approached and asked to cooperate by Russian intelligence officers and, even if they were, he does not know whether they agreed to do so. That means that the Americans in question were guilty only of meeting and talking to Russians, which was presumably enough to open an FBI investigation. One might well consider that at the time and even to this day Russia was not and is not a declared enemy of the United States and meeting Russians is not a criminal offense.

In his testimony, Brennan also hit the main theme that appears to be accepted by nearly everyone inside the beltway, namely that Russian sought to influence and even pervert the outcome of the 2016 election. Interpreting his testimony, the Post article asserts that "Russia was engaged in an 'aggressive' and 'multifaceted 'effort to interfere in our election." As has been noted frequently before, even though this assertion has apparently been endorsed by nearly everyone in the power structure AKA (also known as) "those who matter," it is singularly lacking in any actual evidence.

Nor has any evidence been produced to support the claim that it was Russia that hacked the Democratic National Committee (DNC) server, which now is accepted as Gospel, but that is just one side to the story being promoted. Last Wednesday, the New York Times led off its front page with a piece entitled Top Russian Officials Discussed How to Influence Trump Aides Last Summer . Based, as always, on anonymous sources citing "highly classified" intelligence, the article claimed that "American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers " The "discussions," which are presumably NSA intercepts of phone calls, reportedly focused on two aides in particular, Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn, both of whom had established relationships with Russian businessmen and government officials.

The article goes on to concede that "It is unclear, however, whether Russian officials actually tried to directly influence Mr. Manafort and Mr. Flynn ," and that's about all there is to the tale, though the Times wanders on for another three pages, recapping Brennan and the Flynn saga lest anyone has forgotten. So what do we have? Russians were talking on the phone about the possibility of influencing an American's presidential candidate's advisers, an observation alluded to by Brennan and also revealed in somewhat more detail by anonymous sources. Pretty thin gruel, isn't it? Isn't that what diplomats and intelligence officers do?

It would appear that the New York Times ' editors are unaware that the United States routinely interferes in elections worldwide and that the action taken in various places including Ukraine goes far beyond phone conversations. In some other places like Libya, Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan the interference is particularly robust taking place at the point of a bayonet, but the Times and Washington Post don't appear to have any problem when the regime change is being accomplished ostensibly to make the world more democratic, even if it almost never has that result.

How one regards all of the dreck coming out of the Fourth Estate and poseurs like John Brennan pretty much depends on the extent one is willing to trust that what the government, its highly-politicized bureaucrats and the media tell the public is true. For me, that would be not a lot. The desire to bring down the buffoonish Donald Trump is understandable, but buying into government and media lies will only lead to more lies that have real consequences, up to and including the impending wars against North Korea and Iran. It is imperative that every American should question everything he or she reads in a newspaper, sees on television "news" or hears coming out of the mouths of former and current government employees.

RobinG , May 30, 2017 at 5:20 am GMT

Thanks for the reassurance, Phil. It's lonely standing against the tide, and many are trying to fabricate excuses for the lack of evidence.

Take Melvin Goodman, author of Whistleblower at the CIA, for instance. (I realize CIA is a big place, but did you know him?) I've met Mr. Goodman, and he struck me as thoughtful, rational and capable of objective discussion. However, in his talk at the Gaithersburg Book Festival, he seemed a rather different person. At the end of Q&A, he said that he was trying to figure out how the Russians had laundered the "hacked" DNC emails to make it look like they were leaked by an insider. He's sure the Russians did it. With such creative speculation, who needs facts?

The book, though, is probably pretty good. Which makes it that much stranger that he's taking the political line on the DNC emails!

https://www.c-span.org/video/?427995-3/whistleblower-cia

Melvin A. Goodman talked about his book, Whistleblower at the CIA: An Insider's Account of the Politics of Intelligence.

animalogic , May 30, 2017 at 5:32 am GMT

Ah, another day, another disgraceful display by the media. Incidentally: "The "discussions," which are presumably NSA intercepts of phone calls, reportedly ."

"Presumably" here is quite generous: I'd be tempted to presume a whole string of lies .

Anon , May 30, 2017 at 5:51 am GMT

US is now like USSR? https://pjmedia.com/rogerlsimon/2017/05/29/forget-russian-collusion-we-are-russia/

The Alarmist , May 30, 2017 at 5:54 am GMT

It's like climate change: The MSM tells us that 17 intelligence agencies agree that the Russians hacked the election and thereby influenced it, but when you dig a little you find that NSA, for example, did not express a high degree of confidence that this might have actually been the case. Nevertheless, the case is settled. Pravda and Izvestia should have been so convinced in their day.

exiled off mainstreet , May 30, 2017 at 6:15 am GMT

The end result of Brennan's fulminations likely is nuclear war, since he seems to consider even contact with the Russians treasonous. His view is both fascist and nihilist and treasonous to civilization itself and a threat to our survival.

jilles dykstra , May 30, 2017 at 8:00 am GMT

It all seems quite simple to me. After WWI the USA people decided that their sons should not die ever more for imperialism. Isolation, neutrality laws. In 1932 Roosevelt was brought into politics to make the USA great, great as the country controlling the world. Trump and his rich friends understand that this policy is not just ruining the USA, but is ruining them personally. If I'm right in this, it is the greatest change in USA foreign policy since 1932.

Of course those, their mouth pieces Washpost, CNN and NYT, who still want USA control of the world, have aligned their careers on this policy, do anything to get rid of Trump. As Russia is seen by them as the next country to be subjugated, any talk with this 'enemy' to them is high treason.

Russ , May 30, 2017 at 8:39 am GMT

Lisa Frank has recently (5/18/2017) written beautifully on the topic of Comey in the FBI: http://stateofthenation2012.com/?p=72788

Just as Ms. Frank dissects Comey's background and motivations, so a similar dissection is now in order for Mr. Brennan.

LauraMR , May 30, 2017 at 9:32 am GMT

@exiled off mainstreet The end result of Brennan's fulminations likely is nuclear war, since he seems to consider even contact with the Russians treasonous. His view is both fascist and nihilist and treasonous to civilization itself and a threat to our survival.

Is he an Anglo-Zionist? I kind of missed a reference to the true puppet-masters in the article

Renoman , May 30, 2017 at 10:08 am GMT

I'll say it again "what has Russia ever done to the USA"? The answer is Nothing!

mp , May 30, 2017 at 10:30 am GMT

Is someone going to look in to how the Izzys influence our politicians and elections? No. Why? Because Russia is the "enemy" and Israel is our "ally." Can someone explain in simple terms why Russia is the enemy? Yes. Because Jews don't like them very much. Can someone explain in simple terms why Israel is our ally? Because of New York City, Hollywood, CNN, Fox, MSNBC, CBS and NBC, the major newspapers, Wall Street, porn, military subsidies, dual citizenship, etc. And because every president just can't wait to wear the beanie and genuflect at some wall. Any other questions?

Tom Welsh , May 30, 2017 at 10:52 am GMT

" One might well consider that at the time and even to this day Russia was not and is not a declared enemy of the United States and meeting Russians is not a criminal offense".

Although in point of fact the USA has committed, and continues to commit, acts of war against Russia.

Tom Welsh , May 30, 2017 at 10:53 am GMT

@Renoman "[W]hat has Russia ever done to the USA"?

Er, supported the US government during the American Civil War? Given it Alaska for a token payment? Won WW2 for it?

RealAmerican , May 30, 2017 at 11:23 am GMT

How many congressmen and other politicians in Washington are already suborned by AIPAC? Is that not AIPAC's raison d'etre ?

DanCT , May 30, 2017 at 11:33 am GMT

"Because of New York City, Hollywood, CNN, Fox, MSNBC, CBS and NBC, the major newspapers, Wall Street, porn, military subsidies, dual citizenship, etc. "

Let's not forget 911 and it's ongoing coverup, the State Dept's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs exemplifying our bestest ally's parallel command and control apparatus in every federal agency such as the FBI, etc

Wizard of Oz , May 30, 2017 at 12:30 pm GMT

The only problem I have with the article is understanding the vehemence with which Brennan and Morell are denounced for, as I read it, blathering about unwitting agents who might have co-operated without knowing it. I construed the objection to be based on a foreign intelligence service necessarily seeking to "direct" its agents. It would indeed follow that the agents could not help knowing what they were doing. However .

Is there not a category of people who Brennan and Morell might be referring to who could be aptly described as useful idiots. You meet them at a writer's festival, invite them to accept your country's generous and admiring hospitality and soon have them spouting the memes you have made sure they are fed as well inadvertently feeding you useful titbits of information, especially about people.

alexander , May 30, 2017 at 12:31 pm GMT

@Tom Welsh

I think something fascinating is going on, Tom. Our leaders made a choice to defraud us into the Iraq war. Russia didn't. This is a very serious crime for which there has been zero accountability. It seems that all the various people who should be in federal prison for having done this, are the one's "braying the loudest" about the Russian threat.

The real crisis in our country is the absence of accountability for the heinous crimes THEY committed, not anything the Russians did. If we allow acts of "war fraud" to go unprosecuted, then War Fraud becomes acceptable behavior. I do not know of one American, anywhere, who feels this is okay.

Do you ?

Andrei Martyanov , Website May 30, 2017 at 12:50 pm GMT

Nor has any evidence been produced to support the claim that it was Russia that hacked the Democratic National Committee (DNC) server

It doesn't matter. Mr. Clapper finally found the answer to this 1 billion dollar question why US is suffering in his NBC interview -- it is because Russians are untermensch. Russian genetics is wrong and we all were so sweating and suffering over this whole mess., while the answer was so close, on the surface.

"If you put that in context with everything else we knew the Russians were doing to interfere with the election, and just the historical practices of the Russians, who typically, almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique. So we were concerned."

http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/james-clapper-trump-russia-ties-my-dashboard-warning-light-was-n765601

Agent76 , May 30, 2017 at 1:19 pm GMT

I know some others actually know you cannot believe spies. Some on the other hand so not.

Mar 22, 2017 How the CIA Plants News Stories in the Media. It is no longer disputed that the CIA has maintained an extensive and ongoing relationship with news organizations and journalists, and multiple, specific acts of media manipulation have now been documented.

August 30, 2015 THE CIA AND THE MEDIA: 50 FACTS THE WORLD NEEDS TO KNOW By Prof. James F. Tracy

Since the end of World War Two the Central Intelligence Agency has been a major force in US and foreign news media, exerting considerable influence over what the public sees, hears and reads on a regular basis.

https://www.intellihub.com/the-cia-and-the-media-50-facts-the-world-needs-to-know-2/ 

Tom Welsh , May 30, 2017 at 1:53 pm GMT

@alexander Alexander, I definitely don't think it's OK, but I am not American – I am British (Scottish, to be exact). Although we have exactly the same problem over here – in miniature – with our local pocket Hitlers strutting around in their jackboots just salivating for the blood of foreigners.

I think the people who are braying about Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, etc. are doing so largely to distract attention from their own crimes. The following celebrated dialogue explains very clearly how it works.

-------------------------------------–
We got around to the subject of war again and I said that, contrary to his attitude, I did not think that the common people are very thankful for leaders who bring them war and destruction.

"Why, of course, the people don't want war," Goering shrugged. "Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship."

"There is one difference," I pointed out. "In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars."

"Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

- Conversation with Hermann Goering in prison, reported by Gustave Gilbert

jilles dykstra , May 30, 2017 at 2:23 pm GMT

@Tom Welsh I suppose the story is meant to show that Goering wanted war. The opposite is true, he sent the Swedish negotiator Dahlerus several times to London in his plane, taking himself care, telephoning with the Dutch authorities, that the Junckers could fly safely over the Netherlands. What Goering did not know was that Britain had been preparing for war at least since 1936. The march 1939 guarantee to Poland was meant to provoke Hitler to attack Poland. The trap worked.

jilles dykstra , May 30, 2017 at 2:29 pm GMT

@Agent76 That even Senator Moynihan, of the CIA Oversight Committee, was lied to by the CIA director, about laying mines in Havana harbour, says enough. The CIA is not a secret service, it is a secret army. This secret army began drugs production in Afghanistan, mainly for the USA market, when funds for the CIA's war in Afghanistan were insufficient.

Agent76 , May 30, 2017 at 2:32 pm GMT

This CIA director? May 19, 2010 Obama advisor John Brennan speaks about the beauty of Islam

jilles dykstra , May 30, 2017 at 2:34 pm GMT

@alexander It is.
After an investigation of some seven years the lies of Tony Blair were exposed, in a report of considerable size. What happened ? Nothing. Instead of being in jail, the man flies aroud in a private jet, with an enormous income, paid by whom for what, I do not have a clue.

Agent76 , May 30, 2017 at 2:43 pm GMT

Dec 12, 2016 Georgia Official Says Homeland Security Tried To Hack Their State's Voter Database

While most of the country frets over Russia's role in the 2016 election, the state of Georgia has come forward saying that they've traced an IP from a hack of their voter database right back to the offices of the Department of Homeland Security. Apparently we need to focus on protecting our vote from our own government.

annamaria , May 30, 2017 at 2:50 pm GMT

@exiled off mainstreet

The end result of Brennan's fulminations likely is nuclear war, since he seems to consider even contact with the Russians treasonous. His view is both fascist and nihilist and treasonous to civilization itself and a threat to our survival. Brennan is just a regular profiteering opportunist. Someone needs to remind the scoundrel that the civil war in Ukraine (initiated by an illegal Kievan junta sponsored and installed by the US), had started immediately upon Brennan's arrival to Kiev in 2014. He tried to make the visit secret but this did not work and Brennan's presence in Ukraine became widely known: https://sputniknews.com/world/20140415189240842-ANALYSIS-CIA-Director-Brennans-Trip-to-Ukraine-Initiates-Use-Of/

"CIA Director John Brennan visited Ukraine over the weekend, information that was confirmed by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Monday, after being reported by media on Sunday.

Over the same weekend, Kiev authorities cracked down on pro-federalization protests in eastern Ukraine. Regime troops advanced toward a number of cities in eastern Ukraine Tuesday to attack the protesters. "Brennan's appearance in Kiev just before the announcement of a violent crackdown in eastern Ukraine is just too timely to assume that it is a coincidence," Turbeville [an American international affairs expert] said.

"Brennan, who has been actively involved in arming insurgents in Libya, Syria and Venezuela, has a reputation for using thuggish tactics in pursuit of CIA goals," Wayne Madsen, an American investigative journalist told RIA Novosti."

This is a fact showing the US' direct meddling in the affairs of another state and in creating a war on a border with Russian federation. Brennan has been so much immersed in lies and politicking and war crimes that it is impossible to expect any decent reasoning from this miserable opportunist.

alexander , May 30, 2017 at 2:58 pm GMT

@Tom Welsh Excellent quote, Tom.

.And so true.

Agent76 , May 30, 2017 at 3:08 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra

Unfortunately for you and myself there are literally millions of people in America who do not think or challenge what they read or view as we do apparently. Thanks, *government schooling* .

Mar 6, 2017 Drug Boss Escobar Worked for the CIA

The notorious cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar worked closely with the CIA, according to his son. In this episode of The Geopolitical Report, we look at the long history of CIA involvement in the international narcotics trade, beginning with its collaboration with the French Mafia to using drug money to illegally fund the Contras and overthrow the Sandinista government in Nicaragua.

Tom Welsh , May 30, 2017 at 3:29 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra

I suppose the story is meant to show that Goering wanted war. The opposite is true, he sent the Swedish negotiator Dahlerus several times to London in his plane, taking himself care, telephoning with the Dutch authorities, that the Junckers could fly safely over the Netherlands. What Goering did not know was that Britain had been preparing for war at least since 1936. The march 1939 guarantee to Poland was meant to provoke Hitler to attack Poland. The trap worked.

What Goering did say – cogently and precisely – is that, regardless of the form of government, the people can always be quite easily stirred up to want war. The key sentence is this: "All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger". That is exactly what the US, UK and European governments have been doing for years to justify their terrorist scares and their wars of aggression. And Goering was absolutely right to point out that it works just the same in democracies (or "democracies") as under dictatorships.

As for your point about Britain having deliberately fomented the war, I don't think that holds water. Britain was grossly – almost grotesquely – underarmed in 1939, and came very close indeed to being conquered in 1940. In my view, it was FDR and his friends who assiduously wound up the Nazis and the Poles to fight one another, and then persuaded the British and French to give Poland guarantees. Everyone believed that, if war came, the USA would immediately join Britain and France in fighting Germany. Alas, they were very much mistaken.

Tom Welsh , May 30, 2017 at 3:31 pm GMT

@Agent76 "

"Apparently we need to focus on protecting our vote from our own government". I very much doubt if the Deep State needs to resort to such small-scale and easily-detected trickery to retain control. As Philip Berrigan pointed out long ago, "If voting made any difference, it would be illegal".

Agent76 , May 30, 2017 at 3:57 pm GMT

@Tom Welsh Well, another ruler also stated this, "Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed." Joseph Stalin

Rurik , Website May 30, 2017 at 4:06 pm GMT

@annamaria

Brennan is just a regular profiteering opportunist. Someone needs to remind the scoundrel that the civil war in Ukraine (initiated by an illegal Kievan junta sponsored and installed by the US), had started immediately upon Brennan's arrival to Kiev in 2014. He tried to make the visit secret but this did not work and Brennan's presence in Ukraine became widely known: https://sputniknews.com/world/20140415189240842-ANALYSIS-CIA-Director-Brennans-Trip-to-Ukraine-Initiates-Use-Of/
"CIA Director John Brennan visited Ukraine over the weekend, information that was confirmed by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Monday, after being reported by media on Sunday.
Over the same weekend, Kiev authorities cracked down on pro-federalization protests in eastern Ukraine. Regime troops advanced toward a number of cities in eastern Ukraine Tuesday to attack the protesters. "Brennan's appearance in Kiev just before the announcement of a violent crackdown in eastern Ukraine is just too timely to assume that it is a coincidence," Turbeville [an American international affairs expert] said.
"Brennan, who has been actively involved in arming insurgents in Libya, Syria and Venezuela, has a reputation for using thuggish tactics in pursuit of CIA goals," Wayne Madsen, an American investigative journalist told RIA Novosti."
This is a fact showing the US' direct meddling in the affairs of another state and in creating a war on a border with Russian federation. Brennan has been so much immersed in lies and politicking and war crimes that it is impossible to expect any decent reasoning from this miserable opportunist.

the civil war in Ukraine (initiated by an illegal Kievan junta sponsored and installed by the US), had started immediately upon Brennan's arrival to Kiev in 2014

I wouldn't so much call it a civil war, as a ZUSA imposed putsch, installing a Zio-bankster-quisling.

PG:

the United States routinely interferes in elections worldwide and that the action taken in various places including Ukraine goes far beyond phone conversations.

getting to the crux of the matter

when Russia released the phone conversation where ZUS State Dept. – Kagan klan / Zio-bitch Nuland was overheard deciding who was going to be the next president of Ukraine (some democracy), it was this breach of global oligarch protocol that has riled the deepstate Zio-war-scum ever since. Hence all the screeching and hysterics about "Russian hacking".

The thug Brennan, (as you correctly call him [imagine this mug coming into the room as you're about to be 'enhanced interrogated'])

http://www.frontpagemag.com/sites/default/files/uploads/2015/03/John_Brennan.jpg

has his fingerprints not just all over the war crimes and atrocities in Ukraine, but Syria and elsewhere too.

All these war criminals are all scrambling to undermine Trump in the fear that he'll eventually hold some of them accountable for their serial crimes, treasons, and treachery. Which brings us to this curious comment..

The desire to bring down the buffoonish Donald Trump is understandable,

what the hell does Mr. G think will replace him?!

So far the "buffoonish Donald Trump" has not declared a no-fly zone in Syria, as we know the war sow would have by now. He's not materially harmed the Assad regime, but only made symbolic attempts to presumably mollify the war pigs like McBloodstain and co in the zio-media/AIPAC/etc..

His rhetoric notwithstanding, he seems to be making nice with the Russians, to the apoplectic hysteria of people like Brennan and the Stain.

In fact the more people like Brennan and Bloodstain and the zio-media and others seem on the brink of madness, the better Trump seems to me every day.

And if it puts a smelly sock in the mouths of the neocons and war pigs to saber rattle at Iran, with no possibility to actually do them any harm, because of the treaty and Europe's need to respect it, then what's the harm of Trump sounding a little buffoonish if it gets them off his back so that he can circle himself with a Pretorian guard of loyalists and get to the bottom of all of this. I suspect that is what terrifies people like Brennan more than anything else.

[Dec 22, 2017] The way I see it "an ocean of blood" in Iraq was unleashed following US invasion, and it included plenty of American blood. Young healthy American men lost their lifes in Iraq, lost their their bodyparts (arms, legs, their nuts), lost their sanity, and as an American I can't imagine that you were pleased about that.

Dec 22, 2017 | www.unz.com

Felix Keverich , December 18, 2017 at 6:11 pm GMT

@Art Deco The way I see it "an ocean of blood" in Iraq was unleashed following US invasion, and it included plenty of American blood. Young healthy American men lost their lifes in Iraq, lost their their bodyparts (arms, legs, their nuts), lost their sanity, and as an American I can't imagine that you were pleased about that. Certainly, most of your countrymen didn't feel this way, they didn't feel this war was worth it for the US.
Randal , December 18, 2017 at 6:13 pm GMT
@Art Deco

We had no treaty commitments with either Serbia or Iraq

The treaty commitment in question was with almost the entire rest of the world, namely when your country entirely voluntarily signed up to a commitment to "refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state". If your country had retained the slightest trace of integrity and self-respect it would at least have had the decency to withdraw from membership of the the UN when it chose to breach those treaty commitments.

And if anything Americans make their own shamelessness worse when they fabricate imaginary pretexts for weaselling out of their country's commitment, such as a wholly imaginary entitlement for them to decide for themselves when there is a "humanitarian" justification for doing so, or make up wholesale fantasy allegations about "weapons of mass destruction" that even if true wouldn't justify war.

An entire nation state behaving like a lying '60s hippy or a shamelessly dishonest aggressor.

I'm sure you're proud.

and both places had it coming.

A straightforward confession of lawless rogue state behaviour, basically.

Do you actually think somehow you are improving your country's position with such arguments? Better for a real American patriot to just stop digging and keep sheepishly quiet about the past three decades of foreign policy.

Felix Keverich , December 18, 2017 at 6:15 pm GMT
@reiner Tor The fact is neither did Crimeans really want to join Russia (polls didn't show that), and yet our re-unification has been a huge success! I honestly can't think of good reason, why we can't go futher.
Mr. XYZ , December 18, 2017 at 6:20 pm GMT
: Would Russia have been interested in joining both the E.U. and NATO?
Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 6:27 pm GMT
@reiner Tor Neither apply.
Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 6:30 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich "an ocean of blood" in Iraq was unleashed following US invasion,

By various and sundry Sunni insurgents, who continue to distort and disfigure life in the provinces where they have a critical mass of the population. The Kurdish and Shia provinces are quiet.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 6:32 pm GMT
@Randal Do you actually think somehow you are improving your country's position with such arguments?

Depends on the degree to which my interlocutor lives in a bubble breathing in the air of his own mephitic resentments.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 6:34 pm GMT
And if anything Americans make their own shamelessness worse when they fabricate imaginary pretexts

There were no imaginary pretexts. You need to get out more.

Randal , December 18, 2017 at 6:38 pm GMT
@Swedish Family

Another possibility is that the change since 2014 is rather the result of more anti-American reporting in Russia's state-owned media.

There seems no evident reason to look for another explanation for the drops in pro-American sentiment. They seem eminently justified by the US's behaviour over the period 1990-date and perfectly unsurprising.

What needs to be explained is not the sustained low opinion after 2014 but rather the remarkable recoveries after 1999, 2003 and 2008.

In the west, opinion of the US was managed upwards with the Obama presidency because he fitted so well with US sphere establishment antiracist and leftist dogmas that he had almost universally positive (even hagiographic) mainstream media coverage throughout the US sphere, but with Trump opinions of the US are mostly back down where Bush II left them. It seems unlikely the Russian media would have been as sycophantically pro-Obama merely for his blackness and Democrat-ness, though, and of course he wasn't around anyway in 2000 and in 2004.

It's understandable that following a particular instance of particularly bad US behaviour (such as Kosovo or Iraq) opinion of the US in US sphere states would dip dramatically (as it did, mostly) and then recover slowly to roughly its long term mean, because those crimes were not directed against the interests of US sphere states or elites. But they very much were targeted at Russia or its interests and disadvantageous to Russia and its global status. Russians had few excuses for failing to see that the US was an implacable and dangerous enemy from at least Kosovo onward, and yet they repeatedly chose to pretend to themselves that it wasn't.

Mitleser , December 18, 2017 at 6:39 pm GMT
@Swedish Family

This would mean, as I suspect, that the pendulum will swing back once the Kremlin loosens its tight grip of the media.

Why are you assuming that the pendulum would swing back?
The Kremlin is still playing nice with Western "partners".
The alternative does not have to be more pro-American.

Felix Keverich , December 18, 2017 at 6:40 pm GMT
@Art Deco As I recall the Sunnies and Shias killed and disfigured American servicemen together, which caused Americans to elect Obama and run away from the country. And now these Shia communities vote for pro-Iran politicians, who gradually turn Iraq into Iranian puppet -- is this why American soldiers died?

C'mon, Iraq invasion was a disaster for the US whichever way you look at it. That's what happens when you start a war for the wrong reasons.

inertial , December 18, 2017 at 6:45 pm GMT
@reiner Tor Correction. It's the elites that don't want to join Russia. And the reason they don't is because the West gives them goodies for being anti-Russian. This kind of strategy worked pretty well so far (for the West) in Eastern Europe and it will continue to work for some time yet. But not forever, not in Ukraine and Belorussia.

That's because the population of these places is Russian (no matter what they were taught to call themselves by the Commies.) Their culture is Russian. The rulers of Ukraine and, to a much lesser degree, Belorussia are trying to erect cultural barriers between themselves and Russia. Good luck with that, in the 21st century. It's more likely the culture will further homogenize, as is the trend anywhere in the world. Eventually it will tell.

Now, the question is if Russians will even want Ukraine back. This is not so clear.

reiner Tor , December 18, 2017 at 6:45 pm GMT
@Art Deco They do.
Mitleser , December 18, 2017 at 6:47 pm GMT
@Mr. XYZ

Would Russia have been interested in joining both the E.U. and NATO?

Integration into West is what Russians wanted.

An example

IF RUSSIA HAD THE CHANCE TO BECOME A FULL MEMBER OF THE EUROPEAN UNION NOW, WOULD YOU BE FOR OR AGAINST THIS? (N=800)

08/2009:
For: 53%
Against: 21%
Difficult to say: 27%

https://www.levada.ru/en/2016/06/10/russia-s-friends-and-enemies-2/

German_reader , December 18, 2017 at 6:52 pm GMT
@Art Deco That's just dumb. The reasons officially given for the invasion of Iraq in 2003 -- Saddam's regime hiding weapons of mass destruction and being an intolerable threat to the outside world -- were a transparently false pretext for war, and that was clearly discernible at the time. Saddam's regime was extremely brutal and increasingly Islamic or even Islamist in character, but by 2003 it wasn't a serious threat to anyone outside Iraq anymore the worst thing it did was send money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers (bad, but hardly an existential threat). Admittedly there was the question how to deal with his regime in coming years, whether to eventually relax sanctions or to keep them in place for the foreseeable future. But there was no urgent need to invade Iraq that was purely a war of choice which the US started in a demented attempt at reshaping the region according to its own preferences. If you don't understand why many people find that rather questionable, it's you who needs to get out more.
Mitleser , December 18, 2017 at 6:56 pm GMT
@Randal

What needs to be explained is not the sustained low opinion after 2014 but rather the remarkable recoveries after 1999, 2003 and 2008.

Yugoslavia and Iraq were not that close to Russia and Russian elite was still pushing for Integration into West at that time. After 2008, "Reset" and Obama happened.

It seems unlikely the Russian media would have been as sycophantically pro-Obama merely for his blackness and Democrat-ness, though, and of course he wasn't around anyway in 2000 and in 2004.

Keep in mind that Obama's opponent in 2008 was McCain, that McCain.
Just like Trump, Obama seemed like the lesser evil and not to blame for previous conflicts.

reiner Tor , December 18, 2017 at 7:04 pm GMT
@Art Deco Hungary joined NATO a few days (weeks? can't remember) before the start of the Kosovo-related bombardment of Serbia. I attended university in a city in the south of Hungary, close to the Serbian border. I could see the NATO planes flying by above us every night when going home from a bar or club (both of which I frequented a lot).

I was a staunch Atlanticist at the time, and I believed all the propaganda about the supposed genocide which later turned out not to have gone through the formality of actually taking place. But it was never properly reported as the scandal it was -- it was claimed that the Serbs were murdering tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of Kosovo Albanians, but it never happened. They might have killed a few hundred, at worst a few thousand civilians, but that's different from what the propaganda claimed at the time. I only found out that there was no genocide of Albanians in Kosovo when I searched the internet for it some time after the Iraq invasion. By that time I was no longer an Atlanticist. Most people are totally unaware that there was any lying going on while selling us the war.

reiner Tor , December 18, 2017 at 7:12 pm GMT
@German_reader

and that was clearly discernible at the time

Yes. It was the thing which opened my eyes and made me question some previous policies, especially the bombardment of Serbia. I wasn't any longer comfortable of being in NATO, especially since it started to get obvious that Hungarian elites (at least the leftists among them) used our membership to dismantle our military and use the savings on handouts for their electorate, or -- worse -- outright steal it. While it increasingly looked like NATO wasn't really protecting our interests, since our enemies were mostly our neighbors (some of them). This kind of false safety didn't feel alright.

German_reader , December 18, 2017 at 7:34 pm GMT
@reiner Tor "Yes. It was the thing which opened my eyes"

Same for me. I was 15 during the Kosovo war and believed NATO's narrative, couldn't understand how anybody could be against the war, given previous Serb atrocities during the Bosnian war it seemed to make sense. And after 9/11 I was very pro-US, e.g. I argued vehemently with a stupid leftie teacher who was against the Afghanistan war (and I still believe that war was justified, so I don't think I'm just some mindless anti-American fool). But Iraq was just too much, too much obvious lying and those lies were so stupid it was hard not to feel that there was something deeply wrong with a large part of the American public if they were gullible enough to believe such nonsense. At least for me it was a real turning point in the evolution of my political views.

AP , December 18, 2017 at 7:45 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

Russians know more about these things than you do. The vast majority of us do not regard Belarus and Ukraine as part of "заграница" -- foreign countries. Ukrainians and in particular Belorussians are simply variants of us, just like regional differences exist between the Russians in Siberia and Kuban'.

The last two sentences contradict the first.

Russians tend to be rather ignorant of Ukrainians, and you are no different.

DFH , December 18, 2017 at 7:45 pm GMT
@Mitleser Western Europe, with the best will in the world, doesn't need more Slav/Muslim immigrants. Europeans would have never agreed to it.
reiner Tor , December 18, 2017 at 7:48 pm GMT
@German_reader

Afghanistan war (and I still believe that war was justified

Destroying the Taliban government, yes. Building "democracy" is just stupid, though. They should've quickly left after the initial victory and let the Afghans to just eat each other with Stroganoff sauce if they so wished. It's not our business.

Darin , December 18, 2017 at 7:53 pm GMT
@inertial

That's because the population of these places is Russian (no matter what they were taught to call themselves by the Commies.) Their culture is Russian.

This is for them to decide, not for you.

It's more likely the culture will further homogenize, as is the trend anywhere in the world.

Yeah, the culture homogenizes around the world, into global Hollywood corporate culture. In the long there, "traditional Russian culture" is as doomed as "traditional Ukrainian culture" and "traditional American culture" if there is anything left of it.

AP , December 18, 2017 at 7:56 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

The fact is neither did Crimeans really want to join Russia (polls didn't show that)

Nonsense, Mr. Clueless-About-Ukraine:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimean_status_referendum,_2014#Polling

Polling by the Razumkov Centre in 2008 found that 63.8% of Crimeans (76% of Russians, 55% of Ukrainians, and 14% of Crimean Tatars, respectively) would like Crimea to secede from Ukraine and join Russia and 53.8% would like to preserve its current status, but with expanded powers and rights . A poll by the International Republican Institute in May 2013 found that 53% wanted "Autonomy in Ukraine (as today)", 12% were for "Crimean Tatar autonomy within Ukraine", 2% for "Common oblast of Ukraine" and 23% voted for "Crimea should be separated and given to Russia".

The takeaway is that Crimeans were satisfied being part of Ukraine as long as Ukraine had an ethnic Russian, generally pro-Russian president like Yanukovich in charge (2013 poll), but preferred being part of Russia to being part of a Ukrainian state run by Ukrainians (2008 poll, post-Maidan).

German_reader , December 18, 2017 at 7:56 pm GMT
@reiner Tor Totally agree, there should just have been a quick punitive expedition, trying to "fix" Afghanistan is pointless.
AP , December 18, 2017 at 7:59 pm GMT
@inertial

That's because the population of these places is Russian (no matter what they were taught to call themselves by the Commies.) Their culture is Russian.

Believer of Russian nationalist fairytales tells Russian nationalist fairytales. You managed to fit 3 of them into 2 sentences, good job.

Mitleser , December 18, 2017 at 8:05 pm GMT
@DFH Oh, Western Europe does not mind Slav/Muslim immigrants.
In fact, they love them.
They would not have agreed for other reasons without admitting them in public.
Randal , December 18, 2017 at 8:07 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

As I recall the Sunnies and Shias killed and disfigured American servicemen together,

The amusing thing is that American apologists for their country's military interventionism like Art Deco more usually spend their time heaping all the blame on Iran and the Shia. As well as internet opinionators, that incudes some of the most senior US military figures like obsessively anti-Iranian SecDef James Mattis:

James Mattis' 33-Year Grudge Against Iran

That's something that ought to seriously concern anyone with a rational view of world affairs.

which caused Americans to elect Obama and run away from the country.

In fact the Americans had already admitted defeat and agreed to pull out before Obama took office. Bush II signed the withdrawal agreement on 14th December 2008. After that, US forces in Iraq were arguably no longer occupiers and were de jure as well as de facto present on the sufferance of the Iraqi government. The US regime had clearly hoped to have an Iraqi collaboration government for the long term, as a base from which to attack Iran, but the long Iraqi sunni and shia resistances scuppered that idea. The sunnis had fought hard, but were mostly defeated and many of them ended up collaborating with the US occupiers, as indeed had much of the shia, for entirely understandable reasons in both cases.

Military occupations are morally complicated like that.

Felix Keverich , December 18, 2017 at 8:07 pm GMT
@AP I was referring specifically to Russian attitudes about Ukrainians. I know that among Ukrainians themselves, there is quite the confusion on this subject.
Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 8:09 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich As I recall the Sunnies and Shias killed and disfigured American servicemen together, which caused Americans to elect Obama and run away from the country. And now these Shia communities vote for pro-Iran politicians, who gradually turn Iraq into Iranian puppet -- is this why American soldiers died?

Your memory is bad. The three Kurdish provinces never suffered much. Political violence in the Shia provinces was finally suppressed over a series of months in late 2007 and early 2008. It was also contained to a degree in the six provinces with Sunnis. And that is how matters remained for six years. ISIS was active in those provinces which have had public order problems consistently since 2003.

Iran has influence in Iraq. It is an 'Iranian' puppet only when unzdwellers require rhetorical flourishes.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 8:11 pm GMT
@Randal In fact the Americans had already admitted defeat

Were we defeated, Iraq would be ruled by the Ba'ath Party or networks of Sunni tribesman. It is not. This isn't that difficult Randal.

Randal , December 18, 2017 at 8:15 pm GMT
@Mitleser Fair points, though you seem to concede to the Russian elites a significant degree of competence at managing public opinion, in 2000 and in 2004.

I was under the impression that Putin personally was still quite naïve about the US even after Kosovo, which partly accounts for his rather desperately helpful approach after 9/11, though not so much after Iraq.

But I have been told by Russians who ought to have some knowledge of these things that Putin and the wider regime were not so naïve even back in the late 1990s, so the case can be made both ways.

AP , December 18, 2017 at 8:16 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

reclaiming Belarus and Ukraine is absolutely essential to have a country, we could all proudly call 'home' -- an actual Russian nation-state.

In which 25 million or so Ukrainians actively resist you, and another 5 million or so Ukrainians plus a few million Belarusians nonviolently resent your rule. You will reduce the cities or parts of them to something like Aleppo, and rebuild them (perhaps with coerced local labor) while under a sanctions regime. Obviously there will have to be a militarized occupation regime and prison camps and a network of informants. A proud home.

Again, what really matters here is not the size of the country, it's that all the land that's historically Russian should be fully within the borders of this country.

Baltics were Russian longer than Ukraine. Central Poland became Russian at the same time as did half of Ukraine. According to the 1897 census, there were about as many Great Russian speakers in Kiev governate as in Warsaw. Take the Baltics and Warsaw back too?

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 8:17 pm GMT
@German_reader That's just dumb.

No, it's just an argument you're not used to having to answer.

The reasons officially given for the invasion of Iraq in 2003 -- Saddam's regime hiding weapons of mass destruction and being an intolerable threat to the outside world -- were a transparently false pretext for war, and that was clearly discernible at the time.

It was nothing of the kind. That was on the list of concerns Bush had. Bush's trilemmas don't go away just because Eurotrash strike poses and have impoverished imaginations.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 8:20 pm GMT
@reiner Tor I was a staunch Atlanticist at the time, and I believed all the propaganda about the supposed genocide

The concern at the time was that Serbia was beginning an ethnic cleansing operation contra the Albania population, but carry on.

inertial , December 18, 2017 at 8:20 pm GMT
@Darin This is for them to decide, not for you.

Yes, of course. Just don't assume they will decide the way you think.

Felix Keverich , December 18, 2017 at 8:21 pm GMT
@AP These polls vary greatly from time to time and depending on the group conducting them. These polls are meaningless : most ordinary people go about their daily lives never thinking about that kind of issues, when suddenly prompted by a pollster they give a meaningless answer.

I'm sure, support for reunification will go up in Belarus, if the Kremlin shows some leadership on this issue. We will find enough people willing to work with us, the rest will just have to accept the new reality and go about their daily lifes as usual.

The situation in Ukraine is different, it differs wildly by region and will require us to modify our approach.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 8:24 pm GMT
@German_reader US started in a demented attempt at reshaping the region according to its own preferences.

It did nothing of the kind. It ejected two governments for reasons of state. One we'd been a state of belligerency with for 12 years, the other was responsible for a gruesome casus belli. Now, having done that, we needed to put in place a new government. There was no better alternative means of so doing than electoral contests.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 8:26 pm GMT
@inertial Yes, of course. Just don't assume they will decide the way you think.

They've had ample opportunity over a period of 26 years to make the decision you favor. It hasn't happened, and there's no reason to fancy they'll be more amenable a decade from now.

Swedish Family , December 18, 2017 at 8:26 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

How do you see this happening? Why would the Kremlin give up its control of the media? These people are smart enough to understand that whoever controls the media controls public opinion.

They are indeed, but my assumption is that Russia's present elite is, for the most part, corruptible. Putin will be gone before 2024, and his successor will be under immense pressure -- carrot and stick -- to deregulate Russia's media landscape, which will make foreign money pour into Russian media outlets, which will in turn lead to more positive coverage and more positive views of the West. Only a few days ago, we learnt that Washington ruled out signing a non-interference agreement with Moscow since it would preclude Washington from meddling in Russia's internal affairs. What does this tell you about the Western elite's plan for Russia?

Randal , December 18, 2017 at 8:26 pm GMT
@Art Deco

Were we defeated, Iraq would be ruled by the Ba'ath Party or networks of Sunni tribesman. It is not. This isn't that difficult Randal.

Well this is an old chestnut that is really just an attempt to abuse definitions of victory and defeat on your part.

The US invasion of Iraq itself was initially a military success. It ended in complete military victory over the Iraqi regime and nation, the complete surrender of the Iraqi military and the occupation of the country.

However, the US regime's wider war aims were not achieved because they were unable to impose a collaboration government and use the country as a base for further projection of US power in the ME (primarily against Iran, on behalf of Israel), and the overall result of the war and the subsequent occupation was catastrophic for any honest assessment of American national interests (as opposed to the interests of the lobbies manipulating US regime policy). The costs were significant, the reputational damage was also significant, and the overall result was to replace a contained and essentially broken opponent with vigorous sunni jihadist forces together with a resurgent Iran unwilling to kowtow to the US as most ME states are.

So the best honest assessment is that the US was defeated in Iraq, despite an initial military victory.

Felix Keverich , December 18, 2017 at 8:32 pm GMT
@Randal

The amusing thing is that American apologists for their country's military interventionism like Art Deco more usually spend their time heaping all the blame on Iran and the Shia. As well as internet opinionators, that incudes some of the most senior US military figures like obsessively anti-Iranian SecDef James Mattis

I suspect the reason this happens is because ambitious American officers know that hating Iran (hating enemies of Israel in general) is what gets you promoted. It wasn't an accident that James Mattis was appointed Secretary of Defense -- he is Bill Kristol's favourite.

melanf , December 18, 2017 at 8:32 pm GMT
@Swedish Family

Another possibility is that the change since 2014 is rather the result of more anti-American reporting in Russia's state-owned media. This would mean, as I suspect, that the pendulum will swing back once the Kremlin loosens its tight grip of the media.

Definitely no
American propaganda (itself without the help of Putin) were able to convince the Russians that America is the enemy. Propaganda of Putin to this could add almost nothing.

Felix Keverich , December 18, 2017 at 8:38 pm GMT
@Art Deco US military is still butthurt over the Iran's support for Shia militias, targeting US troops during Iraq occupation. Clearly, the Shias hurt them a lot, and it was very unexpected for the US, because Americans actually brought Shias into power.
Mitleser , December 18, 2017 at 8:42 pm GMT
@Randal

Fair points, though you seem to concede to the Russian elites a significant degree of competence at managing public opinion, in 2000 and in 2004.

I am just taking into account that the early 00s were right after the 1990s when pro-Americanism was at its peak in Russia. Yugoslavia and Iraq were too distant too alienate the majority permanently.

I was under the impression that Putin personally was still quite naïve about the US even after Kosovo, which partly accounts for his rather desperately helpful approach after 9/11, though not so much after Iraq.

Why do you think did he suggest joining NATO as an option?
Not because NATO are "good guys", but because it would ensure that Russia has a voice that cannot be ignored. After all, the Kosovo War showed the limits of the UNSC and by extension of Russia's voice in the unipolar world.

melanf , December 18, 2017 at 8:43 pm GMT
@Mitleser

Integration into West is what Russians wanted.
An example
08/2009:

Since then, everything has changed

German_reader , December 18, 2017 at 8:44 pm GMT
@Art Deco Official justification for the Iraq war was concern about Iraq's supposedly hidden weapons of mass destruction which didn't exist in 2003. Your statement that this was merely one item "on the list of the concerns" Bush had, amounts to an admission that this was merely a pretext and that the real object of the war was a political reordering of the region according to US preferences (which of course backfired given that the Iraq war increased Iran's power and status).
Calling me "Eurotrash" oh well, I get it, US nationalists like you think you're the responsible adults dealing with a dangerous world, while ungrateful European pussies favor appeasement, are free riders on US benevolent hegemony etc. I've heard and read all that a thousand times before, it's all very unoriginal by now.
Randal , December 18, 2017 at 8:48 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

Destroying the Taliban government, yes. Building "democracy" is just stupid, though. They should've quickly left after the initial victory and let the Afghans to just eat each other with Stroganoff sauce if they so wished. It's not our business.

In fact destroying the Taliban government was both illegal and foolish (but the latter was by far the more important). It seems clear now the Taliban were quite willing to hand bin Laden over for trial in a third party country, and pretty clearly either had had no clue what he had been planning or were crapping themselves at what he had achieved. Bush declined that offer because he had an urgent political need to be seen to be kicking some foreign ass in order to appease American shame.

The illegality is not a particularly big deal in the case of Afghanistan because it's clear that in the post-9/11 context the US could easily have gotten UNSC authorisation for the attack and made it legal. Bush II deliberately declined to do so precisely in order to make the point that the US (in Americans' view) is above petty details of international law and its own treaty commitments. A rogue state, in other words.

But an attack on Afghanistan was unnecessary and foolish (for genuine American national interests, that is, not for the self-interested lobbies driving policy obviously), as the astronomical ongoing costs have demonstrated. A trial of bin Laden would have been highly informative (and some would argue that was why the US regime was not interested in such a thing), and would if nothing else have brought him out into the open. Yes, he would have had the opportunity to grandstand, but if the US were really such an innocent victim of unprovoked aggression why would the US have anything to fear from that? The whole world, pretty much, was on the US's side after 9/11.

The US could have treated terrorism as what it is, after 9/11 -- a criminal matter. It chose instead to make it a military matter, because that suited the various lobbies seeking to benefit from a more militarised and aggressive US foreign policy. The result of a US attack on the government of (most of) Afghanistan would always have been either a chaotic jihadi-riddled anarchy in Afghanistan worse than the Taliban-controlled regime that existed in 2001, or a US-backed regime trying to hold the lid down on the jihadists, that the US would have to prop up forever. And so indeed it came to pass.

Mitleser , December 18, 2017 at 8:51 pm GMT
@Swedish Family

Putin will be gone before 2024, and his successor will be under immense pressure -- carrot and stick -- to deregulate Russia's media landscape, which will make foreign money pour into Russian media outlets, which will in turn lead to more positive coverage and more positive views of the West.

There is no reason to assume that West will offer the Russian elite enough carrot to deregulate the Russian media order and the stick is just more reason not to do it and to retain control.

What does this tell you about the Western elite's plan for Russia?

And you think that people in Russian elite are not aware of it?

Felix Keverich , December 18, 2017 at 8:52 pm GMT
@AP

In which 25 million or so Ukrainians actively resist you, and another 5 million or so Ukrainians plus a few million Belarusians nonviolently resent your rule. You will reduce the cities or parts of them to something like Aleppo, and rebuild them (perhaps with coerced local labor) while under a sanctions regime.

This is a fantasy. Look, the effective size of Ukrainian army right now is around 70.000 -- does this look like a strong, united nation willing and able to defend itself?

On the left side of the Dnieper truly crazy svidomy types is a small minority -- they stand out from the crowd, can be easily identified and neutralised just like in Donbass. A typical Ukrainian nationalist east of Dnieper is a business owner, university educated white collar professional, a student, a journalist, "human rights activist" -- these are not the kind of individuals, who will engage in guerilla warfare, they will just flee (like they already fled from Donbass).

Swedish Family , December 18, 2017 at 8:59 pm GMT
@Randal

In the west, opinion of the US was managed upwards with the Obama presidency because he fitted so well with US sphere establishment antiracist and leftist dogmas that he had almost universally positive (even hagiographic) mainstream media coverage throughout the US sphere, but with Trump opinions of the US are mostly back down where Bush II left them.

I agree with most of this, but you leave out precisely why public opinion shifts. My, rather cynical, view is that media is by far the main driver in shifting public views, and so whoever gives the media marching orders is the Pied Piper here.

An example close to home was the consternation among some of my conservative friends over the events Charlottesville. They knew nothing about the American alt-right, and still less about the context of what happened that day, yet they still spoke of what a disgrace it was for Trump not to distance himself from these deplorables. This was, of course, fully the making of Swedish media. The 1996 Presidential Election campaign suggests that the Russian public is no less suggestible, and so does Russian (and Ukrainian) opinions on the crisis in the Donbass.

Andrei Martyanov , Website December 18, 2017 at 8:59 pm GMT
@German_reader

US nationalists like you

He is not US "nationalist". Agree with the rest of your post.

Andrei Martyanov , Website December 18, 2017 at 9:01 pm GMT

while the percentage of Russians with actively negative views emerged essentially out of nowhere

LOL!!

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 9:03 pm GMT
@Swedish Family ruled out signing a non-interference agreement with Moscow since it would preclude Washington from meddling in Russia's internal affairs. What does this tell you about the Western elite's plan for Russia?

It tells me the reporters are confused or you are. There is no 'agreement' that will prevent 'Russia' from 'meddling' in American political life or the converse. The utility of agreements is that they make understandings between nations more precise and incorporate triggers which provide signals to one party or the other as to when the deal is off.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 9:04 pm GMT
@Swedish Family Why would the Kremlin give up its control of the media?

Why do people give up 'control' of anything? Because they cannot be bothered anymore.

utu , December 18, 2017 at 9:07 pm GMT
@inertial Soviets and Soviet Union were always in awe of America. You could see it in "between-the-lines" of the texts of the so-called anti-imperialist, anti-American Soviet propaganda. It was about catching up with American in steel production and TV sets ownership and so on. American was the ultimate goal and people did not think of American as an enemy.

Then there is the fact that Bolsheviks and Soviet Union owed a lot to America though this knowledge was not commonly known. Perhaps one should take look at these hidden connections to see what was the real mechanism bending the plug being pulled off the USSR. There might be even an analogy to South Africa but that is another story.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 9:09 pm GMT
@German_reader Official justification for the Iraq war was concern about Iraq's supposedly hidden weapons of mass destruction

No, that's what you noticed in an amongst everything else being discussed by officials and in the papers at the time.

which didn't exist in 2003.

It's a reasonable inference the stockpiles were largely destroyed. To what extent they were able to ship stockpiles to co-operating third parties is not altogether certain. You know the stockpiles were largely destroyed because . we were occupying the country .

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 9:11 pm GMT
@German_reader , amounts to an admission that this was merely a pretext a

It amounts to no such thing. That you have three reasons for doing something does not render one of them a 'real' reason and the others artificial.

Sean , December 18, 2017 at 9:12 pm GMT
Two powerful countries beside one another are natural enemies, they can never be friends until one has been relegated by defeat. Britain and France were enemies until France became too weak to present a threat, then Britain's enemy was Germany (it still is, Brexit is another Dunkirk with the UK realising it cannot compete with Germany on the continent). Russia cannot be a friend of China against the US until Russia has been relegated in the way France has been. France has irrecoverably given up control of its currency, they are relegated to Germany's sidekick.

China is like Bitcoin. The smart money (Google) is going there. Received wisdom in the US keeps expecting China's economic growth to slow down but it isn't going to happen. When it becomes clear that the US is going to be overtaken, America will try and slow down China's economic growth, that will be Russia's opportunity.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 9:13 pm GMT
@German_reader given that the Iraq war increased Iran's power and status).

Do they have one more soldier at their command and one more piece of equipment because we had troops in Iraq?

reiner Tor , December 18, 2017 at 9:16 pm GMT
@Art Deco What stockpiles are you talking about?
Johann Ricke , December 18, 2017 at 9:19 pm GMT
@German_reader

Official justification for the Iraq war was concern about Iraq's supposedly hidden weapons of mass destruction which didn't exist in 2003.

It was one of many reasons. You don't set a guy on Death Row free just because one of the charges didn't stick. The biggest reason was Saddam's invasion of Kuwait, which should have resulted in his removal from power. We settled on a truce because George HW Bush did not want to pay the price, and the (mostly-Sunni) Arab coalition members did not want (1) a democracy in Iraq and (2) a Shiite-dominated Iraq. Bush's son ended up footing the political bill for that piece of unfinished business. The lesson is that you can delay paying the piper, but the bill always comes due.

Swedish Family , December 18, 2017 at 9:19 pm GMT
@melanf

American propaganda (itself without the help of Putin) were able to convince the Russians that America is the enemy. Propaganda of Putin to this could add almost nothing.

Being Russian, you would be in a better position than I am to comment on this, but the obvious counter to that line is who channeled this American propaganda to the Russian public and for what purpose? This article might hold the answer:

http://www.unz.com/tsaker/re-visiting-russian-counter-propaganda-methods/

reiner Tor , December 18, 2017 at 9:20 pm GMT
@Art Deco Well, they can now send troops to Syria on land.
Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 9:25 pm GMT
@German_reader Calling me "Eurotrash"

I didn't have you in particular in mind.

oh well, I get it, US nationalists like you think you're the responsible adults dealing with a dangerous world, while ungrateful European pussies favor appeasement, are free riders on US benevolent hegemony etc. I've heard and read all that a thousand times before, it's all very unoriginal by now.

No, I'm a fat middle aged man who thinks most of what people say on political topics is some species of self-congratulation. And a great deal of it is perverse. The two phenomena are symbiotic. And, of course, I'm unimpressed with kvetching foreigners. Kvetching Europeans might ask where is the evidence that they with their own skills and resources can improve some situation using methods which differ from those we have applied and kvetching Latin Americans can quit sticking the bill for their unhappy histories with Uncle Sam, and kvetching Arabs can at least take responsibility for something rather than projecting it on some wire-pulling other (Jews, Americans, conspiracy x).

Randal , December 18, 2017 at 9:26 pm GMT
@Art Deco

Do they have one more soldier at their command and one more piece of equipment because we had troops in Iraq?

Well, according to the likes of Mattis they certainly do. Have you never heard of the Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMU), a large faction of which reportedly swear allegiance directly to Khamenei.

Is that "victory" for you?

An of course they now have a direct land route to Hezbollah, to make it easier for them to assist that national defence militia to deter further Israeli attacks. That's something they never could have had when Saddam was in charge of Iraq.

Is that "victory" for you?

And they don't have to worry about their western neighbour invading them with US backing again.

Is that "victory" for you?

Mitleser , December 18, 2017 at 9:28 pm GMT
@reiner Tor And they can recruit more easily in post-Saddam Iraq.
AP , December 18, 2017 at 9:28 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

These polls vary greatly from time to time and depending on the group conducting them. These polls are meaningless: most ordinary people go about their daily lives never thinking about that kind of issues, when suddenly prompted by a pollster they give a meaningless answer.

So according to you when hundreds or thousands of people are asked a question they are not prepared for, their collective answer is meaningless and does not indicate their preference?

So it's a total coincidence that when Ukraine was ruled by Ukrainians most Crimeans preferred to join Russia, when Ukraine was ruled by a Russian, Crimeans were satisfied within Ukraine but when Ukrainian nationalists came to power Crimeans again preferred being part of Russia?

Are all political polls also meaningless according to you, or just ones that contradict your idealistic views?

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 9:29 pm GMT
@Sean Brexit is another Dunkirk with the UK realising it cannot compete with Germany on the continent).

No, it's an effort by the British public to reclaim for elected officials discretion which had been transferred to unaccountable microbes in Brussels.

Swedish Family , December 18, 2017 at 9:31 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

This is a fantasy. Look, the effective size of Ukrainian army right now is around 70.000 -- does this look like a strong, united nation willing and able to defend itself?

In fairness, the young Ukrainians I have spoken to avoid the "draft" mainly out of fear that they will be underequipped and used as cannon fodder. (I'm not sure "draft" is the word I'm looking for. My understanding is that they are temporarily exempt from military service if they study at university or have good jobs.)

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 9:36 pm GMT
@Randal Well, according to the likes of Mattis they certainly do. Have you never heard of the Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMU), a large faction of which reportedly swear allegiance directly to Khamenei.

You can get away with more by using the prefix 'there has even been speculation'/

An of course they now have a direct land route to Hezbollah, to make it easier for them to assist that national defence militia to deter further Israeli attacks. That's something they never could have had when Saddam was in charge of Iraq.

They've been supplying Hezbollah for 35 years.

And they don't have to worry about their western neighbour invading them with US backing again.

Their western neighbor never invaded them 'with U.S. backing'. During the latter half of the Iraq war, Iraq restored diplomatic relations with the United States and received some agricultural credits and other odds and ends.

Iran will be under threat from their western neighbor should they have something that neighbor wishes to forcibly seize.

Randal , December 18, 2017 at 9:38 pm GMT
@Johann Ricke

Bush's son ended up footing the political bill for that piece of unfinished business.

No, Bush II chose to invade Iraq entirely voluntarily. There was no good reason to do so, and the very good reasons why his father had sensibly chosen not to invade still largely applied (even more so in some cases, given Iraq's even weaker state).

The lesson is that you can delay paying the piper, but the bill always comes due.

This is of course self-serving fantasy. The Russians told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The Germans told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The French told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The Turks told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The sensible British told you there was no need to invade Iraq, but for some reason you preferred to listen to the words of the staring-eyed sycophant who happened to be Prime Minister at the time, instead.

More fool the Yanks. Most everyone else honest on the topic was giving you sensible advice. Bush II (whose incompetence is now generally accepted) chose to ignore that advice, and committed what is generally now regarded as the most egregious example of a foreign policy blunder since Vietnam at least, and probably since Suez, and will likely be taught as such around the world (including in the US, once the partisan apologists have given up trying to rationalise it) for generations to come.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 9:39 pm GMT
@Sean Received wisdom in the US keeps expecting China's economic growth to slow down but it isn't going to happen. When it becomes clear that the US is going to be overtaken, America will try and slow down China's economic growth, that will be Russia's opportunity.

https://www.amazon.com/MITI-Japanese-Miracle-Industrial-1925-1975/dp/0804712069

Whatever.

melanf , December 18, 2017 at 9:46 pm GMT
@Swedish Family

but the obvious counter to that line is who channeled this American propaganda to the Russian public and for what purpose?

It is known -- the minions of Putin translated into Russian language American (and European) propaganda, and putting it on the website http://inosmi.ru/ .
The Americans also try: there is a special "Radio Liberty" that 24-hour broadcasts (in Russian) hate speech against the Russian.
But it only speeds up the process (which will happen anyway) .

Swedish Family , December 18, 2017 at 9:50 pm GMT
@Art Deco

They've been supplying Hezbollah for 35 years.

Only by air.

For the last four years, Iran was shipping weapons and ammunition to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Hezbollah through an air route. This method allowed Israel to identify, track and target Iranian arms shipments to Hezbollah easily, as only few cargo airplanes land in Syrian airports every day.

However, now Israel will be incapable of identifying any Iranian shipment on the new ground route, as it will be used by thousands of Iraq and Syrian companies on daily basis in the upcoming months. Experts believe that this will give Hezbollah and the SAA a huge advantage over Israel and will allow Iran to increase its supplies to its allies.

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/12/httpssouthfrontorgfirst-iranian-military-convoy-enters-syria-through-land-route-from-iraq-reports.html

German_reader , December 18, 2017 at 9:51 pm GMT
@Art Deco US elites and media are constantly freaking out about some Iranian "empire" supposedly being created and threatening US allies in the mideast since you seem to put great trust in their credibility, shouldn't that concern you? Personally I think those fears are exaggerated, but how can it be denied that Iran's influence has increased a lot in recent years and that the removal of Saddam's regime facilitated that development? Iranian revolutionary guards and Iranian-backed Shia militias operate in Iraq, the Iraqi government maintains close ties to Iran, and Iran is also an active participant in the Syrian civil war would that have been conceivable like this before 2003?
Randal , December 18, 2017 at 9:52 pm GMT
@Mitleser

Why do you think did he suggest joining NATO as an option?
Not because NATO are "good guys", but because it would ensure that Russia has a voice that cannot be ignored. After all, the Kosovo War showed the limits of the UNSC and by extension of Russia's voice in the unipolar world.

Well you have to wonder if he was just trolling the Americans, or if he was really naïve enough to expect a serious response.

Sean , December 18, 2017 at 9:57 pm GMT
@Art Deco Lord Weinstock said Britain could be de-industrialised in the EU, and how right he was.
AP , December 18, 2017 at 10:12 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

This is a fantasy. Look, the effective size of Ukrainian army right now is around 70.000 -- does this look like a strong, united nation willing and able to defend itself?

It was about 50,000 in 2014, about 200,000-250,000 now.

Polish military has 105,000 personnel. Poland also not united or willing to defend itself?

On the left side of the Dnieper truly crazy svidomy types is a small minority -- they stand out from the crowd, can be easily identified and neutralised just like in Donbass

Avakov, Poroshenko's interior minister and sponsor of the neo-Nazi Azov battalion, in 2010 got 48% of the vote in Kharkiv's mayoral race in 2010 when he ran as the "Orange" candidate. In 2012 election about 30% of Kharkiv oblast voters chose nationalist candidates, vs. about 10% in Donetsk oblast. Vkontakte, a good source for judging youth attitudes, was split 50/50 between pro-Maidan and anti-Maidan in Kharkiv (IIRC it was 80/20 anti-Maidan winning in Donetsk). Kharkiv is just like Donbas, right?

A typical Ukrainian nationalist east of Dnieper is a business owner, university educated white collar professional, a student, a journalist, "human rights activist"

Football hooligans in these places are also Ukrainian nationalists. Azov battalion and Right Sector are both based in Eastern Ukraine.

Here is how Azov started:

The Azov Battalion has its roots in a group of Ultras of FC Metalist Kharkiv named "Sect 82″ (1982 is the year of the founding of the group).[18] "Sect 82″ was (at least until September 2013) allied with FC Spartak Moscow Ultras.[18] Late February 2014, during the 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine when a separatist movement was active in Kharkiv, "Sect 82″ occupied the Kharkiv Oblast regional administration building in Kharkiv and served as a local "self-defense"-force.[18] Soon, on the basis of "Sect 82″ there was formed a volunteer militia called "Eastern Corps".[18]

Here is Azov battalion commander-turned-Kiev oblast police chief, Kharkiv native Vadim Troyan:

Does he look like an intellectual to you? Before Maidan he was a cop.

these are not the kind of individuals, who will engage in guerilla warfare,

On the contrary, they will probably dig in while seeking cover in urban areas that they know well, where they have some significant support (as Donbas rebels did in Donetsk), forcing the Russian invaders to fight house to house and causing massive damage while fighting native boys such as Azov. About 1/3 of Kharkiv overall and 1/2 of its youth are nationalists. I wouldn't expect mass resistance by the Kharkiv population itself, but passive support for the rebels by many. Russia will then end up rebuilding a large city full of a resentful population that will remember its dead (same problem Kiev will face if it gets Donbas back). This scenario can be repeated for Odessa. Dnipropetrovsk, the home base of Right Sector, is actually much more nationalistic than either Odessa or Kharkiv. And Kiev is a different world again. Bitter urban warfare in a city of 3 million (officially, most likely about 4 million) followed by massive reconstruction and maintenance of a repression regime while under international sanctions.

Russia's government has adequate intelligence services who know better what Ukraine is actually like, than you do. There is a reason why they limited their support to Crimea and Donbas.

Your wishful thinking about Ukraine would be charming and harmless if not for the fact that such wishful thinking often leads to tragic actions that harm both the invader and the invaded. Remember the Iraqis were supposed to welcome the American liberators with flowers after their cakewalk.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 10:14 pm GMT
@Swedish Family Only by air.

How often has Israel shot down Iranian aircraft?

However, now Israel will be incapable of identifying any Iranian shipment on the new ground route,

Not buying.

neutral , December 18, 2017 at 10:16 pm GMT
@AP

Does he look like an intellectual to you?

The question reminds me of this:

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 10:20 pm GMT
@Sean The share of value-added in industry as a share of global product has been declining for over 50 years. In the EU, industry accounts for 24.5% of value added. In Britain, the figure is 20.2%. Not seeing why that animates you.
AP , December 18, 2017 at 10:22 pm GMT
@Swedish Family

In fairness, the young Ukrainians I have spoken to avoid the "draft" mainly out of fear that they will be underequipped and used as cannon fodder.

Correct. The thinking often was -- "the corrupt officers will screw up and get us killed, or sell out our positions to the Russians for money, if the Russians came to our city I'd fight them but I don't wanna go to Donbas.." This is very different from avoiding the draft because one wouldn't mind if Russia annexed Ukraine. Indeed, Dnipropetrovsk in the East has contributed a lot to Ukraine's war effort, primarily because it borders Donbas -- ones hears from people there that if they don't fight in Donbas and keep the rebels contained there, they'd have to fight at home.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 10:28 pm GMT
US elites and media are constantly freaking out about some Iranian "empire" supposedly being created and threatening US allies in the mideast

No, they aren't. The political class has been anxious about Iran because it's sinking a lot of resources into building weapons of mass destruction, because key actors therein adhere to apocalyptic conceptions, and because it's a weirdly (and gratuitously) hostile country.

since you seem to put great trust in their credibility, shouldn't that concern you? Personally I think those fears are exaggerated, but how can it be denied that Iran's influence has increased a lot in recent years and that the removal of Saddam's regime facilitated that development? Iranian revolutionary guards and Iranian-backed Shia militias operate in Iraq, the Iraqi government maintains close ties to Iran, and Iran is also an active participant in the Syrian civil war would that have been conceivable like this before 2003?

You keep alluding to things that cannot be quantified or even readily verified. Iran's taken advantage of disordered situations in the past (in Lebanon), so it's not surprising they do so in Syria. The disordered situation there is a function of the breakdown of government in Syria, not of the Iraq war. Whether any influence Iran has in Iraq turns out to be abiding remains to be seen. The anxiety about Iraq has concerned it's inclination to subvert friendly governments and drop atomic weaponry on Israel. Not sure how their subrosa dealings with the Iraqi government further the latter (or even the former).

Felix Keverich , December 18, 2017 at 10:39 pm GMT
@AP LMAO, Ukrainians are nothing like Arabs. They are soft Eastern-European types. And in Eastern regions like Kharkov most of them will be on our side.

The best thing about Ukrainian neo-Nazis such as Azov battalion is that there is very few of them -- no more than 10.000 in the entire country. I assume Russian security services know all of them by name.

To deal with Ukronazi problem, I would first take out their leaders, then target their HQs, arms depots and training camps. I would kill or intimidate their sponsors. Ukronazis would be left decapitated, without resources, undermanned and demoralised, trying to fight an insurgency amongst the population that hates and despises them. It will be a short lived insurgency.

German_reader , December 18, 2017 at 10:46 pm GMT
@Art Deco

No, they aren't.

The supposed threat of an Iranian empire is a common theme in interventionist US media and in certain think tanks/pressure groups, even five minutes of googling produced this:

https://nypost.com/2015/02/01/the-iranian-dream-of-a-reborn-persian-empire/

http://www.breitbart.com/video/2016/01/15/fmr-nato-supreme-allied-commander-stavridis-iran-will-be-imperial-power-due-to-iran-deals-golden-shower-of-money/

https://www.commentarymagazine.com/foreign-policy/middle-east/iran/iran-and-the-imperialism-hypocrisy/

http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/06/30/what-to-do-about-an-imperial-iran-middle-east-persia-regional-dominance/

http://www.defenddemocracy.org/media-hit/may-clifford-d-the-new-persian-empire/ (btw, the Foundation for defense of democracies agrees with me that the removal of Saddam's regime was to Iran's benefit).

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/henry-kissinger-isis-iranian-radical-empire-middle-east-a7881541.html

Obviously I don't want Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, though imo US policy in this regard has been rather counter-productive recently.
Regarding the Iraq war, it's probably pointless to continue the discussion, if you want to continue regarding it as a great idea, I won't argue with you.

Talha , December 18, 2017 at 10:56 pm GMT
I remember my dad telling me that the Carter administration was the highlight of America-love in Pakistan. Slowly went downhill from there and crashed at Dubya.

Peace.

AP , December 18, 2017 at 10:58 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

LMAO, Ukrainians are nothing like Arabs. They are soft Eastern-European types.

And Russians and Poles were also soft when someone invaded their country? Ukrainians are not modern western Euros.

And in Eastern regions like Kharkov most of them will be on our side.

Most pensioners. It will be about 50/50 among young fighting-age people.

The best thing about Ukrainian neo-Nazis such as Azov battalion is that there is very few of them -- no more than 10.000 in the entire country

Maybe. Ukrainian government claims 46,000 in volunteer self-defense battalions (including Azov) but this is probably an exaggeration.

OTOH there are a couple 100,000 demobilized young people with combat experience who would be willing to fight if their homeland were attacked, who are not neo-Nazis in Azov. Plus a military of 200,000-250,000 people, many of whom would imitate the Donbas rebels and probably redeploy in places like Kharkiv where they have cover. Good look fighting it out block by block.

trying to fight an insurgency amongst the population that hates and despises them

In 2010, 48% of Kharkiv voters chose a nationalist for their mayor. In 2012 about 30% voted for nationalist parties. Judging by pro vs, anti-Maidan, the youth are evenly split although in 2014 the Ukrainian nationalist youths ended up controlling the streets, not the Russian nationalist ones as in Donbas. This is in the most pro-Russian part of Ukraine.

Suuure, the population of Kharkiv will despise their kids, grandkids, nephews, classmates etc,. but will welcome the invaders from Russia who will be bombing their city. Such idealism and optimism in Russia!

It will be a short lived insurgency.

And Iraq was supposed to be a cakewalk.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 11:04 pm GMT
@German_reader The supposed threat of an Iranian empire is a common theme in interventionist US media

"Imperial" or "Imperialist" is a term of art among IR specialists referring to active revisionist powers in a given state system.

The people you are linking to are a mixed bunch. One's a lapsed reporter. Two are opinion journalists with background (one in the military and one in the intelligence services, or so he says), one has been out of office for 40 years (and, IMO, is engaging in the academic's exercise of attention-seeking through counter-factual utterance; there's little downside to that), and one actually is someone who has been a policy-maker in the last generation (and he's offering a critique of the Iran deal, which was not a Bush administration initiative).

Johann Ricke , December 18, 2017 at 11:06 pm GMT
@Randal

This is of course self-serving fantasy. The Russians told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The Germans told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The French told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The Turks told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The sensible British told you there was no need to invade Iraq, but for some reason you preferred to listen to the words of the staring-eyed sycophant who happened to be Prime Minister at the time, instead.

Who gives a damn what they think? These are the same countries that plunged the world into two World Wars that killed 100m people between them. Their blinkered and self-serving stupidity is a model for what not to do.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 11:06 pm GMT
@Talha I remember my dad telling me that the Carter administration was the highlight of America-love in Pakistan. Slowly went downhill from there and crashed at Dubya.

I remember Gen. Zia on the front page of The New York Times ridiculing Mr. Carter in plain terms (the $400 million aid offer was 'peanuts').

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 11:10 pm GMT
@Randal The Russians told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The Germans told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The French told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The Turks told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The sensible British told you there was no need to invade Iraq,

The sensible British were a co-operating force in invading Iraq. As for the rest, they all have their shticks and interests (and no, I don't stipulate that you've characterized their opinion correctly either).

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 11:13 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

Sounds like fun.

Randal , December 18, 2017 at 11:14 pm GMT
@German_reader

And after 9/11 I was very pro-US, e.g. I argued vehemently with a stupid leftie teacher who was against the Afghanistan war (and I still believe that war was justified, so I don't think I'm just some mindless anti-American fool). But Iraq was just too much, too much obvious lying and those lies were so stupid it was hard not to feel that there was something deeply wrong with a large part of the American public if they were gullible enough to believe such nonsense. At least for me it was a real turning point in the evolution of my political views.

The common factor amongst you, reiner and myself here is that none of us come from a dogmatically anti-American background or personal world-view, nor from a dogmatically pacifist one.

As I've probably noted here previously, I grew up very pro-American and very pro-NATO in the late Cold War, and as a strong supporter of Thatcher and Reagan. I saw the fall of the Soviet Union as a glorious triumph and a vindication of all the endless arguments against anti-American lefties and CND numpties. I also strongly supported the Falklands War (the last genuinely justified and intelligent war fought by my country, imo) and also the war against Iraq in 1990/1, though I'm a little less certain on that one nowadays. I'm significantly older than you both, it seems, however, and it was watching US foreign policy in the 1990s, culminating in the Kosovo war, that convinced me that the US is now the problem and not the solution.

When the facts changed, I changed my opinion.

So I was a war or two ahead of you, chronologically, because I'm older, but we've travelled pretty much the same road. Our views on America have been created by US foreign policy choices.

Felix Keverich , December 18, 2017 at 11:15 pm GMT
@AP Again, supporting Maidan doesn't mean you're ready to take up Kalashnikov and go fight. Ukrainian youth is dodging draft en masse. It's a fact.

This is what typical Maidanist Ukrainian youths look like; these people certainly don't look like they have a lot of fight in them:

They remind me of Navalny supporters in Russia. These kind of people can throw a tantrum, but they are fundamentally weak people, who are easily crushed.

RadicalCenter , December 18, 2017 at 11:16 pm GMT
@Donnyess I haven't heard either Russia, or the Right in the USA, alleging that African-"Americans" are taking white Americans' jobs.

Generally, I don't know anyone in the USA whose complaint about African-"Americans" is that they are working.

RadicalCenter , December 18, 2017 at 11:17 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich Similarly, it doesn't seem likely that the US government will give up its control and influence over the "independent media" that many Americans still think we have.
Randal , December 18, 2017 at 11:18 pm GMT
@Johann Ricke

Who gives a damn what they think?

Well history has proven them to have been correct and the US regime wrong on Iraq, so that pretty much tells you how far your arrogance will get you outside your own echo chamber.

US foreign policy is pretty much a byword for incompetence even amongst its own allies, at least when they are talking off the record.

RadicalCenter , December 18, 2017 at 11:22 pm GMT
@Art Deco Folks in Belarus shouldn't make up their minds about applying to the EU until they speak with regular German, French, English, and Swedish people about the effects of the Islamic / Third World immivasion that the EU has imposed on them. My wife and I speak & correspond with Germans living in Germany frequently, and the real state of affairs for non-elite Germans is getting worse fast, with no good end in sight.

Anyone who does not desire to die or at best live subjugated under sharia -- and sharia run largely by cruel dimwits from Africa and Arabia -- ought to stay out (or GET out of) the EU.

Felix Keverich , December 18, 2017 at 11:24 pm GMT
@RadicalCenter It shocks me, the amount of supposedly 'smart', 'educated' people in the US, who seriously think "free press" is a thing.
Randal , December 18, 2017 at 11:25 pm GMT
@Art Deco

The sensible British were a co-operating force in invading Iraq.

That was the staring-eyed sycophant's work.

The man who opened the floodgates to immigration because he thought multiculturalism is a great idea.

As for the rest, they all have their shticks and interests

Of course. Unlike the exceptional United States of course, the only country in the world whose government never has any axe to grind in the nobility of purpose and intent it displays in all the wars it has ever fought.

You seem to be degenerating into a caricature of the ignorant, arrogant American.

Johann Ricke , December 18, 2017 at 11:31 pm GMT
@Randal

Well history has proven them to have been correct and the US regime wrong on Iraq, so that pretty much tells you how far your arrogance will get you outside your own echo chamber.

"History" has proven no such thing. What went wrong in Iraq was principally Bush's underestimate of the number of American casualties and the cost to the US treasury*, for which he and the GOP paid a serious political price. However, it's also clear that the Shiites and Kurds, an 80% majority, have no regrets that Saddam is gone. While both communities seem to think that we should continue to bear a bigger chunk of the price of pacifying Iraq's bellicose Sunni Arabs, it's also obvious that they are not electing Tikritis or even Sunni Arabs to office, as they would if they were nostalgic for Saddam's rule. The big picture, really, is that the scale of the fighting has probably convinced both Shiites and Kurds that they could not have toppled Saddam without the assistance of Uncle Sam. They could certainly not have kept Iraq's revived Sunni Arabs (in the form of ISIS) at bay without American assistance.

* These costs were larger than projected, but small compared to the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Whether or not Iraq can be secured as an American ally in the decades ahead, both the gamble and the relatively nugatory price paid will, in retrospect, be seen as a reasonable one, given Iraq's strategic location.

Talha , December 18, 2017 at 11:40 pm GMT
@Art Deco Sure, but the ordinary folks liked him -- he seemed like a humble man with faith from humble beginnings. Pakistanis could relate to someone like that.

I was just a wee lad at the time, so I'm only conveying what my dad told me.

Peace.

RadicalCenter , December 18, 2017 at 11:51 pm GMT
@Art Deco Well, there is some reason to think that membership in the EU will become a steadily less attractive prospect.

The substantial demographic changes sweeping northern and western Europe now will become far larger as (1) new "migration" occurs from Africa and the Middle East and Pakistan into Europe; (2) "family reunification" chain migration goes on endlessly from the same places into Europe; and (3) Muslims continue to dramatically outbreed non-Muslims in Europe.

(Even if Muslims in Europe drop their total fertility rate to replacement, around 2.1 I think, the non-Muslim Europeans have TFRs like 1.4 and 1.5 and 1.6, the very definition of dying peoples.)

And that doesn't even account for the flight of non-Muslims out of Europe as it becomes ever more violent, frightening, chaotic, and impoverished. That flight could become a massive phenomenon. (We have acquaintances in Germany and Austria already mulling over the idea, with great sadness and anger in their hearts.)

On current trends, what reason is there to think that "Germany" and "France" and "England" and "Sweden" won't in fact be heavily Islamic / African (and in the case of Germany, Turkish) hellholes in the lifetime of many of us here?

Granted, Russia has too many Muslims itself, and I don't know enough to predict whether they will be willing and able to remove the excessive number of Central Asian Muslims (guestworkers or otherwise) from their territory. But Russia is not giving itself away to Muslims at a breakneck pace like the terminally naïve Germans, French, English, and Swedes are doing with their own countries.

The point is, Belarus and Ukraine won't be faced with a choice between Russia and the "Europe" that we still envision from the recent past.

Belarus and Ukraine will likely face a choice between a tenuous independence that they lack the force to maintain, union or close formal affiliation with Russia, or a "Europe" where white Europeans are outnumbered, terrified, massively taxed to pay for their younger and more confident Islamic / African overlords, and ultimately subjugated and killed / inter-bred into nonexistence.

The Europe that you are positing as an alternative to Russia, already doesn't quite exist anymore. Soon it won't exist at all in any recognizable or desirable form. Russia merely needs to be a better alternative than THAT.

Art Deco , December 18, 2017 at 11:54 pm GMT
@RadicalCenter Fine. The EU is poorly constructed and a threat to self-government.

Mr. Felix fancies White Russia is Russia's property. There's a constituency in White Russia for re-incorporation into Russia, but it amounts to about 1/4 of the population and is half the proportion it was 20 years ago. Kinda think it really shouldn't be Mr. Felix's call, but he doesn't see it that way.

RadicalCenter , December 18, 2017 at 11:59 pm GMT
@German_reader Agree with much of what you say. With a big exception": most Europeans ARE pussies who try to appease the Islamic and African aggressors and freeloaders they are importing into their lands at a furious pace. Besonders die Deutschen.

At least SOME decent portion of Americans are trying to resist the Mexican and Third World takeover of our country. Albeit probably without success.

Summary: we're probably screwed, you're almost certainly screwed worse and faster.

Keep patting yourself on the back. But grow that beard now and bend over -- and beat the rush.

Art Deco , December 19, 2017 at 12:03 am GMT
@RadicalCenter Belarus and Ukraine will likely face a choice between a tenuous independence that they lack the force to maintain,

Just to point out that occasions where a state has had its sovereignty extinguished since 1945 are as follows: East Germany (1990, voluntary), South Yemen (1990, voluntary, but triggering an insurrection), Kuwait (1990, temporary), South VietNam (1975/76, conquered). Not real common. N.B. the Axis rampage in Europe and Asia during the War: the only thing that stuck was Soviet Russia's seizure of the Baltic states.

Mr. Hack , December 19, 2017 at 12:07 am GMT
@Felix Keverich Why don't you present us a photo of yourself, so that we can see what a true Russian warrior looks like?

I think I've found one of you?

German_reader , December 19, 2017 at 12:08 am GMT
@RadicalCenter

At least SOME decent portion of Americans are trying to resist the Mexican and Third World takeover of our country.

30 years too late, though I'll readily admit that I was somewhat impressed how normal US citizens managed to kill off amnesty proposals during Bush's 2nd administration by lobbying their congressmen etc. Quite the contrast with what's going on in my own country where people just meekly submit to everything.
And I've never denied that many Europeans are quite decadent they should certainly spend more for their own defense, maybe even bring back conscription.

Randal , December 19, 2017 at 12:08 am GMT
@Johann Ricke

What went wrong in Iraq was principally Bush's underestimate of the number of American casualties and the cost to the US treasury

No, what went wrong in Iraq from the pov of any kind of honest assessment of an American national interest was that an unnecessary war was fought justified by lies that have seriously discredited the nation that told them, and that the results of the war were hugely counter to said American national interests: the conversion of a contained and broken former enemy state into a jihadist free fire training and recruitment zone combined with a strong ally of a supposed enemy state, Iran.

Whether the direct material cost of the war is acceptable or not is rather beside the point. It's a matter between Bush II and the parents, relatives and friends of those Americans who lost their lives or their health, and between Bush II and American taxpayers. If it had been achieved cost-free it still wouldn't have been worth it, because it was a defeat.

But it's no accident that the costs of the war were "underestimated". As usual, if the Bush II regime had been honest about the likely costs of their proposed war, there would have been a political outcry against it and they'd have been forced to back down as Obama was over Syria.

However, it's also clear that the Shiites and Kurds, an 80% majority, have no regrets that Saddam is gone

Amusing to see you are currently pretending that what Iraqi Kurds and Shiites feel matters. It's always entertaining to see just how shameless Americans can be at their game of alternately pretending to care for foreigners' views (when they need to justify a war) and regarding foreigners with utter contempt and disregard (when said foreigners are saying something Americans don't like to hear).

They could certainly not have kept Iraq's revived Sunni Arabs (in the form of ISIS) at bay without American assistance.

Well that partly depends upon how much support the US regime allowed its Gulf sunni Arab proxies to funnel to said jihadists, I suppose. But most likely they'd have crushed them in due course with Iranian backing.

In Iraq, IS were fine as long as they stayed out of the strongly Shiite areas in the south. They'd have quickly been whipped if they'd ventured there. Just as IS were fine in Syria as long as they were taking relatively remote land over from a government and army in desperate straits as a result of a disastrous externally funded civil war, but were soon beaten when the Russians stepped in and started actually fighting them rather than pretending to do so only as long as it didn't interfere too much with their real goal of overthrowing the Syria government, American-style.

utu , December 19, 2017 at 12:16 am GMT
@German_reader I see that Art Deco got more active than usual. Seems that the destruction of Iraq is close to his heart. Several days ago Ron Unz had this to say about him:

http://www.unz.com/jderbyshire/time-to-stop-importing-an-immigrant-overclass/#comment-2116171
Exactly! It's pretty obvious that this "Art Deco" fellow is just a Jewish-activist type, and given his very extensive posting history, perhaps even an organized "troll." But he's certainly one of the most sophisticated ones, with the vast majority of his comments being level-headed, moderate, and very well-informed, generally focusing on all sorts of other topics, perhaps with the deliberate intent of building up his personal credibility for the periodic Jewish matters that actually so agitate him.

To which I added:

http://www.unz.com/jderbyshire/time-to-stop-importing-an-immigrant-overclass/#comment-2116402
The quality and wide range of his comments are really impressive. As if it was coming form a super intelligent AI Hal that has access to all kinds of databases at his finger tips. And then there is always the same gradient of his angle: the reality is as it is; reality is as you have been told so far; do not try to keep coming with weird theories and speculations because they are all false; there is nothing interesting to see. His quality and scope are not congruent with his angle. All his knowledge and all his data and he hasn't found anything interesting that would not conform to what we all read in newspapers. Amazing. If America had its High Office of Doctrine and Faith he could have been its supreme director.

His overactivity here is somewhat out of character and after reading his comments here I doubt that Ron Unz would call him "one of the most sophisticated ones." I also would take back the "really impressive" part too. Perhaps some other individuum was assigned to Art Deco handle this Monday.

Randal , December 19, 2017 at 12:27 am GMT
Speaking of US foreign policy stupidity and arrogance, the response to the latest evidence that Trump will continue the inglorious Clinton/Bush II/Obama tradition of destructive corrupt/incompetent buffoonery:

US outnumbered 14 to 1 as it vetoes UN vote on status of Jerusalem

And here's the profoundly noxious Nikki Haley "lying for her country" (except, bizarrely, it isn't even really for her own country). Her appointment by Trump certainly was one of the first signs that he was going to seriously let America down:

The resolution was denounced in furious language by the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, who described it as "an insult" that would not be forgotten. "The United States will not be told by any country where we can put our embassy," she said.

"It's scandalous to say we are putting back peace efforts," she added. "The fact that this veto is being done in defence of American sovereignty and in defence of America's role in the Middle East peace process is not a source of embarrassment for us; it should be an embarrassment to the remainder of the security council."

The real nature of the UN resolution the execrable Haley was so faux-offended by:

The UK and France had indicated in advance that they would would back the text, which demanded that all countries comply with pre-existing UNSC resolutions on Jerusalem, dating back to 1967, including requirements that the city's final status be decided in direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

But requiring Israel and its US poodles to act in good faith is surely anti-Semitic, after all. The real beneficiary (he thinks, at least) of Trump's and Haley's buffoonery was suitably condescending in his patting of his poodles' heads:

The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, tweeted: "Thank you, Ambassador Haley. On Hanukkah, you spoke like a Maccabi. You lit a candle of truth. You dispel the darkness. One defeated the many. Truth defeated lies. Thank you, President Trump."

German_reader , December 19, 2017 at 12:28 am GMT
@utu Art Deco isn't Jewish iirc, but an (Irish?) Catholic from the northeastern US. And I suppose his views aren't even that extreme, but pretty much standard among many US right-wingers (a serious problem imo), so it makes little sense to attack him personally.
utu , December 19, 2017 at 12:29 am GMT
@German_reader Official justification for the Iraq war was concern about Iraq's supposedly hidden weapons

The fact that Iraq had no WMD was actually critical to making the claims that it had them. If Iraq had them it would officially relinquish them which would take away the ostensive cause for the invasion.

I am really amazed that now 14 years after the invasion there are some who still argue about the WMD. Iraq was to be destroyed because this was the plan. The plan to reorganize the ME that consisted of destruction of secular and semi-secure states like Iraq and Syria. The WDM was just an excuse that nobody really argued for or against in good faith including Brits or Germans or Turks. Everybody knew the writing on the wall.

utu , December 19, 2017 at 12:35 am GMT
@German_reader it makes little sense to attack him personally

Yes, personal attacks are counterproductive but I can't resit, I just can't help it, so I must to say what I said already several times in the past: you are a cuck. You are a hopeless case.

German_reader , December 19, 2017 at 12:41 am GMT
@utu

The plan to reorganize the ME that consisted of destruction of secular and semi-secure states like Iraq and Syria.

Has to be admitted though that Iraq became increasingly less secular during the 1990s, with Saddam's regime pushing Islamization as a new source of legitimacy. It's probably no accident that former Baath people and officers of Saddam's army were prominent among the leadership of IS.
Still hardly sufficient reason for the Iraq war though.

German_reader , December 19, 2017 at 12:48 am GMT
@utu With all due respect to you and Ron Unz, but the idea that someone like "Art Deco" is an "organized troll" who creates an elaborate fake persona (which he then maintains over multiple years on several different websites -- I first encountered him years ago on the American conservative's site) to spread pro-Jewish views seems somewhat paranoid to me.
I have no reason to doubt he's genuine (as far as that's possible on the internet), his views aren't unusual.
RadicalCenter , December 19, 2017 at 3:16 am GMT
@German_reader Agree with everything you just wrote. And please understand, I love the Germans and I'm angry at them in the way that you'd be angry at a brother who refuses to stop destroying himself with drugs or whatever.
John Gruskos , December 19, 2017 at 3:25 am GMT
@German_reader The commenter using the name "Art Deco" is NOT an American nationalist.

He is neocon trash.

Cato , December 19, 2017 at 3:43 am GMT
@Felix Keverich Northern Kazakhstan is/was ethnically Russian, since the 1700s. This should have been folded into Russia; the North Caucasus should have been cut loose. My opinion.
AP , December 19, 2017 at 3:53 am GMT
@Felix Keverich Typical Russian mistakes regarding Ukraine: weak student-types in Russia are the main supporters of Ukraine in Russia, thus the same type must be the main pro-Maidan people in Ukraine. Because Ukraine = Russia. This silly dream of Ukraine being just like Russia leads to ridiculous ideas and hopes.

As I already said, the Azov battalion grew out of brawling football ultras in Kharkiv. Maidan itself was a cross-section -- of students, yes, but also plenty of Afghan war vets, workers, far right brawlers, professionals, etc. It's wasn't simply "weak" students, nor was it simply far-right fascists (another claim by Russia) but a mass effort of the western half of the country.

Here are Afghan war vets at Maidan:

Look at those weak Maidan people running away from the enemy:

Azov people in their native Kharkiv:

Kharkiv kids:

Ukrainian youth is dodging draft en masse. It's a fact.

Dodging the draft in order to avoid fighting in Donbas, where you are not wanted by the locals, is very different from dodging the draft to avoid fighting when your own town is being invaded.

AP , December 19, 2017 at 4:10 am GMT
@AP Summer camp was in Kiev, but there is another outside Kharkiv.

To be clear, most Ukrainians fighting against Russia are not these unsavory types, though they make for dramatic video. Point is that pro-Maidan types in Ukraine are far from being exclusively liberal student-types.

Anon , Disclaimer December 19, 2017 at 5:08 am GMT
@RadicalCenter Said a dude who invested in an Asian woman.
utu , December 19, 2017 at 6:59 am GMT
@German_reader Still hardly sufficient reason for the Iraq war though.

What do you mean by that? Are you so out of touch? You really do not understand what was the reason behind Iraq 2003 war and then fucking it up when Gen. Garner was recalled and replaced with Paul Bremer who drove Iraq to the ground? Repeat after me: Iraq was destroyed because this was the only objective of 2003 Iraq war. The mission was accomplished 100%.

jimbojones , December 19, 2017 at 8:01 am GMT
A few points:
- The Russians ALWAYS were Americanophiles -- ever since the Revolution. Russia has been an American ally most often explicit but occasionally tacit -- in EVERY major American conflict, including the War on Terror and excluding Korea and Vietnam (both not major compared to the Civil War or WW2). The only comparable Great Power US ally is France. Russia and the US are natural allies.
- Russians are Americanophiles -- they like Hollywood movies, American music, American idealism, American video games, American fashion, American inventions, American support in WW2, American can-do-aittude, American badassery and Americana in general.
- There are two Ukraines. One is essentially a part of Russia, and a chunk of it was repatriated in 2014. The other was historically Polish and Habsburg. It is a strange entity that is not Russian.
- The Maidan was a foreign-backed putsch against a democratically elected government. Yanukovich was certainly a corrupt scoundrel. But he was a democratically elected corrupt scoundrel. To claim Russian intervention in his election is a joke in light of the CIA-backed 2004 and 2014 coups. Moreover, post-democratic post-Yanukovich Ukraine is clearly inferior to its predecessor. For one thing, under Yanukovich, Sevastopol was still Ukrainian
LondonBob , December 19, 2017 at 8:18 am GMT
@Andrei Martyanov Art Deco is a Zionist, just checkout his reaction when you point out Israel assassinated JFK.
LondonBob , December 19, 2017 at 8:19 am GMT
@utu Israel wanted Iraq destroyed, it was.
Anatoly Karlin , Website December 19, 2017 at 1:35 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich I think this poll is the most relevant for assessing the question, since it covered different regions and used the same methodology.

Takeaway:

1. Support for uniting into a single state with Russia at 41% in Crimea at a time when it was becoming quite clear the Yanukovych regime was doomed.

2. Now translates into ~90% support (according to both Russian and international polls) in Crimea. I.e., a more than a standard deviation shift in "Russophile" sentiment on this matter.

3. Assuming a similar shift in other regions, Novorossiya would be quite fine being with Russia post facto . Though there would be significant discontent in Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye, and Kherson (e.g., probably on the scale of Donbass unhappiness with the Ukraine before 2014).

4. Central and West Ukraine would not be, which is why their reintegration would be far more difficult -- and probably best left for sometime in the future.

5. What we have instead seen is a one standard deviation shift in "Ukrainophile" sentiment within all those regions that remained in the Ukraine. If this change is "deep," then AP is quite correct that their assimilation into Russia has been made impossible by Putin's vacillations in 2014.

Anon , Disclaimer December 19, 2017 at 1:39 pm GMT
@LondonBob Check out any American's reaction when some random Londoner tells him Israel assassinated JFK.
for-the-record , December 19, 2017 at 2:15 pm GMT
@German_reader they [Germans] should certainly spend more for their own defense, maybe even bring back conscription .

With all due respect, and making allowance for your relative youth, that is simply rubbish. Defense against whom? Russia? Iran? As your posts make it eminently clear, the real enemy of Germany is within, not without.

AP , December 19, 2017 at 2:18 pm GMT
@jimbojones

The Maidan was a foreign-backed putsch against a democratically elected government

Typical Russian nationalist half-truth about Ukraine.

To be clear -- Yanukovich was democratically elected in 2010, into a position where his powers were limited and where he was faced with a hostile parliament. His post-election accumulation of powers (overthrowing the Opposition parliament, granting himself additional powers, stacking the court with local judges from his hometown) was not democratic. None of these actions enjoyed popular support, none were made through democratic processes such as referendums or popular elections. Had that been the case, he would not have been overthrown in what was a popular mass revolt by half the country.

There are two Ukraines. One is essentially a part of Russia, and a chunk of it was repatriated in 2014. The other was historically Polish and Habsburg. It is a strange entity that is not Russian.

A bit closer to the truth, but much too simplistic in a way that favors Russian idealism. Crimea (60% Russian) was simply not Ukraine, so lumping it in together with a place such as Kharkiv (oblast 70% Ukrainian) and saying that Russia took one part of this uniformly "Russian Ukraine" is not accurate.

You are correct that the western half of the country are a non-Russian Polish-but-not Habsburg central Ukraine/Volynia, and Polish-and-Habsburg Galicia.

But the other half consisted of two parts: ethnic Russian Crimea (60% Russian) and largely ethniuc-Russian urban Donbas (about 45% Russian, 50% Ukrainian), and a heavily Russified but ethnic Ukrainian Kharkiv oblast (70% Ukrainian, 26% Russian), Dnipropetrovsk (80% Ukrainian, 20% Russian), Kherson (82% Ukrainian, 14% Russian), and Odessa oblast (63% Ukrainian, 21% Russian).

The former group (Crimea definitely, and urban Donbas less strongly) like being part of Russia. The latter group, on the other hand, preferred that Ukraine and Russia have friendly ties, preferred Russian as a legal language, preferred economic union with Russia, but did not favor loss of independence. Think of them as pro-NAFTA American-phile Canadians who would nevertheless be opposed to annexation by the USA and would be angered if the USA grabbed a chunk of Canada. In grabbing a chunk of Ukraine and supporting a rebellion in which Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk kids are being shot by Russian-trained fighters using Russian-supplied bullets, Putin has turned these people off the Russian state.

Mr. Hack , December 19, 2017 at 2:35 pm GMT
@Anatoly Karlin

3. Assuming a similar shift in other regions, Novorossiya would be quite fine being with Russia post facto. Though there would be significant discontent in Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye, and Kherson (e.g., probably on the scale of Donbass unhappiness with the Ukraine before 2014).

'Asumptions' like this are what provide Swiss cheese the airy substance that makes it less caloric! Looks like only the retired sovok population in the countryside is up to supporting your mythical 'NovoRosija' while the more populated city dwellers would be opposed, even by your own admission (and even this is questionable). I'm surprised that the dutifully loyal and most astute opposition (AP) has let this blooper pass without any comment?

Felix Keverich , December 19, 2017 at 2:41 pm GMT
@Anatoly Karlin I think when answering this question, most people simple give what they consider to be the socially acceptable answer, especially in comtemporary Ukraine, where you will go to prison for displaying Russian flag -- who wants to be seen as a "separatist"?

In Crimea it has become more socially acceptable to identify with Russia following the reunification, which is why the number of people who answer this way shot up . The same effect will seen in Belarus and Ukraine -- I'm fairly certain of it.

Though there would be significant discontent in Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye, and Kherson

Discontent will be limited to educated, affluent, upwardly mobile circles of society. Demographic profile of Ukrainian nationalist East of Dnieper resembles demographic profile of Navalny supporters in Russia. These people are not fighters. Most of them will react to Russian takeover by self-deporting -- they have the money and resources to do it.

AP , December 19, 2017 at 2:51 pm GMT

Demographic profile of Ukrainian nationalist East of Dnieper resembles demographic profile of Navalny supporters in Russia. These people are not fighters.

Repeating your claim over and over again doesn't make it true.

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

The Azov Battalion has its roots in a group of Ultras of FC Metalist Kharkiv named "Sect 82″ (1982 is the year of the founding of the group).[18] "Sect 82″ was (at least until September 2013) allied with FC Spartak Moscow Ultras.[18] Late February 2014, during the 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine when a separatist movement was active in Kharkiv, "Sect 82″ occupied the Kharkiv Oblast regional administration building in Kharkiv and served as a local "self-defense"-force.[18] Soon, on the basis of "Sect 82″ there was formed a volunteer militia called "Eastern Corps".[18]

The brawling East Ukrainian nationalists who took the streets of Kharkiv and Odessa were not mostly rich, fey hipsters.

Mr. Hack , December 19, 2017 at 2:53 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

Discontent will be limited to educated, affluent, upwardly mobile circles of society.

So, even by tour own admission, the only folks that would be for unifying with Russia are the uneducated, poor and those with no hopes of ever amounting to much in society. I don't agree with you, but I do see your logic. These are just the type of people that are the most easily manipulated by Russian propoganda -- a lot of this went on in the Donbas, and we can see the results of that fiasco to this day.

Andrei Martyanov , Website December 19, 2017 at 2:55 pm GMT
@jimbojones

Russia and the US are natural allies.

While geopolitically and historically it is true:

a)Post-WWII American power elites are both incompetent and arrogant (which is a first derivative of incompetence) to understand that -- this is largely the problem with most "Western" elites.

b) Currently the United States doesn't have enough (if any) geopolitical currency and clout to "buy" Russia. In fact, Russia can take what she needs (and she doesn't have "global" appetites) with or without the US. Plus, China is way more interested in Russia's services that the US, which will continue to increasingly find out more about its own severe military-political limitations.

c) The United States foreign policy is not designed and is not being conducted to serve real US national interests. In fact, US can not even define those interests beyond the tiresome platitudes about "global interests" and being "exceptional".

d) Too late

Felix Keverich , December 19, 2017 at 3:10 pm GMT
@AP I like how I got you talking about the Ukronazis, it's kinda funny actually, so let me pose as Ukraine's "defender" here:

This neo-Nazi scum is not in any way representative of the population of Eastern Ukraine. These are delinquents, criminals, low-lifes. They are despised, looked down upon by the normal people, pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian alike. A typical Ukrainian nationalist East of Dnieper is a business owner, a journalist, an office worker, a student who dodges draft. It's just the way it is.

Andrei Martyanov , Website December 19, 2017 at 3:21 pm GMT
@jimbojones

American music

One substantial correction: generation which now is in power and defines most of Russia's dynamics, age group of 40s-50s, was largely influenced by British music, not American one, despite its definite presence in cultural menu in 1960 through 1980s. British music was on the order of magnitude more popular and influential in USSR. The love for American music was rather conditional and very selective. Of course, jazz was and is huge among educated and cultured, but in terms of pop/rock if one discounts immensely popular Eagles (for obvious reason), Donna Summer or something on the order of magnitude of Chicago, British pop-music was a different universe altogether. Beatles, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple or even British Glam were immense in 1970s, not to mention NWBHM in 1980s. One would have more luck hearing Iron Maiden blasting from windows somewhere in Russia than music of Michael Jackson.

Felix Keverich , December 19, 2017 at 3:24 pm GMT
@AP The way to think about Azov battalion is to treat them like a simple group of delinquents, for whom Ukrainian nationalism has become a path to obtain money, resources, bigger guns and perhaps even political power. Azov is simply a gang. And Russian security services have plenty of experience dealing with gangs, so I don't expect Ukronazis to pose a major challenge.
Gerard2 , December 19, 2017 at 3:26 pm GMT
@AP [MORE]
RadicalCenter , December 19, 2017 at 3:29 pm GMT
@Anon Yes, a highly intelligent, hardworking, conservative, Christian Asian woman who loves and appreciates America, is the same as a Muslim African, Arab or Paki whose religion tells him to subjugate or kill us. No drastic difference in genetics or the impact on our culture, language, economy, and security there.

Moreover, allowing our native-born white citizens to choose spouses from elsewhere is the same as admitting tens of millions of people with little to no screening whatsoever (the latter being admitted in the interest of those who actively seek the most dimwitted, violent, intimidating, slothful, hateful, and incompatible people psosible in order to endanger, impoverish, and dumb down out people and set the stage for us to "need" a police state to manage the chaos and crime they bring).

Your logic is impeccable, I'll admit.

How long have you been married, by the way? And how many children are you raising? I just ask because I am sure we can compare notes and I can benefit from your manly experience and expertise.

Get a consistent handle to use on this site. Then tell us personal details as many of us have done. Then we can have a further friendly chat, big anonymous man who comments on other men's wives.

reiner Tor , December 19, 2017 at 3:35 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich I'm not sure about Ukrainian football hooligans, but football hooligans in Hungary are not necessarily "low -lifes, criminals, delinquents", in fact, the majority of them aren't. Most groups consist mostly of working class (including a lot of security guards and similar) members, but there are some middle class (I know of a school headmaster, though I think he's no longer very active in the group) and working class entrepreneur types (e.g. the car mechanic who ended up owning a car dealership) and similar. I think outright criminal types are a small minority. Since it costs money to attend the matches, outright failures (the permanently unemployed and similar ne'er-do-wells) are rarely found in such groups.
reiner Tor , December 19, 2017 at 3:42 pm GMT
@Andrei Martyanov

One would have more luck hearing Iron Maiden blasting from windows somewhere in Russia than music of Michael Jackson.

What about Metallica or Slayer? The famous 1991 Monsters of Rock in Moscow featured I think Metallica in its prime and Pantera right before they became really big (and heavy).

Art Deco , December 19, 2017 at 3:43 pm GMT
@LondonBob Art Deco is a Zionist, just checkout his reaction when you point out Israel assassinated JFK.

My reaction is that you need to take your risperidal, bathe, and quit pestering people for bits of cash. And make your clinic appointments. They're sick of seeing you at the ED.

Art Deco , December 19, 2017 at 3:49 pm GMT
@LondonBob Israel wanted Iraq destroyed, it was.

The actually existing Israeli officialdom advised the Bush administration to give priority to containing Iran.

Felix Keverich , December 19, 2017 at 3:50 pm GMT
@reiner Tor LOL I classify all football hooligans as low-lifes simply due to the nature of their pastime. Ukrainian neo-Nazi militias have been involved in actual crimes including murder, kidnapping and racketeering. Their criminal activities go unpunished by the regime, because they are considered "heroes" or something.
AP , December 19, 2017 at 3:57 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

I like how I got you talking about the Ukronazis

I never denied the presence of them.

This neo-Nazi scum is not in any way representative of the population of Eastern Ukraine.

If by "representative" you mean majority, sure. Neither are artsy students, or Afghan war veterans, or schoolteachers, any other group a majority.

Also not all of the street fighters turned militias neo-Nazis, as are Azov. Right Sector are not neo-Nazis, they are more fascists.

These are delinquents, criminals, low-lifes.

As reiner tor correctly pointed out, this movement which grew out of the football ultra community is rather working class but is not lumpens. You fail again.

A typical Ukrainian nationalist East of Dnieper is a business owner, a journalist, an office worker, a student who dodges draft

Are there more business owners, students (many of whom do not dodge the draft), office workers combined than there are ultras/far-right brawlers? Probably. 30% of Kharkiv voted for nationalist parties (mostly Tymoshenko's and Klitschko's moderates) in the 2012 parliamentary elections, under Yanukovich. That represents about 900,000 people in that oblast. There aren't 900,000 brawling far-rightists in Kharkiv. So?

The exteme nationalist Banderist Svoboda party got about 4% of the vote in Kharkiv oblast in 2012. This would make Bandera twice as popular in Kharkiv as the democratic opposition is in Russia.

reiner Tor , December 19, 2017 at 4:00 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

I classify all football hooligans as low-lifes simply due to the nature of their pastime.

They are well integrated into the rest of society, so you can call them low-lifes, but they will still be quite different from ordinary criminals.

Ukrainian neo-Nazi militias have been involved in actual crimes including murder, kidnapping and racketeering.

But that's quite different from being professional criminals. Members of the Waffen-SS also committed unspeakable crimes, but they rarely had professional criminal backgrounds, and were, in fact, quite well integrated into German society.

Art Deco , December 19, 2017 at 4:03 pm GMT
@Talha he seemed like a humble man with faith from humble beginnings. Pakistanis could relate to someone like that.

Carter was an agribusinessman whose personal net worth (not counting his mother's holdings and siblings' holdings) was in seven digits in 1976. (His dipso brother managed the family business -- passably well -- from 1963 until 198?). John Osborne interviewed 1st, 2d, and 3d degree relations of Carter during the campaign and discovered the family was in satisfactory condition financially even during the Depression. Carter also spent the 2d World War -- the whole thing -- at the Naval Academy.

There's much to be said for Carter, but there's no doubt one of his shortcomings is vanity. Harry Truman is the closest thing to a humble man in the White House in the years since Pakistan was constituted. If you're looking for 'humble beginnings', the best examples are Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon.

Anon , Disclaimer December 19, 2017 at 4:07 pm GMT
@Art Deco Not relevant re humble beginnings but re Pakistan: you've probably heard the famous anecdote about Kennedy and Bhutto:

K: "You know, you're a bright man. If you were an American I'd have you in my cabinet."
B: "No, Mr. President; if I were an American you would be in my cabinet."

AP , December 19, 2017 at 4:08 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

The way to think about Azov battalion is to treat them like a simple group of delinquents, for whom Ukrainian nationalism has become a path to obtain money, resources, bigger guns and perhaps even political power

Yes, there are elements of this, but not only. If they were ethnic Russians, as in Donbas, they would have taken a different path, as did the pro-Russian militants in Donbas who are similar to the ethnic Ukrainian Azovites. Young guys who like to brawl and are ethnic Russians or identify s such joined organizations like Oplot and moved to Donbas to fight against Ukraine, similar types who identified as Ukrainians became Azovites or joined similar pro-Ukrainian militias. Also not all of these were delinquents, many were working class, security guards, etc.

Good that you admit that in Eastern Ukraine nationalism is not limited to student activists and businessmen.

And Russian security services have plenty of experience dealing with gangs,

They chose to stay away from Kharkiv and limit Russia's action to Donbas, knowing that there would be too much opposition, and not enough support, to Russian rule in Kharkiv to make the effort worthwhile.

utu , December 19, 2017 at 4:08 pm GMT
@Anon Out of all hypotheses on the JFK assassination the one that Israel was behind it is the strongest. There is no question about it. From the day one when conspiracy theories were floated everything was done to hide how Israel benefited form the assassination.
Felix Keverich , December 19, 2017 at 4:13 pm GMT
@reiner Tor I feel that comparing Azov to SS gives it too much credit.

My point is that this way of life is not something that many people in Ukraine are willing to actively participate in. Most people are not willing to condone it either. AP says that Azov and the like can act like underground insurgency in Eastern cities. But I don't see how this could work -- there will a thousand people around them willing to rat them out.

There is no pro-Ukrainian insurgency in Crimea or inside the republics in Donbass, and it's not due to the lack of local football hooligans.

Felix Keverich , December 19, 2017 at 4:25 pm GMT
@AP

That represents about 900,000 people in that oblast. There aren't 900,000 brawling far-rightists in Kharkiv. So?

This means these people won't pose a big problem. These folks will take care of themselves either through self-deportation or gradually coming to terms with the new reality in Kharkov, just like their compatriots in Crimea did.

Even among Svoboda voters, I suspect only a small minority of them are the militant types. We should be to contain them through the use of local proxies. The armies of Donbass republics currently number some 40-60 thousand men according to Cassad blog, which compares with the size of the entire Ukrainian army. We should be able to recruit more local Ukrainian proxies once we're in Kharkov.

Art Deco , December 19, 2017 at 4:31 pm GMT
@Gerard2 oligarchs, not nationalism are the driving force behind the "Ukrainian" mass crimes against humanity committing --
Art Deco , December 19, 2017 at 4:34 pm GMT
@utu Out of all hypotheses on the JFK assassination the one that Israel was behind it is the strongest. There is no question about it. From the day one when conspiracy theories were floated everything was done to hide how Israel benefited form the assassination.

Actually, it's completely random and bizarre, but random and bizarre appeals to a certain sort of head case. Oliver Stone's thesis (that the military-industrial complex took down the President by subcontracting the job to a bunch of French Quarter homosexuals) is comparatively lucid.

AP , December 19, 2017 at 4:48 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

AP says that Azov and the like can act like underground insurgency in Eastern cities. But I don't see how this could work -- there will a thousand people around them willing to rat them out.

About 1/3 of the population in Eastern Ukrainian regions voted for Ukrainian nationalists in 2012, compared to only 10% in Donbas. Three times as many. Likely after 2014 many of the hardcore pro-Russians left Kharkiv, just as hardcore pro-Ukrainians left Donetsk. Furthermore anti-Russian attitudes have hardened, due to the war, Crimea, etc. So there would be plenty of local support for native insurgents.

Russians say, correctly, that after Kiev has shelled Donetsk how can the people of Donetsk reconcile themselves with Kiev?

The time when Russia could have bloodlessly marched into Kharkiv is over. Ukrainian forces have dug in. How will Kharkiv people feel towards uninvited Russian invaders shelling their city in order to to take it under their control?

There is no pro-Ukrainian insurgency in Crimea or inside the republics in Donbass, and it's not due to the lack of local football hooligans.

Crimea was 60% Russian, Donbas Republics territory about 45% Russian; Kharkiv oblast is only 25% Russian.

With Donbas -- there are actually local pro-Ukrainian militants from Donbas, in the Donbas and Aidar battalions.

Felix Keverich , December 19, 2017 at 4:50 pm GMT
@AP It was a decision that Putin personally made. He wasn't going to move in Crimea either, until Maidanists overthrew his friend

It goes without saying that Putin doesn't share my nationalist approach to Ukraine problem: he does not see the destruction of Ukrainian project as necessary or even desirable. And I'm sure the restraint Putin has shown on Ukraine doesn't come from him being intimidated by Azov militia.

AP , December 19, 2017 at 4:56 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

These folks will take care of themselves either through self-deportation or gradually coming to terms with the new reality in Kharkov, just like their compatriots in Crimea did

The problem with this comparison is that Crimeans were far more in favor of joining Russia that are Kharkivites.

The armies of Donbass republics currently number some 40-60 thousand men according to Cassad blog, which compares with the size of the entire Ukrainian army.

Ukrainian military has 200,000 -- 250,000 active members and about 100,000 reserves. Where did you get your information? The end of 2014?

We should be able to recruit more local Ukrainian proxies once we're in Kharkov.

You would be able to recruit some local proxies in Kharkiv. Kiev even did so in Donbas. But given the fact that Ukrainian nationalism was 3 times more popular on Kharkiv than in Donetsk, and that Kharkiv youth were split 50/50 in terms of or versus anti Maidan support (versus 80/20 IIIRC anti-Maidan in Donbas), it would not be so easy. Moreover, by now many of the hardcore anti-Kiev people have already left Kharkiv, while Kharkiv has had some settlement by pro-Ukrainian dissidents from Donbas. So the situation even in 2014 was hard enough that Russia chose to stay away, now it is even worse for the pro-Russians.

AP , December 19, 2017 at 5:00 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

And I'm sure the restraint Putin has shown on Ukraine doesn't come from him being intimidated by Azov militia.

This is rather a symptom of a much wider phenomenon: the population simply doesn't see itself as Russian and doesn't want to be part of Russia. So its hooligan-types go for Ukrainian, not Russian, nationalism as is the case in Russia.

Felix Keverich , December 19, 2017 at 5:02 pm GMT
@AP

The time when Russia could have bloodlessly marched into Kharkiv is over. Ukrainian forces have dug in. How will Kharkiv people feel towards uninvited Russian invaders shelling their city in order to to take it under their control?

The locals will move to disarm Ukrainian forces, who have taken their city hostage, then welcome Russian liberators with open arms, what else they are going to do? lol

It's just a joke though. In reality there is virtually no Ukrainian forces in city of Kharkov. They don't have the manpower. Ukrainian regime managed to fortify Perekop and the perimeter of the people's republics, but the rest of Ukraine-Russia border remains completely undefended. It's wide open!

Felix Keverich , December 19, 2017 at 5:05 pm GMT
@AP Honestly, I doubt that this kind of stuff has much impact on Putin's decisionmaking.
Mr. Hack , December 19, 2017 at 5:09 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

It goes without saying that Putin doesn't share my nationalist approach to Ukraine problem: he does not see the destruction of Ukrainian project as necessary or even desirable.

Well there you have it. Putin is a much smarter guy than you are Felix (BTW, are you Jewish, all of the Felix's that I've known were Jewish?). Good to see that you're nothing more than a blackshirted illusionist.*

*фантазёр

German_reader , December 19, 2017 at 5:20 pm GMT
@for-the-record German and European reliance on US security guarantees is a problem, since it's become pretty clear that the US political system is dysfunctional and US "elites" are dangerous extremists. We need our own security structures to be independent from the US so they can't drag us into their stupid projects or blackmail us anymore why do you think Merkel didn't react much to the revelations about American spying on Germany? Because we're totally dependent on the Americans in security matters.
And while I don't believe Russia or Iran are really serious threats to Europe, it would be foolish to have no credible deterrence.
AP , December 19, 2017 at 5:25 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

"How will Kharkiv people feel towards uninvited Russian invaders shelling their city in order to to take it under their control?"

They will move to disarm ther Ukrainian forces, who have taken their city hostage, then welcome their Russian liberators with open arms, what else they are going to do? lol

While about 1/3 of Kharkiv voted for Ukrainian nationalists, only perhaps 10%-20% of the city would actually like to be part of Russia (and I am being generous to you). So your idea is equivalent to American fantasies of Iraqis greeting their troops with flowers.

It's just a joke though. In reality there is virtually no Ukrainian forces in city of Kharkov. They don't have the manpower. Ukrainian regime managed to fortify Perekop and the perimeter of the people's republics, but the rest of Ukraine-Russia border remains completely undefended.

Are you living in 2014? Russian nationalists always like to think of Ukraine as if it is 2014-2015. It is comforting for them.

Ukraine currently has 200,000-250,000 active troops. About 60,000 of them are around Donbas.

Here is a map of various positions in 2017:

Kharkiv does appear to be lightly defended, though not undefended (it has a motorized infantry brigade and a lot of air defenses). The map does not include national guard units such as Azov, however, which would add a few thousand troops to Kharkiv's defense.

It looks like rather than stationing their military in forward positions vs. a possible Russian attack, Ukraine, has put lot of troops in Dnipropetrovsk, Mykolaiv, Kiev and Odessa.

Felix Keverich , December 19, 2017 at 5:34 pm GMT
@AP

Ukrainian military has 200,000 -- 250,000 active members and about 100,000 reserves. Where did you get your information? The end of 2014?

I read Kassad blog, and he says Ukrainian formations assembled in Donbass number some 50-70 thousands men. The entire Ukrainian army is around 200.000 men, including the navy (LOL), the airforce, but most of it isn't combat ready. Ukraine doesn't just suffer from a lack of manpower, they don't have the resources to feed and clothe their soldiers, which limits their ability field an army.

By contrast the armies of people's republics have 40-60 thousand men -- that's impressive level of mobilisation, and they achieved this without implementing draft.

Art Deco , December 19, 2017 at 5:54 pm GMT
@AP So your idea is equivalent to American fantasies of Iraqis greeting their troops with flowers.

The local populations in Iraq were congenial to begin with, at least outside some Sunni centers. It was never an object of American policy to stay in Iraq indefinitely.

Felix Keverich , December 19, 2017 at 5:55 pm GMT
@AP

Kharkiv does appear to be lightly defended, though not undefended (it has a motorized infantry brigade and a lot of air defenses).

How many people does this "motorized infantry brigade" have? And more importantly what is its level of combat readiness? Couldn't we just smash this brigade with a termobaric bomb while they are sleeping?

Ukraine is full of shit. They had 20.000 troops in Crimea, "a lot of air defenses" and it didn't make a iota of difference. Somehow you expect me to believe Ukraine has a completely different army now. Why should I? They don't have the resources to afford a better army, so it is logical to assume that Ukrainian army is still crap.

for-the-record , December 19, 2017 at 5:55 pm GMT
@German_reader And while I don't believe Russia or Iran are really serious threats to Europe, it would be foolish to have no credible deterrence.

What "credible deterrence" are you proposing for Germany? As has been clearly demonstrated, the only credible deterrence against a determined foe (of which Germany has none, at least externally) is nuclear. Is this what you are suggesting?

Germany has willingly supported the US (presumably in continuing gratitude for US support during the Cold War), it hasn't been "blackmailed" into this. Austria, on the other hand, has survived for more than 60 years without the US "umbrella" to protect it (and with a military strength rated below that of Angola and Chile), so why couldn't Germany? There is no need whatsoever for Germany to build up its military strength; rather, what Germany (sorely) lacks is the desire (and guts) to act independently of the US.

Art Deco , December 19, 2017 at 6:01 pm GMT
Russian nationalists always like to think of Ukraine as if it is 2014-2015. It is comforting for them.

Betwixt and between all the trash talking, they've forgotten that the last occasion on which one country attempted to conquer an absorb another country with a population anywhere near 30% of its own was during the 2d World War. Didn't work out so well for Germany and Japan.

Andrei Martyanov , Website December 19, 2017 at 6:03 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

What about Metallica or Slayer? The famous 1991 Monsters of Rock in Moscow featured I think Metallica in its prime and Pantera right before they became really big (and heavy).

Metallica primarily and AC/DC. Pantera were more of a bonus. Nowhere near massive popularity of AC/DC and Metallica, who were main attraction. Earlier, in 1988, so called Moscow Peace Festival also saw a collection of heavy and glam metal luminaries such as Motley Crue, Cinderella, Bon Jovi, Scorpions, of course, etc. But, of course, Ozzy was met with a thunder by Luzhniki stadium. The only rock royalty who was allowed to give a first ever concert on Red Square was Sir Paul, with Putin being personally present. Speaks volumes. British rock was always dominant in USSR. In the end, every Soviet boy who was starting to play guitar had to know three chords of the House of the Rising Sun. Russians are also very progressive rock oriented and in 1970s Yes, Genesis, Gentle Giant etc. were huge. Soviet underground national anthem was Uriah Heep's masterpiece of July Morning. I believe Bulgaria still has July Morning gatherings every year. All of it was British influence. My generation also grew up with British Glam which for us was a pop-music of the day -- from Sweet to Slade, to T.Rex. And then there was: QUEEN.

Art Deco , December 19, 2017 at 6:03 pm GMT
@for-the-record Austria, on the other hand, has survived for more than 60 years without the US "umbrella" to protect it (and with a military strength rated below that of Angola and Chile), so why couldn't Germany?

Austria hasn't been absorbed by Germany or Italy therefore Germany doesn't have a use for security guarantees or an armed force. Do I render your argument correctly?

German_reader , December 19, 2017 at 6:32 pm GMT
@for-the-record

Germany has willingly supported the US

Not completely true, Germany didn't participate in the Iraq war and in the bombing of Libya.
I'm hardly an expert on military matters, but it would seem just common sense to me that a state needs sufficient armed forces to protect its own territory if you don't have that, you risk becoming a passive object whose fate is decided by other powers. Doesn't mean Germany should have a monstrously bloated military budget like the US, just sufficient forces to protect its own territory and that of neighbouring allies (which is what the German army should be for instead of participating in futile counter-insurgency projects in places like Afghanistan). Potential for conflict in Europe is obviously greatest regarding Russia it's still quite low imo, and I want good relations with Russia and disagree vehemently with such insanely provocative ideas as NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia, but it would be stupid not to have credible deterrence (whose point it is to prevent hostilities after all). I don't think that's an anti-Russian position, it's just realistic.
Apart from that Germany doesn't probably need much in the way of military capabilities maybe some naval forces for participation in international anti-piracy missions.
Regarding nuclear weapons, that's obviously something Germany can't or shouldn't do on its own (probably wouldn't be tolerated anyway given 20th century history), so it would have to be in some form of common European project. Hard to tell now if something like this could eventually become possible or necessary.

Mr. Hack , December 19, 2017 at 6:46 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich Sorry to prickle your little fantasy world once again tovarishch, but according to current CIA statistics Ukraine has 182,000 active personnel, and 1,000,000 reservists! For a complete rundown of Ukraine's military strength, read this and weep:

https://www.globalfirepower.com/country-military-strength-detail.asp?country_id=ukraine

RadicalCenter , December 19, 2017 at 6:47 pm GMT
@Art Deco "Clouseau He killed two customers, a Cossack, and a WAITER!!"
Sean , December 19, 2017 at 6:47 pm GMT
@Art Deco A lot of what used to be manufacturing, such as engineering design, is now put under the category of services. Manufacturing companies want to be listed as engaged in services because manufacturing is perceived as not profitable. Britain is alone among comparable countries in having lost significant amounts of productive capacity.
RadicalCenter , December 19, 2017 at 6:48 pm GMT
@Art Deco You have exquisite taste in movies, sir. Something we can agree on.
Johann Ricke , December 19, 2017 at 7:06 pm GMT
@Anon

K: "You know, you're a bright man. If you were an American I'd have you in my cabinet."
B: "No, Mr. President; if I were an American you would be in my cabinet."

The thing about many of these corrupt, worthless and incompetent Third World leaders is they're not lacking in self-esteem. Just ask Karzai. Or Maliki.

Sean , December 19, 2017 at 7:13 pm GMT
@Art Deco The potential power of China is an order of magnitude greater than Japan. After WW2 Japan, and to a lesser extent Germany, were too small to be a threat. Don't you believe all that Robert Kagan 'the US solved the problems that caused WW1 and 2′ stuff. China is a real hegemon in the making and they will take a run at it, unless they are contained by military pressure on their borders.

Modern Japan is more like Singapore than China. China has economies of scale, they have a single integrated factory complex making laptops with has more workers than the British army. China will have a huge home market, like America. So by the time it dawns on America that China's growing power must be checked, economic measures will be ineffective.

for-the-record , December 19, 2017 at 7:42 pm GMT
@Art Deco Austria hasn't been absorbed by Germany or Italy therefore Germany doesn't have a use for security guarantees or an armed force. Do I render your argument correctly?

That's about right, yes. Except I didn't say that Germany should have no military capability, only that there is no sense in increasing current military expenditure. A military capability can be useful for dealing with emergencies, such as tornadoes and hurricanes.

Anonymous , Disclaimer December 19, 2017 at 7:45 pm GMT
@Anon t. le 56% face.

America's national IQ will be below 90 in a few decades so I really doubt that.

inertial , December 19, 2017 at 8:18 pm GMT
@Art Deco They've had ample opportunity over a period of 26 years to make the decision you favor. It hasn't happened, and there's no reason to fancy they'll be more amenable a decade from now.

Yes, these people had been sold a vision. If only they leave behind the backward, Asiatic, mongoloid Russia, they will instantly Join Europe. They will have all of the good stuff: European level of prosperity, rule of law, international approval, and so on; and none of the bad stuff that they associated with Russia, like poverty, corruption, and civil strife.

Official Ukrainian propaganda worked overtime, and still works today, to hammer this into people's heads. And it's an attractive vision. An office dweller in Kiev wants to live in a shiny European capital, not in a bleak provincial city of a corrupt Asian empire. The problem is, it's ain't working. For a while Ukraine managed to get Russia to subsidize Ukrainian European dream. Now this is over. The vision is starting to fail even harder.

The experience of Communism shows that it may take decades but eventually people notice that the state ideology is a lie. Once they do, they change their mind about things rather quickly.

Art Deco , December 19, 2017 at 8:20 pm GMT
@Sean Manufacturing companies want to be listed as engaged in services because manufacturing is perceived as not profitable.

Inventive parry. Not buying.

Art Deco , December 19, 2017 at 8:23 pm GMT
@Sean Modern Japan is more like Singapore than China.

There are 120 million people living in Japan, settlements of every size, and agricultural land sufficient for Japan to supply demand for rice from domestic production. So, no.

Art Deco , December 19, 2017 at 8:24 pm GMT
@for-the-record That's about right, yes.

You said that, not me.

Swedish Family , December 19, 2017 at 8:26 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

It goes without saying that Putin doesn't share my nationalist approach to Ukraine problem: he does not see the destruction of Ukrainian project as necessary or even desirable.

Agreed, and he happens to be in the right here. Russia actually has a good hand in Ukraine, if only she keeps her cool . More military adventurism is foolish for at least three reasons:

(1) All the civilian deaths in the Donbass, somewhat perversely, play to Russia's advantage in that they take some of the sting out of the "Ukraine is the victim" narrative. Common people know full well that the Ukrainian troops are hated in the Donbass (I once watched a Ukrainian soldier shock the audience by saying this on Shuster Live), and they know also that Kiev has a blame in all those dead women and children. These are promising conditions for future reconciliation, and they would be squandered overnight if Russian troops moved further westward.

(2) The geopolitical repercussions would be enormous. As I and others have already written, the present situation is just about what people in elite Western circles can stomach. Any Russian escalation would seriously jeopardize European trade with Russia, among other things.

(3) There is a good chance that Crimea will eventually be internationally recognized as part of the RF (a British parliamentary report on this matter in 2015, I think it was, made this quite clear). The same might also be true of the Donbass. These "acquisitions," too, would be jeopardized by more military action.

Art Deco , December 19, 2017 at 8:29 pm GMT
@inertial 1. You fancy they're bamboozled and you're not. Cute.

2. You also fancy your interlocutors are economic illiterates and that they'll buy into the notion that the solution to the Ukraine's economic problems is to be forcibly incorporated into Russia. Such a change in political boundaries addresses no economic problems.

Art Deco , December 19, 2017 at 8:32 pm GMT
@Swedish Family (1) All the civilian deaths in the Donbass, somewhat perversely, play to Russia's advantage in that they take some of the sting out of the "Ukraine is the victim" narrative.

You mean Putin mercs kill more Ukrainian civilians and we 'take some of the sting out of the 'Ukraine is a victim narrative'? Sounds like a plan.

There is a good chance that Crimea will eventually be internationally recognized as part of the RF (a British parliamentary report on this matter in 2015, I think it was, made this quite clear). The same might also be true of the Donbass. T

Did you cc the folks in Ramallah and Jerusalem about that?

RadicalCenter , December 19, 2017 at 8:32 pm GMT
@for-the-record That is terribly naïve.

I've been all over the comment boards calling for my country (the USA) to take a less belligerent, more honest, friendlier approach to Russia, and I've largely taken the side of Russia in the Ukraine and Syria controversies.

I also don't think Russia has any current designs on the territory of its western neighbors, or the desire for the dire consequences that would likely follow as the US and others react to such a move.

But that doesn't mean that it's prudent for Germany (or any other smaller, less populous country near Russia) to simply trust that Russia will never use military force against them in the future.

Nor should Germany assume that China will not ultimately find it worthwhile to take their territory or resources for its own massive, overcrowded, ambitious population.

Germany's military forces are grossly inadequate. Same for France. Same for the UK. None of them should purport to predict well into the future that Russia, China, and others (Turkey) will never be both willing and able to invade them. Nor should Germany et al. assume that the USA will always be in a position to jump in to defend Europeans in the absence of serious European militaries.

In fact, the western Europeans' glaring military weakness (and their obvious loss of the will to defend their people, their land, and their way of life) could serve to encourage physical aggression by, e.g., Turkey or Russia. Betting that you need a military merely "for dealing with emergencies, such as tornadoes and hurricanes" is a potentially fatal bet, with irreversible consequences.

RadicalCenter , December 19, 2017 at 8:36 pm GMT
@for-the-record Yes, Germany would be wise to acquire at least a small nuclear deterrent, just as France and the UK and Israel have.
RadicalCenter , December 19, 2017 at 8:40 pm GMT
@Johann Ricke So the costs of the US invasion/occupation/"reconstruction" of Iraq were (allegedly) less than the costs of the equally unnecessary and non-defensive US wars in Korea and Vietnam? Heck of an argument.

How about this: we should have refrained from all three wars.

We should be using our resources to secure our own borders, to police the international waters and vital shipping lanes / chokepoints (fighting pirates and terrorists as necessary to those ends), and to actually defend our land and our people and deter aggression. That's it.

Randal , December 19, 2017 at 9:16 pm GMT
@RadicalCenter

Germany's military forces are grossly inadequate. Same for France. Same for the UK.

Grossly inadequate for what purpose?

What matters about military strength is its relation to neighbours' and potential enemies' strengths. Germany's military spending currently ranks number nine in the world (using the SIPRI figures per Wikipedia for simplicity ), which when you consider they are located in the middle of one of the safest continents (militarily speaking) in the world, surrounded by allies with whom military conflict is currently pretty much inconceivable, is quite impressive. Above them are only its European allies UK and France, the grossly bloated US and Saudi Arabian budgets, Russia and China, and Japan and India. Apart from South Korea who come next, Germany spends half as much again as the next on the list (Italy).

Germany's military shortcomings can in no plausible degree be attributed to not spending enough, unless you think Germany should be remilitarising for a potential war with Russia. Basically, Germany's military is toothless mostly because nobody in Germany really thinks it matters, nobody expects to be involved in a war, and such spending as it has is mostly purposed to suit a Germany integrated into NATO and the EU rather than an independent state. If there's a problem it's not down to insufficient spending but to how the money is currently spent.

Like you I'm a general believer in having a strong military, and in "si vis pacem, para bellum". But it's hard to see how Germany could really benefit from increased military spending. If they were to feel genuinely threatened, nuclear weapons would make much more sense (along with a radical reorganisation of the current spending and conventional military establishment).

There's a lot of American nonsense talked about European states underspending on their military, but the reality is that the US grossly overspends to serve its own global interventionist purposes. There's no reason why European states should spend to serve those purposes, which is what in reality increased European spending in the current context would be used for.

What we might see in some potential circumstances is increased German (and European in general) military spending in order to give them the confidence to break away from NATO and US control, and build the long trailed "European Defence Force". That looks a lot more likely after Brexit and in the context of the Trump presidency than it did a few years ago, but it's still something of a distant possibility. In that case, though, the increases would be mainly for morale building and transitional spending purposes, given that the combined EU military budget is already second in the world, behind only the ludicrous US.

Talha , December 19, 2017 at 9:34 pm GMT
@Art Deco Hey Art Deco (cool name by the way -- I love that style of architecture -- probably one of the only modern styles I like),

Well, all I can say is he played it smooth enough to fool a heck of a lot of Pakistanis (not saying that's all that difficult).

Peace.

Swedish Family , December 19, 2017 at 9:56 pm GMT
@Art Deco

You mean Putin mercs kill more Ukrainian civilians and we 'take some of the sting out of the 'Ukraine is a victim narrative'? Sounds like a plan.

No, I wrote that those civilians are already gone and that both sides had a hand in their deaths, which will help the peace process since no side can claim sole victimhood.

And your assumption that the separatists are mercenaries is groundless speculation. Estimations are that well over half of the separatists are born and bred in Ukraine, and there is no evidence to suggest that they are fighting for the love of money.

Did you cc the folks in Ramallah and Jerusalem about that?

Risible comparison. Theirs is a conflict involving three major religions and the survival of the Israeli state at stake. On the Crimean question, we have already heard influential Westerners voice the possibility that it might one day be accepted as Russian, and if you read between the lines, many Ukrainians are of a similiar mind.

RadicalCenter , December 19, 2017 at 9:57 pm GMT
@Art Deco We're in agreement on all of that, AD.

But the EU isn't merely a threat to self-government anymore. It is now actively and intentionally importing people who kill, rape, mug, beat, grope, harass, stalk, and generally disrespect and intimidate "their own" European people. The EU is an active threat to the lives and physical safety of European people. No people with the barest common sense and will to live will stay in the EU as these recent horrific events continue to unfold.

for-the-record , December 19, 2017 at 10:06 pm GMT
@RadicalCenter Nor should Germany assume that China will not ultimately find it worthwhile to take their territory or resources for its own massive, overcrowded, ambitious population.

This is really a case of misplaced priorities.

Germany is in the process of losing its national identity built up over 2,000 years or so, and it has nothing to do with the Chinese (or the Russians either, for that matter). And China certainly doesn't need its military to successfully export its "massive, overcrowded, ambitious population" overseas (cf. Western Canada, Australia).

Focusing on the (non-existent, in my opinion) need for Germany to increase its current (already high) level of military expenditures will do nothing to preserve Germany as a European nation.

RadicalCenter , December 19, 2017 at 11:36 pm GMT
@for-the-record Take a look at my other comments. You'll see that I wholeheartedly agree with you about the moral sickness, cowardice, misplaced guilty, and terminal naivete of the Germans leading them to surrender their land, their property, their way of life, and their very lives to the Muslim and African savages they are importing.

As a recent book by a German politician put it, "Deutschland schafft sich ab", or "Germany does away with itself."

But what has that to do with Germany also refusing to maintain a serious military defense force to deter potential threats from state actors such as Russia, Turkey, and China? Any nation worth its salt must both secure / guard its orders AND keep a military ready to fight external forces. Germany can and should do both, and right now it's doing neither.

RadicalCenter , December 19, 2017 at 11:41 pm GMT
@for-the-record As for China in particular: of course China is glad to export millions of its people to settle and become citizens in the USA, Canada, Australia, and the rest of the former "West."

They are thereby en route to acquiring real social influence, and ultimately some direct political power, in those places (especially Australia and the provinces of "British" Columbia and Alberta, owing to the very small white populations of those places compared to the immigration onslaught).

I lived part-time in Richmond and Vancouver, BC, and know just how quickly that region is becoming an alien culture -- Chinese more than anything, but also Muslim, Hindu, and Sikh. (Look up the career of crooked "Canadian" former pol and now radio-host Kash Heed, among many other examples.) I would expect that Mandarin will eventually become a co-equal official language of government (and public schools) in BC, with no effective opposition by those ever-"tolerant" Canadians ("We're not like those racist Americans, you know!").

But the people who have emigrated from China thus far are a drop in the bucket. China is still terribly overcrowded and lacks both land and natural resources needed to sustain its population. Actually outright TAKING swathes of Europe or, say, Africa, would help them a lot more than immigration. When the time is right -- say, after the US dollar loses its world reserve status and/or the US is beset by widespread racial conflict and riots -- China may well make its move in that regard. I hope not, and I don't think it will be very soon, but a wise country needs a strong military in the face of China and other threats.

RadicalCenter , December 19, 2017 at 11:45 pm GMT
@RadicalCenter Talha, you agreed with me again? I must be slipping

Merry Christmas, buddy -

Anatoly Karlin , Website December 20, 2017 at 12:19 am GMT
@Felix Keverich Unfortunately, the Ukraine has been spending 5%* of its GDP on the military since c.2015 (versus close to 1% before 2014).

Doesn't really matter if tons of money continues to be stolen, or even the recession -- with that kind of raw increase, a major enhancement in capabilities is inevitable.

As I was already writing in 2016 :

Like it or not, but outright war with Maidanist Ukraine has been ruled out from the beginning, as the more perceptive analysts like Rostislav Ischenko have long recognized. If there was a time and a place for it, it was either in April 2014, or August 2014 at the very latest. Since then, the Ukrainian Army has gotten much stronger. It has been purged of its "Russophile" elements, and even though it has lost a substantial percentage of its remnant Soviet-era military capital in the war of attrition with the LDNR, it has more than made up for it with wartime XP gain and the banal fact of a quintupling in military spending as a percentage of GDP from 1% to 5%. This translates to an effective quadrupling in absolute military spending, even when accounting for Ukraine's post-Maidan economic collapse. Russia can still crush Ukraine in a full-scale conventional conflict, and that will remain the case for the foreseeable future, but it will no longer be the happy cruise to the Dnepr that it would have been two years earlier.

* There's a report that says actual Ukrainian military spending remained rather more modest at 2.5% of GDP ( https://www.osw.waw.pl/sites/default/files/prace_66_ang_best_army_ukraine_net.pdf ); even so, that still translates to huge improvements over 2014.

Anatoly Karlin , Website December 20, 2017 at 12:23 am GMT
@Art Deco How so? Poland and France (together around equal to Germany's population) worked out perfectly for Nazi Germany.

And Japan could have kept China subjugated indefinitely without the American intervention.

Not of course to otherwise entertain your completely false and misleading comparison.

AP , December 20, 2017 at 12:26 am GMT
@Felix Keverich

The entire Ukrainian army is around 200.000 men, including the navy (LOL), the airforce, but most of it isn't combat ready.

250,000. Combat readiness is very different from 2014.

Ukraine doesn't just suffer from a lack of manpower, they don't have the resources to feed and clothe their soldiers, which limits their ability field an army.

Again, it isn't 2014 anymore. Military budget has increased significantly, from 3.2 billion in 2015 to 5.17 billion in 2017. In spite of theft, much more is getting through.

By contrast the armies of people's republics have 40-60 thousand men -- that's impressive level of mobilisation, and they achieved this without implementing draft

It's one of the only ways to make any money in the Republics, so draft is unnecessaary.

AP , December 20, 2017 at 12:35 am GMT
@Swedish Family

Estimations are that well over half of the separatists are born and bred in Ukraine, and there is no evidence to suggest that they are fighting for the love of money.

80% are natives. Perhaps as much as 90%. However, often it a way to make a meager salary in those territories, so there is a mercenary aspect to it. Lots of unemployed workers go into the Republic military.

Anatoly Karlin , Website December 20, 2017 at 12:35 am GMT
@Swedish Family

Estimations are that well over half of the separatists are born and bred in Ukraine, and there is no evidence to suggest that they are fighting for the love of money.

80% in 2014-15, to be precise; another 10% from the Kuban; 10% from Russia, the Russian world, and the world at large.

NAF salaries are good by post-2014 Donbass standards, but a massive cut for Russians -- no Russian went there to get rich.

That said, I strongly doubt there will ever be international recognition of Crimea, let alone Donbass. Israel has by far the world's most influential ethnic lobby. Even NATO member Turkey hasn't gotten Northern Cyprus internationally recognized, so what exactly are the chances of the international community (read: The West) recognizing the claims of Russia, which is fast becoming established in Western minds as the arch-enemy of civilization?

AP , December 20, 2017 at 12:56 am GMT
@Anatoly Karlin Fascinating link. The numbers for the military budget are a lot lower than reported elsewhere.

Mobilization percentages by region:

"Among the leaders of the fourth and fifth wave of partial mobilisation were the Khmelnitsky,
Dnipropetrovsk, Vinnytsia, Kirovohrad and Zaporizhia regions, as well as the city
of Kyiv, whose mobilisation plan was fulfilled 80-100% (the record was Vinnytsia oblast,
which achieved 100% mobilisation). At the opposite extreme are the Kharkiv, Chernivtsi,
Donetsk, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lugansk, Sumy, Ternopil and Transcarpathian regions, where
the results of the mobilisation varied from 25 to 60%."

Summary:

2014:

The true face of the Ukrainian armed forces was revealed by the Russian annexation of Crimea and the first weeks of the war in the Donbas -- they were nothing more than a fossilised structure, unfit for any effective function upon even a minimum engagement with the enemy, during which a significant part of the troops only realised whom they were representing in the course of the conflict and more than once, from the perspective of service in one of the post-Soviet military districts, they chose to serve in the Russian army

2017:

The war in the Donbas shaped the Ukrainian army. It gave awareness and motivation to the soldiers, and forced the leadership of the Defence Ministry and the government of the state to adapt the army's structure -- for the first time since its creation -- to real operational needs, and also to bear the costs of halting the collapses in the fields of training and equipment, at least to such an extent which would allow the army to fight a close battle with the pro-Russian separatists. Despite all these problems, the Ukrainian armed forces of the year 2017 now number 200,000, most of whom have come under fire, and are seasoned in battle. They have a trained reserve ready for mobilisation in the event of a larger conflict*; their weapons are not the latest or the most modern, but the vast majority of them now work properly; and they are ready for the defence of the vital interests of the state (even if some of the personnel still care primarily about their own vested interests). They have no chance of winning a potential military clash with Russia, but they have a reason to fight. The Ukrainian armed forces of the year 2014, in a situation where their home territory was occupied by foreign troops, were incapable of mounting an adequate response. The changes since the Donbas war started mean that Ukraine now has the best army it has ever had in its history.

* The Ukrainian armed forces have an operational reserve of 130,000 men, relatively well trained and with real combat experience, who since 2016 have been moulded out of veterans of the Donbas (as well as from formations subordinate to the Interior Ministry). It must be stressed, however, that those counted in the reserve represent only half of the veterans of the anti-terrorist operation (by October 2016, 280,000 Ukrainians had served in the Donbas in all formations subordinate to the government in Kyiv, with 266,000 reservists gaining combat status; at the beginning of February 2017, 193,400 reservists were in the armed forces). Thanks to that, at least in terms of the human factor, it should be possible in a relatively short period of time to increase the Ukrainian army's degree of combat readiness, as well as to fight a relatively close battle with a comparable opponent, something the Ukrainian armed forces were not capable of doing at the beginning of 2014.

AP , December 20, 2017 at 1:18 am GMT
@Art Deco I respectfully disagree with you about the Iraq war (one of the few areas on which I disagree with you).

I suppose had the West made a massive investment in Iraq, secured its Christian population, loaded it with US troops, and did to it what was done to Japan, over several decades, transforming it into a prosperous democratic US ally, removing Saddam (who deserves no sympathy) might have been a nice thing. It would have been a massive financial drain but having a "Japan", other than Israel, in the heart of the Middle East might have been worth it (I am not a Middle East expert but it seems the Shah's Persia was sort of being groomed for such a role).

Instead, it ended up being a disaster -- 100,000s dead in sectarian massacres, Christian population nearly destroyed, and other than Kurdish areas, an ally either of Iran or of militant anti-American Sunnis. At the cost, to the USA, of dead Americans, lots of money, and loss of soft power. I also suspect that America being stuck and preoccupied in Middle East conflicts gave room for Russia to act. I guess its a tribute to how strong America is, that it is still doing pretty well in spite of the debacle. A lesser power such as the USSR would have been sunk.

AP , December 20, 2017 at 1:21 am GMT
@Anatoly Karlin

NAF salaries are good by post-2014 Donbass standards, but a massive cut for Russians -- no Russian went there to get rich.

Which further points to the critical role played by Russians. Many of the local volunteers are participating because doing so offers a salary, which is very important in a wrecked, sanctioned Donbas. The Russian 10%-20% are motivated, often Chechen combat vets. They are more important than their % indicates.

Gerard2 , December 20, 2017 at 2:00 am GMT
@Art Deco [MORE]
Gerard2 , December 20, 2017 at 2:08 am GMT
@AP [MORE]
Gerard2 , December 20, 2017 at 2:30 am GMT
@AP [MORE]
Gerard2 , December 20, 2017 at 2:33 am GMT
@Gerard2 ..and lets not forget the failure in mobilisation from the Ukrainian military

That and having to hire loads of Georgians, Chechens,Poles and other mercenaries.

Pretty much tallys perfectly with the failed shithole Ukraine government structure full of everyone else .but Ukrainians

Talha , December 20, 2017 at 4:05 am GMT
@RadicalCenter Hey man -- when you're right, you're right -- that one was spot on.

If we can end the nonsense wars, we can at least solve a good chunk of the immigration crisis. It's all related.

Hope your family has a safe holiday and a good New Years.

Peace.

Mr. Hack , December 20, 2017 at 5:02 am GMT
@Gerard2 [MORE]
melanf , December 20, 2017 at 5:16 am GMT
Amazing -- almost any discussion in this section turns to хохлосрач (ukrohitstorm)
neutral , December 20, 2017 at 8:39 am GMT
@melanf What is almost incomprehensible for me in these endless Russia vs Ukraine arguments is how they (yes both sides) always ignore the real issues and instead keep on raising relatively petty points while thinking that mass non white immigration and things like the EU commissioner of immigration stating openly that Europe needs endless immigration, are not important. It's like white South Africans who still debate the Boer war or the Irish debate the northern Ireland question, and are completely oblivious to the fact that these things don't matter anymore if you have an entirely new people ruling your land (ok in South Africa they were not new, but you know what I mean).
ussr andy , December 20, 2017 at 9:52 am GMT
@Swedish Family cool screen name ; )
melanf , December 20, 2017 at 10:54 am GMT
@Swedish Family

Estimations are that well over half of the separatists are born and bred in Ukraine

much more than half

Donbass rebels: soldiers of the detachment of "Sparta". Data published by Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine:

https://imgur.com/a/Gh8zx

ussr andy , December 20, 2017 at 10:55 am GMT
@neutral yup, it's positively quaint , doubly so in light of the most-important-graph.gif.
TT , December 20, 2017 at 11:16 am GMT
That's rght, and it happens to the whole world too including those countries destroyed by US and under its sanction. The bombastic propaganda MSM fake news and Hollywood have brainwashed all to harbour delusion that US is a perfect heaven paved with gold, honey and milk, people of high morality and freedom. Wait till they live there to find out reality of DemoNcracy made in USA.
Anatoly Karlin , Website December 20, 2017 at 11:42 am GMT
@melanf I think it's mostly Gerard2. Mr. Hack is fairly hostile but coldly civil. Don't think this compares to Runet xoxlosraches at all (of course I try to cut any such developments in the bud).
TT , December 20, 2017 at 12:05 pm GMT
I have read a article mentioned something like Putin said, to annexed whole Ukraine means to share the enormous resource wealth of vast Russia land with them, which make no economic sense. If Russia is worst than Ukraine, then there won't be million of Ukrainian migrating over after the Maidan coup.

So are all those Baltic states. Russia don't want these countries as it burden, it is probably only interested in selected strategic areas like the Eastern Ukraine industrial belt and military important Crimea warm water deep seaport, and skilled migrants. Ukraine has one of lowest per capital income now, with extreme corrupted politicians controlled by USNato waging foolish civil war killing own people resulting in collapsing economic and exudes of skilled people.

What it got to lose to unify with Russia to have peace, prosperity and been a nation of a great country instead of poor war torn? Plus a bonus of free Russia market access, unlimited cheap natural gas and pipeline toll to tax instead of buying LNG from US at double price.

Sorry this s just my opinion based on mostly fake news we are fed, only the Ukrainian know the best and able to decde themselves.

Randal , December 20, 2017 at 12:59 pm GMT
@Swedish Family

Agreed, and he happens to be in the right here. Russia actually has a good hand in Ukraine, if only she keeps her cool. More military adventurism is foolish for at least three reasons:

Yes, this is my view also. I think Russia was never in a position to do much more than it has, and those who talk about more vigorous military interference are just naïve, or engaging in wishful thinking, about the consequences. I think Putin played a very bad hand as well as could reasonably be expected in Ukraine and Crimea. No doubt mistakes were made, and perhaps more support at the key moment for the separatists (assassinations of some of the key oligarchs who chose the Ukrainian side and employed thugs to suppress the separatists in eastern cities, perhaps) could have resulted in a better situation now with much more of the eastern part of Ukraine separated, but if Russians want someone to blame for the situation in Ukraine apart from their enemies, they should look at Yanukovich, not Putin.

In the long run, it seems likely the appeal of NATO and the EU (assuming both still even exist in their current forms in a few years time) is probably peaking, but strategic patience and only limited covert and economic interference is advisable.

The return of Crimea to Russia alone has been a dramatic improvement in the inherent stability of the region. A proper division of the territory currently forming the Ukraine into a genuine Ukrainian nation in the west and an eastern half returned to Russia would be the ideal long term outcome, but Russia can surely live with a neutralised Ukraine.

Mr. Hack , December 20, 2017 at 1:10 pm GMT
@Anatoly Karlin If presenting a Ukrainophile point of view at this website is considered to be 'pretty hostile' then so be it. I cannot countenance the slimy way that Gerard2 reponds to AP's comments. He was getting way out of line with his name calling and needed to be put in his place.
Art Deco , December 20, 2017 at 1:15 pm GMT
@RadicalCenter But the people who have emigrated from China thus far are a drop in the bucket. China is still terribly overcrowded and lacks both land and natural resources needed to sustain its population.

As we speak, about 8.5% of the value-added in China's economy is attributable to agriculture and about 27% of the workforce is employed in agriculture. Industry and services are not land-intensive activities.

About 1/2 of China's land area consists of arid or alpine climates suitable for only light settlement. As for the rest, China's entire non-agricultural population could be settled at American suburban densities on about 23% of the whole.

You don't need 'natural resources' on site to 'sustain your population'. Imports of oil and minerals will do. As for foodstuffs, China's been a net importer since 2004. However, its food-trade deficit is currently about $35 bn, a single-digit fraction of China's total food consumption.

Felix Keverich , December 20, 2017 at 1:18 pm GMT
@Anatoly Karlin

There's a report that says actual Ukrainian military spending remained rather more modest at 2.5% of GDP ( https://www.osw.waw.pl/sites/default/files/prace_66_ang_best_army_ukraine_net.pdf ); even so, that still translates to huge improvements over 2014.

You realise that Ukraine's GDP declined in dollar terms by a factor of 2-3 times, right? A bigger share of a smaller economy translates into the same paltry sum. It is still under $5 billion.

Futhermore an army that's actively deployed and engaged in fighting spends more money than during peacetime. A lot of this money goes to fuel, repairs, providing for soldiers and their wages rather than qualitatively impoving capabilities of the army.

The bottomline is Ukraine spent the last 3,5 years preparing to fight a war against the People's Republic of Donetsk. I'll admit Ukrainian army can hold its own against the People's Republic of Donetsk. Yet it remains hopelessly outmatched in a potential clash with Russia. A short, but brutal bombing campaign can whipe out Ukrainian command and control, will make it impossible to mount any kind of effective defence. Ukrainian conscripts have no experience in urban warfare, and their national loyalties are unclear.

AP predicts that the cities of Kharkov, Dniepropetrovsk will be reduced to something akin to Aleppo. But it has taken 3 years of constant shelling to cause the damage in Aleppo. A more likely outcome is that Ukrainian soldiers will promptly ditch their uniforms, once they realise the Russian are coming and their command is gone.

Anatoly Karlin , Website December 20, 2017 at 1:32 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich Nominal GDP collapsed, but real GDP only fell by around 20%. This matters more, since the vast majority of Ukrainian military spending occurs in grivnas.

By various calculations, Ukrainian military spending went up from 1% of GDP, to 2.5%-5%. Minus 20%, that translates to a doubling to quadrupling.

What it does mean is that they are even less capable of paying for advanced weapons from the West than before, but those were never going to make a cardinal difference anyway.

AP is certainly exaggerating wrt Kharkov looking like Aleppo and I certainly didn't agree with him on that. In reality Russia will still be able to smash the Ukraine, assuming no large-scale American intervention, but it will no longer be the trivial task it would have been in 2014, and will likely involve thousands as opposed to hundreds (or even dozens) of Russian military deaths in the event of an offensive up to the Dnieper.

Art Deco , December 20, 2017 at 1:33 pm GMT
@Gerard2 We'd all benefit if you'd sober up and add brevity and humor to your emotional outbursts and trash talk. No need for much verbiage in the absence of substantive information.
Art Deco , December 20, 2017 at 1:44 pm GMT
@AP The American occupation of Japan lasted 7 years, not 'several decades'. Japan was quite capable of rapid and autonomous economic development without the assistance of the United States or any other power. Neither was the United States government the author of Japanese parliamentary institutions, which antedate the war. There were certain social reforms enacted during the MacArthur regency (I think having to do with the agricultural sector). The emperor's power was further reduced in the 1946 constitution. A portion of the flag-rank military were put in front of firing squads. That's about it.

Again, much of Iraq is quiet and has been for a decade. What's not would be the provinces where Sunnis form a critical mass. Their political vanguards are fouling their own nest and imposing costs on others in the vicinity, such as the country's Christian population and the Kurds living in mixed provinces like Kirkuk. You've seen severe internal disorders in the Arab world over 60 years in Algeria, Libya, the Sudan, the Yemen, the Dhofar region of Oman, Lebanon, Syria, and central Iraq. If you want to understand this, you have to look to how Arab societies themselves are ordered (in contrast to interwar or post-war German society).

Art Deco , December 20, 2017 at 1:49 pm GMT
@TT That's rght, and it happens to the whole world too including those countries destroyed by US

There are no such places.

Felix Keverich , December 20, 2017 at 1:50 pm GMT
@AP

It's one of the only ways to make any money in the Republics, so draft is unnecessaary.

It's not like the regime-controlled parts of the country are doing much better! LOL

My point is that this bodes well for our ability to recruit proxies in Ukraine, don't you think? We could easily assemble another 50.000-strong local army, once we're in Kharkov. That's the approach I would use in Ukraine: strip away parts of it piece by piece, create local proxies, use them to maintain control and absorb casualties in the fighting on the ground.

Mr. Hack , December 20, 2017 at 1:52 pm GMT
@Anatoly Karlin

In reality Russia will still be able to smash the Ukraine, assuming no large-scale American intervention, but it will no longer be the trivial task it would have been in 2014, and will likely involve thousands as opposed to hundreds (or even dozens) of Russian military deaths in the event of an offensive up to the Dnieper.

Fortunately, we'll not be seeing a replay of the sacking and destruction of Novgorod as was done in the 15th century by Ivan III, and all of its ugly repercussions in Ukraine. Besides, since the 15th century, we've seen the emergence of three separate nationalities out of the loose amalgamation of principalities known a Rus. Trying to recreate something (one Rus nation) out of something that never in effect existed, now in the 21st century is a ridiculous concept at best.

AP , December 20, 2017 at 1:58 pm GMT

"It's one of the only ways to make any money in the Republics, so draft is unnecessaary."

It's not like the regime-controlled parts of the country are doing much better! LOL

Well, they are, at least in the center and west. Kievans don't volunteer to fight because they have no other way of making money. But you probably believe the fairytale that Ukraine is in total collapse, back to the 90s.

We could easily assemble another 50.000-strong local army, once we're in Kharkov.

If in the process of taking Kharkiv the local economy goes into ruin due to wrecked factories and sanctions so that picking up a gun is the only way to feed one's family for some people, sure. But again, keep in mind that Kharkiv is much less pro-Russian than Donbas so this could be more complicated.

Art Deco , December 20, 2017 at 2:01 pm GMT
@Anatoly Karlin How so? Poland and France (together around equal to Germany's population) worked out perfectly for Nazi Germany.

You're forgetting a few things. In the United States, about 1/3 of the country's productive capacity was devoted to the war effort during the period running from 1940 to 1946. I'll wager you it was higher than that in Britain and continental Europe. That's what Germany was drawing on to attempt to sustain its holdings for just the 4-5 year period in which they occupied France and Poland. (Russia currently devotes 4% of its productive capacity to the military). Germany had to be exceedingly coercive as well. They were facing escalating partisan resistance that whole time (especially in the Balkans).

Someone whose decisions matter is going to ask the question of whether it's really worth the candle.

AP , December 20, 2017 at 2:07 pm GMT
@Art Deco Thanks for the correction. This suggests that transforming Iraq into a solidly pro-Western stable democracy would have been much harder than doing so for Japan. This I think would have been the only legitimate reason to invade in Iraq in 2003 (WMDs weren't there, and in 2003 the regime was not genocidal as it had been decades earlier when IMO an invasion would have been justified)

Again, much of Iraq is quiet and has been for a decade. What's not would be the provinces where Sunnis form a critical mass. Their political vanguards are fouling their own nest and imposing costs on others in the vicinity, such as the country's Christian population and the Kurds living in mixed provinces like Kirkuk.

Correct, but most of this have been the case had the Baathists remained in power?

You've seen severe internal disorders in the Arab world over 60 years in Algeria, Libya, the Sudan, the Yemen, the Dhofar region of Oman, Lebanon, Syria, and central Iraq.

Which is why one ought to either not invade a country and remove a regime that maintains stability and peace, or if one does so -- take on the responsibility of investing massive effort and treasure in order to prevent the inevitable chaos and violence that would erupt as a result of one's invasion.

Felix Keverich , December 20, 2017 at 2:08 pm GMT
@Anatoly Karlin To be honest, I don't think it'll be necessary to sacrifice so many lives of Russian military personnel. Use LDNR army: transport them to Belgorod and with Russians they could move to take Kharkov, while facing minimal opposition. Then move futher to the West and South until the entire Ukrainian army in Donbass becomes encircled at which point they will likely surrender.

After supressing Ukrainian air-defence, our airforce should be able to destroy command and control, artillery, armoured formations, airfields, bridges over Dnieper, other infrustructure. Use the proxies to absord casualties in the fighting on the ground.

Andrei Martyanov , Website December 20, 2017 at 2:13 pm GMT
@Anatoly Karlin

but it will no longer be the happy cruise to the Dnepr that it would have been two years earlier.

Anatoly, please, don't write on things you have no qualification on writing. You can not even grasp the generational (that is qualitative) abyss which separates two armed forces. The question will not be in this:

but it will no longer be the happy cruise to the Dnepr that it would have been two years earlier.

By the time the "cruising" would commence there will be no Ukrainian Army as an organized formation or even units left -- anything larger than platoon will be hunted down and annihilated. It is really painful to read this, honestly. The question is not in Russian "ambition" or rah-rah but in the fact that Ukraine's armed forces do not posses ANY C4ISR capability which is crucial for a dynamics of a modern war. None. Mopping up in the East would still be much easier than it would be in Central, let alone, Western Ukraine but Russia has no business there anyway. More complex issues were under consideration than merely probable losses of Russian Army when it was decided (rightly so) not to invade. I will open some "secret" -- nations DO bear collective responsibility and always were subjected to collective punishment -- latest example being Germany in both WWs -- the bacillus of Ukrainian "nationalism" is more effectively addressed by letting those moyahataskainikam experience all "privileges" of it. In the end, Russia's resources were used way better than paying for mentally ill country. 2019 is approaching fast.

P.S. In all of your military "analysis" on Ukraine one thing is missing leaving a gaping hole -- Russian Armed Forces themselves which since 2014 were increasing combat potential exponentially. Ukies? Not so much -- some patches here and there. Russian Armed Forces of 2018 are not those of 2013. Just for shits and giggles check how many Ratnik sets have been delivered to Russian Army since 2011. That may explain to you why timing in war and politics is everything.

S3 , December 20, 2017 at 2:21 pm GMT
@RadicalCenter

flight of non-Muslims out of Europe

I think you mean Western Europe. If Germany's human capital drains to Poland et al in a reversal of the Cold War direction, those countries have a quite bright future. I wonder if any economic predictions have taken this into account yet.

AP , December 20, 2017 at 2:23 pm GMT
@Anatoly Karlin

Nominal GDP collapsed, but real GDP only fell by around 20%.

About 16% from 2013 to 2015 when Ukraine hit bottom:

https://www.worldeconomics.com/GrossDomesticProduct/Ukraine.gdp

AP is certainly exaggerating wrt Kharkov looking like Aleppo and I certainly didn't agree with him on that.

I wrote that parts of the city would look like that. I don't think there would be enough massive resistance that the entire city would be destroyed. But rooting out a couple thousand armed, experienced militiamen or soldiers in the urban area would cause a lot of expensive damage and, as is the case when civilians died in Kiev's efforts to secure Donbas, would probably not endear the invaders to the locals who after all do not want Russia to invade them.

And Kharkiv would be the easiest to take. Dnipropetrovsk would be much more Aleppo-like, and Kiev Felix was proposing for Russia to take all these areas.

Andrei Martyanov , Website December 20, 2017 at 2:31 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

To be honest, I don't think it'll be necessary to sacrifice so many lives of Russian military personnel.

The question is not in losses, per se. Russians CAN accept losses if the deal becomes hot in Ukraine -- it is obvious. The question is in geopolitical dynamics and the way said Russian Armed Forces were being honed since 2013, when Shoigu came on-board and the General Staff got its mojo returned to it. All Command and Control circuit of Ukie army will be destroyed with minimal losses if need be, and only then cavalry will be let in. How many Russian or LDNR lives? I don't know, I am sure GOU has estimates by now. Once you control escalation (Russia DOES control escalation today since can respond to any contingency) you get way more flexibility (geo)politcally. Today, namely December 2017, situation is such that Russia controls escalation completely. If Ukies want to attack, as they are inevitably forced to do so, we all know what will happen. Ukraine has about a year left to do something. Meanwhile considering EU intentions to sanction Poland, well, we are witnessing the start of a major shitstorm.

Gerard2 , December 20, 2017 at 2:34 pm GMT
@AP [MORE]
Mr. Hack , December 20, 2017 at 2:45 pm GMT

Most ukrops even admit that Kharkov could easily have gone in 2014, if Russia had wanted it/feasible

Really? So why didn't Russia take Kharkiv then? Why wan't it 'feasible', Mr.Know it All?

Gerard2 , December 20, 2017 at 2:48 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack

Trying to recreate something (one Rus nation) out of something that never in effect existed, now in the 21st century is a ridiculous concept at best.

A stupid comment for an adult. Ukraine, in effect never existed before Russia/Stalin/Lenin created it. Kiev is a historical Russian city, and 5 of the 7 most populated areas in Ukraine are Russian/Soviet created cities, Russian language is favourite spoken by most Ukrainians ( see even Saakashvili in court, speaking only in Russian even though he speaks fluent Ukrainian now and all the judges and lawyers speaking in Russian too), the millions of Ukrainians living happily in Russia and of course, the topic of what exactly is a Ukrainian is obselete because pretty much every Ukrainian has a close Russian relative the level of intermarriage was at the level of one culturally identical people.

AK: Improvement! The first paragraph was acceptable, hence not hidden.

Art Deco , December 20, 2017 at 2:49 pm GMT
@AP This suggests that transforming Iraq into a solidly pro-Western stable democracy would have been much harder than doing so for Japan.

That was never the object. The object was (1) to remove a hostile government and (2) replace it with a normal range government. Normal range governments aren't revanchist, aren't territorially grabby, are chary about subverting neighboring governments, and aren't in their international conduct notably driven by pride or political theo-ideology. The House of Saud, the Hashemites, Lebanon's parliamentary bosses, the Turkish military, the (post-Nasser) Egyptian military, etc. etc are all purveyors of normal-range government. NPR likely has transcripts of interview programs in early 2003 in which Wm. Kristol was a participant. Kristol was not a public official at the time, but he was the opinion-monger who most assiduously promoted the conquest of Iraq. Kristol never expected Iraq to be like Switzerland; he expected an Iraq that was 'tense' (his words), pluralistic, and willing to live in its international environment rather than against that environment.

Correct, but most of this have been the case had the Baathists remained in power?

I suspect the Shia and Kurd populations are pleased to be rid of the Baathists.

Gerard2 , December 20, 2017 at 2:52 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack economics, hope that the west and their puppets in Kiev would act like sane and decent people, threat of sanctions and so on.

As is obvious, if the west had remained neutral ( an absurd hypothetical because the west were the ringmasters of the farce in this failed state) ..and not supported the coup and then the evil war brought on the Donbass people, then a whole different situation works out in Ukraine ( for the better)

Art Deco , December 20, 2017 at 2:53 pm GMT
@AP Which is why one ought to either not invade a country and remove a regime that maintains stability and peace, o

That's a rather fantastical description of Iraq's 35 year slide under the Baathists.

AP , December 20, 2017 at 3:03 pm GMT
@Art Deco I was speaking of 2003. Of course, for much of its history Saddam's regime was not that. Too bad it wasn't stopped then, if it was going to be stopped.
AP , December 20, 2017 at 3:17 pm GMT
@Gerard2

Kharkov always was and will be as pro-Russian as Donbass

Kharkiv oblast: 71% Ukrainian, 26% Russian
Donetsk oblast: 57% Ukrainian, 38% Russian (skews more Russian in the Donbas Republic parts)

Self-declared native language Kharkiv oblast: 54% Ukrainian, 44% Russian
Self-declared native language Donetsk oblast: 24% Ukrainian, 75% Russian

(not the same thing as language actually spoken, but a decent reflection of national self-identity)

2012 parliamentary election results (rounding to nearest %):

Kharkiv oblast: 62% "Blue", 32% "Orange" -- including 4% Svoboda
Donetsk oblast -- 84% "Blue", 11% "Orange" -- including 1% Svoboda

A good illustration of Russian wishful thinking fairytales compared to reality on the ground.

S3 , December 20, 2017 at 3:23 pm GMT
@S3 Nietzsche famously foresaw the rise and fall of communism and the destruction of Germany in the two world wars. He also liked to think of himself as a Polish nobleman. Maybe this is what he meant.
Sean , December 20, 2017 at 6:45 pm GMT
@Art Deco When calculated with constant pricing share of manufacturing in GDP in Germany, Italy and France is not very much, It has actually risen in Switzerland and the US, and risen greatly in Sweden, they are buying, people who think like you are selling out.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/may/18/making-things-matter-britain-forgot-manufacturing-brexit

[...]All of those supposedly knowledge-intensive services sell mostly to manufacturing firms, so their success depends on manufacturing success. It is not because the Americans invented superior financial techniques that the world's financial centre moved from London to New York in the mid-20th century. It is because the US became the leading industrial nation.

The weakness of manufacturing is at the heart of the UK's economic problems. Reversing three and a half decades of neglect will not be easy but, unless the country provides its industrial sector with more capital, stronger public support for R&D and better-trained workers, it will not be able to build the balanced and sustainable economy that it so desperately needs.

Gerard2 , December 20, 2017 at 7:25 pm GMT
@AP Kharkiv oblast: 71% Ukrainian, 26% Russian
Donetsk oblast: 57% Ukrainian, 38% Russian (skews more Russian in the Donbas Republic parts)
Art Deco , December 20, 2017 at 7:40 pm GMT
@Sean When calculated with constant pricing share of manufacturing in GDP in Germany, Italy and France is not very much, It has actually risen in Switzerland and the US, and risen greatly in Sweden, they are buying, people who think like you are selling out.

"Not very much" according to whom? Manufacturing accounts for about 15% of Europe's domestic product, about 12% of that for North America, and about 8% for that of the Antipodes. It's higher in the Far East (about 24%), but Japan is in no danger of overtaking the United States in per capita product, it's larger manufacturing sector notwithstanding. There is no region of the globe bar the Far East where that sector much exceeds 15% of total value added. Comparatively large manufacturing sectors are characteristic of the more affluent middle income countries. As countries grow more productive and affluent, their consumption patterns and productive capacity shift to services.

I've no clue why you and this fellow at The Guardian have bought into the notion that there is something magical about manufacturing (it was a popular meme a generation ago, promoted by Felix Rohaytn). By way of example, Germany and Japan have lost ground economically to the UK and the US in the last 25 years, even though they devote ~21% of their productive capacity to manufacturing in contrast to the ~11%.of the Anglosphere. (Germany remains more affluent than Britain to the tune of about 11%, but about 15% less affluent than the United States).

Art Deco , December 20, 2017 at 7:50 pm GMT
@Gerard2 Wave them hands.
Sean , December 20, 2017 at 8:44 pm GMT
@Art Deco Sorry, mistake. I meant when you do the comparison with constant prices, manufacturing has not declined very much in the US ect . Britain is different it has lost a lot of manufacturing. Britain cannot build its own nuclear power station. Germany and France have taken the industry and would have come for the City next. Britain was to be the milch cow of the EU, so it got out.

Switzerland is a rich mans country and so is Sweden. Business runs certain countries and those countries are actually adding to their productive capacity, so they are not acting like it is not profitable. That Guardian fellow is a professor of Economics at Oxford, and I already quoted you Lord Weinstock who ran just about Britain's most profitable company: it wasn't doing services. Once Weinstock retired his successor listened to the City financial geniuses, sold the manufacturing core of the business, and when times got bad the had nothing to fall back on and collapsed.

Germany does not have a single currency and Schengen Agreement free movement with the US. German goods are expensive in the US, the single currency and Schengen Agreement are an export promotion program for Germany industry. The Germans are going to deindustrialise the rest of the EU. Britain realised it had to get out now or be borged.

Art Deco , December 20, 2017 at 9:09 pm GMT
@Sean Britain hasn't lost any manufacturing output. It indubitably has fewer workers employed in manufacturing, but manufacturing output has not declined. What's happened is that growth in production since 1990 has been concentrated in the service sector.

The decline in the salience of manufacturing in the British economy has been more rapid than it has elsewhere, but the same basic story has played out. The share of value added attributable to manufacturing hit bottom in Britain in 2006, btw.

Sean , December 20, 2017 at 9:46 pm GMT
As I am sure you know service sector employment is mainly masses on low wages, so low they are subsidized by the state in many cases, and increasingly on zero hours contracts. Hence low demand. Running Britain on a London and the SE boom on the rationale that the country is economically stronger relative to Germany and Japan is unstable because the strength of the country in not increasing in any meaningful sense. The recent votes in Britain should have made it clear that the country is not more stable for all the economic "success". The people feel Britain is getting weaker compared to Germany.

No one doubts that Britain has a manufacturing problem and the inefficiency is at the root of the loss of manufacturing but other counties are basically not the same, and that is why Britain left the EU. Germany is playing the manufacturing game on its own terms inside the EU with a single currency.

reiner Tor , December 20, 2017 at 10:16 pm GMT
@Art Deco

there is something magical about manufacturing

There is. Manufacturing productivity can easily be increased. Agriculture is more difficult, and by the time its fully motorized, it's already a very small portion of the total output. While services productivity is very low and cannot be easily increased. So an economy with no manufacturing cannot raise its productivity much. It's also more difficult to export services, so countries with low manufacturing will often experience huge current account deficits.

High value added services can be risky, especially finance, which makes the country vulnerable to credit cycles. The UK could export most financial services while credit was easy. During the credit crunch it suddenly exported way less. So it's very pro-cyclical, more so than manufacturing, because such countries still need to service their oversized (due to the size of the financial sector) debts and obligations. It makes them too leveraged.

Art Deco , December 20, 2017 at 10:32 pm GMT
@reiner Tor It's also more difficult to export services, so countries with low manufacturing will often experience huge current account deficits.

No. They experience current account deficits because their savings rates are under par.

There is. Manufacturing productivity can easily be increased.

Doesn't matter if all that new output of glass, steel, and rubber hasn't much of a market because people are sated.

Art Deco , December 20, 2017 at 11:02 pm GMT
@Sean As I am sure you know service sector employment is mainly masses on low wages, so low they are subsidized by the state in many cases, and increasingly on zero hours contracts.

No, I don't know that. The compensation scales in various industrial sectors (as a % of the mean across all private sectors) are as follows:

Utilites: 206%
Management of companies and enterprises: 201%
Mining: 178%
Information: 176%
Finance: 173%
Professional, scientific and technical services: 156%
Wholesale Trade: 127%
Manufacturing: 119%
Construction: 103%
Real estate: 99%
Transportation and Warehousing: 99%
Health Care and Social Assistance: 92%
Educational services [private]: 82%
Arts, entertainment, and recreation: 81%
Administrative and waste management services: 70%
Miscellaneous svs: 69%
Accommodation: 63%
Agriculture, Fishing, Forestry: 63%
Retail trade: 60%

Wages in manufacturing are above the mean. More sophisticated technology means you're left with fewer employees (but with the skill sets to operate the machinery). (About 11% of the private sector workforce is in manufacturing).

Art Deco , December 20, 2017 at 11:07 pm GMT
@Sean As I am sure you know service sector employment is mainly masses on low wages, so low they are subsidized by the state in many cases, and increasingly on zero hours contracts. Hence low demand.

They're not running a current account deficit of 4.4% of gdp because they're suffering from 'low demand'

Art Deco , December 20, 2017 at 11:09 pm GMT
@Art Deco These are figures for the United States by way of illustration.
RadicalCenter , December 21, 2017 at 1:03 am GMT
@AP Turning Iraq into a stable democracy would have been a legitimate reason to wage war? Must respectfully and strenuously disagree. We would be constantly at war if that were the standard. And, in fact, we HAVE been constantly at war. It has to stop.
RadicalCenter , December 21, 2017 at 1:12 am GMT
@S3 Great point, S3, and I will correct my comment to exclude Eastern Europe from the prediction of likely substantial non-Muslim flight ("Eastern Europe" meaning, for this purpose, Poland, Hungary, Belarus if it is not so foolish as to join the EU, and whatever is left of Ukraine that is not re-claimed by Russia).

But I'd also predict likely substantial "flight of non-Muslims out of Western and perhaps CENTRAL Europe", unfortunately.

Because I am not at all convinced, yet, that Austria will not continue to be colonized by Muslims. Austria may be colonized at a slower pace than Germany if the new Austrian government seriously secures its borders, deports some existing invaders who have not been granted citizenship yet, and refuses to take any new Muslim and/or African/Arab "refugees."

But even if that occurs, as I fervently hope, Muslims apparently will continue to constitute an ever-larger share of Austria's population -- based simply on the huge difference in fertility rates among non-Muslims compared to Muslims there. Even without any new immigration to Austria, an improbably happy state of affairs, Austrians simply don't have enough children to replace themselves. Not even close.

With Austrian TFR so persistently low, all Muslims in Austria need to do is maintain a TFR at replacement (say, 2.1), and they will take over the country.

That new government had better get to work if they don't want to see Austrians fleeing east (or to the USA) along with the droves of Germans who will certainly be underway.

AP , December 21, 2017 at 2:59 am GMT
@RadicalCenter

Turning Iraq into a stable democracy would have been a legitimate reason to wage war

Yes. That doesn't necessarily mean we should have done it, even if that were the reason. As you said, we can't keep doing this everywhere all the time. Nor am I claiming it is possible (it was done in Japan but Japan is not Iraq). But if we did invade, and then did whatever had to be done to transform the place from a Baathist dictatorship with radical Islam simmering underneath, into a stable, decent, secular, Christian-tolerant and allied country, that would have been legitimate.

S3 , December 21, 2017 at 4:09 am GMT
@RadicalCenter Does Austria have anything like the US's RICO Act? Creating something like it and generously applying it to immigrant crime would be one of my suggestions, a California-style three-strikes law would be another.

The in-your-face pro-natality propaganda does not seem to be working. So maybe something subtler is required, like asking television and film studios to produce more traditional role-models for women. More scenes of doting mothers and adorable babies. And yes, Kurz's wife should definitely be given a role.

Talha , December 21, 2017 at 4:26 am GMT
@RadicalCenter On a roll.
gT , December 21, 2017 at 7:34 am GMT
Its very amusing reading all the comments so far. But reality is that Russia should take back all the lands conquered by the Tsars, and that includes Finland.

Look at America. Currently the US has troops stationed in other countries all over the world. And most of those "independent" countries can't take virtually no decision without America's approval. This is definitely the case with Germany and Japan, where their "presidents" have to take an oath of loyalty to the US on assuming office. Now America has even moved into Eastern Europe, and has troops and radars and nuclear capable missile batteries stationed there. So America is just expanding and expanding its grasp while Russia must contract its territories even further and further. Yippee.

So Russia must take back all the territories conquered by the Tsars so as to not lose this game of monopoly. Those in those territories not too happy about such matters can move to America or deal with the Red Army. This is not a matter of cost benefits analysis but a matter of Russia's national security, as in the case of Chechnya.

The territories to Russia's East are especially necessary for Russia's security; when the chips are down, when all the satellites have been blown out of space, all the aircraft blown out of the air, all the ground hardware blown to smithereens; when the battle is reduced to eye to eye rat like warfare, then those assorted Mongol mongrels from Russia's East come into their element. Genghis Khan was the biggest mass murderer in history, he made Hitler look like a school boy, his genes live on in those to Russia's East. So if America were to get involved in Ukraine Russia would have no issues losing a million troops in a matter of days while the US has never even lost a million troops in its civil war and WW2 combined.

Lets face it, those Mongol mongrels make much better fighters than the effete Sunni Arabs any day, so Russia should get them on her side. In Syria those ISIS idiots would never have got as far as they did were it not for those few Chechens in their midst's.

But alas, Russia has to eat humble pie at the moment, internationally and at the Olympics. But humble pie tastes good when its washed down with bottles of vodka, and its only momentarily after all.

Art Deco , December 21, 2017 at 10:50 am GMT
@gT Look at America. Currently the US has troops stationed in other countries all over the world.

Since 1945, between 70% and 87% of American military manpower has been stationed in the United States and its possession. The vast bulk of the remainder is generally to be found in about a half-dozen countries. (In recent years, that would be Germany, Japan, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait). Andrew Bacevich once went on a whinge about the stupidity of having a 'Southern Command' without bothering to tell his readers that the Southern Command had 2,000 billets at that time, that nearly half were stationed at Guantanamo Bay (an American possession since 1902), that no country had more than 200 American soldiers resident, and that the primary activity of the Southern Command was drug interdiction. On the entire African continent, there were 5,000 billets at that time.

And most of those "independent" countries can't take virtually no decision without America's approval. This is definitely the case with Germany and Japan, where their "presidents" have to take an oath of loyalty to the US on assuming office.

This is a fantasy.

Art Deco , December 21, 2017 at 10:52 am GMT
@gT Why not post sober?
gT , December 21, 2017 at 4:05 pm GMT
@Art Deco Fantasy?

Read here about Merkel obeying her real masters

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/editorial-merkel-has-left-germans-high-and-dry-a-911425.html

and read here about "BERLIN IS WASHINGTON'S VASSAL UNTIL 2099″

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-183232

I especially like the bit about "Though most of the German officers were not originally inclined against America, a lot of them being educated in the United States, they are now experiencing disappointment and even disgust with Washington's policies." Seems its not only the Russians who are getting increasingly pissed off with the US when at first they actually liked the US. No wonder the Germans are just letting their submarines and tanks rot away.

Also https://www.veteranstodayarchives.com/2011/06/05/germany-still-under-the-control-of-foreign-powers/
(damn South Africans popping up everywhere)

Art Deco , December 21, 2017 at 4:49 pm GMT
@gT Yes, a fantasy. That you put your gloss on news reports and locate other fantasists does not make it less of a fantasy.
Andrei Martyanov , Website December 21, 2017 at 8:23 pm GMT
@Art Deco

That you put your gloss on news reports

Pray tell how military-political analysis works without news? Your angle on OSI (Open Source Intelligence) would also be "interesting".

Sean , December 21, 2017 at 8:47 pm GMT
@Art Deco Switzerland has the second highest per capital value added manufacturing, Singapore is first. Successful profitable services do not seem stand alone in any actual economy.
Art Deco , December 21, 2017 at 11:29 pm GMT
Successful profitable services do not seem stand alone in any actual economy.

Well, you're not looking for them.

Switzerland has the second highest per capital value added manufacturing, Singapore is first.

About 19% of the value-added in their economies is attributable to manufacturing. You find the same ratio in Serbia, which no one will mistake for an affluent and economically dynamic country.

Art Deco , December 21, 2017 at 11:33 pm GMT
@Andrei Martyanov 1. There is no 'President of Japan'.

2. Neither the Japanese Emperor nor the President of Germany take an oath of allegiance to the United States or any American official.

3. Neither the Chancellor of Germany nor the Prime Minister of Japan are incapable of making a decision without consulting the U.S. Embassy. (Manned by Caroline Kennedy at one point in Japan).

Johann Ricke , December 22, 2017 at 1:03 am GMT
@Art Deco

About 19% of the value-added in their economies is attributable to manufacturing.

The amusing thing is that the stock-in-trade of both Switzerland and Singapore is some combo of private banking, tax-avoidance and money laundering. That's why the per capita income is so high. It's bloated by the portfolio income of wealthy people like Marc Rich, Robert Mugabe and Zuckerberg's Brazilian business partner.

[Dec 22, 2017] Felix Keverich

Dec 22, 2017 | www.unz.com

, December 18, 2017 at 6:11 pm GMT

@Art Deco The way I see it "an ocean of blood" in Iraq was unleashed following US invasion, and it included plenty of American blood. Young healthy American men lost their lifes in Iraq, lost their their bodyparts (arms, legs, their nuts), lost their sanity, and as an American I can't imagine that you were pleased about that. Certainly, most of your countrymen didn't feel this way, they didn't feel this war was worth it for the US.
German_reader , December 18, 2017 at 6:52 pm GMT
@Art Deco That's just dumb. The reasons officially given for the invasion of Iraq in 2003 -- Saddam's regime hiding weapons of mass destruction and being an intolerable threat to the outside world -- were a transparently false pretext for war, and that was clearly discernible at the time. Saddam's regime was extremely brutal and increasingly Islamic or even Islamist in character, but by 2003 it wasn't a serious threat to anyone outside Iraq anymore the worst thing it did was send money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers (bad, but hardly an existential threat). Admittedly there was the question how to deal with his regime in coming years, whether to eventually relax sanctions or to keep them in place for the foreseeable future. But there was no urgent need to invade Iraq that was purely a war of choice which the US started in a demented attempt at reshaping the region according to its own preferences. If you don't understand why many people find that rather questionable, it's you who needs to get out more.
reiner Tor , December 18, 2017 at 7:04 pm GMT
@Art Deco Hungary joined NATO a few days (weeks? can't remember) before the start of the Kosovo-related bombardment of Serbia. I attended university in a city in the south of Hungary, close to the Serbian border. I could see the NATO planes flying by above us every night when going home from a bar or club (both of which I frequented a lot).

I was a staunch Atlanticist at the time, and I believed all the propaganda about the supposed genocide which later turned out not to have gone through the formality of actually taking place. But it was never properly reported as the scandal it was -- it was claimed that the Serbs were murdering tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of Kosovo Albanians, but it never happened. They might have killed a few hundred, at worst a few thousand civilians, but that's different from what the propaganda claimed at the time. I only found out that there was no genocide of Albanians in Kosovo when I searched the internet for it some time after the Iraq invasion. By that time I was no longer an Atlanticist. Most people are totally unaware that there was any lying going on while selling us the war.

reiner Tor , December 18, 2017 at 7:12 pm GMT
@German_reader

and that was clearly discernible at the time

Yes. It was the thing which opened my eyes and made me question some previous policies, especially the bombardment of Serbia. I wasn't any longer comfortable of being in NATO, especially since it started to get obvious that Hungarian elites (at least the leftists among them) used our membership to dismantle our military and use the savings on handouts for their electorate, or -- worse -- outright steal it. While it increasingly looked like NATO wasn't really protecting our interests, since our enemies were mostly our neighbors (some of them). This kind of false safety didn't feel alright.

German_reader , December 18, 2017 at 7:34 pm GMT
@reiner Tor "Yes. It was the thing which opened my eyes"

Same for me. I was 15 during the Kosovo war and believed NATO's narrative, couldn't understand how anybody could be against the war, given previous Serb atrocities during the Bosnian war it seemed to make sense. And after 9/11 I was very pro-US, e.g. I argued vehemently with a stupid leftie teacher who was against the Afghanistan war (and I still believe that war was justified, so I don't think I'm just some mindless anti-American fool). But Iraq was just too much, too much obvious lying and those lies were so stupid it was hard not to feel that there was something deeply wrong with a large part of the American public if they were gullible enough to believe such nonsense. At least for me it was a real turning point in the evolution of my political views.

Randal , December 18, 2017 at 8:07 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

As I recall the Sunnies and Shias killed and disfigured American servicemen together,

The amusing thing is that American apologists for their country's military interventionism like Art Deco more usually spend their time heaping all the blame on Iran and the Shia. As well as internet opinionators, that incudes some of the most senior US military figures like obsessively anti-Iranian SecDef James Mattis:

James Mattis' 33-Year Grudge Against Iran

That's something that ought to seriously concern anyone with a rational view of world affairs.

which caused Americans to elect Obama and run away from the country.

In fact the Americans had already admitted defeat and agreed to pull out before Obama took office. Bush II signed the withdrawal agreement on 14th December 2008. After that, US forces in Iraq were arguably no longer occupiers and were de jure as well as de facto present on the sufferance of the Iraqi government. The US regime had clearly hoped to have an Iraqi collaboration government for the long term, as a base from which to attack Iran, but the long Iraqi sunni and shia resistances scuppered that idea. The sunnis had fought hard, but were mostly defeated and many of them ended up collaborating with the US occupiers, as indeed had much of the shia, for entirely understandable reasons in both cases.

Military occupations are morally complicated like that.

Randal , December 18, 2017 at 8:26 pm GMT
@Art Deco

Were we defeated, Iraq would be ruled by the Ba'ath Party or networks of Sunni tribesman. It is not. This isn't that difficult Randal.

Well this is an old chestnut that is really just an attempt to abuse definitions of victory and defeat on your part.

The US invasion of Iraq itself was initially a military success. It ended in complete military victory over the Iraqi regime and nation, the complete surrender of the Iraqi military and the occupation of the country.

However, the US regime's wider war aims were not achieved because they were unable to impose a collaboration government and use the country as a base for further projection of US power in the ME (primarily against Iran, on behalf of Israel), and the overall result of the war and the subsequent occupation was catastrophic for any honest assessment of American national interests (as opposed to the interests of the lobbies manipulating US regime policy). The costs were significant, the reputational damage was also significant, and the overall result was to replace a contained and essentially broken opponent with vigorous sunni jihadist forces together with a resurgent Iran unwilling to kowtow to the US as most ME states are.

So the best honest assessment is that the US was defeated in Iraq, despite an initial military victory.

Felix Keverich , December 18, 2017 at 8:32 pm GMT
@Randal

The amusing thing is that American apologists for their country's military interventionism like Art Deco more usually spend their time heaping all the blame on Iran and the Shia. As well as internet opinionators, that incudes some of the most senior US military figures like obsessively anti-Iranian SecDef James Mattis

I suspect the reason this happens is because ambitious American officers know that hating Iran (hating enemies of Israel in general) is what gets you promoted. It wasn't an accident that James Mattis was appointed Secretary of Defense -- he is Bill Kristol's favourite.

Felix Keverich , December 18, 2017 at 8:38 pm GMT
@Art Deco US military is still butthurt over the Iran's support for Shia militias, targeting US troops during Iraq occupation. Clearly, the Shias hurt them a lot, and it was very unexpected for the US, because Americans actually brought Shias into power.
German_reader , December 18, 2017 at 8:44 pm GMT
@Art Deco Official justification for the Iraq war was concern about Iraq's supposedly hidden weapons of mass destruction which didn't exist in 2003. Your statement that this was merely one item "on the list of the concerns" Bush had, amounts to an admission that this was merely a pretext and that the real object of the war was a political reordering of the region according to US preferences (which of course backfired given that the Iraq war increased Iran's power and status).
Calling me "Eurotrash" oh well, I get it, US nationalists like you think you're the responsible adults dealing with a dangerous world, while ungrateful European pussies favor appeasement, are free riders on US benevolent hegemony etc. I've heard and read all that a thousand times before, it's all very unoriginal by now.
Johann Ricke , December 18, 2017 at 9:19 pm GMT
@German_reader

Official justification for the Iraq war was concern about Iraq's supposedly hidden weapons of mass destruction which didn't exist in 2003.

It was one of many reasons. You don't set a guy on Death Row free just because one of the charges didn't stick. The biggest reason was Saddam's invasion of Kuwait, which should have resulted in his removal from power. We settled on a truce because George HW Bush did not want to pay the price, and the (mostly-Sunni) Arab coalition members did not want (1) a democracy in Iraq and (2) a Shiite-dominated Iraq. Bush's son ended up footing the political bill for that piece of unfinished business. The lesson is that you can delay paying the piper, but the bill always comes due.

Randal , December 18, 2017 at 9:38 pm GMT
@Johann Ricke

Bush's son ended up footing the political bill for that piece of unfinished business.

No, Bush II chose to invade Iraq entirely voluntarily. There was no good reason to do so, and the very good reasons why his father had sensibly chosen not to invade still largely applied (even more so in some cases, given Iraq's even weaker state).

The lesson is that you can delay paying the piper, but the bill always comes due.

This is of course self-serving fantasy. The Russians told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The Germans told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The French told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The Turks told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The sensible British told you there was no need to invade Iraq, but for some reason you preferred to listen to the words of the staring-eyed sycophant who happened to be Prime Minister at the time, instead.

More fool the Yanks. Most everyone else honest on the topic was giving you sensible advice. Bush II (whose incompetence is now generally accepted) chose to ignore that advice, and committed what is generally now regarded as the most egregious example of a foreign policy blunder since Vietnam at least, and probably since Suez, and will likely be taught as such around the world (including in the US, once the partisan apologists have given up trying to rationalise it) for generations to come.

Swedish Family , December 18, 2017 at 9:50 pm GMT
@Art Deco

They've been supplying Hezbollah for 35 years.

Only by air.

For the last four years, Iran was shipping weapons and ammunition to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Hezbollah through an air route. This method allowed Israel to identify, track and target Iranian arms shipments to Hezbollah easily, as only few cargo airplanes land in Syrian airports every day.

However, now Israel will be incapable of identifying any Iranian shipment on the new ground route, as it will be used by thousands of Iraq and Syrian companies on daily basis in the upcoming months. Experts believe that this will give Hezbollah and the SAA a huge advantage over Israel and will allow Iran to increase its supplies to its allies.

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/12/httpssouthfrontorgfirst-iranian-military-convoy-enters-syria-through-land-route-from-iraq-reports.html

Randal , December 18, 2017 at 11:25 pm GMT
@Art Deco

The sensible British were a co-operating force in invading Iraq.

That was the staring-eyed sycophant's work.

The man who opened the floodgates to immigration because he thought multiculturalism is a great idea.

As for the rest, they all have their shticks and interests

Of course. Unlike the exceptional United States of course, the only country in the world whose government never has any axe to grind in the nobility of purpose and intent it displays in all the wars it has ever fought.

You seem to be degenerating into a caricature of the ignorant, arrogant American.

RadicalCenter , December 18, 2017 at 11:17 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich Similarly, it doesn't seem likely that the US government will give up its control and influence over the "independent media" that many Americans still think we have.
RadicalCenter , December 18, 2017 at 11:22 pm GMT
@Art Deco Folks in Belarus shouldn't make up their minds about applying to the EU until they speak with regular German, French, English, and Swedish people about the effects of the Islamic / Third World immivasion that the EU has imposed on them. My wife and I speak & correspond with Germans living in Germany frequently, and the real state of affairs for non-elite Germans is getting worse fast, with no good end in sight.

Anyone who does not desire to die or at best live subjugated under sharia -- and sharia run largely by cruel dimwits from Africa and Arabia -- ought to stay out (or GET out of) the EU.

Johann Ricke , December 18, 2017 at 11:31 pm GMT
@Randal

Well history has proven them to have been correct and the US regime wrong on Iraq, so that pretty much tells you how far your arrogance will get you outside your own echo chamber.

"History" has proven no such thing. What went wrong in Iraq was principally Bush's underestimate of the number of American casualties and the cost to the US treasury*, for which he and the GOP paid a serious political price. However, it's also clear that the Shiites and Kurds, an 80% majority, have no regrets that Saddam is gone. While both communities seem to think that we should continue to bear a bigger chunk of the price of pacifying Iraq's bellicose Sunni Arabs, it's also obvious that they are not electing Tikritis or even Sunni Arabs to office, as they would if they were nostalgic for Saddam's rule. The big picture, really, is that the scale of the fighting has probably convinced both Shiites and Kurds that they could not have toppled Saddam without the assistance of Uncle Sam. They could certainly not have kept Iraq's revived Sunni Arabs (in the form of ISIS) at bay without American assistance.

* These costs were larger than projected, but small compared to the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Whether or not Iraq can be secured as an American ally in the decades ahead, both the gamble and the relatively nugatory price paid will, in retrospect, be seen as a reasonable one, given Iraq's strategic location.

Randal , December 19, 2017 at 12:08 am GMT
@Johann Ricke

What went wrong in Iraq was principally Bush's underestimate of the number of American casualties and the cost to the US treasury

No, what went wrong in Iraq from the pov of any kind of honest assessment of an American national interest was that an unnecessary war was fought justified by lies that have seriously discredited the nation that told them, and that the results of the war were hugely counter to said American national interests: the conversion of a contained and broken former enemy state into a jihadist free fire training and recruitment zone combined with a strong ally of a supposed enemy state, Iran.

Whether the direct material cost of the war is acceptable or not is rather beside the point. It's a matter between Bush II and the parents, relatives and friends of those Americans who lost their lives or their health, and between Bush II and American taxpayers. If it had been achieved cost-free it still wouldn't have been worth it, because it was a defeat.

But it's no accident that the costs of the war were "underestimated". As usual, if the Bush II regime had been honest about the likely costs of their proposed war, there would have been a political outcry against it and they'd have been forced to back down as Obama was over Syria.

However, it's also clear that the Shiites and Kurds, an 80% majority, have no regrets that Saddam is gone

Amusing to see you are currently pretending that what Iraqi Kurds and Shiites feel matters. It's always entertaining to see just how shameless Americans can be at their game of alternately pretending to care for foreigners' views (when they need to justify a war) and regarding foreigners with utter contempt and disregard (when said foreigners are saying something Americans don't like to hear).

They could certainly not have kept Iraq's revived Sunni Arabs (in the form of ISIS) at bay without American assistance.

Well that partly depends upon how much support the US regime allowed its Gulf sunni Arab proxies to funnel to said jihadists, I suppose. But most likely they'd have crushed them in due course with Iranian backing.

In Iraq, IS were fine as long as they stayed out of the strongly Shiite areas in the south. They'd have quickly been whipped if they'd ventured there. Just as IS were fine in Syria as long as they were taking relatively remote land over from a government and army in desperate straits as a result of a disastrous externally funded civil war, but were soon beaten when the Russians stepped in and started actually fighting them rather than pretending to do so only as long as it didn't interfere too much with their real goal of overthrowing the Syria government, American-style.

utu , December 19, 2017 at 12:16 am GMT
@German_reader I see that Art Deco got more active than usual. Seems that the destruction of Iraq is close to his heart. Several days ago Ron Unz had this to say about him:

http://www.unz.com/jderbyshire/time-to-stop-importing-an-immigrant-overclass/#comment-2116171
Exactly! It's pretty obvious that this "Art Deco" fellow is just a Jewish-activist type, and given his very extensive posting history, perhaps even an organized "troll." But he's certainly one of the most sophisticated ones, with the vast majority of his comments being level-headed, moderate, and very well-informed, generally focusing on all sorts of other topics, perhaps with the deliberate intent of building up his personal credibility for the periodic Jewish matters that actually so agitate him.

To which I added:

http://www.unz.com/jderbyshire/time-to-stop-importing-an-immigrant-overclass/#comment-2116402
The quality and wide range of his comments are really impressive. As if it was coming form a super intelligent AI Hal that has access to all kinds of databases at his finger tips. And then there is always the same gradient of his angle: the reality is as it is; reality is as you have been told so far; do not try to keep coming with weird theories and speculations because they are all false; there is nothing interesting to see. His quality and scope are not congruent with his angle. All his knowledge and all his data and he hasn't found anything interesting that would not conform to what we all read in newspapers. Amazing. If America had its High Office of Doctrine and Faith he could have been its supreme director.

His overactivity here is somewhat out of character and after reading his comments here I doubt that Ron Unz would call him "one of the most sophisticated ones." I also would take back the "really impressive" part too. Perhaps some other individuum was assigned to Art Deco handle this Monday.

Randal , December 19, 2017 at 12:27 am GMT
Speaking of US foreign policy stupidity and arrogance, the response to the latest evidence that Trump will continue the inglorious Clinton/Bush II/Obama tradition of destructive corrupt/incompetent buffoonery:

US outnumbered 14 to 1 as it vetoes UN vote on status of Jerusalem

And here's the profoundly noxious Nikki Haley "lying for her country" (except, bizarrely, it isn't even really for her own country). Her appointment by Trump certainly was one of the first signs that he was going to seriously let America down:

The resolution was denounced in furious language by the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, who described it as "an insult" that would not be forgotten. "The United States will not be told by any country where we can put our embassy," she said.

"It's scandalous to say we are putting back peace efforts," she added. "The fact that this veto is being done in defence of American sovereignty and in defence of America's role in the Middle East peace process is not a source of embarrassment for us; it should be an embarrassment to the remainder of the security council."

The real nature of the UN resolution the execrable Haley was so faux-offended by:

The UK and France had indicated in advance that they would would back the text, which demanded that all countries comply with pre-existing UNSC resolutions on Jerusalem, dating back to 1967, including requirements that the city's final status be decided in direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

But requiring Israel and its US poodles to act in good faith is surely anti-Semitic, after all. The real beneficiary (he thinks, at least) of Trump's and Haley's buffoonery was suitably condescending in his patting of his poodles' heads:

The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, tweeted: "Thank you, Ambassador Haley. On Hanukkah, you spoke like a Maccabi. You lit a candle of truth. You dispel the darkness. One defeated the many. Truth defeated lies. Thank you, President Trump."

German_reader , December 19, 2017 at 12:28 am GMT
@utu Art Deco isn't Jewish iirc, but an (Irish?) Catholic from the northeastern US. And I suppose his views aren't even that extreme, but pretty much standard among many US right-wingers (a serious problem imo), so it makes little sense to attack him personally.
utu , December 19, 2017 at 12:29 am GMT
@German_reader Official justification for the Iraq war was concern about Iraq's supposedly hidden weapons

The fact that Iraq had no WMD was actually critical to making the claims that it had them. If Iraq had them it would officially relinquish them which would take away the ostensive cause for the invasion.

I am really amazed that now 14 years after the invasion there are some who still argue about the WMD. Iraq was to be destroyed because this was the plan. The plan to reorganize the ME that consisted of destruction of secular and semi-secure states like Iraq and Syria. The WDM was just an excuse that nobody really argued for or against in good faith including Brits or Germans or Turks. Everybody knew the writing on the wall.

utu , December 19, 2017 at 12:35 am GMT
@German_reader it makes little sense to attack him personally

Yes, personal attacks are counterproductive but I can't resit, I just can't help it, so I must to say what I said already several times in the past: you are a cuck. You are a hopeless case.

German_reader , December 19, 2017 at 12:41 am GMT
@utu

The plan to reorganize the ME that consisted of destruction of secular and semi-secure states like Iraq and Syria.

Has to be admitted though that Iraq became increasingly less secular during the 1990s, with Saddam's regime pushing Islamization as a new source of legitimacy. It's probably no accident that former Baath people and officers of Saddam's army were prominent among the leadership of IS.
Still hardly sufficient reason for the Iraq war though.

German_reader , December 19, 2017 at 12:48 am GMT
@utu With all due respect to you and Ron Unz, but the idea that someone like "Art Deco" is an "organized troll" who creates an elaborate fake persona (which he then maintains over multiple years on several different websites -- I first encountered him years ago on the American conservative's site) to spread pro-Jewish views seems somewhat paranoid to me.
I have no reason to doubt he's genuine (as far as that's possible on the internet), his views aren't unusual.
RadicalCenter , December 19, 2017 at 3:16 am GMT
@German_reader Agree with everything you just wrote. And please understand, I love the Germans and I'm angry at them in the way that you'd be angry at a brother who refuses to stop destroying himself with drugs or whatever.
John Gruskos , December 19, 2017 at 3:25 am GMT
@German_reader The commenter using the name "Art Deco" is NOT an American nationalist.

He is neocon trash.

utu , December 19, 2017 at 6:59 am GMT
@German_reader Still hardly sufficient reason for the Iraq war though.

What do you mean by that? Are you so out of touch? You really do not understand what was the reason behind Iraq 2003 war and then fucking it up when Gen. Garner was recalled and replaced with Paul Bremer who drove Iraq to the ground? Repeat after me: Iraq was destroyed because this was the only objective of 2003 Iraq war. The mission was accomplished 100%.

LondonBob , December 19, 2017 at 8:19 am GMT
@utu Israel wanted Iraq destroyed, it was.
AP , December 20, 2017 at 1:18 am GMT
@Art Deco I respectfully disagree with you about the Iraq war (one of the few areas on which I disagree with you).

I suppose had the West made a massive investment in Iraq, secured its Christian population, loaded it with US troops, and did to it what was done to Japan, over several decades, transforming it into a prosperous democratic US ally, removing Saddam (who deserves no sympathy) might have been a nice thing. It would have been a massive financial drain but having a "Japan", other than Israel, in the heart of the Middle East might have been worth it (I am not a Middle East expert but it seems the Shah's Persia was sort of being groomed for such a role).

Instead, it ended up being a disaster -- 100,000s dead in sectarian massacres, Christian population nearly destroyed, and other than Kurdish areas, an ally either of Iran or of militant anti-American Sunnis. At the cost, to the USA, of dead Americans, lots of money, and loss of soft power. I also suspect that America being stuck and preoccupied in Middle East conflicts gave room for Russia to act. I guess its a tribute to how strong America is, that it is still doing pretty well in spite of the debacle. A lesser power such as the USSR would have been sunk.

TT , December 20, 2017 at 11:16 am GMT
That's rght, and it happens to the whole world too including those countries destroyed by US and under its sanction. The bombastic propaganda MSM fake news and Hollywood have brainwashed all to harbour delusion that US is a perfect heaven paved with gold, honey and milk, people of high morality and freedom. Wait till they live there to find out reality of DemoNcracy made in USA.

[Dec 20, 2017] It seems like the intelligence agencies are spending more time monitoring politicians and public than Al Queda.

Notable quotes:
"... Freedom Watch lawyer Larry Klayman has a whistle-blower who has stated on the record, publicly, he has 47 hard drives with over 600,000,00 pages of secret CIA documents that detail all the domestic spying operations, and likely much much more. ..."
"... The rabbit hole goes very deep here. Attorney Klayman has stated he has been trying to out this for 2 years, and was stonewalled by swamp creatures, so he threatened to go public this week. Several very interesting videos, and a public letter, are out there, detailing all this. Nunes very likely saw his own conversations transcripted from surveillance taken at Trump Tower (he was part of the transition team), and realized the jig was up. Melania has moved out of Trump Tower to stay elsewhere, I am sure after finding out that many people in Washington where watching them at home in their private residence, whichi is also why Pres Trump sent out those famous angry tweets 2 weeks ago. Democrats on the Committee (and many others) are liars, and very possibly traitors, which is probably why Nunes neglected to inform them. Nunes did follow proper procedures, notifying Ryan first etc, you can ignore the MSM bluster there ..observe Nunes body language in the 2 videos of his dual press briefings he gave today, he appears shocked, angry, disturbed etc. ..."
"... This all stems from Obama's Jan 16 signing of the order broadening "co-operation" between the NSA and everybody else in Washington, so that mid-level analysts at almost any agency could now look at raw NSA intercepts, that is where all the "leaks" and "unmasking" are coming from. ..."
"... AG Lynch, Obama, and countless others knew, or should have known, all about this, but I am sure they will play the usual "I was too stupid too know what was going on in my own organization" card. ..."
Mar 23, 2017 |
fresno dan March 22, 2017 at 6:56 pm

So I see where Nunes in a ZeroHedge posting says that there might have been "incidental surveillance" of "Trump" (?Trump associates? ?Trump tower? ?Trump campaign?)
Now to the average NC reader, it kinda goes without saying. But I don't think Trump understands the scope of US government "surveillance" and I don't think the average citizen, certainly not the average Trump supporter, does either – the nuances and subtleties of it – the supposed "safeguards".

I can understand the rationale for it .but this goes to show that when you give people an opportunity to use secret information for their own purposes .they will use secret information for their own purposes.

And at some point, the fact of the matter that the law regarding the "incidental" leaking appears to have been broken, and that this leaking IMHO was purposefully broken for political purposes .is going to come to the fore. Like bringing up "fake news" – some of these people on the anti Trump side seem not just incapable of playing 11th dimensional chess, they seem incapable of winning tic tac toe .

Was Obama behind it? I doubt it and I don't think it would be provable. But it seems like the intelligence agencies are spending more time monitoring repubs than Al queda. Now maybe repubs are worse than Al queda – I think its time we have a real debate instead of the pseudo debates and start asking how useful the CIA is REALLY. (and we can ask how useful repubs and dems are too)

craazyboy March 22, 2017 at 8:45 pm

If Obama taped the information, stuffed the tape in one of Michelle's shoeboxes, then hid the shoebox in the Whitehouse basement, he could be in trouble. Ivanka is sure to search any shoeboxes she finds.

Irredeemable Deplorable March 23, 2017 at 2:57 am

Oh the Trump supporters are all over this, don't worry. There are many more levels to what is going on than what is reported in the fakenews MSM.

Adm Roger of NSA made his November visit to Trump Tower, after a SCIF was installed there, to .be interviewed for a job uh-huh yeah.

Freedom Watch lawyer Larry Klayman has a whistle-blower who has stated on the record, publicly, he has 47 hard drives with over 600,000,00 pages of secret CIA documents that detail all the domestic spying operations, and likely much much more.

The rabbit hole goes very deep here. Attorney Klayman has stated he has been trying to out this for 2 years, and was stonewalled by swamp creatures, so he threatened to go public this week. Several very interesting videos, and a public letter, are out there, detailing all this. Nunes very likely saw his own conversations transcripted from surveillance taken at Trump Tower (he was part of the transition team), and realized the jig was up. Melania has moved out of Trump Tower to stay elsewhere, I am sure after finding out that many people in Washington where watching them at home in their private residence, whichi is also why Pres Trump sent out those famous angry tweets 2 weeks ago. Democrats on the Committee (and many others) are liars, and very possibly traitors, which is probably why Nunes neglected to inform them. Nunes did follow proper procedures, notifying Ryan first etc, you can ignore the MSM bluster there ..observe Nunes body language in the 2 videos of his dual press briefings he gave today, he appears shocked, angry, disturbed etc.

You all should be happy, because although Pres Trump has been vindicated here on all counts, the more important story for you is that the old line Democratic Party looks about to sink under the wieght of thier own lies and illegalities. This all stems from Obama's Jan 16 signing of the order broadening "co-operation" between the NSA and everybody else in Washington, so that mid-level analysts at almost any agency could now look at raw NSA intercepts, that is where all the "leaks" and "unmasking" are coming from.

AG Lynch, Obama, and countless others knew, or should have known, all about this, but I am sure they will play the usual "I was too stupid too know what was going on in my own organization" card.

Lambert Strether Post author March 23, 2017 at 4:08 am

> Was Obama behind it? I doubt it and I don't think it would be provable

I think he knew about it. After fulminating about weedy technicalities, let me just say that Obama's EO12333 expansion made sure that whatever anti-Trump information got picked up by the intelligence community could be spread widely, and would be hard to trace back to an individual source .

[Dec 19, 2017] Anatol Lieven: A Trap of Their Own Making The consequences of the new imperialism. Book review LRB 8 May 2003

May 08, 2003 |

Nineteenth-century empires were often led on from one war to another as a result of developments which imperial governments did not plan and domestic populations did not desire. In part this was the result of plotting by individual 'prancing proconsuls', convinced they could gain a reputation at small risk, given the superiority of their armies to any conceivable opposition; but it was also the result of factors inherent in the imperial process.

The difference today is that overwhelming military advantage is possessed not by a set of competing Western states, but by one state alone. Other countries may possess elements of the technology, and many states are more warlike than America; but none possesses anything like the ability of the US to integrate these elements (including Intelligence) into an effective whole, and to combine them with weight of firepower, capacity to transport forces over long distances and national bellicosity. The most important question now facing the world is the use the Bush Administration will make of its military dominance, especially in the Middle East. The next question is when and in what form resistance to US domination over the Middle East will arise. That there will be resistance is certain. It would be contrary to every historical precedent to believe that such a quasi-imperial hegemony will not stir up resentment, which sooner or later is bound to find an effective means of expression.

US domination over the Middle East will, for the most part, be exercised indirectly, and will provoke less grievance than direct administration would, but one likely cause of trouble is the 'proletarian colonisation' of Israel – the Jewish settlements in the Occupied Territories. Given past experience and the indications now coming from Israel, there is little reason to hope for any fundamental change in Israeli policies. Sharon may eventually withdraw a few settlements – allowing the US Administration and the Israeli lobby to present this as a major concession and sacrifice – but unless there is a tremendous upheaval in both Israeli and US domestic politics, he and his successors are unlikely to offer the Palestinians anything more than tightly controlled bantustans.

Palestinian terrorism, Israeli repression and wider Arab and Muslim resentment seem likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

How long it will be before serious resistance grows is hard to tell. In some 19th-century cases, notably Afghanistan, imperial rule never consolidated itself and was overthrown almost immediately by new revolts. In others, it lasted for decades without involving too much direct repression, and ended only after tremendous social, economic, political and cultural changes had taken place not only in the colonies and dependencies but in the Western imperial countries themselves. Any attempt to predict the future of the Middle East must recognise that the new era which began on 11 September 2001 has not only brought into the open certain latent pathologies in American and British society, culture and politics; it has also fully revealed the complete absence of democratic modernisation, or indeed any modernisation, in all too much of the Muslim world.

The fascination and the horror of the present time is that so many different and potentially disastrous possibilities suggest themselves. The immediate issue is whether the US will attack any other state. Or, to put the question another way: will the US move from hegemony to empire in the Middle East? And if it does, will it continue to march from victory to victory, or will it suffer defeats which will sour American public support for the entire enterprise?

For Britain, the most important question is whether Tony Blair, in his capacity as a senior adviser to President Bush, can help to stop US moves in this direction and, if he fails, whether Britain is prepared to play the only role it is likely to be offered in a US empire: that fulfilled by Nepal in the British Empire – a loyal provider of brave soldiers with special military skills. Will the British accept a situation in which their chief international function is to provide auxiliary cohorts to accompany the Roman legions of the US, with the added disadvantage that British cities, so far from being protected in return by the empire, will be exposed to destruction by 'barbarian' counter-attacks?

As is clear from their public comments, let alone their private conversations, the Neo-Conservatives in America and their allies in Israel would indeed like to see a long-term imperial war against any part of the Muslim world which defies the US and Israel, with ideological justification provided by the American mission civilisatrice – 'democratisation'. In the words of the Israeli Major-General Ya'akov Amidror, writing in April under the auspices of the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, 'Iraq is not the ultimate goal. The ultimate goal is the Middle East, the Arab world and the Muslim world. Iraq will be the first step in this direction; winning the war against terrorism means structurally changing the entire area.' The Neo-Con model is the struggle against 'Communism', which they are convinced was won by the Reaganite conflation of military toughness and ideological crusading. The ultimate goal here would be world hegemony by means of absolute military superiority.

The Neo-Cons may be deluding themselves, however. It may well be that, as many US officials say in private, Bush's new national security strategy is 'a doctrine for one case only' – namely Iraq. Those who take this position can point to the unwillingness of most Americans to see themselves in imperial terms, coupled with their powerful aversion to foreign entanglements, commitments and sacrifices. The Bush Administration may have made menacing statements about Syria, but it has also assured the American people that the US military occupation of Iraq will last 18 months at the very most. Furthermore, if the economy continues to falter, it is still possible that Bush will be ejected from office in next year's elections. Should this happen, some of the US's imperial tendencies will no doubt remain in place – scholars as different as Andrew Bacevich and Walter Russell Mead have stressed the continuity in this regard from Bush through Clinton to Bush, and indeed throughout US history. However, without the specific configuration of hardline elements empowered by the Bush Administration, American ambitions would probably take on a less megalomaniac and frightening aspect.

In this analysis, both the grotesque public optimism of the Neo-Con rhetoric about democratisation and its exaggeration of threats to the US stem from the fact that it takes a lot to stir ordinary Americans out of their customary apathy with regard to international affairs. While it is true that an element of democratic messianism is built into what Samuel Huntington and others have called 'the American Creed', it is also the case that many Americans have a deep scepticism – healthy or chauvinist according to taste – about the ability of other countries to develop their own forms of democracy.

In the case of Iraq, this scepticism has been increased by the scenes of looting and disorder. In addition, there have been well-publicised harbingers both of incipient ethnic conflict and of strong mass opposition to a long-term US military presence and a US-chosen Iraqi Government. Even the Washington Post , which was one of the cheerleaders for this war in the 'serious' American press, and which has not been too anxious to publicise Iraqi civilian casualties, has reported frankly on the opposition to US plans for Iraq among the country's Shia population in particular.

Even if most Americans and a majority of the Administration want to move to indirect control over Iraq, the US may well find that it has no choice but to exercise direct rule. Indeed, even those who hated the war may find themselves morally trapped into supporting direct rule if the alternative appears to be a collapse into anarchy, immiseration and ethnic conflict. There is a tremendous difference in this regard between Iraq and Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, the mass of the population has been accustomed to fend for itself with very little help from the state, very little modern infrastructure and for that matter very little formal employment. In these circumstances, it was possible for the US to install a ramshackle pretence of a coalition government in Kabul, with a tenuous truce between its elements held in place by an international peacekeeping force backed by US firepower. The rest of the country could be left in the hands of warlords, clans and ethnic militias, as long as they made their territories open hunting ranges for US troops in their search for al-Qaida. The US forces launch these raids from airbases and heavily fortified, isolated camps in which most soldiers are kept rigidly separated from Afghans.

Doubtless many US planners would be delighted to dominate Iraq in the same semi-detached way, but Iraq is a far more modern society than Afghanistan, and much more heavily urbanised: without elements of modern infrastructure and services and a state to guarantee them, living standards there will not recover. Iraq needs a state; but for a whole set of reasons, it will find the creation of a workable democratic state extremely difficult. The destruction of the Baath regime has involved the destruction of the Sunni Arab military dominance on which the Iraqi state has depended since its creation by the British. Neither the US nor anyone else has any clear idea of what to put in its place (if one ignores the fatuous plan of Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz to install Ahmad Chalabi as an American puppet and Iraqi strongman). Equally important, the US will not allow the creation of a truly independent state. Ultimately, it may well see itself as having no choice but to create the state itself and remain deeply involved not just in supporting it but in running it, as the British did in Egypt for some sixty years.

Very often – perhaps most of the time – the old imperial powers preferred to exercise control indirectly, through client states. This was far cheaper, far easier to justify domestically and ran far less chance of provoking native revolt. The problem was that the very act of turning a country into a client tended to cripple the domestic prestige of the client regime, and to place such economic, political and moral pressures on it that it was liable to collapse. The imperial power then had the choice of either pulling out (and allowing the area to fall into the hands of enemies) or stepping in and imposing direct control. This phenomenon can be seen from Awadh and Punjab in the 1840s to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1989.

Of course, the threat to imperial client states did not come only from within their own borders. In a world where ethnic, clan, religious and personal loyalties spilled across national boundaries, a power that seized one territory was likely to find itself inexorably drawn to conquering its neighbours. There were always military, commercial or missionary interests to agitate for this expansion, often backed by exiled opposition groups ready to stress that the mass of the population would rejoice in an imperial invasion to bring them to power.

Whatever the Neo-Cons and the Israeli Government may wish, there is I believe no fixed intention on the part of the US Administration to attack either Syria or Iran, let alone Saudi Arabia. What it had in mind was that an easy and crushing US victory over Iraq would so terrify other Muslim states that they would give up any support for terrorist groups, collaborate fully in cracking down on terrorists and Islamist radicals, and abandon their own plans to develop weapons of mass destruction, thereby making it unnecessary for the US to attack them. This applied not only to perceived enemies such as Syria, Iran and Libya, but to Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Yemen and other states seen as unreliable allies in the 'war against terrorism'. If the US restricts itself to this strategy and this goal, it may enjoy success – for a while at least. Several states in the region are clearly running very scared. Moreover, every single state in the region – including Iran – feels under threat from the forces of Sunni Islamist revolution as represented by al-Qaida and its ideological allies; so there is a genuine common interest in combating them.

But for this strategy to work across such a wide range of states and societies as those of the Muslim world, US policymakers would have to display considerable sensitivity and discrimination. These are virtues not usually associated with the Bush Administration, least of all in its present triumphalist mood. The policy is in any case not without its dangers. What happens if the various pressures put on the client regimes cause them to collapse? And what happens if an enemy calls America's bluff, and challenges it to invade? It is all too easy to see how a new US offensive could result. Another major terrorist attack on the US could upset all equations and incite another wave of mass hysteria that would make anything possible. If, for example, it were once again perceived to have been financed and staffed by Saudis, the pressure for an attack on Saudi Arabia could become overwhelming. The Iranian case is even trickier. According to informed European sources, the Iranians may be within two years of developing a nuclear deterrent (it's even possible that successful pressure on Russia to cut off nuclear trade would not make any crucial difference). Israel in particular is determined to forestall Iranian nuclear capability, and Israeli commentators have made it clear that Israel will take unilateral military action if necessary. If the US and Israeli Governments are indeed determined to stop Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, they may not have much time.

The second factor is the behaviour of the Shias of Iraq, and especially of Iranian-backed factions. Leading Shia groups have boycotted the initial discussions on forming a government. If they maintain this position, and if the US fails to create even the appearance of a viable Iraqi government, with disorder spreading in consequence, Iran will be blamed, rightly or not, by powerful elements in Washington. They will use it as an additional reason to strike against Iranian nuclear sites. In response, Tehran might well promote not only a further destabilisation of Iraq but a terrorist campaign against the US, which would in turn provoke more US retaliations until a full-scale war became a real possibility.

Although the idea of an American invasion of Iran is viewed with horror by most military analysts (and, as far as I can gather, by the uniformed military), the latest polls suggest that around 50 per cent of Americans are already prepared to support a war to prevent Iran acquiring nuclear weapons. Moreover, the voices of moderation among the military tend to be the same ones which warned – as I did – of the possibility of stiff Iraqi resistance to a US invasion and the dangers of urban warfare in Baghdad, opposed Rumsfeld's plans to invade with limited numbers of relatively lightly armed troops and felt vindicated in their concern by the initial setbacks around Nasiriya and elsewhere. The aftermath has shown Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld to have been correct in their purely military calculations about Iraq, and this will undoubtedly strengthen them in future clashes with the uniformed military. Rumsfeld's whole strategy of relying on lighter, more easily transportable forces is, of course, precisely designed to make such imperial expeditions easier.

As for the majority of Americans, well, they have already been duped once, by a propaganda programme which for systematic mendacity has few parallels in peacetime democracies: by the end of it, between 42 and 56 per cent of Americans (the polls vary) were convinced that Saddam Hussein was directly involved in the attacks of 11 September. This gave the run-up to the war a peculiarly nightmarish quality in the US. It was as if the full truth about Tonkin Gulf, instead of emerging in dribs and drabs over a decade, had been fully available and in the open the whole time – and the US intervention in Vietnam had happened anyway.

While the special place of Saddam Hussein in American demonology means that this wouldn't be an easy trick to repeat, the American public's ignorance of international affairs in general and the Muslim world in particular make it by no means impossible. It isn't just Fox TV: numerous even more rabid media outlets, the Christian Coalition and parts of the Israeli lobby are all dedicated to whipping up hatred of Arabs and Muslims. More important is the fact that most Americans accept Bush's equation of terrorism and 'evil', which makes it extremely difficult to conduct any serious public discussion of threats from the Muslim world in terms which would be acceptable or even comprehensible to a mass American audience. Add to this the severe constraints on the discussion of the role of Israel, and you have a state of public debate close to that described by Marcuse. If America suffered another massive terrorist attack in the coming years, the dangers would be incomparably greater.

If the plans of the Neo-Cons depended on mass support for imperialism within the US, they would be doomed to failure. The attacks of 11 September, however, have given American imperialists the added force of wounded nationalism – a much deeper, more popular and more dangerous phenomenon, strengthened by the Israeli nationalism of much of the American Jewish community. Another attack on the American mainland would further inflame that nationalism, and strengthen support for even more aggressive and ambitious 'retaliations'. The terrorists may hope that they will exhaust Americans' will to fight, as the Vietcong did; if so, they may have underestimated both the tenacity and the ferocity of Americans when they feel themselves to have been directly attacked. The capacity for ruthlessness of the nationalist or Jacksonian element in the American democratic tradition – as in the firebombing of Japan and North Korea, neither of which had targeted American civilians – has been noted by Walter Russell Mead, and was recently expressed by MacGregor Knox, an American ex-soldier, now a professor at the LSE: Europeans 'may believe that the natural order of things as they perceive it – the restraint of American power through European wisdom – will sooner or later triumph. But such expectations are delusional. Those who find militant Islam terrifying have clearly never seen a militant democracy.'

America could certainly be worn out by a protracted guerrilla struggle on the scale of Vietnam. It seems unlikely, however, that a similar struggle could be mounted in the Middle East – unless the US were to invade Iran, at which point all bets and predictions would be off. Another terrorist attack on the US mainland, using some form of weapons of mass destruction, far from demoralising the US population would probably whip it into chauvinist fury.

To understand why successful guerrilla warfare against the US is unlikely (quite apart from the fact that there are no jungles in the Middle East), it is necessary to remember that the imperial domination made possible by 19th-century Western military superiority was eventually destroyed by three factors: first, the development of military technology (notably such weapons as the automatic rifle, the grenade and modern explosives) which considerably narrowed the odds between Western armies and 'native' insurgents. Second, the development of modern ideologies of resistance – Communist, nationalist or a combination of the two – which in turn produced the cadres and structures to organise resistance. Third, weariness on the part of 'metropolitan' populations and elites, stemming partly from social and cultural change, and partly from a growing awareness that direct empire did not pay economically.

Guerrilla warfare against the US is now a good deal more difficult because of two undramatic but immensely important innovations: superbly effective and light bullet-proof vests and helmets which make the US and British soldier almost as well protected as the medieval knight; and night-vision equipment which denies the guerrilla the aid of his oldest friend and ally, darkness. Both of these advantages can be countered, but it will be a long time before the odds are narrowed again. Of course, local allies of the US can be targeted, but their deaths are hardly noticed by US public opinion. More and more, therefore, 'asymmetric warfare' will encourage a move to terrorism.

The absence or failure of revolutionary parties led by cadres working for mass mobilisation confirms this. The Islamists may alter this situation, despite the disillusioning fate of the Iranian Revolution. But as far as the nationalists are concerned, it has been tried in the past, and while it succeeded in expelling the colonialists and their local clients, it failed miserably to produce modernised states. Algeria is a clear example: a hideously savage but also heroic rebellion against a particularly revolting form of colonialism – which eventually led to such an utterly rotten and unsuccessful independent state that much of the population eventually turned to Islamic revolution.

And now this, too, is discredited, above all in the one major country where it succeeded, Iran. Arab states have failed to develop economically, politically and socially, and they have also failed properly to unite. When they have united for the purposes of war, they have been defeated. Rebellion against the US may take place in Iraq. Elsewhere, the mass response to the latest Arab defeat seems more likely to be a further wave of despair, disillusionment and retreat into private life – an 'internal emigration'. In some fortunate cases, this may lead to a new Islamist politics focused on genuine reform and democratic development – along the lines of the changes in Turkey. But a cynicism which only feeds corruption and oppression is just as likely a result.

Even if despair and apathy turn out to be the responses of the Arab majority, there will also be a minority which is too proud, too radical, too fanatical or too embittered – take your pick – for such a course. They are the natural recruits for terrorism, and it seems likely that their numbers will only have been increased by the latest American victory. We must fear both the strengthening of Islamist terrorism and the reappearance of secular nationalist terrorism, not only among Palestinians but among Arabs in general. The danger is not so much that the Bush Administration will consciously adopt the whole Neo-Con imperialist programme as that the Neo-Cons and their allies will contribute to tendencies stemming inexorably from the US occupation of Iraq and that the result will be a vicious circle of terrorism and war. If this proves to be the case, then the damage inflicted over time by the US on the Muslim world and by Muslims on the US and its allies is likely to be horrendous. We have already shown that we can destroy Muslim states. Even the most ferocious terrorist attacks will not do that to Western states; but if continued over decades, they stand a good chance of destroying democracy in America and any state associated with it.

[Dec 17, 2017] Obama Encouraged 'Deep State' 'De Facto Coup' Against Trump

Notable quotes:
"... Here you had Obama's people using the NSA to spy on his adversaries, and apparently include the CIA, the FBI, and members of the Department of Justice in that loop, in a manner that was not approved of by any court, that was not approved by even a FISA court – the special court that monitors certain kinds of surveillance," he said. ..."
"... "Just because a conversation involves a foreign official doesn't allow you to illegally tape it, illegally monitor it, or illegally record it when a U.S. citizen is on there, particularly when it's your political adversary," Barnes explained. ..."
Dec 17, 2017 | www.breitbart.com

"Yes, there is," Barnes replied. "In fact, it's one of the directions that a future investigation can take. A future investigation doesn't have to focus on whatever it is the Democrats or liberals want. It can focus on the illegal leaks that took place."

"As I mentioned the other day to a liberal lawyer friend of mine, the worst thing ever accused concerning Nixon was about using private resources to try to illegally spy on people. Here you had Obama's people using the NSA to spy on his adversaries, and apparently include the CIA, the FBI, and members of the Department of Justice in that loop, in a manner that was not approved of by any court, that was not approved by even a FISA court – the special court that monitors certain kinds of surveillance," he said.

"Just because a conversation involves a foreign official doesn't allow you to illegally tape it, illegally monitor it, or illegally record it when a U.S. citizen is on there, particularly when it's your political adversary," Barnes explained.

"I'm sure the liberals would go nuts if Trump tomorrow started listening in on every conversation Obama had with anybody that's foreign, or that Bill Clinton had with anybody that's foreign, or that Hillary Clinton had with anybody that's foreign. So it's a dangerous, precarious path that Obama has opened up, and hopefully there is a full investigation into that activity," he said.

"You clearly also have lots of illegal leaks going on, particularly as it related to the recent Yemen issue involving the widow of the Navy SEAL who passed way, that became a big issue at the State of the Union. There you had people reporting that no intelligence was gathered. Well, that's an illegal leak. It turns out that they're wrong, they were lying about what intelligence developed or the fact that intelligence did develop, but they shouldn't have been out there saying anything like that," he noted.

"There are people willing to leak the most sensitive national security secrets about any particular matter, solely to have a one-day political hit story on Trump. These are people who are violating their oath, and violating the law. Hopefully there is ultimately criminal punishment," Barnes urged.

"This is far worse than the Plame matter that got all that attention, that got a special prosecutor in W's reign. This is far, far worse than any of that. This is putting national security at risk. This is an effective de facto coup attempt by elements of the deep state. So hopefully there's a meaningful investigation and a meaningful prosecution of these people who have engaged in reckless criminal acts for their personal political partisan purposes," he said.

[Dec 16, 2017] Surveillance Confirmed Of President Trump. Obama spied on Trump. where is the arrest

Notable quotes:
"... Scared and panicking Evelyn Farkas spilled the beans. By saying "I became very worried..." she's obviously trying to justify her behavior in case a legal bomb is dropped on her. This is a side effect of Nunes' dramatized little trip to the White House intelligence secure facilities: as long as they don't know Nunes and Trump's hands, panic will bring more people to come forward and look for some kind of justification and/or protection. ..."
Dec 16, 2017 | www.youtube.com

buzzkillean , 8 months ago

Obama and Clinton thought they had the election in the bag. They broke surveillance laws thinking that Clinton would be in the Whitehouse to cover it anyway. Imagine their shock on election day when they realized how many felonies would be exposed when Trump took over.........cover-up.

meconnectesimplement , 8 months ago

Look at her face at 2:06 ... Scared and panicking Evelyn Farkas spilled the beans. By saying "I became very worried..." she's obviously trying to justify her behavior in case a legal bomb is dropped on her. This is a side effect of Nunes' dramatized little trip to the White House intelligence secure facilities: as long as they don't know Nunes and Trump's hands, panic will bring more people to come forward and look for some kind of justification and/or protection.

[Dec 16, 2017] Former CIA director speaks out against Russia-gate conspiracy

Notable quotes:
"... Morell is "priming" the public, cushioning the landing as it were, for the eventual revelation that the Russian collusion narrative has been entirely fabricated. ..."
"... He's not doing it out of the goodness of his heart, but in an attempt to minimize the intelligence community's inevitable, and i might add deserved, loss of credibility over the fiasco. ..."
"... That guy wanted to "kill Russians" and "kill Iranians". He's not a good guy by any stretch of the imagination. ..."
Dec 12, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Former CIA Director Michael Morell said in an interview that he thought if there was evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, special prosecutor Robert Mueller would have found it already and that the evidence would've been leaked by now. RT America's Anya Parampil has more.

Find RT America in your area: http://rt.com/where-to-watch/
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John B. , 4 days ago

Psychopath.

JoJo Mama , 4 days ago

all roads seem to go in the direction of TelAviv...

Michael Maxfield , 4 days ago

Morell is "priming" the public, cushioning the landing as it were, for the eventual revelation that the Russian collusion narrative has been entirely fabricated.

He's not doing it out of the goodness of his heart, but in an attempt to minimize the intelligence community's inevitable, and i might add deserved, loss of credibility over the fiasco.

What boggles the mind is there are 3 or 4 solid ways to go after Trump that don't involve Russia, but the media doesn't seem to be interested in those.

That is because a) it doesn't exonerate the DNC over it's shitty performance in 2016, and b) it doesn't push the new cold war (which in turn boosts arms sales, and gives the elite a way to terrify and therefore control the populace). They thought it was going to work, but it's becoming increasingly apparent that the Nothingburger is about to be exposed for what it is.

Kunal Sharma , 4 days ago

That guy wanted to "kill Russians" and "kill Iranians". He's not a good guy by any stretch of the imagination.

Bella , 4 days ago

What a dufus.....just now figuring that out after destroying people's lives?

Corona zerone , 4 days ago

Fake News.

Mark Redmond , 4 days ago

American politics is a clown show and it's actually embarrassing to watch, the world is laughing at America because it's like a badly written soap opera live on TV.

davidmcccsf , 3 days ago

Michael Morell is a psychopath and the kind of guy who'd usually be pushing the Russia narrative. If he is saying this - well that's a mind blowing death blow to the big lie. Amazing. For once in his pathetic life he actually makes a correct analysis. Fuck me.

Sandor Daroci , 4 days ago

another scum. damn swamp.

carole carroll , 4 days ago

Israelgate is the collusion between trump and Netanyahu. They care not going to tell you. Israel used DNC to divide democrats.

Buddy Floyd , 3 days ago

The Russophobes need to be put up against the Wall and Shot.

T Sun , 3 days ago

CIA INFILTRATED TOP LEVEL OFFICIALS OF THE FBI. CIA MUST BE BLOWN TO PIECES LIKE PRESIDENT KENNEDY SAID. IF THE CIA WOULD STICK TO THEIR JOB DESCRIPTION, THE UNITED STATES WOULD NOT BE IN THE MESS IT IS IN NOW.

Richard Llewellyn , 3 days ago

Yes the MSM dont question the Intelligence Agencies and now 8 million murdered based on lies later you wonder why.

PHIL BURTOFT , 4 days ago

Morell didn't think through the implications of his actions! If that's the case it would be the first move in his life he hadn't thought through. These people think we are cabbages and believe anything, whether its Comey schoolboy act or Morell lack of foresight, we are expected to suck it up, its just plain insulting they don't even try and mask their deceit anymore

[Dec 16, 2017] Former CIA Director Admits Targeting Trump Was Stupid!

It's not targeting. This is color revolution again Trump orchestrated by certain factions of intelligence agencies and first of all CIA and FBI.
Notable quotes:
"... he admits that leaking and bashing by the intelligence community against an incoming president might not have been the best idea. ..."
Dec 15, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Former Acting Director of the CIA, Michael Morell, gives a surprisingly honest interview in which he admits that leaking and bashing by the intelligence community against an incoming president might not have been the best idea.

[Dec 16, 2017] Team Obama Gets Caught Committing Political Espionage, Spying on Trump His Team

Dec 16, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Microphonix Virtual Studio , 8 months ago

Big question is; will they bring Obama to justice? Logically, if he can get away with breaking the law, we should be able to as well.

[Dec 16, 2017] OBAMA OFFICIALS FACING CRIMINAL CHARGES FOR UNMASKING TRUMP TEAM Bob Woodward Explains Charges

See some information about this Obama official at Evelyn Farkas - Wikipedia
Dec 16, 2017 | www.youtube.com

King Leonidas , 8 months ago

People need to go to jail for this. Too much power is in the hands of the shadow government. The democratic party along with the republican establishment need to be exposed for the snakes that they really are, thank you HA !!

[Dec 16, 2017] Multiple Felonies Committed By Obama Admin. Obama Surveillance on Trump.

Dec 16, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Flora Moreland , 8 months ago

Do you remember when Schumer said Trump better watch what he says against the intelligence cause they no how to get back at him?!!!!

Sempi5757 , 8 months ago

Lynch should've been arrested a long time ago

R J , 8 months ago

So how long until we see some arrests? An average citizen would be sitting in jail!

[Dec 16, 2017] CIA Insider Releases 47 Hard Drives Revealing Obama Spying On Trump - YouTube

Dec 12, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Anonymous EXPOSED -
CIA Insider Releases 47 Hard Drives Revealing Obama Spying On Trump | Anonymous EXPOSED

⭐ Please Donate & Support This Channel: https://www.paypal.me/AnonymousEXPOSEDus

Learn more about news on Youtube: https://goo.gl/sTV9nq

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[Dec 14, 2017] Mr. Michael Morell (the former director of the CIA)) who has just confessed his treason in support of H. Clinton

If "our plan" exist, then Michael Morell should be persecuted.
Notable quotes:
"... Politico's interview with a somewhat repentant Trump hater Mike Morell now saying 'maybe our plan wasn't that well thought out' , and now these MSM Russia Gate screwups coupled with a discovery of FBI Trump haters, is a result of Trump's recognizing Jerusalem as it being Israel's capital? Just say'n. ..."
"... Amazing how energetically the "democrats" are uniting with the CIA! Exhibit No 1 is Mr. Michael Morell (the former director of the CIA)) who has just confessed his treason in support of H. Clinton: http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_76241.shtml ..."
Dec 14, 2017 | consortiumnews.com
Joe Tedesky , December 13, 2017 at 10:32 pm

Philip Giraldi writes about a shift occurring over at the CIA in Trump's favor, Politico's interview with a somewhat repentant Trump hater Mike Morell now saying 'maybe our plan wasn't that well thought out' , and now these MSM Russia Gate screwups coupled with a discovery of FBI Trump haters, is a result of Trump's recognizing Jerusalem as it being Israel's capital? Just say'n.

Anna , December 14, 2017 at 1:11 am

"You all keep hating on Democracy."

-- Amazing how energetically the "democrats" are uniting with the CIA! Exhibit No 1 is Mr. Michael Morell (the former director of the CIA)) who has just confessed his treason in support of H. Clinton: http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_76241.shtml

Your "democracy" was nowhere when Mr. Clinton had been molesting underage girls on Lolita express. Your "democracy on the march," Clinton-Kagan style, has destroyed Libya and Ukraine. Millions of innocent civilians of all ages (including an enormous number of children) died thanks to your Israel-first & oil-first Clinton & Obama policies.

Very democratic ("We came, we saw, he died ha, ha, ha" – and the gem of Northern Africa has become a hell for Libyan citizens). One does not need to be Trump apologist to sense the stench of your rotten Clinton-Obama-CIA-FBI "democracy."

[Dec 10, 2017] When Washington Cheered the Jihadists Consortiumnews

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... William Roebuck, the American embassy's chargé d'affaires in Damascus, thus urged Washington in 2006 to coordinate with Egypt and Saudi Arabia to encourage Sunni Syrian fears of Shi'ite Iranian proselytizing even though such concerns are "often exaggerated." It was akin to playing up fears of Jewish dominance in the 1930s in coordination with Nazi Germany. ..."
"... A year later, former NATO commander Wesley Clark learned of a classified Defense Department memo stating that U.S. policy was now to "attack and destroy the governments in seven countries in five years," first Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran. (Quote starts at 2:07 .) ..."
"... So the answer was not to oppose the Islamists, but to use them. Even though "the Islamist surge will not be a picnic for the Syrian people," Gambill said, "it has two important silver linings for US interests." One is that the jihadis "are simply more effective fighters than their secular counterparts" thanks to their skill with "suicide bombings and roadside bombs." ..."
"... The other is that a Sunni Islamist victory in Syria will result in "a full-blown strategic defeat" for Iran, thereby putting Washington at least part way toward fulfilling the seven-country demolition job discussed by Wesley Clark. ..."
"... The U.S. would settle with the jihadis only after the jihadis had settled with Assad. The good would ultimately outweigh the bad. This kind of self-centered moral calculus would not have mattered had Gambill only spoken for himself. But he didn't. Rather, he was expressing the viewpoint of Official Washington in general, which is why the ultra-respectable FP ran his piece in the first place. ..."
"... The parallels with the DIA are striking. "The west, gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition," the intelligence report declared, even though "the Salafist[s], the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [i.e. Al Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency." ..."
"... ancien régime, ..."
"... With the Saudis footing the bill, the U.S. would exercise untrammeled sway. ..."
"... Has a forecast that ever gone more spectacularly wrong? Syria's Baathist government is hardly blameless in this affair. But thanks largely to the U.S.-backed sectarian offensive, 400,000 Syrians or more have died since Gambill's article appeared, with another 6.1 million displaced and an estimated 4.8 million fleeing abroad. ..."
"... So instead of advancing U.S. policy goals, Gambill helped do the opposite. The Middle East is more explosive than ever while U.S. influence has fallen to sub-basement levels. Iranian influence now extends from the Arabian Sea to the Mediterranean, while the country that now seems to be wobbling out of control is Saudi Arabia where Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman is lurching from one self-induced crisis to another. The country that Gambill counted on to shore up the status quo turns out to be undermining it. ..."
"... It's not easy to screw things up so badly, but somehow Washington's bloated foreign-policy establishment has done it. Since helping to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, Gambill has moved on to a post at the rightwing Middle East Forum where Daniel Pipes, the group's founder and chief, now inveighs against the same Sunni ethnic cleansing that his employee defended or at least apologized for. ..."
"... The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy ..."
"... I do not believe than anyone in the civil or military command ever believed that arming the jihadists would bring any sort of stability or peace to the region. I do not believe that peace was ever an interest of the US until it has once again gained hegemonic control of central Asia. This is a fight to retain US global domination – causalities do not matter. The US and its partners or co-rulers of the Empire the Saud family and the Zionist oligarchy will slaughter with impunity until someone stops them or their own corruption defeats them. ..."
"... The Empire can not exist without relentless ongoing slaughter it has been at it every day now for 73 years. It worked for them all that time but that time has run out. China has already set the date for when its currency will become fully freely exchanged, less than 5 years. ..."
"... Even the most stupid person on earth couldn't think that the US was using murdering, butchering head choppers in a bid to bring peace and stability to the middle East. The Neocons and the other criminals that infest Washington don't want peace at any price because its bad for business. ..."
"... It's the same GROTESQUE caricature of these wars that the mainstream media always presents: that the U.S. is on the side of good, and fights for good, even though every war INVARIABLY ends up in a bloodbath, with no one caring how many civilians have died, what state the country is left in, that civilian infrastructure and civilians were targeted, let alone whether war could have been prevented. For example, in 1991, shortly after the first Gulf War, Iraqis rose up against their regime, but George H. Bush allowed Saddam to fly his military helicopters (permission was needed due to the no-fly zones), and quell the rebellion in blood – tens of thousands were butchered! Bush said that when he told Iraqis to rebel, he meant the military generals, NOT the Iraqi people themselves. In other words, the U.S. wanted Saddam gone, but the same regime in place. The U.S. never cared about the people! ..."
"... The military-industrial-complex sicced Mueller on Trump because they despise his overtures towards rapprochement with the Kremlin. The military-industrial-complex MUST have a villain to justify the gigantic defense [sic] spending which permeates the entire U.S. politico-economic system. Putin and Russia were always the preferred demon because they easily fit the bill in the minds of an easily brainwashed American public. Of course saber rattling towards Moscow puts the world on the brink of nuclear war, but no matter, the careerism and fat contracts are all that matter to the MIC. Trump's rhetoric about making peace with the Kremlin has always mortified the MIC. ..."
"... This is a rare instance of our elites battling it out behind the scenes, both groups being reprehensible power hungry greed heads and sociopaths, it's hard to tell how this will end. ..."
"... Lets be clear: The military-industrial-complex wants plenty of low intensity conflict to fuel ever more fabulous weapons sales, not a really hot war where all those pretty expensive toys are falling out of the sky in droves. ..."
"... On 24 October 2017, the Intercept released an NSA document unearthed from leaked intelligence files provided by Edward Snowden which reveals that terrorist militants in Syria were under the direct command of foreign governments from the early years of the war which has now claimed half a million lives. ..."
"... The US intelligence memo is evidence of internal US government confirmation of the direct role that both the Saudi and US governments played in fueling attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, as well as military targets in pursuit of "regime change" in Syria. ..."
"... Israel's support for terrorist forces in Syria is well established. The Israelis and Saudis coordinate their activities. ..."
"... An August 2012 DIA report (written when the U.S. was monitoring weapons flows from Libya to Syria), said that the opposition in Syria was driven by al Qaeda and other extremist groups: "the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria." The "deterioration of the situation" was predicted to have "dire consequences" for Iraq, which included the "grave danger" of a terrorist "Islamic state". Some of the "dire consequences" are blacked out but the DIA warned one such consequence would be the "renewing facilitation of terrorist elements from all over the Arab world entering into Iraqi Arena." ..."
"... The heavily redacted DIA memo specifically mentions "the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran)." ..."
"... To clarify just who these "supporting powers" were, mentioned in the document who sought the creation of a "Salafist principality," the DIA memo explained: "The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition; while Russia, China, and Iran support the regime." ..."
"... The DIA memo clearly indicates when it was decided to transform US, Saudi, and Turkish-backed Al Qaeda affiliates into ISIS: the "Salafist" (Islamic) "principality" (State). NATO member state Turkey has been directly supporting terrorism in Syria, and specifically, supporting ISIS. In 2014, Germany's international broadcaster Deutsche Welle's reported "'IS' supply channels through Turkey." DW exposed fleets of hundreds of trucks a day, passing unchallenged through Turkey's border crossings with Syria, clearly bound for the defacto ISIS capital of Raqqa. Starting in September 2015, Russian airpower in Syria successfully interdicted ISIS supply lines. ..."
"... The usual suspects in Western media launched a relentless propaganda campaign against Russian support for Syria. The Atlantic Council's Bellingcat disinformation operation started working overtime. ..."
"... The propaganda effort culminated in the 4 April 2017 Khan Shaykhun false flag chemical incident in Idlib. Bellingcat's Eliot Higgins and Dan Kaszeta have been paraded by "First Draft" coalition media "partners" in a vigorous effort to somehow implicate the Russians. ..."
"... In a January 2016 interview on Al Jazeera, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Michael Flynn admitted that he "paid very close attention" to the August 2012 DIA report predicting the rise of a "declared or undeclared Salafist Principality" in Syria. Flynn even asserts that the White House's sponsoring of terrorists (that would emerge as Al Nusra and ISIS) against the Syrian regime was "a willful decision." ..."
"... Flynn was interviewed by British journalist Mehdi Hasan for Al Jazeera's Head to Head program. Flynn made it clear that the policies that led to the "the rise of the Islamic State, the rise of terrorism" were not merely the result of ignorance or looking the other way, but the result of conscious decision making ..."
"... General Flynn explained to Hersh that 'If the American public saw the intelligence we were producing daily, at the most sensitive level, they would go ballistic.' Hersh's investigative report exposed a kind of intelligence schism between the Pentagon and CIA concerning the covert program in Syria. ..."
"... The article raises a very serious charge. Up till now it appeared that supplying weapons to Al Qaeda affiliates in Syria was just another example of Pentagon incompetence but the suggestion here is that it was a concerted policy and it's hard to believe that there was no one in the Pentagon that was privy to that policy who wouldn't raise an objection. ..."
"... That it conformed with Israeli, Saudi and CIA designs is not surprising, but that there was no dissension within the Pentagon is appalling (or that Obama didn't raise objections). Clark's comment should put him on the hot seat for a congressional investigation but, of course, there is no one in congress to run with it. The policy is so manifestly evil that it seems to dwarf even the reckless ignorance of preceding "interventions". ..."
"... The DIA report released by Gen. Flynn in 2012 predicted the Islamic State with alarm. That is why Flynn was fired as Director of DIA. He objected to the insane policy of supporting the CIA/Saudi madness and saw it as not only counter-productive but disastrous. His comments to AlJazeera in 2016 reinforced this position. Gen Flynn's faction of the American military has been consistent in its opposition to CIA support of terrorist forces. ..."
"... I see Gen. Flynn as a whistleblower. The 2012 report he circulated saw the rise of the Salafist Islamic state with alarm ..."
"... Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, director of the DIA between 2012 and 2014, confirmed that his agency had sent a constant stream of classified warnings to the civilian leadership about the dire consequences of toppling Assad. ..."
"... Thank you. Gen Flynn also urged coordination with Russia against ISIS, so it doesn't take much to see why he was targeted. ..."
"... The use of Islamist proxy warriors to help achieve American geo-political ends goes back to at least 1979, including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Libya, and Syria. One of the better books on 9/11 is Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed's "The War On Truth: 9/11, Disinformation, and the Anatomy of Terrorism". The first section of that book – "The Geopolitics of Terrorism" – covers, across 150 well-sourced pages, the history and background of this involvement. It is highly recommended for anyone who wishes to be better informed on this topic. ..."
"... Jaycee, actually you have to go back much further than that to WW2. Hitler used the marginalized Turkic people in Russia and turned them into effective fighters to create internal factions within the Soviet Union. After Hitler lost and the Cold War began, the US, who had no understanding of the Soviets at the time radicalized and empowered Islamist including the Muslim Brotherhood to weaponize Islam against the Soviet Union. ..."
"... All these western imperial geostrategic planners are certifiably insane and have no business anywhere near the levers of government policy. They are the number one enemy of humanity. If we don't find a way to remove them from power, they may actually succeed in destroying life on Earth. ..."
"... There is a volume of evidence that the war criminals in our midst were arming and training "jihadists." See link below. http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2016/10/the-evidence-of-planning-of-wars.html ..."
"... Incompetence and stupidity are their only defense because if anyone acknowledged that trillions of dollars have been made by the usual suspects committing these crimes, the industrialists of war would face a justice symbolized by Nuremberg. ..."
"... The American groupthink rarely allows propaganda and disinformation disturb: endless wars and endless lies and criminality, have not disturbed this mindset. It is clever to manipulate people to think in a way opposite of truth so consistently. All the atrocities by the US have been surrounded by media propaganda and mastery of groupthink techniques go down well. Mention something unusual or real news and you might get heavily criticized for daring to think outside the box and doubt what are (supposedly) "religious truths". Tell a lie long enough and it becomes the truth. ..."
"... The CIA was a key force behind the creation of both al Qaeda and ISIS. Most major incidents of "Islamic Terrorism" have some kind of CIA backing behind them. See this large collection of links for compiled evidence: http://www.pearltrees.com/joshstern/government-supporting/id18814292 ..."
"... This journalist and other journalists writing on some of my favorite Russian propaganda news websites, have reported the US empire routinely makes "deals with the devil", the enemy of my enemy is my friend, if doing so furthers their goal of perpetual war and global hegemony. Yet, inexplicably, these journalists buy the US empire's 911 story without question, in the face of many unanswered questions ..."
"... Bin Laden (CIA staffer) and a handful of his men, all from close allied countries to the US, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, delivered the 2nd Pearl Harbor on 911. What a timely coincidence! We accept the US Empire provides weapons and military support to the same enemy, and worse, who attacked us on 911, but one is labeled a "conspiracy nut" if they believe that same US Empire would orchestrate 911 to justify their long planned global war. One thing about being a "conspiracy nut", if you live long enough, often you will see your beliefs vindicated ..."
"... So many questions, and so much left unanswered, but don't worry America may run out of money for domestic vital needs but the U.S. always has the money to go fight another war. It's a culture thing, and if you ain't into it then you just don't pay no attention to it. In fact if your life is better off from all of these U.S. led invasions, then your probably not posting any comments here, either. ..."
"... From the October 1973 Yom Kippur War onward, the United States had no foreign policy in the Middle East other than Israel's. Daniel Lazare should read "A clean break: a new strategy for the Realm". ..."
"... For the majority of amoral opportunists of the US, money=power=virtue and they will attack all who disagree. ..."
"... I am stunned that anyone could be so foolish as to think that the US military machine, US imperialism, does things "naively", bumbling like a helpless giant into wars that destroy entire nations with no end in sight. One need not be a "conspiracy theorist" to understand that the Pentagon does not control the world with an ever-expanding war budget equal to the next 10 countries combined, that it does this just because it is stuck on the wrong path. No! US imperialism develops these "big guns" to use them, to overpower, take over and dominate the world for the sake of profits and protection of the right to exploit for private profit. ..."
"... Daniel Pipes, from what I've read of him, is among those who counsel the U.S. government to use its military power to support the losing side in any civil wars fought within Israel's enemy states, so that the wars will continue, sparing Israel the threat of unified enemy states. What normal human beings consider a humanitarian disaster, repeated in Iraq, Syria and Libya, would be reckoned a success according to this way of thinking. The thinking would appear to lead to similar treatment of Iran, with even more catastrophic consequences. ..."
"... I think this pattern of using Salafists for regime change started already in Afghanistan, with Brzezinski plotting with Saudi-Arabia and Pakistan to pay and train Osama bin Laden to attack the pro Russia regime and trying to get the USSR involved in it, also trying to blame the USSR for its agression, like they did in Syri"r? ..."
"... Yes, the Brzezinski/Reagan support of fanatic insurgencies began in AfPak and was revived for the zionists. Russia happened to be on the side more or less tending to progress in both cases, so it had to be opposed. The warmongers are always the US MIC/intel, allied with the anti-American zionist fascists for Mideast wars. ..."
"... Sheldon Adelson, Soros, Saban all wanted carving up of Arabic states into small sectarian pieces (No Nasseric pan-Arabic states, a threat to Israël). And protracted wars of total destruction. Easy. ..."
"... Of course, they were told (by whom?) that the jihadists were 'democratic rebels' and 'freedom fighters' who just wanted to 'bring democracy' to Syria, and get rid of the 'tyrant Assad.' 5 years later, so much of the nonsense about "local councils" and "white helmets" has been exposed for what it was. Yet many 'free thinking' people bought the propaganda. Just like they do on Russiagate. Who needs an "alt-right" when America's "left" is a total disgrace? ..."
Dec 10, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

When a Department of Defense intelligence report about the Syrian rebel movement became public in May 2015, lots of people didn't know what to make of it. After all, what the report said was unthinkable – not only that Al Qaeda had dominated the so-called democratic revolt against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for years, but that the West continued to support the jihadis regardless, even to the point of backing their goal of creating a Sunni Salafist principality in the eastern deserts.

Journalist James Foley shortly before he was executed by an Islamic State operative in August 2014.

The United States lining up behind Sunni terrorism – how could this be? How could a nice liberal like Barack Obama team up with the same people who had brought down the World Trade Center?

It was impossible, which perhaps explains why the report remained a non-story long after it was released courtesy of a Judicial Watch freedom-of-information lawsuit . The New York Times didn't mention it until six months later while the Washington Post waited more than a year before dismissing it as "loopy" and "relatively unimportant." With ISIS rampaging across much of Syria and Iraq, no one wanted to admit that U.S. attitudes were ever anything other than hostile.

But three years earlier, when the Defense Intelligence Agency was compiling the report, attitudes were different. Jihadis were heroes rather than terrorists, and all the experts agreed that they were a low-risk, high-yield way of removing Assad from office.

After spending five days with a Syrian rebel unit, for instance, New York Times reporter C.J. Chivers wrote that the group "mixes paramilitary discipline, civilian policing, Islamic law, and the harsh demands of necessity with battlefield coldness and outright cunning."

Paul Salem, director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, assured the Washington Post that "al Qaeda is a fringe element" among the rebels, while, not to be outdone, the gossip site Buzzfeed published a pin-up of a "ridiculously photogenic" jihadi toting an RPG.

"Hey girl," said the subhead. "Nothing sexier than fighting the oppression of tyranny."

And then there was Foreign Policy, the magazine founded by neocon guru Samuel P. Huntington, which was most enthusiastic of all. Gary Gambill's " Two Cheers for Syrian Islamists ," which ran on the FP web site just a couple of weeks after the DIA report was completed, didn't distort the facts or make stuff up in any obvious way. Nonetheless, it is a classic of U.S. propaganda. Its subhead glibly observed: "So the rebels aren't secular Jeffersonians. As far as America is concerned, it doesn't much matter."

Assessing the Damage

Five years later, it's worth a second look to see how Washington uses self-serving logic to reduce an entire nation to rubble.

First a bit of background. After displacing France and Britain as the region's prime imperial overlord during the 1956 Suez Crisis and then breaking with Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser a few years later, the United States committed itself to the goal of defeating Arab nationalism and Soviet Communism, two sides of the same coin as far as Washington was concerned. Over the next half-century, this would mean steering Egypt to the right with assistance from the Saudis, isolating Libyan strong man Muammar Gaddafi, and doing what it could to undermine the Syrian Baathist regime as well.

William Roebuck, the American embassy's chargé d'affaires in Damascus, thus urged Washington in 2006 to coordinate with Egypt and Saudi Arabia to encourage Sunni Syrian fears of Shi'ite Iranian proselytizing even though such concerns are "often exaggerated." It was akin to playing up fears of Jewish dominance in the 1930s in coordination with Nazi Germany.

A year later, former NATO commander Wesley Clark learned of a classified Defense Department memo stating that U.S. policy was now to "attack and destroy the governments in seven countries in five years," first Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran. (Quote starts at 2:07 .)

Since the United States didn't like what such governments were doing, the solution was to install more pliable ones in their place. Hence Washington's joy when the Arab Spring struck Syria in March 2011 and it appeared that protesters would soon topple the Baathists on their own.

Even when lofty democratic rhetoric gave way to ominous sectarian chants of "Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the coffin," U.S. enthusiasm remained strong. With Sunnis accounting for perhaps 60 percent of the population, strategists figured that there was no way Assad could hold out against religious outrage welling up from below.

Enter Gambill and the FP. The big news, his article began, is that secularists are no longer in command of the burgeoning Syrian rebel movement and that Sunni Islamists are taking the lead instead. As unfortunate as this might seem, he argued that such a development was both unavoidable and far from entirely negative.

"Islamist political ascendancy is inevitable in a majority Sunni Muslim country brutalized for more than four decades by a secular minoritarian dictatorship," he wrote in reference to the Baathists. "Moreover, enormous financial resources are pouring in from the Arab-Islamic world to promote explicitly Islamist resistance to Assad's Alawite-dominated, Iranian-backed regime."

So the answer was not to oppose the Islamists, but to use them. Even though "the Islamist surge will not be a picnic for the Syrian people," Gambill said, "it has two important silver linings for US interests." One is that the jihadis "are simply more effective fighters than their secular counterparts" thanks to their skill with "suicide bombings and roadside bombs."

The other is that a Sunni Islamist victory in Syria will result in "a full-blown strategic defeat" for Iran, thereby putting Washington at least part way toward fulfilling the seven-country demolition job discussed by Wesley Clark.

"So long as Syrian jihadis are committed to fighting Iran and its Arab proxies," the article concluded, "we should quietly root for them – while keeping our distance from a conflict that is going to get very ugly before the smoke clears. There will be plenty of time to tame the beast after Iran's regional hegemonic ambitions have gone down in flames."

Deals with the Devil

The U.S. would settle with the jihadis only after the jihadis had settled with Assad. The good would ultimately outweigh the bad. This kind of self-centered moral calculus would not have mattered had Gambill only spoken for himself. But he didn't. Rather, he was expressing the viewpoint of Official Washington in general, which is why the ultra-respectable FP ran his piece in the first place.The Islamists were something America could employ to their advantage and then throw away like a squeezed lemon. A few Syrians would suffer, but America would win, and that's all that counts.

The parallels with the DIA are striking. "The west, gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition," the intelligence report declared, even though "the Salafist[s], the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [i.e. Al Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency."

Where Gambill predicted that "Assad and his minions will likely retreat to northwestern Syria," the DIA speculated that the jihadis might establish "a declared or undeclared Salafist principality" at the other end of the country near cities like Hasaka and Der Zor (also known as Deir ez-Zor).

Where the FP said that the ultimate aim was to roll back Iranian influence and undermine Shi'ite rule, the DIA said that a Salafist principality "is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran)."

Bottle up the Shi'ites in northwestern Syria, in other words, while encouraging Sunni extremists to establish a base in the east so as to put pressure on Shi'ite-influenced Iraq and Shi'ite-ruled Iran.

As Gambill put it: "Whatever misfortunes Sunni Islamists may visit upon the Syrian people, any government they form will be strategically preferable to the Assad regime, for three reasons: A new government in Damascus will find continuing the alliance with Tehran unthinkable, it won't have to distract Syrians from its minority status with foreign policy adventurism like the ancien régime, and it will be flush with petrodollars from Arab Gulf states (relatively) friendly to Washington."

With the Saudis footing the bill, the U.S. would exercise untrammeled sway.

Disastrous Thinking

Has a forecast that ever gone more spectacularly wrong? Syria's Baathist government is hardly blameless in this affair. But thanks largely to the U.S.-backed sectarian offensive, 400,000 Syrians or more have died since Gambill's article appeared, with another 6.1 million displaced and an estimated 4.8 million fleeing abroad.

U.S.-backed Syrian "moderate" rebels smile as they prepare to behead a 12-year-old boy (left), whose severed head is held aloft triumphantly in a later part of the video. [Screenshot from the YouTube video] War-time destruction totals around $250 billion , according to U.N. estimates, a staggering sum for a country of 18.8 million people where per-capita income prior to the outbreak of violence was under $3,000. From Syria, the specter of sectarian violence has spread across Asia and Africa and into Europe and North America as well. Political leaders throughout the advanced industrial world are still struggling to contain the populist fury that the Middle East refugee crisis, the result of U.S.-instituted regime change, helped set off.

So instead of advancing U.S. policy goals, Gambill helped do the opposite. The Middle East is more explosive than ever while U.S. influence has fallen to sub-basement levels. Iranian influence now extends from the Arabian Sea to the Mediterranean, while the country that now seems to be wobbling out of control is Saudi Arabia where Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman is lurching from one self-induced crisis to another. The country that Gambill counted on to shore up the status quo turns out to be undermining it.

It's not easy to screw things up so badly, but somehow Washington's bloated foreign-policy establishment has done it. Since helping to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, Gambill has moved on to a post at the rightwing Middle East Forum where Daniel Pipes, the group's founder and chief, now inveighs against the same Sunni ethnic cleansing that his employee defended or at least apologized for.

The forum is particularly well known for its Campus Watch program, which targets academic critics of Israel, Islamists, and – despite Gambill's kind words about "suicide bombings and roadside bombs" – anyone it considers the least bit apologetic about Islamic terrorism.

Double your standard, double the fun. Terrorism, it seems, is only terrorism when others do it to the U.S., not when the U.S. does it to others.

Daniel Lazare is the author of several books including The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy (Harcourt Brace).

Babyl-on , December 8, 2017 at 5:26 pm

I do not believe than anyone in the civil or military command ever believed that arming the jihadists would bring any sort of stability or peace to the region. I do not believe that peace was ever an interest of the US until it has once again gained hegemonic control of central Asia. This is a fight to retain US global domination – causalities do not matter. The US and its partners or co-rulers of the Empire the Saud family and the Zionist oligarchy will slaughter with impunity until someone stops them or their own corruption defeats them.

The Empire can not exist without relentless ongoing slaughter it has been at it every day now for 73 years. It worked for them all that time but that time has run out. China has already set the date for when its currency will become fully freely exchanged, less than 5 years. When that happens the world will return to the gold standard + Bitcoin possibly and US dollar hegemony will end. After that the trillion dollar a year military and the 20 trillion debt take on a different meaning. Before that slaughter non-stop will continue.

john wilson , December 9, 2017 at 6:31 am

Really, Baby-lon, your first short paragraph sums this piece by Lazare perfectly and makes the rest of his blog seem rather pointless. Even the most stupid person on earth couldn't think that the US was using murdering, butchering head choppers in a bid to bring peace and stability to the middle East. The Neocons and the other criminals that infest Washington don't want peace at any price because its bad for business.

Jerald Davidson , December 9, 2017 at 11:53 am

Babyl-on and John Wilson: you have nailed it. The last thing the US (gov't.) wants is peace. War is big business; casualties are of no concern (3 million Koreans died in the Korean War; 3 million Vietnamese in that war; 100's of thousands in Iraq [including Clinton's sanctions] and Afghanistan). The US has used jihadi proxies since the mujahedeen in 1980's Afghanistan and Contras in Nicaragua. To the US (gov't.), a Salafist dictatorship (such as Saudi Arabia) is highly preferable to a secular, nationalist ruler (such as Egypt's Nasser, Libya's Gaddafi, Syria's Assad).
So the cover story of the jjihadi's has changed – first they are freedom fighters, then terrorists. What does not change is that in either case they are pawns of the US (gov't.) goal of hegemony.
(Incidentally, Drew Hunkins must be responding to a different article.)

BannanaBoat , December 9, 2017 at 4:31 pm

Exactly Baby right on, Either USA strategists are extremely ignorant or they are attempting to create chaos, probably both. Perhaps not continuously but surely frequently the USA has promoted war prior to the last 73 years. Native Genocide , Mexican Wars, Spanish War, WWI ( USA banker repayment war)

Richard , December 9, 2017 at 5:24 pm

Exactly Babylon! Looks like consortiumnews is turning into another propaganda rag. Assad was allied with Russia and Iran – that's why the U.S. wanted him removed. Israel said that they would preferred ISIS in power over Assad. The U.S. would have happily wiped out 90% of the population using its terrorist proxies if it thought it could have got what it wanted.

Sam F , December 10, 2017 at 8:50 am

CN tends to make moderate statements so as to communicate with those most in need of them. One must start with the understandings of the audience and show them that the evidence leads further.

Richard , December 10, 2017 at 10:27 am

Sam F, no, it's a DELIBERATE lie in support of U.S. foreign policy. The guy wrote: "the NAIVE belief that jihadist proxies could be used to TRANSFORM THE REGION FOR THE BETTER." It could have been written as: "the stated justification by the president that he wanted to transform the region for the better, even though there are often ulterior motives."

It's the same GROTESQUE caricature of these wars that the mainstream media always presents: that the U.S. is on the side of good, and fights for good, even though every war INVARIABLY ends up in a bloodbath, with no one caring how many civilians have died, what state the country is left in, that civilian infrastructure and civilians were targeted, let alone whether war could have been prevented. For example, in 1991, shortly after the first Gulf War, Iraqis rose up against their regime, but George H. Bush allowed Saddam to fly his military helicopters (permission was needed due to the no-fly zones), and quell the rebellion in blood – tens of thousands were butchered! Bush said that when he told Iraqis to rebel, he meant the military generals, NOT the Iraqi people themselves. In other words, the U.S. wanted Saddam gone, but the same regime in place. The U.S. never cared about the people!

Either Robert Parry or the author wrote that introduction. I suspect Mr Parry – he always portrays the president as having a heart of gold, but, always, sadly, misinformed; being a professional journalist, he knows full well that people often only read the start and end of an article.

Drew Hunkins , December 8, 2017 at 5:31 pm

What we have occurring right now in the United States is a rare divergence of interests within our ruling class. The elites are currently made up of Zionist-militarists. What we're now witnessing is a rare conflict between the two factions. This particular internecine battle has reared its head in the past, the Dubai armaments deal comes to mind off the top of my head.

Trump started the Jerusalem imbroglio because he's concerned about Mueller's witch hunt.

The military-industrial-complex sicced Mueller on Trump because they despise his overtures towards rapprochement with the Kremlin. The military-industrial-complex MUST have a villain to justify the gigantic defense [sic] spending which permeates the entire U.S. politico-economic system. Putin and Russia were always the preferred demon because they easily fit the bill in the minds of an easily brainwashed American public. Of course saber rattling towards Moscow puts the world on the brink of nuclear war, but no matter, the careerism and fat contracts are all that matter to the MIC. Trump's rhetoric about making peace with the Kremlin has always mortified the MIC.

Since Trump's concerned about 1.) Mueller's witch hunt (he definitely should be deeply concerned, this is an out of control prosecutor on mission creep), and 2.) the almost total negative coverage the press has given him over the last two years, he's made a deal with the Zionist Power Configuration; Trump, effectively saying to them: "I'll give you Jerusalem, you use your immense influence in the American mass media to tamp down the relentlessly hostile coverage toward me, and perhaps smear Mueller's witch hunt a bit ".

This is a rare instance of our elites battling it out behind the scenes, both groups being reprehensible power hungry greed heads and sociopaths, it's hard to tell how this will end.

How this all eventually plays out is anyone's guess indeed. Let's just make sure it doesn't end with mushroom clouds over Tehran, Saint Petersburg, Paris, Chicago, London, NYC, Washington and Berlin.

Abe , December 8, 2017 at 7:57 pm

Trump's purported deviation from foreign policy orthodoxy regarding both Russia and Israel was a propaganda scam engineered by the pro-Israel Lobby from the very beginning. As Russia-gate fiction is progressively deconstructed, the Israel-gate reality becomes ever more despicably obvious.

The shamelessly Israel-pandering Trump received the "Liberty Award" for his contributions to US-Israel relations at a 3 February 2015 gala hosted by The Algemeiner Journal, a New York-based newspaper, covering American and international Jewish and Israel-related news.

"We love Israel. We will fight for Israel 100 percent, 1000 percent." VIDEO minutes 2:15-8:06 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiwBwBw7R-U

After the event, Trump did not renew his television contract for The Apprentice, which raised speculation about a Trump bid for the presidency. Trump announced his candidacy in June 2015.

Trump's purported break with GOP orthodoxy, questioning of Israel's commitment to peace, calls for even treatment in Israeli-Palestinian deal-making, and refusal to call for Jerusalem to be Israel's undivided capital, were all stage-managed for the campaign.

Cheap theatrics notwithstanding, the Netanyahu regime in Israel has "1000 percent" support from the Trump regime.

Drew Hunkins , December 8, 2017 at 8:10 pm

If Trump were totally and completely subservient to Netanyahu he would have bombed Damascus to remove Assad and would have bombed Tehran to obliterate Iran. Of course thus far he has done neither. Don't get me wrong, Trump is essentially part and parcel of the Zionist cabal, but I don't quite think he's 1,000% under their thumb (not yet?).

I don't think the Zionist Power Configuration concocted Trump's policy of relative peace with the Kremlin. Yes, the ZPC is extremely powerful in America, but Trump's position of detente with Moscow seemed to be genuine. He caught way too much heat from the mass media for it to be a stunt, it's almost torpedoed his presidency, and may eventually do just that. It was actually one of the very few things Trump got right; peace with Russia, cordial relations with the Kremlin are a no-brainer. A no-brainer to everyone but the military-industrial-complex.

Abe , December 8, 2017 at 10:59 pm

Russian. Missiles. Lets be clear: The military-industrial-complex wants plenty of low intensity conflict to fuel ever more fabulous weapons sales, not a really hot war where all those pretty expensive toys are falling out of the sky in droves.

Whether it was "bird strike" or something more technological that recently grounded the "mighty" Israeli F-35I, it's clear that America isn't eager to have those "Inherent Resolve" jets, so busily not bombing ISIS, painted with Russian SAM radar.

Russia made it clear that Trump's Tomahawk Tweet in April 2017 was not only under totally false pretenses. It had posed a threat to Russian troops and Moscow took extra measures to protect them.

Russian deployment of the advanced S-400 system on the Syrian coast in Latakia also impacts Israel's regional air superiority. The S-400 can track and shoot down targets some 400 kilometers (250 miles) away. That range encompasses half of Israel's airspace, including Ben Gurion International Airport. In addition to surface-to-air missiles installations, Russian aircraft in Syria are equipped with air-to-air missiles. Those weapons are part of an calculus of Israeli aggression in the region.

Of course, there's much more to say about this subject.

WC , December 9, 2017 at 3:44 pm

Here's a good one from Hedges (for what little good it will do). https://www.truthdig.com/articles/zero-hour-palestine/

john wilson , December 9, 2017 at 6:34 am

Surely, Drew, even the brain washed sheep otherwise known as the American public can't seriously believe that their government armed head choppers in a bid to bring peace to the region, can they?

Drew Hunkins , December 9, 2017 at 1:34 pm

Yup Mr. Wilson. It's too much cognitive dissonance for them to process. After all, we're the exceptional nation, the beacon on the hill, the country that ONLY intervenes abroad when there is a 'right to protect!' or it's a 'humanitarian intervention.' As Ken Burns would say: Washington only acts "with good intentions. They're just sometimes misplaced." That's all. The biggest global empire the world has ever seen is completely out of the picture.

mike k , December 8, 2017 at 5:34 pm

When evil people with evil intentions set out to do something in the world, the result is evil. Like Libya, or Iraq, or Syria. Why do I call these people who killed millions for their own selfish greed for power evil? If you have to ask that, then you just don't understand what evil is – and you have a lot of company, because many people believe that evil does not even exist! Such sheeple become the perfect victims of the evil ones, who are destroying our world.

john wilson , December 9, 2017 at 6:36 am

Correction, Mike. The public do believe that evil exists but they sincerely think that Putin and Russia are the evil ones'

mike k , December 9, 2017 at 5:41 pm

One of the ways to avoid recognizing evil is to ascribe it to inappropriate, incorrect sources usually as a result of believing misleading propaganda. Another common maneuver is to deny evil's presence in oneself, and believe it is always "out there". Or one can feel that "evil" is an outmoded religious concept that is only used to hit at those one does not like.

Mild - ly Facetious , December 8, 2017 at 6:22 pm

Oh Jerusalem: Requiem for the two-state solution (Gas masks required)

https://electronicintifada.net/content/oh-jerusalem-requiem-two-state-solution/22521

Abe , December 8, 2017 at 6:24 pm

On 24 October 2017, the Intercept released an NSA document unearthed from leaked intelligence files provided by Edward Snowden which reveals that terrorist militants in Syria were under the direct command of foreign governments from the early years of the war which has now claimed half a million lives.

https://theintercept.com/2017/10/24/syria-rebels-nsa-saudi-prince-assad/

Marked "Top Secret" the NSA memo focuses on events that unfolded outside Damascus in March of 2013.

The US intelligence memo is evidence of internal US government confirmation of the direct role that both the Saudi and US governments played in fueling attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, as well as military targets in pursuit of "regime change" in Syria.

Israel's support for terrorist forces in Syria is well established. The Israelis and Saudis coordinate their activities.

Abe , December 8, 2017 at 6:27 pm

An August 2012 DIA report (written when the U.S. was monitoring weapons flows from Libya to Syria), said that the opposition in Syria was driven by al Qaeda and other extremist groups: "the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria." The "deterioration of the situation" was predicted to have "dire consequences" for Iraq, which included the "grave danger" of a terrorist "Islamic state". Some of the "dire consequences" are blacked out but the DIA warned one such consequence would be the "renewing facilitation of terrorist elements from all over the Arab world entering into Iraqi Arena."

The heavily redacted DIA memo specifically mentions "the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran)."

http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Pg.-291-Pgs.-287-293-JW-v-DOD-and-State-14-812-DOD-Release-2015-04-10-final-version11.pdf

To clarify just who these "supporting powers" were, mentioned in the document who sought the creation of a "Salafist principality," the DIA memo explained: "The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition; while Russia, China, and Iran support the regime."

The DIA memo clearly indicates when it was decided to transform US, Saudi, and Turkish-backed Al Qaeda affiliates into ISIS: the "Salafist" (Islamic) "principality" (State). NATO member state Turkey has been directly supporting terrorism in Syria, and specifically, supporting ISIS. In 2014, Germany's international broadcaster Deutsche Welle's reported "'IS' supply channels through Turkey." DW exposed fleets of hundreds of trucks a day, passing unchallenged through Turkey's border crossings with Syria, clearly bound for the defacto ISIS capital of Raqqa. Starting in September 2015, Russian airpower in Syria successfully interdicted ISIS supply lines.

The usual suspects in Western media launched a relentless propaganda campaign against Russian support for Syria. The Atlantic Council's Bellingcat disinformation operation started working overtime.

The propaganda effort culminated in the 4 April 2017 Khan Shaykhun false flag chemical incident in Idlib. Bellingcat's Eliot Higgins and Dan Kaszeta have been paraded by "First Draft" coalition media "partners" in a vigorous effort to somehow implicate the Russians.

Abe , December 9, 2017 at 12:26 pm

In a January 2016 interview on Al Jazeera, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Michael Flynn admitted that he "paid very close attention" to the August 2012 DIA report predicting the rise of a "declared or undeclared Salafist Principality" in Syria. Flynn even asserts that the White House's sponsoring of terrorists (that would emerge as Al Nusra and ISIS) against the Syrian regime was "a willful decision."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6Y274U7QIs

Flynn was interviewed by British journalist Mehdi Hasan for Al Jazeera's Head to Head program. Flynn made it clear that the policies that led to the "the rise of the Islamic State, the rise of terrorism" were not merely the result of ignorance or looking the other way, but the result of conscious decision making:

Hasan: "You are basically saying that even in government at the time you knew these groups were around, you saw this analysis, and you were arguing against it, but who wasn't listening?"

Flynn: "I think the administration."

Hasan: "So the administration turned a blind eye to your analysis?"

Flynn: "I don't know that they turned a blind eye, I think it was a decision. I think it was a willful decision."

Hasan: "A willful decision to support an insurgency that had Salafists, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood?"

Flynn: "It was a willful decision to do what they're doing."

Holding up a paper copy of the 2012 DIA report declassified through FOIA, Hasan read aloud key passages such as, "there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in Eastern Syria, and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime."

Rather than downplay the importance of the document and these startling passages, as did the State Department soon after its release, Flynn did the opposite: he confirmed that while acting DIA chief he "paid very close attention" to this report in particular and later added that "the intelligence was very clear."

Lt. Gen. Flynn, speaking safely from retirement, is the highest ranking intelligence official to go on record saying the United States and other state sponsors of rebels in Syria knowingly gave political backing and shipped weapons to Al-Qaeda in order to put pressure on the Syrian regime:

Hasan: "In 2012 the U.S. was helping coordinate arms transfers to those same groups [Salafists, Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda in Iraq], why did you not stop that if you're worried about the rise of quote-unquote Islamic extremists?"

Flynn: "I hate to say it's not my job but that my job was to was to to ensure that the accuracy of our intelligence that was being presented was as good as it could be."

Flynn unambiguously confirmed that the 2012 DIA document served as source material in his own discussions over Syria policy with the White House. Flynn served as Director of Intelligence for Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) during a time when its prime global mission was dismantling Al-Qaeda.

Flynn's admission that the White House was in fact arming and bolstering Al-Qaeda linked groups in Syria is especially shocking given his stature. The Pentagon's former highest ranking intelligence officer in charge of the hunt for Osama bin Laden confessed that the United States directly aided the Al Qaeda terrorist legions of Ayman al-Zawahiri beginning in at least 2012 in Syria.

Abe , December 9, 2017 at 12:44 pm

Mehdi Hasan goes Head to Head with Michael Flynn, former head of the US Defense Intelligence Agency

Full Transcript: http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/headtohead/2016/01/transcript-michael-flynn-160104174144334.html

Abe , December 9, 2017 at 2:11 pm

"Flynn would later tell the New York Times that this 2012 intelligence report in particular was seen at the White House where it was 'disregarded' because it 'didn't meet the narrative' on the war in Syria. He would further confirm to investigative journalist Seymour Hersh that Defense Department (DoD) officials and DIA intelligence in particular, were loudly warning the administration that jihadists were leading the opposition in Syria -- warnings which were met with 'enormous pushback.' Instead of walking back his Al Jazeera comments, General Flynn explained to Hersh that 'If the American public saw the intelligence we were producing daily, at the most sensitive level, they would go ballistic.' Hersh's investigative report exposed a kind of intelligence schism between the Pentagon and CIA concerning the covert program in Syria.

"In a personal exchange on his blog Sic Semper Tyrannis, legendary DoD intelligence officer and former presidential briefer Pat Lang explained [ ] that the DIA memo was used as a 'warning shot across the [administration's] bow.' Lang has elsewhere stated that DIA Director Flynn had 'tried to persuade people in the Obama Administration not to provide assistance to the Nusra group.' It must be remembered that in 2012 what would eventually emerge as distinct 'ISIS' and 'Nusra' (AQ in Syria) groups was at that time a singular entity desiring a unified 'Islamic State.' The nascent ISIS organization (referenced in the memo as 'ISI' or Islamic State in Iraq) was still one among many insurgent groups fighting to topple Assad.

"In fact, only one year after the DIA memo was produced (dated August 12, 2012) a coalition of rebels fighting under the US-backed Revolutionary Military Council of Aleppo were busy celebrating their most strategic victory to date, which served to open an opposition corridor in Northern Syria. The seizure of the Syrian government's Menagh Airbase in August 2013 was only accomplished with the military prowess of fighters identifying themselves in front of cameras and to reporters on the ground as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham.

"Public embarrassment came for Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford who reluctantly confirmed that in fact, yes, the US-funded and supplied FSA commander on the ground had personally led ISIS and Nusra fighters in the attack (Ford himself was previously filmed alongside the commander). This after the New York Times publicized unambiguous video proof of the fact. Even the future high commander of Islamic State's military operations, Omar al-Shishani, himself played a leading role in the US sponsored FSA operation."

Obama and the DIA 'Islamic State' Memo: What Trump Gets Right
By Brad Hoff
https://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2016/07/01/obama-and-the-dia-islamic-state-memo-what-trump-gets-right/

Abe , December 9, 2017 at 3:08 pm

"one first needs to understand what has happened in Syria and other Middle Eastern countries in recent years. The original plan of the US and Saudi Arabia (behind whom stood an invisible Israel) was the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad and his replacement with Islamic fundamentalists or takfiris (Daesh, al-Qaeda, Jabhat al-Nusra).

"The plan involved the following steps:

"It was an ambitious plan, and the Israelis were completely convinced that the United States would provide all the necessary resources to see it through. But the Syrian government has survived thanks to military intervention by Russia, Iran and Hezbollah. Daesh is almost defeated and Iran and Hezbollah are so firmly entrenched in Syria that it has driven the Israelis into a state of fear bordering on panic. Lebanon remains stable, and even the recent attempt by the Saudis to abduct Prime Minister Saad Hariri failed.

"As a result, Saudi Arabia and Israel have developed a new plan: force the US to attack Iran. To this end, the 'axis of good"' (USA-Israel-Saudi Arabia) was created, although this is nothing new. Saudi Arabia and the other Arab States in the Persian Gulf have in the past spoken in favor of intervention in Syria. It is well known that the Saudis invaded Bahrain, are occupying it de facto, and are now at war in Yemen.

"The Israelis will participate in any plan that will finally split the Sunnis and Shiites, turning the region into rubble. It was not by chance that, having failed in Lebanon, they are now trying to do the same in Yemen after the murder of Ali Abdullah Saleh.

"For the Saudis and Israelis, the problem lies in the fact that they have rather weak armed forces; expensive and high-tech, but when it comes to full-scale hostilities, especially against a really strong opponent such as the Iranians or Hezbollah, the 'Israel/Wahhabis' have no chance and they know it, even if they do not admit it. So, one simply needs to think up some kind of plan to force the Shiites to pay a high price.

"So they developed a new plan. Firstly, the goal is now not the defeat of Hezbollah or Iran. For all their rhetoric, the Israelis know that neither they nor especially the Saudis are able to seriously threaten Iran or even Hezbollah. Their plan is much more basic: initiate a serious conflict and then force the US to intervene. Only today, the armed forces of the United States have no way of winning a war with Iran, and this may be a problem. The US military knows this and they are doing everything to tell the neo-cons 'sorry, we just can't.' This is the only reason why a US attack on Iran has not already taken place. From the Israeli point of view this is totally unacceptable and the solution is simple: just force the US to participate in a war they do not really need. As for the Iranians, the Israeli goal of provoking an attack on Iran by the US is not to defeat Iran, but just to bring about destruction – a lot of destruction [ ]

"You would need to be crazy to attack Iran. The problem, however, is that the Saudis and the Israelis are close to this state. And they have proved it many times. So it just remains to hope that Israel and the KSA are 'crazy', but 'not that crazy'."

The Likelihood of War with Iran By Petr Lvov https://journal-neo.org/2017/12/09/the-likelihood-of-war-with-iran/

BobH, December 8, 2017 at 7:13 pm

The article raises a very serious charge. Up till now it appeared that supplying weapons to Al Qaeda affiliates in Syria was just another example of Pentagon incompetence but the suggestion here is that it was a concerted policy and it's hard to believe that there was no one in the Pentagon that was privy to that policy who wouldn't raise an objection.

That it conformed with Israeli, Saudi and CIA designs is not surprising, but that there was no dissension within the Pentagon is appalling (or that Obama didn't raise objections). Clark's comment should put him on the hot seat for a congressional investigation but, of course, there is no one in congress to run with it. The policy is so manifestly evil that it seems to dwarf even the reckless ignorance of preceding "interventions".

Linda Wood , December 8, 2017 at 10:24 pm

There WAS dissension within the Pentagon, not only about being in a coalition with the Gulf States and Turkey in support of terrorist forces, but about allowing ISIS to invade Ramadi, which CENTCOM exposed by making public that US forces watched it happen and did nothing. In addition, CENTCOM and SOCOM publicly opposed switching sides in Yemen.

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/4/17/us-generals-think-saudi-strikes-in-yemen-a-bad-idea.html

A senior commander at Central Command (CENTCOM), speaking on condition of anonymity, scoffed at that argument. "The reason the Saudis didn't inform us of their plans," he said, "is because they knew we would have told them exactly what we think -- that it was a bad idea.

Military sources said that a number of regional special forces officers and officers at U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) argued strenuously against supporting the Saudi-led intervention because the target of the intervention, the Shia Houthi movement -- which has taken over much of Yemen and which Riyadh accuses of being a proxy for Tehran -- has been an effective counter to Al-Qaeda.

The DIA report released by Gen. Flynn in 2012 predicted the Islamic State with alarm. That is why Flynn was fired as Director of DIA. He objected to the insane policy of supporting the CIA/Saudi madness and saw it as not only counter-productive but disastrous. His comments to AlJazeera in 2016 reinforced this position. Gen Flynn's faction of the American military has been consistent in its opposition to CIA support of terrorist forces.

BobH , December 8, 2017 at 10:55 pm

Thanks, I never read anything about it in the MSM (perhaps Aljazeera was an exception?). However, this doesn't explain Gen. Flynn's tight relationship with Turkey's Erdogan who clearly backed the Al Qaeda affiliated rebels to the point of shooting down a Russian jet over Syria.

Sam F , December 10, 2017 at 8:57 am

The fighter shoot-down incident was before Erdogan's reversals in Syria policy.

Linda Wood , December 8, 2017 at 10:28 pm

I see Gen. Flynn as a whistleblower. The 2012 report he circulated saw the rise of the Salafist Islamic state with alarm.

http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Pg.-291-Pgs.-287-293-JW-v-DOD-and-State-14-812-DOD-Release-2015-04-10-final-version11.pdf

B. THE SALAFIST, THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD, AND AQI ARE THE MAJOR FORCES DRIVING THE INSURGENCY IN SYRIA.

C. THE WEST, GULF COUNTRIES, AND TURKEY SUPPORT THE OPPOSITION; WHILE RUSSIA, CHINA, AND IRAN SUPPORT THE REGIME.

C. IF THE SITUATION UNRAVELS THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME, WHICH IS CONSIDERED THE STRATEGIC DEPTH OF THE SHIA EXPANSION (IRAQ AND IRAN).

D. THE DETERIORATION OF THE SITUATION HAS DIRE CONSEQUENCES ON THE IRAQI SITUATION AND ARE AS FOLLOWS:

–1. THIS CREATES THE IDEAL ATMOSPHERE FOR AQI TO RETURN TO ITS OLD POCKETS IN MOSUL AND RAMADI, AND WILL PROVIDE A RENEWED MOMENTUM UNDER THE PRESUMPTION OF UNIFYING THE JIHAD AMONG SUNNI IRAQ AND SYRIA ISI COULD ALSO DECLARE AN ISLAMIC STATE THROUGH ITS UNION WITH OTHER TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS IN IRAQ AND SYRIA, WHICH WILL CREATE GRAVE DANGER IN REGARDS TO UNIFYING IRAQ AND THE PROTECTION OF ITS TERRITORY

https://geopolitics.co/2015/12/22/dempseys-pentagon-aided-assad-with-military-intelligence-hersh/
London Review of Books Vol. 38 No. 1 · 7 January 2016
Military to Military: US intelligence sharing in the Syrian war
Seymour M. Hersh

Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, director of the DIA between 2012 and 2014, confirmed that his agency had sent a constant stream of classified warnings to the civilian leadership about the dire consequences of toppling Assad. The jihadists, he said, were in control of the opposition. Turkey wasn't doing enough to stop the smuggling of foreign fighters and weapons across the border. 'If the American public saw the intelligence we were producing daily, at the most sensitive level, they would go ballistic,' Flynn told me. 'We understood Isis's long-term strategy and its campaign plans, and we also discussed the fact that Turkey was looking the other way when it came to the growth of the Islamic State inside Syria.' The DIA's reporting, he said, 'got enormous pushback' from the Obama administration. 'I felt that they did not want to hear the truth.'

j. D. D. , December 9, 2017 at 8:33 am

Thank you. Gen Flynn also urged coordination with Russia against ISIS, so it doesn't take much to see why he was targeted. Ironically, the MSM is now going bananas over his support for nuclear power in the region, which he had tied to desalination of sea water, toward alleviating that crucial source of conflict in the area.

Abbybwood , December 9, 2017 at 11:24 pm

I believe Wesley Clark told Amy Goodman that he was handed the classified memo regarding the U.S. overthrowing seven countries in five years starting with Iraq and ending with Iran, in 2001, not 2006. He said it was right after 9/11 when he visited the Pentagon and Joint Chief of Staff's office and was handed the memo.

jaycee , December 8, 2017 at 7:19 pm

The use of Islamist proxy warriors to help achieve American geo-political ends goes back to at least 1979, including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Libya, and Syria. One of the better books on 9/11 is Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed's "The War On Truth: 9/11, Disinformation, and the Anatomy of Terrorism". The first section of that book – "The Geopolitics of Terrorism" – covers, across 150 well-sourced pages, the history and background of this involvement. It is highly recommended for anyone who wishes to be better informed on this topic.

One disturbing common feature across the years have been US sponsored airlifts of Islamist fighters facing defeat, as seen in Afghanistan in late 2001 and just recently in eastern Syria. In 2001, some of those fighters were relocated to North Africa, specifically Mali – the roots of the Islamist insurgency which has destabilized that country over the past few years. Where exactly the ISIS rebels assisted some weeks ago were relocated is yet unknown.

turk151 , December 9, 2017 at 10:03 pm

Jaycee, actually you have to go back much further than that to WW2. Hitler used the marginalized Turkic people in Russia and turned them into effective fighters to create internal factions within the Soviet Union. After Hitler lost and the Cold War began, the US, who had no understanding of the Soviets at the time radicalized and empowered Islamist including the Muslim Brotherhood to weaponize Islam against the Soviet Union.

Hence the birth of the Mujaheddin and Bin Laden, the rest is history.

j. D. D. , December 8, 2017 at 7:57 pm

The article does not support the sub-headline. There is no evidence provided, nor is there any evidence to be found, that Washington's policy in the region was motivated by anything other than geopolitical objectives.

David G , December 9, 2017 at 7:25 am

I think that phrasing may point to the hand of editor Robert Parry. The incredible value of CN notwithstanding, Parry in his own pieces (erroneously in my eyes) maintains a belief that Obama somehow meant well. Hence the imputation of some "naïve" but ultimately benevolent motive on the part of the U.S. genocidaires, as the whole Syria catastrophe got going on Obama's watch.

Anon , December 9, 2017 at 9:14 am

The imputation of naivete works to avoid accusation of a specific strategy without sufficient evidence.

Skip Scott , December 9, 2017 at 9:45 am

Although I am no fan of Obama, and most especially the continuation of the warmongering for his 8 years, he did balk at the "Red line" when he found out he was being set up, and it wasn't Assad who used chemical weapons. I don't think he "meant well" so much as he knew the exact length of his leash. His bragging about going against "The Washington playbook" was of course laughable; just as his whole hopey/changey thing was laughable with Citigroup picking his cabinet.

Stephen , December 9, 2017 at 2:49 pm

Off topic but you can listen to some of Obama's banking handiwork here: https://sputniknews.com/radio_loud_and_clear/201712091059844562-looming-government-shutdown-will-democrats-fight-trumps-pro-rich-plan/ It starts at about minute 28:14. It explains the whole reaction by Obama and Holder to the banking fiasco in my mind. Sorry but I had to get it from the evil Rooski radio program.

Lois Gagnon , December 8, 2017 at 8:41 pm

All these western imperial geostrategic planners are certifiably insane and have no business anywhere near the levers of government policy. They are the number one enemy of humanity. If we don't find a way to remove them from power, they may actually succeed in destroying life on Earth.

Stephen J. , December 8, 2017 at 8:42 pm

There is a volume of evidence that the war criminals in our midst were arming and training "jihadists." See link below. http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2016/10/the-evidence-of-planning-of-wars.html

MarkU , December 8, 2017 at 10:00 pm

"Official Washington helped unleash hell on Syria and across the Mideast behind the naïve belief that jihadist proxies could be used to transform the region for the better, explains Daniel Lazare." What a load of old rubbish, naïve belief indeed. it is difficult to believe that anyone could write this stuff with a straight face.

Linda Wood , December 8, 2017 at 10:37 pm

Incompetence and stupidity are their only defense because if anyone acknowledged that trillions of dollars have been made by the usual suspects committing these crimes, the industrialists of war would face a justice symbolized by Nuremberg.

Zachary Smith , December 8, 2017 at 11:37 pm

That Gary Gambill character "outed" himself as a Zionist on September 4 of this year. He appears to have mastered the propaganda associated with the breed. At the link see if you can find any mention of the murders, thefts, ethnic cleansing, or apartheid of his adopted nation. Blaming the victim may be this fellow's specialty. Sample:

The well-intentioned flocked in droves to the belief that Israeli- Palestinian peace was achievable provided Israel made the requisite concessions, and that this would liberate the Arab-Islamic world from a host of other problems allegedly arising from it: bloated military budgets, intolerance of dissent, Islamic extremism, you name it.

Why tackle each of these problems head on when they can be alleviated all at once when Israel is brought to heel? Twenty years later, the Middle East is suffering the consequences of this conspiracy of silence.

Zachary Smith , December 8, 2017 at 11:37 pm

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/The-accidental-Zionist-504221

Gerry , December 9, 2017 at 4:51 am

The American groupthink rarely allows propaganda and disinformation disturb: endless wars and endless lies and criminality, have not disturbed this mindset. It is clever to manipulate people to think in a way opposite of truth so consistently. All the atrocities by the US have been surrounded by media propaganda and mastery of groupthink techniques go down well. Mention something unusual or real news and you might get heavily criticized for daring to think outside the box and doubt what are (supposedly) "religious truths". Tell a lie long enough and it becomes the truth.

It takes courage to go against the flow of course and one can only hope that the Americans are what they think they are: courageous and strong enough to hear their cherished truths smashed, allow the scales before their eyes to fall and practise free speech and free thought.

Theo , December 9, 2017 at 6:35 am

Thanks for this article and many others on this site.In Europe and in Germany you hardly hear,read or see any of these facts and their connections.It seems to be only of marginal interest.

Josh Stern , December 9, 2017 at 6:49 am

The CIA was a key force behind the creation of both al Qaeda and ISIS. Most major incidents of "Islamic Terrorism" have some kind of CIA backing behind them. See this large collection of links for compiled evidence: http://www.pearltrees.com/joshstern/government-supporting/id18814292

triekc , December 9, 2017 at 8:27 am

This journalist and other journalists writing on some of my favorite Russian propaganda news websites, have reported the US empire routinely makes "deals with the devil", the enemy of my enemy is my friend, if doing so furthers their goal of perpetual war and global hegemony. Yet, inexplicably, these journalists buy the US empire's 911 story without question, in the face of many unanswered questions.

Beginning in the 1990's, neocons who would become W's cabinet, wrote detailed plans of military regime change in Middle East, but stating they needed a "strong external shock to the United States -- a latter-day 'Pearl Harbor", to get US sheeple to support increased militarism and global war. Few months after W took office, and had appointed those war mongering neocons to positions of power, Bin Laden (CIA staffer) and a handful of his men, all from close allied countries to the US, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, delivered the 2nd Pearl Harbor on 911. What a timely coincidence! We accept the US Empire provides weapons and military support to the same enemy, and worse, who attacked us on 911, but one is labeled a "conspiracy nut" if they believe that same US Empire would orchestrate 911 to justify their long planned global war. One thing about being a "conspiracy nut", if you live long enough, often you will see your beliefs vindicated

Joe Tedesky , December 9, 2017 at 11:27 am

You commented on what I was thinking, and that was, 'remember when al Queda was our enemy on 911'? So now that bin Laden is dead, and his al Queda now fights on our side, shouldn't the war be over? And, just for the record who did attack us on 911?

So many questions, and so much left unanswered, but don't worry America may run out of money for domestic vital needs but the U.S. always has the money to go fight another war. It's a culture thing, and if you ain't into it then you just don't pay no attention to it. In fact if your life is better off from all of these U.S. led invasions, then your probably not posting any comments here, either.

Knowing the Pentagon mentality they probably have an 'al Queda combat medal' to pin on the terrorists chest. Sarcasm I know, but seriously is anything not within the realm of believable when it comes to this MIC establishment?

Christene Bartels , December 9, 2017 at 8:53 am

Great article and spot on as far as the author takes it. But the world is hurtling towards Armageddon so I'd like to back things up about one hundred years and get down to brass tacks.

The fact of the matter is, the M.E. has never been at total peace but it has been nothing but one colossal FUBAR since the Ottoman Empire was defeated after WWI and the Allied Forces got their grubby, greedy mitts on its M.E. territories and all of that luscious black gold. First up was the British Empire and France and then it really went nuclear (literally) in 1946 when Truman and the U.S. joined in the fun and decided to figure out how we could carve out that ancient prime piece of real estate and resurrect Israel. By 1948 ..violà ..there she was.

So now here we sit as the hundred year delusion that we knew what the hell we were doing comes crashing down around us. Seriously, whoever the people have been who thought that a country with the historical perspective of a toddler was going to be able to successfully manage and manipulate a region filled with people who are still tribal in perspective and are still holding grudges and settling scores from five thousand years ago were complete and total arrogant morons. Every single one of them. Up to the present moment.

Which gets me down to those brass tacks I alluded to at the beginning of my comment. Delusional crusades lead by arrogant morons always, always, always end up as ash heaps. So, I would suggest we all prepare for that rapidly approaching conclusion accordingly. For me, that means hitting my knees.

Gregory Herr , December 9, 2017 at 1:00 pm

Middle Eastern people are no more "tribal" or prone to holding grudges than any other people. Middle Eastern people have exhibited and practiced peaceful and tolerant living arrangements within several different contexts over the centuries. Iraq had a fairly thriving middle class and the Syrians are a cultured and educated people.

Gregory Herr , December 9, 2017 at 10:07 pm

Syrian society is constructed very much within the construct of close family ties and a sense of a Syrian homeland. It is solely the business of the Syrian people to decide whether the socialist Ba'ath government functions according to their own sense of realities and standards. Some of those realities may include aspects of a necessitated national security state (necessitated by CIA and Israeli subterfuge) that prompts shills to immediately characterize the Assad government as "an authoritarian regime" and of course that's all you need to know. Part of what pisses the West off about the Syrians is that they are so competent, and that includes their intelligence and security services. One of the other parts is the socialist example of government functioning in interests of the general population, not selling out to vultures.

It bothers me that Mr. Lazare wrote: "Syria's Baathist government is hardly blameless in this affair." Really? Well the Syrian government can hardly be blamed for the vile strategy of using terrorist mercenaries to take or destroy a people's homeland–killing horrific numbers of fathers, mothers, and children on the way to establish some kind of Wild West control over Damascus that can then be manipulated for the typical elite deviances. What was purposely planned and visited upon the Syrian people has had human consequences that were known and disregarded by the planners. It has been and continues to be a grave crime against our common humanity that should be raised to the roof of objection! People like Gambill should be excoriated for their crass appraisal of human costs .and for their contrived and twisted rationalizations and deceits. President Assad recently gave an interview to teleSUR that is worth a listen. He talks about human costs with understanding for what he is talking about. Gambill doesn't give a damn.

BASLE , December 9, 2017 at 10:46 am

From the October 1973 Yom Kippur War onward, the United States had no foreign policy in the Middle East other than Israel's. Daniel Lazare should read "A clean break: a new strategy for the Realm".

Sam F , December 10, 2017 at 9:08 am

Yes, Israel is the cut-out or fence for US politicians stealing campaign money from the federal budget. US policy is that of the bribery sources and nothing else. And it believes that to be professional competence. For the majority of amoral opportunists of the US, money=power=virtue and they will attack all who disagree.

Herman , December 9, 2017 at 10:47 am

"Official Washington helped unleash hell on Syria and across the Mideast behind the naïve belief that jihadist proxies could be used to transform the region for the better, explains Daniel Lazare."

Lazare makes the case very well about our amoral foreign policy but I think he errs in saying our aim was to "transform the region for the better." Recent history, going back to Afghanistan shows a very different goal, to defeat our enemies and the enemies of our allies with little concern for the aftermath. Just observing what has happened to the people where we supported extremists is evidence enough.

Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward men. We hope the conscience of our nation is bothered by our behavior but we know that is not true, and we sleep very well, thank you.

Marilyn Vogt-Downey , December 9, 2017 at 11:18 am

I am stunned that anyone could be so foolish as to think that the US military machine, US imperialism, does things "naively", bumbling like a helpless giant into wars that destroy entire nations with no end in sight. One need not be a "conspiracy theorist" to understand that the Pentagon does not control the world with an ever-expanding war budget equal to the next 10 countries combined, that it does this just because it is stuck on the wrong path. No! US imperialism develops these "big guns" to use them, to overpower, take over and dominate the world for the sake of profits and protection of the right to exploit for private profit.

There is ample evidence–see the Brookings Institute study among many others–that the Gulf monarchies–flunkies of US imperialism–who "host" dozens of US military bases in the region, some of them central to US war strategy–initiated and nourished and armed and financed the "jihadi armies" in Syria AND Libya AND elsewhere; they did not do this on their own. The US government–the executive committee of the US ruling class–does not naively support the Gulf monarchies because it doesn't know any better! Washington (following British imperialism) organized, established and backed these flunky regimes. They are autocratic, antediluvian regimes, allowing virtually civil rights, with no local proletariat to speak of, no popular base. They are no more than sheriffs for imperialism in that region of the world, along with the Zionist state of Israel, helping imperialism do the really dirty work.

I research this and gathered the evidence to support what I just asserted in a long study printed back in Dec. 2015 in Truthout. Here is the link: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/34151-what-is-the-war-on-terror-and-how-to-fight-it

Look at the evidence. Stop the totally foolish assessment that the US government spends all this money on a war machine just to "naively" blunder into wars that level entire nations–and is not taking on destruction of the entire continent of Africa to eliminate any obstacles to its domination.

No! That is foolish and destructive. Unless we look in the face what is going on–the US government since its "secret" intervention in Afghanistan in the 1970s and 1980s, has recruited, trained, armed, funded and relied on jihadi armies to unseat regimes and destabilize and destroy populations and regimes the US government wants to overthrow, and destroy, any that could potentially develop into an alternative model of nationalist, bourgeois industrial development on any level.

Wake up!!! The evidence is there. There is no reason to bumble and bungle along as if we are in the dark.

Randal Marlin , December 9, 2017 at 11:26 am

Daniel Pipes, from what I've read of him, is among those who counsel the U.S. government to use its military power to support the losing side in any civil wars fought within Israel's enemy states, so that the wars will continue, sparing Israel the threat of unified enemy states. What normal human beings consider a humanitarian disaster, repeated in Iraq, Syria and Libya, would be reckoned a success according to this way of thinking.
The thinking would appear to lead to similar treatment of Iran, with even more catastrophic consequences.

Behind all this is the thinking that the survival of Israel outweighs anything else in any global ethical calculus. Those who don't accept this moral premise but who believe in supporting the survival of Israel have their work cut out for them. This work would be made easier if the U.S. population saw clearly what was going on, instead of being preoccupied with salacious sexual misconduct stories or other distractions.

Zachary Smith , December 9, 2017 at 2:43 pm

A Russian interceptor has been scrambled to stop a rogue US fighter jet from actively interfering with an anti-terrorist operation, the Russian Defense Ministry said. It also accused the US of provoking close encounters with the Russian jets in Syria.

A US F-22 fighter was preventing two Russian Su-25 strike aircraft from bombing an Islamic State (IS, former ISIS) base to the west of the Euphrates November 23, according to the ministry. The ministry's spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov described the episode as yet another example of US aircraft attempts to prevent Russian forces from carrying out strikes against Islamic State.

"The F-22 launched decoy flares and used airbrakes while constantly maneuvering [near the Russian strike jets], imitating an air fight," Konashenkov said. He added that the US jet ceased its dangerous maneuvers only after a Russian Su-35S fighter jet joined the two strike planes.

If this story is true, then it illustrates a number of things. First, the US is still providing ISIS air cover. Second, either the F-22 pilot or his commander is dumber than dirt. The F-22 may be a fine airplane, but getting into a contest with an equally fine non-stealth airplane at eyeball distances means throwing away every advantage of the super-expensive stealth.

Zachary Smith , December 9, 2017 at 2:43 pm

https://www.rt.com/news/412590-russia-us-syria-air-force/

Pablo Diablo , December 9, 2017 at 2:53 pm

Gotta keep the War Machine well fed and insure Corporate control of markets and taking of resources.

Abe , December 9, 2017 at 2:54 pm

In October 1973, a nuclear armed rogue state almost triggered a global thermonuclear war.

Yom Kippur: Israel's 1973 nuclear alert
By Richard Sale
https://www.upi.com/Yom-Kippur-Israels-1973-nuclear-alert/64941032228992/

Israel obtained operational nuclear weapons capability by 1967, with the mass production of nuclear warheads occurring immediately after the Six-Day War. In addition to the Israeli nuclear arsenal, Israel has offensive chemical and biological warfare stockpiles.

Israel, the Middle East's sole nuclear power, is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

In 2015, the US-based Institute for Science and International Security estimated that Israel had 115 nuclear warheads. Outside estimates of Israel's nuclear arsenal range up to 400 nuclear weapons.

Israeli nuclear weapons delivery mechanisms include Jericho 3 missiles, with a range of 4,800 km to 6,500 km (though a 2004 source estimated its range at up to 11,500 km), as well as regional coverage from road mobile Jericho 2 IRBMs.

Additionally, Israel is believed to have an offshore nuclear capability using submarine-launched nuclear-capable cruise missiles, which can be launched from the Israeli Navy's Dolphin-class submarines.

The Israeli Air Force has F-15I and F-16I Sufa fighter aircraft are capable of delivering tactical and strategic nuclear weapons at long distances using conformal fuel tanks and supported by their aerial refueling fleet of modified Boeing 707's.

In 1986, Mordechai Vanunu, a former technician at Dimona, fled to the United Kingdom and revealed to the media some evidence of Israel's nuclear program and explained the purposes of each building, also revealing a top-secret underground facility directly below the installation.

The Mossad, Israel's secret service, sent a female agent who lured Vanunu to Italy, where he was kidnapped by Mossad agents and smuggled to Israel aboard a freighter. An Israeli court then tried him in secret on charges of treason and espionage, and sentenced him to eighteen years imprisonment.

At the time of Vanunu's kidnapping, The Times reported that Israel had material for approximately 20 hydrogen bombs and 200 fission bombs by 1986. In the spring of 2004, Vanunu was released from prison, and placed under several strict restrictions, such as the denial of a passport, freedom of movement limitations and restrictions on communications with the press. Since his release, he has been rearrested and charged multiple times for violations of the terms of his release.

Safety concerns about this 40-year-old reactor have been reported. In 2004, as a preventive measure, Israeli authorities distributed potassium iodide anti-radiation tablets to thousands of residents living nearby. Local residents have raised concerns regarding serious threats to health from living near the reactor.

According to a lawsuit filed in Be'er Sheva Labor Tribunal, workers at the center were subjected to human experimentation in 1998. According to Julius Malick, the worker who submitted the lawsuit, they were given drinks containing uranium without medical supervision and without obtaining written consent or warning them about risks of side effects.

In April 2016 the U.S. National Security Archive declassified dozens of documents from 1960 to 1970, which detail what American intelligence viewed as Israel's attempts to obfuscate the purpose and details of its nuclear program. The Americans involved in discussions with Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and other Israelis believed the country was providing "untruthful cover" about intentions to build nuclear weapons.

mike k , December 9, 2017 at 6:38 pm

The machinations of those seeking to gain advantages for themselves by hurting others, are truly appalling. If we fail to name evil for what it is, then we fail as human beings.Those who look the other way as their country engages in an organized reign of terror, are complicit in that enormous crime.

Den Lille Abe , December 9, 2017 at 8:54 pm

The path the US has chosen since the end of WWII has been over dead bodies. In the name of "security", bringing "Freedom" and "Democracy" and complete unconstrained greed it has trampled countless nations into piles of rubble. To say it is despised or loathed is an overwhelming understatement. It is almost universally hated in the third world. Rightly. Bringing this monstrosity to a halt is a difficult task, and probably cannot be done militarily without a nuclear war, economically could in the end have the same outcome, then how?

Easy! Ruin its population. This process has started, long ago. The decline in the US of health, general wealth, nutrition, production, education, equality, ethics and morals is already showing as cracks in the fabrics of the US.

A population of incarcerated, obese, low iQ zealot junkies, armed to teeth with guns, in a country with a crumbling infrastructure, full of environmental disasters is 21 st century for most Americans. In all the areas I mentioned the US is going backwards compared to most other countries. So the monster will come down.

turk151 , December 9, 2017 at 10:20 pm

I think you are being a little hard on the incarcerated, obese, low iQ zealot junkies, armed to teeth with guns

I am not sure who is more loathsome the evangelicals who were supporting the Bush / Cheney cabal murderous wars until the bitter end or the liberal intelligentsia careerist cheerleaders for Obama and Hilary's Wars in Iraq and Syria, who also dont give a damn about another Arab country being destroyed and sold into slavery as long as Hillary gets elected. At least with the former group, you can chalk it up to a lack of education.

Linda Wood , December 10, 2017 at 1:52 am

This is possibly the most intelligent and hopeful discussion I have read since 9/11. It says that at least some Americans do see that we have a fascist cell in our government. That is the first step in finding a way to unplug it. Best wishes to all of you who have written here. We will find a way to put war out of business.

Barbara van der Wal-Kylstra , December 10, 2017 at 2:46 am

I think this pattern of using Salafists for regime change started already in Afghanistan, with Brzezinski plotting with Saudi-Arabia and Pakistan to pay and train Osama bin Laden to attack the pro Russia regime and trying to get the USSR involved in it, also trying to blame the USSR for its agression, like they did in Syri"r?

Sam F , December 10, 2017 at 9:18 am

Yes, the Brzezinski/Reagan support of fanatic insurgencies began in AfPak and was revived for the zionists. Russia happened to be on the side more or less tending to progress in both cases, so it had to be opposed. The warmongers are always the US MIC/intel, allied with the anti-American zionist fascists for Mideast wars.

Luutzen , December 10, 2017 at 9:15 am

Sheldon Adelson, Soros, Saban all wanted carving up of Arabic states into small sectarian pieces (No Nasseric pan-Arabic states, a threat to Israël). And protracted wars of total destruction. Easy.

mike k , December 10, 2017 at 11:05 am

The US Military is part of the largest terrorist organization on Earth. For the super rich and powerful rulers of that US Mafia, the ignorant religious fanatics and other tools of Empire are just pawns in their game of world domination and universal slavery for all but themselves. These monsters of evil delight in profiting from the destruction of others; but their insatiable greed for more power will never be satisfied, and will become the cause of the annihilation of every living thing – including themselves. But like other sold out human addicts, at this point they don't really care, and will blindly pursue their nightmare quest to the very end – and perhaps they secretly hope that that final end of everything will at last quench their burning appetite for blood and gold.

Joe Tedesky , December 10, 2017 at 11:12 am

I'm leaving a link to a very long David Swanson article, where Mr Swanson goes into quite a lot of detail to how the U.S. wages war.

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2017/12/76-years-pearl-harbor-lies.html

Brendan , December 10, 2017 at 12:09 pm

What's interesting of course is how not just Washington, but much of the 'left' also cheered on the jihadists.

Of course, they were told (by whom?) that the jihadists were 'democratic rebels' and 'freedom fighters' who just wanted to 'bring democracy' to Syria, and get rid of the 'tyrant Assad.' 5 years later, so much of the nonsense about "local councils" and "white helmets" has been exposed for what it was. Yet many 'free thinking' people bought the propaganda. Just like they do on Russiagate. Who needs an "alt-right" when America's "left" is a total disgrace?

[Nov 12, 2017] The Russia hoax might not survive

When a particular MSN outlet call Intelligence assessment the work of "intelligence community" and not a handful of analysis picked by Brannan and Clapper from just three agencies (NSA, CIA and FBI) it ia fair to say it spreads propaganda in best Josef Gebbels tradition: "The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly - it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over."
"Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play." ― Joseph Goebbels
"That propaganda is good which leads to success, and that is bad which fails to achieve the desired result. It is not propaganda's task to be intelligent, its task is to lead to success." ― Joseph Goebbels
Notable quotes:
"... CIA Director Mike Pompeo recently met -- at the urging of President Donald Trump -- with one of the principal deniers of Russian interference in the US election, according to multiple intelligence sources. ..."
"... The CIA responded to CNN's inquiry about the meeting by saying that Pompeo "stands by and has always stood by the January 2017 intelligence community assessment" that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election ..."
Nov 12, 2017 | www.wsj.com

This here is The Wall Street Journal on the Steele Dossier .

This is utterly untrue. In British court documents Mr. Steele has acknowledged he briefed U.S. reporters about the dossier in September 2016. Those briefed included journalists from the New York Times , the Washington Post, Yahoo News and others. Mr. Steele, by his own admission (in an interview with Mother Jones), also gave his dossier in July 2016 to the FBI.

... ... ...

To that point, it is fair to ask if the entire Trump-Russia narrative -- which has played a central role in our political discourse for a year, and is now resulting in a special counsel issuing unrelated indictments -- is based on nothing more than a political smear document. Is there any reason to believe the FBI was probing a Trump-Russia angle before the dossier? Is there any collusion allegation that doesn't come in some form from the dossier?

The idea that the federal government and a special counsel were mobilized -- that American citizens were monitored and continue to be investigated -- based on a campaign-funded hit document is extraordinary. Especially given that to this day no one has publicly produced a single piece of evidence to support any of the dossier's substantive allegations about Trump team members.

And CNN CIA director met with DNC hack conspiracy theorist at Trump's urging - CNNPolitics

CIA Director Mike Pompeo recently met -- at the urging of President Donald Trump -- with one of the principal deniers of Russian interference in the US election, according to multiple intelligence sources. Trump apparently made the highly unusual request that Pompeo meet with the former National Security Agency employee and look into a theory that the leak of Democratic Party emails last year was an inside job rather than a cyberattack by Russian hackers.

William Binney, the former NSA employee-turned-whistleblower who circulated the conspiracy theory, confirmed to CNN that he met with Pompeo for about an hour on October 24 -- despite the fact the intelligence community concluded early this year that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. The meeting was first reported by The Intercept.

The CIA responded to CNN's inquiry about the meeting by saying that Pompeo "stands by and has always stood by the January 2017 intelligence community assessment" that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

[Nov 12, 2017] You can't half pregnant. If it was not Russia then who? Seth Rish? Brennan people? NSA?

The question of exploiting Steele dossier by US intelligence services remains unanswered. But many people suspect the real culprit.
www.theguardian.com

US President Donald Trump said he had "good discussions" with Russian leader Vladimir Putin when they met briefly at an Asia-Pacific summit in Vietnam.

On Twitter, he blasted "haters and fools", who, he said, do not encourage good relations between the countries.

Earlier he said Mr Putin told him he was insulted by allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 US election.

The US intelligence community has previously concluded that Russia tried to sway the poll in Mr Trump's favour.

"He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election," the US president said.

However, after intense criticism, Mr Trump clarified hat he supported US intelligence agencies in their conclusion. "As to whether or not I believe it or not, I'm with our agencies. I believe in our... intelligence agencies," he said.

"What he believes, he believes," he added, of Mr Putin's belief that Russia did not meddle.

The two leaders had no formal bilateral talks during the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) event, but meet in passing on three occasions. They spoke about the Syria crisis and the election allegations, according to Mr Trump.

[Nov 12, 2017] Trump says Putin sincere in denial of Russian meddling by Karen DeYoung, Ashley Parker and David Nakamura

One useful criteria to distinguish propaganda from honest analyst is to check if the Intelligence assessment is called the product of "intelligence community" or group of handpicked by Brennan and Clipper analysts from just three agencies (NSA, CIA, and FBI). This is very similar to the test if some Western news out let call Magnitsky "a lawyer" or "an accountant".
T he question why intelligence agencies used Steele dossier remain unanswered. and the answer to this question if the key.
The forces against rapprochement with Russia are way too strong and include "foright policy establishment", large part of Pentagon, defense contractors, intelligence agencies and their contractors. Like any bureaucracies they want to expand much like cancel cells -- uncontrollably. In this sense the intelligence agencies were dangerous for the US democracy from the moment of their creation and remain so. The question that arise is " Is democracy compatible with the existence of hypertrophied, almost out of control by "civic" government intelligence agency, protected by secrecy of their operations? .
The main reason for their creation and existence in hypertrophied state was the existence of the USSR. But in less twenty years from its creation CIA became dangerous for the US democracy (in 1963 to be exact). And it probably remains dangerous now -- agency protected by secrecy and having huge among of money in their disposal.
It is clear that the bet of intelligence agencies (at least NSA, CIA and FBI) in the last lection was Hillary. Although it looks like FBI waved a bit. What they did to "help" her now needs to be investigated using something like Church commission.
Notable quotes:
"... On Saturday, in his Air Force One remarks, Trump suggested that what he called the "artificial Democratic hit job" of investigations of possible collusion between his campaign and Russia were somehow preventing U.S.-Russia cooperation on a range of issues, including North Korea. "It's a shame," he said, "because people will die because of it." ..."
"... Putin, in his own news conference after speaking with Trump, said he knew "absolutely nothing" about Russian contacts with Trump campaign officials, and called reports that a campaign official met with his niece "bollocks," according to an interpreter. "They can do what they want, looking for some sensation," Putin said of the investigations. "But there are no sensations." ..."
"... On Saturday, Trump described the former top U.S. intelligence officials who concluded in January that the tampering took place -- including former director of national intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. and former CIA director John Brennan -- as "political hacks." He called former FBI director James B. Comey, who testified to Congress that Trump asked him to drop an investigation of his campaign's connections to Russian officials, a "liar" and a "leaker." ..."
"... Pompeo said last month that intelligence agencies had determined that Russian interference had not altered the electoral outcome ..."
Nov 12, 2017 | www.washingtonpost.com

President Trump said that President Vladi­mir Putin had assured him again Saturday that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 presidential campaign, and indicated that he believed Putin's sincerity, drawing immediate criticism from lawmakers and former intelligence officials who assessed that the meddling took place.

"I asked him again," Trump said after what he described as several brief, informal chats with Putin in Danang, Vietnam, where they were attending a regional conference. "You can only ask so many times . . . He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He did not do what they are saying he did.

"I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it . . . I think he's very insulted, if you want to know the truth," Trump told reporters traveling with him aboard Air Force One from Danang to Hanoi, on the ninth day of a long Asia tour. Trump voiced similar conclusions after his only previous meeting with Putin, last July in Germany.

Trump's response to questions about his conversations with ­Putin was a jarring return to the more insular preoccupations of Washington after more than a week of what has been a trip filled with pageantry and pledges of mutual admiration, but few substantive outcomes, between Trump and Asian leaders.

Later, in a news conference Sunday in Hanoi with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang, Trump appeared to be trying to parse his earlier remarks, saying, "What I said is that I believe [Putin] believes that.

"As to whether I believe it or not," he said, "I'm with our [intelligence] agencies, especially as currently constituted.

"I want to be able . . . to get along with Russia," Trump said. "I'm not looking to stand and argue with somebody when there are reporters standing all around."

Reporters were not permitted inside the hall where the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference was held in Danang.

... ... ...

On Saturday, in his Air Force One remarks, Trump suggested that what he called the "artificial Democratic hit job" of investigations of possible collusion between his campaign and Russia were somehow preventing U.S.-Russia cooperation on a range of issues, including North Korea. "It's a shame," he said, "because people will die because of it."

Putin, in his own news conference after speaking with Trump, said he knew "absolutely nothing" about Russian contacts with Trump campaign officials, and called reports that a campaign official met with his niece "bollocks," according to an interpreter. "They can do what they want, looking for some sensation," Putin said of the investigations. "But there are no sensations."

On Saturday, Trump described the former top U.S. intelligence officials who concluded in January that the tampering took place -- including former director of national intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. and former CIA director John Brennan -- as "political hacks." He called former FBI director James B. Comey, who testified to Congress that Trump asked him to drop an investigation of his campaign's connections to Russian officials, a "liar" and a "leaker."

Clapper said in a statement that "the president was given clear and indisputable evidence that Russia interfered in the election. His own DNI and CIA director have confirmed the finding in the intelligence community assessment. The fact that he would take Putin at his word over the intelligence community is unconscionable."

Brennan declined to comment.

In a statement, the CIA said that Director Mike Pompeo "stands by and has always stood by the January 2017 Intelligence Community assessment . . . with regard to Russian election meddling." That position, it said, "has not changed." The assessment also concluded that Russia had acted to promote Trump's victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Although Pompeo said last month that intelligence agencies had determined that Russian interference had not altered the electoral outcome , the assessment did not address that question.

[Nov 12, 2017] Trump believes Putin on Russia meddling, says Mueller may cost lives by Julian Borger & Oliver Holmes

Does this means that Trump now believes that this was Brenna's false flag operation? And why intelligence agencies exploited Steele dossier against him?
Notable quotes:
"... "I mean, give me a break," Trump said. "So you look at it, I mean, you have Brennan, you have Clapper and you have Comey. Comey is proven now to be a liar and he is proven now to be a leaker." ..."
Nov 12, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

The president disparaged officials who worked for Barack Obama, saying former CIA chief John Brennan, ex-director of national intelligence James Clapper and James Comey, the FBI director he fired in May , were "political hacks".

"I mean, give me a break," Trump said. "So you look at it, I mean, you have Brennan, you have Clapper and you have Comey. Comey is proven now to be a liar and he is proven now to be a leaker."

He suggested he put more faith in Putin's word.

"Every time he sees me he says 'I didn't do that' and I really believe that when he tells me that," Trump said. "He really seems to be insulted by it and he says he didn't do it. He is very, very strong in the fact that he didn't do it. You have President Putin very strongly, vehemently says he has nothing to do with that."

[Nov 11, 2017] Trump Points To Falsehoods In Russian Hacking Claims - Media Still Ignore Them

Possibly all of the Russia-gate allegations, which have been taken on faith by Democratic partisans and members of the anti-Trump Resistance, trace back to claims paid for or generated by Democrats. If for a moment one could remove the often justified hatred many people feel toward Trump, it would be impossible to avoid the impression that the scandal may have been devised by the DNC and the Clinton camp in league with Obama's intelligence chiefs to serve political and geopolitical aims. In other words this is a sophisticated false flag operation.
Even more alarmingly (what really smells like a part on intelligence agencies coup d'état against Trump ) is the basis for much of the Jan. 6 intelligence "assessment" by those "hand-picked" analysts from three U.S. intelligence agencies - the CIA, the FBI and the NSA - not all 17 agencies that Hillary Clinton continues to insist were involved. (Obama's intelligence chiefs, DNI Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan, publicly admitted that only three agencies took part and The New York Times printed a correction saving so.)
Notable quotes:
"... Well its three . And one is Brennan . And one is whatever. I mean, give me a break. They're political hacks . So you look at it, and then you have Brennan, you have Clapper and you have Comey . Comey's proven now to be a liar and he's proven to be a leaker. So you look at that. ..."
"... Trump gets it. He knows the weak points of the propaganda claims of "Russian hacking": Podesta and the fake Steele dossier, the DNC server, the lack of any FBI investigation of the alleged hack, the NYT's long false insistence on the '17 agencies' assessment, the "political hacks" who fitted their claims to the Obama/Clinton narrative. ..."
"... But neither the Washington Post nor the NY Times or others mention the crucial points Trump spelled out in their write-ups of the gaggle. There is no word on the DNC servers in them. Instead they create a claim of "Putin says and Trump just believes him". The do not name the facts and questions Trump listed to support his position. Taking up the valid questions Trump asked would of course require the news outlets to finally delve into them. We can't have that. ..."
"... Trump is not the brightest bulb and he is not well informed. I dislike nearly all of his policies. But he understands that the "Russian hacking" narrative is false and is carried by lunatic political hacks who want to push the U.S. back into a cold, or maybe even hot war with Russia, China, Iran and probably everyone else. ..."
"... I guess it could be that the DNC really was hacked, but maybe they faked the hack story, fed the story to Crowdstrike, then paid Crowdstrike a lot of money to fabricate a fairytale about Russian hacking... ..."
"... This Russian fairytale would be the bedrock of Hillary's campaign, and it gave her a reason to badmouth trump who intended to get along with Putin, which deeply offended the neocon Bolsheviks who've been running things since 9/11 ..."
"... If the hacking really happened, it's maybe more likely to have been the US NSA that did the hacking... that might explain why the DNC and Hillary were not alarmed by the hacking --if it happened-- and did nothing about it, and continued to write incriminating emails... ..."
"... Russia gate is Really Hillary Gate... And that's just the beginning as we consider the DNC lid coming off via Donna Brazile and the Uranium scandal. Mueller has been gatekeeper for the Deep State for OKC bombing, 911,...other False Flag...and now today's Intrigues. ..."
"... Back when Trump looked like he was in the running in the US presidential election, I wondered how one man, even if he was genuine, could without the backing of US intelligence, take down the deepstate/borg/whatever. Putin pulled Russia out of the nineties with key backing from patriotic intelligence and military leadership, but Trump even if genuine would be on his own. Just ordered 'Art of the deal' to try and understand Trump a bit more. Looks like he has just destroyed a big chunk of deep state financing so will be interesting to see how long he can stay alive. ..."
"... well, Mueller declined to find 9/11 evidence against bin laden... or maybe we should say, "he declined to manufacture evidence"... for some unkown reason... ..."
"... Can we just face the facts here that there is a coordinated effort by these elite to get Trump dethroned? What reason for this? Simple...he's a threat. ..."
"... Mike Whitney posted a great piece this week suggesting Brennan, Obama's political 'hack', is behind this mess - "Brennan spearheaded the anti-Russia campaign from the get-go. As early as August 2016, Brennan was providing classified briefings to ranking members of Congress expressing his conviction that Moscow was helping Trump to win the election. The former Director offered no proof to back up his claims nor has he since then. It was also Brennan who gradually persuaded Clapper, Comey and Morrell to join his anti-Russia jihad, although all were reluctant participants at first. Were they won over by compelling secret evidence that has been been withheld from the public?" - http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48172.htm ..."
"... These are but a few sources digging and reporting on these bogus charges against Putin. I'd like to believe the majority of the U.S. electorate isn't being fooled by the nonsense. I can't speak for those who choose to remain inside the brainwashing corporate media bubble, but for those of us who divorced ourselves from their propaganda long ago ain't buying nor ever did buy into the muh Russia crap. ..."
"... Meanwhile, USG declares RT and Sputnik to be foreign agents and must register as such -- and Trump had nothing to do with that?!? ..."
"... The media is now now in permanent psy op mode, colonizing the public's mind and jamming people's ability to reason, think critically and even tell fact from fiction. It is only a matter of time before overt repression becomes widespread (to protect our freedoms of course) and the last remnants of democracy give way to an Orwellian/Huxleyite dystopia. ..."
"... CNN covers the Binney/Pompeo meeting, and describes Binney in the headline as a "conspiracy theorist": http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/07/politics/mike-pompeo-william-binney-meeting/index.html ..."
Nov 11, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Trump Points To Falsehoods In "Russian Hacking" Claims - Media Still Ignore Them

During the flight of his recent Asia tour U.S. President Donal Trump held a press gaggle on board of the plane. Part of it were questions and answers about the alleged "Russian hacking" of the U.S. election.

There is no public transcript available yet but the Washington Post's Mark Berman provided a screenshot of some relevant parts:

Mark Berman @markberman - 6:20 AM - 11 Nov 2017

Full comment from @realDonaldTrump again questioning the US intel community conclusion that Russia meddled last year

In the attached transcript Trump talks about his very short encounter with the Russian President Putin in Hanoi:

Q: When did you bring up the issue of election meddling? Did you ask him a question?

A: Every time he sees me he says he didn't do that and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it. But he says, I didn't do that. I think he is very insulted by it, ...
...
He says that very strongly and he really seems to be insulted by it he says he didn't do it.

Q: Even if he didn't bring it up one-on-one, do you believe him?

A: I think that he is very, very strong on the fact that didn't do it. And then you look and you look what's going on with Podesta , and you look at what's going on with the server from the DNC and why didn't the FBI take it ? Why did they leave it? Why did a third party look at the server and not the FBI ? You look at all of this stuff, and you say, what's going on here? And you hear it's 17 agencies. Well its three . And one is Brennan . And one is whatever. I mean, give me a break. They're political hacks . So you look at it, and then you have Brennan, you have Clapper and you have Comey . Comey's proven now to be a liar and he's proven to be a leaker. So you look at that. And you have President Putin very strongly, vehemently say he has nothing to do with that. Now, you are not going to get into an argument, you are going to start talking about Syria and the Ukraine.

Trump gets it. He knows the weak points of the propaganda claims of "Russian hacking": Podesta and the fake Steele dossier, the DNC server, the lack of any FBI investigation of the alleged hack, the NYT's long false insistence on the '17 agencies' assessment, the "political hacks" who fitted their claims to the Obama/Clinton narrative.

But neither the Washington Post nor the NY Times or others mention the crucial points Trump spelled out in their write-ups of the gaggle. There is no word on the DNC servers in them. Instead they create a claim of "Putin says and Trump just believes him". The do not name the facts and questions Trump listed to support his position. Taking up the valid questions Trump asked would of course require the news outlets to finally delve into them. We can't have that.

Instead we get more "Russian influence" claptrap. Like this from the once honorable Wired which headlines:

Here's the first evidence Russia used Twitter to influence Brexit

Russian interference in Brexit through targeted social media propaganda can be revealed for the first time. A cache of posts from 2016, seen by WIRED, shows how a coordinated network of Russian-based Twitter accounts spread racial hatred in an attempt to disrupt politics in the UK and Europe.

Interesting, enthralling, complicate and sensational ...
... until you get down to paragraph 14(!):

Surprisingly, all the posts around Brexit in this small snapshot were posted after the June vote

"Russian agents" influenced the U.S. election by buying mostly irrelevant Facebook ads - 25% of which were never seen by anyone and 56% of which were posted AFTER the election

"Russian-based Twitter accounts" influenced the Brexit vote in the UK by tweeting affirmative AFTER the vote happened

Trump is not the brightest bulb and he is not well informed. I dislike nearly all of his policies. But he understands that the "Russian hacking" narrative is false and is carried by lunatic political hacks who want to push the U.S. back into a cold, or maybe even hot war with Russia, China, Iran and probably everyone else.

Tannenhouser | Nov 11, 2017 2:15:01 PM | 1

"Trump is not the brightest bulb and he is not well informed. I dislike nearly all of his policies. But he understands that the "Russian hacking" narrative is false and is carried by lunatic political hacks who want to push the U.S. back into a cold, or maybe even hot war with Russia, China, Iran and probably everyone else."

I couldn't agree more B. The distraction to cover up the DNC crimes and the 'pay to play' antics during HRC's tenure at SECState are part of this nonsense as well.

james | Nov 11, 2017 2:21:31 PM | 2
thanks b.. i 2nd @1 tannenhousers comment above..
wadosy | Nov 11, 2017 2:31:10 PM | 3
the term "hacked" implies that someone came in on the internet, right?

I guess it could be that the DNC really was hacked, but maybe they faked the hack story, fed the story to Crowdstrike, then paid Crowdstrike a lot of money to fabricate a fairytale about Russian hacking...

This Russian fairytale would be the bedrock of Hillary's campaign, and it gave her a reason to badmouth trump who intended to get along with Putin, which deeply offended the neocon Bolsheviks who've been running things since 9/11

If the hacking really happened, it's maybe more likely to have been the US NSA that did the hacking... that might explain why the DNC and Hillary were not alarmed by the hacking --if it happened-- and did nothing about it, and continued to write incriminating emails...

...they assumed the hackers were on their side

OK, then, if the hacking was a fairytale, made up by Debbie and Hillary, and reinforced by Crowdstrike, then what? Maybe it doesn't make any difference in the long run, if the DNC was hacked or not

Whatever happened, the emails got out, Assange strongly hints that Seth Rich was the leak, Seth Rich was murdered, and his murder was intended to be a warning to people like Donna Brazile, who, after Seth was murdered, started drawing her office blinds because she didn't want to be sniped... presumably by the people who murdered Seth Rich

broders | Nov 11, 2017 2:33:17 PM | 4
the real question is : what is j.sessions doing ? and if nothing , why trump doesn't fire him ?
Brad | Nov 11, 2017 2:55:42 PM | 5
Russia gate is Really Hillary Gate... And that's just the beginning as we consider the DNC lid coming off via Donna Brazile and the Uranium scandal. Mueller has been gatekeeper for the Deep State for OKC bombing, 911,...other False Flag...and now today's Intrigues.

Will Podesta and Hillary escape?...or get Prison? John McCain with ISIS and photo opp,.. Evil in your face 24. If certain people are not in Prison....Mueller could wear the label Satan's guardian. ..and it wouldn't be exaggeration

Peter AU 1 | Nov 11, 2017 3:00:44 PM | 6
Back when Trump looked like he was in the running in the US presidential election, I wondered how one man, even if he was genuine, could without the backing of US intelligence, take down the deepstate/borg/whatever. Putin pulled Russia out of the nineties with key backing from patriotic intelligence and military leadership, but Trump even if genuine would be on his own. Just ordered 'Art of the deal' to try and understand Trump a bit more. Looks like he has just destroyed a big chunk of deep state financing so will be interesting to see how long he can stay alive.
wadosy | Nov 11, 2017 3:05:39 PM | 7

well, Mueller declined to find 9/11 evidence against bin laden... or maybe we should say, "he declined to manufacture evidence"... for some unkown reason...

whatever, if seth rich's murder was an attempt to terrorize politicians and the media into parroting the party line --like the anthrax letters did after 9/11-- it worked

donna is still saying, "the Russians dun it".

NemesisCalling | Nov 11, 2017 3:07:36 PM | 8
b, it is so funny that everytime you allude to Trump being in the right against the teeming hordes or globalist, anti-Russia elites, you always offer the caveat: "but...he's a bastard and I hate him."

Can we just face the facts here that there is a coordinated effort by these elite to get Trump dethroned? What reason for this? Simple...he's a threat.

Enemy of my enemy anyone?

P.s. I view him as an opportunist. a chameleon. At the very least, perhaps he realizes the absolute absurdity of trying to keep the house of cards aloft in the ME. So far, no wars, and a de-escalation in Syria. Pundits are talking about 3+% growth in US for first time in decade. I dont't know...perhaps Donald can cut and run in time to salvage some of the US prosperity.

PavewayIV | Nov 11, 2017 3:22:45 PM | 9
I'm almost inclined to think Trump is letting this Russian hack thing play out on purpose despite his Tweets to the contrary. Preventing the feds from 'investigating' it wouldn't make it go away, it would just cement the notion of guilt and a cover-up into the anti-Trump, anti-Russian segment of the public. More importantly, the similarly-inclined political/government leaders (pro-Hillary, DNC, politicized FBI and intel, neocons, deep state, whatever...) and MSM slowly expose themselves for what they are. They get too confident in the big lie actually working and go into a feeding frenzy. Trump trolls them on Twitter and they go insane.

When you want to catch sharks, you don't chase them around the ocean to hunt them. You chum the waters and wait for them to come to you. Trump isn't the one chumming the waters here - he's letting the sharks do that themselves.

I scratched my head like everyone else trying to figure out Trump's earlier incomprehensible hiring/firing volley his first few months. Maybe that was just a bit of theatre. Trump might not understand the 'little people' too much, but he does understand his opponent psychopaths (corporate, banking or government/intel) and how to use their basic flaws against them. 'Draining the swamp' sells well, but letting his opponents stick their necks out far enough before Trump's own Night of the Long Knives would (to me) be a far more effective strategy towards his ends. And probably much safer for him than Kennedy's approach.

Kind of worrying that one has to rely on outsider psychopaths to cull other psychopath's well-entrenched herds within the US government. Does that ever turn out well?

Laguerre | Nov 11, 2017 3:30:12 PM | 10
Was anything Trump did really illegal? It hasn't been demonstrated yet. The US does much the same in Russia.
h | Nov 11, 2017 3:31:16 PM | 11
Only the most strident partisans hold tightly to the Russian interference nonsense.

Those who simply want to deal in facts bother ourselves to self inform using multiple sources who have been trying to make sense of the dastardly twists and turns in this muh Russia whodunit scandal. The DNC emails, dossier, collusion the whole escapade, from the beginning, could be seen as being built on nothing more than quicksand.

Mike Whitney posted a great piece this week suggesting Brennan, Obama's political 'hack', is behind this mess - "Brennan spearheaded the anti-Russia campaign from the get-go. As early as August 2016, Brennan was providing classified briefings to ranking members of Congress expressing his conviction that Moscow was helping Trump to win the election. The former Director offered no proof to back up his claims nor has he since then. It was also Brennan who gradually persuaded Clapper, Comey and Morrell to join his anti-Russia jihad, although all were reluctant participants at first. Were they won over by compelling secret evidence that has been been withheld from the public?" - http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48172.htm

Then you have Joe Lauria's outstanding piece which lived less than 24 hours at HuffPo before being disappeared - http://raymcgovern.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/CLEANOn-The-Origins-of-Russia-gate-_-HuffPost.pdf

And then you have the Intercept's piece on Binney's meeting with CIA's Pompeo with Ray McGovern providing a lot more detail and an interview with his favorite news outlet RT - http://raymcgovern.com/

Oh, and about Binney's meeting with Pompeo? Trump requested Pompeo meet with him. He did. But Pompeo, as of today, remains steadfast in supporting the ICA crap report Obama's political intel hacks put out.

These are but a few sources digging and reporting on these bogus charges against Putin. I'd like to believe the majority of the U.S. electorate isn't being fooled by the nonsense. I can't speak for those who choose to remain inside the brainwashing corporate media bubble, but for those of us who divorced ourselves from their propaganda long ago ain't buying nor ever did buy into the muh Russia crap.

wadosy | Nov 11, 2017 3:36:47 PM | 12
we got to wonder why donna brazile made such a fuss about Seth Rich. She's being way too cagey for comfort but even if we leave seth rich out of it, none of it make any sense

... ... ...

Muslim Dude | Nov 11, 2017 3:42:36 PM | 13
According to journalist, Liz Crokin and others online, Trump is pulling the biggest sting operation in history.

https://www.lizcrokin.com/hillaryclinton/mueller-president-trump-pulling-biggest-sting-history/

Also from a Youtube video I saw earlier there are claims this is what is happening.

1. Obama regime was chronically corrupt including sell of Uranium to Russia for bribes. Elements of the US military and intelligence were disgusted by this and approached Trump BEFORE the elections as a figure who could help them.

2. Trump decided to work with them and during his election campaign he deliberately made constant exaggerated claims of his supposed friendship with Putin, this was bait for the Democrats to smear him as a Putin-lover, Putin puppet.

3. Once elected, the whole "Trump is a Putin puppet" was allowed to run so that a huge demand for some sort of investigation in to Trump and his Russia links could be built. Only this investigation would in fact be used to target the Democrats and Clinton including for their corruption over the Uranium sales with the Russians.

4. This was apparently (according to these claims) the game plan from the beginning and Mueller is apparently going to work to convict Hillary Clinton and other senior Democrats.

I don't know how true this is, but it does answer a lot of questions and anomalies and also ties in with B's thesis that we are essentially seeing a quasi-military government in D.C. under Trump.

psychohistorian | Nov 11, 2017 3:49:19 PM | 14
@ PavewayIV who ended his comment with: "Kind of worrying that one has to rely on outsider psychopaths to cull other psychopath's well-entrenched herds within the US government. Does that ever turn out well? "

Yep! And we add our textual white noise to the rearranging of the deck chairs on the top deck of the good ship Humanity as it careens over the falls/into the shoals/pick-your-metaphor

PavewayIV | Nov 11, 2017 4:30:10 PM | 15
psychohistorian@14 - Captain to crew: "I will not have this ship go down looking like a garbage scow. Deck chairs will be arranged in a neat and orderly manner at all times!"
Augustin L | Nov 11, 2017 4:32:46 PM | 16
The orange Chump is using diversionary tactics. Will the mafia Front goy thief disclose his extensive exposure/links to Russian and foreign banks ?

The same media you're decrying here is also ignoring this week's paradise papers revelations about Wilbur Ross, Trump's commerce secretary and business links with Russian Israeli mobsters and oligarchs like Mogilevich. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMhzkvWuXEM

There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what is not true. The other is to refuse to believe what is true. Can't fix stupid sociopathy. I pity deplorable goyims, They deserve their plight...

renfro | Nov 11, 2017 5:10:26 PM | 17
Please someone end this idiot circus! Russia hacked THE ELECTION ...hacked THE ELECTION ??? For the love of gawd..the ELECTION, meaning the voting was hacked.....it was NOT. Nothing has focused on Russian 'hacking' of VOTES. Russia 'if' they hacked, at best hacked some emails and info used to expose Hillary. And posted negative info on the net. So, so what? How many leakers weren't doing that?

I have had it with the Dems, they have IQs somewhere below that of cabbages. But I guess there are a certain number of citizens that will believe anything if it is repeated enough by their herd leaders.

notheonly1 | Nov 11, 2017 5:31:12 PM | 18
All this pathetic, lousy street theater resembling staging can only serve one important reason: Distraction. What is it that people need to be distracted from? That the US has turned openly into a military dictatorship? That the extermination proceedings are speeding up?

Hitler used gas chambers, as did the US after the war. While the first was a psychopathic dictator, the latter is a psychopathic society. It has spend trillions in research and design of lethal weapons and systems to exterminate any 'enemy'.

With all the technological progress, people do no longer need to be dragged to a gas chamber. The gas chamber will come to them. Sprayed into the atmosphere and making its way into earth's life systems.

Trump, Dump, Busch, Koch, Clinton, Reagan, Nixon - plutocratic hand puppets. It is not the people who decide where and when the ship sinks. It will be sunken for them - with all the useless eaters on board.

Jack Oliver | Nov 11, 2017 6:03:23 PM | 19
Trump is too stupid to realize that the very reason the election was rigged in his favour was - the derailment of ANY ZIO/US/Russia relations !! Their top priority ( as always) has been to keep Russia and Germany apart ! Russia's 'resources' and German 'innovation' is a match made in heaven - would spell the end of the US economy !
karlof1 | Nov 11, 2017 6:27:43 PM | 20
Not only did the Propaganda System refuse to correctly report as b details, but nowhere has it mentioned the defeat of Daesh, as Pepe Escobar discloses: "This is History in the making.

"And right on cue, VIRTUALLY NOTHING about this REAL ON THE GROUND VICTORY OF A REAL WAR ON TERROR is being covered by Western corporate media.

"No wonder. Because this was the work of Damascus, Russia, Hezbollah, Iran advisers, Baghdad and the PMUs – actually the "4+1" - and not the US-led "coalition" that includes Wahhabi mongrels House of Saud and UAE - that totally smashes to bits the monochord Washington narrative.

"So History in the making must be silenced." [Emphasis in original.] http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48186.htm

Meanwhile, USG declares RT and Sputnik to be foreign agents and must register as such -- and Trump had nothing to do with that?!?

Temporarily Sane | Nov 11, 2017 6:30:23 PM | 21
The war on Syria and the Russian "hacking" debacle has corrupted the entire western media. Not that it was ever squeaky clean - far from it - but it was at least somewhat independent from the dominant establishment. There were pauses between the outrageous lies and blatant fact twisting and it did not overtly shill for neoliberal political parties and work overtime pushing massive amounts of propaganda on the public 24/7/365 and relentlessly demonize, in the most crude fashion imaginable, the leaders of some of the the world's most powerful countries and any sovereign nation that values its independence and freedom from Western exploitation.

The media is now now in permanent psy op mode, colonizing the public's mind and jamming people's ability to reason, think critically and even tell fact from fiction. It is only a matter of time before overt repression becomes widespread (to protect our freedoms of course) and the last remnants of democracy give way to an Orwellian/Huxleyite dystopia.

jayc | Nov 11, 2017 6:32:58 PM | 22
CNN covers the Binney/Pompeo meeting, and describes Binney in the headline as a "conspiracy theorist": http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/07/politics/mike-pompeo-william-binney-meeting/index.html
Peter AU 1 | Nov 11, 2017 6:37:08 PM | 23
karlof1 20

If by chance Trump or anyone is genuine about taking down the deep state, they cannot do it by running around in a pathetic attempt trying to fix small issues. They would have to leave the machine to carry on as normal and go for its foundations. I thought about this months ago, and now looking at the latest events, this could be what is happening.

gut bugs galore | Nov 11, 2017 6:52:35 PM | 24
Meanwhile a revolution threatening the federation of Australia is taking place in Canberra utilizing a formless and compliant press corps and a fake issue of dual citizenship. Chaos is a disease agent which has jumped out of the Middle Eastern laboratory into all western nations.
Krollchem | Nov 11, 2017 7:13:34 PM | 25
Educational Youtube videos on how the world works at "Rules for rulers"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rStL7niR7gs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ig_qpNfXHIU

[Nov 05, 2017] The military industrial complex did make a killing in Iraq though (no pun intended). Just a coincidence I suppose

Nov 05, 2017 | www.unz.com

The Scalpel , Website November 3, 2017 at 6:05 pm GMT

@Randal

"Whether the US "won" in Iraq in that sense depends on what you view as the motivation for the attack on Iraq, but for certain the Iraqi state was defeated comprehensively. "

Everybody knows the motivation was to eliminate Saddam's weapons of mass destruction. Iraq no longer possesses WMD's so the US won! Small caveat. There were never WMD's so the war was unnecessary. The military industrial complex did make a killing though (no pun intended). Just a coincidence I suppose

[Nov 04, 2017] Duty, Honor, Atrocity

Iraq war was the war for oil... Bush was just a puppet.
Notable quotes:
"... Erik Edstrom is a graduate of the West Point class of 2007. He was an infantry officer, Army Ranger, and Bronze Star Medal recipient who deployed to direct combat in Afghanistan. ..."
Nov 04, 2017 | www.unz.com

In George W. Bush's home state of Texas, if you are an ordinary citizen found guilty of capital murder, the mandatory sentence is either life in prison or the death penalty. If, however, you are a former president of the United States responsible for initiating two illegal wars of aggression, which killed 7,000 U.S. servicemen and at least 210,000 civilians , displaced more than 10 million people from their homes, condoned torture, initiated a global drone assassination campaign, and imprisoned people for years without substantive evidence or trial in Guantanamo Bay, the punishment evidently is to be given the Thayer Award at West Point.

On October 19th, George W. Bush traveled to the United States Military Academy, my alma mater , to receive the Sylvanus Thayer Award at a ceremony hosted by that school's current superintendent and presented on behalf of the West Point Association of Graduates. The honor is "given to a citizen whose outstanding character, accomplishments, and stature in the civilian community draw wholesome comparison to the qualities for which West Point strives."

... ... ...

Erik Edstrom is a graduate of the West Point class of 2007. He was an infantry officer, Army Ranger, and Bronze Star Medal recipient who deployed to direct combat in Afghanistan.

SolontoCroesus , October 23, 2017 at 4:17 pm GMT
Half right.

Bush is a war criminal and should not be rewarded for upholding moral standards, he should be in prison or on the end of a piano wire.
But, the seed does not fall far from the tree (from which both should hang).

Lt Col Pete Kilner styles himself an ethicist and teaches/counsels ethics and morality to West Pointers and helps military personnel deal with post-engagement moral issues. Kilner published this essay a few days ago:

MORAL MISCONCEPTIONS: FIVE FLAWED ASSUMPTIONS CONFUSE MORAL JUDGMENTS ON WAR

https://www.ausa.org/articles/moral-misconceptions-five-flawed-assumptions-confuse-moral-judgments-war

imo nearly every argument Kilner makes to refute the "5 misconceptions" are childishly simplistic; some rely on distortions or omissions of key facts.
For example, Kilner writes:

Misconception 4
Motives must be pure:
The 1990–91 First Gulf War was a paradigm case of a just war. Iraq invaded and occupied Kuwait, and the U.S. and other countries assisted Kuwaiti forces in liberating their country and re-establishing their government. Critics of the war claim that the United States' involvement was motivated by a desire to keep oil prices low. Even if they are right, would it matter?

No, the Gulf War was NOT a "paradigm case of a just war." Just war theory / Jus Ad Bellum Convention holds that the just war must:

have just cause, be a last resort, be declared by a proper authority, possess right intention, have a reasonable chance of success, and the end must be proportional to the means used. . . http://www.iep.utm.edu/justwar/#H2

First of all, if you have to lie to gain assent to wage war, then any moral claim to having a just cause is null.
Incubator babies??

In almost every other way the Persian Gulf war waged by George H W Bush violated jus ad bellum principles but especially:

War should always be a last resort. This connects intimately with presenting a just cause – all other forms of solution must have been attempted prior to the declaration of war.

As Vernon Loeb recorded -- and the George H W Bush archives as examined by historian Jeff Engel affirm, King Hussein of Jordan, in concert with other Arab leaders, had achieved a resolution to which Saddam would have agreed, and repeatedly asked Bush to let the Arabs take care of their own conflict. Likewise, Mikhael Gorbachev persisted to the point of annoyance in calling Bush and urging him NOT to go to war to resolve the conflict. Bush shouted at him and ignored his advice.

All other options had NOT been exhausted.

The Berlin wall had fallen, USSR and Gorbachev no longer had power to counterbalance US power; George H W Bush was King of the Mountain and he wielded his power recklessly. The world is still reeling -- and hundreds of thousands are dead, because of his reckless disregard of thousand-year old principles of Justice in War.

It's astonishing that an ethicist who teaches West Pointers did not make this basic analysis.

In summary, if Lt. Col. Pete Kilner is representative of the "moral foundation" provided West Point cadets, the institution -- and the United States that, according to a Gallup poll, trusts the military more than any other institution in USA -- are in deeper trouble than Erik Erdstrom comprehends.

reiner Tor , October 23, 2017 at 8:06 pm GMT
Previously had the impression that Dubya was a dumb but decent person, manipulated by others. I didn't know for example his eager participation in the speechmaking/lecture circus. This mental picture has changed somewhat in recent years, but I remained greatly ignorant of a lot of details. Now these two articles about him shed some light how he really is a piece of shit, just like the others. Maybe not so extremely dumb, though.
willem1 , October 23, 2017 at 9:20 pm GMT
This article is (sadly) on the money. However, it is just another illustration revealing the mockery that most such prestigious awards have made of themselves in recent years. Awarding Barack Obama the Nobel Prize was one recent instance of this – a president that at one point had us engaged in seven wars at once. But at least in that case, it can be claimed that the award was aspirational, as the totality of his "accomplishment" did not become a matter of record until after the award was made. In the case described above, the honor is being awarded with full knowledge of the recipient's history.
SolontoCroesus , October 23, 2017 at 10:37 pm GMT
@peterAUS

Trump's brutal comment to the dead soldier in Florida was on the money: That's what you signed up for. It would be gratifying to think that Trump knew exactly what he was saying; Scott Adams thinks Trump is a master communicator. Conversely, tragic to hear the Florida Rep gripe that she was so upset at Trump's callousness because she "had mentored the young man and helped him get in the military." That's just like helping you get a job with Goldman Sachs, right? No risk, no moral quandaries. re Lt Col Kilner -- he's Chhristiian: here's a piece he wrote for Christianity Today:

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2015/december-web-only/war-is-hell-but-it-can-be-heaven.html

War Is Hell But It Can Be Heaven

peterAUS , October 23, 2017 at 11:51 pm GMT
@SolontoCroesus

Thank you for that link. A VERY GOOD article. A gem really. Some parts I found particularly good:

This insight is that combat deployments affect our souls so deeply because they allow us to taste something of heaven and hell, in ways that civilian life rarely does. The profound purpose, unity, and love that soldiers in a small unit experience is almost impossible to replicate outside of war; it is a foretaste of heaven. At the same time, the dehumanizing suffering and apparent absence of God that characterize a war zone instruct veterans on how awful human existence can be; there's a reason we say "war is hell."

Soldiers are pawns in a conflict started by others.

And for the first time in most soldiers' lives, we encounter undisguised evil.

Hidden beneath the ugly destructiveness of war, however, is a sublime beauty that is known only to the veterans who have experienced it.

The greater the dangers and adversity that soldiers face and overcome, the greater those bonds. Some soldiers become closer to each other than to their own families.

, it explains why soldiers want to be deployed. We're not warmongers; we're longing for another taste of heaven alongside other warriors. Second, it explains why life outside of war can seem so mundane and even meaningless. Having gone through heaven and hell, our everyday lives can feel like limbo.

We've seen what humans are capable of, for better and for worse. Reflecting on our experiences of war, we are alternately inspired and appalled. We have glimpsed what was previously unimaginable: the happiness of heaven, the desolation of hell.

Compliments to Lt.Col Kilner.

wraith67 , October 24, 2017 at 10:06 am GMT
I'm not sure why that's supposed to be surprising. Leadership across swathes of institutions has abdicated their responsibility to lead or govern and instead adopted baby-sitting and appeasement.
Pete Kilner , Website November 3, 2017 at 6:43 pm GMT
@SolontoCroesus

Solonto: You've posted more than 2,600 comments on this website? "You" are likely a group of Russians working full time to sow discord. But let's charitably assume that you're a real person. Your knowledge of the history of the 1990-91 Gulf War is terrible. I assume that you were too young to remember the events leading up to it. Watch President George H. W. Bush's speech to the world and learn:

https://www.c-span.org/video/?15723-1/president-bush-announces-beginning-persian-gulf-air-war

That may be the best explanation in terms of Just War you'll ever hear a politician give. He checks every block of jus ad bellum.

Also, about your snide comment, "Lt Col Pete Kilner styles himself an ethicist." I have a masters degree in philosophical ethics from an excellent program, and I've researched, written on, and taught ethics for 20 years. I may "style" myself a comedian or good dancer, but I'm pretty well-credentialed as an ethicist.

Pete Kilner , November 3, 2017 at 6:46 pm GMT
@peterAUS

Thanks, Peter. If you want to read more, I have a column on professional ethics in Army Magazine. You can access my articles at: https://www.ausa.org/people/lt-col-pete-kilner

Cheers,
Pete

LauraMR , November 4, 2017 at 4:34 am GMT
So what.

Obama turned war itself into a prolonged assassination campaign via remote drone and he awarded himself every conceivable medal. Previous administrations successfully circumvented genocide as a crime against humanity by raining annihilation from the skies. Which part of the government of our country do you fail to understand?

Reg Cæsar , November 4, 2017 at 4:53 am GMT
@Carlton Meyer

"This past Summer, after months of private discussions about POW treatment at Gitmo, the Red Cross openly declared the US Government in violation of the Geneva Conventions based upon first hand reports from Cuba "

Why doesn't the Red Cross do something useful, like making the same claim about Puerto Rico? Then we'd be forced to grant them independence. It's way overdue.

Reg Cæsar , November 4, 2017 at 4:56 am GMT
@SolontoCroesus

Bush is a war criminal and should not be rewarded for upholding moral standards, he should be in prison or on the end of a piano wire.

So how is he different from Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Harry S Truman, who are considered heroes?

utu , November 4, 2017 at 5:25 am GMT
@Pete Kilner

I was around 1990/91 and I followed what was happening. I do not agree with SolontoCroesus take on Bush and Gulf War. I already once had exchanged comments with him about it, I think, but my points did not make a dent.

Bush never looked thrilled to go to this war. I had impression that his arms had to be twisted. He seemed like he would not mind letting Saddam Hussein slide. It was his meeting with Margaret Thatcher in Aspen that changed everything. Bush built broad coalition including many Arab and Muslim nations and went to war. He head to give $500 millions to Israel to keep them away and not retaliating against Iraq in order to not upset Arab allies in the coalition.

The war was won. Bush did not go to Bagdad but only liberated Kuwait. It was reported in papers that his popularity hit 90% which was 20% more than what Hitler got after the Anschluss of Austria in 1938, as I remember thinking this at that time.

In summer 1991 Bush decided to use his political capital and tried to say no Israel illegal settlements by holding money slated for Israel. Yitzhak Shamir got furious and the Lobby attacked. Everybody was against hime. Most people did not know what was happening. Bush backed off and instead of turning to American people and leveling with them on what was going on he only complained that he was all alone in WH.

It was decided (I do not know how, when and where and by whom but it was decided nevertheless) that Bush could not be trusted with the 2nd term. He did not take advantage of the golden opportunity to occupy Iraq and then he had audacity to challenge Israel which last time happened in early summer 1993 by JFK when said no to the development of nuclear weapons by Israel. So everything was done what had to be done for him to lose. And he knew that it would be so. He did not fight. He got impatient with the campaign and looked at his watch during the debate to show his disdain. He had no chance to win. Ross Perot played the same role as Teddy Roosevelt in 1912 election to deprive Taft the 2nd term. Unlike Roosevelt Ross Perot probably did not know what role he was cast to play.

Why Bush did what he did? Why he did not occupy Iraq? Why he challenged Israel? My take is that he really did not want this war. That he really believed that after the wall coming down and Soviet Union falling apart America can change the course and start reducing military spending. He seemed to really believe in the peace dividends. The end of the Cold War was his greatest achievement and it was ruined by Saddam Hussein invasion of Kuwait. So the most important question is to find out who TF whispered to Saddam Hussein's ear to convince him that he will get away with his attack on Kuwait? The same people who wanted Iraq destroyed who eventually had it destroyed 12 years later and all those who did not want peace dividends and who feared the cuts in military spending? I think Bush knew who was really behind Hussain? Who screwed up his vision of post Cold War peace, who deprived him of his legacy. So he said no to Israel when he had the highest approval rating in recent history but then he chickened out. He was intimidated by something. In retrospect he was not a bad guy but he wasted possibly the last opportunity to have America extricated from the iron grip of the Lobby.

jilles dykstra , November 4, 2017 at 6:47 am GMT
Just read the chapter on the Vietnam war by Howard Zinn A Peoples History of the USA. Or read an Eisenhower letter, written after WWII, 'we should have killed much more Germans'. James Bacque, ´Der geplante Tod, Deutsche Kriegsgefangene in amerikanischen und französischen Lagern 1945 – 1946, Frankfurt/M, 1989, 1994 (Other losses, Toronto, 1989)
jilles dykstra , November 4, 2017 at 6:50 am GMT
@SolontoCroesus

As Chomsky said ' according to Neurenberg standards any USA president should have been hanged'.

Realist , November 4, 2017 at 7:51 am GMT
@reiner Tor

"Maybe not so extremely dumb, though."

Oh he's stupid alright. His cerebral prowess is being burnished to further the Deep State cause. Like father like son.

Greg Bacon , Website November 4, 2017 at 10:28 am GMT

The United States Military Academy is, or at least should be, a steward of American military values

But they are upholding American values, like lying, cheating, murdering, stealing, which is what many American presidents, but definitely since President Clinton, have engaged in around the world.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the liars with Operation Inherent Resolve, the gangster outfit that is overseeing the 'Wars for Wall Street and Israel' in SW Asia and the ME, bomb to smithereens civilians on a daily basis, then get in front of the cameras and LIE that they didn't do it, it was those Rooskies. Then, when they're outed with evidence, they LIE again, promising to investigate and that's the last you'll hear of the latest American-made mass murder.
Aren't all those command types at Operation Butcher Muslims, sorry, Inherent Resolve West Point or Annapolis graduates, that lie, cheat, steal and murder on a daily basis, yet they get their chests festooned with medals from a grateful nation for being basically, unhinged psycho-killers, so you see, West Point is upholding American values.

RealAmerican , November 4, 2017 at 10:56 am GMT
I have read elsewhere that Mr. Bush had the largest contingent of rabbis in his administration, as advisors behind the scenes, to provide him with moral guidance. What is a person to make of that? Was he that obtuse?
Thank you Mr. Edstrom!
WorkingClass , November 4, 2017 at 11:41 am GMT

The Thayer may be one of the most important awards that hardly anyone has ever heard of.

Not anymore. Sort of like the Nobel Peace Prize. Dark humor.

jacques sheete , November 4, 2017 at 11:51 am GMT
@peterAUS

Thanks for posting those excerpts.

Most of them annoy the bleep outta me because they seem like more of the sappy (unctuous even),over romanticized, self aggrandizing, claptrap that we've come to expect from functionaries of the state.

This, type of nonsense, in particular, galls me.:

Hidden beneath the ugly destructiveness of war, however, is a sublime beauty that is known only to the veterans who have experienced it.

What a disgustingly hollow load of bulshit that is! Oh, but the rest of us, who haven't experienced the "sublime beauty" of war, aren't counted amongst the anointed elite who know things the rest of us mere mortals don't.

"Sublime beauty?"

Who do you think yer kidding? I was a grunt (volunteer, not drafted) in Vietnam, and I never saw any beauty in war, sublime, mundane, or otherwise.

Here's how a man with integrity views the military.:

"Military life in general depraves men. It places them in conditions of complete idleness, that is, absence of all rational and useful work; frees them from their common human duties, also puts them into conditions of servile obedience to those of higher ranks than themselves."

― Leo Tolstoy Resurrection Or, The Awakening, 1899
In 1851 Tolstoy and his older brother went to the Caucasus where he joined the Russian army as an artillery officer.
In 1854, during the Crimean War Tolstoy transferred to Wallachia to fight against the French, British and Ottoman Empire and defend Sevastopol.

http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=1872

Here's what military establishments are really about; I wonder if they deal with this at West Point, or in "ethics" classes.

A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.

James Madison, Speech, Constitutional Convention (1787-06-29), from Max Farrand's Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, vol. I [1] (1911), p. 465

Standing armies are un-American, and no amount of cloyingly romantic slight of hand with the truth will change it. Here's all one needs to know about the "ethics" of state sponsored terrorism.:

Wherever an army is established, it introduces a revolution in manners, corrupts the morals, propagates every species of vice, and degrades the human character."

Mercy Otis Warren, Revolution-era historian,
History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution vol. 1, Ch3, 1805

http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=1872

Ethics my tush!:

" I spent most of my [33 years in the Marine Corps] being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers.

In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for [crony] capitalism."

Major General Butler USMC, War is a Racket, 1935

http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.html

So, you see, the truth is nothing new. Anyone with a sense of ethics wouldn't try to smear lipstick on a pig.

jacques sheete , November 4, 2017 at 11:59 am GMT
@Greg Bacon

But they are upholding American values, like lying, cheating, murdering, stealing, which is what many American presidents, but definitely since President Clinton, have engaged in around the world.

True, but one could argue that Lincoln was the first of the worst. Teddy Roosevelt, Wilson, and FDR took hypocrisy and mockery of "American values" to new depths and it's been downhill since then.

We have to face the fact that none of us is fit to wield the levers of so much power. To think otherwise is positively deranged.

jacques sheete , November 4, 2017 at 12:08 pm GMT
@Pete Kilner

Also, about your snide comment, "Lt Col Pete Kilner styles himself an ethicist." I have a masters degree in philosophical ethics from an excellent program, and I've researched, written on, and taught ethics for 20 years.

I must tell you that the comment, whether snide or not, is spot on.

Your other credentials are worth about as much as Bush's award or O-bomb-a's "peace" prize, and any adult should know that.

What're the ethics of farces?

n230099 , November 4, 2017 at 12:19 pm GMT
Still, as criminal as Bush and Obama's actions were, between Wilson, FDR, Truman, and Kennedy/Johnson, there are way more Americans dead for nothing than these pikers killed.
DESERT FOX , November 4, 2017 at 12:45 pm GMT
Bush jr. and Bush sr. are both war criminals and were front men for the Zionists who really control this country and both were complicit with Israel and the deep state in 911.

They are evil incarnate with satan and also their henchman Cheney, straight from hell.

TG , November 4, 2017 at 1:19 pm GMT
Whatever one thinks of Trump, one must appreciate the public service that he did in utterly humiliating Jeb! Bush and pretty much putting a stake in the heart of the Bush political dynasty. One takes ones guilty pleasures where one finds them.
jacques sheete , November 4, 2017 at 1:24 pm GMT
@DESERT FOX

All of your comment is true and I'd like to add that the fetid scent of Zionist sympathies can be detected at least as far back as Wilson and FDR as well, and probably even goes further back.

This quote is interesting though I do not mean to conflate Judaism with Zionism.:

We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time, an element which through historical development – to which in this harmful respect the Jews have zealously contributed – has been brought to its present high level

In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism. The Jew has already emancipated himself in a Jewish way.

"The Jew, who in Vienna, for example, is only tolerated, determines the fate of the whole Empire by his financial power. The Jew, who may have no rights in the smallest German state, decides the fate of Europe. While corporations and guilds refuse to admit Jews, or have not yet adopted a favorable attitude towards them, the audacity of industry mocks at the obstinacy of the material institutions." (Bruno Bauer, The Jewish Question, p. 114)

This is no isolated fact. The Jew has emancipated himself in a Jewish manner, not only because he has acquired financial power, but also because, through him and also apart from him, money has become a world power and the practical Jewish spirit has become the practical spirit of the Christian nations. The Jews have emancipated themselves insofar as the Christians have become Jews.

-Karl Marx, On The Jewish Question, First Published: February, 1844 in Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher; https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/jewish-question/

EliteCommInc. , November 4, 2017 at 2:08 pm GMT
A someone very fond of the Bush family, I have to admit, as someone who opposed both conflict (one outright) the other as to scale and purpose) this article is a very heavy indictment, less of the executive but of members of congress, the foreign policy establishment and the military advocates for invasion (men and women alike).

I have always thought that Pres Bush ignored his bet instincts on the matter and was ill advised. I don't know what recompense the country will garner for our actions, but I don't think it has yet come. We need to pull up and consider the dark space into which are knee-jerking our way into.

-- –

However, I don't think this is about Pres. Bush or even a stamp of approval on needless and careless interventions as much as it an attempt to wedge the military against Pres Trump or tangentially express discomfit by some in the higher echelons with the Pres.

Deeply appreciated this a article. No argument against those invasion penetrated the cloud of revenge the country was bent on exacting. And it is deeply troubling – when the case against invasion was so blatantly clear.

anonymous , Disclaimer November 4, 2017 at 2:08 pm GMT

At West Point, it's still possible to believe that we are fighting in the interests of the Afghan people

If that's true then they are mentally deficient. Mercenaries and the mentally defective working under the leadership of the morally corrupt, the perfect dance partners.

jacques sheete , November 4, 2017 at 2:10 pm GMT
I apologize to those who may find my comments excessive, but some of the attitudes expressed here need to be confronted. I regret that I can't do it in person.

To those who postulate such insubstantial, quasi-profound, faux-poetic pornography, if not swinishly orgasmic, fanciful hooey as:

combat deployments affect our souls so deeply because they allow us to taste something of heaven and hell, in ways that civilian life rarely does. The profound purpose, unity, and love that soldiers in a small unit experience is almost impossible to replicate outside of war; it is a foretaste of heaven.

we're longing for another taste of heaven alongside other warriors . Second, it explains why life outside of war can seem so mundane and even meaningless. Having gone through heaven and hell , our everyday lives can feel like limbo.

Having gone through heaven and hell, our everyday lives can feel like limbo.

I say that Aristophanes, to name just one, saw through the self adulating humbug, millennia ago.

SAUSAGE-SELLER
you wish the war to conceal your rogueries as in a mist , that Demos may see nothing of them, and harassed by cares, may only depend on yourself for his bread. But if ever peace is restored to him, if ever he returns to his lands to comfort himself once more with good cakes, to greet his cherished olives, he will know the blessings you have kept him out of, even though paying him a salary; and, filled with hatred and rage, he will rise, burning with desire to vote against you. You know this only too well; it is for this you rock him to sleep with your lies.

- Aristophanes, The Knights, 424 BC

http://classics.mit.edu/Aristophanes/knights.html

Mulegino1 , November 4, 2017 at 2:32 pm GMT
Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, and Obama all fit in the category of war criminal, and were there such a thing as authentic and impartial international justice, they could all be in the dock of a new Nuremberg Tribunal – albeit one without the kangaroo court and vae victis characteristics of the eponymous one.
Ris_Eruwaedhiel , November 4, 2017 at 2:54 pm GMT
@peterAUS

George Bush served in the Texas Air National Guard during Vietnam and his dad served as a naval aviator during WWII. Quite a difference. At one time, the people who started wars fought in them. The last English king to serve in combat was the much-maligned Richard III, killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. James IV of Scotland was killed at the Battle of Flodden Field in 1513. George II was commander at the Battle of Dettingen in 1743.

Prince Harry saw service in Afghanistan and Andrew in the Falklands. So, the denigrated Royals have a better track record than the elites in a democracy. In Robert Heinlein's Starship Trooper novel, only people who served their society in a dangerous position had the right to vote. That would weed out almost of the "cloud people" who dominate the West.

Ris_Eruwaedhiel , November 4, 2017 at 2:58 pm GMT
@utu

I remember James Baker's comment: "F -- the Jews, they didn't vote for us anyway."

MEexpert , November 4, 2017 at 3:09 pm GMT
Bush II could be called a war criminal by reason of stupidity. The real culprit is the bastard standing next to him in the picture. He controlled George W. Bush and was the real President. To this day, he continues to push for war against Iran.
Don Bacon , November 4, 2017 at 3:26 pm GMT
Blaming Bush for starting wars is sort of like blaming bin Laden for 9/11 or Putin for Hilary's defeat. There were a lot more people involved in recent and ongoing US wars, including many people from the "opposing" party, Joe Biden and Al Gore come to mind.
anonymous , Disclaimer November 4, 2017 at 3:31 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

Previously had the impression that Dubya was a dumb but

He's obviously no intellectual and it's unlikely he's ever read any book on his own. He appears to lack curiosity whatever his mental level may be. His speeches, like everyone else, are written by others and just simply read as an actor reads their lines. However, his job was to deliver and that he did in spades. He ratcheted up the security state to a historic level and diverted trillions from the US treasury for the biggest gravy train ever. It's an income transfer scheme, from the masses to the upper classes, all while scaring everyone with nonexistent hobgoblins. He did nothing about unchecked illegal immigration, giving his constituency, the haves and the have-mores, their cheap labor. Historians will argue as to who the worst president of all time was and Bush's name will figure prominently. He'll be seen as one of the downward turning points in American history, a person who ruined what was left of American credibility and pride. He had a lot of enablers though, and did not act alone, standing astride a mountain of bones. So, smart or not, the evil nature of this man will continue to cast it's shadow for years to come.

Carlton Meyer , Website November 4, 2017 at 3:45 pm GMT
I checked the web and found this award often goes to the most despicable neocon in the nation. I expect McCain to win next year.

Sylvanus Thayer Award Recipients

I stopped with Tom Brokaw because that seems odd to most. Watch this funny and insightful Jimmy Dore clip about how Brokaw was a no newsman, but a Pentagon bootlicker, hence the award.

sample , November 4, 2017 at 4:28 pm GMT
I think what we can all be thankful is the fact that we are no longer dependant on the NY time/Washington Post etc to see the World through their prizes l
europeasant , November 4, 2017 at 5:02 pm GMT
President Bush may have been dumb or naive or he may have been smart. It's difficult to know what a person really thinks. The Iraq war was a mistake but Bush the Younger also pushed for implementation of other policies which look to be highly dubious. Does anyone remember "No Child left Behind" or "The Housing Gap"? These two policies were hairbrained to say the least. Only a foolish person could ever believe in such nonsense. He truly believed that we were all created equal, he was they ultimate champion of the "Blank Slate" theory. A delusional fool who I actually voted for in 2000.
Yes I think he was "A True Believer" in Social Justice causes.
Ris_Eruwaedhiel , November 4, 2017 at 5:38 pm GMT
@jilles dykstra

I daresay that (((Howard Zinn))) approved of that.

utu , November 4, 2017 at 6:02 pm GMT
@Ris_Eruwaedhiel

I daresay that (((Howard Zinn))) approved of that.

Rather not. Zinn on one of his last missions as a member of USAF bomber crew was sent to bomb with napalm large groupings of German soldiers who were just awaiting to surrender somewhere in northern France. The front line past them and was much further West. He did not like it at all. He thought that the only purpose of the mission was to test how the new napalm worked.

nsa , November 4, 2017 at 6:07 pm GMT
West Point? Isn't that some place where the Jooies indoctrinate their latest crop of servile Goy Gurkhas? Change those posters to: Uncle Samuel Wants You with a pic of Samuel in his beanie pointing a bony finger out at you, the suckers.
J1234 , November 4, 2017 at 6:10 pm GMT

George W. Bush Receives a Character Award at West Point

He's a character alright.

peterAUS , November 4, 2017 at 6:16 pm GMT
@Ris_Eruwaedhiel

Agree.

And, you definitely have a point here:

In Robert Heinlein's Starship Trooper novel, only people who served their society in a dangerous position had the right to vote. That would weed out almost of the "cloud people" who dominate the West.

Now, there is one country which adheres to that rule a bit:Israel. Interesting, isn't it? Easy, especially on sites like this, to heap abuse on, say, Netanyahu. Just from Wikipedia, though:

Netanyahu joined the Israel Defense Forces shortly after the Six-Day War in 1967, and became a team leader in the Sayeret Matkal special forces unit . Netanyahu took part in many missions, including Operation Inferno (1968), Operation Gift (1968) and Operation Isotope (1972), during which he was shot in the shoulder . Netanyahu fought on the front lines in the War of Attrition and the Yom Kippur War in 1973, taking part in special forces raids along the Suez Canal, and then leading a commando assault deep into Syrian territory.[3][4] Netanyahu achieved the rank of captain before being discharged.

You have to give them: they got that right. Now, we'll see, say, 20 replies with 20 links each about .. .them . Will keep the article busy though. Interested in topic could just skip them.

edNels , November 4, 2017 at 7:39 pm GMT
Thanks for the article about how the elite soldiers are morally conditioned in these days.

Did they teach anything about General Smedley Butler? Some of his second thoughts he had?

What's the matter with these academics who run everthing now, are they senile?

Or, much worse, (maybe not though,) there is a policy on high, to effect the intentional dilution, and then destruction of standards. Prominently, auspicious prizes given to idiots and worse scoundrels! what's that do to the mental and moral health of the youths, will they wise up and see through it and not show up?
No, just replaced with a lower order, who will be more monstrous .

All this decay of stuff is everywhere, who benefits Cui Bono? They don't need smart soldiers what with robots and AI etc. and the real work is in dumbing down the peeps, for the eventual enclosures .

Antiwar7 , November 4, 2017 at 8:16 pm GMT
Really well written. I honor the author's service in writing this piece.

Also, I thank him for pointing out that W. Bush shares another thing with Adolf Hitler, besides war-mongering: painting.

Sane Left Libertarian , November 4, 2017 at 9:18 pm GMT
Most of it's already been said above, but we've been a war nation for more than a generation. Mr. Bush's predecessor bombed Iraq for years. Bush himself (or Cheney or whoever) turned it into an official and seemingly permanent war, using what are now known to be bold-faced lies. Torture as a matter of routine also started during Cheney's reign. Nobel Peace Prize Obama ramped us up to 6 or 7 wars, normalized drone murder, and in his usual unctuous way told us to stop harping on Abu Graib ("It's important we don't get too sanctimonious"). Now Mr. Trump is starting/threatening even more war, complete with nukes, and bragging about the torture.

My point is that someone we don't even see is calling the shots, for all of them. These guys on TV just work for them, and are paid handsomely. The awards they get mean even less than their elections. I don't see us (the proletariat, wage slaves, trying to raise a family) ever even figuring out what's going on, much less doing anything about it.

lavoisier , Website November 4, 2017 at 9:29 pm GMT
"The former president deserves a cold metal bench in a stockade awaiting trial, not an award and a warm round of applause from the academy. No coffee table books featuring his paintings -- a perverse form of macabre exhibitionism -- will atone for his actions. If West Point and its Association of Graduates want to maintain any credible pretense of adhering to the values they claim to espouse, they should revoke the most recent Thayer Award immediately."

NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. Excellent essay. What has happened to West Point to act this way?? No one with any sense could think of Bush as anything other than a moron at best, a traitorous moron at worst. There must be an explanation–FOLLOW THE MONEY.

[Nov 01, 2017] JFK The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy by L. Fletcher Prouty

Notable quotes:
"... The president, he claims, had angered the military-industrial establishment with his procurement policies and his determination to withdraw from Vietnam, and had threatened to break the CIA into "a thousand pieces" after the Bay of Pigs fiasco. ..."
"... His death was in effect a coup d'etat that placed in the White House a very different man with a very different approach -- one much more acceptable to what Prouty consistently calls "the power elite." ..."
"... Mr. Prouty points to what he calls "the power elite" as the movers of geopolitics and war. JFK had other ideas as to what makes the world turn. It's the age old battle, as Lincoln put it, "between the divine rights of kings and the common rights of man"... ..."
"... Mr Prouty is no "conspiracy theorist". He worked in the Pentagon and arranged the support for the CIA operations until he retired in 1964. He knew everyone from Allen Dulles to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. ..."
"... He was in a particularly excellent position, due to his official responsibilities, to know intimately of the OSS and later CIA operations, as well as the White House positions under various presidents, for he saw and worked with their communications. ..."
"... His book is full of specifics, many to most of which few people know or knew. He served under three presidents. He was liaison between the Joint Chiefs and the CIA In 1954 he was ordered to establish the Office of Special Operations, and in 1964 retired as chief of Special Operations. In 1963 he wrote the formal directive on covert ops used by Joint Chiefs of Staff for all military services.. What this man, Prouty, said cannot be tossed aside. He knew the subject, and he knew what was done. ..."
"... His book really has two entwined themes, the role of CIA operations including the real power which drives those operations and the assassination of JFK. ..."
"... As for the assassination, he takes apart the Warren Commission in detail, point by point. He knew what was at stake between interested parties, and provides quotes from key JFK White House documents. He goes into the source and evolution of the Indochina / Vietnam war, beginning in 1943, as he was present at those allied high level meetings. He provides eye-opening historical material about which I expect few of our citizens are cognizant. ..."
"... The premise of this book is that Pres. Kennedy wanted to pull out of Vietnam, and the military-industrial complex didn't want that to happen. Today there is contention whether this is indeed true or not. I think JFK was uncertain himself ..."
"... After Pres. Kennedy was assasinated it is undeniable we went head first into Vietnam. He had made numerous enemies. The banking industry, the military, the CIA, J. Edgar Hoover, etc. He was a maverick going against conventional thinking and he had to be removed. As the author states those gunshots on Elm street(which by the way, isn't it interesting that the Hollywood "cabal" chose to use as a title to a famous movie series) were a message to all future Presidents that the "secret team" is running the show now. ..."
"... According to prouty kennedy was a victim of a military-industrial complex plot triggered by his plan to withdraw from vietnam, the most important was a top secret National Security Action Memorandum (NSAM 263) drafted only six weeks before the assassination once NSAM 263 was signed, kennedy was, for all intents, a dead man. ..."
"... It's not hard to understand why Obama hasn't pulled out of Iraq or Afghanistan. He can't. The military industrial complex and their bankers won't let him. ..."
"... ***Note: Anyone interested in the Kennedy Assassination should realize that there is a "misinformation plant" in the Library Journal review department. Every honest book on the subject has been unconvincingly discredited by them, while they praise and try to steer you towards known flake CIA-financed writers such as Gerald Posner. ..."
"... It's rather common to hear of wrongdoing by the CIA I saw a graph recently that showed American citizen's belief in their government plummeting after the Kennedy Assassination. Almost no one accepted the Warren Commission Report and such a cover up has casted doubt on our government ever since. ..."
"... However, for all its problems as a book, the info contained herein meshes with several other books I've read recently that all point to the fact that Kennedy was moving from a Cold Warrior to a peacenik, (elsewhere attributed to his taking LSD with his mistress Mary Meyer. Who knows?) ..."
"... Oh yes, another of Prouty's big ideas is that the weapons of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were a huge error on the part of the Cabal/Elite, since it made normal war impossible, hence a turn to guerrilla warfare by proxy. Again, the belief that everything is part of a master plan. The outcome is valid, but the idea of an invisible hand behind the scenes stage-managing all this is not reasonable to me. ..."
"... Is it credible that the CIA could have been involved in Kennedy's assassination? On this point, I think the answer is yes. The old objection that people wouldn't be able to keep quiet if there were a conspiracy is pretty much moot if we're talking about the CIA, since by definition, these are guys who could do unimaginable things, have a cigarette, and then never speak of it again. ..."
"... I think there is pretty decent evidence that Oswald was connected to the CIA (The defection and then un-defection in and of itself is pretty incredible, and his statement that he was the patsy is more likely if he was in fact a patsy, than if he were a either a nut job or a Castro sympathizer. Both of those types want credit!) ..."
"... And this book also confirms the feeling that I often get that in fact the US has many of the characteristics of a fascist state, minus the concentration camps for Jews. It is true that we have wrought havoc in many other people's countries, that we maintain a near-constant state of war, and that *if* a president tried to go in a different direction, there are forces within the military-industrial-intelligence complex that might both want and be capable of taking them out. ..."
Nov 01, 2017 | www.amazon.com
From Publishers Weekly Prouty, who was a Washington insider for nearly 20 years--in the last few of them as Chief of Special Operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President Kennedy--has a highly unusual perspective to offer on the assassination and the events that led up to it. Familiar to moviegoers as the original of the anonymous Washington figure, played by Donald Sutherland in the Oliver Stone's movie JFK , who asks hero Jim Garrison to ponder why Kennedy was killed, Prouty leaves no doubt where he stands.

The president, he claims, had angered the military-industrial establishment with his procurement policies and his determination to withdraw from Vietnam, and had threatened to break the CIA into "a thousand pieces" after the Bay of Pigs fiasco.

His death was in effect a coup d'etat that placed in the White House a very different man with a very different approach -- one much more acceptable to what Prouty consistently calls "the power elite." Although he declares that such an elite has operated, supranationally, throughout history, and is all-powerful, he never satisfactorily explains who its members are and how it functions--or how it has allowed the current East-West rapprochement to take place.

Still, this behind-the-scenes look at how the CIA has shaped postwar U.S. foreign policy is fascinating, as are Prouty's telling questions about the security arrangements in Dallas, his knowledge of the extraordinary government movements at that time (every member of the Cabinet was out of the country when Kennedy was shot) and his perception that most of the press has joined in the cover-up ever since. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. From Library Journal Prouty, the mysterious "X" in Oliver Stone's JFK , promises to explain why Kennedy was assassinated. Instead, he delivers a muddled collection of undocumented, bizarre theories, most significantly that a super-powerful, avaricious power elite engineered the Cold War and all its pivotal events -- Korea, Vietnam, the U-2 incident, the Bay of Pigs, and the Kennedy assassination.

Although they are never identified, these shadowy technocrats, working through the CIA, allegedly had Kennedy murdered because he was on the brink of ending America's commitment to Vietnam, along with its billions of dollars of military contracts.

Prouty avoids some very important issues. Would Kennedy, a Cold War warrior's warrior, have indeed ended American support for Diem? And why couldn't the omnipotent power elite ensure the election of Richard Nixon, its preferred candidate, in 1960--especially since Kennedy won by only .02 percent? A much better choice is John M. Newman's JFK and Vietnam: Deception, Intrigue, and the Struggle for Power ( LJ 3/15/92). See also James DiEugenio's Destiny Betrayed: JFK, Cuba, and the Garrison Case , reviewed in this issue, p. 123.--Ed.

Emil Petardi on October 1, 2014

We are living through that kind of paradigm except they now wear suits and carry briefcases and never get theirs hands dirty. Mr

Mr. Prouty points to what he calls "the power elite" as the movers of geopolitics and war. JFK had other ideas as to what makes the world turn. It's the age old battle, as Lincoln put it, "between the divine rights of kings and the common rights of man"... .

We are living through that kind of paradigm except they now wear suits and carry briefcases and never get theirs hands dirty.

Mr Prouty is no "conspiracy theorist". He worked in the Pentagon and arranged the support for the CIA operations until he retired in 1964. He knew everyone from Allen Dulles to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Coolfire VINE VOICE on May 17, 2012
Content of highest importance.

This is a very important book. It is difficult to read, because Prouty's writing is disorganized, perhaps not so to him, but to a reader. The fact is he had first hand knowledge of a great deal of what went on and into the period covering the latter part of WWII, all of Indochina / Vietnam, and into the Cold War. He was in a particularly excellent position, due to his official responsibilities, to know intimately of the OSS and later CIA operations, as well as the White House positions under various presidents, for he saw and worked with their communications.

His book is full of specifics, many to most of which few people know or knew. He served under three presidents. He was liaison between the Joint Chiefs and the CIA In 1954 he was ordered to establish the Office of Special Operations, and in 1964 retired as chief of Special Operations. In 1963 he wrote the formal directive on covert ops used by Joint Chiefs of Staff for all military services.. What this man, Prouty, said cannot be tossed aside. He knew the subject, and he knew what was done.

His book really has two entwined themes, the role of CIA operations including the real power which drives those operations and the assassination of JFK. The lessons are real. It would have helped had his writing been more organized, rather than jumping around with much repetition, but he does provide abundant specifics in support of his positions. In many cases he uses first person, as he was present. He knew what he was talking about. He has specifics.

As for the assassination, he takes apart the Warren Commission in detail, point by point. He knew what was at stake between interested parties, and provides quotes from key JFK White House documents. He goes into the source and evolution of the Indochina / Vietnam war, beginning in 1943, as he was present at those allied high level meetings. He provides eye-opening historical material about which I expect few of our citizens are cognizant.

His material, cleaned up, should be taught in schools, but such history is never taught in classes. It is only learned `in the field' so to speak. And no nation wants it advertised exactly what drives covert operations and to whose benefit.

V-ROD on September 15, 2010
New information here

I agree with the author's premise of a conspiracy to murder JFK. There is information in this book that I have not read in any other historical reference. For example, the author states that the CIA transported the northern based people of Vietnam called the Tonkin and moved them to the south. He claims that this created a turmoil in the land as people began to fight for resources(food)to live. He states that it was this turmoil that was made to look like a communist infiltration of the country. All of this being a CIA manipulated event. Another interesting aspect is that we had been aiding the French occupation of Vietnam. This continued up until 1954; a few months before Diem being installed as President. We had been helping the enemy of the South Vietnamese people just prior to Diem's installation.

The premise of this book is that Pres. Kennedy wanted to pull out of Vietnam, and the military-industrial complex didn't want that to happen. Today there is contention whether this is indeed true or not. I think JFK was uncertain himself and that is why you can find facts supporting both schools of thought. For example, Pres. Kennedy stated he wanted to be the first to put a man on the moon. A direct challenge to the cold war enemy Russia. Yet the book states later that Kennedy signed a memorandum desiring cooperation with Russia in the exploration of space. This is obviously an affront to the "cabal" that wanted the cold war to continue. There was alot of money to be made. I was disappointed the author didn't write about Pres.Kennedy issuing silver certificates in defiance of the Federal Reserve.

After Pres. Kennedy was assasinated it is undeniable we went head first into Vietnam. He had made numerous enemies. The banking industry, the military, the CIA, J. Edgar Hoover, etc. He was a maverick going against conventional thinking and he had to be removed. As the author states those gunshots on Elm street(which by the way, isn't it interesting that the Hollywood "cabal" chose to use as a title to a famous movie series) were a message to all future Presidents that the "secret team" is running the show now.

This book is not an easy read. One negative about this book is that the author's points are repeated. It also left me feeling dismayed and bewildered. If you take the author's premise at face value, almost everything we see and read now has the possibility of being a planned event. The fascinating aspect about the JFK assassination is to see how this "secret team" that works behind the scenes is in control of almost all positions of authority that we have in this country. A chief justice resides on the Warren Commission and signs off on the absurd Warren report, police in Dallas allowing reporters direct access to Oswald; at the time the suspect for the murder. Police allowing Jack Ruby to just waltz up to Oswald and shoot him. LBJ and Hoover having a conversation about not wanting a congressional investigation of the assassination and just wanting to use the Hoover/Warren reports. This is way too many coincidences not to have been a conspiracy. Fletcher Prouty may not be 100% accurate, but I'll believe his version over our official history any day.

Tamango on May 6, 2012

"Let the truth rein, or let the heaven's fall."

"This is one of the greatest books written on the assassination of John F. Kennedy,the author Col L. Fletcher Prouty contribution from his work in the pentagon and his common sense view that someone needed to level the playing field-to let the public know that military spending and goals are completely unrealistic. We have to learn from the past and Col. Prouty is one of the few who explain the uncomfortable truth. This uncomfortable feeling goes on today. How do we know when we've won in Iraq or Afghanistan? Will this repeat in Iran and North Korea? What is the next military action that will be another unwinnable war designed to keep the Defense Department in business despite the astronomical costs as it bankrupts the nation? It's time that everyone examine what Col. Fletcher Prouty wrote as a warning of what was really going on as opposed to what was reported regarding the Vietnam war and the removal of John F. Kennedy.

Col. Prouty blows the lid right off our official history and reveal what is probably the closest to the truth that we will ever get regarding the assassination of JFK, this is a true example of what is done in the dark will come to the light..anyone who wants to continue to hide from the truth, then this book is not for you because you cannot handle the truth,it's too much for you.

This is a very important book unique in this big mess that continues to surround Kennedy's murder it is a story that has been buried for decades. It is an account the government didnot want you to hear, and actually fabricated evidence in order to keep you from hearing the truth. There are no crackpot theories here, these are facts this great cabal ( the power elite) has control high enough in government or at least in the councils of government, to be able to influence the travel plans of the president, vice-president and a presidential candidate (Nixon) and all members of the kennedy cabinet. They were powerful enough to have orders issued to the army, and were able to mount a massive campaign to control the media during and after the assassination. Now if that is not power in the wrong hands, i donot know what is..there is something about Col. Prouty manner that speaks of authority, knowledge and above all, old fashioned honesty."

According to prouty kennedy was a victim of a military-industrial complex plot triggered by his plan to withdraw from vietnam, the most important was a top secret National Security Action Memorandum (NSAM 263) drafted only six weeks before the assassination once NSAM 263 was signed, kennedy was, for all intents, a dead man.

Vietnam for the powers that be... represented the potential of tens of billions of dollars. This is what caused him to be murdered, it was a military-style ambush from start to finish, "a coup d'etat."

One of the most memorable lines in the book and the movie JFK: "Sometimes i think the organizing principle of any society is for war, the authority of the state over its people resides in its war powers war readiness accounts for approximately a tenth of the output of the world's economy. This power elite together they stand above the law, can any president ever be strong enough really to rule?

And what about the outright theft of the president's brain from the national archives? And the total and complete failure of the secret service to protect JFK in dallas? It boggles the mind, they tagged him as a dangerous traitor plotted his assassination, and orchested the subsequent cover-up. This is an unspeakable refers to an evil whose depth and deceit seemed to go beyond the capacity of words to describe.

If you are not afraid to face the truth then this book is were you would want to start. So many things make sense when you start to put the piece's of the puzzle together and facts and common sense go a long way. That is why most people want to remain ignorant,they cannot face the truth so they try to discredit people like Col. Prouty, Oliver Stone, Jim Garrison, Jesse Ventura to make them sound like lone nuts, sound like de'ja vu huh?

Col. Prouty was a Washington insider for nearly 20 years as chief of staff under president Kennedy this man lived this part of our history, who can better tell us the real deal than someone who was there and lived though it and who does not have anything to gain by keeping the biggest lie told to the american people on-going. Just sticking to the facts of this case and what just take basic common sense is to ask yourself "Why? that's the real question isn't it--why? the how is just scenery,Oswald, Ruby, Cuba, Mafia it keeps people guessing like a parlor game, but it prevents them from asking the most important question--why?

Why was kennedy killed? Who benefited? Who had the power to cover it up? This book is a must read for anyone out there who still believes in truth and justice for all. Don't believe me or anyone else..do your own thinking for yourself and you might surprise yourself in the process of searching for that truth. I would like to end this by saying thank-you to Col. Prouty, Mr. jim garrison, Oliver Stone, and Jesse Ventura for being courageous enough to step forward to shine a light on the truth.

And for the non-believer's out there i feel sorry for you that you are satisfied with never really knowing the truth and how much it still effects your life today. I was not even born yet when president kennedy was assassinate but i was born one year later..and the deferences between me and you is i will always search for the truth and question it until i do find it.

I leave you with this quote: Those who can't remember the past, are condemned to repeat it. Everyone should own a copy of this part of history go out now and purchase this book before it disappear,just like the truth about JFK assassination.

bruce Lasch on June 29, 2013
JFK

I read this book a second time, about 1 year after I read it the first time. Mr Prouty had a very long and interesting career in the Air Air Corps which became the USAF. He has first hand knowledge of much of what he writes about in this book. His book is really the history of the USA since WW II with respect to the warnings of IKE "Beware of the military industrial complex".

If you did not like President Kennedy but wonder why the US has constantly been "at war" somewhere in the world since WW II then I think you will get a lot out of this book. When I was in the USAF back in the 1970's the higher ranking pilots that I flew with told me that Viet Nam was not a great war but it was the only war they had. Well, wars were good for career building if you were in the war, if you were the military industrial complex war was very good and necessary for profits.

The Radio Patriot on July 18, 2010
International Power Elite Pulling the Strings

I'm reading a stunning book written by the late L. Fletcher Prouty who served as the chief of special operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Kennedy presidency. A retired colonel of the U.S. Air Force, Prouty was in charge of the global system designed to provide military support for the CIA's secret activities. He knew where the bodies were buried and the file cabinet containing the paperwork used to cover it up.

Prouty was a source for Oliver Stone's movie "JFK" and was portrayed as "Mr. X" by Donald Sutherland, the man in black who advised New Orleans DA Jim Garrison (portrayed by Kevin Costner) that he was on the trail to the truth.

If you have ANY interest whatsoever in learning the truth of the events that led to what happened to our country on Nov. 22nd, 1963 and changed the course of its direction, read it.

A brief excerpt from the 375+ page book that is the most detailed account of the inception of the CIA and the events that culminated in the coup d'etat on Elm Street in Dallas on a sunny day in November.

Excerpt:

From Chapter 16 - Government by Coup d'Etat

The year was 1964. Pres. John F. Kennedy had been shot dead months before by bursts of "automatic gunfire" in Dallas by "mechanics," that is, skilled gunmen, hired by a power cabal determined to exert control over the United States government. Lyndon B. Johnson, JFK's successor, had been only a few feet under the bullets fired at Kennedy as he rode two cars back in that fatal procession.

By 1964 Johnson was becoming mired in the swamp of the Indochina conflict. Kennedy, who had vowed to "break the CIA into a thousand pieces," was dead. LBJ, who had heard those fatal bullets zing past his ears, had learned the ultimate lesson; and for good measure, Richard Nixon was in Dallas on that fatal day, so that he, too, had the fact of this ever-present danger imprinted on his memory for future use by his masters.

From Chapter 18 - Setting the Stage for the Death of JFK

"The significance of all this was that I had introduced President Kennedy's Vietnam policy statement NSAM #263, into these discussions. It is my belief that the policy announced so forcefully by Kennedy in his earlier NSAM #55 and in NSAM #263 had been the major factor in causing the decision by certain elements of the power elite to do away with Kennedy before his reelection and to take control of the U.S. government in the process.

Kennedy's NSAM #263 policy would have assured that Americans by the hundreds of thousands would not have been sent to the war in Vietnam. This policy was anathema to elements of the military-industrial complex, their bankers, and their allies in the government. This policy and the almost certain fact that Kennedy would have been reelected President in 1964 set the stage for the plot to assassinate him."

I can't put this book down. It is without doubt, the most thorough explanation of the rogue CIA, it's influence and impact on America's involvement in paramilitary operations around the world and subsequent growing conflicts. It is, as Prouty describes:

"...For the world as a whole, the CIA has now become the bogey that communism had been for America. Wherever there is trouble, violence, suffering, tragedy, the rest of us are now quick to suspect the CIA had a hand in it. Our phobia about the CIA is, no doubt, as fantastically excessive as America's phobia about world communism; but in this case, too, there is just enough convincing guidance to make the phobia genuine...

"This is what the destruction of sovereignty and disregard for the rule of law means, and it will not stop there. With it will go property rights -- as we have witnessed in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union -- and the rights of man."

It's not hard to understand why Obama hasn't pulled out of Iraq or Afghanistan. He can't. The military industrial complex and their bankers won't let him.

This is a fascinating look into the world of the power elite: the supremely powerful international bankers who keep the books and balances for each side.

"They make these transactions possible by offering the loans, issuing letters of credit, and collecting the interest on the entire package. In many LDCs (third world "less developed countries") the total amount of interest paid to the banks and their international financing structure amounts to more than half of the total value of dollars earned by their exports. For this reason, annual payments are seldom more than the interest involved and none of the principal. This is one reason why the principal never comes back to the United States." (p. 243 - Ch. Sixteen - Government by Coup d'Etat)

Though the title focuses on the CIA, Vietnam and the plot to kill JFK, this 355 page (not including six pages of notes) book goes much further. It lays out and explains the real power -- the international power elite -- that designs the strategy and moves the pieces on the global chess board of politics, finance, and wars, domestic and international.

Prouty's very detailed book is based on a 19-part magazine series first developed by Prouty, with and published by Freedom Magazine. Prouty served as the chief of special operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Kennedy presidency. A retired U.S. Air Force colonel, Prouty was in charge of the global system that provided military support for the CIA's secret activities. He was witness to activities, machinations and policy-making in the Pentagon and the White House that few others can claim. Prouty died in 2001.

"The year was 1964. Pres. John F. Kennedy had been shot dead months before by bursts of "automatic gunfire" in Dallas by "mechanics," that is, skilled gunmen hired by a power cabal determined to exert control over the United States government. Lyndon B. Johnson, JFK's successor, had been only a few feet under the bullets fired at Kennedy as he rode two cars back in that fatal procession.

"By 1964 Johnson was becoming mired in the swamp of the Indochina conflict. Kennedy, who had vowed to "break the CIA into a thousand pieces," was dead. LBJ, who heard those fatal bullets zing past his ears, had learned the ultimate lesson; and for good measure, Richard Nixon was in Dallas on that fateful day, so that he, too, had the fact of this ever-present danger imprinted on his memory for future use by his masters. (Ch. Sixteen, Government by Coup d'Etat - p 232)

~~*~~

When World War II ended with the nuclear bomb, the military industrial complex had a dilemma -- it understood that the next world war would be the final one, Yet it needed a way to keep the lucrative business of war making alive and profitable. How? By fighting a war waged for dollars, without a true military objective, under the control of civilian leaders, a war never intended to achieve victory. Enter Vietnam. Sound familiar?

Chapter Eighteen - "Setting the Stage for the Death of JFK"

[p 267]

Kennedy's NSAM #265 policy would have assured that Americans by the hundreds of thousands would not have been sent to the war in Vietnam. This policy was anathema to elements of the military-industrial complex, their bankers, and their allies in the government. This policy and the almost certain fact that Kennedy would be reelected President in 1964 set the stage for the plot to assassinate him.

[snip]

First of all, NSAM #263, October 11, 1963, was a crucial White House document. Much of it, guided by White House policy, was actually written by my boss in the Pentagon, General Krulak, myself, and others of his staff. I am familiar with it and with events which led to its creation.

[snip]

Our history books and the basic sources of history which lie buried in the archives of government documents that have been concealed from the public, and worse still, government documents that have been tampered with and forged. As I have just demonstrated above, this most important policy statement, NSAM #263, that so many historians and journalists say does not exist, has been divided into two sections in the Pentagon Papers source history.

~~*~~

Chapter Nineteen - Visions of a Kennedy Dynasty

[pp 289-290]

"With Kennedy's announcement that he was getting Americans out of Vietnam, he confirmed that he was moving away from the pattern of Cold War confrontation in favor of détente. He asked Congress to cut the defense budget. Major programs were being phased out. As a result, pressure from several fronts began to build against the young President. The pressure came from those most affected by cuts in the military budget, in the NASA space program, and in the enormous potential cost -- and profit -- of the Vietnam War.

Kennedy's plans would mean an end to the warfare in Indochina, which the United States had been supporting for nearly two decades. This would mean the end to some very big business plans, as the following anecdote will illustrate.

It was reported in an earlier chapter that the First National Bank of Boston had sent William F. Thompson, a vice president, to my office in the Pentagon in 1959, presumably after discussions with CIA officials, to explore "the future of the utilization of the helicopter in [clandestine] military operations" that had been taking place in Indochina up to 1959.

A client of that bank was Textron, Inc. The bank had suggested to Textron officials that the acquisition of the near-bankrupt Bell Aircraft Company, and particularly its helicopter division, might be a good move. What the bank and Textron needed to determine was the extent of use of helicopters by the military and by the CIA then and the potential for their future in Indochina.

Both parties were satisfied with the information they acquired from the Pentagon and from other sources in Washington. In due time the acquisition took place, and on October 13, 1963, news media in South Vietnam reported that an elite paramilitary force had made its first helicopter strike against the Vietcong from "Huey" Bell-Textron helicopters. It was also reported in an earlier chapter that more than five thousand helicopters were ultimately destroyed in Indochina and that billions of dollars were spent on helicopter purchases for those lost and their replacements.

Continuing the warfare in Vietnam, in other words, was of vital importance to these particular powerful financial and manufacturing groups. And helicopters, of course, were but one part of the $220 billion cost of U.S. participation in that conflict. Most of the $220 billion, in fact, was spent after 1963; only $2 - $3 billion had been spent on direct U.S. military activities in Vietnam in all of the years since World War II up to and including 1963. Had Kennedy lived, it would not have gone much higher than that.

It is often difficult to retrace episodes in history and to locate an incident that became crucial to subsequent events. Here, however, we have a rare opportunity.

The success of the deal between the First National Bank of Boston, Textron, and Bell hinged on the escalation of the war in Indochina. A key man in this plan was Walter Dornberger, chief of the German Rocket Center at Peenemunde, Germany, during World War II and later an official with the Bell Aircraft Company. Dornberger's associate and later protegé from Peenumunde, Wehrner von Braun, who had been instrumental in the development of the army's Pershing and Jupiter rocket systems, became a central figure in NASA's plans for the race to the moon. Such connections among skilled technicians can be of great importance within the military-industrial complex, as they generally lead to bigger budgets for all related programs.

Kennedy had announced a reduced military budget, the end of American participation in Indochina, and a major change in the race to the moon. It takes no special wisdom or inside knowledge to understand that certain vested interests considered the Kennedy proposal to defuse Vietnam and these other major budget items to be extremely dangerous to their own plans.

The pressure brought to bear on Kennedy was intense, but some sort of major event was needed that would stir emotions and trigger action. It is very likely that the death of President Ngo Dinh Diem of Vietnam and his brother, Ngo Dinh Nhu, on November 1, 1963, in Saigon was one of those events. There were at least eight or nine more that, in retrospect, indicate that a plot against Kennedy had begun to unfold."

~~*~~

Is it any wonder that despite his campaign rhetoric to the contrary, Obama is still in Iraq and Afghanistan???

If you apply what Prouty reveals, it follows that Obama does not do anything unless it is decreed by the international power elite -- from pulling out of Iraq/Afghanistan to protecting our Gulf Coast oil-stained states.

JFK didn't dance to the tune of his masters. He did it his way. It cost him his life. Obama is the creation of his masters. He serves at their pleasure. He won't make JFK's mistake. You can count on it.

By Theodore M. Herlich on August 11, 1999
Mr. Prouty's book is excellent as autobiography

Mr. Prouty served in the Pentagon's Office of Special Operations during a significant portion of his professional military career. In this role, he observed first-hand how the CIA arranged/staged coups d'etat in the Phillipines and other nations around the globe. In the Office of Special Operations, Mr. Prouty was responsible for providing U.S. military support for CIA operations. This experience serves as the basis for Mr. Prouty's strong inference that the assassination of President Kennedy was a CIA-style coup d'etat. The "why" of the coup d'etat is strongly established by Mr. Prouty. JFK intended to withdraw 1,000 military personnel from Vietnam by the close of 1963 and hoped to complete the full withdrawal of U.S. military personnel from Vietnam by the close of 1965. To do this, JFK needed to get re-elected. His decision to withdraw from Vietnam was based upon the McNamara-Taylor report of early October, 1963 and codified in National Security Action Memorandum#263 of October 11, 1963. [For a thorough, scholarly analysis of the evolution of JFK's Vietnam policy, see "JFK and Vietnam" by John M. Newman (New York: Warner Books, 1992). Mr. Newman is a professional historian and a faculty member at the University of Maryland]. Powerful interests in the CIA, Pentagon and the corporate world were "gung ho" in favor of large-scale military intervention in Vietnam. The prospective war promised billions of dollars in military contracts for the defense industry. JFK's intention to withdraw from Vietnam would deny these elements in the CIA, Pentagon and corporate communities their pot of gold. Immediately after the assassination of JFK, LBJ issued NSAM#273 on November 26, 1963 which was a complete reversal of JFK's policy. NSAM#273 authorized U.S. military raids into North Vietnam. These raids precipitated the Gulf of Tonkin incidents of July-August 1963, led to Congress' Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and massive U.S. military intervention in Vietnam. LBJ gave the CIA, Pentagon and defense contractors what JFK would have denied them: billions of dollars in defense contracts in support of the full-scale war in Vietnam. For Mr. Prouty, the ultimate inference is irresistible: to effectuate the complete turn-around of Vietnam policy proposed by JFK, a CIA-style coup d'etat was carried out in Dallas on November 22, 1963. LBJ's NSAM#273 reversing JFK's Vietnam policy [from withdrawal to establishing the foundation for massive U.S. intervention] was issued on November 26, 1963. The goals of the coup were obtained immediately following the assassination. Prouty gives us the "why" of the coup. Further research remains to be done in order to give us "who" and the "how". Prouty's work is a valuable starting point for further inquiry and deserves our appreciation for its autobiographical honesty and heartfelt analysis.

By doctordave77 on January 3, 2016
Very disappointing.

Very disappointing. I was looking forward to reading this book primarily because the author was so close to the action. But as other reviewers have pointed out, the focus of the book is a far reaching review of US history since 1944-45. Unfortunately, in this regard, the book is a failure.

Prouty isn't a historian and I'm sure that he doesn't claim to be one. But to attempt to cover the ground that he does, he's lacking a lot of background knowledge. This shows up quickly in the book - let me give you a couple of examples;

- He states that President Roosevelt died suddenly, unexpectedly is the word he uses, and this simply isn't true. Roosevelt was bed-ridden for about 6 months before his death and the US government was effectively run by his advisors during this period.

- He claims that the USA and Russia were allies at the close of WWII (true), but also that an atmosphere of trust existed between the two countries (false). He continues to make the claim that but for the actions of the CIA, the Cold War would not have happened. That's simply not the case - Roosevelt and his advisors weren't happy with Stalin and vice versa. The CIA didn't even formally exist until Truman created them in 1947 and they didn't act without full political approval of the US governments of the time.

Look, I'm no fan of the CIA, and I completely agree with him that they plotted and achieved the death of JFK. But that doesn't mean that they and the KGB were responsible for creating the Cold War! Does Prouty think that the KGB could have acted in anyway without the full and knowing approval of Stalin himself? And that the Dulles brothers somehow manipulated the USA into the Cold War without the support and approval of Roosevelt and Truman? Apparently, he does!

Much of his thesis is based on the concept that there is a "power elite" that has actually been in control of world of US and Russian actions since 1944. Perhaps he is correct that a cabal currently sits behind our governments and influences events, but I disagree with his notion that they have controlled political events in the detailed way that he suggests throughout the world since 1944.

This really isn't a book about JFK and his assassination as it is a somewhat innacurate attempt to describe world history since WWII.

By Jeff Marzano on November 16, 2014
Dark And Sinister Revelations

This book presents a very strange and sinister theory.

People who are into conspiracy theories talk about groups like the Bilderberg Group who collude in secret to make decisions that are good for them but disastrous for everyone else. Those types of groups, so the theory goes, are not associated with any one particular government or country. Author Fletcher Prouty describes something like that although he says it is not the Bilderberg Group.

I've always believed in the JFK conspiracy but I never thought this conspiracy extended beyond the United States government and Lyndon Johnson. But yet I have to ask myself, if Fletcher is wrong what is the alternative ? Could he be right ?

Fletcher Prouty was deeply saddened by what he observed first hand in Vietnam. People who had lived in peace for many thousands of years in northern Vietnam were uprooted from their ancestral lands and moved to the south with nothing but the clothes on their backs. This was done to create hopelessness and a boiling cauldron of despair which was the perfect environment for igniting the inferno of warfare.

This was all accomplished by that most sinister of organizations called the CIA This agency is expert at creating confusion, human misery, and death on a massive scale with no regard for human life whatsoever.

Fletcher spends a few chapters analyzing the official story about the Kennedy assassination as far as Oswald's involvement (he was not involved), the number of shooters, and the many unexplained lapses of following official and long held procedures for protecting the president.

He was able to easily see through the smoke screen of lies created by the government about the JFK assassination and many other things because he saw all this from the inside. He was part of the very machine that caused the escalation in Vietnam and the JFK assassination. The Warren Commission's story does not hold up for many, many reasons. For one thing there were too many bullets fired. What a strange coincidence that on the day JFK was killed Fletcher happened to be in Antarctica serving as a military escort for a bunch of diplomats on some sight seeing excursion.

But yet it seems the nefarious group that ordered this assassination didn't really care if people thought there was a conspiracy because they knew nobody can do anything anyway. That's what's so scary about all this.

Fletcher feels this High Cabal, as Winston Churchill called it, has existed for 2,000 years or more in some form. Perhaps this is that great, lying beast and multi headed hydra described in the bible in the Book Of Revelation.

Some of the groups Fletcher feels are part of this cabal are the CIA and the other American intelligence agencies, the American military, international bankers, industrialists, and the Dallas police department. But beyond that even Fletcher doesn't know who is really at the very top of this super elite power structure.

For Fletcher this cabal is much more powerful than the president of the United States and they will disregard what the president says if they want to. That's exactly what happened when the CIA sent Gary Powers on a U2 spy plane mission over Russia and made sure the plane malfunctioned. As a result a planned peace summit between president Eisenhower and Nikita Khrushchev was cancelled. Ike had given orders to stop all covert activity until this summit was over.

They also cancelled a mission to shoot up Fidel Castro's three aircraft before the Bay Of Pigs fiasco. That was a direct failure to follow president Kennedy's orders to make sure these planes were destroyed before the invasion. They did this to embarrass president Kennedy. That's because peace is the High Cabal's greatest fear and enemy.

The election of president Kennedy was a disaster for the High Cabal. JFK was interfering with their plans to spend, not billions, but trillions of dollars in Vietnam and on their other Cold War projects. JFK was interfering with their ability to control the American government. So they killed him and regained that power, partially through their murderous accomplice Lyin' Lyndon Johnson.

After World War II the High Cabal created the perception in the public's mind of an epic struggle between Communism and the West. They used this false premise to create limited, protracted warfare all over the world. But they had to ensure the fighting did not become too intense because of the ever present menace of nuclear weapons.

Could it really be that the High Cabal doesn't care about the ideological struggle between Communism and the West or any other ideology for that matter ? Could the CIA, the KGB, and other similar groups really be providing weapons to the combatants on all sides just to prolong warfare forever ? That's what Fletcher Prouty says in this book.

Another point is the Vietnam conflict did not have any well defined military objective so it was doomed to become a protracted and ultimately unsuccessful bloodbath with the body count being the only measure of success.

Here's an exchange between Lyin' Lyndon Johnson and military legend General Creighton Abrams and his aide:

Lyndon:

"Abe, you are going over there to win. You will have an army of 550,000 men, one of the most powerful air forces ever assembled, and the invincible Seventh Fleet of the U.S. Navy offshore. Now go over there and do it."

Aide:

"Mr. President, you have told us to go over there and do 'it'. Would you care to define what 'it' is ?"

Johnson remained silent as he ushered General Abrams and his men out of the Oval Office.

Fletcher appears in an episode of the documentary 'The Men Who Killed Kennedy'. The hypocrites have taken legal action to have some of those episodes pulled off the market and the DVDs are no longer available for those 'Final Chapter' episodes. However 'The Men Who Killed Kennedy' can still be watched on the internet which I highly recommend.

Fletcher served as an advisor for Oliver Stone when Stone created his JFK movie. Stone's movie created a lot of controversy with the public and as a result people called for more hearings about the assassination. But those later investigations ran into the same brick wall of secrecy and deception that continues to this very day.

Fletcher drops another bomb shell in the notes section at the end of the book. He says on the day of the assassination JFK was shot with a poisonous flechette that was launched from an umbrella. A flechette is a very small, rocket propelled dart which travels at a very high velocity and which is very difficult to detect during an autopsy. Why they poisoned JFK even though they were planning on shooting him anyway I don't know. This may have been insurance in case JFK was not shot or not shot fatally.

The people who did this were professional killers. They leave very little to chance and account for many different scenarios.

On the Trail of the Assassins: One Man's Quest to Solve the Murder of President Kennedy

The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ

The Men Who Killed Kennedy

Hit List: An In-Depth Investigation into the Mysterious Deaths of Witnesses to the JFK Assassination

David Ferrie: Mafia Pilot, Participant in Anti-Castro Bioweapon Plot, Friend of Lee Harvey Oswald and Key to the JFK Assassination

Dr. Mary's Monkey: How the Unsolved Murder of a Doctor, a Secret Laboratory in New Orleans and Cancer-Causing Monkey Viruses Are Linked to Lee Harvey ... Assassination and Emerging Global Epidemics

Top Secret/Majic: Operation Majestic-12 and the United States Government's UFO Cover-up

UFOs and the National Security State: Chronology of a Coverup, 1941-1973

The Men Who Killed Kennedy DVD Series - Episode List

1. "The Coup D'Etat" (25 October 1988)

2. "The Forces Of Darkness" (25 October 1988)

3. "The Cover-Up" (20 November 1991)

4. "The Patsy" (21 November 1991)

5. "The Witnesses" (21 November 1991)

6. "The Truth Shall Set You Free" (1995)

The Final Chapter episodes (internet only):

7. "The Smoking Guns" (2003)

8. "The Love Affair" (2003)

9. "The Guilty Men" (2003)

By A Time Traveler on February 7, 2014
As Told By a Pentagon/Military Insider Since WWII

For all intents and pruposes, Prouty was serving behind the scenes of US Intelligence services in one capacity or another since before WWII (as special duty at both the Cairo and Tehran Conferences), until the day he retired. So how do you know he isn't just like all the other shills and "company men" from the inside who tell the public only what the elite want them to know? There is no better illustration of Prouty's willingness to tell his whole story -- with the vast information at his disposal -- than Page 260, which in this edition, is in Chapter 17 JFK's Plan to End the Vietnam Warfare:

"Why did the US government in 1945, before the end of World War II, choose to arm and equip Ho Chi Minh? Why did the United States, a few short years later, shift its allegiance from Ho Chi Minh to the French in their losing struggle that ended ignominiously with the battle of Dien Bien Phu? Why, after creating the Diem government in 1954 and after supporting that government for ten years, did the United States shift again and encourage those Vietnamese who planned to overthrow it? And finally, why, after creating an enormous military force in Indochina, did the US government fail to go ahead and defeat this same Ho Chi Minh when, by all traditional standards of warfare, it possessed the means to do so?"

And this makes-up the majority of this work by Prouty. He wisely stays with the evidence that HE has at his disposal. In other words, what Prouty effectively laid out for the reader, is the "Why" in the Kennedy assassination. He does so without assuming very much, as when reading the book, you see very well that there was quite a large swath of the Military Industrial Complex that stood to loose billions if Kennedy had lived. And thankfully, Prouty effectively explains in great detail that any myth about Kennedy escalating the Vietnam war is just that -- a myth. And Prouty's evidence of this? Documents from his time in the Pentagon and White House, not to mention press members and administration members who backed Kennedy's own words that US forces would be pulled out of the region after he was reelected.

For those who wish to research this subject further than the events in Dealey Plaza, Prouty's book is for you. If you want an idea as to "why" Kennedy was killed, I couldn't recommend this book highly enough.

By Acute Observer on October 20, 2014
Memoirs of an Insider

JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy

Events in the real world and society are mostly planned, they do not just happen. This book presents selected events from 1943 to 1990. The major events of this time were craftily and systematically planned by the power elite. This book will attempt to explain the Cold War, the Korean and Vietnam wars, the effects of the development of the hydrogen bomb, and why the "military-industrial complex" removed JFK from the Presidency. L. Fletcher Prouty spent 1955-64 as chief of special operations. Page xxxiii tells of one incident he witnessed of the "power elite". Page 4 explains how an agent for the East India Company created an ideological justification for eliminating unwanted people. Page 8 says that neither H-bombs or "Star Wars" can prevent warfare by terrorists.

Pages 15-16 tells of the driving force of acquisitiveness. Mineral wealth is controlled by corporate interests directly, or by the World Bank or International Monetary Fund. Genocide is regularly practices to limit the "excess population", particularly those who object to this exploitation. He repeats Elliot Roosevelt's story about Stalin's claim that FDR was poisoned (he had spies everywhere?). "Many of the skilled saboteurs and terrorists of today are the CIA students of yesterday" (p.37). "The first aerial hijackings were publicly solicited by the US in return for big cash awards, plus sanctuary". Page 56 tells why so many of our leaders are lawyers: they are trained to work under the direction of their clients. Their "lawyer-client confidence" ensures secrecy, even in court; they work for international law firms in government, banks, and major industries.

Chapter Six, "Genocide by Transfer", tells how over a million Tonkinese were moved to Cochin China; it caused a rice shortage in a previously rice-exporting country! The destruction of self-sufficient villages created consumers of imported food (like post-1962 Burma), and enriched merchants and shippers. It also created a source of cheap labor? Chapter Seven tells of the destruction of the village economy, and the resulting banditry. The depopulation of rural counties and the "urban renewal" in the big cities caused internal migration and a rise in the crime rate here in America too. After Textron Corporation bought Bell helicopters, there was now a need for these helicopters in Vietnam. Page 108 tells how 43% of lives lost were "not from action by hostile forces" - just accidents! The high cost of machines and their need for maintenance (supplies, personnel) helped to lose the war.

L. Fletcher Prouty says the massive slaughter in Cambodia, the Iran-Iraq war, "Desert Storm", and the Middle East hostilities are an example of Malthusian social engineering (p.187). Chapter 16 explains the economic reasons for coups d' etat, whether Marcos in the Phillipines, Batista, Somoza, or Trujillo (pp. 236-7). Once a puppet ruler in s country tries to counteract its exploitation, its goodbye. Page 238 tells how "foreign aid" is used to support American companies moving their factories and machinery to foreign countries. Page 240 explains why Vietnam (like Korea) was a limited "unwinnable" war.

On November 22, 1963 JFK was removed from office by a powerful group that wanted to escalate the war in Vietnam, and increase government spending (p.257). Pages 261-4 answers those who mistakenly claim JFK did not want to withdraw military forces from Vietnam. Prouty presents information from the public record and his personal experience. NSAM#263 shows that JFK did plan to withdraw military personnel from Vietnam in 1963. The death of JFK changed the war in Indochina from low-intensity to a major operation. Page 291 lists the many things done as standard security procedure which were NOT done on 11-22-1963. If the Warren Report is wrong on any key point, then it is false. Governor Connally contradicted the key point of the Warren Report to his dying day. The assassination of JFK demonstrated that most major events of world significance are masterfully planned and orchestrated by an elite coterie of enormously powerful people (p.334). You can read Jim Marrs' "Rule by Secrecy". The August 31, 1983 downing of Korean Air flight 007 resulted in the largest Defense Department budget ever passed in peacetime.

By Liz KS on November 24, 2015
Hard to put down.

A must read if you're wanting answers. I was and I've read a lot of books about this era because I lived through it and wanted answers to questions I had. Now it all makes sense. I would also suggest reading "Official and Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover" by Anthony Summers. I had a hard time putting that book down too.

By Herbert L Calhoun on October 31, 2013
The Long Journey to Dallas Texas

JFK The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy

by Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty

The Long Journey to Dallas Texas

Spoiler alert: This is neither the shortest version, nor the shortest route to understanding the JFK assassination. But it is as close to the complete canonical text and understanding of the assassination as there is ever likely to be. It is told by an insider, the high priest of understanding about the JFK assassination if you ask me (or Oliver Stone), one who has been around long enough, and has resided deep enough inside the bowels of the US government to know where all the skeletons are buried.

Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty was also a member of "The Secret Team," which he wrote a very revealing book about, of the same name. It has proven to be a critical part of the unfolding of the 50-year old drama of the JFK assassination. (Read my Amazon review of it.)

Here Col Prouty takes us by the hand and guides us on a journey, moving slowly but steadily and deliberately along a long winding path, through the historical underbrush beginning at the end of WW-II. He then leads us out into a clearing called "the Cold War," where events are craftily orchestrated around the threat of a nuclear holocaust. But it is orchestrated in such a way that the right to continue endless conventional wars is preserved and the world is made forever safe "for wars of profit" by other more novel means. Korea, would be the first but not the last of the "make money wars." The mother of all such un-winnable "money wars," however was Vietnam. It would represent a signature turn in the road that would "vector" directly to the JFK assassination. However, along the way the reader will also be introduced to Saudi Arabia, Iran and the oil angle, and then on to Cuba and the threat of nuclear war, finally ending up at high noon on 11/22/63 with the assassination of our 35th president.

As enlightening as the journey is it is not an easy trip for a "democratically trained mind." For along the way, we must unlearn the old rules of democracy in favor of learning a new set, with a new unwritten covenant, as well as a new vocabulary of reactionary and self-destructive power politics. And with them, we must also adopt and adapt to wearing a new kind of emotional straitjacket, armor better to make us comfortable granting involuntary consent to these altered understandings of how our more twisted and diminished democracy is supposed to work.

To wit: We the people, and they, our new anonymous ruling power elite, consent to govern us from above but forever behind the screen, promising nothing but to be unreliable invisible puppet-masters. And in return "we the people" are expected to close our "lying eyes" and pretend that when "we" see JFK's head snap violently back and to the left, it did not really happen? Now, and henceforth, our only reality tests are those prepared for us by our "lying media," the lemmings bought and paid for by our new invisible rulers. In short, the new contract mandates that we go along quietly, without whimpering, and accept the fact that "we the people" have been robbed of all previous contractual understandings of what a democratic government is supposed to mean.

What government "by," "for" and "of" the people used to mean, has been permanently altered. In this new "hyper real context" of being governed by an anonymous power elite, who are constantly pulling the strings from behind the curtains, government "by," "for" and "of" the people now means whatever our anonymous puppet-masters' media outlets tell us it means.

Those steeped in the conspiracy paranoia of the likes of the Bilderburghers, the Trilateralists, and the Council of Foreign Relations, must understand that what Colonel Prouty is telling us here is not the same. They will find no comfort here on this journey for cheap conspiracy nonsense. Instead, they will find here just the clean facts, with all of the dots connected, convincingly written by one of the last of America's authentic patriots. When readers complete this book, they will then understand why the Bilderburghers, the Trilateralists, and the Council of Foreign Relations, are all superfluous and unnecessary. All of the questions one can imagine about the JFK assassination are answered here.

A "Rough" Summary of Colonel Prouty's Story

After World War II, and owing primarily to the creation of the CIA, the U.S entered a new "hyper covert reality" in which, just as General Eisenhower had warned in his farewell address, the machinery of government was effectively commandeered by reactionary warmongers and war profiteers. The post-war power elite ruled by calling for continuous wars, with the CIA and the military acting as their vanguard and shock troops. There was nothing subtle about this take over, nor is reference to it just knee-jerk conspiracy nonsense. Colonel Prouty provides us a framework and a clear discrete paper trail that reveals every step of the "take over process," steps that he argues convincingly led inexorably to the JFK assassination.

Step one was carefully embedded within policy memorandum NSC-5412, which among other things, gave all covert operations over to the CIA, and specifically prohibited the active military from engaging in them. However, after the spectacular debacle of the John Foster Dulles led Bay of Pigs operation, JFK issued (and was in the process of implementing at the time of his very timely assassination), a reversal of this policy with NSC-55, which would have given the responsibility for covert operations back to the active military through the JCS. Not only was this reversing directive never implemented, but with JFK's death, all of the generals running the Vietnam War, were actually CIA officers operating under military cover and rank. According to Colonel Prouty, this was nail #1 in the JFK coffin.

Nail number two involved an excruciatingly carefully worked out policy directive, NSAM-65 by the JFK national security team. It was the policy directive initiating the complete withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Vietnam by 1965. NSAM-65 was drawn up after an unprecedented 23 high-level meetings by JFK's and his national security team. Not only was NSAM-65 not implemented, but it was reversed in a week after the assassination by LBJ initiated policy directives NSC-273 and NSC-288.

The final nail in the coffin, according to Colonel Prouty, the one that actually signaled that assassination plans were already afoot, is the tell-tale fact that in the Pentagon papers that had been released within the government before JFK was assassinated (and later exposed publicly by Daniel Ellsberg), one-page cover sheets were entered in the text at the point where the substance of JFK's two policy directives should have been? Twenty-five stars

By Luc REYNAERT on August 24, 2007
Today America has become the nightmare (Arnold Toynbee)

Prouty's autobiography is very revealing indeed. Of course, it contains controversial items (Would JFK have stopped the Vietnam War?). But, it is the general picture that counts, and here, the author is prophetic.

Prouty presents his world view as follows: `The world is ruled by a power elite. The basic motivations are always the same. Money lays at the root ... the enormous amount spent on military matériel.'

This elite wields its power partly and most importantly through invisible intelligence agencies. `The power of any agency allowed to operate in secrecy is boundless'.

Nationally, JFK would probably be reelected in 1964, also via carefully directed investments, which should have influenced favorably the voting in heavily contested states. This reelection for another 4 years was very hard to swallow for a part of the power elite. JFK had promised to cut the defense budget and destroy one of its power bases (`split an intelligence agency into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds.')

JFK's masterfully planned assassination was a coup d'état, not less than a total takeover of the US government. The cover-up of the assassination, which is still going on, shows the immense power of the culprits. They controlled the Warner Commission and could (can) force, until today, the media and Congress to pay lip service to them. Congress was never capable to launch an adequate investigation into the murder.

Internationally, `the world's power elite benefited splendidly from the staggering sums involved in the Vietnam War.' The author's moving evocation of the fate of a pastoral Vietnamese village shows that `people's lives are valueless when they get in the way of elitist interests.' (Mark Curtis)

The powerful show absolutely no respect for national sovereignty (e.g., Vietnam, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Panama, Iraq, the Philippines, even Grenada), which is the principle on which `the family of nations exists, with its property rights and the rights of man.'

At the end, Prouty is even prophetic: `the power elite utilizes all manner of plots to achieve their ambitious goal. That gamesmanship is called `Terrorism'.

This book is a must read for all those wanting to understand the world we live in.

By Thomas J. Farrell on December 25, 2014
Well written and ably researched

In his perceptive book JFK: THE CIA, VIETNAM, AND THE PLOT TO ASSASSINATE JOHN F. KENNEDY (2011), Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty (Retired, U.S. Air Force) admirably demonstrates that he understands the dynamics involved in the Vietnam War. Time and again, Col. Prouty draws on his own personal experience to elucidate various matters he discusses.

Concerning the Vietnam War, President Lyndon B. Johnson used trumped-up charges to escalate the conflict between North Vietnam and South Vietnam into a major tragedy - and a defeat for the United States. Col. Prouty sees the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as having orchestrated the conflict between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. Allen Dulles was the director of the CIA - until President John F. Kennedy fired him as a result of the CIA adventure to invade Cuba known as the Bay of Pigs debacle. During the Eisenhower administration, Allen Dulles' brother, John Foster Dulles, served as the Secretary of State. The Dulles brothers were fervently anti-communist. Moreover, they regarded nation-states not aligned with the U.S. as aligned with the communists - the enemy in the Cold War.

Concerning the Dulles brothers, see Stephen Kinzer's book THE BROTHERS: JOHN FOSTER DULLES, ALLEN DULLES, AND THEIR SECRET WORLD WAR (2013). In my estimate, Kinzer does fine job of tracing the American anti-communist spirit back to the time of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in 1917. But Col. Prouty does not advert to this earlier history of the American anti-communist spirit. Instead, he picks up the story in the waning times of World War II (WWII). As he points out, Joseph Stalin's Soviet Union was one of our allies in WWII against Adolf Hitler's Nazis in Germany. As Col. Prouty also points out, Chiang Kai-shek's China was one of our allies in WWII against Japan. (Subsequently, Chiang Kai-shek was defeated by Moa Tse-tung's communist forces.)

Col. Prouty explains how 1.1 million peasants had earlier been transported about a thousand miles from their traditional culture in what then became known as the nation-state of North Vietnam and had been relocated in what then became known as the nation-state of South Vietnam, where they were landless and poor. Their relocation was orchestrated by the CIA

As a result of their dire needs for food, many of them became bandits. As Col. Prouty repeatedly explains, those bandits had been relocated in the Mekong Delta. The Mekong Delta is so far to the south of North Vietnam as to preclude their having infiltrated from North Vietnam. Unfortunately, those bandits were considered to be communist "infiltrators" from North Vietnam - the enemy. Those bandits came to be referred to as the Vietcong.

With admirable clear-sightedness, Col. Prouty also explains the complicated logistics of helicopter warfare in the Vietnam War.

Because President Harry Truman had dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to get Japan to surrender, most powerful Americans had subsequently figured out that another all-out war like WWII would result in the nuclear destruction of human life on the planet. As a result, Col. Prouty claims, President Johnson would not authorize the American military to fight for victory over North Vietnam because such a fight would of necessity run the risk of expanding the conflict to bring in China and perhaps the Soviet Union - and thereby risk the dreaded nuclear holocaust. Thus American forces were consigned to waging the Vietnam War without risking victory - and the dreaded nuclear holocaust.

Even though Col. Prouty's overall discussion of the Vietnam War is astute, his major thesis in the book is that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, by experienced assassins hired to do the job. In CIA parlance, such hired assassins were referred to as "mechanics."

President Kennedy had ordered that all American advisers would be out of Vietnam by the end of 1965. Moreover, he was likely to win re-election in 1964, which would mean that he could make his order stick.

However, for years, the CIA had been cultivating Vietnam for a war there. A war there would serve the purposes of enriching what President Dwight D. Eisenhower in his farewell address had referred to as the military-industrial complex - in plain English, war profiteers. No doubt the war profiteers did profit enormously from the Vietnam War. (Of course the war profiteers employed many Americans in their civilian work force.)

Despite the fact that Col. Prouty suggests that the CIA was probably involved in President Kennedy's assassination, he stops well short of naming specific CIA and other government officials who were involved in the carefully orchestrated plot to assassinate President Kennedy. In this respect, we could say that Col. Prouty paints the big picture - but he ably paints the big picture.

In conclusion, Col. Prouty's book JFK: THE CIA, VIETNAM, AND THE PLOT TO ASSASSINATE JOHN F. KENNEDY (2011) is well written and ably researched.

By John Duddy on August 21, 2015
Who runs this planet?

This is a shocking book. L. Fletcher Prouty is a world class whistleblower. After reading this masterpiece take another look at the official 9/11 report. The secret cabal running our planet has been exposed by many writers and few politicians; this is an insider's report on that cabal. False flag attacks are now used by the cabal, not only in USA but in any country where the locals are not towing the line as demanded by the banksters.

"To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize. -- Voltaire"

Amazing, the cabal has kept the lid on the murder of JFK for over 50 years. How long will we be kept in the dark about 9/11?

By W. Wilt on March 11, 2014
So somebody finally pulls it all together--the conspiracy is not a theory, it's all facts. Circumstantial, but no lies

Best editorial trick revealed: Leslie H. Gelb, who was to the Watergate papers what Phil Zelikow was to the 9/11 Commission novel, used the neat writer's trick (Gelb was a New York Times editor, you may recall) to hide something in black ink on a white page. Gelb uses the title President to avoid mentioning that JFK's presidency was ended with bullets. The President (JFK) had NSAM #263 written & promulgated, 1 Oct 63. The memo noted that the troops could be pulled out of Vietnam by the end of 1965. Ending the CIA-guided Indochina war they'd begun in September of 1945. So Gelb has "The President" as author of #263, have a mind-change with his cabinet, all of who had decided to go to Honolulu for the 22nd. On the 23rd, when an official speaks with The President, and a new NSAM is issued--#273, which called for an escalation of Conflict. The President of #263 has changed his mind and issued #273. The title stays the same, but the brain of the President who commissioned #263 was blown away by, what, Hornady hollow-point, boat-tail bullets (the kind the Abteilung der Heimats Versicherheit (dept of "home" "security"). And "The President" of the second instance just happened to be a different president, LBJ.

That's some clever and wondrously deliberate writing. The words are there in front of your nose, in plain sight. And yet they hide the circumstances, that, in the brief period between Nov. 21 and Nov. 23, the title President had not changed--just the life and body for which it represented. (In the newspaper biz, novices are instructed to "write around" facts that are missing. In this case, a few years after the Assassination of JFK, i think most people had gotten the news that JFK was dead and gone. Gelb and his boss were in that news loop, so I doubt Gelb would testify that he didn't know that JFK had been murdered (by a head shot fired from the Grassy Knoll, of course, but who's quibbling). No reason to fail to mention that The President (JFK) had been replaced by The President (LBJ), except if you want to avoid the "chance" that people will notice that Presidential Policy on Nov 21, 1963 (NSAM 263 (JFK) hand changed 180 degrees to Presidential Policy (NSAM 273) on Nov. 23 (LBJ).

So in the murder investigation, you'd want to bring Gelb in to get his story. You might want to set a water-board in the witness box right next to him--perhaps the special, autographed KSM (Khalid Sheikh Mohammad) model, guaranteed to last at least 168 uses (whether by one "detainee" (POW) or a succession of them. And you'd want to get all this moving while at least a few of the players are still alive. I'd like to hear what David R. and the rest of the Wall Street Banksters and lawyers have to say about JFK, RFK, Tonkin, USS Liberty, 9/11, etc. And also what Cheney and Shrub I and Shrub II and Rumsfeld & Wolfowitz and Pearle, etc., have to say about all the above.

At any rate, Prouty is a must-read. As is William Pepper's "An Act of State: The assassination of MLKjr." which puts the quietus to the phrase "conspiracy theory". Not a theory any longer, but a conspiracy fact. But who will prosecute members of the High Cabal? They run the government, with their private army, the CIA, and have since Nov. 22, 1963. Not that anybody cares, of course.

By Acute Observer on October 20, 2014
Memoirs of an Insider

JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy

Events in the real world and society are mostly planned, they do not just happen. This book presents selected events from 1943 to 1990. The major events of this time were craftily and systematically planned by the power elite. This book will attempt to explain the Cold War, the Korean and Vietnam wars, the effects of the development of the hydrogen bomb, and why the "military-industrial complex" removed JFK from the Presidency. L. Fletcher Prouty spent 1955-64 as chief of special operations. Page xxxiii tells of one incident he witnessed of the "power elite". Page 4 explains how an agent for the East India Company created an ideological justification for eliminating unwanted people. Page 8 says that neither H-bombs or "Star Wars" can prevent warfare by terrorists.

Pages 15-16 tells of the driving force of acquisitiveness. Mineral wealth is controlled by corporate interests directly, or by the World Bank or International Monetary Fund. Genocide is regularly practices to limit the "excess population", particularly those who object to this exploitation. He repeats Elliot Roosevelt's story about Stalin's claim that FDR was poisoned (he had spies everywhere?). "Many of the skilled saboteurs and terrorists of today are the CIA students of yesterday" (p.37). "The first aerial hijackings were publicly solicited by the US in return for big cash awards, plus sanctuary". Page 56 tells why so many of our leaders are lawyers: they are trained to work under the direction of their clients. Their "lawyer-client confidence" ensures secrecy, even in court; they work for international law firms in government, banks, and major industries.

Chapter Six, "Genocide by Transfer", tells how over a million Tonkinese were moved to Cochin China; it caused a rice shortage in a previously rice-exporting country! The destruction of self-sufficient villages created consumers of imported food (like post-1962 Burma), and enriched merchants and shippers. It also created a source of cheap labor? Chapter Seven tells of the destruction of the village economy, and the resulting banditry. The depopulation of rural counties and the "urban renewal" in the big cities caused internal migration and a rise in the crime rate here in America too. After Textron Corporation bought Bell helicopters, there was now a need for these helicopters in Vietnam. Page 108 tells how 43% of lives lost were "not from action by hostile forces" - just accidents! The high cost of machines and their need for maintenance (supplies, personnel) helped to lose the war.

L. Fletcher Prouty says the massive slaughter in Cambodia, the Iran-Iraq war, "Desert Storm", and the Middle East hostilities are an example of Malthusian social engineering (p.187). Chapter 16 explains the economic reasons for coups d' etat, whether Marcos in the Phillipines, Batista, Somoza, or Trujillo (pp. 236-7). Once a puppet ruler in s country tries to counteract its exploitation, its goodbye. Page 238 tells how "foreign aid" is used to support American companies moving their factories and machinery to foreign countries. Page 240 explains why Vietnam (like Korea) was a limited "unwinnable" war.

On November 22, 1963 JFK was removed from office by a powerful group that wanted to escalate the war in Vietnam, and increase government spending (p.257). Pages 261-4 answers those who mistakenly claim JFK did not want to withdraw military forces from Vietnam. Prouty presents information from the public record and his personal experience. NSAM#263 shows that JFK did plan to withdraw military personnel from Vietnam in 1963. The death of JFK changed the war in Indochina from low-intensity to a major operation. Page 291 lists the many things done as standard security procedure which were NOT done on 11-22-1963. If the Warren Report is wrong on any key point, then it is false. Governor Connally contradicted the key point of the Warren Report to his dying day. The assassination of JFK demonstrated that most major events of world significance are masterfully planned and orchestrated by an elite coterie of enormously powerful people (p.334). You can read Jim Marrs' "Rule by Secrecy". The August 31, 1983 downing of Korean Air flight 007 resulted in the largest Defense Department budget ever passed in peacetime.

By Michael Tozer on September 1, 2006
Simply Great!

In this volume, Colonel Fletcher Prouty captures both the secret history of the United States from 1945 to 1975 and the reasons behind the plot to kill President Kennedy. Herein, the courageous Colonel illustrates quite clearly that the clandestine history and the assassination plot were intrinsically linked.

From the important information in this book, we learn that the war in Vietnam actually began on September 2, 1945, when Ho Chi Minh was established as the new leader of Vietnam by our OSS, the predecessor of the CIA, and the US Army. The United States was thoughtful enough to provide all the weapons, ammunition, and supplies necessary for Ho and Giap to pursue their war against the French, which culminated in the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu. Following that defeat, the CIA arranged for the transfer of 1.1 million "refugees" from the North of Vietnam to the South. These folks caused such disruption in the fragile agricultural economy of the South that their arrival ultimately drove the orginal residents to banditry in order that they might survive. These displaced bandits became what was later known as the Viet Cong. Hence, the CIA created the conditions necessary for a full scale war in Vietnam.

On coming to office, Kennedy, a brilliant and studious man, came soon to understand the perfidy of the CIA One of first his acts on realizing this was to fire CIA director Allen Dulles. Soon thereafter, he issued one the most important, and unknown, documents of US history, NSAM 263. Issued in October of 1963, this document called for 1,000 US military personnel to come home from Vietnam by that Christmas. The remainder were to be out of Vietnam by the end of 1965. Had John Kennedy lived, what Americans know as the war in Vietnam would never have happened.

Prouty demonstrates herein that the powers that be ultimately made the decision that they could not allow Kennedy to live. He makes it clear that assassination researches who make a career of examining the details of the government's false cover story truly miss the point. What matters is not how the President was killed, but why. And the answer to that question is that the assassination was a coup d'etat, transferring control of the government of the United States to a power elite, which has been in control ever since. Hence, we have the strange silence of every succeeding President on the issue of the cover up of the Kennedy assassination.

The book is well written and extraordinarily important. He would understand our nation and how it came to be in the condition that now obtains would be well advised to read carefully this terribly important book. God bless.

By Bill Crowley on June 27, 2015
Finally, a man on the inside talks

This book is written by someone who was sitting in the middle of Eisenhower's feared military-industrial complex, instead of an outside researcher. Col Prouty lived what he tells us for several years. He saw the Korean & the Vietnam War buildup from the inside; he watched as the Bay of Pigs went down and No, it was not JFK's fault.

I was most impressed that Col Prouty is the actual person depicted as "Mr. X" and portrayed by Donald Sutherland in Oliver Stone's JFK.

If only half of what he tells us is the truth, then we need to demand another look at JFK's murder.

By Peter Cimino on November 6, 2012
Fascinating read, from a man inside the Military Complex

Overall, this was a fascinatiing read, and an awesome addition to my already humongous JFK Assassination collection. My only points of contention: 1)The name of it (and I realize the name needs to attract the reader) should have been The Military Complex / The Power Elite: How it works and it's connection to the JFK Assassination. The first three quarters of this book was all about the High Cabal and the Military complex. Incredibly detailed and compelling reading, but I just could not wait for it to end so we could get to the JFK part. But when it did...BAM! I could not put the book down. 2) This may be minor, but parts were extremely repetitve. I stopped counting how many times he referred to the one million Vietnemese who migrated to South Vietnam. I know he was trying to bang the point home, but it got to a point where it was not needed. 3) Once he got to the assassination itself I truly thought he would get into names...who made up this High Cabal or Power Elite that is more powerful than the President and US Government. I understand this could be dangerous...but a little hint would have been nice. 4) I thought he would get into more detail how the Assassination was pulled off. He drops a lot of hints and possibilities, but never really gives details to his personal thoughts. I cannot believe Mr. Prouty, after all his years serving in the military in the sensitive positions he held, could not come up with some kind of idea. Be that as it my, I truly believe this is as close the truth that we could ever get. I think this give the Why and Who would benefit. But would love even more detail. Maybe that's asking too much... Whether or not you are a JFK Assassination buff...this is truly an amazing read.

By Gianmarco Manzione on February 12, 2005
An Admirble Attempt at Truth-telling by a Good Man

If you have come to this book looking for another lean, persuasive investigation of the various conspiracies that could have led to the killing of JFK, you have come to the wrong place. prouty's book reaches far wider than that narrow scope, exploring every square inch of his vast, first-hand knowledge of the workings and consequences of the so-called Cold War (though I don't see how the bloody loss of millions of lives during that time constitute a war that was anything but blazing hot).

Prouty, a former Air Force colonel and CIA insider, manages to observe his life's work from an objective standpoint that raises countless probing and often hair-raising questions and warnings. Reaching back to the origins of the cold war and its effects on the policy and history that would soon be made, Prouty paints an expansive, thorough and detailed account not only of the JFK assassination, but of the entire political and industrial framework festering in the 20 years leading up to that moment that allowed such a tragedy to take place.

Contrary to most other books that deal --either obliquely or directly -- with JFK's murder, prouty's endures with a relevance that has as much to say about our own time as it does about Kennedy's. He foresees all the problems of a tyrannically powerful CIA that functions as the President's puppet master. "Many of the skilled saboteurs and terrorists of today are CIA students of yesterday," Prouty asserts in what amounts to an astonishing revelation when one considers that, among others, Osama Bin Laden is one of those "CIA students of yesterday." But it isn't only terrorists: it is the people we put in place as American puppets around the world. Take Hamad Karzai, for example, former CIA agent and millionaire now serving as President of Afghanistan.

The intimate and omnipotent mingling of money, military, covert intelligence operations and politics is precisely the network of power Prouty implicates not only in the crime that was the JFK murder, but the crime of so many brutal wars and coups performed by the CIA throughout the world to this very day. We are under the tyranny of an intelligence elite, an elite that happens to have the most powerful military and political machines on the planet at its service.

As prouty shows, Truman regretted his approval of the formation of the CIA toward the end of his presidency. Eisenhower tried to curb its powers but failed miserably, and when Kennedy fired Allen Dulles -- CIA chief at the time -- and not only threatened but actually worked to break the CIA "into a thousand pieces," he was killed. If that strieks you as an irrational logical leap, you need to read Prouty's book.

It is admirable that he undertook the writing of the book himself, rather than resorting to the services of some professional writer as so many politicians and military officials do for their memoirs and other books. Consequently, Prouty's book suffers a bit from a lack of the kind of polish it might have had. He struggles to organize his vast knowledge into the kind of coherant narrative he envisions and promises to no avail throughout. The reader has to work a little harder here to put the many pieces together that prouty lays out.

Nonetheless, Prouty's book reads like a desperate, angry and even frantic attempt at telling the truth by a man whose writing voice belies a remarkable warmth and sincerity. He knows so much and is so appalled at the hypocrisy he witnessed throughout his career -- hypocrisy that turned to horror -- that his book reads like the result of a minor god angrily shaking his fists and roaring in a locked room. His background, littered with merits and accolades, backs up every claim he makes here.

Prouty's book is entirely based on first-hand knowledge and expertise he gleaned over the course of a distinguished career: the precarious security arrangements in Dallas that day, Kennedy's advocacy of a US note that would compete with the federal note, his vow to remove all troops from Vietnam by 1965 and how this threatened the money-making machine that was the Vietnam "conflict," the utter astonishment in Washington at Kennedy's victory over Nixon, a man for whom various war and intelligence initiatives had already been drawn up for him to sign off on at the start of his presidency -- before he was even elected!

From its first hour, Kennedy's thousand-day presidency threatened so many established powers, so many benefactors of the military industrial complex, that there was no way it could have ended up otherwise. Even Robert McNamara, a great admirer of the president and godfather to one of Bobby Kennedy's kids, understood that a helicopter-augmented war like Vietnam would "churn out big dollars," that the war itself was capable of creating the $500 billion in military-industrial profits it eventually raised. Any former Ford executive understands the profits inherent in the collusion between military and industry.

As Prouty reports, quoting the controversial novel "Report From iron Mountain," "The war system is indispensable to the stable political structure . . . war provides the sense of external necessity without which no government can long remain in power." This is precisely the bleak "necessity" that Kennedy eventually grew to rebuke, and it was that rebuke that put the nails in his coffin long before his trip to Dallas.

By A customer on June 15, 1996
Very, very good.

I am a fan of Col Prouty, ever since I read The Secret Team.

Oliver Stone is in excellent company, because both of these men aren't afraid to tell the truth.

It is exactly the lack of truth that is killing the

United States.

Those who attack this book, and Stone, with the usual ignorant hysterics, are part of the cancer that is destroying the very innards of the last, great democracy on earth.

JFK's assasination was just a symptom of disease that is ravageing us today. This book supports this point.

By the way, if you believe the results of the Warren Commmission, (the House Select Comm. on Assasinations didn't, in 1976-78),then you are part of the problem.

This book gives an excellent pre-text to the take-over plans of the war-industy complex,starting after World War II. Prouty clearly states how the US Navy took part in the destabilization of Viet Nam by assisting in exporting tribes to the south. The resulting mess fell into Kennedy's hands.

You can understand why the fascists would have to dispatch a man like Kennedy, because he tried to do what was right. He was too charismatic, and he was correct. He could move too get emotionally involved, and then to act. This was viewed to be a dangerous thing.

Kennedy's Presidential Memorandum #263 was the spark the could ignite a conflagration, pulling the armed forces out of Viet Nam. This correct moral action would lead to other positive events, such as the deconstruction of the war machine at home. If this course was allowed to be taken. It didn't , of course.

The Military Right Wing and Ultra Hawks of the US had to liquidate Kennedy. Then, later, Bobby, Malcom X, King... and I am sure that it was They were all done in by the same smoking gun. They couldn't stand in the light of truth, like a vampire can stand the light of the sun.

The prolem is still rampant today, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Read this book before revisionist history forces it from the shelves. Keep it alive, talk about it. You'll find that you will defend it when you see the context that is carefully presented by Prouty.

Also, think about how (now) Sen. Arlen Specter told us how the "magic" bullet is proof of the single assasin theory. Then think about how he told us that this same bullet dediced to wait in the air 1.6 seconds before striking Gov. Connally, and then move on to kill President Kennedy, and still later was recovered with absolutely no loss of mass. Think, then reject the fantasy tale outright.Specter was a liar, then as he is today, and the Warren Commisssion's finding are pathetically false.

You should then read this book. It's not fantasy.

The cancer grows as you read this, but it is not too late... I think. If enough people get informed, and then act according to their conscience, they can then eradicate the cancer.

There are not enough liar/fascists to stop a revolution of the truth. Today, they are afraid, and for good reason.

Thank you.

MBF

By A customer on December 24, 1998
"The Truth Shall Set You Free" - Plaque at CIA's entrance

These words of St. John are displayed at CIA's Head Quarters in Langley, VA. The DCI, (Director of Central Intelligence), Allen Dulles, was not known for his ability to write good "original" material... At one time, he commissioned one E. Howard Hunt to ghost write for him. That might be likened to a liar who hires a thief to tell the truth! Colonel Leroy Fletcher Prouty was not cast from the same "mold" that produced the likes of Colson, MacGruder, Hunt, Sturgis, McCord, Liddy, Mitchell, Hoover, LeMay, Lansdale, and all the rest... No, he was cast from a very different mold... a mold of integrity and dedication to his country, the United States of America.

Imagine a patriotic young man, who enlists into the military, sees combat as a subordinate on the front lines, is commissioned by his superiors (as they recognized the leadership capabilities that he possessed), and is eventually placed in a newly created position: Chief of Special Operations, as an adjunct to his previous title of "Focal Point Officer/Military Liaison" in support of all CIA Clandestine Operations, as per National Security Council Directive #5412. It is from this very perspective that the good Colonel speaks... and he does, in fact, speak the truth.

I would do a disservice to those who seek an accurate account of the CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate JFK, if I failed to mention the following:

Those who criticize or attack the content of this most important "work" of Fletcher, have failed to understand that: "In the interest of a LEGITIMATE National Security Agenda" many covert activities were necessary to insure the continued security of the United States. In such instances any and all of the brave men and women, be they CIA, military, or civilian personnel, who have engaged in such activity, including Fletcher Prouty, are to be commended for their heroism and dedication to the freedom of us all, as unpalatable as many of these activities may seem to those of us who have only known "peace" in our home land. Without the work of the many "human assets" whose dedication to preserving our security at times included, what is euphemistically called "Black Ops"-- we would not be free today to speak of these issues. In this context, "Black Ops" can be seen as a necessary, albeit "unfortunate choice" - However, choosing the lesser of two or more evils MUST be made at times.

At what point does one say "enough is enough?" I believe Colonel Prouty's insight is extremely acute because of the honesty of the man AND the unique "position" he held at the fulcrum of the meeting point between the military, industrial and intelligence complex, of the United States. If one who is in such a position:

1. "Knows the signature of black ops" from years of experience;

2. Witnesses the "breakdown" of the Law mandated by Congress as a "Control Mechanism" -- i.e., the NSC's ability to DIRECT the activities of the intelligence community;

3. Ultimately recognizes that the removal of the main member of the NSC, President John F. Kennedy, was saturated with the "fingerprints" of a very carefully orchestrated "coup d'etat";

Then, (if such an individual is a true patriot), he is under an obligation to "right the wrongs" to the best of his ability... even if it may mean speaking of things that, despite their truth, will tend to strain the credibility of the messenger.

I applaud Colonel Prouty's courage, dedication, wisdom, excellent reportage, attention to detail, and finally, his relentless committment... He is an excellent messenger.

In the words of Jim Garrison: "Do not forget your dying king..."

GO_SECURE

Gregory Burnham

VISAC

By Acute Observer on January 22, 2002
Memoirs of an Insider

Events in the real world and society are mostly planned, they do not just happen. This book presents selected events from 1943 to 1990. The major events of this time were craftily and systematically planned by the power elite. This book will attempt to explain the Cold War, the Korean and Vietnam wars, the effects of the development of the hydrogen bomb, and why the "military-industrial complex" removed JFK from the Presidency.

L. Fletcher Prouty spent 1955-64 as chief of special operations. Page xxxiii tells of one incident he witnessed of the "power elite". Page 4 explains how an agent for the East India Company created an ideological justification for eliminating unwanted people. Page 8 says that neither H-bombs or "Star Wars" can prevent warfare by terrorists.

Pages 15-16 tells of the driving force of acquisitiveness. Mineral wealth is controlled by corporate interests directly, or by the World Bank or International Monetary Fund. Genocide is regularly practices to limit the "excess population", particularly those who object to this exploitation. He repeats Elliot Roosevelt's story about Stalin's claim that FDR was poisoned (he had spies everywhere?).

"Many of the skilled saboteurs and terrorists of today are the CIA students of yesterday" (p.37). "The first aerial hijackings were publicly solicited by the US in return for big cash awards, plus sanctuary". Page 56 tells why so many of our leaders are lawyers: they are trained to work under the direction of their clients. Their "lawyer-client confidence" ensures secrecy, even in court; they work for international law firms in government, banks, and major industries.

Chapter Six, "Genocide by Transfer", tells how over a million Tonkinese were moved to Cochin China; it caused a rice shortage in a previously rice-exporting country! The destruction of self-sufficient villages created consumers of imported food (like post-1962 Burma), and enriched merchants and shippers. It also created a source of cheap labor?

Chapter Seven tells of the destruction of the village economy, and the resulting banditry. The depopulation of rural counties and the "urban renewal" in the big cities caused internal migration and a rise in the crime rate here in America too. After Textron Corporation bought Bell helicopters, there was now a need for these helicopters in Vietnam. Page 108 tells how 43% of lives lost were "not from action by hostile forces" - just accidents! The high cost of machines and their need for maintenance (supplies, personnel) helped to lose the war.

L. Fletcher Prouty says the massive slaughter in Cambodia, the Iran-Iraq war, "Desert Storm", and the Middle East hostilities are an example of Malthusian social engineering (p.187).

Chapter 16 explains the economic reasons for coups d' etat, whether Marcos in the Phillipines, Batista, Somoza, or Trujillo (pp. 236-7). Once a puppet ruler in s country tries to counteract its exploitation, its goodbye. Page 238 tells how "foreign aid" is used to support American companies moving their factories and machinery to foreign countries. Page 240 explains why Vietnam (like Korea) was a limited "unwinnable" war.

On November 22, 1963 JFK was removed from office by a powerful group that wanted to escalate the war in Vietnam, and increase government spending (p.257). Pages 261-4 answers those who mistakenly claim JFK did not want to withdraw military forces from Vietnam. Prouty presents information from the public record and his personal experience. NSAM#263 shows that JFK did plan to withdraw military personnel from Vietnam in 1963. The death of JFK changed the war in Indochina from low-intensity to a major operation. Page 291 lists the many things done as standard security procedure which were NOT done on 11-22-1963. If the Warren Report is wrong on any key point, then it is false. Governor Connally contradicted the key point of the Warren Report to his dying day.

The assassination of JFK demonstrated that most major events of world significance are masterfully planned and orchestrated by an elite coterie of enormously powerful people (p.334). You can read Jim Marrs' "Rule by Secrecy". The August 31, 1983 downing of Korean Air flight 007 resulted in the largest Defense Department budget ever passed in peacetime.

By A customer on December 24, 1998
"The Truth Shall Set You Free" - Plaque at CIA's entrance

These words of St. John are displayed at CIA's Head Quarters in Langley, VA. The DCI, (Director of Central Intelligence), Allen Dulles, was not known for his ability to write good "original" material... At one time, he commissioned one E. Howard Hunt to ghost write for him. That might be likened to a liar who hires a thief to tell the truth! Colonel Leroy Fletcher Prouty was not cast from the same "mold" that produced the likes of Colson, MacGruder, Hunt, Sturgis, McCord, Liddy, Mitchell, Hoover, LeMay, Lansdale, and all the rest... No, he was cast from a very different mold... a mold of integrity and dedication to his country, the United States of America.

Imagine a patriotic young man, who enlists into the military, sees combat as a subordinate on the front lines, is commissioned by his superiors (as they recognized the leadership capabilities that he possessed), and is eventually placed in a newly created position: Chief of Special Operations, as an adjunct to his previous title of "Focal Point Officer/Military Liaison" in support of all CIA Clandestine Operations, as per National Security Council Directive #5412. It is from this very perspective that the good Colonel speaks... and he does, in fact, speak the truth.

I would do a disservice to those who seek an accurate account of the CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate JFK, if I failed to mention the following:

Those who criticize or attack the content of this most important "work" of Fletcher, have failed to understand that: "In the interest of a LEGITIMATE National Security Agenda" many covert activities were necessary to insure the continued security of the United States. In such instances any and all of the brave men and women, be they CIA, military, or civilian personnel, who have engaged in such activity, including Fletcher Prouty, are to be commended for their heroism and dedication to the freedom of us all, as unpalatable as many of these activities may seem to those of us who have only known "peace" in our home land. Without the work of the many "human assets" whose dedication to preserving our security at times included, what is euphemistically called "Black Ops"-- we would not be free today to speak of these issues. In this context, "Black Ops" can be seen as a necessary, albeit "unfortunate choice" - However, choosing the lesser of two or more evils MUST be made at times.

At what point does one say "enough is enough?" I believe Colonel Prouty's insight is extremely acute because of the honesty of the man AND the unique "position" he held at the fulcrum of the meeting point between the military, industrial and intelligence complex, of the United States. If one who is in such a position:

1. "Knows the signature of black ops" from years of experience;

2. Witnesses the "breakdown" of the Law mandated by Congress as a "Control Mechanism" -- i.e., the NSC's ability to DIRECT the activities of the intelligence community;

3. Ultimately recognizes that the removal of the main member of the NSC, President John F. Kennedy, was saturated with the "fingerprints" of a very carefully orchestrated "coup d'etat";

Then, (if such an individual is a true patriot), he is under an obligation to "right the wrongs" to the best of his ability... even if it may mean speaking of things that, despite their truth, will tend to strain the credibility of the messenger.

I applaud Colonel Prouty's courage, dedication, wisdom, excellent reportage, attention to detail, and finally, his relentless committment... He is an excellent messenger.

In the words of Jim Garrison: "Do not forget your dying king..."

GO_SECURE

Gregory Burnham

VISAC

By jrbednorz@earthlink.net on February 24, 1999
Constitutional Implications of the JFK Assassination

A recent poll taken by CNBC and a "news-eum" shows that the assassination of John F. Kennedy was the 6th most important event of the twentieth century. How or why those polled justify this choice is not clear. But anyone familiar with American history, American culture, and the myths and assumptions most Americans carry as a foundation of their beliefs -- can deduce the relevance of November 22, 1963 and its implications.

Every school kid is taught that we live in a country where there is no need for coup d'etat. We don't assassinate our leaders; we retire them at the voting booth. In this, derives the faith we have in all our other institutions, and especially, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. From the dawn of our individual consciousness, we are made to believe and assume that we are "safe," that we can think and say and do as we please, so long as we don't tread on the rights of others. And every school kid learns by rote the Preamble to the Constitution -- "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense . . secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity . . . ."

So for thirty-five years, most of us have been living in some form of illusion and denial. We were told and made to accept the story that the President of the United States was killed by a single, crazed person -- a relative nobody, an insect. The Warren Commission Report assured a majority of people over some part of those 35 years that our institutions are safe. It attempted to assure us, among other things, that our public officials continue to be honest; that our judges continue to value and protect Justice and Truth above everything else; that our policemen and local officials can be relied upon to protect us; and that the government, when it tells us to send the flower of our youth to war, does so for good reason. In a way, the Report was a means of continuing the myths that we all believe, especially, that "We the People" are the ultimate source of authority and power in our government.

Unfortunately for the authors of the 26-volume Report -- but fortunately for the rest of us -- it has lost its credibility. That credibility began to erode almost as soon as the Report was published, as Jim Garrison, District Attorney of New Orleans parish, resurrected his investigation into the activities and actors of the building at Lafayette and Camp streets. Almost from the beginning, the work of Garrison and his staff was hampered by the seemingly unexplainable efforts of the FBI and the Central Intelligence Agency. Since that time, we have been slowly awakened to the possible involvement of as many as three elected presidents in the Warren Commission coverup, and there are echoes of something worse, something more sinister.

We owe this awakening in part to the efforts of Garrison, and to the contribution of the man who anonymously assisted him in that investigation of the late 60's. Col. L. Fletcher Prouty, the "Mr. X" of Oliver Stone's "JFK," retired from the CIA not more than a year after the assassination. New facts in the assassination have slowly accumulated, partly due to the efforts of Prouty, Garrison, an emerging army of quiet and persistent historical researchers, investigative journalists, and -- yes -- even elected officials.

Now there are several variations on the conspiracy theme, which polls show is now accepted or suspected by as much as 78 percent of the American population. Some believed that Castro was the source of the plot to kill JFK. Others accepted the most reasonable theory that organized crime, namely Carlos Marcello, was the dark force behind the assassination. How comforting. We can now change the TV channel to "The Brady Bunch" -- we are still safe as long as the identity of the bogeyman that robbed us of a President and half a century's history doesn't challenge our basic beliefs in the institutions of government. And of course, the institutions of the powerful are also safe from a skeptical and inquiring public.

Other theories are more troubling, and as Prouty tells us apologetically, advocates of these theories perennially suffer the labels of "conspiracy nut" and "paranoid." But Prouty was the post-war pilot who shuttled dignitaries to the major conferences of World War II and facilitated the "rescue" of Nazi intelligence officers from their potential Soviet captors. He was on Okinawa when the thousands of tons of war materiel suddenly deemed unnecessary for an invasion of Japan were unexplainably shipped to Haiphong Harbor for the VietMinh. He was privy to the CIA's covert operations from that point forward which slowly enmired America in a war without strategic objectives -- the war in Vietnam. He was in the midst of CIA staff who planned the covert initiatives against Castro, notably Operation Mongoose and the Bay of Pigs. He presents detailed, plausible explanations of the reasons why these efforts failed. This provides a basis for a most incredible argument that a "High Cabal" of individuals and agencies -- above politics, even above government itself -- set in motion the decisions, events, and coordination that enabled the murder of a President.

Prouty was Oliver Stone's closest consultant in forging the epic movie "JFK." The underlying theory of the movie has been labeled "Conspiracy-a-Go-Go," the essence of a plot masterminded by a "High Cabal." The features of such a plot are merely hinted by the movie. Viewers may take away from the film an awakened sense of suspicion mixed with disbelief, and this does not detract from the film as good cinematic art. But Prouty's book offers some solid history and autobiography. It doesn't digest as impassioned rhetoric or the rantings of an extremist paranoid. It comes off as the ruminations and reflections of a witness who has both feet on solid ground.

The author consistently reminds us that an explanation of Kennedy's murder must be grounded in economic reasoning. "Who stood to benefit?" "Why?" He tells us that he doesn't want to concern himself with the identities of the contract assassins themselves, and indeed he informs us that it is in the nature of this underworld thick with professional "mechanics" that their identities may never be entirely known. Instead, he provides us a review of history and foreign policy during the initial and most frightening stages of the Cold War, and he reminds us that individuals are at the core of power where decisions of enormous scope are made frequently without either the participation or the knowledge of the public. So rather than point the finger explicitly at conspirators -- whose identities may be suggested or mentioned as part of the book's historical message -- he leaves it to the reader's judgment.

I cannot fault the book for its failure to present solutions. Ted Kazynski, in his "Manifesto," levels accusations against the same dark, if not anonymous forces, and most people will overlook the scribblings of someone diagnosed as criminally insane. But we cannot ignore any longer the existence of a "power elite" and the imperatives of large-scale global organization which support its existence. If we wish to live in society and partake of the benefits of a civilization thousands of years in the making, we have to accept these distortions to the democratic myths that saturate our consciousness and perceptions. Offering a practical prescription for controlling those forces was never Prouty's objective in writing this book. More aptly, "JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy" is a profound wake-up call.

Prescriptions do not come easily. Those interested in what should prove to be a long and protracted debate should read Gerry Spence's "Give Me Liberty." But one cannot address the problem unless he or she is aware of it. To this end, Prouty's book provides sharp historical focus.

Randy Bednorz

By Smith_Dick@msn.com on September 11, 1998
This vital work is a MUST READ for ALL Americans.

Col. Prouty's most informative book exposes the vicious, greedy, and super-anonymous hand of the "High Cabal" as none other has dared attempt. It clearly demonstrates the bizarre and disgusting chain of events (created by the OSS and CIA) that began before the end of WWII; events that led to President Eisenhower's unprecedented farewell address (and warning) to the nation. These events also led to the creation of President John F. Kennedy's National Security Action Memorandum #263, which called for de-escalation of the Vietnam War and withdrawal of all troops from Vietnam; the memorandum that ultimately led to his death.

This work exposes the planned genocide of millions of innocent, non-combatant Southeast Asian civilians, under the guise of such noble sounding terms as "pacification." Readers learn that none of these attacks on the peace-loving Southeast Asians were undertaken to protect any nation or preserve any ideology. Rather, they were thrust upon the Southeast Asians to further feed the exceedingly bulging pockets of greedy international bankers and the insidious military-industrial complex. These events also served to further perpetuate the High Cabal's iron-fisted, though ultra-secret, control over American government, among others, and the world economy. Vietnam is but one homeland that the High Cabal has decimated to serve its own purposes. There have indeed been many others throughout history. The question is: who's next? Perhaps us? Every American should read this vitally important book. And, think about it...

Hats off to Col. L. Fletcher Prouty. A truly great American! I proudly salute you, Sir.

By Mike Bartus on February 23, 2000
A great book among others

I want those readers who have not read this book to read my opinions below.

First, this is a great book simply because Prouty has provided more inside ammunition for researchers to mine the depths of our secret government. This is the government of men who controlled the secret programs of assassination, the secret slush funds of counterintelligence, the operatives who dilligently carried out their secret orders,their programs of stealth, quasi-law breaking, and other publically inaccessible information. Prouty's book quite correctly points the finger at Dulles, Lansdale, and others in CIA, who were paranoid about communism and Castro. They viewed Kennedy as a traitor and he stood in the way of the war machine they were operating, both overtly, but especially covertly. The termination of raids to Cuba, the failure of follow-up air support at the Bay of Pigs, the promise not to invade Cuba after the Cuban missile crisis, were all blamed on Kennedy. The firing of Dulles, Cabell, and Bissell contributed to the intelligence community wanting JFK removed from command. It is astonishing that so few have commented on the contrast between now and then: in 1963 we were fed lies depicting Oswald as a crazed nut, a loner, and defector. These days we have mountains of evidence he was much more than these pictures of him. He associated with Clay Shaw, David Ferrie, anti-castro cubans, and others. He returned to the US without a hitch, but in those days a defector would have been hounded and closely watched. If this were true,then why wasn't the FBI catching all his associations and illegal activities? Prouty has produced the superstructure of the conspiracy by showing the history, and context of the cold war and the CIA

If one can view a supposed loser like Oswald pulling off this assassination as being totally ridiculous, then one can entertain other possibilities. Why was Lyndon Johnson reversing NSAMs so quickly concerning Vietnam? Why did Johnson appoint Warren, Dulles, Ford, et al? Why wasn't the Dulles appointment perceived as a conflict of interest? Here is the fired subordinate investigating the dead boss! Dulles definitely kept information from the panel, especially about the assassination plots being orchestrated by the CIA, with the Mafia as the gunmen. In this connection, another book of importance should be read and that is by Peter Dale Scott: Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. It is a difficult book because he describes a quasi government,over-and-above government institutions, which controlled the plot and the outcome. This corresponds to some observations about Prouty's book, which fails to name names. But that isn't quite correct. Prouty does name many persons who were in command positions and had the power to orchestrate the assassination.Two prominent persons were Dulles and Lansdale. Any clever and alert reader who watched Stone's movie JFK will see a very short (about 2 second)sequence in the movie where General X is making the call to the network to carry out the plot and kill JFK. On his desk is a nameplate which clearly says "Lansdale".

The Prouty book establishes that Kennedy "was getting Americans out of Vietnam, he confirmed that he was moving away from the pattern of Cold War confrontation in favor of detente.He asked congress to cut the defense budget.Major programs were being phased out. As a result, pressure from several fronts began to to build against the young President.The pressure came from those most affected by cuts in the military budget, in the NASA space program, and in the enormous potential cost-and profit-of the Vietnam War."

It is very ironic that his enemies in government brought about detente with the Soviet Union. The notion that Oswald was a lone killer is preposterous and if it were true, why would the full truth be kept from us so long after the collapse of communism? This was the facile justification for locking up the evidence until 2025: that our outrage against a communist conspiracy would demand a war against the communists. The real truth was to control the information to the American public, so as to cover their tracks, and establish a legend to the JFK killing.

Everyone should read this book. I heartily recommend this book to anyone seeking insight into the question about insiders being involved in the killing.

By basement@dnai.com Tim Canale on January 6, 1999
Highly Recommended!!

Prouty gives us the point of view of both an ace historian and an insider taking us from the origins of the cold war up through the assassination of President Kennedy, and then on up through tomorrow night's evening news. It's haunting how the power elite's patterns of military strategies and propaganda tactics of that era correlate with many of today's current events. Just the other day somebody on TV was screaming, "Why wasn't there an objective in Desert Fox?!" while at the same time I'm reading the answer in Prouty's book, yet the book was written 6 or 7 years ago.

This isn't a book only on the Kennedy assassination, but Kennedy's bold decisions which led to his death and the forces behind it all. He explains clearly the post-H-bomb military strategy of aiding both sides of the fence in Vietnam to win the REAL war - big business. We get an inside look at the Dulles brothers and their direct line to the "High Cabal" which overrules even the White House.

I once heard Col. Prouty say in an interview that he's never read a page of the Warren Commission's 26 volumes of hearings on the assassination. He said he didn't have to because he knew who did it. I thought that was a bit odd, but after reading this book I understand what he means. Prouty had worked with these guys! These are the same forces that overthrew the Philipines, Greece, Iran, Bulgaria and Guatemala (to name just a few).

Out of all the books written about the Kennedy assassination this is easily one of the best. Check out his website!

By A customer on October 22, 1999
A disturbing and enlightening insight into the Cold War

This book uncovers the many reasons for the Korean & Vietnam conflicts. It clearly implicates the OSS/CIA during the end of World War II in their involvement in providing supplies for the Koreans and then later for the Vietminh. Colonel Prouty indicates how the CIA are quite often able to live in a secret world while manipulating other federal agencies to their desired ends. When Kennedy took office in 1960 he inherited $6.5 billion in surplus from the previous administration. When he planned not to include a major defense manufacturer to build the TFX and gave that bid to General Dynamics the CIA and their constituents were vey upset. Prouty points out that Kennedy never had any intention in building great offensive systems for war. Kennedy wanted to create a united peace in the world through his reelection by implementing domestic policies that would focus on the problems "at home." He also desired better foreign relations with the Soviet Union. Kennedy planned to bring 1000 troops home from Viet Nam by Christmas of 1963. McNamara's report on the Indonesian situation indicated that all military units in Vietnam could be home by Kennedy's due date of 1965. But major corporations having an investment in the manufacturing of war machines do not thrive during peacetime. This was a critical area for Kennedy because of his change in the national policy. Prouty shows that the President's shift prompted many businessmen to seriously think about Kennedy's position as president. This book answers the whys of the cold war period as well as the assassination motives. Prouty's book points out the wasted time in focusing on a "patsy" as the lone assasin of JFK. In all probability Oswald was a soldier carrying out commands from his superior officers not fully knowing the extent of the damage. L. Fletcher Prouty wrote this history from his personal experiences with covert operations and his involvement with government agencies. After reading this book the author leaves one feeling disturbed, yet enlightened by the rich insight he has provided. I am grateful to Colonel Prouty for his willingness to share his knowledge so that many may have an alternative view and perhaps a better understanding regarding the Cold War era.

By Jon W. Davis on October 20, 2004
A Sobering Look Into the Past of JFK and the CIA

Prouty was well postioned to tell his story as seen from inside the intelligence community. Unknown to most people Kennedy challenged the hegemony of the privately owned and controlled Federal Reserve. In the summer of 1963 Kennedy signed an executive order to create 4 billion dollars in United States Notes, in direct competion to Federal Reserve Notes. Why? The United States Notes were based on the government silver stores and their creation did not create interest payements to the world bankers and owners of the Fed. Bills in denominations of $2, $5, $10, and $20's were authorized and the $2's and $5's were printed and in circulation. The $10's and $20 were being printed wh