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Personnel is Policy

News The Deep State Recommended Links Shoot-first-ask-questions-later: Trump ME policy Hawks in Trump administration Purple revolution Sacrifice of Michael Flynn Sidelining of Bannon Rex Tillerson -- one of the better choices of Trump
Nikki Haley -- yet another neocon Trump after his Colin Powell moment Mike "we killed 200 Russians" Pompeo: yet another neocon Perma hawk James Mattis John Bolton Rosenstein key role in putsch against Trump: the appointment of the special prosecutor gambit Rex Tillerson H.R. McMaster Anti Trump Hysteria
Whitaker Mike "we killed 200 Russians" Pompeo: yet another neocon Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Cold War II Jared Kushner  Media-Military-Industrial Complex Elliott Abrams The Iron Law of Oligarchy Blowback against neoliberal globalization
Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Myth about intelligent voter  American Exceptionalism Pluralism as a myth Anti-globalization movement Doublespeak New American Militarism Bait and Switch
TTP, NAFTA and other supernational trade treates Trump economic platform Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Corporatism Nation under attack meme Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism  Donald Trump -- an unusual fighter against excesses of neoliberal globalization Immigration, wage depression and free movement of workers Deception as an art form
Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism Neocons Principal-agent problem  Zombie state and coming collapse of neoliberalism Corporatist Corruption Non-Interventionism Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc

Since his election as the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump has been fighting multiple fronts: "

With record low approval ratings in recent polls , Donald Trump has been in desperate need of a miracle.

RELATED:
How 'Anti-Trump' Liberal Media Cheered Syria Attack

On April 4th, residents of the rebel-held city Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province, Syria were attacked with chemical weapons. Trump quickly seized on this Syrian catastrophe as an opportunity.

Prior to any kind of formal investigation, The White House determined that the Assad regime was responsible for the attack, with Trump flip-flopping on a statement made less than a week beforehand by his Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley who stated that Assad's removal was "no longer a priority".

On April 5th Trump removed Stephen Bannon from the National Security Council (NSC). Bannon championed Trump's "America First" doctrine and was opposed to military action in Syria. Further, the move appeased the liberal establishment that was critical of Bannon's fascistic "alt-right" and White supremacist associations.

Thus, after neutralizing opposition from within (Steve Bannon) and instilling the appropriate local propaganda ( Sean Spicer ), a strike on Syria would align Trump with establishment conservatives and neoliberals , as well as the corporate media.

Personnel is Policy

There are over 1,200 positions in the US government (not counting judges or military appointments) that require the US Senate to confirm a candidate nominated by the president. (These are a subset of about 3,700 positions that require the president to appoint someone, but most of the positions in this broader group don't require Senate confirmation.) Often, the people appointed to these positions have a reasonable degree of day-to-day discretion in decision-making: in that sense, as those inside the DC beltway like to say, "personnel is policy.: As President Trump pushes ahead with his proposed appointments, what is the historical record of success for such appointments in the US Senate? Anne Joseph O’Connell compiles the evidence in "Staffing federal agencies: Lessons from 1981-2016," a report written for the Brookings Institution (April 17, 2017).

Here's a figure showing the success rate of presidential appointments in receiving Senate confirmation going back to the 97th Congress, during the 1981-82 at the start of President Reagan's first term.
 

I'll mostly leave it to readers to sort through the years and whether the president was facing a Senate of the same party. But a few points seem worth noting:

1) It's common for presidents to have 20% or more of their nominees not make it through Senate confirmation, especially later in presidential terms.

2) The share of presidential nominees not making it through US Senate confirmation has been rising over time, and for President Obama, 30% of his nominees didn't make it through the Senate.

3) Perhaps unexpectedly, the share of President Obama's nominees who didn't make it through the Senate was only a bit higher during his last two years in 2015-2016, when Republicans controlled the Senate, than it was during 2013-2014, when Democrats controlled the Senate. Moreover, remember that in November 2013, the Democrats running the US Senate changed the rules so that it was no longer possible to filibuster presidential appointees. But as O'Connell points out:

"Failure rates, however, increased for free-standing executive agencies, within and outside the Executive Office of the President, and for national councils. More surprisingly, confirmation delays for agency nominations increased across the board. For those successful 2013 nominations (a few of which were actually confirmed in December after the change), they took 95 days, on average. In 2014, delays ballooned to 150 days. Indeed, it was the biggest jump in any given year in an administration between any two presidents."
4) O'Connell also makes the interesting point that often about 15-20% of these theoretically appointed positions, or more, are not filled at any given time over the years. She writes that President Obama appointed fewer people, and as a result ended up leaving positions open more often.
"Interestingly, President Obama submitted fewer nominations (2828) than any of the other two-term presidents. President George W. Bush submitted the highest (3459); Presidents Reagan and Clinton each submitted around 3000 (2929 and 3014, respectively).... President Obama submitted fewer nominations than his predecessors, allowing acting officials to fill in for many important positions. President Trump could follow suit."
My own sense is that far too many low-level nominations are held up for dubious and extraneous reasons by individual or small groups of senators. For example, late in the Obama administration the board that is supposed to oversee the US Postal Service had zero members out of the nine possible appointments. The reported reason is that Senator Bernie Sanders put a hold on all possible appointees, as a show of solidarity with postal workers. If it isn't obvious to you how Sanders preventing President Obama from appointing new board members would influence the US Postal Service in the directions that Sanders would prefer, given that President Trump could presumably appoint all nine members of the board, you are not alone. 

This system of 1,200-plus presidential appointments requiring Senate approval seems dysfunctional but that doesn't alter the reality that these 1,200-plus appointments are among the most important steps a president can make.

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[Jan 19, 2021] Trump was a desperate "Murica must have the biggest dick" imperialist massively triggered by the US decline and trying to save the US Empire. Like a rabid dog that is wounded, he attacked anything that moves, including those who helped him get into power.

Jan 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Passer by , Jan 19 2021 21:57 utc | 36

Posted by: teri | Jan 19 2021 21:31 utc | 33

>>Today, the Trump administration filed an appeal against the UK decision not to extradite Assange. I must imagine that means that Trump has no intention of pardoning Assange.

Trump was a desperate "Murica must have the biggest dick" imperialist massively triggered by the US decline and trying to save the US Empire. Like a rabid dog that is wounded, he attacked anything that moves, including those who helped him get into power.

Anyone who thought that he will help the likes of Russia or Assange does not understand the psychology of elite US WASPs.

These people thought that they and the US should rule the world and that they are the cream of the cream. Anything denying them that would lead to crazed reactions, hysteria, rabid animalistic behavior, and snarling and gnashing of teeth at anything that moves.

Simply put, their decline caused them to go rabid. A rabid dog attacks anything that moves, whether friendly or not. Unfortunately for the likes of Russia and Assange.

[Jan 19, 2021] US expands sanctions against Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, targeting ships Russian firms working on vital pan-European projec

Jan 19, 2021 | www.rt.com

46 Follow RT on RT Outgoing US President Donald Trump has delivered his "parting gift" to the Moscow-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, with newly announced sanctions targeting a pipe-laying vessel and companies involved in the multinational project.

The specialist ship concerned, named, 'Fortuna,' and oil tanker 'Maksim Gorky', as well as two Russian firms, KVT-Rus and Rustanker, were blacklisted on Tuesday under CAATSA (Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act) as part of Washington's economic war on Moscow. The same legislation had been previously used by the US to target numerous Russian officials and enterprises.

Russian energy giant Gazprom warned its investors earlier on Tuesday that Nord Stream 2 could be suspended or even canceled if more US restrictions are introduced.

ALSO ON RT.COM Gazprom warns investors that Nord Stream 2 could be canceled as Trump announces more US sanctions in 'parting gift'

However, Moscow has assured its partners that it intends to complete the project despite "harsh pressure on the part of Washington," according to Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov. Reacting to the new package of sanctions on Tuesday, Peskov called them "unlawful."

Meanwhile, the EU said it is in no rush to join the Washington-led sanction war on Nord Stream 2. EU foreign affairs chief, Josep Borrell, said that the bloc is not going to resist the construction of the project.

"Because we're talking about a private project, we can't hamper the operations of those companies if the German government agrees to it," Borrell said Tuesday.

Nord Stream 2 is an offshore gas pipeline, linking Russia and Germany with aim of providing cheaper energy to Central European customers. Under the agreement between Moscow and Berlin, it was to be launched in mid-2020, but the construction has been delayed due to strong opposition from Washington.

ALSO ON RT.COM One more European firm caves to US pressure on Nord Stream 2 project – media

The US, which is hoping to sell its Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) to Europe, has hit the project with several rounds of sanctions over scarcely credible claims that it could undermine European energy security. Critics say the real intent is to force EU members to buy from American companies.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

46 Follow RT on RT Trends:

Fatback33 4 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 11:20 AM

The group that owns Washington makes the foreign policy. That policy is not for the benefit of the people.
DukeLeo Fatback33 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:06 PM
That is correct. The private banks and corporations in the US are very upset about Nord Stream - 2, as they want Europe to buy US gas at double price. Washington thus introduces additional political gangsterism in the shape of new unilateral sanctions which have no merit in international law.
noremedy 4 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 11:22 AM
Is the U.S. so stupid that they do not realize that they are isolating themselves? Russia has developed SPFS, China CIPS, together with Iran, China and Russia are further developing a payment transfer system. Once in place and functioning this system will replace the western SWIFT system for international payment transfers. It will be the death knell for the US dollar. 327 million Americans are no match for the rest of the billions of the world's population. The next decade will see the total debasement of the US monetary system and the fall from power of the decaying and crumbling in every way U.S.A.
Hanonymouse noremedy 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 01:37 PM
They don't care. They have the most advanced military in the world. Might makes right, even today.
Shelbouy 3 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 12:25 PM
Russia currently supplies over 50% of the natural gas consumed by The EU. Germany and Italy are the largest importers of Russian natural gas. What is the issue of sanctions stemming from and why are the Americans doing this? A no brainer question I suppose. It's to make more money than the other supplier, and exert political pressure and demand obedience from its lackey. Germany.
David R. Evans Shelbouy 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 01:58 PM
Russia and Iran challenge perpetual US wars for Israel's Oded Yinon Plan. Washington is Israel-controlled territory.
Jewel Gyn 4 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 11:34 AM
Sanctions work both ways. With the outgoing Trump administration desperately laying mines for Biden, we await how sleepy Joe is going to mend strayed ties with EU.
Count_Cash 4 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 11:20 AM
The US mafia state continues with the same practices. The dog is barking but the caravan is going. The counter productiveness of sanctions always shows through in the end! I am sure with active efforts of Germany and Russia against US mafia oppression that a blowback will be felt by the US over time!
Dachaguy 4 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 11:24 AM
This is an act of war against Germany. NATO should respond and act against the aggressor, America.
xyz47 Dachaguy 42 minutes ago 19 Jan, 2021 03:20 PM
NATO is run by the US...
lovethy Dachaguy 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 01:04 PM
NATO has no separate existence. It's the USA's arm of aggression, suppression and domination. Germany after WWII is an occupied country of USA. Thousand of armed personnel stationed in Germany enforcing that occupation.
Chaz Dadkhah 3 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 12:19 PM
Further proof that Trump is no friend of Russia and is in a rush to punish them while he still has power. If it was the swamp telling him to do that, like his supporters suggest, then they would have waited till their man Biden came in to power in less than 24 hours to do it. Wake up!
Mac Kio 3 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 12:34 PM
USA hates fair competition. USA ignores all WTO rules.
Russkiy09 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 01:33 PM
By whining and not completing in the face of US, Russia is losing credibility. They should not have delayed to mobilize the pipe laying vessel and other equipment for one whole year. They should have mobilized in three months and finished by now. Same happens when Jewtin does not shoot down Zio air force bombing Syria everyday. But best option should have been to tell European vassals that "if you can, take our gas. But we will charge the highest amount and sell as much as we want, exclude Russophobic Baltic countries and Poland and neo-vassal Ukraine. Pay us not in your ponzi paper money but real goods and services or precious metals or other commodities or our own currency Ruble." I so wish I could be the President of Russia. Russians deserve to be as wealthy as the Swiss or SIngapore etc., not what they are getting. Their leaders should stand up for their interest. And stop empowering the greedy merchantalist Chinese and brotherhood Erdogan.
BlackIntel 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:27 PM
America i captured by private interest; this project threatens American private companies hence the government is forced to protect capitalism. This is illegal
Ohhho 3 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 12:15 PM
That project was a mistake from the start: Russia should distance itself from the Evil empire, EU included! Stop wasting time and resources on trying to please the haters and keeping them more competitive with cheaper Russian natural gas: focus on real partners and potential allies elsewhere!
butterfly123 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 01:58 PM
I have said it before that part of the problem is at the door of the policy-makers and politicians in Russia. Pipeline project didn't spring up in the minds of politicians in Russia one morning, presumably. There should have been foresight, detailed planning, and opportunity creation for firms in Russia to acquire the skill-set and resources to advance this project. Not doing so has come to bite Russia hard and painful. Lessons learnt I hope Mr President!
jakro 4 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 11:37 AM
Good news. The swamp is getting deeper and bigger.
hermaflorissen 4 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 11:49 AM
Trump finally severed my expectations for the past 4 years. He should indeed perish.
ariadnatheo 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 03:06 PM
That is one Trump measure that will not be overturned by the Senile One. They will need to amplify the RussiaRussiaRussia barking and scratching to divert attention from their dealings with China
Neville52 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:01 PM
Its time the other nations of the world turned their backs on the US. Its too risky if you are an international corporation to suddenly have large portions of your income cancelled due to some crazy politician in the US
5th Eye 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:03 PM
From empire to the collapse of empire, US follows UK to the letters. Soon it will be irrelevant. The only thing that remains for UK is the language. Probably hotdog for the US.
VonnDuff1 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:10 PM
The USA Congress and its corrupt foreign policy dictates work to the detriment of Europe and Russia, while providing no tangible benefits to US states or citizens. So globalist demands wrapped in the stars & stripes, should be laughed at, by all freedom loving nations.

[Jan 11, 2021] "We are all Taiwanese now" stunt is Pompeo's act of petty spite for getting outfoxed in the Hong Kong colour revolution play.

Jan 11, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

LittleWhiteCabbage , Jan 11 2021 15:19 utc | 128

@84:
As sometimes said: don't sweat the small stuff.
This "We are all Taiwanese now" stunt is Pompeo's act of petty spite for getting outfoxed in the Hong Kong colour revolution play.
Empire's useful idiots were let loose to trash the hapless city, fired up by the Western propaganda machinery.
Now Beijing is putting the stock on those pompous minions with the National Security Law, and their foreign masters can't do nuffin' except squeal human rights and apply some nuisance sanctions.
The West fails because it looks at China through ideological lenses and sees Communists, who can fall back on 5000 years of statecraft to push back at interlopers.
Beijing's moves can be likened to two classic strategies.
1. Zhuge Liang fools the enemy to fire all their arrows at straw men, which become ammunition against them.
2. The Empty City strategy. Invaders take over an ostensibly abandoned city, only to be trapped inside.
Global Times is cantankerous and sometimes risible, but even a broken clock is right, twice a day.
So when it says that crossing Beijing's red line on the Taiwan issue is not in the island's best interests, the incoming BiMala administration should take note.

[Jan 02, 2021] PATRICK LAWRENCE- Trump's Foreign Policy Explained Consortiumnews

Notable quotes:
"... International Herald Tribune ..."
"... Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century ..."
"... The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News. ..."
Jan 02, 2021 | consortiumnews.com

rump the New Yorker was a stranger in a strange land, having nothing of the sensibility of the insular, self-serving swamp-dwellers in Washington and no grasp whatsoever of the power of the Deep State, whose ire he quickly aroused. Trump was a terrible statesman, too seat-of-the-pants, but what was to him dealmaking was at bottom diplomacy, an activity Washington has little time for.

Why did Trump surround himself with people who opposed him and not infrequently sabotaged those few foreign policy ideas one can approve of -- constructive ties with Russia, an end to wasteful wars, peace in Northeast Asia, sending "obsolete" NATO into the history books? What were H.R. McMaster, John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, and numerous others like them but of lesser visibility doing in his administration?

I am asked this not infrequently. My reply is simple: It is not at all clear Trump appointed these people and at least as likely they were imposed upon him by the Deep State, the permanent state, the administrative state -- whatever term makes one comfortable. Let us not forget, Trump knew nobody in Washington and had a lot of swivel chairs to fill.

We must add to this Trump's personal shortcomings. He is by all appearances shallow of mind, poorly read (to put it generously), of weak moral and ethical character, and overly concerned with appearances.

Put these various factors together and you get none other than the Trump administration's nearly illegible record on the foreign policy side.

Trump is to be credited with sticking to his guns on the big stuff: He held out for a new-détente with Russia, getting the troops out of the Middle East and Afghanistan, making a banner-headline deal with the North Koreans. He was scuttled in all cases.

Complicating the tableau, the prideful Trump time and again covered his impotence by publicly approving of what those around him did to subvert his purposes. A year ago, the record shows, Pompeo and Mark Esper (then the defense secretary) concocted plans to assassinate Qasem Soleimani, the Iranian military leader, flew to Mar–a–Lago, and presented Trump with a fait accompli -- whereupon Trump acquiesced as the administration and the press pretended it was White House policy all along.

Now We Come to Iran

Hassan Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly's General Debate, Sept. 25, 2019. (UN Photo/Cia Pak)

Pulling out of the Iran nuclear accord a year into his administration was among the most destructive moves Trump made during his four years in office. It was afterward that the shamefully inhumane "maximum pressure" campaign against Iranians was set in motion.

Trump's intention, however miscalculated, was the dealmaker's: He expected to force Tehran back to the mahogany table to get a new nuclear deal. As secretary of state, Pompeo's was to cultivate a coup or provoke a war. It was cross-purposes from then on, notably since Pompeo sabotaged the proposed encounter between Trump and Rouhani on the sidelines of the UN GA.

Now we have some context for the recent spate of Iranophobic posturing and the new military deployments in the Persian Gulf. We have just been treated to four years of a recklessly chaotic foreign policy, outcome of a war the Deep State waged against a pitifully weak president who threatened it: This is the truth of what we witness as Trump and his people fold their tents.

Trump the dealmaker a year ago now contemplates an attack on Natanz on the pretext Iran is not holding to the terms of an accord he abandoned two years ago? The only way to make sense of this is to conclude that there is no sense to be made of it.

Who ordered the B–52 sorties and the Nimitz patrols? This question promises a revealing answer. It is very highly doubtful Trump had anything to do with this, very highly likely Pompeo and his allies in hawkery got it done and told the president about it afterward.

Trump is out in a few weeks. The self-perpetuating bureaucracy that made a mess of his administration -- or a bigger mess than it may have been anyway -- will remain. It will now serve a president who is consonant with its purposes. And the eyes of most people who support him will remain wide shut.

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune , is a columnist, essayist, author and lecturer. His most recent book is Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century . Follow him on Twitter @thefloutist . His web site is Patrick Lawrence . Support his work via his Patreon site .

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


Ed Rickert , December 31, 2020 at 10:06

A first rate analysis of the inconsistent and inchoate policies of Trump as well as an acute assessment of his psychology, notably his weakness when challenged. Equal cogent is Lawrence's trepidation and concern over the policies and potential actions of the administration that is to replacement Trump. Thank you for your thoughtful work.

Pierre Guerlain , December 31, 2020 at 06:51

I would just like to have a linkto the sources for Pompeo hoodwinking Trump for the assassination of Soleimani.

Linda , December 30, 2020 at 18:42

Thank you, Patrick, for this very clear article summarizing Trump's clumsy attempts at making peace with other countries (a campaign offering to voters) and the Deep State's thwarting of those attempts. My friends and I intuitively knew the people taking roles around the Trump presidency were put there by the "system". Trump had been made into a pariah by the Press, his own Republican Party, and shrieks for 'Resistance' by Hillary Democrats in the millions across the country even before he was inaugurated. There was no 'respectable' person in Washington DC who would dare help Trump make his way in that new, strange land. Remember one of the Resistanace calls to the front? . "Become ungovernable!!!!" Tantrums, not negotiations, have become the norm

So long, any semblance of Washington DC respectability. It was nice to think you were there at one time.

Jerry Alatalo , December 30, 2020 at 16:52

Dear readers and supporters of Consortium News around the Earth,

Please pass the following important message along to the genuine war criminals United States President Donald Trump and United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson:

"Do the right & moral thing for once in your hideous, miserable & pathetic lives, – and free genuine peacemaker Julian Assange."

***

Please consider making the (1st ever in history) establishment of genuine Peace on Earth the absolute overwhelming #1 New Year's Resolution worldwide for 2021. The quality of life for future generations depends on the good actions of this generation.. Thank you.

Peace.

Patrick Lawrence , December 30, 2020 at 14:32

I thank these commentators, a couple of whom read these pieces regularly, and all others who've taken the time this year gone by to put down their thoughts. I read them always and almost always learn things from them. Blessings to all and wishes for a superb new year! -- Patrick.

Lee C Ng , December 30, 2020 at 14:02

I agree 100% with the writer. Example; if Bolton, probably pushed into the administration by the Deep State, didn't sabotage Trump's talks with the N. Koreans in Vietnam, we might've had a peaceful settlement on the Korean peninsular by now. And it's no surprise that Trump on several occasions prevented the success of US-China trade talks – it was more than likely he was forced to do so. Trump wasn't a politician, much less a statesman. But he wasn't an orgre either, despite the hostility of the corporate press towards him (and I'm no fan of Trump).

Biden will represent better the real forces behind all US administrations – the forces responsible for the over 200 wars/military interventions in its 242 years of Independence.

Jeff Harrison , December 30, 2020 at 00:19

Thank you, Patrick, you have made some sense out of a nonsensical situation. "We have just been treated to four years of a recklessly chaotic foreign policy, outcome of a war the Deep State waged against a pitifully weak president who threatened it: This is the truth of what we witness as Trump and his people fold their tents." What is it that the Brits call their Deep State? It's something like the civil service but it's actually called something else.

You called Donnie Murdo a deal maker. Donnie Murdo is a New York hustler. His "negotiation" style only works when his interlocutor must make a deal with him. If his interlocutor can walk away, he will and Donnie Murdo will go bankrupt. The real problem is that the US doesn't need a deal maker – we have people for that. The Prezzy & CEO is frequently called that, the chief executive officer. But that's an administrative title. He is also frequently called the commander in chief but that really only applies if we are at war which we should be at as little as possible. What the prezzy really is supposed to be is a leader. If Donnie Murdo were, in fact, a leader, John Bolton would have been taking a commercial flight back to the US after his little stunt in Vietnam. But he didn't. So the question isn't what could Donnie Murdo do in the next three weeks, it's what can Donnie Murdo's henchmen do in the next three weeks?

Casper , December 29, 2020 at 18:19

One of the other personal things about Donald Trump, was that he had no skill nor experience in leading and manipulating a bureaucracy. He had basically directed a family business and his personal publicity machine. To the extent that Trump hotels had thousands of employees, Trump hired managers to do that. It would appear that the Trump family business largely concentrated on making of new deals for new hotels.

Thus, Donald Trump arrived in Washington completely unprepared to be the leader of a bureaucracy and completely unskilled at being able to get it to do what he wanted it do do.

I'm not a Joe Biden fan, but he's been in Washington since the 1970's. He's seen the bureaucracy from the Senate point of view for 40 years, then got at least a view of what it was like to try to direct it from watching as Veep. I still suspect the real power lies with the military command, and has since the 1950's, but this administration is going to come in with at least some skills in terms of trying to get a government to do what it wants.

PEG , December 29, 2020 at 17:46

Perfect article – and epitaph on Trump's foreign policy record.

Anne , December 29, 2020 at 14:00

Indeed, Patrick, they (the eyes of most of the electorate) will remain shut, eyelids deftly closed Only other peoples commit barbaric, heinous war crimes, invade other cultures completely without cause, bomb other peoples to death, devastation, loss of livelihood, home water supply We, the perfecto (along with one other group now ensconced – illegally, but apparently western acceptably – in the ME) people do what we do because, well, we are perfecto and thus when we commit these barbarisms, they aren't such. And are, it would seem, totally ignorable. Wake me in the morning style .

Truly, the vast majority of those – whatever their skin hue, ethnic background – who voted for the B-H duo are comfortably off, consider themselves oh so bloody "liberal" (do they really know what that means, in fact? Or don't they care?), so to the left of Attila the Hun (which obviously doesn't mean much, Left wise) .and what the MICMATT does to other people in other societies matters not flying F .After all, aren't they usually of "swarthy" skin hue and likely not western and of that offshoot religion of the one gawd, the third go around?

The west (US, UK, FR, GY etc ) really and truly need to develop a Conscience, a real morality, humanity but I fear that that is all too late

[Dec 20, 2020] Et tu, Brutus?

Dec 20, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Dec 19 2020 13:39 utc | 40

Et tu, Brutus?

Pompeo Claims Russia is 'Pretty Clearly' Behind Major Hack Attack on US

[Nov 18, 2020] Chinese reaction on Pompeo recent "talking points" about China, issued by State Department

Nov 18, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Nov 18 2020 20:12 utc | 13

Here's China's unofficial response via this Global Times editorial . I wish I could reproduce the art at the editorial's header as it's very spot-on:

"There is no new wording in the report, which can be seen as a collection of malicious remarks from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other anti-China US politicians and senators. Right now, only a little more than 60 days are left for the current US administration. An official from the State Department explained that the report is not meant to constrain the next US administration. But the fact is the Department of State fears that the Biden administration will adjust US-China relations, and the release of the report is part of their efforts to consolidate the current extreme anti-China path.

"But most Chinese scholars who have read the report believe it is an insult to Kennan by labeling the report as Kennan-style. Kennan, then US charge d'affaires in Moscow, sent an 8,000-word telegram to the Department of State detailing his views on the Soviet Union. At least, there was no special political motive in Kennan's report. But the latest report is trying to leave a legacy for the extreme anti-China policy adopted by the Trump administration and fawning on Pompeo, which is evil in essence .

"The impulsive and capricious governing style of Donald Trump leaves sufficient room for politicians like Pompeo to give free play to their ambitions. The Department of State has become the governmental organ that has the most serious clashes with China, outperforming the CIA and the Department of Defense.

"Diplomats are supposed to be communicators, but Pompeo and his team have chilled the communication atmosphere with China. In the China direction, today's US Department of State can close its door.

"Surrounded by such deep hostility and prejudice toward China and the wild ambition of the secretary of state, how could the Department of State's Office of Policy Planning make out anything objective about China? Their observation ability, cautious attitude toward research, and sense of responsibility for history have been severely squeezed. They are just currying favor from their seniors and manipulating extreme paths, pretending to be 'thoughtful....'

"Chinese diplomatic and academic circles look down upon the Pompeo team, which lacks professionalism, and acts like a group of gangsters suddenly taking official positions. They not only have messed things up, but also hope to build their nonsense as legacy. Pompeo's choice of opportunists like Miles Yu as advisor in particular has increased Chinese people's doubts over the 'amateurism' and 'immorality' of the Pompeo team's China policy....

"The US' China policy is very much like 'drunk driving' internally while on the international stage it's like sailing against the current." [My Emphasis]

There's not much more to add aside for asking barflies to read the entire editorial.

[Nov 18, 2020] Pompeo besides being neocon and is a fanatic, crackpot 'Christian'

As any warmonger he is a fake Christian
Nov 18, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
TominAZ , Nov 18 2020 19:54 utc | 5
Pompeo, if not shamed out of politics soon, will be as bad or worse than Trump, because besides being nuts is a fanatic, crackpot 'Christian'.

Dave , Nov 18 2020 19:56 utc | 6

7-10 each sound fine but given the record of recent US leaders I wouldn't expect them to be implemented with the good of mankind in mind.
karlof1 , Nov 18 2020 19:59 utc | 7
I posted this to the Biden thread, but it belongs here.

RT op/ed analysis of Pompeo's China containment policy plan, "The Elements of the China Challenge" :

"Although it is hardly atypical of the President Trump administration, the document is significant because it represents yet another attempt by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to immortalize his Cold War confrontation between the US and China, bind the succeeding administration to it and most strikingly, institutionalize anti-Beijing ideas into American bureaucracy.

"The push against China by the Trump White House is not designed to be a passing phase, but a permanent and defining change of direction, for which this entire term in office has sought to prepare. This document aims to be a blueprint for long-term ideological struggle and a series of aspirations for maintaining hegemony, an affirmation of priority and a statement that things cannot " go back to normal ". But it makes no guarantee that the US can ever adequately understand China, or that it will succeed in its aims.

"The reference to George F. Kennan in pitching this document is appealing given the historical parallels, but it is not an exact fit and this, in turn, helps shine a light on Pompeo's own ignorance of China. It might be described in one simple sentence: China is not the Soviet Union and the ideological stakes are not quite the same." [Emphasis Original]

While I'd agree that differences in ideology exist between China and the Outlaw US Empire, it is the Empire that's constructed upon and is living the Big Lie inherent within Neoliberalism, while China continues to perfect its already very efficient system of Collective Libertarianism through its revamped Democratic Centralism. The really big fundamental difference is that China has absolutely no need to lie to its people, whereas the exact opposite's true within the Neoliberal West. After a lengthy period of public input, the government meets and eventually publishes its 5-year plan of development, which is contained within an even larger plan that's also been devised with public input and once put together is also published for public consumption. And since 2010, all plans have existed within China's UN 2030 Development plan, which is also available to the public. In a great many respects. China is a more open society than the Outlaw US Empire. Why? Because it doesn't need to lie to its citizens because it fights against the corruption that provides the reason for such lies--China has no Financial Parasitism it must mask from its citizens whereas the Outlaw US Empire is drowning in a massive sea of corruption that is killing it. Clearly, Pompeo wants that to continue.

[Nov 07, 2020] U.S. Foreign Policy is a Failure, Whoever's President

It is not a failure. It is struggle for Full Spectrum Dominance, whoever is the President.
Nov 06, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

The world recognizes what U.S. elites don't: the utter, total American failure to contain Covid-19 has damaged U.S. standing and will do so until the virus is controlled. Meanwhile, regional powers, China and Russia, cooperate and share resources, particularly vaccines. Cuba provides treatments, but the U.S. turns up its nose at Cuban medicine, even if it means more American covid patients die – this, though Cuba's pharmacopeia for this plague appears superior. China sends doctors and medicines across the globe. Russia opts for sane herd immunity – through vaccination. These countries act like adults. Not a good look for the U.S.

The Obama regime's deplorable trade and military "pivot to China," along with its sanctions against high-ranking Russians and Russian energy, financial and defense firms and the Trump regime's provocations, sanctions and insults aimed at both countries have now born fruit: There is talk of a military alliance between China and Russia. Both countries deny that such is in the offing, but the fact that it is even discussed reveals how effectively U.S. foreign policy has created enemies and united them. Even if they would have drawn closer anyway, China and Russia cannot ignore the advantage of teaming up in the face of U.S. hostility. A more idiotic approach than this hostility is scarcely imaginable. Remember, not too long ago the U.S. had little problem with its chief trading partner, China, and there were even reports some years back of actual military cooperation in Syria between the U.S. and Russia. All that is gone now, dissolved in a fog of deliberate ill-will.

So what are some of the absurd U.S. policies that have reaped this potential whirlwind? An utterly unnecessary trade war with China, with tariffs that were paid, not by China, but by importers and then passed on to American consumers. There is the Trump regime's assault on China's technology sector and its attempt to lockout Huawei from the 5G bonanza. Then there are the attacks on Russian business, like its deal to sell natural gas to Germany, attacks in which the U.S. insists Germany buy the much more expensive U.S. product to avoid becoming beholden to Russia. And of course, there are the constant mega-deals involving sales of U.S. weapons to anyone who might oppose China, Russia, North Korea or Iran.

Aggravating these economic assaults, the U.S. navy aggressively patrols the South China Sea, the Black Sea and more and more the Arctic Ocean, where Russia has already been since forever. Russia has a lengthy Siberian coast, making U.S. talk of Russia's so-called aggressive posture there just plain ludicrous. And now a NATO ally, Turkey, stirs the pot by egging on Azerbaijan in its war against Armenia, which has a defense treaty with Russia. Azerbaijan is famous for the oil fields of Baku.

Never has it been clearer that the U.S. deploys its military might to advance its corporations' interests, international law be damned. As General Smedley Butler wrote of his military service way back in the early 20 th century, he was "a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank Boys to collect revenues in," and on and on. Nothing has changed since them. It's only gotten worse. Indeed now we're in a position where it is Russia that abides by international law, while the U.S. flouts it, instead following something bogus it calls the "rules of the liberal international order."

The biggest and most consequential U.S. foreign policy failure involves nuclear weapons. Here the Trump regime has outdone all its predecessors. It withdrew the U.S. from the Intermediate Range Nuclear treaty, which banned land-based ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and certain missile launchers and which it first signed in 1987. It withdrew from the Open Skies Treaty, inked in 1992. That agreement allowed aircraft to fly over the signatories' territory to monitor missile installations.

Trump has also made clear he intends to deep-six the 2010 New Start Treaty with Russia, which limits nuclear warheads, nuclear armed bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles and missile launchers. The Trump regime has made the ridiculous, treaty-killing demand that China participate in START talks. Why should it? China has 300 nuclear missiles, on a par with countries like the U.K. The U. S. and Russian have 6000 apiece. China's response? Sure we'll join START, as soon as the U.S. cuts its arsenal to 300. Naturally that went over like a lead balloon in Washington.

And now, lastly, the white house has urged nations that signed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – which just recently received formal UN ratification – to withdraw their approval. The U.S. spouted doubletalk about the TPNW's dangers, in order to head off international law banning nuclear weapons, just as it has banned – and thus stigmatized – chemical weapons, cluster bombs and germ warfare. Doubtless the Trump regime's panic over the TPNW derives from its desire to "keep all options on the table" militarily, including the nuclear one.

What is the point here? To make the unthinkable thinkable, to make nuclear war easier to happen. The Pentagon appears delighted. Periodically military bigwigs are quoted praising new smaller nuclear missiles, developed not for deterrence, but for use. Indeed, scrapping deterrence policy – which has, insofar as it posits no first use, arguably been the only thing keeping humanity alive and the planet habitable since the dangerous dawn of the atomic era – has long been the dream of Pentagon promoters of "small, smart nuclear weapons" for "limited" nuclear wars. How these geniuses would control such a move from escalating into a wider nuclear war and planetary holocaust is never mentioned.

Before he assumed office, Trump reportedly shocked his advisors by asking, if we have nuclear weapons, why can't we use them? Only someone dangerously ignorant or profoundly lacking in basic human morality could ask such a question. Only someone eager to ditch the human-species-saving policy of no-first-strike nuclear deterrence but willing to risk nuclear extinction could flirt with such madness. Later in his presidency, Trump asserted that he could end the war in Afghanistan easily if he wanted, hinting that he meant nukes, but that he did not incline toward murdering 10 million people. Well, thank God for this shred of humanity.

Some assume a Biden presidency would chart a different course, but they may be counting their chickens before they're hatched. Biden has made very hostile noises about Russia, China and North Korea and has surrounded himself with neo-con hawks. He has so far made no promise to return to the nuclear negotiating table for anything other than START. Would he try to resuscitate the INF and Open Skies treaties? Would he end Trump regime blather aimed at scotching TPNW? Maybe. Or he may have imbibed so much anti-Russia and anti-China poison that he, like Trump, sees the absence of treaties as a green light for nuclear aggression.

Biden's official Foreign Policy Plan says that he regards the purpose of nuclear weapons as deterrence, thus endorsing this at best very flawed compromise for survival. That he, apparently unlike Trump, abjures a nuclear first strike is a huge relief, but how long will it last? The Pentagon has been very persuasive over many decades of center-right rule and there is no reason to assume that it will suddenly adopt a hands-off policy with Biden just because he favors nuclear deterrence. Some military-industrial-complex sachems regard the no-first-use principle as a mistake. Also, remember, Obama okayed a trillion-dollar nuclear arms upgrade. Biden was his vp. What about that? This is no minor, petty concern. Russia is armed to the teeth with supersonic nuclear weapons and China has concluded from U.S. belligerence that it better arm up too. We are in dangerous waters here. Let's hope they don't become radioactive.

Eve Ottenberg is a novelist and journalist. Her latest book is Birdbrain . She can be reached at her website . New from
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[Nov 06, 2020] Is Mike Pompeo the Worst Secretary of State in History by DOUG BANDOW

Nov 05, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Home / Articles / Realism & Restraint / Is Mike Pompeo The Worst Secretary Of State In History?

With his laughable attempts at diplomacy and general hawkishness, he's certainly in the runnings for the honor. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at a press conference at the State Department in Washington, DC, on October 21, 2020. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) |

12:01 AM

Is Mike Pompeo the worst secretary of state ever? He's been awful, no doubt. However, there are 69 other contenders for that title.

Among modern secretaries, Colin Powell was misused by George W. Bush, who defrauded the country in selling the tragically misbegotten invasion of Iraq. Madeleine Albright, her mindset permanently stuck in Adolf Hitler's world, stands out for her enthusiastic embrace of war for others to fight. Alexander Haig achieved little beyond claiming to be in charge in the wake of the assassination attempt against Ronald Reagan. William Rogers was overshadowed by National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger, who eventually took the latter's position.

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13045197114175078?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13045197114175078-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theamericanconservative.com&rid=www.theamericanconservative.com&width=838

Going back a bit further, Robert Lansing helped maneuver the U.S. into World War I, one of the dumbest, most counterproductive moves in American history. The earlier one looks, the more circumstances diverge, making any comparative judgment more difficult.

Still, about the best that can be said of Pompeo is that he has not gotten America into any new wars, despite his best efforts. Most often he has played the anti-diplomat, determined to insult, hector, demand, insist, dictate, threaten, harangue, and impose. But never persuade. The results speak for themselves: the administration's record lacks any notable successes that benefit the U.S, the supposed purpose of an "America First" foreign policy. There was a bit of good, a lot of bad, and some real ugly.

A solid good was President Donald Trump's most important diplomatic initiative: his opening with North Korea. Pompeo took over in March 2018, with the first summit already planned. That initiative faltered the following year at the second summit in Hanoi, which was Pompeo's responsibility.

Alas, the secretary lost points by apparently doing nothing to disabuse the president of the belief that Pyongyang was prepared to turn over its entire arsenal with the hope that Washington would look favorably upon its future aspirations. That was never going to happen, especially after the allied double-cross of Libya, which yielded its missiles and nascent nuclear program, and after Trump dumped the nuclear accord with Iran, demanding that Tehran abjectly surrender its independent foreign policy. The North can easily imagine similar mistreatment, by this or a future administration.

me title=

00:36 / 00:59

Washington has also pursued better relations with India, which is a positive. As elsewhere, however, concern about human rights violations is almost entirely absent from Pompeo's portfolio unless it operates as a weapon against an adversary. The secretary cheerfully holds the coat of allied dictators as they jail, torture, and murder. Such is the case with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has abetted if not aided rising religious persecution.

The Abrahamic accords between Israel and Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates were a tepid good. Improved relations between Arabs and Israelis are useful, though strengthening two authoritarian regimes is not. The Bahraini Sunni monarchy sits atop a Shia population with the backing of the Saudi military, while the Emirates, nicknamed "Little Sparta," by the Pentagon -- as if that's a compliment -- has used its military to commit murder and mayhem against Yemen in a war of political aggression and economic exploitation. The related negotiations with Sudan have been worse, using an unjust terrorist state designation to force recognition of Israel, which will undermine the democracy that has yet to be fully born after last year's popular revolution.

Examples of bad are far more common. For example, Pompeo has worked to thwart the president's evident desire to exit "endless wars." Nineteen years of nation-building in Afghanistan is enough. The U.S. does not belong in the Syrian civil war. Iraq and its neighbors are capable of and should deal with whatever remains of the Islamic State.

The secretary has played an equally malign role in Europe, undercutting his boss -- and, not incidentally, the American people -- by working to spend more on, and place more troops in, the continent, even as Trump pushed the Europeans to do more on their own defense. This is an inane strategy: Washington should cut defense welfare to states with the capability to protect themselves and allow them to decide how to proceed.

Much the same policy has played out with America's relationship to South Korea. Japan has escaped most of that pressure. Yet consider the defensive capabilities against China for Japan and the region if Tokyo spent not 1 percent of GDP on its military, but 2 or 3 percent. And why shouldn't it do so, instead of expecting Americans to do the job for it?

The secretary turned human rights into a political weapon, sacrificing any credibility on the issue. He tears up while criticizing Iran but kowtows to the Saudi royals, who are far more brutal killers. He is horrified by the crimes committed by Venezuela's Maduro regime, but spreads love to Egypt's Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who has punished the slightest criticism, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is turning Turkey into an autocracy. Pompeo actually introduced a new initiative in support of unalienable rights with the support of countries like Saudi Arabia and other assorted tyrannies.

Then there is the ugly. Using sanctions to try starve the people of Syria and Venezuela in order to force their governments to yield to America is not just immoral but ineffective. Both regimes have survived much and are not inclined to surrender.

At least Venezuela is a matter of geographic interest to Washington. Syria has never mattered to U.S. security and Pompeo should have backed the president's effort to bring home all American troops. Today, U.S. and Russian troops are clashing there over the administration's bizarre and illegal seizure of Syrian oilfields. Also inexplicable is reinforcing six decades of failure by tightening sanctions on Cuba; the private business community there has suffered badly as a result, reducing what was becoming a sharp challenge to the political authorities during the waning days of the Obama administration.

The fixation on Iran, which appears to come more from Pompeo than Trump, can best be explained as turning Mideast policy over to Saudi Arabia and Israel. The result of abandoning the nuclear accord has been nothing short of catastrophic. The Iranians have refused to negotiate. Instead they ramped up nuclear reprocessing, interfered with Gulf tanker traffic, attacked Saudi oil facilities, and attacked U.S. bases and the embassy in Iraq. Far from reestablishing deterrence, as claimed, the secretary was left to whimper and whine that he might have to close America's embassy in Baghdad.

Pompeo has taken the lead in the administration's shameful policy toward Saudi Arabia, aiding it in its war of aggression against impoverished Yemen. That nation has been at war within and without for most of its existence. Riyadh decided to invade to restore a puppet regime to power, turning typical internal discord into a sectarian war in which Tehran was able to bleed the ineffective Saudi armed forces, which were armed and aided by the Pentagon. In this way, the secretary has made the American population into accomplices to war crimes.

Even more foolish geopolitically, Pompeo has matched Albright's retreat to World War II clichés with a stroll back into the Cold War. Russia is an unpleasant actor but doesn't threaten American security. Europe is capable of defending itself. Alas, constantly piling on sanctions without providing an off-ramp ensures continued Russian hostility and a tilt toward China in that burgeoning struggle. How does this make any sense for America?

Finally, Pompeo has been his blundering, maladroit, offensive self in seeking to launch an American-led campaign against the People's Republic of China. Beijing poses a serious challenge, but not primarily a security issue. No one believes that the PRC plans to launch an armada across the Pacific to conquer Hawaii. The issue is Washington's willingness to pay the cost to forever treat Asia-Pacific waters as an American lake.

As for other issues, the U.S. needs work in concert with friendly powers. Pompeo has done his best to drive away potential partners: for instance, the G-7 refused his demand to call COVID-19 the Wuhan Virus and even allies such as South Korea have remained far more measured in their relations with China, determined not to turn their large neighbor into an enemy. In what promises to be a long and complicated relationship, genuine and serious diplomacy, which obviously lies beyond Pompeo's limited capabilities, is required.

On the personal side, he appears to have abused his position for both personal and ideological advantage. For example, so committed to showing his fealty to Riyadh, he declared an "emergency" to thwart congressional opposition and rush munitions to the Saudi military so it could kill more Yemeni civilians. He then sought to impede a departmental investigation, pressuring and firing the inspector general. What prompted his determination to so avidly assist a ruler who is ostentatiously vile, reckless, and even criminal is one of the greatest mysteries of his tenure.

Tragically, Pompeo proved to be one of the greatest obstacles to the best of the president's international agenda. In a speech delivered last year in which he claimed to be implementing the Founders' foreign policy vision, he denigrated diplomacy and its successful fruits, such as opening up both Cuba and Iran to potentially corrosive outside influences, which is the most likely strategy to induce change over the long term. This approach would be more in sync with Trump's desire to deal with countries such as North Korea and Iran.

Indeed, left to his own devices, Pompeo would likely have America at war with Iran and perhaps beyond -- Venezuela, China, and/or Russia. His belligerence serves the American people badly. As does his consistent campaign, conscious or not, to thwart the president's brave but incompetent attempts to escape largely braindead practices enforced by what Ben Rhodes termed "the Blob," the foreign policy establishment that dominates the field.

The secretary has forgotten that his job is not to push his personal ideological line. Rather, it is to advance the interests of the American people, with a special emphasis on defending their lives, territory, liberties, constitutional system, and prosperity. In this, he has failed consistently. Maybe he isn't the worst secretary of state in history. But surely he is one of the worst.

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. A former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan, he is the author of Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire .

[Nov 06, 2020] Did the Iraq War Cause the Great Recession?'

Highly recommended!
Iran war might be too much for the US economy
Apr 07, 2013 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile ,

April 7, 2013 at 12:46 am
Western hypocrisy revealed 10 years after the event in today's Independent: "Tony Blair and Iraq: The damning evidence" . And they go on and on about those wicked, evil Russians and their tyrannical leader causing death and destruction Syria by their "support" of the Assad government whilst the West arms the "freedom fighters" there.

[Oct 21, 2020] How Trump Got Played By The Military-Industrial Complex by Akbar Shahid Ahmed

Highly recommended!
Tramp was essentially the President from military industrial complex and Israel lobby. So he was not played. That's naive. He followed the instructions.
Oct 21, 2020 | www.huffpost.com

On March 20, 2018, President Donald Trump sat beside Saudi crown prince Muhammed bin Salman at the White House and lifted a giant map that said Saudi weapons purchases would support jobs in "key" states -- including Pennsylvania, Michigan, Florida and Ohio, all of which were crucial to Trump's 2016 election victory .

"Saudi Arabia has been a very great friend and a big purchaser of equipment but if you look, in terms of dollars, $3 billion, $533 million, $525 million -- that's peanuts for you. You should have increased it," Trump said to the prince, who was (and still is) overseeing a military campaign in Yemen that has deployed U.S. weaponry to commit scores of alleged war crimes.

Trump has used his job as commander-in-chief to be America's arms-dealer-in-chief in a way no other president has since Dwight Eisenhower, as he prepared to leave the presidency, warned in early 1961 of the military-industrial complex's political influence. Trump's posture makes sense personally ― this is a man who regularly fantasizes about violence, usually toward foreigners ― and he and his advisers see it as politically useful, too. The president has repeatedly appeared at weapons production facilities in swing states, promoted the head of Lockheed Martin using White House resources, appointed defense industry employees to top government jobs in an unprecedented way and expanded the Pentagon's budget to near-historic highs ― a guarantee of future income for companies like Lockheed and Boeing.

Trump is "on steroids in terms of promoting arms sales for his own political benefit," said William Hartung, a scholar at the Center for International Policy who has tracked the defense industry for decades. "It's a targeted strategy to get benefits from workers in key states."

In courting the billion-dollar industry, Trump has trampled on moral considerations about how buyers like the Saudis misuse American weapons, ethical concerns about conflicts of interest and even part of his own political message, the deceptive claim that he is a peace candidate. He justifies his policy by citing job growth, but data from Hartung , a prominent analyst, shows he exaggerates the impact. And Trump has made clear that a major motivation for his defense strategy is the possible electoral benefit it could have.

Next month's election will show if the bargain was worth it. As of now, it looks like Trump's bet didn't pay off ― for him, at least. Campaign contribution records, analysts in swing states and polls suggest arms dealers have given the president no significant political boost. The defense contractors, meanwhile, are expected to continue getting richer, as they have in a dramatic way under Trump.

Playing Corporate Favorites

Trump has thrice chosen the person who decides how the Defense Department spends its gigantic budget. Each time, he has tapped someone from a business that wants those Pentagon dollars. Mark Esper, the current defense secretary, worked for Raytheon; his predecessor, Pat Shanahan, for Boeing; and Trump's first appointee, Jim Mattis, for General Dynamics, which reappointed him to its board soon after he left the administration.

Of the senior officials serving under Esper, almost half have connections to military contractors, per the Project on Government Oversight. The administration is now rapidly trying to fill more Pentagon jobs under the guidance of a former Trump campaign worker, Foreign Policy magazine recently revealed ― prioritizing political reasons and loyalty to Trump in choosing people who could help craft policy even under a Joe Biden presidency.

Such personnel choices are hugely important for defense companies' profit margins and risk creating corruption or the impression of it. Watchdog groups argue Trump's handling of the hiring process is more evidence that lawmakers and future presidents must institute rules to limit the reach of military contractors and other special interests.

"Given the hundreds of conflicts of interest flouting the rule of law in the Trump administration , certainly these issues have gotten that much more attention and are that much more salient now than they were four years ago," said Aaron Scherb, the director of legislative affairs at Common Cause, a nonpartisan good-government group.

The theoretical dangers of Trump's approach became a reality last year, when a former employee for the weapons producer Raytheon used his job at the State Department to advocate for a rare emergency declaration allowing the Saudis and their partner the United Arab Emirates to buy $8 billion in arms ― including $2 billion in Raytheon products ― despite congressional objections. As other department employees warned that Saudi Arabia was defying U.S. pressure to behave less brutally in Yemen, former lobbyist Charles Faulkner led a unit that urged Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to give the kingdom more weapons. Pompeo pushed out Faulkner soon afterward, and earlier this year, the State Department's inspector general criticized the process behind the emergency declaration for the arms.

Red Crescent medics walk next to bags containing the bodies of victims of Saudi-linked airstrikes on a Houthi detention cente MOHAMED AL-SAYAGHI / REUTERS
Red Crescent medics walk next to bags containing the bodies of victims of Saudi-linked airstrikes on a Houthi detention center in Yemen on Sept. 1, 2019. The Saudis military campaign in Yemen has relied on U.S. weaponry to commit scores of alleged war crimes.

Even Trump administration officials not clearly connected to the defense industry have shown an interest in moves that benefit it. In 2017, White House economic advisor Peter Navarro pressured Republican lawmakers to permit exports to Saudi Arabia and Jared Kushner, the president's counselor and son-in-law, personally spoke with Lockheed Martin's chief to iron out a sale to the kingdom, The New York Times found.

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When Congress gave the Pentagon $1 billion to develop medical supplies as part of this year's coronavirus relief package, most of the money went to defense contractors for projects like jet engine parts instead, a Washington Post investigation showed .

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"It's a very close relationship and there's no kind of sense that they're supposed to be regulating these people," Hartung said. "It's more like they're allies, standing shoulder to shoulder."

Seeking Payback

In June 2019, Lockheed Martin announced that it would close a facility that manufactures helicopters in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, and employs more than 450 people. Days later, Trump tweeted that he had asked the company's then-chief executive, Marillyn Hewson, to keep the plant open. And by July 10, Lockheed said it would do so ― attributing the decision to Trump.

The president has frequently claimed credit for jobs in the defense industry, highlighting the impact on manufacturing in swing states rather than employees like Washington lobbyists, whose numbers have also grown as he has expanded the Pentagon's budget. Lockheed has helped him in his messaging: In one instance in Wisconsin, Hewson announced she was adding at least 45 new positions at a plant directly after Trump spoke there, saying his tax cuts for corporations made that possible.

Trump is pursuing a strategy that the arms industry uses to insulate itself from political criticism. "They've reached their tentacles into every state and many congressional districts," Scherb of Common Cause said. That makes it hard for elected officials to question their operations or Pentagon spending generally without looking like they are harming their local economy.

Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, a Democrat who represents Coatesville, welcomed Lockheed's change of course, though she warned, "This decision is a temporary reprieve. I am concerned that Lockheed Martin and [its subsidiary] Sikorsky are playing politics with the livelihoods of people in my community."

The political benefit for Trump, though, remains in question, given that as president he has a broad set of responsibilities and is judged in different ways.

"Do I think it's important to keep jobs? Absolutely," said Marcel Groen, a former Pennsylvania Democratic party chair. "And I think we need to thank the congresswoman and thank the president for it. But it doesn't change my views and I don't think it changes most people's in terms of the state of the nation."

With polls showing that Trump's disastrous response to the health pandemic dominates voters' thoughts and Biden sustaining a lead in surveys of most swing states , his argument on defense industry jobs seems like a minor factor in this election.

Hartung of the Center for International Policy drew a parallel to President George H.W. Bush, who during his 1992 reelection campaign promoted plans for Taiwan and Saudi Arabia to purchase fighter jets produced in Missouri and Texas. Bush announced the decisions at events at the General Dynamics facility in Fort Worth, Texas, and the McDonnell Douglas plant in St. Louis that made the planes. That November, as Bill Clinton defeated him, he lost Missouri by the highest margin of any Republican in almost 30 years and won Texas by a slimmer margin than had become the norm for a GOP presidential candidate.

President Donald Trump greets then-Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson at the Derco Aerospace Inc. plant in Milwaukee on July MANDEL NGAN VIA GETTY IMAGES
President Donald Trump greets then-Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson at the Derco Aerospace Inc. plant in Milwaukee on July 12, 2019. Trump does not appear to be winning his political bet that increased defense spending would help his political fortunes.

Checking The Receipts

The defense industry can't control whether voters buy Trump's arguments about his relationship with it. But it could, if it wanted to, try to help him politically in a more direct way: by donating to his reelection campaign and allied efforts.

Yet arms manufacturers aren't reciprocating Trump's affection. A HuffPost review of Federal Election Commission records showed that top figures and groups at major industry organizations like the National Defense Industrial Association and the Aerospace Industries Association and at Lockheed, Trump's favorite defense firm, are donating this cycle much as they normally do: giving to both sides of the political aisle, with a slight preference to the party currently wielding the most power, which for now is Republicans. (The few notable exceptions include the chairman of the NDIA's board, Arnold Punaro, who has given more than $58,000 to Trump and others in the GOP.)

Data from the Center for Responsive Politics shows that's the case for contributions from the next three biggest groups of defense industry donors after Lockheed's employees.

https://schema.org/WPAdBlock

One smaller defense company, AshBritt Environmental, did donate $500,000 to a political action committee supporting Trump ― prompting a complaint from the Campaign Legal Center, which noted that businesses that take federal dollars are not allowed to make campaign contributions. Its founder told ProPublica he meant to make a personal donation.

For weapons producers, backing both parties makes sense. The military budget will have increased 29% under Trump by the end of the current fiscal year, per the White House Office of Management and Budget. Biden has said he doesn't see cuts as "inevitable" if he is elected, and his circle of advisers includes many from the national security world who have worked closely with ― and in many cases worked for ― the defense industry.

And arms manufacturers are "busy pursuing their own interests" in other ways, like trying to get a piece of additional government stimulus legislation, Hartung said ― an effort that's underway as the Pentagon's inspector general investigates how defense contractors got so much of the first coronavirus relief package.

Meanwhile, defense contractors continue to have an outsize effect on the way policies are designed in Washington through less political means. A recent report from the Center for International Policy found that such companies have given at least $1 billion to the nation's most influential think tanks since 2014 ― potentially spending taxpayer money to influence public opinion. They have also found less obvious ways to maintain support from powerful people, like running the databases that many congressional offices use to connect with constituents, Scherb of Common Cause said.

"This goes into a much bigger systemic issue about big money in politics and the role of corporations versus the role of Americans," Scherb said.

Given its reach, the defense industry has little reason to appear overtly partisan. Instead, it's projecting confidence despite the generally dreary state of the global economy: Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun has said he expects similar approaches from either winner of the election, arguing even greater Democratic control and the rise of less conventional lawmakers isn't a huge concern.

In short, whoever is in the White House, arms dealers tend to do just fine.

[Oct 20, 2020] George Koo linked to a Youtube video of Mike Pompeous and the Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic at a press conference in Dubrovnik. Watch how Plenkovic deals with Pompeosity!

Oct 20, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

MARK CHAPMAN October 19, 2020 at 4:41 pm

YES!! This.

https://asiatimes.com/2020/10/pompeos-record-a-litany-of-failure/

We all like to have our worldview affirmed by a corroborating voice, even if that, too, is an opinion. This, for me, was like lying back in a hot bath.

I have said as far back as I can remember, during Pompeo's tenure as Giant Blasphemous Cream Puff of State, that the damage he was doing to the relationship between America and her allies was significant and perhaps irreparable. The article, if accurate, reveals a China which is quite a bit like Russia in its official treatment of minorities – subordinate ethnicities are recognized as distinct societies if their population meets a reasonable threshold, and where an ethnic population is regionally dominant, an autonomous government is established to facilitate local governance by people of the same ethnic background.

I was not aware that during the term of China's one-child policy – a dreadful time which led to the abortion or other more-horrible disposals of unwanted baby girls – mothers among ethnic minorities were permitted two or even three children.

The article is obviously written in defense of China, but the authors seem to have substantiated their claims satisfactorily where such material is offered. Unsubstantiated opinion is often a close match with those offered by commenters on this forum.

JEN October 19, 2020 at 5:51 pm

George Koo linked to a Youtube video of Mike Pompeous and the Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic at a press conference in Dubrovnik. Watch how Plenkovic deals with Pompeosity!

https://www.youtube.com/embed/0SakMXPwTtk?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en&autohide=2&wmode=transparent

I swear I saw the Pompous One deflate considerably after Plenkovic's speech about China's BRI initiative. Good thing the wind was up and active otherwise the smell would have been horrific and everyone would have been knocked unconscious.

PATIENT OBSERVER October 19, 2020 at 4:51 pm

Mike Pompeo, otherwise known as the international man of catastrophe,

You knew it was going to be good from the first sentence.


[Oct 14, 2020] The Vatican's calculated snub of Mike Pompeo exposes the limits of his evangelical, ideological, China-hating foreign policy -- RT Op-ed

Oct 14, 2020 | www.rt.com

The Vatican's calculated snub of Mike Pompeo exposes the limits of his evangelical, ideological, China-hating foreign policy 30 Sep, 2020 16:19 Get short URL The Vatican's calculated snub of Mike Pompeo exposes the limits of his evangelical, ideological, China-hating foreign policy FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo © Getty Images / Alex Wong 182 1 Follow RT on RT

Tom Fowdy is a British writer and analyst of politics and international relations with a primary focus on East Asia.

His Holiness declining to meet the US secretary of state when he visited the Vatican on his European tour further proves that his misguided America-first chauvinism is alienating more nations than it's winning as friends.

Pompeo, everyone's favourite Cold Warrior and American chauvinist, is on a European tour . Visiting Greece, Italy, Croatia, and notably, the Vatican, the secretary of state is on a roll to win support for American security and energy interests across the region. But he wasn't welcomed by all. Attending the Holy See today, the US' 'top diplomat' found himself snubbed by the Pope as he rolled into town peddling his vitriolic anti-China agenda, and demanding the Church take on Beijing and refuse to renew a deal that gives it a say in the appointment of bishops within that country. Pope Francis wasn't too impressed and refused to meet him accordingly.

The snub is significant, because it reflects more broadly how Pompeo's highly aggressive and evangelical foreign policy agenda is being received around the world. In short, it's a shambles. Rather than respectfully and constructively engage with the interests of other countries, on his watch, the State Department does nothing but pressure other nations. And it does this while parroting the clichéd talking points of American exceptionalism, hysterical anti-Communism, and a refusal to take into account the interests and practicalities faced by its partners. The Vatican has its differences with Beijing, but how would embarking on a collision course help it or the cause of Catholics in China? It wouldn't.

ALSO ON RT.COM US' failure to recognize Cuba's medical efforts during Covid is due to an innate fear of linking socialism with anything positive

Pompeo is repeatedly described by major US newspapers, the Washington Post among them, as " the worst secretary of state in American history," and it's no surprise why. Diplomacy requires the skills of understanding, prudence, compromise, calibration, and negotiation. The current man in charge of America's relations with the rest of the world has none of those in his armoury – only a one-sided diatribe about how every nation Washington holds a grudge against is evil and a threat to the world, and the US' own political system is far superior (as demonstrated by last night's presidential debate, perhaps ?). Pompeo repeatedly positions himself as speaking on behalf of other nations' people against their governments, while pushing a policy that amounts to little more than bullying.

A look at Pompeo and the State Department's Twitter feed shows it to be a unilateral, repetitive loop of the following topics: 'The Chinese Communist Party is evil and a threat to the world', 'Iran is an evil terrorist state', American values are the best', 'We stand with the people of X', and so on, ad nauseam. To describe it as hubris would be generous, and, of course, it does nothing to support the equally inadequate foreign policy of the United States in practice. This is further distorted by the unilateralist and anti-global governance politics of Donald Trump, which place emphasis only on the projection of power to force other countries into capitulating to American demands.

Against such a backdrop, it's no surprise that a toxic mixture of foreign policymaking has led to other countries not being willing to take notice of Washington. It's winning neither hearts nor minds, and it's this that has set the stage for not only the Vatican snub, but the largely fruitless outcomes of his European adventures. Pompeo's visit to Greece produced no meaningful agreements or outcomes of note , and he failed to get Athens to publicly commit to any anti-China measures or even statements. A similar non-result was achieved from his visit to the Czech Republic a month or so ago – the Czech prime minister even came out and played down Pompeo's comments , after he engaged in a spree of anti-Beijing vitriol.

So, what's at stake for the Vatican? Undoubtedly, religion is a sensitive topic in mainland China. The Chinese state sees unfettered religion as a threat to social stability, or as a potential vehicle for imperialism against the country, and thus has aimed to strongly regulate it under terms and conditions set by the state.

ALSO ON RT.COM Oxford University's 'scholarly' RT hit piece has no room for the mundane reality of how the world's news organisations work

This has caused tensions with the Roman Catholic Church, which maintains a strict ecclesiastical hierarchy, answering to the Vatican and not national governments. With China being the world's most populous country, having among its vast population nine million Catholics, this means the Church has had to negotiate and compromise with the Beijing government to maintain its influence and control, and to secure the rights of its members to worship. This has resulted in a 'deal' whereby the Vatican can have a say in the appointment of its bishops in China, rather than the Church being completely subordinate to the government.

But Pompeo doesn't care about these sensitivities – he wants one thing: Cold War. He wants unbridled, unrestrained, and evangelical condemnation of China and, as noted above, is utilizing his 'diplomatic visits' to push that demand. However, building a foreign policy on preaching America First unilateralism, chauvinism, and zero compromise not surprisingly has its limitations. As a result, Pompeo is finding himself isolated and ignored in more than a few areas. Thus it was that, rather than completely squandering the Vatican's interests in diplomacy with China, Pope Francis simply refused to meet him. For someone as fanatically religious and pious as Pompeo, that's a pretty damning indictment of the incompetence within the US State Department right now.

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[Sep 28, 2020] No wonder Pompey and his friend Jeffries won't give up on Syria! No wonder

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Virtually every aspect of the Syrian opposition was cultivated and marketed by Western government-backed public relations firms, from their political narratives to their branding, from what they said to where they said it. ..."
Sep 28, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"Western government-funded intelligence cutouts trained Syrian opposition leaders, planted stories in media outlets from BBC to Al Jazeera, and ran a cadre of journalists. A trove of leaked documents exposes the propaganda network."

"Leaked documents show how UK government contractors developed an advanced infrastructure of propaganda to stimulate support in the West for Syria's political and armed opposition.

Virtually every aspect of the Syrian opposition was cultivated and marketed by Western government-backed public relations firms, from their political narratives to their branding, from what they said to where they said it.

The leaked files reveal how Western intelligence cutouts played the media like a fiddle, carefully crafting English- and Arabic-language media coverage of the war on Syria to churn out a constant stream of pro-opposition coverage.

US and European contractors trained and advised Syrian opposition leaders at all levels, from young media activists to the heads of the parallel government-in-exile . These firms also organized interviews for Syrian opposition leaders on mainstream outlets such as BBC and the UK's Channel 4.

More than half of the stringers used by Al Jazeera in Syria were trained in a joint US-UK government program called Basma, which produced hundreds of Syrian opposition media activists.

Western government PR firms not only influenced the way the media covered Syria, but as the leaked documents reveal, they produced their own propagandistic pseudo-news for broadcast on major TV networks in the Middle East, including BBC Arabic, Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, and Orient TV .

These UK-funded firms functioned as full-time PR flacks for the extremist-dominated Syrian armed opposition. One contractor, called InCoStrat, said it was in constant contact with a network of more than 1,600 international journalists and "influencers," and used them to push pro-opposition talking points.

Another Western government contractor, ARK, crafted a strategy to "re-brand" Syria's Salafi-jihadist armed opposition by "softening its image ." ARK boasted that it provided opposition propaganda that "aired almost every day on" major Arabic-language TV networks."

"The Western contractor ARK was a central force in launching the White Helmets operation.

The leaked documents show ARK ran the Twitter and Facebook pages of Syria Civil Defense, known more commonly as the White Helmets.

ARK took credit for developing "an internationally-focused communications campaign designed to raise global awareness of the (White Helmets) teams and their life saving work."

ARK also facilitated communications between the White Helmets and The Syria Campaign , a PR firm run out of London and New York that helped popularize the White Helmets in the United States.

It was apparently "following subsequent discussions with ARK and the teams" that The Syria Campaign "selected civil defence to front its campaign to keep Syria in the news," the firm wrote in a report for the UK Foreign Office." thegreyzone

--------------

Using really basic intelligence analytic tools; Occam's Razor, Walks like a duck, Smileyesque back azimuth's, etc. it has been clear that the UK government has been deeply involved in sponsoring and influencing the Syrian/ jihadi opposition in that miserable country. The wide spread British Old Boys network of aspirants to the tradition of imperial manipulation has been visible just below the surface if you had eyes to look and a brain to think.

A lot of the money for this folly came right out of USAID.

pl

https://thegrayzone.com/2020/09/23/syria-leaks-uk-contractors-opposition-media/


ISL , 27 September 2020 at 04:03 PM

Dear Colonel agreed.

I object to the line in the article that they "played the media like a fiddle" - as it implies the mainstream media is a victim as opposed to willing accomplice.

The American public very strongly told Obama they didn't want another invasion and war in the middle east (red lines or not) so rather ineffective propaganda.

Moreover, I suspect that given the US public inattention to overseas events that do not involve much US blood (in places they can not find on a map). Today's mess would be where more or less the same if the entire IO had never happened - though maybe with less cynicism of US/UK gov'ts and media.

OTH, it is curious how well the British Old Boys network (and US) aligns with Israeli interests (and runs counter to US or British interests). Maybe grayzone will investigate that (impressive) IO campaign. I think a small country in the middle east played US and UK elites like a fiddle.

The Twisted Genius , 27 September 2020 at 04:48 PM

I've only given this article a cursory reading so far and it is clear that the Brits are going balls to the wall on the PSYOPS/perception management front. This campaign flows naturally from the strong material support for the Syrian "moderate rebels" provided by the US, the Brits and probably others for years. We may still be blowing up IS jihadis, but we're also supporting our own brand of jihadis around Al-Tanf, giving free hand to Erdogan's jihadis along the Turkish-Syrian border and doing our best to stymie R+6 efforts to crush the remaining jihadis and unite Syria.

The article focuses on the contractors role in PSYOP. I'm not sure if it mentions the British government's role in this. The GCHQ's Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG) probably manages most of those contractors. The British Army also has the 77th Brigade. This brigade's slogan is: "behavioural change is our unique selling point". Gordon MacMillan, a reserve officer with the 77th Brigade, is now Twitter's head of editorial operations for the Middle East.
The 77th was formed in 2015 and subsumed the 15th Psychological Operations Group which was headed by Steve Tathan, who went on to head the defence division of SCL, the now defunct parent of Cambridge Analytica. I'm sure the 77th is capable of managing some of those contractors, as well. I wouldn't be surprised if quite a few of contractors were also reservists in the 77th.

I bet we're not letting the Brits have all the fun. The CIA Special Activities Center (formerly SAD) includes the Political Action Group for PSYOP, economic warfare and cyberwarfare. That dovetails nicely with what CENTCOM is doing in Syria. I knew some of those guys a while back. I remember scaring them with some of my own anarchist hacker rantings when I was penetrating those hackers.

Our Army has fours PSYOP groups brigade-sized), two active and 2 reserve. I would think they have advanced their methodology since I took the course at Bragg. For a few years, they were called military information support operations (MISO) groups rather than PSYOP groups. They have since reverted to their PSYOP name although their activities are referred to as MISO. I don't know what the difference is.

Babak makkinejad , 27 September 2020 at 05:10 PM

ISL

No, no, no.

There is no such small country as you describe in the Near East.

There is an self-disciplined proxy force masquerading as a state which is mostly funded by the United States to further the religious policies of the WASP Culture Continent.

It is no accident that in this context, the names of US and UK occur often in the same sentences; one declared a crusade to wrestle control of Plastine from Muslims, and the otber one carried out that crusade and escalated it.

That is also the reason that US cannot end the war over Palestine or leave Islamdom

(Oil, Geostrategic considerations, arms sales, Realpolitik are just pseudo-rationications to obscure the real war.)

Diana Croissant , 28 September 2020 at 07:45 AM

Where is Candide (aka Voltaire) when we need him?

BABAK MAKKINEJAD , 28 September 2020 at 09:14 AM

Ishmael Zechariah

How WASP-dom has arrived in this crusade is not, in my opinion, as significant as that it has been waging it for more than a hundred years.

fakebot , 28 September 2020 at 10:43 AM

"WASP Culture" is into golfing, not crusading. Erik Prince and the religious fundamentalists, maybe, but they don't drive US policy.

Russia and/or Chinese dominion over Eurasia cannot be permitted. Their means to achieve that would be less ethical, not that the US or UK have been prince among men and salts of the earth, as noted in the article.

The US has tried in vain to win over hearts and minds. It has been a mostly noble effort to bring countries like Iraq and Afghanistan into the 21st century, but it was always more of a losing game. The problem lies too much in Islam and tribal rivalries.

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

Sep 25, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

vinnieoh , Sep 22 2020 21:41 utc | 27

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

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

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

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

Ashino , Sep 23 2020 9:23 utc | 67

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Psychiatric crazy fool of the head, no less.

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

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

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

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

< >

[Sep 23, 2020] Mattis Told Intel Chief They May 'Have to Take Collective Action' Against 'Unfit' Trump -- Woodward

Notable quotes:
"... Former defense secretary Jim Mattis appears to have been plotting a coup with then-Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats after growing furious with President Trump for banning transgenders from the military and moving to pull out of Afghanistan and Syria. ..."
"... Mattis quietly went to Washington National Cathedral [in May 2019] to pray about his concern for the nation's fate under Trump's command and, according to Woodward, told Coats, "There may come a time when we have to take collective action" since Trump is "dangerous. He's unfit." ..."
"... Translation: we may have to stage a coup to get him out of power. Plenty of Democrats and former and current intelligence officials are working on a Color Revolution come November as we speak . ..."
Sep 10, 2020 | www.blacklistednews.com

SOURCE: CHRIS MENAHAN, INFORMATION LIBERATION

Former defense secretary Jim Mattis appears to have been plotting a coup with then-Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats after growing furious with President Trump for banning transgenders from the military and moving to pull out of Afghanistan and Syria.

From The Washington Post :

Mattis quietly went to Washington National Cathedral [in May 2019] to pray about his concern for the nation's fate under Trump's command and, according to Woodward, told Coats, "There may come a time when we have to take collective action" since Trump is "dangerous. He's unfit."

Translation: we may have to stage a coup to get him out of power. Plenty of Democrats and former and current intelligence officials are working on a Color Revolution come November as we speak .

In a separate conversation recounted by Woodward, Mattis told Coats, "The president has no moral compass," to which the director of national intelligence replied: "True. To him, a lie is not a lie. It's just what he thinks. He doesn't know the difference between the truth and a lie."

Mattis doesn't know the difference between a male and a female. Trump reportedly accurately said his generals were a "bunch of pussies."

"Not to mention my f**king generals are a bunch of pussies. They care more about their alliances than they do about trade deals," Trump told White House trade adviser Peter Navarro at one point, according to Woodward.

No lie detected!

Ann Coulter, who has repeatedly tried to tell Trump today's generals have nothing in common with those of the past like Trump-favorite Gen. George Patton, responded to the news on Wednesday by saying Trump has won her back!

And he wins me back! https://t.co/7nhtSuC4k9

-- Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) September 10, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

John Twomey, 16 August, 2020

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

My Opinion, 17 August, 2020

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

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

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

turcopolier , 16 September 2020 at 08:52 AM

All

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

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

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

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

eakens , 16 September 2020 at 10:03 AM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@ turcopolier:

Excellent questions.

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

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

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

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

Leith , 16 September 2020 at 12:01 PM

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

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

Jack , 16 September 2020 at 02:12 PM

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

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

Jack , 16 September 2020 at 02:44 PM

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

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

Serge , 16 September 2020 at 05:18 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Polish Janitor , 16 September 2020 at 06:14 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

Think about it.

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

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

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

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

What the Arab-Israeli normalization means:

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

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

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

John Merryman , 16 September 2020 at 10:17 PM

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

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

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

different clue , 17 September 2020 at 02:42 AM

A.I.S.,

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

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

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

Mathias Alexander , 17 September 2020 at 04:53 AM

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

Matthew , 17 September 2020 at 09:26 AM

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

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

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

BABAK MAKKINEJAD , 17 September 2020 at 09:55 AM

Matthew:

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

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

Artemesia , 17 September 2020 at 10:35 AM

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

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

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

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

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

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

turcopolier , 17 September 2020 at 10:58 AM

Babak

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

turcopolier , 17 September 2020 at 11:30 AM

james

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

BABAK MAKKINEJAD , 17 September 2020 at 11:46 AM

Col. Lang:

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

None has ever existed.

Artemesia , 17 September 2020 at 12:00 PM

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

[Aug 21, 2020] Pompeo reveals some deep parallel, but experts vary if this is between China and Nazi Germany, or himself and Goebbels

Jun 07, 2020 | www.rt.com

7 Jun, 2020

The editor-in-chief of a major Chinese tabloid slammed Mike Pompeo for comparing his country to Nazi Germany, likening his words to those of Hitler's propaganda chief and reminding the secretary of state of America's endless wars.

Hu Xijin took to Twitter on Sunday venting his anger about Mike Pompeo's remarks.

"You are inciting radical hostility and ripping the world apart. You aren't like a top diplomat, instead, you talk like Goebbels of Nazi Germany. I'm worried that world peace will eventually be destroyed by extreme politicians like you," he wrote.

[Aug 18, 2020] Rules for thee but not for me: Pompeo denounces proposed Russian law that would require labeling of propaganda content

Notable quotes:
"... "This decree will impose new burdensome requirements that will further inhibit RFE/RL's and VOA's ability to operate within Russia," ..."
"... "vital sources of independent news and information for the people of Russia" ..."
"... "more than 70 years." ..."
"... "be consistent with the broad foreign policy objectives of the United States" ..."
"... "provide a surge capacity to support United States foreign policy objectives during crises abroad." ..."
"... "foreign agents" ..."
"... "feel like criminals, or believe that they are in danger when they watch or read our materials." ..."
"... "state-affiliated," ..."
Aug 18, 2020 | www.rt.com

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has voiced his opposition to a proposed Russian rule that would require labeling of propaganda content, saying it would burden "independent" information work by outlets such as Voice of America.

"This decree will impose new burdensome requirements that will further inhibit RFE/RL's and VOA's ability to operate within Russia," Pompeo said Monday, commenting on the draft rule published by the media regulator Roskomnadzor.

Pompeo called VOA and its sister outlet Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty "vital sources of independent news and information for the people of Russia" for "more than 70 years."

Far from independent, however, they were both established as US propaganda outlets at the dawn of the Cold War. They are fully funded by the government, and the charter of their parent organization – now known as US Agency for Global Media (USAGM) – mandates that they "be consistent with the broad foreign policy objectives of the United States" and "provide a surge capacity to support United States foreign policy objectives during crises abroad."

The 1948 law that established these outlets outright prohibited their content from being broadcast in the US itself, until the Obama administration amended it in 2013.

The proposed rule would require all content produced by designated "foreign agents" in the Russian Federation to be clearly labeled. When the draft of it was made public last month, acting RFE/RL president Daisy Sindelar protested that its purpose was to "intimidate" her audience and make them "feel like criminals, or believe that they are in danger when they watch or read our materials."

Yet the Russian regulation is the mirror image of the requirement imposed under the US Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) on RT, Sputnik and China Global Television Network (CTGN) since 2017, which only a handful of groups such as the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) condemned as an attack on free speech. The USAGM remained conspicuously silent even as the designated outlets were denied credentials to access government press conferences.

US-based social media companies have also bowed to political pressure and labeled Russian- and Chinese-based outlets as "state-affiliated," while refraining from using that descriptor for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), German outlet Deutsche Welle, the French AFP, Turkish TRT, or any of the USAGM outlets, once again showcasing the double standard.


jangosimba 10 August, 2020

He cheats, he lies, he murders, he steals.
Zogg jangosimba 11 August, 2020
That's a small part of CIA job description.
Harbin

William Johnson 1 hour ago

Mike reminds me that character from "Godfather" series, the old , dumb henchman ready to follow any order...

[Aug 09, 2020] NYT as an amplifier for the mislabeled US 'Intelligence' Agencies rumor and baseless claims about foreign interferences in US elections

The first and the most important fact that there will no elections in November -- both candidates represent the same oligarchy, just slightly different factions of it.
Look like NYT is controlled by Bolton faction of CIA. They really want to overturn the results of 2020 elections and using Russia as a bogeyman is a perfect opportunity to achieve this goal.
Neocons understand very well that it is MIC who better their bread, so amplifying rumors the simplify getting additional budget money for intelligence agencies (which are a part of MIC) is always the most desirable goal.
Notable quotes:
"... But a new assessment says China would prefer to see the president defeated, though it is not clear Beijing is doing much to meddle in the 2020 campaign to help Joseph R. Biden Jr. ..."
"... The statement then claims: "Ahead of the 2020 U.S. elections, foreign states will continue to use covert and overt influence measures in their attempts to sway U.S. voters' preferences and perspectives, shift U.S. policies, increase discord in the United States, and undermine the American people's confidence in our democratic process." ..."
"... But how do the 'intelligence' agencies know that foreign states want to "sway preferences", "increase discord" or "undermine confidence" in elections? ..."
"... But ascribing motive and intent is a tricky business, because perceived impact is often mistaken for true intent. [...] Where is the evidence that Russia actually wants to bring down the liberal world order and watch the United States burn? ..."
"... Well there is none. And that is why the 'intelligence' agencies do not present any evidence. ..."
"... Is there a secret policy paper by the Russian government that says it should "increase discord" in the United States? Is there some Chinese think tank report which says that undermining U.S. people's confidence in their democratic process would be good for China? ..."
"... If the 'intelligence' people have copies of those papers why not publish them? ..."
"... Let me guess. The 'intelligence' agencies have nothing, zero, nada. They are just making wild-ass guesses about 'intentions' of perceived enemies to impress the people who sign off their budget. ..."
"... Nowadays that seems to be their main purpose. ..."
Aug 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
No Evidence Of Foreign Interference In U.S. Elections, U.S. Intelligence Says

Yesterday the mislabeled U.S. 'Intelligence' Agencies trotted out more nonsense claims about foreign interferences in U.S. elections.

The New York Times sensationally headlines:

Russia Continues Interfering in Election to Try to Help Trump, U.S. Intelligence Says
But a new assessment says China would prefer to see the president defeated, though it is not clear Beijing is doing much to meddle in the 2020 campaign to help Joseph R. Biden Jr.

But when one reads the piece itself one finds no fact that would support the 'Russia Continues Interfering' statement:

Russia is using a range of techniques to denigrate Joseph R. Biden Jr., American intelligence officials said Friday in their first public assessment that Moscow continues to try to interfere in the 2020 campaign to help President Trump.

At the same time, the officials said China preferred that Mr. Trump be defeated in November and was weighing whether to take more aggressive action in the election.

But officials briefed on the intelligence said that Russia was the far graver, and more immediate, threat. While China seeks to gain influence in American politics, its leaders have not yet decided to wade directly into the presidential contest, however much they may dislike Mr. Trump, the officials said.

The assessment, included in a statement released by William R. Evanina, the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, suggested the intelligence community was treading carefully, reflecting the political heat generated by previous findings.

The authors emphasize the scaremongering hearsay from "officials briefed on the intelligence" - i.e. Democratic congress members - about Russia but have nothing to back it up.

When one reads the statement by Evanina one finds nothing in it about Russian attempts to interfere in the U.S. elections. Here is the only 'evidence' that is noted:

For example, pro-Russia Ukrainian parliamentarian Andriy Derkach is spreading claims about corruption – including through publicizing leaked phone calls – to undermine former Vice President Biden's candidacy and the Democratic Party. Some Kremlin-linked actors are also seeking to boost President Trump's candidacy on social media and Russian television.

After a request from Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's personal attorney, a Ukrainian parliamentarian published Ukrainian evidence of Biden's very real interference in the Ukraine. Also: Some guest of a Russian TV show had an opinion. How is either of those two items 'evidence' of Russian interference in U.S. elections?

The statement then claims: "Ahead of the 2020 U.S. elections, foreign states will continue to use covert and overt influence measures in their attempts to sway U.S. voters' preferences and perspectives, shift U.S. policies, increase discord in the United States, and undermine the American people's confidence in our democratic process."

But how do the 'intelligence' agencies know that foreign states want to "sway preferences", "increase discord" or "undermine confidence" in elections?

As a recent piece in Foreign Affairs noted :

The mainstream view in the U.S. media and government holds that the Kremlin is waging a long-haul campaign to undermine and destabilize American democracy. Putin wants to see the United States burn, and contentious elections offer a ready-made opportunity to fan the flames.

But ascribing motive and intent is a tricky business, because perceived impact is often mistaken for true intent. [...] Where is the evidence that Russia actually wants to bring down the liberal world order and watch the United States burn?

Well there is none. And that is why the 'intelligence' agencies do not present any evidence.

Even the NYT writers have to admit that there is nothing there:

The release on Friday was short on specifics, ...

and

Intelligence agencies focus their work on the intentions of foreign governments, and steer clear of assessing if those efforts have had an effect on American voters.

How do 'intelligence' agencies know Russian, Chinese or Iranian 'intentions'. Is there a secret policy paper by the Russian government that says it should "increase discord" in the United States? Is there some Chinese think tank report which says that undermining U.S. people's confidence in their democratic process would be good for China?

If the 'intelligence' people have copies of those papers why not publish them?

Let me guess. The 'intelligence' agencies have nothing, zero, nada. They are just making wild-ass guesses about 'intentions' of perceived enemies to impress the people who sign off their budget.

Nowadays that seems to be their main purpose.

Posted by b on August 8, 2020 at 18:08 UTC | Permalink

[Aug 08, 2020] -No Difference Between John Bolton, Brian Hook Or Elliott Abrams-- Iran FM -

Aug 08, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

"No Difference Between John Bolton, Brian Hook Or Elliott Abrams": Iran FM


by Tyler Durden Fri, 08/07/2020 - 22:45 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

"There's no difference between John Bolton, Brian Hook or Elliott Abrams," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said in a tweet with the hashtag #BankruptUSPolicy on Friday.

"When U.S. policy concerns Iran, American officials have been biting off more than they can chew. This applies to Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump and their successors," Mousavi added.

Indeed in perhaps one of the greatest symbols or representations of the contradictions and absurdity inherent in US foreign policy of the past few decades, and a supreme irony that can't be emphasized enough: the new US envoy to Iran who will oversee Pompeo's 'maximum pressure' campaign remains the most publicly visible face of the 1980's Iran-Contra affair .

Elliott Abrams has been named to the position after Brian Hook stepping down. This means the man who will continue to push for the extension of a UN arms embargo against Iran once himself was deeply involved in illegally selling weapons to Iran and covering it up .

Most famously, or we should say infamously, Abrams pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in 1991 following years of the Iran-Contra scandal engulfing the Reagan administration; however, he was also pardoned by outgoing president George H.W. Bush at around the same time.

"Pardoned by George H.W. Bush in 1992, Abrams was a pivotal figure in the foreign-policy scandal that shook the Reagan administration, lying to Congress about his knowledge of the plot to covertly sell weapons to the Khomeini government and use the proceeds to illegally fund the right-wing Contras rebel group in Nicaragua ," NY Mag reviews.

Some are noting this heightens the chances that Washington could get dragged into a war involving Israel and Iran.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1291802541223809025&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fmarkets%2Fno-difference-between-john-bolton-brian-hook-or-elliott-abrams-iran-fm&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=223fc1c4%3A1596143124634&width=550px

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13084989113709670?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13084989113709670-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com&rid=www.zerohedge.com&width=890

Recall too that Abrams has been Trump's point man for ousting Maduro from Venezuela, and it appears he'll remain in the post of special envoy for Venezuela as well.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1291783763945574402&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fmarkets%2Fno-difference-between-john-bolton-brian-hook-or-elliott-abrams-iran-fm&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=223fc1c4%3A1596143124634&width=550px NEVER MISS THE NEWS THAT MATTERS MOST

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The Grayzone journalist, Anya Parampil, who has frequently reported from Venezuela, alleged this week that Abrams will "try and destroy Venezuela and Iran at the same time".

me name=

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Wild Bill Steamcock , 14 hours ago

Abrams is a disgrace. This Administration should be dying in it's own shame bringing this swine back into government.

He's a leach. He's about lining his own pockets. He can't even own a .22 single shot, yet he's shaping international policy.

This country is dead. And the fact Trump has democrat and zionist Kushner as advisor, bringing in guys like Bolton and Abrams, Reince Priebus, H.R. McMaster and that Ukranian pet goblin of his, in not firing Comey et. al day 1 means he's not the answer. Face it.

And to be fair, it doesn't matter anymore who is POTUS. It hasn't really mattered in quite some time. The Plan rolls along.

Kinskian , 15 hours ago

Trump is a clumsy and transparent Zionist stooge.

PT , 14 hours ago

Gotta admit, if you're going to have a Zionist stooge then you are better off having a clumsy and transparent one.

Dank fur Kopf , 14 hours ago

Elliott Abrams is a moron. He's been running the exact same stupid coup strategy for decades, and can't conceive of a world where the enemy has worked out how to defeat that.

Venezuela was set to be US foreign policies most embarrassing failure--but maybe Iran will be worse.

Dank fur Kopf , 14 hours ago

Let's predict what Abrams will attempt:

Running out of the US/UK embassies, Abrams will attempt to identify a potential alternative leader who is corrupt and controllable. They'll throw political support behind this false leader, and try and find enough military to support him. Then, protests in the streets, and the small faction of the military--supported by foreign forces--will attempt to establish control.

Counter: China and Russia will import anti-coup specialists. Individuals in the Iranian military will pretend to be on board claiming to have thousands at call, and when the false leader gives the call, they won't answer. All the conspirators will be caught out on the street, and have to flee to embassies for political asylum. Like what happened in Venezuela recently, and Turkey in 2016. This will allow Iran to do a purge of all the real threats (remembering that Iran has the death penalty for sedition), and give them enough justification to end diplomatic missions in the country that are being used as launch pads.

[Aug 06, 2020] Is War With China Inevitable by J

Notable quotes:
"... "When I analyze the current situation, I understand that this is a rehearsal for biological warfare," ..."
"... "I am not saying that this virus was created by humans... but this is a test of the health system's strength, including the country's biological defense." ..."
"... More sinophobic drivel and propaganda. Is it coming from Bannon, Navarro,Fox News, and the other similar warmongering outfits ? This type of propaganda is irrational but certainly purposeful to whip declining exceptionals into war frenzy. They are correct in one aspect - China is outpacing the US and will eventually in 10-20 years surpass it as #1 in Economic power (already the case) and Technology ..."
"... China is a missile-based military deploying hypersonics. This means the US Navy has to standoff 1000 km from the Chinese naval forces or missiles from mainland will decimate the carrier task forces within that range. ..."
"... More sinophobic drivel and propaganda. Is it coming from Bannon, Navarro,Fox News, and the other similar warmongering outfits ? This type of propaganda is irrational but certainly purposeful to whip declining exceptionals into war frenzy. They are correct in one aspect - China is outpacing the US and will eventually in 10-20 years surpass it as #1 in Economic power (already the case) and Technology ..."
"... China is a missile-based military deploying hypersonics. This means the US Navy has to standoff 1000 km from the Chinese naval forces or missiles from mainland will decimate the carrier task forces within that range. ..."
"... Of course having moved much of our manufacturing base into China and then allowing their students to take up most of the hard engineering class space and lab assistantships while diverting our students to 'studies' programs has been a resounding success. ..."
"... "There are few viable military options for warmongering chickenhawks advising..." Bush, Obama, Biden, a Triumverate of peacemakers. Remind me who is ordering troops out of Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. ..."
"... Of course having moved much of our manufacturing base into China and then allowing their students to take up most of the hard engineering class space and lab assistantships while diverting our students to 'studies' programs has been a resounding success. ..."
"... "There are few viable military options for warmongering chickenhawks advising..." Bush, Obama, Biden, a Triumverate of peacemakers. Remind me who is ordering troops out of Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. ..."
Aug 06, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

The rattling of sabres between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the U.S. is becoming louder, and causing many to ponder if World War III is not far off. There are those in the international community increasingly alarmed given the COVID situation, the South China Sea imbroglio, and China's growing threat that they intend to invade and absorb Taiwan into Communist China within a year. These items have led to the belief that World War III is on the horizon.

Just recently, Dr.Leonid Roshal, a noted Moscow physician, hostage negotiator, and advisor to the WHO remarked that the COVID pandemic is a dry run for World War III, and that COVID-19 is practice for future biological warfare. Covid-19 pandemic has functioned as a "rehearsal for biological warfare," Dr. Roshal also believes that the rapidly-spreading virus was a test for the world's healthcare systems.

In an interview with Forbes, Professor Roshal, President of the Research Institute of Emergency Pediatric Surgery and Traumatology, explained that not all nations were ready for a mass influx of patients, and their lack of preparation has been exposed by the pandemic.

"When I analyze the current situation, I understand that this is a rehearsal for biological warfare," he explained. "I am not saying that this virus was created by humans... but this is a test of the health system's strength, including the country's biological defense."

In addition, Hong Kong-based virologist Yan Li-Meng, currently in hiding at an undisclosed location, claims that the COVID-19 coronavirus came from a People's Liberation Army lab, and not from a Wuhan wet market as Beijing has claimed. Speaking on a live stream interview on Taiwan's News Agency Lude Press, she said, "At that time, I clearly assessed that the virus came from a Chinese Communist Party military lab. The Wuhan wet market was just used as a decoy." Yan has been in hiding in the U.S. after fleeing Hong Kong in April.

Chinese PLA Senior Colonel Ren Guoqiang stated recently that TAIWAN WILL be reunified with the rest of China - and any attempt by the United States to interfere is futile and dangerous. Senior Colonel Guoqiang is Deputy Director of the Ministry of Defense's Information Office, and Chinese Defense Ministry Spokesman. J


entrybody comment-odd comment-has-avatar">

Well, this is certainly a depressing and frightening post. I can't say, however, that I have been thinking along the same lines. However, since I am basically a nobody, I have tried to assure myself that I am being paranoid. So, it's not helping that some people who are much more knowledgeable have expressed in print some of the fears I have been feeling over these months dealing with the pandemic.

All I can do is pray and hold fast to my faith in God. Perhaps He will lift up the people who can deter us from the predictions of this post. (But are we worthy of being saved?)

Posted by: Diana Croissant , 05 August 2020 at 03:44 PM

Well, this is certainly a depressing and frightening post. I can't say, however, that I have been thinking along the same lines. However, since I am basically a nobody, I have tried to assure myself that I am being paranoid. So, it's not helping that some people who are much more knowledgeable have expressed in print some of the fears I have been feeling over these months dealing with the pandemic.

All I can do is pray and hold fast to my faith in God. Perhaps He will lift up the people who can deter us from the predictions of this post. (But are we worthy of being saved?)

Posted by: Diana Croissant 05 August 2020 at 03:44 PM

entrybody comment-even comment-has-avatar">

J

I don't believe there will be any direct military conflict. However, we can expect some saber rattling from both sides.

Sec.Azhar is leading a US delegation to Taiwan. On another note Taiwan ain't HK. They have an independent government. While they will eventually be overwhelmed in any military conflict with China if no other country intervenes on Taiwan's side, they definitely have the capability to inflict a black eye.

The CCP has been emboldened precisely because the US government has actively abetted their rapaciousness for many decades under both parties. From Clinton's MFN designation to Bush & Obama administrations actively supporting the shuttering of US manufacturing.

Trump is making the first course correction albeit in a limited manner with tariffs. He has however changed the tone in an important manner by no longer just kowtowing to whatever the CCP wants.

This story of ARM China exemplifies CCP long-term policy of requiring JVs to access the Chinese market and once technology and know-how have been successfully transferred, then expropriating it. The west in general and the US in particular have turned a blind eye. Huawei got going by stealing cisco source code and design.
https://www.businessinsider.com/arm-conflict-china-complicates-acquisition-prospects-2020-8

It is high time for the US to make the totalitarian Chinese communists pay a price and directly take the fight to them economically and financially. The CCP must be doing their best to insure a Biden win to return to the status quo or wait another Trump term and hope an establishment Democrat or Republican wins after. They have bought and paid the establishment politicians, entire think-tanks, many in academia and the media.

Posted by: Jack , 05 August 2020 at 03:58 PM

J

I don't believe there will be any direct military conflict. However, we can expect some saber rattling from both sides.

Sec.Azhar is leading a US delegation to Taiwan. On another note Taiwan ain't HK. They have an independent government. While they will eventually be overwhelmed in any military conflict with China if no other country intervenes on Taiwan's side, they definitely have the capability to inflict a black eye.

The CCP has been emboldened precisely because the US government has actively abetted their rapaciousness for many decades under both parties. From Clinton's MFN designation to Bush & Obama administrations actively supporting the shuttering of US manufacturing.

Trump is making the first course correction albeit in a limited manner with tariffs. He has however changed the tone in an important manner by no longer just kowtowing to whatever the CCP wants.

This story of ARM China exemplifies CCP long-term policy of requiring JVs to access the Chinese market and once technology and know-how have been successfully transferred, then expropriating it. The west in general and the US in particular have turned a blind eye. Huawei got going by stealing cisco source code and design.
https://www.businessinsider.com/arm-conflict-china-complicates-acquisition-prospects-2020-8

It is high time for the US to make the totalitarian Chinese communists pay a price and directly take the fight to them economically and financially. The CCP must be doing their best to insure a Biden win to return to the status quo or wait another Trump term and hope an establishment Democrat or Republican wins after. They have bought and paid the establishment politicians, entire think-tanks, many in academia and the media.

Posted by: Jack 05 August 2020 at 03:58 PM

entrybody comment-even comment-has-avatar">

More sinophobic drivel and propaganda. Is it coming from Bannon, Navarro,Fox News, and the other similar warmongering outfits ? This type of propaganda is irrational but certainly purposeful to whip declining exceptionals into war frenzy. They are correct in one aspect - China is outpacing the US and will eventually in 10-20 years surpass it as #1 in Economic power (already the case) and Technology .

There are few viable military options for warmongering chickenhawks advising Trump. Certainly, US Naval Intel and PACCOM (now INDOPACCOM) brass who would love a grand Coral Sea 2.0 battle to destroy PLAN vessel on the seas. However, no one, except few Marine 4 stars want any land war. The Marines think they can defeat the PLA on some islands. That kind of warfare is for hollywood movies. China is a missile-based military deploying hypersonics. This means the US Navy has to standoff 1000 km from the Chinese naval forces or missiles from mainland will decimate the carrier task forces within that range.

There won't be any war in SE Asia or East Asia. This area now has a circuit breaker, Russia. Russia is building a naval presence, expanding it's aerospace arm, has basing rights in the zone in Vietnam and has long range radars that cover a lot of the zones, and submarines the US is having issues tracking.

The signals from China and Russia to the US military is very clear. You can walk and talk like the Hegemon but the days of regional hegemony are over. ASEAN nations will not accepting accept a return to gunboat diplomacy and colonization. All these nations want prosperity and progress, not western hegemony and military destruction.

This is why the hybrid war of sanctions, trade war, Infowars, cyberwar, proxies in Central Asia (ISIS and AQ), color revolution attempts in Hong Kong, hysterics about Tibet and Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia (Bannon front) are on the front burner. Military action is a losing proposition for the US. They simply cannot win anything anywhere in the Asia Pacific, western Asia or even against near peer powers proxies like Venezuela.

China simply has to do what Russia does and tell the US to pound sand.

Posted by: Horatio , 05 August 2020 at 04:51 PM

More sinophobic drivel and propaganda. Is it coming from Bannon, Navarro,Fox News, and the other similar warmongering outfits ? This type of propaganda is irrational but certainly purposeful to whip declining exceptionals into war frenzy. They are correct in one aspect - China is outpacing the US and will eventually in 10-20 years surpass it as #1 in Economic power (already the case) and Technology .

There are few viable military options for warmongering chickenhawks advising Trump. Certainly, US Naval Intel and PACCOM (now INDOPACCOM) brass who would love a grand Coral Sea 2.0 battle to destroy PLAN vessel on the seas. However, no one, except few Marine 4 stars want any land war. The Marines think they can defeat the PLA on some islands. That kind of warfare is for hollywood movies. China is a missile-based military deploying hypersonics. This means the US Navy has to standoff 1000 km from the Chinese naval forces or missiles from mainland will decimate the carrier task forces within that range.

There won't be any war in SE Asia or East Asia. This area now has a circuit breaker, Russia. Russia is building a naval presence, expanding it's aerospace arm, has basing rights in the zone in Vietnam and has long range radars that cover a lot of the zones, and submarines the US is having issues tracking.

The signals from China and Russia to the US military is very clear. You can walk and talk like the Hegemon but the days of regional hegemony are over. ASEAN nations will not accepting accept a return to gunboat diplomacy and colonization. All these nations want prosperity and progress, not western hegemony and military destruction.

This is why the hybrid war of sanctions, trade war, Infowars, cyberwar, proxies in Central Asia (ISIS and AQ), color revolution attempts in Hong Kong, hysterics about Tibet and Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia (Bannon front) are on the front burner. Military action is a losing proposition for the US. They simply cannot win anything anywhere in the Asia Pacific, western Asia or even against near peer powers proxies like Venezuela.

China simply has to do what Russia does and tell the US to pound sand.

Posted by: Horatio 05 August 2020 at 04:51 PM

entrybody comment-odd comment-has-avatar">

Bjorn H

... BTW, "J" is a farmer in Oklahoma who served a long time in USAF.

Posted by: turcopolier , 05 August 2020 at 05:04 PM

Bjorn H

... BTW, "J" is a farmer in Oklahoma who served a long time in USAF.

Posted by: turcopolier 05 August 2020 at 05:04 PM

entrybody comment-even comment-has-avatar">

We've been in a war with China for a few decades now, and losing. Of course having moved much of our manufacturing base into China and then allowing their students to take up most of the hard engineering class space and lab assistantships while diverting our students to 'studies' programs has been a resounding success.

Horatio,

"There are few viable military options for warmongering chickenhawks advising..." Bush, Obama, Biden, a Triumverate of peacemakers. Remind me who is ordering troops out of Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.

Posted by: Fred , 05 August 2020 at 05:05 PM

We've been in a war with China for a few decades now, and losing. Of course having moved much of our manufacturing base into China and then allowing their students to take up most of the hard engineering class space and lab assistantships while diverting our students to 'studies' programs has been a resounding success.

Horatio,

"There are few viable military options for warmongering chickenhawks advising..." Bush, Obama, Biden, a Triumverate of peacemakers. Remind me who is ordering troops out of Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.

Posted by: Fred 05 August 2020 at 05:05 PM

entrybody comment-odd comment-has-avatar">

The rattling. of sabres between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the U.S.

That line as introduction gives away the article as plain and unsofisticated propaganda. Nobody refers to the USA as the Republican Party, the red scare is a momified bogey..

Posted by: Paco , 05 August 2020 at 05:28 PM

The rattling. of sabres between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the U.S.

That line as introduction gives away the article as plain and unsofisticated propaganda. Nobody refers to the USA as the Republican Party, the red scare is a momified bogey..

Posted by: Paco 05 August 2020 at 05:28 PM

[Aug 01, 2020] Pompeo Vows US To Take -Necessary Action- If UN Arms Embargo On Iran Ends -

Aug 01, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

For months the US has been in a full court diplomatic press on fellow UN Security Council members in an attempt to ensure that a UN arms embargo against Iran does not expire.

The embargo on selling conventional weapons to Iran is set to end October 18, and is ironically enough part of the 2015 nuclear deal brokered under Obama, which the Trump administration in May 2018 pulled out of.

But now Pompeo vows the US will "take necessary action" -- no doubt meaning more sanctions at the very least, and likely military action at worst. He told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this week that "in the near future... we hope will be met with approval from other members of the P5."

And he followed with :

"In the event it's not, we're going to take the action necessary to ensure that this arms embargo does not expire," he said.

"We have the capacity to execute snapback and we're going to use it in a way that protects and defends America," Pompeo told the committee further.

Speaking to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo continued to call on the world to accept extending the UN arms embargo against Iran. The embargo is scheduled to expire on October 18.

But it's clear at this point that the UN is not intent on extending the embargo . Russia for one has promised as much. Both Russia and China also have recent weapons deals in the works with the Islamic Republic.

LibertarianMenace , 55 minutes ago

"protects and defends America"

Nothing is farther from the truth, fat man. We know (((who))) it is we're "protecting".

bumboo , 37 minutes ago

Is this fat guy being blackmailed to saying stupid things all the time

monty42 , 35 minutes ago

He works for the Council on Foreign Relations who have been bankrupting the States with perpetual war since they fomented WW2.

LibertarianMenace , 30 minutes ago

Yes, him and the rest of the USG. When you can assassinate a U.S. President in broad daylight and get away with it, you can get away with more extravagant illusions, like 09/11, or if people are finally catching on, throw in just a smidgen of reality like CV-19. Sky is the limit.

This is Trump's redeeming value: he's showing all, including the densest among us (((who))) it is that runs the country. Whether he does it intentionally or not, as in kowtowing to (((them))), is ultimately irrelevant. (((They))) have to be a bit uncomfortable from the unaccustomed exposure. The censoring just proves it.

Tag 'em And Bag 'em , 36 minutes ago

This pneumatic bull frog is a deep state sock puppet with a Zionist hand way up his ***.

When his lips move, Satanyahoo's voice comes out

This has zero to do with the interests of real Americans.

**building 7 didn't kill itself**

Tag 'em And Bag 'em , 23 minutes ago

TRUMP: "Larry Silverstein is a great guy, he's a good guy, he's a friend of mine."

https://youtu.be/o62aUVobO04

**building 7 didn't kill itself**

Fluff The Cat , 43 minutes ago

The reason that the US government are trying to get Iran is because Epstein/Mossad has blackmailed them all into doing their bidding.

Why don't you cover that in the news, huh?

El Chapo Read , 31 minutes ago

"Necessary Action" = Call Israel and ask what they want him to do.

jaser , 43 minutes ago

Protect America? Protect corrupt Netanyahu more like it. Your nation is about to implode and you just cut off the $600 welfare payment to your citizens hey but let's ban TikTok and protect America from Iran.

malMono , 39 minutes ago

This why Biden might win...idiots like pompeo are a turnoff.

Grouchy-Bear , 34 minutes ago

Sometimes it looks like Pompeo is actually in charge. Okay, most of the time he is in charge. Why go through the election process at all? Pompeo is running the country and was never elected...

malMono , 39 minutes ago

This why Biden might win...idiots like pompeo are a turnoff.

Grouchy-Bear , 34 minutes ago

Sometimes it looks like Pompeo is actually in charge. Okay, most of the time he is in charge. Why go through the election process at all? Pompeo is running the country and was never elected...

rwe2late , 43 minutes ago

Embargo Iran to make them as desperate as possible.

Then accuse them of being "aggressive" while one attacks and bombs Iran's near neighbors (Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen).

Sounds like a plan of aggressive war if done by any but an "exceptional" nation.

(It's not like the US denies it)

https://www.globalresearch.ca/we-re-going-to-take-out-7-countries-in-5-years-iraq-syria-lebanon-libya-somalia-sudan-iran/5166

Ron_Paul_Was_Right , 17 minutes ago

If Russia and China want to trade with Iran, how in the world is it the US Government's right to tell them not to? If we want to put sanctions on Iran, go for it. But at this point, the dollar is collapsing as world reserve currency. Iran should well be able to buy anything they need, from China/Russia and the rest of the world which doesn't respect US sanctions, or so I would think.

My point - there's really getting nothing that the US even can do about Iran. So maybe...we should just stop and give it a rest.

Einstein101 , 13 minutes ago

Iran should well be able to buy anything they need, from China/Russia

Fact is Russia and China sell almost nothing to Iran, fearing US sanctions.

Cassandra.Hermes , 2 minutes ago

Don't forget Turkey, Azerbaijan and Europe! Turkish stream is not only bypassing Ukrain but it is connected to Azeri pipeline that is 10km from Iranians border.

monty42 , 15 minutes ago

"Obviously the Iranian army has a bunch of non thinkers..."

Hypocrisy much? The US regime employs paid mercenaries who swore to uphold and defend the Constitution, yet lie and unthinkingly "just follow orders" and believe that absolves them of their oathbreaking and actions.

"Dude, I am FREE. I have firearms that are deadly." Heh, only a very limited arsenal permitted by the Central Committee in D.C., to maintain firepower supremacy in the empire's favor. Your firearms may be deadly, but the empire mercenary can take you out without you ever seeing their face.

Clearly having firearms and ammo alone do not prevent tyranny, the States under the D.C. regime prove that.

vipervenom , 17 minutes ago

pompass the fat boy coward sending our troops to die while he hides behind his own extra large rear end.

[Jul 30, 2020] Bolton is a typical crazy neocon who wants to dominate the world

Jul 30, 2020 | www.amazon.com

Pseudo D 3.0 out of 5 stars , June 24, 2020

superhawk

Ambassador John Bolton hinted that he doesn't like being called a hawk, since foreign policy labels are simplistic.

But first of all, he labeled libertarian Sen. Rand Paul an isolationist, rather than say, a non- interventionist. And after nearly 500 pages (all but the epilogue), what you will absorb is absolutely the worldview of a geopolitical hawk. He is not technically a neoconservative (like, say, Paul Wolfowitz) because the latter were more focused on nation building and spreading democracy. Bolton sees what he's promoting as defense, but it requires a constant offense.

Bolton is very bright, as Jim Baker noted decades ago, and very well-read, even endorsing his fellow Baltimorean and my teacher Steve Vicchio's book on Lincoln's faith. But his intelligence is all put into an ideological reading of situations. As Aristotle would put it, the problem is not lack of theoretical wisdom, but the deficiency in practical wisdom and prudential judgment. Certainly there are bad actors in the world, and vigilance is required. But when is aggressive action called for, and when is it better to go with diplomacy? In this book, I find few cases of such restraint. For Bolton, it seems that the goal of peace and security requires the constant threat of war and presence on every continent. All this intervention around the world requires troops, soldiers, real men and women and their lives and those of their families, requiring lots of sacrifice. At times, his theorizing seems distant from these realities on the ground.

So Bolton is critical of the "axis of adults" in the Trump administration, the "generals", but not Kelly and not much on his predecessor McMaster, much less the eccentric Flynn. So his beef is with Mattis, another fine student of history. Bolton says he went by the rules, as James Baker had said that Bush 41 was "the one who got the votes". He tried to influence Trump within the rules, while Mattis, Tillerson and Haley pursued their own foreign policy. I'm sure that Mattis was sometimes right and sometimes wrong, but I would trust his prudential judgment above that of the equally bright Bolton, because of his life experience, being the one on the ground and knowing what war is like.

When Bolton was considered for secretary state right after the 2016 election, I said, well I don't care for the guy, but at least I've heard of him and we know what we're dealing with. His opponent in GOP foreign policy is the libertarian and non-interventionist Sen. Rand Paul. What does Bolton say about the big players in the Trump administration? Nikki Haley is dismissed as a lightweight who was posing for her political future. Well, that's basically what Trump, "the one that got the votes", put her there for. But it's interesting that Bolton is so anti-Haley, when she was for Rubio and the more hawkish platform.

Tillerson's successor Mike Pompeo had sort of a love-hate relationship with Bolton.

Steve Mnuchin is the epitome of the globalist establishment, along with Javanka. Jared Kushner is dismissed as no Kissinger, but when it comes to China, his soft stance is blamed on Kissinger! While Bolton didn't testify in the impeachment, Fiona Hill is mentioned only with respect in this book.

Everybody's flaw, from Bolton's point of view, is being less belligerent than Bolton. (Even in the Bush administration, the only name I can think of would be Michael Ledeen). He even defends the concept of Middle Eastern "endless wars" on the grounds that we didn't start them and can't dictate when they end. Obama was a dove, but in 2016 the GOP marked a shift, with Trump, Paul, Ben Carson and even Ted Cruz opposing the "invade every country on earth" philosophy that this book promotes. It's true that Trump is not an ideologue and thinks in terms of individual transactions. But the movement I see is a dialectic of alternating between aggression and diplomacy, or as he sees it, friendly relationship among leaders.

Bolton is a superhawk on North Korea and Iran throughout, while China and Russia are our hostile rivals. Other matters are Syria, Iraq and ISIS, Venezuela, Afghanistan and finally Ukraine, which by the end of the book I had almost forgotten. If Bolton is dovish anywhere, it's on the Saudis, the rivals with Iran in the Sunni-Shiite dispute chronicled recently in the book "Black Wave".

You can learn a lot from this book, but just keep in mind that it's filtered through the mind of a strong ideologue, so other people's faults are seen through that lens. But he has great knowledge of the details of policy. Bolton would like to be an inter-generational guru like Henry Kissinger or Dean Acheson, but both parties have turned away from the "endless wars" philosophy.

If you are looking for anti-Trump material, I don't really see the point of investing this time and intellectual effort. The more sensational parts have been reported-the exchanges involving Xi Jinping and Kim Jong Un, and to a lesser extent Erdogan. As most reviewers have said, it's about 100 pages too long, but Bolton is looking for a scholarly work like Kissinger's Diplomacy or World Order, and this is the one that he hopes people will read.

C Wm (Andy) Anderson

Not Only is Bolton's Take on Trump Being Dangerous; Bolton Himself is a Danger to America

#1 HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER 3.0 out of 5 stars Not Only is Bolton's Take on Trump Being Dangerous; Bolton Himself is a Danger to America Reviewed in the United States on June 23, 2020 Verified Purchase Two reviewers did better at explaining why this book is not rated by me as a must-read. Linda Galella and gammyjill. Bolton laid out some truly explosive allegations but let his own ego cloud his message.

John Bolton, on some fundamental level, is a brilliant, dedicated conservative intent on improving the future of the country he and I love. THAT similarity is probably the only point we share.

I wanted to love this book, because I knew it would be jam-packed with juicy tidbits that justify me derision of the biggest failure ever to assume the office of POTUS. Instead, quite early on, I realized the reason Trump became President was the enormous ineptitude of those otherwise brilliant people who, in short, simply felt that somebody opposing those the person they despise, on principle, was better for America than the other guy or gal.

Throughout this book, Bolton reminds us of Trump's inability to focus attention on the information provided by his handlers. Yes, Trump is naive and intellectually lazy. Yes, so, too, are many of those aiding and abetting Mr. Trump. But, yes, Mr. Bolton also suffers from gross naïveté, and, is just plain foolish. His ego led him to join the Trump Administration, as he admits in "The Room Where It Happened."

Bolton's greatest error, however, was in refusing to tell the country what he chose to sell to the public through this book.

The writing is, mechanically, quite good. But, Bolton comes across as thinking he is the only person of intelligence. That becomes clear by page two, and never changes, except for his insight that he was wrong about Trump.

Unfortunately, Bolton also was wrong about Bolton.

Whoa. Hold on. Just about everyone in both political parties is no better than Bolton. A few exceptions would be Former governor John Kasick and Utah Senator Mitt Romney. Oh, and former Vice President Joe Biden, I believe. Yet, to be honest, I need to see him prove me right. I would hate to make the same mistake regarding Biden as Bolton did regarding Trump.

Americans need to take a good, hard look at how we are governed and at those whom we support.

BOTTOM LINE

Writing quality, passable. But don't expect to gain a great deal of new knowledge.

Three stars out of five.

[Jul 30, 2020] It s Official: Pompeo Has Declared Cold War With China It s Official- Pompeo Has Declared Cold War With China - The American Conservative

Notable quotes:
"... Pompeo is a disgusting man. The US Oligarchic Regime is projecting a lot. It is this Regime that does not recognize any other order than its own, and always puts a messianic spin on its discourse. ..."
"... Mike Pompous can be counted upon to do everything possible to torpedo legitimate US interests below the waterline, and then nuke any survivors. ..."
Jul 29, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Mike Pompeo declared the start of a new Cold War with China last week.

...Pompeo's speech was an expression of this unreasonable and unrealistic view, and it is likely to leave most U.S. allies in East Asia and elsewhere cold. Our allies do not wish for deepening antagonism and strife between the U.S. and China, and if push comes to shove Washington may find itself without much support in the region. Calling for a "new alliance" to oppose China when Trump and Pompeo have done such an abysmal job of managing existing alliances in the region just drives home how divorced from reality the speech was.

... ... ...

The Secretary also relied on a familiar mix of simplistic analysis and threat inflation that he has used so often when talking about Iran: "It's this ideology, it's this ideology that informs his decades-long desire for global hegemony of Chinese communism." Pompeo is falling back on two of the stalest talking points from the Cold War. He interprets the behavior of another state primarily in terms of its official ideology rather than its concrete interests, and he attributes to them a goal of "global hegemony" that they are not pursuing to make them seem more dangerous and powerful than they are. China does seek to be the leading state in its own part of the world, but there is no evidence that they aspire to the global domination that Pompeo claims. A hard-line ideologue and hegemonist himself, Pompeo wrongly assumes that the things that motivate him must also drive the actions of others.

... ... ...

Most of the people on the receiving end of this "engagement" and "empowerment" will likely resent the condescension and interference from a foreign government in their country's affairs. Even if we assume that the vast majority of people in China might wish for a radically different government, they are liable to reject U.S. meddling in what they naturally consider to be their business. But, of course, Pompeo isn't serious about "empowering" the Chinese people, just as he isn't serious about supporting the people of Iran or Venezuela or any of the other countries on Washington's list of official foes. We can see from the economic wars that the U.S. has waged on Iran and Venezuela that the administration is only too happy to impoverish and strangle the people they claim to help. Hard-liners feign concern for the people that they then set out to harm in order to make their aggressive and destructive policies look better to a Western audience, but they aren't fooling anyone these days.

Pompeo's bombastic, caustic style and his personal lack of credibility make him an unusually poor messenger, and the Trump administration is uniquely ill-suited to rally a group of states in common cause. But the main problem with the policy Pompeo promotes is that an intensifying rivalry with China is not in the American interest. The U.S. has found that it is virtually impossible to change the behavior of adversaries when that behavior concerns what they believe to be their core security interests. ...


Fred Bowmana day ago • edited

I was reading the words that Nixon wrote about China that Pompeo quoted and it occurred to me that if you took out the word "China" and replaced it with the "United States" then that statement would be completely accurate in describing how America acts in the world. In OTW, it's "the Pot calling the Kettle black".

daveyl123 Fred Bowmana day ago

I wouldn't enjoin the American people with our out-of-touch, out-of-control and (In the cases of Hillary, Waters, Biden and Pelosi..) out of their minds government.

We're so conditioned to global conflicts now, it's merely a matter of the U.S. population learning how to spell the names of foreign leaders and their capitals marked for "Regime Changes", while crossing our fingers in hopes that our buildings will not again be subjected to airliner collisions and collapses in the wake of this aggression.

It would behoove Americans to start pulling on the reins of our bellicose administrations to confine their authority and actions to benefit our citizens.

KennesawJacka day ago • edited

Your comment that we have coexisted with China for 70 years is not quite accurate. There was this little dust-up called the Korean Conflict as I recall...

kouroi BobPM a day ago

The main purpose of TPP was to force the Chinese to privatize the State Owned Enterprises, likely via Wall Street.

L RNYa day ago

The communist Chinese can control our movie, sports, news and entertainment industries by denying them access to China if they don't show China in a positive light or if they show China in a negative life...

daveyl123 John Achterhof2 hours ago

You define with accuracy the core tenets of Socialists. Once a government expands to the proportions needed to implement that form of socioeconomic leadership, the character of those leaders becomes tyrannical, while they target segments of their populations for reeducation or elimination. (Abortions would fit that scenario nicely..) Obama was just such a leader, and had he somehow been able to ignore term limits, his administration would have resembled those of any Socialist State.

rayray L RNYa day ago

All of the policies you mention above would achieve absolutely nothing while inflaming conflict - thus increasingly the problems you outline. These hawkish responses prove the point...the issue isn't that there are or aren't issues, but that the US has lost the ability to have real discussions of these issues with world players and allies.

Much of that is because Trump patently hasn't the temperament, sophistication, or intelligence for discussion and diplomacy - this was proven again and again in the zero sum ineptitude of his private ventures.

The rot of that malignant ineptitude flows down from the head and into every aspect of government, both domestic and foreign. Thus we see his response to every domestic crisis is to inflame division. And the same in the foreign theater. He cannot be gotten rid of soon enough.

daveyl123 L RNYa day ago • edited

I don't believe our government is so foolish as to contemplate a shooting war with the Chinese. They have nuclear warheads. Their populations are fanatics when it comes to conflicts against them...

L RNY daveyl123 21 hours ago

Men will not fight another war nor will women leave their jobs when the men return from war as they did with WWII. There will be no war in Europe simply because Europe (including Russia) is depopulating at such a rapid rate they cant afford a losing more of their population through conflict. I dont see a shooting war with China either. I think that is the purpose of the tariffs and detachment of economies. US intelligence says that China does not want war with the US either. I don't think there is any country that would jump to a pre-emptive nuclear attack in case of a hot war. They dont have the air force superiority or the Navy or superiority in space yet.

Its not the Chinese way. The Chinese wait until they have superiority then they act otherwise they like to fly below the radar and get away with as much espionage and intimidation as possible. The opium wars came about because of the Chinese culture of trade exporting much but importing little thus creating a trade imbalance and indebting their trading partners.

Chinese culture has many forms of achieving superiority without restoring to conflict. The think tanks and experts are predicting that Xi may be pushed out of power by his competitors in the politburo which could defuse the situation. I don't think it will change detaching the economies. After COVID, countries are shifting focus from lowest cost possible to lowest cost and lowest risk possible.

That's why medical instruments, pharmaceuticals, etc are either moving out of China or moving part of their production to the US or they can win against a declining, an indebted power, an over stretched power, etc. Take a lesson with Russia and the US. Russia did not confront the US directly. It used proxies elsewhere around the world. Russia did not want a war with NATO or with the US. That balance kept the peace. If you want peace with China then there is going to have to be some sort of parity or superiority of China's neighbors via an alliance and/or superiority in trade/technology/economy. If you want war then you pacify and try to avoid war leaving a strategic space where your competitor thinks they can win. To avoid war, you need parity or superiority.

kouroia day ago

Pompeo is a disgusting man. The US Oligarchic Regime is projecting a lot. It is this Regime that does not recognize any other order than its own, and always puts a messianic spin on its discourse.

The US itself is not a democracy, but as B. Franklin put it from the beginning, is a Republic, which from the birth was design to promote and preserve the haves, the existing Oligarchy. While they looked for a balance of power in order to prevent the rise of an autocrat (the other bugbear of Oligarchy), the main fear of the framers was democracy and the threat of the mob voting for re-distribution...

The success of the socialist state of China is an indication of what might have happened if the socialist block in ensemble wouldn't have suffered the containment enforced by the US. Given the ability to engage in normal economic intercourse with the world, China developed and lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty. Vietnam is another example. But look what is happening with Cuba or North Korea or Venezuela. It is not the socialist system per se, but the blockade of those countries and the crushing economic war that ruins them.

Fortunately, Russia has learned from the mistakes of the past.

It is good that the cards are on the table to see that US Oligarchy wants to rule everything, because it is a corrupting way of life and mind. Because of this, the march for more open societies, with more, no less democracy, and people representation and input is halted.

And of course, in this new Cold War, a lot of civil liberties and freedom of speech will be curtailed. In my neck of the woods we have already experienced individuals assaulting people of Chinese ethnicity. Way to go America!

Jeff Dickey kouroi 2 hours ago

Mike Pompous can be counted upon to do everything possible to torpedo legitimate US interests below the waterline, and then nuke any survivors. He, along with Barr, Graham, and the rest of the Trump circus, are a cautionary tale for what happens to governments that let ideologues deliberately divorced from reality run a country. They've turned what was once the United States from a superpower to a failed state in an absurdly short period of time. History will be far less kind to these political Bernie Madoffs than to the original financial exemplar.

daveyl123a day ago

Wars ain't nothing to bandy about among administration subordinates. Pompeo is not supposed to be declaring wars--hot or cold. Wars cost big money, lives and property. Only the most grave threats against our country should prompt our leaders to even consider conflicts, much less initiate them. The American people cannot just sit back and absorb such profound adjustments to our national security posture and defense expenditures being unilaterally decided by Washington. It is also a condition of conflicts that our civil rights will be under increased constraints. I chuckled a little when China was listed as our 'new' foe. We won't fight the Chinese because we'll have another Vietnam War on our hands. Our troops aren't used to our enemies fighting back. They've been deployed into banana wars against poorly trained and ill equipped armies of Middle East camel holes. The U.S. Armed Forces' new culture, consisting of socially-engineered, politically-corrected soldiers-of-tolerance have yet to confront true fanatics. These facts were known waaaaay back during our Korean War Adventure.

I've always said that if the Chinese are good at anything, it's making more Chinese.

Adriana Penaa day ago

Because we did not have enough problems already.

"Eramos pocos y pario la abuela"

hoolya day ago

New Cold War? Bring it on. Competition is good. A strong rival is desired. Instead of a struggle over Ideology, this will be a Civilizational struggle, Western Civilization VS Central Civilization, liberal democracy VS Confucian/Legalist authoritarianism, Euro-America VS the Han Chinese. But this time, is America up to the tast?

During the Cold War we were led by 'Greatest Generation' who lived through the Great Depression and fought in World War II, is today's America of Facebook, Twitter, conspiracy theories, selfies, BLM, safe spaces, Diversity, mass immigration and Woke political correctness run amok up to the task?

While China is a predator, homogeneous, nationalist, revanchist and bent on returning to the glory it thinks it deserves. All I can say is, thank god for nuclear weapons and the Chinese Communist Party for keeping a short leash on the patriotic passions of the Han Chinese.

Myron Hudsona day ago

We had "an alliance of democracies" in the TPP which was developed to counter China. Of course, it handed much of our domestic sovereignty over to multinational corporations, but that's what you can expect from a corporatist like Obama. Still, might have been better than this.

Anton20 hours ago

On point analysis.

Ho Hum14 hours ago

I wonder if the Nixon family knew in advance that Pompeo was going to trash Richard Nixon's greatest legacy?

A war between China and the U.S. would not simply be costly for the US - it could end in the destruction of the world as we know it if it turns nuclear. Trump and Pompeo are sociopathic madman. I would not put it past Trump to use Nukes against China. He is just that stupid and evil.

peter mcloughlinan hour ago

President Nixon's détente with China had an important geopolitical consideration, leverage on Russia. "We're using the China thaw to get the Russians shook", he is quoted to have said. There is much talk among hawks these days of a "new Cold War", with that the confidence it will end like the first one: victory for the west and no nuclear annihilation. But this is a danger illusion: today America is in a hegemonic struggle with China for global dominance. It seems neither side can back down. The present crisis is like the Cold War in one crucial sense – world war must be avoided at all costs. The powers are not heeding the warning of history.
https://www.ghostsofhistory...

[Jul 26, 2020] China reaction to Mike Pompeo's 'new Iron Curtain speech'

Notable quotes:
"... Attempting to neutralise a global competitor is the main goal of Americans. Neutralising China's rapid, dynamic development is the essence of the American strategy ..."
Jul 26, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Jul 26 2020 17:41 utc | 17

Recap from today's Global Times where the argument is to continue to stay the course and counterpunch in the typical martial arts fashion, as this op/ed from today's Global Times says :

"Chinese analysts said Sunday the key for China to handle the US offensive is to focus on its own development and insist on continued reform and opening-up to meet the increasing needs of Chinese people for better lives. In the upcoming three months, before the November US presidential election, the China-US relationship is in extreme danger as the Trump administration is likely to launch more aggressions to force China to retaliate, they said."

Stay the course; Trump's shit is just an election ploy. However,

"The US' posturing is serving to distract from domestic pressure over President Trump's failure in handling the pandemic when Trump is seeking reelection this year, Chinese observers said. However, the Trump administration's China stance still reflects bipartisan consensus among US elites, so China should not expect significant change in US policy toward China even if there is a power transition in November, which means China should prepare itself for a long fight."

Don't stray from the Long Game. An international conference was held that I'll try to get a link for. Here's GT's summation:

"According to the Xinhua News Agency on Saturday, international scholars said at a virtual meeting on the international campaign against a new cold war on China on Saturday that 'aggressive statements and actions by the US government toward China poses a threat to world peace and a potential new cold war on China goes against the interests of humanity.'

"The meeting gathered experts from a number of countries including the US, China, Britain, India, Russia and Canada.

"Experts attending the meeting issued a statement calling upon the US to step back from this threat of a cold war and also from other dangerous threats to world peace it is engaged in.

"The reason why international scholars are criticizing the US rather than China is that they can see how restrained China remains and the sincerity of China to settle the tension by dialogue, even though the US is getting unreasonably aggressive, said Chinese experts.

"Washington has made a huge mistake as it has chosen the wrong target - China - to be 'the common enemy or common fear' to reshape its declining leadership among the West. Right now, the common enemy of humanity is COVID-19, and this is why its new cold war declaration received almost no positive responses from other major powers and even raised concern, said Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, on Sunday."

Today's Global Times lead editorial asked most of the questions everyone else's asking:

"People are asking: How far will the current China-US confrontation keep going? Will a new cold war take shape? Will there be military conflicts and will the possible clashes evolve into large-scale military confrontation between the two?

"Perhaps everyone believes that China does not want a new cold war, let alone a hot war. But the above-mentioned questions have become disturbing suspense because no one knows how wild the ambitions the US ruling team has now, and whether American and international societies are capable of restraining their ambitions."

IMO, the editor's conclusions are quite correct:

"The world must start to act and do whatever it can to stop Washington's hysteria in its relations with China.

"Right now, it is no longer a matter of whether China-US ties are in freefall, but whether the line of defense on world peace is being broken through by Washington. The world must not be hijacked by a group of political madmen. The tragedies in 1910s and 1930s must not be repeated again ."

Trump is elevated to the same plane as Hitler and Mussolini, and the Outlaw US Empire is now the equivalent of Nazi Germany and the Fascist drive to rule the world--a well illustrated trend that's been ongoing since 1991 that only those blinded by propaganda aren't capable of seeing. I think it absolutely correct for China to focus its rhetoric on the Outlaw US Empire's utter failure to control COVID, which prompts some probing questions made from the first article:

"Shen Yi, a professor at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs of Fudan University, told the Global Times on Sunday that there is wide consensus among the international community that the COVID-19 pandemic is the most urgent challenge that the world should deal with. Whether on domestic epidemic control or international cooperation, the US has done almost nothing right compared to China's efforts to assist others and its successful control measures for domestic outbreaks .

"In response to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's 'new Iron Curtain speech' at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library on Thursday declaring a new cold war against China, Shen said, ' We can also ask 'is Pompeo an ally of coronavirus?' Because he wants to confuse the world to target the wrong enemy amid the tough fight against the pandemic, so that the virus can kill more people, especially US people, since his country is in the worst situation .'

Shen said, 'In 2018, US Vice President Mike Pence already made a speech which the media saw as a new 'Iron Curtain speech,' and in 2020, Pompeo made a similar speech again, which means their cold war idea is not popular and brings no positive responses from its allies, so they need to try time and again. Of course, they will fail again.'" [My Emphasis]

Wow! The suggestion that Trump, Pompeo, Pence, and company want to "kill more people, especially US people" seems to be proven via their behavior which some of us barflies recognize and have discussed. Now that notion is out in the public, internationally. You don't need Concentration Camps and ovens when the work can be done via the dysfunctional structure of your economy and doing nothing about the situation.

Shen provides the clincher, what Gruff, myself, and others have said here:

"'So if we want to win this competition that was forced by the US, we must focus on our own development and not get distracted. The US is not afraid of a cold war with us, it is afraid of our development .'" [My Emphasis]

My synopsis of both articles omitted some additional info, so do please click the links to read them fully.

karlof1 , Jul 26 2020 18:02 utc | 19

Sputnik offers this analysis of the China/Outlaw US Empire issue , where I found this bit quite apt from "Alexey Biryukov, senior adviser at the Centre for International Information Security, Science and Technology Policy (CIIS) MGIMO-University":

"'The US is fighting with a country that is developing very rapidly, gaining power, increasing its competitiveness in areas where previously there was undeniably US leadership. Attempting to neutralise a global competitor is the main goal of Americans. Neutralising China's rapid, dynamic development is the essence of the American strategy . Meanwhile, China is interested in developing friendly relations with all countries. Recently, it presented the idea of building a community of common destiny for humanity. That's what Sino-American relations should be built around . It would seem that the pandemic should have brought people together around the idea of building a prosperous world for all, not just someone. But the Americans didn't understand that: they started looking for the guilty ones. This is the favourite strategy of Anglo-Saxons, Americans including, to look for the guilty . As a result, they found their main competitor – China'". [My Emphasis]

That is the "guilty ones" that aren't within the Outlaw US Empire. Many more opinions are provided in the article, but they all revolve around the one theme of Trump's actions being motivated by the election and his morbidly poor attempts to corral COVID.

[Jul 26, 2020] Watch- China Answers Houston Closure With Raid On US Consulate In Chengdu

Closing consulates is far from the best foreign policy and fat Pompeo known it. It just starts the unnecessary and counter productive spiral of retaliation and Chinese have more leverage over the USA as more the USA diplomatic personnel woks in China than the china diplomatic personnel in the USA. They were always burned in Russia and now they stepped on the same rake again.
Jul 26, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Musum , 8 hours ago

One good turn deserves another.

Maybe fat Pompeo knows he's on his way out and desperate to make a lasting mark on the geopolitical stage on behalf of the West Point mafia and his brothers-in-arm at the Jweish mafia.

QABubba , 8 hours ago

Quit stealing Russian consulates, Chinese consulates, etc.

It serves no purpose.

Haboob , 7 hours ago

Closing diplomacy with nations as USA shrinks on the world stage shows America's juvenile behavior.

Salisarsims , 7 hours ago

We are a young twenty something nation what do you expect but drama.

Haboob , 7 hours ago

It is funny how the young and arrogant always think they are right and have manifest destiny over the old and wise. The young never listen to the old and as the story goes they are defeated everytime. China is older than America, older than the west, they understand this world we are living in far more than we do.

me or you , 9 hours ago

He is right!

The world has witnessed the US is not more than a banana Republic with a banana healthcare system

To Hell In A Handbasket , 9 hours ago

I love seeing how gullible the USSA dunces are susceptible to hating an imaginary enemy. Go on dunces wave the star spangled banner, and place the hand over the heart, you non-critical thinking imbeciles. I told you fools years ago we are going to invoke the Yellow Peril 2.0, and now we are living it. China bad, is just as stupid as Russia bad, while the state stenographers at the MSM netowrks do all in their power to hide our rotten behaviour.

Who falls for this ****? The poorly educated, and the inherently stupid.

To Hell In A Handbasket , 8 hours ago

No, it's called nationalism or self preservation.

What are the citizens of the US suppose to do,

You are wrong on so many levels, but ultimately the Chinese have beaten us at our own rigged game. When I was riling against unfettered free-markets, and the movement of capital, that allowed the west for centuries to move into undeveloped foreign markets and gain a stranglehold, I was called a communist, and a protectionist.

While the USSA money printing b@stards was roaming around the planet like imperialists, and their companies was not only raping the planet, but gouging foreign markets, the average USSA dunce was brainwashed into believing USSA companies were the best.

Now these same market and economic rules we the west have set for the last several hundred years no longer work for us, we want to change the rules. Again, my point is "where was you on this position 5-10-20-30 years ago?" I've always seen this outcome, because logic said so. To reject our own status quo, and return to mercantilism, makes us look like the biggest hypocrites ever.

[Jul 19, 2020] The Chinese and Russian Foreign Ministers just jointly agreed in a rare published account of their phone conversation that the Outlaw US Empire " has lost its sense of reason, morality and credibility .

Jul 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Jul 18 2020 22:54 utc | 6 4

Does Cancel Culture intersect with Woke? The former's not mentioned in this fascinating essay , but the latter is and appears to deserve some unpacking beyond what Crooke provides.

As for the letter, it's way overdue by 40+ years. I recall reading Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind and Christopher Lasch's Culture of Narcissism where they say much the same.

What's most irksome are the lies that now substitute for discourse--Trump or someone from his admin lies, then the WaPost, NY Times, MSNBC, Fox, and others fire back with their lies. And to top everything off--There's ZERO accountability: people who merit "canceling" continue to lie and commit massive fraud.

The Chinese and Russian Foreign Ministers just jointly agreed in a rare published account of their phone conversation that the Outlaw US Empire " has lost its sense of reason, morality and credibility .

Yes, they were specifically referring to the government, but I'd include the Empire's institutions as well. In the face of that reality, the letter is worse than a joke.

[Jul 16, 2020] If Pompeo has a functioning brain, he should realize that all these blatant efforts to reserve markets for America by sanctioning all its competitors out of the picture is having the opposite effect, and frightening customers away from becoming dependent on American products

Jul 16, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

MOSCOWEXILE July 15, 2020 at 7:58 am

Fat bully boy speaks for Bully Boy state:

"Today the Department of State is updating the public guidance for CAATSA authorities to include Nord Stream 2 and the second line of TurkStream 2. This action puts investments or other activities that are related to these Russian energy export pipelines at risk of US sanctions. It's a clear warning to companies aiding and abetting Russia's malign influence projects and will not be tolerated. Get out now or risk the consequences".

Pompeo speaking at a press conference today.

CAATSA -- Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act

So Russia and Turkey are "adversaries" of the USA?

In what way?

Do these states wish to wage war against the USA?

Is it adversarial to United States interest to compete economically with the hegemon?

MOSCOWEXILE July 15, 2020 at 7:59 am

Link to above:

https://sputniknews.com/world/202007151079893067-us-plans-to-add-nord-stream-2-turkstream-to-list-of-projects-to-be-sanctioned/

MARK CHAPMAN July 15, 2020 at 3:51 pm

Who cares? Really, is Pompeo still scary? If he has a functioning brain, he should realize that all these blatant efforts to reserve markets for America by sanctioning all its competitors out of the picture is having the opposite effect, and frightening customers away from becoming dependent on American products which might be withheld on a whim when America wants political concessions. 'Will not be tolerated' – what a pompous ass. Sanction away. The consequence is well-known to be seizure of assets held in the United States or an inability to do business in the United States. That will frighten some into submission – like the UK, which was threatened with the cessation of intelligence-sharing with the USA (sure you can spare it?) if it did not drop Huawei from its 5G networks. But others will take prudent steps to limit their exposure to such threats, in the certain knowledge that if they work, they will encourage the USA to use the technique again.

[Jul 11, 2020] Pounding to nothing - Patrick Porter - The Critic Magazine

Jul 11, 2020 | thecritic.co.uk

Pounding to nothing

Patrick Porter reviews The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir, by John Bolton ARTILLERY ROW BOOKS 4 July, 2020

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P resident Donald Trump's third National Security Advisor opens his memoir with this quote from the Duke of Wellington at Waterloo: 'Hard Pounding, this, gentlemen. Let's see who will pound the longest.' And pound for pound, that's the (nearly) 500 page memoir in a nutshell. Unremitting pounding is both the theme and the style. As John Bolton urged the White House to take a 'harder line" on Iran and North Korea, Trump's chief of staff "urged me to keep pounding away in public, which I assured him I would.' China 'pounded away during my tenure, sensing weakness at the top.' As with Bolton's mission, so too with America's statecraft, that must 'keep moving and keep firing, like a big grey battleship.'

From his infamous unsubtle moustache to his bellicosity, Bolton traffics on a self-image of straight shooter who sprints towards gunfire. He does not set out to offer a meditation on a complex inner life. This image is also slightly misleading. For all the barrage, Bolton turns out to be a more conflicted figure, especially when his supporting fire is most called upon.

The Room Where it Happened is Bolton's account of his part in the power struggles within Trump's almost medieval court, his attempt to steer the executive branch towards the right course, unmasked supremacy everywhere, and his failure and disillusion with Trump's chaotic, self-serving and showbiz-driven presidency.

The room where it happened: A White House memoir, by John Bolton

The memoir itself is a non-trivial political event. Other reviewers have assailed it for being turgid. Bolton, though, has at least done the state some service by habitually recording and recounting every meeting. This is an important record of an important eighteen months packed with the escalating brinksmanship with Iran, an impeachment inquest, the return of great power competition and a fierce struggle to control the policy levers in Washington itself. For that detail, especially when contrasted with the exhausting melodrama of the era, Bolton deserves a little credit. The Trump administration's determined effort to suppress it on the grounds of classified information suggests there is substance to Bolton's allegations of corruption and turmoil at the heart of government.

It is also, though, a work of self-vindication. Bolton's life is an adversarial one. A former attorney, he became a policy advocate and a Republican Party institution, consistently taking the hardest of lines. He was ever drawn to aggressive combatants – like Hillary Clinton, in his formative years he supported Barry Goldwater. He interned for Vice-President Spiro Agnew, the "number one hawk." As a measure of Bolton's faith that war works and that co-existence with "rogue states" is impossible, he advocated attacking a heavily (and nuclear)-armed North Korea in 2018, an adversary that lies in artillery range of Seoul and thousands of Americans as effective hostages, and offered up a best-case scenario in doing so.

Bolton brought to government a world view that was dug-in and entrenched. For Bolton, the world is hostile, and to survive America must be strong (wielding and brandishing overwhelming force) at all times. Enemy regimes cannot be bargained with or even co-existed with on anything less than maximalist terms dictated by Washington. The US never gives an inch, and must demand everything. And if those regimes do not capitulate, America must topple or destroy them: Iran, Syria, Libya, Venezuela, Cuba, Yemen and North Korea, and must combat them on multiple fronts at once. In doing so, America itself must remain unfettered with an absolutely free hand, not nodding even hypocritically to law or custom or bargaining.

If Bolton's thoughts add up to anything, it is a general hostility, if not to talking, certainly to diplomacy – the art of giving coherence and shape to different instruments and activities, above all through compromise and a recognition of limits. The final straw for Bolton was Trump's cancelling an airstrike on Iran after it shot down a drone. An odd hill to die on, given the graver acts of corruption he as witness alleges, but fitting that the failure to pull the trigger for him was Trump's most shocking misdemeanour.

What is intended to be personal strength and clarity comes over as unreflective bluster

This worldview is as personal as it is geopolitical. Importantly for Bolton, in the end he fights alone, bravely against the herd. He fights against other courtiers, even fellow hawks, who Bolton treats with dismissive contempt – Nikki Haley, Steve Mnuchin, Mike Pompeo, or James Mattis who like Bolton, champions strategic commitments and views Iran as a dangerous enemy, but is more selective about when to reach for the gun. The press is little more than an "hysterical" crowd. Allies like South Korea, who must live as neighbours with one of the regimes Bolton earmarks for execution, and who try conciliatory diplomacy occasionally, earn slight regard. Critics, opponents or those who disagree are 'lazy,' 'howling' or 'feckless.'

For a lengthy work that distils a lifetime's experience, it is remarkably thin regarding the big questions of security, power and order. The hostile world for him contains few real limits other than failures of will. He embraces every rivalry and every commitment, but explanations are few and banal. 'While foreign policy labels are unhelpful except to the intellectually lazy,' he says, 'if pressed, I like to say my policy was "pro-American".' Who is lazy, here?

The purpose of foreign policy, too, is largely absent. Armed supremacy abroad, and power-maximisation, seems to be the end in itself, regardless of what is has wrought at home. This makes his disdain for Trump's authoritarian ways especially obtuse: what does he think made possible an imperial presidency in the first place?

There's little room for principled or reasonable disagreement. What is intended to be personal strength and clarity comes over as unreflective bluster, in a town where horse-trading and agility matter. Unintentionally, it is a warning to anyone who seeks to be effective as well as right, and to those of us who debate these questions.

The most provocative part of the book comes at the end, and points to a man more conflicted than his self-image of the straight shooter. Bolton issues an extended, uneasy defence of his decision not to appear as a witness before the House impeachment inquiry against a president he believed to be corrupt. Having celebrated the need to "pound away" with inexhaustible energy, it turned out his ammunition was low. 'I was content to bide my time. I believed throughout, as the line in Hamilton goes, that "I am not throwing away my shot".' Drawing on a characteristic claim to certainty, 'it would have made no significant difference in the Senate outcome.' How can he know this? And even if the odds were long, was there not – for once – a compelling basis in civic virtue to be that relentless grey battleship, pounding away? He now hopes "history" will remember Trump as a one-term president. History needs willing agents.

Other reviews have honed in on Bolton's decision to delay his revelations for a book pay-day. But consider another theme – the war-hawk who is in fact torn and agonised around combat when it comes to himself. It echoes his retrospective rationale for not fighting in Vietnam, a war he supported, and (as he has recorded) the detailed efforts he made to avoid service in that tragic theatre after being drafted. It was, he decided, bound to fail given that the anti-war Democrats would undermine the cause, a justification he later sheepishly regretted.

So twice the advocate of forceful confrontation refused the call to show up, generously awarding to himself a rationale for non-intervention that relieves him of commitment. He refuses to extend that same exonerating, prudential logic to his country, when it debates whether to wade in to conflict abroad. Neither does he extend it to other Americans who think the nation, like Bolton, might be better off sometimes holding its fire, biding its time, dividing its enemies, and keeping its powder dry.

Given that Bolton failed in the end to attend the "room where it happened", his title is unwittingly ironic. In his favour, Bolton's testy defence of his absence at least suggests something. In contrast with the front cover of another forthcoming, Trump-era memoir , he retains a modest capacity for embarrassment.

[Jul 06, 2020] Bolton Changes Tune- Now Refuses To Answer 'Russian Bounties' Questions After Stoking The 'Scandal' -

Jul 06, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

By middle of last week we observed of the Russian bounties to kill American troops in Afghanistan story that "at this point this non-story looks to be dead by the weekend as it's already unraveled."

Indeed by Thursday and Friday, as more Congressional leaders received closed door intelligence briefings on the allegations which originated with an anonymously sourced NY Times report claiming Trump supposedly ignored the Russian op to target Americans, the very Democrat and Republican lawmakers previously hyping it as a 'major scandal' went conspicuously silent .

Recall too that John Bolton, busy with a media blitz promoting his book, emerged to strongly suggest he had personal knowledge that Trump was briefed on the matter . The former national security adviser called the Trump denial of being briefed "remarkable". Well, look who is now appearing to sing a different tune. A week ago Bolton was all too wiling to voluntarily say Trump had "likely" been briefed and that was a big scandal. The whole story was indeed dead by the weekend:

NOW PLAYING

Other reports said Bolton has been telling people he had personally briefed the president :

Former national security adviser John Bolton told colleagues that he personally briefed President Donald Trump about intelligence that Russia offered Afghan militants bounties to kill American troops , U.S. officials told the Associated Press .

Bolton briefed Trump on the matter in March of 2019, according to the report, a year earlier than previously reported by The New York Times . The information was also included in at least one presidential Daily Brief, according to the AP, CNN and The Times . The AP earlier reported that it was also included in a second presidential Daily Brief earlier this year and that current national security adviser Robert O'Brien discussed the matter with Trump.

His Sunday refusal to even address the question - again after he was all too willing to speak to the issue a week ago when it was driving headlines - speaks volumes.

Via The Daily Mail

Now that even The Washington Post awkwardly walked back the substance of much of its reporting on the 'Russian bounties' story, Bolton has conveniently gone silent .


[Jul 06, 2020] US claim of 'Russian Bounty' plot in Afghanistan is dubious and dangerous - The Grayzone

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... the essential backdrop for the timing of this story. It really reveals how completely decayed mainstream media is as an institution, that none of these reporters protested the story, didn't see fit to do any independent investigation into it. At best they would print a Russian denial which counts for nothing in the US, or a Taliban denial which counts for nothing in the US. And then and this gets into the domestic political angle because so much of Russiagate, while it's been crafted by former or current intelligence officials, depends on the Democratic Party and it punditocracy, MSNBC and mainstream media as a projection megaphone, as its Mighty Wurlitzer. ..."
"... That took place in this case because, according to this story, Donald Trump had been briefed on Putin paying bounties to the Taliban and he chose to do nothing. Which, of course Trump denies, but that counts for nothing as well. But, again, there's been no independent confirmation of any of this. And now we get into the domestic part, which is that this new Republican anti-Trump operation, The Lincoln Project, had a flashy ad ready to go almost minutes after the story dropped. ..."
"... They're just, like, on meth at Steve Schmidt's political Batcave, just churning this material out. But I feel like they had an inkling, like this story was coming. It just the coordination and timing was impeccable. ..."
"... And The Lincoln Project is something that James Carville, the veteran Democratic consultant, has said is doing more than any Democrat or any Democratic consultant to elect Joe Biden. ..."
"... the Carter Administration, at the urging of national security chief Zbigniew Brzezinski, had enacted what would become Operation Cyclone under Reagan, an arm-and-equip program to arm the Afghan mujahideen. The Saudis put up a matching fund which helped bring the so-called Services Bureau into the field where Osama bin Laden became a recruiter for international jihadists to join the battlefield. And, you know, the goal was, in the words of Brzezinski, as he later admitted to a French publication, was to force the Red Army, the Soviet Red Army, to intervene to protect the pro-Soviet government in Kabul, which they proceeded to do. ..."
"... What he means is by basically paying bounties, which the US was literally doing along with its Gulf allies, to exact the toll on the allies of Assad, Russia. So, let's just say it's true, according to your question, let's just say this is all true. It would be a retaliation for what the United States has done to Russia in areas where it was actually legally invited in by the governments in charge, either in Kabul or Damascus. And that's, I think, the kind of ironic subtext that can hardly be understated when you see someone like Dan Rather wag his finger at Putin for paying the Taliban as proxies. But, I mean, it's such a ridiculous story that it's just hard to even fathom that it's real. ..."
"... just kind of neocon resistance mind-explosion, where first John Bolton was hailed as this hero and truthteller about Trump. ..."
"... And then you have this and it, you know, today as you pointed out, Chuck Todd, "Chuck Toddler", welcomes on Meet the Press John Bolton as this wise voice to comment on Donald Trump's slavish devotion to Vladimir Putin and how we need to escalate. ..."
"... This is what Russiagate has done. It's taken one of the most Strangelovian, psychotic, dangerous, bloodthirsty, sadistic monsters in US foreign policy circles and turned him into a sober-minded, even heroic, truthteller. ..."
Jul 06, 2020 | thegrayzone.com

US claim of 'Russian Bounty' plot in Afghanistan is dubious and dangerous

Max Blumenthal breaks down the "Russian bounty" story's flaws and how it aims to prolong the war in Afghanistan -- and uses Russiagate tactics to continue pushing the Democratic Party to the right

Multiple US media outlets, citing anonymous intelligence officials, are claiming that Russia offered bounties to kill US soldiers in Afghanistan, and that President Trump has taken no action.

Others are contesting that claim. "Officials said there was disagreement among intelligence officials about the strength of the evidence about the suspected Russian plot," the New York Times reports. "Notably, the National Security Agency, which specializes in hacking and electronic surveillance, has been more skeptical."

"The constant flow of Russiagate disinformation into the bloodstream of the Democratic Party and its base is moving that party constantly to the right, while pushing the US deeper into this Cold War," Blumenthal says.

Guest: Max Blumenthal, editor of The Grayzone and author of several books, including his latest "The Management of Savagery."

TRANSCRIPT

AARON MATÉ: Welcome to Pushback, I'm Aaron Maté. There is a new supposed Trump-Russia bombshell. The New York Times and other outlets reporting that Russia has been paying bounties to Afghan militants to kill US soldiers in Afghanistan. Trump and the White House were allegedly briefed on this information but have taken no action.

Now, the story has obvious holes, like many other Russiagate bombshells. It is sourced to anonymous intelligence officials. The New York Times says that the claim comes from Afghan detainees. And it also has some logical holes. The Taliban have been fighting the US and Afghanistan for nearly two decades and never needed Russian payments before to kill the Americans that they were fighting; [this] amongst other questions are raised about this story. But that has not stopped the usual chorus from whipping up a frenzy.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: Vladimir Putin is offering bounties for the scalps of American soldiers in Afghanistan. Not only offering, offering money [to] the people who kill Americans, but some of the bounties that Putin has offered have been collected, meaning the Russians at least believe that their offering cash to kill Americans has actually worked to get some Americans killed.

FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Donald Trump has continued his embarrassing campaign of deference and debasing himself before Vladimir Putin. He had has [sic] this information according to The Times, and yet he offered to host Putin in the United States and sought to invite Russia to rejoin the G7. He's in his entire presidency has been a gift to Putin, but this is beyond the pale.

CHUCK TODD, NBC: Let me ask you this. Do you think that part of the that the president is afraid to make Putin mad because maybe Putin did help him win the election and he doesn't want to make him mad for 2020?

SENATE MINORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER: I was not briefed on the Russian military intelligence, but it shows that we need in this coming defense bill, which we're debating this week, tough sanctions against Russia, which thus far Mitch McConnell has resisted.

Joining me now is Max Blumenthal, editor of The Grayzone, author of The Management of Savagery . Max, welcome to Pushback. What is your reaction to this story?

MAX BLUMENTHAL: I mean, it just feels like so many other episodes that we've witnessed over the past three or four years, where American intelligence officials basically plant a story in one outlet, The New York Times , which functions as the media wing of the Central Intelligence Agency. Then no reporting takes place whatsoever, but six reporters, or three to six reporters are assigned to the piece to make it look like it was some last-minute scramble to confirm this bombshell story. And then the story is confirmed again by The Washington Post because their reporters, their three to six reporters in, you know, capitals around the world with different beats spoke to the same intelligence officials, or they were furnished different officials who fed them the same story. And, of course, the story advances a narrative that the United States is under siege by Russia and that we have to escalate against Russia just ahead of another peace summit or some kind of international dialogue.

This has sort of been the general framework for these Russiagate bombshells, and of course they can there's always an anti-Trump angle. And because, you know, liberal pundits and the, you know, Democratic Party operatives see this as a means to undermine Trump as the election heats up. They don't care if it's true or not. They don't care what the consequences are. They're just gonna completely roll with it. And it's really changed, I think, not just US foreign policy, but it's changed the Democratic Party in an almost irreversible way, to have these constant "quote-unquote" bombshells that are really generated by the Central Intelligence Agency and by other US intelligence operations in order to turn up the heat to crank up the Cold War, to use these different media organs which no longer believe in reporting, which see Operation Mockingbird as a kind of blueprint for how to do journalism, to turn them into keys on the CIA's Mighty Wurlitzer. That's what happened here.

AARON MATÉ: What do you make of the logic of this story? This idea that the Taliban would need Russian money to kill Americans when the Taliban's been fighting the US for nearly two decades now. And the sourcing for the story, the same old playbook: anonymous intelligence officials who are citing vague claims about apparently what was said by Afghan detainees.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: This story has, as I said, it relies on zero reporting. The only source is anonymous American intelligence officials. And I tweeted out a clip of a former CIA operations officer who managed the CIA's operation in Angola, when the US was actually fighting on the side of apartheid South Africa against a Marxist government that was backed up by Cuban troops. His name was John Stockwell. And Stockwell talked about how one-third of his covert operations staff were propagandists, and that they would feed imaginary stories about Cuban barbarism that were completely false to reporters who were either CIA assets directly or who were just unwitting dupes who would hang on a line waiting for American intelligence officials to feed them stories. And one out of every five stories was completely false, as Stockwell said. We could play some of that clip now; it's pretty remarkable to watch it in light of this latest fake bombshell.

JOHN STOCKWELL: Another thing is to disseminate propaganda to influence people's minds, and this is a major function of the CIA. And unfortunately, of course, it overlaps into the gathering of information. You, you have contact with a journalist, you will give him true stories, you'll get information from him, you'll also give him false stories.

OFF-CAMERA REPORTER: Can you do this with responsible reporters?

JOHN STOCKWELL: Yes, the Church Committee brought it out in 1975. And then Woodward and Bernstein put an article in Rolling Stone a couple of years later. Four hundred journalists cooperating with the CIA, including some of the biggest names in the business.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: So, basically, I mean, you get the flavor of what someone who was in the CIA at the height of the Cold War I mean, he did the same thing in Vietnam. And the playbook is absolutely the same today. These this story was dumped on Friday in The New York Times by "quote-unquote" American intelligence officials, as a breakthrough had been made in Afghan peace talks and a conference was finally set for Doha, Qatar, that would involve the Taliban, which had been seizing massive amounts of territory.

Now, it's my understanding, and correct me if I'm wrong, that the Taliban had been fighting one of the most epic examples of an occupying army in modern history, just absolutely chewing away at one of the most powerful militaries in human history in their country for the last 19 years, without bounties from Vladimir Putin or private-hotdog-salesman-and-Saint-Petersburg-troll-farm-owner Yevgeny Prigozhin , who always comes up in these stories. It's always the hotdog guy who's doing everything bad from, like, you know, fake Facebook ads to poisoning Sergei Skripal or whatever.

But I just don't see where the Taliban needs encouragement from Putin to do that. It's their country. They want the US out and they have succeeded in seizing large amounts of territory. Donald Trump has come into office with a pledge to remove US troops from Afghanistan and ink this deal. And along comes this story as the peace process begins to advance.

And what is the end-result? We haven't gotten into the domestic politics yet, but the end-result is you have supposedly progressive senators like Chris Murphy of Connecticut attacking Trump for not fighting Russia in Afghanistan. I mean, they want a straight-up proxy war for not escalating. You have Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, someone who's aligned with the Democratic Party, who supported the war in Iraq and, you know, supports just endless war, demanding that the US turn up the heat not just in Afghanistan but in Syria. So, you know, the escalatory rhetoric is at a fever pitch right now, and it's obviously going to impact that peace conference.

Let's remember that three days before Trump's summit with Putin was when Mueller chose to release the indictment of the GRU agents for supposedly hacking the DNC servers. Let's remember that a day before the UN the United Nations Geneva peace talks opened on Syria in 2014 was when US intelligence chose to feed these shady Caesar photos, supposedly showing industrial slaughter of Syrian prisoners, to The New York Times in an investigation that had been funded by Qatar. Like, so many shady intelligence dumps have taken place ahead of peace summits to disrupt them, because the US doesn't feel like it has enough skin in the game or it just simply doesn't want peace in these areas.

So, that's what happened here. That's really, I think, the essential backdrop for the timing of this story. It really reveals how completely decayed mainstream media is as an institution, that none of these reporters protested the story, didn't see fit to do any independent investigation into it. At best they would print a Russian denial which counts for nothing in the US, or a Taliban denial which counts for nothing in the US. And then and this gets into the domestic political angle because so much of Russiagate, while it's been crafted by former or current intelligence officials, depends on the Democratic Party and it punditocracy, MSNBC and mainstream media as a projection megaphone, as its Mighty Wurlitzer.

That took place in this case because, according to this story, Donald Trump had been briefed on Putin paying bounties to the Taliban and he chose to do nothing. Which, of course Trump denies, but that counts for nothing as well. But, again, there's been no independent confirmation of any of this. And now we get into the domestic part, which is that this new Republican anti-Trump operation, The Lincoln Project, had a flashy ad ready to go almost minutes after the story dropped.

THE LINCOLN PROJECT AD: Now we know Vladimir Putin pays a bounty for the murder of American soldiers. Donald Trump knows, too, and does nothing. Putin pays the Taliban cash to slaughter our men and women in uniform and Trump is silent, weak, controlled. Instead of condemnation he insists Russia be treated as our equal.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: I mean, maybe they're just really good editors and brilliant politicians who work overtime. They're just, like, on meth at Steve Schmidt's political Batcave, just churning this material out. But I feel like they had an inkling, like this story was coming. It just the coordination and timing was impeccable.

And The Lincoln Project is something that James Carville, the veteran Democratic consultant, has said is doing more than any Democrat or any Democratic consultant to elect Joe Biden. They're always out there doing the hard work. Who are they? Well, Steve Schmidt is a former campaign manager for John McCain 2008. And you look at the various personnel affiliated with it, they're all McCain former McCain aides or people who worked on the Jeb and George W. Bush campaigns, going back to Texas and Florida. This is sort of the corporate wing of the Republican Party, the white-glove-country-club-patrician Republicans who are very pro-war, who hate Donald Trump.

And by doing this, by them really taking the lead on this attack, as you pointed out, Aaron, number one, they are sucking the oxygen out of the more progressive anti-Trump initiatives that are taking place, including in the streets of American cities. They're taking the wind out of anti-Trump more progressive anti-Trump critiques. For example, I think it's actually more powerful to attack Trump over the fact that he used, basically, chemical weapons on American peaceful protesters to do a fascistic photo-op. I don't know why there wasn't some call for congressional investigations on that. And they are getting skin in the game on the Biden campaign. It really feels to me like this Lincoln campaign operation, this moderate Republican operation which is also sort of a venue for neocons, will have more influence after events like this than the Bernie Sanders campaign, which has an enormous amount of delegates.

So, that's what I think the domestic repercussion is. It's just this constant it's the constant flow of Russiagate disinformation into the bloodstream of the Democratic Party and its base that's moving that party constantly to the right, while pushing the US deeper into this Cold War that only serves, you know, people who are associated with the national security state who need to justify their paycheck and the budget of the institutions that employ them.

AARON MATÉ: Let's assume for a second that the allegation is true, although, you know, you've laid out some of the reasons why it's not. Can you talk about the history here, starting with Afghanistan, something you cover a lot in your book, The Management of Savagery, where the US aim was to kill Russians, going right on through to Syria, where just recently the US envoy for the coalition against ISIS, James Jeffery, who handles Syria, said that his job now is to basically put the Russians in a quagmire in Syria.

JAMES JEFFREY: This isn't Afghanistan. This isn't Vietnam. This isn't a quagmire. My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Yeah, I mean, it feels like a giant act of psychological and political projection to accuse Russia of using an Islamist militia in Afghanistan as a proxy against the US to bleed the US into leaving, because that's been the US playbook in Central Asia and the Middle East since at least 1979. I just tweeted a photo of Dan Rather in Afghanistan, just crossing the Pakistani border and going to meet with some of the Mujahideen in 1980. Dan Rather was panned in The New York in The Washington Post by Tom Toles [Tom Shales], who was the media critic at the time, as "Gunga Dan," because he was so gung-ho for the Afghan mujahideen. In his reports he would complain about how weak their weaponry was, you know, how they needed more how they needed more funding. I mean, you could call it bounties, but it was really just CIA funding.

DAN RATHER: These are the best weapons you have, huh? They only have about twenty rounds for this?

TRANSLATOR: That's all. They have twenty rounds. Yes, and they know that these are all old weapons and they really aren't up to doing anything to the Russian weaponry that's around. But that's all they have, and this is why they want help. And he is saying that America seems to be asleep. It doesn't seem to realize that if Afghanistan goes and the Russians go over to the Gulf, that in a very short time it's going to be the turn of the United States as well.

DAN RATHER: But I'm sure he knows that in Vietnam we got our fingers burned. Indeed, we got our whole hands burned when we tried to help in this kind of situation.

TRANSLATOR [translating to the Afghan man and then his reply]: Your hands were burned in Vietnam, but if you don't agree to help us, if you don't ally yourself with us, then all of you, your whole body will be burnt eventually, because there is no one in the world who can really fight and resist as well as the as much and as well as the Afghans are.

DAN RATHER: But no American mother wants to send her son to Afghanistan.

TRANSLATOR [translating to the Afghan man and then his reply]: We don't need anybody's soldiers here to help us, but we are being constantly accused that the Americans are helping us with weapons. What we need, actually, are the American weapons. We don't need or want American soldiers. We can do the fighting ourselves.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: And a year or several months before, the Carter Administration, at the urging of national security chief Zbigniew Brzezinski, had enacted what would become Operation Cyclone under Reagan, an arm-and-equip program to arm the Afghan mujahideen. The Saudis put up a matching fund which helped bring the so-called Services Bureau into the field where Osama bin Laden became a recruiter for international jihadists to join the battlefield. And, you know, the goal was, in the words of Brzezinski, as he later admitted to a French publication, was to force the Red Army, the Soviet Red Army, to intervene to protect the pro-Soviet government in Kabul, which they proceeded to do.

And then with the introduction of the Stinger missile, the Afghan mujahideen, hailed as freedom fighters in Washington, were able to destroy Russian supply lines, exact a heavy toll, and forced the Red Army to leave in retreat. They helped create what's considered the Soviet Union's Vietnam.

So that was really but the blueprint for what Russian for what Russia is being accused of now, and that same model was transferred over to Syria. It was also actually proposed for Iraq in the Iraq Liberation Act in 1998. Then Senate Foreign Relations chair Jesse Helms actually said that the Afghan mujahideen should be our model for supporting the Iraqi resistance. So, this kind of proxy war was always on the table. Then the US did it in Syria, when one out of every $13 in the CIA budget went to arm the so-called "moderate rebels" in Syria, who we later found out were 31 flavors of jihadi, who were aligned with al-Qaeda's local affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra and helped give rise to ISIS. Michael Morell, I tweeted some video of him on Charlie Rose back in, I think, 2016. He's the former acting director for the CIA, longtime deputy director. He said, you know, the reason that we're in Syria, what we should be doing is causing Iran and Russia, the two allies of Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, to pay a heavy price.

MICHAEL MORELL: We need to make the Iranians pay a price in Syria. We need to make the Russians pay a price. The other thing

CHARLIE ROSE: We make them pay the price by killing killing Russians?

MICHAEL MORELL: Yes.

CHARLIE ROSE: And killing Iranians.

MICHAEL MORELL: Yes, covertly. You don't tell the world about it, right? You don't stand up at the Pentagon and say we did this, right? But you make sure they know it in Moscow and Tehran.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: What he means is by basically paying bounties, which the US was literally doing along with its Gulf allies, to exact the toll on the allies of Assad, Russia. So, let's just say it's true, according to your question, let's just say this is all true. It would be a retaliation for what the United States has done to Russia in areas where it was actually legally invited in by the governments in charge, either in Kabul or Damascus. And that's, I think, the kind of ironic subtext that can hardly be understated when you see someone like Dan Rather wag his finger at Putin for paying the Taliban as proxies. But, I mean, it's such a ridiculous story that it's just hard to even fathom that it's real.

AARON MATÉ: Let me read Dan Rather's tweet, because it's so it speaks to just how pervasive Russiagate culture is now. People have learned absolutely nothing from it.

Rather says, "Reporters are trained to look for patterns that are suspicious, and time and again one stands out with Donald Trump. Why is he so slavishly devoted to Putin? There is a spectrum of possible answers ranging from craven to treasonous. One day I hope and suspect we will find out."

It's like he forgot, perhaps, that Robert Mueller and his team spent three years investigating this very issue and came up with absolutely nothing. But the narrative has taken hold, and it's, as you talked about before, it's been the narrative we've been presented as the vehicle for understanding and opposing Donald Trump, so it cannot be questioned. And now it's like it's a matter of, what else is there to find out about Trump and Russia after Robert Mueller and the US intelligence agencies looked for everything they could and found nothing? They're still presented as if it's some kind of mystery that has to be unraveled.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: And it was after, like, a week of just kind of neocon resistance mind-explosion, where first John Bolton was hailed as this hero and truthteller about Trump. Then Dick Cheney was welcomed into the resistance, you know, because he said, "Wear a mask." I mean, you know, his mask was strangely not spattered with the blood of Iraqi children. But, you know, it was just amazing like that. Of course, it was the Lincoln project who hijacked the minds of the resistance, but basically people who used to work on Cheney's campaign said, "Dick Cheney, welcome to the resistance." I mean, that was remarkable. And then you have this and it, you know, today as you pointed out, Chuck Todd, "Chuck Toddler", welcomes on Meet the Press John Bolton as this wise voice to comment on Donald Trump's slavish devotion to Vladimir Putin and how we need to escalate.

CHUCK TODD, NBC: Let me ask you this. Do you think that part of the that the president is afraid to make Putin mad because maybe Putin did help him win the election and he doesn't want to make him mad for 2020?

MAX BLUMENTHAL: I mean, just a few years ago, maybe it was two years ago, before Bolton was brought into the Trump NSC, he was considered just an absolute marginal crank who was a contributor to Fox News. He'd been forgotten. He was widely hated by Democrats. Now here he is as a sage voice to tell us how dangerous this moment is. And, you know, he's not being even brought on just to promote his book; he's being brought on as just a sober-minded foreign policy expert on Meet the Press . That's where we're at right now.

AARON MATÉ: Yeah, and when his critique of Trump is basically that Trump was not hawkish enough. Bolton's most the biggest critique Bolton has of Trump is, as he writes about in his book, is when Trump declined to bomb Iran after Iran shot down a drone over its territory. And Bolton said that to him was the most irrational thing he's ever seen a president do.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Well, Bolton was mad that Trump confused body bags with missiles, because he said Trump thought that there would be 150 dead Iranians, and I said, "No, Donald, you're confused. It will be 150 missiles that we're firing into Iran." Like that's better! Like, "Oh, okay, that makes everything all right," that we fire a hundred missiles for one drone and maybe that wouldn't that kill possibly more than 150 people?

Well, in Bolton's world this was just another stupid move by Trump. If Bolton were, I mean, just, just watch all the interviews with Bolton. Watch him on The View where the only pushback he received was from Meghan McCain complaining that he ripped off a Hamilton song for his book The Room Where It Happened , and she asked, "Don't you have any apology to offer to Hamilton fans?" That was the pushback that Bolton received. Just watch all of these interviews with Bolton and try to find the pushback. It's not there. This is what Russiagate has done. It's taken one of the most Strangelovian, psychotic, dangerous, bloodthirsty, sadistic monsters in US foreign policy circles and turned him into a sober-minded, even heroic, truthteller.

AARON MATÉ: And inevitably the only long-term consequence that I can see here is ultimately helping Trump, because, if history is a pattern, these Russiagate supposed bombshells always either go nowhere or they get debunked. So, if this one gets forcefully debunked, because I think it's quite possible, because Trump has said that he was never briefed on this and they'll have to prove that he's lying, you know. It should be easy to do. Someone could come out and say that. If they can't prove that he's lying, then this one, I think, will blow up in their face. And all they will have done is, at a time when Trump is vulnerable over the pandemic with over a hundred thousand people dead on his watch, all these people did was ultimately try to bring the focus back to the same thing that failed for basically the entirety of Trump's presidency, which is Russiagate and Trump's supposed―and non-existent in reality―subservience to Vladimir Putin.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: But have you ever really confronted one of your liberal friends who maybe doesn't follow these stories as closely as you do? You know, well-intentioned liberal friend who just has this sense that Russia controls Trump, and asked them to really defend that and provide the receipts and really explain where the Trump administration has just handed the store to Russia? Because what we've seen is unprecedented since the height of the Cold War, an unprecedented deterioration of US-Russia relations with new sanctions on Russia every few months. You ask them to do that. They can't do it. It's just a sense they get, it's a feeling they get. And that's because these bombshells drop, they get reported on the front pages under banners of papers that declare that "democracy dies in darkness," whose brand is something that everybody trusts, The New York Times , The Washington Post , Woodward and Bernstein, and everybody repeats the story again and again and again. And then, if and when it gets debunked, discredited or just sort of disappears, a few days later everybody forgets about it. And those people who are not just, like, 24/7 media consumers but critical-minded media consumers, they're left with that sense that Russia actually controls us and that we must do something to escalate with Russia. So, that's the point of these: by the time the disinformation is discredited, the damage has already been done. And that same tactic was employed against Jeremy Corbyn in the UK, to the point where so many people were left with the sense that he must be an antisemite, although not one allegation was ever proven.

AARON MATÉ: Yeah, and now to the point where, in the Labour Party―we should touch on this for a second―where you had a Labour Party member retweet an article recently that mentioned some criticism of Israel and for that she was expelled from her position in the shadow cabinet.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Yeah, well, you know, as a Jew I was really threatened by that retweet [laughter]. I don't know about you.

I mean, this is Rebecca Long Bailey. She's one of the few Corbynites left in a high position in Labour who hasn't been effectively burned at the stake for being a, you know, Jew hater who wants to throw us all in gas chambers because she retweets an interview with some celebrity I'd never heard of before, who didn't even say anything that extreme. But it really shows how the Thought Police have taken control of the Labour Party through Sir Keir Starmer, who is someone who has deep links to the national security state through the Crown Prosecution Service, which he used to head, where he was involved in the prosecution of Julian Assange. And he has worked with The Times of London, which is a, you know, favorite paper of the national security state and the MI5 in the UK, for planting stories against Jeremy Corbyn. He was intimately involved in that campaign, and now he's at the head of the Labour Party for a very good reason. I really would recommend everyone watching this, if you're interested more in who Keir Starmer really is, read "Five Questions for [New Labour Leader] Sir Keir Starmer" by Matt Kennard at The Grayzone. It really lays it out and shows you what's happening.

We're just in this kind of hyper-managed atmosphere, where everything feels so much more controlled than it's ever been. And even though every sane rational person that I know seems to understand what's happening, they feel like they're not allowed to say it, at least not in any official capacity.

AARON MATÉ: From the US to Britain, everything is being co-opted. In the US it's, you know, genuine resistance to Trump, in opposition to Trump, it gets co-opted by the right. Same thing in Britain. People get manipulated into believing that Jeremy Corbyn, this lifelong anti-racist is somehow an antisemite. It's all in the service of the same agenda, and I have to say we're one of the few outlets that are pushing back on it. Everyone else is getting swept up on it and it's a scary time.

We're gonna wrap. Max, your final comment.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Well, yeah, we're pushing back. And I saw today Mint Press [News], which is another outlet that has pushed back, their Twitter account was just briefly removed for no reason, without explanation. Ollie Vargas, who's an independent journalist who's doing some of the most important work in the English language from Bolivia, reporting on the post-coup landscape and the repressive environment that's been created by the junta installed with US help under Jeanine Áñez, his account has been taken away on Twitter. The social media platforms are basically under the control of the national security state. There's been a merger between the national security state and Silicon Valley, and the space for these kinds of discussions is rapidly shrinking. So, I think, you know, it's more important than ever to support alternative media and also to really have a clear understanding of what's taking place. I'm really worried there just won't be any space for us to have these conversations in the near future.

AARON MATÉ: Max Blumenthal, editor of The Grayzone, author of The Management of Savagery , thanks a lot.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Thanks for having me.

[Jul 06, 2020] Trump's two Russias confound coherent US policy

This is a neocon written article. Reader beware.
Trump as wolf in sheep's clothing in his policy toward Russia. Any person who can appoint Bolton as his national security advisor should be criminally prosecuted for criminal incompetence. To say nothing about Pompeo, Haley and many others. Such a peacenik, my ***
The USA foreign policy is not controlled by the President. It is controlled by the "Deep state"
Notable quotes:
"... The dizzying, often contradictory, paths followed by Trump on the one hand and his hawkish but constantly changing cast of national security aides on the other have created confusion in Congress and among allies and enemies alike. To an observer, Russia is at once a mortal enemy and a misunderstood friend in U.S. eyes. ..."
"... But Trump has defended his perspective on Russia, viewing it as a misunderstood potential friend, a valued World War II ally led by a wily, benevolent authoritarian who actually may share American values, like the importance of patriotism, family and religion. ..."
"... despite Trump's rhetoric, his administration has plowed ahead with some of the most significant actions against Russia by any recent administration. ..."
"... Dozens of Russian diplomats have been expelled, diplomatic missions closed, arms control treaties the Russians sought to preserve have been abandoned, weapons have been sold to Ukraine despite the impeachment allegations and the administration is engaged in a furious battle to prevent Russia from constructing a new gas pipeline that U.S. lawmakers from both parties believe will increase Europe's already unhealthy dependence on Russian energy. ..."
Jul 06, 2020 | apnews.com

When it comes to Russia, the Trump administration just can't seem to make up its mind.

For the past three years, the administration has careered between President Donald Trump's attempts to curry favor and friendship with Vladimir Putin and longstanding deep-seated concerns about Putin's intentions. As Trump has repeatedly and openly cozied up to Putin, his administration has imposed harsh and meaningful sanctions and penalties on Russia.

The dizzying, often contradictory, paths followed by Trump on the one hand and his hawkish but constantly changing cast of national security aides on the other have created confusion in Congress and among allies and enemies alike. To an observer, Russia is at once a mortal enemy and a misunderstood friend in U.S. eyes.

Even before Trump took office questions about Russia abounded. Now, nearing the end of his first term with a difficult reelection ahead , those questions have resurfaced with a vengeance. Intelligence suggesting Russia was encouraging attacks on U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan by putting bounties on their heads has thrust the matter into the heart of the 2020 campaign.

The White House says the intelligence wasn't confirmed or brought to Trump's attention, but his vast chorus of critics are skeptical and maintain the president should have been aware.

The reports have alarmed even pro-Trump Republicans who see Russia as a hostile global foe meddling with nefarious intent in Afghanistan, the Middle East, Ukraine and Georgia, a waning former superpower trying to regain its Soviet-era influence by subverting democracy in Europe and the United States with disinformation and election interference .

Trump's overtures to Putin have unsettled longstanding U.S. allies in Europe, including Britain, France and Germany, which have expressed concern about the U.S. commitment to the NATO alliance, which was forged to counter the Soviet threat, and robust democracy on the continent.

But Trump has defended his perspective on Russia, viewing it as a misunderstood potential friend, a valued World War II ally led by a wily, benevolent authoritarian who actually may share American values, like the importance of patriotism, family and religion.

Trump's approach to Russia was at center stage in the impeachment proceedings, when U.S. officials testified that the president demanded political favors from Ukraine in return for military assistance it needed to combat Russian aggression. But the issue ended up as a largely partisan exercise, with House Democrats voting to impeach Trump and Senate Republicans voting to acquit .

Within the Trump administration, the national security establishment appears torn between pursuing an arguably tough approach to Russia and pleasing the president. Insiders who have raised concern about Trump's approach to Russia -- including at least one of his national security advisers, defense secretaries and secretaries of state, but especially lower-level officials who spoke out during impeachment -- have nearly all been ousted from their positions.

Suspicions about Trump and Russia go back to his 2016 campaign. His appeal to Moscow to dig up his opponent's emails , his plaintive suggestions that Russia and the United States should be friends and a series of contacts between his advisers and Russians raised questions of impropriety that led to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation . The investigation ultimately did not allege that anyone associated with the campaign illegally conspired with Russia.

Mueller, along with the U.S. intelligence community, did find that Russia interfered with the election, to sow chaos and also help Trump's campaign. But Trump has cast doubt on those findings, most memorably in a 2018 appearance on stage with Putin in Helsinki .

Yet despite Trump's rhetoric, his administration has plowed ahead with some of the most significant actions against Russia by any recent administration.

Dozens of Russian diplomats have been expelled, diplomatic missions closed, arms control treaties the Russians sought to preserve have been abandoned, weapons have been sold to Ukraine despite the impeachment allegations and the administration is engaged in a furious battle to prevent Russia from constructing a new gas pipeline that U.S. lawmakers from both parties believe will increase Europe's already unhealthy dependence on Russian energy.

At the same time, Trump has compounded the uncertainty by calling for the withdrawal or redeployment of U.S. troops from Germany, angrily deriding NATO allies for not meeting alliance defense spending commitments, and now apparently ignoring dire intelligence warnings that Russia was paying or wanted to pay elements of the Taliban to kill American forces in Afghanistan.

On top of that, even after the intelligence reports on the Afghanistan bounties circulated, he's expressed interest in inviting Putin back into the G-7 group of nations over the objections of the other members.

White House officials and die-hard Trump supporters have shrugged off the obvious inconsistencies, but they have been unable to staunch the swell of criticism and pointed demands for explanations as Russia, which has vexed American leaders for decades, delights in its ability to create chaos.

[Jul 03, 2020] Podcast- Empire Has No Clothes, Episode 9, Foreign Policy Dissent Is Patriotic by DANIEL LARISON

Bolton is just "yet another MIC puppet", who has complete vacuum in his head as for morality and decency. In other words he is a typical Washington psychopath. Like many sociopaths he is a compulsive liar, undeniable careerist and self-promoter.
Jul 02, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

This week on Empire Has No Clothes, we spoke with Elizabeth Shackelford, a former Foreign Service Officer and author of The Dissent Channel: American Diplomacy in a Dishonest Age . Kelley Vlahos, Matt Purple and I talked about demoralization in the department, the reasons for her resignation, U.S. policy in South Sudan and Africa, and the need for greater accountability in our foreign policy. We also covered John Bolton's new book, his outdated foreign policy views, and whether anything he says can be trusted.

Listen to the episode in the player below, or click the links beneath it to subscribe using your favorite podcast app. If you like what you hear, please give us a rating or review on iTunes or Stitcher, which will really help us climb the rankings, allowing more people to find the show.

[Jul 03, 2020] The Iran Obsession Has Isolated the US

So former tank repairman decided again managed to make a make a mark in world diplomacy :-).
Notable quotes:
"... Mike Pompeo delivered an embarrassing, clownish performance at the U.N. on Tuesday, and his attempt to gain support for an open-ended conventional arms embargo on Iran was rejected the rest of the old P5+1: ..."
"... The Trump administration has abused our major European allies for years in its push to destroy the nuclear deal, and their governments have no patience with any more unilateral U.S. stunts. This is the result of two years of a destructive policy aimed solely at punishing Iran and its people. The administration's open contempt for international law and the interests of its allies has cost the U.S. their cooperation. ..."
"... Underscoring the absurdity of the Trump administration's arms embargo appeal were Pompeo's alarmist warnings that an end to the arms embargo would allow Iran to purchase advanced fighters that it would use to threaten Europe and India: ..."
"... This is a laughably unrealistic scenario. Even if Iran purchased advanced fighters, the last thing it would do is send them off on a suicide mission to bomb Italy or India. This shows how deeply irrational the Iran hawks' fearmongering is. Iran has already demonstrated an ability to launch precise attacks with drones and missiles in its immediate neighborhood, and it developed these capabilities while under the current embargo. ..."
"... The Secretary of State called on the U.N. to reject "extortion diplomacy." The best way to reject extortion diplomacy would be for them to reject the administration's desperate attempt to use America's position at the U.N. to attack international law. ..."
Jul 03, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Mike Pompeo delivered an embarrassing, clownish performance at the U.N. on Tuesday, and his attempt to gain support for an open-ended conventional arms embargo on Iran was rejected the rest of the old P5+1:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Tuesday for an arms embargo on Iran to be extended indefinitely, but his appeal fell flat at the United Nations Security Council, where Russia and China rejected it outright and close allies of the United States were ambivalent.

The Trump administration is more isolated than ever in its Iran obsession. The ridiculous effort to invoke the so-called "snapback" provision of the JCPOA more than two years after reneging on the agreement met with failure, just as most observers predicted months ago when it was first floated as a possibility. As I said at the time, "The administration's latest destructive ploy won't find any support on the Security Council. There is nothing "intricate" about this idea. It is a crude, heavy-handed attempt to employ the JCPOA's own provisions to destroy it." It was never going to work because all of the other parties to the agreement want nothing to do with the administration's punitive approach, and U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA meant that it forfeited any rights it had when it was still part of the deal.

Opposition from Russia and China was a given, but the striking thing about the scene at the U.N. this week was that major U.S. allies joined them in rebuking the administration's obvious bad faith maneuver:

The pointedly critical tone of the debate saw Germany accusing Washington of violating international law by withdrawing from the nuclear pact, while Berlin aligned itself with China's claim that the United States has no right to reimpose U.N. sanctions on Iran.

The Trump administration has abused our major European allies for years in its push to destroy the nuclear deal, and their governments have no patience with any more unilateral U.S. stunts. This is the result of two years of a destructive policy aimed solely at punishing Iran and its people. The administration's open contempt for international law and the interests of its allies has cost the U.S. their cooperation.

Underscoring the absurdity of the Trump administration's arms embargo appeal were Pompeo's alarmist warnings that an end to the arms embargo would allow Iran to purchase advanced fighters that it would use to threaten Europe and India:

If you fail to act, Iran will be free to purchase Russian-made fighter jets that can strike up to a 3,000 kilometer radius, putting cities like Riyadh, New Delhi, Rome, and Warsaw in Iranian crosshairs.

This is a laughably unrealistic scenario. Even if Iran purchased advanced fighters, the last thing it would do is send them off on a suicide mission to bomb Italy or India. This shows how deeply irrational the Iran hawks' fearmongering is. Iran has already demonstrated an ability to launch precise attacks with drones and missiles in its immediate neighborhood, and it developed these capabilities while under the current embargo.

It has no need for expensive fighters, and it is not at all certain that their government would even be interested in acquiring them. Pompeo's presentation was a weak attempt to exaggerate the potential threat from a state that has very limited power projection, and he found no support because his serial fabrications about Iran have rendered everything he says to be worthless.

The same administration that wants to keep an arms embargo on Iran forever has no problem flooding the region with U.S.-made weapons and providing them to some of the worst governments in the world. It is these client states that are doing the most to destabilize other countries in the region right now. If the U.N. should be putting arms embargoes on any country, it should consider imposing them on Saudi Arabia and the UAE to limit their ability to wreak havoc on Yemen and Libya.

The Secretary of State called on the U.N. to reject "extortion diplomacy." The best way to reject extortion diplomacy would be for them to reject the administration's desperate attempt to use America's position at the U.N. to attack international law.

[Jul 01, 2020] Three Glaring Problems with the Russian Taliban Bounty Story by Barbara Boland

Highly recommended!
This is an attempt to move Trump in the direction of more harsher politics toward Russia. So not Bolton's but Obama ears are protruding above this dirty provocation.
Notable quotes:
"... According to the anonymous sources that spoke with the paper's reporters, the White House and President Trump were briefed on a range of potential responses to Moscow's provocations, including sanctions, but the White House had authorized no further action. ..."
"... Bolton is one of the only sources named in the New York Times article. Currently on a book tour, Bolton has said that he witnessed foreign policy malfeasance by Trump that dwarfs the Ukraine scandal that was the subject of the House impeachment hearings. But Bolton's credibility has been called into question since he declined to appear before the House committee. ..."
"... "Who can forget how 'successful' interrogators can be in getting desired answers?" writes Ray McGovern, who served as a CIA analyst for 27 years. Under the CIA's "enhanced interrogation techniques," Khalid Sheik Mohammed famously made at least 31 confessions, many of which were completely false. ..."
"... This story is "WMD [all over] again," said McGovern, who in the 1980s chaired National Intelligence Estimates and prepared the President's Daily Brief. He believes the stories seek to preempt DOJ findings on the origins of the Russiagate probe. ..."
"... The bungled media response and resulting negative press could also lead Trump to contemplate harsher steps towards Russia in order to prove that he is "tough," which may have motivated the leakers. It's certainly a policy goal with which Bolton, one of the only named sources in the New York Times piece, wholeheartedly approves. ..."
"... Not only did CIA et al.'s leak get even with Trump for years of insults and ignoring their reports (Trump is politically wounded by this story), but it also achieved their primary objective of keeping Putin out of the G7 and muzzling Trump's threats to withdraw from NATO because Russia is our friend (well his, anyway). ..."
"... Point 4: the whole point of the Talibans is to fight to the death whichever country tries to control and invade Afghanistan. They didn't need the Russians to tell them to fight the US Army, did they? ..."
"... Point 5: Russia tried to organise a mediation process between the Afghan government and the Talibans already in 2018 - so why would they be at the same time trying to fuel the conflict? A stable Afghanistan is more convenient to them, given the geographical position of the country. ..."
"... As much as I love to see everyone pile on trump, this is another example of a really awful policy having bad outcomes. If Bush, Obama, trump, or anyone at the pentagon gave a crap about the troops, they wouldn't have kept them in Afghanistan and lied about the fact they were losing the whole time. ..."
"... the idea is stupid. Russia doesn't need to do anything to motivate Afghans to want to boot the invaders out of their country, and would want to attract negative attention in doing so. ..."
"... Contrast with the CIA motivations for this absurd narrative. Chuck Schumer famously commented that the intelligence agencies had ways of getting back at you, and it looks like you took the bait, hook, line and sinker. ..."
"... And a fourth CIA goal: it undermines Trump's relationship with the military. ..."
"... Having failed in its Russia "collusion" and "Russia stole the election" campaigns to oust Trump, this is just the latest effort by the Deep State and mass media to use unhinged Russophobia to try to boost Biden and damage Trump. ..."
"... The contemporary left hate Russia , because Russia is carving out it own sphere of influence and keeping the Americans out, because it saved Assad from the western backed sunni head choppers (that the left cheered on, as they killed native Orthodox, and Catholic Christians). The Contempary left hate Russia because it cracks down on LGBT propaganda, banned porn hub, and return property to the Church , which the leftist Bolsheviks stole, the Contempaty left hate Russia because it cracked down on it western backed oligarchs who plundered Russia in the 90's. ..."
Jul 01, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Bombshell report published by The New York Times Friday alleges that Russia paid dollar bounties to the Taliban in Afghanistan to kill U.S troops. Obscured by an extremely bungled White House press response, there are at least three serious flaws with the reporting.

The article alleges that GRU, a top-secret unit of Russian military intelligence, offered the bounty in payment for every U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan, and that at least one member of the U.S. military was alleged to have been killed in exchange for the bounties. According to the paper, U.S. intelligence concluded months ago that the Russian unit involved in the bounties was also linked to poisonings, assassination attempts and other covert operations in Europe. The Times reports that United States intelligence officers and Special Operations forces in Afghanistan came to this conclusion about Russian bounties some time in 2019.

According to the anonymous sources that spoke with the paper's reporters, the White House and President Trump were briefed on a range of potential responses to Moscow's provocations, including sanctions, but the White House had authorized no further action.

Immediately after the news broke Friday, the Trump administration denied the report -- or rather, they denied that the President was briefed, depending on which of the frenetic, contradictory White House responses you read.

Traditionally, the President of the United States receives unconfirmed, and sometimes even raw intelligence, in the President's Daily Brief, or PDB. Trump notoriously does not read his PDB, according to reports.

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said in a statement Saturday night that neither Trump nor Vice President Pence "were ever briefed on any intelligence alleged by the New York Times in its reporting yesterday."

On Sunday night, Trump tweeted that not only was he not told about the alleged intelligence, but that it was not credible."Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible, and therefore did not report it to me or @VP" Pence, Trump wrote Sunday night on Twitter.

Ousted National Security Advisor John Bolton said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that Trump was probably claiming ignorance in order to justify his administration's lack of response.

"He can disown everything if nobody ever told him about it," said Bolton.

Bolton is one of the only sources named in the New York Times article. Currently on a book tour, Bolton has said that he witnessed foreign policy malfeasance by Trump that dwarfs the Ukraine scandal that was the subject of the House impeachment hearings. But Bolton's credibility has been called into question since he declined to appear before the House committee.

The explanations for what exactly happened, and who was briefed, continued to shift Monday.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany followed Trump's blanket denial with a statement that the intelligence concerning Russian bounty information was "unconfirmed." She didn't say the intelligence wasn't credible, like Trump had said the day before, only that there was "no consensus" and that the "veracity of the underlying allegations continue to be evaluated," which happens to almost completely match the Sunday night statement from the White House's National Security Council.

Instead of saying that the sources for the Russian bounty story were not credible and the story was false, or likely false, McEnany then said that Trump had "not been briefed on the matter."

"He was not personally briefed on the matter," she said. "That is all I can share with you today."

It's difficult to see how the White House thought McEnany's statement would help, and a bungled press response like this is communications malpractice, according to sources who spoke to The American Conservative.

Let's take a deeper dive into some of the problems with the reporting here:

1. Anonymous U.S. and Taliban sources?

The Times article repeatedly cites unnamed "American intelligence officials." The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal articles "confirming" the original Times story merely restate the allegations of the anonymous officials, along with caveats like "if true" or "if confirmed."

Furthermore, the unnamed intelligence sources who spoke with the Times say that their assessment is based "on interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals."

That's a red flag, said John Kiriakou, a former analyst and case officer for the CIA who led the team that captured senior al-Qaeda member Abu Zubaydah in Pakistan in 2002. "When you capture a prisoner, and you're interrogating him, the prisoner is going to tell you what he thinks you want to hear," he said in an interview with The American Conservative . "There's no evidence here, there's no proof."

"Who can forget how 'successful' interrogators can be in getting desired answers?" writes Ray McGovern, who served as a CIA analyst for 27 years. Under the CIA's "enhanced interrogation techniques," Khalid Sheik Mohammed famously made at least 31 confessions, many of which were completely false.

Kiriakou believes that the sources behind the report hold important clues on how the government viewed its credibility.

"We don't know who the source is for this. We don't know if they've been vetted, polygraphed; were they a walk-in; were they a captured prisoner?"

If the sources were suspect, as they appear to be here, then Trump would not have been briefed on this at all.

With this story, it's important to start at the "intelligence collection," said Kiriakou. "This information appeared in the [CIA World Intelligence Review] Wire, which goes to hundreds of people inside the government, mostly at the State Department and the Pentagon. The most sensitive information isn't put in the Wire; it goes only in the PDB."

"If this was from a single source intelligence, it wouldn't have been briefed to Trump. It's not vetted, and it's not important enough. If you caught a Russian who said this, for example, that would make it important enough. But some Taliban detainees saying it to an interrogator, that does not rise to the threshold."

2. What purpose would bounties serve?

Everyone and their mother knows Trump wants to pull the troops out of Afghanistan, said Kiriakou.

"He ran on it and he has said it hundreds of times," he said. "So why would the Russians bother putting a bounty on U.S. troops if we're about to leave Afghanistan shortly anyway?"

That's leaving aside Russia's own experience with the futility of Afghanistan campaigns, learned during its grueling 9-year war there in the 1980s.

If this bounty campaign is real, it would not appear to be very effective, as only eight U.S. military members were killed in Afghanistan in 2020. The New York Times could not verify that even one U.S. military member was killed due to an alleged Russian bounty.

The Taliban denies it accepted bounties from Russian intelligence.

"These kinds of deals with the Russian intelligence agency are baseless -- our target killings and assassinations were ongoing in years before, and we did it on our own resources," Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, told The New York Times . "That changed after our deal with the Americans, and their lives are secure and we don't attack them."

The Russian Embassy in the United States called the reporting "fake news."

While the Russians are ruthless, "it's hard to fathom what their motivations could be" here, said Paul Pillar, an academic and 28-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency, in an interview with The American Conservative. "What would they be retaliating for? Some use of force in Syria recently? I don't know. I can't string together a particular sequence that makes sense at this time. I'm not saying that to cast doubt on reports the Russians were doing this sort of thing."

3. Why is this story being leaked now?

According to U.S. officials quoted by the AP, top officials in the White House "were aware of classified intelligence indicating Russia was secretly offering bounties to the Taliban for the deaths of Americans" in early 2019. So why is this story just coming out now?

This story is "WMD [all over] again," said McGovern, who in the 1980s chaired National Intelligence Estimates and prepared the President's Daily Brief. He believes the stories seek to preempt DOJ findings on the origins of the Russiagate probe.

The NYT story serves to bolster the narrative that Trump sides with Russia, and against our intelligence community estimates and our own soldiers lives.

The stories "are likely to remain indelible in the minds of credulous Americans -- which seems to have been the main objective," writes McGovern. "There [Trump] goes again -- not believing our 'intelligence community; siding, rather, with Putin.'"

"I don't believe this story and I think it was leaked to embarrass the President," said Kiriakou. "Trump is on the ropes in the polls; Biden is ahead in all the battleground states."

If these anonymous sources had spoken up during the impeachment hearings, their statements could have changed history.

But the timing here, "kicking a man when he is down, is extremely like the Washington establishment. A leaked story like this now, embarrasses and weakens Trump," he said. "It was obvious that Trump would blow the media response, which he did."

The bungled media response and resulting negative press could also lead Trump to contemplate harsher steps towards Russia in order to prove that he is "tough," which may have motivated the leakers. It's certainly a policy goal with which Bolton, one of the only named sources in the New York Times piece, wholeheartedly approves.

Barbara Boland is TAC's foreign policy and national security reporter. Previously, she worked as an editor for the Washington Examiner and for CNS News. She is the author of Patton Uncovered , a book about General George Patton in World War II, and her work has appeared on Fox News, The Hill , UK Spectator , and elsewhere. Boland is a graduate from Immaculata University in Pennsylvania. Follow her on Twitter @BBatDC .


Tomonthebeach 9 hours ago • edited

Caitlin Johnstone was the first journalist to question this NYT expose' several days ago in her blog. After looking into it, I had to agree with her that the story was junk reporting by a news source eager to stick it to Trump for his daily insults. NYT must love the irony of a "fake news" story catching fire and burning Trump politically. After all, paying people to kill their own enemies? That is a "tip," not a bounty. It is more of an intel footnote than the game-changer in international relations as asserted by Speaker Pelosi on TV as she grabbed her pearls beneath her stylish COVID mask.

I was surprised that Ms. Boland could not think of any motivation for leaking the story right now given recent grousing on the Hill about Trump's inviting Putin to G7 over the objections of Merkel and several other NATO heads of state. I even posted a congratulatory message in Defense One yesterday to the US Intel community for mission accomplished.

Not only did CIA et al.'s leak get even with Trump for years of insults and ignoring their reports (Trump is politically wounded by this story), but it also achieved their primary objective of keeping Putin out of the G7 and muzzling Trump's threats to withdraw from NATO because Russia is our friend (well his, anyway).

Connecticut Farmer Tomonthebeach 3 hours ago

That "bounty" story never passed the smell test, even to my admittedly untrained nose. My real problem is that it's a story in the first place, given that Trump campaigned on a platform that included bringing the boys home from sand hills like Afghanistan; yet here we are, four years later, and we're still there.

Lavinia 6 hours ago

Point 4: the whole point of the Talibans is to fight to the death whichever country tries to control and invade Afghanistan. They didn't need the Russians to tell them to fight the US Army, did they?

Point 5: Russia tried to organise a mediation process between the Afghan government and the Talibans already in 2018 - so why would they be at the same time trying to fuel the conflict? A stable Afghanistan is more convenient to them, given the geographical position of the country.

This whole story is completely ridiculous. Totally bogus.

Wally 5 hours ago

As much as I love to see everyone pile on trump, this is another example of a really awful policy having bad outcomes. If Bush, Obama, trump, or anyone at the pentagon gave a crap about the troops, they wouldn't have kept them in Afghanistan and lied about the fact they were losing the whole time.

Of course people are trying to kill US military in Afghanistan. If I lived in Afghanistan, I'd probably hate them too. And let's not forget that just a few weeks ago the 82nd airborne was ready to kill American civilians in DC. The military is our enemy too!

If you are in the US military today, please quit.

https://www.washingtonpost....

Don't ever forget how they lied to us.

Feral Finster 4 hours ago

Moreover, the idea is stupid. Russia doesn't need to do anything to motivate Afghans to want to boot the invaders out of their country, and would want to attract negative attention in doing so.

The purported bounty program doesn't help Russia, but the anonymous narrative does conveniently serve several CIA purposes:
1. It makes it harder to leave Afghanistan.
2. It keeps the cold war with Russia going along.
3. It damages Trump (whose relationship with the CIA is testy at best).

Then there's the question of how this supposed intelligence was gathered. The CIA tortures people, and there's no reason to believe that this was any different.

Feral Finster Sidney Caesar 2 hours ago

1. Russia wants a stable Afghanistan. Not a base for jihadis.

2. The idea that Russia has to encourage Afghans to kill Invaders is a hoot. They don't ever do that on their own.

3. Not only do Afghans traditionally need no motivation to kill infidel foreign Invaders, but Russia would have to be incredibly stupid to bring more American enmity on itself.

Contrast with the CIA motivations for this absurd narrative. Chuck Schumer famously commented that the intelligence agencies had ways of getting back at you, and it looks like you took the bait, hook, line and sinker.

Either that, or you're just cynical. You'll espouse anything, however absurd and full of lies, as long as it damages Trump.

I detest Trump, but I am not a list.

Wally Feral Finster 3 hours ago

I don't have a clue if this bounty story is correct, but I can imagine plenty of reasons why the Russians would do it. It's easy enough to believe it or believe it was cooked up by CIA as you suggest.

Feral Finster Feral Finster 2 hours ago

And a fourth CIA goal: it undermines Trump's relationship with the military.

FND 4 hours ago

There will be one of these BS blockbusters every few weeks until the election. There are legions of buried-in democrat political appointees that will continue to feed the DNC press. It will be non-stop. The DNC press is shredding the 1st amendment.

former-vet FND 2 hours ago

Not shredding the First Amendment, just shining light on the pitfalls of a right to freedom of speech. There are others ramifications to free speech we consider social goods.

Kent FND 2 hours ago

These aren't buried-in democrats. These people could care less which political party the President is a member of. They only care that the President does what they say. Political parties are just to bamboozle the rubes. They are the real power.

Connecticut Farmer 4 hours ago

"U.S. Intelligence"-lol--a contradiction in terms. Just repeat three times: "George 'Slam Dunk' Tenet."

Sidney Caesar Connecticut Farmer 3 hours ago

Tenet knew his role- he said what his superiors wanted to hear: https://www.motherjones.com... The Iraq debacle was a top-down con job.

Stephen R Gould 3 hours ago • edited

The best defence that the WSJ and Fox News could muster was that the story wasn't confirmed as the NSA didn't have the same confidence in the assessment as the CIA. "Is there anything else to which you would wish to draw my attention?" "To the curious incident of the denial from the White House", "There was no denial from the White House". "That was the curious incident".

I note that Fox News had buried the story "below the scroll" on their home page - if they had though the story was fake, the headlines would be screaming at MSM.

maxsnafu 3 hours ago

I was suspicious when I saw it originated in Walter Duranty's newspaper.

The Derp State 3 hours ago

"What if Obama...." #4,267

former-vet 2 hours ago • edited

Pravda was a far more honest and objective news source than The New York Times is. I say that as someone who read both for long periods of time. The Times is on par with the National Enquirer for credibility, with the latter at least being less propagandistic and agenda-driven.

SatirevFlesti 2 hours ago

Having failed in its Russia "collusion" and "Russia stole the election" campaigns to oust Trump, this is just the latest effort by the Deep State and mass media to use unhinged Russophobia to try to boost Biden and damage Trump.

The extent to which the contemporary Left is driven by a level of Russophobia unseen even by the most stalwart anti-Communists on the Right during the Cold War is truly something to behold. I think at bottom it comes down to not liking Putin or Russia because they refuse to get on board with the Left's social agenda.

James SatirevFlesti 2 hours ago • edited

The contemporary left hate Russia , because Russia is carving out it own sphere of influence and keeping the Americans out, because it saved Assad from the western backed sunni head choppers (that the left cheered on, as they killed native Orthodox, and Catholic Christians). The Contempary left hate Russia because it cracks down on LGBT propaganda, banned porn hub, and return property to the Church , which the leftist Bolsheviks stole, the Contempaty left hate Russia because it cracked down on it western backed oligarchs who plundered Russia in the 90's.

The Contempary left wants Russia to be Woke, Broke, Godless, and Gay.

The democrats are now the cheerleaders of the warfare -welfare state,, the marriage between the neolibs-neocons under the Democrat party to ensure that President Trump is defeated by the invade the world, invite the world crowd.

WilliamRD TheSnark 44 minutes ago

"The Trumpies are right in that this was obviously a leak by the intel community designed to hurt Trump. But what do you expect...he has spent 4 years insulting and belittling them. They are going to get their pound of flesh."

Intel community was behind an attempted coup of Trump. He has good reason not to trust them and insulting is only natural. Hopefully John Durham will indict several of them

Kent an hour ago

I honestly don't find "unnamed officials", the CIA, the NSA, the NYT, John Bolton, or President Trump to be credible sources.

Sidney Caesar Kent an hour ago • edited

I've found myself to be the only honest and trustworthy person- everyone should just listen to me.

WilliamRD 42 minutes ago • edited

Montage: Mainstream Media Hype About Russia Collusion https://twitter.com/ggreenw...

WilliamRD 36 minutes ago

Russiagate's Last Gasp https://consortiumnews.com/...

phreethink 20 minutes ago • edited

Interesting take. I certainly take anything anyone publishes based on anonymous sources with a big grain of salt, especially when it comes from the NYT...

[Jul 01, 2020] Madcap Militarism- H.R. McMaster's Dishonest Attack on Restraint -

Notable quotes:
"... The purpose of McMaster's essay is to discredit "retrenchers" -- that's his term for anyone advocating restraint as an alternative to the madcap militarism that has characterized U.S. policy in recent decades. Substituting retrenchment for restraint is a bit like referring to conservatives as fascists or liberals as pinks : It reveals a preference for labeling rather than serious engagement. In short, it's a not very subtle smear, as indeed is the phrase madcap militarism. But, hey, I'm only playing by his rules. ..."
"... The militarization of American statecraft that followed the end of the Cold War produced results that were bad for the United States and bad for the world. If McMaster can't figure that out, then he's the one who is behind the times. ..."
"... While Hillary was very clear on her drive against Russia, Trump promised the opposite, so many people had hopes for something on that. Nevertheless, he also promised to go against China and JPCOA, which many people forgot or thought not likely. But lo and behold, with Trump we ended up having the worst of both worlds ..."
"... just because of Trump's rhetoric against military adventurism, I would have voted for him. I would have been wrong, so now I am now extremely weary of any promises on this direction, but still hoped for Tulsi... ..."
Jul 01, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Home / Articles / Realism & Restraint / Madcap Militarism: H.R. McMaster's Dishonest Attack On Restraint REALISM & RESTRAINT Madcap Militarism: H.R. McMaster's Dishonest Attack On Restraint

Anyone looking for new grand strategy won't find it in the retired general's latest 'think piece.' Gen. H.R. McMaster in 2013. By CSIS/Flickr

JUNE 29, 2020

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12:01 AM

ANDREW J. BACEVICH

H.R. McMaster looks to be one of those old soldiers with an aversion to following Douglas MacArthur's advice to "just fade away."

The retired army three-star general who served an abbreviated term as national security adviser has a memoir due out in September. Perhaps in anticipation of its publication, he has now contributed a big think-piece to the new issue of Foreign Affairs. The essay is unlikely to help sell the book.

The purpose of McMaster's essay is to discredit "retrenchers" -- that's his term for anyone advocating restraint as an alternative to the madcap militarism that has characterized U.S. policy in recent decades. Substituting retrenchment for restraint is a bit like referring to conservatives as fascists or liberals as pinks : It reveals a preference for labeling rather than serious engagement. In short, it's a not very subtle smear, as indeed is the phrase madcap militarism. But, hey, I'm only playing by his rules.

Yet if not madcap militarism, what term or phrase accurately describes post-9/11 U.S. policy? McMaster never says. It's among the many matters that he passes over in silence. As a result, his essay amounts to little more than a dodge, carefully designed to ignore the void between what assertive "American global leadership" was supposed to accomplish back when we fancied ourselves the sole superpower and what actually ensued.

Here's what McMaster dislikes about restraint: It is based on "emotions" and a "romantic view" of the world rather than reason and analysis. It is synonymous with "disengagement" -- McMaster uses the terms interchangeably. "Retrenchers ignore the fact that the risks and costs of inaction are sometimes higher than those of engagement," which, of course, is not a fact, but an assertion dear to the hearts of interventionists. Retrenchers assume that the "vast oceans" separating the United States "from the rest of the world" will suffice to "keep Americans safe." They also believe that "an overly powerful United States is the principal cause of the world's problems." Perhaps worst of all, "retrenchers are out of step with history and way behind the times."

Forgive me for saying so, but there is a Trumpian quality to this line of argument: broad claims supported by virtually no substantiating evidence. Just as President Trump is adamant in refusing to fess up to mistakes in responding to Covid-19 -- "We've made every decision correctly" -- so too McMaster avoids reckoning with what actually happened when the never-retrench crowd was calling the shots in Washington and set out after 9/11 to transform the Greater Middle East.

What gives the game away is McMaster's apparent aversion to numbers. This is an essay devoid of stats. McMaster acknowledges the "visceral feelings of war weariness" felt by more than a few Americans. Yet he refrains from exploring the source of such feelings. So he does not mention casualties -- the number of Americans killed or wounded in our post-9/11 misadventures. He does not discuss how much those wars have cost , which, of course, spares him from considering how the trillions expended in Afghanistan and Iraq might have been better invested at home. He does not even reflect on the duration of those wars, which by itself suffices to reveal the epic failure of recent U.S. military policy. Instead, McMaster mocks what he calls the "new mantra" of "ending endless wars."

Well, if not endless, our recent wars have certainly dragged on for far longer than the proponents of those wars expected. Given the hundreds of billions funneled to the Pentagon each year -- another data point that McMaster chooses to overlook -- shouldn't Americans expect more positive outcomes? And, of course, we are still looking for the general who will make good on the oft-repeated promise of victory.

What is McMaster's alternative to restraint? Anyone looking for the outlines of a new grand strategy in step with history and keeping up with the times won't find it here. The best McMaster can come up with is to suggest that policymakers embrace "strategic empathy: an understanding of the ideology, emotions, and aspirations that drive and constrain other actors" -- a bit of advice likely to find favor with just about anyone apart from President Trump himself.

But strategic empathy is not a strategy; it's an attitude. By contrast, a policy of principled restraint does provide the basis for an alternative strategy, one that implies neither retrenchment nor disengagement. Indeed, restraint emphasizes engagement, albeit through other than military means.

Unless I missed it, McMaster's essay contains not a single reference to diplomacy, a revealing oversight. Let me amend that: A disregard for diplomacy may not be surprising in someone with decades of schooling in the arts of madcap militarism.

The militarization of American statecraft that followed the end of the Cold War produced results that were bad for the United States and bad for the world. If McMaster can't figure that out, then he's the one who is behind the times. Here's the truth: Those who support the principle of restraint believe in vigorous engagement, emphasizing diplomacy, trade, cultural exchange, and the promotion of global norms, with war as a last resort. Whether such an approach to policy is in or out of step with history, I leave for others to divine.

Andrew Bacevich, TAC's writer-at-large, is president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.


kouroi2 days ago

Surveys show over and over that the Americans overwhelmingly share Dr. Bacevich's views. There was even hope that Trump will reign on the US military adventurism.

The fact that all this continues unabated and that the general is given space in the Foreign Affairs is in our face evidence of the glaring democratic deficit existent in the US, and that in fact democracy is nonexistent being long ago fully replaced by a de facto Oligarchy.

Doesn't matter what Dr. Bachevich writes or says or does. Unless and until the internal political issues in the US are not addressed, the world will suffer.

libertarianlwyr kouroi2 days ago

only idiots and fools were under any delusion that Trump would "reign in US military adventurism".

kouroi libertarianlwyr2 days ago

While Hillary was very clear on her drive against Russia, Trump promised the opposite, so many people had hopes for something on that. Nevertheless, he also promised to go against China and JPCOA, which many people forgot or thought not likely. But lo and behold, with Trump we ended up having the worst of both worlds...

and the tragedy is that even if Biden is elected, that direction will not be reversed, or not likely. While I cannot vote, just because of Trump's rhetoric against military adventurism, I would have voted for him. I would have been wrong, so now I am now extremely weary of any promises on this direction, but still hoped for Tulsi...

[Jul 01, 2020] Control freaks that cannot even control their own criminal impulses!

Highly recommended!
Jul 01, 2020 | www.unz.com

No Friend Of The Devil , says:

Control freaks that cannot even control their own criminal impulses!

...They suffer from god-complexes, since they do not believe in God, they feel an obligation to act as God, and decide the fates of over 7 billion people, who would obviously be better off if the PICs were sent to the Fletcher Memorial Home for Incurable Tyrants!

[Jun 25, 2020] Pompeo's UN Move Against Iran Will Fail. Why Is He Still Pressing It

Jun 25, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Pompeo is suggesting that Iran will spend tens of millions on planes, fly them unopposed through the radar coverage of several countries, to let Iranian Kamikaze pilots crash them into some temple in Nepal.

This does not make any sense. No foreign politician will be impressed by this 'argument'. Pompeo's tweet is for consumption at home.

At the UN the U.S. is trying to get a new arms embargo resolution against Iran:

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump introduced a long-awaited U.N. Security Council (UNSC) draft resolution extending an arms embargo on Iran that is due to expire in October, setting the stage for a great-power clash and likely veto in the U.N.'s principal security body, according to a copy of the draft obtained by Foreign Policy .
...
If passed, the resolution would fall under Chapter VII of the U.N. charter, making it legally binding and enforceable. But the U.S. measure, according to several U.N. Security Council diplomats, stands little chance of being adopted by the 15-nation council.
...
Some council diplomats and other nonproliferation experts see the U.S. move as a way to score political points at home , not to do anything about Iran's destabilizing activities in the region.

"The skeptic in me says that the objective of this exercise is to go through the arms embargo resolution, and when it fails, to use that as an excuse to get a snapback of the embargo, and if and when that fails too, to use as a political talking point in the election campaign ," said Mark Fitzpatrick, a former State Department nonproliferation official now at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. Since China and Russia are almost certain to ignore any U.N. arms embargo forced by U.S. maneuvers, the practical impact on Iran's ability to cause mischief will be minimal, he said.

"It's not actually about stopping any arms from China and Russia, it's about winning a political argument ," he said.

We explained that the U.S. does not have a 'snapback' option . Russia and China have also clarified that :

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and the Chinese government's top diplomat, Wang Yi, both wrote to the 15-member council and U.N. chief Antonio Guterres as the United States threatens to spark a so-called sanctions snapback under the Iran nuclear deal, even though Washington quit the accord in 2018.

Lavrov wrote in the May 27 letter, made public this week, that the United States was being "ridiculous and irresponsible."

"This is absolutely unacceptable and serves only to recall the famous English proverb about having one's cake and eating it," Lavrov wrote.

Washington has threatened to trigger a return of U.N. sanctions on Iran if the Security Council does not extend an arms embargo due to expire in October under Tehran's deal with world powers to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons.
...
Lavrov cited a 1971 International Court of Justice opinion, which found that a fundamental principle governing international relationships was that "a party which disowns or does not fulfill its own obligations cannot be recognized as retaining the rights which it claims to derive from the relationship."

Despite the evident failure to convince others the U.S. continues make stupid arguments :

Russia and China will be isolated at the United Nations if they continue down the "road to dystopia" by blocking a U.S. bid to extend a weapons ban on Iran, U.S. Iran envoy Brian Hook told Reuters ahead of his formal pitch of the embargo to the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday.
...
"We see a widening gap between Russia and China and the international community," Hook said in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday evening.

The U.S. has left the JCPoA deal and can not claim a right under that deal to snap back the sanctions that the deal has lifted. It is the U.S. that is isolated. Even its allies do not support the attempt:

"We firmly believe that any unilateral attempt to trigger UN sanctions snapback would have serious adverse consequences in the UNSC," the foreign ministers of Britain, France, and Germany said in a statement on June 19. "We would not support such a decision which would be incompatible with our current efforts to preserve the JCPoA."

The Trump policy against Iran has failed. He has tried a 'maximum pressure' campaign to blackmail Iran into more concessions. But despite sanctions and economic problems caused by them Iran is not willing to talk with him. Its conditions for talks are clear :

"We have no problem with talks with the U.S., but only if Washington fulfils its obligations under the nuclear deal, apologies and compensates Tehran for its withdrawal from the 2015 deal," Rouhani said in a televised speech.

The U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, including the new sanctions against Syria under the 'Ceasar's Law', have been helping Iran to strengthen its position :

Iran is reaping huge benefits, including more robust allies and resistant strongholds as a result of the US's flawed Middle Eastern policies. Motivated by the threat of the implementation of "Caesar' Law", Iran has prepared a series of steps to sell its oil and finance its allies, bypassing depletion of its foreign currency reserves.

Iranian companies found in Syria a paradise for strategic investment and offered the needed alternative to a Syrian economy crippled by sanctions and nine years of war. Iran considers Syria a fertile ground to expand its commerce and business like never before.

With Iran's influence growing and Russia making inroads even with once staunch U.S. allies like Saudi Arabia it seems that real U.S. influence in the Middle East is on a decisive downturn.

Whatever Pompous Pompeo says or tweets will not change that. But there's a sucker born every minute. Some of those may still fall for the stuff he says.

---
Twice a year I ask readers of this blog to support my effort. Please consider contributing .

Posted by b on June 24, 2020 at 17:10 UTC | Permalink

[Jun 23, 2020] John Bolton's Mission was to Destroy Donald Trump's Detente with North Korea

Jun 23, 2020 | nationalinterest.org

Bolton, of course, dismissed the entire concept of diplomacy from the very start. He never bought into the notion that North Korean officials could be talked to sensibly because they were, well, insane. Bolton's version of North Korea diplomacy was to tighten the economic screws, brandish the U.S. military, and wait until one of two things happened: 1) the Kim regime surrendered its entire nuclear weapons program like Libya's Muammar al-Qaddafi, or 2) the Kim regime continued to spur Washington's demands, in which the White House would have no option but to use U.S. military force. Bolton's record is analogous to a stereotypical linebacker on an obscene amount of steroids -- smash your opponent to pieces and don't think twice about it. Top Beauty Surgeon Says "Forget Facelifts, This at Home Tip is My #1 Wrinkle Red Del Mar Laboratories Dr: This May Be the Best CBD Ever for Arthritis, Aching Joints & Inflammation Mirror News Online Enlarged Prostate Gone - Just Do This Before Bed (Watch) Newhealthylife 3 Ways Your Cat Asks for Help Dr. Marty The content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. As the leading platform for native advertising and content recommendation, Revcontent uses interest based targeting to select content that we think will be of particular interest to you. We encourage you to view our Privacy Policy and your opt out options here . Got it, thanks! Remove Content Link?

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The only problem: North Korea isn't some helpless punter with string bean arms and a lanky midsection. It's a nuclear weapons state fiercely proud of its independence and sovereignty, constantly on guard for the slightest threat from a foreign power, and cognizant of its weakened position relative to its neighbors. This is one of the prime reasons Bolton's obsession with the Libya-style North Korea deal, in which Pyongyang would theoretically discard its entire nuclear apparatus and allow U.S. weapons inspectors to take custody of its nuclear warheads before flying them back to the U.S. for destruction, was unworkable from the start. The Libya-model trumpeted by Bolton was a politically correct way of demanding Pyongyang's total surrender -- an extremely naive goal if there ever was one. When one remembers the fate of Qaddafi 8 years after he traded sanctions relief for his weapons of mass destruction -- the dictator was assaulted and humiliated before being executed in the desert -- even the word "Libya" is treated by the Kim dynasty as a threat to its existence. As Paul Pillar wrote in these pages more than two years ago, "Libya's experience does indeed weigh heavily on the thinking of North Korean officials, who have taken explicit notice of that experience, as a disincentive to reaching any deals with the United States about dismantling weapons programs."

One can certainly take issue with Trump's North Korea policy. Two years of personal diplomacy with Kim Jong-un have yet to result in the denuclearization Washington seeks (denuclearization is more of a slogan than a realistic objective at this point, anyway). But Trump's strategy aside, Bolton's alternative was worse. The president knew his former national security adviser's public insistence on the Libya model was dangerously inept. He had to walk back Bolton's comments weeks later to ensure the North Koreans didn't pull out of diplomacy before it got off the ground. Trump hasn't forgotten about the experience; on June 18, Trump tweeted that "Bolton's dumbest of all statements set us back very badly with North Korea, even now. I asked him, "what the hell were you thinking?"

[Jun 23, 2020] Chickenhawk B olton May Be a Beast, But He's Washington's Creature by Richard Hanania

Personally he is a bully and as such a coward: he can attack only a weaker opponent. His new book shows that however discredited and intellectually thin his foreign policy views are, they always rise to the top. To Bolton the country is simply a vehicle for smiting his enemies abroad.
Notable quotes:
"... Bolton's hawkishness is combined with an equally striking lack of originality. It is possible to be an unorthodox or partisan hawk, as we see in populists who want to get out of the Middle East but ramp up pressure on China, or Democrats who have a particular obsession with Russia. Bolton takes the most belligerent position on every issue without regards for partisanship or popularity, a level of consistency that would almost be honorable if it wasn't so frightening. No alliance or commitment is ever questioned, and neither, for that matter, is any rivalry. ..."
"... Bolton lacks any intellectual tradition or popular support base that he can call his own. Domestic political concerns are almost completely missing from his book, although we learn that he follows "Adam Smith on economics, Edmund Burke on society," is happy with Trump's judicial appointments, and favors legal, but not illegal, immigration. Other than these GOP clichés, there is virtually no commentary or concern about the state of American society or its trajectory. Unlike those who worry about how global empire affects the United States at home, to Bolton the country is simply a vehicle for smiting his enemies abroad. While Bolton's views have been called "nationalist" because he doesn't care about multilateralism, nation-building, or international law, I have never seen a nationalist that gives so little thought to his nation. ..."
"... Bolton recounts how his two top aides, Charles Kupperman and Mira Ricardel, had extensive experience working for Boeing. Patrick Shanahan similarly became acting Secretary of Defense after spending thirty years at that company, until he was replaced by Mark Esper, a Raytheon lobbyist. Why working for a company that manufactures aircraft and weapons prepares one for a job in foreign policy, the establishment has never felt the need to explain, any more than it needs to explain continuing Cold War-era military commitments three decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union. ..."
"... The most important question raised by the career of John Bolton is how someone with his views has been able to achieve so much power. While Bolton gets much worse press and always goes a step too far even for most of the foreign policy establishment, in other ways he is all too typical. Take James Mattis, a foil for Bolton throughout much of the first half of the book. Although more popular in the media, the "warrior monk" slow-walked and obstructed attempts by the president to pull out of the Middle East, and after a career supporting many of the same wars and commitments as Bolton, now makes big bucks in the private sector, profiting off of his time in government. ..."
Jun 23, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir, John Bolton, Simon & Schuster, 592 pages

The release of John Bolton's book today has become a Washington cultural event, because he is, by all measures, Washington's creature.

Those who dislike the Trump administration have been pleased to find in The Room Where It Happened confirmation in much of what they already believed about the Ukraine scandal and the president's lack of capacity for the job. Some accusations in the book, such as the story about Trump seeking reelection help from China through American farm purchases, are new, and in an alternative universe could have formed the basis of a different, or if Bolton had his way, more comprehensive, impeachment inquiry.

While Bolton's book has been found politically useful by the president's detractors, the work is also important as a first-hand account from the top of the executive branch over a 19-month period, from April 2018 to September 2019. It also, mostly inadvertently, reveals much about official Washington, the incentive structures that politicians face, and the kind of person that is likely to succeed in that system. Bolton may be a biased self-promoter, but he is nonetheless a credible source, as his stories mostly involve conversations with other people who are free to eventually tell their own side. Moreover, the John Bolton of The Room Where It Happened is no different from the man we know from his three-decade career as a government official and public personality. No surprises here.

There are three ways to understand John Bolton. In increasing order of importance, they are intellectually, psychologically, and politically -- that is, as someone who is both a product of and antagonist to the foreign-policy establishment -- in many ways typical, and in others a detested outlier.

On the first of these, there simply isn't much there. Bolton takes the most hawkish position on every issue. He wants war with North Korea and Iran, and if he can't have that, he'll settle for destroying their economies and sabotaging any attempts by Trump to reach a deal with either country. He takes the maximalist positions on great powers like China and Russia, and third world states that pose no plausible threat like Cuba and Venezuela. At one point, he brags about State reversing "Obama's absurd conclusion that Cuban baseball was somehow independent of its government, thus in turn allowing Treasury to revoke the license allowing Major League Baseball to traffic in Cuban players." How this helps Americans or Cubans is left unexplained.

Bolton's hawkishness is combined with an equally striking lack of originality. It is possible to be an unorthodox or partisan hawk, as we see in populists who want to get out of the Middle East but ramp up pressure on China, or Democrats who have a particular obsession with Russia. Bolton takes the most belligerent position on every issue without regards for partisanship or popularity, a level of consistency that would almost be honorable if it wasn't so frightening. No alliance or commitment is ever questioned, and neither, for that matter, is any rivalry.

Anyone who picks up Bolton's over 500-page memoir hoping to find serious reflection on the philosophical basis of American foreign policy will be disappointed. The chapters are broken up by topic area, most beginning with a short background explainer on Bolton's views of the issue. In the chapter on Venezuela, we are told that overthrowing the government of that country is important because of "its Cuba connection and the openings it afforded Russia, China, and Iran." The continuing occupation of Afghanistan is necessary for preventing terrorists from establishing a base, and, in an argument I had not heard anywhere before, for "remaining vigilant against the nuclear-weapons programs in Iran on the west and Pakistan on the east." Iran needs to be deterred, though from what we are never told.

Bolton lacks any intellectual tradition or popular support base that he can call his own. Domestic political concerns are almost completely missing from his book, although we learn that he follows "Adam Smith on economics, Edmund Burke on society," is happy with Trump's judicial appointments, and favors legal, but not illegal, immigration. Other than these GOP clichés, there is virtually no commentary or concern about the state of American society or its trajectory. Unlike those who worry about how global empire affects the United States at home, to Bolton the country is simply a vehicle for smiting his enemies abroad. While Bolton's views have been called "nationalist" because he doesn't care about multilateralism, nation-building, or international law, I have never seen a nationalist that gives so little thought to his nation.

The more time one spends reading Bolton, the more one comes to the conclusion that the guy just likes to fight. In addition to seeking out and escalating foreign policy conflicts, he seems to relish going to war with the media and the rest of the Washington bureaucracy. His book begins with a quote from the Duke of Wellington rallying his troops at Waterloo: "Hard pounding, this, gentlemen. Let's see who will pound the longest." The back cover quotes the epilogue on his fight with the Trump administration, responding "game on" to attempts to stop publication. He takes a mischievous pride in recounting attacks from the media or foreign governments, such as when he was honored to hear that North Korea worried about his influence over the President. Bolton is too busy enjoying the fight, and as will be seen below, profiting from it, to reflect too carefully on what it's all for.

Bolton could be ignored if he were simply an odd figure without much power. Yet the man has been at the pinnacle of the GOP establishment for thirty years, serving appointed roles in every Republican president since Reagan. The story of how he got his job in the Trump administration is telling. According to Bolton's account, he was courted throughout the transition process and the early days of the administration by Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner, ironic considering the reputation of the former as a populist opposed to forever wars and the latter as a more liberal figure within the White House. Happy with his life outside government, Bolton would accept a position no lower than Secretary of State or National Security Advisor. Explaining his reluctance to enter government in a lower capacity, Bolton provides a list of his commitments at the time, including "Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute; Fox News contributor; a regular on the speaking circuit; of counsel at a major law firm; member of corporate boards; senior advisor to a global private-equity firm."

Clearly, being an advocate for policies that can destroy the lives of millions abroad, and a complete lack of experience in business, have proved no hindrance to Bolton's success in corporate America.

Bolton recounts how his two top aides, Charles Kupperman and Mira Ricardel, had extensive experience working for Boeing. Patrick Shanahan similarly became acting Secretary of Defense after spending thirty years at that company, until he was replaced by Mark Esper, a Raytheon lobbyist. Why working for a company that manufactures aircraft and weapons prepares one for a job in foreign policy, the establishment has never felt the need to explain, any more than it needs to explain continuing Cold War-era military commitments three decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Ricardel resigned after a dispute over preparations for the First Lady's trip to Africa, an example of how too often in the Trump administration, nepotism and self-interest have been the only checks on bad policy or even greater corruption ("Melania's people are on the warpath," Trump is quoted as saying). Another is when Trump, according to Bolton, was less than vigorous in pursing destructive Iranian sanctions due to personal relationships with the leaders of China and Turkey. At the 2019 G7 summit, when Pompeo and Bolton try to get Benjamin Netanyahu to reach out to Trump to talk him out of meeting with the Iranian foreign minister, Jared prevents his call from going through on the grounds that a foreign government shouldn't be telling the President of the United States who to meet with.

The most important question raised by the career of John Bolton is how someone with his views has been able to achieve so much power. While Bolton gets much worse press and always goes a step too far even for most of the foreign policy establishment, in other ways he is all too typical. Take James Mattis, a foil for Bolton throughout much of the first half of the book. Although more popular in the media, the "warrior monk" slow-walked and obstructed attempts by the president to pull out of the Middle East, and after a career supporting many of the same wars and commitments as Bolton, now makes big bucks in the private sector, profiting off of his time in government.

In the coverage of Bolton, this is what should not be lost. The former National Security Advisor is the product of a system with its own internal logic. Largely discredited and intellectually hollow, and without broad popular support, it persists in its practices and beliefs because it has been extremely profitable for those involved. The most extreme hawks are simply symptoms of larger problems, with the flamboyant Bolton being much more like mainstream members of the foreign policy establishment than either side would like to admit.

Richard Hanania is a research fellow at the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University.

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[Jun 23, 2020] John Bolton Tells How Iran Hawks Set Up Trump's Syrian Kurdish Disaster

Notable quotes:
"... Bolton's account sheds light on how it happened: hawks in the administration, including Bolton himself, wanted U.S. forces in Syria fighting Russia and Iran. They saw the U.S.-Kurdish alliance against ISIS as a distraction -- and let the Turkish-Kurdish conflict fester until it spiralled out of control. ..."
Jun 23, 2020 | nationalinterest.org

The drama eventually ended with President Donald Trump pulling U.S. peacekeepers out of Syria -- and then sending them back in . One hundred thousand Syrian civilians were displaced by an advancing Turkish army, and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces turned to Russia for help. But U.S. forces never fully withdrew -- they are still stuck in Syria defending oil wells .

Bolton's account sheds light on how it happened: hawks in the administration, including Bolton himself, wanted U.S. forces in Syria fighting Russia and Iran. They saw the U.S.-Kurdish alliance against ISIS as a distraction -- and let the Turkish-Kurdish conflict fester until it spiralled out of control.

Pompeo issued a statement on Thursday night denouncing Bolton's entire book as "a number of lies, fully-spun half-truths, and outright falsehoods."

[Jun 22, 2020] MoA community discussion of Bolton book

Notable quotes:
"... let us not forget that bolton threatened a un officials kids because they guy wasn't going along with the iraq war propaganda. ..."
"... Close -- the threatened official was Jose Bustani, at that time (2002) the head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)as he had been for five years. ..."
"... Bustani had been working to bring Iraq and Libya into the organization, which would have required those two countries to eliminate all of their chemical weapons. ..."
"... The US, though, had other ideas -- chiefly invading and destroying both of those nations, and when Bustani insisted on continuing his efforts then Bolton threatened Bustani's adult children. ..."
Jun 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

pretzelattack , Jun 17 2020 21:49 utc | 14

let us not forget that bolton threatened a un officials kids because they guy wasn't going along with the iraq war propaganda.

Duncan Idaho , Jun 17 2020 22:03 utc | 15

Only with Late Stage Capitalism could we have a vicious war criminal write a book criticizing a psychopathic sociopath.
Anonymous , Jun 17 2020 22:06 utc | 16
The political establishment in Canada appeared dismayed at the prospect of Bolton as National Security Adviser. See these interviews with Hill + Knowlton strategies Vice-chairman, Peter Donolo, from 2018:

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/video/there-s-risk-trump-s-actions-are-driving-the-u-s-into-a-recession-peter-donolo~1342264
https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/video/trade-wars-easy-to-start-not-so-easy-to-finish-peter-donolo~1365104

So Bolton gets in, Meng Wangzhou is detained in Vancouver on the US request (that's another story), and in time, Canada appoints a new Ambassador to China - Mr. Dominic Barton.

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

Then Bolton gets fired. 'Nuff said. Just to let everyone know that Bolton is well and truly hated, as a government official, in certain circles.

AntiSpin , Jun 17 2020 22:07 utc | 17
@ pretzelattack | Jun 17 2020 21:49 utc | 14

Close -- the threatened official was Jose Bustani, at that time (2002) the head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)as he had been for five years.

Bustani had been working to bring Iraq and Libya into the organization, which would have required those two countries to eliminate all of their chemical weapons.

The US, though, had other ideas -- chiefly invading and destroying both of those nations, and when Bustani insisted on continuing his efforts then Bolton threatened Bustani's adult children.

Jpc , Jun 17 2020 22:32 utc | 18
Why was he appointment made in the first place anyone,?
Ian2 , Jun 17 2020 23:08 utc | 19
Jpc | Jun 17 2020 22:32 utc | 18:

My guess Trump went along with the tough guy image that Bolton projected in media and recommendations by others.

james , Jun 17 2020 23:13 utc | 20
let the lobbyists with the most money win... that's what defines the usa system, leadership and decision making process... no one in their right mind would support this doofus..
Jen , Jun 17 2020 23:40 utc | 21
At least the one saving grace about John Bolton's memoir is that it might be a tad closer to reality than Christopher Steele's infamous dossier and might prove valuable as a source of evidence in a court of law. Maybe Yosemite Sam himself should start quaking in his boots.
jen , Jun 17 2020 23:42 utc | 22
Jpc @ 18, Ian2 @ 19:

Personal interest on DJT's part? :-)

JC , Jun 17 2020 23:43 utc | 23
Posted by: Tower | Jun 17 2020 21:43 utc | 13

This is the most intelligent post so far.

Yes why not? If Obama awarded the Noble prize even before he begins serving his first term I can't see why Bolton not nominated now. America is a joke, not a banana republic. It deserves Obama, Trump, Bolton or Biden another stoopid joker.

Stoopid president elected by stoopid citizens

Don Bacon , Jun 17 2020 23:44 utc | 24
@ Jpc
When faced with Trump's behavior of employing warmongers, including several generals, some observers opined that Trump wanted people with contrasting opinions so that he could consider them and then say "no." He did more with Bolton eventually, sending him to Mongolia while he (Trump) went to Singapore (or somewhere over there).
A User , Jun 17 2020 23:47 utc | 25
re Ian2 | Jun 17 2020 23:08 utc | 19
who hazarded : My guess Trump went along with the tough guy image that Bolton projected in media and recommendations by others.
Not at all, if you go back to the earliest days of the orangeman's prezdency, you will see Trump resisted the efforts by Mercer & the zionist casino owner to give Bolton a gig.
He knew that shrub had problems with the boasts of Bolton and as his reputation was as an arsehole who sounded his own trumpet at his boss's expense orangeman refused for a long time. Trump believes the trump prezdency is about trump no one else.
Thing was at the time he was running for the prez gig trump was on his uppers, making a few dollars from his tv show, plus licensing other people's buildings by selling his name to be stuck on them. trump tower azerbnajan etc.
He put virtually none of his own money into the 'race' so when he won the people who had put up the dosh had power over him.
Bolton has always been an arse kisser to any zionist cause he suspects he can claw a penny outta, so he used the extreme loony end of the totally looney zionist spectrum to hook him (Bolton) up with a gig by pushing for him with trump.

It was always gonna end the way it did as Bolton is forever briefing the media against anyone who tried to resist his murderous fantasies. Trump is never gonna argue for any scheme that doesn't have lotsa dollars for him in it so he had plenty of run ins with Bolton who then went to his media mates & told tales.
When bolton was appointed orangey's stakes were at a really low ebb among DC warmongers, so he reluctantly took him on then spent the next 18 months getting rid of the grubby parasite.

div> Yosemite Sam did it better. I would prefer a Foghorn Leghorn-type character, for US diplomacy.

Posted by: Ribbit , Jun 18 2020 0:20 utc | 26

Yosemite Sam did it better. I would prefer a Foghorn Leghorn-type character, for US diplomacy.

Posted by: Ribbit | Jun 18 2020 0:20 utc | 26

Kristan hinton , Jun 18 2020 0:46 utc | 27
Real History: Candidate Trump praised Bolton and named him as THE number one Foreign Policy expert he (Trump) respected.

Imagine the mustachioed Mister Potatoe (sic) Head and zany highjinks!

Bolton and one of his first wives were regulars at Plato's Retreat for wife swapping orgies. The wife was not real keen on the behavior, but she allegedly found herself verbally and physically abused for objecting.

DannyC , Jun 18 2020 1:17 utc | 28
Trump is at fault for hiring him to appease the Zionist lobby. We all knew the guy was a warmonger and a scumbag. It's not a surprise. Trump surrounds himself with the worst people
jadan , Jun 18 2020 1:30 utc | 29
Did John Bolton put his personal interests above the will of congress in an attempt to extort the Ukrainian government? You're making a false equivalence. You seem to have a soft spot for Trump. Bolton is an in-your-face son of a bitch, but Trump, Trump is just human garbage.
Kay Fabe , Jun 18 2020 2:27 utc | 30
Pretty much a nothing burger if thats all he has got. Just a distraction. Trumps outrage just meant help Bolton sell some books. Lol. People are so easy to fool.

I still think Bolton managing the operations as COG in Cheneys old bunker. Coming out for a vacation while next phase is planned

Jackrabbit , Jun 18 2020 2:56 utc | 31
Kay Fabe @Jun18 2:27 #29
Pretty much a nothing burger if thats all he has got.

You underestimate the craftiness of this kayfabe.

The tiff with Bolton makes Trump look like a peace-loving moderate so that he's acceptable to Independent voters.

!!

Den lille abe , Jun 18 2020 3:03 utc | 32
Bolton is just another American arsehole. Nothing new. When they do not get their way, the y always turn on their superiors, or those in charge. Bolton is just another "Anhänger" personal gain is what motivates him.
He should have been a blot on his parents bedsheets or at least a forced abortion, but unfortunately that did not happen...
Piotr Berman , Jun 18 2020 3:53 utc | 33
The self-appointed Deep State has pretty much thwarted him (Trump) and his voters.

Posted by: bob sykes | Jun 17 2020 20:55 utc | 11

Trump thwarted Trump. Before he got elected, Trump mentioned his admiration of Bolton more than once. Voters of Trump elected a liar and an incoherent person -- at time, incomprehensible, a nice bonus. But it is worth noticing that Trump never liked being binded by agreement, like, say, an agreement to pay money back to creditors, or whatever international agreement would restrict USA from doing what they damn please.

Superficially, it is mysterious why Trump made an impression that he wants to negotiate with North Korea with some agreement at the end. Was he forced to make a mockery from the negotiation by someone sticking knife to his back?

Some may remember that Trump promised to abolish Affordable Care Act and replace it with "something marvelous". The latest version is that he will start thinking about it again after re-election. If you believe that...

Granted, Trump is more sane than Bolton, but just a bit, unlike Bolton he has some moments of lucidity.

In conclusion, I would advocate to vote for Biden. If you need a reason, that would be that Biden never tweets, or if he does, it is forgettable before the typing is done. Unlike the hideous Trumpian productions.

jason , Jun 18 2020 3:55 utc | 34
"men fit to be shaved," Tiberius, on Bolton and Friedman.

he is the best & brightest we have. when a dreadful mouth is called for. his insights into the Trump WH are probably as deep as his knowledge of VZ, Iran, Cuba, etc. he's a useful idiot, a willing fool. like Trump, he's the verbal equivalent of the cops on the street, in foreign "policy." another abusive father figure

reading the imperial steak turds - an American form of reading the tea leaves or goat livers or chicken flight or celestial what have you. an emperor craps out a big hairy one like Bolton and the priests and hierophants and lawyers and scribes come for a long, close up inspection and fact-gathering smell of another steaming pile of gmo-corn-and-downer-cow-fed, colon cancer causing, Kansas feed-lot raised, grade A Murkin BEEF. guess what they in their wisdom find? Trump stinks.

kiwiklown , Jun 18 2020 4:20 utc | 35
Scotch Bingeington @ 6 -- "Take a look at his face. It's obvious to me that even John Bolton does not enjoy being John Bolton. That mouth, it's drooping to an absurd degree. Comparable to Merkel's face, come to think of it.

At last, someone who notices physionomy!

That face drips with false modesty, kind of trying to make his face say, "... look at harmless old me..."

That walrus bushiness points at an attempt to hide, to camouflage his true thoughts, his malevolence.

That pretended stoop, with one hand clutching a sheaf of briefing papers, emulating the posture of deferential court clerks, speaks to a lifetime of a snake in the grass "fighting" from below for things important to himself.

But those of us who have been around the block a couple times will know to watch our backs around this type. Poisoned-tipped daggers are their fave weapons, and your backs are their fave "battle space". LOL

This statement by Jeffrey Sachs may as well also describe America's leadership crisis: "At the root of America's economic crisis lies a moral crisis: the decline of civic virtue among America's political and economic elite."

kiwiklown , Jun 18 2020 5:29 utc | 36
GeorgeV @ 8 -- "It's like standing on a street corner watching two prostitutes calling each other a whore! How low has the US sunk."

And the US "leadeship" sends these types out to lecture other peoples on "values"? on how to become "normal nations"? on how to "contain" old civilisations such as Iran, Russia, China?

It is axiomatic that the stupid do not know they are stupid. Same goes for morals. The immoral do not know they are immoral. Or, perhaps, as Phat Pomp-arse shows, they know they are immoral, but do not care. Which makes one rightly guess that people like Bolt-On and him must be depraved.

Yes, it may take centuries before the leadership in this depraved Exceptionally Indispensable Nation to become truly normal again.

snake , Jun 18 2020 5:38 utc | 37
Of course, Trump actually campaigned to leave Afghanistan and Syria, and he was elected to do so. The self-appointed Deep State has pretty much thwarted him and his voters. by: bob sykes 11

I wondered about He King claims that Trump actually attempted to do those awful things, . .. , I looked for evidence to prove the claim.. I asked just about every librarian I could find to please show me evidence that confirms the deep state over rode Mr. Trump's actual attempt to remove USA anything from Afghanistan and Syria. thus far, no confirming or supporting facts have been produced. to support such a claim. Mr. Trump could easily have tweeted to his supporters something to the effect that the damn military, CIA, homeland security, state department, foreign service, federal reserve, women's underwear association and smiley Joe's hamburger stand in fact every militant in the USA governed America were holding hands, locked in a conspiracy to block President Trumps attempt to remove USA anything from Afghanistan or Syria.. If Mr. Trump has asked for those things, they would have happened. The next day there would have been parties in the streets as the militant agency heads began rolling as Mr. Trump fired them each and everyone.. No firings happened, the party providers were disappointed, no troops, USA contractors or privatization pirates left any foreign place.. as far as I can tell. 500 + military bases still remain in Europe none have been abandoned.. and one was added in Israel. BTW i heard that Mr. Trump managed to get 17 trillion dollars into the hands of many who are contractors or suppliers to those foreign operations. I can't say I am against Trump, but i can ask you to show me some evidence to prove your claim.

Jackrabbit , Jun 18 2020 5:50 utc | 38
snake @Jun18 5:38 #36

As always, watch what they do, not what they say.

Trump is the Republican Obama. A faux populist 'insider' who pretends to be an 'outsider'.

Trump was selected to be the nationalist President that meets the challenge from Russia and China. And serves all the usual interests while doing so.

Americans fools keep electing these establishment stooges and then wonder why nothing seems to get any better.

!!

Mao , Jun 18 2020 6:25 utc | 39
Sack cartoon: Trump's 'swamp'

https://www.startribune.com/sack-cartoon-trump-s-swamp/401964365/

https://www.startribune.com/sack-cartoon-the-swamp/420668223/

Mao , Jun 18 2020 6:39 utc | 40
Trump searches for new slogan as he abandons Keep America Great amid George Floyd and covid turmoil

The president has taken to inserting the term 'Transition to Greatness' into his remarks. His 2016 slogan was 'Make America Great Again'. After election he polled audiences on whether to go with 'Keep America Great'. He told CPAC this year and said at the State of the Union 'The Best is Yet to Come'. Tweaks come as he trails Biden in new NBC and CNN polls, as the nation struggles with the coronavirus and protests over police violence.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8398993/Donald-Trump-searches-new-slogan-amid-cratering-polls-against-Joe-Biden.html

Mao , Jun 18 2020 6:44 utc | 41
Rudy W. Giuliani @RudyGiuliani

Ukrainian police seize $6 Million in bribes paid to kill the new case into crooked Burisma.

This money is a Followup to the multi-millions in bribes Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, and President Poroshenko earned to leverage their offices to kill the original case.

All covered up!

https://twitter.com/RudyGiuliani/status/1273298170966159366

Ghost Ship , Jun 18 2020 7:28 utc | 42
Christian J. Chuba @ 3
goals that you consider important are different from personal interests.

What personal interests has Trump actually advanced during his time as president. Leaving out the fake allegations, I'm hard put to think of any. If you look at Trump's actual behaviour rather than his bullshit or the bullshit aimed at him, I'm also hard put to think of anything illegal he's done while in office that wasn't done by previous administrations.
Mao , Jun 18 2020 7:41 utc | 43
US President Donald Trump sought help from Xi Jinping to win the upcoming 2020 election, "pleading" with the Chinese president to boost imports of American agricultural products, according to a new book by former national security adviser John Bolton. The accusations were included in an excerpt from The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir, which is set to be released on June 23. Bolton also wrote that Trump demonstrated other "fundamentally unacceptable behaviour", including privately expressing support for China's mass interment of Uygur Muslims and other ethnic minority groups in Xinjiang.*This video has been updated to fix a spelling mistake.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agk61kyDS1k

Yeah, Right , Jun 18 2020 8:35 utc | 44
@42 Mao I'm struggling to see how "pleading" with any country for it to purchase more US goods is "fundamentally unacceptable behaviour" from a US President.

Pleading to Xi for China to give, say, Israel preferential access to markets, sure.

Down South , Jun 18 2020 9:56 utc | 45
The Saker takes an interesting look at this "spontaneous or popular" revolt taking place in America

https://thesaker.is/what-kind-of-popular-revolution-is-this/#comments

Mao , Jun 18 2020 10:35 utc | 46
The Saker:

I have lived in the United States for a total of 24 years and I have witnessed many crises over this long period, but what is taking place today is truly unique and much more serious than any previous crisis I can recall. And to explain my point, I would like to begin by saying what I believe the riots we are seeing taking place in hundreds of US cities are not about. They are not about:

* Racism or "White privilege"
* Police violence
* Social alienation and despair
* Poverty
* Trump
* The liberals pouring fuel on social fires
* The infighting of the US elites/deep state

They are not about any of these because they encompass all of these issues, and more.

It is important to always keep in mind the distinction between the concepts of "cause" and "pretext". And while it is true that all the factors listed above are real (at least to some degree, and without looking at the distinction between cause and effect), none of them are the true cause of what we are witnessing. At most, the above are pretexts, triggers if you want, but the real cause of what is taking place today is the systemic collapse of the US society.

https://www.unz.com/tsaker/the-systemic-collapse-of-the-us-society-has-begun/

Steve , Jun 18 2020 10:57 utc | 47
The only time I'd be interested in anything Bolton had to say is if he were saying it from the docket at The Hague
Matt , Jun 18 2020 11:40 utc | 48
Don't really want to take sides between those two odious characters, but I think there's a difference in what the paper is saying.

One is about someone pursuing policy goals they favour, the other "personal interest". From what I have seen so far, Bolton's main definition of Trump's "personal interest" is his chances for re-election (rather than any personal business interest).

I think Bolton was happy for Trump to pursue the policy goals he favoured, at least when they coincided with Bolton's!

Tadlak Davidovitsh , Jun 18 2020 12:04 utc | 49
In modern Italy, mentioning Jupiter (Jove) and the ox (Bove) in the same sentence usually implies a demand that the two be treated the same.
450.org , Jun 18 2020 12:07 utc | 50
How many people have cashed in on Trump so far? Countless numbers of them. An ocean of them. Scathing books about Trump is one way to cash in on thr Trump effect, and the authors, many of whom don't even write the book themselves, get promoted and their books promoted in the mainstream media and elsewhere.

There is nothing new under the sun when it comes to Trump. We know everything there is to know about Trump. Some of us knew everything there was to know about him before he became POTUS. And yet, there he is, sitting like the Cheshire Cat in the Oval Office, untouchable and beyond reproach. Meanwhile, even more scathing books are in the pipeline because there's money, so much money, to be made don't you know.

Bolton is a shitbird every bit as much as Trump is and in fact an argument can be made Bolton is even worse and even more dangerous than Trump because if Bolton had his druthers, Iran would be a failed state right about now and America would be bogged down in a senseless money-making (for the defense contractors owned by the extractive wealthy elite) quagmire in Iran just as it was in Iraq and still is in Afghanistan.

Colbert is all into the Bolton book because he and his staff managed to secure an interview with Bolton. Bolton, of course, has agreed to this because it's a great way to promote his book to the likes of Cher who is the perfect example of the demographic Colbert caters to with his show. Some of the commercials during Colbert's show last night? One was an Old Navy commercial where they bragged about how they're giving to the poor. The family they used for the commercial, the recipients of this beneficence, was a black family. Biden is proud of Old Navy because don't you know, poor and black are one and the same. In otherwords, there are no poor people except black people. No, that's not racist. Not at all. Also, another commercial during Colbert's show was for the reopening of Las Vegas amidst the spreading pandemic. This is immediately after a segment where Colbert is decrying Republican governors for opening southern states too early. The hypocritical irony is so stark, you can cut it with a chainsaw.

kiwiklown , Jun 18 2020 12:24 utc | 51
Mao @ 45 quoting The Saker -- ".... the real cause of what is taking place today is the systemic collapse of the US society."

And the cause of American societal collapse has been corrupt US leadership.

In my 50 years of studying American society, I have learned to watch what US leaders do, not what they preach. More profitable is to look at what declassified US documents tell us about the truth, not what the presstitudes of the day pretend to dish up. Also, what other world leaders might, in a candid moment, tell us about America.

450.org , Jun 18 2020 12:30 utc | 52
@50
And the cause of American societal collapse has been corrupt US leadership.

I would argue that this is a symptom or a feature versus the root of the problem. Afterall, a system that allows for creeping entrenched endemic corruption, is a crappy system. It's the system that's the root of this and it's not just isolated to the United States. It's civilization itself that's the root and what enabled civilization -- the spirit in our genes as Reg asserts.

450.org , Jun 18 2020 12:47 utc | 53
@4
I'm fully expecting the Dem "left" to try and praise the monsterous Bolton for "going against Trump", as they did with war criminal Mad Dog Matis and Bush. Bolton has to be one of the most evil mass murders on the face of the Earth. The world will be an infinitely better place when he and his ilk like Netanyahu, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Chertoff..etc finally go back to hell.

I agree. They would, because they already have and continue to do so, coddle and provide apologia for any and all monsters who decry Trump. Hell, I'm convinced they would clamor for Derek Chauvin's exoneration if he vocally decried Trump. Chauvin would make the rounds on the media circuit excoriating Trump and telling the world, contritely of course, that it was Trump who made him do it and now he sees the error of his ways. He'd be on Morning Joe and Chris Cuomo's and Don Lemon's shows not to mention Ari Melber and Anderson Cooper and Lawrence O'Donnell. The conservatives and their networks, who have provided apologia for Chauvin thus far, would now be his worst enemy. Colbert and Kimmel would have him on and guffawing with him asking him how it felt to choke the life out of someone, laughing all the way so long as he hates Trump and tells the world how much he hates Trump.

This world is an insane asylum, especially America. All under the banner and aegis of progress. And to think, humanity wants to export this madness to space and the universe at large. Any intelligent life that would ever make its way to Planet Earth, if ever, would be well-advised to exterminate the species human before it spread its poison to the universe at large. Not that that is possible, but just in case the .000000000001% chance of that does miraculously manifest.

kiwiklown , Jun 18 2020 12:48 utc | 54
Mao @ 42

Concerning Trump "pleading" with Xi, it is only right for a leader to request others to buy more US farm produce. We have only Bolton's word that the request was a plea. We also have only Bolton's word that the request / plea was to seek "help from Xi Jinping to win the upcoming 2020 election". Too early to believe Bolton. Wait till we see the meeting transcripts.

Bolton also alleged that Trump exhibited "fundamentally unacceptable behaviour" concerning the Uygurs. Again, only Bolton's word. Even so, saying it is "unacceptable behavior" presumes that China does wrong to incarcerate Uygurs. If not, ie, China either does not incarcerate them, or if China has good moral grounds to do so, then Bolton is wrong to disagree with his boss for uttering the right sentiment. Judging by how the anglo-zios shout about China's "crime", I tend to think the opposite just might be the truth, and that says that Bolton is simply mudslinging to sell books; score brownie points with the anglo-zios, virtue-signalling for his next gig.

Sabine , Jun 18 2020 12:56 utc | 55
so is Trump or Biden the Yeltsin of the US? And who is gonna be the US version of Putin? Mr. Cotton from Arkansas?
vk , Jun 18 2020 13:00 utc | 56
The American people must decide if Trump is anti-China or Xi's bff. He can't be both at the same time.
murgen23 , Jun 18 2020 13:04 utc | 57
I don't see a contradiction with both sentences.

NYT writes Bolton direct US policy to fit his own political agenda,
while Bolton emphasizes Trump direct US policy in the way that pocket him most money.

Politician Bolton is consistent with his politician job (like it or not), Trump is corrupted.

This is how I understand.

450.org , Jun 18 2020 13:14 utc | 58
@56, I would argue that if one person could be both at the same time, that one person would be Donald Trump. He's already proven, like Chauncey Gardner, he can walk on water. Seriously, that excellent movie, Being There , starring the incomparable Peter Sellers, was about Donald Trump's ascension to the Oval Office.

There Are No Limits Except The Limits We Invent And Impose

augusto , Jun 18 2020 13:44 utc | 59
Using this 'quod licet jovi ...' the author apparently knows quite a bit of Latin, the dead language!
But seriously, the nomination of Bolton who had always behaved like 2nd rate advisor, a 3rd rate mcarthist cold warrior was a surprise to me. Such a short sighted heavily biased person could be, yes, chosen a Minister or advisor in a banana Republic but was picked up by the United states.
One can only conclude such a choice was driven by very specific interests of the deep state.They needed a bulldog and got it for one year and half and threw the stinky perro soon as the job was done.
BM , Jun 18 2020 14:05 utc | 60
And the cause of American societal collapse has been corrupt US leadership.
I would argue that this is a symptom or a feature versus the root of the problem.
Posted by: 450.org | Jun 18 2020 12:30 utc | 52

The primary cause of corrupt leadership is corrupt and corruption-accepting population.

Without a population that is fundamentally corrupt and immoral, corrupt leadership is unstable. Conversely - and this is important to recognise as the same phenomenon - democracy cannot exist if the population accepts and takes for granted corruption, as the two are mutually exclusive. In other words if you root out the corrupt leadership without dealing with the mentality of the population, the corruption will quickly come back and any democratic experiment will collapse very quickly.

There is one important qualifier - an overwhelming external influence (since WWII always the USA, either directly or as secondary effect) can leverage latent corruption so that it becomes more exaggerated than it normally would be.

Down South , Jun 18 2020 14:48 utc | 61
What is clear from only this account of the crucial role of big money foundations behind protest groups such as Black lives Matter is that there is a far more complex agenda driving the protests now destabilizing cities across America. The role of tax-exempt foundations tied to the fortunes of the greatest industrial and financial companies such as Rockefeller, Ford, Kellogg, Hewlett and Soros says that there is a far deeper and far more sinister agenda to current disturbances than spontaneous outrage would suggest.

https://m.journal-neo.org/2020/06/16/america-s-own-color-revolution/

michael888 , Jun 18 2020 15:53 utc | 62
Bolton pretended to be President, screwing up negotiations with his Libya Model talk, threatening Venezuela (and anywhere generally) and directing fleets all over the world (including Britain's to capture that Iranian oil tanker). Vindman revered "Ambassador" Bolton because he was keeping the Ukraine corruption in Americans (and Ukrainian Americans') hands, and daring the Russians to "start" WWIII. Bolton might have been a bit more bearable if he had ever been elected, but was happy to see him go. Trump seemed mystified by him.
juliania , Jun 18 2020 16:29 utc | 63
b has presented us (knowingly or not, but I wouldn't put it past him) with the Socratic question of the presumed identity between the morality of the State and personal morality, as best encountered in Plato's dialogue, 'The Republic' ['Politeia' in the Greek] That dialogue begins by examining personal morality, but changes to an examination of what would bring into being a perfect state. In doing the latter, however, it is how to create public spirited persons, in the best sense, which is the actual concern, and the conversation ranges far and wide, becoming more and more complex.

I've always thought that to consider the perfect state had to be an impossibility if the individual, the person him or herself isn't up to the task - and that is the point of the Politeia enterprise. Like the ongoing relay race on horseback that is happening at the same time in the Piraeus, the passing of the argument one person to another that happens in the dialogue demonstrates that what is most crucial for the state as well as for the individual is personal integrity.

I take as an example the message of Saker's essay, linked by Down South and commented on above by others. Saker is pointing out that the protests have been seized upon by the anti-Trumpists who have been disrupting things from the beginning of his administration. But he also says:

"My personal feeling is that Trump is too weak and too much of a coward to fight his political enemies"

Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? The discussion of different kinds of states, which we often have here pursued, or the discussion of what makes a person able to function in one or another state? I don't think Plato was saying that Greece had it made, that Greece needed to throw its weight around more to be great. He's pointing out that it had lost greatness, the same way every empire loses when it forgets that individual spark that is in a single person, his virtue. And the sad thing is it all comes down to the education of our young people in the values, the virtues that apply both to his own personal life and to the life of the state.

At its heart, the protests which are beginning, only beginning, and which are peaceful, may be politeia vs. republic, the 'polis' itself against 'things political'. A new and true enlightenment, multipolar.

karlof1 , Jun 18 2020 16:39 utc | 64
BM @60--

Corruption's been a fact of life in North America ever since it was "discovered." Bernard Bailyn captured it quite well in his The New England Merchants in the Seventeenth Century , that is during the very first stages of plantation, with most corruption taking place in Old England then exported to the West. Even the Founders were corrupt, although they didn't see themselves as such. Isn't Adam & Eve's corruption detailed in Genesis merely an indicator of a general human trait that needs to be managed via culture? That human culture has generally failed to contain and discipline corruption speaks volumes about both. John Dos Passos in his opus USA noted that everyone everywhere was on the "hustle"--from the hobo to the banker. "Every child gots to have its own" are some of the truest lyrics ever written. Will humanity ever transcend this major failure in its nature?

Allen Edmundson , Jun 18 2020 23:30 utc | 65
Who is behind the claim that China is imprisoning vast numbers of Uighurs in concentration camps and what evidence has been presented? See the Greyzone for its recent report on this.

Edmundson

Jpc , Jun 18 2020 23:39 utc | 66
Thanks to all of you for your insights on Bolton.
I still don't see anything to explain why he got a second gig in the Whitehouse.
Or anything that he did that enhanced US security long term.
And another guy who dodged active service.
Strange angry dude,!
Hoarsewhisperer , Jun 19 2020 14:47 utc | 67
Pat Lang believes that Bolton has breached a law requiring US Officials with access to Top Secret Stuff to submit personal memoirs for scrutiny before publishing. Col Lang is awaiting similar approval for a memoir of his own and thinks Bolton didn't bother waiting for the Official OK.
There's a diverse range of comments. Most commentators like the idea of Bolton being tossed in the slammer. Others speculate that as a Swamp Creature, Bolton will escape prosecution. It's interesting that no-one has asked to see the publisher's copy of the USG's signed & dated Approval To Publish document, relevant to Bolton's book.
arby , Jun 19 2020 19:34 utc | 68
Jut a little thread on Bolton and his book.

It is amazing the way these clowns sit around and talk about countries and people as if they were so much dirt. The arrogance and power is disgusting.

link

[Jun 22, 2020] Does John Bolton deserves a Nobel peace Price? In our perverted world why not.

Jun 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Tower , Jun 17 2020 21:43 utc | 13

It's just about time. John Bolton deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. At this point, why not?

JC , Jun 17 2020 23:43 utc | 23

Posted by: Tower | Jun 17 2020 21:43 utc | 13

This is the most intelligent post so far.

Yes why not? If Obama awarded the Noble prize even before he begins serving his first term I can't see why Bolton not nominated now. America is a joke, not a banana republic. It deserves Obama, Trump, Bolton or Biden another stoopid joker.

Stoopid president elected by stoopid citizens

[Jun 21, 2020] Leaker fell victim of the leak: The neocon-warhawk may not see a penny for his book as the PDf was leaked online

MIC eventually will pay this neocon prostitute for services, anyway
Jun 21, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
As Ben Garrison recent noted, in an interview Bolton stated that it was OK for the government agencies to lie to the American people if national security is at stake. And it always seems to be at stake for dominant men who want secrecy and power. Bolton is a dangerous liar and his anti-Trump screed cannot be trusted.

It's time to slam the book shut on Bolton.

[Jun 21, 2020] Paul R. Pillar who pointed out that U.S. sanctions are frequently peddled as a peaceful alternative to war fit the definition of 'crimes against peace'.

Highly recommended!
Jun 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Christian J. Chuba , Jun 21 2020 14:18 utc | 78

Re: the Nuremberg trials , I became fascinated by the writings of Paul R. Pillar who pointed out that U.S. sanctions are frequently peddled as a peaceful alternative to war fit the definition of 'crimes against peace' . This is when one country sets up an environment for war against another country. I'll grant you that this is vague but if this is applicable at all how is this not an accurate description of what we are doing against Iran and Venezuela?

In both cases, we are imposing a full trade embargo (not sanctions) on basic civilian necessities and infrastructures and threatening the use of military force. As for Iran, the sustained and unfair demonization of Iranians is preparing the U.S. public to accept a ruthless bombing campaign against them as long overdue. We are already attacking the civilian population of their allies in Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon.

How Ironic that the country that boasts that it won WW2 is now guilty of the very crimes that it condemned publicly in court.

[Jun 19, 2020] Bolton should be arrested and charged with any of a number of possible crimes

Jun 19, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Security screening of manuscripts I t is the law in the United States that those who have had legal access to the secrets of the government must submit private manuscripts for removal of such secrets BEFORE they are published or even presented to a potential publisher. Every department of government has an office charged with such work.

I know this process well because my memoir "Tattoo" has been in the hands of the appropriate Defense Department office for nigh on six months. The book is long, and I was so unlucky as to have DoD shut down its auxiliary services during my wait. I have thought of withdrawing it from screening but, surprisingly, the screeners tell me it has some worth for those who will come after. So, I will wait.

All this applies to John Bolton, a career State Department man whose adult life has been soaked in government secrets. I first noticed Bolton as a glowering presence at briefings I gave to selected State Department people with regard to national command authority projects I was running. His attitude was consistent. If the idea was not his, it was simply wrong.

Bolton's "kiss and tell" book about Trump is IMO as much caused by wounded ego as a desire to make money. He submitted the book for security review to DoD and the CIA. Why not State? Ah, Pompeo would tear it to pieces. Bolton evidently grew impatient with the pace of clearance and decided to go ahead with publication without clearance

To do this is a felony. The release of the book today completes the elements of proof for the crime.

Bolton should be arrested and charged with any of a number of possible crimes. pl


Jack , 18 June 2020 at 11:56 AM

Sir,

Let's see what Trump does with Bolton now that he has committed a felony.

My bet is that other than crying on Twitter, he'll not do much. His previous actions/inactions on these matters show weakness.

In any case bitching on Twitter makes him look like an executive with poor hiring judgement as he was the one that hired him. Just like he hired Mattis and Kelly as well as Rosenstein and Wray.

Barbara Ann , 18 June 2020 at 12:03 PM
Bolton being successfully charged with violations associated with his sour grapes hit piece memoir is analogous to Al Capone finally going down for tax evasion. But if that's the way it goes I will not be sad.

Re "Tattoo", your Memorial Day "Ap Bu Nho" extract alone makes "some worth" an amusingly ludicrous understatement. I wish you luck with the censors & very much look forward to one day reading "Tattoo".

eakens , 18 June 2020 at 12:05 PM
Who can we rely on to uphold the rule of law anymore? It's starting to appear we are living in a failed state.
Artemesia , 18 June 2020 at 01:22 PM
AIS

He was a convert to the neocon faith early in life and all else was mischief.

Posted by: turcopolier | 18 June 2020 at 12:21 PM

"He was a convert - - -"
I was going to ask what went wrong with Bolton: was he dropped on his head as an infant? No father in the home? The Dulles brothers spent their childhoods being harangued by their bible-thumping Calvinist grandfather (reports Kinzer in his useful bio on the brothers).

In Jeff Engel's book about the decision-making behind G H W Bush's decision to wage war against Saddam re Kuwait, he recounts that an argument by Brent Scowcroft was significant, AND that "Scowcroft, who was very short," confronted taller-than-average Bush while knees-to-knees in an airplane.
Bolton is shorter than the average American male. Does he have 'short-person' compulsion to compensate?

People psychologize Trump constantly, usually from ignorance and malice. But something is very wrong with Bolton. Pompeo as well. What is it?
"What huge imago made a psychopathic god?" (Auden, Sept. 1939)

Polish Janitor , 18 June 2020 at 04:11 PM
Col Lang,

#1 I read this WaPo article that argued because the recent DOJ's lawsuit against the release of the book is based on "prior restraint on speech before it occurs", meaning the Trump administration cannot censor speech before it happens, therefore there is no 1st amendment breach against the Trump admin by Bolton. As the court elaborated in Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart, prior restraints are "the most serious and the least tolerable infringement on First Amendment rights" and "one of the most extraordinary remedies known to our jurisprudence."

#2 Bolton took all of his notes containing classified intelligence with him after he was fired and nobody took an issue. How is that possible?

#3 The Wapo article says his manuscript was reviewed for four months by one Ellen Knight, an official (doesn't mention which department) responsible for reviewing publishing material and she gave it the green light for publication on April 27th.

#4 During a press conference, Bill Barr gave an unusual take on Bolton's book as if he was giving publicity to the book. He said he had never seen a book being written on Trump with such pace and in such quick time and that it had a lot of sensitive information and stuff. It sounded really odd what Bill Barr said. I dunno maybe I am reading to much between the lines...

#5 With regards to Pompeo, back in September during a press conference at the State, when asked by a reporter about Bolton's firing I specifically remember watching him on TV giving a big meaningful chuckle and a smile... it was revealed later that they clearly did not get along with each other and Pompeo had complained on numerous times that Bolton as NSA, who does not have executive authorities, had been doing a lot of policy stuff and running his own show in shadow.

On a final note, I don't think Bolton is a neocon in the mold of Perle, Wolfowitz, Feith, Abrams, Kagan, Kristol etc...There is this long piece by New Yorker published last year that really gets into detail of how and why Bolton is not a neocon, but adheres to a more hawkish Jacksonian nationalism approach rather than the liberal idealism of arch neocons I mentioned above. However, he does have quite similar F.P. views with neocon oldies such as Irving Kristol, Norman Podhoretz, and Jeane Kirkpatrick.

JohnH , 18 June 2020 at 04:39 PM
If Bolton does NOT get the book thrown at him, it will be pretty good evidence of the existence of the Deep State allowing those it favors to write their own rules. Of course, we already knew that after Clapper lied with impunity to Wyden when he was under oath.
TV , 18 June 2020 at 04:49 PM
He'll never be prosecuted and neither will Comey, Clapper and the rest of the swamp scum.
Strozk (lower on the food chain) might be the human sacrifice (with a sentence of "community service") but no one of any significance (or "royal" title) is ever prosecuted in the swamp.
Trump has tried, but his miserable lack of hiring experience and skill has not made a dent
Polish Janitor , 18 June 2020 at 04:53 PM
Artemisia,

I feel like I have a few words to say about Bolton if I may,

IMHO Bolton's view of the world is very dark and extremely Hobbesian. He is no slouch by any stretch of imagination, in fact he is extremely knowledgeable and masterful when it comes to policy-making and that basically how things are done in D.C. He has made a brand for himself as the most hawkish national security expert in all of America in my opinion. Honestly I cannot think of anyone else who espouses more hawkishness and zero diplomacy than Bolton, ever... maybe Tom Cotton or Liz Cheney but still not close. This is the reason why Trump hired him. In fact Trump did not want to hire him as the top brass in first place, citing his mustache as one reason that would not look good on TV and wanted to give him 2nd tier jobs at the State or as NSA early on, but Bolton refused. Trump, wanted to hire Bolton's "brand" not his policies or hawkishness to intimidate Nkorea, Iran, and China to force them come into making deals with him and him personally.

IMO Trump found out after the first Kim summit that Bolton was
such an ambitious and counterproductive foreign policy maker and one-man-team that if he allowed Bolton to get his way, there would be world war III (Trump's own words) and his most important promise to keep America out of forever wars which was his wining platform over neocons such as Hilary, Jeb and Rubio during 2016 election would disappear into thin air.

So, Trump found ways to check Bolton and keep him out of the loop in sensitive and crucial moments by Mattis, Kelly, Joe Dunford, Pompeo and even Melania (in the case of getting rid of Bolton's close confidant and neocon Mira Ricardel when she called for bombing Iranian forces back in September 2018 in respone to several rockets by iraqi militias hitting the ground close to the U.S. embassy in Baghdad), and even sent him to Mongolia last year on a goose chase to make an embarrassing example of him for undermining him (i.e. Trump's) authority in the case of sitting down with the Taliban in Camp David to discuss military pullout from Afghanistan back in Sep. whereas at the same time Pompeo was smart enough to tow the same line as Trump and survive.

I few years ago I came across this interesting but odd piece by B on the Moon of Alabama on Bolton. I honestly dunno what to make of it.

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2006/02/a_glasshouse_in.html

ked , 18 June 2020 at 05:11 PM
The book is already released in the hundreds. It will be on-line soon enough regardless of the niceties of Barr's attempt to slam shut the barn door, or what the legal system does with Bolton going fwd.
Those close to Trump know his emotional state must be appeased or they will soon be departing - unless there's a DNA match.
Reaction to it will be a test of one's ability to distinguish Bolton from the events he describes & their veracity. Is there anything of Trump's statements & acts (released so far) that surprises anyone... that rings untrue?
Those ideologically (or religiously) dependent upon the Trump Phenomenon for validating their core beliefs will demonstrate how creative true believers can be when attached to a personality.
A.I.S. , 18 June 2020 at 05:34 PM
For what its worth I am looking forward to buying it, should scratch that Peter Scholl Latour itch.

Another thing is that I just dont get the Neocons.
Their politics are bad both from a Machieavellian (dilutes US forces, creates enemies, considerably restricts creative ways in which US power could be employed) and from a moral (obviously) point of view. I also dont get their power, stupid/evil tends to be competed out. Heck, even if they are stupid/evil but very good at beurocratic backbiting stuff, they are still supposedly disadvantadged against skilled beurocratic backbiters that arent stupid/evil (or at least only evil and not stupid).
Is it internal cohesion or a much higher degree of ruthlessness that maintains their position?

PB , 18 June 2020 at 07:05 PM
I've for many years thought that the Bolton problem was best solved with a speedy trial and a swift execution, with remains thrown overboard somewhere in the Indian ocean.
turcopolier , 18 June 2020 at 07:13 PM
polish janitor

He signed an oath to safeguard the secrecy of the information when "read on" for it and another such when he was "read off." The 1st Amendment does not come into it at all

[Jun 18, 2020] Poor Johnny! What's sadder than being a crook, but an ineffective one? I think that's what he is. He may be infamous enough to be a household name, but he never really managed to make a career. Hardly ever did he stay on a job for more than 2 years

Jun 18, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

John , Jun 17 2020 19:24 utc | 4

I'm fully expecting the Dem "left" to try and praise the monsterous Bolton for "going against Trump", as they did with war criminal Mad Dog Matis and Bush. Bolton has to be one of the most evil mass murders on the face of the Earth. The world will be an infinitely better place when he and his ilk like Netanyahu, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Chertoff..etc finally go back to hell.

karlof1 , Jun 17 2020 19:33 utc | 5

Bolton deserves having a parasite named after him, if that.
Scotch Bingeington , Jun 17 2020 19:57 utc | 6
Poor Johnny! What's sadder than being a crook, but an ineffective one? I think that's what he is. He may be infamous enough to be a household name, but he never really managed to make a career. Hardly ever did he stay on a job for more than 2 years, before his fellow crooks deemed him unfit for his position, again and again. Says a lot.

I hope they will confiscate his book on some flimsy pretext, only to lose the piles of copies in storage, so they cannot possibly be released to bookstores again. Maybe some mice will make use of it to furnish their nests?

Take a look at his face. It's obvious to me that even John Bolton does not enjoy being John Bolton. That mouth, it's drooping to an absurd degree. Comparable to Merkel's face, come to think of it.

GeorgeV , Jun 17 2020 20:25 utc | 8
John Bolton's tell all book about his tenure with the Trump administration is a perfect example of the pot calling the kettle burned. It is a fitting description of the leadership of the US government and it's capitol city as a den of backstabbing, corkscrewing and double dealing vipers. It's like standing on a street corner watching two prostitutes calling each other a whore! How low has the US sunk.
bob sykes , Jun 17 2020 20:55 utc | 11
Of course, Trump actually campaigned to leave Afghanistan and Syria, and he was elected to do so. The self-appointed Deep State has pretty much thwarted him and his voters.
uncle tungsten , Jun 17 2020 21:00 utc | 12
karlof1 #5
Blastocystis hominis could be renamed easily enough. It is a pain in the gut and arse.

I will not bother to read any more on Bolton the man is beneath contempt. b has said more than enough.

Tower , Jun 17 2020 21:43 utc | 13
It's just about time. John Bolton deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. At this point, why not?
pretzelattack , Jun 17 2020 21:49 utc | 14
let us not forget that bolton threatened a un officials kids because they guy wasn't going along with the iraq war propaganda.
Duncan Idaho , Jun 17 2020 22:03 utc | 15
Only with Late Stage Capitalism could we have a vicious war criminal write a book criticizing a psychopathic sociopath.
Anonymous , Jun 17 2020 22:06 utc | 16
The political establishment in Canada appeared dismayed at the prospect of Bolton as National Security Adviser. See these interviews with Hill + Knowlton strategies Vice-chairman, Peter Donolo, from 2018:

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/video/there-s-risk-trump-s-actions-are-driving-the-u-s-into-a-recession-peter-donolo~1342264
https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/video/trade-wars-easy-to-start-not-so-easy-to-finish-peter-donolo~1365104

So Bolton gets in, Meng Wangzhou is detained in Vancouver on the US request (that's another story), and in time, Canada appoints a new Ambassador to China - Mr. Dominic Barton.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominic_Barton
Then Bolton gets fired. 'Nuff said. Just to let everyone know that Bolton is well and truly hated, as a government official, in certain circles.

AntiSpin , Jun 17 2020 22:07 utc | 17
@ pretzelattack | Jun 17 2020 21:49 utc | 14

Close -- the threatened official was Jose Bustani, at that time (2002) the head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)as he had been for five years.

Bustani had been working to bring Iraq and Libya into the organization, which would have required those two countries to eliminate all of their chemical weapons.

The US, though, had other ideas -- chiefly invading and destroying both of those nations, and when Bustani insisted on continuing his efforts then Bolton threatened Bustani's adult children.

james , Jun 17 2020 23:13 utc | 20
let the lobbyists with the most money win... that's what defines the usa system, leadership and decision making process... no one in their right mind would support this doofus..
Jen , Jun 17 2020 23:40 utc | 21
At least the one saving grace about John Bolton's memoir is that it might be a tad closer to reality than Christopher Steele's infamous dossier and might prove valuable as a source of evidence in a court of law. Maybe Yosemite Sam himself should start quaking in his boots.
Don Bacon , Jun 17 2020 23:44 utc | 24
@ Jpc
When faced with Trump's behavior of employing warmongers, including several generals, some observers opined that Trump wanted people with contrasting opinions so that he could consider them and then say "no." He did more with Bolton eventually, sending him to Mongolia while he (Trump) went to Singapore (or somewhere over there).
A User , Jun 17 2020 23:47 utc | 25
re Ian2 | Jun 17 2020 23:08 utc | 19
who hazarded : My guess Trump went along with the tough guy image that Bolton projected in media and recommendations by others.
Not at all, if you go back to the earliest days of the orangeman's prezdency, you will see Trump resisted the efforts by Mercer & the zionist casino owner to give Bolton a gig.
He knew that shrub had problems with the boasts of Bolton and as his reputation was as an arsehole who sounded his own trumpet at his boss's expense orangeman refused for a long time. Trump believes the trump prezdency is about trump no one else.
Thing was at the time he was running for the prez gig trump was on his uppers, making a few dollars from his tv show, plus licensing other people's buildings by selling his name to be stuck on them. trump tower azerbnajan etc.
He put virtually none of his own money into the 'race' so when he won the people who had put up the dosh had power over him.
Bolton has always been an arse kisser to any zionist cause he suspects he can claw a penny outta, so he used the extreme loony end of the totally looney zionist spectrum to hook him (Bolton) up with a gig by pushing for him with trump.

It was always gonna end the way it did as Bolton is forever briefing the media against anyone who tried to resist his murderous fantasies. Trump is never gonna argue for any scheme that doesn't have lotsa dollars for him in it so he had plenty of run ins with Bolton who then went to his media mates & told tales.
When bolton was appointed orangey's stakes were at a really low ebb among DC warmongers, so he reluctantly took him on then spent the next 18 months getting rid of the grubby parasite.

Kristan hinton , Jun 18 2020 0:46 utc | 26
Real History: Candidate Trump praised Bolton and named him as THE number one Foreign Policy expert he (Trump) respected.

Imagine the mustachioed Mister Potatoe (sic) Head and zany highjinks!

Bolton and one of his first wives were regulars at Plato's Retreat for wife swapping orgies. The wife was not real keen on the behavior, but she allegedly found herself verbally and physically abused for objecting.

DannyC , Jun 18 2020 1:17 utc | 27
Trump is at fault for hiring him to appease the Zionist lobby. We all knew the guy was a warmonger and a scumbag. It's not a surprise. Trump surrounds himself with the worst people

[Jun 17, 2020] Collusion with China, wanting to stay in office forever Leaked Bolton book excerpts cash in on anti-Trump frenzy

If we view Bolton as Adelson puppet, such a behaviour clearly does not make much sense. Or this is a single from Israel lobby to Trump "moor did his duty, moor can go"?
Notable quotes:
"... "a variety of instances when he sought to intervene in law enforcement matters for political reasons." ..."
"... "in effect, give personal favors to dictators he liked," ..."
"... "The pattern looked like obstruction of justice as a way of life, which we couldn't accept," ..."
"... "bombshells" ..."
"... "exactly the right thing to do." ..."
"... "systematic use of indoctrination camps, forced labor, and intrusive surveillance to eradicate the ethnic identity and religious beliefs of Uyghurs and other minorities in China." ..."
"... "Panda Hugger." ..."
"... The mustachioed warhawk had served as Trump's national security adviser from April 2018 to September 2019. While the exact reason for his firing was never revealed, Trump has since commented that Bolton was interfering with his peace initiatives and had "never seen a war he didn't like." ..."
"... Indeed, the "most irrational thing" Bolton accuses Trump of was to refuse to bomb Iran in June 2019, according to the New York Times excerpt. ..."
"... "soft on China" ..."
"... As for Trump supporters, many were indifferent about Bolton's betrayal, noting that Trump hired the neocon in the first place and kept him on for over a year, while ditching the faithful General Michael Flynn after less than two weeks on the job, following a FBI ambush and a Washington Post hit job. ..."
Jun 17, 2020 | www.rt.com
Former national security adviser John Bolton has leaked excerpts of his book to major newspapers, accusing President Donald Trump of colluding with leaders in China and Turkey, and obstruction of justice "as a way of life." Facing a DOJ lawsuit seeking to block the publication of his memoir for containing classified information, Bolton decided to go to the press, leaking parts of the book to the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.

Breaking News: John Bolton says in his new book that the House should have investigated President Trump for potentially impeachable actions beyond Ukraine https://t.co/8lpd4xAzYu

-- The New York Times (@nytimes) June 17, 2020

Bolton famously refused to testify before the Democrat-led impeachment proceedings against Trump over his alleged abuse of power regarding Ukraine, but now claims that they should have expanded the probe to "a variety of instances when he sought to intervene in law enforcement matters for political reasons."

He accuses Trump of wanting to "in effect, give personal favors to dictators he liked," bringing up companies in China and Turkey as examples, according to the Times. "The pattern looked like obstruction of justice as a way of life, which we couldn't accept," the Times quotes him as saying.

One of the Bolton "bombshells" is that he sought China's purchase of US soybeans in order to get re-elected, during trade negotiations with President Xi Jinping.

SOYBEAN DIPLOMACY: The WSJ has published an excerpt of @AmbJohnBolton 's forthcoming book, revealing Trump-Xi conversation and how the American president pleaded his Chinese counterpart to buy U.S. soybeans so he could win farm states in the 2020 presidential elections | #OATT pic.twitter.com/XKAogLCCtN

-- Javier Blas (@JavierBlas) June 17, 2020

An excerpt in the Wall Street Journal has Trump telling Xi that – alleged – concentration camps for Uighur Muslims in China's Xinjiang province were "exactly the right thing to do." It also alleges that Trump did Xi a favor by relaxing US sanctions on ZTE, a Chinese telecom company.

WSJ excerpt of Bolton book has Trump & China bombshells. Trump told Xi building concentration camps for Muslims "was exactly the right thing to do." Trump pleaded w/ Xi to help him w/ re-election by making US farm product buys. And Trump helped Xi w/ ZTE. https://t.co/4CSflQQqcL

-- Edward Wong (@ewong) June 17, 2020

This comes as Trump signed into law the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020, which mandates US sanctions against Chinese officials over "systematic use of indoctrination camps, forced labor, and intrusive surveillance to eradicate the ethnic identity and religious beliefs of Uyghurs and other minorities in China."

Another excerpt has Bolton referring to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin as a "Panda Hugger."

According to Bolton, Trump told Xi to "go ahead with building the camps" for imprisoned Uighurs.

-- Philip Wegmann (@PhilipWegmann) June 17, 2020

As another proof of Trump's perfidy, Bolton writes that the president told Xi that he would like to stay in office beyond the two terms the US Constitution would allow him. Bolton's one-time colleague Dinesh D'Souza commented that Bolton was unable to recognize a clear joke.

Really? This is it? John Bolton's smoking gun? Trump has been jokingly putting out memes about this for four years. This conversation, if it occurred at all, seems obviously jocular. Bolton, however, whom I knew quite well from AEI, doesn't have a jocular bone in his body pic.twitter.com/Qe8sXCAT58

-- Dinesh D'Souza (@DineshDSouza) June 17, 2020

Trump has on more than one occasion shared a meme showing him staying in power forever, triggering Democrats into denouncing him as an aspiring dictator. Apparently, Bolton thought the same.

According to John Bolton posting this meme was an impeachable offense https://t.co/q2BHlfVTEu

-- Will Chamberlain 🇺🇸 (@willchamberlain) June 17, 2020

The mustachioed warhawk had served as Trump's national security adviser from April 2018 to September 2019. While the exact reason for his firing was never revealed, Trump has since commented that Bolton was interfering with his peace initiatives and had "never seen a war he didn't like."

Indeed, the "most irrational thing" Bolton accuses Trump of was to refuse to bomb Iran in June 2019, according to the New York Times excerpt.

Pretty telling that the episode which pissed off Bolton the most during his tenure was Trump calling off airstrikes which would have killed dozens of Iranian soldiers in June 2019 https://t.co/ruFSInj2Mu pic.twitter.com/5zO7UrxMTM

-- Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) June 17, 2020

Arguing that Trump is being "soft on China" and colluding with Xi also happens to be a Democratic Party strategy for the 2020 presidential election, outlined in April and reported by Axios.

While Democrats and the mainstream media welcomed Bolton's bombshells as validating their position on Trump, he is unlikely to become a #Resistance hero, simply because they still remember he refused to say these things under oath during the impeachment hearings, when they – in theory – could have bolstered their case for getting Trump out of office.

As for Trump supporters, many were indifferent about Bolton's betrayal, noting that Trump hired the neocon in the first place and kept him on for over a year, while ditching the faithful General Michael Flynn after less than two weeks on the job, following a FBI ambush and a Washington Post hit job.

Do I care that Bolton is stabbing Trump in the back? Not at all. General Flynn was NSA and Trump made his choices. Being outraged on behalf of a 70+ year old man who makes poor choices is well beyond my job description.

-- Blue Flu Cernovich (@Cernovich) June 17, 2020

[Jun 16, 2020] It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future (incorrectly attributed to Yogi Berra)

Jun 16, 2020 | carnegieendowment.org

... There are no signs that the [USA-Russia] relationship will improve in the near future.

[Jun 14, 2020] Jeane J. Kirkpatrick 30 Years Unheeded

Highly recommended!
The national security establishment does represent the actual government of dual "double government". And it is not unaccountable to, and unsupervised by, the elected branches of government. Instead it controls them and is able to stage palace coups to remove "unacceptable" Presidents like was the case with JFK, Nixon and Trump.
For them is are occupied country and then behave like real occuplers.
Notable quotes:
"... In Trumpian fashion, Kirkpatrick then goes on to warn Americans about the danger of an unaccountable "deep state" in foreign policy that is immune to popular pressures. ..."
"... She says that, no, "it has become more important than ever that the experts who conduct foreign policy on our behalf be subject to the direction of and control of the people." ..."
"... She points out that because America had for much of the twentieth century assumed global responsibilities, our foreign policy elites had developed "distinctive views" that are different from those of the electorate. ..."
"... foreign policy elites "grew accustomed to thinking of the United States as having boundless resources and purposes . . . which transcended the preferences of voters and apparent American interests . . . and eventually developed a globalist attitude." ..."
"... In support of Kirkpatrick's concern, Tufts professor Michael Glennon has more recently argued that the national security establishment has now become so "distinctive" in their separation from our constitutional processes that they represent one wing of a now "double government" that is not unaccountable to, and unsupervised by, the popular branches of government. The Russiagate investigations and the attempt to disable the Trump presidency, aided by many in the establishment, would appear to confirm Kirkpatrick's warning that foreign policy elites want no part of the electoral preferences of voting Americans. ..."
"... Kirkpatrick died in 2006 and had, like many neoconservatives, evolved from a Humphrey Democrat into a member of the GOP establishment. With William Bennett and Jack Kemp, in 1993 she cofounded a neoconservative group, Empower America, which took a very aggressive stance against militant Islam after the 9/11 attacks. However, she was quite ambivalent about the invasion of Iraq and was quoted in The Economist ..."
Jun 14, 2020 | nationalinterest.org

Kirkpatrick's essay begins by insisting that, because of world events since 1939, America has given to foreign affairs "an unnatural focus." Now in 1990, she says, the nation can turn its attention to domestic concerns that are more important because "a good society is defined not by its foreign policy but its internal qualities . . . by the relations among its citizens, the kind of character nurtured, and the quality of life lived." She says unabashedly that "there is no mystical American 'mission' or purposes to be 'found' independently of the U.S. Constitution and government."

One cannot fail to notice that this perspective is precisely the opposite of George W. Bush's in his second inauguration. According to Bush, America's post –Cold War purpose was to follow our "deepest beliefs" by acting to "support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture." For three decades neoconservative foreign policy has revolved around "mystical" beliefs about America's mission in the world that are unmoored from the actual Constitution.

In Trumpian fashion, Kirkpatrick then goes on to warn Americans about the danger of an unaccountable "deep state" in foreign policy that is immune to popular pressures. She rejects emphatically the views of some elitists who argue that foreign policy is a uniquely esoteric and specialized discipline and must be cushioned from populism. She says that, no, "it has become more important than ever that the experts who conduct foreign policy on our behalf be subject to the direction of and control of the people."

She points out that because America had for much of the twentieth century assumed global responsibilities, our foreign policy elites had developed "distinctive views" that are different from those of the electorate. Again, in Trumpian fashion, she argued that foreign policy elites "grew accustomed to thinking of the United States as having boundless resources and purposes . . . which transcended the preferences of voters and apparent American interests . . . and eventually developed a globalist attitude."

In support of Kirkpatrick's concern, Tufts professor Michael Glennon has more recently argued that the national security establishment has now become so "distinctive" in their separation from our constitutional processes that they represent one wing of a now "double government" that is not unaccountable to, and unsupervised by, the popular branches of government. The Russiagate investigations and the attempt to disable the Trump presidency, aided by many in the establishment, would appear to confirm Kirkpatrick's warning that foreign policy elites want no part of the electoral preferences of voting Americans.

Kirkpatrick concludes her essay with thoughts on "What should we do?" and "What we should not do." Remarkably, her first recommendation is to negotiate better trade deals. These deals should give the U.S. "fair access" to foreign markets while offering "foreign businesses no better than fair access to U.S. markets." Next, she considered the promotion of democracy around the world and, on this subject, she took the John Quincy Adams position : that "Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be." However, she insisted: "it is not within the United States' power to democratize the world."

When Kirkpatrick goes on to discuss America's post –Cold War alliances, she makes clear that she is advocating, quite simply, an America First foreign policy. Regarding the future of the NATO alliance, a sacrosanct pillar of the American foreign policy establishment, she argued that "the United States should not try to manage the balance of power in Europe." Likewise, we should be humble about what we can accomplish in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union: "Any notion that the United States can manage the changes in that huge, multinational, developing society is grandiose." Finally, with regard to Asia: "Our concern with Japan should above all be with its trading practices vis-à-vis the United States. We should not spend money protecting an affluent Japan, though a continuing alliance is entirely appropriate."

She famously concludes her essay by making the plea for the United States to become "a normal country in a normal time" and "to give up the dubious benefits of superpower status and become again an unusually successful, open American republic."

Kirkpatrick became Ronald Reagan's United Nations ambassador because her 1979 article in Commentary , "Dictatorships and Double Standards," caught the eye of the future president. In that article, she sensibly points out that authoritarian governments that are allies of the United States should not be kicked to the curb because they are not free and open democracies. The path to democracy is a long and perilous one, and nations without republican traditions cannot be expected to make the transition overnight. Regarding the world's oldest democracy, she remarked: "In Britain, the road from the Magna Carta to the Act of Settlement, to the great Reform Bills of 1832, 1867, and 1885, took seven centuries to traverse."

While at the time neoconservatives opportunistically embraced her for this position as a tactic to fight the Cold War, the current foreign policy establishment would consider Kirkpatrick's argument to be beyond the bounds of decent conversation, as it would lend itself to an accommodation with authoritarian Russia as a counterweight to totalitarian China.

Kirkpatrick died in 2006 and had, like many neoconservatives, evolved from a Humphrey Democrat into a member of the GOP establishment. With William Bennett and Jack Kemp, in 1993 she cofounded a neoconservative group, Empower America, which took a very aggressive stance against militant Islam after the 9/11 attacks. However, she was quite ambivalent about the invasion of Iraq and was quoted in The Economist as saying that George W. Bush was "a bit too interventionist for my taste" and that Bush's brand of moral imperialism is not "taken seriously anywhere outside a few places in Washington, DC."

The fact that Kirkpatrick's recommendations in her 1990 essay coincide with some of Donald Trump's positions in the 2016 campaign (if not with many of his actual actions as president) make her views, ipso facto, not serious. The foreign policy establishment gives something like pariah status to arguments that we should negotiate better trade deals, reconsider our Cold War alliances and, most especially, subject American foreign policy to popular preferences. If she were alive today and were making the arguments she made in 1990, then she would be an outcast. That a formidable intellectual like Kirkpatrick would be dismissed in such a fashion is a sign of how obtuse our foreign policy debate has become.

William S. Smith is Senior Research Fellow and Managing Director of the Center for the Study of Statesmanship at The Catholic University of America. His recent book, Democracy and Imperialism , is from the University of Michigan Press. He studied political philosophy under Professor Jeane Kirkpatrick as an undergraduate at Georgetown University.

[Jun 13, 2020] Note on Trump/Pompeo diplomacy of insults: Iran proved to be quite good at swapping insults with the USA and Iran's insults are usually funnier

Jun 13, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Hoarsewhisperer , Jun 12 2020 23:08 utc | 27

Since this nothing-burger appears to have kicked off with an article in the NYT, it looks to me as though someone reminded The Swamp that Iran hasn't been disarmed and is thus not the kind of soft target that can be pushed around with impunity by AmeriKKKa. Imo, Iran is a lot closer to the top of the Military Genius pecking order than AmeriKKKa. i.e. Iran has made it quite clear that "Israel" will cop the blowback if Iran is attacked, and has also demonstrated its ability to conduct high-precision strikes on US bases & bunkers in the region. Iran is also quite good at swapping insults with AmeriKKKa and Iran's insults are usually funnier than AmeriKKKa's...

Threatening North Korea probably seemed like a better/safer idea than threatening Iran but only until China's diplomatic comedians start ripping into AmeriKKKa's loud-mouthed dorks and daydreamers.

[Jun 08, 2020] Jordan to Rosenstein- Why are you keeping info from us

Jun 08, 2020 | www.youtube.com



Sandor Nelu
, 5 months ago

Rosenstein looks like a snake in front of an eagle.

Frank D. Long , 7 months ago

Rosenstein is a traitor and his wife is Crooked Hillary's lawyer.


Mitch Pickett
, 6 months ago

This guy is a weasel plain and simple. He knows something and is doing everything in his power to keep it a secret.


Tom Floor
, 1 year ago

Rosenstein is lying! This is what's pissing me off! If Rosenstein is a piece of work. Why didn't they try to follow the rules for the Clinton investigation and Trump Russian investigation! They pick and choose what they want to follow according to rules.

[Jun 06, 2020] Spare Us Your 'Mad Dog' Mattis Worship by Andy Kroll

Jun 06, 2020 | www.rollingstone.com

James Mattis and other generals have sent the political class into delirium with their Trump criticism, but there are better voices for this moment than the authors of America's forever wars

Andy Kroll

Rolling Stone Washington bureau chief

@AndyKroll Follow ,

Here come the generals.

A procession of decorated former U.S. military leaders has spoken out in recent days to gravely denounce President Trump and his unmistakably authoritarian response to the demonstrations against police violence and racial injustice sparked by the death of George Floyd.

James Mattis, a retired Marine Corps four-star general, accused Trump of shredding the Constitution with the violent removal of protesters outside the White House so that Trump could stage a photo op. Mattis, who was Trump's first secretary of defense, said Americans were "witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership."

John Allen, a retired Marine Corps four-star general and former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, warned that the "slide of the United States into illiberalism may well have begun on June 1, 2020," the day of Trump's crackdown and photo op. "Remember the date. It may well signal the beginning of the end of the American experiment."

Mike Mullen, a retired Navy admiral and a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest ranking military position in the country, penned an essay titled "I Cannot Remain Silent" in which he wrote that Trump's conduct "laid bare his disdain for the rights of peaceful protest in this country, gave succor to the leaders of other countries who take comfort in our domestic strife, and risked further politicizing the men and women of our armed forces."

[Jun 03, 2020] The 10 Most Important Questions For Rod Rosenstein This Morning

Jun 03, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

The 10 Most Important Questions For Rod Rosenstein This Morning by Tyler Durden Wed, 06/03/2020 - 09:10 Authored by John Solomon via JustTheNews.com,

Two years ago, then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein chafed when asked whether congressional Republicans might have legitimate reason to suspect the factual underpinnings of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants that targeted Trump campaign adviser Carter Page in the Russia probe.

Seeming a bit perturbed, Rosenstein launched into a mini-lecture on how much care and work went into FISA applications at the FBI and Justice Department.

"There's a lot of talk about FISA applications. Many people I've seen talk about it seem not to recognize that a FISA application is actually a warrant, just like a search warrant. In order to get a FISA warrant, you need an affidavit signed by a career law enforcement officer who swears the information is true ... And if it is wrong, that person is going to face consequences," Rosenstein asserted.

"If we're going to accuse someone of wrongdoing, we have to have admissible evidence, credible witnesses, we have to prove our case in court. We have to affix our signature to the charging document," he added.

Rosenstein did affix his signature to the fourth and last FISA warrant against Page in 2017. And now in 2020, newly declassified evidence shows the FBI did not have the verified evidence or a credible witness in the form of Christopher Steele and his dossier to support the claims submitted to the FISA court as verified.

In fact, DOJ has withdrawn the very FISA application Rosenstein approved and signed after the department's internal watchdog found it included inaccurate, undocumented, and falsified evidence.

This morning (at 10amET), when he appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Rosenstein is likely to strike a humbler tone in the face of overwhelming evidence that the FBI-executed FISAs have been chronically flawed, including in the Russia case he supervised.

"Even the best law enforcement officers make mistakes, and some engage in willful misconduct," Rosenstein said in a statement issued ahead of his appearance. "Independent law enforcement investigations, judicial review and congressional oversight are important checks on the discretion of agents and prosecutors."

Republicans led by Chairman Lindsey Graham of South Carolina are likely to interrogate Rosenstein extensively as they try to determine whether the glaring FISA failures and the FBI's representations in the Russia probe were a case of misplaced trust or a deeper plot by unelected bureaucrats to unseat and/or thwart President Trump.

Here are the 10 most important questions those senators are likely to set out to answer:

  1. Did Rosenstein read the FISA warrant renewal he signed in summer 2017 against Page, review any evidence supporting it, or ask the FBI any questions about the case before affixing his signature?
  2. Does the former No. 2 DOJ official now believe the FISA was so flawed that it should never have been submitted to the court? Does he regret signing it?
  3. Given what he now knows about flaws with the Steele dossier and FBI probe, would Rosenstein have appointed Robert Mueller as the Russia Special Counsel if given a do-over?
  4. Did Rosenstein engage in a conversation with FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe in 2017 about wearing a wire on President Trump as part of a plot to remove the 45th president from office under the 25th Amendment?
  5. Who drafted and provided the supporting materials that Rosenstein used to create the scope of investigation memos that guided Mueller's probe?
  6. Does Rosenstein have any concerns about the conduct of fired FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe as he looks back on their tenure and in light of the new evidence that has surfaced?
  7. When did Rosenstein learn that the CIA had identified Page as one of its assets -- ruling out he was a Russian spy -- and that information in Steele's dossier used in the FISA warrant had been debunked or linked to Russian disinformation?
  8. Does Rosenstein believe the FISA court was intentionally misled, or can the glaring missteps be explained by bureaucratic bungling?
  9. What culpability does Rosenstein assign to himself for the failures in the Russia case he supervised, and what other people does he blame?
  10. Does the former deputy attorney general believe anyone in the Russia case should face criminal charges?

You can watch Rosenstein's 2018 statement here. https://youtu.be/Daxd1YsNEO0

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Daxd1YsNEO0

[Jun 03, 2020] Rosenstein Admits He Would Not Have Signed FISA Warrant If He Knew Of Exculpatory Evidence, Throws McCabe Under The Bus

Jun 03, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

by Tyler Durden Wed, 06/03/2020 - 11:10 Update (1115ET): It appears, as Jonathan Turley details in a Twitter thread below , that Rosenstein is throwing McCabe under the bus...

Rosenstein just testified that he would not have signed the warrant application in 2017 on Carter Page because of the misconduct of FBI agents and the lack of evidence.

He said he did not know that the Steele dossier was discredited by that time. He said McCabe particularly "was not candid ... or forthcoming."

Notably, we now know that the Flynn investigation found no criminal acts by December 2016 and now Rosenstein said he would have ended the investigation of Page which was the focus of the early justifications of the Russian investigation.

Rosenstein just said he did not know that investigators by the early January 2017 asked for Flynn to be removed from the Crossfire Hurricane investigation. He signed off on these warrants and applications but was never informed of those critical facts.

Rosenstein insists that the information in appointing Mueller was based on that incomplete information at the time. He admitted that by August 2017 when he signed off on the Mueller investigation there was no evidence at all of collusion with the Russians.

Sen. Feinstein did a good job framing the use (or non-use) of the Steele dossier but went off the rails by stressing that none of the prosecutions relied on the dossier. However, the fact is that there was never any prosecution of any Trump person for colluding or conspiring ...

...with the Russians. There was never any evidence of collusion with the Russian, a point reaffirmed by Rosenstein today. This hearing shows the value of oversight and the still unanswered questions in light of recently released material.

Grassley just said Rosenstein misled him and the public on the Flynn case. Rosenstein insisted that he did not know about the exculpatory evidence on Flynn and "that was news to me." Rosenstein also said that he supports Durham investigating the dossier matter.

* * *

Authored by Daniel Payne via JustTheNews.com,

Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that he would not have signed the renewal of the FISA warrant for Trump associate Carter Page if he had been aware of exculpatory information withheld from the FISA court.

Rosenstein was responding to a question from Sen. Lindsey Graham, who asked him:

"If you knew then what you knew now, would you have signed the warrant application?"

"No, I would not," Rosenstein said.

"And the reason you wouldn't have is because ... exculpatory information was withheld from the court?" Graham asked, to which Rosenstein responded:

"Among other reasons, yes."

Appearing before the committee on Wednesday for a hearing concerning the FBI's Crossfire Hurricane investigation, Rosenstein told senators that the Justice Department "must take remedial action" against any misconduct it uncovers within its ranks, a bracing statement made in reference to investigative reviews that found "significant errors" in official procedures related to the FBI's Crossfire Hurricane investigation.

Rosenstein in prepared remarks noted that internal investigations had revealed that the FBI "was not following the written protocols" in its execution of Crossfire Hurricane.

"Senators, whenever agents or prosecutors make serious mistakes or engage in misconduct, the Department of Justice must take remedial action. And if existing policies fall short, those policies need to be changed. Ensuring the integrity of governmental processes is essential to public confidence in the rule of law," he said.

[May 26, 2020] Mike Pompeo is the number one evangelist of Trumpism in the world by Michael H Fuchs

Notable quotes:
"... Pompeo's penchant for undermining America's credibility is top-notch. ..."
May 25, 2020 | www.theguardian.com

When it comes to foreign policy, Pompeo's penchant for undermining America's credibility is top-notch

'Pompeo is a natural Trumpist.' Donald Trump's disdain for the people, country and values his office is supposed to represent is unmatched in recent memory. And he has found in the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo , a kindred spirit who has embraced his role as Trumpism's number one proselytizer to the world.

Pompeo doesn't wield nearly as much power or have the jurisdiction to inflict damage on as wide a range of issues as the president. He's not as crass or erratic as Trump, and his Twitter feed seems dedicated more to childish mockery than outright attacks. But when it comes to foreign policy, Pompeo's penchant for undermining America's credibility is top-notch.

At Pompeo's recommendation, Trump fired the state department's inspector general, who is supposed to be an independent investigator charged with looking into potential wrongdoing inside the department. Steve Linick was just the latest in a series of inspectors general across the government that Trump had fired in an attempt to hide the misconduct of his administration – but it also shone a spotlight on how Pompeo has undermined his agency.

Watchdog was investigating Pompeo for arms deal and staff misuse before firing

According to news reports, Pompeo was being investigated by the inspector general for bypassing Congress and possibly breaking the law in sending weapons to Saudi Arabia, even though his own department and the rest of the US government advised against the decision. He was also supposedly organizing fancy dinners – paid for by taxpayers – with influential businesspeople and TV personalities that seemed geared more towards supporting Pompeo's political career than advancing US foreign policy goals. And he was reportedly being scrutinized for using department personnel to conduct personal business, such as getting dry cleaning and walking his dog.

But these revelations merely reaffirm a pattern of activities by Pompeo unbecoming of the nation's top diplomat. When the House of Representatives was in the process of impeaching Trump over his attempt to extort Ukraine for personal political purposes – an act that Pompeo was aware of – Pompeo defended Trump while throwing under the bus career state department officials, like the ousted US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who spoke out. Pompeo has regularly ignored Congress, withholding documents from lawmakers – including during the Ukraine impeachment investigation – and refusing to appear for testimony. In 2019, the IG released a report detailing political retaliation against career state department officials being perpetrated by Trump officials. And Pompeo has spent considerable time traveling to Kansas and conducting media interviews there, fueling speculation that he has been using his position to tee up a run for the Senate, a violation of the Hatch Act.

Pompeo is a natural Trumpist. In her fantastic profile of the secretary of state, Susan Glasser notes of his first congressional race: "Pompeo ran a nasty race against the Democrat, an Indian-American state legislator named Raj Goyle, who, unlike Pompeo, had grown up in Wichita. Pompeo's campaign tweeted praise for an article calling Goyle a 'turban topper', and a supporter bought billboards urging residents to 'Vote American – Vote Pompeo'."

... ... ...

Facebook Twitter Pinterest 'Trump is undermining American leadership in incalculable ways, and Pompeo has weaponized the state department on the president's behalf.' Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Next to Trump's assault on US values, Pompeo's role as top Trump lackey may seem insignificant. But the secretary of state is often the most senior US official that other countries and publics hear from on any number of issues. Even with Trump in the Oval Office, a secretary of state that was committed to the constitution - not Trump - would at least be able to fight for the values that US foreign policy should embody, and shield the department's day-to-day business from Trump's outbursts.

The work that department professionals conduct around the world – helping American citizens abroad get home in the early days of the pandemic or coordinating assistance to other countries to cope with the coronavirus – is vital to American national security, and at the core of the image that America projects abroad.

Trump is undermining American leadership in incalculable ways, and Pompeo has weaponized the state department on his behalf

... ... ...

[May 24, 2020] About Pompeo threat to cut Australia from the fives eyes intelligence flows

From MoA comment 57: "Warmongering shit bags endlessly flatulent about their moral superiority while threatening to nuke nations on the other side of the globe daily. ... the greatness of the US consists of how gullible its hyper-exploited populace has been to a long series of Donald Trumps who use the resources of the land and people for competitive violence against other nations. the world heaves a collective hallelujah that this bullshit is about to end. "
Notable quotes:
"... Lets reverse that point, shall we. There is a US spy base in Australia at a place called Pine Gap. Without it being operational the USA would lose its 3 dimensional vision across the planet. ..."
"... This Bannon/Trump bluster is weak as p!ss as 'sharing intelligence' is the cornerstone of the five eyes perversion that gives the USA some superiority in intelligence matters. So if sharing intelligence were withdrawn by the USA with Australia it would have meaningless consequences. ..."
"... Pompeo is blathering bullsh!t and he knows it and we all know it ..."
May 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , May 25 2020 0:44 utc | 56

vk #4
Pompeo Warns US May Stop Sharing Intelligence With Australia Over Victoria Inking Deal With China's BRI

The battle for Australia's soul has begun.

Lets reverse that point, shall we. There is a US spy base in Australia at a place called Pine Gap. Without it being operational the USA would lose its 3 dimensional vision across the planet.

This Bannon/Trump bluster is weak as p!ss as 'sharing intelligence' is the cornerstone of the five eyes perversion that gives the USA some superiority in intelligence matters. So if sharing intelligence were withdrawn by the USA with Australia it would have meaningless consequences.

On the other hand if Australia ceased its intelligence sharing and shut down all the data traffic out of Australia - the USA would go ballistic. Not that the Oz government would ever do such a thing being a craven water carrier for the new world order etc...

Pompeo is blathering bullsh!t and he knows it and we all know it. Odd that you would reiterate his brainless threat vk.

[May 19, 2020] America: "We demand an coronavirus origin investigation, but the investigators must agree on the outcome that we specify before they begin investigating!"

Highly recommended!
May 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

William Gruff , May 18 2020 15:40 utc | 13

America: "We demand an investigation, but the investigators must agree on the outcome that we specify before they begin investigating!"

Why not? It works for gas attacks, chemical weapons poisoning, and airliner shoot downs, so why not biological weapons attacks too?

[May 18, 2020] Trump Fires State's IG to Protect Pompeo from Investigation

May 18, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Yhe president announced on Friday that he was firing Steve Linick, the State Department's Inspector General. One possible reason that Linick was removed may have been that he was conducting an investigation into the bogus emergency declaration that the administration used to expedite arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE last year:

House Democrats have discovered that the fired IG had mostly completed an investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's widely criticized decision to skirt Congress with an emergency declaration to approve billions of dollars in arms sales to Saudi Arabia last year, aides on the Foreign Affairs Committee tell me.

"I have learned that there may be another reason for Mr. Linick's firing," Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.), the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement sent to me. "His office was investigating -- at my request -- Trump's phony declaration of an emergency so he could send weapons to Saudi Arabia."

If Linick was investigating the bogus emergency declaration, he would have come across reporting that showed how a former Raytheon lobbyist serving at the department was instrumental in pushing through the plan to expedite arms sales that benefited his old employer. He would have discovered that there was no genuine emergency that justified going around Congress. Once his investigation was concluded, it would have found that the emergency declaration was made in bad faith and that the law was abused so that the administration could proceed with arms sales that Congress opposed.

Another reason for the firing was to protect Mike Pompeo from an investigation into the Secretary's abuses of government resources for personal purposes:

The State Department inspector general fired by President Trump was looking into allegations that a staffer for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was performing domestic errands and chores such as handling dry cleaning, walking the family dog and making restaurant reservations, said a congressional official familiar with the matter.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman and the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee released a statement immediately on Friday objecting to Linick's firing and suggesting that it might be an illegal act of retaliation. There will now be a Congressional investigation into the circumstances surrounding Linick's firing. If Trump hoped to reduce the scrutiny on Pompeo by getting rid of Linick, he will be disappointed. It remains to be seen how much of a price Pompeo will pay for this, but the price is likely higher now than it would have been if he hadn't pushed for removing the inspector general.

Pompeo reportedly recommended Linick's removal. This is not the first time that Pompeo has been accused of misusing government resources. There was a report last summer that a whistleblower alleged that Pompeo and his wife were using Diplomatic Security agents as their personal errand boys:

Democrats on a key House congressional committee are investigating allegations from a whistleblower within the State Department about Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his family's use of taxpayer-funded Diplomatic Security -- prompting agents to lament they are at times viewed as "UberEats with guns".

Congressional investigators, who asked for the committee not to be named as they carry out their inquiries, tell CNN that a State Department whistleblower has raised multiple issues over a period of months, about special agents being asked to carry out some questionable tasks for the Pompeo family.

Pompeo has also repeatedly used government resources for domestic travel that seems to have more to do with advancing the Secretary's political ambitions in Kansas. There has been widespread speculation that he has used official trips in an attempt to lay the groundwork for a possible Senate campaign . If so, it would be a flagrant violation of the Hatch Act. That prompted a call for a special counsel investigation into Pompeo's travel. If Pompeo and his wife have been using a political appointee as a gofer, that would be more of the same abusive behavior.

Linick has previously clashed with other Trump administration officials at State. Last year, he released a damning report on Brian Hook over his treatment of Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, the Iranian-American official who was apparently targeted for political retaliation because of her policy views and ethnic background. The fired inspector general was well-respected at the department, and his firing at Pompeo's urging will likely cause further demoralization at a department that has already been run into the ground under the Secretary's dismal leadership.

The Secretary of State seems to think that government funds and personnel are at his disposal for his personal errands and political activities. Linick was doing exactly what an inspector general is supposed to be doing by investigating the allegations against him, and then he was conveniently fired on Pompeo's recommendation. You could hardly ask for a more straightforward case of a corrupt official using his influence to remove the person responsible for scrutinizing his conduct. If Linick was also fired because he was in the process of exposing the administration's dishonest push for more arms sales to the Saudi coalition, that makes his removal all the more outrageous and sinister.

JMWB an hour ago

Mike Pompeo is a Tea Party darling. The Tea Party's motto should be : Austerity, fiscal responsibility, and integrity for Thee, but not for Me.
Feral Finster JMWB 33 minutes ago
Mike Pompeo's idea of austerity is only a double order of french fries.

[May 17, 2020] 'Zombie Neocon': How This Iran Contra Architect Is Leading Trump Policy

May 17, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Hawk Elliot Abrams, reborn as a U.S. envoy, is at the spear point of recent aggressive moves in Venezuela. US Special Representative for Venezuela Elliot Abrams addresses the Atlantic Council on the future of Venezuela in Washington, DC, on April 25, 2019. (Photo credit NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)

May 14, 2020

|

12:01 am

Barbara Boland As we await answers on who funded the plot to use a handful of mercenaries and ex-Green Berets to oust Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro , it's worth taking a closer look at the man behind regime change policy, the special envoy on Venezuela, Elliott Abrams.

Called the "neocon zombie" by officials at the State Department, Abrams is known as an operator who doesn't let anything stand in his way. He has a long history of pursuing disastrous policies in government.

"Everything Abrams is doing now is the same thing he was doing during the Reagan administration. He's very adept at manipulating the levers of power without a lot of oversight," a former senior official at the State Department told The American Conservative. The official added that Abrams is "singularly focused" on pursuing regime change in Venezuela.

A little background on Abrams: when he served as Reagan's assistant secretary of state for human rights, he concealed a massacre of a thousand men, women, and children by U.S.-funded death squads in El Salvador. He was also involved in the Iran Contra scandal, helping to secure covert funding for Contra rebels in Nicaragua in violation of laws passed by Congress. In 1991, he pled guilty to lying to Congress about the America's role in those two fiascos -- twice.

But then-president George H.W. Bush pardoned Abrams. He went on to support "measures to scuttle the Latin American peace process launched by the Costa Rican president, Óscar Arias" and use "the agency's money to unseat the Sandinistas in Nicaragua's 1990 general elections," according to Brian D'Haeseleer.

Under President George W. Bush, Abrams promoted regime change in Iraq.

Abrams was initially blocked from joining the Trump administration on account of a Never Trump op-ed he'd penned. But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo succeeded in bringing him onboard last year, despite his history of support for disastrous regime change policies.

It's no surprise that with Abrams at the helm, U.S. rhetoric and actions towards Venezuela are constantly "escalating," Dr. Alejandro Velasco, associate professor of Modern Latin America at New York University, said an interview with TAC.

In just the last month, Washington has placed bounties on the heads of President Nicolás Maduro and a dozen current and former Venezuelan officials. The U.S. also deployed the largest fleet ever to the Southern Hemisphere.

Meanwhile, Abrams announced the " Democratic Transition Framework for Venezuela ," which calls on Maduro's government to embrace a power-sharing deal. The plan doesn't explain how Venezuelan leaders with bounties on their heads are supposed to come to the table and negotiate with Juan Guaido, whom the U.S. recognizes as Venezuela's legitimate leader. Abrams has also said that the U.S. does not support a coup.

A few days after recommending a power-sharing arrangement, and 18 years after the U.S. backed a putsch against Hugo Chavez, Abrams warned that if Maduro resisted the organization of a "transitional government," his departure would be far more "dangerous and abrupt." To many, Abrams' aggressive rhetoric against Maduro made it sound like the U.S. was "effectively threatening him with another assassination attempt," like the one Washington had "tacitly supported" in 2018.

Two weeks after Abrams' warning, Operation Gideon began. Jordan Goudreau, an American citizen, former Green Beret, and three-time Bronze Star recipient for bravery in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with Javier Nieto, a retired Venezuelan military captain, posted a video from an undisclosed location saying they had launched an attack that was meant to begin a rebellion that would lead to Maduro's arrest and the installation of Juan Guaido.

In a public relations coup for Maduro, the plot was quickly foiled. Given that American citizens were involved and have produced a contract allegedly signed by Guaido, the incident has severely harmed the reputations of both the U.S. and the Venezuelan opposition.

Both President Trump and Pompeo have denied that the U.S. had any "direct" involvement with Goudreau's plot.

However, the Trump administration has given billions of dollars from USAID to Venezuela, and that money is largely untraceable due to concerns about outing supporters of Guaido.

"With all the cash and arms sloshing around in Venezuela," it is not hard to imagine how U.S. funding could inadvertently wind up supporting something like this, said Velasco.

There are other signs that the U.S. may have been more involved in the plot than they are saying publicly.

For one, American mercenaries don't carry passports identifying themselves as American nor do they return to the U.S. where they can be brought up on charges for their work, said Sean McFate, professor of war and strategy at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and the National Defense University.

In order to sell weapons or training to another nation, it is necessary to receive permission from the State Department. It's unclear whether Goudreau and his band did so. But Goudreau's social media posts look like a pretty "clear cut" violation of the International Convention Against the Recruitment, Financing and Training of Mercenaries and the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) said Peter Singer, a senior fellow at New America.

We know that months before the fated coup, the CIA met with Goudreau in Jamaica and allegedly warned him off the project. According to the AP, Goudreau is now under investigation for arms trafficking . Members of Congress have asked the State Department what they knew of Goudreau's plans. Given the illegal nature of the supposedly unauthorized project, it's very strange that the ringleader is at present in Florida, talking to the press and posting on social media.

Besides that warning, it seems no one in government tried to stop this calamitous operation.

And it's not just regime change. Last year, Abrams advocated granting special immigration status for the 70,000 Venezuelans residing illegally in the U.S. as a way to "pressure Maduro" even though Trump ran on the promise to severely limit the number of people granted Temporary Protected Status.

It was in pursuit of special status for Venezuelans that Abrams showed himself to be "incredibly pompous, bull-headed, and willing to destroy anyone who opposes him, in a personal way, including by trashing their reputations in the media," another senior State Department official told TAC. Abrams is not above hiding policy options he doesn't like and offering only those he favors to Pompeo to present to Trump, sources said.

Abrams ultimately prevailed and Venezuelans received refugee status from the Trump administration, despite the fact that it betrayed Trump's campaign promises.

According to Velasco, there are some people in the administration who believe that Venezuelans are the "new Cubans" -- that they will become a solid, loyal Republican vote in the swing state of Florida if they're granted special status. They also believe that Venezuelan expats want to see the U.S. remove Maduro. There are "many Cold Warriors" who believe all it will take is a "little push" for Venezuelans to rise up and take out Maduro, said Velasco.

The State Department did not respond to a request for comment on whether Abrams is pursuing a military confrontation in Venezuela.

"Cold Warrior" beliefs are dangerous. While "Operation Gideon" was especially clownish, had it been more sophisticated, it could have easily sparked a world war. The Russians, Iranians, and Chinese are all operating in Venezuela.

That specter is even more concerning now that Russia's Foreign Minister Lavrov has said that Russian special services are on standby to help Venezuela's investigation of the mercenaries. about the author Barbara Boland is TAC's foreign policy and national security reporter. Previously, she worked as an editor for the Washington Examiner and for CNS News. She is the author of Patton Uncovered , a book about General George Patton in World War II, and her work has appeared on Fox News, The Hill , UK Spectator , and elsewhere. Boland is a graduate from Immaculata University in Pennsylvania. Follow her on Twitter @BBatDC .

[May 15, 2020] "We lied, we cheated, we stole", version 2.0

May 15, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

WHY IS THE US IN SYRIA?

Washington longer bothers to prettify – the boot is straight to the face. ISIS?

Forget ISIS says Jeffrey : " My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians ".

An amazing confession, in the same class as " We lied, we cheated, we stole ".

[May 13, 2020] Dramatic change of direction for Syrian envoy

Highly recommended!
This is MIGA in action...
Notable quotes:
"... former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell admitted in a TV interview he views that the US should be in the business of "killing Russians and Iranians covertly" ). ..."
"... Ironically, Jeffrey's official title has been Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIL, but apparently the mission is now to essentially "give the Russians hell". His comments were made Tuesday during a video conference hosted by the neocon Hudson Institute : ..."
"... He also emphasized that the Syrian state would continue to be squeezed into submission as part of long-term US efforts (going back to at least 2011) to legitimize a Syria government in exile of sorts. This after the Trump administration recently piled new sanctions on Damascus. As University of Oklahoma professor and expert on the region Joshua Landis summarized of Jeffrey's remarks: "He pledged that the United States will continue to deny Syria - international funding, reconstruction, oil, banking, agriculture & recognition of government." ..."
May 13, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Washington now says it's all about defeating the Russians . While it's not the first time this has been thrown around in policy circles (recall that a year after Russia's 2015 entry into Syria at Assad's invitation, former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell admitted in a TV interview he views that the US should be in the business of "killing Russians and Iranians covertly" ).

And now the top US special envoy to region, James Jeffrey, has this to say on US troops in Syria :

"My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians."

Ironically, Jeffrey's official title has been Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIL, but apparently the mission is now to essentially "give the Russians hell". His comments were made Tuesday during a video conference hosted by the neocon Hudson Institute :

Asked why the American public should tolerate US involvement in Syria, Special Envoy James Jeffrey points out the small US footprint in the fight against ISIS. "This isn't Afghanistan. This isn't Vietnam. This isn't a quagmire. My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians."

He also emphasized that the Syrian state would continue to be squeezed into submission as part of long-term US efforts (going back to at least 2011) to legitimize a Syria government in exile of sorts. This after the Trump administration recently piled new sanctions on Damascus. As University of Oklahoma professor and expert on the region Joshua Landis summarized of Jeffrey's remarks: "He pledged that the United States will continue to deny Syria - international funding, reconstruction, oil, banking, agriculture & recognition of government."

"My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians."

Special US envoy to Syria - James Jeffery

He pledged that the United States will continue to deny Syria - international funding, reconstruction, oil, banking, agriculture & recognition of government. https://t.co/MSAkQqAmdh

-- Joshua Landis (@joshua_landis) May 12, 2020

But no doubt both Putin and Assad have understood Washington's real proxy war interests all along, which is why last year Russia delivered it's lethal S-300 into the hands of Assad (and amid constant Israeli attacks). But no doubt both Putin and Assad have understood Washington's real proxy war interests all along, which is why last year Russia delivered it's lethal S-300 into the hands of Assad (and amid constant Israeli attacks).

As for oil, currently Damascus is well supplied by the Iranians, eager to dump their stock in fuel-starved Syria amid the global glut. Trump has previously voiced that part of US troops "securing the oil fields" is to keep them out of the hands of Russia and Iran.

* * *

Recall the CIA's 2016 admission of what's really going on in terms of US action in Syria:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/OJ3fTFHQ0KA

[May 07, 2020] Is "raptuted" Pompeo functionally illiterate?

May 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , May 5 2020 22:22 utc | 29

Haven't heard from Iranian FM Zarif in awhile. Here he is calling Pompeo illiterate or so it seems:

".@SecPompeo pretends UNSCR 2231 is independent from #JCPOA.

"He should READ 2231.

"JCPOA is PART of 2231. That's why it's 104 pages -- & why he's not read it.

"2231 for Dummies:

"-It would NOT EXIST w/o JCPOA

"-US violated it & prevented others from complying

"-US has NO standing."

[May 07, 2020] Angry Bear " "cannot remember a single International Crisis in which the United States had no global presence at all"

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Anne Applebaum is a bitter neocon. She is furious that people no longer read the Washington Post as the authoritative voice of US foreign policy. She has apparently made a tidy fortune warning us that the Russians are coming, but she wants even more. The Washington Post still views her as an expert, but the American people, as she herself complains, are no longer interested in her worn-out fantasies. She is buried in defense industry funded think tanks and she does the bidding of her masters. Every intelligent American reader should ridicule her as the propagandist she is. ..."
"... "McMaster's dangerous China hawkishness calls to mind something that Jim Mattis said about him regarding a different issue when they served together in the Trump administration: "Oh my God, that moron is going to get us all killed." His aggressiveness towards China is not driven by an assessment of the threat from China, but comes from his tendency to advocate for aggressive measures everywhere." ..."
"... The country which spends over trillion dollars on "defense" is by definition an imperial country and its foreign policy priorities are not that difficult to discern. ..."
"... And due to well fed MIC which maintains an army of lobbyists and along with FIRE sector controls Capitol Hill this is a Catch 22 situation (we can't abandon neocon Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine and can't continue as it will bankrupt the country) which might not end well for the country. ..."
"... Note how unprepared the country was to COVID-19 epidemic. Zero strategic thinking as if the next epidemic was not in the cards at least since swine fly ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_swine_flu_pandemic_in_the_United_States ). ..."
"... Some experts now claim that this is criminal incompetence on the part of Trump administration. "So, what does it mean to let thousands die by negligence, omission, failure to act, in a legal sense under international law?" asked Gonsalves, an assistant professor of epidemiology of microbial diseases at the Yale School of Public Health, in a tweet Wednesday morning. https://twitter.com/gregggonsalves/status/1257988303443431425 ..."
"... Please note that Trump campaigned in 2016 on the idea of disengagement from foreign wars and abandoning the global neoliberal empire built by his predecessors as well as halting neoliberal globalization. ..."
"... And what we got? We got this warmonger McMaster, bombing Syria on false flag chemical attack pretext, conflict with Russia over North Stream II and Ukraine, and the assassination of Soleimani. Such a bait and switch. ..."
May 07, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , May 6, 2020 11:53 pm

Hi run75441,

I do not share your enthusiasm about those two authors.

Anne Applebaum is married to "Full spectrum Dominance doctrine". Like any neocon she a regular well-paid MIC prostitute

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/08/neocon-anne-applebaum-give-me-money-to-fight-russian-disinformation/

Neocon Anne Applebaum has never seen a bed she did not expect to find an evil Russian lurking beneath. More than a quarter of a century after the end of the Cold War, she cannot let go of that hysterical feeling that, "The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming!" In screeching screed after screeching screech, Applebaum is, like most neocons, a one trick pony: the US government needs to spend more money to counter the threat of the month. Usually it's Russia or Putin. But it can also be China, Iran, Assad, Gaddafi, Saddam, etc.

Nothing new, nothing interesting.

Anne Applebaum is a bitter neocon. She is furious that people no longer read the Washington Post as the authoritative voice of US foreign policy. She has apparently made a tidy fortune warning us that the Russians are coming, but she wants even more. The Washington Post still views her as an expert, but the American people, as she herself complains, are no longer interested in her worn-out fantasies. She is buried in defense industry funded think tanks and she does the bidding of her masters. Every intelligent American reader should ridicule her as the propagandist she is.

As for McMaster paper see Daniel Larison take on the subject in his brilliant post "McMaster and the Myths of Empire" https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/mcmaster-and-the-myths-of-empire/

Here is what he said:

"McMaster's dangerous China hawkishness calls to mind something that Jim Mattis said about him regarding a different issue when they served together in the Trump administration: "Oh my God, that moron is going to get us all killed." His aggressiveness towards China is not driven by an assessment of the threat from China, but comes from his tendency to advocate for aggressive measures everywhere."

And as a China scholar McMaster is not the best choice either:

McMaster uses the same "paper tiger image" to portray China as an unstoppable aggressor that can nonetheless be stopped at minimal risk.

I have heard from other colleagues that several CN scholars met w/ McMaster before he wrote this (while working on his book) and corrected him on many issues. He apparently ignored all of their views. This is what we face people: a simple, deceptive narrative is more seductive.

-- Michael

likbez, May 7, 2020 6:22 pm

The main thrust here is the US abandoning the world to China and a much weaker Russia. I am calling for the US to play a much broader role in the world as it has economic and strategic value

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. This is definitely above my pay grade, but the problem that I see here is that it is very unclear where "a much broader role in the world" ends and where "imperial overstretch" starts.

The country which spends over trillion dollars on "defense" is by definition an imperial country and its foreign policy priorities are not that difficult to discern.

And due to well fed MIC which maintains an army of lobbyists and along with FIRE sector controls Capitol Hill this is a Catch 22 situation (we can't abandon neocon Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine and can't continue as it will bankrupt the country) which might not end well for the country.

Note how unprepared the country was to COVID-19 epidemic. Zero strategic thinking as if the next epidemic was not in the cards at least since swine fly ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_swine_flu_pandemic_in_the_United_States ).

Some experts now claim that this is criminal incompetence on the part of Trump administration. "So, what does it mean to let thousands die by negligence, omission, failure to act, in a legal sense under international law?" asked Gonsalves, an assistant professor of epidemiology of microbial diseases at the Yale School of Public Health, in a tweet Wednesday morning. https://twitter.com/gregggonsalves/status/1257988303443431425

Please note that Trump campaigned in 2016 on the idea of disengagement from foreign wars and abandoning the global neoliberal empire built by his predecessors as well as halting neoliberal globalization. That's how he got anti-war independents to vote for him.

And what we got? We got this warmonger McMaster, bombing Syria on false flag chemical attack pretext, conflict with Russia over North Stream II and Ukraine, and the assassination of Soleimani. Such a bait and switch.

[May 07, 2020] Bolton and the culture of corruption and intimidation

May 07, 2020 | www.unz.com

Sam 12123 , says: Show Comment May 6, 2020 at 8:39 pm GMT

The OPCW is claimed to be an independent agency but we know that it suppressed the results of its own engineers when it reported that the Syrian government was responsible for the alleged chemical attack in Douma. The former head of the agency has publicly asserted that when John Bolton demanded that he step down, he added, "We know where your children live." The US has a history of corruption and intimidation. Any investigation would result in finding China responsible just as Russia was found to be responsible for the airliner that was shot down over Ukraine.

[May 06, 2020] McMaster and the Myths of Empire by Daniel Larison

Notable quotes:
"... Myths of Empire ..."
May 06, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
| Ethan Paul dismantles H.R. McMaster's "analysis" of the Chinese government and shows how McMaster abuses the idea of strategic empathy for his own ends:

But the reality is that McMaster, and others committed to great power competition, is actually playing the role of Johnson and McNamara. This shines through clearest in McMaster's selective, and ultimately flawed, application of strategic empathy.

Just as Johnson and McNamara used the Joint Chiefs as political props, soliciting their advice or endorsement only when it could legitimize policy conclusions they had already come to, McMaster uses strategic empathy as a symbolic exercise in self-validation. By conceiving of China's perspective solely in terms of its tumultuous history and the Communist Party's pathological pursuit of power and control, McMaster presents only those biproducts of strategic empathy that confirm his policy conclusions (i.e. an intuitive grasp of China's apparent drive to reassert itself as the "Middle Kingdom" at the expense of the United States).

McMaster calls for "strategic empathy" in understanding how the Chinese government sees the world, but he then stacks the deck by asserting that the government in question sees the world in exactly the way that China hawks want to believe that they see it. That suggests that McMaster wasn't trying terribly hard to see the world as they do. McMaster's article has been likened to Kennan's seminal article on Soviet foreign policy at the start of the Cold War, but the comparison only serves to highlight how lacking McMaster's argument is and how inappropriate a similar containment strategy would be today. Where Kennan rooted his analysis of Soviet conduct in a lifetime of expertise in Russian history and language and his experience as a diplomat in Moscow, McMaster bases his assessment of Chinese conduct on one visit to Beijing, a superficial survey of Chinese history, and some boilerplate ideological claims about communism. McMaster's article prompted some strong criticism along these lines when it came out:

I have heard from other colleagues that several CN scholars met w/ McMaster before he wrote this (while working on his book) and corrected him on many issues. He apparently ignored all of their views. This is what we face people: a simple, deceptive narrative is more seductive.

-- Michael D. Swaine (@Dalzell60) April 20, 2020

McMaster's narrative is all the more deceptive because he claims to want to understand the official Chinese government view, but he just substitutes the standard hawkish caricature. Near the end of the article, he asserts, "Without effective pushback from the United States and like-minded nations, China will become even more aggressive in promoting its statist economy and authoritarian political model." It is possible that this could happen, but McMaster treats it as a given without offering much proof that this is so. McMaster makes a mistake common to China hawks that assumes that every other great power must have the same missionary, world-spanning goals that they have. Suppose instead that the Chinese government is not interested in that, but has a more limited strategy aimed at securing itself and establishing itself as the leading power in its region.

Paul does a fine job of using McMaster's earlier work on the Vietnam War to expose the flaws in his thinking about China. McMaster has often been praised for his criticism of the military's top leaders over their role in running the war in Vietnam, but this usually overlooks that McMaster was really arguing for a much more aggressive war effort. He faulted the Joint Chiefs for "dereliction" because they didn't insist on escalation. Paul observes:

McMaster's tale of Vietnam is, counterintuitively, one of enduring confidence in the U.S.'s ability to do good in the world and conquer all potential challengers, if only it finds the will to overcome the temptations of political cowardice and stamp out bureaucratic ineptitude. This same message runs through McMaster's tale about China: "If we compete aggressively," and "no longer adhere to a view of China based mainly on Western aspirations," McMaster says, "we have reason for confidence."

McMaster would have the U.S. view China in the worst possible light as an implacable adversary. Following this recommendation will guarantee decades of heightened tensions and increased risks of conflict. McMaster's dangerous China hawkishness calls to mind something that Jim Mattis said about him regarding a different issue when they served together in the Trump administration: "Oh my God, that moron is going to get us all killed." His aggressiveness towards China is not driven by an assessment of the threat from China, but comes from his tendency to advocate for aggressive measures everywhere.

As Paul notes, McMaster is minimizing the dangers and risks that his preferred policy of confrontation entails. In that respect, he is making the same error that American leaders made in Vietnam:

Like Johnson and McNamara before him, McMaster is misleading both the public and himself about the costs, consequences, and likelihood for success of the path he is committed to pursuing, and in so doing is laying the groundwork for yet another national tragedy.

McMaster's China argument is reminiscent of other arguments made by imperialists in the past, and he relies on many of the same shoddy assumptions that they did. Like British Russophobes in the mid-19th century, McMaster decided on a policy of aggressive containment and then searched for rationalizations that might justify it. Jack Snyder described this in his classic study Myths of Empire thirty years ago:

Russia is portrayed as a unitary, rational actor with unlimited aims of conquest, but fortunately averse to risk and weak if stopped soon enough. (p. 168)

McMaster uses the same "paper tiger image" to portray China as an unstoppable aggressor that can nonetheless be stopped at minimal risk. He wants us to believe that China is at once implacable but easily deterred, insatiable but quick to back off under pressure. We have seen the same contradictory arguments from hawks on other issues, but it is particularly dangerous to promote such a misleading image of a nuclear-armed major power. about the author Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC , where he also keeps a solo blog . He has been published in the New York Times Book Review , Dallas Morning News , World Politics Review , Politico Magazine , Orthodox Life , Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week . He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter .

[May 05, 2020] Could there be a more obvious demonstration that the man is FULL OF SHIT??

Notable quotes:
"... The bungling, toxic incompetence of this administration is quite something to behold. Wow... ..."
May 05, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

farm ecologist , May 4 2020 18:53 utc | 4

RADDATZ: Do you believe it was manmade or genetically modified?

POMPEO: Look, the best experts so far seem to think it was manmade. I have no reason to disbelieve that at this point.

RADDATZ: Your -- your Office of the DNI says the consensus, the scientific consensus was not manmade or genetically modified.

POMPEO: That's right. I -- I -- I agree with that. Yes. I've -- I've seen their analysis. I've seen the summary that you saw that was released publicly. I have no reason to doubt that that is accurate at this point.

To summarize: Pompeo does not doubt that the virus has been genetically modified, but he also does not doubt that is has not been genetically modified.

Could there be a more obvious demonstration that the man is FULL OF SHIT??


Jpc , May 4 2020 19:13 utc | 8

To Farm ecologist.

You are totally on the money. How or why is he in this job?
It's demented!

Sol Invictus , May 4 2020 19:16 utc | 12
Those incompetent neo-confederates leading america into oblivion will jumble strategic defeats with winning. So much for accountability, hard work and personal responsability... Seems they can't compete fairly without superior military variable of adjustment and threat of violence against adversaries. Orange springs eternal and their great white hope has now adopted a paralizing rhetoric of victimization - republican lawmakers follow suit and are going so far as invoking a western bid for monetary reparations from Chinese depredations. # the art of winnig for maggots, derp.
Daniel , May 4 2020 20:56 utc | 34
The bungling, toxic incompetence of this administration is quite something to behold. Wow...

[May 04, 2020] Pompeo believes coronavirus was 'man-made,' also agrees with intelligence that it was not

Notable quotes:
"... "The best experts so far seem to think it was man-made. I don't have reason to disbelieve them at this point," ..."
"... "I don't believe the virus was man-made." ..."
May 04, 2020 | www.rt.com

In his rush to accuse Beijing of unleashing the scourge of Covid-19 on an unsuspecting world, the US Secretary of State said the coronavirus was man-made, before making a U-turn without even blinking. "The best experts so far seem to think it was man-made. I don't have reason to disbelieve them at this point," Mike Pompeo told ABC's 'This Week' when asked about a statement from the US intelligence community that unequivocally said the opposite.

Host Martha Raddatz twice asked Pompeo to clarify whether his view differed from that of American intelligence, and he voiced his total support for the spies – though he stopped short of actually saying "I don't believe the virus was man-made."

See also : 'We lied, we cheated, we stole' Pompeo offers honest, if disturbing admission about CIA activity , Apr 29, 2019

[May 02, 2020] For brevity, I always post that our IC (Intelligence Community) is masterful in shaping U.S. public opinion and causing problems for targeted countries but terrible in collecting and analyzing Intel that would benefit the U.S. The truth of course, is more complicated.

Notable quotes:
"... The person trying to tell the truth is forced to defend, 'Communist China' (Tom Cotton thinks that is one word), Russia, or Iran and to the U.S. public this is toxic. ..."
"... Someday it just won't matter anymore. We will have deceived ourselves for so long that we have squandered so much of our power that no one will pay attention to us. ..."
"... Intelligence is a rare commodity in American politics and diplomacy even more elusive so the consequences of malicious rumours are never weighed nor assessed ..."
"... Intelligence is a rare commodity in American politics and diplomacy even more elusive so the consequences of malicious rumours are never weighed nor assessed ..."
May 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Christian J Chuba , May 1 2020 13:17 utc | 9

Spy vs Spy

For brevity, I always post that our IC (Intelligence Community) is masterful in shaping U.S. public opinion and causing problems for targeted countries but terrible in collecting and analyzing Intel that would benefit the U.S. The truth of course, is more complicated.

There is a remnant that is doing their jobs properly but is shut out from higher level offices. But I cannot give long disclaimers at the start of my posts, (I'm not talking about the men and women ...) where 50 words later I finally start to make my point. It's boring, sounds insincere, and defensive.

This is yet another effective defense mechanism that protects the troublemakers in our IC bureaucracy.
1. The person trying to tell the truth is forced to defend, 'Communist China' (Tom Cotton thinks that is one word), Russia, or Iran and to the U.S. public this is toxic.

2. These rogues get to use the remaining good people as human shields.

3. They know their customers, it gives the politicians a way to turn themselves into wartime leaders rather than having to answer for their shortcomings.

Someday it just won't matter anymore. We will have deceived ourselves for so long that we have squandered so much of our power that no one will pay attention to us.


/div> Intelligence is a rare commodity in American politics and diplomacy even more elusive so the consequences of malicious rumours are never weighed nor assessed . The American public are easily enough fooled being constantly fed a racist diet, especially Sinophobia, Russophopia and Iranophobia and the drumbeats for war, financial or military, are easily banged to raise the public's blood pressure....but what about the consequences? America can win neither, even with he assistance of a few vassal states. What happens if, and when, normal service is resumed? If they managed to succeed with any of their hair-brained ideas, what are the consequences for American companies in China, rare earth minerals, the IT industries etc etc. Guard your words wisely for they can never be retracted.

Posted by: Séamus Ó Néill , May 1 2020 13:46 utc | 13

Intelligence is a rare commodity in American politics and diplomacy even more elusive so the consequences of malicious rumours are never weighed nor assessed . The American public are easily enough fooled being constantly fed a racist diet, especially Sinophobia, Russophopia and Iranophobia and the drumbeats for war, financial or military, are easily banged to raise the public's blood pressure....but what about the consequences? America can win neither, even with he assistance of a few vassal states. What happens if, and when, normal service is resumed? If they managed to succeed with any of their hair-brained ideas, what are the consequences for American companies in China, rare earth minerals, the IT industries etc etc. Guard your words wisely for they can never be retracted.

Posted by: Séamus Ó Néill | May 1 2020 13:46 utc | 13

dan of steele , May 1 2020 14:32 utc | 23
GeorgeV

I think there is very good intelligence in the US. so much data is collected and there are many analysts to go over the data and present their forecasts. The World Factbook is an example of collected intelligence made available to the unwashed masses.

what you are thinking is that this information should be used to your benefit. that is where it goes wrong. the big players are able to access and exploit that mass of data and use it to their benefit.

Billmon used to say that this is a feature, not a bug.

Piero Colombo , May 1 2020 15:08 utc | 28
s @19

"Not precluded" are also a Fort Detrick origin and contagion taken to Wuhan by the US military, staying at a hotel where most of the first cluster of patients was identified. So why wouldn't you always mention both in the same breath?

concerned , May 1 2020 15:27 utc | 31
First hollywood movie I am aware of that deals with pandemics and has Fort Detrick front and center was "Outbreak" 1995. In this film, the "Expert" played by D. Huffman uncovers a plot by a rogue 2 star general sitting on the serum from another outbreak years ago, and how he witheld this information and the serum to "protect their bioweapon". There is also a very overt background sub-plot about Dod and CDC being at odds.

DoD is not listed in the credits for Outbreak. Many of the scenes are supposed to take place in CDC and Fort Detrick.

--

Last hollywood movie was "Contagion" 2011. In this film, which pretty much anticipates Covid-19 madness but with an actually scary virus, the "Expert" in charge tells the DHS man that "Nature has already weaponized them!".

So this lie about the little bitty part "function gain" man-made mutations being the critical bit for "weaponizing" viruses is turned on its head. It was "Nature" after all. A wet market, you know.

Contagion does list DoD in its credits. Vincent C. Oglivie as US DoD Liason and Project Officer.

Just some 'fun' trivia for us to while away our lives. Remember that consipirational thought is abberational thought. Have a shot of Victory Gin and relex!

md , May 1 2020 15:34 utc | 32
Ten questions the US needs to answer
https://www.facebook.com/PeoplesDaily/posts/3243339602384501

[May 01, 2020] Coutriers and coutisans vs neocon blobsters and blobstresses in State Department and elsewhere

Blobsters are simply prostitute to the military industrial complex. No honesty, no courage required (Courage is replaced with arrogance in most cases.) Pompeo is a vivid example of this creatures of Washington swamp.
Notable quotes:
"... historically courtiers themselves led their troops on the battlefield and considered it a question of honor for one or both of their oldest sons pursuing a military career, while Renaissance courtesans were among the most intellectual and educated women of their epoch. Neither is true for blobsters and blobstresses. ..."
"... In French and (I think) most other romance languages, the words for courtier and courtesan are the same. Something to think about. ..."
May 01, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Alex (the one that likes Ike) 13 hours ago

Courtiers and courtesans. That's rich.

On the other hand, though, historically courtiers themselves led their troops on the battlefield and considered it a question of honor for one or both of their oldest sons pursuing a military career, while Renaissance courtesans were among the most intellectual and educated women of their epoch. Neither is true for blobsters and blobstresses.

LFM Alex (the one that likes Ike) 5 hours ago
In French and (I think) most other romance languages, the words for courtier and courtesan are the same. Something to think about.

[Apr 29, 2020] Trump, despite pretty slick deception during his election campaign, is an typical imperialist and rabid militarist. His administration continuredand in some areas exceeded the hostility of Obama couse against Russia

Highly recommended!
One of trademarks of Trump administration is his that he despises international law and relies on "might makes right" principle all the time. In a way he is a one trick pony, typical unhinged bully.
In a way Pompeo is the fact of Trump administration foreign policy, and it is not pretty
Apr 29, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Passer by , Apr 29 2020 17:32 utc | 7
It is mostly, though not only, Trump related or libertarian pseudo "alt media" behind "just the flu" theories or "China unleashed virus to attack US".

There is a small military/zionist cabal at the White House that is pushing for that information war in order to prop up the dying US empire as well as US oligarhic business interests, and to secure Trump reelection prospects.

It is enough to see how Zerohedge have been turned into full blown imperialist media with many "evil China" outbursts every day.

Beware of Trumptards infiltrating alt media to prop up the dying US Empire and its business interests.

Trump is the biggest US imperialist for the last 30 years. He made a good job at deceiving many anti-system voices.

His WTO attacks are too part of US efforts to take over the organisation. His has no problem with international institutions as long as they are US empire controlled (such as OPCW, WADA, etc.)

Trump-tards and related libertarians (Zerohedge etc.) made their choice on the side of global US imperialism (driven by their hidden racism, hence the evil "chinks" making a good enemy) and are now the enemy of the multipolar world.

Trump is scum. He turned on Russia and Assange after he got into the White House and did far more against Russia than even Obama. I say that as someone who initially made the mistake to support him.

[Apr 28, 2020] Background reading on Pompeo and his mafia

Apr 28, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Stonebird , Apr 27 2020 19:17 utc | 28

Background reading on Pompeo and his mafia.

This is part of Tom's description of the Article on Pompeo, Esper and the gang of 1986 (west pointers). They are well embedded.
In fact, one class from West Point, that of 1986, from which both Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo graduated, is essentially everywhere in a distinctly militarized (if still officially civilian) and wildly hawkish Washington in the Trumpian moment.

In case you missed it the first time, I repeat this link from the beginning of April,

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176686/tomgram%3A_danny_sjursen%2C_trump%27s_own_military_mafia_/

-----------------
Red Ryder | Apr 27 2020 17:07 utc | 14

One addition there. The EU lost "market share" in Iran due to US sanctions. (As they did with Russia). What they would like to do is to get it back. (France was one of the bigger losers)


Yeah, Right , Apr 27 2020 22:48 utc | 45

"Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is preparing a legal argument"...

Oh, a LEGAL argument? In that case the articles of the Vienna Convention On The Law Of Treaties is going to be our friend.

Article 31(b) prohibits any legal argument that leads to a result that "is manifestly absurd or unreasonable".

Granted that the JCPOA is not a treaty, as such. But it is an international agreement, and that nobody disputes.

Just as nobody disputes that the Vienna Convention is the codification of what had hitherto been accepted as International Customary Law.

LEGALLY-speaking - as we are, apparently - Pompous has handed his lawyers a task that they would call "a hopeless brief".

Dick , Apr 27 2020 23:08 utc | 47
The US is very good at making enemies and loosing friends, simply due to their treatment of other nations in the same manner they treat their domestic population.
Arch , Apr 28 2020 5:12 utc | 61
@jiri #75

The United States announced its withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the "Iran nuclear deal" or the "Iran deal", on May 8, 2018.

This document discusses the legal rationale for the US withdrawal from tje JCPOA in detail:


https://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R44761.pdf

Since when does announcing your "withdrawal" from a contract NOT mean "leaving the agreement" ?

Mina , Apr 28 2020 11:19 utc | 73
https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/04/27/pompeo-gantz-and-the-end-of-the-two-state-solution/

[Apr 27, 2020] Pompeo is steering the US Department of State into becoming arm of the Central Intelligence Agency

Apr 27, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Apr 26 2020 23:02 utc | 37

The gloves are now off as China has called out Pompeo quite correctly saying, "Pompeo an enemy to world peace" --and we ought to expect more disruptions here at MoA. Here's just one of several slaps in Pompeo's face:

"The former top intelligence official is steering the US Department of State into becoming the Central Intelligence Agency. He is playing with fire, making the 21st century an era of major power confrontation and undermining the foundations for peace. Despite being the chief diplomat of the US, he totally betrayed the basic responsibility with which he is entrusted to promote international understanding. He has become the enemy of world peace."

What's most unfortunate is few seem to consult Global Times , as I was rather surprised this major editorial wasn't already linked. Here's yet another slap:

"Geopolitics cannot dominate the world anymore. Pompeo and his like are desperately pulling the world backwards. They are unable to handle a diverse and complicated new century and so they attempt to resume the Cold War. They can only 'realize their ambition' in polarized confrontation."

And that clearly wasn't enough as yet another slap's delivered in the closing two sentences:

"Lies may fulfill Pompeo's personal ambition, but they will never accomplish the US dreams to be "great again." Pompeo is not only a figure harmful to world peace, but also should be listed as the worst US secretary of state in its history."

Hmm... Don't know if he qualifies as "worst" yet as he must still top Ms. Clinton, but she certainly didn't treat China as has Pompeo.

[Apr 06, 2020] Pompeo problem: how to continue to bully when the bullied can very effectively shoot back?

Apr 06, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bemildred , Apr 6 2020 15:25 utc | 187

Posted by: Walter | Apr 6 2020 15:03 utc | 185

Re: Pompeo and his West Point clique and their associates, I have not spent much time on it, didn't seem like a useful or entertaining thing to do, but my impression is they have lots of plans and very little grasp of what is required to carry them out. (One thinks of Modi here.) This has been ongoing since the Iranians shot our fancy drone down there last year. The first shot across the bow. We are now withdrawing from Syria, Iraq & Afghanistan, however haltingly, as it has dawned on the commanders on the ground there how exposed they really are to Iranian fire, and that of their allies. Israel seems to be struggling with the same problem, how to continue to bully when the bullied can very effectively shoot back?

Many unseemly things being said about Crozier and the Teddy R. situation too. Lot's of heat, very little light. Trump says there is light at the end of the tunnel, I seem to remember that from somewhere in the past. I think that's about where we are again.

[Apr 01, 2020] For just $27K USD you can see John Bolton's relatives in natural environment

Apr 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Piotr Berman , Mar 31 2020 17:22 utc | 151

Given some time and currency, I guess Morocco would offer more value for money if you want some exotic customs and landscapes. If you have more money, you could spend them on a carbon-free cruise with stunning vistas and off-the-beaten route: North Pole on board of nuclear-powered ice breaker! It is wise to have swimming costume (a pool is on board, heated, I presume) and sensible apparel -- enough for normal winter (in Moscow). The number of places is below 150, with a little hospital on board too. In the latest ads I read about discounts, but the deal was that you can pay in rubbles with prices below the rubble plunged by 25%, still, for 27 k USD you can see John Bolton's relatives in natural environment (like mommy walrus taking care of youngsters), polar bears, seals, and landscapes of Franz Josef Land. Helicopter rides included. You can also take a plunge into the arctic water -- with safety precautions .

[Mar 30, 2020] Pompeo as a sign of more serious problem with the US military

Mar 30, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bemildred , Mar 29 2020 18:13 utc | 23

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 29 2020 17:09 utc | 13

I think you have the main danger (some nitwit using a "small nuke") to try to make a point about right.

Other than that, the impression I get from Pompeo and his ilk is that the main thing is having someone to threaten and abuse to show "leadership" and "manhood", at least one shitty little country we can still throw up against the wall and slap around to show we mean business. Dangerous times for Nicaragua.

Neither he nor his other West Point friends seems to have much clue about military affairs either, which is strange. I mean we've always had our George Armstrong Custers, but they didn't run things. Now they seem to have some sort of cult mentality. One is reminded of the French before WWI: "De L'audace, Encore De L'audace, Et Toujours De L'audace ..." and we know how that worked out.

[Mar 29, 2020] United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had a slip of the tongue while addressing the American people from the White House when he stated that COVID-19 is a live military exercise.

Mar 29, 2020 | twitter.com

"This is not about retribution," Pompeo explained. "This matter is going forward -- we are in a live exercise here to get this right."

@realDonaldTrump is mad that the deep state took control through Continuity of Government, there has been a coup? pic.twitter.com/GcrjNNvVsc #Covid_19 #CoronavirusPandemic #MartialLaw

-- Shepard Ambellas (@ShepardAmbellas) March 21, 2020

With a disgusted look on his face, President Trump replied: "You should have let us know."

Military Exercise meaning (from Wikipedia): "A military exercise or war game is the employment of military resources in training for military operations, either exploring the effects of warfare or testing strategies without actual combat. This also serves the purpose of ensuring the combat readiness of garrisoned or deployable forces prior to deployment from a home base."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/3Qscuw_3aUk

What is actually going on here? Does the White House care to explain?

*Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Featured image is from Gage Skidmore CC BY 2.0

[Mar 29, 2020] The essence of Trump's psychology is that he likes to dominate people. He accomplishes this by hiring incompetent psychopaths

Mar 29, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Timothy Hagios , Mar 28 2020 18:14 utc | 44

The essence of Trump's psychology is that he likes to dominate people. He accomplishes this by hiring incompetent psychopaths who make him legitimately look good by comparison. This is why he's constantly overruling their worst plans. But once every so often, his incompetent underlings convince him to do something exceptionally stupid. This is because occasionally going along with them allows him to feel like a wise, discerning ruler who occasionally follows his advisors' guidance and occasionally overrules them.

[Mar 26, 2020] Pompeo is on record having said that our government "lies, cheats, and steals" in order to accomplish its anti-Christian objectives.

Mar 26, 2020 | www.unz.com

Sokrates , says: Show Comment March 25, 2020 at 11:54 am GMT

@37 Yesterday I went to Home Depot to buy some water tubing for my ice-maker.

I noticed all doors were blocked with a tape, except one with at least 25 people waiting to get in and a female employee holding a sign "the line starts here".

I ask the lady what was all about and she said because of the virus etc.

I said to her "You must be kidding" and I start going back to my car.

Some old lady from the line waiting to get in she scream to me something about "we protect ourselves" and similar nonsense.

I turn around and I said to her: Quit watching TV you idiot. They rob your money on broad daylight and send your kids to die fighting israels enemies.

RichardTaylor , says: Show Comment March 25, 2020 at 12:01 pm GMT
The overreaction to the virus makes no sense. Is something being hidden from us? The freak out over this virus – to the tune of $trillions – is all out of proportion.

2.8 million Americans die every year. Why the obsession with this one virus which may kill in the thousands?

Something is off. But Trump should have known early if there was some other hidden danger. If there is some hidden suspicion by the people obsessing over this, please share it!

[Mar 26, 2020] The face of Trump in foreign policy is Pompeo and it is wicked, ungly face of a gangster

Yet another Gofgather
Notable quotes:
"... The more I watch these moves by Pompeo the more sympathetic I become to the most sinister theories about COVID-19, its origins and its launch around the world. Read Pepe Escobar's latest to get an idea of how dark and twisted this tale could be . ..."
March 24, 2020 < Older
No Respite for the Wicked, Pompeo Unleashed Written by Tom Luongo Tuesday

There are few things in this life that make me more sick to my stomach than watching Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talking. He truly is one of the evilest men I've ever had the displeasure of covering.

Into the insanity of the over-reaction to the COVID-19 outbreak, Pompeo wasted no time ramping up sanctions on firms doing any business with Iran, one of the countries worse-hit by this virus to date.

It's a seemingly endless refrain, everyday, more sanctions on Chinese, Swiss and South African firms for having the temerity in these deflating times to buy oil from someone Pompeo and his gang of heartless psychopaths disapprove of.

This goes far beyond just the oil industry. Even though I'm well aware that Russia's crashing the price of oil was itself a hybrid war attack on US capital markets. One that has had, to date, devastating effect.

While Pompeo mouths the words publicly that humanitarian aid is exempted from sanctions on Iran, the US is pursuing immense pressure on companies to not do so anyway while the State Dept. bureaucracy takes its sweet time processing waiver applications.

Pompeo and his ilk only think in terms of civilizational warfare. They have become so subsumed by their big war for the moral high ground to prove American exceptionalism that they have lost any shred of humanity they may have ever had.

Because for Pompeo in times like these to stick to his talking points and for his office to continue excising Iran from the global economy when we're supposed to be coming together to fight a global pandemic is the height of soullessness.

And it speaks to the much bigger problem that infects all of our political thinking. There comes a moment when politics and gaining political advantage have to take a back seat to doing the right thing.

I've actually seen moments of that impulse from the Democratic leadership in the US Will wonders never cease?!

Thinking only in Manichean terms of good vs. evil and dehumanizing your opponents is actually costlier than reversing course right now. Because honey is always better at attracting flies than vinegar.

But, unfortunately, that is not the character of the Trump administration.

It can only think in terms of direct leverage and opportunity to hold onto what they think they've achieved. So, until President Trump is no longer consumed with coordinating efforts to control COVID-19 Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper are in charge of foreign policy. They will continue the playbook that has been well established.

Maximum pressure on Iran, hurt China any way they can, hold onto what they have in Syria, stay in Iraq.

To that end Iraqi President Barham Salei nominated Pompeo's best choice to replace Prime Minister Adil Abdel Mahdi to throw Iraq's future into complete turmoil. According to Elijah Magnier, Adnan al-Zarfi is a US asset through and through .

And this looks like Pompeo's Hail Mary to retain US legal presence in Iraq after the Iraqi parliament adopted a measure to demand withdrawal of US troops from the country. Airstrikes against US bases in Iraq continue on a near daily basis and there have been reports of US base closures and redeployments at the same time.

This move looks like desperation by Pompeo et.al. to finally separate the Hashd al-Shaabi from Iraq's official military. So that airstrikes against them can be carried out under the definition of 'fighting Iranian terrorism.'

As Magnier points out in the article above if al-Zarfi puts a government together the war in Iraq will expand just as the US is losing further control in Syria after Turkish President Erdogan's disastrous attempt to remake the front in Idlib. That ended with his effective surrender to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The more I watch these moves by Pompeo the more sympathetic I become to the most sinister theories about COVID-19, its origins and its launch around the world. Read Pepe Escobar's latest to get an idea of how dark and twisted this tale could be .

It is sad that, to me, I see no reason to doubt Pompeo and his ilk in the US government wouldn't do something like that to spark political and social upheaval in those places most targeted by US hybrid war tactics.

But, at the same time, I can see the other side of it, a vicious strike back by China against its tormentors. And China's government does itself, in my mind, no favors threatening to withhold drug precursors and having officials run their mouths giving Americans the excuse they need to validate Trump and Pompeo's divisive rhetoric.

Remaining on the fence about this issue isn't my normal style. But everyone is dirty here and the reality may well be this is a natural event terrible people on both sides are exploiting.

And I can only go by what people do rather than what they say to assess the situation. Trump tries to buy exclusive right to a potential COVID-19 vaccine from a German firm and his administration slow-walks aid to Iran.

China sends aid to Iran and Italy by the container full. Is that to salve their conscience over its initial suppression of information about the virus? Good question. But no one covers themselves in glory by using the confusion and distraction to attempt further regime change and step up war-footing during a public health crisis, manufactured or otherwise.

While Pompeo unctuously talks the talk of compassion and charity, he cannot bring himself to actually walk the walk. Because he is a despicable, bile-filled man of uncommon depravity. His prosecuting a hybrid war during a public health crisis speaks to no other conclusion about him.

It's clear to me that nothing has changed at the top of Trump's administration. I expect COVID-19 will not be a disaster for Trump and the US. It can handle this. But the lack of humanity shown by its diplomatic corps ensures that in the long run the US will be left to fend for itself when the next crisis hits.

Reprinted with permission from Strategic Culture Foundation .


Related

[Mar 20, 2020] That "beyond dispute" phrase is what retards like Mike Pompeo use to try to shut down a discussion in which he's getting his fat ass kicked.

Mar 20, 2020 | www.unz.com

Twodees Partain , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 3:02 am GMT