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[Dec 30, 2017] Not a single officer resigned in protest despite the fact that the US is deeply in bed with ISIS and those who are responsible, at least according to the official conspiracy theory, for 9/11

Saker, of course, if "Russia firster". And that makes his analyses of Russia weaker than it should be. But his analysis of the USA is superb.
Notable quotes:
"... What defeats? US achieved its real goal in Iraq, which was to smash it and leave it divided. Zionist wanted a weak Iraq, and it is weak indeed. US still occupies Afghanistan and uses it for whatever it wants. The longer the war goes on, the Occupation is justified like continued US presence in South Korea. US doesn't want to win in Afghanistan. As long as the war is officially 'on', US can stay and rule that part of the world. ..."
"... And Libya is destroyed. Gaddafi's dream of counter-currency is finished. Libya is like humpty dumpty, smashed forever, and the Zionists are happy. ..."
"... And Syria? It didn't cost America anything to see that nation totally wrecked. ..."
"... re the first sentence of this comment. And probably confusing for "Russia-Firsters"; USA is this/that (all bad) and Russia/China are this/that (all good) but there is a fear about the "bad boy". Doesn't make sense but, well, who cares. We gotta go with the message, that one "USA bad" etc. ..."
"... The burden now is clearly on Russia and China to do everything they can to try to stop the US from launching even more catastrophic and deeply immoral wars. That is a very, very difficult task and I frankly don't know if they can do it. I hope so. That is the best I can say. ..."
"... US foreign policy flows from internal conditions. As long as the US is ruled by ...Globalists... as their cuckaroo dogs like Joe Biden, Lindsey Graham, and the rest, nothing will change. ..."
"... Simplistically, it appears most Americans because of the Cold War view geopolitics as a Manichean struggle of civilizations, good versus evil. Therefore, as they understand the United States, representing absolute good, to have been the victor in that battle for the planet, the United States now has the right to dictate terms to the entire globe in a mopping up action. ..."
"... It is US "elites" Modus Operandi, otherwise "exceptionalism" flies out of the window. With some effort and time given we may yet see the US taking credit for the Battle of Lepanto and, eventually, for Thermopylae. Consider his: "Kursk was an Anglo-American victory as well as a Soviet one." (c) ..."
Dec 30, 2017 | www.unz.com

Priss Factor , Website December 29, 2017 at 5:47 am GMT

The same goes for the US military: not one single officer has found in himself/herself to resign to protest the fact that the US is deeply in bed with those who are responsible, at least according to the official conspiracy theory, for 9/11. Nope, in fact US special forces are working with al-Qaeda types day in and day out and not a single one of these "patriots" has the honor/courage/integrity to go public about it.

But for 9/11, Alqaeda was always the US's baby. They were used in Afghanistan against the Soviets. US and its ally Pakistan fully backed Osama and his ilk for a long time. If not for 9/11, US and Alqeda's good relations would have been unbroken.

It's like US-Japan's relations. It got rocky cuz of disagreement over China and then Pearl Harbor. But had it not been for that, US-Japan relations would have been smooth throughout the 20th century. US had initially backed Japan's war with Russia and looked the other way when Japan moved into Korea and China. It was Japan's over-reaching that set the two nations apart and led to Pearl Harbor. But after WWII, they were friends against against China and Russia.

So, it shouldn't surprise us that US and Alqaeda are pals again. They were for a long time. It was US presence in Saudi Arabia that made Osama bitter and turn against his ally, the US. But with Iran and Shias as the Big Enemy, the US and Alqaeda are friends again.

Priss Factor , Website December 29, 2017 at 5:53 am GMT
And yet, somewhere, to some degree, these guys must know that the odds are not in their favor. For one thing, an endless stream of military defeats and political embarrassments ought to strongly suggest to them that inaction is generally preferable to action, especially for clueless people.

What defeats? US achieved its real goal in Iraq, which was to smash it and leave it divided. Zionist wanted a weak Iraq, and it is weak indeed. US still occupies Afghanistan and uses it for whatever it wants. The longer the war goes on, the Occupation is justified like continued US presence in South Korea. US doesn't want to win in Afghanistan. As long as the war is officially 'on', US can stay and rule that part of the world.

And Libya is destroyed. Gaddafi's dream of counter-currency is finished. Libya is like humpty dumpty, smashed forever, and the Zionists are happy.

And Syria? It didn't cost America anything to see that nation totally wrecked.

...These were great successes in a sick way. The Zionist-US goal was to spread chaos and turn those nations into hellholes that will take many decades to recover. And since 9/11, there's been hardly any major terrorist attacks in America.

peterAUS , December 29, 2017 at 6:00 am GMT
Beauties of time zone(s). Anyway . The usual Saker's "panic attack". So, for those 10 % here who aren't actually on his wavelength, a brief comment. As usual there is a bit of discrepancy between:

the AngloZionist Empire is reeling from its humiliating defeat in Syria

and

Syria (threats of a US-Israeli-KSA attack; attack on Iranian and Hezbollah forces in Syria)
attack on Russian forces in Syria)
.attack Iranian forces in Syria)

but not important, of course. Just think "USA bad", "Russia good" and all makes sense. Surprisingly, though, this is well stated

Let me immediately say here that listing pragmatic arguments against such aggression is, at this point in time, probably futile.

with a bit of Freudian slip

that is really frightening.

re the first sentence of this comment. And probably confusing for "Russia-Firsters"; USA is this/that (all bad) and Russia/China are this/that (all good) but there is a fear about the "bad boy". Doesn't make sense but, well, who cares. We gotta go with the message, that one "USA bad" etc.

Now, he got this mostly right:

whereas those in the elites not only know that they are total hypocrites and liars, but they actually see this as a sign superiority: the drones believes in his/her ideology, but his rulers believe in absolutely nothing.

Except they do believe in something: POWER.

He got close here, I admit:

Because they profoundly believe in four fundamental things:
1. We can buy anybody
2. Those we cannot buy, we bully
3. Those we cannot bully we kill
4. Nothing can happen to us, we live in total impunity not matter what we do

Now, I also admit THIS is quite interesting:

The same goes for the US military: not one single officer has found in himself/herself to resign to protest the fact that the US is deeply in bed with those who are responsible, at least according to the official conspiracy theory, for 9/11. Nope, in fact US special forces are working with al-Qaeda types day in and day out and not a single one of these "patriots" has the honor/courage/integrity to go public about it.

Still, the explanation feels weak.

Imbeciles and cowards. Delusional imbeciles giving orders and dishonorable cowards mindlessly executing them.

He could've gone deeper, but that would've complicated the message. Propaganda is all about keeping things simple and close to the lowest denominator (read imbecile). Makes sense, actually. He is correct here, though:

Alas, this is also a very hard combo to deter or to try to reason with.

The usual "Bad USA has been losing badly" compulsory part of the article we'll skip here, save:

.to engage either the Iranians or Hezbollah is a very scary option

("panic" thing) And, of course oh man .

Putin is a unpredictable master strategist and the folks around him are very, very smart.

I suggest reading this a couple of times. For a couple of reasons I'd leave to the reader. Back to topic at hand:

I think that we can agree that the Neocons are unlikely to be very impressed by the risks posed by Russian forces in Syria and that they will likely feel that they can punch the russkies in the nose and that these russkies will have to take it.

with

I place the risk here at 'medium' even if, potentially, this could lead to a catastrophic thermonuclear war because I don't think that the Neocons believe that the Russians will escalate too much (who starts WWIII over one shot down aircraft anyway, right?!)

..("panic" thing)
and

Let's hope that the Urkonazis will be busy fighting each other and that their previous humiliating defeat will deter them from trying again, but I consider a full-scale Urkonazi attack on the Donbass as quite likely

..("panic" thing).
and

The truth is that at this point nobody knows what the outcome of a US attack on the DPRK might be, not even the North Koreans. Will that be enough to deter the delusional imbeciles giving and dishonorable cowards currently at the helm of the Empire? You tell me!

("panic" thing).

And, at the end, kudos actually, he appears to be getting there:

Frankly, I am not very confident about this attempt as analyzing the possible developments in 2018. All my education has always been based on a crucial central assumption: the other guy is rational.

This isn't bad:

The burden now is clearly on Russia and China to do everything they can to try to stop the US from launching even more catastrophic and deeply immoral wars. That is a very, very difficult task and I frankly don't know if they can do it. I hope so. That is the best I can say.

But I'd keep focus on "I frankly don't know if they can do it". Now, back to fanboys and resident agenda pushers.

Priss Factor , Website December 29, 2017 at 6:23 am GMT
Frankly, I am not very confident about this attempt as analyzing the possible developments in 2018.

US foreign policy flows from internal conditions. As long as the US is ruled by ...Globalists... as their cuckaroo dogs like Joe Biden, Lindsey Graham, and the rest, nothing will change.

America needs a new civil 'war' to set things right. The ruling elites must be outed, routed, and destroyed. But the elites have framed the civil war in America as between 'nazis' and 'antifa', and this divide-and-conquer strategy gets nothing done. The American Left is more at war with Civil War monuments than with the REAL power. This civil 'war' must be between people vs the elites. But elites have manipulated the conflict as 'blue' vs 'red'.

What happens IN America will affect what happens OUTSIDE America.

There are people on both right and left who know what is going on with this neo-imperialism BS. Elite intellectuals are useless as critics because the filtering system for elitism favors the cucks and toadies. To reach the top in any profession, one has to suck up to Zionists, denounce Russia, worship homos, and denounce any form of white agency as 'white supremacism'.

... ... ...

How can the elite power be challenged by non-elites? Is there some way? A new way to use the internet? Maybe. That must be why the Platforms are shutting down so many alternative voices.

And how can masses of Trumptards and Anti-Trump resistance be convinced that the real power is not with Trump or any president but with the Deep State that colludes with Big Media and Big donors?

So many Trumptards think all is fine because Trump is president. Likewise, so many progs paid no attention as long as Obama was president even though Obama proved to be a war criminal.

US is now a silly nation where progs are totally incensed over 'gay cakes'. With dummy populists who think in terms of flag and guns and idiot decadent proggists who think in terms of 'muh gender' and 'white privilege', a true challenge to sick elite power is impossible.

We need more on the right to call out on Trump, and we need more on the left to call out on likes of Obama and Hillary. And both sides need to focus on the Power above Trump-Hillary-Obama. But they are too childish to see anything cuz for most of them, it's either 'muh guns' or 'muh gender'.

Fran Macadam , Website December 29, 2017 at 7:46 am GMT
Simplistically, it appears most Americans because of the Cold War view geopolitics as a Manichean struggle of civilizations, good versus evil. Therefore, as they understand the United States, representing absolute good, to have been the victor in that battle for the planet, the United States now has the right to dictate terms to the entire globe in a mopping up action.
Andrei Martyanov , Website December 29, 2017 at 2:22 pm GMT

Yet none of that prevents them from claiming that they, not Russia, defeated Daesh/ISIS/al-Nusra/etc. This is absolutely amazing, think of it –

It is US "elites" Modus Operandi, otherwise "exceptionalism" flies out of the window. With some effort and time given we may yet see the US taking credit for the Battle of Lepanto and, eventually, for Thermopylae. Consider his: "Kursk was an Anglo-American victory as well as a Soviet one." (c)

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/why-the-battle-kursk-might-just-be-the-most-misunderstood-22931?page=3

You see where it is all going? In real everyday life this is qualified as Stolen Valor and there is a Federal Law from 2013 which makes it a crime.

Diversity Heretic , December 29, 2017 at 2:30 pm GMT
@Priss Factor

Calvin Coolidge referred to Japan as America's natural friend. Were the economic sanctions imposed because of Japanese expansion in China, Indochina and the Dutch East Indies really necessary? How important was it to Mr. and Mrs. Average American that China be governed by Communists, warlords and corrupt nationalists, that Indochina be governed by French colonialists, and the Dutch East Indies be governed by Dutch colonialists, than by Japanese imperalists? Pat Buchanan has called WWII in Europe the unnecessary war; I think the truly unnecessary WWII conflict was in the Pacific.

[Dec 29, 2017] The remarkable thing is to see the complete disappearance of the anti-war left

Dec 28, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Christian Chuba , 26 December 2017 at 07:23 PM
A comment on Trump's national security doctrine, I read it as 'U.S. uber alles'.

The remarkable thing is to see the complete disappearance of the anti-war left. On CNN, their reaction was, Trump is talking the talk but not walking the walk. They were miffed that he had a polite phone conversation with Putin. It's not enough to send weapons to Ukraine, call the Russians and Chinese revisionist powers, have aggressive air patrols near Crimea, maintain sanctions in perpetuity, have a massive increase in Defense spending, and expand NATO, you have to be rude to Putin on every possible occasion, perhaps even allow a terrorist attack.

Some see this as a big fake out to satisfy the Neocons, he's got me eating grass too (picture Defensive End missing a Running Back in a football game). I guess we just have to wait to see what the next 3yrs bring.

BTW this link shows the flight pattern of US surveillance aircraft as they take off from Bulgaria and files along the coast of Sevastopol http://russia-insider.com/en/us-keeps-loitering-coast-russian-naval-base-sevastopol-russia-adds-second-s-400-air-defense-battery

EEngineer , 26 December 2017 at 01:30 PM

All signs that the citizens of the imperial court have poisoned themselves with their own propaganda. Apparently they've collectively forgotten that it all started out as a con for the rubes. An exceedingly dangerous condition.

I was surprised neither China or Russia vetoed the recent UN sanctions on North Korea. I can see how the SCO countries would want to play for time, but I wonder if throwing NK to the wolves makes war more likely rather than less so. I could see Iran interpreting it as being on deck (next, a baseball term), and the Neocons as a green light.

And so few seem to care... It's almost as if they've been conditioned to want war.

I was dragged to the latest Star Wars movie this weekend. Explosion porn... For a story ostensibly about sacrifice and honor, it had so many silly comic book jokes I was almost surprised it didn't have a laugh track.

Lyttenburgh , 26 December 2017 at 06:16 PM
On the new National Security Doctrine – excellent! The US does not mince words and states clearly, that both China and Russia are "resurgent" and "revisionist powers", who "threaten the world order". The US dominated unipolar world order that's it. Which, again, is true.

If Obama/Clinton had their way, Russia will be listed among the "threats to the national security" such as ISIL, Ebola and DPRK. Well – who remembers about Ebola's outbreak and ISIL is losing its memeticness by hour. The esteemed members of the establishment (the legislative branch) also would have liked to see Russia among such "top priority national security threats" as Iran and DPRK.

Instead we, Russia, are in China's company. Not bad, not bad at all. Cuz the US can't negotiate with Iran, North Korea and ISIL without losing a face. With China – now, here a sort of détente is possible.

[Dec 28, 2017] Napalm An American Biography

Dec 28, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

131

Harry , Dec 27, 2017 7:25:26 PM | 130

@james #120

Robert M. Neer

Napalm An American Biography

Grieved , Dec 27, 2017 7:32:42 PM | 131
@120 james

It actually appears to be from "Napalm: an American Biography" by Robert M. Neer, 2013. The book is divided into 3 sections: Hero, Soldier, Pariah - hence the seeming title of Soldier at the top of the page.

A Google search on "correspondent Cutforth" (including the quotation marks) returns a slightly differently typeset book but with the same copy as b's image. The image itself is also returned under Images for that search. So it's definitely the Napalm book.

Try scrolling through this to find your page:
https://books.google.com/books?id=BbKvLs2TZKAC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

rjj , Dec 27, 2017 8:03:20 PM | 135
JAMES @ 120 and 122


Robert Neer, Napalm, page 100

[Dec 27, 2017] The remarkable thing is to see the complete disappearance of the anti-war left.

Dec 27, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Christian Chuba , 26 December 2017 at 10:36 AM

A comment on Trump's national security doctrine, I read it as 'U.S. uber alles'.

The remarkable thing is to see the complete disappearance of the anti-war left. On CNN, their reaction was, Trump is talking the talk but not walking the walk. They were miffed that he had a polite phone conversation with Putin. It's not enough to send weapons to Ukraine, call the Russians and Chinese revisionist powers, have aggressive air patrols near Crimea, maintain sanctions in perpetuity, have a massive increase in Defense spending, and expand NATO, you have to be rude to Putin on every possible occasion, perhaps even allow a terrorist attack.

Some see this as a big fake out to satisfy the Neocons, he's got me eating grass too (picture Defensive End missing a Running Back in a football game). I guess we just have to wait to see what the next 3yrs bring.

BTW this link shows the flight pattern of U.S. surveillance aircraft as they take off from Bulgaria and fliesl along the coast of Sevastopol http://russia-insider.com/en/us-keeps-loitering-coast-russian-naval-base-sevastopol-russia-adds-second-s-400-air-defense-battery

Lyttenburgh , 26 December 2017 at 06:16 PM
On the new National Security Doctrine – excellent! The US does not mince words and states clearly, that both China and Russia are "resurgent" and "revisionist powers", who "threaten the world order". The US dominated unipolar world order that's it. Which, again, is true.

If Obama/Clinton had their way, Russia will be listed among the "threats to the national security" such as ISIL, Ebola and DPRK. Well – who remembers about Ebola's outbreak and ISIL is losing its memeticness by hour. The esteemed members of the establishment (the legislative branch) also would have liked to see Russia among such "top priority national security threats" as Iran and DPRK.

Instead we, Russia, are in China's company. Not bad, not bad at all. Cuz the US can't negotiate with Iran, North Korea and ISIL without losing a face. With China – now, here a sort of détente is possible.

D , 26 December 2017 at 07:23 PM
@EE

"Apparently they've collectively forgotten that it all started out as a con for the rubes."

Exactly. And that condition seems to appertain to the formation of most domestic and foreign policies emanating from Washington these day. That's what you get in a country where folks like to gorge themselves on the swill of cable news and talk radio.

[Dec 17, 2017] Whither the Anti-war Movement by Daniel Martin

Notable quotes:
"... The antiwar movement could not survive the end of the draft. One most Americans did not have to worry about their kids being sent in harm's way, when minorities became soldiers for the pay, the enthusiasm waned. It was other people's kids that did the fighting and the dying. None of your concern. ..."
"... Initiatives of the Military-Industrial-Complex are well-planned, well-funded, and have paid staff to keep the interests of the corporate sector healthy and powerful. ..."
"... The Pentagon knows that as long as we have a volunteer army and outsource much of the nasty side of conflict to contractors, the volunteer peace activists don't stand a chance against their wealthy corporate allies. ..."
Dec 15, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The duopoly succumbed to the war machine, while organized resistance got pushed to the fringe

Veterans For Peace rally in Washington, less than a month after 9/11. Credit: Elvert Barnes/Flickr

"Imagine there's no heaven and no religion too."

A more useful line when it comes to our current wars may be "Imagine there's no duopoly." It's hard to fault John Lennon for his idealism, of course. In his day, many blamed religion on the wars of history. But a much bigger obstacle right now, at least in the U.S., is partisanship. The two major political parties, in power and out, have been so co-opted by the war machine that any modern anti-war movement has been completely subsumed and marginalized -- even as American troops and killer drones continue to operate in or near combat zones all over the world.

Aside from the very early days of the Iraq war, the anti-war movement has been a small, ineffectual pinprick on the post-9/11 landscape. A less generous assessment is that it's been a bust. After liberals helped elect the "anti-war" Barack Obama, the movement all but disappeared, even though the wars did not. By putting a Nobel Peace Prize-winning Democratic face on his inherited wars, Obama expanded into new conflicts (Libya, Syria, Yemen) with little resistance, ultimately bombing seven different countries during his tenure. By 2013, Code Pink founder Medea Benjamin lamented , "We've been protesting Obama's foreign policy for years now, but we can't get the same numbers because the people who would've been yelling and screaming about this stuff under Bush are quiet under Obama."

It's easy to blame the military-industrial complex, the corporate media, and the greed and malleability of politicians. But what about the anti-war movement itself? Why has it failed so miserably, and can it revive as President Donald Trump continues the wars of his predecessors and threatens new ones?

The rallies and protests in the early 2000s attracted significant numbers but they were weighed down by far-left organizations like the World Workers Party, which brought with them myriad other issues beyond war like global warming and poverty. There was also long-held and fairly broad skepticism about the intentions of United For Peace and Justice (UFPJ) and the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, which organized most of the big protests over the last 17 years. This was due to the "big tent" affiliations of some of their steering committee members, which critics say led to a dilution of the message and drove the anti-war movement further from the mainstream.

Perhaps the movement's biggest weakness was that it shied away from directly attacking its own -- the liberal Democrats who voted for the war in Congress.

In a sense, Democrats did emerge as the de facto anti-war party during the Iraq war, but that was only because a Republican -- George W. Bush -- was commander-in-chief. And what of the Democrats who voted for the war and continued to fund it? Out of 77 senators who supported the resolution authorizing military force against Iraq in 2002, 20 are still in office and roughly half are Democrats, while out of the 296 votes in favor in the House, 90 are still in office and 57 of them are Democrats. Some of them, like Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer, went on to become party leaders. Two others, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton, went on to become secretaries of state and their party's nominees for president in 2004 and 2016 respectively. All went on to support new military interventions and regime changes, albeit under a new, liberal interventionist, Democratic banner.

Conversely, steadfast non-interventionist Democrat Dennis Kucinich, who voted against the resolution, failed badly in both his 2004 and 2008 attempts at his party's presidential nomination. Bottom line: Support for the war was hardly a deal-breaker for voters, any more than opposition to it was a dealmaker.

Reaction to war is just a microcosm of the political landscape, a manifestation of partisan-driven, short-term memory. Sure there might have been momentary disapproval, but when it came time to decide whether supporters of the war stayed or went, the sins of one's party leaders meant very little in the zero-sum game of electoral politics. Parties outside the duopoly be damned.

The same thing happened to the anti-war right, as the Ron Paul movement took off in 2008 with an immense level of grassroots energy. One of the singular successes of his movement was the ability to reach people on an intellectual and practical level about the folly of our foreign interventions and the waste, fraud, and abuse of tax dollars. Paul didn't shy from criticizing his own party's leaders and actions. He explained the Federal Reserve's relationship to the monetary costs of war.

Ultimately, media blackouts and distortion of Paul's message (for example, conflating his non-interventionist foreign policy views with "isolationism") helped kill his campaign. After Paul's 2008 defeat, conservative political activists seized upon the Texas congressman's libertarian-leaning revolutionary momentum and channeled it into the Tea Party -- while leaving the non-interventionist impulses behind. By 2011, national coordinator Jenny Beth Martin acknowledged , "On foreign policy probably the majority [of Tea Party Patriots] are more like [hawks] Michele Bachmann or Newt Gingrich."

And don't underestimate how the escalation of drone warfare during the Obama presidency muted the anti-war effort. Drone attacks made fewer headlines because they supposedly caused less collateral damage and kept U.S. troops out of harm's way, which was portrayed by administration officials and the war establishment in Washington as progress.

What the drone program did, in essence, was to create the illusion of "less war." Nevertheless, studies showing an increase of terrorism since the beginning of the "war on terror" indicate precisely the opposite: Civilian drone deaths (not always reported) create more enemies, meaning more of our troops will be put in harm's way eventually.

So where should the anti-war movement go from here? Perhaps it should begin by tempering its far-left impulses and embracing its allies on the right who have been made to feel unwelcome. They could take a lesson from right-leaning places like Antiwar.com and TAC that have long been open to writers and activists on the left.

Meanwhile, flying "Resist Trump" signs at rallies not only misses the mark by suggesting that our needless wars aren't a bipartisan, systemic problem, but creates a non-inclusive atmosphere for anti-war Trump voters. Ironically, not much "resistance" was heard when Democrats recently helped pass Trump's $700 billion 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and failed to repeal the original post-9/11 Authorization for Use of Military Force, as was advocated for by Senator Rand Paul this year.

In addition, the few on the anti-war left who oppose war based on pacifist or religious reasons need to acknowledge that the majority of Americans believe in a strong national defense as outlined in the Constitution. Most people are willing to accept that there's a big difference between that and the terrible waste and tragedy that comes with waging unnecessary wars overseas.

They are also averse to their lawmakers doing favors for special interests. Focusing on the money and influence that giant defense contractors like Lockheed Martin and Boeing have on Capitol Hill -- essentially making war a business -- makes the anti-war point by raising the issue of crony capitalism and the cozy relationship between politicians and big business, which increasingly leaves the American public out of the equation.

These corporations, along with Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, have accounted for $42 million in contributions to congressional candidates since 2009, with $12 million in the 2016 cycle alone. The majority of these funds have targeted Armed Services Committee members, such as perennial war hawk John McCain. In addition, influential neoconservative think tanks have received millions in grants over the years from "philanthropic" organizations such as the Bradley Foundation and the Olin Foundation, which have corporate backgrounds in the defense industry. The conservative Heritage Foundation is reportedly considering the vice president of Lockheed as its new president.

Furthermore, mantras and slogans like, "you're either with us or against us" and "support our troops" have been used as powerful psy-ops to create a false dichotomy: you either support the war policy or you're not patriotic. Debunking this by pointing out how these wars profit the elite while serving as a pipeline that puts more American military servicemembers -- often from working-class backgrounds -- into harm's way should appeal to the current populist spirit on both sides of the political fence. In fact, it could begin to draw new, disenchanted voters into the movement.

Americans today are tired of war, which is good, for now. Unfortunately, without a strong anti-war movement, there won't be much resistance when the next "big threat" comes along. The two major parties have proven to be false friends when it comes to opposing war -- they only do it when it suits them politically. Moving beyond them and becoming stronger with allies and numbers -- imagine, there's no parties -- is the best way to build a real opposition.

Daniel Martin is an anti-war activist, musician, and rock journalist from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Follow him on Twitter @MartysInvasion .

Youknowho December 14, 2017 at 10:20 pm

The antiwar movement could not survive the end of the draft. One most Americans did not have to worry about their kids being sent in harm's way, when minorities became soldiers for the pay, the enthusiasm waned. It was other people's kids that did the fighting and the dying. None of your concern.
Whine Merchant , says: December 14, 2017 at 10:47 pm
The so-called 'anti-war' or 'peace' movement is mostly a genuine grass roots phenomenon that relies upon volunteers and ordinary people taking time out of their busy lives to become active. The energy and drive are hard to sustain on a volunteer basis.

To a great extent, motivation for activism is a reaction to something egregious, not a planned and sustained response to an on-going situation. Despite the power of social media, reactively movements lead by well-intentioned amateurs cannot martial prolonged support.

Initiatives of the Military-Industrial-Complex are well-planned, well-funded, and have paid staff to keep the interests of the corporate sector healthy and powerful. The activism that pulled the US out of SE Asia in the 70s took 10 years to build strength against a what was less organised and planned war machine than we see today. The Pentagon knows that as long as we have a volunteer army and outsource much of the nasty side of conflict to contractors, the volunteer peace activists don't stand a chance against their wealthy corporate allies.

Thank you –

Fran Macadam , says: December 14, 2017 at 11:19 pm
The tragedy yet to be is that the business of war and its boosterism only ends when the suffering of war comes upon the nation whose leaders make it. It might be different if the population were inclined against it, but there is a widespread belief in U.S. Exceptionalism and a belief that it is America's birthright to rule the world by military force if required. And ruling peoples against their wills does require force.

The consistency of human nature does not promise any respite from the propensity to make war, as has occurred throughout all known history. Those wars will be waged with ever greater and even world-ending technology – there never has been a weapon created that was not used, and every one of them has proliferated.

Donald ( the left leaning one) , says: December 15, 2017 at 12:20 am
This makes sense to me. There has to be a coalition of anti interventionists across the political spectrum because the two parties are dominated by warmongers. On foreign policy I am closer to many of the conservatives here than to many or most liberals I know in real life or online. I have never heard a liberal in my real life mention Yemen or drones unless I bring it up. Syria was never seen as a place where our support for " moderate" rebels kept the killing going. A friend of mine has become outraged when I tell him our support for the Saudis in Yemen is much more important than Russiagate. So Russiagate matters more than our complicity in a crime against humanity.

Mainstream liberals simply don't care about our stupid wars unless there is a large American death toll and it can be blamed solely on a Republican. I am not saying conservatives are better. The ones here are better.

Zebesian , says: December 15, 2017 at 2:43 am
I hope that the anti-war movement grows again, and persists throughout the probable Democratic Presidency in 2020. There's such little a single person can do, though.

Maybe Trump will keep his anti-war promises?

collin , says: December 15, 2017 at 9:03 am
There is probably a multiple issues here but:

1) Most military is below the headlines and it is hard to protest here. There several thousands troops in Africa and hardly anybody knows it.
2) The last 7 Prez elections, 6 doves (2004 exception and yes Bush pretended to the dove in 2000.) won and yet the dovish winner is more hawkish in the White House. So it is hard not to use the military and it would wise to answer that question,
3) Anti-War conservatives only had modest support when Obama signed the nuclear deal or avoided bombing in Syria. Where were the 'Ron Paul' voters there to support the President making dovish choices? Sure Syria was handled poorly but if we heard more support it might change things.
4) And it is true the hard left is very-war but focused on other agenda. Witness Bernie Sanders was unable to beat HRC because he is dove complaining about Cold War battles that is past history. And watch out Matt Duss is writing his speeches and Bernie is taking them seriously.

Robert E. , says: December 15, 2017 at 9:25 am
I'm a liberal democrat and certainly would agree that President Obama was culpable for destroying our anti-war movement. It was one of my grievances with him from the very beginning, as nothing about his rhetoric was ever about peace. It was only till the very end of his last term that he ever learned any lessons on caution in intervention (But never about the folly of drone striking civilians), and by then, it was too late.

Neo-militarism, which is where the costs of war are separated from engagement with it in order to reduce civil unrest over military actions, wasn't something Obama created though. It was a reaction to the Vietnam War that was thoroughly ingrained in the conscience of both parties. The only lesson they learned from that war is that if Americans see and hear of the suffering of their soldiers, they won't be supportive of military pork and intervention.

And so we live in a really weird culture now where most people don't even know a soldier, where our soldiers are off to forever war and in the system they are in is so distant that they don't understand civilian society either, and where the costs of war are hidden. There is a political problem certainly, but the root of it is a cultural problem. We are fed patriotic myths of American invincibility and Spartanism, and militarism has become one of the only unifying threads in being an "American", even though most Americans have not even the faintest clue of how the military operates or what soldiers are like.

You can gather up all the anti-war activists across the political spectrum, and you still aren't going to find enough people for a successful movement. And I'm not entirely sure how you can change the culture on this issue, as it would require undoing a lifetime worth of programming and propaganda in every citizen.

It may take another cultural trauma from a war so disastrous that even the worst chicken hawks have to say, "Wow, we really ruined everything here" for Americans to finally learn a lesson beyond how to sweep the nasty parts of war under the rug so the public doesn't see them. I suppose North Korea is looking promising on that front.

EliteCommInc. , says: December 15, 2017 at 9:49 am
I dislike the term anti-war. It sounds too much akin to a pacifists pose. I don't have any issues with people who are sincerely pacifists. But there are times when war is required. And sometimes in my view, that includes the use of force for humanitarian purposes.

I rest on the views that push the "clear and present danger" as old as it may be. And I do so without being ignorant of my own concerns about the strategic threats that abound or potentially abound in the future, near and far.

Where's the anti-war movement -- they are in think tanks, congress, and CEO corporate positions seeking to atone for the mess they made of our communities, country and veterans since the the misguided anti-war slogans of the late '60's and early '70's.

The consequence of an all volunteer military separates the community from a national sense of risk. I will dare utter, the unspoken, Vietnam was not about some just cause or care about the Vietnamese or the national conscience. It was the basic fear of personal sacrifice – period.

Ohh it was nicely clothed in all kinds of rhetorical discourse about war, peace loving Vietnamese, peace-love and understanding, free speech, anti-colonialism . . . blah and blah.

As Dr. King would soon discover, lending his intellect to young white kids fears, sabotaged the real retrenchment of the consequence of the nation's hypocrisy.

It takes a moral courage that has been bled out because there is in my view essentially no risk individual national investment. If x hundred thousand are willing to sign-up for defense --

that is a choice of no account to citizens who don't.

There is a war going on and its right here at home.

Myles Hagar , says: December 15, 2017 at 12:21 pm
If we want the freedom to comfortably drive to the convenience store to buy more plastic products from China, we must have war to secure the oil, flow of foreign goods and exploitation of foreign labour necessary to maintain our predatory and non-productive way of life. Peace requires a transformation of consciousness with the resultant total rejection of consumerism. The personal sacrifice required for peace is the missing element.
Kent , says: December 15, 2017 at 12:53 pm
"a strong national defense as outlined in the Constitution."

I take strong exception to this. The second amendment

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Unlike what most people think, the "free State" mentioned here represents the 13 original states. Their "well regulated Militia"'s could not be disarmed because that would allow the federal military to take away their sovereign freedom. The federal government was never intended to be more powerful than the individual state's militias.

And Section 8 Clause 12 of the Constitution when describing Congress' responsibilities:

"To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years"

The Constitution assumed that Congress would only raise an army when at war, and it would be dismantled almost immediately, hence the "two Years" limit on funding the military.

The Constitution assumes a very weak defensive posture, and the continued massive military system of the USA is the most unconstitutional thing we do. By a million miles.

john , says: December 15, 2017 at 1:34 pm
As long a there is a volunteer military there will not be a strong anti war movement. Remember, the sixties and that so called anti war movement which turned out to be nothing more that an anti draft movement. As soon as the military draft stopped those so called activists shaved their beards, got a haircut, took a bath, and along with those who came back from Canada went on to join daddy's business or law firm, with many migrating to wall street, eventually becoming the chicken hawks of the current era.There would never have been an invasion of Iraq or the perpetual war if every family shared the burden of sending one of their sons or daughters to act as cannon fodder. With the poverty draft only five percent of the younger generation are doing the fighting and dying. Americans will not even give up attending football games where disrespect for the military takes the form of disrespecting the flag, let alone join the military or put one of their children in harms way.
EliteCommInc. , says: December 15, 2017 at 3:19 pm
"The Constitution assumes a very weak defensive posture, and the continued massive military system of the USA is the most unconstitutional thing we do. By a million miles."

I guess if one skips the preamble one might come to that conclusion. But the Purpose of the Constitution establishing a nation spells out in very clear terms --

" . . . provide for the common defense . . ."

That is not a weak posture in any sense of the word. And no founder of government not those that followed understood that said union was to be weak. Avoiding unnecessary wars or conflicts does not mean a weak defense. What they pressed was a weak federal systems that would subvert internal freedoms for states and individuals.

It's hard to argue that no established international defense was sought -- when it states in very clear terms -- the nation is created for the very purpose of defending it's existence.

A strong defense does not require a an over aggressive posture, but existence requires an ability to defend it. And right now nothing more threatens our existence as much as weak immigration enforcement.

And I think the evidence for that is overwhelming. Most poignantly demonstrated by the events of 9/11. And there christians of many brands are a threat to the US by aiding and abetting the violations of that sovereignty and using Christ as the excuse to do so, even as that defense undermines their fellow citizens. That breed of christian ethos is certainly not new nor are its tentacles of hypocrisy.

What I object to among both interventionists is that they both don't mind giving people in the country illegally a pass despite their mutual claims of legal moral high bround.

David Swanson , says: December 15, 2017 at 5:03 pm
Biggest sign of how weak we are in this article is the assumption built into this: "In addition, the few on the anti-war left who oppose war based on pacifist or religious reasons need to acknowledge that the majority of Americans believe in a strong national defense as outlined in the Constitution." I mean the assumption that one cannot oppose the whole institution for the overwhelming secular empirical reasons that it endangers us, destroys our environment, impoverishes us, erodes our liberties, militarizes our localities, degrades our culture, poisons our politics. See the case made at World Beyond War's website.
Glenn , says: December 15, 2017 at 5:29 pm
Superb article by Daniel Martin. The first step out of this mess is to fully acknowledge the scope of the mess: Democrats and Republicans -- who squabble about many things -- unite to give bipartisan support for American militarism.
Honorable Shark , says: December 15, 2017 at 6:01 pm
The anti-war movement is not listened to. In SF during a bombardment of Gaza, there were hundreds of anti-war protesters at City Hall. The most liberal deliberative body in the US looked stone-faced and emotionless. When they finished, if on a cue, a Jewish member of the Board tabled the agenda item, and it was never heard from again. Not one of these eleven lawmakers even asked a question. Who said you cannot fight City Hall? They were right.
balconesfault , says: December 15, 2017 at 7:06 pm
A lot of Dems stepped forward to oppose the Iraq War and they got plowed over for it politically.

I fully expect the same to happen to any Dems who divert their attention from stopping the other budget busting, middle-class harming, anti-environmental, anti-women measures the GOP is currently pushing to make a futile attempt to stop whatever Trump decides to do with our military.

You guys elected Donald J. Trump. You own him.

cka2nd , says: December 15, 2017 at 8:01 pm
The argument that there can be no anti-war movement without a draft to drive it is belied by the fact that no war in our history generated more protests than the Bush Administration's build-up towards the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Where the mass base of any anti-war movement seems to draw the line is not specifically at their kids but at the possibility of significant American casualties, period. Hence, the absence of mass protest against drone warfare on the one hand, and the immediate and decisive push back by the public against Congress authorizing Obama to "put boots on the ground" in Syria on the other.

My friends in the International Bolshevik Tendency ( http://bolshevik.org/ ) argue for the classic united front in their anti-war organizing. Everyone opposed to War X should march together but retain their right to free speech at the march and on the podium. So the official call for the march is not a laundry list, but marchers and speakers are not subject to censorship or being shut down if they want to make connections that discomfit some Democratic politician or movement hack. It makes more sense to me than either the single-issue, "we must ALL stay ON point" model or the multi-issue, excessively intersectional and virtue-signaling one that arose in reaction to it.

MKBrussel , says: December 16, 2017 at 12:19 am
No one seems to mention the power and importance of the mainstream, corporatized, media, which has supported all our wars and associated aggressions in recent times, and which ignores and suppresses antiwar sentiments and opinion writers, as well as inconvenient facts. This holds for the NYT, the WP, the WSJ and client newspapers as well as the TV news channels. The internet is evidently not powerful enough to offset this national bias. Antiwar periodicals tend to be on the fringe in terms of mass circulation.
It also takes money in this society to get things done, and the anti-war "left"(or right) , in addition to having organizational problems, lacks those resources. An antiwar super billionaire, if that is not a contradiction in terms, might make a dent by creating/promoting TV and news channels.

A usefull discussion.

Fran Macadam , says: December 16, 2017 at 4:26 am
EliteCommInc., be assured you will get your wars. Also be assured that they won't accomplish the aims they will be sold to accomplish. Some of those who know the real reasons may well accomplish their private goals for a season. One day, the real cost to be paid will come due, and it may not be a rude awakening, but nuclear death. So by all means, continue not to be against war, against all the evidence. We are predisposed to war because our fallen nature leads us to dream of it.
balconesfault , says: December 16, 2017 at 6:02 am
@Glenn

Democrats and Republicans -- who squabble about many things -- unite to give bipartisan support for American militarism.

That is because, sadly, American voters demand it.

As I've observed before – if you place a candidates militarism on a spectrum of 0 (Ghandi) to 100 (Hitler) American voters are conditioned to prefer a candidate with a score 20 points higher than theirs to a candidate 5 points lower.

Fear is a powerful tool.

Dieter Heymann , says: December 16, 2017 at 7:26 am
Kent makes a very good point. Yet this baby nation was somewhat torn between a Scylla and Charybdis of military readiness. The Scylla was the fear of a "European" track that is to say the evolution into a Monarchy anchored on a powerful national army. The Charybdis was the potential invasions by the powerful European states of Great Britain and Spain.
Dave Sullivan , says: December 16, 2017 at 8:14 am
The opinion that anti-war people, particularly from the Vietnam era, did so because they didn't want to sacrifice is ludicrous. It displays an ignorance of the sacrifices made, and the success of the war party to paint them in this manor. Veterans are appointed a myriad of benefits, a plethora of memorials,holidays, endless honorable mentions. For the war resistors, nothing, unless one could count the kind of scorn I see here, on an antiwar site ! It is not "selfish" to look both ways before crossing the street, and perhaps choosing not to if it appears the risk is not worth the reward. In fact, this behavior defines "conservative". Militant societies require centralization. The key to modern centralized militant power, is nuclear war. The existence of these weapons produces a huge secrecy, and internal security state. They produce an insane populace whom believe the state is protecting them from annihilation. Know this, our militant masters love that North Korea has the bomb. Sleep tight.

[Oct 30, 2017] New York Times Acknowledges US Global Empire by Sheldon Richman

Notable quotes:
"... The UN has 193 member states -- and the U.S. government has a military presence in at least 89 percent of them! The Times ..."
"... Sheldon Richman , author of America's Counter-Revolution: The Constitution Revisited , keeps the blog Free Association and is a senior fellow and chair of the trustees of the Center for a Stateless Society , and a contributing editor at Antiwar.com . He is also the Executive Editor of The Libertarian Institute. ..."
Oct 30, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org

One big advantage the war party has is the public's ignorance about the activities of the far-flung American empire. Athough frustrating, that ignorance is easy to understand and has been explained countless times by writers in the public choice tradition. Most people are too busy with their lives, families, and communities to pay the close attention required to know that the empire exists and what it is up to. The opportunity cost of paying attention is huge, considering that the payoff is so small: even a well-informed individual could not take decisive action to rein in the out-of-control national security state. One vote means nothing, and being knowledgeable about the U.S. government's nefarious foreign policy is more likely to alienate friends and other people than influence them. Why give up time with family and friends just so one can be accused of "hating America"?

In light of this systemic rational ignorance, we must be grateful when a prominent institution acknowledges how much the government intervenes around the world. Such an acknowledgment came from the New York Times editorial board this week. The editorial drips with irony since the Times has done so much to gin up public support for America's imperial wars. (See, for example, its 2001-02 coverage of Iraq and its phantom WMD.) Stlll, the piece is noteworthy.

The Oct. 22 editorial began:

The United States has been at war continuously since the attacks of 9/11 and now has just over 240,000 active-duty and reserve troops in at least 172 countries and territories.

That alone ought to come as a shock to nearly all Americans. The UN has 193 member states -- and the U.S. government has a military presence in at least 89 percent of them! The Times does not mention that the government also maintains at least 800 military bases and installations around the world. That's a big government we're talking about. And empires are bloody expensive.

Sheldon Richman , author of America's Counter-Revolution: The Constitution Revisited , keeps the blog Free Association and is a senior fellow and chair of the trustees of the Center for a Stateless Society , and a contributing editor at Antiwar.com . He is also the Executive Editor of The Libertarian Institute.

[Oct 22, 2017] Libertarianism, the Alt-Right and AntiFa by Hans-Hermann Hoppe

Notable quotes:
"... Speech delivered at the 12 th annual meeting of the ..."
"... in Bodrum, Turkey, on September 17, 2017 ..."
"... For A New Liberty. The Libertarian Manifesto, ..."
"... bêtes noires ..."
"... Students for Liberty ..."
"... Millennial Woes " ..."
"... Equality is bullshit. Hierarchy is essential. The races are different. The sexes are different. Morality matters and degeneracy is real. All cultures are not equal and we are not obligated to think they are. Man is a fallen creature and there is more to life than hollow materialism. Finally, the white race matters, and civilization is precious. This is the Alt-Right." ..."
"... "1) don't be belligerent; 2) don't presume hatred of liberty; 3) don't presume different goals; 4) don't presume ignorance; 5) don't regard anyone as an enemy." ..."
"... vis-à-vis ..."
"... vis-à-vis ..."
"... divide et impera ..."
"... except for the very first one ..."
"... : Stop mass immigration ..."
"... Stop attacking, killing and bombing people in foreign countries ..."
"... England First!, Germany First!, Italy First! ..."
"... Defund the ruling elites and its intellectual bodyguards ..."
"... End the Fed and all central banks. ..."
"... Abolish all " Affirmative Action " and "non-discrimination" laws and regulations ..."
"... Crush the "Anti-Fascist" Mob ..."
"... Crush the street criminals and gangs ..."
"... Get rid of all welfare parasites and bums ..."
"... Get the State out of education. ..."
"... Don't put your trust in politics or political parties ..."
"... Hans-Herman Hoppe ..."
"... , holds annual meetings of his ..."
"... Property and Freedom Society ..."
"... in the stunningly beautiful town of Bodrum in south west Turkey. ..."
Oct 22, 2017 | www.unz.com

October 20, 2017 7,200 Words 4 Comments Reply

Speech delivered at the 12 th annual meeting of the Property and Freedom Society in Bodrum, Turkey, on September 17, 2017

We know the fate of the term "liberal" and " liberalism ." It has been affixed to so many different people and different positions that it has lost all its meaning and become an empty, non-descript label. The same fate now increasingly also threatens the term " libertarian " and "libertarianism," which was invented to regain some of the conceptual precision lost with the demise of the former labels.

However, the history of modern libertarianism is still quite young. It began in Murray Rothbard's living room and found its first quasi-canonical expression in his For A New Liberty. The Libertarian Manifesto, published in 1973 .

And so I am still hopeful and not yet willing to give up on libertarianism as defined and explained by Rothbard with unrivaled conceptual clarity and precision, notwithstanding the meanwhile countless attempts of so-called libertarians to muddy the water and misappropriate the good name of libertarianism for something entirely different.

The theoretical, irrefutable core of the libertarian doctrine is simple and straightforward and I have explained it already repeatedly at this place. If there were no scarcity in the world, human conflicts, or more precisely physical clashes, would be impossible. Interpersonal conflicts are always conflicts concerning scarce things.

I want to do A with a given thing and you want to do B with the same thing. Because of such conflicts -- and because we are able to communicate and argue with each other -- we seek out norms of behavior with the purpose of avoiding these conflicts. The purpose of norms is conflict-avoidance. If we did not want to avoid conflicts, the search for norms of conduct would be senseless. We would simply fight and struggle.

Absent a perfect harmony of all interests, conflicts regarding scarce resources can only be avoided if all scarce resources are assigned as private, exclusive property to some specified individual or group of individuals. Only then can I act independently, with my own things, from you, with your own things, without you and me clashing.

But who owns what scarce resource as his private property and who does not?

First: Each person owns his physical body that only he and no one else controls directly . Second: as for scarce resources that can be controlled only indirectly (that must be appropriated with our own nature-given, i.e., un-appropriated, body), exclusive control (property) is acquired by and assigned to that person, who appropriated the resource in question first or who acquired it through voluntary (conflict-free) exchange from its previous owner.

For only the first appropriator of a resource (and all later owners connected to him through a chain of voluntary exchanges) can possibly acquire and gain control over it without conflict, i.e., peacefully. Otherwise, if exclusive control is assigned instead to latecomers , conflict is not avoided but contrary to the very purpose of norms made unavoidable and permanent.

Before this audience, I do not need to go into greater detail except to add this: If you want to live in peace with other people and avoid all physical clashes and, if such clashes do occur, seek to resolve them peacefully, then you must be an anarchist or more precisely a private property anarchist, an anarcho-capitalist or a proponent of a private law society.

And by implication, then, and again without much further ado: Someone, anyone, is not a libertarian or merely a fake libertarian who affirms and advocates one or more of the following:

the necessity of a State, any State, of "public" (State) property and of taxes in order to live in peace; the existence and justifiability of any so-called "human rights" or " civil rights" other than private property rights, such as "women's rights," " gay rights ," "minority rights," the "right" not to be discriminated against, the "right" to free and unrestricted immigration, the "right" to a guaranteed minimum income or to free health care, or the "right" to be free of unpleasant speech and thought.

The proponents of any of this may call themselves whatever they want, and as libertarians we may well cooperate with them, insofar as such a cooperation offers the promise of bringing us closer to our ultimate goal, but they are not libertarians or only fake libertarians.

Now, "a funny thing happened on the way to the forum." While Rothbard and I, following in his footsteps, never went astray from these theoretically-derived core beliefs, not just non-libertarians but in particular also fake libertarians, i.e., people claiming (falsely) to be libertarians, and even many possibly honest yet dim-witted libertarians have selected and vilified us as their favorite bêtes noires and incarnates of evil.

Rothbard, the spiritus rector of modern libertarianism, has been branded by this so-called "anti-fascist" crowd as a reactionary, a racist, a sexist, an authoritarian, an elitist, a xenophobe, a fascist and, to top it all off, a self-hating Jewish Nazi. And I have inherited all of these honorary titles, plus a few more (except for the Jewish stuff).

So what funny thing has happened here?

Trying to develop an answer to this question brings me to the topic of this speech: the relationship between libertarianism and the Alternative Right or "Alt-Right," which has gained national and international notoriety after Hillary Clinton , during the last presidential election campaign, identified it as one of the inspirational sources behind the "basket of deplorables" rooting for Trump (and whose leadership, to its credit, after Trump's election victory, quickly broke with Trump when he turned out to be just another presidential warmonger).

paleo-conservative movement that came to prominence in the early 1990s, with columnist and best-selling author Patrick Buchanan as its best-known representative. It went somewhat dormant by the late 1990s, and it has recently, in light of the steadily growing damage done to America and its reputation by the successive Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and Obama administrations, reemerged more vigorous than before under the new label of the Alt-Right.

Many of the leading lights associated with the Alt-Right have appeared here at our meetings in the course of the years . Paul Gottfried, who first coined the term, Peter Brimelow , Richard Lynn , Jared Taylor , John Derbyshire , Steve Sailer and Richard Spencer . As well , Sean Gabb's name and mine are regularly mentioned in connection with the Alt-Right, and my work has been linked also with the closely related neo-reactionary movement inspired by Curtis Yarvin ( aka Mencius Moldbug ) and his now defunct blog Unqualified Reservations . In sum, these personal relations and associations have earned me several honorable mentions by America's most famous smear-and-defamation league, the SPLC ( aka Soviet Poverty Lie Center).

Now: How about the relationship between libertarianism and the Alt-Right and my reasons for inviting leading representatives of the Alt-Right to meetings with libertarians?

Libertarians are united by the irrefutable theoretical core beliefs mentioned at the outset. They are clear about the goal that they want to achieve. But the libertarian doctrine does not imply much if anything concerning these questions:

First, how to maintain a libertarian order once achieved; Second, how to attain a libertarian order from a non-libertarian starting point, which requires a) that one must correctly describe this starting point and b) correctly identify the obstacles posed in the way of one's libertarian ends by this very starting point.

To answer these questions, in addition to theory, you also need some knowledge of human psychology and sociology or at least a modicum of common sense.

Yet many libertarians and fake libertarians are plain ignorant of human psychology and sociology or even devoid of any common sense. They blindly accept, against all empirical evidence, an egalitarian, blank-slate view of human nature, of all people and all societies and cultures being essentially equal and interchangeable.

While much of contemporary libertarianism can be characterized, then, as theory and theorists without psychology and sociology, much or even most of the Alt-Right can be described, in contrast, as psychology and sociology without theory.

Alt-Righters are not united by a commonly held theory, and there exists nothing even faintly resembling a canonical text defining its meaning. Rather, the Alt-Right is essentially united in its description of the contemporary world, and in particular the US and the so-called Western World, and the identification and diagnosis of its social pathologies.

In fact, it has been correctly noted that the Alt-Right is far more united by what it is against than what it is for. It is against, and indeed it hates with a passion, the elites in control of the State , the MSM and academia.

Why? Because they all promote social degeneracy and pathology. Thus, they promote, and the Alt-Right vigorously opposes, egalitarianism, Affirmative Action ( aka " non-discrimination "), multiculturalism , and "free" mass immigration as a means of bringing multiculturalism about.

Cultural Marxism o r Gramsciism and all "Political Correctness" and, strategically wise, it shrugs off, without any apology whatsoever, all accusations of being racist , sexist, elitist, supremacist, homophobe, xenophobe, etc., etc.

And the Alt-Right also laughs off as hopelessly naïve the programmatic motto of so-called libertarians such as the Students for Liberty (which I have termed the "Stupids for Liberty" and my young German friend Andre Lichtschlag as "Liberallala-Libertarians") of "Peace, Love, and Liberty," appropriately translated into German by Lichtschlag as "Friede, Freude, Eierkuchen."

In stark contrast to this, Alt-Righters insist that life is also about strife, hate, struggle and fight, not just between individuals but also among various groups of people acting in concert. " Millennial Woes " (Colin Robertson) has thus aptly summarized the Alt-Right:

" Equality is bullshit. Hierarchy is essential. The races are different. The sexes are different. Morality matters and degeneracy is real. All cultures are not equal and we are not obligated to think they are. Man is a fallen creature and there is more to life than hollow materialism. Finally, the white race matters, and civilization is precious. This is the Alt-Right."

Absent any unifying theory, however, there is far less agreement among the Alt-Right about the goal that it ultimately wants to achieve.

Many of its leading lights have distinctly libertarian leanings, most notably those that have come here (which, of course, was the reason for having invited them here), even if they are not 100%-ers and would not identify themselves as such. All Alt-Righters that have appeared here, for instance, have been familiar with Rothbard and his work, all the while the most recent presidential candidate of the Libertarian Party had never even heard of Rothbard's name. And all of them, to the best of my knowledge, were outspoken supporters of Ron Paul during his primary campaign for the Republican Party's nomination as presidential candidate, all the while many self-proclaimed libertarians attacked and tried to vilify Ron Paul for his supposedly (you already know what's coming by now) "racist" views.

However, several of the Alt-Right's leaders and many of its rank and file followers have also endorsed views incompatible with libertarianism. As Buchanan before and Trump now, they are adamant about complementing a policy of restrictive, highly selective and discriminating immigration (which is entirely compatible with libertarianism and its desideratum of freedom of association and opposition to forced integration) with a strident policy of restricted trade, economic protectionism and protective tariffs -- which is antithetical to libertarianism and inimical to human prosperity.

(Let me hasten to add here that, despite my misgivings about his "economics," I still consider Pat Buchanan a great man.)

Others strayed even further afield, such as Richard Spencer, who first popularized the term Alt-Right. In the meantime, owing to several recent publicity stunts, which have gained him some degree of notoriety in the US, Spencer has laid claim to the rank of the maximum leader of a supposedly mighty unified movement (an endeavor, by the way, that has been ridiculed by Taki Theodoracopulos, a veteran champion of the paleo-conservative-turned-Alt-Right movement and Spencer's former employer).

When Spencer appeared here, several years ago, he still exhibited strong libertarian leanings. Unfortunately, however, this has changed and Spencer now denounces , without any qualification whatsoever, all libertarians and everything libertarian and has gone so far as to even put up with socialism, as long as it is socialism of and for only white people. What horrifying disappointment!

Given the lack of any theoretical foundation, this split of the Alt-Right movement into rival factions can hardly be considered a surprise.

Yet this fact should not mislead one to dismiss it, because the Alt-Right has brought out many insights that are of central importance in approaching an answer to the two previously mentioned questions unanswered by libertarian theory: of how to maintain a libertarian social order; and how to get to such an order from the current, decidedly un-libertarian status quo.

The Alt-Right did not discover these insights. They had been established long before and indeed, in large parts they are no more than common sense. But in recent times such insights have been buried under mountains of egalitarian, Leftist propaganda and the Alt-Right must be credited for having brought them back to light.

To illustrate the importance of such insights, let me take the first unanswered question first.

Many libertarians hold the view that all that is needed to maintain a libertarian social order is the strict enforcement of the non-aggression principle (NAP) . Otherwise, as long as one abstains from aggression, according to their view, the principle of "live and let live" should hold.

Yet surely, while this "live and let live" sounds appealing to adolescents in rebellion against parental authority and all social convention and control (and many youngsters have been initially attracted to libertarianism believing that this "live and let live" is the essence of libertarianism), and while the principle does indeed hold and apply for people living far apart and dealing with each other only indirectly and from afar, it does not hold and apply, or rather it is insufficient , when it comes to people living in close proximity to each other, as neighbors and cohabitants of the same community.

A simple example suffices to make the point. Assume a new next-door neighbor. This neighbor does not aggress against you or your property in any way, but he is a "bad" neighbor. He is littering on his own neighboring property, turning it into a garbage heap; in the open , for you to see, he engages in ritual animal slaughter, he turns his house into a " Freudenhaus ," a bordello , with clients coming and going all day and all night long; he never offers a helping hand and never keeps any promise that he has made; or he cannot or else he refuses to speak to you in your own language. Etc., etc..

Your life is turned into a nightmare. Yet you may not use violence against him, because he has not aggressed against you. What can you do?

You can shun and ostracize him. But your neighbor does not care, and in any case you alone thus "punishing" him makes little if any difference to him. You have to have the communal respect and authority, or you must turn to someone who does, to persuade and convince everyone or at least most of the members of your community to do likewise and make the bad neighbor a social outcast, so as to exert enough pressure on him to sell his property and leave.

(So much for the libertarians who, in addition to their "live and let live" ideal also hail the motto "respect no authority!")

The lesson? The peaceful cohabitation of neighbors and of people in regular direct contact with each other on some territory -- a tranquil, convivial social order -- requires also a commonality of culture: of language, religion, custom and convention. There can be peaceful co-existence of different cultures on distant, physically separated territories, but multi-culturalism, cultural heterogeneity, cannot exist in one and the same place and territory without leading to diminishing social trust, increased tension, and ultimately the call for a "strong man" and the destruction of anything resembling a libertarian social order.

And moreover: Just as a libertarian order must always be on guard against "bad" (even if non-aggressive) neighbors by means of social ostracism, i.e., by a common "you are not welcome here" culture, so, and indeed even more vigilantly so, must it be guarded against neighbors who openly advocate communism, socialism, syndicalism or democracy in any shape or form. They, in thereby posing an open threat to all private property and property owners, must not only be shunned, but they must, to use a by now somewhat famous Hoppe-meme , be "physically removed," if need be by violence, and forced to leave for other pastures.

Not to do so inevitably leads to -- well, communism, socialism, syndicalism or democracy and hence, the very opposite of a libertarian social order.

With these "Rightist" or as I would say, plain commonsensical insights in mind I turn now to the more challenging question of how to move from here, the status quo , to there.

And for this it might be instructive to first briefly consider the answer given by the liberallala, the peace-love-and-liberty, the Friede-Freude-Eierkuchen or the capitalism-is-love libertarians. It reveals the same fundamental egalitarianism, if in a slightly different form, as that exhibited also by the live-and-let-live libertarians.

These, as I have just tried to show, define what we may call the "bad neighbor problem" -- and what is merely a short-hand for the general problem posed by the co-existence of distinctly different, alien, mutually disturbing, annoying, strange or hostile cultures -- simply out of existence. And indeed, if you assume, against all empirical evidence, that all people, everywhere, are essentially the same, then, by definition, no such thing as a "bad neighbor problem" exists.

The same egalitarian, or as the liberallala-libertarians themselves prefer call it, "humanitarian" spirit also comes to bear in their answer to the question of a libertarian strategy . In a nutshell, their advice is this: be nice and talk to everyone -- and then, in the long run, the better libertarian arguments will win out.

To illustrate, take my former-friend-turned-foe Jeffrey Tucker's five "Don'ts When Talking Liberty." They are "1) don't be belligerent; 2) don't presume hatred of liberty; 3) don't presume different goals; 4) don't presume ignorance; 5) don't regard anyone as an enemy."

Now, quite apart from the fact that Tucker does not seem to follow his own advice in his belligerent condemnation of the entire Alt-Right as liberty-hating fascists , I find his exhortations truly astounding. They may be good advice vis-à-vis people just sprung up from nowhere, without any traceable history whatsoever, but vis-à-vis real people with a recorded history they strike me as hopelessly naïve, unrealistic, and outright counterproductive in the pursuit of libertarian ends.

For I (and I assume everyone else here) know of and have met many people in my life who are ignorant, who do have different, un-libertarian goals, and who do hate liberty as understood by libertarians -- and why in the world should I not regard such people as fools or enemies? And why should I not hate and not be belligerent vis-a-vis my enemies?

As a libertarian strategy, then, Tucker's advice must be considered simply a bad joke. But surely it is good advice if one seeks entry into the State as some sort of "libertarian" advisor, and this may well explain the enthusiasm with which Tucker's "humanitarian" libertarianism has been embraced by the entire liberallala-libertarian crowd.

Outside egalitarian phantasy lands, however, in the real world, libertarians must above all be realistic and recognize from the outset, as the Alt-Right does, the inequality not just of individuals but also of different cultures as an ineradicable datum of the human existence.

We must further recognize that there exist plenty of enemies of liberty as defined by libertarianism and that they, not we, are in charge of worldly affairs; that in many parts of the contemporary world their control of the populace is so complete that the ideas of liberty and of a libertarian social order are practically unheard of or considered unthinkable (except as some idle intellectual play or mental gymnastics by a few "exotic" individuals); and that it is essentially only in the West, in the countries of Western and Central Europe and the lands settled by its people, that the idea of liberty is so deeply rooted that these enemies still can be openly challenged.

And confining our strategic considerations here only to the West, then, we can identify, pretty much as the Alt-Right has effectively done, these actors and agencies as our principal enemies.

They are, first and foremost,

the ruling elites in control of the State apparatus and in particular the "Deep State" or the so-called "Cathedral" of the military, the secret services, the central banks and the supreme courts.

As well, they include the leaders of the military-industrial complex, i.e., of nominally private firms that owe their very existence to the State as the exclusive or dominant buyer of their products, and they also include the leaders of the big commercial banks, which owe their privilege of creating money and credit out of thin air to the existence of the central bank and its role as a "lender of last resort."

They together, then, State, Big-Business and Big-Banking, form an extremely powerful even if tiny "mutual admiration society," jointly ripping off the huge mass of tax-payers and living it up big time at their expense.

The second, much larger group of enemies:

the intellectuals, educators and " educrats ," from the highest levels of academia down to the level of elementary schools and kindergartens. Funded almost exclusively, whether directly or indirectly, by the State, they, in their overwhelming majority, have become the soft tools and willing executioners in the hands of the ruling elite and its designs for absolute power and total control.

And thirdly:

the journalists of the MSM, as the docile products of the system of "public education," and the craven recipients and popularizers of government "information."

Equally important in the development of a libertarian strategy then is the immediately following next question: who are the victims ?

The standard libertarian answer to this is: the tax- payers as opposed to the tax- consumers . Yet while this is essentially correct, it is at best only part of the answer, and libertarians could learn something in this respect from the Alt-Right: because apart from the narrowly economic aspect there is also a wider cultural aspect that must be taken into account in identifying the victims.

In order to expand and increase its power, the ruling elites have been conducting for many decades what Pat Buchanan has identified as a systematic "culture war," aimed at a trans-valuation of all values and the destruction of all natural, or if you will "organic" social bonds and institutions such as families, communities, ethnic groups and genealogically related nations, so as to create an increasingly atomized populace, whose only shared characteristic and unifying bond is its common existential dependency on the State.

The first step in this direction, taken already half a century or even longer ago, was the introduction of "public welfare" and "social security." Thereby, the underclass and the elderly were turned into State-dependents and the value and importance of family and community was correspondingly diminished and weakened.

More recently, further-reaching steps in this direction have proliferated. A new "victimology" has been proclaimed and promoted. Women, and in particular single mothers, Blacks, Browns, Latinos, homosexuals, lesbians, bi- and transsexuals have been awarded "victim" status and accorded legal privileges through non-discrimination o r affirmative action decrees.

As well, most recently such privileges have been expanded also to foreign-national immigrants, whether legal or illegal, insofar as they fall into one of the just mentioned categories or are members of non-Christian religions such as Islam, for instance.

The result? Not only has the earlier mentioned "bad neighbor problem" not been avoided or solved, but systematically promoted and intensified instead. Cultural homogeneity has been destroyed, and the freedom of association, and the voluntary physical segregation and separation of different people, communities, cultures and traditions has been replaced by an all-pervasive system of forced social integration.

Moreover, each mentioned "victim" group has thus been pitted against every other, and all of them have been pitted against white, heterosexual, Christian males and in particular those married and with children as the only remaining, legally un-protected group of alleged "victimizers."

Hence, as the result of the trans-valuation of all values promoted by the ruling elites, the world has been turned upside down. The institution of a family household with father, mother and their children that has formed the basis of Western civilization, as the freest, most industrious, ingenious and all-around accomplished civilization known to mankind, i.e., the very institution and people that has done most good in human history, has been officially stigmatized and vilified as the source of all social ills and made the most heavily disadvantaged, even persecuted group by the enemy elites' relentless policy of divide et impera .

Accordingly, given the present constellation of affairs, then, any promising libertarian strategy must, very much as the Alt-Right has recognized, first and foremost be tailored and addressed to this group of the most severely victimized people.

White married Christian couples with children, in particular if they belong also to the class of tax- payers (rather than tax-consumers), and everyone most closely resembling or aspiring to this standard form of social order and organization can be realistically expected to be the most receptive audience of the libertarian message (whereas the least support should be expected to come from the legally most "protected" groups such as, for instance, single Black Muslim mothers on welfare).

Given this constellation of perpetrator-enemies vs. victims in the contemporary West, then, I can now come to the final task of trying to outline a realistic libertarian strategy for change.

The specifics of which will have to be prefaced by two general considerations.

For one,

given that the class of intellectuals from the tops of academia to the opinion-molding journalists in the MSM are funded by and firmly tied into the ruling system, i.e., that they are a part of the problem , they also should not be expected to play a major if any role in the problem's solution .

Accordingly, the so-called Hayekian strategy for social change, that envisions the spread of correct libertarian ideas starting at the top, with the leading philosophers, and then trickling down from there to journalists and finally to the great unwashed masses, must be considered fundamentally unrealistic.

Instead, any realistic libertarian strategy for change must be a populist strategy. That is, libertarians must short-circuit the dominant intellectual elites and address the masses directly to arouse their indignation and contempt for the ruling elites.

And secondly,

While the main addressees of a populist libertarian message must be indeed the just mentioned groups of dispossessed and disenfranchised native whites, I believe it to be a serious strategic error to make "whiteness" the exclusive criterion on which to base one's strategic decisions, as some strands of the Alt-Right have suggested to do.

After all, it is above all white men that make up the ruling elite and that have foisted the current mess upon us.

True enough, the various protected "minorities" mentioned before take full advantage of the legal privileges they have been accorded and they have become increasingly emboldened to ask for ever more "protection," but none of them and all of them together did not and do not possess the intellectual prowess that would have made this outcome possible, if it were not for the instrumental help that they received and are receiving from white men.

Now, taking our cues from the Buchanan-, the Paul- and the Trump-movement, on to the specifics of a populist strategy for libertarian change, in no specific order except for the very first one , which has currently assumed the greatest urgency in the public mind.

One : Stop mass immigration . The waves of immigrants currently flooding the Western world have burdened it with hordes of welfare parasites, brought in terrorists , increased crime, led to the proliferation of no-go areas and resulted in countless "bad neighbors" who, based on their alien upbringing, culture and traditions, lack any understanding and appreciation of liberty and are bound to become mindless future supporters of welfare-statism.

No one is against immigration and immigrants per se . But immigration must be by invitation only. All immigrants must be productive people and hence, be barred from all domestic welfare payments.

To ensure this, they or their inviting party must place a bond with the community in which they are to settle, and which is to be forfeited and lead to the immigrant's deportation should he ever become a public burden. As well, every immigrant, inviting party or employer should not only pay for the immigrant's upkeep or salary, but must also pay the residential community for the additional wear and tear of its public facilities associated with the immigrant's presence, so as to avoid the socialization of any and all costs incurred with his settlement.

Moreover, even before his admission, every potential immigrant invitee must be carefully screened and tested not only for his productivity but also for cultural affinity (or "good neighborliness") -- with the empirically predictable result of mostly, but by no means exclusively, western-white immigrant-candidates.

And any known communist or socialist, of any color, denomination or country of origin, must be barred from permanent settlement -- unless, that is, the community where the potential immigrant wants to settle officially sanctions the looting of its residents' property by new, foreign arrivals, which is not very likely to say the least, even within already-existing "commie" communes.

(Brief message to all Open-Border and liberallala libertarians , who will surely label this, you guessed it, " fascist ": In a fully privatized libertarian order there exists no such thing as a right to free immigration. Private property implies borders and the owner's right to exclude at will. And "public property" has borders as well. It is not unowned. It is the property of domestic tax-payers and most definitely not the property of foreigners.

(And while it is true that the State is a criminal organization and that to entrust it with the task of border control will inevitably result in numerous injustices to both domestic residents and foreigners, it is also true that the State does something also when it decides not to do anything about border control and that, under the present circumstances, doing nothing at all in this regard will lead to even more and much graver injustices, in particular to the domestic citizenry.)

Two: Stop attacking, killing and bombing people in foreign countries . A main cause, even if by no means the only one, for the current invasion of Western countries by hordes of alien immigrants, are the wars initiated and conducted in the Middle East and elsewhere by the US ruling elites and their subordinate Western puppet-elites. As well, the by now seemingly 'normal' and ubiquitous terrorist attacks in the name of Islam across the Western world are in large measure the "blow-back" of these wars and the ensuing chaos throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa.

There should be no hesitation to call these Western rulers what they are: murderers or accessories to mass murder. We must demand, and cry out loud instead for a foreign policy of strict non-interventionism. Withdraw from all international and supranational organizations such as the UN , NATO and the EU that integrate one country into the domestic affairs of another. Stop all government-to-government aid and prohibit all weapon sales to foreign States.

Let it be America First!, England First!, Germany First!, Italy First! , and so on, i.e., each country trading with one another and no one interfering in anyone else's domestic affairs.

Three: Defund the ruling elites and its intellectual bodyguards . Expose and widely publicize the lavish salaries, perks, pensions, side-deals, bribes and hush monies received by the ruling elites: by the higher-ups in government and governmental bureaucracies, of supreme courts, central banks, secret services and spy agencies, by politicians, parliamentarians, party leaders, political advisors and consultants, by crony-capitalists, "public educrats," university presidents, provosts and academic "stars." Drive home the point that all their shining glory and luxury is funded by money extorted from tax-payers, and consequently urge that any and all taxes be slashed: income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, inheritance taxes, etc., etc..

Four: End the Fed and all central banks. The second source of funding for the ruling elites, besides the money extorted from the public in the form of taxes, comes from the central banks. Central banks are allowed to create paper money out of thin air. This reduces the purchasing power of money and destroys the savings of average people. It does not and cannot make society as a whole richer, but it redistributes income and wealth within society. The earliest receivers of the newly created money, i.e., the ruling elites, are thereby made richer and the later and latest receivers, i.e., the average citizen, are made poorer.

The central bank's manipulation of interest rates is the cause of boom-bust cycles. The central bank permits the accumulation of ever greater "public debt" that is shifted as a burden onto unknown future taxpayers or is simply inflated away. And as the facilitator of public debt, the central banks are also the facilitators of wars.

This monstrosity must end and be replaced by a system of free, competitive banking built on the foundation of a genuine commodity money such as gold or silver.

Five: Abolish all " Affirmative Action " and "non-discrimination" laws and regulations . All such edicts are blatant violations of the principle of the equality before the law that, at least in the West, is intuitively sensed and recognized as a fundamental principle of justice.

As private property owners, people must be free to associate or disassociate with others: to include or exclude, to integrate or segregate, to join or separate, to unify and incorporate or to disunite, exit and secede.

Close all university departments for Black-, Latino-, Women-, Gender-, Queer-Studies, etc., etc., as incompatible with science and dismiss its faculties as intellectual imposters or scoundrels. As well, demand that all Affirmative Action commissars, Diversity and Human Resources officers, from universities on down to schools and kindergartens, be thrown out onto the street and be forced to learn some useful trade.

Six: Crush the "Anti-Fascist" Mob . The trans-valuation of all values throughout the West, the invention of ever more "victim groups," the spread of "Affirmative Action" programs and the relentless promotion of Political Correctness, has led to the rise of an "Anti-Fascist" mob. Tacitly supported and indirectly funded by the ruling elites, this self-described mob of "Social Justice Warriors" has taken upon itself the task of escalating the fight against "white privilege" through deliberate acts of terror directed against anyone and anything deemed "racist," "right-wing," "fascist," "reactionary," "incorrigible" or "unreconstructed."

Such "enemies of progress" are physically assaulted by the "anti-fascist" mob, their cars are burnt down, their properties vandalized, and their employers threatened to dismiss them and ruin their careers -- all the while the police are ordered by the powers that be to "stand down" and not to investigate the crimes committed or prosecute and punish the criminals.

In view of this outrage, public anger must be aroused and there must be clamoring, far and wide, for the police to be unleashed and this mob be beaten into submission.

(Query for liberallala-libertarians and the Stupids for Liberty, who are sure to object to this demand on the ground that the police asked to crush the "anti-fascist" mob are State -police: Do you also object, on the same grounds, that the police arrest murderers or rapists? Aren't these legitimate tasks performed also in any libertarian order by private police?

(And if the police are not to do anything about this mob, isn't it o.k. then that the target of its attacks, the "racist Right," should take the task upon itself of giving the "social justice warriors" a bloody nose?)

Seven: Crush the street criminals and gangs . In dispensing with the principle of the equality before the law and awarding all sorts of group privileges (except to the one group of married white Christian men and their families) the ruling elites have also dispensed with the principle of equal punishment for equal crime. Some State-favored groups are handed more lenient punishment for the same crime than others, and some especially favored groups are simply let run wild and go practically unpunished at all, thus actually and effectively promoting crime.

As well, no-go areas have been permitted to develop where any effort at law-enforcement has essentially ceased to exist and where violent thugs and street gangs have taken over. In view of this, public furor must be provoked and it be unmistakably demanded that the police crack-down quick and hard on any robber, mugger, rapist and murderer, and ruthlessly clear all current no-go areas of violent gang-rule.

Needless to say that this policy should be colorblind, but if it happens to be, as it in fact does, that most street criminals or gang members are young Black or Latino males or, in Europe, young immigrant males from Africa, the Middle East, the Balkans or Eastern Europe, then so be it and such human specimen then should be the ones that most prominently get their noses bloodied.

And needless to say also that in order to defend against crime, whether ordinary street crime or acts of terrorism, all prohibitions against the ownership of guns by upstanding citizens should be abolished.

Eight: Get rid of all welfare parasites and bums . To cement their own position, the Ruling Class has put the underclass on the dole and thus made it a most reliable source of public support.

Allegedly to help people rise and move up from the underclass to become self-supporting actors, the real -- and actually intended -- effect of the State's so-called "social policy" is the exact opposite. It has rendered a person's underclass status more permanent and made the underclass steadily grow (and with this also the number of tax-funded social workers and therapists assigned to "help and assist" it).

For, in accordance with inexorable economic law, every subsidy awarded on account of some alleged need or deficiency produces more, not less, of the problem that it is supposed to alleviate or eliminate.

Thus, the root cause of a person's underclass status -- his low impulse control and high time preference, i.e., his uncontrolled desire for immediate gratification -- and the various attendant manifestations of this cause, such as unemployment, poverty, alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic violence, divorce, female headed households, out-of-wedlock births, rotating shack-up male companions, child abuse, negligence and petty crime, is and are not alleviated or eliminated but systematically strengthened and promoted.

Instead of continuing and expanding this increasingly unsightly social disaster, then, it should be abolished and be loudly demanded that one take heed of the biblical exhortation that he who can, but will not work, also shall not eat, and that he who truly cannot work, due to severe mental or physical deficiencies, be taken care of by family, community and voluntary charity.

Nine: Get the State out of education. Most, if not all, social pathologies plaguing the contemporary West have their common root in the institution of "public education."

When the first steps were taken, more than two centuries ago, in Prussia, to supplement and ultimately replace a formerly completely private system of education with a universal system of compulsory "public education," the time spent in State-run schools did in most cases not exceed four years. Today, throughout the entire Western world, the time spent in institutions of "public education" is, at a minimum, around ten years, and in many cases, and increasingly so, twenty or even thirty years.

That is, a large or even the largest part of time during the most formative period in a person's life is spent in State-funded and State-supervised institutions, whose primary purpose from the very beginning it was not to raise an enlightened public, but to train "good soldiers" and "good public servants:" not independent and mature or "mündige Bürger," but subordinate and servile "Staats-Bürger."

The result? The indoctrination has worked: the longer the time a person has spent within the system of public education, the more he is committed to Leftist-egalitarian ideas and has swallowed and wholeheartedly internalized the official doctrine and agenda of Political Correctness.

Indeed, in particular among social science teachers and professors, people not counting themselves as part of the Left have practically ceased to exist.

Consequently, it must be demanded that the control of schools and universities be wrest away from the central State and, in a first step, be returned to regional or better still local and locally funded authorities, and ultimately be completely privatized, so as to replace a system of compulsory uniformity and conformity with a system of decentralized education that reflects the natural variation, multiplicity and diversity of human talents and interests.

Ten: Don't put your trust in politics or political parties . Just as academia and the academic world cannot be expected to play any significant role in a libertarian strategy for social change, so with politics and political parties -- after all, it is the ultimate goal of libertarianism to put an end to all politics, and to subject all interpersonal relations and conflicts to private law and civil law procedures.

To be sure, under present, all-pervasively politicized conditions an involvement in politics and party politics cannot be entirely avoided. However, in any such involvement one must be keenly aware of and guard against the corrupting influence of power and the lure of money and perks that comes with it.

And to minimize this risk and temptation, it is advisable to concentrate one's efforts on the level of regional and local rather than national politics, and there to promote a radical agenda of decentralization: of nullification and peaceful separation, segregation and secession.

Most importantly, however, we must take heed of Ludwig von Mises' life-motto: Do not give in to evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it.

That is, we must speak out whenever and wherever, whether in formal or informal gatherings, against anyone affronting us with by now only all-too-familiar "Politically Correct" drivel and Left-egalitarian balderdash and unmistakably say: "No. Hell no. You must be kidding."

In the meantime, given the almost complete mind-control exercised by the ruling elites, academia and the MSM, it already requires a good portion of courage to do so.

But if we are not brave enough to do so now and thus set an example for others to follow, matters will become increasingly worse and more dangerous in the future, and we, Western civilization and the Western ideas of freedom and liberty will be wiped out and vanish.

Economist Hans-Herman Hoppe , [ Email him ] author of Democracy: The God that Failed , holds annual meetings of his Property and Freedom Society in the stunningly beautiful town of Bodrum in south west Turkey. (Republished from VDare.com by permission of author or representative) Category: Ideology Tags: Alt Right , Antifa , Libertarianism , VDare Archives Hide 4 Comments Leave a Comment 4 Comments to "Libertarianism, the Alt-Right and AntiFa" Commenters to Ignore Commenters to ignore (one per line)

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FKA Max , Website October 21, 2017 at 3:52 am GMT

Good stuff!

I don't agree with everything, but generally good stuff.

Watched it a few days ago, after it was recommended here on the Unz Review by a "hardcore libertarian": http://www.unz.com/announcement/open-thread-software-bugs/#comment-2048136

In case the "hardcore libertarian" reads this comment, what do you think about this?

Libertarianism, which boils down to the non-aggression principle (NAP: The initiation of physical force against persons or property, the threat of such, or fraud upon persons or their property is inherently illegitimate) is derived from the Catholic Scholastics, most notably the School of Salamanca, who based their proto-Austrian economic theory on Natural Rights derived from Scripture and Catholic theology. Thinkers like Francisco de Vitoria, Domingo de Soto, and Francisco Suárez originated the modern concepts of libertarianism based on Catholic moral teaching and St. Thomas Aquinas's theory of natural law, which stipulates the principle, "one should do harm to no man" (Summa Theologea I-II Q. 95), a progression from the Golden Rule, professed in the Bible: "Do to others as you would have them do to you." Lk 6:31

http://thelibertariancatholic.com/summa-of-the-libertarian-catholic/

The Mont Pelerin Society was created on 10 April 1947 at a conference organized by Friedrich Hayek. Originally, it was to be named the Acton-Tocqueville Society. After Frank Knight protested against naming the group after two "Roman Catholic aristocrats" and Ludwig von Mises expressed concern that the mistakes made by Acton and Tocqueville would be connected with the society, the decision was made to name it after Mont Pèlerin, the Swiss resort where it convened.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mont_Pelerin_Society#Name

Dr. Otto von Habsburg on Religion,Politics and Education

FKA Max , Website October 21, 2017 at 6:20 am GMT
@FKA Max

5. The Wealth of Nations: Ideology, Religion, Biology, and Environment

https://mises.org/library/5-wealth-nations-ideology-religion-biology-and-environment

The Catholic Church is anti-democratic, individualistic and capable of salvation. Slavery became seen as incompatible with Christian views. Christianity upholds social cooperation. Capitalism was born in Italy – a Catholic country. Private property came to be seen as a good. The Protestant religion was the most successful in production because their puritanical work ethic was the harshest. Protestantism both strengthened the state and democracies.


Mapping one of the world's largest landowners

In Massachusetts, the state Supreme Court recently ruled that only a portion of a Catholic shrine's nearly 200 acres were used for worship purposes and therefore were exempt from paying local property tax. The shrine was sent a tax bill for $92,000.
[...]
With more than 1 billion adherents, the Catholic Church is one of the largest, if not the largest, nongovernmental landowners in the world. One estimate puts the church's holdings close to 177 million acres, or 277,000 square miles. If those properties were grouped together and placed on a list of the world's countries by land area, it would fall within the top 50, higher than both France and Spain. (Plus, it is unclear whether or not the 177 million acre figure includes land owned by affiliated institutions, such as Catholic schools and hospitals, which number in the hundreds of thousands -- if not millions -- worldwide.)

https://www.curbed.com/2017/10/18/16483194/catholic-church-gis-goodlands-esri-molly-burhans

The Wealth of Nations and Religion – Cat[h]olicism and Protestantism

Brabantian , Website October 21, 2017 at 11:55 pm GMT
A major key point made by Hans-Hermann Hoppe above, rather neglected by the Unz community here, is this:

After all, it is above all white men that make up the ruling elite and that have foisted the current mess upon us.

True enough, the various protected 'minorities' take full advantage of the legal privileges they have been accorded and they have become increasingly emboldened but none of them would have made this outcome possible, if it were not for the instrumental help that they received and are receiving from white men.

Though it is more helpful to call this problem by its most accurate name: oligarchy. And in a country that has been predominantly white, under a white oligarchy, the core pathology is obscured by an excess focus on dominant native culture versus other cultures. As Hoppe indicates, whatever faults or crimes can be ascribed to minorities / migrants, the dysfunctionality of the system is ultimately the fault of the oligarchs at the top of the social heap, who designed the system as it stands.

For those who focus on Jewish influence groups – often the preferred 'mafias' for an oligarchy, to be sure – it is nonetheless true, as Canadian rebel Jew Henry Makow points out, that Jewish influence agents, media mavens etc, are for the most part not higher than #2 in the pecking order. Even with 40% of USA billionaires being Jewish, the other 60% who are gentile, clearly are allowing Jewish groups to have what influence they do have.

A Jewish-Israeli writer who emigrated from Russia quipped, that what he found in his new life in Israel, was only the benefit that his oppressors were now other Jews rather than non-Jews. USA whites must face the fact too, their biggest oppressors are oligarch whites who don't give a shite about their less-well-connected brothers and sisters.

And the problem overall with 'libertarianism', the whole Rothbard – Ron Paul etc spectrum, is seen in the practical matter that a wing of billionaire oligarchs see the libertarians as their hired 'useful idiots'. In some cases you can see the libertarian pundits being funded by the Koch brothers etc trying to become the owners of federal land that would then be 'turned over to the free market private sector' har-har.

Though the intellectual libertarians have nice theories supporting small business and anti-monopoly etc in practice the whole free-market, no-social-benefit ideology, tends to support the crony oligarch monopolists very well.

Whereas the actual truth, as the real-life experience of Europe (in its better days, now fading) has shown, is that an intelligently-run mixed economy, with government restricting the oligarch oligopolists, and really serving its own citizens, is the way to go. The fact that the oligarchs are running the systems down and making them blow up these days, doesn't change the fact that for a brief few decades in history, Western Continental Europe achieved some aspects of paradise – little crime, almost no one in jail, a pleasant life for just about all, and zero poverty amongst legal residents.

The 'alt-right' has it more correct, 'libertarianism' is essentially a kind of clever geeky scam flying in the face of what really works.

FKA Max , Website October 22, 2017 at 12:33 am GMT
@FKA Max

Just for clarification; I shared the video of Otto von Habsburg, because he was a member of the Mont Pelerin Society , and also a devout Catholic, but he supported the "collectivist" European Union:

What is basically emerging is the European Union Otto von Habsburg envisioned
[...]
He was also a member of the Mont Pelerin Society.

http://www.unz.com/jpetras/the-middle-east-pivot/#comment-2051317

Rose and Milton Friedman on Mont Pelerin Society

"In this interview, Milton Friedman, who was awarded the 1976 Nobel Prize in Economics, describes the values, objectives, and beginnings of the Mont Pelerin Society. He explains what it was like to create a society dedicated to classical liberalism in a world where the prevailing economic views leaned towards central planning and collectivism. Since it was founded in 1947, this organization has grown and prospered; offering its members from around the world opportunities to exchange and discuss their ideas. Friedman also comments on the significant role Universidad Francisco Marroquín has played in promoting the ideals of free-market economics and the importance of protecting private property. This interview was conducted by Hoover Institution and presented at the Mont Pelerin Society meeting in London in 2002."

[Oct 21, 2017] Washington Funds Foreign Think Tanks That Blacklist Opponents of Neocon Foreign Policy by Ron Paul

I admired Ron Paul foright policy views for a along time. and this time he also did not disappointed his reader.
Soviet labeled anybody who dissented from communist propaganda line or did not believe in Communist dogma as "agents of imperialism". Neocons similarly bland and-war activists and people who question this war mongering as peddlers of "Russian propaganda". This is what often happen with victors in wars: they acquired worst features of their defeated enemies. for example to defeat the USSR the USA create powerful network of intelligence agencies. Which promptly went out of civil control in 1963, much like KGB in the USSR and became state within the state. In a way now it in now now unfeasible that the Soviet Union posthumously have won the Cold War, as it is more and more difficult to distinguish Soviet propaganda and the US government propaganda.
So the fact that the US government allocate large sums of money for the propaganda against another neoliberal state -- Russia, which represent regional threat to the US hegemonic ambitions -- tells a lot about neoliberalism as a social system. Hostilities among neoliberal states, much like hostilities between communist states are not only possible, they are the reality.
Notable quotes:
"... So what is the "European Values" think tank? A bunch of kooks? Well perhaps, but they are well-funded kooks. In fact they are funded by American taxpayers to defame other Americans who appear on media outlets that are out of favor with Washington's elites. Among the top donors to the "European Values" think tank is the United States Embassy in Prague. Other top funders include George Soros' "Open Society Foundation," the European Commission, and the European Parliament. They are also funded by other US government funded think tanks such as the Prague-based "League of Human Rights." ..."
"... How ironic that such a Soviet-style attack on political dissent in the United States was launched from Prague, which for decades suffered under the Štátna bezpečnosť -- ..."
"... "I am not here to defend RT," I said on the program tonight. I am here to defend the marketplace of ideas that is critical to a free society. I am here to defend the right of US citizens to dissent from the foreign policy of their government without being attacked by their own government -- or by foreign think tanks funded by their government. ..."
"... This should infuriate us: The US government defines anyone who dissents from its foreign policy of endless wars and a global military empire as peddlers of "Russian propaganda" and then Congress appropriates tens of million dollars to "counter Russian propaganda." ..."
"... That means the US Congress is appropriating tens of millions of our dollars to silence our objection to Washington's trillion dollar global military empire. What a scam! How anti-American! Is that not a declaration of war on the rest of us? Is that not an act of tyranny? ..."
Oct 21, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

Dear Friends of the Ron Paul Institute:

I just finished an interview on RT.

Someday soon, perhaps, anyone writing the above sentence will land in some sort of gulag, as once did East Europeans found to have appeared on a foreign broadcast questioning the historical inevitability of the worldwide communist revolution.

In my case, I was asked to comment on a new report (see above pic) from a Czech " think tank " exposing 2,327 American "useful idiots" who dared appear on the Russian government-funded RT television network.

Among the "Kremlin stooges" listed in the report of the "European Values" think tank? Alongside critics of US foreign policy like Ron Paul, the Czech "European Values" think tank listed Sen. Lindsay Graham, Joe Lieberman, Dick Cheney, US Rep. Adam Schiff, former acting CIA director Michael Morrell, former CIA director Michael Hayden, and hundreds more prominent Americans who have been notably hostile to Russia and its government.

I said: "Wow! this conspiracy is even deeper than we thought! Even the virulently anti-Russian neocons and Russia-hating CIA bigwigs are in fact Putin's poodles!"

It's funny but it's not. This is when the neo-McCarthyism lately in fashion across the ideological divide descends into the absurd. This is when the mask slips from the witch trials, when the naked emperor can no longer expect to not be noticed.

So what is the "European Values" think tank? A bunch of kooks? Well perhaps, but they are well-funded kooks. In fact they are funded by American taxpayers to defame other Americans who appear on media outlets that are out of favor with Washington's elites. Among the top donors to the "European Values" think tank is the United States Embassy in Prague. Other top funders include George Soros' "Open Society Foundation," the European Commission, and the European Parliament. They are also funded by other US government funded think tanks such as the Prague-based "League of Human Rights."

Since when did "European values" come to be defined as government-funded lists of political "enemies" who dare question US foreign policy on television networks despised by neocons and Washington interventionists? How ironic that such a Soviet-style attack on political dissent in the United States was launched from Prague, which for decades suffered under the Štátna bezpečnosť -- the communist secret police -- that took exactly the same view of those who deviated from the Soviet party line as does the modern Czech "European Values" think tank.

Anyone questioning our one trillion dollar global military empire is automatically considered to be in the pay of hostile foreign governments. How patriotic is that?

"I am not here to defend RT," I said on the program tonight. I am here to defend the marketplace of ideas that is critical to a free society. I am here to defend the right of US citizens to dissent from the foreign policy of their government without being attacked by their own government -- or by foreign think tanks funded by their government.

This should infuriate us: The US government defines anyone who dissents from its foreign policy of endless wars and a global military empire as peddlers of "Russian propaganda" and then Congress appropriates tens of million dollars to "counter Russian propaganda."

That means the US Congress is appropriating tens of millions of our dollars to silence our objection to Washington's trillion dollar global military empire. What a scam! How anti-American! Is that not a declaration of war on the rest of us? Is that not an act of tyranny?

The noose is tightening around us. Yet we must continue to fight for what we believe in! We must continue to fight for the prosperity that comes from a peaceful foreign policy. Your generous support for the Ron Paul Institute helps us continue to be your voice in the fight for free expression and a peaceful foreign policy.

[Oct 21, 2017] Dying for the Empire Is Not Heroic by Sheldon Richman

Oct 21, 2017 | original.antiwar.com

Posted on October 20, 2017 October 20, 2017 Predictably, the news media spent most of the week examining words Donald Trump may or may not have spoken to the widow of an American Green Beret killed in Niger, in northwest Africa, in early October. Not only was this coverage tedious, it was largely pointless. We know Trump is a clumsy boor, and we also know that lots of people are ready to pounce on him for any sort of gaffe, real or imagined. Who cares? It's not news. But it was useful to those who wish to distract Americans from what really needs attention: the U.S. government's perpetual war.

The media's efforts should have been devoted to exploring – really exploring – why Green Berets (and drones) are in Niger at all. ( This is typical of the establishment media's explanation.)

That subject is apparently of little interest to media companies that see themselves merely as cheerleaders for the American Empire. For them, it's all so simple: a US president (even one they despise) has put or left military forces in a foreign country – no justification required; therefore, those forces are serving their country; and that in turn means that if they die, they die as heroes who were protecting our way of life. End of story.

Thus the establishment media see no need to present a dissenting view, say, from an analyst who would question the dogma that inserting American warriors into faraway conflicts whenever a warlord proclaims his allegiance to ISIS is in the "national interest." Patriotic media companies have no wish to expose their audiences to the idea that jihadists would be no threat to Americans who were left to mind their own business.

Apparently the American people also must be shielded from anyone who might point out that the jihadist activity in Niger and neighboring Mali is directly related to the US and NATO bombing of Libya, which enabled al-Qaeda and other Muslim militants to overthrow the secular regime of Col. Muammar Qaddafi. That Obama-Clinton operation in 2011, besides producing Qaddafi's grisly murder and turning Libya into a nightmare, facilitated the transfer of weapons and fanatical guerrillas from Libya to nearby countries in the Sahel – as well as Syria. Since then the US government has been helping the French to "stabilize" its former colony Mali with surveillance drones and Green Berets based in Niger. Nice work, Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama and Secretary of State Clinton. (Citizen Trump was an early advocate of US intervention in Libya.) Need I remind you that the US/NATO regime-change operation in Libya was based on a lie ? Obama later said his failure to foresee the consequences of the Libya intervention was the biggest mistake of his presidency. (For more on the unintended consequences for the Sahel, see articles here , here , and here .)

So the media, which pretends to play a role in keeping Americans informed, have decided the people need not hear the truth behind the events in Niger. Instead, "reporters" and "analysts" perform their role as cheerleaders for the American Empire by declaring the dead men "heroes" and focusing on the tragedy that has befallen their families. Public scrutiny of the military operation is discouraged because it thought to detract from the Green Berets' heroism.

What makes them heroes? They were killed by non-Americans in a foreign land while wearing military uniforms. That's all it takes, according to the gospel of what Andrew Bacevich calls the Church of America the Redeemer and its media choir.

But are they really heroes? We can question this while feeling sorrow for the people who will never see their husbands, sons, brothers, and fathers again. Reporters and analysts who emote over alleged heroism base their claim on the dubious proposition that the men were "serving their country" and "protecting our freedom." A brief examination, however, is enough to show this is not so, although the troops, their families, and many others believe it.

First, their "country," if by this term we mean the American people, did not call them to "service," which itself a question-begging word. The source of the call was a collection of politicians and bureaucrats (including generals) who wouldn't know the public interest from a hole in the ground.

Second, US intervention in the Muslim world, which predates 9/11 and the creation of al-Qaeda and ISIS, has not made Americans safe. On the contrary, it has put them at risk, as the attacks on the World Trade Center demonstrated. Is it hard to believe that people will seek vengeance against those whose government bombs them and starves their children, as the US government did in Iraq all through the 1990s (to take just one example)?

Dying (and killing) for the Empire is not heroic. Allowing yourself to be ordered to intervene in distant conflicts you surely don't understand is not worthy of admiration. What's heroic is resisting the Empire.

Anyone who thought Trump would bring the troops back should now know better. He, of all people, is not about to give up imperial power. The Guardian quotes a former military officer saying, "Since [President] Trump took power, US forces deployed around the world have had a lot more room to maneuver. Decisions about when and what to engage have been devolved right down to unit level. Any soldier knows that if you give guys on the ground more independence, then they will be that much more aggressive and will take more risks."

At this point we can't expect the corporate media to quit propagandizing on behalf of the war state and start informing the public of the harm "their" government has inflicted abroad and at home. Fortunately, we have virtually costless access to alternative sources of information about the politicians' and military's mischief. The conundrum is that most people, having been fed a steady diet of pro-war propaganda, won't turn to those sources until they become suspicious of power.

Sheldon Richman is the executive editor of The Libertarian Institute , senior fellow and chair of the trustees of the Center for a Stateless Society , and a contributing editor at Antiwar.com . He is the former senior editor at the Cato Institute and Institute for Humane Studies, former editor of The Freeman , published by the Foundation for Economic Education , and former vice president at the Future of Freedom Foundation . His latest book is America's Counter-Revolution: The Constitution Revisited . Reprinted with permission from The Libertarian Institute .

Read more by Sheldon Richman Flags, Football, and Begged Questions – October 3rd, 2017 Operation CYA – Afghanistan – August 25th, 2017 Trump's 'Fire and Fury' Wouldn't Be the First for North Korea – August 11th, 2017 Truman, A-Bombs, and the Killing of Innocents – August 6th, 2017 The American Way of War – July 2nd, 2017

[Oct 19, 2017] The U.S. Military - Pampered, Safe And Very Scared

Oct 19, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

The U.S. military is a socialist paradise :

Service members and their families live for free on base. People living off base are given a stipend to cover their housing costs. They shop in commissaries and post exchanges where prices for food and basic goods are considerably lower than at civilian stores. Troops and their families count on high-quality education and responsive universal health care. They expect to be safe at home, as bases, on average, have less violence than American cities of comparable size. And residents enjoy a wide range of amenities -- not just restaurants and movie theaters but fishing ponds, camp sites, and golf courses built for their use.

Of course, some bases are better than others. But even the most austere provides a comprehensive network of social welfare provisions and a safety net that does not differentiate between a junior employee and an executive.

For those who stay on, the military provides a generous retirement pay .

"But life in the military is dangerous!"

Not so.

According to a 2012 study by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (AFHSC) the risk to ones life is lower for soldiers than for civilians:

In the past two decades ( which include two periods of intense combat operations ), the crude overall mortality rate among U.S. service members was 71.5 per 100,000 [person-years] . In 2005, in the general U.S. population, the crude overall mortality rate among 15-44 year olds was 127.5 per 100,000 p-yrs

The huge difference is quite astonishing. The death rate for soldiers would still have been lower than for civilians if the U.S. had started another medium size war:

If the age-specific mortality rates that affected the U.S. general population in 2005 had affected the respective age-groups of active component military members throughout the period of interest for this report, there would have been approximately 13,198 (53%) more deaths among military members overall.

Those working in the U.S. military, even when the U.S. is at war, have a quite pampered life with lots of benefits. They have less risk to their lives than their civilian peers. But when some soldier dies by chance, the announcements speak of "sacrifice". The fishermen, transport and construction workers, who have the highest occupational death rates , don't get solemn obituaries and pompous burials .

There may be occasions where soldiers behave heroic and die for some good cause. But those are rather rare incidents. The reports thereof are at times manipulated for propaganda purposes.

The U.S. military spends more than a billion per year on advertisement. It spends many uncounted millions on hidden information operations. These are not designed to influence an enemy but the people of the United States. In recent years the U.S. military and intelligence services have scripted or actively influenced 1,800 Hollywood and TV productions. Many of the top-rated movie scripts pass through a military censorship office which decides how much 'production assistance' the Department of Defense will provide for the flick.

A rather schizophrenic aspect of its safe life is the military's fear. Despite being cared for and secure, the soldiers seem to be a bunch of scaredy-cats. The military's angst is very ambiguous. It meanders from issue to issue. This at least to various headlines:

Members of the U.S. military live quite well. They are safe. Their propaganda depicts them as heroes. At the same time we are told that they are a bunch of woosies who fear about anything one can think of.

I find that a strange contradiction.

/snark

Posted by b on October 19, 2017 at 12:32 PM | Permalink

Don Bacon | Oct 19, 2017 12:40:38 PM | 1

remember--
"October 13 - 8 Out Of 10 Will Only Read This Headline"
not pampered, but I assume that's a tongue in cheek argument. Live under the rules of a tyrant and call yourself pampered.

Posted by: Stryker | Oct 19, 2017 1:01:21 PM | 2

not pampered, but I assume that's a tongue in cheek argument.
Live under the rules of a tyrant and call yourself pampered.

Posted by: Stryker | Oct 19, 2017 1:01:21 PM | 2 /div

StephenLaudig | Oct 19, 2017 1:15:57 PM | 3
The US military.... losing wars since 1946 [unless you count Panama and/or Grenada]... But in fairness it was tasked with wars that were, by their nature, unwinnable wars. One of the 'grand lessons' of the 20th and 21st centuries is that empires will [almost] always lose wars. The American Empire will lose wars until it runs out of money and then it will quit. All the US needs is a border patrol and a coast guard. All the rest is imperial impedimenta.
la Cariatide | Oct 19, 2017 1:19:49 PM | 4
where do i sign to join american socialist dream?
john | Oct 19, 2017 1:21:01 PM | 5
Their propaganda depicts them as heroes

their suicide rate depicts them as conflicted.

Stryker | Oct 19, 2017 1:23:00 PM | 6
try Venezuela, the United States is of America, it's not America. The "dreamers" all trying to get here.
Ian | Oct 19, 2017 1:23:48 PM | 7
The amenities are good but the pay is low, and health care for veterans is below par.
mischi | Oct 19, 2017 1:26:29 PM | 8
the best soldiers the world has ever seen, like they like to call themselves. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
Joe | Oct 19, 2017 1:39:26 PM | 9
Please don't confuse the fears of a lowly enlisted guy, like I used to be, with the published "fears" intended only to extract moar taxpayer dollars....
Burt | Oct 19, 2017 1:43:26 PM | 10
I thought North Korea had a pampered army treated better than the civilian population. Isn't that an Axis of Evil thing?
mena | Oct 19, 2017 1:43:48 PM | 11
Well, and except for the whole Bill of Rights thing. But I guess that's a different conversation.
Of course, the Free Market ideal is to replace as many soldiers with private mercenaries as possible, as they did in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Oct 19, 2017 2:03:05 PM | 12

Of course, the Free Market ideal is to replace as many soldiers with private mercenaries as possible, as they did in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Oct 19, 2017 2:03:05 PM | 12 /div

Piotr Berman | Oct 19, 2017 2:15:40 PM | 13
Honestly, the military exists to respond to "threats", and that entails identifying those threats. The impact of volcano eruptions on jet planes is very real, to give one example, so it is rational to develop options when you cannot use such planes. And so on. I should read "The Airforce 4 biggest fears", just beforehand, I would guess budget cuts are number one. But expenditures imposed by morons in Congress should also be considered. That makes me curious what is number 3 and number 4.
ben | Oct 19, 2017 2:17:18 PM | 14
"Members of the U.S. military live quite well. They are safe. Their propaganda depicts them as heroes."

Not quite as good as depicted b, but, none the less, quite better than the average workers in the U$A today.

IMO, the true heroes in the U$A today are the many workers who struggle daily on minimum wage, to provide for their family's welfare with no job security, and no health care..

james | Oct 19, 2017 2:29:40 PM | 15
b, did you get some kick back for this promotional ad for the us armed forces? i hope so!

@6 stryker. i always get a kick out of when it is referred to as 'america' as if the usa is as big as many in the country think it is! meanwhile us lowly others who inhabit the 'americas' don't get much of a mention...

NemesisCalling | Oct 19, 2017 2:46:06 PM | 16
Even though I have a brother in the Navy who joined because of the shit economy, let me play on the devil's side here, even though I gemerally agree with you.

Ideally, these types of benefits would be welcomed by any country who were legitimately proud of their military. It just so happens that the military we are talking about here is the empire's world police. It really ISN'T the US military any longer, although it takes our cash this way and that for "defense" spending. Although down the list when it comes to defense spending as a per centage of GDP, the US still spends wayyyyyyyy too much. So we are altogether looking at a weird-ass example, b, and although you may be right when it comes to the pussification of our military, I look at it differently for two reasons: 1) as stated above, the US military is unique in their role for the empire; this has created the immense problem of explaining or warranting their existence in faraway lands for almost no discernible reasons. A scattered and bungling approach, meanwhile being stretched way too far, means certain morale and training issues; and 2) it is also a generational thing which ties into the shit economy run by technocratic elites who don't give one iota of a care for the lesser classes which they have massacred through globalization.

So while I think you are in the right to help deconstruct the myth of American military might, I would argue that it is a moot point really and the table is already set for the whole MIC pertaining to US spending to come crashing down once the economy goes tits up. After that, god only knows if militaries will even be useful. In the end, it is difficult for an American like myself to really see the purpose of a military adventure force due to our geographical location. OTOH, a soldier in India looking out from his post over Kashmir might know exactly his worth now and for the future.

Just Sayin' | Oct 19, 2017 2:50:56 PM | 17
The fears of the US Military are the best fears that money can buy.

USA! USA! USA!
Number 1!!!!!!!

notlurking | Oct 19, 2017 2:51:46 PM | 18
I stopped watching most of the war movies dealing with ME conflicts.....a lot of propaganda bullshit.....
Liam | Oct 19, 2017 2:59:43 PM | 19
#MeToo – A Course In Deductive Reasoning: Separating Fact From Fiction Through The Child Exploitation Of 8 Year Old Bana Alabed

https://clarityofsignal.com/2017/10/19/metoo-a-course-in-deductive-reasoning-separating-fact-from-fiction-through-the-child-exploitation-of-8-year-old-bana-alabed/

b | Oct 19, 2017 3:07:51 PM | 20
I now added the /snark tag to the post. Seems necessary ...
S Brennan | Oct 19, 2017 3:09:51 PM | 21
"the crude overall mortality rate among U.S. service members was 71.5 per 100,000 [person-years]. In 2005, in the general U.S. population, the crude overall mortality rate among 15-44 year olds was 127.5 per 100,000 p-yrs"

Roughly two-thirds of all DOD active-duty military personnel were ages 30 or younger in 2015. Only about one-in-ten (9%) were older than 40.*

Compared to**:

15 to 19 years 20,219,890 7.2
20 to 24 years 18,964,001 6.7
25 to 34 years 39,891,724 14.2
35 to 44 years 45,148,527 16.0

So, the disproportionality of the age groups in the cited example would more than account for mortality.

Additionally, massive injuries including dismemberment, permanent brain damage and paralysis are not accounted for. That misrepresentation goes further than the general reader is aware, battlefield casualties that were once fatal are now, though initial response, being treated and the Soldier/Marine returned to society.***

* http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/13/6-facts-about-the-u-s-military-and-its-changing-demographics/

** https://www.infoplease.com/us/comprehensive-census-data-state/demographic-statistics-342

*** http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/war_stories/2004/12/iraq_2004_looks_like_vietnam_1966.html

WorldBLee | Oct 19, 2017 3:17:22 PM | 22
#7 - I agree, the pay for enlisted soldiers is low and VA healthcare doesn't want to treat many chemical issues soldiers get from being around depleted uranium, toxic burn pits, etc. Still, it's a much better life than those bombed by them experience!
Stryker | Oct 19, 2017 3:37:58 PM | 23
@15 James, thanks for the feedback, not too many picking up on that yet.
karlof1 | Oct 19, 2017 3:38:54 PM | 24
The intellectual quality of the Outlaw US Empire's military serfs is reflected in their inability to see that the government they're in service to is the #1 Domestic threat to the Constitution they swore to uphold and protect, with the so-called Deep State tied to it like a shadow.
ken | Oct 19, 2017 3:57:56 PM | 25
A 1st Lieutenant over 3 years makes $4,682 base pay. Thats $30 per hour on average. That is well above most civilian pay. Then many businesses hand them a 10-15% discount.

A Sergeant over 3 5 years makes $2,725 base pay. That's about $17.50 per hour... Not so bad.

Then the get BAS (Meals) $246 for Officers and $347 for enlisted. BAH (Housing) $1291 per month Enlisted. They're hiding the Officers amount.

Then kick in free medical. No Obamacare for them!

And God only know the pension they get after 20 or 30 years. I knew a person receiving a military pension and a Post Office pension. The Post Office is very partial to military and dependents. Almost impossible to work for them full time as a civilian. My wife went to take the 'test' and was told she didn't stand a chance as there were too many military retirees vying for the job.

When I went in the Military in 1967 I made $78 per month. When I got out in 1978 I made $700 per month.

All government workers including military on average make more then civilian counterparts.

What's maddening is when I hear them poor boy everyone. Calling, wanting money for the military or cops.

Debsisdead | Oct 19, 2017 4:24:54 PM | 26
Aha! A hint of how the pampered rapists were left exposed in Niger. According to that bastion of oppression, truth and the amerikan way, Foreign Policy DOT com, the government of Chad is somewhat discomfited by the inclusion of Chad on the most recent iteration of Trump's 'Muslim Ban' list. Hah, Chad is pissed at the latest moronity from Agent Orange eh, at least they have a coupla followers of Islam there, imagine how the population of Venezuela feel since last time anyone looked those Venezuelans who still bought into old wives' tales were prostrating themselves in front of two chunks of wood attached in two dimensional perpendicularity I.E. a cruciform.

Still Chad is pissed and you can hardly blame 'em as for more than 60 years the Chad army has performed vital step & fetchit roles for advancing amerikan and french imperial interests - raping and looting villages from Maghreb to the Sahel, from Nigeria through to Mali whenever it seemed the innate right of amerika to plunder whatever pleases them was being questioned.

From assorted tidbits on offer from the usual corrupt sources, we are told that the band of butchers were visiting a village in Niger to provide a 'pep talk' on anti-terror. when they were attacked by as yet unnamed terrorists; apart from the notion that any group of indigenous persons who attack a gang of armed foreign invaders could ever be called terrorists there is a further irony - the pentagon also asserts that there was no indication of prior 'terrorist activity' in the area where the village was located. If that is correct WTF were amerikan troops going there to provide 'anti-terrorist' information for?

This previously pristine region suddenly filled with alleged 'terrorists' who then proceeded to lay waste to the squad of imperial invaders. Since we know now that this was right after Chad's government, pissed at their inclusion on 'The List' , pulled its mercenary forces out of Niger, it would be fair to surmise that it was they, the Chad gang, who had been keeping the world safe for global exploitation in Niger, but that DC, not wishing to acknowledge the 'muslim ban' had caused such a major screw up, chose to ignore that reality and continued to send it's thugs out to 'disseminate information'.

"This wasn't in the brochure" whined one enabler of empire as he choked out his final words.

Fernando Arauxo | Oct 19, 2017 4:34:32 PM | 27
The USA's armed forces are deadly. We may mock them and while it is true, they don't "win" wars. However the damage they wreak is horrendous, the Armed Forces when unleashed will cause more damage than the mongols. People seem to forget the wars the USA did "win". It's wiped it's ass with the Dominican Republic and Haiti many times. Africa, Asia and Europe suffers under the boot of the G.I.
They don't win, but they don't really "lose" either.
Jagger | Oct 19, 2017 4:43:46 PM | 28
I was trying to figure out the purpose of this article. Since the author didn't list the downsides of serving in the military, I will assume the author has never actually served in the military. My suggestion would be for the author to join as soon as possible to gain access to that great military life and all those fantasic benefits. And since the author believes they are a force of wussies and scaredy-cats, the author should not have any problems getting in. Of course, after the author has spent his third tour humping the boonies in Afghanistan, survived his umpteenth road-side bomb or small arms ambush, should be interesting to see if he turns into a 20 year man so he can fully enjoy the good life.

The article was too one-sided, shallow and exaggerated to be written by anyone but a troll. Waste of time to read it.

Anonymous | Oct 19, 2017 4:57:18 PM | 29
Game over in Syria. After tripartite talks (Syria, Kurds, Russia) at al Qamishli over the Kurdish issue and the US bases in Syria, the Kurds have transferred control of the large Conoco oil facility to Russian ground forces. The Kurds now have no control of oil for financing the so-called 'state'. It looks like they have seen the US casting the Iragi Kurds aside and wondered - 'will the same happen to us?' and gone for the negotiated solution. No wonder Shoigu and Putin have gone on record as saying the Syria issue is nearly over.

http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/10/syrians-russians-and-kurds-discuss.html

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/breaking-russian-troops-take-control-key-gas-field-kurdish-forces-deir-ezzor/

gepay | Oct 19, 2017 5:01:41 PM | 30
I wonder if you included suicides or disability post service. WWI the military introduced metal helmets and mortality went down but brain injuries increased. My understanding is that brain injuries due to IED are very common. I would imagine the majority of soldiers returning from a war zone come home maimed in body/and or mind.

As the son of a 20+ year Army vet, I know these perks have been there for a long time. They were necessary to attract anybody before WW2. I imagine they have increased with the volunteer military. Mostly the Army is populated with the more competent people from the lower strata of American society. They have a choice of working at a fast food, convenience store, or motel along the interstate - or the Army - oh yeah being a prison guard is also an option as the burgeoning American prison population is housed in low income rural areas.

I imagine there is bloat in the officer corps - most of those golf courses you mentioned are for officers only. These officers are mainly not coming from low income families. The real bloat though, is in the military contractors - Eisenhower's military-industrial complex with an added national security complex. Amazing how the US has gone from being basically isolationist before WW2 to the militaristic society of today. The US military is the bitch enforcer for global elite. The police are being increasingly militarized. Many of them trained by those human rights paragons - the Israelis.

Just Sayin' | Oct 19, 2017 5:17:18 PM | 31
Amazing how the US has gone from being basically isolationist before WW2 to the militaristic society of today.

Posted by: gepay | Oct 19, 2017 5:01:41 PM | 30

LOL Seriously?

This is only a partial list of US military actions in foreign countries. This list only covers the 50 years from 1890 to WW2

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


ARGENTINA 1890 Troops Buenos Aires interests protected.
CHILE 1891 Troops Marines clash with nationalist rebels.
HAITI 1891 Troops Black revolt on Navassa defeated.
IDAHO 1892 Troops Army suppresses silver miners' strike.
HAWAII 1893 (-?) Naval, troops Independent kingdom overthrown, annexed.
CHICAGO 1894 Troops Breaking of rail strike, 34 killed.
NICARAGUA 1894 Troops Month-long occupation of Bluefields.
CHINA 1894-95 Naval, troops Marines land in Sino-Japanese War
KOREA 1894-96 Troops Marines kept in Seoul during war.
PANAMA 1895 Troops, naval Marines land in Colombian province.
NICARAGUA 1896 Troops Marines land in port of Corinto.
CHINA 1898-1900 Troops Boxer Rebellion fought by foreign armies.
PHILIPPINES 1898-1910 (-?) Naval, troops Seized from Spain, killed 600,000 Filipinos
CUBA 1898-1902 (-?) Naval, troops Seized from Spain, still hold Navy base.
PUERTO RICO 1898 (-?) Naval, troops Seized from Spain, occupation continues.
GUAM 1898 (-?) Naval, troops Seized from Spain, still use as base.
MINNESOTA 1898 (-?) Troops Army battles Chippewa at Leech Lake.
NICARAGUA 1898 Troops Marines land at port of San Juan del Sur.
SAMOA 1899 (-?) Troops Battle over succession to throne.
NICARAGUA 1899 Troops Marines land at port of Bluefields.
IDAHO 1899-1901 Troops Army occupies Coeur d'Alene mining region.
OKLAHOMA 1901 Troops Army battles Creek Indian revolt.
PANAMA 1901-14 Naval, troops Broke off from Colombia 1903, annexed Canal Zone; Opened canal 1914.
HONDURAS 1903 Troops Marines intervene in revolution.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 1903-04 Troops U.S. interests protected in Revolution.
KOREA 1904-05 Troops Marines land in Russo-Japanese War.
CUBA 1906-09 Troops Marines land in democratic election.
NICARAGUA 1907 Troops "Dollar Diplomacy" protectorate set up.
HONDURAS 1907 Troops Marines land during war with Nicaragua
PANAMA 1908 Troops Marines intervene in election contest.
NICARAGUA 1910 Troops Marines land in Bluefields and Corinto.
HONDURAS 1911 Troops U.S. interests protected in civil war.
CHINA 1911-41 Naval, troops Continuous occupation with flare-ups.
CUBA 1912 Troops U.S. interests protected in civil war.
PANAMA 1912 Troops Marines land during heated election.
HONDURAS 1912 Troops Marines protect U.S. economic interests.
NICARAGUA 1912-33 Troops, bombing 10-year occupation, fought guerillas
MEXICO 1913 Naval Americans evacuated during revolution.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 1914 Naval Fight with rebels over Santo Domingo.
COLORADO 1914 Troops Breaking of miners' strike by Army.
MEXICO 1914-18 Naval, troops Series of interventions against nationalists.
HAITI 1914-34 Troops, bombing 19-year occupation after revolts.
TEXAS 1915 Troops Federal soldiers crush "Plan of San Diego" Mexican-American rebellion
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 1916-24 Troops 8-year Marine occupation.
CUBA 1917-33 Troops Military occupation, economic protectorate.
WORLD WAR I 1917-18 Naval, troops Ships sunk, fought Germany for 1 1/2 years.
RUSSIA 1918-22 Naval, troops Five landings to fight Bolsheviks
PANAMA 1918-20 Troops "Police duty" during unrest after elections.
HONDURAS 1919 Troops Marines land during election campaign.
YUGOSLAVIA 1919 Troops/Marines intervene for Italy against Serbs in Dalmatia.
GUATEMALA 1920 Troops 2-week intervention against unionists.
WEST VIRGINIA 1920-21 Troops, bombing Army intervenes against mineworkers.
TURKEY 1922 Troops Fought nationalists in Smyrna.
CHINA 1922-27 Naval, troops Deployment during nationalist revolt.
MEXICO 1923 Bombing
HONDURAS 1924-25 Troops
PANAMA 1925 Troops Marines suppress general strike.
CHINA 1927-34 Troops Marines stationed throughout the country.
EL SALVADOR 1932 Naval Warships send during Marti revolt.

-------------
You know, I hear they have this new-fangled thing call "The Internet" now.
The hipster kids tell me you can actually connect to it and do things like research a statement before you go and say something stupid.
Can't make head nor tail of it myself, but the local hipster voung 'uns swear by it

ToivoS | Oct 19, 2017 5:28:30 PM | 32
In terms of the most dangerous occupations b seemed to have omitted loggers. From life insurance data published about 30 years ago the most dangerous occupations are (number of deaths per 100,000):

commercial fishermen (about 100)
loggers (70-80)
construction workers (20+)
taxi drivers and 24 hour store clerks (~10)
fire fighters (5)
policemen (4)

With policemen the leading cause of occupational fatalities are from traffic accidents. Every time, any where in the US if a cop is shot by a criminal it becomes front page news across the entire country and their funerals are attended by hundreds of uniformed cops to great press fanfare. This is followed by outpouring of press discussion about the horrible dangers our policemen are exposed to.

Edward | Oct 19, 2017 5:41:16 PM | 33
If you look at battlefield injuries, the picture is not so good; in the Iraq occupation, injuries were often debilitating but not fatal. One also has to worry about being poisoned by burn pits or uranium. The military people who are truly pampered, with a royal lifestyle, are the generals.

Another American group that receives special privileges is the police. Have you heard of the law enforcement bill of rights?

This military socialism resembles Israeli socialism. A technique the Israeli state uses to grant benefits to Israeli Jews and deny them to Palestinians is to tie the benefits to military service which is denied to Palestinians. As a result, Israeli Palestinians pay more taxes but receive less benefits then Israeli Jews.

Just Sayin' | Oct 19, 2017 6:21:27 PM | 34
One of the many "Socialist" benefits on offer to members of the USMilitary

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/apr/19/genital-injuries-taliban-ieds

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/13/health/genital-injuries-among-us-troops.html


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

This military socialism resembles Israeli socialism. A technique the Israeli state uses to grant benefits to Israeli Jews and deny them to Palestinians is to tie the benefits to military service which is denied to Palestinians. As a result, Israeli Palestinians pay more taxes but receive less benefits then Israeli Jews.

Posted by: Edward | Oct 19, 2017 5:41:16 PM | 33

Nationalist and Socialist?

A bit of a mouthful, maybe someone should come up with a snappy acronym for it. . . .

wonder what they'd call it?

ERing46Z | Oct 19, 2017 6:23:14 PM | 35
"b" You just way out of your way to beat up the military. SO. The reason the "mortality rate" is so much lower is because better than 98% of us are not only armed, but are private fire arms owners at our homes and the criminal world knows that BUT YOU WENT OUT OF YOUR WAY TO IGNORE THAT! YOU "b" just took your credibility off the cliff, complete with a "snark" all the way to the rocks below. Yes, I served on SECARMY Staff in the E Ring at the Pentagon. So, "been there" all the way to the end. Deployments, sand, live fire convoys and all.
blues | Oct 19, 2017 6:26:34 PM | 36
Every dozen or whatever months I get this spam phone call from this big booming American voice asking me if I would be good enough to contribute to a charity for medical care and/or support of the loved ones of police officers slain or injured while on duty. It's pretty much sort of a shake down, since they do have my number.

This pisses me way off!

So I politely explain to them that my cat, Curly, has severe epilepsy and I must spend $2,000 a month for this Vimpat medicine to keep Curly from having dreadful seizures. So of course I have no leftover money for charity.

Screw them!

<== Jagger | Oct 19, 2017 4:43:46 PM | 28
Yup. Don't waste any more time reading this. (You didn't read the fine print on your auto insurance either, did you?)

Boyo | Oct 19, 2017 6:36:56 PM | 37
One day when the dollar fails and is no longer the petro dollar, then the military cuts will happen like the old USSR. This may be sooner than later after how Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia, Hezbollah and others stuck together in Syria and now Iraq.

This has scared the shit out of the Saudis. The Saudi king ran to Russia to meet with Putin. The petrodollars days are numbered.

Just Sayin' | Oct 19, 2017 6:38:08 PM | 38
Deployments, sand, live fire convoys and all.

Posted by: ERing46Z | Oct 19, 2017 6:23:14 PM | 35

Balls too?

Peter AU 1 | Oct 19, 2017 6:41:45 PM | 39
Good post b.
Looks like the yanks are out in force justifying/finding excuses for the numbers.
james | Oct 19, 2017 7:06:57 PM | 40
all those innocent people, not to mentioned the armed forces people being exposed to depleted uranium, and none of them are a statistic.. thank you barbaric usa..anyone who thinks the usa looks after their vets- i don't think so...
karlof1 | Oct 19, 2017 7:19:56 PM | 41
james @40--

One only need view the film Born on the Fourth of July to learn how vets were treated then and now. My partner's dad has a host of ailments, PTSD amongst them, and ought to be in a VA Nursing Home, but they are almost nonexistent nowadays--they were once called Old Soldiers Homes.

Jackrabbit | Oct 19, 2017 7:48:22 PM | 42
b, your post raises many good questions.

At what point does a military become mercenaries, out for their own good? Who has incentive to make them mercenaries? How can we tell when a military has been compromised? How can society guard against the slippery slope? Etc.

Peter AU 1 | Oct 19, 2017 8:17:07 PM | 43
United States of America = Americans?
In Europe, none of the countries are called Europe and the people collectivly are called Eropeans.
In Asia, no country has the name Asia, but collectivly the people are called Asians.
In Africa, South Africa has Africa in its name, and the people of South Africa a called South africans. Easy to say and people who live in Africa a collectively Africans.
The Americas. Only one country has America in its name, but who the fuck is going to say "United States of Americans" when refering to the arseholes that inhabit the place. Much easier to just say Americans, Canadians, Venezuelans - whatever.
Josh Stern | Oct 19, 2017 8:32:18 PM | 44
How do the life expectancies of adult an adult 'A', 'B', or 'C' compare? Who is most likely to be murdered soonest by Heine gang? Hard to know...most A's are off the map, shut off from any large scale publicity or commerce or media coverage. While the status of 'B' and 'C' is secret. Heine gang shortens the life expectancy of all in a significant way, but I don't know how the current stats would play out.
Edward | Oct 19, 2017 8:53:54 PM | 45
@34 Just Sayin,

That comparison gets made more often these days. In some ways the Israelis are worse then the Nazis.

peter | Oct 19, 2017 9:07:46 PM | 46
I guess if it's a country you like the soldiers are patriotic and morally upright.

If you don't like the country then they're all low-life scum looking for a free ride.

Debsisdead | Oct 19, 2017 10:17:22 PM | 47
The nonsense has started again. I have posted the same epistle twice and both times the missive has disappeared into the black hole, I shan't do it again until I'm certain the original has gone forever -in the meantime no one should be surprised if they both suddenly reappear.
barrisj | Oct 19, 2017 10:53:46 PM | 48
OK. give the reprobate Donald credit (maybe)...he was quoted in saying to the dead soldier's mum: "It's what he signed up for...",blah,blah. But, the Donald called it: Special Forces are nothing but trained assassination teams...they go in, off their target, fly out, end of story. Only this time, the buggers got caught with their shorts down, and...casualties...oh, boo-hoo. All these young bodies that sign up for the US military some time in their enlistment will be posted to "bases" that they didn't even realise existed. And so they get educated, really fast. Then those who go further in their military careers decide to go for the "elite" units: hard-core training, propaganda, "know your enemy",how to murder stealthily, etc. Then, after many "kills", they themselves get capped...it's how the game is played, yo. So, bottom-line - Trump let out the BIG secret: "We" kill, and should expect to be killed in return...who can cavil with that?
J Swift | Oct 19, 2017 11:07:32 PM | 49
@34 Just Sayin,
I'm still chuckling....

@42 Jackrabbit,
This is hugely important. Ditching the draft in the '70's wasn't for any altruistic reason, nor to make the US military "more professional." In draft days, even though most wealthy families could buy their way out of being impacted, a significant cross section of the citizenry could expect to find themselves contributing their pride and joy to some crazy war effort in some far off place. There had better be a damn good reason for it. One of the big lessons the Establishment learned from Vietnam was that even the terminally passive American people could become violently anti-war when it was a life or death situation for them personally. So the move was made to an "all volunteer" force, which would generally draw from a less politically powerful cross section, and there would automatically be less bitching because "those guys wanted to go fight--that's what they signed up for." And as Jackrabbit points out, haven't indeed you at least started down the road to mercenary when your current army must admit they're there for the money, and maybe the promise of adventure, not because they were drafted and just fulfilling their duty as a citizen and eager to get home to the plow?

This is doubly troubling, because now your soldiers are vastly more mercenary than before (and of course will be recruited as true mercenaries upon ETS to meet the growing demand for true mercs), but are fewer and more socially isolated, so they are getting 3, 4, MORE tours in some sand pit where they are basically a walking target and are rightly hated as foreign occupiers, so even the best of them cannot help but become resentful and sociopathic. But at the same time, the Deep State has divorced the military from the citizenry at large, so citizens care less and less how many wars the US is engaged in, how many destroyed young men come home, and not only does protest of wars evaporate, warfare is mythically transformed into something heroic and to be desired, not feared. All empires have gradually been forced to employ more and more mercenaries (or slaves) to maintain their wars, but it never ends well.

[Oct 16, 2017] President Trump Beats War Drums For Iran by Ron Paul

Notable quotes:
"... Nearly every assertion in the president's speech was embarrassingly incorrect. Iran is not allied with al-Qaeda, as the president stated. The money President Obama sent to Iran was their own money. Much of it was a down-payment made to the US for fighter planes that were never delivered when Iran changed from being friend to foe in 1979. The president also falsely claims that Iran targets the United States with terrorism. He claims that Iran has "fueled sectarian violence in Iraq," when it was Iranian militias who prevented Baghdad from being overtaken by ISIS in 2014. There are too many other false statements in the president's speech to mention. ..."
"... Unfortunately the American people are being neoconned into another war. Just as with the disastrous 2003 US attack on Iraq, the media builds up the fear and does the bidding of the warmongers without checking facts or applying the necessary skepticism to neocon claims. ..."
Oct 16, 2017 | www.unz.com

President Trump has been notoriously inconsistent in his foreign policy. He campaigned on and won the presidency with promises to repair relations with Russia, pull out of no-win wars like Afghanistan, and end the failed US policy of nation-building overseas. Once in office he pursued policies exactly the opposite of what he campaigned on. Unfortunately Iran is one of the few areas where the president has been very consistent. And consistently wrong.

In the president's speech last week he expressed his view that Iran was not "living up to the spirit" of the 2015 nuclear agreement and that he would turn to Congress to apply new sanctions to Iran and to, he hopes, take the US out of the deal entirely.

Nearly every assertion in the president's speech was embarrassingly incorrect. Iran is not allied with al-Qaeda, as the president stated. The money President Obama sent to Iran was their own money. Much of it was a down-payment made to the US for fighter planes that were never delivered when Iran changed from being friend to foe in 1979. The president also falsely claims that Iran targets the United States with terrorism. He claims that Iran has "fueled sectarian violence in Iraq," when it was Iranian militias who prevented Baghdad from being overtaken by ISIS in 2014. There are too many other false statements in the president's speech to mention.

How could he be so wrong on so many basic facts about Iran? Here's a clue: the media reports that his number one advisor on Iran is his Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley. Ambassador Haley is a "diplomat" who believes war is the best, first option rather than the last, worst option. She has no prior foreign policy experience, but her closest mentor is John Bolton – the neocon who lied us into the Iraq war. How do these people live with themselves when they look around at the death and destruction their policies have caused?

Unfortunately the American people are being neoconned into another war. Just as with the disastrous 2003 US attack on Iraq, the media builds up the fear and does the bidding of the warmongers without checking facts or applying the necessary skepticism to neocon claims.

Like most Americans, I do not endorse Iran's style of government. I prefer religion and the state to be separate and even though our liberties have been under attack by our government, I prefer our much freer system in the US. But I wonder how many Americans know that Iran has not attacked or "regime-changed" another country in its modern history. Iran's actions in Syria are at the invitation of the legitimate Syrian government. And why won't President Trump tell us the truth about Iranian troops in Syria – that they are fighting ISIS and al-Qaeda, both of which are Sunni extremist groups that are Iran's (and our) mortal enemies?

How many Americans know that Iran is one of the few countries in the region that actually holds elections that are contested by candidates with very different philosophies? Do any Americans wonder why the Saudis are considered one of our greatest allies in the Middle East even though they hold no elections and have one of the world's worst human rights records?

Let's be clear here: President Trump did not just announce that he was "de-certifying" Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal. He announced that Iran was from now on going to be in the bullseye of the US military. Will Americans allow themselves to be lied into another Middle East war?

Jim Christian , October 16, 2017 at 4:31 pm GMT

"Will Americans allow themselves to be lied into another Middle East war?"

The die was cast the minute they ended the draft and mandatory service. What the hell does anyone in this country care about the next war? Maybe some realize it's a theft, a looting, but as long as it isn't THEIR blood being spilt, nothing goes nuclear, they don't care. Few outside our little venue here even understand, they think it's still Rah! Rah! And then, I suppose if I were in Congress, I might demand votes on these deals. Civilian control of the military, funding the wars, etc. Of course, if I pushed the point, they'd put a bullet in my HEAD . Just because. And headline me, my Mistress and my wife on the front page of the Post. Because NSA just KNOWS shit. Probably set me up with my Mistress to begin with so they'd have something on me, heh. This is the dilemma the Hill has on a personal level. We don't vote on wars, we gave em a blank check after 9/11 and that's that. Keeping it all going? That's all private. None-ya.

No one can talk about it, they just do it.

[Oct 11, 2017] The Myths of Interventionists by Daniel Larison

Notable quotes:
"... There are dangers and threats in the world, but all of the threats from state actors are manageable and deterrable without spending more on the military, and these threats are much less severe than anything the U.S. faced between the 1940s and the end of the Cold War. The U.S. can and should get by safely with a much lower level of military spending, and our government should also adopt a strategy of restraint that keeps us out of unnecessary wars. ..."
"... The Iraq war is just the most obvious example of how the U.S. forcibly intervenes in other parts of the world over the objections of allies, in flagrant disregard for international law, and with no thought for the destabilizing effects that military action will have on the surrounding region. ..."
"... It would be much more accurate to say that the U.S. intervenes often in the affairs of weaker countries because it can, because our leaders leaders want to, and because there is usually no other power willing or able to stop it from happening. Exorbitant military spending far beyond what is needed to provide for our defense makes it possible to take military action on a regular basis, and the constant inflation of foreign threats makes a large part of the public believe that our government's frequent use of force overseas has something to do with self-defense. This frenetic meddling in the affairs of other nations hasn't made and won't make America any safer, it makes far more enemies than it eliminates, and it imposes significant fiscal and human costs on our country and the countries where our government interferes. ..."
"... At least Churchill had a focus. Neocons claim that any country that doesn't yield to our every desire is an existential threat. One article says, 'Iran', another 'China', yet another 'Russia' or 'N. Korea'. ..."
Oct 11, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Dakota Wood makes the usual alarmist case for throwing more money at the military. This passage stood out for how wrong it is:

Churchill repeatedly warned his countrymen of the dangers of complacency, misguided priorities, and weakness of will, of the foolishness to see the world and major competitors as being anything other than what they truly are. While praising the virtues and spirit of moderation that defined the English-speaking peoples of his day, he also urged them to recognize the necessity of having the courage to take timely action when dangers threatened and clearly visible trends in an eroding ability to provide for their common defense were leading toward disaster.

A similar state of affairs afflicts the United States today. To the extent America intervenes in the affairs of others, it is because the United States has been attacked first, an ally is in dire need of assistance, or an enemy threatens broader regional stability [bold mine-DL].

Over ten years ago, Rick Santorum talked incessantly about "the gathering storm" in a very conscious echo of Churchill, and subsequent events have proven his alarmism to have been just as unfounded and ridiculous as it seemed to be at the time. Hawks are often eager to invoke the 1930s to try to scare their audience into accepting more aggressive policies and more military spending than our security actually requires. Some of this may come from believing their own propaganda about the threats that they exaggerate, and some of it may just be a reflex, but as analysis of the contemporary scene it is always wrong. There are dangers and threats in the world, but all of the threats from state actors are manageable and deterrable without spending more on the military, and these threats are much less severe than anything the U.S. faced between the 1940s and the end of the Cold War. The U.S. can and should get by safely with a much lower level of military spending, and our government should also adopt a strategy of restraint that keeps us out of unnecessary wars.

Churchill-quoting alarmists aren't just bad at assessing the scale and nature of foreign threats, but they are usually also oblivious to the shoddy justifications for intervening and the damage that our interventionist policies do. The section quoted above reflects an almost touchingly naive belief that U.S. interventions are always justified and never cause more harm than they prevent. Very few U.S. interventions over the last thirty years fit the description Wood gives. The only time that the U.S. has intervened militarily abroad in response to an attack during this period was in Afghanistan as part of the immediate response to the 9/11 attacks. Every other intervention has been a choice to attack another country or to take sides in an ongoing conflict, and these interventions have usually had nothing to do with coming to the defense of an ally or preventing regional instability. Our interference in the affairs of others is often illegal under both domestic and/or international law (e.g., Kosovo, Libya, Iraq), it is very rarely related to U.S. or allied security, and it tends to cause a great deal of harm to the country and the surrounding region that are supposedly being "helped" by our government's actions.

The Iraq war is just the most obvious example of how the U.S. forcibly intervenes in other parts of the world over the objections of allies, in flagrant disregard for international law, and with no thought for the destabilizing effects that military action will have on the surrounding region. The U.S. didn't invade Panama in 1989 to help an ally or because we were attacked, but simply to topple the government there. Intervention in Haiti in 1994 didn't come in response to an attack or to assist an ally, but because Washington wanted to restore a deposed leader. Bombing Yugoslavia in 1999 was an attack on a country that posed no threat to us or our allies. The Libyan war was a war for regime change and a war of choice. A few allies did urge the U.S. to intervene in Libya, but not because they were in "dire need of assistance." The only thing that Britain and France needed in 2011 was the means to launch an attack on another country whose government posed no threat to them. Meddling in Syria since at least 2012 had nothing to do with defending the U.S. and our allies. Wood's description certainly doesn't apply to our support for the shameful Saudi-led war on Yemen, as the U.S. chose to take part in an attack on another country so that our despotic clients could be "reassured."

It would be much more accurate to say that the U.S. intervenes often in the affairs of weaker countries because it can, because our leaders leaders want to, and because there is usually no other power willing or able to stop it from happening. Exorbitant military spending far beyond what is needed to provide for our defense makes it possible to take military action on a regular basis, and the constant inflation of foreign threats makes a large part of the public believe that our government's frequent use of force overseas has something to do with self-defense. This frenetic meddling in the affairs of other nations hasn't made and won't make America any safer, it makes far more enemies than it eliminates, and it imposes significant fiscal and human costs on our country and the countries where our government interferes.

Posted in foreign policy , politics .

Tagged Syria , Rick Santorum , Yemen , Iraq war , Panama , Libyan war , Saudi Arabia , Haiti , Winston Churchill , Dakota Wood .

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Democracy Vs. Hegemonism? In Defense Of Mary Grabar

Christian Chuba , says: October 11, 2017 at 4:22 pm

'The gathering storm' I read that and I was dying to know which storm he was referring too.

At least Churchill had a focus. Neocons claim that any country that doesn't yield to our every desire is an existential threat. One article says, 'Iran', another 'China', yet another 'Russia' or 'N. Korea'.

It's surprising how low on the list N. Korea typically ranks as the hawks try to turn attention quickly back to Iran. 'Iran is funding and developing their nuclear program, Iran is going to buy their nuclear weapons'. At least in the case of N. Korea we do have a country that obviously does possess WMD and is developing ICBM's and is likely to sell them in the future (even to our best friends the Saudis).

[Oct 11, 2017] US pseudo left does not resist wars and globalism and monopolistic corporations. They resist everyone who questions the war. They resist nationalism and localism.

Oct 11, 2017 | www.unz.com

polistra, Website October 11, 2017 at 1:29 pm GMT

Hedges doesn't seem to understand that the "Resistance" is openly and obviously working FOR Deepstate. They do not resist wars and globalism and monopolistic corporations. They resist everyone who questions the war. They resist nationalism and localism.

Nothing mysterious or hidden about this, no ulterior motive or bankshot. It's explicitly stated in every poster and shout and beating.

[Oct 09, 2017] Dennis Kucinich We Must Challenge the Two-Party Duopoly Committed to War by Adam Dick

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... In the interview, Kucinich discusses his work to expose the misinformation used to argue for US government interventions overseas before and during the Iraq War and, later, concerning the US effort to assist in the overthrow of the Syria government. ..."
"... Kucinich, in the interview, places the Iraq War, with its costs including trillions in US government spending and the death of over a million Iraqis, in the context of "this American imperium, this idea that somehow we have the right to establish ourselves anywhere we want" including with "over 800 bases in 132 countries" and to go around the world "looking for dragons to slay while we ignore our own problems here at home." ..."
"... This is a racket. This is a way for people who make arms to cash in or have government contracts to cash in. ..."
"... Rescuing America from a future "cataclysmic war," Kucinich argues, requires that Americans both "realize that our position in the world was never, ever meant to be a cop on the beat, a global cop," and "challenge this two-party duopoly that's committed to war." ..."
Oct 09, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

In a new interview with host Jesse Ventura at RT, former United States presidential candidate and House of Representatives Member Dennis Kucinich stressed the importance of the American people challenging the "two-party duopoly that's committed to war."

In the interview, Kucinich discusses his work to expose the misinformation used to argue for US government interventions overseas before and during the Iraq War and, later, concerning the US effort to assist in the overthrow of the Syria government.

Regarding the Iraq War, Kucinich, who is an Advisory Board member for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, explains that his research showed that "Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, nothing to do with al-Qaeda's role in 9/11, didn't have any connection to the anthrax attack, didn't have the intention or the capability of attacking the United States, and didn't have the weapons of mass destruction that were being claimed." This information, Kucinich relates, he provided to US Congress members in an October 2, 2002 report showing "there was no cause for war."

Despite Kucinich and other individuals' efforts to stop the march toward war, Congress passed an authorization for use of military force (AUMF) against Iraq later in October, and the invasion of Iraq commenced in March of 2003.

Kucinich, in the interview, places the Iraq War, with its costs including trillions in US government spending and the death of over a million Iraqis, in the context of "this American imperium, this idea that somehow we have the right to establish ourselves anywhere we want" including with "over 800 bases in 132 countries" and to go around the world "looking for dragons to slay while we ignore our own problems here at home."

Why are we "wasting the blood of our nation, the treasure of our nation, our young people" on these overseas activities that are "causing catastrophes among families in other countries?" Kucinich asks. He answers as follows:

This is a racket. This is a way for people who make arms to cash in or have government contracts to cash in.
Continuing with his explanation for the support for the Iraq War and other US military intervention abroad, Kucinich says:
The problem today we have in Washington is that both political parties have converged with the military-industrial complex, fulfilling President Eisenhower's nightmare and setting America on a path toward destruction.

Rescuing America from a future "cataclysmic war," Kucinich argues, requires that Americans both "realize that our position in the world was never, ever meant to be a cop on the beat, a global cop," and "challenge this two-party duopoly that's committed to war."

Watch Kucinich's complete interview here:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/3n5w1xYmV8A


Copyright © 2017 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
Please donate to the Ron Paul Institute

[Oct 08, 2017] A Vet Remembers

Oct 08, 2017 | www.unz.com

Anonymous > , Disclaimer October 6, 2017 at 4:15 pm GMT

@Auntie Analogue Every time someone says to me, "Thank you for your service," above my head appears a cartoon thought balloon containing a wisp of the smoke of exasperation. It's weird how or when this reverent, pro-military bullshit toward veterans of the military (NB: very few ever in life-threatening combat) began. It seemed to be right around when our wars were solely about Zionist interests. My dad saw combat as an Army infantryman in the most ferocious battles of WWII. He received Purple Hearts (injuries from grenades and bullets) and medals of valor. When I was growing up he never discussed it unless you asked him questions. He never sought nor thought he was ever entitled to any benefits from it. Never went to the VA. All of his friends were the same way. It was only at the funeral of a close friend's dad that I learned that he had been in the military, and the Battle of the Bulge! I used to see this guy daily for years and stayed at their house all the time. Never once did he mention it. But back then, when being in the military meant being in combat, it was just something all men were expected to do and move on. Even if you were a major leaguer like Ted Williams you had to put your pro baseball career on hold and go off to combat and then return and resume things. They didn't expect or want any adulation. These kinds of guys would be embarrassed by it.

Nowadays every military veteran I know left with a disability and generous VA benefits and wears his military service on his soldier. Guys and gals who spent 3 years at Fort Huachuca or Lackland AFB or were "deployed" (PCS) to Okinawa, Japan or South Korea, expect to worshipped because they "defended freedom and put their lives on the line for all Americans".

The modern military, which became a jobs program, has been disasterous for white middle America. It destroyed families and created a bunch of less-than-manly white males who are worse than welfare queens living large on the MIC. But nowadays the military of today, 2017, is very diverse and third world. Today you're more likely to see the children of immigrants from West Africa or Latin America at basic training rather than some white kid.

Cato > , October 8, 2017 at 5:30 am GMT

I was a 15 year old freak when I first met the returning vets, at the city park where freaks hung out. At that time I thought that I too would be sent to Vietnam, and, in a way, I (and my friends) had prepared for that our whole lives–our parents had stories about WWII, and many also had stories about Korea. Today I feel grateful that it didn't happen (the draft ended the year I turned 19, and I got my adventure a different way). But at the time, the stories of the returning vets were all about drugs, and hot women, and power, and not about casualties. So, for some years I thought I had missed out on something. But think about it: 50,000 dead, four times what we've lost in the Bush-Obama-Trump wars. I knew some of those guys who died, and I also knew some of the guys who, like Fred, did things beyond what most of us have done. But none of the latter seemed particularly happy about having done those things. Overall, it seems that war sucks. A lot. Someone please inform Bill Kristol.

Uebersetzer > , October 8, 2017 at 6:35 am GMT

The combat soldier who goes home or at least on leave and meets incomprehension is a literary theme going back some decades if not centuries. All Quiet On The Western Front has a main character who goes on leave and finds the civilians have no comprehension of the war although they are enthusiastic about it, sometimes offering him patronising advice about how to win it. Remarque's book was banned in the Third Reich, though many German memoirs were not which extolled war as the highest of human experiences and expressed contempt for the Etappenschweine (rear echelon MFs) and, slightly less overtly, mere civilians. The scorned veteran who enjoyed the war or at least had trouble dealing with postwar civilian life was part of the soil in which fascism took root.

gdpbull > , October 8, 2017 at 12:38 pm GMT

I watched on line the portion of the Burns documentary that covered the period of time that I was in Nam to get a sense of its accuracy since I had direct knowledge of that time period. The coverage was completely perfunctory. I had hoped that the long multi-part documentary of the war would be a well an actual documentary of the war for a change. You know, showing not only the high level politics and overall strategy end, but also the nuts and bolts of the war. Well, it really didn't even show the high level strategic aspects to much detail, let alone the nuts and bolts. It was just one more navel gazing piece of crap. So I didn't bother watching any of the other segments.

DESERT FOX > , October 8, 2017 at 3:04 pm GMT

To see who was behind getting America into the Vietnam war , read the book JFK, THE CIA and VIETNAM by L. Fletcher Prouty, can be had on Amazon.com. This book also tells who killed JFK.

[Sep 20, 2017] The Empire's Hustle Why Anti-Trump_vs_deep_state Doesn't Include Anti-War by Ajamu Baraka

Notable quotes:
"... Similarly on the war issue, the only let-up in the constant barrage of negative press that Trump experienced was when he launched an attack on Syria, demonstrating once again that a consensus exists among the oligarchy on what instrument will be used to ensure their continued global dominance. ..."
"... Therefore, anti-Trump_vs_deep_state does not include a position against war and U.S. imperialism. ..."
"... The Democrat's are playing games with the people by pretending they are going to block increases in military spending during the appropriation stage of the process. And their criticisms of Trump's bellicosity and claims that he is reckless also are disingenuous because if they thought he was militarily reckless, they wouldn't have joined Republicans in supporting increased military spending. ..."
"... Both parties support militarism because both parties support the interests of the oligarchy and the oligarchy is interested in one thing!maintaining the empire. ..."
"... And to maintain the empire, they are prepared to fight to the last drop of our blood. ..."
Sep 20, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org

With these words, Paul became one of the few voices to oppose the obscenity that is known as U.S. war policy. But only two other senators joined him: Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Ron Wyden (D-OR). But there is a wrinkle here: Paul is not concerned with the size of the military budget. He's pointing his finger at the continuation of the Authorization to Use Military Force Act (AUMF) of 2001, which was the "legal" basis for the U.S. global "war on terror." He wants Congress to re-assess this legislation that has prompted endless wars abroad.

... ... ...

Nothing rehabilitates an unpopular president in capitalist "America" like war. In fact, the only sustained negative press that Barack Obama received was when he seemed reluctant to fully immerse the United States in direct efforts to cause regime change in Syria by attacking that nation and committing to significant "boots on the ground." For the Neo-cons and liberal interventionists driving U.S. policy, allowing U.S. vassal states to take the lead in waging war in that country was an unnecessary and inefficient burden on those states.

Similarly on the war issue, the only let-up in the constant barrage of negative press that Trump experienced was when he launched an attack on Syria, demonstrating once again that a consensus exists among the oligarchy on what instrument will be used to ensure their continued global dominance.

With the escalating decline in U.S. influence from the Bush administration through Obama and now to Trump, U.S. global dominance increasingly depends on its ability to project military power. Obama's "pivot to Asia," the veritable rampage by the United States through West Asia and North Africa since 2003, the expansion of AFRICOM to offset Chinese influence in Africa, the commitment to a permanent military occupation of Afghanistan to facilitate blocking China's New Silk Road and to exploit Afghan mineral wealth all attest to the importance of continued popular support for the permanent war agenda.

Therefore, the state is vulnerable because it has to generate public support for its war agenda and that provides the domestic anti-war and anti-imperialist opposition with a strategic opportunity.

The abysmal levels of popular support for Congress reflect a serious crisis of legitimacy. That erosion of confidence in Congress must be extended to a critical stance on congressional expenditures related to the Pentagon budget and the rationalization for military/security spending. An ideological opening exists for reframing military spending and the war agenda for what it is: An agenda for the protection of the interests of the 1 percent. And for disrupting the acceptance of patriotic pride in U.S. military adventures beyond the borders of the country.

The current work on the part of the United National Antiwar Coalition to encourage concentrated public educational work on Afghanistan in October, the new coalition to oppose U.S foreign military bases and CODEPINK's military divestment campaign being launched in October are just some of the efforts being organized to take advantage of the moment.

... ... ...

Opposition to Trump has been framed in ways that supports the agenda of the Democratic Party!but not the anti-war agenda. Therefore, anti-Trump_vs_deep_state does not include a position against war and U.S. imperialism.

When the Trump administration proposed what many saw as an obscene request for an additional $54 billion in military spending, we witnessed a momentary negative response from some liberal Democrats. The thinking was that this could be highlighted as yet another one of the supposedly demonic moves by the administration and it was added to the talking points for the Democrats. That was until 117 Democrats voted with Republicans in the House !including a majority of the Congressional Black Caucus!to not only accept the administration's proposal, but to exceed it by $18 billion. By that point, the Democrats went silent on the issue.

The progressive community and what passes for the Left was not that much better. When those forces were not allowing their attention to be diverted into re-defining opposition to White supremacy in the form of the easy opposition to the clownish, marginal neo-Nazi forces, they were debating the violence of Antifa. And since hypocrisy has been able to reconcile itself with liberalism, they didn't see that their concerns with the violence of Antifa was in conflict with their support for violent interventions by the U.S. state in places like Libya and Syria. So for that sector since war and violence had been normalized unless it is carried out by unauthorized forces like oppressed peoples,Antifa forces and nations in the crosshairs of U.S. imperialism!it is opposed. Why bother with the issues of war and militarism. And so the anti-war and anti-imperialist position was not included as part of anti-Trump_vs_deep_state!

The Democrat's are playing games with the people by pretending they are going to block increases in military spending during the appropriation stage of the process. And their criticisms of Trump's bellicosity and claims that he is reckless also are disingenuous because if they thought he was militarily reckless, they wouldn't have joined Republicans in supporting increased military spending.

Both parties support militarism because both parties support the interests of the oligarchy and the oligarchy is interested in one thing!maintaining the empire.

And to maintain the empire, they are prepared to fight to the last drop of our blood. But we have a surprise for them.

Ajamu Baraka is the national organizer of the Black Alliance for Peace and was the 2016 candidate for vice president on the Green Party ticket. He is an editor and contributing columnist for the Black Agenda Report and contributing columnist for Counterpunch magazine.

[Sep 20, 2017] Where Are the Brave Military Voices Against Forever War by Maj. Danny Sjursen

Notable quotes:
"... Today, my peers are silent. ..."
"... Siegfried Sassoon ..."
"... For all the celebration (and mythologizing) over World War II, at least we had Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller to burst our comfortable, patriotic bubble. And, though it likely lost him the presidency, Senator John Kerry (and his Vietnam Vets against the War mates) showed the courage to testify to the truth in the Winter Soldier Hearings. ..."
"... In 2017, it's near impossible to remember that today's professional, volunteer army is less than half a century old, a product of epic failure in Vietnam. Most of America's Founding Fathers, after all, scorned standing armies and favored a body of august, able citizen-soldiers. Something more akin to our National Guard. Deploy these men to faraway lands, so the thinking went, and each town would lose its blacksmith, carpenter, and cobbler too. Only vital interests warranted such sacrifice. Alas, it is no longer so. ..."
"... So today, my peers are silent. Professional officers are volunteers; dissenters are seen as little more than petulant whiners, or oddball nuts. It is hard to know why, exactly, but the increasing cognitive and spatial distance of contemporary soldiers from society at large seems a likely culprit. Combine that with the Republican Party's veritable monopoly on the political loyalties of the officer corps and you have yourself a lethal combination. ..."
"... By now, the wars are lost, if ever they were winnable. Iraq will fracture, Syria collapse, and Afghanistan wallow in perpetual chaos. It will be so. The people will forget. Our professional, corporate regiments will, undoubtedly, add banners to their battle flags -- sober reminders of a job well done in yet another lost cause. Soldiers will toast to lost comrades, add verses to their ballads, and precious few will ask why. ..."
Sep 19, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Today, my peers are silent.

But they've been taught the way to do it

Like Christian soldiers; not with haste

And shuddering groans; but passing through it

With due regard for decent taste

-- Siegfried Sassoon , How to Die (1918)

It is my favorite moment. Of World War I, that is. The one that stays with me.

Christmas, 1914: Nearly a million men are already dead, and the war is barely four months old. Suddenly, and ultimately in unison, the opposing German and British troops begin singing Christmas carols. At first light, German troops emerge unarmed from their trenches, and walk out into "no-man's land." Despite fearing a ruse, the Brits eventually joined their sworn enemies in the churned earth between the trench lines. Carols were sung, gifts of cigarettes exchanged -- one man even brought out a decorative tree. It only happened once. Though the bloody, senseless war raged across three more Christmases, the officers on each side quashed future attempts at a holiday truce. And yet, for that brief moment, in the ugliest of circumstances, the common humanity of Brits and Germans triumphed. It must have been beautiful.

Ultimately, nearly ten million men would die in battle. For all that, little was settled. It rarely is. The ruling classes still ruled, the profiteers profited, and Europe went to war again not twenty years later. So it went, and so it goes.

Nonetheless, World War I boasted countless skeptics and anti-war activists both in and out of uniform. Their poetry and prose was dark, but oh was it ever powerful. Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen from the Brits; Erich Maria Remarque for the stoic Germans; and our own Ernest Hemingway. A lost generation, which sacrificed so much more than youth: their innocence. They call to us, these long dead dissenters, from the grave.

They might ask: Where are today's skeptical veterans? Tragically, silence is our only ready response.

It was not always so in America. During the brutal Seminole Indian Wars, 17 percent of army officers resigned in disgust rather than continue burning villages and hunting natives down like dogs in Florida's Everglades' swamps. Mark Twain's cheeky prose demolished the Philippine-American colonial war at the turn of the century (some 30 years after he briefly served in the Missouri state militia during the Civil War). Hemingway, laid the truth bare after being wounded in the First Great War while serving as a Red Cross ambulance driver. And Major General Smedley Butler -- two-time Medal of Honor recipient though he was -- emerged from the Caribbean "Banana Wars" to admit he'd been naught but a "high class muscle man for Big Business," a "gangster for capitalism."

For all the celebration (and mythologizing) over World War II, at least we had Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller to burst our comfortable, patriotic bubble. And, though it likely lost him the presidency, Senator John Kerry (and his Vietnam Vets against the War mates) showed the courage to testify to the truth in the Winter Soldier Hearings.

Today, despite a few brave attempts, we are treated to nothing of the sort. Why, you ask?

To begin with, most of the above mentioned wars were fought by draftees, militiamen, and short-term volunteers: in other words, citizen-soldiers. Even now, the identity of "citizen-soldier" ought to emphasize the former term: citizen . It doesn't. Now, as we veterans are constantly reminded, we are warriors . Professionals. Hail Sparta!

In 2017, it's near impossible to remember that today's professional, volunteer army is less than half a century old, a product of epic failure in Vietnam. Most of America's Founding Fathers, after all, scorned standing armies and favored a body of august, able citizen-soldiers. Something more akin to our National Guard. Deploy these men to faraway lands, so the thinking went, and each town would lose its blacksmith, carpenter, and cobbler too. Only vital interests warranted such sacrifice. Alas, it is no longer so.

In truth, the "citizen-soldier" is dead, replaced -- to the sound of cheers -- by self-righteous subalterns hiding beneath the sly veil of that ubiquitous corporate idiom: professionalism. Discipline, motivation, teamwork -- these are all sleek, bureaucratic terms certain to mold terrific middle managers, but they remain morally bare. And, ultimately, futile.

So today, my peers are silent. Professional officers are volunteers; dissenters are seen as little more than petulant whiners, or oddball nuts. It is hard to know why, exactly, but the increasing cognitive and spatial distance of contemporary soldiers from society at large seems a likely culprit. Combine that with the Republican Party's veritable monopoly on the political loyalties of the officer corps and you have yourself a lethal combination.

Only don't rule out cowardice. Who isn't fearful for their career, income, and family stability? It is only natural. After all, this business -- despite protestations to the contrary -- does not tend to value intellectualism or creative thinking. Trust me. Besides, in this struggling transitory economy, the military "welfare state" is a tempting option for America's declining middle class. Ironic, isn't it, that the heavily conservative officer corps loves their socialized medicine and guaranteed pensions?

Under the circumstances, perhaps silence is understandable. But it is also complicity.

By now, the wars are lost, if ever they were winnable. Iraq will fracture, Syria collapse, and Afghanistan wallow in perpetual chaos. It will be so. The people will forget. Our professional, corporate regiments will, undoubtedly, add banners to their battle flags -- sober reminders of a job well done in yet another lost cause. Soldiers will toast to lost comrades, add verses to their ballads, and precious few will ask why.

Perhaps a good officer suppresses such doubt, maintains a stoic, if dour, dignity, and silently soldiers on. As for me, I am not made of such stuff, and more's the pity. I buried seven men in the fields of the Forever War, casualties of combat and the muted sufferings of suicide.

Their banal sacrifice demands explanation. They deserve as much. For those lonely few, we who publicly dissent, the audience is scant, interest meagre, and our existence: solitary.

Major Danny Sjursen, a TomDispatch regular , is a U.S. Army strategist and former history instructor at West Point. He served tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan, and wrote a memoir, Ghost Riders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge . Follow him on Twitter @SkepticalVet .

(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.)

*** This article has been edited to reflect Mark Twain's brief stint in the Missouri state militia, not the regular Confederate army; and the fact that Ernest Hemingway served the Red Cross during World War I.

[Sep 19, 2017] Rolling Back the Warfare State by Ron Paul

Notable quotes:
"... In the end, Sen. Paul did not back down and he got his vote. Frankly, I was more than a little surprised that nearly 40 percent of the Senate voted with Rand to allow a vote on repealing authority for the two longest wars in US history. I expected less than a dozen "no" votes on tabling the amendment and was very pleasantly surprised at the outcome. ..."
"... Are more Senators starting to see the wars his way? We can only hope so. As polls continue to demonstrate, the American people have grown tired of our interventionist foreign policy, which burns through trillions of dollars while making the world a more dangerous place rather than a safer place. ..."
"... The first step toward rebalancing the separation of powers is for Congress to reassert its authority and responsibility for declaring war. To this point, Congress has preferred to transfer its war responsibility to the president. ..."
"... The second step, once Congress understands its obligations, is to convince our representatives that war was not designed to be the first choice in foreign policy, but rather to be the last resort when we are under attack or when a direct attack is imminent! ..."
"... Just because Congress decides to approve the use of force does not mean that the war is just, justified, or wise. Congress is just as susceptible to war propaganda as the rest of America and unfortunately it is dominated by the false opinion that if you are not enthusiastic about US military solutions to disputes overseas then you are not being tough enough. In fact, it takes far more strength to exercise restraint in the face of the constant war propaganda and disinformation coming from the media and the neocons. ..."
Sep 19, 2017 | original.antiwar.com
Last week, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) reminded Congress that in matters of war, they have the authority and the responsibility to speak for the American people. Most Senators were not too happy about the reminder, which came in the form of a forced vote on whether to allow a vote on his amendment to repeal the Afghanistan and Iraq war resolutions of 2001 and 2002.

It wasn't easy. Sen. Paul had to jump through hoops just to get a vote on whether to have a vote. That is how bad it is in Congress! Not only does Congress refuse to rein in presidents who treat Constitutional constraints on their war authority as mere suggestions rather than as the law of the land, Congress doesn't even want to be reminded that they alone have war authority. Congress doesn't even want to vote on whether to vote on war!

In the end, Sen. Paul did not back down and he got his vote. Frankly, I was more than a little surprised that nearly 40 percent of the Senate voted with Rand to allow a vote on repealing authority for the two longest wars in US history. I expected less than a dozen "no" votes on tabling the amendment and was very pleasantly surprised at the outcome.

Last week, Rand said, "I don't think that anyone with an ounce of intellectual honesty believes that these authorizations from 16 years ago and 14 years ago authorized war in seven different countries."

Are more Senators starting to see the wars his way? We can only hope so. As polls continue to demonstrate, the American people have grown tired of our interventionist foreign policy, which burns through trillions of dollars while making the world a more dangerous place rather than a safer place.

Some might argue that losing the vote was a defeat. I would disagree. For the first time in years we saw US Senators on the Senate Floor debating whether the president should have authority to take the US to war anywhere he pleases. Even with just the small number of votes I thought we might have gotten on the matter, that alone would have been a great victory. But getting almost 40 percent of the Senate to vote our way? I call that a very good start!

The first step toward rebalancing the separation of powers is for Congress to reassert its authority and responsibility for declaring war. To this point, Congress has preferred to transfer its war responsibility to the president.

The second step, once Congress understands its obligations, is to convince our representatives that war was not designed to be the first choice in foreign policy, but rather to be the last resort when we are under attack or when a direct attack is imminent!

Just because Congress decides to approve the use of force does not mean that the war is just, justified, or wise. Congress is just as susceptible to war propaganda as the rest of America and unfortunately it is dominated by the false opinion that if you are not enthusiastic about US military solutions to disputes overseas then you are not being tough enough. In fact, it takes far more strength to exercise restraint in the face of the constant war propaganda and disinformation coming from the media and the neocons.

We have achieved a small victory last week, thanks to Senator Paul. But we still have a lot of work to do! We must keep the pressure on and convert more to the cause of peace and prosperity!

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity .

[Aug 30, 2017] Weather Underground Members Speak Out on the Media, Imperialism and Solidarity in the Age of Trump

Highly recommended!
This is way too simplistic interpretation of the events, but still she shed a light on the problems of anti war movement in the USA. As sson as soch movemetn grow to represnt a threat to status wquo they instantly get in cross hears of intelligence agencies. Arrests follow.
Bill Ayers part is better and he managed to land a couple of quotes with rather deep observations about the nature of the problems with the US media.
Notable quotes:
"... UnAmerican Activities ..."
"... "Empire always, then and now, cloaks itself in the garments of mystification and deceit," Ayers said. "The message from the corporate media was unambiguous: the US loves peace and fights only when it must, and always selflessly in defense of freedom and democracy." ..."
"... "The lies and misdirection go on and on," Ayers said. "And don't believe the narcissistic media today rewriting its role in moving the country against the war 50 years ago, making itself a forerunner and a major actor, heroizing its efforts and turning reality on its head." ..."
"... The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan ..."
"... Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches From an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq ..."
"... The Mass Destruction of Iraq: Why It Is Happening, and Who Is Responsible ..."
Aug 30, 2017 | www.truth-out.org

... ... ...

In 1970, the Weather Underground Organization (WUO), a group that emerged out of Students for a Democratic Society, issued a "Declaration of a State of War" against the US government, and shortly thereafter began carrying out bombings against symbols of US Empire, including even the Pentagon itself. Targeting mostly government buildings and several banks -- and taking care not to injure human beings -- the actions were designed to "bring the war home" in order to highlight imperial injustices against the oppressed, and the egregious violence of US imperialism.

... ... ...

"[The Media's role was] so important that the US military learned to never again allow independent journalists into their war zones," Dohrn explained. "[Significantly], the mainstream media never again allowed images of human people, families, women or children who suffer the consequences of US bombings or invasions."

With the dominant media avoiding these responsibilities, one of the many roles the WUO played was, according to Dohrn, to communicate to the public the ways in which people, cultures and whole civilizations were suffering under US air strikes and CIA repression.

"The media was plenty corporatized during the '60s and '70s, and it was the anti-war movement in concert with the Black Freedom Movement and the returning vets who changed the hearts and minds of the US people from 1965-1968," she said.

WUO member David Gilbert told Truthout he believes it was the strength of the anti-war movement, and the US losses in Vietnam, that finally pushed sectors of the media to start reporting some of the truth about the war.

He echoes Dohrn's point that the media was already corporatized back then (though the conglomerates were not nearly as large as they are today), and the pro-war bias of the media was just as real as it is now.

"An example was the use of napalm bombs, designed to cling to and burn through flesh, on civilians," Gilbert said. "The mainstream media completely whited-out these horrible war crimes."

In fact, in January 1967 a radical magazine, Ramparts, published a series of color photos of children and babies burned by napalm.

"That's the point when some of us became absolutely frantic to stop the war," Gilbert said. "But it also exposed the mainstream media for what they were covering up."

According to Gilbert, by 1967 a whole network of small radical papers had a combined readership of roughly 6 million, making up a crucial wing of the movement. Of course, it was therefore ripe for targeting by intelligence agencies.

"An important part of the FBI and police offensive to beat the radical movements was to destroy the radical media, a campaign that's detailed in Geoffrey Rips's UnAmerican Activities ," he said.

By the late '60s, largely due to constant pressure from the increasingly powerful anti-war movement, portions of the media started to come around to presenting some of the realities of the Vietnam War. Plus, by then, it was clear the US was likely going to lose the war, US brutality abroad was being exposed to the world, and the political upheaval on the home front was becoming white hot.

Gilbert went on to explain how, then as now, "The hawks waged a concerted campaign to blame that on 'the liberal media,' to the point that this lie has become accepted today."

At that time, the myth of the "liberal media" accomplished several things for the right wing, according to Gilbert. "It's covered up the truth that the US military machine was defeated by a Global South nation, it's convinced the public that the 'truth lies somewhere in between' the hawks and the media, when in fact the media didn't do nearly enough to expose the injustice and horrors of the war, and it's intimidated the media, which fell into line as pure propaganda organs in subsequent wars."

Naomi Jaffe, one of the WUO's founding members who joined in solidarity with movements for Black self-determination, agreed with Gilbert in that pressure from the anti-war movement was a leading factor that pushed the media to share more images of the war. However, she was quite critical of the overall role the media played during Vietnam.

"Remember the Gulf of Tonkin? Not a hint of independent reporting ever questioned it until long after the war was over," Jaffe told Truthout. "The body counts? Regular reports of how the US was winning by killing more 'Viet Cong' every week than could possibly have existed overall."

Bill Ayers, who is married to Dohrn, was also a leader and cofounder of the WUO.

"Empire always, then and now, cloaks itself in the garments of mystification and deceit," Ayers said. "The message from the corporate media was unambiguous: the US loves peace and fights only when it must, and always selflessly in defense of freedom and democracy."

For example, Ayers says, the New York Times announced that it saw the "light at the end of the tunnel" -- the turning point when the war would at long last be turned around and won -- days before the decisive defeat during the Tet Offensive in 1968. In 1966, Walter Cronkite, CBS anchor and the most trusted journalist of his generation, presented a fawning interview with the puppet and fascist Nguyen Cao Ky and called him the George Washington of Viet Nam.

"The lies and misdirection go on and on," Ayers said. "And don't believe the narcissistic media today rewriting its role in moving the country against the war 50 years ago, making itself a forerunner and a major actor, heroizing its efforts and turning reality on its head."

Ayers said it wasn't the media that played a role in helping end the war in Vietnam, it was, by far, the decisive actions of the Vietnamese people themselves "in defeating the most potent military force on earth." He pointed out, "Vietnam was engaged in an authentic social revolution, deep and broad, in which peasants and workers were massively engaged in the overthrow of colonialism and foreign control as well as feudal relationships and capitalism itself."

Moreover, Ayers said, this revolution was part of "the anti-colonial and Third World moment, a context that allowed us to understand the revolution in Vietnam as part of a world phenomenon sweeping from South Africa to Egypt to Chile to Indonesia."

He also pointed to "the important role of the underground -- popular or alternative or movement -- press in the US, and its ability to tap international sources like the Cuban media, for example, to uncover the truth of events."

He sees the typical narrative -- the idea that the military draft made the war real in the eyes of the US public, and the media cemented that reality, helping to end the war -- as skewed. It "buys into a simplistic and largely self-serving explanation," Ayers said. "The Vietnamese revolution and war resistance at home impacted the media coverage, not the other way around."

... ... ... DAHR JAMAIL

Dahr Jamail, a Truthout staff reporter, is the author of The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan (Haymarket Books, 2009), and Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches From an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq (Haymarket Books, 2007). Jamail reported from Iraq for more than a year, as well as from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Turkey over the last 10 years, and has won the Martha Gellhorn Award for Investigative Journalism, among other awards.

His third book, The Mass Destruction of Iraq: Why It Is Happening, and Who Is Responsible , co-written with William Rivers Pitt , is available now on Amazon.

Dahr Jamail is also the author of the book, The End of Ice , forthcoming from The New Press. He lives and works in Washington State.

[Aug 30, 2017] Selected quotes from antiwar.com

Notable quotes:
"... In war, truth is the first casualty. ..."
"... The great armies, accumulated to provide security and preserve the peace, carried the nations to war by their own weight ..."
"... Force always attracts men of low morality ..."
"... The slightest acquaintance with history shows that powerful republics are the most warlike and unscrupulous of nations. ..."
www.moonofalabama.org

Below is a listing of the quotes you see displayed on all Antiwar.com pages. .

  1. History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives. ~Abba Eban About the quote: Israeli diplomat (1915-2002)

  2. Probably, no nation is rich enough to pay for both war and civilization. We must make our choice; we cannot have both. ~Abraham Flexner

  3. Force is all-conquering, but its victories are short-lived. ~Abraham Lincoln
  4. I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends. ~Abraham Lincoln
  5. America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter, and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. ~Abraham Lincoln
  6. We must recognize the chief characteristic of the modern era -- a permanent state of what I call violent peace. ~Admiral James D. Watkins
  7. Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it. ~Adolph Hitler
  8. In war, truth is the first casualty. ~Aeschylus
  9. Any excuse will serve a tyrant. ~Aesop
  10. One is left with the horrible feeling now that war settles nothing; that to win a war is as disastrous as to lose one. ~Agatha Christie
  11. The great armies, accumulated to provide security and preserve the peace, carried the nations to war by their own weight. ~A. J. P. Taylor
  12. No matter what political reasons are given for war, the underlying reason is always economic. ~A. J. P. Taylor
  13. Wars based on principle are far more destructive... the attacker will not destroy that which he is after. ~Alan Watts About the quote: from the book "The Way of Zen"
  14. We used to wonder where war lived, what it was that made it so vile. And now we realize that we know where it lives...inside ourselves. ~Albert Camus

  15. When a war breaks out, people say: "It's too stupid, it can't last long." But though a war may be "too stupid," that doesn't prevent its lasting. ~Albert Camus
  16. The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants. ~Albert Camus
  17. Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding. ~Albert Einstein
  18. It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder. ~Albert Einstein
  19. The release of atomic energy has not created a new problem. It has merely made more urgent the necessity of solving an existing one. ~Albert Einstein
  20. Force always attracts men of low morality. ~Albert Einstein
  21. Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding. ~Albert Einstein
  22. The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing. ~Albert Einstein
  23. It is unfortunately none too well understood that, just as the State has no money of its own, so it has no power of its own. ~Albert J. Nock
  24. What is absurd and monstrous about war is that men who have no personal quarrel should be trained to murder one another in cold blood. ~Aldous Huxley
  25. Even if we are spared destruction by war, our lives will have to change if we want to save life from self-destruction. ~Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  26. The next war ... may well bury Western civilization forever. ~Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  27. Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be maintained by violence. ~Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  28. The demands of internal growth are incomparably more important to us...than the need for any external expansion of our power. ~Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  29. Even if we are spared destruction by war, our lives will have to change if we want to save life from self-destruction. ~Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  30. War paralyzes your courage and deadens the spirit of true manhood. ~Alexander Berkman
  31. Those who stand for nothing fall for anything. ~Alexander Hamilton
  32. O peace! how many wars were waged in thy name. ~Alexander Pope
  33. All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought to know that war is the surest and shortest means to accomplish it. ~Alexis de Tocqueville
  34. Our modern states are preparing for war without even knowing the future enemy. ~Alfred Adler
  35. War is organized murder and torture against our brothers. ~Alfred Adler
  36. Our modern states are preparing for war without even knowing the future enemy. ~Alfred Adler
  37. War is not the continuation of politics with different means, it is the greatest mass-crime perpetrated on the community of man. ~Alfred Adler
  38. At least we're getting the kind of experience we need for the next war. ~Allen Dulles
  39. The slightest acquaintance with history shows that powerful republics are the most warlike and unscrupulous of nations. ~Ambrose Bierce
  40. Since the end of the World War II, the United States has fought three "small" wars...we lost all three of them and for the same reason--hubris. ~Andrew Greely About the quote: Andrew Greely is a columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times. You can read his articles at http://www.suntimes.com/index/greeley.html
  41. Today the real test of power is not capacity to make war but capacity to prevent it. ~Anne O'Hare McCormick
  42. A great war leaves a country with three armies: an army of cripples, an army of mourners, and an army of thieves. ~Anonymous (German) About the quote: (quote from 'The Anti-War Quote Book,' edited Eric Groves, Sr., pub. Quirk Books, 2008)
  43. Brute force is not our salvation, especially as directed by State central planning and done with little regard for the innocents... ~Anthony Gregory About the quote: Anthony Gregory is a writer and musician from Berkeley, CA. You can read his articles at www.lewrockwell.com About the quote: Anthony Gregory is a writer and musician from Berkeley, CA. You can read his articles at www.lewrockwell.com War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus. ~Antoine De Saint-Exupery
  44. Make wars unprofitable and you make them impossible. ~A. Philip Randolph About the quote: Randolph (1889-1979) was an African American civil rights leader. (quote from 'The Anti-War Quote Book,' edited Eric Groves, Sr., pub. Quirk Books, 2008)
  45. Because I do it with one small ship, I am called a terrorist. You do it with a whole fleet and are called an emperor. ~A pirate, from St. Augustine's "City of God"
  46. Old men declare war because they have failed to solve complex political and economic problems. ~Arthur Hoppe About the quote: Hoppe (1925-2000) was an American writer. (quote from 'The Anti-War Quote Book,' edited Eric Groves, Sr., pub. Quirk Books, 2008)
  47. All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. ~Arthur Schopenhauer
  48. Why should we hear about body bags, and deaths...I mean, it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that? ~Barbara Bush About the quote: Mrs. Bush spoke these words on ABC's "Good Morning America," March 18, 2003.
  49. No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots. ~Barbara Ehrenreich
  50. War is the unfolding of miscalculations. ~Barbara Tuchman
  51. You've got to forget about this civilian. Whenever you drop bombs, you're going to hit civilians. ~Barry Goldwater
  52. The world cannot continue to wage war like physical giants and to seek peace like intellectual pygmies. ~Basil O'Connor
  53. War is never a solution; it is an aggravation. ~Benjamin Disraeli
  54. There never was a good war or a bad peace. ~Benjamin Franklin
  55. All wars are follies, very expensive and very mischievous ones. ~Benjamin Franklin
  56. When will mankind be convinced and agree to settle their difficulties by arbitration? ~Benjamin Franklin
  57. I hope....that mankind will at length, as they call themselves responsible creatures, have the reason and sense enough to settle their differences without cutting throats... ~Benjamin Franklin
  58. Those who give up essential liberties for temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. ~Benjamin Franklin
  59. We Americans have no commission from God to police the world. ~Benjamin Harrison About the quote: from an 1888 address to Congress
  60. The Atomic Age is here to stay-- but are we? ~Bennett Cerf
  61. Let us not deceive ourselves; we must elect world peace or world destruction. ~Bernard M. Baruch
  62. War does not determine who is right, only who is left. ~Bertrand Russell
  63. Can anything be more ridiculous than that a man has a right to kill me because he lives on the other side of the water, and because his ruler has quarrel with mine, although I have none with him? ~Blaise Pascal
  64. The terrorist is the one with the small bomb. ~Brendan Behan
  65. After each war there is a little less democracy left to save. ~Brooks Atkinson About the quote: Atkinson was an American journalist who lived from 1864-1984. (quote from 'The Anti-War Quote Book,' edited Eric Groves, Sr., pub. Quirk Books, 2008)
  66. Blind faith in your leaders or in anything will get you killed. ~Bruce Springsteen About the quote: This was part of Springsteen's introduction to his 1985 version of Edwin Starr's song 'War.' In this war – as in others – I am less interested in honoring the dead than in preventing the dead. ~Butler Shaffer
  67. No nation ever had an army large enough to guarantee it against attack in time of peace, or ensure it of victory in time of war. ~Calvin Coolidge
  68. The political object is the goal, war is the means of reaching it, and the means can never be considered in isolation from their purposes. ~Carl P. G. von Clausewitz
  69. War is not an independent phenomenon, but the continuation of politics by different means. ~Carl P. G. von Clausewitz
  70. Politics is the womb in which war develops. ~Carl P. G. von Clausewitz
  71. The tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy. ~Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu About the quote: from "The Spirit of Laws" (1748)
  72. The voice of protest...is never more needed than when the clamor of fife and drum...is bidding all men...obey in silence the tyrannous word of command. ~Charles Eliot Norton
  73. If a war be undertaken...before the resources of peace have been tried and proved vain to secure it, that war has no defense, it is a national crime. ~Charles Eliot Norton
  74. War should be made a crime, and those who instigate it should be punished as criminals. ~Charles Evans Hughes
  75. The deterioration of every government begins with the decay of the principles on which it was founded. ~Charles-Louis De Secondat About the quote: From "The Spirit of Laws," 1748
  76. [War] is a positive, precise and specific evil, of gigantic proportions ...making within the sphere of its influence all true grandeur impossible. ~Charles Sumner About the quote: From his 1845 speech "The True Grandeur of Nations."
  77. Almost all war making states borrow extensively, raise taxes, and seize the means of combat- including men--from reluctant citizens... ~Charles Tilly
  78. Name me an emperor who was ever struck by a cannonball. ~Charles V of France
  79. The truth is that neither British nor American imperialism was or is idealistic. It has always been driven by economic or strategic interests. ~Charley Reese
  80. War, n: A time-tested political tactic guaranteed to raise a president's popularity rating by at least 30 points. It is especially useful during election years and economic downturns. ~Chaz Bufe
  81. The failure to dissect the cause of war leaves us open for the next installment. ~Chris Hedges
  82. After victory, you have more enemies. ~Cicero
  83. True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else. ~Clarence Darrow
  84. Hell hath no fury like a non-combatant. ~C.L. Montague About the quote: Quote from "Among the Dead Cities," by A.C. Grayling (Walker & Co., 2006).
  85. Chauvinism is a proud and bellicose form of patriotism...which equates the national honor with military victory. ~Colonel James A. Donovan, Marine Corps
  86. The dangerous patriot...is a defender of militarism and its ideals of war and glory. ~Colonel James A. Donovan, Marine Corps
  87. War is never economically beneficial except for those in position to profit from war expenditures. ~Congressman Ron Paul

  88. Setting a good example is a far better way to spread ideals than through force of arms. ~Congressman Ron Paul
  89. As a rule of thumb, if the government wants you to know it, it probably isn't true. ~Craig Murray
  90. Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised "for the good of its victims" may be the most oppressive. ~C. S. Lewis
  91. Do not waste time bothering whether you "love" your neighbor; act as if you did. ~C.S. Lewis
  92. You cannot win a War on Terrorism. It's like having a war on jealousy. ~David Cross
  93. We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. ~Dwight D. Eisenhower
  94. Preventive war was an invention of Hitler. Frankly, I would not even listen to anyone seriously that came and talked about such a thing. ~Dwight D. Eisenhower About the quote: from 1953 There is no glory in battle worth the blood it costs. ~Dwight D. Eisenhower
  95. "Rules of engagement" are a set of guidelines for murder. ~Dr. Teresa Whitehurst
  96. We will bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security. ~Dwight D. Eisenhower
  97. Tyrants seldom want pretexts. ~Edmund Burke
  98. A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government. ~Edward Abbey
  99. Our "neoconservatives" are neither new nor conservative, but old as Babylon and evil as Hell. ~Edward Abbey About the quote: A naturalist and author, Abbey lived from 1927-1989.
  100. The tragedy of modern war is that the young men die fighting each other--instead of their real enemies back home in the capitals. ~Edward Abbey About the quote: A naturalist and author, Abbey lived from 1927-1989.
  101. Violence is an admission that one's ideas and goals cannot prevail on their own merits. ~Edward M. Kennedy About the quote: Kennedy (b. 1932) is a U.S. Senator (D, MA). (from 'The Anti-War Quote Book,' Quirk Books, Ed. by Eric Groves Sr.)
  102. We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it. ~Edward R. Murrow
  103. History is littered with wars which everybody knew would never happen. ~Enoch Powell
  104. The first casualty of war is not truth, but perspective. Once that's gone, truth, like compassion, reason, and all the other virtues, wanders around like a wounded orphan. ~Ente Grillenhaft
  105. We must get away from the idea that America is to be the leader of the world in everything. ~Francis John McConnell
  106. The State acquires power... and because of its insatiable lust for power it is incapable of giving up any of it. The State never abdicates. ~Frank Chodorov
  107. The pertinent question: if Americans did not want these wars should they have been compelled to fight them? ~Frank Chodorov
  108. It is not that power corrupts but that power is a magnet to the corruptible. ~Frank Herbert
  109. All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. ~Frank Herbert
  110. War is a racket. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. ~General Smedley Butler
  111. War is just a racket...I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. ~General Smedley Butler
  112. Our enemies are innovative and resourceful...They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we. ~George W. Bush About the quote: From remarks by the president at the signing of The Defense Appropriations Act for 2005 (8/5/04)
  113. What experience and history teach is this-that people and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it. ~Georg W. Hegel
  114. The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders...tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. ~Herman Goering
  115. The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home. ~James Madison
  116. Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war. ~John Adams
  117. Whether or not patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, national security can be the last refuge of the tyrant. ~Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe About the quote: from 1/14/05
  118. The arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and assistance to foreign hands should be curtailed, lest Rome fall. ~Marcus Tullius Cicero
  119. What is morally wrong can never be advantageous, even when it enables you to make some gain that you believe to be to your advantage. ~Marcus Tullius Cicero
  120. Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. ~Margaret Mead
  121. The shepherd always tries to persuade the sheep that their interests and his own are the same. ~Marie Beyle
  122. It takes more courage to get out of a war than it does to get into one. ~Mark Couturier
  123. Look at you in war...There has never been a just one, never an honorable one, on the part of the instigator of the war. ~Mark Twain About the quote: from "The Mysterious Stranger," published 1910.
  124. Man is the only animal that is cruel. It kills just for the sake of it. ~Mark Twain

  125. Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it. ~Mark Twain
  126. Why, the Government is merely...a temporary servant...Its function is to obey orders, not originate them. ~Mark Twain
  127. Each man must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, which course is patriotic and which isn't. ~Mark Twain
  128. The statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is being attacked, and every man will be glad of these conscience-soothing falsities ~Mark Twain
  129. I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land. ~Mark Twain About the quote: From an interview, 9/15/1900
  130. Be loyal to your country always, and to the government only when it deserves it. ~Mark Twain
  131. Let not your zeal to share your principles entice you beyond your borders. ~Marquis de Sade
  132. Social order at the expense of liberty is hardly a bargain. ~Marquis de Sade
  133. Is it not a strange blindness on our part to teach publicly the techniques of warfare and to reward with medals those who prove to be the most adroit killers? ~Marquis de Sade
  134. What is more immoral than war? ~Marquis de Sade
  135. There are many terrorist states in the world, but the United States is unusual in that it is officially committed to international terrorism. ~Noam Chomsky About the quote: from his book "Necessary Illusions" (p. 270)
  136. Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it. ~Noam Chomsky
  137. Terrorism is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich. ~Sir Peter Ustinov
  138. There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare. ~Sun Tzu
  139. The worst crimes were dared by a few, willed by more and tolerated by all. ~Tacitus
  140. To plunder, to slaughter, to steal, these things they misname empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace. ~Tacitus
  141. The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media. ~William Colby, former CIA director About the quote: as quoted by Dave McGowan in his book "Derailing Democracy"
  142. If you want war, nourish a doctrine. Doctrines are the most frightful tyrants to which men ever are subject... ~William Graham Sumner
  143. The greatest crime since World War II has been US foreign policy. ~William Ramsey Clark About the quote: William Ramsey Clark was US Attorney General under Lyndon B. Johnson
  144. The statesman who yields to war fever...is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events. ~Winston Churchill
  145. When you are winning a war almost everything that happens can be claimed to be right and wise. ~Winston Churchill
  146. Wars teach us not to love our enemies, but to hate our allies. ~W. L. George
  147. To fight, you must be brutal and ruthless, and the spirit of ruthless brutality will enter into the very fibre of national life... ~Woodrow Wilson

[Aug 21, 2017] Steve Bannon Plots Fox News Competitor As He Goes To War With Globalists, Report

Notable quotes:
"... Before his death in May, Roger Ailes had sent word to Bannon that he wanted to start a channel together. Bannon loved the idea: He believes Fox is heading in a squishy, globalist direction as the Murdoch sons assume more power. ..."
"... "That's a fight I fight every day here," he said. "We're still fighting. There's Treasury and [National Economic Council chair] Gary Cohn and Goldman Sachs lobbying." ..."
"... The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over I feel jacked up Now I'm free. I've got my hands back on my weapons ..."
Aug 21, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
Axios: that part of that war effort might include a brand new cable news network to the right of Fox News.

Axios' Jonathan Swan hears Bannon has told friends he sees a massive opening to the right of Fox News , raising the possibility that he's going to start a network. Bannon's friends are speculating about whether it will be a standalone TV network, or online streaming only.

Before his death in May, Roger Ailes had sent word to Bannon that he wanted to start a channel together. Bannon loved the idea: He believes Fox is heading in a squishy, globalist direction as the Murdoch sons assume more power.

Now he has the means, motive and opportunity: His chief financial backer, Long Island hedge fund billionaire Bob Mercer, is ready to invest big in what's coming next, including a huge overseas expansion of Breitbart News. Of course, this new speculation comes after Bannon declared last Friday that he was " going to war" for Trump ...

" If there's any confusion out there, let me clear it up. I'm leaving the White House and going to war for Trump against his opponents... on Capitol Hill, in the media, and in corporate America,

Meanwhile, with regard his internal adversaries , at the departments of State and Defense, who think the United States can enlist Beijing's aid on the North Korean standoff, and at Treasury and the National Economic Council who don't want to mess with the trading system, Bannon was ever harsher...

"Oh, they're wetting themselves," he said, explaining that the Section 301 complaint, which was put on hold when the war of threats with North Korea broke out, was shelved only temporarily, and will be revived in three weeks. As for other cabinet departments, Bannon has big plans to marginalize their influence.

"That's a fight I fight every day here," he said. "We're still fighting. There's Treasury and [National Economic Council chair] Gary Cohn and Goldman Sachs lobbying."

Finally, perhaps no one can summarize what Bannon has planned for the future than Bannon himself:

"The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over I feel jacked up Now I'm free. I've got my hands back on my weapons.

I am definitely going to crush the opposition. There's no doubt. I built a f***ing machine at Breitbart. And now we're about to rev that machine up."

[Aug 21, 2017] As President Trump considers sending more troops to Afghanistan, it's worth recalling the modern U.S. dynamic of politicians and generals making misguided judgments about war, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Aug 21, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Posted by: mauisurfer | Aug 20, 2017 7:58:16 PM | 10

By Ray McGovern

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/08/20/truth-and-lives-vs-career-and-fame/

[Aug 21, 2017] Truth and Lives vs. Career and Fame by Ray McGovern

Notable quotes:
"... New York Times ..."
Aug 21, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Fifty years ago, I could have tried to stop the Vietnam War, but lacked the courage. On Aug. 20, 1967, we at CIA received a cable from Saigon containing documentary proof that the U.S. commander, Gen. William Westmoreland, and his deputy, Gen. Creighton Abrams, were lying about their "success" in fighting the Vietnamese Communists. I live with regret that I did not blow the whistle on that when I could have.

(I wrote about this two years ago: " The Lasting Pain from Vietnam Silence ," republished below.)

Why raise this now? Because President Donald Trump has surrounded himself with starry-eyed generals (or generals with their eyes focused on their careers). And he seems to have little inkling that they got their multiple stars under a system where the Army motto "Duty, Honor, Country" can now be considered as "quaint" and "obsolete" as the Bush-Cheney administration deemed the Geneva Conventions.

All too often, the number of ribbons and merit badges festooned on the breasts of U.S. generals these days (think of the be-medaled Gen. David Petraeus, for example) is in direct proportion to the lies they have told in saluting smartly and abetting the unrealistic expectations of their political masters (and thus winning yet another star).

In my apologia that follows, the concentration is on the crimes of Westmoreland and the generations of careerist generals who aped him. There is not enough space to describe (or even list) those sycophantic officers here.

There are, sadly, far fewer senior officers who were exceptions, who put the true interests of the country ahead of their own careers. The list of general officers with integrity – the extreme exceptions to the rule – is even shorter. Only three spring immediately to mind: two generals and one admiral, all three of them cashiered for doing their job with honesty. What they experienced was instructive and remains so to this day.

1-On February 25, 2003, three weeks before the attack on Iraq, Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki warned the Senate Armed Services Committee that post-war Iraq would require "something on the order of several hundred thousand soldiers." He was immediately ridiculed by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, for having exaggerated the requirement. Shinseki retired a few months later.

2-Army General David McKiernan was cut from the same cloth. When President Barack Obama took office, McKiernan was running the war in Afghanistan. Even before Obama's election, he had expressed himself openly and strongly against applying the benighted Iraq-style "surge" of forces to Afghanistan, emphasizing that Afghanistan is "a far more complex environment than I ever found in Iraq," where he had led U.S. ground forces.

"The word I don't use for Afghanistan is 'surge,'" McKiernan told a news conference on Oct. 1, 2008. He warned that a large, sustained military buildup would be necessary to achieve any meaningful success. Worse still for the Washington Establishment, McKiernan added a stunning "no-no" – he said to achieve anything approaching a satisfactory outcome would take a decade, perhaps 14 years. Imagine!

Former CIA Director (and later Defense Secretary) Robert Gates.

For his political bosses, that cautionary realism was too much. On May 11, 2009, the Defense Secretary whom Obama's predecessor bequeathed to him, Robert Gates, sacked McKiernan, who had been in command less than a year. Gates replaced him with the swashbuckling Gen. Stanley McChrystal, a protégé of Gen. (and later CIA Director) David Petraeus.

Now, more than eight years later – with the American death toll almost quadrupled since the start of the Obama administration ( now exceeding 2,400 ), with a vastly greater death toll among Afghan civilians and with the U.S. military position even more precarious – President Trump is receiving advice to dispatch more U.S. troops.

3-Admiral William J. ("Fox") Fallon , one of the last Vietnam War veterans on active duty late into George W. Bush's administration, took over as chief of the Central Command on March 16, 2007. Fallon had already come under heavy criticism from the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute for not being hawkish enough.

Fallon had also been confronting Vice President Dick Cheney's desire to commit U.S. forces to another Mideast war, with Iran. As Fallon was preparing to take responsibility for U.S. forces in the region, he declared that a war with Iran "isn't going to happen on my watch," according to retired Army Col. Patrick Lang who told the Washington Post.

Gen. David Petraeus posing before the U.S. Capitol with Kimberly Kagan, founder and president of the Institute for the Study of War. (Photo credit: ISW's 2011 Annual Report)

Fallon's lack of patience with yes-men turned out to be yet another bureaucratic black mark against him. Several sources have reported that Fallon was sickened by David Petraeus's earlier, unctuous pandering to ingratiate himself with Fallon, his superior (for all-too-short a time). Fallon is said to have been so turned off by all the accolades in a flowery introduction given him by Petraeus that he called him to his face "an ass-kissing little chicken-shit," adding, "I hate people like that."

Fallon lasted not quite a full year. On March 11, 2008, Gates announced the resignation of Fallon as CENTCOM Commander, but Fallon's resistance to a war on Iran bought enough time for the U.S. intelligence community to reach a consensus that Iran had stopped work on a nuclear bomb years earlier, thus removing President Bush's intended excuse for going to war.

A Troubling Message

Sadly, however, the message to aspiring military commanders from this history is that there is little personal gain in doing what's best for the American people and the world. The promotions and the prestige normally go to the careerists who bend to the self-aggrandizing realities of Official Washington. They are the ones who typically become esteemed "wise men," the likes of Gen. Colin Powell, who went with the political winds (from his days as a young officer in Vietnam through his tenure as Secretary of State).

Someone needs to tell President Trump what Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity told President George W. Bush in a memorandum for the President on February 5, 2003, immediately following Powell's deceptive testimony urging the United Nations' Security Council to support an invasion of Iraq. What we said then seems just as urgent now:

Secretary of State Colin Powell addressed the United Nations on Feb. 5. 2003, citing satellite photos which supposedly proved that Iraq had WMD, but the evidence proved bogus.

"[A]fter watching Secretary Powell today, we are convinced that you would be well served if you widened the discussion beyond the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic."

And on the chance that President Trump remains tone-deaf to such advice, let me appeal to the consciences of those within the system who are privy to the kind of consequential deceit that has become endemic to the U.S. government. It is time to blow the whistle – now.

Take it from one who lives with regret from choosing not to step forward when it might have made a difference. Take it from Pentagon Papers truth-teller Daniel Ellsberg who often expresses regret that he did not speak out sooner.

Take it from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in a passage ironically cited often by President Obama: "We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now there is such a thing as being too late."

[Below is McGovern's article from May 1, 2015]

The Lasting Pain from Vietnam Silence

Exclusive: Many reflections on America's final days in Vietnam miss the point, pondering whether the war could have been won or lamenting the fate of U.S. collaborators left behind. The bigger questions are why did the U.S. go to war and why wasn't the bloodletting stopped sooner, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern reflects .

By Ray McGovern

Ecclesiastes says there is a time to be silent and a time to speak. The fortieth anniversary of the ugly end of the U.S. adventure in Vietnam is a time to speak and especially of the squandered opportunities that existed earlier in the war to blow the whistle and stop the killing.

While my friend Daniel Ellsberg's leak of the Pentagon Papers in 1971 eventually helped to end the war, Ellsberg is the first to admit that he waited too long to reveal the unconscionable deceit that brought death and injury to millions.

Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg.

I regret that, at first out of naiveté and then cowardice, I waited even longer until my own truth-telling no longer really mattered for the bloodshed in Vietnam. My hope is that there may be a chance this reminiscence might matter now if only as a painful example of what I could and should have done, had I the courage back then. Opportunities to blow the whistle in time now confront a new generation of intelligence analysts whether they work on Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, ISIS or Iran.

Incidentally, on Iran, there was a very positive example last decade: courageous analysts led by intrepid (and bureaucratically skilled) former Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence Thomas Fingar showed that honesty can still prevail within the system, even when truth is highly unwelcome.

The unanimous intelligence community conclusion of a National Intelligence Estimate of 2007 that Iran had stopped working on a nuclear weapon four years earlier played a huge role in thwarting plans by President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney to attack Iran in 2008, their last year in office. Bush says so in his memoir; and, on that one point, we can believe him.

After a half-century of watching such things closely, this is the only time in my experience that the key judgment of an NIE helped prevent a catastrophic, unwinnable war. Sadly, judging from the amateurism now prevailing in Washington's opaque policymaking circles, it seems clear that the White House pays little heed to those intelligence officers still trying to speak truth to power.

For them I have a suggestion: Don't just wring your hands, with an "I did everything I could to get the truth out." Chances are you have not done all you can. Ponder the stakes the lives ended too early; the bodies and minds damaged forever; the hatred engendered against the United States; and the long-term harm to U.S. national interests and think about blowing the whistle publicly to prevent unnecessary carnage and alienation.

I certainly wish I had done so about what I learned of the unconscionable betrayal by senior military and intelligence officers regarding Vietnam. More recently, I know that several of you intelligence analysts with a conscience wish you had blown the whistle on the fraud "justifying" war on Iraq. Spreading some truth around is precisely what you need to do now on Syria, Iraq, Ukraine and the "war on terror," for example.

I thought that by describing my own experience negative as it is and the remorse I continue to live with, I might assist those of you now pondering whether to step up to the plate and blow the whistle now, before it is again too late. So below is an article that I might call "Vietnam and Me."

Photos of victims of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam galvanized public awareness about the barbarity of the war. (Photo taken by U. S. Army photographer Ronald L. Haeberle)

My hope is to spare you the remorse of having to write, a decade or two from now, your own "Ukraine and Me" or "Syria and Me" or "Iraq and Me" or "Libya and Me" or "The War on Terror and Me." My article, from 2010, was entitled "How Truth Can Save Lives" and it began:

If independent-minded Web sites, like WikiLeaks or, say, Consortiumnews.com, existed 43 years ago, I might have risen to the occasion and helped save the lives of some 25,000 U.S. soldiers, and a million Vietnamese, by exposing the lies contained in just one SECRET/EYES ONLY cable from Saigon.

I need to speak out now because I have been sickened watching the herculean effort by Official Washington and our Fawning Corporate Media (FCM) to divert attention from the violence and deceit in Afghanistan, reflected in thousands of U.S. Army documents, by shooting the messenger(s), WikiLeaks and Pvt. Bradley Manning.

After all the indiscriminate death and destruction from nearly nine years of war, the hypocrisy is all too transparent when WikiLeaks and suspected leaker Manning are accused of risking lives by exposing too much truth. Besides, I still have a guilty conscience for what I chose NOT to do in exposing facts about the Vietnam War that might have saved lives.

The sad-but-true story recounted below is offered in the hope that those in similar circumstances today might show more courage than I was able to muster in 1967, and take full advantage of the incredible advancements in technology since then.

Many of my Junior Officer Trainee Program colleagues at CIA came to Washington in the early Sixties inspired by President John Kennedy's Inaugural speech in which he asked us to ask ourselves what we might do for our country. (Sounds corny nowadays, I suppose; I guess I'll just have to ask you to take it on faith. It may not have been Camelot exactly, but the spirit and ambience were fresh, and good.)

Among those who found Kennedy's summons compelling was Sam Adams, a young former naval officer out of Harvard College. After the Navy, Sam tried Harvard Law School, but found it boring. Instead, he decided to go to Washington, join the CIA as an officer trainee, and do something more adventurous. He got more than his share of adventure.

Sam was one of the brightest and most dedicated among us. Quite early in his career, he acquired a very lively and important account, that of assessing Vietnamese Communist strength early in the war. He took to the task with uncommon resourcefulness and quickly proved himself the consummate analyst.

Relying largely on captured documents, buttressed by reporting from all manner of other sources, Adams concluded in 1967 that there were twice as many Communists (about 600,000) under arms in South Vietnam as the U.S. military there would admit.

Dissembling in Saigon

Visiting Saigon during 1967, Adams learned from Army analysts that their commanding general, William Westmoreland, had placed an artificial cap on the official Army count rather than risk questions regarding "progress" in the war (sound familiar?).

Official photo of Army Chief of Staff GEN William C. Westmoreland. (Wikipedia)

It was a clash of cultures; with Army intelligence analysts saluting generals following politically dictated orders, and Sam Adams aghast at the dishonesty, consequential dishonesty. From time to time I would have lunch with Sam and learn of the formidable opposition he encountered in trying to get out the truth.

Commiserating with Sam over lunch one day in late August 1967, I asked what could possibly be Gen. Westmoreland's incentive to make the enemy strength appear to be half what it actually was. Sam gave me the answer he had from the horse's mouth in Saigon.

Adams told me that in a cable dated Aug. 20, 1967, Westmoreland's deputy, Gen. Creighton Abrams, set forth the rationale for the deception. Abrams wrote that the new, higher numbers (reflecting Sam's count, which was supported by all intelligence agencies except Army intelligence, which reflected the "command position") "were in sharp contrast to the current overall strength figure of about 299,000 given to the press."

Abrams emphasized, "We have been projecting an image of success over recent months" and cautioned that if the higher figures became public, "all available caveats and explanations will not prevent the press from drawing an erroneous and gloomy conclusion."

No further proof was needed that the most senior U.S. Army commanders were lying, so that they could continue to feign "progress" in the war. Equally unfortunate, the crassness and callousness of Abrams's cable notwithstanding, it had become increasingly clear that rather than stand up for Sam, his superiors would probably acquiesce in the Army's bogus figures. Sadly, that's what they did.

CIA Director Richard Helms, who saw his primary duty quite narrowly as "protecting" the agency, set the tone. He told subordinates that he could not discharge that duty if he let the agency get involved in a heated argument with the U.S. Army on such a key issue in wartime.

CIA Director Richard Helms.

This cut across the grain of what we had been led to believe was the prime duty of CIA analysts, to speak truth to power without fear or favor. And our experience thus far had shown both of us that this ethos amounted to much more than just slogans. We had, so far, been able to "tell it like it is."

After lunch with Sam, for the first time ever, I had no appetite for dessert. Sam and I had not come to Washington to "protect the agency." And, having served in Vietnam, Sam knew first hand that thousands upon thousands were being killed in a feckless war.

What to Do?

I have an all-too-distinct memory of a long silence over coffee, as each of us ruminated on what might be done. I recall thinking to myself; someone should take the Abrams cable down to the New York Times (at the time an independent-minded newspaper).

Clearly, the only reason for the cable's SECRET/EYES ONLY classification was to hide deliberate deception of our most senior generals regarding "progress" in the war and deprive the American people of the chance to know the truth.

Going to the press was, of course, antithetical to the culture of secrecy in which we had been trained. Besides, you would likely be caught at your next polygraph examination. Better not to stick your neck out.

I pondered all this in the days after that lunch with Adams. And I succeeded in coming up with a slew of reasons why I ought to keep silent: a mortgage; a plum overseas assignment for which I was in the final stages of language training; and, not least, the analytic work, important, exciting work on which Sam and I thrived.

Better to keep quiet for now, grow in gravitas, and live on to slay other dragons. Right?

One can, I suppose, always find excuses for not sticking one's neck out. The neck, after all, is a convenient connection between head and torso, albeit the "neck" that was the focus of my concern was a figurative one, suggesting possible loss of career, money and status not the literal "necks" of both Americans and Vietnamese that were on the line daily in the war.

But if there is nothing for which you would risk your career "neck" like, say, saving the lives of soldiers and civilians in a war zone your "neck" has become your idol, and your career is not worthy of that. I now regret giving such worship to my own neck. Not only did I fail the neck test. I had not thought things through very rigorously from a moral point of view.

Promises to Keep?

As a condition of employment, I had signed a promise not to divulge classified information so as not to endanger sources, methods or national security. Promises are important, and one should not lightly violate them. Plus, there are legitimate reasons for protecting some secrets. But were any of those legitimate concerns the real reasons why Abrams's cable was stamped SECRET/EYES ONLY? I think not.

Air Force F-105s bomb a target in the southern panhandle of North Vietnam on June 14, 1966. (Photo credit: U.S. Air Force)"

It is not good to operate in a moral vacuum, oblivious to the reality that there exists a hierarchy of values and that circumstances often determine the morality of a course of action. How does a written promise to keep secret everything with a classified stamp on it square with one's moral responsibility to stop a war based on lies? Does stopping a misbegotten war not supersede a secrecy promise?

Ethicists use the words "supervening value" for this; the concept makes sense to me. And is there yet another value? As an Army officer, I had taken a solemn oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic.

How did the lying by the Army command in Saigon fit in with that? Were/are generals exempt? Should we not call them out when we learn of deliberate deception that subverts the democratic process? Can the American people make good decisions if they are lied to?

Would I have helped stop unnecessary killing by giving the New York Times the not-really-secret, SECRET/EYES ONLY cable from Gen. Abrams? We'll never know, will we? And I live with that. I could not take the easy way out, saying Let Sam Do It. Because I knew he wouldn't.

Sam chose to go through the established grievance channels and got the royal run-around, even after the Communist countrywide offensive at Tet in January-February 1968 proved beyond any doubt that his count of Communist forces was correct.

When the Tet offensive began, as a way of keeping his sanity, Adams drafted a caustic cable to Saigon saying, "It is something of an anomaly to be taking so much punishment from Communist soldiers whose existence is not officially acknowledged." But he did not think the situation at all funny.

Dan Ellsberg Steps In

Sam kept playing by the rules, but it happened that unbeknown to Sam Dan Ellsberg gave Sam's figures on enemy strength to the New York Times , which published them on March 19, 1968. Dan had learned that President Lyndon Johnson was about to bow to Pentagon pressure to widen the war into Cambodia, Laos and up to the Chinese border perhaps even beyond.

President Lyndon Johnson meeting with South Vietnamese President Nguyen van Thieu on July 19,1968.

Later, it became clear that his timely leak together with another unauthorized disclosure to the Times that the Pentagon had requested 206,000 more troops prevented a wider war. On March 25, Johnson complained to a small gathering, "The leaks to the New York Times hurt us. We have no support for the war. I would have given Westy the 206,000 men."

Ellsberg also copied the Pentagon Papers the 7,000-page top-secret history of U.S. decision-making on Vietnam from 1945 to 1967 and, in 1971, he gave copies to the New York Times , Washington Post and other news organizations.

In the years since, Ellsberg has had difficulty shaking off the thought that, had he released the Pentagon Papers sooner, the war might have ended years earlier with untold lives saved. Ellsberg has put it this way: "Like so many others, I put personal loyalty to the president above all else above loyalty to the Constitution and above obligation to the law, to truth, to Americans, and to humankind. I was wrong."

And so was I wrong in not asking Sam for a copy of that cable from Gen. Abrams. Sam, too, eventually had strong regrets. Sam had continued to pursue the matter within CIA, until he learned that Dan Ellsberg was on trial in 1973 for releasing the Pentagon Papers and was being accused of endangering national security by revealing figures on enemy strength.

Which figures? The same old faked numbers from 1967! "Imagine," said Adams, "hanging a man for leaking faked numbers," as he hustled off to testify on Dan's behalf. (The case against Ellsberg was ultimately thrown out of court because of prosecutorial abuses committed by the Nixon administration.)

After the war drew down, Adams was tormented by the thought that, had he not let himself be diddled by the system, the entire left half of the Vietnam Memorial wall would not be there. There would have been no new names to chisel into such a wall.

Sam Adams died prematurely at age 55 with nagging remorse that he had not done enough.

In a letter appearing in the (then independent-minded) New York Times on Oct. 18, 1975, John T. Moore, a CIA analyst who worked in Saigon and the Pentagon from 1965 to 1970, confirmed Adams's story after Sam told it in detail in the May 1975 issue of Harper's magazine.

Moore wrote: "My only regret is that I did not have Sam's courage. The record is clear. It speaks of misfeasance, nonfeasance and malfeasance, of outright dishonesty and professional cowardice.

"It reflects an intelligence community captured by an aging bureaucracy, which too often placed institutional self-interest or personal advancement before the national interest. It is a page of shame in the history of American intelligence."

Tanks But No Thanks, Abrams

What about Gen. Creighton Abrams? Not every general gets the Army's main battle tank named after him. The honor, though, came not from his service in Vietnam, but rather from his courage in the early day of his military career, leading his tanks through German lines to relieve Bastogne during World War II's Battle of the Bulge. Gen. George Patton praised Abrams as the only tank commander he considered his equal.

Vice President Hubert Humphrey, President Lyndon Johnson and General Creighton Abrams in a Cabinet Room meeting on March 27, 1968. (Photo credit: National Archive)

As things turned out, sadly, 23 years later Abrams became a poster child for old soldiers who, as Gen. Douglas McArthur suggested, should "just fade away," rather than hang on too long after their great military accomplishments.

In May 1967, Abrams was picked to be Westmoreland's deputy in Vietnam and succeeded him a year later. But Abrams could not succeed in the war, no matter how effectively "an image of success" his subordinates projected for the media. The "erroneous and gloomy conclusions of the press" that Abrams had tried so hard to head off proved all too accurate.

Ironically, when reality hit home, it fell to Abrams to cut back U.S. forces in Vietnam from a peak of 543,000 in early 1969 to 49,000 in June 1972, almost five years after Abrams's progress-defending cable from Saigon. By 1972, some 58,000 U.S. troops, not to mention two to three million Vietnamese, had been killed.

Both Westmoreland and Abrams had reasonably good reputations when they started out, but not so much when they finished.

And Petraeus?

Comparisons can be invidious, but Gen. David Petraeus is another Army commander who has wowed Congress with his ribbons, medals and merit badges. A pity he was not born early enough to have served in Vietnam where he might have learned some real-life hard lessons about the limitations of counterinsurgency theories.

Moreover, it appears that no one took the trouble to tell him that in the early Sixties we young infantry officers already had plenty of counterinsurgency manuals to study at Fort Bragg and Fort Benning. There are many things one cannot learn from reading or writing manuals, as many of my Army colleagues learned too late in the jungles and mountains of South Vietnam.

Unless one is to believe, contrary to all indications, that Petraeus is not all that bright, one has to assume he knows that the Afghanistan expedition is a folly beyond repair. So far, though, he has chosen the approach taken by Gen. Abrams in his August 1967 cable from Saigon. That is precisely why the ground-truth of the documents released by WikiLeaks is so important.

Whistleblowers Galore

And it's not just the WikiLeaks documents that have caused consternation inside the U.S. government. Investigators reportedly are rigorously pursuing the source that provided the New York Times with the texts of two cables (of 6 and 9 November 2009) from Ambassador Eikenberry in Kabul. [See Consortiumnews.com's " Obama Ignores Key Afghan Warning ."]

Barack Obama and George W. Bush at the White House.

To its credit, even today's far-less independent New York Times published a major story based on the information in those cables, while President Barack Obama was still trying to figure out what to do about Afghanistan. Later the Times posted the entire texts of the cables, which were classified Top Secret and NODIS (meaning "no dissemination" to anyone but the most senior officials to whom the documents were addressed).

The cables conveyed Eikenberry's experienced, cogent views on the foolishness of the policy in place and, implicitly, of any eventual decision to double down on the Afghan War. (That, of course, is pretty much what the President ended up doing.) Eikenberry provided chapter and verse to explain why, as he put it, "I cannot support [the Defense Department's] recommendation for an immediate Presidential decision to deploy another 40,000 here."

Such frank disclosures are anathema to self-serving bureaucrats and ideologues who would much prefer depriving the American people of information that might lead them to question the government's benighted policy toward Afghanistan, for example.

As the New York Times /Eikenberry cables show, even today's FCM (fawning corporate media) may sometimes display the old spunk of American journalism and refuse to hide or fudge the truth, even if the facts might cause the people to draw "an erroneous and gloomy conclusion," to borrow Gen. Abrams's words of 43 years ago.

Polished Pentagon Spokesman

Remember "Baghdad Bob," the irrepressible and unreliable Iraqi Information Minister at the time of the U.S.-led invasion? He came to mind as I watched Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell's chaotic, quixotic press briefing on Aug. 5 regarding the WikiLeaks exposures. The briefing was revealing in several respects. Clear from his prepared statement was what is bothering the Pentagon the most. Here's Morrell:

"WikiLeaks's webpage constitutes a brazen solicitation to U.S. government officials, including our military, to break the law. WikiLeaks's public assertion that submitting confidential material to WikiLeaks is safe, easy and protected by law is materially false and misleading. The Department of Defense therefore also demands that WikiLeaks discontinue any solicitation of this type."

Rest assured that the Defense Department will do all it can to make it unsafe for any government official to provide WikiLeaks with sensitive material. But it is contending with a clever group of hi-tech experts who have built in precautions to allow information to be submitted anonymously. That the Pentagon will prevail anytime soon is far from certain.

Also, in a ludicrous attempt to close the barn door after tens of thousands of classified documents had already escaped, Morrell insisted that WikiLeaks give back all the documents and electronic media in its possession. Even the normally docile Pentagon press corps could not suppress a collective laugh, irritating the Pentagon spokesman no end. The impression gained was one of a Pentagon Gulliver tied down by terabytes of Lilliputians.

Morrell's self-righteous appeal to the leaders of WikiLeaks to "do the right thing" was accompanied by an explicit threat that, otherwise, "We shall have to compel them to do the right thing." His attempt to assert Pentagon power in this regard fell flat, given the realities.

Morrell also chose the occasion to remind the Pentagon press corps to behave themselves or face rejection when applying to be embedded in units of U.S. armed forces. The correspondents were shown nodding docilely as Morrell reminded them that permission for embedding "is by no means a right. It is a privilege." The generals giveth and the generals taketh away.

It was a moment of arrogance, and press subservience, that would have sickened Thomas Jefferson or James Madison, not to mention the courageous war correspondents who did their duty in Vietnam. Morrell and the generals can control the "embeds"; they cannot control the ether. Not yet, anyway.

And that was all too apparent beneath the strutting, preening, and finger waving by the Pentagon's fancy silk necktie to the world. Actually, the opportunities afforded by WikiLeaks and other Internet Web sites can serve to diminish what few advantages there are to being in bed with the Army.

What Would I Have Done?

Would I have had the courage to whisk Gen. Abrams's cable into the ether in 1967, if WikiLeaks or other Web sites had been available to provide a major opportunity to expose the deceit of the top Army command in Saigon? The Pentagon can argue that using the Internet this way is not "safe, easy, and protected by law." We shall see.

Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Meanwhile, this way of exposing information that people in a democracy should know will continue to be sorely tempting, and a lot easier than taking the risk of being photographed lunching with someone from the New York Times .

From what I have learned over these past 43 years, supervening moral values can, and should, trump lesser promises. Today, I would be determined to "do the right thing," if I had access to an Abrams-like cable from Petraeus in Kabul. And I believe that Sam Adams, if he were alive today, would enthusiastically agree that this would be the morally correct decision.

My article from 2010 ended with a footnote about the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII), an organization created by Sam Adams's former CIA colleagues and other former intelligence analysts to hold up his example as a model for those in intelligence who would aspire to the courage to speak truth to power.

At the time there were seven recipients of an annual award bestowed on those who exemplified Sam Adam's courage, persistence and devotion to truth. Now, there have been 14 recipients: Coleen Rowley (2002), Katharine Gun (2003), Sibel Edmonds (2004), Craig Murray (2005), Sam Provance (2006), Frank Grevil (2007), Larry Wilkerson (2009), Julian Assange (2010), Thomas Drake (2011), Jesselyn Radack (2011), Thomas Fingar (2012), Edward Snowden (2013), Chelsea Manning (2014), William Binney (2015).

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was a close colleague of Sam Adams; the two began their CIA analyst careers together during the last months of John Kennedy's administration. During the Vietnam War, McGovern was responsible for analyzing Soviet policy toward China and Vietnam.

[Aug 21, 2017] The Lasting Pain from Vietnam Silence

Notable quotes:
"... New York Times ..."
"... New York Times ..."
May 01, 2015 | original.antiwar.com

Ecclesiastes says there is a time to be silent and a time to speak. The fortieth anniversary of the ugly end of the US adventure in Vietnam is a time to speak and especially of the squandered opportunities that existed earlier in the war to blow the whistle and stop the killing.

While my friend Daniel Ellsberg's leak of the Pentagon Papers in 1971 eventually helped to end the war, Ellsberg is the first to admit that he waited too long to reveal the unconscionable deceit that brought death and injury to millions.

I regret that, at first out of naiveté and then cowardice, I waited even longer until my own truth-telling no longer really mattered for the bloodshed in Vietnam. My hope is that there may be a chance this reminiscence might matter now if only as a painful example of what I could and should have done, had I the courage back then. Opportunities to blow the whistle in time now confront a new generation of intelligence analysts whether they work on Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, ISIS or Iran.

Incidentally, on Iran, there was a very positive example last decade: courageous analysts led by intrepid (and bureaucratically skilled) former Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence Thomas Fingar showed that honesty can still prevail within the system, even when truth is highly unwelcome.

The unanimous intelligence community conclusion of a National Intelligence Estimate of 2007 that Iran had stopped working on a nuclear weapon four years earlier played a huge role in thwarting plans by President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney to attack Iran in 2008, their last year in office. Bush says so in his memoir; and, on that one point, we can believe him.

After a half-century of watching such things closely, this is the only time in my experience that the key judgment of an NIE helped prevent a catastrophic, unwinnable war. Sadly, judging from the amateurism now prevailing in Washington's opaque policymaking circles, it seems clear that the White House pays little heed to those intelligence officers still trying to speak truth to power.

For them I have a suggestion: Don't just wring your hands, with an "I did everything I could to get the truth out." Chances are you have not done all you can. Ponder the stakes the lives ended too early; the bodies and minds damaged forever; the hatred engendered against the United States; and the long-term harm to US national interests and think about blowing the whistle publicly to prevent unnecessary carnage and alienation.

I certainly wish I had done so about what I learned of the unconscionable betrayal by senior military and intelligence officers regarding Vietnam. More recently, I know that several of you intelligence analysts with a conscience wish you had blown the whistle on the fraud "justifying" war on Iraq. Spreading some truth around is precisely what you need to do now on Syria, Iraq, Ukraine and the "war on terror," for example.

I thought that by describing my own experience negative as it is and the remorse I continue to live with, I might assist those of you now pondering whether to step up to the plate and blow the whistle now, before it is again too late. So below is an article that I might call "Vietnam and Me."

My hope is to spare you the remorse of having to write, a decade or two from now, your own "Ukraine and Me" or "Syria and Me" or "Iraq and Me" or "Libya and Me" or "The War on Terror and Me." My article, from 2010, was entitled "How Truth Can Save Lives" and it began:

If independent-minded Web sites, like WikiLeaks or, say, Consortiumnews.com, existed 43 years ago, I might have risen to the occasion and helped save the lives of some 25,000 US soldiers, and a million Vietnamese, by exposing the lies contained in just one SECRET/EYES ONLY cable from Saigon.

I need to speak out now because I have been sickened watching the herculean effort by Official Washington and our Fawning Corporate Media (FCM) to divert attention from the violence and deceit in Afghanistan, reflected in thousands of US Army documents, by shooting the messenger(s), WikiLeaks and Pvt. Bradley Manning.

After all the indiscriminate death and destruction from nearly nine years of war, the hypocrisy is all too transparent when WikiLeaks and suspected leaker Manning are accused of risking lives by exposing too much truth. Besides, I still have a guilty conscience for what I chose NOT to do in exposing facts about the Vietnam War that might have saved lives.

The sad-but-true story recounted below is offered in the hope that those in similar circumstances today might show more courage than I was able to muster in 1967, and take full advantage of the incredible advancements in technology since then.

Many of my Junior Officer Trainee Program colleagues at CIA came to Washington in the early Sixties inspired by President John Kennedy's Inaugural speech in which he asked us to ask ourselves what we might do for our country. (Sounds corny nowadays, I suppose; I guess I'll just have to ask you to take it on faith. It may not have been Camelot exactly, but the spirit and ambiance were fresh, and good.)

Among those who found Kennedy's summons compelling was Sam Adams, a young former naval officer out of Harvard College. After the Navy, Sam tried Harvard Law School, but found it boring. Instead, he decided to go to Washington, join the CIA as an officer trainee, and do something more adventurous. He got more than his share of adventure.

Sam was one of the brightest and most dedicated among us. Quite early in his career, he acquired a very lively and important account, that of assessing Vietnamese Communist strength early in the war. He took to the task with uncommon resourcefulness and quickly proved himself the consummate analyst.

Relying largely on captured documents, buttressed by reporting from all manner of other sources, Adams concluded in 1967 that there were twice as many Communists (about 600,000) under arms in South Vietnam as the US military there would admit.

Dissembling in Saigon

Visiting Saigon during 1967, Adams learned from Army analysts that their commanding general, William Westmoreland, had placed an artificial cap on the official Army count rather than risk questions regarding "progress" in the war (sound familiar?).

It was a clash of cultures; with Army intelligence analysts saluting generals following politically dictated orders, and Sam Adams aghast at the dishonesty, consequential dishonesty. From time to time I would have lunch with Sam and learn of the formidable opposition he encountered in trying to get out the truth.

Commiserating with Sam over lunch one day in late August 1967, I asked what could possibly be Gen. Westmoreland's incentive to make the enemy strength appear to be half what it actually was. Sam gave me the answer he had from the horse's mouth in Saigon.

Adams told me that in a cable dated Aug. 20, 1967, Westmoreland's deputy, Gen. Creighton Abrams, set forth the rationale for the deception. Abrams wrote that the new, higher numbers (reflecting Sam's count, which was supported by all intelligence agencies except Army intelligence, which reflected the "command position") "were in sharp contrast to the current overall strength figure of about 299,000 given to the press."

Abrams emphasized, "We have been projecting an image of success over recent months" and cautioned that if the higher figures became public, "all available caveats and explanations will not prevent the press from drawing an erroneous and gloomy conclusion."

No further proof was needed that the most senior US Army commanders were lying, so that they could continue to feign "progress" in the war. Equally unfortunate, the crassness and callousness of Abrams's cable notwithstanding, it had become increasingly clear that rather than stand up for Sam, his superiors would probably acquiesce in the Army's bogus figures. Sadly, that's what they did.

CIA Director Richard Helms, who saw his primary duty quite narrowly as "protecting" the agency, set the tone. He told subordinates that he could not discharge that duty if he let the agency get involved in a heated argument with the US Army on such a key issue in wartime.

This cut across the grain of what we had been led to believe was the prime duty of CIA analysts, to speak truth to power without fear or favor. And our experience thus far had shown both of us that this ethos amounted to much more than just slogans. We had, so far, been able to "tell it like it is."

After lunch with Sam, for the first time ever, I had no appetite for dessert. Sam and I had not come to Washington to "protect the agency." And, having served in Vietnam, Sam knew first hand that thousands upon thousands were being killed in a feckless war.

What to Do?

I have an all-too-distinct memory of a long silence over coffee, as each of us ruminated on what might be done. I recall thinking to myself; someone should take the Abrams cable down to the New York Times (at the time an independent-minded newspaper).

Clearly, the only reason for the cable's SECRET/EYES ONLY classification was to hide deliberate deception of our most senior generals regarding "progress" in the war and deprive the American people of the chance to know the truth.

Going to the press was, of course, antithetical to the culture of secrecy in which we had been trained. Besides, you would likely be caught at your next polygraph examination. Better not to stick your neck out.

I pondered all this in the days after that lunch with Adams. And I succeeded in coming up with a slew of reasons why I ought to keep silent: a mortgage; a plum overseas assignment for which I was in the final stages of language training; and, not least, the analytic work, important, exciting work on which Sam and I thrived.

Better to keep quiet for now, grow in gravitas, and live on to slay other dragons. Right?

One can, I suppose, always find excuses for not sticking one's neck out. The neck, after all, is a convenient connection between head and torso, albeit the "neck" that was the focus of my concern was a figurative one, suggesting possible loss of career, money and status not the literal "necks" of both Americans and Vietnamese that were on the line daily in the war.

But if there is nothing for which you would risk your career "neck" like, say, saving the lives of soldiers and civilians in a war zone your "neck" has become your idol, and your career is not worthy of that. I now regret giving such worship to my own neck. Not only did I fail the neck test. I had not thought things through very rigorously from a moral point of view.

Promises to Keep?

As a condition of employment, I had signed a promise not to divulge classified information so as not to endanger sources, methods or national security. Promises are important, and one should not lightly violate them. Plus, there are legitimate reasons for protecting some secrets. But were any of those legitimate concerns the real reasons why Abrams's cable was stamped SECRET/EYES ONLY? I think not.

It is not good to operate in a moral vacuum, oblivious to the reality that there exists a hierarchy of values and that circumstances often determine the morality of a course of action. How does a written promise to keep secret everything with a classified stamp on it square with one's moral responsibility to stop a war based on lies? Does stopping a misbegotten war not supersede a secrecy promise?

Ethicists use the words "supervening value" for this; the concept makes sense to me. And is there yet another value? As an Army officer, I had taken a solemn oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic.

How did the lying by the Army command in Saigon fit in with that? Were/are generals exempt? Should we not call them out when we learn of deliberate deception that subverts the democratic process? Can the American people make good decisions if they are lied to?

Would I have helped stop unnecessary killing by giving the New York Times the not-really-secret, SECRET/EYES ONLY cable from Gen. Abrams? We'll never know, will we? And I live with that. I could not take the easy way out, saying Let Sam Do It. Because I knew he wouldn't.

Sam chose to go through the established grievance channels and got the royal run-around, even after the Communist countrywide offensive at Tet in January-February 1968 proved beyond any doubt that his count of Communist forces was correct.

When the Tet offensive began, as a way of keeping his sanity, Adams drafted a caustic cable to Saigon saying, "It is something of an anomaly to be taking so much punishment from Communist soldiers whose existence is not officially acknowledged." But he did not think the situation at all funny.

Dan Ellsberg Steps In

Sam kept playing by the rules, but it happened that unbeknown to Sam Dan Ellsberg gave Sam's figures on enemy strength to the New York Times , which published them on March 19, 1968. Dan had learned that President Lyndon Johnson was about to bow to Pentagon pressure to widen the war into Cambodia, Laos and up to the Chinese border perhaps even beyond.

Later, it became clear that his timely leak together with another unauthorized disclosure to the Times that the Pentagon had requested 206,000 more troops prevented a wider war. On March 25, Johnson complained to a small gathering, "The leaks to the New York Times hurt us. We have no support for the war. I would have given Westy the 206,000 men."

Ellsberg also copied the Pentagon Papers the 7,000-page top-secret history of US decision-making on Vietnam from 1945 to 1967 and, in 1971, he gave copies to the New York Times , Washington Post and other news organizations.

In the years since, Ellsberg has had difficulty shaking off the thought that, had he released the Pentagon Papers sooner, the war might have ended years earlier with untold lives saved. Ellsberg has put it this way: "Like so many others, I put personal loyalty to the president above all else above loyalty to the Constitution and above obligation to the law, to truth, to Americans, and to humankind. I was wrong."

And so was I wrong in not asking Sam for a copy of that cable from Gen. Abrams. Sam, too, eventually had strong regrets. Sam had continued to pursue the matter within CIA, until he learned that Dan Ellsberg was on trial in 1973 for releasing the Pentagon Papers and was being accused of endangering national security by revealing figures on enemy strength.

Which figures? The same old faked numbers from 1967! "Imagine," said Adams, "hanging a man for leaking faked numbers," as he hustled off to testify on Dan's behalf. (The case against Ellsberg was ultimately thrown out of court because of prosecutorial abuses committed by the Nixon administration.)

After the war drew down, Adams was tormented by the thought that, had he not let himself be diddled by the system, the entire left half of the Vietnam Memorial wall would not be there. There would have been no new names to chisel into such a wall.

Sam Adams died prematurely at age 55 with nagging remorse that he had not done enough.

In a letter appearing in the (then independent-minded) New York Times on Oct. 18, 1975, John T. Moore, a CIA analyst who worked in Saigon and the Pentagon from 1965 to 1970, confirmed Adams's story after Sam told it in detail in the May 1975 issue of Harper's magazine.

Moore wrote: "My only regret is that I did not have Sam's courage. The record is clear. It speaks of misfeasance, nonfeasance and malfeasance, of outright dishonesty and professional cowardice.

"It reflects an intelligence community captured by an aging bureaucracy, which too often placed institutional self-interest or personal advancement before the national interest. It is a page of shame in the history of American intelligence."

Tanks But No Thanks, Abrams

What about Gen. Creighton Abrams? Not every general gets the Army's main battle tank named after him. The honor, though, came not from his service in Vietnam, but rather from his courage in the early day of his military career, leading his tanks through German lines to relieve Bastogne during World War II's Battle of the Bulge. Gen. George Patton praised Abrams as the only tank commander he considered his equal.

As things turned out, sadly, 23 years later Abrams became a poster child for old soldiers who, as Gen. Douglas McArthur suggested, should "just fade away," rather than hang on too long after their great military accomplishments.

In May 1967, Abrams was picked to be Westmoreland's deputy in Vietnam and succeeded him a year later. But Abrams could not succeed in the war, no matter how effectively "an image of success" his subordinates projected for the media. The "erroneous and gloomy conclusions of the press" that Abrams had tried so hard to head off proved all too accurate.

Ironically, when reality hit home, it fell to Abrams to cut back US forces in Vietnam from a peak of 543,000 in early 1969 to 49,000 in June 1972, almost five years after Abrams's progress-defending cable from Saigon. By 1972, some 58,000 US troops, not to mention two to three million Vietnamese, had been killed.

Both Westmoreland and Abrams had reasonably good reputations when they started out, but not so much when they finished.

And Petraeus?

Comparisons can be invidious, but Gen. David Petraeus is another Army commander who has wowed Congress with his ribbons, medals and merit badges. A pity he was not born early enough to have served in Vietnam where he might have learned some real-life hard lessons about the limitations of counterinsurgency theories.

Moreover, it appears that no one took the trouble to tell him that in the early Sixties we young infantry officers already had plenty of counterinsurgency manuals to study at Fort Bragg and Fort Benning. There are many things one cannot learn from reading or writing manuals, as many of my Army colleagues learned too late in the jungles and mountains of South Vietnam.

Unless one is to believe, contrary to all indications, that Petraeus is not all that bright, one has to assume he knows that the Afghanistan expedition is a folly beyond repair. So far, though, he has chosen the approach taken by Gen. Abrams in his August 1967 cable from Saigon. That is precisely why the ground-truth of the documents released by WikiLeaks is so important.

Whistleblowers Galore

And it's not just the WikiLeaks documents that have caused consternation inside the US government. Investigators reportedly are rigorously pursuing the source that provided the New York Times with the texts of two cables (of 6 and 9 November 2009) from Ambassador Eikenberry in Kabul. [See Consortiumnews.com's " Obama Ignores Key Afghan Warning ."]

To its credit, even today's far-less independent New York Times published a major story based on the information in those cables, while President Barack Obama was still trying to figure out what to do about Afghanistan. Later the Times posted the entire texts of the cables, which were classified Top Secret and NODIS (meaning "no dissemination" to anyone but the most senior officials to whom the documents were addressed).

The cables conveyed Eikenberry's experienced, cogent views on the foolishness of the policy in place and, implicitly, of any eventual decision to double down on the Afghan War. (That, of course, is pretty much what the President ended up doing.) Eikenberry provided chapter and verse to explain why, as he put it, "I cannot support [the Defense Department's] recommendation for an immediate Presidential decision to deploy another 40,000 here."

Such frank disclosures are anathema to self-serving bureaucrats and ideologues who would much prefer depriving the American people of information that might lead them to question the government's benighted policy toward Afghanistan, for example.

As the New York Times /Eikenberry cables show, even today's FCM (fawning corporate media) may sometimes display the old spunk of American journalism and refuse to hide or fudge the truth, even if the facts might cause the people to draw "an erroneous and gloomy conclusion," to borrow Gen. Abrams's words of 43 years ago.

Polished Pentagon Spokesman

Remember "Baghdad Bob," the irrepressible and unreliable Iraqi Information Minister at the time of the U.S.-led invasion? He came to mind as I watched Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell's chaotic, quixotic press briefing on Aug. 5 regarding the WikiLeaks exposures. The briefing was revealing in several respects. Clear from his prepared statement was what is bothering the Pentagon the most. Here's Morrell:

"WikiLeaks's webpage constitutes a brazen solicitation to US government officials, including our military, to break the law. WikiLeaks's public assertion that submitting confidential material to WikiLeaks is safe, easy and protected by law is materially false and misleading. The Department of Defense therefore also demands that WikiLeaks discontinue any solicitation of this type."

Rest assured that the Defense Department will do all it can to make it unsafe for any government official to provide WikiLeaks with sensitive material. But it is contending with a clever group of hi-tech experts who have built in precautions to allow information to be submitted anonymously. That the Pentagon will prevail anytime soon is far from certain.

Also, in a ludicrous attempt to close the barn door after tens of thousands of classified documents had already escaped, Morrell insisted that WikiLeaks give back all the documents and electronic media in its possession. Even the normally docile Pentagon press corps could not suppress a collective laugh, irritating the Pentagon spokesman no end. The impression gained was one of a Pentagon Gulliver tied down by terabytes of Lilliputians.

Morrell's self-righteous appeal to the leaders of WikiLeaks to "do the right thing" was accompanied by an explicit threat that, otherwise, "We shall have to compel them to do the right thing." His attempt to assert Pentagon power in this regard fell flat, given the realities.

Morrell also chose the occasion to remind the Pentagon press corps to behave themselves or face rejection when applying to be embedded in units of US armed forces. The correspondents were shown nodding docilely as Morrell reminded them that permission for embedding "is by no means a right. It is a privilege." The generals giveth and the generals taketh away.

It was a moment of arrogance, and press subservience, that would have sickened Thomas Jefferson or James Madison, not to mention the courageous war correspondents who did their duty in Vietnam. Morrell and the generals can control the "embeds"; they cannot control the ether. Not yet, anyway.

And that was all too apparent beneath the strutting, preening, and finger waving by the Pentagon's fancy silk necktie to the world. Actually, the opportunities afforded by WikiLeaks and other Internet Web sites can serve to diminish what few advantages there are to being in bed with the Army.

What Would I Have Done?

Would I have had the courage to whisk Gen. Abrams's cable into the ether in 1967, if WikiLeaks or other Web sites had been available to provide a major opportunity to expose the deceit of the top Army command in Saigon? The Pentagon can argue that using the Internet this way is not "safe, easy, and protected by law." We shall see.

Meanwhile, this way of exposing information that people in a democracy should know will continue to be sorely tempting, and a lot easier than taking the risk of being photographed lunching with someone from the New York Times .

From what I have learned over these past 43 years, supervening moral values can, and should, trump lesser promises. Today, I would be determined to "do the right thing," if I had access to an Abrams-like cable from Petraeus in Kabul. And I believe that Sam Adams, if he were alive today, would enthusiastically agree that this would be the morally correct decision.

My article from 2010 ended with a footnote about the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII), an organization created by Sam Adams's former CIA colleagues and other former intelligence analysts to hold up his example as a model for those in intelligence who would aspire to the courage to speak truth to power.

At the time there were seven recipients of an annual award bestowed on those who exemplified Sam Adam's courage, persistence and devotion to truth. Now, there have been 14 recipients: Coleen Rowley (2002), Katharine Gun (2003), Sibel Edmonds (2004), Craig Murray (2005), Sam Provance (2006), Frank Grevil (2007), Larry Wilkerson (2009), Julian Assange (2010), Thomas Drake (2011), Jesselyn Radack (2011), Thomas Fingar (2012), Edward Snowden (2013), Chelsea Manning (2014), William Binney (2015).

Read more by Ray McGovern Moral Corrosion of Drone Warfare – July 16th, 2017 Russia-China Tandem Shifts Global Power – July 3rd, 2017 What Trump Can Expect From Putin – July 2nd, 2017 NBC's Kelly Hits Putin With a Beloved Canard – June 12th, 2017 Hiding the Ugly Business of Torture – June 2nd, 2017

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. In the Sixties he served as an infantry/intelligence officer and then became a CIA analyst for the next 27 years. He is on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). View all posts by Ray McGovern

[Jul 29, 2017] Ray McGovern The Deep State Assault on Elected Government Must Be Stopped

Highly recommended!
Ray McGovern raise important fact: DNC hide evidence from FBI outsourcing everything to CrowdStrike. This is the most unexplainable fact in the whole story. One hypotheses that Ray advanced here that there was so many hacks into DNC that they wanted to hide.
Another important point is CIA role in elections, and specifically John O. Brennan behaviour. Brennan's 25 years with the CIA included work as a Near East and South Asia analyst and as station chief in Saudi Arabia.
McGovern thing that Brennon actually controlled Obama. And in his opinion Brennan was the main leaker of Trump surveillance information.
Notable quotes:
"... Do really think the Deep State cares about the environment. Trump is our only chance to damage Deep State. McGovern is wrong... DNC were from Seth Rich, inside DNC. Murdered for it. McGovern is wrong... i could go on and on but suffice it to say his confidence is way to high. He is wrong. ..."
Apr 2, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Greg Rhodes 3 months ago

I really like Ray... I watch and listen , he seems to use logic, reason and facts in his assessments.. I'm surprised CIA and the deep state allow him to operate ... stay safe Ray...
Robert Eargle 2 months ago

McGovern, you idiot. To try to put Trump on Hillary's level is complete stupidity. The war with Russia or nothing was avoided with a Trump victory. Remember the NATO build up on the Russian border preparing for a Hillary win? Plus, if Hillary won, justice and law in the USA would be over with forever. The Germans dont know sht about the USA to say their little cute phrase. Trump is a very calm mannered man and his hands on the nuke button is an issue only to those who watch the fake MSM. And no the NSA has not released anything either. Wrong on that point too.

Manley Nelson 2 months ago

The German expression of USA having a choice between cholera and plague is ignorant. McGovern is wrong ....everyone knew HRC was a criminal. McGovern is wrong... Jill Stein in not trustworthy. A vote for Jill Stein was a vote away from Trump. If Jill Stein or HRC were elected their would be no environment left to save. Do really think the Deep State cares about the environment. Trump is our only chance to damage Deep State. McGovern is wrong... DNC were from Seth Rich, inside DNC. Murdered for it. McGovern is wrong... i could go on and on but suffice it to say his confidence is way to high. He is wrong.

Rodger Asai 3 months ago

Another month or so and the DHS may offer a color-coding system to help the sheeple understand various levels of confidence. Green - Moderate Confidence Blue - High Confidence Yellow - Very High Confidence Orange - Extremely High Confidence Red - Based on Actual Fact

The last category may be one of the signs of the apocalypse.

KELLI2L2 3 months ago

As it turned out Jill Stein was a bad choice too... Recount debacle.

midnighfairy 1 month ago

I want Hilary to pay for her lies

[Jul 04, 2017] Mourn on the Fourth of July, 2017

Notable quotes:
"... When did the East Germans take over? ..."
"... You can't drive past the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue today. It was "temporarily" closed to motorized traffic after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 and that closure was officially made permanent after 9/11. Seldom a week passes without breathless reports of a "security incident." Someone touched the White House fence (everyone panic!) or was shot to death by police after making a wrong turn or panicking at a random roadblock. Air Force One? You can still see it. On TV, anyway. ..."
Jul 04, 2017 | original.antiwar.com

I visited Washington, DC for the first time in 1980. I was 13. Jimmy Carter was the president.

My family only had one day to see the sights. As I remember it, we went through what seemed a somewhat sketchy neighborhood (I was a country boy, so it may have just been nerves about The Big City), turned onto Pennsylvania Avenue, and drove past the White House and Capitol before taking in selected bits of the Smithsonian and visiting Arlington National Cemetery. Then we proceeded to Andrews Air Force Base, where my brother was stationed, and just for fun drove past Air Force One.

I saw a lot of really neat stuff that day, but right now I'm thinking about the stuff I didn't see, or at least didn't notice.

I don't recall seeing a single police officer anywhere, although I'm sure I must have. The only man with a gun I noticed at Andrews was the gate guard, who checked my brother's ID and waved us through. Nobody seemed to give us a second glance as we passed within a few hundred feet of the president's plane. I don't recall any security checkpoints, barricades or traffic barriers along Pennsylvania Avenue, and I think I would have remembered those.

This was in the middle of the Iran hostage crisis and only a few months after the Unabomber's attack on American Airlines Flight 444 as it flew into DC from Chicago. Central America was in the throes of successful and unsuccessful revolutions and the US wasn't terribly popular there. Carter was preparing to re-institute draft registration in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

And yet (aside from a surplus of marble monuments), Washington seemed on the whole to be a normal, American city.

When did the East Germans take over?

You can't drive past the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue today. It was "temporarily" closed to motorized traffic after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 and that closure was officially made permanent after 9/11. Seldom a week passes without breathless reports of a "security incident." Someone touched the White House fence (everyone panic!) or was shot to death by police after making a wrong turn or panicking at a random roadblock. Air Force One? You can still see it. On TV, anyway.

You can still visit Washington, but if you plan to fly in, count on multiple instances of being required to show your papers and get felt up at the airports. My own kids can't remember a time without metal detectors, bag searches and dire warnings even at the entrances to such attractions as the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

I guess every generation of adults feels like things have gone downhill since they were kids. But as someone a little too young to have understood Vietnam or Watergate and just exactly old enough to have exuberantly celebrated the nation's bicentennial, these days I find each 4th of July to surpass the last as an occasion for mourning an America that no longer exists.

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism . He lives and works in north central Florida. This article is reprinted with permission from William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism.

[Jul 03, 2017] Corporations fall for the lure of power no less than a political class, and are many times better at it! The idea that "the free market" will check their activities, promoted by Libertarians, is surely as naďve as anything any Marxist ever said.

Jul 03, 2017 | www.unz.com

For corporations, too, fall into this downward spiral. It has become easy to forget that the only truly effective checks on greed are moral in nature, and will be effective only if the greedy are convinced they answer to a Being infinitely more powerful than they are (and even then, incompletely). Mere political checks on corporate power can never work when corporations have the money to buy political classes. When civic morality collapses into I'll-scratch-your-back-if-you'll-scratch-mine utilitarianism, those at the helm of corporations see accumulation as natural and even expected.

Is this not neoliberalism in a nutshell? I've heard neoliberalism described as "capitalism with the gloves off" as it is blamed for the worsening wealth gap. An important difference between neoliberalism and its classical liberal ancestor, though, is that its ancestor did not arise within and had no necessary connection to secular materialism. The version of classical liberalism developed most famously by Frederic Bastiat (1801 – 1850) in his slim classic The Law (1849), offered a Christian economics. Classical liberalism is not inherently materialist. The implicit joining of the two has been a catastrophe for the developed world. Power centered in global corporations answering only to each other has become the final economic reality, money their primary instrument. The long-term result, having come to fullest fruition since the financial crisis of 2008, is the wealth gap: the accumulation, in the hands of a group small enough to fit into a university auditorium with room to spare, of more wealth than is possessed by the entire bottom half of the world's population!

Corporations fall for the lure of power no less than a political class, and are many times better at it! The idea that "the free market" will check their activities, promoted by Libertarians, is surely as naďve as anything any Marxist ever said. They become not merely "too big to fail" but beyond the control of abstract "economic logic" which is just the increasingly puny decisions, in aggregate, of the increasingly moneyless and powerless. Money, after all, is power in materialist global civilization, and if you don't have it, you're impotent. Moneylenders discovered this at the regional level in the late 1700s. Their descendants have been expanding on the basic idea ever since. Leftists are right to believe this is an important factor behind the present surge of "populism" and other manifestations of unrest all over the world - rebellions against an insular elite, loyal only to money, whose idea of "work" is moving investments around all day and tallying the profits, while undermining and destroying the autonomy of indigenous populations.

Beefcake the Mighty Show Comment Next New Comment July 3, 2017 at 1:33 pm GMT

@Agent76 May 5, 2017 Hans-Hermann Hoppe: A World Without Theft

Dr. Hoppe's book 'The Economics and Ethics of Private Property' (mises.org/EEPP) is among the most important modern contributions to libertarian thought. Hoppe, like Rothbard, connects laissez-faire economics to normative libertarian theory with laserlike precision and inexorable logic.

https://youtu.be/D0DoeyI8YCI Outstanding, yes. If more libertarians were like Rothbard and Hoppe, they might provide a meaningful opposition movement. Instead they just offer a different brand of open borders lunacy and national suicide.

End Selective Service! by Joey B. King

May 17, 2016 | comehomeamerica

There is a move in Congress at this time to require 18 year-old women to register for Selective Service. Some say it is about equal rights. I say, the time has come to end the Selective Service System (SSS) altogether.

From 1975 until 1980, the country no draft, nor did we have SSS in place. I should know. I graduated high school in 1980 which made me among the first group of young men required to register for SSS when it was reinstated amidst the fear posed by the twin threats of the Iranian hostage crisis and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. That "peace monger" Jimmy Carter reinstated the SSS.

In fact my mother sat me down one day in early 1980 and said, "You should consider taking ROTC for your college physical education, because we are going to war again. You'd be better off as an officer than an enlisted man." I took my mom's advice. As the threats subsided, I decided to commit to ROTC and became an Army officer. It was one of the worst decisions I could have possibly made.

I cannot support any scheme which would force young people into servitude in an institution that is extremely violent and oppressive, internally and externally. Because I do not support the draft or mandatory draft registration, I will not support its extension to women. This is not about equal rights, in my opinion, but rather about equal oppression. I understand that another amendment has been proposed that would eliminate Selective Service altogether. I could support that.

There are no plans underway to bring back the draft. Neither the Pentagon nor the politicians need it or want it. However, the Selective Service law requires young men to register when they are 18.

Those who do not register can theoretically be prosecuted and jailed. In order to minimize resistance, however, the government is relying on "passive enforcement." If young men seek federal assistance for education or job training, they must show proof of registration.

To require young women to do the same would certainly spread the burden, but I don't see how this would advance women's rights

Joey B King
Veterans For Peace National Board of Directors
US Army Paratrooper 1985-87

Posted in American Military Culture, World War III | Tagged Joey B King | 2 Comments

Looking in The Mirror: How the US Only Sees Itself in Its Putin Propaganda by Dr. Bill Wedin

May 9, 2016 | comehomeamerica

Who benefits?

Who benefits?

Yes. In the famous words of Pogo:

"We have met the enemy. And he is us."

That's how paranoia works. We project onto a feared "other" our own unacceptable desires. In Putin's case, it's our unacceptable wish to incinerate him and all Russians with him that we may rule the world.

Not out of avarice, mind you. Or so the noble lie goes. But out of our selfless compassion. Our Christian compassion, if that floats your boat. Yes, indeed. We selfless, exceptional Americans are willing to bear the heavy burden of world hegemony–not for all the power and wealth it brings us. Perish the thought! But for the peace and prosperity our rule will bestow on all the colored peoples of the earth–drop by drop–beneath us.

That's what our leaders tell us. And that's what the mainstream media echo back to us–again and again and again. That we're the best. The greatest. The goodest. The purest. We act always only for others. Our motives can never be questioned. For Americans alone can judge what is good and what is evil. We're like God in that way. That's why Americans ate so much from the Tree of Knowledge in the first place! Continue reading →

Posted in American Military Culture, Barack Obama | Tagged Bill Wedin, Kent State, Putin, Vietnam | 1 Comment

Hilary Putnam: compassion and questioning as a guide to life

Posted on April 6, 2016 by comehomeamerica

[Editor's note: Mathematician and philosopher Hilary Putnam died last month. Dr. Putnam was an open critic of the Vietnam war. His fields of knowledge so wide ranging and eclectic, they deserve an obituary equally so. Below is Alan Gilbert's essay on his friendship with Dr. Putnam. It's controversial and difficult reading, clearly not from a libertarian or conservative antiwar perspective, but any man whom the reactionary Weekly Standard describes as "[having] politics usually ranged from the reprehensible to the inane" must be mourned. – Angela Keaton]

by Alan Gilbert

Hilary was my dear friend (one of my dearest), a human being of great depth, a philosopher, learning from Maimonides and Dewey, how to write subtle guides for life, compassionate, a communist or social democrat in the sense of wanting everyone to flourish and not accepting the denial of most humans to advance the few, an anti-racist his life long, a buster-up of the silly antiseptic and self-refuting conventions of centuries-old empiricism and "value-free economics," a questioner, as philosophers from Socrates are, initially a positivist a la Reichenbach and Carnap (who were way sophisticated about physics and politically decent, but often wooden…), a founder of scientific realism and a realist theory of reference, a pragmatist about good moral judgments as opposed to a self-refuting skeptic, a thinker about what good judgment is in ethics, the arts and religion, a practitioner of a responsive to the suffering and neediness of others, tolerant Judaism, a devotee of his wife, children, grandchildren and friends, a lover of poetry, an anti-fascist. Philosophical questioning is important, but life is the point.

That philosophy is irrelevant to ordinary life is a common prejudice in commercial America; Hilary's being and vision incarnated the opposite. Yes, Hilary changed many of the overall positions/visions he espoused because learning from Socrates, he kept on thinking and asked new questions. He moved on the basis of argument. And since Hilary was very, very smart, he always changed the terms of, saw anew the arguments he engaged with. No, he did not provide a dogma or an opinion (except perhaps read carefully, question, seek freedom and decency for all…). Yes, his life was lived within and amplified, what I consider, speaking as a moral realist and democratic theorist (Dewey was also), starting with Plato and Socrates, a great philosophical tradition…

Continue reading →

Posted in The Left's Challenge, The New Peace Movement, The Right's Challange | Tagged Alan Gilbert, Vietnam | Leave a comment

SOUTH CHINA SEA FACE OFF: Does this make ANY sense?

Posted on March 24, 2016 by comehomeamerica

by Joe Scarry

I pick up a Chinese language newspaper at the corner store in my Berkeley neighborhood every day, and almost every day there is an article about:

(a) US Navy activities challenging Chinese positions in the South China Sea; and/or

(b) China's activities to establish sovereignty in areas of the South China Sea; and/or

(c) China's military and naval buildup to try to get into the same league with the US.

The mainstream Western press has been reporting on these developments at an increasingly frequent rate.

Unquestionably a lot is going on in the South China Sea. I think we can choke on the detail if we don't try to step back and gain perspective on the situation.

What's the right way to think about what's going on in the South China Sea? I wrote a short post on this several years ago … but I think it's time to address the question a bit more thoroughly.

The "Law and Order" Paradigm

USA as global policeman - ever since TR.
(More on The Federalist website.)

On the face of it, there should be no controversy. There are laws about this sort of thing, and everything should be decided according to international law, e.g. the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

So it can be very easy for US people to cast the US and its navy as the "white hats" who stand ready to "police" the situation, keeping things fair for everyone. One problem: "the United States now recognizes the UNCLOS as a codification of customary international law, it has not ratified it." Well, that's awkward . . . .

In other words, before we say "Who is China to think they should be entrusted with being the traffic cop in the South China Sea?" we should first ask the question, "Who is the US to think theyshould be?"

The "Befitting a Global Power" Paradigm

Teddy Roosevelt with his "big stick" in the Caribbean.

As I look at what China is doing in the South China Sea, I can't help thinking of a cartoon of Theodore Roosevelt treating the Caribbean Sea as a private lake belonging to the US.

[Not a bad time to make this comparison – President Obama just visited Cuba this week to attempt to reverse some of the effects of the past 50 years of antagonism between the US and Cuba.]

The US history of imperialism in its own backyard does not justify China in taking the same attitude; nonetheless, the fact that the US has really not come very far from its "We're a global power and what we say goes" attitude makes it a little difficult to wonder that China may think they should be following in the US' footsteps.

I think one thing we all need to do is notice the double standard that is applied to China. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. China can legitimately be asked to exhibit a 21st century form of non-militaristic global power when the US decides to even make a head fake in that same direction.

(By the way, there certainly must somewhere exist a really clever cartoon updating the Caribbean-as-US-lake concept, i.e. South-China-Sea-as-China-lake, but everything I've seen so far is predictably based on boring dragon and Great Wall imagery.)

The "Neoliberal" Paradigm

To many people, it probably seems that the issues in the South China Sea should just be viewed as a matter of property rights. Stuff (e.g. oil) is there for people to exploit, and everything has a price; in light of overlapping claims, the parties simply need to define rights and compensate each other accordingly.

In other words, "we should be happy with the solution, as long as it smells like capitalism."

Oil and gas in the South China Sea
(Source: Grenatec)

But aren't the assets that lie under the South China Sea precisely the kind of oil and gas properties that are rapidly becoming valueless in light of the carbon bubble? Given that the oil companies already have five times as many reserves as they can ever put to use without breaking the planet, aren't those South China Sea hydrocarbons destined to stay beneath the sea where they belong?

"A Piece in the Larger Puzzle"

US Military in the West Pacific
(Source: Thomson-Reuters)

I can't help believing that, from a Chinese perspective, the question of whether it is "right" for China to grab (and militarily build up) bits of land in the South China Sea can only be considered in light of the precedent established by the US in grabbing (and militarily building up) bits of land in strategic locations through the Pacific (and worldwide).

Looking at a map of US military installations in the Western Pacific brings to mind the old quip, "How dare they put their country so close to our bases?"

Moreover, of at least equal importance to bases is the terrifying firepower of US carrier strike groups. Is it any wonder that China is building up its navy? Though it may never come close to the strength of the US navy, China's navy may have the ability to close the gap in its own part of the world.

Maybe the South China Sea is just a sideshow.

Maybe what we should really be talking about with China is a military stand-down, followed by a military build-down.

(To be continued . . . . )

Additional resources:

Map showing overlapping claims in the South China Sea

Related posts

The problem: the U.S. "pivot to Asia."

The opportunity: asking ourselves, "What would we do differently if we revised our myths of Asia?"

(See U.S. Militarism in Asia: THINK DIFFERENT!)

What people in Asia (and others) have seen for the past century is thatsomething is happening in the Pacific, and it's being driven in part by advances in naval (and, subsequently, aviation and electronics) technology, and in part by powerful nations (principally, but not limited to, the U.S.) proximate to the area.

(See The Imperialized Pacific: What We Need to Understand)

Strategic analysts are pointing out that the South China Sea is an area through which a vast amount of the world's trade passes. And some of them have made the modest suggestion that it would be a good idea for the U.S. to dominate it now, in much the same it dominated the Caribbean at the turn of the 19th century.

(See SOUTH CHINA SEA: No End of American Grand Designs)

Posted in China | Tagged china, Joe Scarry | Leave a comment

Maybe We DO Have the Authority to Stop War

Posted on March 15, 2016 by comehomeamerica

by Joe Scarry

After J.M.W. Turner, Fishing Boats with Hucksters Bargaining for Fish
(Sketch by Joe Scarry)

Cleaning house, I found this sketch I made at the Art Institute of Chicago.

It's a Turner painting of a roiling sea. I used the image of the original to illustrate: More war? "PUT A MUZZLE ON IT!"

Imagine war as a storn-driven sea. Imagine if (like Jesus) we had the authority to command, "PUT A MUZZLE ON IT!"

Maybe we do have the authority . . . .

What if our speech acts could stop war in its tracks?

Posted in The Left's Challenge, The New Peace Movement, The Right's Challange | Tagged Joe Scarry | Leave a comment

Maya Lin: Separating Grief from Glory

Posted on March 8, 2016 by comehomeamerica

by Joe Scarry

Maya Lin's Design Sketch for
Vietnam Veterans Memorial, 1981.
(More images here.)

The post I intended to write was a riff on something I read in The Concise Untold History of the United States by Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick: "The Vietnam Veteran's Memorial, dedicated in November 1982, contains the names of 58,280 dead or missing Americans. The message is clear - the tragedy is the death of those Americans. But imagine if the names of 3.8million Vietnamese, and millions of Cambodians and Laotians, were also included. The wall, whos length is 493 feet, would be over eight miles long."

"Eight miles long." That's something to think about.

Before I sat down to write, however, I watched a film about Maya Lin and the creation of the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial: Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision. It stopped me in my tracks.

Before I talk about where we ultimately need to get to, I need to talk about something remarkable that has already been done.

The memorial designed by Maya Lin did something that hadn't occurred to anyone before: separate the grief for dead soldiers from the valorizing of war.
How could I have failed to remember the magnitude of what she accomplished? The controversy over the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial happened in the period right after I graduated from college. Some people opposed the memorial because it looked like a "black scar in the ground." The film helps make very clear the need they felt to make the memorial about glory.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall
(Source: Wikipedia)

But the film's footage of veterans and families also makes it clear what the vast majority of people wanted and needed: help in dealing with grief.

Maya Lin

Maya Lin was 21 when she provided the design for the memorial. Throughout a controversy that became very acrimonious - including racist slurs against her personally - she hung in there and reminded people of the artistic intent behind the design. She is a model of courage and poise.

We antiwar activists should watch and learn.

(PS – Happy International Women's Day.)

Related posts

I was back in New Jersey to visit with high school friends in July. It gave me the opportunity to visit the newly opened 9/11 Memorial. Not surprisingly, what I saw made me spend days and weeks thinking about the memorial itself, and the larger issue of 9/11 in our national life. Out of all that I have seen and heard and read and thought about, several thoughts keep rising to the top.

(See 9/11 Memory: Grieving and Celebrating Valor, Leaving Vengeance Behind )

On November 11, 2015, Veterans for Peace had a message about reclaiming Armistice Day that proved itself massively spreadable on social media . . .

(See What will it take to reclaim Armistice Day for peace? )

In a composition suggestive of a yin-yang symbol, a woman in a burka (but wearing audacious red glitter platform heels) is surrounded by genie-ish tableaus of the many male obsessions/pastimes that some of us rail about frequently - sexualized pop singers, professional sports - as well as some that we probably should rail about more (such as patriarchy in religion and political violence).

(See VIOLENCE: " . . . and the women must live with the consequences . . . " )

The Last Supper is a staggering collection of 600 plates that the artist Julie Green has painted with images and notations about the last meals of people put to death in states across the US.

(See Communion of a Different Sort: "The Last Supper" at the Block Museum )

I felt Chicago should build a Chinese garden as an emblem of the city's respect for its relationship with China. To my mind, the only suitable way to do this was to build a replica of the garden from Dream of the Red Chamber. (Not a bad idea for a city who's motto is Urbs in Horto – City in a Garden – right?)

(See A Dream of a "Dream of Red Chambers" Garden for Chicago)

Posted in American Military Culture, The Left's Challenge, The New Peace Movement, The Right's Challange | Tagged Joe Scarry, Vietnam | Leave a comment

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We are looking for antiwar conservatives

Posted on March 7, 2016 by comehomeamerica

by Angela Keaton

I would love to sign up a few new bloggers from the antiwar right. Please contact me at 323-512-7095.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why Michael Hayden, "The Case for drones" John Brennan and unfortunately, Obama and Clinton are guilty of war crimes

Posted on March 7, 2016 by comehomeamerica

by Alan Gilbert

The letter to the Times from FAISAL BIN ALI JABER should break our hearts. His
brother-in law, an imam, who preached against hateful Al-Qaida was taken out by
a drone. This is a common experience he relates. It should have changed America, and yet he writes that the article by Michael Hayden, former head of national intelligence, published by the Times and representing Obama, is unbelievable.

"I have lived the reality of drone warfare. In 2012, drones attacked<http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/06/world/middleeast/with-brennan-pick-a-light-on-drone-strikes-hazards.html> the wedding
celebration in Yemen of my eldest son.I survived; two of my relatives did
not. My brother-in-law Salem was an imam. Days before his death he preached
against Al Qaeda's hateful ideology, as he had many times before. My nephew
Waleed was the village policeman, keeping our townspeople safe. Continue reading →

Posted in Barack Obama | Tagged Alan Gilbert, Drones | Leave a comment

Does Society "Decide" to Engage in War?

Posted on March 7, 2016 by comehomeamerica

by Joe Scarry

I think if you asked most people, they would say that (a) war is deeply ingrained in society; and (b) society over and over again decides to engage in war.

There is a growing discourse around point (a): people are starting to unpack the idea that "war is deeply ingrained in society," and growing in understanding that this is not the same as saying "war is part of human nature."

I worry that there is less insight around point (b). At least in the United States, I think people continue to believe that war is a societal choice. I think this is not true.

In theory our Constitution is all about the people - through Congress - maintaining control over the decision to go to war. As it stands now, as a practical matter, that's not really what's happening.

I invite people to study the graph of historical US military spending below. It shows that there was a time when military spending went up when the US began to engage in a specific war, and then went back down after that war. Later, that pattern changed.

US Defense Spending - FY 1800 to FY 2010
(More at usgovernmentspending.com)

It is very interesting to consider why this change occurred. (Perhaps that's a topic for a later blog post or two.)

But I think the more fundamental point is: at some point US society stopped being the "decider" about war. The US began to engage in war, and more war, and more war . . . but US society was no longer really making that decision in any real way.

(Think about US military action during your lifetime. In what ways, if any, did society at large determine what happened?)

If we confront this reality, what might this cause us to do differently?

Related posts

More than anyone else, the beneficiaries of permawar are the politicians who thrive on the power to make and control wars. The number one prime beneficiary is the President, as well as presidential aspirants. But it doesn't end there . . . .

(See J'ACCUSE: The Beneficiaries of Permawar )

The decision about whether to live with the threat of nuclear annihilation is our decision. And that is why the entire country is mobilizing for mass action for nuclear disarmament in 2015. Are we capable of making sure the messengers - Obama, Putin, the other agents of government - hear their instructions from us clearly?

(See NEEDED: Heroes to Bring About Nuclear Disarmament )

Right now we're "stuck" - the portion of the public that wants to cut military spending has hovered in the high 20%s since 2004; it just can't seem to break the 30% barrier. (The percentage of people in favor of expansion is about the same.)

(See Cutting Defense: Are We STUCK? )

It's essential that we demand our members of Congress get on the record now about the opposition to U.S. military intervention in Syria that they are registering from their districts.

(See On Syria, It's Time for Congress to Remember Who They Represent)

Posted by Joe Scarry at 8:21 AM

Posted in American Military Culture, World War III | Tagged Joe Scarry | Leave a comment

An Antiwar Thought Experiment: Swing the Swing States?

Posted on March 3, 2016 by comehomeamerica

by Joe Scarry

There's no time like the present - i.e. as the US stares down the throat of a possible Trump presidency - to tee up an electoral thought experiment.

Now I understand antiwar people have totally lost faith in the electoral process. It's okay! So has everyone else!!

But this post is directed at a time in the not-to-distant future when there is a national awakening. (Think: David Byrne singing "My God! What have I done?") I'm thinking about a time when a lot of people actually start to think about how they can have an impact about what this country is and does.

So here's the thing: we all know that elections ultimately come down to the small number of uncommitted voters, especially in swing states. Anyone who wants to succeed devotes a lot of attention to what it will take to win over those voters, in those places.

Swing States 2016
(Source: UVA Center for Politics)

Now, consider a possible situation: any candidate who wants to win over those voters, in those places, will have to contend with a bunch of people who have been thinking a lot about how not to have war. What would happen if the antiwar movement zeroed in on that as a goal?

In other words, put aside for the time being the goal of turning every person in the country into an antiwar activist. In fact, put aside for the moment all of our accepted ideas about what it means to be "antiwar." (And for sure forget about the idea that "antiwar" people look the same everywhere!)

Instead, just focus on this question: if we made a concerted effort, over a reasonable period of time, in a few select places, and paid attention to local circumstances, could we influence a bunch of people in those places to think a lot about how not to have war?

What might be different if that happened?

Related posts

It will be the 2016 presidential election that will provide the main form of entertainment and distraction to the U.S. populace between now an the end of next year. An enormous amount of political fluff will fill our lives - pushing aside, I suppose, vast amounts of sports fluff and shopping fluff and celebrity fluff and - well, you get the point.

(See What Will Dominate Election 2016? (ANSWER: ISIS and #BlackLivesMatter) )

The decision about whether to live with the threat of nuclear annihilation is our decision. And that is why the entire country is mobilizing for mass action for nuclear disarmament in 2015. Are we capable of making sure the messengers - Obama, Putin, the other agents of government - hear their instructions from us clearly?

(See NEEDED: Heroes to Bring About Nuclear Disarmament )

Yesterday, as all the other senators sat patiently through the obfuscation of Barack Obama's Three Horsemen of the Apocalypse - Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Martin Dempsey - Rand Paul gave 'em hell.
"Stand up for us and say you're going to obey the Constitution and if we vote you down - which is unlikely, by the way - you would go with what the people say through their Congress and you wouldn't go forward with a war that your Congress votes against."

(See Obama's Syria "Vote" in Congress: Democracy? or Theater? )

Posted in American Military Culture, The Left's Challenge, The New Peace Movement, The Right's Challange, World War III | Tagged Joe Scarry | Leave a comment

In 2016, Walk the Talk: "Anti-Islamophobia." (You can do it.)

Posted on January 28, 2016 by comehomeamerica

by Joe Scarry

December 6, 2015 - This week, American Jews are participating
in a series of nationally coordinated actions against Islamophobia
and racism to mark the eight days of Chanukah with a rekindling
of their commitment to justice. (See jewssayno.org)

As a person working to put a stop to war, it is clear to me that the conflating of the ideas of "the threat of Islam" and "the global war on terrorism" are the biggest obstacles to peace today.

Simply stated: Islamophobia fosters war.

We live in a 24/7 entertainment and media culture, and it is a constant struggle to shift from being a passive participant in the dominant cultural narrative to being an active influence on the ideas circulating in our communities.

Numerous groups are leading an effort to replace Islamophobia with education and conversation. (See links below.)

In particular, as an active participant in several church congregations, I recognize the responsibility of people of faith to move from contemplation to action. (Apostles act.) I invite us members of Christian communities to ask ourselves:

What are we doing to bridge the gap between ourselves and Muslims?

(If we are not the ones to create the bridge, who is???)

Here are some of my recent blog posts on the subject of Islamophobia:

We all wish to be judged by our good intentions. But the way people know us is through our actions. So … what do people in the Muslim world know about us here in the United States?

(See They'll Know Us By Our Actions)

The iPhobe is a humanoid robot that spouts anti-Islamic rhetoric and encourages fear and hatred in an unprecedented variety of ways.

(See Like your iPhone? You'll LOVE the new iPhobe!)

If we are going to stave off a U.S. war against Iran, we are going to have to have some very difficult conversations with other Americans. Some people are extremely hostile. It's confusing and a bit frightening, but we're going to have to confront it.

(See Why Does Iran Arouse So Much Hostility?)

In 2013 America, we have been conditioned to feel anything associated with Middle Eastern and/or Muslim men should trigger feelings of suspicion, fear, and hatred. And when those cues are triggered, all of our objectivity and healthy skepticism goes out the window.

(See Orwell and the Uses of Hate)

Here's something that would be courageous and valuable, in my opinion: zero in on the handful of people in the world who have their fingers on triggers of the massive nuclear arsenals that threaten us, and bring them to heel. That would be impressive.

(See The Wrong 3,000,000 Covers: Quel dommage! )

I wonder if the outrage that many Muslims seem to feel at the suffering of other Muslims doesn't put us Christians to shame.

(See Fighting Back: It's alright as long as you're a Christian, right? )

The biggest idea coming out of the 2013 Drone Summit? We will only deal successfully with the crimes being committed using drones when we understand them as part of the much larger war against communities of color . . . .

(See Drone Gaze, Drone Injury: The War on Communities of Color )

"Yes, I tell everyone: I'm Sicilian - but," she said, "that doesn't mean I'm Mafia - and German - but that doesn't mean I'm a Nazi." And then she added: "And being Muslim doesn't mean someone's a terrorist! That's what I tell people!"

(See Kairos: "Muslim" Doesn't Mean "Terrorist"! )

I was back in New Jersey to visit with high school friends in July. It gave me the opportunity to visit the newly opened 9/11 Memorial. Not surprisingly, what I saw made me spend days and weeks thinking about the memorial itself, and the larger issue of 9/11 in our national life. Out of all that I have seen and heard and read and thought about, several thoughts keep rising to the top.

(See 9/11 Memory: Grieving and Celebrating Valor, Leaving Vengeance Behind )

Useful links to anti-Islamophobia resources

10 Strategies to Counter Islamophobia – Presented by Imam Malik Mujahid at 8th Day Center for Justice in Chicago, January 27, 2016.

Posted in The Left's Challenge, The New Peace Movement, The Right's Challange | Tagged Islamophobia, Joe Scarry, racism | Leave a comment

Drones: We Need Debate, Not Sound Bites

Posted on January 18, 2016 by comehomeamerica

by Joe Scarry

It's an election year in the US. National security is becoming a top issue. Everyone's talking about ISIS, and terrorism. The evolving US militarism is bubbling just below the surface.

Okay: let's put the question on the table.

REAL debate is not the 3-ring circus that you see on TV during prime time,
full of personalities and ad hominem attacks, but rather a knowledge- and
research-based exchange of argument and counterargument directed at
focused analysis of a specific question. Passion and competition, yes,
but, more than anything else, debate is an exercise in critical thinking!

Let's hear some real debate: Is military action the solution? Is violence the way to fight violence? Are we going to "drone" our way to a peaceful world?

Before we let some politician get away with a cheap sound bit, let's subject the question to real scrutiny:

Does the use of drones really offer countries like the US the best solution for addressing violent threats?

Let's see a real debate.

Related posts

Anyone who has had to write a speech knows that the hardest part is to land on the main idea. Once you've got that right, the rest practically writes itself.

(See "The way to respond to ISIS is not through violence." on Scarry Thoughts.)

A virus is able to be so successful precisely because it (most of the time) doesn't kill its host. I can't help thinking that we simply are not being intelligent about how to respond to violence. How might recognizing the "viral" nature of violence help us to respond to it more intelligently?

(See Violence: Taking Over Like a Virus on Scarry Thoughts.)

We can now entrust all the dirty work - including war - to robots. (Or can we?)

(See A Modest Proposal: Debate the Drones on Scarry Thoughts.)

Posted in American Military Culture, The New Peace Movement | Tagged Drones, Joe Scarry, no dronesnetwork | Leave a comment

#PeaceDay 2015 – Ten Thoughts on Peace

Posted on January 15, 2016 by comehomeamerica

by Joe Scarry

Rainbow peace sign flag
(Image: @fieldsforever58)

Yesterday was the UN International Day of Peace.

The day nudged me to think about what - if anything - I feel I really know about peace and the movement for peace.

Here are 10 things that are true for me . . . .

(1) Nuclear abolition

The risk from nuclear weapons is so great, the only responsible course is total elimination now.

(See What's YOUR "appetite for risk"? (Eliminate nuclear weapons NOW!) )

(2) Getting with the times

The means available to us today for eliminating war vary greatly from those available from those working to eliminate war in decades past.

(See Not Your Father's Antiwar Movement )

(3) Social media power

One means that can be the source of enormous power is social media.

(See News Worth Spreading: "There IS An Alternative to War!" )

(4) Intersectionality

We face a whole lot of obstacles to peace and justice. To be a peace activist means committing to work on multiple fronts.

(See Drone Gaze, Drone Injury: The War on Communities of Color )

(5) Grounding oneself

Where do people find the grounding to sustain their work for peace?

For many people, grounding is found in community and/or faith.

(See Get Outside Your Comfort Zone and Have A Conversation Today (Welcome to the Ministry) )

(6) The centrality of nonviolence

Eventually, it becomes clear that "nonviolence" is not just an aspect of style, and somehow optional, but is, in fact, a central source of the essential power needed by anyone working for peace.

(See Chenoweth on Why Nonviolence Gets Results (The "Cliff's Notes" Version) )


(7) A challenge to the Church

How much attention should Christians give to the work of actually opposing war?

To me it seems clear that Jesus' "good news" is a subversive, anti-imperialist, anti-establishment, anti-status quo call to action.

(See How Shall We Live in the Face of Empire? (Reading Mitri Raheb) )

(8) Peace work

Peace is a system, and we should approach it as something to work at.

Peace work requires resources: hours, money, skills.

(See A Global Security System: An Alternative to War from World Beyond War.)

(9) Permawar

The main characteristic of war has become its persistence. Why?

(See J'ACCUSE: The Beneficiaries of Permawar)


(10) Go ahead, say "never"

One of the best things we could do is get out of the "little bit of war" habit. Saying "no" is the first step to finding alternatives to war.

(See Greenwald Was Right: "Humanitarian" War in Syria? It's Just More War )

What's true for you?

Posted in American Military Culture, Nuclear Weapons, United Nations, World War III | Tagged Joe Scarry, nukes | Leave a comment

[Jun 30, 2017] Why Libertarians Should Read Marx

Notable quotes:
"... How can we defend property rights at the same time as defending a system which came into being by denying those rights? ..."
"... Do current market structures (which are of course determined by the state) really maximize development? ..."
"... Are markets really a realm of freedom, or a means through which some exploit and oppress others? And so on. ..."
"... "The system of protection," says Marx, "was an artificial means of manufacturing manufacturers, of expropriating independent laborers, of capitalizing the national means of production and subsistence, and of forcibly abbreviating the transition from the medieval to the modern mode of production." ..."
"... Most Libertarians I have come across just seem to dislike taxes and are looking for a reason why this might be a morally acceptable position. It is like that famous J K Galbraith quote: "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." ..."
"... Anybody who thinks that Libertarians really care about "freedom" (whatever that is - the more I think about it the less I see a difference to "power" - which is largely - though not entirely - zero sum) is kidding themselves. ..."
"... I reckon there are three reasons libertarians should read Marx. One is that Marx saw economics as a historical process. For him, one of the big questions was: "where did that come from?" ..."
Jun 30, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
Chris Dillow: Why libertarians should read Marx : Kristian Niemietz says he can't be bothered to read Marx. Can I try and convince him otherwise?

For one thing, I suspect libertarians like him would be surprised by a lot of Marx. There's astonishingly little in Marx about a centrally planned economy: if you want an argument for central planning, you should read that hero of the right, Ronald Coase instead (pdf ). Marx was admiring of capitalism in some respects. It has, he wrote , given "an immense development to commerce" and has "accomplished wonders far surpassing Egyptian pyramids, Roman aqueducts, and Gothic cathedrals." And I think you'd be surprised by just how much attention Marx paid to the facts: once you get past the first few chapters, there's massive empirical work in Capital volume I*. And there are many differences between Marx and social democrats – not least of them being that Marx was no statist.

What's more, many of the ideas associated with Marx were largely elaborations of his predecessors: Paul Samuelson called him a "minor post-Ricardian". The labour theory of value, the interest in the division of income between classes and the idea of a falling rate of profit are all as Ricardian as Marxian. (The falling rate of profit (pdf) might be a good explanation for our recent slow growth and lack of capital spending, but let that pass).

I reckon there are three reasons libertarians should read Marx.

  1. One is that Marx saw economics as a historical process. For him, one of the big questions was: "where did that come from?" ...
  2. A second reason for libertarians to read Marx lies in his view of the relationship between property rights and technical progress ...
  3. A third reason to read Marx lies in his attitudes to freedom. ...

In short, then, libertarians should read Marx because he poses them some questions which should sharpen their thinking.

  1. How can we defend property rights at the same time as defending a system which came into being by denying those rights?
  2. What material conditions are necessary for people to support freedom? How will new technologies shape our beliefs?
  3. Do current market structures (which are of course determined by the state) really maximize development?
  4. If not, how can they change? Do actually-existing markets merely enhance formal freedom, or are they conducive to the substantive freedom that Marx wanted? Can they be made more conducive?
  5. Are markets really a realm of freedom, or a means through which some exploit and oppress others? And so on.

If you look past tribal caricatures, perhaps libertarian thinking will be enriched by a consideration of Marx's work.

Miguel Madeira -> Christopher H.... , June 29, 2017 at 04:20 AM

Pgl wrote "Smith did not like trade protection as in his day it was a tool of the elites."; but, yes, Marx was against trade protection

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1888/free-trade/

anne -> Miguel Madeira ... , June 29, 2017 at 05:32 AM
I appreciate this:

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1888/free-trade/

1888

On the Question of Free Trade
Preface by Frederick Engels for the 1888 English edition pamphlet

TOWARDS the end of 1847, a Free Trade Congress was held at Brussels. It as a strategic move in the Free Trade campaign then carried on by the English manufacturers. Victorious at home, by the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846, they now invaded the continent in order to demand, in return for the free admission of continental corn into England, the free admission of English manufactured goods to the continental markets.

At this Congress, Marx inscribed himself on the list of speakers; but, as might have been expected, things were not so managed that before his turn came on, the Congress was closed. Thus, what Marx had to say on the Free Trade question he was compelled to say before the Democratic Association of Brussels, an international body of which he was one of the vice-presidents.

The question of Free Trade or Protection being at present on the order of the day in America, it has been thought useful to publish an English translation of Marx's speech, to which I have been asked to write an introductory preface.

"The system of protection," says Marx, "was an artificial means of manufacturing manufacturers, of expropriating independent laborers, of capitalizing the national means of production and subsistence, and of forcibly abbreviating the transition from the medieval to the modern mode of production."

Such was protection at its origin in the 17th century, such it remained well into the 19th century. It was then held to be the normal policy of every civilized state in western Europe. The only exceptions were the smaller states of Germany and Switzerland -- not from dislike of the system, but from the impossibility of applying it to such small territories....

reason -> pgl... , June 29, 2017 at 01:26 AM
I sort of wonder though, who Chris Dillow is addressing here. Most Libertarians I have come across just seem to dislike taxes and are looking for a reason why this might be a morally acceptable position. It is like that famous J K Galbraith quote: "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."

Anybody who thinks that Libertarians really care about "freedom" (whatever that is - the more I think about it the less I see a difference to "power" - which is largely - though not entirely - zero sum) is kidding themselves.

anne , June 28, 2017 at 10:25 AM
Nice essay, and though I have a loose understanding of Marx which would obviously bother those who read Marx strictly no matter the motives, I think a loose understanding warranted and directly applicable. The reason I find a loose understanding of Marx important, is that just as there are successful capitalist economies, and just as many people think that is all there are in the way of successful economies, there is a communist economy that is successful and important enough to be studied as such.

I would think that understanding China would take having a loose understanding of Marx, because though American economists may argue with the idea China has developed successfully as a communist system.

[ I do not care, by the way, to argue the matter, the perspective is just mine. ]

anne -> anne... , June 28, 2017 at 11:49 AM
I reckon there are three reasons libertarians should read Marx. One is that Marx saw economics as a historical process. For him, one of the big questions was: "where did that come from?"

-- Chris Dillow

[ Really nice and important passage. ]

anne -> anne... , June 28, 2017 at 02:39 PM
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/26/opinion/finland-station-communism-socialism.html

June 26, 2017

Socialism's Future May Be Its Past
By Bhaskar Sunkara

One hundred years after Lenin's sealed train arrived at Finland Station and set into motion the events that led to Stalin's gulags, the idea that we should return to this history for inspiration might sound absurd. But there was good reason that the Bolsheviks once called themselves "social democrats." They were part of a broad movement of growing parties that aimed to fight for greater political democracy and, using the wealth and the new working class created by capitalism, extend democratic rights into the social and economic spheres, which no capitalist would permit.

The early Communist movement never rejected this broad premise. It was born out of a sense of betrayal by the more moderate left-wing parties of the Second International, the alliance of socialist and labor parties from 20 countries that formed in Paris in 1889. Across Europe, party after party did the unthinkable, abandoned their pledges to working-class solidarity for all nations, and backed their respective governments in World War I. Those that remained loyal to the old ideas called themselves Communists to distance themselves from the socialists who had abetted a slaughter that claimed 16 million lives. (Amid the carnage, the Second International itself fell apart in 1916.)

Of course, the Communists' noble gambit to stop the war and blaze a humane path to modernity in backward Russia ended up seemingly affirming the Burkean notion that any attempt to upturn an unjust order would end up only creating another.

Most socialists have been chastened by the lessons of 20th-century Communism. Today, many who would have cheered on the October Revolution have less confidence about the prospects for radically transforming the world in a single generation. They put an emphasis instead on political pluralism, dissent and diversity.

Still, the specter of socialism evokes fear of a new totalitarianism. A recent Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation report worries that young people are likely to view socialism favorably and that a "Bernie Sanders bounce" may be contributing to a millennial turn against capitalism. Last year, the president of the United States Chamber of Commerce, Thomas J. Donohue, even found it necessary to remind readers that "Socialism Is a Dangerous Path for America."

The right still denounces socialism as an economic system that will lead to misery and privation, but with less emphasis on the political authoritarianism that often went hand in hand with socialism in power. This may be because elites today do not have democratic rights at the forefront of their minds - perhaps because they know that the societies they run are hard to justify on those terms.

Capitalism is an economic system: a way of organizing production for the market through private ownership and the profit motive. To the extent that it has permitted democracy, it has been with extreme reluctance. That's why early workers' movements like Britain's Chartists in the early 19th century organized, first and foremost, for democratic rights. Capitalist and socialist leaders alike believed that the struggle for universal suffrage would encourage workers to use their votes in the political sphere to demand an economic order that put them in control.

It didn't quite work out that way. Across the West, workers came to accept a sort of class compromise....

reason -> anne... , June 29, 2017 at 01:37 AM
The way to think about this is to distinguish between the margin and the whole. Capitalism provides a valuable dynamism at the margin, that neither monopoly capitalism nor centralized socialism can provide when they dominate the whole of society. That is why a mixture is essential.

Countervailing power is essential. Somehow this topic seems to emphasize the value of JK Galbraith, he may not have moved economics much forward, but his political vision was valuable.

kurt -> reason ... , June 29, 2017 at 11:22 AM
Agree 100%.
anne , June 28, 2017 at 11:08 AM
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marxism

The term Classical Marxism denotes the collection of socio-eco-political theories expounded by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. "Marxism," as Ernest Mandel remarked, "is always open, always critical, always self-critical." As such, Classical Marxism distinguishes between "Marxism" as broadly perceived, and "what Marx believed;" thus, in 1883, Marx wrote to the French labour leader Jules Guesde and to Paul Lafargue (Marx's son-in-law) – both of whom claimed to represent Marxist principles – accusing them of "revolutionary phrase-mongering" and of denying the value of reformist struggle; from Marx's letter derives the paraphrase: "If that is Marxism, then I am not a Marxist."

jonny bakho , June 28, 2017 at 11:33 AM
Without government, there is no property- the contradiction at the heart of libertarianism

Libertarianism would not be possible without the efforts of the very government they despise

Humans evolved as social animals.
Humans thrive in social groups.
True individuals do not survive for long

DrDick -> jonny bakho... , June 28, 2017 at 11:40 AM
Humans also evolved to become more cooperative and sharing and it is that sharing and cooperation that has been the key to our evolutionary success.
Jerry Brown -> jonny bakho... , June 28, 2017 at 11:56 AM
But, but... Clint Eastwood in practically all his movies...

No seriously, "Without government, there is no property- the contradiction at the heart of libertarianism". Excellent point. Great comment.

anne , June 28, 2017 at 02:50 PM
There's astonishingly little in Marx about a centrally planned economy: if you want an argument for central planning, you should read that hero of the right, Ronald Coase instead (pdf)....

-- Chris Dillow

[ This reference link will not open. Possibly a reader might know what was intended as the reference. ]

anne -> anne... , June 28, 2017 at 04:05 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coase_theorem

In law and economics, the Coase theorem * describes the economic efficiency of an economic allocation or outcome in the presence of externalities. The theorem states that if trade in an externality is possible and there are sufficiently low transaction costs, bargaining will lead to an efficient outcome regardless of the initial allocation of property. In practice, obstacles to bargaining or poorly defined property rights can prevent Coasian bargaining.

* This "theorem" is commonly attributed to University of Chicago Nobel Prize laureate Ronald Coase. However, Coase himself stated that the theorem was based on perhaps four pages of his 1960 paper "The Problem of Social Cost", and that the "Coase theorem" is not about his work at all.

reason -> anne... , June 29, 2017 at 01:30 AM
Note: the word "efficient" is doing lots of work here. "Efficient" (particularly in the sense economists use it), should not be confused with "good".
anne -> anne... , June 28, 2017 at 04:08 PM
Would the so-called Coase theorem then, explain why Coase might be considered a hero of libertarians? I must be missing something, but what would that be?
reason -> anne... , June 29, 2017 at 01:31 AM
(G)Libertarians think that Coase "proved that regulation is unnecessary" (of course he did no such thing).
DrDick -> anne... , June 28, 2017 at 04:50 PM
While Marx was never very explicit about what he envisioned as the future, he appears to have favored the syndicalist model, basically a system of co-ops owned and run by the workers but retaining the "company" model of capitalism.
anne -> DrDick... , June 28, 2017 at 04:54 PM
While Marx was never very explicit about what he envisioned as the future, he appears to have favored the syndicalist model, basically a system of co-ops owned and run by the workers but retaining the "company" model of capitalism.

[ Like Germany, at least somewhat. With worker representation on corporate boards and industry-wide worker bargaining. Fascinating and important, and to the extent that this is like Germany, successful. ]

anne , June 28, 2017 at 04:11 PM
Mark Thoma:

I experimented and here is the missing link:

http://www3.nccu.edu.tw/~jsfeng/CPEC11.pdf

1937

The Nature of the Firm
R. H. COASE

anne -> anne... , June 28, 2017 at 04:13 PM
http://www3.nccu.edu.tw/~jsfeng/CPEC11.pdf

1937

The Nature of the Firm
By R. H. COASE

Economic theory has suffered in the past from a failure to state clearly its assumption. Economists in building up a theory have often omitted to examine the foundations on which it was erected. This examination is, however, essential not only to prevent the misunderstanding and needles controversy which arise from a lack of knowledge of the assumptions on which a theory is based, but also because of the extreme importance for economics of good judgment in choosing between rival sets of assumptions. For instance, it is suggested that the use of the word "firm" in economics may be different from the use of the term by the "plain man."' Since there is apparently a trend in economic theory towards starting analysis with the individual firm and not with the industry,2 it is ail the more necessary not only that a clear definition of the word "firm" should be given but that its difference from a firm in the "real world," if it aists, should be made clear. Mrs. Robinson has said that "the two questions to be asked of a set of assumptions in economics are: Are they tractable? and: Do they correspond with the real world?"3

Though, as Mrs. Robinson points out, "More often one set will be manageable and the other realistic," yet there may well be branches of theory where assumptions may be both manageable and realistic. It is hoped to show in the following paper that a definition of a firm may be obtained which is not only realistic in that it corresponds to what is meant by a firm in the real world, but is tractable by two of the most powerful instruments of economic analysis developed by Marshall, the idea of the margin and that of substitution, together giving the idea of substitution at the margin.4 Our definition must, of course, "relate to formal relations which are capable of being conceived exactly."

Jerry Brown -> anne... , June 28, 2017 at 07:10 PM
Simon & Garfunkel, Paul Simon

And here's to you
Mrs. Robinson
Jesus loves you more than you will know
Woah woah woah
God bless you please
Mrs. Robinson
Heaven holds a place for those who pray
Hey hey hey, hey hey hey

Hopefully I haven't confused my Robinsons again. :)

[May 23, 2017] Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Trump's Military Strikes in Syria Are Reckless and Short-Sighted Defend Democracy Press

May 23, 2017 | www.defenddemocracy.press
07/04/2017 Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) released the following statement today (4/6/17) after the U.S. launched military strikes on Syrian government targets:

"It angers and saddens me that President Trump has taken the advice of war hawks and escalated our illegal regime change war to overthrow the Syrian government. This escalation is short-sighted and will lead to more dead civilians, more refugees, the strengthening of al-Qaeda and other terrorists, and a possible nuclear war between the United States and Russia.

"This Administration has acted recklessly without care or consideration of the dire consequences of the United States attack on Syria without waiting for the collection of evidence from the scene of the chemical poisoning. If President Assad is indeed guilty of this horrible chemical attack on innocent civilians, I will be the first to call for his prosecution and execution by the International Criminal Court. However, because of our attack on Syria, this investigation may now not even be possible. And without such evidence, a successful prosecution will be much harder."

[May 23, 2017] Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Trumps Military Strikes in Syria Are Reckless and Short-Sighted Defend Democracy Press

May 23, 2017 | www.defenddemocracy.press
07/04/2017 Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) released the following statement today (4/6/17) after the U.S. launched military strikes on Syrian government targets:

"It angers and saddens me that President Trump has taken the advice of war hawks and escalated our illegal regime change war to overthrow the Syrian government. This escalation is short-sighted and will lead to more dead civilians, more refugees, the strengthening of al-Qaeda and other terrorists, and a possible nuclear war between the United States and Russia.

"This Administration has acted recklessly without care or consideration of the dire consequences of the United States attack on Syria without waiting for the collection of evidence from the scene of the chemical poisoning. If President Assad is indeed guilty of this horrible chemical attack on innocent civilians, I will be the first to call for his prosecution and execution by the International Criminal Court. However, because of our attack on Syria, this investigation may now not even be possible. And without such evidence, a successful prosecution will be much harder."

[Apr 18, 2017] Tulsi Gabbard seems to be one of the few principled politicians in this case and for that she is marginalized for saying what few others have the moral courage to say. Many on the left are hoping she will run in 2020 for President.

Notable quotes:
"... What has happened is one of two things as far is Trump is concerned. Either he walked into a trap prepared for him by the Deep state, willingly or unwillingly. If willingly he knew he was set up and accepted it because he has no choice. He could not disobey the military. They have their own agenda in Syria which they had been pursuing for a while, that is carving out American zone of occupation in eastern Syria with the help of Sunny states. ..."
"... Or Trump simply capitulated to the deep state as Obama did before him. ..."
"... Did people like McMaster think it was real and report it to Trump as such? Did Trump believe it? Or did they know it was fake but pretended otherwise? Were they in on it from the beginning or were they forced to play along? ..."
"... Trump has quickly shifted into being an establishment politician whose rhetoric has been bellicose and reckless. Next up, N Korea and then Iran? ..."
Apr 18, 2017 | www.unz.com

DB Cooper , April 18, 2017 at 4:13 am GMT

100 Words This whole chemical weapon attack by Assad sounds fishy from the beginning. From what I read Assad is winning the civil war and things are turning for the better for him. What would he gain at this point to launch a chemical attack on the civilian populations? Things just doesn't add up. Check out this video:

watch-v=g1VNQGsiP8M

Carlton Meyer , Website April 18, 2017 at 4:21 am GMT
Am I the only person who remembers news from a month ago? Trump ordered hundreds of regular American combat troops into Syria BEFORE this event, with no explanation. This was covered on all major networks, including CNN.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/08/politics/marines-raqqa-assault-syria/

And why? They've been trying to overthrow Assad since 2005:

NoldorElf , April 18, 2017 at 5:01 am GMT
100 Words I am forced to conclude that the neoconservatives and indeed all of Washington DC are eager to go to war. They are just itching for any excuse to start yet another war in a nation of their choosing.

If there is no good reason, they will make one up. There is an eerie resemblance to what is happening now with Syria and what happened leading up to the 2003 Invasion of Iraq.

I think the paleoconservative community also needs to come to terms with the fact that Trump has sold them out and is increasingly acting like a Washington insider neocon. Trump did to the paleoconservatives what Obama did to the left.

It seems Trump will not put "America First" nor make any attempts to restore the American Middle Class nor American manufacturing to truly "Make American Great Again".

Tulsi Gabbard seems to be one of the few principled politicians in this case and for that she is marginalized for saying what few others have the moral courage to say. Many on the left are hoping she will run in 2020 for President.

Coming from the left, I'd say that the Sanders and Trump base have a lot more in common than we admit. We are both deeply unhappy with the way that Washington has handled things. They basically betrayed the American people and enriched themselves at public expense.

The real question is, can the US be saved for the people or will it continue on its path to terminal decline?

utu , April 18, 2017 at 6:16 am GMT
100 Words Why'd there is no propaganda counter offensive coming from Putin and Assad? Where are their accounts of what happened there backed up by pictures and names of those who created this false flag? Don't they have their sources, intelligence and people on the ground? We are getting nothing. Instead Sputnik and RT is deferring to retired 71 old professor Postol who did his whole analysis based on single picture he found somewhere on social media. Do you think this will cause a dent in beliefs of people who are 24/7 being propagandized by Anglo-Zio media?
Wizard of Oz , April 18, 2017 at 6:17 am GMT
100 Words What is your view of David Kilcullen, what he knows about, and what his views are worth? No doubt "modified" or " qualified" respect but it is the qualifications and the reasons for them that I am interested in. When I've got round tobfinishing his article saying Assad is desperate and losing I'll probably be back.
Anon , April 18, 2017 at 6:34 am GMT
Get a load of this a ** hole who was responsible for disaster in Russia.

He thinks he has the right to judge the mental health of others.

But as long as super-rich globalists fund think-tanks and invite lunatics like him, he can posture as a 'voice of reason'.

https://youtu.be/AhyD-fPS0vs

And there is the other esteemed 'voice of reason', Thomas Friedman, who wants war in Syria to go on, even if ISIS kills more innocents.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/04/15/thomas-friedmans-perverse-love-affair-isis

These academics are like mafia lawyers.

The mafia sent some of their guys to study law or even enter legit institutions(like police, church, government, etc) and then had those guys serve the mafia. They had the sheen of respectability, dignity, and objective meritocracy, but their main loyalty was to the mafia.
It's like Tom Hagen is an ace lawyer but serves the Mob.

And there were other famous Mob Lawyers, the real ones.

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

So many of these journos and academics are really Mob Publicists and Mob Advocates.
They serve the globalist mafia. Glob is their Mob.

Sachs is a total shark. He's been a Glob Advocate forever. A real weasel.

Brabantian , Website April 18, 2017 at 8:34 am GMT
600 Words Proof of the false-flag nature of the 'chemical attack' in Syria absurdly ascribed to Assad's forces -

Above all because of a very-censored explosive story – a distinguished group of Swedish doctors showed that the George Clooney & Western-backed 'White Helmets' in fact made a snuff film actually murdering children of this 'chemical attack' anyone can invite medical physicians they know to view this, to see the Swedish Doctors for Human Rights are absolutely correct in their accusations:

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2017/04/06/swedish-medical-associations-says-white-helmets-murdered-kids-for-fake-gas-attack-videos/

For an overview of the many wider points making clear the false flag, Aangirfan does an excellent job here as she very often does:

http://aanirfan.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/trump-at-war-with-assad-and-putin.html

(1) Anti-Assad "reporter" Feras Karam tweeted about the gas attack in Syria 24 hours before it happened – Tweet , "Tomorrow a media campaign will begin to cover intense air raids on the Hama countryside & use of chlorine against civilians"

(2) Gas masks were distributed 2 days before the attack

(3) Rescue workers are not wearing protective gear as they would if severely-toxic gas attack had occurred

(4) Pakistani British doctor promoting Syria gas attack story, "who at the time of attack was taking interview requests instead of helping injured flooding in" is Dr Shajul Islam, "used as source by US & UK media, despite facing terror charges for kidnapping & torturing two British journalists in Syria & being struck off the medical register"

(5) The USA & CIA were previously documented as having approved a "plan to launch chemical weapon attack on Syria & blame it on Assad's regime' A 2013 article on this is deleted from the UK Daily Mail website, but is saved at Web Archive, a screenshot at Aangirfan's page above

(6) Videos previously exposed as fraudulent are being recycled "A chemical weapons shipment run by Saudi mercenaries [is blown up] before it can be offloaded & used to attack the Syrian army in Hama [this story] has turned into Syrian aircraft dropping sarin gas on orphanages videos shot in Egypt with the smoke machines are dragged out again."

(7) Gas attack story is supported by known Soros-funded frauds 'White Helmets' who had previously celebrated alongside Israeli-Saudi backed 'Al Qaeda' extremists after seizing Idlib from Syrian Army forces. White Helmets "have been caught filming their fake videos in places like Egypt & Morocco, using actors, smoke machines & fake blood".

(8) The 2013 gas attack in Syria killing over 1000 people, was also proven to be an operation by USA & allies, with admissions to this effect by Turkish Members of Parliament The operation even involved the CIA's Google Inc monopoly search control internet domination tool, via their subsidiary Google Idea Groups & Jared Cohen:

In 2014, the later-murdered journalist Serena Shim "stumbled upon a safehouse run by Jared Cohen & Google Idea Groups, a short distance from a border crossing into Syria between Hatay, Turkey & Aleppo province in Syria. In the safehouse were three Ukrainian secret service who had just buried a load of sarin gas shells from the Republic of Georgia. Chemical weapons used in the Ghouta war crime were trucked through Turkey to Gaziantep then taken from there to Aleppo by NGOs, hidden in ambulances or in trucks supposedly carrying relief aid. After Shim broke this story on PressTV the clumsily-staged 'accident' leading to her death only a few days later."

By way of motive – Destruction of Syria & Assad serves the long-being-implemented 1980s Israeli Oded Yinon Plan to destroy & dismember all major countries surrounding mafia state Israel, in general service to the world oligarchs. Plus, there are major US-backed economics behind the campaign to destroy Syria – Assad's fall is sought for changing from the Russia-supported pipeline from Iran thru Iraq & Syria, to the USA-supported pipeline from Qatar thru Saudi Arabia, Jordan & Syria.

Vlad , April 18, 2017 at 9:45 am GMT
What has happened is one of two things as far is Trump is concerned. Either he walked into a trap prepared for him by the Deep state, willingly or unwillingly. If willingly he knew he was set up and accepted it because he has no choice. He could not disobey the military. They have their own agenda in Syria which they had been pursuing for a while, that is carving out American zone of occupation in eastern Syria with the help of Sunny states.

Or Trump simply capitulated to the deep state as Obama did before him. If that is the case we know now how American is governed, by the military industrial complex that dictates its policy. The sad part is that the Constitution is disregarded once again, that the Liberals who used to be peaceniks, are now cheering for war, that the UN is marginalized, that Trump uses it just as Bush did to justify an illegal war.

Sean , April 18, 2017 at 10:22 am GMT

Sounds like we've heard it all before, because we have, back in August 2013, and that turned out to be less than convincing. Skepticism is likewise mounting over current White House claims that Damascus used a chemical weapon against civilians in the village of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province on April 4th.

Quite. They maybe faked before and know how to in there was a overwhelming need. However, one wonders why they did not use the gas gambit when they were set to lose Aleppo. Using it now only when they have lost their big gains, seems like bolting the stable door after the horse is gone . So the motives for the rebels faking a gas attack at this juncture are even more puzzling as for the Assad regime having ordered it .

Why Volatility Signals Stability, and Vice Versa
By Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Gregory F. Treverton

Even as protests spread across the Middle East in early 2011, the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria appeared immune from the upheaval. Assad had ruled comfortably for over a decade, having replaced his father, Hafez, who himself had held power for the previous three decades. Many pundits argued that Syria's sturdy police state, which exercised tight control over the country's people and economy, would survive the Arab Spring undisturbed. ]

But appearances were deceiving: today, Syria is in a shambles, with the regime fighting for its very survival, whereas Lebanon has withstood the influx of Syrian refugees and the other considerable pressures of the civil war next door. Surprising as it may seem, the per capita death rate from violence in Lebanon in 2013 was lower than that in Washington, D.C. That same year, the body count of the Syrian conflict surpassed 100,000.

Why has seemingly stable Syria turned out to be the fragile regime, whereas always-in-turmoil Lebanon has so far proved robust? The answer is that prior to its civil war, Syria was exhibiting only pseudo-stability, its calm façade concealing deep structural vulnerabilities. Lebanon's chaos, paradoxically, signaled strength. Fifteen years of civil war had served to decentralize the state and bring about a more balanced sectarian power-sharing structure. Along with Lebanon's small size as an administrative unit, these factors added to its durability. So did the country's free-market economy. In Syria, the ruling Baath Party sought to control economic variability, replacing the lively chaos of the ancestral souk with the top-down, Soviet-style structure of the office building. This rigidity made Syria (and the other Baathist state, Iraq) much more vulnerable to disruption than Lebanon.[...]

The divergent tales of Syria and Lebanon demonstrate that the best early warning signs of instability are found not in historical data but in underlying structural properties. Past experience can be extremely effective when it comes to detecting risks of cancer, crime, and earthquakes. But it is a bad bellwether of complex political and economic events, particularly so-called tail risks-events, such as coups and financial crises, that are highly unlikely but enormously consequential. For those, the evidence of risk comes too late to do anything about it, and a more sophisticated approach is required.

[...]

Simply put, fragility is aversion to disorder. Things that are fragile do not like variability, volatility, stress, chaos, and random events, which cause them to either gain little or suffer. A teacup, for example, will not benefit from any form of shock. It wants peace and predictability, something that is not possible in the long run, which is why time is an enemy to the fragile. What's more, things that are fragile respond to shock in a nonlinear fashion. With humans, for example, the harm from a ten-foot fall in no way equals ten times as much harm as from a one-foot fall. In political and economic terms, a $30 drop in the price of a barrel of oil is much more than twice as harmful to Saudi Arabia as a $15 drop.

THE CENTER CANNOT HOLD

The first marker of a fragile state is a concentrated decision-making system.funds, at the price of increasing systemic risks, such as disastrous national-level reforms.

This Administration has acted recklessly without care or consideration of the dire consequences of the United States attack on Syria

A Russian build military base being used to attack urban areas is not "Syria"

Assad and those around him hold concentrated centralised power and are already proven to be incredibly stupid, that is why he is in this position– he thought the people loved him, put up the price of basic commodities and the rebellion started. Assad perhaps believes the US is scared to get involved in Syria or to to cross the Russians . It seems silly but he and his advisors have a proven record of catastrophic misjudgements . Bringing in the Russians meant the US would be involved.

I dare say the US has more advanced facilities for gathering intelligence it lets on about and than Syria, Russia or US media know about. Providing "evidence" gives away the hole card one might come in handy if the nuclear balloon starts going goes well and truly up. Any price would be worth paying for knowing Russia's intent. If people doubt Trump over this (and he warned the Russian it was going to be done so he didn't seek confrontation) it is the unfortunate price of maintaining secret intelligence facilities.

The Trump Administration is threatening to do more to remove Bashar al-Assad and every American should accept that the inhabitant of the White House, when he is actually in residence, will discover like many before him that war is good business. He will continue to ride the wave of jingoism that has turned out to be his salvation, reversing to an extent the negative publicity that has dogged the new administration.

For a great power seeing its rival use military force to crush a rebellion it has expressed sympathy is quite definitely a real defeat . It's a zero sum game for America and Russia (yes Russia is Jingoistic, and I think it is more centralised in decision making ) . The Russians took advantage of US passivity under Obama, and they were exultant at the way the US stood and watched, while Russia made all the successful initiatives, but really they couldn't be allowed to have it their own way any longer, for what they would have done next can be assumed to have been frightening to Europe.

Sean , April 18, 2017 at 10:25 am GMT
@Carlton Meyer Am I the only person who remembers news from a month ago? Trump ordered hundreds of regular American combat troops into Syria BEFORE this event, with no explanation. This was covered on all major networks, including CNN.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/08/politics/marines-raqqa-assault-syria/

And why? They've been trying to overthrow Assad since 2005:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pm8-vSo4Y4

Russia was having too much success, they needed to understand that the US is not going to stand by any longer and wait to see. Read More

AmericaFirstNow , Website April 18, 2017 at 11:19 am GMT
Jewish AIPAC Israel firster Jared Kushner and his fellow Jewish AIPAC Israel first friends (like Reed Cordish who worked for Israel Lobby lackey Dick Cheney as well) whom he brought into the White House more than likely influenced Trump to push the Israel Lobby agenda vs Syria for regime change to weaken Iran:

http://america-hijacked.com/2012/02/12/israel-lobby-pushes-for-us-action-against-the-syrian-government/

More on Kushner and his fellow AIPAC Israel firster at the White House obviously influencing Trump to push the Israel Lobby agenda like he did with Syria as I heard Netanyahu praised the Syriaattack and Pence personally telephoned to thank him:

http://forward.com/news/breaking-news/359120/jared-kushners-friend-picked-by-donald-trump-as-assistant/

Hunsdon , April 18, 2017 at 12:07 pm GMT
@Sean Russia was having too much success, they needed to understand that the US is not going to stand by any longer and wait to see. INORITE! I mean look, Russia has expanded its military to the very borders of NATO.

Oh.

Wait.

anonymous , April 18, 2017 at 1:03 pm GMT
It certainly appears to have been a manufactured event. The media was ready and swung into action immediately with pictures and a noisy campaign that the usual war-hawk politicians joined in with. The timing was just too good and seems to have been coordinated. Syria was bombed without bothering to investigate based on Trump's claim that the evidence was ironclad.

Did people like McMaster think it was real and report it to Trump as such? Did Trump believe it? Or did they know it was fake but pretended otherwise? Were they in on it from the beginning or were they forced to play along?

Trump has quickly shifted into being an establishment politician whose rhetoric has been bellicose and reckless. Next up, N Korea and then Iran?

No matter how one votes they end up getting the same thing. It's very disheartening.

Quartermaster , April 18, 2017 at 1:08 pm GMT
@Anon Get a load of this a**hole who was responsible for disaster in Russia.

He thinks he has the right to judge the mental health of others.

But as long as super-rich globalists fund think-tanks and invite lunatics like him, he can posture as a 'voice of reason'.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhyD-fPS0vs

And there is the other esteemed 'voice of reason', Thomas Friedman, who wants war in Syria to go on, even if ISIS kills more innocents.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/04/15/thomas-friedmans-perverse-love-affair-isis

These academics are like mafia lawyers.

The mafia sent some of their guys to study law or even enter legit institutions(like police, church, government, etc) and then had those guys serve the mafia. They had the sheen of respectability, dignity, and objective meritocracy, but their main loyalty was to the mafia.
It's like Tom Hagen is an ace lawyer but serves the Mob.

And there were other famous Mob Lawyers, the real ones.

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

So many of these journos and academics are really Mob Publicists and Mob Advocates.
They serve the globalist mafia. Glob is their Mob.

Sachs is a total shark. He's been a Glob Advocate forever. A real weasel. Putin is the real weasel, and problem in Russia. He's corrupt to his core and has his own vision for Russia which is quite destructive. His Soviet revanchism is a serious problem for Russia and has set the country up for a serious fall. Read More LOL: geokat62 Troll: L.K , Rurik

Quartermaster , April 18, 2017 at 1:11 pm GMT
@Brabantian Proof of the false-flag nature of the 'chemical attack' in Syria absurdly ascribed to Assad's forces -

Above all because of a very-censored explosive story - a distinguished group of Swedish doctors showed that the George Clooney & Western-backed 'White Helmets' in fact made a snuff film actually murdering children of this 'chemical attack' ... anyone can invite medical physicians they know to view this, to see the Swedish Doctors for Human Rights are absolutely correct in their accusations:

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2017/04/06/swedish-medical-associations-says-white-helmets-murdered-kids-for-fake-gas-attack-videos/

For an overview of the many wider points making clear the false flag, Aangirfan does an excellent job here as she very often does:

http://aanirfan.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/trump-at-war-with-assad-and-putin.html

(1) Anti-Assad "reporter" Feras Karam tweeted about the gas attack in Syria 24 hours before it happened - Tweet , "Tomorrow a media campaign will begin to cover intense air raids on the Hama countryside & use of chlorine against civilians"

(2) Gas masks were distributed 2 days before the attack

(3) Rescue workers are not wearing protective gear as they would if severely-toxic gas attack had occurred

(4) Pakistani British doctor promoting Syria gas attack story, "who at the time of attack was taking interview requests instead of helping injured flooding in" is Dr Shajul Islam, "used as source by US & UK media, despite facing terror charges for kidnapping & torturing two British journalists in Syria & being struck off the medical register"

(5) The USA & CIA were previously documented as having approved a "plan to launch chemical weapon attack on Syria & blame it on Assad's regime' ... A 2013 article on this is deleted from the UK Daily Mail website, but is saved at Web Archive, a screenshot at Aangirfan's page above

(6) Videos previously exposed as fraudulent are being recycled "A chemical weapons shipment run by Saudi mercenaries [is blown up] before it can be offloaded & used to attack the Syrian army in Hama ... [this story] has turned into Syrian aircraft dropping sarin gas on orphanages ... videos shot in Egypt with the smoke machines are dragged out again."

(7) Gas attack story is supported by known Soros-funded frauds 'White Helmets' who had previously celebrated alongside Israeli-Saudi backed 'Al Qaeda' extremists after seizing Idlib from Syrian Army forces. White Helmets "have been caught filming their fake videos in places like Egypt & Morocco, using actors, smoke machines & fake blood".

(8) The 2013 gas attack in Syria killing over 1000 people, was also proven to be an operation by USA & allies, with admissions to this effect by Turkish Members of Parliament ... The operation even involved the CIA's Google Inc monopoly search control internet domination tool, via their subsidiary Google Idea Groups & Jared Cohen:

In 2014, the later-murdered journalist Serena Shim "stumbled upon a safehouse run by Jared Cohen & Google Idea Groups, a short distance from a border crossing into Syria between Hatay, Turkey & Aleppo province in Syria. In the safehouse were three Ukrainian secret service who had just buried a load of sarin gas shells from the Republic of Georgia. Chemical weapons used in the Ghouta war crime were trucked through Turkey to Gaziantep then taken from there to Aleppo by NGOs, hidden in ambulances or in trucks supposedly carrying relief aid. After Shim broke this story on PressTV ... the clumsily-staged 'accident' leading to her death only a few days later."

By way of motive - Destruction of Syria & Assad serves the long-being-implemented 1980s Israeli Oded Yinon Plan to destroy & dismember all major countries surrounding mafia state Israel, in general service to the world oligarchs. Plus, there are major US-backed economics behind the campaign to destroy Syria - Assad's fall is sought for changing from the Russia-supported pipeline from Iran thru Iraq & Syria, to the USA-supported pipeline from Qatar thru Saudi Arabia, Jordan & Syria. Sarin is a nerve agent and if that is what was used, gas masks are far less than what is needed to protect anyone.

I don't see any motivation on Assad's part to stage such an attack. It simply was not in his interest to do so. Trump's action was a knee jerk reaction and stupid. Read More Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

Agent76 , April 18, 2017 at 2:12 pm GMT
April 07, 2017

Pentagon Trained Syria's Al Qaeda "Rebels" in the Use of Chemical Weapons

The Western media refutes their own lies.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/pentagon-trained-syrias-al-qaeda-rebels-in-the-use-of-chemical-weapons/5583784

Apr 9, 2017

No More

Wizard of Oz , April 18, 2017 at 2:21 pm GMT
Here is ths David Kilcullen article I have been referring to. On the face of it he is a respectable analyst and authority like Mr Girardi with no hidden agenda:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/fighting-islamic-state/sarin-attack-shows-assad-is-desperate-as-jihadist-rebels-gain-ground/news-story/5265dee03a779671aefa32ef8d1a2fb3

There is no reason to suppose that either DK or PG have special knowledge of what gas attack actually occurred and by whom. However there seems to be an even more important division over the security of the Syrian government under attack from the Al Qaeda affiliate by whatever name it is now called in Syria. Kilcullen points to Assad having superior hardware but desperately lacking manpower.

Does PG subscribe to the popular contrary view that Assad is so close to winning againt all rebels that he simply couldn't hsve hsd s motive to make the gss atttack?

Clark Westwood , April 18, 2017 at 2:22 pm GMT
Is it possible that Trump and Putin cooked up this little show simply to give Trump more credibility in his approaching confrontation with North Korea?
Z-man , April 18, 2017 at 2:53 pm GMT
@Anon Get a load of this a**hole who was responsible for disaster in Russia.

He thinks he has the right to judge the mental health of others.

But as long as super-rich globalists fund think-tanks and invite lunatics like him, he can posture as a 'voice of reason'.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhyD-fPS0vs

And there is the other esteemed 'voice of reason', Thomas Friedman, who wants war in Syria to go on, even if ISIS kills more innocents.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/04/15/thomas-friedmans-perverse-love-affair-isis

These academics are like mafia lawyers.

The mafia sent some of their guys to study law or even enter legit institutions(like police, church, government, etc) and then had those guys serve the mafia. They had the sheen of respectability, dignity, and objective meritocracy, but their main loyalty was to the mafia.
It's like Tom Hagen is an ace lawyer but serves the Mob.

And there were other famous Mob Lawyers, the real ones.

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

So many of these journos and academics are really Mob Publicists and Mob Advocates.
They serve the globalist mafia. Glob is their Mob.

Sachs is a total shark. He's been a Glob Advocate forever. A real weasel. What's the common denominator to these two ??????

Z-man , April 18, 2017 at 3:02 pm GMT
"Democratic Party liberal interventionists have also joined with Senators John McCain, Lindsay Graham and Marco Rubio to celebrate the cruise missile strike and hardening rhetoric."

All owned by the likes of http://www.haaretz.com/polopoly_fs/1.631441.1418390491!/image/412181903.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_640/412181903.jpg Repulsive no?

Jeff Davis , April 18, 2017 at 3:15 pm GMT
@utu Why'd there is no propaganda counter offensive coming from Putin and Assad? Where are their accounts of what happened there backed up by pictures and names of those who created this false flag? Don't they have their sources, intelligence and people on the ground? We are getting nothing. Instead Sputnik and RT is deferring to retired 71 old professor Postol who did his whole analysis based on single picture he found somewhere on social media. Do you think this will cause a dent in beliefs of people who are 24/7 being propagandized by Anglo-Zio media? " picture he found somewhere on social media."

If you check closely, I think you will find that Postol took that photo from the White House issued document presenting the "evidence"(not!) of Syrian responsibility(not!) for the sarin(?) gas attack. Thus that photo represents the on-the-record official story w/official "evidence".

Far from being some randomly acquired photo taken from social media and originating who knows where. And to take it one discrediting step further, it turns out the photo was provided by the al Qaeda terrorists - the CIA's client anti-Assad terrorists - who control that area.

Bottom line: From the first, this was an ***OBVIOUS*** false flag. The only question remaining is whether the CIA coordinated with al Qaeda in planning this event.

Sean , April 18, 2017 at 3:25 pm GMT
@Hunsdon INORITE! I mean look, Russia has expanded its military to the very borders of NATO.

Oh.

Wait. Well they do not get to set the rules until they are the most powerful state in the world–like the US. Read More Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

JoaoAlfaiate , April 18, 2017 at 3:33 pm GMT
100 Words Remember WMD and Saddam? What did the top papers say after Colin Powell's speech to the UN "proving" that Iraq had WMD?

New York Times: "[Powell's speech] may not have produced a 'smoking gun," but it left little question that Mr. Hussein had tried hard to conceal one."

Wall Street Journal: "The Powell evidence will be persuasive to anyone who is still persuadable. The only question remaining is whether the U.N. is going to have the courage of Mr. Powell's convictions."

Washington Post: "To continue to say that the Bush administration has not made its case, you must now believe that Colin Powell lied in the most serious statement he will ever make "

"Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play."
Joseph Goebbels Read More Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments

iffen , April 18, 2017 at 3:48 pm GMT
@Hunsdon INORITE! I mean look, Russia has expanded its military to the very borders of NATO.

Oh.

Wait. Not only that they recently illegally annexed a prized warm water port. Read More

alexander , April 18, 2017 at 4:13 pm GMT
200 Words @Wizard of Oz Here is ths David Kilcullen article I have been referring to. On the face of it he is a respectable analyst and authority like Mr Girardi with no hidden agenda:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/fighting-islamic-state/sarin-attack-shows-assad-is-desperate-as-jihadist-rebels-gain-ground/news-story/5265dee03a779671aefa32ef8d1a2fb3

Thete is mo reason to suppose that either DK or PG have special knowledge of what gas attack actually occurred and by whom. However there seems to be an even more important division over the security of the Syrian government under attack from the Al Qaeda afiliate by whatever name it is now called in Syria. Kilcullen points to Assad having superior hardware but desperately lacking manpower.

Does PG subscrtobe to the populsr contrary view that Assad is so close to winning againt all rebels that he simply couldn't hsve hsd s motive to make the gss atttack? Hi Wiz,

I think it is quite clear, that with the assistance of the Russian military, the Syrian army has mounted multiple strategic victories against ISIS over the past year and a half.

The entry of Russia into the fray, at the request of Syria, provided a very deep reservoir of enhanced military power which has shown to be highly effective in degraded both Al Qaeda and ISIS on multiple fronts.

It seems as absurd now , as it did in 2013, that Assad would do the ONE THING that would force the hand of the US military to enter the fray against him.

I also doubt the notion of the Syrian regimes "desperation" given the complete cooperation of Russia in providing any assistance the Syrian army might need , to achieve victory against ISIS.

One could argue, however ,that Assad is truly "bonehead" stupid.

You are certainly free to make that argument, Wiz , because, in this case, it seems to be the one that would make the most sense. Read More Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

The Alarmist , April 18, 2017 at 4:30 pm GMT
100 Words @Sean

Sounds like we've heard it all before, because we have, back in August 2013, and that turned out to be less than convincing. Skepticism is likewise mounting over current White House claims that Damascus used a chemical weapon against civilians in the village of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province on April 4th.
Quite. They maybe faked before and know how to in there was a overwhelming need. However, one wonders why they did not use the gas gambit when they were set to lose Aleppo. Using it now only when they have lost their big gains, seems like bolting the stable door after the horse is gone . So the motives for the rebels faking a gas attack at this juncture are even more puzzling as for the Assad regime having ordered it .

Why Volatility Signals Stability, and Vice Versa
By Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Gregory F. Treverton
Purchase Article
Even as protests spread across the Middle East in early 2011, the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria appeared immune from the upheaval. Assad had ruled comfortably for over a decade, having replaced his father, Hafez, who himself had held power for the previous three decades. Many pundits argued that Syria's sturdy police state, which exercised tight control over the country's people and economy, would survive the Arab Spring undisturbed. ]...

But appearances were deceiving: today, Syria is in a shambles, with the regime fighting for its very survival, whereas Lebanon has withstood the influx of Syrian refugees and the other considerable pressures of the civil war next door. Surprising as it may seem, the per capita death rate from violence in Lebanon in 2013 was lower than that in Washington, D.C. That same year, the body count of the Syrian conflict surpassed 100,000.

Why has seemingly stable Syria turned out to be the fragile regime, whereas always-in-turmoil Lebanon has so far proved robust? The answer is that prior to its civil war, Syria was exhibiting only pseudo-stability, its calm façade concealing deep structural vulnerabilities. Lebanon's chaos, paradoxically, signaled strength. Fifteen years of civil war had served to decentralize the state and bring about a more balanced sectarian power-sharing structure. Along with Lebanon's small size as an administrative unit, these factors added to its durability. So did the country's free-market economy. In Syria, the ruling Baath Party sought to control economic variability, replacing the lively chaos of the ancestral souk with the top-down, Soviet-style structure of the office building. This rigidity made Syria (and the other Baathist state, Iraq) much more vulnerable to disruption than Lebanon.[...]


The divergent tales of Syria and Lebanon demonstrate that the best early warning signs of instability are found not in historical data but in underlying structural properties. Past experience can be extremely effective when it comes to detecting risks of cancer, crime, and earthquakes. But it is a bad bellwether of complex political and economic events, particularly so-called tail risks-events, such as coups and financial crises, that are highly unlikely but enormously consequential. For those, the evidence of risk comes too late to do anything about it, and a more sophisticated approach is required.

[...]

Simply put, fragility is aversion to disorder. Things that are fragile do not like variability, volatility, stress, chaos, and random events, which cause them to either gain little or suffer. A teacup, for example, will not benefit from any form of shock. It wants peace and predictability, something that is not possible in the long run, which is why time is an enemy to the fragile. What's more, things that are fragile respond to shock in a nonlinear fashion. With humans, for example, the harm from a ten-foot fall in no way equals ten times as much harm as from a one-foot fall. In political and economic terms, a $30 drop in the price of a barrel of oil is much more than twice as harmful to Saudi Arabia as a $15 drop.

THE CENTER CANNOT HOLD

The first marker of a fragile state is a concentrated decision-making system.funds, at the price of increasing systemic risks, such as disastrous national-level reforms.


This Administration has acted recklessly without care or consideration of the dire consequences of the United States attack on Syria
A Russian build military base being used to attack urban areas is not "Syria"

Assad and those around him hold concentrated centralised power and are already proven to be incredibly stupid, that is why he is in this position-- he thought the people loved him, put up the price of basic commodities and the rebellion started. Assad perhaps believes the US is scared to get involved in Syria or to to cross the Russians . It seems silly but he and his advisors have a proven record of catastrophic misjudgements . Bringing in the Russians meant the US would be involved.

I dare say the US has more advanced facilities for gathering intelligence it lets on about and than Syria, Russia or US media know about. Providing "evidence" gives away the hole card one might come in handy if the nuclear balloon starts going goes well and truly up. Any price would be worth paying for knowing Russia's intent. If people doubt Trump over this (and he warned the Russian it was going to be done so he didn't seek confrontation) it is the unfortunate price of maintaining secret intelligence facilities.


The Trump Administration is threatening to do more to remove Bashar al-Assad and every American should accept that the inhabitant of the White House, when he is actually in residence, will discover like many before him that war is good business. He will continue to ride the wave of jingoism that has turned out to be his salvation, reversing to an extent the negative publicity that has dogged the new administration.
For a great power seeing its rival use military force to crush a rebellion it has expressed sympathy is quite definitely a real defeat . It's a zero sum game for America and Russia (yes Russia is Jingoistic, and I think it is more centralised in decision making ) . The Russians took advantage of US passivity under Obama, and they were exultant at the way the US stood and watched, while Russia made all the successful initiatives, but really they couldn't be allowed to have it their own way any longer, for what they would have done next can be assumed to have been frightening to Europe.

"The Russians took advantage of US passivity under Obama, and they were exultant at the way the US stood and watched, while Russia made all the successful initiatives, but really they couldn't be allowed to have it their own way any longer, for what they would have done next can be assumed to have been frightening to Europe."

Wow, we must have been observing two different worlds, because Russian actions in several theatres (Syria, Ukraine, Korea, ROW) have been relatively restrained to non-existent despite clear threats to their national interests, while the US has ratcheted up it military intervention pretty much globally over the same period. Then again, I live outside the US and am not blanketed with the propaganda that spills out of its MSM house organs, so we have indeed observed two different worlds. Read More

Wally , April 18, 2017 at 4:45 pm GMT
@Hunsdon INORITE! I mean look, Russia has expanded its military to the very borders of NATO.

Oh.

Wait. IOW, the Russians have their own military in their own county guarding their own borders. Read More Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

Wally , April 18, 2017 at 4:48 pm GMT
@iffen Not only that they recently illegally annexed a prized warm water port. "Illegal" not.

Russia was right to accept the legitimate Crimean vote.

The Crimean voters overwhelmingly approved returning to Russia.

Democracy personified, the will of the people.

Leftists hate that. Read More Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

Ivy , April 18, 2017 at 4:50 pm GMT
See the article by Gaius Publius at Naked Capitalism for a deeper dive.

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/04/gaius-publius-new-evidence-syrian-gas-story-fabricated-white-house.html Read More Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments

Wally , April 18, 2017 at 4:56 pm GMT
@utu Why'd there is no propaganda counter offensive coming from Putin and Assad? Where are their accounts of what happened there backed up by pictures and names of those who created this false flag? Don't they have their sources, intelligence and people on the ground? We are getting nothing. Instead Sputnik and RT is deferring to retired 71 old professor Postol who did his whole analysis based on single picture he found somewhere on social media. Do you think this will cause a dent in beliefs of people who are 24/7 being propagandized by Anglo-Zio media? You won't find it by looking at CNN / ZNN.

Try:

http://russia-insider.com/en Read More Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

Philip Giraldi , April 18, 2017 at 4:58 pm GMT
100 Words NEW! @Wizard of Oz Here is ths David Kilcullen article I have been referring to. On the face of it he is a respectable analyst and authority like Mr Girardi with no hidden agenda:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/fighting-islamic-state/sarin-attack-shows-assad-is-desperate-as-jihadist-rebels-gain-ground/news-story/5265dee03a779671aefa32ef8d1a2fb3

Thete is mo reason to suppose that either DK or PG have special knowledge of what gas attack actually occurred and by whom. However there seems to be an even more important division over the security of the Syrian government under attack from the Al Qaeda afiliate by whatever name it is now called in Syria. Kilcullen points to Assad having superior hardware but desperately lacking manpower.

Does PG subscrtobe to the populsr contrary view that Assad is so close to winning againt all rebels that he simply couldn't hsve hsd s motive to make the gss atttack? Kilcullen is well compensated by those who support the Establishment narrative on Syria and everywhere else in the Middle East so he does indeed have an agenda. Most intel and military types that I have spoken to agree that after the retaking of Aleppo al-Assad is winning and will eventually win. Did he nevertheless stage the chemical attack on Idbil? I don't know. Let's see the evidence. Somebody obviously knows that happened. Read More

Wally , April 18, 2017 at 5:01 pm GMT
@Quartermaster Putin is the real weasel, and problem in Russia. He's corrupt to his core and has his own vision for Russia which is quite destructive. His Soviet revanchism is a serious problem for Russia and has set the country up for a serious fall. Putin is so bad for Russia that the Russians overwhelmingly support him.

I suggest you quit digging. Read More Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

SolontoCroesus , April 18, 2017 at 5:05 pm GMT
600 Words @Jeff Davis "...picture he found somewhere on social media."

If you check closely, I think you will find that Postol took that photo from the White House issued document presenting the "evidence"(not!) of Syrian responsibility(not!) for the sarin(?) gas attack. Thus that photo represents the on-the-record official story w/official "evidence".

Far from being some randomly acquired photo taken from social media and originating who knows where. And to take it one discrediting step further, it turns out the photo was provided by the al Qaeda terrorists -- the CIA's client anti-Assad terrorists -- who control that area.

Bottom line: From the first, this was an ***OBVIOUS*** false flag. The only question remaining is whether the CIA coordinated with al Qaeda in planning this event. On Apr 13, 2017, Center for Strategic and International Studies hosted Mike Pompeo for his first public speaking appearance as CIA director.

After Pompeo's prepared remarks, Juan Zarate queried the director on the Syria attack/s, starting his questions with comment on the rapidity with which "assessments were made."
(Zarate is now at CSIS after proving his neoconservative bona fides as a charter member of Stuart Levey's Treasury Department "guerrillas in grey suits" - the gang that deploys financial blackmail to coerce international banks and corporations to join the US in constraining their commerce with states the USA does not like.)

Pompeo responded to Zarate's request for "behind the scenes" description of how the assessments were made:

"We were in short order able to deliver a high confidence assessment that it was the Syrian regime that had launched chemical attacks against its own people. Not me, Our Team, not just the CIA, the entire intelligence community was good and fast and we challenged ourselves. I can assure you we were challenged by the President and his team. We wanted to make sure we had it right. There's not much like when the president looks at you and says, Are you sure? When you know he's contemplating an action based on the analysis your organization has provided, and we got it right and I'm proud of the work that get to have the president have the opportunity to make a good decision about what he ought to do in the face of the atrocity that took place. "

Zarate did not register dissatisfaction with this non-response; instead, he accepted the assessment as conclusive. Then he escalated the discussion:

"What do you make of the Russian disputation of those conclusions? Bashar Al-Assad calling this a fabrication, the entire event. It's a battle of legitimacy and proof. How do you deal with that?"

To which Pompeo delivered the money-quote:

They're challenges. There are things we were able to use to form the basis of our conclusion that we cannot reveal. That is always tricky, but we've done our best and I think over time we can reveal a bit more. Everyone saw the open source photos, so we had reality on our side. "

So apparently Pompeo and the "entire intelligence community" used the same photos that Dr. Postol examined exhaustively, but reached a different conclusion; they believe that the photos reflect "reality" and support their interpretation of events as fingering the Syrian government as perpetrators of the "red-line" "atrocity."

Pompeo spent the next few minutes derogating Russia and Putin, stating that "Russia is on its sixth or seventh version of the story," and that "Putin is not a credible man . . . a man for whom veracity does not translate into English." (I think he meant "into Russian . . . .")

-

Recall that in 2013 Diane Feinstein also engaged the "rapid turnaround" efforts of the CIA to produce a video presentation of gassed children, which she claimed implicated the Syrian government, in her bid to drive the Obama administration across the "red line." http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/09/07/cia-authenticates-13-videos-showing-syrian-gas-attack-aftermath-official-says.html
and
Lawmakers shown 'horrendous' video of alleged chemical attack in Syria Sept 05, 2013

After extensive investigation by experts under the auspices of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon declared that it was "indisputable" that a chemical attack had occurred, but those responsible for the attack were not conclusively identified. Samantha Power, however, insisted that "it must have been Assad." http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/un-report-confirms-use-of-chemical-weapons-in-syria-a-922746.html

Same lies, different liars. Read More Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

joe webb , April 18, 2017 at 5:09 pm GMT
The Theodor Postel report made it onto Yahoo News surprisinly, last night. JW Read More Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
Jeff Davis , April 18, 2017 at 5:18 pm GMT
100 Words @Sean

Sounds like we've heard it all before, because we have, back in August 2013, and that turned out to be less than convincing. Skepticism is likewise mounting over current White House claims that Damascus used a chemical weapon against civilians in the village of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province on April 4th.
Quite. They maybe faked before and know how to in there was a overwhelming need. However, one wonders why they did not use the gas gambit when they were set to lose Aleppo. Using it now only when they have lost their big gains, seems like bolting the stable door after the horse is gone . So the motives for the rebels faking a gas attack at this juncture are even more puzzling as for the Assad regime having ordered it .

Why Volatility Signals Stability, and Vice Versa
By Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Gregory F. Treverton
Purchase Article
Even as protests spread across the Middle East in early 2011, the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria appeared immune from the upheaval. Assad had ruled comfortably for over a decade, having replaced his father, Hafez, who himself had held power for the previous three decades. Many pundits argued that Syria's sturdy police state, which exercised tight control over the country's people and economy, would survive the Arab Spring undisturbed. ]...

But appearances were deceiving: today, Syria is in a shambles, with the regime fighting for its very survival, whereas Lebanon has withstood the influx of Syrian refugees and the other considerable pressures of the civil war next door. Surprising as it may seem, the per capita death rate from violence in Lebanon in 2013 was lower than that in Washington, D.C. That same year, the body count of the Syrian conflict surpassed 100,000.

Why has seemingly stable Syria turned out to be the fragile regime, whereas always-in-turmoil Lebanon has so far proved robust? The answer is that prior to its civil war, Syria was exhibiting only pseudo-stability, its calm façade concealing deep structural vulnerabilities. Lebanon's chaos, paradoxically, signaled strength. Fifteen years of civil war had served to decentralize the state and bring about a more balanced sectarian power-sharing structure. Along with Lebanon's small size as an administrative unit, these factors added to its durability. So did the country's free-market economy. In Syria, the ruling Baath Party sought to control economic variability, replacing the lively chaos of the ancestral souk with the top-down, Soviet-style structure of the office building. This rigidity made Syria (and the other Baathist state, Iraq) much more vulnerable to disruption than Lebanon.[...]


The divergent tales of Syria and Lebanon demonstrate that the best early warning signs of instability are found not in historical data but in underlying structural properties. Past experience can be extremely effective when it comes to detecting risks of cancer, crime, and earthquakes. But it is a bad bellwether of complex political and economic events, particularly so-called tail risks-events, such as coups and financial crises, that are highly unlikely but enormously consequential. For those, the evidence of risk comes too late to do anything about it, and a more sophisticated approach is required.

[...]

Simply put, fragility is aversion to disorder. Things that are fragile do not like variability, volatility, stress, chaos, and random events, which cause them to either gain little or suffer. A teacup, for example, will not benefit from any form of shock. It wants peace and predictability, something that is not possible in the long run, which is why time is an enemy to the fragile. What's more, things that are fragile respond to shock in a nonlinear fashion. With humans, for example, the harm from a ten-foot fall in no way equals ten times as much harm as from a one-foot fall. In political and economic terms, a $30 drop in the price of a barrel of oil is much more than twice as harmful to Saudi Arabia as a $15 drop.

THE CENTER CANNOT HOLD

The first marker of a fragile state is a concentrated decision-making system.funds, at the price of increasing systemic risks, such as disastrous national-level reforms.


This Administration has acted recklessly without care or consideration of the dire consequences of the United States attack on Syria
A Russian build military base being used to attack urban areas is not "Syria"

Assad and those around him hold concentrated centralised power and are already proven to be incredibly stupid, that is why he is in this position-- he thought the people loved him, put up the price of basic commodities and the rebellion started. Assad perhaps believes the US is scared to get involved in Syria or to to cross the Russians . It seems silly but he and his advisors have a proven record of catastrophic misjudgements . Bringing in the Russians meant the US would be involved.

I dare say the US has more advanced facilities for gathering intelligence it lets on about and than Syria, Russia or US media know about. Providing "evidence" gives away the hole card one might come in handy if the nuclear balloon starts going goes well and truly up. Any price would be worth paying for knowing Russia's intent. If people doubt Trump over this (and he warned the Russian it was going to be done so he didn't seek confrontation) it is the unfortunate price of maintaining secret intelligence facilities.


The Trump Administration is threatening to do more to remove Bashar al-Assad and every American should accept that the inhabitant of the White House, when he is actually in residence, will discover like many before him that war is good business. He will continue to ride the wave of jingoism that has turned out to be his salvation, reversing to an extent the negative publicity that has dogged the new administration.
For a great power seeing its rival use military force to crush a rebellion it has expressed sympathy is quite definitely a real defeat . It's a zero sum game for America and Russia (yes Russia is Jingoistic, and I think it is more centralised in decision making ) . The Russians took advantage of US passivity under Obama, and they were exultant at the way the US stood and watched, while Russia made all the successful initiatives, but really they couldn't be allowed to have it their own way any longer, for what they would have done next can be assumed to have been frightening to Europe. You have no idea what you're talking about. You don't source your quotes, and you're ideologically driven by a form of crypto anti-socialism revealed in you're basic premise that centralized planning created the vulnerability that brought down Saddam and now threatens Assad.

Nonsense. What threatens all of the Mideast - what brought down Saddam, Gaddafi, and now threatens Assad - is US/Zionist covert and overt political and military violence. Dick Cheney turned the US Govt over to Israeli neocon subversion, resulting in Zionist control of US foreign policy and its conversion into a foreign policy in service to Israel: the implementation of the 7-country, Oded Yinon regime change program.

The US has been turned into Israel's bjtch, its treasury looted, the lives of US miltary personnel sacrificed to benefit the Zionist criminal project. And you, are either a fool or an Israeli propagandist. Read More Agree: Z-man

The Anti-Gnostic , Website April 18, 2017 at 6:20 pm GMT
@utu Why'd there is no propaganda counter offensive coming from Putin and Assad? Where are their accounts of what happened there backed up by pictures and names of those who created this false flag? Don't they have their sources, intelligence and people on the ground? We are getting nothing. Instead Sputnik and RT is deferring to retired 71 old professor Postol who did his whole analysis based on single picture he found somewhere on social media. Do you think this will cause a dent in beliefs of people who are 24/7 being propagandized by Anglo-Zio media? How do we know it wasn't YOU? Prove it. I want pictures, names. Read More
utu , April 18, 2017 at 6:43 pm GMT
200 Words @The Anti-Gnostic How do we know it wasn't YOU? Prove it. I want pictures, names. It's not about proving things. It is about narrative control. However you look at it Russia (and Assad) lost the narrative. One amateurish report by retired professor from MIT that bases his finding on just one picture won't change it. Still it is this report that Russia's media like RT and Sputnik are citing instead of coming up with their own genuine stuff. One would think they have means, right? After all there are FSB, GRU, Assad's intelligence, assets on the ground in Syria, intercepted communications between Al Qaeda and their handlers. And Russian media can't come up with a good story and relies on 71 years old former MIT professor report. So what's going on there? Don't they want to win? Are they being sabotaged by inept and indolent staff? Or is Russia's fight in the Middle East just a make belief? Hey, Our American Partners, how much will you pay us for playing bad guys? And for being stupid guys you pay extra, right? Read More
Sean , April 18, 2017 at 6:49 pm GMT
100 Words @The Alarmist

"The Russians took advantage of US passivity under Obama, and they were exultant at the way the US stood and watched, while Russia made all the successful initiatives, but really they couldn't be allowed to have it their own way any longer, for what they would have done next can be assumed to have been frightening to Europe."
Wow, we must have been observing two different worlds, because Russian actions in several theatres (Syria, Ukraine, Korea, ROW) have been relatively restrained to non-existent despite clear threats to their national interests, while the US has ratcheted up it military intervention pretty much globally over the same period. Then again, I live outside the US and am not blanketed with the propaganda that spills out of its MSM house organs, so we have indeed observed two different worlds. http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/08/politics/marines-raqqa-assault-syria/

Trump didn't wait for the gas attack, he was already laying the ground for getting involved in Syria, which is not a vital interest of Russia. Russians want to do stuff like support Assad and crush rebels the US has expressed sympathy for. they surely didn't expect to be left alone. Read More Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

Svigor , April 18, 2017 at 6:59 pm GMT
600 Words

Skepticism is likewise mounting over current White House claims that Damascus used a chemical weapon against civilians in the village of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province on April 4th.

So far it's been a Big Media claim, too. To the point of at least one piece (in The Atlantic , IIRC) poo-pooing the idea that the Big Media Narrative could be wrong.

even though Damascus had no motive to stage such an attack

I'm tired of reading this and seeing no explanation. I'd like to see that assertion supported. I'd like it to come from you, Phil, because so far, in my experience, you seem to be the most reasonable US-skeptic writer at TUR.

It isn't self-explanatory. Chemical weapons have their uses, like clearing out heavily fortified urban areas that would be costly to clear the old fashioned way. Weighed against Trump's ostensible goal to stay out of Syria and drop the insane "Assad must go" rhetoric of the previous administration, it might've been tempting. Which is why I would like to know more about the target area and circumstances. But nobody seems to give a shit. I suppose it might have a lot to do with the fact that there are (or were, last I heard) no journalists in Syria. But if we simply don't know much about the target area, maybe we should stop assuming hitting it with chemical weapons had no utility.

Principled and eminently sensible Democratic Congressman Tulsi Gabbard

Those principles being "don't invade the world, invite the world," I presume?

There have been two central documents relating to the alleged Syrian chemical weapon incidents in 2013 and 2017, both of which read like press releases. Both refer to a consensus within the U.S. intelligence community (IC)and express "confidence" and even "high confidence" regarding their conclusions but neither is actually a product of the office of the Director of National Intelligence, which would be appropriate if the IC had actually come to a consensus. Neither the Director of National Intelligence nor the Director of CIA were present in a photo showing the White House team deliberating over what to do about Syria. Both documents supporting the U.S. cruise missile attack were, in fact, uncharacteristically put out by the White House, suggesting that the arguments were stitched together in haste to support a political decision to use force that had already been made.

The American Security Apparatus can shove their consensus up their asses anyway. Why should the American public take their word for anything?

Generally reliable journalist Robert Parry is reporting that the intelligence behind the White House claims comes largely from satellite surveillance, though nothing has been released to back-up the conclusion that the Syrian government was behind the attack, an odd omission as everyone knows about satellite capabilities and they are not generally considered to be a classified source or method.

And there are huge, consistent gaps in satellite coverage (and always have been, last I heard) that everyone and their mother knows about, meaning, it would be trivial for anyone to plan an attack when the satellites can't see. If Parry is right, then it sounds like the administration has jack shit. "Satellite surveillance" is the last source I'd find persuasive or conclusive in this context.

Parry also cites the fact that there are alternative theories on what took place and why, some of which appear to originate with the intelligence and national security community, which was in part concerned over the rush to judgment by the White House.

So this really is shaping up to all be a bunch of "Wag The Dog/I bombed Serbia to distract from my kosher blowjob scandal" bullshit. Great.

The al-Ansar terrorist group (affiliated with al-Qaeda) is in control of the area

Meaning, this "innocent civilians" mantra we've been hearing from Big Media is bullshit. Read More

bike-anarchist , April 18, 2017 at 7:04 pm GMT
@utu It's not about proving things. It is about narrative control. However you look at it Russia (and Assad) lost the narrative. One amateurish report by retired professor from MIT that bases his finding on just one picture won't change it. Still it is this report that Russia's media like RT and Sputnik are citing instead of coming up with their own genuine stuff. One would think they have means, right? After all there are FSB, GRU, Assad's intelligence, assets on the ground in Syria, intercepted communications between Al Qaeda and their handlers. And Russian media can't come up with a good story and relies on 71 years old former MIT professor report. So what's going on there? Don't they want to win? Are they being sabotaged by inept and indolent staff? Or is Russia's fight in the Middle East just a make belief? Hey, Our American Partners, how much will you pay us for playing bad guys? And for being stupid guys you pay extra, right? Your comment reminds me of a conversation I had with a fence post. At least I found the the fence post truthful, unlike you. I can't imagine you to be able to make humanitarian decisions based on your impatience and impudence. Read More
Z-man , April 18, 2017 at 7:12 pm GMT
100 Words @Jeff Davis You have no idea what you're talking about. You don't source your quotes, and you're ideologically driven by a form of crypto anti-socialism revealed in you're basic premise that centralized planning created the vulnerability that brought down Saddam and now threatens Assad.

Nonsense. What threatens all of the Mideast -- what brought down Saddam, Gaddafi, and now threatens Assad -- is US/Zionist covert and overt political and military violence. Dick Cheney turned the US Govt over to Israeli neocon subversion, resulting in Zionist control of US foreign policy and its conversion into a foreign policy in service to Israel: the implementation of the 7-country, Oded Yinon regime change program.

The US has been turned into Israel's bjtch, its treasury looted, the lives of US miltary personnel sacrificed to benefit the Zionist criminal project. And you,... are either a fool or an Israeli propagandist.

What threatens all of the Mideast - what brought down Saddam, Gaddafi, and now threatens Assad - is US/Zionist covert and overt political and military violence. Dick Cheney turned the US Govt over to Israeli neocon subversion, resulting in Zionist control of US foreign policy and its conversion into a foreign policy in service to Israel: the implementation of the 7-country, Oded Yinon regime change program.
The US has been turned into Israel's bjtch, its treasury looted, the lives of US miltary personnel sacrificed to benefit the Zionist criminal project.

Bares repeating. Read More Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

utu , April 18, 2017 at 7:18 pm GMT
@bike-anarchist Your comment reminds me of a conversation I had with a fence post. At least I found the the fence post truthful, unlike you. I can't imagine you to be able to make humanitarian decisions based on your impatience and impudence. You found it impudent for me calling Russian media and Russia's propaganda machine inept and indolent? You must be one of those who drank Putin's Kool-Aid and is now patiently awaiting his 2nd coming and saving us all from the grips of the NWO, right? Read More Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
Svigor , April 18, 2017 at 7:20 pm GMT
400 Words I think the take-home point for anyone who does his own thinking is that Trump acted so quickly (36 hours) that the evidence should be overwhelming and incontrovertible. The evidence forthcoming has been shit. Ergo, it seems very clear that Trump had no valid reason to act as he did.

What would he gain at this point to launch a chemical attack on the civilian populations?

Either the area is full of innocent civilians, or it's an al-Qaeda stronghold.

Why'd there is no propaganda counter offensive coming from Putin and Assad? Where are their accounts of what happened there backed up by pictures and names of those who created this false flag? Don't they have their sources, intelligence and people on the ground? We are getting nothing. Instead Sputnik and RT is deferring to retired 71 old professor Postol who did his whole analysis based on single picture he found somewhere on social media. Do you think this will cause a dent in beliefs of people who are 24/7 being propagandized by Anglo-Zio media?

The Russians are going to need a lot more than counter-propaganda. I trust them even less than I trust western Big Media. Hard evidence or go home.

Agent76, nobody who will trust globalresearch.ca needs to have their link cited, they'll know about it already, being Konspiracy Kooks. Nobody else is gonna buy that junk.

Not only that they recently illegally annexed a prized warm water port.

Illegal, schmellegal. It's perfectly legit realpolitik. If Ukraine didn't want Russia taking back what was hers, she shouldn't have jumped into bed with hostile powers. Seriously, if you'd asked a Ukrainian on independence day what would happen in the current circumstances, they could have painted you an accurate picture.

"We were in short order able to deliver a high confidence assessment that it was the Syrian regime that had launched chemical attacks against its own people. Not me, Our Team, not just the CIA, the entire intelligence community was good and fast and we challenged ourselves. I can assure you we were challenged by the President and his team. We wanted to make sure we had it right. There's not much like when the president looks at you and says, Are you sure? When you know he's contemplating an action based on the analysis your organization has provided, and we got it right and I'm proud of the work that get to have the president have the opportunity to make a good decision about what he ought to do in the face of the atrocity that took place. "

"Trust me, I'm a professional liar." Read More Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments

alexander , April 18, 2017 at 7:21 pm GMT
400 Words Dear Mr. Giraldi,

Not withstanding our Presidents "rush to judgement" tomahawk strike against the Assad regime last week, there should be very strong indications to our main stream media, that they are being abandoned by tens of millions of Americans across our country who no longer accept the medias willingness to defraud us ,at nearly every turn.

I was an avid reader of the the NY Times, for over 25 years, and I watched the nightly news all the time.

When we were all told by these media outlets in the run up to the Iraq war, that Saddam had launched an anthrax attack against our news rooms and our capitol I believed it completely 100%..without any reason in my own mind why I shouldn't .

Once the war began, and the attribution to Saddam of the anthrax attack quickly collapsed , I felt defrauded by those who I had always trusted to be honest, most especially on issues of war and peace.

In 2013,when the Ghouta Sarin attack was attributed to Assad by these very same pundits, the memory of the phony Saddam anthrax attribution reared its ugly head, and with good reason.

If they were lying then why aren't they lying now ?

I think our media has proven itself, scores of times, over the last fifteen years, to be, at best, disingenuous and at worst complicit in acts of war fraud and terror fraud which have taken the lives of millions of innocent people and cost our country tens of trillions of dollars.

There is no reason why I , nor any American, should be happy about this.

Whats worse is they have displayed such enormous contempt for all the tens of millions of innocent families who have suffered on account of their deceits that they have lost an overwhelming amount of respect from me,as well as, I imagine, countless others.

Our Big Media can only cry "wolf" so many times before they are greeted by everyone with the middle finger.

This reality will not go away, but only get worse, until they start to shoot straight, and have proven to their viewers, that they are not seeking to manipulate, or defraud us . into War. Read More Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments

RobinG , April 18, 2017 at 7:25 pm GMT
@iffen Not only that they recently illegally annexed a prized warm water port. Thanks, Wally.

"iffen," the eff'n Israeli disinfo troll, is always trying to slip one in. Read More

Biff , April 18, 2017 at 7:27 pm GMT
With Trump's complete flip on foreign policy I'm starting to think(again) that U.S. Presidents are mere puppets for the real rulers of this world – who no doubt considered Obama to be just a corporate "house negro". Read More Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
Greg Bacon , Website April 18, 2017 at 7:34 pm GMT
100 Words President KUSHNER and his faithful toady Trump sure are busy these days. In between bites of chocolate cake, they are arming the terrorists and bombing Syrian civilians.

Over 50 Civilians Killed, Injured in US-Led Coalition Airstrikes in Eastern Syria

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960129000960

US Continues to Airdrop More Aid Packages to ISIL Terrorists in Northwestern Iraq

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960129000900

There's one reason the USA is stuck in endless ME wars, with no end in sight. American troops are fighting and dying for Apartheid Israel, and our wealth is being spent on the same.

When Syria is toast, the MSM will start attacking Iran, and they'll have plenty of friends who think the same way in the WH and Congress. Read More Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments

iffen , April 18, 2017 at 7:37 pm GMT
@RobinG Thanks, Wally.

"iffen," the eff'n Israeli disinfo troll, is always trying to slip one in. always trying to slip one in

Thanks to you RobinG I get a White House propaganda blurb "slipped" into my email every day or so. The decent thing for you to have done would have been to warn me not to use my actual email address.

BTW. the commies have been trying to get a warm water port since the beginning of the Cold War. Read More

Svigor , April 18, 2017 at 7:40 pm GMT
200 Words https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_weapons

There are three basic configurations in which these agents are stored. The first are self-contained munitions like projectiles, cartridges, mines, and rockets; these can contain propellant and/or explosive components. The next form are aircraft-delivered munitions. This form never has an explosive component.[41] Together they comprise the two forms that have been weaponized and are ready for their intended use. The U.S. stockpile consisted of 39% of these weapon ready munitions. The final of the three forms are raw agent housed in one-ton containers. The remaining 61%[41] of the stockpile was in this form.[56] Whereas these chemicals exist in liquid form at normal room temperature,[41][57] the sulfur mustards H, and HD freeze in temperatures below 55 °F (12.8 °C). Mixing lewisite with distilled mustard lowers the freezing point to −13 °F (−25.0 °C).[48]

Higher temperatures are a bigger concern because the possibility of an explosion increases as the temperatures rise. A fire at one of these facilities would endanger the surrounding community as well as the personnel at the installations.[58] Perhaps more so for the community having much less access to protective equipment and specialized training.[59] The Oak Ridge National Laboratory conducted a study to assess capabilities and costs for protecting civilian populations during related emergencies,[60] and the effectiveness of expedient, in-place shelters.[61]

Read More Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
Anon , April 18, 2017 at 7:41 pm GMT
None of this would be an issue if the media did its job.

But it doesn't.

There is free media in the US, but Big Media is not free media. It is Bought Media and should be called as such. Read More

RobinG , April 18, 2017 at 7:45 pm GMT
@Svigor

Skepticism is likewise mounting over current White House claims that Damascus used a chemical weapon against civilians in the village of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province on April 4th.
So far it's been a Big Media claim, too. To the point of at least one piece (in The Atlantic , IIRC) poo-pooing the idea that the Big Media Narrative could be wrong.

even though Damascus had no motive to stage such an attack
I'm tired of reading this and seeing no explanation. I'd like to see that assertion supported. I'd like it to come from you, Phil, because so far, in my experience, you seem to be the most reasonable US-skeptic writer at TUR.

It isn't self-explanatory. Chemical weapons have their uses, like clearing out heavily fortified urban areas that would be costly to clear the old fashioned way. Weighed against Trump's ostensible goal to stay out of Syria and drop the insane "Assad must go" rhetoric of the previous administration, it might've been tempting. Which is why I would like to know more about the target area and circumstances. But nobody seems to give a shit. I suppose it might have a lot to do with the fact that there are (or were, last I heard) no journalists in Syria. But if we simply don't know much about the target area, maybe we should stop assuming hitting it with chemical weapons had no utility.


Principled and eminently sensible Democratic Congressman Tulsi Gabbard
Those principles being "don't invade the world, invite the world," I presume?

There have been two central documents relating to the alleged Syrian chemical weapon incidents in 2013 and 2017, both of which read like press releases. Both refer to a consensus within the U.S. intelligence community (IC)and express "confidence" and even "high confidence" regarding their conclusions but neither is actually a product of the office of the Director of National Intelligence, which would be appropriate if the IC had actually come to a consensus. Neither the Director of National Intelligence nor the Director of CIA were present in a photo showing the White House team deliberating over what to do about Syria. Both documents supporting the U.S. cruise missile attack were, in fact, uncharacteristically put out by the White House, suggesting that the arguments were stitched together in haste to support a political decision to use force that had already been made.
The American Security Apparatus can shove their consensus up their asses anyway. Why should the American public take their word for anything?

Generally reliable journalist Robert Parry is reporting that the intelligence behind the White House claims comes largely from satellite surveillance, though nothing has been released to back-up the conclusion that the Syrian government was behind the attack, an odd omission as everyone knows about satellite capabilities and they are not generally considered to be a classified source or method.
And there are huge, consistent gaps in satellite coverage (and always have been, last I heard) that everyone and their mother knows about, meaning, it would be trivial for anyone to plan an attack when the satellites can't see. If Parry is right, then it sounds like the administration has jack shit. "Satellite surveillance" is the last source I'd find persuasive or conclusive in this context.

Parry also cites the fact that there are alternative theories on what took place and why, some of which appear to originate with the intelligence and national security community, which was in part concerned over the rush to judgment by the White House.
So this really is shaping up to all be a bunch of "Wag The Dog/I bombed Serbia to distract from my kosher blowjob scandal" bullshit. Great.

The al-Ansar terrorist group (affiliated with al-Qaeda) is in control of the area
Meaning, this "innocent civilians" mantra we've been hearing from Big Media is bullshit. " like clearing out heavily fortified urban areas.."

Svigor, all parties seem to agree this was a small village and there were only civilian casualties. (Did I misread?) So, hardly a "tempting" target. Read More Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

Brewer , April 18, 2017 at 8:16 pm GMT
100 Words @DB Cooper This whole chemical weapon attack by Assad sounds fishy from the beginning. From what I read Assad is winning the civil war and things are turning for the better for him. What would he gain at this point to launch a chemical attack on the civilian populations? Things just doesn't add up. Check out this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1VNQGsiP8M&t=22s It is established that the White Helmets delivered their film to Al Jazeera before 8am. on the 4th of April (the day of the Syrian Airstrike which occurred between 11.30am. and 12.30pm. It is simply impossible, given the elevation of the sun shown in the video, for that film to have been made before 8am. on the 4th. This is irrefutable evidence that the filming was done no later than the day before the Syrian Government forces attacked. Read More

RobinG , April 18, 2017 at 8:32 pm GMT
200 Words @Anon None of this would be an issue if the media did its job.

But it doesn't.

There is free media in the US, but Big Media is not free media. It is Bought Media and should be called as such. Right you are! The Big, Bought and Biased Media must be RELENTLESSLY exposed and discredited.

Trump's airstrike was triggered by the latest Assad-Did-It-Again, "gassing his own people" story, that we first heard in 2013. Once again evidence is lacking, and worse, there is a total lack of interest in finding evidence, or in asking the obvious questions of motive, cui bono? In a replay of "Gulf of Tonkin," "WMDs in Iraq," and numerous other false provocations, the mainstream media has once again rushed to judgment with no penetrating questions asked.

Since 2011, U.S. corporate media has acted as advocate for militant factions. Rather than reporting events as they occurred, our "journalists" have repeated stories selected by anti-Assad "sources" such as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, i.e. Rami Abdul Rahman. Yes, the SOHR is one guy, an ex-pat member of the so-called "Syrian opposition" who operates out of his house in Coventry, England. Read More Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

Orville H. Larson , April 18, 2017 at 8:33 pm GMT
100 Words @anonymous It certainly appears to have been a manufactured event. The media was ready and swung into action immediately with pictures and a noisy campaign that the usual war-hawk politicians joined in with. The timing was just too good and seems to have been coordinated. Syria was bombed without bothering to investigate based on Trump's claim that the evidence was ironclad. Did people like McMaster think it was real and report it to Trump as such? Did Trump believe it? Or did they know it was fake but pretended otherwise? Were they in on it from the beginning or were they forced to play along? Trump has quickly shifted into being an establishment politician whose rhetoric has been bellicose and reckless. Next up, N Korea and then Iran?
No matter how one votes they end up getting the same thing. It's very disheartening. " . . . Trump has quickly shifted into being an establishment politician whose rhetoric has been bellicose and reckless. . . ."

Yeah, it looks like it.

I voted for Trump mainly for foreign policy reasons. I assumed–I hoped!–that Trump would be better than Our Lady of the Pantsuits, that Israel-controlled, neocon hack. Maybe the difference is this: With Clinton, the ICBMs would have been flying by now, but with Trump, it'll take a bit longer. . . . Read More

anon , April 18, 2017 at 8:59 pm GMT
200 Words How does the lie work? It survives . It always survives . King is dead! Long live the king! It come back. People ignore when they find it out . Same propel tweak the margins and support the new version to build another lie.

That's why we hear that "Saddam did not have nukes but they found weapons they found this they found that they found gas chemical"

I tell them " that is none of your and this Gov's Freaking business"

Now these guys are busy saying "Assad sent refugees he doesn't want this or that or he poured chem s or make attack it possible"

Mu answer is usually this " The Gov can go to war tomorrow because r the sky was not blue above the desert of Iran proving they are not compliant and is busy destroying the climate . You will accept that logic as well or shrug it off but will vote him or his surrogate next time " Read More Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments

unseated , April 18, 2017 at 9:07 pm GMT
@Philip Giraldi Kilcullen is well compensated by those who support the Establishment narrative on Syria and everywhere else in the Middle East so he does indeed have an agenda. Most intel and military types that I have spoken to agree that after the retaking of Aleppo al-Assad is winning and will eventually win. Did he nevertheless stage the chemical attack on Idbil? I don't know. Let's see the evidence. Somebody obviously knows that happened. I assume that someone called "Wizard of Oz" might, like myself, be a resident of Australia.
What is surprising, then, is that he/she gives any credibility to a Murdoch rag and the Australian at that. Its political positions with respect to the Middle East in particular are well known. Read More
SolontoCroesus , April 18, 2017 at 9:19 pm GMT
100 Words @utu It's not about proving things. It is about narrative control. However you look at it Russia (and Assad) lost the narrative. One amateurish report by retired professor from MIT that bases his finding on just one picture won't change it. Still it is this report that Russia's media like RT and Sputnik are citing instead of coming up with their own genuine stuff. One would think they have means, right? After all there are FSB, GRU, Assad's intelligence, assets on the ground in Syria, intercepted communications between Al Qaeda and their handlers. And Russian media can't come up with a good story and relies on 71 years old former MIT professor report. So what's going on there? Don't they want to win? Are they being sabotaged by inept and indolent staff? Or is Russia's fight in the Middle East just a make belief? Hey, Our American Partners, how much will you pay us for playing bad guys? And for being stupid guys you pay extra, right?

One amateurish report by retired professor from MIT that bases his finding on just one picture won't change it. Still it is this report that Russia's media like RT and Sputnik are citing instead of coming up with their own genuine stuff.

According to newly minted director of CIA, that organization and the entire "intelligence community" relied on the "reality" of those photos, in addition to other things that "can't be revealed right now, maybe later."

Maybe it will be revealed after Assad is safely dead or in exile in Moscow what the CIA's can't be revealed methods were. Read More Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

Philip Giraldi , April 18, 2017 at 9:24 pm GMT
NEW! @unseated I assume that someone called "Wizard of Oz" might, like myself, be a resident of Australia.
What is surprising, then, is that he/she gives any credibility to a Murdoch rag and the Australian at that. Its political positions with respect to the Middle East in particular are well known. Yes, Australian. Read More Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
alexander , April 18, 2017 at 9:34 pm GMT
100 Words @Brewer It is established that the White Helmets delivered their film to Al Jazeera before 8am. on the 4th of April (the day of the Syrian Airstrike which occurred between 11.30am. and 12.30pm. It is simply impossible, given the elevation of the sun shown in the video, for that film to have been made before 8am. on the 4th. This is irrefutable evidence that the filming was done no later than the day before the Syrian Government forces attacked. Hi Brewer,

Is there a link to the video ?

Moreover, if what you are saying is true, then it would seem to indicate the White Helmets, as well as ISIS were leaked information as to the time of the Syrian strike so as to stage the chemical event well beforehand.

This means there is a big leak in the shared information between the White House and Moscow.

My understanding is Moscow shared advanced warning of the Syrian strike with D.C., as part of their non confrontation agreement.

Somebody leaked that information to ISIS and Al Qaeda .I wonder who ?

How else could ISIS obtain advanced knowledge about exactly when to plant their gas canister
and stage the gas attack ? Read More Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

Incitatus , April 18, 2017 at 9:39 pm GMT
300 Words It should surprise none that Syria is simply a redux of Iraq 2002-03, minus Ahmed Chalabi or a reasonable facsimile. A "slam dunk." It worked then. The media loved it. All the players got to write memoirs and collect royalties on the same bogus narrative. OK, it was widened a bit to include how everyone, absolutely everyone had no doubt about the 'intelligence' and WMDs. Honest.

GW Bush even did a clever PowerPoint mime for the Radio & Television Correspondent's Association Dinner 24 March 2004 in which he said "Those weapons of mass destruction must be somewhere! Nope, no weapons over there! Maybe under here?" while pretending to look for WMD under his desk. Few (if any) objected. That's when it was pretty clear the soul of the press, if not the Republic, was dead.

The media loves it now. Easy stories – sensational, complete with dead infant/kiddy pics. Second only to porn. Better in a way, because you can inject moral indignation into the byline. Remember the Sabah's hawking 312 dead babies removed from incubators by Saddam in Kuwait in '90? Worked then too. No need to look further.

Our Administration(s) insists Assad 'must go' without considering what will follow. It champions 'moderate rebels', despite their kinship to the most extreme barbarism. If Iraq 2003 was bad, this is even worse. We don't even bother to suggest reasonable succession or a viable alternative future. Too much effort?

True corruption. There are no excuses.

Did it all start with Truman's National Security Act of '47, which codified the CIA and changed the "Department of War' to the 'Department of Defense'?. We've waged war (clandestine and overt) ever since. If only for honesty, it should be changed back to' Department of War.' Read More

utu , April 18, 2017 at 10:05 pm GMT
100 Words @Brewer It is established that the White Helmets delivered their film to Al Jazeera before 8am. on the 4th of April (the day of the Syrian Airstrike which occurred between 11.30am. and 12.30pm. It is simply impossible, given the elevation of the sun shown in the video, for that film to have been made before 8am. on the 4th. This is irrefutable evidence that the filming was done no later than the day before the Syrian Government forces attacked.

It is established that the White Helmets delivered their film to Al Jazeera before 8am.

Why Russian media does not make the same point? Wouldn't it be nice if there was an article in Sputnik or even better, a video on rt.com that would argue that the video was made one day before? Read More Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

Rurik , April 18, 2017 at 10:23 pm GMT
200 Words @Orville H. Larson " . . . Trump has quickly shifted into being an establishment politician whose rhetoric has been bellicose and reckless. . . ."

Yeah, it looks like it.

I voted for Trump mainly for foreign policy reasons. I assumed--I hoped!--that Trump would be better than Our Lady of the Pantsuits, that Israel-controlled, neocon hack. Maybe the difference is this: With Clinton, the ICBMs would have been flying by now, but with Trump, it'll take a bit longer. . . .

With Clinton, the ICBMs would have been flying by now, but with Trump, it'll take a bit longer. .

Israel has a well known deterrent referred to as the 'Samson option'.

I think it would be prudent, and I hope that the sane world has already made those in a position to force a major war between the zio-West vs. Russia (for instance)..

.. that the first place to get glassed will be that shitty little country- as a kind of reverse Samson option

I would like to hope that even now, all sane nations.. (Russia, China, India, Pakistan, et al) who have nukes, have them all trained at ground zero (T.A.) for the strife in the world.

and I suppose to be effective, they'd have to be aimed at some of the snake pits in the Western world as well- I really don't think Rothschild, (Soros, Kristol, etc..) would care too much if most of Israel proper were glowing, so long as they and the diaspora would be able to take control of what ever was left after the fallout dispersed.

the Fiend needs to know that he'd get it first, and there would be the peace

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hn6Cf30HgNI Read More Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

Rurik , April 18, 2017 at 10:43 pm GMT
100 Words @Incitatus It should surprise none that Syria is simply a redux of Iraq 2002-03, minus Ahmed Chalabi or a reasonable facsimile. A "slam dunk." It worked then. The media loved it. All the players got to write memoirs and collect royalties on the same bogus narrative. OK, it was widened a bit to include how everyone, absolutely everyone had no doubt about the 'intelligence' and WMDs. Honest.

GW Bush even did a clever PowerPoint mime for the Radio & Television Correspondent's Association Dinner 24 March 2004 in which he said "Those weapons of mass destruction must be somewhere!...Nope, no weapons over there!...Maybe under here?" while pretending to look for WMD under his desk. Few (if any) objected. That's when it was pretty clear the soul of the press, if not the Republic, was dead.

The media loves it now. Easy stories - sensational, complete with dead infant/kiddy pics. Second only to porn. Better in a way, because you can inject moral indignation into the byline. Remember the Sabah's hawking 312 dead babies removed from incubators by Saddam in Kuwait in '90? Worked then too. No need to look further.

Our Administration(s) insists Assad 'must go' without considering what will follow. It champions 'moderate rebels', despite their kinship to the most extreme barbarism. If Iraq 2003 was bad, this is even worse. We don't even bother to suggest reasonable succession or a viable alternative future. Too much effort?

True corruption. There are no excuses.

Did it all start with Truman's National Security Act of '47, which codified the CIA and changed the "Department of War' to the 'Department of Defense'?. We've waged war (clandestine and overt) ever since. If only for honesty, it should be changed back to' Department of War.'

Our Administration(s) insists Assad 'must go' without considering what will follow.

that's not specifically true. They've come right out and said they prefer Al Nursa and the cannibals and crucifying head slicers to a stable government with a viable middle class.

"We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren't backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran,"

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-syria-crisis-israel-idUSBRE98G0DR20130917

Israel wants in Syria what it got in Iraq and Libya.. a complete dystopian hell on earth. Old Testament vengeance and unimaginable suffering. It is written.

They literally thrive on that shit

Did it all start with Truman's National Security Act of '47

nope

it started in earnest with the Balfour Declaration and Wilson's war. A hundred years ago exactly to the day from Trump's attack on Syria.

The attack on Syria on that notorious anniversary was sort of like a modern day Passover, when the kings of Europe slaughtered the new born of Europa, and the chosen were blessed with a country of their own out of the smoking ashes of Christendom Read More Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

Bill , April 18, 2017 at 10:45 pm GMT
100 Words @iffen always trying to slip one in

Thanks to you RobinG I get a White House propaganda blurb "slipped" into my email every day or so. The decent thing for you to have done would have been to warn me not to use my actual email address.

BTW. the commies have been trying to get a warm water port since the beginning of the Cold War. Pretty sure the Commies had Sevastopol at the start of the Cold War and all the way through it. Sevastopol doesn't really count as a warm water port in the way you mean since you have to go through two straits controlled by NATO before you are in the real ocean.

[Apr 17, 2017] Trump Is Moving Full Speed Ahead in War in Yemen, Despite Massive Civilian Casualties

Apr 17, 2017 | www.truth-out.org
Since taking office, Trump has rapidly expanded US military operations in Yemen. Last month, the US reportedly launched more than 49 strikes across the country -- more strikes than the US has ever carried out in a single year in Yemen. The US has also resumed some weapons sales to the Saudis, after the transfers were frozen by President Obama amid concerns about mounting civilian casualties in Yemen. For more, we speak with longtime investigative reporter Allan Nairn.

TRANSCRIPT

AMY GOODMAN: With the attacks, from Syria to Mosul in Iraq to Yemen, it wasn't -- what? -- eight days before -- after Donald Trump was inaugurated that the US Navy SEAL strike happened in Yemen. Something like 25 civilians were killed, many of them children. And perhaps the reason we know about it is because a US Navy SEAL was killed. That US Navy SEAL's father, William Owens, refused to meet President Trump, who surprised Owens when he came to Dover Air Base with his daughter Ivanka, his son's body brought to the base. He was harshly critical of the raid. Mr. Owens said, "Why did he have to do this now, to move so quickly in his administration?" Can you talk about that first attack, if it was the first attack, and what it means to talk about these attacks as presidential initiation rites?

ALLAN NAIRN: Well, first, the particulars of that attack, that attack was aimed to be targeting al-Qaeda, a local al-Qaeda affiliate. It's worth noting that in Syria many of the rebels, who the US has been backing and arming and training, often conduct joint operations with al-Nusra, the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria. And, indeed, a good number of them have joined up with al-Nusra. But on this raid, it took place in a context of a broader war and a broader assault, which on -- on Yemen, on the Houthi armed rebel movement in Yemen, by Saudi Arabia. And in these raids, the Saudis are using US planes. They're using US bombs. There are actually US personnel sitting in the Saudi Air Force headquarters, helping them with targeting. And the Saudis are systematically targeting Yemeni civilians. After one particularly egregious and especially widely reported massacre on a funeral gathering, the US admonished the Saudis. They criticized them. They temporarily froze and pulled back a bit of their aid. But now, under Trump, again, it's full speed ahead with assaults on civilian targets by the Saudis in -- in Yemen.

And if you look at the press, including outlets like MSNBC, various press outlets that are considered to be liberal, one of the main arguments they make is that a US action is good when it pleases the Saudis. They always -- there's this constant line of criticism, which has been going on for decades, criticism against US presidents who are considered to be too soft at a given moment. And that criticism is: You're letting down our Middle Eastern allies, i.e. you're letting down the Saudis. The journalists will say, "I've just been in the Middle East, and I've been talking to our allies there," i.e. the Saudis, the Gulf states, "and they're very unhappy, because they think the US is not showing enough credibility. We're letting them down" -- i.e. the US isn't being violent enough. And that's the context in which this attack on Yemen by the Special Forces took place.

As to why Trump authorized it in that way, I think a very important motivating factor, that is really underestimated by people, especially scholars, is the extent to which, when you have power, when you're the king, a lot of the motivation for violence, for war, it's not just interest. A lot of the motivation is fun, is thrill, is getting a charge out of ordering violence, and thrilling the public, exciting the courtiers around you, exciting the press around you. The recent reaction to the Syria attack is a very good example of that. I think to really understand how big powers operate, when it comes to going out and killing people, I mean, don't just study their concrete interests, like, you know, mineral exports and geopolitics. Also study Shakespeare. Study the the whims of kings, because that's what a lot of it is about. And if you look back at the debates in the campaign between Clinton and Trump, when they were talking about the violent system, they they did not disagree at all about the US right to commit aggression, about the US right to kill civilians. What they did disagree about was how those decisions would be made. Clinton invoked the traditional establishment criteria that I discussed before of, yes, you can bomb, but you can only kill up to 25 civilians with your bombing run. Trump invoked a different standard, saying, "I'll attack whenever the hell I feel like it." Both of them allow the killing of civilians, which is a crime.

AMY GOODMAN: And Trump saying, "I was just continuing what President Obama started"?

ALLAN NAIRN: In that sense, Trump does have a point, because it was Obama who started the support of the Saudi attack on -- in Yemen and the general policy of US sending -- doing its own military-CIA strikes in Yemen. And, of course, US support for the Saudi order and dominance in the region and for their violence goes back for many decades. And it's also the case that Clinton would probably have done this strike on the Syria airfield, just as Trump did. In fact, a day or so before, she gave an interview to The New York Times where she was recommending strikes on the Syrian airfields.

AMY GOODMAN: No, actually, the interview that Hillary Clinton did was with Nicholas Kristof, and it was in the Women in the World conference. It was several hours before the attack took place.

ALLAN NAIRN: Just hours, uh-huh.

AMY GOODMAN: And that video clip of her saying, "Why doesn't he bomb an airfield?" or "I would bomb an airfield," was played before the attack took place.

ALLAN NAIRN: Yeah. In fact, come to think of it, the way Trump operates, maybe Trump saw that -- if that was publicly available --

AMY GOODMAN: Yes.

ALLAN NAIRN: -- maybe Trump saw that clip. That's exactly the kind of thing that would set him off, say, "Oh, my god. I've got to at least match her, and maybe top her." But this gets back to the more fundamental point that it's really important to understand, which is, US has this violent system, which is criminal, and it has had it for decades. It is willing to commit aggression and kill civilians in country after country after country. And all of those responsible for it should be judged by the same standards that we judge domestic killers. And by those standards, they should all be in prison, including the living US presidents, including Hillary Clinton.

But Trump -- now, that all said, Trump makes it even worse. Trump is bringing in a doctrine and a group of people who are in the process of and are definitely going to commit even more killings of civilians, even more aggression. And that's why it was such -- one of many reasons why it was such a catastrophe that Trump and the radical-right Republicans won, because it will make it even worse. And the argument which you hear going around, especially in some circles on the left, that, "Oh, they're all bad. They're equally bad," it's insane, and it's irresponsible, given that now even more people are going to suffer as a result.

AMY GOODMAN: Award-winning investigative journalist Allan Nairn. We'll be back with him in a minute, as he talks more about his assessment of the Trump presidency. Stay with us. This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source. Amy Goodman Amy Goodman is the host and executive producer of Democracy Now!, a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program airing on more than 1,100 public television and radio stations worldwide. Time Magazine named Democracy Now! its "Pick of the Podcasts," along with NBC's "Meet the Press."

[Apr 17, 2017] Paul Craig Roberts It Has Become Embarrassing To Be An American

Notable quotes:
"... Authored by Paul Craig Roberts, ..."
"... What were the lies used to justify bombing tribesmen in Pakistan, to bomb a new government in Yemen? No American knows or cares. Why the US violence against Somalia? Again, no Americans knows or cares. Or the morons saw a movie. ..."
"... the Russians and Chinese, Iran and North Korea. ..."
"... Did you know that Russia is so powerful and the NSA and CIA so weak and helpless that Russia can determine the outcome of US elections? You must know this, because this is all you have heard from the utterly corrupt Democratic Party, the CIA, the FBI, the Amerian whore media, and the morons who listen to CNN, MSNBC, NPR or read the New York Times and Washington Post. ..."
"... Did you know that the president of Russia, which world polls show is the most respected leader in the world, is, according to Hillary Clinton "the new Hitler"? ..."
"... Did you know that the most respected leader in the world, Vladimir Putin, is a Mafia don, a thug, a tarantula at the center of a spy web, according to members of the US government who are so stupid that they cannot even spell their own names? ..."
"... Did you know that Putin, who has refrained from responding aggressively to US provocations, not out of fear, but out of respect for human life, is said to be hellbent on reconstructing the Soviet Empire? ..."
"... What are we to do, what is the world to do, when we have utter morons as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, as President of the US, as National Security Adviser, as Secretary of Defense, as Secretary of State, as US Ambassador to the UN, as editors of the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, NPR, MSNBC? How can there be any intelligence when only morons are in charge? ..."
Apr 17, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

It has become embarrassing to be an American. Our country has had four war criminal presidents in succession. Clinton twice launched military attacks on Serbia, ordering NATO to bomb the former Yugoslavia twice, both in 1995 and in 1999, so that gives Bill two war crimes. George W. Bush invaded Afghanistan and Iraq and attacked provinces of Pakistan and Yemen from the air. That comes to four war crimes for Bush. Obama used NATO to destroy Libya and sent mercenaries to destroy Syria, thereby commiting two war crimes. Trump attacked Syria with US forces, thereby becoming a war criminal early in his regime.

To the extent that the UN participated in these war crimes along with Washington's European, Canadian and Australian vassals, all are guilty of war crimes. Perhaps the UN itself should be arraigned before the War Crimes Tribunal along with the EU, US, Australia and Canada.

Quite a record. Western Civilization, if civilization it is, is the greatest committer of war crimes in human history.

And there are other crimes-Somalia, and Obama's coups against Honduras and Ukraine and Washington's ongoing attempts to overthrow the governments of Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia. Washington wants to overthrow Ecuador in order to grab and torture Julian Assange, the world's leading democrat.

These war crimes committed by four US presidents caused millions of civilian deaths and injuries and dispossessed and dislocated millions of peoples, who have now arrived as refugees in Europe, UK, US, Canada, and Australia, bringing their problems with them, some of which become problerms for Europeans, such as gang rapes.

What is the reason for all the death and destruction and the flooding of the West with refugees from the West's naked violence? We don't know. We are told lies: Saddam Hussein's "weapons of mass destruction," which the US government knew for an absolute fact did not exist. "Assad's use of chemical weapons," an obvious, blatant lie. "Iranian nukes," another blatant lie. The lies about Gaddafi in Libya are so absurd that it is pointless to repeat them.

What were the lies used to justify bombing tribesmen in Pakistan, to bomb a new government in Yemen? No American knows or cares. Why the US violence against Somalia? Again, no Americans knows or cares. Or the morons saw a movie.

Violence for its own sake. That is what America has become.

Indeed, violence is what America is. There is nothing else there. Violence is the heart of America.

Consider not only the bombings and destruction of countries, but also the endless gratuitous, outrageous police violence against US citizens. If anyone should be disarmed, it is the US police. The police commit more "gun violence" than anyone else, and unlike drug gangs fighting one another for territory, police violence has no other reason than the love of committing violence against other humans. The American police even shoot down 12-year old American kids prior to asking any question, especially if they are black.

Violence is America. America is violence. The moronic liberals blame it on gun owners, but it is always the government that is the source of violence. That is the reason our Founding Fathers gave us the Second Amendment. It is not gun owners who have destroyed in whole or part eight countries. It is the armed-at-taxpayer-expense US government that commits the violence.

America's lust for violence is now bringing the Washington morons up against people who can commit violence back: the Russians and Chinese, Iran and North Korea.

Beginning with the Clinton moron every US government has broken or withdrawn from agreements with Russia, agreements that were made in order to reduce tensions and the risk of thermo-nuclear war. Washington initially covered its aggressive steps toward Russia with lies, such as ABM missile sites on Russia's border are there to protect Europe from (non-existent) Iranian nuclear ICBMs.

The Obama regime still told lies but escalated to false charges against Russia and Russia's president in order to build tensions between nuclear powers, the antithesis of Ronald Reagan's policy. Yet moronic liberals love Obama and hate Reagan.

Did you know that Russia is so powerful and the NSA and CIA so weak and helpless that Russia can determine the outcome of US elections? You must know this, because this is all you have heard from the utterly corrupt Democratic Party, the CIA, the FBI, the Amerian whore media, and the morons who listen to CNN, MSNBC, NPR or read the New York Times and Washington Post.

Surely you have heard at least one thousand times that Russia invaded Ukraine; yet Washington's puppet still sits in Kiev. One doesn't have to have an IQ above 90 to understand that if Russia invaded Ukraine, Ukraine would not still be there.

Did you know that the president of Russia, which world polls show is the most respected leader in the world, is, according to Hillary Clinton "the new Hitler"?

Did you know that the most respected leader in the world, Vladimir Putin, is a Mafia don, a thug, a tarantula at the center of a spy web, according to members of the US government who are so stupid that they cannot even spell their own names?

Did you know that Putin, who has refrained from responding aggressively to US provocations, not out of fear, but out of respect for human life, is said to be hellbent on reconstructing the Soviet Empire? Yet, when Putin sent a Russian force against the US and Israeli trained and supplied Georgian army that Washington sent to attack South Ossetia, the Russian Army conquered Georgia in five hours; yet withdrew after teaching the morons the lesson. If Putin wanted to reconstruct the Russian Empire, why didn't he keep Georgia, a Russian province for 300 years prior to Washington's breakup of the Russian Empire when the Soviet Union collapsed? Washington was powerless to do anything had Putin declared Georgia to be again part of Russia.

And now we have the embarrassment of Trump's CIA director, Mike Pompeo, possibly the most stupid person in America. Here we have a moron of the lowest grade. I am not sure there is any IQ there at all. Possibly it reads zero.

This moron, if he qualifies to that level, which I doubt, has accused Julian Assange, the world's Premier Journalist, the person who more than anyone represents the First Amendment of the US Constitution, of being a demon who sides with dictators and endangers the security of American hegemony with the help of Russia. All because Wilileaks publishes material from official sources revealing the criminal behavior of the US government. Wikileaks doesn't steal the documents. The documents are leaked to Wikileaks by whistleblowers who cannot tolerate the immorality and lies of the US government.

Anyone who tells the truth is by definition against the United States of America. And the moron Pompeo intends to get them.

When I first read Pompeo's accusation against Assange, I thought it had to be a joke. The CIA director wants to revoke the First Amendment. But the moron Pompeo actually said it. https://www.rt.com/usa/384667-cia-assange-wikileaks-critisize/

What are we to do, what is the world to do, when we have utter morons as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, as President of the US, as National Security Adviser, as Secretary of Defense, as Secretary of State, as US Ambassador to the UN, as editors of the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, NPR, MSNBC? How can there be any intelligence when only morons are in charge?

Stupid is as stupid does. The Chinese government has said that the moronic Americans could attack North Korea at any moment. A large US fleet is heading to North Korea. North Korea apparently now has nuclear weapons. One North Korean nuclear weapon can wipe out the entirety of the US fleet. Why is Washington inviting this outcome? The only possible answer is moronic stupidity.

North Korea is not bothering anyone. Why is Washington picking on North Korea? Does Washington want war with China? In which case, is Washinton kissing off the West Coast of the US? Why does the West Coast support policies that imply the demise of the West Coast of the US? Do the morons on the West Coast think that the US can initiate war with China, or North Korea, without any consequesnces to the West Coast? Are even Amerians this utterly stupid?

China or Russia individually can wipe out the US. Together they can make North America uninhabitalbe until the end of time. Why are the Washington morons provoking powerful nuclear powers? Do the Washington morons think Russia and China will submit to threats?

The answer is: Washington is a collection of morons, people stupid below the meaning of stupid. People so far outside of reality that they imagine that their hubris and arrogance elevates them above reality.

When the first Satan 2 hits Washington, the greatest collection of morons in the world will cease to exist.

The world will breathe a huge sigh of relief.

Bring it on! Come on morons, eliminate yourselves! The rest of us cannot wait.

HardAssets -> Manthong , Apr 16, 2017 11:45 PM

PCR has the southern gentleman's understanding of the grip of New England Puritan arrogance and hypocrisy on this nation. When you think you are 'the shining city on the hill' you can do no wrong. You think you're bringing 'democracy' to the world and G-d has 'shed his grace on thee'. This is an old problem & leading Americans wrote & spoke on it, including Thomas Jefferson.

Never One Roach -> HardAssets , Apr 17, 2017 12:04 AM

Profiteers and crooks run DC; Hillary Clinton is a good example.

While middle class Americans suffer, DC politicans line thier pockets with Loot and fail to be responsible leaders.

Radical Marijuana -> buckstopshere , Apr 16, 2017 10:43 PM

"People so far outside of reality that they imagine that their hubris and arrogance elevates them above reality."

Globalized Neolithic Civilization, that the USA became the "leader" of, is the maximizing expression of the abilities to back up more or less legalized lies with legalized violence, despite that doing so never stops those lies from still being false ... In general, the overall situation is FAR WORSE than the superficially correct analysis provided by Paul Craig Roberts!

Indeed, what is "Easter," but the metaphorical expression of yet another manifestation of the criminal insanities which follow from the excessive successfulness from being able to back up lies with violence, emerging out of the deep history of Neolithic Civilization?

Meanwhile, the entire political economy is almost totally based on public governments enforcing frauds by private banks, while it, therefore, has become politically impossible to prevent those vicious spirals of the funding of political processes from automatically becoming worse, faster, at about an exponential rate, due to prodigious progress in physical science and technology being channeled through Civilization based on the abilities to back up lies with violence, despite that being able to do so results in Civilization becoming more and more psychotic, at about an exponential rate:

"Whom the gods would destroy, they first drive mad."

Archive_file , Apr 16, 2017 10:30 PM

Critical theory (Henry A. Gireoux)

https://youtu.be/F_ayf-IEoZ4

redc1c4 , Apr 16, 2017 10:33 PM

DC isn't America...

neither is new Yak Shitty or Lost Angels, Frisco or any of the others.

#HTH.

Giant Meteor -> flaminratzazz , Apr 16, 2017 10:59 PM

Paul is a bit heated. I thought this one of his best.

Rebel yell -> bpj , Apr 16, 2017 11:39 PM

America had 44,000 suicides in 2014, 16,000 homicides, 10,000 heroin overdoses, and 10,000 prescription opioids overdoses., and one percent of our population is in the prison industrial complex, with the most corrupt criminals in our government, banking system, and mic roaming freely and committing more atrocities every day. Glad it's working out for ya! https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/nvdrs/

silverer , Apr 16, 2017 11:52 PM

Wow. I've never seen Paul this pissed. I guess he, along with a lot of other Americans, feel a certain helplessness to counter the insane policies and decisions coming from these people who have built their false power on the backs of the working people. He's right. If the US gets nuked, the rest of the world will breathe a sigh of relief. Imagine if the tables were turned, and our country looked like Libya, Iraq, Syria, Bosnia from being bombed, day in and day out. And wondering if you'd be alive the next day because you weren't in the right place at the right time. Way overboard with the empire crap, the US is.

flaminratzazz -> Ms No , Apr 17, 2017 1:06 AM

my thoughts is that last century's nukes are big ponderous dinosaurs that wont get 5000 feet before the new and improved anti missiles kill them. or the satellites.. I have no doubt that all the land based ICBMs are worthless.

Maybe we could get a few through from our subs but that too is speculation..

Years ago my brother was in the navy and his job was to fly around in an awacs type plane and intercept and decode Russian messages and he told me that one of the messages he decoded was the locations of every Trident in our fleet.

Ms No -> flaminratzazz , Apr 17, 2017 1:12 AM

It seems like bullies always go down the same way. They rule by intimidation and then when they get challenged and eventually wounded everybody sees that they are weak and can/should be beaten. They then get throttled because there is blood in the water. We don't seem to far off from that.

Joe A , Apr 17, 2017 1:40 AM

America is Rome. Modeled after the old Rome including political/legal structure, architecture and symbols. New Rome same as the old Rome except the weaponry is more powerful.

[Apr 17, 2017] Trump, A Symptom Of What A Radical Message From a Half-Century Ago

Notable quotes:
"... If the American system we live under can create this atrocity, there must be something wrong with the whole thing. ..."
Apr 17, 2017 | www.truth-out.org
You could hear the deep sadness in the preacher's voice as he named "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today -- my own government." With those words, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., launched a scathing indictment of America's war in Vietnam. It was April 4, 1967.

That first antiwar sermon of his seemed to signal a new high tide of opposition to a brutal set of American policies in Southeast Asia. Just 11 days later, unexpectedly large crowds would come out in New York and San Francisco for the first truly massive antiwar rallies. Back then, a protest of at least a quarter of a million seemed yuge .

King signaled another turning point when he concluded his speech by bringing up "something even more disturbing" -- something that would deeply disturb the developing antiwar movement as well. "The war in Vietnam," he said, "is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit."

Many of those who gathered at antiwar rallies days later were already beginning to suspect the same thing. Even if they could actually force their government to end its war in Vietnam, they would be healing only a symptom of a far more profound illness. With that realization came a shift in consciousness, the clearest sign of which could be found in the sizeable contingent of countercultural hippies who began joining those protests. While antiwar radicals were challenging the unjust political and military policies of their government, the counterculturists were focused on something bigger: trying to revolutionize the whole fabric of American society.

Why recall this history exactly 50 years later, in the age of Donald Trump? Curiously enough, King offered at least a partial answer to that question in his 1967 warning about the deeper malady. "If we ignore this sobering reality," he said, "we will find ourselves... marching... and attending rallies without end." The alternative? "We as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values."

Like many of my generation, I feel as if, in lieu of that radical revolution, I have indeed been marching and attending rallies for the last half-century, even if there were also long fallow periods of inactivity. (In those quiet times, of course, there was always organizing and activism going on behind the scenes, preparing for the next wave of marches and demonstrations in response to the next set of obvious outrages.)

If the arc of history bends toward justice, as King claimed , it's been a strange journey, a bizarre twisting and turning as if we were all on some crazed roller-coaster ride.

The Trump era already seems like the most bizarre twist of all, leaving us little choice but to march and rally at a quickening pace for years to come. A radical revolution in values? Unless you're thinking of Trump's plutocrats and environment wreckers, not so much. If anything, the nation once again finds itself facing an exaggerated symptom of a far deeper malady. Perhaps one day, like the antiwar protestors of 1967, anti-Trump protestors will say: If the American system we live under can create this atrocity, there must be something wrong with the whole thing.

But that's the future. At present, the resistance movement, though as unexpectedly large as the movement of 1967, is still focused mainly on symptoms, the expanding list of inhumane 1% policies the Republicans (themselves in chaos) are preparing to foist on the nation. Yet to come up are the crucial questions: What's wrong with our system? How could it produce a President Trump, a Republican hegemony, and the society-wrecking policies that go with them both? What would a radically new direction mean and how would we head there?

In 1967, antiwar activists were groping their way toward answers to similar questions. At least we have one advantage. We can look back at their answers and use them to help make sense of our own situation. As it happens, theirs are still depressingly relevant because the systemic malady that produced the Vietnam War is a close cousin to the one that has now given us President Trump.

Challenging the Deeper Malady

The Sixties spawned many analyses of the ills of the American system. The ones that marked that era as revolutionary concluded that the heart of the problem was a distinctive mode of consciousness -- a way of seeing, experiencing, interpreting, and being in the world. Political and cultural radicals converged, as historian Todd Gitlin concluded, in their demand for a transformation of "national if not global (or cosmic) consciousness."

Nor was such a system uniquely American, they discovered. It was nothing less than the hallmark of Western modernity.

In exploring the nature of that "far deeper malady," Martin Luther King, for instance, turned to the European philosopher Martin Buber, who found the root of that consciousness in modernity's "I-It" attitude. From early childhood, he suggested, we learn to see other people as mere objects ("its") with no inherent relation to us. In the process, we easily lose sight of their full humanity. That, in turn, allows us free rein to manipulate others (or as in Vietnam simply destroy them) for our own imagined benefit.

King particularly decried such dehumanization as it played itself out in American racism: "Segregation substitutes an 'I-it' relationship for the 'I-thou' relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things." But he condemned it no less strongly in the economic sphere, where it affected people of all races. "The profit motive, when it is the sole basis of an economic system," he said, "encourages a cutthroat competition and selfish ambition that inspire men to be more I-centered than thou-centered... Capitalism fails to realize that life is social."

Another influential thinker of that era was a German-American philosopher, Herbert Marcuse . (Some radicals even marched in rallies carrying signs reading "Marx, Mao, Marcuse.") For him, the dehumanization of modernity was rooted in the way science and technology led us to view nature as a mere collection of "things" having no inherent relation to us -- things to be analyzed, controlled, and if necessary destroyed for our own benefit.

Capitalists use technology, he explained, to build machines that take charge both of the workers who run them and of aspects of the natural world. The capitalists then treat those workers as so many things, not people. And the same hierarchy -- boss up here, bossed down there -- shows up at every level of society from the nuclear family to the international family of nations (with its nuclear arsenals). In a society riddled with structures of domination, it was no accident that the US was pouring so much lethal effort into devastating Vietnam.

As Marcuse saw it, however, the worst trick those bosses play on us is to manipulate our consciousness, to seduce us into thinking that the whole system makes sense and is for our own good. When those machines are cranking out products that make workers' lives more comfortable, most of them are willing to embrace and perpetuate a system that treats them as dominated objects.

Marcuse would not have been surprised to see so many workers voting for Donald Trump, a candidate who built his campaign on promises of ever more intensified domination -- of marginalized people at home, of " bad hombres " needing to be destroyed abroad, and of course, of nature itself, especially in the form of fossil fuels on a planet where the very processes he championed ensured a future of utter devastation.

One explanation for the electoral success of Trump was the way he appealed to heartland white working-class voters who saw their standard of living and sense of social status steadily eroding. Living in a world in which hierarchy and domination are taken for granted, it's hardly surprising that many of them took it for granted as well that the only choice available was either to be a dominator or to be dominated. Vote for me, the billionaire businessman (famed for the phrase "You're fired!") implicitly promised and you, too, will be one of the dominators. Vote against me and you're doomed to remain among the dominated. Like so many other tricks of the system, this one defied reality but worked anyway.

Many Trump voters who bought into the system will find themselves facing even harsher domination by the 1%. And as the Trumpian fantasy of man dominating nature triggers inevitable twenty-first-century blowback on a planetary scale, count on growing environmental and social disasters to bring disproportionate pain to those already suffering most under the present system. In every arena, as Marcuse explained back in the 1960s, the system of hierarchy and domination remains self-perpetuating and self-escalating.

"The Long and Bitter but Beautiful Struggle for a New World"

What's the remedy for this malady, now as lethally obvious at home as it once was in Vietnam?

"The end of domination [is] the only truly revolutionary exigency," Marcuse wrote. True freedom, he thought, means freeing humanity from the hierarchical system that locks us into the daily struggle to earn a living by selling our labor. Freedom means liberating our consciousness to search for our own goals and being able to pursue them freely. In Martin Luther King's words, freedom is "the opportunity to fulfill my total capacity untrammeled by any artificial barrier."

How to put an end not only to America's war in Vietnam, but to a whole culture built on domination? King's answer on that April 4th was deceptively simple: "Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door... The first hope in our inventory must be the hope that love is going to have the last word."

The simplicity in that statement was deceptive because love is itself such a complicated word. King often explained that the Greeks had three words for love: eros (aesthetic or romantic love), philia (friendship), and agape (self-sacrificing devotion to others). He left no doubt that he considered agape far superior to the other two.

The emerging counterculture of those years certainly agreed with him on the centrality of love to human liberation. After all, it was "the love generation." But its mantra -- "If it feels good, do it" -- made King's rejection of eros in the name of self-negating agape a non-starter for them.

King, however, offered another view of love, which was far more congenial to the counterculture. Love unites whatever is separated, he preached. This is the kind of love that God uses in his work. We, in turn, are always called upon to imitate God and so to transform our society into what King called a "beloved community."

Though few people at the time made the connection, King's Christian understanding of love was strikingly similar to Marcuse's secular view of erotic love . Marcuse saw eros as the fulfillment of desire. He also saw it as anything but selfish, since it flows from what Freud called the id, which always wants to abolish ego boundaries and recover that sense of oneness with everything we all had as infants.

When we experience anyone or anything erotically, we feel that we are inherently interconnected, "tied together in a single garment of destiny," as King so eloquently put it. When boundaries and separation dissolve, there can be no question of hierarchy or domination.

Every moment that hints at such unification brings us pleasure. In a revolutionary society that eschews structures of domination for the ideal of unification, all policies are geared toward creating more moments of unity and pleasure.

Think of this as the deep-thought revolution of the Sixties: radically transformed minds would create a radically transformed society. Revolutionaries of that time were, in fact, trying to wage the very utopian struggle that King summoned all Americans to in his April 4th speech, "the long and bitter but beautiful struggle for a new world."

Fifty Years Later: The Thread That Binds

At this very moment 50 years ago, a movement resisting a brutal war of domination in a distant land was giving birth to a movement calling for the creation of a new consciousness to heal our ailing society. Will the resistance movement of 2017 head in a similar direction?

At first glance, it seems unlikely. After all, ever since the Vietnam War ended, progressives have had a tendency to focus on single issues of injustice or laundry lists of problems. They have rarely imagined the American system as anything more than a collection of wrong-headed policies and wrong-hearted politicians. In addition, after years of resisting the right wing as it won victory after victory, and of watching the Democrats morph into a neoliberal crew and then into a failing party with its own dreary laundry lists of issues and personalities, the capacity to hope for fundamental change may have gone the way of Herbert Marcuse and Martin Luther King.

Still, for those looking hard, a thread of hope exists. Today's marches, rallies, and town halls are packed with veterans of the Sixties who can remember, if we try, what it felt like to believe we were fighting not only to stop a war but to start a revolution in consciousness. No question about it, we made plenty of mistakes back then. Now, with so much more experience (however grim) in our memory banks, perhaps we might develop more flexible strategies and a certain faith in taking a more patient, long-term approach to organizing for change.

Don't forget as well that, whatever our failings and the failings of other past movements, we also have a deep foundation of victories (along with defeats) to build on. No, there was no full-scale revolution in our society -- no surprise there. But in so many facets of our world, advances happened nonetheless. Think of how, in those 50 years just past, views on diversity, social equality, the environment, healthcare, and so many other issues, which once existed only on the fringes of our world, have become thoroughly mainstream . Taken as a whole, they represent a partial but still profound and significant set of changes in American consciousness.

Of course, the Sixties not only can't be resurrected, but shouldn't be. (After all, it should never be forgotten that what they led to wasn't a dreamed of new society but the "Reagan revolution," as the arc of justice took the first of its many grim twists and turns.) At best, the Sixties critique of the system would have to be updated to include many new developments.

Even the methods of those Sixties radicals would need major revisions, given that our world, especially of communication, now relies so heavily on blindingly fast changes in technology. But every time we log onto the Internet and browse the web, it should remind us that -- shades of the past -- across this embattled Earth of ours, we're all tied together in a single worldwide web of relations and of destiny. It's either going to be one for all and all for one, or it's going to be none for 7.4 billion on a planet heading for hell.

Today is different, too, because our movement was not born out of protest against an odious policy, but against an odious mindset embodied in a deplorable person who nonetheless managed to take the Oval Office. He's so obviously a symptom of something larger and deeper that perhaps the protesters of this generation will grasp more quickly than the radicals of the Vietnam era that America's underlying disease is a destructive mode of consciousness (and not just a bad combover).

The move from resisting individual policies to transforming American consciousness may already have begun in small ways. After all, "love trumps hate" has become the most common slogan of the progressive movement. And the word love is being heard in hard-edged political discourse, not only on the left , but among mainstream political voices like Van Jones and Cory Booker . Once again, there is even talk of " revolutionary love ."

Of course, the specific policies of the Republicans and this president (including his developing war policies ) must be resisted and the bleeding of the immediate moment staunched. Yet the urgent question of the late 1960s remains: What can be done when there are so many fronts on which to struggle and the entire system demands constant vigilant attention? In the age of a president who regularly sucks all the air out of the room, how do we even talk about all of this without being overwhelmed?

In many ways, the current wave of regressive change and increasing chaos in Washington should be treated as a caricature of the system that we all have been living under for so long. Turn to that broader dimension and the quest for a new consciousness may prove the thread that, though hardly noticed, already ties together the many facets of the developing resistance movement.

The largest mobilization for progressive politics since the Vietnam era offers a unique opportunity to go beyond simply treating symptoms and start offering cures for the underlying illness. If this opportunity is missed, versions of the same symptoms are likely to recur, while unpredictable new ones will undoubtedly emerge for the next 50 years, and as Martin Luther King predicted, we will go on marching without end. Surely we deserve a better future and a better fate. To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up to receive the latest updates from TomDispatch.com here .

Ira Chernus Ira Chernus is a professor emeritus of religious studies at the University of Colorado and author of MythicAmerica: Essays .ť He blogs at mythicamerica.us , hosted by History News Network .

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[Apr 11, 2017] Tulsi Gabbard: We need to learn from Iraq and Libya-wars that were propagated as humanitarian but actually increased human suffering many times over.

Notable quotes:
"... Tulsi Gabbard @TulsiGabbard We need to learn from Iraq and Libya-wars that were propagated as "humanitarian" but actually increased human suffering many times over. ..."
"... Tulsi is a really courageous woman. It is tough to fight against the neocon "swamp". Trump already folded. She is still standing. ..."
Apr 11, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
anne April 11, 2017 at 12:56 PM
https://twitter.com/TulsiGabbard/status/851872500484980736

Tulsi Gabbard @TulsiGabbard We need to learn from Iraq and Libya-wars that were propagated as "humanitarian" but actually increased human suffering many times over.

12:00 PM - 11 Apr 2017

sanjait -> anne... , April 11, 2017 at 01:57 PM

Gabbard is right to be skeptical of the usefulness and righteousness of missile strikes, but deeply stupid to carry water for the denials by Assad and the Russian state media about complicity for the chemical weapons attacks.

Anne, real skepticism is when you question your own heroes and assumptions.

Peter K. -> sanjait... , April 11, 2017 at 02:05 PM
Which you never do.
libezkova -> anne... , April 11, 2017 at 03:43 PM
Anne,

Tulsi is a really courageous woman. It is tough to fight against the neocon "swamp". Trump already folded. She is still standing.

[Apr 11, 2017] The Democratic attacks on Representative Gabbard for wanting to understand what has happened in Syria are an attack on our democracy.

Apr 11, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
anne -> anne... , April 11, 2017 at 05:42 PM
The Democratic attacks on Representative Gabbard for wanting to understand what has happened in Syria are an attack on our democracy.
ilsm -> anne... , April 11, 2017 at 06:13 PM
Gabbard is correct.

Both mainstream US parties are war parties, it requires huge lying, faulty logic and misplaced faux morality to justify state sanctioned, industrial scale murder.

'If you took the money out of war there would be less of it.'

Obama doctrine is wrong there have been no instances of 'unjust peace' since Cain killed Abel.

anne -> ilsm... , April 11, 2017 at 06:34 PM
Obama doctrine is wrong, there have been no instances of 'unjust peace' since Cain killed Abel.

[ What an interesting passage. I will think this over carefully. ]

[Apr 10, 2017] Took Red Pill

Apr 10, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
new game , Apr 10, 2017 8:30 AM

Tulsi Gabbard seems to be one of the only sensible politicians;

http://www.staradvertiser.com/2017/04/06/breaking-news/rep-tulsi-gabbard...

[Apr 10, 2017] Liberals Call For Ouster Of Democrat Representative After She Questions Syria Attacks Zero Hedge

Apr 10, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
Liberals Call For Ouster Of Democrat Representative After She Questions Syria Attacks ronaldwilsonreagan , Apr 10, 2017 12:22 PM

If you are a warmonger you are not really a liberal.

BaBaBouy -> ronaldwilsonreagan , Apr 10, 2017 12:25 PM

NON Deep State Shill...

She's A Hero ...

Looney -> BaBaBouy , Apr 10, 2017 12:28 PM

Did Howard Dean actually find time in his busy child-molesting schedule to criticize Gabbard?

Shut the fuck up, you perv!

Looney

Ghost of PartysOver -> BaBaBouy , Apr 10, 2017 12:26 PM

Tulsi is one of the very very few Dems that I will actually listen to what they have to say. Perhaps she would relocate to AZ and take McCain's seat. That would be nice.

Jim in MN -> ronaldwilsonreagan , Apr 10, 2017 12:24 PM

The Deep State globalists are gunning for any opponents.

Sad how many 'liberals' are on board with these monsters.

LawsofPhysics , Apr 10, 2017 12:24 PM

LOL!!! Stupid is as stupid does!!! Just more proof that liberals are not capable of critical thinking, even when one of there own is waking up to the MIC action!!!!

Philo Beddoe , Apr 10, 2017 12:24 PM

If Howard Dean is against her I am behind her.

Being behind her would be ok, I suppose.

Cursive , Apr 10, 2017 12:24 PM

Howard Dean called her a disgrace? I have bowel movements that are more productive and graceful then that dumbass.

replaceme , Apr 10, 2017 12:25 PM

This is a disgrace - Howard Dean.

I would tend to agree; that guy is an expert on disgrace.

SidSays -> replaceme , Apr 10, 2017 12:30 PM

Howard Dean?

That guy is bat-shit crazy .

SidSays , Apr 10, 2017 12:32 PM

Hero to zero....

In no time flat...

Thats how democracy (and the Technocracy) works ...

Thankfully we live in a representitive republic.

Bay of Pigs , Apr 10, 2017 12:27 PM

One of the few sane voices in Congress on this issue.

She is spot on and over the target which is why they are all attacking her.

Continued

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