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Khan Sheikhoun gas attack

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This is the age of disinformation. Even facts prevented via video can be false as vidio now id often staged. As in all similar recent events there are more questions then answers in this story. http://www.dw.com/en/is-assad-to-blame-for-the-chemical-weapons-attack-in-syria/a-38330217

General context:

Only few undisputed facts are know about Khan Sheikhoun attack

  1. It is unknown who is responsible for attack. The major are three
    1. The USA official -- Assad did it. 
    2. Russian Hypothesis  (hit of jihadist chemical lab or storage by Syrian military jets released toxic fumes),
    3. False flag version
      •  Some rogue elements within the US government and/or Israel and KSA. Sen. John McCain and former CIA Director John Brennan were mentioned as responsible for planning the false flag (Ex CIA Agent Mossad And Saudis Are Behind Syrian False Flag - Your News Wire)
      • The speed and determination  to accuse Assad without any serious investigation suggest "Iraq WDM scenario". Which representative of Bolivia in the UN explicitly mentioned. (Bolivia UN Envoy on Syria Attack 'History Teaches Us' US Lies to Justify Wars News teleSUR English)

        Lambasting the United States' aggression against Syria, Bolivian Ambassador to the United Nations Sacha Llorenti compared the basis for the unilateral move to former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell's infamous 2003 presentation to the body, when fraudulent evidence of an alleged Iraqi weapons program was presented to justify the U.S. war on Iraq

        Holding up an enlarged photo of Colin Powell's “weapons of mass destruction” speech, Llorenti made an impassioned plea to hold the U.S. to account for Thursday's unprovoked attack on Syria, noting the U.S. history of imperialist interventions in other nations, including Latin America.

        "Now the United States believe that they are investigators, they are attorneys, judges and they are the executioners. That's not what international law is about."

        The Andean nation currently holds a non-permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council.

      "I believe it's vital for us to remember what history teaches us and on this occasion (in 2003), the United States did affirm, they affirmed that they had all the proof necessary to show that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction but they were never found … never were they found," the Bolivian envoy told the emergency Security Council meeting on Friday.

    So far the most plausible is Russian hypothesis.
     

  2. This is the second major sarin attack in Syria (it it was sarin, which is still unclear; some witnesses reported a strong smell) . The previous one was a false flag operation in which over thousand people including women and children died. previous (false flag) sarin attack was staged Syria in 2013 with the explicit goal to provoke Western military response like in Lybia. This was so called "Ghouta chemical attack"; sarin was used in an attack in the Ghouta region of the Rif Dimashq Governorate of Syria during the Syrian civil war.[51] Varying[52] sources gave a death toll of 322[53] to 1,729.[54] It were a part of rebels strategy to weaken and isolate internationally Assad government, which coincides with the desires of the USA and its allies such as Turkey and KSA. 
  3. On Tuesday April 4th 2017, videos and images emerged from sources belonging to Al Nustra within Syria showing what is claimed to be a chemical weapon attack that targeted Al Sheikhun south of Idlib. There were never independent investigators on the ground. All information is from Al Nusra sources. The attack occurred in the city Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province, an area on the Turkish border mostly controlled by al-Qaeda affiliated rebels.
  4. Khan Sheikhoun was bombed by Assad air force  and during or after bombing chemical subscrances were releases.  Coordinates of the target were known to USA as they were communicated as a part of Memorandum about avoiding incidents between the USA and Russia. The USA has a drone in the vicinity which might have the footage of the attack.
  5. Mechanism of delivery is unclear, but is was not sophisticated bomblet-based weapon of Russian origin.. No reliable photos of the weapon exist.
  6. Around than 80 people were killed by suspected chemical weapons in Khan Sheikhoun. A large proportion victims them were children (local inhabitants or hostages is not known) died, possibly of gas poisoning
  7. British Doctor from Khan Sheikhoun who reported about the attack previously held on terror charges in Britain, but managed to escape to Syria.
  8. Turkey  performed autopsies of several victims and claims that they died form  poisoning, althouth they do not say what exactly it was.

The "known unknown" area is much larger.  Even origin and chemical composition of toxic cloud is disputed  (was it "sarin"; was it air attack of munitions depot explosion? what is staged event (aka false flag operation) or a blunder by Assad forces which accidentally hit chemical depot in a school or close to a school.  Here is attempt to collect the most interesting questions about this event that I have found in various forums (collected from foreign sources, mostly from British and German): 

  1. Is not unilateral military intervention in a sovereign country that does not threaten the USA constituting an act of aggression, a war crime by the UN statute? Or, as an exceptional nation, the USA is above the UN...

  2. How can journalists and Western diplomats be so lacking in the desire or ability to question what they are told? http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2017/04/its-wmd-all-over-again-why-dont-you-see-it-.html, The Kremlin issued a statement saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin found it "unacceptable to make groundless accusations against anyone without conducting a detailed and unbiased investigation."

  3. Cue bono?  Effectively the USA acted as Al Nustra (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Nusra_Front) air force. Which promptly initiated an attack on government forces in Palmira.  Does this means that the USA foreign policy in Syria is now aligned with Gulf monarchies policy and Israeli policies of dismembering this country and establishing a permanent Al Nusra Caliphate on the part of the territory as well as  possibly Kurdish enclave ?  The Syrian regime may not have had a compelling motive, believes Günther Meyer, the director of the Research Center for the Arab World at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz. "Only armed opposition groups could profit from an attack with chemical weapons," he told DW. "With their backs against the wall, they have next to no chance of opposing the regime militarily. As President [Donald] Trump's recent statements show, such actions make it possible for anti-Assad groups to receive further support."http://www.dw.com/en/is-assad-to-blame-for-the-chemical-weapons-attack-in-syria/a-38330217 Is not Israel the major beneficiary of this bombing? Syrians shot down an Israeli jet a week before using this airbase. Now this airbase is destroyed.

  4. On April 3, the USA government announced that the US is no longer insisting that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has to step aside. The attack happened on April 4th, a day after.  On April 6 after the attack, but before any investigation, the USA goverment  changed its mind. Did Trump reneg on his promises to fight ISIS and establishing détente with Russia after unprecedented attack by neocons in Washington and folded?   Removal of Bannon might be connected. Does this mean that Trump metamorphosed into Hillary Clinton in around 100 days in office? Or does that mean that the president does not matter and deep state rules the country?

  5. Previous sarin attack was a false flag: The attack took place while UN weapons inspectors were in the country, on Assad's invitation, said Meyer. Assad had asked them to investigate a chemical weapons attack from March 2013 outside Aleppo, which killed Syrian soldiers. Former weapons inspector Richard Lloyd and MIT professor Theodore Postol cast further doubt on Assad's role in the Ghouta attack. They reported in 2014 that the chemical weapons could have only been fired from rebel-held territory, with a range of up to 2.5 kilometers (1.6 miles).

  6. The Nusra Front's weapons include chemical weapons and they inflicted casualties on Syrian army.  This Al Qaeda affiliate is today the most significant rebel group in the northern Syrian province of Idlib. Along with other jihadi groups, it has turned itself into the "de facto ruler of Idlib." Syrian government reiterated the claim, echoed by Moscow, that the tragedy occurred because the rebels had been stockpiling sarin gas, and the Syrian army had no way of knowing it was there.

  7. What will be consequences (other then deserved Nobel Peace Price for Trump) for the USA if the investigation implicated the rebels? BTW none of "volunteers" treating victims died from poisoning, despite working without HASMAT suits, which suggest that at least "sarin" version is bogus. 

  8. What was the function of the buildings hit by air strike (hitting a depot of chemical weapons is the Russian version of events)?  it is clear they they were in or close to residential area were those private residences or not is unclear. What was exact time of Assad forces attack? Rebels are known to store munitions in schools and mosques to protect them from air strikes. Why so many children were affected if only two houses were hit. Outside school,  in Syria  children are usually accompanied by women. There were  less victims among adults.

  9. Are we one step closer to the hot conventional war with Russia instead of promised by Trump to voters "détente"? Will Russia retaliates or not ?  It did not retaliated military when Turkish air forces shot down its bomber which was on mission without fighters escort, so let’s hope it will not this time too.  Russia did suspend 2015 memorandum of understanding on the air operations ( https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/russia-condemns-us-missile-strike-on-syria/2017/04/07/c81ea12a-1b4e-11e7-8003-f55b4c1cfae2_story.html )

    Under the pact, the two countries have traded information about flights by a U.S.-led coalition targeting the Islamic State and Russian planes operating in Syria in support of the Assad government. Moscow was taking its action, the Defense Ministry said, because it sees the U.S. strike “as a grave violation of the memorandum.” 

    Which created for them a theoretical possibility to shoot down planes if they threaten russian forces.


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Old News ;-)

[Oct 22, 2017] Trump and His 'Beautiful' Weapons by William Blum

Notable quotes:
"... It's easy to understand why some of President Trump's senior advisers privately consider him a "moron," with a limited vocabulary and stunning lack of normal human empathy, as William Blum explains at Anti-Empire Report. ..."
"... Capturing the wisdom and the beauty of Donald J. Trump in just one statement escaping from his charming mouth: "Our military has never been stronger. Each day, new equipment is delivered; new and beautiful equipment, the best in the world – the best anywhere in the world, by far." [Washington Post, Sept. 8, 2017] ..."
"... And in case you still don't fully appreciate that, notice that he specifies that our equipment is the best in the world BY FAR! That means that no other country is even close! Just imagine! ..."
"... Lucky for the man his seeming incapacity for moral or intellectual embarrassment. He's twice blessed. His fans like the idea that their president is no smarter than they are. This may well serve to get the man re-elected, as it did with George W. Bush. ..."
"... Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II ..."
"... Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower ..."
Oct 21, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

It's easy to understand why some of President Trump's senior advisers privately consider him a "moron," with a limited vocabulary and stunning lack of normal human empathy, as William Blum explains at Anti-Empire Report.

Capturing the wisdom and the beauty of Donald J. Trump in just one statement escaping from his charming mouth: "Our military has never been stronger. Each day, new equipment is delivered; new and beautiful equipment, the best in the world – the best anywhere in the world, by far." [Washington Post, Sept. 8, 2017]

Here the man thinks that everyone will be impressed that the American military has never been stronger. And that those who, for some unimaginable reason, are not impressed with that will at least be impressed that military equipment is being added EACH DAY. Ah yes, it's long been a sore point with most Americans that new military equipment was being added only once a week.

And if that isn't impressive enough, then surely the fact that the equipment is NEW will win people over. Indeed, the newness is important enough to mention twice. After all, no one likes USED military equipment. And if newness doesn't win everyone's heart, then BEAUTIFUL will definitely do it. Who likes UGLY military equipment? Even the people we slaughter all over the world insist upon good-looking guns and bombs.

And the best in the world. Of course. That's what makes us all proud to be Americans. And what makes the rest of humanity just aching with jealousy. And in case you don't fully appreciate that, notice that he adds that it's the best ANYWHERE in the world.

And in case you still don't fully appreciate that, notice that he specifies that our equipment is the best in the world BY FAR! That means that no other country is even close! Just imagine! Makes me choke up.

Lucky for the man his seeming incapacity for moral or intellectual embarrassment. He's twice blessed. His fans like the idea that their president is no smarter than they are. This may well serve to get the man re-elected, as it did with George W. Bush.

William Blum is an author, historian, and renowned critic of U.S. foreign policy. He is the author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II and Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower , among others. [This article originally appeared at the Anti-Empire Report, https://williamblum.org/ .]

[Oct 17, 2017] For War Hawks, Iran Deal Dump Is Music to the Ears

As one commenter aptly said: " 'Moron', as Tillerson would say." and as another noted "Don the Neocon.. We can keep the military in the end-stateless, goal-less, sinkhole known as Afghanistan for decades, STILL subsidize the defense of rich EU and Asian countries, fight the latest "Al Qaeda offshoot" everywhere on the African continent but we can't afford universal healthcare like US welfare baby Israel or about every other developed country, or restore power or drinking water in a US territory."
Notable quotes:
"... the question is, who are these people all excited about Iran? Other than politicians who may be working for foreign lobbies? ..."
"... This is pure lawlessness. We are breaking an agreement and by advocating regime change against a govt that has not attacked us or even threatened us in a serious manner are breaking the U.N. charter. ..."
"... Screw Trump. I mean really, screw him. He got my vote because I thought he was going to first crush ISIS and then get us out of the Middle East. Instead he's intensifying nearly every aspect of our Middle East entanglements. ..."
"... Now he's creating a new mess of his own. And this crap he's pulling with Iran is for Saudi Arabia and Israel. America First really? ..."
"... Of all of the Obama-era foreign policy decisions Trump could pull back, he's hell-bent on crushing one of the only good ones. I'd be shocked if he has even an elementary understanding of the agreement. "Moron", as Tillerson would say. ..."
"... "Cotton is one of the biggest Israel money guys in the Senate, if not the biggest. Really whopping contributions – "the Swamp" personified. In return for Israel money he has tirelessly pushed the core Israeli policy of hostility to Iran, so much so that it hardly makes sense to think of him as an American senator anymore." ..."
"... It appears that Trump's strategy is to insult and ruin Ran's economy to the point where he can get Iran to do something that will allow him to declare war against Iran because they attacked us. ..."
"... And how many countries has Iran invaded in the last 200 years? And how many countries has Israel invaded in the last 80 years? ..."
"... We will really find out who the Swamp creatures are now. Any congressman or Senator who votes for new sanctions against Iran – a country that poses virtually no threat to the United States – exposes himself as a bought-and-paid-for tool of Saudi Arabia and the jihadist fanatics the Saudis support. ..."
"... it's less that Trump wants to undo what Obama did and more that he wants to do what Netanyahu wants. ..."
"... Any notion of American excellence has now been erased. Our country will not soon recover all that Trump has tossed away and as citizens, we cannot absolve ourselves from blame. We have elected the most odious leader in our history and have allowed (mostly) a Republican Party to participate in government without having made a single contribution to the welfare of the American republic. Cotton is not alone in his folly that dismisses all real national interest. Like others, there have been many times I have despaired at the state of affairs in our Country, but this is different. Trump and his vandal allies I believe have inflicted permanent and irreversible damage to our country. Joe F , says: October 13, 2017 at 5:07 pm One follow up to earlier post: with this action, Trump has proven beyond doubt that the Mullah regime in Iran is a far more trustworthy nation than the United States. Well done Donald ..."
Oct 13, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Fran Macadam , says: October 13, 2017 at 12:48 am

Making war in other people's countries is what an American government captured by globalist financial elites is all about. For elites, such wars, paid for by the deplorable ordinary Americans they loathe, have no downside and carry no risk to them. Lose-lose for the American public is win-win for them, they cannot lose, especially since wars that can't be won will never end, perfect profit streams.
80 Percent Polyester , says: October 13, 2017 at 5:39 am
"Cotton was among the fiercest and loudest opponents of the agreement before it was made, and he has continued to look for ways to sabotage it."

Cotton is one of the biggest Israel money guys in the Senate, if not the biggest. Really whopping contributions – "the Swamp" personified. In return for Israel money he has tirelessly pushed the core Israeli policy of hostility to Iran, so much so that it hardly makes sense to think of him as an American senator anymore.

He's more like a member of the Netanyahu government who somehow ended up in one of Arkansas's US Senate seats.

Early To Rise , says: October 13, 2017 at 5:58 am
Does anyone here know any real Americans who are pushing for this policy against Iran? My family and friends are nearly all real Americans, and not one of them has any interest in ending the deal with Iran. Most of them wish we would get out of the Middle East altogether.

So the question is, who are these people all excited about Iran? Other than politicians who may be working for foreign lobbies?

Christian Chuba , says: October 13, 2017 at 7:16 am
This is pure lawlessness. We are breaking an agreement and by advocating regime change against a govt that has not attacked us or even threatened us in a serious manner are breaking the U.N. charter.

We are doing this while condemning other countries for not following a 'liberal, rules based world order' (whatever that is, oh, wait, it is following Caesar's decrees). Our Hubris will catch up to us, whether it will be by the Almighty that the Haley's and Cotton's claim to serve or just the law of reciprocity, I don't know. No one is more blind than those corrupted by power.

John Quincy Adams, "But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force . She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit."

He was able to see this because we were not yet intoxicated by power.

Everything Must Go , says: October 13, 2017 at 8:01 am
Screw Trump. I mean really, screw him. He got my vote because I thought he was going to first crush ISIS and then get us out of the Middle East. Instead he's intensifying nearly every aspect of our Middle East entanglements.

Now he's creating a new mess of his own. And this crap he's pulling with Iran is for Saudi Arabia and Israel. America First really?

Frederick Martin , says: October 13, 2017 at 9:38 am
Of all of the Obama-era foreign policy decisions Trump could pull back, he's hell-bent on crushing one of the only good ones. I'd be shocked if he has even an elementary understanding of the agreement. "Moron", as Tillerson would say.
Fred Bowman , says: October 13, 2017 at 10:14 am
What seem to be missing here is anybody talking about Israel nuclear capability. That's the "dirty little secret" that nobody talks about. Imho, as long as Iran is in compliance the deal should. Of course Trump and the Hawks in Congress are going to do everything to scuttle it and bring about a war with Iran which will end up being a World War and will necessitate the US returning to a military draft to fight this war. It will be a sad way to "wake up" America to what is being done militarily in their name. But perhaps when they see their little "Johnny and Jill" marched off to war, they'll see what has been done in these endless, unwinnable wars in the Middle East.
AR complaint , says: October 13, 2017 at 10:31 am
[Tom Cotton gets] "Really whopping contributions – "the Swamp" personified."

He got a $700,000 check from a single Israel donor in 2014. You think anybody in Arkansas not named "Walton" can match that? No sir. Tom Cotton does what Israel tells him to do. Scuttle the Iran deal? No problem.

It's time that my fellow Arkansans did for Tom Cotton what those upstanding Virginians did for Eric Cantor back in 2014, and for the same reason: we want our government back from corrupt politicians working for foreign interests.

SDS , says: October 13, 2017 at 11:53 am
I second EVERYTHING said above by all –
Steve Waclo , says: October 13, 2017 at 11:53 am
" the president made clear over the summer, he didn't "believe" Iran was in compliance and would not certify again."

Wait, what?! What does Trump know that the IAEA has been unable to learn and at the risk of compromising intelligence sources, why has he not shared that knowledge? As with many of the man's "beliefs", such attitudes do not make issues remotely true. We don't need to stir the Iran pot, for goodness sake. Has not this man kicked enough hornets nests around the world?

Stephen J. , says: October 13, 2017 at 11:58 am
I believe the "War Hawks"are leading Trump into another war. Therefore, I asked on: February 4, 2017 Will There Be War With Iran?
http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2017/02/will-there-be-war-with-iran.html
Steve in Ohio , says: October 13, 2017 at 12:35 pm
"Cotton is one of the biggest Israel money guys in the Senate, if not the biggest. Really whopping contributions – "the Swamp" personified. In return for Israel money he has tirelessly pushed the core Israeli policy of hostility to Iran, so much so that it hardly makes sense to think of him as an American senator anymore."

Cotton is wrong on this issue, but he's hardly a Swamp politico. He understands the dangers of mass immigration and looks likely to replace Jeff Sessions as the leading immigration hawk in the Senate. Unfortunately, I suspect he has presidential ambitions and being pro Israel is a must in GOP primaries.

Rand Paul, on the other hand, like his dad, is good on foreign policy, but doesn't get the immigration issue. People like me who want a non interventionist FP and low immigration seldom have candidates that believe in both to support. I had high hopes for Trump, but he seems to have too many generals around him telling him the wrong things.

the times they are a'changing , says: October 13, 2017 at 1:23 pm
"Cotton is wrong on this issue, but he's hardly a Swamp politico. He understands the dangers of mass immigration and looks likely to replace Jeff Sessions as the leading immigration hawk in the Senate. Unfortunately, I suspect he has presidential ambitions and being pro Israel is a must in GOP primaries. "

No it's not. It was a litmus test for the old neocon Establishment GOP, and it's gone the way of Eric Cantor. You have to go to New York, DC, or some left coastal city to find anyone who gives a goddamn about it, and those places don't vote Republican anyway.

Politicians who take the Israel dollar care about it a lot, naturally. And Cotton's near the top of the list.

jk , says: October 13, 2017 at 2:04 pm
Don the Neocon.. We can keep the military in the end-stateless, goal-less, sinkhole known as Afghanistan for decades, STILL subsidize the defense of rich EU and Asian countries, fight the latest "Al qaeda offshoot" everywhere on the African continent but we can't afford universal healthcare like US welfare baby Israel or about every other developed country, or restore power or drinking water in a US territory.

"NO KIN IN THE GAME": STUDY FINDS MEMBERS OF CONGRESS WITHOUT DRAFT-AGE SONS WERE MORE HAWKISH"

https://theintercept.com/2017/10/11/congress-war-hawkish-policies-study/

That explains "lifetime bachelor" Graham's behavior!

Kent , says: October 13, 2017 at 3:09 pm
To our neocon friends:

1. Even though Iran and Iraq are 4 letter words and share the first 3, they are very, very different animals. Iran is an industrial state of 85 million capable of designing and building effective rockets. It is highly unlikely the US can defeat Iran in a conventional war on its own turf.

2. Even if we did defeat them, there is nobody there yearning for American style pseudo-democracy. While they are not perfectly happy with their own government, they'll be dammed if they're going to accept one from us. So you'd have to put millions of American troops in harms way against the civilian population essentially forever.

And a note on the President. I don't believe he knows or cares a thing about Iran or their capabilities. What he does know, after watching Fox News for the last 8 years is: Obama bad. So the only reason, I'm certain, that Trump cares about this is because it was an Obama initiative.

Robert Charron , says: October 13, 2017 at 3:34 pm
It appears that Trump's strategy is to insult and ruin Ran's economy to the point where he can get Iran to do something that will allow him to declare war against Iran because they attacked us.

And how many countries has Iran invaded in the last 200 years? And how many countries has Israel invaded in the last 80 years?

As I recall we made a regime change in the Iranian government when we had the CIA along with the English intelligence by replacing the elected Prime Minister of Iran with the despotic, tyrannical Shah.

As an American, Trump has desecrated our flag with his flat out lies, not the NFL athletes who simps knelt during the National Anthem.

simon94022 , says: October 13, 2017 at 3:54 pm
We will really find out who the Swamp creatures are now. Any congressman or Senator who votes for new sanctions against Iran – a country that poses virtually no threat to the United States – exposes himself as a bought-and-paid-for tool of Saudi Arabia and the jihadist fanatics the Saudis support.

Let them be counted!

Ollie , says: October 13, 2017 at 4:26 pm
No president in history has been more feckless and reckless than Trump. The danger demands that the 25th amendment be asserted.
Why Does The Heathen Rage? , says: October 13, 2017 at 4:49 pm
"So the only reason, I'm certain, that Trump cares about this is because it was an Obama initiative."

I've heard this before, but if it were true than why is Trump helping the Saudis wreck and starve Yemen? That was an Obama initiative too. That's why I now think that it's not really the Obama connection so much as the Netanyahu connection that drives Trump. In other words, it's less that Trump wants to undo what Obama did and more that he wants to do what Netanyahu wants.

Joe F , says: October 13, 2017 at 5:05 pm
Any notion of American excellence has now been erased. Our country will not soon recover all that Trump has tossed away and as citizens, we cannot absolve ourselves from blame. We have elected the most odious leader in our history and have allowed (mostly) a Republican Party to participate in government without having made a single contribution to the welfare of the American republic.

Cotton is not alone in his folly that dismisses all real national interest. Like others, there have been many times I have despaired at the state of affairs in our Country, but this is different. Trump and his vandal allies I believe have inflicted permanent and irreversible damage to our country.

Joe F , says: October 13, 2017 at 5:07 pm
One follow up to earlier post: with this action, Trump has proven beyond doubt that the Mullah regime in Iran is a far more trustworthy nation than the United States. Well done Donald
Liam , says: October 13, 2017 at 5:21 pm
Regarding the 25th amendment option: how far down the line of succession must one go to find someone who has solid, bona fide cred to stop this inanity?
picture window , says: October 13, 2017 at 5:45 pm
The Economist today opines that Xi Jinping has more clout than Donald Trump.

And I read on TAC that Trump is p***ing away our wealth and power doing favors for Israel and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East, like scuttling the Iran deal and picking fights with the Iranian government. And I conclude that the reason that the Economist may be right about Xi Jinping is because Trump is doing what I read about in TAC, wasting our time, blood, money, and focus on appeasing a bunch of goddamn foreigners in the form of the Israel and Saudi lobbies.

Pretty damn grim.

[Oct 16, 2017] Trump Looks Set to Start Blowing Up the Iran Deal by Eli Clifton

Notable quotes:
"... Despite the potential pitfalls of Cotton and Netanyahu's plan, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley embraced the approach. Haley, a possible replacement for embattled Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, tweeted yesterday, "[Sen. Tom Cotton] has clear understanding of the Iranian regime & flaws in the nuclear deal. His [CFR] speech is worth reading." ..."
"... The United States must cease all appeasement, conciliation, and concessions towards Iran, starting with the sham nuclear negotiations. Certain voices call for congressional restraint, urging Congress not to act now lest Iran walk away from the negotiating table, undermining the fabled yet always absent moderates in Iran. But, the end of these negotiations isn't an unintended consequence of Congressional action, it is very much an intended consequence. A feature, not a bug, so to speak." ..."
"... Any agreement that advances our interests must by necessity compromise Iran's -- doubly so since they are a third-rate power, far from an equal to the United States. The ayatollahs shouldn't be happy with any deal; they should've felt compelled to accept a deal of our choosing lest they face economic devastation and military destruction of their nuclear infrastructure. That Iran welcomes this agreement is both troubling and telling. ..."
"... Ben Armbruster, writing for LobeLog last week, detailed the ways in which Mark Dubowitz , CEO of the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies , pushes for a so-called "better deal" while explicitly calling for regime change in Tehran. ..."
"... But perhaps a bigger pressure on Trump to de-certify comes from three of his biggest political donors : Sheldon Adelson , Paul Singer , and Bernard Marcus . All three have funded groups that sought to thwart the negotiations leading to the JCPOA, including Dubowitz's FDD, and have given generously to Trump. ..."
"... Adelson has also financed Israel's largest circulation daily newspaper, whose support for Netanyahu and his right-wing government earned it the nickname "Bibiton." ..."
Oct 16, 2017 | fpif.org

The Post credits Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) with this "fix it or nix it" approach to U.S. compliance with the JCPOA. Indeed, Cotton laid out essentially this very strategy in a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in which he proposed that the president should decertify Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal based on Iran's actions in unrelated areas and toughen key components of the agreement, arguing that the deal fails to serve U.S. national security interests.

This plan has a low likelihood of success because Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif says that the JCPOA will not be renegotiated and European governments have urged Trump to stick with the pact.

Despite the potential pitfalls of Cotton and Netanyahu's plan, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley embraced the approach. Haley, a possible replacement for embattled Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, tweeted yesterday, "[Sen. Tom Cotton] has clear understanding of the Iranian regime & flaws in the nuclear deal. His [CFR] speech is worth reading."

But Cotton has been clear that renegotiating the nuclear deal isn't his actual intention. In 2015, he made no secret of his desire to blow up diplomacy with Iran, saying :

The United States must cease all appeasement, conciliation, and concessions towards Iran, starting with the sham nuclear negotiations. Certain voices call for congressional restraint, urging Congress not to act now lest Iran walk away from the negotiating table, undermining the fabled yet always absent moderates in Iran. But, the end of these negotiations isn't an unintended consequence of Congressional action, it is very much an intended consequence. A feature, not a bug, so to speak."

Later that same year, Cotton explained his terms for any agreement with Iran, qualities that more closely resemble a surrender document than anything the Iranians would agree to in a negotiation. Cotton said :

Any agreement that advances our interests must by necessity compromise Iran's -- doubly so since they are a third-rate power, far from an equal to the United States. The ayatollahs shouldn't be happy with any deal; they should've felt compelled to accept a deal of our choosing lest they face economic devastation and military destruction of their nuclear infrastructure. That Iran welcomes this agreement is both troubling and telling.

Indeed, Cotton and his fellow proponents of the president de-certifying Iranian compliance, despite all indications that Iran is complying with the JCPOA, have a not-so-thinly-veiled goal of regime change in Tehran, a position in which the JCPOA and any negotiations with Iran pose a serious threat. Ben Armbruster, writing for LobeLog last week, detailed the ways in which Mark Dubowitz , CEO of the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies , pushes for a so-called "better deal" while explicitly calling for regime change in Tehran.

But perhaps a bigger pressure on Trump to de-certify comes from three of his biggest political donors : Sheldon Adelson , Paul Singer , and Bernard Marcus . All three have funded groups that sought to thwart the negotiations leading to the JCPOA, including Dubowitz's FDD, and have given generously to Trump.

"I think that Iran is the devil," said Marcus in a 2015 Fox Business interview . Adelson told a Yeshiva University audience in 2013 that U.S. negotiators should launch a nuclear weapon at Iran as a negotiating tactic. Adelson may hold radical views about the prudence of a nuclear attack on Iran, but he appears to enjoy easy access to Trump. Adelson and his wife, Miriam, who were Trump's biggest financial supporters by far during his presidential run, met with the president at Adelson's headquarters in Las Vegas recently, ostensibly to discuss the recent mass shooting there.

But Andy Abboud, senior vice president Government Relations for Adelson's Sands Corporation, told the Adelson-owned Las Vegas Review Journal that the meeting was "pre-arranged and set to discuss policy," according to the paper .

Adelson has also financed Israel's largest circulation daily newspaper, whose support for Netanyahu and his right-wing government earned it the nickname "Bibiton."

Eli Clifton reports on money in politics and U.S. foreign policy. He's previously reported for the American Independent News Network, ThinkProgress, and Inter Press Service.

[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 16, 2017] Trump acts like the proverbial bull in a china shop. Which might be the symptom of floundering, weakened, posturing US Empire -- decending into empty threats (Iran, NK) which are often rightly dismissed by others. Which make this historical period very dangerous indeed.

Notable quotes:
"... The reality is that the above situation outlined by Kerry two years ago has only worsened with Trump's inability to understand that reality leading to the current irrationality in policy-- unless --Trump is actually trying to further the Neocon policy of Full Spectrum Dominance. ..."
"... "Have you met America? That's the country that needs "lives matter" movements because of its prevailing culture of utter indifference to human welfare, but which trips over itself in its eagerness to wage war in defense of the petrodollar." ..."
"... I can easily envision a joint announcement by Russia, China and Iran that all trade conducted with them must be transacted in Yuan, Ruble, Rial, or Euro--that the dollar is no longer welcomed. And given the utter stupidity of the Republican controlled US Congress, more sanctions will be applied to Iran thus sealing the onset of the Outlaw US Empire's international isolation. ..."
"... Imho, the US political establishment, as publically projected, is moving closer to a realm where words, be they snide remarks, lofty pronouncements, declarations of intent, or vile accusations, become substitutes for action. ..."
"... US overt behavior is hapless unless entered into with cold calculation, a specific hidden aim in mind, and levers of control somewhere. Not the case imho, but dismissing Trump as a fool is not useful. We see symptoms of floundering, weakened, posturing Empire -- imho empty sorts o' threats (Iran, NK) are often dismissed by others, rightly so, but that is dangerous too: the US has to play the military domination position combined with the unpredictability card. Extremely volatile situation. ..."
"... Remember when Trump said he would never do a first nuke strike? :) ..."
Oct 16, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 | Oct 15, 2017 5:22:59 PM | 12

In the final days of the Iran Deal negotiations, August 2015, I completely missed the interview Kerry did with Reuters, https://2009-2017.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2015/08/245935.htm that Mercouris parses for his detailed article proving the Outlaw US Empire's Imperial Policy is now "irrational"--utterly I'd say since for me it's been irrational for decades when weighing the actual interests of the United States's populous. The key excerpt:

"But if everybody thinks, 'Oh, no, we're just tough; the United States of America, we have our secondary sanctions; we can force people to do what we want.' I actually heard that argument on television this morning. I've heard it from a number of the organisations that are working that are opposed to this agreement. They're spreading the word, 'America is strong enough, our banks are tough enough; we can just bring the hammer down and force our friends to do what we want them to.'

"Well, look – a lot of business people in this room. Are you kidding me? The United States is going to start sanctioning our allies and their banks and their businesses because we walked away from a deal and we're going to force them to do what we want them to do even though they agreed to the deal we came to? Are you kidding ?

"That is a recipe quickly, my friends, for them to walk away from Ukraine, where they are already very dicey and ready to say, 'Well, we've done our bit.' They were ready in many cases to say, 'Well, we're the ones paying the price for your sanctions.' We – it was Obama who went out and actually put together a sanctions regime that had an impact. By – I went to China. We persuaded China, 'Don't buy more oil.' We persuaded India and other countries to step back.

"Can you imagine trying to sanction them after persuading them to put in phased sanctions to bring Iran to the negotiating table, and when they have not only come to the table but they made a deal, we turn around and nix the deal and then tell them you're going to have to obey our rules on the sanctions anyway?

"That is a recipe very quickly, my friends, businesspeople here, for the American dollar to cease to be the reserve currency of the world – which is already bubbling out there .." (Bold italics in original.)

The reality is that the above situation outlined by Kerry two years ago has only worsened with Trump's inability to understand that reality leading to the current irrationality in policy-- unless --Trump is actually trying to further the Neocon policy of Full Spectrum Dominance. If that is indeed the case, then Trump's behavior is rational in that the only alternative facing the Outlaw US Empire in its drive to enslave the planet is to launch a non-proxy hot war to achieve its goals.

Or... Trump's smarter than any of us as he expects the neocons to fold when faced with the possibility of escalating the ongoing Hybrid Third World War into one that's no longer Hybrid and promises to bring horrendous amounts of death and destruction to The Homeland.

karlof1 | Oct 15, 2017 5:23:58 PM | 13
Oops, forgot link to Mercouris article, http://theduran.com/donald-trump-decertifies-iran-us-foreign-policy-becomes-irrational/
Grieved | Oct 15, 2017 6:10:34 PM | 18
@12 karlof1

yes, I just read that Mercouris piece and I was excited to read about that Kerry interview, that everyone seems to have missed. So here's what seems to be the authoritative background on the the Iran deal.

b said in his last piece - October 14 , linked in his article above:

Obama pushed sanctions onto sanctions to make Iran scream. But the country did not fold. Each new U.S. sanction step was responded to with an expansion of Iran's nuclear program. In the end Obama had to offer talks to Iran to get out of the hole he had dug himself.

For me this was the first time I'd seen an explanation of why the Iran deal happened, and I really wanted to know more. Now this retrospective by Mercouris shows exactly how accurate b's assessment was, but fills in the detail to show that the EU was already on the verge of a major split from the dollar. Only the deal, which allowed EU to grow its trade with the huge market of Iran, saved this potential run from the dollar by Europe.

I read the full Reuters interview , and I find it debatable how much of Kerry's statement was applied to Russia and China and how much to Britain, France and Germany. I'll parse it as, Asia will say it out loud, Europe will think it silently - the unthinkable, that is. Mercouris seems sure it was Europe:

In other words the US was pushed into the JCPOA somewhat against its will at the insistence of its European allies, who were considering lifting sanctions on Iran unilaterally if the US rejected the deal which was on offer. The US submitted to their demands because it feared that the alternative – threatening economic war on its European allies by imposing sanctions on them – would have hastened the ending of the reserve currency status of the US dollar.

It is rare to say the least for US officials to so much as contemplate in public the possibility of the US dollar losing its reserve currency status. The fact that in August 2015 Secretary of State Kerry actually did so shows the pressure that the US was under.

Astonishing. Here we are two years later trying to think that if Trump does whatever nonsense he does with the Iran deal, it will encourage a rift between the US and the EU - but actually this has already come to be the situation, and two years ago at that.

This is some serious shit, that we all seem to have missed. EU leaders may be craven, but European business wants to trade with Iran, and it's simmering around the point of breaking away from the dollar in order to do it. Surely this calls for a large re-calculation of the situation.

What happens if Iran starts to negotiate payments settled in Yuan? Hezbollah can take down Israel militarily. But perhaps Iran can take down the US financially?

ben | Oct 15, 2017 7:27:42 PM | 19
karlof1 @ 13: Thanks for the link. Good read. Actually gives a little hope that the adults in the world can reign in the morons now running the U$A.
ben | Oct 15, 2017 7:32:32 PM | 20
From TRNN: "Decertifying Iran Deal, Trump Escalates His War"

http://therealnews.com/t2/story:20220:Decertifying-Iran-Deal%2C-Trump-Escalates-His-War

Peter AU 1 | Oct 15, 2017 8:19:51 PM | 21
Part of Obama speech.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/08/05/text-obama-gives-a-speech-about-the-iran-nuclear-deal/?utm_term=.aac92dd70db9
..."Moreover, our closest allies in Europe or in Asia, much less China or Russia, certainly are not going to enforce existing sanctions for another five, 10, 15 years according to the dictates of the U.S. Congress because their willingness to support sanctions in the first place was based on Iran ending its pursuit of nuclear weapons. It was not based on the belief that Iran cannot have peaceful nuclear power, and it certainly wasn't based on a desire for regime change in Iran.

As a result, those who say we can just walk away from this deal and maintain sanctions are selling a fantasy. Instead of strengthening our position, as some have suggested, Congress' rejection would almost certainly result in multi-lateral sanctions unraveling.

If, as has also been suggested, we tried to maintain unilateral sanctions, beefen them up, we would be standing alone. We cannot dictate the foreign, economic and energy policies of every major power in the world. In order to even try to do that, we would have to sanction, for example, some of the world's largest banks. We'd have to cut off countries like China from the American financial system. And since they happen to be major purchasers of our debt, such actions could trigger severe disruptions in our own economy, and, by way, raise questions internationally about the dollar's role as the world's reserve currency. That's part of the reason why many of the previous unilateral sanctions were waived."...


Another time when Obama was covincing US to pass the Iran deal, he stated bluntly that not passing the deal would put the US dollar at risk. Have not been able to find it as yet.

Perimetr | Oct 15, 2017 10:44:48 PM | 26
RE: karlof1 | Oct 15, 2017 5:22:59 PM | 12 You write: "Or... Trump's smarter than any of us . . ."

Probably not

see: Donald Trump bodyslams, beats and shaves Vince McMahon at Wrestlemania XXIII
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMKFIHRpe7I

psychohistorian | Oct 15, 2017 11:38:03 PM | 28
I just read this comment by Oh Homer at another site and felt motivated to share it here.

"Have you met America? That's the country that needs "lives matter" movements because of its prevailing culture of utter indifference to human welfare, but which trips over itself in its eagerness to wage war in defense of the petrodollar."

karlof1 | Oct 16, 2017 11:30:57 AM | 38
Grieved @18-

Good questions! The extremely rare candor shown by Kerry, as Mercouris notes, isn't being shared by the Trumpsters and is likely responsible for their outward state of high anxiety and knee-jerk reactions to just about anything.

Iran says it has a plan: "Speaker of Iran's parliament Ali Larijani said that Iran 'had a developed plan and a certain law,' should the United States withdraw from the agreement on Tehran's nuclear program, adding that Washington would 'regret it.'" https://sputniknews.com/world/201710161058275364-iran-plan-us-nuclear-deal/

RT reports Larijani thusly: "' We have a plan We've recently approved in parliament what we should do given the Americans undertake certain steps, ' Larijani told reporters Monday on the sidelines of the Inter-Parliamentary Union meeting in St. Petersburg.

' We will take steps so that the Americans will regret it. '" (Emphasis in original.) https://www.rt.com/news/406851-iran-has-plan-if-us-withdraws-nuclear/ If that is so, then what Iran plans to do ought to be discerned by looking at its parliamentary actions on the subject by those able to read Farsi. I rather doubt it's bluff and bluster.

And the EU won't support Trump's decertification: "After a closed-door meeting [of EU Foreign Ministers at Luxembourg] chaired by EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on how best to proceed on the Iran issue, ministers issued a joint statement saying that the 2015 deal was key to preventing the global spread of nuclear weapons." https://www.rt.com/newsline/406844-iran-eu-us-mogherini/

I can easily envision a joint announcement by Russia, China and Iran that all trade conducted with them must be transacted in Yuan, Ruble, Rial, or Euro--that the dollar is no longer welcomed. And given the utter stupidity of the Republican controlled US Congress, more sanctions will be applied to Iran thus sealing the onset of the Outlaw US Empire's international isolation.

Noirette | Oct 16, 2017 1:21:55 PM | 40
Imho, the US political establishment, as publically projected, is moving closer to a realm where words, be they snide remarks, lofty pronouncements, declarations of intent, or vile accusations, become substitutes for action.

Likewise, minor symbolic moves like withdrawing, "quitting" which is ambiguous, from e.g. UNESCO - *US didn't pay dues in any case.*

Trump is not alone, all the Dem. Russia-bashing/blaming leads nowhere, the Trump denigration as well, Trump threatening NK is similar.

The word is sufficient to itself! As are incantatory spells, religious appeals, etc. All one clumsy step beyond the Rovian "when we act, we create our own reality.." which rests on the power to act and transform reality (sometimes with sleight of hand, mirages..) transferring that power to symbols with hope and 'belief'... That's the comforting take.

US overt behavior is hapless unless entered into with cold calculation, a specific hidden aim in mind, and levers of control somewhere. Not the case imho, but dismissing Trump as a fool is not useful. We see symptoms of floundering, weakened, posturing Empire -- imho empty sorts o' threats (Iran, NK) are often dismissed by others, rightly so, but that is dangerous too: the US has to play the military domination position combined with the unpredictability card. Extremely volatile situation.

Remember when Trump said he would never do a first nuke strike? :)

[Oct 14, 2017] Republican senator blasts Donald Trump for 'castrating' Rex Tillerson

Notable quotes:
"... Tillerson told a news conference in Beijing two weeks ago that the US was directly communicating with North Korea on its nuclear and missile programs, but it had shown no interest in dialogue. Trump took to Twitter the next day, saying Tillerson was "wasting his time" trying to negotiate with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. ..."
"... "The greatest diplomatic activities we have are with China, and the most important, and they have come a long, long way," Corker said. "Some of the things we are talking about are phenomenal. "When you jack the legs out from under your chief diplomat, you cause all that to fall apart." He added that working with China was the key to reaching a peaceful settlement with North Korea. ..."
"... "When you publicly castrate your secretary of state, you take that off the table," Corker said. ..."
"... If Tillerson is undermined by Trump, why is he hanging around. He can't be effective. Honorable thing to do is to hand over his resignation. He doesn't need the job. ..."
"... It's bad, but having experienced the 60s and early 70s (Nixon, Watergate, Vietnam, assassinations of JFK, RFK, MLK, Kent State, 1960 Dem Convention, Weather Underground, etc.) I think it's safe to say that we are nowhere near that level. And then there's the Civil War, Andrew Johnson, etc. ..."
"... Forty years of Reagan's mantra that government, taxes, and unions are evil and business is the way, the truth, and the power. Forty years of his trickle down economics which has led to stagnating/declining wages, crumbling infrastructure and, importantly, divestment in k-16 education. Ongoing dog whistles to now include Christian persecution in a primarily Christian country. ..."
"... And remember, we're a big ass country with small, far flung towns. Trump's support is strongest in small, rural communities ..."
"... Trump picked up the GOP ball and ran with it to its natural conclusion -- a know nothing incompetent, narcissistic president who won on the back of the bigotry, fear, and economic lies the GOP's been peddling for decades. ..."
"... I think many people have been secretly hoping that the good cop/bad cop act was part of an agreed strategy for dealing with Kim and the DRK. It's not though is it? Dozza really is as pathetic as he looks. Absolutely out of his depth and endangering everybody with his bullshit. ..."
"... Sadly the typical American has very little to no awareness of the world outside of the US. Their world view and knowledge of the rest of the world is extremely limited and biased. That is why 'America First' is the perfect strap-line for this 'president'. ..."
"... Trump isn't evil. He's thin-skinned, easily goaded, petty and vindictive, and lacks foresight and self-awareness. His attempts to dismantle Obamacare will kill people, but that's not his aim and he doesn't think of it in those terms. He's not evil, just incompetent and irrational. ..."
"... Trump doesn't understand the word "negotiation" anyway. That's why he previously said that any negotiations with NK would be very short. It's because his definition of the word is, "we tell you what we demand, and you do it, regardless of your viewpoint." That's why he makes enemies of everyone he has contact with, a total lack of understanding that a Win-Win approach is better for all (what does it matter what the outcome for "all" is, as long as Trump appears to be the winner). Boils down to his mental condition meaning he has no empathy. ..."
"... Trump is "riding" the surge in jobs that is related entirely to a cyclical recovery from worldwide recession. ..."
"... I think everyone knows the keys the North Korea crisis are China and dialog. But who says the Corporate States and their military-industrial complex want peace? War drives profits. And as anyone who has travelled the US - outside of Vegas, 5th Ave and Hollywood and Vine - knows war is essential to the American identity and needed to maintain cohesion in that fracturing society. Pride in the US military is a foundation stone of the modern US. War is needed to distract the peasants from the rising poverty virtually nil opportunities at home. War on the Korean peninsula may be needed by the Corporate State and if it is it will happen. ..."
"... It is almost as if Donald Trump thinks the Secretary of State's job is to take notes on Donald Trump's statements. ..."
Oct 14, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

Bob Corker accuses the president of undercutting the secretary of state's efforts to rein in North Korea's nuclear program

US Republican senator Bob Corker stepped up his public feud with Donald Trump on Friday, saying the president's undermining of his secretary of state was like castrating him in public.

Corker told the Washington Post in an interview that Trump had undercut Rex Tillerson's efforts to enlist China in reining in North Korea's nuclear program by denigrating the diplomat.

"You cannot publicly castrate your own secretary of state" without limiting the options for dealing with North Korea, Corker, the chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee, told the Post.

Tillerson told a news conference in Beijing two weeks ago that the US was directly communicating with North Korea on its nuclear and missile programs, but it had shown no interest in dialogue. Trump took to Twitter the next day, saying Tillerson was "wasting his time" trying to negotiate with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un.

"The greatest diplomatic activities we have are with China, and the most important, and they have come a long, long way," Corker said. "Some of the things we are talking about are phenomenal. "When you jack the legs out from under your chief diplomat, you cause all that to fall apart." He added that working with China was the key to reaching a peaceful settlement with North Korea.

"When you publicly castrate your secretary of state, you take that off the table," Corker said.

Artgoddess 14 Oct 2017 17:05

Tillerson gets A LOT of $ if he lasts a year. Mnuchin, too.

humdum 14 Oct 2017 14:55

If Tillerson is undermined by Trump, why is he hanging around. He can't be effective. Honorable thing to do is to hand over his resignation. He doesn't need the job.

LibtardMangina -> imipak 14 Oct 2017 13:06

Like Sadam had no WMDs yet George and Tony pretended they cared whether they were there or not and went in guns blazing. We're still trying to pick up the pieces. Thanks guys. Dozza's adventures in NK is the next instalment of this shit show.

willyjack -> lochinverboy 14 Oct 2017 12:54

"This is the low point in America's political history"

It's bad, but having experienced the 60s and early 70s (Nixon, Watergate, Vietnam, assassinations of JFK, RFK, MLK, Kent State, 1960 Dem Convention, Weather Underground, etc.) I think it's safe to say that we are nowhere near that level. And then there's the Civil War, Andrew Johnson, etc.

ConBrio -> CorvidRegina 14 Oct 2017 12:16

She came, she manipulated the nomination process, she lost! Get over it the precipitous canonization of damaged goods and try to elect someone competent. She ain't risin again.

CorvidRegina -> Abusedbythestate 14 Oct 2017 11:30

politicians playing on people's fears and telling them what they want to hear

That is the true culprit here. The role of politicians has always been to protect the country, including from its own citizens. Every politician makes use of some fear as a rhetorical tool, but the American conservatives really took this to a whole new level; they found an easy and lazy way to keep their support bolstered, by conflating the very worst traits of the ignorant and gullible with moral, even religious, superiority.

Of course they now consider themselves superior to even the politicians that fed them. It's hard to feel much pity.

john ayres -> colacj 14 Oct 2017 11:18

[Edited for clarity] Anyone other then primate chosen for this position would outshine him. Leave at the Russia BS. It is the result of $2B of propaganda from US agencies.

DAW188 14 Oct 2017 11:02

On an international scale what should probably be concerning American voters more than it is, are the US allies that appear to be pivoting away from them and towards each other. With an incompetent ninny of a POTUS and absolutely no clear military or diplomatic direction it is unsurprising that other global players are looking to each other for some security. The latest fallout over the Iran deal will only exasperate it.

I imagine it has caused some of the diplomats and bureaucrats in Washington to sit up and feel concerned. But as most US news reporting (even from internationally regarded publications like the NYT) seems to look no further than the end of its nose, I doubt its getting much, if any, play amongst US voters.

A fine example of this would be the machinations of the recent meetings between Theresa May and Shinzo Abe. They represent two of the closest political, economic and military allies of the US and are arguably key to the US' Atlantic and Pacific spheres of influence. Both countries find themselves in a bit of a bind. May turns up with a big empty bag labelled trade deals and Abe greets her with a tin-helmet on fearing a NK missile might drop on his head at any moment and that the US administration is not reliable enough to step in and diffuse the tension as it has in the past.

Abe conveniently has a country full of investors who would quite like to get access to the UK to buy up business on the cheap. May had a few hundred nuclear warheads in her back pocket that are all transferable anywhere in the world undetected and underwater (say for example in the South China Sea or the Sea of Japan), as well as a large intelligence agency and a UN security council seat. Not hard to see how tempting it would be for the two to cut a deal. The speech that the two leaders gave at the end of their little summit spelt it out. Abe bigged up Brexit, the opportunities it would afford and the strength of the Anglo-Nippon economic partnership, whilst May reaffirmed British commitments to defend its ally Japan's interests in a big two fingers up to Beijing and Pyongyang. Suddenly the US has two powerful allies turning away from it and towards each other, providing support that the US was once a bridge for.

This isn't restricted to the UK or Japan. Look at Macron in France and Merkel in Germany. Trudeau in Canada and Pena Nieto in Mexico. Even loyal old Bibi is getting in on the act when he recently invited India's Modi around for tea in Jerusalem.

Then you have theoretical allies, that have questionable intentions. Qatar and the Saudis remain at each others throats. The Emir of Qatar (or should that be his mother, the former Queen Moza, the power behind the curtain) certainly seems increasingly enamored with the Iranian's. Whilst the tensions in the Gulf are the way they are, it may not be the time to try and up-end again the relationship with Iran.

mbidding -> JEM5260 14 Oct 2017 11:00

Fifty years of the GOP putting party before country is how too many voters have been duped and misinformed.

Fifty years of Nixon's Southern Strategy and subsequent dog whistle politics aimed at convincing "real" Americans that people of color, liberals, intellectuals, and secular humanists are out to destroy their way of life and are the causes of all their woes.

Forty years of Reagan's mantra that government, taxes, and unions are evil and business is the way, the truth, and the power. Forty years of his trickle down economics which has led to stagnating/declining wages, crumbling infrastructure and, importantly, divestment in k-16 education. Ongoing dog whistles to now include Christian persecution in a primarily Christian country.

Thirty five years of repeal of the Fairness Doctrine by which "news" has become nothing more than politically propagandized infotainment.

And remember, we're a big ass country with small, far flung towns. Trump's support is strongest in small, rural communities -- communities with no experience with diversity of any type (political, economic, and social). These folks have been groomed by the GOP for fifty years to believe that liberal policies and non whites are out to get them and only the GOP and business have their backs.

Trump picked up the GOP ball and ran with it to its natural conclusion -- a know nothing incompetent, narcissistic president who won on the back of the bigotry, fear, and economic lies the GOP's been peddling for decades.

LibtardMangina 14 Oct 2017 10:44

I think many people have been secretly hoping that the good cop/bad cop act was part of an agreed strategy for dealing with Kim and the DRK. It's not though is it? Dozza really is as pathetic as he looks. Absolutely out of his depth and endangering everybody with his bullshit.

Abusedbythestate -> Conradsagent 14 Oct 2017 08:23

It will still end in tears for the yanks - a powerful military will not save the dollar - change is the one constant in the universe - where is the roman empire, the British empire, the Portuguese and Spanish empires, the Venetian empire now???? No one state stays the top dog for ever.

The rest of the world will see to that - the British and Europe are starting to look East and Trump is helping them do that to become so isolated, the US will become a backwater as quick as the USSR collapsed almost overnight. It only takes one extra straw to break the camel's back

Abusedbythestate -> digamey 14 Oct 2017 08:19

Indeed - I have many German friends and we talk about how any group of people in a nation can vote a nutter into power - Hitler being one of the most in(famous). At the end of the day, in all of the world in every nation state, there are a lot of very dumb people - the majority of the electorate to a greater or lesser degree - it's not their fault - we are all born entirely ignorant and our culture forms our opinions and our ability to question - do you remember how often at school, you were encouraged to question anything? or were facts, facts?

Pile on top of that a very powerful media, politicians playing on people's fears and telling them what they want to hear, and people's general gullibility and it's no great surprise that the Germans voted for Hitler, the Yanks voted for Trump and our dumb country voted .... well, vote the way they do - the fact that people seem happy with our so called democracies around the world that are far from democratic, depending on definition, and where we're often given a choice of just one or two options that seem incredibly similar in policy compared to the vast possible alternatives on how to run a country/economy - heaven forbid we might attempt an "extreme" alternative!!!

3melvinudall 14 Oct 2017 08:18

It seems some Republicans have decided now is the time to take down Trump. From what the country has seen of how Trump does "business" better to take him on now than deal with the disastrous consequences of his failures. Captain Trump is taking the ship down with his incompetence...problem is: we are all on that ship.

Gytaff -> Mordicant 14 Oct 2017 07:48

Sadly the typical American has very little to no awareness of the world outside of the US. Their world view and knowledge of the rest of the world is extremely limited and biased. That is why 'America First' is the perfect strap-line for this 'president'.

The Trump base doesn't give a toss about 'worldwide economic momentum', they only see what is happening in their own back yards. This is why Trump is doing well with his base, they see his posturing against North Korea, Iran and Syria as strength, they see his threats to trade deals as protectionist and have absolutely no problem with it, it's perfectly aligned with their views and mindset.

The Democrats are going to have a serious battle in the mid-terms, they need to find a way to appeal to the common man and give them what Trump keeps promising to deliver (but not, so far!). They need to show that they, as elitists can empathize with the common man's position, needs and beliefs, sadly the democrats have a long way to go! The Republicans are also screwed as Trumpism is anathema to their candidates too.

The next 12 months are going to be 'interesting times'!

Conradsagent -> ConBrio 14 Oct 2017 07:34

The US is one of the most fundamentalist, extreme religious whack job countries on the planet.

As for addiction to US protection...it is also one of the most (if not, the most) dangerously confused countries on earth. The world needs protecting 'from' it...not by it

corneilius -> pruneau 14 Oct 2017 07:24

Exactly the same can be said of the Tory party in the UK, especially the belief that you run a national economy on the same principles of a household budget.

saintkiwi -> Prumtic 14 Oct 2017 07:23

I think half the cabinet and half of Congress may actually go along with it; we know from whispers around the White House and Washington that many, if not most, Republicans think Trump is temperamentally/psychologically unfit for the post. Maybe Corker is the crack in the dam that eventually leads to catastrophic failure and flood; maybe not.

Pence is a total stiff, though. No way such a conservative guy would implement such an historic and radical action as forcibly* removing a sitting president, no matter how nuts that C-in-C was.

*(and yes, I can envisage Tump literally having to be dragged from the Oval Office)

UB__DK 14 Oct 2017 07:02

I hope the 25th amendment is on the agenda behind the scenes. It is clear to everyone that the president is unqualified. He is steadily eroding the credibility of the office he holds and of the entire West on the international political scene. And the longer his removal is delayed the worse it will get.

BeenThereDunThat -> ClearlyNow 14 Oct 2017 06:39

Oh dear, another Trumpkin. I am no fan of Merkel - a neoliberal to her boots. But at least she has some humanity and actually cares for other members of the human race outside of her immediate family - and to be honest, I doubt the Tango Tyrant cares for his family other than their being a projection of his own narcissistic ego.

As for Germany, its economy still marches along with it being the number 4 economy in the world and the top of the G5 group. It's standard of living remains high while social inequality is far lower than in countries such as the US or the UK.

So sorry, but another pathetically failed straw-man - or in this case, straw-woman - attempt to deflect attention from the discussion at hand.

Ramas100 14 Oct 2017 05:49

It's the military generals who are stroking Trump's ego by telling him there is a military solution to N Korea and Iran.

RichWoods -> blairsnemesis 14 Oct 2017 05:47

but Trump is the most evil and worst person to hold the post, ever.

Trump isn't evil. He's thin-skinned, easily goaded, petty and vindictive, and lacks foresight and self-awareness. His attempts to dismantle Obamacare will kill people, but that's not his aim and he doesn't think of it in those terms. He's not evil, just incompetent and irrational.

All those things were apparent during the election campaign, so whatever your politics you have no excuse if you voted for someone who is so patently unfit to hold public office.

blairsnemesis -> FrankRoberts 14 Oct 2017 05:23

I suspect he realised before he even took up the post that he was far too thick for the job. Reagan was an appalling bag of shit but Trump is the most evil and worst person to hold the post, ever. I only hope that if someone doesn't kill him (and they'd have my full backing because he is an immense threat to the world), he gets put behind bars, along with the rest of his thick-as-pigshit family, for life.

Prumtic -> HelpAmerica 14 Oct 2017 05:14

Trump doesn't understand the word "negotiation" anyway. That's why he previously said that any negotiations with NK would be very short. It's because his definition of the word is, "we tell you what we demand, and you do it, regardless of your viewpoint." That's why he makes enemies of everyone he has contact with, a total lack of understanding that a Win-Win approach is better for all (what does it matter what the outcome for "all" is, as long as Trump appears to be the winner). Boils down to his mental condition meaning he has no empathy.

MortimerSnerd 14 Oct 2017 05:11

Just trying to keep the faith here until the mid terms. Trump is more bluster than balls, and he is not The Emperor. There are checks and balances in the system and the system has thwarted him on many occasions.

peterxpto -> LondonFog 14 Oct 2017 05:03

Trump is "riding" the surge in jobs that is related entirely to a cyclical recovery from worldwide recession.

Kevin Cox -> WhigInterpretation 14 Oct 2017 04:46

Well said. Regarding Congress, people do not understand the way the US is hobbled by a constitution that facilitates the lobbying of special interests - so long as it is not the labor movement - and which is very, very hard to change. So much for the Founding Fathers and what they accomplished and made difficult to alter.

tippisheadrun -> simba72 14 Oct 2017 04:29

Absolutely.
President Ted Cruz, President Mike Huckabee, President Ben Carson, President Chris Christie, President Rick Santorum, President Marco Rubio - take your prick - none of them would promote any sense of security in the populace. With the exception of John Kasich, the GOP nominee was destined to be a dangerous character- either through lack of scruples or a misguided sense of their own righteousness.

daWOID -> digamey 14 Oct 2017 02:53

Fun fact: "the lifestyle of the good citizens of Montana, Idaho, Nebraska, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Texas etc., etc" collapsed a long time ago.

juster digamey 14 Oct 2017 02:50

The dollar is not going to stay the reserve currency forever. Its just math. If an average chinese can reach 25% productivity of an average amreican, and there is no reason they cant, they will have by all metrics the largest economy. At that stage USD keeping its present day status is impossible even if Abraham Lincoln gets revived an re elected.

charles47 -> RealityCheck2016 14 Oct 2017 02:22

I am involved in negotiations every day of my working life, with staff, with Trustees (directors), with local authorities, with suppliers.

I have good working relationships with most of them. Must be doing something right, while doing a job that matters to me personally. I've met Trump types. They wouldn't last five minutes in the world I live and work in. Too "entitled" and far too full of themselves. Generally, if I come across someone like that, they don't get our business because they are long on promise, short on delivery, and more interested in getting the "deal" than considering our needs as an organisation - which is the selling point I look for, as with most people. One-sided deals don't work and don't last.

As for affording to go to a Trump hotel...if I could, I wouldn't. I have my favourites, and my personal standards that don't involve glitter without substance.

jon donahue -> BhoGhanPryde 14 Oct 2017 01:57

Iran. At about 10,000 dead, it could go on for about three years with beaucoup contracts to be had. Perfect for all the flag-wavers.

Korea? No. Too many dead too fast, could run up to 25,000 in a hurry. Plus, Seoul smoked. Bad optics, no money in it...

jon donahue 14 Oct 2017 01:52

Trump is a train wreck. Incompetent. Unable to manage, unable to negotiate, unable to govern.

The good news is that we don't actually need a functioning President, with the world pretty much at peace and the economy doing well enough.
Everybody in the government and military can just work around the jerk.

digamey 14 Oct 2017 01:38

Republicans are experts at protecting their own butts. While Trump's numbers hold, they will bitch about him in private and suck up to him in public. Once his numbers start to tank, as inevitably they will, they will turn upon him and savage him in a manner with which even the most voracious hyenas could not compete.

BhoGhanPryde 14 Oct 2017 00:38

I think everyone knows the keys the North Korea crisis are China and dialog. But who says the Corporate States and their military-industrial complex want peace? War drives profits. And as anyone who has travelled the US - outside of Vegas, 5th Ave and Hollywood and Vine - knows war is essential to the American identity and needed to maintain cohesion in that fracturing society. Pride in the US military is a foundation stone of the modern US. War is needed to distract the peasants from the rising poverty virtually nil opportunities at home. War on the Korean peninsula may be needed by the Corporate State and if it is it will happen.

Mike Bray 13 Oct 2017 23:37

It is almost as if Donald Trump thinks the Secretary of State's job is to take notes on Donald Trump's statements.

[Oct 11, 2017] The Infantilization of President Trump by David A. Graham

Atlantic used to have a strong pro-Hillary bias and stooges are prominent among its correspndents, so all information should be take with huge grain of salt. may be this is just a "color revolution" style campaign to provoke the President of some outburst that hurts him politically.
But Trump behaviour in case of North Korea speaks for itself so this is not pure insinuations...
Notable quotes:
"... On the North Korean front, the president has repeatedly made bellicose remarks for months, even as aides try to slow-walk the slide toward war, warning of the catastrophic destruction that would result, insisting that all options remain on the table, and trying to keep diplomatic channels open -- only to see Trump repeatedly undercut them. Even as the president seems eager for confrontation, more prudent members of the team have sought to redirect his anger. ..."
Oct 11, 2017 | www.theatlantic.com

... Or, for that matter, whether the U.S. might go to war soon with either North Korea or Iran, as I wrote yesterday . On the North Korean front, the president has repeatedly made bellicose remarks for months, even as aides try to slow-walk the slide toward war, warning of the catastrophic destruction that would result, insisting that all options remain on the table, and trying to keep diplomatic channels open -- only to see Trump repeatedly undercut them. Even as the president seems eager for confrontation, more prudent members of the team have sought to redirect his anger.

Bargaining is another technique, as recent news about Iran shows. While many of Trump's aides had their gripes about the 2015 deal with Tehran to prevent nuclear proliferation, most of them seem to agree that keeping the deal in place is far preferable to eliminating it. But now the administration seems likely to punt the issue, decertifying the deal but leaving it to Congress to either let it stand or fall. (So much for Harry S. Truman's "the buck stops here.") Why take this halfway step? Part of it is that, just as on DACA, Trump wants to keep a campaign promise to end the deal without suffering the consequences, but another part is childish petulance: Olivier Knox reports Trump simply hates being confronted with the need to recertify the deal every 90 days.

And then, as every parent knows, sometimes you just have to give in -- let the kid have a victory on something less significant. Aides can try to prevent war with North Korea, and they can seek compromise on the Iran deal, and they can quietly kill the demand for more nukes, but they've got to let the president have his way on occasion. When Trump demands "goddamned steam" to power catapults on aircraft carriers, aides shrug and let it go.

Trump's childish behavior was worrying when it involved belittling his opponents, discussing his genitalia, or taking swipes at former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, but it takes on a new level of danger when it affects U.S. military policy, from Iran to North Korea to the nuclear arsenal. There's a powerful, perhaps too powerful, urge to seek historical analogues for Trump , but seldom has there been a president whose own loyalists and insiders were so dismissive of his maturity, judgment, and prudence. So how does the presidency work when the president's aides treat him like a child? The immediate answer is, not very well. The longer-term answers are murkier and scarier.

[Oct 11, 2017] Donald Trump is exposing the contradictions of the elite by David Callahan

That's neoliberal elite after all. Why the author expects them to be ashamed is unclear
Notable quotes:
"... Business practices aimed at boosting shareholder value – like outsourcing, offshoring, automation, union-busting, predatory lending, and a range of anti-competitive abuses – have undermined the security of large swaths of the country. In turn, a flood of business dollars for campaign donations and lobbying over decades has helped thwart effective government responses to rising pain on Main Street. ..."
"... History tells us that societies with extractive and self-serving upper classes tend to fall into decline – whereas societies with inclusive elites are more likely to thrive. With the rise of Trump, we're seeing what an unraveling of the social fabric looks like after decades in which nearly all the nation's income gains have flowed upwards to a tiny sliver of households. ..."
Oct 11, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

Since January, though, we've also seen a new level of rapaciousness by corporate interests in Washington DC that seem intent on extracting as much wealth as they can from wherever they can: consumers, investors, public lands, student borrowers, the tax code and even the war in Afghanistan.

Longtime watchers of the .01% won't be surprised by this bifurcated picture. For over two decades, an ever more educated wealthy elite has trumpeted its belief in tolerance, diversity, and meritocracy – even as it's also helped usher in record levels of inequality that have left many Americans feeling economically excluded and increasingly angry.

Trump's retrograde presidency has revealed the profound contradictions at the top of the US income ladder.

... ... ...

Corporate leaders have already been supportive of Trump's sweeping push to gut regulations in ways that would tilt the rules governing the economy more in favor of business and the wealthy. Social inclusion may be a growing public mantra of the far upper class. But economic extraction remains among its core operating principles.

... ... ...

Social inclusion is a public mantra of the upper class. But economic extraction remains a core operating principle

The answer is that many corporate and financial leaders were, and still are, a big part of the problem. These leaders have fostered the economic conditions that have thrown the values of tolerance and diversity on the defensive in America.

Business practices aimed at boosting shareholder value – like outsourcing, offshoring, automation, union-busting, predatory lending, and a range of anti-competitive abuses – have undermined the security of large swaths of the country. In turn, a flood of business dollars for campaign donations and lobbying over decades has helped thwart effective government responses to rising pain on Main Street.

... ... ...

History tells us that societies with extractive and self-serving upper classes tend to fall into decline – whereas societies with inclusive elites are more likely to thrive. With the rise of Trump, we're seeing what an unraveling of the social fabric looks like after decades in which nearly all the nation's income gains have flowed upwards to a tiny sliver of households.

Rarely has the American experiment – the notion of a country united by ideas rather than shared heritage – felt more fragile than it does right now. It's an ugly picture of division and resentment, but a predictable one given the economic trauma inflicted on millions of people over recent decades.

... ... ...

David Callahan is the author of The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age. He is the founder and editor of Inside Philanthropy

[Oct 09, 2017] Corker Strikes Back by Daniel Larison

And this guy was elected with the mandate to end all foreign wars, although regarding Iraq he always was pretty crazy and jingoistic.
Notable quotes:
"... The New York Times ..."
Oct 09, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Bob Corker followed up on his initial response to Trump's attack on him with some scathing criticism in an interview with The New York Times :

Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, charged in an interview on Sunday that President Trump was treating his office like "a reality show," with reckless threats toward other countries that could set the nation "on the path to World War III."

In an extraordinary rebuke of a president of his own party, Mr. Corker said he was alarmed about a president who acts "like he's doing 'The Apprentice' or something."

"He concerns me," Mr. Corker added. "He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation."

Corker isn't saying anything that many others haven't already said, but it is significant that it is coming from such a high-profile elected Republican. The senator was among a very few in the Senate inclined to give Trump the benefit of the doubt in the past, and he sometimes went out of his way to say positive things about Trump's foreign policy. During the election, he was saying that Trump was bringing a "degree of realism" and "maturity" to foreign policy. That was always wishful thinking, and Corker's criticism now is a belated admission that he was wrong about all of that. It is fair to fault Corker for not realizing or saying any of these things sooner, but that doesn't make it any less extraordinary that he is saying it on the record. Thanks to Trump's foolish attack on him yesterday, he evidently no longer feels obliged to keep quiet about the problems he has with the president.

One of the more interesting things that Corker confirmed concerned Trump's repeated undermining of Tillerson:

The senator, who is close to Mr. Tillerson, invoked comments that the president made on Twitter last weekend in which he appeared to undercut Mr. Tillerson's negotiations with North Korea.

"A lot of people think that there is some kind of 'good cop, bad cop' act underway, but that's just not true," Mr. Corker said.

Without offering specifics, he said Mr. Trump had repeatedly undermined diplomacy with his Twitter fingers. "I know he has hurt, in several instances, he's hurt us as it relates to negotiations that were underway by tweeting things out," Mr. Corker said.

We already knew this, but it is important that someone in Corker's position is acknowledging that the administration's foreign policy is every bit as dysfunctional as it appears to be. It remains to be seen whether Corker's break with Trump will translate into meaningful opposition to any part of Trump's foreign policy, but his remarks in this interview suggest that it might.

[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.
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[Oct 09, 2017] Autopilot Wars by Andrew J. Bacevich

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... While serving as defense secretary in the 1960s, Robert McNamara once mused that the "greatest contribution" of the Vietnam War might have been to make it possible for the United States "to go to war without the necessity of arousing the public ire." With regard to the conflict once widely referred to as McNamara's War, his claim proved grotesquely premature. Yet a half-century later, his wish has become reality. ..."
"... Why do Americans today show so little interest in the wars waged in their name and at least nominally on their behalf? Why, as our wars drag on and on, doesn't the disparity between effort expended and benefits accrued arouse more than passing curiosity or mild expressions of dismay? Why, in short, don't we give a [ expletive deleted ..."
"... The true costs of Washington's wars go untabulated. ..."
"... On matters related to war, American citizens have opted out. ..."
"... Terrorism gets hyped and hyped and hyped some more. ..."
"... Blather crowds out substance. ..."
"... Besides, we're too busy. ..."
"... Anyway, the next president will save us. ..."
"... Our culturally progressive military has largely immunized itself from criticism. ..."
"... Well, yes, the US has recently killed 100.000′s of Arab civilians because they were Terrorists (?) or to Bring them Democracy (?) or whatever, or something – or who cares anyway. There's more coverage of the transgender toilet access question. ..."
Oct 08, 2017 | www.unz.com

Autopilot Wars Sixteen Years, But Who's Counting?

Consider, if you will, these two indisputable facts. First, the United States is today more or less permanently engaged in hostilities in not one faraway place, but at least seven . Second, the vast majority of the American people could not care less.

Nor can it be said that we don't care because we don't know. True, government authorities withhold certain aspects of ongoing military operations or release only details that they find convenient. Yet information describing what U.S. forces are doing (and where) is readily available, even if buried in recent months by barrages of presidential tweets. Here, for anyone interested, are press releases issued by United States Central Command for just one recent week:

Ever since the United States launched its war on terror, oceans of military press releases have poured forth. And those are just for starters. To provide updates on the U.S. military's various ongoing campaigns, generals, admirals, and high-ranking defense officials regularly testify before congressional committees or brief members of the press. From the field, journalists offer updates that fill in at least some of the details -- on civilian casualties, for example -- that government authorities prefer not to disclose. Contributors to newspaper op-ed pages and "experts" booked by network and cable TV news shows, including passels of retired military officers, provide analysis. Trailing behind come books and documentaries that put things in a broader perspective.

But here's the truth of it. None of it matters.

Like traffic jams or robocalls, war has fallen into the category of things that Americans may not welcome, but have learned to live with. In twenty-first-century America, war is not that big a deal.

While serving as defense secretary in the 1960s, Robert McNamara once mused that the "greatest contribution" of the Vietnam War might have been to make it possible for the United States "to go to war without the necessity of arousing the public ire." With regard to the conflict once widely referred to as McNamara's War, his claim proved grotesquely premature. Yet a half-century later, his wish has become reality.

Why do Americans today show so little interest in the wars waged in their name and at least nominally on their behalf? Why, as our wars drag on and on, doesn't the disparity between effort expended and benefits accrued arouse more than passing curiosity or mild expressions of dismay? Why, in short, don't we give a [ expletive deleted ]?

Perhaps just posing such a question propels us instantly into the realm of the unanswerable, like trying to figure out why people idolize Justin Bieber, shoot birds, or watch golf on television.

Without any expectation of actually piercing our collective ennui, let me take a stab at explaining why we don't give a @#$%&! Here are eight distinctive but mutually reinforcing explanations, offered in a sequence that begins with the blindingly obvious and ends with the more speculative.

Americans don't attend all that much to ongoing American wars because:

1. U.S. casualty rates are low . By using proxies and contractors, and relying heavily on airpower, America's war managers have been able to keep a tight lid on the number of U.S. troops being killed and wounded. In all of 2017, for example, a grand total of 11 American soldiers have been lost in Afghanistan -- about equal to the number of shooting deaths in Chicago over the course of a typical week. True, in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other countries where the U.S. is engaged in hostilities, whether directly or indirectly, plenty of people who are not Americans are being killed and maimed. (The estimated number of Iraqi civilians killed this year alone exceeds 12,000 .) But those casualties have next to no political salience as far as the United States is concerned. As long as they don't impede U.S. military operations, they literally don't count (and generally aren't counted).

2. The true costs of Washington's wars go untabulated. In a famous speech , dating from early in his presidency, Dwight D. Eisenhower said that "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed." Dollars spent on weaponry, Ike insisted, translated directly into schools, hospitals, homes, highways, and power plants that would go unbuilt. "This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense," he continued. "[I]t is humanity hanging from a cross of iron." More than six decades later, Americans have long since accommodated themselves to that cross of iron. Many actually see it as a boon, a source of corporate profits, jobs, and, of course, campaign contributions. As such, they avert their eyes from the opportunity costs of our never-ending wars. The dollars expended pursuant to our post-9/11 conflicts will ultimately number in the multi-trillions . Imagine the benefits of investing such sums in upgrading the nation's aging infrastructure . Yet don't count on Congressional leaders, other politicians, or just about anyone else to pursue that connection.

On matters related to war, American citizens have opted out. Others have made the point so frequently that it's the equivalent of hearing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" at Christmastime. Even so, it bears repeating: the American people have defined their obligation to "support the troops" in the narrowest imaginable terms , ensuring above all that such support requires absolutely no sacrifice on their part. Members of Congress abet this civic apathy, while also taking steps to insulate themselves from responsibility. In effect, citizens and their elected representatives in Washington agree: supporting the troops means deferring to the commander in chief, without inquiring about whether what he has the troops doing makes the slightest sense. Yes, we set down our beers long enough to applaud those in uniform and boo those who decline to participate in mandatory rituals of patriotism. What we don't do is demand anything remotely approximating actual accountability.

4. Terrorism gets hyped and hyped and hyped some more. While international terrorism isn't a trivial problem (and wasn't for decades before 9/11), it comes nowhere close to posing an existential threat to the United States. Indeed, other threats, notably the impact of climate change, constitute a far greater danger to the wellbeing of Americans. Worried about the safety of your children or grandchildren? The opioid epidemic constitutes an infinitely greater danger than "Islamic radicalism." Yet having been sold a bill of goods about a "war on terror" that is essential for "keeping America safe," mere citizens are easily persuaded that scattering U.S. troops throughout the Islamic world while dropping bombs on designated evildoers is helping win the former while guaranteeing the latter. To question that proposition becomes tantamount to suggesting that God might not have given Moses two stone tablets after all.

5. Blather crowds out substance. When it comes to foreign policy, American public discourse is -- not to put too fine a point on it -- vacuous, insipid, and mindlessly repetitive. William Safire of the New York Times once characterized American political rhetoric as BOMFOG, with those running for high office relentlessly touting the Brotherhood of Man and the Fatherhood of God. Ask a politician, Republican or Democrat, to expound on this country's role in the world, and then brace yourself for some variant of WOSFAD, as the speaker insists that it is incumbent upon the World's Only Superpower to spread Freedom and Democracy. Terms like leadership and indispensable are introduced, along with warnings about the dangers of isolationism and appeasement, embellished with ominous references to Munich . Such grandiose posturing makes it unnecessary to probe too deeply into the actual origins and purposes of American wars, past or present, or assess the likelihood of ongoing wars ending in some approximation of actual success. Cheerleading displaces serious thought.

6. Besides, we're too busy. Think of this as a corollary to point five. Even if the present-day American political scene included figures like Senators Robert La Follette or J. William Fulbright , who long ago warned against the dangers of militarizing U.S. policy, Americans may not retain a capacity to attend to such critiques. Responding to the demands of the Information Age is not, it turns out, conducive to deep reflection. We live in an era (so we are told) when frantic multitasking has become a sort of duty and when being overscheduled is almost obligatory. Our attention span shrinks and with it our time horizon. The matters we attend to are those that happened just hours or minutes ago. Yet like the great solar eclipse of 2017 -- hugely significant and instantly forgotten -- those matters will, within another few minutes or hours, be superseded by some other development that briefly captures our attention. As a result, a dwindling number of Americans -- those not compulsively checking Facebook pages and Twitter accounts -- have the time or inclination to ponder questions like: When will the Afghanistan War end? Why has it lasted almost 16 years? Why doesn't the finest fighting force in history actually win? Can't package an answer in 140 characters or a 30-second made-for-TV sound bite? Well, then, slowpoke, don't expect anyone to attend to what you have to say.

7. Anyway, the next president will save us. At regular intervals, Americans indulge in the fantasy that, if we just install the right person in the White House, all will be well. Ambitious politicians are quick to exploit this expectation. Presidential candidates struggle to differentiate themselves from their competitors, but all of them promise in one way or another to wipe the slate clean and Make America Great Again. Ignoring the historical record of promises broken or unfulfilled, and presidents who turn out not to be deities but flawed human beings, Americans -- members of the media above all -- pretend to take all this seriously. Campaigns become longer, more expensive, more circus-like, and ever less substantial. One might think that the election of Donald Trump would prompt a downward revision in the exalted expectations of presidents putting things right. Instead, especially in the anti-Trump camp, getting rid of Trump himself (Collusion! Corruption! Obstruction! Impeachment!) has become the overriding imperative, with little attention given to restoring the balance intended by the framers of the Constitution. The irony of Trump perpetuating wars that he once roundly criticized and then handing the conduct of those wars to generals devoid of ideas for ending them almost entirely escapes notice.

8. Our culturally progressive military has largely immunized itself from criticism. As recently as the 1990s, the U.S. military establishment aligned itself with the retrograde side of the culture wars. Who can forget the gays-in-the-military controversy that rocked Bill Clinton's administration during his first weeks in office, as senior military leaders publicly denounced their commander-in-chief? Those days are long gone. Culturally, the armed forces have moved left. Today, the services go out of their way to project an image of tolerance and a commitment to equality on all matters related to race, gender, and sexuality. So when President Trump announced his opposition to transgendered persons serving in the armed forces, tweeting that the military "cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail," senior officers politely but firmly disagreed and pushed back . Given the ascendency of cultural issues near the top of the U.S. political agenda, the military's embrace of diversity helps to insulate it from criticism and from being called to account for a less than sterling performance in waging wars. Put simply, critics who in an earlier day might have blasted military leaders for their inability to bring wars to a successful conclusion hold their fire. Having women graduate from Ranger School or command Marines in combat more than compensates for not winning.

A collective indifference to war has become an emblem of contemporary America. But don't expect your neighbors down the street or the editors of the New York Times to lose any sleep over that fact. Even to notice it would require them -- and us -- to care.

Andrew J. Bacevich, a TomDispatch regular , is the author, most recently, of America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History .

Dan Hayes > , October 9, 2017 at 2:30 am GMT

You have enumerated ten general reasons why Americans "don't attend" to ongoing wars.

Let me add a further specific one: the draft or lack of same. If there were a draft in place either the powers-that-be would not even dare to contemplate any of our present martial misadventures, or failing that the outraged citizenry would burn down the Congress!

BTW I had never thought about reason #8: the military's embrace of diversity helps to insulate it from criticism. This explains General Casey's inane statement that diversity shouldn't be a casualty of the Fort Hood massacre by a "diverse" officer!

Carlton Meyer > , Website October 9, 2017 at 5:17 am GMT

One reason Trump won is that he promised to pull back the empire, while suggesting the Pentagon already has plenty of money. After the election, he demanded a 10% increase, and threatens North Korea to justify it! This increase alone is bigger than the entire annual military budget of Russia! The public is informed that this is because of cuts during the Obama years, but there were no cuts, only limits to increases.

How did the Democrats react? Most voted for a bigger military budget than the mindless increase proposed by Trump! That news was not reported by our corporate media, as Jimmy Dore explained:

Miro23 > , October 9, 2017 at 6:52 am GMT

A collective indifference to war has become an emblem of contemporary America.

Well, yes, the US has recently killed 100.000′s of Arab civilians because they were Terrorists (?) or to Bring them Democracy (?) or whatever, or something – or who cares anyway. There's more coverage of the transgender toilet access question.

So who are Mr & Mrs Indifferent, the emblems of contemporary America? https://www.yahoo.com/news/29-couples-boudoir-photos-almost-172445904.html ?.tsrc=fauxdal – Thanks to Priss

Backwoods Bob > , October 9, 2017 at 7:37 am GMT

Structurally, you have arms production, military bases, hospitals, and related service industries across nearly all the congressional districts in the country.

So it is an enormous set of vested interests with both voting power and corporate money for campaign treasuries.

Quoting Ike was good, and he mentions the opportunity cost in schools, roads, etc. – but also the organizing political and economic power of the military industrial complex.

The government schools are with some exceptions worthless. No subject, let alone war, is taken on seriously.

The legacy media has been co-opted by the MIC/Financial interests. The state is spying on everyone and everyone knows so. Free speech, free association, free assembly, right to bear arms, confront your accuser, trial by jury, habeas corpus – all gone now.

So the sheep behave. They walk by the dead whistling, and look straight ahead.

Robert Magill > , October 9, 2017 at 9:27 am GMT

While serving as defense secretary in the 1960s, Robert McNamara once mused that the "greatest contribution" of the Vietnam War might have been to make it possible for the United States "to go to war without the necessity of arousing the public ire." With regard to the conflict once widely referred to as McNamara's War, his claim proved grotesquely premature. Yet a half-century later, his wish has become reality.

He was dead wrong about this in the 60′s as it soon became obvious to everyone else. But we learned how "to go to war without the necessity of arousing the public ire." Cut out the military draft and embed the press into the ranks so they dare not report the actions they witness.

http://robertmagill.wordpress.com

[Oct 08, 2017] THE CRISIS OF NEOLIBERALISM by Julie A. Wilson

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... While the Tea Party was critical of status-quo neoliberalism -- especially its cosmopolitanism and embrace of globalization and diversity, which was perfectly embodied by Obama's election and presidency -- it was not exactly anti-neoliberal. Rather, it was anti-left neoliberalism-, it represented a more authoritarian, right [wing] version of neoliberalism. ..."
"... Within the context of the 2016 election, Clinton embodied the neoliberal center that could no longer hold. Inequality. Suffering. Collapsing infrastructures. Perpetual war. Anger. Disaffected consent. ..."
"... Both Sanders and Trump were embedded in the emerging left and right responses to neoliberalism's crisis. Specifically, Sanders' energetic campaign -- which was undoubtedly enabled by the rise of the Occupy movement -- proposed a decidedly more "commongood" path. Higher wages for working people. Taxes on the rich, specifically the captains of the creditocracy. ..."
"... In other words, Trump supporters may not have explicitly voted for neoliberalism, but that's what they got. In fact, as Rottenberg argues, they got a version of right neoliberalism "on steroids" -- a mix of blatant plutocracy and authoritarianism that has many concerned about the rise of U.S. fascism. ..."
"... We can't know what would have happened had Sanders run against Trump, but we can think seriously about Trump, right and left neoliberalism, and the crisis of neoliberal hegemony. In other words, we can think about where and how we go from here. As I suggested in the previous chapter, if we want to construct a new world, we are going to have to abandon the entangled politics of both right and left neoliberalism; we have to reject the hegemonic frontiers of both disposability and marketized equality. After all, as political philosopher Nancy Fraser argues, what was rejected in the election of 2016 was progressive, left neoliberalism. ..."
"... While the rise of hyper-right neoliberalism is certainly nothing to celebrate, it does present an opportunity for breaking with neoliberal hegemony. We have to proceed, as Gary Younge reminds us, with the realization that people "have not rejected the chance of a better world. They have not yet been offered one."' ..."
Oct 08, 2017 | www.amazon.com

Quote from the book is courtesy of Amazon preview of the book Neoliberalism (Key Ideas in Media & Cultural Studies)

In Chapter 1, we traced the rise of our neoliberal conjuncture back to the crisis of liberalism during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, culminating in the Great Depression. During this period, huge transformations in capitalism proved impossible to manage with classical laissez-faire approaches. Out of this crisis, two movements emerged, both of which would eventually shape the course of the twentieth century and beyond. The first, and the one that became dominant in the aftermath of the crisis, was the conjuncture of embedded liberalism. The crisis indicated that capitalism wrecked too much damage on the lives of ordinary citizens. People (white workers and families, especially) warranted social protection from the volatilities and brutalities of capitalism. The state's public function was expanded to include the provision of a more substantive social safety net, a web of protections for people and a web of constraints on markets. The second response was the invention of neoliberalism. Deeply skeptical of the common-good principles that undergirded the emerging social welfare state, neoliberals began organizing on the ground to develop a "new" liberal govemmentality, one rooted less in laissez-faire principles and more in the generalization of competition and enterprise. They worked to envision a new society premised on a new social ontology, that is, on new truths about the state, the market, and human beings. Crucially, neoliberals also began building infrastructures and institutions for disseminating their new' knowledges and theories (i.e., the Neoliberal Thought Collective), as well as organizing politically to build mass support for new policies (i.e., working to unite anti-communists, Christian conservatives, and free marketers in common cause against the welfare state). When cracks in embedded liberalism began to surface -- which is bound to happen with any moving political equilibrium -- neoliberals were there with new stories and solutions, ready to make the world anew.

We are currently living through the crisis of neoliberalism. As I write this book, Donald Trump has recently secured the U.S. presidency, prevailing in the national election over his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton. Throughout the election, I couldn't help but think back to the crisis of liberalism and the two responses that emerged. Similarly, after the Great Recession of 2008, we've saw two responses emerge to challenge our unworkable status quo, which dispossesses so many people of vital resources for individual and collective life. On the one hand, we witnessed the rise of Occupy Wall Street. While many continue to critique the movement for its lack of leadership and a coherent political vision, Occupy was connected to burgeoning movements across the globe, and our current political horizons have been undoubtedly shaped by the movement's success at repositioning class and economic inequality within our political horizon. On the other hand, we saw' the rise of the Tea Party, a right-wing response to the crisis. While the Tea Party was critical of status-quo neoliberalism -- especially its cosmopolitanism and embrace of globalization and diversity, which was perfectly embodied by Obama's election and presidency -- it was not exactly anti-neoliberal. Rather, it was anti-left neoliberalism-, it represented a more authoritarian, right [wing] version of neoliberalism.

Within the context of the 2016 election, Clinton embodied the neoliberal center that could no longer hold. Inequality. Suffering. Collapsing infrastructures. Perpetual war. Anger. Disaffected consent. There were just too many fissures and fault lines in the glossy, cosmopolitan world of left neoliberalism and marketized equality. Indeed, while Clinton ran on status-quo stories of good governance and neoliberal feminism, confident that demographics and diversity would be enough to win the election, Trump effectively tapped into the unfolding conjunctural crisis by exacerbating the cracks in the system of marketized equality, channeling political anger into his celebrity brand that had been built on saying "f*** you" to the culture of left neoliberalism (corporate diversity, political correctness, etc.) In fact, much like Clinton's challenger in the Democratic primary, Benie Sanders, Trump was a crisis candidate.

Both Sanders and Trump were embedded in the emerging left and right responses to neoliberalism's crisis. Specifically, Sanders' energetic campaign -- which was undoubtedly enabled by the rise of the Occupy movement -- proposed a decidedly more "commongood" path. Higher wages for working people. Taxes on the rich, specifically the captains of the creditocracy.

Universal health care. Free higher education. Fair trade. The repeal of Citizens United. Trump offered a different response to the crisis. Like Sanders, he railed against global trade deals like NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). However, Trump's victory was fueled by right neoliberalism's culture of cruelty. While Sanders tapped into and mobilized desires for a more egalitarian and democratic future, Trump's promise was nostalgic, making America "great again" -- putting the nation back on "top of the world," and implying a time when women were "in their place" as male property, and minorities and immigrants were controlled by the state.

Thus, what distinguished Trump's campaign from more traditional Republican campaigns was that it actively and explicitly pitted one group's equality (white men) against everyone else's (immigrants, women, Muslims, minorities, etc.). As Catherine Rottenberg suggests, Trump offered voters a choice between a multiracial society (where folks are increasingly disadvantaged and dispossessed) and white supremacy (where white people would be back on top). However, "[w]hat he neglected to state," Rottenberg writes,

is that neoliberalism flourishes in societies where the playing field is already stacked against various segments of society, and that it needs only a relatively small select group of capital-enhancing subjects, while everyone else is ultimately dispensable. 1

In other words, Trump supporters may not have explicitly voted for neoliberalism, but that's what they got. In fact, as Rottenberg argues, they got a version of right neoliberalism "on steroids" -- a mix of blatant plutocracy and authoritarianism that has many concerned about the rise of U.S. fascism.

We can't know what would have happened had Sanders run against Trump, but we can think seriously about Trump, right and left neoliberalism, and the crisis of neoliberal hegemony. In other words, we can think about where and how we go from here. As I suggested in the previous chapter, if we want to construct a new world, we are going to have to abandon the entangled politics of both right and left neoliberalism; we have to reject the hegemonic frontiers of both disposability and marketized equality. After all, as political philosopher Nancy Fraser argues, what was rejected in the election of 2016 was progressive, left neoliberalism.

While the rise of hyper-right neoliberalism is certainly nothing to celebrate, it does present an opportunity for breaking with neoliberal hegemony. We have to proceed, as Gary Younge reminds us, with the realization that people "have not rejected the chance of a better world. They have not yet been offered one."'

Mark Fisher, the author of Capitalist Realism, put it this way:

The long, dark night of the end of history has to be grasped as an enormous opportunity. The very oppressive pervasiveness of capitalist realism means that even glimmers of alternative political and economic possibilities can have a disproportionately great effect. The tiniest event can tear a hole in the grey curtain of reaction which has marked the horizons of possibility under capitalist realism. From a situation in which nothing can happen, suddenly anything is possible again.4

I think that, for the first time in the history of U.S. capitalism, the vast majority of people might sense the lie of liberal, capitalist democracy. They feel anxious, unfree, disaffected. Fantasies of the good life have been shattered beyond repair for most people. Trump and this hopefully brief triumph of right neoliberalism will soon lay this bare for everyone to see. Now, with Trump, it is absolutely clear: the rich rule the world; we are all disposable; this is no democracy. The question becomes: How will we show up for history? Will there be new stories, ideas, visions, and fantasies to attach to? How can we productively and meaningful intervene in the crisis of neoliberalism? How can we "tear a hole in the grey curtain" and open up better worlds? How can we put what we've learned to use and begin to imagine and build a world beyond living in competition? I hope our critical journey through the neoliberal conjuncture has enabled you to begin to answer these questions.

More specifically, in recent decades, especially since the end of the Cold War, our common-good sensibilities have been channeled into neoliberal platforms for social change and privatized action, funneling our political energies into brand culture and marketized struggles for equality (e.g., charter schools, NGOs and non-profits, neoliberal antiracism and feminism). As a result, despite our collective anger and disaffected consent, we find ourselves stuck in capitalist realism with no real alternative. Like the neoliberal care of the self, we are trapped in a privatized mode of politics that relies on cruel optimism; we are attached, it seems, to politics that inspire and motivate us to action, while keeping us living in competition.

To disrupt the game, we need to construct common political horizons against neoliberal hegemony. We need to use our common stories and common reason to build common movements against precarity -- for within neoliberalism, precarity is what ultimately has the potential to thread all of our lives together. Put differently, the ultimate fault line in the neoliberal conjiuicture is the way it subjects us all to precarity and the biopolitics of disposability, thereby creating conditions of possibility for new coalitions across race, gender, citizenship, sexuality, and class. Recognizing this potential for coalition in the face of precarization is the most pressing task facing those who are yearning for a new world. The question is: How do we get there? How do we realize these coalitional potentialities and materialize common horizons?

HOW WE GET THERE

Ultimately, mapping the neoliberal conjuncture through everyday life in enterprise culture has not only provided some direction in terms of what we need; it has also cultivated concrete and practical intellectual resources for political interv ention and social interconnection -- a critical toolbox for living in common. More specifically, this book has sought to provide resources for thinking and acting against the four Ds: resources for engaging in counter-conduct, modes of living that refuse, on one hand, to conduct one's life according to the norm of enterprise, and on the other, to relate to others through the norm of competition. Indeed, we need new ways of relating, interacting, and living as friends, lovers, workers, vulnerable bodies, and democratic people if we are to write new stories, invent new govemmentalities, and build coalitions for new worlds.

Against Disimagination: Educated Hope and Affirmative Speculation

We need to stop turning inward, retreating into ourselves, and taking personal responsibility for our lives (a task which is ultimately impossible). Enough with the disimagination machine! Let's start looking outward, not inward -- to the broader structures that undergird our lives. Of course, we need to take care of ourselves; we must survive. But I firmly believe that we can do this in ways both big and small, that transform neoliberal culture and its status-quo stories.

Here's the thing I tell my students all the time. You cannot escape neoliberalism. It is the air we breathe, the water in which we swim. No job, practice of social activism, program of self-care, or relationship will be totally free from neoliberal impingements and logics. There is no pure "outside" to get to or work from -- that's just the nature of the neoliberalism's totalizing cultural power. But let's not forget that neoliberalism's totalizing cultural power is also a source of weakness. Potential for resistance is everywhere, scattered throughout our everyday lives in enterprise culture. Our critical toolbox can help us identify these potentialities and navigate and engage our conjuncture in ways that tear open up those new worlds we desire.

In other words, our critical perspective can help us move through the world with what Henry Giroux calls educated hope. Educated hope means holding in tension the material realities of power and the contingency of history. This orientation of educated hope knows very well what we're up against. However, in the face of seemingly totalizing power, it also knows that neoliberalism can never become total because the future is open. Educated hope is what allows us to see the fault lines, fissures, and potentialities of the present and emboldens us to think and work from that sliver of social space where we do have political agency and freedom to construct a new world. Educated hope is what undoes the power of capitalist realism. It enables affirmative speculation (such as discussed in Chapter 5), which does not try to hold the future to neoliberal horizons (that's cruel optimism!), but instead to affirm our commonalities and the potentialities for the new worlds they signal. Affirmative speculation demands a different sort of risk calculation and management. It senses how little we have to lose and how much we have to gain from knocking the hustle of our lives.

Against De-democratization: Organizing and Collective Coverning

We can think of educated hope and affirmative speculation as practices of what Wendy Brown calls "bare democracy" -- the basic idea that ordinary' people like you and me should govern our lives in common, that we should critique and try to change our world, especially the exploitative and oppressive structures of power that maintain social hierarchies and diminish lives. Neoliberal culture works to stomp out capacities for bare democracy by transforming democratic desires and feelings into meritocratic desires and feelings. In neoliberal culture, utopian sensibilities are directed away from the promise of collective utopian sensibilities are directed away from the promise of collective governing to competing for equality.

We have to get back that democractic feeling! As Jeremy Gilbert taught us, disaffected consent is a post-democratic orientation. We don't like our world, but we don't think we can do anything about it. So, how do we get back that democratic feeling? How do we transform our disaffected consent into something new? As I suggested in the last chapter, we organize. Organizing is simply about people coming together around a common horizon and working collectively to materialize it. In this way, organizing is based on the idea of radical democracy, not liberal democracy. While the latter is based on formal and abstract rights guaranteed by the state, radical democracy insists that people should directly make the decisions that impact their lives, security, and well-being. Radical democracy is a practice of collective governing: it is about us hashing out, together in communities, what matters, and working in common to build a world based on these new sensibilities.

The work of organizing is messy, often unsatisfying, and sometimes even scary. Organizing based on affirmative speculation and coalition-building, furthermore, will have to be experimental and uncertain. As Lauren Berlant suggests, it means "embracing the discomfort of affective experience in a truly open social life that no

one has ever experienced." Organizing through and for the common "requires more adaptable infrastructures. Keep forcing the existing infrastructures to do what they don't know how to do. Make new ways to be local together, where local doesn't require a physical neighborhood." 5 What Berlant is saying is that the work of bare democracy requires unlearning, and detaching from, our current stories and infrastructures in order to see and make things work differently. Organizing for a new world is not easy -- and there are no guarantees -- but it is the only way out of capitalist realism.

Against Disposability: Radical Equality

Getting back democratic feeling will at once require and help us lo move beyond the biopolitics of disposability and entrenched systems of inequality. On one hand, organizing will never be enough if it is not animated by bare democracy, a sensibility that each of us is equally important when it comes to the project of determining our lives in common. Our bodies, our hurts, our dreams, and our desires matter regardless of our race, gender, sexuality, or citizenship, and regardless of how r much capital (economic, social, or cultural) we have. Simply put, in a radical democracy, no one is disposable. This bare-democratic sense of equality must be foundational to organizing and coalition-building. Otherwise, we will always and inevitably fall back into a world of inequality.

On the other hand, organizing and collective governing will deepen and enhance our sensibilities and capacities for radical equality. In this context, the kind of self-enclosed individualism that empowers and underwrites the biopolitics of disposability melts away, as we realize the interconnectedness of our lives and just how amazing it feels to

fail, we affirm our capacities for freedom, political intervention, social interconnection, and collective social doing.

Against Dispossession: Shared Security and Common Wealth

Thinking and acting against the biopolitics of disposability goes hand-in-hand with thinking and acting against dispossession. Ultimately, when we really understand and feel ourselves in relationships of interconnection with others, we want for them as we want for ourselves. Our lives and sensibilities of what is good and just are rooted in radical equality, not possessive or self-appreciating individualism. Because we desire social security and protection, we also know others desire and deserve the same.

However, to really think and act against dispossession means not only advocating for shared security and social protection, but also for a new society that is built on the egalitarian production and distribution of social wealth that we all produce. In this sense, we can take Marx's critique of capitalism -- that wealth is produced collectively but appropriated individually -- to heart. Capitalism was built on the idea that one class -- the owners of the means of production -- could exploit and profit from the collective labors of everyone else (those who do not own and thus have to work), albeit in very different ways depending on race, gender, or citizenship. This meant that, for workers of all stripes, their lives existed not for themselves, but for others (the appropriating class), and that regardless of what we own as consumers, we are not really free or equal in that bare-democratic sense of the word.

If we want to be really free, we need to construct new material and affective social infrastructures for our common wealth. In these new infrastructures, wealth must not be reduced to economic value; it must be rooted in social value. Here, the production of wealth does not exist as a separate sphere from the reproduction of our lives. In other words, new infrastructures, based on the idea of common wealth, will not be set up to exploit our labor, dispossess our communities, or to divide our lives. Rather, they will work to provide collective social resources and care so that we may all be free to pursue happiness, create beautiful and/or useful things, and to realize our potential within a social world of living in common. Crucially, to create the conditions for these new, democratic forms of freedom rooted in radical equality, we need to find ways to refuse and exit the financial networks of Empire and the dispossessions of creditocracy, building new systems that invite everyone to participate in the ongoing production of new worlds and the sharing of the wealth that we produce in common.

It's not up to me to tell you exactly where to look, but I assure you that potentialities for these new worlds are everywhere around you.

[Oct 03, 2017] Are You Ready to Die by Paul Craig Roberts

Notable quotes:
"... Greenwald explains that the US media is so conditioned by the National Security State to see Russian President Putin lurking behind and masterminding attacks on America that it is "now religious dogma" -- a requirement -- to find Russian perfidy everywhere. The result Greenwald correctly says is that "an incredibly reckless, anything-goes climate prevails when it comes to claims about Russia. Media outlets will publish literally any official assertion as Truth without the slightest regard for evidentiary standards." ..."
"... In other words, the United States no longer has a media . It has a propaganda ministry for the military/security complex, the neoconservatives, and the Israel Lobby. And the idiot Americans sit in front of the TV and absorb the propaganda, and they read the New York Times and think that they are sophisticated and in the know. ..."
"... Russia knows that Washington knows that the accusations against Russia are false. ..."
"... This is a serious question, not only for Russia but for the entire world. All previous false accusations from the Clinton regime criminals, the Bush/Cheney regime criminals, and the Obama regime criminals ended in military attacks on the falsely demonized targets. Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea would be within reason to wonder if the false news propaganda attack on them is a prelude to military attack. ..."
"... What is the point of US security agencies such as Homeland Security, CIA, FBI, NSA constantly filling the propaganda machine known as the American Media with lies about Russia? Russia must wonder as well. Russia knows that they are lies. Russia knows that it does no good to refute the lies because the West has a Propaganda Ministry instead of a media. Russia knows that Washington told lies about the Taliban, Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, Assad, Iran. What does Russia conclude from the constant stream of lies about Russia that flow out of Washington and are presented as truth by the Western presstitutes? ..."
"... I have written many times that provoking nuclear powers such as Russia and China is the most extreme form of recklessness and irresponsibility. ..."
Oct 02, 2017 | www.unz.com

Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept exposes the fake news put out by the US Department of Homeland Security (an euphemistic name for a Big Brother operation that spies on US citizens) that Russia hacked 21 US state elections, news that was instantly spread around the world by the presstitute media. The propagandists running Homeland Security were contradicted by the state governments, forcing Homeland Security to retract its fake news claims. https://theintercept.com/2017/09/28/yet-another-major-russia-story-falls-apart-is-skepticism-permissible-yet/

The unasked/unanswered question is why did Homeland Security put out a FAKE NEWS story?

Greenwald explains that the US media is so conditioned by the National Security State to see Russian President Putin lurking behind and masterminding attacks on America that it is "now religious dogma" -- a requirement -- to find Russian perfidy everywhere. The result Greenwald correctly says is that "an incredibly reckless, anything-goes climate prevails when it comes to claims about Russia. Media outlets will publish literally any official assertion as Truth without the slightest regard for evidentiary standards."

In other words, the United States no longer has a media . It has a propaganda ministry for the military/security complex, the neoconservatives, and the Israel Lobby. And the idiot Americans sit in front of the TV and absorb the propaganda, and they read the New York Times and think that they are sophisticated and in the know.

What Greenwald doesn't address is the effect of the massive amount of fake news on Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea. Russia knows that Washington knows that the accusations against Russia are false. So why is Washington making false accusations against Russia?

This is a serious question, not only for Russia but for the entire world. All previous false accusations from the Clinton regime criminals, the Bush/Cheney regime criminals, and the Obama regime criminals ended in military attacks on the falsely demonized targets. Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea would be within reason to wonder if the false news propaganda attack on them is a prelude to military attack.

Iran and North Korea cannot attack the US and its European vassals, but Russia and China can. I have written about the Operational Command of the Russian armed forces conclusion that Washington is preparing a surprise nuclear attack on Russia. Instead of reassuring the Russians that no such planning is in the works, Washington has instead pushed further the fake news Russiagate story with the false report that Russia had hacked the elections of 21 states.

What is the point of US security agencies such as Homeland Security, CIA, FBI, NSA constantly filling the propaganda machine known as the American Media with lies about Russia? Russia must wonder as well. Russia knows that they are lies. Russia knows that it does no good to refute the lies because the West has a Propaganda Ministry instead of a media. Russia knows that Washington told lies about the Taliban, Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, Assad, Iran. What does Russia conclude from the constant stream of lies about Russia that flow out of Washington and are presented as truth by the Western presstitutes?

If you were the Russian government, would you conclude that your country was the next to be attacked militarily by Washington? If you were the Russian government, you would know that Washington/NATO cannot possibly attack Russia except by surprise nuclear strike. Knowing this, if you were the Russian government, would you sit there and wait on the strike? Imagine yourself the Russian government listening day in, day out, to endless wild improbable charges against Russia. What can Russia possibly conclude other than this is preparation of Western peoples for a nuclear attack on Russia?

Russia is not going to be hung like Saddan Hussein or murdered like Gaddafi.

I have written many times that provoking nuclear powers such as Russia and China is the most extreme form of recklessness and irresponsibility. The crazed morons in Washington are risking the life of the planet. The presstitutes are worse than the whores that they are. They never question the path to war; they only amplify it. Washington's craven, cowardly, moronic vassal states in UK, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, and the rest of the EU/NATO idiots are, by their cooperation with Washington, begging for their own destruction.

Nowhere in the West is there a sign of intelligence.

Will Washington follow Adolf Hitler's folly and march into Russia?

[Oct 01, 2017] Goodbye, American neoliberalism. A new era is here by Cornel West

Notable quotes:
"... The Bush and Clinton dynasties were destroyed by the media-saturated lure of the pseudo-populist billionaire with narcissist sensibilities and ugly, fascist proclivities. The monumental election of Trump was a desperate and xenophobic cry of human hearts for a way out from under the devastation of a disintegrating neoliberal order – a nostalgic return to an imaginary past of greatness. ..."
"... This lethal fusion of economic insecurity and cultural scapegoating brought neoliberalism to its knees. In short, the abysmal failure of the Democratic party to speak to the arrested mobility and escalating poverty of working people unleashed a hate-filled populism and protectionism that threaten to tear apart the fragile fiber of what is left of US democracy. And since the most explosive fault lines in present-day America are first and foremost racial, then gender, homophobic, ethnic and religious, we gird ourselves for a frightening future. ..."
"... In this sense, Trump's election was enabled by the neoliberal policies of the Clintons and Obama that overlooked the plight of our most vulnerable citizens. The progressive populism of Bernie Sanders nearly toppled the establishment of the Democratic party but Clinton and Obama came to the rescue to preserve the status quo. And I do believe Sanders would have beat Trump to avert this neofascist outcome! ..."
"... The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang ..."
"... The white house and congress are now dominated by tea party politicians who worship at the altar of Ayn Rand.....read Breitbart news to see how Thatcher and Reagan are idolised. ..."
"... if you think the era of "neo liberalism" is over, you are in deep denial! ..."
"... The age of Obama was the last gasp of neoliberalism. Despite some progressive words and symbolic gestures, Obama chose to ignore Wall Street crimes, reject bailouts for homeowners, oversee growing inequality and facilitate war crimes like US drones killing innocent civilians abroad. ..."
"... Didn't Obama say to Wall Street ''I'm the only one standing between you and the lynch mob? Give me money and I'll make it all go away''. Then came into office and went we won't prosecute the Banks not Bush for a false war because we don't look back. ..."
"... He did not ignore, he actively, willingly, knowingly protected them. At the end of the day Obama is wolf in sheep's clothing. Exactly like HRC he has a public and a private position. He is a gifted speaker who knows how to say all the right, progressive liberal things to get people to go along much better than HRC ever did. ..."
"... Even when he had the Presidency, House and Senate, he never once introduced any progressive liberal policy. He didn't need Republican support to do it, yet he never even tried. ..."
Nov 17, 2016 | www.theguardian.com

The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang. The political triumph of Donald Trump shattered the establishments in the Democratic and Republican parties – both wedded to the rule of Big Money and to the reign of meretricious politicians.

The Bush and Clinton dynasties were destroyed by the media-saturated lure of the pseudo-populist billionaire with narcissist sensibilities and ugly, fascist proclivities. The monumental election of Trump was a desperate and xenophobic cry of human hearts for a way out from under the devastation of a disintegrating neoliberal order – a nostalgic return to an imaginary past of greatness.

White working- and middle-class fellow citizens – out of anger and anguish – rejected the economic neglect of neoliberal policies and the self-righteous arrogance of elites. Yet these same citizens also supported a candidate who appeared to blame their social misery on minorities, and who alienated Mexican immigrants, Muslims, black people, Jews, gay people, women and China in the process.

This lethal fusion of economic insecurity and cultural scapegoating brought neoliberalism to its knees. In short, the abysmal failure of the Democratic party to speak to the arrested mobility and escalating poverty of working people unleashed a hate-filled populism and protectionism that threaten to tear apart the fragile fiber of what is left of US democracy. And since the most explosive fault lines in present-day America are first and foremost racial, then gender, homophobic, ethnic and religious, we gird ourselves for a frightening future.

What is to be done? First we must try to tell the truth and a condition of truth is to allow suffering to speak. For 40 years, neoliberals lived in a world of denial and indifference to the suffering of poor and working people and obsessed with the spectacle of success. Second we must bear witness to justice. We must ground our truth-telling in a willingness to suffer and sacrifice as we resist domination. Third we must remember courageous exemplars like Martin Luther King Jr, who provide moral and spiritual inspiration as we build multiracial alliances to combat poverty and xenophobia, Wall Street crimes and war crimes, global warming and police abuse – and to protect precious rights and liberties.

Feminists misunderstood the presidential election from day one Liza Featherstone By banking on the idea that women would support Hillary Clinton just because she was a female candidate, the movement made a terrible mistake Read more

The age of Obama was the last gasp of neoliberalism. Despite some progressive words and symbolic gestures, Obama chose to ignore Wall Street crimes, reject bailouts for homeowners, oversee growing inequality and facilitate war crimes like US drones killing innocent civilians abroad.

Rightwing attacks on Obama – and Trump-inspired racist hatred of him – have made it nearly impossible to hear the progressive critiques of Obama. The president has been reluctant to target black suffering – be it in overcrowded prisons, decrepit schools or declining workplaces. Yet, despite that, we get celebrations of the neoliberal status quo couched in racial symbolism and personal legacy. Meanwhile, poor and working class citizens of all colors have continued to suffer in relative silence.

In this sense, Trump's election was enabled by the neoliberal policies of the Clintons and Obama that overlooked the plight of our most vulnerable citizens. The progressive populism of Bernie Sanders nearly toppled the establishment of the Democratic party but Clinton and Obama came to the rescue to preserve the status quo. And I do believe Sanders would have beat Trump to avert this neofascist outcome!

Click and elect: how fake news helped Donald Trump win a real election Hannah Jane Parkinson The 'alt-right' (aka the far right) ensnared the electorate using false stories on social media. But tech companies seem unwilling to admit there's a problem

In this bleak moment, we must inspire each other driven by a democratic soulcraft of integrity, courage, empathy and a mature sense of history – even as it seems our democracy is slipping away.

We must not turn away from the forgotten people of US foreign policy – such as Palestinians under Israeli occupation, Yemen's civilians killed by US-sponsored Saudi troops or Africans subject to expanding US military presence.

As one whose great family and people survived and thrived through slavery, Jim Crow and lynching, Trump's neofascist rhetoric and predictable authoritarian reign is just another ugly moment that calls forth the best of who we are and what we can do.

For us in these times, to even have hope is too abstract, too detached, too spectatorial. Instead we must be a hope, a participant and a force for good as we face this catastrophe.

theomatica -> MSP1984 17 Nov 2016 6:40

To be replaced by a form of capitalism that is constrained by national interests. An ideology that wishes to uses the forces of capitalism within a market limited only by national boundaries which aims for more self sufficiency only importing goods the nation can not itself source.

farga 17 Nov 2016 6:35

The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang.

Really? The white house and congress are now dominated by tea party politicians who worship at the altar of Ayn Rand.....read Breitbart news to see how Thatcher and Reagan are idolised.

That in recent decades middle ground politicians have strayed from the true faith....and now its time to go back - popular capitalism, small government, low taxes.

if you think the era of "neo liberalism" is over, you are in deep denial!

Social36 -> farga 17 Nov 2016 8:33

Maybe, West should have written that we're now in neoliberal, neofascist era!

ForSparta -> farga 17 Nov 2016 14:24

Well in all fairness, Donald Trump (horse's ass) did say he'd 'pump' money into the middle classes thus abandoning 'trickle down'. His plan/ideology is also to increase corporate tax revenues overall by reducing the level of corporation tax -- the aim being to entice corporations to repatriate wealth currently held overseas. Plus he has proposed an infrastructure spending spree, a fiscal stimulus not a monetary one. When you add in tax cuts the middle classes will feel flushed and it is within that demographic that most businesses and hence jobs are created. I think his short game has every chance of doing what he said it would.

SeeNOevilHearNOevil 17 Nov 2016 6:36

The age of Obama was the last gasp of neoliberalism. Despite some progressive words and symbolic gestures, Obama chose to ignore Wall Street crimes, reject bailouts for homeowners, oversee growing inequality and facilitate war crimes like US drones killing innocent civilians abroad.

Didn't Obama say to Wall Street ''I'm the only one standing between you and the lynch mob? Give me money and I'll make it all go away''. Then came into office and went we won't prosecute the Banks not Bush for a false war because we don't look back.

He did not ignore, he actively, willingly, knowingly protected them. At the end of the day Obama is wolf in sheep's clothing. Exactly like HRC he has a public and a private position. He is a gifted speaker who knows how to say all the right, progressive liberal things to get people to go along much better than HRC ever did.

But that lip service is where his progressive views begin and stop. It's the very reason none of his promises never translated into actions and I will argue that he was the biggest and smoothest scam artist to enter the white house who got even though that wholly opposed centre-right policies, to flip and support them vehemently. Even when he had the Presidency, House and Senate, he never once introduced any progressive liberal policy. He didn't need Republican support to do it, yet he never even tried.

ProbablyOnTopic 17 Nov 2016 6:37

I agree with some of this, but do we really have to throw around hysterical terms like 'fascist' at every opportunity? It's as bad as when people call the left 'cultural Marxists'.

LithophaneFurcifera -> ProbablyOnTopic 17 Nov 2016 7:05

True, it's sloganeering that drowns out any nuance, whoever does it. Whenever a political term is coined, you can be assured that its use and meaning will eventually be extended to the point that it becomes less effective at characterising the very groups that it was coined to characterise.

Keep "fascist" for Mussolini and "cultural Marxist" for Adorno, unless and until others show such strong resemblances that the link can't seriously be denied.

I agree about the importance of recognising the suffering of the poor and building alliances beyond, and not primarily defined by, race though.

l0Ho5LG4wWcFJsKg 17 Nov 2016 6:40
Hang about Trump is the embodiment of neo-liberalism. It's neo-liberalism with republican tea party in control. He's not going to smash the system that served him so well, the years he manipulated and cheated, why would he want to change it.
garrylee -> l0Ho5LG4wWcFJsKg 17 Nov 2016 9:38
West's point is that it's beyond Trump's control. The scales have fallen from peoples eyes. They now see the deceit of neo-liberalism. And once they see through the charlatan Trump and the rest of the fascists, they will, hopefully, come to realize the only antidote to neo-liberalism is a planned economy.

Nash25 17 Nov 2016 6:40

This excellent analysis by professor West places the current political situation in a proper historical context.

However, I fear that neo-liberalism may not be quite "dead" as he argues.

Most of the Democratic party's "establishment" politicians, who conspired to sabotage the populist Sanders's campaign, still dominate the party, and they, in turn, are controlled by the giant corporations who fund their campaigns.

Democrat Chuck Schumer is now the Senate minority leader, and he is the loyal servant of the big Wall Street investment banks.

Sanders and Warren are the only two Democratic leaders who are not neo-liberals, and I fear that they will once again be marginalized.

Rank and file Democrats must organize at the local and state level to remove these corrupt neo-liberals from all party leadership positions. This will take many years, and it will be very difficult.


VenetianBlind 17 Nov 2016 6:42

Not sure Neo-Liberalism has ended. All they have done is get rid of the middle man.

macfeegal 17 Nov 2016 6:46

It would seem that there is a great deal of over simplifying going on; some of the articles represent an hysteric response and the vision of sack cloth and ashes prevails among those who could not see that the wheels were coming off the bus. The use of the term 'liberal' has become another buzz word - there are many different forms of liberalism and creating yet another sound byte does little to illuminate anything.

Making appeals to restore what has been lost reflects badly upon the central political parties, with their 30 year long rightward drift and their legacy of sucking up to corporate lobbyists, systems managers, box tickers and consultants. You can't give away sovereign political power to a bunch of right wing quangos who worship private wealth and its accumulation without suffering the consequences. The article makes no contribution (and neither have many of the others of late) to any kind of alternative to either neo-liberalism or the vacuum that has become a question mark with the dark face of the devil behind it.

We are in uncharted waters. The conventional Left was totally discredited by1982 and all we've had since are various forms of modifications of Thatcher's imported American vision. There has been no opposition to this system for over 40 years - so where do we get the idea that democracy has any real meaning? Yes, we can vote for the Greens, or one of the lesser known minority parties, but of course people don't; they tend to go with what is portrayed as the orthodoxy and they've been badly let down by it.

It would be a real breath of fresh air to see articles which offer some kind of analysis that demonstrates tangible options to deal with the multiple crises we are suffering. Perhaps we might start with a consideration that if our political institutions are prone to being haunted by the ghost of the 1930's, the state itself could be seen as part of the problem rather than any solution. Why is it that every other institution is considered to be past its sell by date and we still believe in a phantom of democracy? Discuss.

VenetianBlind -> macfeegal 17 Nov 2016 7:00

I have spent hours trying to see solutions around Neo-Liberalism and find that governments have basically signed away any control over the economy so nothing they can do. There are no solutions.

Maybe that is the starting point. The solution for workers left behind in Neo-Liberal language is they must move. It demands labor mobility. It is not possible to dictate where jobs are created.

I see too much fiddly around the edges, the best start is to say they cannot fix the problem. If they keep making false promises then things will just get dire as.

[Sep 23, 2017] Trumps UN Speech the Swamps Wine in an America First! Bottle

Notable quotes:
"... Listening to the president, one would almost think Trump was giving two different speeches, one rhetorical and one substantive. The rhetorical speech ( reportedly authored by Stephen Miller ) was the most stirring advocacy one could hope for of the rule of law and of the Westphalian principle of the sovereign state as the bedrock of the international order. The substantive speech, no doubt written by someone on the National Security Council staff, abrogates the very same Westphalian principle with the unlimited prerogatives of the planet's one government that reserves the right to violate or abolish the sovereignty of any other country – or to destroy that country altogether – for any reason political elites in Washington decide. ..."
"... With respect to North Korea, some people assume that because the consequences would be patently catastrophic the "military option" must be off the table and that all this war talk is just bluster. That assumption is dead wrong. The once unthinkable is not only thinkable, it is increasingly probable. As Trump said: "The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea." This is exactly backwards. Threatening North Korea with total destruction doesn't equate to the defense of the US (forget about our faux ..."
"... With respect to Iran, the relevant passages of Trump's speech could as well have been drafted in the Israeli and Saudi foreign ministries – and perhaps they were. Paradoxically, such favoritism toward some countries and hatred for others is the exact opposite of the America First! principle on which Trump won the presidency. ..."
"... Not to belabor the obvious, at least as far as foreign policy goes, the would-be Swamp-drainer has lost and the Swamp has won. ..."
"... We can speculate as to why. Some say Trump was always a liar and conman and had no intention of keeping his promises. ..."
"... To be fair, Trump's populism was never based on consistent non-interventionism. In 2016 he promised more money for the Pentagon and vowed to be the most " militaristic " president ever. Still, he seemed to understand that wars of choice unrelated to vital national interests, like Bush's in Iraq and Obama's in Libya, were a waste of untold billions of dollars and produced only disasters. ..."
"... His acceptance of the Swamp's continuation of the war in Afghanistan was his first major stumble towards the dismal path of his predecessors. War against North Korea or Iran, or God forbid both, would wreck his presidency and his pledge to "Make America Great Again!" even more surely than Iraq ruined Bush's. ..."
"... Reprinted with permission from the Strategic Culture Foundation . ..."
Sep 23, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

In his maiden speech to the United Nations General Assembly , President Donald Trump invoked the terms "sovereign" and "sovereignty" 21 times. In a manner unimaginable coming from any other recent occupant of the White House, the President committed the United States to the principle of national sovereignty and to the truth that "the nation-state remains the best vehicle for elevating the human condition." More, Trump rightly pointed out that these pertain not just to the US and the safeguarding of American sovereignty but to all countries:

In foreign affairs, we are renewing this founding principle of sovereignty. Our government's first duty is to its people, to our citizens -- to serve their needs, to ensure their safety, to preserve their rights, and to defend their values.

As President of the United States, I will always put America first, just like you, as the leaders of your countries will always, and should always, put your countries first."

Then he took it all back.

Listening to the president, one would almost think Trump was giving two different speeches, one rhetorical and one substantive. The rhetorical speech ( reportedly authored by Stephen Miller ) was the most stirring advocacy one could hope for of the rule of law and of the Westphalian principle of the sovereign state as the bedrock of the international order. The substantive speech, no doubt written by someone on the National Security Council staff, abrogates the very same Westphalian principle with the unlimited prerogatives of the planet's one government that reserves the right to violate or abolish the sovereignty of any other country – or to destroy that country altogether – for any reason political elites in Washington decide.

Numerous commentators immediately rushed to declare that Trump had dialed back to George W. Bush's 2002 " Axis of Evil " speech. (The phrase is attributed to then-speechwriter David Frum , now a moving figure behind the " Committee to Investigate Russia ," which in the sage opinion of Rob Reiner and Morgan Freeman claims "we are at war" with Russia already.) Trump has now laid down what amounts to declarations of war against both North Korea and Iran. On both he has left himself very little room for maneuver, or for any compromise that would be regarded as weakness or Obama-style "leading from behind." While hostilities against both countries may not be imminent (though in the case of North Korea, they might be) we are, barring unforeseen circumstances, now approaching the point of no return.

With respect to North Korea, some people assume that because the consequences would be patently catastrophic the "military option" must be off the table and that all this war talk is just bluster. That assumption is dead wrong. The once unthinkable is not only thinkable, it is increasingly probable. As Trump said: "The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea." This is exactly backwards. Threatening North Korea with total destruction doesn't equate to the defense of the US (forget about our faux allies South Korea and Japan, which contribute nothing to our security), it positively increases the danger to our country and people.

The Deep State would rather risk the lives of almost 30,000 American military personnel in Korea, of hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of South Koreans, and of even more millions in North Korea – not to mention prodding Pyongyang to accelerate acquisition of a capability for a nuclear strike on the United States itself – than pry its grip off of a single square meter of our forward base against China on the northeast Asian mainland.

With respect to Iran, the relevant passages of Trump's speech could as well have been drafted in the Israeli and Saudi foreign ministries – and perhaps they were. Paradoxically, such favoritism toward some countries and hatred for others is the exact opposite of the America First! principle on which Trump won the presidency. As stated in his Farewell Address by our first and greatest president (wait – are we still allowed to say that? George Washington was a slave-owner!), a country that allows itself to be steered not by its own interests but the interests of others negates it own freedom and becomes a slave to its foreign affections and antipathies:

The nation which indulges toward another an habitual hatred or an habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur.
Not to belabor the obvious, at least as far as foreign policy goes, the would-be Swamp-drainer has lost and the Swamp has won.

We can speculate as to why. Some say Trump was always a liar and conman and had no intention of keeping his promises. (Let's see what he does on the "Dreamers" and throwing away his wall on the Mexican border. As Ann Coulter says , "If Trump doesn't get that wall built, and fast, his base will be done with him and feed him to Robert Mueller.") Others say Trump meant what he said during the campaign but now surrounded by generals and globalists that dominate his administration, and with populists in the White House now about as common as passenger pigeons , he's a virtual captive. If so, it's a captivity of his own making.

To be fair, Trump's populism was never based on consistent non-interventionism. In 2016 he promised more money for the Pentagon and vowed to be the most " militaristic " president ever. Still, he seemed to understand that wars of choice unrelated to vital national interests, like Bush's in Iraq and Obama's in Libya, were a waste of untold billions of dollars and produced only disasters.

His acceptance of the Swamp's continuation of the war in Afghanistan was his first major stumble towards the dismal path of his predecessors. War against North Korea or Iran, or God forbid both, would wreck his presidency and his pledge to "Make America Great Again!" even more surely than Iraq ruined Bush's.

Still unanswered: does Trump know that, does he care, and does he have the wherewithal to do anything about it? At the moment, it doesn't look good.

Reprinted with permission from the Strategic Culture Foundation .


Related

[Sep 21, 2017] Donald Trump yesterday spoke from the gut without thinking through the consequences

Notable quotes:
"... His threat to wipe out North Korea reminded me of Nikita Khrushchev banging his shoe on the podium at the UN. Great theater but makes one thing that the shoe banger is crazy. There is no acceptable military option in North Korea. ..."
"... But Trump is not the only one spouting such madness. We've heard the same delusional threats from SecDef Mattis and National Security Advisor McMaster. ..."
Sep 21, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

That's essentially what Donald Trump did yesterday. He spoke from the gut without thinking through the consequences.

His threat to wipe out North Korea reminded me of Nikita Khrushchev banging his shoe on the podium at the UN. Great theater but makes one thing that the shoe banger is crazy. There is no acceptable military option in North Korea.

But Trump is not the only one spouting such madness. We've heard the same delusional threats from SecDef Mattis and National Security Advisor McMaster.

I learned a long time ago that you do not make threats you are not will to carry out. In fact, I'm a firm believer in the sucker punch. Why tell someone what you are going to do and how you are going to do it? That stuff only works in Hollywood.

Remember this clip from Billy Jack?

[Sep 20, 2017] The Politics of Military Ascendancy by James Petras

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... In this paper we will discuss the advantages that the military elite accumulate from the war agenda and the reasons why ' the Generals' have been able to impose their definition of international realities. ..."
"... We will discuss the military's ascendancy over Trump's civilian regime as a result of the relentless degradation of his presidency by his political opposition. ..."
"... The massive US-led bombing and destruction of Libya, the overthrow of the Gadhafi government and the failure of the Obama-Clinton administration to impose a puppet regime, underlined the limitations of US air power and the ineffectiveness of US political-military intervention. The Presidency blundered in its foreign policy in North Africa and demonstrated its military ineptness. ..."
"... The invasion of Syria by US-funded mercenaries and terrorists committed the US to an unreliable ally in a losing war. This led to a reduction in the military budget and encouraged the Generals to view their direct control of overseas wars and foreign policy as the only guarantee of their positions. ..."
"... The Obama-Clinton engineered coup and power grab in the Ukraine brought a corrupt incompetent military junta to power in Kiev and provoked the secession of the Crimea (to Russia) and Eastern Ukraine (allied with Russia). The Generals were sidelined and found that they had tied themselves to Ukrainian kleptocrats while dangerously increasing political tensions with Russia. The Obama regime dictated economic sanctions against Moscow, designed to compensate for their ignominious military-political failures. ..."
"... The Obama-Clinton legacy facing Trump was built around a three-legged stool: an international order based on military aggression and confrontation with Russia; a ' pivot to Asia' defined as the military encirclement and economic isolation of China – via bellicose threats and economic sanctions against North Korea; and the use of the military as the praetorian guards of free trade agreements in Asia excluding China. ..."
"... After only 8 months in office President Trump helplessly gave into the firings, resignations and humiliation of each and every one of his civilian appointees, especially those who were committed to reverse Obama's 'international order'. ..."
"... Trump was elected to replace wars, sanctions and interventions with economic deals beneficial to the American working and middle class. This would include withdrawing the military from its long-term commitments to budget-busting 'nation-building' (occupation) in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and other Obama-designated endless war zones. ..."
"... The Generals provide a veneer of legitimacy to the Trump regime (especially for the warmongering Obama Democrats and the mass media). However, handing presidential powers over to ' Mad Dog' Mattis and his cohort will come with a heavy price. ..."
"... While the military junta may protect Trump's foreign policy flank, it does not lessen the attacks on his domestic agenda. Moreover, Trump's proposed budget compromise with the Democrats has enraged his own Party's leaders. ..."
"... The military junta is pressuring China against North Korea with the goal of isolating the ruling regime in Pyongyang and increasing the US military encirclement of Beijing. Mad Dog has partially succeeded in turning China against North Korea while securing its advanced THADD anti-missile installations in South Korea, which will be directed against Beijing. ..."
"... Mad Dog's military build-up, especially in Afghanistan and in the Middle East, will not intimidate Iran nor add to any military successes. They entail high costs and low returns, as Obama realized after the better part of a decade of his defeats, fiascos and multi-billion dollar losses. ..."
"... The militarization of US foreign policy provides some important lessons: ..."
"... the escalation from threats to war does not succeed in disarming adversaries who possess the capacity to retaliate. ..."
"... Low intensity multi-lateral war maneuvers reinforce US-led alliances, but they also convince opponents to increase their military preparedness. Mid-level intense wars against non-nuclear adversaries can seize capital cities, as in Iraq, but the occupier faces long-term costly wars of attrition that can undermine military morale, provoke domestic unrest and heighten budget deficits. And they create millions of refugees. ..."
"... Threats and intimidation succeed only against conciliatory adversaries. Undiplomatic verbal thuggery can arouse the spirit of the bully and some of its allies, but it has little chance of convincing its adversaries to capitulate. The US policy of worldwide militarization over-extends the US armed forces and has not led to any permanent military gains. ..."
"... Are there any voices among clear-thinking US military leaders, those not bedazzled by their stars and idiotic admirers in the US media, who could push for more global accommodation and mutual respect among nations? The US Congress and the corrupt media are demonstrably incapable of evaluating past disasters, let alone forging an effective response to new global realities. ..."
"... American actions in Europe, Asia and the middle east appear increasingly irrational to many international observers. Their policy thrusts are excused as containment of evildoers or punishment of peoples who think and act differently. ..."
"... They will drive into a new detente such incompatible parties as Russia and Iran, or China and many countries. America risks losing its way in the world and free peoples see a flickering beacon that once shone brighter. ..."
"... How about this comic book tough guy quote: "I'm pleading with you with tears in my eyes: if you fuck with me, I'll kill you all" notice the first person used repetitively as he talks down to hapless unarmed tribesman in some distant land. A real egomaniacal narcissistic coward. Any of you with military experience would immediately recognize the type ... ..."
"... It seems that the inevitable has happened. Feckless civilians have used military adventures to advance their careers , ensure re- elections, capturr lucrative position as speaker, have a place as member of think tank or lobbying firm or consultant . Now being as stupidly greedy and impatient as these guys are, they have failed to see that neither the policies nor the militaries can succeed against enemies that are generated from the action and the policy itself ..."
Sep 15, 2017 | www.unz.com

Introduction

Clearly the US has escalated the pivotal role of the military in the making of foreign and, by extension, domestic policy. The rise of ' the Generals' to strategic positions in the Trump regime is evident, deepening its role as a highly autonomous force determining US strategic policy agendas.

In this paper we will discuss the advantages that the military elite accumulate from the war agenda and the reasons why ' the Generals' have been able to impose their definition of international realities.

We will discuss the military's ascendancy over Trump's civilian regime as a result of the relentless degradation of his presidency by his political opposition.

The Prelude to Militarization: Obama's Multi-War Strategy and Its Aftermath

The central role of the military in deciding US foreign policy has its roots in the strategic decisions taken during the Obama-Clinton Presidency. Several policies were decisive in the rise of unprecedented military-political power.

The massive increase of US troops in Afghanistan and their subsequent failures and retreat weakened the Obama-Clinton regime and increased animosity between the military and the Obama's Administration. As a result of his failures, Obama downgraded the military and weakened Presidential authority. The massive US-led bombing and destruction of Libya, the overthrow of the Gadhafi government and the failure of the Obama-Clinton administration to impose a puppet regime, underlined the limitations of US air power and the ineffectiveness of US political-military intervention. The Presidency blundered in its foreign policy in North Africa and demonstrated its military ineptness. The invasion of Syria by US-funded mercenaries and terrorists committed the US to an unreliable ally in a losing war. This led to a reduction in the military budget and encouraged the Generals to view their direct control of overseas wars and foreign policy as the only guarantee of their positions. The US military intervention in Iraq was only a secondary contributing factor in the defeat of ISIS; the major actors and beneficiaries were Iran and the allied Iraqi Shia militias. The Obama-Clinton engineered coup and power grab in the Ukraine brought a corrupt incompetent military junta to power in Kiev and provoked the secession of the Crimea (to Russia) and Eastern Ukraine (allied with Russia). The Generals were sidelined and found that they had tied themselves to Ukrainian kleptocrats while dangerously increasing political tensions with Russia. The Obama regime dictated economic sanctions against Moscow, designed to compensate for their ignominious military-political failures.

The Obama-Clinton legacy facing Trump was built around a three-legged stool: an international order based on military aggression and confrontation with Russia; a ' pivot to Asia' defined as the military encirclement and economic isolation of China – via bellicose threats and economic sanctions against North Korea; and the use of the military as the praetorian guards of free trade agreements in Asia excluding China.

The Obama 'legacy' consists of an international order of globalized capital and multiple wars. The continuity of Obama's 'glorious legacy' initially depended on the election of Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump's presidential campaign, for its part, promised to dismantle or drastically revise the Obama Doctrine of an international order based on multiple wars , neo-colonial 'nation' building and free trade. A furious Obama 'informed' (threatened) the newly-elected President Trump that he would face the combined hostility of the entire State apparatus, Wall Street and the mass media if he proceeded to fulfill his election promises of economic nationalism and thus undermine the US-centered global order.

Trump's bid to shift from Obama's sanctions and military confrontation to economic reconciliation with Russia was countered by a hornet's nest of accusations about a Trump-Russian electoral conspiracy, darkly hinting at treason and show trials against his close allies and even family members.

The concoction of a Trump-Russia plot was only the first step toward a total war on the new president, but it succeeded in undermining Trump's economic nationalist agenda and his efforts to change Obama's global order.

Trump Under Obama's International Order

After only 8 months in office President Trump helplessly gave into the firings, resignations and humiliation of each and every one of his civilian appointees, especially those who were committed to reverse Obama's 'international order'.

Trump was elected to replace wars, sanctions and interventions with economic deals beneficial to the American working and middle class. This would include withdrawing the military from its long-term commitments to budget-busting 'nation-building' (occupation) in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and other Obama-designated endless war zones.

Trump's military priorities were supposed to focus on strengthening domestic frontiers and overseas markets. He started by demanding that NATO partners pay for their own military defense responsibilities. Obama's globalists in both political parties were aghast that the US might lose it overwhelming control of NATO; they united and moved immediately to strip Trump of his economic nationalist allies and their programs.

Trump quickly capitulated and fell into line with Obama's international order, except for one proviso – he would select the Cabinet to implement the old/new international order.

A hamstrung Trump chose a military cohort of Generals, led by General James Mattis (famously nicknamed ' Mad Dog' ) as Defense Secretary.

The Generals effectively took over the Presidency. Trump abdicated his responsibilities as President.

General Mattis: The Militarization of America

General Mattis took up the Obama legacy of global militarization and added his own nuances, including the 'psychological-warfare' embedded in Trump's emotional ejaculations on 'Twitter'.

The ' Mattis Doctrine' combined high-risk threats with aggressive provocations, bringing the US (and the world) to the brink of nuclear war.

General Mattis has adopted the targets and fields of operations, defined by the previous Obama administration as it has sought to re-enforce the existing imperialist international order.

The junta's policies relied on provocations and threats against Russia, with expanded economic sanctions. Mattis threw more fuel on the US mass media's already hysterical anti-Russian bonfire. The General promoted a strategy of low intensity diplomatic thuggery, including the unprecedented seizure and invasion of Russian diplomatic offices and the short-notice expulsion of diplomats and consular staff.

These military threats and acts of diplomatic intimidation signified that the Generals' Administration under the Puppet President Trump was ready to sunder diplomatic relations with a major world nuclear power and indeed push the world to direct nuclear confrontation.

What Mattis seeks in these mad fits of aggression is nothing less than capitulation on the part of the Russian government regarding long held US military objectives – namely the partition of Syria (which started under Obama), harsh starvation sanctions on North Korea (which began under Clinton) and the disarmament of Iran (Tel Aviv's main goal) in preparation for its dismemberment.

The Mattis junta occupying the Trump White House heightened its threats against a North Korea, which (in Vladimir Putin's words) ' would rather eat grass than disarm' . The US mass media-military megaphones portrayed the North Korean victims of US sanctions and provocations as an 'existential' threat to the US mainland.

Sanctions have intensified. The stationing of nuclear weapons on South Korea is being pushed. Massive joint military exercises are planned and ongoing in the air, sea and land around North Korea. Mattis twisted Chinese arms (mainly business comprador-linked bureaucrats) and secured their UN Security Council vote on increased sanctions. Russia joined the Mattis-led anti-Pyongyang chorus, even as Putin warned of sanctions ineffectiveness! (As if General ' Mad Dog' Mattis would ever take Putin's advice seriously, especially after Russia voted for the sanctions!)

Mattis further militarized the Persian Gulf, following Obama's policy of partial sanctions and bellicose provocation against Iran.

When he worked for Obama, Mattis increased US arms shipments to the US's Syrian terrorists and Ukrainian puppets, ensuring the US would be able to scuttle any ' negotiated settlements' .

Militarization: An Evaluation

Trump's resort to ' his Generals' is supposed to counter any attacks from members of his own party and Congressional Democrats about his foreign policy. Trump's appointment of ' Mad Dog' Mattis, a notorious Russophobe and warmonger, has somewhat pacified the opposition in Congress and undercut any 'finding' of an election conspiracy between Trump and Moscow dug up by the Special Investigator Robert Mueller. Trump's maintains a role as nominal President by adapting to what Obama warned him was ' their international order' – now directed by an unelected military junta composed of Obama holdovers!

The Generals provide a veneer of legitimacy to the Trump regime (especially for the warmongering Obama Democrats and the mass media). However, handing presidential powers over to ' Mad Dog' Mattis and his cohort will come with a heavy price.

While the military junta may protect Trump's foreign policy flank, it does not lessen the attacks on his domestic agenda. Moreover, Trump's proposed budget compromise with the Democrats has enraged his own Party's leaders.

In sum, under a weakened President Trump, the militarization of the White House benefits the military junta and enlarges their power. The ' Mad Dog' Mattis program has had mixed results, at least in its initial phase: The junta's threats to launch a pre-emptive (possibly nuclear) war against North Korea have strengthened Pyongyang's commitment to develop and refine its long and medium range ballistic missile capability and nuclear weapons. Brinksmanship failed to intimidate North Korea. Mattis cannot impose the Clinton-Bush-Obama doctrine of disarming countries (like Libya and Iraq) of their advanced defensive weapons systems as a prelude to a US 'regime change' invasion.

Any US attack against North Korea will lead to massive retaliatory strikes costing tens of thousands of US military lives and will kill and maim millions of civilians in South Korea and Japan.

At most, ' Mad Dog' managed to intimidate Chinese and Russian officials (and their export business billionaire buddies) to agree to more economic sanctions against North Korea. Mattis and his allies in the UN and White House, the loony Nikki Hailey and a miniaturized President Trump, may bellow war – yet they cannot apply the so-called 'military option' without threatening the US military forces stationed throughout the Asia Pacific region.

The Mad Dog Mattis assault on the Russian embassy did not materially weaken Russia, but it has revealed the uselessness of Moscow's conciliatory diplomacy toward their so-called 'partners' in the Trump regime.

The end-result might lead to a formal break in diplomatic ties, which would increase the danger of a military confrontation and a global nuclear holocaust.

The military junta is pressuring China against North Korea with the goal of isolating the ruling regime in Pyongyang and increasing the US military encirclement of Beijing. Mad Dog has partially succeeded in turning China against North Korea while securing its advanced THADD anti-missile installations in South Korea, which will be directed against Beijing. These are Mattis' short-term gains over the excessively pliant Chinese bureaucrats. However, if Mad Dog intensifies direct military threats against China, Beijing can retaliate by dumping tens of billions of US Treasury notes, cutting trade ties, sowing chaos in the US economy and setting Wall Street against the Pentagon.

Mad Dog's military build-up, especially in Afghanistan and in the Middle East, will not intimidate Iran nor add to any military successes. They entail high costs and low returns, as Obama realized after the better part of a decade of his defeats, fiascos and multi-billion dollar losses.

Conclusion

The militarization of US foreign policy, the establishment of a military junta within the Trump Administration, and the resort to nuclear brinksmanship has not changed the global balance of power.

Domestically Trump's nominal Presidency relies on militarists, like General Mattis. Mattis has tightened the US control over NATO allies, and even rounded up stray European outliers, like Sweden, to join in a military crusade against Russia. Mattis has played on the media's passion for bellicose headlines and its adulation of Four Star Generals.

But for all that – North Korea remains undaunted because it can retaliate. Russia has thousands of nuclear weapons and remains a counterweight to a US-dominated globe. China owns the US Treasury and its unimpressed, despite the presence of an increasingly collision-prone US Navy swarming throughout the South China Sea.

Mad Dog laps up the media attention, with well dressed, scrupulously manicured journalists hanging on his every bloodthirsty pronouncement. War contractors flock to him, like flies to carrion. The Four Star General 'Mad Dog' Mattis has attained Presidential status without winning any election victory (fake or otherwise). No doubt when he steps down, Mattis will be the most eagerly courted board member or senior consultant for giant military contractors in US history, receiving lucrative fees for half hour 'pep-talks' and ensuring the fat perks of nepotism for his family's next three generations. Mad Dog may even run for office, as Senator or even President for whatever Party.

The militarization of US foreign policy provides some important lessons:

First of all, the escalation from threats to war does not succeed in disarming adversaries who possess the capacity to retaliate. Intimidation via sanctions can succeed in imposing significant economic pain on oil export-dependent regimes, but not on hardened, self-sufficient or highly diversified economies.

Low intensity multi-lateral war maneuvers reinforce US-led alliances, but they also convince opponents to increase their military preparedness. Mid-level intense wars against non-nuclear adversaries can seize capital cities, as in Iraq, but the occupier faces long-term costly wars of attrition that can undermine military morale, provoke domestic unrest and heighten budget deficits. And they create millions of refugees.

High intensity military brinksmanship carries major risk of massive losses in lives, allies, territory and piles of radiated ashes – a pyrrhic victory!

In sum:

Threats and intimidation succeed only against conciliatory adversaries. Undiplomatic verbal thuggery can arouse the spirit of the bully and some of its allies, but it has little chance of convincing its adversaries to capitulate. The US policy of worldwide militarization over-extends the US armed forces and has not led to any permanent military gains.

Are there any voices among clear-thinking US military leaders, those not bedazzled by their stars and idiotic admirers in the US media, who could push for more global accommodation and mutual respect among nations? The US Congress and the corrupt media are demonstrably incapable of evaluating past disasters, let alone forging an effective response to new global realities.

Raffler, September 15, 2017 at 2:25 pm GMT

American actions in Europe, Asia and the middle east appear increasingly irrational to many international observers. Their policy thrusts are excused as containment of evildoers or punishment of peoples who think and act differently. Those policy thrusts will accomplish the opposite of the stated intention.

They will drive into a new detente such incompatible parties as Russia and Iran, or China and many countries. America risks losing its way in the world and free peoples see a flickering beacon that once shone brighter.

nsa, September 16, 2017 at 4:03 am GMT

Anyone with military experience recognizes the likes of Mad Poodle Mattis arrogant, belligerent, exceptionally dull, and mainly an inveterate suck-up (mil motto: kiss up and kick down).

Every VFW lounge is filled with these boozy ridiculous blowhards and they are insufferable. The media and public, raised on ZioVision and JooieWood pablum, worship these cartoonish bloodletters even though they haven't won a war in 72 years .not one.

How about this comic book tough guy quote: "I'm pleading with you with tears in my eyes: if you fuck with me, I'll kill you all" notice the first person used repetitively as he talks down to hapless unarmed tribesman in some distant land. A real egomaniacal narcissistic coward. Any of you with military experience would immediately recognize the type ...

KA, September 16, 2017 at 3:24 pm GMT

It seems that the inevitable has happened. Feckless civilians have used military adventures to advance their careers , ensure re- elections, capturr lucrative position as speaker, have a place as member of think tank or lobbying firm or consultant . Now being as stupidly greedy and impatient as these guys are, they have failed to see that neither the policies nor the militaries can succeed against enemies that are generated from the action and the policy itself .

Now military has decided to reverse the roles . At least the military leaders don't have to campaign for re employment . But very soon the forces that corrupt and abuse the civilian power structure will do same to military .

The Alarmist, September 19, 2017 at 3:27 pm GMT

Never met him at any of the parties I attended in the '70s and '80s, so I don't know much about Mad Dog, but I can say that only in America can the former commander of a recruiting station grow up to pull the strings of the President.

[Sep 20, 2017] The hubris, ignorance and stupidity in face of the failure of "regime change" operation in Syria

Notable quotes:
"... The truth is that it was the Americans who created this Wahabi monster and that they aided, protected, financed, trained and armed it through all these years. ..."
"... The US also viciously opposed all the countries which were serious about fighting this Wahabi abomination. ..."
"... And then, just to make things worse, The Donald *proudly* mentions the failed attack against a Syrian air force base which had nothing to do with a false flag fake chemical attack. Wow! For any other political leader recalling such an event would be a burning embarrassment, but for The Donald it is something he proudly mentions. The hubris, ignorance and stupidity of it all leaves me in total awe ..."
Sep 20, 2017 | www.unz.com

In Syria and Iraq, we have made big gains toward lasting defeat of ISIS. In fact, our country has achieved more against ISIS in the last eight months than it has in many, many years combined. The actions of the criminal regime of Bashar al-Assad, including the use of chemical weapons against his own citizens, even innocent children, shock the conscience of every decent person. No society could be safe if banned chemical weapons are allowed to spread. That is why the United States carried out a missile strike on the airbase that launched the attack.

When I heard these words I felt embarrassed for Trump. First, it is absolutely pathetic that Trump has to claim as his success the victories with the Syrians, the Russians, the Iranians and Hezbollah have achieved against the Wahabi-crazies of Daesh/al-Qaeda/al-Nusra/etc, especially since the latter are a pure creation of the US CIA!

The truth is that it was the Americans who created this Wahabi monster and that they aided, protected, financed, trained and armed it through all these years.

The US also viciously opposed all the countries which were serious about fighting this Wahabi abomination.

And now that a tiny Russian contingent has achieved infinitely better results that all the power of the mighty CENTCOM backed by the Israeli and Saudi allies of the US in the region, The Donald comes out and declares victory?!

Pathetic is not strong enough a word to describe this mind-bogglingly counter-factual statement.

And then, just to make things worse, The Donald *proudly* mentions the failed attack against a Syrian air force base which had nothing to do with a false flag fake chemical attack. Wow! For any other political leader recalling such an event would be a burning embarrassment, but for The Donald it is something he proudly mentions. The hubris, ignorance and stupidity of it all leaves me in total awe

[Sep 20, 2017] Sovereign Nations Is Main Theme Of Trump's UN Speech

Sovereignty is oppose of neoliberal globalization, so in a way this is an some kind of affirmation of Trump election position. How serious it is is not clear. Probably not much as Imperial faction now controls Trump, making him more of a marionette that a political leader of the USA.
Notable quotes:
"... Trump labeled the Syrian government "the criminal regime of Bashar al Assad." The "problem in Venezuela", he said, is "that socialism has been faithfully implemented." He called Iran "an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violent, bloodshed and chaos." He forgot to mention pistachios . The aim of such language and threats is usually to goad the other party into some overt act that can than be used as justification for "retaliation". But none of the countries Trump mentioned is prone to such behavior. They will react calmly - if at all. ..."
"... The stressing of sovereignty and the nation state in part one was the point where Trump indeed differed from his interventionist predecessors. But its still difficult to judge if that it is something he genuinely believes in. ..."
"... There is no emphasis on sovereignty b. Trump says that Russia's and China' threat to the sovereignty of countries is bad but the sovereignty of small countries the US does not like is somehow threatened by these countries themselves. Which I interpret as a threat - "you endanger yourself if you don't do as told". ..."
"... "The stressing of sovereignty and the nation state in part one was the point where Trump indeed differed from his interventionist predecessors. But its still difficult to judge if that it is something he genuinely believes in" ..."
"... The word sovereignty has taken on different and sinister implications with the UN Responsibility to Protect Act in 2005. The US pushed for this and it squeaked by and they used it to justify the invasion of Libya in 2011. I think Libya was a major turning point. I don't think Russia and Iran are going to back off easily. (I originally posted this in 2015 at another site) The US also seems to have pretty much lost what humanitarian clout they may have had. ..."
"... He talks about the period from 1989 when we had the Panama invasion and collapse of the Soviet Union as leading to an unleashing of US military power leading to the Iraq War in 2003. This war serious dented the image of the US as being a humanitarian actor and the US pushed for the UN Responsibility to Protect Act in 2005 which was used to justify the Libya invasion. ..."
"... Prashad sees the results of that invasion and what is going on now in Syria as reflecting that the period 2011-2015 is seeing the end of this US unipolarism that lasted from 1989 to 2011. ..."
"... How can Trump believe in defending Westphalia Treaty principles, sovereignty and the nation state, when US policy in the Arab world consists in destroying all these? This is rather like Warren Buffett lamenting that American billionaires are so rich, and pay less taxes than their secretaries. They are just laughing at us in our faces. ..."
"... Sound more or less like Hussein Obomo address at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Sept. 24, 2013 - America is exceptional ? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HT5BjNDg5W0 No wonder Putin and Xi did not care to attend. Anyway Putin winning in Syria and Xi gaining in economic, science and technology ..."
"... I agree with other commenters about the Orwellian nature of the speech. Sovereignty is an interesting word to abuse and I expect we will see more abuse of it. How can the US ever be a sovereign nation when it does not own its own financial system? But in the interim all other aspects of sovereignty will be examined but not global private finance.....unless the China/Russia axis hand is forced into the open. ..."
"... Trump - the Republican Obama ..."
"... "The sanction game is over. It's only the dying empire of the Federal Reserve, ECB, Wall Street, City of London and their military strong arm operating in the Pentagon that have yet to accept this new reality. ..."
"... The days of bullying nations and simply bombing them into submission is over as well. Russia and China have made it very clear this is no longer acceptable and Russia has all but shut down the operations in Syria. The "ISIS" boogeyman is surrounded and fleeing into Asia and recently showed up in the Philippines. The fact that a group of desert dwellers acquired an ocean going vessel should be enough evidence to even the most brain-dead these desert dwellers are supported by outside forces – like the CIA. Otherwise, from where did the ship(s) materialize?" ..."
"... it seems to me with Trump an era of so-called globalization has come to its end. ..."
"... Of course countries subjected to senseless US sanctions, like Russia, are concerned with sovereignty. They are ..."
"... baseless economic attacks by the country that controls world banking. ..."
"... In conclusion, what I take away from this speech is a sense of relief for the rest of the planet and a sense of real worry for the USA. Ever since the Neocons overthrew Trump and made him what is colloquially referred to as their "bitch" the US foreign policy has come to a virtual standstill. ..."
Sep 20, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Today the President of the United States Donald Trump spoke (rush transcript) to the United Nations General Assembly. The speech's main the me was sovereignty. The word occurs 18(!) times. It emphasized Westphalian principles .

[W]e do expect all nations to uphold these two core sovereign duties, to respect the interests of their own people and the rights of every other sovereign nation

All leaders of countries should always put their countries first, he said, and "the nation state remains the best vehicle for elevating the human condition ."


The Ratification of the Treaty of Münster, 15 May 1648 - bigger

Sovereignty was the core message of his speech. It rhymed well with his somewhat isolationist emphasis of "America first" during his campaign. The second part of the speech the first by threatened the sovereignty of several countries the U.S. ruling class traditionally dislikes. This year's "axis of evil" included North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, Syria and Cuba:

The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. The United States is ready, willing and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary."

Many people will criticize that as an outrageous and irresponsible use of words. It is. But there is nothing new to it. In fact the U.S., acting on behalf of the UN, totally destroyed Korea in the 1950s. The last U.S. president made the same threat Trump made today:

President Barack Obama delivered a stern warning to North Korea on Tuesday, reminding its "erratic" and "irresponsible" leader that America's nuclear arsenal could "destroy" his country.

The South Korean military sounds equally belligerent :

A military source told the Yonhap news agency every part of Pyongyang "will be completely destroyed by ballistic missiles and high-explosives shells". ... The city, the source said, "will be reduced to ashes and removed from the map".

Trump labeled the Syrian government "the criminal regime of Bashar al Assad." The "problem in Venezuela", he said, is "that socialism has been faithfully implemented." He called Iran "an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violent, bloodshed and chaos." He forgot to mention pistachios . The aim of such language and threats is usually to goad the other party into some overt act that can than be used as justification for "retaliation". But none of the countries Trump mentioned is prone to such behavior. They will react calmly - if at all. There was essentially nothing in Trump's threats than the claptrap the last two U.S. presidents also delivered. Trump may be crazy, but the speech today is not a sign of that.

The stressing of sovereignty and the nation state in part one was the point where Trump indeed differed from his interventionist predecessors. But its still difficult to judge if that it is something he genuinely believes in.

Posted by b on September 19, 2017 at 01:05 PM | Permalink

somebody | Sep 19, 2017 1:32:33 PM | 2
There is no emphasis on sovereignty b. Trump says that Russia's and China' threat to the sovereignty of countries is bad but the sovereignty of small countries the US does not like is somehow threatened by these countries themselves. Which I interpret as a threat - "you endanger yourself if you don't do as told".
If we desire to lift up our citizens, if we aspire to the approval of history, then we must fulfill our sovereign duties to the people we faithfully represent. We must protect our nations, their interests and their futures. We must reject threats to sovereignty from the Ukraine to the South China Sea. We must uphold respect for law, respect for borders, and respect for culture, and the peaceful engagement these allow.

And just as the founders of this body intended, we must work together and confront together those who threatens us with chaos, turmoil, and terror. The score of our planet today is small regimes that violate every principle that the United Nations is based. They respect neither their own citizens nor the sovereign rights of their countries. If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph. When decent people and nations become bystanders to history, the forces of destruction only gather power and strength.

b | Sep 19, 2017 1:51:10 PM | 3
@1 somebody - thanks - link corrected.

@2 somebody - yes, unaimed hostile prose from the speechwriter. Such is in the speech of every U.S. president. But it is not the general theme of the Trump speech when one reads it as one piece. The weight is put in the other direction (though the media will likely point to the threats instead of reading the more extraordinary parts where Trump pushes national sovereignty.)

Luther Blissett | Sep 19, 2017 1:53:43 PM | 4

If there is more to this than the usual US double-speak, I don't see it.

james | Sep 19, 2017 1:57:07 PM | 5
thanks b... ''the criminal regime of donald trump'' is much more on target....
Perimetr | Sep 19, 2017 2:02:47 PM | 6
"The stressing of sovereignty and the nation state in part one was the point where Trump indeed differed from his interventionist predecessors. But its still difficult to judge if that it is something he genuinely believes in"

It appears that his generals are instructing him what to "believe in". At least, he certainly doesn't seem to "believe in" most of his campaign promises, not unlike his recent predecessors. The whole "democracy and freedom" thing in the US is just a charade, as far as I am concerned.

financial matters | Sep 19, 2017 2:22:58 PM | 7
The word sovereignty has taken on different and sinister implications with the UN Responsibility to Protect Act in 2005. The US pushed for this and it squeaked by and they used it to justify the invasion of Libya in 2011. I think Libya was a major turning point. I don't think Russia and Iran are going to back off easily. (I originally posted this in 2015 at another site) The US also seems to have pretty much lost what humanitarian clout they may have had.

I think this was a very good interview of Vijay Prashadby by Chris Hedges

Prashad

He talks about the period from 1989 when we had the Panama invasion and collapse of the Soviet Union as leading to an unleashing of US military power leading to the Iraq War in 2003. This war serious dented the image of the US as being a humanitarian actor and the US pushed for the UN Responsibility to Protect Act in 2005 which was used to justify the Libya invasion.

Prashad sees the results of that invasion and what is going on now in Syria as reflecting that the period 2011-2015 is seeing the end of this US unipolarism that lasted from 1989 to 2011.

--------

The good news is that Syria is turning out much different than Libya. Would be great to see the US cooperate with the China/Russia etc economic goals rather than stirring up trouble in the Phillippines, Myanmar etc. The first test will be to see if Trump can deliver single payer health care to the US. :) ie start to back off on the anti socialism rhetoric

Jeff Kaye | Sep 19, 2017 2:24:19 PM | 8
The "nation state" brought us the millions slaughtered in World War 1. The nation states threatened by the internationalist communist ideology of the USSR (in its early days) ultimately brought us World War 2. The hypertrophied nation state that is the United States of America will bring us World War 3 in its drive to secure its total supremacy. Luckily for us, there will be no World War 4.
Christophe Douté | Sep 19, 2017 2:27:49 PM | 9
How can a country A be "forced to defend itself" by a country B so weak comparatively to country A it can actually be "totally destroyed" by country A?

How can Trump believe in defending Westphalia Treaty principles, sovereignty and the nation state, when US policy in the Arab world consists in destroying all these? This is rather like Warren Buffett lamenting that American billionaires are so rich, and pay less taxes than their secretaries. They are just laughing at us in our faces.

Robert Beal | Sep 19, 2017 2:34:28 PM | 10
beyond hypocrisy, refined doublespeak
OJS | Sep 19, 2017 2:40:10 PM | 11
Sound more or less like Hussein Obomo address at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Sept. 24, 2013 - America is exceptional ? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HT5BjNDg5W0 No wonder Putin and Xi did not care to attend. Anyway Putin winning in Syria and Xi gaining in economic, science and technology
Don Bacon | Sep 19, 2017 2:43:24 PM | 12
The United Nations is based upon the equal sovereignty of nations.
--from the UN Charter --
Article 2
The Organization and its Members, in pursuit of the Purposes stated in Article 1, shall act in accordance with the following Principles.
1. The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.
2. All Members, in order to ensure to all of them the rights and benefits resulting from membership, shall fulfill in good faith the obligations assumed by them in accordance with the present Charter.
3. All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.
4. All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations
Krollchem | Sep 19, 2017 2:46:18 PM | 13
Trump's speech seemed to represent an ignorant mouthy bully with a big stick who is threatening any nation he is told to hate. I have to agree with Paveway IV that Trump is just the announcer. The "national sovereignty" comments were just for internal consumption for his base of supporters.

The "Trump world: appears to be getting very crazy given the agendas of the people who handle Trump:
http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_77417.shtml
http://www.unz.com/jpetras/who-rules-america-2/

To a major extent Trump's focus on the "great leader" of countries opposed to the US helps simplify the hate for the "little people" in the US. They have not noticed that the US (as in most other Western countries) has many mini "great leaders" who work toward the same goals while distracting the "little people" with political theatre.

Linda O | Sep 19, 2017 3:05:11 PM | 14
I really don't know what the purpose of this rambling threat to the rest of the world was supposed to accomplish.

Yes, it really was nothing new. The fundamental material of the speech was the very same garbage written by the same Washington establishment of previous administrations - essentially the nuclear armed US regime is 'special' and reserves the right to attack and destroy any country it chooses to.

While the Trump speech is rightly being both ridiculed around the world, what is very scary is the humiliated Trump base is seizing on it.

The Trump base is begging for their failed 'God Emperor' to attack someone to feel better about their own humiliation.

Very, very scary.

Don Bacon | Sep 19, 2017 3:10:41 PM | 15
Sovereignty is also an excuse for US intervention, get it? . . .Trump does....
America stands with every person living under a brutal regime. Our respect for sovereignty is also a call for action. All people deserve a government that cares for their safety, their interests, and their well-being, including their prosperity.
duplicitousdemocracy | Sep 19, 2017 3:27:35 PM | 16
His speechwriters deserve to be fired and the text size on both teleprompters should have been increased. Alternatively, he should wear glasses (along with a more suitably fitted toupee). Sarah Palin would seem like Einstein at the side of this clown.
Ort | Sep 19, 2017 3:32:27 PM | 17
Trump's speech is Orwellian! Not just generally-- it is arguably an elaboration of a close paraphase of an Orwell quote, to wit: "All nations are sovereign, but some nations are more sovereign than others."

I have a strongly ambivalent reaction to Trump's UN appearance-- although I confess that I can only stand to watch and listen to him for brief time periods. It's appalling and embarrassing to watch any of the US's seemingly inexhaustible supply of lizard-brained degenerates at the UN. But part of me thinks it's better to have the quintessential Ugly Amerikan beating his chest and engaging in rhetorical feces-flinging. At least the rest of the world won't be bamboozled, the way they might be by a smooth, silver-tongued liar.

likklemore | Sep 19, 2017 3:50:54 PM | 18
@OJS 11

Putin, Xi and other leaders did not attend this year's UN gathering. They are busy attending the affairs of their citizens.

We are being distracted from the game changer ahead – de-dollarization now on the fast track.
While the toothless dog barks,

Putin orders to end trade in US dollars at Russian seaports

https://www.rt.com/business/403804-russian-sea-ports-ruble-settlements/

This is on the heels of Trump's threatening to exclude China from use of SWIFT (the USD) and China's gold yuan oil futures contract coming mid October as opposed to USD. The petro-yuan is a game changer; hitting the petro-dollar hegemony that keeps the dollar in worldwide demand.

The toothless dog has only his bark. Are Americans prepared for hyper-inflation?

psychohistorian | Sep 19, 2017 4:08:53 PM | 19
I agree with other commenters about the Orwellian nature of the speech. Sovereignty is an interesting word to abuse and I expect we will see more abuse of it. How can the US ever be a sovereign nation when it does not own its own financial system? But in the interim all other aspects of sovereignty will be examined but not global private finance.....unless the China/Russia axis hand is forced into the open.

The abuse of the term sovereignty by Trump is part of a crafted Big Lie message. Just like Trump linking to the poster of him, with a rope over his shoulder, dragging a barge of companies back to America......the internationalism genie will never go completely back into the bottle and is counterproductive to all.

Christian Chuba | Sep 19, 2017 4:46:02 PM | 20
John Bolton and the moron, Sean Hannity, love the speech. That should be all anyone needs to know. It was Orwellian, super-villain, double-speak.
If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph.
Madman. How has Iran violated the U.N. charter? They were invited into Iraq and Syria by the UN recognized govts. Okay, they make veiled threats against Israel, they get a demerit for that. Even if you argue that they are 'predicting' rather can 'threatening to cause' Israel's demise, I'd take that as a veiled threat. But Israel makes equally hostile comments towards Iran albeit, in a passive / aggressive manner. Netanyahu, 'We recognize Iran's right to exist but truth be told the planet, no wait, the entire universe itself would be better off if they disappeared'.
Jackrabbit | Sep 19, 2017 5:02:50 PM | 21
Trump - the Republican Obama
Jackrabbit | Sep 19, 2017 5:12:32 PM | 22
If you like your sovereignty, you can keep your sovereignty.
Andy | Sep 19, 2017 5:12:41 PM | 23
Well, it has finally arrived at the U.N. speech. Trump is showing his real colors, whether they are forced or were originally his own. It doesn't matter. He is spouting the same nonsenze as the neocons and the rest of them. He has crossed over - he maybe never knew the way through, but was only parroting other's views. He is clearly a chameleon, willing to change his stripes on a dime. The man is darkly lost in the woods, or is it the swamp?
chet380 | Sep 19, 2017 5:26:05 PM | 24
Sorry, somewhat off-topic --

While there have been hints that the Rohingya "rebels" are receiving funds from expatriates in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, is there anything concrete that connects the CIA to the rebels?

Laguerre | Sep 19, 2017 5:42:58 PM | 25
Frankly Trump is a big mouth, but there's no evidence that he's more than that. If he wanted war, we'd already be there. It's different from Saddam in the old days, who went to war within a year of becoming leader, or the Saudi crown prince, Muhammad bin Salman, who launched the war against Yemen.

59 Tomahawks, that's the style. I haven't seen different from then.

Taxi | Sep 19, 2017 5:46:38 PM | 26
Hypocrisy - huuuge hypocrisy, believe me it was tremendous hypocrisy!
mcohen | Sep 19, 2017 5:47:45 PM | 27
trump is mr thunder thump
Bart in VA | Sep 19, 2017 5:50:25 PM | 28
He called Iran "an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violent, bloodshed and chaos."

Like the pundits who shadow him, he really has no understanding of irony.

Bart in VA | Sep 19, 2017 5:52:58 PM | 29
#4 - "Failed State" - A country too poor for us to exploit.
Lochearn | Sep 19, 2017 6:01:13 PM | 30
The advantage of having Trump around is that he seems to diffuse energy. He is not building a case against N. Korea like Bush did with Iraq, but instead he is big on bluster. There is no appeal to the emotions of people and their fears and as such he is not marketing it, something he knows a lot about. In his own way I believe he is defusing the situation by talking big but remebering Bannon's comments when he left. And as a consummate player at the table of power (unlike the novice Obama) he has his status.

What interests me is Tillerson and the State Department and its attitude to Israel. Syria is where Israel met its match and was soundly thrashed. The world will never be the same again, And the State Department is recognizing this reality. I think there is a recognition in certain powerful quarters that whole neocon-Zionist shit has got America nowhere. As Talking Heads said, "We're on the road to nowhere."

Extra | Sep 19, 2017 6:12:58 PM | 31
Andy@23
It's the swamp. Sounds like Pete Seeger's 'Waist deep in the Big Muddy' all over again.
Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 6:15:58 PM | 32
The speech (it reminds me on movie The Kings Speech https://youtu.be/PPLIw64rLJc TERRIBLE MOVIE) is for internal the US purpose, for Amerikkaans. Majority of them, according to the Gov. media outlets, support military action against DPRK and mostly likely against Iran (the most hatred nation by far) as well. Amerikkaans will support any crime anywhere and probably destruction of whole planet Earth.

In the same time his words and deeds are the most irrelevant of any US presidents. I bet he never heard of that word "sovereignty" before nor for "nation state". This morning when Trump woke up some member of National Security Council put sheet of paper with the speech on his desk and tell him "Read this!". Just as they did to Obama in many occasions, one of example is this: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2016/may/04/obama-drinks-flint-water-video

There some people in the US who knows what is going on:

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/redefining-winning-afghanistan-22176

For all the very considerable expense, however, the American military does not have a very impressive record of achieving victory. It has won no wars since 1945!especially if victory is defined as achieving an objective at acceptable cost!except against enemy forces that essentially didn't exist.
james | Sep 19, 2017 6:24:49 PM | 33
@7 financial matters.. good comment and relevant.. i agree with you.. unipolar no more.. however, not quite multipolar yet either... we are still in a transitional place.. syria is no libya fortunately.. but causing this kind of shit around the globe is what the usa is known for.. they will continue to make war projects, especially if you believe as b notes a couple of threads ago - trump is no longer calling the shots.. it is military guys full on..
Lochearn | Sep 19, 2017 6:26:51 PM | 34
@ 52

I rather liked the film "The King's Speech because it was about speech. Your English is fucking awful Chancey, not good enough for this forum. Get some lessons and come back.

Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 6:28:50 PM | 35
@Lochearn | Sep 19, 2017 6:26:51 PM | 34

Read this Nazi. https://www.sprottmoney.com/Blog/actions-of-a-bully-child-or-dying-empire-sanctions-and-threats-rory-hall.html

"The sanction game is over. It's only the dying empire of the Federal Reserve, ECB, Wall Street, City of London and their military strong arm operating in the Pentagon that have yet to accept this new reality.

The days of bullying nations and simply bombing them into submission is over as well. Russia and China have made it very clear this is no longer acceptable and Russia has all but shut down the operations in Syria. The "ISIS" boogeyman is surrounded and fleeing into Asia and recently showed up in the Philippines. The fact that a group of desert dwellers acquired an ocean going vessel should be enough evidence to even the most brain-dead these desert dwellers are supported by outside forces – like the CIA. Otherwise, from where did the ship(s) materialize?"

Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 6:29:56 PM | 36
Lochearn | Sep 19, 2017 6:26:51 PM | 34

You like a movie. Of course, it is for morons.

Lozion | Sep 19, 2017 6:38:33 PM | 37
Comment @4 is spot on..
Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 6:39:43 PM | 38
@Lochearn aka Nazi

I recognize you from before, but how do you like these links?

https://www.sprottmoney.com/Blog/actions-of-a-bully-child-or-dying-empire-sanctions-and-threats-rory-hall.html

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/redefining-winning-afghanistan-22176

Where have you raised, under rock or in cave?

Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 6:51:12 PM | 39
For a Nazi. A question, do you believe in science? Here is one. But does one need to be scientist to figure this out?"The Rise of Incivility and Bullying in America"

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/wired-success/201207/the-rise-incivility-and-bullying-in-america

you are lost case anyway but here is good text from fellow Amerikkaan. But "Rise" from where? I would argue not from Zero but from 60 on scale of 100.

Agree?

karlof1 | Sep 19, 2017 6:56:49 PM | 40
Violating the sovereign sanctity of nations is what the Outlaw US Empire has done without parallel since the United Nation's formation. One of those nations was Vietnam, and a somewhat respected documentary film maker looks like he's going to try--again--to pull wool over the eyes of his intended audience by trying to legitimate the Big Lie that provided the rationale for the Outlaw US Empire's illegal war against Vietnam. The detailed argument regarding Ken Burns's effort to "correct" the actual historical record can be read here, https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/09/19/getting-the-gulf-of-tonkin-wrong-are-ken-burns-and-lynn-novick-telling-stories-about-the-central-events-used-to-legitimize-the-us-attack-against-vietnam/ and it is probably the sort of history Trump would enjoy since he doesn't seem to know any better.
Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 7:09:16 PM | 41
@Lochearn aka Nazi

How many nick/names do you have? You may hide under this and that stupid but your associations are still here. You stay stupid. I know, I know the truth hurts. You Amerikkaans are not used to it. Go and watch a porn, before de-dollarization is in full swing. Than you are going to stave to death, no more credit cards and quantitative easing. That's is Trump's speech for.

https://www.opednews.com/articles/What-Happened-to-All-Those-by-Jim-Hightower-Banksters_Homeownership_Housing-170819-119.html

Wall Street bought them -- and is now leasing them out and driving up rents.

Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 7:13:05 PM | 42
Oh my terrible English. Forgive me, would you?

Instead "stave" should be "starve".

All this has to do with shitty Europe, Germany first and foremost.

MadMax2 | Sep 19, 2017 7:14:02 PM | 43
Posted by: financial matters | Sep 19, 2017 2:22:58 PM | 7
Nice interview from a couple of years back. Prashad's worldview is worthy of reposting. Enjoyable. Cheers.

US Americans might have proved themselves very adept at destroying both nation states and the English language, though it will be Syria who restores true meaning to the word 'sovereign' - with some collective help of course.

The almost failed state will emerge from this steeled with a sense of identity, pride and purpose. The minnow that refused to buckle.

The Don putting together some performances that finally warrant the unified, rabid reaction from the press....

Oilman2 | Sep 19, 2017 7:42:50 PM | 44
"But its still difficult to judge if that it is something he genuinely believes in."

Are you serious? Everything coming out of DC is still the same - sanctions against other sovereign countries who do not tow the line the US demands, cruise missiles for the little guys, disavowing and de-legitimizing the JCPOA, unrelenting 'freedom of navigation' patrols, threats to cut nations off from the SWIFT system, every word out of Nikki Haleys' mouth... It's really easy to go on and on, and his first year isn't even done.

The amount of disrespect for other sovereign nations by the USA is mind boggling, and that is only the official stuff. Throw in CIA ops and NGO ops and there you have an entire other level of the failure to recognize sovereignty.

Can you send me some of what you are smoking? Because it obviously makes you oblivious to the obvious, and that may help my mood...

Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 7:48:40 PM | 45
Obviously, the UN has became an arena of the one country show and that country puppets. Zionist PM, the West most "faithful ally" on Middle East, and his speech. Mix of infantilism, rhetoric and implicit racism of "God Chosen People". And sea of self-congratulating lies.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47844.htm

In par with Trump's speech.

Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 7:56:52 PM | 46
Oilman2!

is that you?

Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 8:05:13 PM | 47
What is Trump's speech for?

Senate backs massive increase in military spending
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-defense-congress/senate-backs-massive-increase-in-military-spending-idUSKCN1BT2PV

V. Arnold | Sep 19, 2017 8:12:32 PM | 48
karlof1 | Sep 19, 2017 6:56:49 PM | 40

Great comment re: Vietnam. The Ken Burns documentary is just one more fairy tale of the U.S. involvement/war in Vietnam.
Among the many myths, foremost is that Ho Chi Minh was a communist; he most assuredly was not. Yes, he was a member of the party in France, but it is irrelevent to history (Ho was a nationalist).
Did you know he tried to engage FDR?
Below is a remarkable interview with John Pilger on the real history of the U.S. and Vietnam; it ain't pretty. Even Mao tried to engage the U.S., which the U.S. duly ignored.

https://www.rt.com/shows/watching-the-hawks/403760-nuclear-standoff-crisis-china/

PavewayIV | Sep 19, 2017 8:12:34 PM | 49
Why is everyone hating on Trump? Be realistic: sometimes you have to genocide 25 million people to save them. We're the God damn hero here - you bastards should be thanking the USA.

Well, I guess we're really not trying to save the North Koreans at all. But they refuse to leave the buffer zone (all of North Korea) that is protecting the world from red Chinese expansion south. Worse than that, the North Koreans insist on protecting themselves BY FORCE from the US. How evil is that?

Reminds me of those evil Syrians and Iraqis who refuse to vacate the buffer zone protecting Israel from Iran. The nerve!

Only US lapdog nations have the right to defend themselves - as long as its with US-made weapons and they're protecting themselves from anybody except the US. And we get to build US bases on their soil. Who wouldn't want that? Because the US is... what did Trump say... RIGHTEOUS. You know:

"...good, virtuous, upright, upstanding, decent; ethical, principled, moral, high-minded, law-abiding, honest, honorable, blameless, irreproachable, noble; saintly, angelic, pure..."

Tell me which one of those synonyms DOES NOT apply to the US? I prefer 'angelic'.

The first thing psychopaths do when they attain any measure of power and control is to redefine evil as anything that threatens their power and control. Then constantly hammer that threat into the minds of the little people so the little people don't think too hard about stringing them up from the lamp posts.

Everything the US has done in my lifetime has been about preserving and protecting the US government no matter how corrupt, evil or immoral it acts. Protecting the people is only given lip service when it can be used to justify further protections for the state. Creation of the Department of Homeland Security Stazi is probably the end stage for full-spectrum dominance over the little people - it is slowly morphing (as planned) into a federal armed force to protect the US government FROM the little people. I guess the FBI wasn't up to the task.

"The government you elect is the government you deserve" Thomas Jefferson, Founding Terrorist.

V. Arnold | Sep 19, 2017 8:14:56 PM | 50
PavewayIV | Sep 19, 2017 8:12:34 PM | 49

Spot on...

Krollchem | Sep 19, 2017 8:26:44 PM | 51
Chauncey Gardiner@ 32

Do you agree that to point of National Interest article seem to be that the US is not capable of invading and controlling non-European countries?

I did find the Cato Institute author to be very poorly informed about the US invasions of Granada and Panama, the Balkan wars, the Kosovo invasion and the Syrian war.

As for ISIS, the author does not know anything about the incubation of ISIS by the US administrations and the Libyan war (Hillary/Obama/Sarkozy) connection . He also does not discuss the billions in military hardware that the US allowed ISIS to capture in Iraq.

As for the US efforts they are more about preventing the formation of an integrated economic sphere between Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanese Republic. The war efforts by the US in fighting ISIS are minimal compared to the Syrian and Russian efforts, yet he lies by omission to pump up the US efforts. At least he didn't attempt to praise Turkey (sic) for their efforts in cutting off aid to ISIS and Al Qaeda (under all its names).

Remember that the Cato Institute is another flavor of the NGO spider supporting the deep state!

Please understand that this is not a personal attack as I am here to learn and share.

John Gilberts | Sep 19, 2017 8:44:57 PM | 52
Canada's Trudeau will follow Trump at the UN on Thursday. Today he received an award from the Atlantic Council: 'Worldwide the long established international order is being tested..' And obviously the sexy northern selfie-king knows his place in it...
https://youtube.com/watch?v=Kp49TFRMR8g
Don Bacon | Sep 19, 2017 8:51:24 PM | 53
@ 49
Yes, to save the 25 million North Koreans the US must destroy them!

"No one has shown more contempt for other nations and for the wellbeing of their own people than the depraved regime in North Korea. It is responsible for the starvation deaths of millions of North Koreans, and for the imprisonment, torture, killing, and oppression of countless more."
. ..but there are limits. . .

"The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea."

So give me that "no more contempt" line again, Donald? (Personally, I can't imagine Hillary doing any less. So much for elections.)

Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 8:56:49 PM | 54
"Why is everyone hating on Trump?" Preposterous. You give him too much importance. He is rather the object of ridicule.

"The word occurs 18(!) times."

While the word Sovereignty

Maybe by accident maybe not just conspicuous coincidence. But it seems to me with Trump an era of so-called globalization has come to its end. With self-inflicted wounds ($20T Gov. debt) and new president who is (initially) inward looking, it is time to talk about old stuff. As if the US statehood has been in question for a moment. Old trick of capitalist class.

Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 9:04:30 PM | 55
I was looking for Putin and Sovereignty and I've found this: http://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-uses-putins-arguments-to-undermine-the-world
nonsense factory | Sep 19, 2017 9:21:01 PM | 56
File under "propaganda for domestic consumption"

Targeting Iran was never about nuclear weapons (the U.S. let Pakistan expand its nuclear weapons program without interfering, despite knowing all about the AQ Khan network, because Pakistan was cooperating with the U.S. agenda in Afghanistan and elsewhere), it was about the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline (during the GW Bush era) and the expansion of economic ties with Syria (during the Obama era).

Now, with the easing of sanctions, Iran's pipeline deals have been revived, such as Iran-Pakistan, or Iran-India (undersea) , Iran-Europe, with China and Russia and Turkey as potential partners. Meanwhile, the proposed TAPI pipeline backed by the Clinton, Bush & Obama State Departments, as well as Chevron and Exxon, from Turkmenistan to the Indian Ocean, is still held up due to instability in Afghanistan (i.e. the Taliban would immediately blow it up). Obama's 30,000 troop surge to 100,000 couldn't solve that, and the recent Trump troop surge (much smaller) will have little effect on that either.
TAPI pipe dreams continue, Sep 17 2017

There's no way Trump or Tillerson would ever be honest about this in an international forum, any more than Obama and Clinton would, or Bush and Condi Rice, but it's the same old "great game" for Central Asian oil and gas that's dominated U.S. regional foreign policy since the end of the Cold War.

Don Bacon | Sep 19, 2017 9:26:11 PM | 57
@ 54/55
Of course countries subjected to senseless US sanctions, like Russia, are concerned with sovereignty. They are subject to baseless economic attacks by the country that controls world banking.
b4real | Sep 19, 2017 10:12:08 PM | 59
[throws meat to the lions] Orlov has a great read up
Debsisdead | Sep 19, 2017 10:16:10 PM | 60
It is foolish to consider the trumpet's lunatic ravings in isolation, according to that organ of empire foreign policy dot com , the amerikan airforce is ready and rearing to go and blast the bejeezuz outta North Korea.
Sure it may be bluster when they come out with seeming tosh like:
""We're ready to fight tonight," Gen. Robin Rand, commander of the Air Force's Global Strike Command, told reporters at an Air Force conference in Washington on Monday. "We don't have to spin up, we're ready.""

Because everyone knows that a manned tactical airforce is on the way out, that bombing a population has only ever served to strengthen resolve within that population, but the first point that the airforce of jocks n fighters is verging on obsolescence, might just drive the generals of middle management, concerned that their career is about to hit a brick wall, to go for one last roll of the dice. Blow some shit up, create a few heroes and maybe the inevitable can be staved off for long enough for their scum to rise to the surface, jag a great gig with a contractor, then retire in luxury. I mean to say it's gotta be worth a shot right? The alternative of layoffs and all the sexy fighting stuff being done by unsexy drones, is just too awful to consider.

So what if Guam gets wasted, a good memorial at Arlington will balance that shit and when it is all said and done, most of the people who will get nuked by DPRK aren't amerikans - but here's the best bit, we can sell them to the idjits just like they were, while we build the anger and bloodlust, then backpedal on that when it comes down to lawsuits, compensation or whatever it is those whale-fuckers whine about - right?

A pre-emptive attack based on the possibility that DPRK hasn't yet developed nuke tech sufficiently, but will do so "if we continue to sit on our asses" would be an easy sell to an orange derp whose access to alternative points of view has been cut off.
The only real question is whether the rest of the military (the non-airforce parts) go for it.
The navy likely will because they are in the same boat (pun intended) as the airforce when it comes down to usefulness as a front line conflict agent and they too will likely get a role to play in the destruction of North Korea - at the very least as a weapons platform (just like with the mindless Syria aggression) and may even get to be the forward C&C base since South Korea isn't mobile and may cop a fair amount of DPRK reaction.

Only the army for whom a pre emptive attack on the people of North Korea has little upside, but lots of downside, may oppose this insane butchery. The army will be tasked with neutralising a population whose innate loathing of all things amerikan has just been raised by about ten notches. So soon after the Iraq debacle, they may see an attack as all negative in that once again they will cop the blame and even worse the old enemies - the airforce and navy - will come out smelling like roses. It is true that the bulk of the yellow monkey's 'advisors' are army types, so under normal circumstances they would obstruct any such bullshit grabs for the brass ring by the navy & airforce upstarts - but there is a high probability that the army leadership will do no such thing.
The reason for that is as old as humanity itself and I was sad to see that it copped little mention in the last thread about the 'soft' coup at the whitehouse.

Many people were cheering the takeover by the military doubtless the same people who imagine that "amerika could be great again - if only we go back to the way it was in the 1950's and 60's". What they miss is that everything is fluid; nothing is held in stasis as a proof that perfection has been reached. The 'eisenhower/johnson years were merely steps on the path, the world was never gonna stay in white bourgeois contentment no matter whether unwhites kicked up or not. There are diverse reasons for that from ambitious careerism forcing change so a lucky few can ascend one more rung on the ladder, to the reality that it is impossible for all humans to be content all the time -some groups will be disadvantaged, advertise that then be 'adopted' by careerists as an excuse for forcing change. That is inevitable - as inevitable as the reality that once the military gained power, their next move would be to consolidate it and to try ensure that they kept it for ever.

In other words the initial coup may have been largely bloodless (altho several million dead mid easterners would strongly disagree if they could) but any study of human behavior reveals that it is the need to hold on to power which is what really incites oppression violence and mass murder.
The Pennsylvania Avenue generals understand that the simplest way of retaining control is gonna be if the orange 'whipped* gains re-election. If the orange chunder is gonna win the next one he needs to hit some home runs and have a lot less ties or outright defeats.

At this stage it doesn't matter what turkey kicked up the Korea bizzo, or even it it has any moral dimension at all, what matters is that the trumpet has made it a major issue and if he doesn't 'prevail' in the short-term, the odds of him retaining support much less gaining more support, are gone - very likely for the duration of the tangerine prezdency. It's not as if the ME situation offers the slightest chink of light at the end of the tunnel. Syria is history now and that Iran thing has a good chance of dividing europe from amerika, just as climate change has. I reckon that the junta who, individually & institutionally have a big investment in Nato, will be looking to steer the orange nit away from inciting a confrontation over the nuke deal. Korea could be the alternate shiny thing the junta draws trumpet's attention to in order to distract the dingbat.

So even though it is a total cleft stick that the junta is in, I reckon it is extremely probable that the army branch of the amerikan government will allow the airforce and possibly the navy as well, their moment in the sun.

The way this fuckwittery is shaping up, people of Korea are more likely to be enduring Predators up their jacksies than not, before the end of "the summer of '18'

*anyone who doesn't see that the trumpet displays all the signs (boasting of alleged performance, number of 'conquests' size of penis etc) of a man who is unable to have his voice heard above the demands of the women around him, doesn't comprehend the nature of inter-gender relationships (doncha love 'inter-gender' it sounds exactly like the type of pallid word the identity-ists would use heheh).

Forest | Sep 19, 2017 10:45:08 PM | 61
Ah sovereignty vs. solvency.

There's the rub.

V. Arnold | Sep 19, 2017 10:47:15 PM | 62
Debsisdead | Sep 19, 2017 10:16:10 PM | 60

The main problem I have with your post is China. You do not say anything about China. The Chinese made it clear that if the U.S. pre-emptively attacks the DPRK; China will get involved; and I should think Russia will be somehow involved as well. Moon Jae-In has told the U.S. it (SK) will be the one to decide on an attack, as it should.

But, I do get your drift; I just hope the U.S. will not act...for once. That said; I do think the U.S. lost its tether decades ago...

V. Arnold | Sep 19, 2017 11:00:10 PM | 63
The other possiblity the U.S. won't attack DPRK is that the U.S., cowardly as it is; hasn't attacked a country of any military consequence since WWII.
Don Bacon | Sep 19, 2017 11:36:48 PM | 64
There's one little factor about getting it on with DPRK, besides the ones mentioned, and that is that SecDef Gates several years ago declared that Korea was safe enough to allow it to be an accompanied tour, i.e. soldiers could have their families join them in the Land of the Morning Calm. This coincided with the consolidation of US bases, with a ten billion dollar expansion of Camp Humphreys about seventy miles south of the DMZ. So now we have high-rise apartments with wives, kids, pets, etc. in this "safe" place, now 35,000 strong including all. They practice evacuation. From a recent report --

The noncombatant evacuation operations, or NEO, are aimed at making sure everybody knows their roles in the event of a noncombatant evacuation, which may be ordered in the event of war, political or civil unrest, or a natural or man-made disaster. "I liken the NEO operation to being a scaffolding. It's not a fully fleshed out plan because it's preparing for a million different worst-case scenarios," 1st Lt. Katelyn Radack, a spokeswoman for the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, told Stars and Stripes. ... Brandy Madrigal, 32, was participating in her third NEO -- so she knew exactly what to pack when she got the call to report to the Assembly Point at the main gym at Camp Humphreys on June 5. She ticked off the list -- clothes, food for the kids, documents, phone, toiletries -- before driving with her two children from their first-floor apartment to the base to be processed.

Imagine that -- all those people assembling in one place for "processing." They'd get processed, all right. So the US Army won't be red-hot for the mighty US Air Force to (again) conduct its aerial murder in North Korea, with their loved ones being in rocket range of a counter-attack. That's in addition to any feelings people have for the ten million plus South Koreans in Seoul, close to the border.

Stumpy | Sep 19, 2017 11:54:05 PM | 65
Karlof @ 40

re: Ken Burns Viet Nam -- one only has to look at the sponsors. Burns will cleave to the line only more so. Darling of the aristocratic charities. Somehow reaching the glory 50 years later. Now that Agent Orange has nearly completed the harvest.

Action against Iran and NK, could it really be termed "war", anymore?

ben | Sep 20, 2017 12:16:54 AM | 66
Luther Blissett @ 4 said:"sovereign nation" = a country that obeys the US over its own interests

"rogue nation" = a country that has actual sovereignty

Succinct but true..

The fucking hypocrisy in that UN speech takes my breath away. Trump and his mannerisms sure do remind me of "il Duce".

Debsisdead | Sep 20, 2017 12:19:55 AM | 67
@ V Arnold # 62

I deliberately left China outta the equation because the conflict with DPRK will be engineered to be kicked off with a provocation allegedly committed by DRPK, amerika will 'respond' andthe war will quickly escalate. Yes PRC may become involved, but getting into a war with amerika right now is not great for the PRC either, if the most vital concern is the proximity of amerikan troops to the China border, amerika can give an agreement signed in blood that amerikan military will pull back behind the 38th parallel once the 'regime has been changed' and that only Korean men and equipment will remain.

Of course China would be smart to distrust that but sold correctly with incentives and maybe even the use of some mutually trusted referee, China might decide that is a superior option to kicking off ww3.

As for the enlisted mens families somehow I doubt that the military cares any more about them than it does the men and women they have in their forces - so not very much - smart officer class types will be considering the need to 'further their children's education back home' right now, whether or not the trump decides to go for broke. As I pointed out before, the plan will require that DRPK feels trapped into committing some type of really egregious provocation, or false flagging such a provocation.

Imagine Guam got nuked and all initial evidence pointed to DRPK, China is in a tough spot plus most amerikans will be of the opinion that protecting the families in South Korean barracks comes second to vengeance. That would be an easy sell on fox and msnbc.

Amerika seemingly being attacked is also gonna end msnbc & the rest's potshots at the orange derp, just as 911 halted just about all reference to the view shrub stole the election from Gore in the MSM.

Linda O | Sep 20, 2017 12:20:32 AM | 68
Ignoring Trump.

What scares me the most about the US regime's threats to attack and destroy North Korea is I had naively assumed that all the talk was just the standard game theory back and forth. There never was any real threat beyond the occasional minor incident like there have been in the past few decades.

And I didn't understand why China would so openly and absolutely support North Korea with any sort of attack by the US regime.

But then I read some of the neocon online postings or writings about North Korea and it was a sickening shock to realize that I had been so foolish to believe the Korean crisis was not about Korea, but China.

Getting the US regime's military directly on the Chinese border is something the neocons are perfectly willing, and most likely gleefully happy, to trade millions to tens of millions of North and South Korean lives for.

I can't imagine the revulsion and horror the rest of the world must be feeling towards the United States right now.

Nuff Sed | Sep 20, 2017 12:33:07 AM | 69
Talking of Westphalia... Here is an excerpt from an article of mine which which appeared in the Vineyard of the Saker's site earlier this year:
https://thesaker.is/sacred-communities-and-the-emergent-multipolar-landscape/

The German philosopher and sociologist Ferdinand Tönnies (1855 – 1936) distinguished between two types of social groupings. Gemeinschaft (often translated as community or left untranslated) and Gesellschaft (often translated as society). Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft describe the crucial distinction between community and "Civil Society"; community being characterized by a dispensationalist consensus or a sacred communal consensus on a dispensation sent down from on high, and the latter being characterized as a consensus to "agree to disagree" and to agree that a consensus in any meaningful form can no longer be reached, paving the way to a "conventional" polity (agreed to by secular-humanist convention). This "agreement to disagree" which crystalized between the Peace of Augsburg (1555) and the Peace of Westphalia (1644 – 1648) was, in effect, the West's long and excruciating decision to throw out the baby of Community with the bathwater of the Church's malfeasance in the revolutionary fervor of the Reformation and the "Enlightenment" that followed in its wake. But whereas the integrality of church and state was lost with the Peace of Westphalia circa 1648 whereat pre-Westphalian communities gave way to the Westphalian order of "Civil Societies", the Islamic Revolution of 1979 restored community to the Moslem nation of Iran.

psychohistorian | Sep 20, 2017 12:49:38 AM | 70
I posted this comment over in the latest Syria summary thread but then thought that it belongs here as an example of the craven duplicity of empire about Syria sovereignty.

The following is a link and article quote from China news that says Russia is accusing the US of chickenshit (my term) tactics in Syria

"He said the advancing Syrian government troops supported by the Russian Air Force managed to break the fierce resistance and liberate
more than 60 square km of territory on the left bank of the Euphrates River in the last 24 hours.

But their advance was hampered by a sudden rise of the water level in the Euphrates and a two-fold increase of the speed of its current
after the government troops started crossing the river, Konashenkov said.

In the absence of precipitation, the only source of such changes in the water level could be a man-made discharge of water at the dams
north of the Euphrates, which are held by the opposition formations controlled by the international coalition led by the United States, he said.
"

Russia accuses U.S., opposition of hampering Syrian gov't troops' advance

ProPeace | Sep 20, 2017 1:02:39 AM | 71
What's worries me the most in Trumps speech, sounds actually ominously, is the phrases "dead Poles, fighting [???!!!] French, strong[!] English" ... Is this what's planned for the near future? I'm not liking it a bit.

What about Syria's sovereignty? VoltaireNet predicts launching a big campaign to carve out AnloZio run "Kurdistan" (a la Kosovo) from her right after illegal Sep 25th referendum organized by the Barzani mob. Was the speech (written by Jewish ) hinting to POTUS support for that? Meyssan says that Trump could go both ways. I concur, confusing the enemy has been the name of his game so far.

Orwellian "two minutes of hate" against Trump in the lame-scream media does it stop either:

Situation in the US is getting worse, seems that this Fall big changes are coming, and no lies can hide the truth: LIES, LIES & OMG MORE LIES Who is the enemy? Some names can be found here (and in a recent Eric Zuesse piece):

Southern Poverty Law Center Transfers Millions in Cash to Offshore Entities

ProPeace | Sep 20, 2017 1:08:39 AM | 72
Hitlary Killton just can't go away:

Hillary Clinton May Challenge Legitimacy of Presidential Election

The Borg, the AngloZio pedo-satanic cabal of the City of London Crown Corporation, the web of merchants of death and corporate oligarchy have been doing whatever possible to help her stay relevant and expand information war, blame Russia:

Amazon Censor Bad Reviews of Hillary Clinton's New Book

Why Is Google Hiring 1,000 Journalists To Flood Newsrooms Around America?

Hysterical US Lawmakers Breach Time and Space Limits in Fight With Radio Sputnik

james | Sep 20, 2017 1:43:12 AM | 73
@59 b4real.. thanks.. great article.. here it is again for anyone interested..

http://cluborlov.blogspot.ca/2017/09/military-defeat-as-financial-collapse.html

psychohistorian | Sep 20, 2017 3:10:44 AM | 74
@ james #72 with Orlov link

Nice summary but I disagree with the dedollarization part. To me, ending the US dollar as reserve Currency is just a part of the issue. If that occurs American paper money becomes worthless as the article states. While this bankrupts the US, what will it do to the global world of private finance, BIS, SWIFT, IMF, etc.? Does private finance, private property and inheritance all get dealt with in this adjustment? How long will the adjustment period take?

What is clear though now is that there are two factions that are moving in "opposite" directions and the implications will lock up global commerce at some point....fairly soon (weeks/months)......and hopefully adults from all sides will work things out peacefully.

dirka dirka | Sep 20, 2017 4:15:13 AM | 75
Pistachio imperialism -- Bring it on --
john | Sep 20, 2017 5:25:11 AM | 76
these 16 years of bin laden wars constitute the most concerted assault on sovereignty since time out of mind. conspicuously in the cradle of civilization...cultural harmonies undermined and religious sects set at each others throats, tribes ripped from their roots, their facilities and systems desecrated, their families ravaged by rack and ruin and displacement, an alien scourge unleashed on their landscape.

but as someone upstream suggested, the window on these destructive incursions might be closing, what with Russia and China being unconquerable and all.

of course there are other dark forces gnawing at sovereignty , possibly even more stealthily treacherous ones...

like the alien scourge of mass tourism.

b | Sep 20, 2017 5:35:41 AM | 77
Others pointing out the "sovereignty" contradictions: Obama lover and liberal (zionist) interventionist Peter Beinart:

A Radical Rebuke of Barack Obama's Foreign Policy Legacy - Donald Trump used his first address at the United Nations to redefine the idea of sovereignty.

On the one hand, Trump defended sovereignty as a universal ideal. On the other, he demanded that America's enemies stop mistreating their people. The result was gobbledygook.
...
to make his incoherence even more explicit, Trump declared that "our respect for sovereignty is also a call for action. All people deserve a government that cares for their safety, their interests and their well-being." That's like saying that my respect for your right to do whatever you want in your garden should be a call to action for you to stop growing weed.
...
For Trump, by contrast, sovereignty means both that no one can tell the United States what to do inside its borders and that the United States can do exactly that to the countries it doesn't like. That's not the liberal internationalism that Obama espoused. Nor is it the realism of some of Obama's most trenchant critics. It is imperialism. General Pershing, in the Philippines, would have approved.

The Saker at UNZ: Listening to the Donald at the UN

In conclusion, what I take away from this speech is a sense of relief for the rest of the planet and a sense of real worry for the USA. Ever since the Neocons overthrew Trump and made him what is colloquially referred to as their "bitch" the US foreign policy has come to a virtual standstill. Sure, the Americans talk a lot, but at least they are doing nothing. That paralysis, which is a direct consequence of the internal infighting, is a blessing for the rest of the planet because it allows everybody else to get things done.
ashley albanese | Sep 20, 2017 5:57:26 AM | 78
Pressure will be intense on U S business in east coast China to refrain from converting their 'yuan' profits into gold .
What a contradictory set of pressures much
ashley albanese | Sep 20, 2017 5:59:47 AM | 79
what a contradictory set of pressures much U S business will be under . That's the nature of Capitalism , isn't it ?
anonymus | Sep 20, 2017 6:49:13 AM | 80
Wtf? Actor Morgan Freeman featuring in cold war warmongering propaganda campaign directed against Russia and Putin. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uz9PNoecNxU
notlurking | Sep 20, 2017 7:10:22 AM | 81
anonymus | Sep 20, 2017 6:49:13 AM | 79

I would think that most of Hollywood is neolib heavy on foreign policy.....

Linda O | Sep 20, 2017 8:03:48 AM | 82
My god... That Morgan Freeman video is bizarre and sickening. I see that dimwitted lowlife Rob Reiner was one of the people who funded that garbage.

[Sep 19, 2017] The myth of pro-Israeli groups defining the US foreign policy

Highly recommended!
The US foreign policy is defined by interests of neoliberals and neocons, or to be exact by interests of multinational corporations, who are not necessary led by Jews ;-). The whole discussion of the US foreign policy via the lens of Jew/non-Jew dichotomy is far from the best approach to this problem.
While it is true that a large number of neocons end even some "economic nationalists" like Steve Bannon identify with Israel. But the real allegiance of neocons is not to Israel. It is to many from American MIC. In this sense, neither chickenhawk Michael Ledeen (a second rate figure at best, without much political influence), no chickenhawk Bill Kristol (third rate figure, with little or no political influence at all), but Senator McCain and Dick Cheney are proper examples of really dangerous neocons.
Yes, neocons has a large, sometimes decisive influence on the US foreign policy. But this is because they are neoliberals with the gun, political prostitutes serving MIC interests, not so much because some of them are "Israel-firsters" (this term is not without problems, although it denotes Jewish nationalists pretty well, see an interesting discussion in The Volokh Conspiracy )
Notable quotes:
"... I suppose Ledeen still believes what he said fifteen years ago, when the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were still young and dewy-fresh: "Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business". ..."
"... This even became known as "The Ledeen Doctrine"; I am sure he is very proud. ..."
"... Perhaps today he thinks Iran is a suitable "small crappy little country". If so, he is very badly mistaken. Ledeen was involved with CIA & overthrow of Allende, I believe. I refer you to Louis Wolfe's "Counterspy," the magazine of the 1970′s. ..."
"... Hostility toward Iran (and imperialism generally) is deeply rooted in the American foreign policy establishment (which isn't close to being all or mostly Jewish), and can't be explained by naive WASPs being manipulated by clever Jews. ..."
"... Of course, the Israel Lobby is much bigger than just jews, and stupid American Christians manipulated by their church leaders into believing fatuous ideas about Israel based upon dubiously interpreted biblical nonsense has historically provided a lot of its political clout. ..."
"... The Jewish individuals named by Giraldi still massively disproportionately dominate the foreign policy media and political debate on ME wars, and the wealthy Jewish Israel supporters mentioned by him still massively disproportionately influence who gets heard and which opinions are suppressed and which promoted. ..."
"... I think solidarity and internationalism are the best weapons against militarism and imperialism. ..."
"... You'd be on the right track if you started paying attention to the central American goal since 1945 of keeping Middle Eastern oil in the hands of obedient governments within the American orbit, so it can serve as a non-Russian/non-Soviet, American-controlled source of energy for American allies (and economic competitors) in Europe and Japan. ..."
"... Anyway, the American public has shown many times that it really doesn't give a rat's ass about foreigners being killed or maimed - not three of them, not three million of them. Foreigners might as well be bugs. What really matters is that feeling of power and superiority: their country is Top Nation and can whip anyone else, yes sir. Politicians continually rely on that undercurrent of nationalist chuavinism, and it never lets them down. ..."
"... A courageous article and spot on. Once again I'm thankful for Ron Unz and the Unz Review. You would never read such an article in the MSM. ..."
"... So now US troops are suddenly bombing "ISIS" in Syria while supplying "rebels" with arms, even though by the CIA's own admission most of the arms supplied have fallen into the hands of ISIS since the rebels joined forces with them. ..."
"... Nikki Haley might as well be renamed Israel's ambassador to the UN. Every time that daft woman opens her mouth the US is in danger of going to war with somebody, usually on behalf of Israel. ..."
"... There's a place for using the term "Zionist" and a place for using the term "Jew" (the two are most certainly not interchangeable). The wider Zionist Israel Lobby in the US is certainly a big problem, but there is also the problem of Jewish nationalists being disproportionately represented in the US foreign policy, media and political elites, while their likely nationalist ulterior motives are not mentioned and are largely unnoticed because of the prevailing taboo against mentioning it.. ..."
"... Bill Kristol appearing on c-span to push, agitate for the 2nd Iraq war was asked by a caller if he had served in the (U.S.) military. Kristol said he had not served but had a friend(s) who had and that he served in other ways. When a country drafts into the military, can one get out of service by saying, "My friend served"? ..."
"... I supported and voted for Trump as well. I don't like his neocon turn now, but which candidate in that election (save for Rand Paul and possibly Jill Stein) wouldn't have declared a non-fly zone in Syria and actively supported the overthrow of Assad? ..."
"... Bernie Sanders (a scary Jew!) wasn't nearly as anti-imperialist as I would have liked him to be, but I doubt he would have attacked Assad regime forces 6 times like Trump has by this point, and certainly not without Congressional approval (which he probably wouldn't have gotten, even if he had wanted it). ..."
"... Even under Hillary, the Iran deal would have stood a better chance, since she was at least verbally committed to it (unlike even Rand Paul), and there would have been Obama loyalists within the Clinton administration who would have been desperate to preserve Obama's signature foreign policy achievement (and one of the only worthwhile ones, in my opinion, along with restoration of diplomatic ties with Cuba). ..."
"... How is the article's factual content fundamentally different from the similar content of the Haaretz article linked by Greg Bacon in post 21 above? Is the Haaretz piece "unhinged and bigoted"? ..."
"... "The USA is a colony of Israel". Fake News Story. Now, let us assume that to be true. What are personally doing about this situation? What active measures are you taking to free yourself from the shackles of your oppressor? Or, are simply impotent while taking it good and hard? ..."
Sep 19, 2017 | www.unz.com

Originally from: America's Jews Are Driving America's Wars by Philip Giraldi September 19, 2017 - The Unz Review

Dump Trump , September 19, 2017 at 8:32 pm GMT

@Brabantian Yet, in a classic, paradox-tinged pro-Israel loop-back, the 'alt-Right' and 'white nationalist' movement, is increasing positive links with security-fence-building, also-ethnic-nationalist Israel:

US alt-right leader, Richard Spencer, appeared on Israeli TV last month to call himself a "white Zionist"
The above from an interesting article by British activist and Nazareth, Palestine resident Jonathan Cook , speaking of how Israel's Netanyahu is making an alliance with even the anti-Semitic Western alt-right, with the instinct to show all other Jews that Israel is their only home & safe haven ... and hence the 'progressive' Jews should abandon any support for boycott of Israel or for Palestinian rights:
The Israeli prime minister has repeatedly called on all Jews to come to Israel, claiming it as the only safe haven from an immutable global anti-semitism. And yet, Mr Netanyahu is also introducing a political test before he opens the door.

Jews supporting a boycott of Israel are already barred. Now, liberal Jews and critics of the occupation like Mr Soros are increasingly not welcome either. Israel is rapidly redefining the extent of the sanctuary it offers – for Jewish supremacists only.

For Mr Netanyahu may believe he has much to gain by abandoning liberal Jews to their fate, as the alt-right asserts its power in western capitals.

The "white Zionists" are committed to making life ever harder for minorities in the West in a bid to be rid of them. Sooner or later, on Mr Netanyahu's logic, liberal Jews will face a reckoning. They will have to accept that Israel's ultra-nationalists were right all along, and that Israel is their only sanctuary.

Guided by this cynical convergence of interests, Jewish and white supremacists are counting on a revival of anti-Semitism that will benefit them both.

Yet, in a classic, paradox-tinged pro-Israel loop-back, the 'alt-Right' and 'white nationalist' movement, is increasing positive links with security-fence-building, also-ethnic-nationalist Israel

Steve Bannon and his supposed alt-right rag Breitbart are incredibly pro-Israel. I supposed it has something to do with its founder Andrew Breitbart being a Jew. Every time Trump or Nikki Haley says something nasty about Iran, you'll get plenty of Breitbart commenters echoing their sentiment egging them on, you can tell by their inane comments many have no idea why they should hate Iran, other than Breitbart told them to.

They've fully bought into the Breitbart narrative that Iran is evil and must be destroyed. The Trump fan boys/girls who continue to blindly support him despite all his betrayals are every bit as stupid as the libtards they claim to hate.

jamsok , September 19, 2017 at 7:03 pm GMT

@Tom Welsh "And I would add a few more names, Mark Dubowitz, Michael Ledeen and Reuel Marc Gerecht..."

I suppose Ledeen still believes what he said fifteen years ago, when the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were still young and dewy-fresh: "Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business".

This even became known as "The Ledeen Doctrine"; I am sure he is very proud.

Perhaps today he thinks Iran is a suitable "small crappy little country". If so, he is very badly mistaken. Ledeen was involved with CIA & overthrow of Allende, I believe. I refer you to Louis Wolfe's "Counterspy," the magazine of the 1970′s.

matt , September 19, 2017 at 6:42 pm GMT

@Randal

I didn't say there weren't any Jews pushing for a war with Iran, I said there are plenty of non-Jews pushing for one too, including Trump himself.
Which certainly doesn't mean there isn't a particular problem, exactly as Giraldi describes it with plenty of sound supporting examples, of dual loyalty jews pushing wars that favour Israel.

In fact, the reality is that Giraldi might be guilty of, at most, overstatement, but since a large part of the problem is precisely that any reference at all to the problem is suppressed, one might expect an honest opponent of the US's military interventionism to temper his criticism of Giraldi's piece appropriately. For whatever reason, instead, you seem to feel the need to hysterically accuse it as though it contains no truth whatsoever.

What gives?

Hostility toward Iran (and imperialism generally) is deeply rooted in the American foreign policy establishment (which isn't close to being all or mostly Jewish), and can't be explained by naive WASPs being manipulated by clever Jews.
Of course, the Israel Lobby is much bigger than just jews, and stupid American Christians manipulated by their church leaders into believing fatuous ideas about Israel based upon dubiously interpreted biblical nonsense has historically provided a lot of its political clout.

That's another problem, but it doesn't make the problem highlighted by Giraldi not a problem. The Jewish individuals named by Giraldi still massively disproportionately dominate the foreign policy media and political debate on ME wars, and the wealthy Jewish Israel supporters mentioned by him still massively disproportionately influence who gets heard and which opinions are suppressed and which promoted.

"What gives" is that I think lunatic screeds about "America's Jews" (like Noam Chomsky?) manipulating foreign policy do damage to the anti-war cause. I think solidarity and internationalism are the best weapons against militarism and imperialism.

Of course, the Israel Lobby is much bigger than just Jews, and stupid American Christians manipulated by their church leaders into believing fatuous ideas about Israel based upon dubiously interpreted biblical nonsense has historically provided a lot of its political clout.

That's slightly better than the 1-dimensional Joo-paranoia, but it doesn't begin to describe the problem.

You'd be on the right track if you started paying attention to the central American goal since 1945 of keeping Middle Eastern oil in the hands of obedient governments within the American orbit, so it can serve as a non-Russian/non-Soviet, American-controlled source of energy for American allies (and economic competitors) in Europe and Japan.

matt , September 19, 2017 at 6:32 pm GMT

@Sam Shama

I am glad you think Iran isn't stupid or suicidal. Yet it doesn't square with your earlier statement which reads " I'm glad they have the capability, if need be, to destroy the hostile military bases that encircle them ". There are no scenarios in which Iran could destroy US bases without changing the meaning of the word "suicidal", is there?

Before you decide to label as sociopath, anyone who proposes a worldview grounded in reality, you might think long and hard about the multitude of paths this world can take under the scenario of a wholesale withdrawal of U.S. presence in the Gulf. Most one hears on this forum, including your own, reduce to precious nothing over virtue signaling.

Like it or not the world is never going to assume the shape of a collection of nations equal in power, interests and endowments. Hoping for that is to live in a state of delusion.

U.S. does not wish to go on an offensive mission against Iran . Far from it; yet facilitating her allies' aspirations to join the American vision isn't one we are about to walk away from. That is not chest beating. It is eminently in evidence from the number of nations wishing to join the Western economic and cultural model. I am keenly aware of the lunatics on this forum who believe they'd be perfectly happy to embrace other cultures, I can only invite them to make haste.

Spare me the rest of your sanctimony.

"I'm glad they have the capability, if need be, to destroy the hostile military bases that encircle them". There are no scenarios in which Iran could destroy US bases without changing the meaning of the word "suicidal", is there?

In the case of a defensive war with United States, there sure would be. At that point Iran would not have much hope but to inflict as much damage as possible on the aggressor. Although Iran does not nearly have the ability to fully reciprocate the harm the US can inflict on it, it hopefully has the capability to inflict enough damage so that an offensive war against it would be intolerable to the US. That's how deterrence works.

U.S. does not wish to go on an offensive mission against Iran.

If that's true, and I sincerely hope it is, it's because Iran has sufficient deterrent capacity, which includes not only the anti-ship missiles in the Gulf, but also Hezbollah's arsenal of ~130,000 short, medium and long-range rockets capable of reaching every square inch of Israeli territory.

Believe me, I'm a realist. You don't have to lecture me on the reality of aggressive rogue nations.

anonymous , Disclaimer September 19, 2017 at 6:26 pm GMT

@Tom Welsh Nope. As far as I know, he was being perfectly serious.

And that is exactly the way the power elite think - although they are usually much more cautious about speaking their mind in public.

Anyway, the American public has shown many times that it really doesn't give a rat's ass about foreigners being killed or maimed - not three of them, not three million of them. Foreigners might as well be bugs. What really matters is that feeling of power and superiority: their country is Top Nation and can whip anyone else, yes sir. Politicians continually rely on that undercurrent of nationalist chuavinism, and it never lets them down.

Anyway, the American public has shown many times that it really doesn't give a rat's ass about foreigners being killed or maimed – not three of them, not three million of them. Foreigners might as well be bugs. What really matters is that feeling of power and superiority: their country is Top Nation and can whip anyone else, yes sir.

True words sir!

The evil empire sustains itself primarily through this attitude of its people. It does not matter how the Jews connive to shape it. Only thing that matters is that they buy into it without exercising their conscience.

Americans, remember, such glory has a cost. You will find soon enough that a cancerous soul is too high a price to be "Top Nation," for essentially a blink in cosmic time.

Dump Trump , September 19, 2017 at 6:26 pm GMT

A courageous article and spot on. Once again I'm thankful for Ron Unz and the Unz Review. You would never read such an article in the MSM.

The late Samuel Huntington said in his amazing book Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order that Saudi Arabia and Iran are fighting for supremacy in the Islamic world. Syria is a proxy war between the two countries. Now Israel has become BFF with Saudi Arabia because they too want a piece of Syria, for the oil reserve in the Golan Heights. So now US troops are suddenly bombing "ISIS" in Syria while supplying "rebels" with arms, even though by the CIA's own admission most of the arms supplied have fallen into the hands of ISIS since the rebels joined forces with them.

Make no mistake Jews and Arabs run this country. That is why Trump went to Israel and SA for his first foreign trip, he knows who America's daddy is, even if most Americans are still in the dark.

His entire administration is crawling with Israel loving Jews, starting with his son-in-law the most loyal son of Israel. Even Steve Bannon and Breitbart are crazy gung ho pro-Israel. Nikki Haley might as well be renamed Israel's ambassador to the UN. Every time that daft woman opens her mouth the US is in danger of going to war with somebody, usually on behalf of Israel.

When was the last time Iran conducted a jihad against the west? All the Muslim terrorists now attacking the west are Sunnis, funded by Saudi Arabia. The only time Iran had direct armed conflict with the US was when they kicked us out of Tehran, for trying to steal their oil. All their beef is with Israel, not with the US. Why are we taking up Israel's cause? Trump is a moron of the first order and has no understanding of what really goes on in the mideast. He surrounds himself with pro-Israel neocons and Jews and is easily manipulated. He's stupid and dangerous. I voted for him because he presented himself as someone completely different, someone anti-war and anti-immigration, now he's a neocon globalist libtard, the worst of all worlds. Someone needs to primary him out in 2020.

matt , September 19, 2017 at 6:17 pm GMT

@iffen as sociopaths like you

Speaking of unhinged I'd say the sentiment that America has the right to threaten and/or attack other countries to maintain its "economic interests" is sociopathic. What would you call it? And I didn't say that he personally was in charge of US/Israeli/Saudi policy towards Iran, if that's what you thought I meant. That would be unhinged. I just said that sociopaths like him are.

Randal , September 19, 2017 at 6:12 pm GMT

@KBRO [In comments, allcaps is shouting. Stop shouting or your comments will be trashed.]

RE:
BUSH-CHENEY-CLINTON-TRUMP--MCMASTER--KELLY---AND THE LOT OF THEM ALL AIN'T JEWS:

WELL PUT. GIRALDI IS A MIXED BAG, WRITES SOME GOOD STUFF, BUT IT MISIDENTIFIES THE PROBLEM--THE ENEMY-- BY LABELING IT AS "THE JEWS". THE NEO-CONS--AND NEO-LIBERALS--WHO DRIVE U.S. FOREIGN POLICY IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND THROUGHOUT THE WORLD COME IN MANY FLAVORS.
I'M AN ANTI-ZIONIST, AND IT'S CRUCIAL TO MAKE THAT DISTINCTION AND I DON'T QUITE GET WHY GIRALDI DOESN'T USE THE TERM ZIONIST.

IT'S CRUCIAL TO MAKE THAT DISTINCTION AND I DON'T QUITE GET WHY GIRALDI DOESN'T USE THE TERM ZIONIST

There's a place for using the term "Zionist" and a place for using the term "Jew" (the two are most certainly not interchangeable). The wider Zionist Israel Lobby in the US is certainly a big problem, but there is also the problem of Jewish nationalists being disproportionately represented in the US foreign policy, media and political elites, while their likely nationalist ulterior motives are not mentioned and are largely unnoticed because of the prevailing taboo against mentioning it..

Giraldi is discussing the latter and not the former, and doing a service to the American nation by his taboo-busting.

Brooklyn Dave , September 19, 2017 at 6:06 pm GMT

I wonder where Mr. Giraldi would put David Horowitz on the list? Although Horowitz is not a public policy maker, but rather an author and blogger, but definitely is a known Jewish voice. I respect Horowitz tremendously because of his background as an ex-Communist and his dead-on criticism of the American Left, both historically and currently. Although rather knee-jerk in his defense of Israel, I would not doubt his loyalty to this country one iota.

I do not know if David Horowitz is a dual Israeli-American citizen, but he is not a legislator nor a government policy maker, so as far as I am concerned, the issue is moot. If one questions the loyalty to America, of Jews or any other group for that matter, the issue of holding dual citizenship while holding certain government offices should be something of concern. Once out of public office or service, then they can resume their dual citizenship. It makes the issue of loyalty less questionable.

wayfarer , September 19, 2017 at 6:05 pm GMT

@bjondo Regarding jew and war:

Bill Kristol appearing on c-span to push, agitate for the 2nd Iraq war was asked by a caller if he had served in the (U.S.) military. Kristol said he had not served but had a friend(s) who had and that he served in other ways. When a country drafts into the military, can one get out of service by saying, "My friend served"?

reckon his serving in other ways was/is lying and pushing for wars for his real country israel. Truth hurts, America.

Of the 58,220 Americans who were sacrificed during the Vietnam War, 270 were Jewish. That's approximately 0.46 percent or less than a half of one-percent.

Guess they were too busy partying in college, while pursuing their law degrees.

During the Vietnam war the U.S. selective service system gave deferments to those attending college, which delayed their eligibility for conscription.

"Among partners of the top law firms in New York, I estimate that at least 25% are Jews."

source: https://www.archives.gov/research/military/vietnam-war/casualty-statistics.html

source: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/4726694_Going_to_College_to_Avoid_the_Draft_The_Unintended_Legacy_of_the_Vietnam_War [accessed Sep 19, 2017].

source: http://manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2014/6/5/is-lack-of-diversity-at-big-law-firms-a-crisis

Randal , September 19, 2017 at 6:03 pm GMT

@matt I didn't say there weren't any Jews pushing for a war with Iran, I said there are plenty of non-Jews pushing for one too, including Trump himself. Hostility toward Iran (and imperialism generally) is deeply rooted in the American foreign policy establishment (which isn't close to being all or mostly Jewish), and can't be explained by naive WASPs being manipulated by clever Jews. It's not just bigoted, it's a cartoonishly stupid "explanation".

I didn't say there weren't any Jews pushing for a war with Iran, I said there are plenty of non-Jews pushing for one too, including Trump himself.

Which certainly doesn't mean there isn't a particular problem, exactly as Giraldi describes it with plenty of sound supporting examples, of dual loyalty jews pushing wars that favour Israel.

In fact, the reality is that Giraldi might be guilty of, at most, overstatement, but since a large part of the problem is precisely that any reference at all to the problem is suppressed, one might expect an honest opponent of the US's military interventionism to temper his criticism of Giraldi's piece appropriately. For whatever reason, instead, you seem to feel the need to hysterically accuse it as though it contains no truth whatsoever.

What gives?

Hostility toward Iran (and imperialism generally) is deeply rooted in the American foreign policy establishment (which isn't close to being all or mostly Jewish), and can't be explained by naive WASPs being manipulated by clever Jews.

Of course, the Israel Lobby is much bigger than just jews, and stupid American Christians manipulated by their church leaders into believing fatuous ideas about Israel based upon dubiously interpreted biblical nonsense has historically provided a lot of its political clout.

That's another problem, but it doesn't make the problem highlighted by Giraldi not a problem. The jewish individuals named by Giraldi still massively disproportionately dominate the foreign policy media and political debate on ME wars, and the wealthy jewish Israel supporters mentioned by him still massively disproportionately influence who gets heard and which opinions are suppressed and which promoted.

anonymous , Disclaimer September 19, 2017 at 6:00 pm GMT

@matt I'm strongly against any war with Iran, but this comes of as an unhinged and bigoted rant. Not nearly everyone who is pushing for war with Iran is Jewish, and this narrative perpetuates the myth, beloved by alt-right types and paleocons, of a well-intentioned but naive Trump administration that was hijacked by Jewish neocons. In reality, despite differences within the administration, Iran was always something they could all agree on. H.R. McMaster and James Mattis are well known Iran hawks, and neither are Jewish. Nikki Haley isn't Jewish, nor is Rex Tillerson. Steve Bannon and Michael Flynn wouldn't have stopped Trump from going to war if they hadn't been forced out of the administration, as both, especially the latter, were absolute lunatics when it came to Iran. On that subject, they were worse than neocons. And of course there's Trump himself, whose bloodlust regarding Iran has always been on full display from the beginning, if you were paying attention. Hostility toward Iran might in fact be the most consistent theme of the Trump administration and of Trump himself, who has been known to vacillate on virtually every issue, except this one.

If you supported Trump because you thought he might be some sort of isolationist dove, you have only yourself to blame. Evil Jewish neocons didn't force you to ignore the massive evidence that was always right in front of your face. The fact that there are so many who profess to the Christian faith, who are as evil as those Joo neocons, such as those you mentioned, simply cannot be denied. Even if hypothetically speaking the Joos were to vanish overnight, the wars of aggression by the Evil Empire will continue unabated.

The Evil Empire and its Evil b!tch both share the same satanic vision of world domination. Two evil nations, made for each other, in a match made in Hell.

Btw, the orange scumbag was hilariously evil at the UN.

Both N.Korea and Iran should simply call this bastard's bluff, by literally giving him the finger. I say, let the chips fall where they may. Let's see how the American, Japanese, S.Korean, Israeli & "Royal" pussies like the consequences.

To you N.Koreans, its been written that you will target the thousands of American Terrorists stationed in the south. I am counting on that, so don't you miss chaps.

matt , September 19, 2017 at 5:44 pm GMT

@Anonymous

They should. If Raimondo starts blaming the Jews, he can avoid taking responsibility for his idiotic and embarrassing cheerleading for the current warmonger-in-chief.
I supported and voted for Trump as well. I don't like his neocon turn now, but which candidate in that election (save for Rand Paul and possibly Jill Stein) wouldn't have declared a non-fly zone in Syria and actively supported the overthrow of Assad?

And started plans for attacking Iran? Who? Hillary? Hahahaha. Ted Cruz? Hahahaha. Etc.

Bernie Sanders (a scary Jew!) wasn't nearly as anti-imperialist as I would have liked him to be, but I doubt he would have attacked Assad regime forces 6 times like Trump has by this point, and certainly not without Congressional approval (which he probably wouldn't have gotten, even if he had wanted it).

Even under Hillary, the Iran deal would have stood a better chance, since she was at least verbally committed to it (unlike even Rand Paul), and there would have been Obama loyalists within the Clinton administration who would have been desperate to preserve Obama's signature foreign policy achievement (and one of the only worthwhile ones, in my opinion, along with restoration of diplomatic ties with Cuba).

matt , September 19, 2017 at 5:15 pm GMT

@Randal

If an article titled "America's Jews are Behind America's Wars" isn't unhinged and bigoted, I'd like you to tell me what is.
How is the article's factual content fundamentally different from the similar content of the Haaretz article linked by Greg Bacon in post 21 above? Is the Haaretz piece "unhinged and bigoted"?

Or is it not the statement of the facts that you are outraged by, but merely the proposed solutions? If so, then what solutions to the problem identified by Giraldi and by Haaretz would you propose?

If Trump's insane rhetoric on Iran and push for war isn't an example of bloodlust, why don't you tell me what it is?
Good examples might be the desperate attempts to prevent the deal with Iran that hopefully will prove to have cauterised the longstanding efforts to use the spurious nuclear weapons issue to push the US towards confrontation and war with Iran:

KEY JEWISH DEMOCRATS IN CONGRESS SAY THEY WILL VOTE AGAINST IRAN DEAL

Or when Israel's primary agents of political influence in the US went "all out" to try to get the US to attack Syria and hand yet another country to (even more) jihadist-ridden chaos:

AIPAC to go all-out on Syria

But hey, I suppose for you those are just more examples of "unhingedness" and "bigotedness".

It must be strange living in the world you inhabit, so far removed from basic reality by a desperate need to avoid being seen as any kind of badwhite. I didn't say there weren't any Jews pushing for a war with Iran, I said there are plenty of non-Jews pushing for one too, including Trump himself. Hostility toward Iran (and imperialism generally) is deeply rooted in the American foreign policy establishment (which isn't close to being all or mostly Jewish), and can't be explained by naive WASPs being manipulated by clever Jews. It's not just bigoted, it's a cartoonishly stupid "explanation".

matt , September 19, 2017 at 5:10 pm GMT

@Sam Shama They can certainly try, and, I suppose you'd require the U.S. to stay her hand as a matter of fair principle while watching said bases destroyed. Nice idea, but I'd stick to reality. U.S. has vast interests, including economic ones; those which benefit every U.S. citizen, and, to be practical, all her allies. Iran isn't stupid or suicidal. Its anti-ship missiles are for deterrence, which Iran has plenty of need for, as sociopaths like you populate the American, Israeli, and Saudi governments and are itching to attack.

matt , September 19, 2017 at 5:07 pm GMT

@WJ Outside of an almost symbolic launch of cruise missiles into Syria in April, how has Trump been a warmonger?

I remember the debate between Pence and the hideous Tim Kaine where the Democrat vowed that there would be No Fly Zone over Syria which would certainly have allowed the head chopping rebels to gain a stronger foothold.

In addition to all that, Trump has also cut off aid to the Syrian rebels. His Afghanistan policy /escalation is also symbolic. US troops won't be in direct combat and there will only be 15000 there anyway.

Outside of an almost symbolic launch of cruise missiles into Syria in April, how has Trump been a warmonger?

You haven't been paying attention. Since the initial strike in April, the Trump administration has deliberately attacked regime or allied forces an additional five times. ( one , two , three , four , five ).

Including the Tomahawks in April, that's a total of 6 deliberate attacks on the Syrian Arab Republic or its allies (so far), which is already 6 more than Obama carried out during his entire presidency. And it's not like this is the end of Trump's tenure, either; it's the 9th goddamn month since he's been in office. I'm sure the war hawks in Wahington are quite pleased with his progress, as they should be.

In addition to all that, Trump has also cut off aid to the Syrian rebels. His Afghanistan policy /escalation is also symbolic.

Anyone could tell by that point that Assad isn't going to be overthrown. The aim now is to limit the Assad regime's territorial gains as much as possible, and the "rebels" proved they were useless at doing that when Shia militia reached the Iraqi border at al-Tanf, and cut them off from reaching Deir ez-Zor back in May (which was what one of the attacks mentioned above was about).

After that, the Trump administration put all its eggs in the "Syrian Democratic Forces/People's Protection Units (SDF/YPG) basket, the mainly Kurdish (with some Arab fighters) militia that the US has been using to fight ISIS since 2015 (it's also, ironically, a hard left socialist organization. Think Kurdish Antifa. Though I doubt Trump knows or cares or could do anything about it even if he did). Trump has given the SDF <a title="" https://sputniknews.com/amp/middleeast/201709141057402885-america-weaponry-deir-ez-zor/&quot ; https://sputniknews.com/amp/middleeast/201709141057402885-america-weaponry-deir-ez-zor/&quot ;heavy weaponry with the aim of confronting Assad and limiting his territorial gains. They've also been pressuring the rebel groups they formerly supported to join the SDF.

I have sympathy for the SDF/YPG and the Syrian Kurds, and it made sense to support them when they were under direct assault from ISIS (though US motives were hardly altruistic even then). But ISIS is all but beaten now, and this is a dangerous game the US is playing, which could readily lead to a military confrontation betweeen the US and Russia and/or Iran. In fact, just a few days ago, the SDF seized part of Deir ez-Zor after SAA forces reached the city, and the Pentagon is now accusing Russia (which has in the past at least had good relations with the SDF/YPG), of deliberately bombing SDF fighters, in close proximity to American special forces.

US troops won't be in direct combat and there will only be 15000 there anyway.

Only 15,000! I guess you wouldn't mind, then, if they Taliban, or the Afghan Army for that matter, or any other country, put 15,000 troops on American soil, as a "symbolic" gesture.

Trump has also accelerated US collaboration in the sadistic torture of Yemen by the Saudis, past the levels under even Obama, which was already shameful.

And again, we should also keep in mind that it's only been 9 months. For his next act, Trump might be thinking about ending the Iran deal in October.

Heather Heyer's Ghost , September 19, 2017 at 4:44 pm GMT

@Thomm Jews are white. Ashkenazi Jews, and those are the ones we are mainly dealing with, are an endogamous caste of bankers, progressive journalists, lawyers, and social scientists (including, now, education), that have migrated all over Europe, but never identifying as European, with exceptions that prove the rule.

As a tribe, once can read Kevin MacDonald's work to see how they work in remarkable ethnic cohesion–not necessarily as an "organized conspiracy" (though that certainly happens), but as an ethnic drive.

Being neither European as such, nor Christian, and although their skin is white, they are not White.

Stan d Mute , September 19, 2017 at 4:41 pm GMT

Dual loyalty is an avoided and career-ending subject for a couple reasons. One must never, ever, criticize Jews (a third rail at complete odds with) and one may not criticize immigrants' behavior.

The obvious problem is Treason. Just how much Treason is the result of so-called "dual loyalty"? And isn't Treason subject to some rather serious legal sanctions?

...

just an internet commenter , September 19, 2017 at 3:47 pm GMT

I just want to point out, being a (fake) "news" consumer, I hear about Israel all the time, all while not hearing a lot of follow-up detail about Israel and its interests. Isn't that a clever sleight of hand? According to the pro-Israel (by extension jews) propaganda I'm required to care about, despite it having nothing to do with my life, my family's life, my neighbors' lives, and my community's lives Israel is that big of a deal. Actually, I hear more about Israel in the media than I hear about my home state of Michigan. Michigan is probably a lot more important to the US economy, US security, US tourism industry, Midwestern industrial technology industry, US engineering industry, and the Midwestern Farming economy, than Israel is. Then there are the people who live here, who are Americans. Israel first, then Americans? Okay, got it.

If the public were exposed to as much emotionally captivating propaganda about Michigan as they were about Israel, I'd posit the public would see a far better investment in Michigan than they would in Israel. That includes an emotional investment.

I don't know what can be politely said or how it would shape up, but Midwesterners desperately need to understand the Israel (by extension jewish) problem. They're bleeding us and getting away with it, all while getting away with incessantly calling us racists and anti-semites. Because again, caring about Michigan and its people first is just morally irreprehensible. Israel first, then Israel second, etc Got it bigot? That sleight of hand, it's just always there. I don't fully grasp how this large scale agit-prop psychology works. I do understand jewish solidarity. I'll hand it to jews, they have the strongest ethnic/religious/cultural solidarity I've ever seen. If Midwesterners realized the value of this level of solidarity, they wouldn't enlist their sons in the military to serve jewish interests overseas.

Anonymous , Disclaimer September 19, 2017 at 3:13 pm GMT

From Money Manipulation And Social Order (Dublin: Browne and Nolan, 1944) by Fr. Denis Fahey, C.S.Sp., Professor of Philosophy and Church History, Holy Ghost Missionary College, Dublin:

When the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States, created in 1913 by Mr. Paul Warburg, a German Jew belonging to the Banking Firm of Kuhn, Loeb and Company, had been a few years in existence, in 1916 to be precise, President Woodrow Wilson thus summed up the situation in U.S.A.: "A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. . .

We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world!no longer a Government by conviction and the free vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of small groups of dominant men." From the similar testimonies quoted by Christopher Hollis in The Two Nations, let us take one. "Behind the ostensible government," ran Roosevelt's policy, " sits enthroned an invisible government owning no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people."

https://archive.org/details/FaheyDenisMoneyManipulationAndSocialOrder

Corvinus , September 19, 2017 at 2:37 pm GMT

@Che Guava

Bullshit.

Anyone who reads knows that Israel (and its agents, where not dual citizens, the Jewish ones effectively all are, and the goyim dupes and toadies, who are not, 'cept sometimes with marriage) have been the tail that wags the US dog for many years, starting over a century ago, in finance, commerce, and law in NYC, in a small way the scope is ever wider and the effects more and more blatant.

The USA is a colony of Israel, everybody is knowing it, but some lie and deny.

From my reading of history, I would placing the tipping point from 'excessive power' to 'colonial masters' at the 1967 war of Israel and its neighbours.

Others may dating it to the end of the Third Reich, with all sorts of Jewish DPs and US Jews who had never seen combat running around in US military and MP uniforms to persecuting and killing Germans, under the command of Eisenhauer, the Morgenthau plan, etc.

Others may picking a different time.

It is funny that you are posting as Anonymous on this, can only mean that you are a more subtle pro-Israel troll with your usual u-name. "So it is safe to say that much of the agitation to do something about Iran comes from Israel and from American Jews."

Certainly SOME Israelis and American Jews are involved in developing policy designed to generate hostility to the point of potential war.

But Dick Cheney and Erik Prince, among other prominent non-Jews, bear mentioning.

Regardless, the Jew fixation here is duly noted. Boo! Goes the Joo!

"The USA is a colony of Israel". Fake News Story. Now, let us assume that to be true. What are personally doing about this situation? What active measures are you taking to free yourself from the shackles of your oppressor? Or, are simply impotent while taking it good and hard?

[Sep 19, 2017] Since the initial strike in April, the Trump administration has deliberately attacked regime or allied forces an additional five times

Notable quotes:
"... Anyone could tell by that point that Assad isn't going to be overthrown. The aim now is to limit the Assad regime's territorial gains as much as possible, and the "rebels" proved they were useless at doing that when Shia militia reached the Iraqi border at al-Tanf, and cut them off from reaching Deir ez-Zor back in May (which was what one of the attacks mentioned above was about). ..."
Sep 19, 2017 | www.unz.com

matt > , September 19, 2017 at 5:07 pm GMT

@WJ Outside of an almost symbolic launch of cruise missiles into Syria in April, how has Trump been a warmonger?

I remember the debate between Pence and the hideous Tim Kaine where the Democrat vowed that there would be No Fly Zone over Syria which would certainly have allowed the head chopping rebels to gain a stronger foothold.

In addition to all that, Trump has also cut off aid to the Syrian rebels. His Afghanistan policy /escalation is also symbolic. US troops won't be in direct combat and there will only be 15000 there anyway.

Outside of an almost symbolic launch of cruise missiles into Syria in April, how has Trump been a warmonger?

You haven't been paying attention. Since the initial strike in April, the Trump administration has deliberately attacked regime or allied forces an additional five times. ( one , two , three , four , five ).

Including the Tomahawks in April, that's a total of 6 deliberate attacks on the Syrian Arab Republic or its allies (so far), which is already 6 more than Obama carried out during his entire presidency. And it's not like this is the end of Trump's tenure, either; it's the 9th goddamn month since he's been in office. I'm sure the war hawks in Wahington are quite pleased with his progress, as they should be.

In addition to all that, Trump has also cut off aid to the Syrian rebels. His Afghanistan policy /escalation is also symbolic.

Anyone could tell by that point that Assad isn't going to be overthrown. The aim now is to limit the Assad regime's territorial gains as much as possible, and the "rebels" proved they were useless at doing that when Shia militia reached the Iraqi border at al-Tanf, and cut them off from reaching Deir ez-Zor back in May (which was what one of the attacks mentioned above was about).

After that, the Trump administration put all its eggs in the "Syrian Democratic Forces/People's Protection Units (SDF/YPG) basket, the mainly Kurdish (with some Arab fighters) militia that the US has been using to fight ISIS since 2015 (it's also, ironically, a hard left socialist organization. Think Kurdish Antifa. Though I doubt Trump knows or cares or could do anything about it even if he did). Trump has given the SDF <a title="" https://sputniknews.com/amp/middleeast/201709141057402885-america-weaponry-deir-ez-zor/&quot ; https://sputniknews.com/amp/middleeast/201709141057402885-america-weaponry-deir-ez-zor/&quot ;heavy weaponry with the aim of confronting Assad and limiting his territorial gains. They've also been pressuring the rebel groups they formerly supported to join the SDF.

I have sympathy for the SDF/YPG and the Syrian Kurds, and it made sense to support them when they were under direct assault from ISIS (though US motives were hardly altruistic even then). But ISIS is all but beaten now, and this is a dangerous game the US is playing, which could readily lead to a military confrontation betweeen the US and Russia and/or Iran. In fact, just a few days ago, the SDF seized part of Deir ez-Zor after SAA forces reached the city, and the Pentagon is now accusing Russia (which has in the past at least had good relations with the SDF/YPG), of deliberately bombing SDF fighters, in close proximity to American special forces.

US troops won't be in direct combat and there will only be 15000 there anyway.

Only 15,000! I guess you wouldn't mind, then, if they Taliban, or the Afghan Army for that matter, or any other country, put 15,000 troops on American soil, as a "symbolic" gesture.

Trump has also accelerated US collaboration in the sadistic torture of Yemen by the Saudis, past the levels under even Obama, which was already shameful.

And again, we should also keep in mind that it's only been 9 months. For his next act, Trump might be thinking about ending the Iran deal in October.

[Sep 18, 2017] How The Military Defeated Trumps Insurgency

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Trump was seen as a presidential candidate who would possibly move towards a less interventionist foreign policy. That hope is gone. The insurgency that brought Trump to the top was defeated by a counter-insurgency campaign waged by the U.S. military. ..."
"... The military has taken control of the White House process and it is now taking control of its policies. ..."
"... a president who arrived at the White House with no experience in the military or government and brought with him advisers deeply skeptical of what they labeled the "globalist" worldview. In coordinated efforts and quiet conversations, some of Trump's aides have worked for months to counter that view, hoping the president can be persuaded to maintain -- if not expand -- the American footprint and influence abroad ..."
"... It is indisputable that the generals are now ruling in Washington DC. They came to power over decades by shaping culture through their sponsorship of Hollywood, by manipulating the media through "embedded" reporting and by forming and maintaining the countries infrastructure through the Army Corps of Engineers. The military, through the NSA as well as through its purchasing power , controls the information flow on the internet. Until recently the military establishment only ruled from behind the scene. The other parts of the power triangle , the corporation executives and the political establishment, were more visible and significant. But during the 2016 election the military bet on Trump and is now, after he unexpectedly won, collecting its price. ..."
"... Trump's success as the "Not-Hillary" candidate was based on an anti-establishment insurgency. Representatives of that insurgency, Flynn, Bannon and the MAGA voters, drove him through his first months in office. An intense media campaign was launched to counter them and the military took control of the White House. The anti-establishment insurgents were fired. Trump is now reduced to public figure head of a stratocracy - a military junta which nominally follows the rule of law. ..."
"... It is no great surprise that Trump has been drawn into the foreign policy mainstream; the same happened to President Obama early in his presidency. More ominous is that Trump has turned much of his power over to generals. Worst of all, many Americans find this reassuring. They are so disgusted by the corruption and shortsightedness of our political class that they turn to soldiers as an alternative. It is a dangerous temptation. ..."
"... This is no longer a Coup Waiting to Happen The coup has happened with few noticing it and ever fewer concerned about it. Everything of importance now passes through the Junta's hands: ..."
"... Thus we get a continuation of a failed Afghanistan policy and will soon get a militarily aggressive policy towards Iran . ..."
"... Asked whether he was predicting war [with North Korea], [former defence minister of Japan, Satoshi] Morimoto said: "I think Washington has not decided ... The final decision-maker is [US Defence Secretary] Mr Mattis ... Not the president." ..."
"... Nationalistic indoctrination, already at abnormal heights in the U.S. society, will further increase. Military control will creep into ever extending fields of once staunchly civilian areas of policy. (Witness the increasing militarization of the police.) ..."
"... It is only way to sustain the empire. ..."
"... It is doubtful that Trump will be able to resist the policies imposed on him. Any flicker of resistance will be smashed. The outside insurgency which enabled his election is left without a figurehead, It will likely disperse. The system won. ..."
"... The U$A corporate empire is driven by, and according to, the dictates of the mega-corporate desires. The Generals dance to their tune. ..."
"... I would argue that Mattis, McMaster, Kelly, and their line reports don't represent "the US military", or even its generals per se. They represent themselves as people financially beholden to major investment banks for their retirement funds; people fearful of being blackmailed and destroyed by the NSA and CIA and Mossad; people who rose to senior posts during prior administrations because they were flunkies to the establishment . ..."
"... Trump's wealth (at least in the high hundreds of millions $) and his election victory say he's no moron. He probably knows what he is doing. He's either a guy who gave up the struggle after getting the proverbial political hell beaten out of him in the first months of his administration, or he willingly misled his electoral base when campaigning. Perhaps a little of both. He's known for being a BS merchant. Myself, I think he lied outright to the voters during his run for president. It's not a wild idea: so did Obama, Bush, and Clinton. Bigly. ..."
"... Trump made the decisions that we criticse so much. Trump decided to let the Obama holdovers stay in the administration. He decided to hire Goldman Sachs flunkies. He decided to send cruise missiles to strike Shayrat. He decided to approve US assistance to Saudi Arabia in Yemen. H decided to let his zionist son-in-law, who is indebted to George Soros, into the White House. He decided to fire Bannon almost as soon as Bannon came out publicly against war with North Korea. (Possibly a deliberate, desperate attempt at a 'spoiler' tactic on Bannon's part, to prevent conflict.) Trump decided to renege on his promises to the electorate about immigration. He decided to sign an unprecedented, unconstitutional law that bound his hands and imposed sanctions on Russia. He decided to go along with the Russian hacking lie by saying that Russia could, maybe, have hacked the DNC and HRC and whoever else (probably including Disney, the Shriners, and my mother). He decided to employ Sean Spicer and Reince Priebus, Scaramucchi and everyone else. He approved all of those things. ..."
"... It is not especially clear to me (being an outsider to US politics) which of the groups (or combination of groups) seems to have come out on top and have their guys as the gate-keeping, information-vetting guys doing the briefing of Trump. My feel of it is that the Pentagon has gained while JSOC, the black ops contractors, and black-on-black ops contractors have lost. The CIA seems to have broken even. Is this a fair read? ..."
"... Is the possibility of Trump as controlled opposition so far-fetched? Do you think the "power elite's political wing" only runs one candidate? Have you heard of "illusion of choice"? Do you think sheepdog Bernie was a real candidate? ..."
"... Obama and Trump both gained greater apparent legitimacy by: 1) beating the establishment candidate; and 2) being besieged by bat-shit crazy critics (birthers; anti-Russians & antifa). ..."
"... As soon as you choose a side, you are trapped. Two sides of the same coin. Minted in hell. ..."
Sep 18, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Trump was seen as a presidential candidate who would possibly move towards a less interventionist foreign policy. That hope is gone. The insurgency that brought Trump to the top was defeated by a counter-insurgency campaign waged by the U.S. military. (Historically its first successful one). The military has taken control of the White House process and it is now taking control of its policies.

It is schooling Trump on globalism and its "indispensable" role in it. Trump was insufficiently supportive of their desires and thus had to undergo reeducation:

When briefed on the diplomatic, military and intelligence posts, the new president would often cast doubt on the need for all the resources. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson organized the July 20 session to lay out the case for maintaining far-flung outposts -- and to present it, using charts and maps, in a way the businessman-turned-politician would appreciate

Trump was hauled into a Pentagon basement 'tank' and indoctrinated by the glittering four-star generals he admired since he was a kid:

The session was, in effect, American Power 101 and the student was the man working the levers. It was part of the ongoing education of a president who arrived at the White House with no experience in the military or government and brought with him advisers deeply skeptical of what they labeled the "globalist" worldview. In coordinated efforts and quiet conversations, some of Trump's aides have worked for months to counter that view, hoping the president can be persuaded to maintain -- if not expand -- the American footprint and influence abroad

Trump was sold the establishment policies he originally despised. No alternative view was presented to him.

It is indisputable that the generals are now ruling in Washington DC. They came to power over decades by shaping culture through their sponsorship of Hollywood, by manipulating the media through "embedded" reporting and by forming and maintaining the countries infrastructure through the Army Corps of Engineers. The military, through the NSA as well as through its purchasing power , controls the information flow on the internet. Until recently the military establishment only ruled from behind the scene. The other parts of the power triangle , the corporation executives and the political establishment, were more visible and significant. But during the 2016 election the military bet on Trump and is now, after he unexpectedly won, collecting its price.

Trump's success as the "Not-Hillary" candidate was based on an anti-establishment insurgency. Representatives of that insurgency, Flynn, Bannon and the MAGA voters, drove him through his first months in office. An intense media campaign was launched to counter them and the military took control of the White House. The anti-establishment insurgents were fired. Trump is now reduced to public figure head of a stratocracy - a military junta which nominally follows the rule of law.

Stephen Kinzer describes this as America's slow-motion military coup:
Ultimate power to shape American foreign and security policy has fallen into the hands of three military men [...]
...
Being ruled by generals seems preferable to the alternative. It isn't.
...
[It] leads toward a distorted set of national priorities, with military "needs" always rated more important than domestic ones.
...
It is no great surprise that Trump has been drawn into the foreign policy mainstream; the same happened to President Obama early in his presidency. More ominous is that Trump has turned much of his power over to generals. Worst of all, many Americans find this reassuring. They are so disgusted by the corruption and shortsightedness of our political class that they turn to soldiers as an alternative. It is a dangerous temptation.

The country has fallen to that temptation even on social-economic issues:

In the wake of the deadly racial violence in Charlottesville this month, five of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were hailed as moral authorities for condemning hate in less equivocal terms than the commander in chief did.
...
On social policy, military leaders have been voices for moderation.

The junta is bigger than its three well known leaders:

Kelly, Mattis and McMaster are not the only military figures serving at high levels in the Trump administration. CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke each served in various branches of the military, and Trump recently tapped former Army general Mark S. Inch to lead the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
...
the National Security Council [..] counts two other generals on the senior staff.

This is no longer a Coup Waiting to Happen The coup has happened with few noticing it and ever fewer concerned about it. Everything of importance now passes through the Junta's hands:

[Chief of staff John] Kelly initiated a new policymaking process in which just he and one other aide [...] will review all documents that cross the Resolute desk.
...
The new system [..] is designed to ensure that the president won't see any external policy documents, internal policy memos, agency reports and even news articles that haven't been vetted.

To control Trump the junta filters his information input and eliminates any potentially alternative view:

Staff who oppose [policy xyz] no longer have unfettered access to Trump, and nor do allies on the outside [.. .] Kelly now has real control over the most important input: the flow of human and paper advice into the Oval Office. For a man as obsessed about his self image as Trump, a new flow of inputs can make the world of difference.

The Trump insurgency against the establishment was marked by a mostly informal information and decision process. That has been destroyed and replaced:

Worried that Trump would end existing US spending/policies (largely, still geared to cold war priorities), the senior military staff running the Trump administration launched a counter-insurgency against the insurgency.
...
General Kelly, Trump's Chief of Staff, has put Trump on a establishment-only media diet.
...
In short, by controlling Trump's information flow with social media/networks, the generals smashed the insurgency's OODA loop (observe, orient, decide, act). Deprived of this connection, Trump is now weathervaning to cater to the needs of the establishment ...

The Junta members dictate their policies to Trump by only proposing to him certain alternatives. The one that is most preferable to them will be presented as the only desirable one. "There are no alternatives," Trump will be told again and again.

Thus we get a continuation of a failed Afghanistan policy and will soon get a militarily aggressive policy towards Iran.

Other countries noticed how the game has changed. The real decisions are made by the generals, Trump is ignored as a mere figurehead:

Asked whether he was predicting war [with North Korea], [former defence minister of Japan, Satoshi] Morimoto said: "I think Washington has not decided ... The final decision-maker is [US Defence Secretary] Mr Mattis ... Not the president."

Climate change, its local catastrophes and the infrastructure problems it creates within the U.S. will further extend the military role in shaping domestic U.S. policy.

Nationalistic indoctrination, already at abnormal heights in the U.S. society, will further increase. Military control will creep into ever extending fields of once staunchly civilian areas of policy. (Witness the increasing militarization of the police.)

It is only way to sustain the empire.

It is doubtful that Trump will be able to resist the policies imposed on him. Any flicker of resistance will be smashed. The outside insurgency which enabled his election is left without a figurehead, It will likely disperse. The system won.

Posted by b on September 18, 2017 at 11:20 AM | Permalink

Stephen | Sep18, 2017 11:32:00 AM | 1

Only good news: The mask has been torn off US elections. They simply don't matter. Waste of time and money. US has become Saddam's Iraq, Sisi's Egypt, Mugabe's Zimbabwe etc....expect to see Trump win 90% of vote in 2020....hahaha...
Hogwash | Sep18, 2017 11:32:04 AM | 2
Hogwash - The SAA just crossed the Euphrates. If the neocons were really in control, WW3 would start before dawn tomorrow. Otherwise, Assad will get his biggest oil field back from ISIS.

The Russians are hinting that the SDF isn't really fighting ISIS but just pretending to while ISIS soldiers switch uniforms. If that's true, it means the neocons may still be in charge, but what are they going to do about the Syrian Army blocking them now?

Ken Nari | Sep18, 2017 11:46:59 AM | 3
Interesting, and certainly a possible explanation of what's going on. Still, if the military is running the show, why the growth of private mercenary businesses? (A new meaning for "corporate warriors."). My own feeling, based on nothing except decades of experience working with the military, is that the generals don't mind a few little wars, but they well know the risks of a big one.

For that reason, the military leadership seems to be trying to cool things down -- that the U.S. didn't go to war with Iran, Russia, China or North Korea (yet) may be due to the influence of the top brass.

b: It is doubtful that Trump will be able to resist the policies imposed on him.

hmmm...I'm not sure there's any pressure at all on Trump. Since Kennedy was removed the president has little real power and is mostly to provide the trappings of democracy and keep the proles entertained. Over 100 years ago T. Roosevelt noticed the lack of presidential freedom to act -- the bully pulpit and all that.

financial matters | Sep18, 2017 11:47:33 AM | 4
One of the main reasons I was pleased to see Trump get elected was that he wanted to get us out of Syria. Somewhat amazingly I'd say, that has pretty much happened.

Russia, Iran and China have shown themselves to be responsible players and have the strength to back that up.

So, I think in reality the US military will be forced by facts on the ground, as well as a weakening of their propaganda, to go along with Trump's original more accommodating posture.

Don Bacon | Sep18, 2017 12:06:26 PM | 5
It's probably inevitable that the military would rule in the twilight of US world dominance.

Back in the true USA#1 days it was different. A couple of President Truman quotes: "It's the fellows who go to West Point and are trained to think they're gods in uniform that I plan to take apart". . ."I didn't fire him [General MacArthur] because he was a dumb son of a bitch, although he was, but that's not against the law for generals. If it was, half to three quarters of them would be in jail."

The main problem with generals is that most (not all) of them got to where they are by sucking up to higher authority, or "go along to get along." Then couple that with all the perks they get including fine housing, enlisted servants and a fat $250K pension for full generals, and they look at themselves in the mirror with all their fancy ribbons and medals and naturally adopt Harry Truman's "gods in uniform" opinion of themselves, forgetting that they have become successful in an isolated military milieu that favors appearance and disregards lack of accomplishment. And the current crop of generals certainly lacks accomplishment.

Lemur | Sep18, 2017 12:19:50 PM | 6
"Nationalistic indoctrination, already at abnormal heights in the U.S. society, will further increase."

If that were true, why is the historic American nation being replaced by mystery meats from the global south? The Washington machine certainly produces oodles of propaganda, but it is virulently opposed to ethnocentrism at home and abroad, because that might lead to groups with the solidarity to stand up to a degenerate empire.

The indoctrination taking place here is militaristic globalism. And everyone is invited.

ben | Sep18, 2017 12:27:31 PM | 7
b said:"Trump was seen as a presidential candidate who would possibly move towards a less interventionist foreign policy."

Only by those who don't fully understand the TRUE American system, and those who dream of a system that actually provides " truth, liberty and justice for all".

The better liar won the "election".

The swamp (sewer) in Washington getting muddier each day

Posted by: OJS | Sep18, 2017 12:44:21 PM | 8

The swamp (sewer) in Washington getting muddier each day
ben | Sep18, 2017 12:48:52 PM | 9
P.S...The U$A corporate empire is driven by, and according to, the dictates of the mega-corporate desires. The Generals dance to their tune.

"It's just business" Trump has NEVER intended to be anything but what the elites wanted him to be....A wealthy puppet..

Michael McNulty | Sep18, 2017 12:49:32 PM | 10
I think the US is weak militarily for two deep and fundamental reasons, both of which have US politicians to blame.

First, the US has not had able generals and admirals since WWII because politicians today[especially since 9/11] cannot take criticism. Therefore men like MacArthur and Kimmel, who would tell them a war can't be won like that or this strategy is a bad idea, no longer get the promotions. Yes-men get promoted over more able men.

Second, this promotion of yes-men allows politicians to take over the planning of a war. Whereas MacArthur would have shut the door on the neo-cons and told them he'll let him know when his plan is ready, today politicians use political strategy to try and defeat the war strategy of an opponent. For example, Rumsfeld should have been told that if he wanted to steal Iraq he'd need half a million men - but the generals tried to do the impossible and steal Iraq with a third that number because more was politically sensitive.

If politicians are going to have a war, leave it to able generals to plan it. Or lose.

karlof1 | Sep18, 2017 12:50:31 PM | 11
There's no saving the Unipolar attempt to establish Full Spectrum Dominance -- not even nuclear war -- and I think the generals and their minders actually know this, although they seem to be keeping up appearances. Escobar's latest from last Friday details why this is so, http://www.atimes.com/article/iran-turns-art-deal-upside/

Even the Brazilian regime change project is becoming a loser as the massive corruption scandal is about to devour the neocon favorite Temer, while Lula is rising like the Phoenix. The latest leak scandal over the meeting between Rohrabacher and Kelly regarding Russiagate and the status of Julian Assange reveals more than the leak itself, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47818.htm

And finally, we have another great op/ed by Finian Cunningham who's on a roll of late at the Outlaw US Empire's expense, https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201709161057451619-us-alien-peace/

likklemore | Sep18, 2017 12:54:41 PM | 12

Always follow the money. There is only so far a $1 will go. Shrinkflation. The USD, as reserve currency, allowed the US to fund wars, everyday essentials and live high on the hog at the expense of the rest of the world. This exceptional privilege is coming to an end.

When the US declared war; [excluded Iran from use of SWIFT/ the USD] that was the shot heard far and wide. Putin and Xi noted, we could be next and put in place CHIPS.

Lately, Russia and then China has been threatened with sanctions; latest folly of Mnuchin, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. The petro-Yuan Exchange for gold was announced and less than 005% of Americans realize the impact of bypassing the USD.

USA has met its comeuppance. Russia and China need not fire a shot. Prosperity of the exceptional ones is an illusion built on hundreds of trillions of debt. We are kept diverted from de-dollarization by the focus on unschooled Trump. Eight+ months after the selection, it's "Russiagate" – Putin did it; are angels male or female? What happened?

sleepy | Sep18, 2017 1:35:10 PM | 13
Thus we get a continuation of a failed Afghanistan policy and will soon get a militarily aggressive policy towards Iran.

As a candidate way before any junta was installed, Trump always vowed to rip up the Iran nuclear deal. Now why on earth would North Korea trust that any nuclear agreement it made with the US would not similarly be ripped up and shredded a couple years down the road?

Oilman2 | Sep18, 2017 1:35:11 PM | 14
If the handling of "local catastrophes" such as Harvey and Irma are any indication of the power of this junta, then I am not very much worried. The FEMA folks, Red Cross and many others showed their ineffectiveness in spades here in Houston. What's even more revealing is just how quickly they dashed out of here to remain in the news when Irma hit Florida.

I met two ATF guys driving down here after Harvey - and they had no idea why they were coming here. Couldn't articulate a thing to me except to say, repeatedly, "We are ATF and coming to assist." They had ZERO specifics on what they were going to do to help anyone. But they were very much enjoying wearing their ATF t-shirts and sporting their pistols on hip. But it's Texas, and that just made me smile and shake my head. Made me realize that whatever happens here in America, DC and the central government are so incredibly out of touch and living "in the bubble" that they are of very limited use for locals (those outside the East Coast) in any way.

The Feds plan for national, not local catastrophes - and their primary issue is COG, period. They are much more concerned about maintaining government and their own little fiefdoms than in assisting people far away from the DC/NYC corridor.

Further, the math just doesn't work for the junta doing much more than controlling foreign policy (who we next attack) - to try that same thing across America would result in rapid expulsion and failure, as we outnumber them most significantly.

When the pain they cause becomes enough, then things will change. Unfortunately, it seems that change via the national elections has now been abrogated. Something else is likely to ensue, eventually.

Permafrost | Sep18, 2017 1:36:52 PM | 15
The outside insurgency which enabled his election is left without a figurehead, It will likely disperse. The system won.

The problem here ie that the cost for the system to win keeps rising, and the law of diminishing returns remains valid. So for how long? not long.

NemesisCalling | Sep18, 2017 2:34:52 PM | 16
I just don't understand how people can fall for the line that "nationalism" somehow equates to an undesirable movement akin to the rise of nazism. The media has been blitzing this as of late and rallying cries around the antifa demonstrations have been taking this buzzword and running with it, equating proponents of it to racist KKK members in some silly way or another. Even here, b, you seem to be eating right out of the hands of these pagemasters who dictate what words mean.

I'm sorry, but there is a glaring doublestandard when you praise the policy of say Venezuela which "nationalized" their oil industry and condemn all of us Americans who are begging to disassociate from global mechanisms which are crippling fair-spending of tax dollars here in the state. It is fair to assume that military junta historically use the energy of nationalism's lexicon to promote their agenda, but in this case, as you point out, the junta and the status quo of globalism's iron hand seem to fit together nicely. I read that as nationalism never even taking flight here.

I get your trepidation with this terminology considering the history of your country, but America IS different and we deserve an attempt to put America first...shocking, I know.

Kalen | Sep18, 2017 2:49:10 PM | 17
B fell pray of partisan propaganda, Trump - the coup d'etat enabler DNC MANTRA.. So please inform me when generals were not in executive charge of the US government. On behave of oligarchic ruling elite ? Where were those civilian rulers during documented 250 conflicts or war US was engaged during 228 years of existence

The first president was a general and since then US generals executed basic US imperial economic model of aggression and exploitation, military land grab from Indians and Mexicans to suppression of workers strikes by shelling their families at home in US as well in its conquered colonies in CA and Caribbean we have proof thanks to Gen. Butler.

It was a Gen. Eisenhower who warned us the junta refused to disarm after WWII and constitutes coear and present danger to even a facade of republican order.

Anybody who believe that imperial US is run by civilians is SIMPLY gullible since no emporia were ever run by civilians by definition. Roman Empire was run over last 200 year explicitly by generals COMMANDING armies of foreign mercenaries like US today in NATO and ASEAN .

What has changed is that veil of deceit has failed and with Trump those warmongering cockroaches came out of WH woodwork to see a light and tookbopenly control f what they already controlled clandestinely.

Peter AU 1 | Sep18, 2017 2:49:47 PM | 18
16
If you think US is different to nazi it might be worth reading saker's piece on it. If you think US nationalism is any different to Nazi Germany in aggression then think again. The US population, and much of the so called west, is swamped in propaganda while the US attacks country after country.
NemesisCalling | Sep18, 2017 3:06:17 PM | 19
@18 Peter

But once again, many here think that Europe is already one big vassal state of the global/US empire. So if anything, we are all already under the jack boot of empire. To dislodge one piece (US), indeed, the central piece, seems to me that the world would be in recovery mode from "the global reich." Please correct if I'm wrong, but your logic does not compute. Furthermore, I don't think a reeling US economy and population, freshly liberated, is going to be convinced any time soon to wage wars abroad for precious metals and the like. "Helping" the world would probably take a back seat.

Hoarsewhisperer | Sep18, 2017 3:39:20 PM | 20
...
"I didn't fire him [General MacArthur] because he was a dumb son of a bitch, although he was, but that's not against the law for generals. If it was, half to three quarters of them would be in jail."
...
Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep18, 2017 12:06:26 PM | 5

And, despite the fact that Trump rubbed shoulders with dozens of these wannabe Generals at Military Academy, and was exposed to the same claptrap, it seems safe to assume that he realised that a Life spent in the US Military would be pointless, unimaginative and frustrating.

WithAllWindsAhead | Sep18, 2017 3:40:39 PM | 21
Re. Ben #7:

To be fair he did put an end to Timber Sycamore. The deep state wouldn't have pushed so hard on the Russian angle if there weren't a real upheaval. IMO, it went beyond simply covering for the DNC leaks. The whole establishment dog piled the Russian angle. It was for a time the principal means of disrupting Trump's agenda. I think Trump's token strike on the Syrian airbase is evidence of all of this. It was the absolute minimum he could have done in the face of a tidal wave of internal war pressures. And, they certainly could have gotten away with way more of the "trump is a Nazi angle," but they appear to have stopped after they got Bannon out.

Prescribing Trump, a monster though he is, as being at least the lesser war candidate holds IMO. What his presidency has illuminated above all else is the wild degree to which US is first and foremost of war. It is perhaps the most ubiquitous force that charges the US system.

That all said, we are going to find out real soon what the military is after. The SDF and SAA meeting in Deir Ezor is going to tell us a lot. This is perhaps their last chance at balkanization of Syria. A glimmer of hope still resides however in the supposed Pentagon revolt that took place over Obama's red line in the sand, as reported by Sy Hersh and others. As evil as the US military is, they dont seem to actually want war with Russia, unlike the intelligence complex. I, personally, am still hopeful at least about Syria.

somebody | Sep18, 2017 4:17:08 PM | 24
16 - let Putin explain it to you
The Russian leader expressed confidence that "one of the key components of our self-consciousness, one of the values and ideas is patriotism." Putin recalled the words of outstanding Soviet Russian scholar Dmitry Likhachev that patriotism drastically differs from nationalism. "Nationalism is hatred of other peoples, while patriotism is love for your motherland," Putin cited his words.
somebody | Sep18, 2017 4:38:26 PM | 25
add to 24

Or more historical: "Patriotism" was coined in Europe by the French revolution, forming a common state of citizens open to all who can identify with common values and culture. But American Patriots came before that and that is probably where the French got the word.

As a group, Patriots represented a wide array of social, economic and ethnic backgrounds.

"Nationalism" was a 19th century reaction to the export of the French revolution when European kingdoms tried a legitimization of borders based on language and genetics. It was all war from there to the Second World War and Auschwitz. If you want to sink the US in an internal Civil War try nationalism.

Jackrabbit | Sep18, 2017 4:42:09 PM | 26
I think there is some hyperventilating here. Was Trump 'turned'? Was his administration 'taken over' or was he always a figurehead? I decided several months ago that it was the latter:
> How Things Work: Betrayal by Faux Populist Leaders

> Taken In: Fake News Distracts Us from Fake Election

During his campaign Trump was vocally pro-military.

PS Hillary has always been pro-military also.

broders | Sep18, 2017 5:09:57 PM | 27
well, the system cannot "win"... dialectics... every steps it takes to control and secure "things", brings it closer to its end, and this, inevitably. no one wins, ever. no one looses even. the only way to fight and defeat evil is a decisive progress in goodness, to ignore it... the reality on the ground allows us to think that way, to set up concerts in the ruins, for good. thank you russia (as for the us military, they need 5 or 6 years to just cath up with last year's stand... but they still can agitate their little arms, so they do).
Christian Chuba | Sep18, 2017 5:40:56 PM | 28
Location, location, location
I am in shock and awe of our Pentagon (and CIA)'s ability to market themselves. I am convinced that this is their core area of competency as I read the slick consultant generated talking points on how $600B equals a dilapidated military instead of one that needs a purge. If we really have a readiness problem, heads should roll before they get more money but instead we cry for the incompetents.

The vaunted sea lanes and free trade

I used for fall for this nonsensical argument, that we needed 20 carrier groups to patrol the oceans to ensure free trade. Really? All we need is an international system of Coast Guards augmented by a few missile boats if there are some countries that don't have the budget for a coast guard to prevent piracy. We don't need aircraft carriers for that. Why do we assume that we need 24x7 aircraft coverage in the Pacific, Persian Gulf and Mediterranean? I have a vague memory of the 80's where it was a big deal that we 'sent our fleet' to the Mediterranean for some occasions. It wasn't assumed that we had a task force parked there 100% of the time.

I don't see why we can't get by with 6 or at most 8 carrier groups with the understanding that we would never deploy more than 2 for special occasions so that they can rotate assignments.

I don't want to think of one | Sep18, 2017 5:41:53 PM | 29
Disappointed in your post, b. Expected better.

"The insurgency that brought Trump to the top was defeated by a counter-insurgency campaign waged by the U.S. military. (Historically its first successful one)"

The USA was on the winning side for the Boxer Rebellion, the 1899-1902 Philippine Insurrection, and a lot of other counter-insurgency operations. Basic military history. Just wanted to mention that to set the correct tone, because your blog post started out factually incorrect and carried on that way until the end.

Basic reasoning test, b:

i) Do you think Trump has been defeated by 'the US military', or ii) do you think a small number of senior military men have thwarted Trump? Because the two are very different things.

I would argue that Mattis, McMaster, Kelly, and their line reports don't represent "the US military", or even its generals per se. They represent themselves as people financially beholden to major investment banks for their retirement funds; people fearful of being blackmailed and destroyed by the NSA and CIA and Mossad; people who rose to senior posts during prior administrations because they were flunkies to the establishment .

Do you think Trump is a weak-minded cretin? Because that's what your theory requires. That the guy can't remember his oft-repeated positions and statements after some briefings and a few months. I say that nobody loses their wits that fast, and nobody does a 180 on so many core policies without knowing that they're doing it.

Trump's wealth (at least in the high hundreds of millions $) and his election victory say he's no moron. He probably knows what he is doing. He's either a guy who gave up the struggle after getting the proverbial political hell beaten out of him in the first months of his administration, or he willingly misled his electoral base when campaigning. Perhaps a little of both. He's known for being a BS merchant. Myself, I think he lied outright to the voters during his run for president. It's not a wild idea: so did Obama, Bush, and Clinton. Bigly.

Trump made the decisions that we criticse so much. Trump decided to let the Obama holdovers stay in the administration. He decided to hire Goldman Sachs flunkies. He decided to send cruise missiles to strike Shayrat. He decided to approve US assistance to Saudi Arabia in Yemen. H decided to let his zionist son-in-law, who is indebted to George Soros, into the White House. He decided to fire Bannon almost as soon as Bannon came out publicly against war with North Korea. (Possibly a deliberate, desperate attempt at a 'spoiler' tactic on Bannon's part, to prevent conflict.) Trump decided to renege on his promises to the electorate about immigration. He decided to sign an unprecedented, unconstitutional law that bound his hands and imposed sanctions on Russia. He decided to go along with the Russian hacking lie by saying that Russia could, maybe, have hacked the DNC and HRC and whoever else (probably including Disney, the Shriners, and my mother). He decided to employ Sean Spicer and Reince Priebus, Scaramucchi and everyone else. He approved all of those things.

"It is indisputable that the generals are now ruling in Washington DC."
Yeah, nah. Pretty sure that's still the Wall St lobby, the Israel lobby, the CFR and the usual mob. Generals are just hired thugs, as Smedley Butler put it. Or as Kissinger put it, the US military is made up of "Military men" who "are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns."

What you've done, b, is to pull together some half-formed thoughts and mashed them all together. It sounds badass as a righteously indignant blog post, and I bet the Huffpost crowd would love it – but it fails as logic.

NemesisCalling | Sep18, 2017 5:58:47 PM | 30
@25 somebody

Nice play of semantics. But it still sounds like "patriotism" is a nice euphemism for nationalism. Why else would Putin be the scourge of the west? Reminds me too of how Putin played nice all through the Syrian War calling the US their "partner." Another euphemism. Seems like Putin likes to sound like the better man (and he is) but part of his strategy has always been to underplay his hand in the mix.

Don Bacon | Sep18, 2017 6:09:44 PM | 31
@CC #28
re: aircraft carriers

New carriers cost about $12B each, plus the cost of the 5,000 crew-members and aircraft, plus the cost of the accompanying fleet that goes with every carrier. Carriers have been mainly used in the last decade in the Gulf area to launch aircraft to bomb third world countries. Most carriers are in port most of the time because they require a lot of maintenance, which adds a lot more to expense. They are also used to sail near enemy countries, Washington believing that they are useful to scare third world countries into thinking that they may be bombed, which might make some sense except the results are questionable. As you indicate, the main threat to world shipping is piracy for which carrier fleets are useless. The good thing about having a carrier in the Persian Gulf much of the time is that it ensures that Iran would not be attacked; it would be a sitting duck.

The current location of the eleven US carriers is below taken from here . There is a new addition to the fleet, CVN-78 Gerald R. Ford.
1 - Persian Gulf
1 - hurricane duty
1 - off Carolina coast
1- off Japan coast
7 - port

les7 | Sep18, 2017 6:22:59 PM | 32
There are generals and then there are generals... Just which ones are taking over? The Neo-con backed guys? The Pro-pentagon guys? The CIA/JSOC guys? The Black Ops Guys? or the Black on Black Ops guys? The reason I ask is that at one time they were all fighting each other in N.Syria.

It is not especially clear to me (being an outsider to US politics) which of the groups (or combination of groups) seems to have come out on top and have their guys as the gate-keeping, information-vetting guys doing the briefing of Trump. My feel of it is that the Pentagon has gained while JSOC, the black ops contractors, and black-on-black ops contractors have lost. The CIA seems to have broken even. Is this a fair read?

If so... I think it is overall a good thing (the beso of an bunch of bad) because the Pentagon have shown themselves to be a lot more sane when it comes to creating conflict zones. They tend to be less covert, a lot more overt and a lot less likely to forment war for the sake of some corporation or political subset of the ruling elite.

thoughts anyone?

Don Bacon | Sep18, 2017 6:24:14 PM | 33
#29
You're wrong. It's obvious who's in charge in Washington currently. There is no doubt that, politically speaking, the insurgency that brought Trump to the top was defeated by a counter-insurgency campaign waged by the U.S. military. Generals Mattis, McMaster and Kelly are paramount in the new administration. Mattis has been given decision power on war, which Trump had promised to curtail.

McMaster, with no diplomatic experience, is national security and Kelly manages Trump's office.

The whole administration has taken a new tack with these generals and their military cohorts -- they do no stand alone, they are part of an institution -- managing US foreign policy. Concomitant to this are other factors including the cut in the State Department budget, the appointment of neophyte and hawkish Haley at the UN and Trump's romance with Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Palloy | Sep18, 2017 6:45:10 PM | 34
Politics is always complex and messy and no one ever "rules" in the way being assumed. The military have always had a big say - how else did they get such a huge budget for years on end? CIA have always played a big part, likewise FBI, NSA, Wall St., CFR, Fed, IMF and so on. Three, maybe six , Generals now have a bigger influence. Bannon has gone, so less influence for the deplorables. That is only a subtle change in the big scheme of things.

And now we are going to have a military parade down Pennsylvania Avenue on 4th of July, http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-18/day-fire-and-fury-trump-considers-military-parade-down-pennsylvania-avenue (sorry -don't know what you want for links), just like that other fat person with a funny hair-cut, inexperienced, erratic and unpredictable, nuclear-armed and dangerous.

This is the just the death throes of an empire that is meeting the Limits to Growth. Expect MUCH MUCH worse to come. I think it will be SO horrible, many people will take the suicide option.

Linda O | Sep18, 2017 7:22:25 PM | 35
Obviously any 1000 or so word article is going to woefully simplified compared to the decades of historical and political research that will dissect the Trump presidency in the finest detail, I will say that this article has one glaring flaw that significantly lessens its value. Trump has rolled over for EVERYTHING and EVERYONE in Washington. There really is nothing special about the military's ease with which they captured and neutered Trump.

I don't think there is a single area of his campaign platform that he has given up on or flip-flopped on. I don't think there is any other president who has been a comparable ACROSS THE BOARD FAILURE like Trump.

No one has ever been surprised that the wacky, inane, or divorced from reality promises presidents made to get themselves elected never were followed through on. But every single president before Trump at the very least had a core set of priorities they immediately set in motion.

The failure of the Trump presidency should for once and for all put to rest the silly and juvinille dream of the lone super man heading off to Washington to FINALLY TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS and show those sleazy career politicians who things are done in the real world.

Trump walked into the White House with absolutely no governing apparatus ready to go on day one like every other presidential candidate has in the past.

Presidential candidates spend decades building up a vast network of people ready to hit the ground running and know how Washington works from the moment the election is over.

One has to wonder if Trump really ever expected to win. Or just has a complete lack of interest in the massive network o loyal and knowledgeable people needed to setup a brand new presidential administration.

And there is no check on how badly the Trump administration can fail. His base appears to be currled up in fetal position on Breitbart collectively chanting 'this is not happening, this is not happening.'

I don't think I've ever felt more joy than seeing that ABSOLUTE FILTH Hillary Clinton get here murderous and vile ass get handed to her by a TV personality.

Never in my dreams did I think Trump wouldn't accomplish ANYTHING.

So Trump fans, keep posting those MEMES and WINNING --

VietnamVet | Sep18, 2017 7:30:08 PM | 36
b's analysis rings true. The establishment has reined in Donald Trump. On their return from Florida, it appeared that Melania Trump is well aware of the history of the House of Bourbon. One does not become a Four-star General in the establishment today without an instinctive understanding of the needs of the organ grinder. The end stage of an Empire is everybody for themselves. The open source insurrection is over until it isn't anymore. Periodic combat takeoffs from Joint Base Andrews are not reassuring. The desire to stay alive is the only brake on the rush to a nuclear war with North Korea or the heating up of the Cold War with Russia.
Madmen | Sep18, 2017 7:58:27 PM | 38
A great follow-up article to an UNZ article early this year which stated:

During the election campaign the power elite's military faction under Trump confounded all political pundits by outflanking and decisively defeating the power elite's political faction. In fact by capturing the Republican nomination and overwhelmingly defeating the Democratic establishment, Trump and the military faction not just shattered the power elites' political faction, within both the Democratic and Republican parties, but simultaneously ended both the Clinton and Bush dynasties.

During the election campaign the power elite's corporate faction realised, far too late, that Trump was a direct threat to their power base, and turned the full force of their corporate media against Trump's military faction, while Trump using social media bypassed and eviscerated the corporate media causing them to lose all remaining credibility.

http://www.unz.com/article/political-sciences-theory-of-everything-on-the-2016-us-election/

PavewayIV | Sep18, 2017 8:15:14 PM | 39
I respectfully disagree with everyone. There is nobody in charge in Washington DC and hasn't been for a long time.

There are psychopathic oligarchs, warlords, fiefdoms and secret cabals milking their power and authority for a variety of self-serving interests with varying degrees of success and failure. The entire government has mutated to an arena where the above powers spar for more control and more money day after day. There is no real oversight. It's too complex and secretive for any one person or group to be 'in charge'.

The announcer is not 'in charge'. He's just the announcer, nothing more. And the little people are just spectators, nothing more.

MadMax2 | Sep18, 2017 8:23:13 PM | 40
@34 Palloy

Couldn't agree more re: Limits to Growth. And no prizes for guessing which major economies have gone about insulating themselves against the pitfalls of cowboy economics... nothing was fixed, repaired, refitted or replaced after 2008...crazy that any chance of sensible, sustainable capitalism in the west might be lost to the cannibals need of rampant consumerism. I'll side with the nations that keep an interest in public banking systems rather than the one's that encourage it citizens ro eat the face off one another.

It's not all dark though, The Tale of The Don is really a romantic one... Of the wild west never ending... Of the railroad tycoons that never really died.

Jackrabbit gets more right with every passing day... there is no such thing as an outsider the moment you win.

Don Bacon | Sep18, 2017 8:27:27 PM | 41
@ 38
Yes, the power elite's military faction. Not: "I would argue that Mattis, McMaster, Kelly, and their line reports don't represent "the US military", or even its generals per se. They represent themselves as people financially beholden to major investment banks. . ."

Outsiders don't appreciate the power of the strengthening military-industrial complex that Eisenhower cautioned about in his farewell address.

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense. We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security alone more than the net income of all United States corporations.

Now this conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet, we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved. So is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Don Bacon | Sep18, 2017 8:31:06 PM | 42
from "The Hill": Overnight Defense: Senate passes $700B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions
V. Arnold | Sep18, 2017 8:34:04 PM | 43
A Chinese fire drill best describes what passes for the U.S.'s present level of policy. Most of the world watches; aghast at the spectacle, while cowering with fear at the hubris...
Jackrabbit | Sep18, 2017 8:38:28 PM | 44
@spudski

But other commenters have also been critical, though less colorful.

@Madmen

Is the possibility of Trump as controlled opposition so far-fetched? Do you think the "power elite's political wing" only runs one candidate? Have you heard of "illusion of choice"? Do you think sheepdog Bernie was a real candidate?

Obama and Trump both gained greater apparent legitimacy by: 1) beating the establishment candidate; and 2) being besieged by bat-shit crazy critics (birthers; anti-Russians & antifa).

As soon as you choose a side, you are trapped. Two sides of the same coin. Minted in hell.

V. Arnold | Sep18, 2017 9:00:19 PM | 45
Jackrabbit @ Sep18, 2017 8:38:28 PM | 44

As soon as you choose a side, you are trapped. Two sides of the same coin. Minted in hell.

Nice, I like it...

spudski | Sep18, 2017 9:01:53 PM | 46
@Jackrabbit

Agreed. I had no problem with the substance, in fact I like the fact that there are diverse opinions here and I learn a lot from the discussions. I just didn't need the gratuitous insults to b given how much effort he puts in here.

[Sep 18, 2017] Trump won but he is completely alone. The Neocons have a total, repeat total, control of the Congress, the media, banking and finance, and the courts. From Clinton to Clinton they have deeply infiltrated the Pentagon, Foggy Bottom, and the three letter agencies by The Saker

Although he speaks about the USA being occupied, looks like Saker does not understand that that the US empire is actually a global neoliberal empire where multinationals and financial oligarchy have political control. And without a viable alternative it probably will not collapse, as any collapse presuppose the withdrawal of support. The necessary level of isolation is possible only if a an alternative is present
Now like in befor the World War Ii there is struggle for "spheres of influence", in which the USA is gradually losing as both Germany and Japan restored their industrial potential and China is a new powerful player on the world scene, which now is allied with Russia with its formidable nuclear deterrent that now anti-missile defense can neutralize"
Also the USA venture into Ukraine means the completion of revision of the results of WWII, which opened a new can of worms for the USA making Russia essentially a hostile power (which neocon admit and try to exploit via the current neo-McCarthism witch hunt)
Notable quotes:
"... Trump wins. Problem: he will be completely alone. The Neocons have a total, repeat total, control of the Congress, the media, banking and finance, and the courts. From Clinton to Clinton they have deeply infiltrated the Pentagon, Foggy Bottom, and the three letter agencies. ..."
"... In their hate-filled rage against Trump and the American people (aka "the basket of deplorables") the Neocons have had to show their true face. By their rejection of the outcome of the elections, by their riots, their demonization of Trump, the Neocons have shown two crucial things: first, that the US democracy is a sad joke and that they, the Neocons, are an occupation regime which rules against the will of the American people. ..."
"... And since, just like Israel, the USA are unable to frighten their enemies, they are basically left with nothing, no legitimacy, no ability to coerce. So yes, the Neocons have won. But their victory is removes the last chance for the US to avoid a collapse. ..."
"... Externally, the US foreign policy is basically "frozen" and in lieu of a foreign policy we now only have a long series of empty threats hurled at a list of demonized countries which are now promised "fire and brimstone" should they dare to disobey Uncle Sam. ..."
"... This bizarre, and illegal, form of a "vote of no-confidence" further hammers in the message that Trump is either a madman, a traitor, or both. ..."
"... Organizationally, it is clear that Trump is surrounded by enemies as illustrated by the absolutely outrageous fact that he can't even talk to a foreign head of state without having the transcript of his conversation leaked to the Ziomedia . ..."
"... I believe that these all are preparatory steps to trigger a major crisis and use it to remove Trump, either by a process of impeachment, or by force under the pretext of some crisis. Just look at the message which the Ziomedia has been hammeing into the brains of the US population. ..."
"... just imagine the reaction in South Korea and Japan if some crazy US strike on the DPRK results in Seoul and Tokyo being hit by missiles! ..."
"... when the cat is gone, the mice dance ..."
"... The mouse dreams dreams that would terrify the cat ..."
"... Third, for all the encouraging statistics about the Dow Jones, unemployment and growth, the reality is that the US society is rapidly transforming itself in a three-tired one: on top, a small number of obscenely rich people, under them, a certain amount of qualified professionals who service the filthy rich and who struggle to maintain a lifestyle which in the past was associated with the middle-class. And then the vast majority of Americans who basically are looking at making "minimal wage plus a little something" and who basically survive by not paying for health insurance, by typically working two jobs, by eating cheap and unhealthy "prolefeed" and by giving up on that which every American worker could enjoy in the 1950s and 1960s (have one parent at home, have paid holidays, a second vacation home, etc.). Americans are mostly hard workers and, so far, most of them are surviving, but they are mostly one paycheck away from seriously bad poverty. A lot of them only make ends meet because they get help from their parents and grand-parents (the same is true of southern Europe, by the way). A large segment of the US population now survives only because of Walmart and the Dollar Store. Once that fails, food stamps are the last option. That, or jail, of course. ..."
"... No wonder that when so many Americans heard Hillary's comment about the "basket of deplorables" they took that as declaration of war. ..."
"... Whatever may be the case, by their manic insistence, on one hand, to humiliate and crush Trump and, on the other, to repress millions of Americans the Neocons are committing a double mistake. First, they are showing their true face and, second, they are subverting the very institutions they are using to control and run this country. ..."
"... What makes the gradual collapse of the AngloZionist Empire so uniquely dangerous is that it is by far the biggest and most powerful empire in world history. No empire has ever had the quasi monopoly on power the USA enjoyed since WWII. By any measure, military, economic, political, social, the US came out of WWII as a giant and while there were ups and downs during the subsequent decades, the collapse of the USSR only reaffirmed what appeared to be the total victory of the United States. ..."
"... And if Obama was probably the most incompetent President in US history, Trump will be the first one to be openly lynched while in office. As a result, the AngloZionist Empire is now like a huge freight train which has lost its locomotive but still has an immense momentum pushing it forward even though there is nobody in control any more. The rest of the planet, with the irrelevant exception of the East Europeans, is now scrambling in horror to get out of the path of this out of control train. So far, the tracks (minimal common sense, political realities) are more or less holding, but a crash (political, economic or military) could happen at any moment. And that is very, very scary. ..."
"... The US has anywhere between 700 to 1000 military bases worldwide, the entire international financial system is deeply enmeshed with the US economy, the US Dollar is still the only real reserve currency, United States Treasury securities are held by all the key international players (including Russia and China), SWIFT is politically controlled by the US, the US is the only country in the world that can print as much money as it wants and, last but not least, the US has a huge nuclear arsenal. As a result, a US collapse would threaten everybody and that means that nobody would want to trigger one. The collapse of the Soviet Union threatened the rest of mankind only in one way: by its nuclear arsenal. In contrast, any collapse of the United States would threaten everybody in many different ways. ..."
"... This is the irony of our situation: even though the entire planet is sick and tried of the incompetent arrogance of the AngloZionists, nobody out there wants their Empire to catastrophically collapse. And yet, with the Neocons in power, such a collapse appears inevitable with potentially devastating consequences for everybody. ..."
"... This is really amazing, think of it: everybody hates the Neocons, not only a majority of the American people, but truly the entire planet. And yet that numerically small group of people has somehow managed to put everybody in danger, including themselves, due to their ugly vindictiveness, infinite arrogance and ideology-induced short-sightedness. That this could ever have happened, and at a planetary scale, is a dramatic testimony to the moral and spiritual decay of our civilization: how did we ever let things get that far?! ..."
"... My biggest hope with Trump was that he would be willing to sacrifice the Empire for the sake of the US (the opposite of what the Neocons are doing: they are willing to sacrifice the US for the sake of their Empire) and that he would manage a relatively safe and hopefully non-violent transition from Empire to "normal country" for the US. Clearly, this is ain't happening. Instead, the Neocons are threatening everybody: the Chinese, the Russians, the North Koreans and the Venezuelans of course, but also the Europeans (economically), the entire Middle-East (via the "only democracy in the Middle-East"), all the developing countries and even the American people. Heck, they are even threatening the US President himself, and in not-so-subtle ways! ..."
"... my overwhelming sense is that Trump will be removed from office, either for "high crimes and misdemeanors" or for "medical reasons" (they will simply declare him insane and unfit to be the President). ..."
"... The evil hand of the "Russian KGB" (yes, I know, the KGB was dissolved in 1991) will be found everywhere, especially amongst US libertarians (who will probably the only ones with enough brains to understand what is taking place). The (pseudo-) "Left" will rejoice. ..."
"... Should this course of action result in an unexpected level or resistance, either regional or social, a 9-11 false flag followed by a war will the most likely scenario (why stray away from something which worked so well the first time around?!). ..."
"... in 1991 when the US sent the 82nd AB to Iraq there was nothing standing between this light infantry force and the Iraqi armored divisions. Had the Iraqis attacked the plan was to use tactical nuclear weapons. Then this was all quickly forgotten ..."
"... There is a reason why the Neocons thrive in times of crisis: it allows them to hide behind the mayhem, especially when they are the ones who triggered the mayhem in the first place. This means that as long as the Neocons are anywhere near in power they will never, ever, allow peace to suddenly break out, lest the spotlight be suddenly shined directly upon them. Chaos, wars, crises – this is their natural habitat. Think of it as the by-product of their existence. Eventually, of course, they will be stopped and they will be defeated, like all their predecessors in history. But I shudder when I think of the price mankind will have to pay this time around. ..."
Aug 18, 2017 | www.unz.com

First, my writing on the wall

In October of last year a wrote an analysis I entitled The USA are about to face the worst crisis of their history and how Putin's example might inspire Trump and I think that this is a good time to revisit it now. I began the analysis by looking at the calamities which would befall the United States if Hillary was elected. Since this did not happen (thank God!), we can safely ignore that part and look at my prediction of what would happen if Trump was elected. Here is what I wrote:

Trump wins. Problem: he will be completely alone. The Neocons have a total, repeat total, control of the Congress, the media, banking and finance, and the courts. From Clinton to Clinton they have deeply infiltrated the Pentagon, Foggy Bottom, and the three letter agencies. The Fed is their stronghold. How in the world will Trump deal with these rabid " crazies in the basement "? Consider the vicious hate campaign which all these "personalities" (from actors, to politicians to reporters) have unleashed against Trump – they have burned their bridges, they know that they will lose it all if Trump wins (and, if he proves to be an easy pushover his election will make no difference anyway). The Neocons have nothing to lose and they will fight to the very last one.

What could Trump possibly do to get anything done if he is surrounded by Neocons and their agents of influence? Bring in an entirely different team? How is he going to vet them? His first choice was to take Pence as a VP – a disaster (he is already sabotaging Trump on Syria and the elections outcome). I *dread* the hear whom Trump will appoint as a White House Chief of Staff as I am afraid that just to appease the Neocons he will appoint some new version of the infamous Rahm Emanuel And should Trump prove that he has both principles and courage, the Neocons can always "Dallas" him and replace him with Pence. Et voilà !

I went on to suggest that Trump's only option would be to follow Putin's example and do the the Neocons what Putin did to the oligarchs. Clearly that did not happen. In fact, one month after the election of Trump I wrote another analysis entitled " The Neocons and the "deep state" have neutered the Trump Presidency, it's over folks! ".

Less than a month ago I warned that a 'color revolution ' was taking place in the USA . My first element of proof was the so-called "investigation" which the CIA, FBI, NSA and others were conducting against President Trump's candidate to become National Security Advisor, General Flynn. Tonight, the plot to get rid of Flynn has finally succeeded and General Flynn had to offer his resignation . Trump accepted it. Now let's immediately get one thing out of the way: Flynn was hardly a saint or a perfect wise man who would single handedly saved the world. That he was not. However, what Flynn was is the cornerstone of Trump's national security policy . ( ) The Neocon run 'deep state' has now forced Flynn to resign under the idiotic pretext that he had a telephone conversation, on an open, insecure and clearly monitored, line with the Russian ambassador. And Trump accepted this resignation. Ever since Trump made it to the White House, he has taken blow after blow from the Neocon-run Ziomedia, from Congress, from all the Hollywood doubleplusgoodthinking "stars" and even from European politicians. And Trump took each blow without ever fighting back. Nowhere was his famous "you are fired!" to be seen. But I still had hope. I wanted to hope. I felt that it was my duty to hope. But now Trump has betrayed us all. Again, Flynn was not my hero. But he was, by all accounts, Trump's hero. And Trump betrayed him. The consequences of this will be immense. For one thing, Trump is now clearly broken. It took the 'deep state' only weeks to castrate Trump and to make him bow to the powers that be . Those who would have stood behind Trump will now feel that he will not stand behind them and they will all move back away from him. The Neocons will feel elated by the elimination of their worst enemy and emboldened by this victory they will push on, doubling-down over and over and over again. It's over, folks, the deep state has won.

I then concluded that the consequences of this victory would catastrophic for the United States:

In their hate-filled rage against Trump and the American people (aka "the basket of deplorables") the Neocons have had to show their true face. By their rejection of the outcome of the elections, by their riots, their demonization of Trump, the Neocons have shown two crucial things: first, that the US democracy is a sad joke and that they, the Neocons, are an occupation regime which rules against the will of the American people. In other words, just like Israel, the USA has no legitimacy left. And since, just like Israel, the USA are unable to frighten their enemies, they are basically left with nothing, no legitimacy, no ability to coerce. So yes, the Neocons have won. But their victory is removes the last chance for the US to avoid a collapse.

I think that what we are seeing today are the first signs of the impending collapse.

The symptoms of the agony

Externally, the US foreign policy is basically "frozen" and in lieu of a foreign policy we now only have a long series of empty threats hurled at a list of demonized countries which are now promised "fire and brimstone" should they dare to disobey Uncle Sam. While this makes for good headlines, this does not qualify as a "policy" of any kind (I discussed this issue at length during my recent interview with SouthFront ). And then there is Congress which has basically stripped Trump from his powers to conduct foreign policy . This bizarre, and illegal, form of a "vote of no-confidence" further hammers in the message that Trump is either a madman, a traitor, or both. Internally, the latest riots in Charlottesville now being blamed on Trump who, after being a Putin agent is now further demonized as some kind of Nazi (see Paul Craig Roberts' first and second warnings about this dynamic) Organizationally, it is clear that Trump is surrounded by enemies as illustrated by the absolutely outrageous fact that he can't even talk to a foreign head of state without having the transcript of his conversation leaked to the Ziomedia .

I believe that these all are preparatory steps to trigger a major crisis and use it to remove Trump, either by a process of impeachment, or by force under the pretext of some crisis. Just look at the message which the Ziomedia has been hammeing into the brains of the US population.

The psychological preparation for the forthcoming coup: scaring them all to death Here are three very telling examples taken from Newsweek's front page:

... ... ...

Ask yourself, what is the message here? Trump is a traitor, he works for Putin, Putin wants to destroy democracy in the United States and these two men together are the most dangerous men on the planet . This is a " plot against America ", no less! Not bad, right? "They" are clearly out there go get "us" and "we" are all in terrible danger: Kim Jong-un is about to declare nuclear war on the US, Xi and Putin are threatening the world with their armies, and "our" own President came to power courtesy of the "Russian KGB" and "Putin's hackers", he now works for the Russians, he is also clearly a Nazi, a White supremacist, a racist and, possibly, a " new Hitler " ( as is Putin , of course!).

And then, there are those truly scary Mooslims and Aye-rabs who apparently want only two things in life: destroy "our way of life" and kill all the "infidels". This is why we need the TSA, 16 intelligence agencies and militarized police SWAT teams everywhere: in case the terrorists come to get us where we live.

Dangerous international consequences

This would all be rather funny if it was not also extremely dangerous. For one thing, the US is really poking at a dangerous foe when it constantly tries to scare Kim Jong-un and the DPRK leadership. No, not because of the North Korean nukes (which are probably not real nuclear capable ICBMs but a not necessarily compatible combination of nuclear 'devices' and intermediate range ballistic missiles) but because of the huge and hard to destroy conventional North Korean military. The real threat are not missiles, but a deadly combination of conventional artillery and special forces which present very little danger to the US or the US military, but which present a huge threat for the population of Seoul and the northern section of South Korea. Nukes, in whatever form, are really only an added problem, a toxic "icing" on an already very dangerous 'conventional cake'.

[Sidebar - a real life nightmare : Now, if you *really* want to terrify yourself and stay awake all night then consider the following. While I personally believe that Kim Jong-un is not insane and that the main objective of the North Korean leadership is to avoid a war at all costs, what if I am wrong? What if those who say that the North Korean leaders are totally insane are right? Or, which I think is much more likely, what if Kim Jong-un and the North Korean leaders came to the conclusion that they have nothing to lose, that the Americans are going to kill them all, along with their families and friends? What could they, in theory, do if truly desperate? Well, let me tell you: forget about Guam; think Tokyo! Indeed, while the DPRK could devastate Seoul with old fashioned artillery systems, DPRK missiles are probably capable of striking Tokyo or the Keihanshin region encompassing Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe including the key industries of the Hanshin Industrial Region . The Greater Tokyo area (Kanto region) and the Keihanshin region are very densely populated (37 and 20 million people respectively) and contain an immense number of industries, many of which would produce an ecological disaster of immense proportions if hit by missiles. Not only that, but a strike on the key economic and financial nodes of Japan would probably result in a 9-11 kind of international economic collapse. So if the North Koreans wanted to really, really hurt the Americans what they could do is strike Seoul, and key cities in Japan resulting in a huge political crisis for the entire planet. During the Cold War we used to study the consequences of a Soviet strike against Japan and the conclusion was always the same: Japan cannot afford a war of any kind. The Japanese landmass is too small, too densely populated, to rich in lucrative targets and a war lay waste to the entire country. This is still true today, only more so. And just imagine the reaction in South Korea and Japan if some crazy US strike on the DPRK results in Seoul and Tokyo being hit by missiles! The South Koreans have already made their position unambiguously clear , by the way. As for the Japanese, they are officially placing their hopes in missiles (as if technology could mitigate the consequences of insanity!). So yeah, the DPRK is plenty dangerous and pushing them into their last resort is totally irresponsible indeed, nukes or no nukes]

What we are observing now is positive feedback loop in which each move by the Neocons results in a deeper and deeper destabilization of the entire system. Needless to say, this is extremely dangerous and can only result in an eventual catastrophe/collapse. In fact, the signs that the US is totally losing control are already all over the place, here are just a few headlines to illustrate this:

Iran could quit nuclear deal in 'hours' if new U.S. sanctions imposed: Rouhani Israel: Netanyahu declares support for a Kurdish state Syrian forces take 3 more towns en route to Deir ez-Zor in first airborne operation Maduro calls for nationwide 'anti-imperialist' drills after Trump's threat of 'military option' Soldiers of the 201st (Russian) base in Tadjikistan have been put on high alert as part of a military exercise Confirmed: Turkey to end support for anti-government terrorists in Syria Russia Plans Huge Zapad 2017 Military Exercises With Belarus

A French expression goes " when the cat is gone, the mice dance ", and this is exactly what is happening now: the US is both very weak and basically absent. As for the Armenians, they say " The mouse dreams dreams that would terrify the cat ". Well, the "mice" of the world are dancing and dreaming and simply ignoring the "cat". Every move the cat makes only makes things worse for him. The world is moving on, while the cat is busy destroying himself.

Dangerous domestic consequences

First on my list would be race riots. In fact, they are already happening all over the United States, but they are rarely presented as such. And I am not talking about the "official" riots of Black Lives Matter, which are bad enough, I am talking about the many mini-riots which the official media is systematically trying to obfuscate. Those interested in this topic should read the book here ). The simple truth is that no regime can survive for too long when it proactively supports the exact opposite of what it officially is supposed to stand for. The result? I have yet to meet an adult American who would sincerely believe that he/she lives in the "land of the free and the home of the brave". Maybe infants still buy this stuff, but even teenagers know that this is a load of bull.

Third, for all the encouraging statistics about the Dow Jones, unemployment and growth, the reality is that the US society is rapidly transforming itself in a three-tired one: on top, a small number of obscenely rich people, under them, a certain amount of qualified professionals who service the filthy rich and who struggle to maintain a lifestyle which in the past was associated with the middle-class. And then the vast majority of Americans who basically are looking at making "minimal wage plus a little something" and who basically survive by not paying for health insurance, by typically working two jobs, by eating cheap and unhealthy "prolefeed" and by giving up on that which every American worker could enjoy in the 1950s and 1960s (have one parent at home, have paid holidays, a second vacation home, etc.). Americans are mostly hard workers and, so far, most of them are surviving, but they are mostly one paycheck away from seriously bad poverty. A lot of them only make ends meet because they get help from their parents and grand-parents (the same is true of southern Europe, by the way). A large segment of the US population now survives only because of Walmart and the Dollar Store. Once that fails, food stamps are the last option. That, or jail, of course.

Combine all this and you get a potentially extremely explosive situation. No wonder that when so many Americans heard Hillary's comment about the "basket of deplorables" they took that as declaration of war.

And how do the Neocons plan to deal with all this? By cracking down on free speech and dissent, of course! What else? Their only response – repression of course!

YouTube, Google, Facebook, Twitter – they are all cracking down on "bad" speech which includes pretty much any topic a garden variety self-described 'liberal' frowns upon. GoDaddy and Google are even going after domain names. Oh sure, nobody gets thrown in jail for, say, defending the 2nd Amendment, but they get "demonetized" and their accounts simply closed. It's not the cops cracking down on free speech, it's "Corporate America", but the effect is the same. Apparently, the Neocons do not realize that censorship is not a viable strategy in the age of the Internet. Or maybe they do, and they are deliberately trying to trigger a backlash?

Then there is the vilification campaign in the media: unless you are some kind of 'minority' you are assumed to be nefarious by birth and guilty of all the evils on the planet. And your leader is Trump, of course, or maybe even Putin himself, vide supra. Christian heterosexual White males better run for cover

Whatever may be the case, by their manic insistence, on one hand, to humiliate and crush Trump and, on the other, to repress millions of Americans the Neocons are committing a double mistake. First, they are showing their true face and, second, they are subverting the very institutions they are using to control and run this country. That, of course, only further weaken the Neocons and the United States themselves and that further accelerates the positive feedback loop mentioned above which now threatens the entire international system.

Us and Them

What makes the gradual collapse of the AngloZionist Empire so uniquely dangerous is that it is by far the biggest and most powerful empire in world history. No empire has ever had the quasi monopoly on power the USA enjoyed since WWII. By any measure, military, economic, political, social, the US came out of WWII as a giant and while there were ups and downs during the subsequent decades, the collapse of the USSR only reaffirmed what appeared to be the total victory of the United States. In my admittedly subjective opinion, the last competent (no, I did not say 'good', I said 'competent') US President was George Herbert Walker Bush who, unlike his successors, at least knew how to run an Empire. After that, it is all downhill, faster and faster. And if Obama was probably the most incompetent President in US history, Trump will be the first one to be openly lynched while in office. As a result, the AngloZionist Empire is now like a huge freight train which has lost its locomotive but still has an immense momentum pushing it forward even though there is nobody in control any more. The rest of the planet, with the irrelevant exception of the East Europeans, is now scrambling in horror to get out of the path of this out of control train. So far, the tracks (minimal common sense, political realities) are more or less holding, but a crash (political, economic or military) could happen at any moment. And that is very, very scary.

The US has anywhere between 700 to 1000 military bases worldwide, the entire international financial system is deeply enmeshed with the US economy, the US Dollar is still the only real reserve currency, United States Treasury securities are held by all the key international players (including Russia and China), SWIFT is politically controlled by the US, the US is the only country in the world that can print as much money as it wants and, last but not least, the US has a huge nuclear arsenal. As a result, a US collapse would threaten everybody and that means that nobody would want to trigger one. The collapse of the Soviet Union threatened the rest of mankind only in one way: by its nuclear arsenal. In contrast, any collapse of the United States would threaten everybody in many different ways.

So the real question now is this: can the rest of the planet prevent a catastrophic collapse of the AngloZionist Empire?

This is the irony of our situation: even though the entire planet is sick and tried of the incompetent arrogance of the AngloZionists, nobody out there wants their Empire to catastrophically collapse. And yet, with the Neocons in power, such a collapse appears inevitable with potentially devastating consequences for everybody.

This is really amazing, think of it: everybody hates the Neocons, not only a majority of the American people, but truly the entire planet. And yet that numerically small group of people has somehow managed to put everybody in danger, including themselves, due to their ugly vindictiveness, infinite arrogance and ideology-induced short-sightedness. That this could ever have happened, and at a planetary scale, is a dramatic testimony to the moral and spiritual decay of our civilization: how did we ever let things get that far?!

And the next obvious question: can we still stop them?

I honestly don't know. I hope so, but I am not sure. My biggest hope with Trump was that he would be willing to sacrifice the Empire for the sake of the US (the opposite of what the Neocons are doing: they are willing to sacrifice the US for the sake of their Empire) and that he would manage a relatively safe and hopefully non-violent transition from Empire to "normal country" for the US. Clearly, this is ain't happening. Instead, the Neocons are threatening everybody: the Chinese, the Russians, the North Koreans and the Venezuelans of course, but also the Europeans (economically), the entire Middle-East (via the "only democracy in the Middle-East"), all the developing countries and even the American people. Heck, they are even threatening the US President himself, and in not-so-subtle ways!

So what's next?

Truly, I don't know. But my overwhelming sense is that Trump will be removed from office, either for "high crimes and misdemeanors" or for "medical reasons" (they will simply declare him insane and unfit to be the President). Seeing how weak and spineless Trump is, he might even be "convinced" to resign. I don't see them simply murdering him simply because he is no Kennedy either. After that, Pence comes to power and it will all be presented like a wonderful event, a group-hug of the elites followed by an immediate and merciless crackdown on any form of political opposition or dissent which will immediately be labeled as racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, terrorist, etc.

The evil hand of the "Russian KGB" (yes, I know, the KGB was dissolved in 1991) will be found everywhere, especially amongst US libertarians (who will probably the only ones with enough brains to understand what is taking place). The (pseudo-) "Left" will rejoice.

Should this course of action result in an unexpected level or resistance, either regional or social, a 9-11 false flag followed by a war will the most likely scenario (why stray away from something which worked so well the first time around?!). Unless the US decides to re-invade Grenada or give Nauru a much deserved thrashing, any more or less real war will result in a catastrophic failure for the US at which point the use of nukes by the Neocon crazies might become a very real risk, especially if symbolic US targets such as aircraft carriers are hit ( in 1991 when the US sent the 82nd AB to Iraq there was nothing standing between this light infantry force and the Iraqi armored divisions. Had the Iraqis attacked the plan was to use tactical nuclear weapons. Then this was all quickly forgotten ).

There is a reason why the Neocons thrive in times of crisis: it allows them to hide behind the mayhem, especially when they are the ones who triggered the mayhem in the first place. This means that as long as the Neocons are anywhere near in power they will never, ever, allow peace to suddenly break out, lest the spotlight be suddenly shined directly upon them. Chaos, wars, crises – this is their natural habitat. Think of it as the by-product of their existence. Eventually, of course, they will be stopped and they will be defeated, like all their predecessors in history. But I shudder when I think of the price mankind will have to pay this time around.

This analysis was written for The Unz Review

[Sep 17, 2017] Last year Roberts' predictions proved correct.

Sep 11, 2017 | www.unz.com

Priss Factor >, Website September 11, 2017 at 5:43 am GMT

From last year. Roberts' predictions proved correct.

https://youtu.be/TcvI9_B9qps

Trump can't do anything cuz of deep state and oligarchy.

Wally > , September 11, 2017 at 6:29 am GMT

@Priss Factor

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcvI9_B9qps

From last year. Roberts' predictions proved correct.

Trump can't do anything cuz of deep state and oligarchy.

Not quite. Gorsuch. Trump withdraws US from Paris Accord. President Trump Eliminates 860 Obama-Era Federal Regulations http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/07/21/great-again-trump-eliminates-860-obama-era-federal-regulations/

[Aug 29, 2017] 9 reasons Trumps dream of Russian reconciliation is now impossible

Notable quotes:
"... Dr. Samuel Johnson said that "the road to hell is good intentions". Donald Trump's good intentions in respect of Russia have led not to a new kind of hell but to the status quo becoming more entrenched. ..."
"... When Donald Trump took office, he bravely embarked on what could rightly be called 'mission difficult'. Now, the American deep state/military industrial complex has revealed that in reality, it was always going to be mission impossible due to geo-strategic realities, uniquely American arrogance which is embedded into the thinking of even many Washington moderates and finally, because we have learnt beyond a reasonable doubt, that the President of the United States is only as powerful as those around him, allow him to be. ..."
Aug 29, 2017 | theduran.com

"I hope that we do have good relations with Russia. I say it loud and clear, I've been saying it for years: I think it's a good thing if we have great relationships, or at least good relationships with Russia.

It's a big country, it's a nuclear country, it's a country that we should get along with, and I think we will eventually get along with Russia".

In spite of Trump's stated wishes, the policies of his administration, irrespective of who is actually authoring them, are in total opposition to Russia's stated geo-political goals and Russia's geo-strategic interests.

The Trump administration's approach to Venezuela, Afghanistan (and South Asia as a whole) and North Korea (and East Asia as a whole) and beyond is totally antithetical to the interests and stated desires of Russia and Russia's closest partners.

READ MORE: Venezuela, Afghanistan and North Korea: 3 conflicts which represent the US vs. China and Russia

Here are the key places where US policy under Trump and Russia's geo-political positions are in total opposition

1. Venezuela

In Venezuela Trump has threatened war and implemented sanctions against the government of Nicolas Maduro. Russia by contrast vehemently opposes sanctions and war.

2. Afghanistan

Trump's flagship policy of a troop surge in Afghanistan is opposed by Russia as is his policy to effectively bomb the Taliban to the peace table.

Russia favours a process which would see moderate rebel elements of the Taliban invited to a peace table in conjunction with a cease-fire in order to develop a lasting peace based on reconciliation between the Taliban and the government in Kabul, something which in reality means a reconciliation between Pashtun Afghans and the ethnic minorities who are in the current government.

Russia also takes exception to Trump's threats and criticisms against Pakistan, a country which is rapidly becoming an important Russian partner in South Asia.

3. North Korea

Just this morning, Donald Trump once again threatened war on North Korea. By contrast, Russia has said multiple times that war can never be considered an option on the Korean peninsula and has called for the US to cease its delivery of THADD missile systems to South Korea and has also called for a cessation of US-South Korea military drills. In each of these cases, the US has totally ignored Russia and China's requests, in spite of the fact that both states border the Korean peninsula.

Russia like China also calls for direct talks between Washington and Pyongyang, something the Trump administration is apparently not considering seriously at this time.

4. South China Sea

While Russia is not directly involved with the South China Sea dispute, America's provocative stance on the region has infuriated Russia's most important partner, China. America's imperial actions in the region, confusingly called 'freedom of navigation' by Washington, do not bode well for Moscow which wants to see cooperation rather than confrontation in Asia.

5. Turkey

While Russia is fast becoming an important partner of Ankara, the US seems to be t hrowing out its nearly century long alliance with Turkey.

The US has blatantly disregarded Turkish concerns about America's arming and funding of Kurdish militants in Syria while Russia continues to show courtesy and countenance for Turkey's position which is shared by Iran.

6. Europe

Russia has constantly called for NATO to de-escalate its presence in Europe, but under the Trump administration, Obama's own European 'troop surge' has continued with no signs of stopping. Donald Trump's recent speech in Poland where he quoted deeply Russophobic propaganda does not bode well for reconciliation between America's EU allies and Russia.

7. Palestine/Israel

While the US approach to the conflict in the Levant is completely one-sided, Russia maintains uniquely good relations with both Palestinian leaders and Israeli leaders in Tel Aviv. While Russia's approach is clearly a conflict aversion tactic, if the US supported Israel in any aggression against Syria, this would clearly end any attempts at fledgling cooperation between the US and Russia in a Syrian conflict which is in any case, drawing to a close. Russia is carefully balancing the interests of its Syrian partner with trying to contain the aggressive military posturing of the Israeli regime with which Russia continues to do business.

Any US support of an Israeli strike against any Middle Eastern country would throw theSyrian de-escalation zone which is jointly policed by America, Russia and Jordan, into disarray. To this end, the south western Syrian de-escalation zone is thus far the only area where the Trump administration has made any progress in respect of improving relations with Russia. Currently, it hangs by a thread for more reasons than one.

8. Iran and the Persian Gulf

While Donald Trump's Tweets indicate a policy that is fully pro-Saudi, even as his own state department emphases a US position of neutrality, as Qatar works to re-normalise relations with Iran, the US could find itself increasingly at odds with its technical ally in Doha.

In respect of Iran itself, Donald Trump continues to advocate hostile policies against Tehran which include threats to tear up the so-called Iran Nuclear Deal as well as false accusations of Iran sponsoring terrorism.

Russia by contrast is an economic partner of Iran and is working with Iran to combat Salafist terrorists in Syria. In the Persian Gulf, Russia has won respect from Qatar for adopting a genuine and unambiguous position of neutrality. This has also allowed Russia to maintain healthy relations with Saudi through out the conflict.

9. Libya

The US and the west more broadly seems to have no coherent strategy to deal with the Libyan failed state, beyond propping up the fledgling Government of National Accord, which is competing with the National Salvation Government as well as assorted militant groups for control of Tripoli.

By contrast, Russia continues to engage with Khalifa Haftar, the leader of Libya's only successful and well organised military, the Libyan National Army. The LNA is also the only force in Libya that has successfully liberated important cities from terrorist control, namely the eastern city of Benghazi.

Egypt continues to support Haftar and the Libyan House of Representatives from which he derives political legitimacy. As Russia becomes ever closer to the government in Cairo, it would appear that Russia's plan to help reconcile Haftar's forces with what's left of the UN backed government in Tripoli, is the closest thing any non-Arab power has to a plan for Libya.

The US appears to have no plans at all, but one can count on the US opposing Russian involvement in Libya, even though there is now little the US could conceivably do to stop Moscow and Cairo from cooperating in a country the US first destroyed and later abandoned.

CONCLUSION

As I warned prior to Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin's first meeting,

"With all the fuss over Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump meeting later this week at the G20 summit, many have conspicuously failed to grasp that the monumental task ahead of both leaders has little to do with their own period in government and even less to do with their personalities. These things of course do matter, but their importance is dwarfed by larger historical and present economic and geo-strategic concerns.

With that in mind, here are the giant obstacles that both Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin will be faced with when they meet".

READ MORE: 5 obstacles Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin will have to address in their meeting

In the month and three quarters since the Trump-Putin meeting, this situation has merely intensified. Differences in American and Russian geo-political interests have become ever more pronounced and the Trump administration shows no signs of even attempting to meet Russia half way, let alone approach the situation in a pragmatic manner. The ideological dogmas of the US continue as if Donald Trump is the mere figurehead in foreign affairs that many believe him to literally be.

Donald Trump's personal respect for Russia seems genuine beyond any lingering doubts. He has no reason to say he wants warm relations with Russia any longer but he still says he does.

The policies of his administration however, belie the supreme difficulty of implementing such policies or even attempting to do so.

Dr. Samuel Johnson said that "the road to hell is good intentions". Donald Trump's good intentions in respect of Russia have led not to a new kind of hell but to the status quo becoming more entrenched.

When Donald Trump took office, he bravely embarked on what could rightly be called 'mission difficult'. Now, the American deep state/military industrial complex has revealed that in reality, it was always going to be mission impossible due to geo-strategic realities, uniquely American arrogance which is embedded into the thinking of even many Washington moderates and finally, because we have learnt beyond a reasonable doubt, that the President of the United States is only as powerful as those around him, allow him to be.

[Aug 26, 2017] Gorka Bannon, others 'systematically undermined'

Notable quotes:
"... "I realized after the President's speech this week on Afghanistan that he's not being well-served," Gorka said. "That speech was written by people for the President in direct contravention of everything that we voted for November the 8th." ..."
"... In his interview Saturday, Gorka said: "It is important now that key personalities inside the NSC have been removed that we keep the pressure on from the outside because we must continue until global jihadism is a laughing stock and does not pose a serious threat to America and our friends or allies" ..."
"... On the day he was fired, Bannon told The Weekly Standard: "The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over." He added, "We still have a huge movement, and we will make something of this Trump presidency. But that presidency is over. It'll be something else." ..."
"... Gorka said on Saturday: "I decided, just as with Steve, we can be far more effective for the President on the outside, and it's a very exciting day for me and my family to start again supporting the MAGA message as private citizens." ..."
"... CNN's Kevin Liptak, Kaitlan Collins and Eric Bradner, contributed to this report. ..."
Aug 26, 2017 | www.msn.com

Gorka also stressed to Breitbart's Matt Boyle on SiriusXM Patriot on Saturday morning that he decided to resign after President Donald Trump delivered a speech Monday night outlining the US path forward in Afghanistan, including an unspecified troop increase.

"I realized after the President's speech this week on Afghanistan that he's not being well-served," Gorka said. "That speech was written by people for the President in direct contravention of everything that we voted for November the 8th."

... ... ...

In his interview Saturday, Gorka said: "It is important now that key personalities inside the NSC have been removed that we keep the pressure on from the outside because we must continue until global jihadism is a laughing stock and does not pose a serious threat to America and our friends or allies"

Gorka echoed comments Bannon made after he left the administration regarding the officials who now occupy the West Wing.

On the day he was fired, Bannon told The Weekly Standard: "The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over." He added, "We still have a huge movement, and we will make something of this Trump presidency. But that presidency is over. It'll be something else."

Gorka said on Saturday: "I decided, just as with Steve, we can be far more effective for the President on the outside, and it's a very exciting day for me and my family to start again supporting the MAGA message as private citizens."

"Time to make #MAGA real outside the @WhiteHouse," he tweeted after the interview.

CNN's Kevin Liptak, Kaitlan Collins and Eric Bradner, contributed to this report.

[Aug 24, 2017] Robert Reich Has a Message for Trump Voters, Whether They Want to Hear It or Not

Notable quotes:
"... He did not drain the swamp. After telling voters how he would take control away from special interests, he has surrounded himself with the very Wall Street players he decried. Now, those who gamed politicians for tax loopholes and laws that reward the rich don't even have to sneak around with backroom deals. ..."
"... Steve Mnuchin, Gary Cohn, Dina Powell and others from Wall Street, as well as corporate lobbyists by the dozens, are now inside the Trump administration rigging the system for the extremely wealthy from the inside. ..."
"... They want to make it easier for banks to once again gamble with your money and repeat our financial crisis. They want to cut health care for millions of you. They want to lower taxes on corporations and the rich. They want to get rid of rules that stop corporations from harming your health or safety. ..."
"... That's not the change you were promised. Make America Great Again? The Trump administration wants to expand on policies that have kept American wages stagnant for almost four decades. Huge corporations and billionaires get the breaks, and hard working Americans once again get left waiting for the crumbs. That's not the change you were promised. ..."
Aug 24, 2017 | www.alternet.org

You voted to change our country's power base – to get rid of crony capitalism and give our government back to the people who are working, paying taxes, and spending more just to survive. Lots of Americans agree with you. But now, the president is turning his back on that idea and the many changes he promised.

He did not drain the swamp. After telling voters how he would take control away from special interests, he has surrounded himself with the very Wall Street players he decried. Now, those who gamed politicians for tax loopholes and laws that reward the rich don't even have to sneak around with backroom deals.

Steve Mnuchin, Gary Cohn, Dina Powell and others from Wall Street, as well as corporate lobbyists by the dozens, are now inside the Trump administration rigging the system for the extremely wealthy from the inside.

They want to make it easier for banks to once again gamble with your money and repeat our financial crisis. They want to cut health care for millions of you. They want to lower taxes on corporations and the rich. They want to get rid of rules that stop corporations from harming your health or safety.

That's not the change you were promised. Make America Great Again? The Trump administration wants to expand on policies that have kept American wages stagnant for almost four decades. Huge corporations and billionaires get the breaks, and hard working Americans once again get left waiting for the crumbs. That's not the change you were promised.

Bringing back fiscal responsibility? The Secret Service budget is skyrocketing to protect his family on international business trips, ski vacations, and separate New York City living quarters.

At the same time, the president still refuses to untangle himself from his businesses and prove he's not leveraging our government for his financial gain. You're paying for his lifestyle while he's doing nothing to help yours.

That's not the change you were promised.

[Aug 24, 2017] 'It's a coup d'etat' Antiwar conservatives decry Trump's Afghanistan surge

Notable quotes:
"... The Hillary Clinton supporting Deep State is elated by this decision. Naturally most of the media is too. ..."
"... The warmongering is not stopping. Most people don't even know in how many conflicts the US is involved in and now they will know even less until it is too late. ..."
"... There are very few policy positions held by Trump that I support, but pulling U.S. troops out of the Afghanistan quagmire was one of them. More broken promises, more advancement of failed "macho aggression" tactics, and more loss of lives and treasure. Thanks Trump -- you stink. ..."
"... There is too much money to be made. Follow the money! ..."
"... He was reading what Gen. Kelly had written off of a teleprompter. Anybody can show some semblance of balance and sense when they read someone else's words off of a teleprompter. ..."
"... The "anti war conservatives" who are now complaining: (1) elected a president with no governing experience and hence no foreign policy track record whatsoever, (2) apparently relied on Trump's words alone in concluding he would advance the foreign policy they advocate, and (3) did so knowing Trump repeatedly and habitually lies about matters both big and small. This is a recipe for disappointment. ..."
"... The truth at this point should be obvious to conservatives and liberals (and everybody in between): This president is a reality television personality -- nothing more. He said what he needed to say to get elected, and he's not terribly concerned with promises made. Look no further than his promises that Mexico would "pay for" a border wall while he essentially confided to the Mexican president that no such payment actually was expected. ..."
"... Your country's politicians, army and intelligence officers like to keep the cauldron of Afghanistan and Kashmir on either side boiling all the time, so U.S dollars keep pouring in and they can continue with their luxurious way of life. ..."
"... Remember when the Taliban were "Freedom Fighters". And if I remember correctly the Taliban were the good guys in one of those Rambo movies. ... ..."
"... These people are idiots. The President has surrounded himself with the "War Party." From numerous barely retired Generals to nationalists like Gorka and even the DeVos/Prince connection. Not exactly the party of peace. ..."
"... Yes, Prince will be raking it in. Especially when he manages to convince Trump mercenaries are a great solution ..."
Aug 23, 2017 | www.washingtonpost.com

President Trump's speech advocating a stepped-up military commitment in Afghanistan won him his first positive reviews from some Republicans in weeks -- and a respite from the controversy over his handling of Charlottesville.

"I think I heard a new Trump strategy, or doctrine," said House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.).

"I think there'll be a lot of bipartisan support in Congress for this proposal," said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.).

But the speech was a horror for one portion of Trump's base -- conservatives opposed to military adventurism. Having celebrated when Trump mocked the Bush-era foreign policy consensus, opposing (after the fact) the Iraq War.

"Everybody who voted for Donald Trump hoping that he would reduce the US military's involvement in foreign wars has been made a fool of," American Conservative columnist Rod Dreher wrote in a Wednesday morning column. "I'm sorry, but there it is."

[In escalating America's longest war, Trump acts against his 'original instinct']

At AntiWar.com, a hub for anti-imperialist libertarians, the Trump speech was received with an arch sort of resignation. "The war party got to him," wrote AntiWar's Eric Garris, sharing a 2012 video in which Trump called for America to leave Afghanistan.

"We've wasted billions and billions of dollars, and more importantly, thousands and thousands of lives," the future president said in the video.

Steve Diamond, 8:59 AM EDT

The saddest, most horrifying part of this is the completion of an insidious long term trend: making America's foreign policy a state secret that citizens are not allowed to know. The US generals know that the biggest threat of ending the billions of dollars for endless wars is the scrutiny of the public. PR distractions, embedded journalism, no more body counts, plausible deniability, and on and on. It's a war on truth, and the American people are a threat to a hoped for victory someday, because they have other priorities than permanent wars which only put us in more danger.

Michael Stephens, 8:53 AM EDT

The Hillary Clinton supporting Deep State is elated by this decision. Naturally most of the media is too.

Momcat, 8/22/2017 5:47 PM EDT

"Everybody who voted for Donald Trump ... has been made a fool of".
Nailed it!

Grannylore, 5:26 PM EDT

The warmongering is not stopping. Most people don't even know in how many conflicts the US is involved in and now they will know even less until it is too late.

One Who Reads, 8/22/2017 11:46 AM EDT

There are very few policy positions held by Trump that I support, but pulling U.S. troops out of the Afghanistan quagmire was one of them. More broken promises, more advancement of failed "macho aggression" tactics, and more loss of lives and treasure. Thanks Trump -- you stink.

Grannylore , 5:28 PM EDT

There is too much money to be made. Follow the money!

pigface, 8/22/2017 12:38 PM EDT

He was reading what Gen. Kelly had written off of a teleprompter. Anybody can show some semblance of balance and sense when they read someone else's words off of a teleprompter.

Grannylore, 5:29 PM EDT

But beware when it comes from a general,

johnrf, 8/22/2017 11:41 AM EDT

Americans no longer fight to keep their shores safe,
Just to keep the jobs going in the arms making workplace.

Then they pretend to be gripped by some sort of political reflex,
But all they're doing is paying dues to the Military Industrial Complex.

The Military and the Monetary, The Military and the Monetary, The Military and the Monetary. The Military and the Monetary,

get together whenever they think its necessary,

They turn our brothers and sisters into mercenaries,
they are turning the planet into a cemetery.

The Military and the Monetary, use the media as intermediaries,
they are determined to keep the citizens secondary, they make so many decisions that are arbitrary.

We're marching behind a commander in chief,
who is standing under a spotlight shaking like a leaf.

Gil Scott Heron

One Who Reads, 8/22/2017 11:46 AM EDT

Yep, it's Winter in America, all over again.

Desiree Wenrich, 8/22/2017 5:21 PM EDT

I'm just glad there are no dragons.

Eileen Kuch, 3:48 PM EDT

Fantastic poem you just posted, John, Gil Scott Heron had it nailed perfectly. What Trump did was he surrendered meekly to the MIC, showed no courage whatsoever.
The MSM can squawk all they can about Neville Chamberlain's so-called "appeasement" to Adolf Hitler at the Munich Conference in 1938; but the truth of that is, there was no "appeasement".

But now, we have Donald Trump's actual appeasement to John Kelly and the other warmongering Generals over the Afghan War, instead of securing negotiations between the current Afghan Gov't. and the Taliban (which Trump was ready to do). Chamberlain was greeted by cheering UK citizens upon his return from Munich, but all Trump's getting for his appeasement to the MIC over Afghanistan is a huge backlash from a handful of true conservative Republicans and the American public.

Owat_Agoosiam, 8/22/2017 11:45 AM EDT

Quite right, too little, too late. But if Trump doesn't toe the line militarily, his generals will leave him to fend for himself. So four thousand now, two thousand next week, five thousand next month. Before you know it, we're surging.

Grannylore, 5:33 PM EDT

Forget about universal healthcare, safe roads, bridges and dams, education of our children. But hurray, we want to win the war in Afghanistan.

Elobornola, 8/22/2017 11:28 AM EDT

The "anti war conservatives" who are now complaining: (1) elected a president with no governing experience and hence no foreign policy track record whatsoever, (2) apparently relied on Trump's words alone in concluding he would advance the foreign policy they advocate, and (3) did so knowing Trump repeatedly and habitually lies about matters both big and small. This is a recipe for disappointment.

The truth at this point should be obvious to conservatives and liberals (and everybody in between): This president is a reality television personality -- nothing more. He said what he needed to say to get elected, and he's not terribly concerned with promises made. Look no further than his promises that Mexico would "pay for" a border wall while he essentially confided to the Mexican president that no such payment actually was expected.

Fair people on both sides can fairly debate Afghanistan policy. But can we finally agree that this president is a serial liar?

Reine Audu, 8/22/2017 11:28 AM EDT

Make our Afghan Puppet government great again.

Usman Khan, 8/22/2017 10:41 AM EDT

As a Pakistani I strongly believe that trump must order all his diplomats to return back to USA and cut off all ties. Most of Pakistanies believe that main cause of all Pakistani Problems is USA and it its hypocrite leaders. I would suggest that all Pakistani Americans must be sent back to Pakistan and their american citizenship should be cancelled. In 70 years of Pakistani history this will be the best thing ever to happen that USA has no space in Pakistan and perhaps it would be equally good for USA too.

The problem with US leadership is that they continuously interfere in Pakistani matters since 1947. They killed first prime minister of Pakistan and always supported dictatorship from Gen Ayub Khan, Gen Zia, Gen Musharaf.

USA created Taliban to tackle USSR and now those Talibans have made the life of ordinary Pakistani hell.

There is no compulsion on you guys to have any ties with Pakistan. The world is now divided in two camps good and evil, there is no space for hypocrisy anymore so if you think your self in good camp then leave us alone we are happy in our bad camp, just let us live and live your life. You on your way we on our way.

Grannylore, 5:38 PM EDT

The US armed the Taliban in order to fight the Soviets. And now that insanity has back fired. Just like the support of the Shah of Iran, Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Omar Qaddafi in Libya. First they are our puppets and we supply them with arms and chemicals, and when they refuse to obey, we attack them.

'It's a coup d'etat': Antiwar conservatives decry Trump's Afghanistan surge - The Washington Post

Timepass Techie 8/22/2017 11:27 AM EDT

Although the U.S. owe responsibility for creating the Taliban, it is the U.S that is being played for a sucker for a long time now. Your country's politicians, army and intelligence officers like to keep the cauldron of Afghanistan and Kashmir on either side boiling all the time, so U.S dollars keep pouring in and they can continue with their luxurious way of life.
Usman Khan 8/22/2017 11:49 AM EDT
well again if i am failed to explain in my post i would be blunt to say LEAVE US ALONE. We are happy to live here and love to contribute to my beloved nation in maintaining minimum deterrence. We solute our forefathers and seniors for providing us nuclear and missile technology which is being technically enhanced every day and good enough to tackle India. We are proud of our young army, air force and navy officers, staff and intelligence people who are sacrificing their lives, time and families for all of us so we can wear whatever we want whether jeans t shirt or burqa or hijab or pray in church mandir or mosque, we are not afraid of being black, white, muslim or non muslim

As a nation we are quite emotional and if any war imposed on us trust me retaliation from us will be unbearable for you guys in general and India in particular. By not providing us aid u would be helping us alot, i request ur government to completely cut off aid and send back all american Pakistani who are extremely talented

johnrf 8/22/2017 11:50 AM EDT
Remember when the Taliban were "Freedom Fighters". And if I remember correctly the Taliban were the good guys in one of those Rambo movies. ...
wa51jd 8/22/2017 4:28 PM EDT
We don't deport American citizens. Obviously Pakistani Americans don't want to live in Pakistan or they would be there, not here. So no, we won't be sending them back there. If they choose to go, fine, but I don't see a big exodus happening. .
Owat_Agoosiam 8/22/2017 11:41 AM EDT
You're absolutely right, we should cut off Pakistan. It will make our relationship with India that much stronger.
Usman Khan 8/22/2017 12:00 PM EDT
Absolutely correct @Owat, as I remember reading a column in NYtimes that USA is a bad friend and a good enemy Smile
CoClare Observer 8/22/2017 9:14 AM EDT
Mr. Dreher could have simplified his statement by dropping the qualifier and just saying, "Everybody who voted for Donald Trump has been made a fool of." ...
macdaddybj 8/22/2017 11:13 AM EDT
...over and over and over... ... more
a sly fox 8/22/2017 9:05 AM EDT [Edited]
the most striking idea in his speech to me was the idea of involving India in the conflict with Afghanistan and Pakistan. Pakistan and India gained independence from colonial status in the British Empire. Millions died as Moslems from India's multi religious society and Hindus from Pakistan were moved from that overwhelming Islamic country. Some were moved forcibly, some by choice, from each region where those individuals were in the religious minority. Pakistan (and now what is Bangladesh) became Islamic and India Multi religious

Today, Kashmir, an area of India, is still the area in which armed conflicts occur by those who wish it to be controlled by Pakistan

these religious conflicts have existed for centuries as Islamic forces came from the north and west (and other routes ) to gain control over the Hindus of India until the Europeans took control. Out bursts of violence on both sides continued during the rule by Europeans.

This is not an attack by me on the peaceful religion of Islam, just a real world recognition that in many areas of the world, religious differences are used as a basis for violent conflict.

does no one in the trump know history?

India and Pakistan have nuclear tipped rockets aimed at each other and the trump administration wish to have India attempt to influence those countries driven by their Islamic Religious beliefs? The trump administration thinks that would be helpful? Why not ask Nazis to intervene in the conflict between Israel and its Islamic neighbors?

jblah 8/22/2017 8:59 AM EDT
These people are idiots. The President has surrounded himself with the "War Party." From numerous barely retired Generals to nationalists like Gorka and even the DeVos/Prince connection. Not exactly the party of peace.
wa51jd 8/22/2017 4:31 PM EDT
Yes, Prince will be raking it in. Especially when he manages to convince Trump mercenaries are a great solution

[Aug 23, 2017] How the Brass Talked Another President Into a Losing Strategy The American Conservative

Notable quotes:
"... The Military Times ..."
"... Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan ..."
"... The American Conservative ..."
"... Wall Street Journal ..."
Aug 23, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com
How the Brass Talked Another President Into a Losing Strategy Despite tough talk, Trump approach on Afghanistan is no different than 2009. By Mark Perry August 22, 2017

President Donald Trump walks with U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Michael Howard, commander of Joint Force Headquarters, at Arlington National Cemetery, May 29, 2017. Behind them are Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and U.S. Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (Flickr/CreativeCommons/DOD photo by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Brigitte N. Brantley)

The American people don't like long wars with uncertain outcomes!and never have. That was true in 1953, when the U.S. accepted a stalemate and armistice with the Chinese-backed North Koreans, and it was true again in 1975, when the U.S. suffered an ignominious defeat and 58,000 dead at the hands of pajama-clad guerrillas and the North Vietnamese army. "Never fight a land war in Asia," General Douglas MacArthur famously said, and for good reason: in both Korea and Vietnam, the enemy could be endlessly supplied and reinforced.

The solution, in both cases, was to either widen the war or leave. In Korea, MacArthur proposed expanding the war by taking on Chinese military sanctuaries in China (which got him fired), while in Vietnam, Richard Nixon ordered the invasion of Cambodia and mined North Vietnam's harbors, an expansion of the war that sparked a genocide and merely postponed the inevitable. America's adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan have been as unsatisfying. A troop surge retrieved America's position in Iraq, though most military officers now view Baghdad as "a suburb of Tehran" (as a currently serving Army officer phrased it), while the U.S. has spent over $800 billion on a Kabul government whose writ extends to sixty percent of the country!or less.

Given this, it's not surprising that opinion surveys showed that the majority of the U.S. military supported Donald Trump in the last election; Trump promised a rethink of America's Iraq and Afghanistan's adventures, while Clinton was derided as an interventionist, or in Pentagon parlance, "cruise missile liberal." Trump had the edge over his opponent among both military voters and veterans, especially when it came to ISIS: "I would bomb the shit out of them" he said, a statement translated in the military community as "I would bomb the shit out of them!and get out." A headline in The Military Times two months before the election said it all: "After 15 years of war, America's military has about had it with 'nation building.'"

As it turned out, the military weren't the only ones who'd "had it with nation building"!so too did Donald Trump. Back in January 2013, two years before he was a candidate for president, Trump made it clear what he would do if he ever occupied the White House. "Let's get out of Afghanistan," he tweeted. "Our troops are being killed by the Afghanis we train and we waste billions there. Nonsense! Rebuild the USA." Three days later, Trump was even more outspoken, explicitly endorsing Barack Obama's Afghanistan strategy!which amounted to a troops surge, followed by a troop drawdown. "I agree with Pres. Obama on Afghanistan," he wrote. "We should have a speedy withdrawal. Why should we keep wasting our money – rebuild the U.S.!"

Now, after addressing the American people Monday on his "new strategy in South Asia" (a purposeful trope used to signal his intention to shape a broader, regional policy), Trump appears to have embraced the military's anti-nation building sentiments, while adopting a policy of "winning," though without saying exactly how that would happen. The policy! which also includes not saying how many troops "winning" will take, or setting a timetable for victory!includes a pledge of help from America's allies, and a new focus on Pakistan. Trump was also intent to signal that his new strategy (the war will be left in the hands of warfighters, he announced, and not "micro-managed from Washington") is much different than the one adopted by his predecessors who, as he all but said, got it wrong.

In fact, though he would almost certainly deny it, what Trump has proposed is a reprise of what Barack Obama did in January of 2009.

Back then, one of Obama's first decisions on Afghanistan was to assign Bruce Riedel, a 30-year CIA veteran and South Asia expert, to study the conflict and come up with ways to fight it. The following March, on Air Force One, Riedel briefed Obama on his conclusions. Afghanistan would be a big problem for a long time, he said, but the situation in the country was getting worse. The Kabul government was corrupt, its leaders were out-of-touch with the Afghan people and the Taliban and al-Qaeda were gaining strength. But even with that, Riedel added, the real problem wasn't really Afghanistan, it was Pakistan. "That's the real challenge," Riedel said.

Obama agreed with Riedel's sobering assessment and, on March 27, 2009, he announced his decision to the American people. "The future of Afghanistan is inextricably linked to the future of its neighbor Pakistan," Obama said in a nationally televised address. "In the nearly eight years since 9/11, al-Qaeda and its extremist allies have moved across the border to the remote areas of the Pakistani frontier." Put more simply (though Obama did not mention it), the same problem that the U.S. had faced in Korea, and again in Vietnam and Iraq!its failure to destroy the sanctuaries where its enemies could be reinforced and resupplied!it was now facing in Afghanistan. To deal with that problem, Obama appointed super-diplomat Richard Holbrooke to serve as a special envoy to the region (and to work with Centcom commander David Petraeus "to integrate our civilian and military efforts"), launched a drone war against Taliban and al-Qaeda bases in Pakistan, urged Congress to pass a $1.5 billion aid package to Pakistan that would make American strikes more palatable and then, the following May, replaced General David McKiernan, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, with Stanley McChrystal.

It didn't work.

In 2012, reporter and author Rajiv Chandrasekaran (whose book Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan remains the authoritative source on the Obama plan) concluded that while the Taliban was "pushed out of large stretches of southern Afghanistan," and the "influx of U.S. resources accelerated the development of the Afghan security forces" the surge did not achieve its objectives . In effect, the Obama administration threw good money after bad: Afghan president Hamid Karzai never bought into the strategy, the Pakistanis failed to "meaningfully pursue" the Taliban and the Afghan army hung back!allowing the U.S. to do the fighting. What the U.S. should have done, Chandrasekaran wrote, was "go long." Afghanistan is not a sprint, he concluded, but a marathon!and America "got winded too quickly."

James Mattis and H.R. McMaster have digested these lessons, a senior Pentagon official told me just hours before Trump's national address, and "have spent the last weeks trying to convince the president that the 'three yards and a cloud of dust' approach," as he termed it, will work. Roughly translated, what that means is that in adopting a more modest increase in American troops, as McMaster and Mattis told Trump, the president would be signaling that while the U.S. was willing to help the Afghan government fight the Taliban, the numbers would not be significant enough to defeat them!that would have to be done by the Afghan Army. In truth, the McMaster-Mattis approach (what one senior Pentagon officer described as "doubling down on a war that is going nowhere") has some support in the U.S. diplomatic community, and particularly among those civilians who have spent years working in the country.

Among these is David Sedney, a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, who is the former acting president of the American University of Afghanistan and served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia. For Sedney, it's the uncertainty of the American commitment that has been the problem. "We've been ambivalent about Afghanistan for the last fifteen years," he told The American Conservative , "and this has given hope to the Taliban and Pakistan. The message that they've taken is that all they need do is wait the U.S. out. Bush focused on Iraq and Obama put in troops caps." One of the keys, Sedney goes on to say, is that the U.S. "has failed to strengthen the Afghan state in fundamental ways, but the most important is to make a commitment and keep it. That's the key."

Sedney also has little use for the views retailed inside the White House by outside experts, like Frontier Services Group president Eric Prince, who advised the administration (in a Wall Street Journal op-ed back in May, and then in a personal meeting with McMaster) to increase the number of contractors in the country, thereby allowing for a drawdown in U.S. troops while also, as Prince argued, saving the U.S. money. While some Pentagon officials speculated as late as last week that secretary Mattis "was not as opposed to the Prince's ideas as was originally thought," more recent reports say that the idea "was dead on arrival in the Pentagon, almost from the minute it was mentioned." Sedney dismisses the idea out of hand, citing his experience with his students in Kabul. "My students don't want an American proconsul," he says, "they want an Afghan government that knows how to do the job, and that should be our focus."

But while Trump has apparently nixed Prince's contractor idea (and it went unmentioned in his speech), Pentagon officials tell The American Conservative that he has quietly bought into claims that the U.S. can help revive the Afghan economy by exploiting the nation's mineral resources. While Trump did not mention the program in his speech, and the claim remains debated in the White House, the president (a senior Pentagon civilian told TAC) "is intent to explore ways for this war to pay for itself"!which apparently includes a review of whether Afghanistan's resources can be exploited sufficiently to put the Afghan government on a sound footing. Will it work?

"This was a good idea back in 2009," one former Pentagon official says, "but it's not going to work now." A geologic survey conducted a decade ago shows that Afghanistan is rich in deposits of gold, silver, and platinum, as well as large quantities of uranium, zinc, bauxite, coal, natural gas and copper! a mother lode of natural resources that could proved Kabul with a badly needed budgetary windfall .

"It's a pig in a poke," a former Pentagon official who worked in Afghanistan on identifying the deposits told The American Conservative , "don't believe a word of it." The archaic "pig in a poke" phrase, which denotes that a buyer should beware of buying a pig that couldn't be seen (because it was in a "poke," or bag), denotes the common belief that while Afghanistan may contain the mineral deposits numerous mining surveys have identified, they remain elusive. Then too, as the former Pentagon official with whom we spoke says, the idea that American companies will realize a windfall on the mineral scheme (to which, as a businessman, Trump is particularly attracted), is simply not in reach.

"American companies no longer do the kind of mining that it would take," this former Pentagon official says, "security is bad, and commodity prices have collapsed. Why would companies invest in mineral deposits in Afghanistan when they won't make the same investments in Australia." Which is to simply say that the Afghanistan problem is now, under Trump, what it was under George W. Bush and Barack Obama!an intransigent challenge whose resolution is dependent on fighting and winning a war against an enemy who can fight, retreat, resupply and reinforce and fight again. The key to that victory is now what it has always been: Pakistan. Trump, and McMaster and Mattis, realize this of course, which is why tonight the president focused on providing a strategy for "South Asia"!a phrase the defense secretary, in particular, has used over the last weeks.

"I have hope for Afghanistan," CSIS's Sedney says. "The Afghan military is fighting better than ever before. When I went to Kabul in 2002, Kabul looked like Dresden, but now it's a vibrant city. Yes, the Taliban can kill people, but most Afghanis are moving ahead with their lives in spite of this. The problem is that, as we've seen over the last decade, a small minority can keep the country destabilized. That's what we have to stop. We have to come up with a way of stopping that."

In the wake of Trump's address, credit for its opening paean was given to new White House chief of staff John Kelly, the retired Marine Corps general who, TAC was told, insisted that Trump use the speech to walk back the controversy of his remarks on Charlottesville!a suggestion that both McMaster and Mattis readily agreed to when Trump's national security team met on Friday at Camp David. In the end, however, it was McMaster and Mattis who had the greatest influence on Trump's thinking. "There was all this speculation that maybe, just maybe, the president would somehow come around to getting out," the senior Pentagon civilian with whom we spoke said, "but that was never going to happen. Jim Mattis wouldn't let it happen. You can see his fingerprints all over this."

Another Pentagon observer had a much different take. "This is Joe Biden's plan, all the way," he said, referring to the then-Vice President's recommendation to Obama back in 2009. "Biden said that we should increase counterterrorism operations, draw down U.S. forces in the provinces, increase pressure on Pakistan and make a deal with India. Obama said 'no' to the idea, but you can bet Mattis was listening. This is his plan all the way."

Almost everyone at the Pentagon agrees, though key senior military officers who have been privy to James Mattis's thinking over the last weeks (but who remain unconvinced by it) provide a cautionary, and nearly fatalistic, note. "This Trump plan, at least so far as I understand it, sounds a lot like the kind of plan we've come up with again and again since the end of World War Two," a senior Pentagon officer says. "We're going to surge troops, reform the government we support and put pressure on our allies. In this building [the Pentagon] there's a hell of a lot of skepticism. And that's because we all know what this new strategy really means – and what it means that the only way we can get out of Afghanistan is to get further in. You know, it seems to me that if there's one thing we've learned, it's that that doesn't work."

Mark Perry is a foreign policy analyst and the author of The Most Dangerous Man in America: The Making of Douglas MacArthur . His next book, The Pentagon's Wars , will be released in October. He tweets @markperrydc

[Aug 22, 2017] Pat Buchanan

Buchanan demonstrates very superficial understanding of the result of the USSR collapse. Afghan war was just one contributing factor. It was never the primary reason. Soviet people understood pretty well that they actually faced the USA in Afghan war. Or more correctly the combination of the USA has technological superiority, Saudi money and political Islam. The fact that the USA supplied Stingers portable anti-aircraft rocket launchers. Which later will shoot down some US helicopters. The fact the the USA fe-factor put political Islam on front burner later will bite the USA several times.
Also Buchanan does not understand the role of neoliberal revolution (or coup d'état if you wish, called quite coup) of 80th in the current US troubles. Trump was the first ever presidential candidate, who companied and managed to win the elections on promises to tame neoliberal globalization. The fact that he was crushed in six month of so is not surprising, as he faced very well organize Trotskyite militants (aka deep state) - neoliberalism is actually Trotskyism for rish. Russiagate witch hunt with its Special Prosecutor is a replica of Stalin processes. As Marx used to say history repeats, first as tragedy, second as farce.
"I have not become the King's First Minister in order to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire," said Winston Churchill. and this is the essence of Trump betrual of his election promises.
Notable quotes:
"... Is it now the turn of the Americans? Persuaded by his generals -- Mattis at Defense, McMasters on the National Security Council, Kelly as chief of staff -- President Trump is sending some 4,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan to augment the 8,500 already there. Like Presidents Obama and Bush, he does not intend to preside over a U.S. defeat in its longest war. Nor do his generals. Yet how can we defeat the Taliban with 13,000 troops when we failed to do so with the 100,000 Obama sent? The new troops are to train the Afghan army to take over the war, to continue eradicating the terrorist elements like ISIS, and to prevent Kabul and other cities from falling to a Taliban now dominant in 40 percent of the country. ..."
"... Writes Bob Merry in the fall issue of The National interest: "War between Russia and the West seems nearly inevitable. No self-respecting nation facing inexorable encirclement by an alliance of hostile neighbors can allow such pressures and forces to continue indefinitely. Eventually (Russia) must protect its interests through military action." ..."
"... Trump himself seems hell-bent on tearing up the nuclear deal with Iran. This would lead inexorably to a U.S. ultimatum, where Iran would be expected to back down or face a war that would set the Persian Gulf ablaze. ..."
"... Yet the country did not vote for confrontation or war. ..."
"... America voted for Trump's promise to improve ties with Russia, to make Europe shoulder more of the cost of its defense, to annihilate ISIS and extricate us from Mideast wars, to stay out of future wars. ..."
"... This agenda did exist and Trump used it to get elected. Once he pulled off that trick he tried to get together again (unsuccessfully) with his New York Plutocrat friends. It's that New York social background. It's always been difficult to see Trump fit together economically or socially with the America that elected him, and after he got elected he quickly weakened his ties with Middle America. So why should he complain about Fake News since he got elected on a Fake Agenda? ..."
"... Trump does not even remember what he was elected to do. A man who was determined to drain the swamp is deep, up to his neck, in that swamp. The neocons and the never-Trumpers are the main decision makers in the Trump administration. All the loyal supporters have been chased out of the Trump's inner circle. A man who built his empire with his brain and shrewdness can't seem to handle the Presidency. He is trying to appease the very same people who opposed him in the election. ..."
"... For a smart businessman, Donald Trump can't seem to make any friends. There is a very simple solution to these wars of choice. Mr. Trump swallow your pride and bring the boys home. You will save American lives and will also earn the gratitude of the families of these soldiers. You may even bring peace to many countries around the world and people who have been displaced by these wars can return home. You may even solve the refugee problem in the process. You might even save your presidency. Give peace a chance. ..."
"... I think The Donald offered the lame excuse that things looks much different when you're in the oval office vs. the campaign trail. That won't be any consolation to people who voted for him in the hopes that their family members in the military would be coming home soon. And it won't be any consolation to some members of his base. ..."
"... Trump isn't going to keep his campaign promises. ..."
"... Continuing to maintain forces in South Korea continues to contribute to our bankruptcy. ..."
"... Now that the generals have gone wild under Trump we may as well admit that we're ruled by a military junta. We'll let them make all the decisions since they're so brilliant while Trump tweets and holds stupid rallies trying to convince people that he hasn't reneged on any campaign promises. ..."
Aug 22, 2017 | www.unz.com

12 Comments

"I have not become the King's First Minister in order to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire," said Winston Churchill to cheers at the Lord Mayor's luncheon in London in November 1942. True to his word, the great man did not begin the liquidation. When his countrymen threw him out in July 1945, that role fell to Clement Attlee, who began the liquidation. Churchill, during his second premiership from 1951-1955, would continue the process, as would his successor, Harold Macmillan, until the greatest empire the world had ever seen had vanished.

While its demise was inevitable, the death of the empire was hastened and made mo re humiliating by the wars into which Churchill had helped to plunge Britain, wars that bled and bankrupted his nation. At Yalta in 1945, Stalin and FDR treated the old imperialist with something approaching bemused contempt. War is the health of the state, but the death of empires. The German, Austro-Hungarian, Russian and Ottoman empires all fell in World War I. World War II ended the Japanese and Italian empires -- with the British and French following soon after. The Soviet Empire collapsed in 1989. Afghanistan delivered the coup de grace.

Is it now the turn of the Americans? Persuaded by his generals -- Mattis at Defense, McMasters on the National Security Council, Kelly as chief of staff -- President Trump is sending some 4,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan to augment the 8,500 already there. Like Presidents Obama and Bush, he does not intend to preside over a U.S. defeat in its longest war. Nor do his generals. Yet how can we defeat the Taliban with 13,000 troops when we failed to do so with the 100,000 Obama sent? The new troops are to train the Afghan army to take over the war, to continue eradicating the terrorist elements like ISIS, and to prevent Kabul and other cities from falling to a Taliban now dominant in 40 percent of the country.

Yet what did the great general, whom Trump so admires, Douglas MacArthur, say of such a strategy? "War's very object is victory, not prolonged indecision." Is not "prolonged indecision" what the Trump strategy promises? Is not "prolonged indecision" what the war policies of Obama and Bush produced in the last 17 years? Understandably, Americans feel they cannot walk away from this war. For there is the certainty as to what will follow when we leave.

When the British left Delhi in 1947, millions of former subjects died during the partition of the territory into Pakistan and India and the mutual slaughter of Muslims and Hindus. When the French departed Algeria in 1962, the "Harkis" they left behind paid the price of being loyal to the Mother Country. When we abandoned our allies in South Vietnam, the result was mass murder in the streets, concentration camps and hundreds of thousands of boat people in the South China Sea, a final resting place for many. In Cambodia, it was a holocaust.

Trump, however, was elected to end America's involvement in Middle East wars. And if he has been persuaded that he simply cannot liquidate these wars -- Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan -- he will likely end up sacrificing his presidency, trying to rescue the failures of those who worked hardest to keep him out of the White House.

Consider the wars, active and potential, Trump faces.

Writes Bob Merry in the fall issue of The National interest: "War between Russia and the West seems nearly inevitable. No self-respecting nation facing inexorable encirclement by an alliance of hostile neighbors can allow such pressures and forces to continue indefinitely. Eventually (Russia) must protect its interests through military action."

If Pyongyang tests another atom bomb or ICBM, some national security aides to Trump are not ruling out preventive war.

Trump himself seems hell-bent on tearing up the nuclear deal with Iran. This would lead inexorably to a U.S. ultimatum, where Iran would be expected to back down or face a war that would set the Persian Gulf ablaze.

Yet the country did not vote for confrontation or war.

America voted for Trump's promise to improve ties with Russia, to make Europe shoulder more of the cost of its defense, to annihilate ISIS and extricate us from Mideast wars, to stay out of future wars.

America voted for economic nationalism and an end to the mammoth trade deficits with the NAFTA nations, EU, Japan and China. America voted to halt the invasion across our Southern border and to reduce legal immigration to

Grandpa Charlie > , August 22, 2017 at 6:33 am GMT

I think that the case of Korea is very different from all the others, but generally I agree with Mr. Buchanan to the extent that I say: Pat Buchanan for President

Miro23 > , August 22, 2017 at 6:44 am GMT

Trump's populist-nationalist and America First agenda,

This agenda did exist and Trump used it to get elected. Once he pulled off that trick he tried to get together again (unsuccessfully) with his New York Plutocrat friends. It's that New York social background. It's always been difficult to see Trump fit together economically or socially with the America that elected him, and after he got elected he quickly weakened his ties with Middle America. So why should he complain about Fake News since he got elected on a Fake Agenda?

MEexpert > , August 22, 2017 at 7:12 am GMT

Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. This quote is so well-known that almost everyone knows it, except perhaps the politicians and the generals. Afghanistan has been called the deathbed of empires. The two recent empires to go down are the British and the Soviet. For almost 200 years the British tried to tame the Afghan tribes but couldn't. The devastation they caused did not deter the natives. It is all there in the history books for everyone to read. The Soviet empire didn't even last ten years. It cut its losses and ran.

The lack of teaching of history and geography in American schools is quite evident when one looks at the performance of American forces in Afghanistan after 17 years. Add the arrogance of the Presidents and the generals to this lack of knowledge and one can understand the disasterous results of the Afghan war. One other subject that is missing from the modern presidency is diplomacy. War over diplomacy seems to be the order of the day.

Trump, however, was elected to end America's involvement in Middle East wars. And if he has been persuaded that he simply cannot liquidate these wars -- Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan -- he will likely end up sacrificing his presidency, trying to rescue the failures of those who worked hardest to keep him out of the White House.

Trump does not even remember what he was elected to do. A man who was determined to drain the swamp is deep, up to his neck, in that swamp. The neocons and the never-Trumpers are the main decision makers in the Trump administration. All the loyal supporters have been chased out of the Trump's inner circle. A man who built his empire with his brain and shrewdness can't seem to handle the Presidency. He is trying to appease the very same people who opposed him in the election.

Trump himself seems hell-bent on tearing up the nuclear deal with Iran. This would lead inexorably to a U.S. ultimatum, where Iran would be expected to back down or face a war that would set the Persian Gulf ablaze.

It is never going to happen. Not only the Middle East would be set ablaze, but America will lose its European allies as well. The relations with Russia are already confrontational and heading fast towards an ultimate war. European allies are also confused about the US foreign policy or lack thereof. Trade war is brewing with China. The only country which is happy with this chaos is Israel.

For a smart businessman, Donald Trump can't seem to make any friends. There is a very simple solution to these wars of choice. Mr. Trump swallow your pride and bring the boys home. You will save American lives and will also earn the gratitude of the families of these soldiers. You may even bring peace to many countries around the world and people who have been displaced by these wars can return home. You may even solve the refugee problem in the process. You might even save your presidency. Give peace a chance.

Renoman > , August 22, 2017 at 8:51 am GMT

No one has ever been able to conquer Afghanistan why would America think it can? Likely just throwing a bone to the neocons. As for Iran, Trump has been beating his chest all over the World and doing nothing, again with the Neocon feeding, I don't think he has any intention of getting into anything larger than a skirmish with anyone, he's a lot smarter than he looks --

syd.bgd > , August 22, 2017 at 9:10 am GMT

Well while Mr. Buchanan is not an expert in Balkans history, or politics, as I've argued here, he is excellent in American history and politics. An article somewhat short, because he is not connecting his sharp analysis to ongoing First Amendment disaster. It comes along, obviously, but still an excellent piece.

To be copied and saved in my personal archives, anyway. I do not believe that even this site will last long. Greetings from Serbia, suicidal country controlled from that feudal fortress (US Embassy) where our Scott-Pasha resides.

Chris Dakota > , August 22, 2017 at 11:21 am GMT

It was the eclipse that swept across America to change it forever. We now know we are on our own, there is no political solution for this war. The eclipse marks the end of a war, our war, we lost. Trump extends Afghan swamp war on the very day. Eclipse was conjunct Trumps Mars, he was castrated. Doesn't mean we won't win, but it won't be via the rigged ballot box and the DC swamp.

KenH > , August 22, 2017 at 11:47 am GMT

I think The Donald offered the lame excuse that things looks much different when you're in the oval office vs. the campaign trail. That won't be any consolation to people who voted for him in the hopes that their family members in the military would be coming home soon. And it won't be any consolation to some members of his base.

Now that the generals have gone wild under Trump we may as well admit that we're ruled by a military junta. We'll let them make all the decisions since they're so brilliant while Trump tweets and holds stupid rallies trying to convince people that he hasn't reneged on any campaign promises.

But if it prevents tens of thousands of knuckle dragging Afghans steeped in a culture of violence, pedophilia and pederasty from entering America as refugees then I guess there's a silver lining.

MEH 0910 > , August 22, 2017 at 1:42 pm GMT

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/08/full-transcript-donald-trump-announces-his-afghanistan-policy/537552/

My original instinct was to pull out, and historically, I like following my instincts. But all my life I've heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office.

Trump isn't going to keep his campaign promises. That means he's not going to build a beautiful wall on our southern border.

Liberty Mike > , August 22, 2017 at 2:31 pm GMT

@Grandpa Charlie What is different about "the case of Korea"?

Continuing to maintain forces in South Korea continues to contribute to our bankruptcy.

Liberty Mike > , August 22, 2017 at 2:34 pm GMT

@KenH I think The Donald offered the lame excuse that things looks much different when you're in the oval office vs. the campaign trail. That won't be any consolation to people who voted for him in the hopes that their family members in the military would be coming home soon. And it won't be any consolation to some members of his base.

Now that the generals have gone wild under Trump we may as well admit that we're ruled by a military junta. We'll let them make all the decisions since they're so brilliant while Trump tweets and holds stupid rallies trying to convince people that he hasn't reneged on any campaign promises.

... ... ..

[Aug 20, 2017] The USA are about to face the worst crisis of their history and how Putin's example might inspire Trump

Notable quotes:
"... Putin outsmarted you at every step of the way ..."
"... Et voilà ..."
"... semibankirshchina ..."
Oct 22, 2016 | thesaker.is

Watching the last Presidential debate was a rather depressing experience. I thought that Trump did pretty well, but that really is not the point here. The point is this: no matter who wins, an acute crisis is inevitable.

Option one : Hillary wins. That's Obama on steroids, only worse. Remember that Obama himself was Dubya, only worse. Of course, Dubya was just Clinton, only worse. Now the circle is closed. Back to Clinton. Except this time around, we have a women who is deeply insecure, who failed at every single thing that she every tried to do, and who now has a 3 decades long record of disasters and failures. Even when she had no authority to start a war, she started one (told Bill to bomb the Serbs). Now she has that authority. And now she had to stand there, in front of millions of people, and hear Trump tell her " Putin outsmarted you at every step of the way " (did you see her frozen face when he said that?). Trump is right, Putin did outsmart her and Obama at every step. The problem is that now, after having a President with an inferiority complex towards Putin (Obama) we will have a President with the very same inferiority complex and a morbid determination to impose a no-fly zone over Russian forces in Syria. Looking at Hillary, with her ugly short hair and ridiculous pants, I thought to myself "this is a woman who is trying hard to prove that she is every bit as tough and any man" – except of course that she ain't. Her record also shows her as being weak, cowardly and with a sense of total impunity. And now, that evil messianic lunatic with a deep-seated inferiority complex is going to become Commander in Chief?! God help us all!

Option two : Trump wins. Problem: he will be completely alone. The Neocons have a total, repeat total , control of the Congress, the media, banking and finance, and the courts. From Clinton to Clinton they have deeply infiltrated the Pentagon, Foggy Bottom, and the three letter agencies. The Fed is their stronghold. How in the world will Trump deal with these rabid " crazies in the basement "? Consider the vicious hate campaign which all these "personalities" (from actors, to politicians to reporters) have unleashed against Trump – they have burned their bridges, they know that they will lose it all if Trump wins (and, if he proves to be an easy pushover his election will make no difference anyway). The Neocons have nothing to lose and they will fight to the very last one. What could Trump possibly do to get anything done if he is surrounded by Neocons and their agents of influence? Bring in an entirely different team? How is he going to vet them? His first choice was to take Pence as a VP – a disaster (he is already sabotaging Trump on Syria and the elections outcome). I *dread* the hear whom Trump will appoint as a White House Chief of Staff as I am afraid that just to appease the Neocons he will appoint some new version of the infamous Rahm Emanuel And should Trump prove that he has both principles and courage, the Neocons can always "Dallas" him and replace him with Pence. Et voilà --

I see only one way out:

The (imperfect) Putin model

When Putin came to power he inherited a Kremlin every bit as corrupt and traitor-infested as the White House nowadays. As for Russia, she was in pretty much the same sorry shape as the Independent Nazi-run Ukraine. Russia was also run by bankers and AngloZionist puppets and most Russians led miserable lives. The big difference is that, unlike what is happening with Trump, the Russian version of the US Neocons never saw the danger coming from Putin. He was selected by the ruling elites as the representative of the security services to serve along a representative of the big corporate money, Medvedev. This was a compromise solution between the only two parts of the Russian society which were still functioning, the security services and oil/gas money. Putin looked like a petty bureaucrat in an ill fitting suit, a shy and somewhat awkward little guy who would present no threat to the powerful oligarchs of the semibankirshchina (the Seven Bankers) running Russia. Except that he turned out to be one of the most formidable rulers in Russia history. Here is what Putin did as soon as he came to power:

First, he re-established the credibility of the Kremlin with the armed forces and security services by rapidly and effectively crushing the Wahabi insurgency in Chechnia. This established his personal credibility with the people he would have to rely on to deal with the oligarchs.

Second, he used the fact that everybody, every single businessman and corporation in Russia, did more or less break the law during the 1990s, if only because there really was no law. Instead of cracking down on the likes of Berezovski or Khodorkovski for their political activities, he crushed them with (absolutely true) charges of corruption. Crucially, he did that very publicly, sending a clear message to the other arch-enemy: the media.

Third, contrary to the hallucinations of the western human rights agencies and Russian liberals, Putin never directly suppressed any dissent, or cracked down on the media or, even less so, ordered the murder of anybody. He did something much smarter. Remember that modern journalists are first and foremost presstitutes, right? By mercilessly cracking down on the oligarchs Putin deprived the presstitutes of their source of income and political support. Some emigrated to the Ukraine, others simply resigned, and a few were left like on a reservation or a zoo on a few very clearly identifiable media outlets such as Dozhd TV, Ekho Moskvy Radio or the newspaper Kommersant. Those who emigrated became irrelevant, as for those who stayed in the "liberal zoo" – they were harmless has they had no credibility left. Crucially, everybody else "got the message". After that, all it took is the appointment a few real patriots (such as Dmitri Kiselev, Margarita Simonian and others) in key positions and everybody quickly understood that the winds of fortune had now turned.

Fourth, once the main media outlets were returned back to sanity it did not take too long for the "liberal" (in the Russian sense, meaning pro-USA) parties to enter into a death-spiral from which they have never recovered. That, in turn, resulted in the ejection of all "liberals" form the Duma which now has only 4 parties, all of them more or less "patriotic".

That's the part that worked.

So far, Putin failed to eject the 5th columnists, whom I call the "Atlantic Integrationists" (for details, including their names, see here ) from the government itself.. Even the notorious Alexei Kudrin was not fired by Putin, but by Medvedev. The security services succeeded in finally getting rid of Anatolii Serdyukov but they did not have power needed to put him in jail. I still think that a purge will happen while Alexander Mercouris disagrees . Whatever may be the case, what is certain is that Putin has not tackled the 5th columnists in the banking/finance sector and that the latter have being very careful not to give him a pretext to take action against them.

Russia and the USA are very different countries, and no recipe can be simply copied from one to another. Still, there are valuable lessons from the "Putin model" for Trump, not the least of which that his most formidable enemies probably are sitting in the Fed. One Russian analyst – Rostislav Ishchenko – has suggested that Trump could somehow force the Fed to increase interest rates, which would result in a bankruptcy domino effect for US banks which might be the only way to finally crush the Fed and re-take control of US banking. Maybe. I honestly am not qualified to have an opinion about that.

What is sure is that for the time being the USA will continue to look like that:

A homeless man, possibly a veteran, has built a "corridor of flags" to get people to give him money. Florida, October 2016.

Rich on cheapo patriotism and otherwise poor.

Hillary thinks that this is a stunning success. Trump thinks that this is a disgrace. I submit that the choice between these two is really very simple.

To those who are saying that there cannot be a schism in the AngloZionist elites, I will reply that the example of the conspiracy to prevent Dominique Strauss-Kahn from becoming the next French President shows that, just like hyenas, AngloZionist leaders do sometimes turn on each other. That happens in all regimes, regardless of their political ideology (think SS against SA in Nazi Germany or Trotskists against Stalinists in Boshevik USSR).

Of brooms and body parts

Leon Trotsky used to say the Soviet Russia needed to be cleansed from anarchists and noblemen with an "iron broom". He even wrote an article in the Pravda entitled "We need an iron broom". Another genocidal manic, Felix Derzhinskii, founder of the notorious ChK secret police, used to say that a secret police officer must have a "burning heart, a cool head and clean hands". One would seek weakness, or even compassion, in vain from folks like these. These are ideology-driven "true believers", sociopaths with no sense of empathy, profoundly evil people with a genocidal hatred of anybody standing in their way.

Hillary Clinton and her gang of Neocons are the spiritual (and sometimes even physical) successors of the Soviet Bolsheviks and they, just like their Bolshevik forefathers, will not hesitate for a second to crush their enemies. Donald Trump – assuming he is for real and actually means what he says – has to understand that and do what Putin did: strike first and strike hard. Stalin, by the way, also did exactly that, and for a while the Trotskyists were crushed, but in the years following Stalin's death they gradually bounced back only to seize power again in 1991 (not Trotskyists in a literal sense of the word, but russophobic Jews who had nothing but contempt for the Russian people). I think that the jury is still out on whether Putin will succeed in finally removing the 5th columnist from power. What is sure is that Russia is at least semi-free from the control of these people and that the US is their last bastion right now. Their maniacal hatred of Trump can in part be explained by the sense of danger these folks feel, being threatened for the first time in what they see as their homeland (I don't mean that in a patriotic sense – but rather like a parasite care for "his" host). And maybe they have some good reason to fear. I sure hope that they do.

I am rather encouraged by the way Trump handled the latest attempt to make him cower in fear. Yesterday Trump dared to declare that since the election might be rigged or stolen he does not pledge to recognize their outcome. And even though every semi-literate person knows that elections in the USA have been rigged and stolen in the past, including Presidential ones, by saying that Trump committed a major case of crimethink . The Ziomedia pounced on him with self-righteous outrage and put immense pressure on him to retract his statement (which, by the way, contradicted Pence's stance). Instead of rolling over and recanting his "crime", Trump replied with this:

http://www.liveleak.com/ll_embed?f=7fb0ec4a8ebe

Beautiful no? Let's hope he continues to show the same courage.

Trump is doing now what Jean-Marie Le Pen did in France: he is showing the Neocons that be that he dares to openly defy them, that he refuses to play by their rules, that their outrage has no effect on his and that they don't get to censor or, even less so, silence him. That is also what he did when, yet again, he refused to accuse the Russians of cyber-attacks and, instead, repeated that it would be a good thing for Russia and the USA to be friends. Again, I am not sure that how long he will be able to hold that line, but for the time being there is no denying that he is openly defying the AngloZionist deep state and Empire.

Conclusion

The United States are about to enter what might possibly be the deepest and most dangerous crisis of their history. If Trump is elected, he will have to immediately launch a well-planned attack against his opponents without giving them any pretext to accuse him of politically motivated repressions. In Russia, Putin could count on the support of the military and the security services. I don't know whom Trump can count on, but I am fairly confident that there are still true patriots in the US armed forces. If Trump gets the right person to head the FBI, he might also use that agency to clean house and deliver a steady streams of indictments for corruption, conspiracy to [fill the blank], abuse of authority, obstruction of justice and dereliction of duty, etc. Since such crimes are widespread in the current circles of power, they are also easy to prove and cracking down on corruption would get Trump a standing ovation from the American people. Next, just as Putin in Russia, Trump will have to deal with the media. How exactly, I don't know. But he will have to face this beast and defeat it. At every step in this process he will have to get the proactive support of the people, just like Putin does. Can he do it?

I don't know. Honestly, I doubt it. First, I still don't trust him. But, more relevantly, I would argue that to overthrow the deep state and restore true people power is even harder in the USA than it was in Russia. I have always believed that the AngloZionist Empire will have to be brought down from the outside, most probably by a combination of military and economic defeats. I still believe that. However, I might be wrong – in fact, I hope that I am – and maybe Trump will be the guy to bring down the Empire in order to save the United States. If there is such a possibility, however slim, I think that we have to believe in it and act on it as all the alternatives are far worse.

The Saker

[Aug 20, 2017] Ship Rudderless After Trump Drops Its Pilot

Notable quotes:
"... Trump making more and more room for neocons, deepstate, warmongers with these completely irrational moves kicking out he's closest friends and advisors! Now MSM, deepstate will be even stronger, I wouldnt be surpised if Trump step down himself eventually and hand over the presidency to Pence, either that or Trump will more and more tone done his views, policy and go along what msm/deep state wants. ..."
"... These moves clearly show how isolated he really is ..."
"... We could throw away that improvement of Russia/US relationsship, we will see more Nato supporting Trump, more wars and covert ops. in the middle east and elsehwere. Very tragic and bad situation. ..."
"... The US has a military junta in control These are people Trump picked - they were not imposed on him. The people that got Trump elected out lived there usefulness ..."
"... If Bannon turns out to be smarter than I credit him for, things could become interesting. Mainly with strong Bernistas on the other side (they may think they are polar opposite, but they are basically calling for the same thing – no more wars, jobs, education, etc). ..."
"... The war we feared Clinton would bring is now on the horizon. Apparently it was only delayed, not prevented. ..."
"... So what is going on here? Trump in order to physically survive had to dig up allies in the senior military who had the guns, frankly, to keep him in office. The ouster of Bannon may be a "good" thing if we understand that the chief attribute of Washington since Obama was elected for his second term was the power struggle between various gangs within the power-elite exhibited by Ash Carter's mutiny against the Kerry-Lavrov agreement on Syria almost a year ago. So the power struggle appears to have been simplified. The permanent war state is once again in the driver's seat now we'll see where they choose to go. ..."
"... Bannon engineered the ascent of Rex Tillerson at State despite the fact that Tillerson's patron and chief influence is non-other than Condoleezza Rice, the neocon former Bush NSA Director and cheerleader for the Iraq war. Documents which leaked from the Presidential transition proved that Rice was Tillerson's advocate and that several other staffers she recommended where quickly hired at State. Perhaps this is why Politico correctly tabbed the rise of veteran Romney-ites at State. The Trump State Department has failed to excise the Soros control of a number of U.S. embassies and is currently leaning on the Hungarian government not to impede Soros toppling of that democratically elected government. Bannon delivered the Trump State Department into the hands of the Globalists. ..."
"... Trump getting swallowed up and neutered by the Washington establishment makes a complete mockery of anyone who made the asinine claim of a populist lone hero walking into office and 'draining the swamp'. ..."
"... A presidential administration requires years, even decades, to build up the people and relationships that are needed to hit the ground running on day one. The mass of experienced people who can act as the foundations of the new administration. ..."
"... With Trump getting elected by the unique combination of traditional populism and the Democratic part establishment thinking they had enough power to ram a complete piece of shit candidate like Hillary Clinton down the country's throat have managed to put someone in office who completely lacks the tools to effectively operate an administration. ..."
"... Obama deliberately lied to us in 2008, it was all a con. I know this because the instant he was elected, he fired all his liberal economic advisors and brought in Goldman Sachs. I know this because of reports that during his campaign his agents were privately telling his wealthy patrons that he didn't mean a word of it. ..."
"... Trumps started his presidency like he really meant to do what he promised during the campaign. THEN, after enormous pressure, even he started to bend. The inflection point was the missile strike on Syria. Now he's just sailing on, being president, and the promises of the campaign are like the promises of a car salesman... ..."
"... The 2nd bad mistake was H-ikki Haley. - Internationally. Trump had much potential support that was destroyed by this woman. He burned SO many bridges.. ..."
"... Bannon was probably the only non warmonger in the whole Tronald team - including the boss. Although I strongly oppose everything else he believes in his political course would have been much healthier for the rest of the world. ..."
"... Bannon's removal opens wide the door to neo-cons, war mongers and the pro-jewish lobbies that only think of "making america great" through wars. The neo-cons are much more right-wing than Bannon. Without Bannon, Trump is becoming another puppet just like Bush jr. We will come to regret the last anti-Israel voice in the White House. ..."
"... This article totally ignores his position on China. Like the Bush adminstration had planned to destroy 7 countries (Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Iran), Bannon said: "We're going to war in the South China Sea in five to 10 years," "There's no doubt about that. They're taking their sandbars and making basically stationary aircraft carriers and putting missiles on those. They come here to the United States in front of our face - and you understand how important face is - and say it's an ancient territorial sea." ..."
"... Trump's troubles are phoney (Russia, statues) but Trump hasn't been effective in countering them - sometimes shooting himself in the foot (suggesting that he had tapes of Comey; drip-drip-drip of the Trump Jr meeting with Russians; etc) ..."
"... I call him the Republican Obama. Apologists and critics of Trump won't dont like this view. ..."
"... if i thought exxon, goldman sachs, lockheed martin and all these corps that have a huge say on the direction of the usa today, had any other clue then their 'bottom line' or recognized at the whole game is in jeopardy of being lost, i doubt any of them would have the guts or character to say anything about it.. it is not only that the usa is rudderless at this point.. the whole planet looks in much the same point, especially the usa poodles, which would include canada, the country i live in.. no naomi klein book or anything is going to change it either.. ..."
"... firing Bannon mean getting rid of people that think like Trump, so this is quite bad because instead comes pure neocons filling up the WH, and then Trump will be very isolated with his ideas on detente and so on. ..."
"... I highly suggest MoA barflys read Pepe Escobar's analysis of Bannon's departure, https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201708191056603401-steve-bannon-white-house-trump-war/ ..."
"... Obama was heavily backed by the billionaire Pritzker family. One of them was put in charge of the treasury. One of them is a gender-bender, once a he, now a she. Hence the gender wars. Ever feel you've been had? ..."
Aug 20, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
" The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over ," Bannon said Friday, shortly after confirming his departure. "We still have a huge movement, and we will make something of this Trump presidency. But that presidency is over."

Bannon was the "Make America Great Again" guy in the White House. The strategist who had the populist ideas that brought the votes for Trump. Jobs, jobs, jobs, infrastructure investments, immigration limits, taxing globalists were his issue.


Dropping the pilot - Punch 1890

Trump is no young German Emperor and Bannon is no chancellor Bismark. (Both would probably have liked those roles.) But with Bannon leaving, the Trump presidency is losing its chief strategist, the one person which set priorities and could set an alternative course for the ship of state under Trump's command.

The racist Huffington Post headline implies that Bannon prioritized the wrong country.

Cont. reading: Ship Rudderless After Trump Drops Its Pilot

Anon | Aug 19, 2017 4:44:19 AM | 1

Good post,

Trump making more and more room for neocons, deepstate, warmongers with these completely irrational moves kicking out he's closest friends and advisors!
Now MSM, deepstate will be even stronger, I wouldnt be surpised if Trump step down himself eventually and hand over the presidency to Pence, either that or Trump will more and more tone done his views, policy and go along what msm/deep state wants.

These moves clearly show how isolated he really is , he could have been strong instead he backs off ASAP it seems.

We could throw away that improvement of Russia/US relationsship, we will see more Nato supporting Trump, more wars and covert ops. in the middle east and elsehwere. Very tragic and bad situation.

Alexander Grimsmo | Aug 19, 2017 5:03:43 AM | 2
Trump hitting Syria with those missiles was the final nail in the coffin for any hope in the Trump regime. This just confirms it.
Realist | Aug 19, 2017 5:13:45 AM | 3
Trump proves you don't have t be smart to be rich. Trump has the IQ of a corn dog. He is surrounding himself with Deep State assholes....his days are numbered.
James lake | Aug 19, 2017 5:18:08 AM | 4
The US has a military junta in control These are people Trump picked - they were not imposed on him. The people that got Trump elected out lived there usefulness

Now we will see more war - arms to Ukraine and escalation in Syria and against Iran and North Korea. The American public have really been led by the nose as they will see all this as a good thing.

Lea | Aug 19, 2017 5:33:52 AM | 5
I doubt that it will help Trump to implement what Bannon and Trump himself intended to do.

It won't. These globalists, Goldman Sachs lobbyists and MIC/Pentagon vultures are too firmly entrenched in the immediate vicinity of the Oval office to be uprooted that easily. On the other hand, the anti-war, America-First, get-the jobs-back Trump voters can be made into a whole frigging mass movement which could multiply peaceful protest actions and, as they say, " rock the boat ".

It would take brains and planning, but it can be done.

If Bannon turns out to be smarter than I credit him for, things could become interesting. Mainly with strong Bernistas on the other side (they may think they are polar opposite, but they are basically calling for the same thing – no more wars, jobs, education, etc).

From The Hague | Aug 19, 2017 5:55:29 AM | 6
The dismissal of Flynn was the first grave error.
Perimtr | Aug 19, 2017 5:58:28 AM | 7
The war we feared Clinton would bring is now on the horizon. Apparently it was only delayed, not prevented.
Mina | Aug 19, 2017 6:06:58 AM | 8
I wouldn't mind to see Pence taking over at some stage. The two real faces of the White power in the US for everyone in the world to contemplate. Might get their lackeys sober. Let the Titanic drowns to the bottom so the rest of the world can breathe.
charlie | Aug 19, 2017 6:07:14 AM | 9
american zionist war criminal clowns.
somebody | Aug 19, 2017 6:18:02 AM | 10
Staying with the caricature you show, b., Trump will start a war. Yeah, Bannon talked of infrastructure. Hitler built the Autobahn and got rid of unemployment, one way or the other, "economic nationalism" is a relabeling of fascism.

Quoting Likhachev via Putin

Putin recalled the words of outstanding Soviet Russian scholar Dmitry Likhachev that patriotism drastically differs from nationalism.

"Nationalism is hatred of other peoples, while patriotism is love for your motherland," Putin cited his words.

Duh.

somebody | Aug 19, 2017 6:36:08 AM | 11
add to 10

This here is what Trump's presidency has been about right from the start - a capitalist raid on government. Bannon's role has been - and looking at Breitbart still is - to sell Trump to the stupid little people.

ashley albanese | Aug 19, 2017 7:06:24 AM | 12
At school in Australia in the 1960's our regular theme was the inevitability of 'hegemonic ' struggle . I noticed it vanished as a theme from history and social studies, 70's onwards.

Used to think it was deliberately done to subconsciously underline the newness and completeness of the Anglo/ American empire . A product here to stay -- The old forces of struggle - of victory and defeat no longer patterns at play .

Anon | Aug 19, 2017 7:42:53 AM | 13
somebody

Ridiculous! You are using Hitler fallacy blasting Trump, Bannon, their policies, why dont you go to CNN instead and comment? Whiny Trump, Bannon is nazis, fascist is the liberal propaganda fake-news, meanwhile in the real world:

Steve Bannon : white nationalists, neo-Nazis 'losers' and 'a collection of clowns'
http://businessinsider.com/steve-bannon-white-nationalists-neo-nazis-losers-clowns-2017-8?r=US&IR=T

And you talk about "stupid people"?

Banger | Aug 19, 2017 8:07:25 AM | 14
Great analysis. This internal power struggle is not over. Yes, the generals are now in charge as I once predicted long ago when we first started seeing the decline in the polls at all levels of the state except for two major institutions: 1) the military; and 2) the police. The logical conclusion was that, eventually, these institutions would hold most of the political power since they are the most popular.

It's fascinating how martinets who continually lose wars are still considered "heroes" (thank you for your service). So what is going on here? Trump in order to physically survive had to dig up allies in the senior military who had the guns, frankly, to keep him in office. The ouster of Bannon may be a "good" thing if we understand that the chief attribute of Washington since Obama was elected for his second term was the power struggle between various gangs within the power-elite exhibited by Ash Carter's mutiny against the Kerry-Lavrov agreement on Syria almost a year ago. So the power struggle appears to have been simplified. The permanent war state is once again in the driver's seat now we'll see where they choose to go.

Rahul Varshney | Aug 19, 2017 8:33:29 AM | 15
Bannon didn't help things by backing Tillerson.
Bannon engineered the ascent of Rex Tillerson at State despite the fact that Tillerson's patron and chief influence is non-other than Condoleezza Rice, the neocon former Bush NSA Director and cheerleader for the Iraq war. Documents which leaked from the Presidential transition proved that Rice was Tillerson's advocate and that several other staffers she recommended where quickly hired at State. Perhaps this is why Politico correctly tabbed the rise of veteran Romney-ites at State. The Trump State Department has failed to excise the Soros control of a number of U.S. embassies and is currently leaning on the Hungarian government not to impede Soros toppling of that democratically elected government. Bannon delivered the Trump State Department into the hands of the Globalists.

Bannon's Time Is Up decent analysis by Roger Stone.

Recommend people follow twitter.com/ezilidanto. Trump has already re-instated Clinton's people to continue the UN occupation of Haiti. Trump is getting blindsided when all he needs to do is up his twitter game and ignore the lame stream bilderberg media.

Vannok | Aug 19, 2017 8:36:24 AM | 16
Trump getting swallowed up and neutered by the Washington establishment makes a complete mockery of anyone who made the asinine claim of a populist lone hero walking into office and 'draining the swamp'.

A presidential administration requires years, even decades, to build up the people and relationships that are needed to hit the ground running on day one. The mass of experienced people who can act as the foundations of the new administration.

With Trump getting elected by the unique combination of traditional populism and the Democratic part establishment thinking they had enough power to ram a complete piece of shit candidate like Hillary Clinton down the country's throat have managed to put someone in office who completely lacks the tools to effectively operate an administration.

Trump has been effectively reduced to a who might as well just be sitting in the Oval Office jerking off to porn and watching to cat videos.

It is also laughable to see people crying about the country stumbling into a 'civil war'. The Trump base is a bunch of clowns who still believe they won a presidential election with 'meme magic'.

Their 'god emperor' has become the ultimate 'cuck' and they have nothing in response other than crying in their echo chamber forums about how they are 'winning'.

librul | Aug 19, 2017 9:06:01 AM | 17
" liberals are loving it."

Not all liberals are loving it.

The avoidance of war, was always this liberals priority.

TG | Aug 19, 2017 9:20:13 AM | 18
Excellent post.

I have always thought that Obama was a con artist, and Trump, a salesman.

Obama deliberately lied to us in 2008, it was all a con. I know this because the instant he was elected, he fired all his liberal economic advisors and brought in Goldman Sachs. I know this because of reports that during his campaign his agents were privately telling his wealthy patrons that he didn't mean a word of it.

Trump, however, is a salesman. He will simply tell you what you want to hear at the moment to close the deal. 'Oh yeah, that model car is great, no the seats in the other model are exactly the same..." just making it up on the fly, trying to read the customer. A salesman probably doesn't really think of it as lying. And when the deal is made, they won't deliberately stab you in the back - they just maybe won't be too concerned if it doesn't work out quite like they said.

Trumps started his presidency like he really meant to do what he promised during the campaign. THEN, after enormous pressure, even he started to bend. The inflection point was the missile strike on Syria. Now he's just sailing on, being president, and the promises of the campaign are like the promises of a car salesman...

steven t johnson | Aug 19, 2017 9:20:29 AM | 19
Trump lost the vote. If it weren't for the moronic Electoral College crap Trump wouldn't be president. So when Bannon tries to posture as the genius who won the presidency for Trump, Trump knows better. Everyone who talks about Trump winning the election is lying. Trump knows this, because that's the bottom line. Trump doesn't need a loser for an adviser. It's Trump who may now create a significant fascist movement by his support. It is not Bannon who will bring the fascist masses to Trump, because the masses aren't fascist.

As for delusions about Trump's non-imperialist foreign policy? The man ran as a conqueror, not a peacemaker. Trump is an owner. The US economy relies on the dollar and the dollar is backed by blood. Its role is not commensurate with the US' real economy, much less gold. The Soviets could give up their alleged empire because it wasn't an empire, it was an expense. The owners of the US rely on their empire. They can't give it up and they don't want to. Trump is one of them. He's about trashing old politics. Nazis in Charlottesville is the new politics, but he doesn't need Bannon for that.

Anon | Aug 19, 2017 9:38:26 AM | 20
"Trump is nazi"
"Bannon is nazi"
"Trump is a fascist"
"Bannon is a fascist"

Tragic that even people here buying the fake-news liberal propaganda. Nazi? Facists? Come on please. No wonder world is a mess or rather a brainwashed mass.

Noirette | Aug 19, 2017 9:38:51 AM | 21
Trump would not have been elected without him. -Bannon. b's top post.

Wondered about this, probably correct... though Trump, DT - Bannon are a sort of meeting of the minds so who what? etc. DT did veer pragmatically away from Bannon-type core positions on 'Muslims', in the infamous Clash of Civilzations line, as DT relegated religion to the lower drawer, to use violence as a no. 1. criteria - "ISIS", "terrorism", etc. (Campaign.)

DT clarioned the obvious, MAGA was for all Amrikis - LGTB, muslim, black, anyone, etc. That is why he won! (Bannon would of course have understood this.) On Iran DT has also been a little more 'tempered' imho but who knows really, e.g.:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-iran-idUSKBN19Y226

http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.780140

I posted about Trump's VP pick at the time saying it was a terrible sign. Response, he had to pick a Rep. estab. figure. NO. That was his first capitulation that led to all the others and those to come. And it will be his downfall. He could have picked a nonenity, anybody really, a woman would have been ~+ (not S. Palin, that type or top Rep. F figures at the time), a young man of Hispanic origin, someone sympathetic with stage presence, etc. Why not, Bannon himself? The bold move would have been to offer it publically to B. Sanders as a challenge.

DT is from the biz world and his intuitions about 'breaking molds' are constrained by the profit motive, which operate in a regulated field, he does not understand politics where 'anything goes.'

The 2nd bad mistake was H-ikki Haley. - Internationally. Trump had much potential support that was destroyed by this woman. He burned SO many bridges..

somebody | Aug 19, 2017 9:53:06 AM | 22
20

It is a fascist road map. Weimar street fights - check. "Wenn das der Führer wüsste"- problems are the people around the leader, not the leader himself. The leader is a saint. - check. "We will have to crash them" ie the Röhm mob who did the street fights - check. Infrastructure projects against unemployment, no matter the conditions of forced labor - check. "Buy German" - check. War against economic competitors - check. Find an interior race to unite against - Jews, Black lives matter - check

Defeat .....

Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 19, 2017 10:00:51 AM | 23

If Bannon is going back to Breitbart then I'm very confident that The Swamp will soon be in deep do-do. He can disrupt their schemes, smear them 24/7, and make them look stupider, from Breitbart, than he ever could have done from inside the White House.

Bannon knows that the Swamp believes ALL of it's own bullshit. With Bannon pointing it out, it won't be long before everyone on Earth knows too.

somebody | Aug 19, 2017 10:39:24 AM | 31
add to 29 Steve Bannon and taxes
The White House is also getting support for its tax-cut plan from the political network of billionaire brothers Charles Koch and David Koch, who didn't support President Donald Trump during his 2016 campaign. Short and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are set to appear on a tax panel hosted by two Koch-funded groups Monday in Washington.

And this is Robert Mercer

Since the IRS found in 2010 that a complicated banking method used by Renaissance and about 10 other hedge funds was a tax-avoidance scheme, Mercer has gotten increasingly active in politics. According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, he doled out more than $22 million to outside conservative groups seeking to influence last year's elections, while advocating the abolition of the IRS and much of the federal government.

Richard Painter, chief White House ethics adviser under President George W. Bush, said the optics surrounding the Mercers' political connections and the IRS case "are terrible."

"The guy's got a big case in front of the IRS," said Painter, now a University of Minnesota law professor who is also vice chairman of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. "He's trying to put someone in there who's going to drop the case. Is the president of the United States going to succumb to that or is he not?"

"Are we going to have a commissioner of the IRS who aggressively enforces the law and takes good cases to Tax Court or (somebody who) just throws away tax cases so billionaires don't have to pay their taxes and the rest of us can pay more taxes?"

The Real News - The real story of how Trump and Bannon got to the White House

nobody | Aug 19, 2017 10:42:24 AM | 32
You recognize you are in the middle of a psychological war yet do not act accordingly.

The "two sides" in this war shoot their weapons in the direction of the "other side" but the aim is strictly at the boobs in the middle. You should know this but yet you insist on being the boob in the middle.

Why is that?

Printing is pretty cheap these days. Pamphlets work wonders. Go forth and publish. While you still can.

fastfreddy | Aug 19, 2017 11:24:34 AM | 34
The US is a fascist nation. By degrees it became increasingly fascist. The key element of fascism is collusion between government and big business. This collusion does not serve the common citizen.
somebody | Aug 19, 2017 11:25:41 AM | 35
33

What I did say was - if you dress like a Nazi, if you shout Nazi slogans, if you act like Nazis did, if your political programme is that of Nazis, there is a strong likelihood that you are a Nazi.

Of course there is a cultural difference, these US billionaire backers of potential mass movements are after a " disruptive " tax and regulation free oligarchy, competitive advantage plus the profits of war, whilst German (and US) industrialists of the time were after an authoritarian corporate state, competitive advantage and the profits of war.

The difference between industrialists who depend on a work force and money made by speculation.

What Bannon is selling to the little people is the protection of an authoritarian corporate state.

AriusArmenian | Aug 19, 2017 11:43:35 AM | 36
The neocon and neolib warmongers are in full control. The US now marches in one direction: WAR. Millions (billions?) more will suffer more death and destruction. The US and its Anglosphere and EU vassals are nothing but vile and despicable. All my remaining hope is in the Eastern powers standing strong.
From The Hague | Aug 19, 2017 11:44:02 AM | 37
talk is cheap
nobody | Aug 19, 2017 11:48:32 AM | 38
"What I did say was - if you dress like a Nazi, if you shout Nazi slogans, if you act like Nazis did, if your political programme is that of Nazis, there is a strong likelihood that you are a Nazi."

"programme" << Not in the American tongue.

Anon is a boob. There is hope for Anon yet.

You are a dissimulator and a propaganda agent. (Per your own if it walks like a duck ...)

Anon | Aug 19, 2017 11:55:15 AM | 39
somebody

Nobody reject that there are nazis, I disclaim your attempt to claim that majority of voters for Trump are fascists/nazis.

As for Bannon, I already posted this: Steve Bannon : white nationalists, neo-Nazis 'losers' and 'a collection of clowns'
http://businessinsider.com/steve-bannon-white-nationalists-neo-nazis-losers-clowns-2017-8?r=US&IR=T

That is Bannon himself ok? If you want to deny what he is saying and claim otherwhise, well go ahead, it will then be another fake-news claim.

Pnyx | Aug 19, 2017 12:23:08 PM | 40
Bannon was probably the only non warmonger in the whole Tronald team - including the boss. Although I strongly oppose everything else he believes in his political course would have been much healthier for the rest of the world.
Robert Beal | Aug 19, 2017 12:23:13 PM | 41
The deep state and Wall Street have long run the ship, and now Big Oil's hand is on the rudder. The personality/reality show cast changes but always diverts attention; i.e., grabs eyeballs for the mainstream media.
Yul | Aug 19, 2017 12:36:23 PM | 42
The Hypocrites wrt Charlottesville: http://mondoweiss.net/2017/08/charlottesville-empowered-children/
james | Aug 19, 2017 1:01:13 PM | 43
thanks b.. the usa situation looks increasingly disturbing... not sure what happens next.. trump at this point looks very weak and not in control..
john | Aug 19, 2017 1:25:54 PM | 44
Pnyx says:

Bannon was probably the only non war mongerer in the whole Tronald team

well, there you have it! the guy's gotta go!

virgile | Aug 19, 2017 1:34:02 PM | 45
Bannon's removal opens wide the door to neo-cons, war mongers and the pro-jewish lobbies that only think of "making america great" through wars. The neo-cons are much more right-wing than Bannon. Without Bannon, Trump is becoming another puppet just like Bush jr. We will come to regret the last anti-Israel voice in the White House.
Piotr Berman | Aug 19, 2017 1:39:43 PM | 46
trump at this point looks very weak and not in control..

Posted by: james | Aug 19, 2017 1:01:13 PM | 43

That makes an assumption that Trump has some goals, program or whatever. I always had serious doubt, because he never showed some coherent program. Trump does not really think in terms of abstract ideas, but in terms of people that he knows. Bannon is a favorite of a billionaire lady that has an apartment in Trump Tower and who bankrolled recent Bannon's project. Who knows, with Rebeccah Mercer as a president, USA would have more coherent policies? But Trump hobnobbed with a lot of "good people" and his views seemed to be some incoherent mishmash.

Not that coherence is always a virtue. Probably all his acquaintances believed that "Obamacare" was a terrible idea, and none of them had any notion how to "fix it", so Trump probably projected a consensus "get rid of it, and if you can, replace it with something marvelous". And we all know that getting a "bipartisan consensus" in Congress, with 98-2 vote, requires some profoundly stupid legislation. And dinosaurs of American foreign policy may be pretty consistent.

Bannon was just another loudmouth for hire as far as Trump is concerned, something that he himself did for a living when casinos etc. were less rewarding. Trump is good at repeating stuff heard from acquaintances, but apart of letting the compatriots bask in his greateness, I am not sure if he really wants something.

xor | Aug 19, 2017 1:46:37 PM | 47
What I miss in this Bannon praise is a clear picture on how the globalist neolibcons got rid of Trump's key strategist. What I see is sanctification of Bannon, a far right ghoul who used his power and influence to move the political zenit further to the right.

This article totally ignores his position on China. Like the Bush adminstration had planned to destroy 7 countries (Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Iran), Bannon said: "We're going to war in the South China Sea in five to 10 years," "There's no doubt about that. They're taking their sandbars and making basically stationary aircraft carriers and putting missiles on those. They come here to the United States in front of our face - and you understand how important face is - and say it's an ancient territorial sea."

Let's hope the rudderless ship hits an iceberg and sinks to the bottom of the sea.

Seamus Padraig | Aug 19, 2017 2:22:42 PM | 48
It's sad to see all the defeatism here at MoA right now. Look, I too wish Trump hadn't fired Bannon -- or Flynn. And I wish he hadn't fired missiles at Syria or signed the new sanction bill. But consider this: a mere month after firing those missiles (apparently, after warning the Russians and Syrians in advance so they had time evacuate their troops), Trump agreed to the deconfliction zones in Syria, and then a month after that, he ordered the CIA to pull the plug on their jihadi freak-show there. Two weeks ago, all my liberal friends (yes, I still have some, but it's getting harder and harder to reason with them) over his tweets on N. Korea. And then what happened? Nothing!

Trump is well south of a hundred percent, I grant; but he's definitely more than zero.

As far as Bannon is concerned: please don't fall for the MSM propaganda about Bannon having been 'Trump's brain'. No. If you'll recall, Bannon only joined Trump's campaign toward the end, in August of 2016. And yet Trump never changed his fundamental policies or campaign strategy at all. Détente with Russia was NOT Bannon's idea; it was Trump's from the start. Dropping 'régime change' in Syria was NOT Bannon's idea; it was Trump's all along.

So have some faith, people. The worst has still not happened. There's a chance -- just a chance -- that we may still avoid a nuclear war.

Mina | Aug 19, 2017 2:42:47 PM | 49
OT curious to read Noirette's insiders' jokes on Bluenext and Kyoto ? (+ the Turkish bank) ref to http://tempsreel.nouvelobs.com/justice/20170529.OBS9978/gregory-zaoui-cerveau-ou-second-couteau-de-l-escroquerie-du-siecle.html
Vannok | Aug 19, 2017 2:50:47 PM | 50
The US Regime has just attacked the SAA fighting on the frontline against IS:

US Regime Attack

Stick a fork in Trump. He's done.

Jackrabbit | Aug 19, 2017 3:03:18 PM | 51
Trump's troubles are phoney (Russia, statues) but Trump hasn't been effective in countering them - sometimes shooting himself in the foot (suggesting that he had tapes of Comey; drip-drip-drip of the Trump Jr meeting with Russians; etc)

His response to Charlottesville is a case in point: he didn't explain what each group had done wrong so his "many mistakes on all sides" was read as a reluctance to denounce right-wing hate groups, then he flip-flopped (denounced white supremists) and flip-flopped again (returned to his earlier position) after out-cry from the right. I call him the Republican Obama. Apologists and critics of Trump won't dont like this view.

james | Aug 19, 2017 3:05:40 PM | 52
@46 piotr... i hear what you are saying.. trump is in it for trump... the guy is all about what corporations are about - branding, logo, etc. etc.. trump inc. and making money... as i was saying to a friend earlier today, if everything is about money - the bottom line of so many - when these folks no longer have a planet, there ain't gonna be no bottom line to look after either...

if i thought exxon, goldman sachs, lockheed martin and all these corps that have a huge say on the direction of the usa today, had any other clue then their 'bottom line' or recognized at the whole game is in jeopardy of being lost, i doubt any of them would have the guts or character to say anything about it.. it is not only that the usa is rudderless at this point.. the whole planet looks in much the same point, especially the usa poodles, which would include canada, the country i live in.. no naomi klein book or anything is going to change it either..

if correct, and i haven't read the link @50 vannok post is further confirmation of it..

Anon | Aug 19, 2017 3:13:30 PM | 53
Seamus Padraig 48

Great points, although if I could add - firing Bannon mean getting rid of people that think like Trump, so this is quite bad because instead comes pure neocons filling up the WH, and then Trump will be very isolated with his ideas on detente and so on.

somebody | Aug 19, 2017 3:21:38 PM | 54
39

I never said Trump voters were Nazis, they were anti-Hillary. Including the non-voters.

Bannon on "clowns" see

"We will have to crash them" ie the Röhm mob who did the street fights - check.

It is a fascist road map
See " Roehm putsch - night of the long knives "

He is dissociating from the Nazis in a left wing publication, why do you think that is? Because his Nazi friends have become toxic but don't read left wing publications. He did not say that in Breitbart.

Now what does Breitbart say: "CNN normalizes Antifa - Leftists seek peace through violence".

Now, again, who was violent in Charlottesville? What do the videos show?

It is obvious that Mercer/Bannon did not split with Trump. Bannon is now firing up the base whilst Trump does what he has to do to satisfy his billionaire friends ie get rid of regulations and taxes.

Whilst Bannon pretends Trump is hostage to Republican elites that have to be removed by his base.

Bannons "War with China" is not non interventionist.

Bannon is a paid tool.

Those Nazis have been filmed from all sides and are being identified online, losing their jobs because of it.
I suggest people send them Bannon's interview in the American Prospect.

StephenLaudig | Aug 19, 2017 3:32:08 PM | 55
The came to mind. Even gets the orange correct but it is misplaced....
......

http://hhgproject.org/entries/president.html

President of the Imperial Galactic Government

The President is very much a figurehead - he wields no real power whatsoever. He is apparently chosen by the government, but the qualities he is required to display are not those of leadership but those of finely judged outrage. For this reason the President is always a controversial choice, always an infuriating but fascinating character. His job is not to wield power but to draw attention away from it.

An orange sash is what the President of the Galaxy traditionally wears.

On those criteria Zaphod Beeblebrox is one of the most successful Presidents the Galaxy has ever had. He spent two of his ten Presidential years in prison for fraud. Very very few people realize that the President and the Government have virtually no power at all, and of these very few people only six know whence ultimate political power is wielded. Most of the others secretly believe that the ultimate decision-making process is handled by a computer. They couldn't be more wrong.
============

cheers.

Krollchem | Aug 19, 2017 3:45:38 PM | 56
For those interlopers who claim Hillery won and that the Electoral college is evil consider the following:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-18/us-has-35-million-more-registered-voters-live-adults-red-flag-electoral-fraud

Anon | Aug 19, 2017 3:50:28 PM | 57
somebody

You spread so much lies and fake news.

1. "I never said Trump voters were Nazis, they were anti-Hillary. Including the non-voters."
No they voted because of his economic policy.

2. "He is dissociating from the Nazis in a left wing publication, why do you think that is? Because his Nazi friends have become toxic but don't read left wing publications. He did not say that in Breitbart."
Lol you are making up stupid conspiracy theories, he said something about Charlottesville because he was asked to obviously.
You cant accept what Bannon is saying you are making up things in your head. If you cant accept reality, what matter is our discussion? But keep those conspiracy theories coming because those are novel.

3. "Now what does Breitbart say: "CNN normalizes Antifa - Leftists seek peace through violence".
Now, again, who was violent in Charlottesville? What do the videos show?"

Yes they sure do, the videos show violence on both sides, apparently you and CNN see the world in such bad/good sides. You have become blind by the liberal MSM apparently.
As far as violence in europe,

Europol: Leftists Carried Out 27 Times More Terror Attacks Than Right-Wingers
- https://twitter.com/prisonplanet/status/877535259952328704

You believe Antifa is some kind of peace loving party. Next time they might get a lunatic behind the wheel.

karlof1 | Aug 19, 2017 4:05:13 PM | 58
I highly suggest MoA barflys read Pepe Escobar's analysis of Bannon's departure, https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201708191056603401-steve-bannon-white-house-trump-war/

On other threads, the need for solidarity's been raised by myself and others. I believe what I'll call the Hate Resistance or Anti-Hate forces could provide the foundation for the required rise of a Progressive-Populist Movement, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/08/19/alt-right-gathers-boston-thousands-counter-rally-fight-supremacy Now, I understand that those with the money behind these counter protests are anything but Progressive or want to see Populism rise; however, the required solidarity's been generated, so all that's needed is for Direction to be supplied for a bottom->up Movement to grow and become a new political force that could even tap into some of the issues Bannon will certainly raise.

okie farmer | Aug 19, 2017 4:19:56 PM | 59
Night of the Long Knives
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see Night of the Long Knives (disambiguation).
Night of the Long Knives

Ernst Röhm (right) with Kurt Daluege
and Heinrich Himmler
Native name
Unternehmen Kolibri
Duration
June 30 – July 2, 1934
Location: Nazi Germany

Also known as
Operation Hummingbird, Röhm Putsch (by the Nazis), The Blood Purge

Type: Coup d'état and purge

Cause: Conflicts between Strasserist and Hitler
Organised by

Adolf Hitler
Joseph Goebbels
Heinrich Himmler
Reinhard Heydrich

Participants
Schutzstaffel (Hitler faction)
Sturmabteilung (Röhm faction)
Unorganized regime opposition
Outcome
Adolf Hitler's supremacy confirmed
Elimination of opposition to the Nazi Government
Casualties
85 officially and upwards to 150–200 total

The Night of the Long Knives (German: Nacht der langen Messer (help·info)), also called Operation Hummingbird (German: Unternehmen Kolibri) or, in Germany, the Röhm Putsch[a] (German spelling: Röhm-Putsch), was a purge that took place in Nazi Germany from June 30 to July 2, 1934, when the Nazi regime carried out a series of political extrajudicial executions intended to consolidate Hitler's absolute hold on power in Germany. Many of those killed were leaders of the SA (Sturmabteilung), the Nazis' own paramilitary Brownshirts organization; the best-known victim was Ernst Röhm, the SA's leader and one of Hitler's longtime supporters and allies.

Leading members of the left-wing Strasserist faction of the Nazi Party (NSDAP), along with its figurehead, Gregor Strasser, were also killed, as were establishment conservatives and anti-Nazis (such as former Chancellor Kurt von Schleicher and Bavarian politician Gustav Ritter von Kahr, who had suppressed Adolf Hitler's Munich Beer Hall Putsch in 1923). The murders of Brownshirt leaders were also intended to improve the image of the Hitler government with a German public that was increasingly critical of thuggish Brownshirt tactics.

smuks | Aug 19, 2017 4:22:09 PM | 60
@somebody 22

The similarities go on and on, it's plain ridiculous, almost embarrassing to even point them out.

Bannon is a dangerous ideologue. I have no idea if Trump himself has any political beliefs, probably not - but he loves and needs popular support. And if he doesn't manage to create 'jobs, jobs, jobs', what will he do?

T. is pretty alone now, that's true. Having no political standpoints, this makes him an easy target for others to drive into a corner and manipulate - and afterwards, they'll say: "Trump is crazy, we told you so, this war was all his fault and his alone!"

Yeah, sure. And of course, the blame for WW2 lies entirely with a few 'crazy Nazis', the German (and international) capital elite had nothing to do with it, they didn't want the Nazis to destroy the Soviet Union, no no...

The parallels are plain ridiculous.

smuks | Aug 19, 2017 4:42:17 PM | 61
@okie farmer 59

Yes, this was the crucial moment: Those Nazis who actually believed their own anti-elite propaganda had to be eliminated, so the rest could serve as a popular figurehead for pro-elite policies. H. had the support of the masses, but what he did served the interest of the '1%' - including the war on Soviet Russia, which they wanted. Of course, afterwards the German money elite had nothing to do with it, it was all done by those 'crazies', and that's what the history books still tell us today...

@StephenLaudig 55

lol, kudos! Last orders, please!

Anon | Aug 19, 2017 4:45:53 PM | 62
smuks and somebody

You consider Trump a nazi/fascists, sure then you you consider Putin a fascist/nazi too?

smuks | Aug 19, 2017 4:49:13 PM | 63
@james 43

"trump at this point looks very weak and not in control.. "

That's exactly what I wrote more than a year ago, and why I didn't want him to be president: He may not be an 'evil person' (I have no idea), but he's weak and prone to doing 'stupid stuff' when in a difficult situation.

I do hope Russia and China understand this, and act accordingly/ offer him a face-saving way out.

smuks | Aug 19, 2017 4:51:14 PM | 64
@Anon 62

re-read my comments, you completely missed the point.

I don't like Putin's policies much, but he's intelligent and responsible.

Just Sayin' | Aug 19, 2017 5:59:31 PM | 66
Trump Continues to Resist Pressure for Afghan Escalation

Pence, McMaster Lead Call for Escalation

Friday's Camp David talks on Afghanistan appear to have ended without a final decision by President Trump on troop levels, as he continues to resist pressure from top cabinet officials to sign off on a massive escalation of the 16-year-old conflict with thousands of fresh troops.

Trump had initially delegated the decision to Defense Secretary James Mattis, but Mattis found a cap limiting his maximum deployment too restrictive.

Now, Vice President Pence and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster are also taking up the cause of large-scale escalation, pushing Trump to accept the recommendations of the commanders.Pence and McMaster were at the Camp David meeting, but Blackwater founder Erik Prince, who has been pushing a "privatize the war" initiative, was blocked, apparently at the behest of McMaster.

Trump aide Steve Bannon, another skeptic of military escalation, was sacked outright.

What's the purpose of the "escalation"?

Why escalate in Afghanistan?
What has happened recently to require such an escaltion?

(Nothing, as far as I can see)

So why "escalate?

As far as I can see Trump is no longer in charge of any of the several wars the US is currebtly waging. If he ever was in charge in the first place.

As far as I can tell, the purpose of any escalation would simply be: "to escalate". With all the increase in expenditure that such an escalation would naturally require.

Throughout the Obama era troop levels in afghanistan were raised and lowered without any rhyme or reason, with no connection to events on the ground, that I could see.

Nothing has changed in that regard since Tronald took charge.

If anything this confirms Orwell's theory, espoused in his "Theory and Practice of Oligarical Collectivism", that the purpose of war is: "To wage war".

Thus filling the coffers of those who profit from waging war. And more importantly emptying the treasury of funds that could be used to improve living conditions for the proles. Proles of all different skin colours.

Nothing has changed in that regard since the Obama era.

Except: the circus has a new show on, to distract the " stupid little people". Instead of "gender wars" the show at the local theatre changed to "race wars"

But at the end of the day, it's still just a show, just like it was under Obomber, designed to distract.

Bread and Circuses.

Since nothing has changed, claims of Nazism aimed at Trump are nonsense, unless the person making the claim was making the exact same claim regarding
Obama.

Which they weren't

Which brings us back to the "stupid little people"

Just Sayin' | Aug 19, 2017 6:04:15 PM | 67
Btw.

Obama was heavily backed by the billionaire Pritzker family. One of them was put in charge of the treasury. One of them is a gender-bender, once a he, now a she. Hence the gender wars. Ever feel you've been had?

frances | Aug 19, 2017 6:07:55 PM | 68
There are a few assumptions that are driving the Trump is doomed story. The first; he is unthinking, borderline stupid. The second: he is isolated. The third; he has no plan.

I think they are wrong on all counts. I believe he is shrewd, his business dealings show that. He is not isolated as he trusts very few people and relies on his family and only his family. He has few people close to him by choice. Finally he clearly has plans and surrounding himself with military give you a glimpse into his thinking. He has just announced an upgrade to the cyber security agency and it may take over NSA responsibilities.

The Pentagon has long been at war with the CIA/State Dept and the NSA. He is backing the Pentagon and with their help can decimate his and their enemies. As for congress, he has been assembling a war chest and in the 2018 elections will support those who are loyal to him. He will bury the Republicans who failed to come up with a healthcare plan, he will bury the Republicans who failed to support him. He was a leading developer worldwide, dealing with some of the world's biggest business sharks do you seriously think he can't take on Congressional sycophants?

MadMax2 | Aug 19, 2017 6:27:02 PM | 69
The U.S. appears ungovernable at this time, the hysterical temper whipped up on all sides, no reasoned thinking. I guess we're now getting a look at the big show Obama was able to put on for us, when in actual fact things were ungovernable all along - it's just so, so exposed now under Trump. He's being bitten by the people closest to him. Repeatedly.

There would be a way for a country to escape such internal capitulation if there were a visible rule of law, or maybe some code of ethics on show. Rule of the rich should look this way, paying for the pleasure of watching other people watch monkeys to throw shit at one another daily.

JustSayin' | Aug 19, 2017 6:36:31 PM | 70
One more:

Trump is probably best known, amongst the proles, as host of the show "The Apprentice". The premise of this show was that he gathered together a whole bunch of asshats and then one by one fired all of them.

Fast Forward to 2017 and the Trump presidency.

He gathered a whole bunch of asshats around him and one by one fired all of em . . . . .

Say what you like about the man, but at least he's consistent ;-)

Copeland | Aug 19, 2017 6:40:47 PM | 71
Americans who simply ignore President Trump's occasionally hints of brutality ( that police should be even rougher or more brutal in their dealings with criminal suspects), are citizens proceeding at their own peril. President Obama, in his heyday, made public statements, in which he pronounced Army private Bradley (Chelsea) Manning guilty of treason;--a young soldier who had been held in brutal detention in a military stockade,--when no trial had even begun. The law is found to be expedient when it serves political ends, and is otherwise ignored.

In preemptive violence they trust: glorification of abusive power and coersion, and demonization of the Other. It's truly a bi-partisan thing we are seeing: the last links to sanity being removed. No one is sure what the little extra nudge it might be, that could hurl us down into social chaos. Whether Trump proves himself more or less dangerous than Hillary Clinton would have been, simply shrinks into insignificance, compared to the US Congress, and the bi-partisan consensus for irrational global dominance that keeps pushing us toward destruction.

But some liberals have decided that the Day of Antifa is not such a bad thing; meaning we should duke it out in the streets with crazier right wingers, hoping that the contagion of hate will spread throughout the land. Mark Bray, a lecturer at Dartmouth College, is giving the necessity of preemptive violence his academic blessing. With the flood of adrenaline, the blood thickens and grows hot, and eventually spills out on the paving stones and the curb.

On the other hand, the inchoate lunges and political retractions, the firings and shuffling of personnel in the administration, is not at all inspiring. If Trump brings any more generals into the National Security Council, people will have even more reason to worry. Bannon's departure, in and of itself, will probably not change the trajectory that the US government is locked into. Bannon is not the pilot of Trump's soul, nor is he the Mephistopheles whispering into the ear of Trump.

What keeps me awake at night is the knowledge that the only time Congress rallies to Trump, is when they are confident that he is about to start pushing out the borders of the empire, economically strangling small countries,--or better still, when he proves his mettle by bombing and killing folks. Does this president have the grit to resist foolhardy military adventures, or improve diplomatic relations with countries that view the US with alarm, or to put people back to work and rebuild the domestic economy? It's hard to say how.

JustSayin' | Aug 19, 2017 6:43:35 PM | 72
re: #71
Says the guy who back in 2008 was pimping for Obama. telling us all how he represented a change.

Seriously: why would anyone ever listen to anything you have to say about anything?

smuks | Aug 19, 2017 6:43:42 PM | 73
@Anon 65

You seem to be rather cognitively challenged: I don't say Trump's a fascist, I say he 'probably has no political beliefs'. Go watch TV if complex arguments are too much for you.

Putin is no fascist either, but he needs extreme right-wing support so Russian fascists have a certain influence on him imo.

Just Sayin' | Aug 19, 2017 6:47:27 PM | 74
It's hard to say how.

Posted by: Copeland | Aug 19, 2017 6:40:47 PM | 71

even if it were easy, given your track record you'd probably fuck it up anyhow

psychohistorian | Aug 19, 2017 7:13:35 PM | 75
Can Trump do any more to show the rest of the world what a craven puppet the US has become to the God of Mammon folks?

I believe that all this strum and drang are the prelude for war or a major shift in geo-political focus on war as an economic engine of society. The next step in the prelude is either war or economic war, both about maintaining global private finance control or away from that model. The propaganda and fear mongering escalate so that rational discussion of the paths forward are obfuscated and misdirected.

Trump may have dropped a pilot but it is foolish to think that those who have piloted global private finance for centuries have let down their guard.

Copeland | Aug 19, 2017 7:14:55 PM | 76
72, 74

Are you one of those rare infallible gentlemen who never has made a mistake? Why are you making it personal? I can only guess that you are trolling. No one born in this world can pass through it free of error. But I guess you have pardoned yourself, given that you are an exception.

fast freddy | Aug 19, 2017 8:02:19 PM | 77
Rational Thought, reasoned thinking and discussion are not the tools of government, the military, religion or the angry mob.

Bullshit and flinging shit like monkeys offer proven and preferred methodologies.

psychohistorian | Aug 19, 2017 8:21:28 PM | 78
@ fast freddy who didn't credit any with the tool of Rational Thought

Below is a recent quote from Lord Rothschild that you can analyze keeping in mind that his organization reduced its US holdings from 62% to 37% of it portfolio in the past 6 months....
"
The period of monetary accommodation may well be coming to an end. Geopolitical problems remain widespread and are proving increasingly difficult to resolve. We therefore retain a moderate exposure to equity markets and have diversified our asset allocation towards equity investments where value creation is driven by some identifiable catalyst or which are exposed to longer-term positive structural trends.
"
Hey, he is being "upfront" about it........I wonder when the music stops?

Curtis | Aug 19, 2017 8:40:01 PM | 79
StephenLaudig 55
Thanks for the HHG reference. Sometimes we need some comedy to temper our outrage.

Yes, I agree Trump is now surrounded by Goldman Sachs, military types, and pro-Israel Jared. Nothing good can come of this. SecDef Gates resisted the warmongering of Team Obama but ultimately he went along with it. So even if there is some common sense among the generals, that doesn't mean they can prevent another warmongering misadventure. Tillerson has shown some restraint but it's hard to trust anyone in govt anymore.

V. Arnold | Aug 19, 2017 8:50:03 PM | 80
somebody | Aug 19, 2017 10:01:52 AM | 24

Trump would not have been elected without Robert Mercer. Robert Mercer is the billionaire behind Cambridge Analytica, Breitbart and Steve Bannon.

Who financed Adolf Hitler? Bingo! Finally, some one got the Mercers; both the father and the daughter.
http://therealnews.com/t2/story:19811:The-Real-Story-of-How-Bannon-and-Trump-Got-to-The-White-House

fudmier | Aug 19, 2017 9:04:03 PM | 81
We Americans have a problem: the USA is not performing as it should . We Americans have not solved the problem of how to satisfactorily staff a two man team capable to manage the white household, nor have we Americans done any better seating old 100 gents to rule the Senate, worse among us we seem unable to supply 425 jugglers, dancers, and actors the house of dancing confusion needs to sell its show time tickets. This staffing problem is an American problem, not a USA problem. Its time Americans set their minds to solving it.

Its disappointing to see that Trump may have a problem supporting people that pledge their reputations, futures, and positions to help Trump. In business I have seen many persons with this psychological problem, its not about the hired person, its about imperfection : even the slightest non-conforming misstep by the supportive employee is sufficient to bring about a vilification, a firing, and the like. It nows seems possible that the surround sound family in the white house was a defensive move designed to overcome a known-to-Trump problem that probably has plagued Trump his entire life. I put a short-run fantastic performing employee in charge of a significant managerial position; within a year he had fired nearly everyone in the place, some fired had 20 years of relevant experience. Five years later the same person repeated the performance, within a year everyone in the new place had been fired. Later, another person, this time an expert with 20 years experience in a particular line of business was bathed in venture capital and tasked to establish a new business within his expertise; he fired nearly everyone that he hired; some made it a year, but that was it. He ended up trying to run the business all by himself.

Gorgar Tilts | Aug 19, 2017 9:12:09 PM | 82
This will likely only hasten the inevitable: either the liquidation of cucks and neocons as the GOP becomes the implicit party of white nationalism, or the liquidation of the GOP as such at the hand of white nationalists.

The sooner either of these occur, the better it is going to be for the majority white population in the US. Probably for the black and brown populations, too.

smuks | Aug 19, 2017 9:17:51 PM | 83
Is it just me, or is Trump's team becoming more and more reminiscent of the Soviet politburo c. 1986 ?

@psycho 75

In other words, we either overcome capitalism or face war...unless, of course, we miraculously stumble upon the driver of a new Kondratieff. Without completely destroying the planet, that is.

psychohistorian | Aug 19, 2017 9:21:41 PM | 84
@ fudmier who posits that Americans have a problem.

I dare say that the problem Americans have is shared by the rest of the species. Society is stuck in feudal mode at its core with its fealty to the powers of global private finance and those who own it and have for centuries. The model of a few, unaccountable people, perpetuating the God of Mammon religion of private property, inheritance to insure continuation and that some humans are better than others inherently is a sick measure of what we think of as civilization.

All this shit going on is proxy manipulations like have been pursued by the elite for centuries. Humanity needs to lose its private finance pilot and set sail with a commonly piloted future.

psychohistorian | Aug 19, 2017 9:43:34 PM | 85
@ smuks who chimed in

Let me expand my thought.

I think our solution is as simple or complicated as we want to make it.....its all about a collective meme.

I have posited before here that the sewage treatment plants and water systems of the world are not the problem. Those things represent social advances that have been built to support towns and cities by governments.

I posit that government, by definition, is socialistic in purpose....and I further posit that we have forgotten this and/or this definition has been twisted by others. I grew up in Tacoma, Washington and had an uncle who was an engineer for the regional water/power SOCIALIST organization that is still in existence today.

The reason I make that point is that I believe that by "simply" evolving the private finance/property/inheritance component of our form of social organization we will immensely improve the incentives we live by.

We need to kill the God of Mammon. Who believes in this religion? Will humanity evolve past fealty to this god?

Grieved | Aug 19, 2017 10:06:59 PM | 86
@58 karlof1

Thanks for the Escobar link. The story makes great sense. It's good to know about Mercer and to see that Trump and Bannon are tight. Oddly, it did seem that with all the jackals circling around Trump's neck, in this one case, Bannon is more use outside the tent pissing in than inside pissing out. And Breitbart has now received a massive profile lift, it'll become a national player in the narrative, one would expect.

By the way, I was pondering lately this whole aspect of a grass roots movement. Funny you should bring it up. The only question here about the US is, will the people actually get a voice in this society? If the electoral system keeps bringing liars and betraying promises, then it's time to Occupy the Ballot and have new movements. This is happening I think, with Trump actually being one of the precursor litmus tests.

~~

As for the generals, what does a ruler need except the people and the army? Trump has them both. It makes him harder to take down with all those generals around. Of course, Caesar will have to accord with his praetorian guard or the guard will get a new Caesar. But the US is a banana republic now, this is how it's done - and I'm serious about this, these are real dynamics I think.

Surely the generals will end up being more conservative in action than in rhetoric? And if they get a little giddy and actually send their soldiers out into the real world, they'll quickly receive more of those globally public humiliations that are lowering the empire to the ground so effectively. What can go wrong, that couldn't always go wrong anyway, regardless of who's in charge, or thinks they're in charge?

Grieved | Aug 19, 2017 10:14:06 PM | 87
Reflecting that b's post is actually about who's steering the ship.

Personally, I don't know - or give much weight to - whether Trump is driving his own train here. The man shows an extraordinary plasticity, which is useful in the whirlwind that buffets him. He can afford to entertain a million ideas, players and plans. He will outlive them all, I suspect. Despite enormous gaffes, he stays afloat. It's not a Teflon thing, it's a buoyancy thing, or something. Maybe it lies in the country being seen as so crazy and screwed up right now that no one can claim the high ground, and meanwhile he is, after all the elected president, and keeps showing up for work every day as if he's in charge.

I don't see the country as broken, unless the people accept this false narrative concocted by the media about sides split by division. Admittedly, from all the arguing and attacking going on in this thread, one could guess that maybe the false narrative will win.

But we could draw much comfort from the words of this young black woman, Red Pill Black, in a 5 minute YouTube essay that has a quarter million views so far in the last 2 days. She makes stunningly good sense - it's worth 5 minutes or your money back: I Don't Care About Charlottesville, the KKK, or White Supremacy

And I have some respect for the tide of history, and would challenge the notion that anyone was ever really in charge anyway. And this is the great promise that I think Trump still holds. I believe he will bend with the prevailing winds, within his belief system - and there are winds stirring that no one controls, I think. History again. I can't prove it, or even point to it at this stage, but I'm happy enough to wait.

Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 19, 2017 11:05:03 PM | 88
Given that Trump's Inauguration speech included a promise to challenge the abusive power of the Swamp/Deep State, anyone who expected something other than a Magical Mystery Tour, or imagined that he would behave predictably, is utterly clueless about Leadership, Power, and the predictable consequences of "throwing down the gauntlet."
fudmier | Aug 19, 2017 11:48:56 PM | 89
All this shit going on is proxy manipulations like have been pursued by the elite for centuries. Humanity needs to lose its private finance pilot and set sail with a commonly piloted future.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 19, 2017 9:21:41 PM | 84

Ever heard of the enclosure acts ? Do you know which wealthy propaganda artist and lobbyist placed Art. I, Sec. 8, (8) in the US constitution? The Congress shall have the power ...to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries..." ?

Any idea how the patent and copyright clause has been used to force on the people of the world the crime of kill and take, lie and steal everything from whomever capitalism? Imagine the monopoly power the Wall Street Bandits can insert into corporations by raising enough money to enable the corporation to acquire monopoly rights in any & all great ideas [THEY CAN OWN the marketing rights and make the profits from ANYTHING ANYONES MIND CAN THINK UP]that can be reduced to objects than can make money.

MONOPOLY POWER is a requirement of SUCCESSFUL CAPITALISM?

Patents and copyrights produce a great portion of the faults we are all so upset about. Americans have a problem, the USA is not performing satisfactorily because those in charge of the USA respond only to the global capitalist who have sufficient funds to purchase what they USA is selling.

Most Americans cannot afford to buy what the USA is selling?

[Aug 20, 2017] Stick a fork in Trump. He's done.

Aug 20, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Vannok | Aug 19, 2017 2:50:47 PM | 50

The US Regime has just attacked the SAA fighting on the frontline against IS:

US Regime Attack

Stick a fork in Trump. He's done.

[Aug 18, 2017] Stephen Bannon Out at the White House After Turbulent Run

Now whom Trump represents? GS and military industrial complex ?
Aug 18, 2017 | www.msn.com

"White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve's last day," the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said in a statement. "We are grateful for his service and wish him the best."

... ... ...

On Tuesday at Trump Tower in New York, Mr. Trump refused to guarantee Mr. Bannon's job security but defended him as "not a racist" and "a friend." "We'll see what happens with Mr. Bannon," Mr. Trump said. Mr. Bannon's dismissal followed an Aug. 16 interview he initiated with a writer with whom he had never spoken, with the progressive publication The American Prospect.

In it, Mr. Bannon mockingly played down the American military threat to North Korea as nonsensical: "Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that 10 million people in Seoul don't die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don't know what you're talking about, there's no military solution here, they got us." He also bad-mouthed his colleagues in the Trump administration, vowed to oust a diplomat at the State Department and mocked officials as "wetting themselves" over the consequences of radically changing trade policy.

Of the far right, he said, "These guys are a collection of clowns," and he called it a "fringe element" of "losers." "We gotta help crush it," he said in the interview, which people close to Mr. Bannon said he believed was off the record. Privately, several White House officials said that Mr. Bannon appeared to be provoking Mr. Trump and that they did not see how the president could keep him on after the interview was published.

[Aug 18, 2017] Trump betrayed his antiglobalism agenda when he elevated the roles of Gary D. Cohn, his top economic policy adviser and a former official at Goldman Sachs, and Dina Powell, a former Bush administration official who also worked on Wall Street

Notable quotes:
"... Mr. Bannon had been aligned with Mr. Kelly's predecessor, Reince Priebus, who was forced out in late July. More significantly, Mr. Bannon has been in a battle with Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, since the spring ..."
"... Mr. Bannon, whose campaign against "globalists" was a hallmark of his tenure steering the right-wing website Breitbart.com, and Mr. Kushner had been allies throughout the transition process and through the beginning of the administration. ..."
"... But their alliance ruptured as Mr. Trump elevated the roles of Gary D. Cohn, his top economic policy adviser and a former official at Goldman Sachs, and Dina Powell, a former Bush administration official who also worked on Wall Street... ..."
Aug 18, 2017 | www.msn.com

"We gotta help crush it," he said in the interview, which people close to Mr. Bannon said he believed was off the record.

Mr. Bannon's departure was long rumored in Washington. The president's new chief of staff, John F. Kelly , a retired Marine Corps general who was brought on for his ability to organize a chaotic staff, was said to have grown weary of the chief strategist's long-running feud with Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the national security adviser.

Mr. Bannon had been aligned with Mr. Kelly's predecessor, Reince Priebus, who was forced out in late July. More significantly, Mr. Bannon has been in a battle with Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, since the spring.

Mr. Bannon, whose campaign against "globalists" was a hallmark of his tenure steering the right-wing website Breitbart.com, and Mr. Kushner had been allies throughout the transition process and through the beginning of the administration.

But their alliance ruptured as Mr. Trump elevated the roles of Gary D. Cohn, his top economic policy adviser and a former official at Goldman Sachs, and Dina Powell, a former Bush administration official who also worked on Wall Street...

[Aug 18, 2017] Steve Bannon goes as the military takes over the Trump administration by Alexander Mercouris

Notable quotes:
"... Bannon's removal does not just remove from the White House a cunning political strategist. It also removes the one senior official in the Trump administration who had any pretensions to be an ideologist and an intellectual. ..."
"... n saying I should say that I for one do not rate Bannon as an ideologist and intellectual too highly. Whilst there can be no doubt of Bannon's media and campaigning skills, his ideological positions seem to me a mishmash of ideas – some more leftist than rightist – rather than a coherent platform. I also happen to think that his actual influence on the President has been hugely exaggerated. Since the inauguration I have not seen much evidence either of Bannon's supposed influence on the President or of his famed political skills. ..."
"... The only occasion where it did seem to me that Bannon exercised real influence was in shaping the text of the speech the President delivered during his recent trip to Poland. ..."
"... I have already made known my views of this speech . I think it was badly judged – managing to annoy both the Germans and the Russians at the same time – mistaken in many of its points, and the President has derived no political benefit from it. ..."
"... As for Bannon's alleged political skills, he has completely failed to shield the President from the Russiagate scandal and appears to me to have done little or nothing to hold the President's electoral base together, with Bannon having been almost invisible since the inauguration. ..."
"... The US's core electorate is becoming increasingly alienated from its political class; elements of the security services are openly operating independently of political control, and are working in alliance with sections of the Congress and the media – both now also widely despised – to bring down a constitutionally elected President, who they in turn despise. ..."
"... The only institution of the US state that still seems to be functioning as normal, and which appears to have retained a measure of public respect and support, is the military, which politically speaking seems increasingly to be calling the shots. ..."
Aug 18, 2017 | theduran.com

The announcement of the 'resignation' of White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon represents the culmination of a process which began with the equally forced 'resignation' of President Trump's first National Security Adviser General Michael Flynn.

Individuals who were close to Donald Trump during his successful election campaign and who largely framed its terms – people like Bannon and Flynn – have been picked off one by one.

Taking their place is a strange coalition of former generals and former businessmen of essentially conventional Republican conservative views, which is cemented around three former generals who between them now have the levers of powers in their hands: General Kelly, the President's new Chief of Staff, General H.R. McMaster, his National Security Adviser, and General Mattis, the Secretary of Defense.

In the case of Bannon, it is his clear that his ousting was insisted on by General Kelly, who is continuing to tighten his control of the White House.

Bannon's removal – not coincidentally – has come at the same time that General H.R. McMaster is completing his purge of the remaining Flynn hold-overs on the staff of the National Security Council.

Bannon's removal does not just remove from the White House a cunning political strategist. It also removes the one senior official in the Trump administration who had any pretensions to be an ideologist and an intellectual.

I n saying I should say that I for one do not rate Bannon as an ideologist and intellectual too highly. Whilst there can be no doubt of Bannon's media and campaigning skills, his ideological positions seem to me a mishmash of ideas – some more leftist than rightist – rather than a coherent platform. I also happen to think that his actual influence on the President has been hugely exaggerated. Since the inauguration I have not seen much evidence either of Bannon's supposed influence on the President or of his famed political skills.

Bannon is sometimes credited as being the author of the President's two travel ban Executive Orders. I am sure this wrong. The Executive Orders clearly originate with the wishes of the President himself. If Bannon did have any role in them – which is possible – it would have been secondary to the President's own. I would add that in that case Bannon must take some of the blame for the disastrously incompetent execution of the first of these two Executive Orders, which set the scene for the legal challenges that followed.

The only occasion where it did seem to me that Bannon exercised real influence was in shaping the text of the speech the President delivered during his recent trip to Poland.

I have already made known my views of this speech . I think it was badly judged – managing to annoy both the Germans and the Russians at the same time – mistaken in many of its points, and the President has derived no political benefit from it.

However it is the closest thing to an ideological statement the President has made since he took office, and Bannon is widely believed – probably rightly – to have written it.

As for Bannon's alleged political skills, he has completely failed to shield the President from the Russiagate scandal and appears to me to have done little or nothing to hold the President's electoral base together, with Bannon having been almost invisible since the inauguration.

In view of Bannon's ineffectiveness since the inauguration I doubt that his removal will make any difference to the Trump administration's policies or to the support the President still has from his electoral base, most of whose members are unlikely to know much about Bannon anyway.

It is in a completely different respect – one wholly independent of President Trump's success or failure as President – that the events of the last few weeks give cause for serious concern.

The events of the last year highlight the extent to which the US is in deep political crisis.

The US's core electorate is becoming increasingly alienated from its political class; elements of the security services are openly operating independently of political control, and are working in alliance with sections of the Congress and the media – both now also widely despised – to bring down a constitutionally elected President, who they in turn despise.

All this is happening at the same time that there is growing criticism of the economic institutions of the US government, which since the 2008 financial crisis have seemed to side with a wealthy and unprincipled minority against the interests of the majority.

The only institution of the US state that still seems to be functioning as normal, and which appears to have retained a measure of public respect and support, is the military, which politically speaking seems increasingly to be calling the shots.

It is striking that the only officials President Trump can nominate to senior positions who do not immediately run into bitter opposition have been – apart from General Flynn, who was a special case – senior soldiers.

Now the military in the persons of Kelly, McMaster and Mattis find themselves at the heart of the US government to an extent that has never been true before in US history, even during the Presidencies of former military men like Andrew Jackson, Ulysses Grant or Dwight Eisenhower.

The last time that happened in a major Western nation – that the civilian institutions of the state had become so dysfunctional that the military as the only functioning institution left ended up dominating the nation's government and deciding the nation's policies – was in Germany in the lead up to the First World War.

Time will show what the results will be this time, but the German example is hardly a reassuring one.

[Aug 18, 2017] Pentagon took over White house: The firing of Bannon leaves the Generals without an opposing view. They will no longer be contradicted.

Notable quotes:
"... We were the sole superpower, Earth's hyperpower, its designated global sheriff, the architect of our planetary future. After five centuries of great power rivalries, in the wake of a two-superpower world that, amid the threat of nuclear annihilation, seemed to last forever and a day (even if it didn't quite make it 50 years), the United States was the ultimate survivor, the victor of victors, the last of the last. It stood triumphantly at the end of history. In a lottery that had lasted since Europe's wooden ships first broke out of a periphery of Eurasia and began to colonize much of the planet, the United States was the chosen one, the country that would leave every imperial world-maker from the Romans to the British in its shadow. ..."
"... Engelhardt still doesn't understand that 911 was supposed to (and did) solidify the justification for the expansion of The American Century since we now made our own rules and reality. ..."
"... The Bannon interview is fascinating, but don't forget that he's a strategist: He says what he thinks will serve his purpose, not necessarily what he believes. ..."
"... Now he's gone, whether for good time will tell. And Trump is looking rather isolated. If he feels his position becomes too complicated or even untenable, he might do 'stupid stuff' - and as I mentioned earlier, this may be just what the Neocons want: With the US decline accelerating both internally and globally, 'war' may seem the last option to them. But of course, they don't want the blame - they want to be able to say 'see, we told you he's crazy, but you didn't listen.' Difficult times. ..."
Aug 18, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Are we a step closer to War?

Posted by: CarlD | Aug 18, 2017 2:16:17 PM | 96

jawbone | Aug 18, 2017 2:19:23 PM | 97

Well, with Bannon gone who will have most influence over Trump now? Will the rest of the Alt-Righters stay at the White House? Hhhmmm...

Meanwhile, while the MCM (mainstream corporate media) is unable to focus on more that one or two things, Trump has signed an executivve order which will have real work consequences as sea levels rise. Under Obama, a rule was developed to require infrastructure projects to consider the effects of global warming on flooding, effects of storms, etc. Now, developers are free to build what and where they want, with no consideration for the possible damage which might destroy those projects in the future.

Throw-away society on a grand --and expensive-- scale.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/donald-trump-scrap-rule-protect-094700052.html

Oh, my. Things ought to be interesting in DC in the near future. Dangerous all over in the long run.

jawbone | Aug 18, 2017 2:20:53 PM | 98
Oops. Real work consequences should have been real world consequences. Preview is a good tool to use....
karlof1 | Aug 18, 2017 2:29:00 PM | 99
Presumably, Bannon's mouth ( American Prospect interview) got him fired--requested to resign--at the instigation of Chief of Staff Gen. Kelly, with it being spun nicely: "Kelly and Bannon "have mutually agreed today would be Steve's last day," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. 'We are grateful for his service and wish him the best.'" https://www.rt.com/usa/400175-trump-fires-bannon-strategist/

Now it appears that Trump's completely surrounded by the former generals he appointed--a different version of Seven Days in May? Or is it the fantastical number of contradictions finally coming home to roost as The Saker seems to think, http://thesaker.is/the-neocons-are-pushing-the-usa-and-the-rest-of-the-world-towards-a-dangerous-crisis/

When Trump got elected, I thought the best outcome would be total gridlock in DC; and in some ways, that's what's occurred. Yet, as The Saker points out, something's afoot if the propaganda published by Newsweek--which is owned by Bezos--is any indication.

It's Friday. The Syrian Army is making huge gains. Congress is in recess. And the weather forecast for Monday's eclipse here on the Oregon coast is looking positive--no fog!

karlof1 | Aug 18, 2017 2:37:52 PM | 100 previous page
Yeah jawbone, it's a good tool. I should've used it prior to my comment being grabbed by the spambot. Al Gore's opined Trump should resign, indicating he favors Pence, which send s what sort of message given the context Gore opined? https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/08/18/al-gore-has-just-one-small-bit-advice-trump-resign As most barflys know, Pence is far worse on most things than Trump. Did Gore just out himself as a previously closeted Neocon?
Anonymous | Aug 18, 2017 2:40:58 PM | 101
Another "grown up"?:

Mattis to back Kiev's claim to Crimea during Ukraine visit

US Defense Secretary James Mattis will visit Ukraine next week and reassure the government in Kiev that the US still considers Crimea a part of the country's territory, the Pentagon said. Mattis will tell Kiev the US is "firmly committed to the goal of restoring Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity."

fastfreddy | Aug 18, 2017 2:42:16 PM | 102
Manifest Destiny and Religious Zealotry (extremism) were manifested in recent history by America's Great Leaders. Here's General Boykin:

You know what? I knew that my God was bigger than his [about Muslims in Somalia]. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol.

Many other quotes here:

http://www.azquotes.com/author/39645-William_G_Boykin

Greg M | Aug 18, 2017 2:55:25 PM | 103
@96, I view this as part of an effort to push back against anti Iran pro Israel hard liners. First with Flynn, then McMaster forcing out Flynn allies, and now Bannon. Not that McMaster and his people are not pro Israel or possess any redeeming qualities, but it is important to understand that Bannon and those in his circle are NOT anti interventionists.
@Madderhatter67 | Aug 18, 2017 3:21:06 PM | 104
Thirdeye & Fastfreddy

Thirdeye "The third eye is a mystical and esoteric concept of a speculative invisible eye which provides perception beyond ordinary sight." Wikipedia ;)

This is a good read. Especially for Thirdeye blind.

Pardon Me!
High Crimes and Demeanors in the Age of Trump
By Tom Engelhardt

Let me try to get this straight: from the moment the Soviet Union imploded in 1991 until recently just about every politician and mainstream pundit in America assured us that we were the planet's indispensable nation, the only truly exceptional one on this small orb of ours.

We were the sole superpower, Earth's hyperpower, its designated global sheriff, the architect of our planetary future. After five centuries of great power rivalries, in the wake of a two-superpower world that, amid the threat of nuclear annihilation, seemed to last forever and a day (even if it didn't quite make it 50 years), the United States was the ultimate survivor, the victor of victors, the last of the last. It stood triumphantly at the end of history. In a lottery that had lasted since Europe's wooden ships first broke out of a periphery of Eurasia and began to colonize much of the planet, the United States was the chosen one, the country that would leave every imperial world-maker from the Romans to the British in its shadow.

Who could doubt that this was now our world in a coming American century beyond compare?

And then, of course, came the attacks of 9/11................ The rest below.

http://www.tomdispatch.com/

Anonymous | Aug 18, 2017 3:34:25 PM | 105
Greg D

You couldnt be more wrong: Bannon, Flynn etcetera was actually quite sane compared to the other neocon, deepstate figures coming in, go figure why these people had to go - think also why someone like Mattis DONT have to go and is loved by the media, deep state etcetera.

karlof1 | Aug 18, 2017 3:37:18 PM | 106
@Madderhatter67 @104--

Engelhardt still doesn't understand that 911 was supposed to (and did) solidify the justification for the expansion of The American Century since we now made our own rules and reality.

smuks | Aug 18, 2017 6:50:43 PM | 107
Nah...don't quite agree on this one. The Bannon interview is fascinating, but don't forget that he's a strategist: He says what he thinks will serve his purpose, not necessarily what he believes.

Now he's gone, whether for good time will tell. And Trump is looking rather isolated. If he feels his position becomes too complicated or even untenable, he might do 'stupid stuff' - and as I mentioned earlier, this may be just what the Neocons want: With the US decline accelerating both internally and globally, 'war' may seem the last option to them. But of course, they don't want the blame - they want to be able to say 'see, we told you he's crazy, but you didn't listen.' Difficult times.

[Aug 14, 2017] Slouching Toward Mar-a-Lago

Notable quotes:
"... Expectations that Trump's ouster will restore normalcy ignore the very factors that first handed him the Republican nomination (with a slew of competitors wondering what hit them) and then put him in the Oval Office (with a vastly more seasoned and disciplined, if uninspiring, opponent left to bemoan the injustice of it all). ..."
"... Not all, but many of Trump's supporters voted for him for the same reason that people buy lottery tickets: Why not? In their estimation, they had little to lose. Their loathing of the status quo is such that they may well stick with Trump even as it becomes increasingly obvious that his promise of salvation -- an America made "great again" -- is not going to materialize. ..."
"... Yet those who imagine that Trump's removal will put things right are likewise deluding themselves. To persist in thinking that he defines the problem is to commit an error of the first order. Trump is not cause, but consequence. ..."
"... the election of 2016 constituted a de facto referendum on the course of recent American history. That referendum rendered a definitive judgment: the underlying consensus informing U.S. policy since the end of the Cold War has collapsed. Precepts that members of the policy elite have long treated as self-evident no longer command the backing or assent of the American people. Put simply: it's the ideas, stupid. ..."
"... "Without the Cold War, what's the point of being an American?" As the long twilight struggle was finally winding down, Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, novelist John Updike's late-twentieth-century Everyman , pondered that question. ..."
"... Unfettered neoliberalism plus the unencumbered self plus unabashed American assertiveness: these defined the elements of the post-Cold-War consensus that formed during the first half of the 1990s -- plus what enthusiasts called the information revolution. The miracle of that "revolution," gathering momentum just as the Soviet Union was going down for the count, provided the secret sauce that infused the emerging consensus with a sense of historical inevitability. ..."
"... The three presidents of the post-Cold-War era -- Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama -- put these several propositions to the test. Politics-as-theater requires us to pretend that our 42nd, 43rd, and 44th presidents differed in fundamental ways. In practice, however, their similarities greatly outweighed any of those differences. Taken together, the administrations over which they presided collaborated in pursuing a common agenda, each intent on proving that the post-Cold-War consensus could work in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary. ..."
"... To be fair, it did work for some. "Globalization" made some people very rich indeed. In doing so, however, it greatly exacerbated inequality , while doing nothing to alleviate the condition of the American working class and underclass. ..."
"... I never liked Obama, but I don't think he has personal animus against Russia, Syria, Iran, Libya, or Palestinians. But given who was looking over his shoulder, he had to make things difficult for those nations, and that is why leaders of those nations and Obama came to hate one another. As for North Korea, much of the tensions wouldn't exist if US hadn't threatened or invaded 'axis of evil' nations and forced S. Korea to carry out joint exercises to prepare for invasion. ..."
"... Same with Trump. I seriously doubt if Trump has personal animus against Syrians, Russians, Iranians, Palestinians, and etc. But who is looking over his shoulder? So, he has to hate the same people that Obama had to hate. ..."
Aug 14, 2017 | www.unz.com

If we have, as innumerable commentators assert, embarked upon the Age of Trump, the defining feature of that age might well be the single-minded determination of those horrified and intent on ensuring its prompt termination. In 2016, TIME magazine chose Trump as its person of the year . In 2017, when it comes to dominating the news, that "person" might turn out to be a group -- all those fixated on cleansing the White House of Trump's defiling presence.

Egged on and abetted in every way by Trump himself, the anti-Trump resistance has made itself the Big Story. Lies, hate, collusion, conspiracy, fascism: rarely has the everyday vocabulary of American politics been as ominous and forbidding as over the past six months. Take resistance rhetoric at face value and you might conclude that Donald Trump is indeed the fifth horseman of the Apocalypse , his presence in the presidential saddle eclipsing all other concerns. Pestilence, War, Famine, and Death will just have to wait.

The unspoken assumption of those most determined to banish him from public life appears to be this: once he's gone, history will be returned to its intended path, humankind will breathe a collective sigh of relief, and all will be well again. Yet such an assumption strikes me as remarkably wrongheaded -- and not merely because, should Trump prematurely depart from office, Mike Pence will succeed him. Expectations that Trump's ouster will restore normalcy ignore the very factors that first handed him the Republican nomination (with a slew of competitors wondering what hit them) and then put him in the Oval Office (with a vastly more seasoned and disciplined, if uninspiring, opponent left to bemoan the injustice of it all).

Not all, but many of Trump's supporters voted for him for the same reason that people buy lottery tickets: Why not? In their estimation, they had little to lose. Their loathing of the status quo is such that they may well stick with Trump even as it becomes increasingly obvious that his promise of salvation -- an America made "great again" -- is not going to materialize.

Yet those who imagine that Trump's removal will put things right are likewise deluding themselves. To persist in thinking that he defines the problem is to commit an error of the first order. Trump is not cause, but consequence.

For too long, the cult of the presidency has provided an excuse for treating politics as a melodrama staged at four-year intervals and centering on hopes of another Roosevelt or Kennedy or Reagan appearing as the agent of American deliverance. Donald Trump's ascent to the office once inhabited by those worthies should demolish such fantasies once and for all.

How is it that someone like Trump could become president in the first place? Blame sexism, Fox News, James Comey, Russian meddling, and Hillary's failure to visit Wisconsin all you want, but a more fundamental explanation is this: the election of 2016 constituted a de facto referendum on the course of recent American history. That referendum rendered a definitive judgment: the underlying consensus informing U.S. policy since the end of the Cold War has collapsed. Precepts that members of the policy elite have long treated as self-evident no longer command the backing or assent of the American people. Put simply: it's the ideas, stupid.

Rabbit Poses a Question

"Without the Cold War, what's the point of being an American?" As the long twilight struggle was finally winding down, Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, novelist John Updike's late-twentieth-century Everyman , pondered that question. In short order, Rabbit got his answer. So, too, after only perfunctory consultation, did his fellow citizens.

The passing of the Cold War offered cause for celebration. On that point all agreed. Yet, as it turned out, it did not require reflection from the public at large. Policy elites professed to have matters well in hand. The dawning era, they believed, summoned Americans not to think anew, but to keep doing precisely what they were accustomed to doing, albeit without fretting further about Communist takeovers or the risks of nuclear Armageddon. In a world where a " single superpower " was calling the shots, utopia was right around the corner. All that was needed was for the United States to demonstrate the requisite confidence and resolve.

Three specific propositions made up the elite consensus that coalesced during the initial decade of the post-Cold-War era. According to the first, the globalization of corporate capitalism held the key to wealth creation on a hitherto unimaginable scale. According to the second, jettisoning norms derived from Judeo-Christian religious traditions held the key to the further expansion of personal freedom. According to the third, muscular global leadership exercised by the United States held the key to promoting a stable and humane international order.

Unfettered neoliberalism plus the unencumbered self plus unabashed American assertiveness: these defined the elements of the post-Cold-War consensus that formed during the first half of the 1990s -- plus what enthusiasts called the information revolution. The miracle of that "revolution," gathering momentum just as the Soviet Union was going down for the count, provided the secret sauce that infused the emerging consensus with a sense of historical inevitability.

The Cold War itself had fostered notable improvements in computational speed and capacity, new modes of communication, and techniques for storing, accessing, and manipulating information. Yet, however impressive, such developments remained subsidiary to the larger East-West competition. Only as the Cold War receded did they move from background to forefront. For true believers, information technology came to serve a quasi-theological function, promising answers to life's ultimate questions. Although God might be dead, Americans found in Bill Gates and Steve Jobs nerdy but compelling idols.

More immediately, in the eyes of the policy elite, the information revolution meshed with and reinforced the policy consensus. For those focused on the political economy, it greased the wheels of globalized capitalism, creating vast new opportunities for trade and investment. For those looking to shed constraints on personal freedom, information promised empowerment, making identity itself something to choose, discard, or modify. For members of the national security apparatus, the information revolution seemed certain to endow the United States with seemingly unassailable military capabilities. That these various enhancements would combine to improve the human condition was taken for granted; that they would, in due course, align everybody -- from Afghans to Zimbabweans -- with American values and the American way of life seemed more or less inevitable.

The three presidents of the post-Cold-War era -- Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama -- put these several propositions to the test. Politics-as-theater requires us to pretend that our 42nd, 43rd, and 44th presidents differed in fundamental ways. In practice, however, their similarities greatly outweighed any of those differences. Taken together, the administrations over which they presided collaborated in pursuing a common agenda, each intent on proving that the post-Cold-War consensus could work in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary.

To be fair, it did work for some. "Globalization" made some people very rich indeed. In doing so, however, it greatly exacerbated inequality , while doing nothing to alleviate the condition of the American working class and underclass.

The emphasis on diversity and multiculturalism improved the status of groups long subjected to discrimination. Yet these advances have done remarkably little to reduce the alienation and despair pervading a society suffering from epidemics of chronic substance abuse , morbid obesity , teen suicide , and similar afflictions. Throw in the world's highest incarceration rate , a seemingly endless appetite for porn , urban school systems mired in permanent crisis, and mass shootings that occur with metronomic regularity, and what you have is something other than the profile of a healthy society.

As for militarized American global leadership, it has indeed resulted in various bad actors meeting richly deserved fates. Goodbye, Saddam. Good riddance, Osama. Yet it has also embroiled the United States in a series of costly, senseless, unsuccessful, and ultimately counterproductive wars. As for the vaunted information revolution, its impact has been ambiguous at best, even if those with eyeballs glued to their personal electronic devices can't tolerate being offline long enough to assess the actual costs of being perpetually connected.

In November 2016, Americans who consider themselves ill served by the post-Cold-War consensus signaled that they had had enough. Voters not persuaded that neoliberal economic policies, a culture taking its motto from the Outback steakhouse chain, and a national security strategy that employs the U.S. military as a global police force were working to their benefit provided a crucial margin in the election of Donald Trump.

The response of the political establishment to this extraordinary repudiation testifies to the extent of its bankruptcy. The Republican Party still clings to the notion that reducing taxes, cutting government red tape, restricting abortion, curbing immigration, prohibiting flag-burning, and increasing military spending will alleviate all that ails the country. Meanwhile, to judge by the promises contained in their recently unveiled (and instantly forgotten ) program for a "Better Deal," Democrats believe that raising the minimum wage, capping the cost of prescription drugs, and creating apprenticeship programs for the unemployed will return their party to the good graces of the American electorate.

In both parties embarrassingly small-bore thinking prevails, with Republicans and Democrats equally bereft of fresh ideas. Each party is led by aging hacks. Neither has devised an antidote to the crisis in American politics signified by the nomination and election of Donald Trump.

While our emperor tweets, Rome itself fiddles.

... ... ...

Robert Magill > , August 8, 2017 at 5:06 pm GMT

First, abolish the Electoral College. Doing so will preclude any further occurrence of the circumstances that twice in recent decades cast doubt on the outcome of national elections and thereby did far more than any foreign interference to undermine the legitimacy of American politics.

The November numbers indicate that for the time being without the Electoral College, California and New York will elect our President well into the future.

http://robertmagill.wordpress.com

Priss Factor > , Website August 8, 2017 at 5:17 pm GMT

If Bacevich had really balls, he would cut to the chase and say it like it is.

I think Trump the person doesn't want trouble with Iran, Syria, and Russia. He's a businessman who wants to do business with the world while protecting US borders and sovereignty. Trump is anti-Iran because of Jewish Lobby. His peace with Russia was destroyed by the Lobby and its purse-strings and puppet-strings.

The undeniable fact of the US is it's not a democracy in terms of real power. It is a Jewish Supremacist Oligarchy. To be sure, there are Jewish critics of Jewish power. Think of Philip Weiss and others. Technically, US still has rule of law and due process. But in the end, the Power decides. Look at the anti-BDS bill supported even by Republicans who make a big stink about liberty and free speech.

California is said to be uber-'progressive', and many grassroots people there are supportive of BDS. But California elites and whore politicians are anti-BDS and even passed laws against it. What does that tell you?

Rule of Law is for little people. The Power has Rule of Rule. And if American People, along with their politicians, seem to schizo, well, what does one expect? They get their info from J-Media that feed that lies 24/7.

What is often called 'American' is processed mindset, like yellow American singles is bogus processed 'cheese food'. Because handful of industries control all the media that beam same signals to over 300 million TV sets in the US, 'Americanism' is processed mind-food. We need more organic minds. Too many minds have been processed and re-processed by Great Mind Grinder of J-Media.

The Scalpel > , Website August 9, 2017 at 9:51 pm GMT

AB's 10 recommendations remind me of the beauty pageant contestant answering the question about what she intended to do ."promote world peace".

Actually the beauty queen is being more sincere and realistic. AB's points are very nice sounding, but he gives us no idea how realistically, he or anyone could achieve them and we are left with the feeling that he is just grandstanding. Like the beauty queen, he knows that he will never do much of anything concrete to further these goals, not even if his life or his son' life, depended on it.

DYiFC > , August 10, 2017 at 10:04 am GMT

Well said. I agree – Trump is a symptom of the underlying problems in this country.

Stogumber > , August 12, 2017 at 5:49 am GMT

"Without the Cold War, what's the point of being an American?"

Well, Updike speaks from the position of a "universalist"? Did he ever consider that being an American may not mean standing up for universal ideas, but simply caring for one's own children and grandchildren? But even from a universalist position the answer seems simple now – not for Bacevich, but for me. The United States are singled out and unique w.r.t. their First Amendment. Whereas all other Western countries have succumbed to Bolshevist propaganda and have undermined freedom of speech, the "Americans" are the only ones to stand up for it. Why, even Damore may win a lawsuit against Google.

Carlton Meyer > , Website August 14, 2017 at 4:50 am GMT

Whoops Colonel, you forgot to add slashing military spending to your list. The USA could cut its military budget in half and still spend more than Russia, Iran, North Korea, and China combined. Trump's insane push for more military spending undermines his effort at cutting domestic programs to balance the budget. Yet Jimmy Dore explains that most Democrats voted boost the military budget even more than Trump!

It is unfair to depict Trump as a bumpkin. He graduated from an excellent university and used a few million dollars from Dad's seed money to become a billionaire. Moreover, he defied all odds to become President of the USA. I challenge all his brilliant critics to run for President in 2020 to prove that is simple.

LarryS > , August 14, 2017 at 4:59 am GMT

@Robert Magill The US Constitution would have to be amended to eliminate the Electoral College by 3/4 of the states ratifying the amendment. The smaller states would never vote to eliminate their role in electing the president. Nor should they. My respect for Bacevich is waning.

anonymous > , Disclaimer August 14, 2017 at 7:05 am GMT

As for militarized American global leadership, it has indeed resulted in various bad actors meeting richly deserved fates. Goodbye, Saddam. Good riddance, Osama.

Goodbye Saddam?? The implication being that all the death and destruction was somehow worth it?? You scum, of the most evil *beep* nation on earth! A pox on all of you.

The Alarmist > , August 14, 2017 at 8:07 am GMT

"First, abolish the Electoral College. Doing so will preclude any further occurrence of the circumstances that twice in recent decades cast doubt on the outcome of national elections and thereby did far more than any foreign interference to undermine the legitimacy of American politics."

Yeah, let's trade the consensus of a nation of local communities for the tyranny of the (bi-coastal) majority. I might give up the EC, however, if the system was replaced by gladiatorial combat to the death for all who want the job, or, if we're sticking to a two-party system, the decision can come by pistols at dawn (Good Morning America can't get the nod I hate that Roker chap, and I don't think Megan Kelly should be anywhere near selection of a President). Real skin in the game, so to say.

Yeah, bring back the draft. Military service only. We won't end senseless wars unless many more of our young people actually experience them, and that's not going to happen if they are picking up litter or emptying bed pans.

More money for public education? We've been doing that for years dude, and we get worse results as we spend more. There's already too much money in public education. College for all is a mistake, and in gen snowflake, tell me who isn't deserving. How about serious testing for results and beating for those who do not achieve them?

Income equality sounds nice, but it's never been had anywhere by taxation. It takes a certain societal moderation and modesty requiring our ruling elites to not want to be so conspicuous in their consumption (this in the age of the Rich Kids of Instagram) and to share the wealth through employment and good wages to their fellow citizens. Good luck with that ever gracing our shores.

Stop yakking about the pseudoscience nay the religion of climate change. Plant some more trees and take a couple aspirin. Add the costs of global wars for resources to the cost of gas, which will spike it to $6 per gallon and dissuade a lot of unnecessary driving.

Require all candidates for Federal elective office to be physically neutered, and forbid any of their progeny for at least three generations as well as any immediate relations closer than fourth cousin from holding any position of honor, elective office, or Federal employment whatsoever.

Priss Factor > , Website August 14, 2017 at 9:20 am GMT

Trump or no Trump, things would be much saner without Jewish globalist pressure.

I never liked Obama, but I don't think he has personal animus against Russia, Syria, Iran, Libya, or Palestinians. But given who was looking over his shoulder, he had to make things difficult for those nations, and that is why leaders of those nations and Obama came to hate one another. As for North Korea, much of the tensions wouldn't exist if US hadn't threatened or invaded 'axis of evil' nations and forced S. Korea to carry out joint exercises to prepare for invasion.

Same with Trump. I seriously doubt if Trump has personal animus against Syrians, Russians, Iranians, Palestinians, and etc. But who is looking over his shoulder? So, he has to hate the same people that Obama had to hate.

In the US, politicians must hate according to Jewish neurosis. And that's the problem. We don't have autonomy of likes and dislikes. Like dogs, we have to like or hate what our master likes or hates. And Jewish Globalists are elites. The great evil of America is we are forced to HATE whatever Jewish globalists Hate. It is a culture of Hate. Ironically, the biggest haters accuse others of hate.

Priss Factor > , Website August 14, 2017 at 9:49 am GMT

Jeff & Gerald Celente – The Trump Presidential Freak Show

Priss Factor > , Website August 14, 2017 at 10:25 am GMT

Stephen Cohen on why we need close cooperation with Russia.

A new kind of terrorism in aftermath of state collapse in Middle East.

But it seems new sanctions will totally derail any sane policy.

Reactionary Utopian > , August 14, 2017 at 11:05 am GMT

Most of Mr. Bacevich's piece was quite good. Then we got to the Ten-Point Program. A bold, revolutionary program calling for more of how we got here. What the hell?

Wizard of Oz > , August 14, 2017 at 12:10 pm GMT

@LarryS The US Constitution would have to be amended to eliminate the Electoral College by 3/4 of the states ratifying the amendment. The smaller states would never vote to eliminate their role in electing the president. Nor should they. My respect for Bacevich is waning. Yes, it is interesting how smaller states in federations show that they understand and will hold on to their leverage even when , as in Australia, the people themselves vote on constitutional change.

But why would eliminating the Electoral College allow presidentlal elections to be decided by the popular vote in California and NY as someone suggested? Aren't the number of electoral college votes adjusted quite promptly in proportion to population changes?

Wizard of Oz > , August 14, 2017 at 12:20 pm GMT

Here's an anti Imperial Presidency policy for the author to consider and perhaps endorse .

1. Move towards the constitutiobal monarchy or limited presidency parliamentary model by strengthening the H of R and relying on ordinary human ambition to forward the project;

2. Specifically extend Congressional terms from 2 years to 4 (and perhaps provide lots of public financing and free publicity to diminish thevcorruption by donors)

3. Enhance the role of Majority leader – indeed facilitate his forming his own Cabinet – and restrict the amending of budget bills submitted (as the main ones would have to be) by the leader of the majority – or his nominated Finance spokesperson..

Wizard of Oz > , August 14, 2017 at 12:44 pm GMT

@The Alarmist Aren't the votes in the Electoral College quite promptly adjusted for population changes?

The Alarmist > , August 14, 2017 at 1:40 pm GMT

@Wizard of Oz To some extent, but since each state has at least one Representative and two Senators, there is a bias toward political geography that is difficult to overcome by population. This is a good thing.

The Alarmist > , August 14, 2017 at 1:51 pm GMT

@Wizard of Oz Sorry, should have connected the dots each state's Electors total the same as their Congressional delegations in House and Senate, and House is capped at 435.

bliss_porsena > , August 14, 2017 at 1:57 pm GMT

Eleven: write more articles with never-can-be-done lists until the whole aberrant construct cracks wide open.

anonymous > , Disclaimer August 14, 2017 at 2:14 pm GMT

@Wizard of Oz Only with respect to the EC votes corresponding to the number of House Representatives. From Wikipedia:

"Each state chooses electors, totaling in number to that state's combined total of senators and representatives."

Each state – irrespective of population – has two senators, so this protects citizens of less populous states from those in, e.g., California. Part of the Constitutional bargain that makes for a republic as opposed to a national democracy.

Were you sincerely unaware of this?

Wizard of Oz > , August 14, 2017 at 2:47 pm GMT

@The Alarmist Sorry, should have connected the dots ... each state's Electors total the same as their Congressional delegations in House and Senate, and House is capped at 435. Yes, the effect of adding in the senators is substantial. The two biggest (Democrat) states add just 4 out of 543 to their basic Congressional weighting while the 48 other states add 96/543. Thus 17.6 per cent against just an extra 0.7 per cent.
Not even Texas would think of supporting the abolition of the Electoral College. A pity yhe excellent author should be so sloppy as not at least to acknowledge which items on his wish list are pure fantasy.

Logan > , August 14, 2017 at 3:00 pm GMT

"Nominally, the Constitution assigns responsibilities and allocates prerogatives to three co-equal branches of government."

Oh, dear, I do get tired of this meme.

No, the Constitution does not create "three co-equal branches of government," no matter how often the phrase is repeated.

The Constitution establishes a legislative branch that, whenever it is sufficiently united and desirous, has absolute power over the other two branches.

The Congress can remove any member of the other two branches from office, among other powers, but the countervailing power of the other two branches over Congress, at least per the Constitution, is very limited indeed.

In most republics and constitutional monarchies, the executive branch has a number of ways to influence the legisilature, including calling new elections when desired. Our Constitution has none of that.

Under the Constitution, the Congress is not co-equal. Its supreme.

Logan > , August 14, 2017 at 3:17 pm GMT

@gustafus " as we import more and more of the LOW IQ 3rd world – education will be more about the reasons we don't boink our children siblings and cousins"

Nahh, that would be imposing our Eurocentric values on their vibrant cultures.

Wizard of Oz > , August 14, 2017 at 3:37 pm GMT

@Joe Franklin That sounds like another valid reason to stick with the EC.

Wizard of Oz > , August 14, 2017 at 3:40 pm GMT

@Logan And that's why it's ownership by the donors is so destructive.

Jus' Sayin'... > , August 14, 2017 at 4:09 pm GMT