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Hillary wet kiss with neocons

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Hillary as a pathological liar Hillary wet kiss with neocons Clinton Cash and Hillary Clinton links to financial industry DNC emails leak: switfboating Bernie Sanders "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place Hillary role in Libya disaster Hillary role in Syria bloodbath
Hillary Clinton email scandal Donald Trump -- an unusual fighter against excesses of neoliberal globalization Swiftboating Trump: Khan gambit against Trump at the Democratic Convention Anti Trump Hysteria Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Lock her up movement
Neoconservatism Obama: a yet another Neocon Hillary health issues Female Sociopaths Bill Clinton With Bill possibly again occupying White House bedroom his sexapades became Hillary campaign issue Hillary Clinton defense of the middle aged rapist of a 12 years old girl
Media-Military-Industrial Complex New American Militarism Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime American Exceptionalism Color revolutions Deception as an art form Madeleine Albright as a model for Hillary
Clinton Cash The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich Crisis of Character A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill, and How They O Hillary the Other Woman Dolly Kyle Amazon.com Books The Clintons' War on Women Roger Stone, Robert Morrow Amazon.com Books Bill Clinton New Gilded Age President Patrick J. Maney 9780700621941 Amazon.com Books The Secret Life of Bill Clinton The Unreported Stories Ambrose Evans-Pritchard  Amazon.com Books Partners in Crime The Clintons' Scheme to Monetize the White House for Personal Profit Jerome Corsi  Amazon
Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Neocons Credibility Scam Leo Strauss and the Neocons Lawrence Summers Sandy Weill: the banker who bought Bill Clinton Robert Rubin, the man who helped to convert the USA into banana republic
Diplomacy by deception Corruption of Regulators The Deep State Machiavellism Noble Lie Hillary role in cover up of Bill Clinton sexapades Nation under attack meme
Predator state The Iron Law of Oligarchy Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Inverted Totalitarism == Managed Democracy == Neoliberalism Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Politically Incorrect Humor  Etc

As Michael Tracey argued The American Conservative, anyone interested in a sane foreign policy over the next four-eight years should be exceedingly worried: Robert Kagan has given Hillary not only rhetorical praise, but material support—he   headlined an official campaign fundraiser on her behalf.

Foreign-policy analyst Jim Lobe has suggested that Kagan is most likely angling for a job with Clinton. Kagan co-signed a June report with Michèle Flournoy—the likely candidate for defense secretary under Clinton—calling for escalated U.S. military presence in Syria, a policy that could lead to all-out ground war or direct confrontation with Russia. So it seems he may already be on Clinton’s hawkish team in waiting.

She strongly believe in the neoconservative foreign-policy agenda by re-casting the neoconservatives’ goals in liberal-interventionist terms. In reality the difference between "liberal interventionism" and Neoconservatism are pretty superficial (Kagan already calls himself liberal interventionalist) and Hillary’s willingness to infest a foreign-policy establishment with neoconservatives is beyond any doubt. As the recent Republican primary contest had shown neoconservatives have virtually no support among the US voters. Their base is exclusively the a part of the US elites, especially military-industrial complex. So the reason she is reaching our to those shady figures is a deceptively simple: she shares common interests with them, respects their supposed expertise, and wants to bring them into her governing coalition. Here is an article that contains some relevant information (How Hillary Clinton And Barack Obama Created ISIS  by streiff)

November 23, 2015 | RedState

How did it happen? How did a violent Islamic regime, a regime that is sort of like Saudi Arabia but with inferior grooming and hygiene, come to hold sway over large portions of Iraq and Syria? Over the weekend, Soviet Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev provided an interesting insight. During a visit to Kuala Lumpur, Medvedev laid blame for ISIS, and one must say for the attending chaos, squarely upon the narrow, unmanly shoulders of Barack Obama:

"The strengthening of the Islamic State became possible partially due to irresponsible policies of the United States. Instead of concentrating joint efforts on fighting terrorism, the United States and its allies decided to fight against the lawfully elected president of Syria Bashar Assad," Medvedev told journalists.

That is a huge claim. And it is made by a Russian. But we are beyond the political state where we can laugh at a statement made by Russians because over the past five or so years we've seen much more truth about the actions of the Obama administration coming from Russia than coming from the White House. At the least, the Russians haven't lied to the American people about the nature of the Iran nuclear deal nor have the Russians told us that the Benghazi attack was caused by an internet video.

Let's take a moment and evaluate Medvedev's claim. How did ISIS get here.

Bear with me for a moment. I am about to use a significant number of quotes from Vox.com. They will be from an article by Zack Beauchamp. Some of you may recognize the name. Beauchamp is the low-IQ, note-taking dunderkind who discovered there was a bridge between the West Bank and Gaza. I am not making that up. The reason I'm using Vox.com is that the left relies heavily upon Vox.com for the small daily intake of conventional wisdom and no one wishes to confuse them over an important issue by using unfamiliar sources.

Prelude

By 2009, almost all of AQI's fighters were dead or in prison, and the group was a shadow of itself. But it had learned a valuable lesson: Dissent from Sunnis under its rule could be disastrous. That's why, years later, ISIS has slaughtered members of Sunni tribes, such as Iraq's Abu Nimr, en masse. It sees brutality as the best way to prevent a replay of the 2006 uprising that led to its downfall.

Take note of the years mentioned. There will be a test later on.

By 2010, "Iraq finally had relatively good security, a generous state budget, and positive relations among the country’s various ethnic and religious communities," Zaid al-Ali, author of The Struggle for Iraq's Future, wrote in Foreign Policy. But it was squandered. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki stripped political opponents of power, appointed his cronies to run the army, and killed peaceful protestors.

What else was going on in 2010? During 2010, Obama was in the midst of his promised troop draw-down in Iraq. He was deliberately sabotaging his own SOFA negotiations to use the failure of those negotiations as a reason for complete US withdrawal. This is significant. The Obama administration came into office with no foreign policy objective larger than doing the opposite of whatever George Bush had done. Without considering the consequences, the gains during The Surge were abandoned and, what is more important, the Sunni tribes who had supported us during The Surge were abandoned by the United States an caught between a hostile regime in Baghdad and resurgent terrorists.

Arab Spring

The Arab Spring provided a nice proving ground for the I'm-not-George-Bush foreign policy of the administration. We turned over one ally (Egypt) to the Islamists. We overthrew a harmless (outside of Libya) dictator and gave that country to Islamists. Next on the list was Syria. Syria has been plagued with revolts throughout its existence. The Arab Spring set off initially peaceful protests in January. We didn't take much notice. As late as March 2011, Hillary Clinton was calling Assad a reformer. By July, an armed insurgency (we won't even try to understand what it was) had begun.

"It was very much a strategic decision that the regime made, to militarize the conflict right away," Glenn Robinson, an associate professor at the Naval Postgraduate School, told me in a phone conversation. "I think, in their mind and correctly, if this becomes a political battle where populations matter, the regime probably only has support of a third of the country ... the opposition has the numbers."

Perhaps the most devious part of this strategy was Assad's deliberate effort to promote Islamic extremism among the opposition. In amnesties issued between March and October 2011, Assad released a significant number (exact counts are hard to know) of extremists from Syrian prisons. Hof called this an "effort to pollute the opposition with sectarianism": Assad gambled that if his enemies were Islamic militants, then the West wouldn't intervene against him.

He guessed wrong.

Ever the rational actor, Assad assumed that the United States would prefer him to an Islamic regime. The Obama administration, didn't even recognize what Assad was doing because they were fixated on showing the world that they could throw out dictators really, really cheap that they didn't even stop to consider what regime would regime would follow him. As bizarre as it sounds, they didn't consider this in either Egypt or Libya. The Turks saw ISIS as a way to prosecute their own "war on terror" against the Kurds. The Iranians saw the chance to expand their influence with Assad and Lebanese Hezbollah. All of these actors saw ISIS as a stalking horse to allow them to accomplish other objectives.

By August, Obama was calling on him to step down. By early 2012, the Obama administration was sending up trial balloons about using military force in Syria and we were running arms to "Syrian rebels" from Libya.

... ... ...

 


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[Feb 21, 2017] Stockman Warns Trump Flynns Gone But They are Still Gunning For You, Donald by David Stockman

Notable quotes:
"... In any event, it was "intercepts" leaked from deep in the bowels of the CIA to the Washington Post and then amplified in a 24/7 campaign by the War Channel (CNN) that brought General Flynn down. ..."
"... But here's the thing. They were aiming at Donald J. Trump. And for all of his puffed up bluster about being the savviest negotiator on the planet, the Donald walked right into their trap, as we shall amplify momentarily. ..."
"... But let's first make the essence of the matter absolutely clear. The whole Flynn imbroglio is not about a violation of the Logan Act owing to the fact that the general engaged in diplomacy as a private citizen. ..."
"... It's about re-litigating the 2016 election based on the hideous lie that Trump stole it with the help of Vladimir Putin. In fact, Nancy Pelosi was quick to say just that: ..."
"... 'The American people deserve to know the full extent of Russia's financial, personal and political grip on President Trump and what that means for our national security,' House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a press release. ..."
"... And Senator Graham, the member of the boobsey twins who ran for President in 2016 while getting a GOP primary vote from virtually nobody, made clear that General Flynn's real sin was a potential peace overture to the Russians: ..."
"... We say good riddance to Flynn, of course, because he was a shrill anti-Iranian warmonger. But let's also not be fooled by the clinical term at the heart of the story. That is, "intercepts" mean that the Deep State taps the phone calls of the President's own closest advisors as a matter of course. ..."
"... As one writer for LawNewz noted regarding acting Attorney General Sally Yates' voyeuristic pre-occupation with Flynn's intercepted conversations, Nixon should be rolling in his grave with envy: ..."
"... Yes, that's the same career apparatchik of the permanent government that Obama left behind to continue the 2016 election by other means. And it's working. The Donald is being rapidly emasculated by the powers that be in the Imperial City due to what can only be described as an audacious and self-evident attack on Trump's Presidency by the Deep State. ..."
"... Indeed, the paper details an apparent effort by Yates to misuse her office to launch a full-scale secret investigation of her political opponents, including 'intercepting calls' of her political adversaries. ..."
"... Yet on the basis of the report's absolutely zero evidence and endless surmise, innuendo and "assessments", the Obama White House imposed another round of its silly school-boy sanctions on a handful of Putin's cronies. ..."
"... Of course, Flynn should have been telling the Russian Ambassador that this nonsense would be soon reversed! ..."
"... But here is the ultimate folly. The mainstream media talking heads are harrumphing loudly about the fact that the very day following Flynn's call -- Vladimir Putin announced that he would not retaliate against the new Obama sanctions as expected; and shortly thereafter, the Donald tweeted that Putin had shown admirable wisdom. ..."
"... That's right. Two reasonably adult statesman undertook what might be called the Christmas Truce of 2016. But like its namesake of 1914 on the bloody no man's land of the western front, the War Party has determined that the truce-makers shall not survive. ..."
"... The Donald has been warned. ..."
Feb 21, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
Submitted via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity,

General Flynn's tenure in the White House was only slightly longer than that of President-elect William Henry Harrison in 1841. Actually, with just 24 days in the White House, General Flynn's tenure fell a tad short of old "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too". General Harrison actually lasted 31 days before getting felled by pneumonia.

And the circumstances were considerably more benign. It seems that General Harrison had a fondness for the same "firewater" that agitated the native Americans he slaughtered at the famous battle memorialized in his campaign slogan. In fact, during the campaign a leading Democrat newspaper skewered the old general, who at 68 was the oldest US President prior to Ronald Reagan, saying:

Give him a barrel of hard [alcoholic] cider, and a pension of two thousand [dollars] a year and he will sit the remainder of his days in his log cabin.

That might have been a good idea back then (or even now), but to prove he wasn't infirm, Harrison gave the longest inaugural address in US history (2 hours) in the midst of seriously inclement weather wearing neither hat nor coat.

That's how he got pneumonia! Call it foolhardy, but that was nothing compared to that exhibited by Donald Trump's former national security advisor.

General Flynn got the equivalent of political pneumonia by talking for hours during the transition to international leaders, including Russia's ambassador to the US, on phone lines which were bugged by the CIA. Or more accurately, making calls which were "intercepted" by the very same NSA/FBI spy machinery that monitors every single phone call made in America.

Ironically, we learned what Flynn should have known about the Deep State's plenary surveillance from Edward Snowden. Alas, Flynn and Trump wanted the latter to be hung in the public square as a "traitor", but if that's the solution to intelligence community leaks, the Donald is now going to need his own rope factory to deal with the flood of traitorous disclosures directed against him.

In any event, it was "intercepts" leaked from deep in the bowels of the CIA to the Washington Post and then amplified in a 24/7 campaign by the War Channel (CNN) that brought General Flynn down.

But here's the thing. They were aiming at Donald J. Trump. And for all of his puffed up bluster about being the savviest negotiator on the planet, the Donald walked right into their trap, as we shall amplify momentarily.

But let's first make the essence of the matter absolutely clear. The whole Flynn imbroglio is not about a violation of the Logan Act owing to the fact that the general engaged in diplomacy as a private citizen.

It's about re-litigating the 2016 election based on the hideous lie that Trump stole it with the help of Vladimir Putin. In fact, Nancy Pelosi was quick to say just that:

'The American people deserve to know the full extent of Russia's financial, personal and political grip on President Trump and what that means for our national security,' House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a press release.

Yet, we should rephrase. The re-litigation aspect reaches back to the Republican primaries, too. The Senate GOP clowns who want a war with practically everybody, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, are already launching their own investigation from the Senate Armed Services committee.

And Senator Graham, the member of the boobsey twins who ran for President in 2016 while getting a GOP primary vote from virtually nobody, made clear that General Flynn's real sin was a potential peace overture to the Russians:

Sen. Lindsey Graham also said he wants an investigation into Flynn's conversations with a Russian ambassador about sanctions: "I think Congress needs to be informed of what actually Gen. Flynn said to the Russian ambassador about lifting sanctions," the South Carolina Republican told CNN's Kate Bolduan on "At This Hour. And I want to know, did Gen. Flynn do this by himself or was he directed by somebody to do it?"

We say good riddance to Flynn, of course, because he was a shrill anti-Iranian warmonger. But let's also not be fooled by the clinical term at the heart of the story. That is, "intercepts" mean that the Deep State taps the phone calls of the President's own closest advisors as a matter of course.

This is the real scandal as Trump himself has rightly asserted. The very idea that the already announced #1 national security advisor to a President-elect should be subject to old-fashion "bugging," albeit with modern day technology, overwhelmingly trumps the utterly specious Logan Act charge at the center of the case.

As one writer for LawNewz noted regarding acting Attorney General Sally Yates' voyeuristic pre-occupation with Flynn's intercepted conversations, Nixon should be rolling in his grave with envy:

Now, information leaks that Sally Yates knew about surveillance being conducted against potential members of the Trump administration, and disclosed that information to others. Even Richard Nixon didn't use the government agencies themselves to do his black bag surveillance operations. Sally Yates involvement with this surveillance on American political opponents, and possibly the leaking related thereto, smacks of a return to Hoover-style tactics. As writers at Bloomberg and The Week both noted, it wreaks of 'police-state' style tactics. But knowing dear Sally as I do, it comes as no surprise.

Yes, that's the same career apparatchik of the permanent government that Obama left behind to continue the 2016 election by other means. And it's working. The Donald is being rapidly emasculated by the powers that be in the Imperial City due to what can only be described as an audacious and self-evident attack on Trump's Presidency by the Deep State.

Indeed, it seems that the layers of intrigue have gotten so deep and convoluted that the nominal leadership of the permanent government machinery has lost track of who is spying on whom. Thus, we have the following curious utterance by none other than the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes:

'I expect for the FBI to tell me what is going on, and they better have a good answer,' he told The Washington Post. 'The big problem I see here is that you have an American citizen who had his phone calls recorded.'

Well, yes. That makes 324 million of us, Congressman.

But for crying out loud, surely the oh so self-important chairman of the House intelligence committee knows that everybody is bugged. But when it reaches the point that the spy state is essentially using its unconstitutional tools to engage in what amounts to "opposition research" with the aim of election nullification, then the Imperial City has become a clear and present danger to American democracy and the liberties of the American people.

As Robert Barnes of LawNewz further explained, Sally Yates, former CIA director John Brennan and a large slice of the Never Trumper intelligence community were systematically engaged in "opposition research" during the campaign and the transition:

According to published reports, someone was eavesdropping, and recording, the conversations of Michael Flynn, while Sally Yates was at the Department of Justice. Sally Yates knew about this eavesdropping, listened in herself (Pellicano-style for those who remember the infamous LA cases), and reported what she heard to others. For Yates to have such access means she herself must have been involved in authorizing its disclosure to political appointees, since she herself is such a political appointee. What justification was there for an Obama appointee to be spying on the conversations of a future Trump appointee?

Consider this little tidbit in The Washington Post . The paper, which once broke Watergate, is now propagating the benefits of Watergate-style surveillance in ways that do make Watergate look like a third-rate effort. (With the) FBI 'routinely' monitoring conversations of Americans...... Yates listened to 'the intercepted call,' even though Yates knew there was 'little chance' of any credible case being made for prosecution under a law 'that has never been used in a prosecution.'

And well it hasn't been. After all, the Logan Act was signed by President John Adams in 1799 in order to punish one of Thomas Jefferson's supporters for having peace discussions with the French government in Paris. That is, it amounted to pre-litigating the Presidential campaign of 1800 based on sheer political motivation.

According to the Washington Post itself, that is exactly what Yates and the Obama holdovers did day and night during the interregnum:

Indeed, the paper details an apparent effort by Yates to misuse her office to launch a full-scale secret investigation of her political opponents, including 'intercepting calls' of her political adversaries.

So all of the feigned outrage emanating from Democrats and the Washington establishment about Team Trump's trafficking with the Russians is a cover story. Surely anyone even vaguely familiar with recent history would have known there was absolutely nothing illegal or even untoward about Flynn's post-Christmas conversations with the Russian Ambassador.

Indeed, we recall from personal experience the thrilling moment on inauguration day in January 1981 when word came of the release of the American hostages in Tehran. Let us assure you, that did not happen by immaculate diplomatic conception -- nor was it a parting gift to the Gipper by the outgoing Carter Administration.

To the contrary, it was the fruit of secret negotiations with the Iranian government during the transition by private American citizens. As the history books would have it because it's true, the leader of that negotiation, in fact, was Ronald Reagan's national security council director-designate, Dick Allen.

As the real Washington Post later reported, under the by-line of a real reporter, Bob Woodward:

Reagan campaign aides met in a Washington DC hotel in early October, 1980, with a self-described 'Iranian exile' who offered, on behalf of the Iranian government, to release the hostages to Reagan, not Carter, in order to ensure Carter's defeat in the November 4, 1980 election.

The American participants were Richard Allen, subsequently Reagan's first national security adviser, Allen aide Laurence Silberman, and Robert McFarlane, another future national security adviser who in 1980 was on the staff of Senator John Tower (R-TX).

To this day we have not had occasion to visit our old friend Dick Allen in the US penitentiary because he's not there; the Logan Act was never invoked in what is surely the most blatant case ever of citizen diplomacy.

So let's get to the heart of the matter and be done with it. The Obama White House conducted a sour grapes campaign to delegitimize the election beginning November 9th and it was led by then CIA Director John Brennan.

That treacherous assault on the core constitutional matter of the election process culminated in the ridiculous Russian meddling report of the Obama White House in December. The latter, of course, was issued by serial liar James Clapper, as national intelligence director, and the clueless Democrat lawyer and bag-man, Jeh Johnson, who had been appointed head of the Homeland Security Department.

Yet on the basis of the report's absolutely zero evidence and endless surmise, innuendo and "assessments", the Obama White House imposed another round of its silly school-boy sanctions on a handful of Putin's cronies.

Of course, Flynn should have been telling the Russian Ambassador that this nonsense would be soon reversed!

But here is the ultimate folly. The mainstream media talking heads are harrumphing loudly about the fact that the very day following Flynn's call -- Vladimir Putin announced that he would not retaliate against the new Obama sanctions as expected; and shortly thereafter, the Donald tweeted that Putin had shown admirable wisdom.

That's right. Two reasonably adult statesman undertook what might be called the Christmas Truce of 2016. But like its namesake of 1914 on the bloody no man's land of the western front, the War Party has determined that the truce-makers shall not survive.

The Donald has been warned.

xythras , Feb 20, 2017 10:02 PM

Assange is about to face censorship from one LENIN Moreno (next Ecuadorian president)

Assange must Reduce "Meddling" in US Policies While in Ecuadorian Embassy

http://dailywesterner.com/news/2017-02-20/assange-must-reduce-meddling-i...

How ironic

Darktarra -> xythras , Feb 20, 2017 10:11 PM

We haven't had deep state (successfully) take out a President since JFK. I am sure they will literally be gunning for Donald Trump! His election screwed up the elite's world order plans ... poor Soros ... time for him to take a dirt knap!

Be careful Trump! They will try and kill you! The United States government is COMPLETELY corrupt. Draining the swamp means its either you or they die!

wanglee -> Darktarra , Feb 20, 2017 10:18 PM

Let us help Trump's presidency to make America (not globalist) great again.

Not only democrats rigged Primary to elect Clinton as presidential candidate last year even though she has poor judgement (violating government cyber security policy) and is incompetent (her email server was not secured) when she was the Secretary of State, and was revealed to be corrupt by Bernie Sanders during the Primary, but also democrats encourage illegal immigration, discourage work, and "conned" young voters with free college/food/housing/health care/Obama phone. Democratic government employees/politicians also committed crimes to leak classified information which caused former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn losing his job and undermined Trump's presidency.

However middle/working class used their common senses voting against Clinton last November. Although I am not a republican and didn't vote in primary but I voted for Trump and those Republicans who supported Trump in last November since I am not impressed with the "integrity" and "judgement" of democrats, Anti-Trump protesters, Anti-Trump republicans, and those media who endorsed Clinton during presidential election and they'll work for globalists, the super rich, who moved jobs/investment overseas for cheap labor/tax and demanded middle/working class to pay tax to support welfare of illegal aliens and refugees who will become globalist's illegal voters and anti-Trump protesters.

To prevent/detect voter fraud, "voter ID" and "no mailing ballots" must be enforced to reduce possible "voter frauds on a massive scale" committed by democratic/republic/independent party operatives. All the sanctuary counties need to be recounted and voided county votes if recount fails since the only county which was found to count one vote many times is the only "Sanctuary" county, Wayne county, in recount states (Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin) last year. The integrity of voting equipment and voting system need to be tested, protected and audited. There were no voting equipment stuck to Trump. Yet, many voting equipment were found to switch votes to Clinton last November. Voter databases need to be kept current. Encourage reporting of "voter fraud on a massive scale" committed by political party operatives with large reward.

Cashing in: Illegal immigrants get $1,261 more welfare than American families, $5,692 vs. $4,431 ( http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/cashing-in-illegal-immigrants-get-1261... ) DEA Report Shows Infiltration of Mexican Drug Cartels in Sanctuary Cities ( http://www.breitbart.com/texas/2015/09/08/dea-report-shows-infiltration-... ) Welfare Discourages Work( http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/04/27/the-science-is-settle... ) Hillary Clinton Says Bernie Sanders's "Free College" Tuition Plan Is All a Lie ( http://www.teenvogue.com/story/clinton-says-sanders-free-tuition-wont-wo... UC Berkeley Chancellor: Hillary Clinton 'Free' College Tuition Plan Won't Happen ( http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/09/30/uc-berkeley-chancello... ) Bill Clinton Impeachment Chief Investigator: I'm 'Terrified' of Hillary because we know that there were "People" who "Disappeared" ( http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/10/30/exclusive-bil... ) Former FBI Asst. Director Accuses Clintons Of Being A "Crime Family" ( http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-10-30/former-fbi-asst-director-accuse... ) FBI boss Comey's 7 most damning lines on Clinton ( http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/05/politics/fbi-clinton-email-server-comey-da... ). Aides claiming she "could not use a computer," and didn't know her email password– New FBI docs ( https://www.rt.com/usa/360528-obama-implicated-clinton-email/ ). 23 Shocking Revelations From The FBI's Clinton Email Report ( http://dailycaller.com/2016/09/02/23-shocking-revelations-from-the-fbis-... ) DOJ grants immunity to ex-Clinton staffer who set up her email server ( http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/02/politics/hillary-clinton-email-server-just... ) Former House Intelligence Chairman: I'm '100 Percent' Sure Hillary's Server Was Hacked ( http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/11/06/former-house-... ) Exclusive - Gen. Mike Flynn: Hillary Clinton's Email Setup Was 'Unbelievable Active Criminal Behavior' ( http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/11/06/exclusive-gen... ) Clinton directed her maid to print out classified materials ( http://nypost.com/2016/11/06/clinton-directed-her-maid-to-print-out-clas... ) Obama lied to the American people about his secret communications with Clinton( http://www.thepoliticalinsider.com/president-barack-obama-hillary-email-... ) Former U.S. Attorney General, John Ashcroft: FBI didn't 'clear' Clinton ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFYQ3Cdp0zQ ) When the Clintons Loved Russia Enough to Sell Them Our Uranium ( http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/07/25/flashback-cli... ) Wikileaks: Clinton Foundation Chatter with State Dept on Uranium Deal with Russia ( http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/10/08/wikileaks-putting-on-... ) Russian officials donated $$$ to Clinton Foundation for Russian military research ( http://www.breitbart.com/radio/2016/12/16/schweizer-insecure-left-wants-... ) Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal ( https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-... ) HILLARY CAMPAIGN CHIEF LINKED TO MONEY-LAUNDERING IN RUSSIA ( HTTP://WWW.WND.COM/2016/10/HILLARY-CAMPAIGN-CHIEF-LINKED-TO-MONEY-LAUNDE... ) The largest source of Trump campaign funds is small donors giving under $200 ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-self-fund_us_57fd4556e4... ) How mega-donors helped raise $1 billion for Hillary Clinton ( https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/how-mega-donors-helped-raise-1-b... ) Final newspaper endorsement count: Clinton 57, Trump 2 ( http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/304606-final-news... ) Journalists shower Hillary Clinton with campaign cash ( https://www.publicintegrity.org/2016/10/17/20330/journalists-shower-hill... ) Judicial Watch Planning to Sue FBI, NSA, CIA for Flynn Records ( http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/02/16/judicial-watch-planni... )

President Trump Vowed to Investigate Voter Fraud. Then Lawmakers Voted to "Eliminate" Election Commission Charged with Helping States Improve their Voting Systems ( http://time.com/4663250/house-committee-eliminates-election-commission-v... ) California's Recipe for Voter Fraud on a Massive Scale( http://www.breitbart.com/california/2017/01/27/voter-fraud/ ) California Republican Party Official Alleges Voter Fraud In California, a "Sanctuary" state ( http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2016/11/28/trump-among-those-saying-vot... ) BREAKING: Massive Voter Fraud Discovered In Mailing Ballots In Pennsylvania! See Huge Twist In Results! ( http://www.usapoliticstoday.com/massive-voter-fraud-pennsylvania/ ) "Voting Fraud" revealed during "Recount": Scanners were used to count one vote many times to favor Clinton in Wayne County, a "Sanctuary" county including Detroit and surrounding areas.( http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-06/michigan-republicans-file-emerg... ) Illegal Voters Tipping Election Scales ( http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/243947/illegal-voters-tipping-election-s... ) Voter Fraud: We've Got Proof It's Easy ( http://www.nationalreview.com/article/368234/voter-fraud-weve-got-proof-... ) Voter Fraud Is Real. Here's The Proof ( http://thefederalist.com/2016/10/13/voter-fraud-real-heres-proof/ ) Here's Why State Election Officials Think Voter Fraud Is a Serious Problem ( http://dailysignal.com/2017/02/17/heres-why-state-election-officials-thi... ) Documented Voter Fraud in US ( http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/ViewSubCategory.asp?id=2216 ) No, voter fraud isn't a myth: 10 cases where it's all too real ( http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/oct/17/no-voter-fraud-isnt-myth... ) Non-US citizen gets eight years for voter fraud in Texas after "Sucessfully Illegally Voted for at least Five Times" in Dallas county, a "Sanctuary" county( http://www.theblaze.com/news/2017/02/09/non-us-citizen-gets-eight-years-... ) Democratic party operatives tell us how to successfully commit voter fraud on a massive scale ( http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2016/10/james-okeefe-rigging-elections-d... ) Texas Rigged? Reports Of Voting Machines Switching Votes To Hillary In Texas( http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-10-25/texas-rigged-first-reports-voti... ) Voting Machine "Irregularities" Reported in Utah, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, & North Carolina ( http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-08/voting-machine-irregularities-r... ) Video: Machine Refuses to Allow Vote For Trump in Pennsylvania ( http://www.infowars.com/video-machine-refuses-to-allow-vote-for-trump-in... ) Electoral fraud ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_fraud ) Voter fraud ( https://ballotpedia.org/Voter_fraud ) Sanctuary Cities Continue to Obstruct Enforcement, Threaten Public Safety( http://cis.org/Sanctuary-Cities-Map ) List of Sanctuary cities( http://www.apsanlaw.com/law-246.List-of-Sanctuary-cities.html ) Map Shows Sanctuary City Islands of Blue In Sea of Red ( http://www.infowars.com/map-shows-sanctuary-city-islands-of-blue-in-sea-... )

Chris Dakota -> wanglee , Feb 20, 2017 10:59 PM

I hit some long click bait about famous people IQ

Barack Obama 140

Donald Trump 156

Trump knows whats coming. Rush Limbaugh said "I've known Trump for a long time, he is a winner and I am sure none of this phases him at all. The media didn't create him, the media can't destroy him."

CheapBastard -> Darktarra , Feb 20, 2017 10:19 PM

Flynn has been there for several years. If he was such a threat why did they not take action sooner since Soweeto appointed him in 2012? It must be that Soweto Obama is his spy buddy then, both of them in league with the Russians since Obama has been with Flynn for a much longer time he had to know if something was up.

The entire Russian spy story is a complete Fake news rouse.

I am wondering what they'll say tomorrow to draw attention awya form the muslim riots in Sweden. If the news of Muslim riots in Sweden, then Trump will be even more vindicated and the MSM will look even more stupid and Fake.

Chupacabra-322 -> CheapBastard , Feb 20, 2017 10:54 PM

The Deep State has accentually lost control of the Intelligence Community via its Agents / Operatives & Presstitute Media vehicle's to Gas Light the Masses.

So what Criminals at large Obama, Clapper & Lynch have done 17 days prior to former CEO Criminal Obama leaving office was to Decentralize & weaken the NSA. As a result, Intel gathering was then regulated to the other 16 Intel Agencies.

Thus, taking Centuries Old Intelligence based on a vey stringent Centralized British Model, De Centralized it, filling the remaining 16 Intel Agenices with potential Spies and a Shadow Deep State Mirror Government.

All controlled from two blocks away at Pure Evil Criminal War Criminal Treasonous at large, former CEO Obama's Compound / Lair.

It's High Treason being conducted "Hidden In Plain View" by the Deep State.

It's the most Bizzare Transition of Power I've ever witnessed. Unprecedented.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-18/jay-sekulow-obama-should-be-hel ...

oncefired -> CheapBastard , Feb 20, 2017 11:07 PM

http://www.thomaswictor.com/leakers-beware/

Duc888 -> CheapBastard , Feb 20, 2017 11:11 PM

Flynn did not tell Pence that Pence's best friend was front and center on the Pizzagate list. That's what cost Flynn his job...it had fuck all do do with the elections.

[Dec 04, 2016] Much-disputed Iranian nuclear bomb

An interesting warning about possible return of neocons in Hillary administration. Looks like not much changed in Washington from 2005 and Obama more and more looks like Bush III. Both Hillary and Trump are jingoistic toward Iran. Paradoxically Trump is even more jingoistic then Hillary.
Notable quotes:
"... That no one yet claims actually exists, has begun. Once again we seem to be heading down a highway marked "counterproliferation war." What makes this bizarre is that the Middle East today, for all its catastrophic problems, is actually a nuclear-free zone except for one country, Israel, which has a staggeringly outsized, semi-secret nuclear arsenal. ..."
"... And not much has changed since. I recommend as well a piece written even earlier by Ira Chernus on a graphic about the Israeli nuclear arsenal tucked away at the MSNBC website (and still viewable ). ..."
"... Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst and one of the founders of the group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, considers the Iranian and Israeli bombs, and Bush administration policy in relation to both below in a piece that, he writes, emerged from "an informal colloquium which has sprung up in the Washington, DC area involving people with experience at senior policy levels of government, others who examine foreign policy and defense issues primarily out of a faith perspective, and still others with a foot in each camp. We are trying to deal directly with the moral -- as well as the practical -- implications of various policy alternatives. One of our group recently was invited to talk with senior staffers in the House of Representatives about Iran, its nuclear plans, its support for terrorists, and U.S. military options. Toward the end of that conversation, a House staffer was emboldened to ask, 'What would be a moral solution?' This question gave new energy to our colloquium, generating a number of informal papers, including this one. I am grateful to my colloquium colleagues for their insights and suggestions." ..."
"... What about post-attack "Day Two?" Not to worry. Well-briefed pundits are telling us about a wellspring of Western-oriented I find myself thinking: Right; just like all those Iraqis who welcomed invading American and British troops with open arms and cut flowers. ..."
"... In 2001, the new President Bush brought the neocons back and put them in top policymaking positions. Even former Assistant Secretary of State Elliot Abrams, convicted in October 1991 of lying to Congress and then pardoned by George H. W. Bush, was called back and put in charge of Middle East policy in the White House. In January, he was promoted to the influential post (once occupied by Robert Gates) of deputy assistant to the president for national security affairs. From that senior position Abrams will once again be dealing closely with John Negroponte, an old colleague from rogue-elephant Contra War days, who has now been picked to be the first director of national intelligence. ..."
"... Those of us who -- like Colin Powell -- had front-row seats during the 1980s are far too concerned to dismiss the re-emergence of the neocons as a simple case of déjà vu . They are much more dangerous now. Unlike in the eighties, they are the ones crafting the adventurous policies our sons and daughters are being called on to implement. ..."
"... So why would Iran think it has to acquire nuclear weapons? Sen. Richard Lugar, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was asked this on a Sunday talk show a few months ago. Apparently having a senior moment, he failed to give the normal answer. Instead, he replied, "Well, you know, Israel has..." At that point, he caught himself and abruptly stopped. ..."
Sep 22, 2005 | www.washingtonpost.com
That no one yet claims actually exists, has begun. Once again we seem to be heading down a highway marked "counterproliferation war." What makes this bizarre is that the Middle East today, for all its catastrophic problems, is actually a nuclear-free zone except for one country, Israel, which has a staggeringly outsized, semi-secret nuclear arsenal.

As Los Angeles Times reporter Douglas Frantz wrote at one point, "Though Israel is a democracy, debating the nuclear program is taboo A military censor guards Israel's nuclear secrets." And this "taboo" has largely extended to American reporting on the subject. Imagine, to offer a very partial analogy, if we all had had to consider the Cold War nuclear issue with the Soviet, but almost never the American nuclear arsenal, in the news. Of course, that would have been absurd and yet it's the case in the Middle East today, making most strategic discussions of the region exercises in absurdity.

I wrote about this subject under the title, Nuclear Israel , back in October 2003, because of a brief break, thanks to Frantz, in the media blackout on the subject. I began then, "Nuclear North Korea, nuclear Iraq, nuclear Iran - of these our media has been full for the last year or more, though they either don't exist or hardly yet exist. North Korea now probably has a couple of crude nuclear weapons, which it may still be incapable of delivering. But nuclear Israel, little endangered Israel? It's hard even to get your head around the concept, though that country has either the fifth or sixth largest nuclear arsenal in the world." And not much has changed since. I recommend as well a piece written even earlier by Ira Chernus on a graphic about the Israeli nuclear arsenal tucked away at the MSNBC website (and still viewable ).

Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst and one of the founders of the group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, considers the Iranian and Israeli bombs, and Bush administration policy in relation to both below in a piece that, he writes, emerged from "an informal colloquium which has sprung up in the Washington, DC area involving people with experience at senior policy levels of government, others who examine foreign policy and defense issues primarily out of a faith perspective, and still others with a foot in each camp. We are trying to deal directly with the moral -- as well as the practical -- implications of various policy alternatives. One of our group recently was invited to talk with senior staffers in the House of Representatives about Iran, its nuclear plans, its support for terrorists, and U.S. military options. Toward the end of that conversation, a House staffer was emboldened to ask, 'What would be a moral solution?' This question gave new energy to our colloquium, generating a number of informal papers, including this one. I am grateful to my colloquium colleagues for their insights and suggestions." Now, read on. ~ Tom

Attacking Iran: I Know It Sounds Crazy, But...

By Ray McGovern

"'This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous.'

"(Short pause)

"'And having said that, all options are on the table.'

"Even the White House stenographers felt obliged to note the result: '(Laughter).'"

( The Washington Post's Dan Froomkin on George Bush's February 22 press conference)

For a host of good reasons -- the huge and draining commitment of U.S. forces to Iraq and Iran's ability to stir the Iraqi pot to boiling, for starters -- the notion that the Bush administration would mount a "preemptive" air attack on Iran seems insane. And still more insane if the objective includes overthrowing Iran's government again, as in 1953 -- this time under the rubric of "regime change."

But Bush administration policy toward the Middle East is being run by men -- yes, only men -- who were routinely referred to in high circles in Washington during the 1980s as "the crazies." I can attest to that personally, but one need not take my word for it.

According to James Naughtie, author of The Accidental American: Tony Blair and the Presidency , former Secretary of State Colin Powell added an old soldier's adjective to the "crazies" sobriquet in referring to the same officials. Powell, who was military aide to Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger in the early eighties, was overheard calling them "the f---ing crazies" during a phone call with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw before the war in Iraq. At the time, Powell was reportedly deeply concerned over their determination to attack -- with or without UN approval. Small wonder that they got rid of Powell after the election, as soon as they had no more use for him.

If further proof of insanity were needed, one could simply look at the unnecessary carnage in Iraq since the invasion in March 2003. That unprovoked attack was, in my view, the most fateful foreign policy blunder in our nation's history...so far.

It Can Get Worse

"The crazies" are not finished. And we do well not to let their ultimate folly obscure their current ambition, and the further trouble that ambition is bound to bring in the four years ahead. In an immediate sense, with U.S. military power unrivaled, they can be seen as "crazy like a fox," with a value system in which "might makes right." Operating out of that value system, and now sporting the more respectable misnomer/moniker "neoconservative," they are convinced that they know exactly what they are doing. They have a clear ideology and a geopolitical strategy, which leap from papers they put out at the Project for the New American Century over recent years.

The very same men who, acting out of that paradigm, brought us the war in Iraq are now focusing on Iran, which they view as the only remaining obstacle to American domination of the entire oil-rich Middle East. They calculate that, with a docile, corporate-owned press, a co-opted mainstream church, and a still-trusting populace, the United States and/or the Israelis can launch a successful air offensive to disrupt any Iranian nuclear weapons programs -- with the added bonus of possibly causing the regime in power in Iran to crumble.

But why now? After all, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency has just told Congress that Iran is not likely to have a nuclear weapon until "early in the next decade?" The answer, according to some defense experts, is that several of the Iranian facilities are still under construction and there is only a narrow "window of opportunity" to destroy them without causing huge environmental problems. That window, they say, will begin to close this year.

Other analysts attribute the sense of urgency to worry in Washington that the Iranians may have secretly gained access to technology that would facilitate a leap forward into the nuclear club much sooner than now anticipated. And it is, of course, neoconservative doctrine that it is best to nip -- the word in current fashion is "preempt" -- any conceivable threats in the bud. One reason the Israelis are pressing hard for early action may simply be out of a desire to ensure that George W. Bush will have a few more years as president after an attack on Iran, so that they will have him to stand with Israel when bedlam breaks out in the Middle East.

What about post-attack "Day Two?" Not to worry. Well-briefed pundits are telling us about a wellspring of Western-oriented I find myself thinking: Right; just like all those Iraqis who welcomed invading American and British troops with open arms and cut flowers. For me, this evokes a painful flashback to the early eighties when "intelligence," pointing to "moderates" within the Iranian leadership, was conjured up to help justify the imaginative but illegal arms-for-hostages-and-proceeds-to-Nicaraguan-Contras caper. The fact that the conjurer-in-chief of that spurious "evidence" on Iranian "moderates," former chief CIA analyst, later director Robert Gates, was recently offered the newly created position of director of national intelligence makes the flashback more eerie -- and alarming.

George H. W. Bush Saw Through "The Crazies"

During his term in office, George H. W. Bush, with the practical advice of his national security adviser Gen. Brent Scowcroft and Secretary of State James Baker, was able to keep "the crazies" at arms length, preventing them from getting the country into serious trouble. They were kept well below the level of "principal" -- that is, below the level of secretary of state or defense.

Even so, heady in the afterglow of victory in the Gulf War of 1990, "the crazies" stirred up considerable controversy when they articulated their radical views. Their vision, for instance, became the centerpiece of the draft "Defense Planning Guidance" that Paul Wolfowitz, de facto dean of the neoconservatives, prepared in 1992 for then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney. It dismissed deterrence as an outdated relic of the Cold War and argued that the United States must maintain military strength beyond conceivable challenge -- and use it in preemptive ways in dealing with those who might acquire "weapons of mass destruction." Sound familiar?

Aghast at this radical imperial strategy for the post-Cold War world, someone with access to the draft leaked it to the New York Times , forcing President George H. W. Bush either to endorse or disavow it. Disavow it he did -- and quickly, on the cooler-head recommendations of Scowcroft and Baker, who proved themselves a bulwark against the hubris and megalomania of "the crazies." Unfortunately, their vision did not die. No less unfortunately, there is method to their madness -- even if it threatens to spell eventual disaster for our country. Empires always overreach and fall.

The Return of the Neocons

In 2001, the new President Bush brought the neocons back and put them in top policymaking positions. Even former Assistant Secretary of State Elliot Abrams, convicted in October 1991 of lying to Congress and then pardoned by George H. W. Bush, was called back and put in charge of Middle East policy in the White House. In January, he was promoted to the influential post (once occupied by Robert Gates) of deputy assistant to the president for national security affairs. From that senior position Abrams will once again be dealing closely with John Negroponte, an old colleague from rogue-elephant Contra War days, who has now been picked to be the first director of national intelligence.

Those of us who -- like Colin Powell -- had front-row seats during the 1980s are far too concerned to dismiss the re-emergence of the neocons as a simple case of déjà vu . They are much more dangerous now. Unlike in the eighties, they are the ones crafting the adventurous policies our sons and daughters are being called on to implement.

Why dwell on this? Because it is second in importance only to the portentous reality that the earth is running out of readily accessible oil – something of which they are all too aware. Not surprisingly then, disguised beneath the weapons-of-mass-destruction smokescreen they laid down as they prepared to invade Iraq lay an unspoken but bedrock reason for the war -- oil. In any case, the neocons seem to believe that, in the wake of the November election, they now have a carte-blanche "mandate." And with the president's new "capital to spend," they appear determined to spend it, sooner rather than later.

Next Stop, Iran

When a Special Forces platoon leader just back from Iraq matter-of-factly tells a close friend of mine, as happened last week, that he and his unit are now training their sights (literally) on Iran, we need to take that seriously. It provides us with a glimpse of reality as seen at ground level. For me, it brought to mind an unsolicited email I received from the father of a young soldier training at Fort Benning in the spring of 2002, soon after I wrote an op-ed discussing the timing of George W. Bush's decision to make war on Iraq. The father informed me that, during the spring of 2002, his son kept writing home saying his unit was training to go into Iraq. No, said the father; you mean Afghanistan... that's where the war is, not Iraq. In his next email, the son said, "No, Dad, they keep saying Iraq. I asked them and that's what they mean."

Now, apparently, they keep saying Iran ; and that appears to be what they mean.

Anecdotal evidence like this is hardly conclusive. Put it together with administration rhetoric and a preponderance of other "dots," though, and everything points in the direction of an air attack on Iran, possibly also involving some ground forces. Indeed, from the New Yorker reports of Seymour Hersh to Washington Post articles , accounts of small-scale American intrusions on the ground as well as into Iranian airspace are appearing with increasing frequency. In a speech given on February 18, former UN arms inspector and Marine officer Scott Ritter (who was totally on target before the Iraq War on that country's lack of weapons of mass destruction) claimed that the president has already "signed off" on plans to bomb Iran in June in order to destroy its alleged nuclear weapons program and eventually bring about "regime change." This does not necessarily mean an automatic green light for a large attack in June, but it may signal the president's seriousness about this option.

So, again, against the background of what we have witnessed over the past four years, and the troubling fact that the circle of second-term presidential advisers has become even tighter, we do well to inject a strong note of urgency into any discussion of the "Iranian option."

Why Would Iran Want Nukes?

So why would Iran think it has to acquire nuclear weapons? Sen. Richard Lugar, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was asked this on a Sunday talk show a few months ago. Apparently having a senior moment, he failed to give the normal answer. Instead, he replied, "Well, you know, Israel has..." At that point, he caught himself and abruptly stopped.

Recovering quickly and realizing that he could not just leave the word "Israel" hanging there, Lugar began again: "Well, Israel is alleged to have a nuclear capability."

Is alleged to have ? Lugar is chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and yet he doesn't know that Israel has, by most estimates, a major nuclear arsenal, consisting of several hundred nuclear weapons? (Mainstream newspapers are allergic to dwelling on this topic, but it is mentioned every now and then, usually buried in obscurity on an inside page.)

Just imagine how the Iranians and Syrians would react to Lugar's disingenuousness. Small wonder our highest officials and lawmakers -- and Lugar, remember, is one of the most decent among them -- are widely seen abroad as hypocritical. Our media, of course, ignore the hypocrisy. This is standard operating procedure when the word "Israel" is spoken in this or other unflattering contexts. And the objections of those appealing for a more balanced approach are quashed.

If the truth be told, Iran fears Israel at least as much as Israel fears the internal security threat posed by the thugs supported by Tehran. Iran's apprehension is partly fear that Israel (with at least tacit support from the Bush administration) will send its aircraft to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities, just as American-built Israeli bombers destroyed the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak in 1981. As part of the current war of nerves, recent statements by the president and vice president can be read as giving a green light to Israel to do just that; while Israeli Air Force commander Major General Eliezer Shakedi told reporters on February 21 that Israel must be prepared for an air strike on Iran "in light of its nuclear activity."

US-Israel Nexus

The Iranians also remember how Israel was able to acquire and keep its nuclear technology. Much of it was stolen from the United States by spies for Israel. As early as the late-1950s, Washington knew Israel was building the bomb and could have aborted the project. Instead, American officials decided to turn a blind eye and let the Israelis go ahead. Now Israel's nuclear capability is truly formidable. Still, it is a fact of strategic life that a formidable nuclear arsenal can be deterred by a far more modest one, if an adversary has the means to deliver it. (Look at North Korea's success with, at best, a few nuclear weapons and questionable means of delivery in deterring the "sole remaining superpower in the world.") And Iran already has missiles with the range to hit Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Sharon has for some time appeared eager to enlist Washington's support for an early "pre-emptive" strike on Iran. Indeed, American defense officials have told reporters that visiting Israeli officials have been pressing the issue for the past year and a half. And the Israelis are now claiming publicly that Iran could have a nuclear weapon within six months -- years earlier than the Defense Intelligence Agency estimate mentioned above.

In the past, President Bush has chosen to dismiss unwelcome intelligence estimates as "guesses" -- especially when they threatened to complicate decisions to implement the neoconservative agenda. It is worth noting that several of the leading neocons – Richard Perle, chair of the Defense Policy Board (2001-03); Douglas Feith, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy; and David Wurmser, Middle East adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney -- actually wrote policy papers for the Israeli government during the 1990s. They have consistently had great difficulty distinguishing between the strategic interests of Israel and those of the US -- at least as they imagine them.

As for President Bush, over the past four years he has amply demonstrated his preference for the counsel of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon who, as Gen. Scowcroft said publicly , has the president "wrapped around his little finger." (As Chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board until he was unceremoniously removed at the turn of the year, Scowcroft was in a position to know.) If Scowcroft is correct in also saying that the president has been "mesmerized" by Sharon, it seems possible that the Israelis already have successfully argued for an attack on Iran.

When "Regime Change" Meant Overthrow For Oil

To remember why the United States is no favorite in Tehran, one needs to go back at least to 1953 when the U.S. and Great Britain overthrew Iran's democratically elected Premier Mohammad Mossadeq as part of a plan to insure access to Iranian oil. They then emplaced the young Shah in power who, with his notorious secret police, proved second to none in cruelty. The Shah ruled from 1953 to 1979. Much resentment can build up over a whole generation. His regime fell like a house of cards, when supporters of Ayatollah Khomeini rose up to do some regime change of their own.

Iranians also remember Washington's strong support for Saddam Hussein's Iraq after it decided to make war on Iran in 1980. U.S. support for Iraq (which included crucial intelligence support for the war and an implicit condoning of Saddam's use of chemical weapons) was perhaps the crucial factor in staving off an Iranian victory. Imagine then, the threat Iranians see, should the Bush administration succeed in establishing up to 14 permanent military bases in neighboring Iraq. Any Iranian can look at a map of the Middle East (including occupied Iraq) and conclude that this administration might indeed be willing to pay the necessary price in blood and treasure to influence what happens to the black gold under Iranian as well as Iraqi sands. And with four more years to play with, a lot can be done along those lines. The obvious question is: How to deter it? Well, once again, Iran can hardly be blind to the fact that a small nation like North Korea has so far deterred U.S. action by producing, or at least claiming to have produced, nuclear weapons.

Nuclear Is the Nub

The nuclear issue is indeed paramount, and we would do well to imagine and craft fresh approaches to the nub of the problem. As a start, I'll bet if you made a survey, only 20% of Americans would answer "yes" to the question, "Does Israel have nuclear weapons?" That is key, it seems to me, because at their core Americans are still fair-minded people.

On the other hand, I'll bet that 95% of the Iranian population would answer, "Of course Israel has nuclear weapons; that's why we Iranians need them" -- which was, of course, the unmentionable calculation that Senator Lugar almost conceded. "And we also need them," many Iranians would probably say, "in order to deter 'the crazies' in Washington. It seems to be working for the North Koreans, who, after all, are the other remaining point on President Bush's 'axis of evil.'"

The ideal approach would, of course, be to destroy all nuclear weapons in the world and ban them for the future, with a very intrusive global inspection regime to verify compliance. A total ban is worth holding up as an ideal, and I think we must. But this approach seems unlikely to bear fruit over the next four years. So what then?

A Nuclear-Free Middle East

How about a nuclear-free Middle East? Could the US make that happen? We could if we had moral clarity -- the underpinning necessary to bring it about. Each time this proposal is raised, the Syrians, for example, clap their hands in feigned joyful anticipation, saying, "Of course such a pact would include Israel, right?" The issue is then dropped from all discussion by U.S. policymakers. Required: not only moral clarity but also what Thomas Aquinas labeled the precondition for all virtue, courage. In this context, courage would include a refusal to be intimidated by inevitable charges of anti-Semitism.

The reality is that, except for Israel, the Middle East is nuclear free. But the discussion cannot stop there. It is not difficult to understand why the first leaders of Israel, with the Holocaust experience written indelibly on their hearts and minds, and feeling surrounded by perceived threats to the fledgling state's existence, wanted the bomb. And so, before the Syrians or Iranians, for example, get carried away with self-serving applause for the nuclear-free Middle East proposal, they will have to understand that for any such negotiation to succeed it must have as a concomitant aim the guarantee of an Israel able to live in peace and protect itself behind secure borders. That guarantee has got to be part of the deal.

That the obstacles to any such agreement are formidable is no excuse not trying. But the approach would have to be new and everything would have to be on the table. Persisting in a state of denial about Israel's nuclear weapons is dangerously shortsighted; it does nothing but aggravate fears among the Arabs and create further incentive for them to acquire nuclear weapons of their own.

A sensible approach would also have to include a willingness to engage the Iranians directly, attempt to understand their perspective, and discern what the United States and Israel could do to alleviate their concerns.

Preaching to Iran and others about not acquiring nuclear weapons is, indeed, like the village drunk preaching sobriety -- the more so as our government keeps developing new genres of nuclear weapons and keeps looking the other way as Israel enhances its own nuclear arsenal. Not a pretty moral picture, that. Indeed, it reminds me of the Scripture passage about taking the plank out of your own eye before insisting that the speck be removed from another's.

Lessons from the Past...Like Mutual Deterrence

Has everyone forgotten that deterrence worked for some 40 years, while for most of those years the U.S. and the USSR had not by any means lost their lust for ever-enhanced nuclear weapons? The point is simply that, while engaging the Iranians bilaterally and searching for more imaginative nuclear-free proposals, the U.S. might adopt a more patient interim attitude regarding the striving of other nation states to acquire nuclear weapons -- bearing in mind that the Bush administration's policies of "preemption" and "regime change" themselves create powerful incentives for exactly such striving. As was the case with Iraq two years ago, there is no imminent Iranian strategic threat to Americans -- or, in reality, to anyone. Even if Iran acquired a nuclear capability, there is no reason to believe that it would risk a suicidal first strike on Israel. That, after all, is what mutual deterrence is all about; it works both ways.

It is nonetheless clear that the Israelis' sense of insecurity -- however exaggerated it may seem to those of us thousands of miles away -- is not synthetic but real. The Sharon government appears to regard its nuclear monopoly in the region as the only effective "deterrence insurance" it can buy. It is determined to prevent its neighbors from acquiring the kind of capability that could infringe on the freedom it now enjoys to carry out military and other actions in the area. Government officials have said that Israel will not let Iran acquire a nuclear weapon; it would be folly to dismiss this as bravado. The Israelis have laid down a marker and mean to follow through -- unless the Bush administration assumes the attitude that "preemption" is an acceptable course for the United States but not for Israel. It seems unlikely that the neoconservatives would take that line. Rather

"Israel Is Our Ally."

Or so said our president before the cameras on February 17, 2005. But I didn't think we had a treaty of alliance with Israel; I don't remember the Senate approving one. Did I miss something?

Clearly, the longstanding U.S.-Israeli friendship and the ideals we share dictate continuing support for Israel's defense and security. It is quite another thing, though, to suggest the existence of formal treaty obligations that our country does not have. To all intents and purposes, our policymakers -- from the president on down -- seem to speak and behave on the assumption that we do have such obligations toward Israel. A former colleague CIA analyst, Michael Scheuer, author of Imperial Hubris , has put it this way: "The Israelis have succeeded in lacing tight the ropes binding the American Gulliver to Israel and its policies."

An earlier American warned:

"A passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation facilitates the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, infuses into one the enmities of the other, and betrays the former into participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification.... It also gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens, who devote themselves to the favorite nation, facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country." ( George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796 )

In my view, our first president's words apply only too aptly to this administration's lash-up with the Sharon government. As responsible citizens we need to overcome our timidity about addressing this issue, lest our fellow Americans continue to be denied important information neglected or distorted in our domesticated media.

Ray McGovern served as a CIA analyst for 27 years -- from the administration of John F. Kennedy to that of George H. W. Bush. During the early 1980s, he was one of the writers/editors of the President's Daily Brief and briefed it one-on-one to the president's most senior advisers. He also chaired National Intelligence Estimates. In January 2003, he and four former colleagues founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

Copyright 2005 Ray McGovern

[Nov 11, 2016] Clinton And The Neocons Huffington Post

Notable quotes:
"... Prioritizing foreign over domestic policy, Jackson's former aides Richard Perle , Douglas Feith , and Elliott Abrams - along with some fellow travelers like Paul Wolfowitz - eventually shifted their allegiance to the right-wing Republican Ronald Reagan. They formed an important pro-Israel, "peace through strength" nucleus within the new president's foreign policy team. ..."
Nov 08, 2016 | www.huffingtonpost.com
John Feffer Director, Foreign Policy In Focus and Editor, LobeLog Much has been made of the swing in political allegiances of neoconservatives in favor of Hillary Clinton.

As a group, Washington's neocons are generally terrified of Trump's unpredictability and his flirtation with the alt-right. They also support Clinton's more assertive foreign policy (not to mention her closer relationship to Israel). Perhaps, too, after eight long years in the wilderness, they're daydreaming of an appointment or two in a Clinton administration.

This group of previously staunch Republicans, who believe in using American military power to promote democracy, build nations, and secure U.S. interests abroad, have defected in surprising numbers. Washington Post columnist Robert Kagan , the Wall Street Journal 's Bret Stephens , and the Foreign Policy Initiative 's James Kirchick have all endorsed Clinton. Other prominent neocons like The National Review 's William Kristol , the Wall Street Journal 's Max Boot , and SAIS's Eliot Cohen have rejected Trump but not quite taken the leap to supporting Clinton.

A not particularly large or well-defined group, neoconservatives have attracted a disproportionate amount of attention in this election. For the Trump camp, these Republican defectors merely prove that the elite is out to get their candidate, thus reinforcing his outsider credentials (never mind that Trump initially wooed neocons like Kristol). For the left , the neocons are flocking to support a bird of their feather, at least when it comes to foreign policy, which reflects badly on Clinton. The mainstream media, meanwhile, is attracted to the man-bites-dog aspect of the story (news flash: members of the vast right-wing conspiracy support Clinton!).

As we come to the end of the election campaign, which has been more a clash of personalities than of ideologies, the neocon defections offer a much more interesting storyline. As the Republican Party potentially coalesces around a more populist center, the neocons are the canary in the coal mine. Their squawking suggests that the American political scene is about to suffer a cataclysm. What will that mean for U.S. foreign policy?

A History of Defection

The neoconservative movement began within the Democratic Party. Henry "Scoop" Jackson, a Democrat from Washington State, carved out a new position in the party with his liberal domestic policies and hardline Cold War stance. He was a strong booster of civil rights and environmental legislation. At the same time, he favored military build-up and a stronger relationship with Israel. He was also dismayed with the Nixon administration's détente with the Soviet Union.

Prioritizing foreign over domestic policy, Jackson's former aides Richard Perle , Douglas Feith , and Elliott Abrams - along with some fellow travelers like Paul Wolfowitz - eventually shifted their allegiance to the right-wing Republican Ronald Reagan. They formed an important pro-Israel, "peace through strength" nucleus within the new president's foreign policy team.

At the end of the Reagan era, their commitment to such policies as regime change in the Middle East, confrontation with Russia, and opposition to multilateral institutions like the United Nations brought them into conflict with realists in the George H.W. Bush administration. So many of them defected once again to support Bill Clinton. Writes Jim Lobe:

A small but not insignificant number of them, repelled by George H.W. Bush's realpolitik, and more specifically his Middle East policy and pressure on then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir to join the Madrid peace conference after the first Gulf War, deserted the party in 1992 and publicly endorsed Bill Clinton. Richard Schifter, Morris Amitay of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, Angier Biddle Duke, Rita Freedman of the Social Democrats USA, neocon union leaders John Joyce and Al Shanker, Penn Kemble of the Institute for Religion and Democracy, James Woolsey, Marty Peretz of The New Republic, and Joshua Muravchik of the American Enterprise Institute all signed a much-noted ad in The New York Times in August 1992 endorsing Clinton's candidacy. Their hopes of thus being rewarded with top positions in a Clinton administration were crushed.

The flirtation with Clinton's Democratic Party was short-lived. Woolsey, Schifter, and Kemble received appointments in the Clinton administration, but the neocons in general were unhappy with their limited influence, Clinton's (albeit inconsistent) multilateralism, and the administration's reluctance to intervene militarily in Rwanda, Somalia, and Bosnia. Disenchantment turned to anger and then to organizing. In 1997, many of the same people who worked for Scoop Jackson and embraced Ronald Reagan put together the Project for the New American Century in an effort to preserve and expand America's post-Cold War unilateral power.

A handful of votes in Florida in 2000 and the attacks on September 11 the following year combined to give the neocons a second chance at transforming U.S. foreign policy. Dick Cheney became perhaps the most powerful vice president in modern American history, with Scooter Libby as his national security adviser. Donald Rumsfeld became secretary of defense, with Paul Wolfowitz as his deputy and Feith as head of the policy office. Elliott Abrams joined the National Security Council, and so on. Under their guidance, George W. Bush abandoned all pretense of charting a more modest foreign policy and went on a militarist bender.

The foreign policy disasters of the Bush era should have killed the careers of everyone involved. Unfortunately, there are plenty of think tanks and universities that value access over intelligence (or ethics) - and even the most incompetent and craven administration officials after leaving office retain their contacts (and their arrogance).

Those who worry that the neocons will be rewarded for their third major defection - to Reagan, to Bill Clinton, and now to Hillary Clinton - should probably focus elsewhere. After all, the Democratic nominee this year doesn't have to go all the way over to the far right for advice on how to construct a more muscular foreign policy. Plenty of mainstream think tanks - from the Center for a New American Security on the center-right to the leftish Center for American Progress - are offering their advice on how to "restore balance" in how the United States relates to the world. Many of these positions - how to push back against Russia, take a harder line against Iran, and ratchet up pressure on Assad in Syria - are not very different from neocon talking points.

But the defections do herald a possible sea change in party alignment. And that will influence the trajectory of U.S. foreign policy.

The Walking Dead

The Republican Party has been hemorrhaging for nearly a decade. The Tea Party dispatched many party centrists - Jim Leach, Richard Lugar - who once could achieve a measure of bipartisanship in Congress. The overwhelming whiteness of the party, even before the ascendance of Trump, made it very difficult to recruit African Americans and Latinos in large numbers. And now Trump has driven away many of the professionals who have served in past Republican administrations, including the small clique of neoconservatives.

What remains is enough to win state and local elections in certain areas of the country. But it's not enough to win nationally. Going forward, with the further demographic shift away from white voters, this Republican base will get older and smaller. Moreover, on foreign policy, the Trumpistas are leading the party in a nationalist, apocalyptic direction that challenges the party leadership (in emphasis if not in content).

It's enough to throw dedicated Republicans into despair. Avik Roy, who was an advisor to the presidential campaigns of Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney, and Rick Perry, told This American Life :

I think the Republican Party is a lost cause. I don't think the Republican Party is capable of fixing itself, because the people who are most passionate about voting Republican today are the Trump voters. And what politician is going to want to throw those voters away to attract some unknown coalition of the future?

One of his Republican compatriots, Rob Long, had this to say on the podcast about how anti-Trump survivors who stick with the party will navigate the post-election landscape:

It'll be like The Walking Dead, right? We're going to try to come up with bands of people and walk across the country. And let's not get ourselves killed or eaten and hook up with people we think are not insane or horrible or in some way murderous.

Coming out of this week's elections, here's my guess of what will happen. The Republican Party will continue to be torn apart by three factions: a dwindling number of moderates like Susan Collins (R-ME), right-wing fiscal conservatives like Paul Ryan (R-WI), and burn-the-house-down Trumpsters like Jeff Sessions (R-AL). Foreign policy won't be much of an issue for the party because it will be shut out of the White House for 12 years running and will focus instead on primarily domestic questions. Perhaps the latter two categories will find a way to repair their breach; perhaps the party will split in two; perhaps Trump supporters will engineer a hostile takeover.

The Democratic Party, meanwhile, may suffer as a result of its success. After all, how can a single party play host to both Bernie Sanders and Robert Kagan ? How can the party promote both guns and butter? How can Hillary Clinton preserve Obama's diplomatic successes - the Iran deal, the Cuba détente, the efforts to contain climate change - and be more assertive militarily? Whatever unity the party managed during the elections will quickly fall apart when it comes to governing.

In one sense, Clinton may well resurrect the neocon legacy by embracing a more or less progressive domestic policy (which would satisfy the Sanderistas) and a more hawkish foreign policy (which would satisfy all the foreign policy mandarins from both parties who supported her candidacy).

At the same time, a new political axis is emerging: internationalists vs. insularists, with the former gathering together in the Democratic Party and the latter seeking shelter in a leaky Republican Party. But this categorization conceals the tensions within each project. Internationalists include both fans of the UN and proponents of unilateral U.S. military engagement overseas. Insularists, who have not turned their back on the world quite as thoroughly as isolationists, include both xenophobic nationalists and those who want to spend war dollars at home.

The trick of it for progressives is to somehow steal back the Democratic Party from the aggressive globalists and recapture those Trump voters who are tired of supporting war and wealthy transnational corporations. Or, perhaps in the wake of the Republican Party's collapse, progressives could create a new party that challenges Clinton and the neocons.

One thing is for certain, however. With a highly unpopular president about to take office and one of the major political parties on life support, the current political moment is highly unstable. Something truly remarkable could emerge. Or voters in 2020 might face something even more monstrous than what has haunted this election cycle.

Crossposted with Foreign Policy In Focus .

[Nov 08, 2016] Clintons Foreign Policy Will Obviously Be More Aggressive, So Why Pretend Otherwise

Nov 08, 2016 | www.theamericanconservative.com
By Daniel Larison James Traub gamely tries to convince us (and himself) that Clinton's foreign policy won't be as aggressive and meddlesome as she says it will be, but he undermines his argument when he says this:

As a senator and later secretary of state, she rarely departed from the counsel of senior military officials. She was far more persuaded of the merits of Gen. David Petraeus and Stanley McChrystal's counterinsurgency plan for Afghanistan, which would have sent an additional 40,000 troops there, than Obama was and maybe even more than then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates was. She rarely departed from Gates on any significant issue. Of course, the one time she did so was on Libya, where she advocated intervention and he did not [bold mine-DL]. On Syria, Clinton may have to choose between her own expressed commitments and a Pentagon that is far more cautious and more inclined to see mishap than are civilian interventionists. I wonder how Kagan-esque she will be in the White House. Less so, perhaps, than she was as secretary of state.

In other words, when military officers recommended a larger escalation, she agreed with them, and when Gates didn't support intervention she didn't agree. Clinton was fine with advice from the military when it meant supporting deeper involvement, but she broke with Gates when he didn't want to take sides in a foreign war. That isn't a picture of someone who consistently heeds military advice, but rather someone who always opts for the more aggressive option available at the time. It doesn't make much sense that Clinton as president would be less "Kagan-esque" than she was as a member of Obama's Cabinet. As president, she will have considerable leeway to do as she sees fit, Congress will be pathetically quiescent as usual, and most of the foreign policy establishment will be encouraging her to do more in Syria and elsewhere. Clinton will be predisposed to agree with what they urge her to do, and in the last twenty years she has never seen a military intervention that she thought was unnecessary or too risky. Why is that suddenly going to change when she has the power of the presidency? In virtually every modern case, a new president ends up behaving more hawkishly than expected based on campaign rhetoric. All of the pressures and incentives in Washington push a president towards do-somethingism, and Clinton has typically been among the least resistant to the demand to "do something" in response to crises and conflicts, so why would we think she would become more cautious once she is in office? I can understand why many of her supporters wish that to be the case, but it flies in the face of all the available evidence, including most of what we know about how Washington works.

Traub makes a number of predictions at the end of his article:

She will not make dumb mistakes. She will reassure every ally who needs reassurance. She will try to mute China's adventurism in the South China Sea without provoking a storm of nationalism. She'll probably disappoint the neocons. She won't go out on any limbs. She won't shake the policymaking consensus.

I don't know where this confidence in Clinton's good judgment comes from, but it seems misplaced. I suppose it depends on what you think smart foreign policy looks like, but there is a fair amount of evidence from Clinton's own record that she is quite capable of making dumb mistakes.

That doesn't just apply to her vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq and her backing for intervention in Libya, but could also refer to her support for sending weapons to Ukraine, her endorsement of "no-fly" and safe zones in Syria, her preference for more sanctions on Iran while negotiations were still taking place, and her belief that the U.S. has to bomb another country to retain its "credibility." All of these are mistakes, and some are quite dumb.

It isn't at all reassuring to know that Clinton will "reassure every ally who needs reassurance," because in practice that means indulging bad behavior from reckless clients and rewarding them with more aid and weapons. Earlier in the article, Traub seems to understand that enabling the Saudis is a bad idea:

This last policy, which for Clinton will come under the heading of "alliance management," would only deepen the violence and sectarian strife rending the region. She would be better advised to tell the Saudis that the United States will reduce its support of their war effort unless they make serious efforts toward a lasting cease-fire.

That would certainly be wiser than offering uncritical backing of their intervention, but what is the evidence that Clinton thinks U.S. support for the war on Yemen needs to be curtailed? Yemen has been devastated in no small part because of Obama's willingness to "reassure" the Saudis and their allies. What other countries will be made to suffer so Clinton can keep them happy? Clinton may disappoint neocons, but then they are disappointed by anything short of preventive war. Even if Clinton's foreign policy isn't aggressive enough to satisfy them, it is likely to be far more aggressive than necessary.

[Nov 08, 2016] Oh, What a Lovely War! Delusional foreign policy could bring disaster

Notable quotes:
"... The American people don't know very much about war even if Washington has been fighting on multiple fronts since 9/11. The continental United States has not experienced the presence a hostile military force for more than 100 years and war for the current generation of Americans consists largely of the insights provided by video games and movies. The Pentagon's invention of embedded journalists, which limits any independent media insight into what is going on overseas, has contributed to the rendering of war as some kind of abstraction. Gone forever is anything like the press coverage of Vietnam, with nightly news and other media presentations showing prisoners being executed and young girls screaming while racing down the street in flames. ..."
"... Given all of that, it is perhaps no surprise that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, neither of whom has served in uniform, should regard violence inflicted on people overseas with a considerable level of detachment. ..."
"... They both share to an extent the dominant New York-Washington policy consensus view that dealing with foreigners can sometimes get a bit bloody, but that is a price that someone in power has to be prepared to pay. One of Hillary's top advisers, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, famously declared that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children due to U.S. led sanctions were "worth it." ..."
"... Hillary Clinton and her advisors, who believe strongly in Washington's leadership role globally and embrace their own definition of American exceptionalism, have been explicit in terms of what they would do to employ our military power. ..."
"... She would be an extremely proactive president in foreign policy, with a particular animus directed against Russia. ..."
"... Hillary has received support from foreign policy hawks, including a large number of formerly Republican neocons, to include Robert Kagan, Michael Chertoff, Michael Hayden, Eliot Cohen and Eric Edelman. James Stavridis, a retired admiral who was once vetted by Clinton as a possible vice president, recently warned of "the need to use deadly force against the Iranians. ..."
"... Hillary believes that Syria's president Bashar al-Assad is the root cause of the turmoil in that country and must be removed as the first priority. . It is a foolish policy as al-Assad in no way threatens the United States while his enemy ISIS does and regime change would create a power vacuum that will benefit the latter. ..."
"... Hillary has not recommended doing anything about Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, all of which have at one time or another for various reasons supported ISIS, but she is clearly no friend of Iran, which has been fighting ISIS. ..."
"... One of Hillary's advisors, former CIA acting Director Michael Morell, has called for new sanctions on Tehran and has also recently recommended that the U.S. begin intercepting Iranian ships presumed to be carrying arms to the Houthis in Yemen. ..."
"... Hillary's dislike for Russia's Vladimir Putin is notorious. Syria aside, she has advocated arming Ukraine with game changing offensive weapons and also bringing Ukraine and Georgia into NATO, which would force a sharp Russian reaction. One suspects that she might be sympathetic to the views expressed recently by Carl Gershman in a Washington Post op-ed that received curiously little additional coverage in the media. Gershman is the head of the taxpayer funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which means that he is a powerful figure in Washington's foreign-policy establishment. NED has plausibly been described as doing the sorts of things that the CIA used to do. ..."
"... She would increase U.S. military presence in the South China Sea to deter any further attempts by Beijing to develop disputed islands and would also "ring China with defensive missiles," ostensibly as "protection" against Pyongyang but also to convince China to pressure North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. One wonders what Beijing might think about being surrounded by made-in-America missiles. ..."
Nov 08, 2016 | www.unz.com

The American people don't know very much about war even if Washington has been fighting on multiple fronts since 9/11. The continental United States has not experienced the presence a hostile military force for more than 100 years and war for the current generation of Americans consists largely of the insights provided by video games and movies. The Pentagon's invention of embedded journalists, which limits any independent media insight into what is going on overseas, has contributed to the rendering of war as some kind of abstraction. Gone forever is anything like the press coverage of Vietnam, with nightly news and other media presentations showing prisoners being executed and young girls screaming while racing down the street in flames.

Given all of that, it is perhaps no surprise that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, neither of whom has served in uniform, should regard violence inflicted on people overseas with a considerable level of detachment. Hillary is notorious for her assessment of the brutal killing of Libya's Moammar Gaddafi, saying "We came, we saw, he died." They both share to an extent the dominant New York-Washington policy consensus view that dealing with foreigners can sometimes get a bit bloody, but that is a price that someone in power has to be prepared to pay. One of Hillary's top advisers, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, famously declared that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children due to U.S. led sanctions were "worth it."

In the election campaign there has, in fact, been little discussion of the issue of war and peace or even of America's place in the world, though Trump did at one point note correctly that implementation of Hillary's suggested foreign policy could escalate into World War III. It has been my contention that the issue of war should be more front and center in the minds of Americans when they cast their ballots as the prospect of an armed conflict in which little is actually at stake escalating and going nuclear could conceivably end life on this planet as we know it.

With that in mind, it is useful to consider what the two candidates have been promising. First, Hillary, who might reasonably be designated the Establishment's war candidate though she carefully wraps it in humanitarian "liberal interventionism." As Senator and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has always viewed a foreign crisis as an opportunity to use aggressive measures to seek a resolution. She can always be relied upon to "do something," a reflection of the neocon driven Washington foreign policy consensus.

Hillary Clinton and her advisors, who believe strongly in Washington's leadership role globally and embrace their own definition of American exceptionalism, have been explicit in terms of what they would do to employ our military power.

She would be an extremely proactive president in foreign policy, with a particular animus directed against Russia. And, unfortunately, there would be little or no pushback against the exercise of her admittedly poor instincts regarding what to do, as was demonstrated regarding Libya and also with Benghazi. She would find little opposition in Congress and the media for an extremely risky foreign policy, and would benefit from the Washington groupthink that prevails over the alleged threats emanating from Russia, Iran, and China.

Hillary has received support from foreign policy hawks, including a large number of formerly Republican neocons, to include Robert Kagan, Michael Chertoff, Michael Hayden, Eliot Cohen and Eric Edelman. James Stavridis, a retired admiral who was once vetted by Clinton as a possible vice president, recently warned of "the need to use deadly force against the Iranians. I think it's coming. It's going to be maritime confrontation and if it doesn't happen immediately, I'll bet you a dollar it's going to be happening after the presidential election, whoever is elected."

Hillary believes that Syria's president Bashar al-Assad is the root cause of the turmoil in that country and must be removed as the first priority. . It is a foolish policy as al-Assad in no way threatens the United States while his enemy ISIS does and regime change would create a power vacuum that will benefit the latter. She has also called for a no-fly zone in Syria to protect the local population as well as the insurgent groups that the U.S. supports, some of which had been labeled as terrorists before they were renamed by current Secretary of State John Kerry. Such a zone would dramatically raise the prospect of armed conflict with Russia and it puts Washington in an odd position vis-à-vis what is occurring in Syria. The U.S. is not at war with the Syrian government, which, like it or not, is under international law sovereign within its own recognized borders. Damascus has invited the Russians in to help against the rebels and objects to any other foreign presence on Syrian territory. In spite of all that, Washington is asserting some kind of authority to intervene and to confront the Russians as both a humanitarian mission and as an "inherent right of self-defense."

Hillary has not recommended doing anything about Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, all of which have at one time or another for various reasons supported ISIS, but she is clearly no friend of Iran, which has been fighting ISIS. As a Senator, she threatened to "totally obliterate" Iran but she has more recently reluctantly supported the recent nuclear agreement with that country negotiated by President Barack Obama. But she has nevertheless warned that she will monitor the situation closely for possible violations and will otherwise pushback against activity by the Islamic Republic. As one of her key financial supporters is Israeli Haim Saban, who has said he is a one issue guy and that issue is Israel, she is likely to pursue aggressive policies in the Persian Gulf. She has also promised to move America's relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a "new level" and has repeatedly declared that her support for Israel is unconditional.

One of Hillary's advisors, former CIA acting Director Michael Morell, has called for new sanctions on Tehran and has also recently recommended that the U.S. begin intercepting Iranian ships presumed to be carrying arms to the Houthis in Yemen. Washington is not at war with either Iran or Yemen and the Houthis are not on the State Department terrorist list but our good friends the Saudis have been assiduously bombing them for reasons that seem obscure. Stopping ships in international waters without any legal pretext would be considered by many an act of piracy. Morell has also called for covertly assassinating Iranians and Russians to express our displeasure with the foreign policies of their respective governments.

Hillary's dislike for Russia's Vladimir Putin is notorious. Syria aside, she has advocated arming Ukraine with game changing offensive weapons and also bringing Ukraine and Georgia into NATO, which would force a sharp Russian reaction. One suspects that she might be sympathetic to the views expressed recently by Carl Gershman in a Washington Post op-ed that received curiously little additional coverage in the media. Gershman is the head of the taxpayer funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which means that he is a powerful figure in Washington's foreign-policy establishment. NED has plausibly been described as doing the sorts of things that the CIA used to do.

After making a number of bumper-sticker claims about Russia and Putin that are either partially true, unproven or even ridiculous, Gershman concluded that "the United States has the power to contain and defeat this danger. The issue is whether we can summon the will to do so." It is basically a call for the next administration to remove Putin from power-as foolish a suggestion as has ever been seen in a leading newspaper, as it implies that the risk of nuclear war is completely acceptable to bring about regime change in a country whose very popular, democratically elected leadership we disapprove of. But it is nevertheless symptomatic of the kind of thinking that goes on inside the beltway and is quite possibly a position that Hillary Clinton will embrace. She also benefits from having the perfect implementer of such a policy in Robert Kagan's wife Victoria Nuland, her extremely dangerous protégé who is currently Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs and who might wind up as Secretary of State in a Clinton Administration.

Shifting to East Asia, Hillary sees the admittedly genuine threat from North Korea but her response is focused more on China. She would increase U.S. military presence in the South China Sea to deter any further attempts by Beijing to develop disputed islands and would also "ring China with defensive missiles," ostensibly as "protection" against Pyongyang but also to convince China to pressure North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. One wonders what Beijing might think about being surrounded by made-in-America missiles.

Trump's foreign policy is admittedly quite sketchy and he has not always been consistent. He has been appropriately enough slammed for being simple minded in saying that he would "bomb the crap out of ISIS," but he has also taken on the Republican establishment by specifically condemning the George W. Bush invasion of Iraq and has more than once indicated that he is not interested in either being the world's policeman or in new wars in the Middle East. He has repeatedly stated that he supports NATO but it should not be construed as hostile to Russia. He would work with Putin to address concerns over Syria and Eastern Europe. He would demand that NATO countries spend more for their own defense and also help pay for the maintenance of U.S. bases.

Trump's controversial call to stop all Muslim immigration has been rightly condemned but it contains a kernel of truth in that the current process for vetting new arrivals in this country is far from transparent and apparently not very effective. The Obama Administration has not been very forthcoming on what might be done to fix the entire immigration process but Trump is promising to shake things up, which is overdue, though what exactly a Trump Administration would try to accomplish is far from clear.

Continuing on the negative side, Trump, who is largely ignorant of the world and its leaders, has relied on a mixed bag of advisors. Former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency General Michael Flynn appears to be the most prominent. Flynn is associated with arch neocon Michael Ledeen and both are rabid about Iran, with Flynn suggesting that nearly all the unrest in the Middle East should be laid at Tehran's door. Ledeen is, of course, a prominent Israel-firster who has long had Iran in his sights. The advice of Ledeen and Flynn may have been instrumental in Trump's vehement denunciation of the Iran nuclear agreement, which he has called a "disgrace," which he has said he would "tear up." It is vintage dumb-think. The agreement cannot be canceled because there are five other signatories to it and the denial of a nuclear weapons program to Tehran benefits everyone in the region, including Israel. It is far better to have the agreement than to scrap it, if that were even possible.

Trump has said that he would be an even-handed negotiator between Israel and the Palestinians but he has also declared that he is strongly pro-Israel and would move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, which is a bad idea, not in America's interest, even if Netanyahu would like it. It would produce serious blowback from the Arab world and would inspire a new wave of terrorism directed against the U.S.

Regarding the rest of the Middle East, Trump would prefer strong leaders, i.e. autocrats, who are friendly rather than chaotic reformers. He rejects arming rebels as in Syria because we know little about whom we are dealing with and find that we cannot control what develops. He is against foreign aid in principle, particularly to countries like Pakistan where the U.S. is strongly disliked.

In East Asia, Trump would encourage Japan and South Korea to develop their own nuclear arsenals to deter North Korea. It is a very bad idea, a proliferation nightmare. Like Hillary, he would prefer that China intervene in North Korea and make Kim Jong Un "step down." He would put pressure on China to devalue its currency because it is "bilking us of billions of dollars" and would also increase U.S. military presence in the region to limit Beijing's expansion in the South China Sea.

So there you have it as you enter the voting booth. President Obama is going around warning that "the fate of the world is teetering" over the electoral verdict, which he intends to be a ringing endorsement of Hillary even though the choice is not nearly that clear cut. Part of the problem with Trump is that he has some very bad ideas mixed in with a few good ones and no one knows what he would actually do if he were president. Unfortunately, it is all too clear what Hillary would do.

[Nov 08, 2016] Hillary's World How Clinton's Foreign Policy Has Destabilized Nearly Every Corner of the Globe - Breitbart

Nov 08, 2016 | www.breitbart.com

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton – as senator, secretary of state, and active partner in the Clinton Foundation – has had the privilege of influencing major players in governments across the globe.

The result of her efforts has largely been the unfettered consolidation of autocratic power, instability (when not total collapse) in vulnerable states, and a global jihadist movement with its own Caliphate infiltrating some of the world's most strategic locations.

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The above map shows the nations of the world Clinton's policies have destabilized and, below, an explanation of why each is labeled the way it is. This is meant to be a comprehensive list, though by no means complete: there are few nations in which an American secretary of state has no influence whatsoever.

Emboldened Autocrats

China

As secretary of state, Clinton presided over a policy known as the " pivot to Asia ," meant to increase American visibility in the continent and, in particular, bring China and the United States closer together. Clinton publicly supported the " one-China policy " – China's way of imposing itself on the Republic of China (Taiwan), Tibet, Hong Kong, and the western Xinjiang region – and encouraged China to buy up U.S. debt .

Following her tenure as secretary of state, Clinton expressed support for incoming president Xi Jinping in private. In a 2013 private speech now public, thanks to the organization WikiLeaks, Clinton said it was "good news" that Xi was "doing much more to try to assert his authority" than his predecessor, Hu Jintao.

Since then, Xi has declared himself the " core " leader, comparable to Mao Zedong ; colonized the maritime territory of six nations in the South China Sea; used state violence to crack down on the nation's skyrocketing Christian population; and engaged in multiple Communist Party purges, citing unspecified " corruption ."

Cuba

Hillary Clinton has loudly supported President Obama's policy to "normalize" relations with Cuba, and her associates maintain close ties to the Washington, D.C., community that benefits from relations with the Castro regime. President Obama's "normalization" has triggered a boom in violent arbitrary arrests of political dissidents and a new wave of refugees seeking to leave the communist dictatorship before the United States changes its mind about treating them as political refugees.

Iran

Hillary Clinton's work to embolden the Iranian Islamic dictatorship began early in her term as secretary of state. During Clinton's tenure, the Obama administration all but ignored the Iranian Green Revolution, a series of protests against then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. Clinton's State Department rejected requests for funding from groups doing the work on the grounds of documenting Khamenei's rampant human rights abuses against unarmed protesters.

The Obama administration's crowning achievement in securing the Shiite Caliphate's rule came years later, of course, in the form of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or the Iran nuclear deal. While the parties signed the deal long after her departure from State, Clinton was responsible for "naming the negotiators for the nuclear talks and approving two major U.S. concessions to Iran in 2011 – guaranteeing Iran the right to enrich uranium and agreeing to close the IAEA's investigation of Iran's past nuclear weapons work," according to Fred Fleitz of the Center for Security Policy .

Malaysia

Under Prime Minister Najib Razak, Malaysia has become a hotbed of corruption and, increasingly, radical Islamic sentiment . The Obama administration has, nonetheless, cozied up to Kuala Lumpur, including improving its human rights ratings to make it an eligible partner in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Among the allies Clinton world feared would challenge Clinton, the presidential candidate, on Malaysia were labor leader Richard Trumka and George Soros.

As Secretary of State, Clinton was the first in her office in more than a decade to visit Malaysia as part of President Obama's "Asia pivot" strategy.

North Korea

Secretary of State Clinton approached North Korea with a policy known as " strategic patience ," which one expert described as "sitting back and watching while North Korea continued to build up its nuclear weapons program." North Korea has detonated two nuclear weapons since Clinton has been out of office, in part emboldened by "strategic patience" and in part, many argued after the fourth of five tests, emboldened by the Iranian nuclear deal .

Russia

Clinton has attempted to convince the American people that her arch-rival in the presidential election is Russian President Vladimir Putin, but long before it was politically expedient for her to do so, Clinton was the face of President Obama's "Russian reset" – the one that preceded the collapse of Ukraine – and bragged privately to big-money donors of her close ties to Putin. The strongman trusted her so much, she once boasted, that he invited her to his " inner sanctum ."

Turkey

In her memoir, Hard Choices , Clinton reserved praise from President (then-Prime Minister) Recep Tayyip Erdogan that sounded not unlike her optimistic profiling of Xi Jinping. Erdogan, she said , was "an ambitious, forceful, devout and effective politician." Of his government, she said Erdogan was correct to seek "zero problems with neighbors." WikiLeaks-released emails have since revealed that Erdogan sought to buy influence through campaign donations to the Clintons.

During his tenure as president, Erdogan has advanced the cause of Islamism in Turkey to unprecedented levels since the rule of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, going so far as to allow Islamic prayers in the Hagia Sophia, an iconic Christian landmark. He has also conducted mass arrests of political enemies and shut down numerous media outlets who dare challenge his government . Last Friday, Erdogan's government arrested the leaders of the People's Democratic Party (HDP) – a pro-Kurdish, pro-Christian center-left party – in a midnight raid on dubious "terrorism" charges.

Venezuela

Clinton served as secretary of state during the tail end of the tenure of socialist dictator Hugo Chávez, who died shortly after she departed. Chávez presided over a bleak time in Venezuelan history: nationalizing private industries, cozying up to enabling autocrats in Cuba, Iran, and China, and using violence to suppress anti-socialist opposition.

In 2009, Clinton defended negotiating with Chávez and fostering diplomacy with him, telling a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing that the U.S. should dismiss Chávez's ties to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and communist China because "we've isolated him, so he's gone elsewhere. I mean, he's a very sociable guy."

Venezuela's economy is now in free fall as dozens of prisoners of conscience languish in prison under Chávez's hand-picked successor, Nicolás Maduro. Maduro's management of his own government has been so abysmal that, with Clinton gone, President Obama has declared Venezuela a national security threat .

Emboldened Corruption

Algeria

The government of Algeria is involved in one of the most egregious corruption schemes of the Clinton Foundation: offering the Clintons a $500,000 check. "The donation reportedly coincided with an intense effort by Algeria to lobby Mrs Clinton's State Department over US criticism of its human rights record," The Telegraph notes .

Brazil

Earlier this year, Brazil impeached and ousted its socialist President Dilma Rousseff for a variety of fiscal improprieties, including the misrepresentation of government funds to lure investors. Triggering protests that numbered in the millions, however, was Rousseff's deep involvement in something known as "Operation Car Wash," a sprawling corruption scheme in which dozens of government officials took millions in kickbacks from projects commissioned by the state-run oil company Petrobras.

As secretary of state, Clinton had longtime ties to Rousseff and praised "her commitment to openness, transparency," stating that "her fight against corruption is setting a global standard" in 2012.

Haiti

The Clinton Foundation's exploitation of Haiti's poverty and the damage caused by a 2010 earthquake has left many of those nation's leaders disgusted enough to speak up about the corruption. An operation to aid earthquake victims run by the Clintons was also found to have " played a role " in an unprecedented cholera outbreak in that country.

Kazakhstan

Among the more alarming deals Clinton cut at the State Department was the nuclear deal that handed one-fifth of America's uranium production capacity to Russia. While Russia usurped control of the Uranium One corporation, the Clinton Foundations coffers filled with Russian money.

In addition to Uranium One control, the New York Times reports that Russia gained control of "mines in Kazakhstan that are among the most lucrative in the world."

Morocco

A more recent WikiLeaks reveal shows that the Clinton Foundation received a $12 million donation from the King of Morocco in exchange for Hillary Clinton's presence at a Foundation summit. At the last minute, she did not attend .

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has enjoyed longstanding ties to the Clinton family and donated at least $50 million to the Clinton Foundation. These ties persisted even as Clinton privately admitted she had evidence that Saudi Arabia provided "clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region."

United States

While the Clinton Foundation often served as a laundry service for foreign donations , Clinton fostered questionable ties with plenty of domestic entities, as well. Clinton has raked in millions in donations from big business in America, donors to which she privately promised " open borders ." Clinton's ties to Department of Justice officials in the wake of an investigation into her use of an illicit private server for state business has also raised many questions regarding cronyism and corruption within our own country.

Jihadist Boom

Afghanistan

President Obama famously declared that the war in Afghanistan was over for American soldiers in 2014. The policies that led to that point only exacerbated the damage a vacuum of American power in the nation wrought following the announcement.

Under Clinton, the State Department largely ignored a sprawling corruption problem that left Afghanistan with few resources to combat the Taliban or al-Qaeda. Clinton policies elsewhere in the world also led to the development of an Islamic State presence in the nation.

Currently, U.S. officials warn that the Taliban is stronger than it has been since September 11, 2001.

Indonesia

One of Clinton's first stops as secretary of state was Indonesia, where she proclaimed, "If you want to know whether Islam, democracy, modernity and women's rights can co-exist, go to Indonesia." At the time (2009), her visit was met with chants of "Allahu akbar" and an inauspicious shoe-throwing protest against her.

Since then, Clinton's foreign policy greatly contributed to the creation of the Islamic State, a jihadist group actively courting Indonesian recruits . "Between 300 and 700 Indonesians are believed to have joined the group in Syria and Iraq over the past two years," the BBC reported in July, adding that 30 Indonesian groups had pledged allegiance to Islamic State "Caliph" Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Iraq

Unlike Syria, the collapse of which followed violent acts of oppression by a ruthless tyrant, Iraq's collapse is more closely tied to American foreign policy due to the nation's longtime occupation there. An American presence on the ground in Iraq did more to subdue jihadist elements there than any action to routinely fleeing Iraqi military and its corrupt leadership took.

While Clinton was in office, President Obama withdrew most of America's troops from Iraq, leaving a power vacuum rapidly filled by the Islamic State, al-Qaeda, and Iran-backed Shiite militias. Military experts have agreed that a prolonged American presence in the country would have contributed to stability and withdrawing left the nation vulnerable to Islamist colonization.

Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon

The nations surrounding Lake Chad continue to struggle with the rise of Boko Haram, a jihadist group founded in 2002 but active throughout the 2010s in northeast Borno state, Nigeria. Boko Haram is currently the deadliest wing of the Islamic State and responsible for killing an estimated 15,000 and displacing millions. The group rose to international prominence following the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls from a secondary school in the Borno region in 2014. Most of these girls remain in captivity, "married" off to Boko Haram jihadists for use as sex slaves.

As secretary of state, Clinton refused to designate Boko Haram, at the time affiliated with al-Qaeda, a Foreign Terrorist Organization. The move severely hindered the Nigerian government's ability to target and neutralize the group, as they could not seek U.S. aid for the mission.

Somalia, Kenya

Clinton traveled to Somalia personally in 2009 t0 offer support against al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist group. Following that visit, al-Shabaab made its ties to al-Qaeda public and went on two high-profile rampages against civilians in Kenya: the Westgate Mall massacre in 2013 and the Garissa University attack of 2015. It has since then become a popular enough jihadist group to have found itself the object of courtship of both its al-Qaeda overlords and the Islamic State.

Al-Shabaab has also expanded into Libya now that Libya is a failed state.

The United States did little in those in-between years to subdue al-Shabaab, including a " Yemen-like " drone policy to target leadership and an embarrassing failed raid on an al-Shabaab camp in 2013. Clinton herself merely implored the terrorists to allow humanitarian aid.

Collapse of State

Libya

Clinton's role in the death of Americans, including a U.S. Ambassador, in the September 11, 2012, siege of Benghazi is now well-known. She had a major role in pushing for the decision to support Libya's uprising against dictator Muammar Gadhafi, as well, however – a move President Obama followed up with little strategy to ensure that a stable, secular government would replace Gadhafi. The collapse of the Gadhafi dictatorship has left Libya a failed state, at first governed by two rival parties , but now partially governed by the Islamic State , al-Qaeda , and a variety of Islamist tribal militias.

Clinton has called the collapse of Libya " smart power at its best " and claimed there were " very few civilian casualties " in the fall of Gadhafi.

Syria

The Syrian Civil War began in 2011, during Clinton's stewardship of the State Department. The Secretary reportedly pushed President Obama to arm Sunni Arab Syrian rebels, armed militias that included a high number of jihadist elements, many of whom would move on to fight for the Islamic State. The President reportedly did not heed Clinton's advice , though he failed to do much of anything else, either.

In 2011, however, Clinton referred to dictator Bashar al-Assad as " a reformer " by reputation, whose nascent rule was cause for optimism, casting some doubt on how adamantly she pushed President Obama to arm the Syrian rebels.

Today, Syria remains a land mass governed piecemeal by the Islamic State, Kurdish militias, al-Qaeda linked armed Sunni groups, and the Iranian-Russian-Assad alliance. Assad claimed in an interview earlier this month that Syria is now "much better off" than before the civil war.

Sudan/South Sudan

The creation of South Sudan, the world's youngest nation, was a direct product of Clinton's foreign policy. Years of civil war in Sudan between the northern Muslim population and the Christian south gave way to secession and a war between two nations, not one. By the time Clinton visited in 2012, the Washington Post referred to the refugee crisis there as one of the worst in the world (soon to be eclipsed by the Syrian crisis).

The State Department persisted in aiding the South Sudanese government, even continuing to provide funding after evidence surfaced that the government employed child soldiers . Subsequent reports unveiled that Clinton-related firms received money from the South Sudanese government, as well.

Clinton's State Department support appears to have done little to stabilize South Sudan. Report of mass rape at UN camps are common, and the country is now facing a famine .

Ukraine/Georgia

The Obama administration's tepid responses to Russian colonization of former Soviet states have left Ukraine without its Crimea region and its eastern provinces in collapse. In Georgia, the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia , invaded in 2008, remain under pseudo-Russian control.

Hillary Clinton presided over a "Russian reset" policy meant to dissuade Vladimir Putin from pillaging his neighbors. Clinton even gave her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov a literal "reset button" as a gift, leaving him baffled . The reset succeeded in keeping Russia from obstructing the negotiation of the Iran nuclear deal and the invasion of Libya , but did little to convince Putin to change his foreign policy.

Subsequent revelations showed the Clintons taking money from both sides of the Ukraine conflict and being careful of making too tough a stand against Putin's aggression.

Yemen

As secretary of state, Clinton made the first visit as America's top diplomat to Yemen since 1990. There, she told Ali Abdullah Saleh that she would support a program to return al-Qaeda terrorists imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to Yemen, while also acknowledging that Yemen was a hotbed of al-Qaeda activity. Saleh is now an ally of the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, which have launched a civil war against current President Abd Rabbo Mansur Hadi. Al-Qaeda is possibly the most stable entity in a nation where 80 percent of civilians live off of humanitarian aid, quadrupling its presence in the nation in a year . Yemen is a failed state torn apart by an emboldened Iran and Saudi Arabia, both major beneficiaries of the Clinton State Department's policies.

The Migrant Crisis

Austria, Belgium, the Balkan nations, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Turkey, Sweden, the UK…

The Obama administration's Syria and Libya policies (See above.), executed while Clinton was secretary of state, have triggered a flood of nearly five million displaced Syrians and more than one million Libyans seeking refuge in Europe and the Middle East. Refugees from Afghanistan, Pakistan, sub-Saharan Africa, and other volatile regions have added to the masses seeking a new home, rejected in countries like Russia, China, and Saudi Arabia who have criticized the West for being unwelcoming.

[Nov 07, 2016] Election 2016 Playing a Game of Chicken With Nuclear Strategy

The author is a neocon... Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty was deeply unfair as it did not eliminated see based missiles, only ground based one. It is essentially a trap Gorbachov went into.
Notable quotes:
"... On the American side, the weapon of immediate concern is a new version of the AGM-86B air-launched cruise missile, usually carried by B-52 bombers. Also known as the Long-Range Standoff Weapon (LRSO) ..."
"... No wonder former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry called on President Obama to cancel the ALCM program in a recent Washington Post op-ed piece. "Because they… come in both nuclear and conventional variants," he wrote, "cruise missiles are a uniquely destabilizing type of weapon." And this issue is going to fall directly into the lap of the next president. ..."
Nov 07, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
By Michael T. Klare, a professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College and the author, most recently, of The Race for What's Left . A documentary movie version of his book Blood and Oil is available from the Media Education Foundation . Follow him on Twitter at @mklare1. Originally published at TomDispatch

... ... ..

With passions running high on both sides in this year's election and rising fears about Donald Trump's impulsive nature and Hillary Clinton's hawkish one, it's hardly surprising that the "nuclear button" question has surfaced repeatedly throughout the campaign. In one of the more pointed exchanges of the first presidential debate, Hillary Clinton declared that Donald Trump lacked the mental composure for the job. "A man who can be provoked by a tweet," she commented , "should not have his fingers anywhere near the nuclear codes." Donald Trump has reciprocated by charging that Clinton is too prone to intervene abroad. "You're going to end up in World War III over Syria," he told reporters in Florida last month.

For most election observers, however, the matter of personal character and temperament has dominated discussions of the nuclear issue, with partisans on each side insisting that the other candidate is temperamentally unfit to exercise control over the nuclear codes. There is, however, a more important reason to worry about whose finger will be on that button this time around: at this very moment, for a variety of reasons, the "nuclear threshold" - the point at which some party to a "conventional" (non-nuclear) conflict chooses to employ atomic weapons - seems to be moving dangerously lower.

Not so long ago, it was implausible that a major nuclear power - the United States, Russia, or China - would consider using atomic weapons in any imaginable conflict scenario. No longer. Worse yet, this is likely to be our reality for years to come, which means that the next president will face a world in which a nuclear decision-making point might arrive far sooner than anyone would have thought possible just a year or two ago - with potentially catastrophic consequences for us all.

No less worrisome, the major nuclear powers (and some smaller ones) are all in the process of acquiring new nuclear arms, which could, in theory, push that threshold lower still. These include a variety of cruise missiles and other delivery systems capable of being used in "limited" nuclear wars - atomic conflicts that, in theory at least, could be confined to just a single country or one area of the world (say, Eastern Europe) and so might be even easier for decision-makers to initiate. The next president will have to decide whether the U.S. should actually produce weapons of this type and also what measures should be taken in response to similar decisions by Washington's likely adversaries.

Lowering the Nuclear Threshold

During the dark days of the Cold War, nuclear strategists in the United States and the Soviet Union conjured up elaborate conflict scenarios in which military actions by the two superpowers and their allies might lead from, say, minor skirmishing along the Iron Curtain to full-scale tank combat to, in the end, the use of "battlefield" nuclear weapons, and then city-busting versions of the same to avert defeat. In some of these scenarios, strategists hypothesized about wielding "tactical" or battlefield weaponry - nukes powerful enough to wipe out a major tank formation, but not Paris or Moscow - and claimed that it would be possible to contain atomic warfare at such a devastating but still sub-apocalyptic level. (Henry Kissinger, for instance, made his reputation by preaching this lunatic doctrine in his first book, Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy .) Eventually, leaders on both sides concluded that the only feasible role for their atomic arsenals was to act as deterrents to the use of such weaponry by the other side. This was, of course, the concept of " mutually assured destruction ," or - in one of the most classically apt acronyms of all times: MAD. It would, in the end, form the basis for all subsequent arms control agreements between the two superpowers.

Anxiety over the escalatory potential of tactical nuclear weapons peaked in the 1970s when the Soviet Union began deploying the SS-20 intermediate-range ballistic missile (capable of striking cities in Europe, but not the U.S.) and Washington responded with plans to deploy nuclear-armed, ground-launched cruise missiles and the Pershing-II ballistic missile in Europe. The announcement of such plans provoked massive antinuclear demonstrations across Europe and the United States. On December 8, 1987, at a time when worries had been growing about how a nuclear conflagration in Europe might trigger an all-out nuclear exchange between the superpowers, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

That historic agreement - the first to eliminate an entire class of nuclear delivery systems - banned the deployment of ground-based cruise or ballistic missiles with a range of 500 and 5,500 kilometers and required the destruction of all those then in existence. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation inherited the USSR's treaty obligations and pledged to uphold the INF along with other U.S.-Soviet arms control agreements. In the view of most observers, the prospect of a nuclear war between the two countries practically vanished as both sides made deep cuts in their atomic stockpiles in accordance with already existing accords and then signed others, including the New START , the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty of 2010.

... ... ...

To put this in perspective, Russian leaders ardently believe that they are the victims of a U.S.-led drive by NATO to encircle their country and diminish its international influence. They point, in particular, to the build-up of NATO forces in the Baltic countries, involving the semi-permanent deployment of combat battalions in what was once the territory of the Soviet Union, and in apparent violation of promises made to Gorbachev in 1990 that NATO would not do so. As a result, Russia has been bolstering its defenses in areas bordering Ukraine and the Baltic states, and training its troops for a possible clash with the NATO forces stationed there.

... ... ...

On the American side, the weapon of immediate concern is a new version of the AGM-86B air-launched cruise missile, usually carried by B-52 bombers. Also known as the Long-Range Standoff Weapon (LRSO), it is, like the Iskander-M, expected to be deployed in both nuclear and conventional versions, leaving those on the potential receiving end unsure what might be heading their way.

In other words, as with the Iskander-M, the intended target might assume the worst in a crisis, leading to the early use of nuclear weapons. Put another way, such missiles make for twitchy trigger fingers and are likely to lead to a heightened risk of nuclear war, which, once started, might in turn take Washington and Moscow right up the escalatory ladder to a planetary holocaust.

No wonder former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry called on President Obama to cancel the ALCM program in a recent Washington Post op-ed piece. "Because they… come in both nuclear and conventional variants," he wrote, "cruise missiles are a uniquely destabilizing type of weapon." And this issue is going to fall directly into the lap of the next president.

pretzelattack November 7, 2016 at 1:46 am

scanning it, it keeps referring to the obama administration's beliefs about russia, and claims by american officials. given the hysteria about putin allegedly hacking the us election, and the propaganda surrounding the war on terror, i'm reluctant to rely on this kind of evidence.

Lambert Strether November 7, 2016 at 2:29 am

This:

But even Hillary Clinton, for all her experience as secretary of state, is likely to have a hard time grappling with the pressures and dangers that are likely to arise in the years ahead, especially given that her inclination is to toughen U.S. policy toward Russia.

"Even" is a little rich, given that the Clinton campaign has systematically - I hate to use the word, but - demonized* Putin. One can regard the political class as cynically able to turn on a dime when the election is done, but Clinton has also induced her base of "NPR tote baggers" to buy in, and the more massive base is harder to turn. And then of course the neo-cons have gone over to her, and they certainly know which side their bread has blood on.

So, if Clinton wins, the dominant faction of the Democrat Party is - from the leadership through the nomenklatura to the base - committed to a "muscular" foreign policy, including a "No Fly Zone" in Syria, where shooting down a Russian plane would be an act of war, so far as Russia is concerned. (In the last debate, Clinton pointedly didn't answer what she would do in that eventuality.)

It is what it is. We are where we are.

NOTE * I mean, come on. Trump and Comey as Putin's agents of influence? Beyond bizarre.

UPDATE One of the salient features of the bureaucratic infighters who brought about World War I is their utter mediocrity; see this review of The Sleepwalkers , a diplomatic history of how World War I came out. If you want to see real mediocrity in today's terms, read the Podesta emails.

integer November 7, 2016 at 2:50 am

And contrast that quote with:

Whoever is elected on November 8th, we are evidently all headed into a world in which Trumpian-style itchy trigger fingers could be the norm.

So even Hillary Clinton might not be able to handle a world full of Trumpian-style itchy trigger fingers. That's a bit hard to swallow imo.

timotheus November 7, 2016 at 5:35 am

"Muscular" policy towards Russia: [echo "muscular policy! muscular policy!" slow fade]. And we think Putin is a clownish macho.

Joins "innovation", economic "liftoff" and "headwinds", "fight for", etc.

hemeantwell November 7, 2016 at 8:44 am

Agreed. Klare's order of presentation creates a questionable sense of causality by talking first about Russian tech and strategy and then about what appear to be US responses. For example, my understanding of recent developments of low yield nuclear weapons - I'm thinking of the "dial a bomb" - has the US once again opening up a new strategic front the Russians feel compelled to duplicate. His discussion of the Iskander M similarly elides the question of how the Russians think about the B52-based cruise missiles the US has had for years.

He also seems to lose track of a point he introduces by referring to Kissinger's advocacy of the use of low yield nukes. Kissinger's book came out in 1957, and afair only the US had battlefield nuclear missile delivery systems back in early 60s. After Kissinger gained power in the Nixon administration, they both thought that it was useful to look rationally irrational, to set out a logic for dangerous policies in order to make opponents fearful of a catastrophic reaction. The Russians are likely doing the same thing. I'm sure, too, that talking of a low first use threshold is a way to split Europe from the US.

Massinissa November 7, 2016 at 2:38 am

I like the article, but it seems like its putting too much of the fault on Russia.

Roland November 7, 2016 at 3:10 am

This article on nuclear strategy makes no mention of the single most destabilizing thing that happened in nuclear affairs in this century: the USA's unilateral abrogation of the ABM Treaty.

How could the author make such an omission?

The biggest nuclear problem we face is that there are "serious" military and political leaders in the USA who think that their new ABM systems will allow them to burst the shackles of assured-destruction, and thus to actively employ escalation dominance as a foreign policy tool..

integer November 7, 2016 at 5:20 am

political leaders in the USA who think that their new ABM systems will allow them to burst the shackles of assured-destruction

"Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage and those who manage what they do not understand."

― Archibald Putt

charles 2 November 7, 2016 at 5:06 am

The author puts too much emphasis on anti-cities warfare at a pre-strategic level. A strike will be more likely to be an EMP anti-infrastructure strike. In modern societies, one doesn't need to kill people to break their resolve. Disrupting the provision of electricity, mobile, cable and internet connection is amply enough to eliminate the appetite for overseas military adventures.

fajensen November 7, 2016 at 6:13 am

The nukes run on a dead-man switch. If one EMP's "everything", the periodic "please do not launch today, sir"-signal will not reach the silos/submarines and missiles will launch automatically.

We can be pretty sure that the last missiles launched will be salted with some "well, fuck you too!"-concoction to create massive fallout and maybe even some bio-weapons on top for all those weakened immune systems (from the gamma radiation). The USSR did a lot of very high quality research on biological weapons, obviously, everyone else has whatever they had in the 1980's. People who ingest radioactive dust are goners sooner or later. Sooner with bio-weapons on top of the radiation poisoning.

People, especially people "on top" who should be informed and know better, yet still think ABM systems work effectively for any other purpose than moving billions of USD to into the pockets of defense industry cronies, are simply deluded. Even with cooked tests, where the speed and trajectory of the opposition missile is known to the missile defence in advance, the odds of an intercept are low.

Disturbed Voter November 7, 2016 at 6:31 am

The only way to win is not play – War-games

Why would the elites not want to win, compared to the first 70 years of the nuclear age?

fajensen November 7, 2016 at 8:04 am

Why would the elites not want to win, compared to the first 70 years of the nuclear age?

They are like 70-80 years old, geriatrics already, soon diaper-cases. All thes powerful people are in a desparate race with time to "set things right", before they lose all of their faculties (or start smelling of poo so no-one invites them anymore).

Jim A November 7, 2016 at 9:01 am

Even more troubling, Russia has adopted a military doctrine that favors the early use of nuclear weapons if it faces defeat in a conventional war, and NATO is considering comparable measures in response. The nuclear threshold, in other words, is dropping rapidly.

Of course this is the exact mirror image of the US policy during the Cold War. We relied on the threat of "theater nuclear war" to deter the huge Soviet conventional forces that NATO had little chance of stopping with conventional forces. Of course the Germans joked that the definition of a "theater" nuclear weapon was one that went off in Germany.

[Nov 06, 2016] Bernie Sanders Supporter Bashes Hillary Clinton from Her Own Stage 'Trapped in World of Elite,' 'Lost Grip of Average Person'

Notable quotes:
"... He opened his remarks by bashing Donald Trump on student loan debt, but then surprisingly turned to bashing Hillary Clinton from her own stage. "Unfortunately, Hillary doesn't really care about this issue either," Vanfosson said. "The only thing she cares about is pleasing her donors, the billionaires who fund her campaign. The only people that really trust Hillary are Goldman Sachs, CitiGroup can trust Hillary, the military industrial complex can trust Hillary. Her good friend Henry Kissinger can trust Hillary." ..."
"... "She is so trapped in the world of the elite that she has completely lost grip on what it's like to be an average person," Vanfosson continued. "She doesn't care. Voting for another lesser of two evils, there's no point." ..."
www.breitbart.com

Just a few days before the general election, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton and her running mate Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) still can't unite her party. Supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, her Democratic primary rival, are disrupting her campaign's efforts to take on GOP nominee Donald J. Trump, and in Iowa on Saturday one prominent Sanders backer was actually escorted out of a Clinton campaign event for urging those present not to vote for Clinton-for which he was cheered by the crowd.

Kaleb Vanfosson, the president of Iowa State University's Students for Bernie chapter, bashed Hillary Clinton and told rally-goers at her own campaign event not to vote for her. He was cheered.

He opened his remarks by bashing Donald Trump on student loan debt, but then surprisingly turned to bashing Hillary Clinton from her own stage. "Unfortunately, Hillary doesn't really care about this issue either," Vanfosson said. "The only thing she cares about is pleasing her donors, the billionaires who fund her campaign. The only people that really trust Hillary are Goldman Sachs, CitiGroup can trust Hillary, the military industrial complex can trust Hillary. Her good friend Henry Kissinger can trust Hillary."

The crowd at the Clinton-Kaine event erupted in applause.

"She is so trapped in the world of the elite that she has completely lost grip on what it's like to be an average person," Vanfosson continued. "She doesn't care. Voting for another lesser of two evils, there's no point."

At that point, a Clinton staffer rushed on stage and grabbed the young man by the arm to escort him off the stage and out of the event.

[Nov 04, 2016] During Hillary Clinton tenure as the Secretary of State, the total arms exports from the US doubled in dollar value

Notable quotes:
"... The Saudis, the Qataris, the Moroccans, the Bahrainis, particularly the first two, are giving all this money to the Clinton Foundation, while Hillary Clinton is secretary of state, and the State Department is approving massive arms sales, particularly Saudi Arabia. ..."
"... this notorious jihadist group, called ISIL or ISIS, is created largely with money from people who are giving money to the Clinton Foundation? ..."
www.zerohedge.com

John Pilger: The Saudis, the Qataris, the Moroccans, the Bahrainis, particularly the first two, are giving all this money to the Clinton Foundation, while Hillary Clinton is secretary of state, and the State Department is approving massive arms sales, particularly Saudi Arabia.

Julian Assange: Under Hillary Clinton – and the Clinton emails reveal a significant discussion of it – the biggest-ever arms deal in the world was made with Saudi Arabia: more than $80 billion. During her tenure, the total arms exports from the US doubled in dollar value.

JP: Of course, the consequence of that is that this notorious jihadist group, called ISIL or ISIS, is created largely with money from people who are giving money to the Clinton Foundation?

[Nov 03, 2016] She will honor her "feminist" supporters by appointing the most violent and virulent warmongering women into positions of power so they too can like the men can decide which

Nov 03, 2016 | www.moonofalabama.org
black and brown women and children to bomb.

Erelis | Nov 3, 2016 7:02:05 PM | 37

And yes, about the only thing "liberal" about Clinton involves identity politics. But if she is elected, all of her supporters who used identity politics based attacks to smear Bernie Sanders and his supporters (along with a good dose of that against Trump also) are going to be in for a very rude awakening. How easily in particular the gay and black communities forget the administration of Bill Clinton and what he and Hillary did.

Just as a start, Clinton ignored the identity crowd by picking somebody for VP that the identity crowd spent the previous year smearing the Sanders campaign over: Kaine is your prototypical straight privileged white male who has failed upwards. And not a peep from the identity crowd especially black leaders who more than any other group put Clinton over the top (forgetting the cheating for a moment). One of the early Wikileak revelations was a memo to Congressional candidates how to marginalize BLM if they were ever confronted.

If BLM acts up and damages her politically, a President Hillary will smash the leaders and movement in the same Obama violently smashed OWS .

She will honor her "feminist" supporters by appointing the most violent and virulent warmongering women into positions of power so they too can like the men can decide which black and brown women and children to bomb. She will stab in the back such early supporters as SEIU by refusing to support min. wage increases. And women are disproportionately the base of min. wage workers. She supports Simpson-Bowles as revealed by Wikileaks and the Cat Food Commission recommended cutting social security. Guess which groups that will really hurt? Maybe the next groveling task for John Lewis will be to attack people who are against Hillary cutting social security.

[Nov 03, 2016] Clintons explosive e-mails, by Manlio Dinucci

Notable quotes:
"... When Hillary was Secretary of State, she convinced Obama to authorize a covert operation in Libya (which included sending in special forces and arming terrorist groups) in preparation for a US/Nato aeronaval attack. ..."
"... Clinton's emails that subsequently came to light, prove what the real motive for war might be: blocking Gaddafi's plan to harness Libya's sovereign funds to establish independent financial organizations, located within the African Union and an African currency that could serve as an alternative to the dollar and the CFA franc. ..."
"... Immediately after razing the State of Libya, the US and Nato brought in the Gulf Monarchies and set about a covert operation to destroy the State of Syria by infiltrating it with special forces and terrorist groups that gave birth to Isis. ..."
"... "the best way to help Israel is to help the rebellion in Syria that has now lasted for more than a year" (i.e. from 2011). How? By mounting the case that the use of force is a sina qua non to make Basshar Assad fold, so as to endanger his life and that of his family". ..."
"... "wrecking Assad would not only be a huge advantage for the security of the State of Israel, but would also go a long way to reducing Israel's justifiable fear that it will lose its nuclear monopoly". ..."
Nov 03, 2016 | www.voltairenet.org

From time to time, it is in the interests of the Western media and political establishment to do a bit of "political cleansing".

Thus the West pulls out some skeleton from the closet. A British Parliamentary Committee has criticized David Cameron for authorizing the use of force in Libya when he was Prime Minister in 2011. However the basis for criticism was not the war of aggression per se (even though it erased from the map a sovereign state) but rather the fact that war was entered into without an adequate "intelligence" foundation and also because there was no plan for "reconstruction" [ 1 ].

The same mistake was made by President Obama: thus he declared last April that Libya was his "biggest regret", not because he used US-led Nato forces to reduce it to smithereens but because he had failed to plan for "the day after". At the same time, Obama has confirmed his support for Hillary Clinton who is now running for president. When Hillary was Secretary of State, she convinced Obama to authorize a covert operation in Libya (which included sending in special forces and arming terrorist groups) in preparation for a US/Nato aeronaval attack.

Clinton's emails that subsequently came to light, prove what the real motive for war might be: blocking Gaddafi's plan to harness Libya's sovereign funds to establish independent financial organizations, located within the African Union and an African currency that could serve as an alternative to the dollar and the CFA franc.

Immediately after razing the State of Libya, the US and Nato brought in the Gulf Monarchies and set about a covert operation to destroy the State of Syria by infiltrating it with special forces and terrorist groups that gave birth to Isis.

An e mail from Clinton, one of the many the Department of State was compelled to de-classify following the uproar triggered by the disclosures on Wikileaks, proves what one of the key objectives of the operation still underway. In an e mail dated 31 December 2012, declassified as "case no: F – 2014 – 20439, Doc No. CO5794998", Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, wrote [ 2 ]:
"It is Iran's strategic relationship with the Bashar Assad regime that allows Iran to threaten Israel's security – not through a direct attack but through its allies in Lebanon such as the Hezbollah."
She then emphasizes that:

"the best way to help Israel is to help the rebellion in Syria that has now lasted for more than a year" (i.e. from 2011). How? By mounting the case that the use of force is a sina qua non to make Basshar Assad fold, so as to endanger his life and that of his family".

And Clinton concludes:

"wrecking Assad would not only be a huge advantage for the security of the State of Israel, but would also go a long way to reducing Israel's justifiable fear that it will lose its nuclear monopoly".

So, the former Secretary of State admits what officially is not said. That Israel is the only country in the Middle East to possess nuclear weapons [ 3 ].

The support given by the Obama Administration to Israel over and above some disagreements (more formal than substantive) is confirmed by the agreement signed on 14 September at Washington under which the United States agrees to supply Israel over a ten year period with weapons of the latest design for a value of 38 billion dollars through an annual financing of 3.3 billion dollars plus half a million for "missile defense".

In the meantime, after the Russian intervention scuppered the plan to engage in war to demolish Syria from within, the US obtains a "truce" (which it immediately violated), launching at the same time a fresh attack in Libya, in the sheepskin of humanitarian operations that Italy participates in with its "para-medics".

Meanwhile Israel, lurking in the background, strengthens its nuclear monopoly so precious to Clinton.

[Nov 03, 2016] The stench of desperation and corruption is surrounding the Dems like the piles of rotting corpses Obama and Clinton have stacked up in Libya and Syria

Notable quotes:
"... Let's hope that Mr. Assange is saving the best for last, and delivers the coup de grace to the warmongering sociopathic harpy and she melts down like the wicked witch of the west. ..."
"... Either way, methinks that a great mass of unwashed deplorables may just rise up and sweep the authoritarian orange barbarian into power. ..."
Nov 03, 2016 | www.theguardian.com
libertate 5h ago

My my, the times they are interesting.

The stench of desperation and corruption is surrounding the Dems like the piles of rotting corpses Obama and Clinton have stacked up in Libya and Syria.

Let's hope that Mr. Assange is saving the best for last, and delivers the coup de grace to the warmongering sociopathic harpy and she melts down like the wicked witch of the west.

Either way, methinks that a great mass of unwashed deplorables may just rise up and sweep the authoritarian orange barbarian into power.

Which is why I'm stocking up on ribeyes, scotch, and ammo for next week. Should Trump prevail, I give better than even odds that the leftist chimps will, literally, go berserk .

[Nov 02, 2016] Avoid War Crimes

Nov 02, 2016 | query.nytimes.com

anne said in reply to anne... http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9906E2DF1E39F932A25752C1A9659C8B63

Avoid War Crimes

To the Editor:

In ''A Burden Too Heavy to Put Down,'' * David Brooks writes, ''Inevitably, there will be atrocities'' committed by our forces in Iraq. Did he forget to add that they must be prosecuted?

War crimes are indeed more likely if influential commentators foreshadow impunity for perpetrators of the ''brutal measures our own troops will have to adopt.''

The choice is not between committing war crimes and retreating ''into the paradise of our own innocence.'' A third option is for the United States to strive to avoid complicity.

It is untrue that ''we have to take morally hazardous action.'' Those who choose it, or urge others to, cannot evade or distribute responsibility by asserting that ''we live in a fallen world.''

* http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/04/opinion/04BROO.html

BEN KIERNAN
New Haven, Nov. 4, 2003
The writer is director of the Genocide Studies Program at Yale University.

[Nov 01, 2016] If HRC wins, we have war with Russia, including possibly WW3. That makes environmental issues moot

Nov 01, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Anonymous November 1, 2016 at 7:39 pm

If HRC wins, we have war with Russia, including possibly WW3. That makes environmental issues moot.

Separately, HRC will not even agree to a carbon tax, she lobbied for two giant polluting coal plants in South Africa, and she promotes fracking worldwide.

http://www.villagevoice.com/news/clintons-carbon-corruption-why-hillary-wont-say-yes-to-a-carbon-tax-8528717

http://www.desmogblog.com/2016/03/07/hillary-clinton-showed-support-associates-profited-building-world-s-largest-coal-plants-south-africa

[Nov 01, 2016] Inside the Invisible Government - The Unz Review

Nov 01, 2016 | www.unz.com

The attack on Iraq, the attack on Libya, the attack on Syria happened because the leader in each of these countries was not a puppet of the West. The human rights record of a Saddam or a Gaddafi was irrelevant. They did not obey orders and surrender control of their country.

The same fate awaited Slobodan Milosevic once he had refused to sign an "agreement" that demanded the occupation of Serbia and its conversion to a market economy. His people were bombed, and he was prosecuted in The Hague. Independence of this kind is intolerable.

As WikLeaks has revealed, it was only when the Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad in 2009 rejected an oil pipeline, running through his country from Qatar to Europe, that he was attacked.

From that moment, the CIA planned to destroy the government of Syria with jihadist fanatics – the same fanatics currently holding the people of Mosul and eastern Aleppo hostage.

Why is this not news? The former British Foreign Office official Carne Ross, who was responsible for operating sanctions against Iraq, told me: "We would feed journalists factoids of sanitised intelligence, or we would freeze them out. That is how it worked."

The West's medieval client, Saudi Arabia – to which the US and Britain sell billions of dollars' worth of arms – is at present destroying Yemen, a country so poor that in the best of times, half the children are malnourished.

[Nov 01, 2016] Chris Hedges Its Our Bombs, Not Trumps Comments, that Fuel Hatred Towards the United States

Notable quotes:
"... HEDGES: Well what feeds the hatred toward the west has nothing to do with Donald Trump. It has to do with the one-thousand-pound iron fragmentation bombs and cruise missiles and 155 artillery shells that are being dropped all over areas that ISIS controls. ..."
"... That is a far more potent engine of rage than anything Trump says and I think sometimes we forget what we' re doing and the state terror that is delivered day in and day out on Muslims in areas that have been opened up by these failed states because of our military adventurism in countries like Libya and Iraq. ..."
"... : Chris the recently released WikiLeaks indicate that Hillary Clinton is involved in conspiring in maintaining Israels nuclear dominance in the region and containing Irans nuclear development program. ..."
"... Yea, I mean shes quite upfront. I have to give her credit on that in terms of her militantly pro-Israel stance. She of course has courted quite successfully wealthy pro-Israeli donors attacking the Boycott Divestment Sanctions Movement. ..."
"... So one of the dangers of Clinton and shes called for a no fly zone over Syria. Well, people forget that when you institute a no fly zone, that is patrolled and that requires very heavy presence of US forces. ..."
therealnews.com
... ... .. ...

HEDGES: Well what feeds the hatred toward the west has nothing to do with Donald Trump. It has to do with the one-thousand-pound iron fragmentation bombs and cruise missiles and 155 artillery shells that are being dropped all over areas that ISIS controls.

That is a far more potent engine of rage than anything Trump says and I think sometimes we forget what we' re doing and the state terror that is delivered day in and day out on Muslims in areas that have been opened up by these failed states because of our military adventurism in countries like Libya and Iraq.

PERIES: So connect those two for us. Give us some examples of how the war on terror in the Middle East, Syria in particular, is causing this kind of islamophobia here and our hesitancy about doing humanitarian work by accepting refugees that are fleeing these wars and how it manifests itself in the form of islamophobia here.

HEDGES: Well, islamophobia here is a doctrine that plays quite conveniently into the goals of the corporate state in the same way that anti-communism once played into the goals of our capitalist democracy. So the caricature of threats from the Muslim world independent of the actual possibility of those threats has especially since 9/11, one of the corner stones of the argument that has been used by the security and surveillance state to strip us of basic civil liberties, including for instance, under the Obama administration, misinterpreting the 2001 authorization to use military force act as giving the executive branch to right to assassinate American citizens. Of course I'm talking about Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16-year-old son.

So the rise of islamophobia has been largely independent of anything Muslims have done other than perhaps initially the attacks of 9/11. The continued over 15 years of indiscriminate violence, industrial violence, delivered on whole swaps of the Muslim world has stirred up the kind of hornet' s nest that we' re seeing enraged not only among Muslims in the Muslim world but Muslims in Europe and many other parts of the globe who despite Clinton' s rhetoric see this as a war against Muslims. I think that although she speaks in kind of a softer and more tolerate tone, Clinton has been one of the main architects of the attacks for instance in Libya that have given or empowered or given rise to groups like ISIS. While Clinton' s rhetoric is certainly more palatable, she has been an enthusiastic supporter that we are going to bomb our way into peace in the Muslim world.

PERIES: Chris give us a sense of the climate created by what both candidates eluded to that Muslims in this country has to help us in terms of identifying potential terrorists and any kind of activities in the community that might feed terrorists attacks here. What does this do to a society?

HEDGES: Well it turns us into a society of informers. I think we have to acknowledge how pervasive the harassment is of Muslim Americans when they go through the airport, intrusive invasions of their privacy by Homeland Security, the FBI, and others. We have to acknowledge that almost all of the homegrown terrorist attacks that the FBI have broken have been orchestrated by the FBI usually with people of marginal means and sometimes marginal intelligence being prodded and often provided supposed equipment to carry out terrorist attacks. The racial profiling that has gone on coupled with the rhetoric and this is very dangerous because if you take already an alienated youth and subject it to this kind of unrelenting harassment, then you provide a recipe for homegrown radicalism.

So yes it' s once again an effort in this case on part of the Trump rhetoric to blame the Muslims for not only their own victimhood but for terrorist attacks that are being driven by jihadist whom the vast majority, 99 plus percent of the Muslim world has no contact with and probably very little empathy for, I mean there' s 4 to 5 million Muslims, I think I have that right, in the United States. Most of them have integrated quite successfully into American. Unlike in Britain because Muslim immigrants in the United States whereas in Europe, France, they came over as laborers, we largely absorbed Muslim professional classes, doctors, engineers, and others and the Muslim community in the United States is pretty solidly middle class and professional.

... ... ...

PERIES: Chris the recently released WikiLeaks indicate that Hillary Clinton is involved in conspiring in maintaining Israels nuclear dominance in the region and containing Irans nuclear development program. Your comments on those WikiLeaks.

HEDGES: Yea, I mean shes quite upfront. I have to give her credit on that in terms of her militantly pro-Israel stance. She of course has courted quite successfully wealthy pro-Israeli donors attacking the Boycott Divestment Sanctions Movement. And she has and will continue what are considered Israeli interests in the region which are not our interest. Israel pushed very heavily for an invasion of Iraq as a way to destroy a powerful state within the region. That did not serve our interests at all. In fact, it elevated to the dominant position within the region, Iran and out of these vacuums gave birth to these jihadist groups and got us embroiled in wars that we can never win.

So one of the dangers of Clinton and shes called for a no fly zone over Syria. Well, people forget that when you institute a no fly zone, that is patrolled and that requires very heavy presence of US forces. Not just air forces but ground stations, radar stations, anti-aircraft missile batteries. Shes quite openly calling for a further escalation for American involvement in the Syrian quagmire which of course again we did so much to create by along with our allies, the Saudis and Qataris and others pumping so many arms in them. I think we gave a billion dollars worth of arms to Syrian rebels as if you can control where those arms go, just in the last year.

[Oct 31, 2016] The Perilous Middle Ground That Clinton Represents

Oct 31, 2016 | www.theamericanconservative.com
notices the dubious "middle ground" rhetoric that is being used to justify Clinton's foreign policy in advance:

All of this loses sight of how much the framing effects have skewed this entire discussion. Bush's signature use of military force and the defining initiative of his presidency-the invasion of Iraq-was an unusually extreme act as measured either by past U.S. foreign policy or standards of international conduct that the United States expects of others.

One of the many flaws in the idea that the U.S. should seek a "middle ground" between Bush and Obama is that it treats their respective records as offering equally damaging and extreme alternatives. Of course, the cost to the U.S. from the two presidencies is drastically different. Bush's legacy was to launch wars that have cost trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives, while Obama's has been his failure to extricate the U.S. from them at a significant but much reduced cost. Obama has certainly made some very serious and even indefensible mistakes (supporting the war on Yemen being among the worst), but in terms of the damage done to U.S. interests the costs have been much lower.

To believe that the U.S. needs to "moderate" between Bush's disasters and Obama's failures is to believe that the U.S. needs a foreign policy that will be even more costly in American lives and money than the one we have right now.

That is not only not a "moderate" position to take, but it is also a highly ideological one that insists on the necessity of U.S. "leadership" no matter how much it costs us.

The 'middle ground" that Clinton offers is no middle ground at all, but rather represents moving the U.S. in the direction of one of the worst foreign policy records in our history. Obama's great foreign policy failure was that he could not or would not move the U.S. away from the disastrous policies of the Bush era, and under Clinton there won't even be the pretense that the U.S. should try to do this.

[Oct 30, 2016] Anatol Lieven · The Push for War The Threat from America

[Oct 30, 2016] After the attacks Americas new cold war

Notable quotes:
"... Now the threat is real; and for the foreseeable future we will have to live with and seek to reduce two closely interlinked dangers: the direct and potentially apocalyptic threat posed by terrorists, mainly (though by no means exclusively) based in the Muslim world, and the potential strengthening of those terrorists' resolve by misguided US actions. ..."
"... The most unilateralist Administration in modern American history has been forced to recognise, in principle at least, the country's pressing need for allies ..."
"... Apart from the fact that most European armies are useless when it comes to serious warfare, they are already showing great unwillingness to give the US a blank cheque for whatever military action the Bush Administration chooses to take. ..."
"... A strong sense of righteousness has always been present in the American tradition; but until 11 September, an acute sense of victimhood and persecution by the outside world was usually the preserve of the paranoid Right. ..."
Sep 28, 2001 | guardian.co.uk

"Who says we share common values with the Europeans? They don't even go to church!" Will the atrocities of September 11 push America further to the right or open a new debate on foreign policy and the need for alliances? In this exclusive online essay from the London Review of Books, Anatol Lieven considers how the cold war legacy may affect the war on terrorism

Not long after the Bush Administration took power in January, I was invited to lunch at a glamorous restaurant in New York by a group of editors and writers from an influential American right-wing broadsheet. The food and wine were extremely expensive, the decor luxurious but discreet, the clientele beautifully dressed, and much of the conversation more than mildly insane. With regard to the greater part of the world outside America, my hosts' attitude was a combination of loathing, contempt, distrust and fear: not only towards Arabs, Russians, Chinese, French and others, but towards 'European socialist governments', whatever that was supposed to mean. This went with a strong desire - in theory at least - to take military action against a broad range of countries across the world.

Two things were particularly striking here: a tendency to divide the world into friends and enemies, and a difficulty verging on autism when it came to international opinions that didn't coincide with their own - a combination more appropriate to the inhabitants of an ethnic slum in the Balkans than to people who were, at that point, on top of the world.

Today Americans of all classes and opinions have reason to worry, and someone real to fear and hate, while prolonged US military action overseas is thought to be inevitable. The building where we had lunch is now rubble. Several of our fellow diners probably died last week, along with more than six thousand other New Yorkers from every walk of life. Not only has the terrorist attack claimed far more victims than any previous such attack anywhere in the world, but it has delivered a far more damaging economic blow. Equally important, it has destroyed Americans' belief in their country's invulnerability, on which so many other American attitudes and policies finally rested.

This shattering blow was delivered by a handful of anonymous agents hidden in the wider population, working as part of a tightly-knit secret international conspiracy inspired by a fanatical and (to the West) deeply 'alien' and 'exotic' religious ideology. Its members are ruthless; they have remarkable organisational skills, a tremendous capacity for self-sacrifice and self-discipline, and a deep hatred of the United States and the Western way of life. As Richard Hofstader and others have argued, for more than two hundred years this kind of combination has always acted as a prompt for paranoid and reactionary conspiracy theories, most of them groundless.

Now the threat is real; and for the foreseeable future we will have to live with and seek to reduce two closely interlinked dangers: the direct and potentially apocalyptic threat posed by terrorists, mainly (though by no means exclusively) based in the Muslim world, and the potential strengthening of those terrorists' resolve by misguided US actions.

The latter danger has been greatly increased by the attacks. The terrorists have raised to white heat certain smouldering tendencies among the American Right, while simultaneously - as is usually the case at the start of wars - pushing American politics and most of its population in a sharply rightward direction; all of which has taken place under an unexpectedly right-wing Administration. If this leads to a crude military response, then the terrorists will have achieved part of their purpose, which was to provoke the other side to indiscriminate retaliation, and thereby increase their own support.

It is too early to say for sure how US strategies and attitudes will develop. At the time of writing Afghanistan is the focus, but whatever happens there, it isn't clear whether the US Administration will go on to launch a more general campaign of military pressure against other states which have supported terrorist groups, and if so, what states and what kind of military pressure? US policy is already pulled in two predictable but contradictory directions, amply illustrated in the op-ed pages of US newspapers and in debates within the Government.

The most unilateralist Administration in modern American history has been forced to recognise, in principle at least, the country's pressing need for allies. There are the beginnings, too, of a real public debate on how US policy needs to be changed and shaped to fight the new 'war'. All this is reminiscent of US attitudes and behaviour at the start of the Cold War, when Communism was identified as the central menace to the US and to Western capitalism and democracy in general.

On the other hand, the public desire for revenge has strengthened certain attitudes - especially in the Republican Party and media, as well as parts of the Administration - which, if they prevail, will not only be dangerous in themselves, but will make the search for real allies difficult. And real allies are essential, above all in the Arab and Muslim worlds. In the longer run, only the full co-operation of Arab regimes - along with reform and economic development - can prevent the recruitment, funding and operations of Arab-based terrorist groups.

As for Europe, British military support may be unconditional, but most European countries - Russia among them - are likely to restrict their help to intelligence and policing. Apart from the fact that most European armies are useless when it comes to serious warfare, they are already showing great unwillingness to give the US a blank cheque for whatever military action the Bush Administration chooses to take.

Yet a blank cheque is precisely what the Administration, and the greater part of US public opinion, are asking for. This is Jim Hoagland, veteran establishment foreign correspondent and commentator, in the generally liberal Washington Post:

"Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and many of the other Arab states Powell hopes to recruit for the bin Laden posse have long been part of the problem, not part of the solution to international terrorism. These states cannot be given free passes for going through the motions of helping the United States. And European allies cannot be allowed to order an appetiser of bin Laden and not share in the costs of the rest of a meal cooked in hell."

If this is the Post, then the sentiments in the right-wing press and the tabloids can well be imagined. Here is Tod Lindberg, the editor of Policy Review, writing in the Washington Times:

"The United States is now energetically in the business of making governments pick a side: either with us and against the terrorists, or against us and with them... Against the category of enemy stands the category of 'friend'. Friends stand with us. Friends do whatever they can to help. Friends don't, for example, engage in commerce with enemies, otherwise they aren't friends."

A strong sense of righteousness has always been present in the American tradition; but until 11 September, an acute sense of victimhood and persecution by the outside world was usually the preserve of the paranoid Right. Now it has spread and, for the moment at least, some rather important ideas have almost vanished from the public debate: among them, that other states have their own national interests, and that in the end nothing compels them to help the US; that they, too, have been the victims of terrorism - in the case of Britain, largely funded from groups in the United States - but have not insisted on a right of unilateral military retaliation (this point was made by Niall Ferguson in the New York Times, but not as yet in any op-ed by an American that I have seen); and that in some cases these states may actually know more about their own part of the world than US intelligence does.

Beyond the immediate and unforeseeable events in Afghanistan - and their sombre implications for Pakistan - lies the bigger question of US policy in the Arab world. Here, too, Administration policy may well be a good deal more cautious than the opinions of the right-wing media would suggest - which again is fortunate, because much opinion on this subject is more than rabid. Here is AM Rosenthal in the Washington Times arguing that an amazing range of states should be given ultimatums to surrender not only alleged terrorists but also their own senior officials accused by the US of complicity:

"The ultimatum should go to the governments of Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, Sudan and any other devoted to the elimination of the United States or the constant incitement of hatred against it... In the three days the terrorists consider the American ultimatum, the residents of the countries would be urged 24 hours a day by the United States to flee the capital and major cities, because they would be bombed to the ground beginning the fourth."

Rosenthal isn't a figure from the lunatic fringe ranting on a backwoods radio show, but the former executive editor of the New York Times, writing in a paper with great influence in the Republican Party, especially under the present Administration.

No Administration is going to do anything remotely like this. But if the Secretary of State, Colin Powell, has emerged as the voice of moderation, with a proper commitment to multilateralism, other voices are audible, too. Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defence, has spoken of "ending states which support terrorism", and in the case of Iraq, there are those who would now like to complete the work of the Gulf War and finish off Saddam Hussein.

Here, too, the mood of contempt for allies contributes to the ambition. Thus Kim Holmes, vice-president of the right-wing Heritage Foundation, argued that only deference to America's Arab allies prevented the US from destroying the Iraqi regime in 1991 (the profound unwillingness of Bush Senior to occupy Iraq and take responsibility for the place also played its part in the decision): "To show that this war is not with Islam per se, the US could be tempted to restrain itself militarily and accommodate the complex and contradictory political agendas of Islamic states. This in turn could make the campaign ineffectual, prolonging the problem of terrorism."

Getting rid of Saddam Hussein is not in itself a bad idea. His is a pernicious regime, a menace to his own people and his neighbours, as well as to the West. And if the Iraqi threat to the Gulf States could be eliminated, US troops might be withdrawn from Saudi Arabia: it was their permanent stationing on the holy soil of Islam that turned Osama bin Laden from an anti-Soviet mujahid into an anti-American terrorist.

But only if it were to take place in the context of an entirely new policy towards Palestine would the US be able to mount such a campaign without provoking massive unrest across the Arab world; and given what became of promises made during the Gulf War, there would first of all have to be firm evidence of a US change of heart. The only borders between Israel and Palestine which would have any chance of satisfying a majority of Palestinians and Arabs - and conforming to UN resolutions, for what they are worth - would be those of 1967, possibly qualified by an internationalisation of Jerusalem under UN control. This would entail the removal of the existing Jewish settlements in the Occupied Territories, and would be absolutely unacceptable to any imaginable Israeli Government. To win Israeli agreement would require not just US pressure, but the threat of a complete breach of relations and the ending of aid.

There may be those in the Administration who would favour adopting such an approach at a later stage. Bush Sr's was the most anti-Israeli Administration of the past two generations, and was disliked accordingly by the Jewish and other ethnic lobbies. His son's is less beholden to those lobbies than Clinton's was. And it may be that even pro-Israeli US politicians will at some point realise that Israel's survival as such is not an issue: that it is absurd to increase the risk to Washington and New York for the sake of 267 extremist settlers in Hebron and their comrades elsewhere.

Still, in the short term, a radical shift is unlikely, and an offensive against Iraq would therefore be dangerous. The attacks on New York and the Pentagon and the celebrations in parts of the Arab world have increased popular hostility to the Arabs in general and the Palestinians in particular, a hostility assiduously stoked by Israeli propaganda. But when it comes to denouncing hate crimes against Muslims - or those taken to be Muslims - within the US, the Administration has behaved decently, perhaps because they have a rather sobering precedent in mind, one which has led to genuine shame: the treatment of Japanese Americans during world war two.

This shame is the result of an applied historical intelligence that does not extend to the Arab world. Americans tend - and perhaps need - to confuse the symptoms and the causes of Arab anger. Since a key pro-Israel position in the US has been that fundamental Palestinian and Arab grievances must not be allowed legitimacy or even discussed, the only explanation of Arab hostility to the US and its ally must be sought in innate features of Arab society, whether a contemporary culture of anti-semitism (and anti-Americanism) sanctioned by Arab leaderships, or ancient 'Muslim' traditions of hostility to the West.

All of which may contain some truth: but the central issue, the role of Israeli policies in providing a focus for such hatred, is overwhelmingly ignored. As a result, it is extremely difficult, and mostly impossible, to hold any frank discussion of the most important issue affecting the position of the US in the Middle East or the open sympathy for terrorism in the region. A passionately held nationalism usually has the effect of corrupting or silencing those liberal intellectuals who espouse it. This is the case of Israeli nationalism in the US. It is especially distressing that it should afflict the Jewish liberal intelligentsia, that old bedrock of sanity and tolerance.

An Administration which wanted a radical change of policy towards Israel would have to generate a new public debate almost from scratch - which would not be possible until some kind of tectonic shift had taken place in American society. Too many outside observers who blame US Administrations forget that on a wide range of issues, it is essentially Congress and not the White House or State Department which determines foreign policy; this is above all true of US aid. An inability or unwillingness to try to work on Congress, as opposed to going through normal diplomatic channels, has been a minor contributory factor to Britain's inability to get any purchase on US policy in recent years.

The role of Congress brings out what might be called the Wilhelmine aspects of US foreign and security policy. By that I do not mean extreme militarism or a love of silly hats, or even a shared tendency to autism when it comes to understanding the perceptions of other countries, but rather certain structural features in both the Wilhemine and the US system tending to produce over-ambition, and above all a chronic incapacity to choose between diametrically opposite goals. Like Wilhelmine Germany, the US has a legislature with very limited constitutional powers in the field of foreign policy, even though it wields considerable de facto power and is not linked either institutionally or by party discipline to the executive. The resulting lack of any responsibility for actual consequences is a standing invitation to rhetorical grandstanding, and the pursuit of sectional interests at the expense of overall policy.

Meanwhile, the executive, while in theory supremely powerful in this field, has in fact continually to woo the legislature without ever being able to command its support. This, too, encourages dependence on interest groups, as well as a tendency to overcome differences and gain support by making appeals in terms of overheated patriotism rather than policy. Finally, in both systems, though for completely different reasons, supreme executive power had or has a tendency to fall into the hands of people totally unsuited for any but the ceremonial aspects of the job, and endlessly open to manipulation by advisers, ministers and cliques.

In the US, this did not matter so much during the Cold War, when a range of Communist threats - real, imagined or fabricated - held the system together in the pursuit of more or less common aims. With the disappearance of the unifying threat, however, there has been a tendency, again very Wilhelmine, to produce ambitious and aggressive policies in several directions simultaneously, often with little reference at all to real US interests or any kind of principle.

The new 'war against terrorism' in Administration and Congressional rhetoric has been cast as just such a principle, unifying the country and the political establishment behind a common goal and affecting or determining a great range of other policies. The language has been reminiscent of the global struggle against Communism, and confronting Islamist radicalism in the Muslim world does, it's true, pose some of the same challenges, on a less global scale, though possibly with even greater dangers for the world.

The likelihood that US strategy in the 'war against terrorism' will resemble that of the Cold War is greatly increased by the way Cold War structures and attitudes have continued to dominate the US foreign policy and security elites. Charles Tilly and others have written of the difficulty states have in 'ratcheting down' wartime institutions and especially wartime spending. In the 1990s, this failure on the part of the US to escape its Cold War legacy was a curse, ensuring unnecessarily high military spending in the wrong fields, thoroughly negative attitudes to Russia, 'zero-sum' perceptions of international security issues in general, and perceptions of danger which wholly failed, as we now see, to meet the real threats to security and lives.

The idea of a National Missile Defense is predicated on a limited revival of the Cold War, with China cast in the role of the Soviet Union and the Chinese nuclear deterrent as the force to be nullified. Bush's foreign and security team is almost entirely a product of Cold War structures and circumscribed by Cold War attitudes (which is not true of the President himself, who was never interested enough in foreign policy; if he can get his mind round the rest of the world, he could well be more of a free-thinker than many of his staff).

The collapse of the Communist alternative to Western-dominated modernisation and the integration (however imperfect) of Russia and China into the world capitalist order have been a morally and socially ambiguous process, to put it mildly; but in the early 1990s they seemed to promise the suspension of hostility between the world's larger powers. The failure of the US to make use of this opportunity, thanks to an utter confusion between an ideological victory and crudely-defined US geopolitical interests, was a great misfortune which the 'war against terrorism' could in part rectify. Since 11 September, the rhetoric in America has proposed a gulf between the 'civilised' states of the present world system, and movements of 'barbaric', violent protest from outside and below - without much deference to the ambiguities of 'civilisation', or the justifications of resistance to it, remarked on since Tacitus at least.

How is the Cold War legacy likely to determine the 'war against terrorism'? Despite the general conviction in the Republican Party that it was simply Reagan's military spending and the superiority of the US system which destroyed Soviet Communism, more serious Cold War analysts were always aware that it involved not just military force, or the threat of it, but ideological and political struggle, socio-economic measures, and state-building. The latter in particular is an idea for which the Bush team on their arrival in office had a deep dislike (if only to distance themselves from Clinton's policies), but which they may now rediscover. Foreign aid - so shamefully reduced in the 1990s - was also a key part of the Cold War, and if much of it was poured into kleptocratic regimes like Mobutu's, or wasted on misguided projects, some at least helped produce flourishing economies in Europe and East Asia.

The Republican Party is not only the party of Goldwater and Reagan, but of Eisenhower, Nixon and Kissinger. Eisenhower is now almost forgotten by the party. 'Eisenhower Republicans', as they refer to themselves, are usually far closer to Tony Blair (or perhaps more accurately, Helmut Schmidt) than anyone the Republican Party has seen in recent years, and I'd wager that the majority of educated Americans have forgotten that the original warning about the influence of the 'military industrial complex' came from Eisenhower.

Kissinger is still very much alive, however, and his history is a reminder that one aspect of the American capacity for extreme ruthlessness was also a capacity for radical changes of policy, for reconciliation with states hitherto regarded as bitter enemies, and for cold-blooded abandonment of close allies and clients whose usefulness was at an end. It would not altogether surprise me if we were now to see a radical shift towards real co-operation with Russia, and even Iran.

In general, however, the Cold War legacies and parallels are discouraging and dangerous. To judge by the language used in the days since 11 September, ignorance, demonisation and the drowning out of nuanced debate indicate that much of the US establishment can no more tell the difference between Iran and Afghanistan than they could between China and the Soviet Union in the early 1960s - the inexcusable error which led to the American war in Vietnam. The preference for militarised solutions continues (the 'War on Drugs', which will now have to be scaled back, is an example). Most worryingly, the direct attack on American soil and American civilians - far worse than anything done to the US in the Cold War - means that there is a real danger of a return to Cold War ruthlessness: not just in terms of military tactics and covert operations, but in terms of the repulsive and endangered regimes co-opted as local American clients.

The stakes are, if anything, a good deal higher than they were during the Cold War. Given what we now know of Soviet policymaking, it is by no means clear that the Kremlin ever seriously contemplated a nuclear strike against America. By contrast, it seems likely that bin Laden et al would in the end use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons if they could deliver them.

There is also the question of the impact of US strategies (or, in the case of Israel, lack of them) on the unity of the West - assuming that this is of some importance for the wellbeing of humanity. However great the exasperation of many European states with US policy throughout the Cold War, the Europeans were bound into the transatlantic alliance by an obvious Soviet threat - more immediate to them than it was to the US. For the critical first decade of the Cold War, the economies of Europe were hopelessly inferior to that of the US. Today, if European Governments feel that the US is dragging them into unnecessary danger thanks to policies of which they disapprove, they will protest bitterly - as many did during the Cold War - and then begin to distance themselves, which they could not afford to do fifty years ago.

This is all the more likely if, as seems overwhelmingly probable, the US withdraws from the Balkans - as it has already done in Macedonia - leaving Europeans with no good reason to require a US military presence on their continent. At the same time, the cultural gap between Europeans and Republican America (which does not mean a majority of Americans, but the dominant strain of policy) will continue to widen. 'Who says we share common values with the Europeans?' a senior US politician remarked recently. 'They don't even go to church!' Among other harmful effects, the destruction of this relationship could signal the collapse of whatever hope still exists for a common Western approach to global environmental issues - which would, in the end, pose a greater danger to humanity than that of terrorism.

· Anatol Lieven is a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington DC.

[Oct 29, 2016] The level of militarism in the current US society and MSM is really staggering. anti-war forces are completely destroyed (with the abandonment of draft) and are limited for

Oct 29, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
libertarians (such as Ron Paul) and paleoconservatives.

likbez -> Fred C. Dobbs... October 28, 2016 at 04:37 PM , 2016 at 04:37 PM

>"Plus, she's very nasty towards Vlad Putin."

What I do not get is how one can call himself/herself a democrat and be jingoistic monster. That's the problem with Democratic Party and its supporters. Such people for me are DINO ("Democrats only in name"). Closet neocons, if you wish. The level of militarism in the current US society and MSM is really staggering. anti-war forces are completely destroyed (with the abandonment of draft) and are limited for libertarians (such as Ron Paul) and paleoconservatives. There is almost completely empty space on the left. Dennis Kucinich is one of the few exceptions
(see http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2016/10/27/must-read-of-the-day-dennis-kucinich-issues-extraordinary-warning-on-d-c-s-think-tank-warmongers/ )

I think that people like Robert Kagan, Victoria Nuland and Dick Cheney can now proudly join Democratic Party and feel themselves quite at home.

BTW Hillary is actually very pleasant with people of the same level. It's only subordinates, close relatives and Security Service agents, who are on the receiving end of her wrath. A typical "kiss up, kick down personality".

The right word probably would not "nasty", but "duplicitous".

Or "treacherous" as this involves breaking of previous agreements (with a smile) as the USA diplomacy essentially involves positioning the country above the international law. As in "I am the law".

Obama is not that different. I think he even more sleazy then Hillary and as such is more difficult to deal with. He also is at his prime, while she is definitely past hers:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-putin-usa-idUSKCN12R25E

== quote ==
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday it was hard for him to work with the current U.S. administration because it did not stick to any agreements, including on Syria.

Putin said he was ready to engage with a new president however, whoever the American people chose, and to discuss any problem.
== end of quote ==

Syria is an "Obama-approved" adventure, is not it ? The same is true for Libya. So formally he is no less jingoistic then Hillary, Nobel Peace price notwithstanding.

Other things equal, it might be easier for Putin to deal with Hillary then Obama, as she has so many skeletons in the closet and might soon be impeached by House.

[Oct 29, 2016] Stein war with Russia is not an option

Notable quotes:
"... She [Hillary Clinton] has concurrently this Clinton Foundation business, where she is granting special favors, special partnerships, special government contracts, weapons deals, etc., to Clinton Foundation donors. So, there's just a lot here that represents how the economic and political elite are very much represented, I think, by both of these candidates, and underscores why it's really important for us to exercise our power in a democracy . ..."
"... To present a no-fly zone here as a solution is extremely dangerous. A no-fly zone means we are going to war with Russia, because it means we will be shooting down planes in the sky in order to create this no-fly zone, which is where Russia has a commitment to defending the Assad government. So, remember, there was a ceasefire, which was very hard-won, and that ceasefire was destroyed by the action of the Americans bombing, apparently by mistake, although some people say not by mistake, but it was our bombing of the Syrian troops that destroyed that ceasefire . ..."
"... That was our part, the U.S., in allowing the nuclear arms race to re-engage . Mikhail Gorbachev, the former premier of the Soviet Union, said last week that we are now at a more dangerous period regarding nuclear war than we have ever been. So, it's really important for the warmongers in the Democratic and Republican parties to be cooling their jets now and for us to be moving forward towards a weapons embargo and a freeze on the funding of those countries that are continuing to fund terrorist enterprises . ..."
Oct 29, 2016 | failedevolution.blogspot.gr
'There was a ceasefire, which was very hard-won, and that ceasefire was destroyed by the action of the Americans bombing, apparently by mistake, although some people say not by mistake, but it was our bombing of the Syrian troops that destroyed that ceasefire'

via globinfo freexchange

After our call to independent media for a 'counter-debate' with the US third parties , the independent news network Democracy Now! made a first revolutionary step to break the US bipartisan debate monopoly.

Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! explains again the process, in this second presidential debate: " We spend the rest of today's show airing excerpts of the Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton debate and give Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein a chance to respond to the same questions posed to the major-party candidates. Again, Dr. Stein and Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson were excluded from the debate under stringent rules set by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is controlled by the Democratic and Republican parties. We invited both Stein and Johnson to join us on the program; only Stein took us up on the offer. "

In this last part of the second debate, Jill Stein, again, was the only presidential candidate that told the whole truth to the American people without hesitation.

Concerning the Syrian mess and the Russian intervention, Hillary Clinton showed again why she is the most dangerous to be the next US president. She avoided again to admit the huge responsibility of the US intervention and their allies in Libya and the Middle East which created absolute chaos. She blamed again the Russians, although - as Jill Stein stated very correctly - it was the US that destroyed the hard-won ceasefire in Syria. Hillary showed again her absolute devotion to the neocon/neoliberal agenda, therefore, start a war with Russia. She showed again how dangerous she is.

On the contrary, Jill Stein stated very clearly that war with Russia is out of question.

Key points:

She [Hillary Clinton] has concurrently this Clinton Foundation business, where she is granting special favors, special partnerships, special government contracts, weapons deals, etc., to Clinton Foundation donors. So, there's just a lot here that represents how the economic and political elite are very much represented, I think, by both of these candidates, and underscores why it's really important for us to exercise our power in a democracy . We have a right to know who we can vote for, as well as a right to vote.

Syria is a disaster, and it's a very complicated disaster. It is a civil war. It is a proxy war among many nations. It is a pipeline war also between Russia and the Gulf states, who are competing to run their pipelines with fracked gas into Europe across Syria. So, this is a very complicated situation, and there is a hornets' nest, a real circular firing squad of alliances here that's, you know, extremely, extremely complicated.

To present a no-fly zone here as a solution is extremely dangerous. A no-fly zone means we are going to war with Russia, because it means we will be shooting down planes in the sky in order to create this no-fly zone, which is where Russia has a commitment to defending the Assad government. So, remember, there was a ceasefire, which was very hard-won, and that ceasefire was destroyed by the action of the Americans bombing, apparently by mistake, although some people say not by mistake, but it was our bombing of the Syrian troops that destroyed that ceasefire .

We need to redouble our efforts here. And we need to acknowledge that war with Russia is not an option. There are 2,000 nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert. And who was it that dropped out of the nuclear arms control? That was George Bush. That was our part, the U.S., in allowing the nuclear arms race to re-engage . Mikhail Gorbachev, the former premier of the Soviet Union, said last week that we are now at a more dangerous period regarding nuclear war than we have ever been. So, it's really important for the warmongers in the Democratic and Republican parties to be cooling their jets now and for us to be moving forward towards a weapons embargo and a freeze on the funding of those countries that are continuing to fund terrorist enterprises .

[Oct 29, 2016] Must Watch!! Hillary Clinton tried to ban this video

www.youtube.com

Hillary Clinton's Strange Behavior: WHAT IS GOING ON?

I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor)

[Oct 28, 2016] Russias Putin says Obama administration does not stick to any deals Reuters

Oct 28, 2016 | www.reuters.com
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday it was hard for him to work with the current U.S. administration because it did not stick to any agreements, including on Syria.

Putin said he was ready to engage with a new president however, whoever the American people chose, and to discuss any problem.

[Oct 28, 2016] Fact Check Trump Is Right that Clinton Might Trigger World War III

Oct 28, 2016 | www.globalresearch.ca
Trump claims that Clinton's policy on Syria would lead to World War 3.

Let's fact check …

The Washington Post points out that a vote for Clinton is a vote for escalating military confrontation in Syria and elsewhere:

In the rarefied world of the Washington foreign policy establishment, President Obama's departure from the White House - and the possible return of a more conventional and hawkish Hillary Clinton - is being met with quiet relief.

The Republicans and Democrats who make up the foreign policy elite are laying the groundwork for a more assertive American foreign policy, via a flurry of reports shaped by officials who are likely to play senior roles in a potential Clinton White House .

***

The studies, which reflect Clinton's stated views, break most forcefully with Obama on Syria …. call[ing] for stepped-up military action to deter President Bashar al-Assad's regime and Russian forces in ­Syria.

***

Most of the studies propose limited American airstrikes with cruise missiles to punish Assad ….

***

Last year, Obama dismissed calls for a no-fly zone in northwestern Syria - a position advocated by Clinton - as " half-baked ."

***

Even pinprick cruise-missile strikes designed to hobble the ­Syrian air force or punish Assad would risk a direct confrontation with Russian forces, which are scattered throughout the key ­Syrian military bases that would be targeted.

"You can't pretend you can go to war against Assad and not go to war against the Russians," said a senior administration official who is involved in Middle East policy and was granted anonymity to discuss internal White House deliberations.

The most liberal presidential candidate still running – Green Party candidate Jill Stein – says:

She explains :

Hillary Clinton wants to start an air war with Russia. Let's be clear: That's what a no-fly zone means. It is tantamount to a declaration of war against Russia.

***

Clearly the Democrats are incredibly embarrassed about the nature of these revelations, and they've created a smokescreen here to try and distract from that. But that smokescreen is pushing us to the brink of warfare with Russia now, where you have the U.S. head of defense, Ashton Carter, talking about nuclear war. We just did a dry run dropping fake nuclear bombs over Nevada. This is really dangerous stuff; this is not pretend. So we need to take a deep breath here, we need to step back and stop beating the war drums. In this context, Hillary Clinton is talking about starting an air war with Russia. Which could slide-you know, we're on the verge of nuclear war right now.

***

The most likely nuclear threat right now is with Russia. There's no doubt about that. When you have Mikhail Gorbachev, who was the prime minister of the Soviet Union during the Cold War, saying that the threat of nuclear war is hotter now than it has ever been in all of history, you've got to take that pretty seriously. And when you have Hillary Clinton then beating the war drums against Russia, and essentially saying that if she's elected that we will declare war on Russia-because that's what a no-fly zone over Syria amounts to. Shooting down Russian warplanes.

***

Hillary Clinton is a disastrous nuclear threat right now in a context where we're already off-the-charts in the risk of nuclear war. She has stated in this context that she's essentially opening up a battlefront with Russia. So to my mind, this emerges as the clearest and most present danger.

Prominent liberal economist Jeffrey Sachs writes in the Huffington Post, in an essay bannered " Hillary Is the Candidate of the War Machine ":

It is often believed that the Republicans are the neocons and the Democrats act as restraints on the warmongering. This is not correct. Both parties are divided between neocon hawks and cautious realists who don't want the US in unending war. Hillary is a staunch neocon whose record of favoring American war adventures explains much of our current security danger.

Just as the last Clinton presidency set the stage for financial collapse, it also set the stage for unending war. On October 31, 1998 President Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation Act that made it official US policy to support "regime change" in Iraq.

It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime.

Thus were laid the foundations for the Iraq War in 2003.

Of course, by 2003, Hillary was a Senator and a staunch supporter of the Iraq War, which has cost the US trillions of dollars, thousands of lives, and done more to create ISIS and Middle East instability than any other single decision of modern foreign policy. In defending her vote, Hillary parroted the phony propaganda of the CIA:

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members… "

After the Iraq Liberation Act came the 1999 Kosovo War, in which Bill Clinton called in NATO to bomb Belgrade, in the heart of Europe, and unleashing another decade of unrest in the Balkans. Hillary, traveling in Africa, called Bill: "I urged him to bomb," she told reporter Lucinda Frank.

Hillary's record as Secretary of State is among the most militaristic, and disastrous, of modern US history . Some experience. Hilary was a staunch defender of the military-industrial-intelligence complex at every turn, helping to spread the Iraq mayhem over a swath of violence that now stretches from Mali to Afghanistan. Two disasters loom largest: Libya and Syria.

Hillary has been much attacked for the deaths of US diplomats in Benghazi, but her tireless promotion of the overthrow Muammar Qaddafi by NATO bombing is the far graver disaster. Hillary strongly promoted NATO-led regime change in Libya, not only in violation of international law but counter to the most basic good judgment. After the NATO bombing, Libya descended into civil war while the paramilitaries and unsecured arms stashes in Libya quickly spread west across the African Sahel and east to Syria. The Libyan disaster has spawned war in Mali, fed weapons to Boko Haram in Nigeria, and fueled ISIS in Syria and Iraq. In the meantime, Hillary found it hilarious to declare of Qaddafi: "We came, we saw, he died."

Perhaps the crowning disaster of this long list of disasters has been Hillary's relentless promotion of CIA-led regime change in Syria . Once again Hillary bought into the CIA propaganda that regime change to remove Bashir al-Assad would be quick, costless, and surely successful. In August 2011, Hillary led the US into disaster with her declaration Assad must "get out of the way," backed by secret CIA operations.

Five years later, no place on the planet is more ravaged by unending war, and no place poses a great threat to US security. More than 10 million Syrians are displaced, and the refugees are drowning in the Mediterranean or undermining the political stability of Greece, Turkey, and the European Union. Into the chaos created by the secret CIA-Saudi operations to overthrow Assad, ISIS has filled the vacuum, and has used Syria as the base for worldwide terrorist attacks.

The list of her incompetence and warmongering goes on. Hillary's support at every turn for NATO expansion, including even into Ukraine and Georgia against all common sense, was a trip wire that violated the post-Cold War settlement in Europe in 1991 and that led to Russia's violent counter-reactions in both Georgia and Ukraine. As Senator in 2008, Hilary co-sponsored 2008-SR439 , to include Ukraine and Georgia in NATO. As Secretary of State, she then presided over the restart of the Cold War with Russia.

It is hard to know the roots of this record of disaster. Is it chronically bad judgment? Is it her preternatural faith in the lying machine of the CIA? Is it a repeated attempt to show that as a Democrat she would be more hawkish than the Republicans? Is it to satisfy her hardline campaign financiers? Who knows? Maybe it's all of the above. But whatever the reasons, hers is a record of disaster. Perhaps more than any other person, Hillary can lay claim to having stoked the violence that stretches from West Africa to Central Asia and that threatens US security .

Jakob Augstein notes in Der Spiegel:

Trump would probably be the better choice in the question of war and peace than Clinton.

Clinton has expressly expressed the wish to establish a flight ban on Syria, or parts of it. *** In truth, it would be an act of war. The risks are unpredictable. Above all, the risk of a military conflict with Russia.

***

The highest soldier of the United States of America, General Joseph Dunford, President of the United States General Staff of the United States Forces, is certain. To control the entire airspace over Syria would mean war with Syria and Russia. Dunford's predecessor in office estimated a few years ago that an effective flight bomb over Syria would involve the use of 70,000 soldiers and a monthly cost of $ 1 billion.

But the bottom line is Clinton's proven historical track record … she's at least partly responsible for war after catastrophic war and coup after disastrous coup in Libya, Syria, Kosovo, Haiti, Honduras and other countries around the world.

And it's interesting, indeed, that the Neocons who got us into the Iraq war have endorsed Clinton instead of Trump .

Trump might speak in a crude, knee-jerk manner … but Clinton is probably more likely to actually get us into war .

[Oct 28, 2016] Team Clinton Headspace Emails Published by WikiLeaks Are About Her Mood

Notable quotes:
"... Hillary has suggested on several occasions publicly that Trump cannot be trusted with the 'Nuclear Codes' because he is erratic and unstable. Now that most people agree that no matter where they came from the Wikileaks is telling the truth we can see how Hillary's own people are scared of her 'mood swings' and her health problems.... ..."
"... She is the one who should not have access to the Nuclear Codes much less be running for President ..."
"... Hillary's own campaign team is waging a war on women. ..."
"... The American media, nothing but despicable State Sycophant Propaganda Ministry runt traitors! ..."
"... Whether Russia is behind it or not is irrelevant. Its not like the USA is an innocent player in hacking other countries. What's of importance is the contents of the emails. Whoever hacked them - if any at all (they were most likely provided by disgruntled DNC insiders) did not alter them (as proven by security checks). HRC, the DNC and her campaign team are deeply corrupt, hence she is unqualified to lead the USA. ..."
"... So here's the REAL story.​ ​Amb. Stevens was sent to Benghazi post haste in order to retrieve US made Stinger missiles supplied to Ansar al Sharia without Congressional oversight or permission. Hillary brokered the deal through Stevens and a private arms dealer named Marc Turi. Then some of the shoulder fired missiles ended up in Afghanistan used against our own military. It was July 25th, 2012 when a Chinook helicopter was taken down by one of our own Stingers, but the idiot Taliban didn't arm the missile and the Chinook didn't explode, but had to land anyway. An ordnance team recovered the serial number off the missile which led back to a cache of Stingers being kept in Qatar by the CIA. Obama and Hillary were now in full panic mode and Stevens was sent in to retrieve the rest of the Stingers. This was a "do-or-die" mission, which explains the stand down orders given to multiple commando teams. ..."
"... It was the State Dept, not the CIA that supplied them to our sworn enemies, because Petraeus wouldn't supply these deadly weapons due to their potential use on commercial aircraft. Then, Obama threw Gen. Petraeus under the bus after he refused to testify that he OK'd the BS talking points about a spontaneous uprising due to a Youtube video. ..."
"... Obama and Hillary committed treason...and THIS is what the investigation is all about, why she had a private server, (in order to delete the digital evidence), and why Obama, two weeks after the attack, told the UN that the attack was because of a Youtube video, even though everyone knew it was not. Further...the Taliban knew that this administration aided and abetted the enemy without Congressional approval when Boehner created the Select Cmte, and the Taliban began pushing the Obama Administration for the release of 5 Taliban Generals. Bowe Bergdahl was just a pawn...everyone KNEW he was a traitor. ..."
Oct 28, 2016 | www.breitbart.com
Hillary has suggested on several occasions publicly that Trump cannot be trusted with the 'Nuclear Codes' because he is erratic and unstable. Now that most people agree that no matter where they came from the Wikileaks is telling the truth we can see how Hillary's own people are scared of her 'mood swings' and her health problems....

She is the one who should not have access to the Nuclear Codes much less be running for President because she also is a Criminal and belongs in Federal Prison.

RobL_v2 2 hours ago Her mood??

This is coded speech microaggression. They are discriminating against her because she is a woman, implying she is 'moody' you know 'hysterical'... hysterectomy... its sexist, its misogynist its harassment, its abuse, its hate speech.

Come on Liberal media, where are you ... call it out... this is your bread and butter... Hillary's own campaign team is waging a war on women.

They did it to Sarah Palin and Barbara Bachman... You know they'd do it if Trump said Hillary was 'moody'.

The American media, nothing but despicable State Sycophant Propaganda Ministry runt traitors!

Lion 3 WhiteSplainItToYou 42 minutes ago

Whether Russia is behind it or not is irrelevant. Its not like the USA is an innocent player in hacking other countries. What's of importance is the contents of the emails. Whoever hacked them - if any at all (they were most likely provided by disgruntled DNC insiders) did not alter them (as proven by security checks). HRC, the DNC and her campaign team are deeply corrupt, hence she is unqualified to lead the USA.

DoruSlinger✓ᵀᴿᵁᴹᴾ an hour ago

Wikileaks needs to get this out (I have not verified the info sent to me last night):

So here's the REAL story.​ ​Amb. Stevens was sent to Benghazi post haste in order to retrieve US made Stinger missiles supplied to Ansar al Sharia without Congressional oversight or permission. Hillary brokered the deal through Stevens and a private arms dealer named Marc Turi. Then some of the shoulder fired missiles ended up in Afghanistan used against our own military. It was July 25th, 2012 when a Chinook helicopter was taken down by one of our own Stingers, but the idiot Taliban didn't arm the missile and the Chinook didn't explode, but had to land anyway. An ordnance team recovered the serial number off the missile which led back to a cache of Stingers being kept in Qatar by the CIA. Obama and Hillary were now in full panic mode and Stevens was sent in to retrieve the rest of the Stingers. This was a "do-or-die" mission, which explains the stand down orders given to multiple commando teams.

It was the State Dept, not the CIA that supplied them to our sworn enemies, because Petraeus wouldn't supply these deadly weapons due to their potential use on commercial aircraft. Then, Obama threw Gen. Petraeus under the bus after he refused to testify that he OK'd the BS talking points about a spontaneous uprising due to a Youtube video.

Obama and Hillary committed treason...and THIS is what the investigation is all about, why she had a private server, (in order to delete the digital evidence), and why Obama, two weeks after the attack, told the UN that the attack was because of a Youtube video, even though everyone knew it was not. Further...the Taliban knew that this administration aided and abetted the enemy without Congressional approval when Boehner created the Select Cmte, and the Taliban began pushing the Obama Administration for the release of 5 Taliban Generals. Bowe Bergdahl was just a pawn...everyone KNEW he was a traitor.

So we have a traitor as POTUS that is not only corrupt, but compromised...and a woman that is a serial liar, perjured herself multiple times at the Hearing whom is running for POTUS. Only the Dems, with their hands out, palms up, will support her. Perhaps this is why no military aircraft was called in…because the administration knew our enemies had Stingers.

Suelark DoruSlinger✓ᵀᴿᵁᴹᴾ 42 minutes ago

Please repost this here and elsewhere. If true it would make sense of much of what has happened.

Regular Guy an hour ago
Tim Kaine: "I don't think we can dignify documents dumped by WikiLeaks and just assume that they're all accurate and true,"

They were confirmed true when John Podesta's Twitter password was distributed in one of the WikiLeaks email releases and his Twitter account was hijacked the same day by a troll saying, "Trump 2016! Hi pol". Checkmate b!tch. see more DNC Russian Hacker Pepe Regular Guy 12 minutes ago The way they parse words, the Kaine statement still doesn't state the documents are not accurate. He makes an editorial statement to mislead the listener into thinking there is some reason to question the facts.

DeplorableCarlo an hour ago
Sounds pretty much like poor temperament to me when you have mood problems. Can we please put national security on hold for now, we have to check her mood ring. It is imperative for the best outcome that we check her head space. WOW! That's a real dumb explanation. Maybe if we use the word mood instead of temperament that will be better than telling people she has health problems in her head.

[Oct 28, 2016] Tom Haydens Haunting by Jim Kavanagh

Oct 28, 2016 | www.counterpunch.org
As an old SDS-er, I found it hard to see Tom Hayden go. However meandering his path, he was at the heart of radical history in the 60s, an erstwhile companion, if not always a comrade, on the route of every boomer lefty.

One of his finer moments for me, which I've never seen mentioned (including among this week's encomia) since he wrote it, was his 2006 article , published on CounterPunch with an introduction by Alexander Cockburn, in which he apologized for a "descent into moral ambiguity and realpolitick that still haunts me today." It would be respectful of Hayden's admirers and critics, on the occasion of his passing, to remember which of his actions "haunted" him the most.

The title of the article says it clearly: "I Was Israel's Dupe." In the essay, Hayden apologizes for his support of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, which was for him that "descent into moral ambiguity" More importantly, he explains why he did it, in a detailed narrative that everyone should read.

Hayden sold out, as he tells it, because, in order to run as a Democratic candidate for the California State Assembly, he had get the approval of the influential Democratic congressman Howard Berman. Berman is a guy who, when he became Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, was proud to tell the Forward that he took the job because of his "interest in the Jewish state" and that: "Even before I was a Democrat, I was a Zionist."

Hayden had to meet with Howard's brother Michael, who, acting as "the gatekeeper protecting Los Angeles' Westside for Israel's political interests," told Hayden: "I represent the Israeli Defense Forces"-a sentence that could serve as the motto of most American congress critters today. The "Berman-Waxman machine," Hayden was told, would deign to "rent" him the Assembly seat on the "one condition: that I always be a 'good friend of Israel.'"

But American congressmen were not the only "gatekeepers" through whose hands Hayden had to pass before being allowed to run for Congress. Other "certifiers" included "the elites, beginning with rabbis and heads of the multiple mainstream Jewish organizations,… the American-Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC), …[and].. Israeli ambassadors, counsels general and other officials."

In fact, Hayden had to, in his words, be "declared 'kosher' by the ultimate source, the region's representative of the state of Israel," Benjamin Navon, Israel's Counsul-general in Los Angeles.

In other words, in this article Hayden was describing, in an unusually concrete way, how the state of Israel, through its state officials and their compliant American partners, was effectively managing-exercising veto power over Democratic Party candidates, at the very least-American elections down to the level of State Assembly . In any constituency "attuned to the question of Israel, even in local and state elections," Hayden knew he "had to be certified 'kosher,' not once but over and over again."

This experience prompted Hayden to express a "fear …that the 'Israeli lobby' is working overtime to influence American public opinion on behalf of Israel's military effort to 'roll back the clock' and 'change the map' of the region." Hayden warned of the "trepidation and confusion among rank-and-file voters and activists, and the paralysis of politicians, especially Democrats," over support of Israel. He vowed to "not make the same mistake again," and said: "Most important, Americans must not be timid in speaking up, as I was 25 years ago."

Whatever else he did-and he was never particularly radical about Palestine-this article was a genuinely honest and unusual intervention, and it deserves a lot more notice-as a moment in Tom Hayden's history and that of the American left-than it has got. Looking back and regretfully acknowledging that one had been duped and morally compromised by what seemed the least troublesome path 25 years earlier, saying "I woulda, shoulda, coulda done the right thing," is a haunting moment for anyone. Doing it in a way that exposes in detail how a foreign country constantly manipulates American elections over decades is worthy of everyone's notice.

I doubt Hillary and her Democratic supporters will have anything to say about this "interference "in American elections, even local and state. But I do hope many of those who are touched by the loss of Tom Hayden heed these words from him, and don't wait another 25 years to overcome their "fear and confusion" about saying and doing the right thing regarding the crimes of Israel, troublesome as that might be.

[Oct 27, 2016] Dennis Kucinichs Extraordinary Warning On Washingtons Think Tank Warmongers

Notable quotes:
"... Former Congressman Dennis Kucinich has just penned an extremely powerful warning about the warmongers in Washington D.C. Who funds them, what their motives are, and why it is imperative for the American people to stop them. ..."
"... Washington, DC, may be the only place in the world where people openly flaunt their pseudo-intellectuality by banding together, declaring themselves "think tanks," and raising money from external interests, including foreign governments, to compile reports that advance policies inimical to the real-life concerns of the American people. ..."
"... As a former member of the House of Representatives, I remember 16 years of congressional hearings where pedigreed experts came to advocate wars in testimony based on circular, rococo thinking devoid of depth, reality, and truth. I remember other hearings where the Pentagon was unable to reconcile over $1 trillion in accounts, lost track of $12 billion in cash sent to Iraq, and rigged a missile-defense test so that an interceptor could easily home in on a target. War is first and foremost a profitable racket. ..."
"... According to the front page of this past Friday's Washington Post, the bipartisan foreign-policy elite recommends the next president show less restraint than President Obama. Acting at the urging of "liberal" hawks brandishing humanitarian intervention, read war, the Obama administration attacked Libya along with allied powers working through NATO. ..."
Oct 27, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com
Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

WAR is a racket. It always has been.

It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

– From Major General Smedley Butler's War is a Racket

Former Congressman Dennis Kucinich has just penned an extremely powerful warning about the warmongers in Washington D.C. Who funds them, what their motives are, and why it is imperative for the American people to stop them.

The piece was published at The Nation and is titled: Why Is the Foreign Policy Establishment Spoiling for More War? Look at Their Donors .

Read it and share it with everyone you know.

Washington, DC, may be the only place in the world where people openly flaunt their pseudo-intellectuality by banding together, declaring themselves "think tanks," and raising money from external interests, including foreign governments, to compile reports that advance policies inimical to the real-life concerns of the American people.

As a former member of the House of Representatives, I remember 16 years of congressional hearings where pedigreed experts came to advocate wars in testimony based on circular, rococo thinking devoid of depth, reality, and truth. I remember other hearings where the Pentagon was unable to reconcile over $1 trillion in accounts, lost track of $12 billion in cash sent to Iraq, and rigged a missile-defense test so that an interceptor could easily home in on a target. War is first and foremost a profitable racket.

How else to explain that in the past 15 years this city's so called bipartisan foreign policy elite has promoted wars in Iraq and Libya, and interventions in Syria and Yemen, which have opened Pandora's box to a trusting world, to the tune of trillions of dollars, a windfall for military contractors. DC's think "tanks" should rightly be included in the taxonomy of armored war vehicles and not as gathering places for refugees from academia.

According to the front page of this past Friday's Washington Post, the bipartisan foreign-policy elite recommends the next president show less restraint than President Obama. Acting at the urging of "liberal" hawks brandishing humanitarian intervention, read war, the Obama administration attacked Libya along with allied powers working through NATO.

Indeed, I warned about this in last week's piece: U.S. Foreign Policy 'Elite' Eagerly Await an Expansion of Overseas Wars Under Hillary Clinton .

The think tankers fell in line with the Iraq invasion. Not being in the tank, I did my own analysis of the call for war in October of 2002, based on readily accessible information, and easily concluded that there was no justification for war. I distributed it widely in Congress and led 125 Democrats in voting against the Iraq war resolution. There was no money to be made from a conclusion that war was uncalled for, so, against millions protesting in the United States and worldwide, our government launched into an abyss, with a lot of armchair generals waving combat pennants. The marching band and chowder society of DC think tanks learned nothing from the Iraq and Libya experience.

The only winners were arms dealers, oil companies, and jihadists. Immediately after the fall of Libya, the black flag of Al Qaeda was raised over a municipal building in Benghazi, Gadhafi's murder was soon to follow, with Secretary Clinton quipping with a laugh, "We came, we saw, he died." President Obama apparently learned from this misadventure, but not the Washington policy establishment, which is spoiling for more war.

The self-identified liberal Center for American Progress (CAP) is now calling for Syria to be bombed, and estimates America's current military adventures will be tidied up by 2025, a tardy twist on "mission accomplished." CAP, according to a report in The Nation, has received funding from war contractors Lockheed Martin and Boeing, who make the bombers that CAP wants to rain hellfire on Syria.

The Brookings Institute has taken tens of millions from foreign governments , notably Qatar, a key player in the military campaign to oust Assad. Retired four-star Marine general John Allen is now a Brookings senior fellow . Charles Lister is a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute , which has received funding from Saudi Arabia , the major financial force providing billions in arms to upend Assad and install a Sunni caliphate stretching across Iraq and Syria. Foreign-government money is driving our foreign policy.

As the drumbeat for an expanded war gets louder, Allen and Lister jointly signed an op-ed in the Sunday Washington Post, calling for an attack on Syria. The Brookings Institute, in a report to Congress , admitted it received $250,000 from the US Central Command, Centcom, where General Allen shared leadership duties with General David Petraeus. Pentagon money to think tanks that endorse war? This is academic integrity, DC-style.

And why is Central Command, as well as the Food and Drug Administration, the US Department of transportation, and the US Department of Health and Human Services giving money to Brookings?

Former secretary of state Madeleine Albright, who famously told Colin Powell , "What's the point of having this superb military you're always talking about if we can't use it," predictably says of this current moment , "We do think there needs to be more American action." A former Bush administration top adviser is also calling for the United States to launch a cruise missile attack on Syria.

The American people are fed up with war, but a concerted effort is being made through fearmongering, propaganda, and lies to prepare our country for a dangerous confrontation, with Russia in Syria.

The demonization of Russia is a calculated plan to resurrect a raison d'être for stone-cold warriors trying to escape from the dustbin of history by evoking the specter of Russian world domination.

It's infectious. Earlier this year the BBC broadcast a fictional show that contemplated WWIII, beginning with a Russian invasion of Latvia (where 26 percent of the population is ethnic Russian and 34 percent of Latvians speak Russian at home).

The imaginary WWIII scenario conjures Russia's targeting London for a nuclear strike. No wonder that by the summer of 2016 a poll showed two-thirds of UK citizens approved the new British PM's launching a nuclear strike in retaliation. So much for learning the lessons detailed in the Chilcot report.

As this year's presidential election comes to a conclusion, the Washington ideologues are regurgitating the same bipartisan consensus that has kept America at war since 9/11 and made the world a decidedly more dangerous place.

The DC think tanks provide cover for the political establishment, a political safety net, with a fictive analytical framework providing a moral rationale for intervention, capitol casuistry. I'm fed up with the DC policy elite who cash in on war while presenting themselves as experts, at the cost of other people's lives, our national fortune, and the sacred honor of our country.

Any report advocating war that comes from any alleged think tank ought to be accompanied by a list of the think tank's sponsors and donors and a statement of the lobbying connections of the report's authors.

It is our patriotic duty to expose why the DC foreign-policy establishment and its sponsors have not learned from their failures and instead are repeating them, with the acquiescence of the political class and sleepwalkers with press passes.

It is also time for a new peace movement in America, one that includes progressives and libertarians alike, both in and out of Congress, to organize on campuses, in cities, and towns across America, to serve as an effective counterbalance to the Demuplican war party, its think tanks, and its media cheerleaders. The work begins now, not after the Inauguration. We must not accept war as inevitable, and those leaders who would lead us in that direction, whether in Congress or the White House, must face visible opposition.

Thank you Mr. Kucinich, I couldn't agree more.

RogerMud Oct 27, 2016 7:33 PM ,

we should have elected him in 2008. missed opportunity.
LetThemEatRand -> RogerMud Oct 27, 2016 7:41 PM ,
Just like Ron Paul (with whom he agrees on matters of foreign policy and the Fed), he was painted by MSM as a kook. I wonder why. While I understand that many here would never vote for him because he believes in things like social programs, so do all of the Republicans in Congress. He would have made a far better president than zero or McCain.
nmewn Oct 27, 2016 7:37 PM ,
So I guess the War on Poverty is over...so who won? ;-)
Ignatius Oct 27, 2016 7:43 PM ,
Off Topic: Oregon Standoff -- Not Guilty of Conspiracy

http://www.oregonlive.com/oregon-standoff/2016/10/judge_welcomes_new_jur...

The comment section is filled with weeping bolsheviks, apparently.

[Oct 26, 2016] There are some countervailing forces in action and the Triumphal march of neoliberalism with the USA as the hegemon of the new neoliberal order is either over, or soon will be over

Notable quotes:
"... Any analysis that starts with the assumption reactionaries still has a great deal to its agenda to achieve, such as promoting regressive taxation; privatization of Social Security; limiting Medicare; privatization of education; expansion of the police state; using the military to support the dollar, banking, world markets, etc., rather than Corey Robin's belief that "the Right" has won is in my view an improvement on the OP. ..."
"... In the end, Putin will be done in by his oligarchs, despite the care he has taken to give them their share if they just refrain from wrecking everything with their excesses. Again, no need for NGOs. ..."
Oct 26, 2016 | crookedtimber.org
stevenjohnson

@58

This is a very good analyses. But I am less pessimistic: the blowback against neoliberal globalization is real and it is difficult to swipe it under the carpet.

There are some signs of the "revolutionary situation" in the USA in a sense that the neoliberal elite lost control and their propaganda loss effectiveness, despite dusting off the "Red scare" trick with "Reds in each computer" instead of "Reds under each bed". With Putin as a very convenient bogeyman.

As somebody here said Trump might be a reaction of secular stagnation, kind of trump card put into play by some part of the elite, because with continued secular stagnation, the social stability in the USA is under real threat.

But it looks like newly formed shadow "Committee for Saving [neo]Liberal Order" (with participation of three latter agencies, just read the recent "Red scare" memorandum ( https://www.dni.gov/index.php/newsroom/press-releases/215-press-releases-2016/1423-joint-dhs-odni-election-security-statement ) want Hillary to be the POTUS.

But the problem is that Hillary with her failing health is our of her prime and with a bunch of neocons in key positions in her administration, she really represents a huge threat to world peace. She might not last long as the level of stress inherent in POTUS job make it a killing ground for anybody with advanced stage of Parkinson or similar degenerative neurological disease. But that might make her more impulsive and more aggressive (and she always tried to outdo male politicians in jingoism, real John McCain is the red pantsuit).

All-in-all it looks like she in not a solution for neoliberal elite problems, she is a part of the problem

Adventurism of the US neoliberal elite, and especially possible aggressive moves in Syria by Hillary regime ("no fly zone"), makes military alliance of Russia and China very likely (with Pakistan, Iran and India as possible future members). So Hillary might really work like a powerful China lobbyist, because the alliance with Russia will be on China terms.

Regime change via color revolution in either country requires at dense network of subservient to the Western interests and financed via shadow channels MSM (including TV channels), strong network of NGO and ability to distribute cash to selected members of the fifth column of neoliberal globalization. All those condition were made more difficult in Russia and impossible in mainland China. In Russia the US adventurism in Ukraine and the regime change of February 2014 (creation of neo-fascist regime nicknamed by some "Kaganat of Nuland" (Asia Times http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/CEN-01-100315.html )) essentially killed the neoliberal fifth column in Russia and IMHO it no longer represent a viable political force.

Also Russians probably learned well lesson of unsuccessful attempt of regime change by interfering into Russian Presidential election process attempted by Hillary and Obama in 2011-2012. I would like to see the US MSM reaction if Russian ambassador invited Sanders and Trump into the embassy and promised full and unconditional support for their effort to remove criminal Obama regime, mired in corruption and subservient to Wall Street interests, the regime that produced misery for so many American workers, lower middle class and older Americans ;-)

Ambassador McFaul soon left the country, NED was banned and screws were tightened enough to make next attempt exceedingly difficult. Although everything can happen I would discount the possibility of the next "White Revolution" in Russia. So called "Putin regime" survived the period of low oil prices and with oil prices over $60 in 2017 Russian economy might be able to grow several percent a year. At the same time the US "post-Obama" regime might well face the winds of returning higher oil prices and their negative influence of economy growth and unemployment.

In China recent troubles in Hong Cong were also a perfect training ground for "anti color revolution" measures and the next attempt would much more difficult, unless China experience economic destabilization due to some bubble burst.

That means that excessive military adventurism inherent in the future Hillary regime might speed up loss by the USA military dominance and re-alignment of some states beyond Philippines. Angela Merkel regime also might not survive the next election and that event might change "pro-Atlantic" balance in Europe.

Although the list in definitely not complete, we can see that there are distinct setbacks for attempts of further neoliberalization beyond Brexit and TPP troubles.

So there are some countervailing forces in action and my impression that the Triumphal march of neoliberalism with the USA as the hegemon of the new neoliberal order is either over, or soon will be over. In certain regions of the globe the USA foreign policy is in trouble (Syria, Ukraine) and while you can do anything using bayonets, you can't sit on them.

So while still there is no viable alternative to neoliberalism as a social system, the ideology itself is discredited and like communism after 1945 lost its hold of hearts and minds of the USA population. I would say that in the USA neoliberalism entered Zombie stage.

My hope is that reasonable voices in foreign policy prevail, and the disgust of unions members toward DemoRats (Neoliberal Democrats) could play the decisive role in coming elections. As bad as Trump is for domestic policy, it represent some hope as for foreign policy unless co-opted by Republican establishment.

Val 10.26.16 at 3:54 am 72

#70
But the problem is that Hillary with her failing health is our of her prime and with a bunch of neocons in key positions in her administration, she really represents a huge threat to world peace. She might not last long as the level of stress inherent in POTUS job make it a killing ground for anybody with advanced stage of Parkinson or similar degenerative neurological disease. But that might kale her more impulsive and more aggressive (and she always tried to outdo her male politicians in jingoism, real John McCain is the red pantsuit).

Does the new CT moderation regime have any expectations about the veracity of claims made by commenters? Because I think it would be useful in cases like this.

Howard Frant 10.26.16 at 6:19 am ( 73 )

Stephen @58

Yes, it was late and I was tired, or I wouldn't have said something so foolish. Still, the point is that after centuries of constant war, Europe went 70 years without territorial conquest. That strikes me as a significant achievement, and one whose breach should not be taken lightly.

phenomenal cat @64

So democratic structures have to be robust and transparent before we care about them? I'd give a pretty high value to an independent press and contested elections. Those have been slowly crushed in Russia. The results for transparency have not been great. Personally, I don't believe that Ukraine is governed by fascists, or that Ukraine shot down that jetliner, but I'm sure a lot of Russians do.

Russian leaders have always complained about "encirclement," but we don't have to believe them. Do you really believe Russia's afraid of an attack from Estonia? Clearly what Putin wants is to restore as much of the old Soviet empire as possible. Do you think the independence of the Baltic states would be more secure or less secure if they weren't members of NATO? (Hint: compare to Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova.)

Layman 10.26.16 at 11:33 am ( 79 )

'….makes military alliance of Russia and China very likely…'

Any analysis which arrives at this conclusion is profoundly ignorant.

Meta-comment: Is it permitted to say that a moderation scheme which objects to engels as a troll, while permitting this tripe from likbez has taken a wrong turn somewhere. Seriously, some explanation called for.

likbez 10.26.16 at 3:54 pm 80

@72

Does the new CT moderation regime have any expectations about the veracity of claims made by commenters? Because I think it would be useful in cases like this.

I would like to apologize about the number of typos, but I stand by statements made. Your implicit assumption that I am lying was not specific, so let's concentrate on three claims made:

1. "Hillary has serious neurological disease for at least four years",
2. "Obama and Hillary tried to stage color revolution in Russia in 2011-2012 interfering in Russian Presidential elections"
3. "Hillary Clinton is a neocon, a warmonger similar to John McCain"

1. Hillary Health : Whether she suffers from Parkinson disease or not in unclear, but signs of some serious neurological disease are observable since 2012 (for four years). Parkinson is just the most plausible hypothesis based on symptoms observed. Those symptoms suggests that she is at Stage 2 of the disease due to an excellent treatment she gets:

http://www.viartis.net/parkinsons.disease/news/100312.htm
The average time taken to progress from Stage 1 (mild) to Stage 2 (mild but various symptoms) was 1 year 8 months. The average time taken to progress from Stage 2 to Stage 3 (typical) was 7 years and 3 months. From Stage 3 to Stage 4 (severe) took 2 years. From Stage 4 to Stage 5 (incapacitated) took 2 years and 2 months. So the stage with typical symptoms lasts the longest. Those factors associated with faster progression were older age at diagnosis, and longer disease duration. Gender and ethnicity were not associated with the rate of Parkinson's Disease progression.

These figures are only averages. Progression is not inevitable. Some people with Parkinson's Disease have either : stayed the same for decades, reduced their symptoms, rid their symptoms, or worsened at a rapid rate. For more current news go to Parkinson's Disease News.

Concern about Hillary health were voiced in many publications and signs of her neurological disease are undisputable:

2. Hillary and Obama attempt to stage the color revolution in Russia in 2011-2012 are also undisputable, but not widely known:

3. The opinion that Hillary as a neocon is supported by facts from all her career , but especially during her tenure as the Secretary of State. She voted for Iraq war and was instrumental in unleashing Libya war and Syria war. The amount of evidence can't be ignored:

If you have more specific concerns please voice them and I will try to support my statements with references and known facts.


stevenjohnson 10.26.16 at 1:50 pm

likbez @70 Any analysis that starts with the assumption reactionaries still has a great deal to its agenda to achieve, such as promoting regressive taxation; privatization of Social Security; limiting Medicare; privatization of education; expansion of the police state; using the military to support the dollar, banking, world markets, etc., rather than Corey Robin's belief that "the Right" has won is in my view an improvement on the OP. But whether mine is actually a deep analysis seems doubtful even to me.

But the OP is really limiting itself solely to domestic politics, and in that context the resistance to "neoliberal globalization," (Why not use the term "imperialism?") is more or less irrelevant. The OP seems to have some essentialist notion of the "Right" as openly aimed at restoring the past, ignoring the content of policies. Reaction would be something blatant like restoring censorship of TV and movies, instead of IP laws that favor giant telecommunications companies, or abolition of divorce, instead of discriminatory enforcement of child protection laws that break up poor families. This cultural/psychological/moralizing/spiritual approach seems to me to be fundamentally a diversion from a useful understanding.

There may be some sort of confused notions about popular morals and tastes clearly evolving in a more leftish direction. Free love was never a conservative principle for instance, yet many of its tenets are now those of the majority of the population. Personally I can only observe that there's nothing quite like the usefulness of laws and law enforcement, supplemented by the occasional illicit violence, to change social attitudes. The great model of course is the de facto extermination of the Left by "McCarthyism." No doubt the disappearance of the left targeted by "McCarthyism" is perceived to be a purification of the real left. It is customary for the acceptable "left" to agree with the McCarthys that communism lost its appeal to the people, rather than being driven out by mass repression. As to populism, such reactionary goals as the abolition of public education are notoriously sold as service to the people against the hifalutin' snobs, starting of course with lazy ass teachers. It seems to me entirely mistaken to see the populist reactionaries as out of ammunition because the old forms of race-baiting aren't working so well.

By the way, there already is a Chinese bourgeoisie, in Taiwan, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, as well as elements in SEZs in China proper and select circles in various financial capitals. Restoration of capitalism in China has run into the difficulty that capitalism isn't holding up its end. President Xi Jinping is finding it difficult for capitalism to keep the mainland economy growing at a sufficiently rapid rate to keep the working class pacific, much less generate the so-called middle class whose stock market portfolios will bind them to the new ruling class forever. These are the sources for a revolution in China, not NGOs or a color revolution. In the end, Putin will be done in by his oligarchs, despite the care he has taken to give them their share if they just refrain from wrecking everything with their excesses. Again, no need for NGOs.

Val @72 I remember that there were only rare, vague hints about Reagan, not factual evidence. So unless you are committed to the proposition his Alzheimer's disease only set in January 21, 1992, demanding factual evidence about the mental and physical health of our elective divinities seems unduly restrictive I think.

Layman @79 The Shanghai Cooperation Organization alone makes an analysis that a military alliance between Russia and China reasonable enough. Even if incorrect in the end, it is not "profoundly ignorant."

Meta-comment: Engels post was perceived as mocking, which was its offense. As for "trolling," that's an internet thing...

[Oct 25, 2016] Urged by neoliberal elite, Hillary Clinton administration might be ever more destabilizing due to desperate adventures both in domestic and especially foreign policy

Notable quotes:
"... There are some signs of the "revolutionary situation" in the USA in a sense that the neoliberal elite lost control and their propaganda loss effectiveness, despite dusting off the "Red scare" trick with "Reds in each computer" instead of "Reds under each bed". With Putin as a very convenient bogeyman. ..."
"... But it looks like newly formed shadow "Committee for Saving [neo]Liberal Order" (with participation of three latter agencies, just read the recent "Red scare" memorandum ( https://www.dni.gov/index.php/newsroom/press-releases/215-press-releases-2016/1423-joint-dhs-odni-election-security-statement ) want Hillary to be the POTUS. ..."
Oct 25, 2016 | crookedtimber.org

stevenjohnson 10.25.16 at 1:00 pm

Six reasons for pessimism?

1. An ABC news poll says that Clinton has 50% of somebody (the electorate, likely voters?) supporting her rabidly reactionary rhetoric. She demonizes Putin, imputes treason to a major party candidate in a way hitherto seen only in Birch Society attacks on Eisenhower, shrieks that it is utterly impossible to even hint that the current electoral system has no real legitimacy.

The only real criticisms acceptable in the face of her reactionary screeds are hints that she is a traitor for Clinton Foundation cash and that she is lax on security . (The claim that Clinton is pro-war are regressions to the Obama primary campaign in 2008. Since he promptly proved the irrelevance of an anti-war rhetoric, the observations that Clinton has none are equally irrelevant.)

2. The high levels of indecision suggest that a Trump defeat may well leave the Republican establishment more or less as it was. Depending on turnout, which even at this late date is highly uncertain, it is entirely possible the Republicans will maintain control of the Senate. At this point it is probable they will keep the House. In any event, Clinton has openly committed to a bipartisan a campaign against the Trump hijacking of the Republican party.

3. Consider the longevity of reactionary leaderships in the major parties. The Democratic Leadership Council approach has dominated its party for decades. The Republican party projects like ALEC, the Federalist Society, the Mighty Wurlitzer, the designated superstar talk personality (no, shifting from Limbaugh to Beck is not a sea change,) everywhere you look behind the scenes you see the same faces. What new faces appear turn out (like Obama) to be employees of the same old political establishments. Alleged exceptions like Sanders and Warren are notable primarily for their lack of commitment.

4. There are bold thinkers willing to imagine the conservative future. Think Jason Brennan and his book Against Democracy. Even worse, the real strength of the conservatives lies in the bottom line, not in polemics. Tragically, it's when the bottom line is written in read that it shrieks the loudest, with the most conviction and the most urgent desire for the masters to unite against the rest of us.

5. California politics has set the pace once again, demonstrating the absolute irrelevance of a "Left" defined as a spiritual posture. The annihilation of an ugly materialist Left by "McCarthyism" has purified the souls of the righetous, leaving socialism/communism unthinkable. California leftism is entirely safe for capitalism, imperialism and a free market of ideas where the refined consumers of ideas can have their gated neighborhoods of ideas.

6. The majority support for a more tolerant society makes no difference in policy. Being nicer is not politics.

There is a fundamental reason for despair, the failures of the right to win the Holy Grail of a functional capitalist society. Despite their successes in destroying organized labor (with the help of counter-revolutionary "leftists" to be sure,) in limiting women's rights, in blunting the real world effects of desegregation, the short-run prospects of capital are…disquieting. And the long run prospects, insofar as these people can see past the quarterly statement, are even more frightening. Urged by their fears, the system will be ever more destabilized by desperate adventures. The replacement of Social Security of course will be high on the agenda. The absolutely vital need for ever more control over the world, including regime change in Russia and China, has driven foreign policy in direct support of the dollar and banking since at least Bush 41.

But in the end, it is not the madness of the owners that is the cause for despair, but the absolute indifference of the spiritual leftists who have joined in the rabidly reactionary campaign against Clinton from the right. (You would have thought it rather difficult to criticize Clinton from the right, but never underestimate the exigencies of struggle against totalitarianism.) Win or lose, this campaign has endorsed reaction, top to bottom. On the upside, the likelihood of a Clinton impeachment offers much value for your entertainment dollar.

likbez 10.26.16 at 1:10 am

stevenjohnson

@58

This is a very good analyses. But I am less pessimistic: the blowback against neoliberal globalization is real and it is difficult to swipe it under the carpet.

There are some signs of the "revolutionary situation" in the USA in a sense that the neoliberal elite lost control and their propaganda loss effectiveness, despite dusting off the "Red scare" trick with "Reds in each computer" instead of "Reds under each bed". With Putin as a very convenient bogeyman.

As somebody here said Trump might be a reaction to secular stagnation, kind of trump card put into play by some part of the elite, because with continued secular stagnation, the social stability in the USA is under a real threat.

But it looks like newly formed shadow "Committee for Saving [neo]Liberal Order" (with participation of three latter agencies, just read the recent "Red scare" memorandum ( https://www.dni.gov/index.php/newsroom/press-releases/215-press-releases-2016/1423-joint-dhs-odni-election-security-statement ) want Hillary to be the POTUS.

But the problem is that Hillary with her failing health is our of her prime and with a bunch of neocons in key positions in her administration, she really represents a huge threat to world peace. She might not last long as the level of stress inherent in POTUS job make it a killing ground for anybody with advanced stage of Parkinson or similar degenerative neurological disease. But that might kale her more impulsive and more aggressive (and she always tried to outdo her male politicians in jingoism, real John McCain is the red pantsuit).

All-in-all it looks like she in not a solution of neoliberal elite problems, she is a part of the problem

Adventurism of the US neoliberal elite, and especially possible aggressive moves in Syria by Hillary regime ("no fly zone"), makes military alliance of Russia and China very likely (with Pakistan, Iran and India as possible future members). So Hillary might really work like a powerful China lobbyist, because the alliance with Russia will be on China terms.

Regime change via color revolution in either country requires at dense network of subservient to the Western interests and financed via shadow channels MSM (including TV channels), NGO and ability to distribute cash to selection members of fifth column of neoliberalism. All those condition were made more difficult in Russia and impossible in mainland China. In Russia the US adventurism in Ukraine and the regime change of February 2014 (creation of neo-fascist regime nicknamed by some "Kaganat of Nuland" (Asia times http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/CEN-01-100315.html ) essentially killed the neoliberal fifth column in Russia and IMHO it no longer represent a viable political force.

Also Russians probably learned well lesson of unsuccessful attempt of regime change by interfering into Russian Presidential election process attempted by Hillary and Obama in 2011-2012. I would like to see the US MSM reaction if Russian ambassador invited Sanders and Trump into the embassy and promised full and unconditional support for their effort to remove criminal Obama regime, mired in corruption and subservient to Wall Street interest, the regime that produced misery for so many American workers, lower middle class and older Americans ;-)

Ambassador McFaul soon left the country, NED was banned and screws were tightened enough to make next attempt exceedingly difficult. Although everything can happen I would discount the possibility of the next "While Revolution" in Russia. So called "Putin regime" survived the period of low oil prices and with oil prices over $60 in 2017 Russian economy might be able to grow several percent a year. At the same time the US "post-Obama" regime might well face the winds of returning higher oil prices and their negative influence of economy growth and unemployment.

In China recent troubles in Hong Cong were also a perfect training ground for "anti color revolution" measures and the next attempt would much more difficult, unless China experience economic destabilization due to some bubble burst.

that means that excessive military adventurism inherent in the future Hillary regime might speed up loss by the USA military dominance and re-alignment of some states beyond Philippines. Angela Merkel regime also might not survive the next election and change "pro-Atlantic" balance in Europe.

Although the list in definitely not complete, we can see that there are distinct setbacks for attempts of further neoliberalization - Brexit and TPP troubles.

So there are some countervailing forces in action and my impression that the Triumphal march of neoliberalism with the USA as a hegemon of the new neoliberal order is either over or soon will be over. In certain regions of the globe the USA foreign policy is in trouble (Syria, Ukraine) and while you can do anything using bayonets, you can't sit on them.

So while still there is no viable alternative to neoliberalism as social system, the ideology itself is discredited and like communism after 1945 lost its hold of hearts and minds of the USA population. I would say that in the USA neoliberalism entered Zombie stage.

My hope is that reasonable voices in foreign policy prevail, and the disgust of unions members toward DemoRats (Neoliberal Democrats) could play the decisive role in coming elections. As bad as Trump is for domestic policy, it represent some hope as for foreign policy unless co-opted by Republican establishment.

[Oct 25, 2016] My impression is that that key issue is as following: a vote for Hillary is a vote for the War Party and is incompatible with democratic principles

Oct 25, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

likbez : October 24, 2016 at 12:00 PM My impression is that that key issue is as following: a vote for Hillary is a vote for the War Party and is incompatible with democratic principles.

She is way too militant, and is not that different in this respect from Senator McCain. That creates a real danger of unleashing the war with Russia.

Trump with all his warts gives us a chance to get some kind of détente with Russia.

In other words no real Democrat can vote for Hillary. Reply Monday, October 24, 2016 at 12:00 PM DeDude -> likbez... , October 24, 2016 at 12:17 PM

You wish, you wish - you wish you were a fish, called Wanda.
Julio -> likbez... , October 24, 2016 at 01:32 PM
A vote for Hilary may indeed be a vote for the (a?) war party, but it is not, unfortunately, incompatible with democratic principles.
ilsm -> Julio ... , October 24, 2016 at 03:19 PM
at least LBJ kept it under wraps.........
likbez -> Julio ... , October 24, 2016 at 06:25 PM
Why do you think "wet kiss with neocons" is compatible with democratic principles ?
Julio -> likbez... , -1
Because the neocons have convinced a lot of the people (you know, the "demos" in "democracy") of the need for perpetual war.
Dan Kervick -> likbez... , October 24, 2016 at 01:36 PM
Just a hunch: a lot of this hoo-hah will simmer down after the election.

But yeah, I'm really bummed that we are going to be seeing a return of a lot of the same creeps who gave us the foreign policy of the 90's that went belly up in 2001-03.

Just a reminder: I called attention several times to this article in 2014 and 2015:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/06/opinion/sunday/are-neocons-getting-ready-to-ally-with-hillary-clinton.html?_r=0

But most of the liberal bloggers obediently kept their mouths shut about it.

anne -> Dan Kervick... , October 24, 2016 at 02:56 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/06/opinion/sunday/are-neocons-getting-ready-to-ally-with-hillary-clinton.html

July 5, 2014

The Next Act of the Neocons
Are Neocons Getting Ready to Ally With Hillary Clinton?
By JACOB HEILBRUNN

WASHINGTON - AFTER nearly a decade in the political wilderness, the neoconservative movement is back, using the turmoil in Iraq and Ukraine to claim that it is President Obama, not the movement's interventionist foreign policy that dominated early George W. Bush-era Washington, that bears responsibility for the current round of global crises.

Even as they castigate Mr. Obama, the neocons may be preparing a more brazen feat: aligning themselves with Hillary Rodham Clinton and her nascent presidential campaign, in a bid to return to the driver's seat of American foreign policy.

To be sure, the careers and reputations of the older generation of neocons - Paul D. Wolfowitz, L. Paul Bremer III, Douglas J. Feith, Richard N. Perle - are permanently buried in the sands of Iraq. And not all of them are eager to switch parties: In April, William Kristol, the editor of The Weekly Standard, said that as president Mrs. Clinton would "be a dutiful chaperone of further American decline."

But others appear to envisage a different direction - one that might allow them to restore the neocon brand, at a time when their erstwhile home in the Republican Party is turning away from its traditional interventionist foreign policy.

It's not as outlandish as it may sound. Consider the historian Robert Kagan, the author of a recent, roundly praised article in The New Republic that amounted to a neo-neocon manifesto. He has not only avoided the vitriolic tone that has afflicted some of his intellectual brethren but also co-founded an influential bipartisan advisory group during Mrs. Clinton's time at the State Department.

Mr. Kagan has also been careful to avoid landing at standard-issue neocon think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute; instead, he's a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, that citadel of liberalism headed by Strobe Talbott, who was deputy secretary of state under President Bill Clinton and is considered a strong candidate to become secretary of state in a new Democratic administration. (Mr. Talbott called the Kagan article "magisterial," in what amounts to a public baptism into the liberal establishment.)

Perhaps most significantly, Mr. Kagan and others have insisted on maintaining the link between modern neoconservatism and its roots in muscular Cold War liberalism. Among other things, he has frequently praised Harry S. Truman's secretary of state, Dean Acheson, drawing a line from him straight to the neocons' favorite president: "It was not Eisenhower or Kennedy or Nixon but Reagan whose policies most resembled those of Acheson and Truman."

Other neocons have followed Mr. Kagan's careful centrism and respect for Mrs. Clinton. Max Boot, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations,noted in The New Republic this year that "it is clear that in administration councils she was a principled voice for a strong stand on controversial issues, whether supporting the Afghan surge or the intervention in Libya."

And the thing is, these neocons have a point. Mrs. Clinton voted for the Iraq war; supported sending arms to Syrian rebels; likened Russia's president, Vladimir V. Putin, to Adolf Hitler...

ilsm -> Dan Kervick... , October 24, 2016 at 03:22 PM
Anne and I have seen this for a while.

Nothing new Strobe Talbott was closeted, and brought Mrs Kagan aka Victoria Nuland in to State in 1993.

Bill bearded the bear breaking Kosovo and Bosi=nia out of Serbia...........

The down payment for Kyiv in 2012 was in 1996.

likbez -> ilsm... , October 24, 2016 at 05:47 PM
Nuland occupies a special place among neocons.

This former associate of Dick Cheney managed to completely destroy pretty nice European county, unleashing the horror of real starvation on the population.

Ukraine now is essentially Central African country in the middle of the Europe. Retirees often live on less then $1 a day. most adults (and lucky retirees) on less then $3 a day. $6 a day is considered a high salary. At the same time "oligarchs" drive on Maybachs, and personal jets.

Sex tourism is rampant. Probably the only "profession" that prospered since "Maydan".

Young people try to get university education and emigrate to any county that would accept them (repeating the story of Baltic countries and Poland).

Now this a typical IMF debt slave with no chances to get out of the hole.

Politically this is now a protectorate of the USA with the USA ambassador as the real, de-facto ruler of the country. Much like Kosovo is.

Standard of living dropped approximately three times since 2014.

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/ukraines-perpetual-war-perpetual-peace-17614

"If the country continues on its present course, Odessa's reformist governor Mikheil Saakashvili has noted sarcastically, Ukraine will not reach the level of GDP it had under former president Viktor Yanukovych for another fifteen years"


"In Kiev, which is by far the wealthiest city in Ukraine, payment arrears for electricity have risen by 32 percent since the beginning of this year."

[Oct 25, 2016] Grand Strategy What is America's Most Pressing Foreign Policy Issue

Notable quotes:
"... There are a variety of potential threats around the world today: tensions in the South China Seas, a nuclear North Korea, conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and civil wars in the Middle East are just a few. In order to better think about these challenges and how they relate to U.S. national security, the Center for the National Interest partnered with the Charles Koch Institute to host a foreign policy roundtable which addressed the question: What is the most pressing issue for America's foreign policy? ..."
"... Mearsheimer argues that the second problematic dimension of U.S. foreign policy is that the United States is "heavily into transformation." By "transformation," Mearsheimer means that "We believe that what we should do in the process of running the world is topple governments that are not liberal democracies and transform them into [neo]liberal democracies." ..."
"... according to Mearsheimer, the United States is pursuing "a hopeless cause; there is a huge literature that makes it clear that promoting democracy around the world is extremely difficult to do, and doing it at the end of a rifle barrel is almost impossible." ..."
"... "It's remarkably difficult to understand why we still continue to think we can dominate the world and pursue the same foreign policy we've been pursuing at least since 2001, when it has led to abject failure after abject failure." ..."
"... Andrew Bacevich opines that the United States needs to "come to some understanding of who we are and why we do these things – a critical understanding of the American identity." Notre Dame's Michael Desch agrees: "That cuts to the core of American political culture. I think the root of the hubris is deep in the software that animates how we think about ourselves, and how we think about the world." ..."
Oct 24, 2016 | The National Interest Blog

There are a variety of potential threats around the world today: tensions in the South China Seas, a nuclear North Korea, conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and civil wars in the Middle East are just a few. In order to better think about these challenges and how they relate to U.S. national security, the Center for the National Interest partnered with the Charles Koch Institute to host a foreign policy roundtable which addressed the question: What is the most pressing issue for America's foreign policy? Watch the rest of the videos in the "Grand Strategy" series.

John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago doesn't shy away from a bold answer: The most pressing issue is that the United States has a "fundamentally misguided foreign policy." Mearsheimer argues that there are two dimensions to U.S. foreign policy that get the United States into "big trouble." First, he says, "We believe that we can dominate the globe, that we can control what happens in every nook and cranny of the world." The problem with this is that "the world is simply too big and nationalism is much too powerful of a force to make it possible for us to come close to doing that."

Mearsheimer argues that the second problematic dimension of U.S. foreign policy is that the United States is "heavily into transformation." By "transformation," Mearsheimer means that "We believe that what we should do in the process of running the world is topple governments that are not liberal democracies and transform them into [neo]liberal democracies."

The United States has engaged in numerous international military interventions over the past fifteen years, primarily in the Middle East. Proponents of these interventions argue that they are necessary in order to build stable democracies in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. However, according to Mearsheimer, the United States is pursuing "a hopeless cause; there is a huge literature that makes it clear that promoting democracy around the world is extremely difficult to do, and doing it at the end of a rifle barrel is almost impossible."

So why has the United States continued to pursue policies and strategies that fail to convert U.S. military might into political ends?

Eugene Gholz of the University of Texas at Austin suggests that the root of the issue could be American hubris. The United States has made the mistake of "thinking we can control things we can't control." Mearsheimer agrees with Gholz, although he finds the situation perplexing: "It's remarkably difficult to understand why we still continue to think we can dominate the world and pursue the same foreign policy we've been pursuing at least since 2001, when it has led to abject failure after abject failure."

Several other scholars chime in to offer their own thoughts on this thorny issue. Boston University's Andrew Bacevich opines that the United States needs to "come to some understanding of who we are and why we do these things – a critical understanding of the American identity." Notre Dame's Michael Desch agrees: "That cuts to the core of American political culture. I think the root of the hubris is deep in the software that animates how we think about ourselves, and how we think about the world."

Harvard University's Stephen Walt offers yet another possibility. Walt asks if the U.S. commitment to its current misguided and damaging foreign policy is due to "deep culture" or if it is result of "the national security apparatus we built after World War II." Walt thinks it is the latter: the United States "was not a highly interventionist country until after the Second World War." After World War II, "we built a large national security state, we had bases everywhere, and then we discovered that we can't let go of any of that, even though the original reason for building it is gone."

Did the other panelists agree with Walt? Did anyone suggest a different problem as a candidate for the most pressing issue? Watch the full video above to see and be sure to check out the other videos of CNI and CKI's panel of nationally acclaimed foreign policy scholars addressing additional questions.

[Oct 25, 2016] Are Neocons Getting Ready to Ally With Hillary Clinton? No question about it. She is one of them.

Oct 25, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne -> Dan Kervick... October 24, 2016 at 02:56 PM

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/06/opinion/sunday/are-neocons-getting-ready-to-ally-with-hillary-clinton.html

July 5, 2014

The Next Act of the Neocons
Are Neocons Getting Ready to Ally With Hillary Clinton?
By JACOB HEILBRUNN

WASHINGTON - AFTER nearly a decade in the political wilderness, the neoconservative movement is back, using the turmoil in Iraq and Ukraine to claim that it is President Obama, not the movement's interventionist foreign policy that dominated early George W. Bush-era Washington, that bears responsibility for the current round of global crises.

Even as they castigate Mr. Obama, the neocons may be preparing a more brazen feat: aligning themselves with Hillary Rodham Clinton and her nascent presidential campaign, in a bid to return to the driver's seat of American foreign policy.

To be sure, the careers and reputations of the older generation of neocons - Paul D. Wolfowitz, L. Paul Bremer III, Douglas J. Feith, Richard N. Perle - are permanently buried in the sands of Iraq. And not all of them are eager to switch parties: In April, William Kristol, the editor of The Weekly Standard, said that as president Mrs. Clinton would "be a dutiful chaperone of further American decline."

But others appear to envisage a different direction - one that might allow them to restore the neocon brand, at a time when their erstwhile home in the Republican Party is turning away from its traditional interventionist foreign policy.

It's not as outlandish as it may sound. Consider the historian Robert Kagan, the author of a recent, roundly praised article in The New Republic that amounted to a neo-neocon manifesto. He has not only avoided the vitriolic tone that has afflicted some of his intellectual brethren but also co-founded an influential bipartisan advisory group during Mrs. Clinton's time at the State Department.

Mr. Kagan has also been careful to avoid landing at standard-issue neocon think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute; instead, he's a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, that citadel of liberalism headed by Strobe Talbott, who was deputy secretary of state under President Bill Clinton and is considered a strong candidate to become secretary of state in a new Democratic administration. (Mr. Talbott called the Kagan article "magisterial," in what amounts to a public baptism into the liberal establishment.)

Perhaps most significantly, Mr. Kagan and others have insisted on maintaining the link between modern neoconservatism and its roots in muscular Cold War liberalism. Among other things, he has frequently praised Harry S. Truman's secretary of state, Dean Acheson, drawing a line from him straight to the neocons' favorite president: "It was not Eisenhower or Kennedy or Nixon but Reagan whose policies most resembled those of Acheson and Truman."

Other neocons have followed Mr. Kagan's careful centrism and respect for Mrs. Clinton. Max Boot, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, noted in The New Republic this year that "it is clear that in administration councils she was a principled voice for a strong stand on controversial issues, whether supporting the Afghan surge or the intervention in Libya."

And the thing is, these neocons have a point. Mrs. Clinton voted for the Iraq war; supported sending arms to Syrian rebels; likened Russia's president, Vladimir V. Putin, to Adolf Hitler...

ilsm -> Dan Kervick... , October 24, 2016 at 03:22 PM
Anne and I have seen this for a while. Nothing new Strobe Talbott was closeted [neocon], and brought Mrs Kagan aka Victoria Nuland in to State in 1993.

Bill bearded the bear breaking Kosovo and Bosinia out of Serbia... The down payment for Kyiv in 2012 was in 1996.

likbez -> ilsm... , October 24, 2016 at 05:47 PM
Nuland occupies a special place among neocons.

This former associate of Dick Cheney managed to completely destroy pretty nice European county, unleashing the horror of real starvation on the population.

Ukraine now is essentially Central African country in the middle of the Europe. Retirees often live on less then $1 a day. most adults (and lucky retirees) on less then $3 a day. $6 a day is considered a high salary. At the same time "oligarchs" drive on Maybachs, and personal jets.

Sex tourism is rampant. Probably the only "profession" that prospered since "Maydan".

Young people try to get university education and emigrate to any county that would accept them (repeating the story of Baltic countries and Poland).

Now this a typical IMF debt slave with no chances to get our the hole.

Politically this is now a protectorate of the USA with the USA ambassador as the real, de-facto ruler of the county. Much like Kosovo is.

Standard of living dropped approximately three times since 2014.

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/ukraines-perpetual-war-perpetual-peace-17614

"If the country continues on its present course, Odessa's reformist governor Mikheil Saakashvili has noted sarcastically, Ukraine will not reach the level of GDP it had under former president Viktor Yanukovych for another fifteen years"

"In Kiev, which is by far the wealthiest city in Ukraine, payment arrears for electricity have risen by 32 percent since the beginning of this year."

[Oct 24, 2016] Possible return of the same neocons who gave us the foreign policy of the late 1990th that went belly up in 2001

They are the same neocon creeps... They forgot nothing and learn nothing.
Notable quotes:
"... My impression is that that key issue is as following: a vote for Hillary is a vote for the War Party and is incompatible with democratic principles. ..."
"... Trump with all his warts gives us a chance to get some kind of détente with Russia. ..."
"... In other words no real Democrat can vote for Hillary. ..."
"... Why do you think "wet kiss with neocons" is compatible with democratic principles ? ..."
"... I'm really bummed that we are going to be seeing a return of a lot of the same creeps who gave us the foreign policy of the 90's that went belly up in 2001-03. ..."
"... But most of the liberal bloggers obediently kept their mouths shut about it. ..."
Oct 24, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

likbez :

My impression is that that key issue is as following: a vote for Hillary is a vote for the War Party and is incompatible with democratic principles.

Trump with all his warts gives us a chance to get some kind of détente with Russia.

In other words no real Democrat can vote for Hillary.

Julio -> likbez... , October 24, 2016 at 01:32 PM
A vote for Hilary may indeed be a vote for the (a?) war party, but it is not, unfortunately, incompatible with democratic principles.

likbez -> Julio...

Why do you think "wet kiss with neocons" is compatible with democratic principles ?

ilsm -> Julio ... , October 24, 2016 at 03:19 PM
at least LBJ kept it under wraps.........
Dan Kervick -> likbez... , 2016 at 02:56 PM
Just a hunch: a lot of this hoo-hah will simmer down after the election.

But yeah, I'm really bummed that we are going to be seeing a return of a lot of the same creeps who gave us the foreign policy of the 90's that went belly up in 2001-03.

Just a reminder: I called attention several times to this article in 2014 and 2015:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/06/opinion/sunday/are-neocons-getting-ready-to-ally-with-hillary-clinton.html?_r=0

But most of the liberal bloggers obediently kept their mouths shut about it.

[Oct 24, 2016] Hillary the Hawk closing in on the White House

Notable quotes:
"... The Democratic nominee in the final debate reiterated her bellicose stance towards Syria. Combined with her 2003 vote for war in Iraq, and her central role in getting the U.S. into the 2011 war in Libya, Clinton could become the most hawkish candidate elected president in most Americans' lifetimes. ..."
"... Enforcing a no-fly zone is "basically an act of war," Michael Knights, a no-fly-zone expert at the Washington Institute told me in the run up to the Libyan war. ..."
"... "Hillary's War," was the Washington Post's headline for a flattering feature on the Secretary of State's central role in driving the U.S. to intervene in Libya's civil war in 2011. ..."
"... Clinton staff, published emails have shown, worked hard to get Clinton credit for the war. Clinton's confidante at the State Department Jake Sullivan drafted a memo on her "leadership/ownership/stewardship of this country's Libya policy from start to finish." ..."
"... Hillary's war was illegal-because the administration never obtained congressional authorization for it-and it was also disastrous. "Libya is in a state of meltdown," John Lee Anderson wrote in the Atlantic last summer. ..."
"... Yet somehow, through three general election debates, she never got a single question on Libya. Consider that: a former Secretary of State touted a war as a central achievement of hers, is running on her foreign-policy chops, and she is escaping accountability for that disastrous war. ..."
"... Clinton, of course, also voted for the Iraq War in 2003. She says now she thinks that war was a mistake because it destabilized region. But somehow she doesn't apply that supposed lesson to Libya or to Syria. ..."
"... The pattern is clear: Hillary Clinton is consistently and maybe blindly pro-war. She is now the clear frontrunner to become our next president. The antiwar movement that flourished under President George W. Bush has disappeared under President Obama . Will it revive under Hillary? Will Republicans have the power or the desire to check her ambitious interventionism. ..."
Oct 24, 2016 | www.washingtonexaminer.com

Hillary Clinton can change her views in an instant on trade, guns, gay marriage, and all sorts of issues, but she's consistent in this: she wants war.

The Democratic nominee in the final debate reiterated her bellicose stance towards Syria. Combined with her 2003 vote for war in Iraq, and her central role in getting the U.S. into the 2011 war in Libya, Clinton could become the most hawkish candidate elected president in most Americans' lifetimes.

"I am going to continue to push for a no-fly zone and safe havens within Syria," Clinton said Wednesday night. Totally separate from the fight against ISIS, Clinton's "no-fly zones and safe havens" are U.S. military intervention in the bloody and many-sided conflict between Syria's brutal government, terrorist groups, and rebel groups.

Enforcing a no-fly zone is "basically an act of war," Michael Knights, a no-fly-zone expert at the Washington Institute told me in the run up to the Libyan war. Air Force Gen. Paul Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified before the Senate that a no-fly zone created "the potential of a direct conflict with the Syrian integrated air defense system or Syrian forces or, by corollary, a confrontation with the Russians."

Defense Secretary Ash Carter testified in the same hearing that "safe zones" would require significant U.S. boots on the ground.

So while Hillary says she doesn't want war with Russia or Syria, or boots on the ground in Syria, she pushes policies that the Pentagon says risk war and require boots on the ground.

Hillary showed that same cavalier attitude toward war earlier this decade, laughingly declaring "we came, we saw, he died." This was her version of George W. Bush's "Mission Accomplished" moment, and Libya was her smaller - and less legal - version of Bush's Iraq War.

"Hillary's War," was the Washington Post's headline for a flattering feature on the Secretary of State's central role in driving the U.S. to intervene in Libya's civil war in 2011.

Clinton staff, published emails have shown, worked hard to get Clinton credit for the war. Clinton's confidante at the State Department Jake Sullivan drafted a memo on her "leadership/ownership/stewardship of this country's Libya policy from start to finish."

Sullivan listed, point-by-point, how Clinton helped bring about and shape the war. Before Obama's attack on Moammar Gadhafi, "she [was] a leading voice for strong UNSC action and a NATO civilian B5 protection mission," the memo explained.

Hillary's war was illegal-because the administration never obtained congressional authorization for it-and it was also disastrous. "Libya is in a state of meltdown," John Lee Anderson wrote in the Atlantic last summer.

ISIS has spread, no stable government has arisen, and the chaos has led to refugee and terrorism crises.

Clinton nevertheless calls her war "smart power at its best," declaring during the primary season, "I think President Obama made the right decision at the time."

Yet somehow, through three general election debates, she never got a single question on Libya. Consider that: a former Secretary of State touted a war as a central achievement of hers, is running on her foreign-policy chops, and she is escaping accountability for that disastrous war.

Clinton, of course, also voted for the Iraq War in 2003. She says now she thinks that war was a mistake because it destabilized region. But somehow she doesn't apply that supposed lesson to Libya or to Syria.

The pattern is clear: Hillary Clinton is consistently and maybe blindly pro-war. She is now the clear frontrunner to become our next president. The antiwar movement that flourished under President George W. Bush has disappeared under President Obama . Will it revive under Hillary? Will Republicans have the power or the desire to check her ambitious interventionism.

If Hillary wins big and sweeps in a Senate majority with her, we could be in for four more years of even more war.

Timothy P. Carney, the Washington Examiner's senior political columnist, can be contacted at tcarney@washingtonexaminer.com . His column appears Tuesday and Thursday nights on washingtonexaminer.com.

[Oct 24, 2016] Peace Through Trump The American Conservative

Notable quotes:
"... US-Russia-China cooperation will eliminate for the US the threat of war with the only two powers whose nuclear capabilities could pose existential threats to the US. ..."
"... Simultaneously, Trump will put an end to "the prevailing view that the U.S. is, and always must be, the benign hegemon, altruistically policing the world, while allowing its allies, satellites-and even rivals-to manufacture everything and thereby generate the jobs, profits, and knowhow…a view that elevated the ambitions and pretensions of the American elite over the well-being of the larger U.S. population…Instead of sacrificing American economic interests on the altar of U.S. 'leadership,' [Trump] will view the strengthening of the American economy as central to American greatness." ..."
"... President Trump will rebuild the decimated US manufacturing sector and return to Americans those tens of millions of jobs that America's globalist elites were allowed to ship overseas. Rebuilding the US economy – and jobs! – will be the centerpiece of a Donald Trump presidency. ..."
"... The problem is that everyone wants to call themselves a Realist, even the Neocons. The Neocons proclaim that promoting Democracy, nation building, and being the world's policeman is 'realism' because if you withdraw from the world the problems follow you home. Tom Rogan bellowed that we needed to destroy Syria in the name of realism. They are totally wrong but the point is that everyone wants to claim this mantle which is why I tend to avoid this term. ..."
"... I think we should embrace the Putin Doctrine but that name is toxic. Basically, he eschews destroying standing govts because it is highly destabilizing. This is common sense. ..."
"... Oh, when I hear 'Bush kept us safe' it tears my heart out when I see guys in their 20/30's walking around with those titanium prosthetics. Do the 4,000+ men who died in Iraq and 10,000+ severely wounded count? And this does not even start to count the chaos and death in the M.E. ..."
"... Mainstream media are besides themselves at the prospect of their masters having to relinquish their special entitlements; namely, designer wars, selection of the few to govern the many (Supreme Court and the Fed), and putting foreign dictates over American interests at an incredible cost to the U.S. in human and non-human resources. ..."
Oct 24, 2016 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Donald Trump played a wily capitalistic trick on his Republican opponents in the primary fights this year-he served an underserved market.

By now it's a cliché that Trump, while on his way to the GOP nomination, tapped into an unnoticed reservoir of right-of-center opinion on domestic and economic concerns-namely, the populist-nationalists who felt left out of the reigning market-libertarianism of the last few decades.

Indeed, of the 17 Republicans who ran this year, Trump had mostly to himself the populist issues: that is, opposition to open borders, to free trade, and to earned-entitlement cutting. When the other candidates were zigging toward the familiar-and unpopular-Chamber of Commerce-approved orthodoxy, Trump was zagging toward the voters.

Moreover, the same sort of populist-nationalist reservoir-tapping was evident in the realm of foreign affairs. To put it in bluntly Trumpian terms, the New Yorker hit 'em where they weren't.

The fact that Trump was doing something dramatically different became clear in the make-or-break Republican debate in Greenville, S.C., on February 13. Back in those early days of the campaign, Trump had lost one contest (Iowa) and won one (New Hampshire), and it was still anybody's guess who would emerge victorious.

During that debate, Trump took what seemed to be an extraordinary gamble: he ripped into George W. Bush's national-security record-in a state where the 43rd president was still popular. Speaking of the Iraq War, Trump said, "George Bush made a mistake. We can make mistakes. But that one was a beauty. We should have never been in Iraq. We have destabilized the Middle East."

And then Trump went further, aiming indirectly at the former president, while slugging his brother Jeb directly: "The World Trade Center came down during your brother's reign, remember that."

In response, Jeb intoned the usual Republican line, "He kept us safe." And others on the stage in Greenville that night rushed to associate themselves with Bush 43.

In the aftermath of this verbal melee, many thought that Trump had doomed himself. As one unnamed Republican "strategist" chortled to Politico , "Trump's attack on President George W. Bush was galactic-level stupid in South Carolina."

Well, not quite: Trump triumphed in the Palmetto State primary a week later, winning by a 10-point margin.

Thus, as we can see in retrospect, something had changed within the GOP. After 9/11, in the early years of this century, South Carolinians had been eager to fight. Yet by the middle of the second decade, they-or at least a plurality of them-had grown weary of endless foreign war.

Trump's victory in the Palmetto State was decisive, yet it was nevertheless only a plurality, 32.5 percent. Meanwhile, Sen. Marco Rubio, running as an unabashed neocon hawk, finished second.

So we can see that the Republican foreign-policy "market" is now segmented. And while Trump proved effective at targeting crucial segments, they weren't the only segments-because, in actuality, there are four easily identifiable blocs on the foreign-policy right. And as we delineate these four segments, we can see that while some are highly organized and tightly articulate, others are loose and inchoate:

First, the libertarians. That is, the Cato Institute and other free-market think tanks, Reason magazine, and so on. Libertarians are not so numerous around the country, but they are strong among the intelligentsia.

Second, the old-right "isolationists." These folks, also known as "paleocons," often find common ground with libertarians, yet their origins are different, and so is their outlook. Whereas the libertarians typically have issued a blanket anathema to all foreign entanglements, the isolationists have been more selective. During World War I, for example, their intellectual forbears were hostile to U.S. involvement on the side of the Allies, but that was often because of specifically anti-English or pro-German sentiments, not because they felt guided by an overall principle of non-intervention. Indeed, the same isolationists were often eager to intervene in Latin America and in the Far East. More recently, the temperamentally isolationist bloc has joined with the libertarians in opposition to deeper U.S. involvement in the Middle East.

Third, the traditional hawks. On the proverbial Main Street, USA, plenty of people-not limited to the active-duty military, veterans, and law-enforcers-believe that America's national honor is worth fighting for.

Fourth, the neoconservatives. This group, which takes hawkishness to an avant-garde extreme, is so praised, and so criticized, that there's little that needs be added here. Yet we can say this: as with the libertarians, they are concentrated in Washington, DC; by contrast, out beyond the Beltway, they are relatively scarce. Because of their connections to big donors to both parties, however, they have been powerful, even preeminent, in foreign-policy circles over the last quarter-century. Yet today, it's the neocons who feel most threatened by, and most hostile to, the Trump phenomenon.

We can pause to offer a contextual point: floating somewhere among the first three categories-libertarians, isolationists, hawks-are the foreign-policy realists. These, of course, are the people, following in the tradition of the great scholar Hans Morgenthau, who pride themselves on seeing the world as it is, regarding foreign policy as just another application of Bismarckian wisdom-"the art of the possible."

The realists, disproportionately academics and think-tankers, are a savvy and well-credentialed group-or, according to critics, cynical and world-weary. Yet either way, they have made many alliances with the aforementioned trio of groups, even as they have usually maintained their ideological flexibility. To borrow the celebrated wisdom of the 19th-century realpolitiker Lord Palmerston, realists don't have permanent attachments; they have permanent interests. And so it seems likely that if Trump wins-or anyone like Trump in the future-many realists will be willing to emerge from their wood-paneled precincts to engage in the hurly-burly of public service.

Returning to our basic quartet of blocs, we can quickly see that two of them, the libertarians and the neocons, have been loudly successful in the "battle of ideas." That is, almost everyone knows where the libertarians and the neocons stand on the controversies of the moment. Meanwhile, the other two groups-the isolationists and the traditional hawks-have failed to make themselves heard. That is, until Trump.

For the most part, the isolationists and hawks have not been organized; they've just been clusters of veterans, cops, gun owners, and like-minded souls gathering here and there, feeling strongly about the issues but never finding a national megaphone. Indeed, even organized groups, such as the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, sizable as they might be, have had little impact, of late, on foreign affairs.

This paradoxical reality-that even big groups can be voiceless, allowing smaller groups to carry the day-is well understood. Back in 1839, the historian Thomas Carlyle observed of his Britain, "The speaking classes speak and debate," while the "deep-buried [working] class lies like an Enceladus"-a mythological giant imprisoned under a volcano. Yet, Carlyle continued, the giant under the volcano will not stay silent forever; one day it will erupt, and the inevitable eruption "has to produce earthquakes!"

In our time, Trump has provoked the Enceladus-like earthquake. Over the past year, while the mainstream media has continued to lavish attention on the fine points of libertarianism and neoconservatism, the Peoples of the Volcano have blown up American politics.

Trump has spoken loudly to both of his groups. To the isolationists, he has highlighted his past opposition to the Iraq and Libya misadventures, as well as his suspicions about NATO and other alliances. (Here the libertarians, too, are on board.) At the same time, he has also talked the language of the hawks, as when he has said, "Take the oil" and "Bomb the [bleep] out of them." Trump has also attacked the Iran nuclear agreement, deriding it as "one of the worst deals ever made."

Thus earlier this year Trump mobilized the isolationists and the hawks, leaving the libertarians to Rand Paul and the neocons to Rubio.

Now as we move to the general election, it appears that Trump has kept the loyalty of his core groups. Many libertarians, meanwhile, are voting for Gary Johnson-the former Republican governor at the top of the Libertarian Party's ticket-and they are being joined, most likely as a one-off, by disaffected Republicans and Democrats. Meanwhile, the neocons, most of them, have become the objective allies, if not the overt supporters, of Hillary Clinton.

Even if Trump loses, his energized supporters, having found their voice, will be a new and important force within the GOP-a force that could make it significantly harder for a future president to, say, "liberate" and "democratize" Syria.

♦♦♦

Yet now we must skip past the unknown unknowns of the election and ask: what might we expect if Trump becomes president?

One immediate point to be borne in mind is that it will be a challenge to fill the cabinet and the sub-cabinet-to say nothing of the thousands of "Schedule C" positions across the administration-with true Trump loyalists. Yes, of course, if Trump wins that means he will have garnered 50 million or more votes, but still, the number of people who have the right credentials and can pass all the background checks-including, for most of the top jobs, Senate confirmation-is minuscule.

So here we might single out the foreign-policy realists as likely having a bright future in a Trump administration: after all, they are often well-credentialed and, by their nature, have prudently tended to keep their anti-Trump commentary to a minimum. (There's a piece of inside-the-Beltway realist wisdom that seems relevant here: "You're for what happens.")

Yet the path to realist dominion in a Trump administration is not smooth. As a group, they have been in eclipse since the Bush 41 era, so an entire generation of their cadres is missing. The realists do not have long lists of age-appropriate alumni ready for another spin through the revolving door.

By contrast, the libertarians have lots of young staffers on some think-tank payroll or another. And of course, the neocons have lots of experience and contacts-yes, they screwed up the last time they were in power, but at least they know the jargon.

Thus, unless president-elect Trump makes a genuinely heroic effort to infuse his administration with new blood, he will end up hiring a lot of folks who might not really agree with him-and who perhaps even have strongly, if quietly, opposed him. That means that the path of a Trump presidency could be channeled in an unexpected direction, as the adherents of other foreign-policy schools-including, conceivably, schools from the left-clamber aboard. As they say in DC, "personnel is policy."

Still, Trump has a strong personality, and it's entirely possible that, as president, he will succeed in imprinting his unique will on his appointees. (On the other hand, the career government, starting with the State Department's foreign service officers, might well prove to be a different story.)

Looking further ahead, as a hypothetical President Trump surveys the situation from the Sit Room, here are nine things that will be in view:

1.

Trump will recall, always, that the Bush 43 presidency drove itself into a ditch on Iraq. So he will surely see the supreme value of not sending U.S. ground troops-beyond a few advisors-into Middle Eastern war zones.

2.

Trump will also realize that Barack Obama, for all his talk about hope and change, ended up preserving the bulk of Bush 43's policies. The only difference is that Obama did it on the cheap, reducing defense spending as he went along.

Obama similar to Bush-really? Yes. To be sure, Obama dropped all of Bush's democratic messianism, but even with his cool detachment he kept all of Bush's alliances and commitments, including those in Afghanistan and Iraq. And then he added a new international commitment: "climate change."

In other words, America now has a policy of "quintuple containment": Russia, China, Iran, ISIS/al-Qaeda, and, of course, the carbon-dioxide molecule. Many would argue that today we aren't managing any of these containments well; others insist that the Obama administration, perversely, seems most dedicated to the containment of climate change: everything else can fall apart, but if the Obamans can maintain the illusion of their international CO2 deals, as far as they are concerned all will be well.

In addition, Uncle Sam has another hundred or so minor commitments-including bilateral defense treaties with countries most Americans have never heard of, along with special commitments to champion the rights of children, women, dissidents, endangered species, etc. On a one-by-one basis, it's possible to admire many of these efforts; on a cumulative basis, it's impossible to imagine how we can sustain all of them.

3.
A populist president like Trump will further realize that if the U.S. has just 4 percent of the world's population and barely more than a fifth of world GDP, it's not possible that we can continue to police the planet. Yes, we have many allies-on paper. Yet Trump's critique of many of them as feckless, even faithless, resonated for one big reason: it was true.

So Trump will likely begin the process of rethinking U.S. commitments around the world. Do we really want to risk nuclear war over the Spratly Islands? Or the eastern marches of Ukraine? Here, Trump might well default to the wisdom of the realists: big powers are just that-big powers-and so one must deal with them in all their authoritarian essentiality. And as for all the other countries of the world-some we like and some we don't-we're not going to change them, either. (Although in some cases, notably Iraq and Syria, partition, supervised by the great powers, may be the only solution.)

4.

Trump will surely see world diplomacy as an extension of what he has done best all his life-making deals. This instinct will serve him well in two ways: first, he will be sharply separating himself from his predecessors, Bush the hot-blooded unilateralist war-of-choicer and Obama the cool and detached multilateralist leader-from-behind. Second, his deal-making desire will inspire him do what needs to be done: build rapport with world leaders as a prelude to making things happen.

To cite one immediate example: there's no way that we will ever achieve anything resembling "peace with honor" in Afghanistan without the full cooperation of the Taliban's masters in Pakistan. Ergo, the needed deal must be struck in Islamabad, not Kabul.

Almost certainly, a President Trump will treat China and Russia as legitimate powers, not as rogue states that must be single-handedly tamed by America.

Moreover, Trump's deal-making trope also suggests that instead of sacrificing American economic interests on the altar of U.S. "leadership," he will view the strengthening of the American economy as central to American greatness.

5.

Trump will further realize that his friends the realists have had a blind spot of late when it comes to eco nomic matters. Once upon a time-that is, in the 19th century-economic nationalism was at the forefront of American foreign-policy making. In the old days, as America's Manifest Destiny stretched beyond the continental U.S., expansionism and Hamiltonianism went together: as they used to say, trade follows the flag. Theodore Roosevelt's digging of the Panama Canal surely ranks as one of the most successful fusions of foreign and economic policy in American history.

Yet in the past few decades, the economic nationalists and the foreign-policy realists have drifted apart. For example, a Reagan official, Clyde Prestowitz of the Economic Strategy Institute, has been mostly ignored by the realists, who have instead embraced the conventional elite view of free trade and globalization.

So a President Trump will have the opportunity to reunite realism and economic nationalism; he can once again put manufacturing exports, for example, at the top of the U.S. agenda. Indeed, Trump might consider other economic-nationalist gambits: for example, if we are currently defending such wealthy countries as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Norway, why aren't they investing some of the trillions of dollars in their sovereign-wealth funds into, say, American infrastructure?

6.

Trump will also come into power realizing that he has few friends in the foreign-policy establishment; after all, most establishmentarians opposed him vehemently. Yet that could turn out to be a real plus for the 45th president because it could enable him to discard the stodgy and outworn thinking of the "experts." In particular, he could refute the prevailing view that the U.S. is, and always must be, the benign hegemon, altruistically policing the world, while allowing its allies, satellites-and even rivals-to manufacture everything and thereby generate the jobs, profits, and knowhow. That was always, of course, a view that elevated the ambitions and pretensions of the American elite over the well-being of the larger U.S. population-and maybe Trump can come up with a better and fairer vision.

7.

As an instinctive deal-maker, Trump will have the capacity to clear away the underbrush of accumulated obsolete doctrines and dogmas. To cite just one small but tragic example, there's the dopey chain of thinking that has guided U.S. policy toward South Sudan. Today, we officially condemn both sides in that country's ongoing civil war. Yet we might ask, how can that work out well for American interests? After all, one side or the other is going to win, and we presumably want a friend in Juba, not a Chinese-affiliated foe.

On the larger canvas, Trump will observe that if the U.S., China, and Russia are the three countries capable of destroying the world, then it's smart to figure out a modus vivendi among this threesome. Such practical deal-making, of course, would undermine the moralistic narrative that Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin are the potentates of new evil empires.

8.

Whether or not he's currently familiar with the terminology, Trump seems likely to recapitulate the "multipolar" system envisioned by Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger in the 1970s. Back then, the multipolar vision included the U.S., the USSR, Western Europe, China, and Japan.

Yet multipolarity was lost in the '80s, as the American economy was Reaganized, the Cold War grew colder, and the Soviet Union staggered to its self-implosion. Then in the '90s we had the "unipolar moment," when the U.S. enjoyed "hyper-power" primacy.

Yet as with all moments, unipolarity soon passed, undone by the Iraq quagmire, America's economic stagnation, and the rise of other powers. So today, multipolarity seems destined to re-emerge with a slightly upgraded cast of players: the U.S., China, Russia, the European Union, and perhaps India.

9.

And, of course, Trump will have to build that wall along the U.S.-Mexican border.

♦♦♦

Some might object that I am reading too much into Trump. Indeed, the conventional wisdom, even today, maintains that Trump is visceral, not intellectual, that he is buffoonish, not Kissingerian.

To such critics, this Trump supporter feels compelled to respond: when has the conventional wisdom about the New Yorker been proven correct?

It's not easy to become president. In all of U.S. history, just 42 individuals have been elected to the presidency-or to the vice presidency and succeeded a fallen president. That is, indeed, an exclusive club. Or as Trump himself might say, it's not a club for dummies.

If Trump does, in fact, become the 45th president, then by definition, he will have proven himself to be pretty darn strategic. And that's a portent that bodes well for his foreign policy.

James P. Pinkerton is a contributor to the Fox News Channel.

Kurt Gayle , October 24, 2016 at 12:03 am
Among James Pinkerton's most compelling reasons to hope for a Trump presidency are these two:

[1] "Almost certainly, a President Trump will treat China and Russia as legitimate powers, not as rogue states that must be single-handedly tamed by America…Trump will observe that if the U.S., China, and Russia are the three countries capable of destroying the world, then it's smart to figure out amodus vivendi among this threesome…"

US-Russia-China cooperation will eliminate for the US the threat of war with the only two powers whose nuclear capabilities could pose existential threats to the US.

[2] Simultaneously, Trump will put an end to "the prevailing view that the U.S. is, and always must be, the benign hegemon, altruistically policing the world, while allowing its allies, satellites-and even rivals-to manufacture everything and thereby generate the jobs, profits, and knowhow…a view that elevated the ambitions and pretensions of the American elite over the well-being of the larger U.S. population…Instead of sacrificing American economic interests on the altar of U.S. 'leadership,' [Trump] will view the strengthening of the American economy as central to American greatness."

President Trump will rebuild the decimated US manufacturing sector and return to Americans those tens of millions of jobs that America's globalist elites were allowed to ship overseas. Rebuilding the US economy – and jobs! – will be the centerpiece of a Donald Trump presidency.<

Chris Chuba , October 24, 2016 at 8:28 am
The problem is that everyone wants to call themselves a Realist, even the Neocons. The Neocons proclaim that promoting Democracy, nation building, and being the world's policeman is 'realism' because if you withdraw from the world the problems follow you home. Tom Rogan bellowed that we needed to destroy Syria in the name of realism. They are totally wrong but the point is that everyone wants to claim this mantle which is why I tend to avoid this term.

I think we should embrace the Putin Doctrine but that name is toxic. Basically, he eschews destroying standing govts because it is highly destabilizing. This is common sense.

Oh, when I hear 'Bush kept us safe' it tears my heart out when I see guys in their 20/30's walking around with those titanium prosthetics. Do the 4,000+ men who died in Iraq and 10,000+ severely wounded count? And this does not even start to count the chaos and death in the M.E.

PAXNOW , October 24, 2016 at 10:13 am
Trump just came across as different while maintaining conservative, albeit middle-American values. Mainstream media are besides themselves at the prospect of their masters having to relinquish their special entitlements; namely, designer wars, selection of the few to govern the many (Supreme Court and the Fed), and putting foreign dictates over American interests at an incredible cost to the U.S. in human and non-human resources.

The song goes on. Trump hit a real nerve. Even if he loses, the American people have had a small but important victory. We are frustrated with the ruling cabal. A sleeping giant has been awoken. This election could be the political Perl Harbor….

Ed Johnson , October 24, 2016 at 10:41 am
Pinkerton has spent thousands of words writing about someone who is not the Donald Trump anyone has ever seen.

In this, he joins every other member of the Right, who wait in hopeful anticipation to see a Champion for their cause in Donald Trump, and are willing to turn a blind eye to his ignorance, outright stupidity, lack of self-discipline, and lack of serious intent.

Pinkerton, he will only follow your lead here if he sees what's in it for HIM, not for the Right and certainly not for the benefit of the American people.

w vervin , October 24, 2016 at 1:00 pm
Flawed premise. This opine works its way through the rabbit hole pretzel of current methodologies in D.C. The ones that don't work. The city of NY had a similar outcome building a certain ice skating facility within the confines of a system designed to fail.

What Trump does is implode those failed systems, implements a methodology that has proven to succeed, and then does it. Under budget and before the deadline. Finding the *right* bodies to make it all work isn't as difficult as is surmised. What that shows is how difficult that task would be for the author. Whenever I hear some pundit claim that Trump can't possibly do all that means is the pundit couldn't possibly do it.

The current system is full of youcan'tdoits, what have you got to lose, more of the same?

[Oct 24, 2016] Exploiting Cold War rhetoric tactics might helped Hillary win the election. I guess the idea is to deal with the aftermath and fallout later

Notable quotes:
"... Exploiting Cold War rhetoric & tactics has helped her win the election. I guess the idea is: deal with the aftermath and fallout later. ..."
Oct 24, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne : https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/790154851682545665

Glenn Greenwald @ggreenwald

Exploiting Cold War rhetoric & tactics has helped her win the election. I guess the idea is: deal with the aftermath and fallout later.

Katrina vandenHeuvel @KatrinaNation

How does new Cold War-- which ends space for dissent, hurts women & children, may lead to nuclear war--help what Clinton claims she is for?

EMichael -> anne... , October 23, 2016 at 05:28 AM

I would submit that there are very few voters that will vote from Clinton because of this "cold war rhetoric" schtick.

Greenwald keeps falling and cannot get up.

ilsm -> EMichael... , October 23, 2016 at 06:18 AM
Few "will [move the] vote from Clinton because of this "cold war rhetoric" schtick.

Those "few" were awake during the 80's and see the nuclear/neocon dystopian horror behind Clinton.

While Trump mentioned using nukes, Hillary's nuke policy is 'well' laid out by Robert Kagan and the hegemon interests.

Recall Mao said "go ahead......'

Nukes are just another form of the pointless body count strategy.

JohnH -> EMichael... , October 23, 2016 at 08:03 AM
LOL! "Very few voters that will vote from Clinton because of this "cold war rhetoric" schtick."

Putin/Russia were by far the most mentioned topics at the debates...yet EMichael has the naivety to assert that cold war tactics don't matter. What a rube!

EMichael -> JohnH... , October 23, 2016 at 08:12 AM
Really? How many minutes were spent on Putin(not Russia, Putin)?

How many minutes were spent on Trump's misogyny?

No way to measure it, but when I find a person who votes for Clinton because of her attacks on Putin(not Russia, Putin), I'll let you know.

Don't hold your breath.

pgl -> EMichael... , October 23, 2016 at 09:19 AM
Trump does seem to admire Putin. Maybe he wants to date Russian babes.
ilsm -> pgl... , October 23, 2016 at 11:28 AM
Can't imagine Trump needs to go that far from home!

Trump is not smart enough to listen to the Kagans....

Like a smart neoliberal.

If the Russians are releasing knowledge that embarrasses Klinton they are doing a service.

pgl -> ilsm... , October 23, 2016 at 11:40 AM
Yes ilsm. He goes down to Brighton Beach regularly. Shh - don't tell Melanie.
JohnH -> JohnH... , October 23, 2016 at 11:14 AM
As usual, EMichael is as uninformed as ever. For his information, Russia/Putin were mentioned 178 times in the 3 debates, topping the list of topics covered.

By comparison, climate change got four mentions, poverty 10, and US economic performance--hold onto your hats!--didn't make the list. NSA snooping didn't get mentioned either.

So, EMichael, if Russia/Putin don't matter to voters, why did candidates talk so much about it? Oh, I know, to distract attention from more serious issues that their paymasters didn't want them to talk about!

JohnH -> JohnH... , October 23, 2016 at 11:14 AM
Link: http://fair.org/home/medias-debate-agenda-push-russia-isis-taxes-downplay-climate-poverty-campaign-finance/

[read it and weep.]

ilsm -> JohnH... , October 23, 2016 at 11:29 AM
Emike and pgl are adept at fallacies of argument.

I hope they are more adept at reasoning in the real world.

EMichael -> JohnH... , October 23, 2016 at 11:56 AM
Also, the question is about what people are voting for, not how many times Putin was mentioned.
Dan Kervick -> EMichael... , October 23, 2016 at 11:45 AM
Clinton had attracted a lot of centrist Republicans to her campaign, and I think the hawkish and old school foreign policy stance has something to do with it.
pgl -> Dan Kervick... , October 23, 2016 at 12:19 PM
Centrists are supporting her simply because Trump is batshit insane.
anne -> anne... , -1
https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/790154851682545665

Glenn Greenwald @ggreenwald

Exploiting Cold War rhetoric & tactics has helped her win the election. I guess the idea is: deal with the aftermath and fallout later.

Katrina vandenHeuvel @KatrinaNation

How does new Cold War-- which ends space for dissent, hurts women & children, may lead to nuclear war--help what Clinton claims she is for?

4:36 AM - 23 Oct 2016

[ Absolutely perfect. ]

[Oct 23, 2016] We need to tell everyone that for the sake of the word. do not vote for this dangerous woman!

Oct 23, 2016 | www.moonofalabama.org

"As president, I will make it clear that the United States will treat cyberattacks just like any other attack," the Democratic presidential nominee said. "We will be ready with serious political, economic and military responses. "

We need to tell everyone that for the sake of the word. do not vote for this dangerous woman!

Posted by: Tom Murphy | Oct 22, 2016 7:33:32 PM | 28

[Oct 23, 2016] The USA now is in the political position that in chess is called Zugzwang

Notable quotes:
"... I would agree that Trump is horrible candidate. The candidate who (like Hillary) suggests complete degeneration of the US neoliberal elite. ..."
"... But the problem is that Hillary is even worse. Much worse and more dangerous because in addition to being a closet Republican she is also a warmonger. In foreign policy area she is John McCain in pantsuit. And if you believe that after one hour in White House she does not abandon all her election promises and start behaving like a far-right republican in foreign policy and a moderate republican in domestic policy, it's you who drunk too much Cool Aid. ..."
"... In other words, the USA [workers and middle class] now is in the political position that in chess is called Zugzwang: we face a choice between the compulsive liar, unrepentant, extremely dangerous and unstable warmonger with failing health vs. a bombastic, completely unprepared to governance of such a huge country crook. ..."
Oct 23, 2016 | angrybearblog.com
likbez October 22, 2016 11:20 pm

The key problems with Democratic Party and Hillary is that they lost working class and middle class voters, becoming another party of highly paid professionals and Wall Street speculators (let's say top 10%, not just 1%), the party of neoliberal elite.

It will be interesting to see if yet another attempt to "bait and switch" working class and lower middle class works this time. I think it will not. Even upper middle class is very resentful of Democrats and Hillary. So many votes will be not "for" but "against". This is the scenario Democratic strategists fear the most, but they can do nothing about it.

She overplayed "identity politics" card. Her "identity politics" and her fake feminism are completely insincere. She is completely numb to human suffering and interests of females and minorities. Looks like she has a total lack of empathy for other people.

Here is one interesting quote ( http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/10/how-trump-and-clinton-gave-bad-answers-on-us-nuclear-policy-and-why-you-should-be-worried.html#comment-2680036 ):

"What scares me is my knowledge of her career-long investment in trying to convince the generals and the admirals that she is a 'tough bitch', ala Margaret Thatcher, who will not hesitate to pull the trigger. An illuminating article in the NY Times ( http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/24/magazine/how-hillary-clinton-became-a-hawk.html ) revealed that she always advocates the most muscular and reckless dispositions of U.S. military forces whenever her opinion is solicited. "

Usually people are resentful about Party which betrayed them so many times. It would be interesting to see how this will play this time.

Beverly Mann October 23, 2016 12:00 pm

It will be interesting to see if yet another attempt to "bait and switch" working class and lower middle class works this time?

Yup. The Republicans definitely have the interests of the working class and lower middle class at heart when they give, and propose, ever deeper tax cuts for the wealthy, the repeal of the estate tax that by now applies only to estates of more than $5 million, complete deregulation of the finance industry, industry capture of every federal regulatory agency and cabinet department and commission or board, from the SEC, to the EPA, to the Interior Dept. (in order to hand over to the oil, gas and timber industries vast parts of federal lands), the FDA, the FTC, the FCC, the NLRB, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the Justice Dept. (including the Antitrust Division)-to name only some.

And OF COURSE it's to serve the interests of the working class and lower middle class that they concertedly appoint Supreme Court justices and lower federal court judges that are unabashed proxies of big business.

And then there's the incessant push to privatize Social Security and Medicare. It ain't the Dems that are pushing that.

You're drinking wayyy too much Kool Aid, likbez. Or maybe just reading too much Ayn Rand, at Paul Ryan's recommendation.

beene October 23, 2016 10:31 am

I would suggest despite most of the elite in both parties supporting Hillary, and saying she has the election in the bag is premature. In my opinion the fact that Trump rallies still has large attendance; where Hillary's rallies would have trouble filling up a large room is a better indication that Trump will win.

Even democrats are not voting democratic this time to be ignored till election again.

likbez October 23, 2016 12:56 pm

Beverly,

=== quote ===
Yup. The Republicans definitely have the interests of the working class and lower middle class at heart when they give, and propose, ever deeper tax cuts for the wealthy, the repeal of the estate tax that by now applies only to estates of more than $5 million, complete deregulation of the finance industry, industry capture of every federal regulatory agency and cabinet department and commission or board, from the SEC, to the EPA, to the Interior Dept. (in order to hand over to the oil, gas and timber industries vast parts of federal lands), the FDA, the FTC, the FCC, the NLRB, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the Justice Dept. (including the Antitrust Division) -- to name only some.

And OF COURSE it's to serve the interests of the working class and lower middle class that they concertedly appoint Supreme Court justices and lower federal court judges that are unabashed proxies of big business.
=== end of quote ===

This is all true. But Trump essentially running not as a Republican but as an independent on (mostly) populist platform (with elements of nativism). That's why a large part of Republican brass explicitly abandoned him. That does not exclude that he easily will be co-opted after the election, if he wins.

And I would not be surprised one bit if Dick Cheney, Victoria Nuland, Paul Wolfowitz and Perle vote for Hillary. Robert Kagan and papa Bush already declared such an intention. She is a neocon. A wolf in sheep clothing, if we are talking about real anti-war democrats, not the USA brand of DemoRats. She is crazy warmonger, no question about it, trying to compensate a complete lack of diplomatic skills with jingoism and saber rattling.

The problem here might be that you implicitly idealize Hillary and demonize Trump.

I would agree that Trump is horrible candidate. The candidate who (like Hillary) suggests complete degeneration of the US neoliberal elite.

But the problem is that Hillary is even worse. Much worse and more dangerous because in addition to being a closet Republican she is also a warmonger. In foreign policy area she is John McCain in pantsuit. And if you believe that after one hour in White House she does not abandon all her election promises and start behaving like a far-right republican in foreign policy and a moderate republican in domestic policy, it's you who drunk too much Cool Aid.

That's what classic neoliberal DemoRats "bait and switch" maneuver (previously executed by Obama two times) means. And that's why working class now abandoned Democratic Party. Even unions members of unions which endorses Clinton are expected to vote 3:1 against her. Serial betrayal of interests of working class (and lower middle class) after 25 years gets on nerve. Not that their choice is wise, but they made a choice. This is "What's the matter with Kansas" all over again.

It reminds me the situation when Stalin was asked whether right revisionism of Marxism (social democrats) or left (Trotskyites with their dream of World revolution) is better. He answered "both are worse" :-).

In other words, the USA [workers and middle class] now is in the political position that in chess is called Zugzwang: we face a choice between the compulsive liar, unrepentant, extremely dangerous and unstable warmonger with failing health vs. a bombastic, completely unprepared to governance of such a huge country crook.

Of course, we need also remember about existence of "deep state" which make each of them mostly a figurehead, but still the power of "deep state" is not absolute and this is a very sad situation.

Beverly Mann, October 23, 2016 1:57 pm

Good grace.

Two points: First, you apparently are unaware of Trump's proposed tax plan, written by Heritage Foundation economists and political-think-tank types. It's literally more regressively extreme evn than Paul Ryan's. It gives tax cuts to the wealthy that are exponentially more generous percentage-wise than G.W. Bush's two tax cuts together were, it eliminates the estate tax, and it gives massive tax cuts to corporations, including yuge ones.

Two billionaire Hamptons-based hedge funders, Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah, have been funding a super PAC for Trump and since late spring have met with Trump and handed him policy proposals and suggestions for administrative agency heads and judicial appointments. Other yuge funders are members of the Ricketts family, including Thomas Ricketts, CEO of TD Ameritrade and a son of its founder.

Two other billionaires funding Trump: Forrest Lucas, founder of Lucas Oil and reportedly Trump's choice for Interior Secretary if you and the working class and lower middle class folks whose interests Trump has at heart get their way.

And then there's Texas oil billionaire Harold Hamm, Trump's very first billionaire mega-donor.

One of my recurring pet peeves about Clinton and her campaign is her failure to tell the public that these billionaires are contributing mega-bucks to help fund Trump's campaign, and to tell the public who exactly they are. As well as her failure to make a concerted effort to educate the public about the the specifics of Trump's fiscal and deregulatory agenda as he has published it.

As for your belief that I idealize Clinton, you obviously are very new to Angry Bear. I was a virulent Sanders supporter throughout the primaries, to the very end. In 2008 I originally supported John Edwards during the primaries and then, when it became clear that it was a two-candidate race, supported Obama. My reason? I really, really, REALLY did not want to see another triangulation Democratic administration. That's largely what we got during Obama's first term, though, and I was not happy about it.

Bottom line: I'm not the gullible one here. You are.

likbez, October 23, 2016 2:37 pm

You demonstrate complete inability to weight the gravity of two dismal, but unequal in their gravity options.

All your arguments about Supreme Court justices, taxes, inheritance and other similar things make sense if and only if the country continues to exist.

Which is not given due to the craziness and the level of degeneration of neoliberal elite and specifically Hillary ("no fly zone in Syria" is one example of her craziness). Playing chickens with a nuclear power for the sake of proving imperial dominance in Middle East is a crazy policy.

Neocons rule the roost in both parties, which essentially became a single War Party with two wings. Trump looks like the only chance somewhat to limit their influence and reach some détente with Russia.

Looks like you organically unable to understand that your choice in this particular case is between the decimation of the last remnants of the New Deal and a real chance of WWIII.

This is not "pick your poison" situation. Those are two events of completely difference magnitude: one is reversible (and please note that Trump is bound by very controversial obligations to his electorate and faces hostile Congress), the other is not.

We all should do our best to prevent the unleashing WWIII even if that means temporary decimation of the remnants of New Deal.

Neoliberalism after 2008 entered zombie state, so while it is still strong, aggressive and bloodthirsty it might not last for long. And in such case the defeat of democratic forces on domestic front is temporary.

That means vote against Hillary.

[Oct 23, 2016] We need to tell everyone that for the sake of the world future do not vote for this dangerous woman!

Oct 23, 2016 | www.moonofalabama.org

"As president, I will make it clear that the United States will treat cyberattacks just like any other attack," the Democratic presidential nominee said. "We will be ready with serious political, economic and military responses. "

We need to tell everyone that for the sake of the word. do not vote for this dangerous woman!

Posted by: Tom Murphy | Oct 22, 2016 7:33:32 PM | 28

[Oct 23, 2016] Bill Clinton began humanitarian wars but it was Bush II and Obama who turned resource wars into routine practice and the USA into malignant overlords who decided when it is time to take it all.

Notable quotes:
"... oligarchic greed; a military dedicated to protecting the wealth of oligarchs; and, wars over resources. Granted Bill Clinton began the current charade about 'humanitarian wars' but it was Bush II and Obama who turned our focus into resource wars and the hegemons (Malignant Overlords) who decided it was time to take it all. ..."

rg the lg | Oct 22, 2016 8:25:27 PM | 33

http://empireexposed.blogspot.com/

Long ago (1968) after returning from Vietnam with a bullet hole in my leg (my 90 wonder, post-ROTC officer shot me when he panicked) I wondered off to a down-at-the-heel cow college. There I took a class and C Wright Mills 'The Power Elite' was required reading.

I had just finished 'War is a fraud' and read an article by Paul Ehrlich an then 'The Population Bomb' shortly thereafter. The three books created an interesting fusion in my mind:

  1. More or less after the year 2000 the world would be plagued by resource wars;
  2. The primary role of the military is to enforce what capitalists want; and
  3. Behind the alleged scenes of our form of government hovered oligarchs who would demand more and more.

I recently found a paper I had written long ago. It wasn't very well written, but even then the handwriting was on the wall: oligarchic greed; a military dedicated to protecting the wealth of oligarchs; and, wars over resources. Granted Bill Clinton began the current charade about 'humanitarian wars' but it was Bush II and Obama who turned our focus into resource wars and the hegemons (Malignant Overlords) who decided it was time to take it all.

I guess the point of all of this is (except for the details) Ehrlich, Mills and Butler warned us. As did Huxley and Orwell ... we were just too damned dumb (or distracted) to see it.

Maybe with the Queen of Chaos, the above will result in either annihilation or in a severe reduction in the numbers of people ... (hopefully including all of the oligarchic class) and the chance to start over?

Nah ... we'll just fuck it up again ... as a species we refuse to learn. Sigh ...

[Oct 23, 2016] The Dangers of Hillary Clinton

Oct 23, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs : October 23, 2016 at 02:46 PM

The Dangers of Hillary Clinton
http://nyti.ms/2exQNfF
NYT - Ross Douthat - Oct 23

A vote for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump, the Clinton campaign has suggested in broad ways and subtle ones, isn't just a vote for a Democrat over a Republican: It's a vote for safety over risk, steady competence over boastful recklessness, psychological stability in the White House over ungovernable passions.

This theme has been a winning one for Hillary, in her debates and in the wider campaign, and for good reason. The perils of a Trump presidency are as distinctive as the candidate himself, and a vote for Trump makes a long list of worst cases - the Western alliance system's unraveling, a cycle of domestic radicalization, an accidental economic meltdown, a civilian-military crisis - more likely than with any normal administration.

Indeed, Trump and his supporters almost admit as much. "We've tried sane, now let's try crazy," is basically his campaign's working motto. The promise to be a bull in a china shop is part of his demagogue's appeal. Some of his more eloquent supporters have analogized a vote for Trump to storming the cockpit of a hijacked plane, with the likelihood of a plane crash entirely factored in.

But passing on the plane-crash candidate doesn't mean ignoring the dangers of his rival.

The dangers of a Hillary Clinton presidency are more familiar than Trump's authoritarian unknowns, because we live with them in our politics already. They're the dangers of elite groupthink, of Beltway power worship, of a cult of presidential action in the service of dubious ideals. They're the dangers of a recklessness and radicalism that doesn't recognize itself as either, because it's convinced that if an idea is mainstream and commonplace among the great and good then it cannot possibly be folly.

Almost every crisis that has come upon the West in the last 15 years has its roots in this establishmentarian type of folly. The Iraq War, which liberals prefer to remember as a conflict conjured by a neoconservative cabal, was actually the work of a bipartisan interventionist consensus, pushed hard by George W. Bush but embraced as well by a large slice of center-left opinion that included Tony Blair and more than half of Senate Democrats.

Likewise the financial crisis: Whether you blame financial-services deregulation or happy-go-lucky housing policy (or both), the policies that helped inflate and pop the bubble were embraced by both wings of the political establishment. ...

(Crises happen. How are these two linked? The first came about because we were in the throes of 9/11. The 2nd arguably because we were in the delayed throes of a dot.com bubble collapse. And with a president who was out of his depth.)

likbez -> Fred C. Dobbs...

== quote ===
The dangers of a Hillary Clinton presidency are more familiar than Trump's authoritarian unknowns, because we live with them in our politics already. They're the dangers of elite groupthink, of Beltway power worship, of a cult of presidential action in the service of dubious ideals. They're the dangers of a recklessness and radicalism that doesn't recognize itself as either, because it's convinced that if an idea is mainstream and commonplace among the great and good then it cannot possibly be folly.
=== end of quote ===
That looks like indirect attack on neocons which is atypical for NYT.

IMHO the main danger of Hillary presidency is the danger of WWIII due to her own jingoism and recklessness as well as outsize neocons influence in her administration (she is the person who promoted Cheney's associate Victoria Nuland, who got us into Ukrainian mess).

As such outweighs all possible dangers of Trump presidency by a wide margin.

Voting for Hillary is like voting for John McCain in a pantsuit in order to prevent decimation of the remnants of the New Deal inherent in Trump administration.

Trump at least gives us some chance of détente with Russia.

Just look how mainstream Republicans are bashing Trump http://www.usnews.com/opinion/op-ed/articles/2016-10-20/third-debate-highlights-why-hillary-clinton-must-win-donald-trump-must-not

Also he faces hostile Congress and "deep state", while Hillary is a creature of "deep state", a marionette, if you wish, which will continue the current disastrous interventionist foreign policy.

Of course Trump can be co-opted by "deep state" too. That's also a danger.

There is a nice cartoon, probably from Times, that I found at

US Presidential Elections of 2016 as a referendum on neoliberal globalization

[Oct 22, 2016] The Dangers of Centrist Internationalism

Responsibility to protect in reality degenerated in another means to launch the wars of neoliberal empire expansion.
Oct 22, 2016 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The American Conservative

There was another part of the Post article I cited in my last post that I wanted to address:

"The dynamic is totally different from what I saw a decade ago" when Democratic and Republican elites were feuding over the invasion of Iraq, said Brian Katulis, a senior Middle East analyst at the Center for American Progress. Today, the focus among the foreign policy elite is on rebuilding a more muscular and more "centrist internationalism," he said [bold mine-DL].

Every term used in that last sentence is either misleading or flat-out wrong. A more aggressive policy in Syria or anywhere else shouldn't be described as "muscular" for a few reasons. For one thing, committing the U.S. to short-sighted and ill-conceived military interventions does nothing to enhance the strength or security of the country. Such a policy doesn't build strength–it wastes it. Calling an aggressive policy "muscular" betrays a bias that aggressive measures are the ones that demonstrate strength, when they usually just demonstrate policymakers' crude and clumsy approach to foreign problems. One might just as easily describe these policies as meat-headed instead.

"Centrist" is one of the most overused and abused words in our politics. The term is often used to refer to positions that are supposedly moderate, pragmatic, and relatively free of ideological bias, but here we can see that it refers to something very different. Many people that are considered to be "centrists" on the normal left-right political spectrum are frequently in favor of a much more aggressive foreign policy than the one we have now, but that doesn't make their foreign policy a moderate or pragmatic one. In fact, this "centrism" is not really a position in between the two partisan extremes, both of which would be satisfied with a less activist and interventionist foreign policy than we have today, but represents an extreme all its own.

Besides, there's nothing moderate or pragmatic about being determined to entangle the U.S. deeper in foreign wars, and that is what this so-called "centrist" foreign policy aims to do.

Likewise, it is fairly misleading to call what is being proposed here internationalist. It shows no respect for international law. Hawkish proposals to attack Syria or carve out "safe zones" by force simply ignore that the U.S. has no right or authority to do either of these things. There appears to be scant interest in pursuing international cooperation, except insofar as it is aimed at escalating existing conflicts. One would also look in vain for working through international institutions. The only thing that is international about this "centrist internationalism" seems to be that it seeks to inflict death and destruction on people in other countries.

[Oct 22, 2016] I keep trying to imagine what special interest is so invested in the no-fly zone that they can force Hillary to keep proposing it, even though it is obviously no longer feasible

Oct 22, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Procopius October 22, 2016 at 10:06 am

I keep trying to imagine what special interest is so invested in the no-fly zone that they can force Hillary to keep proposing it, even though it is obviously no longer feasible. Is it just inertia? She is so used to pushing the idea that she brings it up without thinking, and then has to dodge out of the way? But the whole situation has passed out of the realm of rational thought. It reminds me of Vietnam.

The idea the South and North Vietnam were separate countries was never true, but John Foster Dulles insisted on repeating the lie at every opportunity and after a while the Village all started to believe it.

None of the stated goals in Syria make any sense any longer (if the ever did), but we keep pursuing them. Scary.

[Oct 21, 2016] Those who vote for Hillary for the sake of stability need to be reminded that according to the Minsky Theory stability sometimes can be very destabilizing

Oct 21, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

likbez -> Fred C. Dobbs... October 21, 2016 at 02:12 PM

Please note that Hillary's path to the top was marked by proved beyond reasonable doubt DNC fraud. With information contained in recent email leaks some DNC honchos probably might go to jail for violation of elections laws. So for them this is a death match and people usually fight well when they are against the wall. The same in true about Obama and his entourage.

And while this Nobel Peace Price winner managed to bomb just eight countries, Hillary might improve this peace effort, which was definitely insufficient from the point of view of many diplomats in State Department. Also the number of humanitarian bombs could be much greater. Here Hillary election can really help.

From the other point of view this might well be a sign of the crisis of legitimacy of the US ruling neoliberal elite (aka financial oligarchy).

After approximately 50 years in power the level of degeneration of the US neoliberal elite reached the level when the quality of candidates reminds me the quality of candidates from the USSR Politburo after Brezhnev death. Health-wise Hillary really bear some resemblance to Andropov and Chernenko. And inability of the elite to replace either of them with a more viable candidate speaks volumes.

The other factor that will not go away is that Obama effectively pardoned Hillary for emailgate (after gentle encouragement from Bill via Loretta Lynch). Otherwise instead of candidate to POTUS, she would be a viable candidate for orange suit too. Sure, the rule of law is not applicable to neoliberal elite, so why Hilary should be an exception? But some naive schmucks might think that this is highly improper. And be way too much upset with the fruits of neoliberal globalization. Not that Brexit is easily repeatable in the USA, but vote against neoliberal globalization (protest vote) might play a role.

Another interesting thing to observe is when (and if) the impeachment process starts, if she is elected. With some FBI materials in hands of the Congress Republicans she in on the hook. A simple majority of those present and voting is required for each article of impeachment, or the resolution as a whole, to pass.

All-in-all her win might well be a Pyrrhic victory. And the unknown neurological disease that she has (Parkinson?) makes her even more vulnerable after the election, then before. The role of POTUS involves a lot of stress and requires substantial physical stamina as POTUS is the center of intersection of all important government conflicts, conversations and communications. That's a killing environment for anyone with Parkinson. And remember she was not able to survive the pressure of the role of the Secretary of State when she was in much better health and has an earlier stage of the disease.

POTUS essentially does not belong to himself/herself for the term of the office (although Obama managed to slack in this role; was he on drugs the night of Benghazi killings ? http://www.redflagnews.com/headlines/plausible-theory-was-president-obama-high-on-coke-while-benghazi-burned-video)

Another interesting question, if the leaks continue after the election. That also can contribute to the level of stress. Just anticipation is highly stressful. I do not buy the theory about "evil Russians." This hypothesis does not survive Occam razor test. I think that there some anti-Hillary forces within the USA ruling elite, possibly within the NSA or some other three letter agency that has access to email boxes of major Web mail providers via NSA.

If this is a plausible hypothesis, that makes it more probable that the leaks continue. To say nothing about possible damaging revelations about Bill (especially related to Clinton Foundation), who really enjoyed his retirement way too much.

Those who vote for Hillary for the sake of stability need to be reminded that according to the Minsky Theory stability sometimes can be very destabilizing

Jay : October 21, 2016 at 01:36 PM , 2016 at 01:36 PM
When Krugman is appointed to a top government post by Hillary Clinton we will be able to FOIA his pay and attach a value to all the columns "electioneering" Krugman has written.
likbez -> anne...
Anne,

"An intolerably destructive essay that should never have been posted, and I assume no such essay will be posted again on this blog. Shameful, shameful essay."

You mean that voting for the female warmonger with some psychopathic tendencies ("We came, we saw, he died") is not shameful ?

An interesting approach I would say.

I am not fun of Trump, but he, at least, does not have the blood of innocent women and children on his hands. And less likely to start WWIII unlike this completely out of control warmonger.

With the number of victims of wars of neoliberal empire expansion in Iraq, Libya and Syria, you should be ashamed of yourself as a women.

Please think about your current position Anne. You really should be ashamed.

[Oct 21, 2016] I wonder if Victoria Nuland and Dick Cheney vote for Hillary

Notable quotes:
"... which may be the story one wishes for. But if there were a spread to compare her win against, it was Bernie who massively beat the spread. I'll leave it as an exercise to others to determine if her unfair advantages were as large as the winning margin. ..."
"... He makes a good point and you dismiss it. You bashed Bernie Sanders and "Bernie Bros" during the primary. Then you lie about it. That's why you're the worst. Dishonest as hell. ..."
"... Remember one thing anne, America is not a country. It is an idea. You cannot arrest it, murder it, or pretend it isn't there. We as a people are not perfect. But Mr Putin is stabbing directly at our democracy, not Hillary Clinton and not Paul Krugman. Time to be a little more objective, of which you are even more capable of than me. ..."
"... It is not exactly McCarthyism as stated (although kthomas with his previous Putin comments looks like a modern day McCarthyist). I think this is a pretty clear formulation of the credo of American Exceptionalism -- a flavor of nationalism adapted to the realities of the new continent. ..."
"... And Robert Kagan explained it earlier much better ... I wonder if Victoria Nuland and Dick Cheney vote for Hillary too. ..."
Oct 21, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
point said...

Krugman says:

"...Mrs. Clinton won the Democratic nomination fairly easily..."

which may be the story one wishes for. But if there were a spread to compare her win against, it was Bernie who massively beat the spread. I'll leave it as an exercise to others to determine if her unfair advantages were as large as the winning margin.

Peter K. -> kthomas... , October 21, 2016 at 11:46 AM

"Why do people like you pretend to love Sen Sanders so much!?"

Why do you say he is pretending? What did he write to make you think that?

Are you just a dishonest troll centrist totebagger like PGL.

Peter K. -> to pgl...

What does that have to do with anything?

He makes a good point and you dismiss it. You bashed Bernie Sanders and "Bernie Bros" during the primary. Then you lie about it. That's why you're the worst. Dishonest as hell. Are most New Yorkers as dishonest as you, Trump, Guiliani, Christie, etc?

kthomas -> anne... , October 21, 2016 at 10:59 AM
No. I am a fan of Sen Sanders, and not even he would believe your nonsense. History will not remember it that way. What it will remember is how Putin Comrade meddled. And there is a price for that.

Sen Sanders wanted one, stated thing: to push the narrative to the left. He marginally accomplished this. What he did succeed in was providing an opportunity for false-lefties like you and Mr Putin who seem to think that America is the root of all evil.

Remember one thing anne, America is not a country. It is an idea. You cannot arrest it, murder it, or pretend it isn't there. We as a people are not perfect. But Mr Putin is stabbing directly at our democracy, not Hillary Clinton and not Paul Krugman. Time to be a little more objective, of which you are even more capable of than me.

Peter K. -> kthomas... , October 21, 2016 at 11:48 AM
I agree with Anne and completely disagree with those like you have drunk the Kool Aid. You're not objective at all.
anne -> kthomas... , October 21, 2016 at 12:25 PM
Sen Sanders wanted one stated thing: to push the narrative to the left. He marginally accomplished this. What he did succeed in was providing an opportunity for false-lefties like --- and -- ----- who seem to think that America is the root of all evil....

[ Better to assume such an awful comment was never written, but the McCarthy-like tone to a particular campaign has been disturbing and could prove lasting. ]

Julio -> kthomas... , -1
"America is not a country. It is an idea. You cannot ...murder it..."

[You're trying, with your McCarthyist comments.]

likbez -> Julio ... , October 21, 2016 at 05:24 PM
Julio,

It is not exactly McCarthyism as stated (although kthomas with his previous Putin comments looks like a modern day McCarthyist). I think this is a pretty clear formulation of the credo of American Exceptionalism -- a flavor of nationalism adapted to the realities of the new continent.

cal -> anne... , October 21, 2016 at 11:28 AM
BS, a remarkable.
No, I am sure he will be remembered more than that.

Bernard Sanders, last romantic politician to run his campaign on an average of $37 from 3,284,421 donations (or whatever Obama said at The Dinner). Remarkable but ineffectual. A good orator in empty houses means he was practicing, not performing.

Why does Obama succeed and Sanders fail? Axelrod and co.

Peter K. -> cal... , -1
He was written off by the like of Krugman, PGL, you, KThomas etc.

He won what 13 million votes. Young people overwhelmingly voted for Sanders. He won New Hampshire, Colorado, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Washington, Oregon, etc. etc. etc. And now the "unromantic" complacent people have to lie about the campaign.

pgl : , October 21, 2016 at 10:05 AM
Josh Barro explains why he used to be a Republican but is now a Democrat:

http://www.businessinsider.com/why-i-left-republican-party-register-democrat-2016-10

He seems to have had it with Paul Ryan and Rubio.

pgl -> pgl... , October 21, 2016 at 10:12 AM
I was enjoying this until:

"I have voted Republican, for example, in each of the past three New York City mayoral races."

Joe Llota was racist Rudy Guiliani's minnie me. How on earth did Josh think he should be mayor of my city.

likbez -> pgl...
And Robert Kagan explained it earlier much better ... I wonder if Victoria Nuland and Dick Cheney vote for Hillary too.

[Oct 21, 2016] Jill Stein Slams Hillary Clintons Foreign Policy As Scarier Than Trumps Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... The presidential candidate also tweeted the words of her running mate, Ajamu Baraka, who said, "It should [be] clear to everyone that a vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for war." ..."
"... Regrettably for Americans, Stein is right about the Democratic nominee. Those concerned about the future of America with someone as erratic as Donald Trump in the Oval Office are justified in their worry, but to believe Hillary is somehow a "better option" is not only a naive assumption - but a reckless one. A vote for Hillary is undoubtedly a conscious vote to go war with a nuclear-armed superpower. ..."
"... US empire is bigger than any President. No president can change it. ..."
Oct 21, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com
Dr. Stein, who has strongly advocated for a more peaceful approach to U.S. relations in the Middle East - as well as throughout the world - recently took to her Twitter account to boldly state what may come as a shock to many Americans:

"Hillary Clinton's foreign policy is much scarier than Donald Trump's."

The presidential candidate also tweeted the words of her running mate, Ajamu Baraka, who said, "It should [be] clear to everyone that a vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for war."

Hillary Clinton's foreign policy is much scarier than Donald Trump's, who does not want to go to war with Russia. #PeaceOffensive

- Dr. Jill Stein (@DrJillStein) October 14, 2016

"It should clear to everyone that a vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for war." - @ajamubaraka Watch live: https://t.co/0B6NJLNY5j

- Dr. Jill Stein (@DrJillStein) October 13, 2016

Dr. Stein elaborated on her social media statements when asked by a reporter in Texas this week what she felt a Hillary Clinton presidency would look like.

"Well, we know what kind of Secretary of State she was," Stein said in her response. "[Hillary] is in incredible service to Wall Street and to the war profiteers. She led the way in Libya and she's trying to start an air war with Russia over Syria, which means, if Hillary gets elected, we're kinda going to war with Russia, folks…a nuclear-armed power."

While many Americans act as if one's disdain for Hillary Clinton and her policies automatically make them a supporter of Donald Trump for president - or vice versa - Stein went on to vocalize her fear of both major party candidates.

"Who will sleep well with Trump in the White House? But you shouldn't sleep well with Hillary in the White House either. Fortunately, we live in a democracy and we have more than two deadly choices," Stein said, referring to herself and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.

Regrettably for Americans, Stein is right about the Democratic nominee. Those concerned about the future of America with someone as erratic as Donald Trump in the Oval Office are justified in their worry, but to believe Hillary is somehow a "better option" is not only a naive assumption - but a reckless one. A vote for Hillary is undoubtedly a conscious vote to go war with a nuclear-armed superpower.

Still not a believer? Watch the video below and see for yourself:

Escrava Isaura Handful of Dust Oct 20, 2016 11:19 PM ,

There are so many holes on Dr. Stein observations that I don't even know where to start.

First: US empire is bigger than any President. No president can change it.

Second: Only the naive can think that a neocon (Hillary) can be more dangerous than a bully (Trump).

Third: Dr. Stein, could you please tell us what will happen when the empire has not enough energy, food, and resources to give to its people? Tell us your "un-reckless" solution, because I can't wait to hear.

Ohh. I just remember. You can't, because it doesn't exist.

Bill of Rights Oct 20, 2016 9:22 PM ,
Epic Trey Gowdy tells Obama "F**K Off with Your Executive Order

http://www.libertywritersnews.com/2016/10/boom-trey-gowdy-just-joined-tr...

BabaLooey Bill of Rights Oct 20, 2016 10:05 PM ,
I admire Gowdy, and respect his tenacity.

I watched the video.

IMO - he wasn't hard ENOUGH on that passel of cunt-media fuckers.

Every single one of the fuckwads in attendance should have been filmed - the camera turned on THEM.

The fucks

big-data Oct 20, 2016 9:49 PM ,
This well-articulated executive summary (10 minutes of your time) integrates the consequences of the world's biggest financial bubble with the risk of military escalation with Russia in Syria, the Balkans, or Ukraine. Hilllary's foreign policy goes head-to-head with Russia's foreign policy: they are different with respect to use of nuclear weapons, particularly tactical nuclear weapons.

https://medium.com/deepconnections/a-synthesis-of-the-worlds-most-dangerous-systemic-risks-for-the-week-ending-october-14-2016-192b329f5b2b#.em9fji61b

BabaLooey Oct 20, 2016 9:53 PM ,
Stein is ignored by the MSM

Show me ANY stories from her on ANY of the Million Dicks in a Bag "credible" media.....

<tapping foot>...............

................yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah

But Cankly-pooper has that jag off Air Force cucked dickwad on TeeVee ads every ten fucking minutes saying Trump is unfit to have his finger on the button.

Just like the moron I talked to a couple of weeks ago, when he said he was voting for Catheter because "Trump was going to take us to war".....(finding out he gets his "news" from social media, Google News and the NYT)

MORONS...that's who Clinton has .....fucking morons....

Kina Oct 20, 2016 10:12 PM ,
Jill Stein - Green Party candidate, and Gary Johnson - Libtarian candidate .......

[In battleground states] BOTH need to come out and tell their voting supporters to NOT vote for them but to vote Trump...and only vote for them if they can't vote Trump. Because there is no point in a Greens platform if the planet is at war or in destruction, likewise their is no chance of a Libertarian platform for a country in increased wars, or world at war.

The Libertarian and Greens platform assume a peaceful country and world - with Cliinton and her backers the USA will ge the exact opposite.

  • This is why the Greens and Libitarians most not only endorse Trump but tell their voters they must vote for Trump for there to be any hope for the USA's future.
  • In fact if I were Trump I would be making this pitch to them.

    [Oct 20, 2016] One of the systemic dangers of psychopathic females in high political positions is that remaining as reckless as they are, they try to outdo men in hawkishness

    Notable quotes:
    "... a simple fact (that escapes many participants of this forum, connected to TBTF) the that Hillary is an unrepentant neocon, a warmonger that might well bring another war, possibly even WWIII. ..."
    "... One of the systemic dangers of psychopathic females in high political positions is that remaining as reckless as they are, they try to outdo men in hawkishness. ..."
    "... Enthusiasm of people in this forum for Hillary is mainly enthusiasm for the ability of TBTF to rip people another four years. ..."
    "... The level of passive social protest against neoliberal elite (aka "populism" in neoliberal media terms) scared the hell of Washington establishment. Look at neoliberal shills like Summers, who is now ready to abandon a large part of his Washington consensus dogma in order for neoliberalism to survive. ..."
    "... And while open revolt in national security state has no chances, Trump with all his warts is a very dangerous development for "status quo" supporters, that might not go away after the elections. ..."
    Oct 20, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
    Adamski -> Peter K.... , October 20, 2016 at 07:35 AM
    Trump is winning with people in their 50s and they have a higher chance of voting than millennials do. That plus voter suppression may hand this to Trump yet. There was an LA Times poll this month that showed a small Trump lead. An outlier, sure, but the same poll was right about Obama in 2012 when other polls were wrong. Just saying
    likbez -> Adamski... , -1
    > "Trump is winning with people in their 50s and they have a higher chance of voting than millennials do."

    Yes. Thank you for making this point.

    Also people over 50 have more chances to understand and reject all the neoliberal bullshit MSM are pouring on Americans.

    As well as a simple fact (that escapes many participants of this forum, connected to TBTF) the that Hillary is an unrepentant neocon, a warmonger that might well bring another war, possibly even WWIII.

    One of the systemic dangers of psychopathic females in high political positions is that remaining as reckless as they are, they try to outdo men in hawkishness.

    Enthusiasm of people in this forum for Hillary is mainly enthusiasm for the ability of TBTF to rip people another four years.

    Not that Trump is better, but on warmongering side he is the lesser evil, for sure.

    The level of passive social protest against neoliberal elite (aka "populism" in neoliberal media terms) scared the hell of Washington establishment. Look at neoliberal shills like Summers, who is now ready to abandon a large part of his Washington consensus dogma in order for neoliberalism to survive.

    And while open revolt in national security state has no chances, Trump with all his warts is a very dangerous development for "status quo" supporters, that might not go away after the elections.

    That's why they supposedly pump Hillary with drugs each debate :-).

    [Oct 20, 2016] I thought we were pretty sure that the US had attacked Yemen, were just not sure that Yemen had attacked the US ship.

    Oct 20, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
    hemeantwell October 20, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    Twice in recent days, cruise missiles fired from an American destroyer have rained down on Yemen.

    Whoaaa. There may still be doubts about this. After all, what do the Houthis gain, especially right after the Saudis have outdone themselves in atrocities.

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/15/politics/uss-mason-fired-on-again/

    Officials Saturday night were uncertain about what exactly happened, if there were multiple incoming missiles or if there was a malfunction with the radar detection system on the destroyer.

    frosty zoom October 20, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    that's quite a bold statement.

    Harry October 20, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    I thought we were pretty sure that the US had attacked Yemen, we're just not sure that Yemen had attacked the US ship.

    Plenue October 20, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    Even if the Yemenis did, I fail to see why this is considered shocking and unacceptable. I get that decades of kowtowing to Israel has conditioned the United States to not understand that a blockade is inherently an act of war, but quite aside from starving the people of Yemen we've been directly supporting the Saudi bombing. We've been belligerents in this conflict from the start.

    NotTimothyGeithner October 20, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    The Russian FM, Lavrov put it best when he described the U.S. as only desiring vassals.

    [Oct 20, 2016] What Hillary Clinton Privately Told Goldman Sachs

    Notable quotes:
    "... Much of the content of these speeches to U.S. bankers dealt with foreign policy, and virtually all of that with warfare, potential warfare, and opportunities for military-led domination of various regions of the globe. This stuff is more interesting and less insultingly presented than the idiocies spewed out at the public presidential debates. But it also fits an image of U.S. policy that Clinton might have preferred to keep private. Just as nobody advertised that, as emails now show, Wall Street bankers helped pick President Obama's cabinet, we're generally discouraged from thinking that wars and foreign bases are intended as services to financial overlords. "I'm representing all of you," Clinton says to the bankers in reference to her efforts at a meeting in Asia. Sub-Saharan Africa has great potential for U.S. "businesses and entrepreneurs," she says in reference to U.S. militarism there. ..."
    "... "We're going to ring China with missile 'defense,'" Clinton tells Goldman Sachs. "We're going to put more of our fleet in the area." ..."
    "... In public debates, Clinton demands a "no fly zone" or "no bombing zone" or "safe zone" in Syria, from which to organize a war to overthrow the government. In a speech to Goldman Sachs, however, she blurts out that creating such a zone would require bombing a lot more populated areas than was required in Libya. ..."
    "... Clinton also makes clear that Syrian "jihadists" are being funded by Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Qatar. In October 2013, as the U.S. public had rejected bombing Syria, Blankfein asked if the public was now opposed to "interventions" - that clearly being understood as a hurdle to be overcome. Clinton said not to fear. "We're in a time in Syria," she said, "where they're not finished killing each other . . . and maybe you just have to wait and watch it." ..."
    "... Regarding China again, Clinton claims to have told the Chinese that the United States could claim ownership of the entire Pacific as a result of having "liberated it." She goes on to claim to have told them that "We discovered Japan for heaven's sake." And: "We have proof of having bought [Hawaii]." Really? From whom? ..."
    "... it's fascinating that even the bankers in whom Clinton confides her militarist mania ask her identical questions to those I get asked by peace activists at speaking events: "Is the U.S. political system completely broken?" "Should we scrap this and go with a parliamentary system?" ..."
    www.counterpunch.org
    In the speech transcripts from June 4, 2013, October 29, 2013, and October 19, 2015, Clinton was apparently paid sufficiently to do something she denies most audiences. That is, she took questions that it appears likely she was not secretly briefed on or engaged in negotiations over ahead of time. In part this appears to be the case because some of the questions were lengthy speeches, and in part because her answers were not all the sort of meaningless platitudes that she produces if given time to prepare.

    Much of the content of these speeches to U.S. bankers dealt with foreign policy, and virtually all of that with warfare, potential warfare, and opportunities for military-led domination of various regions of the globe. This stuff is more interesting and less insultingly presented than the idiocies spewed out at the public presidential debates. But it also fits an image of U.S. policy that Clinton might have preferred to keep private. Just as nobody advertised that, as emails now show, Wall Street bankers helped pick President Obama's cabinet, we're generally discouraged from thinking that wars and foreign bases are intended as services to financial overlords. "I'm representing all of you," Clinton says to the bankers in reference to her efforts at a meeting in Asia. Sub-Saharan Africa has great potential for U.S. "businesses and entrepreneurs," she says in reference to U.S. militarism there.

    Yet, in these speeches, Clinton projects exactly that approach, accurately or not, on other nations and accuses China of just the sort of thing that her "far left" critics accuse her of all the time, albeit outside the censorship of U.S. corporate media. China, Clinton says, may use hatred of Japan as a means of distracting Chinese people from unpopular and harmful economic policies. China, Clinton says, struggles to maintain civilian control over its military. Hmm. Where else have we seen these problems?

    "We're going to ring China with missile 'defense,'" Clinton tells Goldman Sachs. "We're going to put more of our fleet in the area."

    On Syria, Clinton says it's hard to figure out whom to arm - completely oblivious to any options other than arming somebody. It's hard, she says, to predict at all what will happen. So, her advice, which she blurts out to a room of bankers, is to wage war in Syria very "covertly."

    In public debates, Clinton demands a "no fly zone" or "no bombing zone" or "safe zone" in Syria, from which to organize a war to overthrow the government. In a speech to Goldman Sachs, however, she blurts out that creating such a zone would require bombing a lot more populated areas than was required in Libya. "You're going to kill a lot of Syrians," she admits. She even tries to distance herself from the proposal by referring to "this intervention that people talk about so glibly" - although she, before and at the time of that speech and ever since has been the leading such person.

    Clinton also makes clear that Syrian "jihadists" are being funded by Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Qatar. In October 2013, as the U.S. public had rejected bombing Syria, Blankfein asked if the public was now opposed to "interventions" - that clearly being understood as a hurdle to be overcome. Clinton said not to fear. "We're in a time in Syria," she said, "where they're not finished killing each other . . . and maybe you just have to wait and watch it."

    That's the view of many ill-meaning and many well-meaning people who have been persuaded that the only two choices in foreign policy are bombing people and doing nothing. That clearly is the understanding of the former Secretary of State, whose positions were more hawkish than those of her counterpart at the Pentagon. It's also reminiscent of Harry Truman's comment that if the Germans were winning you should help the Russians and vice versa, so that more people would die. That's not exactly what Clinton said here, but it's pretty close, and it's something she would not say in a scripted joint-media-appearance masquerading as a debate. The possibility of disarmament, nonviolent peacework, actual aid on a massive scale, and respectful diplomacy that leaves U.S. influence out of the resulting states is just not on Clinton's radar no matter who is in her audience.

    On Iran, Clinton repeatedly hypes false claims about nuclear weapons and terrorism, even while admitting far more openly than we're used to that Iran's religious leader denounces and opposes nuclear weapons. She also admits that Saudi Arabia is already pursuing nuclear weapons and that UAE and Egypt are likely to do so, at least if Iran does. She also admits that the Saudi government is far from stable.

    Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein asks Clinton at one point how a good war against Iran might go - he suggesting that an occupation (yes, they use that forbidden word) might not be the best move. Clinton replies that Iran can just be bombed. Blankfein, rather shockingly, appeals to reality - something Clinton goes on at obnoxious length about elsewhere in these speeches. Has bombing a population into submission ever worked, Blankfein asks. Clinton admits that it has not but suggests that it just might work on Iranians because they are not democratic.

    Regarding Egypt, Clinton makes clear her opposition to popular change.

    Regarding China again, Clinton claims to have told the Chinese that the United States could claim ownership of the entire Pacific as a result of having "liberated it." She goes on to claim to have told them that "We discovered Japan for heaven's sake." And: "We have proof of having bought [Hawaii]." Really? From whom?

    This is ugly stuff, at least as damaging to human lives as the filth coming from Donald Trump. Yet it's fascinating that even the bankers in whom Clinton confides her militarist mania ask her identical questions to those I get asked by peace activists at speaking events: "Is the U.S. political system completely broken?" "Should we scrap this and go with a parliamentary system?"

    Et cetera. In part their concern is the supposed gridlock created by differences between the two big parties, whereas my biggest concern is the militarized destruction of people and the environment that never seems to encounter even a slight traffic slowdown in Congress. But if you imagine that the people Bernie Sanders always denounces as taking home all the profits are happy with the status quo, think again. They benefit in certain ways, but they don't control their monster and it doesn't make them feel fulfilled.

    David Swanson wants you to declare peace at http://WorldBeyondWar.org His new book is War No More: The Case for Abolition.

    [Oct 18, 2016] The Clinton Goldman Speeches No Smoking Guns, but a Munitions Dump Instead

    Notable quotes:
    "... First, Clinton's neoliberalism is so bone deep that she refers to Medicare as a "single market" rather than "single payer"; ..."
    "... Clinton frames solutions exclusively ..."
    "... Policy Sciences ..."
    "... Stalin spent his early days in a seminary. Masters of broken promises. I'm more interested in Clinton's Chinese connections. Probably tied through JP Morgan. The Chinese are very straightforward in their, dare I say, inscrutible way. The ministers are the ministers, and the palace is the palace. ..."
    "... SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I don't feel particularly courageous. I mean, if we're going to be an effective, efficient economy, we need to have all part of that engine running well, and that includes Wall Street and Main Street. ..."
    "... Because she wont pay for quality speechwriters or coaching. Because she is a shyster, cheapskate and a fraud. They hired the most inept IT company to 'mange' their office server who then (in a further fit of cheapskate stupidity) hired an inept IT client manager who then (in a further fit of cheapskate stupidity) asked Reddit for a solution. ..."
    "... One can say a lot of justifiable bad things about Ronald Reagan, but, he had competent advisors and he used them! With Hillary, Even if she knows she has accessed the best advice on the planet her instinct it to not trust it because "she knows better" and she absolutely will not tolerate dissent. Left to her own devices, she simply copies other people's thinking/ homework instead of building her own ideas with it. ..."
    "... What surprises me is that Goldmans paid her for these speeches, you know? Hillary C typically pays "the audience" to listen to, and come to her speeches. You know? You know! ..."
    "... I heard Hillary speak in summer '92, when Bill was running for Prez. She. was. amazing. No joke. Great speech, great ideas, great points. I thought then she should be the candidate. But there was in her speech just a tiny undercurrent of "the ends justify the means." i.e. 'we need to get lots of money so we can do good things.' Fast forward 20+ years. Seems to me that for the Clintons the "means" (getting lots of money) has become the end in itself. Reassuring Wall St. is one method for getting money – large, large amounts of money. ..."
    "... A fine illustration of the maxim that "crime makes you stupid." ..."
    "... in that context ..."
    "... So I guess the moral of the story is (a) more deterioration, this time from 2008 to 2016, and (b) Clinton can actually make a good decision, but only when forced to by a catastrophe that will impact her personally. Whether she'll be able to rise to the occasion if elected is an open question, but this post argues not. ..."
    "... Bingo! Think about it: She was speaking to a group of people whose time is "valued" at 100's if not 1,000's of dollars per hour. She took up their "valuable" time but provided nothing except politics-as-usual blather tailored to that particular audience. Yet she was paid $225k for a single speech… ..."
    "... Hillary is a remarkably inarticulate person, which calls into question her intellectual fitness for the job (amidst many other questions, of course). I entirely agree with your depiction of her speeches as mindless drivel. ..."
    "... Not to otherwise compare them, but Bush I's inarticulateness made him seem a buffoon, and that was not the case, either. ..."
    "... Matt Tiabbi, Elizabeth Warren, Benie Sanders, Noam Chompsky–all those used to seem like bastions of integrity have, thanks to Hillary, been revealed as slimy little Weasels who should henceforth be completely disregarded. I'd have to thank Hillary for pulling back the nlindets on that; if not for this election I might have been still foolishly listening to these people. ..."
    "... What scares me most about Clinton is her belligerence towards Russia and clamoring for a no-fly zone in Syria. The no-fly zone will mean war with Russia. If only Clinton were saying this, we might be safe, but the entire Washington deep state seems to be of one mind in favor of a war. During the cold war this would have been inconceivable; everyone understood a nuclear war must not be allowed. This is no longer true and it is terrifying. Every war game the pentagon used to simulate a war with the U.S.S.R. escalated into an all out nuclear war. What is the "plan B" Obama is pursuing in Syria? ..."
    "... The current fear/fever over nuclear war with Russia requires madness in the Kremlin - of which there is no evidence. Our Rulers are depending on Putin and his cohorts being the sane ones as rhetoric from the US and the West ratchets ever upwards. ..."
    "... But then, the Kremlin is looking for any hint of sanity on US and NATO side and is finding little… ..."
    "... Curtis LeMay tried to provoke a nuclear war with the Soviets in the 1950's. By and large, however, the American state understood a nuclear war was unwinnable and avoided such a possibility. A no-fly zone in Syria would start a war with Russia. William Polk, who participated in the Cuban missle crisis and U.S. nuclear war games, argues in this article ..."
    "... both of which present a clinical assessment that Hillary suffers from Parkinson's. Seems like an elephant in the room. ..."
    "... The absolute vacuousness of Clinton's remarks, coupled with her ease at neoliberal conventional wisdom, make it clear that Goldman's payments were nothing more (or less) than a $675,000 anticipatory "so no quid pro quo ..."
    "... The leaked emails confirm - even though she herself never writes them, which is really odd, when you consider that Podesta is her Campaign Chair and close ally going back decades - that she is compulsively secretive, controlling, and resistant to admitting she's wrong. The chain of people talking about how to get her to admit she was wrong about Nancy Reagan and AIDS was particularly fascinating that way; she was flat out factually inaccurate, and it had the potential to do tremendous harm to her campaign with a key donor group, and it was apparently still a major task to persuade her to say "I made a mistake." ..."
    "... basically, every real world policy problem is related to every other real world policy problem ..."
    "... Most noticeable thing is her subservience to them like a fresh college grad afraid of his boss at his first job ..."
    Oct 18, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
    As readers know, WikiLeaks has released transcripts of the three speeches to Goldman Sachs that Clinton gave in 2013, and for which she was paid the eyewatering sum of $675,000. (The link is to an email dated January 23, 2016, from Cllinton staffer Tony Carrk , Clinton's research director, which pulls out "noteworthy quotes" from the speeches. The speeches themselves are attachments to that email.)

    Readers, I read them. All three of them. What surprises - and when I tell you I had to take a little nap about halfway through, I'm not making it up! - is the utter mediocrity of Clinton's thought and mode of expression[1]. Perhaps that explains Clinton's otherwise inexplicable refusal to release them. And perhaps my sang froid is preternatural, but I don't see a "smoking gun," unless forking over $675,000 for interminable volumes of shopworn conventional wisdom be, in itself, such a gun. What can Goldman Sachs possibly have thought they were paying for?

    WikiLeaks has, however, done voters a favor - in these speeches, and in the DNC and Podesta email releases generally - by giving us a foretaste of what a Clinton administration will be like, once in power, not merely on policy (the "first 100 days"), but on how they will make decisions. I call the speeches a "munitions dump," because the views she expresses in these speeches are bombs that can be expected to explode as the Clinton administration progresses.

    With that, let's contextualize and comment upon some quotes from the speeches

    The Democrats Are the Party of Wall Street

    Of course, you knew that, but it's nice to have the matter confirmed. This material was flagged by Carrk (as none of the following material will have been). It's enormously prolix, but I decided to cut only a few paragraphs. From Clinton's second Goldman speech at the AIMS Alternative Investments Symposium:

    MR. O'NEILL: Let's come back to the US. Since 2008, there's been an awful lot of seismic activity around Wall Street and the big banks and regulators and politicians.

    Now, without going over how we got to where we are right now , what would be your advice to the Wall Street community and the big banks as to the way forward with those two important decisions?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I represented all of you for eight years. I had great relations and worked so close together after 9/11 to rebuild downtown, and a lot of respect for the work you do and the people who do it, but I do - I think that when we talk about the regulators and the politicians, the economic consequences of bad decisions back in '08, you know, were devastating, and they had repercussions throughout the world.

    That was one of the reasons that I started traveling in February of '09, so people could, you know, literally yell at me for the United States and our banking system causing this everywhere. Now, that's an oversimplification we know, but it was the conventional wisdom [really?!].

    And I think that there's a lot that could have been avoided in terms of both misunderstanding and really politicizing [!] what happened with greater transparency, with greater openness on all sides, you know, what happened, how did it happen, how do we prevent it from happening? You guys help us figure it out and let's make sure that we do it right this time .

    And I think that everybody was desperately trying to fend off the worst effects institutionally, governmentally, and there just wasn't that opportunity to try to sort this out, and that came later .

    I mean, it's still happening, as you know. People are looking back and trying to, you know, get compensation for bad mortgages and all the rest of it in some of the agreements that are being reached.

    There's nothing magic about regulations, too much is bad, too little is bad. How do you get to the golden key, how do we figure out what works? And the people that know the industry better than anybody are the people who work in the industry .

    And we need banking. I mean, right now, there are so many places in our country where the banks are not doing what they need to do because they're scared of regulations , they're scared of the other shoe dropping, they're just plain scared, so credit is not flowing the way it needs to to restart economic growth.

    So people are, you know, a little - they're still uncertain, and they're uncertain both because they don't know what might come next in terms of regulations, but they're also uncertain because of changes in a global economy that we're only beginning to take hold of.

    So first and foremost, more transparency, more openness, you know, trying to figure out, we're all in this together , how we keep this incredible economic engine in this country going. And this [finance] is, you know, the nerves, the spinal column.

    And with political people, again, I would say the same thing, you know, there was a lot of complaining about Dodd-Frank, but there was also a need to do something because for political reasons , if you were an elected member of Congress and people in your constituency were losing jobs and shutting businesses and everybody in the press is saying it's all the fault of Wall Street, you can't sit idly by and do nothing, but what you do is really important.

    And I think the jury is still out on that because it was very difficult to sort of sort through it all.

    And, of course, I don't, you know, I know that banks and others were worried about continued liability [oh, really?] and other problems down the road, so it would be better if we could have had a more open exchange about what we needed to do to fix what had broken and then try to make sure it didn't happen again, but we will keep working on it.

    MR. O'NEILL: By the way, we really did appreciate when you were the senator from New York and your continued involvement in the issues (inaudible) to be courageous in some respects to associated with Wall Street and this environment. Thank you very much.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I don't feel particularly courageous. I mean, if we're going to be an effective, efficient economy, we need to have all part of that engine running well, and that includes Wall Street and Main Street.

    And there's a big disconnect and a lot of confusion right now. So I'm not interested in, you know, turning the clock back or pointing fingers , but I am interested in trying to figure out how we come together to chart a better way forward and one that will restore confidence in, you know, small and medium-size businesses and consumers and begin to chip away at the unemployment rate [five years into the recession!].

    So it's something that I, you know, if you're a realist, you know that people have different roles to play in politics, economics, and this is an important role, but I do think that there has to be an understanding of how what happens here on Wall Street has such broad consequences not just for the domestic but the global economy, so more thought has to be given to the process and transactions and regulations so that we don't kill or maim what works, but we concentrate on the most effective way of moving forward with the brainpower and the financial power that exists here.

    "Moving forward." And not looking back. (It would be nice to know what "continued liability" the banks were worried about; accounting control fraud ? Maybe somebody could ask Clinton.) Again, I call your attention to the weird combination of certainty and mediocrity of it; readers, I am sure, can demolish the detail. What this extended quotation does show is that Clinton and Obama are as one with respect to the role of the finance sector. Politico describes Obama's famous meeting with the bankster CEOs:

    Arrayed around a long mahogany table in the White House state dining room last week, the CEOs of the most powerful financial institutions in the world offered several explanations for paying high salaries to their employees - and, by extension, to themselves.

    "These are complicated companies," one CEO said. Offered another: "We're competing for talent on an international market.".

    But President Barack Obama wasn't in a mood to hear them out. He stopped the conversation and offered a blunt reminder of the public's reaction to such explanations. "Be careful how you make those statements, gentlemen. The public isn't buying that.".

    "My administration," the president added, "is the only thing between you and the pitchforks."

    And he did! He did! Clinton, however, by calling the finance sector the "the nerves, the spinal column" of the country, goes farther than Obama ever did.

    So, from the governance perspective, we can expect the FIRE sector to dominate a Clinton administration, and the Clinton administration to service it. The Democrats are the Party of Wall Street. The bomb that could explode there is corrupt dealings with cronies (for which the Wikileaks material provides plenty of leads).

    Clinton Advocates a "Night Watchman" State

    The next quotes are shorter, I swear! Here's a quote from Clinton's third Goldman speech (not flagged by Carrk, no doubt because hearing drivel like this is perfectly normal in HillaryLand):

    SECRETARY CLINTON: And I tell you, I see any society like a three-legged stool. You have to have an active free market that gives people the chance to live out their dreams by their own hard work and skills. You have to have a functioning, effective government that provides the right balance of oversight and protection of freedom and privacy and liberty and all the rest of it that goes with it . And you have to have an active civil society. Because there's so much about America that is volunteerism and religious faith and family and community activities. So you take one of those legs away, it's pretty hard to balance it. So you've got to get back to getting the right balance.

    Apparently, the provision of public services is not within government's remit -- What are Social Security and Medicare? "All the rest of it"? Not only that, who said the free market was the only way to "live out their dreams"? Madison, Franklin, even Hamilton would have something to say about that! Finally, which one of those legs is out of balance? Civil society? Some would advocate less religion in politics rather than more, including many Democrats. The markets? Not at Goldman? Government? Too much militarization, way too little concrete material benefits, so far as I'm concerned, but Clinton doesn't say, making the "stool" metaphor vacuous.

    From a governance perspective, we can expect Clinton's blind spot on government's role in provisioning servies to continue. Watch for continued privatization efforts (perhaps aided by Silicon Valley). On any infrastructure projects, watch for "public-private partnerships." The bomb that could explode there is corrupt dealings with a different set of cronies (even if the FIRE sector does have a finger in every pie).

    Clinton's Views on Health Care Reflect Market Fundamentalism

    From Clinton's second Goldman Speech :

    MR. O'NEILL: [O]bviously the Affordable Care Act has been upheld by the supreme court. It's clearly having limitation problems [I don't know what that means]. It's unsettling, people still - the Republicans want to repeal it or defund it. So how do you get to the middle on that clash of absolutes?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, this is not the first time that we rolled out a big program with the limitation problems [Clinton apparently does].

    I was in the Senate when President Bush asked and signed legislation expanding Medicare benefits, the Medicare Part D drug benefits. And people forget now that it was a very difficult implementation.

    As a senator, my staff spent weeks working with people who were trying to sign up, because it was in some sense even harder to manage because the population over 65, not the most computer-literate group, and it was difficult. But, you know, people stuck with it, worked through it.

    Now, this is on - it's on a different scale and it is more complex because it's trying to create a market. In Medicare, you have a single market , you have, you know, the government is increasing funding through government programs [sic] to provide people over 65 the drugs they needed.

    And there were a few variations that you could play out on it, but it was a much simpler market than what the Affordable Care Act is aiming to set up.

    Now, the way I look at this, Tim, is it's either going to work or it's not going to work.

    First, Clinton's neoliberalism is so bone deep that she refers to Medicare as a "single market" rather than "single payer"; but then Clinton erases single payer whenever possible . Second, Clinton frames solutions exclusively in terms of markets (and not the direct provision of services by government); Obama does the same on health care in JAMA , simply erasing the possibility of single payer. Third, rather than advocate a simple, rugged, and proven system like Canadian Medicare (single payer), Clinton prefers to run an experiment ("it's either going to work or it's not going to work") on the health of millions of people (and, I would urge, without their informed consent).

    From a governance perspective, assume that if the Democrats propose a "public option," it will be miserably inadequate. The bomb that could explode here is the ObamaCare death spiral.

    The Problems Are "Wicked," but Clinton Will Be Unable to Cope With Them

    Finally, this little passage from the first Clinton Goldman speech caught my eye:

    MR. BLANKFEIN: The next area which I think is actually literally closer to home but where American lives have been at risk is the Middle East, I think is one topic. What seems to be the ambivalence or the lack of a clear set of goals - maybe that ambivalence comes from not knowing what outcome we want or who is our friend or what a better world is for the United States and of Syria, and then ultimately on the Iranian side if you think of the Korean bomb as far away and just the Tehran death spot, the Iranians are more calculated in a hotter area with - where does that go? And I tell you, I couldn't - I couldn't myself tell - you know how we would like things to work out, but it's not discernable to me what the policy of the United States is towards an outcome either in Syria or where we get to in Iran.

    MS. CLINTON: Well, part of it is it's a wicked problem , and it's a wicked problem that is very hard to unpack in part because as you just said, Lloyd, it's not clear what the outcome is going to be and how we could influence either that outcome or a different outcome.

    (I say "cope with" rather than "solve" for reasons that will become apparent.) Yes, Syria's bad, as vividly shown by Blankfein's fumbling question, but I want to focus on the term "wicked problem," which comes from the the field of strategic planning, though it's also infiltrated information technology and management theory . The concept originated in a famous paper by Horst W. J. Rittel and Melvin M. Webber entitled: "Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning" (PDF), Policy Sciences 4 (1973), 155-169. I couldn't summarize the literature even if I had the time, but here is Rittel and Webber's introduction:

    There are at least ten distinguishing properties of planning-type problems, i.e. wicked ones, that planners had better be alert to and which we shall comment upon in turn. As you will see, we are calling them "wicked" not because these properties are themselves ethically deplorable. We use the term "wicked" in a meaning akin to that of "malignant" (in contrast to "benign") or "vicious" (like a circle) or "tricky" (like a leprechaun) or "aggressive" (like a lion, in contrast to the docility of a lamb). We do not mean to personify these properties of social systems by implying malicious intent. But then, you may agree that it becomes morally objectionable for the planner to treat a wicked problem as though it were a tame one, or to tame a wicked problem prematurely, or to refuse to recognize the inherent wickedness of social problems.

    And here is a list of Rittel and Webber's ten properties of a "wicked problem" ( and a critique ):

    There is no definite formulation of a wicked problem Wicked problems have no stopping rule Solutions to wicked problems are not true-or-false, but good-or-bad. There is no immediate and no ultimate test of a solution to a wicked problem. Every solution to a wicked problem is a "one-shot operation"; because there is no opportunity to learn by trial-and-error, every attempt counts significantly. Wicked problems do not have an enumerable (or an exhaustively describable) set of potential solutions, nor is there a well-described set of permissible operations that may be incorporated into the plan. Every wicked problem is essentially unique. Every wicked problem can be considered to be a symptom of another [wicked] problem. The causes of a wicked problem can be explained in numerous ways. The choice of explanation determines the nature of the problem's resolution. [With wicked problems,] the planner has no right to be wrong.

    Of course, there's plenty of controversy about all of this, but if you throw these properties against the Syrian clusterf*ck, I think you'll see a good fit, and can probably come up with other examples. My particular concern, however, is with property #3:

    Solutions to wicked problems are not true-or-false, but good-or-bad

    There are conventionalized criteria for objectively deciding whether the offered solution to an equation or whether the proposed structural formula of a chemical compound is correct or false. They can be independently checked by other qualified persons who are familiar with the established criteria; and the answer will be normally unambiguous.

    For wicked planning problems, there are no true or false answers. Normally, many parties are equally equipped, interested, and/or entitled to judge the solutions, although none has the power to set formal decision rules to determine correctness. Their judgments are likely to differ widely to accord with their group or personal interests, their special value-sets, and their ideological predilections. Their assessments of proposed solutions are expressed as "good" or "bad" or, more likely, as "better or worse" or "satisfying" or "good enough."

    (Today, we would call these "many parties" "stakeholders.") My concern is that a Clinton administration, far from compromising - to be fair, Clinton does genuflect toward "compromise" elsewhere - will try to make wicked planning problems more tractable by reducing the number of parties to policy decisions. That is, exactly, what "irredeemables" implies[2], which is unfortunate, especially when the cast out amount to well over a third of the population. The same tendencies were also visible in the Clinton campaigns approach to Sanders and Sanders supporters, and the general strategy of bringing the Blame Cannons to bear on those who demonstrate insufficient fealty.

    From a governance perspective, watch for many more executive orders acceptable to neither right nor left, and plenty of decisions taken in secret. The bomb that could explode here is the legitimacy of a Clinton administration, depending on the parties removed from the policy discussion, and the nature of the decision taken.

    Conclusion

    I don't think volatility will decrease on November 8, should Clinton be elected and take office; if anything, it will increase. A ruling party in thrall to finance, intent on treating government functions as opportunities for looting by cronies, blinded by neoliberal ideology and hence incapable of providing truly universal health care, and whose approach to problems of conflict in values is to demonize and exclude the opposition is a recipe for continued crisis.

    NOTES

    [1] Matt Taibbi takes the view that "Speaking to bankers and masters of the corporate universe, she came off as relaxed, self-doubting, reflective, honest, philosophical rather than political, and unafraid to admit she lacked all the answers." I don't buy it. It all read like the same old Clinton to me, and I've read a lot of Clinton (see, e.g., here , here , here , here , here , and here ).

    [2] One is irresistibly reminded of Stalin's "No man, no problem," although some consider Stalin's methods to be unsound.

    oho October 17, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    Slow motion coup. Wish I was being histrionic.

    Vatch October 17, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    Your notion is a lot like Simon Johnson's thoughts about the Quiet Coup from 2009:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/05/the-quiet-coup/307364/

    ocop October 17, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    Oh my god.

    I had never read this article before. Near perfect diagnosis and even more relevant today than it was then. For everyone's benefit, the central thesis:

    Typically, these countries are in a desperate economic situation for one simple reason-the powerful elites within them overreached in good times and took too many risks. Emerging-market governments and their private-sector allies commonly form a tight-knit-and, most of the time, genteel-oligarchy, running the country rather like a profit-seeking company in which they are the controlling shareholders.

    Of course, the U.S. is unique. And just as we have the world's most advanced economy, military, and technology, we also have its most advanced oligarchy.

    In a primitive political system, power is transmitted through violence, or the threat of violence: military coups, private militias, and so on. In a less primitive system more typical of emerging markets, power is transmitted via money: bribes, kickbacks, and offshore bank accounts. Although lobbying and campaign contributions certainly play major roles in the American political system, old-fashioned corruption-envelopes stuffed with $100 bills-is probably a sideshow today, Jack Abramoff notwithstanding.

    Instead, the American financial industry gained political power by amassing a kind of cultural capital-a belief system. Once, perhaps, what was good for General Motors was good for the country. Over the past decade, the attitude took hold that what was good for Wall Street was good for the country. The banking-and-securities industry has become one of the top contributors to political campaigns, but at the peak of its influence, it did not have to buy favors the way, for example, the tobacco companies or military contractors might have to. Instead, it benefited from the fact that Washington insiders already believed that large financial institutions and free-flowing capital markets were crucial to America's position in the world.

    A hypothesis (at least for "Main Street") proven true between 2009 and 2016:

    Emerging-market countries have only a precarious hold on wealth, and are weaklings globally. When they get into trouble, they quite literally run out of money -- or at least out of foreign currency, without which they cannot survive. They must make difficult decisions; ultimately, aggressive action is baked into the cake. But the U.S., of course, is the world's most powerful nation, rich beyond measure, and blessed with the exorbitant privilege of paying its foreign debts in its own currency, which it can print. As a result, it could very well stumble along for years-as Japan did during its lost decade-never summoning the courage to do what it needs to do, and never really recovering.

    Lastly, the "bleak" scenario from 2009 that today looks about a decade too early, but could with minor tuning (Southern instead of Eastern Europe, for example) end up hitting in a big way:


    It goes like this: the global economy continues to deteriorate, the banking system in east-central Europe collapses, and-because eastern Europe's banks are mostly owned by western European banks-justifiable fears of government insolvency spread throughout the Continent. Creditors take further hits and confidence falls further. The Asian economies that export manufactured goods are devastated, and the commodity producers in Latin America and Africa are not much better off. A dramatic worsening of the global environment forces the U.S. economy, already staggering, down onto both knees. The baseline growth rates used in the administration's current budget are increasingly seen as unrealistic, and the rosy "stress scenario" that the U.S. Treasury is currently using to evaluate banks' balance sheets becomes a source of great embarrassment.

    The conventional wisdom among the elite is still that the current slump "cannot be as bad as the Great Depression." This view is wrong. What we face now could, in fact, be worse than the Great Depression-because the world is now so much more interconnected and because the banking sector is now so big. We face a synchronized downturn in almost all countries, a weakening of confidence among individuals and firms, and major problems for government finances. If our leadership wakes up to the potential consequences, we may yet see dramatic action on the banking system and a breaking of the old elite. Let us hope it is not then too late.

    Lambert Strether Post author October 18, 2016 at 12:34 am

    That's a good reminder to us at NC that not all our readers have been with us since 2009 and may not be familiar with the great financial crash and subsequent events. I remember reading the Johnson article when it came out. And now, almost eight years later…

    There's a reason that there's a "Banana Republic" category. Every time I read an article about the political economy of a second- or third-world country I look for how it applies to this country, and much of the time, it does, particularly on corruption.

    Synoia October 17, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    She told them what they wanted to hear. "No surprises."

    craazyboy October 17, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    We truly must consider the possibility Goldman wrote the 3 speeches, then paid Hillary to give them.

    Next, leak them to Wiki. Everything in them is pretty close to pure fiction – but it is neolib banker fiction. Just makes it all seem more real when they do things this way.

    Yike's, I'm turning into a crazy conspiracy theorist.

    ambrit October 17, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    Don't fall for the 'status quo's' language Jedi mind trick crazyboy. I like to call myself a "sane conspiracy theorist." You can too!
    As for H Clinton's 'slavish' adherence to the Bankster Ethos; in psychology, there is the "Stockholm Syndrome." Here, H Clinton displays the markers of "Wall Street Syndrome."

    Praedor October 17, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    Ugh. Mindless drivel. Talking points provided by Wall St itself would sound identical.

    Then there's this: She did NOT represent Wall St and the Banks while a Senator. They cannot vote. They are not people. They are not citizens. She represented the PEOPLE. The PEOPLE that can VOTE. You cannot represent a nonexistent entity like a corporation as an ELECTED official. You can ONLY represent those who actually can, or do, vote. End of story.

    Portia October 17, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    You cannot represent a nonexistent entity like a corporation

    you are forgetting, of course, that Corporations are people, too. And a corporation's voting is done with a corporation's wallet.

    Roger Smith October 17, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    I saw a video in high school years back that mentioned a specific congressional ruling that gave Congress the equivalent to individual rights. I swear it was also in the 30s but I cannot recall and have never been able to find what it was I saw. Do you have any insight here?

    Portia October 17, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    could this be related?

    Historical Background and Legal Basis of the Federal Register / CFR Publications System

    Why was the Federal Register System Established ?

    New Deal legislation of the 1930's delegated responsibility from Congress to agencies to regulate complex social and economic issues
    Citizens needed access to new regulations to know their effect in advance
    Agencies and Citizens needed a centralized filing and publication system to keep track of rules
    Courts began to rule on "secret law" as a violation of right to due process under the Constitution

    https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/tutorial/online-html.html

    Antoine October 17, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    Third paragraph : WikiLeaks, not Wikipedia :)

    Lambert Strether Post author October 17, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    Thanks, fixed!

    Roger Smith October 17, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    tl;dr - Clinton has terrible judgement

    But don't forget. She is the most qualified candidate… EVER . Remind me again how this species was able to bring three stranded Apollo 13 astronauts back from the abyss, the vacuum of space with some tape and tubing.

    This is like watching a cheap used car lot advertisement where the owner delivers obviously false platitudes as the store and cars collapse, break, and burst into flames behind them.

    john October 17, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    Stalin spent his early days in a seminary. Masters of broken promises. I'm more interested in Clinton's Chinese connections. Probably tied through JP Morgan. The Chinese are very straightforward in their, dare I say, inscrutible way. The ministers are the ministers, and the palace is the palace.

    The show is disappointing, the debaters play at talking nuclear policy, but have *nothing* to say about Saudi Arabia's new arsenal.

    When politicos talk nuclear, they only mean to allege a threat to Israel, blame Russia, or fear-monger the North Koreans.

    We're in the loop, but only the quietest whispers of the conflict in Pakistan are available. It sounds pretty serious, but there is only interest in attacking inconvenient Arabs.

    On Trump, what an interesting study in communications. The no man you speak of. Even himself caught between his own insincerity towards higher purpose and his own ego as 'the establishment' turns on him.

    The proles of his support are truely a silent majority. The Republicans promised us Reagan for twenty years, and it's finally the quasi-Democrat Trump who delivers.

    Lambert Strether Post author October 18, 2016 at 12:37 am

    > This is like watching a cheap used car lot advertisement where the owner delivers obviously false platitudes as the store and cars collapse, break, and burst into flames behind them.

    +100

    With a wall of American flags waving in the background as the smoke and flames rise.

    optimader October 17, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I don't feel particularly courageous. I mean, if we're going to be an effective, efficient economy, we need to have all part of that engine running well, and that includes Wall Street and Main Street.

    this all reads like a cokehead's flow of consciousness on some ethereal topic with no intellectual content on the matter to express. I would have said extemporaneous, but you know it was all scripted, so that's even worse.

    Her rap kinda reminds me of a banal form of the photojournalist in
    http://hartzog.org/j/apocalypsenowtranscript.html

    PHOTOJOURNALIST
    "Do you know what the man is saying? Do you? This is dialectics.
    It's very simple dialectics. One through nine, no maybes, no
    supposes, no fractions - you can't travel in space, you can't go out
    into space, you know, without, like, you know, with fractions - what
    are you going to land on, one quarter, three-eighths - what are you
    going to do when you go from here to Venus or something - that's
    dialectic physics, OK? Dialectic logic is there's only love and hate, you
    either love somebody or you hate them."

    Andy October 17, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    NICE ref. Always like's me that redux.

    Lambert Strether Post author October 18, 2016 at 12:42 am

    "Da5id's voice is deep and placid, with no trace of stress. The syllables roll off his tongue like drool. As Hiro walks down the hallway he can hear Da5id talking all the way. 'i ge en i ge en nu ge en nu ge en us sa tu ra lu ra ze em men….'" –Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash

    ambrit October 17, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    H Clinton's speaking 'style' reeks. Partial thoughts follow half baked pronouncements, all lacking clarity or coherence, you know?

    grayslady October 17, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Completely agree. When I first read excerpts from her speeches, I was appalled at the constant use of "you know" peppering most of her sentences. To me, people who constantly bifurcate sentences with "you know" are simply blathering. They usually don't have any in-depth knowledge of the subject matter on which they are opining. Compare Hillary being asked to comment on a subject with someone such as Michael Hudson or Bill Black commenting on a subject and she simply sounds illiterate. I have this feeling that her educational record is based on an ability to memorize and parrot back answers rather than someone who can reach a conclusion by examining multiple concepts.

    Arizona Slim October 17, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    Here's what I don't understand: The lady (and her husband) have LOADS of money. Yet this is the best that she can do?

    Really?

    Heck, if I had half the Clintons' money, I'd be hiring the BEST speechwriters, acting coaches, and fashion consultants on the planet. And I'd be taking their advice and RUNNING with it. Sheesh. Some people have more money than sense.

    uncle tungsten October 18, 2016 at 12:23 am

    Because she wont pay for quality speechwriters or coaching. Because she is a shyster, cheapskate and a fraud. They hired the most inept IT company to 'mange' their office server who then (in a further fit of cheapskate stupidity) hired an inept IT client manager who then (in a further fit of cheapskate stupidity) asked Reddit for a solution.

    Its in the culture: Podesta does it, Blumenthal does it

    And now they blame the Russians!!!! Imagine the lunacy within the white house if this fool is elected.

    fajensen October 18, 2016 at 12:33 am

    I think she is just not that smart. Maybe intelligent but not flexible enough to do much with it.

    Smart people seek the advice of even smarter people and knowing that experts disagree, they make sure that there is dissent on the advisory team. Then they make up their mind.

    One can say a lot of justifiable bad things about Ronald Reagan, but, he had competent advisors and he used them! With Hillary, Even if she knows she has accessed the best advice on the planet her instinct it to not trust it because "she knows better" and she absolutely will not tolerate dissent. Left to her own devices, she simply copies other people's thinking/ homework instead of building her own ideas with it.

    Code Name D October 17, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    I don't think so. The "you know" has a name, it's called a "verbal tick" and is one of the first things that is attacked when one learns how to speak publicly. Verbal ticks come in many forms, the "ums" for example, or repeating the last few words you just said, over and over again.

    The brain is complex. The various parts of the brain needed for speech; cognition, vocabulary, and vocalizations, actually have difficulty synchronizing. The vocalization part tends to be faster than the rest of the brain and can spit out words faster than the person can put them together. As a result, the "buffer" if you will runs empty, and the speech part of the brains simply fills in the gaps with random gibberish.

    You can train yourself out of this habit of course – but it's something that takes practice.

    So I take HRC's "you know" as evidence that these are unscripted speeches and is directly improvising.

    David Carl Grimes October 17, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    How come her responses during the debates are not peppered with these verbal ticks. At least, I don't recall her saying you know so many times. Isn't she improvising then?

    Lambert Strether Post author October 18, 2016 at 12:43 am

    No, she's not improvising in the debates. It's all scripted, all gamed out.

    Code Name D October 18, 2016 at 7:57 am

    As Lambert said, HRC doesn't do unscripted. The email leaks even sends us evidence that her interviews were scripted and town hall events were carful staged. Even sidestepping that however, dealing with verbal ticks is not all that difficult with a bit of practice and self-awareness.

    Vatch October 17, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    You know, you could have a point there! :-)

    Optimader October 17, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    "You know" is an insidious variation on "like" and "andum", the latter two being bias neutral forms of mental vapor lock of tbe speech center pausing for higher level intellectual processes to refill the speech centers tapped out RAM.

    The "you know" variant is an end run on the listener's cognitive functions logic filters. Is essence appropriating a claim to the listener.

    I detest "you knows" immediately with "no i dont know, please explain."
    The same with "they say" i will always ask "who are they?"
    I think this is important to fo do to ppl for no ofher reason thanto nake them think critically even if it is a fleeting annoyance.

    Back on HRC, i have maintai we that many people overrate her intellectual grasp. Personally I think she is a hea ily cosched parrot. "The US has achieved energy independence"…. TILT. Just because you state things smugly doesnt mean its reality.

    Rhondda October 17, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    I think what I call the lacunae words are really revealing in people's speech. When she says "you know" she is emphasizing that she and the listener both know what she is "talking around." Shared context as a form of almost - encryption, you could say. "This" rather than '"finance" Here rather than at Goldman.I don't know what you'd call it exactly- free floating referent? A habit, methinks, of avoiding being quoted or pinned down. It reminds me of the leaked emails…everyone is very careful to talk around things and they can because they all know what they are talking about. Hillary is consistently referred to, in an eerie H. Rider Haggard way, as "her" - like some She Who Must Not Be Named.

    Lambert Strether Post author October 18, 2016 at 12:46 am

    That would be interesting. A list of all the "you knows" in context. Maybe I should do that.

    clarky90 October 17, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    What surprises me is that Goldmans paid her for these speeches, you know? Hillary C typically pays "the audience" to listen to, and come to her speeches. You know? You know!

    sharonsj October 17, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    This election cycle just proves how bad things have become. The two top presidential candidates are an egotistical ignoramus and the quintessential establishment politician and they are neck and neck because the voting public is Planet Stupid. Things will just continue to fall apart in slow motion until some spark (like another financial implosion) sets off the next revolution.

    flora October 17, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    "Now, without going over how we got to where we are right now, what would be your advice to the Wall Street community and the big banks as to the way forward with those two important decisions?

    "SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I represented all of you [Wall St] for eight years."

    I heard Hillary speak in summer '92, when Bill was running for Prez. She. was. amazing. No joke. Great speech, great ideas, great points. I thought then she should be the candidate. But there was in her speech just a tiny undercurrent of "the ends justify the means." i.e. 'we need to get lots of money so we can do good things.' Fast forward 20+ years. Seems to me that for the Clintons the "means" (getting lots of money) has become the end in itself. Reassuring Wall St. is one method for getting money – large, large amounts of money.

    ekstase October 17, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    I heard similar impressions of her at the time, from women who had dealt with her: Book smart. Street smart. Likeable. But what might have been the best compromise you could get in one decade, may have needed re-thinking as you moved along in time. The cast of players changes. Those who once ruled are now gone. Oh, but the money! And so old ideas can calcify. I'm not suggesting that Trump is even in the ballpark in terms of making compromises, speeches, life changes or anything else to have ever been proud of. Still, the capacity to grow and change is important in a leader. So where are we going now?

    Lambert Strether Post author October 18, 2016 at 12:54 am

    A fine illustration of the maxim that "crime makes you stupid."

    I've said this once, but I'll say it again: After the 2008 caucus debacle, Clinton fired the staff and rejiggered the campaign. They went to lots of small venues, like high school gyms - in other words, "deplorables" territory - and Clinton did her detail, "I have a plan" thing, which worked really well in that context because people who need government to deliver concrete material benefits like that, and rightly. They also organized via cheap phones, because that was how to reach their voters, who weren't hanging out at Starbucks. And, history being written by the winners, we forget that using that strategy, Clinton won all the big states and (if all the votes are counted) a majority of the popular vote. So, good decision on her part. And so from that we've moved to the open corruption of the Clinton Foundation and Clinton campaign apparatus that takes 11 people to polish and approve a single tweet.

    So I guess the moral of the story is (a) more deterioration, this time from 2008 to 2016, and (b) Clinton can actually make a good decision, but only when forced to by a catastrophe that will impact her personally. Whether she'll be able to rise to the occasion if elected is an open question, but this post argues not.

    allan October 17, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    "Apparently, the provision of public services is not within government's remit! What are Social Security and Medicare? "

    What is the US Post Office? Rumor has it that the PO is mentioned in the US Constitution, a fact that is conveniently forgotten by Strict Constructionists.

    Vatch October 17, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    There's a book with a great title that I haven't read, but maybe some Naked Capitalism readers have read: How the Post Office Created America: A History , by Winifred Gallagher.

    Anne October 17, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    With respect to regulation, I think it should be less a case of quantity, and more one of quality, but Clinton seems to want to make it about finding the sweet spot of exactly how many regulations will be the right amount.

    In general, when companies are willing to spot you $225,000 to speak for some relatively short period of time, willing to meet your demands regarding transportation, hotel accommodations, etc., why would you take the chance of killing the goose that's laying those golden eggs by saying anything likely to tick them off?

    I'd like to think she's kind of embarrassed to have people see how humdrum/boring her speeches were for how much she was paid to give them, but I think there's got to be more "there" somewhere that she didn't want people to be made aware of – and it doesn't necessarily have to be Americans, it could be something to do with foreign governments, foreign policy, trade, etc.

    After learning how many people it takes to send out a tweet with her name on it, I have no idea how she managed this speech thing, unless one of her requirements was that she had to be presented with all questions in advance, so she could be prepared.

    I am more depressed by the day, as it's really beginning to sink in that she's going to be president, and it all just makes me want to stick needles in my eyes.

    Will there even be a debate on Wednesday?

    Roger Smith October 17, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    Also the "Wicked Problems" definitions are very, very interesting. Thank you for bringing those in! I would add that these wicked problems lead to more wicked problems. It is basically dishonesty, and to protect the lie you double down with more, and more, and more…. Most of Clinton's decisions and career seem to be knots of wicked problems.

    The wicked problem is quickly becoming our entire system of governance. Clinton has been described as the malignant tumor here before, but even she is a place holder for the rot. One head of the Hydra that I feel Establishment players would generally be okay with sacrificing if it came to it (and maybe I am wrong there–but it seems as if a lot of the push fro her comes from her inner circle and others play along).

    Lambert Strether Post author October 18, 2016 at 12:59 am

    Hail Hydra! Immortal Hydra! We shall never be destroyed! Cut off one limb and two more shall take its place! We serve the Supreme Hydra, as the world shall soon serve us!

    JohnnyGL October 17, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Re: your conclusion,

    I've heard/read in some places Hillary Clinton described as a "safe pair of hands". I don't understand where this characterization comes from. She's dangerous.

    If she wins with as strong of an electoral map as Obama in '08, she'll take it as a strong mandate and she'll have an ambitious agenda and likely attempt to overreach. I've been meaning to call my congressional reps early and say "No military action on Syria, period!"

    She might use a "public option" as an ACA stealth bailout scheme, but I don't think the public has much appetite to see additional resources being thrown at a "failed experiment". I worry that Bernie's being brought on board for this kind of thing. He should avoid it.

    Is she crazy enough to go for a grand bargain right away? That seems nutty and has been a "Waterloo" for many presidents.

    Remember how important Obama's first year was. Bailouts and ACA were all done that first year. How soon can we put President Clinton II in lame duck status?

    philmc October 17, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    Not really surprised by the intellectual and rhetorical poverty demonstrated by these speeches. Given the current trajectory of our politics, the bar hasn't really been set very high. In fact it looks like we're going to reach full Idiocracy long before originally predicted.

    Jim Thomson October 17, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    You ask, " What can Goldman Sachs possibly have thought they were paying for? "

    But I think you know. Corruption has become so institutionalized that it is impossible to point to any specific Quid Pro Quo. The Quo is the entire system in which GS operates and the care and feeding of which the politicians are paid to administer.

    We focus on HRC's speeches and payments here but I wonder how many other paid talks are given to GS each year by others up and down the influence spectrum. As Bill Black says, a dollar given to a politician provides the largest possible Return on Investment of any expenditure. It is Wall Street's long-term health insurance plan.

    Thank you for slogging through all of this.

    Rory October 17, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    It seems to me that the message of these speeches is straightforward: "I'm bought and willing to stay bought for the right price."

    DolleyMadison October 17, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    Yeah we know which part of the "stool" we'll be getting.If the finance sector is "the nerves, the spinal column" of the country, I suggest the country find a shallow pool in which to shove it – head first.

    Foppe October 17, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    I skimmed the /. comments on a story about this yesterday; basically everyone missed the obvious and went with vox-type responses ("she's a creature of the system / in-fighter / Serious Person").

    Gee October 17, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    Care to know what they are buying? This :

    "So I'm not interested in, you know, turning the clock back or pointing fingers, but I am interested in trying to figure out how we come together to chart a better way forward and one that will restore confidence in, you know, small and medium-size businesses and consumers and begin to chip away at the unemployment rate [five years into the recession!]."

    Basically, even better than a get out of jail free card, in that it is rather a promise that we won't go back and ever hold you responsible, and we have done the best we could so far to avoid having you own up to anything or be held accountable in any way beyond some niggling fines, which of course, you are happy to pay, because in the end, that is simply a handout to the legal industry, who are your best drinking buddies.

    The latter part of that quote is just mumbo jumbo non-sequitir blathering. Clinton appears to know next to nothing about finance, only that it generates enormous amounts of cash for the oh so deserving work that God told them to do.

    uncle tungsten October 18, 2016 at 12:35 am

    +1 exactly: There will be no retrospective prosecutions and none in the future either, trust me! Not the she is any better than Eric Holder but she is certain she should be paid more than him.

    PapaBear October 17, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    "What can Goldman Sachs possibly have thought they were paying for?"

    Influence, plain and simple

    shinola October 17, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    Bingo! Think about it: She was speaking to a group of people whose time is "valued" at 100's if not 1,000's of dollars per hour. She took up their "valuable" time but provided nothing except politics-as-usual blather tailored to that particular audience. Yet she was paid $225k for a single speech…

    I've only skimmed through the speech transcripts; did I miss something of substance?

    Lambert Strether Post author October 18, 2016 at 1:00 am

    That was irony…

    phred October 17, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Hillary is a remarkably inarticulate person, which calls into question her intellectual fitness for the job (amidst many other questions, of course). I entirely agree with your depiction of her speeches as mindless drivel.

    However, you may be overthinking the "wicked problem" language. While it is certainly possible that she is familiar with the literature that you cite, nothing else in her speeches suggests that she commands that level of intellectual detail. This makes me think that somewhere along the line she befriended someone from the greater Boston area who uses "wicked" the way Valley Girls use "like". When I first heard the expression decades ago, I found it charming and incorporated it into my own common usage. And I don't use it anything like you describe. To me it is simply used for emphasis. Nothing more or less than that, but I am amused to see an entire literature devoted to the concept of a "wicked problem".

    I remain depressed by this election. No matter how it turns out, it's going to wicked suck ; )

    Michael Fiorillo October 17, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    I think the inarticulateness/cliche infestation is a ploy and a deflection; this is a very intelligent woman who can effectively marshall language when she feels the need. That need was more likely felt in private meetings with the inner cabal at Goldman.

    Not to otherwise compare them, but Bush I's inarticulateness made him seem a buffoon, and that was not the case, either.

    Finally, as a thought experiment, I'd like to suggest that, granting that Clintonismo will privilege those interests which best fortify their arguments with cash, it's also true that Bill and Hillary are all about Bill and Hillary. In other words, it could be that she has the same hustler's disregard toward the lumpen Assistant Vice Presidents filling that room at GS as she does for the average voter. Thus, the empty, past-their-expiration-date calories.

    Sure, she'll take their money and do their bidding, but why even bother to make any more effort than necessary? On a very primal level with these two, it's all about the hustle and the action, and everyone's a potential rube.

    Big River Bandido October 17, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    As in, when Bill put his presidency on the line, the base were expected to circle the wagons. As in, "I'm With Her". Not "She's With Us", natch. It's *always* about the Clintons.

    pretzelattack October 17, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    "Speaking to bankers and masters of the corporate universe, she came off as relaxed, self-doubting, reflective, honest, philosophical rather than political, and unafraid to admit she lacked all the answers."

    seriously, matt taibbi? next, i would like to hear about the positive, feelgood, warmfuzzy qualities of vampire squids (hugs cthulhu doll).

    jgordon October 17, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    Matt Tiabbi, Elizabeth Warren, Benie Sanders, Noam Chompsky–all those used to seem like bastions of integrity have, thanks to Hillary, been revealed as slimy little Weasels who should henceforth be completely disregarded. I'd have to thank Hillary for pulling back the nlindets on that; if not for this election I might have been still foolishly listening to these people.

    hreik October 17, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    agree w you except about Bernie. he always said he'd support the nominee. the suddenness of his capitulation has led many of us to believe he was threatened. somewhere I read something about "someone" planting kiddieporn on his son's computer if he didn't do…… I dunno. I reserve judgement on Sanders until I learn more,…. if i ever do

    Lambert Strether Post author October 18, 2016 at 1:01 am

    Let's see what happens after November 8, which is not far away.

    Edward October 17, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    Clinton's remarks were typically vague, as one might expect from a politician; she doesn't want to be pinned down. This may be part of the banality of her remarks.

    What scares me most about Clinton is her belligerence towards Russia and clamoring for a no-fly zone in Syria. The no-fly zone will mean war with Russia. If only Clinton were saying this, we might be safe, but the entire Washington deep state seems to be of one mind in favor of a war. During the cold war this would have been inconceivable; everyone understood a nuclear war must not be allowed. This is no longer true and it is terrifying. Every war game the pentagon used to simulate a war with the U.S.S.R. escalated into an all out nuclear war. What is the "plan B" Obama is pursuing in Syria?

    In the Russian press every day for a long time now they have been discussing the prospect of a conflict. Russia has been conducting civil defense drills in its cities and advised its citizens to recall any children living abroad. This is never reported in our press, which only presents us with caricatures of Putin. Russians are not taken seriously.

    Ché Pasa October 17, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    During the cold war this would have been inconceivable; everyone understood a nuclear war must not be allowed.

    No it wasn't. Far from it. By some miracle, the globe escaped instant incineration but only barely. The Soviets, to their credit, were not about to risk nuclear annihilation to get one up on the US of Perfidy. Our own Dauntless Warriors were more than willing, and I believe it's only through dumb luck that a first strike wasn't launched deliberately or by deliberate "accident."

    Review the Cold War concept of Brinkmanship.

    The current fear/fever over nuclear war with Russia requires madness in the Kremlin - of which there is no evidence. Our Rulers are depending on Putin and his cohorts being the sane ones as rhetoric from the US and the West ratchets ever upwards.

    But then, the Kremlin is looking for any hint of sanity on US and NATO side and is finding little…

    Edward October 17, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    Curtis LeMay tried to provoke a nuclear war with the Soviets in the 1950's. By and large, however, the American state understood a nuclear war was unwinnable and avoided such a possibility. A no-fly zone in Syria would start a war with Russia. William Polk, who participated in the Cuban missle crisis and U.S. nuclear war games, argues in this article

    http://www.williampolk.com/assets/the-cuban-missile-crisis-in-reverse.pdf

    that a war with Russia would escalate.

    Starveling October 17, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    If high finance is our nervous system, does the American body politic have a terminal case of Parkinsons?

    oho October 17, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    With some CJD/mad cow disease.

    Oregoncharles October 17, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    " "the nerves, the spinal column" of the country, goes farther than Obama ever did."

    But this description is technically true. That is finance's proper function, co-ordinating the flow of capital and resources, especially from where they're in excess to where they're needed. It's a key decision-making system – for the economy, preferably not for society as a whole. That would be the political system.

    So on this basic level, the problem is that finance, more and more, has put its own institutional and personal interests ahead of its proper function. It's grown far too huge, and stopped performing its intended function – redistributing resources – in favor of just accumulating them, in the rather illusory form of financial instruments, some of them pure vapor ware.

    So yes, this line reflects a very bad attitude on Hillary's part, but by misappropriating a truth – pretty typical propaganda.

    Yves Smith October 17, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    No, finance does NOT "channel resources". Wash your mouth out. This is more neoliberal cant.

    Financiers do not make investments in the real economy. The overwhelming majority of securities trading is in secondary markets, which means it's speculation. And when a public company decides whether or not to invest in a new project, it does not present a prospectus on that new project to investors. It runs the numbers internally. For those projects, the most common source of funding is retained earnings.

    Sluggeaux October 17, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    Clinton shows that she is either a Yale Law grad who does not have the slightest idea that Wall Street does very little in the economy but fleece would-be investors, or that she is an obsequious flatterer of those from whom she openly takes bribes.

    Or both.

    aab October 18, 2016 at 1:25 am

    Both.

    DolleyMadison October 17, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    Wash your mouth out! Hahaaa I love you Yves…

    timotheus October 17, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    Having heard Hillary, Chelsea (yes, she's being groomed) and many, many other politicians over the years, including a stint covering Capitol Hill, Mme C's verbal style does not surprise to me at all but rather strikes me as perfectly serviceable. It is a mellifluous drone designed to lull the listener into thinking that she is on their side, and the weakness of the actual statements only becomes clear when reading them on the page later (which rarely happens). The drowsy listener will catch, among the words strung together like Christmas lights, just the key terms and concepts that demonstrate knowledge of the brief and a soothing layer of vague sympathy. Those who can award her $600K can assume with some confidence that, rhetoric aside, she will be in the tank when needed. The rest of us have to blow away the chaff and peer into the yawning gaps lurking behind the lawyerly parsing. In all fairness, this applies to 90% of seekers of public office.

    xformbykr October 17, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    has the commentariat seen these from paul craig roberts?
    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/10/15/is-hillary-well-enough-for-the-job/

    it doesn't say anything but contains links to these:
    http://www.thepoliticalinsider.com/wikileaks-just-dropped-bombshell-hillarys-health-truth-revealed/

    https://newrepublic.com/article/137798/important-wikileaks-revelation-isnt-hillary-clinton

    both of which present a clinical assessment that Hillary suffers from Parkinson's. Seems like an elephant in the room.

    polecat October 17, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    There's so many elephants in the room, i'd be willing to call it a herd …..

    Sluggeaux October 17, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    The absolute vacuousness of Clinton's remarks, coupled with her ease at neoliberal conventional wisdom, make it clear that Goldman's payments were nothing more (or less) than a $675,000 anticipatory "so no quid pro quo here" bribe.

    Who on earth gives up their vote to a politician who is so shameless an corrupt that she openly accepts bribes from groups who equally shamelessly and corruptly are looting the commons? Apparently many, but not me.

    LT October 17, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    "Public-private partnerships"
    That's higher taxes for pleebs to subsidize corporations.
    Mussolini would be proud.

    Ché Pasa October 17, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    Nothing like making lemons out of lemonade, is there?

    There really is a question why she didn't do this doc dump herself when Bernie asked. Yeah, sure, she would have been criticized ("damned if you do, damned if you don't") but because of who she is she'll be criticized no matter what. There is nothing she can do to avoid it.

    Not only is there no smoking gun, it's almost as if she's trying to inject a modicum of social conscience into a culture that has none. And no, she isn't speaking artfully; nor is she an orator.

    Oh. Not that we didn't know already.

    The most galling aspect is her devotion to the neoLibCon status quo. Steady as she goes. Apparently a lot of people find the status quo satisfactory. Feh.

    

    Anon October 17, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    If this document dump came out during the primary campaign, then HRC may have lost. Even Black, Southern ladies can smell the corrupting odor clinging to these "speeches".

    Ché Pasa October 18, 2016 at 6:11 am

    Given the way DNC protected her during the primaries, and what looked like a pretty light touch by Bernie and (who? O'Malley was it?) toward her, I doubt these speeches would have been her undoing.

    Dull and relatively benign, and policy-wise almost identical to Obama's approach to the bankers' role in the economic unpleasantness. "Consensus" stuff with some hint of a social conscience. 

    Not effective and not enough to do more than the least possible ("I told them they ought to behave better. Really!") on behalf of the Rabble.

    But not a campaign killer. Even so, by not releasing transcripts during the primary, she faced - and still faces - mountains of criticism over it. No escape. Not for her.

    Lambert Strether Post author October 18, 2016 at 1:04 am

    > Steady as she goes

    I'm not sure that's an appropriate strategy for dealing with multiple interlocking wicked problems, but I'm not sure why. Suppose we invoke the Precautionary Principle - is incremental change really the way to avoid harm?

    Ché Pasa October 18, 2016 at 6:14 am

    The Consensus (of Opinions That Matter) says it is. On the other hand, blowing up the System leads to Uncertainty, and as we know, we can't have that. Mr. Market wouldn't like it…

    aab October 18, 2016 at 2:32 am

    The leaked emails confirm - even though she herself never writes them, which is really odd, when you consider that Podesta is her Campaign Chair and close ally going back decades - that she is compulsively secretive, controlling, and resistant to admitting she's wrong. The chain of people talking about how to get her to admit she was wrong about Nancy Reagan and AIDS was particularly fascinating that way; she was flat out factually inaccurate, and it had the potential to do tremendous harm to her campaign with a key donor group, and it was apparently still a major task to persuade her to say "I made a mistake."

    So while I think you are wrong that the speeches wouldn't have hurt her in the primary, I also think Huma would have had to knock her out and tie her up (not in a fun way) to get those speeches released.

    I can't imagine a worse temperament to govern, particularly under the conditions she'll be facing. But she'll be fully incompetent before too long, so I don't suppose it matters that much. I'm morbidly curious to see how long they can keep her mostly hidden and propped up for limited appearances, before having to let Kaine officially take over. Will we be able to figure out who's actually in power based on the line-up on some balcony?

    Ché Pasa October 18, 2016 at 6:24 am

    Fair points, though the "temperament" issue may be one that follows from the nature of the job - even "No Drama Obama" is said to have a fierce anger streak, and secrecy, controlling behavior, and refusing to admit error is pretty typical of presidents, VPs, and other high officials. The King/Queen can do no wrong, dontchaknow. (cf: Bush, GW, and his whole administration for recent examples. History is filled with them, though.)

    As for Hillary's obvious errors in judgment, I think they speak for themselves and they don't speak well of her.

    Blurtman October 17, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    Wall Street fraud = "bad decisions"

    Alex morfesis October 17, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    TINA vs WATA (we are the alternative)…the next two years are gonna be interesting…evil is often a cover for total incompetence and exposure…our little tsarina will insist brigades that dont exist move against enemies that are hardly there…when she & her useless minions were last in/on the seat of power(j edger version of sop) the netizens of the world were young and dumb…now not so much…

    Don Midwest USA October 17, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    I got into wicked problems 35 years ago in the outstanding book by Ian Mitroff and R. O. Mason, "Challenging Strategic Planning Assumptions." First page of Chapter One has subsection title COMPLEXITY, followed by "A Little Experiment" Lets try the experiment with current problems.

    One could come up with a list of major problems, but here is the one used by C. West Churchman mentioned along with Horst Riddle. Churchman back in the 80's said that the problems of the world were M*P**3, or M, P cubed, or M * P * P *P with the letters standing for Militarism, Population, Poverty and Pollution.

    Here is how they ran the exercise

    1. Suppose there were a solution to any of these 4 problems, would that solution be related to the other problems. Clearly.

    2. Thus 'whenever a policy maker attempts to solve a complex policy problem, it is related to all the others

    Repeated attempts in other contexts give the same result: basically, every real world policy problem is related to every other real world policy problem

    This is from page 4, the second page of the book.

    I ran this exercise for several years in ATT Bell Labs and ATT.

    1. List major problems
    2. How long have they been around? (most for ever except marketing was new after breakup in '84
    3. If one was solved, would that solution be related in any way to the other ones?
    4. Do you know of any program that is making headway? (occasionally Quality was brought up)

    This could be done in a few minutes, often less than 5 minutes

    5. Conclusion: long term interdependent problems that are not being addressed

    Thus the only grade that matters in this course on Corporate Transformation that now begins is that you have new insights on these problems. This was my quest as an internal consultant in ATT to transform the company. I failed.

    Moby October 18, 2016 at 1:27 am

    Most noticeable thing is her subservience to them like a fresh college grad afraid of his boss at his first job

    Phil October 18, 2016 at 1:35 am

    I was a Sanders supporter. Many here will disagree, but if Clinton wins I don't think she's going to act as she might have acted in 2008, if she had won.

    Clinton is a politician, and *all* politicians dissemble in private, unless they're the mayor of a small town of about 50 people – and even then! Politicians – in doing their work – *must* compromise to some degree, with the best politicians compromising in ways that bring their constituents more benefit, than not.

    That said, Clinton is also a human being who is capable of change. This election cycle has been an eye opener for both parties. If Clinton wins (and, I think she will), the memory of how close it was with Sanders and the desperate anger and alienation she has experienced from Trump supporters (and even Sanders' supporters) *must* have already gotten her thinking about what she is going to have to get done to insure a 2020 win for Democrats, whether or not she is running in 2020.

    In sum, I think Clinton is open to change, and I don't believe that she is some deep state evil incarnate; sge's *far* from perfect, and she's not "pure" in her positioning – thank god!, because in politics, purists rarely accomplish anything.

    If Clinton reverts to prior form (assuming she makes (POTUS), 2020 will make 2016 look like a cakewalk, for both parties – including the appearance of serious 3rd party candidates with moxy, smarts, and a phalanx of backers (unlike the current crop of two – Johnson and Stein).

    [Oct 17, 2016] All the same media outlets and elites that were screaming for the invasion of Iraq are now howling for evil Syrian blood and the removal of another monster before he destroys all the peace and stability we bring to the region

    Notable quotes:
    "... The trees, the forest and pretty much the entire landscape are screaming 2000 and 2004 didn't matter a damn. ..."
    "... All the same media outlets and elites that were screaming for the invasion of Iraq are now howling for evil Syrian blood and the removal of another 'monster' before he destroys all the peace and stability we bring to the region. ..."
    "... This time, of course, there's no Bush/Cheney in charge. But no matter, the decisions and the rationale are identical. Democracy will flower in the region once America and the UK kill enough of the bad guys and install their own puppets (I mean 'good guys') ..."
    "... Hillary and the democrats are in charge of the killing, so all the death must be both necessary and humanitarian. The possibility that more death and more wars and more invasions and more regime change is pretty much built into the 'solution' is unthinkable. ..."
    "... Watching all the cheering for 'victory in Mosul' and over the 'hold-outs' in Libya has actually driven me to turn off the nets ..."
    "... Violent regime-change is 'unavoidable' regardless of which party is in power. And the current war is always better, safer, and less prone to blow-back than all those other earlier stupid wars ..."
    Oct 17, 2016 | crookedtimber.org

    kidneystones 10.15.16 at 2:31 pm 240

    Clinton meets impartial press to discuss repackaging Hillary over cocktails hosted by Diane Sawyer:

    http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/2016/10/your-moral-and-380.html

    bruce wilder 10.15.16 at 3:39 pm 244
    ks @ 240:

    Reading thru the link, my favorite part was the stated purpose of the cocktail party for elite NY reporters: "Give reporters their first thoughts . . ."

    kidneystones 10.17.16 at 1:06 pm 339
    @244 Good eye, Bruce. The trees, the forest and pretty much the entire landscape are screaming 2000 and 2004 didn't matter a damn.

    All the same media outlets and elites that were screaming for the invasion of Iraq are now howling for evil Syrian blood and the removal of another 'monster' before he destroys all the peace and stability we bring to the region.

    This time, of course, there's no Bush/Cheney in charge. But no matter, the decisions and the rationale are identical. Democracy will flower in the region once America and the UK kill enough of the bad guys and install their own puppets (I mean 'good guys') .

    Hillary and the democrats are in charge of the killing, so all the death must be both necessary and humanitarian. The possibility that more death and more wars and more invasions and more regime change is pretty much built into the 'solution' is unthinkable.

    Watching all the cheering for 'victory in Mosul' and over the 'hold-outs' in Libya has actually driven me to turn off the nets .

    Violent regime-change is 'unavoidable' regardless of which party is in power. And the current war is always better, safer, and less prone to blow-back than all those other earlier stupid wars .

    I learned that reading the pro-Hillary 'liberal' press.

    [Oct 16, 2016] There is world of difference between harassing woman and killing women and children.

    Groupinggate was essentially an attempt to distract votes from a more serious issue, especially Hillary warmongering, her role in mass rape of women in Syria and Libya, and latest Podesta emails leaks. This was a defensive strike with material that was specifically reserved for this purpose.
    Notable quotes:
    "... there are many more than two sides in Syria's civil war. First of all the civil war is not limited to Syria. ISIL, Hezbollah, and arguably Kurdish Rojava are belligerents not particularly invested in the borders of long defunct Mandate Syria. ..."
    "... The rebel forces arrayed against or for Assad in any particular area are various in their motivations and political identities and they never divide neatly into two opposed camps. ..."
    "... In short, you either support US violent regime change in the ME, or you do not. ..."
    "... All who are voting for Hillary Clinton are voting for US violent regime change in Syria. That's been the stated policy of the Obama administration for some years, Hillary was played a key role in formulating that policy as Secretary of State. Now, as candidate for President she has explicitly promised more US violent regime change in Iraq. ..."
    "... Violent regime change in Syria is the stated policy of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate most US members of the CT community plan to vote for in November. ..."
    Oct 16, 2016 | crookedtimber.org
    bruce wilder 10.15.16 at 7:35 am
    intervene in a civil war on the side of the rebels

    I apologize if anyone feels I am harping on this too much, but there are many more than two sides in Syria's civil war. First of all the civil war is not limited to Syria. ISIL, Hezbollah, and arguably Kurdish Rojava are belligerents not particularly invested in the borders of long defunct Mandate Syria.

    The rebel forces arrayed against or for Assad in any particular area are various in their motivations and political identities and they never divide neatly into two opposed camps.

    kidneystones 10.15.16 at 8:06 am
    @ 190 There aren't many times you're this wrong, Bruce. There are only two sides. The side that holds a UN seat; votes or abstains on UN resolutions; borrows or does not borrow from the World Bank; has the authority to sign, or abrogate international treaties along, for example, the Golan heights – and the forces not aligned with the government.

    The CT community evidently wants to 'confuse itself' and the issues. You are either in favor of the US using US military power to unilaterally intercede in a civil war against the Assad government, which as you and Peter T note, is inextricably linked to Iraq and other regional disputes, or you oppose the unilateral use of US military power to topple governments in the ME.

    In short, you either support US violent regime change in the ME, or you do not.

    All who are voting for Hillary Clinton are voting for US violent regime change in Syria. That's been the stated policy of the Obama administration for some years, Hillary was played a key role in formulating that policy as Secretary of State. Now, as candidate for President she has explicitly promised more US violent regime change in Iraq.

    Violent regime change in Syria is the stated policy of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate most US members of the CT community plan to vote for in November.

    [Oct 15, 2016] The US plays chicken with the Russians in Syria with the proposal of no fly zones using anti-russian hysteria as tool to attack votes to Hillary

    Notable quotes:
    "... Is the solution supposed to be that HRC's foreign policy team will be much better than Obama's? ..."
    "... The US will unilaterally determine to seize sovereignty of Syrian airspace, intervene in a civil war on the side of the rebels, and shoot down Syrian government and Russian planes. ..."
    "... Shooting down Russian planes is the plan. ..."
    "... If anyone has any doubt how little Hillary and company have learned from invading Iraq, violent regime change in Iraq, and removing inconvenient one-time friends at will, we're living through it real time all over again. ..."
    "... This is a community of adults: LFC, Lee, W Berry et al who lecture the rest of us for wankery, emotionalism etc. and who are now fully behind the candidate who is promising a 'do-over' of Iraq with the promise to this time get it right. ..."
    "... Trump, whatever his real deficiencies is openly ready to cede Syrian air-space to Assad. Most informed observers I've read argue that the civil war in Syria has been extended by years thanks to US and UK wankery. ..."
    "... At some point, the US may decide not to proceed with violent regime-change. Not yet, however, or so it seems. ..."
    "... All the responsible US diplomats and generals who brought us Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria are lined-up to support the only candidate who is running on 4-8 years of violent regime change. ..."
    "... With regard to Aleppo, the eastern part of the city has been under the control of the rebels for some years. The majority of the population is in western Aleppo, under government control. Eastern Aleppo is now cut off, and under attack by various pro-government forces supported by the Russian air force. Rebel forces in eastern Aleppo are estimated to be around half al-Qaeda linked Islamists and half local Sunnis. They regularly bombard the western part, as the government does the rebel enclave. ..."
    "... The government has opened seven exit corridors for civilians to leave, and repeatedly offered the rebels evacuation to other areas (several similar offers have been accepted and carried through for rebel enclaves around Damascus). The latest news is that the rebels are reported to have mined the exits to prevent civilians leaving. ..."
    "... A good foreign policy maxim is to choose a side that has a reasonable chance of winning and stick with it. Anything else prolongs the suffering without changing the outcome. US policy in the Middle East, as earlier in South-East Asia, seems unable to grasp this basic. ..."
    "... Obviously you must want to turn a helpless population over to the evil Assad instead of the good(?) Islamists or the nonexistent moderates. Anything that equates to letting Assad win would be the ultimate proof of a love of dictators. ..."
    "... I've often noticed that opponents of humanitarian intervention are cast as the ones peddling a simplistic, unrealistic set of fantasies - nonsense, in short. But whenever an actual case comes up, it appears that the reverse is true. The people calling for war are peddling fantastical nonsense. ..."
    Oct 15, 2016 | crookedtimber.org
    Rich Puchalsky 10.15.16 at 2:29 am 181
    ...I purposefully haven't addressed anything about the recent history of American involvement in war in Syria, because that would lead to the same old accusations that this is about hating America.

    But now we're talking about the present as a guide to the future. Does anything about the known history of recent American involvement in Syria indicate that there are detailed expert analyses available that will do any good once filtered through policy? Is the solution supposed to be that HRC's foreign policy team will be much better than Obama's?

    ... ... ...

    kidneystones 10.15.16 at 3:25 am 183
    What crap-for-brains doesn't seem to appreciate is that there are only two sets of pilots and planes for the US to shoot down: pilots flying under the Syrian flag and those flying under the Russian flag. There will be no 'random' misunderstandings and miscommunications for Hillary to hide behind. And that's before Russia decides to flex in the Crimea, the Ukraine, and the Baltic states.

    The US will unilaterally determine to seize sovereignty of Syrian airspace, intervene in a civil war on the side of the rebels, and shoot down Syrian government and Russian planes.

    Shooting down Russian planes is the plan.

    If anyone has any doubt how little Hillary and company have learned from invading Iraq, violent regime change in Iraq, and removing inconvenient one-time friends at will, we're living through it real time all over again.

    This time we have the CT majority in favor of Bush III and her invasions.

    ... ... ...

    kidneystones 10.15.16 at 3:57 am 184
    @180 I'm extremely grateful, btw, to see you gaming out how the US plays chicken with the Russians who 'back down' as a 'reason to vote for Hillary.'

    This is a community of adults: LFC, Lee, W Berry et al who lecture the rest of us for wankery, emotionalism etc. and who are now fully behind the candidate who is promising a 'do-over' of Iraq with the promise to this time get it right.

    Trump, whatever his real deficiencies is openly ready to cede Syrian air-space to Assad. Most informed observers I've read argue that the civil war in Syria has been extended by years thanks to US and UK wankery.

    At some point, the US may decide not to proceed with violent regime-change. Not yet, however, or so it seems.

    All the responsible US diplomats and generals who brought us Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria are lined-up to support the only candidate who is running on 4-8 years of violent regime change.

    You're voting in favor of invading Iraq all over again. Thanks!!!

    Peter T 10.15.16 at 4:10 am 185
    The Syrian/Iraqi wars are …complicated. But they are both – from the viewpoint of the major combatants – the same war, a contest between the two current major streams of political thought in the Islamic Middle East. Iraqi and Lebanese Shi'a militias are active in support of the regime in Damascus, as are Sunni Palestinian ones and the Druze. Christian and Yezidi groups and Kurdish nationalists have lined up behind both Baghdad and Damascus. One the other side is a loose grouping of Salafi Islamists – ISIS, an-Nusra, the many groups under the FSA umbrella. There are, of course, a few politiques in the middle, too small to count in the fighting, but much courted by the press, and always trotted out as the "moderate opposition". Any intervention that tries to slice across the broad lines of division soon gets hopelessly tangled diplomatically and militarily. As the US has found out.

    With regard to Aleppo, the eastern part of the city has been under the control of the rebels for some years. The majority of the population is in western Aleppo, under government control. Eastern Aleppo is now cut off, and under attack by various pro-government forces supported by the Russian air force. Rebel forces in eastern Aleppo are estimated to be around half al-Qaeda linked Islamists and half local Sunnis. They regularly bombard the western part, as the government does the rebel enclave.

    The government has opened seven exit corridors for civilians to leave, and repeatedly offered the rebels evacuation to other areas (several similar offers have been accepted and carried through for rebel enclaves around Damascus). The latest news is that the rebels are reported to have mined the exits to prevent civilians leaving.

    A good foreign policy maxim is to choose a side that has a reasonable chance of winning and stick with it. Anything else prolongs the suffering without changing the outcome. US policy in the Middle East, as earlier in South-East Asia, seems unable to grasp this basic.

    Rich Puchalsky 10.15.16 at 4:40 am 186
    Peter T: "A good foreign policy maxim is to choose a side that has a reasonable chance of winning and stick with it. Anything else prolongs the suffering without changing the outcome. US policy in the Middle East, as earlier in South-East Asia, seems unable to grasp this basic."

    Obviously you must want to turn a helpless population over to the evil Assad instead of the good(?) Islamists or the nonexistent moderates. Anything that equates to letting Assad win would be the ultimate proof of a love of dictators.

    I've often noticed that opponents of humanitarian intervention are cast as the ones peddling a simplistic, unrealistic set of fantasies - nonsense, in short. But whenever an actual case comes up, it appears that the reverse is true. The people calling for war are peddling fantastical nonsense.

    [Oct 13, 2016] Anonymous - Message to Hillary Clinton

    Oct 13, 2016 | www.youtube.com

    Apr 9, 2016 | YouTube

    kaxitaksi 2 months ago (edited) Only way to put this right and if DNC and Shillary really wants the best for the people is to step down and hand over the nomination to Bernie or Stein. I don't want to listen to that lying bitch voice for four years.
    Lu A 5 days ago If this is really Anonymous...I really hate to say this but...these guys are the right guys for the job to expose Hillary Clinton. If they wanna stop her they gotta expose her at a huge hackable event.
    Scott Lesley 17 hours ago there is no humanity in that woman
    Unity Anonymous 6 hours ago remember the civilians, kids, ppl who they kill

    [Oct 11, 2016] The US Surrendered Its Right To Accuse Russia Of War Crimes A Long Time Ago

    Looks like Obama in working overclock to ensure the election of Trump ... anti-Russian hysteria might have results different that he expects. Whether we are to have a world of sovereign nation-states or one in which a single imperial superpower contends with increasingly fragmentary post-national and sub-national threats around the globe will depend on the decisions that are made in the near future: in the next few years.
    Oct 11, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com
    Submitted by Darius Shahtahmasebi via TheAntiMedia.org,

    Renowned journalist Glenn Greenwald recently tweeted the three rules of American exceptionalism :

    3 rules of US Exceptionalism: 1) Our killing is better than theirs; 2) Nothing we do can be "terrorism"; 3) Only enemies are "war criminals"

    - Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) October 6, 2016

    Greenwald's astute observations were presumably made in response to Secretary of State John Kerry's recent remarks that both Russia and Syria should face war crimes investigations for their recent attacks on Syrian civilians.

    "Russia and the regime owe the world more than an explanation about why they keep hitting hospitals, and medical facilities, and women and children," Mr. Kerry said in Washington, where he spoke alongside French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, as reported by the Independent .

    Unsurprisingly, Russia responded by urging caution regarding allegations of war crimes considering the United States has been waging wars in a number of countries since the end of World War II. It has picked up a number of allegations of war crimes in the process.

    Kerry's continuous accusations that Russia bombed hospital infrastructure are particularly hypocritical in light of the fact the United States has bombed hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan on more than one occasion over past decade.

    Further, former congressman Ron Paul's Institute for Peace and Prosperity hit back at Kerry, accusing him of completely fabricating the most recent alleged hospital attack. As the Institute noted :

    " In a press event yesterday, before talks with the French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault about a new UN resolution, he said ( vid @1:00) about Syria:

    "'Last night, the regime attacked yet another hospital, and 20 people were killed and 100 people were wounded. And Russia and the regime owe the world more than an explanation about why they keep hitting hospitals and medical facilities and children and women. These are acts that beg for an appropriate investigation of war crimes. And those who commit these would and should be held accountable for these actions.'

    " No opposition group has claimed that such an extremely grave event happened. None. No press agency has a record of it. The MI-6 disinformation outlet SOHR in Britain, which quite reliably notes every claimed casualty and is frequently cited in 'western media,' has not said anything about such an event anywhere in Syria. "

    However, the most disturbing aspect of Kerry's allegation is that the accusations against Russia run in tandem with Saudi Arabia's brutal assault on Yemen. Saudi Arabia, with the aid of a few regional players - and with ongoing American and British assistance (not to mention billion dollar arms sales ) - has been bombing Yemen back into the Stone Age without any legal basis whatsoever. Often, the Saudi-led coalition has completely decimated civilian infrastructure, which has led a number of groups to accuse the coalition of committing war crimes in the process.

    Civilians and civilian infrastructure have been struck so routinely that the world has become increasingly concerned the actual targets of the coalition strikes are civilians (what could be a greater recruitment tool for al-Qaeda and ISIS in Yemen?) As noted by Foreign Policy :

    "The Houthis and their allies - armed groups loyal to Saleh - are the declared targets of the coalition's 1-year-old air campaign. In reality, however, it is the civilians, such as Basrallah and Rubaid, and their children, who are predominantly the victims of this protracted war. Hundreds of civilians have been killed in airstrikes while asleep in their homes, when going about their daily activities, or in the very places where they had sought refuge from the conflict. The United States, Britain, and others, meanwhile, have continued to supply a steady stream of weaponry and logistical support to Saudi Arabia and its coalition."

    Yemen is the poorest , most impoverished nation in the Arab world . The Saudi-led coalition has been striking refugee camps , schools , wedding parties and well over 100 hospitals to date . The coalition has been strongly suspected of using banned munitions such as cluster bombs. The country now has more than half a million children at serious risk of malnutrition . More than 21 million out of the total population of 25 million are in serious need of basic humanitarian assistance .

    Just take one example of the cruel and disproportionate use of force that Saudi Arabia has used in Yemen (using American-made and supplied aircraft and weapons) - against Judge Yahya Rubaid and his family. As Foreign Policy reported in March of this year:

    "According to family members, Rubaid was a judge on a case against Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, for treason in absentia. It is unclear whether his house was attacked for this reason. What is clear, however, is that there was no legally valid basis for bombing his home, as he and his family were civilians and under international law should not have been deliberately targeted."

    At the time this article's publication, over 140 Yemenis had been killed and another 500 injured in a Saudi-coalition aerial attack on a funeral over the weekend. The civilian death toll continues to rise in Yemen, completely unchallenged by any major players at the U.N. When the U.N. does attempt to quell Saudi actions , the Saudis threaten severe economic retaliation.

    How Kerry can accuse Russia of committing war crimes in Syria with a straight face is unclear, as reports of atrocious crimes committed in Yemen continue to surface.

    This is not to say Russia and Syria should not be investigated for war crimes – but maybe, just maybe, we could live in a world where everyone responsible for committing these gross acts could be held accountable, instead of just those who pose an economic threat to the West . Mango327 38BWD22 Oct 11, 2016 3:47 PM

    If Russia Acted Like The USA...
    http://youtu.be/uhqZFWDeaB4
    SidSays 38BWD22 Oct 11, 2016 3:50 PM
    All wars are, well...

    All wars are banker's wars .

    Katos 38BWD22 Oct 11, 2016 4:35 PM
    Madeline Albright, "Yes, I think the death of 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of 5 years old by US sanctions, was a good price that had to be paid so we could get to Sadam Hussein "??? This bitch along with Kissinger, Soros, Rice, Clinton, Obama, Kerry, and all the news organizations who have been cheerleaders for the slaughter of innocents should all be charged with Crimes against humanity and SHOT!
    PrayingMantis Oct 11, 2016 3:39 PM

    ... US: "Who you gonna believe, us or your own eyes" ~ Groucho Marx

    Ignatius PrayingMantis Oct 11, 2016 3:58 PM

    "Who wants to be the last man to die for a mistake?" -- John Kerry, 197x

    That was the supposed anti-war Kerry speaking of the Vietnam War, who rode such comments into a congressional seat. We didn't know then that he was Skull and Bones or what it might mean. Now we know it in spades.

    Now it's clear he's just a lying sack of war mongering, deep state shit.

    crazybob369 Oct 11, 2016 3:45 PM
    To quote Goebbels:

    "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie."

    Chupacabra-322 crazybob369 Oct 11, 2016 4:44 PM
    Goebbels used "Gas Lighting" as a form of Psychological manipulation on a population on a mass scale. Operation Mocking Bird. It continues on today. 365 days a year, 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. The Psyche Warefare / PsyOp War does not clos
    Felix da Kat Oct 11, 2016 4:03 PM
    There is an assumption that Russia would never go to war with the US over the Syrian dispute. But yet, Russia is preparing for war. It has both first-strike and counter-strike capability in the event the west (US State Dept.) continues with its bullying tactics and further escalates its hostility. Russia is a sovereign nation; it has both the right and the power to do what is in the best interests of its citizenry and its allies (Assad).

    The US used to be that way until it was over-run in a silent, but effective liberal-coup that has taken full control and stupidly re-newed the cold war with Russia.

    And now America has been left more vulnerable that it ever has been. A simple shut-down of the electric grid for several months, will, by itself, cut the population in half.

    Ultra-liberalism is ultra self-destructive... we're about to see just how destructive that really is.

    Kyddyl Oct 11, 2016 4:07 PM
    Well this is a refreshing start, but only a start. Russia certainly had nothing to do with the gunships that bombed the hospitals in Afghanistan into powder, killing patients including children, doctors, nurses and other personell.

    I for one would like to know who it was who flew those planes and have them explain to all of us why they did not refuse orders? What sort of morals have Americans got to behave ths way? The hospitals bombed in Syria, ditto. The Saudis are the beasts they are and somebody needs to bomb them into oblivion. (Perhaps take out some other smug financial centers too!) But Yemen is a very poor sandy country to begin with and Saudi must think there's oil or something there. If some of the weapons used there weren't tactical nukes they sure looked like them. Gee. Wonder where they got them?

    . . . _ _ _ . . . Oct 11, 2016 4:16 PM
    Chomsky's been saying it for decades, "If they do it, they're terrorists; if we do it, we're freedom fighters."

    My take is that if you are the head of a government, you are a psychopath and any categorization beyond this is moot.

    Clinton / Trump, Obama / Putin, Assad / Erdogan, UN / Nationalism, whoever it may be, they're all playing the same game, and we're not even allowed to watch, much less comment.

    The only thing trickling-down (through a historical perspective) should be blood.

    taketheredpill Oct 11, 2016 4:26 PM

    A cynical person might suggest that the volume of US War Drums is inversely proportional to the strength of the US economy.

    It's as if the boys at the top

    1) know the economy is already in the toilet

    2) know that the next financial meltdown is going to be a real hum-dinger

    3) know that the unwashed masses will need a really big distraction when the next meltdown hits

    [Oct 10, 2016] Why is the electorate seemingly more concerned with someone who is antagonistic towards certain women than someone whose policies are antagonistic to whole nations and regions

    Notable quotes:
    "... If nothing else, the I'm-with-her whole hog approach of the media to this election should put the lie to the notion that we have anything resembling a functioning press. ..."
    "... Additionally, the blind adherence by the press to Hillary's spin that Trump would put her in jail amounts to a dictatorship ignores the fact that previous to that statement Trump had said he would push for a special prosecutor. IOW, a completely legalized, judicially approved criminal investigation. ..."
    "... I agree about the press becoming so bought over by Hillary. Watched some speech Trump was giving a month or so ago and he talked about Iraq as I recall and the press totally spun it into some different meaning altogether. Funny thing was the next day Trump was giving another speech which I also happened to see and made mention of what he said the day before and what the press turned his comment into – from that point on I became very leery of believing anything they tell me. I too was amazed that almost immediately last night the press began reporting that Trump was talking to a dictatorship by saying he wanted her in jail when in fact that was completely taken out of context as well (as you mentioned above). ..."
    "... I think the press has become very scary with all the power it has to twist the truth or what has been said as easily and quickly as they do. They must be very frightened by Trump. ..."
    Oct 10, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
    David Carl Grimes October 10, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    Why is the electorate seemingly more concerned with someone who is antagonistic towards certain women than someone whose policies are antagonistic to whole nations and regions. Why aren't the Wikileaks email revelations getting more traction or generating more outrage?

    OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL October 10, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    Um do you think the fact that Pravda CNN is extolling the virtues of the One Party Candidate nonstop has anything to do with it?

    pretzelattack October 10, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    oh i thought the post was pravda and the nyt izvestia. but then there's the guardian and cnn and the rest of the sad industry.

    OIFVet October 10, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    That's capitalism for ya :)

    ProNewerDeal October 10, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    True. BigMedia is barely covering the Wikileaks story. My summary is that HClinton has a fake "public position" & a genuine private position, that is pro-Grand Ripoff SS & MC cuts, & pro-TPP. It should be a huge story, in that it calls as questionable any of HClinton's stated policies, & given that Sanders repeatedly made the Wall $treet transcripts a major issue in the Primaries.

    It takes a USian with intellectual curiosity, some free time, & enough critical thinking to go to one of the few internet sources like nakedcapitalism or SecularTalk that actually will cover the Wikileaks story honestly. IMHO sadly this is a small minority of the US eligible voter population.

    BTW for Sanders to maintain my respect, he needs to "make news" in BigMedia by saying something like "my support of HClinton is contingent on her 'public position' the approves the 2016 D party platform, which is anti-TPP & anti-SS & MC cuts. If HClinton is elected & signs the TPP or SS/MC cuts, she will be strongly primary challenged in 2020, & I will not support her if the Rs ever impeach her"

    sleepy October 10, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    If nothing else, the I'm-with-her whole hog approach of the media to this election should put the lie to the notion that we have anything resembling a functioning press.

    Just one example–I listened to some Clinton operative on msnbc radio today who was giving his weaselly spin on Hillary's private position v. public position statement and who said that it was only a few sentences out of an entire speech and needed to be viewed in context. Chuck Todd, I think it was, never made note of the fact that there is no context to those statements since the speeches have not and will not be released. There is no available context and Chuck just muttered uh huh and let it pass.

    Additionally, the blind adherence by the press to Hillary's spin that Trump would put her in jail amounts to a dictatorship ignores the fact that previous to that statement Trump had said he would push for a special prosecutor. IOW, a completely legalized, judicially approved criminal investigation.

    Susan C October 10, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    I agree about the press becoming so bought over by Hillary. Watched some speech Trump was giving a month or so ago and he talked about Iraq as I recall and the press totally spun it into some different meaning altogether. Funny thing was the next day Trump was giving another speech which I also happened to see and made mention of what he said the day before and what the press turned his comment into – from that point on I became very leery of believing anything they tell me. I too was amazed that almost immediately last night the press began reporting that Trump was talking to a dictatorship by saying he wanted her in jail when in fact that was completely taken out of context as well (as you mentioned above).

    I think the press has become very scary with all the power it has to twist the truth or what has been said as easily and quickly as they do. They must be very frightened by Trump.

    [Oct 09, 2016] Some of Clintons pledges sound great. Until you remember whos president

    Notable quotes:
    "... Hillary Clinton and husband Bill will turn the White House and the U.S. Government into their personal bank. ..."
    "... If the American electorate selects Hillary as their commander and chief she will immediately demand a No-Fly Zone over Syria. She will impose more economic sanctions on Russia, including an increase in NATO strength on Russia's western borders, just to show she is the Queen bitch. She will give israHell carte blanche to increase and expand further abuse in the Gaza strip. She is a woman scorned. And a very dangerous one. ..."
    "... [neo]Liberalism is in terminal decline, and not a moment too soon. ..."
    "... Hillary does not have any creative spark at all. She, like Obama is a dud, but one thing is for sure, she is not Donald. ..."
    "... These same americans should go back, for once, to his 2008 campaign to defeat first Hillary in the primaries and then the republican McCain. ..."
    "... The climate was dominated by the financial meltdown, which really started in the summer of 2007 and was evident by early spring of 2008. Hillary was the candidate of Wall Street, according to Obama, the republicans were one and the same with Wall Street and all the big corporate world, he was Hope and Change. ..."
    "... Hope? What hope? And even more: change, what change? There has been little change, if almost half of the nation is now ready to accept Trump as a promise of change. Obama's main financial support came in 2008 from Wall Street, hedge funds in particular, and they were right because nobody like the first Afro-American president, himself inevitably the incarnation of progressivism, could save their ass after all the criminal finance they indulged in. ..."
    "... So, Obama's inheritance is a problem, and Hillary is running on Obama's inheritance. ..."
    "... Robert Kagan, ringleader of the cabal of neo-cons has endorsed Hillary, who is Roberts wife? why bless me if it isn't Victoria 'fuck the EU' Nuland, ..."
    "... Samantha Powers is a neo-con acolyte, Ashton Carter is too, the State Dept. and the council of foreign relations is riddled with their people, all the horror figures of Dubya's days are lurking there and pulling strings, ..."
    "... Kerry isn't really a neo-con, but the Pentagon and CIA sabotage anything half decent he tries to do, ..."
    "... Basically Hillary is as genuine, left leaning and honest as Tony Blair.... ..."
    "... Also remember the lack of believability of Hillary. She is a politician that has been caught in lies so often that people just don't believe her. She pushed the soda tax in Philly until Coca-Cola complained that they gave too much money to the Foundation to be treated that way. Hillary backed off. She made millions from speaking to Big Banks. So we really believe she will go after Wells Fargo? She is beholden to them (unless Goldman Sachs gets to choose). She says raise taxes to pay fair share, but her biggest supporters are Apple, Google, and their executives that keep billions of income overseas to avoid the highest corporate income tax in the world. Do we really think she will hurt the contributors to the Foundation? And the more the email saga plays out, the longer the untrustworthy issue remains in everyone's mind. MonotonousLanguor , 2016-10-07 20:58:06 Does anyone really believe Hillary Clinton will hold anyone on Wall Street accountable??? She is bought and paid for by Wall Street, starting with all the green backs Hillary and Bill stuffed in their pockets from the those speaking fees. Obama's Justice Department motto was, Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Jail. The Democrats are not going to bite their masters on Wall Street, and of course neither will the Republicans. IanB52 -> NoctilucentGinswig , 2016-10-07 20:41:06 Prosecuting bankers, prosecuting torturers, stopping white collar crime, wars, assassinations, warrantless spying and even scheduling of Marijuana are all under the control of the Executive Branch. Find even one of these where the President did the right thing. Uncle Putin , 2016-10-07 20:26:49 This is exactly what I was thinking during the first presidential debate. Hillary is an old pro at saying all the right things, pushing all the right buttons to get the votes she needs, but can you believe much of what she says? ..."
    "... This is why, despite a poor debate performance overall, I thought Trump was spot on when he simply said she was a typical politician--all talk, no action, sounds great, none of it will ever happen. He's correct. ..."
    "... What Frank seldom writes of but remains extremely important to many people on the left in the US is that Obama has governed as the effective prisoner of the Pentagon and security establishment. His wars (including on whistleblowers), nuclear build-up, and confrontation with Russia have given added momentum to growing neoconservative bipartisan consensus that will likely see a new President Clinton start a war with Russia in Syria and/or Ukraine. ..."
    "... The Democrats are now both so neoliberal and so neoconservative that the only thing that differentiates them from Republicans is social progressivism. Given a choice between the latter and greatly increased likelihood of nuclear war, I have to confess to preferring that Trump win. Trump has been consistent in wanting to lessen tensions with Russia. ..."
    "... Not even social progressivism, so much as a set of captive client constituencies whom they name-drop and weaponize. ..."
    Oct 09, 2016 | www.theguardian.com
    Thomas Frank

    The Guardian

    The puzzle that is currently frustrating the pundit minds of America is this: why is Hillary Clinton not simply clobbering Donald Trump? How is this ranting, seething buffoon still competitive with her? Trump has now stumbled through a series of the kind of blunders that break ordinary political campaigns – the sort of deadly hypocrisies that always kill the demagogue in old movies – and yet this particular demagogue keeps on trucking. Why?

    Let us answer that burning pundit question of today by jumping to what will undoubtedly be the next great object of pundit ardor: the legacy of President Barack Obama. Two months from now, when all the TV wise men are playing historian and giving their estimation on where Obama ranks in the pantheon of the greats, they will probably neglect to mention that his legacy helped to determine Hillary's fortunes in this election cycle.

    "As a beloved figure among Democrats, for example, Obama was instrumental in securing the nomination for her. As a president who has accomplished little since 2011, however, Obama has pretty much undermined Clinton's ability to sell us on another centrist Democratic presidency. His legacy has diluted her promise

    …. Or take this headline from just a few days ago: "Clinton promises to hold Wells Fargo accountable". Go get 'em, Hillary! To see a president get tough with elite bankers and with CEOs in general – that's something we can all cheer for. But then that nagging voice piped up again: if Democrats think it is so critical to get tough with crooked banksters, why oh why didn't Barack Obama take the many, many opportunities he had to do so back in the days when it would have really mattered?"

    Senator Elizabeth Warren pronounced on the current state of middle America as follows:

    Look around. Americans bust their tails, some working two or three jobs, but wages stay flat. Meanwhile, the basic costs of making it from month to month keep going up. Housing, healthcare, child care – costs are out of sight. Young people are getting crushed by student loans. Working people are in debt. Seniors can't stretch a social security check to cover the basics.

    It was a powerful indictment of what Warren called a "rigged" system – except for one thing: that system is presided over by Barack Obama, a man that same Democratic convention was determined to apotheosize as one of the greatest politicians of all times.

    The larger problem facing them is the terminal irrelevance of their great, overarching campaign theme. Remember the "man from Hope"? "Hope is on the way"? "Keep hope alive"? Well, this year "hope" is most assuredly dead. Thanks to Obama's flagrant hope-dealing in the dark days of 2008 – followed up by his failure to reverse the disintegration of the middle class – this favorite Democratic cliché has finally become just that: an empty phrase.

    dalepues , 2016-10-08 03:43:57
    Hillary Clinton and husband Bill will turn the White House and the U.S. Government into their personal bank.
    ID8737013 , 2016-10-08 03:12:16
    If the American electorate selects Hillary as their commander and chief she will immediately demand a No-Fly Zone over Syria. She will impose more economic sanctions on Russia, including an increase in NATO strength on Russia's western borders, just to show she is the Queen bitch. She will give israHell carte blanche to increase and expand further abuse in the Gaza strip. She is a woman scorned. And a very dangerous one.
    marxmarv , 2016-10-08 01:14:18
    [neo]Liberalism is in terminal decline, and not a moment too soon. It's far past time we redeveloped a politics of interests rather than this Christianised values sham.
    bobkolker , 2016-10-08 00:16:15
    Hillary will win because she is not Trump. If she wins it is another 4 Obama like years and it is Bill's Third Term in Office. Hillary does not have any creative spark at all. She, like Obama is a dud, but one thing is for sure, she is not Donald.
    cilina2011 , 2016-10-07 22:16:45
    I find Thomas Frank's piece very good.

    Too many americans are mesmerized by the fact that Obama is young and articulate, plays well the presidential role, is generally speaking what is called a nice person or at least behaves formally as if he were one, has but only of late (thanks to Hillary and Trump perhaps, by contrast) a fairly high popularity score.

    These same americans should go back, for once, to his 2008 campaign to defeat first Hillary in the primaries and then the republican McCain.

    The climate was dominated by the financial meltdown, which really started in the summer of 2007 and was evident by early spring of 2008. Hillary was the candidate of Wall Street, according to Obama, the republicans were one and the same with Wall Street and all the big corporate world, he was Hope and Change.

    Hope? What hope? And even more: change, what change? There has been little change, if almost half of the nation is now ready to accept Trump as a promise of change. Obama's main financial support came in 2008 from Wall Street, hedge funds in particular, and they were right because nobody like the first Afro-American president, himself inevitably the incarnation of progressivism, could save their ass after all the criminal finance they indulged in.

    And Obama did save their skin, as everybody knows. Obama took on board plenty of Clinton (and Wall Street) people, starting in June 2008, when Hillary was finished. You cannot change that much after the financial crisis if you take Lawrence Summers as economic top advisor and you install young Geithner at the Treasury. Paul Volcker, who inspired so many good and useful judgements for candidate Obama, was put in the closet.

    Obama is a lawyer by education and he knows who is the best customer. That's not the man or the woman of Main Street. To them, some of them, he gave Obamacare, which is not all bad and something of it will remain, I think, but it's not at all that major reform he has been boasting about. By november 8 everybody will know that Obamacare has serious problems.

    So, Obama's inheritance is a problem, and Hillary is running on Obama's inheritance.

    And Thomas Frank is right.

    MattThePleb , 2016-10-07 22:05:27
    nice to see the Guardian have a moment of clarity!

    I do feel sympathy for Obama, he, and his family, have effectively spent 8 years held hostage in the White House by those perfidious neo-conservatives,

    they existed in Ronnie Raygun's day but he laughed at them, G H Bush referred to them as 'the crazies in the basement' and kept close tabs on them,

    they were happily meddling away during Bill Clintons era helping destroy Yugoslavia and furiously planning their 'Project for a New American Century' PNAC basically a blueprint and justification for every shitty thing done since,

    G W Bush let loose the neo-cons of war and we know what they've done,

    Barack Obama's greatest folly was to not round them up on the first day of his presidency, put them in a sack with a brick and throw them in the river,

    they have infested his government and followed their own agenda whilst laughing at him, so the story goes, at a private dinner party Barack was asked why he wasn't doing anything to thwart these shits and his reply was 'you saw what they did to MLK'

    now at the transition to Clinton these neo-cons are actively endorsing her, they consider her 'their girl' Clinton may well turn out to be George 'Dubya' with tits,

    Robert Kagan, ringleader of the cabal of neo-cons has endorsed Hillary, who is Roberts wife? why bless me if it isn't Victoria 'fuck the EU' Nuland,

    Samantha Powers is a neo-con acolyte, Ashton Carter is too, the State Dept. and the council of foreign relations is riddled with their people, all the horror figures of Dubya's days are lurking there and pulling strings,

    Kerry isn't really a neo-con, but the Pentagon and CIA sabotage anything half decent he tries to do,

    Elizabeth Warren as VP would have given Hillary great credibility but she is explicitly not a neo-conservative,

    Basically Hillary is as genuine, left leaning and honest as Tony Blair....

    and people wonder why they pin their last tatter of hope Donald 'Mr Bombastic' Trump?

    much as I find Trump and his hardcore supporters loathsome I have to point out that he has:

    expressed interest in talking with and working with Putin as opposed to starting WW3

    accepted the concept of climate change (massive move for a Republican) but pointed out nuclear war is an even greater and more immediate threat,

    pointed out the expenditure of 5-6 Trillion dollars on pointless wars whilst the country crumbles to ruins, basically a third of the US national debt run up in 15 years,

    the fact he wants to make America great again is because he acknowledges that it isn't great atm,

    he's pointed out that Hillary makes all these pledges but has been in a position of power for decades and has done sod all about it,

    and the establishment , especially the neo-cons absolutely hate him...

    if you're going to hold your nose and vote for the lesser evil maybe chauvinism and casual racism are those lesser evils,

    LGBT rights will not defend you from nuclear bombs, the heat flash that vaporises you is fairly indifferent to skin colour or religion,

    lvtaxman , 2016-10-07 22:01:35
    Also remember the lack of believability of Hillary. She is a politician that has been caught in lies so often that people just don't believe her. She pushed the soda tax in Philly until Coca-Cola complained that they gave too much money to the Foundation to be treated that way. Hillary backed off.

    She made millions from speaking to Big Banks. So we really believe she will go after Wells Fargo? She is beholden to them (unless Goldman Sachs gets to choose).

    She says raise taxes to pay fair share, but her biggest supporters are Apple, Google, and their executives that keep billions of income overseas to avoid the highest corporate income tax in the world. Do we really think she will hurt the contributors to the Foundation?

    And the more the email saga plays out, the longer the untrustworthy issue remains in everyone's mind.

    MonotonousLanguor , 2016-10-07 20:58:06
    Does anyone really believe Hillary Clinton will hold anyone on Wall Street accountable??? She is bought and paid for by Wall Street, starting with all the green backs Hillary and Bill stuffed in their pockets from the those speaking fees.

    Obama's Justice Department motto was, Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Jail. The Democrats are not going to bite their masters on Wall Street, and of course neither will the Republicans.

    IanB52 -> NoctilucentGinswig , 2016-10-07 20:41:06
    Prosecuting bankers, prosecuting torturers, stopping white collar crime, wars, assassinations, warrantless spying and even scheduling of Marijuana are all under the control of the Executive Branch. Find even one of these where the President did the right thing.
    Uncle Putin , 2016-10-07 20:26:49
    This is exactly what I was thinking during the first presidential debate. Hillary is an old pro at saying all the right things, pushing all the right buttons to get the votes she needs, but can you believe much of what she says?

    This is why, despite a poor debate performance overall, I thought Trump was spot on when he simply said she was a typical politician--all talk, no action, sounds great, none of it will ever happen. He's correct.

    Hillary is promising all sorts of things that she knows will never come to fruition. I voted for Obama twice, but I'm chomping at the bit to vote for Trump, for no other reason then the fact that he is the true outsider here. It's a gamble for sure, but with the right advisors he could potentially institute some major changes that will never happen under a cautious Hillary who will be obsessed with re-election the minute she starts her first term.

    Wayne Waxman , 2016-10-07 20:02:39
    What Frank seldom writes of but remains extremely important to many people on the left in the US is that Obama has governed as the effective prisoner of the Pentagon and security establishment. His wars (including on whistleblowers), nuclear build-up, and confrontation with Russia have given added momentum to growing neoconservative bipartisan consensus that will likely see a new President Clinton start a war with Russia in Syria and/or Ukraine.

    The Democrats are now both so neoliberal and so neoconservative that the only thing that differentiates them from Republicans is social progressivism. Given a choice between the latter and greatly increased likelihood of nuclear war, I have to confess to preferring that Trump win. Trump has been consistent in wanting to lessen tensions with Russia.

    As a voter, of course, I could vote for neither, and so am voting for Jill Stein.

    marxmarv Wayne Waxman , 2016-10-08 01:26:45
    Not even social progressivism, so much as a set of captive client constituencies whom they name-drop and weaponize.

    [Oct 08, 2016] Ignorance and Dishonesty Trump, Hillary, and Nuclear Genocide

    Notable quotes:
    "... It's shameful that this country hasn't rejected the first use of nuclear weapons. It's also shameful that instead of working to eliminate nuclear weapons, the U.S. is actually planning to spend nearly a trillion dollars over the next 30 years to upgrade that arsenal. For what possible strategic purpose, one must ask? America's current nuclear deterrent is the most powerful and survivable in the world. No other country comes close. There's no rational reason to invest more money in nuclear weapons, unless you count the jobs and money related to building new nuclear submarines, weaponry, bombs, and all the other infrastructure related to America's nuclear triad of Trident submarines, land-based bombers, and fixed missile silos. ..."
    "... Next time, Mr. Trump and Secretary Clinton, let's have some rigor, some honesty, and some wisdom on the issue of nuclear weapons. Not only America deserves it – the world does. ..."
    Antiwar.com

    ... ... ...

    It's shameful that this country hasn't rejected the first use of nuclear weapons. It's also shameful that instead of working to eliminate nuclear weapons, the U.S. is actually planning to spend nearly a trillion dollars over the next 30 years to upgrade that arsenal. For what possible strategic purpose, one must ask? America's current nuclear deterrent is the most powerful and survivable in the world. No other country comes close. There's no rational reason to invest more money in nuclear weapons, unless you count the jobs and money related to building new nuclear submarines, weaponry, bombs, and all the other infrastructure related to America's nuclear triad of Trident submarines, land-based bombers, and fixed missile silos.

    Neither Trump nor Hillary addressed this issue. Trump was simply ignorant. Hillary was simply disingenuous. Which candidate was worse? When you're talking about nuclear genocidal death, it surely does matter. Ignorance is not bliss, nor is a lack of forthrightness and honesty.

    Next time, Mr. Trump and Secretary Clinton, let's have some rigor, some honesty, and some wisdom on the issue of nuclear weapons. Not only America deserves it – the world does.

    William J. Astore is a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF). He taught history for fifteen years at military and civilian schools and blogs at Bracing Views. He can be reached at wastore@pct.edu. Reprinted from Bracing Views with the author's permission.

    [Oct 07, 2016] The media are misleading the public on Syria by Stephen Kinzer

    Notable quotes:
    "... For three years, violent militants have run Aleppo. Their rule began with a wave of repression. They posted notices warning residents: "Don't send your children to school. If you do, we will get the backpack and you will get the coffin." Then they destroyed factories, hoping that unemployed workers would have no recourse other than to become fighters. They trucked looted machinery to Turkey and sold it. ..."
    "... Militants, true to form, are wreaking havoc as they are pushed out of the city by Russian and Syrian Army forces. "Turkish-Saudi backed 'moderate rebels' showered the residential neighborhoods of Aleppo with unguided rockets and gas jars," one Aleppo resident wrote on social media. The Beirut-based analyst Marwa Osma asked, "The Syrian Arab Army, which is led by President Bashar Assad, is the only force on the ground, along with their allies, who are fighting ISIS - so you want to weaken the only system that is fighting ISIS?" ..."
    "... This does not fit with Washington's narrative. As a result, much of the American press is reporting the opposite of what is actually happening. Many news reports suggest that Aleppo has been a "liberated zone" for three years but is now being pulled back into misery. ..."
    "... Americans are being told that the virtuous course in Syria is to fight the Assad regime and its Russian and Iranian partners. We are supposed to hope that a righteous coalition of Americans, Turks, Saudis, Kurds, and the "moderate opposition" will win. This is convoluted nonsense, but Americans cannot be blamed for believing it. We have almost no real information about the combatants, their goals, or their tactics. Much blame for this lies with our media. ..."
    "... Astonishingly brave correspondents in the war zone, including Americans, seek to counteract Washington-based reporting. At great risk to their own safety, these reporters are pushing to find the truth about the Syrian war. Their reporting often illuminates the darkness of groupthink. Yet for many consumers of news, their voices are lost in the cacophony. Reporting from the ground is often overwhelmed by the Washington consensus. ..."
    "... Inevitably, this kind of disinformation has bled into the American presidential campaign. At the recent debate in Milwaukee, Hillary Clinton claimed that United Nations peace efforts in Syria were based on "an agreement I negotiated in June of 2012 in Geneva." The precise opposite is true. In 2012 Secretary of State Clinton joined Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Israel in a successful effort to kill Kofi Annan's UN peace plan because it would have accommodated Iran and kept Assad in power, at least temporarily. No one on the Milwaukee stage knew enough to challenge her. ..."
    "... The truth is that Kinzer is right. We have no idea what is going on in Syria. For the elites in Washington and their press lackeys to report that one side is moderate and the other is not is ludicrous. ..."
    Feb 18, 2016 | The Boston Globe

    Coverage of the Syrian war will be remembered as one of the most shameful episodes in the history of the American press. Reporting about carnage in the ancient city of Aleppo is the latest reason why.

    For three years, violent militants have run Aleppo. Their rule began with a wave of repression. They posted notices warning residents: "Don't send your children to school. If you do, we will get the backpack and you will get the coffin." Then they destroyed factories, hoping that unemployed workers would have no recourse other than to become fighters. They trucked looted machinery to Turkey and sold it.

    This month, people in Aleppo have finally seen glimmers of hope. The Syrian army and its allies have been pushing militants out of the city. Last week they reclaimed the main power plant. Regular electricity may soon be restored. The militants' hold on the city could be ending.

    Militants, true to form, are wreaking havoc as they are pushed out of the city by Russian and Syrian Army forces. "Turkish-Saudi backed 'moderate rebels' showered the residential neighborhoods of Aleppo with unguided rockets and gas jars," one Aleppo resident wrote on social media. The Beirut-based analyst Marwa Osma asked, "The Syrian Arab Army, which is led by President Bashar Assad, is the only force on the ground, along with their allies, who are fighting ISIS - so you want to weaken the only system that is fighting ISIS?"

    This does not fit with Washington's narrative. As a result, much of the American press is reporting the opposite of what is actually happening. Many news reports suggest that Aleppo has been a "liberated zone" for three years but is now being pulled back into misery.

    Americans are being told that the virtuous course in Syria is to fight the Assad regime and its Russian and Iranian partners. We are supposed to hope that a righteous coalition of Americans, Turks, Saudis, Kurds, and the "moderate opposition" will win. This is convoluted nonsense, but Americans cannot be blamed for believing it. We have almost no real information about the combatants, their goals, or their tactics. Much blame for this lies with our media.

    Under intense financial pressure, most American newspapers, magazines, and broadcast networks have drastically reduced their corps of foreign correspondents. Much important news about the world now comes from reporters based in Washington. In that environment, access and credibility depend on acceptance of official paradigms. Reporters who cover Syria check with the Pentagon, the State Department, the White House, and think tank "experts." After a spin on that soiled carousel, they feel they have covered all sides of the story. This form of stenography produces the pabulum that passes for news about Syria.

    Astonishingly brave correspondents in the war zone, including Americans, seek to counteract Washington-based reporting. At great risk to their own safety, these reporters are pushing to find the truth about the Syrian war. Their reporting often illuminates the darkness of groupthink. Yet for many consumers of news, their voices are lost in the cacophony. Reporting from the ground is often overwhelmed by the Washington consensus.

    Washington-based reporters tell us that one potent force in Syria, al-Nusra, is made up of "rebels" or "moderates," not that it is the local al-Qaeda franchise. Saudi Arabia is portrayed as aiding freedom fighters when in fact it is a prime sponsor of ISIS. Turkey has for years been running a "rat line" for foreign fighters wanting to join terror groups in Syria, but because the United States wants to stay on Turkey's good side, we hear little about it. Nor are we often reminded that although we want to support the secular and battle-hardened Kurds, Turkey wants to kill them. Everything Russia and Iran do in Syria is described as negative and destabilizing, simply because it is they who are doing it - and because that is the official line in Washington.

    Inevitably, this kind of disinformation has bled into the American presidential campaign. At the recent debate in Milwaukee, Hillary Clinton claimed that United Nations peace efforts in Syria were based on "an agreement I negotiated in June of 2012 in Geneva." The precise opposite is true. In 2012 Secretary of State Clinton joined Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Israel in a successful effort to kill Kofi Annan's UN peace plan because it would have accommodated Iran and kept Assad in power, at least temporarily. No one on the Milwaukee stage knew enough to challenge her.

    Politicians may be forgiven for distorting their past actions. Governments may also be excused for promoting whatever narrative they believe best suits them. Journalism, however, is supposed to remain apart from the power elite and its inbred mendacity. In this crisis it has failed miserably.

    Americans are said to be ignorant of the world. We are, but so are people in other countries. If people in Bhutan or Bolivia misunderstand Syria, however, that has no real effect. Our ignorance is more dangerous, because we act on it. The United States has the power to decree the death of nations. It can do so with popular support because many Americans - and many journalists - are content with the official story. In Syria, it is: "Fight Assad, Russia, and Iran! Join with our Turkish, Saudi, and Kurdish friends to support peace!" This is appallingly distant from reality. It is also likely to prolong the war and condemn more Syrians to suffering and death.

    Stephen Kinzer is a senior fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. Follow him on Twitter @stephenkinzer.


    kaisy 02/18/16 03:38 PM

    The truth is that Kinzer is right. We have no idea what is going on in Syria. For the elites in Washington and their press lackeys to report that one side is moderate and the other is not is ludicrous.

    When the uprising against Assad began three years ago, initially we were on the side of the angels, that is until we found out that they were mostly Al Queda. Fast forward and now we have ISIS, the sworn enemy of the US and anybody else that disagrees with them. So now, remarkably, some are looking at Assad as the voice of moderation. This is so akin to Afghanistan and, decades ago, Vietnam. When you don't understand the players and their ulterior motives, best to not get involved. Me, I'd leave this to the Saudis and Iran to fight over. Cruz talks about carpet bombing Syria until the sand glows (btw, real Christianlike there). I say defer to those over there. Eventually they'll run out of people to do the fighting (happening already with ISIS), then, and only then, we can go in and pick up the pieces.


    jkupie02/19/16 07:16 AM

    "Washington-based reporters tell us that one potent force in Syria, al-Nusra, is made up of "rebels" or "moderates," not that it is the local al-Qaeda franchise."

    I don't know enough about the area to confirm or disprove most of Mr. Kinzer's points but I DO KNOW that this claim is false.

    tyfox"n" 02/19/16 07:40 PM

    jkupiue I absolutley agree. I have never read or heard al-Nusra described as anything but an al-Qaeda group, and it is stated every time al-Nusra is mentioned.

    pegnva 02/19/16 07:58 AM

    Hard to know the truth...but it is interesting Kinzer was able to QUOTE former Sec'ty of State, now presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at the recent Milwaukee debate for falsely taking credit, some might say lying to the Am public.

    kaisy 02/19/16 11:24 AM

    Hillary is on the wrong side of this. She wants a no fly zone in Syria, just the Repubs. She doesn't speak to the consequences of the policy. Unfortunately Bernie has not challenged her on this. He really needs to.

    NH-Repub 02/19/16 09:22 AM

    Leftout is right and Hillary is the Queen of Doublespeak. Obama and his minions would like nothing better than to mislead the masses and keep them in the dark about everything. That way they control the media and by proxy - us!

    [Oct 05, 2016] HRC is the more dangerous of the two because she feels compelled to "out-macho" the macho guys.

    Oct 05, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
    shinola October 5, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    When it comes to war & nukes, I believe that HRC is the more dangerous of the two.

    Before I explain, I would like to invite Yves or any female NC reader to consider & give their POV on what I'm about say.

    HRC is more dangerous because she is the 1st woman to become a serious contender for a position that has traditionally been considered a "man's job". Therefore she believes she must not, in any way, be perceived as "soft" or lacking "toughness" or aggressiveness. She feels compelled to "out-macho" the macho guys.
    Obviously this could have serious implications in any situation involving escalating tensions. Negotiation or compromise would be off the table if she thought it could be perceived as soft or weak (and she contemplates being a 2 term pres.)

    What say you NC readers? Is this a justified concern or am I letting male bias color my view?

    BecauseTradition October 5, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    My own misgivings too, but I'm a male also.

    [Oct 05, 2016] Her greatest political fear-that she might one day be accused by Republicans of being weak on Americas enemies drives her to the most extreme of war hawk positions

    Notable quotes:
    "... So what's a voter to do? ..."
    "... Well, I would hope that informed voters who have a healthy fear of the military-industrial-political complex will vote to keep the scariest of the two re: nuclear war out of office. This particular concern is the reason why I will in all likelihood be voting for the man I've been ridiculing for most of the past year, simply because I am terrified of the prospect of Hillary Clinton as Commander-in-Chief. ..."
    "... Trump is a bad choice for a long list of reasons, but the most outrageous things he has proposed require legislation and I think it will be possible to defeat his essential sociopathy on that level, since he will face not only the opposition of the Dem Party, but also MSM and a significant number of people from his own party. ..."
    "... But when it comes to the President's ability to put American 'boots on the ground' vs. some theoretical enemy, no such approval from Congress is necessary. Hillary Clinton will be in a position to get us into a costly war without having to overcome any domestic opposition to pull it off. ..."
    "... What scares me is my knowledge of her career-long investment in trying to convince the generals and the admirals that she is a 'tough bitch', ala Margaret Thatcher, who will not hesitate to pull the trigger. An illuminating article in the NY Times revealed that she always advocates the most muscular and reckless dispositions of U.S. military forces whenever her opinion is solicited. ..."
    "... All of her experience re: foreign policy that she's been touting is actually the scariest thing about her, when you look at what her historical dispositions have been. The "No Fly Zone" she's been pushing since last year is just the latest example of her instinct to act recklessly, as it directly invites a military confrontation with Russia. ..."
    "... Her greatest political fear-that she might one day be accused by Republicans of being "weak on America's enemies"-is what we have to fear. That fear is what drives her to the most extreme of war hawk positions, since her foundational strategy is to get out in front of the criticism she anticipates. ..."
    "... How reckless is Trump likely to be? Well, like Clinton-and all other civilian Commanders-in-Chief, Trump be utterly dependent upon the advice of military professionals in deciding what kind of responses to order. But in the position of The Decider, there is one significant difference between Trump and Clinton. Trump is at least willing and able to 1) view Putin as someone who is not a threat to the United States and 2) is able/willing to question the rationality of America's continued participation in NATO. ..."
    Oct 05, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

    James Kroeger October 5, 2016 at 8:02 am

    So what's a voter to do?

    Well, I would hope that informed voters who have a healthy fear of the military-industrial-political complex will vote to keep the scariest of the two re: nuclear war out of office. This particular concern is the reason why I will in all likelihood be voting for the man I've been ridiculing for most of the past year, simply because I am terrified of the prospect of Hillary Clinton as Commander-in-Chief.

    Trump is a bad choice for a long list of reasons, but the most outrageous things he has proposed require legislation and I think it will be possible to defeat his essential sociopathy on that level, since he will face not only the opposition of the Dem Party, but also MSM and a significant number of people from his own party.

    But when it comes to the President's ability to put American 'boots on the ground' vs. some theoretical enemy, no such approval from Congress is necessary. Hillary Clinton will be in a position to get us into a costly war without having to overcome any domestic opposition to pull it off.

    What scares me is my knowledge of her career-long investment in trying to convince the generals and the admirals that she is a 'tough bitch', ala Margaret Thatcher, who will not hesitate to pull the trigger. An illuminating article in the NY Times revealed that she always advocates the most muscular and reckless dispositions of U.S. military forces whenever her opinion is solicited.

    All of her experience re: foreign policy that she's been touting is actually the scariest thing about her, when you look at what her historical dispositions have been. The "No Fly Zone" she's been pushing since last year is just the latest example of her instinct to act recklessly, as it directly invites a military confrontation with Russia.

    Her willingness to roll the dice, to gamble with other people's lives, is ingrained within her political personality, of which she is so proud.

    Her greatest political fear-that she might one day be accused by Republicans of being "weak on America's enemies"-is what we have to fear. That fear is what drives her to the most extreme of war hawk positions, since her foundational strategy is to get out in front of the criticism she anticipates.

    It is what we can count on. She will most assuredly get America into a war within the first 6-9 months of her Presidency, since she will be looking forward to the muscular response she will order when she is 'tested', as she expects.

    How reckless is Trump likely to be? Well, like Clinton-and all other civilian Commanders-in-Chief, Trump be utterly dependent upon the advice of military professionals in deciding what kind of responses to order. But in the position of The Decider, there is one significant difference between Trump and Clinton. Trump is at least willing and able to 1) view Putin as someone who is not a threat to the United States and 2) is able/willing to question the rationality of America's continued participation in NATO.

    These differences alone are enough to move me to actually vote for someone I find politically detestable, simply because I fear that the alternative is a high probability of war, and a greatly enhanced risk of nuclear annihilation-through miscalculation-under a Hillary Clinton Presidency.

    Quite simply, she scares the hell out of me.

    likbez October 5, 2016 at 9:17 pm
    James,

    Excellent, really excellent summary. Thank you. Especially this observation:

    "Her greatest political fear-that she might one day be accused by Republicans of being "weak on America's enemies"-is what we have to fear. That fear is what drives her to the most extreme of war hawk positions, since her foundational strategy is to get out in front of the criticism she anticipates."

    I would like to add a few minor points:

    1. Clinton might not have the intellectual capacity to discern critically important distinctions ( http://angrybearblog.com/2015/06/what-worries-me-most-about-clinton-that-she-may-not-have-the-intellectual-capacity-to-discern-even-critically-important-distinctions-even-glaring-ones.html ). From comments: "Hillary is phony as a 3-dollar bill. And I just watched FDR doing his thing on NPR's " The Roosevelts " , reminding me that in universes other than the one I occupy , it's possible to have an outstanding progressive , an outstanding candidate , and an outstanding human being , all in one."

    2. She (like most sociopaths, although it is unclear whether she is one or not) is not able to apologize for mistakes. New York Times:

    In the end, she settled on language that was similar to Senator John Kerry's when he was the Democratic nominee in 2004: that if she had known in 2002 what she knows now about Iraqi weaponry, she would never have voted for the Senate resolution authorizing force.

    Yet antiwar anger has festered, and yesterday morning Mrs. Clinton rolled out a new response to those demanding contrition: She said she was willing to lose support from voters rather than make an apology she did not believe in.

    "If the most important thing to any of you is choosing someone who did not cast that vote or has said his vote was a mistake, then there are others to choose from," Mrs. Clinton told an audience in Dover, N.H., in a veiled reference to two rivals for the nomination, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois and former Senator John Edwards of North Carolina.

    Her decision not to apologize is regarded so seriously within her campaign that some advisers believe it will be remembered as a turning point in the race: either ultimately galvanizing voters against her (if she loses the nomination), or highlighting her resolve and her willingness to buck Democratic conventional wisdom (if she wins).

    At the same time, the level of Democratic anger has surprised some of her allies and advisers, and her campaign is worried about how long it will last and how much damage it might cause her.

    3. Due to her greed she and her close entourage represent a huge security risk. Emailgate had shown that as for computer security she is an absolute zero. Absolutely, horribly incompetent and absolutely, horribly greedy (the key idea of private server was to hide her "pay for play" deals related to Clinton foundation). The same level of computer security incompetence is prevalent in her close circle (Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills, etc) .

    4. She strongly believe in the neoconservative foreign-policy agenda by re-casting the neoconservatives' goals in liberal-interventionist terms. In reality the difference between "liberal interventionism" and Neoconservatism are pretty superficial (Kagan already calls himself liberal interventionalist) and Hillary's willingness to infest a foreign-policy establishment with neocons is beyond any doubt and comparable with Bush II.

    As the recent Republican primary contest had shown neoconservatives have virtually no support among the US voters. Their base is exclusively military-industrial complex. So the reason she is reaching out to those shady figures is a deceptively simple: she shares common views, respects their supposed expertise, and wants them in her governing coalition. That means that "… today's Democrats have become the Party of War: a home for arms merchants, mercenaries, academic war planners, lobbyists for every foreign intervention, promoters of color revolutions, failed generals, exploiters of the natural resources of corrupt governments. …" ( http://crookedtimber.org/2016/09/27/donald-trump-the-michael-dukakis-of-the-republican-party/#comment-693421 )

    5. She is completely numb to human suffering. She has a total lack of empathy for other people.

    [Oct 04, 2016] Should the busts of Hillary, Bush, Blair, and Cheney form a museum of savage stupidity and war crimes ?

    Notable quotes:
    "... The potential threats both candidates pose are real. Those advocating Hillary as the better, safer choice cannot offer any reliable assurances that she will be able, or willing, to pursue policies that increase the well-being and security of any but the already affluent and secure. ..."
    "... Hillary's long and unhappy history of war-mongering has not, imho, received anything like the media scrutiny it deserves, and won't until she's correctly identified in the minds of most as an advocate of 'liberal interventionism'/violent regime change and on an equal footing of imbecility and irresponsibility in the minds of the public as Bush, Cheney, and Blair. ..."
    "... When the busts of Hillary, Bush, Blair, and Cheney form a Mt. Rushmore of savage stupidity for all to see and all school children studying the early 21st-century American-UK wars recognize the monument as such, that task of 'highlighting' her role in this enormously costly and damaging humanitarian and political disaster will be at least part way done. ..."
    "... Obama, as Stevenjohnson notes, has not entirely surrendered his dream of forcing 'democracy' on Syria. There is abundant evidence, however, the US and a number of other nations have been arming Syrian rebels (ISIL and Al Quaida) since 2011, at least. ..."
    "... The result of Obama and Hillary's love of violent regime change has been an increase in the suffering of millions in North Africa and the Middle East, the collapse of basic services such as fresh water and hospitals, and a new flood of refugees seeking to escape the beneficence of Hillary Clinton and her boss. ..."
    "... If you are supporting Hillary you are supporting violent regime change in the Middle East and the love of violence of Bush and Cheney, not too mention drone strikes, the surveillance state. That's who you are. ..."
    "... Dealing first with Libya and Syria, Hillary Clinton served as the US Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013, which makes her at least one of the prime architects of US foreign policy, and certainly the most important administration official after Obama responsible for foreign policy. Facts which place the burden of proof regarding her involvement in US foreign policy formation and execution squarely on you. ..."
    "... HRC's involvement in Iraq is less well-understood, and that's likely no accident either, given the mileage democrats have generated out of pinning the entire bi-partisan debacle on Bush and Cheney. From the linked dialogue above featuring Robert Wright and Max Abrahms (Northeastern) http://bloggingheads.tv/videos/43967?in=01:10&out=12:21 ..."
    "... The chaotic civil war in Syria and Iraq seems like another example where the U.S. is having a hard time "thinking" things thru realistically. ..."
    "... One interpretation is she's stupid and vicious as a badge of class honor, blissfully consistent with the bloodthirsty record of Madeleine Albright and Henry Kissinger. Unfortunately, that might be true, though I think if it is true, it is more likely a product of being caught up in the amoral bubble of political and media process that has enveloped the whole foreign policy establishment than any personal psychopathy. ..."
    Oct 04, 2016 | crookedtimber.org

    kidneystones 10.01.16 at 10:48 pm 284

    @ 278 There's nothing quite so amusing as advocates of free speech 'commanding' the comments section of somebody else's blog and then issuing permissions to comment, or instructions to how and what to post. (fn, rich, colin, TM in one form, or another)

    Merian is quite right that in the artificially and arbitrarily limited universe of a one-time choice between just two options, everything written can be seen as pro/con against one or the other if everything that is written has only one meaning and will be read and understood by all as having the same meaning.

    The fact is that a great many people inside the US and outside the US may well lack any/much understanding of the decision-making processes that led up to Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria, not to mention America's long history with Iran, and America's support of Evil Axis bad guy number 1 Saddam Hussein. The dynamics are complex even for those familiar with the basic topography.

    The rhetorical parallels leading up to the Iraq invasions and the presidential elections are striking and easy to identify. Facts don't matter, the urgency and severity of the threat demands uniform action, and the enemy is a once in an eon threat of epic proportion to the physical and moral existence of the known universe.

    The potential threats both candidates pose are real. Those advocating Hillary as the better, safer choice cannot offer any reliable assurances that she will be able, or willing, to pursue policies that increase the well-being and security of any but the already affluent and secure.

    Hillary's long and unhappy history of war-mongering has not, imho, received anything like the media scrutiny it deserves, and won't until she's correctly identified in the minds of most as an advocate of 'liberal interventionism'/violent regime change and on an equal footing of imbecility and irresponsibility in the minds of the public as Bush, Cheney, and Blair.

    When the busts of Hillary, Bush, Blair, and Cheney form a Mt. Rushmore of savage stupidity for all to see and all school children studying the early 21st-century American-UK wars recognize the monument as such, that task of 'highlighting' her role in this enormously costly and damaging humanitarian and political disaster will be at least part way done.

    kidneystones 10.01.16 at 10:54 pm 286
    For Merian and others: a timely post from Matt Welch at Reason on Gary Johnson via the o'l perfessor who sees the coverage of Hillary and Trump as you.

    https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/245272/

    kidneystones 10.02.16 at 3:22 am
    @ 300 "Assad Must Go" http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34385354

    Obama, as Stevenjohnson notes, has not entirely surrendered his dream of forcing 'democracy' on Syria. There is abundant evidence, however, the US and a number of other nations have been arming Syrian rebels (ISIL and Al Quaida) since 2011, at least.

    The result of Obama and Hillary's love of violent regime change has been an increase in the suffering of millions in North Africa and the Middle East, the collapse of basic services such as fresh water and hospitals, and a new flood of refugees seeking to escape the beneficence of Hillary Clinton and her boss.

    All this after the 'lessons' of Iraq and Afghanistan.

    If you are supporting Hillary you are supporting violent regime change in the Middle East and the love of violence of Bush and Cheney, not too mention drone strikes, the surveillance state. That's who you are.

    kidneystones 10.02.16 at 3:58 am
    ZM@ 303. The linked dialogue above explores the role Hillary and Obama, in particular, played in providing the arms and support to a rebellion that Assad, like Gaddafi, could have ended years ago.

    Like Gaddafi, Assad is not being attacked by moderate democrats keen to legalize gay marriage, but rather Sunni militias deeply sympathetic to ISIL and Al Quaida, or those forces operating in Syria and western Iraq.

    You're right to point out that the only result of US support of ISIL related Sunnis has been the prolonging of the civil war and the promulgation of the delusion that violent-regime change brings peace and security. Yes, five years of US arms, threats, and intimidation has destroyed Syria, in much the same was as the Hillary promoted war in Libya destroyed that regime.

    The pro-Hillary-Obama media is extremely reluctant in the run-up to the election to point out explicitly what a spectacular FP failure the US has created for itself right now, with Russian jets flying over Aleppo and Assad about to finally humiliate the insurgents and all those like Hillary and Obama who encouraged the bloodshed.

    The Obama-Hillary policy has been a five-year bloodbath and there's no sign Hillary wants to do anything but press for a no-fly zone over Syria in order for the US to continue to funnel more death and destruction into the already devastated moonscape.

    It ain't like anyone she knows is dying over there. Syrians can't vote in November.

    The attitude of her supporters seems be: fuck it – Syria is on the other side of the world, so what's the big deal?

    Mitt Romney tied the family dog to the roof of his car. What about that ?

    kidneystones 10.02.16 at 4:05 am
    @ 305 Hi Merian.

    Go tell your students that you're supporting the candidate who voted for the Iraq invasion (biggest mistake in modern US history), persuaded plenty of other Democrats and ordinary Americans to suspend their judgment and do the same. And who also played an instrumental role in destroying Libya, promotes violent regime-change in Syria and enjoys the support of all the same neocon warmongers who've made the US into a pariah state. Play the 'We came, we saw, he died – ha-ha-ha" Hillary CBS video for them.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-01-07/we-came-we-saw-he-died-%E2%80%93-revisiting-incredible-disaster-libya

    Then explain to them that Hillary is the better candidate.

    See what happens.

    Omega Centauri 10.02.16 at 4:40 am 314
    I don't see HRC as a prime mover in either Iraq or Libya. In the first case Iraq was a neocon/Bush project, and they were threatening to extract a terrible price from anyone who used their position to block their ambitions. Libya was primarily a Arab-league cum French-British project. Not supporting it could have potentially damaged our relationship with key allies France and Britain. Of course Libya was a slippery slope, once started it soon became obvious there was no solution where Qaddafi survived and the Libyan people wouldn't end up paying dearly. Not that her acquiescence in either case demonstrated either good long term judgement or courage, but it also doesn't demonstrate that she was a principle architect of either project.
    kidneystones 10.02.16 at 5:15 am 316
    314@ "I don't see HRC as a prime mover in either Iraq, or Libya."

    That's probably a great comfort to the grifters keen to see her elected. The facts, however, suggest otherwise. Dealing first with Libya and Syria, Hillary Clinton served as the US Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013, which makes her at least one of the prime architects of US foreign policy, and certainly the most important administration official after Obama responsible for foreign policy. Facts which place the burden of proof regarding her involvement in US foreign policy formation and execution squarely on you.

    HRC's involvement in Iraq is less well-understood, and that's likely no accident either, given the mileage democrats have generated out of pinning the entire bi-partisan debacle on Bush and Cheney. From the linked dialogue above featuring Robert Wright and Max Abrahms (Northeastern) http://bloggingheads.tv/videos/43967?in=01:10&out=12:21

    bruce wilder 10.02.16 at 7:49 pm
    Anarcissie @ 239: We basically have a whole class of people, at the top of the social order, who seem devoid of a moral sense - a problem which the upcoming election isn't going to touch, much less solve. I don't blame Clinton for this . . .

    JimV @ 317: I am sorry if I mischaracterized BW as implying that HRC is evil, . . .

    Peter T @ 320: Whatever the merits of their individual stances, there is no reason to suppose that either Obama or Hillary can exert more than loose control over this mess [the multi-sided regional civil war engulfing Syria and northern Iraq]

    stevenjohnson @ 324: The recent leak that Clinton is against nuclear armed cruise missiles and isn't committed to Obama's trillion dollar nuclear weapons upgrade appears to suggest she's not quite on board with plans for general war.

    LFC @ 330: I disagree w the notion that the pt of nuclear 'modernization' is to make plausible the threat of "imminent general nuclear war." If U.S. military planners took hallucinogenic drugs and went nuts, they could "plausibly" threaten "imminent general nuclear war" right now with the US nuclear arsenal as currently configured. They don't need to upgrade the weapons to do that. The program is prob more the result of rigid, unimaginative thinking at top levels of Pentagon and influence of outside companies (e.g. Boeing etc) that work on the upgrades.

    I don't know if that seems like a somewhat random collection of precursors to assemble as preface to a comment. I was thinking of picking out a few upthread references to climate change and the response to it (or inadequacy thereof) as well.

    I am a little disturbed by the idea of leaving the impression that I think Hillary Clinton is "evil". What I think is that American politics in general is not generating realistic, adaptive governance.

    I am using that bloodless phrase, "realistic, adaptive governance", deliberately, to emphasize wanting to step outside the passions of the Presidential election. I think the Manichean narrative where Trump is The Most Horrible Candidate Evah and Everyone Must Line Up Behind Clinton as an Ethical Imperative of a High Order is part of the process of propaganda and manipulation that distorts popular discussion and understanding and helps to create a politics that cannot govern realistically and adaptively. This is not about me thinking Trump is anything but a horrible mess of a candidate who ought to be kept far from power.

    I see Clinton as someone who is trapped inside the dynamics of this seriously deranged politics qua political process. I don't see her as entirely blameless. Politicians like Obama and either Clinton, at the top of the political order, are masters (keeping in mind that there are many masters working to some extent in opposition to one another as rivals, allies, enemies and so on) of the process and create the process by the exercise of their mastery, as much as they are mastered by it. I see them as trapped by the process they have helped (more than a little opportunistically) to create, but trapped as Dr Frankenstein is by his Creature.

    Clinton must struggle with the ethical contradictions of governance at the highest levels of leadership: she must, in the exercise of power in office and out, practice the political art of the possible in relation to crafting policy that will be "good" in the sense of passably effective and efficient - this may involve a high degree of foresightful wonkery or a lethally ruthless statesmanship, depending upon circumstances. Beside this business of making the great machinery of the state lumber forward, she must strive to appear "good", like Machiavelli's Prince, even while playing an amoral game of real politick, gathering and shepherding a complex coalition of allies, supporters, donors and cooperative enemies.

    Machiavelli, when he was considering the Princely business of appearing "good", was contending with the hypocrisies and impossible idealism of authoritarian Catholic morality. He barely connected with anything that we would recognize as democratic Public Opinion and could scarcely conceive of what Ivy Lee or Edward Bernays, let alone Fox News, Vox and the world wide web might do to politics.

    We are trapped, just as Clinton is trapped, in the vast communication nightmare of surrealistic news and opinion washing in upon us in a tide that never ebbs. We are trapped by the politics of media "gotchas" and Kinsley Gaffes (A Kinsley gaffe occurs when a political gaffe reveals some truth that a politician did not intend to admit.)

    I don't think Clinton lacks a moral sense. What I think is that Clinton's moral sense is exhausted calculating what to say or do within the parameters of media-synthesized conventional wisdom policed by people who are themselves exhausted trying to manage it. Matt Lauer's interview with Clinton was notorious for the relentless and clueless questioning about the email server, although I, personally, was shocked when he asked her a question that seemed premised on the idea that veterans should be offended by admitting the Iraq War was a mistake.

    I would think it is easy to see that the media circus is out of control, especially when a clown like Trump graduates from The Apprentice to the Republican nomination. YMMV, but I think this is a serious problem that goes beyond vividly imagined sepia-toned parodies of Trump's candidacy as the second coming of Mussolini.

    While we're getting ourselves agitated over Trump's racism or threats to bar Muslims from entry, apparently the Military-Industrial Complex, left on autopilot, is re-designing the nation's nuclear arsenal to make the outbreak of nuclear war far more likely. And, the closest Clinton gets to a comment, campaign commitment or public discussion, let alone an exercise of power, is a PR "leak"!!!

    The chaotic civil war in Syria and Iraq seems like another example where the U.S. is having a hard time "thinking" things thru realistically. Clinton offered up a sound-bite last year, saying that she favored imposing a "no-fly" zone, which was exposed as kind of crazy idea, given that the Russians as well as Assad's government are the ones flying, not to mention the recent experience with a no-fly zone in Libya. One interpretation is she's stupid and vicious as a badge of class honor, blissfully consistent with the bloodthirsty record of Madeleine Albright and Henry Kissinger. Unfortunately, that might be true, though I think if it is true, it is more likely a product of being caught up in the amoral bubble of political and media process that has enveloped the whole foreign policy establishment than any personal psychopathy. What's most alarming to me is that we cannot count on personal character to put the brakes on that process, which is now the process of governance. I am writing now of the process of governance by public relations that was has been exposed a bit in profiles of the Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, Ben Rhodes.

    In Syria, it has become almost comical, if you can overlook the bodies piling up, as the U.S. has sought a the mythical unicorn of Syrian Moderate Democrats whom the Pentagon or the CIA can advise, train and arm. This is foreign policy by PR narrative and it is insanely unrealistic. But, our politics is trapped in it, and, worse, policy is trapped in it. Layer after layer of b.s. have piled up obscuring U.S. interests and practical options. Recently, U.S. forces supporting the Turks have come dangerously close to blowing up U.S. forces supporting the Kurds. When you find yourself on opposing sides of a civil war like Charles I you may be in the process of losing your head. Some of the worst elements opposing Assad have been engaged in a transparent re-branding exercise aimed at garnering U.S. aid. And, U.S. diplomats and media face the high challenge of explaining why the U.S. supports Saudi Arabia in Yemen.

    But, hey, Clinton will get Robert Kagan's vote and a better tomorrow is only a Friedman unit away, so it is all good.

    kidneystones 10.02.16 at 9:24 pm
    @328 stevenjohnson and Peter T cover the details. As an outsider supportive of negotiated settlements in all cases, rather than unilateral military action and violent regime change, I'm interested principally in ensuring that partisan political preferences do not obscure the historical record. Bluntly put, dictators routinely abuse bomb their own civilians as the 'need' arises. Nor is the US the only state actor keen to profit in the broadest sense of the term from political division.

    The UN was formed, in large part, to provide a forum/mechanism for peaceful conflict resolution. Each time state actors such as Russia, China, the US, France, and the UK either bypass the UN, or use the UN to sanction attacks by larger states on smaller states, the entire edifice becomes a little weaker.

    Hillary is not the only individual with Libyan and Syrian blood on her hands. She's simply the only individual directly involved in Iraq, Libya, and Syria running to the 45th president of the US.

    bruce wilder 10.02.16 at 9:54 pm
    Rich Puchalsky @ 334

    People are in information overload most of the time, and where politics are concerned, they really just want to know who to root for. They ask, "who is the good guy? who is the bad guy?" "Whose right?" "What should be done?" And, people like the opinions they have, whatever those opinions may be; they use their political opinions to feed their sense of self-esteem and social belonging, for better and for worse.

    I have some friends, who are really into a particular sport as fans, not participants. One guy knows everything about baseball. It is fun to watch a game with him, because he knows when someone is about to try to steal a base and stuff like that and he can explain the manager's strategy and has gossip about the players careers and personal lives. And, apparently, he has an encyclopedic knowledge of baseball history - appears to, anyway: what dramatic thing happened in game 3 of the 1967 World Series and so on and exactly why everyone hated Ty Cobb.

    No one like that shows up at CT to talk politics. Maybe it is just as well. Sports guys can wield that knowledge and remain affable, but political guys tend to be arrogant and off-putting. But, I do think we could use more of that spirit sometimes.

    I was thinking about what a brilliant innovation the Clinton Foundation is, how well it is designed to solve the problems of Machiavelli's Prince. But, we would struggle to discuss it in those terms; the partisan contest means that the CF is either horribly corrupt or prosaically innocent. The pressure to evaluate it is so high, that seeing the functional details is hard. I've seen some articles that attempt to understand the CF as a means to the political ambitions of the Clintons, but they seldom grasp the awesome accomplishment it is in ways that also fully understand why enemies of the Clintons are keen to attack it and why it so reliably produces the neoliberal pablum that Thomas Franks despises. If we could imagine a Marx tackling the CF as a vehicle of class interest, that would be pretty interesting.