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Contents Bulletin Scripting in shell and Perl Network troubleshooting History Humor

"Republican Obama" impulsivity and incompetence:
shoot first ask questions later foreign policy

Shoot-first-ask-questions-later decisions,  Tomahawk salvo in Syria, deployment of anti-missile system in South Korea directed against China (under smoke screen of hysteria about North Korea rocket launches), and deployment of additional troops in Afghanistan is a strange start for former (at least during Presidential campaign)  isolationist;
Trump looks more and and more like Hillary in disguise...

News American Imperialism, Transnational Capitalist Class and Globalization of Capitalism Recommended Links Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Syria civil war Korea saber-rattling Reversal of planned detente with Russia Trump after his Colin Powell moment
New American Militarism Neoconservatism as an attack dog of neoliberalism History of American False Flag Operations Betrayal_of_Michael Flynn Ambush of Russian Su-24 over Syria Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? Hillary role in Syria bloodbath and first "sarin based" false flag attack
 Obama: a yet another Neocon Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Machiavellism False flag operations as important part of demonization of the enemy strategy Civil war in Ukraine Leo Straus as the godfather of neocons Nulandgate Hillary role in Libya disaster
Torture as an instrument of social control US Presidential Elections of 2016  Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton Jingoism of the US neoliberal elite Anti-Russian hysteria Mayberry Machiavellians Politically Incorrect Humor Etc
  Trump isn’t just flirting with World War III, he’s inviting it. He wants everyone to know that he’s crazy enough to pull the trigger; thinks it’ll help him twist some arms, thinks he can force the big boys to negotiate.

Trump I told Chinese president about Syria airstrikes over dessert TheHill

"Making America first" without isolationalism is essentially the same as US-style "Deutschland Uber Alles" -- a neocon foreign policy with extreme version of nationalism instead of the idea of building global neoliberal empire led by the USA as the only difference. Even though the 1871 meaning of  "Deutschland Uber Alles" was of "Unity, not division, of German states" when the Nazi used it, they gave it the meaning of world domination by military conquest.   Similar things are now happening with "make America Great again" slogan.

The actual content of Trump foreign policy became the same as the dream of US neocons - an unending  and expensive fight for the global empire dominated by the USA as the sole superpower.  With the only difference that in Nazi interpretation that included exterminating certain Undermensch people because of their nationality (Slavs, Jews, Gypsies).  Add  to this Nikki Haley at UN (she is a typical neocon, no questions about it) and the differences with Obama administration by-and-large disappear. Moreover some minor differences that exist are in favor of Obama administrations.

After Trump's 180 degrees reversal and launching Syria rocket attack (which is attack of sovereign nation and as such represents a war crime) Trump positioned himself as typical neocon. The same is true about Trump position on Yemen, so this is not an accidental change of policy.  Not that different from Hillary Clinton.  trump actions were instantly lauded as bipartisan! The Neoliberal, Neocon, corporate alliance has come out of the closet, in a  show of war mongering solidarity.

Before he was elected, he has only one war hawk "point": Saber rattling against Iran. May be two (Iran+Korea). Now he is all over the place with essentially the same level of bellicosity as Hillary Clinton.  Here are signs of his 180  degrees  turn in foreign policy:

  1. Appeasing Israel
  2. Attack of Assad forces in Syria. There was no investigation, not even a hack job to frame Assad up like Bush II did in 2003 with Colin Powell UN address. Trump himself spoke out against the airstrikes in 2013. He demanded a formal declaration of war by congress “unconstitutional if not”. Pointed out just how stupid and destructive such a decision would be…
  3. Cooperation with KSA in Yemen war
  4. Implicit cooperation with al Qaeda in Syria.
  5. Saber rattling with North Korea.
  6. Troops increase of Afghanistan without clear policy goal ("kick the can down the road"). Rumors are that Trump wants to exploit Afghanistan mineral riches to offset the costs, but  rocks are heavy and roads are bad and controlled by  Taliban.
  7. Elimination from the administration people who were countervailing force against neocon influence (such as Bannon).

Here are a couple of comments from Asia Times

Maziar Khoshsima Apr 13, 2017 3:14pm
There are so many "petty dictators" in the Middle-East, I wander why all the concentration is on the removal of Assad by US and its allies. Is it not because:
  1. Although Saudi and (Persian) Gulf Arab dictators are worse than Assad in all aspects, it is of the interest of US to protect these dictators.
  2. US policy solidified by Bush II was articulated beautifully and honestly as “either you are with us or against us.” That means either you serve my interest or the consequence will be your destruction and removal.
  3. Arab dictators serve US interest so in return there will be a guarantee that they will be protected by mafia boss, namely US.
  4. Main US partner, Western Europe is also the share holder in this so called humanitarian endeavor to bring peace and stability in the Middle East. Whereas the truth is mafia boss and its Western gang are after exploitation of the neighborhood while they have traitors who work for them (Turkey and Arab dictators)
  5. Why Assad? Well, Assad is Nuisance to Israel’s expansion. He opposed Israel contrary to Turkish and Arab beggars who constantly lick the rear end’s hole of the Jewish State.
  6. Assad helped Iran to block Israel from further atrocities in Lebanon and hopefully in Palestine.
  7.  could go on and on. It is the story of Western domination and exploitation were it is being collaborated by Turk and Arab traitors so that like dogs, a loaf of bread somehow will be thrown at them by their master and owner, USA.
Mofakkerul Islam · Police Lines School & College, Rangpur
This bastard dog is one-eyed.He can only see the crime of ASAD not others in the ME.

The best analysis of Trump betrayal ("tuning of dime") in foreign policy  (which means betrayal of his voters in best style of the "king of bait and switch" Obama) was done by Justin Raymondo:

Behind Trump’s Syria Turnabout

Trump came into office touting his “America First agenda,” disdaining NATO, and asking “Why is it a bad thing to get along with Russia?” He told us he abjured “regime change” and held up Libya as an example of bad policy. Now he’s turned on a dime, bombing Syria, and welcoming tiny (and troubled) Montenegro into NATO. His intelligence agencies are even accusing Russia of having advance knowledge of the alleged chemical attack in Syria (although the White House disputed that after it got out). And all this in the first one hundred days!

How did this happen? It’s easy to explain, once you understand that there is no such thing as foreign policy: all policy is domestic.

That’s the core principle at the heart of what I call “libertarian realism,” the overarching theory – if such a grandiose term can be applied to what is simply common sense – that explains what is happening on the world stage at any particular moment. And there is no better confirmation of this principle than the recent statement by Eric Trump, the President’s son, who said: “If there was anything that Syria [strike] did, it was to validate the fact that there is no Russia tie.”

Oh yes, and Ivanka was “heartbroken” – and so it was incumbent upon the President to change course, break a major campaign promise, and declare via his Secretary of State that “Assad must go.”

Got it.

Trump’s Syrian turnabout is clearly a response to the coordinated attack launched on his presidency by the combined efforts of the Deep State, the media, the Democrats, and the McCain-Graham-neocon wing of the GOP – a campaign that still might destroy him, despite his capitulation to the War Party.

Vladimir Putin has likened the current Syria imbroglio to what happened in Iraq, with claims of “weapons of mass destruction” and a war fought on the basis of false intelligence, but there is one major difference: this time, the bombing came first, with the “evidence” an afterthought. You’ll recall that in the run up to the invasion of Iraq there was an extended and quite elaborate propaganda campaign designed to make the case for war. Now, however, that process has been reversed: bombing first, “evidence” later.

Speaking of which, Bloomberg national security reporter Eli Lake tells us that the US is about to release a “dossier” explaining the rationale for the Syria strike: it is “short on specific intelligence” but long on “its refutation of Russian disinformation.” As in the case of the “Russian interference in the election” narrative, we’ll doubtless be told that protecting “sources and methods” precludes us peons from seeing the actual “intelligence.” Ours is not to question why, ours is but to do and die, as the old saw goes: but is that – not to mention the moral imperative of safeguarding Ivanka’s fragile emotional state – really enough to justify a 180-degree shift in US foreign policy?

The real significance of this “dossier” has little to do with justifying the Syria strike insofar as actual evidence of Assad’s alleged crime is concerned, and more with signaling to the heretofore hostile “intelligence community’ and political actors in the US that the days of President Trump trying to achieve détente with Russia are over. As Lake points out:

“But it is really the report’s condemnation of the Russian response that is most striking. Trump has sought to reset the relationship with Moscow, as President Barack Obama hoped to do in 2009 and 2010. Now, one U.S. official tells me, Russian officials in phone calls with their Trump administration counterparts repeated in private the same propaganda lines their government was issuing in public. ‘That has led to a lot of frustration at the highest levels of the government,’ this official said.“

Translation: Forget getting along with Russia – just call off your bloodhounds.

We now have Putin warning that more “provocations” are in store, with some pretty specific details supplied. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least, but we’ll have to wait and see if that pans out. In the meantime, however, three factors are percolating in the mix:

  1. Our spooks, not content with having turn around of  the Trump administration on Syria policy, won’t let up on the alleged “Russian foreknowledge” angle. These guys mean business.
  2. The previously stalled effort to overthrow Assad by funding and arming the Islamist savages championed by McCain, Graham, & Co. will recommence, with some success, and
  3. The campaign to smear Trump as a Kremlin tool will continue, unabated, with both the House and Senate investigations barreling full speed ahead, with plenty of help from the “former intelligence officials.” They aren’t about to let Trump off the hook quite so easily.

What all this shows is how far removed the making of US foreign policy is from actual facts on the ground, and the rational calculation of American interests. What it all comes back to is how it serves the political interests of those in power – and those who aspire after power. Facts have nothing to do with it except insofar as they can be manipulated – or created – so as to fit a preexisting agenda.

There are very few good arguments for striking out at the Syrian government. One of the pseudo-credible ones is that the use of sarin and other similar weapons, if allowed to go unpunished, would hurt our legitimate interests, since their use would then become pandemic. The riposte is that anyone who would even consider using such weapons is not likely to be deterred by US retaliation, no matter how swift.

In any case, this raises the question: did Bashar al-Assad drop sarin gas on a bunch of civilians at Idlib? Despite the rush to judgment, we don’t know the answer to that question, but several factors make it unlikely. He was winning the civil war, and this, if you’ll pardon the expression, seems like overkill. Furthermore, for years the Syrian rebels have been doing their damnedest to frame Assad for just such a heinous crime in order to provoke US intervention on their behalf, to little avail – until now. Their record speaks for itself.

If indeed Assad is guilty, then it’s conceivable – although I would disagree – that one could make an argument for a one-off warning strike. Yet that is not what we’re seeing at all: already, Secretary of State Tillerson is echoing that old Obama-Clinton slogan, “Assad must go.” This isn’t a one-off: it’s a complete reversal of what candidate Trump said he’d do once in office.

As I said in my last column, the silver lining is that many of Trump’s prominent supporters – and former supporters – are waking up to the importance of non-interventionism as one of the pillars of “Trumpism.” Their former hero’s betrayal is putting them on a learning curve – and the best of them will come out the other side with a new awareness of what “America First” really means.

On the other hand, we are going to have to live with the consequences of this terrible turnabout – not all of which are readily apparent, and none of which redound to the benefit of the United States and its citizens. 

Here is a couple of comments from Guardian:

Robert Rudolph 12 Apr 2017 17:40

Instead, the western powers have followed the example cited by Machiavelli: "in order to prove their liberality, they allowed Pistoia to be destroyed."

... ... ...

Cedar

In late 2015, Eren Erdem, a Turkish MP, said in Parliament that the Turkish state was permitting Da'esh to send sarin precursors to Syria. He had a file of evidence, so was accused of treason for accessing and publicising confidential material. The investigation into the people responsible for the transfer of toxic chemicals was shut down.

That surely ought to make us at least ask evidence-seeking questions about the Idlib gas attack before yet again demanding regime change.

Al-Assad is certainly capable of murdering opponents, and not bothering too much about collateral damage, but strategically it makes no sense for him to do this now, when peace talks under the aegis of Russia and Iran have begun, and the world is watching. Also, Assad has been engaged in a reconciliation process, allowing members of the FSA to return to the Syrian army, and Aleppans remain in Damascus if they didn't wish to go to Idlib. At such a juncture, using chemical weapons would be counter-productive. If Sarin was used at his command, he should be properly prosecuted: but bombing a Syrian air base merely assists Da'esh and its cronies.

unsouthbank

I have just watched the press conference in which Trump labelled Assad a butcher, and went on again about dead babies. I just wish that someone at one of these conferences would have the guts to point out to Trump his own butchery. Anyone watching this performance would think that US forces had never been responsible for killing innocent civilians, men, women, children and babies. To listen to Trump, you wouldn't think that US forces had ever killed over 150 civilians in Mosul, dozens in Raqqa, or had bombed hospitals in Afghanistan, or schools in Iraq, or were supporting the Saudi blockade of Yemen resulting in the starvation of children and babies, or had destroyed wedding parties with drones,.....I could go on. If Assad is a butcher, he is only a junior, apprentice, corner-shop butcher. Trump is the real thing, the large-scale, wholesale, expert butcher.

The attack on Syrian airbase without any serious investigation, done purely as PR stunt (as somebody called it "military twit"). Which was probably dictated by desperation from unrelenting attacks of neocons and globalists along the lines "Trump is the Russian agent".  Trump witch hung became the pasture of Democratic Party, which during Hillary Clinton campaign successfully converted itself into the second War Party, competing with Republicans in jingoism "on equals"..

Now after Syria was hit with tomahawks neocons and subservant to them MSM like CNN and MCNBC (with this despicable military-industrial complex pressitute Rachel Maddow really excited about this attack) are happy and are less Trump problem.  But political calculation directed on making peace with neocon "at any cost" have consequences for Trump.

It is clear to everybody that Trump bowed to NeoCon pressure. He was supposed to be different. But then so was Obama. 300,000 people have died in Syria during Obama presidency. Were deaths of those killed by bombs and bullets any less tragic? Who is funding, arming and supporting ISIS? Are not those countries America allies?

So it is logical to assume that Trump "retaliation" was not about dead children. It was a signal to allies such as Turkey and KSA that the course is unchanged and  the USA will continue to pursue anti Assad/Iran/Russia policy in the region, no matter what will be the costs.  Again, 300,000 have died already under Novel Peace winner who initiated this Syrian quagmire and destabilized yet another ME country. All according to PNAC plan. 

First of all Trump voters have memory. On April 6 he might completely lost anti-war right, which was an important part of his base. As well as a large part of paleoconservatives. To say nothing that his administration demonstrated absolute, utter incompetence dealing with Obamacare. 

Russians also have memory. They still remember the stunts the US pulled under Reagan, Bush I and Clinton. Especially attempts to dismember the country and convert it into vassal state under Clinton,  using corrupt puppet regime of drunken Yeltsin and his neoliberal "advisors" from Harvard  as a tool (aka economic rape of Russia).  Of course after being weakened to the standard of living dropped to $1 a day per person -- the level of object poverty.  all due to Harvard "friends" like Sachs ( see Harvard Mafia, Andrei Shleifer and the economic rape of Russia.)  Russia needs time to recuperate and restore its economics. So it is not interested is premature skirmishes with Uncle Sam.

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

General context:

Only few undisputed facts are know about Khan Sheikhoun attack

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Old News ;-)

[Dec 13, 2017] An astute progressive critique of the Trump Administration from CNBC! by NewDealdemocrat

That's what Trump's "bastard neoliberalism" is about. He is not a New Dealer.
Notable quotes:
"... He forgot them on health care. Jettisoning his campaign pledge to "take care of everybody" regardless of income, he proposed cutting federal health subsidies for the hard-pressed blue-collar voters who put him into office. ..."
"... He forgot them on financial regulation. Abandoning talk of cracking down on Wall Street executives who "rigged" the economy to hobble the working class, he seeks to undercut the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. ..."
"... And he forgot them on taxes. Discarding his vow to reshape taxation for average families at the expense of rich people like himself, he's working with Republican leaders to hand the biggest benefits to corporations and the wealthy ..."
"... But on economic issues he has behaved exactly like a standard issue country club republican. The requirement that the GOP enact a "replacement" for Obamacare? Gone. Preventing the offshoring of manufacturing jobs? Gone. Enacting at least something like a tariff at the borders? Gone. Actually *doing* something about the opioid crisis, which is strongly correlated with areas of economic distress (as opposed to lip service)? Nothing. ..."
Dec 07, 2017 | angrybearblog.com

John Harwood of that well known lefty outlet, . ummm, CNBC . writes this morning that "Trump has Forgotten his 'Forgotten People':"

He forgot them on health care. Jettisoning his campaign pledge to "take care of everybody" regardless of income, he proposed cutting federal health subsidies for the hard-pressed blue-collar voters who put him into office.

He forgot them on financial regulation. Abandoning talk of cracking down on Wall Street executives who "rigged" the economy to hobble the working class, he seeks to undercut the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

And he forgot them on taxes. Discarding his vow to reshape taxation for average families at the expense of rich people like himself, he's working with Republican leaders to hand the biggest benefits to corporations and the wealthy.

To the contrary, his budget includes big cuts to Social Security disability program. Meanwhile his much-vaunted infrastructure plan has 'failed to materialize."

But, Harwood points out:

The president hasn't forgotten everything. In lieu of big financial benefits, Trump has steadily given "the forgotten people" at least one visceral commodity [: ] affirmation of shared racial grievances.

I think this is a good summary of Trump's domestic policies as revealed by the past year. On social issues, he has governed exactly as he promised during his campaign, issuing a de facto ban on Muslim immigration, unleashing ICE against Latinos, and fulminating against protesting black NFL players.

But on economic issues he has behaved exactly like a standard issue country club republican. The requirement that the GOP enact a "replacement" for Obamacare? Gone. Preventing the offshoring of manufacturing jobs? Gone. Enacting at least something like a tariff at the borders? Gone. Actually *doing* something about the opioid crisis, which is strongly correlated with areas of economic distress (as opposed to lip service)? Nothing.

Joel , December 7, 2017 9:03 am

Forgotten? LOL! No, Trump didn't forget. He was lying.

little john , December 7, 2017 4:01 pm

I hate doing this because I am not a fan of the President but a "de facto ban on Muslim immigration"? I cannot remember but I don't think Indonesia, Pakistan, India or Turkey was on the list. Those a pretty big Muslim nations. Maybe you should look it up. "Unleashing ICE against Latinos"? I have three Latino neighbors on my street, my next door neighbor doesn't even speak English, but I haven't seen any ICE agents around. Maybe I should just wait they're on their way? "Fulminating against NFL players"? You're right about that.

As an aside I have recently had to laugh when I see your pseudonym. Here in Dallas we've taken down the statue of Robert E. Lee from Robert E. Lee Park. (Now named Oak Lawn Park.) At the opening of the park in 1936 there is a great picture of the statue with FDR, Robert E Lee IV and D.W. Griffith. I am wondering if NewDealDemocrat is a microaggression?

run75441 , December 8, 2017 9:35 am

NDD:

Before you bemoan the loss of the CSR (covered by Section 1402 of the ACA) for those making between 138 and 250% FPL, you do understand premium subsidies will pick up the difference. If the states apply the premium increase properly to the Silver plans, the impact is felt across all other levels between 138% and 400% FPL. Indeed, in many cases Bronze plans are free, Gold plans become less costly, and premiums decrease. A person can go to a lower deductible/copay for the same or less cost than the original silver plan.

I think as some will tell you here, this does nothing for those greater than 400% FPL who now find themselves being hit with the full impact of a premium increase due to Trump's action. While a much smaller percentage of the insured, it still numbers around 9 million.

spencer , December 8, 2017 1:45 pm

Isn't that 8 million being hit out of the under 20 million that had signed up for Obamacare.

So on a percent basis doesn't you quote imply about half of the relevant population is being hit?

[Dec 09, 2017] Could someone help me understand what is so "populist" about Trump presidency?

Dec 09, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Just Another Bystander December 8, 2017 at 9:19 pm

Could someone help me understand what is so "populist" about this presidency?

After the Senate passed a $1.5 trillion tax cut for the rich (which Trump himself stands to benefit from handsomely), Trump went off to a $100,000-a-plate fundraiser at hedge fund manager Steve Schwartzman's Manhattan apartment. Is that populist?

Trump appointed a telecom lobbyist to head the FCC and he has proceeded to give AT&T, Verizon and Comcast their wish list. Is that populist?

He's nominated a pharmaceutical lobbyist to head Health & Human Services. Is that populist?

Nothing populist has come out of this presidency. He has done everything any other Republican would do, only with a big helping of racism and bigotry piled on top.

Edward Dougherty , says: December 8, 2017 at 9:27 pm
Noah172,

If he's doing what he said he would do on trade, then why is NAFTA still around? Also, remember the 35% border adjustment tax he said he was going to slap on foreign goods? He dropped that the same week that he tweeted about transgender people in the military (probably to hide that he wasn't going though with the former). About the only thing you can claim is that he dropped us out of the TPP, which was always going to be a long shot anyway because of the number of nations involved.

[Dec 08, 2017] Trump Is Bashing The 'Salvator Saudi' - Why

Notable quotes:
"... Trump has just declared that the U.S. recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Did the administration expect the applause of the Saudis for its breaking of international law with regards to Jerusalem? Does it lash out to the Saudis to get their agreement? ..."
"... If so the miscalculation is clearly on the U.S. side. It is impossible for the Saudis to concede the Haram al-Sharif, the mosque on the so called temple mount, to the Zionists. The Saudi King would no longer be the "custodian of the two holy mosques" in Mecca and Medina but the "seller of the third holy mosque" of Islam in Jerusalem. The people would kill him and his whole family. ..."
"... My pet hypothesis is Trump's recognizing Jerusalem was the bone he was willing to throw the Israelis after his generals told him attacking Iran would be catastrophic for the US military and world economy. The Saudis, who are as rabid about bombing Iran as the Zionists, were pissed as they probably had been led to believe the attack was a matter of time. ..."
"... That sacked FM - Is that the little fellow that Col Lang calls "The Chihuahua"? ..."
"... Saudi in all likelihood were not part of the Jerusalem declaration. Israeli sources spread a plan they said was agreed to by Saudi, trying to embarrass them. ..."
"... Jerusalem: The reaction is deeper than expected. Not in the way of street, easily contained, violence, but by a gut reaction of the whole ME..The religious aspect seems to have been totally ignored by the US. Removing one of the major symbols of about 1.2 billion people - is not going to go down well. ..."
"... wahabbi is a tavistock british demented fiendish virus injected into islam for gang counter gang pseudogang hagel control ..."
"... I do wonder...knowing that real or false-flag violence could ensue against Israeli or US targets, it could be a useful pretext for the US waging war in the ME against Hezbullah or anyone else we accuse. With our intelligence agencies providing the "evidence" and a compliant media to sell it, as usual a majority of Americans would support it. ..."
"... This Jerusalem declaration has me genuinely scared. Violence (real or false flag) could be the expected Reaction to this Problem, resulting in the long-planned Solution of finishing off MENA. If Russia is sincere in its alliance with Syria and Iran, and interest in a multi-polar world with self-determination for sovereign nations, this war could easily escalate to the End Timer's dreamt of Final Battle of Armageddon. ..."
"... Most of the MSM coverage of Reactions I've seen name Muslim/Arab countries as opposing, and others as "concerned," even though almost all official state responses have denounced President Trump's® declaration. This "Clash of Civilizations" type narrative is not encouraging. ..."
"... something stinks in trumptoon. really small world what are the chances A. whenever Donald Trump has left the White House and ventured anywhere, Dmitry Rybolovlev (aka the "Russian King of Fertilizer") has tended to show up in the same city. The latter possibility has long been bolstered by the fact that Trump sold Rybolovlev a mansion a few years ago that neither of them lived in nor cared about, suggesting the sale was mere cover for shifting money from Russia to Trump. ..."
"... Western media called Putin unpredictable, but that was because he could see moves that others didn't see. ..."
Dec 08, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Just the day before the administration leaked to the WSJ about the art deal, President Trump had publicly scolded MbS about the situation in Yemen:

President Trump called on Saudi Arabia to lift its crushing blockade against its war-torn neighbor Yemen on Wednesday, hours after defying the kingdom and saying the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel .

In a statement Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Trump said he had directed members of his administration to reach out to the Saudi leadership "to request that they completely allow food, fuel, water, and medicine to reach the Yemeni people who desperately need it."

Today Secretary of State Tillerson again pushed that line :

Speaking in Paris on Friday, Rex Tillerson, US secretary of state, called on Saudi Arabia to be "measured" in its military operations in Yemen.
...
Tillerson urged Saudi restraint.

"With respect to Saudi Arabia's engagement with Qatar, how they're handling the Yemen war that they're engaged in, the Lebanon situation, we would encourage them to be a bit more measured and a bit more thoughtful in those actions to, I think, fully consider the consequences," he said.

He once again demanded a "complete end" to the Saudi-led blockade of Yemen so that humanitarian aid and commercial supplies could be delivered.

Embarrassing MbS about the art buy and publicly(!) scolding hm for the situation in Yemen, for which the U.S. is just as much responsible as the Saudis, is quite an assault. What has MbS done - or not done - to deserve such a punishment?

Trump has just declared that the U.S. recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Did the administration expect the applause of the Saudis for its breaking of international law with regards to Jerusalem? Does it lash out to the Saudis to get their agreement?

If so the miscalculation is clearly on the U.S. side. It is impossible for the Saudis to concede the Haram al-Sharif, the mosque on the so called temple mount, to the Zionists. The Saudi King would no longer be the "custodian of the two holy mosques" in Mecca and Medina but the "seller of the third holy mosque" of Islam in Jerusalem. The people would kill him and his whole family.

If the issue of this public hustle it is not Jerusalem, what else might it be that the Trump administration wants and the Saudis can not, or are not willing to concede?

A few hours ago the Saudi King fired his ankle biting Foreign Minster Adel al-Jubair. A relative of the king, Khaled bin Salman, will take the job. Is this related to the spat with Trump?

arbetet , Dec 8, 2017 3:02:14 PM | 1

This came up:
Breaking: Saudi FM allegedly sacked by regime

The Saudi Foreign Minister, 'Adel Al-Jubeir, has been allegedly sacked by the Kingdom's regime, several prominent political activists reported this evening.

According to the claims, Jubeir was fired and replaced by a close confidant of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

The confidant that is allegedly replacing Jubeir is none other than Prince Khaled bin Salman, the Crown Prince's brother.

The Saudi regime has yet to confirm or deny these rumors.

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/breaking-saudi-fm-allegedly-sacked-regime/

Madderhatter67 , Dec 8, 2017 3:14:21 PM | 2
It was Jerusalem. They were not willing to sacrifice Jerusalem.
Quentin , Dec 8, 2017 3:20:29 PM | 3
Where does MbS's interpretation of Salvator Mundi come from. The Saudi's have something with crystal orbs, like the one Trump so fondly stroked in Riyadh after giving a masterful interpretation of the sword dance.
BX , Dec 8, 2017 3:20:30 PM | 4
Yes. It is puzzling what is going on between MbS and the Trump administration. I was sure MbS, the reformer, secretly okayed the Jerusalem move. His negative statement might be just theater, I figured. But I am not so sure anymore. Yes, MbS wants a peace deal (any deal with "peace" written on it) between Palestinians and Israelis. But both he and Trump/Kushner are novices in politics and diplomacy (and that ain't the same as getting a deal for a new tower) and absolutely underestimated the effort. Totally.

Word is that Kushner made Trump delay delivering his campaign promise because he needed more time for his peace plan (and that would be 6 months???). This is the level they are at. And now, they placed an obvious obstacle in the path go their peace plan - out of folly. Complete folly. Because Trump wanted to deliver. I believe they are already backtracking as good as they can. But the damage is done. I think Palestinians were just waiting for a good opportunity/reason to get rid of the US in the process and found it now. Also, the single state solution is being talked about.

The source for the WSJ need not be the Trump administration in the narrow sense but some stray intelligence official ("U.S. intelligence reports") wanting to throw a wrench because that story is absolutely damaging. Absolutely, because it is embarrassing and I don't think MbS enjoys that. Note, the story began to become known around the time it became obvious Trump would not sign the waiver and reached its epitome (WSJ) just after that. Trump set himself up for this.

Don Wiscacho , Dec 8, 2017 3:38:33 PM | 5
My pet hypothesis is Trump's recognizing Jerusalem was the bone he was willing to throw the Israelis after his generals told him attacking Iran would be catastrophic for the US military and world economy. The Saudis, who are as rabid about bombing Iran as the Zionists, were pissed as they probably had been led to believe the attack was a matter of time. In order to remind them of their position and get them on board with the "peace" deal Tillerson has been hinting about, they've been turning the screws on MBS as a taste of what's to come if he puts up stink about the wonderful Kushner- concocted "plan".
fx , Dec 8, 2017 3:42:39 PM | 6
$450 mil... MbS's Egyptian torturer-in-chief must have just torn a few princely nails and whip a few feet for that, just a few days' worth of "anti-corruption" "campaigning".

Wait, wasn't the Saudi populace all behind MbS because he was going to spend the money on them? If there is no bread, let them non-royals eat paint.

somebody , Dec 8, 2017 3:56:36 PM | 7
About the picture - after the shake down of Saudi Arabia's rich princes MBS must have a lot of enemies. Some of these princes might have been close to the Trump administration.
Bart Hansen , Dec 8, 2017 4:01:43 PM | 8
That sacked FM - Is that the little fellow that Col Lang calls "The Chihuahua"?
somebody , Dec 8, 2017 4:09:19 PM | 9
Good Patrick Cockburn article on the mess .

Gazan military groups are warming up to a rocket competition. I am sure the real stuff is not involved yet. What were they thinking? That people did not take the chance to unite on the only issue they all agree on?

4
I agree, Saudi in all likelihood were not part of the Jerusalem declaration. Israeli sources spread a plan they said was agreed to by Saudi, trying to embarrass them.

stonebird , Dec 8, 2017 4:54:47 PM | 10
MbS is in it for himself, no one else. Leave him aside for the moment.

However, Trump probably thought he had a marvellous peace plan for Palestine which he would show the world.... errr... tomorrow. This was supposed to have the backing of the Saudis and the Israelis and all the other ME "actors" would be lined up behind MbS.

ie. Saudis would provide the backing, which included the "Arab" states as per the recent gathering of them all (excluding Iran and Iraq). Abbas would be blackmailed to go along in order to keep his position (Moneywise), and the Palestinians as well - but by the withholding of funds. (New vote in Congress).

Leaks of the plan (unverified) suggest that the PA's would be held in walled-in isolated camps, with all contact subject to the harassement and nightly raids of the IDF, the land still open to theft by settlers (this has been "legalised" in Israel !) and so on. ie they get nothing except a tissue-paper "treaty" . They seem not to have even been consulted by Kushner and the Israelis. ie who possibly expected to be able to impose whatever Netanyahu and the Israeli Generals might allow.

BUT, when have either the US or Israel kept to an agreement - never. and the PA's and the rest of the ME know it.

Jerusalem: The reaction is deeper than expected. Not in the way of street, easily contained, violence, but by a gut reaction of the whole ME..The religious aspect seems to have been totally ignored by the US. Removing one of the major symbols of about 1.2 billion people - is not going to go down well.

Those countries with a large Palestinian refugee population, either fear them, or may be outnumbered if there are more arriving (Jordan), or will find that they now have a potential source of militants at their disposal.. (Syria?, Lebanon?). The Syrians and Lebanese have not let the Palestinians get more arms - yet, as they might have become targets themselves. But, there have been PA's in the Syrian counter-terrorist forces, even when Yarmouk camp was held by Daesh (or one of the others).

So I think that the "bit" players have got cold feet. They cannot go along with the eradication of the Palestinians or their confinement to concentrated internement camps such as Gaza, whose conditions are WORSE that prisons. Otherwise the whole "Rulers-People and the power-structures that keep them in place" would be in jeopardy.
......
The Leonardo ? .... acquiring "class" by buying expensive "cultural" artifacts. You can buy a lot of "class" with $450.3 million.

psychohistorian , Dec 8, 2017 5:06:51 PM | 11
I think that answer to b's question has a lot to do with trying to incite war in the ME

I think that SA does not want to be the global elite's proxy in a war with Iran....especially to start/incite the war.

It really is becoming a public spectacle and that plays into the desire of the masses to see such incompetence writ large.

I entreat everyone's spirits to keep these kooks away from the nukes.

Jef , Dec 8, 2017 5:17:11 PM | 12
Yo b or any of the commentariat - Any speculation as to the connection to the Russian Oilagarck....you know, follow the money?
Scotch Bingeington , Dec 8, 2017 5:18:55 PM | 13
Maybe that canvas Jesus is meant to be a hostage one day, potentially.
terry tibbs , Dec 8, 2017 5:26:21 PM | 14
a simple question who gets the 100s of millions? who is the seller? the fake painting is cover for a payoff or tribute yes no maybe friends of kushner own the painting maybe it is to help kushner and his 666 moloch tower block mortgage. the bank of gorge soros must need some fund back quick for a new hungary regime change operation.

wahabbi is a tavistock british demented fiendish virus injected into islam for gang counter gang pseudogang hagel control

uae and the house of saud are donmeh jews
satanist hate jesus.
simply google talmud quotes about jesus and all will become clear.

Kabobyak , Dec 8, 2017 5:27:13 PM | 15
As to how the Jerusalem actions play out, the posting here (MOA) a couple of days ago was informative as to reasons and timing (including info about Sheldon Adelson's hundred million to Trump campaign). I do wonder...knowing that real or false-flag violence could ensue against Israeli or US targets, it could be a useful pretext for the US waging war in the ME against Hezbullah or anyone else we accuse. With our intelligence agencies providing the "evidence" and a compliant media to sell it, as usual a majority of Americans would support it.
Daniel , Dec 8, 2017 5:37:14 PM | 16
Great stuff, b et al. This Jerusalem declaration has me genuinely scared. Violence (real or false flag) could be the expected Reaction to this Problem, resulting in the long-planned Solution of finishing off MENA. If Russia is sincere in its alliance with Syria and Iran, and interest in a multi-polar world with self-determination for sovereign nations, this war could easily escalate to the End Timer's dreamt of Final Battle of Armageddon.

Most of the MSM coverage of Reactions I've seen name Muslim/Arab countries as opposing, and others as "concerned," even though almost all official state responses have denounced President Trump's® declaration. This "Clash of Civilizations" type narrative is not encouraging.

Flatulus , Dec 8, 2017 6:09:23 PM | 17
Terry Tibbs 14 - The family trust of Rybolovlev is the seller of the painting. Rybolovlev was also a buyer of Trump estate in Florida previously.
psychohistorian , Dec 8, 2017 6:22:05 PM | 18
@ Daniel ending with "This "Clash of Civilizations" type narrative is not encouraging." That is exactly what they want you to focus on as a narrative rather than the simple truth about the demise of private banking. On the previous thread about the Republican: Ryan deficit BS there was a commenter ex-SA with a John H. Hotson link that I want to see go viral because it simply explains the history of the Gordian Knot we face as a species

The link to a 1996 article: Understanding Money by John H. Hotson. The take away quote

"Banking came into existence as a fraud. The fraud was legalized and we've been living with the consequences, both good and bad, ever since. Even so it is also a great invention-right up there with fire, the wheel, and the steam engine."

Clash of Civilizations is as vapid a meme as the common understanding of the Capitalism myth as that article so clearly states. Spread his word far and wide to wake up the zombies. It is time!

terry tibbs , Dec 8, 2017 6:45:52 PM | 19

17
something stinks in trumptoon. really small world what are the chances A. whenever Donald Trump has left the White House and ventured anywhere, Dmitry Rybolovlev (aka the "Russian King of Fertilizer") has tended to show up in the same city. The latter possibility has long been bolstered by the fact that Trump sold Rybolovlev a mansion a few years ago that neither of them lived in nor cared about, suggesting the sale was mere cover for shifting money from Russia to Trump.

Deutsche Bank in Germany busted for laundering more than ten billion dollars out of Russia and into places like New York. This stood out because Deutsche has also loaned more than a billion dollars to Donald Trump, who just happens to be based out of New York.

james , Dec 8, 2017 6:56:26 PM | 20
thanks b.. fascinating.. i wait for the next shoe to drop.. it's coming... hopefully we get the back story on this sooner then later..

i would think the timing of Foreign Minster Adel al-Jubair being fired has something to do with all this.. he revealed something that he wasn't supposed to? i would also imagine those heavies still hanging at the saudi ritz carlton might be pulling some strings from behind the scenes? meanwhile mbz is doing a hell of a fine apprentice with mbs, lol..

nice pic in the post btw!! clown prince as savior of ksa, lol...

jezabeel , Dec 8, 2017 7:02:46 PM | 21
Belief in Jerusalem as the Jew capital is the same as belief in the intrinsic value of fiat currency, or the exceptionalism of the US. It's just mental illness. The Kingdom of God is within you, not in temples of stone and wood. We'd be better just cultivating our own personal relationship with our higher selves and leave the deluded to scrap it out over ash and sand. That said, if someone with a big nose came to my door and said my house was going to get knocked down because Shalom etc, that would be the day I would have to really figure out how to proceed without becoming the necessary victim in another's persecutor drama complex. I guess that's what Palestinians have to deal with every day. Horrible situation.

I heard a story once that when the British were throwing the Aborigines of Australia off cliffs en masse in their Australian version of the Middle East story of dispossession and demonization, the Aborigines would look up calmly at the officers as they fell and in their own language say: "You have a problem, bro". Sometimes death is better than becoming a victim. And as a worshiper of Lord Shiva the Destroyer, I wish you all completely liberating and renewing deaths from yourselves.

terry tibbs , Dec 8, 2017 7:08:16 PM | 22
probably nothing kosher burger. Russian Oligarch Rybolovlev Saved Trump Financially.
https://new.euro-med.dk/20170314-russian-oligarch-rybolovlev-saved-trump-financially-courier-of-the-tsar-putin-to-president-trump.php

Confirmed: Rybolovlev's Jet & Yacht were in Dubrovnik the same time as Ivanka and Jared Kushner

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/3/17/1644558/-Confirmed-Rybolovlev-s-Jet-Yacht-were-in-Dubrovnik-the-same-time-as-Ivanka-and-Jarred-Kushner

elsi , Dec 8, 2017 7:20:02 PM | 23
But, has not The Donald declared that this media NYT, Bloomberg , etc...were all "fake news"? Then why is anybody going to trust them when publishing whatever?
Sounds quite clumsy, or simply, demential ( as every move of this administration ) to try to leak something through those media you have widely discredited during all your election campaign and beyond....

I, by a norm, do not trust any move coming from Trump could be for any good. This is, simply, "smoke and mirrors" and an intent of whitewashing a bit the already deplorable image of this admnistration in front of the world wide reaction in rejection of his bold and clumsy declaration of Jerusalem as capital of the Zionist regime.
The same for the clearly hypocritical call for to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people, just another intent of whitewashing when they are main puppet-masters in that war torn country, as it happens with every conflict in the world.

What it is beyond me is that the Russians, are always amongst those who swallow this theater plays....I wonder why....

In front of the demential way this administration makes fun of every event, people, country... in the world, in spite of the suffering they could inflict on them, I concur with Terry in that this just could be some esotheric issue more proper of unoccupied people with too much money to waste. Most probably something involving "Damian" Kushner, his 666,Madison Avenue penthouse and an occult message from The Messiah in the reverse of the canvas of that Jesus paint with a codified message on the results of the coming final battle of Armaggedon amongst the forces of evil and those of good, when Russia will be santified as the real Promised Land and The Saker will be ( finally! ) crowned as the saint he always claimed to be along with Saint Nicolas Romanov, and they will all eat sardinas together with the Trumps, the Kushners and the Netanyahus in Mar a Lago or in the super-yatch of Abramovich during the summer, but in winter they will go together to Sochi´s Putin dacha, since they love to meet super-intelligent, well educated, cool people....well, the elite of everything...

The surviving Arabs and the rest of us, plebeian ignorant clumsy sinners not so white as them, ( what they call "the sheeple", vaya )we will continue working from sunrise to sunset for crumbs, but, who cares? We will continue having good times with our peers and loved ones and laughing as usual with the little things of real life...Do not despair....

elsi , Dec 8, 2017 7:25:15 PM | 24
This is the real Christmas spirit of The Donald, alias Orange Agent Dotard : https://www.rebelion.org/imagenes/p_08_12_2017.jpg
elsi , Dec 8, 2017 7:44:26 PM | 25
The poster above was drawn by Basque artist Josetxo Ezcurra
Peter AU 1 , Dec 8, 2017 7:46:42 PM | 26
Western media called Putin unpredictable, but that was because he could see moves that others didn't see. Erdogan looked unpredictable and irrational while moving from the hedgemon to the multi-polar world. Trump? Like Erdogan, trying to move US to the multi polar world? Too many moves he makes puts sand in the hedgemon's gears.
elsi , Dec 8, 2017 8:15:30 PM | 27
For you to see that all this is not but theater, look what worries them most, meanwhile, in The Vatican: Pope Francis supports the idea of changing a phrase in the Lord's Prayer

[Dec 07, 2017] Trump just announced that the US now recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Is there not enough chaos in the Mideast?

Dec 07, 2017 | www.unz.com

Semper Fidelis , December 6, 2017 at 10:34 pm GMT

Trump just announced that the US now recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Now why the feck does he have to go do that for? Is there not enough chaos in the Mideast? Why did he have to go stir up shite like this? Netanyahu is an evil Zionist and he's got his best agent in the WH in the form of the president's son-in-law.

The best thing that could come out of the Mueller investigation is if he ends up sending Jared Kushner to jail.

Breitbart is going bonkers cheering him on. All those Trump fanboys and fangirls from Appalachia are being used like fools by that Zionist rag.

Talha , December 6, 2017 at 4:49 pm GMT
@Rurik

Hey Rurik,

Good to hear from you!

what do you think about it sir?

Some things are best stated in Turkish

I really do hope the Muslim world comes to at least a settlement on this fundamental issue and that the Jordanians do not budge if they know the Muslim world has their backs. My guess is that it will simply be a declaration, that won't mean much on the ground in real terms. Politics as usual. Kind of like if I declare myself the King of Denmark – makes my kids happy that they are princes and princesses, but nobody else cares.

Again Turkish "I didn't come to Israel, I came to Palestine."

Peace.

Cloak And Dagger , December 6, 2017 at 7:18 pm GMT
Haaretz

Jewish groups in the U.S. expressed dismay following Tuesday evening's announcement from U.S. President Donald Trump that he intends to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

The Jewish Reform movement in the U.S. expressed its concern over Trump's expected change in U.S. policy on Jerusalem's Old City. Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, said on Wednesday that "President Trump's ill-timed, but expected, announcement affirms what the Reform Jewish Movement has long held: that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people and the State of Israel."

Jacobs contested that Reform Jews "cannot support his decision to begin preparing that move now, absent a comprehensive plan for a peace process."

"While the president took the right step in announcing that he would sign the waiver, as have his Republican and Democratic predecessors, the White House should not undermine these efforts by making unilateral decisions that are all but certain to exacerbate the conflict," he noted.

J Street, the U.S.-based, liberal advocacy group also opposed the move. President Jeremy Ben-Ami stated that "the effect of moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem prior to a negotiated agreement will be to anger key Arab allies, foment regional instability and undermine nascent U.S. diplomatic efforts to resolve the larger conflict."

"The administration should also note that only a small minority of Jewish Americans – just 20 percent – support unilaterally moving the embassy," he added. "Moving the embassy or recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital could have destructive consequences for American allies in the region- in particular the kingdoms of Jordan and Saudi Arabia," he warned.

Left-wing activist organization Jewish Voice for Peace blasted Trump's reported decision as "an endorsement of Israel's annexation."

Rebecca Vilkomerson, the executive director of JVP, stated that "for 70 years, the US has given Israel tacit approval to steal Palestinian land, build illegal Jewish settlements, and deny Palestinians in East Jerusalem and elsewhere their rights."

"Trump's decision," she charged, "takes these ongoing policies to the next level and is reckless, irresponsible and endangers the lives of Palestinians and Israelis."

The American-based New Israel Fund also raised qualms over the potential dangers such moves could pose to Israelis and Jews in the Diaspora. CEO Daniel Sokatch stated that "President Trump many not understand what's at stake here, but we do. Moving the embassy risks igniting the tinderbox of anger, frustration and hopelessness that already exists in Jerusalem."

"Throwing.. balance off with this unilateral gesture could have grave consequences," he speculated.

Charles Pewitt , December 6, 2017 at 7:54 pm GMT
Young Americans of European Christian ancestry will be the ones who sever all ties between the United States and Israel. The American Empire can never go back to being a republic ever again; but the young White Core Americans will force the American Empire to behave more like a representative republic that strictly puts the interests of the United States ahead of all other nations.

NO MORE WAR FOR ISRAEL IN THE MIDDLE EAST!

Israel will be cut off from all support from the United States. The American Empire will keep US military forces in the Middle East solely to have some control over the natural resources in the region.

The Jewish moment in American history is over. Going forward, the Sam Huntington questions -- Who are we? and What are we fighting for? -- will be answered by young White Americans. The answers are that the United States is a British Protestant-derived European Christian nation and the United States will only fight to advance the interests of the United States. No more wars for Israel such as the Iraq War debacle.

The Jews who put the interests of Israel ahead of the United States, such as Jared Kushner, Paul Singer and Sheldon Adelson, will be disregarded by the young White Core Americans who refuse to allow the US military to be badly used as muscle for Israel in Middle East wars.

President Trump will find that even young evangelicals in the Southern states are highly suspicious and skeptical of any more wars for Israel in the Middle East.

L.K , December 7, 2017 at 1:36 am GMT
Lebanese(?) journalist Sharmine Narwani, whose articles have appeared at TAC and RT, had a good tweet about Kushner:

Kushner looks a bit like what I imagine Damien from Omen looks like as an adult. Genderless, blank-eyed, indistinctive, but dangerous.

2 great articles by her;

Israel's Geopolitical Gut Check: A once favorable balance of power has shifted, clipping Tel Aviv's wings

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/israels-geopolitical-gut-check/

The next one takes care of many of the lies which are constantly repeated about Hezbollah
Hezbollah is Not a Threat to America – 'Trumped' up charges to get at Iran won't work

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/hezbollah-is-not-a-threat-to-america/

L.K , December 7, 2017 at 2:21 am GMT
The Lebanese journalist I mentioned before, Sharmine Narwani, wrote about that one thing that has the zionists in panic mode they fear "delegitimization".

In an article titled 'Excuse Me, But Israel Has No Right To Exist' , she writes:

The United States and Israel have created the global discourse on this issue, setting stringent parameters that grow increasingly narrow regarding the content and direction of this debate. Anything discussed outside the set parameters has, until recently, widely been viewed as unrealistic, unproductive and even subversive.

Participation in the debate is limited only to those who prescribe to its main tenets: the acceptance of Israel, its regional hegemony and its qualitative military edge; acceptance of the shaky logic upon which the Jewish state's claim to Palestine is based; and acceptance of the inclusion and exclusion of certain regional parties, movements and governments in any solution to the conflict.[...]

But this group-think has led us nowhere. It has obfuscated, distracted, deflected, ducked, and diminished, and we are no closer to a satisfactory conclusion because the premise is wrong.

There is no fixing this problem. This is the kind of crisis in which you cut your losses, realize the error of your ways and reverse course. Israel is the problem. It is the last modern-day colonial-settler experiment, conducted at a time when these projects were being unraveled globally.

There is no "Palestinian-Israeli conflict" – that suggests some sort of equality in power, suffering, and negotiable tangibles, and there is no symmetry whatsoever in this equation. Israel is the Occupier and Oppressor; Palestinians are the Occupied and Oppressed. What is there to negotiate? Israel holds all the chips.[...]

Let me correct myself. Palestinians do hold one chip that Israel salivates over – the one big demand at the negotiating table that seems to hold up everything else. Israel craves recognition of its "right to exist."

But you do exist – don't you, Israel?

Israel fears "delegitimization" more than anything else. Behind the velvet curtain lies a state built on myths and narratives, protected only by a military behemoth, billions of dollars in US assistance and a lone UN Security Council veto. Nothing else stands between the state and its dismantlement. Without these three things, Israelis would not live in an entity that has come to be known as the "least safe place for Jews in the world."

Strip away the spin and the gloss, and you quickly realize that Israel doesn't even have the basics of a normal state. After 64 years, it doesn't have borders. After six decades, it has never been more isolated. Over half a century later, and it needs a gargantuan military just to stop Palestinians from walking home.

Israel is a failed experiment. It is on life-support – pull those three plugs and it is a cadaver, living only in the minds of some seriously deluded foreigners who thought they could pull off the heist of the century.[...]

[Dec 07, 2017] Is Rapprochement with Russia Still Possible by Daniel Larison

It is not. And the reason that was not mentioned by Daniel Larison is neo-McCarthyism which is in full swing supported by both parties. It really poisoned the well for a long, long time. actually on both sides as the level of anti-Americanism in Russian is also on the upswing. Which make work of US diplomats and businessmen more difficult. The fear that at one point Russia will show the US companies the door are quite widespread. Especially with unpredictability about who will become President Putin successor: a neoliberal like Medvedev or a nationalist like Ragozin. .
Notable quotes:
"... Trump can't make a move without being seen as a bag man for Putin. ..."
"... If our government officials fail to recognize the U.S. role in creating bad relations between Washington and Moscow, they are bound to keep repeating the mistakes that their predecessors made. ..."
"... Given how US can and has undermined countries with its ability to control the flow of US dollars, China, Russia, etc are creating the mechanisms to move away from that. With the recent announcements by Trump, concerning Jerusalem and Yemen, Saudi Arabia might be persuaded to use other currencies when selling its oil, beside US dollar. ..."
Dec 07, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Trump can't make a move without being seen as a bag man for Putin.

Thanks to the many questionable contacts between some members of the Trump campaign and Russian officials, the administration has been unable to pursue any constructive engagement with Moscow without triggering accusations of doing Russia's bidding. The administration's response to this predicament has usually been to echo the most conventional hawkish views on disputed issues and make no concerted effort to repair frayed ties with the Russian government.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently delivered a speech at the Wilson Center in which he described Russia primarily in terms of the threat that it posed to Europe. Even as he stated that the U.S. desires a "productive new relationship" with Moscow, he framed previous breakdowns in relations as being purely the result of Russian "aggression." In Tillerson's oversimplified telling, "both attempts by the prior administration to reset the Russia and U.S.-Europe relationships have been followed by Russia invading its neighbor." But that is not quite how things unfolded.

The 2008 war to which Tillerson refers was a product of the Georgian government's recklessness, its overconfidence in Western promises, and the profoundly misguided allied pledge at the Bucharest NATO summit that Ukraine and Georgia would one day become members of the alliance. Whatever "reset" George W. Bush attempted early in his first term had long since given way to repeatedly antagonizing Moscow by withdrawing from the ABM Treaty, launching the Iraq war, promoting missile defense in central Europe, NATO expansion in eastern Europe, and U.S. support for the so-called "color" revolutions in the former Soviet Union.

The Obama-era "reset" achieved some initial successes, but this soon stalled out and was replaced by resentment over the passage of the Magnitsky Act and the bait-and-switch intervention for regime change in Libya that Russia had been persuaded not to oppose. Confrontation over the civil war in Syria also contributed significantly to the souring of U.S.-Russian relations. By the time the political crisis in Ukraine erupted in 2014, the hopeful atmosphere created by the "reset" was long gone, and the U.S. and allied response to that crisis contributed to further deterioration. If our government officials fail to recognize the U.S. role in creating bad relations between Washington and Moscow, they are bound to keep repeating the mistakes that their predecessors made.

... ... ...

cornel lencar says: December 6, 2017 at 11:18 pm

Daniel,

I am a close follower of your blog and admire your analyses, but I always found that there is an important component that you never address that is core to the strategic interests of the U.S. and that for Russia, or other major powers, have lately recognized explicitly and acting against, explicitly. This is the issue of U.S. dollar, or how some people call it, the petrodollar.

Given how US can and has undermined countries with its ability to control the flow of US dollars, China, Russia, etc are creating the mechanisms to move away from that. With the recent announcements by Trump, concerning Jerusalem and Yemen, Saudi Arabia might be persuaded to use other currencies when selling its oil, beside US dollar.

Such issues are of extreme strategic significance, and you never seem to touch on them.

Likbez, December 7, 2017 at 02:58 pm

Another factor worth mentioning is neo-McCarthyism which is now in full swing. That "poisoned the well" probably for a long, long time.

And it did nothing or very little to unite the country against this new official enemy.

Russiagate mostly serves internal political kitchen, specifically a color revolution against Trump administration launched by globalists (for some unknown to me reasons, as Trump manage to betray a good part of his election promises in the first three months of his presidency).

Daniel Larison is senior editor at The American Conservative.

[Dec 07, 2017] Tillerson, Mattis Warned Trump Against Embassy Move by Mark Perry

Dec 07, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Donald Trump's announcement that the U.S. now recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and will eventually move its embassy there, might well be the most predictable decision of an otherwise unpredictable presidency. Trump made his Jerusalem promise back in March of 2016, during an address he gave to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). It was an obvious attempt to convince skeptical Jewish leaders of his uncompromising support for Israel.

But it's not only that Trump was intent to fulfill a campaign promise: The Jerusalem initiative has been in the works since the day he took office, was coordinated with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and is supported by influential voices in the administration -- including Vice President Mike Pence, son-in-law Jared Kushner, Middle East envoy (and former Trump Organization lawyer) Jason Greenblatt, and CIA Director Mike Pompeo. The decision was all but finalized, The American Conservative has learned, during a late November meeting of Trump's foreign policy advisors at the White House.

... ... ...

In fact, it seems unlikely that this unseemly sleight-of-hand (of making dubious claims), will allay Arab fears that the U.S. continues to be "Israel's lawyer" (to use a term coined by former U.S. Middle East negotiator Aaron David Miller). Now it has also become Israel's realtor. This seems not to bother the president, who is becoming known for playing a poor hand by throwing in more chips. The strategy is almost perverse in its beauty, and was on full display among administration officials intent on selling the president's Jerusalem initiative in the wake of his address. The Trump announcement, as one of them argued, doesn't undermine the peace process -- not because there isn't one (as everyone suspects), but because there is, and it's going swimmingly. Trump, this official added, was actually anxious to make Wednesday's announcement because he was so encouraged by the progress made on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process by Jared Kushner and his team. "I know a lot of that progress isn't visible," as this official was overheard saying to a prominent television reporter, "[but] it's partly because that progress is not visible that they've been able to make so much progress."

... ... ...

Mark Perry is a foreign policy analyst, a regular contributor to The American Conservative and the author of The Pentagon's Wars, which was released in October. He tweets @markperrydc

[Dec 07, 2017] Trump Settles Debt With Zionists - Confirms That Iran's Struggle Is Righteous

Notable quotes:
"... Destabilisation of Jordan is in prospect, as there is a lot of religious anti-regime feeling already. ..."
"... If Jerusalem is now supposed to be the "only" capital; At this point it might be that the best course of action would be for the Palestinians to demand equal rights, votes, civil law (not military), and the absence of discrimination, apartheid, arbitrary detention, and with recourse against biaised trials, and punitive imprisonment (particularly for the 500+ minors actually held) ..."
"... The proper minimum response from the Muslim world would be to recall their ambassadors from the US, and deliver diplomatic notes to US embassies in their own countries to start. This should unite Muslims Shia and Sunni, but it will not, of course. Instead, there will be meaningless protests in cities in the Muslim world that will peter out in a few weeks, if that long. Erdoğan may cut ties with Israel in a superficial way, but business will continue as usual in the economic realm. Same deal as with the Mavi Marmara incident. ..."
"... Muslims, particularly takfiris, will continue killing Muslims, while US, UK, EU oligarchs supply them with the means to do so. This has been done ad nauseum ..."
"... STATEMENT OF THE POLICY OF THE UNITED STATES. --(1) Jerusalem should remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected; (2) Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel; and (3) the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999. . . here ..."
"... driving a new wedge between the Neolib and Neocon fractions could also prove valuable. ..."
"... The blatant hypocrisy of the two-state solution has been exposed for the lie it has always been, so as others note, demanding equal rights - land ownership and immigration and voting in national elections - is the only plausible way forward for the Palestinians. Given that there's about a 50-50 split between Jews and Arabs in the entire region of Israel/Palestine, this will be quite unlike the resolution of the apartheid system in South Africa. Let's see how many people are willing to take off their blinders and call for a one-state solution with equal rights for all. ..."
"... Evene worse, Palestinians themselves have been party to this sectarian bs in the region - talk about misplaced priorities!!! I've seen Palestinians waving unfree Syrian army flags in Gaza simply because Assad is "Alawite" and is killing "sunnis" - yes, the same FSA who collaborate openly with Israel. ..."
"... And then we have the impotent Arab leaders who all pretty much take their marching orders from the US. How are they supposed to go against their masters in Washington? ..."
"... To top it up, as a token gesture, Trump has ordered his pet dog in Saudi Arabia to stop his criminal siege on Yemen. As if that's going to calm down the Arab street. ..."
"... "The Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt and the highest authority of Sunni Islam, Al Azhar, warned on Wednesday about the negative consequences of the implementation by the United States of a change to Jerusalem from its embassy in Israel. ..."
"... Perhaps the fuckwit should STFU about a "regular relationship with a terrorist organisation" given how much support the Israeli Occupation Force gives to Al Qaeda, a global terrorist forces. I hope Americans remember 9/11/2001 but I suspect their memories are too short. ..."
"... One state solution with equal rights as some are suggesting here - it wont EVER happen. Jews would become minority, with Palestinians ruling the country. If anyone thinks Jews would ever agree to that, then I have bridges to sell. Sad truth is, Israel will continue to be an Apartheid state, ever expanding its territory, and oppressing or outright killing everyone who stands in their way. ..."
"... What worries me about many of those tweets on that hashtag is that they claim Jerusalem as Muslim when it's the capital of Palestine which has never been and never should be an exclusively Muslim state. Palestine should be a state for all its inhabitants, current or displaced, whether they be Christian, Muslim or Jewish. ..."
"... "The President's decision is an important step towards peace. For there is no peace that doesn't include Jerusalem as the capitol of the State of Israel." "This has been our goal since Israel's first day." ~ Benjamin Netanyahu ..."
"... The comments are interesting, as usual, but most of them neglect the central point b makes, that two-state is a dead duck, a fairy tale. Why believe in it? Some public responses were amusing-- CNN: President Donald Trump's fragile political standing among American voters may be about to cause dangerous reverberations in the Middle East, even provoking the Pope to express concern. ..."
"... Is it a nothingburger? news report: Hours after recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital Wednesday, and saying he had instructed the State Department to begin preparation to relocate the US embassy there, US President Donald Trump signed the waiver putting off any such move by another six months. ..."
"... This is a major sticking point because the Israeli government is actively pursuing a demographic shift in its favour by way of building up Jewish settlements illegally in contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and evicting Palestinians around Jerusalem and the West Bank. Many see this as a way of Judaizing parts of Palestinian territories. The IDF is well known to do nothing against illegal settlers harassing Palestinians. The expansion of settlements is Israeli opportunism in the face of a disunited Palestinian Authority. ..."
"... and finally it turns out Trump was wrong it was not arabs dancing on van roof tops on 9 and 11 but Mossad arts students ..."
"... Meanwhile the UN had a vote last Thursday which somehow seems to have escaped the notice of the ever diligent MSM. 151 UN states vote to disavow Israeli ties to Jerusalem http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/UN-disavows-Israeli-ties-to-Jerusalem-515730 ..."
"... Canada loves Israel even though does not have its budget filled by US Treasury like Marshall Islands and Micronesia. By the way, why the coalition of Angels lost Palau? My guess, nefarious influence of Tuvalu, yet another reason why invasion of Tuvalu is imperative. Imagine: Palau, Niue, Tuvalu, and even Kiribati joining Sons of Righteousness. Who knows, perhaps Tonga, Samoa and New Zealand will be cowed too! Anyway, Canada is there, next to Marshalls and Micronesia. I hope that the heart of everyone Up There is filled with pride. ..."
Dec 07, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
ab initio | Dec 7, 2017 1:23:36 AM | 89
This move to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by Trump is meaningless. So what? Who cares?

The fact is that no one in the Middle East believes the US can be an honest broker. They know that the US is Israel's doberman. In any case the Israelis don't want to negotiate a peace deal when they hold all the cards with respect to the Palestinians who are now already walled in bantustans.

Jerusalem is already pretty much annexed and hosts much of Israel's government as well as their legislature, the Knesset.

The Palestinians are weak and divided and have no ability to take on the Israeli government. Neither the Arabs nor the Persians have the ability to force Israel into any kind of deal nor the ability to threaten and execute military attacks on Israel. Israel will do whatever it wants to do with Jerusalem as it has been doing for several decades already. This is the current reality. Howling outrage may make folks feel better but that's not gonna change the situation on the ground.

Laguerre | Dec 6, 2017 2:53:14 PM | 6

The issue will be: how strong the Muslim reaction.

In principle, with Arab autocratic regimes going in with Israel, it should be muted. But autocratic regimes don't represent their people. The Angry Arab has been highlighting much more angry reactions, as you say. Saudi public certainly doesn't agree with Saudi regime. Quite how far it is going to go, I'm not sure. But Jerusalem is very important in Muslim feeling, it's a religious thing. Third most holy shrine. What with today's populism, it could provoke a bigger movement than Netanyahu anticipates. Destabilisation of Jordan is in prospect, as there is a lot of religious anti-regime feeling already.

Jordan destabilised, there could be jihadis throwing themselves over the Jordan, to certain death. religious feeling can be very strong. It should be recalled that the anti-Crusader movement of the 12th century was built on the recovery of Jerusalem.

stonebird | Dec 6, 2017 2:55:29 PM | 7
If Jerusalem is now supposed to be the "only" capital; At this point it might be that the best course of action would be for the Palestinians to demand equal rights, votes, civil law (not military), and the absence of discrimination, apartheid, arbitrary detention, and with recourse against biaised trials, and punitive imprisonment (particularly for the 500+ minors actually held)

Since the place has been changed from a bi-ethnic state as under the original UN idea, to one where only a certain religious group is now responsible - let them be held responsible - instead of the rest of the world (mainly it's leadership) shirking all their own ethic obligations.

Start by tearing down all those walls. Let the Palestinians build at the same rate as settlers. No "Jewish" only roads. No Palestinian "Ghettos", subject to daily harrassement and bullying.

One country, That is what the Israeli's have been wanting - or is it?

Blue | Dec 6, 2017 3:01:10 PM | 8
The proper minimum response from the Muslim world would be to recall their ambassadors from the US, and deliver diplomatic notes to US embassies in their own countries to start. This should unite Muslims Shia and Sunni, but it will not, of course. Instead, there will be meaningless protests in cities in the Muslim world that will peter out in a few weeks, if that long. Erdoğan may cut ties with Israel in a superficial way, but business will continue as usual in the economic realm. Same deal as with the Mavi Marmara incident.

Muslims, particularly takfiris, will continue killing Muslims, while US, UK, EU oligarchs supply them with the means to do so. This has been done ad nauseum

Don Bacon | Dec 6, 2017 3:48:40 PM | 16
But that [two state] idea had been dead all along.

Palestinians are relegated to a couple dozen walled communities and there is no possibility of a Palestine state. So it's about time that the US ended its hypocrisy and obeyed the law.

PUBLIC LAW 104–45 -- NOV. 8, 1995 (extracts)
JERUSALEM EMBASSY ACT OF 1995
The Congress makes the following findings:
(1) Each sovereign nation, under international law and custom, may designate its own capital.
(2) Since 1950, the city of Jerusalem has been the capital of the State of Israel.
STATEMENT OF THE POLICY OF THE UNITED STATES. --(1) Jerusalem should remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected; (2) Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel; and (3) the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999. . . here

Perhaps now there can be a common-sense dialog on what to do to help Palestinians involving the practical realities of the situation, and not some pipe-dream.

Clueless Joe | Dec 6, 2017 3:52:56 PM | 17
Indeed, Trump should have stated that Jerusalem is the capital of both Israel and Palestine - or the future true state of Palestine, since it's not exactly a state yet, with that bloody occupation. That would've been the "master deal-maker" move.

I'm truly amazed at how great 2017 has been for Iran - except for Trump trying to tear apart the nuclear deal, obviously. Apart from wiping out ISIS and securing the bulk of Iraq and Syria, they managed to turn Qatar, they're in way friendlier terms with Turkey, their position in Lebanon was strengthened by Saudis shenanigans, and now this wonderful Christmas / Hanukkah gift which confirms to the Arab and Muslim streets who always backed Quds and the Palestinians and who threw them under the bus.

Quadriad | Dec 6, 2017 4:02:15 PM | 18
This move could help expose the Arab autocrats as the humble and compliant house negros of Zion that they are. As such, it is very likely to help forment an Arab Autumn, when several new Arab Islamic Republics may pop up. Lets face it... there might have been some premeditation to this effect and indirect shitstirring in this direction, not by the limited mind of Trump but, quite possibly, by Chessmaster Volodya V P. And driving a new wedge between the Neolib and Neocon fractions could also prove valuable.
nonsense factory | Dec 6, 2017 4:27:30 PM | 20
The blatant hypocrisy of the two-state solution has been exposed for the lie it has always been, so as others note, demanding equal rights - land ownership and immigration and voting in national elections - is the only plausible way forward for the Palestinians. Given that there's about a 50-50 split between Jews and Arabs in the entire region of Israel/Palestine, this will be quite unlike the resolution of the apartheid system in South Africa. Let's see how many people are willing to take off their blinders and call for a one-state solution with equal rights for all.
Zico | Dec 6, 2017 4:28:34 PM | 21
So, Trump walks into a bar and tosses a grenade on the bar table and hopes it brings peace. WOW!!! How this guys became a very rich and the president of the US at the same time is beyond me.

This was bound to happen anyways. The muslim world have been deliberately divided over the last decade and they've been fithging a bloody sectarian war from Iraq to Libya. ISIS was created for this. Meanwhile, the Zionists occupiers just keep stealing land and cementing their grip on whatever's left of Palestine.

Evene worse, Palestinians themselves have been party to this sectarian bs in the region - talk about misplaced priorities!!! I've seen Palestinians waving unfree Syrian army flags in Gaza simply because Assad is "Alawite" and is killing "sunnis" - yes, the same FSA who collaborate openly with Israel.

And then we have the impotent Arab leaders who all pretty much take their marching orders from the US. How are they supposed to go against their masters in Washington?

To top it up, as a token gesture, Trump has ordered his pet dog in Saudi Arabia to stop his criminal siege on Yemen. As if that's going to calm down the Arab street.

Palestine will be eventually liberated, but not by the current crop of sold out leaders. One good outcome of this bombshell is the soon to be irrelevant Palestinian Authority led by Abu(the Shah of Palestine, aka best double agent) Abbas. He can stop faking it now and do the honorable thing by tossing himself over the nearest dividing wall.

mireille | Dec 6, 2017 4:36:00 PM | 25
Yrump is a Christian Zionist. This should be no surprise. Have you ever noticed how much Kushner looks like the reincarnation of Machiavelli? He has been huddled with Kissinger for months. Something evil obviously in the works. I believe that it has been decided to deport the Palestinians to Sinai. It will become the new Palestine, a district of Egypt as Southern Palestine often was in times past. I think the recent mass murder of Sufis at worship in Sinai was the opening move. There will be false flags, provocations. Egypt will be made to pay dearly for welcoming the Russian military, a bitter price well known to them.

Israel has never met the UN formal standards for a country. No defined borders, no Constitution, flagrant human rights violations, flouting of UN censure hundreds of times. Based on the vision of Hertzl, who hated most Jews with a passion. I think Trump has cast the die that will wipe Israel off the map. Suleiman was Egyptian. He will come forward again and Egypt will have a fine hour.

Check a map. The Sinai border is long. Horns of Hattin.

Jen | Dec 6, 2017 4:46:18 PM | 27
Don Bacon @ 16:

"... Perhaps now there can be a common-sense dialog on what to do to help Palestinians involving the practical realities of the situation, and not some pipe-dream."

Indeed - if you live in the US, would your neighbourhood be prepared to host a large number of Palestinian immigrants or refugees if the practical realities of the new situation in Jerusalem mean that Palestinians can no longer live there and that the city, contrary to what the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 also says about Jerusalem remaining an undivided city respecting the rights of every ethnic and religious group, is to become exclusively Jewish?

elsi | Dec 6, 2017 5:24:06 PM | 34
For those who doubt that the Sunni and the Shia world will not unite against this outrage...Al Azhar is the higuest authority of Sunni Islam:

Al Azhar and the Coptic Church of Egypt condemn Trump's decision on the change of embassy to Jerusalem

http://spanish.almanar.com.lb/153958

"The Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt and the highest authority of Sunni Islam, Al Azhar, warned on Wednesday about the negative consequences of the implementation by the United States of a change to Jerusalem from its embassy in Israel.

In a statement, the Egyptian Coptic Church warned of 'dangerous consequences' of the proposed change, which 'contradicts international legitimacy and resolutions on Jerusalem'.

He also called for maintaining the legal status of Jerusalem within the framework of international law and the relevant UN resolutions.

In the text, that religious authority also reaffirmed its support for the peace process between Palestinians and Israelis and called for negotiations to achieve a just resolution that preserves the historic state of Jerusalem.

The Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church administers seven Coptic churches in Jerusalem, which host more than 10,000 Palestinian Coptic Orthodox Christians, according to figures from the Palestinian Information Center.

For its part, Al Azhar of Egypt, the most important Sunni Islamic learning institution in the world, also warned against the negative consequences of the plan proposed by the United States.

Al Azhar said in his statement that the planned transfer of the US diplomatic mission to Jerusalem would be a "threat to world peace and fuel anger among Muslims around the world."

Among other holy places for the three great monotheistic religions, the Old City of Jerusalem houses the third holiest site of Islam, the Al Aqsa mosque and the sanctuary of the Dome of the Rock.

The day before, the Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah El Sisi, emphasized in a telephone call to his US counterpart, Donald Trump, the firm position of Egypt that "Jerusalem should maintain its current legal status".

Sisi urged Trump to "not complicate the situation in the region by introducing measures that would undermine the chances of peace in the Middle East," according to a statement from the presidential office."

xor | Dec 6, 2017 5:28:49 PM | 35
"Hashtag "Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine" #1 trending right now"

Trending hashtag on a US platform which is known for its manipulation. I call that stillborn protest. The kind of outrage that in contrast to 30 years ago is now neatly funneled into a digital pressure vessel.

"In violating Int'l law & legitimizing Israel's apartheid rule in Jerusalem, Int'l law will no longer serve as a framework"

International law is US whim. When the US sets up it's base in Al Tanf, occupied eastern Syria, supported Daesh in Syria, let KSA bomb Yemen and granted a seat to KSA at UN human rights, "no fly zoned" Libya, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"Trump's move will increase the internal instability of those countries U.S. imperialism in the Middle East depends on."

I really really hope so but I wouldn't even bet 1 cent on it.

Ghost Ship | Dec 6, 2017 5:40:22 PM | 36
It also reveals that Trump has very recently had a stroke of some sort. The British government will say something but that will be it - according to the Conservative Friends of Isreal website 80% of Tory MPs are members of Conservative Friends of Israel including most of the present government and the DUP are, I suspect, anti-Semitic Zionists. Meanwhile, Gilad Erdan, security minister tipped to be Israel's next PM launched a preemptive strike against Labour by suggesting (in The Guardian of course, link ) that they're anti-Semitic rather than anti-Zionist
We recognise and we see that there are antisemitic views in many of the leadership of the current Labour party," Erdan said. "We hope it will be changed. The views.

"That they will come to the right decisions about people in their party who don't understand that Hamas is a recognised terror organisation, that you cannot have a regular relationship with a terror organisation."

Perhaps the fuckwit should STFU about a "regular relationship with a terrorist organisation" given how much support the Israeli Occupation Force gives to Al Qaeda, a global terrorist forces. I hope Americans remember 9/11/2001 but I suspect their memories are too short.

Dbell | Dec 6, 2017 5:47:48 PM | 38
Boys, give the Arabs 24 hours they forget about it. "When the accursed Golda Meir was asked what the hardest days of her life were, she answered, 'The day the Al-Aqsa Mosque was burned.' And when asked for the happiest day of her life, she answered, 'The day the Al-Aqsa Mosque was burned.' They asked her, 'How can this be?' She said, 'The day the Al-Aqsa Mosque was burnt I thought that [we faced the] last day of the State of Israel, but when I saw the Muslim responses, I understood that Israel is safe in the region of the Arab world."
Tacitus | Dec 6, 2017 6:07:15 PM | 50
Nero Trump's decision reflects the hubris on display by the Zionist entity entrenched within US and its realpolitik belief that it no longer conceals, and instead flaunts openly with circumspection tossed into the winds to be carried off into the distance.

How has it come to pass that a foreign entity's interests supersede that own its own interests, that of the people? Through the subtle and innocuous injections, over long periods of time, of a pathogen, one that renders the natural sense of preservation, foresight, critical thinking impotent. Why does a populace of a nation not ask itself: "This thing, what is it in itself, in its own constitution? What is its substance and material?" --- Marcus Aurelius

How pervasive is the problem? Certainly worse than one would tend to believe. An information article written by a former CIA counter intelligence agent Philip Giraldi has some good insight.

Harry | Dec 6, 2017 6:07:53 PM | 51
One state solution with equal rights as some are suggesting here - it wont EVER happen. Jews would become minority, with Palestinians ruling the country. If anyone thinks Jews would ever agree to that, then I have bridges to sell. Sad truth is, Israel will continue to be an Apartheid state, ever expanding its territory, and oppressing or outright killing everyone who stands in their way.

Good news - it wont last forever:

1) Israel initially (around WW2) could do whatever it wanted because of extreme military supremacy compared to simple Palestinian farmers and weak Arab states. This edge is almost erased now.

2) Israel enjoyed US protection and could completely ignore UN resolutions or rely on US veto. This also coming to the end. After few more decades, we will have de facto multipolar World. US influence will be significantly reduced and wont be able to shelter
Israel anymore.

My humble prediction - there will be a two state solution after 20-30 years, and Palestinians will finally have (part) of their country.

Ghost Ship | Dec 6, 2017 6:13:54 PM | 52
>>>> karlof1 | Dec 6, 2017 5:49:29 PM | 39

What worries me about many of those tweets on that hashtag is that they claim Jerusalem as Muslim when it's the capital of Palestine which has never been and never should be an exclusively Muslim state. Palestine should be a state for all its inhabitants, current or displaced, whether they be Christian, Muslim or Jewish.

Daniel | Dec 6, 2017 6:29:43 PM | 56
karlof1 , I'll add one more comment:

"The President's decision is an important step towards peace. For there is no peace that doesn't include Jerusalem as the capitol of the State of Israel." "This has been our goal since Israel's first day." ~ Benjamin Netanyahu

"Peace" to the Zionists has always meant the quiet acquiescence: of the world to their demands. And just as President Trump® has ripped off the mask of US good intentions, Nutty Yahoo is openly admitting the actual goals of Zionism about which they have long deluded the goyim.

Don Bacon | Dec 6, 2017 6:34:00 PM | 57
The comments are interesting, as usual, but most of them neglect the central point b makes, that two-state is a dead duck, a fairy tale. Why believe in it? Some public responses were amusing-- CNN: President Donald Trump's fragile political standing among American voters may be about to cause dangerous reverberations in the Middle East, even provoking the Pope to express concern.

Fox: Senator Feinstein: Dear Mr. President, I write to you today to urge you to reject calls to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. . . .But Feinstein was among those who voted for a 1995 law passed by Congress that required "the relocation of the United States embassy in Israel to Jerusalem." The measure also required the U.S. recognize the city as the capital of Israel. That law, the Jerusalem Embassy Act, passed the Senate by a 93-5 margin.

Don Bacon | Dec 6, 2017 6:46:29 PM | 61
Is it a nothingburger? news report: Hours after recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital Wednesday, and saying he had instructed the State Department to begin preparation to relocate the US embassy there, US President Donald Trump signed the waiver putting off any such move by another six months.
schlub | Dec 6, 2017 8:40:21 PM | 72
from link on another board. https://frontierinsights.me/2017/12/07/trump-takes-big-gamble-jerusalem/

This is a major sticking point because the Israeli government is actively pursuing a demographic shift in its favour by way of building up Jewish settlements illegally in contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and evicting Palestinians around Jerusalem and the West Bank. Many see this as a way of Judaizing parts of Palestinian territories. The IDF is well known to do nothing against illegal settlers harassing Palestinians. The expansion of settlements is Israeli opportunism in the face of a disunited Palestinian Authority.

The construction of the "security barrier" has also resulted in Israel absorbing about 10% of Palestinian land in the West Bank. As such, the PA is demanding pre-67 borders, which remains a hotly contentious issue.
...
The fact that this was timed right before Christmas shows that the move was done with Evangelical-Zionist intent.

dorian gay | Dec 6, 2017 9:25:25 PM | 78
other news today: First Israeli Female Combat Tank Operators Are Ready For Deployment

the SAA and Iranian-backed forces just officially established a major land route between Lebanon and Iran.

Russia Announces The Complete Destruction Of ISIS In Syria "All terrorist units of ISIS on Syrian soil have been destroyed, and the territory is liberated," Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Valery Gerasimov.

and finally it turns out Trump was wrong it was not arabs dancing on van roof tops on 9 and 11 but Mossad arts students.

pantaraxia | Dec 6, 2017 9:31:14 PM | 80
Meanwhile the UN had a vote last Thursday which somehow seems to have escaped the notice of the ever diligent MSM. 151 UN states vote to disavow Israeli ties to Jerusalem http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/UN-disavows-Israeli-ties-to-Jerusalem-515730

"The UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to disavow Israeli ties to Jerusalem as part of six anti-Israel resolutions it approved on Thursday in New York. The vote was 151 in favor and six against, with nine abstentions.

snip

In New York, only six countries out of 193 UN member states fully supported Israel's ties Jerusalem: Canada, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, the United States and Israel itself.

snip

The resolution stated that "any actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity whatsoever."

snip

The UNSG on Thursday also approved a second resolution that condemned Israeli settlement activity and called upon it to withdraw to the pre-1967 line. This included leaving the Golan Heights, which Israel seized from Syria during the Six-Day War.

Some 157 nations voted in favor of the text, seven opposed it and eight abstained"

Tacitus | Dec 6, 2017 9:51:55 PM | 81
When will people start to face the stark reality that, amongst other things, US foreign policy is commandered by Israeli firsters at the expense of its own people? When will it be a time for a candid discussion on the subject?

There are those who try to stand up and blow (even those in our IC) the wistle, yet most citizens seem to be oblivious and nonchalant to this growing foreign subversion. There are even brave Jews who stand up to this Zionist Goliath, but like others are labeled anti-Semites (imagine the unadulterated irony in this) or holocaust-deniers. When will this veneer be wiped off so that Zionist interest groups are made naked for all to see? But no, continue to gloss over the Elephant-in-the-room ... but then do not ask about the downfall of your country in the aftermath!!!

Do yourself a favor and at least listen to experts, like Philip Giraldi, a former CIA intelligence agent, amongst others explain the current trajectory of US foreign policy:

Some of his interviews:

Piotr Berman | Dec 6, 2017 10:26:32 PM | 83
Canada loves Israel even though does not have its budget filled by US Treasury like Marshall Islands and Micronesia. By the way, why the coalition of Angels lost Palau? My guess, nefarious influence of Tuvalu, yet another reason why invasion of Tuvalu is imperative. Imagine: Palau, Niue, Tuvalu, and even Kiribati joining Sons of Righteousness. Who knows, perhaps Tonga, Samoa and New Zealand will be cowed too! Anyway, Canada is there, next to Marshalls and Micronesia. I hope that the heart of everyone Up There is filled with pride.

Strangely enough, just a day earlier there were rumors, duly reported in NYT and other MSM of note, that MbS told Abbas about his still unfinished peace proposal. Israeli concession would presumably be a recognition that Palestinians are actually people, and Palestinian concessions would be everything else, no independence, no Jerusalem. Perhaps area B would get privileges of area A (being raided by IDF somewhat less often)? Abbas was quite unhappy and kvetching to everybody who would listen -- like reporters of NYT.

It pretty much sounded like pre-approval of the Trumpian (Kushnerian?) decision, hence the CoC (coalition of clowns) is doing fine. This bodes well for KSA, presumably the end of the carrier of the Crown Prince just got a bit closer (recall late Anwar Sadat).

Which would make ME less funny.

Don Bacon | Dec 6, 2017 10:31:56 PM | 84
Trump's speech (excerpts)
>We cannot solve our problems by making the same failed assumptions and repeating the same failed strategies of the past. All challenges demand new approaches.
> In 1995, Congress adopted the Jerusalem Embassy Act urging the federal government to relocate the American Embassy to Jerusalem and to recognize that that city, and so importantly, is Israel's capital. This act passed congress by an overwhelming bipartisan majority. And was reaffirmed by unanimous vote of the Senate only six months ago.
> After more than two decades of waivers, we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
> It would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result.
> Today, I am delivering. I've judged this course of action to be in the best interests of the United States of America and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. This is a long overdue step to advance the peace process. And to work towards a lasting agreement.
> Israel is a sovereign nation with the right, like every other sovereign nation, to determine its own capital. Acknowledging this is a fact is a necessary condition for achieving peace. It was 70 years ago that the United States under President Truman recognized the state of Israel.
> Ever since then, Israel has made its capital in the city of Jerusalem, the capital the Jewish people established in ancient times.
> Today, Jerusalem is the seat of the modern Israeli government. It is the home of the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, as well as the Israeli Supreme Court. It is the location of the official residence of the prime minister and the president. It is the headquarters of many government ministries.
> For decades, visiting American presidents, secretaries of State and military leaders have met their Israeli counterparts in Jerusalem, as I did on my trip to Israel earlier this year.
> That is why consistent with the Jerusalem embassy act, I am also directing the State Department to begin preparation to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This will immediately begin the process of hiring architects, engineers and planners so that a new embassy, when completed, will be a magnificent tribute to peace. . . here
tspoon | Dec 6, 2017 11:44:36 PM | 87
I believe this to be merely a provocation, an attempt to prod the opponents of Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the Western Elite, into taking some form of action, which can then be responded to, whilst claiming victim status. Of all their recent tactics, this is the one so far that is most likely to succeed, but hopefully still will not. The probable best response from such opponents is to carry on as they were, developing missiles and air defense systems apace, moving them into position, and waiting for the Axis of Stupidity to act according to their nature. They eventually won't be able to help themselves, and will bring upon themselves the culmination of their actions for the last 70 or so years in the area.
Ian | Dec 7, 2017 1:32:34 AM | 90
@Tacitus

What's there to talk about? It's well known here, and in other forums, that Western governments, not just their foreign policies, have been taken over by Israeli firsters. The US is on the top of the list because of their military might. On top of that, there's the social-culture-media centers that have been hijacked. It's all about controlling the narrative. IIRC, there was a movie director (or executive) several years ago, who later admitted that he worked for Israeli Intelligence.

When will it be a time for a candid discussion on the subject?

You'll never get any widespread discussion going until those that control MSM, and their supporters, are removed.

[Dec 03, 2017] It's pretty easy to see Trump as Nero a wealthy, crass narcissist who really wanted to be an actor

Narcissist or not, early Trump interviews and views ( such as available on YouTube ) does suggest that he has certain political talent and sound judgment about certain events like Iraq war, 9/11 and dangers the US faces with foreign policy dominated by neocons. It's very strange how his presidency turned out.
Notable quotes:
"... But more relevant to the discussion at hand would be the threat of Carthage while the Republic still existed. There were Senators who recognized that peace in the Mediterranean region was better served by having a competing power to balance the Roman presence. They argued passionately and rationally against wiping out Carthage, but were shouted down by the greedy hawks and others who couldn't stand having their supremacy challenged. ..."
Dec 03, 2017 | www.unz.com

Sollipsist , Next New Comment

December 3, 2017 at 8:19 pm GMT
@nsa

It's pretty easy to see Trump as Nero – a wealthy, crass narcissist who really wanted to be an actor. There's also the theory that Nero was specifically chosen over Brittanicus in order to discredit the throne and break the Julio-Claudian dynasty, a desperate last hope for the Republicans who had been losing ground steadily since Caesar.

But more relevant to the discussion at hand would be the threat of Carthage while the Republic still existed. There were Senators who recognized that peace in the Mediterranean region was better served by having a competing power to balance the Roman presence. They argued passionately and rationally against wiping out Carthage, but were shouted down by the greedy hawks and others who couldn't stand having their supremacy challenged.

[Nov 29, 2017] Rajan Menon How Trump Will Betray His Base, by Tom Engelhardt - The Unz Review

Nov 29, 2017 | www.unz.com

[Nov 29, 2017] Trumps Saudi Scheme Unravels

Notable quotes:
"... bin Salman is still so new it is impossible to get much of a read on him. Mind you, when you are the consequence-free press, you can just go off and rewrite history to your liking. ..."
Nov 29, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

et Al , November 28, 2017 at 4:01 am

Consortium News via Sic Semper Tyrannis: Trump's Saudi Scheme Unravels https://consortiumnews.com/2017/11/17/trumps-saudi-scheme-unravels/

President Trump and his son-in-law bet that the young Saudi crown prince could execute a plan to reshape the Mideast, but the scheme quickly unraveled revealing a dangerous amateur hour, writes ex-British diplomat Alastair Crooke.

By Alastair Crooke

Aaron Miller and Richard Sokolsky, writing in Foreign Policy, suggest "that Mohammed bin Salman's most notable success abroad may well be the wooing and capture of President Donald Trump, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner." Indeed, it is possible that this "success" may prove to be MbS' only success.

"It didn't take much convincing", Miller and Sokolski wrote: "Above all, the new bromance reflected a timely coincidence of strategic imperatives."

Trump, as ever, was eager to distance himself from President Obama and all his works; the Saudis, meanwhile, were determined to exploit Trump's visceral antipathy for Iran – in order to reverse the string of recent defeats suffered by the kingdom .
####

More at the link.

marknesop , , November 28, 2017 at 10:55 am
President Obama and all his works .what might those be? The American establishment so loathes Trump that it cannot wait to get its digs in, resulting in the retroactive canonization of the mostly-useless Obama, and ignoring his waste of his entire first term trying to achieve 'bipartisanship'.

Meanwhile, because Trump has not whipped the new Saudi front end into shape in five minutes, he's an idiot.

Well, he is; no use disputing that, but bin Salman is still so new it is impossible to get much of a read on him. Mind you, when you are the consequence-free press, you can just go off and rewrite history to your liking.

[Nov 08, 2017] Trump's Anti-Restraint Foreign Policy by Daniel Larison

The obsession with the USA "leadership" (a.k.a., hegemony) is widely shared between two parties...
Notable quotes:
"... Obviously, I agree with Merry on this, but it is worth spelling out in a little more detail what this means and why this is the case. Trump's speechwriters like to insert the phrase "principled realism" into some of the president's statements, but as I've said more than a few times the administration's so-called "principled realism" is neither principled nor realist. The administration's foreign policy does not seem to follow any guiding principles (unless maximizing arms sales counts as a principle). ..."
"... Since taking office, Trump has escalated multiple wars and ended none. He has deepened U.S. involvement in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Yemen, and that has just been in the first nine months of his presidency. ..."
"... One of the more worrisome aspects of Trump's foreign policy to date has been his tendency to encourage what Barry Posen calls "reckless driving" by U.S. clients. Trump is hardly the first president to do this, but he has made a point of doing it fairly often since taking office. Increasing U.S. support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen is one obvious example of this. Then there was Trump's Riyadh speech in which he effectively told U.S. Gulf clients that they had Washington's blessing to do whatever they wanted. In a matter of weeks, the Saudi-led bloc launched their campaign against Qatar. Since then, the White House has backed every Saudi move without hesitation, which has just encouraged the Saudis to engage in more destabilizing behavior. ..."
"... Foreign policy restraint was never likely under a Trump administration for a few reasons. First, the president's preferences for a bigger military and his preoccupation with shows of "strength" and "greatness" mean that his instincts are to reject some of restraint's core features. Second, there are very few people in the Republican Party, whether "establishment" or populist, who think that the U.S. needs to be significantly less activist abroad. They may disagree among themselves about where and why to interfere around the world, but the obsession with "leadership" (a.k.a., hegemony) is widely shared. ..."
"... "Being White House chief of staff is not something John Kelly has been trained for. Being Secretary of Defense is not something that James Mattis has been trained for. Providing international and foreign policy assessments is not something H. R. McMaster has been trained for. They're out of their lane. And it shows." ..."
"... "We have civilian government for a reason. We have politicians doing political jobs for a reason. I'm not sure where this leads . . . But I think we've seen . . . that the 'adults in the room' . . . are more like the president than we might imagine. . . . They might, in fact, reflect the military that they're from, which is, expeditionary" -- prone to interest in conflict abroad. ..."
"... Their intense hostility to Iran has also reinforced Trump's own. Because Trump has no relevant experience or knowledge to draw that would cause him to overrule their judgment, these Cabinet members and advisers will keep talking him into deeper entanglements in many different countries. The result is a foreign policy that is consistently the opposite of restraint. ..."
"... They are not going to be able to make up the failures in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya or elsewhere by instigating more of the same. If they didn't question the need to invade Ira strategically and press for an incisive , and limited incursion into Afghanistan to deal with the culprits of 9/11, I think its fair to challenge their decision making on other strategic goals as well. ..."
"... There have been some moral ground – responsibility for making a mess of their house (Iraq) -- but I suspect that the window is closed for correcting that mistake. Iran is going to be a force in the region, by our hand and sadly, for the time being -- that's the way it is. ..."
"... At the moment I think one has to conclude that Mr. Bannon was correct, whatever the campaign agenda it is losing to the opposing advocacy. Pres. Trump has it appears chosen not to be a trans-formative Pres. I don't have a beef with the generals, they are doing what generals (dogs of war do). It is the civilian leadership in and out of congress that have failed. ..."
Nov 08, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Curt Mills reports on TAC 's realism and restraint conference that was held last week at George Washington University:

TAC editor Robert Merry, a staunch realist and prolific author, went further than many: "There is no realism and restraint in American foreign policy in the Trump era."

Obviously, I agree with Merry on this, but it is worth spelling out in a little more detail what this means and why this is the case. Trump's speechwriters like to insert the phrase "principled realism" into some of the president's statements, but as I've said more than a few times the administration's so-called "principled realism" is neither principled nor realist. The administration's foreign policy does not seem to follow any guiding principles (unless maximizing arms sales counts as a principle). In practice, the administration neglects managing relations with other great powers, it encourages "cheap-" and "free-riding" by allies and clients, and it treats threats that can be managed with deterrence as intolerable menaces that must be eliminated. If Trump has not yet launched a preventive war, it is not because he thinks there is anything wrong in doing so.

Since taking office, Trump has escalated multiple wars and ended none. He has deepened U.S. involvement in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Yemen, and that has just been in the first nine months of his presidency. He has simultaneously sought to blow up a non-proliferation agreement with Iran while stoking tensions with a nuclear-armed North Korea. He wants a larger military budget than the already bloated one that we have, and he has been even more inclined than his predecessors to give U.S. clients a blank check. A strategy of restraint would reject all of this.

One of the more worrisome aspects of Trump's foreign policy to date has been his tendency to encourage what Barry Posen calls "reckless driving" by U.S. clients. Trump is hardly the first president to do this, but he has made a point of doing it fairly often since taking office. Increasing U.S. support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen is one obvious example of this. Then there was Trump's Riyadh speech in which he effectively told U.S. Gulf clients that they had Washington's blessing to do whatever they wanted. In a matter of weeks, the Saudi-led bloc launched their campaign against Qatar. Since then, the White House has backed every Saudi move without hesitation, which has just encouraged the Saudis to engage in more destabilizing behavior.

A foreign policy of restraint would be one that keeps the U.S. out of local and regional conflicts that pose no threat to our security. The U.S. would not be stuck policing foreign battlefields in the Near East or Central Asia in perpetuity, and it wouldn't be entangled in foreign civil wars where we have nothing at stake. The U.S. wouldn't be taking sides in regional rivalries for the sake of "reassuring" our clients, and our government wouldn't be rewarding clients that destabilize their regions through ill-conceived and unnecessary wars. There would be no place for preventive war in such a foreign policy, and in general the U.S. would seek to avoid land wars whenever possible.

Foreign policy restraint was never likely under a Trump administration for a few reasons. First, the president's preferences for a bigger military and his preoccupation with shows of "strength" and "greatness" mean that his instincts are to reject some of restraint's core features. Second, there are very few people in the Republican Party, whether "establishment" or populist, who think that the U.S. needs to be significantly less activist abroad. They may disagree among themselves about where and why to interfere around the world, but the obsession with "leadership" (a.k.a., hegemony) is widely shared. Finally, Trump's fascination with current and former generals has meant that he has filled his administration with Cabinet members and advisers that have been very involved in the expeditionary wars of the last decade and a half, and as a result his views of these wars and of U.S. foreign policy more broadly have been heavily influenced by men that have no problem with continuing these wars more or less indefinitely. This is connected to a point Mark Perry made on one of the panels last Friday, which Mills quotes in his article:

"Being White House chief of staff is not something John Kelly has been trained for. Being Secretary of Defense is not something that James Mattis has been trained for. Providing international and foreign policy assessments is not something H. R. McMaster has been trained for. They're out of their lane. And it shows."

He continued: "We have civilian government for a reason. We have politicians doing political jobs for a reason. I'm not sure where this leads . . . But I think we've seen . . . that the 'adults in the room' . . . are more like the president than we might imagine. . . . They might, in fact, reflect the military that they're from, which is, expeditionary" -- prone to interest in conflict abroad.

Their intense hostility to Iran has also reinforced Trump's own. Because Trump has no relevant experience or knowledge to draw that would cause him to overrule their judgment, these Cabinet members and advisers will keep talking him into deeper entanglements in many different countries. The result is a foreign policy that is consistently the opposite of restraint.

EliteCommInc., says: November 8, 2017 at 8:04 pm

"Their intense hostility to Iran has also reinforced Trump's own. Because Trump has no relevant experience or knowledge to draw that would cause him to overrule their judgment, these Cabinet members and advisers will keep talking him into deeper entanglements in many different countries."

I'll be honest here. I think it is the other way around. I don't think these are the executives instincts. I think it reflects those of the men around him.

I was hoping he would govern them, but he doesn't seem to have much a back to tell them no.

They are not going to be able to make up the failures in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya or elsewhere by instigating more of the same. If they didn't question the need to invade Ira strategically and press for an incisive , and limited incursion into Afghanistan to deal with the culprits of 9/11, I think its fair to challenge their decision making on other strategic goals as well.

There have been some moral ground – responsibility for making a mess of their house (Iraq) -- but I suspect that the window is closed for correcting that mistake. Iran is going to be a force in the region, by our hand and sadly, for the time being -- that's the way it is.

At the moment I think one has to conclude that Mr. Bannon was correct, whatever the campaign agenda it is losing to the opposing advocacy. Pres. Trump has it appears chosen not to be a trans-formative Pres. I don't have a beef with the generals, they are doing what generals (dogs of war do). It is the civilian leadership in and out of congress that have failed.

But as always, I am not inclined to abandon this President yet -- the commentaries, including my own are speculative.

[Nov 08, 2017] The Trump Administration's Contempt for Diplomacy

Nov 08, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

SteveM , says: November 8, 2017 at 11:21 am

When you have a Global Cop War Machine hammer and surround yourself with a Pentagon/Security State steering committee advising you to use it, everything else is a nail. I have to admit, Trump is even a much smaller man than I imagined him to be at his worst.

Belligerent global power projection is currently unaffordable and quickly becoming obsolete. While China is eating America's lunch with it's productive foreign aid and investments that do not involve killing, destroying and intimidation.

Neither of which Trump comprehends. And of his in-house Neocon minions ("my generals"), it goes without saying

SDS , says: November 8, 2017 at 11:53 am
"and the American diplomatic core is down to Nikki Haley screaming into a phone in some basement office of the Pentagon"

That would be hilarious if it weren't so prophetic

rayray , says: November 8, 2017 at 1:13 pm
Every time a diplomat works to reduce tensions, build relationships, avoid conflict, this is literally taking money and opportunity out of the pockets of the Military/Industrial complex.

Trump, being ironically a terrible negotiator and, as @SDS notes above, has never had the temperament, intelligence, or empathy to be much more than a bully, is the perfect tool for the military/industrial complex.

[Nov 01, 2017] JFK and the Unspeakable Why He Died and Why It Matters James W. Douglass

Unspeakable here means the belief that the CIA orchestrated JFK's death.
Nov 01, 2017 | www.amazon.com
J. Roth 5.0 out of 5 stars October 14, 2015 Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Seminal Work of Kennedy Assassination Research.

The sheer breadth and scope of Kennedy assassination research can be daunting. It's a subgenre of nonfiction rife with inaccurate, poorly-sourced, and hard-to-access drivel. Even the most touted works (e.g., "Reasonable Doubt," "Crossfire," and "Reclaiming History") are saturated with poor scholarship and misinformation. Yet there is one thread of research -- built upon by authors like John Newman ("Oswald and the CIA"), James DiEugenio and Lisa Pease ("The Assassinations"), Jefferson Morley ("Our Man in Mexico"), David Talbot ("Brothers" and "The Devil's Chessboard"), and Gaeton Fonzi ("The Last Investigation") -- that commands both clarity and credibility. This line of research -- which probes Lee Harvey Oswald's involvement with American counterintelligence -- builds upon the work of the 1978 House Select Committee on Assassinations and offers the clearest and most level-headed perspective on the domestic assassinations of the 1960s. Within this body of work, there is no single book that paints a clearer, deeper, and more moving account of the history surrounding the Kennedy assassination than that of James Douglass' "JFK and the Unspeakable." It is, bar none, the single most readable, most concise, and most compelling depiction of that dark chapter in history. That's why most, if not all, of the aforementioned authors regard "Unspeakable" as the seminal Kennedy research book. It's easy-to-access (even for beginners) and impossible to put down.

Turtle on November 29, 2013
Fidel was right

A recent op-ed in the Mexican paper La Jornada does a fantastic job of comparing James Douglass' conclusions about JFK's death with a speech Fidel Castro gave shortly after Nov. 22, 1963. It essentially argues that Douglass spent years doing research and conducting interviews to come up with the same answer Fidel did, which is that the assassination was basically a coup d'état orchestrated by the CIA and supported by "the vested interests of big business, the obsessions of the military and the ideological phobias of extremists."

Here's the full article (translated into English): [...]

Mike F on November 23, 2012
Has a few gaps

Col. L. Fletcher Prouty Explains the Bay of Pigs and Viet Nam
[...]

McGeorge Bundy called 9:30 PM 04-16-61 to delay the Sunday destruction by covert CIA operations of the remaining 3 Cuban fighter jets
guaranteeing Castro a win during the Bay of Pigs.

Those 3 jets destroyed the Cuban invasion of Cuba. This covert operation to destroy those 3 jets was authorized by JFK since air cover was not permitted under 5412: National Security Council Directive 5412 signed by IKE in March 1954 prohibiting use of uniformed services in covert operations; precluded air cover in Bay of Pigs.

JFK National Security Memorandum 55 assigns covert operations to the Joint Chiefs of Staff thus violating 5412 on June 28 of 1961.

Rory Lion on December 25, 2015
"The Unspeakable" - A metaphoric cop-out for Satan

This book, presents the theory that the "CIA" assassinated JFK, and uses "The Unspeakable" in the title. The title bothers me. "The Unspeakable" in particular--its vagueness and lack of courage makes the content of the book suspect. John McAdams reviewed "JFK and the Unspeakable" very critically, writing "As bad as Douglass's account of Kennedy's foreign policy is, his depiction of a plot to murder JFK is worse... To paraphrase Thomas Merton, Douglass's muse and inspiration, the bunk and nonsense Douglass recycles goes beyond the capacity of words to describe. [Douglass] is utterly uncritical of any theory, any witness...as long as it implies conspiracy."

The Unspeakable is a phrase coined by a Catholic monk, Thomas Merton, "One of the awful facts of our age," Merton wrote "is the evidence that [the world] is stricken to the vary core of its being by the presence of the Unspeakable...It is the void that contradicts everything that is spoken even before the words are said; the void that gets into the language of public and official declarations at the very moment when they are pronounced, and makes them ring dead with the hollowness of the abyss...

This may be literature, even poetry, but "The Unspeakable" is a metaphor, and hiding behind this metaphor is the truth that the Earth is ruled by Satan. Yes, "The Unspeakable" is Satan. It is not the CIA, although some CIA employees are children of Satan. Satan is the source of evil that led to the murder of JFK and also the source of the millions of other murders committed by the children of Satan who rule the Earth. Jesus told (some of the the Pharisees) "For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies." John 8:44 Faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to His commands is mankind's only hope. Read the greatest book of all, the Holy Bible, and this truth will be revealed to you.

H. Guentert on October 27, 2009
More of a Catholic Perspective than New Objective Insight.

I bought this book based on some positive comments on the radio. I felt I needed to warn readers that there are assumptions being made by the author that create a theoretical moral framework, and then the information about JFK and his assassination seem to be forced into this framework created based on letters by a monk in Kentucky. Had I know this, I probably would not have purchased the book.

I gave it three stars for the helpful new information and interviews, but I disagree with some of the author's assumptions regarding JFK. I believe that President Kennedy was brilliant, had common sense, cared about the USA and its citizens, was making great efforts to reestablish a Constitutional citizen focused government instead of a plutocracy or Corporatocracy even though it irritated some large campaign contributors. I do not believe that JFK needed a "turning" point to realize that a nuclear war was a last resort, and his non-proliferation stand, as well as, RFK's investigations may have been a larger factor in his death than reported.

I believe JFK ran for the Presidency with the belief that he could, with the backing of the American people, restore the US into a more democratic and positive nation, and a force for improving living standards, health, productivity, and peaceful innovation around the world. He already wanted to break free from the imperial world leadership that profited from deceptive banking and multi-national corporate piracy, and restore accountability and liberty to achieve and innovate on a more level playing field without sacrificing security.

I have studied the JFK/RFK/JFK Jr. assassinations, and just find it very arrogant that a Catholic monk in Kentucky is presumed by the author to have a god-like view of the world situation and proposes peace at any price as the answer to USA foreign policy, or that this is even Biblical. I take exception to many of his assumptions made regarding nuclear weapon supremacy, the Japanese, and how far we should go to trade weapons for peace. There were already huge betrayals of the American people with secret technology transfers in previous adminstrations, so "under the table" deals are not discussed which should alter the this book's point of view.

The monk is far more naive that he accuses JFK of being by believing that his letters have some sort of spiritual authority to effect the world by some back channel method, and that JFK and Khrushchev are the ultimate decision makers. He seems to hold himself up as an ambassador of peace with near zero standing, and this downgrades the overall value of the book knowing that there are a lot of assumptions being promoted by some self righteous monk who only reads an occassional newpaper, but wants to promote the ideal foreign policy.

I came away with feeling that this could have been a far better book, if the information was presented without the monk's point of view slanting or filtering the information and creating this somewhat rigid framework. There is just too much to this story to get limited by a subjective theory. If Russia had 50+ nuclear missles in Cuba ready to fire at the US in 1962, then Castro was crazier than I thought and our defenses were not adequate even in the Eisenhower administration. The US should have invaded Cuba when it was still a limited conventional threat. Now, I would expect Russia to have nuclear subs sitting in the Cuban waters regardless of what is on land.

JFK inherited the short end of the stick, from fools who have created one quagmire after another, and he should have been praised for negotiating a peaceful way out. He was murdered for greed, power, and continued lack of accountabilty by people who had already been doing the same thing around the world to control other governments. They just degraded the USA into another Bananna Republic with puppet leadership.

The value in the book is finding some new, documented support information that the reader may not be aware of, not the theological theory. I don't think there are any major new revelations. "Assassination Science" and "File on Files" are far more eye opening books, for those wanting to continue down the assassination "rabit hole", and the "JFK Assassination Encylopedia" is a very good objective resource for those looking for most assassination details.

The only thing naive about JFK was assuming to get at least minimum standard protection from the Secret Service, and the Army. Instead, like all the convenient safeguard failures on 9/11/2001; none of the Secret Service procedures were enforced in Dealey Plaza, and the Army's protective and counter sniper units were prevented from coming to Dallas. Only complete idiots continue to blame Oswald for the JFK assassination when there is more evidence that he was an FBI/CIA informant warning about the assassination, and no evidence he even touched any rifle on Nov. 22, 1963. Lesson learned: Stop believing in insane number of coincidences just to perpetuate the government fairy tales.

JFK was not perfect, but he valued human lives, and deserved far better than he got from the naive American public, and even his family. We have all been too naive.

[Nov 01, 2017] Mary's Mosaic The CIA Conspiracy to Murder John F. Kennedy, Mary Pinchot Meyer, and Their Vision

Notable quotes:
"... On either the night of Meyer's murder or the following morning, the CIA's counterintelligence chief, James Jesus Angleton, burglarized Meyer's home and art studio and stole her personal diary, which very likely contained detailed descriptions about her affair with President Kennedy. It also might have contained her suspicions that Kennedy had been the victim of a high-level assassination plot orchestrated by the CIA Angleton took the diary with the aim of destroying it, but it's still not certain what exactly he did with it. ..."
"... Angleton later claimed that his actions were done at the request of Meyer's close friend, Anne Truitt, whom Meyer had supposedly entrusted with the diary in the event anything happened to her. ..."
"... Angleton also arguably committed obstruction of justice by failing to turn Mary Meyer's diary over to the police, the prosecutor, and the defense in Ray Crump's case. ..."
"... From the gifted elite real people, the upper class ball room society prep schoolers, to a rare peek behind the CIA upper echelon. "Three Musketeers" of Angleton, Crowley and Corson and their unbridled lawlessness leaves little doubt what went down in Dallas,11/22/1963. ..."
Nov 01, 2017 | www.amazon.com

5.0 out of 5 stars

By Jacob G. Hornberger on April 12, 2012

The Murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer

In early 1976 the National Enquirer published a story that shocked the elite political class in Washington, D.C. The story disclosed that a woman named Mary Pinchot Meyer, who was a divorced spouse of a high CIA official named Cord Meyer, had been engaged in a two-year sexual affair with President John F. Kennedy. By the time the article was published, JFK had been assassinated, and Mary Pinchot Meyer herself was dead, a victim of a murder that took place in Washington on October 12, 1964.

The murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer is the subject of a fascinating and gripping new book by Peter Janney, who was childhood friends with Mary Meyer's three sons and whose father himself was a high CIA official. Janney's father and mother socialized in the 1950s with the Meyers and other high-level CIA officials.

Janney's book, Mary's Mosaic, is one of those books that you just can't put down once you start reading it. It has everything a reader could ever want in a work of nonfiction -- politics, love, sex, war, intrigue, history, culture, murder, spies, racism, and perhaps the biggest criminal trial in the history of our nation's capital.

Just past noon on the day of the murder, Mary Meyer was on her daily walk on the C&O Canal Trail near the Key Bridge in Washington, D.C. Someone grabbed her and shot a .38-caliber bullet into the left side of her head. Meyer continued struggling despite the almost certainly fatal wound, so the murderer shot her again, this time downward through her right shoulder. The second bullet struck directly into her heart, killing her instantly.

A 21-year-old black man named Raymond Crump Jr., who lived in one of the poorest sections of D.C., was arrested near the site of the crime and charged with the murder. Crump denied committing the crime.

There were two eyewitnesses. One witness, Henry Wiggins Jr., said that he saw a black man standing over the body wearing a beige jacket, a dark cap, dark pants, and dark shoes, and then he identified Crump as the man he had seen. Another witness, William L. Mitchell, said that prior to the murder, he had been jogging on the trail when he saw a black man dressed in the same manner following Meyer a short time before she was killed.

When Crump was arrested, he was wearing dark pants and dark shoes. Police later found his beige jacket and dark cap in the water near the trail.

It certainly did not look good for Ray Crump, as he himself said to the police. Nonetheless, he steadfastly denied having anything to do with the murder.

Crump's family retained one of D.C.'s most renowned and respected attorneys, an African American woman named Dovey Johnson Roundtree, who was around 50 years old at the time. (See Justice Older than the Law: The Life of Dovey Johnson Roundtree, an autobiography co-authored by Katie McCabe.) Roundtree met with Crump and became absolutely convinced of his innocence. She agreed to take the case for a fee of one dollar.

When the case came to trial, the prosecution, which was led by one of the Justice Department's top prosecutors, called 27 witnesses and introduced more than 50 exhibits. Dovey Roundtree presented 3 character witnesses and then rested her case, without calling Ray Crump to the stand.

The jury returned a verdict of not guilty.

As Janney documents slowly and meticulously, the case against Ray Crump had all the makings of a good frame, but not a perfect one. For example, the two eyewitnesses had stated that the black man they saw was about 5 inches taller than Ray Crump and about 40 pounds heavier. Moreover, there wasn't a drop of blood on Ray Crump's clothing. Furthermore, there wasn't a bit of Crump's hair, blood, or bodily fluids on the clothing or body of Mary Meyer. Despite an extensive search of the area, including a draining of the nearby canal and a search of the Potomac, the police never found a gun.

After 35 years of researching and investigating the case, Janney pins the murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer on the Central Intelligence Agency. What would have been the CIA's motive? To silence an independent-minded woman who apparently did not accept the official lone-nut explanation for the assassination of John F. Kennedy -- and who had apparently concluded instead that Kennedy was the victim of a high-level conspiracy involving officials of the CIA

Immediately after Kennedy's assassination, Meyer telephoned famed LSD guru Timothy Leary, with whom she had consulted regarding the use of LSD, not only for herself but also for unidentified important men in Washington to whom she wanted to expose the drug. Highly emotional, she exclaimed to Leary, "They couldn't control him anymore. He was changing too fast. They've covered everything up. I gotta come see you. I'm afraid. Be careful."

Meyer was referring to the dramatic shift that took place within President Kennedy after the Cuban Missile Crisis, the seminal event that had brought the United States and the Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear war. As James W. Douglass carefully documents in his book JFK and the Unspeakable, a book that Janney mentions with favor, Kennedy was seared by that experience, especially given that his own children might well have been killed in the nuclear holocaust.

After the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy began moving America in a dramatically different direction; he intended to end the Cold War through personal negotiations with Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev, who desired to do the same thing. The idea was that the United States and the Soviet Union would peacefully coexist, much as communist China and the United States do today. Kennedy's dramatic shift was exemplified by his "Peace Speech" at American University, a speech that Soviet officials permitted to be broadcast all across the Soviet Union. That was followed by the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which in turn was followed by an executive order signed by Kennedy that began the withdrawal of troops from Vietnam.

Perhaps most significant, however, were Kennedy's secret personal communications with Khrushchev and Kennedy's secret personal outreach to Cuban president Fidel Castro, with the aim of ending the Cold War and normalizing relations with Cuba. Those personal communications were kept secret from the American people, but, more significantly, Kennedy also tried to keep them secret from the U.S. military and the CIA

Why would the president do that?

Because by that time, Kennedy had lost confidence in both the Pentagon and the CIA He didn't trust them, and he had no confidence in their counsel or judgment. He believed that they would do whatever was necessary to obstruct his attempts to end the Cold War and normalize relations with Cuba -- which of course could have spelled the end of the U.S. national-security state, including both the enormous military-industrial complex and the CIA Don't forget, after all, that after the disaster at the Bay of Pigs and after Kennedy had fired CIA director Alan Dulles and two other high CIA officials, he had also promised to "splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds."

Janney's book places Meyer's murder within the context of the Kennedy murder, which had taken place 11 months before, in November 1963. The book brilliantly weaves the two cases into an easily readable, easily understandable analysis.

In Janney's book, there are two revelations about Mary Meyer's murder that I found especially disturbing:

1. The eyewitness who claimed to be jogging on the trail when he saw a black man following Mary Meyer does not seem to be who he claimed to be.

The man told the police that his name was William L. Mitchell and that he was a U.S. Army 2nd lieutenant who was stationed at the Pentagon.

Janney relates that according to a contemporaneous "news clip" in the Washington Star, by the time the trial began, Mitchell was no longer in the military and instead was now serving as a math instructor at Georgetown University.

Janney's investigation revealed, however, that Georgetown had no record of Mitchell's having taught there. His investigation also revealed that the CIA oftentimes used Georgetown University as a cover for its agents.

Janney investigated the personal address that Mitchell gave both to the police and at trial. It turns out that the building served as a CIA "safe house." What was Mitchell, who supposedly was a U.S. Army lieutenant and then a Georgetown math instructor, doing living in a CIA "safe house"?

Janney was never able to locate Mitchell. You would think that a man who had testified in one of the most important murder cases in D.C. history would have surfaced, from time to time, to talk about his role in the case. Or that friends or relatives of his would have popped up and said that he had told them about his role in the trial.

Nope. It's as if William L. Mitchell just disappeared off the face of the earth -- well, except for some circumstantial evidence that Janney uncovered indicating that Mitchell was actually an agent of the CIA

For example, in 1993 an author named Leo Damore, who had written a book entitled Senatorial Privilege about the Ted Kennedy/Chappaquiddick episode, was conducting his own investigation into Mary Pinchot Meyer's murder, with the aim of writing a book on the case. Damore ended up committing suicide before finishing his book. But in the process of his investigation, he telephoned his lawyer, a former federal judge named Jimmy Smith, telling Smith that after a long, unsuccessful attempt to locate Mitchell, Damore had finally received a telephone call from a man identifying himself as Mitchell. According to Smith's written notes of the conversation, a copy of which are at the back of Janney's book, the man purporting to be Mitchell admitted to having murdered Mary Pinchot Meyer as part of a CIA plot to silence her.

In 1998, an author named Nina Burleigh wrote her own book about Meyer's murder, entitled A Very Private Woman, in which she concluded that Crump really had committed the murder despite his acquittal.

Just recently, Burleigh published a critical review of Janney's book at The Daily Beast, in which she acknowledges the likelihood that given the large amount of evidence that has been uncovered over the past decade, the CIA did, in fact, play a role in the assassination of President Kennedy.

In her review, however, Burleigh ridiculed the notion that the CIA would use its assassin in the Meyer case to also serve as a witness to the murder. It's a fair enough critique, especially given that the information is hearsay on hearsay and Damore isn't alive to relate the details of his purported telephone conversation with Mitchell or to provide a tape recording of the exchange.

But what I found fascinating is that Burleigh failed to confront the other half of the problem: even if Mitchell wasn't the assassin, there is still the problem of his possibly having been a fake witness who provided manufactured and perjured testimony in a federal criminal proceeding.

I couldn't understand how Burleigh could fail to see how important that point is. I figured I'd go take a look at her book. Imagine my surprise when a search for "Mitchell" in the Kindle edition turned up no results. I asked myself, How is that possible? How could this author totally fail to mention the name of one of the two eyewitnesses in the case?

So, I decided to read through her book to see if I could come up with an answer. It turns out that she describes Mitchell simply as a "jogger" (without mentioning his name) who said that he had seen a black man following Meyer and described the clothing the man was wearing. What is bizarre is that while she did point out, repeatedly, the name of the other eyewitness -- Henry Wiggins Jr. -- not once does she mention the name of the "jogger." The omission is conspicuous and almost comical, given sentences such as this: "Wiggins and the jogger both guessed the presumed killer's height at five foot eight" and "The shoes gave Crump the extra inches of height to make him the size described by Wiggins and the jogger."

Why this strange treatment of one of the two important eye witnesses in the case? Only Burleigh can answer that one. But given her extensive investigation of the case, I wish she would have included in her critique of Janney's book a detailed account of the efforts, if any, she made to locate "the jogger" and the fruits, if any, of those efforts. Perhaps The Daily Beast would be willing to commission Burleigh to write a supplemental article to that effect.

We should keep in mind that a criminal-justice system depends on the integrity of the process. If one side or the other feels free to use fake witnesses and perjured testimony with impunity, knowing that no one within the government will ever investigate or prosecute it, then the entire criminal-justice system becomes worthless or, even worse, tyrannical.

Prior to the publication of his book at the beginning of April, Janney issued a press release in which he stated that he planned to mail a request to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to reopen the investigation into the murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer based on the evidence that Janney uncovered as part of his research for the book.

He need not bother. In 1973, nine years after the murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer, 31-year-old American journalist Charles Horman was murdered in Chile during the U.S.-supported coup that brought military strongman Augusto Pinochet into power. Twenty-six years later -- 1999 -- U.S. officials released a State Department memorandum confessing the CIA's participation in Horman's murder. The CIA's motive? Apparently to silence Horman, who intended to publicly disclose the role of the U.S. military and the CIA in the Chilean coup. Despite the official acknowledgment by the State Department of CIA complicity in the murder of this young American, not one single subpoena has ever been issued by the Justice Department or Congress seeking to find out who the CIA agents who murdered Horman were, why they murdered him, and whether they did so on orders from above.

How much trouble would it be for the Justice Department to issue subpoenas to the Pentagon and the CIA for all records relating to William L. Mitchell, including military and CIA service records and last known addresses? Or a subpoena for records relating to the CIA "safe house" in which Mitchell resided? Or a subpoena for records pertaining to the CIA's use of Georgetown University as a cover for CIA agents? Or a subpoena to Georgetown University for records relating to William L. Mitchell and records relating to the CIA's use of Georgetown University as a cover for CIA agents?

No trouble at all. But the chances of it occurring are nil.

2. The second especially disturbing part of Janney's book relates to Mary Pinchot Meyer's diary. On either the night of Meyer's murder or the following morning, the CIA's counterintelligence chief, James Jesus Angleton, burglarized Meyer's home and art studio and stole her personal diary, which very likely contained detailed descriptions about her affair with President Kennedy. It also might have contained her suspicions that Kennedy had been the victim of a high-level assassination plot orchestrated by the CIA Angleton took the diary with the aim of destroying it, but it's still not certain what exactly he did with it.

Angleton later claimed that his actions were done at the request of Meyer's close friend, Anne Truitt, whom Meyer had supposedly entrusted with the diary in the event anything happened to her. But Truitt had no legal authority to authorize Angleton or anyone else to break into Meyer's house or studio and take possession of any of her personal belongings.

Unless the diary ever shows up, no one will ever know whether Kennedy and Meyer discussed the transformation that Kennedy was undergoing after the Cuban Missile Crisis. But one thing is for sure: given Meyer's deep devotion to peace, which stretched all the way back to her college days, she and Kennedy were certainly on the same wavelength after the crisis. Moreover, given Meyer's fearful statement to Timothy Leary immediately after the assassination, as detailed above, there is little doubt as to what Meyer was thinking with respect to who had killed JFK and why.

Angleton also arguably committed obstruction of justice by failing to turn Mary Meyer's diary over to the police, the prosecutor, and the defense in Ray Crump's case. After all, even if the diary didn't point in the direction of the CIA as having orchestrated the assassination of John Kennedy, at the very least it had to have described the sexual affair between Meyer and the president. The police and the defense were both entitled to that information, if for no other reason than to investigate whether Meyer had been killed by someone who didn't want the affair to be disclosed to the public. The fact that Angleton failed to disclose the diary's existence to the judge, the prosecutor, and the defendant in a criminal proceeding in which a man was being prosecuted for a death-penalty offense speaks volumes.

One of the eerie aspects of this case is that prior to her murder, Meyer told friends that there was evidence that someone had been breaking into and entering her house. Now, one might say that the CIA is too competent to leave that type of evidence when it breaks into someone's home. I agree. But the evidence might well have been meant to serve as a CIA calling card containing the following message to Mary Pinchot Meyer: "We are watching you, and we know what you are doing. If you know what's good for you, cease and desist and keep your mouth shut."

But Mary Pinchot Meyer wasn't that kind of woman. She was independent minded, strong willed, and outspoken. In fact, when she attended CIA parties with her husband, Cord Meyer, she was known to make negative wisecracks about the agency. One of the other CIA wives commented that Mary just didn't know when to keep her mouth shut.

If the CIA did, in fact, orchestrate the assassination of John F. Kennedy -- and, as Nina Burleigh observes, the overwhelming weight of the circumstantial evidence certainly points in that direction -- Mary Pinchot Meyer, given her relationship to the CIA, her close contacts within the Kennedy administration, and her penchant for being outspoken, could have proven to be a very dangerous adversary.

In his introduction to Mary's Mosaic, Janney places the murders of John Kennedy and Mary Pinchot Meyer in a larger context:

The tapestry of President Kennedy's killing is enormous; the tapestry of Mary Meyer's, much smaller. And yet they are connected, one to another, in ways that became increasingly apparent to me as I dug ever more deeply into her relationship with Jack Kennedy and the circumstances surrounding her demise. To understand the complex weave of elements that led to her death is to understand, in a deeper way, one of the most abominable, despicable events of our country's history.

Therein lies the cancerous tumor upon the soul of America. The CIA's inception and entrance into the American landscape fundamentally altered not only the functioning of our government, but the entire character of American life. The CIA's reign during the Cold War era has contaminated the pursuit of historical truth. While the dismantling of America's republic didn't begin in Dallas in 1963, that day surely marked an unprecedented acceleration of the erosion of constitutional democracy. America has never recovered. Today in 2012, the ongoing disintegration of our country is ultimately about the corruption of our government, a government that has consistently and intentionally misrepresented and lied about what really took place in Dallas in 1963, as it did about the escalation of the Vietnam War that followed, and which it presently continues to do about so many things.

Once revered as a refuge from tyranny, America has become a sponsor and patron of tyrants. Like Rome before it, America is -- in its own way -- burning. Indeed, the Roman goddess Libertas, her embodiment the Statue of Liberty, still stands at the entrance of New York harbor to welcome all newcomers. Her iconic torch of freedom ablaze, her tabula ansata specifically memorializing the rule of law and the American Declaration of Independence, the chains of tyranny are broken at her feet. She wears `peace' sandals -- not war boots. While her presence should be an inescapable reminder that we are all "immigrants," her torch reminds us that the core principles for which she stands require truth telling by each and every one of us. As long as any vestige of our democracy remains, each of us has a solemn duty to defend it, putting our personal and family loyalties aside. "Patriotism" -- real patriotism -- has a most important venue, and it's not always about putting on a uniform to fight some senseless, insane war in order to sustain the meaningless myths about "freedom" or "America's greatness." There is a higher loyalty that real patriotism demands and encompasses, and that loyalty is to the pursuit of truth, no matter how painful or uncomfortable the journey.

Buy Peter Janney's book Mary's Mosaic. But be sure to set aside a couple of days for reading it, because once you start, you won't be able to put the book down.

--Jacob G. Hornberger, President, The Future of Freedom Foundation [...].

By Douglas on April 1, 2012
A Masterpiece of Biography and a Mesmerizing Detective Story

Written by Douglas P. Horne, author of "Inside the Assassination Records Review Board"

"Mary's Mosaic" is several things at once: an insightful and sensitive biography of both Mary Meyer and her one-time husband, CIA propaganda specialist Cord Meyer; a murder mystery; a trial drama; an expose of secret knowledge and cover-ups inside the Washington D.C. Beltway during the 1950s and 1960s; and of course, a love story about the late-developing relationship between President John F. Kennedy and Mary Pinchot Meyer, whom he had first met at an Ivy League prep school dance when she was only 15 years old. Their paths had crossed briefly once again in the Spring of 1945, at the founding conference for the United Nations in San Francisco. (Mary, her new husband Cord Meyer, and John F. Kennedy all attended the conference as journalists reporting on the events there, at the birth of the United Nations.)

One of the fascinating aspects of this well-researched book is how it traces the evolution and personal development of Mary Pinchot Meyer, Cord Meyer, and John F. Kennedy. As Cord Meyer---a scarred war hero who was once an idealist and a pacifist, and who aggressively lobbied for a united world government following World War II---became a disillusioned cynic and was subverted to the "dark side" by Allen Dulles of the CIA, his all-consuming commitment to the Cold War (and his abandonment of his former idealism) slowly killed his marriage to Mary Pinchot. Mary remained an idealist and an independent thinker, and it was this very independent and unconventional woman whose orbit finally intersected with that of President John F. Kennedy again late in 1961, about two years before his assassination.

Janney convincingly documents how their relationship became much more than a series of mere sexual trysts---it became a personal and political alliance of two people who had become thoroughly convinced of the insanity of war between nation states in the Nuclear Age, and who were both determined to do something about it. Jack Kennedy, already sickened by war and skeptical about the wisdom of senior military officers because of his World War II experiences, had become even more skeptical about the desire of many to seek simplistic, military solutions to complex international problems following the bad advice he received from the Joint Chiefs of Staff about the Bay of Pigs and Laos in 1961. After the searing crucible of the Cuban Missile Crisis in the fall of 1962, JFK embarked upon a program of moral action not only in civil rights, but undertook bold efforts to begin to end the Cold War; to commence a withdrawal from Vietnam which would have been completed by the end of 1965; and behind the backs of the Pentagon and the CIA, embarked upon what he thought was a clandestine rapprochment with Fidel Castro's Cuba. Mary Pinchot Meyer, who had ever been critical and distrustful of the CIA, became a natural ally of President Kennedy's throughout 1963 as he moved to curb the unbridled power of the Agency and defuse the Cold War. (She was present at the "Peace Speech" at American University on June 10, 1963, and Jackie Kennedy was not.) One of Janney's most convincing sources about the nature of the relationship between Mary Meyer and Jack Kennedy was an extremely well-placed official with intimate knowledge of JFK's daily activities and thinking: Kennedy's Presidential Appointments Secretary, Kenneth O'Donnell. Janney used O'Donnell's oral history interview with the late author Leo Damore, recorded years ago shortly before O'Donnell's death, as one of the foundations for his book.

For those who revel in study of the Cold War culture in Washington in this era, the book is full of well-documented revelations about Phil and Katherine Graham of the Washington Post; James Jesus Angleton (the Head of CIA Counterintelligence), who was godfather to the children of Cord and Mary Meyer; and Ben Bradlee, editor of the Washington Post during the Watergate era (who is exposed in the book as one of the CIA's major media assets). In my view, knowing that Bradlee was in the CIA's pocket helps explain why the Washington Post was so successful in taking down Richard Nixon following the Watergate break-in. Nixon had used his Chief of Staff, Haldemann, to attempt to get the CIA to "warn off" the FBI in its investigation of the Watergate break-in and the "plumbers." Nixon instructed Haldemann to threaten the CIA (Richard Helms) with exposure of its involvement in the JFK assassination, as an incentive for the Agency to cooperate with him. This "hardball" leverage failed, and Bradlee was allowed (and perhaps encouraged) to take down Nixon. He acted as the CIA wished in the Watergate matter. Unaccountably, Bradlee never employed the considerable investigative resources of the Post to look into the Kennedy assassination...well, perhaps that is not so "unaccountable" after all, now that we know he had been a CIA asset since the early 1950s, a part of the Agency's remarkably successful penetration and control of foreign and domestic media. As Janney reveals, Cord Meyer (Mary's husband from 1945 until the late 1950s) was in charge of that CIA program of media penetration and propaganda, and Ben Bradlee was married to Mary Pinchot's sister, Toni. The proximity of these relationships---between Cord Meyer, James Angleton, and Bradlee---make it easy to believe that Bradlee's links with the CIA, that began in the early 1950s, continued into the 1960s and early 1970s, when he was in powerful positions at Newsweek and the Washington Post.

Peter Janney's own father, a World War II Naval aviator and a recipient of the Navy Cross, was also a CIA man, and Peter grew up amidst the CIA culture in Washington. Mary Meyer's son Michael was his best childhood friend. He knew Mary Meyer as his best friend's mother. He was therefore perfectly placed to write this book, for his own family had frequent social contacts with Cord and Mary Meyer, James Angleton, Richard Helms, Tracy Barnes, Desmond FitzGerald, and William Colby. Janney's knowledge of the CIA Cold War culture in our nation's capital in the 1950s and 1960s is very well-informed, on a personal level.

Janney compellingly relates how the D.C. metropolitan police and the U.S. Justice Department attempted to railroad an innocent black man, Ray Crump, for the mysterious murder of Mary Meyer in October of 1964, just three weeks after the Warren Report was issued. Due to the heroic efforts of African American female attorney Dovey Roundtree, Janney explains how against all odds, Crump was acquitted. Peter Janney reveals the likely motive for her murder---she was about to publicly oppose the sham conclusions of the Warren Report as a fraud. Furthermore, she had kept a private diary which presumably recorded details of her relationship with President Kennedy (and perhaps even of affairs of state). In October of 1964, she was literally "the woman who knew too much." This book reveals the numerous lies and falsehoods told about her diary (and its disposition) by Ben Bradlee, James Jesus Angleton, and others, in a way not adequately covered by previous articles and books. The media in this country, misled by the CIA and by former acquaintances of Meyer's who had much to hide, has consistently distorted the true story of what likely happened to her diary, and Peter Janney lays all of this out in a way that anyone can understand.

Peter Janney also solves the mystery of her murder 48 years ago, in as convincing a fashion as one can, so many years later. Many have asked, "If Ray Crump did not kill Mary Meyer, then who did?" This book answers that question. (I will not provide any spoilers here.)

So purchase a copy of this book today. Extensively footnoted and persuasively written, it is the best account in print about the life and death of Mary Meyer, easily eclipsing the sole biography previously written about her by Nina Burleigh. Peter Janney has courageously finished the investigative journey into her life and death begun by the late Leo Damore, and briefly resumed (and then abandoned) by John H. Davis. "Mary's Mosaic" is part film noir thriller, part biography, and also provides a remarkably frank view of the Cold War culture in Washington, and the dark side of the national security state. It belongs on the bookshelf of every Cold War historian, and everyone who is interested in President Kennedy's assassination.

By Frugal Procrastinator on July 15, 2016
AMAZING BOOK, THE TRUTH IS RIGHT THERE

If anything JFK assassination captures you, you've GOT to read this lifes work of Peter Janney. One of the best painstakingly detailed books I've read regarding the subject. From the gifted elite real people, the upper class ball room society prep schoolers, to a rare peek behind the CIA upper echelon. "Three Musketeers" of Angleton, Crowley and Corson and their unbridled lawlessness leaves little doubt what went down in Dallas,11/22/1963. Mary Pinchot Meyer was an intellectual free spirited woman, born into wealth, who had all the young boys mesmerized. Also being in the same social circles of a young Jack Kennedy, they were familiar with each other long before JFK was to become President. Mary was all about self-examination, self-exploration and a driving force for peace. Not only was she a friend and eventual lover to JFK, and he respected her. She was a frequent visitor to the White House and her influence no doubt helped assuage JFK to seek world peace with the Soviets. Fascinating look from a different perspective into a story the readers all know very well. Mary's Mosaic will take you right to the brink of solving the closely guarded CIA secret. And it's right there, inside a safety deposit box, that you can have after I pass away. It's right there...

By StreamlandPark on January 10, 2017
An indispensable work on the deep state

Passionately, undauntingly researched and well-written. In bringing us his insider's perspective on the beautiful, tragically ended life of Mary Pinchot Meyer, Peter Janney also takes us with him on a lifelong journey to understand one of the most traumatic events of his childhood, and through that prism the dark workings of the deep state. This book complements another indispensable work, "The Devil's Chessboard" by David Talbot. For those who were moved by aspects of the motion picture fictionalization of Mary Pinchot in "An American Affair," this book will be a most welcome and factual expansion on her life, circle of acquaintances, and murder trial. It brought to my attention the remarkable career of African-American civil rights attorney Dovey Roundtree, who successfully defended the patsy charged with Mary's death.

By Phillip Michaels on June 20, 2016
The Physics of Information - A Nightmare for Democracy's Traitors

As one who read of Mary Meyer's murder in the Washington Post during my high school days in 1964, this book called up memories from a very deep well. Peter Janney's account of how personal his questions about her murder were made this a riveting book for me. Further, his connection to the CIA and Mary Meyer certainly gave the book a gut feeling of a search for truth, no matter the consequences. The relatively complete picture of her murder that he paints begins to fill out a decent outline of how our secret government actually works. That outline, added to the emerging outlines of other treasonous political crimes committed in the last 50 years, is inexorably exposing that "secret" government bit by bit.

Physicists' hypothesize that information, like energy and matter, cannot be destroyed. The example given is a book thrown into a black hole that turns to heat, ash, and gas as it falls into the maw of the universe's ultimate shredder. According to this hypothesis, the indestructibility of information means that the words and data in that book are not actually destroyed; it's just that we don't know how to reconstruct it, yet. A good example of what that practically means is the discovery in the opening days of this century of the wreck of the Luisitania on a seafloor littered with munitions that the British government (and to some extent the Americans' as well) have long denied were being carried on the ship. The sinking of the "innocent" passenger ship became a "cause celebre" helping to sell the war to citizens on both sides of the Atlantic. But, times have changed and we can now reconstruct the Lusitania's "book" and the truth is out.

The exposure of the truth of a false flag at the beginning of World War I, this story's success in piecing together--from many seemingly disparate pieces--the facts of Mary Meyer's murder, and the realization that the information about a crime can (probably) never be successfully covered up forever should be a nightmare for anyone aiding political machinations and a hope for all the rest of us. Peter's book demonstrates that with the arrival of the information society the timeline for successfully hiding truth is growing shorter. As one already awake to this century's devastating false flag on 9/11, the truth about Mary Meyer and her death has not arrived a moment too soon. Thank you, Peter!

By Gretchen Rohland on December 19, 2016
Truth comes into the light

This history is masterfully researched and written. I fully agree with detailed reviews posted about it. From a personal perspective, what went on during the Kennedy-Johnson era is profoundly disturbing to me. My now deceased husband was in the Air Force and assigned to Operation SkySpot in Vietnam. Johnson's escalation of this war caused the illnesses and deaths of so many of our best and brightest. The gift of this book is the gift that truth can, and was, unearthed. It does hold that truth can set us free.

We must stay vigilant. America is still an amazing and a great country and it is up to all its citizens to uphold this.

[Nov 01, 2017] Why Donald Trump is the perfect tool in the hands of neocons right now

Oct 21, 2017 | failedevolution.blogspot.gr

Puppets like Obama won't work twice and things with Hillary in power would be even worse because, as she is definitely a pure product of the establishment, no one would believe any cheap excuses that would come out of her mouth in order to persuade the US public opinion for the necessity of another war.

But now, the ruthless neocon/neoliberal establishment has the right man in the right position to put the blame for that: Donald Trump.

Despite that Trump was promoted as an 'anti-establishment' candidate, using intensively anti-interventionist rhetoric, he has already done the exact opposite. He has already bombed Syria, constantly provokes China and North Korea and, lately, does everything he can to destroy the Iran nuclear deal. It's more than obvious that he seeks to go after Iran, as the seventh target of the US empire, revealed by Wesley Clark.

[Nov 01, 2017] The Devil's Chessboard Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America's Secret Government David Talbot 9780062276179 Amazon

Notable quotes:
"... Talbot focusses extensively on James Jesus Angleton, the shadowy counterintelligence figure at the heart of the domestic assassinations of the 1960s, and examines the inner-workings of Dulles' ambitious (and dastardly) plot to consolidate and control global political power. ..."
"... The other shortcoming here is that Talbot never covered one of the most important documents ever revealed by the CIA That document ( https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=6515#relPageId=2&tab=page ), signed by my own father who chaired the meeting that took place at the highest levels in the CIA on September 20, 1967, reveals unequivocally the CIA's involvement in the JFK assassination. ..."
"... Present at this meeting was the CIA's Executive Director, General Counsel, Inspector General, and others, including Raymond Rocca who was James Jesus Angleton's chief lieutenant in the office of Counterintelligence. Rocca was quoted as stating in the meeting that he felt that "Garrison would indeed obtain a conviction of [Clay] Shaw for conspiring to assassinate President Kennedy." ..."
"... That statement was nothing less than prima facie evidence of the CIA's involvement in the assassination of a sitting U.S. President, which amounted to an open, documented admission by a high level CIA officer – during an internal CIA meeting – that Clay Shaw (as well as the CIA itself) was "indeed" part of the conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy. Since its release in 1998, few JFK assassination researchers have even mentioned this document, much less understood its true significance. This event, among others, will be thoroughly addressed in a new, forthcoming third edition of "Mary's Mosaic: The CIA Conspiracy to Murder John F. Kennedy, Mary Pinchot Meyer, and Their Vision for World Peace" in September 2016. ..."
Nov 01, 2017 | www.amazon.com

J. Roth 5.0 out of 5 stars October 14, 2015

A Groundbreaking Resource, Second Only to "JFK and the Unspeakable"

A tremendous resource of breathtaking depth and clarity. Talbot builds on the now decades-old body of research -- initiated by investigative reporters Tom Mangold ("Cold Warrior") and David Wise ("Molehunt"), and largely developed by assassination researchers James DiEugenio and Lisa Pease ("The Assassinations") -- and adds groundbreaking new information.

Talbot focusses extensively on James Jesus Angleton, the shadowy counterintelligence figure at the heart of the domestic assassinations of the 1960s, and examines the inner-workings of Dulles' ambitious (and dastardly) plot to consolidate and control global political power. "The Devil's Chessboard" is a startling and revelatory masterwork. In terms of easy-to-access assassination research, this book is second only to James Douglass' "JFK and the Unspeakable." In terms of biographies of Dulles and Angleton, two of history's most infamous figures, this work is second to none.

Note: Be wary of one-star reviews for this book. Some trace back to commissioned-review services, the same services that give five-star reviews to shady/suspicious health and beauty products. Go figure.

Peter Janney 5.0 out of 5 stars December 7, 2015 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A Breathtaking Volume guaranteed to change your perception!

As the author of "Mary's Mosaic," I believe Talbot's book will become a defining "must read" journey for the true understanding of the Cold War era in American History. As others have point out, this book, coupled with James Douglas's "JFK & The Unspeakable," should be "required reading" for every American citizen. This is as close to the "truth" as we are likely to ever get.

It took me several weeks to finish this book, only because I found myself agitated and enraged to the point of having to put the book down in order to regain my composure. Having a CIA father who was seduced by Allen Dulles (or should I say allowed himself to be seduced by Allen Dulles), my own past demons again rose from the dead for one last dance. Talbot's interviews with Allen Dulles's daughter Joan were also deeply poignant. There are so many things Talbot brings to light in this book for the greater good of all.

If I have any criticism, it would be that Talbot's footnotes are too superficial and structured badly. A book like this needs to be THOROUGHLY documented, sometimes with great detail. A fine example of this would be how Jim Douglas handled his footnotes for "JFK & The Unspeakable." Douglas left no ambiguity when it came to documenting critical details he presented.

The other shortcoming here is that Talbot never covered one of the most important documents ever revealed by the CIA That document ( https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=6515#relPageId=2&tab=page ), signed by my own father who chaired the meeting that took place at the highest levels in the CIA on September 20, 1967, reveals unequivocally the CIA's involvement in the JFK assassination. As Jim Garrison's challenge to the Warren Commission emerged into the national foreground in 1967, the public was unaware of what was taking place at CIA headquarters. Present at this meeting was the CIA's Executive Director, General Counsel, Inspector General, and others, including Raymond Rocca who was James Jesus Angleton's chief lieutenant in the office of Counterintelligence. Rocca was quoted as stating in the meeting that he felt that "Garrison would indeed obtain a conviction of [Clay] Shaw for conspiring to assassinate President Kennedy."

That statement was nothing less than prima facie evidence of the CIA's involvement in the assassination of a sitting U.S. President, which amounted to an open, documented admission by a high level CIA officer – during an internal CIA meeting – that Clay Shaw (as well as the CIA itself) was "indeed" part of the conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy. Since its release in 1998, few JFK assassination researchers have even mentioned this document, much less understood its true significance. This event, among others, will be thoroughly addressed in a new, forthcoming third edition of "Mary's Mosaic: The CIA Conspiracy to Murder John F. Kennedy, Mary Pinchot Meyer, and Their Vision for World Peace" in September 2016.

Thank you David Talbot for the true understanding of who Allen Dulles really was and the destruction of the republic that he brought about !

[Oct 31, 2017] The Donald's Pathetic Afghan Flip-Flop

Oct 31, 2017 | original.antiwar.com

To justify the 180 degree shift on an anti-Afghan policy position that he had tweeted about vociferously for six years running (see below), the Donald's teleprompter scripters offered an explanation that was beyond lame:

"My original instinct was to pull out – and, historically, I like following my instincts. But all my life I've heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office. In other words, when you're President of the United States."'

Actually, we are relived to hear Trump finally recognizes that he actually is President and wish he would start doing something presidential. For instance, he could declassify all the NSA intercepts about purported Russian meddling in the US election, and prove that it's all a hoax generated by Obama's despicable national security advisor, John Brennan, and a handful of deep state operatives who properly feared the Donald's solid anti-interventionist instincts.

So doing, Trump could crush the anti-Russian hysteria and the Deep State/Dem/mainstream media campaign to hound him from office and get on with the desperately important business of effectuating a rapprochement with Russia. World peace depends on it; the failing American Empire can't be dismantled without it; and the nation's fast growing fiscal calamity can't be stemmed unless there is a drastic, multi-hundred billion reduction in defense spending.

But it's not to be. The Donald has been hoodwinked by three discredited, failed generals – Kelly, McMasters, and Mattis – who have been dissembling, spinning and lying to civilian officials about Afghanistan for most of the past 17 years. Any generals worth their salt would have told their civilian superiors years ago that Afghanistan is mission impossible and irrelevant to the security of the American homeland. That's because there never was more than a few hundred al-Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan and when bin-Laden hightailed to his hideaway in Pakistan in 2003 that should have been the end of Washington's pointless but incredibly destructive invasion and occupation.

By contrast, there was never any US national security interest whatsoever in cleansing the godforsaken lands of the Hindu Kush of the 12th century Taliban fanatics who took over this hapless country during the 1990s. And largely with weapons that had been supplied by the CIA during the 1980s in a pointless mission to drive the Soviets out.

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

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

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

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

The Oct. 22 editorial began:

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

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

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

[Oct 29, 2017] UN On Khan Sheikhoun - Victims Hospitalized BEFORE Claimed Incident Happened

Notable quotes:
"... There was a story (sorry, lost any references) that stated that at least one of the US warships that launched the Tomahawks after this incident, was still in Spain on April 2nd. So that ship had to travel across the Mediterranean at full speed (and not at cruise speed) to be on time for the attack. ..."
"... And that implies the attack was know by the US forces beforehand, and their riposte was also planned and decided before the attack took place. ..."
"... I have come to the point of 100% initially assuming that reports by the MSM in the West are fabrications and then work back to find the few percent of truth, if any. Lying is normal in the West. Honestly is getting very rare, and is abnormal. ..."
Oct 29, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Many of the reports findings are based on open source videos and photographs published by the opposition. It acquired witnesses statements from the area which is under control of al-Qaeda. It also examined forensic evidence for which no chain of custody existed. Some findings are strange .

In annex II, on page 36 (of 39) of the pdf, it notes:

Certain irregularities were observed in elements of information analysed. For example, several hospitals appeared to start admitting casualties of the attack between 0640 and 0645 hours. The Mechanism received the medical records of 247 patients from Khan Shaykhun who were admitted to various health-care facilities, including those of survivors and a number of victims who died from exposure to chemical agent. The admission times of the records range between 0600 and 1600 hours. Analysis of the aforementioned medical records revealed that in 57 cases, patients were admitted in five hospitals before the incident in Khan Shaykhun (at 0600, 0620 and 0640 hours). In 10 such cases, patients appear to have been admitted to a hospital 125 km away from Khan Shaykhun at 0700 hours while another 42 patients appear to have been admitted to a hospital 30 km away at 0700 hours. The Mechanism did not investigate these discrepancies and cannot determine whether they are linked to any possible staging scenario , or to poor record-keeping in chaotic conditions.

At least 23% of the alleged casualties of the incident WERE ADMITTED TO HOSPITALS BEFORE THE INCIDENT HAPPENED

Cont. reading: UN On Khan Sheikhoun - Victims Hospitalized BEFORE Claimed Incident Happened

b | Oct 29, 2017 2:19:17 PM | 2

Another example of fakery of the incident. The report (linked above) notes this, but draws no conclusion:
... In particular, the Mechanism noted that fully equipped hazmat teams appeared at the scene later that afternoon and reported early detection of the presence of sarin, seemingly using a Dräger X-am 7000 ambient air monitor, which was not known to be able to detect sarin.
and
Of further concern to the Mechanism was the relative unprofessionalism by which certain environmental samples appear to have been taken, e.g. sampling from a muddy puddle.
and
The Mechanism also noted scenes recorded just after the incident at the medical point to the east of Khan Shaykhun, where rescue and decontamination activities filmed shortly after 0700 hours showed rescue personnel hosing down patients with water indiscriminately for extended periods of time. Such video footage also depicted a number of patients not being attended to, and some para-medical interventions that did not seem to make medical sense, such as performing heart compression on a patient facing the ground.

But based on all of that, and on the patients that arrived in hospital before the incident happened, the report concludes that Syria dropped Sarin at a moment and place that made zero military or political sense...

Jeff | Oct 29, 2017 2:26:25 PM | 3

There was a story (sorry, lost any references) that stated that at least one of the US warships that launched the Tomahawks after this incident, was still in Spain on April 2nd. So that ship had to travel across the Mediterranean at full speed (and not at cruise speed) to be on time for the attack.

And that implies the attack was know by the US forces beforehand, and their riposte was also planned and decided before the attack took place.

AriusArmenian | Oct 29, 2017 4:23:54 PM | 4
I have come to the point of 100% initially assuming that reports by the MSM in the West are fabrications and then work back to find the few percent of truth, if any. Lying is normal in the West. Honestly is getting very rare, and is abnormal.
Peter AU 1 | Oct 29, 2017 4:28:35 PM | 5
With Trump and T Rex now saying the right things, the hegemon is back up to speed. The US crossed there Rubicon when Obama made his speech at the UNGA a couple of years back. No way China/Russia will be able to give the US a soft landing. Hard times when the bubble bursts for the US.
psychohistorian | Oct 29, 2017 4:29:45 PM | 6
All those who rule the Western world through control of finance have bankrupt morals because of their fealty to the God of Mammon. War and treachery are the tools that fit their mental condition and if they can't BS you into being cowed by their existence they will bomb you into submission.

Negotiation for God of Mammon acolytes is for losers and they will keep the carousel spinning furiously until they are neutered or they take us with them in a blaze of what they consider nuclear glory......I have never seen any of the assholes that my life has presented me with show a smidge of contrition for glaring facts about their societal perfidy.....they double down like Trump does regularly and I suspect it is likely we will see such grandstanding with this situation as well.

War is a cover for anti-humanistic leadership which is the best that can be bought in Amerika.

Mark | Oct 29, 2017 4:35:02 PM | 7
It's irksome that 6:55 is the time Hersh gave for the bombing he was told about. If it were an hour or two earlier, it would make sense of what I take to be his idea - that some bomb-induced chemical disaster was 'converted' into a sarin episode after the fact.
Peter AU 1 | Oct 29, 2017 5:03:27 PM | 8
The bombed building was most likely part of the prep. Possibly chemicals or perhaps simply somthing that woukd give oiff yellow smoke placed into the building then its co-ords slipped into inteligence somehow as an AQ headquarters or whatever so it would become a target for the bombing. The US were notified that the building would be hit and at what time, so AQ/whitehelmets would have been alerted and ready to go into logie award winning action at the allotted time.
Robert Wilhite | Oct 29, 2017 5:24:34 PM | 9
b, thank you again for your analyses.
Robert | Oct 29, 2017 5:26:10 PM | 10
Oops. b, can you take that last post down? Thanks
charles de drake | Oct 29, 2017 5:57:45 PM | 11

victims-hospitalized-before-the-incident-happened.html#comments stop

before the incident happened hmmmm let me thinks


"We Were There to Document The Event
before the incident happened
happened


november 22nd 1963
a gentlemen of the press at the cambridge gazette received a gpo telephonic marconi bakerlite call suggesting he should pronto ring
whitehall 772005 and the us embassy kensington 091101 urgently sharpish fashion for some scoop dum dum head busting historical cia news.
the call related to the assasination of a mr john fitzgerald oflaherty otool kennedy, know relation to the fully oirish john heinz kerrys of killarney we should note.

after the calls where done the cambridge gentlemen of the press was shocked to find that jfk was still alive by several bbc minutes.
he later went to his local police house to report the queer time looper affair indeed.
it later transperspired that the call from the americas had arrived 25mins before the grassy gnome texas kilshot back and to the left don't you know.
25mins before to go what what.
jane stanley bbc on 9 and 11 talmud event building 7 25mins to soon spoke out as well time looping very queer affairs
i really do believe in the future hospitals will have a better success rate if we can get the cadavers into surgery before these events happen
certainly for turkey and israel live organ dealings the living syriana organs from pre incident not happened are prefential
indeeds


victims-hospitalized-before-the-incident-happened.

Ort | Oct 29, 2017 6:12:35 PM | 12
Thanks for deconstructing this latest bogus report.

We are now living in "Reality TV", sad to say.

Not to be naïve or sentimental about it, but government and civic institutions used to maintain at least a modicum of integrity, probity, and objectivity.

Now, official investigations are routinely compromised by nefarious political and social interests. Bad enough that law enforcement and state-security agencies habitually distort or fabricate information to serve their own ends, and their masters' ends.

But it's somehow more insidious when nominally independent investigative bodies become channels of authoritarian governments' infoganda.

This series of slanderous, manufactured, trumped-up (no pun intended) accusations that the Syrian government/military used chemical weapons is practically a "sub-genre" by now.

But it also brings to mind NIST's fraudulent analysis of the destructive events in New York City on 9/11/01, and the equally fraudulent findings of the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team tasked to investigate the downing of the MH-17 aircraft.

I thought of "reality TV" because all of these tendentious reports from ostensibly prestigious organizations are merely props-- items to wave around in front of the camera, and allude to sanctimoniously in support of some reprehensible official policy or narrative.

Thus, I fully concur with AriusArmenian | 4.

[Oct 25, 2017] N Korea simply wants to be left alone. Sending a message of 'will and capability' is not how they think. They are sending a message of 'if you corner me, I will hurt you, even if we both die'.

Oct 25, 2017 | www.unz.com

Greg Bacon , Website October 24, 2017 at 8:54 am GMT

If our missile defense systems are so hot, why haven't the interceptors, stationed in Alaska, Japan, S. Korea and on US Navy ships in the area, shot down any of Kim's missiles that go flying over Japan?

We're being sold a bill of goods, or BS for short. Those missile defense systems make for fat Pentagon contracts, but will do no more to protect Americans than the old 'Duck and Cover' propaganda we were taught back in the 1950′s and 1960′s. Just duck and cover under your school desk, then after the nukes pops off, get back to living.

With all the colleges and university's the USA has, how can Americans be so stupid?

Smoler , October 24, 2017 at 1:29 pm GMT

To me, the biggest threat that a North Korean attack could pose would be EMP. All they'd have to do is get a nuclear warhead into the atmosphere somewhere above or off the west coast of the US. Setting off that would destroy much of the electronics upon which our 'Communications Age' relies upon with an EMP wave.

And that seems hard, or at least harder to stop. It does not require accuracy on the part of the North Korean missile(s). And it only requires that one such warhead get through the missile defenses. With a bit of subterfuge, it could possibly be disquised as yet another missile test, one that would obviously not be aimed at the US mainland, but falling short, before it explodes high in the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean, but close enough that the EMP wave has a direct path to much of the US. I suspect that many military electronics are hardened against this, as the effect has been known for quite some time. But the consumer electronics upon which our society relies would not be. Picture for instance every cell-phone/smart-phone going dead. And that's just one effect.

And it seems to be a big ask to ask missile defense to stop that. Especially when in controlled test after controlled test, when the 'defenders' know exactly what missiles will be launched, when they will be launched, and all the information about their trajectory, the missile defense still seems to be a 'hit-or-miss' proposition.

Which is why we should be negotiating. Although, the main problem with that is why the North Koreans would negotiate considering the US didn't keep its word in the 2005 agreement and is currently in the process of teaching Iran that the word of the US isn't worth the toilet paper an agreement is written upon.

Chris Mallory , October 24, 2017 at 7:49 pm GMT
@Smoler

To me, the biggest threat that a North Korean attack could pose would be EMP. All they'd have to do is get a nuclear warhead into the atmosphere somewhere above or off the west coast of the US.

Actually it is harder than that. They would have to have a warhead large enough to produce the EMP pulse strong enough to damage the electronics. Then they have to hit the right spot to target the area they want to damage. Too high and the EMP pulse won't be strong enough too low and it won't have the range needed to do the damage.

Plus any equipment not under load will probably be unaffected by the EMP. The EMP threat is greatly overblown.

headrick , October 24, 2017 at 10:55 pm GMT
If we nuked NK, I think we would become a world pariah. I am not sure though. NK says what they want is to be accepted as a nuclear power but not have to actually fight a nuclear war to achieve that. I don't know who to believe about that. It seems that the US is more belligerent than SK so maybe we should get in line behind and not ahead of SK about this. Jeeze, what a mess.
Chris Mallory , October 24, 2017 at 10:58 pm GMT
@RadicalCenter

If the US government hits Pyongyang with even "small" tactical nuclear weapons, how will we avoid irradiating South Korea and China, which are very nearby?

Depending on how long the radioactive debris stays aloft, how do we keep from irradiating Japan? If you look at a prevailing winds map, the winds blow west to east across the Korean peninsula and encircle Japan.

anonymous , Disclaimer October 25, 2017 at 12:05 am GMT

Americans consequently do not know war except as something that happens elsewhere and to foreigners,

That's pretty much it in a nutshell, isn't it? Americans usually don't give a hoot about dead furriners, they all look alike anyway. Notice that in all this sharpening of tension and debate regarding the DPRK no American has brought up the issue of what do the people of the ROK think about the prospect of hostilities over there. They're on the front line and would bear the cost of any outbreak of war yet no American cares about that even though they're supposed to be our close ally. Our 'ally' apparently would just be collateral damage of little interest to anyone on these shores. It's worrying because now it appears that the DPRK is emerging as another nuclear power and wants to develop the capability to hit the US; it's no longer a one-way street. The US never asked anyone for permission to build it's nuclear weapons and it's ability to act as a gatekeeper is eroding before it's eyes, hence the hysterical rhetoric. DPRK is becoming a member of the world's nuclear club regardless of who likes it so deal with it. There's always Venezuela to invade. Or Niger. Oh wait, we're already there.

Grandpa Charlie , October 25, 2017 at 12:22 am GMT
@Chris Mallory

"

So you would have no issue with the North Koreans, China, Russia or Outer Bumfreakistan running military exercises with Mexico just south of the Rio Grande?" Chris Mallory, to Grandpa

Chris, you manage to pack quite a few false equivalencies into your 25 words! Here's an example: Mexico is a much larger country than South Korea -- anywhere in South Korea could be taken as "just south of the Rio Grande". The area of Mexico is about 20 times that of South Korea! Plus, if you think about it, the only realistic exercises would have to be at the DMZ or at some kind of mock-up of the DMZ and where would you like UN/USA/ROK to construct that mock-up?

But of course, Chris, you don't think about anything at all you don't have to, being absolutely certain of your righteousness and the evil of all those who oppose your stupid POV. Very "liberal" of you!

nsa , October 25, 2017 at 1:49 am GMT
Not the slightest chance of a war with the Koreans ..nuke or otherwise. The reason is as plain as the hook nose on your face ..nothing in it for the jooies who run Jerusalem on the Potomac. Iran is the target. We here in Ft. Meade get paid to know these things .
Cloak And Dagger , October 25, 2017 at 2:03 am GMT
@renfro

There is a lot of hot air about South Korea being willing to destroy North Korea. I have spent a fair amount of time in Seoul over the years, and one thing that people may not realize is that many South Koreans have families and relatives in North Korea. They are not about to bomb them.

Beckow , October 25, 2017 at 2:04 am GMT
@peterAUS

N Korea simply wants to be left alone. Sending a message of 'will and capability' is not how they think. They are sending a message of 'if you corner me, I will hurt you, even if we both die'. They are also not going to start anything. If they are pre-emptively attacked, what happens next is anyone's guess. But it could be catastrophic.

My point is that apart from the likely catastrophe, if we survive, there would also be a long-term negative consequence for Washington in terms of very bad vibes for generations in that part of the world. Actually, probably all over the world. That is a risk even more unhinged warmongers in Washington might not want to take. But, hey if their rationality is as low as you think, they just might. They might as well nuke Soul for all the emotional anger that would release among the Koreans.

Beckow , October 24, 2017 at 3:02 pm GMT

@peterAUS

There is also South Korea. Try to imagine the fallout among Koreans (and Japanese, Chinese, other Asians) if their cousins are nuked. In the short run it might even work -- if it would be an extremely targeted attack. But there is also longer run and for decades US would not be able to live this down. Generations of Koreans would grow up bitter that it was deemed ok to nuke people like them. War propaganda tends to wear off and only angry emotional memories remain.

And the Europeans, they would be apoplectic, probably the end of their American infatuation.

So the downside is potentially enormous. My guess is that fat Kim and his crew just want to be left alone. And they are scared. What's the point is stirring up a wasp nest? Now just imagine Chinese reaction if somebody drops a nuke on their border. It wouldn't be pretty.

Greg the American , October 24, 2017 at 5:24 pm GMT

Am I the only one having trouble seeing through the propaganda to understand the situation in North Korea? If they are wacko bird and horrible bad guys, then Trump may be right and Tillerson is wasting his time.

On the other hand, my suspicion is that this is our creation, we're still fighting a decades old proxy war for some reason, and all we really need to do is get our boot off their throat. If this is the case, and it costs us Seattle, then we need to call the American experiment done.

Let's pretend the author is wrong, star wars works (reagan sits up in his grave and gives a fist pump) and we successfully kill a couple million North Koreans. Problem solved, right? Aside from the sin of it (hard to put aside), I think the aftermath will call in a lot of accounts Americans will be ashamed to pay.

Or maybe not, all these wars are started by the lies of the powerful.

Beckow , October 24, 2017 at 8:28 pm GMT

@peterAUS

"Kim regime does not appear reasonable"

Appearances are created for you, I am not sure these 'appearances' reflect reality in N Korea. They might, but we are also being manipulated. Since I am not familiar with N Korea, my sanity check is to compare 'media appearances' of things I know well to actual reality. And there one can see huge media created gaps.

I agree that US government is capable of seeing the longterm impact on Koreans as 'nothing'. That's a problem, some core sanity principles have been discarded in Washington. My point is that any nuclear usage would have huge long-term consequences, it could start unraveling the magical spell that 'America' has had for about 100 years on the rest of mankind. But they still might do it. Remember that these actions are never clear-cut -- there would be endless doubts about whether N Korea was actually going to -- or was capable -- of attacking Hawaii. There is no way you can win that in the long run. Koreans are after all a very-tightly related and very ethnically aware nation. And the difference between North and South Koreans is largely political -- they are the same people.

renfro , October 24, 2017 at 9:02 pm GMT

" Far better to take the North Korean threat seriously and admit that a west coast city like Seattle could well become the target of a successful nuclear weapon attack.>>>>>>

Isn't that what Trump and Co. and the Walking Dead Neocons have been doing all along fear mongering? I think so.

The myth of missile defense aside I don't know that I even buy that this N Korea hysteria is even about their nukes.
Reading reports in international papers it may be more about the fact that Russia has been actively investing in North Korea to secure a key strategic economic outlet to the Pacific Ocean. And on top of that Russia is acting as the political and business intermediary between China. Japan and the loud mouth in N Korea in this 3 sided squabble.

So all this crap about N Korea actually lobbing a nuke on the US reminds me of the WMD propaganda to justify invading Iraq.
It may be and probably is more about the US foiling Russian expansion of influence and commerce in that part of Asia.

L.K , October 24, 2017 at 9:12 pm GMT
@peterAUS

As usual, you are completely full of shit but then, anyone with, er, half a brain, can see you are merely a virulent little war mongering Internet troll, always asking for some more war, from the comfort of whatever little insect hole you type your garbage. It reminds me of what another poster wrote around here: 'Amerikastan, Amerikastan, Wants to fight Russia and China, Iran and North Korea, Can't even beat, The Taliban*.' * that is a militia, btw.

hypewaders , October 24, 2017 at 9:44 pm GMT
International shipping provides convenient delivery to the world's ports. Of WMDs. Who are we really kidding?
L.K , October 24, 2017 at 9:51 pm GMT
Why North Korea Needs Nukes -- And How To End That

Now consider what the U.S. media don't tell you about Korea:

BEIJING, March 8 (Xinhua) -- China proposed "double suspension" to defuse the looming crisis on the Korean Peninsula, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Wednesday. "As a first step, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) may suspend its nuclear and missile activities in exchange for the suspension of large-scale U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) military exercises, " FM Wang, 'the lips', undoubtedly transmitted an authorized message from North Korea: "The offer is (still) on the table and China supports it."

North Korea has made the very same offer in January 2015. The Obama administration rejected it. North Korea repeated the offer in April 2016 and the Obama administration rejected it again. This March the Chinese government conveyed and supported the long-standing North Korean offer. The U.S. government, now under the Trump administration, immediately rejected it again. The offer, made and rejected three years in a row, is sensible. Its rejection only led to a bigger nuclear arsenal and to more missiles with longer reach that will eventually be able to reach the United States.

North Korea is understandably nervous each and every time the U.S. and South Korea launch their very large yearly maneuvers and openly train for invading North Korea and for killing its government and people. The maneuvers have large negative impacts on North Korea's economy.

North Korea justifies its nuclear program as the economically optimal way to respond to these maneuvers.[...]

Each time the U.S. and South Korea launch their very large maneuvers, the North Korean conscription army (1.2 million strong) has to go into a high state of defense readiness. Large maneuvers are a classic starting point for military attacks. The U.S.-South Korean maneuvers are (intentionally) held during the planting (April/May) or harvesting (August) season for rice when North Korea needs each and every hand in its few arable areas .

To understand why North Korea fears U.S. aggressiveness consider the utter devastation caused mostly by the U.S. during the Korea War:

Read it all at

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/04/the-reason-behind-north-koreas-nuclear-program-and-its-offer-to-end-it.html

Joe Stalin , October 25, 2017 at 3:13 am GMT
@Cloak And Dagger

You raise an interesting point. During the UN retreat under PRC attack in the Korean War, US merchant marine were requested, not ordered, to evacuate North Korean civilians to safety from Hungnam. They evacuated 90,000+ North Korean civilians to South Korea. Those NKs have supposedly contributed 1 million citizens to South Korea. "The evacuation included 14,000 refugees who were transported on one ship, the SS Meredith Victory -- the largest evacuation from land by a single ship."

https://www.marad.dot.gov/about-us/maritime-administration-history-program/usdot-maritime-gallant-ship-award/ss-meredith-victory-2/

Beckow , October 25, 2017 at 5:38 am GMT
@peterAUS

You are right that leaders don't like to risk a surprise attack. So they have a tendency to over-insure (most people in quiet, settled circumstances over-insure, because, well, what else is there to do?). This might be one of those cases where the circumstances lead us to a disaster. I hope not.

I don't "virtue signal". Virtues , like charity, only make sense in a narrow sense, in one's private life. But we need this planet for selfish reasons. Neo-cons are just the latest reincarnation of nutty, out-of-control busybodies obsessed with their own ideas and power. People like that have a cul-de-sac way of thinking. They tend to overdo it at the end and push things too far, go for that ultimate victory. Their thinking lacks boundaries. That makes them very dangerous. We are gain at one of those really dangerous moments in mankind's history, we could absent-mindedly cause a catastrophe. In a way a smaller catastrophe (like N Korea) could help us avoid a much bigger one.

Erebus , October 25, 2017 at 6:58 am GMT
@Grandpa Charlie

Actually, lots has been going on between the Russian-Chinese tag team and the two Koreas. Westerners wouldn't necessarily have heard much about it, but developments are afoot.

Largely unreported by Western corporate media, what happened in Vladivostok is really ground-breaking. Moscow and Seoul agreed on a trilateral trade platform, crucially involving Pyongyang, to ultimately invest in connectivity between the whole Korean peninsula and the Russian Far East. The rest is at http://www.atimes.com/article/russia-china-plan-north-korea-stability-connectivity/

According to reports, the N. Koreans didn't participate in the meeting, but "aren't against" the idea. Railways, ports, roads, and IT is how one draws the hermit kingdom out from its defensive shell. The US will have a hard time with this idea, so Moon will be under a lot of pressure to abandon these thoughts. Without the N. Korean bugaboo, the US has one less reason to be there, and they need all the reasons they can get. The Japanese have been eyeing this as well. They will not want to be left out.

Do Putin or Lavrov ever sleep?

KenH , October 25, 2017 at 12:53 pm GMT

The tests themselves are carefully scripted to guarantee success.

And no doubt use that "success" to keep taxpayer money flowing for anti-ICBM defense systems.

Even if the success rate is an honest 50% that means five ICBM's will still reach their targets if say, Kim Jong Un fired ten at the west coast. Sacremento, LA and San Fransicko would go up in mushroom clouds. Governor Moonbeam would be no more, so there's a silver lining to everything.

Carroll Price , October 25, 2017 at 2:24 pm GMT
@Cloak And Dagger

If the US could keep their hooked nose out of it, South and North Korea would have resolved their differences long ago.

[Oct 25, 2017] Origins of the Korean war are quite complex.

Oct 25, 2017 | www.unz.com

Horace J , October 21, 2017 at 8:52 pm GMT

@Grandpa Charlie

Origins of the Korean war are quite complex. There is no simple answer. You may wan to consult the article at this link:

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2013/07/28/who-really-started-the-korean-war/

And consult the links within. A rich and fascinating history awaits. See this for why the North Korean invasion, though alarming in D.C. was considered a god-send by many in Washington:

https://www.shmoop.com/korean-war/politics.html

[Oct 24, 2017] Pompeo ominously stated that the CIA is "going to become a much more vicious agency".

Oct 24, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Patient Observer , October 22, 2017 at 8:18 am

Speaking of Pompeo:

http://theduran.com/mike-pompeos-latest-rant-shows-cia-far-unreasonable-dprk/

In a recent statement, Pompeo talked brazenly about assassinating Kim Jong-un. The CIA director stated,

"With respect to if Kim Jong-un should vanish, given the history of the CIA, I'm just not going to talk about it.
Someone might think there was a coincidence. 'You know, there was an accident.' It's just not fruitful".

Pompeo then ominously stated that the CIA is "going to become a much more vicious agency".

Reasons for the efforts to regime-change NK may include preventing the eventual integration of NK's economy with China and Russia. Once such an integration is achieved SK would have little choice but to join in and be part of the Eurasian one belt-one road economy. Japan would be left twisting in the wind unless it could overcome its US masters and also set aside its racial prejudices. As for Australia, who cares (no disrespect to Jen)?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oct 21, 2017 | original.antiwar.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oct 19, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

The U.S. military is a socialist paradise :

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

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

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

"But life in the military is dangerous!"

Not so.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I find that a strange contradiction.

/snark

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

their suicide rate depicts them as conflicted.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Compared to**:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then kick in free medical. No Obamacare for them!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LOL Seriously?

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Nationalist and Socialist?

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

wonder what they'd call it?

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

This pisses me way off!

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

Screw them!

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

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

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

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

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

Balls too?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That explains "lifetime bachelor" Graham's behavior!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let them be counted!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pretty damn grim.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Probably not

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Artgoddess 14 Oct 2017 17:05

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

humdum 14 Oct 2017 14:55

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

LibtardMangina -> imipak 14 Oct 2017 13:06

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

willyjack -> lochinverboy 14 Oct 2017 12:54

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

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

ConBrio -> CorvidRegina 14 Oct 2017 12:16

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

CorvidRegina -> Abusedbythestate 14 Oct 2017 11:30

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

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

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

john ayres -> colacj 14 Oct 2017 11:18

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

DAW188 14 Oct 2017 11:02

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

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

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

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

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

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

mbidding -> JEM5260 14 Oct 2017 11:00

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

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

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

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

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

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

LibtardMangina 14 Oct 2017 10:44

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

Abusedbythestate -> Conradsagent 14 Oct 2017 08:23

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

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

Abusedbythestate -> digamey 14 Oct 2017 08:19

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

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

3melvinudall 14 Oct 2017 08:18

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

Gytaff -> Mordicant 14 Oct 2017 07:48

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

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

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

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

Conradsagent -> ConBrio 14 Oct 2017 07:34

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

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

corneilius -> pruneau 14 Oct 2017 07:24

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

saintkiwi -> Prumtic 14 Oct 2017 07:23

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

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

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

UB__DK 14 Oct 2017 07:02

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

BeenThereDunThat -> ClearlyNow 14 Oct 2017 06:39

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

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

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

Ramas100 14 Oct 2017 05:49

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

RichWoods -> blairsnemesis 14 Oct 2017 05:47

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

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

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

blairsnemesis -> FrankRoberts 14 Oct 2017 05:23

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

Prumtic -> HelpAmerica 14 Oct 2017 05:14

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

MortimerSnerd 14 Oct 2017 05:11

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

peterxpto -> LondonFog 14 Oct 2017 05:03

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

Kevin Cox -> WhigInterpretation 14 Oct 2017 04:46

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

tippisheadrun -> simba72 14 Oct 2017 04:29

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

daWOID -> digamey 14 Oct 2017 02:53

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

juster digamey 14 Oct 2017 02:50

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

charles47 -> RealityCheck2016 14 Oct 2017 02:22

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

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

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

jon donahue -> BhoGhanPryde 14 Oct 2017 01:57

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

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

jon donahue 14 Oct 2017 01:52

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

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

digamey 14 Oct 2017 01:38

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

BhoGhanPryde 14 Oct 2017 00:38

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

Mike Bray 13 Oct 2017 23:37

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in foreign policy , politics .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

Oct 11, 2017 | www.unz.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Oct 09, 2017] US Missile Defense Not as Effective As We Think by Scott Ritter

Highly recommended!
The main problem with systems like THAAD is that it costly. Maintaining the global neoliberal empire is also costly. this financial overextension and deterioration of domestic economy and the standard of living tend to put limits on the imperial power. And such overextension is much more dangerous that lack of some cutting edge military capabilities. The USA managed to force some kind of military alliance of Russia and China in a sense that attack on one means the attack on both. China also warned the USA against unilateral military strike on North Korea.
As Ivan Eland noted in May 15, 2016, Obama "is opening missile defenses in Europe, quadrupling U.S. military spending there, and deploying more military forces near Russia-all of which will have the effect of continuing to provoke that already insecure country. Also, Obama has failed to withdraw U.S. ground forces from Afghanistan, inserted them into Iraq and Syria to battle the terror group ISIS, and continued his accelerated air wars over Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, and Libya." The U.S. Military Needs to Defend the Country, Not Undermine American Security HuffPost
Which means the end of the USA military supremacy as now the USA needs to take into account the possibility of join counterstrike of both China and Russia. . End of cheap oil also means end of multiple expeditionary wars that the USA managed to fight simultaneously (mostly against rag-tag gueella forces like in Afghanistan) as the costs would escalate very quickly.
Notable quotes:
"... the fact remains that, at the time of the Gulf War, the Patriot was a largely untested system which failed to perform as needed. Had Iraq had better missiles, or if they had been tipped with chemical, biological, or nuclear warheads, this failure could have been catastrophic. ..."
"... Like the Patriot missile of 1991, the THAAD has only been tested under carefully scripted peacetime conditions, with launch crews having the advantage of long flight times (easy to track) and medium speed closure rates (easy to kill) involving single missile launches. ..."
"... The THAAD has not been tested under realistic wartime conditions, involving large salvos of missiles possessing high-closure rates of speed. In war, it is the unexpected that trips you up. ..."
"... the North Koreans have demonstrated a high-loft launch profile, which would have the missile closing in on its target at a far steeper angle, and at much higher speeds, than the conventional ballistic trajectories the THAAD has trained against. ..."
"... The need to justify the acquisition of military hardware always interferes with the rigor of testing. Test results are published and must show success or the Military has egg on its wasteful face. Therefore, it is always a mistake to believe what is said about our weapons systems, however many improvements may have been made. ..."
"... There is another issue that those who depend on missile defenses are overlooking. North Korea could easily pre-position multiple nuclear weapons on non-descript boats, that then sail into the major ports of their foes during or after a war and destroy them. Such weapon delivery systems are very hard to detect and stop. So those who advocate attacking North Korea and feel we can stop their weapons with missiles are fooling themselves. This is one of the reasons that non-combat options to stop North Korea are still the best choice. ..."
Oct 09, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Sometime after midnight on the night of January 21, 1991, I was awoken by the sound of an air raid siren. At the time, I was sleeping in an apartment in Eskhan Village, an abandoned suburban housing area outside Riyadh that served as a barracks facility for thousands of American service members deployed to Saudi Arabia as part of Operation Desert Storm. Following protocol, I quickly donned my chemical protective ensemble, inclusive of gas mask; not following protocol, I headed up to the flat roof of the two-story building to see what was happening.

As it turned out, we were under attack. Iraq had launched four of its extended-range SCUD missile derivatives toward Riyadh. The flight paths of two of these missiles were visible to the naked eye, where residual fuel burned from the nozzle of the rocket. As part of a team of SCUD missile analysts assigned to the intelligence section of Central Command headquarters, I was fascinated by this first-hand opportunity to see the SCUD in action. The irony of being on the receiving end of the very missiles I was working to destroy barely registered before I was stunned by the sound of Patriot anti-missile batteries, staged in close proximity to the housing area, firing multiple salvos of interceptors at the incoming SCUDs. Each of the interceptors homed in on their target, their S-shaped trajectories reflecting the in-flight corrections provided by the Patriot's target acquisition radar as it tracked the flight path of the SCUDs. With dramatic effect, the Patriot interceptors exploded along the flight path of the SCUDs, which continued on their ballistic arc before impacting somewhere on the horizon with a bright yellow-green explosion.

This wasn't the first launch of SCUD missiles by Iraq against Saudi Arabia during the war. In the days prior, there had been several missile attacks targeting the sprawling military complex at Dhahran, all of which authorities claimed had been successfully intercepted by Patriot missiles. I had counted more than a dozen Patriot interceptor launches in the vicinity of Eskhan Village on the night of January 21, 1991; more than 35 interceptors in total had been fired in the Riyadh area that night. Reports that crossed my desk the next morning indicated that all four SCUDs targeting Riyadh had been successfully intercepted and destroyed by the Patriots, a finding which puzzled me -- the Patriot intercepts I had witnessed against the two SCUDs I was able to visually track seemed to be exploding behind the SCUDs, and none appeared to stop the SCUDs from detonating on the ground. Later, as part of a team of missile specialists assembled to evaluate the SCUD missile debris from the January 21 attack, I could find no evidence of any shrapnel having impacted the body of the SCUD missile.

After the war, while serving with the United Nations Special Commission charged with disarming Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (inclusive of its SCUD missiles), I read an article in International Security by MIT Professor Theodore Postol titled "Lessons of the Gulf War Patriot Experience." Postol questioned the Patriot's 96 percent success rate claimed by the Army during the Gulf War. Later, while working with Israeli intelligence on the Iraqi SCUD problem, I was able to speak with members of the Israeli Defense Force who were able to confirm Professor Postol's findings: The Patriot missile defense system successfully intercepted less that 10 percent of the SCUDs fired at Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Arab States during the Gulf War, and only 2 percent of those fired at Israel.

The failure of the Patriot missile defense system to perform during the Gulf War has been largely ignored. The reasons for this are many and varied. There was an extensive and intensive effort undertaken by the Raytheon Company (the manufacturer of the Patriot missile), the Army, and the Department of Defense to challenge Postol's findings, thereby muddying the waters. The fact that Iraq's SCUDs were inaccurate and did not carry WMD likewise skewed public opinion -- a dud warhead landing somewhere in the desert or ocean did not generate the kind of excitement of a chemical warhead landing in a densely populated area. In the quarter of a century that has passed since the Gulf War, the performance of the Patriot has improved, as has missile defense in general. (Witness the success of Israel's "Iron Dome" system.) But the fact remains that, at the time of the Gulf War, the Patriot was a largely untested system which failed to perform as needed. Had Iraq had better missiles, or if they had been tipped with chemical, biological, or nuclear warheads, this failure could have been catastrophic.

My experience with the Patriot missile during the Gulf War has colored my assessment of the deployment of America's new front-line missile defense weapon, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD) to South Korea. The THAAD is intended to defend against the threat posed by North Korean short- and medium-range ballistic missiles. Like the Patriot missile of 1991, the THAAD has only been tested under carefully scripted peacetime conditions, with launch crews having the advantage of long flight times (easy to track) and medium speed closure rates (easy to kill) involving single missile launches.

The THAAD has not been tested under realistic wartime conditions, involving large salvos of missiles possessing high-closure rates of speed. In war, it is the unexpected that trips you up. During Desert Storm, the structural failure of Iraq's extended-range SCUDs caused the warhead to separate from the main body of the missile, creating multiple targets the Patriot radar was unable to discriminate against. This, combined with the higher-than-anticipated closure speeds of the longer-range missiles, contributed to the poor performance of the Patriot system.

North Korea has demonstrated the ability to conduct simultaneous launches of up to four ballistic missiles. Given their proximity to South Korea, these weapons would be tracked for a far shorter time with closure speeds greater than the missile targets the THAAD has been tested against to date. Moreover, the North Koreans have demonstrated a high-loft launch profile, which would have the missile closing in on its target at a far steeper angle, and at much higher speeds, than the conventional ballistic trajectories the THAAD has trained against. The THAAD interceptors are tied to the high-tech AN/TPY-2 target acquisition radar, which can cover a 120-degree frontage. North Korea's newly proven submarine-launched ballistic missile capability provides Pyongyang with a capability to maneuver behind the surveillance arc of the THAAD's radar. Such an attack presumes that neither the South Korean or U.S. naval forces would detect and destroy a North Korean submarine attempting such an attack, or that the U.S. Navy's Aegis missile defense system would fail to intercept a launched missile. The point here isn't the likelihood of North Korean success, but the reality that the THAAD is not omnipotent.

Perhaps the greatest threat facing the THAAD, or any defensive system currently deployed in the vicinity of South Korea, is that North Korea could employ a ballistic missile tipped with a nuclear warhead for the purpose of generating a massive electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that would knock out the THAAD's radar and electronics -- along with most, if not all, of South Korea's and America's electrical systems stationed in the region. The likelihood of such a scenario seems slim, given the consequences North Korea would endure in the aftermath of any use of nuclear weapons. However, the fact remains that the one attack the THAAD is specifically deployed to prevent -- that of a nuclear-tipped North Korean missile -- is the one attack that could be its undoing.

Missile defense has always been more theoretical than practical. The Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) systems of the Cold War were never used, and eventually mothballed. The Patriot failed miserably during the Gulf War, only to succeed a decade later during the 2003 invasion of Iraq by using a much-improved interceptor against a far less capable foe. The much-vaunted Israeli "Iron Dome" missile defense system performed well against the homemade rockets of Hamas, but has yet to be tested against the much more capable arsenal possessed by Hezbollah -- or, for that matter, Iran. The THAAD system is a 30-year-old technology untested in combat, under-tested in peacetime, and is our only line of defense against a North Korean ballistic missile threat that has taken the world by surprise in terms of its scope, breadth, and capability.

During the Gulf War, the Patriot's poor performance did not have any strategic consequences -- 28 Americans tragically lost their lives when a SCUD hit their barracks, and a few Israelis died of heart attacks. The absence of a tangible result wasn't from a lack of effort on the part of Iraq -- Israeli's Dimona nuclear reactor was targeted multiple times, and had any missile caused significant Israeli casualties, Israel would have entered the conflict, placing the delicate coalition President George W. Bush had built at risk, and perhaps changing the outcome of the war. There is little reason to believe that North Korea's missiles lack accuracy, that their targeting will lack purpose, or their warheads will be benign. Whether or not THAAD is up to the task of protecting the South Korean peninsula (or, for that matter, Guam, Japan, and Alaska) from any North Korean ballistic missile attack is still yet to be seen. However, if history is any indication, the likelihood is that the THAAD will significantly underperform -- a possible outcome American military and civilian planners should take into consideration when plotting their next moves against Pyongyang.

Scott Ritter is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. He is the author of Deal of the Century: How Iran Blocked the West's Road to War (Clarity Press, 2017).

David , says: September 11, 2017 at 12:05 pm

Finally, Scott you are one of the few who speaks the shocking truth about US missile defense base on proportional navigation. BUT there is a solution you need to find out about – HIT Technology http://bit.ly/HIT-MissileDefense
Dennis J. Tuchler , says: September 11, 2017 at 5:09 pm
The need to justify the acquisition of military hardware always interferes with the rigor of testing. Test results are published and must show success or the Military has egg on its wasteful face. Therefore, it is always a mistake to believe what is said about our weapons systems, however many improvements may have been made.
James Drouin , says: September 11, 2017 at 6:57 pm
The author's failure to correctly detail the cause of the Patriot's failure, which has been indisputably diagnosed and corrected, brings into serious question any hypothesis he has on THAAD.

In brief, Patriot failed because of a drift in the timing between radar pulses, and the longer the system was online, the greater the drift, thus the greater the miss.

Further, the Israelis, operators of the Patriot system, had in fact, notified the US Army and the Patriot Project office of the flaw, and US military bureaucracy being what it is, the rest is history admit to screwing the pooch, or claim success where none existed.

Bottom line, WITHOUT the timing error, which could be fixed by simply re-booting the system every eight hours, Patriot functions perfectly as a missile killer.

SteveK9 , says: September 11, 2017 at 7:50 pm
Michael, IF N. Korea got rocket engines, the evidence presented in the NY Times suggests it was out-of-work Ukrainians, and N. Korea's oil comes from China.

You have Putin on the brain.

DrivingBy , says: September 12, 2017 at 12:14 am
"Therefore, it is always a mistake to believe what is said about our weapons systems"

The few strategic munitions tests that we know truly worked were those such as Ivy Mike. The people who built that were serious about their work, and there were remarkably few fizzles considering it was then new technology. Unfortunately, there were also a few side effects.

Were the Pentagon staffed by people motivated to defend the USA, we could probably invent a layered missile interceptor system that works pretty well.

Stephen Hubbard , says: September 13, 2017 at 5:53 pm
There is another issue that those who depend on missile defenses are overlooking. North Korea could easily pre-position multiple nuclear weapons on non-descript boats, that then sail into the major ports of their foes during or after a war and destroy them. Such weapon delivery systems are very hard to detect and stop. So those who advocate attacking North Korea and feel we can stop their weapons with missiles are fooling themselves. This is one of the reasons that non-combat options to stop North Korea are still the best choice.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Watch Kucinich's complete interview here:

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


Copyright © 2017 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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[Oct 09, 2017] Autopilot Wars by Andrew J. Bacevich

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

Autopilot Wars Sixteen Years, But Who's Counting?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://robertmagill.wordpress.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HOW WE GET THERE

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

Against Disimagination: Educated Hope and Affirmative Speculation

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

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

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

Against De-democratization: Organizing and Collective Coverning

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

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

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

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

Against Disposability: Radical Equality

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

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

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

Against Dispossession: Shared Security and Common Wealth

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

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

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

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

[Oct 08, 2017] A Vet Remembers

Oct 08, 2017 | www.unz.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Oct 04, 2017] Trump Administration Policies in North Korea and Yemen Show Costs of Empire

Oct 04, 2017 | www.usnews.com

The idea that North Korea's nuclear capacity is a threat to the U.S., in particular because Kim might be crazy enough to attack us, was dismissed in a recent New York Times report :

The fear is not that Mr. Kim would launch a pre-emptive attack on the West Coast; that would be suicidal, and if the 33-year-old leader has demonstrated anything in his five years in office, he is all about survival. But if Mr. Kim has the potential ability to strike back, it would shape every decision Mr. Trump and his successors will make about defending America's allies in the region.
In other words, if North Korea could retaliate against a U.S. attack, Washington would have less power in Asia. It seems that when we dig beneath the surface of "national security" arguments for terribly dangerous or violent foreign policies, it is more often power, rather than the security or well-being of Americans, that underlies them. Otherwise, the negotiation of peaceful solutions would be the first priority. But as recently as June, the Trump administration dismissed an offer from North Korea and China to negotiate a deal in which North Korea would freeze its missile and nuclear testing in return for the U.S. freezing its "big, large-scale military exercises" in the Korean peninsula. The same imperial priorities that prevent a negotiated solution with North Korea appear to be a major reason for U.S. participation in the war and atrocities in Yemen. In this case it is part of Washington's strategic alliance with the Saudi dictatorship, which has recently been subjected to increasing criticism for its support for terrorist groups, including ISIS. Fortunately, members of Congress are pushing back against the unconstitutional, unauthorized participation in the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

[Oct 03, 2017] North Koreans remember well that their country was literally flattened by US bombing, and many may recall how US forces bombed major dams when there were no other targets left

Notable quotes:
"... The North Korean dictatorship may well win the prize for brutality and repression, but it is seeking and to some extent carrying out economic development, despite the overwhelming burden of a huge military system. That system includes, of course, a growing arsenal of nuclear weapons and missiles, which pose a threat to the region and, in the longer term, to countries beyond -- but its function is to be a deterrent, one that the North Korean regime is unlikely to abandon as long as it remains under threat of destruction. ..."
"... Today, we are instructed that the great challenge faced by the world is how to compel North Korea to freeze these nuclear and missile programs. Perhaps we should resort to more sanctions, cyberwar, intimidation; to the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system, which China regards as a serious threat to its own interests; perhaps even to direct attack on North Korea -- which, it is understood, would elicit retaliation by massed artillery, devastating Seoul and much of South Korea even without the use of nuclear weapons. ..."
"... But there is another option, one that seems to be ignored: we could simply accept North Korea's offer to do what we are demanding. China and North Korea have already proposed that North Korea freeze its nuclear and missile programs. The proposal, though, was rejected at once by Washington, just as it had been two years earlier, because it includes a quid pro quo: it calls on the United States to halt its threatening military exercises on North Korea's borders, including simulated nuclear-bombing attacks by B-52s. ..."
"... The 2017 South Korean elections may offer a ray of hope. Newly elected President Moon Jae-in seems intent on reversing the harsh confrontationist policies of his predecessor. He has called for exploring diplomatic options and taking steps toward reconciliation, which is surely an improvement over the angry fist-waving that might lead to real disaster. ..."
Oct 03, 2017 | www.unz.com

Barsamian: What are the strategic issues where Korea is concerned? Can anything be done to defuse the growing conflict?

Chomsky: Korea has been a festering problem since the end of World War II, when the hopes of Koreans for unification of the peninsula were blocked by the intervention of the great powers, the United States bearing primary responsibility.

The North Korean dictatorship may well win the prize for brutality and repression, but it is seeking and to some extent carrying out economic development, despite the overwhelming burden of a huge military system. That system includes, of course, a growing arsenal of nuclear weapons and missiles, which pose a threat to the region and, in the longer term, to countries beyond -- but its function is to be a deterrent, one that the North Korean regime is unlikely to abandon as long as it remains under threat of destruction.

Today, we are instructed that the great challenge faced by the world is how to compel North Korea to freeze these nuclear and missile programs. Perhaps we should resort to more sanctions, cyberwar, intimidation; to the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system, which China regards as a serious threat to its own interests; perhaps even to direct attack on North Korea -- which, it is understood, would elicit retaliation by massed artillery, devastating Seoul and much of South Korea even without the use of nuclear weapons.

But there is another option, one that seems to be ignored: we could simply accept North Korea's offer to do what we are demanding. China and North Korea have already proposed that North Korea freeze its nuclear and missile programs. The proposal, though, was rejected at once by Washington, just as it had been two years earlier, because it includes a quid pro quo: it calls on the United States to halt its threatening military exercises on North Korea's borders, including simulated nuclear-bombing attacks by B-52s.

The Chinese-North Korean proposal is hardly unreasonable. North Koreans remember well that their country was literally flattened by U.S. bombing , and many may recall how U.S. forces bombed major dams when there were no other targets left. There were gleeful reports in American military publications about the exciting spectacle of a huge flood of water wiping out the rice crops on which "the Asian" depends for survival. They are very much worth reading, a useful part of historical memory.

The offer to freeze North Korea's nuclear and missile programs in return for an end to highly provocative actions on North Korea's border could be the basis for more far-reaching negotiations, which could radically reduce the nuclear threat and perhaps even bring the North Korea crisis to an end. Contrary to much inflamed commentary, there are good reasons to think such negotiations might succeed. Yet even though the North Korean programs are constantly described as perhaps the greatest threat we face, the Chinese-North Korean proposal is unacceptable to Washington, and is rejected by U.S. commentators with impressive unanimity. This is another entry in the shameful and depressing record of near-reflexive preference for force when peaceful options may well be available.

The 2017 South Korean elections may offer a ray of hope. Newly elected President Moon Jae-in seems intent on reversing the harsh confrontationist policies of his predecessor. He has called for exploring diplomatic options and taking steps toward reconciliation, which is surely an improvement over the angry fist-waving that might lead to real disaster.

[Oct 03, 2017] The Trump Presidency

Notable quotes:
"... The most dangerous of these has barely been reported. A very important study in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists ..."
Oct 03, 2017 | www.unz.com

Not all of the damage can be blamed on the con man who is nominally in charge, on his outlandish appointments, or on the congressional forces he has unleashed. Some of the most dangerous developments under Trump trace back to Obama initiatives -- initiatives passed, to be sure, under pressure from the Republican Congress.

The most dangerous of these has barely been reported. A very important study in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists , published in March 2017, reveals that the Obama nuclear weapons modernization program has increased "the overall killing power of existing US ballistic missile forces by a factor of roughly three -- and it creates exactly what one would expect to see, if a nuclear-armed state were planning to have the capacity to fight and win a nuclear war by disarming enemies with a surprise first strike."

As the analysts point out, this new capacity undermines the strategic stability on which human survival depends. And the chilling record of near disaster and reckless behavior of leaders in past years only shows how fragile our survival is. Now this program is being carried forward under Trump. These developments, along with the threat of environmental disaster, cast a dark shadow over everything else -- and are barely discussed, while attention is claimed by the performances of the showman at center stage.

Whether Trump has any idea what he and his henchmen are up to is not clear. Perhaps he is completely authentic: an ignorant, thin-skinned megalomaniac whose only ideology is himself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nowhere in the West is there a sign of intelligence.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

theomatica -> MSP1984 17 Nov 2016 6:40

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

farga 17 Nov 2016 6:35

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

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

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

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

Social36 -> farga 17 Nov 2016 8:33

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

ForSparta -> farga 17 Nov 2016 14:24

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

SeeNOevilHearNOevil 17 Nov 2016 6:36

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

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

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

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

ProbablyOnTopic 17 Nov 2016 6:37

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

LithophaneFurcifera -> ProbablyOnTopic 17 Nov 2016 7:05

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

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

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

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

Nash25 17 Nov 2016 6:40

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

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

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

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

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

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


VenetianBlind 17 Nov 2016 6:42

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

macfeegal 17 Nov 2016 6:46

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

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

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

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

VenetianBlind -> macfeegal 17 Nov 2016 7:00

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

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

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

[Sep 24, 2017] How Sony, Obama, Seth Rogen and the CIA Secretly Planned to Force Regime Change in North Korea by Tim Shorrock

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The U.S., he warned in a recent speech on Capitol Hill that I attended, must deliver Kim a simple message: "We know the only thing you care about is your regime's survival. Either denuclearize or we will take actions politically to destabilize your regime." His talk was a basic primer for this "uprising" from within, which is exactly what the Bush administration sought in Iraq when it invaded in 2003. ..."
"... K-Pop, the South Korean musical genre that's popular around the world, could be another weapon: "It's acidic as far the regime is concerned." And commercials about South Korean life planted in DVDs smuggled into the North "would be terrible for Kim Jong-un." ..."
"... The purpose of the operation, he said, is to convince the people of the DPRK that their "paranoid" leader is not a "god," and to plant the idea that his country is unstable: "If that's in his mind, it will affect his behavior." In short, a psy-op. ..."
"... Why Bennett? His official biography states that he has worked for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, U.S. Forces in South Korea and Japan, the U.S. Pacific Command as well as the South Korean and Japanese militaries. According an email he wrote to Sony's Lynton in 2014, he got his start in Asia as a Mormon missionary to Japan and began working on Korea in 1989 "at the request of the Pentagon." By 2014, he said, he had made over 100 trips to South Korea to advise the U.S. Army and senior South Korean military personnel "on how to deter North Korea." Even though he has never been to the DPRK, he bases his knowledge of the country on his "extensive interviews with senior North Korean defectors." ..."
"... The film allegedly sparked North Korea to hack Sony and leak thousands of internal Sony emails. North Korea also warned the Obama administration not to allow the film to be released, branding it "an act of terrorism." So, when Bennett invited questions at his congressional briefing, I asked him: what was his involvement in The Interview , and did he think it was effective? ..."
"... As Americans come to grips with Trump's confrontational policies with North Korea, it's easy to forget that U.S. relations with North Korea reached a nadir under Barack Obama. Here's why: Bennett's regime change proposals were, and are, the culmination of policies hatched by Obama's left-liberal administration to weaken Kim's hold on power and hasten what they considered North Korea's inevitable collapse. Obviously they failed, yet elements of the plan still abound. ..."
"... To head off that development, in 1994 President Bill Clinton negotiated an agreement with North Korea's founding leader, Kim Il-sung, that sought to allay his government's fears by ending America's hostile policies. Under the "Agreed Framework," the DPRK shut down its one test reactor -- its only source for plutonium -- in return for U.S. shipments of oil for its power grid and two new light-water reactors to be built by an international consortium. Most importantly, both sides agreed to end mutual hostility by fully normalizing their economic and political relations. ..."
"... The agreement, which froze North Korea's nuclear program for 12 years, held for several years. But in 2002, the Bush administration accused the DPRK -- falsely it turned out -- of building a secret uranium program as a second route to a bomb and tore up the framework. In response, North Korea, which was by now led by Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un's father, restarted its nuclear program, and by 2006 had exploded its first nuclear device. ..."
"... Surprisingly, Bush reopened negotiations only three weeks later, and by 2007, under the rubric of the Six Party Talks, the DPRK agreed again to freeze its program. That accord was still pending when Obama was elected in 2009. He had run for president pledging to talk to Iran and North Korea, but quickly changed course on Korea. ..."
"... Obama and his top adviser on Asia, Jeff Bader, decided in 2009 to side with the new, conservative president of South Korea, Lee Myung Bak, who had campaigned against engagement and demanded stronger pressure tactics against the DPRK. Soon, the idea of direct talks and regular was abandoned. Officially, the doctrine for replacing direct engagement with pressure tactics was known as "strategic patience." Behind it was a mistaken assumption!the same one made by Bennett today!that North Korea was headed for collapse, making even the chance of an agreement a futile exercise. ..."
"... It's difficult to overstate how reactionary Obama's policies became. In contrast to Bush, and even Trump, Obama flatly rejected the idea of negotiating with the North without a prior commitment to denuclearization. He also expressed no interest in the DPRK's offer to sign a peace agreement. More disturbingly, he was the first president in history to refer to the Korean War, which has been universally recognized as a bloody stalemate, as a "victory." In doing so, Obama revived a right-wing trope that was first used in the 1950s and resurrected during the Bush years by David Frum and other neocons. So from the onset, Obama caused America's policy toward Korea to take a sharp right turn. ..."
"... But the U.S. government had no doubts at all. In January 2015, Obama called the DPRK's alleged hack an "act of war" and used it as an excuse to launch one of the most aggressive American actions on behalf of a private corporation in U.S. history. His executive order imposed sanctions against three North Korean agencies and nearly a dozen "critical North Korean operatives" in retaliation for the hack. The Treasury Department said the sanctions were in direct response to North Korea's "numerous provocations, particularly the recent cyber-attack targeting Sony Pictures Entertainment." The action marked a major escalation, returning "the U.S. to a posture of open hostility with its oldest remaining Cold War adversary," the Wall Street Journal noted . ..."
"... Shortly after these actions were taken, the New York Times published a revelation that raised serious questions about the hack, reporting that the NSA had broken into the DPRK's computer systems as early as 2010 and "penetrated directly into the North with the help of South Korea and other American allies." If that was true, the NSA might have watched the alleged hackers and allowed them to do their work. Here's what the Times concluded: ..."
"... Today, Kim Jong-un remains firmly in control of North Korea, and the Trump administration -- despite Trump's tweets on Sunday equating engagement with "appeasement " -- appears to be slowly moving toward negotiations of some kind with his government. Bruce Bennett continues to fantasize about bringing the leader down. Kim, he argued in a recent post , craves his weapons not for self-defense but because "nukes are one way to show his subjects he's a god." Kim is "a weak leader consumed by paranoia," he wrote in a separate piece. ..."
"... And on August 29, in a departing interview with Fox News, ousted White House adviser Sebastian Gorka let it slip that the cyber attacks on North Korea probably continue. "On the more covert side of things, you have seen a lot of missile tests fail," he said . "Most tests actually fail. Sometimes there may be reasons beyond just incompetence by North Korea." ..."
"... And there was an intriguing exchange recently between one of Obama's top national security officials and South Korea's new president, Moon Jae-in . On August 4, Moon spoke out against Korean right-wingers who send anti-DPRK propaganda over the border in large balloons!one of the tactics frequently suggested by Bennett and carried out by neocons Kirchick and Halvorssen. These actions, he warned , unnecessarily aggravate the North, and particularly during times of severe tension, "could prompt accidental clashes." ..."
"... That sparked an angry tweet from Samantha Power, the Obama administration's former U.N. ambassador and perhaps the most famous proponent of "humanitarian intervention" against enemy states like North Korea. "So mistaken," Power tweeted in response to Moon. "Information is what Kim Jong-un fears most. ..."
Sep 05, 2017 | www.alternet.org

Grayzone Project 294 COMMENTS

Over the past month, President Trump's incendiary threats to rain " fire and fury " on North Korea in response to its ballistic missile program set off a chain of military escalations that climaxed this week with Pyongyang's sixth test of a nuclear device , a hydrogen bomb three to five times more powerful than the American bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

As the crisis unfolded, the Rand Corporation, a military-intelligence think tank founded during the Cold War, relentlessly promoted the views of Bruce W. Bennett, a defense researcher it calls "one of the leading experts on the world's most reclusive country." Two or three times a day, Rand's media shop tweets out links to Bennett's writings on Kim Jong-un, the 33-year-old who rules the Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea (DPRK), its formal and preferred name.

While Trump has vowed to use sanctions, war threats and diplomacy to stop Kim from developing a ballistic missile that could fire nuclear weapons at the United States!exactly what Kim claimed to do on Sunday!Bennett believes that the only target worth considering is North Korea's " Supreme Leader " himself.

Bennett's basic theme is that North Korea is teetering on collapse and internal unrest because the military and technocratic elite who run the country have given up on Kim and his dynastic family. It's a theory that's been around for decades , but has picked up steam in reaction to Kim's recent purges, including possibly his own brother and a string of high-level defections that includes Thae Yong-ho , the erudite former North Korea ambassador to London.

In glossy books and pamphlets ("Preparing North Korean Elites for Unification") and in appearances from CNN to Fox to Teen Vogue , Bennett lays out his plan for overthrowing the North Korean government by saturating the country with leaflets and propaganda and providing assurances to potential plotters in the North that they would have a place within a new, unified Korea!but only under South Korean and U.S. control.

The U.S., he warned in a recent speech on Capitol Hill that I attended, must deliver Kim a simple message: "We know the only thing you care about is your regime's survival. Either denuclearize or we will take actions politically to destabilize your regime." His talk was a basic primer for this "uprising" from within, which is exactly what the Bush administration sought in Iraq when it invaded in 2003.

The plan, Bennett said, might begin with the U.S. Air Force dropping leaflets on North Korean missile bases that invite North Korean soldiers to defect. "If there were one or two, that would be a political loss of face." K-Pop, the South Korean musical genre that's popular around the world, could be another weapon: "It's acidic as far the regime is concerned." And commercials about South Korean life planted in DVDs smuggled into the North "would be terrible for Kim Jong-un."

The purpose of the operation, he said, is to convince the people of the DPRK that their "paranoid" leader is not a "god," and to plant the idea that his country is unstable: "If that's in his mind, it will affect his behavior." In short, a psy-op.

As I listened to his spiel, I was reminded of Bennett's advisory role in the 2014 Seth Rogen comedy The Interview , about two Hollywood stoners hired by the CIA to kill Kim. It depicted, in graphic detail, Kim's head being blown apart by a guided missile fired by fed-up North Korean "elites" who had come over to the U.S. side after their conversations with the fake American journalists, played by Rogen and his sidekick James Franco.

The film was produced by Japan's Sony Pictures, but finalized only after receiving critical advice and assistance from the Obama State Department, the Rand Corporation, and according to a 2014 interview Rogen gave to the New York Times, the CIA ("We made relationships with certain people who work in the government as consultants, who I'm convinced are in the CIA") But it was all under the tutelage of Bruce Bennett, who was brought into the project by Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton, a prominent member of Rand's board of directors and a close confidante of President Obama.

Why Bennett? His official biography states that he has worked for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, U.S. Forces in South Korea and Japan, the U.S. Pacific Command as well as the South Korean and Japanese militaries. According an email he wrote to Sony's Lynton in 2014, he got his start in Asia as a Mormon missionary to Japan and began working on Korea in 1989 "at the request of the Pentagon." By 2014, he said, he had made over 100 trips to South Korea to advise the U.S. Army and senior South Korean military personnel "on how to deter North Korea." Even though he has never been to the DPRK, he bases his knowledge of the country on his "extensive interviews with senior North Korean defectors."

The movie's plot closely follows Bennett's vision for regime change from within, and is illustrated in two key scenes.

"We're aware of a small faction in the existing leadership that already wants him gone," the CIA agent overseeing the assassination plot tells her American recruits early on. "They want change and they're too scared to act alone. And they need you two to go in there and remove Kim and embolden them to revolt." Later, "Sook," the sexy assistant to Kim who joins the regime change plot, pleads with Rogen: "How do you prove to the 24 million people of North Korea that their god is a murderer and a liar? The people need to be shown that he's not a god."

The film allegedly sparked North Korea to hack Sony and leak thousands of internal Sony emails. North Korea also warned the Obama administration not to allow the film to be released, branding it "an act of terrorism." So, when Bennett invited questions at his congressional briefing, I asked him: what was his involvement in The Interview , and did he think it was effective?

At first, Bennett was elusive, saying, "I did not work on the movie." When I reminded him that he had been listed as an adviser, he changed course. "I heard about it for the first time when I was sent a copy of the DVD by the president of Sony Pictures, who was asking, do we need to be worried about this?" he explained, inspiring a ripple of laughter throughout the room. Bennett continued: "So I had a tail-end role in trying to help them appreciate what they might be worried about."

But there's a lot more to the story. Now that Kim is dominating the news once again, it's time to revisit this film and how it became a weapon in the long-running American war against North Korea.

Obama's hard line on DPRK

As Americans come to grips with Trump's confrontational policies with North Korea, it's easy to forget that U.S. relations with North Korea reached a nadir under Barack Obama. Here's why: Bennett's regime change proposals were, and are, the culmination of policies hatched by Obama's left-liberal administration to weaken Kim's hold on power and hasten what they considered North Korea's inevitable collapse. Obviously they failed, yet elements of the plan still abound.

Let's start with some basic background. The hostile U.S. relationship with the DPRK dates back to the Korean War, when U.S. bombers turned the country into cinders in a destructive campaign of carpet-bombing that killed millions of people. In 1953, an armistice ended the fighting, leaving the country divided and in a perpetual state of war. A peace treaty was never signed. Sometime in the late 1980s, with the border still tense and the U.S. showing no signs of withdrawing its military forces from the South, the DPRK decided to embark on a nuclear program to defend itself from wars of regime change and guarantee its sovereignty.

To head off that development, in 1994 President Bill Clinton negotiated an agreement with North Korea's founding leader, Kim Il-sung, that sought to allay his government's fears by ending America's hostile policies. Under the "Agreed Framework," the DPRK shut down its one test reactor -- its only source for plutonium -- in return for U.S. shipments of oil for its power grid and two new light-water reactors to be built by an international consortium. Most importantly, both sides agreed to end mutual hostility by fully normalizing their economic and political relations.

The agreement, which froze North Korea's nuclear program for 12 years, held for several years. But in 2002, the Bush administration accused the DPRK -- falsely it turned out -- of building a secret uranium program as a second route to a bomb and tore up the framework. In response, North Korea, which was by now led by Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un's father, restarted its nuclear program, and by 2006 had exploded its first nuclear device.

Surprisingly, Bush reopened negotiations only three weeks later, and by 2007, under the rubric of the Six Party Talks, the DPRK agreed again to freeze its program. That accord was still pending when Obama was elected in 2009. He had run for president pledging to talk to Iran and North Korea, but quickly changed course on Korea.

According to Leon Sigal, a former State Department official who has met with North Korea many times in unofficial talks, Obama and his top adviser on Asia, Jeff Bader, decided in 2009 to side with the new, conservative president of South Korea, Lee Myung Bak, who had campaigned against engagement and demanded stronger pressure tactics against the DPRK. Soon, the idea of direct talks and regular was abandoned. Officially, the doctrine for replacing direct engagement with pressure tactics was known as "strategic patience." Behind it was a mistaken assumption!the same one made by Bennett today!that North Korea was headed for collapse, making even the chance of an agreement a futile exercise.

It's difficult to overstate how reactionary Obama's policies became. In contrast to Bush, and even Trump, Obama flatly rejected the idea of negotiating with the North without a prior commitment to denuclearization. He also expressed no interest in the DPRK's offer to sign a peace agreement. More disturbingly, he was the first president in history to refer to the Korean War, which has been universally recognized as a bloody stalemate, as a "victory." In doing so, Obama revived a right-wing trope that was first used in the 1950s and resurrected during the Bush years by David Frum and other neocons. So from the onset, Obama caused America's policy toward Korea to take a sharp right turn.

The tensions were exacerbated by the covert cyber war Obama launched against North Korea to damage and slow its missile program. During the Obama years, North Korea tested three more nuclear bombs, and despite the cyber war, rapidly expanded its missile abilities. As the situation deteriorated, Obama embarked on a series of military exercises with South Korea that increased in size and tempo over the course of his administration. They included unprecedented overflights by B-52 and stealth B1-B bombers as well as training in " decapitation strikes " designed to take out Kim and his leadership. All of this led straight to the crisis Trump inherited and has only made worse.

But while Trump critics rightly chafe over his reckless allusions to a nuclear attack on Korea, it's often forgotten that Obama himself made similar statements, couched in his trademark cool. "We could, obviously, destroy North Korea with our arsenals," Obama told CBS News in April 2016. A few months later, Daniel Russel, the president's senior diplomat on Asia who had earlier viewed The Interview at Sony's request, actually threatened North Korea's destruction. If Kim gets "an enhanced capacity to conduct a nuclear attack," Russel told defense reporters, he would "immediately die."

At the time, these threats hardly caused a ripple in the media, and sparked few complaints from the liberals who now criticize Trump for pushing the U.S. to war or the progressive reporters who criticized Bush for his invasion of Iraq.

Seth Rogen 'melted head' assassination scene

Although the idea for The Interview had been around for a while, the real inspiration, director Seth Rogen told the Los Angeles Times, was some "idle kidding around" he did with his friends after the assassination of Osama bin Laden in 2011. He and Sony were also encouraged by the wild success of the 2004 hit movie Team America , which ridiculed Kim Jong-il's big glasses and bouffant hair-do. But what sparked Sony's decision to go ahead with its $35 million investment was the crisis that shook the Korean Peninsula when the DPRK tested its third nuclear device in February 2013.

The nuclear test vaulted Kim Jong-un into the headlines for the first time, giving Sony the moment it had been seeking. In a "strategic marketing and research" paper later leaked by hackers, the studio told promoters to push the theme of "the dictator's bizarre behavior!he's a young, inexperienced guy with self-esteem and 'daddy' issues." The film used every racist image and trope that Rogen could dream up, from the sing-songy caricatures of Asian speech that were a film staple in the 1940s and '50s, to the concept that Koreans are either robotic slaves (like Kim's security guards) or sex-starved submissives who crave American men (like Sook, the "elite" aide to Kim who falls for the Rogen character).

In the end of the film, the Hollywood rebels triumph after badgering Kim with tough questions about his ability to feed his own people, an allusion to the terrible famine that occurred in the late-1990s. Kim goes crazy, forcing "a man once revered among mortals to cry and shit in his pants," the Rogen character explains. After the stoner character screams, "he's no god, he's a butthole," Kim is struck on his helicopter by the fatal missile shot by Sook's rebels, and his head explodes in a fireball. The rebels' job now "is to make sure power is transferred to the right hands," the Americans explain.

It was that ending that caused most of the controversy, both at the studio and when the film was later pre-screened to select officials of the Obama administration. When the first takes were shown in June 2014, some of Sony's Japanese executives were disturbed by both the violence and the racism. By this time, North Korea (which relentlessly monitors U.S. media) had got wind of the film and its theme of assassinating its head of state. So the studio asked Rogen to tone it down by removing one scene in which moviegoers watched Kim's face slowly melt and slide off his head. This sent Rogen on a tirade.

"We feel the story of censorship and trying to appease North Korea WILL in fact hurt the film critically, and thus financially," he wrote to Amy Pascal , Sony Pictures' top executive at the time. "The head melting shot described vividly in all these articles is universally received as awesome by the articles writing about them, and when these critics see a shot that is decidedly LESS awesome, regardless of what story we put out there, the truth will be apparent: it's a compromised product." (The head-melting scene was removed, but Rogen's Hollywood version of selective morality was revealing nonetheless).

By this point, North Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs was denouncing the film as tantamount to "an act of war," and threatening "a decisive and merciless countermeasure" if the Obama administration allowed it to be shown. That was apparently the result Rogen was looking for.

"There was a lot of high-fiving," he told the Los Angeles Times. Even if it caused a war?

"Hopefully," Rogen said, "people will say, 'You know what? It was worth it. It was a good movie!'"

It was then that Sony turned to the government for help, through Rand and its Korea expert, Bruce Bennett.

With top Obama contacts, Sony and Rand collaborate on coup narrative

The Rand Corporation first became famous in 1971, when Daniel Ellsberg, a Rand analyst, leaked the Pentagon Papers that exposed the secret history of the Vietnam War. The incredible tale of official lies that unfolded in pages of the New York Times and other papers helped end the war four years later and triggered the beginning of the end of Richard Nixon. After shaking off that incident, Rand emerged as one of the premiere research centers for the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence.

As a result of 9/11 and the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Rand returned full force to refining the practice of counterinsurgency , or COIN, the "soft power" side of empire-building that got its start in Vietnam and aims at winning "hearts and minds" of countries that the United States invades or subverts. Bennett's policy proposals to divide members of the North Korean "elite" from their government with offers of political support and financial assistance come right out of the COIN playbook .

The link between Rand and Sony was made shortly after the first public viewing of the film by Rand CEO Michael Rich, a lifelong employee of the think tank. Under his leadership, Rand developed close ties with U.S. intelligence. In November 2014, for example, Rich presided over a "rare dialogue" with the National Security Agency that took place at Sony's headquarters in Century City and included then NSA director Michael Rogers as well as Michael Leiter, the former director of the CIA's National Counterterrorism Center.

In June 2014, after the first clips of the movie where shown, Rich emailed Bennett, informing him he had recommended that Rand "trustee Michael Lynton, CEO of Sony Entertainment, get in touch with you for some quick assistance." Lynton, too, had high-level connections. As the hacked Sony emails collected by Wikileaks would later reveal , he had attended dinners at Martha's Vineyard with President Obama, and as a Rand board member, had contacts throughout government. From June on, Bennett, through Lynton, became a critical adviser to the film and acted as a liaison between the studio and the Obama administration.

The makers of The Interview were especially interested in advice on crafting the ending of the film. The scene of Kim's head exploding pleased Bennett, as he wrote in one of his emails. "I have been clear that the assassination of Kim Jong-Un is the most likely path to a collapse of the North Korean government," he wrote .

Bennett continued: 'Thus while toning down the ending may reduce the North Korean response, I believe that a story that talks about the removal of the Kim family regime and the creation of a new government by the North Korean people (well, at least the elites) will start some real thinking in South Korea and, I believe, in the North once the DVD leaks into the North (which it almost certainly will). So from a personal perspective, I would personally prefer to leave the ending alone."

Bennett firmly believed the film could spark the U.S.-led coup he had dreamed about for so long. "There are many ways that United States and even Sony Pictures could affect North Korean internal politics," he wrote on the Rand website. "Slipping DVDs of at least parts of The Interview into the North, including a narration describing what their 'god' Kim is really like is one way." (In fact, a version of this stunt was attempted right after the film came out by two of the more fanatical regime-changers in Washington, the neocon writer Jamie Kirchik and right-wing human rights hustler Thor Halvorssen .)

To make sure the film was on the right track, Sony arranged to show the ending to officials at the State Department. Lynton emailed Daniel Russel, who was the assistant Secretary of State for East Asia, that the studio was "concerned for the safety of Americans and American and North Korean relations." He and other U.S. officials gave their blessing to the film's violent ending. After word of Russel's involvement leaked out, the State Department denied any role, only to be contradicted by Russel himself. In a 2016 speech in Los Angeles, he said , "I'm the U.S. government official who told Sony there was no problem 'greenlighting' the movie The Interview ."

Despite the official go-ahead, Sony agreed at first to only release The Interview on DVD. Then, when Sony temporarily pulled the film in December 2014, Obama became its champion, declaring that "we cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States." That led to the remarkable sight of Hollywood actors and directors from the liberal left, led by the likes of George Clooney and Michael Moore, defending the film as an act of free speech and urging Americans to defy Kim's "censorship" and go see it in a theater.

By this time, Sony had been hacked by a group that called itself the " Guardians of Peace ." The FBI later claimed this group was secretly working for North Korea. The Obama administration agreed, and said its top intelligence officials had concluded that North Korea was "centrally involved." This finding was questioned by many cyber-security experts (especially Gregory Elich's critique in Counterpunch and Kim Zetter's analysis in Wired). They concluded that the FBI's "evidence" found in servers in Thailand, Singapore and elsewhere was thin and speculative, and found signs that the real hackers (who had an uncanny insider knowledge of Hollywood) could still be at large and might have been former Sony employees.

But the U.S. government had no doubts at all. In January 2015, Obama called the DPRK's alleged hack an "act of war" and used it as an excuse to launch one of the most aggressive American actions on behalf of a private corporation in U.S. history. His executive order imposed sanctions against three North Korean agencies and nearly a dozen "critical North Korean operatives" in retaliation for the hack. The Treasury Department said the sanctions were in direct response to North Korea's "numerous provocations, particularly the recent cyber-attack targeting Sony Pictures Entertainment." The action marked a major escalation, returning "the U.S. to a posture of open hostility with its oldest remaining Cold War adversary," the Wall Street Journal noted .

Shortly after these actions were taken, the New York Times published a revelation that raised serious questions about the hack, reporting that the NSA had broken into the DPRK's computer systems as early as 2010 and "penetrated directly into the North with the help of South Korea and other American allies." If that was true, the NSA might have watched the alleged hackers and allowed them to do their work. Here's what the Times concluded:

"The extensive American penetration of the North Korean system raises questions about why the United States was not able to alert Sony as the attacks took shape last fall, even though the North had warned, as early as June, that the release of the movie would be 'an act of war.'"

By this time, however, the film had done its damage by convincing Kim's government that the Obama administration did indeed want its destruction. More missile and nuclear tests followed, and by the end of the Obama administration relations were far worse than they were when Bush left office in 2009. In other words, the film had the opposite of its intended effect, prompting a clampdown by Kim and suppressing whatever internal dissent existed.

Today, Kim Jong-un remains firmly in control of North Korea, and the Trump administration -- despite Trump's tweets on Sunday equating engagement with "appeasement " -- appears to be slowly moving toward negotiations of some kind with his government. Bruce Bennett continues to fantasize about bringing the leader down. Kim, he argued in a recent post , craves his weapons not for self-defense but because "nukes are one way to show his subjects he's a god." Kim is "a weak leader consumed by paranoia," he wrote in a separate piece.

At the same time, there is abundant evidence that the combination regime-change/cyber war project adopted by the Obama administration is still in force. A few weeks ago, CIA Director Mike Pompeo told a crowd at the Aspen Forum that he's been ordered to find ways to "separate" Kim from his "missiles and nuclear weapons" -- a "strong hint," the New York Times reported , "that the United States was considering seeking a regime change in North Korea." And on August 29, in a departing interview with Fox News, ousted White House adviser Sebastian Gorka let it slip that the cyber attacks on North Korea probably continue. "On the more covert side of things, you have seen a lot of missile tests fail," he said . "Most tests actually fail. Sometimes there may be reasons beyond just incompetence by North Korea."

The Democrats haven't let up, either. Last month, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal told NBC News that the Obama administration should have responded more aggressively to North Korea's alleged hack of Sony in 2014. And there was an intriguing exchange recently between one of Obama's top national security officials and South Korea's new president, Moon Jae-in . On August 4, Moon spoke out against Korean right-wingers who send anti-DPRK propaganda over the border in large balloons!one of the tactics frequently suggested by Bennett and carried out by neocons Kirchick and Halvorssen. These actions, he warned , unnecessarily aggravate the North, and particularly during times of severe tension, "could prompt accidental clashes."

That sparked an angry tweet from Samantha Power, the Obama administration's former U.N. ambassador and perhaps the most famous proponent of "humanitarian intervention" against enemy states like North Korea. "So mistaken," Power tweeted in response to Moon. "Information is what Kim Jong-un fears most."

[Sep 24, 2017] Trump misreads North Koreas sacred dynasty at his peril by Michael Brabazon

Notable quotes:
"... Trump's threat of fire and fury is the worst response imaginable ..."
"... The Korean War ended with an armistice, or stand-off, but never a peace treaty, and the US is, in essence, still fighting the Korean War. That is the crux of the problem. ..."
"... I would also add that who started the Korean War is open to some debate. There is some evidence that the North invaded in response to an incursion started from the South. Both sides were attacking each other across the parallel before the 'War' started and there's documentation that the South was keen to invade the North. The Korean leadership on both sides saw the division as unacceptable and themselves as the legitimate government of the entire country. ..."
"... I think you have hit on something I've been thinking about. I believe Trump is deliberately stirring the pot in an attempt to goad Kim Jong Un into doing things that actually rile the Chinese. ..."
"... During the Cold War, the Soviet arsenal posed a far greater danger than North Korea does now. Nevertheless, no US president was so stupid to try and solve the crisis by pressing the USSR into giving up its missiles. Everybody knew we could just lean back and wait for the Soviet Empire to collapse by itself. And that's what happened ..."
"... But Trump doesn't know jacksh*t about history, and he certainly has no patience ..."
"... You certainly have a point. Anyone who thinks that we in the West are not susceptible to propaganda is the best proof that we are. However, flawed as it may be, I still prefer the Western Way of Life to anything else. There is a reason why the East German government had to build the Berlin Wall to keep its own citizens from running off to the West. There is a reason why there are no Americans applying for Russian or Chinese citizenship, but hundreds of Russians and Chinese standing in line in front of US embassies for a Green Card. ..."
"... How about the indoctrination of say people in the USA. Children are taught to sing the National anthem. This is sung at sports and other events in almost mandatory fashion. You see the Star Spangled banner in homes, public buildings almost everywhere. ..."
"... Hollywood and the American media feed the public a constant and pervasive diet of movies, television shows and propaganda about America's might, values and glory. Books,literature, clothing, toys you name it highlight and accentuate this. Try spending a week watching CNN, Fox news MSNBC, BBC et al. ..."
"... The US walked away from negotiations in 2002, after six years of talks, because NK refused to give in on some unreasonable pre-conditions. ..."
Sep 24, 2017 | www.theguardian.com
... ... ...

Dealing with Kim is not the same as dealing with a fanatic like Osama bin Laden or an apparatchik like Khrushchev. He is impervious to realpolitik, and the lives of perhaps tens of millions of people are at stake – by privation, if not war.

Trump's threat of fire and fury is the worst response imaginable to a religious extremist who believes he alone can save humanity – and that the US and her allies are all that stand in the way of Korea fulfilling its own destiny.

Eisvogel , 24 Sep 2017 13:37

The Korean War ended with an armistice, or stand-off, but never a peace treaty, and the US is, in essence, still fighting the Korean War. That is the crux of the problem.

The solution lies in a peace treaty that demilitarizes the whole Korean peninsula and this treaty must include China, since China was the main adversary to the US during a war that never really ended after more than 60 years.

Babis_K , 24 Sep 2017 12:05
No one (Trump or Kim) is so insane that will dare to escalate this verbal war into a real war that can easily turn into a nuclear war.

If Kim fires first he knows that he, his regime and a great part of his people will be annihilated by the American fire and fury.

If the US strike first they can't endure the consequences of a nuclear counter- attack by N. Korea with millions of dead in the ally countries of S. Korea and Japan but even in the US territory from 60 nukes Kim processes today.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/north-korea-now-making-missile-ready-nuclear-weapons-us-analysts-say/2017/08/08/e14b882a-7b6b-11e7-9d08-b79f191668ed_story.html?utm_term=.b761ade32408

I see this verbal dispute as a repetition of cold war Cuba tension some 55 years ago but in a less diplomatic and more hoodlum language.

Diplomats from the US and N. Korea should sit at the same table and find a way to relax this tension.

Tom1982 , 24 Sep 2017 10:28
Interesting the author puts so much emphasis on Juche in his assessment of North Korean political deliberations.

B. R. Myers wrote an influential book on North Korea that made the case that Juche is a non-philosophy designed solely for the purpose of bamboozling foreigners, and that the motivations of the DPRK leadership are based around racial nationalism.

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

AshesToAshes -> Blenheim , 24 Sep 2017 10:28
It is realpolitik sharpened to a knife edge. The USA acts as nuclear hegemon, because it is in their own interests to do so. The USSR would like to have done so, and China would still if it could. We benefit from the status quo.

North Korea having nuclear weapons is odious to the USA as hegemon, so it will not be allowed to happen. Morality is irrelevant. The only question is who has the will and the power to enforce that will.

AshesToAshes -> TragicomedyBeholder , 24 Sep 2017 10:21
Unfortunately if he so desperately wants war, the price will be immeasurable.

Imagine h actually fires a handful of ICBMs at the continental USA. It really doesn't matter much at that point whether US missile defence takes them down before impact or not. Either way, the US would then counterstrike with a force not dissimilar to the hammer of God.

Trump might decide that the best way to stop Seoul getting pulverised by DPRK artillery is to carpet the area north of the DMZ with small tactical nuclear strikes, and then unleash dozens, perhaps hundreds of strategic warheads on Pyongyang and every single other target of any value. It would be over in a morning, but NK would be utterly incinerated.

jdanforth -> Andrei Lankov , 24 Sep 2017 09:37
Yeah, Vietnam, Cuba and China have done some privatizations, so what you say about North Korea sounds correct to me, but the core of heavy industry there and in all of these countries is still state-owned.

The only way for any of them to once again be ruled by a capitalist class would be a counterrevolutionary collapse like the one that happened in the USSR in 1991-92. Such an event would be unmistakeable, cataclysmic, and most likely catastrophic, for the inhabitants of the country in question, just as it was in the USSR. It cannot happen as some sort of gradual evolution in the policies of the governing bureaucracy, although the privatizations and corruption that you mention do make it a more likely outcome than before. A US invasion and military regime would be a way to restore capitalist rule to North Korea, though it could easily backfire, and anyway, I don't think the imperialists could conquer North Korea without first exterminating its entire population, which I guess is what Trump is threatening.

It's interesting that you say that the North Korean fishing industry started getting privatized right around the time of the Soviet collapse. That´s also when China started charging university fees, and when Cuba entered its "Periodo Especial."

WallyWillage -> FobRoared , 24 Sep 2017 09:18
They could buy a dozen nuclear weapons and delivery systems before breakfast if they wanted one - and would happily use it on Iran not Israel (who have plenty too - including submarine based ones).

Saudis were the majority of the mujahadeen and AQ funders and leaders and the pilots of the 9/11 attackers.

They also have a major US base. Prob with nukes if not all the biggest and deadliest weapons.

Adam Yusaf -> Engelbach , 24 Sep 2017 08:53
A redkneck hillbilly,his thought process doesent stretch that far
rhytrn -> Phil Atkinson , 24 Sep 2017 08:47
And one would add the Americans and then the person put in place to run South Korea, Syngman Rhee, depended on Japanese collaborators, not a few of whom had already been involved in war crimes before the end of WWII.

I would also add that who started the Korean War is open to some debate. There is some evidence that the North invaded in response to an incursion started from the South. Both sides were attacking each other across the parallel before the 'War' started and there's documentation that the South was keen to invade the North. The Korean leadership on both sides saw the division as unacceptable and themselves as the legitimate government of the entire country.

rhytrn -> Phil Atkinson , 24 Sep 2017 08:33
Or Xi Jinping whose grandfather fought against the Japanese. The Chinese have in the past been very critical of Shinzo Abe's visiting a memorial to people they consider war criminals.
Steven J. Barber -> theAthensdog , 24 Sep 2017 08:26
I think you have hit on something I've been thinking about. I believe Trump is deliberately stirring the pot in an attempt to goad Kim Jong Un into doing things that actually rile the Chinese.

If you have noticed the Chinese have only recently began to get serious about reigning in North Korea by enforcing sanctions.

North Korea's increased provocations, a reaction to US and her allies have seriously angered China. Also the threats of economic retaliation on Chinese entities doing business with North Korea have caused the Chinese to weigh the cost of doing business with the Norks vs the cost of sanctions.

It seems recently the Chinese have been considering the DPRK as more of a detriment.

VirginMary , 24 Sep 2017 07:31
I do not believe that KJU could be convinced to change is behaviour. Is practically a God so what else can be given? Nothing can compare.

I believe there will be war in the Korean peninsular. If we are lucky it will be a sudden military intervention from China (and perhaps Russia) into North Korea to replace KJU and a few other people. The objective is to maintain the existence of North Korea as a country and largely a status quo and NOT a country under the influence of US.

If we are not lucky it will be a messy war US first will battle North Korea and win then US forces will get involved in a messy and prolonged confrontation on the ground with "local" NK troops: troop supported by Russian and Chinese volunteers (special forces). It will ultimately result again in a stalemate but a few millions of people will be dead

Dominguini -> Blenheim , 24 Sep 2017 07:04
"Since the end of WW", the US has only ever been about America first".

Absolutely. You would never catch the Russians, or the Chinese, or the French, putting THEIR country first, would you?

Ladegast -> Alex Ira , 24 Sep 2017 06:12
... and by the way, who said the world "needs to respond to the threats"? That's exactly the kind of one-dimensional thinking that led mankind into the First World War.

The more attention the Fat Kid gets, the more noise he makes. Just let him have his silly rockets and ignore him. What do we care about North Korea? They do not even have oil. Just forget about that country and let it rot away. This has worked for the last 64 years, and so far North Korea has not harmed one American soldier.

During the Cold War, the Soviet arsenal posed a far greater danger than North Korea does now. Nevertheless, no US president was so stupid to try and solve the crisis by pressing the USSR into giving up its missiles. Everybody knew we could just lean back and wait for the Soviet Empire to collapse by itself. And that's what happened.

But Trump doesn't know jacksh*t about history, and he certainly has no patience.

Conanbarbarian -> SchakarMevsky , 24 Sep 2017 06:08
"Its central doctrine, the supremacy of man, is based directly on the founding belief of the Cheondogyo sect: in nae Cheon – 'man is God'. Hmmm. Sounds like Marxism-Leninism to me. You don't get this kind of crap in anything ancient."---erm, Jesus the man is held by Christians to be God.
Conanbarbarian -> Hermann Steinpilz , 24 Sep 2017 06:06
The correct comparison is surely Japan up to the end of the 2nd World War and even up to today for some Japanese, and its cult of Emporer-God.
Ladegast -> Alex Ira , 24 Sep 2017 05:47
Avoiding nuclear war by provoking it makes little sense.

"History crap" is exactly what this idiot in the White House is "thinking". Everyone knows Trump doesn't read books and has no understanding of history. That's why he is incapable of solving international problems.

All he can do is insult people and bully them into obedience.

This might work with some provincial politician from Hillbilly Creek, Oklahoma. But it certainly does not get you anywhere when you are dealing with some Asian dictator and mass-murderer.

You have to know your enemies thoughts - this has been known since the days of Sun Tzu.

Ladegast -> studio1reggae , 24 Sep 2017 05:35
You certainly have a point. Anyone who thinks that we in the West are not susceptible to propaganda is the best proof that we are. However, flawed as it may be, I still prefer the Western Way of Life to anything else. There is a reason why the East German government had to build the Berlin Wall to keep its own citizens from running off to the West. There is a reason why there are no Americans applying for Russian or Chinese citizenship, but hundreds of Russians and Chinese standing in line in front of US embassies for a Green Card.

There is a reason why Syrian refugees turn their hopes to Europe and not to Saudi Arabia or Russia.

studio1reggae , 24 Sep 2017 04:07
Interesting article Mr Brabazon

You talk about the indoctrination of the Korean people and how it is perpetuated. You approach this from a more introspective level than many others.

How about the indoctrination of say people in the USA. Children are taught to sing the National anthem. This is sung at sports and other events in almost mandatory fashion. You see the Star Spangled banner in homes, public buildings almost everywhere.

Hollywood and the American media feed the public a constant and pervasive diet of movies, television shows and propaganda about America's might, values and glory. Books,literature, clothing, toys you name it highlight and accentuate this. Try spending a week watching CNN, Fox news MSNBC, BBC et al.

America presidents and the West loves to holler on about the "Free World". What is this bull-shit about the Free world. Oh yes it has to be run by them. The American and them has to lead and run it of course.

The pentagon/NATO loves to talk about defending the west values, ideology and human rights. So here in the West and America propaganda and indoctrination abounds. It has been this ways for hundreds of years now.

xoffox -> SchakarMevsky , 24 Sep 2017 03:03
The roman emperors were considered gods to be venerated by the people. The god-like status of the North Korean leaders does not look that different.
Andrei Lankov -> jdanforth , 24 Sep 2017 01:13
Funny. You could not choose worse examples. Fishing in North Korea is roughly 90% privately owned, and this has been the case since the early 1990s. Mines, if you mean coal mines, are indeed largely state-owned, but tonchu (rich private investors, operating with tacit or open permit of the party-state) control a noticeable part of the industry. The agriculture, which was remarkably good in generating famines when it was indeed done by the state, has been privatized after '6-28 instructions', in 2012-2014, and is now run more or less along the Chinese lines.
Will Will , 24 Sep 2017 01:05
Very interesting article, Mr Brabazon. But my suspicion is that you might be confusing the regime's religious-nationalist claim to legitimacy with the actual thinking processes of the regime's leader himself. Specifically, is Kim Jong-un really 'a religious extremist' in person - something that would suggest he is not entirely rational - and possibly even quite unhinged?

All signs suggest he is rather in fact an extremely rational, calculating, cold-hearted manipulator. He has a well-documented history of ramping up diplomatic/military hostilities and then pivoting at the last moment to extract advantage or concessions (sanctions relief, aid, import/export access, etc). So to say then that he's 'impervious to realpolitik' seems quite odd indeed. He appears to be very good at cynical real-political gamesmanship. He just doesn't appear to define NK's national interest as the pursuit of power for its own sake (as in the European realpolitik tradition), but for the sake of the survival of his dynastic regime. Similarly, the NK foreign minister reportedly said just recently that NK's nuclear ambition is 'to balance' the US. The idea of a balance of power stands at the heart of realpolitik thought.

Kim Jong-un appears driven less by non-rational religious conviction than by a very rational quest to achieve mutual deterrence with the US by developing nuclear ICBMs. Juche may help explain why he can't/won't/doesn't need to accept any bribe to abandon this quest, but more likely its main role is to maintain domestic political control in the face of widespread privation and fear.

Kevskos -> ThanksNeolibZombies , 24 Sep 2017 00:08
Yes we had an agreement with North Korea that President Carter had negotiated for Clinton that Bush II trashed and NK started building nukes. Felt for some reason they could not trust the US since we had invaded Iraq for trying to make nukes when they were not. Felt they needed nukes as the only way to protect themselves from US invasion.
spiral batholith -> sejong , 24 Sep 2017 00:04
While US politics, society, and global respect obviously decline at the hands of this idiotic potus...US military spending and force has increased exponentially since 2011. It does not bode well for anyone on the Korean peninsula that these two pinheads keep hurling childish insults that could eventually turn into catastrophic military decisions. Trump and Kim will go down in history as the morons that fought a war over battered little fucktard egos...and that cost a lot of innocent people their lives. We have to evolve...this is the same damn game cavemen played except instead of throwing rocks we're throwing globally fatal neutron bombs. Sad.
Phil Atkinson -> clshannon , 23 Sep 2017 23:47
Try this on for size:

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/north-korea-missile-test-us-1994-agreed-framework-pyongyang-programme-kim-jong-un-donald-trump-a7876446.html

Phil Atkinson -> Ian Maitland , 23 Sep 2017 23:44
You must believe every single word printed in the media.

"...and his firing of missiles over our ally..."

The way this is portrayed in the media is akin to deadly missiles flying over Japan at head height, or at least inside Japanese air space. The facts, of course, are different.

Because of Japan's proximity to the Korean peninsular, test missiles have to be fired from sea level, straight into space (100kms above sea level) to avoid Japanese air space. The missiles' trajectories ensure Japanese air space is not encroached upon and while this practice is less than neighbourly, it's not illegal. The Japanese, given their historical animosity towards Korea, make such propaganda of these test firings as they can and the western media laps it up.

Phil Atkinson -> iRtRb7suiJLtkfuPvJFa , 23 Sep 2017 23:37
Michael Brabazon's a historian, not a statesman. We need statesmen, not politicians to fix this mess, ideally a group comprising representatives from both Koreas, China, Russia and the US. NOT Japan. Lock them all in a room and don't let them out until the Korean question is resolved.
Phil Atkinson -> Mark Williams , 23 Sep 2017 23:29
"The war ended 70 years ago for everyone else..."

No it didn't and many people ignore this when commenting on various North Korean responses. Let's be clear - a state of war still exists between North Korea and its allies and South Korea and its allies. All that was signed in 1953 was an armistice - a cease-fire. It was not a peace treaty.

North Korea correctly(?) feels that the US may breech the cease fire and is arming itself accordingly. While the US and South Korea keep playing war games near the DMZ, that view won't change.

Igloo -> id0102 , 23 Sep 2017 23:27
I know, I know, the guy dropping the bombs is always in the wrong.
Do you accept that the Korean war began because a large force came over the 38th parallel from the north and among other things, occupied Seoul? And that hundreds of thousands of Chinese troops joined in on the NK side? Not to mention Russian fighter pilots? There is always a context when bombs are dropping.
It's not just the North Koreans who have existential fears- the South Koreans do as well, and their worst nightmare would be living under a Kim regime.
monicamac -> Videogamesatemycat , 23 Sep 2017 23:19
I doubt it to be honest.
jdanforth -> BrianMonaghan , 23 Sep 2017 23:18
Capitalism is defined in any dictionary as private ownership of the means of production. North Korea has overthrown it. That is why the country got bombed in the 1950s, and that is why America's capitalist government has been threatening it ever since with more bombing.

Who owns the fishing industry, agriculture and the coal mines in North Korea? The state! These industries can't be bought by US "investors" because no individual owns them, so the only solution is to try to erase North Korea from the map again. This plan, if it is a plan, is raving madness, of course, but capitalism is not a rational system.

monicamac -> dack72 , 23 Sep 2017 23:13
Go USA, go the Trump man who knows nothing - he is just a fool and those who follow him have got blinkers on - thinking make America great again - WTF?? Mate this is not the wild west anymore nor the movies where you go in with your guns blazing and you always win - you need some sophistication and some brains to know how to handle these issues. Trump the man and Trump the President are duds!!

If Obama behaved as Trump has been doing - he would have been shouted down as the black man behaving badly.

Trump needs to be shouted down as the white man who is behaving extremely badly - get rid of him through empeachment and get someone who knows that they are doing!!!

awilson5280 , 23 Sep 2017 23:11
Thank you for this article, Mr. Brabazon. I now understand North Korea and the dynamic on the Korean peninsula better. Your point that Trump doesn't know what he's messing with is well-taken, but that is something that is true with regards to nearly any topic you could name.

The fact that North Korea has a national indoctrination program of an ideology that has no grounding in a modern reality - and that cares nothing for the international order that attempts to keep us all from killing each other - gives valuable perspective. However, it does not change the fact that North Korea is going to continue to act in ways that threaten other countries, and that (especially due to its ideology and its disconnection from any real allies) it miscalculate and find itself erased from the map, likely taking a lot of South Koreans with it.

This has the potential to be a really bad situation: the best result is reform from within, second best result is implosion of the regime. Everything else looks to involve significant loss of life.

Phil Atkinson -> Mark Williams , 23 Sep 2017 23:04
"...launched a surprise invasion of South Korea."

Surprise?

From 1948 until the invasion, north and south Koreans were facing-off across the DMZ and there were a significant number of violent incursions by both sides - mostly initiated by South Koreans, who were itching for a fight. (That's according to the US general in charge of South Korean forces at the time). The north's invasion was no surprise and the only reason it occurred in June 1950 was because the north had a division of troops fighting with the Chinese communists. Those troops didn't return to North Korea until early 1950

Phil Atkinson -> rhytrn , 23 Sep 2017 22:30
This is also a good read and covers the period 1910 on:

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v39/n10/bruce-cumings/a-murderous-history-of-korea

This goes into a little more detail in some aspects:

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/rearvision/north-korea/3352778

Phil Atkinson -> kasprowy , 23 Sep 2017 22:28
"But he thinks he is descended from gods? So which is it?"

Neither. The people are taught that Kim is a godlike figure. I doubt Kim believes that himself - he's western educated.

Phil Atkinson -> luckysue , 23 Sep 2017 22:24
" It may be too late, but have we tried this?"

No.

North Korea has put peace proposals to the UN/US which included offers to cease their nuclear ambitions, or at least put them on hold. Both the US and South Korea have rejected the offers out of hand.

Phil Atkinson -> rhytrn , 23 Sep 2017 22:21
It's hard to imagine Shinzo Abe and Kim Jong-un at the same conference table - the two grandchildren of two of the original protagonists during the Japanese occupation of Korea 1910-45. Some people have long memories.
Phil Atkinson -> rhytrn , 23 Sep 2017 22:16
The Korean situation is different, in that it was one national entity until 1945, when Japan ceded Korea to the US as part of the surrender terms. At the time, then (Soviet) Russians, who were nominally our allies, had moved into northern Korea as part of their push against the Japanese. This concerned the US, who wanted Korea to remain in their control, so John J. McCloy instructed Dean Rusk to divide Korea in two and Rusk drew a line through the 38th parallel. The Soviets administered the north and the US the south until 1948.

You can imagine how Kim Il-sung felt about this - he'd spent the previous 13 years actively fighting the Japanese invaders in order to reclaim his country and was one of the few surviving guerrilla leaders. The Japanese had murdered his wife and had ruthlessly suppressed any dissent. Now all of that was for nothing - all that happened was that other invaders had moved in and split the country. It was the direct cause of North Korea invading the south in 1950.

Phil Atkinson -> Sasha Rieger , 23 Sep 2017 21:53
"...this article merely makes the point that the current Kim cannot be reasoned with ..."

That's drawing a bit of a long bow. Kim may be many things, but stupid doesn't appear to be one of them. The same can't be said for Trump. North Korea recently submitted a plan to the UN/US with a proposal that the north puts a hold on its nuclear weapons development. In return, North Korea asked for (a) a formal treaty ending the Korean War, with non-aggression guarantees from both sides, (b) South Korea and the US to cease military exercises close to the DMZ and (c) a timetable for the reduction of US troops in South Korea. This plan was backed by both Russia and China. The US and South Korea refused the offer point-blank.

Now who is being unreasonable?

id0102 -> garpalgumnut , 23 Sep 2017 21:52
Kim played the anti-US card simply for a political grip on power, and keeps that grip very tight after the recent displays of nuclear weapons. He's probably even more popular now, in spite of the famine and poverty.
Phil Atkinson -> AndrewWatkins , 23 Sep 2017 21:46
An excellent point, very likely totally missed by the US administration (such as it is). It's impossible to fight an enemy unless you understand them.
Phil Atkinson -> Telvannah , 23 Sep 2017 21:43
The jury returned a unanimous verdict that Trump has the attention span of a loaf of wet bread.
Phil Atkinson -> PJL1234 , 23 Sep 2017 21:42
"...the article reinforces the need to take action before North Korea loses all sense of rational and morale judgement."

The only problem there is that we're 64 years too late - any resolution should have been in 1953, even if it had meant open war with China. Now, 3, 4 or 5 generations later, the North Koreans are not going to change their beliefs or mindset. We've missed the boat, unfortunately for all concerned.

BrianMonaghan , 23 Sep 2017 21:42
Excuse me but the CIA and ihe intelligence services of the world ate all well informed about Juche. Since when does the US regard the DPRK as Marxist in any sense? If an analogy is required, the DPRK, with its emperor worship and nonsense about the divinity of its people, is closer to 1930's Japan than it is to communism. It's a nationalistic monarchy, for goodness sake.
honeycomb42 -> Michael_GPF , 23 Sep 2017 21:10
The US led the attack. The US is the superpower. And Clinton had a personal hatred for Gadhafi. It was a US drone that tracked him and directed the terrorists to his location where he was raped with a bayonet and shot.
id0102 -> Igloo , 23 Sep 2017 21:10
3 million Koreans dead was not a repel, it was a massacre. Note that North Korea did not have an air force so so speak. Within a year the US and UK ran out of military targets, and bombed civilians mercilessly.
ThanksNeolibZombies -> stuart255 , 23 Sep 2017 21:09

"If you want peace, prepare for war" is about the most ancient wisdom there is and over thousands of years it has proven to be pretty sound advice.

I'm not sure how helpful this is in a nuclear age. We live perilously close to nuclear annihilation, there are obvious incentives for states to obtain nuclear weapons, and preparation for war does not seem to be the answer to this problem.

khoffman -> Engelbach , 23 Sep 2017 21:07
You don't understand what gualtiero is saying. It's very logical. As NK develops ICBM with nuclear warheads they neutralize the US nuclear option. In 10-20 years, NK could have enough nuclear armed ICBMs to overwhelm
ThanksNeolibZombies -> dack72 , 23 Sep 2017 20:49

In other words he is a nut and the people supressed so we just pussy foot around him and he has the world just where he wants them - living on edge- just like we do with the terrorism of the world now from our fanatics.

Are you describing Trump here or Kim Jong-un?

There doesn't seem to be a good alternative to diplomacy and negotiation here.
In any case, strategically it seems a good idea to understand where people are coming from.

Also you should ask how on gods earth did such a nut get to have this ability- perhaps another Obama disaster .

Didn't the North Korean nuclear tests begin under George W Bush?

Engelbach -> AlexFishy , 23 Sep 2017 20:14
There haven't been recent attempts at negotiation and diplomacy with North Korea by the United States.

The US walked away from negotiations in 2002, after six years of talks, because NK refused to give in on some unreasonable pre-conditions.

Kim is a dictator who uses fear and hatred of an outside enemy to solidify his hold on his people. He's not suicidal. Destruction of North Korea would be fatal to his goal of spreading his ideology to the world.

Knee jerk reactions to obvious evil are neither a revelation nor a basis for a practical solution to the tensions.

[Sep 24, 2017] Kabuki Politics by Israel Shamir

Sep 24, 2017 | www.unz.com

- The Unz Review

However, for an American President in the United Nations his speech was unbecoming and shockingly brutal. The people of the world listened to his United Nations General Assembly speech, and experienced a touch of nostalgia for the late Mr Adolf Hitler, a kind and mild man of subtle messages in comparison to the fiery US President.

The German Chancellor allegedly killed six million civilians, and this sublime sacrifice (do not ask me to what deity, this is just a translation of the Greek 'holocaust') is considered the worst crime in the bloody history of mankind. Mr Trump publicly and loudly promised to incinerate five or six times that amount. While the German never boasted of that crime, the American already boasts of his still undone crime. His desire to "totally destroy North Korea", to wipe out an entire nation of 25 million, and in addition to cause the death of millions of Koreans in the South of the peninsula as well, secures him a unique place among the villains.

Kim, the brazen King of the North, dismissed Trump as a 'barking dog' who, people say, never bites, and this is surely a comforting thought, but not as comforting as a muzzle for the beast. This barking dog is obviously dangerous and should be restrained, or put out of its misery. The hound has been hounded by his domestic enemies, and thus he became possessed by a demon, for just a few months ago Trump was a peace-loving creature who wanted to attend to the US infrastructure, who refused to bow to AIPAC and was friendly to Putin. It's Mrs Clinton who was the warmonger. But invocation magic worked on him.

... ... ...

Every statesman on the planet knows you can't cross the US. America is powerful, vindictive and vicious, and you must obey or else. They will destroy you and/or your country sooner or later for your disobedience. If they can't invade, they will bomb, if they can't bomb, they will starve first – and then bomb, and only afterwards, invade. One should be crazy to resist. But the little Korean resisted. He is definitely crazy. But we humans adore such crazy rebels against supreme authority, be it Che Guevara or Luke Skywalker. Or McMurphy.

Yes, by his suicidal courage, Kim reminds me of 'Mac', Randle McMurphy, the protagonist of Ken Kesey's novel and Milos Forman's movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Probably you remember his hopeless stand and a futile, doomed fight against the almighty Nurse Ratched. She rules supreme over the inmates. Against her will, there is no appeal. The inmates tremble before her. But she can't break Mac. She is forced to burn his brain, to kill him by other means, and this evil deed releases the inmates. Until then, they supported and obeyed the Nurse like the nations of the world obeyed the Judeo-American power. Incineration of Mac's brain puts paid to her dominion. In revulsion, the placid inmates leave the ward, chose freedom and leave her behind, broken. This is human nature. There is no way for the US to prevail in its fight against Kim the Bold. They can kill him and thirty million of other Koreans, but they can't prevail.

... ... ...

The Russians were dismayed with Trump's plans to reform the UN and eliminate or undermine their right of veto. They noticed an uncanny similarity of Trump's call for the UN reform 2017 with Adolf Hitler's call to reform the League of the Nations in 1937. They aren't likely to agree to any attempt to cancel their veto. They will not leave the UN, either. They tried to walk out once, and it did not work out well.

In January 1950, the Russians were dismayed by America's steadfast refusal to transfer the seat in the UN Security Council to the new Chinese Government of Chairman Mao. They insisted the seat should be occupied by Kuomintang-ruled Taiwan. The Russians boycotted the Security Council to their peril: the Security Council (sine Russians) voted to invoke military action by the United Nations for the first time in the organization's history. The Russians could have blocked the action in the Security Council, since they had absolute veto power, but no Russian delegate was present.

In just a short time, a multinational U.N. force under American leadership arrived in South Korea and the grueling three-year Korean War was underway. The Russians immediately returned to the Security Council but they never could reverse the decision, and until today the US troops in Korea use the UN banner.

The Russians remember that, and they will never repeat the mistake. Even if Trump takes his allies out, the Russians and the Chinese will remain and they will keep the Security Council running, if necessary, without the Americans.

The Americans want to have the UN without the Russians. Trump-proposed declaration of intent to revamp the UN has been endorsed by many small states, but the great ones declined to join. In a brazen act, countries that were hesitant or unwilling to sign the declaration – which include Russia, China, Brazil and South Africa – were not invited to the launch. An organization without them, will not be the United Nations, perhaps NATO 2.0.

The Russian feelings towards the US hardened a lot in the aftermath of the General Assembly. The Russians helped the Syrian government army cross Euphrates and seize the east bank, despite American demands to stay away on the other side of the great river. For the first time ever, they threatened the Americans present in Syria with using their supreme fire power if their troops will be jeopardized like they were a few days ago, when the Islamists led by American instructors made an attempt to snatch a group of Russian policemen.

Mike Johnson > , September 23, 2017 at 6:28 am GMT

Excellent article! One thing I remember about a few months ago was Trump showing up at the AIPAC conference kissing some serious ass, so you must be referring to before that when he threw little hints at being an independent player but even back then didn't he have Sheldon in his corner??

animalogic > , September 23, 2017 at 9:41 am GMT

" The people of the world listened to his United Nations General Assembly speech, and experienced a touch of nostalgia for the late Mr Adolf Hitler, a kind and mild man of subtle messages in comparison to the fiery US President".
The above gave me a genuine LOL moment though nothing else did.
It's no wonder Paul Craig Roberts is now referring to the US as the "fourth Reich". Makes one almost nostalgic for the days of GWB: he was merely stomping on weaker nations – not directly poking a sharp stick at a bear AND a dragon at the same time
The US gave birth to itself from revolution: nothing less will likely save it save all of us .

Parbes > , September 23, 2017 at 9:56 am GMT

The U.S. government and ruling elites are nothing but a collection of evil criminals that constitute the greatest threat to the planet. They should be punished accordingly, preferably by their own people – but that would require today's American population to be something other than a mixture of braindead ignorant sheeple, chauvinist jingoist patriotards, and narcissistic degenerate hedonists.

In other words – the vast majority of Americans deserve whatever happens and will happen to them.

[Sep 23, 2017] North Korea: The poorest advanced economy in the World.

Sep 23, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Amanita Amanita | Sep 23, 2017 7:49:12 PM | 36

North Korea: The poorest advanced economy in the World.

http://www.38north.org/2017/09/jbaron090717/

nonsense factory | Sep 23, 2017 8:12:14 PM | 37
@Kalen 12,
I think b is correct when he says: The U.S. military is too afraid to use its $300 billion missile defense boondoggle because that would prove that it is one gigantic scam.

It's not just that advanced countermeasures can defeat the system, it's that even a single ballistic missile without any tricks would be hard to shoot down at best. See this for example, from a writer who generally promotes U.S. military technology, noting there's a very high probability they'd have missed if they tried to shoot down a North Korean test. . .
https://arstechnica.com. . . -us-have-shot-it-down/

Missing a shot at a missile just passing over Japan could have far-reaching political implications, as it would suggest that anti-ballistic missile systems are incapable of protecting people in South Korea, Japan, or Guam.

For more evidence that the system is completely over-hyped, see this:

The US has tested the interceptor system 19 times since 1999, succeeding about half the time. The most recent test, three years ago, marked another success, but three prior attempts fizzled. That kind of success rate is troubling, given the meticulously managed conditions. "These tests are scripted for success," says Philip Coyle, senior fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation and former head of the Pentagon's test and evaluation office. "What's been surprising to me as that they have failed as often as they have in spite of that."
Those failures are all with single standard ballistic missiles, without any add-ons, lined up under optimal conditions and optimal trajectories, with advance warning - and they still fail a lot of the time. That sure looks like a massive scam/cash cow.
Kalen | Sep 23, 2017 8:33:00 PM | 38
@37
NK also would use decoys if they decide to retaliate, low efficiency of interception you pointed out will be even worse than half hits in controlled tests, may be one in ten or less in operational circumstances.

In other words Anti Missile Systems are useless against ICBMs except for narrow circumstances of none nuke ICBMs.

Grieved | Sep 23, 2017 8:54:04 PM | 39
@36 Amanita Amanita

Thanks for that link. Do you read that website? It was new to me: "38 North...a program of the US-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC." Seems at first glance like a useful clearinghouse for policy discussion, with views from all sides.

Very interesting view into North Korea, a developing country by all definitions, and yet an advanced one in terms of ability to produce capital goods, and all from sheer self-grown application. Interesting information on its agriculture and socialist system. The information seems credible.

The view points to the conclusion that extreme sanctions on NK - similar to the oil embargo on Japan that pushed it to attack the US first at Pearl Harbor - could push NK to attack the US, knowing that it couldn't "win", but doing so preemptively before it ran out of fuel to resist attack from the US.

I've seen other analysis that shows NK would have sufficient fuel regardless. And we have to factor China and Russia into this equation too. But the speaker was an economist not a geo-political analyst. It seemed like an even-handed discussion.

Perimetr | Sep 23, 2017 9:27:21 PM | 40
In other words, Finland and Sweden have both become de facto members of NATO, creating a new 833 mile long "northern front" for NATO on the Russian border.
Perimetr | Sep 23, 2017 9:30:48 PM | 41
Apparently my links to the Swedish and Finish MOUs signed with NATO were deleted. WTF? These links to the text of the agreements are hard to find. I would think that some of the readers might wish to read them?

These MOUs state:

· The HN [Host Nation, Sweden and Finland] will provide support within its fullest capacity, subject to availability and within the practical limitations of the circumstances that then exist, to the forces deployed on NATO-led military activities.
· NATO Military Activities: Military actions including exercises, training, operational experimentation and similar activities, or the carrying out of a strategic, tactical, service, training, or administrative military mission performed by forces; the process of carrying on combat, including attack, movement, supply and manoeuvres needed to gain the objectives of any battle or campaign.
· The provisions of this MOU apply in peace, emergencies, crisis and conflict or periods of international tension as may be jointly determined by the appropriate HN [Host Nation, Sweden and Finland] and NATO authorities.
· Host Nation Support (HNS). The civil and military assistance rendered in peace, emergencies, crisis and conflict by a Host Nation to allied forces and organisations, which are located on, operating in or transiting through the Host Nation's territory, territorial waters or airspace.
· NATO military activities supported by this MOU may require multinational support air operations by fixed wing aircraft and helicopters, and in the case of ports, by merchant and military support vessels. The HN [Sweden and Finland] acknowledges that movement of such aircraft, helicopters, ships and their crews in and through HN [Swedish and Finnish] territorial areas, will take place under a general clearance for the duration of the NATO military activity.

It is discouraging to spend time putting together a detailed post with links and then have it immediately vanish. Would you prefer unsubstantiated opinions?

RC | Sep 23, 2017 9:34:18 PM | 42
Ironic that Reagan's "star wars" missile defense scam, successful maybe in scaring the Soviet's into bankruptcy in the 80's, is now accepted as military fact by the monkeys on Capital Hill.
daffyDuct | Sep 23, 2017 9:41:28 PM | 43
Amanita #34 and #36

Stunning articles.

The reference to 1941 I believe is in another article

# Getting Tough on North Korea: Iran and Other Mirages

http://www.38north.org/2017/09/jdethomas090117

"In July 1941, in response to the Japanese invasion of Indochina, President Roosevelt took a series of steps that look very much like the sanctions advocated by those who want to get tough on the DPRK. He froze Japanese assets and required that Japan obtain specific export licenses to obtain any US goods!including oil upon which the Japanese economy and military was dependent. Subsequently, the US government denied Japan the right to use the US dollar to purchase goods, thus making it impossible to obtain oil even if licenses were granted. Those who made the decision to take this step were confident Japan would not go to war over the sanctions, since both US and Japanese leaders knew it would be a suicidal act for Japan to do so. The Japanese military chose to gamble on an attack on the US fleet and a simultaneous invasion of South East Asian oil fields. Four years of total war in the Pacific ensued. The Japanese decision was indeed suicidal, but it cost a great deal in American blood and treasure to confirm it."

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

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

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

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

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

Then he took it all back.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reprinted with permission from the Strategic Culture Foundation .


Related

[Sep 23, 2017] Russia's foreign minister said Friday the downturn in relations with the United States began with the Obama administration's "small-hearted" and "revengeful" actions and has plummeted further because of "Russo-phobic hysteria."

Notable quotes:
"... Russia's top diplomat said he can't believe this because "first and foremost the United States has all the information leaking all the time." And he said with so many people involved in hearings and investigations related to the alleged Russian meddling, "it cannot be that not a single fact has leaked. It would have leaked." ..."
"... But he said relations are suffering because former president Barack Obama's administration "put this time bomb in U.S.-Russian relations. "I did not expect that from a Nobel Peace Prize winner, but he did manifest himself and we can still see the ramifications," he said. ..."
"... Today, Lavrov said, "our relations are contracting due to Russo-phobic hysteria." As a result, "the immense potential of our bilateral relations" isn't being realized and international issues aren't being solved because the U.S. and Russia cannot coordinate, he said. ..."
"... He said a lot of U.S. politicians say "Russia has to do this and that on Syria," and Russia has to solve the North Korea nuclear problem, and other global crises. But the U.S. military has "a ban on cooperating with Russia," Lavrov said. "Why? Because legislators who find it important not to solve issues in different parts of the world, and not to develop beneficial relations with Russia. Such legislators need to have these political signals. They did it, and that's the reality we live in." ..."
"... "We have to calm down the hotheads," and this requires contacts between the Trump administration and Kim's government, he said. Lavrov said Russia would welcome any efforts at mediation, saying "the mediators could be one of the neutral European countries." He added that U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has talked about mediation and said if he received such a request "he would try to fulfill that." ..."
"... If the Iran nuclear deal falls apart, he said, "then North Korea would say, 'why do I need to negotiate with you if you do not carry out your promises?'" ..."
Sep 23, 2017 | www.yahoo.com

UNITED NATIONS (AP) ! Russia's foreign minister said Friday the downturn in relations with the United States began with the Obama administration's "small-hearted" and "revengeful" actions and has plummeted further because of "Russo-phobic hysteria."

Sergey Lavrov told a news conference there has been a lengthy campaign claiming Russia interfered in the U.S. election to ensure victory for President Donald Trump ! "but we do not see any facts."

When he asked U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson how Russia could confirm his words that Moscow interfered in the American election process, Lavrov said Tillerson replied: "I cannot show you anything because this is confidential information.'"

Russia's top diplomat said he can't believe this because "first and foremost the United States has all the information leaking all the time." And he said with so many people involved in hearings and investigations related to the alleged Russian meddling, "it cannot be that not a single fact has leaked. It would have leaked."

Lavrov recalled World War II when the United States and Russia fought as allies against Nazi Germany.

But he said relations are suffering because former president Barack Obama's administration "put this time bomb in U.S.-Russian relations. "I did not expect that from a Nobel Peace Prize winner, but he did manifest himself and we can still see the ramifications," he said.

Today, Lavrov said, "our relations are contracting due to Russo-phobic hysteria." As a result, "the immense potential of our bilateral relations" isn't being realized and international issues aren't being solved because the U.S. and Russia cannot coordinate, he said. The U.S. and Russian militaries maintain contact to prevent accidents or confrontations between their forces fighting in Syria, but Lavrov said "in order to eliminate terrorists we need not only de-confliction, we need coordination."

He said a lot of U.S. politicians say "Russia has to do this and that on Syria," and Russia has to solve the North Korea nuclear problem, and other global crises. But the U.S. military has "a ban on cooperating with Russia," Lavrov said. "Why? Because legislators who find it important not to solve issues in different parts of the world, and not to develop beneficial relations with Russia. Such legislators need to have these political signals. They did it, and that's the reality we live in."

He was asked about Trump's combative speech to the General Assembly on Tuesday in which the American president threatened "to totally destroy North Korea" if the U.S. is forced to defend itself or its allies and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un responded calling Trump "deranged" and saying he will "pay dearly" for his threats.

Calling the exchange of threats "quite bad," Lavrov said "it is unacceptable to simply sit back and to look at the nuclear and military gambles of North Korea, but it is also unacceptable to start war on the peninsula."

"We have to calm down the hotheads," and this requires contacts between the Trump administration and Kim's government, he said. Lavrov said Russia would welcome any efforts at mediation, saying "the mediators could be one of the neutral European countries." He added that U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has talked about mediation and said if he received such a request "he would try to fulfill that."

The Russian minister said he had no new initiatives to bring the two sides together, explaining that he believes "the potential" for the Russian-Chinese freeze-for-freeze proposal "is not yet exhausted." It would halt North Korean nuclear and missile tests in exchange for the U.S. and South Korea stopping their joint military exercises, but the Trump administration has rejected it.

Lavrov was asked whether he saw a link between the crisis in North Korea and Trump's threat to pull out of the 2015 agreement to cap Iran's nuclear program. He stressed that all other parties to the deal, including Russia, support the agreement and don't want it reopened. "Right now, North Korea is being told, renounce nuclear weapons and we will lift the sanctions," Lavrov said.

If the Iran nuclear deal falls apart, he said, "then North Korea would say, 'why do I need to negotiate with you if you do not carry out your promises?'"

[Sep 21, 2017] Trump's UN Speech A Neocon Dream by Daniel McAdams

Please listen to the audio at the link...
Sep 21, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org
President Trump's speech yesterday at the United Nations got rave reviews from neocons like John Bolton and Elliot Abrams. The US president threatened North Korea, Venezuela, Syria, Yemen, and Iran. At the same time he claimed that the US is the one country to lead by example rather than by violating the sovereignty of others. Are the neocons on a roll as they push for more war? Have they "won" Trump?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Remember this clip from Billy Jack?

[Sep 20, 2017] Trumps Belligerent U.N. Speech by Daniel Larison

The message to the global community has been clear: it's Trump's way or the highway.
Notable quotes:
"... Paired with his confrontational rhetoric directed towards North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and Syria, Trump's choice to cast these states as the "wicked few" portends more aggressive and meddlesome policies and gives the leaders of all of these governments reason to assume the worst about our intentions. It was similar to Bush's foolish "axis of evil" remarks in 2002. ..."
"... All of this belligerent and confrontational rhetoric just raises tensions in several different parts of the world, and it appears to commit the U.S. to more meddling around the world and potentially risks getting the U.S. into more avoidable wars. ..."
"... None of that has anything to do with putting American interests first. Much of Trump's speech was an assertion of a desire to dictate terms to other states, and as such it is likely to be poorly received by most of the governments of the world. ..."
Sep 19, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Trump's speech at the U.N. General Assembly this morning contained a lot of ill-advised and dangerous remarks, but this one stood out:

If the righteous many don't confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph.

U.S. foreign policy already suffers from far too much self-congratulation and excessive confidence in our own righteousness, so it was alarming to hear Trump speak in such stark, fanatical terms about international affairs. Paired with his confrontational rhetoric directed towards North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and Syria, Trump's choice to cast these states as the "wicked few" portends more aggressive and meddlesome policies and gives the leaders of all of these governments reason to assume the worst about our intentions. It was similar to Bush's foolish "axis of evil" remarks in 2002.

The statement itself is also rather odd in that it talks about the many being righteous, when religious texts normally present the righteous as being the relatively few and embattled against the wicked multitude.

If the "wicked" are so few, they must be badly outnumbered and don't pose as much of a threat as Trump claims elsewhere. It also strains credulity that Trump speaks on behalf of righteousness when he embraces so many abusive despots and enables Saudi-led coalition crimes in Yemen.

Trump declared the nuclear deal an "embarrassment," which strongly suggests that he won't agree to recertify the deal when the next deadline comes up in mid-October. He emphasized the importance of sovereignty for the U.S., but in everything else he had to say he showed that he was happy to trample on the sovereignty of other states when it suited him. While his threat to "destroy" North Korea was framed as a defense of the U.S. and allies, it will only make the North Korean government more determined than ever to develop its nuclear arsenal and missiles. He hinted that the U.S. would interfere more in Venezuela , which will almost certainly be used by Maduro and his allies to their advantage.

All of this belligerent and confrontational rhetoric just raises tensions in several different parts of the world, and it appears to commit the U.S. to more meddling around the world and potentially risks getting the U.S. into more avoidable wars.

None of that has anything to do with putting American interests first. Much of Trump's speech was an assertion of a desire to dictate terms to other states, and as such it is likely to be poorly received by most of the governments of the world.

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today, my peers are silent.

But they've been taught the way to do it

Like Christian soldiers; not with haste

And shuddering groans; but passing through it

With due regard for decent taste

-- Siegfried Sassoon , How to Die (1918)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So today, my peers are silent. Professional officers