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"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 ;-)

[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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Democracy Vs. Hegemonism? In Defense Of Mary Grabar

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

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

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

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

[Oct 11, 2017] 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 are volunteers; dissenters are seen as little more than petulant whiners, or oddball nuts. It is hard to know why, exactly, but the increasing cognitive and spatial distance of contemporary soldiers from society at large seems a likely culprit. Combine that with the Republican Party's veritable monopoly on the political loyalties of the officer corps and you have yourself a lethal combination.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Introduction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump Under Obama's International Order

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

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

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

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

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

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

General Mattis: The Militarization of America

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Militarization: An Evaluation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

The militarization of US foreign policy provides some important lessons:

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

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

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

In sum:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

The South Korean military sounds equally belligerent :

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prashad

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

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

--------

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Very, very scary.

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

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

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

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

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

Putin orders to end trade in US dollars at Russian seaports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where have you raised, under rock or in cave?

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

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

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

Agree?

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

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

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

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

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

Instead "stave" should be "starve".

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In par with Trump's speech.

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

is that you?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spot on...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"The word occurs 18(!) times."

While the word Sovereignty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There's the rub.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"rogue nation" = a country that has actual sovereignty

Succinct but true..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Southern Poverty Law Center Transfers Millions in Cash to Offshore Entities

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

Hillary Clinton May Challenge Legitimacy of Presidential Election

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

Amazon Censor Bad Reviews of Hillary Clinton's New Book

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

like the alien scourge of mass tourism.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@Randal

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

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

What gives?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@Sam Shama

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

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

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

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

Spare me the rest of your sanctimony.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

True words sir!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@iffen as sociopaths like you

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@bjondo Regarding jew and war:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What gives?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@Anonymous

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

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

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

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

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

@Randal

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

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

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

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

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

AIPAC to go all-out on Syria

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://archive.org/details/FaheyDenisMoneyManipulationAndSocialOrder

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

@Che Guava

Bullshit.

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

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

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

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

Others may picking a different time.

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

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

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

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

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

[Sep 19, 2017] Trump behaviour at UN and Nixon's "madman gambit" against Soviets

Highly recommended!
Trump said nothing about the Saudi-led war on Yemen or its role in causing the world's worst humanitarian crisis.
Sep 19, 2017 | www.msn.com

Trump's address to the United Nations on Tuesday should erase any doubts that he is threatening a completely unprecedented military strike against North Korea. This seems to be Trump even more fully embracing the so-called Madman Theory, in which he makes himself so unpredictable that other world leaders fear setting him off.

But that approach isn't without its downsides. Former general David Petraeus described it thusly a few days back :

"There is some merit to this. You can argue perhaps there is some merit to it in international relations, although it obviously can go too far. My concern there with the so-called 'madman theory -- that actually (Richard) Nixon put forward through Kissinger where he had Kissinger tell the Soviets, 'You know, Nixon's under a lot of pressure right now and, you know, he drinks at night sometimes, so you guys ought to be real careful. Don't push this into a crisis.' There may, again, be some merit into the madman theory until you get in a crisis. But you do not want the other side thinking you are irrational in a crisis. You do not want the other side thinking that you might be sufficiently irrational to conduct a first strike or to do something, you know, so-called 'unthinkable.'"

Polls show the American people are not confident in Trump's ability to handle the North Korea situation, with 61 percent saying they are "uneasy" Trump's words Tuesday likely won't calm many fears, but he's clearly gambling on North Korea backing down in the face of big talk.

[Sep 19, 2017] The Glaring Omissions in Trumps U.N. Speech by Daniel Larison

Highly recommended!
Sep 19, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com
harmful and dangerous things in this U.N. speech today, but it is also worth noting the things that he chose to leave out. Many observers have already pointed out how the worsening crisis in Myanmar and the military's large-scale ethnic cleansing campaign against the Rohingya didn't rate a mention in the speech, but then I suppose Trump wouldn't have anything constructive to say about the violent mass expulsion of a Muslim population in any case. The most obvious omission in the speech was also the most predictable: Trump said nothing about the Saudi-led war on Yemen or its role in causing the world's worst humanitarian crisis, and when he did mention Yemen at one point it was perversely to claim credit for providing humanitarian aid for the catastrophe that our government has helped create.

There was no attempt to justify ongoing U.S. support for the war, and there wasn't even any acknowledgment that the Saudi-led war effort was happening. Trump's enthusiasm for the Saudi relationship means that he isn't going to call attention to the disaster the Saudis and their allies have created with our help, and the only other time he referred to Yemen was to use it to criticize Iran. Iran is faulted for supposedly fueling "Yemen's civil war," which exaggerates their involvement, but there is no mention of the Saudi-led coalition's role in escalating the conflict and wrecking the country for over two years. It is a given that the Saudis and Iranians are judged by two very different standards by this administration, but emphasizing the minimal Iranian role in Yemen while completely ignoring the massive, devastating role that the Saudis and their allies (and the U.S.) have had is as bad as it gets. As usual, those most responsible for the suffering of the people of Yemen weren't held responsible, the war on Yemen was ignored, and Trump's Iran obsession won out.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Sep 18, 2017] How The Military Defeated Trumps Insurgency

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Trump was seen as a presidential candidate who would possibly move towards a less interventionist foreign policy. That hope is gone. The insurgency that brought Trump to the top was defeated by a counter-insurgency campaign waged by the U.S. military. ..."
"... The military has taken control of the White House process and it is now taking control of its policies. ..."
"... a president who arrived at the White House with no experience in the military or government and brought with him advisers deeply skeptical of what they labeled the "globalist" worldview. In coordinated efforts and quiet conversations, some of Trump's aides have worked for months to counter that view, hoping the president can be persuaded to maintain -- if not expand -- the American footprint and influence abroad ..."
"... It is indisputable that the generals are now ruling in Washington DC. They came to power over decades by shaping culture through their sponsorship of Hollywood, by manipulating the media through "embedded" reporting and by forming and maintaining the countries infrastructure through the Army Corps of Engineers. The military, through the NSA as well as through its purchasing power , controls the information flow on the internet. Until recently the military establishment only ruled from behind the scene. The other parts of the power triangle , the corporation executives and the political establishment, were more visible and significant. But during the 2016 election the military bet on Trump and is now, after he unexpectedly won, collecting its price. ..."
"... Trump's success as the "Not-Hillary" candidate was based on an anti-establishment insurgency. Representatives of that insurgency, Flynn, Bannon and the MAGA voters, drove him through his first months in office. An intense media campaign was launched to counter them and the military took control of the White House. The anti-establishment insurgents were fired. Trump is now reduced to public figure head of a stratocracy - a military junta which nominally follows the rule of law. ..."
"... It is no great surprise that Trump has been drawn into the foreign policy mainstream; the same happened to President Obama early in his presidency. More ominous is that Trump has turned much of his power over to generals. Worst of all, many Americans find this reassuring. They are so disgusted by the corruption and shortsightedness of our political class that they turn to soldiers as an alternative. It is a dangerous temptation. ..."
"... This is no longer a Coup Waiting to Happen The coup has happened with few noticing it and ever fewer concerned about it. Everything of importance now passes through the Junta's hands: ..."
"... Thus we get a continuation of a failed Afghanistan policy and will soon get a militarily aggressive policy towards Iran . ..."
"... Asked whether he was predicting war [with North Korea], [former defence minister of Japan, Satoshi] Morimoto said: "I think Washington has not decided ... The final decision-maker is [US Defence Secretary] Mr Mattis ... Not the president." ..."
"... Nationalistic indoctrination, already at abnormal heights in the U.S. society, will further increase. Military control will creep into ever extending fields of once staunchly civilian areas of policy. (Witness the increasing militarization of the police.) ..."
"... It is only way to sustain the empire. ..."
"... It is doubtful that Trump will be able to resist the policies imposed on him. Any flicker of resistance will be smashed. The outside insurgency which enabled his election is left without a figurehead, It will likely disperse. The system won. ..."
"... The U$A corporate empire is driven by, and according to, the dictates of the mega-corporate desires. The Generals dance to their tune. ..."
"... I would argue that Mattis, McMaster, Kelly, and their line reports don't represent "the US military", or even its generals per se. They represent themselves as people financially beholden to major investment banks for their retirement funds; people fearful of being blackmailed and destroyed by the NSA and CIA and Mossad; people who rose to senior posts during prior administrations because they were flunkies to the establishment . ..."
"... Trump's wealth (at least in the high hundreds of millions $) and his election victory say he's no moron. He probably knows what he is doing. He's either a guy who gave up the struggle after getting the proverbial political hell beaten out of him in the first months of his administration, or he willingly misled his electoral base when campaigning. Perhaps a little of both. He's known for being a BS merchant. Myself, I think he lied outright to the voters during his run for president. It's not a wild idea: so did Obama, Bush, and Clinton. Bigly. ..."
"... Trump made the decisions that we criticse so much. Trump decided to let the Obama holdovers stay in the administration. He decided to hire Goldman Sachs flunkies. He decided to send cruise missiles to strike Shayrat. He decided to approve US assistance to Saudi Arabia in Yemen. H decided to let his zionist son-in-law, who is indebted to George Soros, into the White House. He decided to fire Bannon almost as soon as Bannon came out publicly against war with North Korea. (Possibly a deliberate, desperate attempt at a 'spoiler' tactic on Bannon's part, to prevent conflict.) Trump decided to renege on his promises to the electorate about immigration. He decided to sign an unprecedented, unconstitutional law that bound his hands and imposed sanctions on Russia. He decided to go along with the Russian hacking lie by saying that Russia could, maybe, have hacked the DNC and HRC and whoever else (probably including Disney, the Shriners, and my mother). He decided to employ Sean Spicer and Reince Priebus, Scaramucchi and everyone else. He approved all of those things. ..."
"... It is not especially clear to me (being an outsider to US politics) which of the groups (or combination of groups) seems to have come out on top and have their guys as the gate-keeping, information-vetting guys doing the briefing of Trump. My feel of it is that the Pentagon has gained while JSOC, the black ops contractors, and black-on-black ops contractors have lost. The CIA seems to have broken even. Is this a fair read? ..."
"... Is the possibility of Trump as controlled opposition so far-fetched? Do you think the "power elite's political wing" only runs one candidate? Have you heard of "illusion of choice"? Do you think sheepdog Bernie was a real candidate? ..."
"... Obama and Trump both gained greater apparent legitimacy by: 1) beating the establishment candidate; and 2) being besieged by bat-shit crazy critics (birthers; anti-Russians & antifa). ..."
"... As soon as you choose a side, you are trapped. Two sides of the same coin. Minted in hell. ..."
Sep 18, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Trump was seen as a presidential candidate who would possibly move towards a less interventionist foreign policy. That hope is gone. The insurgency that brought Trump to the top was defeated by a counter-insurgency campaign waged by the U.S. military. (Historically its first successful one). The military has taken control of the White House process and it is now taking control of its policies.

It is schooling Trump on globalism and its "indispensable" role in it. Trump was insufficiently supportive of their desires and thus had to undergo reeducation:

When briefed on the diplomatic, military and intelligence posts, the new president would often cast doubt on the need for all the resources. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson organized the July 20 session to lay out the case for maintaining far-flung outposts -- and to present it, using charts and maps, in a way the businessman-turned-politician would appreciate

Trump was hauled into a Pentagon basement 'tank' and indoctrinated by the glittering four-star generals he admired since he was a kid:

The session was, in effect, American Power 101 and the student was the man working the levers. It was part of the ongoing education of a president who arrived at the White House with no experience in the military or government and brought with him advisers deeply skeptical of what they labeled the "globalist" worldview. In coordinated efforts and quiet conversations, some of Trump's aides have worked for months to counter that view, hoping the president can be persuaded to maintain -- if not expand -- the American footprint and influence abroad

Trump was sold the establishment policies he originally despised. No alternative view was presented to him.

It is indisputable that the generals are now ruling in Washington DC. They came to power over decades by shaping culture through their sponsorship of Hollywood, by manipulating the media through "embedded" reporting and by forming and maintaining the countries infrastructure through the Army Corps of Engineers. The military, through the NSA as well as through its purchasing power , controls the information flow on the internet. Until recently the military establishment only ruled from behind the scene. The other parts of the power triangle , the corporation executives and the political establishment, were more visible and significant. But during the 2016 election the military bet on Trump and is now, after he unexpectedly won, collecting its price.

Trump's success as the "Not-Hillary" candidate was based on an anti-establishment insurgency. Representatives of that insurgency, Flynn, Bannon and the MAGA voters, drove him through his first months in office. An intense media campaign was launched to counter them and the military took control of the White House. The anti-establishment insurgents were fired. Trump is now reduced to public figure head of a stratocracy - a military junta which nominally follows the rule of law.

Stephen Kinzer describes this as America's slow-motion military coup:
Ultimate power to shape American foreign and security policy has fallen into the hands of three military men [...]
...
Being ruled by generals seems preferable to the alternative. It isn't.
...
[It] leads toward a distorted set of national priorities, with military "needs" always rated more important than domestic ones.
...
It is no great surprise that Trump has been drawn into the foreign policy mainstream; the same happened to President Obama early in his presidency. More ominous is that Trump has turned much of his power over to generals. Worst of all, many Americans find this reassuring. They are so disgusted by the corruption and shortsightedness of our political class that they turn to soldiers as an alternative. It is a dangerous temptation.

The country has fallen to that temptation even on social-economic issues:

In the wake of the deadly racial violence in Charlottesville this month, five of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were hailed as moral authorities for condemning hate in less equivocal terms than the commander in chief did.
...
On social policy, military leaders have been voices for moderation.

The junta is bigger than its three well known leaders:

Kelly, Mattis and McMaster are not the only military figures serving at high levels in the Trump administration. CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke each served in various branches of the military, and Trump recently tapped former Army general Mark S. Inch to lead the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
...
the National Security Council [..] counts two other generals on the senior staff.

This is no longer a Coup Waiting to Happen The coup has happened with few noticing it and ever fewer concerned about it. Everything of importance now passes through the Junta's hands:

[Chief of staff John] Kelly initiated a new policymaking process in which just he and one other aide [...] will review all documents that cross the Resolute desk.
...
The new system [..] is designed to ensure that the president won't see any external policy documents, internal policy memos, agency reports and even news articles that haven't been vetted.

To control Trump the junta filters his information input and eliminates any potentially alternative view:

Staff who oppose [policy xyz] no longer have unfettered access to Trump, and nor do allies on the outside [.. .] Kelly now has real control over the most important input: the flow of human and paper advice into the Oval Office. For a man as obsessed about his self image as Trump, a new flow of inputs can make the world of difference.

The Trump insurgency against the establishment was marked by a mostly informal information and decision process. That has been destroyed and replaced:

Worried that Trump would end existing US spending/policies (largely, still geared to cold war priorities), the senior military staff running the Trump administration launched a counter-insurgency against the insurgency.
...
General Kelly, Trump's Chief of Staff, has put Trump on a establishment-only media diet.
...
In short, by controlling Trump's information flow with social media/networks, the generals smashed the insurgency's OODA loop (observe, orient, decide, act). Deprived of this connection, Trump is now weathervaning to cater to the needs of the establishment ...

The Junta members dictate their policies to Trump by only proposing to him certain alternatives. The one that is most preferable to them will be presented as the only desirable one. "There are no alternatives," Trump will be told again and again.

Thus we get a continuation of a failed Afghanistan policy and will soon get a militarily aggressive policy towards Iran.

Other countries noticed how the game has changed. The real decisions are made by the generals, Trump is ignored as a mere figurehead:

Asked whether he was predicting war [with North Korea], [former defence minister of Japan, Satoshi] Morimoto said: "I think Washington has not decided ... The final decision-maker is [US Defence Secretary] Mr Mattis ... Not the president."

Climate change, its local catastrophes and the infrastructure problems it creates within the U.S. will further extend the military role in shaping domestic U.S. policy.

Nationalistic indoctrination, already at abnormal heights in the U.S. society, will further increase. Military control will creep into ever extending fields of once staunchly civilian areas of policy. (Witness the increasing militarization of the police.)

It is only way to sustain the empire.

It is doubtful that Trump will be able to resist the policies imposed on him. Any flicker of resistance will be smashed. The outside insurgency which enabled his election is left without a figurehead, It will likely disperse. The system won.

Posted by b on September 18, 2017 at 11:20 AM | Permalink

Stephen | Sep18, 2017 11:32:00 AM | 1

Only good news: The mask has been torn off US elections. They simply don't matter. Waste of time and money. US has become Saddam's Iraq, Sisi's Egypt, Mugabe's Zimbabwe etc....expect to see Trump win 90% of vote in 2020....hahaha...
Hogwash | Sep18, 2017 11:32:04 AM | 2
Hogwash - The SAA just crossed the Euphrates. If the neocons were really in control, WW3 would start before dawn tomorrow. Otherwise, Assad will get his biggest oil field back from ISIS.

The Russians are hinting that the SDF isn't really fighting ISIS but just pretending to while ISIS soldiers switch uniforms. If that's true, it means the neocons may still be in charge, but what are they going to do about the Syrian Army blocking them now?

Ken Nari | Sep18, 2017 11:46:59 AM | 3
Interesting, and certainly a possible explanation of what's going on. Still, if the military is running the show, why the growth of private mercenary businesses? (A new meaning for "corporate warriors."). My own feeling, based on nothing except decades of experience working with the military, is that the generals don't mind a few little wars, but they well know the risks of a big one.

For that reason, the military leadership seems to be trying to cool things down -- that the U.S. didn't go to war with Iran, Russia, China or North Korea (yet) may be due to the influence of the top brass.

b: It is doubtful that Trump will be able to resist the policies imposed on him.

hmmm...I'm not sure there's any pressure at all on Trump. Since Kennedy was removed the president has little real power and is mostly to provide the trappings of democracy and keep the proles entertained. Over 100 years ago T. Roosevelt noticed the lack of presidential freedom to act -- the bully pulpit and all that.

financial matters | Sep18, 2017 11:47:33 AM | 4
One of the main reasons I was pleased to see Trump get elected was that he wanted to get us out of Syria. Somewhat amazingly I'd say, that has pretty much happened.

Russia, Iran and China have shown themselves to be responsible players and have the strength to back that up.

So, I think in reality the US military will be forced by facts on the ground, as well as a weakening of their propaganda, to go along with Trump's original more accommodating posture.

Don Bacon | Sep18, 2017 12:06:26 PM | 5
It's probably inevitable that the military would rule in the twilight of US world dominance.

Back in the true USA#1 days it was different. A couple of President Truman quotes: "It's the fellows who go to West Point and are trained to think they're gods in uniform that I plan to take apart". . ."I didn't fire him [General MacArthur] because he was a dumb son of a bitch, although he was, but that's not against the law for generals. If it was, half to three quarters of them would be in jail."

The main problem with generals is that most (not all) of them got to where they are by sucking up to higher authority, or "go along to get along." Then couple that with all the perks they get including fine housing, enlisted servants and a fat $250K pension for full generals, and they look at themselves in the mirror with all their fancy ribbons and medals and naturally adopt Harry Truman's "gods in uniform" opinion of themselves, forgetting that they have become successful in an isolated military milieu that favors appearance and disregards lack of accomplishment. And the current crop of generals certainly lacks accomplishment.

Lemur | Sep18, 2017 12:19:50 PM | 6
"Nationalistic indoctrination, already at abnormal heights in the U.S. society, will further increase."

If that were true, why is the historic American nation being replaced by mystery meats from the global south? The Washington machine certainly produces oodles of propaganda, but it is virulently opposed to ethnocentrism at home and abroad, because that might lead to groups with the solidarity to stand up to a degenerate empire.

The indoctrination taking place here is militaristic globalism. And everyone is invited.

ben | Sep18, 2017 12:27:31 PM | 7
b said:"Trump was seen as a presidential candidate who would possibly move towards a less interventionist foreign policy."

Only by those who don't fully understand the TRUE American system, and those who dream of a system that actually provides " truth, liberty and justice for all".

The better liar won the "election".

The swamp (sewer) in Washington getting muddier each day

Posted by: OJS | Sep18, 2017 12:44:21 PM | 8

The swamp (sewer) in Washington getting muddier each day
ben | Sep18, 2017 12:48:52 PM | 9
P.S...The U$A corporate empire is driven by, and according to, the dictates of the mega-corporate desires. The Generals dance to their tune.

"It's just business" Trump has NEVER intended to be anything but what the elites wanted him to be....A wealthy puppet..

Michael McNulty | Sep18, 2017 12:49:32 PM | 10
I think the US is weak militarily for two deep and fundamental reasons, both of which have US politicians to blame.

First, the US has not had able generals and admirals since WWII because politicians today[especially since 9/11] cannot take criticism. Therefore men like MacArthur and Kimmel, who would tell them a war can't be won like that or this strategy is a bad idea, no longer get the promotions. Yes-men get promoted over more able men.

Second, this promotion of yes-men allows politicians to take over the planning of a war. Whereas MacArthur would have shut the door on the neo-cons and told them he'll let him know when his plan is ready, today politicians use political strategy to try and defeat the war strategy of an opponent. For example, Rumsfeld should have been told that if he wanted to steal Iraq he'd need half a million men - but the generals tried to do the impossible and steal Iraq with a third that number because more was politically sensitive.

If politicians are going to have a war, leave it to able generals to plan it. Or lose.

karlof1 | Sep18, 2017 12:50:31 PM | 11
There's no saving the Unipolar attempt to establish Full Spectrum Dominance -- not even nuclear war -- and I think the generals and their minders actually know this, although they seem to be keeping up appearances. Escobar's latest from last Friday details why this is so, http://www.atimes.com/article/iran-turns-art-deal-upside/

Even the Brazilian regime change project is becoming a loser as the massive corruption scandal is about to devour the neocon favorite Temer, while Lula is rising like the Phoenix. The latest leak scandal over the meeting between Rohrabacher and Kelly regarding Russiagate and the status of Julian Assange reveals more than the leak itself, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47818.htm

And finally, we have another great op/ed by Finian Cunningham who's on a roll of late at the Outlaw US Empire's expense, https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201709161057451619-us-alien-peace/

likklemore | Sep18, 2017 12:54:41 PM | 12

Always follow the money. There is only so far a $1 will go. Shrinkflation. The USD, as reserve currency, allowed the US to fund wars, everyday essentials and live high on the hog at the expense of the rest of the world. This exceptional privilege is coming to an end.

When the US declared war; [excluded Iran from use of SWIFT/ the USD] that was the shot heard far and wide. Putin and Xi noted, we could be next and put in place CHIPS.

Lately, Russia and then China has been threatened with sanctions; latest folly of Mnuchin, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. The petro-Yuan Exchange for gold was announced and less than 005% of Americans realize the impact of bypassing the USD.

USA has met its comeuppance. Russia and China need not fire a shot. Prosperity of the exceptional ones is an illusion built on hundreds of trillions of debt. We are kept diverted from de-dollarization by the focus on unschooled Trump. Eight+ months after the selection, it's "Russiagate" – Putin did it; are angels male or female? What happened?

sleepy | Sep18, 2017 1:35:10 PM | 13
Thus we get a continuation of a failed Afghanistan policy and will soon get a militarily aggressive policy towards Iran.

As a candidate way before any junta was installed, Trump always vowed to rip up the Iran nuclear deal. Now why on earth would North Korea trust that any nuclear agreement it made with the US would not similarly be ripped up and shredded a couple years down the road?

Oilman2 | Sep18, 2017 1:35:11 PM | 14
If the handling of "local catastrophes" such as Harvey and Irma are any indication of the power of this junta, then I am not very much worried. The FEMA folks, Red Cross and many others showed their ineffectiveness in spades here in Houston. What's even more revealing is just how quickly they dashed out of here to remain in the news when Irma hit Florida.

I met two ATF guys driving down here after Harvey - and they had no idea why they were coming here. Couldn't articulate a thing to me except to say, repeatedly, "We are ATF and coming to assist." They had ZERO specifics on what they were going to do to help anyone. But they were very much enjoying wearing their ATF t-shirts and sporting their pistols on hip. But it's Texas, and that just made me smile and shake my head. Made me realize that whatever happens here in America, DC and the central government are so incredibly out of touch and living "in the bubble" that they are of very limited use for locals (those outside the East Coast) in any way.

The Feds plan for national, not local catastrophes - and their primary issue is COG, period. They are much more concerned about maintaining government and their own little fiefdoms than in assisting people far away from the DC/NYC corridor.

Further, the math just doesn't work for the junta doing much more than controlling foreign policy (who we next attack) - to try that same thing across America would result in rapid expulsion and failure, as we outnumber them most significantly.

When the pain they cause becomes enough, then things will change. Unfortunately, it seems that change via the national elections has now been abrogated. Something else is likely to ensue, eventually.

Permafrost | Sep18, 2017 1:36:52 PM | 15
The outside insurgency which enabled his election is left without a figurehead, It will likely disperse. The system won.

The problem here ie that the cost for the system to win keeps rising, and the law of diminishing returns remains valid. So for how long? not long.

NemesisCalling | Sep18, 2017 2:34:52 PM | 16
I just don't understand how people can fall for the line that "nationalism" somehow equates to an undesirable movement akin to the rise of nazism. The media has been blitzing this as of late and rallying cries around the antifa demonstrations have been taking this buzzword and running with it, equating proponents of it to racist KKK members in some silly way or another. Even here, b, you seem to be eating right out of the hands of these pagemasters who dictate what words mean.

I'm sorry, but there is a glaring doublestandard when you praise the policy of say Venezuela which "nationalized" their oil industry and condemn all of us Americans who are begging to disassociate from global mechanisms which are crippling fair-spending of tax dollars here in the state. It is fair to assume that military junta historically use the energy of nationalism's lexicon to promote their agenda, but in this case, as you point out, the junta and the status quo of globalism's iron hand seem to fit together nicely. I read that as nationalism never even taking flight here.

I get your trepidation with this terminology considering the history of your country, but America IS different and we deserve an attempt to put America first...shocking, I know.

Kalen | Sep18, 2017 2:49:10 PM | 17
B fell pray of partisan propaganda, Trump - the coup d'etat enabler DNC MANTRA.. So please inform me when generals were not in executive charge of the US government. On behave of oligarchic ruling elite ? Where were those civilian rulers during documented 250 conflicts or war US was engaged during 228 years of existence

The first president was a general and since then US generals executed basic US imperial economic model of aggression and exploitation, military land grab from Indians and Mexicans to suppression of workers strikes by shelling their families at home in US as well in its conquered colonies in CA and Caribbean we have proof thanks to Gen. Butler.

It was a Gen. Eisenhower who warned us the junta refused to disarm after WWII and constitutes coear and present danger to even a facade of republican order.

Anybody who believe that imperial US is run by civilians is SIMPLY gullible since no emporia were ever run by civilians by definition. Roman Empire was run over last 200 year explicitly by generals COMMANDING armies of foreign mercenaries like US today in NATO and ASEAN .

What has changed is that veil of deceit has failed and with Trump those warmongering cockroaches came out of WH woodwork to see a light and tookbopenly control f what they already controlled clandestinely.

Peter AU 1 | Sep18, 2017 2:49:47 PM | 18
16
If you think US is different to nazi it might be worth reading saker's piece on it. If you think US nationalism is any different to Nazi Germany in aggression then think again. The US population, and much of the so called west, is swamped in propaganda while the US attacks country after country.
NemesisCalling | Sep18, 2017 3:06:17 PM | 19
@18 Peter

But once again, many here think that Europe is already one big vassal state of the global/US empire. So if anything, we are all already under the jack boot of empire. To dislodge one piece (US), indeed, the central piece, seems to me that the world would be in recovery mode from "the global reich." Please correct if I'm wrong, but your logic does not compute. Furthermore, I don't think a reeling US economy and population, freshly liberated, is going to be convinced any time soon to wage wars abroad for precious metals and the like. "Helping" the world would probably take a back seat.

Hoarsewhisperer | Sep18, 2017 3:39:20 PM | 20
...
"I didn't fire him [General MacArthur] because he was a dumb son of a bitch, although he was, but that's not against the law for generals. If it was, half to three quarters of them would be in jail."
...
Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep18, 2017 12:06:26 PM | 5

And, despite the fact that Trump rubbed shoulders with dozens of these wannabe Generals at Military Academy, and was exposed to the same claptrap, it seems safe to assume that he realised that a Life spent in the US Military would be pointless, unimaginative and frustrating.

WithAllWindsAhead | Sep18, 2017 3:40:39 PM | 21
Re. Ben #7:

To be fair he did put an end to Timber Sycamore. The deep state wouldn't have pushed so hard on the Russian angle if there weren't a real upheaval. IMO, it went beyond simply covering for the DNC leaks. The whole establishment dog piled the Russian angle. It was for a time the principal means of disrupting Trump's agenda. I think Trump's token strike on the Syrian airbase is evidence of all of this. It was the absolute minimum he could have done in the face of a tidal wave of internal war pressures. And, they certainly could have gotten away with way more of the "trump is a Nazi angle," but they appear to have stopped after they got Bannon out.

Prescribing Trump, a monster though he is, as being at least the lesser war candidate holds IMO. What his presidency has illuminated above all else is the wild degree to which US is first and foremost of war. It is perhaps the most ubiquitous force that charges the US system.

That all said, we are going to find out real soon what the military is after. The SDF and SAA meeting in Deir Ezor is going to tell us a lot. This is perhaps their last chance at balkanization of Syria. A glimmer of hope still resides however in the supposed Pentagon revolt that took place over Obama's red line in the sand, as reported by Sy Hersh and others. As evil as the US military is, they dont seem to actually want war with Russia, unlike the intelligence complex. I, personally, am still hopeful at least about Syria.

somebody | Sep18, 2017 4:17:08 PM | 24
16 - let Putin explain it to you
The Russian leader expressed confidence that "one of the key components of our self-consciousness, one of the values and ideas is patriotism." Putin recalled the words of outstanding Soviet Russian scholar Dmitry Likhachev that patriotism drastically differs from nationalism. "Nationalism is hatred of other peoples, while patriotism is love for your motherland," Putin cited his words.
somebody | Sep18, 2017 4:38:26 PM | 25
add to 24

Or more historical: "Patriotism" was coined in Europe by the French revolution, forming a common state of citizens open to all who can identify with common values and culture. But American Patriots came before that and that is probably where the French got the word.

As a group, Patriots represented a wide array of social, economic and ethnic backgrounds.

"Nationalism" was a 19th century reaction to the export of the French revolution when European kingdoms tried a legitimization of borders based on language and genetics. It was all war from there to the Second World War and Auschwitz. If you want to sink the US in an internal Civil War try nationalism.

Jackrabbit | Sep18, 2017 4:42:09 PM | 26
I think there is some hyperventilating here. Was Trump 'turned'? Was his administration 'taken over' or was he always a figurehead? I decided several months ago that it was the latter:
> How Things Work: Betrayal by Faux Populist Leaders

> Taken In: Fake News Distracts Us from Fake Election

During his campaign Trump was vocally pro-military.

PS Hillary has always been pro-military also.

broders | Sep18, 2017 5:09:57 PM | 27
well, the system cannot "win"... dialectics... every steps it takes to control and secure "things", brings it closer to its end, and this, inevitably. no one wins, ever. no one looses even. the only way to fight and defeat evil is a decisive progress in goodness, to ignore it... the reality on the ground allows us to think that way, to set up concerts in the ruins, for good. thank you russia (as for the us military, they need 5 or 6 years to just cath up with last year's stand... but they still can agitate their little arms, so they do).
Christian Chuba | Sep18, 2017 5:40:56 PM | 28
Location, location, location
I am in shock and awe of our Pentagon (and CIA)'s ability to market themselves. I am convinced that this is their core area of competency as I read the slick consultant generated talking points on how $600B equals a dilapidated military instead of one that needs a purge. If we really have a readiness problem, heads should roll before they get more money but instead we cry for the incompetents.

The vaunted sea lanes and free trade

I used for fall for this nonsensical argument, that we needed 20 carrier groups to patrol the oceans to ensure free trade. Really? All we need is an international system of Coast Guards augmented by a few missile boats if there are some countries that don't have the budget for a coast guard to prevent piracy. We don't need aircraft carriers for that. Why do we assume that we need 24x7 aircraft coverage in the Pacific, Persian Gulf and Mediterranean? I have a vague memory of the 80's where it was a big deal that we 'sent our fleet' to the Mediterranean for some occasions. It wasn't assumed that we had a task force parked there 100% of the time.

I don't see why we can't get by with 6 or at most 8 carrier groups with the understanding that we would never deploy more than 2 for special occasions so that they can rotate assignments.

I don't want to think of one | Sep18, 2017 5:41:53 PM | 29
Disappointed in your post, b. Expected better.

"The insurgency that brought Trump to the top was defeated by a counter-insurgency campaign waged by the U.S. military. (Historically its first successful one)"

The USA was on the winning side for the Boxer Rebellion, the 1899-1902 Philippine Insurrection, and a lot of other counter-insurgency operations. Basic military history. Just wanted to mention that to set the correct tone, because your blog post started out factually incorrect and carried on that way until the end.

Basic reasoning test, b:

i) Do you think Trump has been defeated by 'the US military', or ii) do you think a small number of senior military men have thwarted Trump? Because the two are very different things.

I would argue that Mattis, McMaster, Kelly, and their line reports don't represent "the US military", or even its generals per se. They represent themselves as people financially beholden to major investment banks for their retirement funds; people fearful of being blackmailed and destroyed by the NSA and CIA and Mossad; people who rose to senior posts during prior administrations because they were flunkies to the establishment .

Do you think Trump is a weak-minded cretin? Because that's what your theory requires. That the guy can't remember his oft-repeated positions and statements after some briefings and a few months. I say that nobody loses their wits that fast, and nobody does a 180 on so many core policies without knowing that they're doing it.

Trump's wealth (at least in the high hundreds of millions $) and his election victory say he's no moron. He probably knows what he is doing. He's either a guy who gave up the struggle after getting the proverbial political hell beaten out of him in the first months of his administration, or he willingly misled his electoral base when campaigning. Perhaps a little of both. He's known for being a BS merchant. Myself, I think he lied outright to the voters during his run for president. It's not a wild idea: so did Obama, Bush, and Clinton. Bigly.

Trump made the decisions that we criticse so much. Trump decided to let the Obama holdovers stay in the administration. He decided to hire Goldman Sachs flunkies. He decided to send cruise missiles to strike Shayrat. He decided to approve US assistance to Saudi Arabia in Yemen. H decided to let his zionist son-in-law, who is indebted to George Soros, into the White House. He decided to fire Bannon almost as soon as Bannon came out publicly against war with North Korea. (Possibly a deliberate, desperate attempt at a 'spoiler' tactic on Bannon's part, to prevent conflict.) Trump decided to renege on his promises to the electorate about immigration. He decided to sign an unprecedented, unconstitutional law that bound his hands and imposed sanctions on Russia. He decided to go along with the Russian hacking lie by saying that Russia could, maybe, have hacked the DNC and HRC and whoever else (probably including Disney, the Shriners, and my mother). He decided to employ Sean Spicer and Reince Priebus, Scaramucchi and everyone else. He approved all of those things.

"It is indisputable that the generals are now ruling in Washington DC."
Yeah, nah. Pretty sure that's still the Wall St lobby, the Israel lobby, the CFR and the usual mob. Generals are just hired thugs, as Smedley Butler put it. Or as Kissinger put it, the US military is made up of "Military men" who "are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns."

What you've done, b, is to pull together some half-formed thoughts and mashed them all together. It sounds badass as a righteously indignant blog post, and I bet the Huffpost crowd would love it – but it fails as logic.

NemesisCalling | Sep18, 2017 5:58:47 PM | 30
@25 somebody

Nice play of semantics. But it still sounds like "patriotism" is a nice euphemism for nationalism. Why else would Putin be the scourge of the west? Reminds me too of how Putin played nice all through the Syrian War calling the US their "partner." Another euphemism. Seems like Putin likes to sound like the better man (and he is) but part of his strategy has always been to underplay his hand in the mix.

Don Bacon | Sep18, 2017 6:09:44 PM | 31
@CC #28
re: aircraft carriers

New carriers cost about $12B each, plus the cost of the 5,000 crew-members and aircraft, plus the cost of the accompanying fleet that goes with every carrier. Carriers have been mainly used in the last decade in the Gulf area to launch aircraft to bomb third world countries. Most carriers are in port most of the time because they require a lot of maintenance, which adds a lot more to expense. They are also used to sail near enemy countries, Washington believing that they are useful to scare third world countries into thinking that they may be bombed, which might make some sense except the results are questionable. As you indicate, the main threat to world shipping is piracy for which carrier fleets are useless. The good thing about having a carrier in the Persian Gulf much of the time is that it ensures that Iran would not be attacked; it would be a sitting duck.

The current location of the eleven US carriers is below taken from here . There is a new addition to the fleet, CVN-78 Gerald R. Ford.
1 - Persian Gulf
1 - hurricane duty
1 - off Carolina coast
1- off Japan coast
7 - port

les7 | Sep18, 2017 6:22:59 PM | 32
There are generals and then there are generals... Just which ones are taking over? The Neo-con backed guys? The Pro-pentagon guys? The CIA/JSOC guys? The Black Ops Guys? or the Black on Black Ops guys? The reason I ask is that at one time they were all fighting each other in N.Syria.

It is not especially clear to me (being an outsider to US politics) which of the groups (or combination of groups) seems to have come out on top and have their guys as the gate-keeping, information-vetting guys doing the briefing of Trump. My feel of it is that the Pentagon has gained while JSOC, the black ops contractors, and black-on-black ops contractors have lost. The CIA seems to have broken even. Is this a fair read?

If so... I think it is overall a good thing (the beso of an bunch of bad) because the Pentagon have shown themselves to be a lot more sane when it comes to creating conflict zones. They tend to be less covert, a lot more overt and a lot less likely to forment war for the sake of some corporation or political subset of the ruling elite.

thoughts anyone?

Don Bacon | Sep18, 2017 6:24:14 PM | 33
#29
You're wrong. It's obvious who's in charge in Washington currently. There is no doubt that, politically speaking, the insurgency that brought Trump to the top was defeated by a counter-insurgency campaign waged by the U.S. military. Generals Mattis, McMaster and Kelly are paramount in the new administration. Mattis has been given decision power on war, which Trump had promised to curtail.

McMaster, with no diplomatic experience, is national security and Kelly manages Trump's office.

The whole administration has taken a new tack with these generals and their military cohorts -- they do no stand alone, they are part of an institution -- managing US foreign policy. Concomitant to this are other factors including the cut in the State Department budget, the appointment of neophyte and hawkish Haley at the UN and Trump's romance with Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Palloy | Sep18, 2017 6:45:10 PM | 34
Politics is always complex and messy and no one ever "rules" in the way being assumed. The military have always had a big say - how else did they get such a huge budget for years on end? CIA have always played a big part, likewise FBI, NSA, Wall St., CFR, Fed, IMF and so on. Three, maybe six , Generals now have a bigger influence. Bannon has gone, so less influence for the deplorables. That is only a subtle change in the big scheme of things.

And now we are going to have a military parade down Pennsylvania Avenue on 4th of July, http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-18/day-fire-and-fury-trump-considers-military-parade-down-pennsylvania-avenue (sorry -don't know what you want for links), just like that other fat person with a funny hair-cut, inexperienced, erratic and unpredictable, nuclear-armed and dangerous.

This is the just the death throes of an empire that is meeting the Limits to Growth. Expect MUCH MUCH worse to come. I think it will be SO horrible, many people will take the suicide option.

Linda O | Sep18, 2017 7:22:25 PM | 35
Obviously any 1000 or so word article is going to woefully simplified compared to the decades of historical and political research that will dissect the Trump presidency in the finest detail, I will say that this article has one glaring flaw that significantly lessens its value. Trump has rolled over for EVERYTHING and EVERYONE in Washington. There really is nothing special about the military's ease with which they captured and neutered Trump.

I don't think there is a single area of his campaign platform that he has given up on or flip-flopped on. I don't think there is any other president who has been a comparable ACROSS THE BOARD FAILURE like Trump.

No one has ever been surprised that the wacky, inane, or divorced from reality promises presidents made to get themselves elected never were followed through on. But every single president before Trump at the very least had a core set of priorities they immediately set in motion.

The failure of the Trump presidency should for once and for all put to rest the silly and juvinille dream of the lone super man heading off to Washington to FINALLY TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS and show those sleazy career politicians who things are done in the real world.

Trump walked into the White House with absolutely no governing apparatus ready to go on day one like every other presidential candidate has in the past.

Presidential candidates spend decades building up a vast network of people ready to hit the ground running and know how Washington works from the moment the election is over.

One has to wonder if Trump really ever expected to win. Or just has a complete lack of interest in the massive network o loyal and knowledgeable people needed to setup a brand new presidential administration.

And there is no check on how badly the Trump administration can fail. His base appears to be currled up in fetal position on Breitbart collectively chanting 'this is not happening, this is not happening.'

I don't think I've ever felt more joy than seeing that ABSOLUTE FILTH Hillary Clinton get here murderous and vile ass get handed to her by a TV personality.

Never in my dreams did I think Trump wouldn't accomplish ANYTHING.

So Trump fans, keep posting those MEMES and WINNING --

VietnamVet | Sep18, 2017 7:30:08 PM | 36
b's analysis rings true. The establishment has reined in Donald Trump. On their return from Florida, it appeared that Melania Trump is well aware of the history of the House of Bourbon. One does not become a Four-star General in the establishment today without an instinctive understanding of the needs of the organ grinder. The end stage of an Empire is everybody for themselves. The open source insurrection is over until it isn't anymore. Periodic combat takeoffs from Joint Base Andrews are not reassuring. The desire to stay alive is the only brake on the rush to a nuclear war with North Korea or the heating up of the Cold War with Russia.
Madmen | Sep18, 2017 7:58:27 PM | 38
A great follow-up article to an UNZ article early this year which stated:

During the election campaign the power elite's military faction under Trump confounded all political pundits by outflanking and decisively defeating the power elite's political faction. In fact by capturing the Republican nomination and overwhelmingly defeating the Democratic establishment, Trump and the military faction not just shattered the power elites' political faction, within both the Democratic and Republican parties, but simultaneously ended both the Clinton and Bush dynasties.

During the election campaign the power elite's corporate faction realised, far too late, that Trump was a direct threat to their power base, and turned the full force of their corporate media against Trump's military faction, while Trump using social media bypassed and eviscerated the corporate media causing them to lose all remaining credibility.

http://www.unz.com/article/political-sciences-theory-of-everything-on-the-2016-us-election/

PavewayIV | Sep18, 2017 8:15:14 PM | 39
I respectfully disagree with everyone. There is nobody in charge in Washington DC and hasn't been for a long time.

There are psychopathic oligarchs, warlords, fiefdoms and secret cabals milking their power and authority for a variety of self-serving interests with varying degrees of success and failure. The entire government has mutated to an arena where the above powers spar for more control and more money day after day. There is no real oversight. It's too complex and secretive for any one person or group to be 'in charge'.

The announcer is not 'in charge'. He's just the announcer, nothing more. And the little people are just spectators, nothing more.

MadMax2 | Sep18, 2017 8:23:13 PM | 40
@34 Palloy

Couldn't agree more re: Limits to Growth. And no prizes for guessing which major economies have gone about insulating themselves against the pitfalls of cowboy economics... nothing was fixed, repaired, refitted or replaced after 2008...crazy that any chance of sensible, sustainable capitalism in the west might be lost to the cannibals need of rampant consumerism. I'll side with the nations that keep an interest in public banking systems rather than the one's that encourage it citizens ro eat the face off one another.

It's not all dark though, The Tale of The Don is really a romantic one... Of the wild west never ending... Of the railroad tycoons that never really died.

Jackrabbit gets more right with every passing day... there is no such thing as an outsider the moment you win.

Don Bacon | Sep18, 2017 8:27:27 PM | 41
@ 38
Yes, the power elite's military faction. Not: "I would argue that Mattis, McMaster, Kelly, and their line reports don't represent "the US military", or even its generals per se. They represent themselves as people financially beholden to major investment banks. . ."

Outsiders don't appreciate the power of the strengthening military-industrial complex that Eisenhower cautioned about in his farewell address.

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense. We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security alone more than the net income of all United States corporations.

Now this conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet, we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved. So is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Don Bacon | Sep18, 2017 8:31:06 PM | 42
from "The Hill": Overnight Defense: Senate passes $700B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions
V. Arnold | Sep18, 2017 8:34:04 PM | 43
A Chinese fire drill best describes what passes for the U.S.'s present level of policy. Most of the world watches; aghast at the spectacle, while cowering with fear at the hubris...
Jackrabbit | Sep18, 2017 8:38:28 PM | 44
@spudski

But other commenters have also been critical, though less colorful.

@Madmen

Is the possibility of Trump as controlled opposition so far-fetched? Do you think the "power elite's political wing" only runs one candidate? Have you heard of "illusion of choice"? Do you think sheepdog Bernie was a real candidate?

Obama and Trump both gained greater apparent legitimacy by: 1) beating the establishment candidate; and 2) being besieged by bat-shit crazy critics (birthers; anti-Russians & antifa).

As soon as you choose a side, you are trapped. Two sides of the same coin. Minted in hell.

V. Arnold | Sep18, 2017 9:00:19 PM | 45
Jackrabbit @ Sep18, 2017 8:38:28 PM | 44

As soon as you choose a side, you are trapped. Two sides of the same coin. Minted in hell.

Nice, I like it...

spudski | Sep18, 2017 9:01:53 PM | 46
@Jackrabbit

Agreed. I had no problem with the substance, in fact I like the fact that there are diverse opinions here and I learn a lot from the discussions. I just didn't need the gratuitous insults to b given how much effort he puts in here.

[Sep 18, 2017] Trump won but he is completely alone. The Neocons have a total, repeat total, control of the Congress, the media, banking and finance, and the courts. From Clinton to Clinton they have deeply infiltrated the Pentagon, Foggy Bottom, and the three letter agencies by The Saker

Although he speaks about the USA being occupied, looks like Saker does not understand that that the US empire is actually a global neoliberal empire where multinationals and financial oligarchy have political control. And without a viable alternative it probably will not collapse, as any collapse presuppose the withdrawal of support. The necessary level of isolation is possible only if a an alternative is present
Now like in befor the World War Ii there is struggle for "spheres of influence", in which the USA is gradually losing as both Germany and Japan restored their industrial potential and China is a new powerful player on the world scene, which now is allied with Russia with its formidable nuclear deterrent that now anti-missile defense can neutralize"
Also the USA venture into Ukraine means the completion of revision of the results of WWII, which opened a new can of worms for the USA making Russia essentially a hostile power (which neocon admit and try to exploit via the current neo-McCarthism witch hunt)
Notable quotes:
"... Trump wins. Problem: he will be completely alone. The Neocons have a total, repeat total, control of the Congress, the media, banking and finance, and the courts. From Clinton to Clinton they have deeply infiltrated the Pentagon, Foggy Bottom, and the three letter agencies. ..."
"... In their hate-filled rage against Trump and the American people (aka "the basket of deplorables") the Neocons have had to show their true face. By their rejection of the outcome of the elections, by their riots, their demonization of Trump, the Neocons have shown two crucial things: first, that the US democracy is a sad joke and that they, the Neocons, are an occupation regime which rules against the will of the American people. ..."
"... And since, just like Israel, the USA are unable to frighten their enemies, they are basically left with nothing, no legitimacy, no ability to coerce. So yes, the Neocons have won. But their victory is removes the last chance for the US to avoid a collapse. ..."
"... Externally, the US foreign policy is basically "frozen" and in lieu of a foreign policy we now only have a long series of empty threats hurled at a list of demonized countries which are now promised "fire and brimstone" should they dare to disobey Uncle Sam. ..."
"... This bizarre, and illegal, form of a "vote of no-confidence" further hammers in the message that Trump is either a madman, a traitor, or both. ..."
"... Organizationally, it is clear that Trump is surrounded by enemies as illustrated by the absolutely outrageous fact that he can't even talk to a foreign head of state without having the transcript of his conversation leaked to the Ziomedia . ..."
"... I believe that these all are preparatory steps to trigger a major crisis and use it to remove Trump, either by a process of impeachment, or by force under the pretext of some crisis. Just look at the message which the Ziomedia has been hammeing into the brains of the US population. ..."
"... just imagine the reaction in South Korea and Japan if some crazy US strike on the DPRK results in Seoul and Tokyo being hit by missiles! ..."
"... when the cat is gone, the mice dance ..."
"... The mouse dreams dreams that would terrify the cat ..."
"... Third, for all the encouraging statistics about the Dow Jones, unemployment and growth, the reality is that the US society is rapidly transforming itself in a three-tired one: on top, a small number of obscenely rich people, under them, a certain amount of qualified professionals who service the filthy rich and who struggle to maintain a lifestyle which in the past was associated with the middle-class. And then the vast majority of Americans who basically are looking at making "minimal wage plus a little something" and who basically survive by not paying for health insurance, by typically working two jobs, by eating cheap and unhealthy "prolefeed" and by giving up on that which every American worker could enjoy in the 1950s and 1960s (have one parent at home, have paid holidays, a second vacation home, etc.). Americans are mostly hard workers and, so far, most of them are surviving, but they are mostly one paycheck away from seriously bad poverty. A lot of them only make ends meet because they get help from their parents and grand-parents (the same is true of southern Europe, by the way). A large segment of the US population now survives only because of Walmart and the Dollar Store. Once that fails, food stamps are the last option. That, or jail, of course. ..."
"... No wonder that when so many Americans heard Hillary's comment about the "basket of deplorables" they took that as declaration of war. ..."
"... Whatever may be the case, by their manic insistence, on one hand, to humiliate and crush Trump and, on the other, to repress millions of Americans the Neocons are committing a double mistake. First, they are showing their true face and, second, they are subverting the very institutions they are using to control and run this country. ..."
"... What makes the gradual collapse of the AngloZionist Empire so uniquely dangerous is that it is by far the biggest and most powerful empire in world history. No empire has ever had the quasi monopoly on power the USA enjoyed since WWII. By any measure, military, economic, political, social, the US came out of WWII as a giant and while there were ups and downs during the subsequent decades, the collapse of the USSR only reaffirmed what appeared to be the total victory of the United States. ..."
"... And if Obama was probably the most incompetent President in US history, Trump will be the first one to be openly lynched while in office. As a result, the AngloZionist Empire is now like a huge freight train which has lost its locomotive but still has an immense momentum pushing it forward even though there is nobody in control any more. The rest of the planet, with the irrelevant exception of the East Europeans, is now scrambling in horror to get out of the path of this out of control train. So far, the tracks (minimal common sense, political realities) are more or less holding, but a crash (political, economic or military) could happen at any moment. And that is very, very scary. ..."
"... The US has anywhere between 700 to 1000 military bases worldwide, the entire international financial system is deeply enmeshed with the US economy, the US Dollar is still the only real reserve currency, United States Treasury securities are held by all the key international players (including Russia and China), SWIFT is politically controlled by the US, the US is the only country in the world that can print as much money as it wants and, last but not least, the US has a huge nuclear arsenal. As a result, a US collapse would threaten everybody and that means that nobody would want to trigger one. The collapse of the Soviet Union threatened the rest of mankind only in one way: by its nuclear arsenal. In contrast, any collapse of the United States would threaten everybody in many different ways. ..."
"... This is the irony of our situation: even though the entire planet is sick and tried of the incompetent arrogance of the AngloZionists, nobody out there wants their Empire to catastrophically collapse. And yet, with the Neocons in power, such a collapse appears inevitable with potentially devastating consequences for everybody. ..."
"... This is really amazing, think of it: everybody hates the Neocons, not only a majority of the American people, but truly the entire planet. And yet that numerically small group of people has somehow managed to put everybody in danger, including themselves, due to their ugly vindictiveness, infinite arrogance and ideology-induced short-sightedness. That this could ever have happened, and at a planetary scale, is a dramatic testimony to the moral and spiritual decay of our civilization: how did we ever let things get that far?! ..."
"... My biggest hope with Trump was that he would be willing to sacrifice the Empire for the sake of the US (the opposite of what the Neocons are doing: they are willing to sacrifice the US for the sake of their Empire) and that he would manage a relatively safe and hopefully non-violent transition from Empire to "normal country" for the US. Clearly, this is ain't happening. Instead, the Neocons are threatening everybody: the Chinese, the Russians, the North Koreans and the Venezuelans of course, but also the Europeans (economically), the entire Middle-East (via the "only democracy in the Middle-East"), all the developing countries and even the American people. Heck, they are even threatening the US President himself, and in not-so-subtle ways! ..."
"... my overwhelming sense is that Trump will be removed from office, either for "high crimes and misdemeanors" or for "medical reasons" (they will simply declare him insane and unfit to be the President). ..."
"... The evil hand of the "Russian KGB" (yes, I know, the KGB was dissolved in 1991) will be found everywhere, especially amongst US libertarians (who will probably the only ones with enough brains to understand what is taking place). The (pseudo-) "Left" will rejoice. ..."
"... Should this course of action result in an unexpected level or resistance, either regional or social, a 9-11 false flag followed by a war will the most likely scenario (why stray away from something which worked so well the first time around?!). ..."
"... in 1991 when the US sent the 82nd AB to Iraq there was nothing standing between this light infantry force and the Iraqi armored divisions. Had the Iraqis attacked the plan was to use tactical nuclear weapons. Then this was all quickly forgotten ..."
"... There is a reason why the Neocons thrive in times of crisis: it allows them to hide behind the mayhem, especially when they are the ones who triggered the mayhem in the first place. This means that as long as the Neocons are anywhere near in power they will never, ever, allow peace to suddenly break out, lest the spotlight be suddenly shined directly upon them. Chaos, wars, crises – this is their natural habitat. Think of it as the by-product of their existence. Eventually, of course, they will be stopped and they will be defeated, like all their predecessors in history. But I shudder when I think of the price mankind will have to pay this time around. ..."
Aug 18, 2017 | www.unz.com

First, my writing on the wall

In October of last year a wrote an analysis I entitled The USA are about to face the worst crisis of their history and how Putin's example might inspire Trump and I think that this is a good time to revisit it now. I began the analysis by looking at the calamities which would befall the United States if Hillary was elected. Since this did not happen (thank God!), we can safely ignore that part and look at my prediction of what would happen if Trump was elected. Here is what I wrote:

Trump wins. Problem: he will be completely alone. The Neocons have a total, repeat total, control of the Congress, the media, banking and finance, and the courts. From Clinton to Clinton they have deeply infiltrated the Pentagon, Foggy Bottom, and the three letter agencies. The Fed is their stronghold. How in the world will Trump deal with these rabid " crazies in the basement "? Consider the vicious hate campaign which all these "personalities" (from actors, to politicians to reporters) have unleashed against Trump – they have burned their bridges, they know that they will lose it all if Trump wins (and, if he proves to be an easy pushover his election will make no difference anyway). The Neocons have nothing to lose and they will fight to the very last one.

What could Trump possibly do to get anything done if he is surrounded by Neocons and their agents of influence? Bring in an entirely different team? How is he going to vet them? His first choice was to take Pence as a VP – a disaster (he is already sabotaging Trump on Syria and the elections outcome). I *dread* the hear whom Trump will appoint as a White House Chief of Staff as I am afraid that just to appease the Neocons he will appoint some new version of the infamous Rahm Emanuel And should Trump prove that he has both principles and courage, the Neocons can always "Dallas" him and replace him with Pence. Et voilà !

I went on to suggest that Trump's only option would be to follow Putin's example and do the the Neocons what Putin did to the oligarchs. Clearly that did not happen. In fact, one month after the election of Trump I wrote another analysis entitled " The Neocons and the "deep state" have neutered the Trump Presidency, it's over folks! ".

Less than a month ago I warned that a 'color revolution ' was taking place in the USA . My first element of proof was the so-called "investigation" which the CIA, FBI, NSA and others were conducting against President Trump's candidate to become National Security Advisor, General Flynn. Tonight, the plot to get rid of Flynn has finally succeeded and General Flynn had to offer his resignation . Trump accepted it. Now let's immediately get one thing out of the way: Flynn was hardly a saint or a perfect wise man who would single handedly saved the world. That he was not. However, what Flynn was is the cornerstone of Trump's national security policy . ( ) The Neocon run 'deep state' has now forced Flynn to resign under the idiotic pretext that he had a telephone conversation, on an open, insecure and clearly monitored, line with the Russian ambassador. And Trump accepted this resignation. Ever since Trump made it to the White House, he has taken blow after blow from the Neocon-run Ziomedia, from Congress, from all the Hollywood doubleplusgoodthinking "stars" and even from European politicians. And Trump took each blow without ever fighting back. Nowhere was his famous "you are fired!" to be seen. But I still had hope. I wanted to hope. I felt that it was my duty to hope. But now Trump has betrayed us all. Again, Flynn was not my hero. But he was, by all accounts, Trump's hero. And Trump betrayed him. The consequences of this will be immense. For one thing, Trump is now clearly broken. It took the 'deep state' only weeks to castrate Trump and to make him bow to the powers that be . Those who would have stood behind Trump will now feel that he will not stand behind them and they will all move back away from him. The Neocons will feel elated by the elimination of their worst enemy and emboldened by this victory they will push on, doubling-down over and over and over again. It's over, folks, the deep state has won.

I then concluded that the consequences of this victory would catastrophic for the United States:

In their hate-filled rage against Trump and the American people (aka "the basket of deplorables") the Neocons have had to show their true face. By their rejection of the outcome of the elections, by their riots, their demonization of Trump, the Neocons have shown two crucial things: first, that the US democracy is a sad joke and that they, the Neocons, are an occupation regime which rules against the will of the American people. In other words, just like Israel, the USA has no legitimacy left. And since, just like Israel, the USA are unable to frighten their enemies, they are basically left with nothing, no legitimacy, no ability to coerce. So yes, the Neocons have won. But their victory is removes the last chance for the US to avoid a collapse.

I think that what we are seeing today are the first signs of the impending collapse.

The symptoms of the agony

Externally, the US foreign policy is basically "frozen" and in lieu of a foreign policy we now only have a long series of empty threats hurled at a list of demonized countries which are now promised "fire and brimstone" should they dare to disobey Uncle Sam. While this makes for good headlines, this does not qualify as a "policy" of any kind (I discussed this issue at length during my recent interview with SouthFront ). And then there is Congress which has basically stripped Trump from his powers to conduct foreign policy . This bizarre, and illegal, form of a "vote of no-confidence" further hammers in the message that Trump is either a madman, a traitor, or both. Internally, the latest riots in Charlottesville now being blamed on Trump who, after being a Putin agent is now further demonized as some kind of Nazi (see Paul Craig Roberts' first and second warnings about this dynamic) Organizationally, it is clear that Trump is surrounded by enemies as illustrated by the absolutely outrageous fact that he can't even talk to a foreign head of state without having the transcript of his conversation leaked to the Ziomedia .

I believe that these all are preparatory steps to trigger a major crisis and use it to remove Trump, either by a process of impeachment, or by force under the pretext of some crisis. Just look at the message which the Ziomedia has been hammeing into the brains of the US population.

The psychological preparation for the forthcoming coup: scaring them all to death Here are three very telling examples taken from Newsweek's front page:

... ... ...

Ask yourself, what is the message here? Trump is a traitor, he works for Putin, Putin wants to destroy democracy in the United States and these two men together are the most dangerous men on the planet . This is a " plot against America ", no less! Not bad, right? "They" are clearly out there go get "us" and "we" are all in terrible danger: Kim Jong-un is about to declare nuclear war on the US, Xi and Putin are threatening the world with their armies, and "our" own President came to power courtesy of the "Russian KGB" and "Putin's hackers", he now works for the Russians, he is also clearly a Nazi, a White supremacist, a racist and, possibly, a " new Hitler " ( as is Putin , of course!).

And then, there are those truly scary Mooslims and Aye-rabs who apparently want only two things in life: destroy "our way of life" and kill all the "infidels". This is why we need the TSA, 16 intelligence agencies and militarized police SWAT teams everywhere: in case the terrorists come to get us where we live.

Dangerous international consequences

This would all be rather funny if it was not also extremely dangerous. For one thing, the US is really poking at a dangerous foe when it constantly tries to scare Kim Jong-un and the DPRK leadership. No, not because of the North Korean nukes (which are probably not real nuclear capable ICBMs but a not necessarily compatible combination of nuclear 'devices' and intermediate range ballistic missiles) but because of the huge and hard to destroy conventional North Korean military. The real threat are not missiles, but a deadly combination of conventional artillery and special forces which present very little danger to the US or the US military, but which present a huge threat for the population of Seoul and the northern section of South Korea. Nukes, in whatever form, are really only an added problem, a toxic "icing" on an already very dangerous 'conventional cake'.

[Sidebar - a real life nightmare : Now, if you *really* want to terrify yourself and stay awake all night then consider the following. While I personally believe that Kim Jong-un is not insane and that the main objective of the North Korean leadership is to avoid a war at all costs, what if I am wrong? What if those who say that the North Korean leaders are totally insane are right? Or, which I think is much more likely, what if Kim Jong-un and the North Korean leaders came to the conclusion that they have nothing to lose, that the Americans are going to kill them all, along with their families and friends? What could they, in theory, do if truly desperate? Well, let me tell you: forget about Guam; think Tokyo! Indeed, while the DPRK could devastate Seoul with old fashioned artillery systems, DPRK missiles are probably capable of striking Tokyo or the Keihanshin region encompassing Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe including the key industries of the Hanshin Industrial Region . The Greater Tokyo area (Kanto region) and the Keihanshin region are very densely populated (37 and 20 million people respectively) and contain an immense number of industries, many of which would produce an ecological disaster of immense proportions if hit by missiles. Not only that, but a strike on the key economic and financial nodes of Japan would probably result in a 9-11 kind of international economic collapse. So if the North Koreans wanted to really, really hurt the Americans what they could do is strike Seoul, and key cities in Japan resulting in a huge political crisis for the entire planet. During the Cold War we used to study the consequences of a Soviet strike against Japan and the conclusion was always the same: Japan cannot afford a war of any kind. The Japanese landmass is too small, too densely populated, to rich in lucrative targets and a war lay waste to the entire country. This is still true today, only more so. And just imagine the reaction in South Korea and Japan if some crazy US strike on the DPRK results in Seoul and Tokyo being hit by missiles! The South Koreans have already made their position unambiguously clear , by the way. As for the Japanese, they are officially placing their hopes in missiles (as if technology could mitigate the consequences of insanity!). So yeah, the DPRK is plenty dangerous and pushing them into their last resort is totally irresponsible indeed, nukes or no nukes]

What we are observing now is positive feedback loop in which each move by the Neocons results in a deeper and deeper destabilization of the entire system. Needless to say, this is extremely dangerous and can only result in an eventual catastrophe/collapse. In fact, the signs that the US is totally losing control are already all over the place, here are just a few headlines to illustrate this:

Iran could quit nuclear deal in 'hours' if new U.S. sanctions imposed: Rouhani Israel: Netanyahu declares support for a Kurdish state Syrian forces take 3 more towns en route to Deir ez-Zor in first airborne operation Maduro calls for nationwide 'anti-imperialist' drills after Trump's threat of 'military option' Soldiers of the 201st (Russian) base in Tadjikistan have been put on high alert as part of a military exercise Confirmed: Turkey to end support for anti-government terrorists in Syria Russia Plans Huge Zapad 2017 Military Exercises With Belarus

A French expression goes " when the cat is gone, the mice dance ", and this is exactly what is happening now: the US is both very weak and basically absent. As for the Armenians, they say " The mouse dreams dreams that would terrify the cat ". Well, the "mice" of the world are dancing and dreaming and simply ignoring the "cat". Every move the cat makes only makes things worse for him. The world is moving on, while the cat is busy destroying himself.

Dangerous domestic consequences

First on my list would be race riots. In fact, they are already happening all over the United States, but they are rarely presented as such. And I am not talking about the "official" riots of Black Lives Matter, which are bad enough, I am talking about the many mini-riots which the official media is systematically trying to obfuscate. Those interested in this topic should read the book here ). The simple truth is that no regime can survive for too long when it proactively supports the exact opposite of what it officially is supposed to stand for. The result? I have yet to meet an adult American who would sincerely believe that he/she lives in the "land of the free and the home of the brave". Maybe infants still buy this stuff, but even teenagers know that this is a load of bull.

Third, for all the encouraging statistics about the Dow Jones, unemployment and growth, the reality is that the US society is rapidly transforming itself in a three-tired one: on top, a small number of obscenely rich people, under them, a certain amount of qualified professionals who service the filthy rich and who struggle to maintain a lifestyle which in the past was associated with the middle-class. And then the vast majority of Americans who basically are looking at making "minimal wage plus a little something" and who basically survive by not paying for health insurance, by typically working two jobs, by eating cheap and unhealthy "prolefeed" and by giving up on that which every American worker could enjoy in the 1950s and 1960s (have one parent at home, have paid holidays, a second vacation home, etc.). Americans are mostly hard workers and, so far, most of them are surviving, but they are mostly one paycheck away from seriously bad poverty. A lot of them only make ends meet because they get help from their parents and grand-parents (the same is true of southern Europe, by the way). A large segment of the US population now survives only because of Walmart and the Dollar Store. Once that fails, food stamps are the last option. That, or jail, of course.

Combine all this and you get a potentially extremely explosive situation. No wonder that when so many Americans heard Hillary's comment about the "basket of deplorables" they took that as declaration of war.

And how do the Neocons plan to deal with all this? By cracking down on free speech and dissent, of course! What else? Their only response – repression of course!

YouTube, Google, Facebook, Twitter – they are all cracking down on "bad" speech which includes pretty much any topic a garden variety self-described 'liberal' frowns upon. GoDaddy and Google are even going after domain names. Oh sure, nobody gets thrown in jail for, say, defending the 2nd Amendment, but they get "demonetized" and their accounts simply closed. It's not the cops cracking down on free speech, it's "Corporate America", but the effect is the same. Apparently, the Neocons do not realize that censorship is not a viable strategy in the age of the Internet. Or maybe they do, and they are deliberately trying to trigger a backlash?

Then there is the vilification campaign in the media: unless you are some kind of 'minority' you are assumed to be nefarious by birth and guilty of all the evils on the planet. And your leader is Trump, of course, or maybe even Putin himself, vide supra. Christian heterosexual White males better run for cover

Whatever may be the case, by their manic insistence, on one hand, to humiliate and crush Trump and, on the other, to repress millions of Americans the Neocons are committing a double mistake. First, they are showing their true face and, second, they are subverting the very institutions they are using to control and run this country. That, of course, only further weaken the Neocons and the United States themselves and that further accelerates the positive feedback loop mentioned above which now threatens the entire international system.

Us and Them

What makes the gradual collapse of the AngloZionist Empire so uniquely dangerous is that it is by far the biggest and most powerful empire in world history. No empire has ever had the quasi monopoly on power the USA enjoyed since WWII. By any measure, military, economic, political, social, the US came out of WWII as a giant and while there were ups and downs during the subsequent decades, the collapse of the USSR only reaffirmed what appeared to be the total victory of the United States. In my admittedly subjective opinion, the last competent (no, I did not say 'good', I said 'competent') US President was George Herbert Walker Bush who, unlike his successors, at least knew how to run an Empire. After that, it is all downhill, faster and faster. And if Obama was probably the most incompetent President in US history, Trump will be the first one to be openly lynched while in office. As a result, the AngloZionist Empire is now like a huge freight train which has lost its locomotive but still has an immense momentum pushing it forward even though there is nobody in control any more. The rest of the planet, with the irrelevant exception of the East Europeans, is now scrambling in horror to get out of the path of this out of control train. So far, the tracks (minimal common sense, political realities) are more or less holding, but a crash (political, economic or military) could happen at any moment. And that is very, very scary.

The US has anywhere between 700 to 1000 military bases worldwide, the entire international financial system is deeply enmeshed with the US economy, the US Dollar is still the only real reserve currency, United States Treasury securities are held by all the key international players (including Russia and China), SWIFT is politically controlled by the US, the US is the only country in the world that can print as much money as it wants and, last but not least, the US has a huge nuclear arsenal. As a result, a US collapse would threaten everybody and that means that nobody would want to trigger one. The collapse of the Soviet Union threatened the rest of mankind only in one way: by its nuclear arsenal. In contrast, any collapse of the United States would threaten everybody in many different ways.

So the real question now is this: can the rest of the planet prevent a catastrophic collapse of the AngloZionist Empire?

This is the irony of our situation: even though the entire planet is sick and tried of the incompetent arrogance of the AngloZionists, nobody out there wants their Empire to catastrophically collapse. And yet, with the Neocons in power, such a collapse appears inevitable with potentially devastating consequences for everybody.

This is really amazing, think of it: everybody hates the Neocons, not only a majority of the American people, but truly the entire planet. And yet that numerically small group of people has somehow managed to put everybody in danger, including themselves, due to their ugly vindictiveness, infinite arrogance and ideology-induced short-sightedness. That this could ever have happened, and at a planetary scale, is a dramatic testimony to the moral and spiritual decay of our civilization: how did we ever let things get that far?!

And the next obvious question: can we still stop them?

I honestly don't know. I hope so, but I am not sure. My biggest hope with Trump was that he would be willing to sacrifice the Empire for the sake of the US (the opposite of what the Neocons are doing: they are willing to sacrifice the US for the sake of their Empire) and that he would manage a relatively safe and hopefully non-violent transition from Empire to "normal country" for the US. Clearly, this is ain't happening. Instead, the Neocons are threatening everybody: the Chinese, the Russians, the North Koreans and the Venezuelans of course, but also the Europeans (economically), the entire Middle-East (via the "only democracy in the Middle-East"), all the developing countries and even the American people. Heck, they are even threatening the US President himself, and in not-so-subtle ways!

So what's next?

Truly, I don't know. But my overwhelming sense is that Trump will be removed from office, either for "high crimes and misdemeanors" or for "medical reasons" (they will simply declare him insane and unfit to be the President). Seeing how weak and spineless Trump is, he might even be "convinced" to resign. I don't see them simply murdering him simply because he is no Kennedy either. After that, Pence comes to power and it will all be presented like a wonderful event, a group-hug of the elites followed by an immediate and merciless crackdown on any form of political opposition or dissent which will immediately be labeled as racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, terrorist, etc.

The evil hand of the "Russian KGB" (yes, I know, the KGB was dissolved in 1991) will be found everywhere, especially amongst US libertarians (who will probably the only ones with enough brains to understand what is taking place). The (pseudo-) "Left" will rejoice.

Should this course of action result in an unexpected level or resistance, either regional or social, a 9-11 false flag followed by a war will the most likely scenario (why stray away from something which worked so well the first time around?!). Unless the US decides to re-invade Grenada or give Nauru a much deserved thrashing, any more or less real war will result in a catastrophic failure for the US at which point the use of nukes by the Neocon crazies might become a very real risk, especially if symbolic US targets such as aircraft carriers are hit ( in 1991 when the US sent the 82nd AB to Iraq there was nothing standing between this light infantry force and the Iraqi armored divisions. Had the Iraqis attacked the plan was to use tactical nuclear weapons. Then this was all quickly forgotten ).

There is a reason why the Neocons thrive in times of crisis: it allows them to hide behind the mayhem, especially when they are the ones who triggered the mayhem in the first place. This means that as long as the Neocons are anywhere near in power they will never, ever, allow peace to suddenly break out, lest the spotlight be suddenly shined directly upon them. Chaos, wars, crises – this is their natural habitat. Think of it as the by-product of their existence. Eventually, of course, they will be stopped and they will be defeated, like all their predecessors in history. But I shudder when I think of the price mankind will have to pay this time around.

This analysis was written for The Unz Review

[Sep 17, 2017] Last year Roberts' predictions proved correct.

Sep 11, 2017 | www.unz.com

Priss Factor >, Website September 11, 2017 at 5:43 am GMT

From last year. Roberts' predictions proved correct.

https://youtu.be/TcvI9_B9qps

Trump can't do anything cuz of deep state and oligarchy.

Wally > , September 11, 2017 at 6:29 am GMT

@Priss Factor

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcvI9_B9qps

From last year. Roberts' predictions proved correct.

Trump can't do anything cuz of deep state and oligarchy.

Not quite. Gorsuch. Trump withdraws US from Paris Accord. President Trump Eliminates 860 Obama-Era Federal Regulations http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/07/21/great-again-trump-eliminates-860-obama-era-federal-regulations/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ... DAHR JAMAIL

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

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

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