Softpanorama

May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Contents Bulletin Scripting in shell and Perl Network troubleshooting History Humor

Personnel is Policy

News The Deep State Recommended Links Shoot-first-ask-questions-later: Trump ME policy Hawks in Trump administration Purple revolution Sacrifice of Michael Flynn Sidelining of Bannon Rex Tillerson -- one of the better choices of Trump
Nikki Haley -- yet another neocon Trump after his Colin Powell moment Obamacare vs. Trumpcare Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Khan Sheikhoun gas attack History of American False Flag Operations Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism Anti Trump Hysteria
Demonization of Putin Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS Cold War II Did Obama order wiretaps of Trump conversations  Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich The Iron Law of Oligarchy Blowback against neoliberal globalization
Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Myth about intelligent voter  American Exceptionalism Pluralism as a myth Anti-globalization movement Doublespeak New American Militarism Bait and Switch
TTP, NAFTA and other supernational trade treates Trump economic platform Predator state Corporatism Nation under attack meme Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism  Donald Trump -- an unusual fighter against excesses of neoliberal globalization Immigration, wage depression and free movement of workers Deception as an art form
Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism Neocons Principal-agent problem  Zombie state and coming collapse of neoliberalism Corporatist Corruption Non-Interventionism Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc
 

Since his election as the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump has been fighting multiple fronts: "

With record low approval ratings in recent polls , Donald Trump has been in desperate need of a miracle.

RELATED:
How 'Anti-Trump' Liberal Media Cheered Syria Attack

On April 4th, residents of the rebel-held city Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province, Syria were attacked with chemical weapons. Trump quickly seized on this Syrian catastrophe as an opportunity.

Prior to any kind of formal investigation, The White House determined that the Assad regime was responsible for the attack, with Trump flip-flopping on a statement made less than a week beforehand by his Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley who stated that Assad's removal was "no longer a priority".

On April 5th Trump removed Stephen Bannon from the National Security Council (NSC). Bannon championed Trump's "America First" doctrine and was opposed to military action in Syria. Further, the move appeased the liberal establishment that was critical of Bannon's fascistic "alt-right" and White supremacist associations.

Thus, after neutralizing opposition from within (Steve Bannon) and instilling the appropriate local propaganda ( Sean Spicer ), a strike on Syria would align Trump with establishment conservatives and neoliberals , as well as the corporate media.

Personnel is Policy

There are over 1,200 positions in the US government (not counting judges or military appointments) that require the US Senate to confirm a candidate nominated by the president. (These are a subset of about 3,700 positions that require the president to appoint someone, but most of the positions in this broader group don't require Senate confirmation.) Often, the people appointed to these positions have a reasonable degree of day-to-day discretion in decision-making: in that sense, as those inside the DC beltway like to say, "personnel is policy.: As President Trump pushes ahead with his proposed appointments, what is the historical record of success for such appointments in the US Senate? Anne Joseph O’Connell compiles the evidence in "Staffing federal agencies: Lessons from 1981-2016," a report written for the Brookings Institution (April 17, 2017).

Here's a figure showing the success rate of presidential appointments in receiving Senate confirmation going back to the 97th Congress, during the 1981-82 at the start of President Reagan's first term.
 

I'll mostly leave it to readers to sort through the years and whether the president was facing a Senate of the same party. But a few points seem worth noting:

1) It's common for presidents to have 20% or more of their nominees not make it through Senate confirmation, especially later in presidential terms.

2) The share of presidential nominees not making it through US Senate confirmation has been rising over time, and for President Obama, 30% of his nominees didn't make it through the Senate.

3) Perhaps unexpectedly, the share of President Obama's nominees who didn't make it through the Senate was only a bit higher during his last two years in 2015-2016, when Republicans controlled the Senate, than it was during 2013-2014, when Democrats controlled the Senate. Moreover, remember that in November 2013, the Democrats running the US Senate changed the rules so that it was no longer possible to filibuster presidential appointees. But as O'Connell points out:

"Failure rates, however, increased for free-standing executive agencies, within and outside the Executive Office of the President, and for national councils. More surprisingly, confirmation delays for agency nominations increased across the board. For those successful 2013 nominations (a few of which were actually confirmed in December after the change), they took 95 days, on average. In 2014, delays ballooned to 150 days. Indeed, it was the biggest jump in any given year in an administration between any two presidents."
4) O'Connell also makes the interesting point that often about 15-20% of these theoretically appointed positions, or more, are not filled at any given time over the years. She writes that President Obama appointed fewer people, and as a result ended up leaving positions open more often.
"Interestingly, President Obama submitted fewer nominations (2828) than any of the other two-term presidents. President George W. Bush submitted the highest (3459); Presidents Reagan and Clinton each submitted around 3000 (2929 and 3014, respectively).... President Obama submitted fewer nominations than his predecessors, allowing acting officials to fill in for many important positions. President Trump could follow suit."
My own sense is that far too many low-level nominations are held up for dubious and extraneous reasons by individual or small groups of senators. For example, late in the Obama administration the board that is supposed to oversee the US Postal Service had zero members out of the nine possible appointments. The reported reason is that Senator Bernie Sanders put a hold on all possible appointees, as a show of solidarity with postal workers. If it isn't obvious to you how Sanders preventing President Obama from appointing new board members would influence the US Postal Service in the directions that Sanders would prefer, given that President Trump could presumably appoint all nine members of the board, you are not alone. 

This system of 1,200-plus presidential appointments requiring Senate approval seems dysfunctional but that doesn't alter the reality that these 1,200-plus appointments are among the most important steps a president can make.

Posted by at


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

[Oct 05, 2017] Tillerson Summoned to White House Amid Presidential Fury

MSm stil trying to sing Trump, and it looks like he is helping them. Campaign of well times and damaging leaks continue.
Notable quotes:
"... Additional reporting from Peter Alexander, Hallie Jackson and Vivian Salama. ..."
Oct 05, 2017 | www.msn.com
Additional reporting from Peter Alexander, Hallie Jackson and Vivian Salama.

WASHINGTON -- John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, abruptly scrapped plans to travel with President Donald Trump on Wednesday so he could try to contain his boss's fury and manage the fallout from new revelations about tensions between the president and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, according to six senior administration officials.

Kelly summoned Tillerson, and their ally Defense Secretary James Mattis, to the White House, where the three of them huddled to discuss a path forward, according to three administration officials. The White House downplayed Kelly's decision to stay in Washington, saying he did so to manage day-to-day operations.

Vice President Mike Pence, meanwhile, was fuming in Phoenix, where he was traveling, seven officials told NBC News. He and Tillerson spoke on the phone before the secretary's public appearance on Wednesday morning.

Pence was incensed upon learning from the NBC report that Tillerson's top spokesman had said he once privately questioned the value of Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Officials said the spokesman, R.C. Hammond, fabricated an anecdote that Pence had asked Tillerson in a meeting whether Haley, who is seen as a possible successor if Tillerson, is helpful or harmful to the administration.

NBC reported Wednesday that Tillerson had threatened to resign in July after a series of clashes with the president, at one point venting his frustrations among his colleagues by calling the president a "moron," according to multiple senior administration officials who were aware of the matter at the time.

Four senior administration officials said Trump first learned on Wednesday that Tillerson had disparaged him after a July 20 national security meeting at the Pentagon. Trump vented to Kelly Wednesday morning, leading Kelly to scrap plans to travel with the president to Las Vegas to meet with victims and first responders in Sunday's mass shooting.

Trump was furious when he saw the NBC News report, which was published shortly before 6 a.m. Wednesday. For the next two hours the president fumed inside the White House, venting to Kelly, officials said. He left for Las Vegas shortly after 8 a.m., 20 minutes behind schedule. Tillerson scrambled to pull together a statement, while his spokesman publicly apologized for his comments about Pence and Haley, saying he "spoke out of line about conversations I wasn't privy to."

Tillerson delivered a statement praising Trump and insisting he never considered resigning, but it's what he didn't say that further enraged Trump, officials said.

The secretary's refusal to deny that he had called the president a "moron" in his opening statement and in his responses to questions from reporters stoked Trump's anger and widened the rift between the two men, officials said. After watching the secretary's response Wednesday, one White House official said, "When Tillerson didn't deny it, I assumed it was true." Hammond is seen by the White House, particularly Pence's office, as untrustworthy, officials said. It's unclear if he will remain in his post, according to three administration officials.

Pence was "very annoyed anyone would misrepresent anything he said, particularly in private meetings," one White House official said. On Wednesday, this source said, White House officials spoke to State Department officials to make it clear that Hammond's comment was "false" and needed to be corrected. The revelations followed Trump's frustrations over the weekend after Tillerson said the U.S. would talk to North Korea.

State Department officials tried to reach Tillerson on his government aircraft during his flight from Beijing to Japan, but they couldn't reach him, sources said. The secretary and his team didn't want to issue a clarification, further stoking tensions with the White House, on administration official said.

Trump took to Twitter, telling Tillerson not to waste his time trying to negotiate with the North Korean regime.

Related:

[Sep 24, 2017] Donald Trump is now embarked on a Pyongyang-style military-first policy in which resources, money, and power are heading for the Pentagon and the U.S. nuclear arsenal, while much of the rest of the government is downsized

See also http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-nuclear-weapons-mini-nukes-targeted-strike-conflict-war-north-korea-russia-a7938486.html
Sep 24, 2017 | www.unz.com

Originally from Empire of Madness - The Unz Review

You think not? When it comes to America's endless wars and conflicts across the Greater Middle East and Africa, you can't imagine a more-of-the-same scenario eight years into the future? If, in 2009, eight years after the war on terror was launched, as President Obama was preparing to send a "surge" of more than 30,000 U.S. troops into Afghanistan (while swearing to end the war in Iraq), I had written such a futuristic account of America's wars in 2017, you might have been no less unconvinced.

Who would have believed then that political Washington and the U.S. military's high command could possibly continue on the same brainless path (or perhaps it would be more accurate to say superhighway) for another eight years? Who would have believed then that, in the fall of 2017, they would be intensifying their air campaigns across the Greater Middle East, still fighting in Iraq (and Syria), supporting a disastrous Saudi war in Yemen, launching the first of yet another set of mini-surges in Afghanistan, and so on? And who would have believed then that, in return for prosecuting unsuccessful wars for 16 years while aiding and abetting in the spread of terror movements across a vast region, three of America's generals would be the most powerful figures in Washington aside from our bizarre president (whose election no one could have predicted eight years ago)? Or here's another mind-bender: Would you really have predicted that, in return for 16 years of unsuccessful war-making, the U.S. military (and the rest of the national security state) would be getting yet more money from the political elite in our nation's capital or would be thought better of than any other American institution by the public?

Now, I'm the first to admit that we humans are pathetic seers. Peering into the future with any kind of accuracy has never been part of our skill set. And so my version of 2025 could be way off base. Given our present world, it might prove to be far too optimistic about our wars.

After all ! just to mention one grim possibility of our moment ! for the first time since 1945, we're on a planet where nuclear weapons might be used by either side in the course of a local war, potentially leaving Asia aflame and possibly the world economy in ruins. And don't even bring up Iran, which I carefully and perhaps too cautiously didn't include in my list of the 15 countries the U.S. was bombing in 2025 (as opposed to the seven at present). And yet, in the same world where they are decrying North Korea's nuclear weapons, the Trump administration and its U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley , seem to be hard at work creating a situation in which the Iranians could once again be developing ones of their own. The president has reportedly been desperate to ditch the nuclear agreement Barack Obama and the leaders of five other major powers signed with Iran in 2015 (though he has yet to actually do so) and he's stocked his administration with a remarkable crew of Iranophobes, including CIA Director Mike Pompeo , Secretary of Defense James Mattis , and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster , all of whom have been itching over the years for some kind of confrontation with Iran. (And given the last decade and a half of American war fighting in the region, how do you think that conflict would be likely to turn out?)

Donald Trump's Washington, as John Feffer has recently pointed out , is now embarked on a Pyongyang-style "military-first" policy in which resources, money, and power are heading for the Pentagon and the U.S. nuclear arsenal , while much of the rest of the government is downsized. Obviously, if that's where your resources are going, then that's where your efforts and energies will go, too. So don't expect less war in the years to come, no matter how inept Washington has proven when it comes to making war work.

... ... ...

Imagine the government of that same country, distracted by its hopeless wars and the terrorist groups they continue to generate... and not lifting a finger to deal with the situation...

Tom Engelhardt is a co-founder of the American Empire Project and the author of The United States of Fear as well as a history of the Cold War, The End of Victory Culture. He is a fellow of the Nation Institute and runs TomDispatch.com. His latest book is Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World.

[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] How Trumps advisers schooled him on globalism

Notable quotes:
"... Trump's national security team had become alarmed by the president's frequent questioning about the value of a robust American presence around the world. When briefed on the diplomatic, military and intelligence posts, the new president would often cast doubt on the need for all the resources. ..."
"... The session was, in effect, American Power 101 and the student was the man working the levers. ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... In the weeks since the briefing in the Tank, Trump has split with top adviser Steve Bannon, the engine of many of his nationalist, isolationist policies. He threatened war with North Korea and agreed to send more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, abandoning his promise to withdraw quickly. Announcing the plan, Trump acknowledged the influence of his advisers. ..."
Sep 19, 2017 | apnews.com

On a sweltering Washington summer day, President Donald Trump's motorcade pulled up to the Pentagon for a meeting largely billed as a briefing on the Afghanistan conflict and the fight against the Islamic State group.

There, in the windowless meeting room known as "The Tank", Trump was to be briefed on the state of America's longest-running war as he and his top aides plotted ways ahead. But, according to current and former U.S. officials familiar with the meeting, it was, in reality, about much more.

Trump's national security team had become alarmed by the president's frequent questioning about the value of a robust American presence around the world. 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.

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.

The result of the meeting and other similar entreaties may start to become clear this week, as Trump heads to New York for his first address to the United Nations General Assembly. The annual gathering of world leaders will open amid serious concerns about Trump's priorities, his support for the body he is addressing and a series of spiraling global crises.

Trump, who seized as his mantra "America First" and at times unnerved world leaders with his unpredictability, is expected to offer warmth to the United States' allies and warnings to its adversaries, particularly North Korea and Iran. The president's envoy to the global body suggested a presidential message that would focus on the basics on America's role in the world.

"I personally think he slaps the right people, he hugs the right people, and he comes out with the U.S. being very strong in the end," Ambassador Nikki Haley said.

In the weeks since the briefing in the Tank, Trump has split with top adviser Steve Bannon, the engine of many of his nationalist, isolationist policies. He threatened war with North Korea and agreed to send more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, abandoning his promise to withdraw quickly. Announcing the plan, Trump acknowledged the influence of his advisers.

[Sep 18, 2017] Nikki Haley Meltdown Assad Must Go... and War With North Korea! - Antiwar.com Original

Sep 18, 2017 | original.antiwar.com

Nikki Haley Meltdown: Assad Must Go and War With North Korea!

by Daniel McAdams Posted on September 18, 2017 September 16, 2017 There must be something about being named US Ambassador to the UN that brings out the inner mass murderer in people. Madeline Albright famously admitted that she thought 500,000 dead Iraqi children due to US sanctions was "worth it." John Bolton never met a disagreement he didn't want to turn into a war. Samantha Power barked about human rights while her Administration's drones snuffed out human life in unprecedented numbers. The real "butcher of the Balkans" Richard Holbrooke sold the Yugoslavia war on lies . John "Death Squad" Negroponte sold the lie that Saddam Hussein needed to be killed and his country destroyed for democracy to flourish, and so on.

Considering how many millions of civilians have been killed on the war propaganda of US ambassadors to the UN, perhaps the equivalent of another Holocaust could have been avoided if Ron Paul's HR 1146 has passed 30 years ago.

But nothing could have prepared us for Nikki "Holocaust" Haley, who has thundered into the Trump Administration as US Ambassador to the UN despite hating Trump and Trump hating her . Why would President Trump pick someone for such an influential position despite her being vocally and publicly opposed to the foreign policy that provided the margin of victory for him? We can only guess. Was Trump lying on the campaign trail? Possibly. Does he not bother to notice that he has surrounded himself with people who are deeply opposed, at the DNA level, to the policies he ran and won on? Seems more likely. As Johnny Rotten famously ended the Sex Pistols run, "ever get the feeling you've been cheated?"

In fact yes. One-time top Trump supporter Ann Coulter today Tweeted the question "is there anyone out there left who doesn't want Trump impeached?"

Coulter meant the wall or something else, but she could just as well have been complaining about the foreign policy about-face. Trump ran as a Ron Paul Republican, he governs as a George W. Bush Republican. Cheated? Yes, once again.

Which brings us back to the odious Nikki Haley. Today she no doubt thought she was being clever Tweeting in response to the predictable fact that yet another round of sanctions against North Korea did not result in Kim Jong-Un doing a Gaddafi suicide knife dance, that since the sanctions destroying the North Korean economy – such as it is – have not resulted in Kim's surrender it was time to hand the matter over to Defense Secretary James Mattis.

Said US top UN diplomat Nikki: "We cut 90% of trade & 30% of oil. I have no problem kicking it to Gen. Mattis because I think he has plenty of options."

We killed their trade, we destroyed their oil imports and still they have the nerve to defy us and not surrender so time for World War Three! That's Nikki. No foreign policy experience beyond the fetid breath of the neocon "experts" whispering in her all-too-willing ear.

But Nikki was not done today. After threatening a war on North Korea that would likely leave ten or more thousand US troops dead, hundreds of thousands of South Korean civilians dead, and maybe another million North Koreans dead, she decided to opine on the utterly failed six year US regime change operation in Syria. Today, as Deir Ezzor has finally been liberated by the Syrian government from the scourge of ISIS, Nikki Haley chose to go on record defending ISIS and al-Qaeda by repeating Obama's line that Assad must go.

Ponder this for a minute: Assad has just defeated ISIS in Deir Ezzor. ISIS is the reason the US has invaded Syrian sovereignty and initiated military action. Yet according to Nikki Haley Assad's reward for wiping out ISIS is that he must be deposed – presumably in favor of US-backed rebels who have been in bed with ISIS for six years!

Is Nikki Haley pro-ISIS? Is she pro-al-Qaeda? Is she evil or just stupid?

You decide.

But if she is not removed from office soon, she will be leading perhaps a million people to their graves.

Daniel McAdams is director of the The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity . Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

[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] Pence supported the 2003 US invasion of Iraq , the Trans Pacific Partnership, regime change, and humanitarian intervention is a neoconservative

Notable quotes:
"... During the election campaign, Pence took time out to address the American Legislative Exchange Council 's annual conference -- ALEC being one of the central forces in pushing the agenda of neoliberalism within the US. ..."
"... Pence has consistently supported military intervention in Syria, like Hillary Clinton, even if it risked direct confrontation with Russia. In fact Pence publicly praised Clinton on her "handling" of Libya. ..."
"... Trump never offered a solid explanation for the choice, and it seemed to many that Pence was in there merely as a compromise with GOP elites, to lessen their obstruction of Trump. ..."
Aug 09, 2017 | zeroanthropology.net

...Trump's choice of Mike Pence for vice president provided a stark contrast to Trump's positions above, suggesting that consistency was not something to which Trump was prepared to commit. Pence, who supported the 2003 US invasion of Iraq , the Trans Pacific Partnership , regime change, and "humanitarian intervention," was the perfect neoconservative. During the election campaign, Pence took time out to address the American Legislative Exchange Council 's annual conference -- ALEC being one of the central forces in pushing the agenda of neoliberalism within the US.

Pence has consistently supported military intervention in Syria, like Hillary Clinton, even if it risked direct confrontation with Russia. In fact Pence publicly praised Clinton on her "handling" of Libya.

Trump never offered a solid explanation for the choice, and it seemed to many that Pence was in there merely as a compromise with GOP elites, to lessen their obstruction of Trump. On a number of occasions during the campaign, Trump and Pence plainly contradicted each other. On military intervention in Syria , Trump flatly contradicted Pence. (Nor did Pence offer much back up during the sex tape scandal, choosing to distance himself quickly.)

Now it's the range of interests that Pence represents which are dominant, and Trump who stands out as an expedient palliative to please and calm an angry nationalist base.

[Sep 17, 2017] Mattis still seems stuck with his Iran obsession. Shame I thought he had the intellectual curiosity to adapt.

Notable quotes:
"... Mattis still seems stuck with his Iran obsession. Shame I thought he had the intellectual curiosity to adapt. Trump has good instincts, I hope Tillerson comes to the fore, and Bannon stays influential. ..."
Jul 11, 2017 | www.unz.com

LondonBob says: July 11, 2017 at 2:39 pm GMT

http://mihsislander.org/2017/06/full-transcript-james-mattis-interview/

Mattis still seems stuck with his Iran obsession. Shame I thought he had the intellectual curiosity to adapt. Trump has good instincts, I hope Tillerson comes to the fore, and Bannon stays influential.

[Sep 05, 2017] Should Tillerson Resign by Daniel Larison

for some reasons Larison support neocon blabbering of Daniel W. Drezner in WaPo Why Secretary of State Rex Tillerson should resign - The Washington Post ez
If Critics such as neocon Max Boot are calling for him to resign, I want him to stay.
The "wrecking of the State Department" that By Daniel Larison is concerned, is necessary as it is too infested with neocons leftover from Hillary days, including cadre of female warmongers.
Also color revolutions zeal needs to be tamed.
Taking into account that Trump effectivly changed sided starting from infamous Tomahawk attack, the nes round of sanctions for Russia and sabersrattling with Iran and North Korea, it is difficult to forsee how the Secratary of State can be effective with such a boss. Being a bully in the schoolyard was the policy the the USA sucessfully tried for all presidencies since Reagan, so in a sense Trump is proud hier f this noble tradition.
Notable quotes:
"... Tillerson was a CEO of for the longest time head of the US largest corporation by market cap. His problem or problems no doubt reflect his tenure in the corporate world. A world where you have to get things done some work out some don't. ..."
"... Point is he is a non fit in the Swamp where dysfunction is implanted. Can readers recall how an experience career politician like John Boy ran all over the world and in the end was manipulated by the Russians to their advantage. Hillary logged millions of miles obviously to the benefit of the Clinton foundation. So until the prior ruling class gets back in office a new diplomat will have to wait. ..."
"... Even setting aside the critical matter of civilian control of the government and military in a democratic society, these days our military isn't exactly a by-word for competency, success, or even sound judgment. ..."
Aug 31, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com
calls for Rex Tillerson's resignation:

In less than seven months in the job, Tillerson has proven to be a feckless manager of his organization and a poor handler of the president of the United States. To be fair, even the savviest secretary of state would have his or her hands full with a president like Trump. The sharp contrast between Tillerson's fumblings and the more nimble footwork of Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis shows that Tillerson is the opposite of a good secretary of state. Most of Trump's private-sector cabinet officials have been dreadful, but Tillerson is the worst of the lot.

Tillerson has been presiding over the wrecking of the State Department ever since he was confirmed, and he has very little else to show for his tenure. It's safe to say that the demoralization and hollowing out of the department will just keep getting worse the longer he is in charge. The trouble is that replacing Tillerson probably won't change any of that, because the gutting of the State Department has been and continues to be an administration priority. The person Trump chooses to replace Tillerson is likely to have the same disdain for diplomacy and diplomats that he has.

So while I am inclined to agree with the call for Tillerson's resignation, I can't agree with Drezner when he says "I am no longer worried about who Trump would pick to replace him." This is exactly what we should be worrying about.

Tillerson got the job at State in part because all of the other people Trump was considering were so fanatical, ethically compromised, or otherwise awful that he seemed the best of a bad lot at the time. That may have been true, but that process produced one of the least effective Secretaries of State in modern times.

Now imagine Trump going through a similar process a second time. Is he likely to choose someone more capable than Tillerson? Considering the state of Trump's administration after just seven months, would anyone who fits that description be willing to take the job? If there is someone willing, I am concerned Trump would end up choosing another former general on account of his fascination with military officers, and that would be at least one too many in this Cabinet.

Tillerson reportedly never wanted the job, so it shouldn't take much to persuade him to leave. That said, the damage already done to the State Department isn't going to be repaired anytime soon, and as long as Trump is president we should assume it will continue regardless. I have been very critical of how Tillerson has been running his department, but as one his critics I think we should acknowledge that his successor could still be even worse.

Dan Green , August 31, 2017 at 10:07 am

Tillerson was a CEO of for the longest time head of the US largest corporation by market cap. His problem or problems no doubt reflect his tenure in the corporate world. A world where you have to get things done some work out some don't.

Point is he is a non fit in the Swamp where dysfunction is implanted. Can readers recall how an experience career politician like John Boy ran all over the world and in the end was manipulated by the Russians to their advantage. Hillary logged millions of miles obviously to the benefit of the Clinton foundation. So until the prior ruling class gets back in office a new diplomat will have to wait.

icarusr , August 31, 2017 at 10:15 am
Looks like what's good for Exxon is not necessarily good for the United States.
Seven Months In 2017 , August 31, 2017 at 10:47 am
"I am concerned Trump would end up choosing another former general on account of his fascination with military officers, and that would be at least one too many in this Cabinet."

And you should be concerned. Even setting aside the critical matter of civilian control of the government and military in a democratic society, these days our military isn't exactly a by-word for competency, success, or even sound judgment.

It has failed to win on multiple battlegrounds. Judging by the recent Three Stooges performance of the Pacific Fleet, there are basic competency issues at the highest levels of command. And now we learn that both Gens. Mattis and McMaster strongly urged Trump to double down in Afghanistan, one of the worst examples of judgment and decision-making in recent memory.

So far as I know, Tillerson had nothing to do with that idiocy, so I'd leave him where he is and pray that Trump will eventually be disabused of the instinct to defer to (or rather cringe before) his generals.

collin , August 31, 2017 at 11:20 am
TBH, I can't figure out exactly why Tillerson has been so bad but I assume his lack of experience of the State Department makes him a very poor choice for President Trump. Judging by the Trump's administration G&G (General & Goldman) cabinet is very experience expertise with Job-like patience is needed to work with President Trump. Basically, it fits Drezner's toddler comments that Mattis works well with Trump because Mattis knows a lot more than the President and is willing to allow Trump to throw two hour tantrums for his policy. It is to the point that we almost need Mattis to be Secretary of State as at least we know that he can work with the President. (Dear God is wrong to state that an ex-General be our chief Diplomat.)

However, one area where Tillerson does work well is he truly dislikes taking media oxygen away from Trump so he may last awhile.

JEinCA , August 31, 2017 at 11:28 am
Why doesn't everyone resign and we'll make little "Billy" Kristol of the Weekly Standard the official Emperor of United States? Tillerson is the last voice of reason (and bulwark against the psychotic war mongering neocons) lefy in Trump's Administration.
Viriato , August 31, 2017 at 12:46 pm
@collin: We've had at least two generals serve as Secretary of State before: George Marshall and Colin Powell. And those are just two examples that I can name off the top of my head. I would not be surprised to find out that there have been other generals who served as our nation's Chief Diplomat.
Viriato , August 31, 2017 at 12:54 pm
Personally, I think Tillerson has been doing reasonably well at State. He seems to be a very articulate, thoughtful person. Certainly I much prefer Sec. Tillerson's ineffectiveness to Sec. Clinton's deadly effectiveness in Libya.

As to the gutting of the State Department. Tillerson recently stated that the hiring freeze was temporary and indeed announced a major hiring initiative: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=s8LynW4TmTU

MB , August 31, 2017 at 12:56 pm
There's probably an easily identifiable formula out there for who Trump might chose as a Tillerson replacement, based on who donated to his campaign, who has more money than Trump himself, and/or who has suspicious ties to Russian interests. Rohrabacher? Royce?
Cynthia McLean , August 31, 2017 at 1:31 pm
Tillerson should probably resign to retain his integrity and save his soul.
Swami , August 31, 2017 at 4:36 pm
Rumor is that Hillary Clinton is currently between gigs.

[Sep 04, 2017] Make no mistake, the latest US thuggery is a sign of weakness, not strength

Notable quotes:
"... " Why would they give us only 2 days? Do they really think that we cannot clear the premises from anything sensitive in 60 minutes if needed? Or are they actually trying to inconvenience our personnel? If so, do they really think that we are going to break out in hysterics? Do the Americans really think that they will find something? What? Papers proving that Trump is our agent? Maybe a hidden nuclear device? Or the computers we used to hack in every server in the USA? " ..."
"... The latest US thuggery against Russian diplomats is as stupid as it is senseless. I think that US diplomats of the era of James Baker must be absolutely mortified to see the kind of idiocy their successors are now engaging in. ..."
"... Incorrect, the author left out a key point. As the Obama team left last December, it started a fire by expelling the Russians from a vacation compound for diplomats in New York, just to be dicks. The Russians expected Trump to correct this insult, and when he spinelessly refused, they retaliated. ..."
"... Now, whoever runs US foreign policy (no one is really sure), refused to let it end. They closed more Russian compounds, just to be dicks. Meanwhile, these dicks want Russia to help with the North Korea mess. ..."
"... Whichever European power used to be the dominant one at the time, in order to be truly certified as the top dog – they sought to prove superiority over Russia. That baton was picked up by US after WW2. No European power has ever succeeded in proving superiority over Russia – at least not military one. ..."
"... Another sign of the spasmodic, directionless, almost suicidal weakness of the United States is its recent abuse of the dollar as the world's reserve currency. The United States is going around the world identifying countries and individuals who will no longer be allowed to use the dollar and the dollar-designated US-controlled international payment system for financial transactions as an instrument of its foreign policy. ..."
Sep 04, 2017 | www.unz.com

For a while already the Russian diplomats have been openly saying that their American counterparts are недоговороспособны or "non-agreement capable". This all began under Obama, when Kerry flew to meet with Lavrov and declared 'A', then flew back to Washington, DC and declared 'B'. Then there were the cases in Syria when the US agreed to a deal only to break that very same deal in less than 24 hours. That's when the Russians openly began to say that their US colleagues are rank amateurs who lack even the basic professionalism to get anything done . Now the US has slipped even lower: the Russians speak of US "hellish buffoonery" and "stupid thuggery".

Wow!

For the normally hyper-diplomatic Russians, this kind of language is absolutely unheard of, this has never ever happened before. You could say that the Russians are naive, but they believe that their diplomats should always be, well, diplomatic, and that public expressions of disgust is just not something a diplomat does. Even more telling is rather than call the Americans "evil" or "devious", they openly express their total contempt for them, calling them stupid, incompetent, uneducated and their actions unlawful (read Maria Zakharova's statement to that effect on Facebook ).

So let me explain what is happening here how the Russians interpreted the latest US thuggery concerning the Russian Consulate in San Francisco and the Russian diplomatic annexes in Washington and New York.

First, the Russians fully expected the Americans to retaliate after the Russian expulsion of US diplomatic personnel in Russia. That, by itself, is not the problem. The Russians understand that Trump is a cornered and weak President, that he has to show how "tough" he is. Sure, they smile, but they think that this is 'fair game'. The Russians also know that, as a country, the USA cannot accept the biggest reduction in US diplomatic personnel in history without reacting. Again, they don't necessarily like it, but they think that this is 'fair game'.

You know what really triggered the Russians off? The fact that the Americans gave them only 2 days to vacate the premises they would seize and that they organized some kind of bizarre search operation. Let me immediately explain that this is not a case of ruffled feathers by the Russians, not at all. But here is how they would think about it:

" Why would they give us only 2 days? Do they really think that we cannot clear the premises from anything sensitive in 60 minutes if needed? Or are they actually trying to inconvenience our personnel? If so, do they really think that we are going to break out in hysterics? Do the Americans really think that they will find something? What? Papers proving that Trump is our agent? Maybe a hidden nuclear device? Or the computers we used to hack in every server in the USA? "

To a Russian, these questions can only have one answer: of course not. So what is going on here? And then there is the only possible explanation left:

" We beat them is Syria, we are beat them in the Ukraine, they lost Afghanistan, they lost Iraq, their Navy apparently does not know how to use a radar, their soldiers are terrified to fight somebody capable of resistance, they failed to impress not only China, but even the North Koreans who are openly laughing at them. Hezbollah laughs at them. Even Venezuela refuses to be scared! The Iranians openly threaten them with consequences if they back out of the deal they signed. Even Pakistan is openly expressing its disgust with the USA. Ditto for Turkey. Heck – the Americans are losing on all fronts and the very best they can do is try to feel good about illegally harassing our diplomatic personnel! Pathetic, lame, losers! "

And they are 100% correct.

The latest US thuggery against Russian diplomats is as stupid as it is senseless. I think that US diplomats of the era of James Baker must be absolutely mortified to see the kind of idiocy their successors are now engaging in.

This is also the end of Rex Tillerson. The poor man now has only two options left: resign (that would be the honorable thing to do) or stay and become another castrated eunuch unable to even deal with the likes of Nikki Haley, nevermind the North Koreans!

A "spokesperson" for the White House declared that Trump personally ordered the latest thuggery. Okay, that means one of two thing: either Trump is so weak that he cannot even fire a lying spokesperson or that he has now fallen so low as to order the "thug life" behavior of the State Department. Either way, it is a disgrace.

This is also really scary. The combination of, on one hand, spineless subservience to the Neocons with intellectual mediocrity, a gross lack of professionalism and the kind of petty thuggery normally associated with street gangs and, on the other hand, nuclear weapons is very scary. In the mean time, the other nuclear armed crazies have just declared that they have a thermonuclear device which they apparently tested yesterday just to show their contempt for Trump and his general minions. I don't think that they have a hydrogen bomb. I don't think that they have a real ICBM. I don't even think that they have real (usable) nuclear warheads. But what if I am wrong? What if they did get a lot of what they claim to have today – such as rocket engines – from the Ukies?

In one corner, the Outstanding Leader , Brilliant Comrade, Young Master and Great Successor, Kim Jong-un and on the other, The Donald, Grab them by the xxxxx and Make 'Merica Great, the Grand Covfefe Donald Trump. Both armed with nukes.

Scary, scary shit. Really scary.

But even more scary and depressing is that the stronger man of the two is beyond any doubt Kim Jong-un.

All I see in the White House are vacancy signs.

Cloak And Dagger , September 3, 2017 at 11:49 pm GMT

We beat them is Syria, we are beat them in the Ukraine, they lost Afghanistan, they lost Iraq, their Navy apparently does not know how to use a radar, their soldiers are terrified to fight somebody capable of resistance, they failed to impress not only China, but even the North Koreans who are openly laughing at them. Hezbollah laughs at them. Even Venezuela refuses to be scared! The Iranians openly threaten them with consequences if they back out of the deal they signed. Even Pakistan is openly expressing its disgust with the USA. Ditto for Turkey. Heck – the Americans are losing on all fronts

Such is the sad state of affairs in this country and the beginning of the end of the American Empire (and none too soon). We squandered the potential for world peace when the Soviets broke up. Instead of taking advantage of the peace windfall, the neocons redoubled their efforts to dominate by projecting military power. We have been paying the price since.

Meanwhile, the Chinese have been expanding their power projection peacefully by leveraging their financial might. The gold-backed RMB is about to replace the petro-dollar. They have been quietly building alliances across the globe using trade as the incentive, while we have been killing and maiming people everywhere – and all in vain, apparently to win "hearts and minds"!

Something that amused me a few days ago was a picture of a Chinese businessman in Pakistan, escorted by two pro-government, two anti-government, and two rebel businessmen. Apparently, this assured the safety of the Chinese businessman, even if his companions hated each other. For our part, we had refused to do business there because we had not found a means to unify these warring factions – and we are supposed to be the capitalists!

A day of reckoning is fast approaching, my fellow countrymen, and the price we will have to pay is daunting. It may be a while before we can recover from the coming debacle, however, I take solace in the following:

  1. The accompanying pain will rewaken all our somnambulant citizenry to who and what has brought us to this low point in our history, and they may unite to rout the Jewish banking power that has resulted in our predicament.
  2. We will no longer be able to borrow the trillions that fund our illegal wars across the globe, and civilians can sleep peacefully once more.
  3. Without our support, and the increasing unification of the countries in the ME (note Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, ) Israel and Saudi Arabia will stand alone, surrounded by angry nations that have scores to settle. I doubt that those two mischief makers will survive another 5 years.

So, an imposed world peace is possible – even probable. With increasing Russian influence in the Middle East and the sale of advanced weaponry to the emerging coalition of Muslim countries, western invasions of these countries will become all but impossible. Already, the Syrian airspace has been shut out from Israel and the US by Russia's command of the skies, by S-300 and S-400 defenses and the Russian air force. It is only a matter of time before Lebanon, too, enjoys the same protection, as will Iraq. Iran is already unassailable. Turkey has started to distance itself from NATO, and is still smarting from the EU rejection.

Interesting, but painful times lay ahead.

Carlton Meyer , Website September 4, 2017 at 4:21 am GMT

"First, the Russians fully expected the Americans to retaliate after the Russian expulsion of US diplomatic personnel in Russia."

Incorrect, the author left out a key point. As the Obama team left last December, it started a fire by expelling the Russians from a vacation compound for diplomats in New York, just to be dicks. The Russians expected Trump to correct this insult, and when he spinelessly refused, they retaliated.

Now, whoever runs US foreign policy (no one is really sure), refused to let it end. They closed more Russian compounds, just to be dicks. Meanwhile, these dicks want Russia to help with the North Korea mess.

It seems whenever the USA threatens to destroy North Korea, their leader threatens to harm the USA if that happens. Clearly, the North Korean leader is mad, at least those dicks think so.

Cyrano , September 4, 2017 at 7:17 am GMT

Whichever European power used to be the dominant one at the time, in order to be truly certified as the top dog – they sought to prove superiority over Russia. That baton was picked up by US after WW2. No European power has ever succeeded in proving superiority over Russia – at least not military one.

I don't think that the exceptional ones believe that they can do it either, that train left the station in the 90's, together with Boris. So now the exceptional ones are throwing temper tantrums, because the bear doesn't want to lie down and play dead. They had their chance for a while and they didn't really deserve it either.

The bear that they used to know and love in the 90's was a circus animal and that circus has left town. The world is changing and if you think that the best protection against hitting the iceberg is to blow the horn, for everybody to get out of your way because you are too big to sink, you are heading straight to the bottom, only maybe with accompanying loud noise from the horn, for which the world really doesn't care too much about.

Osten , September 4, 2017 at 8:58 am GMT

American media show paranoia about Russia.
Trump Russia connections and election influence are nonsense.
Public sees the nonsense so media dropped the publicity.
Democratic Party will put on charm offensive to say they reject Antifa so to defuse Republican Trump supporters.
If Democrats succeed they will regain many Congress seats in 2018 election.
Republicans need to put pressure on FBI to complete Clinton investigation.
That completion would clear air for better relations, restore public trust in government and slap media to be more honest.
Republicans should be glad Russia is in Syria. Russia presence reduces American defense expense.
Israel wants American presence.
Saudi Arabia wants presence.
People in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon and Iraq want peace after years of American wars that cause death and refugee humanitarian crisis.
American journalists except for Seymour Hersh are not allowed to tell Americans facts about Middle East countries.

Realist , September 4, 2017 at 9:18 am GMT

@Carlton Meyer

"Meanwhile, these dicks want Russia to help with the North Korea mess."

Russia should tell the US to go shit in their hat and pull it down over your ears.

TheJester , September 4, 2017 at 10:21 am GMT

The End of Bretton-Woods I and II

Another sign of the spasmodic, directionless, almost suicidal weakness of the United States is its recent abuse of the dollar as the world's reserve currency. The United States is going around the world identifying countries and individuals who will no longer be allowed to use the dollar and the dollar-designated US-controlled international payment system for financial transactions as an instrument of its foreign policy.

Led by the BRICS, the rest of the world is racing to replace the dollar as the world's reserve currency with local currencies and/or pseudo-currencies and the US-controlled international payment system with block-chain technologies.

When the movement to de-status the dollar reaches critical mass, the United States will officially be recognized as a bankrupt Third-World country wracked by inflation. It will no longer have the luxury of recklessly printing petrodollars to pay its bills.

Not all is bleak. The collapse of the AngloZionist Empire is the sine qua non for getting our Constitutional liberties back.

KA , September 4, 2017 at 12:40 pm GMT

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/450890/iran-nuclear-deal-exit-strategy-john-bolton-memo-trump

John Bolton wants to scrap the deal, provide supports to outsiders and insiders to foment troubles against the regime and ban all commercial diplomatic and educational legal contacts to the rest of the world . He wants to inform China and Russia only after the whole thing is over ( Iran has become I guess Yemen!).

Why is he outside the high security prison or outside the administration?

anon , Disclaimer September 4, 2017 at 2:56 pm GMT

@KA

Genesis of American relentless march to stupidity has been promoted and secured by dimwit halfling midget like Bolton

Unfortunately Israel instead of keeping and maintaining the logical support from the intellectual, visionary and moral people has relied on morons like these endangering itself and USA . These morons wouldn't get a job as a third shift janitor in a slaughter house solely on merits . They did what they could – race the bottom of the barrel of dishonesty because that was their upbringing . It made them street smart without necessary IQ.

[Sep 03, 2017] Russia Urges Washington To Come To Their Senses Over Consulate, Denounces Blunt Act Of Hostility

Did the US intelligence services know something, or this just a dirty provocation by neocons entrenched in the State Department, who managed to coopt Rex Tillerson ?
Notable quotes:
"... If the international diplomatic agreements are no longer valid, then there is no longer any reason for other countries to comply with them. How can the US comp!ain, if Russia (or other countries) no longer choose to abide by the rules? ..."
"... Actually, there were MULTIPLE searches: the Trade Mission and the apartments of the Mission's employees. Let's forget for a second that the diplomats still have valid diplomatic immunity. Each search requires a separate warrant. What kind of a crime could all of them have committed that would give a probable cause to search all of their apartments in the Mission? ..."
"... Now, this shit cannot be blamed on the Kenyan fudge-packer. The warmongering cunts in Congress have nothing to do with this either. This is not just on Trump's watch – he actually ordered it! ..."
Sep 03, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

Already furious over Washington's " unprecedented aggressive action, " at the Russian consulate in San Francisco, Moscow has responded with an official statement calling the "occupation" of diplomatic properties in the US a "blunt act of hostility. "

As a reminder, Russian diplomats were denied access to the trade mission building despite it being owned by Russia and protected by diplomatic immunity.

The ministry called the planned "illegal inspection" of Russian diplomatic housing an " unprecedented aggressive action ", which could be used by the U.S. special services for " anti-Russian provocations" by the way of "planting compromised items ".

Searches of the Russian premises began on Saturday, after the US State Department ordered the foreign ministry on August 31 to vacate the premises by September 2.

The FBI arrived in at least two vehicles to search the San Francisco Consulate. The minute the deadline expired, agents entered the Russian-owned diplomatic property, which in 2016 alone issued more than 16,000 tourist visas to American citizens.

Russian diplomats have posted photo and video evidence of the searches, which they call a "travesty of justice."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/DzSKTqAqxDc

And now, as RT reports, the ministry said in a statement on Sunday. " We regard the incident as a blunt act of hostility, a gross violation of international law by Washington, including the Vienna Conventions on diplomatic and consular relations," The ministry called upon the US "to come to their senses and immediately return Russian diplomatic compounds ." "Otherwise, the US will be responsible for the continuing degradation of relations between our countries , which largely affect global stability and international security," the statement continued.

The Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations forms the basis for diplomatic immunity and defines the framework of relation between countries. It states that the premises of [any] mission "shall be inviolable" and the "agents of the receiving State may not enter them, except with the consent of the head of the mission." Moscow pointed out that all seized properties in New York, Washington, and San Francisco have diplomatic immunity. "The US special services supported by armed police are now 'hosting' the occupied buildings," the statement added.

"The US State Department is violating the Vienna Convention; this creates a bad precedent to international diplomacy," Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos, who served as a Greek ambassador in Canada in 2000-2004, told RT. " I can't see the reason why it is happening. The relations between the US and Russia are not bad. Some people in the US are trying to make [these relations] bad. Perhaps that was the goal all along?

ET , Sep 3, 2017 3:26 PM

War is the continuation of politics by other means. - Carl von Clausewitz

It could be worse for the Russians. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8bC1DEYbI4

JohninMK -> ET , Sep 3, 2017 3:31 PM

Brilliant precedent for the US to have set. Time to increase State's budget for protection of its premises around the world. Also, every diplomatic mission in the US is now only too aware that they are vulnerable to this type of action.

ET -> JohninMK , Sep 3, 2017 3:34 PM

I'm in favor of resolving disputes through diplomacy and negotiations rather than violence and barbarism. Good leadership works toward peace and prosperity. We have had the good fortune of not having had a destructive World War in many decades. That time might be coming to an end.

Fritz -> JohninMK , Sep 3, 2017 3:50 PM

It's all just another bullshit distraction to control the news cycle.

OverTheHedge -> Fritz , Sep 3, 2017 4:30 PM

Possibly, but in a world of tit for tat escalations, what happens if the Russians now evict all US personnel from an American consulate, with zero notice, and show the world all the incriminating evidence of attempted regime change they are bound to find?

If the international diplomatic agreements are no longer valid, then there is no longer any reason for other countries to comply with them. How can the US comp!ain, if Russia (or other countries) no longer choose to abide by the rules?

I think there might be consequences that the US no longer seems capable of recognizing: does no one wargame these scenarios any more?

As a Brit, I can tell you that end-of-empire is a difficult period of readjustment, and it takes quite a lot of soul-searching to get through unscathed.

Looney -> OverTheHedge , Sep 3, 2017 4:32 PM

What's the probable cause for the searches? Lifting diplomatic immunity from the Trade Mission is not enough of a cause to conduct a search of the property.

Actually, there were MULTIPLE searches: the Trade Mission and the apartments of the Mission's employees. Let's forget for a second that the diplomats still have valid diplomatic immunity. Each search requires a separate warrant. What kind of a crime could all of them have committed that would give a probable cause to search all of their apartments in the Mission?

This is beyond weird, it's fucking scary! If this can be done to foreign diplomats covered by both the US Constitution (searches) and the Vienna Convention (diplomatic immunity), can you imagine what they can do to us, working stiffs? Rule of Law my ass!

Now, this shit cannot be blamed on the Kenyan fudge-packer. The warmongering cunts in Congress have nothing to do with this either. This is not just on Trump's watch – he actually ordered it!

As soon as I'm done typing, I'm gonna take a huge dump into my MAGA hats.

BTW If anybody wants their MAGA hats filled too, lemme know – first come, first served. ;-)

Looney

Looney -> Looney , Sep 3, 2017 4:33 PM

Here's the full text of the Vienna Convention , but check out Article 22 and, especially, Article 45 below:

Article 22

1.The premises of the mission shall be inviolable. The agents of the receiving State may not enter them, except with the consent of the head of the mission.

2.The receiving State is under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the premises of the mission against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the mission or impairment of its dignity.

3.The premises of the mission, their furnishings and other property thereon and the means of transport of the mission shall be immune from search, requisition, attachment or execution.

Article 45

If diplomatic relations are broken off between two States, or if a mission is permanently or temporarily recalled:

(a) The receiving State must, even in case of armed conflict, respect and protect the premises of the mission, together with its property and archives;

(b) The sending State may entrust the custody of the premises of the mission, together with its property and archives, to a third State acceptable to the receiving State;

(c) The sending State may entrust the protection of its interests and those of its nationals to a third State acceptable to the receiving State.

Looney

MozartIII -> Looney , Sep 3, 2017 4:41 PM

Looney, Our pols can't and don't care to read. Why do you think they pass bills so that we can then see whats in them.

jeff montanye -> ET , Sep 3, 2017 3:48 PM

these blackhearted bastards have no interest in good leadership, peace or any prosperity but their own. we citizens have got to vote the war party out and the peace party in. break the hold that the mossad likud zionists have on our government.

president trump, when do you start to assert some authority? left to their own devices you see what the deep state will do. that the intelligentsia world wide is coming to understand this better through the exposure of such clumsy false flags as russiagate and charlottesvile is of valuable but limited consolation.

not being hillary clinton may not be enough in 2018 or 2020.

stacking12321 -> jeff montanye , Sep 3, 2017 3:51 PM

"Peace party"? Sounds like an oxymoron. People get into the government racket to take power over others through violent means. Bad means lead to bad ends. And btw, trump has no authority. The only true authority is personal sovereignty, everything else is a con game.

Dark star -> jeff montanye , Sep 3, 2017 4:17 PM

Trump is an instant one term President. He has reneged on every promise he made to his supporters; his credibility is zero.

MozartIII -> jeff montanye , Sep 3, 2017 4:38 PM

Of what peace party do you speak? The Russians are asking our leadership to come to their senses. For that to happen, we would need someone in washington with an IQ over 20. Not going to happen. With any luck Irma will strenghen to a cat 12 hurricane, hit washington & erase the swamp. We need to start somewhere!

GUS100CORRINA -> ET , Sep 3, 2017 3:59 PM

Russia Urges Washington To "Come To Their Senses" Over Consulate, Denounces "Blunt Act Of Hostility" My response: The US Legislators should be ashamed of themselves. They have pushed America's executive and law enforcement groups to do STUPID THINGS.

I am beginning to wonder if America can survive this CRAP much longer?

By the way, the DEMON released during Obama's 2nd term is called NERGAL who is a war god. You can read about this DEMON below. I really hate where this is headed!!!

http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix3/nergalhyborian.htm

Of course, the Churches in America for the most part are absolutely CLUELESS when it comes to understanding this stuff and impact on people's faith. I have truly come to believe that many of our godless US legislators are being influence by NERGAL,

OverTheHedge -> GUS100CORRINA , Sep 3, 2017 4:46 PM

From your link:"First appearance, Conan the Barbarian" Great books, and very iffy film, but hardly conclusive proof that demons are amoung us. It's fiction - made up scary stories to frighten children and entertain adults. Are you frightened, or entertained?

serotonindumptruck -> JohninMK , Sep 3, 2017 3:44 PM

Clearly, the ultimate goal behind the US State Department's illegal search of the Russian Embassy was to provoke an escalatory response from the Russians.

As the collapse of the Amerikan Empire gains steam, we should anticipate further insults and provocations to be levied against the Russian Federation by the despicable US Government.

opport.knocks -> JohninMK , Sep 3, 2017 3:45 PM

... cuz it was the Russians who gave the keys, floor plans and detailed instuctions to the invaders in Benghazi, donchano.

Not Too Important -> JohninMK , Sep 3, 2017 3:49 PM

After Benghazi who is stupid enough to be in any US mission anywhere? Except for the gay US diplomatic corp in Norway that like little kids and get Hillary's protection.

https://mic.com/articles/48277/howard-gutman-prostitution-wasn-t-even-th...

jmarshally -> JohninMK , Sep 3, 2017 4:36 PM

Right-e-o John,

Further, it makes one wonder; if the US Government has no respect for the privacy (sanctity of one's dwelling; i.e private property) of a foregin nation, it does not bode well for the privacy of a US citizen (in any venue).

J.

John Basilone -> JohninMK , Sep 3, 2017 4:43 PM

If Trump ok'd this we can then assume that he's gone full retard - or his Joo master basterds are dangling the orange haired marionette while his mad dog SecDef bloviates bellicose bullshyte ad nauseam.

chunga , Sep 3, 2017 3:26 PM

I'm right with you Russia. The depraved frauds in DC have got to go. The Imperial City is clearly a domestic and international menace.

Francis Marx , Sep 3, 2017 3:27 PM

Isn't there any US buildings they can occupy in Russia?

JohninMK -> Francis Marx , Sep 3, 2017 3:33 PM

Yes, but for some strange reason the Russians and Putin in particular seem to believe in the rule of Law. Yesterday's attitude from the US perspective.

Blankone -> JohninMK , Sep 3, 2017 3:48 PM

It is not a belief in the rule of law (although that may also be true), it is the lack of backbone.

This is NOTHING compared to all the murdered diplomats, business leaders/Putin allies, downed airliner, downed military transport with military music group, arrests of russians in the public eye on "Trumped" up charges, sanctions against business leaders, sanctions against key businesses, international arrest warrants so that business CEO's cannot travel outside Russia etc,

The current action is akin to an Arab taking off his shoe and slapping Putin across the face with it on an international live news cast. Or Clint Eastwood in a cowboy flick spitting tobacco into the face of a dirty .... The entire town is watching and knows the magnitude of insult.

Don't Poke The Bear!!! Again, well, not again, well better not again, please stop, please it's making him cry, ....

Cue the photo opp, Putin riding a horse with no shirt, Putin fishing with no shirt, Putin staring intensely during a diplomatic meeting/photo session,

the_narrator -> Blankone , Sep 3, 2017 3:56 PM

I wonder if the recent navy ship collisions and diplomat injuries in Cuba are Russian retaliation.

Blankone -> the_narrator , Sep 3, 2017 4:15 PM

The diplomat injuries in Cuba (IF they are real) may be. Should be. But why do so in Cuba, why put Cuba out there, instead do so in a US friendly country. For that reason I feel it may be a false story to begin negative PR against Cuba. I believe the travel restrictions were recently put back in place by Trump.

I doubt the ships. The ships are so huge, move so slow, any competent officer in the control structure should have been able to see it coming in the dark of night even. IMO Plus there are more than one system looking for approaching objects.

John Basilone -> Blankone , Sep 3, 2017 4:45 PM

The worst I ever witnessed during my time in the USMC was an LPD that ran aground in Australia. The ship collisions are either a sign of gross incompetence (which is unlikely) or sabotage. I tend to think it is the latter.

neutrino3 -> Blankone , Sep 3, 2017 4:07 PM

You patetic ukrop still do not undersand Dei Plan A. Dontcha?

Baron von Bud , Sep 3, 2017 3:28 PM

The Russians are right. This act was incited by a brain damaged person with poor judgment. Someone needs to talk to McCain.

chunga -> Baron von Bud , Sep 3, 2017 3:35 PM

I like to bash McCain as much as the next guy but trump is presidont.

Not Too Important -> chunga , Sep 3, 2017 3:52 PM

But, at this point, is he allowed to make any real decisions? He looks like he's been ring-fenced by the NWO.

They'd kill him like Kennedy if they could, but at this point it would cause domestic war, with little or no control on their part. So he lives, has his Twitter feed, and they run the country.

I wish someone would show us different.

chunga -> Not Too Important , Sep 3, 2017 4:10 PM

Checks and balances are long gone, US gov is run by evil forces and no one in it fights back. We need to brace for big changes.

Blankone -> Not Too Important , Sep 3, 2017 4:40 PM

He is president, he can make decisions aplenty. He is making the decisions he wants to make, they just do not match the lies he told during his campaign.

He is one of "them". But his fans will deflect blame to the point of claiming "they made him do it/say it".

BritBob , Sep 3, 2017 3:29 PM

Blunt act of hostility?

Russia tells Britain give back the Falklands before telling US what to do.

RUSSIA has told Britain it should "clean its conscience" and give back the Falkland Islands before it criticises them over their involvement in Ukraine. Moscow's ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin made the shocking remarks when responding to his British counterpart Matthew Rycroft at a UN security council meeting in New York. ( Daily Express 4 Feb 2017)

Funny thing to say when Argentina has never legally owned the Falklands. So how can they 'be returned' ?

Falklands -- Never Belonged to Argentina (single page):

https://www.academia.edu/31111843/Falklands_Never_Belonged_to_Argentina

AurorusBorealus -> BritBob , Sep 3, 2017 3:50 PM

Ok Bob, I will bite. First off, I do not want to hear any nonsense about how the British Parliament is so concerned about the 500 fishermen and their families that live on those islands. If the British government were concerned about its people, it would not be flooding your country with terrorist Muslim to blow the little Britbobs to bits in London.

Britain is using those islands to claim the vast oilfields around them as "British" property. How large are the oilfields... well... very large. Ok. So Britian is using a flag that they planted in the ground 300 years ago as an excuse to rob oil from regions that are, by international law, in the maritime zone of Argentina, and under Argentina's jurisdiction. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/05/17/rockhoppers-falklands-oil...

Do not believe me? Then why is Argentina able, by international law, to prohibit the development of the oilfields there? Why? Because these oilfields are on Argentina property. That England has managed to cajole 2,600 fishermen on a few rocks in the Atlantic to live under British rule does not give England the right to take a billion barrels of oil that rightfully belong, BY LAW, to the people of Argentina.

If I can convince 2,600 of your good Muslim friends in England to vote to renounce English rule, does that give Argentina the right to all of BPs holdings in the North Sea?

Typically British shit. Use any excuse to rob, steal, and pillage, and then call it "empire" and our "right." You are full of shit Bob.

opport.knocks -> BritBob , Sep 3, 2017 3:48 PM

Russia's opinion does not matter and ZH readers do not care Bob - talk to the nobs in your own foreign service about their policies toward Russia first.

Dark star -> BritBob , Sep 3, 2017 4:09 PM

What Vitaly Churkin said was that if Britain wished to criticise Russia over Crimea, THEN Britain should give the Falklands to Argentina.

It was a justifiable complaint about double standards, not a definitive statement regarding Russia's view of International Law.

Everybody understands that except you.

Every sane and normal person on the planet understands that Crimea had a fair referendum, (like that which Britain depended on for its stance in the Falklands), which was necessitated by the U.S. overthrowing a democratically elected Government. Western politicians who argue otherwise merely make themselves look stupid subservient poodles of the Rogue State which the U.S. has now become.

Albertarocks , Sep 3, 2017 3:34 PM

USA has just crossed the Rubicon. This is undoubtedly the most aggregious act of lawlessness ever perpetrated by the USA in its history. The sanctity of embassies is the one common sense rule and tradition that all civilized nations on earth have honored almost throughout history. Sure, Iran invaded the US embassy, but don't forget how they were chastised and demonized for it. Now it's the USA's turn to commit the same unthinkable crime.

The USA will never be trusted again, by any nation, for eternity. This is the last straw because with this one act of supreme lawlessness the US has essentially isolated itself from the rest of the world *forever*. Talk about shooting yourself in the face.

AriusArmenian -> Albertarocks , Sep 3, 2017 3:39 PM

Exactly right. Diplomatic missions from the rest of the world are aware of the lawless rogue nature of the US.

The Cooler King -> AriusArmenian , Sep 3, 2017 3:43 PM

I doubt they're unaware about (((who))) is responsible for the rogue nature of US politics.

Escrava Isaura -> Albertarocks , Sep 3, 2017 3:43 PM

You can't make this stuff up. Albertarocks : USA has just crossed the Rubicon. Just crossed? LOL.

chunga -> Albertarocks , Sep 3, 2017 3:48 PM

Pulling a stunt like this with the present situation in KN is reckless, unstable, dangerous.

Not Too Important -> chunga , Sep 3, 2017 3:58 PM

The rest of the world governments know the US is on its' last legs, period. A pit bull with steroid rage, with a lethal case of rabies. The smart thing to do is sit back and let it run its' course, while keeping a safe distance, but it'll be a few years before the dog loses his bite and no way to keep it on a leash.

How would you run your government's foreign policy under this scenario? Knowing that the only other options for safety are on the pitbull's kill list before it dies?

A thousand nukes on Russia or China will affect every country on this planet. There are a lot of world leaders shitting their pants right now, and will for the next decade until the dog rolls over and dies.

GoatHollow -> Not Too Important , Sep 3, 2017 4:04 PM

Russia has 7,000 nuclear warheads of it's own.

finametrics , Sep 3, 2017 3:31 PM

we all know why this is happening. butthurt establishment is desperate and acting out. their time is near and they know it.

Big Creek Rising -> finametrics , Sep 3, 2017 3:45 PM

Would it not be best for Russia to at least kinda sorta be on our side with the NorK debacle? We're giving Putin good reason to quietly support that chubby little dickhead that now has better nukes and missiles.

And for what benefit?

Dark star -> Big Creek Rising , Sep 3, 2017 3:56 PM

What idiot would be on the side of someone who had just kicked them in the balls? The U.S. needs friends to help deal with NK and it has none left. Why is NK only threatening the U.S.? Could it perhaps be that only the US is threatening to attack NK? Questions far beyond the ability of the U.S. State Dept

[Sep 03, 2017] Proper response would be for Russia to nationalize their bank

It is interesting that on Sunday, Sept 3, 2017 there was no anti-Russian hysteria in US MSM anymore. The flow of anti-Russian news just disappeared
Russia still need year to recover from Yeltsin carnage, so the best policy for Russia is just do not react on this provocation. direct retaliation is counterproductive.
Sep 03, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

Son of Captain Nemo , Sep 3, 2017 4:26 PM

To the Russian Federation. If this faggot pedo of a U.S. Marine doesn't make it clear enough at this point ( http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-03/mattis-we-have-many-options-ach... ), after the banks attempted to control your resources post-Soviet Union for 28 years using threats of war and well "war" in your neighborhood, with paid for mercenaries in American $$$ to kill their own in places like your Southern Caucus, Dagestan

They are desperate, bankrupt financially and without resources with no equal in human history... And angry at their own worst choices going on the last 72 years and in need of a Hemorrhoid-ectomy with one of these ( http://www.mashpedia.com/RS-28_Sarmat )

TIMES UP!... GLOVES NEED TO COME OFF!... YOU GAVE IT YOUR BEST SHOT!... Now it's time to throw them out of your Country for good and tell them YOU'RE READY FOR ANYTHING THEY CHOOSE TO DO NEXT!!!

Anunnaki , Sep 3, 2017 4:40 PM

Is this draining the swamp, how? The Cheetolini is AWOL from foreign affairs.

rejected , Sep 3, 2017 4:41 PM

I really wish the Russians would respond in kind but I suspect they have too much class. Link for more videos of yet another treaty violation by the US government.

https://sputniknews.com/society/201709031057051981-russia-consulate-fbi-...

Anunnaki -> rejected , Sep 3, 2017 4:55 PM

Proper response would be for Russia to nationalize their bank

RedDwarf , Sep 3, 2017 4:54 PM

Wow, we really are heading for war with Russia. This is turning into America vs. World. It never ends well for the country that tries to go to war against the rest of the world. There is no sane reason to do this unless your desire is the destruction of America or a religious goal of bringing about the end days.

We need to find these lunatics and traitors and we need to get rid of them before they poison the Northern Hemisphere in blood and ash.

Consuelo -> RedDwarf , Sep 3, 2017 5:00 PM

There is no 'finding them', RD. They operate in plain view. But they have the 'cattle' herded in essentially any direction they so choose, by way of Fake News, Sports & entertainment and social-media distraction. It takes a thinking electorate to see and identify their machinations. Which is why they get so upset when thinking people speak...

[Sep 03, 2017] Russian consulate shutdown Deep State victory or Trumps attempt to avoid impeachment

Notable quotes:
"... On Thursday, the US State Department demanded closure of the Russian consulate in San Francisco, as well as two annex buildings in Washington and New York. The decision was motivated by the "spirit of parity invoked by the Russians" and came in response to Moscow ordering the US to reduce its diplomatic personnel in Russia, according to the US State Department. ..."
"... "One can say pretty firmly that the change of the chief of staff and other personnel in the Trump White House means that, as some would have it, the Deep State has won and this so-called 'isolationist Donald Trump candidate' is over. He's ramping up military war games on the Korean peninsula, he's ramping up troops to Afghanistan and he's ramping up troops to Russia's actual borders in the European Union countries," ..."
"... "What we're seeing here is definitely ramping up of tension with Moscow. We have to wait [and see] what the next enemy of Washington is, is it now going to be China? ..."
"... "The United States is ramping it up when it comes to the foreign diplomatic pressure, foreign military pressure. We must remember the number of times the Trump White House said 'all options are on the table' over a variety of different problems that previously have been seen as diplomatic," ..."
"... "Russia collusion" ..."
"... "A cynic might say that while this may be not very good news for Russian citizens in the United States and business partnerships and so on between the United states and Russia, this could be a means seen by some in the Trump administration of trying to curb continuous attacks on US media that Donald Trump is compromised by the Putin government in Moscow," ..."
"... "By doing this he can say 'Look, I'm no pawn of Moscow, here I am, making unprecedented closures of diplomatic facilities and actually creating more tensions with Moscow than President Obama did or did his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.' And therefore by showing this might, he's somehow independent and therefore 'Please don't impeach me'," ..."
"... because they are the biggest nuclear powers on Earth," ..."
"... "We have to wait and see whether Donald Trump himself tweets differently or indeed speaks differently, when he talks at a press conference – compared to the former CEO of Exxon, Rex Tillerson, his Secretary of State, someone much more arguably deeply allied to the Deep State." ..."
Sep 03, 2017 | www.rt.com

On Thursday, the US State Department demanded closure of the Russian consulate in San Francisco, as well as two annex buildings in Washington and New York. The decision was motivated by the "spirit of parity invoked by the Russians" and came in response to Moscow ordering the US to reduce its diplomatic personnel in Russia, according to the US State Department.

Read more US orders closure of Russian Consulate in San Francisco – State Department

While the decision will likely to ramp up tensions between the two countries, the reasons behind it might have deeper roots, Rattansi believes.

"One can say pretty firmly that the change of the chief of staff and other personnel in the Trump White House means that, as some would have it, the Deep State has won and this so-called 'isolationist Donald Trump candidate' is over. He's ramping up military war games on the Korean peninsula, he's ramping up troops to Afghanistan and he's ramping up troops to Russia's actual borders in the European Union countries," Rattansi said, adding that this is all quite in line with the recent Trump policy of heating up tensions worldwide and searching for enemies.

"What we're seeing here is definitely ramping up of tension with Moscow. We have to wait [and see] what the next enemy of Washington is, is it now going to be China?

The aggressive US policy is being watched closely by the international community and the developing countries, Rattansi said, stressing that previously purely diplomatic questions are now becoming international flashpoints.

"The United States is ramping it up when it comes to the foreign diplomatic pressure, foreign military pressure. We must remember the number of times the Trump White House said 'all options are on the table' over a variety of different problems that previously have been seen as diplomatic," Rattansi said.

Read more Lavrov to Tillerson on consulate closure: We regret escalation of tension not initiated by Russia

Such behavior might be a desperate attempt to fix the internal problems in the US and help Trump to beat the "Russia collusion" narrative, which has been plaguing his presidency.

"A cynic might say that while this may be not very good news for Russian citizens in the United States and business partnerships and so on between the United states and Russia, this could be a means seen by some in the Trump administration of trying to curb continuous attacks on US media that Donald Trump is compromised by the Putin government in Moscow," Rattansi said.

"By doing this he can say 'Look, I'm no pawn of Moscow, here I am, making unprecedented closures of diplomatic facilities and actually creating more tensions with Moscow than President Obama did or did his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.' And therefore by showing this might, he's somehow independent and therefore 'Please don't impeach me'," Rattansi said.

It's quite hard to tell how far the tensions can go, as there will always be diplomatic relations between Moscow and Washington, " because they are the biggest nuclear powers on Earth," Rattansi believes. "We have to wait and see whether Donald Trump himself tweets differently or indeed speaks differently, when he talks at a press conference – compared to the former CEO of Exxon, Rex Tillerson, his Secretary of State, someone much more arguably deeply allied to the Deep State."

[Sep 02, 2017] Moscow summons US Ambassador to submit protest note over diplomatic downsizing

Notable quotes:
"... "We consider the planned illegal search of Russian diplomatic premises in the absence of Russian officials and the threat we have received to break down the door of the building as an aggressive action, which the US intelligence service may use to orchestrate an anti-Russian provocation by planting compromising items," the statement also said. ..."
Sep 02, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Perimetr | Sep 2, 2017 11:56:25 AM | 15

US reportedly preparing to forcibly enter Russian trade mission in DC to "search" it

http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/09/breaking-moscow-summons-us-ambassador.html?m=1

BREAKING: Moscow summons US Ambassador to submit protest note over diplomatic downsizing
September 2, 2017 - Fort Russ News - Paul Antonopoulos

Russia has call for the deputy chief of mission of the US Embassy in Moscow, Anthony F. Godfrey, to submit a protest letter over US plans to search the Russian trade mission in Washington, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement just made moments ago.

The statement revealed that Russian diplomats have been denied access to the trade mission building despite being owned by Russia and protected by diplomatic immunity. Because of this gross violation of diplomatic immunity, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated that:

"The US authorities must stop the gross violations of international law and refuse to encroach on the immunity of Russia's diplomatic institutions. Otherwise we reserve the right to reciprocate on the basis of reciprocity."

"We consider the planned illegal search of Russian diplomatic premises in the absence of Russian officials and the threat we have received to break down the door of the building as an aggressive action, which the US intelligence service may use to orchestrate an anti-Russian provocation by planting compromising items," the statement also said.

This was triggered when days ago the US ordered the closure of the Russian consulate in San Francisco and the downsizing of its diplomatic presence in New York City and Washington DC.

[Sep 02, 2017] US Warns Russia Relationship in a Downward Spiral

Sep 02, 2017 | news.antiwar.com

US Warns Russia Relationship in a 'Downward Spiral' US Officials Say Russia Started It

Jason Ditz Posted on August 31, 2017 August 31, 2017 Categories News Tags Russia , State Department , Trump The US State Department has admitted in its statement on the US closing the Russian Consulate in San Francisco that the move comes amid a "downward spiral in our relationship." This is an unusual admission that relations are both at an all-time low, and continuing to worsen at a rapid pace .

improve relations ," this doesn't seem sincere expectation. Rather, the State Department's comments seem more interested in trying to shift the blame.

The State Department credited itself for only closing one consulate and two annexes, saying they "have chosen to allow the Russian government to maintain some of its annexes" to try to keep the situation getting worse.

One official was quoted as saying that "it is our hope that the Russians will recognize that they were the ones who started the discussion" on facility closures, citing the recent US loss of a warehouse in Moscow and a vacation house.

Absent in all official US comments were the December 2016 US moves to expel Russian diplomats and seize two vacation houses. While Russia couched their closures as retaliation for that, US officials are choosing to ignore December and present today's moves as retaliation for Russia's closures.

The comments about hoping for better relations don't appear realistic, as the closure of a consulate is a major step forward in escalation of tensions, and will almost certain oblige Russia to take further moves. These tit-for-tat measures show no sign of ending any time soon. The best we can hope is that it doesn't further escalate.

[Aug 31, 2017] Direct attack on Tillerson by neocon mafia using WaPo as a loudspeaper by Daniel Drezner

Citing Max Boot instantly destroys any credibility of this "professor" and makes him more of hired gyun, then a political commentator. With experts like max boot the only question is why Wolfowitz in not the Secretary of state.
Neocons in State Department, like any powerful bureaucracy is going to fight tooth and nail to keep its size and turf. Drezner's just carrying water for the neocons at State.
Hired gun? From "He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Project on International Order and Strategy at the Brookings Institution . [2] ". Drezner supported the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq , writing that "a successful invasion not only eliminates the Iraqi threat, but over the long run it reduces the Arab resentment that feeds Al-Qaeda." [5] he is also the author of Drezner, Daniel W. (March 1997). "Allies, adversaries, and economic coercion: Russian foreign economic policy since 1991" . Security Studies . Taylor and Francis . 6 (3): 65–111. doi : 10.1080/09636419708429315
He is a staunch support of American empire: Drezner, Daniel W. (January 2001). "State structure, technological leadership and the maintenance of hegemony" . Review of International Studies . Cambridge Journals . 27 (1): 3–25. JSTOR 20079588 . doi : 10.1017/S0260210501000031 .
As for State Department, all diplomats who signed infamous "color revolution" style letter in support of Hillary jingoism and neocon policies need to be eliminated from State Department if we wnat the USA survive and prosper. So Tillerson action are not enough. Much deeper shake up is needed by political forces for that are absent.
And Tilleson decision to spurned all of the Council on Foreign Relations' International Affairs Fellows (infested with neocons) is to be applauded, not scorned. Empire building should stop at some point. And the sooner, the better.
When reading comments you instantly understands why Washington is still an imperial capital... And why neocon will lead the USA off the cliff is given a chance. The level of coments has such an amazingly strong neocon tilt, that you can question sanity of some commenters. It also shows the level of McCarthyism hysteria in the USA. For example "raylo 3:08 PM EDT [Edited] It's like the Russians have moles in our government and are working to destroy it from the inside. Oh, wait"
As of preserving the hegemon position of the USA is a realistic perspective and will not destroy the USA or all the world, as this is forging alliance of the Russia and China among other trends. BTW I did not find a single instance of the words of "neocon", "Neoconservatism", and "neoliberalism" neither in the article, nor in the comments.
Notable quotes:
"... You wonks live with no consequences, watching the battle from a safe distance. Most of those high ranking diplomats who left or were forced out had aligned themselves with politicians long before Trump. ..."
"... Yup, the state department was a model agency before Tillerson arrived....what a joke....do these WAPO people even read their own drivel. ..."
"... If so, judging by today's headlines, I'm thinking President Putin's got buyer's remorse. ..."
"... The opposition to change is a hallmark of the Washington bureaucracy. Is anyone really surprised? ..."
Aug 31, 2017 | washingtonpost.com

Critics such as Max Boot are calling for him to resign. Axios is reporting that even President Trump is apparently disenchanted with Tillerson.

... ... ...

If Trump no longer trusts Tillerson, then he has no other political goodwill to draw upon. He has made zero deposits in Washington's favor bank.


Second, Tillerson has prioritized the reorganization of Foggy Bottom to the exclusion of pretty much everything else. This has led to some truly bizarre outcomes. His reliance on outside consultants has led to much derision within the diplomatic corps

Tillerson is such a bad manager that he has spurned both free money and free talent. The State Department has not spent $80 million authorized by Congress to fight misinformation and Russian propaganda. According to Politico, "Tillerson aide R.C. Hammond suggested the money is unwelcome because any extra funding for programs to counter Russian media influence would anger Moscow, according to a former senior State Department official." ( UPDATE: A State Department official wrote me after this post was published to say that last week, Tillerson approved the release of $19.8 million from that fund. Politico reported the same thing this afternoon, also after this was published.) Furthermore, State has spurned all of the Council on Foreign Relations' International Affairs Fellows . This is a program that makes talented scholars freely available to U.S. foreign affairs agencies for a year. Council president Richard Haass confirmed to me that State has not accepted any of this year's fellows, despite the fact that they come with zero cost.

dennis827, 7:30 PM EDT

So a professor of something or other says the previous CEO of Exxon is a bad manager? Yeah, makes sense.

dennis827, 8:22 PM EDT [Edited]

Tillerson is such a bad manager that he has spurned both free money and free talent. The State Department has not spent $80 million authorized by Congress to fight misinformation and Russian propaganda. According to Politico, "Tillerson aide R.C. Hammond suggested the money is unwelcome because any extra funding for programs to counter Russian media influence would anger Moscow, according to a former senior State Department official."

See, I don't think a professor understands a good manager doesn't understand "free" money isn't really a thing. And I suppose I'm using "A" professor kinda like Game of Thrones speak.

zappa912, 7:18 PM EDT

Ouch!!! I must say this though, even with my non-expert knowledge of the intracies of the operation of the State Department. If in reality, Tillerson is helping to keep Tweeter from pulling the military trigger against North Korea or other international adversaries, then I hope he at least stays around until Tweeter is gone from the Trump Dump House. Tillerson does appear to me to at least be working to keep us out of military conflicts, which considering the impulsiveness, intentional ignorance and frequent war like tone of the Tweeter, is a good thing in my opinion.

Isaac 65, 6:00 PM EDT

If a Trump sycophant had replaced Tillerson we'd probably be at war with DPRK. Seriously, list the sane people in the administration: Jim Mattis, Steve Mnuchin, Gary Cohn, and Rex Tillerson - did I miss any?

akpat, 5:48 PM EDT

Critics such as Max Boot are calling for him to resign
)))

Who is max boot and who cares what they think

akpat, 5:43 PM EDT

Well Drezner I dont think it was Tillertson who brought us Egypt, Libya and Syria nor was it him who brought Iraq, NK and Iran.

It was the other so called experts you like.

mmcind, 5:57 PM EDT

Actually, most of the significant increase in those problems can be traced to dick cheney, war criminal.

berrymonster11, 5:09 PM EDT

An honorable man, whose sense of duty, respect and patriotism was developed in an entire of life of service in the Boys Scouts. A successful businessman, who has led one the largest companies in the world, and who knows how to deal with all kinds of people. I thought Mr Tillerson would become a great Secretary of State.

What a disappointment!! Countless mistakes, from the very beginning.

On April 2017, the entire US-China relationship was defined at... Mar-a-Lago!!! The key points: the US would not start a trade war with China; in exchange, China would ease whatever problems Ivanka's business had over there... and try to talk to the North Koreans about their nuclear program. Period. The US went to that meeting completely unprepared, and ended up with nothing.

Then, the trip to Saudi Arabia. A yuuuuge embarrassment. The US threw all human values to the trash bin, in the name of business. Dirty business. At that moment, I realized Rex Tillerson was the either extremely stupid or extremely corrupt, or both.

Then, an endeless list of fiascos: NATO, the Paris agreement, Qatar, the surge in Afghanistan, and so on.

Finally, Tillerson tries to distance himself from Trump!!!! Hey, Rex: you negotiated the deal with the Saudis. What values are you talking about!!!!

Virginia Reader, 4:57 PM EDT

Tillerson is so bad that he makes Secretary Smoking Gun/Mushroom Cloud Rice look positively brilliant. Get rid of him.

But, you should look even more closely at the career civil servants in the Department. They have been sidelined over the last five years and replaced with senior foreign service officers with no places to go. That means that much of the institutional memory in highly technical fields such as arms control, export control, and economics has been forced out of the Truman Building.

It's not all Tillerson's fault, since it's a long-standing problem, but he is surely exacerbating it. It's already Time for Him to Go, to quote a Bill Clinton campaign slogan in 1992.

gregdn, 4:49 PM EDT

Every bureaucracy is going to fight to keep its size and turf. Drezner's just carrying water for the career guys at State.

jvv62, 5:33 PM EDT

(sarcasm trigger warning)
Nah, we have the biggest military in the world, why do we need people talking to all those little people in little countries with little problems? All those diplomats ever do is talk, talk, talk. We need more $100,000,000 planes and billion dollar carriers, not more talkers. Why bother with a staff and assistant secretaries anyway? they just make all those pesky lists and reply to calls from pesky people from foreign countries and stuff. America First!

James A. Fuller, 4:47 PM EDT

Replace "State Department" with the name of the company I work for and you get the exact same experience. I've lost count of how many consultants have been brought in, how many surveys we've had to complete and how many reorganizations we've been through in the last three years. Nothing has changed and nothing has gotten better. In fact, the opposite. The company is circling down the drain and senior leadership is disconnected and out of touch. So this is what you get when you bring in corporate America to run the government. SSDD.

Sutton Parker, 4:43 PM EDT

As much as he has not done good things for the State Department, at least he is not afraid to speak his mind about DJT--or at least, so far. We need voices in the Cabinet of people who are willing to speak up. The time has come. We are in too much danger with DJT in office.

Pogo4, 4:28 PM EDT [Edited]

In addition to his terrible management of State, Tillerson has been humiliated again and again by Trump -e.g. when Trump invited the Mexican Foreign Minister to DC and didn't even tell him or invite him to meet with his counterpart. He has no credibility internationally. He has been used as an errand boy to set up meetings for more important people.

I thought someone with his international experience would understand the value of diplomacy, but apparently not. Trump's biggest failing has been the unwillingness to focus on details and not asking for the interagency developed background, recommendations and talking points a real President would get.

That has led to numerous embarrassing mistakes including his first call to Pakstan, his first call to Australia, and congratulating Lebanese Prime Minister Harriri on his struggle against Hezbollah (not realizing that Hezbollah is a member of the coalition government in Lebanon).

Bannon wanted to destroy the US Government. What is Tillerson's excuse? He should resign.

aikawarazu, 5:40 PM EDT

Of course, Hillary Clinton would be better.

Hillary manipulated Putin into reversing his Security Council veto on multi-national sanctions on Iran's nuclear weapons program. As a result, Iran dumpstered their uranium centrifuges. Get back to us when Tillerson does anything comparable to that.

eduvina41, 4:21 PM EDT

He has tempered some of Trumps more outrageous comments.....

threesides, 4:00 PM EDT

Daniel, you have provided us your perspective as an unabashed progressive liberal, so no surprise you would be against anything trump-related (including Tillerson). You need to take deep breaths and mitigate your Trump Derangement Syndrome

BPerked, 3:50 PM EDT

I actually think the point IS to break the foreign service. His inaction is a passive-aggressive way of drastically reducing the size and cost of the agency he heads. He, like many other Trump appointees are doing a brilliant job in this respect.

And who can be surprised at his hiring outside consultants for everything? I've been in many large corporations (including as a consultant) and I've met very few CEOs who weren't trailing a few thirty-year-old Bain or McKinsey people around, fresh from their MBAs. That's what too many CEOs do. Come in, spend millions on consulting to basically come up with a new powerpoint org chart, layoff a few thousand, and then depart the company with millions in stock and cash. He's just following the mega-corp. playbook.

BarleyMalt, 3:50 PM EDT

Trump and diplomacy mix like oil and water. Take Trump out of the equation and then maybe someone could run the State Department.

kt, 3:37 PM EDT

You wonks live with no consequences, watching the battle from a safe distance. Most of those high ranking diplomats who left or were forced out had aligned themselves with politicians long before Trump. This Tillerson omelette may require a messy number of broken eggs, but it will leave the country with a truer diplomatic corps.

Susan Wood, 3:20 PM EDT

"Let's run X like a business!" Yeah, right. In higher education we've seen how that approach has gutted some of the finest research universities in the Midwest. For people who worship the infallibility of the free market and the great wisdom of businessmen, I have one word for you: Enron.

rdgolden, 3:36 PM EDT

Here's a two-word: two-word: Great Recession

padnactap92, 2:58 PM EDT

"Second, Tillerson has prioritized the reorganization of Foggy Bottom to the exclusion of pretty much everything else."
1. Reorganizing the deck chairs on the Dump-tanic.
2. "Dismantling the 'administrative state.'"

pragmatic dothraki, 2:15 PM EDT

i actually find myself disagreeing with the conclusion of this article. the writer is forgetting one important proviso - this is the Trump administration and Tillerson is better than most we can expect.

A replacement would just continue the litany of disappointment for the time taken to settle into office, it may get worse afterwards. that is important to remember and something that'll no doubt be on my tombstone - things can always get worse.

And i'm not a fan of companies whose income dwarfs that of many nations, especially Exxon-Mobil.

But Tillerson is a facts and figures kind of guy used to working with experts. Unlike many potential replacements who disavow anything factual they're not comfortable with (yes, Exxon changed their tune on warming).

Russpublicans are traitors, 2:19 PM EDT

Oil companies are not typically businesses. Tillerson is not a facts and figures guy. He is comfortable around dictators from 3rd world countries.

pragmatic dothraki, 2:21 PM EDT

he is a facts and figures guy as he deals with scientists and engineers at every level in an oil company. and yeah you're not wrong with the cozying.

timetogetreal , 2:06 PM EDT

Yup, the state department was a model agency before Tillerson arrived....what a joke....do these WAPO people even read their own drivel.

jagrmeister721 , 2:04 PM EDT

Not well written or persuasive. Of course career bureaucrats would object to hiring external consultants. And not spending money is only a sin to DC insiders. He's unremarkable, but he's done nothing to warrant termination.

Russpublicans are traitors, 2:01 PM EDT

I am not sure how many times I need to say this...

The "election" was a coup d'etat orchestrated by Putin and the Kremlin. They have an installed a band of mentally ill criminals in government whose marching orders are to weaken the US and diminish its influence in the world. They have found a willing vehicle in the trump and the republican party. Tillerson is just one more piece of the machine...same as Bannon, Sessions, Pence, Flynn, Miller, Gorka, Conway, Sanders, Pruitt, Haley, De Vos, etc...

He will not resign. He is doing what the Russians want him to do. He has a medal pinned on him from Putin himself. And after the meddling in the election he has NOT RETURNED his medal.

JeffZaun , 2:03 PM EDT

If so, judging by today's headlines, I'm thinking President Putin's got buyer's remorse.

GrumpyOldPhart , 2:33 PM EDT [Edited]

Sigh... @Russpublicans are traitors you're living proof that even liberals are prone to conspiracy theories worthy of publication by InfoWARS and Breitbart.

The Russians did a lot of propagandizing--that's absolutely clear. That propaganda probably helped swing some votes Trump's way. And the Russians also clearly put out feelers to see how much they could manipulate and/or compromise the Trump gov't. But "coup d'etat"? Seriously? Bud, you should invest in a better brand of tinfoil.

Six things have contributed to making the US the mess that it is today and ALL of those things are 100% home-grown American. No Russia involved.

1) Greed. Corporate greed. And individual greed, especially among the so-called 1%.

2) Lack of education. This is particularly acute among the grade school through high school years. This leads to obsessive levels of asinine bible banging and science denying, as well as an inability to grasp the concepts of fact and reality.

3) Bigotry. Every country has its bigots, racists, and nativists. America arguably has more than most other leading nations of the world. And it's more actively on display. This shows up in the paranoia about gun ownership, the numbers of guns, the fight over America's racist past, and the abject fear that seems to dominate so many American's psyches and lives.

4) Antiquated electoral system. The Electoral College has long outlived its purpose. It now contributes significantly to giving unjustified power to the lowest population areas of the country.

5) Gerrymandering. Done by both parties, although arguably Republicans have taken this from an art form and turned it into science.

6) Republican voter suppression. One needs look only at Texas and North Carolina to see what this means in action. Florida would appear to be a close third.

Thomas29, 2:25 PM EDT

This is not the only instance of an administration who seems to be appointing people to fight or weaken their own agencies. To some extent, this follows the anti-government appointments in the Bush years where people with little belief or interest in agencies and their missions were routinely sent there to reign them in. However, the Bush people understood the role of the State Department and the need for it to function in the national interest. This administration appears to be following a Putin foreign policy designed to weaken America's reach in the world in the interest of strengthening Russian power and influence. Once again, the big question is where is Congressional oversight? Besides a few outspoken Senators, there are many patriots who for reasons of support of the President or fear of the base have chosen to allow this "American Carnage" to continue. They should be ashamed!

Empiricist, 1:56 PM EDT

A major problem is that the rest of the Republican party just lies around letting Tillerson and Trump do this to our country. I have voted for various Republicans in the past, but I'll never vote for another as long as I live. What they are doing to our country makes me sick.

blurbologist, 2:00 PM EDT

Hear, hear. I will never trust Republicans to do anything constructive for our country, ever again. They have become a wholly destructive force in American politics. It's not that the R's are putting "Party over country" they put maintaining their power over every other consideration. Shameful.

JaneMP, 2:05 PM EDT

They have only one policy: cut taxes for the rich and corporations. IF cutting taxes on the rich and corporation increased jobs, after W's tax cuts we should have been overwhelmed by jobs. Never happened. Never will. Give money to the middle class. They will spend it. Jobs will grow to make and sell these products.

blurbologist, 2:07 PM EDT

Actually, they have one more - deregulate everything and put foxes in charge of every henhouse.

Empiricist, 2:01 PM EDT

So true. You can't count on the Republican Senate or Congress to behave competently or in the best interests of the US, either.

mercurysnake77, 1:56 PM EDT

Let's not forget the ultimate aim, which is "the deconstruction of the administrative state."

8675309 and me, 1:50 PM EDT

The opposition to change is a hallmark of the Washington bureaucracy. Is anyone really surprised?

ChrisCantwellsDeliciousTears, 1:53 PM EDT

Who knew everything was so complicated?

JeffZaun, 1:59 PM EDT

Have to agree. I think the Trump administration is mostly bad. But in this case Secretary Tillerson is executing one of the President's campaign promises. He seems to be cutting a lot of sinew along with fat, but it's easy to grow that back.

It's like when a private equity company takes over a failed firm.

[Aug 31, 2017] US orders Russia to close consulate and annexes in diplomatic reprisal

Aug 31, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

The US has ordered Russia to close diplomatic offices in San Francisco, New York and Washington within the next two days, in the latest round of punitive measures between the two countries that began at the end of last year.

The secretary of state Rex Tillerson spoke to his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in a phone call on Thursday. Lavrov said Moscow "regrets an escalation of tension not initiated by Russia", according to the state-run RT news channel . A senior US administration official said the call was "professional" and that Lavrov "agreed to the sentiment that it was important to find a way to improve our relations".

No Russians will be expelled in this latest move, and US officials said staff at the offices affected could be reassigned to other Russian diplomatic missions around the country. But they made it clear that the buildings had to be vacated and would have to be sold or have their leases ended.

[Aug 31, 2017] Direct attack on Tillerson by neocon mafia using WaPo as a loudspeaper by Daniel Drezner

Citing Max Boot instantly destroys any credibility of this "professor" and makes him more of hired gyun, then a political commentator. With experts like max boot the only question is why Wolfowitz in not the Secretary of state.
Neocons in State Department, like any powerful bureaucracy is going to fight tooth and nail to keep its size and turf. Drezner's just carrying water for the neocons at State.
Hired gun? From "He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Project on International Order and Strategy at the Brookings Institution.[2]". Drezner supported the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, writing that "a successful invasion not only eliminates the Iraqi threat, but over the long run it reduces the Arab resentment that feeds Al-Qaeda." [5] he is also the author of Drezner, Daniel W. (March 1997). "Allies, adversaries, and economic coercion: Russian foreign economic policy since 1991". Security Studies. Taylor and Francis. 6 (3): 65–111. doi:10.1080/09636419708429315
He is a staunch support of American empire: Drezner, Daniel W. (January 2001). "State structure, technological leadership and the maintenance of hegemony". Review of International Studies. Cambridge Journals. 27 (1): 3–25. JSTOR 20079588. doi:10.1017/S0260210501000031.
As for State Department, all diplomats who signed infamous "color revolution" style letter in support of Hillary jingoism and neocon policies need to be eliminated from State Department if we wnat the USA survive and prosper. So Tillerson action are not enough. Much deeper shake up is needed by political forces for that are absent.
And Tilleson decision to spurned all of the Council on Foreign Relations' International Affairs Fellows (infested with neocons) is to be applauded, not scorned. Empire building should stop at some point. And the sooner, the better.
When reading comments you instantly understands why Washington is still an imperial capital... And why neocon will lead the USA off the cliff is given a chance. The level of coments has such an amazingly strong neocon tilt, that you can question sanity of some commenters. It also shows the level of McCarthyism hysteria in the USA. For example "raylo 3:08 PM EDT [Edited] It's like the Russians have moles in our government and are working to destroy it from the inside. Oh, wait"
As of preserving the hegemon position of the USA is a realistic perspective and will not destroy the USA or all the world, as this is forging alliance of the Russia and China among other trends. BTW I did not find a single instance of the words of "neocon", "Neoconservatism", and "neoliberalism" neither in the article, nor in the comments.
Notable quotes:
"... You wonks live with no consequences, watching the battle from a safe distance. Most of those high ranking diplomats who left or were forced out had aligned themselves with politicians long before Trump. ..."
"... Yup, the state department was a model agency before Tillerson arrived....what a joke....do these WAPO people even read their own drivel. ..."
"... If so, judging by today's headlines, I'm thinking President Putin's got buyer's remorse. ..."
"... The opposition to change is a hallmark of the Washington bureaucracy. Is anyone really surprised? ..."
get=

Critics such as Max Boot are calling for him to resign. Axios is reporting that even President Trump is apparently disenchanted with Tillerson.

... ... ...

If Trump no longer trusts Tillerson, then he has no other political goodwill to draw upon. He has made zero deposits in Washington's favor bank.


Second, Tillerson has prioritized the reorganization of Foggy Bottom to the exclusion of pretty much everything else. This has led to some truly bizarre outcomes. His reliance on outside consultants has led to much derision within the diplomatic corps

Tillerson is such a bad manager that he has spurned both free money and free talent. The State Department has not spent $80 million authorized by Congress to fight misinformation and Russian propaganda. According to Politico, "Tillerson aide R.C. Hammond suggested the money is unwelcome because any extra funding for programs to counter Russian media influence would anger Moscow, according to a former senior State Department official." (UPDATE: A State Department official wrote me after this post was published to say that last week, Tillerson approved the release of $19.8 million from that fund. Politico reported the same thing this afternoon, also after this was published.) Furthermore, State has spurned all of the Council on Foreign Relations' International Affairs Fellows. This is a program that makes talented scholars freely available to U.S. foreign affairs agencies for a year. Council president Richard Haass confirmed to me that State has not accepted any of this year's fellows, despite the fact that they come with zero cost.

dennis827, 7:30 PM EDT

So a professor of something or other says the previous CEO of Exxon is a bad manager? Yeah, makes sense.

dennis827, 8:22 PM EDT [Edited]

Tillerson is such a bad manager that he has spurned both free money and free talent. The State Department has not spent $80 million authorized by Congress to fight misinformation and Russian propaganda. According to Politico, "Tillerson aide R.C. Hammond suggested the money is unwelcome because any extra funding for programs to counter Russian media influence would anger Moscow, according to a former senior State Department official."

See, I don't think a professor understands a good manager doesn't understand "free" money isn't really a thing. And I suppose I'm using "A" professor kinda like Game of Thrones speak.

zappa912, 7:18 PM EDT

Ouch!!! I must say this though, even with my non-expert knowledge of the intracies of the operation of the State Department. If in reality, Tillerson is helping to keep Tweeter from pulling the military trigger against North Korea or other international adversaries, then I hope he at least stays around until Tweeter is gone from the Trump Dump House. Tillerson does appear to me to at least be working to keep us out of military conflicts, which considering the impulsiveness, intentional ignorance and frequent war like tone of the Tweeter, is a good thing in my opinion.

Isaac 65, 6:00 PM EDT

If a Trump sycophant had replaced Tillerson we'd probably be at war with DPRK. Seriously, list the sane people in the administration: Jim Mattis, Steve Mnuchin, Gary Cohn, and Rex Tillerson - did I miss any?

akpat, 5:48 PM EDT

Critics such as Max Boot are calling for him to resign
)))

Who is max boot and who cares what they think

akpat, 5:43 PM EDT

Well Drezner I dont think it was Tillertson who brought us Egypt, Libya and Syria nor was it him who brought Iraq, NK and Iran.

It was the other so called experts you like.

mmcind, 5:57 PM EDT

Actually, most of the significant increase in those problems can be traced to dick cheney, war criminal.

berrymonster11, 5:09 PM EDT

An honorable man, whose sense of duty, respect and patriotism was developed in an entire of life of service in the Boys Scouts. A successful businessman, who has led one the largest companies in the world, and who knows how to deal with all kinds of people. I thought Mr Tillerson would become a great Secretary of State.

What a disappointment!! Countless mistakes, from the very beginning.

On April 2017, the entire US-China relationship was defined at... Mar-a-Lago!!! The key points: the US would not start a trade war with China; in exchange, China would ease whatever problems Ivanka's business had over there... and try to talk to the North Koreans about their nuclear program. Period. The US went to that meeting completely unprepared, and ended up with nothing.

Then, the trip to Saudi Arabia. A yuuuuge embarrassment. The US threw all human values to the trash bin, in the name of business. Dirty business. At that moment, I realized Rex Tillerson was the either extremely stupid or extremely corrupt, or both.

Then, an endeless list of fiascos: NATO, the Paris agreement, Qatar, the surge in Afghanistan, and so on.

Finally, Tillerson tries to distance himself from Trump!!!! Hey, Rex: you negotiated the deal with the Saudis. What values are you talking about!!!!

Virginia Reader, 4:57 PM EDT

Tillerson is so bad that he makes Secretary Smoking Gun/Mushroom Cloud Rice look positively brilliant. Get rid of him.

But, you should look even more closely at the career civil servants in the Department. They have been sidelined over the last five years and replaced with senior foreign service officers with no places to go. That means that much of the institutional memory in highly technical fields such as arms control, export control, and economics has been forced out of the Truman Building.

It's not all Tillerson's fault, since it's a long-standing problem, but he is surely exacerbating it. It's already Time for Him to Go, to quote a Bill Clinton campaign slogan in 1992.

gregdn, 4:49 PM EDT

Every bureaucracy is going to fight to keep its size and turf. Drezner's just carrying water for the career guys at State.

jvv62, 5:33 PM EDT

(sarcasm trigger warning)
Nah, we have the biggest military in the world, why do we need people talking to all those little people in little countries with little problems? All those diplomats ever do is talk, talk, talk. We need more $100,000,000 planes and billion dollar carriers, not more talkers. Why bother with a staff and assistant secretaries anyway? they just make all those pesky lists and reply to calls from pesky people from foreign countries and stuff. America First!

James A. Fuller, 4:47 PM EDT

Replace "State Department" with the name of the company I work for and you get the exact same experience. I've lost count of how many consultants have been brought in, how many surveys we've had to complete and how many reorganizations we've been through in the last three years. Nothing has changed and nothing has gotten better. In fact, the opposite. The company is circling down the drain and senior leadership is disconnected and out of touch. So this is what you get when you bring in corporate America to run the government. SSDD.

Sutton Parker, 4:43 PM EDT

As much as he has not done good things for the State Department, at least he is not afraid to speak his mind about DJT--or at least, so far. We need voices in the Cabinet of people who are willing to speak up. The time has come. We are in too much danger with DJT in office.

Pogo4, 4:28 PM EDT [Edited]

In addition to his terrible management of State, Tillerson has been humiliated again and again by Trump -e.g. when Trump invited the Mexican Foreign Minister to DC and didn't even tell him or invite him to meet with his counterpart. He has no credibility internationally. He has been used as an errand boy to set up meetings for more important people.

I thought someone with his international experience would understand the value of diplomacy, but apparently not. Trump's biggest failing has been the unwillingness to focus on details and not asking for the interagency developed background, recommendations and talking points a real President would get.

That has led to numerous embarrassing mistakes including his first call to Pakstan, his first call to Australia, and congratulating Lebanese Prime Minister Harriri on his struggle against Hezbollah (not realizing that Hezbollah is a member of the coalition government in Lebanon).

Bannon wanted to destroy the US Government. What is Tillerson's excuse? He should resign.

aikawarazu, 5:40 PM EDT

Of course, Hillary Clinton would be better.

Hillary manipulated Putin into reversing his Security Council veto on multi-national sanctions on Iran's nuclear weapons program. As a result, Iran dumpstered their uranium centrifuges. Get back to us when Tillerson does anything comparable to that.

eduvina41, 4:21 PM EDT

He has tempered some of Trumps more outrageous comments.....

threesides, 4:00 PM EDT

Daniel, you have provided us your perspective as an unabashed progressive liberal, so no surprise you would be against anything trump-related (including Tillerson). You need to take deep breaths and mitigate your Trump Derangement Syndrome

BPerked, 3:50 PM EDT

I actually think the point IS to break the foreign service. His inaction is a passive-aggressive way of drastically reducing the size and cost of the agency he heads. He, like many other Trump appointees are doing a brilliant job in this respect.

And who can be surprised at his hiring outside consultants for everything? I've been in many large corporations (including as a consultant) and I've met very few CEOs who weren't trailing a few thirty-year-old Bain or McKinsey people around, fresh from their MBAs. That's what too many CEOs do. Come in, spend millions on consulting to basically come up with a new powerpoint org chart, layoff a few thousand, and then depart the company with millions in stock and cash. He's just following the mega-corp. playbook.

BarleyMalt, 3:50 PM EDT

Trump and diplomacy mix like oil and water. Take Trump out of the equation and then maybe someone could run the State Department.

kt, 3:37 PM EDT

You wonks live with no consequences, watching the battle from a safe distance. Most of those high ranking diplomats who left or were forced out had aligned themselves with politicians long before Trump. This Tillerson omelette may require a messy number of broken eggs, but it will leave the country with a truer diplomatic corps.

Susan Wood, 3:20 PM EDT

"Let's run X like a business!" Yeah, right. In higher education we've seen how that approach has gutted some of the finest research universities in the Midwest. For people who worship the infallibility of the free market and the great wisdom of businessmen, I have one word for you: Enron.

rdgolden, 3:36 PM EDT

Here's a two-word: two-word: Great Recession

padnactap92, 2:58 PM EDT

"Second, Tillerson has prioritized the reorganization of Foggy Bottom to the exclusion of pretty much everything else."
1. Reorganizing the deck chairs on the Dump-tanic.
2. "Dismantling the 'administrative state.'"

pragmatic dothraki, 2:15 PM EDT

i actually find myself disagreeing with the conclusion of this article. the writer is forgetting one important proviso - this is the Trump administration and Tillerson is better than most we can expect.

A replacement would just continue the litany of disappointment for the time taken to settle into office, it may get worse afterwards. that is important to remember and something that'll no doubt be on my tombstone - things can always get worse.

And i'm not a fan of companies whose income dwarfs that of many nations, especially Exxon-Mobil.

But Tillerson is a facts and figures kind of guy used to working with experts. Unlike many potential replacements who disavow anything factual they're not comfortable with (yes, Exxon changed their tune on warming).

Russpublicans are traitors, 2:19 PM EDT

Oil companies are not typically businesses. Tillerson is not a facts and figures guy. He is comfortable around dictators from 3rd world countries.

pragmatic dothraki, 2:21 PM EDT

he is a facts and figures guy as he deals with scientists and engineers at every level in an oil company. and yeah you're not wrong with the cozying.

timetogetreal, 2:06 PM EDT

Yup, the state department was a model agency before Tillerson arrived....what a joke....do these WAPO people even read their own drivel.

jagrmeister721, 2:04 PM EDT

Not well written or persuasive. Of course career bureaucrats would object to hiring external consultants. And not spending money is only a sin to DC insiders. He's unremarkable, but he's done nothing to warrant termination.

Russpublicans are traitors, 2:01 PM EDT

I am not sure how many times I need to say this...

The "election" was a coup d'etat orchestrated by Putin and the Kremlin. They have an installed a band of mentally ill criminals in government whose marching orders are to weaken the US and diminish its influence in the world. They have found a willing vehicle in the trump and the republican party. Tillerson is just one more piece of the machine...same as Bannon, Sessions, Pence, Flynn, Miller, Gorka, Conway, Sanders, Pruitt, Haley, De Vos, etc...

He will not resign. He is doing what the Russians want him to do. He has a medal pinned on him from Putin himself. And after the meddling in the election he has NOT RETURNED his medal.

JeffZaun, 2:03 PM EDT

If so, judging by today's headlines, I'm thinking President Putin's got buyer's remorse.

GrumpyOldPhart, 2:33 PM EDT [Edited]

Sigh... @Russpublicans are traitors you're living proof that even liberals are prone to conspiracy theories worthy of publication by InfoWARS and Breitbart.

The Russians did a lot of propagandizing--that's absolutely clear. That propaganda probably helped swing some votes Trump's way. And the Russians also clearly put out feelers to see how much they could manipulate and/or compromise the Trump gov't. But "coup d'etat"? Seriously? Bud, you should invest in a better brand of tinfoil.

Six things have contributed to making the US the mess that it is today and ALL of those things are 100% home-grown American. No Russia involved.

1) Greed. Corporate greed. And individual greed, especially among the so-called 1%.

2) Lack of education. This is particularly acute among the grade school through high school years. This leads to obsessive levels of asinine bible banging and science denying, as well as an inability to grasp the concepts of fact and reality.

3) Bigotry. Every country has its bigots, racists, and nativists. America arguably has more than most other leading nations of the world. And it's more actively on display. This shows up in the paranoia about gun ownership, the numbers of guns, the fight over America's racist past, and the abject fear that seems to dominate so many American's psyches and lives.

4) Antiquated electoral system. The Electoral College has long outlived its purpose. It now contributes significantly to giving unjustified power to the lowest population areas of the country.

5) Gerrymandering. Done by both parties, although arguably Republicans have taken this from an art form and turned it into science.

6) Republican voter suppression. One needs look only at Texas and North Carolina to see what this means in action. Florida would appear to be a close third.

Thomas29, 2:25 PM EDT

This is not the only instance of an administration who seems to be appointing people to fight or weaken their own agencies. To some extent, this follows the anti-government appointments in the Bush years where people with little belief or interest in agencies and their missions were routinely sent there to reign them in. However, the Bush people understood the role of the State Department and the need for it to function in the national interest. This administration appears to be following a Putin foreign policy designed to weaken America's reach in the world in the interest of strengthening Russian power and influence. Once again, the big question is where is Congressional oversight? Besides a few outspoken Senators, there are many patriots who for reasons of support of the President or fear of the base have chosen to allow this "American Carnage" to continue. They should be ashamed!

Empiricist, 1:56 PM EDT

A major problem is that the rest of the Republican party just lies around letting Tillerson and Trump do this to our country. I have voted for various Republicans in the past, but I'll never vote for another as long as I live. What they are doing to our country makes me sick.

blurbologist, 2:00 PM EDT

Hear, hear. I will never trust Republicans to do anything constructive for our country, ever again. They have become a wholly destructive force in American politics. It's not that the R's are putting "Party over country" they put maintaining their power over every other consideration. Shameful.

JaneMP, 2:05 PM EDT

They have only one policy: cut taxes for the rich and corporations. IF cutting taxes on the rich and corporation increased jobs, after W's tax cuts we should have been overwhelmed by jobs. Never happened. Never will. Give money to the middle class. They will spend it. Jobs will grow to make and sell these products.

blurbologist, 2:07 PM EDT

Actually, they have one more - deregulate everything and put foxes in charge of every henhouse.

Empiricist, 2:01 PM EDT

So true. You can't count on the Republican Senate or Congress to behave competently or in the best interests of the US, either.

mercurysnake77, 1:56 PM EDT

Let's not forget the ultimate aim, which is "the deconstruction of the administrative state."

8675309 and me, 1:50 PM EDT

The opposition to change is a hallmark of the Washington bureaucracy. Is anyone really surprised?

ChrisCantwellsDeliciousTears, 1:53 PM EDT

Who knew everything was so complicated?

JeffZaun, 1:59 PM EDT

Have to agree. I think the Trump administration is mostly bad. But in this case Secretary Tillerson is executing one of the President's campaign promises. He seems to be cutting a lot of sinew along with fat, but it's easy to grow that back.

It's like when a private equity company takes over a failed firm.

[Aug 28, 2017] The Knives Are Out for Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster by Kate Brannen

May 09, 2017 | foreignpolicy.com

Donald Trump's second national security advisor, want him out. This week, they've made their campaign against him public, leaking to reporters details about the rocky relationship he has with his boss and trying to paint him as someone hellbent on overseas nation-building projects that are doomed to fail. The timing isn't accidental. The effort to damage McMaster comes as the Trump administration decides what its policy should be in Afghanistan, a debate that's pitting McMaster against Steve Bannon, Trump's chief strategist.

"McMaster is pushing this Afghanistan policy through. I think some people are giving him the rope to get it through, hoping he hangs himself with it," one senior intelligence official said. The Afghanistan strategy McMaster is pushing, with the support of Defense Secretary James Mattis, would send roughly 3,000-5,000 U.S. and NATO troops to Afghanistan, according to a separate source familiar with the internal deliberations. These troops would be sent to help bulk up the Afghan National Security Forces, which, after years of U.S. assistance, are still struggling against the Taliban, al Qaeda, and a small Islamic State presence in the country.

According to the Washington Post , the new strategy "would authorize the Pentagon, not the White House, to set troop numbers in Afghanistan and give the military far broader authority to use airstrikes to target Taliban militants." The hope is that by increasing pressure on the Taliban, it will force them to the negotiating table with more favorable terms for Kabul and Washington. Sending more U.S. troops to Afghanistan follows a decision made last year by then-President Barack Obama, who announced in July that 8,400 U.S. troops would remain in Afghanistan through January 2017 because of the "precarious" security situation there, undoing his previous plan to draw down to 5,500 by the time he left office.

[Aug 28, 2017] The ouster of Mattis: Some follow-up details and a White House response by homas E. Ricks

ttis still seems stuck with his Iran obsession. Shame I thought he had the intellectual curiosity to adapt. <
Here are a few things I have heard since I posted my comments on Friday about the Obama administration pushing General Mattis out at Central Command. Thanks to all who wrote in to make this follow-up possible:

[Aug 28, 2017] Andrew Bacevich on Trump's eventual Afghanistan decision

Notable quotes:
"... Bacevich says the one possible benefit of Trump's erraticism is that he has, so far, rejected U.S. foreign policy of the past 25 years. But while Trump may have noninterventionist tendencies, his lack of a coherent, principled plan means that he often veers off course into violent conflicts all the same. ..."
Aug 16, 2017 | www.libertarianinstitute.org

Andrew Bacevich, author of " America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History " joins Scott to discuss his article for The American Conservative " Yes Congress, Afghanistan is Your Vietnam ."

Bacevich explains that the division between Trump's advisors on how to proceed in Afghanistan has created a stalemate in the Oval Office. It's noteworthy, Bacevich says, that there hasn't been a comprehensive report from the Trump administration outlining the United States's foreign policy mission.

On the one hand it seems like Trump has handed the reigns over to the military in certain conflicts and has been controlling in others, which has created disarray Bacevich says. Bacevich contrasts Donald Trump with his predecessors George W. Bush and Barack Obama who, by comparison, are intellectual stalwarts.

Bacevich says the one possible benefit of Trump's erraticism is that he has, so far, rejected U.S. foreign policy of the past 25 years. But while Trump may have noninterventionist tendencies, his lack of a coherent, principled plan means that he often veers off course into violent conflicts all the same.

Andrew Bacevich is a Professor Emeritus of International Relations and History at Boston University. He is the author of a number of books including " America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History " and is a regular contributor at The American Conservative and TomDispatch.com .

[Aug 28, 2017] Let's Call "Trump's Generals" What They Are A Military Junta

Aug 27, 2017 | www.informationclearinghouse.info

Trump is fond of boasting about "his" generals. But over the short course of his presidency's first months, the possession and control have reversed themselves. Mattis, McMaster, and Kelly have banished all opposition and now pour the neo-con agenda straight into Trump's ear.

By Whitney Webb

August 27, 2017 " Information Clearing House " - WASHINGTON – The U.S., long known for its meddling in the affairs of other nations, also has a long and sordid history of supporting military juntas abroad, many of which it forced into power through bloody coups or behind-the-scenes power grabs. From Greece in the 1960s to Argentina in the 1980s to the current al-Sisi-led junta in Egypt , Washington has actively and repeatedly supported such undemocratic regimes despite casting itself as the world's greatest promoter of "democracy."

Finally in 2017, karma appears to have come back to roost, as the current presidential administration has now effectively morphed into what is, by definition , a military junta. Though the military-industrial complex has long directed U.S. foreign policy, in the administration of President Donald Trump a group of military officers has gathered unprecedented power and, for all intents and purposes, rules the country.

Three generals at the center of power

In a recent article in The Washington Post , titled "Military Leaders Consolidate Power In Trump Administration," Post reporters Robert Costa and Philip Rucker noted that "At the core of Trump's circle is a seasoned trio of generals with experience as battlefield commanders: White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and national security adviser H.R. McMaster. The three men have carefully cultivated personal relationships with the president and gained his trust."

"This is the only time in modern presidential history when we've had a small number of people from the uniformed world hold this much influence over the chief executive," John E. McLaughlin, a former acting director of the CIA who served in seven administrations, told the Post . "They are right now playing an extraordinary role."

This role, however, appears to reach beyond "extraordinary". Although Trump is fond of calling them "my generals," they now, Costa and Rucker report, "manage Trump's hour-by-hour interactions and whisper in his ear – and those whispers, as with the decision this week to expand U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, often become policy." Another Washington Post article, published last Tuesday, led with the headline "The Generals Have Trump Surrounded."

Also notable is the fact that this trio of generals has overseen the firing of more independent, "outsider" voices, notably Derek Harvey and Steve Bannon. Bannon, in particular, was a thorn in the side of the generals, in light primarily of his staunch opposition to the American "empire project" and new wars abroad. Bannon had opposed Trump's strike against Syria, troop surges in Iraq, and the dropped hint of a "military option" to deal with the crisis in Venezuela. The New York Times referred to McMaster as Bannon's "nemesis in the West Wing," precisely due to McMaster's commitment to American empire building.

With Bannon's relatively recent departure, the tone of the Trump administration – now unequivocally ruled by "the generals" – has changed significantly -- as illustrated by Trump's decision to send thousands more troops to Afghanistan, a measure both Bannon and Trump himself once opposed.

In addition, last Thursday, Politico published a report detailing the control exercised by Kelly over the president, as he personally vets "everything" that comes across Trump's desk. Politico referenced two memos that laid out a system "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."

The Hill further noted that Kelly is also "keeping a tight leash" on who gets to meet directly with the President in the Oval Office, which is now strictly appointment-only and also dependent upon Kelly's approval.

[Aug 28, 2017] The ouster of Mattis: Some follow-up details and a White House response

get=
Here are a few things I have heard since I posted my comments on Friday about the Obama administration pushing General Mattis out at Central Command. Thanks to all who wrote in to make this follow-up possible:

[Aug 25, 2017] Influential GOP Donor Sheldon Adelson Supports Campaign to Oust McMaster report

Notable quotes:
"... Powerful Republican "megadonor" Sheldon Adelson has privately told an ally that he supports a campaign against National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster that depicts him as anti-Israel and seeks to remove him from the White House, according to a new report. ..."
Aug 25, 2017 | www.breitbart.com
Powerful Republican "megadonor" Sheldon Adelson has privately told an ally that he supports a campaign against National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster that depicts him as anti-Israel and seeks to remove him from the White House, according to a new report.

Adelson wrote in an email to Mort Klein, the president of the Zionist Organization of America who is running the campaign: "Now that I have talked to somebody with personal experience with McMaster, I support your efforts," according to Axios.

The support from Adelson -- arguably the most influential donor in Republican politics -- comes after his spokesman said he had nothing to do with ZOA's campaign against McMaster and was "perfectly comfortable" with the job he was doing.

... ... ...

A White House source tried to downplay the email, telling Axios that the Israel team -- which included "noted right winger Ambassador Friedman" – feels that McMaster is "remarkably pro-Israel and he just had a meeting with senior Israeli officials where he won plaudits from them for understanding their unique security needs."

Adelson's email is a blow to McMaster, who is under heavy criticism for ousting political opponents inside the National Security Council who wanted to implement the president's "America First" foreign policy agenda.

[Aug 24, 2017] Kelly, Mattic and McMaster complete the militarization of the executive branch

"I think Trump may have so deeply surrounded (embedded may be the better word) himself primarily to protect himself from the intelligence community. JFK was not a one off in my opinion and probably not in Trump's mind."
Aug 24, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
48

"...At the core of Trump's circle is a seasoned trio of generals with experience as battlefield commanders: White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and national security adviser H.R. McMaster...."

These three basically complete the militarization of the executive branch and the Political Elites. They've all pushed for or have been intimately involved in wars in which the US has lost or never been able to 'win'. This is Trump's best and the brightest


Kelly: In 2002, Kelly again served with the 1st Marine Division, this time as the assistant division commander. Much of Kelly's two-year assignment was spent deployed in Iraq. In March 2003, while in Iraq, Kelly was promoted to brigadier general..... later, he served as the commanding general of the Multi-National Force West in Iraq from February 2008 to February 2009....

Mattis: During the initial planning for the War in Afghanistan, Mattis led Task Force 58 in operations in the southern part of the country; In May 2004, Mattis ordered the 3:00 a.m. bombing of a suspected enemy safe house near the Syrian border, which later came to be known as the Mukaradeeb wedding party massacre, and which resulted in the deaths of 42 civilians; Mattis played key roles in combat operations in Fallujah, including negotiation with the insurgent command inside the city during Operation Vigilant Resolve in April 2004, as well as participation in planning of the subsequent Operation Phantom Fury in November; responsible for American military operations in the Middle East, Northeast Africa, and Central Asia, from August 11, 2010, to March 22, 2013; etc etc

In other words, Mattis is responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity during the destruction of Fallujah.....

H.R. McMaster: Director of the Combined Joint Interagency Task Force-Shafafiyat at the International Security Assistance Force Headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan... He is known for his roles in the Gulf War, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. From August 2007 to August 2008 McMaster was part of an "elite team of officers advising US commander" General David Petraeus on counterinsurgency operations (perhaps known as how to kill Iraqis who resisted the US invasion and occupation)

Carol Davidek-Waller | Aug 24, 2017 3:13:23 PM | 30

What you are saying is that General Jack D Ripper is now president and Dr. Strangelove is Trump's top security advisor?

[Aug 24, 2017] McCain renews calls for Trump to send weapons to Ukraine

Notable quotes:
"... During his visit to Kiev, Mattis is expected to reassure the country's leaders that the U.S. remains opposed to Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea, according to The Associated Press . ..."
Aug 24, 2017 | thehill.com
John McCain (R-Ariz.) is again urging President Trump to provide lethal aid to Ukraine as Defense Secretary James Mattis arrives in the country for a meeting with its president and top defense official.

"It is long past time for the United States to provide Ukraine the defensive lethal assistance it needs to deter and defend against further Russian aggression," McCain, the chairman of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a statement Wednesday.

The senator's renewed calls for the U.S. to provide lethal weaponry to Ukraine as it battles pro-Russia separatists in the eastern Donbas region comes two days after Trump announced a new broad strategy for Afghanistan.

With the change of course in Afghanistan, McCain said, Trump "now has the same opportunity with regard to Ukraine."

The senior Arizona Republican argued that providing weapons to Ukraine "is not opposed to a peaceful resolution of this conflict -- it is essential to achieving it."

"As long as the status quo remains, Russia has no reason to change its behavior, and we should only expect more violence and more death," he said.

Russia has denied providing support to the separatists, but U.S. officials have claimed otherwise.

The president already has the authority to send lethal assistance to Ukraine under the annual defense policy bill. But former President Barack Obama chose instead to send only nonlethal assistance to the country.

During his visit to Kiev, Mattis is expected to reassure the country's leaders that the U.S. remains opposed to Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea, according to The Associated Press .

Trump entered office in January with hopes of improving the relationship between the U.S. and Russia. But ties have grown tense amid ongoing investigations into Russia's role in the 2016 election and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

Also fueling tensions between the two countries is a sanctions package signed into law earlier this month that penalizes Russia for its efforts to meddle in the election. Trump reluctantly signed the measures after they were overwhelmingly passed by Congress.

[Aug 23, 2017] The Mini-Skirt Deception How McMaster Got His Afghan 'Surge' - Antiwar.com Original

Aug 23, 2017 | original.antiwar.com

The Mini-Skirt Deception: How McMaster Got His Afghan 'Surge'

A photo of Soviet era Afghanistan won Trump over

by Justin Raimondo Posted on August 23, 2017 August 22, 2017 According to reports , Gen. H. R. McMaster convinced President Trump to give up his longstanding opposition to the Afghan war by showing him this photograph, below, of Afghan women in what the media are describing as "miniskirts." As the Washington Post put it:

"One of the ways McMaster tried to persuade Trump to recommit to the effort was by convincing him that Afghanistan was not a hopeless place. He presented Trump with a black-and-white snapshot from 1972 of Afghan women in miniskirts walking through Kabul, to show him that Western norms had existed there before and could return."

The irony is that, in 1972, when this photo was taken on the grounds of Kabul University, Afghanistan was firmly in the orbit of the Soviet Union, as it had been since 1953, when Prime Minister Mohammed Daoud Khan rose to power and instituted a series of progressive reforms, including equal rights for women. The next year, Khan deposed King Mohammed Zahir Shah, and Soviet aid poured in, alongside the Red Army.

More irony: it was the United States, alongside Washington's then-ally Osama bin Laden, that overthrew the communist regime, and conducted a guerrilla war against the Afghan government and their Soviet sponsors. The last Soviet troops left in 1989 -- and there were no more miniskirts to be seen anywhere in Afghanistan.

Gen. McMaster knows all this: our President does not. Does McMaster think he can bring communism back to Afghanistan? I jest, but with serious intent. Because the commies attempted what our President has vowed not to do in Afghanistan: they sought to create a nation out of a collection of mountain-guarded valleys, isolated bastions untouched by time or the vaunted ambitions of their many would-be conquerors.

Here is Trump , trying to justify the prolongation of the longest war in our history:

"I am here to talk about tonight, that nearly 16 years after September 11 attacks, after the extraordinary sacrifice of blood and treasure, the American people are weary of war without victory.

"Nowhere is this more evident than with the war in Afghanistan, the longest war in American history – 17 years. I share the American people's frustration. I also share their frustration over a foreign policy that has spent too much time, energy, money, and most importantly, lives trying to rebuild countries in our own image instead of pursuing our security interests above all other considerations."

How to reconcile this abjuration of hubris with that photo of mini-skirted Afghan women? It can't be done, but then again Trump is all about contradictions:

"Shortly after my inauguration, I directed Secretary of Defense Mattis and my national security team to undertake a comprehensive review of all strategic options in Afghanistan and South Asia.

"My original instinct was to pull out, and historically I like following my instincts. But all my life, I have heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the oval office. In other words, when you are president of the United States."

Has such a confession of betrayal ever been uttered by a public figure? For years he told us Afghanistan was a waste of lives and treasure, and that we had to get out. And now he's flip-flopped because McMaster showed him a photo of Afghan women in mini-skirts! Oh, how easy it was – too easy!

"So I studied Afghanistan in great detail and from every conceivable angle," he claims. Really? Did he study it enough to realize that no one has ever conquered Afghanistan? Did he contemplate the storied history of that unforgiving land, which caused even Alexander the Great to turn back? Did he study the provenance and context of that photograph, in which Afghan women dared to show their knees?

Of course not!

"After many meetings over many months," Trump continued,

"[W]e held our final meeting last Friday at Camp David with my cabinet and generals to complete our strategy. I arrived at three fundamental conclusions about America's core interests in Afghanistan.

"First, our nation must seek an honorable and enduring outcome worthy of the tremendous sacrifices that have been made, especially the sacrifices of lives. The men and women who serve our nation in combat deserve a plan for victory. They deserve the tools they need and the trust they have earned to fight and to win."

What is the moral meaning of this? That lives wasted in a futile crusade must be matched by yet more sacrifices on the altar of the war god? We are told that Trump met with five enlisted soldiers before making his decision to go along with the generals' war plan: I'd like to know what they said. The White House won't tell us.

From this moral inversion Trump descends into an inversion of the facts:

"Second, the consequences of a rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable. 9/11, the worst terrorist attack in our history, was planned and directed from Afghanistan because that country by a government that gave comfort and shelter to terrorists. A hasty withdrawal would create a vacuum that terrorists, including ISIS and al Qaeda, would instantly fill, just as happened before September 11."

The 9/11 terrorist attacks were planned and directed from Hamburg, Germany , and right here in the United States – indeed, not too far from Mar-a-Lago -- not Afghanistan. This "safe haven" argument is so tattered and overused that it comes apart under the most cursory inspection. And what are we to make of someone who describes ending a 16-year war as "a hasty withdrawal"?

We are then treated to the myth of "victory denied in Iraq," which attributes the rise of ISIS to US withdrawal from Iraq – when it reality ISIS was created by our "ally" Saudi Arabia and the Arab sheikhs of the Gulf states who have funded and encouraged their co-co-religionists in the Sunni-versus-Shi'ite civil war that has sundered the Muslim world. And of course there would be no ISIS if not for the invasion of Iraq – but even Trump knows this quite well.

Drifting off into vague threats against Pakistan, Trump reiterates his determination to solve "big and intricate problems." But how? How will it be different, this time?

"As a result of our comprehensive review, American strategy in Afghanistan and South Asia will change dramatically in the following ways: A core pillar of our new strategy is a shift from a time-based approach to one based on conditions. I've said it many times, how counterproductive it is for the United States to announce in advance the dates we intend to begin or end military operations.

"We will not talk about numbers of troops or our plans for further military activities. Conditions on the ground, not arbitrary timetables, will guide our strategy from now on. America's enemies must never know our plans or believe they can wait us out."

A child could see through this rodomontade. Because unless we intend to stay in Afghanistan forever, what is to prevent the Taliban from simply waiting us out? We have to leave sometime. So what is the purpose of this vow of silence? It is simply to keep the truth from the American people. We won't know how many troops are in Afghanistan, nor will we know when more are sent in: it's all to be conducted under the radar, so that Trump's voters – who took seriously his tirades against foreign wars – won't know the extent to which he has betrayed his mandate, and them.

The absurdities accumulate like refuse during a garbage strike:

"We are not nation building again. We are killing terrorists." Yet Gen. McMaster, a disciple of Gen. David Petraeus and his " COINdistas ," are the original nation-builders – aside from the Soviets, that is, from whom they cadged their "strategy."

"We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars, at the same time they are housing the same terrorists that we are fighting. But that will have to change. And that will change immediately." No it won't. Remember when Sen. Rand Paul tried to end US aid to Pakistan? It didn't happen then and it won't happen now.

"As the prime minister of Afghanistan has promised, we are going to participate in economic development to help defray the cost of this war to us." So Afghanistan is going to pay for this war, just like Mexico is going to pay for the Great Wall of Texas! In your dreams, Mr. President.

"Our commitment is not unlimited, and our support is not a blank check." The history of the past 16 years refutes this, as does the content of the President's peroration. Of course we're giving them a blank check: that's because the Afghan government only has such resources as we give to it. And since Trump is refusing to say when or even if we're leaving, then our commitment is indeed potentially unlimited. Does he imagine our Afghan puppets, who are happily stealing us blind, don't know this?

I can't bear to go on cataloging the lies, the contradictions, the flip-flops – it pains me to even think about it, much less write about it. The "America First" foreign policy Trump promised during the campaign is just a memory, and his baffled supporters are left to contemplate the most brazen betrayal in modern American political history.

Yet there are some benefits, here, for anti-interventionists to reap, which may not be readily apparent. Because Trump's supporters, who took seriously his anti-interventionist rhetoric, are now wondering what hit them. They had to go through this experience: betrayal can be enlightening. And we here at Antiwar.com are ready, willing, and able to enlighten them. That is, after all, what we're about.

On step forward, two steps back – this is how progress, however agonizingly slow, is made.

AN IMPORTANT NOTE TO MY READERS

Take heart: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Trump's brazen reversal on Afghanistan and the triumph of the generals is provoking a movement in the opposite direction – the anti-interventionist movement is growing and getting more visible. Many of Trump's supporters are in open rebellion , and we here at Antiwar.com are getting more visibility: check out this Washington Post piece which reads like it was taken from our front page.

We're making progress – but we can't do it without your help. We need your tax-deductible donations to keep Antiwar.com going. Donate today!

Read more by Justin Raimondo The Revolution Betrayed – August 20th, 2017 'Russia-gate' Hoax About To Be Exposed? – August 17th, 2017 Which Way for the Trump Administration? – August 15th, 2017 Don't Say We Didn't Warn You – August 13th, 2017 What Are We To Believe? – August 10th, 2017

[Aug 23, 2017] Military leaders consolidate power in Trump administration

Aug 23, 2017 | www.msn.com

Connected by their faith in order and global norms, these military leaders are rapidly consolidating power throughout the executive branch as they counsel a volatile president. Some establishment figures in both political parties view them as safeguards for the nation in a time of turbulence.

Trump's elevation of a cadre of current and retired generals marks a striking departure for a country that for generations has positioned civilian leaders above and apart from the military.

"This is the only time in modern presidential history when we've had a small number of people from the uniformed world hold this much influence over the chief executive," said John E. McLaughlin, a former acting director of the CIA who served in seven administrations. "They are right now playing an extraordinary role."

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 Pentagon declined to immediately ac t upon Trump's Twitter announcement that he would ban transgender people from the armed forces, instead awaiting a more formal directive that has yet to arrive.

Inside the White House, meanwhile, generals manage Trump's hour-by-hour interactions and whisper in his ear -- and those whispers, as with the decision this week to expand U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, often become policy.

At the core of Trump's circle is a seasoned trio of generals with experience as battlefield commanders: White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and national security adviser H.R. McMaster. The three men have carefully cultivated personal relationships with the president and gained his trust.

[Aug 20, 2017] Mr. Bannon openly complained to White House colleagues that he resented how Ms. Trump would try to undo some of the major policy initiatives that he and Mr. Trump agreed were important to the presidents economic nationalist agenda

Notable quotes:
"... "Those days are over when Ivanka can run in and lay her head on the desk and cry," he told multiple people. ..."
"... Mr. Bannon made little secret of the fact that he believed "Javanka," as he referred to the couple behind their backs, had naοve political instincts and were going to alienate Mr. Trump's core coalition of white working-class voters. ..."
"... He also advised that ideological softening would buy the president no good will from Democrats or independent voters, whom Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump believe Mr. Trump still has a chance of reaching. ..."
"... "They hate the very mention of his name," Mr. Bannon told them. "There is no constituency for this." ..."
"... His advice for the president: "You've got the base. And you grow the base by getting" things done. ..."
Aug 20, 2017 | www.msn.com

With little process to speak of, tensions over policy swelled. Ideological differences devolved into caustic personality clashes. Perhaps nowhere was the mutual disgust thicker than between Mr. Bannon and Mr. Trump's daughter and son-in-law.

Mr. Bannon openly complained to White House colleagues that he resented how Ms. Trump would try to undo some of the major policy initiatives that he and Mr. Trump agreed were important to the president's economic nationalist agenda, like withdrawing from the Paris climate accords. In this sense, he was relieved when Mr. Kelly took over and put in place a structure that kept other aides from freelancing.

"Those days are over when Ivanka can run in and lay her head on the desk and cry," he told multiple people.

Mr. Bannon made little secret of the fact that he believed "Javanka," as he referred to the couple behind their backs, had naοve political instincts and were going to alienate Mr. Trump's core coalition of white working-class voters.

He told White House colleagues including the president that too many conservative Republicans in Congress would balk if Mr. Trump took their advice and showed more flexibility on immigration, particularly toward young undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.

He also advised that ideological softening would buy the president no good will from Democrats or independent voters, whom Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump believe Mr. Trump still has a chance of reaching.

"They hate the very mention of his name," Mr. Bannon told them. "There is no constituency for this."

His advice for the president: "You've got the base. And you grow the base by getting" things done.

[Aug 20, 2017] McMaster solidifies power at NSC -- and supports Iran deal, sees Israel as occupier by Philip Weiss

Aug 05, 2017 | mondoweiss.net

Last night President Trump issued a statement affirming his support for National Security adviser H.R. McMaster in the face of a storm of criticism from rightwing outlets. The statement is a sign that Trump and his new chief of staff are taking the realist side of the debate inside his administration over foreign policy.

So while Trump claims to be doing everything he can to trash the Iran deal, the good news is that his foreign policy team is for it. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson clearly advocated for the deal at a press briefing earlier this week, while suggesting that he could differ with the president on how effective it's been.

I think there are a lot of alternative means with which we use the agreement to advance our policies and the relationship with Iran.

Tillerson is one of the "adults" who are thought to be able to rein in Trump's worst tendencies on Iran, as Paul Pillar wrote :

Reportedly the adults, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, last month urged a resistant Trump to recognize reality and certify that Iran was complying with the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action].

Further comfort comes from the fact that three days ago, General McMaster fired Ezra Cohen-Watnick , an enigmatic thirtyish intelligence aide who was vehemently opposed to the Iran deal, leading to calls to get rid of McMaster. Like Tillerson, McMaster is plainly a realist. And he is thought to have job security because his predecessor, General Mike Flynn, lasted barely three weeks and went out with a splash. The Atlantic says McMaster is cleaning house at the NSC; two weeks ago he got rid of an ideologue who spread anti-Muslim conspiracies.

Supporters of Israel are upset by the personnel changes. The Israeli-American hothead Caroline Glick writes at her Facebook page that McMaster is "deeply hostile" to Israel as an occupying power.

The Israel angle on McMaster's purge of Trump loyalists from the National Security Council is that all of these people are pro-Israel and oppose the Iran nuclear deal, positions that Trump holds.

McMaster in contrast is deeply hostile to Israel and to Trump. According to senior officials aware of his behavior, he constantly refers to Israel as the occupying power and insists falsely and constantly that a country named Palestine existed where Israel is located until 1948 when it was destroyed by the Jews.

McMaster "has chosen to eliminate the pro-Israel voices at the National Security Council," according to Jordan Schachtel at the Conservative Review, who cited interviews with White House officials who are trying to undermine the general:

McMaster not only shuns Israel, he is also historically challenged on Arab-Israeli affairs, according to the sources.

"McMaster constantly refers to the existence of a Palestinian state before 1947," a senior West Wing official tells CR (there was never an independent Palestinian state), adding that McMaster describes Israel as an "illegitimate," "occupying power."

The NSC chief expressed great reluctance to work with Israel on counterterror efforts, as he shut down a joint U.S.-Israel project to counter the terrorist group Hezbollah's efforts to expand Iran's worldwide influence.

One of the main indictments of McMaster by neoconservatives (right-wing Israel supporters who favor regime change) is that he restrained the president on his tour of occupied territories in May ( as Allison Deger reported at the time ). In this White House briefing, McMaster refused to say that the western wall in occupied East Jerusalem is part of Israel.

[Aug 20, 2017] Mr. Bannon's disdain for General McMaster also accelerated his demise

Notable quotes:
"... The war veteran has never quite clicked with the president, but other West Wing staff members recoiled at a series of smears against General McMaster by internet allies of Mr. Bannon. ..."
Aug 20, 2017 | www.msn.com

Mr. Bannon's disdain for General McMaster also accelerated his demise. The war veteran has never quite clicked with the president, but other West Wing staff members recoiled at a series of smears against General McMaster by internet allies of Mr. Bannon.

The strategist denied involvement, but he also did not speak out against them.

By the time Charlottesville erupted, Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump had a powerful ally in Mr. Kelly, who shared their belief that Mr. Trump's first statement blaming "many sides" for the deadly violence needed to be amended.

Mr. Bannon vigorously objected. He told Mr. Kelly that if Mr. Trump delivered a second, more contrite statement it would do him no good, with either the public or the Washington press corps, which he denigrated as a "Pretorian guard" protecting the Democrats' consensus that Mr. Trump is a race-baiting demagogue. Mr. Trump could grovel, beg for forgiveness, even get down on his knees; it would never work, Mr. Bannon maintained.

"They're going to say two things: It's too late and it's not enough," Mr. Bannon told Mr. Kelly.

[Aug 20, 2017] Breitbart Goes After Ivanka And McMaster

Aug 20, 2017 | dailycaller.com

The first earlier in the day was " Report: Powerful GOP Donor Sheldon Adelson Supports Campaign to Oust McMaster ." This article detailed how major Republican donor Sheldon Adelson reportedly is supporting a campaign against McMaster that claims the national security adviser is anti-Israel.

Later in the day, the lead story on the site was " McMaster Of Disguise: Nat'l Security Adviser Endorsed Book That Advocates Quran-Kissing Apology Ceremonies ." This piece from frequent McMaster critic Aaron Klein said that McMaster endorsed a book that "calls on the U.S. military to respond to any 'desecrations' of the Quran by service members with an apology ceremony, and advocates kissing a new copy of the Quran before presenting the Islamic text to the local Muslim public."

The article went on to say that McMaster has "troubling views" on Islamic terrorism.

The site also published two articles Sunday critical of Ivanka. One of them is an aggregate of a Daily Mail report that claimed Ivanka helped push Bannon out of the White House. Shortly after the story was published, the article received an update that said a White House senior aide stated the Daily Mail report is "totally false."

Breitbart also wrote a piece that highlighted six times Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner's displeasure with President Trump had been leaked to the media.

Bannon said in interviews after his departure from the White House that he will use Breitbart to fight for the president's agenda.

"In many ways, I think I can be more effective fighting from the outside for the agenda President Trump ran on," Bannon told The New York Times . "And anyone who stands in our way, we will go to war with."

[Aug 20, 2017] Breitbart goes after McMaster

Aug 20, 2017 | thehill.com

Breitbart News, the media outlet helmed by President Trump's former chief strategist Stephen Bannon, published an article on Sunday casting national security adviser H.R. McMaster as soft on Islamist extremism and terrorism.

The former chief strategist's exit from the White House on Friday immediately raised questions about the future of Bannon's relationship with Trump, as well as how Breitbart would cover the administration with Bannon at the helm again.

In an interview last week on NBC's "Meet the Press," McMaster repeatedly dodged questions about whether he could work with Bannon, saying simply that he is "ready to work with anybody who will help advance the president's agenda and advance the security, prosperity of the American people."

"I get to work together with a broad range of talented people, and it is a privilege every day to enable the national security team," McMaster told the show's host Chuck Todd.

[Aug 20, 2017] The Bannon - McMaster war can be very easily explained

Aug 20, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

somebody | Aug 20, 2017 5:49:52 AM | 98

The Bannon - McMaster war can be very easily explained

McMaster made sure the US remains in the Iran deal

This is not what Sheldon Adelson or the Mercers paid for. This is not what right wing Israelis want.

Stability is not what the Mercers thrive on .

Hedge fund insiders say that quant funds, whose trading profits typically depend on volatility, have been hurt by what has been a surprisingly steady market environment in the second quarter, most notably in June, when the CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX � which reflects investors� views of expected stock market volatility � gained between 10 percent and 12 percent, half of its 52-week highs. The Republicans� failure to pass a health care bill, a steady drumbeat of news about the Russia-Trump investigation, and nuclear missile tests of North Korea did little to jar investor confidence in the stock market. The S&P 500 gained 0.6 percent during the month, putting it up 9.3 percent this year

Grieved | Aug 19, 2017 10:06:59 PM | 86

@58 karlof1

Thanks for the Escobar link. The story makes great sense. It's good to know about Mercer and to see that Trump and Bannon are tight. Oddly, it did seem that with all the jackals circling around Trump's neck, in this one case, Bannon is more use outside the tent pissing in than inside pissing out. And Breitbart has now received a massive profile lift, it'll become a national player in the narrative, one would expect.

By the way, I was pondering lately this whole aspect of a grass roots movement. Funny you should bring it up. The only question here about the US is, will the people actually get a voice in this society? If the electoral system keeps bringing liars and betraying promises, then it's time to Occupy the Ballot and have new movements. This is happening I think, with Trump actually being one of the precursor litmus tests.

~~

As for the generals, what does a ruler need except the people and the army? Trump has them both. It makes him harder to take down with all those generals around. Of course, Caesar will have to accord with his praetorian guard or the guard will get a new Caesar. But the US is a banana republic now, this is how it's done - and I'm serious about this, these are real dynamics I think.

Surely the generals will end up being more conservative in action than in rhetoric? And if they get a little giddy and actually send their soldiers out into the real world, they'll quickly receive more of those globally public humiliations that are lowering the empire to the ground so effectively. What can go wrong, that couldn't always go wrong anyway, regardless of who's in charge, or thinks they're in charge?

V. Arnold | Aug 19, 2017 8:50:03 PM | 80
somebody | Aug 19, 2017 10:01:52 AM | 24

Trump would not have been elected without Robert Mercer. Robert Mercer is the billionaire behind Cambridge Analytica, Breitbart and Steve Bannon.

Who financed Adolf Hitler?

Bingo! Finally, some one got the Mercers; both the father and the daughter.
http://therealnews.com/t2/story:19811:The-Real-Story-of-How-Bannon-and-Trump-Got-to-The-White-House

smuks | Aug 20, 2017 8:45:55 AM | 101
@psychohistorian 85

We express things differently, but think very much alike.

The water and sewage system is a good example, but you could take any basic utility/ basic human need: Everyone needs it, but there's no need for 'growth' and little if any room for efficiency gains. So the only ways to profit as a private investor are to overcharge users or to pay miserable wages and let the infrastructure rot.

Private enterprise and competition can work miracles when an economic sector is rapidly developing, expanding and advancing technologically. Governments should encourage this, so I don't think they're (purely) socialistic. But once the sector is 'grown-up' and enters a more or less 'steady state', there's neither room nor justification for profits. It becomes more important to provide high-quality services to everyone(!) while using as little natural resources as possible - and for this, a democratic form of organization is much more fitting than a private profit-driven one (which strives to maximize throughput).

I'm cautiously optimistic. My impression is that more and more people realize that in our time, 'democracy', 'equal rights' and 'sustainability' more important than 'profits' and 'growth'...don't you think?

nb...'posit' - I just learned a new word, thanks!

@somebody 98

Thanks for pointing out the uncertainty and 'volatility'/ VIX bit. I agree it's what speculative investors like hedge funds need and thrive on - so it's what they try to promote by all means (cf. certain websites).
Especially now that we are saying goodbye to the 'growth' phase of the economy and entering a 'steady state' (s.ab.), financial market volatility is increasingly the only thing to reap (relevant) profits from. It's a fight between the pro-stability and the 'profit at all cost' factions - luckily, the former is winning.

[Aug 18, 2017] Banish Bannon Trump weighs his options as top aides feud Defend Democracy Press

Aug 18, 2017 | www.defenddemocracy.press

For months, U.S. President Donald Trump's national security adviser and his chief strategist have battled for influence behind the scenes, and their feud may force another shake-up at the White House.

The dispute between Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster and political strategist Stephen Bannon has reached a level of animosity that is destabilizing Trump's team of top advisers just as the administration tries to regain lost momentum, three senior officials said.

Under pressure from moderate Republicans to fire Bannon, Trump declined to publicly back him on Tuesday, although he left his options open. "We'll see what happens with Mr. Bannon," he told reporters at Trump Tower in New York.

Read more at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-bannon-analysis-idUSKCN1AV2MZ

[Aug 18, 2017] Alt-Right and Ultra-Zionist Alliance against National Security Advisor McMaster

Notable quotes:
"... He was then moved quickly to contain the influence of chief strategist Steve Bannon, who McMaster removed from the National Security Council. If you recall, he was appointed to contain other Trump loyalists such as Michael Flynn, as well. ..."
"... Recently, a campaign accusing him of being anti-Israel has been waged with the support of billionaire Sheldon Adelson by a coalition of alt-right nationalists that includes Steve Bannon ..."
Aug 18, 2017 | therealnews.com

Remember Lieutenant-General Herbert Raymond McMaster? He was appointed as President Trump's national security adviser back in February. He was then moved quickly to contain the influence of chief strategist Steve Bannon, who McMaster removed from the National Security Council. If you recall, he was appointed to contain other Trump loyalists such as Michael Flynn, as well.

Recently, a campaign accusing him of being anti-Israel has been waged with the support of billionaire Sheldon Adelson by a coalition of alt-right nationalists that includes Steve Bannon and extreme right-wing Zionists such as the president of the Zionist Organization of America, Morton Klein, as well as by Israeli journalist Caroline Glick from the Jerusalem Post. President Trump, in response to all of this, called McMaster "a good man, very pro-Israel," and Israeli officials have also come forward calling McMaster a friend of Israel.

On to talk about these connections and tensions is Shir Hever. Shir is a Real News correspondent in Heidelberg, Germany. Of course, he covers Israel and Palestine for us extensively. I thank you so much for joining us, Shir.

SHIR HEVER: Thanks for having me, Sharmini.

SHARMINI PERIES: Shir, President Trump is now six months into his office as president. He initially has appointed his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to take up the Israel file, but there are these allegations flying against General McMaster. Explain to us what's going on. Why are these individuals like Sheldon Adelson even concerned about how Trump is responding in terms of Israel and Israel policy?

SHIR HEVER: I think there's very little that General McMaster can actually do about Israel or against Israel. It really doesn't matter much. The only issue that has come up was the Iran nuclear deal, and I think this is going to be a decision taken directly by President Trump and not by McMaster. Also, what exactly is the Israel interest regarding the Iran nuclear deal? It is not so clear. Obviously, Prime Minister Netanyahu has a certain opinion, but other Israeli politicians have other opinions.

I think this is really a symbolic issue. There are people in the alt-right and also the extreme Zionism who are using this old worn-out accusation that somebody is anti-Israel in order to get their own people into the National Security Council, in order to exert influence on the Trump administration. This coalition between extreme right nationalists, white nationalists in the United States, and Jewish Zionists, which traditionally were on opposing sides, are now working together because of this very strange rise of this alt-right.

SHARMINI PERIES: All right. Now, give us a greater sense of the connection or the tensions between these alt-right organizations and McMaster and Bannon. Map this for us.

SHIR HEVER: Yeah. I've been looking through these accusations that Caroline Glick, deputy editor of the Jerusalem Post, and Steve Bannon himself, and also Morton Klein of the Zionist Organization of America. What problem do they have with McMaster? They make very vague things about some statements that he made, but they couldn't put them in context. He said that Israel is an occupying power. Of course, Israel is an occupying power, but they couldn't place that statement. The only thing that their criticism boils down to is they say McMaster is a remnant of the Obama administration. He continues the Obama policies, and therefore he's not loyal to Trump.

I think this is the crux of the matter, because actually, for people like Caroline Glick and I think also for Sheldon Adelson, their relation to Trump borders on religious. They consider Trump to be some kind of messiah or savior that will allow Israel once and for all to annex the occupied territory, expand its borders, and then the land will be redeemed. They talk about this in religious terminology.

Here's the problem. Trump has been president for six months now, and Israel did not annex the territory. It did not expand its borders. In fact, it has gone from one crisis to the next, and the Israeli government is not able to cement its power over the Palestinians. Palestinian resistance is not tied down. They're looking for an explanation. The explanation is that something is not pure in the Trump administration, and they're pointing the finger at McMaster saying, "Because of people like him who are sabotaging Trump's own policies from the inside, then this is preventing the Trump administration from reaching its full potential."

SHARMINI PERIES: Right. Obviously, Netanyahu and the Israeli government doesn't agree with this assessment. In fact, they have come out supporting McMaster as being a good supporter of Israel. How does this play out here?

SHIR HEVER: Absolutely. Prime Minister Netanyahu is doing real politics. He knows that there's nothing that President Trump can do that will actually make Israel suddenly conquer more territory. That's not the point. Netanyahu is trying to balance a very complicated system with pressure from different points, and he is a populist, and he's only in power because of his populism. Now, his administration is under threat because of corruption allegations, so this is a problem for him. When people expect that the Trump administration will free his hands to do whatever he wants, Netanyahu suddenly has a problem because he needs to come up with a new excuse. Why doesn't he annex all the occupied territory?

Of course, for him, it's not a good time to get into a fight with the Trump administration. He wants to create the impression that things are happening under the surface, that he is in the know, that his friends are involved in this, but I think the fact that Sheldon Adelson, the big financial supporter of Netanyahu, is now switching to support extreme right groups that have nothing to do with the interests of the Israeli current administration, but are actually trying to push the Israeli administration to move further to the extreme right and to annex territory, that puts Netanyahu in trouble. I think it also spells some clouds over the warm relationship between Netanyahu and Adelson.

SHARMINI PERIES: Coming back to this side of things here in the United States, in light of the events of Charlottesville, Shir, showing a direct link between the alt-right and hardcore racists and neo-Nazis, why would extreme right-wing Zionist Jewish organizations and individuals like Glick and Klein agree to cooperate with the alt-right in this way?

SHIR HEVER: I think people on the left tend to forget that, just like the left considers itself to be a kind of universalist movement, and that leftists around the world should have solidarity with each other, the right also has a kind of solidarity, especially the extreme right. Extreme right movements in different countries consider the extreme right in other countries to be their allies. One of the things we saw in Charlottesville is that some of these neo-Nazi groups and white nationalist groups are big supporters of Bashar Al-Assad in Syria, because they see him as the kind of strong leader they would like to see in the United States as well.

For people who see Donald Trump talking about America first, then they're saying, "Okay, that's exactly the kind of administration we want to see in Israel, somebody taking about Israel first." For Caroline Gluck or for a Morton Klein, they are willing to accept a very heavy load of racism and even anti-semitism against Jews from the Trump administration and from its supporters in exchange for being allowed to copy that same kind of racism and that same kind of right-wing policy towards their minorities. Just like the American administration has its minorities, Muslims, Mexicans which are being targeted, Israel also has its minorities, Palestinians and asylum-seekers, and they want those people to be targeted in the same harsh language and the same harsh policies, so that we can [inaudible] a great compromise.

I have to say, the events in Charlottesville had a profound impact on Israeli public opinion. In fact, there are a lot of Israelis who are very concerned about this kind of coalition. They are saying, "No, there's not that much that we're willing to take in order to keep the relations with the Trump administration on good footing." Because of that, the president of Israel, President Rivlin, and also the education minister Naftali Bennett issued statements condemning white nationalists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville. I think Naftali Bennett, who is the head of the Jewish Nationalist Party in Israel, and he's actually of the same political camp as Caroline Glick, as Morton Klein, when he makes that statement, that shows that even he thinks that they have gone too far.

SHARMINI PERIES: Interesting analysis, Shir. I thank you so much for joining us today. I guess the situation in Charlottesville is evolving, and it would be interesting to continue to keep an eye on what's developing here against what's happening in Israel as well. Thank you so much.

SHIR HEVER: Thank you, Sharmini.

SHARMINI PERIES: Thank you for joining us here on the Real News Network.

Jibaro 4 hours ago

Confusing, at least to me, in any case I believe that the Zionists learned a lot from the Nazis and there is very little difference between the two groups. I would say that the main difference lies in the fact that the Zionists are sneakier and know how to play with popular opinion. That's why it doesn't surprise me that they are making a common cause with the white supremacists groups.

The only surprise here is that they are doing it openly now. They have become brave and have decided to take the backlash. Perhaps they are doing so because they know they have the support of Trump.

Divide and conquer. Soon we will be fighting on our own streets against each other. It will be the death of the US...

Donatella 10 hours ago

"For Caroline Gluck or for a Morton Klein, they are willing to accept a very heavy load of racism and even anti-semitism against Jews from the Trump administration and from its supporters in exchange for being allowed to copy that same kind of racism and that same kind of right-wing policy towards their minorities."

I have great respect for Shir Hever, he has great insight into Israel society and politics. However, his statement that Klein and Glick (and maybe Adelson) want to be "allowed" to copy Trump's supporter's racism and right-wing policies towards minorities in Israel is beyond hilarious. Minorities in Israel have been and continue to be subjected to racist and supremacist policies (much worse than anything Trump supporters can even imagine) by the Zionists since the theft of Palestinian's land in 1948. The Israelis are not just pursuing racist policies but as Israeli historian Ilan Pappe said, they are committing slow motion genocide against the Palestinians.

[Aug 17, 2017] Grown-ups Versus Ideologues The Media Narrative of the White House May Be All Wrong

Notable quotes:
"... McMaster's was spewing nonsense. The same was said about the Soviet Union and China when they became nuclear weapons states. North Korea just became one . Conventional deterrence of both sides has worked with North Korea for decades. Nuclear deterrence with North Korea will work just as well as it did with the Soviet and Chinese communists. If North Korea were really not deterrable the U.S. should have nuked it yesterday to minimize the overall risk and damage. It is the McMaster position that is ideological and not rational or "grown up" at all. ..."
"... Compare that to Steve Bannon's take on the issue: ..."
"... "There's no military solution [to North Korea's nuclear threats], forget it. Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don't die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don't know what you're talking about, there's no military solution here, they got us." ..."
"... But looking at things now, rather than a spoilt paranoid kid, perhaps someone trained from an early age for leadership, and perhaps rather than being paranoid (Russia/China), perhaps a leader that finds it more important to create a deterrence against the US. Third generation at war with the US and his seen his father was fucked over when trying to make a deal with the US. NK's nuke and missile tech have come a long way in the few short years Kim Jong Un has been in power. ..."
"... "Deterrence is a strategy intended to dissuade an adversary from taking an action not yet started, or to prevent them from doing something that another state desires." ..."
"... Classic deterrence strategy IS working for NK perfectly. ..."
"... All one has to do to know what Bannon's position on Iran is to read Breitbart on any given day. Unless we are supposed to believe that Bannon's opinions are not reflected by the website he ran for four years. Bannon is for war against Islam in general, there is nothing "realist" about his foreign policy. ..."
"... @12... "Bannon is a fascist" I'm not so sure. Mussolini defined fascism as being an alliance of corporate and state powers... but Bannon (and most of his followers) have no trust in the corporate sector as they [the corporate sector] are to a large degree Globalists - they used the US and then threw it aside in pursuit of profit elsewhere. For that, he would even call them traitors. So you could call him a Nationalist. ..."
"... Bannon makes sense. That must be why many want him gone especially the neocons. As to North Korea, the US should have admitted "facts on the ground" long ago and worked to sign the official end of the war and work to get the two Koreas talking and working together. ..."
Aug 17, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

The Democrats and the media love the Pentagon generals in the White House. They are the "grown ups":

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., had words of praise for Donald Trump's new pick for national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster -- calling the respected military officer a "certified, card-carrying grown-up,"

According to the main-stream narrative the "grown ups" are opposed by " ideologues " around Trump's senior advisor Steve Bannon. Bannon is even infectious, according to Jeet Heer, as he is Turning Trump Into an Ethno-Nationalist Ideologue . A recent short interview with Bannon dispels that narrative.

Who is really the sane person on, say, North Korea?

The "grown-up" General McMaster, Trump's National Security Advisor, is not one of them. He claims North Korea is not deterrable from doing something insane.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But your predecessor Susan Rice wrote this week that the U.S. could tolerate nuclear weapons in North Korea the same way we tolerated nuclear weapons in the Soviet Union far more during the Cold War. Is she right?

MCMASTER: No, she's not right. And I think the reason she's not right is that the classical deterrence theory, how does that apply to a regime like the regime in North Korea? A regime that engages in unspeakable brutality against its own people? A regime that poses a continuous threat to the its neighbors in the region and now may pose a threat, direct threat, to the United States with weapons of mass destruction?

McMaster's was spewing nonsense. The same was said about the Soviet Union and China when they became nuclear weapons states. North Korea just became one . Conventional deterrence of both sides has worked with North Korea for decades. Nuclear deterrence with North Korea will work just as well as it did with the Soviet and Chinese communists. If North Korea were really not deterrable the U.S. should have nuked it yesterday to minimize the overall risk and damage. It is the McMaster position that is ideological and not rational or "grown up" at all.

Compare that to Steve Bannon's take on the issue:

"There's no military solution [to North Korea's nuclear threats], forget it. Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don't die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don't know what you're talking about, there's no military solution here, they got us."

It was indeed the Democratic People's Republic of Korea which "got" the United States and stopped the U.S. escalation game. It is wrong to think that North Korea "backed off" in the recent upheaval about a missile test targeted next to Guam. It was the U.S. that pulled back from threatening behavior.

Since the end of May the U.S. military trained extensively for decapitation and "preemptive" strikes on North Korea:

Two senior military officials -- and two senior retired officers -- told NBC News that key to the plan would be a B-1B heavy bomber attack originating from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam.
...
Of the 11 B-1 practice runs since the end of May, four have also involved practice bombing at military ranges in South Korea and Australia.

In response to the B-1B flights North Korea published plans to launch a missile salvo next to the U.S. island of Guam from where those planes started. The announcement included a hidden offer to stop the test if the U.S. would refrain from further B-1B flights. A deal was made during secret negotiations . Since then no more B-1B flights took place and North Korea suspended its Guam test plans. McMaster lost and the sane people, including Steve Bannon, won.

But what about Bannon's "ethno-nationalist" ideology? Isn't he responsible for the right-wing nutters of Charlottesville conflict? Isn't he one of them?

He dismissed the far right as irrelevant and sidestepped his own role in cultivating it: "Ethno-nationalism!it's losers. It's a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more."

"These guys are a collection of clowns," he added.

Bannon sees China as an economic enemy and wants to escalate an economic conflict with it. He is said to be against the nuclear deal with Iran. The generals in Trump's cabinet are all anti-Iran hawks. As Bannon now turns out to be a realist on North Korea, I am not sure what real position on Iran is.

Domestically Bannon is pulling the Democrats into the very trap I had several times warned against:

"The Democrats," he said, "the longer they talk about identity politics, I got 'em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats."

This worked well during the presidential election and might continue to work for Trump. As long as the Democrats do not come up with, and fight for, sane economic polices they will continue to lose elections. The people are not interested in LGBT access to this or that bathroom. They are interested in universal healthcare, in personal and economic security. They are unlikely to get such under Bannon and Trump. But, unlike the Democrats, the current White House crew at least claim to have plans to achieve it.

Posted by b on August 16, 2017 at 11:51 PM | Permalink

Peter AU 1 | Aug 17, 2017 1:05:52 AM | 1

A couple of very interesting links from the last thread were the one to the Bannon article, and also the link to the Carter/NK article.

Kim Jong Un, 3rd generation like his father and grandfather leader of NK. From what I have read this is a cultural thing t hat predates communism and the Japanese occupation prior. Many pictures of Kim show an overweight youngster amongst gaunt hungry looking generals. Gave the impression of a spoilt kid simply handed power. Not going to the May 9 parade in Russia when invited also gave the impression he was paranoid.

But looking at things now, rather than a spoilt paranoid kid, perhaps someone trained from an early age for leadership, and perhaps rather than being paranoid (Russia/China), perhaps a leader that finds it more important to create a deterrence against the US. Third generation at war with the US and his seen his father was fucked over when trying to make a deal with the US. NK's nuke and missile tech have come a long way in the few short years Kim Jong Un has been in power.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Kim Jong Un and Trump have a meet one day.

The link to the Carter article http://www.fox5atlanta.com/national-news/273096065-story

ben | Aug 17, 2017 1:22:28 AM | 2
b said: "The people are not interested in LGBT access to this or that bathroom. They are interested in universal healthcare, in personal and economic security. They are unlikely to get such under Bannon and Trump. But, unlike the Democrats, the current White House crew at least claim to have plans to achieve it."

With that statement b, you nailed it..

V. Arnold | Aug 17, 2017 1:32:51 AM | 3
"There's no military solution [to North Korea's nuclear threats], forget it. Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don't die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don't know what you're talking about, there's no military solution here, they got us."

Doesn't that at least show Bannon as the adult in the room?
I would say so.

psychohistorian | Aug 17, 2017 1:53:13 AM | 4
So lets start parsing this economic nationalism that Bannon is making happen with Trump.

Economic nationalism is a term used to describe policies which are guided by the idea of protecting domestic consumption, labor and capital formation, even if this requires the imposition of tariffs and other restrictions on the movement of labour, goods and capital. It is in opposition to Globalisation in many cases, or at least on questions the unrestricted good of Free trade. It would include such doctrines as Protectionism, Import substitution, Mercantilism and planned economies.

Examples of economic nationalism include Japan's use of MITI to "pick winners and losers", Malaysia's imposition of currency controls in the wake of the 1997 currency crisis, China's controlled exchange of the Yuan, Argentina's economic policy of tariffs and devaluation in the wake of the 2001 financial crisis and the United States' use of tariffs to protect domestic steel production.

Think about what a trade war with China would do. It would crash the world economy as China tried to cash in on it US Treasury holdings with the US likely defaulting......just one possible scenario.

At least now, IMO, the battle for a multi-polar (finance) world is out in the open.....let the side taking by nations begin. I hope Bannon is wrong about the timing of potential global power shifting and the US loses its empire status.

psychohistorian | Aug 17, 2017 2:19:03 AM | 5
I thought that maybe Bannon was being a bit too forthright in his recent comments and perhaps he has just painted a big bullseye on his back for the racist clowns he has used to aim at. Check this out: Bannons colleagues disturbed by interview with left wing publication
Copeland | Aug 17, 2017 2:30:36 AM | 6
Bannon thinks the bombast on display between the Kim and Trump has been "a sideshow". The real show, on the other hand, has nothing to do with the dramatic sparring between the two leaders. The Mother Of All Policies, according to Bannon, is an all-bets-on trade war with China, whose endgame admits to only one outcome,--that is to say-- that only one hegemon will remain standing at the end of this struggle.

There can be only one King-of-the-Hill. But where is the Greek Chorus?--the prophetic warning that goes by the name of necessity?-- that tries to ward off hubris? "One must never subscribe to absurdities" (it was Camus who aptly said that).

V. Arnold | Aug 17, 2017 2:39:11 AM | 7
psychohistorian | Aug 17, 2017 2:19:03 AM | 5

I had read this before; interesting to say the least.
Truth be told, I'd never heard of Bannon prior to Trumps election and still know little about him.
Politics aside Bannon seems a straight shooter; I certainly can't argue his statement re: what would happen if we attacked NK. His statement is echo'd by many long before today.
I do plan to start paying attention from this point forward.
Oh, and I did read that Trump is afraid of Bannon, but don't remember the reason stated.

Realist | Aug 17, 2017 3:18:01 AM | 8
Here is Bannon's latest:

Bannon dismissed the far-right as irrelevant:

"Ethno-nationalism!it's losers. It's a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more."

"These guys are a collection of clowns," he added.

Bannon is no friend of White Nationalists.

somebody | Aug 17, 2017 4:49:34 AM | 12
No, whoever planned that "United Right" rally walked Trump into the trap.

As Trump was incapable to disassociate himself clearly from people who protest against the take down of a statue of General Lee. Trump now owns the race issue.

Steve Bannon is a fascist . That does not mean he is stupid.

The generals are clearly dangerous. They have the power to walk everybody to world war III. Trump has pledged to spend even more on the US military, the military already has the highest spending world wide. The generals don't want to admit that they cannot solve anythings by military power.

Trump going off script in that press conference into a stream of consciousness was bad. He reminded everybody of their rambling demented great-grandfather. He tried to get the discussion to economic issues, he did not succeed.

Veterans Today is a dubious source, but this here sounds genuine Washington behind the mirrors

In stepped more lies and garbage, this time more fake than the other, with chaos theory and psychological warfare organizations drowning in capabilities from the overfunded phony war on terror and too much time on their hands now lending their useless talents toward disinforming the general public.

The result has been a divided US where "alternative facts" fabricated for a vulnerable demographic now competes with the "mainstream" now termed, and I believe rightly so, "fake news" to support different versions of a fictional narrative that resembles reality only in the most rarified and oblique manner.
...

America has left itself open to dictatorship. It long since gave up its ability to govern itself, perhaps it was the central bank, the Federal Reserve in 1913 or more recent erosions of individual power such as the Citizens United Supreme Court decision of 2005. Whatever milestone one chooses, the remains of democratic institutions in the US are now difficult to find.

What we are left with is what increasingly seems to be factions, mistakenly defined as "right" or "far right" jockeying for control over America's military, and with that, control over the planet itself.

You see, whoever controls the American military controls the world, unless a power bloc appears that can challenge, well, challenge what? If the Pentagon controls America's military and the Pentagon is controlled by a cabal of religious extremists as many claim or corporate lackeys as most believe, then where does the world stand?

Then again, if Trump and his own Republican congress are at war over impeachment, and I assure you, little else is discussed in Washington, two sides of the same coin, servants of different masters, has all oversite of the newfound military power over American policy disappeared?

To this, we reluctantly say "yes."

Clueless Joe | Aug 17, 2017 5:24:06 AM | 13
Bannon can be perfectly mature, adult and realist on some points and be totally blinded by biases on others - him wanting total economic war against China is proof enough. So I don't rule out that he has a blind spot over Iran and wants to get rid of the regime. I mean, even Trump is realist and adult in a few issues, yet is an oblivious fool on others.

Kind of hard to find someone who's always adult and realist, actually. You can only hope to pick someone who's more realist than most people. Or build a positronic robot and vote for him.

somebody | Aug 17, 2017 6:16:13 AM | 14
There is something to that interview by Steve Bannon with a left wing website .
More puzzling is the fact that Bannon would phone a writer and editor of a progressive publication (the cover lines on whose first two issues after Trump's election were "Resisting Trump" and "Containing Trump") and assume that a possible convergence of views on China trade might somehow paper over the political and moral chasm on white nationalism.

The question of whether the phone call was on or off the record never came up. This is also puzzling, since Steve Bannon is not exactly Bambi when it comes to dealing with the press. He's probably the most media-savvy person in America.

I asked Bannon about the connection between his program of economic nationalism and the ugly white nationalism epitomized by the racist violence in Charlottesville and Trump's reluctance to condemn it. Bannon, after all, was the architect of the strategy of using Breitbart to heat up white nationalism and then rely on the radical right as Trump's base.

He dismissed the far right as irrelevant and sidestepped his own role in cultivating it: "Ethno-nationalism!it's losers. It's a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more."

Explanation a) He wants to explain the climbdown of his boss on North Korea.
Not really helpful to Trump.

b) He wants to save his reputation as the association with the KKK and White Suprematists has become toxic.

Checking on what Breitbart is doing - splitting the Republican Party

A trade war with China would mean prices in the US would become very expensive. It is a fool's strategy.

In other news Iran is threatening to leave the nuclear agreement, and Latin America unites against the US threatening Venezuela with war.

The generals are completely useless.

fairleft | Aug 17, 2017 6:35:17 AM | 15
I think Bannon is an authentic economic nationalist, and one that Trump feels is good counsel on those matters. If this is so, then Bannon cannot be trying to provoke a trade war with China, since that would be an economic catastrophe for the US (and China and the rest of the world). I'm hoping he's playing bad cop and eventually Trump will play good cop in negotiations for more investment by China in the US and other goodies in exchange for 'well, not much' from the US. Similar to what the US dragged out of Japan in the 80s nd 90s.
c | Aug 17, 2017 6:51:35 AM | 16
psychohistorian a
c | Aug 17, 2017 6:59:32 AM | 17
psychohistorian at 4: 'as China tried to cash in on it US Treasury holdings with the US likely defaulting...'

as a sovereign currency issuer of that size the usa can not run out of dollars
to default on their obligations would be a voluntary mistake the federal reserve will avoid
meanwhile the chinese are investing in africa and other countries securing their position in the world

V. Arnold | Aug 17, 2017 7:43:30 AM | 18
c | Aug 17, 2017 6:59:32 AM | 17
as a sovereign currency issuer of that size the usa can not run out of dollars
to default on their obligations would be a voluntary mistake the federal reserve will avoid
meanwhile the chinese are investing in africa and other countries securing their position in the world

Very good; and I agree with your POV; the usa can not run out of dollars.
And therein lies its power; a very dangerous situation that I do not think the world is equipped to deal with in toto...

steven t johnson | Aug 17, 2017 8:18:55 AM | 19
Every political swindler today starts off by pretending Trump won the election instead of the Electoral College, including Steve Bannon. It is the Republican Party, not Trump and his Trumpery who holds majorities in the House, the Senate and the nation's statehouses. Anybody who wants to think that "economic nationalism" will crush the Democrats has forgotten that Trump lost the popular vote on this ticket.

It appears that as a purely nominal Republican, an owner in a hostile takeover, Trump has no qualms about trashing the system. Practically speaking, this is the very opposite of draining the swamp, which requires effective leadership.

Just Sayin' | Aug 17, 2017 8:51:55 AM | 20
Kim Jong Un, 3rd generation like his father and grandfather leader of NK. From what I have read this is a cultural thing that predates communism and the Japanese occupation prior.

But looking at things now, rather than a spoilt paranoid kid, perhaps someone trained from an early age for leadership, and perhaps rather than being paranoid (Russia/China), perhaps a leader that finds it more important to create a deterrence against the US.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Aug 17, 2017 1:05:52 AM | 1

OR, looked at another way:

Perhaps the gurning wunderkind Kim's ascent to the North Korean Throne was completely predictable and was predicted a long time ago, and plans were set in motion to ensure that he was co-opted as a kid, and now works with the US to help counter the rising Chinese power.

Perhaps the alleged face-off Trump, Kim and the western MSM treated the world to over the past while, was merely nothing but a pre-scripted choreographic display, a piece of theater agreed upon beforehand by all participants except China

I wouldn't be surprised to see Kim Jong Un and Trump have a meet one day.

I wouldn't be surprised if Kim Jong Un and Trump actually play for the same side.

Just Sayin' | Aug 17, 2017 8:59:31 AM | 21
Every political swindler today starts off by pretending Trump won the election instead of the Electoral College, i

Posted by: steven t johnson | Aug 17, 2017 8:18:55 AM | 19

Actually as far as I can tell the real political swindlers are the ones who refuse to acknowledge that a US Presidential election is, (and has been for nearly whole time the US has been in existence, which is more than 200 years for those who have problems keeping track of such simple matters) decided NOT by the popular vote but by the results of the Electoral College voting.

Anybody who wants to think that "economic nationalism" will crush the Democrats has forgotten that Trump lost the popular vote on this ticket.

Again, just to repeat the actual reality regarding US Presidential elections: They are decided on the basis of Electoral Collage voting and NOT on the basis of the popular vote, as political swindlers would now like everyone to believe.

Thegenius | Aug 17, 2017 9:08:56 AM | 22
Economics PhDs are resisting the only thing that can actully cause higher inflation rate: trade war
somebody | Aug 17, 2017 9:45:00 AM | 23
19

He is doubling down now defending General Lee statues as beautiful. He is doing the same strategy as he did in his duel with Hillary Clinton when everybody thought he was insane, playing to his core Republican base to make sure Republicans have to stay in line or face a primary challenge.

Breitbart is doing the same threatening "Republican traitors".

The problem with this strategy is that Trump won because Hillary Clinton was so unpopular, because their pollsters outsmarted Nate Silver and Co. and possibly because she was a woman.

But Republicans who have to pretend they are religious right wing nuts in the primaries, then have to appeal to independents to win the actual election.

So they cannot go against Trump but cannot defend him. They are paralysed.

That what it comes down to. That the main aim of the president of the United States is to paralyze the party he hijacked.


somebody | Aug 17, 2017 9:58:52 AM | 24
add to 23

Breitbart has gone full culture wars. It is comical, have a look.

john | Aug 17, 2017 10:26:02 AM | 25
Just Sayin' says:

They are decided on the basis of Electoral Collage voting and NOT on the basis of the popular vote, as political swindlers would now like everyone to believe

indeed, though, speaking of political swindlers, there's mucho evidence that Trump may have won the popular vote as well.

likklemore | Aug 17, 2017 10:32:06 AM | 26
Posted by: steven t johnson | Aug 17, 2017 8:18:55 AM | 19

Every political swindler today starts off by pretending Trump won the election instead of the Electoral College, including Steve Bannon. It is the Republican Party, not Trump and his Trumpery who holds majorities in the House, the Senate and the nation's statehouses. Anybody who wants to think that "economic nationalism" will crush the Democrats has forgotten that Trump lost the popular vote on this ticket.

Have you read the Constitution of the USA? The Electoral College elects the President by the rank and file voters electing the Electors to the College on November election day. That's how the system works.

Ask Al Gore; he won the popular vote.

Oh and btw, the Hillary won the popular 2016 vote meme. Take a look at Detroit, MI heavy Democrats' precints - more votes than voters - and the millions of illegal aliens' vote in California who voted after the invite of Obama.

WJ | Aug 17, 2017 10:50:13 AM | 27
Trump won the election. Period. End of story. Done. Finished. Get over it and get on with your life. He didn't compete to win the popular vote. He competed and campaigned to win the election. Advice to Democrats - nominate a candidate beside a senile old neocon woman who is corrupt to her ugly core, and then maybe you can beat a former reality show star.
Just Sayin' | Aug 17, 2017 10:56:25 AM | 29
The problem with this strategy is that Trump won because Hillary Clinton was so unpopular, because their pollsters outsmarted Nate Silver and Co. and possibly because she was a woman.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 17, 2017 9:45:00 AM | 23

Nope - first part of the sentence is correct but the rest of is just you, as usual, repeating crap you found on the Internet and then repeating it here pretending it is profound and that you actually understand what you are talking about, which you clearly don't as evidenced by the fact that you then go on to reference Nate Silver whose fame was never anything but media created hype with little or nothing to back it up.

Silver's feet of clay were evident long before the latest Prez election. It became obvious that his alleged electoral statistical prowess rested as much on luck as anything else. Lucky in prediction when it came to the 2008 election but by 2010 things started to go wrong but the media ignored his feet of clay and kept hyping him as a stats genius.

By the time 2016 rolled round Silver was exposed for the lucky fraud he is.

The real truth of Hillarys inability to win lies not in her being female as you and many others disingenuously (at best) try to claim, but simply lies in the fact that she is a thoroughly unpleasant person with a complete lack of charisma and a massive sense of entitlement.

Blacks and others, minorities generally and independents, who came out in droves for the Obama elections simply refused to go and vote for her.

The Republican vote however changed very little - pretty much the exact same demographic voted republican as voted for Romney.

Trump won partly because of Clintons massive hubris in refusing to campaign in several key states. Cambridge analytical were not required to give him the win, no matter what you read, without analysing it, elsewhere on the web and are now repeating here in an effort to pretend you know what you are talking about.

CA probably helped somewhat but it unlikely that they were central to the win. Clintons hubris and her complete lack of charisma, ensured low black/minority/independent for her in key states, especially those where she had refused to even bother to campaign, which was enough to seal the win for Trump

You simply repeating crap you heard on the net and pretending that if you say it in an authoritative fashion it will magically become true, just ends up making you look completely clueless, as usual. (or dishonest)

Just Sayin' | Aug 17, 2017 11:01:18 AM | 30
@ Everybody who bought into the MSM Steve Bannon promoted white supremacy and through Breitbart. Suggested you read his world view expressed in remarks at Human Dignity Institute, Vatican Conference 2014

Posted by: likklemore | Aug 17, 2017 10:51:54 AM | 28

Anyone with any intelligence would be wise to treat with great caution anything Bannon claims in public interviews about himself or his alleged political beliefs,

RUKidding | Aug 17, 2017 11:21:24 AM | 32
US politics is a great big clusterfeck - worse than ever, which is hard to believe. Bannon's big liar. He did heaps to create this very situation with the White Supremacists. Of course the Democrats are worse than useless. All they're doing is presenting themselves as "We're not Trump" and whining about Putin. All of them are clowns. Every last one. Including the so-called "Generals." Worthless.
Pnyx | Aug 17, 2017 11:27:14 AM | 33
"Since then no more B-1B flights took place and North Korea suspended its Guam test plans."
but: "Yesterday (...) two US B-1 strategic bombers, operating with Japanese fighter jets, conducted exercises to the southwest of the Korean Peninsula." says WSWS. ?
james | Aug 17, 2017 12:32:00 PM | 37
@2 ben.. i agree!

everything about the usa today is divisive... i can't imagine the usa being happy if this didn't continue until it's demise..the 2 party system hasn't worked out very well as i see it.. failed experiment basically.. oh well..

anoymous | Aug 17, 2017 12:51:38 PM | 39
@19

If I remember correctly, wasn't it both the President Elect and the Republican Congressmen who won clear majorities in nearly 80 percent of congressional districts? Presuming an issue like the gerrymandering of districts wasn't significant, that's a far more legitimate victory than an extra million Democrats voting in California (determining the future of national policy). I'm not a fan of the Republicans, but denying the short term efficiency of 'populist rhetoric' isn't helping the left win any substantial electoral victories in the future.

Morongobill | Aug 17, 2017 1:03:36 PM | 40
Good Lord. Can't people read anymore? The election is all about the EC. Keep talking and running for the popular vote, and Trump will keep winning the Electoral College. You either want to win or you don't. I hope you keep preaching the popular vote personally.
Just Sayin' | Aug 17, 2017 1:06:52 PM | 41
@ Just Sayin' 30

I won't give you a pass. Your bias and lack of intelligence is on great display.


No pass for little ol me? Aw shucks, I'm heart broken.

The fact that you think Bannon&Trump are going to do anything about Wall Street and the Banking System in general is quite amusing.

Perhaps you could list a few of Bannon&Trumps anti Wall Street achievements or initiatives since Trump took office?

It should by now be clear to anyone paying attention that while both Bannon & Trump certainly TALK a lot, they seem to actually do very little.

So, do please tell us: what have they actually done?

Just Sayin' | Aug 17, 2017 1:15:57 PM | 42
@2 ben.. i agree!

everything about the usa today is divisive...

Posted by: james | Aug 17, 2017 12:32:00 PM | 37

As the CIA might say: "Mission Accomplished!!"

Keep the proles spilt in their little "identity groups", their micro-tribes, and continue building the Kleoptocracy/Prison/Military State while the dumbed down demos are busy hunting micro-aggressions/fighting gender & race wars etc etc

During the last 5 Prez Election cycles the population spilt on utterly retarded lines such as Gay-marriage, Gender-free toilets etc. All this while the US fought or financed numerous very expensive wars in the Middle East ukraine etc, resulting hundreds of thousands of lives lost.

anoymous | Aug 17, 2017 1:16:15 PM | 43
@26

The 2008 elections had one of the highest ever voter turnout rates for the Democrats and the 2016 elections had one of the lowest ever. The turnout rates (abysmal if ever compared to voter turnout rates in Germany and Japan) easily explain the initial victory and the eventual defeat, not 'Detroit fraud' or 'the millions of illegals' voting in your head. Racial gerrymandering against black voters in the Southern States is a far more real issue.

ben | Aug 17, 2017 1:33:55 PM | 44
somwbody @ 12: Good link thanks..Interesting read about "The Forth Turning"

psycho @ 5: good link also..

WJ @ 27 said:" Advice to Democrats - nominate a candidate beside a senile old neocon woman who is corrupt to her ugly core, and then maybe you can beat a former reality show star."

Yep, so-called "Russian hacking" wasn't the problem, HRC was the problem...

ben | Aug 17, 2017 1:40:34 PM | 45
Just Sayin' @ 41 said:"It should by now be clear to anyone paying attention that while both Bannon & Trump certainly TALK a lot, they seem to actually do very little."

Kinda' waitin' myself to see all those "accomplishments"....

anoymous | Aug 17, 2017 2:01:34 PM | 46
@40

I'll assume this was directed to me.

I understand and respect your point, but I was responding to the initial comment's implicit argument on public opinion: "a common argument is the lower-middle-to-upper-middle-class social base of the Republicans is less receptive to the short term effects of Protectionist policy and this would reduce political morale, as well as grassroots and voting organization. However, the Democrats 'won the popular vote.' So, it's 'obvious' in saying the classless definition of 'the American people' oppose this Republican policy, and naturally, the social base of the Republican Party isn't especially relevant to consider when organizing voters and grassroots movements for a renewed Democratic Party."

To be fair, I think like the early Unionist and Communist circles, and presume public opinion translates to expressions of grassroots politics between conflicting classes (more so than it actually happens in American class society).

Mina | Aug 17, 2017 2:32:30 PM | 47
From Syria with love

https://arabic.rt.com/liveevent/894352-%D8%A7%D9%81%D8%AA%D8%AA%D8%A7%D8%AD-%D9%85%D8%B9%D8%B1%D8%B6-%D8%AF%D9%85%D8%B4%D9%82-%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%84%D9%8A-5-%D8%B3%D9%86%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%BA%D9%8A%D8%A7%D8%A8/

Sad Canuck | Aug 17, 2017 2:52:38 PM | 48
If one proceeds on the assumption that politics in the United States closely follows themes, scripts and production values pioneered by WWF, then all becomes clear. It's simply pro-wrestling on a global scale with nuclear weapons and trillions of dollars in prize money.
james | Aug 17, 2017 2:58:51 PM | 49
@42 just sayin'.. yes to all you say - it is quite sad actually.. not sure of the way out at this point, short of complete rebellion in the streets which looks like a longs ways off at this point..
Just Sayin' | Aug 17, 2017 3:12:27 PM | 50
not sure of the way out at this point, short of complete rebellion in the streets which looks like a longs ways off at this point..

Posted by: james | Aug 17, 2017 2:58:51 PM | 49

Most of the younger generation seem to be much to busy, obsessing over non-existent things like "Micro-agressions" or "hetero-normative cis-gender oppression", to pay attention to, let alone acknowledge, the enormous global macro-aggressions their own country is engaged in on a world-wide scale.

Thirdeye | Aug 17, 2017 3:24:12 PM | 52
But, unlike the Democrats, the current White House crew at least claim to have plans to achieve it.
Is there a "don't" missing from that sentence?

I must disagree that DPRK nuclear missiles are a qualitatively similar threat to those possessed by the Soviet Union and China. DPRK's guiding Suche ideology is a literal cult that goes far beyond the cult-of-personality that held sway over the Soviet Union and China when Stalin and Mao ruled. And by the time the Soviets developed delivery capabilities Stalin was dead and his cult was done. By the time the Chinese developed delivery capabilities Mao was declining into figurehead status and Zhou Enlai, who as commander of the PLA realized how weak China really was militarily, had no illusions about what would happen in a military confrontation with the US. But DPRK is still ruled by a cult that believes the Kims are ordained with supernatural powers that allowed them to drive the Japanese off the peninsula then fight off an American "invasion." They truly don't mention the role of the Soviets and the Chinese in saving their bacon. In terms of face-saving, the Kims have set the bar pretty high for themselves by fostering their cult. Their legitimacy would be threatened if their statecraft as rational actors undermined their Suche cult.

DPRK have been rogue actors against ROK and Japan out of sheer spitefulness, fully exploiting the umbrella provided by the Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Assistance with China. They have done extraterritorial kidnappings and murders not for perceived strategic reasons but merely to intimidate. DPRK has pointedly refused to enter talks for a formal peace between them and the ROK. Those kinds of motives do not bespeak of someone who can be trusted with nukes.

Charles R | Aug 17, 2017 3:39:13 PM | 53
Posted by: RUKidding | Aug 17, 2017 12:23:40 PM
Bannon is someone whom I hold quite responsible for contributing to the rise of White Supremacy in the USA, which I consider a clear and present danger. Bannon's dismissive hand waving yesterday is meant to dissemble. Guess some are willing to buy what he was selling yesterday. Not me.

What are your reasons for believing this about Bannon? What counts as contributing, and how did you come to your decision?

It's not that I don't believe you. It's rather important to establish in what way his words (whether the ones you found or the recent ones in American Prospect ) are lies or misdirection, so that I, and anyone interested, can evaluate this for ourselves and come to similar or different conclusions.

stonebird | Aug 17, 2017 3:40:47 PM | 54
I don't think Bannon wants a "trade" war with China but he is right that there is an economic war going on. The "silk roads" and the various new organisations that the Chinese-Russians have set up, (Major Banks, "Swift" equivalent, Glossnass satellites, card payment systems, industrial independence, and food self-sufficiency etc), plus the use of currencies other than the dollar - are all examples of a break-away from a US-EU domination.

However, they have not suddenly introduced everything at once to "bring the US house down". Why? One possible reason could be that they are expecting the US to collapse anyway. Another is that viable alternatives also take time to set up.

b has mentioned the "grown ups" v the Idealogues". The impact of the military on the economic war seems to be underestimated. How much longer can the US afford the more than trillion dollars per year of the "visible" arms? This does not include hidden costs ("Intelligence agencies and pork). Nor does it include costs borne by other countries. ie. Italy has about 80 US bases (the most in the EU) and about 77 nuclear warheads on its soil. Italy PAYS for those bases, and even that does not include infrastucture (roads, increased airport capacity, sewage, water mains, etc) which are paid for by the Italians themselves. Other countries will have similar systems. Some like Kuwait are "paying" back the amounts spent on arms for example.
The total cost is astronomical.

A brief reminder the USSR collapsed because of massive overspending on arms and military projects - leaving the rest of the economy in the lurch. Presumably the Chinese and Russians are expecting the same thing to happen again.

(Aside - yes, you can print dollars as a sovereign state, but printing roubles didn't help the soviets either)
So McMasters and the others are in fact just spoilt brats who think that the good times are forever.
----
One example of the new "bluff-calling" cheaper method of economic warfare (*NK is the another) were the recent NATO/US manoeuvres in Georgia (country) on the anniversary of the Georgian invasion of South Ossetia. The number of troops and means involved would have been enough to carry out a "surprise" attack this time too. The Russians - sent in Putin, who declared that the Russians supported S.Ossetia and were ready to deal with any threat - exactly as they did "last" time. Cost? One plane trip.

(*The NK threat by the US would have seen about 40'000 men from S. Korea and Japan sent against about 700'000 motivated local troops and massive artillery arrays. It was a non-starter, even with nukes)

Tom in AZ | Aug 17, 2017 4:03:19 PM | 55
thirdeye @52

You are forgetting to mention the main sticking point to talks is our refusal to halt our annual̶d̶e̶f̶e̶n̶s̶i̶v̶e̶ ̶d̶r̶i̶l̶l̶s̶ invasion practice before they will come to the table. At least from what I read.

Thirdeye | Aug 17, 2017 4:04:22 PM | 56
54

Even with China's international financial position growing more robust with SWIFT independence, AIDB, the New Silk Road and such, they still have an interest in the Dollar-based western financial system as long as they can make money off of it. They are not going to shoot themselves in the foot by deliberately causing it to collapse. They might even prop it up in a crisis, but I suspect they would drive a hard bargain.

@Madderhatter67 | Aug 17, 2017 4:09:49 PM | 57
Thirdeye says, "But DPRK is still ruled by a cult that believes the Kims are ordained with supernatural powers." What is American Exceptionalism?


MCMASTER: Says classic deterrence strategy won't work with NK.

"Deterrence is a strategy intended to dissuade an adversary from taking an action not yet started, or to prevent them from doing something that another state desires."

Classic deterrence strategy IS working for NK perfectly.

RUKidding | Aug 17, 2017 4:31:17 PM | 60
@53 Charles R: fair enough question.

What I base my analysis of Bannon is his leadership at Bretibart which may or may not be continuing right now. Just read Breitbart if you think Bannon isn't fully behind the White Supremacists rising up right now.

somebody | Aug 17, 2017 5:26:37 PM | 64
35
Steve Bannon is a fascist.

exhibit A
Steve Bannon Allies with Catholic Theo-Fascism Against Pope Francis

exhibit B
Steve Bannon shares a fascist's obsession with cleansing, apocalyptic war. And now he's in the White House

exhibit C
Generation Zero - Bannons Film using the theory of the fourth turning

The idea that people (a people) have to suffer a big war in order to cleanse themselves from moral depravity is fascism pure and simple as who should force people to do this but a dictator.

Greg M | Aug 17, 2017 6:15:08 PM | 67
All one has to do to know what Bannon's position on Iran is to read Breitbart on any given day. Unless we are supposed to believe that Bannon's opinions are not reflected by the website he ran for four years. Bannon is for war against Islam in general, there is nothing "realist" about his foreign policy.
Thirdeye | Aug 17, 2017 6:15:20 PM | 68
55 Tom in AZ

That's a different issue from entering talks for a formal peace with with ROK. DPRK has been refusing that for years. Did you ever consider that DPRK's constant saber rattling against ROK was what lent impetus to US exercises in the region in the first place? The US knows that China would not tolerate a US invasion of DPRK. Why take the risk of invading across great defensive terrain when you can simply destroy?

57 Madhatter67

Thirdeye says, "But DPRK is still ruled by a cult that believes the Kims are ordained with supernatural powers." What is American Exceptionalism?

That's a dumb analogy and a pathetic attempt at deflection. Criticize American Exceptionalism all you want, but don't compare it to a supernaturalist cult. That's just stupid.

DPRK has a history of doing whatever they think they can get away with, exploiting their treaty with China. If their delusional Suche ideology leads them to miscalculate or paints them into a corner trying to prop it up, it could lead to war.

If there's any bright spot in the whole picture it's China's chilly stance towards DPRK after recent events. The excesses of DPRK's ruling cult have occurred largely because they figured China had their back. But China's regional interests have changed dramatically over the past 30 years. ROK is no longer a competitive threat to China and is economically more important to China than DPRK ever was. DPRK's military power is of much less benefit to China than it was in the past. It might even be considered a liability.

61 Stonebird

It wouldn't be cash, it would be be assets and/or the means of controlling them. Big Chinese money is already coming into the west coast of the US and Canada. Oh well, we fucked things up here; maybe the Chinese will do a better job.

Greg M | Aug 17, 2017 6:20:48 PM | 69
@10, this article was written while Bannon was heading Breitbart, bragging about being "conceived in Israel." http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2015/11/17/breitbart-news-network-born-in-the-usa-conceived-in-israel/

Bannon is against the nuclear deal, and is one of the top people in the administration arguing for Trump to move the Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Bannon has been cited as promoting Sheldon Adelson's Israel policy in meetings with Trump. http://www.timesofisrael.com/pro-abbas-lauder-hawkish-adelson-battling-to-influence-trump-on-mideast/ If anything Bannon/Breitbart push an even harder line on Israel than most politicians and media do.

blues | Aug 17, 2017 6:27:33 PM | 70
First of all, I will now declare that I am 99% confused! So please let me review the 1% that comes through my little keyhole. What has been said?

/~~~~~~~~~~
<< = Just Sayin' | Aug 17, 2017 11:01:18 AM | 30

Anyone with any intelligence would be wise to treat with great caution anything Bannon claims in public interviews about himself or his alleged political beliefs,
\~~~~~~~~~~

Well sure! The guy's a political operative -- One does not get to be a political operative by being some kind of a Dudly Do-Right. Damn.

/~~~~~~~~~~
<< = les7 | Aug 17, 2017 12:27:02 PM | 35

@12... "Bannon is a fascist" I'm not so sure. Mussolini defined fascism as being an alliance of corporate and state powers... but Bannon (and most of his followers) have no trust in the corporate sector as they [the corporate sector] are to a large degree Globalists - they used the US and then threw it aside in pursuit of profit elsewhere. For that, he would even call them traitors. So you could call him a Nationalist.
\~~~~~~~~~~

Well since we can't believe anything from Bannon... And aside from that I am sick of hearing Mussolini's definition of fascism -- After all, he was a psycho-villain -- so why believe it?!

UNTIL WE HAVE STRATEGIC HEDGE SIMPLE SCORE VOTING WE WILL BE SADDLED WITH THE TWO-PARTY "SYSTEM" (really only one party). Who cares if we really have no choice whatsoever. We are held hostage to the false alternatives of the vast legion of the election methods cognoscenti.

See my simple solution soon at Global Mutiny!

Greg M | Aug 17, 2017 6:30:54 PM | 71
@31, "except for the Zion-flavored warmongering." I don't know about you but completely disqualifies him in my view.
Greg M | Aug 17, 2017 6:34:43 PM | 72
@35, please refer to post 69. If Bannon was not a Zionist, he would not have ran a site which brags of being conceived in Israel and which pushes a harder line on Israel than almost any other, and he would not be promoting Adelson's Israel policy within the administration.
Curtis | Aug 17, 2017 7:03:10 PM | 73
Bannon makes sense. That must be why many want him gone especially the neocons. As to North Korea, the US should have admitted "facts on the ground" long ago and worked to sign the official end of the war and work to get the two Koreas talking and working together.
anoymous | Aug 17, 2017 7:41:46 PM | 74
"That's a different issue from entering talks for a formal peace with with ROK. DPRK has been refusing that for years."

I doubt any substantial transcripts from early talks will ever be released, so whoever had diplomats offering the 'fairest' compromises for terms of an early framework (resulting in a later settlement) cannot be known (regarding specifics).

If I remember correctly, there has been at least three Chinese-sponsored peace conferences (on Korea) since 2007, where the general position of the U.S. was: North Korea had to freeze total nuclear production, accept existing and additional (U.N.) verification missions, and dismantle all warheads PRIOR to the signing of any peace treaty. How is demanding unconditional surrender not intransigence? Are we going to just pretend the United States hadn't sponsored military coups in Venezuela and Honduras and hadn't invaded Iraq and Libya (in a similar time frame)?

During peace talks, any terms are argued, refused, and eventually compromised (usually over years and sometimes over decades). Why presume the United States and South Korea had the fairest offers and general settlements in a handful of conferences (especially when we have no transcripts)?

"Did you ever consider that DPRK's constant saber rattling against ROK was what lent impetus to US exercises in the region in the first place?"

You're presuming your case and not giving specific information on what you might know.

Personally, I don't know who 'started it' (I would guess Japan 'started it' by forcing through the Protectorate Treaty of 1905, or the United States 'started it' by forcing through the Amity and Commerce Treaty of 1858), but if North Korea isn't testing missiles near Guam and the United States isn't flying specific planes over South Korea, a compromise WAS made this last week, and more can be made to ensure peace.

Why do any Americans oppose this?

[Aug 15, 2017] Israel's Chorus Sings Again

Aug 15, 2017 | www.unz.com

Tillerson has long been a target of the American-Jewish media because of the perception that oil company executives are traditionally not friendly to Israel. There have also been claims that he is "less hard" on Iran than the Israel Lobby would like. But what Tillerson is really experiencing is the hard truth regarding Israel: that its Lobby and friends in congress are both unrelenting and unforgiving. Even when they get 90% of the pie they are furious over someone else getting 10%.

Donald Trump's National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster has also been under siege for the past several weeks and his "loyalty" to Israel is now under the microscope. McMaster made the mistake of firing three National Security Council officials that were brought in by his predecessor Michael Flynn. The three – Ezra Cohen-Watnick, Rich Higgins, and Derek Harvey – are all regarded by the Israel Lobby as passionately pro-Israel and virulently anti-Iran. It was therefore inevitable that McMaster would take some heat, but the "speed and intensity" of the attacks has surprised even The Atlantic , which failed to note in its thorough examination of the development that while much of the anger flows from extreme right-wing sources there is also considerable pressure coming directly from friends of Israel.

It is interesting to note just how and by whom the argument against McMaster is being framed. Caroline Glick, an American-born Israeli journalist who might reasonably be described as extreme right wing, has led the charge in a posting that described McMaster as "deeply hostile to Israel." She cites anonymous sources to claim that he refers to Israel as an occupying power and also has the audacity to claim that there once existed a place called Palestine. Oh, and he apparently also supports the nuclear agreement with Iran, as does Tillerson.

McMaster's other crimes consist of allegedly altering the agenda of Donald Trump's recent trip to Israel in ways that are somewhat arcane but which no doubt contributed to Glick's sense of grievance. What is most interesting, however, is the unstated premise supporting Glick's point of view, which is that the United States national security team should be subject to approval by Israel. Her view is not dissimilar to what lies behind the attacks on Tillerson and the real irony is that neither Tillerson nor McMaster has actually demonstrated any genuine animosity towards Israel, so the whole process is part of a perverse mindset that inevitably sees nearly everything as a threat.

We Americans are way beyond the point where we might simply demand that Israel and its partisans butt out of our politics. Israel-firsters are literally deeply embedded everywhere in the media, in politics at all levels, in academia, and in the professions. They are well funded and highly disciplined to respond to any threats to their hegemony. Their policy is to never give an inch on anything relating to Israel and their relentless grinding is characteristic of how they behave. The Israel Lobby controls Congress and can literally get any bill it wants through the legislature. And it also has its hooks in the White House, though the unpredictable Trump obviously makes many American Zionists nervous because it is rightly believed that once the president takes a position on anything he cannot be trusted either to understand what he has committed to or to stick with it subsequently.

So what is to be done? To match the passion of the Israel Lobby we Americans have to become passionate ourselves. Do what they do but in reverse. Write letters to congressmen and newspapers opposing the junkets to Israel. When a congress critter has a town hall, show up and complain about our involvement in the Middle East. Keep mentioning the pocket book issues, i.e. how Israel costs the taxpayer $9 million a day. Explain how its behavior puts our diplomats and soldiers overseas in danger. The reality is that Israel is built on a lot of lies promoted by people who frequently cite the holocaust every time they turn around but who have no actual regard for humanity outside their own tribe. The hypocrisy must stop if the United States is to survive as a nation. Pandering to Israel and engaging in constant wars to directly or indirectly defend it, be they against Iran or in Syria, will wear our country down and erode our freedoms. We are already on a slippery slope and it is past time to put our own interests first.So what is to be done? To match the passion of the Israel Lobby we Americans have to become passionate ourselves. Do what they do but in reverse. Write letters to congressmen and newspapers opposing the junkets to Israel. When a congress critter has a town hall, show up and complain about our involvement in the Middle East. Keep mentioning the pocket book issues, i.e. how Israel costs the taxpayer $9 million a day. Explain how its behavior puts our diplomats and soldiers overseas in danger. The reality is that Israel is built on a lot of lies promoted by people who frequently cite the holocaust every time they turn around but who have no actual regard for humanity outside their own tribe.

The hypocrisy must stop if the United States is to survive as a nation. Pandering to Israel and engaging in constant wars to directly or indirectly defend it, be they against Iran or in Syria, will wear our country down and erode our freedoms. We are already on a slippery slope and it is past time to put our own interests first.So what is to be done? To match the passion of the Israel Lobby we Americans have to become passionate ourselves. Do what they do but in reverse. Write letters to congressmen and newspapers opposing the junkets to Israel. When a congress critter has a town hall, show up and complain about our involvement in the Middle East. Keep mentioning the pocket book issues, i.e. how Israel costs the taxpayer $9 million a day. Explain how its behavior puts our diplomats and soldiers overseas in danger. The reality is that Israel is built on a lot of lies promoted by people who frequently cite the holocaust every time they turn around but who have no actual regard for humanity outside their own tribe. The hypocrisy must stop if the United States is to survive as a nation. Pandering to Israel and engaging in constant wars to directly or indirectly defend it, be they against Iran or in Syria, will wear our country down and erode our freedoms. We are already on a slippery slope and it is past time to put our own interests first.

[Aug 12, 2017] Who Is the Hidden Hand at the NSC

Aug 12, 2017 | talkingpointsmemo.com

Josh Marshall

Mike Flynn has been out at the White House for more than four months. He is, we are told, in the most serious kind of legal trouble. Yet the political ghost of Mike Flynn still seems to be a hidden hand driving outcomes in the Trump White House. Maybe it's even Flynn himself.

Allow me to explain.

On Friday, Foreign Policy published an article explaining that the White House is pushing for widening the war in Syria over Pentagon objections. Look into the details and you see it's more specific than 'widening the war'. It's moving from a near exclusive focus on defeating ISIS to pushing a broader confrontation with Iran, which is of course heavily involved in Syria.

Not only does this run the risk of a major and damaging military confrontation with Iran. It almost certainly complicates or hurts the campaign against ISIS since Iran is itself extremely hostile to ISIS and fighting it on the ground in Iraq and Syria.

So who exactly is "the White House" here?

According to the Foreign Policy piece, it's principally two people. Ezra Cohen-Watnick and Derek Harvey, respectively the chief intelligence adviser at the NSC and the chief Middle East advisor. If that first name rings a bell, it should: Cohen-Watnick is the Flynn protege who was behind the Devin Nunes, Susan Rice "un-masking" nonsense caper. While Cohen-Watnick was up to that mischief, McMaster, as one of his first orders of business was trying to can him .

But he was blocked by Trump and Bannon.

Dereck Harvey is clearly a hawk but he at least seems to be respected within the military and intelligence establishments beyond just Mike Flynn. David Patraeus had him as an advisor and he appears to have held Harvey in high esteem.

There's an additional element to the story that bears directly on the Russia probe.

Remember that the most plausible read of what Cohen-Watnick was doing in that case was trying to surveil the investigation into his boss and mentor, Flynn, and the larger Russia probe. White House Counsel Don McGahn appears to have realized that as soon as Cohen-Watnick brought the "findings" of his "review" to the Counsel's office. McGahn told Cohen-Watnick to stand down. That prompted Cohen-Watnick to pull an end run by going to Nunes.

Here's what I wrote in early April

As even Lake concedes, Rice's alleged actions – if the report is accurate – were almost certainly legal. Most national security experts say they were not only legal but entirely proper. Moreover, the kind of snooping around that Cohen-Watnick was apparently doing could very plausibly be interpreted as an attempt to monitor or interfere with the on-going counter-intelligence probe of Trump associates' ties to Russia. The White House Counsel's job is to protect and look after the legal interests of the President. A good lawyer would likely want to shut that kind of freelancing down right away, especially if what Cohen-Watnick had found didn't amount to anything that helped the President or the White House.

My basic question is: why does Cohen-Watnick still have a job? Maybe McMaster couldn't fire him on day one. But he's had months to establish himself and place his stamp on the NSC.

Who is opposing this at the Pentagon? According to Foreign Policy , it's principally Secretary of Defense Mattis and Joint Chiefs Chair Dunford. Foreign Policy is less clear on where McMaster stands but assumes (I think rightly based on other published reports) he is in the latter (Pentagon) group. (Remember, that Mattis is considered a major Iran hawk; the fact that he opposes this speaks volumes.)

Now, conflicts between Departments (State, Defense, CIA, et al.) and the NSC are common in American foreign policy. The NSC often wins them. That is not odd in itself. What is odd is that in this case the "NSC" is not clearly being driven by the President's National Security Advisor. That's highly odd.

Indeed, if we look at the current NSC it seems to still be stocked in many cases by Mike Flynn's people. Again, not entirely out of the norm. A new boss isn't really in a position to fire everyone at once. But Mike Flynn isn't any former NSC boss. He resigned in disgrace and is at the center of an investigation that is consuming the whole country. Copious reporting says that he has not been permitted to fire a number of Flynn people.

Who exactly is keeping Cohen-Watnick and others like him in place? Remember, this isn't my imagination or speculation. McMaster tried to fire him as soon as he took over the NSC. More than not being fired, what juice does he have that is allowing him to carry on major inter-agency battles to which the NSC chief, his nominal boss, is either a bystander or an opponent? You don't stay in a position like that against that kind of opposition – and certainly not with that much power – unless someone very powerful is on your side.

There is some unseen power center at work here. Is it the President? Is it Steve Bannon? Is it Flynn? From what I can tell it's not clear. But it seems pretty important to find out.

[Aug 12, 2017] Memo by Former Aide Warns of Leftist Conspiracy Against Trump

It is not hard left. This is neocons and neoliberals.
Notable quotes:
"... The episode came to light during what appears to be General McMaster's slow-rolling purge against hard-line aides on his staff who were close to Michael T. Flynn, ..."
"... Last week, Mr. McMaster dismissed Ezra Cohen-Watnick, who ran the council's intelligence division and whose ouster had been opposed by Mr. Bannon and Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser. ..."
"... efore arriving at the White House, Mr. Higgins had been outspoken. He appeared on Sean Hannity's talk radio show and on other conservative news outlets last year to share his views, including that the Muslim Brotherhood had taken over the decision-making in the White House during the Obama administration, ..."
"... Get politics and Washington news updates via Facebook , Twitter and the Morning Briefing newsletter . ..."
Aug 12, 2017 | www.msn.com

The seven-page memo by Rich Higgins, who had been a director for strategic planning at the council, is a manifesto against multiculturalism and political correctness, and a call, using apocalyptic language, for the president to return to the message that animated his campaign.

Sign Up For the Morning Briefing Newsletter

While it is not clear the document ever reached Mr. Trump's desk, its emergence highlights the deep divide within the White House between Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the national security adviser, and harder line officials aligned with Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump's chief strategist, over the administration's direction.

With its highly charged language and overtly political tone, the memo, which Mr. Higgins drafted on his White House computer and circulated to colleagues, set off alarm bells inside the West Wing. Most documents emanating from the National Security Council amount to dryly worded policy dissertations and intricate planning documents.

"This is not politics as usual but rather political warfare at an unprecedented level that is openly engaged in the direct targeting of a seated president through manipulation of the news cycle," Mr. Higgins wrote in the memo, a copy of which was obtained by Foreign Policy and published on Thursday. "Recognizing in candidate Trump an existential threat to cultural Marxist memes that dominate the prevailing cultural narrative, those that benefit recognize the threat he poses and seek his destruction."

Among those threatened by Mr. Trump is the "hard left," Mr. Higgins wrote. He said it was "aligned with lslamist organizations," including the Muslim Brotherhood and the Council on American-Islamic Relations; the American Civil Liberties Union and Black Lives Matter; and the United Nations.

"Complicating the current situation, many close to the president have pushed him off his message when he was candidate Trump thus alienating him from his base thereby isolating him in the process," Mr. Higgins wrote. He was echoing the concerns of some of Mr. Trump's earliest supporters, who have recently stepped up a public campaign to press for General McMaster's ouster. "When President Trump is not candidate Trump, he becomes dangerously exposed."

Mr. Higgins did not respond to messages requesting comment on Friday. A White House spokesman also declined to comment.

But two administration officials with knowledge of the situation said that after Mr. Higgins had circulated the document, which was widely viewed as inappropriate, he was ordered to resign. His resignation was demanded by Maj. Gen. Ricky Waddell, the deputy national security adviser, after consulting with General McMaster, according to the two officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it.

The episode came to light during what appears to be General McMaster's slow-rolling purge against hard-line aides on his staff who were close to Michael T. Flynn, Mr. Trump's first national security adviser, and shared Mr. Bannon's antiglobalist views. General McMaster succeeded Mr. Flynn after he resigned in February after the revelation that he misled Vice President Mike Pence and others about a telephone call with Russia's ambassador.

Last week, Mr. McMaster dismissed Ezra Cohen-Watnick, who ran the council's intelligence division and whose ouster had been opposed by Mr. Bannon and Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser. Derek Harvey, the top Middle East adviser, and Tera Dahl, the deputy chief of staff and a former writer for Breitbart News, which Mr. Bannon once ran, also resigned last month. The departure of Mr. Higgins as a result of his memo was first reported by The Atlantic .

The housecleaning has inflamed conservatives who have long been wary of General McMaster. Frank Gaffney Jr., the president of the Center for Security Policy and the architect of a public campaign to lobby for the general's firing, has singled out Mr. Higgins, a former Department of Defense employee, as a cause célèbre and on Friday called his memo "required reading."

"The document's alarming depiction of a multidimensional campaign to take down the president of the United States, backed by rigorous analysis, makes clear that the man deserving termination is not Rich Higgins, but the general who punished him -- and, thereby, tried to suppress his warning," Mr. Gaffney said in a statement on Friday.

Paul Nehlen, who is mounting his second Republican primary challenge against Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, posted a message on Twitter last week urging activists to call the White House and tell Mr. Trump "we want #McMaster fired for exiting Rich Higgins and other warriors fighting the Islamists."

Yet Mr. Trump has appeared to be unmoved by the campaign to remove his national security adviser. On Thursday, the president said he "absolutely" had full confidence in General McMaster, adding: "He's our friend. He's my friend. And he's a very talented man. I like him and I respect him."

B efore arriving at the White House, Mr. Higgins had been outspoken. He appeared on Sean Hannity's talk radio show and on other conservative news outlets last year to share his views, including that the Muslim Brotherhood had taken over the decision-making in the White House during the Obama administration, and that the concept of Islamophobia had been invented by terrorists to squelch critical thinking in the West.

In a video posted on Friday by the liberal-leaning group Right Wing Watch, Mr. Higgins is seen giving a talk in which he said administrations of both parties were to blame for the failure of the United States to curb terrorism.

"You'd sit in these meetings in the Bush administration, and the Muslim Brotherhood guys -- they'd be in the meetings, at the table with you; in the Obama administration, they're running the meetings," Mr. Higgins said in the video, which appeared to have been recorded last year. "You don't have to hate all Muslims -- all right, I have Muslim friends -- but you have to hate Islam."

Get politics and Washington news updates via Facebook , Twitter and the Morning Briefing newsletter .

[Aug 09, 2017] Economic Principals a weekly column about economics and politics, formerly of The Boston Globe, independent since 2002 Page

Notable quotes:
"... The New New Deal:The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era ..."
Aug 09, 2017 | www.economicprincipals.com
The New New Deal:The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era , author Michael Grunwald describes the evolution of the Republican leadership's thinking the wake of Democratic victories – not just the White House, but control of both houses of Congress. Eric Cantor (R-Virginia) was the minority whip then, transparently coveting minority leader John Boehner's job. Cantor's deputy, Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), and Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) were said to be the GOP's "young guns." Rep. Mike Pence (R-Indiana) chaired an initial conference of the party's leadership in Annapolis. Grunwald wrote:

The new leaders who gathered in Annapolis had a new mantra. Our mistake was abandoning our principles, not following our principles. They saw John McCain as a typical Republican In Name Only. Who had sought electoral salvation in ideological equivocation – and look what happened to him. They even revised their opinions of George W. Bush, who in retrospect seemed less a conservative hero, more a big-spending apostate.

"Most important, Republicans need to stick together as a team," exhorted minority leader Senator Mitch McConnell. And so they did. The Tea Party election came next, in 2010. Republicans took back the House. Obama was re-elected in 2012. In 2014, Republicans took back the Senate. And by 2016, the strategy of full-throated opposition seemed to have worked. Republicans won the White House.

At least in the matter of health care legislation, the Republicans clearly fired the first shot, opposing a program of their own invention just because the opposition party had embraced it. Let McCain's exaggeration on this count pass. In the offer of olive branches, no more than in lapidary inscriptions , is a man upon his oath. The path back to the state of mind Senate rules describe as "normal order" is much as McCain described it:

Incremental progress, compromises that each side criticize but also accept, just plain muddling through to chip away at problems and keep our enemies from doing their worst isn't glamorous or exciting. It doesn't feel like a political triumph. But it's usually the most we can expect from our system of government, operating in a country as diverse and quarrelsome and free as ours.

In "The Sanctimony and Sin of G.O.P, 'Moderates' ," New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, writing last week before McCain's Thursday vote against his party, invited readers "to consider the awfulness of Senator John McCain." Indeed, Krugman condemned all politicians "who pretend to be open-minded, decry partisanship, tut-tut about incivility and act as enablers for the extremists again and again."

I started with McCain because so many journalists still fall for his pose as an independent-minded maverick, ignoring the reality that he's a reliable yes-man whenever it matters

Krugman has got it exactly backwards. On the two occasions of the last ten years when it has mattered most, McCain stood in the center, with the majority consensus, against his party's leaders (and, often enough, in matters of lesser issues as well, especially immigration and campaign finance). Krugman, himself an unbridled partisan, should stop insisting there are no Republican moderates. The road back to "regular order" begins with giving credit where credit is due.

[Aug 09, 2017] Trump adviser fired over memo warning of globalist-Islamist 'deep state'

Aug 08, 2017 | www.wnd.com
Rich Higgins

Rich Higgins

But the fired adviser, Rich Higgans, is only the latest chip to fall in an ongoing "purge" of "America-first" stalwarts from the National Security Council.

The idea that an alliance of Obama holdovers consisting of globalists and Islamists are working inside the government as part of a "deep state" effort to destroy the Trump presidency has been a common theme put forth by outside analysts trying to explain the intrigue behind Trump's first six months in the White House.

But the idea apparently was not confined to outsiders. Higgins, a high-level official inside the president's National Security Council, sent a memo up the chain of command in May, warning of just such a plot. Higgins' memo caught the eye of McMaster and cost him his job.

According to a report Wednesday by the Atlantic , McMaster removed Higgins from his post as director of strategic planning on July 21 after reading the memo, which was considered too "conspiratorial."

The memo alleged that leftists, globalists, Islamists and "deep state" actors are engaged in "political warfare" against Trump. It states:

"Through the campaign, candidate Trump tapped into a deep vein of concern among many citizens that America is at risk and slipping away. Globalists and Islamists recognize that for their visions to succeed, America, both as an ideal and as a national and political identity, must be destroyed."

The memo described the insurrection against Trump as "Maoist" in nature.

"In Maoist insurgencies, the formation of a counter-state is essential to seizing state power," the memo reads. "Functioning as a hostile complete state acting within an existing state, it has an alternate infrastructure. Political warfare operates as one of the activities of the 'counter-state.'

"Because the left is aligned with Islamist organizations at local, national, and international levels, recognition should be given to the fact that they seamlessly interoperate through coordinated synchronized interactive narratives. These attack narratives are pervasive, full spectrum, and institutionalized at all levels. They operate in social media, television, the 24-hour news cycle in all media and are entrenched at the upper levels of the bureaucracies."

Several sources told the Atlantic they believed the memo made its way to Trump's desk, but that has not been confirmed.

Higgins spent a little more than two months on the job before he was ousted. Prior to joining the government, Higgins hit on similar issues in his writings, asserting Islam is in an alliance with secular, Marxist-oriented global elites in an effort to destroy America.

"National Security officials are prohibited from developing a factual understanding of Islamic threat doctrines, preferring instead to depend upon 5th column Muslim Brotherhood cultural advisors," he wrote in a September 2016 op-ed for the Washington Times .

The exit of Higgins and another official within the NSC apparatus, Senior Director for the Middle East Derek Harvey, could be an indication that the "deep state," if it exists, is gunning for its ultimate enemy within the White House – former Breitbart executive chairman Steve Bannon.

Bannon, the president's chief strategist, has already been removed, at McMaster's behest, from the daily briefings of the NSC.

McMaster recoils at 'list' of Obama holdovers

Like Higgins, Harvey is a Bannon ally. Harvey reportedly kept a list of Obama holdovers who were seeking to undermine the Trump agenda.

McMaster declined to fire any of the persons on the list and, in fact, made statements at a NSC town-hall meeting that "there is no such thing as a holdover." He said career federal staffers were among the most loyal public servants.

Yet, that would seem to conflict with comments made by Obama's own top domestic-policy adviser, Cecilia Muñoz, in April 2015. As reported by WND , Muñoz, speaking at a symposium of the White House Task Force on New Americans live-streamed over the Internet, said it was her top priority to "institutionalize" Obama's policies throughout all federal agencies so they would live on long after she and her boss left the White House.

In addition to the terminations of Harvey and Higgins, McMaster also purged from the NSC staff Tera Dahl, a former Breitbart writer and congressional aide to Michele Bachmann.

A fourth Trump conservative, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, has been fired from his position as senior director for intelligence on the National Security Council, according to a report by Conservative Review on Wednesday .

As for the future, continued volatility could be in the cards, depending on McMaster's ability to retain the president's confidence, said Philip Haney, a former DHS immigration officer who co-authored the whistleblower book " See Something, Say Nothing ."

"If you are Trump, you need to realize your people are being purged out of the agencies, one by one, and if there are no holdovers why is McMaster firing people?" Haney told WND.

"The people he's letting go are not Obama holdovers. He's keeping those designated as holdovers and purging the people who helped President Trump get elected. So if he's seeking unity, he seems to be replacing people who are loyal to Trump or prominently supportive of Trump.

"If you are (presidential deputy assistant) Sebastian Gorka and Steve Bannon, you've got to be pretty nervous right now."

More important than the faces of the people leaving or entering the administration is the future of American foreign policy as it relates to Islamic terrorism and its more subtle counterpart – civilizational jihad.

Higgins may have tipped his hand to what he believes a responsible national security policy would look like in his op-ed last fall in the Washington Times.

He wrote :

A strategic reassessment of the entire combating terrorism effort that is free from politically correct nonsense is long overdue. The "Islam has nothing to do with terrorism" narratives have effectively shut down the intelligence process for the war in any meaningful sense. Sure, we CT officers could look at organizations and people and places, some of which had Islamic names, but we could never dig into the political and ideological reasons the enemy was attacking us – which is supposed to be the first order of business in any strategic threat assessment.

He tried to provide a vivid picture to his higher ups of what he believed they were up against, and he was rewarded with a pink slip.

[Aug 02, 2017] Sanctions, smoke and mirrors from a kindergarten on LSD by Saker

Notable quotes:
"... "Israel Lobby" is, of course, a misnomer. The Israel Lobby has very little interest in Israel as a country or, for that matter, for the Israeli people. If anything, the Israel Lobby ought to be called the "Neocon Lobby". ..."
"... For one thing, it does not represent US interests. Neither does it represent the interests of Israel. Rather, it represents the interests of a specific subset of the US ruling elites, in reality much smaller than 1% of the population, which all share in the one common ideology of worldwide domination typical of the Neocons. ..."
"... Keep in mind that the historical record shows that while the Neocons are fantastically driven, they are not particularly smart. Yes, they do have the kind of rabid ideological determination which allows them to achieve a totally disproportionate influence over US policies, but when you actually read what they write and listen to what they say you immediately realize that these are rather mediocre individuals with a rather parochial mindset which makes them both very predictable and very irritating to the people around them. ..."
"... urbi et orbi ..."
"... Zero effects? Speaking of changing policy is true but not that it won't create troubles for Russia. Anyway, any aggression requires swift and ruthless response otherwise it invites more of aggression. Putin is wrong to behave the way he behaves. There must be zero patience and head for an eye response. Than aggression stops. ..."
"... someone should explain to "The Saker" that the neocons were well in control before Obama. How do you think we got into Iraq? And what is the "semblance of sanity" he thinks we should return to? "rights on climate change and refugee admissions" Seriously? Oh please. ..."
"... The Syrian Government did not ask Washington to intervene, so under international law American intervention and bombings there are as legitimate as "Saving Vietnam from the commies", "Bringing democracy to Iraq", or . the list is long. No adventure on that list turned out well for America or anyone else, with the exception of the merchants of death. ..."
"... This could no doubt be more accurately stated as, the Israel Lobby has nothing to do with the interests of the Israeli people. It seems to exist for the benefit of the ultra moneybag crowd and its deranged puppets such as Netanyahooooo! ..."
"... anything is possible with this gang of criminal sociopaths. Their poster boy is now an insatiable warmonger who is suffering from brain cancer! How could things get any worse? ..."
"... After the impressive military victories the US has achieved against such formidable foes as Panama, Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, mighty Grenada, Serbia and Libya, taking on Russia should be a "cakewalk", right? And to think there is a sizable demographic in this country which still believes this! Unbelievable. The last time that the US took on a military opponent at rough conventional parity with it (the Chinese in Korea) the result was a stalemate. To paraphrase Cardinal Newman, "To be deep in history is to cease to be a neocon." ..."
"... I'm afraid you're right. But I remain puzzled at how 98 Senators could have been lined up for that stupidity. ..."
"... The current crisis between the largely special interest owned American executive branch and the largely failing reformer Donald Trump can be a historic opportunity for Europe to mend the artificial divide between the European Union and Russia. The crisis can also be a golden opportunity to shake the corrupt system of government in the USA. These opportunities are subject to having strong and free leaders who can capitalize on the hubris of the ignorant senators and representatives on Capitol Hill. ..."
"... This sanctions bill is a domestic US matter. The Republicans are trying to pacify the Democrats' rage and bitterness over losing the election. It is most convenient for them to adopt the canard blaming Russia for the result of the election. The voters knew exactly where Trump stands on Russia, so even if Russia leaked the DNC and Podesta emails, there was no theft of the election. Voters were not mislead about positions, and knew very well the Democrats accuse the Russian of the leaks. ..."
"... We have an old saying: when you're enemy's committing suicide, stand back and let him. That's what Washington is doing now: committing suicide. ..."
"... I don't believe the "with every fiber of their being" part. This is just wishful thinking on the part of Saker. If this were so, they wouldn't just be grumbling or trusting their corrupt representatives. Average Americans still elect people like McCain, Graham and Schumer and I haven't seen any mass anti-war demonstrations in Washington or New York or anywhere else. ..."
"... Oil is the only reason the global population has quadrupled in only the last 100 years. The Industrial Revolution was not enough. Oil is necessary to maintain this population and keep it fed. ..."
"... Much is made of this so-called "neocon" business. They appear to be a current highly aggressive strain of American expansionism. However, there were no "neocons" in 1898 when the US saw it's opportunity to attack Spain and grab away it's holdings. The US has been aggressively expanding ever since, inserting itself into both world wars at the very last minute in order to gain as much for itself as possible. ..."
"... And, yes, that another THING; this time the opponent can retaliate hard. Nukes do make all that difficult to execute. ..."
Jul 31, 2017 | www.unz.com

The latest US sanctions and the Russian retaliatory response have resulted in a torrent of speculations in the official media and the blogosphere – everybody is trying to make sense of a situation which appears to make no sense at all. Why in the world would the US Senate adopt new sanctions against Russia when Russia has done absolutely nothing to provoke such a vote? Except for Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders, every single US Senator voted in favor of these sanctions. Why?! This is even more baffling when you consider that the single biggest effect of these sanctions will be to trigger a rift, and possibly even counter-sanctions , between the US and the EU. What is absolutely clear is that these sanctions will have exactly zero effect on Russia and I don't think anybody is seriously expecting the Russians to change anything at all in their policies. And yet, every Senator except Paul and Sanders voted for this. Does that make any sense to you?

Let's try to figure out what is going on here.

First, a simple reminder: like all US politicians, from the county level to the US Congress, Senators have only one consideration when then vote – "what's in it for me?". The very last thing which any US Senator really cares about are the real life consequences of his/her vote. This means that to achieve the kind of quasi unanimity (98%) for a totally stupid vote there was some kind of very influential lobby which used some very forceful "arguments" to achieve such a vote. Keep in mind that the Republicans in the Senate knew that they were voting against the wishes of their President. And yet every single one except for Rand Paul voted for these sanctions, that should tell you something about the power of the lobby which pushed for them. So who would have such power?

The website " Business Pundit: Expert Driven " has helpfully posted an article which lists the 10 top most powerful lobbies in Washington, DC . They are (in the same order as in the original article)

Okay, why not? We could probably rearrange them, give them different labels, add a couple (like the "Prison Industrial Complex" or the "Intelligence Community") but all in all this is an okay list. Any name on it jump at you yet?

One could make the case that most of these lobbies need an enemy to prosper, this is certainly true of the Military-Industrial Complex and the associated high tech industry, and one could also reasonably claim that Big Oil, Mining and Agribusiness see Russia has a potential competitor. But a closer look at the interests these lobbies represent will tell you that they are mostly involved in domestic politics and that faraway Russia, with her relatively small economy, is just not that important to them. This is also clearly true for Big Pharma, the AARP and the NRA. Which leaves the Israel Lobby as the only potential candidate.

"Israel Lobby" is, of course, a misnomer. The Israel Lobby has very little interest in Israel as a country or, for that matter, for the Israeli people. If anything, the Israel Lobby ought to be called the "Neocon Lobby". Furthermore, we also have to keep in mind that the Neocon Lobby is unlike any other lobby in the list above. For one thing, it does not represent US interests. Neither does it represent the interests of Israel. Rather, it represents the interests of a specific subset of the US ruling elites, in reality much smaller than 1% of the population, which all share in the one common ideology of worldwide domination typical of the Neocons.

These are the folks who in spite of their 100% ironclad control of the media and Congress lost the Presidential election to Donald Trump and who are now dead set to impeach him. These are the folks who simply use "Russia" as a propagandistic fulcrum to peddle the notion that Trump and his entourage are basically Russian agents and Trump himself as a kind of "Presidential Manchurian Candidate".

Keep in mind that the historical record shows that while the Neocons are fantastically driven, they are not particularly smart. Yes, they do have the kind of rabid ideological determination which allows them to achieve a totally disproportionate influence over US policies, but when you actually read what they write and listen to what they say you immediately realize that these are rather mediocre individuals with a rather parochial mindset which makes them both very predictable and very irritating to the people around them. They always overplay their hand and then end up stunned and horrified when all their conspiracies and plans come tumbling down on them.

I submit that this is exactly what is happening right now.

First, the Neocons lost the elections. For them, it was a shock and a nightmare. The "deplorables" voted against the unambiguously clear "propaganda instructions" given to them by the media. Next, the Neocons turned their rabid hatred against Trump and they succeeded at basically neutering him, but only at the cost of terribly weakening the USA themselves! Think of it: 6 months plus into the Trump administration the USA has already managed to directly threaten Iran, Syria, the DPRK and in all cases with exactly zero results. Worse, Trump's behavior towards Europe and the anti-Trump propaganda inside Europe has now put the EU and the US on a collision course. This is absolutely amazing: for the Russians the current tensions between the EU and the USA are a dream come true and yet they had absolutely nothing to do with it – it was all done by the self-defeating stupidity of the Americans who created this situation completely ex nihilo --

So while Kim Jong-un fires missiles on the 4th of July, the Syrian Army is closing in on Deir ez-Zor, the Ukraine is turning into Somalia, the Russian economy is back to growth and Putin's popularity is as high as ever, the Neocons are totally freaking out and, as is typical of a person losing control, they don't do things which would make sense but do what they are used to doing: slapping sanctions (even if they are totally ineffective) and sending messages (even if they are totally ignored). In other words, the Neocons are now engaging in magical thinking, the deliberately chose to delude themselves about their power and influence and they are coping with their full-spectrum failure at everything by pretending that their votes in Congress matter. They truth is – they don't.

Here is where we need to turn to the other misconception in this matter, that the Russian reaction to these latest sanctions is really about these sanctions. It is not.

First, let's tackle the myth that these sanctions are hurting Russia. They really don't. Even the 100% russophobic Bloomberg is beginning to realize that, if anything, all these sanctions have made both Putin and Russia stronger . Second, there is the issue of timing: instead of slapping on some counter-sanctions the Russians suddenly decided to dramatically reduce the US diplomatic personnel in Russia and confiscate a two US diplomatic facilities in a clear retaliation for the expulsion of Russian diplomats and seizure of Russian diplomatic facilities by Obama last year. Why now?

Many observers say that the Russians are "naive" about the West and the USA, that Putin was "hoping" for better relations and that this hope was paralyzing him. Others say that Putin is "weak" or even "in cahoots" with the West. This is all total nonsense.

People tend to forget that Putin was an officer in the foreign intelligence branch of the KGB, the so-called "First Main Directorate" (PGU). Furthermore, Putin has recently revealed that he worked in the highly secretive "Directorate S" of the PGU and he was in charge of contacts with a network of illegal Soviet spies in East-Germany (were Putin was under the official cover of Director of the USSR-GDR Friendship House). If the PGU was the "elite of the elite" of the KGB, and its most secretive part, then the "Directorate S" was the "elite of the elite" of the PGU and its most secretive part. This is most definitely not a career for "naive" or "weak" people, to put it mildly! First and foremost, PGU officers were "specialists of the West" in general, and of the United States especially because the USA was always officially considered as the "main enemy" (even if most PGU officers personally considered the British as their most capable, dangerous and devious adversary). Considering the superb level of education and training given to these officers, I would argue that the PGU officers were amongst the best experts of the West anywhere in the world. Their survival and the survival of their colleagues depended on their correct understanding of the western world. As for Putin personally, he has always taken action in a very deliberate and measured way and there is no reason to assume that this time around the latest US sanctions have suddenly resulted in some kind of emotional outburst in the Kremlin. You can be darn sure that this latest Russian reaction is the result of very carefully arrived to conclusion and the formulation of a very precise and long-term objective.

I submit that the key to the correct understanding of the Russian response is in the fact that the latest US sanctions contain an absolutely unprecedented and, frankly, shocking feature: the new measures strip the President from the authority to revoke the sanctions. In practical terms, if Trump wanted to lift any of these sanctions, he would have to send an official letter to Congress which would then have 30 days to approve or reject the proposed action. In other words, the Congress has now hijacked the power of the Presidency to conduct foreign policy and taken upon itself to micromanage the US foreign policy.

That, my friends, is clearly a constitutional coup d'ιtat and a gross violation of the principles of separation of powers which is at the very core of the US political system.

It also is a telling testimony to the utter depravity of the US Congress which took no such measures when Presidents bypass Congress and started wars without the needed congressional authority, but which is now overtly taking over the US foreign policy to prevent the risk of "peace breaking out" between Russia and the USA.

And Trump's reaction?

He declared that he would sign the bill.

Yes, the main is willing to put his signature on the text which represents an illegal coup d'ιtat against this own authority and against the Constitution which he swore to uphold.

With this in mind, the Russian reaction is quite simple and understandable: they have given up on Trump.

Not that they ever had much hope in him, but they always strongly felt that the election of Trump might maybe provide the world with a truly historical opportunity to change the disastrous dynamic initiated by the Neocons under Obama and maybe return the international relations to a semblance of sanity. Alas, this did not happen, Trump turned out to be an overcooked noodle whose only real achievement was to express his thoughts in 140 characters or less. But the one crucial, vital, thing which Trump absolutely needed to succeed in – mercilessly crushing the Neocons – he totally failed to achieve. Worse, his only reaction to their multi-dimensional attempts at overthrowing him were each time met with clumsy attempts at appeasing them.

For Russia is means that President Trump has now been replaced by "President Congress".

Since it is absolutely impossible to get anything done with this Congress anyway, the Russians will now engage in unilaterally beneficial measures such as dramatically reducing the number of US diplomats in Russia. For the Kremlin, these sanctions are no so much an unacceptable provocation has an ideal pretext to move on a number of Russian internal policies. Getting rid of US employees in Russia is just a first step.

Next, Russia will use the frankly erratic behavior of the Americans to proclaim urbi et orbi that the Americans are irresponsible, incapable of adult decision-making and basically "gone fishing". The Russians already did that much when they declared that the Obama-Kerry team was недоговороспособны (nedogovorosposobny: "non agreement capable", more about this concept here ). Now with Trump signing his own constitutional demise, Tillerson unable to get UN Nikki to shut the hell up and Mattis and McMaster fighting over delusional plans to stop "not winning" in Afghanistan, the Obama-Kerry teams starts to look almost adult.

Frankly, for the Russians now is the time to move on.

I predict that the Neocon-crazies will not stop until they impeach Trump. I furthermore predict that the USA will not launch any major military interventions (if only because the USA has run out of countries it can safely and easily attack). Some "pretend interventions" (like the ill-fated missile strike on Syria) remain, of course, quite possible and even likely. This internal slow-mo coup against Trump will absorb the vast majority of the energy to get anything done, and leave foreign policy as simply another byproduct of internal US politics.

The East-Europeans are now totally stuck. They will continue to haplessly observe the unfolding Ukrainian disaster while playing at silly games pretending to be tough on Russia (the latest example of that kind of "barking from behind a fence" can be seen in the rather pathetic closure of the Romanian air space to a civilian aircraft with Russian Vice-Premier Dmitri Rogozin amongst the passengers). The real (West) Europeans will gradually come back to their senses and begin making deals with Russia. Even France's Emmanuel Macron de Rothschild will probably prove a more adult partner than The Donald.

But the real action will be elsewhere – in the South, the East and the Far-East. The simple truth is that the world cannot simply wait for the Americans to come back to their senses. There are a lot of crucial issues which need to be urgently tackled, a lot of immense projects which need to be worked on, and a fundamentally new and profoundly different multi-polar world which needs to be strengthened. If the Americans want to basically recuse themselves from it all, if they want to bring down the constitutional order which their Founding Fathers created and if they want to solely operate in the delusional realm which has no bearing on reality – that is both their right and their problem.

Washington DC is starting to look like a kindergarten on LSD – something both funny and disgusting. Predictably, the kids don't look too bright: a mix of bullies and spineless idiots. Some of them have their fingers on a nuclear button, and that is outright scary. What the adults need to do now is to figure out a way of keeping the kids busy and distracted so they don't press the damn button by mistake. And wait. Wait for the inevitable reaction of a country which is so much more and better than its rulers and which now desperately needs a real patriot to stop Witches' Sabbath in Washington DC.

I will end this column on a personal note. I just crossed the USA, literally, from the Rogue River in Oregon to East Central Florida. During that long trip I did not only see breathtakingly beautiful sights, but also plenty of beautiful people who oppose the satanic ball in DC with every fiber of their being and who want their country to be free from the degenerate demonic powers which have taken over the federal government. I have now lived a total of 20 years in the USA and I have learned to love and deeply appreciate the many kind, decent, honorable and simply beautiful people who live here. Far from seeing the American people as enemies of Russia, I see them has natural allies, if only because we have the same enemy (the Neocons in DC) and absolutely no objective reasons for conflict, none whatsoever. Moreover, in many ways Americans and Russians are very much alike, sometimes in comical ways. Just as during the Cold War I never lost hope in the Russian people, I now refuse to lose hope in the American people. Yes, the US federal government is disgusting, evil, ugly, stupid, degenerate and outright satanic, but the people of the USA are not. Far from it. I don't know if this country can survive the current regime as one unitary USA or whether it will break up in several quite different entities (something I see as very possible), but I do believe that the people of the USA will survive and overcome just as the Russian people survived the horrors of the 1980s and 1990s.

[Sidebar: after being accused of being a "paid Putin agent" (Vladimir, please send me money!!), a "Jew-lover" or even a "crypto-Jew" myself, a Nazi and Anti-Semite (which decent and good person has not been called an Anti-Semite" at least once in his/her life), a Communist and a Muslim (or, at least, a "Muslim propagandist"), I will now be called an "USA lover". Fine. Guilty as charged! I do love this country very much, as I do love its people. In fact, my heart often breaks for them and for the immense sufferings the Anglo-Zionist Empire also inflicts upon them. In the fight between the people of the USA and the Empire I unapologetically side with the people whom I see as friends, allies and even brothers.]

Right now the USA appears to be plunging into a precipice very similar to the one the Ukraine has plunged into (which is unsurprising, really, the same people inflicting the same disasters on whatever country they infect with their presence). The big difference is that immense and untapped potential of the USA to bounce back. There might not even be a Ukraine in 10 years, but there will most definitely be a USA, albeit maybe a very different one or even maybe several successor states.

But for the time being, I can only repeat what Floridians say when a hurricane comes barreling down on them: "hunker down" and brace for some very difficult and dangerous times to come. (Republished from The Vineyard of the Saker by permission of author or representative)

Bragadocious > , August 1, 2017 at 12:58 am GMT

Worse, Trump's behavior towards Europe and the anti-Trump propaganda inside Europe has now put the EU and the US on a collision course. This is absolutely amazing: for the Russians the current tensions between the EU and the USA are a dream come true and yet they had absolutely nothing to do with it – it was all done by the self-defeating stupidity of the Americans who created this situation completely ex nihilo

So I guess the Americans are stupid for antagonizing Russia, they're stupid for antagonizing Russia's enemies in the EU–they're just plain stupid, according to this Dutch-Russian emigre. I don't know why America's stupid for standing up for its rights on climate change and refugee admissions and calling out NATO freeloaders, I really don't. And if this upsets Western Europe, so much the better. Also, someone should explain to "The Saker" that the neocons were well in control before Obama. How do you think we got into Iraq? And what is the "semblance of sanity" he thinks we should return to?

Sharrukin > , August 1, 2017 at 1:50 am GMT

@Bragadocious Worse, Trump's behavior towards Europe and the anti-Trump propaganda inside Europe has now put the EU and the US on a collision course. This is absolutely amazing: for the Russians the current tensions between the EU and the USA are a dream come true and yet they had absolutely nothing to do with it – it was all done by the self-defeating stupidity of the Americans who created this situation completely ex nihilo

So I guess the Americans are stupid for antagonizing Russia, they're stupid for antagonizing Russia's enemies in the EU--they're just plain stupid, according to this Dutch-Russian emigre. I don't know why America's stupid for standing up for its rights on climate change and refugee admissions and calling out NATO freeloaders, I really don't. And if this upsets Western Europe, so much the better. Also, someone should explain to "The Saker" that the neocons were well in control before Obama. How do you think we got into Iraq? And what is the "semblance of sanity" he thinks we should return to? Americans and the US government are two different things.

That is no small part of why Trump got elected.

Antagonize Russia to what purpose?

Now we have Haley at the UN, Tillerton, and McMaster making statements at odds with Trumps and they still have a job. Can Trump even remove them?

Who is actually in charge of the American government? Is it Trump or the Neocons?

The entire Russia hacking story is a joke and probably a setup by the Democrats if their links to Fusion GPS is true.

Regardless, foreign nations have to deal with the world outside of Washington DC and its looks like the lunatics have taken control of the DC asylum which may well be the case.

The problem is the lack of coherence from Washington.

We may be looking at a slow motion coup, or simple incompetence, but Trump never struck me as incompetent in his other business dealings.

A power struggle seems to make the most sense.

Ned > , August 1, 2017 at 2:07 am GMT

God bless you Saker

Ned > , August 1, 2017 at 2:08 am GMT

@Bragadocious Worse, Trump's behavior towards Europe and the anti-Trump propaganda inside Europe has now put the EU and the US on a collision course. This is absolutely amazing: for the Russians the current tensions between the EU and the USA are a dream come true and yet they had absolutely nothing to do with it – it was all done by the self-defeating stupidity of the Americans who created this situation completely ex nihilo

So I guess the Americans are stupid for antagonizing Russia, they're stupid for antagonizing Russia's enemies in the EU--they're just plain stupid, according to this Dutch-Russian emigre. I don't know why America's stupid for standing up for its rights on climate change and refugee admissions and calling out NATO freeloaders, I really don't. And if this upsets Western Europe, so much the better. Also, someone should explain to "The Saker" that the neocons were well in control before Obama. How do you think we got into Iraq? And what is the "semblance of sanity" he thinks we should return to? Your trolling comment is offensive

Excal > , August 1, 2017 at 2:26 am GMT

"During that long trip I did not only see breathtakingly beautiful sights, but also plenty of beautiful people who oppose the satanic ball in DC with every fiber of their being and who want their country to be free from the degenerate demonic powers which have taken over the federal government."

I am anything but beautiful, but everything else about that sentence describes me.

I have never been to Russia, but I have known many Russians, and I am a bit of a Russophile. I voted for Trump partly because I was certain that Clinton would immediately plunge us into war with Russia. It sickens me that the senate are now rattling sabres against them. I am praying for them, and that this country is stopped from doing any real damage to them.

I can't help but wonder whether the all-but-signed alliance with the Saudis has something to do with this. There must be something diabolical there too.

Bragadocious > , August 1, 2017 at 3:45 am GMT

@Ned Your trolling comment is offensive You returned from a 3-year posting absence to write that?

exiled off mainstreet > , August 1, 2017 at 5:07 am GMT

Great picture and great description. Hopefully, things will degenerate to the point where they can't gin up a nuclear war.

NoseytheDuke > , August 1, 2017 at 6:21 am GMT

@Bragadocious You returned from a 3-year posting absence to write that? So Ned took a break for whatever reason, what of it? He wrote that your comment was offensive, I would have called it simply stupid. It smacks of knee-jerk chest-thumping of the sort that the US has already had more than enough of.

Yes, the neocons took over before Trump. Good observation, Sherlock. Trump was elected because he promised to do something about it but so far he's been a wimp. Many people still hope that Trump is merely playing rope-a-dope but Saker makes it clear in the article that this time is different in that it undermines the president's authority and it neuters his ability to effect change. Chew on that please, or better still, re-read the article.

Saker was hoping for peace just like so many Americans were when they voted for DT but it is increasingly looking like it's not going to happen.

Grandpa Charlie > , August 1, 2017 at 6:22 am GMT

I see USA as analogous to the Chinese Empire during its "decline and fall" 1850-1950 (very last part of the Manchu dynasty). Of course, it's a rough analogy, but it's there all the same. Like China back then, the "Court" of the USA like the imperial court of China was willing to sell off anything and everything. It's all been for sale for at least the last 50 years. (If you want an example, take the Panama Canal.)

In that milieu, consider the neocons. What are they unless (like the DNC and the GOP's National Central Committee) but a money-laundering and influence-peddling center. So apply that to the "known known" that the main 'position' of the neocons (their excuse for some kind of principle) is "Russia is dangerous and must be destroyed." As seen in the Saker's article, that is a destructive proposition – destructive of the interests of the USA and its people. So then WHY – why do the neocons pursue that agenda? Well, if you think about the nature of the neocons, of Congress, etc., you realize that the neocons must be making money off of this. They are pushing the anti-Russia agenda because they are paid to do so. Then, ask yourself, as with any money-following effort, CUI BONO? Well. what is accomplished by keeping the heat turned up on Russia? Isn't it that the anti-Russia agenda provides a distraction from what China is doing? And who, almost certainly, has been paying off the neocons for almost 50 years now – ever since Kissinger (godfather of the neocons) took his secret trip to Beijing in 1973. Put it this way: the old China lobby had been providing huge amounts of $US to the entire USA establishment – in particular to political parties and to the media – since way back in WW II. Now there would be a huge hole where the old China lobby had been. Who would fill that? Kissinger, for all his many faults, was smart enough to know, and Chou En-Lai was smart enough to know, what had to be done. And the old China Lobby had long seen the writing on the wall. So the old China Lobby was taken over by the New China Lobby. Lo-and-behold, Kissinger created the neocons where the paleocons had been. (If you want, you can also find evidence of an effective conspiracy extending back into WW II and the 1930′s, but that might mean identifying with the old JBS, and I want to stay focused on issues more current.)

That's the basic reality about the neocons. The PRC (or its rulers in the Standing Committee) are the neocons' bread-and-butter. Oh, sure they appreciate the Israel lobby and they need it to keep Congress dumb and afraid but their bread-and-butter is the PRC. Or more precisely, the Standing Committee. Americans like to think that we have all the billionaires (or the billionaires have us), but the reality is that USA's politicians, bureaucrats and bankers deal with many billionaires, including the billionaires (active and retired) of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China and the billionaires of the Kim dynasty of the DPRK. These billionaires use their money much more in concert with one another than do most billionaires. So they get what they want. And what they want includes the ability not to be bothered by, e.g., the US Navy when they decide to extend their empire over the SCS and do not want USA's people even to know that Hanoi asks pleadingly to become a port and outpost of the US Navy. Etc. etc.

If you find this hard to believe, google on "Clinton china bribery." Or, here at the Unz Review, check out Peter Lee's 'China Matters' blog story "Four Corners/Fairfax". Just think it over. If your mind has been closed, let it open.

"Yet none dare call it treason."

Parbes > , August 1, 2017 at 6:27 am GMT

The neocons and their media in the U.S. and the rest of the West simply HAVE to be taken out, one way or another. This is the only acceptable route – a knot tying the whole world up in insanity, which must be broken.

utu > , August 1, 2017 at 7:56 am GMT

@Bragadocious Worse, Trump's behavior towards Europe and the anti-Trump propaganda inside Europe has now put the EU and the US on a collision course. This is absolutely amazing: for the Russians the current tensions between the EU and the USA are a dream come true and yet they had absolutely nothing to do with it – it was all done by the self-defeating stupidity of the Americans who created this situation completely ex nihilo

So I guess the Americans are stupid for antagonizing Russia, they're stupid for antagonizing Russia's enemies in the EU--they're just plain stupid, according to this Dutch-Russian emigre. I don't know why America's stupid for standing up for its rights on climate change and refugee admissions and calling out NATO freeloaders, I really don't. And if this upsets Western Europe, so much the better. Also, someone should explain to "The Saker" that the neocons were well in control before Obama. How do you think we got into Iraq? And what is the "semblance of sanity" he thinks we should return to? Did I miss it or Saker does not even explain what kind of sanctions were imposed but nevertheless he assures his readers that they won't hurt Russia and possibly make it even stronger and basically everything will be hunky-dory because PGU has extremely well qualified individuals on its staff: "superb level of education and training." And obviously Putin is a superman who was in charge of spies in East Germany which required as much sophistication and risk taking as spying in Wales for James Bond.

Randal > , August 1, 2017 at 8:15 am GMT

But the one crucial, vital, thing which Trump absolutely needed to succeed in – mercilessly crushing the Neocons – he totally failed to achieve.

Indeed. The next step, as with Buchanan's piece today which is similarly discouraged as far as US foreign policy under Trump is concerned, is to name the neocons. Identify the people burrowing into the institutions of the US administration and subverting any hope of any substantive change in foreign policy from the Clinton/Bush/Obama years. Name the people who act as the tools of the Neocon Lobby within the administration, because those Trump can at least deal with, if he ever comes to understand what is going on (which admittedly seems unlikely so long as he tolerates Nikki Haley's open warmongering).

The subservience of Congress can only be dealt with by the American people defeating these sitting members and replacing them with ones who fear, and are loyal to, their constituents more than the lobbyists – which of course requires Americans to recognise when they are being manipulated by lobbyists via the media.

See the piece yesterday by Ron Maxwell, naming some of the neocons:

How Romney Loyalists Hijacked Trump's Foreign Policy

Randal > , August 1, 2017 at 8:29 am GMT

@Bragadocious Worse, Trump's behavior towards Europe and the anti-Trump propaganda inside Europe has now put the EU and the US on a collision course. This is absolutely amazing: for the Russians the current tensions between the EU and the USA are a dream come true and yet they had absolutely nothing to do with it – it was all done by the self-defeating stupidity of the Americans who created this situation completely ex nihilo

So I guess the Americans are stupid for antagonizing Russia, they're stupid for antagonizing Russia's enemies in the EU--they're just plain stupid, according to this Dutch-Russian emigre. I don't know why America's stupid for standing up for its rights on climate change and refugee admissions and calling out NATO freeloaders, I really don't. And if this upsets Western Europe, so much the better. Also, someone should explain to "The Saker" that the neocons were well in control before Obama. How do you think we got into Iraq? And what is the "semblance of sanity" he thinks we should return to?

I don't know why America's stupid for standing up for its rights on climate change and refugee admissions and calling out NATO freeloaders, I really don't.

Saker didn't refer to any of those things in his criticism of the Trump regime's foreign policy stupidity. The only aspect of "Trump's behaviour towards Europe" that he (absolutely correctly) singles out for criticism is the literally stupid sanctions resolution. Though he could equally well have criticised the delusional stupidity of Trump's seeming wholesale swallowing of neocon propaganda about Iran and the nuclear agreement.

Also, someone should explain to "The Saker" that the neocons were well in control before Obama. How do you think we got into Iraq?

He's clearly well aware of that. As he has rightly pointed out previously (and Buchanan also points out again today), Trump was elected in part precisely because he seemed to offer an escape from the neocon-driven invade the world/invite the world lunacy. But his actual foreign policy seems to have been little more than continuity with minor trimming only when forced by reality, especially with the likes of Nikki Haley in such a prominent position.

And what is the "semblance of sanity" he thinks we should return to?

Not trying to right all the world's suppose wrongs by force (military or economic) would be a good start. That and ceasing to regard the interests of Israel and of Saudi Arabia as of primary importance for US foreign and military policy.

JL > , August 1, 2017 at 8:34 am GMT

This article is something of a mixed bag. The idea that there is going to be some rift between the EU and US is, at best, wishful thinking, but probably closer to downright delusion. No, European countries ceased to be subjects of history, and became objects, when they ceded their sovereignty to the implicitly Atlanticist and supranational structure that is the EU. So they may growl and gnash their teeth a bit, but will eventually roll over and hope that their bellies are scratched and not slashed.

As for Trump signing the sanctions legislation as it is written, Saker's point is valid. No president should abrogate power without a fight. He should, at the very least, insist that the restrictions on his ability to unilaterally cancel sanctions be removed from the legislation or he will veto the bill and fight it all the way to the Supreme Court. And, he should make clear that this isn't about sanctioning or not sanctioning Russia, but the fact that the law is unconstitutional.

Saker is also correct that the US is simply too dysfunctional now to pursue any kind of coherent foreign policy. If I were Putin, I would ask Trump who in Congress he should be negotiating with, since neither Trump himself, nor anyone in his cabinet, possesses the authority to follow through with any possible agreements. The smarter commentators are actually all coming around to the same view. Dmitry Trenin:

"I think the Kremlin views the U.S. as a dysfunctional polity, with its political class at war with itself and its society deeply divided along cultural fault lines. Under these circumstances one hardly expects a consistent policy Bad as they are now, U.S.-Russian relations continue to get worse, edging ever closer to a kinetic collision between their armed forces somewhere: in Syria, over the Baltic and Black Seas, or Ukraine."

It does indeed seem like something dramatic needs to happen, at which point the US will either come to its senses or it's mushroom cloud time for all of us.

animalogic > , August 1, 2017 at 8:58 am GMT

Although I think there is some hypobole involved, I would like to thank the Saker for raising this very interesting and very pregnant issue:

"In other words, the Congress has now hijacked the power of the Presidency to conduct foreign policy and taken upon itself to micromanage the US foreign policy.
That, my friends, is clearly a constitutional coup d'ιtat and a gross violation of the principles of separation of powers which is at the very core of the US political system."

This is a very disturbing development, to say the least.

However, I do disagree with the Saker on this point:
"If the Americans want to basically recuse themselves from it all, if they want to bring down the constitutional order which their Founding Fathers created and if they want to solely operate in the delusional realm which has no bearing on reality – that is both their right and their problem."

The "Americans" -- that is US citizens -- do NOT want to bring down the constitution, nor have a government operate in a delusional realm. Nor does the US "government have the "right" to operate in the way they do: that amounts to saying they have the right to commit treason ( a meaningless concept for the Elites). Finally, it is NOT just an American "problem": unfortunately, it's a world problem. We are all liable to suffer for the insane shenanigans of the US Ruling class.

Anonymous > , Disclaimer August 1, 2017 at 10:19 am GMT

I predict that the Neocon-crazies will not stop until they impeach Trump.

And that's probably behind this clusterfuck. The globalist cabal is working hard to make Trump look bad and he's falling for it (him asking Comey – a certified swamp creature – to be loyal is proof of his naivete). This same cabal is running Western Europe so any "positive" developments between Macron de Rothchild and Putin will be temporary and designed to further ostracise Trump. With Jews you loose and Russia will forever be their ultimate target. Russian nukes are the only thing standing in the way of One World Government.

I furthermore predict that the USA will not launch any major military interventions

Don't be so sure. They want him to make mistakes . A new war would disappoint a lot of Trump's core supporters and destroy his capability to expand the base.

Bragadocious > , August 1, 2017 at 12:53 pm GMT

@NoseytheDuke So Ned took a break for whatever reason, what of it? He wrote that your comment was offensive, I would have called it simply stupid. It smacks of knee-jerk chest-thumping of the sort that the US has already had more than enough of.

Yes, the neocons took over before Trump. Good observation, Sherlock. Trump was elected because he promised to do something about it but so far he's been a wimp. Many people still hope that Trump is merely playing rope-a-dope but Saker makes it clear in the article that this time is different in that it undermines the president's authority and it neuters his ability to effect change. Chew on that please, or better still, re-read the article.

Saker was hoping for peace just like so many Americans were when they voted for DT but it is increasingly looking like it's not going to happen. Yes, the neocons took over before Trump. Good observation, Sherlock

Thanks. The reason I wrote that was because Saker wrote this:

Not that they ever had much hope in him, but they always strongly felt that the election of Trump might maybe provide the world with a truly historical opportunity to change the disastrous dynamic initiated by the Neocons under Obama

See, the key word there Sherlock, is initiated . That means to start, in case you didn't know. I know, I'm Captain Obvious again. Maybe Saker should write more carefully, and not sound like a kindergartner on LSD.

"I would have called it stupid"

Yes, that's the operative word for Saker and his minions. Everyone's stupid. Except you. You're smart. Especially when you're peddling 9/11 truther stuff. Then you're a special kind of smart.

Bragadocious > , August 1, 2017 at 1:28 pm GMT

@Randal


I don't know why America's stupid for standing up for its rights on climate change and refugee admissions and calling out NATO freeloaders, I really don't.
Saker didn't refer to any of those things in his criticism of the Trump regime's foreign policy stupidity. The only aspect of "Trump's behaviour towards Europe" that he (absolutely correctly) singles out for criticism is the literally stupid sanctions resolution. Though he could equally well have criticised the delusional stupidity of Trump's seeming wholesale swallowing of neocon propaganda about Iran and the nuclear agreement.

Also, someone should explain to "The Saker" that the neocons were well in control before Obama. How do you think we got into Iraq?
He's clearly well aware of that. As he has rightly pointed out previously (and Buchanan also points out again today), Trump was elected in part precisely because he seemed to offer an escape from the neocon-driven invade the world/invite the world lunacy. But his actual foreign policy seems to have been little more than continuity with minor trimming only when forced by reality, especially with the likes of Nikki Haley in such a prominent position.

And what is the "semblance of sanity" he thinks we should return to?
Not trying to right all the world's suppose wrongs by force (military or economic) would be a good start. That and ceasing to regard the interests of Israel and of Saudi Arabia as of primary importance for US foreign and military policy. Saker didn't refer to any of those things

I agree, he didn't, but then again, it seems Saker doesn't do nuance very well. He specializes in grandiose insults (stupid, LSD, kindergartners, overcooked noodle, gone fishing) without mentioning some pretty important stuff, like Trump cutting off funding to the Syrian rebels. That move infuriated the neocons. Why doesn't Saker mention that? I guess it doesn't jibe with his overall "incompetence" theme and anti-Trump snark.

As for the sanctions, they seem to upset Saker. But then he says it's water off a duck's back for Putin. Hey, they probably even strengthen his hand -- So really, who gives a shit? He contradicts himself.

Finally, he says Trump has turned over foreign policy responsibility to Congress. I'm no constitutional expert, but Congress is in charge of declaring war. Sanctions can be interpreted as an act of war. In any case, forcing the congresscritters to go on record for something like this can be seen as very useful, just as the Iraq war vote was in blocking Hillary from higher office.

anonymous > , Disclaimer August 1, 2017 at 1:51 pm GMT

Thanks for the compliments regarding the American people. They all want peace just like all others and have always voted for what they thought was the peace candidate only to be betrayed later. I've lived here longer than just twenty years, however, but my whole life and am not so sanguine about the nature of most Americans. I'd say the vast majority, perhaps 70%, are ignorant dolts and easily bamboozled. Elections are just festivals of lies and deceit with few being able to learn from the previous experience. The population is composed mostly of dodo birds. The ruling class are predators looking for the next dollar to be extorted or stolen. This is a bad formula and can only go so far. The fault is not in our stars but in us.

Grandpa Charlie > , August 1, 2017 at 3:56 pm GMT

" The ruling class are predators looking for the next dollar to be extorted or stolen."

And who exactly is this "ruling class" if not the neocons? Are they not exactly like Milovan Djilas' "new class" – a class of apparatchiks in positions to profit enormously (while living very comfortably) from the decline and fall of an empire. How could this be, if their treasonous profiteering could only leave them as having no place to turn but the China-dominated new world order? Well, perhaps they actually know that the very millionaires who controlled key industries in China prior to 1950, were also millionaires who lived, have lived even during the Cultural Revolution, and for their families, continue to live, very comfortably and securely in Shanghai from 1950 onward – assuming that they were astute enough to have been doing business with the Communists all along. Perhaps they realize that the Communists are about as communistic as the National Socialists were socialistic so that course which is most profitable in the short-run is also most profitable in the long run.

"Yet none dare call it treason."

Robert Magill > , August 1, 2017 at 4:41 pm GMT

I submit that the key to the correct understanding of the Russian response is in the fact that the latest US sanctions contain an absolutely unprecedented and, frankly, shocking feature: the new measures strip the President from the authority to revoke the sanctions.

This is part of the plan to sideline Russia, render it untouchable on the Executive's part and move on to China. The plan is to stun everyone with the announcement (probably on Labor Day) of 50k new, well paying, mostly private sector jobs, with benefits. China will feature prominently. Chinese built factories in Wisconsin, Chicago etc. just teasers. Bigly deal to follow: much, much bigly. All will be well --

http://robertmagill.wordpress.com

Sean > , August 1, 2017 at 7:33 pm GMT

Largely due to Obama's timidity in Syria on top of his denial of defensive weapons to Kiev, Russia humiliated America in Syria. Putin will rue the day, because America is going to hit back at Russia (it has to). Trump is going to take asymmetric vengeance and bleed Russia white. A fraction of what has been spent in Syria will go a very long way in you-know-where.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/world/europe/pentagon-and-state-department-are-said-to-propose-arming-ukraine.html

Sean > , August 1, 2017 at 7:58 pm GMT

@Robert Magill


I submit that the key to the correct understanding of the Russian response is in the fact that the latest US sanctions contain an absolutely unprecedented and, frankly, shocking feature: the new measures strip the President from the authority to revoke the sanctions.
This is part of the plan to sideline Russia, render it untouchable on the Executive's part and move on to China. The plan is to stun everyone with the announcement (probably on Labor Day) of 50k new, well paying, mostly private sector jobs, with benefits. China will feature prominently. Chinese built factories in Wisconsin, Chicago etc. just teasers. Bigly deal to follow: much, much bigly. All will be well --

http://robertmagill.wordpress.com The production facilities of the future will be automated and the elimination of workers will mean there is no particular reason to continue offshoring production. The factories will come back to the West, but the jobs won't exist .

Alan Donelson > , August 1, 2017 at 8:03 pm GMT

@exiled off mainstreet Great picture and great description. Hopefully, things will degenerate to the point where they can't gin up a nuclear war. Great picture -- just not congruent with the title of the post. With a moniker like that, EoM, one might think you'd notice the size of that girl's pupils. Not on LSD. Ill bet she had already graduated from kindergarten, too. But then, why be critical of what one sees and reads. I take SAKER's input with a salt shaker on hand.

Anonymous > , Disclaimer August 1, 2017 at 8:34 pm GMT

And yet, every Senator except Paul and Sanders voted for this.

2 men out of "100″ men looks like the regular average.

Chuck > , August 1, 2017 at 9:38 pm GMT

@Grandpa Charlie I see USA as analogous to the Chinese Empire during its "decline and fall" 1850-1950 (very last part of the Manchu dynasty). Of course, it's a rough analogy, but it's there all the same. Like China back then, the "Court" of the USA like the imperial court of China was willing to sell off anything and everything. It's all been for sale for at least the last 50 years. (If you want an example, take the Panama Canal.)

In that milieu, consider the neocons. What are they unless (like the DNC and the GOP's National Central Committee) but a money-laundering and influence-peddling center. So apply that to the "known known" that the main 'position' of the neocons (their excuse for some kind of principle) is "Russia is dangerous and must be destroyed." As seen in the Saker's article, that is a destructive proposition - destructive of the interests of the USA and its people. So then WHY - why do the neocons pursue that agenda? Well, if you think about the nature of the neocons, of Congress, etc., you realize that the neocons must be making money off of this. They are pushing the anti-Russia agenda because they are paid to do so. Then, ask yourself, as with any money-following effort, CUI BONO? Well. what is accomplished by keeping the heat turned up on Russia? Isn't it that the anti-Russia agenda provides a distraction from what China is doing? And who, almost certainly, has been paying off the neocons for almost 50 years now - ever since Kissinger (godfather of the neocons) took his secret trip to Beijing in 1973. Put it this way: the old China lobby had been providing huge amounts of $US to the entire USA establishment - in particular to political parties and to the media - since way back in WW II. Now there would be a huge hole where the old China lobby had been. Who would fill that? Kissinger, for all his many faults, was smart enough to know, and Chou En-Lai was smart enough to know, what had to be done. And the old China Lobby had long seen the writing on the wall. So the old China Lobby was taken over by the New China Lobby. Lo-and-behold, Kissinger created the neocons where the paleocons had been. (If you want, you can also find evidence of an effective conspiracy extending back into WW II and the 1930's, but that might mean identifying with the old JBS, and I want to stay focused on issues more current.)

That's the basic reality about the neocons. The PRC (or its rulers in the Standing Committee) are the neocons' bread-and-butter. Oh, sure they appreciate the Israel lobby and they need it to keep Congress dumb and afraid ... but their bread-and-butter is the PRC. Or more precisely, the Standing Committee. Americans like to think that we have all the billionaires (or the billionaires have us), but the reality is that USA's politicians, bureaucrats and bankers deal with many billionaires, including the billionaires (active and retired) of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China and the billionaires of the Kim dynasty of the DPRK. These billionaires use their money much more in concert with one another than do most billionaires. So they get what they want. And what they want includes the ability not to be bothered by, e.g., the US Navy when they decide to extend their empire over the SCS and do not want USA's people even to know that Hanoi asks pleadingly to become a port and outpost of the US Navy. Etc. etc.

If you find this hard to believe, google on "Clinton china bribery." Or, here at the Unz Review, check out Peter Lee's 'China Matters' blog story "Four Corners/Fairfax". Just think it over. If your mind has been closed, let it open.

"Yet none dare call it treason." Kingmaker Sheldon Adelson also has a China connection.

http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/homeland-security/259853-training-tactical-officers-critical-for-national

Priss Factor > , Website August 2, 2017 at 4:08 am GMT

Let the US reveal itself to be totally owned by Zionist globalists.

And if EU goes along, it will only show itself as cuck vassals of the US.

Russia needs to fix its problems and build a super-economy of its own.

With China and Iran as partners, Russia can do much if they put their mind to it.

But do Russians have the National Character?

Stephen R. Diamond > , Website August 2, 2017 at 4:15 am GMT

@utu Did I miss it or Saker does not even explain what kind of sanctions were imposed but nevertheless he assures his readers that they won't hurt Russia and possibly make it even stronger and basically everything will be hunky-dory because PGU has extremely well qualified individuals on its staff: "superb level of education and training." And obviously Putin is a superman who was in charge of spies in East Germany which required as much sophistication and risk taking as spying in Wales for James Bond.

And obviously Putin is a superman

Have you notice that the same folks you say Trump is a superman say the same of Putin? Everything is a stroke of genius.

These folks might study up a bit on the nature of intelligence. It would help them recognize these mediocrities for what they are.

NoseytheDuke > , August 2, 2017 at 4:35 am GMT

@Bragadocious Yes, the neocons took over before Trump. Good observation, Sherlock

Thanks. The reason I wrote that was because Saker wrote this:

Not that they ever had much hope in him, but they always strongly felt that the election of Trump might maybe provide the world with a truly historical opportunity to change the disastrous dynamic initiated by the Neocons under Obama

See, the key word there Sherlock, is initiated . That means to start, in case you didn't know. I know, I'm Captain Obvious again. Maybe Saker should write more carefully, and not sound like a kindergartner on LSD.

"I would have called it stupid"

Yes, that's the operative word for Saker and his minions. Everyone's stupid. Except you. You're smart. Especially when you're peddling 9/11 truther stuff. Then you're a special kind of smart. I see that you've outed yourself as a Coincidence Theorist there so you may console yourself as at least being "useful", even if it is only as being a useful idiot.

Start with ae911truth.org, grap a book on high-school physics and go on from there. There's plenty of reading and learning ahead for you, but you'll be much better for it. Oh, and stop the chest-thumping, it only results in bruises.

Grandpa Charlie > , August 2, 2017 at 4:41 am GMT

@Chuck Kingmaker Sheldon Adelson also has a China connection.

http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/homeland-security/259853-training-tactical-officers-critical-for-national "Kingmaker Sheldon Adelson also has a China connection." – Chuck, citing to The Hill

Thanks, Chuck. That's a great catch.

aaaa returns > , August 2, 2017 at 4:45 am GMT

As always, a good read from the Saker.
I think his assessment is spot on; Trump and his movement have been disabled. Now Congress members seem to be jockeying for future power-gains, while Trump might be starting to check out. He'll keep tweeting or whatever, but Nikki Haley, Pence and the generals might end up grabbing more decision-making power or perhaps not.. who knows.

There's always the 25th amendment scenario, the Russian collusion angle, or maybe some other damning revelation to pop up in the future to sink Trump, but I think many in Washington may be under warning that his removal could have a devastating impact.

I am not as optimistic about a lack of militarism in response to the crisis. That has been the go-to option for all modern American presidents in times of crisis.

nsa > , August 2, 2017 at 5:08 am GMT

The worms in the House and Senate have been totally terrorized by the vile jooies. Give the loathsome jooies whatever they want, no matter how foul, and keep their jobs or cross the abominable jooies and lose their jobs when a well funded opponent supported by the repulsive KM (kosher media) just happens to appear in the next primary. The Jooie Lobby runs the Knesset on the Potomac, not the US citizenry who are held in the utmost contempt by the bloodthirsty jooie elites. Government of the jooies, by the jooies, for the jooies .

KA > , August 2, 2017 at 5:25 am GMT

Many events are sprouting up all over the map
India China, Taliban in Afghanistan ,Venezuela , Iran Syria Lebanon , Israel Palestine -- all are moving rapidly into unknown territory . America is no longer is in a position to influence these events. . despite not wanting American policy makers will be forced to look inwards . Those counytriesmay nt bother to inform America .

Health Care, Student loans, next inevitable housing bubble, millennial not saving and being forced to spend the income on health care and rents along , nation as a whole see increasing social fragmentation on ethnic lines -- these forces will make America much weaker economically and socially . Foreign countries like China and Gulf monarchies will influence American foreign and domestic policies .

America democracy itself may not survive the changes . Neocons with eager media may settle down on dictatorship.

F > , August 2, 2017 at 6:32 am GMT

@Ned God bless you Saker Creepy comment.

Sergey Krieger > , August 2, 2017 at 7:52 am GMT

"The latest US sanctions and the Russian retaliatory response"

There has not been any response so far. Response was to US expelling 35 Russian diplomats 6+ months ago. This is why I am not a fan of delayed responses. As saying goes, spoon is for dinner, not afterwards. Russia so far failed to respond to USA aggression which is what sanctions are.
Putin has been doing this whole patience expectations of US coming to her senses for some 10 years with poor results as US belligerence seems to grow in lack of appropriate responses from Russia.
Putin being liberal he is, seems cannot abandon hope to be part of the club so far hence this treatment in white gloves when it is stick across US face and kick into US groin what's necessary.
USA is like a dog that understands only stick. And stick has been missing despite Russia having enough options to start really hurting USA where it hurts and stop cooperation everywhere even in Syria.
I am not holding my breath with Putin though. He still insists on not letting up and talking to madman despite that doing everything to hurt him.
Slow learner he is both in regards to USA and Russian economy.

Sergey Krieger > , August 2, 2017 at 7:56 am GMT

"What is absolutely clear is that these sanctions will have exactly zero effect on Russia and I don't think anybody is seriously expecting the Russians to change anything at all in their policies."

Zero effects? Speaking of changing policy is true but not that it won't create troubles for Russia. Anyway, any aggression requires swift and ruthless repsonse otherwise it invites more of agression. Putin is wrong to behave the way he behaves. There must be zero patience and head for an eye response. Than aggression stops.

anonymous > , Disclaimer August 2, 2017 at 8:07 am GMT

@Randal


But the one crucial, vital, thing which Trump absolutely needed to succeed in – mercilessly crushing the Neocons – he totally failed to achieve.
Indeed. The next step, as with Buchanan's piece today which is similarly discouraged as far as US foreign policy under Trump is concerned, is to name the neocons. Identify the people burrowing into the institutions of the US administration and subverting any hope of any substantive change in foreign policy from the Clinton/Bush/Obama years. Name the people who act as the tools of the Neocon Lobby within the administration, because those Trump can at least deal with, if he ever comes to understand what is going on (which admittedly seems unlikely so long as he tolerates Nikki Haley's open warmongering).

The subservience of Congress can only be dealt with by the American people defeating these sitting members and replacing them with ones who fear, and are loyal to, their constituents more than the lobbyists - which of course requires Americans to recognise when they are being manipulated by lobbyists via the media.

See the piece yesterday by Ron Maxwell, naming some of the neocons:

How Romney Loyalists Hijacked Trump's Foreign Policy

The subservience of Congress can only be dealt with by the American people defeating these sitting members and replacing them with ones who fear, and are loyal to, their constituents more than the lobbyists – which of course requires Americans to recognise when they are being manipulated by lobbyists via the media.

Yet, that has never happened, and will never happen. People elect leaders quite like themselves.

It is the people, stupid (I don't necessarily mean you).

The Alarmist > , August 2, 2017 at 9:06 am GMT

The neoconservative are like junkies. Does a junkie ever really appreciate the risk whilst in the middle of pursuing his next fix? Each successive fix is never quite enough, so they go on to bigger fixes at the risk of overdose. Neocons seem to think kicking Russia's ass will be a manageable high, a cakewalk nonetheless, same for China thereafter, because the wars and dying will be done over there in their estimation.

TheJester > , August 2, 2017 at 10:20 am GMT

Furthermore, we also have to keep in mind that the Neocon Lobby is unlike any other lobby in the list above. For one thing, it does not represent US interests. Neither does it represent the interests of Israel. Rather, it represents the interests of a specific subset of the US ruling elites, in reality much smaller than 1% of the population, which all share in the one common ideology of worldwide domination typical of the Neocons.

These are the folks who in spite of their 100% ironclad control of the media and Congress lost the Presidential election to Donald Trump and who are now dead set to impeach him.

Many people who notice believe that "Neocon" is a euphemism for "Jew". Yes, there are non-Jewish outliers among the Neocons like John McCain and Lindsey Graham but this need be no more complex than assuming that they, like so many others in government such as Bill and Hillary Clinton, have cut their deals with the Jewish lobby. Indeed, when I read an article on Neocons, the list of culprits does read like a list of Ashkenazi Jews.

The import is that if the Neocons are religiously committed to world domination and "Neocon" is a euphemism for "Jew", then it follows that the age-old stereotype that there are cabals of Jews seeking world domination at the expense of the goyim they live among is true.

jacques sheete > , August 2, 2017 at 10:54 am GMT

Does that make any sense to you?

No.

And one of the things I've learned is to NOT seek a reasonable answer to situations provoked by utter crackpots.

It's simple; many of those in positions of power and responsibility are not only nuts in the head, but no human is built to shoulder much power at all.

mp > , August 2, 2017 at 10:56 am GMT

Of the lobby groups listed, probably only Big Oil and Big Jew (and not in that order) have much of an interest in going to war with Russia. The Military-Industrials are happy just to get contracts to build stuff. They don't really care, or particularly want, their stuff to be used. Most of it is too expensive to use, and probably doesn't work as advertised, anyhow.

Wizard of Oz > , August 2, 2017 at 10:58 am GMT

I'm afraid you're right.

But I remain puzzled at how 98 Senators could have been lined up for that stupidity.

Can you enlarge on the details of neo-con ideas, personnel and means of influence to explain the neo-con part? I mean 98 out of 100 Senators!!!

And, given especially your assertion that Israeli lobbyists aren't acting in Israel's real interests, can you give a fuller explanation of what they are up to and why, with particular reference to that Senate vote?

Following on from that, or, if you insist, as an aside would you care to give your view of what rational Israeli lobbying might seek Americann help for. Here's my attempt at starting your explanation .. Israel knows it can no longer defeat the battle hardened Hezbollah forces, from which they have already received a bloidy nose, without using nuclear weapons or losing a high proportion of young Israelis. So it fears that Hezbollah, still connected to Iran and protected in that by Syria, will launch intolerable rocket attacks to provoke Israeli attack against its dug in positions.

The need to remove Assad's regime has to be seen in that light??? Could it be as simple as that?

white noise > , August 2, 2017 at 11:44 am GMT

@Anonymous


I predict that the Neocon-crazies will not stop until they impeach Trump.
And that's probably behind this clusterfuck. The globalist cabal is working hard to make Trump look bad and he's falling for it (him asking Comey - a certified swamp creature - to be loyal is proof of his naivete). This same cabal is running Western Europe so any "positive" developments between Macron de Rothchild and Putin will be temporary and designed to further ostracise Trump. With Jews you loose and Russia will forever be their ultimate target. Russian nukes are the only thing standing in the way of One World Government.

I furthermore predict that the USA will not launch any major military interventions
Don't be so sure. They want him to make mistakes . A new war would disappoint a lot of Trump's core supporters and destroy his capability to expand the base. "Russian nukes are the only thing standing in the way of One World Government."

Indeed. Vladimir Putin has big balls, and the elites hate him. But he's not afraid of a murder attempt. The elites know that if something happens to him, Europe, Israel and North America would be reduced to radioactive debris in about one hour

KA > , August 2, 2017 at 12:11 pm GMT

A new alignment is likely to emerge .t will be much less adversarial and much less enthused with polemic. America China Israel Saudi Arab – pitted against – India Russia Iran Japan, . China will embrace US because of Neocon and myriad financial connections with US .India will be forced to return to Russia . China joining America or America deciding to join China is the game changer and disrupt very other relationship. China will try to occupy American position after WW2 while US will find itself occupying post WW2 British position. Neoconservatives and financial system of the world will force this merger .

Pakistan Germany Turkey will try to juggle and hedge theirs bets . Central Asian Stan will be politically connected to Russia but economically to China .China and Russia will quarrel here and these countries will face a period of turmoil. Balkans will move back to Russia . NATO will be largely irrelevant with no ability to have consensus and a mission .
The world will become more rambunctious and hyper verbal but it won't fight .
Polyglot countries like India and America will try to talk along ethnic lines more but the fundamental underlying realities will not change . Despite the divisiveness promoted by parties, the citizen will move to closer relationship and understanding and common ground partly because the divisiveness will fail to accrue any benefit to the groups most interested in harvesting it .But the divisiveness will not disappear from daily discourse .

ffff > , August 2, 2017 at 12:15 pm GMT

Anyone else find their comments censored on thesaker? Seems like a "pro"-russian version of CNN

utu > , August 2, 2017 at 12:16 pm GMT

@Stephen R. Diamond


And obviously Putin is a superman
Have you notice that the same folks you say Trump is a superman say the same of Putin? Everything is a stroke of genius.

These folks might study up a bit on the nature of intelligence. It would help them recognize these mediocrities for what they are. ;) Everything is a stroke of genius.

Like playing 3D or nD (n–>inf) chess, right?

I think it come from desperation and hope, I think. And as they say, hope does not want to die in spite of the evidence that it should long time ago.

n230099 > , August 2, 2017 at 12:31 pm GMT

" 10 top most powerful lobbies in Washington, DC. They are (in the same order as in the original article)

Tech Lobby
Mining Industry
Defense Industry
Agribusiness Industry
Big Oil
Financial Lobby
Big Pharma
AARP
Pro-Israel Lobby
NRA"

Well, some are 'lobbies' but some are just bogeymen.

white noise > , August 2, 2017 at 12:34 pm GMT

@The Alarmist The neoconservative are like junkies. Does a junkie ever really appreciate the risk whilst in the middle of pursuing his next fix? Each successive fix is never quite enough, so they go on to bigger fixes at the risk of overdose. Neocons seem to think kicking Russia's ass will be a manageable high, a cakewalk nonetheless, same for China thereafter, because the wars and dying will be done over there ... in their estimation. " Neocons seem to think kicking Russia's ass will be a manageable high"

That's what they think. Given that Russia currently has more nuclear power than USA and Israel combined, to think that they can handle Russia is sheer stupidity.

anonymous > , Disclaimer August 2, 2017 at 1:00 pm GMT

Much is made of this so-called "neocon" business. They appear to be a current highly aggressive strain of American expansionism. However, there were no "neocons" in 1898 when the US saw it's opportunity to attack Spain and grab away it's holdings. The US has been aggressively expanding ever since, inserting itself into both world wars at the very last minute in order to gain as much for itself as possible. It got a couple bloody rebuffs in Korea and Vietnam but learned how to refine it's technique from those experiences. The US has been on the march ever since 1898, sometimes slowly sometimes quickly. It's not something new but is an inherent dynamic. Like a balloon things expand until they reach some sort of internal or external limiting factor. For the US one can imagine what those might be.

John Q. Public > , August 2, 2017 at 1:08 pm GMT

We need a better term than "neo-con." People like Brennan, Clapper and McMaster were never Trotskyites and they never wrote for Commentary. Their view is really a liberal internationalism update for the post-Cold War, post-9/11 situation. And this view is ubiquitous inside the Beltway.

Joe Hide > , August 2, 2017 at 1:17 pm GMT

Saker,
I especially liked your use of the term "demonic" which is an appropriate term both figuratively and possibly literally to describe many neocon adherents.
The internet is providing "Light coming into the world", that is, Truth or information coming into mass consciousness. Mass consciousness must shape which possible futures become reality, or the controlled media wouldn't be spending billions to try to influence it. Some would say that this is solely because of the physical changes that people then force to happen, but evidence also supports consciousness simply altering possible outcomes "The prayers of a righteous man availeth much".
Saker, thanks much for Your articles!

jacques sheete > , August 2, 2017 at 1:18 pm GMT

Lesson unlearned.

Abstinence from all injustice to other first-rate powers is a greater tower of strength than anything that can be gained by the sacrifice of permanent tranquillity for an apparent temporary advantage.

Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War, Book I, 1.42-[3]

Aedib > , August 2, 2017 at 1:25 pm GMT

Great article. Quite accurate description of the hubris infected American establishment.

jacques sheete > , August 2, 2017 at 1:26 pm GMT

@Sergey Krieger "What is absolutely clear is that these sanctions will have exactly zero effect on Russia and I don't think anybody is seriously expecting the Russians to change anything at all in their policies."

Zero effects? Speaking of changing policy is true but not that it won't create troubles for Russia. Anyway, any aggression requires swift and ruthless response otherwise it invites more of aggression. Putin is wrong to behave the way he behaves. There must be zero patience and head for an eye response. Than aggression stops.

Anyway, any aggression requires swift and ruthless repsonse

Not always, and not necessarily now. Sometimes no response is the most powerful. Aggressive and ruthless responses are often best reserved for the times they're likely to succeed decisively. Responding to petulant pissants is more often than not a waste of time, energy and concentration. Putin appears to know all that, and good for him. I 'd love to see him knock the bastards on their collective asses permanently. Sometime.

Aedib > , August 2, 2017 at 1:31 pm GMT

@utu

Did I miss it or Saker does not even explain what kind of sanctions were imposed but nevertheless he assures his readers that they won't hurt Russia and possibly make it even stronger and basically everything will be hunky-dory because PGU has extremely well qualified individuals on its staff: "superb level of education and training." And obviously Putin is a superman who was in charge of spies in East Germany which required as much sophistication and risk taking as spying in Wales for James Bond. Russia had quite satisfactorily surfed sanctions.

https://www.awaragroup.com/blog/russian-economy-2014-2016-the-years-of-sanctions-warfare/

Pandos > , August 2, 2017 at 2:19 pm GMT

@Bragadocious Worse, Trump's behavior towards Europe and the anti-Trump propaganda inside Europe has now put the EU and the US on a collision course. This is absolutely amazing: for the Russians the current tensions between the EU and the USA are a dream come true and yet they had absolutely nothing to do with it – it was all done by the self-defeating stupidity of the Americans who created this situation completely ex nihilo

So I guess the Americans are stupid for antagonizing Russia, they're stupid for antagonizing Russia's enemies in the EU--they're just plain stupid, according to this Dutch-Russian emigre. I don't know why America's stupid for standing up for its rights on climate change and refugee admissions and calling out NATO freeloaders, I really don't. And if this upsets Western Europe, so much the better. Also, someone should explain to "The Saker" that the neocons were well in control before Obama. How do you think we got into Iraq? And what is the "semblance of sanity" he thinks we should return to? "rights on climate change and refugee admissions" Seriously? Oh please.

yeah > , August 2, 2017 at 2:28 pm GMT

@Sean Largely due to Obama's timidity in Syria on top of his denial of defensive weapons to Kiev, Russia humiliated America in Syria. Putin will rue the day, because America is going to hit back at Russia (it has to). Trump is going to take asymmetric vengeance and bleed Russia white. A fraction of what has been spent in Syria will go a very long way in you-know-where.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/world/europe/pentagon-and-state-department-are-said-to-propose-arming-ukraine.html

Regarding Syria and your comments thereon: Excuse me, but is it all about Russia versus America or can the Syrian people and their Government have any say? The world has people and Governments other than American ones, you know, and they don't like freedom, democracy, or whatever delivered by bombs, not even by smart bombs. The Syrian Government did not ask Washington to intervene, so under international law American intervention and bombings there are as legitimate as "Saving Vietnam from the commies", "Bringing democracy to Iraq", or . the list is long. No adventure on that list turned out well for America or anyone else, with the exception of the merchants of death.

Now your fond hope is "Trump is going to bleed Russia white" and no doubt you would welcome "Getting tough on Russia". Maybe you prefer your news to be exciting – with trade wars, sanctions-wars, hot wars, cold wars, shooting wars, full blown mushroom-cloud-wars – but you will have to spare us such merry excitement.

John Q. Public > , August 2, 2017 at 3:27 pm GMT

You are making too big a deal about the 30 day repeal. I bet you Trump will include a signing statement that he reserves the right to ignore the parts of the law that are unconstitutional.

schmenz > , August 2, 2017 at 4:12 pm GMT

I'm afraid I had to stop reading when our beloved Saker stated that the Israel Lobby has nothing to do with Israel. I'm really not sure what planet Saker lives on but he might ask the destroyed nations around Israel if they think the Lobby has nothing to do with Israel.

jacques sheete > , August 2, 2017 at 4:36 pm GMT

@schmenz I'm afraid I had to stop reading when our beloved Saker stated that the Israel Lobby has nothing to do with Israel. I'm really not sure what planet Saker lives on but he might ask the destroyed nations around Israel if they think the Lobby has nothing to do with Israel.

I'm afraid I had to stop reading when our beloved Saker stated that the Israel Lobby has nothing to do with Israel.

This could no doubt be more accurately stated as, the Israel Lobby has nothing to do with the interests of the Israeli people. It seems to exist for the benefit of the ultra moneybag crowd and its deranged puppets such as Netanyahooooo!

Mulegino1 > , August 2, 2017 at 5:49 pm GMT

Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad. Thus, the "American" (please note the quotation marks) oligarchy is imploding. Hopefully, they will not exercise a Samson Option of their own, but anything is possible with this gang of criminal sociopaths. Their poster boy is now an insatiable warmonger who is suffering from brain cancer! How could things get any worse?

After the impressive military victories the US has achieved against such formidable foes as Panama, Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, mighty Grenada, Serbia and Libya, taking on Russia should be a "cakewalk", right? And to think there is a sizable demographic in this country which still believes this! Unbelievable. The last time that the US took on a military opponent at rough conventional parity with it (the Chinese in Korea) the result was a stalemate. To paraphrase Cardinal Newman, "To be deep in history is to cease to be a neocon."

Trump should have just let the veto proof sanctions become law without his signature.

Moi > , August 2, 2017 at 5:56 pm GMT

"The big difference is that immense and untapped potential of the USA to bounce back."

This tells me the writer is delusional. The "American Century" is over, and it did not last one hundred years. Too bad.

Moi > , August 2, 2017 at 6:01 pm GMT

@TheJester

Furthermore, we also have to keep in mind that the Neocon Lobby is unlike any other lobby in the list above. For one thing, it does not represent US interests. Neither does it represent the interests of Israel. Rather, it represents the interests of a specific subset of the US ruling elites, in reality much smaller than 1% of the population, which all share in the one common ideology of worldwide domination typical of the Neocons.

These are the folks who in spite of their 100% ironclad control of the media and Congress lost the Presidential election to Donald Trump and who are now dead set to impeach him.

Many people who notice believe that "Neocon" is a euphemism for "Jew". Yes, there are non-Jewish outliers among the Neocons like John McCain and Lindsey Graham ... but this need be no more complex than assuming that they, like so many others in government such as Bill and Hillary Clinton, have cut their deals with the Jewish lobby. Indeed, when I read an article on Neocons, the list of culprits does read like a list of Ashkenazi Jews.

The import is that if the Neocons are religiously committed to world domination and "Neocon" is a euphemism for "Jew", then it follows that the age-old stereotype that there are cabals of Jews seeking world domination at the expense of the goyim they live among is true. Agree!

Anonymous > , Disclaimer August 2, 2017 at 6:03 pm GMT

@Sean Largely due to Obama's timidity in Syria on top of his denial of defensive weapons to Kiev, Russia humiliated America in Syria. Putin will rue the day, because America is going to hit back at Russia (it has to). Trump is going to take asymmetric vengeance and bleed Russia white. A fraction of what has been spent in Syria will go a very long way in you-know-where.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/world/europe/pentagon-and-state-department-are-said-to-propose-arming-ukraine.html

Russia humiliated America in Syria

They humiliated Tel Aviv. American people never wanted to spill their blood and treasure on the other side of the Globe for the Grater Israel project.

Suman > , August 2, 2017 at 6:03 pm GMT

Rand Paul and Mike Lee voted against the sanctions. Bernie Sanders is getting undue credit.

Moi > , August 2, 2017 at 6:04 pm GMT

@Wizard of Oz

I'm afraid you're right. But I remain puzzled at how 98 Senators could have been lined up for that stupidity. Can you enlarge on the details of neo-con ideas, personnel and means of influence to explain the neo-con part? I mean 98 out of 100 Senators!!!

And, given especially your assertion that Israeli lobbyists aren't acting in Israel's real interests, can you give a fuller explanation of what they are up to and why, with particular reference to that Senate vote?

Following on from that, or, if you insist, as an aside would you care to give your view of what rational Israeli lobbying might seek Americann help for. Here's my attempt at starting your explanation..... Israel knows it can no longer defeat the battle hardened Hezbollah forces, from which they have already received a bloidy nose, without using nuclear weapons or losing a high proportion of young Israelis. So it fears that Hezbollah, still connected to Iran and protected in that by Syria, will launch intolerable rocket attacks to provoke Israeli attack against its dug in positions.

The need to remove Assad's regime has to be seen in that light??? Could it be as simple as that? That kind of overwhelming support in the Senate is usually reserved for Israel.

Joe Levantine > , August 2, 2017 at 6:17 pm GMT

The current crisis between the largely special interest owned American executive branch and the largely failing reformer Donald Trump can be a historic opportunity for Europe to mend the artificial divide between the European Union and Russia. The crisis can also be a golden opportunity to shake the corrupt system of government in the USA. These opportunities are subject to having strong and free leaders who can capitalize on the hubris of the ignorant senators and representatives on Capitol Hill.

Germany, absent Merkel, can resurrect the reinsurance treaty with Russia which Kaiser Wilhelm II abrogated much to the frustration and disapproval of Bismarck, the pilot of German unification. What followed was a precarious geopolitical divide in Europe which led to the WWI with its disastrous consequences for Germany, followed by the ordeal of the Versailles Treaty and ultimately the breakout of WWII.

By putting the energy gun to the head of the Europeans, the American legislature will force the Europeans to rethink and revamp their self defeating policies towards Russia that are done at the behest of the USA. Any rapprochement with Russia will seal the fate of Eurasia as an integrated economic bloc with the New Silk Road at its backbone.

As for the United States internal politics, it is obvious that the neocons are pushing matters to a head with Trump whose only resort is to knit a special relationship with those leaders of the military establishment who do not fancy the dominance of the deep state under the leadership of the CIA. The neocons move to impeach the president should create the kind of unrest that should spur the military to take action against the corruption of the legislative branch and its extension in the neocons media complex.

Yet this very much desired scenario that could a boon for world peace hinges on the emergence of a new leadership in the western world that is willing to defy the powers that be. Currently Europe is woefully lacking in the quality of leadership that can seize the moment to break free from the dominance of the neocons.

Zogby > , August 2, 2017 at 6:21 pm GMT

This sanctions bill is a domestic US matter. The Republicans are trying to pacify the Democrats' rage and bitterness over losing the election. It is most convenient for them to adopt the canard blaming Russia for the result of the election. The voters knew exactly where Trump stands on Russia, so even if Russia leaked the DNC and Podesta emails, there was no theft of the election. Voters were not mislead about positions, and knew very well the Democrats accuse the Russian of the leaks.

Trump did not veto the the bill because of the veto proof majority, but will effectively veto the bill by ignoring it. I don't see any Federal Court issuing orders to enforce this bill, and can ignore that too. It's like Congress declaring a war the President doesn't want to fight. Who is gonna make him?

Harold Smith > , August 2, 2017 at 6:33 pm GMT

"Why in the world would the US Senate adopt new sanctions against Russia when Russia has done absolutely nothing to provoke such a vote? Except for Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders, every single US Senator voted in favor of these sanctions. Why?!"

There is no satisfactory "worldly" explanation for what's happening here, but there is an explanation. The Jew-controlled "U.S. government" apparently hates Russia for the same reason that Cain hated (and eventually murdered) Abel. To put it another way, "bad" (evil) hates "good" because if there were no such thing as "good", then there would be no such thing as "bad" by comparison. The Russian government demonstrates respect for international law, mutual cooperation, diplomacy, stability, restraint, etc., while the U.S. government simply trashes everything, including America.

The Jews HATE a good example, and Russian re-emergence onto the world scene as an example of relative goodness, in stark contrast to U.S. evil, is simply too much for them to bear.

"An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked" (Proverbs 29:27).

Seamus Padraig > , August 2, 2017 at 6:46 pm GMT

@Sergey Krieger "What is absolutely clear is that these sanctions will have exactly zero effect on Russia and I don't think anybody is seriously expecting the Russians to change anything at all in their policies."

Zero effects? Speaking of changing policy is true but not that it won't create troubles for Russia. Anyway, any aggression requires swift and ruthless repsonse otherwise it invites more of agression. Putin is wrong to behave the way he behaves. There must be zero patience and head for an eye response. Than aggression stops.

Putin is wrong to behave the way he behaves. There must be zero patience and head for an eye response. Than aggression stops.

I second what 'jaques sheete' said. I just want to add that we could be on the verge of a major break between Washington and the EU -- something Putin has been working towards for years. We have an old saying: when you're enemy's committing suicide, stand back and let him. That's what Washington is doing now: committing suicide.

Miro23 > , August 2, 2017 at 6:47 pm GMT

During that long trip I did not only see breathtakingly beautiful sights, but also plenty of beautiful people who oppose the satanic ball in DC with every fiber of their being and who want their country to be free from the degenerate demonic powers which have taken over the federal government.

I don't believe the "with every fiber of their being" part. This is just wishful thinking on the part of Saker. If this were so, they wouldn't just be grumbling or trusting their corrupt representatives. Average Americans still elect people like McCain, Graham and Schumer and I haven't seen any mass anti-war demonstrations in Washington or New York or anywhere else.

Seamus Padraig > , August 2, 2017 at 7:04 pm GMT

Even more depressing than the bill is Trump's craven capitulation:

In a signing statement released by the White House, Trump said the legislation "included a number of clearly unconstitutional provisions" in lawmakers' "haste" to pass it.

"While I favor tough measures to punish and deter aggressive and destabilizing behavior by Iran, North Korea and Russia, this legislation is significantly flawed," he said

Trump, however, said in another statement accompanying the bill that he would not allow the U.S. to "tolerate interference in our democratic process and that we will side with our allies and friends against Russian subversion and destabilization."

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/president-trump-signs-russia-sanctions-bill/story?id=48985465

So Trump now officially regards his own election as illegitimate? As the result of Russian "subversion and destabilization"? Incredible! I realize he can't stop the bill; but that doesn't mean he has to officially sign it.

Sean > , August 2, 2017 at 7:36 pm GMT

@yeah Regarding Syria and your comments thereon: Excuse me, but is it all about Russia versus America or can the Syrian people and their Government have any say? The world has people and Governments other than American ones, you know, and they don't like freedom, democracy, or whatever delivered by bombs, not even by smart bombs. The Syrian Government did not ask Washington to intervene, so under international law American intervention and bombings there are as legitimate as "Saving Vietnam from the commies", "Bringing democracy to Iraq", or .... the list is long. No adventure on that list turned out well for America or anyone else, with the exception of the merchants of death.

Now your fond hope is "Trump is going to bleed Russia white" and no doubt you would welcome "Getting tough on Russia". Maybe you prefer your news to be exciting - with trade wars, sanctions-wars, hot wars, cold wars, shooting wars, full blown mushroom-cloud-wars - but you will have to spare us such merry excitement.

https://defenceindepth.co/2017/02/17/the-russian-militarys-view-on-the-utility-of-force-the-adoption-of-a-strategy-of-non-violent-asymmetric-warfare/

Russian military thinking seems to have reached the point now where the idea of using force intentionally in conflicts with peer-state adversaries has been almost completely ruled out. This seems a radical move. But there has been a clear recognition within this military that better strategic outcomes for Russia will result from the use of non-violent 'asymmetric warfare' activities rather than those which will or can involve the use of force – such as conventional war or hybrid warfare. [...] The principal aim of Russian asymmetric warfare is to create degrees of destabilisation (destabilizatsiya) within targeted states and within collectives of targeted states (e.g. NATO, EU). [...] And all this plays to the Russian military's own strengths – its 'own relative advantages'. While it might lack 'quantitative indicators' – the tanks, aircraft and ships – it does have a massive capacity to gather information, to disseminate (mis)information and to employ considerable cyber abilities

The most painful sanctions for Putin are old news, it was the cancellation of the Exxon deal by the Obama administration. ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-exxon-treasury-fight-and-the-roots-of-russiagate_us_597de928e4b0c69ef70528ff ).

Too backward to frack, Russia tried to bribe the tech from Exxon with massive access to Russia untapped resources to show them how. I would really like someone to tell me why Russia should be rewarded by transfer of crucial US technology for what it did in Ukraine. Were they expecting a pat on the back? Russia will it not start a conventional or nuclear war unless it thinks there is a chance of it winning, and there isn't.

Sean > , August 2, 2017 at 7:43 pm GMT

@Anonymous

Russia humiliated America in Syria
They humiliated Tel Aviv. American people never wanted to spill their blood and treasure on the other side of the Globe for the Grater Israel project. No because Jordan not Syria is just across the river from the occupied territories' Palestinian population. Syria has little or no bearing on the West Bank Arab problem, which is the main one for Israel
Johnny Rico > , Website August 2, 2017 at 7:47 pm GMT

It is all about the oil.

Oil is the only reason the global population has quadrupled in only the last 100 years. The Industrial Revolution was not enough. Oil is necessary to maintain this population and keep it fed.

The remaining relatively-cheap oil is all in Russia, Saudia Arabia, Iraq, Iran, and The UAE. Everybody understands this. The Russians, the Chinese, the Neocons, Donald Trump. They all get this.

The United States is for all intents-and-purposes energy independent when you include supplies from Canada and rapidly-dwindling supplies from Mexico. But the United States relies on "control" of the oil coming from the Persian Gulf to maintain control of its Empire and as tenuous control over its real one and only rival – China.

South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan are completely dependent for survival economically on energy that comes from the Middle-East and is protected by the U.S. Navy.

The constant tension between Israel and Saudi Arabia (The two worst regimes in the world) on the one side and Iran on the other is necessary to give the American Deep State and Empire purpose.

While it 'appears' that all the American military equipment and bases and meddling in the Middle East are aimed at surrounding and blunting Iran's power – it should be obvious from 75-plus years of history that the real purpose is to surround Saudi Arabia.

Whether it is Roosevelt meeting with the King in 1945 on the way back from Yalta or Trump meeting with the King a month ago – the message is clear – The heads belonging to the House of Sand are only attached to their necks at the discretion of the United States.

peterAUS > , August 2, 2017 at 8:26 pm GMT

@anonymous

Much is made of this so-called "neocon" business. They appear to be a current highly aggressive strain of American expansionism. However, there were no "neocons" in 1898 when the US saw it's opportunity to attack Spain and grab away it's holdings. The US has been aggressively expanding ever since, inserting itself into both world wars at the very last minute in order to gain as much for itself as possible. It got a couple bloody rebuffs in Korea and Vietnam but learned how to refine it's technique from those experiences. The US has been on the march ever since 1898, sometimes slowly sometimes quickly. It's not something new but is an inherent dynamic. Like a balloon things expand until they reach some sort of internal or external limiting factor. For the US one can imagine what those might be. Agree.

The only difference, at this stage of expansion, is that the lower classes do not get the spoils of the expansion. If they did .well .it would be interesting to see how much they'd be against The Empire.

And, yes, that another THING; this time the opponent can retaliate hard. Nukes do make all that difficult to execute. What a conundrum ..

!--file:///f:/Public_html/Skeptics/Political_skeptic/index.shtml--> !--file:///f:/Public_html/Skeptics/Political_skeptic/Fighting_russophobia/index.shtml--> !--file:///f:/Public_html/Skeptics/Political_skeptic/Neocolonialism/american_imperialism.shtml--> !--file:///f:/Public_html/Skeptics/Political_skeptic/Neocolonialism/predator_state.shtml--> !--file:///f:/Public_html/Skeptics/Political_skeptic/Fighting_russophobia/Propaganda_as_creation_of_artificial_reality/demonization_of_putin.shtml--> !--file:///f:/Public_html/Skeptics/Political_skeptic/Neocons/anti_russian_hysteria.shtml--> !--file:///f:/Public_html/Skeptics/Political_skeptic/Neocolonialism/War_is_racket/media_military_industrial_complex.shtml--> !--file:///f:/Public_html/Skeptics/Political_skeptic/Fifth_column/color_revolutions.shtml--> !--file:///f:/Public_html/Skeptics/Political_skeptic/Neocons/Militarism/new_american_militarism.shtml--> !--file:///f:/Public_html/Skeptics/Political_skeptic/Neocolonialism/War_is_racket/index.shtml--> !--file:///f:/Public_html/Skeptics/Political_skeptic/Neocons/Hillary/hillary_health_issues.shtml--> !--file:///f:/Public_html/Skeptics/Political_skeptic/Two_party_system_as_poliarchy/US_presidential_elections/us_presidential_elections2016.shtml--> !--file:///f:/Public_html/Skeptics/Political_skeptic/Trumpism/personnel_is_policy.shtml--> !--file:///f:/Public_html/Skeptics/Political_skeptic/Trumpism/Foreign_unilateralism/trump_after_his_colin_powell_moment.shtml--> !--file:///f:/Public_html/Skeptics/Political_skeptic/nationalism.shtml--> !--file:///F:/Public_html/Skeptics/Political_skeptic/neocons.shtml-->

[Jul 31, 2017] How Romney Loyalists Hijacked Trumps Foreign Policy

Notable quotes:
"... This isn't merely a story of palace intrigue and revolving chairs in the corridors of power. Brave Americans in the uniform of their country will continue to be sent into far-off lands to intercede in internecine conflicts that have little if anything to do with U.S. national security. Many will return physically shattered or mentally maimed. Others will be returned to Andrews Air Force Base in flag-draped coffins, to be saluted by serial presidents of both parties, helpless to stop the needless carnage. ..."
"... Ron Maxwell wrote and directed the Civil War trilogy of movies: ..."
"... Great piece. Thank you, Mr. Maxwell. Reading this, I burn with anger -- then a sense of utter futility washes over me. I think history will show that the Trump era was the moment the American people realized that the Deep State is more powerful than the presidency. ..."
"... The rogues' gallery of neocons and apprentice neocons described above is really disturbing. We didn't vote for this. ..."
"... Re Nikki Haley, she's already an embarrassment, an ignorant neocon-dependent. She's dragging us down the same old road of anti-Russia hysterics and Middle East meddling. The best that can be said of her presence at the UN is that by putting her there Trump promoted one of his allies into the SC governor's mansion. I don't think he was under any illusions as to her foreign policy knowledge, competence, or commitment to an America First policy. But she's become a vector for neocons to reinfect government, and she needs to be removed. ..."
"... Neoconism and neoliberalism is like a super-bug infection. None of the anti-biotics are working. We have only one hope left. Rand Paul, the super anti-neocon/neoliberal. ..."
"... In this country we can talk about resenting elites all we want, but when it comes to making American foreign policy there still is an American foreign policy elite – and it's very powerful. Why has there been no debate? Actually, Michael Mandelbaum, an author with whom I seldom agree on anything, but in his book "The Frugal Superpower" he actually tells you why there's no debate in the foreign policy establishment. ..."
"... And to be part of the establishment you have to buy into it – to its ideology, to its beliefs system, and that is a very hard thing to break. And so before we all jump up and down and say, "Wow! Donald Trump won! NATO is going to be changed. Our commitments in East Asia are going to change. The Middle East may change!" We'd better take a deep breath and ask ourselves, and I think Will Ruger raised this point on the first panel, where is the counter-elite? ..."
"... Where is a Trumpian counter-elite that not only can take the senior positions in the cabinet like Defense Secretary and Secretary of State, but be the assistant secretaries, the deputy assistant secretaries, the NSC staffers. ..."
"... I think that elite doesn't exist right now, and that's a big problem, because the people who are going to be probably still in power are the people who do not agree with the kinds of foreign policy ideas that I think most of us in this room are sympathetic to. So, over time maybe that will change. ..."
"... The problem with the neocons is that their ambition vastly exceeds their ability. ..."
Jul 31, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Rex Tillerson, formidably accomplished in global business, was nevertheless as much a neophyte as his boss when it came to navigating the policy terrain of the D.C. swamp. As is well known, in building his team he relied on those two neocon avatars, Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice, who had originally promoted his own candidacy for secretary of state. But Rice had been a vocal part of the neocon Never Trump coalition. Her anti-Trump pronouncements included: "Donald Trump should not be president .He doesn't have the dignity and stature to be president." The Washington Post greeted her 2017 book, Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom , as "a repudiation of Trump's America First worldview."

Thus it wasn't surprising that Rice would introduce Elliott Abrams to Tillerson as an ideal candidate for State's No. 2 position. This would have placed a dyed-in-the-wool neocon hardliner at the very top of the State Department's hierarchy and given him the power to hire and fire all undersecretaries across the vast foreign policy empire. Rice, one of the architects of George W. Bush's failed policies of regime change and nation building, would have consolidated a direct line of influence into the highest reaches of the Trump foreign policy apparatus.

Not only was Abrams' entire career a refutation of Trump's America First foreign policy, but he had spent the previous eighteen months publicly bashing Trump in harsh terms. Cleverly, however, he had not signed either of the two Never Trump letters co-signed by most of the other neocon foreign policy elite. Abrams almost got the nod, except for a last-minute intervention by Trump adviser Steve Bannon, who was armed with every disparaging anti-Trump statement Abrams had made. Examples: "This is a question of character. He is not fit to sit in the chair of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln .his absolute unwillingness to learn anything about foreign policy .Hillary would be better on foreign policy. I'm not going to vote for Trump ."

But Abrams' rejection was the exception. As a high profile globalist-interventionist he could not easily hide his antipathy toward the Trump doctrine. Others, whose track records and private comments were more easily obscured, were waived in by gatekeepers whose mission it was (and remains) to populate State, DoD, and national security agencies with establishment and neocon cadres, not with proven Trump supporters and adherents to his foreign policy.

But how did the gatekeepers get in? Romney may have disappeared from the headlines, but he never left the sidelines. His chess pieces were already on the board, occupying key squares and prepared to move.

Once the president opened the door to RNC chairman Reince Priebus as his chief of staff, to Rex Tillerson at State, to James Mattis as defense secretary, and to H. R. McMaster at NSC, the neocons just walked in. While each of these political and military luminaries may publicly support the president's policies and in some instances may sincerely want to see them implemented, their entire careers have been spent within the establishment and neocon elite. They don't know any other world view or any other people.

Donald Trump ran on an America First foreign policy, repeatedly deriding George W. Bush for invading Iraq in 2003. He criticized Clinton and Obama for their military interventions in Libya and their support for regime change in Syria. He questioned the point of the endless Afghan war. He criticized the Beltway's hostile obsession with Russia while it ignored China's military buildup and economic threat to America.

Throughout the campaign Trump made abundantly clear his foreign policy ethos. If elected he would stop the policy of perpetual war, strengthen America's military, take care of U.S. veterans, focus particularly on annihilating the ISIS caliphate, protect the homeland from Islamist radicalism, and promote a carefully calibrated America First policy.

But, despite this clear record, according to Politico and other Beltway journals, the president has been entreated in numerous White House and Pentagon meetings to sign off on globalist foreign policy goals, including escalating commitments to the war in Afghanistan. These presentations, conducted by H.R. McMaster and others, were basically arguments to continue the global status quo; in other words, a foreign policy that Clinton would have embraced. Brian Hook and Nadia Schadlow were two of the lesser known policy wonks who participated in these meetings, determining vital issues of war and peace.

Brian Hook, head of State Department policy planning, is an astute operative and member in good standing of the neocon elite. He's also a onetime foreign policy adviser to Romney and remains in close touch with him. Hook was one of the founders, along with Eliot Cohen and Eric Edelman, of the anti-Trump John Hay Initiative. Hook organized one of the Never Trump letters during the campaign, and his views are well-known, in part through a May 2016 piece by Julia Hoffe in Politico Magazine. A passage: "My wife said, 'never,'" said Brian Hook, looking pained and slicing the air with a long, pale hand. .Even if you say you support him as the nominee," Hook says, "you go down the list of his positions and you see you disagree on every one."

One might wonder how a man such as Hook could become the director of policy planning and a senior adviser to Rex Tillerson, advising on all key foreign policy issues? The answer is: the Romney network.

Consider also the case of Margaret Peterlin, assigned as a Sherpa during the transition to guide Tillerson through the confirmation process. Another experienced Beltway insider, Peterlin promptly made herself indispensable to Tillerson and blocked anyone who wanted access to him, no matter how senior. Peterlin then brought Brian Hook onboard, a buddy from their Romney days, to serve as the brains for foreign policy while she was serving as the Gorgon-eyed chief of staff.

According to rumor, the two are now blocking White House personnel picks, particularly Trump loyalists, from appointments at State. At the same time, they are bringing aboard neocons such as Kurt Volker, executive director of the McCain Institute and notorious Russia hawk, and Wess Mitchell, president of the neocon Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA). As special representative for Ukraine negotiations, Volker is making proclamations to inflame the conflict and further entangle the United States.

Meanwhile, Mitchell, another Romney alumnus and a Brian Hook buddy from the John Hay Initiative, has been nominated as assistant secretary of state for European and Erurasian affairs. Brace yourself for an unnecessary Cold War with Russia, if not a hot one. While Americans may not really care whether ethnic Russians or ethnic Ukrainians dominate the Donbass, these guys do.

Then there's Nadia Schadlow, another prominent operative with impeccable neocon credentials. She was the senior program officer at the Smith Richardson Foundation, where her main job was to underwrite the neocon project by offering grants to the many think tanks in their network. For the better part of a decade she pursued a PhD under the tutelage of Eliot Cohen, who has pronounced himself a "Never Trumper" and has questioned the president's mental health. Cohen, along with H.R. McMaster, provided editorial guidance to Schadlow for her book extolling nation-building and how we can do more of it.

Relationships beget jobs, which is how Schadlow became deputy assistant to the president, with the task, given by her boss H.R. McMaster, of writing the administration's National Security Strategy. Thus do we have a neocon stalwart who wrote the book on nation building now writing President Trump's national security strategy.

How, we might ask, did these Never Trump activists get into such high positions in the Trump administration? And what was their agenda at such important meetings with the President if not to thwart his America First agenda? Put another way, how did Trump get saddled with nearly Mitt Romney's entire foreign policy staff? After all, the American people did not elect Mitt Romney when they had the chance.

Trump is a smart guy. So is Barack Obama. But even Obama, Nobel Peace Prize in hand, could not prevent the inexorable slide to violent regime change in Libya, which resulted in a semi-failed state, tens of thousands killed, and a foothold for Al Queda and other radical Islamists in the Maghreb. He also could not prevent the arming of Islamist rebels in Syria after he had the CIA provide lethal arms strictly to "moderate rebels." Unable or unwilling to disengage from Afghanistan, Obama acquiesced in a series of Pentagon strategies with fluctuating troop levels before bequeathing to his successor an open ended, unresolved war.

Rumors floating through official Washington suggest the neocons now want to replace Tillerson at State with Trump critic and Neocon darling Nikki Haley, currently pursuing a one-person bellicose foreign policy from her exalted post at the United Nations. Not surprisingly, Haley and Romney go way back. As a firm neocon partisan, she endorsed his presidential bid in 2011 .

As UN ambassador, Haley has articulated a nearly incoherent jumble of statements that seem more in line with her own neocon worldview than with Trump's America First policies. Some samples:

"I think that, you know, Russia is full of themselves. They've always been full of themselves. But that's – its more of a faηade that they try and show as opposed to anything else."

"What we are is serious. And you see us in action, so its not in personas. Its in actions and its what we do."

"The United States calls for an immediate end to the Russian occupation of Crimea. Crimea is a part of Ukraine. Our Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns control over the peninsula to Ukraine."

One must ask: Is Ambassador Haley speaking on behalf of the Trump administration when she says it is official U.S. policy that Russia, having annexed Crimea, must return it to Ukraine? Is the Russo-American geopolitical relationship to be held hostage indefinitely because in 2014 the people of Crimea voted for their political reintegration into Russia, which they had been part of since 1776?

Since there is as much chance of Russia ceding Crimea back to Ukraine as there is of the United States ceding Texas back to Mexico, does this mean there is no possibility of any meaningful cooperation with Russia on anything else? Not even in fighting the common ominous threat from Islamist radicalism? Has Haley committed the American people to this dead-end policy on her own or in consultation with the President?

On July 14, the Washington Examiner wrote that "Haley's remarks set the tone for Trump's reversal from the less interventionist, 'America First' foreign policy he campaigned on." Little wonder, then, that in a little-noticed victory lap of her own, coinciding with the release of her book, Condoleezza Rice acknowledged the near complete takeover of Trump's foreign policy team. "The current national security team is terrific," she said. She even gave Trump her anointed blessing following their recent White House meeting, during which the septuagenarian schoolboy received the schoolmarm's pat on the head: " He was engaging," she said. "I found him on top of his brief .asking really good questions." That's a far cry from her campaign-season comment about Trump that he "doesn't have the dignity and stature to be president."

American foreign policy seems to be on auto-pilot, immune to elections and impervious to the will of the people. It is perpetuated by an entrenched contingent of neocon and establishment zealots and bureaucratic drones in both the public and private sector, whose careers, livelihoods, and very raison d'etre depend on an unchallenged policy of military confrontation with the prestige, power, and cash flow it generates. Those who play the game by establishment rules are waived in. Those who would challenge the status quo are kept out. This is the so-called Deep State, thwarting the will of President Trump and the people who voted for him.

This isn't merely a story of palace intrigue and revolving chairs in the corridors of power. Brave Americans in the uniform of their country will continue to be sent into far-off lands to intercede in internecine conflicts that have little if anything to do with U.S. national security. Many will return physically shattered or mentally maimed. Others will be returned to Andrews Air Force Base in flag-draped coffins, to be saluted by serial presidents of both parties, helpless to stop the needless carnage.

Ron Maxwell wrote and directed the Civil War trilogy of movies: Gettysburg, Gods and Generals, Copperhead.

Andrew , says: July 30, 2017 at 11:04 pm

This is all very convincing, but the point remains: Trump won and is the one responsible for allowing all these neocons through the door. Had Pat Buchanan won the nomination and the Presidency back in the nineties, does anyone believe he would make the same blunders, and not be equipped to find the right traditional conservatives instead of the establishment DC neocons that try and swamp every GOP Administration now since Reagan? Trump is simply too naive and doesn't have any feel for the political ideologies of all of these people, being not much of a political animal himself. And replacing Priebus with General Kelly isn't likely to change all that. He should be talking to Ann Coulter and Buchanan as unofficial advisers or something.
Fran Macadam , says: July 31, 2017 at 12:36 am
Globalism is the twenty-first century euphemism for old fashioned imperialism, now on Wall Street propelled nuclear steroids.
KaneV , says: July 31, 2017 at 1:15 am
Good God how shallow is the Trump foreign policy bench that the American Con has a director writing in its defense?
reelectclaydavis , says: July 31, 2017 at 4:43 am
Interesting argument, though you ignore other factors besides the conspiratorial-sounding "Romney network" that account for American interventionist neo-conservatives finding their way back into power: 1) that they are by far the largest group of people available to staff the government because of a) the dominance of aggressive liberal internationalism over more restrained realism in graduate schools which educate these foreign policy specialists; b) an inherent bias of these specialists not to admit that America cannot influence world events (that would be like a social worker who didn't believe s/he could usually mediate conflicts). Also, 2) Trump's alleged non-interventionist beliefs are less well-formed than you imply, you just project on him what you wish to see; a) you ignore his comments about taking the oil of other countries, an idea the neo-conservatives had as a way to pay for operations in Iraq; and b) Beliefs closer to Trump's core: that others not paying their fair share and that America is being taken advantage of, are not incompatible with the American interventions you oppose.
polistra , says: July 31, 2017 at 8:13 am
You can't hijack an executive's policy unless the executive is either hopelessly weak or a faker. Doesn't matter which.

The only good part is that the fake image of a somewhat less warlike "Trump", stirred up by the media to destroy Trump, is actually DOING what a real non-interventionist Trump would have done. EU is breaking away from US control, just as a real antiwar Trump would have ordered it to do.

Dan Stewart , says: July 31, 2017 at 8:23 am
Great piece. Thank you, Mr. Maxwell. Reading this, I burn with anger -- then a sense of utter futility washes over me. I think history will show that the Trump era was the moment the American people realized that the Deep State is more powerful than the presidency.
For Virginia , says: July 31, 2017 at 8:23 am
It's good to see Ron Maxwell published in these pages. I watch Gettysburg at least once a year. And don't think Virginians aren't grateful for Maxwell's role in helping put paid to Eric Cantor's political career.

The rogues' gallery of neocons and apprentice neocons described above is really disturbing. We didn't vote for this. And we don't want it.

Re Nikki Haley, she's already an embarrassment, an ignorant neocon-dependent. She's dragging us down the same old road of anti-Russia hysterics and Middle East meddling. The best that can be said of her presence at the UN is that by putting her there Trump promoted one of his allies into the SC governor's mansion. I don't think he was under any illusions as to her foreign policy knowledge, competence, or commitment to an America First policy. But she's become a vector for neocons to reinfect government, and she needs to be removed.

Johann , says: July 31, 2017 at 8:27 am
Neoconism and neoliberalism is like a super-bug infection. None of the anti-biotics are working. We have only one hope left. Rand Paul, the super anti-neocon/neoliberal.
SDS , says: July 31, 2017 at 8:46 am
"Trump is a smart guy" ..
??
If so; why does he not see this happening all around him? Except for his pompous, ignorant, hands-off method of governing, that is . The Emperor has no clothes but doesn't seem to know, nor care that he doesn't
Kurt Gayle , says: July 31, 2017 at 9:03 am
Christopher Layne, Robert M. Gates Chair in National Security, Texas A&M at the American Conservative Conference "Foreign Policy in America's Interest" (Nov 15 2016) said:

"In this country we can talk about resenting elites all we want, but when it comes to making American foreign policy there still is an American foreign policy elite – and it's very powerful. Why has there been no debate? Actually, Michael Mandelbaum, an author with whom I seldom agree on anything, but in his book "The Frugal Superpower" he actually tells you why there's no debate in the foreign policy establishment.

You see, debate is – basically goes from here to there [Dr. Layne puts his two index fingers close together in front of his face], like from the 45-yard-line to the 45-yard-line. And why does it stop there? Because people who try to go down towards the goal line have their union cards taken away. They're kicked out of the establishment. They're not listened to. They're disrespected.

And to be part of the establishment you have to buy into it – to its ideology, to its beliefs system, and that is a very hard thing to break. And so before we all jump up and down and say, "Wow! Donald Trump won! NATO is going to be changed. Our commitments in East Asia are going to change. The Middle East may change!" We'd better take a deep breath and ask ourselves, and I think Will Ruger raised this point on the first panel, where is the counter-elite?

Where is a Trumpian counter-elite that not only can take the senior positions in the cabinet like Defense Secretary and Secretary of State, but be the assistant secretaries, the deputy assistant secretaries, the NSC staffers.

I think that elite doesn't exist right now, and that's a big problem, because the people who are going to be probably still in power are the people who do not agree with the kinds of foreign policy ideas that I think most of us in this room are sympathetic to. So, over time maybe that will change.

Over time maybe a counter-elite will emerge. But in the short term I see very little prospect for all the big changes that most of us are hoping to see, and so for me the challenge that we face is really to find ways to develop this counter-elite than can staff an administration in the future, that has at least what we think are the views that Donald Trump holds."

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/watch-foreign-policy-in-americas-interest/

We're in a new period – a period of learning for President Trump and for those in the administration who back his anti-establishment foreign policy view. And while it is true that (as Chris Layne said) "in the short term I see very little prospect for all the big changes that most of us are hoping to see," as we move into the medium and long term, many of us are hopeful that these big Trumpian foreign policy changes can begin to be made.

Kevin , says: July 31, 2017 at 10:13 am
Shorter Ron Maxwell: good tsar, evil advisors --
Bill Smith , says: July 31, 2017 at 10:24 am
This article is sharply contradicted by an earlier and more informed article in Conservative Review, an outlet with a considerably larger audience than American Conservative. You might want to read that as a corrective to this one. You can find it here: https://www.conservativereview.com/articles/trump-nat-sec-strategy-to-translate-maga-into-foreign-policy

Money quote:

A senior administration official familiar with the work of Nadia Schadlow, a national security expert brought on to help draft the National Security Strategy, tells CR that she will attempt to produce an NSS as "iconoclastic as our new commander in chief," adding, "the era of milquetoast boilerplate is over."

Henri James , says: July 31, 2017 at 10:44 am
I do love that in all of these scenarios, Trump is just some innocent moon-eyed man child who can't possibly be expected to think on his own.
Charlie , says: July 31, 2017 at 11:27 am
The problem with the neocons is that their ambition vastly exceeds their ability. Neocons developed their minds in the Cold war dealing with a western power, the USSR. The problem is that once one enters the Middle East and Asia one is dealing with languages and cultures of which they [knew] next to nothing. How many speak Arabic, Farsi, Turkish and Urdu such that they understand every nuance of what is said and unsaid?

When dealing with the arabs and many in Afghanistan everything is personnel and this can go back 5 generations and includes hundreds if not thousands of people.

Trump has the common sense not to become involved in that he does not understand.

David Skerry , says: July 31, 2017 at 11:51 am
They come back in boxes while those who sent them to their deaths remain in the bags of the "America Second" group which highjacked our Congress. It's no longer "God Bless America"; it's "God Help America."

[Jul 30, 2017] Derek Harvey - one less neocon

Looks like there are a lot of neocons in Trump administration. Sad...
Notable quotes:
"... Individual incompetence is rarely a path to senior position. But when the Command is rotten from the top down, it happens more frequently. ..."
"... In a similar vein how can the entire US Senate minus 2 vote for a sanctions proposal which is patently and demonstrably based on false premises? ..."
"... American policy in regards to everything is easily understood by one basic concept. Follow the money. ..."
"... Legend in his own mind. How many more like him are influencing/making foreign policy decisions? Scary. Nice take down pl. ..."
"... Update: the blue ticks on twitter are reporting Trump 'sources' associated with Preibus are saying Trump is moving toward an independent whitehouse detached from the GOP. ..."
"... In fact, if true, this looks like a "neocon coup". It was bad enough they had control of State and influence at the Pentagon during Bush, now it looks they have total control of the White House AND State and still influence in the Pentagon... ..."
"... In hindsight it was a big mistake for Trump to think he could work with the GOP establishment. Better to rely on business, the military and other outsiders for his staff. ..."
"... It was straight Leo Strauss/neocon stuff. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article5010.htm ..."
"... The Protestant Christians in US and in UK - as a big part of Electorate - are largely responsible for enabling the neocons. The West has bought and paid for A RELIGIOUS indulgence, called Israel and is unwilling to either admit or accept that it has led to a religious war. I guess the West expects to prevail. ..."
"... "Are you calling CNN fake news?" The more apt description would be Fraudulent news. ..."
Jul 30, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

" Derek J. Harvey was the first Director of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Center of Excellence at U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) and a retired United States Army Colonel . He was selected by General David Petraeus in 2009 to lead the new organization. [1] Harvey is a Senior Executive Service -member of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and was the previous senior analytical specialist for Iraq to Petraeus, then Commander, Multi-National Forces-Iraq."

Wiki on Harvey

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

A very odd biographical wiki. It doesn't say much of anything about him. It is as though he was born anew when he came to Petraeus' attention as a briefer/analyst working in the big FOB at the Baghdad airport. Usually these things describe your life, parentage, education, marriage, etc. There is none of that. It is also rather out of date, being from the time when Mike Flynn brought him into DIA as a member of the Senior Executive Service.

I have known DH for a very long time.

  1. He evidently does not like to talk about his service in DIA as a captain in the late '80s. He was then a very green junior analyst in the Current Intelligence branch of DIA down in the basement of the Pentagon. Bob Woodward in "The War Within..." writes that in the late 80s Harvey wandered the back roads in Iraq traveling about 500 miles, chatting with villagers, headmen and tribal leaders to learn what the true state of affairs might be. This is untrue. If Harvey told Woodward that, he lied IMO. Saddam was then fully in power and an American who wandered in Iraq would shortly have been in prison or worse. No, Harvey was scribbling away in his basement cubicle in the Pentagon and hanging around my upstairs offices whenever my staff were silly enough to let him in through the alarmed door. I finally banned him from the office suite because he had no legitimate business there other than to try to obtain tutoring from me.
  2. I should be clear about his supposed adventures in Saddam's Iraq. Nobody in DIA would have sent or allowed this junior desk jockey to go do anything of the kind. He would have required orders in writing to make this trip. A number of people would have been needed as signatures on the permission, among them, me, and that never happened. If there had been official orders they would have required the allocation of funds in the orders. The idea that DIA would have funded this is laughable. If he had gone to Iraq on leave without permission the Iraqi police would have picked him up at the point of entry. In any event he would have needed the permission of the US ambassador and the US DATT to be in the country. That never happened either. In other words he seems to have built a "Harvey of Iraq" legend about himself out of whole cloth.
  3. He speaks no Arabic. None. That would have made his Laurentian or Munchausian adventures somewhat more difficult. In some web bios he is said to have an elementary knowledge of French and Farsi. Farsi? How would that have happened?
  4. He does not seem to have ever had any training as a field intelligence collector.
  5. He does not seem to have been board selected for senior Army schools like C&GSC and the War College. Perhaps he did these schools by correspondence or was given constructive credit for "experience?"
  6. So far as I know he never served in a Middle East or North African country before 9/11.
  7. His teaching job at South Florida University does not seem to have involved teaching about the Middle East. It was something about management that he taught.

Well, pilgrims, perhaps I have all this wrong, if so, then I will welcome your corrections. I am sure there will be some.

In the present instance of his dismissal from the NSC staff it is now clear to me that he thought he could wrestle control of the ME policy function away from McMaster and Mattis. He seems to have believed that he could do that with the slick persuasiveness that had worked so well for so long on so many and with the support of his neocon patrons.

Here is the statement he released yesterday on the occasion of his departure for greener pastures:

"Subject: Derek Harvey - Statement

I will be leaving the National Security Council today to take advantage of a new opportunity to continue serving our President and the United States of America in an important capacity.

Since January, I have had the special honor to serve as the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Middle East Affairs in the National Security Council. This has been work of vital importance to our country, and my departure comes with mixed emotions. In addition to the criticality of the mission, the people I have worked with in the NSC and the White House make this a tough decision.

I have known LTG H.R. McMaster for many years, and H.R. and I have worked closely together to tackle some of our nation's most difficult challenges. I value our friendship and deeply respect his visionary leadership. I look forward to working with H.R. in my future capacity. I have also appreciated the chance to work with the superb, selfless professionals on our team at the NSC, an amazing group of American patriots who have been instrumental in supporting the President, integrating U.S. policies toward the Middle East, and developing a series of strategies to protect and advance American interests in the region.

I treasure having had the opportunity to support committed and visionary leaders such as Mrs. K.T. McFarland, Mr. Jared Kushner, and Mr. Steve Bannon, and consummate professionals like Mr. Jason Greenblatt and Ms. Dina Powell. I am especially grateful for the Middle East Directorate and those on the NSC with whom we have worked so closely and with such great effect. I remain humbled by their dedication, commitment, and patriotism and wish them all the very best as they face the challenges ahead.

Most importantly, I am excited about the opportunities to advance American interests in the Middle East under President Trump's leadership, and I look forward to shouldering greater responsibilities in support of the President.

Sincerely,

Derek J. Harvey

Special Assistant to the President

Near East Region"

Vic -> Larry Kart ... , 29 July 2017 at 09:31 AM

As a single individual alone accomplishing it, it is rare (just as the opposite is true, extremely talented officers are also rare). However, in a case where the leadership of a Command is rotten, it is not rare at all.

Flynn at DIA IMO was a disaster. His "vision" behind reorganizing was to make DIA mostly an annex of J2 CENTOM. It was so disruptive and counter productive that he was replaced before the normal tour end. Harvey thrived on the CENTOM focused mission. Harvey was not the only questionable person that Flynn bumped up to the senior ranks.

So where did Flynn come from? He made his spurs working with General Petraeus. He bought into Petraeus's perpetual war, and hearts and minds COIN doctrine (with associated intelligence concept of the "human terrain"). In the end Petraeus also self destructed as a fraud and a very flawed officer.

In turn, Petraeus was a result of President Bush (2). A leader with incredibly poor judgement who brought together an incompetent circus of NeoCons (Chicken Hawks) to wage an unnecessary war in an incoherent manner.

Individual incompetence is rarely a path to senior position. But when the Command is rotten from the top down, it happens more frequently.

Vic

Mark Chapman -> Larry Kart ... , 29 July 2017 at 09:54 AM
Does everyone remember Michael "Heck of a Job, Brownie" D. Brown, the first-ever Undersecretary of Emergency Preparedness and Response? His Baptism by Mud in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina? Michael D. Brown's background experience for running a large casualty-management organization was as Judges and Stewards Commissioner for the International Arabian Horse Association.

To be fair, he was not so much a weasel as he had others do the promotion for him, which appears to have been based on doglike loyalty and nothing else. You'd be surprised how far that will take you - depending on the character of your leader - in quite a few organizations.

Haralambos , 28 July 2017 at 12:20 PM
This is up from yesterday on Harvey's dismissal: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/27/derek-harvey-trump-middle-east-adviser-dismissed-241037

Here is a revealing quote from the article:

"Harvey was viewed as one of Trump's more hawkish foreign policy advisers, particularly on Iran, whose leadership he has studied closely and which he recommends confronting more aggressively. He has also been a staunch critic of the Iran nuclear deal.... Many military officials consider him the government's most knowledgeable source on the Sunni insurgency in Iraq and Syria."

turcopolier , 28 July 2017 at 12:37 PM
Larry Kart

This level of self-promotion is unusual in one so specialized. pl

Old Microbiologist -> turcopolier ... , 28 July 2017 at 01:07 PM
I have seen the equivalent in the science arena. I know of at least 2 biodefense scientists who were so bad at getting funding for projects they were moved over to management positions. This is what happens with permanent GS civilians.

You can't fire them so you move them to relatively harmless positions such as program managers or outreach program people. After 9/11 Congress in their wisdom decided we needed yet another mother of all government agencies and created the Department of Homeland Security.

However, they failed to create any permanent GS slots to put into this agency. So, every government agency was required to move authorized/obligated positions over to DHS and this would include any personnel currently holding those slots. No one would ever give up good and productive people so all the dregs were moved over to DHS. This might help explain why DHS has been so screwed up from the get go. As you might expect these 2 scientists were moved over to senior positions and eventually slimed their way to the top and became SES scientific managers and ultimately heads of programs. Kissing ass works well for a lot of people especially when the ass you are kissing is more incompetent that you are.

This might explain why the DHS biodefense programs are so screwed up. One of them is now over at FDA working hard to screw that agency up and the other went over to DHHS (NIH) where they are working hard to screw that up as well. A few very rare people went over to DHS who were good and did it voluntarily but they eventually regretted it having to work for these former loser scientists.There are no smiling faces at DHS.

EEngineer -> Old Microbiologist... , 28 July 2017 at 05:41 PM
And the bulk was staffed up with any college republican that could fog a mirror. Got to deal with a few of those while developing a bio-particle detector. Basic science seemed to be missing on their resumes. But Moore's law seemed to apply to everything!
Old Microbiologist -> EEngineer... , 29 July 2017 at 06:44 AM
But, they probably did have PHD's but ended up doing nothing later. I agree with you about that. The same things happened over at DTRA, where I have never seen such incompetence. I also ran into similar ignorance with DoS people involved in the BWPPP (counter proliferation program funded under the Nunn-Luger Act). They thought all the former Soviet field labs doing agricultural disease surveillance were bioweapons labs.

The labs were set up to monitor endemic zoonotic disease like anthrax and plague which are relatively common. For years they wanted to get their hands on the "weapon" strains and the local guys figured out pretty quickly how to game it for never ending funding on the promise the strains would be sent "real soon".

I can't blame them for that. But I can blame these "geniuses" managing these projects for being incompetent.

Ishmael Zechariah -> turcopolier ... , 28 July 2017 at 02:01 PM
Colonel,

I might be becoming a conspiracy nut in my old age. Could it be that this fellow was promoted and placed as part of an infiltration operation? There are so many claims on his vita which could have been verified with minimal effort. Were these not checked? Could it be that they were checked and the discrepancies were being used for control?

In a similar vein how can the entire US Senate minus 2 vote for a sanctions proposal which is patently and demonstrably based on false premises?

Ishmael Zechariah

Old Microbiologist -> Ishmael Zechariah... , 29 July 2017 at 06:45 AM
American policy in regards to everything is easily understood by one basic concept. Follow the money.
Babak Makkinejad -> Old Microbiologist... , 29 July 2017 at 08:07 PM
I do not credit that. On the whole US has gained nothing from Japan - except unemployment. And then there is the little matter of Afghanistan, for which, the money trail goes through her anf back in DC.
WG McCreedy , 28 July 2017 at 02:00 PM
https://www.linkedin.com/in/colonelderekharvey/
Tel -> WG McCreedy... , 29 July 2017 at 05:47 PM
http://www.cas.usf.edu/news/s/546

"He also has shown great courage personally, for example entering Fallujah at the height of the uprising there and spending the day and night talking with leaders in the insurgency."

That would have been early 2004, while Col Harvey was "Red Team" Chief.

Randy , 28 July 2017 at 02:05 PM
Legend in his own mind. How many more like him are influencing/making foreign policy decisions? Scary. Nice take down pl.
SmoothieX12 , 28 July 2017 at 02:06 PM
Farsi? How would that have happened?

When playing back-gammon as it is played in the region? I joke, of course. But I remember playing the game (known in the area as Nard(y)) All numbers (combinations) of dice were called out loud in Farsi. Everybody in Caucasus pretty much knew counting to six in Farsi plus some additional (proprietary) names of numbers' combinations. Sadly, I forgot that--I don't play backgammon in its "westernized" configuration--the board has to be done in a specific way. But, probably, would recall numbers and titles given couple of games with native speakers pretty fast.

Kooshy -> SmoothieX12 ... , 28 July 2017 at 05:15 PM
The Board must be of hard wood ( specific species) and the dice must be small ( like 1/4 in) made of tusk, so one can hear an specific sound of rolling dice. The board is called Takhteh ( board made of wood) Nard
SmoothieX12 -> Kooshy... , 28 July 2017 at 08:27 PM
It is also known as Shesh-Besh (the game--six-five) and every move of the essentially checker has to be loud and fixated in the own nest. Drinking tea from armuda glass is desirable;) You got it right about dice known as zary. It is a ritual of an incredible delight and power.

http://obruch.com.ua/sites/obruch.com.ua/files/khyqx_baku_hjmobt_rhunuq._kepmohu.gif

Eric Newhill -> Kooshy... , 29 July 2017 at 06:40 AM
Kooshy,

Brings back memories. The hard wood board inlaid with ivory and mother of pearl and the little ivory dice vigorously thrown and ricocheting wildly. The smacking of the chips on the table; even harder when you "hit" the opponent's piece or make a "dur" in a strategic slot.

We called the game "tobli", but we always counted in a mix of Persian, Arabic and a salting of Turkish. There were also proclamations that would be shouted; usually when misfortune befell one's opponent. "Gehleh"! (sometimes pronounced "Gallah") when his piece had been hit and then couldn't get back on the board.

6 and five was "shesh/besh". 4 and 2 was "juward/du", But 1 and 2 was "eekie beer", 1 and 1 was "hap yeck"......

It was said that the game of tobli would reveal a man's character and that it was a microcosm of life.

Babak Makkinejad -> SmoothieX12 ... , 28 July 2017 at 09:34 PM
I think the word for six is the same in both Russian and in Persian. The expression "losing at Love's Nard" is well-known in Persian. (In Love, one wins by losing; as I am sure you know.)
SmoothieX12 -> Babak Makkinejad... , 28 July 2017 at 09:54 PM
I think the word for six is the same in both Russian and in Persian.

It is Shest' in Russian and Shesh both in Farsi, Azeri and Turkic.

Babak Makkinejad -> SmoothieX12 ... , 29 July 2017 at 09:30 AM
Funny - "Shest" mean thumb in Persian. Or Sixty - depending on the accent of the local dialect.
The Beaver , 28 July 2017 at 02:20 PM
committed and visionary leaders such as Mrs. K.T. McFarland

Yep, Troia who went MIA since 1985 after marrying a rich banker and became more or less a socialite only to resurface in 2006.

Envoy Jason Greenblatt who couldn't do much last WE about the hot spot of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and Bibi had to remove his electronic gear to "control the Arab Muslims". Jared would have loved to accompany him on that school trip but he was busy on the Hill.

The Beaver , 28 July 2017 at 03:05 PM
This may be a good read:

https://www.cfr.org/blog/our-man-middle-east-confusing-worldview-trump-aide-derek-harvey

When it comes to Iran, Harvey has articulated a tough line, but there is a fair amount of bipartisan support for this in Washington. When he turns his attention to other issues, however, Harvey offers a curious set of dubious assertions and contradictory claims, wrapped up in a troubling lack of knowledge about the region for which he is now primarily responsible. Needless to say, this combination is bad for U.S.-Middle East policy.

MRW , 28 July 2017 at 03:20 PM
Hope someone at the White House reads this. It is delicious.
Lars -> MRW... , 28 July 2017 at 05:41 PM
Nobody in the White House will read this, or anything else. They are too busy watching TV. Of course, the old Greeks had a story about somebody who flew too close to the sun.
Emad , 28 July 2017 at 05:17 PM
Reminds of that other paragon of ME knowledge Larry Franklin.
Lemur , 28 July 2017 at 05:33 PM
Breaking: Trump's fired Priebus, hired John Kelly as Chief of Staff.

"My hunch is that Reince Priebus will be gone by the end of August along with Sean Spicer and most of their RNC team of White House leakers." ~ Conservative Treehouse, July 23rd

Sounds like Trump's trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored. If you don't get with the Trump program, you're put out to pasture.

Babak Makkinejad -> Lemur... , 28 July 2017 at 09:35 PM
Col. Lang had predicted this months ago.
turcopolier -> Babak Makkinejad... , 28 July 2017 at 09:50 PM
babak

Yes, it is typical of how the nouveau riche NY City people behave. The older the money, the more hidden the gutter snipe behavior. there will be more like this. pl

Lemur -> Lemur... , 29 July 2017 at 03:17 AM
Update: the blue ticks on twitter are reporting Trump 'sources' associated with Preibus are saying Trump is moving toward an independent whitehouse detached from the GOP.
Richardstevenhack -> Lemur... , 29 July 2017 at 07:56 PM
But not independent of the neocons...

In fact, if true, this looks like a "neocon coup". It was bad enough they had control of State and influence at the Pentagon during Bush, now it looks they have total control of the White House AND State and still influence in the Pentagon...

So we have Trump trying to use "snap inspections" to unravel the Iran Deal - which will lead inevitably to war - and at the same time threatening to attack North Korea again as well as fueling Cold War 2.0 with Russia with more sanctions.

This can only end well...not...

Fellow Traveler , 28 July 2017 at 05:37 PM
Reince Priebus out, another General in.

"WASHINGTON -- Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff who failed to impose order on a chaos-wracked West Wing, was pushed out on Friday after a stormy six-month tenure, and President Trump replaced him with John F. Kelly, the secretary of homeland security and retired four-star Marine genera"

LondonBob -> Fellow Traveler... , 29 July 2017 at 06:39 AM
In hindsight it was a big mistake for Trump to think he could work with the GOP establishment. Better to rely on business, the military and other outsiders for his staff.

Sessions to DHS and a new AG in? Given the suggestion of a new AG generates such hysteria it would be a wise move.

JMH , 28 July 2017 at 05:47 PM
Got to admire the defensive/defiant tone of the resignation letter, here's a thought: it was an honor and a privilege to serve, God bless America... IMO 'nuff said
Peter in Toronto , 28 July 2017 at 07:02 PM
How does does one receive neo-con patronage in the first place? Do you have to marry into the tribe? Seems like a profitable thing to do and it gets you into places well beyond any formal education or qualifications or merit, it seems. I have to look into this.
turcopolier , 28 July 2017 at 08:07 PM
Peter in Toronto. They have had an active recruitment program for at least fifty years. The Wohlstetters pitched me in my Pentagon offices. pl
Peter in Toronto -> turcopolier ... , 28 July 2017 at 10:28 PM
No kidding... Can I press you for an anecdote?
turcopolier -> Peter in Toronto... , 29 July 2017 at 07:36 AM
Peter in Toronto

As I said the Wohlstetters (Albert and Roberta) came to my office at the direction of "Paul" to explain to me the esoteric meaning of Plato's Republic and other texts. Roberta laid out a series of books on my coffee table, all written by their friends (Wizards of Armageddon). I argued with them about the meaning of several of Plato's dialogues and after a while she picked up her books and they left. I had failed the test. Ten years ago I gave a talk at the Miller Center at U Va and at the after event lunch a former colleage of theirs at the U. of Chicago said that they had been doing that there for a very long time. pl

Babak Makkinejad -> turcopolier ... , 29 July 2017 at 10:39 AM
Do you recall the esoteric meaning of the Republic that they mentioned?
LeaNder -> turcopolier ... , 29 July 2017 at 11:19 AM
You are kidding? Aren't you? Plato's Republic? The assumed source of later Utopia thinkers? Random pick, without taking a closer look:
http://exploringutopia.weebly.com/utopian-origins.html
English Outsider -> turcopolier ... , 29 July 2017 at 12:03 PM
Colonel - this particular neo-con strand seems to go back a long way. Googling Wohlstetter brought up this, a site unknown to me but which amplifies the Wiki entry:-

http://powerbase.info/index.php/Albert_Wohlstetter

"Wohlstetter is also said to have sent Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, to work on the staff of Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson, a conservative hawk committed to working on behalf of the US defense industry, and for Wolfowitz and Perle to intern for the Committee to Maintain a Prudent Defense Policy, a Cold War think tank co-founded by former Secretary of State Dean Acheson and former Secretary of the Navy Paul Nitze.[28] This is also thought to be precursory moves to the formation of the "Team B" intelligence analysis team as Nitze used Wohlstetter's assertions in testimony to accuse Henry Kissinger and the CIA of dangerously underestimating the Soviet Union's military strength and its intentions. As Craig Unger put it:

"This was the beginning of a thirty-year fight against the national security apparatus in which the [neoconservatives] mastered the art of manipulating intelligence in order to implement hard-line, militaristic policies."[29]"

What your anecdote above illustrates is the evangelical zeal with which the neo-cons pushed their views and sought to convert. I had assumed that the neo-cons got out of the basement and into the front office because, figuratively speaking, the front office was empty. That is, that they came to dominate Foreign Policy thinking almost by default, simply because Foreign Policy was not a prime interest of the American voter and therefore could be captured by any strong interest group that happened to be around.

It seems there was more to it than that and that the neo-cons or their precursors actively laid siege to the front office over a long period.

Is this related to the influence exerted on the American intellectual and political scene by continental and in particular Eastern European emigre groups that brought with them the attitudes, and particularly the Russophobia, of their roots?

Such groups remain, as it were, frozen in time, not adapting to changing circumstances and attitudes in their home countries but retaining the old attitudes and approach unaltered.

We see this effect when looking at the Irish diaspora in Australia and the US in the nineteenth century. The historians give great weight to the effect of this diaspora. Without the support of these outside groups, and their rigid adherence to the hard line attitudes they had brought to their new country with them, the Irish revolution would have taken a different and possibly more fruitful course. That applies also to the influence emigre groups exert within the US itself. I believe Syrian emigres from the old Syrian regime were influential in Washington, and their adherence to the grievances and outlook they brought over exerted that influence in Washington out of proportion to their value as true indicators of the up to date circumstances in the ME.

The Ukrainian emigre groups exert a similar influence in Canada and Australia. Again, preserving unaltered the attitudes their forbears brought over with them, they push their host governments strongly to support the ultra-nationalist groups in their country of origin although (my opinion only, but there does seem to be some warrant for it) the average Ukrainian patriot had, before 2014, moved well away from the ultra-nationalism of the 1940's.

Such groups of emigres, emigre groups whose attitudes are frozen in time and not that well connected to current reality, could perhaps be termed "fossil groups". In Western countries, unacquainted with and usually uninterested in the contemporary political scene in the foreign countries those fossil groups originate from, they can exert a strong electoral and intellectual influence on the host country. The extremist always wins against the moderate when the moderate's not that bothered and the extremist is.

Is it going too far to say that the American Foreign Policy scene, never particularly of detailed interest to the voter because there was plenty to get on with just building up that huge American economy and dealing with domestic issues, has now been taken captive by those "fossil groups"?

And that the West as a whole, because of the predominance of the US in the West, is now similarly captive? If so the "lunatic juggernaut", as one can fairly term the West as a whole when one observes the catastrophic mistakes we in the West make in our Foreign Policy, is in truth being steered by groups who have little contact with current reality and dangerously little in common with the peoples of their host countries.

Ishmael Zechariah -> English Outsider ... , 29 July 2017 at 05:37 PM
English Outsider,
A nice link. Thank you.
AFAIK both Perle and Wolfowitz are zionist israel-firsters. Do you think the Wohlstetters and Strauss also belonged to this group?

Ishmael Zechariah

English Outsider -> Ishmael Zechariah... , 29 July 2017 at 08:52 PM

Ishmael Zechariah - I'm too far away to have any worthwhile feel for how ultra-Zionism got into its current position as a determining factor in American Foreign Policy, and by extension ours. I have, with some diffidence, maintained that the Scofield Bible has more clout than AIPAC in the United States but that belief was arrived at by reading accounts and examinations of the American fundamentalist scene and not from direct experience. In fact when I read the English correspondents on this site I'm chastened to realise how unaware I have been of various political cross currents in my own country, so I don't pretend to be able to accurately pin down the cross currents in yours.

The Colonel's Venn diagrams - intersecting interest groups - are, I am convinced, the best way of visualising the interplay of the various interest groups and ideological pressures that resulted in current American Foreign Policy. Ultra-Zionism got into the mix, that's for sure, but perhaps even those who observed the process at first hand would be hard put to identify exactly how. All most can do is see the results. And live them.

What is clear to any outside observer is how open the American political and intellectual scene is. An American today might feel hemmed in by PC and current dogma to an extent that would be incomprehensible to any American of the past, but to an outsider it seems a remarkable free and open-minded society in contrast to the more restricted and self-censoring political environment in Europe. That openness gives grounds for hope that it will be the Americans who will find the way out the the cul-de-sac the West is currently trapped in, but it is also a vulnerability. If good things might find a lodging in this relaxed and open culture so might bad and in my comment above I had hoped to look at how it was that America, that byword for confident progress, found itself harbouring some of the more regressive political tendencies that found their way from Old Europe. Harbouring them, and scarcely without noticing, allowing them to direct their fortunes and the fortunes of the West.

Eric Newhill -> English Outsider ... , 30 July 2017 at 10:15 AM
EO,
The adherents of the Scofield Bible are aligned with AIPAC. These Christians belief that in order for Christ to return, Israel must exist and the temple must be rebuilt. They want Christ to return and they want to facilitate the occurrence of the event. Thus they are 100% pro-Israel in a most Zionist fashion.
johnf -> English Outsider ... , 30 July 2017 at 02:59 AM
To your list of outsiders influencing American foreign policy I'd add the Rwandan Tutsis who, while their elite were in exile in New York and Canada in the 1970's and 80's, formed very close links with zionists and neo-conservatives. Their intelligence and brightness appealed, as well as, possibly, the murkier strains of Social Darwinism (a culture very much still alive in the Tutsi elite) since eugenicist theories have always defined them as "philo-semites", unlike the untermenschen Central African Hutu who make up the vast majority of the Rwanda's population).

The Tutsi elite's invasion of Rwanda under Paul Kagame was heavily financed by elements in The West (who also, unsurprisingly, had their eyes on the vast deposits of rare metals (especially for computers) in the neighbouring and highly unstable Congo).

The "Rwandan Genocide" which followed was used again and again as an excuse ("It Must Never Be Allowed To Happen Again!") for the Iraq and Libyan and Syrian interventions. But more sceptical voices are increasingly pointing out that Paul Kagame's troops were as much initially involved in massacring Hutus as Hutus were in massacring the rural Tutsis (who had little connection with the cosmopolitan Tutsi Elite), and that Kagame then used "The Genocide" as a repeated cover and excuse for barbaric invasions (fully supported by the West for both ideological and commercial reasons) of the Congo and the terrible slaughters and exploitations which took place (and continue to take place) there.

Only recently has the once lionized Kagame been condemned by the United Nations, despite fervent opposition to this by his powerful supporters in The West.

Gerard Prunier's magisterial "Africa's World War" covers this tragedy in great detail, and is in itself partly a "mea culpa" for his earlier "The Rwanda Crisis: History of a Genocide" which he admits he wrote while bedazzled by Kagame.

Jose , 28 July 2017 at 11:05 PM
Col, he speaks elementary Farsi, so he is an Iranian menace expert.
Babak Makkinejad -> Jose... , 29 July 2017 at 09:31 AM
And I speak rudimentary Spanish and I am now the foremost expert on the politics of Spain as well as Hispano-american world.
sid_finster , 28 July 2017 at 11:32 PM
Col. Harvey's autobiography and it's improbable wanderings in exotic lands seeking hidden wisdom reminds me a lot of another charlatan who went far, namely, L.Ron Hubbard.
ambrit -> sid_finster... , 29 July 2017 at 09:59 AM
Oh good heavens. Is DH also an amoral libertine as well?
sid_finster -> ambrit... , 29 July 2017 at 06:57 PM
That I don't know, but the improbable, hell, impossible, tales of travel in the service of self-promotion remind me of The Commodore.
DH , 29 July 2017 at 12:02 AM
"President Donald Trump said his decision to ban transgender people from serving in the military, announced via Twitter on Wednesday morning, came "after consultation with my generals and military experts." It's becoming clearer and clearer that he was lying.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis was on vacation when the decision was announced, and privately opposed the move. The Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. James Dunford, said Thursday that the military wouldn't implement the ban absent a formal, non-tweeted order from the commander in chief.

And then there were the remarkable remarks that Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley made during a luncheon at the National Press Club.

During the lunch, Milley told reporters that he found out about the ban "the same way everybody else did -- on the news." At the time, he was holding a glass of wine:"

https://www.vox.com/world/2017/7/27/16051892/trump-transgender-ban-army-chief-staff

Lemur -> DH... , 29 July 2017 at 10:24 AM
its amusing how Trump makes a mockery of all the Washington rituals. I think that's what drives the media nuts - he bypasses the established conventions of 'how things are done.'
dilbert dogbert -> Lemur... , 30 July 2017 at 11:00 AM
Yes he bypasses established conventions, but, will that tactic get things done? Example: Obamacare Repeal.
confusedponderer -> DH... , 29 July 2017 at 10:50 AM
DH,
that Milney didn't spill the wine deserves praise. Wine is there to be drunken, or to be used in cooking. I understand the decision on transgender to some point.

Still, what wonders me is that that the pentagon learns from such non-trivialities from the press and not from heir CiC. It suggests to me serious dysfunction in communication from the Whitehouse to the rest of the world. And it's not just that.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/sean-spicer-hides-bushes-donald-trump-fires-james-comey-white-house-fbi-avoid-press-questions-a7727611.html

Sean 'The Notable' Spicer was a joke of a gvt speaker who, at least once, preferred to hide behind bushes to avoid talking to press. For one, Spicer should have known that speaking to the press was his darn job. Alas. As the saying goes, shit happens. Good for the US that that clown is out.

But who did Trump hire as a replacement? Scaramucchi. That man is, from what I read him say, hardly an improvement over Spicer. IMO the crazy nut man was simply replaced by a nutty crazy boy.

IMO Stephen Colbert had it quite right when he said it: Now that the mute man Sean Spicer is out as the non-speaking press speaker, who is now not-answering anybody's, my, yours and the presses load of questions? Scaramucci perhaps? Answer: Well, nobody, it seems.

So, in lack of communication from their CiC the pentagon is expected to ... hallucinate? sleep? dream? Perhaps look at Trump's tweets?

Well, maybe they should. Maybe Trump will one days tweet really secret and very important things to them that they may miss, like:

;( Nook NoKo ;O

Amusingly, as you posted in your VOX link DH, Trump said he had consulted the military on his transgender ban, but according to the military he didn't. Oh well. In Trumps own terms: Soooo sad ...

turcopolier , 29 July 2017 at 11:13 AM
Babak

It was straight Leo Strauss/neocon stuff. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article5010.htm

basically, according to this view the text has hidden meanings that are the opposite of the obvious. pl

Babak Makkinejad -> turcopolier ... , 29 July 2017 at 12:58 PM
Thanks.
Truly deplorable didplay of parochial ignorance. They could have travelled to India or to Iran and seen and experienced for themselves what millenia of tyranny and lie creates.
LeaNder -> Babak Makkinejad... , 30 July 2017 at 08:08 AM
Babak,

Really fast look, I am aware of the larger Straussiophobia. With all due respect to Shadia Drury. Haven't read her books, admittedly.

By contrast, Shadia Drury, professor of political theory at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan, argues that the use of deception and manipulation in current US policy flow directly from the doctrines of the political philosopher Leo Strauss (1899-1973). His disciples include Paul Wolfowitz and other neo-conservatives who have driven much of the political agenda of the Bush administration

Stopped here. Felt from the first time I stumbled across it, was even slightly curious, far too easy. Should I go back and study it more closely?

Babak: Truly deplorable display of parochial ignorance. They could have traveled to India or to Iran and seen and experienced for themselves what millennia of tyranny and lie creates.

Yes, I agree that's part of the puzzle. I may have struggled with something comparable over here not too long ago. At least in essence it feels. But, it feels there are many comparable "theys" around.

But while I admittedly read almost every book on the Neocons I could lay may hands post 9/11. The Straussian angle felt a bit hyped to me. No doubt, I may be wrong. I surely didn't look into the assumed occult aspect of matters. To the extend I looked at Strauss' study of Machiavelli it didn't feel that striking. Yes, no doubt tried to offer 'Il principe' deceptive means in trying to get his attention.

Machiavelli's intention in curing the attention of his master clearly to teach him the best ways of deception. But: Is there a way to understand, or better still to prove, how Strauss' interpretation of Machiavelli may have gotten into the mind of e.g. Wolfowitz? Which in return explains why matters unfolded the way they did?

Why do we need to select Leo Strauss as the ultimate representative of Machiavelli in our times? Never mind, the long reception history of Il Principe/The Prince? The neocons as his only true descendants? Well, how would their biographies compare to Machiavelli's attempt to please the Prince? Or their attempts at getting the attention of the respective "cherry blossom king" (Tyler's coinage for Trump, here used for whatever president of the US more generally)?

Meaning: Before I stumbled across the debate I assumed that Machiavelli was more generally a standard text in politics and for politicians in the West. (no political scientist, no political philosopher, admittedly).

*******

Well yes, there was this biographical detail linking Strauss to Carl Schmitt:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leo_Strauss#Encounters_with_Schmitt_and_Koj.C3.A8ve

And yes, without any doubt one might be able to draw a direct line from Carl Schmitt's Political Theocracy to Israel, as at least one Israeli scholar has done.

But does that help us to solve the larger riddle of US politics? Apart from telling us that you may be born into time and space beyond your own choices, as Leo Strauss was, and then have to deal with it? Maybe even trying to understand with whatever means?

*******

Personal note: Saw your and Kooshy's response. Thanks to both of you.

Babak Makkinejad -> LeaNder... , 30 July 2017 at 11:07 AM
Thank you for your comments. The Protestant Christians in US and in UK - as a big part of Electorate - are largely responsible for enabling the neocons. The West has bought and paid for A RELIGIOUS indulgence, called Israel and is unwilling to either admit or accept that it has led to a religious war. I guess the West expects to prevail.
confusedponderer , 29 July 2017 at 11:16 AM
I just read that Trump has fired his weirdly named staff chief Rience Priebus, by Twitter.

Usually, a firing of a staff chief is a personal thing, and the relationship is personal. So, unlike what could be seen in Trump's tv shows, a firing usually - it is after all about ending a contract - goes with a letter, in a bad case perhaps with a deliberate humiliation as in the case of Comey, or a personal talk - but firing by TWITTER, so to speak, en passant ? Good grief.

That mess probably not just coincides with the appearance of the new man in the Whitehouse - Scaramucchi.

After insulting Priebus, who got fired, Sacramucchi isn't done yet. After insulting Priebus, he has started to also insult Bannon recently - will he be twittered away, too? The show hasn't ended et.

turcopolier , 29 July 2017 at 05:45 PM
IZ

They are or were all neocon Israel firsters. pl

turcopolier , 29 July 2017 at 05:49 PM
tel

I am told that this account is self-generated. Now think about the Falluja story. The people he would have visited were dedicated jihadis. They routinely cut peoples' heads off or crucify them for not sharing their opinion of the nature of Islam. They hung the burned and mutilated corpses of a number of American off a bridge in town.

Do you really think Derek Harvey who speaks no Arabic went to have a listening opportunity with them? If you think that you are very gullible. was he decorated for this feat of daring do? If so, I want to see the citation. It took a brigade sized force to break into the town. Was that because the command would not listen to Derek Harvey? pl

Tel -> turcopolier ... , 29 July 2017 at 07:08 PM
Are you calling CNN fake news?

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/04/05/opinions/steve-bannon-white-house-national-security-bergen/

"Serving under McMaster is a triumvirate of well-seasoned Middle East hands. The senior director at the NSC for the Middle East is retired Col. Derek Harvey, an Arabic-speaking intelligence officer with a Ph.D. who served as the head of the US military cell examining the insurgency in Iraq in 2003."

In terms of empiricism... I would think that discovering whether someone can speak a given language should be very easy to test.

Babak Makkinejad -> Tel... , 29 July 2017 at 07:50 PM
I have a real Ph.D. and have been waiting for the President, any President, to offer me a lucrative government job as a Hispano-American expert which my smattering of Spanish and my ownership of bilingual poetry books surely entitle.
Thomas -> Tel... , 30 July 2017 at 02:01 PM
"Are you calling CNN fake news?" The more apt description would be Fraudulent news.
turcopolier , 29 July 2017 at 07:27 PM
tel

Derek Harvey does not speak Arabic except for "hello," "goodbye," "thank you" and the like. Send him around and I will give him a language test. Nor does Harvey have a Ph. D. I have consulted peers of his who were in Iraq when he was supposedly playing Lawrence of Arabia in Falluja. They universally believe this to have been BS. He is a wonderfully skilled self-promoter. pl

Larry Kart , 30 July 2017 at 12:08 PM
And what of the man that McMaster seemingly can't get rid of -- the still firmly in place, and high in the NSA hierarchy, Ezra Cohen-Watnick?
Hubert Horan , 30 July 2017 at 02:47 PM
A couple book recommendations for anyone who wants historical background on the links between Strauss and the neocons. First point is that conservatives spent decades of efforts trying to build a "political theory/philosophy" that would support/justify their political/ideological objectives. Nash's "The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America 1945-1970" is widely recognized by folks of various political persuasions as a solid work of history. Nash describes how this pursuit of a theoretical grounding for "conservatism" developed, and mentions how Strauss developed a wide following among these movement conservatives, although because the story ends in the 70s it doesn't describe how Strauss later became a subject of adoration among neocons.

Although the points seem self-evident, Nash (and similar writers) never explicitly explain why conservatives ever thought their political movement could have a rigorous philosophical basis, given the yawning gap between "philosophy" and short-term partisan politics, given the variety of incompatible and changing political objectives of conservatives, and given that no one in the center of left side of the political spectrum (hard-core 1930's Marxists excepted) wasted time worrying about whether their political agenda was strongly linked to an underlying, immutable "theory".

Gottfried's "Leo Strauss and the Conservative Movement in America" (2012) describes some of the post-1980 "cult of Strauss" among neocons, with competing schools based at Claremont (led by Harry Jaffa) and Chicago (led by Alan Bloom). Godfried (I think reasonably) defends Strauss against certain academic attempts (including Drury) to tie Strauss to views of Carl Schmidt that he didn't share, and explains Strauss' Israel-first Zionism as simply typical of Jewish intellectuals who had fled the Nazis.

Gottfried fails to make the points as explicitly as his evidence allows, but many of the nasty stuff attributed to Strauss are the fault of his disciples, who simplified/misrepresented abstruse philosophical points to fit the neocon agenda of the 1990s and beyond.

[Jul 30, 2017] Kelly vs the Mooch

Notable quotes:
"... I favor much of DJT's domestic program. He probably has adopted that program for selfish, egotistical reasons but it is still a program that I favor. In addition, his preference for an improvement in relations with Russia seems common sense. ..."
"... With all due respect I think you're mistaking Trump's demeanor with his nature. While he has his flaws, in private he seems to be very generous to all and sundry. ..."
"... Reince was indeed likely the leaker, or providing cover for the leaks ..."
"... I think McMaster's neocon ass is on its way out. ..."
"... Actually Mike Cernovich had the scoop two hours before the MSM and she tried to claim credit from him. Until it went down she was saying GEN Kelly was a floater and not a serious choice. ..."
"... I feel working for a malignant narcissist is one of the most challenging things one can be faced with in normal life. Kelly has all but certainly had to deal with this before somewhere along the line. ..."
"... I would actually prefer that to what I think we're going to get: an eventual sell-out. How can long can Trump hold out against the onslaught against him? He will be sorely tempted to make them a deal if this goes on too much longer. Even if Russiagate remains a nothing-burger, they can use it to sandbag him, force him to make concessions. And the more concessions he makes, the weaker he becomes. Don't get me wrong: I'm still glad Hellary lost. But Trump needs to go the offensive at some point; he needs to be more of a fighter. He can't just sit back and let them gnaw away at him like a school of famished piranhas. But I know that asking a lot from him ... and that's what makes me worry. ..."
"... While I have worked for several craven and egotistical CEOs, they all recognized at some level that they could only throw so many of their subordinates under the bus for lack of performance before the board would have a frank conversation with them ..."
"... I believe The Donald is in an unusual situation for a POTUS. He won the election defeating two political dynasties while being virulently attacked by the corporate media and the establishment of both parties. He has no political support in DC. Throughout the election campaign the biggest issue for his opponents were his style and demeanor. And since the election he has been under constant attack, with many on both sides of the aisle as well as former high officials in the key intel agencies actively campaigning for his ouster. ..."
"... Now that it must be apparent to him that he is essentially on his own with no real political allies in the DC power structure, what will he do to secure his own position and push forward with his agenda. His acquiescence on the Russia sanctions bill shows how limited his room for maneuver really are. ..."
"... At some point he's gonna have to give his opponents a taste of their own medicine by getting a special counsel investigation on the leaks by Brennan and Clapper, the financial transactions of the Clintons and senior members of Congress who have disproportionate wealth relative to their decades of Congressional pay. Tweeting outrage won't cut it when Mueller starts digging into his finances and past financial transactions. He will have to go after the DC power structure for pure survival. If he does, that will be the best thing as both sides engage in mortal combat. Maybe the "House of Cards" can then come down. ..."
"... He did blow through the competition to get where he's at. He may not be firing on every cylinder for your liking, but too many people still after all that has happened, still can't bring themselves to give him any credit whatsoever. That flaw has nothing to do with him. ..."
"... You are like the woman in a New York City street who told a TV man with a camera, "He is destroying our world." Yes. He is destroying the world of the "end of history crowd? and you obviously are of that crowd, I guess you have not noticed how much of the Obama super state he has destroyed by cancelling executive orders. ..."
"... To think that we are not witnessing DJT's nature and character is rather naive. I doubt that Gen. Kelly, no matter how skilled, will bring this White House under control since most of the dysfunction comes from the top and DJT is unable to be who he is not. ..."
"... Yesterday on CNN a retired General, who is friends with General John Kelly(ret), said he told John he'd be safer parachuting into Raqqa alone then working in this White House. ..."
"... Kelly is no stranger to political infighting. In 94/95 he was the USMC Liaison to the House of Representatives. Ten years later he returned to HQMC in Washington as the Legislative Assistant to the Commandant. ..."
"... I think many if you are projecting forms of faith that Trump is somehow going to get things turned around, if only as a by-product of his lousy attitude. Others think he's really going to re-make the USA into some ass-kicking utopia (knly the ass-kicking happens on the domestic front... just wonderful. ..."
"... Everything Trump is doing right now has the single goal of keeping himself in office. That's it. Full stop. Every tweet. Every campaign-style unhinged speech. Every move he makes that appears to be attached to any kind of policy at all, whether it's health care or immigration or law and order or who gets the right to serve in our military and who doesn't. ..."
"... Col Lang used to critique a narcissistic personality style of among "perfumed prices of the pentagon". In these generals who are surrounding Trump out of duty & love-of-country, I see people who are blind to the fact they are propping up a sociopathic criminal who is a present danger to the Constitution. Thanks guys! ..."
"... "A corollary of his mentality is that he has no loyalty to anyone who works for him and he sees them all as potential rivals for the future." ..."
"... IMO DJT is posing as a counter-revolutionary. ..."
"... No matter how much I dislike him, Trump has expressed support for a number of admirable policies, better relations with Russia, better health care for all, secure borders, infrastructure investment and I'm sure there's others. The problem is that he doesn't have any real policies, just desired outcomes. A policy should include a proposed roadmap to reach those outcomes. Trump doesn't have a clue how to reach most of those outcomes and his primary reason for supporting those outcomes is to increase his popularity. He just wants to be loved. It's all part of the con. ..."
"... My present position on McMaster is that while he shares the outmoded views on Russia and Iran of many of his peers he is not a neocon. The poseur Harvey was at least an agent of the neocons. pl ..."
Jul 29, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Kelly vs "the Mooch"

Having worked for a few extremely "scattered" bosses who loved to play their subordinates off against each other, I recognize the type in DJT.

Reza Shah Pahlavi, the founder of the ancien regime Iranian imperial dynasty once said that "in Iran all the telegraph lines must run to my feet." By that he evidently meant that he, personally, would run all aspects of life in Iran. Clearly, he felt that this was the optimal management style.

President Trump's style IMO resembles that of the first Pahlavi. He does not have a team. He has people whom he sees as adjuncts of his glory as an entrepreneurial "grand master." He is a certain kind of "big businessman." He believes that capitalism is entirely about personal self aggrandizement and ego reinforcement. I once worked for a similar character, an entrepreneur with political ambitions. That man could not formulate a manifesto that expressed his hopes for the people of his country. He could not do it because he could not conceive of a program that was not about him personally. In the end he hired a collection of professors to cobble together a collection of trite academic platitudes. He lost the election. IMO Trump is much like that man. He is ego driven and will say or do anything he thinks needed to increase his position. A corollary of his mentality is that he has no loyalty to anyone who works for him and he sees them all as potential rivals for the future. We have now seen several examples of the depth of his disregard for those who have been willing to work for him.

To deal with the throng of incompetents and disloyals (irony alert) around him, DJT has now brought in a soul-mate, Anthony Scaramucchi (honest to god that is his name). "The Mooch" as he is known to his associates is a junk-yard dog armed with a Harvard JD and a record of success at Goldman Sachs among all the other selfish, self-centered junk-yard dogs.

In the other corner of the ring we will see John Kelly, USMC (ret.) who evidently has chosen to live by a code of self-sacrifice and service. This man of honor is now going to lie down with the junk-yard dogs in order to serve his country.

I can hear the echo from the future of one of his encounters with "the Mooch." "Well, solja-boy, who the f--k do you think you are to tell me what to do.?"

I predict that given the choice between Kelly and "the Mooch," DJT will keep his soul mate and discard Kelly.

I favor much of DJT's domestic program. He probably has adopted that program for selfish, egotistical reasons but it is still a program that I favor. In addition, his preference for an improvement in relations with Russia seems common sense.

Nevertheless, I have no illusions about him. pl

Morongobill , 29 July 2017 at 11:56 AM

For his own sake, I hope the mooch has the good sense to not talk to or about General Kelly as he did about Bannon or Preibus. He might just find out how tough a Marine really is.
Tyler , 29 July 2017 at 11:58 AM
Sir,

With all due respect I think you're mistaking Trump's demeanor with his nature. While he has his flaws, in private he seems to be very generous to all and sundry.

Mooch is a junkyard dog, and Reince was indeed likely the leaker, or providing cover for the leaks. Kelly being appointed only underlines what Scott Adams said: that Trump is going to war. Mooch was brought on because he groks the NYC/DC axis mentality and knows how to leverage it.

I think McMaster's neocon ass is on its way out.

Haralambos -> Tyler... , 29 July 2017 at 04:01 PM
Tyler, I thought the Reince leak was dropped as an operative meme yesterday, since the journalist who published the information announced that she had made a FOI request, which was unnecessary, and she got her information from public documents.
Tyler -> Haralambos... , 29 July 2017 at 08:31 PM
Harlambos,

Maggie H something from the NYT? Actually Mike Cernovich had the scoop two hours before the MSM and she tried to claim credit from him. Until it went down she was saying GEN Kelly was a floater and not a serious choice.

Tom Cafferty , 29 July 2017 at 12:32 PM
Domestic program? What program? I think it is just stream of consciousness from an unhinged mind.
Lemur , 29 July 2017 at 12:39 PM
Trump is an icebreaker opening up a channel toward a new political horizon. Ego fueled 'creative destruction' plays a big part in that.
Mark Logan -> Phil Cattar ... , 29 July 2017 at 06:02 PM
Phil Cattar,

Just for giggles I'm going to put my nickel (maximum...the other ninety five cents stays in my pocket) on that roulette square too. Based on a theory the chaos is beginning to take a toll on the Big Man, and Kelly will soon be viewed as indispensable. The Mooch? All hat no cattle.

I feel working for a malignant narcissist is one of the most challenging things one can be faced with in normal life. Kelly has all but certainly had to deal with this before somewhere along the line.

Tyler -> turcopolier ... , 29 July 2017 at 02:14 PM
Sir,

Okay that caught me off guard and made me laugh. I'm only a junior probationary author here, but that's my .02: Trump tried to reach out to the GOPe, and he's tired of treacherous McCains, virtue signallers like Sasse, and incompetents. Now watch for him to pull an Ataturk attack from all points of the compass/Night of the Long Knives/end of The Godfather style reckoning.

Seamus Padraig -> Tyler... , 29 July 2017 at 06:47 PM
I would actually prefer that to what I think we're going to get: an eventual sell-out. How can long can Trump hold out against the onslaught against him? He will be sorely tempted to make them a deal if this goes on too much longer. Even if Russiagate remains a nothing-burger, they can use it to sandbag him, force him to make concessions. And the more concessions he makes, the weaker he becomes. Don't get me wrong: I'm still glad Hellary lost. But Trump needs to go the offensive at some point; he needs to be more of a fighter. He can't just sit back and let them gnaw away at him like a school of famished piranhas. But I know that asking a lot from him ... and that's what makes me worry.
David E. Solomon , 29 July 2017 at 02:17 PM
Colonel Lang, I think one might reasonably ask if Trump even remembers what was in his domestic program?
Jack , 29 July 2017 at 02:36 PM
Sir

Thanks for this incredibly insightful post.

While I have worked for several craven and egotistical CEOs, they all recognized at some level that they could only throw so many of their subordinates under the bus for lack of performance before the board would have a frank conversation with them.

I believe The Donald is in an unusual situation for a POTUS. He won the election defeating two political dynasties while being virulently attacked by the corporate media and the establishment of both parties. He has no political support in DC. Throughout the election campaign the biggest issue for his opponents were his style and demeanor. And since the election he has been under constant attack, with many on both sides of the aisle as well as former high officials in the key intel agencies actively campaigning for his ouster.

Pat Buchanan is, IMO, spot on that he is fearful that Mueller's investigation will veer away from the Russian "collusion" angle as he comes up empty handed there, to The Donald's personal financial transactions well before he even became a candidate. This must make DJT very nervous.

http://buchanan.org/blog/trump-entering-kill-box-127396

Now that it must be apparent to him that he is essentially on his own with no real political allies in the DC power structure, what will he do to secure his own position and push forward with his agenda. His acquiescence on the Russia sanctions bill shows how limited his room for maneuver really are.

At some point he's gonna have to give his opponents a taste of their own medicine by getting a special counsel investigation on the leaks by Brennan and Clapper, the financial transactions of the Clintons and senior members of Congress who have disproportionate wealth relative to their decades of Congressional pay. Tweeting outrage won't cut it when Mueller starts digging into his finances and past financial transactions. He will have to go after the DC power structure for pure survival. If he does, that will be the best thing as both sides engage in mortal combat. Maybe the "House of Cards" can then come down.

turcopolier , 29 July 2017 at 02:37 PM
David E. Solomon

IMO that is not true. he knows what is good for him and a general increase in prosperity is good for him. pl

David E. Solomon -> turcopolier ... , 29 July 2017 at 02:53 PM
Colonel Lang,

Assuming he really does know what he wants to accomplish on the domestic front, do you see anyway he might possibly implement any of his plans? I just do not think he has either the intelligence or the skill to get much done. I guess we will see over the next 3 1/2 years.

eakens -> David E. Solomon... , 29 July 2017 at 04:05 PM
He did blow through the competition to get where he's at. He may not be firing on every cylinder for your liking, but too many people still after all that has happened, still can't bring themselves to give him any credit whatsoever. That flaw has nothing to do with him.
turcopolier , 29 July 2017 at 02:43 PM
jack

Trump was not head of a corporate structure of the "c" corp. type. he was sole proprietor of a family business. there really was no "board" in the sense you mean. pl

Jack -> turcopolier ... , 29 July 2017 at 03:07 PM
Point well taken, Sir, in that he has no experience with a supervisory structure.
MRW -> Jack... , 29 July 2017 at 05:54 PM
So, he built his buildings in manhattan by sitting at the Four Seasons having lunch?
turcopolier , 29 July 2017 at 02:52 PM
tyler

Derek Harvey needed firing. A total incompetent. pl

Tyler -> turcopolier ... , 29 July 2017 at 08:32 PM
Sir,

Concur. Still not a fan of GEN McMaster.

VietnamVet , 29 July 2017 at 03:15 PM
Colonel,

Thanks for your excellent examination of Donald J Trump. I never crept high enough to deal with the Masters of the Universe. To this old plebian he seems more of a German Mob Boss than an Iranian Shah. He is an autocrat. I disagree with his domestic, energy and environmental policies plus the media disinformation is getting to me. I keep reminding myself that he stopped supplying the Daesh and hasn't started a new war, yet. His Administration, so far, has accelerated the great unraveling of America.

Babak Makkinejad -> VietnamVet... , 29 July 2017 at 04:12 PM
The median house price in California is now $ 450,000. How could a young person ever build equity there? Likewise in Brooklyn.
There are many such places in either coast.
Something has to give.
Fred -> Babak Makkinejad... , 29 July 2017 at 05:35 PM
Babak,

"How could a young person ever build equity there? Likewise in Brooklyn."

As the bad joke goes in South Florida. "live like a Mexican". The "something" that is giving way is working class allegience to the Democratic party. That is why the elites of the DNC have been doubling down on importing a replacement demographic.

dilbert dogbert -> Babak Makkinejad... , 29 July 2017 at 07:50 PM
Those house prices show the disaster caused by the election of a one party, Democratic, state government. The only thing that will bring those prices down is a good solid Republican government.
turcopolier , 29 July 2017 at 03:16 PM
David E. Solomon

You are like the woman in a New York City street who told a TV man with a camera, "He is destroying our world." Yes. He is destroying the world of the "end of history crowd? and you obviously are of that crowd, I guess you have not noticed how much of the Obama super state he has destroyed by cancelling executive orders. I guess you missed the VA law, but then you are probably not a veteran. pl

David E. Solomon -> turcopolier ... , 29 July 2017 at 03:39 PM
Colonel, you misunderstand me.

Obama made a totally waste of his presidency. He had the opportunity to govern with the intelligence to do so, but like the Clintons before him, he was really only concerned with his own importance (not to mention his personal corporate welfare stream).

While I doubt that Trump is worried about his future income stream, I really doubt the man's stability as well as his abilities. I know that "hope springs eternal", but in the end I think you will be disappointed. You seem to be, in many ways, an optimist. I am, on the other hand. a confirmed pessimist. Nevertheless, I sincerely hope that your reading is correct and mine is absolutely wrong. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

Regards,

David

David E. Solomon -> turcopolier ... , 29 July 2017 at 03:44 PM
For the record Colonel, I am not a veteran. That is why I do not, for the most part, respond to matters of which I cannot possibly have a lucid opinion.

Nevertheless, I read your site multiple times a day and have for years. I believe you do a service to your readers. In fact, I assume that you probably have many more regular readers than you know about from those who comment.

Please keep up the good work.

Regards,

David

turcopolier , 29 July 2017 at 03:21 PM
VV

The agitprop disinformation is mainly against him with the corporate media harping on every little damned thing. we never supplied IS. It is the AQ affiliates that he has stopped supply to. He is NOT an autocrat. did you not notice that he could not even cause the ACA to be repealed. IMO you have been taken in by the lefty propaganda. pl

Kooshy , 29 July 2017 at 04:09 PM
Colonel I know this Wall Street type big shots likes of Muchie IMO, you are right on characterizing this type. IMO this guy, already made 80 million, can he more self centered then DT, I can guarantee he has zero respect for the deplorables or even a class higher.
turcopolier , 29 July 2017 at 04:45 PM
David E. Solomon, I am generally thought to be a pessimist, pl
David E. Solomon -> turcopolier ... , 29 July 2017 at 05:18 PM
Colonel if you are a pessimist than there is probably no term to accurately describe me. David
Eric Newhill , 29 July 2017 at 05:00 PM
Sir,
I agree with your analysis. I too like Trump for his policies. His style is not good, but I will take content over style if he can get it done.

However, this Scaramucchi guy is a real loose cannon and a nut job. He's better suited for a reality show (who will be voted off the Island? The Mooch versus Kelly. See it all go down tonight at 10:00!) than an important post on POTUS' team. Sure, Trump needs a war time consigliere as I think Tyler is correct about what Trump is going to try to execute, but not a hot head junk yard dog. Things didn't work out well for Sonny Corleone, who suffered the same affliction.

He and Kelly will definitely get into it. IMO, the one that survives will be the one that has done the most to further Trump. IMO, Trump is smart enough to look at that it way. Kelly, as you say, will have to be unwavering in his commitment to sacrifice for the good of the country in order to hang in there on this one.

Lars , 29 July 2017 at 05:32 PM
To think that we are not witnessing DJT's nature and character is rather naive. I doubt that Gen. Kelly, no matter how skilled, will bring this White House under control since most of the dysfunction comes from the top and DJT is unable to be who he is not.

Some here seem to think this is a kind of Western movie with a showdown. It may make a good movie, but there are guard rails established over the last two centuries and you keep hitting them at your peril. It is more likely that DJT gets thwarted by a thousand cuts. John McCain just outsmarted the GOP, and probably did them a favor, by allowing the healthcare bill to come to the Senate floor and then kill it. Now there will not be any more attempts this fiscal year.

There will be others using rules that DJT does not even know that they exist.

turcopolier , 29 July 2017 at 05:48 PM
David E. Solomon

IMO the US is heading toward change into something unrecognizable. IMO Trump is not taking us there. Optimists of the utopian SJW stripe are doing that. That doesn't mean I like him. pl

David E. Solomon -> turcopolier ... , 29 July 2017 at 06:03 PM
Okay... We will see what happens. I don't like him either, but I rarely like any politician. Maybe we should both become pessimists on hold (or temporary optimists)?

David

turcopolier , 29 July 2017 at 05:56 PM
MRW

He is a deal closer and developer hustler. pl

MRW -> turcopolier ... , 29 July 2017 at 10:29 PM
True. And made his money by licensing his name to Arabs, Japanese (80s), Sheiks, and various Russians who couldn't get their building projects approved otherwise without an extreme federal legal hassle. That's why he kept his name in the public all the time. It wasn't grandiosity. It was a business decision that paid big bucks. Trump gave a lecture at Wharton in the early 80s to students to explain what he was doing. One of my best friends was a graduate student there and explained it to me.

HOWEVER. He also built buildings and a major hotel renovation (major and under budget, the Grand Hyatt on 42 St) in Manhattan that were his alone, and when I lived in Manhattan, it was not unusual to see photos of Trump over the weekend in The Post and Daily News on site with his workers and schmoozing his union boys checking up on things. He worked 7 days a week. He was completely hands-on. His workers loved him, and he loved them back.

You ask anyone who worked for him long-time. ANYONE. [There's a retired couple at my local bar who worked for him for 18 years--both of them--and they have nothing but gratitude for Trump and especially his generous retirement program. She was an accountant. I don't know what he did.] Especially women; he paid them the same as men for the same work, and women in his organization actually had more executive positions than men which was highly unusual at the time. They loved the guy. He was fair, incredibly demanding, and generous. There were only two things that he demanded in return: (#1) loyalty (2) hard work. This wasn't unknown to NYC-ers who knew his business.

MRW -> turcopolier ... , 29 July 2017 at 11:00 PM
Where he got into trouble was giving his first wife responsibility for his NJ casinos and businesses. She completely fucked them up. He never trashed her in public. Not once. She was the mother of his children. It's a long story.
turcopolier , 29 July 2017 at 06:07 PM
David E. Solomon

You can adopt whatever attitude you please but my function is to tell the truth as I understand it. pl

David E. Solomon -> turcopolier ... , 29 July 2017 at 06:33 PM
Which is why your readers are loyal.

David

turcopolier , 29 July 2017 at 06:09 PM
Mark Logan

IMO Scaramucchi is Trump's Trump. Kelly had had to deal with people like that but none of them were president. pl

elaine , 29 July 2017 at 06:27 PM
Yesterday on CNN a retired General, who is friends with General John Kelly(ret), said he told John he'd be safer parachuting into Raqqa alone then working in this White House. It got a laugh out of me.
mike -> elaine... , 29 July 2017 at 08:59 PM
Elaine -

Kelly is no stranger to political infighting. In 94/95 he was the USMC Liaison to the House of Representatives. Ten years later he returned to HQMC in Washington as the Legislative Assistant to the Commandant.

ked , 29 July 2017 at 07:08 PM
I think many if you are projecting forms of faith that Trump is somehow going to get things turned around, if only as a by-product of his lousy attitude. Others think he's really going to re-make the USA into some ass-kicking utopia (knly the ass-kicking happens on the domestic front... just wonderful.

Here's a quote I read that takes Col Lang's observation a bit further.

"Everything Trump is doing right now has the single goal of keeping himself in office. That's it. Full stop. Every tweet. Every campaign-style unhinged speech. Every move he makes that appears to be attached to any kind of policy at all, whether it's health care or immigration or law and order or who gets the right to serve in our military and who doesn't. He doesn't draw a breath without thinking of what he can do every single minute to keep himself from being run out of office for whatever illegality you can think of, whether it's colluding with the Russians to defeat Hillary Clinton or laundering their money or profiting from the presidency or anything else. Doesn't matter. He's going to push the envelope. He's going to say whatever he needs to say, do whatever he needs to do, fire whoever he needs to fire, sacrifice whoever he needs to sacrifice in order to save himself."

Col Lang used to critique a narcissistic personality style of among "perfumed prices of the pentagon". In these generals who are surrounding Trump out of duty & love-of-country, I see people who are blind to the fact they are propping up a sociopathic criminal who is a present danger to the Constitution. Thanks guys!

dilbert dogbert , 29 July 2017 at 07:42 PM
I got interested in your last paragraph about liking Trumps policies. So I went to The Google to see what policies he proposed during the campaign. I don't pay attention to campaign policy statements as I think the old saying: "The President Proposes and the Congress Disposes" is correct.
Here I found 146 statements.
https://www.politiplatform.com/trump
I expect you agree with the Foreign Policy statements. I scanned the 146 for one on LGBTQ but did not find one. I did however, notice in my wanderings on the internet that Trump on the stump seemed to be interested in their problems. I think your analysis of Mr Trump is spot on.
Richardstevenhack , 29 July 2017 at 08:11 PM
"A corollary of his mentality is that he has no loyalty to anyone who works for him and he sees them all as potential rivals for the future."

This might well apply to his daughter. Ivanka tells a story about how she was riding in a car while listening to the radio where Daddy was being interviewed by someone. Daddy was asked if he would ever fire Ivanka. He said, "I'd fire her like a dog." Ivanka calls him up and says, "Fine, but did you have to say 'like a dog'?"

LOL

turcopolier , 29 July 2017 at 08:24 PM
dilbert

IMO DJT is posing as a counter-revolutionary. I am the real thing with the exception of laws concerning race. Other than that I rather liked the 50s as a teen. pl

The Twisted Genius -> turcopolier ... , 29 July 2017 at 10:40 PM
pl,

I think the best of the 50s in America was due to an education system in the schools, the communities, the churches and the families that drilled self-discipline, responsibility, courtesy and a magic mixture of pride and humility into our malleable young heads. The presence of strong labor unions and out undisputed status as a world hegemon didn't hurt, either.

The Twisted Genius , 29 July 2017 at 10:21 PM
Yes, Trump and the Mooch are two of a kind... a couple of NYC conmen and bullshit artists. It has all the makings of a classic buddy film. I wonder where Kelly will focus his efforts. Will he focus on getting some control and meaningful cooperation in Congress? He does have some experience in that field. Will he be tasked with instilling some discipline into that clown show that the White House staff has become? Good luck working with the Mooch and the mad tweeter.

No matter how much I dislike him, Trump has expressed support for a number of admirable policies, better relations with Russia, better health care for all, secure borders, infrastructure investment and I'm sure there's others. The problem is that he doesn't have any real policies, just desired outcomes. A policy should include a proposed roadmap to reach those outcomes. Trump doesn't have a clue how to reach most of those outcomes and his primary reason for supporting those outcomes is to increase his popularity. He just wants to be loved. It's all part of the con.

turcopolier , 29 July 2017 at 10:21 PM
tyler

My present position on McMaster is that while he shares the outmoded views on Russia and Iran of many of his peers he is not a neocon. The poseur Harvey was at least an agent of the neocons. pl

[Jul 30, 2017] Night of the Little Knives - Reince Priebus Out, Former General John Kelly In

Jul 28, 2017 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

Trump Chief Of Staff Priebus Is Out -- In Biggest White House Staff Shake-Up Yet

He rose from relative state-party obscurity and reached an unlikely pinnacle as the man responsible for the agenda of the president of the United States.

Now, Reince Priebus is out of that job as White House chief of staff in the most significant shakeup of the rocky Trump presidency.

Trump announced on Twitter that Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has been named as Priebus' replacement.

[Jul 28, 2017] Perhaps Trump asked Sessions to fire Mueller and Sessions refused?

Highly recommended!
The problem is that that appointing a Special Prosecutor was a special operation directed against Trump. So Session behavior was the behavior of enabler of this special operation. Whether he did so because he was afraid of of being tarred and feathered with Russian connections himself, or he simply behayed Trump is unknown. But reclusing himself in such a critical for Trump Presidency matter is probably betrayal in any case.
Notable quotes:
"... The only reason I can think of for Trump to want Sessions removed from the Attorney Generalship is so Trump can get another Attorney General who can be said to be unconnected to Russian-whatever, and can therefore DE-recuse himself back into the Russia investigation. ..."
"... For someone with nothing to hide, Trump sure behaves like someone with something to hide. ..."
"... Hopefully some thread of this Trump bussiness will be wound around some thread of the Democrats's bussiness, giving Mueller a plausibly defensible reason to pull some Democratic affairs into this Trump investigation. ..."
"... I don't agree with any of the comment. Mueller's investigation serves the purpose of politically handicapping Trump and it looks like a classic perjury trap, they are trying to get him or his circle for obstruction of justice. Something remarkably easy to do as Martha Stewart or Frank Quattrone could attest. Trump's background will have already been gone through thoroughly, he is clean. ..."
"... This is the truth popping up through the cracks. It is impossible to drive Donald Trump from office without investigating the corruption and the information operation that supports the American Empire; in particular, the Clintons and Obama who are getting a free ride. ..."
"... "The truth will be what it is forever, without any input from anyone, whereas a lie becomes increasingly high maintenance in the face of simple questioning. It is endlessly difficult to maintain the back story, and then the back story's story, and so on, until the effort required to avoid self-contradiction simply becomes too much and the simple truth just comes out again, like a plant through cracked tarmac. That is why the propaganda campaign needs to be so vast and long term. It is a gargantuan feat that we only see the tip of." ..."
Jul 28, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

different clue -> Kooshy... Kooshy, 25 July 2017 at 08:52 PM

The only reason I can think of for Trump to want Sessions removed from the Attorney Generalship is so Trump can get another Attorney General who can be said to be unconnected to Russian-whatever, and can therefore DE-recuse himself back into the Russia investigation.

Trump would then want his new Attorney General to fire Mueller and fire whomever Mueller reports to. I can't think of any other reason why Trump would want Sessions removed.

For someone with nothing to hide, Trump sure behaves like someone with something to hide. The problem here is that Trump has such a trashy personality and such all-around trashy behavior that pure spite and irritation for no good reason at all is just as good a motive for Trump to want Sessions gone.

Sessions won't want to go. He has a legal-ideological mission at Justice. He won't resign. He will tough it out in place as long as he can.

Hopefully some thread of this Trump bussiness will be wound around some thread of the Democrats's bussiness, giving Mueller a plausibly defensible reason to pull some Democratic affairs into this Trump investigation.

bks -> different clue... 25 July 2017 at 09:52 PM

Perhaps Trump asked sessions to fire Mueller and Sessions refused?

different clue -> bks ... 26 July 2017 at 12:23 AM

bks,

That could be, but we will never know as long as Sessions remains AG. Because Sessions will remain focused on the DoJ mission, and not get involved in a spat-fight with Trump.

Also, if indeed Trump did ask Sessions to fire Mueller and Sessions declined to do so; perhaps Sessions has given Trump reason to understand that firing Sessions would play right into the "Obstruction of Justice" narrative which the Remove Trump forces are engineering.

And perhaps Sessions will have given Trump reason to understand further that even having given Sessions the reQUEST to fire Mueller could in itself further the "Obstruction of Justice" narrative. But in the event of imparting that further level of understanding unto the Trumpster, Sessions will then have followed up by reassuring Trump that as long as Trump does not fire Sessions, no one need ever know that Trump asked Sessions to fire Mueller. In the event of all these dominoes having fallen "just so" in a private discussion between these two men, Sessions will have reassured Trump that "no one need ever know about the request" . . . for as long as Sessions remains AG without being fired.

This is all pure speculation following on from your speculative question. We of the Great Uncleared will never know what has or hasn't been said behind the locked doors of steel and oak.

Kooshy -> different clue...25 July 2017 at 11:29 PM

I agree with the first part of your comment, but IMO the reason he wants Muller (or any Special investigator) removed is that he don't want his past business dealing and tax returns to be investigated, IMO they are scared of old days business deals, write off etc. and i think that's what Demos and Borg wants to pull out in a legal public way, and not the Russian connection. IMO the real sewer lies in past business and tax deals.

ked -> Kooshy... 26 July 2017 at 02:05 PM

If the "real sewer lies in past business and tax deals" and those happen to be penetrated by "the Russian connection", what then?

LondonBob -> Kooshy... 27 July 2017 at 05:42 AM

I don't agree with any of the comment. Mueller's investigation serves the purpose of politically handicapping Trump and it looks like a classic perjury trap, they are trying to get him or his circle for obstruction of justice. Something remarkably easy to do as Martha Stewart or Frank Quattrone could attest. Trump's background will have already been gone through thoroughly, he is clean.

Sessions offered his resignation a while back after he recused himself, Trump refused. Spicer went quickly and quietly, so would Sessions if he wanted him gone.

VietnamVet said... 25 July 2017 at 06:34 PM

PT

This is the truth popping up through the cracks. It is impossible to drive Donald Trump from office without investigating the corruption and the information operation that supports the American Empire; in particular, the Clintons and Obama who are getting a free ride.

It is shocking how inept the Trump family and the Russians are. To survive they will have to cultivate the truth and speak directly to the people. It is said that cassette tapes brought down the Soviet Union. Today we have the internet. Yesterday I read Tim Hayward's "It's Time to Raise the Level of Public Debate about Syria". Appendix 1 states the obvious:

"The truth will be what it is forever, without any input from anyone, whereas a lie becomes increasingly high maintenance in the face of simple questioning. It is endlessly difficult to maintain the back story, and then the back story's story, and so on, until the effort required to avoid self-contradiction simply becomes too much and the simple truth just comes out again, like a plant through cracked tarmac. That is why the propaganda campaign needs to be so vast and long term. It is a gargantuan feat that we only see the tip of."

Augustin L said... 25 July 2017 at 09:41 PM

John Helmer on Jared Kushner's testinomonial to stupidity and unfitness. http://johnhelmer.net/jared-kushners-testimonial-to-stupidity-and-unfitness-american-and-russian/

[Jul 28, 2017] The Serbs were murdering Toms like flies back in 1999 using the Vietnam-War era vintage SA-7s. Or a good old Shilka and the radar turned on.

Notable quotes:
"... The Germans and French will not die for US hegemony schemes if it comes to that. The Brits might because they're kind of nuts about Russia - toss up, I guess. ..."
"... The interesting thing about this interview (to me) was that Mattis actually sounds like a pretty rational person in the first half of the interview, especially in regards to Russia. Then Iran and Syria comes up and he just goes off the rails. ..."
"... Thanks for that interview, Mattis is quite clear: they will keep trying regime change, nothing else. Russia is a competitor not an enemy and they are 'deconflicting'. ..."
"... because the US and world economy is so vulnerable to a sustained spike in the price of oil, the US cannot afford to mess with a country that has the power to wreck havoc on the price of this strategic commodity. ..."
"... A single Sunburn or Nour missile direct hit at Saudi Arabia's only deep water port at Ra's Tanura is enough to put all Saudi oil exports out of commission for several months. ..."
"... Given the derivatives volume, the margin calls on these might well push the Dow and S&P over the precipice and precipitate a major crash. ..."
"... During Bush the Younger's tenure, Cheney, Rummy and Wolfowitz were dying to attack Iran, but cooler minds among the military brass prevailed and didn't let the children play at their war games. But that was then. It seems with the Neocon purges at the Pentagon and State since then, the Kool-aid has made it all the way to the top, so that reason is no longer the decisive factor in the decision making process. ..."
"... And finally, methinks the implications of the mass production of the indiginized S-200 is that it will not be too long (5 to 10 years?) before Ben Gurion Airport is de facto declared a no fly zone, precipitating a significant wave of reverse migration back to New York and Florida and Europe from occupid Palestine. ..."
Jul 28, 2017 | mihsislander.org

Peter AU 1 | Jul 27, 2017 1:48:23 AM | 92

ProPeace@84 - "Well, not if the ships carrying those tomahawks are hit by Yakhonts first"

I agree, but you're assuming a US Navy ship in the Persian Gulf would be launching the Tomahawks. Block IV TLAMs have a range of between 1300 and 1800 km depending on the model. They could be launched at Iran from the Mediterranean, Red Sea or Arabian Sea - well outside the 300 km range of an anti-ship Yakhont, Onyx or BrahMos. I'm guessing the US Navy would take that into consideration when they attack Iran.

"...And the Russians have also electronic countermeasures that caused that two US missiles fired from the Western Med area towards Damascus to fall into the sea back in 2013, I believe. No problem to protect Iran in the same way..."

Russia will be angry, but it will not start WW III with the US over Iran. They won't have to. An attack on Iran will push China over the edge and THEY will be perfectly willing to start WW III with the US in retaliation. Nobody talks much about that, but Iran is China's red line. They will jump in as soon as we attack Iran, guaranteed. They know they're very close to the top of the US Imaginary Enemies list and they'll be next.

Russia will voice its objections to the US/Israeli/GCC/NATO actions and indicate support for Iran and China, but won't jump in at the start. They will just say that they are perfectly willing to do so. The US will back down because we can't win either a conventional or nuclear war with China and Russia at the same time. NATO will fold because their capitals are maybe six minutes from Russia's RS-26 ICBMs. The Germans and French will not die for US hegemony schemes if it comes to that. The Brits might because they're kind of nuts about Russia - toss up, I guess.

Sadly, despite the consequences, the US will invent an excuse to attack Iran and do so. This short interview in June with James Mattis, our Defense Secretary, illustrates why. The interview was conducted in response to a request from a student (Teddy) at some random high school newspaper in Washington state. Mattis responded on a whim and talked with them for a while, taking questions. The interesting thing about this interview (to me) was that Mattis actually sounds like a pretty rational person in the first half of the interview, especially in regards to Russia. Then Iran and Syria comes up and he just goes off the rails. Poor Teddy...

Full transcript: Defense Secretary James Mattis' interview with The Islander

PavewayIV | Jul 27, 2017 1:26:55 AM | 91

Close in defences at target sites seem the best defence against cruise missile attack - Pantsir type of thing. Short range missiles and cannon. Any idea what Iran has in the way of short range defence systems? Iran seems good on the electronics side of things which is what modern war is all about.

somebody | Jul 27, 2017 2:12:47 AM | 93 #91 PW4

Thanks for that interview, Mattis is quite clear: they will keep trying regime change, nothing else. Russia is a competitor not an enemy and they are 'deconflicting'.

His optimism that the American Way is the solution is quite funny.

Quadriad | Jul 27, 2017 5:38:48 AM | 96

I can't believe that someone as astute as you are is now spilling this defeatist garbage. Tomahawks are retard-missiles, flown in straight lines at low altitudes and at low speeds too. S-200 of any vintage is an utter overkill for the Tomahawks.

Pantsirs, Buks and Tors are borderline overkill.

All that's really needed is a good Igla or Two and well alert crew. The Serbs were murdering Toms like flies back in 1999 using the Vietnam-War era vintage SA-7s. Or a good old Shilka and the radar turned on.

Quadriad | Jul 27, 2017 5:40:56 AM | 97

straight lines - near straight lines, they do turn when they need to dodge a mountain or similar. Otherwise, not as much.

Or kill the GPS satellite and all the Tomahawks become as useless as c*** flavor lollipops. These worthless Raytheon pieces of shite probably don't even have an inertial mode.

Thank you Paveway and others for your responses on the Iran military capabilities issue.

Nuff Sed | Jul 27, 2017 6:55:19 AM | 98

I disagree that Iran is either China's or Russia's red line. Logically she should be, but she isn't. What I think has kept Uncle Scam from attacking Iran is Iran's own military strength. That is not to say that Iran is in the same league; but because the US and world economy is so vulnerable to a sustained spike in the price of oil, the US cannot afford to mess with a country that has the power to wreck havoc on the price of this strategic commodity.

A single Sunburn or Nour missile direct hit at Saudi Arabia's only deep water port at Ra's Tanura is enough to put all Saudi oil exports out of commission for several months.

Given the derivatives volume, the margin calls on these might well push the Dow and S&P over the precipice and precipitate a major crash.

And then there is this:

http://www.rense.com/general59/thesunburniransawesome.htm

During Bush the Younger's tenure, Cheney, Rummy and Wolfowitz were dying to attack Iran, but cooler minds among the military brass prevailed and didn't let the children play at their war games. But that was then. It seems with the Neocon purges at the Pentagon and State since then, the Kool-aid has made it all the way to the top, so that reason is no longer the decisive factor in the decision making process.

And finally, methinks the implications of the mass production of the indiginized S-200 is that it will not be too long (5 to 10 years?) before Ben Gurion Airport is de facto declared a no fly zone, precipitating a significant wave of reverse migration back to New York and Florida and Europe from occupid Palestine.

Nuff Said.

OJS | Jul 27, 2017 7:02:54 AM | 99

@denk 95

Nope! I'm not an Indian nor China apologist but primarily to show a new war brewing between India and China and both with Russian S-400. Russia just recently signed agreement to sell S-400 to India. You should watch this vid first (three parts)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udADHfiDR80

Here another viewpoints from Pepe Escobar

China and India torn between silk roads and cocked guns (OpEdNews Op Eds 7/26/2017 at 19:32:31 )

https://www.opednews.com/articles/China-and-India-torn-betwe-by-Pepe-Escobar-Brics_China-Investment-Corp_China-Politics_Indian-Prime-Minister-Modi-170726-632.html

V. Arnold | Jul 27, 2017 7:04:23 AM | 100

Well, I certainly look forward to PW-IV's reply. I agree with you to the extent that the U.S. is highly overrated on most weapon systems.

Syria is the first time since Vietnam the U.S. has faced an equal or possibly superior (technologically) opponent. We'll most certainly see...

PavewayIV | Jul 27, 2017 11:20:35 AM | 108

OJS@81 - Re: India/China - Interesting in its own right. But ever since the U.S. MSM started weighing in with their spin, I had to tune out. I'm under constant assault by full-spectrum MSM insanity in the Middle East at the moment, and nobody cares about what the U.S. thinks about a Indian-Chinese border dispute.

Peter AU 1@92 Re: Iran short-range point defense - They have a couple of dozen old TOR-M1s and BUK clones, but nothing like Pantsirs. Since their overall network is not terribly integrated (as far as anyone knows), the older short-range equipment is of limited value. Iran relies on a kind of long-range point defense strategy along with a long-range border ring.

somebody@93 - Re Mattis "...His optimism that the American Way is the solution is quite funny." His heart is in the right place. I would simply prefer him in his old job as Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, rather than U.S. Secretary of Defense.

Quadriad@96 - "...I can't believe that someone as astute as you are is now spilling this defeatist garbage..." The war with Iran will not be decided by simple weapon superiority (or lack thereof). Iran will lose its entire air defenses in the first two weeks of an all-our war, and the U.S. will bail out before either side 'wins'.

Nuff Sed@98 - The U.S. spends $600 billion a year on the military and imports less than 12% of our oil from the Persian Gulf. Since when has the U.S. ever cared about the sacrifices of the 'little people' when pursuing its imperialistic goals? Do you think big oil interests in Washington would cry much about $200/bbl oil?

"...During Bush the Younger's tenure, Cheney, Rummy and Wolfowitz were dying to attack Iran, but cooler minds among the military brass prevailed and didn't let the children play at their war games..."

Well, we'll have to disagree on that on. The U.S. war on Iran started a couple of decades ago - we just haven't made it to Iran itself yet. I think the 'loose ends' are just about all tied up by now.

V. Arnold@100 - Our vast technical superiority in weapons has proved worthless in the longest war in U.S. history: Afghanistan. We're very good at blowing things up, that's it. If the war is about anything else, then we're usually in trouble.

[Jul 25, 2017] Trump on Sessions

Jul 25, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Jim Haygood , July 25, 2017 at 3:51 pm

Trump on Sessions this afternoon, to the WSJ, adding to his morning tweetstorm:

"I'm just looking at it," the president said when asked how long he could continue to criticize Mr. Sessions without firing him. "I'll just see. It's a very important thing."

A president repeatedly trashing a cabinet member in the press is sending an unmistakable message: resign now . His target Ku Klux Jeff seems to be a bit hard of hearing.

PKMKII , July 25, 2017 at 4:03 pm

Tinfoil hat mode: What if Trump is selecting the worst of the worst of congressional Republicans for his cabinet positions, just so he can force them out of their representative or senate seat? Fire them a few months down the line, and their replacement is a novice with no political capital to stand up to him, and selected via a special election that carries little "will of the people" clout.

johnnygl , July 25, 2017 at 5:51 pm

Or maybe trump wants an AG who will go catch big fish like the clintons and like amazon and Mr. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III just wants to lock up black people carrying dime bags???

WobblyTelomeres , July 25, 2017 at 6:12 pm

Sessions is like that twisted bitter 1000 year old hag next door's little snippy chihuahua that must be 1000 years old that always somehow gets loose when you're going out and tries to bite you on the ankle every fricking day so one day you snap and kick the thing into the wall and the next night it comes back as a zombie chihuahua white walker dog. That is Sessions.

Arizona Slim , July 25, 2017 at 6:25 pm

Yeah, he does remind me of my neighbors' herd of yappers. Much sound and fury, signifying nothing. Except an ongoing disturbance of the neighborhood peace.

Art Eclectic , July 25, 2017 at 7:45 pm

My guess is that Trump knows firing Mueller would be a bad move, so he's taking his rage out on Sessions for creating this problem for him in the first place by recusing himself.

kj1313 , July 25, 2017 at 8:20 pm

Haha I'll join you. With all of his actions, half the time I think Trump is an Accelerationist (or Blanquist) who's goals are to eventually lead us to some form of Socialism.

Though I just think he's a craven grifter.

IowanX , July 25, 2017 at 7:29 pm

I reckoned Recess Appointments were Trump's plan. May not work. http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/25/politics/trump-recess-appointments/index.html

[Jul 25, 2017] CNN Tillerson May Resign

Jul 25, 2017 | armedia.am

The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is expressing growing frustration with the Trump administration and may be considering resigning from his role, the Hill reports citing to CNN reports.

Though the former CEO of ExxonMobil Corp. has said that he would stay on as the top U.S. diplomat until the end of the year at least, several anonymous sources told CNN over the weekend that he might leave earlier than that.

Sources "familiar with Tillerson conversations with friends outside Washington" admit the secretary of State may just be venting, but they sense his doubts about President Trump are growing.

[Jul 16, 2017] Why the USA hollowing themselves out by promoting to key diplomatic posts semi-talented gobshites like Nikki Haley instead of career diplomats and experts? Is connection to the security agencies a key factor?

Notable quotes:
"... Samantha ' Genocide ' Powers, former US Ambassador to the UN and Spoxhole started out as a journalist too. They just can't seem to get professional diplomats to take the job, or maybe they are simply not offered it. We've been around this particular bush many times before. ..."
"... Are western institutions hollowing themselves out by promoting semi-talented gobshites instead of career diplomats and experts and does that stop people going in to the diplomatic service thus leave less and less available for top jobs as the real experts have either already retired or will soon? ..."
Jul 16, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com
Samantha ' Genocide ' Powers, former US Ambassador to the UN and Spoxhole started out as a journalist too. They just can't seem to get professional diplomats to take the job, or maybe they are simply not offered it. We've been around this particular bush many times before.

Are western institutions hollowing themselves out by promoting semi-talented gobshites instead of career diplomats and experts and does that stop people going in to the diplomatic service thus leave less and less available for top jobs as the real experts have either already retired or will soon?

The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee report on UK-Russia relations that I posted about above highlights this lack of expertise, but is it also the case that mass surveillance though technology has become the magpie politicians shiny jewels to the detriment of promoting human resource capital?

Meanwhile, the head of British Intelligence outfit MI6 gave an interview to the British press about being 'inclusive' and now trying to personally recruit new members from all backgrounds with the traditional 'tap on the shoulder'. Yup, when you lock down the internet – for your own safety of course – you keep full records of every citizens electronic movements, and you allow over 30 government departments almost full access to that information at the tap of a couple of buttons with minimum oversight, what's left? Ah yes, spies in every community to report back so no minority is left behind, including the LBQ-GTI brigade (who have always been in British Intelligence, but officialdom previously looked the other way). But don't call it a Police State, 'coz that is bad . Managed British democracy and freedoms are good .

Here are a few of the headlines:

And two pieces by 'The Friends of Snowden', the Guardian!

What this smacks of is damage repair and promotion PR exercise. I bet this boilerplate interview was slated for earlier release but when it was discovered that former MI6 agent Christopher Steele prepared the Trump 'Dodgy Dossier', not to mention his past in the famous Moscow 'Spy Rock' episode, so they waited a little while to let the news how MI6 treats its former/agents to cool off.

Moscow Exile , March 3, 2017 at 2:45 am
I never got a tap on the shoulder -- not even an inkling of one.

Hardly surprising, really being a fully signed and paid up member of the "Enemies Within".

And the Russians have never approached me ither.

Bloody no use to anyone, me!

Jen , March 3, 2017 at 3:24 am
Do MI6 really tap people on the shoulder if they want to recruit them? I'd have thought their methods involved press-ganging people and threatening blackmail by posting fake videos of their victims engaged in terrorist or paedophilic acts if they refused to cooperate.
http://www.nelsonsnavy.co.uk/broadside7.html
Moscow Exile , March 3, 2017 at 3:33 am
Don't be daft! That's what the FSB does. The British Secret Intelligence Service invites you round for a cup of tea and a little chat.
Jen , March 3, 2017 at 4:32 am
Was that how James Bond was recruited to work for Her Maj Betty Windsor's Secret Service: being invited to a cup of tea, a Vesper Martini and a chat with Misses Moneypenny and Goodnight somewhere in Mayfair in London?
Moscow Exile , March 3, 2017 at 5:48 am
Nah, they used Miss Moneypenny as a honeytrap. He was always after shagging her, but I don't think he ever did; she was far too classy for Bond.
Moscow Exile , March 3, 2017 at 3:41 am
GCHQ to recruit social media savvy teenage girls as next-gen female spies

[Jul 14, 2017] Secretary Tillerson, It's Time to Phone Iran The American Conservative

Notable quotes:
"... Despite these hotspots, the Trump administration and Secretary Rex Tillerson have allowed the hotline with Tehran to go cold. Despite the significant risk of war, not a single phone call has taken place between Tillerson and Zarif. Not a single attempt at resolving the tensions diplomatically has been made. ..."
"... When asked about diplomacy with Iran during his visit to the Saudi kingdom, Tillerson said that he had no plans to reach out to Iran , although he didn't rule it out in the future. ..."
"... The George W. Bush administration at least had the decency to lie to the American public when it sold the electorate the Iraq War. And however skewed and faulty, the Iraq War was preceded by a debate and a vote in Congress. Though President Bush eschewed diplomacy, he nevertheless presented a deeply flawed case as to why diplomacy no longer was an option. Trump and Tillerson simply don't even bother. ..."
"... The Trump administration's recklessness is endangering America and putting American servicemen and women at risk. If Tillerson was supposed to be the adult in the room steering Trump in the right direction, he needs to start to act the part. ..."
"... Before the escalation with Iran reaches a point of no return, diplomacy must be given a chance. That responsibility falls on Mr. Tillerson. The former Exxonmobil CEO has Zarif's number. It's time he places a call. ..."
Jul 14, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com
For instance, at one point U.S. Navy ships and helicopters were approaching the Iranian island where the sailors were kept. "Please tell your navy not to get close," Zarif told Kerry, his tone revealing the urgency of the matter. "We don't want a military confrontation. But if your planes get close, we will have serious trouble." Kerry immediately hung up and called General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to urge him to pull back. "We're risking potential escalation here," Kerry told the general. "They were giving us positive indications that they are gonna release these guys, so we should back off the helicopters for now and test if this is real." Dunford complied, and a dangerous confrontation was avoided. To prove that the sailors were safe, Zarif emailed a picture of them from his Gmail account to Kerry's State Department email.

It had taken two years of intense discussions and negotiations for Kerry and Zarif to build the rapport that enabled them to so quickly resolve unforeseen crises such as that of the U.S. sailors. But once the channel of communications and the rapport had been established, its utility and efficiency was unquestionable. Indeed, the sailors' incident could have ended up as another prolonged hostage crisis. Instead, most Americans have not even heard of their mishap.

Today, there are many unforeseen crises that risk bringing the U.S. and Iran!indeed, the entire Middle East!into direct confrontation. The U.S. and Iran have a shared interest in defeating ISIS in Iraq, but after the fall of Mosul, the balance of their interest may lead them in a mor