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Trump election time foreign policy platform

Trump was the only candidate who during his election campaign was against neoliberal globalization as well as against neoliberal wars for the expansion of US-led global neoliberal empire (but also only until he was elected)

During elections he looked like the best chance to prevent military confrontation with Russia in Syria and the risk of WWIII. After elections he looks quote opposite experiencing political metamorphose similar to Obama who became Bush II in foreign policy in just 100 days: another masterful "bait and switch maneuver"

The last time America saw a strong paleo-conservative was Pat Buchanan in 1996. An early win in Louisiana caused Buchanan to place second in Iowa and first in New Hampshire. Lacking money, Buchanan was steamrolled by the establishment in Arizona and, in terms of paleo-conservatism, many thought he was the Last of the Mohicans. Trump's campaign is Buchananesque with one difference: Trump has money... --  by Joseph R. Murray II (Orlando Sentinel, Aug 12, 2015)

News Brexit as the start of the reversal of neoliberal globalization Donald Trump -- an unusual fighter against excesses of neoliberal globalization Recommended Links  Trump vs. Deep State Anti Trump Hysteria Shoot-first-ask-questions-later: Trump adventurism in ME Trump betrayal of his foreign policy platform Trump Colin Powell moment
The Deep State Trump economic platform TTP, NAFTA and other supernational trade treates Anti-globalization movement Immigration, wage depression and free movement of workers Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Blowback against neoliberal globalization Immigration and free movement of workers Hillary role in Syria bloodbath
 Zombie state and coming collapse of neoliberalism Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Nation under attack meme  American Exceptionalism  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners"
Corporatist Corruption Predator state Neocons New American Militarism Myth about intelligent voter Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism Corporatism National Security State Non-Interventionism
Libertarian Philosophy The Iron Law of Oligarchy Principal-agent problem Neoliberalism US Presidential Elections of 2012   Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc
 
"There is one political party in this country, and that is the party of money. It has two branches, the Republicans and the Democrats, the chief difference between which is that the Democrats are better at concealing their scorn for the average man."

-- Gore Vidal

“The Democrats are the foxes, and the Republicans are the wolves – and they both want to devour you.” So what does that make Libertarians? Avian flu viruses?”

-- Leonard Pinkney

The race is no contest when you own both horses. That is why no matter which political party is in power nothing really changes other than the packaging. The puppets who drink at the champagne fountains of the powerful do the bidding of their masters. The people are superfluous to the process.

-- Daniel Estulin

In the “democracy” that America has evolved to, money counts more than people. In past elections, the votes were counted, now they are going to start weighing them.

America The Counter-Revolution - Salem-News.Com

(T)he rich elites of (the USA) have far more in common with their counterparts in London, Paris, and Tokyo than with their fellow American citizens … the rich disconnect themselves from the civic life of the nation and from any concern about its well being except as a place to extract loot. Our plutocracy now lives like the British in colonial India: in the place and ruling it, but not of it.”

-- Mike Lofgren

Note: On April 6, 2016 Trump surrendered to neocons. Events after April 6, 2017 are discussed at Trump after his Colin Powell moment. The election image of Trump
(like in case of king of "bait and switch" Obama it proved to be false) -- he easily betrayed his election promises


Introduction

Note: this article was written long before the election as as such does not reflect subsequent events such as Trump attack on Syria.

Both choices in US Presidential election 2016 were dismal, but they are unequal in their gravity options. All this blabbering about Trump future appointment of "wrong" (aka reactionary) Supreme Court justices, slashing taxes for rich, elimination of inheritance tax,  and other similar things make sense if and only if the country continues to exist. Which is not given due to the craziness and the level of degeneration of neoliberal elite, especially neocons that infest Washington, DC, Obama administration (including Obama himself),   as well as "bloodthrusty" democrats like  Hillary (“no fly zone in Syria” is one example of her craziness). While formally neocons are aligned with Republican party, they feel at home at Democratic Party too as it became the second War Party in Washington. And war (cold or hot are OK, as long as neocons personally do not need to fight in the trenches and somebody else need to die in wars of neoliberal empire expansion) is all they want. Neocons are, in essence, MIC lobbyists. Playing chicken with a nuclear power for the sake of providing MIC with outside profits and maintaining the US global dominance is a crazy policy that exhausts country resources, and impoverish population, like previously was the case with British and Spanish empires.

Neocons rule the roost in both parties, which essentially became a single War Party with two wings. They completely appropriated formulation of the US foreign policy and dominate the State Department and Pentagon. In this sense Trump is a real outlier (or was, before he was elected). Simplified his foreign policy platform includes two simple and very attractive for the US population slogan, that are completely opposite to Washington official foreign policy doctrine, enforced by "deep state"

So the hissy fit the deep state displayed before December 19  (classic "Russians are under every bed" hysteria, supported by all neoliberal MSM, including WaPo, NYT, CNN, ABC, MSBNC, etc) was not about Russia, it was about the danger that the current neocon-driven foreign policy that was a hallmark of the US forign policy during the  last four administrations (Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and Obama) will be abandoned by Trump administration.

The fact the American people discarded  Hillary Clinton is encouraging. As a neocon warmonger she belongs to the dust bin of history. But as it  is not clear whether Trump is capable to deliver his key foreign policy promises/objectives, such a detente with Russia, and no new wars of neoliberal empire expansion. Deep state is way too strong for a single maverick, or even a group of like minded mavericks  change the US foreign policy. Even if they have unconditional support of US military (as Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard demonstrated with her recent bill):

On December 8, 2016, Gabbard introduced the Stop Arming Terrorists Act to prevent the U.S. government from sponsoring international terrorist groups through funding and the provision of armaments, intelligence, and training. The act was modeled on the Boland Amendment and was endorsed by the Progressive Democrats of America and the U.S. Peace Council.[107][108]

The chances are high that Trump he will be co-opted by Washington neocons and gradually will became Bush IV or Obama II.  That will be really unfortunate development.  In this chess game, Trump having weaker figures and position in labyrinth of power will need to find  new people ready to go and skillfully navigate around the neocon swamp and MIC land mines. The only countervailing force are US military, who are fighting all those neocon wars and who really hate neocon chickenhawks, and know their real price. Separately, Trump has suggested a new rules prohibiting lobbying for five years after service in his administration and total prohibition of being lobbyist of foreign states. That is really revolutionary  and this alone make Trump distinct from a typical Washington politicians. But those parasites will definitely fiercely resists such sensitive for their family budget change.

Trump looks like the only chance somewhat to limit their influence and reach some détente with Russia. And I would not be surprised one bit if Dick Cheney, Victoria Nuland, Paul Wolfowitz and Perle voted for Hillary. Robert Kagan and papa Bush publicly declared such an intention. And the fact Hillary is a staunch neocon, and always was.  A wolf in sheep clothing, if we are talking about real anti-war democrats, not the USA brand of DemoRats. She is a crazy warmonger, no question about it, trying to compensate a complete lack of diplomatic skills with jingoism and saber rattling. In foreign policy area she was John McCain in pantsuit. Here is one interesting quote ( nakedcapitalism.com )

“What scares me is my knowledge of her career-long investment in trying to convince the generals and the admirals that she is a ‘tough bitch’, ala Margaret Thatcher, who will not hesitate to pull the trigger. An illuminating article in the NY Times  revealed that she always advocates the most muscular and reckless dispositions of U.S. military forces whenever her opinion is solicited. ”

But it looks that many people in the USA were able to understand that the choice in this particular case was between the decimation of the last remnants of the New Deal and a real chance of WWIII. Those are two events of completely difference magnitude: one is reversible (and please note that Trump is bound by very controversial obligations to his electorate and faces hostile Congress), the other is not.

Neoliberalism after 2008 entered zombie state so while it is still strong aggressive and bloodthirsty it might not last for long. And in such cases the defeat of democratic forces on domestic front is temporary. That means vote against Hillary.

Trump rejects neocon platform of forcefully converting all states in the globe into neoliberal protectorates using color revolutions and brute military force, including drone based assassinations (The Wholesale Failure of American Foreign Policy The American Conservative): 

Airstrikes and drone attacks are accidentally killing thousands of civilians, aid workers, wedding parties, and now even the troops of a nation against whom we are not at war. Each of these mistakes, repeated hundreds of times over the past 15 years, creates more antagonism and hatred of the United States than any other single event. Whatever tactical benefit some of the strikes do accomplish, they are consumed in the still-worsening strategic failure the misfires cause.

Bottom line: The use of military power since 2001 has:

These continued and deepening failures kill unknown numbers of innocent civilians each year, intensify and spread the hatred many have of America, and incrementally weaken our national security. But these military failures have another, less obvious but more troubling cost.

Official election platform

With the exception of Iran, which for some reason he hates so much, that he wants to risk a war with it, Trump speaks more like a paleoconservative  then a neocon.  He is more reasonable as for US-Russian relation that bloodthirsty warmonger Hillary (which is an easy task because "this woman" wet kiss neocons all the time).

His focus in relations with China, while also hawkish  in more about trade balance and "bringing jobs home" issues, not so much about South Sea military adventures (U.S.-China Trade Reform Donald J Trump for President):

How We Got Here: Washington Politicians Let China Off The Hook

In January 2000, President Bill Clinton boldly promised China’s inclusion in the World Trade Organization (WTO) “is a good deal for America. Our products will gain better access to China’s market, and every sector from agriculture, to telecommunications, to automobiles. But China gains no new market access to the United States.” None of what President Clinton promised came true. Since China joined the WTO, Americans have witnessed the closure of more than 50,000 factories and the loss of tens of millions of jobs. It was  not a good deal for America then and it’s a bad deal now. It is a typical example of how politicians in Washington have failed our country.

The most important component of our China policy is leadership and strength at the negotiating table. We have been too afraid to protect and advance American interests and to challenge China to live up to its obligations. We need smart negotiators who will serve the interests of American workers – not Wall Street insiders that want to move U.S. manufacturing and investment offshore.

The Goal Of The Trump Plan: Fighting For American Businesses And Workers

America has always been a trading nation. Under the Trump administration trade will flourish. However, for free trade to bring prosperity to America, it must also be fair trade. Our goal is not protectionism but accountability. America fully opened its markets to China but China has not reciprocated. Its Great Wall of Protectionism uses unlawful tariff and non-tariff barriers to keep American companies out of China and to tilt the playing field in their favor.

If you give American workers a level playing field, they will win. At its heart, this plan is a negotiating strategy to bring fairness to our trade with China. The results will be huge for American businesses and workers. Jobs and factories will stop moving offshore and instead stay here at home. The economy will boom. The steps outlined in this plan will make that a reality.

When Donald J. Trump is president, China will be on notice that America is back in the global leadership business and that their days of currency manipulation and cheating are over. We will cut a better deal with China that helps American businesses and workers compete.

The Trump Plan Will Achieve The Following Goals:

  1. Bring China to the bargaining table by immediately declaring it a currency manipulator.
  2. Protect American ingenuity and investment by forcing China to uphold intellectual property laws and stop their unfair and unlawful practice of forcing U.S. companies to share proprietary technology with Chinese competitors as a condition of entry to China’s market.
  3. Reclaim millions of American jobs and reviving American manufacturing by putting an end to China’s illegal export subsidies and lax labor and environmental standards. No more sweatshops or pollution havens stealing jobs from American workers.
  4. Strengthen our negotiating position by lowering our corporate tax rate to keep American companies and jobs here at home, attacking our debt and deficit so China cannot use financial blackmail against us, and bolstering the U.S. military presence in the East and South China Seas to discourage Chinese adventurism.

Details of Donald J. Trump’s US China Trade Plan:

Declare China A Currency Manipulator

We need a president who will not succumb to the financial blackmail of a Communist dictatorship. President Obama’s Treasury Department has repeatedly refused to brand China a currency manipulator – a move that would force China to stop these unfair practices or face tough countervailing duties that level the playing field.

Economists estimate the Chinese yuan is undervalued by anywhere from 15% to 40%. This grossly undervalued yuan gives Chinese exporters a huge advantage while imposing the equivalent of a heavy tariff on U.S. exports to China. Such currency manipulation, in concert with China’s other unfair practices, has resulted in chronic U.S. trade deficits, a severe weakening of the U.S. manufacturing base and the loss of tens of millions of American jobs.

In a system of truly free trade and floating exchange rates like a Trump administration would support, America's massive trade deficit with China would not persist. On day one of the Trump administration the U.S. Treasury Department will designate China as a currency manipulator. This will begin a process that imposes appropriate countervailing duties on artificially cheap Chinese products, defends U.S. manufacturers and workers, and revitalizes job growth in America. We must stand up to China’s blackmail and reject corporate America’s manipulation of our politicians. The U.S. Treasury’s designation of China as a currency manipulator will force China to the negotiating table and open the door to a fair – and far better – trading relationship.

End China’s Intellectual Property Violations

China’s ongoing theft of intellectual property may be the greatest transfer of wealth in history. This theft costs the U.S. over $300 billion and millions of jobs each year. China’s government ignores this rampant cybercrime and, in other cases, actively encourages or even sponsors it –without any real consequences. China’s cyber lawlessness threatens our prosperity, privacy and national security. We will enforce stronger protections against Chinese hackers and counterfeit goods and our responses to Chinese theft will be swift, robust, and unequivocal.

The Chinese government also forces American companies like Boeing, GE, and Intel to transfer proprietary technologies to Chinese competitors as a condition of entry into the Chinese market. Such de facto intellectual property theft represents a brazen violation of WTO and international rules. China’s forced technology transfer policy is absolutely ridiculous. Going forward, we will adopt a zero tolerance policy on intellectual property theft and forced technology transfer. If China wants to trade with America, they must agree to stop stealing and to play by the rules.

Eliminate China’s Illegal Export Subsidies And Other Unfair Advantages

Chinese manufacturers and other exporters receive numerous illegal export subsidies from the Chinese government. These include - in direct contradiction to WTO rules - free or nearly free rent, utilities, raw materials, and many other services. China’s state-run banks routinely extend loans these enterprises at below market rates or without the expectation they will be repaid. China even offers them illegal tax breaks or rebates as well as cash bonuses to stimulate exports.

China’s illegal export subsidies intentionally distorts international trade and damages other countries’ exports by giving Chinese companies an unfair advantage. From textile and steel mills in the Carolinas to the Gulf Coast’s shrimp and fish industries to the Midwest manufacturing belt and California’s agribusiness, China’s disregard for WTO rules hurt every corner of America.

The U.S. Trade Representative recently filed yet another complaint with the WTO accusing China of cheating on our trade agreements by subsidizing its exports. The Trump administration will not wait for an international body to tell us what we already know. To gain negotiating leverage, we will pursue the WTO case and aggressively highlight and expose these subsidies.

China’s woeful lack of reasonable environmental and labor standards represent yet another form of unacceptable export subsidy. How can American manufacturers, who must meet very high standards, possibly compete with Chinese companies that care nothing about their workers or the environment? We will challenge China to join the 21 st Century when it comes to such standards.

The Trump Plan Will Strengthen Our Negotiating Position

As the world’s most important economy and consumer of goods, America must always negotiate trade agreements from strength. Branding China as a currency manipulator and exposing their unfair trade practices is not enough. In order to further strengthen our negotiating leverage, the Trump plan will:

  1. Lower the corporate tax rate to 15% to unleash American ingenuity here at home and make us more globally competitive. This tax cut puts our rate 10 percentage points below China and 20 points below our current burdensome rate that pushes companies and jobs offshore.
  2. Attack our debt and deficit by vigorously eliminating waste, fraud and abuse in the Federal government, ending redundant government programs, and growing the economy to increase tax revenues. Closing the deficit and reducing our debt will mean China cannot blackmail us with our own Treasury bonds.
  3. Strengthen the U.S. military and deploying it appropriately in the East and South China Seas. These actions will discourage Chinese adventurism that imperils American interests in Asia and shows our strength as we begin renegotiating our trading relationship with China. A strong military presence will be a clear signal to China and other nations in Asia and around the world that America is back in the global leadership business.

Trump challenges after the election

This topic is covered in more details at Trump vs. Deep State

As professor  Andrew Levine wrote in Trouble Ahead With Trump and For Himon (CounterPunch, Nov 18, 2016).  

And his views on relations with Russia and China, regime change wars, and imperial overreach, as best they can be ascertained, are a lot wiser and less lethal than hers.  These are not so much left-right issues as matters of common sense.

Clinton’s overriding concern was and always has been to maintain and expand American world domination — in the face of economic decline, and at no matter what cost.  Trump wants, or says he wants, to do business with other countries in the way that he did with sleaze ball real estate moguls and network executives, people like himself.   He wants to make deals.

The Trump way is, as they say, “transactional.”  The idea is to wheel and deal on a case-by-case basis, with no further, non-pecuniary end in view.

... ... ...

Better that, though, than a foreign policy dedicated to keeping America the world’s hegemon. That is the foreign policy establishment’s aim; it is therefore Clinton’s too. It is the way of perpetual war. Trump’s way is far from ideal, but it is less wasteful, less onerous and less reckless.

During the campaign, Trump would sometimes speak out against banksters and financiers, especially the too-big-to-fail and too-big-to-jail kind. For some time, though, the “populist” billionaire has been signaling to his class brothers and sisters in the financial “industry” that he is more likely to deregulate than to regulate their machinations.

This will become even clearer once Trump settles on key Cabinet posts and on his economic advisors. It is already plain, though, that the modern day counterparts of Theodore Roosevelt’s “malefactors of great wealth” have little to fear; they and Trump are joined by indissoluble bonds of class-consciousness and solidarity.

Many of the rich and heinous were skeptical of Trump’s candidacy at first; because he is such a loose cannon. But now that he has won, the bastards are sucking up; and glee is returning to Wall Street.

Trump is now starting too to allay the fears of the movers and shakers of the National Security State. He still has a way to go, however. We can therefore still hope that they are right to worry. What is bad for them is good for the country.

Clinton’s defeat also seems to have unnerved their counterparts in European capitals, at NATO headquarters in Brussels, and in Japan, South Korea and other countries where the presence of the American military has been very very good for the few at the top, and disastrous for ordinary people.

If he means it, then more power to him. The United States and the rest of the world would be well rid of the American dominated military alliances now in place; NATO most of all. However, having talked with him, Obama is now telling the Europeans that Trump is fine with NATO. Time will tell.

Then there is Israel. Trump thinks that the blank check the ethnocratic settler state already gets from the United States isn’t nearly enough. So much for allies paying their own way!

However, even if Trump leaves America’s perpetual war regime and its military alliances intact, some good could come just from him being at the helm – not so much because, as a wheeler and dealer, he would be less inclined actually to start wars than has become the norm, but because he is vile enough, and enough of an embarrassment, to undermine America’s prestige, hastening the day when the hegemon is a hegemon no more.

This would be good for most Americans, and good for the world.

The election he won has already done a lot to explode the idea, more widely believed at home than abroad, that American “democracy” is somehow a model for the world.

Trump election time position on Russia

Campaign trail rhetoric is not the same as actual foreign policy after the elections.  As Sputnik reported (Russia-US Relations Under Trump 'There Will Be Dialogue and Agreements')

"The Democrats consider their views to be the ultimate truth. It is impossible to reach any agreement with them in this respect. They are not focused on national interests, but rather on globalist goals and universal human values. In this sense the ability of Obama's team to reach deals has passed into legend," he said. "In recent years, Russia has not tried to engage in meaningful diplomacy with the Obama administration since it was useless."

But negotiation will be tough because Trump explicit position is to seek advantages for the USA, not equal deals. He might possibly cooperate on tackling Daesh in Syria. If so, this will mark a major departure from Russia's relations with the US under the Obama administration in recent years. But the problem is the Congress which is infected with war hawks (mostly chickenhawks).

Real Trump position on Russia would be more clear when he selects his candidate for the Secretary of State. So far his views were encouraging: he is not in favor of direct confrontation that Obama administration pursued and Clinton administration would probably convert into armed conflict. Here are some additional details from Russophobic Guardian presstitute Shawn Walker (The Guardian, July 7, 2016):

Page, an investment banker who previously worked in Russia, insisted he was in Russia on a private visit, although he is likely to meet Russian officials when he gives the commencement speech at the New Economic School in Moscow on Friday. He refused to comment on whether he had any meetings with officials planned.

... ... ...

Trump himself has has often praised the Russian leader during the campaign, saying in a December interview “he’s running his country and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country”.

The presumptive Republican nominee has expressed his confidence that he would build a good relationship with the Russian president telling reporters last year: “I think I would get along very well with Vladimir Putin.”

He also defended the Russian leader against accusations that Putin has ordered the killing of journalists, telling ABC News “In all fairness to Putin, you’re saying he killed people. I haven’t seen that. I don’t know that he has. Have you been able to prove that? Do you know the names of the reporters that he’s killed? Because I’ve been – you know, you’ve been hearing this, but I haven’t seen the names,”

The announced topic of Page’s discussion was “the evolution of the world economy”, but much of it involved semi-coherent analysis of the former Soviet republics of Central Asia.

In passing, Page castigated the US for interfering in the internal affairs of other countries and pursuing "regime change" in former Soviet countries. He said Russia and the US could have better relations in future, but this would be “contingent upon US’s refocus toward resolution of domestic challenges”. However, when pressed on details he was evasive.

In March, Page told Bloomberg that his experience on the ground doing deals in Russia and Central Asia would make him better placed to give advice than “people from afar, sitting in the comfort of their think tanks in Washington”. It is unclear how close he is to Trump and how much weight his advice holds with the presidential candidate.

Page repeatedly emphasised that he was in Russia as a private citizen rather than as an emissary of Trump. However, it is connections with the presidential candidate which prompted the New Economic School to invite him to give their keynote annual speech. In previous years, the commencement speeches at the university have been given by high-profile figures, including Barack Obama in 2009.

In December, Putin referred to Trump as a “colourful” person who was the “absolute leader” of the US presidential race, comments which prompted Trump to respond in turn that he was flattered by the praise. “When people call you brilliant, it’s always good, especially when the person heads up Russia,” Trump said, adding incorrectly that Putin had called him a “genius”.

Last month, Putin clarified the comments, saying he had not endorsed Trump, but welcomed his stance on relations with Russia.

“Here’s where I will pay close attention, and where I exactly welcome and where on the contrary I don’t see anything bad: Mr Trump has declared that he’s ready for the full restoration of Russian-American relations. Is there anything bad there? We all welcome this, don’t you?”

Trump election time position on Iran

Trump declared the Obama nuclear deal, the deal which helped to keep oil prices very low since mid 2014, "disastrous" and suggested it would be one of the first arrangements he would "renegotiate" after he assumes the office of the presidency in January, 2017.

"They are laughing at the stupidity of the deal we’re making on nuclear," Trump said of the Iranians, in an interview last summer with CNN. "We should double up and triple up the sanctions and have them come to us. They are making an amazing deal."

It is unlear why he calls this stupidity. IMHO this was a very shrewd move, then decimated Russia economic, as Russia budget depends of world prices and also heavily hit KAS, Venezuela and other oil producing nations. Putting some of them on the wedge of bankruptcy. In American Conservative   Daniel Larison  gave very insightful overview of Trump position, which is shared by his close advisors such as General Flynn (Trump and Iran The American Conservative):

Scott McConnell asks what we could expect from Trump on foreign policy, specifically on Iran:

The greater neoconservative goal, of course, is the prevention any American rapprochement with Iran, keeping the sanctions going till they have a president willing to start a war on the country. How does Trump fit into that?

I have tried to avoid writing about Trump as much as possible over the last few months, because it is generally a waste of time to attempt to analyze the policy views of an opportunistic demagogue, but since the question has been asked here I’ll try to answer it.

As far as I can tell, Trump endorses the hard-liners’ position on the nuclear deal. He has characteristically denounced it in the most hyperbolic terms, he is preparing to share a stage with the only other presidential candidate that can match him in demagogic rhetoric to repeat these denunciations, and two of the groups sponsoring the rally that Trump will attend are among the most fanatical hawkish organizations in the U.S. He has also repeated some of the most ludicrous and dishonest hawkish talking points about what the deal requires of the U.S. For instance, he recently repeated the lie that the deal obliges the U.S. to defend Iran from an Israeli attack:

He then claimed that there’s something in the Iran deal saying if someone attacks Iran, “we have to come to their defense.” And so he interpreted that to conclude, “If Israel attacks Iran, according to that deal, I believe the way it reads… that we have to fight with Iran against Israel.”

This is complete and utter nonsense, so it doesn’t surprise me that Trump believes it (or at least claims to believe it). This is the sort of deliberate distortion of the deal’s contents that hard-line “pro-Israel” hawks like to indulge in. Rubio said something similar to this in his questioning of Kerry earlier in the summer.

It should tell us everything we need to know about Trump’s views on foreign policy that he buys into these lies and repeats them. There are all kinds of reasons not to trust Trump’s judgment, but his statements on the nuclear deal are sufficient to prove that his foreign policy judgment is horrible.

Trump election time position on free trade and victims of neoliberal globalization

From Gaius Publius When Trump Talks Trade, Voters Listen naked capitalism

Before you read, though, take a moment to watch less than two minutes of Donald Trump above, from his victory speech after winning in Michigan and Mississippi. I’ve cued it up to start at the remarks I want to highlight, Trump discussing our trade deficit.

Now Thomas Frank, writing in The Guardian. He starts by noting the utter invisibility of real working Americans to our elite class, including our media elites, and especially our liberal media elites (my emphasis throughout):

Millions of ordinary Americans support Donald Trump. Here’s why

When he isn’t spewing insults, the Republican frontrunner is hammering home a powerful message about free trade and its victims

Let us now address the greatest American mystery at the moment: what motivates the supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump?

I call it a “mystery” because the working-class white people who make up the bulk of Trump’s fan base show up in amazing numbers for the candidate, filling stadiums and airport hangars, but their views, by and large, do not appear in our prestige newspapers. On their opinion pages, these publications take care to represent demographic categories of nearly every kind, but “blue-collar” is one they persistently overlook. The views of working-class people are so foreign to that universe that when New York Times columnist Nick Kristof wanted to “engage” a Trump supporter last week, he made one up, along with this imaginary person’s responses to his questions.

When members of the professional class wish to understand the working-class Other, they traditionally consult experts on the subject. And when these authorities are asked to explain the Trump movement, they always seem to zero in on one main accusation: bigotry. Only racism, they tell us, is capable of powering a movement like Trump’s, which is blowing through the inherited structure of the Republican party like a tornado through a cluster of McMansions.

The conclusion of these writers is this:

The Trump movement is a one-note phenomenon, a vast surge of race-hate. Its partisans are not only incomprehensible, they are not really worth comprehending.

And yet…

A lot of people are racists, including those not supporting Trump. But people have other concerns as well, especially working people. They are dying faster than they used to, from drugs and despair, and they fear for their jobs and their families, for very good reasons. This economy is failing them.

They also hate — and understand — “free trade.”

Trump Also Talks Trade

Donald Trump talks about more than just race and immigration. He talks about trade and the trade deficit, an issue that powered Bernie Sanders to his Michigan victory as well. From the New York Times:

Trade and Jobs Key to Victory for Bernie Sanders

Democratic presidential candidate had campaigned in Traverse City, Mich., in decades until Senator Bernie Sanders pulled up to the concert hall near the Sears store on Friday. Some 2,000 people mobbed him when he arrived, roaring in approval as he called the country’s trade policies, and Hillary Clinton’s support for them, “disastrous.”

“If the people of Michigan want to make a decision about which candidate stood with workers against corporate America and against these disastrous trade agreements, that candidate is Bernie Sanders,” Mr. Sanders said in Traverse City, about 250 miles north of Detroit.

Mr. Sanders pulled off a startling upset in Michigan on Tuesday by traveling to communities far from Detroit and by hammering Mrs. Clinton on an issue that resonated in this still-struggling state: her past support for trade deals that workers here believe robbed them of manufacturing jobs. Almost three-fifths of voters said that trade with other countries was more likely to take away jobs, according to exit polls by Edison Research, and those voters favored Mr. Sanders by a margin of more than 10 points.

There is no question — America’s billionaire-friendly, job-destroying trade policy is toxic — again, literally. That’s why Obama and his bipartisan “free trade” enablers in Congress have to pass TPP, if they can, in post-election lame duck session. TPP is also toxic to political careers, and only lame ducks and the recently-elected can vote for it.

Frank again on Trump:

Last week, I decided to watch several hours of Trump speeches for myself. I saw the man ramble and boast and threaten and even seem to gloat when protesters were ejected from the arenas in which he spoke. I was disgusted by these things, as I have been disgusted by Trump for 20 years. But I also noticed something surprising. In each of the speeches I watched, Trump spent a good part of his time talking about an entirely legitimate issue, one that could even be called left-wing.

Yes, Donald Trump talked about trade. In fact, to judge by how much time he spent talking about it, trade may be his single biggest concern – not white supremacy. Not even his plan to build a wall along the Mexican border, the issue that first won him political fame. He did it again during the debate on 3 March: asked about his political excommunication by Mitt Romney, he chose to pivot and talk about … trade.

It seems to obsess him: the destructive free-trade deals our leaders have made, the many companies that have moved their production facilities to other lands, the phone calls he will make to those companies’ CEOs in order to threaten them with steep tariffs unless they move back to the US.

On the subject more generally, Frank adds:

Trade is an issue that polarizes Americans by socio-economic status. To the professional class, which encompasses the vast majority of our media figures, economists, Washington officials and Democratic power brokers, what they call “free trade” is something so obviously good and noble it doesn’t require explanation or inquiry or even thought. Republican and Democratic leaders alike agree on this, and no amount of facts can move them from their Econ 101 dream.

To the remaining 80 or 90% of America, trade means something very different. There’s a video going around on the internet these days that shows a room full of workers at a Carrier air conditioning plant in Indiana being told by an officer of the company that the factory is being moved to Monterrey, Mexico and that they’re all going to lose their jobs.

As I watched it, I thought of all the arguments over trade that we’ve had in this country since the early 1990s, all the sweet words from our economists about the scientifically proven benevolence of free trade, all the ways in which our newspapers mock people who say that treaties like the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement allow companies to move jobs to Mexico.

Well, here is a video of a company moving its jobs to Mexico, courtesy of Nafta. This is what it looks like. The Carrier executive talks in that familiar and highly professional HR language about the need to “stay competitive” and “the extremely price-sensitive marketplace.” A worker shouts “Fuck you!” at the executive. The executive asks people to please be quiet so he can “share” his “information”. His information about all of them losing their jobs.

Frank goes to greater length, and again, please click through. But you get the idea. This is what Trump is speaking to, whether he means what he says or not, and this is what his voters are responding to, whether they like his racism or not. After all, haven’t you, at least once, voted for someone with qualities you dislike because of policies you do like?

Whose Fault Is This? Both Parties, But Especially the Democratic Elites

One final point. Frank takes on the issue of responsibility:

Trump’s words articulate the populist backlash against liberalism that has been building slowly for decades … Yet still we cannot bring ourselves to look the thing in the eyes. We cannot admit that we liberals bear some [or most] of the blame for its emergence, for the frustration of the working-class millions, for their blighted cities and their downward spiraling lives. So much easier to scold them for their twisted racist souls, to close our eyes to the obvious reality of which Trumpism is just a crude and ugly expression: that neoliberalism has well and truly failed.

I am certain, if this comes up in a general election debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, she could very likely get her clock cleaned; not certainly, but certainly very likely. First, she can only equivocate, and Trump will have none of it. (Trump: “Let me understand. You were for this before you were against it? So … will you be for it again next year? I’m just trying to understand.”)

Second, this is a change election, Trump is one of only two change candidates in the race, and Clinton is not the other one.

Here’s that Carrier Air Conditioning “we’re moving to Mexico” video that Frank mentioned above. Take a look, but prepare to feel some pain as you watch:


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[Dec 16, 2017] Brexit, Trump, and the Dangers of Global 'Jihad' HuffPost by Ben Railton

For 1995 the book Jihad vs. McWorld was really groundbreaking.
Also the concept of "Neoliberal jihad is valid, but it is better to call it Neoliberal World revolution as it was borrowed from Trotskyism
Notable quotes:
"... Jihad vs. McWorld ..."
"... In the two decades since Barber's book, this conflict has seemed to play out along overtly cultural lines: with Islamic extremism representing jihad, in opposition to Western neoliberalism representing McWorld. ..."
"... Linking Brexit and Trump to global right-wing tribal nationalisms doesn't mean conflating them all, of course. ..."
"... Yet at the same time, we can't understand our 21st century world without a recognition of this widespread phenomenon of global, tribal nationalism. ..."
Dec 11, 2017 | www.huffingtonpost.com

In his ground-breaking 1995 book Jihad vs. McWorld , political scientist Benjamin Barber posits that the global conflicts of the early 21st century would be driven by two opposing but equally undemocratic forces: neoliberal corporate globalization (which he dubbed "McWorld") and reactionary tribal nationalisms (which he dubbed "Jihad"). Although distinct in many ways, both of these forces, Barber persuasively argues, succeed by denying the possibilities for democratic consensus and action, and so both must be opposed by civic engagement and activism on a broad scale.

In the two decades since Barber's book, this conflict has seemed to play out along overtly cultural lines: with Islamic extremism representing jihad, in opposition to Western neoliberalism representing McWorld. Case in pitch-perfect point: the Al Qaeda terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Yet despite his use of the Arabic word Jihad, Barber is clear that reactionary tribalism is a worldwide phenomenon -- and in 2016 we're seeing particularly striking examples of that tribalism in Western nations such as Great Britain and the United States.

Britain's vote this week in favor of leaving the European Union was driven entirely by such reactionary tribal nationalism. The far-right United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) and its leader Nigel Farage led the charge in favor of Leave , as exemplified by a recent UKIP poster featuring a photo of Syrian refugees with the caption " Breaking point: the EU has failed us ." Farage and his allies like to point to demographic statistics about how much the UK has changed in the last few decades , and more exactly how the nation's white majority has been somewhat shifted over that time by the arrival of sizeable African and Asian immigrant communities.

It's impossible not to link the UKIP's emphases on such issues of immigration and demography to the presidential campaign of the one prominent U.S. politician who is cheering for the Brexit vote : presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump. From his campaign-launching speech about Mexican immigrant "criminals and rapists" to his proposal to ban Muslim immigration and his "Make American Great Again" slogan, Trump has relied on reactionary tribal nationalism at every stage of his campaign, and has received the enthusiastic endorsement of white supremacist and far-right organizations as a result. For such American tribal nationalists, the 1965 Immigration Act is the chief bogeyman, the origin point of continuing demographic shifts that have placed white America in a precarious position.

The only problem with that narrative is that it's entirely inaccurate. What the 1965 Act did was reverse a recent, exclusionary trend in American immigration law and policy, returning the nation to the more inclusive and welcoming stance it had taken throughout the rest of its history. Moreover, while the numbers of Americans from Latin American, Asian, and Muslim cultures have increased in recent decades, all of those communities have been part of o ur national community from its origin points . Which is to say, this right-wing tribal nationalism isn't just opposed to fundamental realities of 21st century American identity -- it also depends on historical and national narratives that are as mythic as they are exclusionary.

Linking Brexit and Trump to global right-wing tribal nationalisms doesn't mean conflating them all, of course. Although Trump rallies have featured troubling instances of violence, and although the murderer of British politican Jo Cox was an avowed white supremacist and Leave supporter, the right-wing Islamic extremism of groups such as Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Boko Haram rely far more consistently and centrally on violence and terrorism in support of their worldview and goals. Such specific contexts and nuances are important and shouldn't be elided.

Yet at the same time, we can't understand our 21st century world without a recognition of this widespread phenomenon of global, tribal nationalism. From ISIS to UKIP, Trump to France's Jean-Marie Le Pen, such reactionary forces have become and remain dominant players across the world, influencing local and international politics, economics, and culture. Benjamin Barber called this trend two decades ago, and we would do well to read and remember his analyses -- as well as his call for civic engagement and activism to resist these forces and fight for democracy.

Ben Railton Professor & public scholar of American Studies, Follow Ben Railton on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AmericanStudier

[Dec 15, 2017] Sic Semper Tyrannis Watergate Deja Vu and Fake News by Publius Tacitus

Notable quotes:
"... The real story is that the FBI, the NSA and the CIA effectively conspired to try to destroy the Presidency of Donald Trump. Hardly anyone in the media, mainstream or fringe, are writing about this fact and trying to rally public support for action. What is one to say when confronted with the fact that the FBI paid money to a former British spy for alleged dirt on Donald Trump that was initially commissioned by the Clinton campaign. And who is the FBI Agent paying for the dossier? Why a fellow now revealed as a Clinton partisan. ..."
"... How much of what we see is the real DJT and how much is a projected public persona? ..."
"... DJT's threat to "drain the swamp" has created fear, uncertainty and doubt amongst the swamp folk. They naturally fight back. By definition, all swamp critters must toe the neocon line else they would have been fired by previous incumbents. They are all therefore fair game for DJT. ..."
"... I admire your persistence and agree with the points you make in this and your other posts on the topic of Trump. This is an extremely important subject matter. A President was elected, lawfully, and a bunch of stupid ninnies got their panties in a knot over that and are therefore more or less willing to support a Borgist ("deep state", if you prefer) coup d'état. Said ninnies are immune to the rational arguments you present because they are not intelligent, they are hyper emotional and many of them belong to a cult called "[neo]liberalism" (or the "progressive movement", if you prefer). ..."
"... You mention briefly the Steele affair. I still find it difficult to believe that an ex-UK Intelligence Officer can get mixed up in American politics to this extent and scarcely an eyebrow raised. Surely someone's asking questions somewhere about this? The facts are clear enough, for once. ..."
"... And, off stage, a slow but powerful campaign exposing many of Trumnp's enemies as corrupt, perverted hypocrites. And, from time to time, unexpected presents like Brazile's book. But faster please ..."
"... I agree about the Trump Derangement Syndrome that has afflicted the media. I think they are suffering from O.C.T.D.: Obsessive Compulsive Trump Disorder. There are some in the media who are of the opinion that this may not be working with most Americans. ..."
"... The crucial point is not about respect for the man. It is respect for the office. All men are flawed, and high position exposes additional flaws. It is evident, to this outside observer, that Trump won "fair and square" according to the established procedures. The variety of "dirty tricks" used against him, both before the election and after, is astounding. There was a "back room" negotiation on election eve, visible in public as the long delay in final over-the-top results, and Trump's apology to his supporters for the delay, "it was complicated". ..."
"... He was smart enough to get elected, defeating a dozen professional republicans and the Democratic machinery along with the MSM. "In the end you will see that he does not live up to your expectations." I thought he was a boor and a mediocre showman. In that regard he's exceeded mine by surviving this long. ..."
"... You are correct that there is no public source yet confirming the FBI paid Steele. However, the FBI's refusal to turn over relevant documents regarding their relationship with Steele tells me there was money paid. What is indisputable is that the information in the dossier was used as a predicate to seek permission from a FISA court to go after Trump and his team. That is outrageous. ..."
"... Hillary, Bush, Obama and "the establishment" knew unconsciously not to "rock the boat". Trump was seen as too independent and uneducated in the ways of The Borg to be trusted. He had un-borg-like views like "..what the hell are we doing supporting Al Quida?" "...grab her in the pussy.." "..lets make Jerusalem the capital of Israel.." "lets get along with Russia.." "..the Media is fake and biased.." all very un-PC and un-borg-like positions. Too disruptive of the status quo. Might actually solve some problems and reduce the importance of government. ..."
"... I think the Borg determined he was N.O.K. (Not Our Kind). And he has royally pissed off the Media and he is in a death fight with the Media. ..."
"... This is increasingly my take as well -- the FBI, CIA and NSA do seem to have "conspired" to destroy Donald Trump. I finger Brennan, Clapper, Susan Rice, Benjamin Rhodes, and maybe Samantha Power as being involved in the flood of illegal leaks earlier in the year that did so much to pave the way for Mueller's appointment. ..."
"... Are you aware that the Office of Inspector General has been investigating politicization of the FBI and DOJ for 11 months now? The investigation was brought about at the recommendation of certain members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I believe. Among the allegations being looked into is that DOJ/FBI have highly political agents that should have at least recused themselves from certain investigations and that their politics may have influenced the course of the investigations. ..."
"... Given the revelations around Strzok, Rhee and Weissman, on Mueller's team, you'd think we'd be hearing more about OIG case. IMO, we are about to though. ..."
"... I'm also stunned by the stupidity of the Democrats. Any liberal who believes the intelligence agencies is a fool. They've just shown us their true nature by blocking the release of several thousand pages of records relating to the assassination of President Kennedy. ..."
"... If someone had told me 5 years ago that I would in 2017 consider Fox News to be the most reliable MSM news outlet, I would have rolled around on the ground laughing hysterically. Yet it is true. I am not quite sure what I should deduce from this but I think it is something along the lines of "one cannot be too cynical about the news media". ..."
"... He certainly gives them plenty of ammunition. However, I believe a great deal of the vituperative outrage directed at him has much (possibly primarily) to do with exactly whom he bested in the general election. Not to pile on, but see David E. Solomon's comments on this thread. ..."
"... One can't underestimate the cult of personality that was so carefully crafted around Hillary Clinton for the past two decades. Their chosen strategy of identity politics only kicked it into hyper-drive over the past eight years. ..."
Dec 08, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

That sure sounds a lot like the current state of the media. We have witnessed this type of hysteria ourselves in just the last two days. First there was the Brian Ross debacle, which entailed Ross peddling the lie that Trump ordered Flynn to contact the Russians. That "fake news" elicited an emotional orgasm from Joy Behar on The View. She was on the verge of writhing on the floor as she prematurely celebrated what she thought would seal the impeachment of Donald Trump. Whoops. Ross had to retract that story.

... ... ...

Watergate and "Russiagate" do share a common trope. During Watergate the Washington Post was mostly a lone voice covering the story. Washington Post publisher at the time, Kate Graham, reportedly remarked that she was worried that none of the other papers were covering the story. And it was an important story. It exposed political corruption and abuse of power and a threat to our democracy.

How is that in common with Russiagate? The real story is that the FBI, the NSA and the CIA effectively conspired to try to destroy the Presidency of Donald Trump. Hardly anyone in the media, mainstream or fringe, are writing about this fact and trying to rally public support for action. What is one to say when confronted with the fact that the FBI paid money to a former British spy for alleged dirt on Donald Trump that was initially commissioned by the Clinton campaign. And who is the FBI Agent paying for the dossier? Why a fellow now revealed as a Clinton partisan.

Publius Tacitus , 05 December 2017 at 11:52 PM
It is a shame you wanted to start the discussion with such a stupid comment. I have made no representation whatsoever about the intelligence or lack of intelligence of Trump. I have expressed nothing regarding "my expectations" for him or his policies. I get it. You don't like the man and want to grind a meaningless axe.
EEngineer said in reply to David E. Solomon... , 06 December 2017 at 01:12 AM

How much of what we see is the real DJT and how much is a projected public persona?

There's truth and lies, but then there's just plain old bullshit which has nothing to do with either. He seems to throw a ton of it around as a diversionary tactic. I understand the technique, but I can't see through the smoke screen to divine what he's up to or who he really is. So I continue to dispassionately observe.

walrus , 06 December 2017 at 01:49 AM
DJT's threat to "drain the swamp" has created fear, uncertainty and doubt amongst the swamp folk. They naturally fight back. By definition, all swamp critters must toe the neocon line else they would have been fired by previous incumbents. They are all therefore fair game for DJT.
sbjonez , 06 December 2017 at 02:36 AM
Maybe a citation could be offered here, but there does not appear to be any support for the assertion made by the author of this piece that "...the FBI paid money to a former British spy for alleged dirt on Donald Trump...".There were reports that the FBI 'considered' paying Steele to continue his work, ( a not altogether uncommon practice), yet within the more responsibly researched reports it was also clearly stated that in the end the FBI did not in fact pay Steele anything for any work at all.
Dr. George W. Oprisko , 06 December 2017 at 03:32 AM
As it happens the FBI and most probably the others were created by executive order.

Perhaps it's time to end them by executive order.......

INDY

Eric Newhill said in reply to Publius Tacitus ... , 06 December 2017 at 03:32 AM
PT,
I admire your persistence and agree with the points you make in this and your other posts on the topic of Trump. This is an extremely important subject matter. A President was elected, lawfully, and a bunch of stupid ninnies got their panties in a knot over that and are therefore more or less willing to support a Borgist ("deep state", if you prefer) coup d'état. Said ninnies are immune to the rational arguments you present because they are not intelligent, they are hyper emotional and many of them belong to a cult called "[neo]liberalism" (or the "progressive movement", if you prefer).

When you belong to a cult, you must suspend reason; make it subordinate to the hive mind. You lose all perspective. They believe all kids of ridiculous notions that fail to withstand the most basic rational scrutiny; like Islam and feminism can be allies, socialism would work if only it were applied correctly, if a man puts on a dress he has actually become a woman and that such a person would make a good 11 series in the military, low skill/low IQ immigrants - legal or otherwise - are actually good for the country......so of course they believe that a coup d'état is appropriate when the target is Trump. In their madness they have convinced themselves that Trump is uniquely dangerous. He is going to destroy the world via ignoring global warming, tax cuts, immigration reform, pushing the nuclear button just for fun; all of the above and maybe more. You know this, of course. You did mention "Trump Derangement Syndrome".

As for the rest of the subject matter, personally, I feel that what with all that has been revealed about the FBI, CIA and NSA, someone should be bringing the involved members of these agencies up on charges related to treason, sedition or whatever legal terms are correct. Actually, these people should have their doors kicked down and be brought out in hand cuffs. Death sentences should be on the table and should be applied when legally possible.

This is no more Watergate than a man in a dress is a woman.

The depths to which the govt, populace and values of this country have degenerated have never been more on display than in this witch hunt. We are in very bad shape. The media is thoroughly scurrilous. Officials in bureaucracies are treasonous and have no respect for the rule of law. Half of the citizens are insane and support the media and the traitors.

If someone doesn't at least just pull the plug on this "investigation", it's going to ruin what's left of this country. It may be too late. A lot of ninnies are going to wake up to a very harsh reality.

Peter Reichard , 06 December 2017 at 05:21 AM
From day one the Republicans were trying to impeach Bill Clinton by investigating every dark corner of the Clintons' past and present until they could find something that would stick. Same thing with Trump except this time it goes far beyond the opposition party to include elements of the government, most of the media and even leading members of his own party. Elections be damned, we have an empire to maintain and he is seen by the establishment as too impulsive, unstable and so far uncontrollable to be allowed to stay in power. While no threat to the sacred cows of Wall Street and Israel or even to drain the swamp they are terrified of his unpredictability, hence the full court press unprecedented in American history to remove him from office. My very low opinion of Trump doesn't blind me to the dangers inherent in this effort. \
English Outsider -> Publius Tacitus ... , 06 December 2017 at 05:45 AM
PT - Isn't the point you've just made central? The issues here are far more important than the personalities?

I like what I've seen of our PM, Mrs May. Nice person, to my outsider's way of thinking. Doesn't alter the fact that I consider her policies and philosophy to be hopeless. And since we're never going to meet her in the pub that's what counts. Would it not be possible to separate things out in the same way with Trump? Set on one side the partisan arguments about his personality - politics is not a TV show - and consider him on the basis of what he may or may not do or be able to do?

You mention briefly the Steele affair. I still find it difficult to believe that an ex-UK Intelligence Officer can get mixed up in American politics to this extent and scarcely an eyebrow raised. Surely someone's asking questions somewhere about this? The facts are clear enough, for once.

JMH said in reply to David E. Solomon... , 06 December 2017 at 07:29 AM
Actually, I think he shares many of Bismark's qualities: "a political genius of a very unusual kind [whose success] rested on several sets of conflicting characteristics among which brutal, disarming honesty mingled with the wiles and deceits of a confidence man. He played his parts with perfect self-confidence, yet mixed them with rage, anxiety, illness, hypochrondria, and irrationality. ... He used democracy when it suited him, negotiated with revolutionaries and the dangerous Ferdinand Lassalle, the socialist who might have contested his authority. He utterly dominated his cabinet ministers with a sovereign contempt and blackened their reputations as soon as he no longer needed them. He outwitted the parliamentary parties, even the strongest of them, and betrayed all those ... who had put him into power. By 1870 even his closest friends ... realized that they had helped put a demonic figure into power.[6]"-wiki

Bernie can be Lasalle.

Patrick Armstrong , 06 December 2017 at 07:55 AM
I think, I hope, I believe, I persuade myself that all is unfolding as it should. Mueller turns up nothing but further examples of officials pimping themselves out to foreign governments; meanwhile revelations of bias on his team; meanwhile chewing away at the Fusion GPS thing (one of the key pillars); meanwhile investigation of the FBI. And, off stage, a slow but powerful campaign exposing many of Trumnp's enemies as corrupt, perverted hypocrites. And, from time to time, unexpected presents like Brazile's book. But faster please
Martin Oline , 06 December 2017 at 08:02 AM
I agree about the Trump Derangement Syndrome that has afflicted the media. I think they are suffering from O.C.T.D.: Obsessive Compulsive Trump Disorder. There are some in the media who are of the opinion that this may not be working with most Americans. I saw two pieces this morning from BBC and The New York Times:

Perhaps this is the start of a change or a recognition that the MSM's habitual crying wolf behavior is not resonating with Main Street. I can only hope, but I stopped watching the national news long ago.

Ken Roberts , 06 December 2017 at 08:30 AM
The crucial point is not about respect for the man. It is respect for the office. All men are flawed, and high position exposes additional flaws. It is evident, to this outside observer, that Trump won "fair and square" according to the established procedures. The variety of "dirty tricks" used against him, both before the election and after, is astounding. There was a "back room" negotiation on election eve, visible in public as the long delay in final over-the-top results, and Trump's apology to his supporters for the delay, "it was complicated".

That truly is water under the bridge, and at least must be so, if you wish to preserve your republic. You all have the right to withhold consent and trash what you and your fathers and grandfathers have achieved. Most will not like the outcome. But I sincerely hope that you, each and collectively, instead will choose the positive aspects of this model:

"... that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

Best wishes,
kr

Greco , 06 December 2017 at 08:56 AM
The ABC story had to be "clarified" given they originally reported Flynn had contacted the Russians DURING the election when in fact it was AFTER the election. The story had consequences on the stock market: https://seekingalpha.com/article/4129355-cost-fake-news-s-and-p-500 This all happened on the eve of the passage of Trump's tax cuts and it seemed timed to hurt the stock market. It may even possibly have torpedoed the tax cuts by putting into question Trump's legal standing as president.
jdledell , 06 December 2017 at 10:04 AM
I detest Trump as a person but still acknowledge that he is our current President. I will continue to fight against the implementation of his policies and work hard to to try to insure he does not win a second term. Other than that in 3 more years the American people will have an opportunity to judge his performance and make a decision on his worthiness to continue as President. That is as it should be.

Trump has taken some hard shots, some deserved and some not. That is the nature of our current political system. When Trump traveled the nation proclaiming Obama was not American born and thus an illegitimate President is also an example of "all is fair in War and politics".

Fred -> David E. Solomon... , 06 December 2017 at 10:20 AM
David,

He was smart enough to get elected, defeating a dozen professional republicans and the Democratic machinery along with the MSM. "In the end you will see that he does not live up to your expectations." I thought he was a boor and a mediocre showman. In that regard he's exceeded mine by surviving this long.

Publius Tacitus -> sbjonez... , 06 December 2017 at 10:35 AM
You are correct that there is no public source yet confirming the FBI paid Steele. However, the FBI's refusal to turn over relevant documents regarding their relationship with Steele tells me there was money paid. What is indisputable is that the information in the dossier was used as a predicate to seek permission from a FISA court to go after Trump and his team. That is outrageous.
rjj said in reply to JMH... , 06 December 2017 at 11:19 AM
is this doom-and-gloom or hope-assaulting-experience? Am guessing that the only thing he has shares with Old Otto is a preference for the classic method of donning trousers.

OOPS! there's this (was reminded of it by the hyperventilatory "breaking news" about Blackwater/Erik Prince):

Bismarck held von Holstein in high esteem, and when the latter went to him with his plan for establishing a vast organization of almost universal spying, the Chancellor of the new German Empire immediately grasped the advantages he could obtain from it. ....

Von Holstein ... had one great ambition; that of knowing everything about everybody and of ruling everybody through fear of the disclosures he could make were he at any time tempted to do so. ....

The German Foreign Office knew everything and made use of everything .... In the Prussian Intelligence Department as Holstein organized it there was hardly a person of note or consequence in Europe about whom everything was not known, including, of course, his weaknesses and cupboard skeletons. And this knowledge was used when necessary without any compunction or remorse. ....

His first care, whenever an individual capable at a given moment of playing a part, no matter how humble, in the great drama attracted his attention, was to ferret out all that could be learned about him or her. With few exceptions he contrived to lay his finger on a hidden secret. Once this preliminary step had been performed to his satisfaction, the rest was easy. The unfortunate victim was given to understand that he would be shamed publicly at any time, unless . . . unless . . .

https://archive.org/details/firebrandofbolsh00radz

As this has been the SOP of Karl Rove (presumably), of Jedgar, and before that [__fill in the blanks___], the only thing unprecedented about the Prince/Blackwater story is the disregard for omerta.

DISCLAIMER: The Princess Radziwill who published the passage on von Holstein was an opportunistic swashbucklereuse type and [guessing] would have been so even in less horrifically interesting times.

walter , 06 December 2017 at 12:06 PM
My humble opinion on what is going on. "The Borg" are individuals whose self-interest is tied to perpetuating "business as usual" in Washington DC. FBI agents, CIA, NSA need domestic and foreign conflict to aggrandize and justify their positions. They do not want our national problems solved...god forbid, budgets, salaries, bonuses, future contracting and consulting jobs might be reduced or eliminated.

Hillary, Bush, Obama and "the establishment" knew unconsciously not to "rock the boat". Trump was seen as too independent and uneducated in the ways of The Borg to be trusted. He had un-borg-like views like "..what the hell are we doing supporting Al Quida?" "...grab her in the pussy.." "..lets make Jerusalem the capital of Israel.." "lets get along with Russia.." "..the Media is fake and biased.." all very un-PC and un-borg-like positions. Too disruptive of the status quo. Might actually solve some problems and reduce the importance of government.

I think the Borg determined he was N.O.K. (Not Our Kind). And he has royally pissed off the Media and he is in a death fight with the Media.

Sid Finster , 06 December 2017 at 12:16 PM
I find the whole idea that "Deutsche Bank has branches in Russia and lends money to Russian borrowers, therefore Russians control Deutsche Bank" idea to be comical.

I have clients who also regularly borrow money from Deutsche Bank. Are they now Russians? Are they controlled now by Russians? Do Russians control them? What role does DB play in all this web of control?

If I have my mortgage at the same bank as a slum lord/toxic waste generator/adult bookstore owner/CIA operative, am I now his puppet?

Asking for a friend.

Does nobody understand how banking law works? (in Germany and the US, banks are forbidden to lend to any client or client group in an amount that would give the borrower de facto control over the operations of the bank). Of course the smarter conspiracy theorists understand this. Any stick to beat a dog.

Sid Finster said in reply to English Outsider ... , 06 December 2017 at 12:18 PM
The difference is that the establishment/Deep State/Borg/whatever you want to call it approves of Steele's activities.
Dr. Puck said in reply to Dr. George W. Oprisko ... , 06 December 2017 at 12:27 PM
FYI History of the FBI. www.fbi.gov/history/brief-history
Sylvia 1 , 06 December 2017 at 12:48 PM
This is increasingly my take as well -- the FBI, CIA and NSA do seem to have "conspired" to destroy Donald Trump. I finger Brennan, Clapper, Susan Rice, Benjamin Rhodes, and maybe Samantha Power as being involved in the flood of illegal leaks earlier in the year that did so much to pave the way for Mueller's appointment.

What I fail to understand is why Democrats are sitting back and cheering as these agencies work together to destroy a duly elected President of the USA. Does anyone really believe that if these agencies get away with it this time they will stop with Trump?
All these agencies are out of control and are completely unaccountable.

Eric Newhill , 06 December 2017 at 12:51 PM
PT,

Are you aware that the Office of Inspector General has been investigating politicization of the FBI and DOJ for 11 months now? The investigation was brought about at the recommendation of certain members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I believe. Among the allegations being looked into is that DOJ/FBI have highly political agents that should have at least recused themselves from certain investigations and that their politics may have influenced the course of the investigations.

Given the revelations around Strzok, Rhee and Weissman, on Mueller's team, you'd think we'd be hearing more about OIG case. IMO, we are about to though.

Peter VE said in reply to Sylvia 1... , 06 December 2017 at 05:05 PM
I'm also stunned by the stupidity of the Democrats. Any liberal who believes the intelligence agencies is a fool. They've just shown us their true nature by blocking the release of several thousand pages of records relating to the assassination of President Kennedy. If they can't allow the truth to come out after 54 years, they surely can't be trusted to be truthful about today's information.
Cvillereader said in reply to Eric Newhill... , 06 December 2017 at 06:54 PM
Fox News, which has been fairly reliable of late, reported last night that the FBI OIG report will be finalized and made public sometime in the next 4-5 weeks.
blue peacock , 07 December 2017 at 12:18 AM
Publius Tacitus
The real story is that the FBI, the NSA and the CIA effectively conspired to try to destroy the Presidency of Donald Trump.

How can this conspiracy be investigated? Who could do it? Clearly not anyone from the DoJ, FBI, CIA and NSA as they are fully compromised.

JamesT -> Cvillereader... , 07 December 2017 at 12:48 AM
If someone had told me 5 years ago that I would in 2017 consider Fox News to be the most reliable MSM news outlet, I would have rolled around on the ground laughing hysterically. Yet it is true. I am not quite sure what I should deduce from this but I think it is something along the lines of "one cannot be too cynical about the news media".
Imagine , 07 December 2017 at 12:50 AM
Real News: Outstanding official independent post-mortem of Charlottesville. Includes maneuver tactics, I think y'all will like it.

http://www.charlottesville.org/home/showdocument?id=59615

AK said in reply to English Outsider ... , 07 December 2017 at 04:06 AM
English Outsider,

"Any idea why?"

He certainly gives them plenty of ammunition. However, I believe a great deal of the vituperative outrage directed at him has much (possibly primarily) to do with exactly whom he bested in the general election. Not to pile on, but see David E. Solomon's comments on this thread.

One can't underestimate the cult of personality that was so carefully crafted around Hillary Clinton for the past two decades. Their chosen strategy of identity politics only kicked it into hyper-drive over the past eight years.

Still, this phenomenon existed long before Trump, The Politician, and even before Obama and his own cult. Many of these people were able to put their expectations on hold for eight long years. Obama was a result they could at least live with temporarily - " Just eight more years, and then they owe her. "

They had their very structures of reality built around a certain outcome, which didn't come to pass. So, the disappointment was all the more bitter when they realized that their waiting was in vain. That's a tidal wave of cognitive dissonance unleashed by that unimaginable (for some) occurrence of her defeat. He didn't put paid to Martin O'Malley or even Bernie Sanders. He vanquished The Queen. That sort of thing never goes down lightly.

AK said in reply to Richardstevenhack ... , 07 December 2017 at 04:23 AM
Richardstevenhack,

" As I've said before, I think Trump only ran for President for 1) ego, and 2) he knows he will have access to billions of dollars of business deals once he leaves office, with the cachet of having been President.

You might as well assert that lions only hang out around watering holes because 1) there's water there, and 2) gazelles and zebras have to drink water. Can you point me to one President from living memory who did not 1) run for the Office at least partially out of ego, and 2) take advantage in his subsequent "private life" of these exact perks of having held the Office? I ask seriously, because it seems you are pining for a nobility in presidential politics which to my recollection hasn't existed for at least three generations. Cincinnatus, they ain't. Maybe Ike, but anyone else is a real stretch.

[Dec 10, 2017] Russia-gate s Reach into Journalism by Dennis J Bernstein

Highly recommended!
When national security establishment is trying to undermine sitting President this is iether color revolution or coup d'état. In the USa it looks more like color revolution.
"Now you have this interesting dynamic where the national security establishment is effectively undermining a duly elected president of the United States. I recognize that Trump is vulnerable, but these types of investigations often become highly politicized."
Notable quotes:
"... The Credico subpoena, after he declined a request for a "voluntary" interview, underscores how the investigation is moving into areas of "guilt by association" and further isolating whistleblowers who defy the powers-that-be through unauthorized release of information to the public, a point made by National Security Agency whistleblower Thomas Drake in an interview. ..."
"... Drake knows well what it means to blow the whistle on government misconduct and get prosecuted for it. A former senior NSA executive, Drake complained about a multi-billion-dollar fraud, waste, and widespread violation of the rights of civilians through secret mass surveillance programs. As a result, the Obama administration indicted Drake in 2010, "as the first whistleblower since Daniel Ellsberg charged with espionage," according to the Institute for Public Accuracy. ..."
"... In 2011, the government's case against him, which carried a potential 35 years in prison, collapsed. Drake went free in a plea deal and was awarded the 2011 Ridenhour Truth Telling Prize. ..."
"... In this hyper-inflated, politicized environment, it is extremely difficult to wade through the massive amount of disinformation on all sides. Hacking is something all modern nation-states engage in, including the United States, including Russia. The challenge here is trying to figure out who the players are, whose ox is being gored, and who is doing the goring. ..."
"... From all accounts, Trump was duly elected. Now you have the Mueller investigation and the House investigation. Where is this all leading? The US intelligence agency hasn't done itself any favors. The ICA provides no proof either, in terms of allegations that the Russians "hacked" the election. We do have the evidence disclosed by Reality Winner that maybe there was some interference. But the hyper-politicization is making it extraordinarily difficult. ..."
"... Well, if you consider the content of those emails .Certainly, the Clinton folks got rid of Bernie Sanders. ..."
"... The national security establishment was far more comfortable having Clinton as president. Someone central to my own case, General Michael Hayden, just a couple days ago went apoplectic because of a tweet from Trump taking on the mainstream media. Hayden got over 100,000 likes on his response. Well, Hayden was central to what we did in deep secrecy at the highest levels of government after 9/11, engaging in widespread surveillance and then justifying it as "raw executive authority." ..."
"... Now you have this interesting dynamic where the national security establishment is effectively undermining a duly elected president of the United States. I recognize that Trump is vulnerable, but these types of investigations often become highly politicized. I worry that what is really happening is being sacrificed on the altar of entertainment and the stage of political theater. ..."
"... What is happening to Randy is symptomatic of a larger trend. If you dare speak truth to power, you are going to pay the price. Is Randy that much of a threat, just because he is questioning authority? Are we afraid of the press? Are we afraid of having the uncomfortable conversations, of dealing with the inconvenient truths about ourselves? ..."
"... Yeah, it is definitely a way of describing the concept of fascism without using the word. The present Yankee regime seems to be quite far along that road, and the full-on types seem to be engaged in a coup to eliminate those they fear may not be as much in the fascist deep-state bag. ..."
"... How disgusting to have to live today in the society so accurately described by Orwell in 1984. It was a nice book to read, but not to live in! ..."
"... Truth is he enemy of coercive power. Lies and secrecy are essential in leading the sheeple to their slaughter. ..."
"... Perhaps the one good thing about Trumps election is that its shows democracy is still just about alive and breathing in the US, because as is pointed out in this article, Trump was never expected to win and those who lost are still in a state of shock and disbelief. ..."
"... One things for sure: the Neocons, the deep state, and all the rest of the skunks that infest Washington will make absolutely sure that future elections will go the way as planned, so perhaps we should celebrate Trump, because he may well be the last manifestation of the democracy in the US. ..."
"... In the end, what will bring this monstrously lumbering "Russia-gate" dog and pony show crashing down is that stupid, fake Fusion GPS dossier that was commissioned, paid for, and disseminated by Team Hillary and the DNC. Then, as with the sinking of the Titanic, all of the flotsam and jetsam floating within its radius of destruction will go down with it. What will left to pluck from the lifeboats afterwards is anyone's guess. All thanks to Hillary. ..."
Dec 10, 2017 | www.facebook.com

The investigation to somehow blame Russia for Donald Trump's election has now merged with another establishment goal of isolating and intimidating whistleblowers and other dissidents, as Dennis J Bernstein describes.

The Russia-gate investigation has reached into the ranks of journalism with the House Intelligence Committee's subpoena of Randy Credico, who produced a series about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for Pacifica Radio and apparently is suspected of having passed on early word about leaked Democratic emails to Donald Trump's supporter Roger Stone.

The Credico subpoena, after he declined a request for a "voluntary" interview, underscores how the investigation is moving into areas of "guilt by association" and further isolating whistleblowers who defy the powers-that-be through unauthorized release of information to the public, a point made by National Security Agency whistleblower Thomas Drake in an interview.

Drake knows well what it means to blow the whistle on government misconduct and get prosecuted for it. A former senior NSA executive, Drake complained about a multi-billion-dollar fraud, waste, and widespread violation of the rights of civilians through secret mass surveillance programs. As a result, the Obama administration indicted Drake in 2010, "as the first whistleblower since Daniel Ellsberg charged with espionage," according to the Institute for Public Accuracy.

In 2011, the government's case against him, which carried a potential 35 years in prison, collapsed. Drake went free in a plea deal and was awarded the 2011 Ridenhour Truth Telling Prize.

I interviewed Drake about the significance of Credico's subpoena, which Credico believes resulted from his journalism about the persecution of Julian Assange for releasing information that powerful people would prefer kept hidden from the public. (I had a small role in Credico's 14-part radio series, Julian Assange: Countdown to Freedom . It was broadcast first as part of his Live on the Fly Series, over WBAI and later on KPFA and across the country on community radio.)

Credico got his start as a satirist and became a political candidate for mayor of New York City and later governor of New York, making mainstream politicians deal with issues they would rather not deal with.

I spoke to Thomas Drake by telephone on Nov. 30, 2017.

Dennis Bernstein: How do you look at Russiagate, based on what you know about what has already transpired in terms of the movement of information? How do you see Credico's role in this?

Thomas Drake: Information is the coin of the realm. It is the currency of power. Anyone who questions authority or is perceived as mocking authority -- as hanging out with "State enemies" -- had better be careful. But this latest development is quite troubling, I must say. This is the normalization of everything that has been going on since 9/11. Randy is a sort of 21st century Diogenes who is confronting authority and pointing out corruption. This subpoena sends a chilling message. It's a double whammy for Randy because, in the eyes of the US government, he is a media figure hanging out with the wrong media figure [Julian Assange].

Dennis Bernstein: Could you say a little bit about what your work was and what you tried to do with your expose?

Thomas Drake: My experience was quite telling, in terms of how far the government will go to try to destroy someone's life. The attempt by the government to silence me was extraordinary. They threw everything they had at me, all because I spoke the truth. I spoke up about abuse of power, I spoke up about the mass surveillance regime. My crime was that I made the choice to go to the media. And the government was not just coming after me, they were sending a really chilling message to the media: If you print this, you are also under the gun.

Dennis Bernstein: We have heard the charges again and again, that this was a Russian hack. What was the source? Let's trace it back as best we can.

Thomas Drake: In this hyper-inflated, politicized environment, it is extremely difficult to wade through the massive amount of disinformation on all sides. Hacking is something all modern nation-states engage in, including the United States, including Russia. The challenge here is trying to figure out who the players are, whose ox is being gored, and who is doing the goring.

From all accounts, Trump was duly elected. Now you have the Mueller investigation and the House investigation. Where is this all leading? The US intelligence agency hasn't done itself any favors. The ICA provides no proof either, in terms of allegations that the Russians "hacked" the election. We do have the evidence disclosed by Reality Winner that maybe there was some interference. But the hyper-politicization is making it extraordinarily difficult.

The advantage that intelligence has is that they can hide behind what they are doing. They don't actually have to tell the truth, they can shade it, they can influence it and shape it. This is where information can be politicized and used as a weapon. Randy has found himself caught up in these investigations by virtue of being a media figure and hanging out with "the wrong people."

Dennis Bernstein: It looks like the Russiagaters in Congress are trying to corner Randy. All his life he has spoken truth to power. But what do you think the role of the press should be?

Thomas Drake: The press amplifies just about everything they focus on, especially with today's 24-hour, in-your-face social media. Even the mainstream media is publishing directly to their webpages. You have to get behind the cacophony of all that noise and ask, "Why?" What are the intentions here?

I believe there are still enough independent journalists who are looking further and deeper. But clearly there are those who are hell-bent on making life as difficult as possible for the current president and those who are going to defend him to the hilt. I was not surprised at all that Trump won. A significant percentage of the American electorate were looking for something different.

Dennis Bernstein : Well, if you consider the content of those emails .Certainly, the Clinton folks got rid of Bernie Sanders.

Thomas Drake: That would have been an interesting race, to have Bernie vs. Trump. Sanders was appealing, especially to young audiences. He was raising legitimate issues.

Dennis Bernstein: In Clinton, they had a known quantity who supported the national security state.

Thomas Drake: The national security establishment was far more comfortable having Clinton as president. Someone central to my own case, General Michael Hayden, just a couple days ago went apoplectic because of a tweet from Trump taking on the mainstream media. Hayden got over 100,000 likes on his response. Well, Hayden was central to what we did in deep secrecy at the highest levels of government after 9/11, engaging in widespread surveillance and then justifying it as "raw executive authority."

Now you have this interesting dynamic where the national security establishment is effectively undermining a duly elected president of the United States. I recognize that Trump is vulnerable, but these types of investigations often become highly politicized. I worry that what is really happening is being sacrificed on the altar of entertainment and the stage of political theater.

What is happening to Randy is symptomatic of a larger trend. If you dare speak truth to power, you are going to pay the price. Is Randy that much of a threat, just because he is questioning authority? Are we afraid of the press? Are we afraid of having the uncomfortable conversations, of dealing with the inconvenient truths about ourselves?

Dennis J Bernstein is a host of "Flashpoints" on the Pacifica radio network and the author of Special Ed: Voices from a Hidden Classroom . You can access the audio archives at www.flashpoints.net .

orwell

"Raw Executive Authority" means Totalitarianism/Fascism.

exiled off mainstreet , December 7, 2017 at 4:23 pm

Yeah, it is definitely a way of describing the concept of fascism without using the word. The present Yankee regime seems to be quite far along that road, and the full-on types seem to be engaged in a coup to eliminate those they fear may not be as much in the fascist deep-state bag.

Jerry Alatalo , December 7, 2017 at 3:34 pm

It is highly encouraging to know that a great many good and decent men and women Americans are 100% supportive of Mr, Randy Credico as he prepares for his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. Remember all those standing right there beside you, speak what rightly needs to be spoken, and make history Mr. Credico!

jaycee , December 7, 2017 at 3:56 pm

The intensification of panic/hysteria was obviously triggered by the shock election of Trump. Where this is all heading is on display in Australia, as the government is writing legislation to "criminalise covert and deceptive activities of foreign actors that fall short of espionage but are intended to interfere with our democratic systems and processes or support the intelligence activities of a foreign government." The legislation will apparently be accompanied by new requirements of public registration of those deemed "foreign agents". (see http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/12/07/auch-d07.html ).

This will be an attack on free speech, free thought, and political freedoms, justified by an orchestrated hysteria which ridiculously assumes a "pure" political realm (i.e. the "homeland") under assault by impure foreign agents and their dirty ideas. Yes, that is a fascist construct and the liberal establishment will see it through, not the alt-right blowhards.

mike k , December 7, 2017 at 5:49 pm

How disgusting to have to live today in the society so accurately described by Orwell in 1984. It was a nice book to read, but not to live in!

john wilson , December 8, 2017 at 5:48 am

Actually Mike, the book was a prophesy but you aren't seen nothing yet. You me and the rest of the posters here may well find ourselves going for a visit to room 101 yet.

fudmier , December 7, 2017 at 4:42 pm

Those who govern (527 of them) at the pleasure of the constitution are about to breach the contract that entitles them to govern. Limiting the scope of information allowed to those who are the governed, silencing the voices of those with concerns and serious doubts, policing every word uttered by those who are the governed, as well as abusing the constitutional privilege of force and judicial authority, to deny peaceful protests of the innocents is approaching the final straw.

The governors and their corporate sponsors have imposed on those the governors govern much concern. Exactly the condition that existed prior to July 4, 1776, which elicited the following:

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the Political bands which connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the laws of nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

I submit the actions and intentions of those who govern that are revealed and discussed in this article https://consortiumnews.com/2017/12/07/russia-gates-reach-into-journalism/ should be among the list of impels that support the next declaration.

Al Pinto , December 7, 2017 at 5:23 pm

Those who govern (527 of them and the puppet master oligarch behind them) will make certain that there's no support for the next declaration. There's no respect to the opinions of the mankind, what matters is keeping the current status quo in place and further advance it by silencing the independent media.

Maybe when the next "Mother of all bubbles" come, there's an opportunity for the mankind to be heard, but it's doubtful. What has taken place during the last bubble is that the rich has gotten richer and the poor, well, you know the routine.

https://usawatchdog.com/mother-of-all-bubbles-too-big-to-pop-peter-schiff/

mike k , December 7, 2017 at 5:53 pm

Truth is he enemy of coercive power. Lies and secrecy are essential in leading the sheeple to their slaughter.

john wilson , December 8, 2017 at 5:44 am

Perhaps the one good thing about Trumps election is that its shows democracy is still just about alive and breathing in the US, because as is pointed out in this article, Trump was never expected to win and those who lost are still in a state of shock and disbelief.

Trump's election has also shown us in vivid technicolour, just what is really going on in the deep state. Absolutely none of this stuff would have come out had Clinton won and anything there was would have been covered up as though under the concrete foundation of a tower block. However, Trump still has four years left and as a British prime minister once said, "a week is a long time in politics". Well four more years of Trump is a hell of a lot longer so who knows what might happen in that time.

One things for sure: the Neocons, the deep state, and all the rest of the skunks that infest Washington will make absolutely sure that future elections will go the way as planned, so perhaps we should celebrate Trump, because he may well be the last manifestation of the democracy in the US.

Christene Bartels , December 8, 2017 at 9:57 am

In the end, what will bring this monstrously lumbering "Russia-gate" dog and pony show crashing down is that stupid, fake Fusion GPS dossier that was commissioned, paid for, and disseminated by Team Hillary and the DNC. Then, as with the sinking of the Titanic, all of the flotsam and jetsam floating within its radius of destruction will go down with it. What will left to pluck from the lifeboats afterwards is anyone's guess. All thanks to Hillary.

Apparently, Santa isn't the only one making a list and checking it twice this year. He's going to have to share the limelight with Karma.

[Dec 10, 2017] When Washington Cheered the Jihadists Consortiumnews

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... William Roebuck, the American embassy's chargé d'affaires in Damascus, thus urged Washington in 2006 to coordinate with Egypt and Saudi Arabia to encourage Sunni Syrian fears of Shi'ite Iranian proselytizing even though such concerns are "often exaggerated." It was akin to playing up fears of Jewish dominance in the 1930s in coordination with Nazi Germany. ..."
"... A year later, former NATO commander Wesley Clark learned of a classified Defense Department memo stating that U.S. policy was now to "attack and destroy the governments in seven countries in five years," first Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran. (Quote starts at 2:07 .) ..."
"... So the answer was not to oppose the Islamists, but to use them. Even though "the Islamist surge will not be a picnic for the Syrian people," Gambill said, "it has two important silver linings for US interests." One is that the jihadis "are simply more effective fighters than their secular counterparts" thanks to their skill with "suicide bombings and roadside bombs." ..."
"... The other is that a Sunni Islamist victory in Syria will result in "a full-blown strategic defeat" for Iran, thereby putting Washington at least part way toward fulfilling the seven-country demolition job discussed by Wesley Clark. ..."
"... The U.S. would settle with the jihadis only after the jihadis had settled with Assad. The good would ultimately outweigh the bad. This kind of self-centered moral calculus would not have mattered had Gambill only spoken for himself. But he didn't. Rather, he was expressing the viewpoint of Official Washington in general, which is why the ultra-respectable FP ran his piece in the first place. ..."
"... The parallels with the DIA are striking. "The west, gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition," the intelligence report declared, even though "the Salafist[s], the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [i.e. Al Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency." ..."
"... ancien régime, ..."
"... With the Saudis footing the bill, the U.S. would exercise untrammeled sway. ..."
"... Has a forecast that ever gone more spectacularly wrong? Syria's Baathist government is hardly blameless in this affair. But thanks largely to the U.S.-backed sectarian offensive, 400,000 Syrians or more have died since Gambill's article appeared, with another 6.1 million displaced and an estimated 4.8 million fleeing abroad. ..."
"... So instead of advancing U.S. policy goals, Gambill helped do the opposite. The Middle East is more explosive than ever while U.S. influence has fallen to sub-basement levels. Iranian influence now extends from the Arabian Sea to the Mediterranean, while the country that now seems to be wobbling out of control is Saudi Arabia where Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman is lurching from one self-induced crisis to another. The country that Gambill counted on to shore up the status quo turns out to be undermining it. ..."
"... It's not easy to screw things up so badly, but somehow Washington's bloated foreign-policy establishment has done it. Since helping to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, Gambill has moved on to a post at the rightwing Middle East Forum where Daniel Pipes, the group's founder and chief, now inveighs against the same Sunni ethnic cleansing that his employee defended or at least apologized for. ..."
"... The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy ..."
"... I do not believe than anyone in the civil or military command ever believed that arming the jihadists would bring any sort of stability or peace to the region. I do not believe that peace was ever an interest of the US until it has once again gained hegemonic control of central Asia. This is a fight to retain US global domination – causalities do not matter. The US and its partners or co-rulers of the Empire the Saud family and the Zionist oligarchy will slaughter with impunity until someone stops them or their own corruption defeats them. ..."
"... The Empire can not exist without relentless ongoing slaughter it has been at it every day now for 73 years. It worked for them all that time but that time has run out. China has already set the date for when its currency will become fully freely exchanged, less than 5 years. ..."
"... Even the most stupid person on earth couldn't think that the US was using murdering, butchering head choppers in a bid to bring peace and stability to the middle East. The Neocons and the other criminals that infest Washington don't want peace at any price because its bad for business. ..."
"... It's the same GROTESQUE caricature of these wars that the mainstream media always presents: that the U.S. is on the side of good, and fights for good, even though every war INVARIABLY ends up in a bloodbath, with no one caring how many civilians have died, what state the country is left in, that civilian infrastructure and civilians were targeted, let alone whether war could have been prevented. For example, in 1991, shortly after the first Gulf War, Iraqis rose up against their regime, but George H. Bush allowed Saddam to fly his military helicopters (permission was needed due to the no-fly zones), and quell the rebellion in blood – tens of thousands were butchered! Bush said that when he told Iraqis to rebel, he meant the military generals, NOT the Iraqi people themselves. In other words, the U.S. wanted Saddam gone, but the same regime in place. The U.S. never cared about the people! ..."
"... The military-industrial-complex sicced Mueller on Trump because they despise his overtures towards rapprochement with the Kremlin. The military-industrial-complex MUST have a villain to justify the gigantic defense [sic] spending which permeates the entire U.S. politico-economic system. Putin and Russia were always the preferred demon because they easily fit the bill in the minds of an easily brainwashed American public. Of course saber rattling towards Moscow puts the world on the brink of nuclear war, but no matter, the careerism and fat contracts are all that matter to the MIC. Trump's rhetoric about making peace with the Kremlin has always mortified the MIC. ..."
"... This is a rare instance of our elites battling it out behind the scenes, both groups being reprehensible power hungry greed heads and sociopaths, it's hard to tell how this will end. ..."
"... Lets be clear: The military-industrial-complex wants plenty of low intensity conflict to fuel ever more fabulous weapons sales, not a really hot war where all those pretty expensive toys are falling out of the sky in droves. ..."
"... On 24 October 2017, the Intercept released an NSA document unearthed from leaked intelligence files provided by Edward Snowden which reveals that terrorist militants in Syria were under the direct command of foreign governments from the early years of the war which has now claimed half a million lives. ..."
"... The US intelligence memo is evidence of internal US government confirmation of the direct role that both the Saudi and US governments played in fueling attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, as well as military targets in pursuit of "regime change" in Syria. ..."
"... Israel's support for terrorist forces in Syria is well established. The Israelis and Saudis coordinate their activities. ..."
"... An August 2012 DIA report (written when the U.S. was monitoring weapons flows from Libya to Syria), said that the opposition in Syria was driven by al Qaeda and other extremist groups: "the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria." The "deterioration of the situation" was predicted to have "dire consequences" for Iraq, which included the "grave danger" of a terrorist "Islamic state". Some of the "dire consequences" are blacked out but the DIA warned one such consequence would be the "renewing facilitation of terrorist elements from all over the Arab world entering into Iraqi Arena." ..."
"... The heavily redacted DIA memo specifically mentions "the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran)." ..."
"... To clarify just who these "supporting powers" were, mentioned in the document who sought the creation of a "Salafist principality," the DIA memo explained: "The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition; while Russia, China, and Iran support the regime." ..."
"... The DIA memo clearly indicates when it was decided to transform US, Saudi, and Turkish-backed Al Qaeda affiliates into ISIS: the "Salafist" (Islamic) "principality" (State). NATO member state Turkey has been directly supporting terrorism in Syria, and specifically, supporting ISIS. In 2014, Germany's international broadcaster Deutsche Welle's reported "'IS' supply channels through Turkey." DW exposed fleets of hundreds of trucks a day, passing unchallenged through Turkey's border crossings with Syria, clearly bound for the defacto ISIS capital of Raqqa. Starting in September 2015, Russian airpower in Syria successfully interdicted ISIS supply lines. ..."
"... The usual suspects in Western media launched a relentless propaganda campaign against Russian support for Syria. The Atlantic Council's Bellingcat disinformation operation started working overtime. ..."
"... The propaganda effort culminated in the 4 April 2017 Khan Shaykhun false flag chemical incident in Idlib. Bellingcat's Eliot Higgins and Dan Kaszeta have been paraded by "First Draft" coalition media "partners" in a vigorous effort to somehow implicate the Russians. ..."
"... In a January 2016 interview on Al Jazeera, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Michael Flynn admitted that he "paid very close attention" to the August 2012 DIA report predicting the rise of a "declared or undeclared Salafist Principality" in Syria. Flynn even asserts that the White House's sponsoring of terrorists (that would emerge as Al Nusra and ISIS) against the Syrian regime was "a willful decision." ..."
"... Flynn was interviewed by British journalist Mehdi Hasan for Al Jazeera's Head to Head program. Flynn made it clear that the policies that led to the "the rise of the Islamic State, the rise of terrorism" were not merely the result of ignorance or looking the other way, but the result of conscious decision making ..."
"... General Flynn explained to Hersh that 'If the American public saw the intelligence we were producing daily, at the most sensitive level, they would go ballistic.' Hersh's investigative report exposed a kind of intelligence schism between the Pentagon and CIA concerning the covert program in Syria. ..."
"... The article raises a very serious charge. Up till now it appeared that supplying weapons to Al Qaeda affiliates in Syria was just another example of Pentagon incompetence but the suggestion here is that it was a concerted policy and it's hard to believe that there was no one in the Pentagon that was privy to that policy who wouldn't raise an objection. ..."
"... That it conformed with Israeli, Saudi and CIA designs is not surprising, but that there was no dissension within the Pentagon is appalling (or that Obama didn't raise objections). Clark's comment should put him on the hot seat for a congressional investigation but, of course, there is no one in congress to run with it. The policy is so manifestly evil that it seems to dwarf even the reckless ignorance of preceding "interventions". ..."
"... The DIA report released by Gen. Flynn in 2012 predicted the Islamic State with alarm. That is why Flynn was fired as Director of DIA. He objected to the insane policy of supporting the CIA/Saudi madness and saw it as not only counter-productive but disastrous. His comments to AlJazeera in 2016 reinforced this position. Gen Flynn's faction of the American military has been consistent in its opposition to CIA support of terrorist forces. ..."
"... I see Gen. Flynn as a whistleblower. The 2012 report he circulated saw the rise of the Salafist Islamic state with alarm ..."
"... Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, director of the DIA between 2012 and 2014, confirmed that his agency had sent a constant stream of classified warnings to the civilian leadership about the dire consequences of toppling Assad. ..."
"... Thank you. Gen Flynn also urged coordination with Russia against ISIS, so it doesn't take much to see why he was targeted. ..."
"... The use of Islamist proxy warriors to help achieve American geo-political ends goes back to at least 1979, including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Libya, and Syria. One of the better books on 9/11 is Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed's "The War On Truth: 9/11, Disinformation, and the Anatomy of Terrorism". The first section of that book – "The Geopolitics of Terrorism" – covers, across 150 well-sourced pages, the history and background of this involvement. It is highly recommended for anyone who wishes to be better informed on this topic. ..."
"... Jaycee, actually you have to go back much further than that to WW2. Hitler used the marginalized Turkic people in Russia and turned them into effective fighters to create internal factions within the Soviet Union. After Hitler lost and the Cold War began, the US, who had no understanding of the Soviets at the time radicalized and empowered Islamist including the Muslim Brotherhood to weaponize Islam against the Soviet Union. ..."
"... All these western imperial geostrategic planners are certifiably insane and have no business anywhere near the levers of government policy. They are the number one enemy of humanity. If we don't find a way to remove them from power, they may actually succeed in destroying life on Earth. ..."
"... There is a volume of evidence that the war criminals in our midst were arming and training "jihadists." See link below. http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2016/10/the-evidence-of-planning-of-wars.html ..."
"... Incompetence and stupidity are their only defense because if anyone acknowledged that trillions of dollars have been made by the usual suspects committing these crimes, the industrialists of war would face a justice symbolized by Nuremberg. ..."
"... The American groupthink rarely allows propaganda and disinformation disturb: endless wars and endless lies and criminality, have not disturbed this mindset. It is clever to manipulate people to think in a way opposite of truth so consistently. All the atrocities by the US have been surrounded by media propaganda and mastery of groupthink techniques go down well. Mention something unusual or real news and you might get heavily criticized for daring to think outside the box and doubt what are (supposedly) "religious truths". Tell a lie long enough and it becomes the truth. ..."
"... The CIA was a key force behind the creation of both al Qaeda and ISIS. Most major incidents of "Islamic Terrorism" have some kind of CIA backing behind them. See this large collection of links for compiled evidence: http://www.pearltrees.com/joshstern/government-supporting/id18814292 ..."
"... This journalist and other journalists writing on some of my favorite Russian propaganda news websites, have reported the US empire routinely makes "deals with the devil", the enemy of my enemy is my friend, if doing so furthers their goal of perpetual war and global hegemony. Yet, inexplicably, these journalists buy the US empire's 911 story without question, in the face of many unanswered questions ..."
"... Bin Laden (CIA staffer) and a handful of his men, all from close allied countries to the US, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, delivered the 2nd Pearl Harbor on 911. What a timely coincidence! We accept the US Empire provides weapons and military support to the same enemy, and worse, who attacked us on 911, but one is labeled a "conspiracy nut" if they believe that same US Empire would orchestrate 911 to justify their long planned global war. One thing about being a "conspiracy nut", if you live long enough, often you will see your beliefs vindicated ..."
"... So many questions, and so much left unanswered, but don't worry America may run out of money for domestic vital needs but the U.S. always has the money to go fight another war. It's a culture thing, and if you ain't into it then you just don't pay no attention to it. In fact if your life is better off from all of these U.S. led invasions, then your probably not posting any comments here, either. ..."
"... From the October 1973 Yom Kippur War onward, the United States had no foreign policy in the Middle East other than Israel's. Daniel Lazare should read "A clean break: a new strategy for the Realm". ..."
"... For the majority of amoral opportunists of the US, money=power=virtue and they will attack all who disagree. ..."
"... I am stunned that anyone could be so foolish as to think that the US military machine, US imperialism, does things "naively", bumbling like a helpless giant into wars that destroy entire nations with no end in sight. One need not be a "conspiracy theorist" to understand that the Pentagon does not control the world with an ever-expanding war budget equal to the next 10 countries combined, that it does this just because it is stuck on the wrong path. No! US imperialism develops these "big guns" to use them, to overpower, take over and dominate the world for the sake of profits and protection of the right to exploit for private profit. ..."
"... Daniel Pipes, from what I've read of him, is among those who counsel the U.S. government to use its military power to support the losing side in any civil wars fought within Israel's enemy states, so that the wars will continue, sparing Israel the threat of unified enemy states. What normal human beings consider a humanitarian disaster, repeated in Iraq, Syria and Libya, would be reckoned a success according to this way of thinking. The thinking would appear to lead to similar treatment of Iran, with even more catastrophic consequences. ..."
"... I think this pattern of using Salafists for regime change started already in Afghanistan, with Brzezinski plotting with Saudi-Arabia and Pakistan to pay and train Osama bin Laden to attack the pro Russia regime and trying to get the USSR involved in it, also trying to blame the USSR for its agression, like they did in Syri"r? ..."
"... Yes, the Brzezinski/Reagan support of fanatic insurgencies began in AfPak and was revived for the zionists. Russia happened to be on the side more or less tending to progress in both cases, so it had to be opposed. The warmongers are always the US MIC/intel, allied with the anti-American zionist fascists for Mideast wars. ..."
"... Sheldon Adelson, Soros, Saban all wanted carving up of Arabic states into small sectarian pieces (No Nasseric pan-Arabic states, a threat to Israël). And protracted wars of total destruction. Easy. ..."
"... Of course, they were told (by whom?) that the jihadists were 'democratic rebels' and 'freedom fighters' who just wanted to 'bring democracy' to Syria, and get rid of the 'tyrant Assad.' 5 years later, so much of the nonsense about "local councils" and "white helmets" has been exposed for what it was. Yet many 'free thinking' people bought the propaganda. Just like they do on Russiagate. Who needs an "alt-right" when America's "left" is a total disgrace? ..."
Dec 10, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

When a Department of Defense intelligence report about the Syrian rebel movement became public in May 2015, lots of people didn't know what to make of it. After all, what the report said was unthinkable – not only that Al Qaeda had dominated the so-called democratic revolt against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for years, but that the West continued to support the jihadis regardless, even to the point of backing their goal of creating a Sunni Salafist principality in the eastern deserts.

Journalist James Foley shortly before he was executed by an Islamic State operative in August 2014.

The United States lining up behind Sunni terrorism – how could this be? How could a nice liberal like Barack Obama team up with the same people who had brought down the World Trade Center?

It was impossible, which perhaps explains why the report remained a non-story long after it was released courtesy of a Judicial Watch freedom-of-information lawsuit . The New York Times didn't mention it until six months later while the Washington Post waited more than a year before dismissing it as "loopy" and "relatively unimportant." With ISIS rampaging across much of Syria and Iraq, no one wanted to admit that U.S. attitudes were ever anything other than hostile.

But three years earlier, when the Defense Intelligence Agency was compiling the report, attitudes were different. Jihadis were heroes rather than terrorists, and all the experts agreed that they were a low-risk, high-yield way of removing Assad from office.

After spending five days with a Syrian rebel unit, for instance, New York Times reporter C.J. Chivers wrote that the group "mixes paramilitary discipline, civilian policing, Islamic law, and the harsh demands of necessity with battlefield coldness and outright cunning."

Paul Salem, director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, assured the Washington Post that "al Qaeda is a fringe element" among the rebels, while, not to be outdone, the gossip site Buzzfeed published a pin-up of a "ridiculously photogenic" jihadi toting an RPG.

"Hey girl," said the subhead. "Nothing sexier than fighting the oppression of tyranny."

And then there was Foreign Policy, the magazine founded by neocon guru Samuel P. Huntington, which was most enthusiastic of all. Gary Gambill's " Two Cheers for Syrian Islamists ," which ran on the FP web site just a couple of weeks after the DIA report was completed, didn't distort the facts or make stuff up in any obvious way. Nonetheless, it is a classic of U.S. propaganda. Its subhead glibly observed: "So the rebels aren't secular Jeffersonians. As far as America is concerned, it doesn't much matter."

Assessing the Damage

Five years later, it's worth a second look to see how Washington uses self-serving logic to reduce an entire nation to rubble.

First a bit of background. After displacing France and Britain as the region's prime imperial overlord during the 1956 Suez Crisis and then breaking with Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser a few years later, the United States committed itself to the goal of defeating Arab nationalism and Soviet Communism, two sides of the same coin as far as Washington was concerned. Over the next half-century, this would mean steering Egypt to the right with assistance from the Saudis, isolating Libyan strong man Muammar Gaddafi, and doing what it could to undermine the Syrian Baathist regime as well.

William Roebuck, the American embassy's chargé d'affaires in Damascus, thus urged Washington in 2006 to coordinate with Egypt and Saudi Arabia to encourage Sunni Syrian fears of Shi'ite Iranian proselytizing even though such concerns are "often exaggerated." It was akin to playing up fears of Jewish dominance in the 1930s in coordination with Nazi Germany.

A year later, former NATO commander Wesley Clark learned of a classified Defense Department memo stating that U.S. policy was now to "attack and destroy the governments in seven countries in five years," first Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran. (Quote starts at 2:07 .)

Since the United States didn't like what such governments were doing, the solution was to install more pliable ones in their place. Hence Washington's joy when the Arab Spring struck Syria in March 2011 and it appeared that protesters would soon topple the Baathists on their own.

Even when lofty democratic rhetoric gave way to ominous sectarian chants of "Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the coffin," U.S. enthusiasm remained strong. With Sunnis accounting for perhaps 60 percent of the population, strategists figured that there was no way Assad could hold out against religious outrage welling up from below.

Enter Gambill and the FP. The big news, his article began, is that secularists are no longer in command of the burgeoning Syrian rebel movement and that Sunni Islamists are taking the lead instead. As unfortunate as this might seem, he argued that such a development was both unavoidable and far from entirely negative.

"Islamist political ascendancy is inevitable in a majority Sunni Muslim country brutalized for more than four decades by a secular minoritarian dictatorship," he wrote in reference to the Baathists. "Moreover, enormous financial resources are pouring in from the Arab-Islamic world to promote explicitly Islamist resistance to Assad's Alawite-dominated, Iranian-backed regime."

So the answer was not to oppose the Islamists, but to use them. Even though "the Islamist surge will not be a picnic for the Syrian people," Gambill said, "it has two important silver linings for US interests." One is that the jihadis "are simply more effective fighters than their secular counterparts" thanks to their skill with "suicide bombings and roadside bombs."

The other is that a Sunni Islamist victory in Syria will result in "a full-blown strategic defeat" for Iran, thereby putting Washington at least part way toward fulfilling the seven-country demolition job discussed by Wesley Clark.

"So long as Syrian jihadis are committed to fighting Iran and its Arab proxies," the article concluded, "we should quietly root for them – while keeping our distance from a conflict that is going to get very ugly before the smoke clears. There will be plenty of time to tame the beast after Iran's regional hegemonic ambitions have gone down in flames."

Deals with the Devil

The U.S. would settle with the jihadis only after the jihadis had settled with Assad. The good would ultimately outweigh the bad. This kind of self-centered moral calculus would not have mattered had Gambill only spoken for himself. But he didn't. Rather, he was expressing the viewpoint of Official Washington in general, which is why the ultra-respectable FP ran his piece in the first place.The Islamists were something America could employ to their advantage and then throw away like a squeezed lemon. A few Syrians would suffer, but America would win, and that's all that counts.

The parallels with the DIA are striking. "The west, gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition," the intelligence report declared, even though "the Salafist[s], the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [i.e. Al Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency."

Where Gambill predicted that "Assad and his minions will likely retreat to northwestern Syria," the DIA speculated that the jihadis might establish "a declared or undeclared Salafist principality" at the other end of the country near cities like Hasaka and Der Zor (also known as Deir ez-Zor).

Where the FP said that the ultimate aim was to roll back Iranian influence and undermine Shi'ite rule, the DIA said that a Salafist principality "is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran)."

Bottle up the Shi'ites in northwestern Syria, in other words, while encouraging Sunni extremists to establish a base in the east so as to put pressure on Shi'ite-influenced Iraq and Shi'ite-ruled Iran.

As Gambill put it: "Whatever misfortunes Sunni Islamists may visit upon the Syrian people, any government they form will be strategically preferable to the Assad regime, for three reasons: A new government in Damascus will find continuing the alliance with Tehran unthinkable, it won't have to distract Syrians from its minority status with foreign policy adventurism like the ancien régime, and it will be flush with petrodollars from Arab Gulf states (relatively) friendly to Washington."

With the Saudis footing the bill, the U.S. would exercise untrammeled sway.

Disastrous Thinking

Has a forecast that ever gone more spectacularly wrong? Syria's Baathist government is hardly blameless in this affair. But thanks largely to the U.S.-backed sectarian offensive, 400,000 Syrians or more have died since Gambill's article appeared, with another 6.1 million displaced and an estimated 4.8 million fleeing abroad.

U.S.-backed Syrian "moderate" rebels smile as they prepare to behead a 12-year-old boy (left), whose severed head is held aloft triumphantly in a later part of the video. [Screenshot from the YouTube video] War-time destruction totals around $250 billion , according to U.N. estimates, a staggering sum for a country of 18.8 million people where per-capita income prior to the outbreak of violence was under $3,000. From Syria, the specter of sectarian violence has spread across Asia and Africa and into Europe and North America as well. Political leaders throughout the advanced industrial world are still struggling to contain the populist fury that the Middle East refugee crisis, the result of U.S.-instituted regime change, helped set off.

So instead of advancing U.S. policy goals, Gambill helped do the opposite. The Middle East is more explosive than ever while U.S. influence has fallen to sub-basement levels. Iranian influence now extends from the Arabian Sea to the Mediterranean, while the country that now seems to be wobbling out of control is Saudi Arabia where Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman is lurching from one self-induced crisis to another. The country that Gambill counted on to shore up the status quo turns out to be undermining it.

It's not easy to screw things up so badly, but somehow Washington's bloated foreign-policy establishment has done it. Since helping to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, Gambill has moved on to a post at the rightwing Middle East Forum where Daniel Pipes, the group's founder and chief, now inveighs against the same Sunni ethnic cleansing that his employee defended or at least apologized for.

The forum is particularly well known for its Campus Watch program, which targets academic critics of Israel, Islamists, and – despite Gambill's kind words about "suicide bombings and roadside bombs" – anyone it considers the least bit apologetic about Islamic terrorism.

Double your standard, double the fun. Terrorism, it seems, is only terrorism when others do it to the U.S., not when the U.S. does it to others.

Daniel Lazare is the author of several books including The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy (Harcourt Brace).

Babyl-on , December 8, 2017 at 5:26 pm

I do not believe than anyone in the civil or military command ever believed that arming the jihadists would bring any sort of stability or peace to the region. I do not believe that peace was ever an interest of the US until it has once again gained hegemonic control of central Asia. This is a fight to retain US global domination – causalities do not matter. The US and its partners or co-rulers of the Empire the Saud family and the Zionist oligarchy will slaughter with impunity until someone stops them or their own corruption defeats them.

The Empire can not exist without relentless ongoing slaughter it has been at it every day now for 73 years. It worked for them all that time but that time has run out. China has already set the date for when its currency will become fully freely exchanged, less than 5 years. When that happens the world will return to the gold standard + Bitcoin possibly and US dollar hegemony will end. After that the trillion dollar a year military and the 20 trillion debt take on a different meaning. Before that slaughter non-stop will continue.

john wilson , December 9, 2017 at 6:31 am

Really, Baby-lon, your first short paragraph sums this piece by Lazare perfectly and makes the rest of his blog seem rather pointless. Even the most stupid person on earth couldn't think that the US was using murdering, butchering head choppers in a bid to bring peace and stability to the middle East. The Neocons and the other criminals that infest Washington don't want peace at any price because its bad for business.

Jerald Davidson , December 9, 2017 at 11:53 am

Babyl-on and John Wilson: you have nailed it. The last thing the US (gov't.) wants is peace. War is big business; casualties are of no concern (3 million Koreans died in the Korean War; 3 million Vietnamese in that war; 100's of thousands in Iraq [including Clinton's sanctions] and Afghanistan). The US has used jihadi proxies since the mujahedeen in 1980's Afghanistan and Contras in Nicaragua. To the US (gov't.), a Salafist dictatorship (such as Saudi Arabia) is highly preferable to a secular, nationalist ruler (such as Egypt's Nasser, Libya's Gaddafi, Syria's Assad).
So the cover story of the jjihadi's has changed – first they are freedom fighters, then terrorists. What does not change is that in either case they are pawns of the US (gov't.) goal of hegemony.
(Incidentally, Drew Hunkins must be responding to a different article.)

BannanaBoat , December 9, 2017 at 4:31 pm

Exactly Baby right on, Either USA strategists are extremely ignorant or they are attempting to create chaos, probably both. Perhaps not continuously but surely frequently the USA has promoted war prior to the last 73 years. Native Genocide , Mexican Wars, Spanish War, WWI ( USA banker repayment war)

Richard , December 9, 2017 at 5:24 pm

Exactly Babylon! Looks like consortiumnews is turning into another propaganda rag. Assad was allied with Russia and Iran – that's why the U.S. wanted him removed. Israel said that they would preferred ISIS in power over Assad. The U.S. would have happily wiped out 90% of the population using its terrorist proxies if it thought it could have got what it wanted.

Sam F , December 10, 2017 at 8:50 am

CN tends to make moderate statements so as to communicate with those most in need of them. One must start with the understandings of the audience and show them that the evidence leads further.

Richard , December 10, 2017 at 10:27 am

Sam F, no, it's a DELIBERATE lie in support of U.S. foreign policy. The guy wrote: "the NAIVE belief that jihadist proxies could be used to TRANSFORM THE REGION FOR THE BETTER." It could have been written as: "the stated justification by the president that he wanted to transform the region for the better, even though there are often ulterior motives."

It's the same GROTESQUE caricature of these wars that the mainstream media always presents: that the U.S. is on the side of good, and fights for good, even though every war INVARIABLY ends up in a bloodbath, with no one caring how many civilians have died, what state the country is left in, that civilian infrastructure and civilians were targeted, let alone whether war could have been prevented. For example, in 1991, shortly after the first Gulf War, Iraqis rose up against their regime, but George H. Bush allowed Saddam to fly his military helicopters (permission was needed due to the no-fly zones), and quell the rebellion in blood – tens of thousands were butchered! Bush said that when he told Iraqis to rebel, he meant the military generals, NOT the Iraqi people themselves. In other words, the U.S. wanted Saddam gone, but the same regime in place. The U.S. never cared about the people!

Either Robert Parry or the author wrote that introduction. I suspect Mr Parry – he always portrays the president as having a heart of gold, but, always, sadly, misinformed; being a professional journalist, he knows full well that people often only read the start and end of an article.

Drew Hunkins , December 8, 2017 at 5:31 pm

What we have occurring right now in the United States is a rare divergence of interests within our ruling class. The elites are currently made up of Zionist-militarists. What we're now witnessing is a rare conflict between the two factions. This particular internecine battle has reared its head in the past, the Dubai armaments deal comes to mind off the top of my head.

Trump started the Jerusalem imbroglio because he's concerned about Mueller's witch hunt.

The military-industrial-complex sicced Mueller on Trump because they despise his overtures towards rapprochement with the Kremlin. The military-industrial-complex MUST have a villain to justify the gigantic defense [sic] spending which permeates the entire U.S. politico-economic system. Putin and Russia were always the preferred demon because they easily fit the bill in the minds of an easily brainwashed American public. Of course saber rattling towards Moscow puts the world on the brink of nuclear war, but no matter, the careerism and fat contracts are all that matter to the MIC. Trump's rhetoric about making peace with the Kremlin has always mortified the MIC.

Since Trump's concerned about 1.) Mueller's witch hunt (he definitely should be deeply concerned, this is an out of control prosecutor on mission creep), and 2.) the almost total negative coverage the press has given him over the last two years, he's made a deal with the Zionist Power Configuration; Trump, effectively saying to them: "I'll give you Jerusalem, you use your immense influence in the American mass media to tamp down the relentlessly hostile coverage toward me, and perhaps smear Mueller's witch hunt a bit ".

This is a rare instance of our elites battling it out behind the scenes, both groups being reprehensible power hungry greed heads and sociopaths, it's hard to tell how this will end.

How this all eventually plays out is anyone's guess indeed. Let's just make sure it doesn't end with mushroom clouds over Tehran, Saint Petersburg, Paris, Chicago, London, NYC, Washington and Berlin.

Abe , December 8, 2017 at 7:57 pm

Trump's purported deviation from foreign policy orthodoxy regarding both Russia and Israel was a propaganda scam engineered by the pro-Israel Lobby from the very beginning. As Russia-gate fiction is progressively deconstructed, the Israel-gate reality becomes ever more despicably obvious.

The shamelessly Israel-pandering Trump received the "Liberty Award" for his contributions to US-Israel relations at a 3 February 2015 gala hosted by The Algemeiner Journal, a New York-based newspaper, covering American and international Jewish and Israel-related news.

"We love Israel. We will fight for Israel 100 percent, 1000 percent." VIDEO minutes 2:15-8:06 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiwBwBw7R-U

After the event, Trump did not renew his television contract for The Apprentice, which raised speculation about a Trump bid for the presidency. Trump announced his candidacy in June 2015.

Trump's purported break with GOP orthodoxy, questioning of Israel's commitment to peace, calls for even treatment in Israeli-Palestinian deal-making, and refusal to call for Jerusalem to be Israel's undivided capital, were all stage-managed for the campaign.

Cheap theatrics notwithstanding, the Netanyahu regime in Israel has "1000 percent" support from the Trump regime.

Drew Hunkins , December 8, 2017 at 8:10 pm

If Trump were totally and completely subservient to Netanyahu he would have bombed Damascus to remove Assad and would have bombed Tehran to obliterate Iran. Of course thus far he has done neither. Don't get me wrong, Trump is essentially part and parcel of the Zionist cabal, but I don't quite think he's 1,000% under their thumb (not yet?).

I don't think the Zionist Power Configuration concocted Trump's policy of relative peace with the Kremlin. Yes, the ZPC is extremely powerful in America, but Trump's position of detente with Moscow seemed to be genuine. He caught way too much heat from the mass media for it to be a stunt, it's almost torpedoed his presidency, and may eventually do just that. It was actually one of the very few things Trump got right; peace with Russia, cordial relations with the Kremlin are a no-brainer. A no-brainer to everyone but the military-industrial-complex.

Abe , December 8, 2017 at 10:59 pm

Russian. Missiles. Lets be clear: The military-industrial-complex wants plenty of low intensity conflict to fuel ever more fabulous weapons sales, not a really hot war where all those pretty expensive toys are falling out of the sky in droves.

Whether it was "bird strike" or something more technological that recently grounded the "mighty" Israeli F-35I, it's clear that America isn't eager to have those "Inherent Resolve" jets, so busily not bombing ISIS, painted with Russian SAM radar.

Russia made it clear that Trump's Tomahawk Tweet in April 2017 was not only under totally false pretenses. It had posed a threat to Russian troops and Moscow took extra measures to protect them.

Russian deployment of the advanced S-400 system on the Syrian coast in Latakia also impacts Israel's regional air superiority. The S-400 can track and shoot down targets some 400 kilometers (250 miles) away. That range encompasses half of Israel's airspace, including Ben Gurion International Airport. In addition to surface-to-air missiles installations, Russian aircraft in Syria are equipped with air-to-air missiles. Those weapons are part of an calculus of Israeli aggression in the region.

Of course, there's much more to say about this subject.

WC , December 9, 2017 at 3:44 pm

Here's a good one from Hedges (for what little good it will do). https://www.truthdig.com/articles/zero-hour-palestine/

john wilson , December 9, 2017 at 6:34 am

Surely, Drew, even the brain washed sheep otherwise known as the American public can't seriously believe that their government armed head choppers in a bid to bring peace to the region, can they?

Drew Hunkins , December 9, 2017 at 1:34 pm

Yup Mr. Wilson. It's too much cognitive dissonance for them to process. After all, we're the exceptional nation, the beacon on the hill, the country that ONLY intervenes abroad when there is a 'right to protect!' or it's a 'humanitarian intervention.' As Ken Burns would say: Washington only acts "with good intentions. They're just sometimes misplaced." That's all. The biggest global empire the world has ever seen is completely out of the picture.

mike k , December 8, 2017 at 5:34 pm

When evil people with evil intentions set out to do something in the world, the result is evil. Like Libya, or Iraq, or Syria. Why do I call these people who killed millions for their own selfish greed for power evil? If you have to ask that, then you just don't understand what evil is – and you have a lot of company, because many people believe that evil does not even exist! Such sheeple become the perfect victims of the evil ones, who are destroying our world.

john wilson , December 9, 2017 at 6:36 am

Correction, Mike. The public do believe that evil exists but they sincerely think that Putin and Russia are the evil ones'

mike k , December 9, 2017 at 5:41 pm

One of the ways to avoid recognizing evil is to ascribe it to inappropriate, incorrect sources usually as a result of believing misleading propaganda. Another common maneuver is to deny evil's presence in oneself, and believe it is always "out there". Or one can feel that "evil" is an outmoded religious concept that is only used to hit at those one does not like.

Mild - ly Facetious , December 8, 2017 at 6:22 pm

Oh Jerusalem: Requiem for the two-state solution (Gas masks required)

https://electronicintifada.net/content/oh-jerusalem-requiem-two-state-solution/22521

Abe , December 8, 2017 at 6:24 pm

On 24 October 2017, the Intercept released an NSA document unearthed from leaked intelligence files provided by Edward Snowden which reveals that terrorist militants in Syria were under the direct command of foreign governments from the early years of the war which has now claimed half a million lives.

https://theintercept.com/2017/10/24/syria-rebels-nsa-saudi-prince-assad/

Marked "Top Secret" the NSA memo focuses on events that unfolded outside Damascus in March of 2013.

The US intelligence memo is evidence of internal US government confirmation of the direct role that both the Saudi and US governments played in fueling attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, as well as military targets in pursuit of "regime change" in Syria.

Israel's support for terrorist forces in Syria is well established. The Israelis and Saudis coordinate their activities.

Abe , December 8, 2017 at 6:27 pm

An August 2012 DIA report (written when the U.S. was monitoring weapons flows from Libya to Syria), said that the opposition in Syria was driven by al Qaeda and other extremist groups: "the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria." The "deterioration of the situation" was predicted to have "dire consequences" for Iraq, which included the "grave danger" of a terrorist "Islamic state". Some of the "dire consequences" are blacked out but the DIA warned one such consequence would be the "renewing facilitation of terrorist elements from all over the Arab world entering into Iraqi Arena."

The heavily redacted DIA memo specifically mentions "the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran)."

http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Pg.-291-Pgs.-287-293-JW-v-DOD-and-State-14-812-DOD-Release-2015-04-10-final-version11.pdf

To clarify just who these "supporting powers" were, mentioned in the document who sought the creation of a "Salafist principality," the DIA memo explained: "The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition; while Russia, China, and Iran support the regime."

The DIA memo clearly indicates when it was decided to transform US, Saudi, and Turkish-backed Al Qaeda affiliates into ISIS: the "Salafist" (Islamic) "principality" (State). NATO member state Turkey has been directly supporting terrorism in Syria, and specifically, supporting ISIS. In 2014, Germany's international broadcaster Deutsche Welle's reported "'IS' supply channels through Turkey." DW exposed fleets of hundreds of trucks a day, passing unchallenged through Turkey's border crossings with Syria, clearly bound for the defacto ISIS capital of Raqqa. Starting in September 2015, Russian airpower in Syria successfully interdicted ISIS supply lines.

The usual suspects in Western media launched a relentless propaganda campaign against Russian support for Syria. The Atlantic Council's Bellingcat disinformation operation started working overtime.

The propaganda effort culminated in the 4 April 2017 Khan Shaykhun false flag chemical incident in Idlib. Bellingcat's Eliot Higgins and Dan Kaszeta have been paraded by "First Draft" coalition media "partners" in a vigorous effort to somehow implicate the Russians.

Abe , December 9, 2017 at 12:26 pm

In a January 2016 interview on Al Jazeera, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Michael Flynn admitted that he "paid very close attention" to the August 2012 DIA report predicting the rise of a "declared or undeclared Salafist Principality" in Syria. Flynn even asserts that the White House's sponsoring of terrorists (that would emerge as Al Nusra and ISIS) against the Syrian regime was "a willful decision."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6Y274U7QIs

Flynn was interviewed by British journalist Mehdi Hasan for Al Jazeera's Head to Head program. Flynn made it clear that the policies that led to the "the rise of the Islamic State, the rise of terrorism" were not merely the result of ignorance or looking the other way, but the result of conscious decision making:

Hasan: "You are basically saying that even in government at the time you knew these groups were around, you saw this analysis, and you were arguing against it, but who wasn't listening?"

Flynn: "I think the administration."

Hasan: "So the administration turned a blind eye to your analysis?"

Flynn: "I don't know that they turned a blind eye, I think it was a decision. I think it was a willful decision."

Hasan: "A willful decision to support an insurgency that had Salafists, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood?"

Flynn: "It was a willful decision to do what they're doing."

Holding up a paper copy of the 2012 DIA report declassified through FOIA, Hasan read aloud key passages such as, "there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in Eastern Syria, and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime."

Rather than downplay the importance of the document and these startling passages, as did the State Department soon after its release, Flynn did the opposite: he confirmed that while acting DIA chief he "paid very close attention" to this report in particular and later added that "the intelligence was very clear."

Lt. Gen. Flynn, speaking safely from retirement, is the highest ranking intelligence official to go on record saying the United States and other state sponsors of rebels in Syria knowingly gave political backing and shipped weapons to Al-Qaeda in order to put pressure on the Syrian regime:

Hasan: "In 2012 the U.S. was helping coordinate arms transfers to those same groups [Salafists, Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda in Iraq], why did you not stop that if you're worried about the rise of quote-unquote Islamic extremists?"

Flynn: "I hate to say it's not my job but that my job was to was to to ensure that the accuracy of our intelligence that was being presented was as good as it could be."

Flynn unambiguously confirmed that the 2012 DIA document served as source material in his own discussions over Syria policy with the White House. Flynn served as Director of Intelligence for Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) during a time when its prime global mission was dismantling Al-Qaeda.

Flynn's admission that the White House was in fact arming and bolstering Al-Qaeda linked groups in Syria is especially shocking given his stature. The Pentagon's former highest ranking intelligence officer in charge of the hunt for Osama bin Laden confessed that the United States directly aided the Al Qaeda terrorist legions of Ayman al-Zawahiri beginning in at least 2012 in Syria.

Abe , December 9, 2017 at 12:44 pm

Mehdi Hasan goes Head to Head with Michael Flynn, former head of the US Defense Intelligence Agency

Full Transcript: http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/headtohead/2016/01/transcript-michael-flynn-160104174144334.html

Abe , December 9, 2017 at 2:11 pm

"Flynn would later tell the New York Times that this 2012 intelligence report in particular was seen at the White House where it was 'disregarded' because it 'didn't meet the narrative' on the war in Syria. He would further confirm to investigative journalist Seymour Hersh that Defense Department (DoD) officials and DIA intelligence in particular, were loudly warning the administration that jihadists were leading the opposition in Syria -- warnings which were met with 'enormous pushback.' Instead of walking back his Al Jazeera comments, General Flynn explained to Hersh that 'If the American public saw the intelligence we were producing daily, at the most sensitive level, they would go ballistic.' Hersh's investigative report exposed a kind of intelligence schism between the Pentagon and CIA concerning the covert program in Syria.

"In a personal exchange on his blog Sic Semper Tyrannis, legendary DoD intelligence officer and former presidential briefer Pat Lang explained [ ] that the DIA memo was used as a 'warning shot across the [administration's] bow.' Lang has elsewhere stated that DIA Director Flynn had 'tried to persuade people in the Obama Administration not to provide assistance to the Nusra group.' It must be remembered that in 2012 what would eventually emerge as distinct 'ISIS' and 'Nusra' (AQ in Syria) groups was at that time a singular entity desiring a unified 'Islamic State.' The nascent ISIS organization (referenced in the memo as 'ISI' or Islamic State in Iraq) was still one among many insurgent groups fighting to topple Assad.

"In fact, only one year after the DIA memo was produced (dated August 12, 2012) a coalition of rebels fighting under the US-backed Revolutionary Military Council of Aleppo were busy celebrating their most strategic victory to date, which served to open an opposition corridor in Northern Syria. The seizure of the Syrian government's Menagh Airbase in August 2013 was only accomplished with the military prowess of fighters identifying themselves in front of cameras and to reporters on the ground as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham.

"Public embarrassment came for Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford who reluctantly confirmed that in fact, yes, the US-funded and supplied FSA commander on the ground had personally led ISIS and Nusra fighters in the attack (Ford himself was previously filmed alongside the commander). This after the New York Times publicized unambiguous video proof of the fact. Even the future high commander of Islamic State's military operations, Omar al-Shishani, himself played a leading role in the US sponsored FSA operation."

Obama and the DIA 'Islamic State' Memo: What Trump Gets Right
By Brad Hoff
https://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2016/07/01/obama-and-the-dia-islamic-state-memo-what-trump-gets-right/

Abe , December 9, 2017 at 3:08 pm

"one first needs to understand what has happened in Syria and other Middle Eastern countries in recent years. The original plan of the US and Saudi Arabia (behind whom stood an invisible Israel) was the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad and his replacement with Islamic fundamentalists or takfiris (Daesh, al-Qaeda, Jabhat al-Nusra).

"The plan involved the following steps:

"It was an ambitious plan, and the Israelis were completely convinced that the United States would provide all the necessary resources to see it through. But the Syrian government has survived thanks to military intervention by Russia, Iran and Hezbollah. Daesh is almost defeated and Iran and Hezbollah are so firmly entrenched in Syria that it has driven the Israelis into a state of fear bordering on panic. Lebanon remains stable, and even the recent attempt by the Saudis to abduct Prime Minister Saad Hariri failed.

"As a result, Saudi Arabia and Israel have developed a new plan: force the US to attack Iran. To this end, the 'axis of good"' (USA-Israel-Saudi Arabia) was created, although this is nothing new. Saudi Arabia and the other Arab States in the Persian Gulf have in the past spoken in favor of intervention in Syria. It is well known that the Saudis invaded Bahrain, are occupying it de facto, and are now at war in Yemen.

"The Israelis will participate in any plan that will finally split the Sunnis and Shiites, turning the region into rubble. It was not by chance that, having failed in Lebanon, they are now trying to do the same in Yemen after the murder of Ali Abdullah Saleh.

"For the Saudis and Israelis, the problem lies in the fact that they have rather weak armed forces; expensive and high-tech, but when it comes to full-scale hostilities, especially against a really strong opponent such as the Iranians or Hezbollah, the 'Israel/Wahhabis' have no chance and they know it, even if they do not admit it. So, one simply needs to think up some kind of plan to force the Shiites to pay a high price.

"So they developed a new plan. Firstly, the goal is now not the defeat of Hezbollah or Iran. For all their rhetoric, the Israelis know that neither they nor especially the Saudis are able to seriously threaten Iran or even Hezbollah. Their plan is much more basic: initiate a serious conflict and then force the US to intervene. Only today, the armed forces of the United States have no way of winning a war with Iran, and this may be a problem. The US military knows this and they are doing everything to tell the neo-cons 'sorry, we just can't.' This is the only reason why a US attack on Iran has not already taken place. From the Israeli point of view this is totally unacceptable and the solution is simple: just force the US to participate in a war they do not really need. As for the Iranians, the Israeli goal of provoking an attack on Iran by the US is not to defeat Iran, but just to bring about destruction – a lot of destruction [ ]

"You would need to be crazy to attack Iran. The problem, however, is that the Saudis and the Israelis are close to this state. And they have proved it many times. So it just remains to hope that Israel and the KSA are 'crazy', but 'not that crazy'."

The Likelihood of War with Iran By Petr Lvov https://journal-neo.org/2017/12/09/the-likelihood-of-war-with-iran/

BobH, December 8, 2017 at 7:13 pm

The article raises a very serious charge. Up till now it appeared that supplying weapons to Al Qaeda affiliates in Syria was just another example of Pentagon incompetence but the suggestion here is that it was a concerted policy and it's hard to believe that there was no one in the Pentagon that was privy to that policy who wouldn't raise an objection.

That it conformed with Israeli, Saudi and CIA designs is not surprising, but that there was no dissension within the Pentagon is appalling (or that Obama didn't raise objections). Clark's comment should put him on the hot seat for a congressional investigation but, of course, there is no one in congress to run with it. The policy is so manifestly evil that it seems to dwarf even the reckless ignorance of preceding "interventions".

Linda Wood , December 8, 2017 at 10:24 pm

There WAS dissension within the Pentagon, not only about being in a coalition with the Gulf States and Turkey in support of terrorist forces, but about allowing ISIS to invade Ramadi, which CENTCOM exposed by making public that US forces watched it happen and did nothing. In addition, CENTCOM and SOCOM publicly opposed switching sides in Yemen.

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/4/17/us-generals-think-saudi-strikes-in-yemen-a-bad-idea.html

A senior commander at Central Command (CENTCOM), speaking on condition of anonymity, scoffed at that argument. "The reason the Saudis didn't inform us of their plans," he said, "is because they knew we would have told them exactly what we think -- that it was a bad idea.

Military sources said that a number of regional special forces officers and officers at U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) argued strenuously against supporting the Saudi-led intervention because the target of the intervention, the Shia Houthi movement -- which has taken over much of Yemen and which Riyadh accuses of being a proxy for Tehran -- has been an effective counter to Al-Qaeda.

The DIA report released by Gen. Flynn in 2012 predicted the Islamic State with alarm. That is why Flynn was fired as Director of DIA. He objected to the insane policy of supporting the CIA/Saudi madness and saw it as not only counter-productive but disastrous. His comments to AlJazeera in 2016 reinforced this position. Gen Flynn's faction of the American military has been consistent in its opposition to CIA support of terrorist forces.

BobH , December 8, 2017 at 10:55 pm

Thanks, I never read anything about it in the MSM (perhaps Aljazeera was an exception?). However, this doesn't explain Gen. Flynn's tight relationship with Turkey's Erdogan who clearly backed the Al Qaeda affiliated rebels to the point of shooting down a Russian jet over Syria.

Sam F , December 10, 2017 at 8:57 am

The fighter shoot-down incident was before Erdogan's reversals in Syria policy.

Linda Wood , December 8, 2017 at 10:28 pm

I see Gen. Flynn as a whistleblower. The 2012 report he circulated saw the rise of the Salafist Islamic state with alarm.

http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Pg.-291-Pgs.-287-293-JW-v-DOD-and-State-14-812-DOD-Release-2015-04-10-final-version11.pdf

B. THE SALAFIST, THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD, AND AQI ARE THE MAJOR FORCES DRIVING THE INSURGENCY IN SYRIA.

C. THE WEST, GULF COUNTRIES, AND TURKEY SUPPORT THE OPPOSITION; WHILE RUSSIA, CHINA, AND IRAN SUPPORT THE REGIME.

C. IF THE SITUATION UNRAVELS THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME, WHICH IS CONSIDERED THE STRATEGIC DEPTH OF THE SHIA EXPANSION (IRAQ AND IRAN).

D. THE DETERIORATION OF THE SITUATION HAS DIRE CONSEQUENCES ON THE IRAQI SITUATION AND ARE AS FOLLOWS:

–1. THIS CREATES THE IDEAL ATMOSPHERE FOR AQI TO RETURN TO ITS OLD POCKETS IN MOSUL AND RAMADI, AND WILL PROVIDE A RENEWED MOMENTUM UNDER THE PRESUMPTION OF UNIFYING THE JIHAD AMONG SUNNI IRAQ AND SYRIA ISI COULD ALSO DECLARE AN ISLAMIC STATE THROUGH ITS UNION WITH OTHER TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS IN IRAQ AND SYRIA, WHICH WILL CREATE GRAVE DANGER IN REGARDS TO UNIFYING IRAQ AND THE PROTECTION OF ITS TERRITORY

https://geopolitics.co/2015/12/22/dempseys-pentagon-aided-assad-with-military-intelligence-hersh/
London Review of Books Vol. 38 No. 1 · 7 January 2016
Military to Military: US intelligence sharing in the Syrian war
Seymour M. Hersh

Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, director of the DIA between 2012 and 2014, confirmed that his agency had sent a constant stream of classified warnings to the civilian leadership about the dire consequences of toppling Assad. The jihadists, he said, were in control of the opposition. Turkey wasn't doing enough to stop the smuggling of foreign fighters and weapons across the border. 'If the American public saw the intelligence we were producing daily, at the most sensitive level, they would go ballistic,' Flynn told me. 'We understood Isis's long-term strategy and its campaign plans, and we also discussed the fact that Turkey was looking the other way when it came to the growth of the Islamic State inside Syria.' The DIA's reporting, he said, 'got enormous pushback' from the Obama administration. 'I felt that they did not want to hear the truth.'

j. D. D. , December 9, 2017 at 8:33 am

Thank you. Gen Flynn also urged coordination with Russia against ISIS, so it doesn't take much to see why he was targeted. Ironically, the MSM is now going bananas over his support for nuclear power in the region, which he had tied to desalination of sea water, toward alleviating that crucial source of conflict in the area.

Abbybwood , December 9, 2017 at 11:24 pm

I believe Wesley Clark told Amy Goodman that he was handed the classified memo regarding the U.S. overthrowing seven countries in five years starting with Iraq and ending with Iran, in 2001, not 2006. He said it was right after 9/11 when he visited the Pentagon and Joint Chief of Staff's office and was handed the memo.

jaycee , December 8, 2017 at 7:19 pm

The use of Islamist proxy warriors to help achieve American geo-political ends goes back to at least 1979, including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Libya, and Syria. One of the better books on 9/11 is Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed's "The War On Truth: 9/11, Disinformation, and the Anatomy of Terrorism". The first section of that book – "The Geopolitics of Terrorism" – covers, across 150 well-sourced pages, the history and background of this involvement. It is highly recommended for anyone who wishes to be better informed on this topic.

One disturbing common feature across the years have been US sponsored airlifts of Islamist fighters facing defeat, as seen in Afghanistan in late 2001 and just recently in eastern Syria. In 2001, some of those fighters were relocated to North Africa, specifically Mali – the roots of the Islamist insurgency which has destabilized that country over the past few years. Where exactly the ISIS rebels assisted some weeks ago were relocated is yet unknown.

turk151 , December 9, 2017 at 10:03 pm

Jaycee, actually you have to go back much further than that to WW2. Hitler used the marginalized Turkic people in Russia and turned them into effective fighters to create internal factions within the Soviet Union. After Hitler lost and the Cold War began, the US, who had no understanding of the Soviets at the time radicalized and empowered Islamist including the Muslim Brotherhood to weaponize Islam against the Soviet Union.

Hence the birth of the Mujaheddin and Bin Laden, the rest is history.

j. D. D. , December 8, 2017 at 7:57 pm

The article does not support the sub-headline. There is no evidence provided, nor is there any evidence to be found, that Washington's policy in the region was motivated by anything other than geopolitical objectives.

David G , December 9, 2017 at 7:25 am

I think that phrasing may point to the hand of editor Robert Parry. The incredible value of CN notwithstanding, Parry in his own pieces (erroneously in my eyes) maintains a belief that Obama somehow meant well. Hence the imputation of some "naïve" but ultimately benevolent motive on the part of the U.S. genocidaires, as the whole Syria catastrophe got going on Obama's watch.

Anon , December 9, 2017 at 9:14 am

The imputation of naivete works to avoid accusation of a specific strategy without sufficient evidence.

Skip Scott , December 9, 2017 at 9:45 am

Although I am no fan of Obama, and most especially the continuation of the warmongering for his 8 years, he did balk at the "Red line" when he found out he was being set up, and it wasn't Assad who used chemical weapons. I don't think he "meant well" so much as he knew the exact length of his leash. His bragging about going against "The Washington playbook" was of course laughable; just as his whole hopey/changey thing was laughable with Citigroup picking his cabinet.

Stephen , December 9, 2017 at 2:49 pm

Off topic but you can listen to some of Obama's banking handiwork here: https://sputniknews.com/radio_loud_and_clear/201712091059844562-looming-government-shutdown-will-democrats-fight-trumps-pro-rich-plan/ It starts at about minute 28:14. It explains the whole reaction by Obama and Holder to the banking fiasco in my mind. Sorry but I had to get it from the evil Rooski radio program.

Lois Gagnon , December 8, 2017 at 8:41 pm

All these western imperial geostrategic planners are certifiably insane and have no business anywhere near the levers of government policy. They are the number one enemy of humanity. If we don't find a way to remove them from power, they may actually succeed in destroying life on Earth.

Stephen J. , December 8, 2017 at 8:42 pm

There is a volume of evidence that the war criminals in our midst were arming and training "jihadists." See link below. http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2016/10/the-evidence-of-planning-of-wars.html

MarkU , December 8, 2017 at 10:00 pm

"Official Washington helped unleash hell on Syria and across the Mideast behind the naïve belief that jihadist proxies could be used to transform the region for the better, explains Daniel Lazare." What a load of old rubbish, naïve belief indeed. it is difficult to believe that anyone could write this stuff with a straight face.

Linda Wood , December 8, 2017 at 10:37 pm

Incompetence and stupidity are their only defense because if anyone acknowledged that trillions of dollars have been made by the usual suspects committing these crimes, the industrialists of war would face a justice symbolized by Nuremberg.

Zachary Smith , December 8, 2017 at 11:37 pm

That Gary Gambill character "outed" himself as a Zionist on September 4 of this year. He appears to have mastered the propaganda associated with the breed. At the link see if you can find any mention of the murders, thefts, ethnic cleansing, or apartheid of his adopted nation. Blaming the victim may be this fellow's specialty. Sample:

The well-intentioned flocked in droves to the belief that Israeli- Palestinian peace was achievable provided Israel made the requisite concessions, and that this would liberate the Arab-Islamic world from a host of other problems allegedly arising from it: bloated military budgets, intolerance of dissent, Islamic extremism, you name it.

Why tackle each of these problems head on when they can be alleviated all at once when Israel is brought to heel? Twenty years later, the Middle East is suffering the consequences of this conspiracy of silence.

Zachary Smith , December 8, 2017 at 11:37 pm

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/The-accidental-Zionist-504221

Gerry , December 9, 2017 at 4:51 am

The American groupthink rarely allows propaganda and disinformation disturb: endless wars and endless lies and criminality, have not disturbed this mindset. It is clever to manipulate people to think in a way opposite of truth so consistently. All the atrocities by the US have been surrounded by media propaganda and mastery of groupthink techniques go down well. Mention something unusual or real news and you might get heavily criticized for daring to think outside the box and doubt what are (supposedly) "religious truths". Tell a lie long enough and it becomes the truth.

It takes courage to go against the flow of course and one can only hope that the Americans are what they think they are: courageous and strong enough to hear their cherished truths smashed, allow the scales before their eyes to fall and practise free speech and free thought.

Theo , December 9, 2017 at 6:35 am

Thanks for this article and many others on this site.In Europe and in Germany you hardly hear,read or see any of these facts and their connections.It seems to be only of marginal interest.

Josh Stern , December 9, 2017 at 6:49 am

The CIA was a key force behind the creation of both al Qaeda and ISIS. Most major incidents of "Islamic Terrorism" have some kind of CIA backing behind them. See this large collection of links for compiled evidence: http://www.pearltrees.com/joshstern/government-supporting/id18814292

triekc , December 9, 2017 at 8:27 am

This journalist and other journalists writing on some of my favorite Russian propaganda news websites, have reported the US empire routinely makes "deals with the devil", the enemy of my enemy is my friend, if doing so furthers their goal of perpetual war and global hegemony. Yet, inexplicably, these journalists buy the US empire's 911 story without question, in the face of many unanswered questions.

Beginning in the 1990's, neocons who would become W's cabinet, wrote detailed plans of military regime change in Middle East, but stating they needed a "strong external shock to the United States -- a latter-day 'Pearl Harbor", to get US sheeple to support increased militarism and global war. Few months after W took office, and had appointed those war mongering neocons to positions of power, Bin Laden (CIA staffer) and a handful of his men, all from close allied countries to the US, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, delivered the 2nd Pearl Harbor on 911. What a timely coincidence! We accept the US Empire provides weapons and military support to the same enemy, and worse, who attacked us on 911, but one is labeled a "conspiracy nut" if they believe that same US Empire would orchestrate 911 to justify their long planned global war. One thing about being a "conspiracy nut", if you live long enough, often you will see your beliefs vindicated

Joe Tedesky , December 9, 2017 at 11:27 am

You commented on what I was thinking, and that was, 'remember when al Queda was our enemy on 911'? So now that bin Laden is dead, and his al Queda now fights on our side, shouldn't the war be over? And, just for the record who did attack us on 911?

So many questions, and so much left unanswered, but don't worry America may run out of money for domestic vital needs but the U.S. always has the money to go fight another war. It's a culture thing, and if you ain't into it then you just don't pay no attention to it. In fact if your life is better off from all of these U.S. led invasions, then your probably not posting any comments here, either.

Knowing the Pentagon mentality they probably have an 'al Queda combat medal' to pin on the terrorists chest. Sarcasm I know, but seriously is anything not within the realm of believable when it comes to this MIC establishment?

Christene Bartels , December 9, 2017 at 8:53 am

Great article and spot on as far as the author takes it. But the world is hurtling towards Armageddon so I'd like to back things up about one hundred years and get down to brass tacks.

The fact of the matter is, the M.E. has never been at total peace but it has been nothing but one colossal FUBAR since the Ottoman Empire was defeated after WWI and the Allied Forces got their grubby, greedy mitts on its M.E. territories and all of that luscious black gold. First up was the British Empire and France and then it really went nuclear (literally) in 1946 when Truman and the U.S. joined in the fun and decided to figure out how we could carve out that ancient prime piece of real estate and resurrect Israel. By 1948 ..violà ..there she was.

So now here we sit as the hundred year delusion that we knew what the hell we were doing comes crashing down around us. Seriously, whoever the people have been who thought that a country with the historical perspective of a toddler was going to be able to successfully manage and manipulate a region filled with people who are still tribal in perspective and are still holding grudges and settling scores from five thousand years ago were complete and total arrogant morons. Every single one of them. Up to the present moment.

Which gets me down to those brass tacks I alluded to at the beginning of my comment. Delusional crusades lead by arrogant morons always, always, always end up as ash heaps. So, I would suggest we all prepare for that rapidly approaching conclusion accordingly. For me, that means hitting my knees.

Gregory Herr , December 9, 2017 at 1:00 pm

Middle Eastern people are no more "tribal" or prone to holding grudges than any other people. Middle Eastern people have exhibited and practiced peaceful and tolerant living arrangements within several different contexts over the centuries. Iraq had a fairly thriving middle class and the Syrians are a cultured and educated people.

Gregory Herr , December 9, 2017 at 10:07 pm

Syrian society is constructed very much within the construct of close family ties and a sense of a Syrian homeland. It is solely the business of the Syrian people to decide whether the socialist Ba'ath government functions according to their own sense of realities and standards. Some of those realities may include aspects of a necessitated national security state (necessitated by CIA and Israeli subterfuge) that prompts shills to immediately characterize the Assad government as "an authoritarian regime" and of course that's all you need to know. Part of what pisses the West off about the Syrians is that they are so competent, and that includes their intelligence and security services. One of the other parts is the socialist example of government functioning in interests of the general population, not selling out to vultures.

It bothers me that Mr. Lazare wrote: "Syria's Baathist government is hardly blameless in this affair." Really? Well the Syrian government can hardly be blamed for the vile strategy of using terrorist mercenaries to take or destroy a people's homeland–killing horrific numbers of fathers, mothers, and children on the way to establish some kind of Wild West control over Damascus that can then be manipulated for the typical elite deviances. What was purposely planned and visited upon the Syrian people has had human consequences that were known and disregarded by the planners. It has been and continues to be a grave crime against our common humanity that should be raised to the roof of objection! People like Gambill should be excoriated for their crass appraisal of human costs .and for their contrived and twisted rationalizations and deceits. President Assad recently gave an interview to teleSUR that is worth a listen. He talks about human costs with understanding for what he is talking about. Gambill doesn't give a damn.

BASLE , December 9, 2017 at 10:46 am

From the October 1973 Yom Kippur War onward, the United States had no foreign policy in the Middle East other than Israel's. Daniel Lazare should read "A clean break: a new strategy for the Realm".

Sam F , December 10, 2017 at 9:08 am

Yes, Israel is the cut-out or fence for US politicians stealing campaign money from the federal budget. US policy is that of the bribery sources and nothing else. And it believes that to be professional competence. For the majority of amoral opportunists of the US, money=power=virtue and they will attack all who disagree.

Herman , December 9, 2017 at 10:47 am

"Official Washington helped unleash hell on Syria and across the Mideast behind the naïve belief that jihadist proxies could be used to transform the region for the better, explains Daniel Lazare."

Lazare makes the case very well about our amoral foreign policy but I think he errs in saying our aim was to "transform the region for the better." Recent history, going back to Afghanistan shows a very different goal, to defeat our enemies and the enemies of our allies with little concern for the aftermath. Just observing what has happened to the people where we supported extremists is evidence enough.

Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward men. We hope the conscience of our nation is bothered by our behavior but we know that is not true, and we sleep very well, thank you.

Marilyn Vogt-Downey , December 9, 2017 at 11:18 am

I am stunned that anyone could be so foolish as to think that the US military machine, US imperialism, does things "naively", bumbling like a helpless giant into wars that destroy entire nations with no end in sight. One need not be a "conspiracy theorist" to understand that the Pentagon does not control the world with an ever-expanding war budget equal to the next 10 countries combined, that it does this just because it is stuck on the wrong path. No! US imperialism develops these "big guns" to use them, to overpower, take over and dominate the world for the sake of profits and protection of the right to exploit for private profit.

There is ample evidence–see the Brookings Institute study among many others–that the Gulf monarchies–flunkies of US imperialism–who "host" dozens of US military bases in the region, some of them central to US war strategy–initiated and nourished and armed and financed the "jihadi armies" in Syria AND Libya AND elsewhere; they did not do this on their own. The US government–the executive committee of the US ruling class–does not naively support the Gulf monarchies because it doesn't know any better! Washington (following British imperialism) organized, established and backed these flunky regimes. They are autocratic, antediluvian regimes, allowing virtually civil rights, with no local proletariat to speak of, no popular base. They are no more than sheriffs for imperialism in that region of the world, along with the Zionist state of Israel, helping imperialism do the really dirty work.

I research this and gathered the evidence to support what I just asserted in a long study printed back in Dec. 2015 in Truthout. Here is the link: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/34151-what-is-the-war-on-terror-and-how-to-fight-it

Look at the evidence. Stop the totally foolish assessment that the US government spends all this money on a war machine just to "naively" blunder into wars that level entire nations–and is not taking on destruction of the entire continent of Africa to eliminate any obstacles to its domination.

No! That is foolish and destructive. Unless we look in the face what is going on–the US government since its "secret" intervention in Afghanistan in the 1970s and 1980s, has recruited, trained, armed, funded and relied on jihadi armies to unseat regimes and destabilize and destroy populations and regimes the US government wants to overthrow, and destroy, any that could potentially develop into an alternative model of nationalist, bourgeois industrial development on any level.

Wake up!!! The evidence is there. There is no reason to bumble and bungle along as if we are in the dark.

Randal Marlin , December 9, 2017 at 11:26 am

Daniel Pipes, from what I've read of him, is among those who counsel the U.S. government to use its military power to support the losing side in any civil wars fought within Israel's enemy states, so that the wars will continue, sparing Israel the threat of unified enemy states. What normal human beings consider a humanitarian disaster, repeated in Iraq, Syria and Libya, would be reckoned a success according to this way of thinking.
The thinking would appear to lead to similar treatment of Iran, with even more catastrophic consequences.

Behind all this is the thinking that the survival of Israel outweighs anything else in any global ethical calculus. Those who don't accept this moral premise but who believe in supporting the survival of Israel have their work cut out for them. This work would be made easier if the U.S. population saw clearly what was going on, instead of being preoccupied with salacious sexual misconduct stories or other distractions.

Zachary Smith , December 9, 2017 at 2:43 pm

A Russian interceptor has been scrambled to stop a rogue US fighter jet from actively interfering with an anti-terrorist operation, the Russian Defense Ministry said. It also accused the US of provoking close encounters with the Russian jets in Syria.

A US F-22 fighter was preventing two Russian Su-25 strike aircraft from bombing an Islamic State (IS, former ISIS) base to the west of the Euphrates November 23, according to the ministry. The ministry's spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov described the episode as yet another example of US aircraft attempts to prevent Russian forces from carrying out strikes against Islamic State.

"The F-22 launched decoy flares and used airbrakes while constantly maneuvering [near the Russian strike jets], imitating an air fight," Konashenkov said. He added that the US jet ceased its dangerous maneuvers only after a Russian Su-35S fighter jet joined the two strike planes.

If this story is true, then it illustrates a number of things. First, the US is still providing ISIS air cover. Second, either the F-22 pilot or his commander is dumber than dirt. The F-22 may be a fine airplane, but getting into a contest with an equally fine non-stealth airplane at eyeball distances means throwing away every advantage of the super-expensive stealth.

Zachary Smith , December 9, 2017 at 2:43 pm

https://www.rt.com/news/412590-russia-us-syria-air-force/

Pablo Diablo , December 9, 2017 at 2:53 pm

Gotta keep the War Machine well fed and insure Corporate control of markets and taking of resources.

Abe , December 9, 2017 at 2:54 pm

In October 1973, a nuclear armed rogue state almost triggered a global thermonuclear war.

Yom Kippur: Israel's 1973 nuclear alert
By Richard Sale
https://www.upi.com/Yom-Kippur-Israels-1973-nuclear-alert/64941032228992/

Israel obtained operational nuclear weapons capability by 1967, with the mass production of nuclear warheads occurring immediately after the Six-Day War. In addition to the Israeli nuclear arsenal, Israel has offensive chemical and biological warfare stockpiles.

Israel, the Middle East's sole nuclear power, is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

In 2015, the US-based Institute for Science and International Security estimated that Israel had 115 nuclear warheads. Outside estimates of Israel's nuclear arsenal range up to 400 nuclear weapons.

Israeli nuclear weapons delivery mechanisms include Jericho 3 missiles, with a range of 4,800 km to 6,500 km (though a 2004 source estimated its range at up to 11,500 km), as well as regional coverage from road mobile Jericho 2 IRBMs.

Additionally, Israel is believed to have an offshore nuclear capability using submarine-launched nuclear-capable cruise missiles, which can be launched from the Israeli Navy's Dolphin-class submarines.

The Israeli Air Force has F-15I and F-16I Sufa fighter aircraft are capable of delivering tactical and strategic nuclear weapons at long distances using conformal fuel tanks and supported by their aerial refueling fleet of modified Boeing 707's.

In 1986, Mordechai Vanunu, a former technician at Dimona, fled to the United Kingdom and revealed to the media some evidence of Israel's nuclear program and explained the purposes of each building, also revealing a top-secret underground facility directly below the installation.

The Mossad, Israel's secret service, sent a female agent who lured Vanunu to Italy, where he was kidnapped by Mossad agents and smuggled to Israel aboard a freighter. An Israeli court then tried him in secret on charges of treason and espionage, and sentenced him to eighteen years imprisonment.

At the time of Vanunu's kidnapping, The Times reported that Israel had material for approximately 20 hydrogen bombs and 200 fission bombs by 1986. In the spring of 2004, Vanunu was released from prison, and placed under several strict restrictions, such as the denial of a passport, freedom of movement limitations and restrictions on communications with the press. Since his release, he has been rearrested and charged multiple times for violations of the terms of his release.

Safety concerns about this 40-year-old reactor have been reported. In 2004, as a preventive measure, Israeli authorities distributed potassium iodide anti-radiation tablets to thousands of residents living nearby. Local residents have raised concerns regarding serious threats to health from living near the reactor.

According to a lawsuit filed in Be'er Sheva Labor Tribunal, workers at the center were subjected to human experimentation in 1998. According to Julius Malick, the worker who submitted the lawsuit, they were given drinks containing uranium without medical supervision and without obtaining written consent or warning them about risks of side effects.

In April 2016 the U.S. National Security Archive declassified dozens of documents from 1960 to 1970, which detail what American intelligence viewed as Israel's attempts to obfuscate the purpose and details of its nuclear program. The Americans involved in discussions with Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and other Israelis believed the country was providing "untruthful cover" about intentions to build nuclear weapons.

mike k , December 9, 2017 at 6:38 pm

The machinations of those seeking to gain advantages for themselves by hurting others, are truly appalling. If we fail to name evil for what it is, then we fail as human beings.Those who look the other way as their country engages in an organized reign of terror, are complicit in that enormous crime.

Den Lille Abe , December 9, 2017 at 8:54 pm

The path the US has chosen since the end of WWII has been over dead bodies. In the name of "security", bringing "Freedom" and "Democracy" and complete unconstrained greed it has trampled countless nations into piles of rubble. To say it is despised or loathed is an overwhelming understatement. It is almost universally hated in the third world. Rightly. Bringing this monstrosity to a halt is a difficult task, and probably cannot be done militarily without a nuclear war, economically could in the end have the same outcome, then how?

Easy! Ruin its population. This process has started, long ago. The decline in the US of health, general wealth, nutrition, production, education, equality, ethics and morals is already showing as cracks in the fabrics of the US.

A population of incarcerated, obese, low iQ zealot junkies, armed to teeth with guns, in a country with a crumbling infrastructure, full of environmental disasters is 21 st century for most Americans. In all the areas I mentioned the US is going backwards compared to most other countries. So the monster will come down.

turk151 , December 9, 2017 at 10:20 pm

I think you are being a little hard on the incarcerated, obese, low iQ zealot junkies, armed to teeth with guns

I am not sure who is more loathsome the evangelicals who were supporting the Bush / Cheney cabal murderous wars until the bitter end or the liberal intelligentsia careerist cheerleaders for Obama and Hilary's Wars in Iraq and Syria, who also dont give a damn about another Arab country being destroyed and sold into slavery as long as Hillary gets elected. At least with the former group, you can chalk it up to a lack of education.

Linda Wood , December 10, 2017 at 1:52 am

This is possibly the most intelligent and hopeful discussion I have read since 9/11. It says that at least some Americans do see that we have a fascist cell in our government. That is the first step in finding a way to unplug it. Best wishes to all of you who have written here. We will find a way to put war out of business.

Barbara van der Wal-Kylstra , December 10, 2017 at 2:46 am

I think this pattern of using Salafists for regime change started already in Afghanistan, with Brzezinski plotting with Saudi-Arabia and Pakistan to pay and train Osama bin Laden to attack the pro Russia regime and trying to get the USSR involved in it, also trying to blame the USSR for its agression, like they did in Syri"r?

Sam F , December 10, 2017 at 9:18 am

Yes, the Brzezinski/Reagan support of fanatic insurgencies began in AfPak and was revived for the zionists. Russia happened to be on the side more or less tending to progress in both cases, so it had to be opposed. The warmongers are always the US MIC/intel, allied with the anti-American zionist fascists for Mideast wars.

Luutzen , December 10, 2017 at 9:15 am

Sheldon Adelson, Soros, Saban all wanted carving up of Arabic states into small sectarian pieces (No Nasseric pan-Arabic states, a threat to Israël). And protracted wars of total destruction. Easy.

mike k , December 10, 2017 at 11:05 am

The US Military is part of the largest terrorist organization on Earth. For the super rich and powerful rulers of that US Mafia, the ignorant religious fanatics and other tools of Empire are just pawns in their game of world domination and universal slavery for all but themselves. These monsters of evil delight in profiting from the destruction of others; but their insatiable greed for more power will never be satisfied, and will become the cause of the annihilation of every living thing – including themselves. But like other sold out human addicts, at this point they don't really care, and will blindly pursue their nightmare quest to the very end – and perhaps they secretly hope that that final end of everything will at last quench their burning appetite for blood and gold.

Joe Tedesky , December 10, 2017 at 11:12 am

I'm leaving a link to a very long David Swanson article, where Mr Swanson goes into quite a lot of detail to how the U.S. wages war.

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2017/12/76-years-pearl-harbor-lies.html

Brendan , December 10, 2017 at 12:09 pm

What's interesting of course is how not just Washington, but much of the 'left' also cheered on the jihadists.

Of course, they were told (by whom?) that the jihadists were 'democratic rebels' and 'freedom fighters' who just wanted to 'bring democracy' to Syria, and get rid of the 'tyrant Assad.' 5 years later, so much of the nonsense about "local councils" and "white helmets" has been exposed for what it was. Yet many 'free thinking' people bought the propaganda. Just like they do on Russiagate. Who needs an "alt-right" when America's "left" is a total disgrace?

[Dec 08, 2017] What is your take on this fellow Peter P. Strzok II. There is not much information out there on a person who seems to be pretty influential in DC / FBI / Foreign Intel circles.

Notable quotes:
"... What is your take on this fellow Peter P. Strzok II? His back history is purportedly Georgetown, Army Intelligence (his father PP Strzok I is Army Corp of Engineers), and was until recently deputy director of counterintelligence at FBI with focus on Russia and China. ..."
"... He is the fellow who altered Comey's draft to read "extremely careless" instead of "grossly negligent", he interviewed HRC, Mills, Abedin (and gave the latter two immunity); he pushed for the continued payment of Steele in the amount of $50,000 for further Dossier research in the face of some resistance (cf James Rosen); ..."
"... he also interviewed Flynn, and for most of the first half of 2017 and for all of 2016 appears to have been the most important and influential agent working on the HRC-Trump-Russia nexus. James Rosen suggests he has CIA connections as well. ..."
"... He certainly would have had CIA connections if he was involved in CI activities targeting Russian and China. ..."
Dec 08, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

WJ , 05 December 2017 at 08:16 PM

Sir,

What is your take on this fellow Peter P. Strzok II? His back history is purportedly Georgetown, Army Intelligence (his father PP Strzok I is Army Corp of Engineers), and was until recently deputy director of counterintelligence at FBI with focus on Russia and China.

He is the fellow who altered Comey's draft to read "extremely careless" instead of "grossly negligent", he interviewed HRC, Mills, Abedin (and gave the latter two immunity); he pushed for the continued payment of Steele in the amount of $50,000 for further Dossier research in the face of some resistance (cf James Rosen);

he also interviewed Flynn, and for most of the first half of 2017 and for all of 2016 appears to have been the most important and influential agent working on the HRC-Trump-Russia nexus. James Rosen suggests he has CIA connections as well.

The dude has also no internet presence. There is not much information out there on a person who seems to be pretty influential in DC / FBI / Foreign Intel circles.

He screwed up, and a lawyer, sent texts, and now is gone. Does he strike you as fishy at all, or is this kind of stuff pretty common for people in his field and position.

turcopolier , 05 December 2017 at 09:36 PM
WJ

I know nothing of him other than what is in the press but his partisan interference in investigations appears to be a blot on the honor of the FBI but then I am old fashioned. pl

fanto said in reply to WJ... , 05 December 2017 at 10:51 PM
WJ,
I first learned about this man from a comment of David Habakkuk (in an earlier post) and was curious to learn more about him. As you point out, ´internet is not your friend´ in his case. Your comment gives so far the most information about his doings. Thank you. According to David Habakkuk that surname is polish, but it possibly be other slavic origin as well ( possibly Jidish ?)
The Twisted Genius -> WJ... , 05 December 2017 at 11:27 PM
WJ,

Given Strzok's career, I wouldn't expect to find much, if anything, about him on the internet. If he spent his career working "in the shadows," he rightly would have stayed off the internet. He certainly would have had CIA connections if he was involved in CI activities targeting Russian and China. Anyone actively working in a classified environment would be grossly negligent to allow himself to be plastered all over the internet. Why do you think I still use a light cover of TTG just to post here years after retiring? It's just force of habit.

I was glad to hear that Mueller banished him to HR as soon as his anti-Trump emails were discovered. If he stayed, he would have cast an ugly shadow over the Mueller investigation. It's much like the partisan shadow extending over much of the NY FBI office. Their pro-Trump/anti-Clinton stance was notorious. I also think the FBI should review the entire Clinton email server file in light of this.

rjj said in reply to The Twisted Genius ... , 06 December 2017 at 12:20 PM
Don't know how bureaucracies work in DC. Remembering how placement in HR was a goal for activists. HR is obscure and unglamorous - how is it banishment for someone with an agenda who works in the shadows?

[Dec 01, 2017] JFK The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy by L. Fletcher Prouty, Oliver Stone, Jesse Ventura

Highly recommended!
The most important part of power elite in neoliberal society might not be financial oligarchy, but intelligence agencies elite. If you look at the role of Brennan in "Purple color revolution" against Trump that became clear that heads of the agencies are powerful political players with resources at hand, that are not available to other politicians.
Notable quotes:
"... Men in positions of great power have been forced to realize that their aspirations and responsibilities have exceeded the horizons of their own experience, knowledge, and capability. Yet, because they are in chargeof this high-technology society, they are compelled to do something. This overpowering necessity to do something -- although our leaders do not know precisely what to do or how to do it -- creates in the power elite an overbearing fear of the people. It is the fear not of you and me as individuals but of the smoldering threat of vast populations and of potential uprisings of the masses. ..."
"... This power elite is not easy to define; but the fact that it exists makes itself known from time to time. Concerning the power elite, R. Buckminster Fuller wrote of the "vastly ambitious individuals who [have] become so effectively powerful because of their ability to remain invisible while operating behind the national scenery." Fuller noted also, "Always their victories [are] in the name of some powerful sovereign-ruled country. The real power structures [are] always the invisible ones behind the visible sovereign powers." ..."
"... This report, as presented in the novel, avers that war is necessary to sustain society, the nation, and national sovereignty, a view that has existed for millennia. Through the ages, totally uncontrolled warfare -- the only kind of "real" war -- got bigger and "better" as time and technology churned on, finally culminating in World War II with the introduction of atomic bombs. ..."
"... This is why, even before the end of World War II, the newly structured bipolar confrontation between the world of Communism and the West resulted in the employment of enormous intelligence agencies that had the power, invisibly, to wage underground warfare, economic and well as military, anywhere -- including methods of warfare never before imagined. These conflicts had to be tactically designed to remain short of the utilization of the H-bomb by either side. There can never be victories in such wars, but tremendous loss of life could occur, and there is the much-desired consumption and attrition of trillions of dollars', and rubles', worth of war equipment. ..."
"... Since WWII, there has been an epidemic of murders at the highest level in many countries. Without question the most dynamic of these assassinations was the murder of President John F. Kennedy, but JFK was just one of many in a long list that includes bankers, corporate leaders, newsmen, rising political spokesmen, and religious leaders. ..."
"... The ever-present threat of assassination seriously limits the number of men who would normally attempt to strive for positions of leadership, if for no other reason than that they could be singled out for murder at any time. This is not a new tactic, but it is one that has become increasingly utilized in pressure spots around the world. ..."
"... Under totalitarian or highly centralized nondemocratic regimes, the intelligence organization is a political, secret service with police powers. It is designed primarily to provide personal security to those who control the authority of the state against all political opponents, foreign and domestic. These leaders are forced to depend upon these secret elite forces to remain alive and in power. Such an organization operates in deep secrecy and has the responsibility for carrying out espionage, counterespionage, and pseudoterrorism. This methodology is as true of Israel, Chile, or Jordan as it has been of the Soviet Union. ..."
"... The second category of intelligence organization is one whose agents are limited to the gathering and reporting of intelligence and who have no police functions or the power to arrest at home or abroad. This type of organization is what the CIA was created to be; however, it does not exist. ..."
"... Over the decades since the CIA was created, it has acquired more sinister functions. All intelligence agencies, in time, tend to develop along similar lines. The CIA today is a far cry hum the agency that was created in 1947 by the National Security Act. As President Harry S. Truman confided to close friends, the greatest mistake of his administration took place when he signed that National Security Act of 1947 into law. It was that act which, among other things it did, created the Central Intelligence Agency.3 ..."
Oct 08, 2017 | www.amazon.com

True existence of these multimegaton hydrogen bombs has so drastically changed the Grand Strategy of world powers that, today and for the future, that strategy is being carried out by the invisible forces of the CIA, what remains of the KGB, and their lesser counterparts around the world.

Men in positions of great power have been forced to realize that their aspirations and responsibilities have exceeded the horizons of their own experience, knowledge, and capability. Yet, because they are in chargeof this high-technology society, they are compelled to do something. This overpowering necessity to do something -- although our leaders do not know precisely what to do or how to do it -- creates in the power elite an overbearing fear of the people. It is the fear not of you and me as individuals but of the smoldering threat of vast populations and of potential uprisings of the masses.

This power elite is not easy to define; but the fact that it exists makes itself known from time to time. Concerning the power elite, R. Buckminster Fuller wrote of the "vastly ambitious individuals who [have] become so effectively powerful because of their ability to remain invisible while operating behind the national scenery." Fuller noted also, "Always their victories [are] in the name of some powerful sovereign-ruled country. The real power structures [are] always the invisible ones behind the visible sovereign powers."

The power elite is not a group from one nation or even of one alliance of nations. It operates throughout the world and no doubt has done so for many, many centuries.

... ... ...

From this point ot view, warfare, and the preparation tor war, is an absolute necessity for the welfare of the state and for control of population masses, as has been so ably documented in that remarkable novel by Leonard Lewin Report From Iron Mountain on the Possibility and Desirability of Peace and attributed by Lewin to "the Special Study Group in 1966," an organization whose existence was so highly classified that there is no record, to this day, of who the men in the group were or with what sectors of the government or private life they were connected.

This report, as presented in the novel, avers that war is necessary to sustain society, the nation, and national sovereignty, a view that has existed for millennia. Through the ages, totally uncontrolled warfare -- the only kind of "real" war -- got bigger and "better" as time and technology churned on, finally culminating in World War II with the introduction of atomic bombs.

Not long after that great war, the world leaders were faced suddenly with the reality of a great dilemma. At the root of this dilemma was the new fission-fusion-fission H-bomb. Is it some uncontrollable Manichean device, or is it truly a weapon of war?

... ... ...

Such knowledge is sufficient. The dilemma is now fact. There can no longer be a classic or traditional war, at least not the all-out, go-for-broke-type warfare there has been down through the ages, a war that leads to a meaningful victory for one side and abject defeat for the other.

Witness what has been called warfare in Korea, and Vietnam, and the later, more limited experiment with new weaponry called the Gulf War in Iraq.

... ... ...

This is why, even before the end of World War II, the newly structured bipolar confrontation between the world of Communism and the West resulted in the employment of enormous intelligence agencies that had the power, invisibly, to wage underground warfare, economic and well as military, anywhere -- including methods of warfare never before imagined. These conflicts had to be tactically designed to remain short of the utilization of the H-bomb by either side. There can never be victories in such wars, but tremendous loss of life could occur, and there is the much-desired consumption and attrition of trillions of dollars', and rubles', worth of war equipment.

One objective of this book is to discuss these new forces. It will present an insider's view of the CIA story and provide comparisons with the intelligence organizations -- those invisible forces -- of other countries. To be more realistic with the priorities of these agencies themselves, more will be said about operational matters than about actual intelligence gathering as a profession.

This subject cannot be explored fully without a discussion of assassination. Since WWII, there has been an epidemic of murders at the highest level in many countries. Without question the most dynamic of these assassinations was the murder of President John F. Kennedy, but JFK was just one of many in a long list that includes bankers, corporate leaders, newsmen, rising political spokesmen, and religious leaders.

The ever-present threat of assassination seriously limits the number of men who would normally attempt to strive for positions of leadership, if for no other reason than that they could be singled out for murder at any time. This is not a new tactic, but it is one that has become increasingly utilized in pressure spots around the world.

It is essential to note that there are two principal categories of intelligence organizations and that their functions are determined generally by the characteristics of the type of government they serve -- not by the citizens of the government, but by its leaders.

Under totalitarian or highly centralized nondemocratic regimes, the intelligence organization is a political, secret service with police powers. It is designed primarily to provide personal security to those who control the authority of the state against all political opponents, foreign and domestic. These leaders are forced to depend upon these secret elite forces to remain alive and in power. Such an organization operates in deep secrecy and has the responsibility for carrying out espionage, counterespionage, and pseudoterrorism. This methodology is as true of Israel, Chile, or Jordan as it has been of the Soviet Union.

The second category of intelligence organization is one whose agents are limited to the gathering and reporting of intelligence and who have no police functions or the power to arrest at home or abroad. This type of organization is what the CIA was created to be; however, it does not exist.

Over the decades since the CIA was created, it has acquired more sinister functions. All intelligence agencies, in time, tend to develop along similar lines. The CIA today is a far cry hum the agency that was created in 1947 by the National Security Act. As President Harry S. Truman confided to close friends, the greatest mistake of his administration took place when he signed that National Security Act of 1947 into law. It was that act which, among other things it did, created the Central Intelligence Agency.3

[Dec 01, 2017] Elite needs a kill switch for their front men and women

marknesop.wordpress.com
Patient Observer , July 23, 2016 at 7:07 pm
An interesting article on John McCain. I disagree with the contention that McCain hid knowledge that many American POWs were left behind (undoubtedly some voluntarily choose to remain behind but not hundreds ). However, the article touched on some ideas that rang true:

Today when we consider the major countries of the world we see that in many cases the official leaders are also the leaders in actuality: Vladimir Putin calls the shots in Russia, Xi Jinping and his top Politburo colleagues do the same in China, and so forth. However, in America and in some other Western countries, this seems to be less and less the case, with top national figures merely being attractive front-men selected for their popular appeal and their political malleability, a development that may eventually have dire consequences for the nations they lead. As an extreme example, a drunken Boris Yeltsin freely allowed the looting of Russia's entire national wealth by the handful of oligarchs who pulled his strings, and the result was the total impoverishment of the Russian people and a demographic collapse almost unprecedented in modern peacetime history.

An obvious problem with installing puppet rulers is the risk that they will attempt to cut their strings, much like Putin soon outmaneuvered and exiled his oligarch patron Boris Berezovsky.

One means of minimizing such risk is to select puppets who are so deeply compromised that they can never break free, knowing that the political self-destruct charges buried deep within their pasts could easily be triggered if they sought independence. I have sometimes joked with my friends that perhaps the best career move for an ambitious young politician would be to secretly commit some monstrous crime and then make sure that the hard evidence of his guilt ended up in the hands of certain powerful people, thereby assuring his rapid political rise.

The gist is that elite need a kill switch on their front men (and women).

http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-when-tokyo-rose-ran-for-president/

Cortes , July 24, 2016 at 11:16 am

Seems to be a series of pieces dealing with Vietnam POWs: the following linked item was interesting and provided a plausible explanation: that the US failed to pay up agreed on reparations…

http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-relying-upon-maoist-professors-of-cultural-studies/

marknesop , July 24, 2016 at 12:29 pm
Remarkable and shocking. Wheels within wheels – this is the first time I have ever seen McCain's father connected with the infamous Board of Inquiry which cleared Israel in that state's attack on USS LIBERTY during Israel's seizure of the Golan Heights.
Cortes , July 25, 2016 at 9:08 am
Another stunning article in which the author makes reference to his recent acquisition of what he considers to be a reliably authentic audio file of POW McCain's broadcasts from captivity. Dynamite stuff. The conclusion regarding aspiring untenured historians is quite downbeat:

http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-will-there-be-a-spotlight-sequel-to-the-killing-fields/

marknesop , July 25, 2016 at 10:40 am
Also remarkable; fantastic. It's hard to believe, and a testament to the boldness of Washington dog-and-pony shows, because this must have been well-known in insider circles in Washington – anything so damning which was not ruthlessly and professionally suppressed and simply never allowed to become part of a national discussion would surely have been stumbled upon before now. Land of the Cover-Up.

yalensis , July 25, 2016 at 3:40 pm

So, McCain was Hanoi Jack broadcasting from the Hanoi Hilton?

[Nov 28, 2017] Trump Wants Peace With Erdogan - The Military Wants To Sabotage It

Notable quotes:
"... "President Trump instructed [his generals] in a very open way that the YPG will no longer be given weapons. He openly said that this absurdity should have ended much earlier ," Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told reporters after the phone call. ..."
"... The YPG is the Syrian sister organization of the Turkish-Kurdish terror group PKK. Some weapons the U.S. had delivered to the YPK in Syria to fight the Islamic State have been recovered from PKK fighters in Turkey who were out to kill Turkish security personal. Despite that, supply for the YPG continued. In total over 3,500 truckloads were provided to it by the U.S. military. Only recently the YPK received some 120 armored Humvees , mine clearance vehicles and other equipment. ..."
"... The generals in the White House and other parts of the administration were caught flat-footed by the promise Trump has made. The Washington Post writes : "Initially, the administration's national security team appeared surprised by the Turks' announcement and uncertain what to say about it. The State Department referred questions to the White House, and hours passed with no confirmation from the National Security Council." ..."
"... The U.S. military uses the YPG as proxy power in Syria to justify and support its occupation of north-east Syria, The intent of the occupation is , for now, to press the Syrian government into agreeing to a U.S. controlled "regime change": ..."
"... When in 2014 the U.S. started to use Kurds in Syria as its foot-soldiers, it put the YPG under the mantle of the so called Syrian Democratic Forces and paid some Syrian Arabs to join and keep up the subterfuge. This helped to counter the Turkish argument that the U.S. was arming and supporting terrorists. But in May 2017 the U.S. announced to arm the YPG directly without the cover of the SDF. The alleged purpose was to eliminate the Islamic State from the city of Raqqa. ..."
"... A spokesperson of the SDF, the ethnic Turkman Talaf Silo, recently defected and went over to the Turkish side. The Turkish government is certainly well informed about the SDF and knows that its political and command structure is dominated by the YPK. The whole concept is a sham. ..."
"... Sometimes it's hard to see if Trump actually believed what he was saying about foreign policy on the campaign trail -- but either way it doesn't matter much as he seems incapable of navigating the labyrinth of the Deep State even if he had in independent thought in his head. I don't expect US weapons to stop making their way into Kurdish hands as they try to extend their mini-Israel-with-oil foothold in Syria. But it would certainly be a welcome sight if the US left Syria alone for once! ..."
"... Trump personally sent General Flynn to recruit back Erdogan and the Turks right before the election. Flynn wrote his now infamous editorial "Our ally Turkey is in crisis and needs our support" and published in "The Hill". http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/foreign-policy/305021-our-ally-turkey-is-in-crisis-and-needs-our-support ..."
"... But if you know the role he played for Trump in the campaign and then the post-election role as soon to be NSC advisor, you will see that Trump was sending him to bring Turkey back into the fold after the coup attempt by CIA, Gulen and Turkey's AF and US State Dept failed. ..."
"... Trump wanted to prevent the Turkish Stream. It was a huge rival to his LNG strategy. All these are why Flynn did what he did for Trump. Now Trump has to battle CIA and State, as well as the CENTCOM-Israeli plans for insurgencies in Syria. It's not just the Kurd issue or the other needs of NATO to hold the bases in Turkey. It's the whole southwest containment of Russian gas and Russian naval power, and the reality of sharing the Mediterranean as well as MENA with the Bear. ..."
"... Furthermore, I've always been suspicious of Erdogan's 'turn' toward Russia. Many have suspected that the attempted coup was staged by Erdogan (with CIA help?) so as to enable Erdogan to remain in office. IMO Erdogan joined the 'Assad must go!' effort not just because he benefited from the oil trade but because he leans toward Sunnis (Surely he was aware of the thinking that: the road to Tehran runs through Damascus .) ..."
Nov 28, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

President Trump is attempting to calm down the U.S. conflict with Turkey . The military junta in the White House has different plans. It now attempts to circumvent the decision the president communicated to his Turkish counterpart. The result will be more Turkish-U.S. acrimony.

Yesterday the Turkish foreign minister surprisingly announced a phone call President Trump had held with President Erdogan of Turkey.

United States President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke on the phone on Nov. 24 only days after a Russia-Turkey-Iran summit on Syria, with Ankara saying that Washington has pledged not to send weapons to the People's Protection Units (YPG) any more .

"President Trump instructed [his generals] in a very open way that the YPG will no longer be given weapons. He openly said that this absurdity should have ended much earlier ," Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told reporters after the phone call.

Trump had announced the call:

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

Will be speaking to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey this morning about bringing peace to the mess that I inherited in the Middle East. I will get it all done, but what a mistake, in lives and dollars (6 trillion), to be there in the first place!
12:04 PM - 24 Nov 2017

During the phone call Trump must have escaped his minders for a moment and promptly tried to make, as announced, peace with Erdogan. The issue of arming the YPG is really difficult for Turkey to swallow. Ending that would probably make up for the recent NATO blunder of presenting the founder of modern Turkey Kemal Atatürk and Erdogan himself as enemies.

The YPG is the Syrian sister organization of the Turkish-Kurdish terror group PKK. Some weapons the U.S. had delivered to the YPK in Syria to fight the Islamic State have been recovered from PKK fighters in Turkey who were out to kill Turkish security personal. Despite that, supply for the YPG continued. In total over 3,500 truckloads were provided to it by the U.S. military. Only recently the YPK received some 120 armored Humvees , mine clearance vehicles and other equipment.

The generals in the White House and other parts of the administration were caught flat-footed by the promise Trump has made. The Washington Post writes : "Initially, the administration's national security team appeared surprised by the Turks' announcement and uncertain what to say about it. The State Department referred questions to the White House, and hours passed with no confirmation from the National Security Council."

The White House finally released what the Associated Press called :

a cryptic statement about the phone call that said Trump had informed the Turk of "pending adjustments to the military support provided to our partners on the ground in Syria."

Neither a read-out of the call nor the statement AP refers to are currently available on the White House website.

The U.S. military uses the YPG as proxy power in Syria to justify and support its occupation of north-east Syria, The intent of the occupation is , for now, to press the Syrian government into agreeing to a U.S. controlled "regime change":

U.S. officials have said they plan to keep American troops in northern Syria -- and continue working with Kurdish fighters -- to pressure Assad to make concessions during peace talks brokered by the United Nations in Geneva, stalemated for three years now. "We're not going to just walk away right now," Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said last week.

To solidify its position the U.S. needs to further build up and strengthen its YPG mercenary forces.

When in 2014 the U.S. started to use Kurds in Syria as its foot-soldiers, it put the YPG under the mantle of the so called Syrian Democratic Forces and paid some Syrian Arabs to join and keep up the subterfuge. This helped to counter the Turkish argument that the U.S. was arming and supporting terrorists. But in May 2017 the U.S. announced to arm the YPG directly without the cover of the SDF. The alleged purpose was to eliminate the Islamic State from the city of Raqqa.

The YPG had been unwilling to fight for the Arab city unless the U.S. would provide it with more money, military supplies and support. All were provided. The U.S. special forces, who control the YPG fighters, directed an immense amount of aerial and artillery ammunition against the city. Any potential enemy position was destroyed by large ammunition and intense bombing before the YPG infantry proceeded. In the end few YPG fighters died in the fight. The Islamic State was let go or eliminated from the city but so was the city of Raqqa . The intensity of the bombardment of the medium size city was at times ten times greater than the bombing in all of Afghanistan. Airwars reported :

Since June, an estimated 20,000 munitions were fired in support of Coalition operations at Raqqa . Images captured by journalists in the final days of the assault show a city in ruins

Several thousand civilians were killed in the indiscriminate onslaught.

The Islamic State in Syria and Iraq is defeated. It no longer holds any ground. There is no longer any justification to further arm and supply the YPG or the dummy organization SDF.

But the generals want to continue to do so to further their larger plans. They are laying grounds to circumvent their president's promise. The Wall Street Journal seems to be the only outlet to pick up on the subterfuge:

President Donald Trump's administration is preparing to stop sending weapons directly to Kurdish militants battling Islamic State in Syria, dealing a political blow to the U.S.'s most reliable ally in the civil war, officials said Friday.

...

The Turkish announcement came as a surprise in Washington, where military and political officials in Mr. Trump's administration appeared to be caught off-guard. U.S. military officials said they had received no new guidance about supplying weapons to the Kurdish forces. But they said there were no immediate plans to deliver any new weapons to the group. And the U.S. can continue to provide the Kurdish forces with arms via the umbrella Syrian militant coalition

The "military officials" talking to the WSJ have found a way to negate Trump's promise. A spokesperson of the SDF, the ethnic Turkman Talaf Silo, recently defected and went over to the Turkish side. The Turkish government is certainly well informed about the SDF and knows that its political and command structure is dominated by the YPK. The whole concept is a sham.

But the U.S. needs the YPG to keep control of north-east Syria. It has to continue to provide whatever the YPG demands, or it will have to give up its larger scheme against Syria.

The Turkish government will soon find out that the U.S. again tried to pull wool over its eyes. Erdogan will be furious when he discovers that the U.S. continues to supply war material to the YPG, even when those deliveries are covered up as supplies for the SDF.

The Turkish government released a photograph showing Erdogan and five of his aids taking Trump's phonecall. Such a release and the announcement of the call by the Turkish foreign minister are very unusual. Erdogan is taking prestige from the call and the public announcement is to make sure that Trump sticks to his promise.

This wide publication will also increase Erdogan's wrath when he finds out that he was again deceived.

Posted by b on November 25, 2017 at 12:14 PM | Permalink

WorldBLee | Nov 25, 2017 12:48:12 PM | 1

Sometimes it's hard to see if Trump actually believed what he was saying about foreign policy on the campaign trail -- but either way it doesn't matter much as he seems incapable of navigating the labyrinth of the Deep State even if he had in independent thought in his head. I don't expect US weapons to stop making their way into Kurdish hands as they try to extend their mini-Israel-with-oil foothold in Syria. But it would certainly be a welcome sight if the US left Syria alone for once!
Red Ryder | Nov 25, 2017 12:49:33 PM | 2
Trump personally sent General Flynn to recruit back Erdogan and the Turks right before the election. Flynn wrote his now infamous editorial "Our ally Turkey is in crisis and needs our support" and published in "The Hill". http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/foreign-policy/305021-our-ally-turkey-is-in-crisis-and-needs-our-support

Some interpret this act on Election eve as a pecuniary fulfillment by Flynn of a lobbying contract (which existed).

But if you know the role he played for Trump in the campaign and then the post-election role as soon to be NSC advisor, you will see that Trump was sending him to bring Turkey back into the fold after the coup attempt by CIA, Gulen and Turkey's AF and US State Dept failed.

Flynn understood the crucial need for US and NATO to hold Turkey and prevent the Russians from getting Erdogan as an ally for Syria and the Black Sea, the Balkans and Mediterranean as well as Iran, Qatar and Eurasia. Look at what has transpired between Turkey and Russia since. Gas will be flowing through the Turkish Stream and Erdogan conforms to Putin's wishes.

Trump wanted to prevent the Turkish Stream. It was a huge rival to his LNG strategy. All these are why Flynn did what he did for Trump. Now Trump has to battle CIA and State, as well as the CENTCOM-Israeli plans for insurgencies in Syria. It's not just the Kurd issue or the other needs of NATO to hold the bases in Turkey. It's the whole southwest containment of Russian gas and Russian naval power, and the reality of sharing the Mediterranean as well as MENA with the Bear.

Flynn was on it for Trump. And the IC and State want him prosecuted for defying their efforts to replace Erdogan with a stooge like Gulen. It looks like Mueller is pursuing that against the General.

Harry | Nov 25, 2017 1:18:07 PM | 3
Its not a problem for US to drop Kurds if they are no longer needed, BUT for now they are essential for US/Israel/Saudi goals, therefore you can bet 100% Kurds support will continue. Trump's order (he hasn't made it official either) will be easily circumvented.

The real question is, what Resistance will do with the backstabbing Kurds? It wont be easy to make a deal while Kurds maintain absurd demands and as long as they have full Axis of Terror support.

Go Iraq's way like they reclaimed Kirkuk? US might have sitten out that one, I doubt they'll allow this to happen in Syria as well, unless they get something in return.

alabaster | Nov 25, 2017 1:19:42 PM | 4
While America's standard duplicity of saying one thing while doing the opposite has been known for decades, they have been able to play games mainly because of the weakness of the other actors in the region.
The tables have turned now, but America still thinks it holds top dog position.
Wordplay, semantics and legal loopholes wont be tolerated for very long, and when hundreds of US boots return home in body bags a choice will have to be made - escalate, or run away.
Previous behavior dictates run away, but times have changed.
A cornered enemy is the most dangerous, and the USA has painted itself into a very small corner...
Jean | Nov 25, 2017 1:35:55 PM | 5
Gee. While reading B's article what got to my mind is: "Turkey is testing the ground". Whatever Trump said to Erdogan on the phone, it seems to me that the Turks are playing a card to see how the different actors in the US that seems to follow different agendas will react. If Turkey concludes that the US will continue to back YPG, it's split from the US and will be definitive.

Erdogan is shifting away from US/NATO. He even hinted today that he might talk to Assad. That's huge! I wouldn't be surprised if Turkey leaves NATO sooner than later. And if it's the case, it will be a major move of a tectonic amplitude.

Peter AU 1 | Nov 25, 2017 1:36:09 PM | 6
Trump.. "Will be speaking to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey this morning about bringing peace to the mess that I inherited in the Middle East. I will get it all done, but what a mistake, in lives and dollars (6 trillion), to be there in the first place!"

General Wesley Clark - seven countries in five years with Iran last on the list = "Get it all done"?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RC1Mepk_Sw

Jen | Nov 25, 2017 2:36:10 PM | 7
Surely by now Erdogan must realise that whatever the US President says and promises will be circumvented by the State Department, the Pentagon, the 17 US intel agencies (including the CIA and the NSA) and rogue individuals in these and other US government departments and agencies, and in Congress as well (Insane McCain comes to mind)? Not to mention the fact that the Israeli government and the pro-Israeli lobby on Capitol Hill exercise huge influence over sections of the US government.

If Erdogan hasn't figured out the schizoid behaviour of the US from past Turkish experience and the recent experience of Turkey's neighbours (and the Ukraine is one such neighbour), he must not be receiving good information.

Though as Jean says, perhaps Erdogan is giving the US one last chance to demonstrate that it has a coherent and reliable policy towards the Middle East.

Hausmeister | Nov 25, 2017 3:37:06 PM | 8
Jen | Nov 25, 2017 2:36:10 PM | 6

Well, the US policy has been coherent and reliable in the last years. It enhanced local conflicts, supported both sides at the same time but with different intensities. Whoever wins would be "our man". Old stuff since the Byzantine period. It always takes a lot of time to prove the single actions that were done. In most cases we learn about it years later. The delay is so big and unpleasant that quite a number of folks escapes to stupid narratives that explain everything in one step, and therefore nothing. By the way: is the interest of Kurds to remain under the umbrella of the Syrian state but not be governed by Baath type of Arabic nationalism illegitimate?

stonebird | Nov 25, 2017 3:44:32 PM | 9
How can Trump have his cake and eat it?

The Kurds (PKK basically) are only necessary to give a "face" to the force the US is trying to align in E. Syria. The "fighting" against ISIS (if there really was any) is coming to a close. The Chiefs of ISIS have been airlifted to somewhere nearby, and the foreign mercenary forces sent elsewhere by convoy. ALL the valuable personnel have now become "HTS2" with reversible vests. These, plus the US special forces are the basis of a new armed anti-Syrian force. (Note that one general let slip that there are 5'000 US forces in E-Syria - not the 500 spoken of in the MSM).
So Trump may well be correct in saying that the Kurds (specifically) will not get any more arms - because they have other demands and might make peace with the Syrian Government, to keep at least some part of their territorial gains. The ISIS "bretheren" and foreign mercenaries do not want any peaceful solution because it would mean their elimination.. So The CIA and Pentagon will probably continue arms supplies to "HTS2" - but not the Kurds.

(ex-ISIS members; Some are from Saudi Arabia, Qatar - the EU and the US, as well as parts of Russia and China. They are not farming types but will find themselves with some of the best arable land in Syria. Which belonged to Syrian-arabs-christians-Druzes-Yadzis etc. Who wil want their properties back.)

Note that the US forces at Tanf are deliberately not letting humanitarian help reach the nearby refugee camp. Starvation and deprivation will force many of the younger members to become US paid terrorists.

james | Nov 25, 2017 4:00:51 PM | 10
thanks b.. i tend to agree with @4 jean and @5 jen... the way i see it, there is either a real disconnect inside the usa where the president gets to say one thing, but another part of the establishment can do another, or trump has made his last lie to turkey here and turkey is going to say good bye to it's involvement with the usa in any way that can be trusted.. seems like some kind of internal usa conflict to me at this point, but maybe it is all smoke and mirrors to continue on with the same charade.. i mostly think internal usa conflict at this point..
A P | Nov 25, 2017 4:34:19 PM | 11
Odd that no one has mentioned the fact the US was behind the attempted coup, where Erdogan was on a plane with two rogue Syrian jets that stood down rather than execute the kill shot. I have read opinion that the fighter pilots were "lit up" by Russian missile batteries and informed by radio they would not survive unless they shut down their weapons targeting immediately. This is probably a favour Putin reminds Erdogan of on a regular basis, whenever Erdo tries to play Sultan. The attempted coup/asassination also shows Erdogan exactly how much he can trust the US/Zionists at any level.

And Edrogan must also know Syria was once at least partly in the US-orbit, as Syria was the destination for many well-documented US-ordered rendition/torture cases. It is probable Mossad (or their proxy thugs) killed Assad's father and older brother, so Erdo knows he's better relying on Putin than Trumpty Dumbdy.

Virgile | Nov 25, 2017 5:09:38 PM | 12
Erdogan is about to make a u-turn toward Syria. He is furious at Saudi Arabia for boycotting its ally Qatar, for talking about owning Sunni Islam and by the continuous support of Islamists and Sunni Kurds in Syria.
Erdogan is preparing the turkish public opinion to a shift away from the USA-Israeli axis. This may get him many points in the 2019 election if the war in Syria is stopped, most Syrian refugees are back, Turkish companies are involved in the reconstruction and the YPG neutralized. Erdogan has 1 year and half to make this to happen. For that he badly needs Bashar al Assad and his army on his side.

Therefore he is evaluating what is the next move and he needs to know where the USA is standing about Turkey and Syria. Until now the messages from the USA are contradictory yet Erdogan keeps telling his supporters that the USA is plotting against Turkey and against Islam. Erdogan's reputation also is been threatened by the outcome of Reza Zarrab's trial in the US where the corruption of his party may be exposed.

That is why Erdogan is making another check about the US intentions before Erdogan he starts the irreversible shift toward the Iran-Russia (+Qatar and Syria) axis.

dirtyoilandgas | Nov 25, 2017 6:13:37 PM | 13
missing in this analysis is oil gas ... producers, refiners, slavers, middle crooks, and the LNG crowd :Israel, Fracking, LNG and wall street... these are the underlying directing forces that will ultimately dictate when the outsiders have had enough fight against Assad over Assad's oil and Assad's refusal to allow outsiders to install their pipelines. Until then, gangland intelligence agencies will continue the divide, destroy and conquer strategies sufficient to keep the profits flowing. The politicians cannot move until the underlying corruptions resolve..
les7 | Nov 25, 2017 6:59:27 PM | 14
The word 'byzantine' has been used for centuries to describe the intricate and multi-leveled forms of agreement, betrayal, treachery and achievement among the shifting power brokers in the region. The US alone has three major and another three minor players at work - often fighting each other. If however, it thinks it can outplay people whose lives are steeped in such a living tradition, it is sadly deluded and will one day be in for a very rude surprise. Even the Russians have had difficulty navigating that maze.

When confronted with such a 'Gordian knot' of treachery and shifting alliances, Alexander the Great drew his sword and cut through it with a vision informed by the sage Socrates as taught by Aristotle.

Despite claiming to represent such a western heritage, the US has no such Socratic wisdom, no Aristotelian logic, and no visionary leadership that could enable it to do what Alexander did. Lacking this, it is destined to get lost in its' own hubris, and be consumed by our current version of that region's gordian knot.

flankerbandit | Nov 25, 2017 7:53:29 PM | 15
'Hausmaus' @7 says...
'...By the way: is the interest of Kurds to remain under the umbrella of the Syrian state but not be governed by Baath type of Arabic nationalism illegitimate?..'

...showing that he either knows only the crap spouted by wikipedia...or nothing at all about the Baath party...

...which happens to be a socialist and secular party interested in pan-Arab unity...not nationalism...[an obvious oxymoron to be pan-national and 'nationalist' at the same time...]

Of course there is always a 'better way'...right Hausmaus...?

The Baath socialism under Saddam in Iraq was no good for anyone we recall...especially women, students, sick people etc...

A 'better way' has since been installed and it is working beautifully...all can agree...

Same thing in Libya...where the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya was no good for anyone...

Of course everyone wanted the 'Better Way'...all those doctoral graduates with free education and guaranteed jobs...a standard of living better than some European countries...etc...

Again...removing the 'socialist' Kadafi has worked out wonderfully...

We now have black African slaves sold in open air markets...where before they did all the broom pushing that was beneath the dignity of the Libyan Arabs...

...and were quite happy to stay there and have a job and paycheck...instead of now flooding the shores of Italy in anything that can float...

Oh yes...why would anyone in Syria want to be governed by the socialist Baath party...?

...especially the Kurds...who just over the border in Turkey are not even recognized as humans...never mind speaking their own language...

Oh yes yes yes...we all want the 'Better Way'...

It's a question of legitimacy you see...

Daniel | Nov 25, 2017 7:55:00 PM | 16
I'd really hoped that Donald Trump® would be the "outsider" that both the MSM and he have been insisting he is for the past couple of years. Other than the Reality TV Show faux conflicts with which the MSM entertains us nightly, I see no such "rogue" Administration.

This say one thing, and do the other has been US foreign policy forever.

Recall, for instance that on February 21, 2014, Obama's State Department issued a statement hailing Ukrainian President Yanukovych for signing an agreement with the "pro-democracy Maidan Protest" leaders in which he acquiesced to all of their demands.

Then, on February 22, 2014, the US State Department cheered the "peaceful and Constitutional" coup after neo-nazis stormed the Parliament.

A few months later, Secretary of State Kerry hailed the Minsk Treaty to end the war in Ukraine. Later that day, Vickie Nuland said there was no way her Ukies would stop shelling civilians, and sure enough they didn't (until they'd been on the retreat for weeks, and came whimpering back to the negotiations table).

A couple years later, Kerry announced that the US and Russia would coordinate aerial assaults in Syria. The next day, "Defense" Secretary Carter said, "no way," and within a week or so, we "accidentally" bombed Syrian forces at Deir ez Zoir for over an hour.

From my perspective, they keep us chasing the next squirrel, while bickering amongst each other about each squirrel. But the wolves are still devouring the lambs, with only the Bear preventing a complete extinction.

flankerbandit | Nov 25, 2017 8:16:50 PM | 17
Some good comments here with food for thought...

What we know with at least some level of confidence...

Dump is not the 'decider'...the junta is...he's just a cardboard cutout sitting behind the oval office desk...

And he's got no one to blame but himself...he came in talking a big game about cleaning house and got himself cleaned out of being an actual president...

This was inevitable from the moment he caved on Flynn...the only person he didn't need to vet with the senate...and a position that wields a lot of power...

This was his undoing on many levels...not only because he faced a hostile deep state and even his own party in congress with no one by his side [other than Flynn]...

...but because it showed that he had no balls and would not stand by his man...

This is not the stuff leaders are made of...

The same BS we see with Turkey is playing out with Russia on the Ukraine issue...

Now the junta and their enablers in congress want to start sending offensive arms to Ukraine...Dump and his platitudes to Putin...no matter how much he may mean it...mean nothing...he's not in charge...

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/410942-trump-putin-friendly-words/

Yeah, Right | Nov 25, 2017 9:44:37 PM | 18
I think that Jean @4 has the best take on this: Erdoğan went very public on Trump's "promise" in a classic put-up-or-shut-up challenge to the USA.

Either the word of a POTUS means something or it doesn't, and if it doesn't then Turkey is going to join Russia in concluding that the USA as simply not-agreement-capable.

Erdoğan will then say "enough!!!", give the USA the two-finger-salute, and then take Turkey out of NATO.

And the best thing about it will be that McMaster, Kelly and Mathis will be so obsessed with playing their petty little games that they won't see it coming.

ritzl | Nov 25, 2017 11:08:38 PM | 19
It's hard to tell what Erdoğan is doing or intending other than that he is navigating something - objective TBD. It'll be interesting to see if he constrains the use of Incirlik airbase should the US keep arming the YPG/PKK forces. Airpower is the enabler (sole enabler, IMO) of the/any Kurdish overreach inside Syria. Seems like Erdoğan holds the ace card in this muddle but has yet to play it.
Grieved | Nov 25, 2017 11:32:17 PM | 20
@18 ritzl

Seems like Turkey has more than one card to play. A commenter on another site mentioned recently that the US really doesn't want Erdogan to have that S-400 system from Russia. Got me thinking, could Russia have deliberately loaded Erdogan's hand with that additional card to help him negotiate with the US?

Turkey may well leave NATO and as others have pointed out, this would be a game changer far beyond the matter of the US's illegal presence in NE Syria. This possibility brings immense existential gravitas to Erdogan's position right now. He could ask for many concessions at this point, not to leave. And from the Eurasian point of view, it doesn't matter if he leaves or stays, while from the western view, it matters greatly.

Would the US give up Syria, in order to keep Turkey in NATO? It's a western dichotomy, not one that affects Asia. It would be simple to throw S-400 at that dynamic to watch it squirm.

Jackrabbit | Nov 25, 2017 11:42:26 PM | 21
The plays the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King.

- Hamlet

As the endgame plays out, Erdogan's conscience may be revealed.

b has made the point that the partition that US-led proxy forces have carved out is unsustainable. But it would be sustainable if Erdogan can be convinced to allow trade via Turkey.

For that reason, I thought Trump's ceasing direct military aid to the Kurds made sense as it provided Erdogan with an excuse to allow land routes for trade/supply. Erdogan can argue that he wants to encourage such good behavior and doesn't want to make US an enemy (Turkey is still a NATO country).

Furthermore, I've always been suspicious of Erdogan's 'turn' toward Russia. Many have suspected that the attempted coup was staged by Erdogan (with CIA help?) so as to enable Erdogan to remain in office. IMO Erdogan joined the 'Assad must go!' effort not just because he benefited from the oil trade but because he leans toward Sunnis (Surely he was aware of the thinking that: the road to Tehran runs through Damascus .)

Hasn't Erdogan's vehement anti-Kurdish stance done R+6 a disservice? It seems to me that it has helped USA to convince Kurds to fight for them and has also been a convenient excuse for Erdogan to hold onto Idlib where al Queda forces have refuge. If Erdogan was really soooo angry with Washington, and soooo dependent on Moscow, then why not relax his anti-Kurdish stance so as to bring Kurds back into the Syrian orbit?

Seby | Nov 26, 2017 12:25:05 AM | 22
tRump just wants to hide the truth that he is castrated and with a tiny penis, like his hands.

Also just cares about money and soothing his narcissism. So f***'in American, in the worst sense!

Ian | Nov 26, 2017 12:29:05 AM | 23
Jackrabbit @20:
Erdogan may feel that if he relaxed his stance against the Syrian Kurds, it could embolden Turkish Kurds to further pursue their agenda. It would also make him appear weak towards his supporters.
Fernando Arauxo | Nov 26, 2017 1:45:51 AM | 24
Erdogan is NOT going to leave NATO. Why should he? It would be the stupidest chess move ever? He's in the club and they can't kick him out. He can cause all the trouble he wants and hobble that huge machine that is the western alliance. He will not get EU membership, but he has his NATO ID CARD and that ain't bad. Erdo now knows that the poor bastard Trumps is WORTHLESS that he is a toothless executive in name only. This is a wake up call, if I were Erdo, I would be very afraid of the USA and it's Syria, MENA policy. It is being run by LUNATICS and is a slow moving train wreak. So for now, Erdo must be looking at Moscow, admiring Putin for this is a man who has his shit together and truly knows how to run a country. Maybe even a sense of admiration and more respect for Putin is even present. If I were Erdo, I'd double down in my support for Russia's Syria policy.
Hausmeister | Nov 26, 2017 3:46:55 AM | 25
@ flankerbandit | Nov 25, 2017 7:53:29 PM | 14

You do not get it:
„...which happens to be a socialist and secular party interested in pan-Arab unity...not nationalism..."
According to this ideology the coherence of a society comes from where? And who is excluded if one applies it?
So your contribution is just a rant using rancidic rhetoric tools. But I will not call you „flunkerbandit". My advice is to move to this area and have a look into such a society from a more close position. Armchair type of vocal leadership does not help.

Anon | Nov 26, 2017 5:11:53 AM | 26
In the Obama years there was a:

Which policy is Trump really up against?

Jen | Nov 26, 2017 6:38:32 AM | 27
Anon @ 25: Tempted to say Trump is up against all of them plus NSA policy, FBI policy, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) policy and the policies of, what, 12 other intel agencies?
https://www.businessinsider.com.au/17-agencies-of-the-us-intelligence-community-2013-5?r=US&IR=T
Yeah, Right | Nov 26, 2017 7:27:43 AM | 28
@23 "Erdogan is NOT going to leave NATO. Why should he?"

I guess one possible reason would be this: as long as Turkey remains in NATO then he is obliged to allow a US military presence in his country, and that's just asking for another attempt at a military coup.

After all, wasn't Incirlik airbase a hotbed of coup-plotters during the last coup attempt?

arbetet | Nov 26, 2017 10:14:56 AM | 29
This came up:

SDF official: Kurds will join the Syrian Arab Army ranks!

Harry | Nov 26, 2017 10:33:01 AM | 30
@ arbetet | 29

"when the Syrian settlement is achieved, Syria's democratic forces will join the Syrian army."
"When the Syrian state stabilizes, we can say that the Americans did what they said, then withdraw as they did in Iraq and set a date for their departure and leave."

Nothing new here, nothing good either. Kurds so far are keeping up their demands of de-facto independence under fig-leaf of "we are part of federalised Syria" with weak central government and autonomous Kurds. Thats how US plan to castrate Syria. Russia offered cultural autonomy, Kurds rejected.

As for Americans "withdrawing" willfully, it never happened. Iraq had to kick them out, and then US used ISIS and Kurds to get back in.

As for Syria's stabilization part, US is doing everything in its power to prevent it.

dan of steele | Nov 26, 2017 11:00:06 AM | 31
@Yeah Right #26
Turkey is not obliged to keep foreign troops in their country to remain in NATO. De Gaulle invited the US to leave France in 1967 but is still a member of NATO
Yeah, Right | Nov 26, 2017 5:18:37 PM | 32
@31 France actually withdrew from NATO in 1966. It remained "committed" to the collective defence of western Europe, without being, you know, "committed" to it.

So, yeah, France kicked all the foreign troops out of France in 1967, precisely because its withdrawal from NATO's Integrated Military Command meant that the French were no longer under any obligation to allow NATO troops on its soil.

But France had to formally withdraw from that Command first, and the reason that de Gaulle gave for withdrawing were exactly that: remaining meant ceding sovereignty to a supra-national organization i.e. NATO Integrated Military Command.

That France retained "membership" of NATO's political organizations even after that withdrawal was little more than a fig-leaf.

After all, NATO's purpose isn't "political", it is "military".

fast freddy | Nov 26, 2017 6:21:33 PM | 33
"The Decider" is Trump's apparent self image. He can't be enjoying the Presidency and the controls exerted upon him by others among the "Deep State" (whom I suppose have effectively cowed him into behaving via serious threats).

If he already had money and power, as it appears that he had, he gained little by taking the crown. He has less power because he is now controlled by a number of forces (CIA, NSA, Media, MIC and etc.) as he remains under constant assault by his natural opposition.

Big mistake dumping Flynn.

Now you take another kind of asshole in the person of Obama - a guy that had nothing - you have a malleable character who enjoys the pomp and circumstance. Really didn't need any persuading to do anything required of him.

psychohistorian | Nov 26, 2017 11:30:16 PM | 34
Here is a recent report from the Turkish Prime Minister supporting Trump's "lie" about ending support for the Kurds....what will history show occured?

ISTANBUL, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Sunday that his country is expecting the United States to end its partnership with the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its military wing, the People's Protection Units (YPG).

"Since the very beginning, we have said that it is wrong for the U.S. to partner with PKK's cousin PYD and YPG in the fight against Daesh (Islamic State) terrorist group," Yildirim told the press in Istanbul prior to his departure for Britain.

Ankara sees the Kurdish groups as an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) fighting against the Turkish government for over 30 years, while Washington regards them as a reliable ground force against the Islamic State (IS), also known as Daesh.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday spoke to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the phone, pledging not to provide weapons to the YPG any more, an irritant that has hurt bilateral ties, according to the Turkish side.

Yildirim noted that Washington has described it as an obligation rather than an option to support the Kurdish groups on the ground. "But since Daesh (IS) is now eliminated then this obligation has disappeared," he added.

Julian | Nov 27, 2017 12:47:45 AM | 35
It would be nice if Erdogan when withdrawing from NATO (Assuming he does this in the next 12-18 months) would say something like.
"We really like President Trump - and we trust his word implicitly. The problem is, although we trust his word, we know he is not in control so his word is useless and best ignored. Though of course - we still trust he means well."

That would be a nice backhander to hear from Erdopig.

Quentin | Nov 27, 2017 8:48:51 AM | 36
Speculation about Turkey leaving NATO seems farfetched. Turkey has NATO over a barrel. It has been a member for decades and what would it gain by leaving? Nothing. By staying it continues to influence and needle at the same time. Turkey will only leave when NATO throws it out, which isn't going to happen.
Willy2 | Nov 27, 2017 11:53:09 AM | 37
- According to Sibel Edmonds there're 2 coups being prepared. One against Trump and one against Erdogan.

[Nov 18, 2017] State Department's New Victoria Nuland...is Just Like the Old Victoria Nuland

Nov 18, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

Yesterday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson swore into office a new Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. Dr. A. Wess Mitchell became the Trump Administration's top diplomat for Europe , "responsible for diplomatic relations with 50 countries in Europe and Eurasia, and with NATO, the EU and the OSCE."

Readers will recall that the position was most recently held during the Obama Administration by Kagan family neocon, Victoria Nuland, who was key catalyst and cookie provider for the US-backed coup overthrowing the elected government in Ukraine. Victoria Nuland's virulently anti-Russia position was a trademark of the neocon persuasion and she put ideology into action by " midwifing ," in her own words, an illegal change of government in Ukraine.

It was Nuland's coup that laid the groundwork for a precipitous decay in US/Russia relations, as Washington's neocons peddled the false line that "Russia invaded Ukraine" to cover up for the fact that it was the US government that had meddled in Ukrainian affairs. The coup was bloody and divisive , resulting in a de-facto split in the country that continues to the day. Ukraine did not flourish as a result of this neocon scheme, but has in fact been in economic free-fall since the US government installed its preferred politicians into positions of power.

You don't hear much about Ukraine these days because the neocons hate to talk about their failures. But the corruption of the US-installed government has crippled the country, extreme nationalist elements that make up the core of the post-coup elites have imposed a new education law so vicious toward an age-old Hungarian population stuck inside arbitrarily re-drawn post-WWI borders that the Hungarian government has blocked Ukraine's further integration into NATO, and a new "Maidan" protest has steadily gathered steam in Kiev despite Western cameras being uninterested this time.

Fortunately Donald Trump campaigned on and was elected to improve relations with Russia and end the Obama Administration's neocon-fueled launch of a new Cold War. He raised eyebrows when he directly challenged the neocon shibboleth -- amplified by the mainstream media -- that Russia was invading Ukraine. But candidate Trump really blew neocon minds -- and delighted voters -- when he said he was looking into ending US sanctions on Russia imposed by Obama and may recognize Crimea as Russian territory.

Which brings us back to Wess Mitchell. Certainly President Trump, seeing the destruction of Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia Victoria Nuland's anti-Russia interventionism, would he finally restore a sane diplomat to the position vacated by the unmourned former Assistant Secretary. Would appoint someone in line with the rhetoric that landed him the Oval Office. Right?

Wrong!

If anything, Wess Mitchell may well prove to be Victoria Nuland on steroids. He was co-founder and CEO of the neocon-dominated Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA). Mitchell's CEPA is funded largely by the US government, NATO, neocon grant-making mega-foundations, and the military-industrial complex. The "think tank" does the bidding of its funders, finding a Russian threat under every rock that requires a NATO and defense industry response -- or we're doomed!

Mitchell's CEPA's recent greatest hits? " The Kremlin's 20 toxic tactics ," " Russian disinformation and anti-Western narratives in Romania: How to fight back? ," " Winning the Information War ," " Alliances and American greatness ," " Russia's historical distortions ," " What the Kremlin Fears Most ," and so on. You get the idea. The raison d'etre of the organization founded by the new Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia is to foment a new (and very profitable) Cold War (and more?) with Russia.

Last month, CEPA put on its big conference, the " CEPA Forum 2017 ." Speakers included central European heavy hitter politicos like the president of Latvia and also Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, Commanding General of U.S. Army Europe, who gave a talk on how "the unity of the NATO Alliance" is "what Russia fears the most." The grand event was funded, as might be expected, by war contractors Raytheon and Lockheed-Martin. But also, surprisingly, significant funding came from the Hungarian government of Viktor Orban, who is seen as somewhat of a maverick in central Europe for refusing to sign on to the intense Russia-hate seen in the Baltics and in Poland.

The no-doubt extraordinarily expensive conference was funded by no less than three Hungarian government entities: the Embassy of Hungary in Washington, DC, the Hungarian Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade , and the Hungarian Presidency of the Visegrad Group . Again, given Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's reputation for bucking neocon positions vis-a-vis Russia it is surprised to see the virulently anti-Russia CEPA conference so awash in Hungarian taxpayer money. Perhaps there is something to explore in the fact that the recently-fired Hungarian Ambassador to Washington,Réka Szemerkényi, was recently named executive vice president of CEPA. Hmmm. Makes you wonder.

But back to Mitchell. So he founded a neocon think tank funded by a NATO desperate for new missions and a military-industrial complex desperate for new wars. What about his own views? Surely he can't be as bad as Nuland. Right? Wrong! Fortunately Assistant Secretary Mitchell is a prolific writer, so it's easy to track his thinking. In a recent piece for neocon Francis Fukuyama's American Interest , titled "Predators on the Frontiers," Mitchell warns that, "From eastern Ukraine and the Persian Gulf to the South China Sea, large rivals of the United States are modernizing their military forces, grabbing strategic real estate, and threatening vulnerable US allies."

Mitchell continues, in a voice right out of the neocon canon, that:

By degrees, the world is entering the path to war. Not since the 1980s have the conditions been riper for a major international military crisis. Not since the 1930s has the world witnessed the emergence of multiple large, predatory states determined to revise the global order to their advantage -- if necessary by force.
We are on a path to war not seen since the 1930s! And why are our "enemies" so hell-bent on destroying us? Because we are just so isolationist!

Writes Mitchell: "Over the past few years, Russia, China, and, to a degree, Iran have sensed that the United States is retreating in their respective regions..."

We are "retreating"?

So what can we do? Mitchell again does the bidding of his paymasters in advising that the only thing we can do to save ourselves is...spend more on militarism:

The United States should therefore enhance its nuclear arsenal by maintaining and modernizing it. It needs to sustain a credible nuclear extended deterrent at a time when revisionist states are gradually pushing their spheres of influence and control closer to, if not against, U.S. allies. Moreover, it should use the limited tactical nuclear weapons at its disposal and seed them in a few of the most vulnerable and capable frontline states (Poland and Japan, for instance) under "nuclear sharing" agreements.
There is our new Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia. Our top diplomat for Europe. The only solution is a military solution. President Trump. Elected to end the endless wars, to forge better relations with Russia, to roll-back an "outdated" NATO. President Trump has replaced Victoria Nuland with something far more dangerous and frightening. Heckuva job, there, Mr. President!
Copyright © 2017 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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[Nov 02, 2017] The Democratic Law Firm Behind the Russian Collusion Narrative by Scott Ritter

The real question is so much Russian influence as the US intelligence agencies influence on 2016 presidential elections. Brennan in particular. He bet of Hillary Clinton and lost. After that he was instrumental in launching "color revolution" against Trump. In which the the critical step was to appoint "special prosecutor".
Notable quotes:
"... But even more is emerging that could take the Russia story in a totally new direction -- namely that the infamous dossier compiled by former British Secret Intelligence Service officer Christopher Steele was bought and paid for by a law firm , Perkins Coie, working on behalf of both the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). ..."
"... The extent to which the Steele Dossier influenced the intelligence underpinning Mueller's probe has yet to be determined with any certainty. In January, the U.S. intelligence community published the unclassified ICA, which was derived from a compilation of intelligence reports and assessments conducted by the FBI, CIA, and NSA. Many of the allegations made in the ICA mirror reporting contained in the Steele Dossier. So striking are the similarities that there are real concerns among some senior Republican lawmakers that the ICA merely reflects "echoes" of the Steele Dossier reported back via liaison with foreign intelligence services who had access to it (namely the British Secret Intelligence Service) or whose own sources were also utilized by Steele. ..."
"... An examination of the nexus between the dossier and the publication of the Russian ICA, however, shows that Litt was less than truthful in his denials. Material from the Steele Dossier was, in fact, shared with the FBI and U.S. intelligence community in July of 2016, and seems to have been the driving force behind the intelligence briefings provided to the so-called Gang of Eight who served as the initial impetus for an investigation into Russian meddling that eventually morphed into the 2017 Russian ICA. ..."
"... Moreover, while Perkins Coie had its hands all over the dossier, it was also massaging the Russian hack narrative for mainstream media primetime. ..."
"... The political law practice of Perkins Coie was started in 1981 under the leadership of Bob Bauer , who went on to become the White House Counsel to President Barack Obama. Today, the practice is headed by Marc Elias , who has been described as "the Democrats' go-to attorney an indispensable figure in the party." Elias oversees the work of 18 attorneys representing nearly every Democratic senator, as well as the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and Hillary for America, which oversaw the Clinton campaign. ..."
"... Sussman, after coordinating with Wasserman-Schultz, approached the FBI and tried to get them to publicly attribute the intrusion to Russia. ..."
"... When the FBI refused, citing a need to gain access to the DNC servers before it could make that call, Sussman balked and, again with the full support of the DNC, instead coordinated a massive publicity effort intended to link Russia to the DNC breach through an exclusive to the Washington Pos t ..."
"... According to the Washington Post , in early August 2016, the CIA director John Brennan came into possession of "sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detailed Russian President Vladimir Putin's direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race." This intelligence was briefed to the Gang of Eight. Almost immediately, information derived from this briefing began to leak to the media. "Russia's hacking appeared aimed at helping Mr. Trump win the November election," officials with knowledge of Brennan's intelligence told the New York Times . The intelligence, referred to as "bombshell," allegedly "captured Putin's specific instructions on the operation's audacious objectives -- defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump." ..."
"... The question is was the investigation supposed to uncover whatever it uncovere, or was it supposed to fabricate the discovery? If it was fabrication, yes, they should be condemned. ..."
"... My best guess is that some part of the US intelligence community is involved in the election manipulation. Overthrowing foreign governments or undermining the EU is one thing, colluding with a foreign power to manipulate the US election is quite another. Note, by the way, the absence of any reference to George Papadopulous or Viktor Yanukovych. ..."
"... But it is obvious that most of the Beltway including the spook world badly wants a proxy war with Russia, Iran, and Syria. As usual we are killing people overseas under Presidents of both parties and as usual the United States of narcissism can only complain about what dastardly foreigners allegedly did to us. ..."
"... Someone help me out here. If Clinton (or her very close associates) pay huge bucks to Russians to get dirt (even if it is made up dirt) on Trump, that is good, because it hurts Trump. But if Trump associates simply have conversations with Russians, full stop (cf. Michael Flynn, or anyone else who spoke with the Russian ambassador), that is criminal. Is this not sort of a double standard? ..."
"... We're expected to believe Crowdstrike's report on Russian hacking but we can't examine the evidence. We're expected to believe that Perkins Coie went rogue and decided to spend $12 million without informing any of its clients. ..."
"... What a bunch of hogwash. There's a cover up here, but it's not what the complicit media is portraying. The cover up is of the past 8 years of misdeeds by the Deep State, the Clintons and the Obama Administration. ..."
"... I think the story is even more obvious than this. They wanted to spy on aspects of the Trump campaign but they legally couldn't. The FBI told them they needed a reason to tap the phones and read the mail. They paid a guy to put together a dossier that would allow them to get FISA warrants to do the spying they wanted to do illegally. They just needed the dossier to say certain things to get it past a FISA judge. They did this and tapped his phones and read his emails and texts for the purpose of beating him in the election. It is really that simple of a story. ..."
"... Given Hillary's past pay to play lobbying and her disregard for national security, it would seem appropriate to have investigate if members of the Clinton campaign had contacts with the Russian Ambassador or Russian "operatives. We now know that the dossier relied on collaboration with Russian officials. ..."
"... In my opinion, Mueller has disgraced his former and present positions by collaborating in this conjured affair that obfuscates the real crimes occurring during the Obama administration. ..."
"... Crooked Hillary and her klan never thought for a second they wouldn't be able to cover up democrat crimes. The Clinton Crime Family is in full panic mode. No one seems to remember why Mueller quit as director of the FBI. He was disgusted by the Obama administration covering up lawlessness. ..."
"... Why didn't the FBI insist on examining the DNC servers? Something's not right. ..."
"... I voted for Clinton, but as the lesser evil on various issues, chiefly domestic and environmental. Clinton is not in Putin's pocket. She is in the pocket of Netanyahu, and the Saudis. Trump doesn't really seem to be in Putin's pocket -- he has neocons and others working hard to ensure that he gets into a confrontation with Iran. Basically he too is in the pocket of the Israelis and the Saudis. ..."
"... The mainstream ignores this. The countries with real influence on our policies don't have to favor one party over the other. They have them both in their pocket. ..."
"... As time goes on, I don't think Russia "meddled" in US elections as much as US politicians of both parties corruptly attempted to rig the elections. Seems to me that the demonization of Russia is bi-partisan because the US military industrial complex needs a "bogey man" to justify its billions$$$$ and just about ALL politicians need that money to stay in power. ..."
Oct 31, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The Democratic Law Firm Behind the Russian Collusion Narrative How a high-powered practice contracted oppo-research on Trump -- and then pushed a hack story.

Credit: Shutterstock/ Mark Van Scyoc The ongoing investigation headed by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller into alleged collusion between the campaign of then-candidate Donald Trump and the Russian government has moved into a new phase, with a focus on purported money laundering. On Monday, indictments were filed against former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his longtime associate Rick Gates.

But even more is emerging that could take the Russia story in a totally new direction -- namely that the infamous dossier compiled by former British Secret Intelligence Service officer Christopher Steele was bought and paid for by a law firm , Perkins Coie, working on behalf of both the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

The current controversy isn't so much over the contents of the dossier -- despite some of the reporting, none of the relevant claims contained within have been verified. Rather, the issue in question is how opposition research derived from foreign intelligence sources and paid for by the Clinton campaign and the DNC ended up influencing the decision to prepare the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election, the contents of that assessment, and the subsequent investigations by the U.S. Congress and a special prosecutor.

The extent to which the Steele Dossier influenced the intelligence underpinning Mueller's probe has yet to be determined with any certainty. In January, the U.S. intelligence community published the unclassified ICA, which was derived from a compilation of intelligence reports and assessments conducted by the FBI, CIA, and NSA. Many of the allegations made in the ICA mirror reporting contained in the Steele Dossier. So striking are the similarities that there are real concerns among some senior Republican lawmakers that the ICA merely reflects "echoes" of the Steele Dossier reported back via liaison with foreign intelligence services who had access to it (namely the British Secret Intelligence Service) or whose own sources were also utilized by Steele.

According to Robert Litt , who served as general counsel to former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper, this mirroring was nothing more than coincidence. "The dossier itself," Litt wrote in a recent Lawfare blog , "played absolutely no role in the coordinated intelligence assessment that Russia interfered in our election. That assessment, which was released in unclassified form in January but which contained much more detail in the classified version that has been briefed to Congress, was based entirely on other sources and analysis."

Moreover, Litt noted, the decision in December 2016 to brief President-elect Trump on the existence of the Steele Dossier and provide him with a two-page summary of that document, was not a reflection that "the Intelligence Community had relied on it in any way, or even made any determination that the information it contained was reliable and accurate." It was rather, Litt said, a need to share with Trump the fact that the document existed and was being passed around Congress and the media.

An examination of the nexus between the dossier and the publication of the Russian ICA, however, shows that Litt was less than truthful in his denials. Material from the Steele Dossier was, in fact, shared with the FBI and U.S. intelligence community in July of 2016, and seems to have been the driving force behind the intelligence briefings provided to the so-called Gang of Eight who served as the initial impetus for an investigation into Russian meddling that eventually morphed into the 2017 Russian ICA.

Moreover, while Perkins Coie had its hands all over the dossier, it was also massaging the Russian hack narrative for mainstream media primetime.

The political law practice of Perkins Coie was started in 1981 under the leadership of Bob Bauer , who went on to become the White House Counsel to President Barack Obama. Today, the practice is headed by Marc Elias , who has been described as "the Democrats' go-to attorney an indispensable figure in the party." Elias oversees the work of 18 attorneys representing nearly every Democratic senator, as well as the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and Hillary for America, which oversaw the Clinton campaign.

It was in the latter two roles that Elias, acting on behalf of his clients, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington, D.C.-based company that, according to its website , "provides premium research, strategic intelligence, and due diligence services." Fusion GPS had previously been contracted by the Washington Free Beacon "to provide research on multiple candidates in the Republican presidential primary." However, when it became clear that Trump was going to secure the Republican Party nomination, the contract with Fusion GPS was terminated. According to a letter sent by Perkins Coie to Fusion GPS sometime in March 2016, Glenn Simpson, the co-founder of Fusion GPS, met with Elias and lobbied for the job of conducting opposition research on behalf of the Clinton campaign. In April 2016, Simpson's company was retained by the firm through the end of the election cycle.

Perkins Coie is also home to Michael Sussman , a partner in the firm's Privacy and Data Security Practice, who was retained by the DNC to respond to the cyber-penetration of their server in the spring of 2016. When, in late April 2016, the DNC discovered that its servers had been breached, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, then chairwoman of the DNC, turned to Perkins Coie and Sussman for help. Sussman chaired the meetings at the DNC regarding the breach, and, on May 4, 2016, he reached out to Shawn Henry , a former FBI agent who headed the incident response unit for the private cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, for assistance in mitigating the fallout from the breach. According to CrowdStrike, it was immediately able to detect the presence of hostile malware that it identified as Russian in origin. Sussman, after coordinating with Wasserman-Schultz, approached the FBI and tried to get them to publicly attribute the intrusion to Russia.

When the FBI refused, citing a need to gain access to the DNC servers before it could make that call, Sussman balked and, again with the full support of the DNC, instead coordinated a massive publicity effort intended to link Russia to the DNC breach through an exclusive to the Washington Pos t , which was published in concert with a dramatic CrowdStrike technical report detailing the intrusion, ominously named "Bears in the Midst."

This public relations campaign started the media frenzy over the alleged Russian hacking of the DNC server, enabling every facet of the story that followed to be painted with a Russian brush -- normally with a spokesperson from either the DNC or Hillary for America taking the lead in promulgating the story.

It was about this same time that Elias decided to expand the scope of Fusion GPS's opposition research against Trump, going beyond the simple mining of open-source information that had been the hallmark of the firm's work up until that time, and instead delving into the active collection of information using methodologies more akin to the work of spy agencies. The person Fusion GPS turned to for this task was Steele

Key persons within the Clinton campaign and the DNC denied any knowledge of either the decision by Perkins Coie to hire Fusion GPS for the purpose of gathering opposition research, or to tap Steele to conduct this task. Elias reportedly made use of money already paid to the firm by the Clinton campaign and the DNC to fund the work of Fusion GPS, creating the conditions for deniability on the part of his clients. This decision meant that Perkins Coie, as a firm, had ownership of the Steele Dossier; expenditures of firm assets require the approval of either the management or executive committee of the firm (Elias sits on the executive committee).

But as far as intelligence products go, the Steele Dossier is as sketchy as it gets. It's an amalgam of poorly written "reports" cobbled together from what Vanity Fair called "angry émigrés," "wheeling and dealing oligarchs," and "political dissidents with well-honed axes to grind." These are precisely the kind of sources intelligence professionals operating in Russia in the early 1990s -- Steele was assigned to Moscow from 1990 to 1993 -- would have had access to. Such sources also produce information that professional analysts normally treat with more than a modicum of skepticism when preparing national-level intelligence products.

The very first report produced by Steele, dated June 20, 2016, was chock full of the kind of salacious details justifying its explosive title, "Republican Candidate Donald Trump's Activities in Russia and Compromising Relationship with the Kremlin." The substantive charges leveled in the report centered on three unnamed sources -- a senior Foreign Ministry official, a former top-level Russian intelligence officer, and a senior Russian financial official -- whom Steele accessed through a "trusted compatriot." The report alleged that Russia had been feeding the Trump campaign "valuable intelligence" on Clinton, and that this effort was supported and directed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. A second report, dated June 26, 2016, focused exclusively on "Russian State Sponsored and Other Cyber Offensive (Criminal) Operations."

These reports were delivered to Elias at a critical time -- on July 22, when Wikileaks released thousands of emails believed to have been sources from the DNC hack . These emails detailed the internal deliberations of the DNC that proved to be embarrassing to both Clinton and the DNC leadership -- Wasserman-Schultz was compelled to resign due to the revelations set forth in these emails. This leak took place on the eve of the Democratic National Convention when Clinton was to be selected as the Democrats' candidate for president. The Clinton campaign blamed Russia. "Russian state actors," Robby Mook, the Clinton campaign manager told the press , "were feeding the email to hackers for the purpose of helping Donald Trump."

If Elias thought the publication of the DNC emails would spur the U.S. intelligence community to join both the DNC and the Clinton campaign in pointing an accusatory finger at Russia, he would be disappointed. When questioned by CNN's Jim Sciutto at the 2016 Aspen Security Forum as to whether or not the DNI shared the White House's view that there was no doubt Russia was behind the hack of the DNC emails, Clapper responded, "I don't think we are quite ready to make a call on attribution I don't think we are ready to make a public call on that yet." Noting that there was still some uncertainty about exactly who was behind the DNC cyber-penetration, Clapper stated that he was taken aback by the media's "hyperventilation" over the DNC email issue, pointing out that the intelligence community did not "know enough to ascribe motivation" at that time.

According to the Washington Post , in early August 2016, the CIA director John Brennan came into possession of "sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detailed Russian President Vladimir Putin's direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race." This intelligence was briefed to the Gang of Eight. Almost immediately, information derived from this briefing began to leak to the media. "Russia's hacking appeared aimed at helping Mr. Trump win the November election," officials with knowledge of Brennan's intelligence told the New York Times . The intelligence, referred to as "bombshell," allegedly "captured Putin's specific instructions on the operation's audacious objectives -- defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump."

This intelligence, allegedly from a "human source" linked to a foreign intelligence service, is at the center of the current spate of Russian meddling investigations. Was this source a product of the CIA's own efforts, as DNI General Counsel Litt contends, or was this an "echo" of the work done by Steele? The answer may lie in the actions of both Elias and Steele, who in the aftermath of the Democratic National Convention, and on the heels of the statement by DNI Clapper that he wasn't ready to commit to Russian attribution, shared the first two reports with both the FBI and members of the intelligence community. Steele also sat down with U.S. officials to discuss the details of these reports , which presumably included the sourcing that was used.

The parallels between the information contained in the initial report filed by Steele and the "bombshell" intelligence that prompted Brennan's decision to brief the Gang of Eight are too close to be casually dismissed. Of particular note is Steele's "Source C," a senior Russian "financial official" who had "overheard Putin talking" on at least two occasions. Was this the source that Brennan cited when it came to Putin's "specific instructions"? The cause and effect relationship between the decision by Marc Elias to brief U.S. intelligence officials on the aspects of the Steele Dossier, and Brennan's coming into possession of intelligence that virtually mirrors the reporting by Steele, cannot be dismissed out of hand.

The future of the Trump presidency will be determined by the various investigations currently underway. Those efforts have been influenced, in one way or another, by reporting sourced to Perkins Coie, including the designation of Russia as the responsible party behind the DNC cyber-breach and the Steele Dossier. These investigations are linked in their unquestioning embrace of the conclusions set forth in the 2017 Russia Intelligence Community Assessment that Russia was, in fact, meddling in the election. However, the genesis of that finding, both in terms of Russian involvement in the DNC hack and the "bombshell" intelligence introduced by Brennan in August 2016, has gone largely unquestioned by the investigators.

Scott Ritter is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. He is the author of Deal of the Century: How Iran Blocked the West's Road to War (Clarity Press, 2017). MORE FROM THIS AUTHOR

Youknowho , says: October 30, 2017 at 11:09 pm

The question is was the investigation supposed to uncover whatever it uncovere, or was it supposed to fabricate the discovery? If it was fabrication, yes, they should be condemned. But if it was a question of "tell us what you find, good, bad, or indifferent" then uncovering what might be treasonable activity would be called a patriotic act.
SpecialAgentA , says: October 31, 2017 at 9:00 am
Was it a 'leak' or a 'hack'? Both terms are used here, almost interchangeably, but isn't that an essential issue to explain and clarify?
balconesfault , says: October 31, 2017 at 9:35 am
All of this and not one mention of how much of the controversy Donald Trump could defuse by simply releasing his tax returns and allowing more transparency into his financial relationships with the Russian oligarchy.
Bob Salsa , says: October 31, 2017 at 10:48 am
Ritter's underlying 'logic' here extended would have us believe Alan Turin's breaking of the Enigma Machine was done in collusion with Nazi U-boat commanders.
Michael Kenny , says: October 31, 2017 at 11:28 am
The spooks are still scared silly of Russiagate. "Hillary paid" doesn't mean "Hillary fabricated". That Mr Ritter is reduced to such a manifestly silly argument shows just how spooked the spooks are. My best guess is that some part of the US intelligence community is involved in the election manipulation. Overthrowing foreign governments or undermining the EU is one thing, colluding with a foreign power to manipulate the US election is quite another. Note, by the way, the absence of any reference to George Papadopulous or Viktor Yanukovych.
David G. , says: October 31, 2017 at 12:26 pm
Given that Russia's insiders (not to mention former-officials) are no more lined up with Putin than US counterparts and political actors are behind any current US administration or opponent, within and without the party in power, there are presumably Russian actors who would like to undermine Putin.

To the extent "the Russians" may be behind particular efforts – including information/disinformation – related to the 2016 US election, might they not have sought to undermine foreign and (Russian) domestic proponents of US-Russian detente?

Donald (the left leaning one) , says: October 31, 2017 at 12:42 pm
" Overthrowing foreign governments or undermining the EU is one thing, colluding with a foreign power to manipulate the US election is quite another. "

This is a joke. I have no concern one way or the other about whether Trump colluded with Russia – if laws were broken, prosecute the lot of them. But it is obvious that most of the Beltway including the spook world badly wants a proxy war with Russia, Iran, and Syria. As usual we are killing people overseas under Presidents of both parties and as usual the United States of narcissism can only complain about what dastardly foreigners allegedly did to us.

In DC we have a vicious fight between the McCain-Clinton forces and the Trump forces. It's a choice between warmongers.

m , says: October 31, 2017 at 1:16 pm
Donald (the left leaning one), I agree with your concluding comment that we are left with a choice between two warmongers, no question about that. However if you look at the corruption in the deep state in the Uranium One deal, how it was approved and now nobody, I mean nobody knows anything about FBI informant and gag order on him for the last 8 years it is just mind boggling. Oh well after all these years I think the African dictators have more integrity than our elected officials.
a person who once spoke to a Russian but regrets it now , says: October 31, 2017 at 1:58 pm
Someone help me out here. If Clinton (or her very close associates) pay huge bucks to Russians to get dirt (even if it is made up dirt) on Trump, that is good, because it hurts Trump. But if Trump associates simply have conversations with Russians, full stop (cf. Michael Flynn, or anyone else who spoke with the Russian ambassador), that is criminal. Is this not sort of a double standard?
Laramie , says: October 31, 2017 at 3:12 pm
I've worked at large law firms, been a partner at several and litigated against Perkins Coie, so I know a bit about them. Knowing the industry and this firm in particular, I can say without reservation that this statement is ridiculous: "Elias reportedly made use of money already paid to the firm by the Clinton campaign and the DNC to fund the work of Fusion GPS, creating the conditions for deniability on the part of his clients." That does not and would not happen with a $12 million expense.

Mr. Ritter does not come out and say it, but there's a plausible explanation for all of this Russia nonsense we've been hearing about for the past year. Until the day after the election, 99.9% of Democrats were convinced that Hillary Clinton would win. Once enshrined in office, all of the misdeeds that they'd been getting away with for the past decade -- the Clinton Foundation, Uranium One, the Pay-to-Play politics, etc. -- would be swept under the rug.

November came, and that didn't happen. Democrats were both floored and caught with their pants down. Now, all of their dirty laundry was going to come out into the open. It was only a matter of time.

So, what did they do? The same thing Democrats always do. The best defense is an offense. 'Always accuse your opponents of doing whatever wrong you've committed.' All of the sudden, it wasn't just that 'Russians hacked the election.' It became, 'the Trump campaign secretly colluded with the Russians.' The Steele dossier was leaked, the FBI was briefed which in turn briefed Obama, the Gang of Eight and Trump. Next, a Special Prosecutor had to be appointed to investigate.

But, where does it all lead? Back to Hillary, through Perkins Coie, and through many of the same Deep State players who were complicit in the misdeeds.

We now learn that Comey, Mueller and Rosenstein all knew about Russians attempting to buy influence through donations to the Clinton "charity," but they turned a blind eye when Uranium One was up for approval.

We now learn that Clinton and the DNC paid for the Steele dossier then fed it to Comey, who leaked it.

We're expected to believe Crowdstrike's report on Russian hacking but we can't examine the evidence. We're expected to believe that Perkins Coie went rogue and decided to spend $12 million without informing any of its clients.

What a bunch of hogwash. There's a cover up here, but it's not what the complicit media is portraying. The cover up is of the past 8 years of misdeeds by the Deep State, the Clintons and the Obama Administration.

Carolinatarheel , says: October 31, 2017 at 3:35 pm
I find it curious that Crooked Mueller charged two republicans just as Crooked Hillary and the DNC were identified for paying Russians for smear documents! America First!
Nick , says: October 31, 2017 at 4:06 pm
I love how the origins of the project (Free Beacon/Paul Singer) are merely a footnote in this terribly written piece.
Jake , says: October 31, 2017 at 4:14 pm
How is it not true? Reports indicate that Mr. Steele did indeed use paid sources within Russia to compile the "dossier" on Trump. Steele used money paid by the Clinton campaign labeled as "legal fees". There is a reason Hillary, DWS, Podesta and the others have all lied.
Quek , says: October 31, 2017 at 4:40 pm
I think the story is even more obvious than this. They wanted to spy on aspects of the Trump campaign but they legally couldn't. The FBI told them they needed a reason to tap the phones and read the mail. They paid a guy to put together a dossier that would allow them to get FISA warrants to do the spying they wanted to do illegally. They just needed the dossier to say certain things to get it past a FISA judge. They did this and tapped his phones and read his emails and texts for the purpose of beating him in the election. It is really that simple of a story.
Cjones1 , says: October 31, 2017 at 4:51 pm
Did Obama's White House Counsel Bauer and Perkins Coie's Elias engage in a conspiracy to smear Trump and benefit the Clinton campaign?

Did they orchestrate a campaign trick, using the Fusion GPS dossier and an insider leaking DNC emails to Wikileaks,that falsely smeared the Trump team?

Hillary and Fusion GPS both lobbied against business restrictions proposed and imposed by the Magnitsky legislation and both received bonuses and payments from Russian entities with ties to the Putin gang.

Given Hillary's past pay to play lobbying and her disregard for national security, it would seem appropriate to have investigate if members of the Clinton campaign had contacts with the Russian Ambassador or Russian "operatives. We now know that the dossier relied on collaboration with Russian officials.

Given that several levels under the 17 intelligence heads of the Obama administration, including former FBI Director Mueller, participated in suppressing known Russian bribery, obfuscated and obstructed the investigation into Hillary's national security violations & pay to play schemes, and apparently conspired using a dossier, containing Russian supplied information, to throw the last Presidential election, it is time to bring the Obama political appointees and Clinton campaign officials to justice and stop the interference affecting the Trump administration.

In my opinion, Mueller has disgraced his former and present positions by collaborating in this conjured affair that obfuscates the real crimes occurring during the Obama administration.

Zardoz , says: October 31, 2017 at 5:13 pm
The Russian SVR RF was no doubt inside the DNC's server, just as it was no doubt inside of Hillary Clinton's private unsecured email server on which she did all of her State Department business.

But that does not necessarily mean that the SVR RF released the damning evidence about the corruption of the DNC & its machinations to influence the outcome of the Election to Wikileaks. I believe Seth Rich was the source of that damning evidence.

Since there was allegedly some evidence of the Russian hacking, the DNC conveniently blamed the Wikileaks story on them.

But the fact the Democrats refused to turn over the supposedly hacked DNC server to the FBI suggests there is something seriously wrong with the Democ"rats" story.

Don Juan , says: October 31, 2017 at 5:23 pm
Crooked Hillary and her klan never thought for a second they wouldn't be able to cover up democrat crimes. The Clinton Crime Family is in full panic mode. No one seems to remember why Mueller quit as director of the FBI. He was disgusted by the Obama administration covering up lawlessness.
CapitalistRoader , says: October 31, 2017 at 5:49 pm
All of this and not one mention of how much of the controversy Hillary Clinton could defuse by simply releasing all of the government emails she kept on a private server in order to keep them away from FOIA requests and allowing more transparency into her financial relationships with the Russian oligarchy.
swb , says: October 31, 2017 at 5:57 pm
Nice try at deflection, but it is not likely to stop Muller because he has an actual brain. On the other hand, the comments indicate that the conspiracy types are on board. Now I have it on good authority that there are ties between Steele and Benghazi as well so it is time to wrap this all up together into a unified story.
Virginia Farmer , says: October 31, 2017 at 6:08 pm
Since most of the posters here seem to be partisan I'm sure that no one will like my preference: Lock both Trump and HRC up and put them in the same cell to save us money. They are both crooked and any attempt to accuse one and defend the other is futile.
MM , says: October 31, 2017 at 6:38 pm
Karen Finney, formerly of the Clinton 2016 campaign, on October 29th:

"I think what's important, though, is less who funded it than what was in the dossier."

In the same interview:

"We also learned this week that Cambridge Analytica, the company that was basically the data company for the [Trump] campaign, reached out to Julian Assange of Wikileaks."

Did everybody catch that?

In today's Democratic Party, it is perfectly acceptable to pay foreign sources for dirt, fabricated or not, on your domestic political opponent.

But it is totally unacceptable to reach out to Wikileaks, with no money involved, for dirt on your domestic political opponent. I'll note that Wikileaks has relied on whistle-blower sources and has not been shown to have published any false information in its entire 10-year existence.

Absolutely gorgeous

Zardoz , says: October 31, 2017 at 7:01 pm
The Russian SVR RF was likely inside the DNC's server, just as it was likely inside of Hillary Clinton's private unsecured email server on which she did all of her State Department business.

But that does not necessarily mean that the SVR RF released the evidence about the rotten corruption of the DNC & its machinations to influence the outcome of the Election to Wikileaks. I believe Seth Rich was the source of that evidence.

Since there was allegedly some evidence of the Russian hacking, the DNC conveniently blamed the Wikileaks story on them.

But the fact the Democrats refused to turn over the supposedly hacked DNC server to the FBI suggests that there is something seriously wrong with the Democ"rats" story.

Lenny , says: October 31, 2017 at 7:10 pm
To all of those who think that paying a foreign informant money to give you info is the same thing as accepting help from a foreign government, you have some screws lose.

Furthermore, the help that Trump received was in the form of emails that have been stolen from an American citizen, a federal offence.

The whole Uranium one non story is based on a book that his own author admitted he has no evidence of malfeasance by HRC , and who was paid for his effort by the Mercers.

Also, the Uranium cannot be exported outside the USA anyway, because the law prevents it, no matter who owns the company

JR , says: October 31, 2017 at 7:31 pm
To all those who think what Hillary campaign did is the same thing as what Trump campaign did: Can you with a straight face think that Hillary is in Putin's pocket? I don't think so. The issue, if you're being honest, is that a lot of people on the other side can easily see Trump being in Putin's pocket. And so far he (Trump) has done nothing to disprove that. Remember the Glee that the neocons had when Trump ordered a few missiles at Syria..guess what nothing came off it and Assad is still very much in power and no one cares anymore (an outcome that I am fine with). You think things would have been the same if Hillary was in power?

But at the end of the day, we're left to wonder whether Trump is doing Putin's bidding Just because so far he has done nothing that has been antagonistic towards Russian interests (Iran notwithstanding because nothing is going to come off it, all it is going to do is make US look impotent, which will be fine by Putin).

jlee67 , says: October 31, 2017 at 8:46 pm
Why didn't the FBI insist on examining the DNC servers? Something's not right.
b. , says: October 31, 2017 at 9:21 pm
If only Sanders had ever exclaimed something like "The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn Russians!"

If there is any kind of actual evidence of state actors in the various efforts to force transparency on the Clinton campaign and the DNC, it is now tainted by the association with Steele, Simpson, Elias, which appear to have repeatedly acted against client privileges and privacy – peddling results paid for by one client to another, leaking information paid for by clients to the press, Congress, the FBI – or have acted with client permission, while a former "spy" is accessing and potentially endangering networks maintained by his former employer, a foreign intelligence service known for its ability to find yellowcake.

Only the Democrats can show such staggering ineptitude.

The plot needs some new, exciting turn at this point. Let us speculate that the Steele Dossier was in fact a false flag operation, allowing "Russians" to discredit not one, but two presidential campaigns, not one, but two presidential candidates, a twofer that makes whomever becomes President look like an idiot. One of the most ridiculous propositions of this whole affair has been the claim that Putin would seriously care which incompetent and corrupt American gets to prosecute the self-inflicted ruin of this blighted nation for the next four years.

It's morons all the way down.

Central Virginia Cantor Ejector! , October 31, 2017 at 11:16 pm
@Virginia Farmer : "Lock both Trump and HRC up and put them in the same cell to save us money. They are both crooked and any attempt to accuse one and defend the other is futile."

Right on! "Virginia Farmer" for President!

Donald ( the left leaning one) , says: November 1, 2017 at 12:09 am
"To all those who think what Hillary campaign did is the same thing as what Trump campaign did: Can you with a straight face think that Hillary is in Putin's pocket?"

I'm not very partisan. I voted for Clinton, but as the lesser evil on various issues, chiefly domestic and environmental. Clinton is not in Putin's pocket. She is in the pocket of Netanyahu, and the Saudis. Trump doesn't really seem to be in Putin's pocket -- he has neocons and others working hard to ensure that he gets into a confrontation with Iran. Basically he too is in the pocket of the Israelis and the Saudis.

The mainstream ignores this. The countries with real influence on our policies don't have to favor one party over the other. They have them both in their pocket.

Donald ( the left leaning one) , says: November 1, 2017 at 12:14 am
M --

Yeah, I can't keep up with all the twists and turns. I read just enough to see both sides ( the partisan ones) live in closed cognitive universes. I suspect there is plenty of corruption and dishonesty to go around, even if we restricted ourselves to real or alleged Russian ties. But I wonder what would turn up if we really looked into how our foreign policy sausage is made?

VikingLS , says: November 1, 2017 at 1:14 pm
@Donald ( the left leaning one)

In my annoyance I overstated it a little, but this thread is a good example of what I was saying about a lot of the liberal commenters on TAC. I don't read a lot of these comments and see people who are giving the article much thought.

BTW I was about to write the exact same thing to JR you did regarding the Saudis and the Israelis.

Cynthia McLean , says: November 1, 2017 at 1:17 pm
As time goes on, I don't think Russia "meddled" in US elections as much as US politicians of both parties corruptly attempted to rig the elections. Seems to me that the demonization of Russia is bi-partisan because the US military industrial complex needs a "bogey man" to justify its billions$$$$ and just about ALL politicians need that money to stay in power.

[Oct 29, 2017] Whose Bright Idea Was RussiaGate by Paul Craig Roberts

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The answer to the question in the title of this article is that Russiagate was created by CIA director John Brennan.The CIA started what is called Russiagate in order to prevent Trump from being able to normalize relations with Russia. The CIA and the military/security complex need an enemy in order to justify their huge budgets and unaccountable power. Russia has been assigned that role. The Democrats joined in as a way of attacking Trump. They hoped to have him tarnished as cooperating with Russia to steal the presidential election from Hillary and to have him impeached. I don't think the Democrats have considered the consequence of further worsening the relations between the US and Russia. ..."
"... Russia bashing became more intense when Washington's coup in Ukraine failed to deliver Crimea. Washington had intended for the new Ukrainian regime to evict the Russians from their naval base on the Black Sea. This goal was frustrated when Crimea voted to rejoin Russia. ..."
"... The neoconservative ideology of US world hegemony requires the principal goal of US foreign policy to be to prevent the rise of other countries that can serve as a restraint on US unilateralism. This is the main basis for the hostility of US foreign policy toward Russia, and of course there also is the material interests of the military/security complex. ..."
"... Washington is fully aware that there was no Russian interference in the presidential election or in the state elections. The military/security complex, the neoconservatives, and the Democratic Party are merely using the accusations to serve their own agendas. ..."
Oct 03, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

The answer to the question in the title of this article is that Russiagate was created by CIA director John Brennan.The CIA started what is called Russiagate in order to prevent Trump from being able to normalize relations with Russia. The CIA and the military/security complex need an enemy in order to justify their huge budgets and unaccountable power. Russia has been assigned that role. The Democrats joined in as a way of attacking Trump. They hoped to have him tarnished as cooperating with Russia to steal the presidential election from Hillary and to have him impeached. I don't think the Democrats have considered the consequence of further worsening the relations between the US and Russia.

Public Russia bashing pre-dates Trump. It has been going on privately in neoconservative circles for years, but appeared publicly during the Obama regime when Russia blocked Washington's plans to invade Syria and to bomb Iran.

Russia bashing became more intense when Washington's coup in Ukraine failed to deliver Crimea. Washington had intended for the new Ukrainian regime to evict the Russians from their naval base on the Black Sea. This goal was frustrated when Crimea voted to rejoin Russia.

The neoconservative ideology of US world hegemony requires the principal goal of US foreign policy to be to prevent the rise of other countries that can serve as a restraint on US unilateralism. This is the main basis for the hostility of US foreign policy toward Russia, and of course there also is the material interests of the military/security complex.

Russia bashing is much larger than merely Russiagate. The danger lies in Washington convincing Russia that Washington is planning a surprise attack on Russia. With US and NATO bases on Russia's borders, efforts to arm Ukraine and to include Ukraine and Georgia in NATO provide more evidence that Washington is surrounding Russia for attack. There is nothing more reckless and irresponsible than convincing a nuclear power that you are going to attack.

Washington is fully aware that there was no Russian interference in the presidential election or in the state elections. The military/security complex, the neoconservatives, and the Democratic Party are merely using the accusations to serve their own agendas.

These selfish agendas are a dire threat to life on earth.

Reprinted with permission from PaulCraigRoberts.org .

[Oct 29, 2017] Deciphering Trumps Foreign Policy by Oscar Silva-Valladares

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Donald Trump's presidency, like preceding ones, is trapped by the interests of the power elite that has ruled America since World War II. The constraints imposed on domestic policy by this elite inevitably have a direct impact on America's foreign policy. ..."
"... The growing misalignment between government policies and people's yearnings coincides with the ascent of the military establishment within the power elite that rules America. Despite the country's aggressive expansionism, America's power elite was initially driven mainly by political and economic forces and much less by its growing military strength. It is fair to say that the military establishment, as an influential component of the American power elite, only appeared in the context of World War II. Nowadays, it is a dominant player. ..."
"... Today's power elite in America is fundamentally the same as the one that emerged after World War II and which was accurately described by C. Wright Mills in the 1950s. Consequently, the main forces shaping US domestic and foreign policies have not changed since then. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War did not make irrelevant the existing power elite at that time. The elite only became more vocal in its efforts to justify itself and this explains today's existence of NATO, for instance. ..."
"... Despite its economic and entrepreneurial might, the US distilled version of capitalism is unable to attain the needs of a growing number of its population, as the Great Recession of 2008 has shown. Within the OECD, arguably the club with the highest levels of economic and social development in the world, US rankings are abysmal, for instance concerning education and health, as it lays at the bottom in learning metrics and on critical health measures such as obesity. The wealth gap has widened and the social fabric is broken. American economic decline is evident and growing social conflict across economic, social and geographic lines is just a reaction to this decline. ..."
"... Concerning China, Trump is learning about the limits of his ability to successfully challenge it economically. It seems virtually impossible to reverse China's momentum which, if it continues, will consolidate its economic domination. ..."
"... A fundamental weakness of American foreign policy is its inability to understand war in all its different dimensions ..."
"... Despite the need to see through Trump's true intentions beyond his pomp and circumstance, there is an important warning to be made. Trump's eventual inability to fulfill his promises, combined with his bravado and America's incapacity to take a more sobering approach to world events is a dangerous combination. ..."
Oct 28, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

Donald Trump's presidency, like preceding ones, is trapped by the interests of the power elite that has ruled America since World War II. The constraints imposed on domestic policy by this elite inevitably have a direct impact on America's foreign policy. Alternative social forces, like the ones behind Trump's presidential triumph, only have a limited impact on domestic and ultimately on foreign policy. A conceptual detour and a brief on history and on Trump's domestic setting when he was elected will help clarifying these theses.

Beyond the different costumes that it wears (dealing with ideology, international law, and even religion), foreign policy follows domestic policy. The domestic policy actors are the social forces at work at a given point of time, mainly the economic agents and their ambitions (in their multiple expressions), including the ruling power elite. Society's aspirations not only relate to material welfare, but also to ideological priorities that population segments may have at a given point of time.

From America's initial days until the mid 1800s, there seems to have been a broad alignment of US foreign policy with the wishes of its power elite and other social forces. America's expansionism, a fundamental bulwark of its foreign policy from early days, reflected the need to fulfill its growing population's ambitions for land and, later on, the need to find foreign markets for its excess production, initially agricultural and later on manufacturing. It can be said that American foreign policy was broadly populist at that time. The power elite was more or less aligned in achieving these expansionist goals and was able to provide convenient ideological justification through the writings of Jefferson and Madison, among others.

As the country expanded, diverging interests became stronger and ultimately differing social forces caused a significant fracture in society. The American Civil War was the climax of the conflicted interests between agricultural and manufacturing led societies. Fifty years later, a revealing manifestation of this divergence (which survived the Civil War), as it relates to foreign policy, is found during the early days of the Russian Revolution when, beyond the ideological revulsion of Bolshevism, the US was paralyzed between the agricultural and farming businesses seeking exports to Russia and the domestic extractive industries interested in stopping exports of natural resources from this country.

The growing misalignment between government policies and people's yearnings coincides with the ascent of the military establishment within the power elite that rules America. Despite the country's aggressive expansionism, America's power elite was initially driven mainly by political and economic forces and much less by its growing military strength. It is fair to say that the military establishment, as an influential component of the American power elite, only appeared in the context of World War II. Nowadays, it is a dominant player.

Today's power elite in America is fundamentally the same as the one that emerged after World War II and which was accurately described by C. Wright Mills in the 1950s. Consequently, the main forces shaping US domestic and foreign policies have not changed since then. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War did not make irrelevant the existing power elite at that time. The elite only became more vocal in its efforts to justify itself and this explains today's existence of NATO, for instance.

Despite its economic and entrepreneurial might, the US distilled version of capitalism is unable to attain the needs of a growing number of its population, as the Great Recession of 2008 has shown. Within the OECD, arguably the club with the highest levels of economic and social development in the world, US rankings are abysmal, for instance concerning education and health, as it lays at the bottom in learning metrics and on critical health measures such as obesity. The wealth gap has widened and the social fabric is broken. American economic decline is evident and growing social conflict across economic, social and geographic lines is just a reaction to this decline.

Trump won his presidency because he was able to get support from the country's growing frustrated white population. His main social themes (bringing jobs to America by stopping the decline of its manufacturing industry, preventing further US consumer dependence on foreign imports and halting immigration) fitted well with the electors' anger. Traditional populist themes linked to foreign policy (like Russophobia) did not play a big role in the last election. But whether or not the Trump administration can align with the ruling power elite in a manner that addresses the key social and economic needs of the American people is still to be seen.

Back to foreign policy, we need to distinguish between Trump's style of government and his administration's actions. At least until now, focusing excessively on Trump's style has dangerously distracted from his true intentions. One example is the confusion about his initial stance on NATO which was simplistically seen as highly critical to the very existence of this organization. On NATO, all that Trump really cared was to achieve a "fair" sharing of expenditures with other members and to press them to honor their funding commitments.

From immigration to defense spending, there is nothing irrational about Trump's foreign policy initiatives, as they just reflect a different reading on the American people's aspirations and, consequently, they attempt to rely on supporting points within the power elite which are different from the ones used in the past.

Concerning China, Trump is learning about the limits of his ability to successfully challenge it economically. It seems virtually impossible to reverse China's momentum which, if it continues, will consolidate its economic domination. A far-reaching lesson, although still being ignored, is that China's economic might is showing that capitalism as understood in the West is not winning, much less in its American format. It also shows that democracy may not be that relevant, as it is not necessarily a corollary or a condition for economic development. Perhaps it even shows the superiority of China's economic model, but this is a different matter.

As Trump becomes more aware about his limitations, he has naturally reversed to the basic imprints of America's traditional foreign policy, particularly concerning defense. His emphasis on a further increase in defense spending is not done for prestigious or national security reasons, but as an attempt to preserve a job generating infrastructure without considering the catastrophic consequences that it may cause.

On Iran, Obama's initiative to seek normalization was an attempt to walk a fine line (and to find a less conflictive path) between supporting the US traditional Middle East allies (mainly the odd combination of Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey) and recognizing Iran's growing aspirations. Deep down, Obama was trying to acknowledge Iran's historical viability as a country and a society that will not disappear from the map, while Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, may not be around in a few years. Trump's Iran policy until now only represents a different weighing of priorities, although it is having far reaching consequences on America's credibility as a reliable contractual party in international affairs.

In the case of Afghanistan, Trump's decision to increase boots on the ground does not break the inertia of US past administrations. Aside from temporary containment, an increasing military presence or a change in tactics will not alter fundamentally this reality.

Concerning Russia, and regardless of what Trump has said, actions speak more than words. A continuous deterioration of relations seems inevitable.

Trump will also learn, if he has not done so already, about the growth of multipolar forces in world's events. Russia has mastered this reality for several years and is quite skillful at using it as a basic tool of its own foreign goals. Our multipolar world will expand, and Trump may even inadvertently exacerbate it through its actions (for instance in connection with the different stands taken by the US and its European allies concerning Iran).

While fulfilling the aspirations of the American people seems more difficult within the existing capitalist framework, there are also growing apprehensions coming from America's power elite as it becomes more frustrated due to its incapacity of being more effective at the world level. America's relative adolescence in world's history will become more and more apparent in the coming years.

A fundamental weakness of American foreign policy is its inability to understand war in all its different dimensions. The US has never suffered the consequences of an international conflict in its own backyard. The American Civil War, despite all the suffering that it caused, was primarily a domestic event with no foreign intervention (contrary to the wishes of the Confederation). The deep social and psychological damage caused by war is not part of America's consciousness as it is, for instance in Germany, Russia or Japan. America is insensitive to the lessons of history because it has a very short history itself.

Despite the need to see through Trump's true intentions beyond his pomp and circumstance, there is an important warning to be made. Trump's eventual inability to fulfill his promises, combined with his bravado and America's incapacity to take a more sobering approach to world events is a dangerous combination.

Oscar Silva-Valladares is a former investment banker that has lived and worked in North and Latin America, Western & Eastern Europe, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the Philippines and Western Africa. He currently chairs Davos International Advisory, an advisory firm focused on strategic consulting across emerging markets.


Related

[Oct 26, 2017] BuzzFeed's Golden Showers debacle is classic yellow press fake

Notable quotes:
"... When I first read the memos, I knew none of the backstory, and looked forward to the salacious content to bring this clown down, particularly any facts showing that the Trump people had prior knowledge of the Russian hacks - a Watergate-sized story, if true, even if the effects of the hacks on the election are being overblown. But with nearly 40 years of investigative experience, mostly on international issues, the wording of the memos quickly caused me to slam on the breaks, because they were worded in such a way as to make confirmation of the charges impossible. The rule involved in making professional judgments on these kinds of things is simple: you look for information that can be proven either true or false, and from that factual template, you then build out one incontrovertible fact at a time. These memoranda had no such facts, with the possible exception of Cohen's trip to Prague, which the FBI told the WSJ was false. ..."
washingtonbabylon.com

From: BuzzFeed's Golden Showers Washington Babylon

... think it was wrong for BuzzFeed to publish it and the media company bears responsibility for this debacle, which has made the entire profession look even worse and generated sympathy for, of all people, Donald Trump.

Simpson's firm is being berated at the moment but there are a lot of companies in Washington who do the same thing - namely produce political and business intelligence for paying clients - and they operate openly and everyone, including journalists, know who they are. In terms of political intelligence, there are firms who work for Democrats and firms that work for Republicans, and some who work for both. The Democrats don't have a monopoly on these firms as one might imagine from the current hysteria.

... ... ...

As has been widely reported, the Trump dossier had circulated for many months - at least as far back as August - and even though there was a fever on the part of the media to get anti-Trump stories into print, everyone with the exception of David Corn of Mother Jones declined to write about the "dossier," and even he only referred to parts of it. The fact that dozens of journalists reviewed these documents and declined to use them, on the grounds that their allegations could not be verified shows that the information contained within them was very shaky.

I read the documents online and it's clear that they are thinly sourced and there were apparently serious errors in them, for example the bit about Trump's attorney's trip to Prague...

... ... ...

Whatever you think of Trump, he won this embarrassing election under the rules of the game. (And yes, Hillary won the popular vote and in a serious democracy she would have been declared the winner, but we are stuck for the time being with the Electoral College.) The Golden Showers story is quite a sensational accusation to make given that he was about 10 days out from inauguration. If Hillary had won the election would Buzzfeed have posted an unproven dossier on her that alleged she had hired prostitutes during an overseas trip to Ukraine? I seriously doubt it, especially given Buzzfeed's notable pro-Hillary tilt during the campaign.

... ... ...

When Chuck Todd accused Smith of publishing "fake news," he suggested that BuzzFeed was just being a good Internet news organization and not letting the media and political elite keep information from the public. This would be easier to take more seriously if BuzzFeed is not so obviously a part of the media elite and doesn't fraternize so comfortably with the political elite like most other news outlets. BuzzFeed was chasing clicks and that's fine, but dressing this up as public service doesn't cut it and especially given the political calculations involved.

BuzzFeed's other excuse was that the documents were already being talked about and were referred to in the Intelligence Community's very dubious report on Trump. But the documents appear to have been given to various agencies by political figures seeking to burn Trump, which BuzzFeed was only too happy to help out with. So it appears that Trump's political enemies and media enemies were working together to get this information out before the inauguration.

I'd also note here one peculiar, and possibly unethical, thing about the New York Times' behavior here. The Times, like everyone but BuzzFeed, didn't publish the report but they wrote quite a bit about it. In an early story it said that they would not identify the research firm behind the leaked memos because of "a confidential source agreement with The New York Times." Then it revealed the firm's name in a later story and edited the earlier one to take out the line about their confidential source agreement.

So it looks like the Times violated a confidentiality agreement, which is pretty troubling...

... ... ...

Note: I'd strongly urge anyone following this story to friend long-time investigative journalist and researcher Craig Pyes on Facebook. ....

Here is an excerpt:

When I first read the memos, I knew none of the backstory, and looked forward to the salacious content to bring this clown down, particularly any facts showing that the Trump people had prior knowledge of the Russian hacks - a Watergate-sized story, if true, even if the effects of the hacks on the election are being overblown. But with nearly 40 years of investigative experience, mostly on international issues, the wording of the memos quickly caused me to slam on the breaks, because they were worded in such a way as to make confirmation of the charges impossible. The rule involved in making professional judgments on these kinds of things is simple: you look for information that can be proven either true or false, and from that factual template, you then build out one incontrovertible fact at a time. These memoranda had no such facts, with the possible exception of Cohen's trip to Prague, which the FBI told the WSJ was false.

[Oct 26, 2017] Putin Warns Of Soft Coup Against Trump; Calls Golden Shower Dossier Creators Worse Than Prostitutes

Notable quotes:
"... Warning that a "soft coup" is being waged against Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he sees attempts in the United States to "delegitimize" US President-elect Donald Trump using "Maidan-style" methods previously used in Ukraine, where readers will recall president Yanukovich was ousted in 2014 following a violent coup, which many suspect was conducted under the auspices of the US State Department and assorted US intelligence operations. ..."
"... Putin said he doesn't believe that Donald Trump met with prostitutes in Russia, calling the accusations part of a campaign to undermine the election result, and suggested that an internal political struggle is underway in the United States despite the fact that the presidential election is over, and added that reports of alleged Russian dossier on Trump are fake as "our security services do not chase every US billionaire." ..."
Jan 17, 2017 | www.thedailysheeple.com
Warning that a "soft coup" is being waged against Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he sees attempts in the United States to "delegitimize" US President-elect Donald Trump using "Maidan-style" methods previously used in Ukraine, where readers will recall president Yanukovich was ousted in 2014 following a violent coup, which many suspect was conducted under the auspices of the US State Department and assorted US intelligence operations.

Putin said he doesn't believe that Donald Trump met with prostitutes in Russia, calling the accusations part of a campaign to undermine the election result, and suggested that an internal political struggle is underway in the United States despite the fact that the presidential election is over, and added that reports of alleged Russian dossier on Trump are fake as "our security services do not chase every US billionaire."

Unsubstantiated allegations made against Trump are "obvious fabrications," Putin told reporters in the Kremlin on Tuesday. "People who order fakes of the type now circulating against the U.S. president-elect, who concoct them and use them in a political battle, are worse than prostitutes because they don't have any moral boundaries at all," he said.

The Russian president, cited by BBG, said that Trump wasn't a politician when he visited Moscow in the past and Russian officials weren't aware that he held any political ambitions.

[Oct 25, 2017] Did John McCain Launder Dodgy Trump Intel Dossier

Looks like the US Senate is a real can of worms...
Notable quotes:
"... One involved the media, which in October were given and encouraged to publish the "report" by the authors of the report (or their sponsors), purportedly a former British intelligence officer working for a private intelligence company ..."
"... Remember, we have a dubious report constructed for the purpose of discrediting Donald Trump, which was first commissioned by one of his Republican primary rivals and later completed under the patronage of someone in Hillary's camp. ..."
"... Enter John McCain. According to media reports, the dossier was handed to Sen. McCain -- again, a strong Trump opponent and proponent of conflict with Russia -- by a former UK ambassador (who presumably received it from the source, a former British intelligence officer). ..."
"... Senator McCain is the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, one of the most powerful members of the US Senate. Consider the impact of being handed a strange report by some private intelligence-firm-for-hire or a media outlet versus being handed a report by one of the most powerful men in the US government. McCain's involving himself in the case gave the report a sense of legitimacy that it would not otherwise have had. Was this "laundering" intentional on his part? We do not know, but given his position on Trump and Russia that possibility must be considered. ..."
"... So great was the pressure on McCain to come clean on his decision to meet privately with the FBI Director to hand over this report that he released a statement earlier today portraying himself as nothing more than a good citizen, passing information to the proper authorities for them to act on if they see fit. ..."
Jan 11, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

We all know what money laundering is. When you need to hide the fact that the money in your possession comes by way of nefarious sources, you transfer it through legitimate sources and it appears clean on the other end. It's standard practice among thieves, extortionists, drug dealers, and the like.

The same practice can even be used to "clean" intelligence that comes by dubious sources, and sometimes even US Senators may involve themselves in such dark activities. Case in point US Senator John McCain (R-AZ), whose virulent opposition to Donald Trump is outmatched only by his total dedication to fomenting a new cold (or hot?) war with Russia.

While the world was caught up in the more salacious passages from a purported opposition research report on Donald Trump showing all manner of collusion with Putin's Russia -- and Russia's possession of blackmail-able kompromat on Trump -- something very interesting was revealed about the custody of the information. The "dossier" on Trump seemed to follow two chains of custody. One involved the media, which in October were given and encouraged to publish the "report" by the authors of the report (or their sponsors), purportedly a former British intelligence officer working for a private intelligence company. Only David Corn of Mother Jones bit, and his resulting story picked over the report to construct a mess of innuendo on Trump's relation to Russia that was short on any evidence.

The other chain of custody is what interests us. Remember, we have a dubious report constructed for the purpose of discrediting Donald Trump, which was first commissioned by one of his Republican primary rivals and later completed under the patronage of someone in Hillary's camp. It was created for a specific political purpose, which may have tainted its reception among more objective governmental sources had that been known.

Enter John McCain. According to media reports, the dossier was handed to Sen. McCain -- again, a strong Trump opponent and proponent of conflict with Russia -- by a former UK ambassador (who presumably received it from the source, a former British intelligence officer).

Senator McCain then felt duty-bound to bring this "intelligence report" directly (and privately) to the personal attention of FBI Director James Comey. From this hand-off to Comey, the report then became part of the Intelligence Community's assessment of Russian interference in the US presidential election.

Senator McCain is the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, one of the most powerful members of the US Senate. Consider the impact of being handed a strange report by some private intelligence-firm-for-hire or a media outlet versus being handed a report by one of the most powerful men in the US government. McCain's involving himself in the case gave the report a sense of legitimacy that it would not otherwise have had. Was this "laundering" intentional on his part? We do not know, but given his position on Trump and Russia that possibility must be considered.

So great was the pressure on McCain to come clean on his decision to meet privately with the FBI Director to hand over this report that he released a statement earlier today portraying himself as nothing more than a good citizen, passing information to the proper authorities for them to act on if they see fit.

Do you believe the Senator from Arizona?


Copyright © 2017 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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[Oct 25, 2017] The Definitive Demise of the Debunked Dodgy Dossier on The Donald

Notable quotes:
"... For Donald Trump, all attempts to gain a foothold in the USSR and then in Russia in 30 years of travel and negotiations failed. Moscow did not have a Trump Tower of its own, although Trump boasted every time that he had met the most important people and was just about to invest hundreds of millions in a project that would undoubtedly be successful. ..."
"... Trumps' largest business success in Russia was the presentation of a Trump Vodka at the Millionaire Fair 2007 in Moscow. This project was also a cleansing; In 2009 the sale of Trump Vodka was discontinued. ..."
"... puts his name on stuff ..."
"... (2) Zhirinovsky Is The Very Last Person Putin Would Use For A Proxy ..."
"... Such a delicate plan – to reach the election of a President of the US by means of Zhirinovsky – ensures a skeptical smile for every Russian at best. He is already seventy and has been at the head of a party with a misleading name for nearly thirty years. The Liberal Democratic Party is neither liberal nor democratic. If their policies are somehow characterized, then as right-wing populism. Zhirinovsky is known for shrill statements; He threatened, for example, to destroy the US by means of "gravitational weapons". ..."
"... Why Would Russian Intelligence Agencies Sources Have Talked to Steele? ..."
"... But the report, published on the BuzzFeed Internet portal, is full of inconsistencies and contradictions. The problem is not even that there are a lot of false facts. Even the assumption that agents of the Russian secret services are discussing the details with a former secretary of a hostile secret service in the midst of a highly secret operation by which a future President of the US is to be discredited appears strange. ..."
"... Exactly. For the intelligence community and Democrat reliance on Steele's dossier to be plausible, you have to assume 10-foot tall Russkis (1) with incredibly sophisticated strategic, operational, and technical capabilities, who have (2) performed the greatest intelligence feat of the 21st and ..."
"... Donald Trump went on Howard Stern for, like, decades. The stuff that's right out there for whoever wants to roll those tapes is just as "compromising" as anything in the dodgy dossier, or the "grab her by the pussy" tape, for that matter. As Kowaljow points out, none of it was mortally wounding to Trump; after all, if you're a volatility voter who wants to kick over the table in a rigged game, you don't care about the niceties. ..."
"... transition ..."
"... And that's before we get to ObamaCare, financial regulation, gutting or owning the CIA (which Trump needs to do, and fast), trade policy, NATO, China, and a myriad of other stories, all rich with human interest, powerful narratives, and plenty of potential for scandal. Any one of them worthy of A1 coverage, just like the Inaugural crowd size dogpile that's been going on for days. ..."
"... Instead, the press seems to be reproducing the last gasps of the Clinton campaign, which were all about the evils of Trump, the man. That tactic failed the Clinton campaign, again because volatility voters weren't concerned with the niceties. And the same tactic is failing the press now. ..."
Jan 23, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
by Lambert Strether of Corrente .

In the midst of the hysteria about Russian interference in the 2016 election - 52% of Democrat voters believe it's definitely or probably true that "Russia tampered with vote tallies" , a view for which there is no evidence whatever, and which is a depressing testimony to the power of propaganda to produce epistemic closure in liberals as well as conservatives - came Buzzfeed's 35-page "dodgy dossier" on Donald Trump, oppo that the researcher, Christopher Steele , peddled during the election proper, but was unable to sell, not even to an easy mark like Jebbie. (There's a useful debunking of Steele's report in the New York Review of Books , of all places.) Remember the piss jokes? So two-weeks ago Amazingly, or not, a two-page summary to Steele's product had been included in a briefing given to Trump (and Obama). A weary Obama was no doubt well accustomed to the intelligence community's little ways, but the briefing must have been quite a revelation to Trump. I mean, Trump is a man who knows shoddy when he sees it, right?

In any case, a link to the following story in Hamburg's ridiculously sober-sided Die Zeit came over the transom: So schockiert von Trump wie alle anderen ("So shocked by Trump like everyone else"). The reporter is Alexej Kowaljow , a Russian journalist based in Moscow. Before anyone goes "ZOMG! The dude is Russian !", everything Kowaljow writes is based on open sources or common-sense information presumably available to citizens of any nation. The bottom line for me is that if the world is coming to believe that Americans are idiots, it's not necessarily because Americans elected Trump as President.

I'm going to lay out two claims and two questions from Kowaljow's piece. In each case, I'll quote the conventional, Steele and intelligence community-derived wisdom in our famously free press, and then I'll quote Kowaljow. I think Kowaljow wins each time. Easily. I don't think Google Translate handles irony well, but I sense that Kowaljow is deploying it freely.

(1) Trump's Supposed Business Dealings in Russia Are Commercial Puffery

Here's the section on Russia in Time's article on Trump's business dealings; it's representative. I'm going to quote it all so you can savor it. Read it carefully.

Donald Trump's Many, Many Business Dealings in 1 Map

Russia

"For the record, I have ZERO investments in Russia," Trump tweeted in July, one day before he called on the country to "find" a batch of emails deleted from Hillary Clinton's private server. Nonetheless, Russia's extraordinary meddling in the 2016 U.S. election-a declassified report released by U.S. intelligence agencies in January disclosed that intercepted conversations captured senior Russian officials celebrating Trump's win-as well as Trump's complimentary remarks about Russian President have stirred widespread questions about the President-elect's pursuit of closer ties with Moscow. Several members of Trump's inner circle have business links to Russia, including former campaign manager Paul Manafort, who consulted for pro-Russia politicians in the Ukraine. Former foreign policy adviser Carter Page worked in Russia and maintains ties there.

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump's incoming national security adviser, has been a regular guest on Russia's English-language propaganda network, RT , and even dined with Putin at a banquet.

During the presidential transition, former Georgia Congressman and Trump campaign surrogate Jack Kingston told a gathering of businessmen in Moscow that the President-elect could lift U.S. sanctions.

According to his own son, Trump has long relied on Russian customers as a source of income. "Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets," Donald Trump Jr. told a Manhattan real estate conference in 2008 , according to an account posted on the website of trade publication eTurboNews. "We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia." Back to map .

Read that again, if you can stand it. Do you see the name of an actual business, owned by Trump? Do you see the name of any businessperson who closed a deal with Trump? Do you, in fact, see any reporting at all? At most, you see commercial puffery by Trump the Younger: "Russians [in Russia?] make up a pretty [qualifier] disproportionate [whatever that means] cross-section [whatever that means] of a lot of [qualifier] our assets."

Now Kowaljow (via Google Translate, so forgive any solecisms):

For Donald Trump, all attempts to gain a foothold in the USSR and then in Russia in 30 years of travel and negotiations failed. Moscow did not have a Trump Tower of its own, although Trump boasted every time that he had met the most important people and was just about to invest hundreds of millions in a project that would undoubtedly be successful.

Trumps' largest business success in Russia was the presentation of a Trump Vodka at the Millionaire Fair 2007 in Moscow. This project was also a cleansing; In 2009 the sale of Trump Vodka was discontinued.

Because think about it: Trump puts his name on stuff . Towers in Manhattan, hotels, casinos, golf courses, steaks. Anything in Russia with Trump's name on it? Besides the failed vodka venture? No? Case closed, then.

(2) Zhirinovsky Is The Very Last Person Putin Would Use For A Proxy

From The Hill's summary of Russian "interference" in the 2016 election:

Five reasons intel community believes Russia interfered in election

The attacks dovetailed with other Russian disinformation campaigns

The report covers more than just the hacking effort. It also contains a detailed list account of information warfare against the United States from Russia through other means.

Political party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who the report lists as a "pro-Kremlin proxy," said before the election that, if Trump won, Russia would 'drink champagne' to celebrate their new ability to advance in Syria and Ukraine.

Now Kowaljow:

The report of the American intelligence services on the Russian interference in the US elections, published at the beginning of January, was notoriously neglected by Russians, because the name of Vladimir Zhirinovsky was mentioned among the "propaganda activities of Russia", which had announced that in the event of an election victory of Trump champagne to want to drink.

Such a delicate plan – to reach the election of a President of the US by means of Zhirinovsky – ensures a skeptical smile for every Russian at best. He is already seventy and has been at the head of a party with a misleading name for nearly thirty years. The Liberal Democratic Party is neither liberal nor democratic. If their policies are somehow characterized, then as right-wing populism. Zhirinovsky is known for shrill statements; He threatened, for example, to destroy the US by means of "gravitational weapons".

If, therefore, the Kremlin had indeed had the treacherous plan of helping Trump to power, it would scarcely have been made known about Zhirinovsky.

The American equivalent would be. Give me a moment to think of an American politician who's both so delusional and such a laughingstock that no American President could possibly consider using them as a proxy in a devilishly complex informational warfare campaign Sara Palin? Anthony Weiner? Debbie Wasserman Schultz? Na ga happen.

And now to the two questions.

(3) Why Would Russian Intelligence Agencies Sources Have Talked to Steele?

Kowaljow:

But the report, published on the BuzzFeed Internet portal, is full of inconsistencies and contradictions. The problem is not even that there are a lot of false facts. Even the assumption that agents of the Russian secret services are discussing the details with a former secretary of a hostile secret service in the midst of a highly secret operation by which a future President of the US is to be discredited appears strange.

Exactly. For the intelligence community and Democrat reliance on Steele's dossier to be plausible, you have to assume 10-foot tall Russkis (1) with incredibly sophisticated strategic, operational, and technical capabilities, who have (2) performed the greatest intelligence feat of the 21st and 20th centuries, suborning the President of the United States, and whose intelligence agencies are (3) leakly like a sieve. Does that make sense? (Of course, the devilish Russkis could have fed Steele bad data, knowing he'd then feed it to the American intelligence agencies, who would lap it up, but that's another narrative.)

(4) How Do You Compromise the Uncompromisable?

Funny how suddenly the word kompromat was everywhere, wasn't it? So sophisticated. Everybody loves to learn a new word! Regarding the "Golden Showers" - more sophistication! - Kowaljow writes:

But even if such a compromise should exist, what sense should it have, since the most piquant details have long been publicly discussed in public, and had no effect on the votes of the elected president? Like all the other scandals trumps, which passed through the election campaign, they also remained unresolved, including those who were concerned about sex.

This also includes what is known as a compromise, compromising material, that is, video shots of the unsightly nature, which can destroy both the political career and the life of a person. The word Kompromat shines today – as in the past Perestroika – in all headlines; It was not invented in Russia, of course. But in Russia in the Yeltsin era, when the great clans in the power gave bitter fights and intensively used the media, works of this kind have ended more than just a brilliant career. General Prosecutor Jurij Skuratov was dismissed after a video had been shown in the country-wide television channels: There, a person "who looks like the prosecutor's office" had sex with two prostitutes.

Donald Trump went on Howard Stern for, like, decades. The stuff that's right out there for whoever wants to roll those tapes is just as "compromising" as anything in the dodgy dossier, or the "grab her by the pussy" tape, for that matter. As Kowaljow points out, none of it was mortally wounding to Trump; after all, if you're a volatility voter who wants to kick over the table in a rigged game, you don't care about the niceties.

Conclusion

It would be nice, wouldn't it, if our famously free press was actually covering the Trump transition , instead of acting like their newsrooms are mountain redoubts for an irrendentist Clinton campaign. It would be nice, for example, to know:

  1. The content and impact of Trump's Executive Orders.
  2. Ditto, regulations.
  3. Personnel decisions below the Cabinet level. Who are the Flexians?
  4. Obama policies that will remain in place, because both party establishments support them. Charters, for example.
  5. Republican inroads in Silicon Valley.
  6. The future of the IRS, since Republicans have an axe to grind with it.
  7. Mismatch between State expectations for infrastructure and Trump's implementation

And that's before we get to ObamaCare, financial regulation, gutting or owning the CIA (which Trump needs to do, and fast), trade policy, NATO, China, and a myriad of other stories, all rich with human interest, powerful narratives, and plenty of potential for scandal. Any one of them worthy of A1 coverage, just like the Inaugural crowd size dogpile that's been going on for days.

Instead, the press seems to be reproducing the last gasps of the Clinton campaign, which were all about the evils of Trump, the man. That tactic failed the Clinton campaign, again because volatility voters weren't concerned with the niceties. And the same tactic is failing the press now. Failing unless, of course, you're the sort of sleaze merchant who downsizes the newsroom because, hey, it's all about the clicks.

[Oct 25, 2017] Ex-MI6 officer Christopher Steele in hiding after Trump dossier

Jan 12, 2017 | www.bbc.com

An ex-MI6 officer who is believed to have prepared memos claiming Russia has compromising material on US President-elect Donald Trump is now in hiding, the BBC understands.

Christopher Steele, who runs a London-based intelligence firm, is believed to have left his home this week.

The memos contain unsubstantiated claims that Russian security officials have compromising material on Mr Trump.

The US president-elect said the claims were "fake news" and "phoney stuff".

Mr Steele has been widely named as the author of a series of memos - which have been published as a dossier in some US media - containing extensive allegations about Mr Trump's personal life and his campaign's relationship with the Russian state.

... ... ...

BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner said Mr Steele had previously been an intelligence officer - rather than agent - in MI6, who would have run a team of agents as an intelligence gatherer.

However, as Mr Steele was now working in the private sector, our correspondent said, there was "probably a fair bit of money involved" in the commissioning of the reports.

He said there was no evidence to substantiate the allegations and it was still possible the dossier had been based on what "people had said" about Mr Trump "without any proof".

Donald J. Tump Twit

@realDonaldTrump

James Clapper called me yesterday to denounce the false and fictitious report that was illegally circulated. Made up, phony facts. Too bad!

... ... ...

Obama briefing

The 35-page dossier on Mr Trump - which is believed to have been commissioned initially by Republicans opposed to Mr Trump - has been circulating in Washington for some time.

Media organisations, uncertain of its credibility, initially held back from publication. However, the entire series of reports has now been posted online, with Mr Steele named as the author.

Intelligence agencies considered the claims relevant enough to brief both Mr Trump and President Obama last week.

But the allegations have not been independently substantiated or verified and some details have been challenged as incorrect by those who are mentioned.

Mr Trump himself was briefed about the existence of the allegations by the US intelligence community last week but has since described them as fake news, accusing the US intelligence services of leaking the dossier.

[Oct 25, 2017] Former MI6 agent behind Trump dossier returns to work by Luke Harding and Nick Hopkins

So guardian clearly supports Steele dossier. Nice... So the guy clearly tried to influence the US election and Guardian neoliberal honchos and their Russophobic presstitutes (like Luke Harding) are OK with it. They just complain about Russian influence. British elite hypocrisy in action...
Notable quotes:
"... Published in January by BuzzFeed , the dossier suggested that Donald Trump's team had colluded with Russian intelligence before the US election to sabotage Hillary Clinton's campaign. Citing unidentified sources, it said Trump had been "compromised" by Russia's FSB spy agency during a trip to Moscow in 2013. ..."
"... Trump dismissed the dossier as fake news and said Steele was a "failed spy". Vladimir Putin also rejected the dossier. His spokesman Dmitry Peskov claimed Russia did not collect kompromat – compromising material – on Trump or anyone else. ..."
"... As head of MI6's Russia desk, Steele led the inquiry into Litvinenko's polonium poisoning, quickly concluding that this was a Russian state plot. He did not meet Litvinenko and was not his case officer, friends said. ..."
Mar 07, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

Christopher Steele speaks publicly for first time since the file was revealed and thanks supporters for 'kind messages'

The former MI6 agent behind the controversial Trump dossier has returned to work, nearly two months after its publication caused an international scandal and furious denials from Washington and Moscow.

Christopher Steele posed for a photograph outside the office of his business intelligence company Orbis in Victoria, London on Tuesday. Speaking for the first time since his dossier was revealed , Steele said he had received messages of support.

"I'm now going to be focusing my efforts on supporting the broader interests of our company here," he told the Press Association. "I'd like to say a warm thank you to everyone who sent me kind messages and support over the last few weeks."

Steele, who left British intelligence in 2009 and co-founded Orbis with an MI6 colleague, said he would not comment substantively on the contents of the dossier: "Just to add, I won't be making any further statements or comments at this time."

Published in January by BuzzFeed , the dossier suggested that Donald Trump's team had colluded with Russian intelligence before the US election to sabotage Hillary Clinton's campaign. Citing unidentified sources, it said Trump had been "compromised" by Russia's FSB spy agency during a trip to Moscow in 2013.

It alleged that Trump was secretly videoed with Russian prostitutes in a suite in the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Moscow. The prostitutes allegedly urinated on the bed used by Barack Obama during a presidential visit.

Trump dismissed the dossier as fake news and said Steele was a "failed spy". Vladimir Putin also rejected the dossier. His spokesman Dmitry Peskov claimed Russia did not collect kompromat – compromising material – on Trump or anyone else.

Steele's friends say he has been keen to go back to work for some weeks. They insist he has not been in hiding but has been keeping a low profile to avoid paparazzi who have been camped outside his family home in Surrey.

Several of the lurid stories about him that have appeared in the press have been wrong, said friends. The stories include claims that Steele met Alexander Litvinenko, the Russian dissident who was murdered in 2006 with a radioactive cup of tea, probably on Putin's orders .

As head of MI6's Russia desk, Steele led the inquiry into Litvinenko's polonium poisoning, quickly concluding that this was a Russian state plot. He did not meet Litvinenko and was not his case officer, friends said.

[Oct 25, 2017] Why the FBI wiretap on former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort is a big deal by Randall D. Eliason

Neocons still dream of Trump impeachment. Neutering him is not enough... the number of potentially illegal wiretaps of Trump associates suggests that threr was a plan to derail plan in three letter agencies headquarters (with blessing of Obama). Plan of interfere with the US election to be exact.
Notable quotes:
"... Reports that the FBI wiretapped former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort are a further sign of the seriousness of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's investigation. But there's still a great deal we don't know about the implications, if any, for the broader inquiry into possible Russian ties to the Trump campaign. ..."
"... The other import of this news involves the possible implications if Manafort is charged. The New York Times reported Monday that when Manafort's home was searched in July, investigators told him he should expect to be indicted. ..."
"... A typical white-collar investigation often proceeds by building cases against lower-level participants in a scheme -- the little fish -- and then persuading them to cooperate in the investigation of the bigger fish. Trump and his associates therefore may have reason to be concerned about what Manafort could tell investigators, if he were indicted and chose to cooperate. ..."
"... Again, much of this is speculation. Due to grand jury secrecy and the secrecy surrounding the FISA process, we don't know many of the details. And given the typical pace of these investigations, whatever happens likely will not happen quickly. ..."
Sep 19, 2017 | washingtonpost.com

Then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort at the Republican National Convention. (Matt Rourke/Associated Press)

Reports that the FBI wiretapped former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort are a further sign of the seriousness of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's investigation. But there's still a great deal we don't know about the implications, if any, for the broader inquiry into possible Russian ties to the Trump campaign.

CNN reported Monday night that the FBI obtained a warrant to listen in on Manafort's phone calls back in 2014. The warrant was part of an investigation into U.S. firms that may have performed undisclosed work for the Ukrainian government. The surveillance reportedly lapsed for a time but was begun again last year when the FBI learned about possible ties between Russian operatives and Trump associates.

This news is a big deal primarily because of what it takes to obtain such a wiretap order. The warrant reportedly was issued under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. A FISA warrant requires investigators to demonstrate to the FISA court that there is probable cause to believe the target may be acting as an unlawful foreign agent.

When news broke last month that Mueller was using a grand jury to conduct his investigation, many reported it with unnecessary breathlessness. Although a grand jury investigation is certainly significant, a prosecutor does not need court approval or a finding of probable cause to issue a grand jury subpoena, and Mueller's use of a grand jury was not unexpected .

A FISA warrant is another matter. It means investigators have demonstrated probable cause to an independent judicial authority. Obtaining a warrant actually says much more about the strength of the underlying allegations than issuing a grand jury subpoena.

That's also why the search warrant executed at Manafort's home in July was such a significant step in the investigation. Unlike a grand jury subpoena, the search warrant required Mueller's team to demonstrate to a judge that a crime probably had been committed.

But it's important not to get too far in front of the story. The FBI surveillance of Manafort reportedly began in 2014, long before he was working as Trump's campaign manager. So the initial allegations, at least, appear to have involved potential crimes having nothing to do with the Trump campaign. And most or all of the surveillance apparently took place before Mueller was even appointed and was not at his direction.

Mueller's involvement now does suggest that the current focus relates to Manafort's role in the Trump campaign. But we don't know exactly how, if at all, any alleged crimes by Manafort relate to his work in that role. And we don't know whether any other individuals involved in the campaign are potentially implicated.

We also don't know what evidence was obtained as a result of the surveillance. The fact that warrants were issued does not mean any evidence of criminal conduct was actually found.

The other import of this news involves the possible implications if Manafort is charged. The New York Times reported Monday that when Manafort's home was searched in July, investigators told him he should expect to be indicted. Even if Mueller were to indict Manafort for crimes not directly related to the Trump campaign, it would be a significant development. A typical white-collar investigation often proceeds by building cases against lower-level participants in a scheme -- the little fish -- and then persuading them to cooperate in the investigation of the bigger fish. Trump and his associates therefore may have reason to be concerned about what Manafort could tell investigators, if he were indicted and chose to cooperate.

Again, much of this is speculation. Due to grand jury secrecy and the secrecy surrounding the FISA process, we don't know many of the details. And given the typical pace of these investigations, whatever happens likely will not happen quickly.

But news of the FISA surveillance is the latest evidence that Mueller's investigation is serious, aggressive and will be with us for some time.

Randall D. Eliason teaches white-collar criminal law at George Washington University Law School.

[Oct 24, 2017] Republican-led House committees to investigate Clintons emails again by Associated Press

Why they decided to resume investigation now ? What new facts were uncovered? What hidden storm hit "deep state" so the for stability they need to sacrifice Hillary Clinton
How this correlates with the discovery that DNC paid for Steele dossier? Judging from John Sipher a is a former member of the CIA's Senior Intelligence Service attempt to defend Steele dossier in his Slate article (Sept, 2017), just a month before current revelations. As retied CIA agents usually avoid public spotlight it might well be that he was "adviced" to write his evaluation and, if this is the case, then CIA and may be personally Brennan were also involved in "Steele dossier" fiasco.
Notable quotes:
"... The ousted FBI director James Comey and the former attorney general Loretta Lynch spoke at length to Congress about that investigation last year, and it is the subject of a continuing review by the justice department's inspector general. ..."
"... Nunes has separately signed off on subpoenas that sought the banking records of Fusion GPS, the political research company behind a dossier of allegations about Trump's connections to Russia. A lawyer for the company said in a statement Tuesday the subpoena was "overly broad" and without any legitimate purposes ..."
Oct 24, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

The Republican leaders of the House judiciary and oversight panels said in a statement they were opening investigations into the FBI's handling of the Clinton email investigation and the decision not to prosecute her – the subject of hours-long congressional hearings last year.

The Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee, Devin Nunes, also announced a separate investigation into a uranium deal brokered during Barack Obama's tenure as president.

The House judiciary committee chairman, Robert Goodlatte of Virginia, and the oversight committee chairman, Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, said the inquiry would be aimed at the FBI and its decisions in the Clinton investigation . The ousted FBI director James Comey and the former attorney general Loretta Lynch spoke at length to Congress about that investigation last year, and it is the subject of a continuing review by the justice department's inspector general.

The two panels have declined to investigate Russia's interference in the 2016 elections, leaving those inquiries to Senate committees and the House intelligence committee.

Nunes has separately signed off on subpoenas that sought the banking records of Fusion GPS, the political research company behind a dossier of allegations about Trump's connections to Russia. A lawyer for the company said in a statement Tuesday the subpoena was "overly broad" and without any legitimate purposes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Oct 16, 2017] Washington Monthly Don't Be Afraid of Steve Bannon by David Atkins

Economic nationalism in key ideas is close to Mussolini version of corporatism. It is about the alliance of state with large corporation but of less favorable to large corporations terms then under neoliberalism, which is a flavor of corporatism as well, but extremely favorable to the interests of transactionals.
So grossly simplifying, this is Mussolini version of corporatism (Make Italy Great Again), minus foreign wars, minus ethnic component (replacing it with more modern "cultural nationalism" agenda).
Bannon is definitely overrated. It is jobs that matter and he has no real plan. Relying on tax cutting and deregulation is not a plan. In this sense, yes, he is a paper tiger. And not a real nationalist, but some kind of castrated variety.
One thing that plays into Bannon hands in the DemoRats (neoliberal Democrats led by Hillary Clinton) were completely discredited during the last elections.
Notable quotes:
"... But his statements show that it's all bluster and no real strategy. Democrats seem poised to take back Congress precisely because of Republican extremism, not because institutional Republicans are inadequately racist and nationalist. ..."
"... Like Karl Rove before him, Steven Bannon is a paper tiger. ..."
Oct 16, 2017 | washingtonmonthly.com

There is a tendency on the left to overestimate the abilities of conservative campaign gurus and spinmeisters after a bitter defeat. In the aughts, Karl Rove was seen as the Svengali mastermind of Republican politics, a nefarious force smarter and more cunning than all the left's braintrust put together. It turned out not to be true. Karl Rove didn't have "the math" and never really did: Rove mostly got lucky by a combination of butterfly ballots in Florida, and happening to hold power during a terrorist attack that saw Democrats cowed into submission rather than holding the president and his team accountable for their failure to protect the country.

Steve Bannon is taking on a similar mystique for some. But Bannon is no more special than Rove...

... ... ...

Bannon is going to war " with the GOP establishment, even going so far as to countermand Trump's own endorsement in the Alabama Senate race and force the president to back a loser.

But his statements show that it's all bluster and no real strategy. Democrats seem poised to take back Congress precisely because of Republican extremism, not because institutional Republicans are inadequately racist and nationalist.

And his prediction to the Values Voter Summit that Trump will win 400 electoral votes in 2020 is simply preposterous on its face. It's no better than even odds that Trump will even finish out his term, much less sweep to a Reaganesque landslide in three years. During the same speech, Bannon quipped a line destined to be fodder for the inevitable 2018 campaign commercials accusing Trump of actively blowing up the ACA exchanges and driving up premiums in a bid to kill the program.

Like Karl Rove before him, Steven Bannon is a paper tiger. Democrats need only muster courage, conviction and hard work to teach him the same lesson they taught Rove in 2006.

David Atkins is a writer, activist and research professional living in Santa Barbara. He is a contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal and president of The Pollux Group, a qualitative research firm.

[Oct 15, 2017] New McCarthyism Targets Trump by John V. Walsh

I thought the same way as John in January 2017. We both were definitely wrong. As were many people who voted for Trump in a hope to block ascendance of neocon warmonger Hillary Clinton to power. Now it is unclear whether Hillary Clinton would be so disastrous in foreign policy as Trump or slightly less so.
The period when Trump was at least formally ant-war is firmly in the past now and probably ended with inauguration. In April Trump folded to neocons and destroyed his anti-war credentials with Tomahawk salvo in Syria. Instead of fighting "the Washington swap" as he promised to his voters, he became a part of the swamp. In August Trump himself emerged as a bona-fide warmonger stoking the tension with North Korea. And in October he decertified Iran deal.
Notable quotes:
"... The implications of this move are, arguably, breathtaking. Trump treated Putin as his ally, not as a hated adversary. And he treated Obama and the bipartisan foreign policy elite of Washington as his adversaries, not his allies -- a move that makes perfect sense if Trump's desire is to rein in the War Party's New Cold War and to strive for a New Détente with Russia. ..."
"... If the main enemy is those who are stoking the New Cold War and risking worse, then Trump has placed himself squarely against these war hawks. And stop to consider for a moment who these folks are. Besides President Obama and Hillary Clinton, they represent a full-blown armchair army: neocons, liberal interventionists, the mainstream media, various Soros-funded "non-governmental organizations," virtually all the important think tanks, the leadership of both major parties, and the CIA and the other U.S. intelligence agencies. This array of Official Washington's power elite has been working 24/7 at demonizing Putin and stoking tensions with nuclear-armed Russia. Trump took on all of them on with his tweet! ..."
"... As Trump looks for new allies in pursuit of a New Détente and a relaxation of U.S.-Russian tensions, Putin is foremost among them. Thus, in the struggle for peace, Trump has drawn new lines, and they cross national borders. Not since Ronald Reagan embraced Mikhail Gorbachev or Richard Nixon went to China have we seen a development like this. In this new battle to reduce tensions between nuclear powers, Trump has shown considerable courage, taking on a wide range of attackers. ..."
Jan 04, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

... ... ...

When President Obama expelled Russian diplomats over the hysterical and unproven accusation of Russia "hacking the election," Russian President Vladimir Putin refused to be drawn into a petty squabble, saying he would delay any response until Donald Trump assumed office. Instead Putin invited American diplomats and their families in Moscow to join the official holiday celebrations in the Kremlin.

Then came the shock that shook Official Washington: President-elect Trump, in the form of a tweet heard round the world, wrote: "Great move on delay (by V. Putin) -- I always knew he was very smart!"

And just to be sure that everyone saw it, Trump "pinned" the tweet which means it is the first thing seen by viewers of his account. This was a first use of "pinning" for Trump. And to be doubly sure, he posted it on Instagram as well. This was no spontaneous midnight outburst but a very deliberate action taken on Friday noon, Dec. 30, the day after Obama had issued his retaliation order.

The implications of this move are, arguably, breathtaking. Trump treated Putin as his ally, not as a hated adversary. And he treated Obama and the bipartisan foreign policy elite of Washington as his adversaries, not his allies -- a move that makes perfect sense if Trump's desire is to rein in the War Party's New Cold War and to strive for a New Détente with Russia.

If the main enemy is those who are stoking the New Cold War and risking worse, then Trump has placed himself squarely against these war hawks. And stop to consider for a moment who these folks are. Besides President Obama and Hillary Clinton, they represent a full-blown armchair army: neocons, liberal interventionists, the mainstream media, various Soros-funded "non-governmental organizations," virtually all the important think tanks, the leadership of both major parties, and the CIA and the other U.S. intelligence agencies. This array of Official Washington's power elite has been working 24/7 at demonizing Putin and stoking tensions with nuclear-armed Russia. Trump took on all of them on with his tweet!

Putin as Ally Against the War Party

As Trump looks for new allies in pursuit of a New Détente and a relaxation of U.S.-Russian tensions, Putin is foremost among them. Thus, in the struggle for peace, Trump has drawn new lines, and they cross national borders. Not since Ronald Reagan embraced Mikhail Gorbachev or Richard Nixon went to China have we seen a development like this. In this new battle to reduce tensions between nuclear powers, Trump has shown considerable courage, taking on a wide range of attackers.

Later that afternoon, Maya Kosoff writing for Vanity Fair put out an article entitled "Twitter Melts Down over 'Treason' After Trump Praises Putin." The first batch of such tweets came from "journalists and other foreign policy experts," the next from Evan McMullin, the former CIA officer who tried to draw off Republican votes from Trump in the general election, who tweeted: "To be clear, @realDonaldTrump is siding with America's greatest adversary even as it attacks our democracy. Never grow desensitized to this."

Finally came the predictable rash of tweets calling Trump's words "treasonous" or "seditious." In response, Team Trump refused to issue a "clarification," saying instead that Trump's words spoke for themselves.

As stunning as Trump's tweet was in many ways, it was in other ways entirely predictable. Despite the mainstream media's scorn and Hillary Clinton's mocking him as Putin's "puppet," Trump has held firm to his promise that he will seek peace with Russia and look for areas of cooperation such as fighting terrorism.

So, even when Trump's Russia comments appeared to cost him politically, he stuck with them, suggesting that he believes that this détente is important. The rule of thumb is that if a politician says something that will win votes, you do not know whether it is conviction or opportunism. But if a politician says something that should lose her or him votes, then you can bet it is heartfelt.

Trump was bashed over his resistance to the New Cold War both during the Republican primaries when many GOP leaders were extremely hawkish on Russia and during the general election when the Clinton campaign sought to paint him as some sort of Manchurian Candidate. Even his vice presidential candidate Mike Pence staked out a more hawkish position than Trump.

Trump stood by his more dovish attitude though it presented few electoral advantages and many negatives. By that test, he appears to be sincere. So, his latest opening to Putin was entirely predictable.

A Choice of Peace or War

What is troubling, however, is that some Americans who favor peace hate Trump so much that they recoil from speaking out in his defense over his "treasonous" tweet though they may privately agree with it. Some progressives are uncomfortable with the mainstream's descent into crude McCarthyism but don't want to say anything favorable about Trump.

After all, a vote for President is either thumbs up or thumbs down -- nothing in between -- though voters may like or dislike some policy prescriptions of one candidate and other positions of another candidate. And progressives could list many reasons to not vote for Trump.

But a presidential administration is multi-issued -- not all or none. One can disagree with a president on some issues and agree on others. For instance, many progressives are outraged over Trump's harsh immigration policies but agree with him on scrapping the TPP trade deal.

In other words, there is no reason why those who claim to be for peace should not back Trump on his more peaceful approach toward Putin and Russia, even if they disdain his tough talk about fighting terrorism. That is the reality of politics.

What I've discovered is that many progressives -- as well as many on the Right -- who oppose endless war and disdain empire will tell you in whispers that they do support Trump's attempt at Détente 2.0, though they doubt he will succeed. In the meantime, they are keeping their heads down and staying quiet.

But clearly Trump's success depends on how much support he gets -- as weighed against how much grief he gets. By lacking the courage to defend Trump's "treasonous tweet," those who want to rein in the warmongers may be missing a rare opportunity. If those who agree with Trump on this issue stay silent, it may be a lost opportunity as well.

John V. Walsh, an anti-war activist, can be reached at John.Endwar@gmail.com

[Oct 15, 2017] Is Trump the Heir to Reagan? by Patrick J. Buchanan

Bastard neoliberalism by Trump (and Bannon) are inconsistent. You can't be half pregnant -- to be a neoliberal (promote deregulation, regressive taxes) and be anti-immigration and anti-globalist. In this sense words Trump is doomed: neoliberal are determined to get rid of him.
Reagan was a former governor of California before becoming the President. hardly a complete outsider. Trump was an outsider more similar to Barak Obama in a sense that he has no political record and can ride on backlash against neoliberal globalization, especially outsourcing and offshoring and unlimited immigration, as well as ride anti-globalism sentiments and popular protest against foreign wars. Only quickly betraying those promised afterward. Much like king of "bait and switch" Obama .
Notable quotes:
"... Among the signature issues of Trumpian populism is economic nationalism, a new trade policy designed to prosper Americans first. ..."
"... Reagan preached free trade, but when Harley-Davidson was in danger of going under because of Japanese dumping of big bikes, he slammed a 50 percent tariff on Japanese motorcycles. Though a free trader by philosophy, Reagan was at heart an economic patriot. ..."
"... He accepted an amnesty written by Congress for 3 million people in the country illegally, but Reagan also warned prophetically that a country that can't control its borders isn't really a country any more. ..."
"... Reagan and Trump both embraced the Eisenhower doctrine of "peace through strength." And, like Ike, both built up the military. ..."
"... Both also believed in cutting tax rates to stimulate the economy and balance the federal budget through rising revenues rather than cutting programs like Medicare and Social Security. ..."
"... Both believed in engaging with the superpower rival of the day -- the Soviet Union in Reagan's day, Russia and China in Trump's time. ..."
"... As Ingraham writes, Trumpism is rooted as much in the populist-nationalist campaigns of the 1990s, and post-Cold War issues as economic patriotism, border security, immigration control and "America First," as it is in the Reaganite issues of the 1980s. ..."
"... Coming up on one year since his election, Trump is besieged by a hostile press and united Democratic Party. This city hates him. While his executive actions are impressive, his legislative accomplishments are not. His approval ratings have lingered in the mid-30s. He has lost half a dozen senior members of his original White House staff, clashed openly with his own Cabinet and is at war with GOP leaders on the Hill. ..."
"... And both are fans of the tinkle-down theory of economics, where the govt cuts taxes on the rich and increases them on the poor and middle class, since the rich will do a better job of spreading around the extra money they get to keep, thereby stoking the economy, supposedly. Or as 'Poppy' Bush called it, "voodoo economics." ..."
"... It's a failed regressive tax program that only creates more billionaires while the number of poor swells, due to an influx of the steadily declining middle-class. ..."
"... Bizarrely, comically ignorant of reality. Though the really bizarre thing is the degree to which the same obtusely ignorant world-view permeates the establishment media and the political establishment. ..."
"... There is arguably a fundamental difference here, that in Reagan's day there was a clear ideological threat from the Soviet Union, which was still (albeit increasingly nominally) in the grip of an aggressively destabilising universalist ideology, communism. Reagan's opposition to the Soviet Union was very much bound up in resistance to that ideology, even if that resistance was often as much a pretext as a real motive. ..."
"... Today neither Russia nor China subscribes to any such universalist ideology. It is the US, today, that seeks to impose its liberal democratic political correctness ideologies and its manufactured taboos upon the world and which harasses and menaces any country that tries to live differently. ..."
"... As for Trump supposedly being wrapped up in "America First", that's particularly comical this week as he demonstrates that his idea of "America First" is acting as Israel's bitch, and as he makes ever louder noises about undermining the Iran deal – a policy as clearly counterproductive to any interest plausibly attributable to the American nation (as opposed to the identity lobbies that run the US government politics and media) as it is self-evidently in the self-perceived interests of the Israel Lobby and the foreign country that lobby serves. ..."
"... Trump is an egotistical jackass, nothing else. A liar from the git-go, and a completely ineffective leader, ideologue and President. He's not going to last much longer. I will take note that he did, temporarily, save us from the madness of the Hillary moiety. But, he has molted into a complete fuckup. ..."
"... Goodbye, good riddance. Let's get ready to deal with the next wacko -- Pence. ..."
"... you're forgetting that Trump wasn't a war monger while on the campaign trail, far from it. Which is the only reason he won the election. In other words he fooled just enough people (like you and me) long enough to get elected. Same thing happened with peace candidate, and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Hussein Obama. It's clearly a rigged process. ..."
Oct 15, 2017 | www.unz.com

... ... ...

Both men were outsiders, and neither a career politician. Raised Democratic, Reagan had been a Hollywood actor, union leader and voice of GE, before running for governor of California.

Trump is out of Queens, a builder-businessman in a Democratic city whose Republican credentials were suspect at best when he rode down that elevator at Trump Tower. Both took on the Republican establishment of their day, and humiliated it.

Among the signature issues of Trumpian populism is economic nationalism, a new trade policy designed to prosper Americans first.

Reagan preached free trade, but when Harley-Davidson was in danger of going under because of Japanese dumping of big bikes, he slammed a 50 percent tariff on Japanese motorcycles. Though a free trader by philosophy, Reagan was at heart an economic patriot.

He accepted an amnesty written by Congress for 3 million people in the country illegally, but Reagan also warned prophetically that a country that can't control its borders isn't really a country any more.

Reagan and Trump both embraced the Eisenhower doctrine of "peace through strength." And, like Ike, both built up the military.

Both also believed in cutting tax rates to stimulate the economy and balance the federal budget through rising revenues rather than cutting programs like Medicare and Social Security.

Both believed in engaging with the superpower rival of the day -- the Soviet Union in Reagan's day, Russia and China in Trump's time.

And both were regarded in this capital city with a cosmopolitan condescension bordering on contempt. "An amiable dunce" said a Great Society Democrat of Reagan.

The awesome victories Reagan rolled up, a 44-state landslide in 1980 and a 49-state landslide in 1984, induced some second thoughts among Beltway elites about whether they truly spoke for America. Trump's sweep of the primaries and startling triumph in the Electoral College caused the same consternation.

However, as the Great Depression, New Deal and World War II represented a continental divide in history between what came before and what came after, so, too, did the end of the Cold War and the Reagan era.

As Ingraham writes, Trumpism is rooted as much in the populist-nationalist campaigns of the 1990s, and post-Cold War issues as economic patriotism, border security, immigration control and "America First," as it is in the Reaganite issues of the 1980s.

Which bring us to the present, with our billionaire president, indeed, at the barricades.

The differences between Trump in his first year and Reagan in 1981 are stark. Reagan had won a landslide. The attempt on his life in April and the grace with which he conducted himself had earned him a place in the hearts of his countrymen. He not only showed spine in giving the air traffic controllers 48 hours to get back to work, and then discharging them when they defied him, he enacted the largest tax cut in U.S. history with the aid of boll weevil Democrats in the House.

Coming up on one year since his election, Trump is besieged by a hostile press and united Democratic Party. This city hates him. While his executive actions are impressive, his legislative accomplishments are not. His approval ratings have lingered in the mid-30s. He has lost half a dozen senior members of his original White House staff, clashed openly with his own Cabinet and is at war with GOP leaders on the Hill.

Greg Bacon , Website October 13, 2017 at 10:24 am GMT

And both are fans of the tinkle-down theory of economics, where the govt cuts taxes on the rich and increases them on the poor and middle class, since the rich will do a better job of spreading around the extra money they get to keep, thereby stoking the economy, supposedly. Or as 'Poppy' Bush called it, "voodoo economics."

It's a failed regressive tax program that only creates more billionaires while the number of poor swells, due to an influx of the steadily declining middle-class.

The only parts of the economy it helps are the builders of luxury mansions, antique and pricey art dealers, and the makers of luxury autos and private jets.

Randal , October 13, 2017 at 12:24 pm GMT
@Mark James

when the US Government is trying to prevent alien forces from interfering in our electoral process

Bizarrely, comically ignorant of reality. Though the really bizarre thing is the degree to which the same obtusely ignorant world-view permeates the establishment media and the political establishment.

Two pieces here at Unz you ought to read, and fully take on board the implications of, if you want to even begin the process of grasping reality, rather than living in the manufactured fantasy you appear to inhabit at the moment:

Randal , October 13, 2017 at 12:53 pm GMT

Both believed in engaging with the superpower rival of the day -- the Soviet Union in Reagan's day, Russia and China in Trump's time.

There is arguably a fundamental difference here, that in Reagan's day there was a clear ideological threat from the Soviet Union, which was still (albeit increasingly nominally) in the grip of an aggressively destabilising universalist ideology, communism. Reagan's opposition to the Soviet Union was very much bound up in resistance to that ideology, even if that resistance was often as much a pretext as a real motive.

Today neither Russia nor China subscribes to any such universalist ideology. It is the US, today, that seeks to impose its liberal democratic political correctness ideologies and its manufactured taboos upon the world and which harasses and menaces any country that tries to live differently.

As for Trump supposedly being wrapped up in "America First", that's particularly comical this week as he demonstrates that his idea of "America First" is acting as Israel's bitch, and as he makes ever louder noises about undermining the Iran deal – a policy as clearly counterproductive to any interest plausibly attributable to the American nation (as opposed to the identity lobbies that run the US government politics and media) as it is self-evidently in the self-perceived interests of the Israel Lobby and the foreign country that lobby serves.

Here's the German government being unusually blunt yesterday about the stupidity of the Trump regime's seeming plans in this regard:

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel on Thursday said that any move by US President Donald Trump's administration to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal would drive a wedge between Europe and the US.

"It's imperative that Europe sticks together on this issue," Gabriel told Germany's RND newspaper group. "We also have to tell the Americans that their behavior on the Iran issue will drive us Europeans into a common position with Russia and China against the USA."

http://www.dw.com/en/germany-warns-donald-trump-against-decertifying-iran-deal/a-40933703

It's difficult to know whether the likes of Gabriel actually believe all the boilerplate nonsense they talk about a supposed Iranian nuclear program – the real reason the European nations want the deal to continue is that it stopped them having to pretend to believe all the outright lies the US told about Iran, and having to kowtow t0 costly and counterproductive sanctions against Iran that did immense general harm for the benefit only of Israel and Saudi Arabia and their US stooges.

The US pulling out of the deal would at least bring that issue of US dishonesty on Iran and past European appeasement of it to a head, I suppose.

John Jeremiah Smith , October 13, 2017 at 4:10 pm GMT
Trump is an egotistical jackass, nothing else. A liar from the git-go, and a completely ineffective leader, ideologue and President. He's not going to last much longer. I will take note that he did, temporarily, save us from the madness of the Hillary moiety. But, he has molted into a complete fuckup.

Goodbye, good riddance. Let's get ready to deal with the next wacko -- Pence. Assuming they won't kill Pence with the same bomb.

YetAnotherAnon , October 13, 2017 at 4:40 pm GMT
@Mark James

"As for Trump I think it's crystal clear his campaign involved the Russians in our election. "

It's crystal clear that some people will believe any crap that The Media Formerly Known As Hillary's broadcast.

reiner Tor , October 13, 2017 at 4:48 pm GMT
@John Jeremiah Smith

I will take note that he did, temporarily, save us from the madness of the Hillary moiety.

Often I feel like it'd be better if Hillary did the same insane policies. It's always worse when our guy does something wrong, and better when the hated enemy does it.

Hillary was a danger that she would start WW3 in Syria, but I don't think we can be certain she'd have started it. Given how risk-averse women are in general, I think the only issue was whether the Russians could've made it clear that shooting at Russian soldiers would mean war with Russia. And I think even Hillary's advisers would've blinked.

On the other hand, I don't think Hillary would be nearly as insane on North Korea or Iran. As a bonus, she would be accelerating the demise of the US, by introducing ever more insane domestic policies, things like gay, transsexual and female quotas in US Special Forces. This would ultimately be a good thing, destroying or weakening US power which is currently only used to evil ends in the world.

reiner Tor , October 13, 2017 at 5:07 pm GMT
@Randal

Unfortunately I can see Orbán and the Poles torpedoing a common EU stance. I'm sure that will be the price for Netanyahu's meeting with the V4 leaders a few months ago.

reiner Tor , October 13, 2017 at 5:15 pm GMT
I think one good thing would be if US conservatives stopped their Reagan worship. He was certainly not a bad person, but he allowed the amnesty to happen, couldn't stop the sanctions on Apartheid South Africa, didn't (or couldn't?) do anything against the MLK cult becoming a state religion, and started the free trade and tax cuts cults, he's also responsible for promoting the neocons to positions of power. So overall he was a mixed bag from a nationalist conservative viewpoint.
Chris Mallory , October 13, 2017 at 5:19 pm GMT
@Mark James

Private citizens are forbidden to ask for help from a foreign country, when the US Government is trying to prevent alien forces from interfering in our electoral process.

You forgot the Clintons, Bush, McCain, Romney, and Obama. China and Israel worked on behalf of all five of them, even though three of them lost

Randal , October 13, 2017 at 5:33 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

Yes, that's quite possible, but a common EU stance is not really all that important. What really matters is how far the Germans, and to a lesser extent the less relevant but still big European nations such as France and Italy and the more subservient US tool, the UK, are prepared to continue to kowtow to US and Israeli dishonesty on Iran.

All the signs seem to be that repudiating the deal and trying to return to the days of the aggressive and counter-productive US-imposed sanctions will be a step too far for many of those players.

As a bonus, she would be accelerating the demise of the US, by introducing ever more insane domestic policies, things like gay, transsexual and female quotas in US Special Forces. This would ultimately be a good thing, destroying or weakening US power which is currently only used to evil ends in the world.

Actually I suspect that repudiating the JCPOA, whether openly or by de facto breach, will go immensely farther, and much faster, towards destroying practical US influence and therefore power globally than any of those domestic policies, at least in the short run.

You can see that Trump is at least dimly aware of that likelihood from the way he keeps bottling and postponing the decision, despite his clearly evident and desperate desire to please his pro-Israeli and anti-Iranian advisers and instincts.

John Jeremiah Smith , October 13, 2017 at 6:13 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

On the other hand, I don't think Hillary would be nearly as insane on North Korea or Iran.

An election of Hillary meant open borders. That is official, rapid and deliberate national suicide. All foreign policy issues pale before such a horror.

reiner Tor , October 13, 2017 at 6:43 pm GMT
@John Jeremiah Smith

1) There's a chance foreign policy insanity starts a nuclear war, in which case all domestic policy issues will pale before such horror.

2) The US already has de facto open borders. Why does it matter if it becomes majority nonwhite in 30 or just 20 years?

3) For non-American whites, it's better the earlier the US sphere disintegrates. I bet you it's better for American whites as well. As long as this political/cultural center holds, the rot cannot be stopped.

The Alarmist , October 13, 2017 at 6:55 pm GMT
I watched the movie Independence Day last night: Can we have that guy for President after Trump, or do we have to have an obligatory Democrat (Chelsea Clinton?) President for the next 8 years?
German_reader , October 13, 2017 at 6:57 pm GMT
@John Jeremiah Smith

An election of Hillary meant open borders. That is official, rapid and deliberate national suicide. All foreign policy issues pale before such a horror.

That's understandable, but obviously the calculation must be somewhat different from a non-US perspective. Given how strongly many white Americans are in favor of pro-war policies and mindless Israel worship (how many US blacks or Hispanics care about Israel or confronting Iran?), I'm not even sure nationalists in Europe should really lament the Hispanicization of the US. It might at least have a positive effect in restricting US interventionism and eroding US power. The sooner the US is unable to continue with its self-appointed role as a global redeemer nation, the better.

RadicalCenter , October 13, 2017 at 8:36 pm GMT
@Mark James

Glad you think it's "crystal clear." How about evidence?

nsa , October 13, 2017 at 9:10 pm GMT
History repeats first as tragedy (crushing the spoiled unionized mostly white air traffic controllers), then as farce (crushing the spoiled unionized mostly afro NFL jocks). Reagan was at least an American Firster. Trumpenstein is an obvious traitorous Izzie Firster, with little concern for the so-called deplorables except to convert them into deployables at the service of his jooie sponsors. Maybe Paddy should have titled his screed "Heir to Begin, not Reagan"?
Aren Haich , October 13, 2017 at 9:12 pm GMT
Pat Buchanan points out that " it is far more likely that a major war would do for the Trump presidency and his place in history what it did for Presidents Wilson, Truman, LBJ and George W. Bush."

As for President Trump; Let us hope that war DOES NOT BECOME "The Last Refuge Of This Scoundrel"!

John Gruskos , October 13, 2017 at 9:37 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

Orban has been critical of regime change wars.

John Gruskos , October 13, 2017 at 9:43 pm GMT
@German_reader

Rubio was far more of a war-monger than Trump, and he won the primaries in the majority non-White jurisdictions (Washington DC, Puerto Rico).

If only non-White votes were counted, Hillary Clinton would have been elected unanimously by the electoral college, and Hillary is more of a war-monger than Trump is.

The few reliable voices for foreign policy sanity in congress, such as Senator Rand Paul and Congressmen Walter Jones, John Duncan, Thomas Massie, and Justin Amash, represent overwhelmingly White, Protestant, old-stock American districts.

German_reader , October 13, 2017 at 10:39 pm GMT
@John Gruskos

Rubio was far more of a war-monger than Trump, and he won the primaries in the majority non-White jurisdictions (Washington DC, Puerto Rico).

Maybe, but is there any data indicating many blacks in Washington DC actually voted in the Republican primaries? Why would they when most of them are a solid Democrat voting block? I'd guess Rubio got his votes from white elites in DC.
As for Puerto Rico, I didn't know they actually have primaries, seems odd given they don't vote in US presidential elections.

Hillary is more of a war-monger than Trump is.

Hillary was horrible all around, and I agree she might well have been disastrous as president given her dangerous proposals for no-fly zones in Syria, and the potential of conflict with Russia this entailed. But I'm no longer sure Trump is really better regarding foreign policy. His behaviour on the North Korea issue is irresponsible imo, and his willingness to wreck the nuclear deal with Iran at the behest of neoconservatives and Zionist donors like Sheldon Adelson is a big fat minus in my view. Sorry, but I think you guys who hoped for something different have all been (neo-)conned.

Jonathan Mason , October 13, 2017 at 11:42 pm GMT
Reagan said: My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.

Trump said: We will totally destroy North Korea if the United States is forced to defend itself or its allies.

Reagan was a joker, Trump is a wildcard.

Carroll Price , October 14, 2017 at 1:51 am GMT
The only similarities I see between Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump is that both live (lived) in a sort of la-la land, totally out of touch with reality. The only difference between them is that Reagan had sensible people around him (like Pat Buchannan) who wrote good speeches and make good decisions which he took full credit for. Trump, on the other hand delivers abbreviated, one-sentence speeches via Twitter while surrounded by mental midgets with military minds.
Carroll Price , October 14, 2017 at 2:08 am GMT
@Randal

There is arguably a fundamental difference here, that in Reagan's day there was a clear ideological threat from the Soviet Union, which was still (albeit increasingly nominally) in the grip of an aggressively destabilising universalist ideology, communism

Not really Randal. The Cold War was an invented war like the War on Terror that replaced just in the nick of time, and for the same purpose, which is to justify unlimited defense budgets necessary to sustain a bloated MIC that would not otherwise exist.

Carroll Price , October 14, 2017 at 2:35 am GMT
@John Gruskos

Rubio was far more of a war-monger than Trump, and he won the primaries in the majority non-White jurisdictions (Washington DC, Puerto Rico).

but you're forgetting that Trump wasn't a war monger while on the campaign trail, far from it. Which is the only reason he won the election. In other words he fooled just enough people (like you and me) long enough to get elected. Same thing happened with peace candidate, and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Hussein Obama. It's clearly a rigged process.

Randal , October 14, 2017 at 7:48 am GMT
@Carroll Price

Not really Randal. The Cold War was an invented war like the War on Terror that replaced just in the nick of time, and for the same purpose, which is to justify unlimited defense budgets necessary to sustain a bloated MIC that would not otherwise exist.

Well, yes and no. In both cases. It really is more complicated than that.

KA , October 14, 2017 at 11:18 am GMT
Reagan didn't undo Arab Israel Camp David Peace Treaty He didn't keep the Israeli side and undo the Egyptian side of the American obligation . He kept both.

Trump is dangerous malevolent anti-American and anti- anything that hurts his ego or pocket . He has malcontent displaced sycophants as inner circle supporters who want a piece in the pie denied to them by the establishment .

Here is a quote from antiwar -"In other words, it's all about the war that Trump and his still-loyal lieutenant Steve Bannon, assisted by UN ambassador Nikki Haley, have declared on the "deep state."

Also, Trump and Bannon aren't really interested in draining the foreign policy swamp in DC. They simply want to install their own cronies who will ensure that war and globalization benefit them rather than Kissinger and his ilk. It's a shell game designed to fool Trump's base, but the rest of the world has kept its eye on the ball." http://original.antiwar.com/feffer/2017/10/13/trump-signaling-unprecedented-right-turn-foreign-policy/

This war between elites have been predicted by a CT professor in an article in 2016 , to get more serious and dangerous by 2020 . The fights among elites are not new but another pathway an empire takes additionally to the final fate of the destruction from within

KA , October 14, 2017 at 11:49 am GMT
@KA

"A large class of disgruntled elite-wannabes, often well-educated and highly capable, has been denied access to elite positions."

Another visible sign of increasing intra-elite competition and political polarization is the fragmentation of political parties

cliodynamic research on past societies demonstrates that elite overproduction is by far the most important of the three main historical drivers of social instability and political violence (see Secular Cycles for this analysis).

But the other two factors in the model, popular immiseration (the stagnation and decline of living standards) and declining fiscal health of the state (resulting from falling state revenues and rising expenses) are also important contributors.

: https://phys.org/news/2017-01-social-instability-lies.html#jCp

polskijoe , October 14, 2017 at 1:04 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

Ideally Europe would be strong together, without US and more sane policies on morals and immigration.

Yes v4 is connected to CC, Neocon, Zios.

While Polands stance on immigration, and trying to hold on to old values is good, problem is depending on US too much, and being stuck between Russia and Germany which would isolate it from Europe in some ways. Obviously Poles are not uniform, views on US, Russia, Germany, Ukraine are all over the place. I wish Poland was just European (in politics) but the US-EU connection is still strong.

polskijoe , October 14, 2017 at 1:16 pm GMT
Commenting on US presidents. Presidents are puppets. All of them. Modern leaders in Western world are unlikable. Reagan at least had some balance, had some Catholic and Paleocon involvement. It wasnt all Neocons and Zios. Im quite sure Reagan (and his dad), people like Buchanan had connections to groups like Knights Malta or Knights Colombus. Cant prove it though. Kennedy was KC.

Today Neocon/Zionist influence is even stronger. Trump policies on NK and Iran are nuts. At best a war is avoided.

On the other side you have Clintons, Obamas. They would destroy the US, and have similar policies because again they are puppets. Clinton would likely be involved in Syria, just like Obama was.

German_reader , October 14, 2017 at 3:02 pm GMT
@polskijoe

While Polands stance on immigration, and trying to hold on to old values is good, problem is depending on US too much

Yes, that's a problem, and I think Polish national conservatives are somewhat in denial about what the modern US stands for the "values" pushed by the US establishment today are incompatible with the Polish right's vision for Poland (e.g. conservative values in sexual morality – no homo-lobbyism and transgender nonsense -, strong public role of Catholicism, restrictive and selective immigration policies that keep out Muslims).

I can understand to some degree why the Polish right is so pro-US, given history and apprehensions about Germany and Russia, but they should at least be aware that alliance with the US could have a rather pernicious influence on Poland itself.

[Oct 15, 2017] Two Cheers For Trump's Immigration Proposal Especially "Interior Enforcement" - The Unz Review

Notable quotes:
"... In the 1970s a programming shop was legacy American, with only a thin scattering of foreigners like myself. Twenty years later programming had been considerably foreignized , thanks to the H-1B visa program. Now, twenty years further on, I believe legacy-American programmers are an endangered species. ..."
"... So a well-paid and mentally rewarding corner of the middle-class job market has been handed over to foreigners -- for the sole reason, of course, that they are cheaper than Americans. The desire for cheap labor explains 95 percent of U.S. immigration policy. The other five percent is sentimentality. ..."
"... Now they are brazen in their crime: you have heard, I'm sure, those stories about American workers being laid off, with severance packages conditional on their helping train their cheaper foreign replacements. That's our legal ..."
"... A "merit-based" points system won't fix that. It will quickly and easily be gamed by employers to lay waste yet more middle-class occupational zones for Americans. If it was restricted to the higher levels of "merit," we would just be importing a professional overclass of foreigners, most East and South Asians, to direct the labors of less-meritorious legacy Americans. How would that ..."
"... Measured by the number of workers per year, the largest guestworker program in the entire immigration system is now student visas through the Optional Practical Training program (OPT). Last year over 154,000 aliens were approved to work on student visas. By comparison, 114,000 aliens entered the workforce on H-1B guestworker visas. ..."
"... A History of the 'Optional Practical Training' Guestworker Program , ..."
"... on all sorts of subjects ..."
"... for all kinds of outlets. (This ..."
"... no longer includes ..."
"... National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and ..."
"... and several other ..."
"... . He has had two books published by VDARE.com com: ..."
"... ( also available in Kindle ) and ..."
"... Has it ever occurred to anyone other than me that the cost associated with foreign workers using our schools and hospitals and pubic services for free, is more than off-set by the cheap price being paid for grocery store items like boneless chicken breast, grapes, apples, peaches, lettuce etc, which would otherwise be prohibitively expensive even for the wealthy? ..."
Oct 15, 2017 | www.unz.com

Headliner of the week for immigration patriots was President Trump's immigration reform proposal , which he sent to Congress for their perusal last Sunday. The proposal is a very detailed 70-point list under three main headings:

Border Security (27 items) Interior Enforcement (39 items) Merit-Based Immigration System (four items)

Item-wise, the biggest heading there is the second one, "Interior Enforcement." That's very welcome.

Of course we need improved border security so that people don't enter our country without permission. That comes under the first heading. An equally pressing problem, though, is the millions of foreigners who are living and working here, and using our schools and hospitals and public services, who should not be here.

The President's proposals on interior enforcement cover all bases: Sanctuary cities , visa overstays , law-enforcement resources , compulsory E-Verify , more deportations , improved visa security.

This is a major, wonderful improvement in national policy, when you consider that less than a year ago the White House and Justice Department were run by committed open-borders fanatics. I thank the President and his staff for having put so much work into such a detailed proposal for restoring American sovereignty and the rights of American workers and taxpayers.

That said, here come the quibbles.

That third heading, "Merit-Based Immigration System," with just four items, needs work. Setting aside improvements on visa controls under the other headings, this is really the only part of the proposal that covers legal immigration. In my opinion, it does so imperfectly.

There's some good meat in there, mind. Three of the four items -- numbers one, three, and four -- got a fist-pump from me:

cutting down chain migration by limiting it to spouse and dependent children; eliminating the Diversity Visa Lottery ; and limiting the number of refugees admitted, assuming this means severely cutting back on the numbers, preferably all the way to zero.

Good stuff. Item two, however, is a problem. Quote:

Establish a new, points-based system for the awarding of Green Cards (lawful permanent residents) based on factors that allow individuals to successfully assimilate and support themselves financially.

sounds OK, bringing in talented, well-educated, well-socialized people, rather than what the late Lee Kuan Yew referred to as " fruit-pickers ." Forgive me if I have a rather jaundiced view of this merit-based approach.

For most of my adult life I made a living as a computer programmer. I spent four years doing this in the U.S.A. through the mid-1970s. Then I came back in the late 1980s and worked at the same trade here through the 1990s. (Pictured right–my actual H-1B visa ) That gave me two clear snapshots twenty years apart, of this particular corner of skilled middle-class employment in America.

In the 1970s a programming shop was legacy American, with only a thin scattering of foreigners like myself. Twenty years later programming had been considerably foreignized , thanks to the H-1B visa program. Now, twenty years further on, I believe legacy-American programmers are an endangered species.

So a well-paid and mentally rewarding corner of the middle-class job market has been handed over to foreigners -- for the sole reason, of course, that they are cheaper than Americans. The desire for cheap labor explains 95 percent of U.S. immigration policy. The other five percent is sentimentality.

On so-called "merit-based immigration," therefore, you can count me a cynic. I have no doubt that American firms could recruit all the computer programmers they need from among our legacy population. They used to do so, forty years ago. Then they discovered how to game the immigration system for cheaper labor.

Now they are brazen in their crime: you have heard, I'm sure, those stories about American workers being laid off, with severance packages conditional on their helping train their cheaper foreign replacements. That's our legal immigration system in a nutshell. It's a cheap-labor racket.

A "merit-based" points system won't fix that. It will quickly and easily be gamed by employers to lay waste yet more middle-class occupational zones for Americans. If it was restricted to the higher levels of "merit," we would just be importing a professional overclass of foreigners, most East and South Asians, to direct the labors of less-meritorious legacy Americans. How would that contribute to social harmony?

With coming up to a third of a billion people, the U.S.A. has all the talent, all the merit , it needs. You might make a case for a handful of certified geniuses like Einstein or worthy dissidents like Solzhenitsyn, but those cases aside, there is no reason at all to have guest-worker programs. They should all be shut down.

Some of these cheap-labor rackets don't even need congressional action to shut them down; it can be done by regulatory change via executive order. The scandalous OPT-visa scam, for example, which brings in cheap workers under the guise of student visas.

Here is John Miano writing about the OPT program last month, quote:

Measured by the number of workers per year, the largest guestworker program in the entire immigration system is now student visas through the Optional Practical Training program (OPT). Last year over 154,000 aliens were approved to work on student visas. By comparison, 114,000 aliens entered the workforce on H-1B guestworker visas.

Because there is no reporting on how long guestworkers stay in the country, we do not know the total number of workers in each category. Nonetheless, the number of approvals for work on student visas has grown by 62 percent over the past four years so their numbers will soon dwarf those on H-1B visas.

The troubling fact is that the OPT program was created entirely through regulation with no authorization from Congress whatsoever. [ A History of the 'Optional Practical Training' Guestworker Program , CIS, September 18, 2017]

End quote. (And a cheery wave of acknowledgement to John Miano here from one of the other seventeen people in the U.S.A. that knows the correct placement of the hyphen in "H-1B.")

Our legal immigration system is addled with these scams. Don't even get me started on the EB-5 investor's visa . It all needs sweeping away.

So for preference I would rewrite that third heading to include, yes, items one, three, and four -- cutting down chain migration, ending the Diversity Visa Lottery, and ending refugee settlement for anyone of less stature than Solzhenitsyn; but then, I'd replace item two with the following:

End all guest-worker programs, with exceptions only for the highest levels of talent and accomplishment, limit one hundred visas per annum .

So much for my amendments to the President's October 8th proposals. There is, though, one glaring omission from that 70-item list. The proposal has no mention at all of birthright citizenship.

have abandoned it . It leads to obstetric tourism : women well-advanced in pregnancy come to the U.S.A. to give birth, knowing that the child will be a U.S. citizen. It is deeply unpopular with Americans , once it's explained to them.

Yes, yes, I know: some constitutional authorities argue that birthright citizenship is implied in the Fourteenth Amendment , although it is certain that the framers of that Amendment did not have foreign tourists or illegal entrants in mind. Other scholars think Congress could legislate against it.

The only way to find out is to have Congress legislate. If the courts strike down the legislation as unconstitutional, let's then frame a constitutional amendment and put it to the people.

Getting rid of birthright citizenship might end up a long and difficult process. We might ultimately fail. The only way to find out is to get the process started . Failure to mention this in the President's proposal is a very glaring omission.

Setting aside that, and the aforementioned reservations about working visas, I give two cheers to the proposal. email him ] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him. ) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books . He has had two books published by VDARE.com com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT ( also available in Kindle ) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013 . (Republished from VDare.com by permission of author or representative)

SimpleHandle > > , October 14, 2017 at 2:56 am GMT

I agree with ending birthright citizenship. But Trump should wait until he can put at least one more strict constitutionalist in the supreme court. There will be a court challenge, and we need judges who can understand that if the 14th Amendment didn't give automatic citizenship to American Indians it doesn't give automatic citizenship to children of Mexican citizens who jumped our border.

Diversity Heretic > > , October 14, 2017 at 5:04 am GMT

@Carroll Price

Insofar as your personal situation is concerned, perhaps you would find yourself less "relatively poor" if you had a job with higher wages.

Diversity Heretic > > , October 14, 2017 at 5:16 am GMT

John's article, it seems to me, ignores the elephant in the room: the DACA colonists. Trump is offering this proposal, more or less, in return for some sort of semi-permanent regularization of their status. Bad trade, in my opinion. Ending DACA and sending those illegals back where they belong will have more real effect on illegal and legal immigration/colonization than all sorts of proposals to be implemented in the future, which can and will be changed by subsequent Administrations and Congresses.

Trump would also be able to drive a much harder bargain with Congress (like maybe a moratorium on any immigration) if he had kept his campaign promise, ended DACA the afternoon of January 20, 2017, and busloads of DACA colonists were being sent south of the Rio Grande.

The best hope for immigration patriots is that the Democrats are so wedded to Open Borders that the entire proposal dies and Trump, in disgust, reenacts Ike's Operation Wetback.

bartok > > , October 14, 2017 at 6:32 am GMT

@Carroll Price

Once all the undocumented workers who are doing all the dirty, nasty jobs Americans refuse to do are run out the country, then what?

White people couldn't possibly thrive without non-Whites! Why, without all of that ballast we'd ascend too near the sun.

Negrolphin Pool > > , October 14, 2017 at 7:53 am GMT

Well, in the real world, things just don't work that way. It's pay me now or pay me later. Once all the undocumented workers who are doing all the dirty, nasty jobs Americans refuse to do are run out the country, then what?

Right, prior to 1965, Americans didn't exist. They had all starved to death because, as everyone knows, no Americans will work to produce food and, even if they did, once Tyson chicken plants stop making 50 percent on capital they just shut down.

If there were no Somalis in Minnesota, even Warren Buffett couldn't afford grapes.

Joe Franklin > > , October 14, 2017 at 12:24 pm GMT

Illegal immigrants picking American produce is a false economy.

Illegal immigrants are subsidized by the taxpayer in terms of public health, education, housing, and welfare.

If businesses didn't have access to cheap and subsidized illegal alien labor, they would be compelled to resort to more farm automation to reduce cost.

Cheap illegal alien labor delays the inevitable use of newer farm automation technologies.

Many Americans would likely prefer a machine touch their food rather than a illegal alien with strange hygiene practices.

In addition, anti-American Democrats and neocons prefer certain kinds of illegal aliens because they bolster their diversity scheme.

Carroll Price > > , October 14, 2017 at 12:27 pm GMT

@Realist "Once all the undocumented workers who are doing all the dirty, nasty jobs Americans refuse to do are run out the country, then what?"

Eliminate welfare...then you'll have plenty of workers. Unfortunately, that train left the station long ago. With or without welfare, there's simply no way soft, spoiled, lazy, over-indulged Americans who have never hit a lick at anything their life, will ever perform manual labor for anyone, including themselves.

Jonathan Mason > > , October 14, 2017 at 2:57 pm GMT

@Randal Probably people other than you have worked out that once their wages are not being continually undercut by cheap and easy immigrant competition, the American working classes will actually be able to earn enough to pay the increased prices for grocery store items, especially as the Americans who, along with machines, will replace those immigrants doing the "jobs Americans won't do" will also be earning more and actually paying taxes on it.

The "jobs Americans/Brits/etc won't do" myth is a deliberate distortion of reality that ignores the laws of supply and demand. There are no jobs Americans etc won't do, only jobs for which the employers are not prepared to pay wages high enough to make them worthwhile for Americans etc to do.

Now of course it is more complicated than that. There are jobs that would not be economically viable if the required wages were to be paid, and there are marginal contributions to job creation by immigrant populations, but those aspects are in reality far less significant than the bosses seeking cheap labour want people to think they are.

As a broad summary, a situation in which labour is tight, jobs are easy to come by and staff hard to hold on to is infinitely better for the ordinary working people of any nation than one in which there is a huge pool of excess labour, and therefore wages are low and employees disposable.

You'd think anyone purporting to be on the "left", in the sense of supporting working class people would understand that basic reality, but far too many on the left have been indoctrinated in radical leftist anti-racist and internationalist dogmas that make them functional stooges for big business and its mass immigration program.

Probably people other than you have worked out that once their wages are not being continually undercut by cheap and easy immigrant competition, the American working classes will actually be able to earn enough to pay the increased prices for grocery store items, especially as the Americans who, along with machines, will replace those immigrants doing the "jobs Americans won't do" will also be earning more and actually paying taxes on it.

There might be some truth in this. When I was a student in England in the 60′s I spent every summer working on farms, picking hops, apples, pears, potatoes and made some money and had a lot of fun too and became an expert farm tractor operator.

No reason why US students and high school seniors should not pick up a lot of the slack. Young people like camping in the countryside and sleeping rough, plus lots of opportunity to meet others, have sex, smoke weed, drink beer, or whatever. If you get a free vacation plus a nice check at the end, that makes the relatively low wages worthwhile. It is not always a question of how much you are paid, but how much you can save.

George Weinbaum > > , October 14, 2017 at 3:35 pm GMT

We can fix the EB-5 visa scam. My suggestion: charge would-be "investors" $1 million to enter the US. This $1 is not refundable under any circumstance. It is paid when the "investor's" visa is approved. If the "investor" is convicted of a felony, he is deported. He may bring no one with him. No wife, no child, no aunt, no uncle. Unless he pays $1 million for that person.

We will get a few thousand Russian oligarchs and Saudi princes a year under this program

As to fixing the H-1B visa program, we charge employer users of the program say $25,000 per year per employee. We require the employers to inform all employees that if any is asked to train a replacement, he should inform the DOJ immediately. The DOJ investigates and if true, charges managerial employees who asked that a replacement be trained with fraud.

As to birthright citizenship: I say make it a five-year felony to have a child while in the US illegally. Make it a condition of getting a tourist visa that one not be pregnant. If the tourist visa lasts say 60 days and the woman has a child while in the US, she gets charged with fraud.

None of these suggestions requires a constitutional amendment.

Auntie Analogue > > , October 14, 2017 at 7:10 pm GMT

In the United States middle class prosperity reached its apogee in 1965 – before the disastrous (and eminently foreseeable) wage-lowering consequence of the Hart-Celler Open Immigration Act's massive admission of foreigners increased the supply of labor which began to lower middle class prosperity and to shrink and eradicate the middle class.

It was in 1965 that ordinary Americans, enjoying maximum employment because employers were forced to compete for Americans' talents and labor, wielded their peak purchasing power . Since 1970 wages have remained stagnant, and since 1965 the purchasing power of ordinary Americans has gone into steep decline.

It is long past time to halt Perpetual Mass Immigration into the United States, to end birthright citizenship, and to deport all illegal aliens – if, that is, our leaders genuinely care about and represent us ordinary Americans instead of continuing their legislative, policy, and judicial enrichment of the 1-percenter campaign donor/rentier class of transnational Globali$t Open Border$ E$tabli$hment $ellout$.

Jim Sweeney > > , October 14, 2017 at 8:26 pm GMT

Re the birthright citizenship argument, that is not settled law in that SCOTUS has never ruled on the question of whether a child born in the US is thereby a citizen if the parents are illegally present. Way back in 1897, SCOTUS did resolve the issue of whether a child born to alien parents who were legally present was thereby a citizen. That case is U.S. vs Wong Kim Ark 169 US 649. SCOTUS ruled in favor of citizenship. If that was a justiciable issue how much more so is it when the parents are illegally present?

My thinking is that the result would be the same but, at least, the question would be settled. I cannot see justices returning a toddler to Beijing or worse. They would never have invitations to cocktail parties again for the shame heaped upon them for such uncaring conduct. Today, the title of citizen is conferred simply by bureaucratic rule, not by judicial order.

JP Straley > > , October 14, 2017 at 9:42 pm GMT

Arguments Against Fourteenth Amendment Anchor Baby Interpretation
J. Paige Straley

Part One. Anchor Baby Argument, Mexican Case.
The ruling part of the US Constitution is Amendment Fourteen: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."

Here is the ruling part of the Mexican Constitution, Section II, Article Thirty:
Article 30
Mexican nationality is acquired by birth or by naturalization:
A. Mexicans by birth are:
I. Those born in the territory of the Republic, regardless of the nationality of
their parents:
II. Those born in a foreign country of Mexican parents; of a Mexican father and
a foreign mother; or of a Mexican mother and an unknown father;
III. Those born on Mexican vessels or airships, either war or merchant vessels. "

A baby born to Mexican nationals within the United States is automatically a Mexican citizen. Under the anchor baby reasoning, this baby acquires US citizenship at the same time and so is a dual citizen. Mexican citizenship is primary because it stems from a primary source, the parents' citizenship and the law of Mexico. The Mexican Constitution states the child of Mexican parents is automatically a Mexican citizen at birth no matter where the birth occurs. Since the child would be a Mexican citizen in any country, and becomes an American citizen only if born in America, it is clear that Mexico has the primary claim of citizenry on the child. This alone should be enough to satisfy the Fourteenth Amendment jurisdiction thereof argument. Since Mexican citizenship is primary, it has primary jurisdiction; thus by the plain words of the Fourteenth such child is not an American citizen at birth.

[MORE]
There is a second argument for primary Mexican citizenship in the case of anchor babies. Citizenship, whether Mexican or American, establishes rights and duties. Citizenship is a reciprocal relationship, thus establishing jurisdiction. This case for primary Mexican citizenship is supported by the fact that Mexico allows and encourages Mexicans resident in the US, either illegal aliens or legal residents, to vote in Mexican elections. They are counted as Mexican citizens abroad, even if dual citizens, and their government provides widespread consular services as well as voting access to Mexicans residing in the US. As far as Mexico is concerned, these persons are not Mexican in name only, but have a civil relationship strong enough to allow a political voice; in essence, full citizenship. Clearly, all this is the expression of typical reciprocal civic relationships expressed in legal citizenship, further supporting the establishment of jurisdiction.

Part Two: Wong Kim Ark (1898) case. (Birthright Citizenship)

The Wong Kim Ark (WKA) case is often cited as the essential legal reasoning and precedent for application of the fourteenth amendment as applied to aliens. There has been plenty of commentary on WKA, but the truly narrow application of the case is emphasized reviewing a concise statement of the question the case was meant to decide, written by Hon. Horace Gray, Justice for the majority in this decision.

"[W]hether a child born in the United States, of parents of Chinese descent, who, at the time of his birth, are subjects of the Emperor of China, but have a permanent domicile and residence in the United States, and are there carrying on business, and are not employed in any diplomatic or official capacity under the Emperor of China, becomes at the time of his birth a citizen of the United States by virtue of the first clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution." (Italics added.)

For WKA to justify birthright citizenship, the parents must have " permanent domicile and residence " But how can an illegal alien have permanent residence when the threat of deportation is constantly present? There is no statute of limitation for illegal presence in the US and the passage of time does not eliminate the legal remedy of deportation. This alone would seem to invalidate WKA as a support and precedent for illegal alien birthright citizenship.

If illegal (or legal) alien parents are unemployed, unemployable, illegally employed, or if they get their living by illegal means, then they are not ". . .carrying on business. . .", and so the children of indigent or criminal aliens may not be eligible for birthright citizenship

If legal aliens meet the two tests provided in WKA, birthright citizenship applies. Clearly the WKA case addresses the specific situation of the children of legal aliens, and so is not an applicable precedent to justify birthright citizenship for the children of illegal aliens.

Part three. Birth Tourism

Occasionally foreign couples take a trip to the US during the last phase of the wife's pregnancy so she can give birth in the US, thus conferring birthright citizenship on the child. This practice is called "birth tourism." WKA provides two tests for birthright citizenship: permanent domicile and residence and doing business, and a temporary visit answers neither condition. WKA is therefore disqualified as justification for a "birth tourism" child to be granted birthright citizenship.

Realist > > , October 14, 2017 at 10:05 pm GMT

@Carroll Price Unfortunately, that train left the station long ago. With or without welfare, there's simply no way soft, spoiled, lazy, over-indulged Americans who have never hit a lick at anything their life, will ever perform manual labor for anyone, including themselves. Then let them starve to death. The Pilgrims nipped that dumb ass idea (welfare) in the bud

Alfa158 > > , October 15, 2017 at 2:10 am GMT

@Carroll Price

An equally pressing problem, though, is the millions of foreigners who are living and working here, and using our schools and hospitals and public services, who should not be here.
Has it ever occurred to anyone other than me that the cost associated with foreign workers using our schools and hospitals and pubic services for free, is more than off-set by the cheap price being paid for grocery store items like boneless chicken breast, grapes, apples, peaches, lettuce etc, which would otherwise be prohibitively expensive even for the wealthy?

Let alone relatively poor people (like myself) and those on fixed incomes? What un-thinking Americans want, is having their cake and eating it too. Well, in the real world, things just don't work that way. It's pay me now or pay me later. Once all the undocumented workers who are doing all the dirty, nasty jobs Americans refuse to do are run out the country, then what? Please look up;History; United States; pre mid-twentieth century. I'm pretty sure Americans were eating chicken, grapes, apples, peaches, lettuce, etc. prior to that period. I don't think their diet consisted of venison and tree bark.
But since I wasn't there, maybe I'm wrong and that is actually what they were eating.
I know some people born in the 1920′s; I'll check with them and let you know what they say.

[Oct 09, 2017] After Nine Months, Only Stale Crumbs in Russia Inquiry by Scott Ritter

Highly recommended!
US Congress allowed to drag itself into this propaganda swamp by politized Intelligence community, which became a major political player, that can dictate Congress what to do and what not to do. Now it is not that easy to get out of this "intelligence swamp"
Notable quotes:
"... The 2017 ICA on Russia was conceived in an atmosphere of despair and denial, birthed by Democrats and Republicans alike who were stunned by Trump's surprise electoral victory in November 2016. To say that this issue was a political event would be a gross understatement; the 2017 Russian ICA will go down in history as one of the most politicized intelligence documents ever, regardless of the degree of accuracy eventually afforded its contents. The very fact that the document is given the sobriquet "Intelligence Community" is itself a political act, designed to impart a degree of scrutiny and community consensus that simply did not exist when it came to the production of that document, or the classified reports that it was derived from. ..."
"... This was a report prepared by handpicked analysts ..."
"... iven the firestorm of political intrigue and controversy initiated by the publication of this document, the notion of a "general consensus" regarding the level of trust imparted to it by the Senate Select Intelligence Committee does not engender confidence. ..."
"... It was this document that spawned the issue of "collusion." While Sens. Burr and Warner can state that "collusion" is still an open issue, the fact of the matter is that, in this regard, Trump and his campaign advisors have already been found guilty in the court of public opinion, especially among those members of the public and the media who were vehemently opposed to his candidacy and ultimate victory. ..."
"... One need only review the comments of the various Democratic members of the Senate Select Committee, their counterparts serving on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as well as the various experts and pundits in the media, to underscore the degree to which prejudice has "worked its evil" when it comes to the issue of collusion and the Trump campaign in this regard. ..."
"... purchase of advertisements on various social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, by the Russians or their proxies. With regard to these advertisements, Senator Burr painted a dire picture. "It seems," he declared, "that the overall theme of the Russian involvement in the US elections was to create chaos at every level." ..."
"... No one wants to be told that they have been victims of a con; this is especially true when dealing with the sacred trust imparted to the American citizenry by the Constitution of the United States regarding the free and fair election of those who will represent us in higher office. American politics, for better or worse, is about the personal connection a given candidate has with the voter, a gut feeling that this person shares common values and beliefs. ..."
"... the percentage of Americans that participate in national elections is low. Those that do tend to be people who care enough about one or more issues to actually get out and vote. To categorize these dedicated citizens as brain-dead dupes who are susceptible to social media-based click advertisements is an insult to American democracy. ..."
"... There is a world of difference between Russian intelligence services allegedly hacking politically sensitive emails and selectively releasing them for the sole purpose of undermining a given Presidential candidate's electoral prospects, and mimicking social media-based advertisements addressing issues that are already at play in an election. The Russians didn't invent the ongoing debate in the United States over gun control (i.e., the "Second Amendment" issue), race relations (the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri) or immigration ("The Wall"). ..."
"... These were, and remain, core issues that are at the heart of the American domestic political discourse, regardless of where one stands. You either know the issues, or you don't; it is an insult to the American voter to suggest that they are so malleable that $100,000 of targeted social media-based advertisements can swing their vote, even if 10 million of them viewed it. ..."
Oct 09, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The 'briefing' is just another exercise in preferred narrative boosting.

The co-chairmen of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence held a press briefing Thursday on the status of their ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the American electoral process. Content-wise, the press briefing and the question and answer session were an exercise in information futility -- they provided little substance and nothing new. The investigation was still ongoing, the senators explained, and there was still work to be done.

Nine months into the Committee's work, the best Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), could offer was that there was "general consensus" among committee members and their staff that they trust the findings of the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) of January 2017, which gave high confidence to the charge that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election. The issue of possible collusion between Russia and members of the campaign of Donald Trump, however, "is still open."

Frankly speaking, this isn't good enough.

The 2017 ICA on Russia was conceived in an atmosphere of despair and denial, birthed by Democrats and Republicans alike who were stunned by Trump's surprise electoral victory in November 2016. To say that this issue was a political event would be a gross understatement; the 2017 Russian ICA will go down in history as one of the most politicized intelligence documents ever, regardless of the degree of accuracy eventually afforded its contents. The very fact that the document is given the sobriquet "Intelligence Community" is itself a political act, designed to impart a degree of scrutiny and community consensus that simply did not exist when it came to the production of that document, or the classified reports that it was derived from.

This was a report prepared by handpicked analysts from three of the Intelligence Community's sixteen agencies (the CIA, NSA, and FBI) who operated outside of the National Intelligence Council (the venue for the production of Intelligence Community products such as the Russian ICA), and void of the direction and supervision of a dedicated National Intelligence Officer. Overcoming this deficient family tree represents a high hurdle, even before the issue of the credibility of the sources and methods used to underpin the ICA's findings are discussed. Given the firestorm of political intrigue and controversy initiated by the publication of this document, the notion of a "general consensus" regarding the level of trust imparted to it by the Senate Select Intelligence Committee does not engender confidence.

It was this document that spawned the issue of "collusion." While Sens. Burr and Warner can state that "collusion" is still an open issue, the fact of the matter is that, in this regard, Trump and his campaign advisors have already been found guilty in the court of public opinion, especially among those members of the public and the media who were vehemently opposed to his candidacy and ultimate victory. Insofar as the committee's investigation serves as a legitimate search for truth, it does so as a post-conviction appeal. However, as the distinguished Supreme Court Justice Joseph McKenna noted in his opinion in Berger v. United States (1921):

The remedy by appeal is inadequate. It comes after the trial, and, if prejudice exist, it has worked its evil and a judgment of it in a reviewing tribunal is precarious. It goes there fortified by presumptions, and nothing can be more elusive of estimate or decision than a disposition of a mind in which there is a personal ingredient.

One need only review the comments of the various Democratic members of the Senate Select Committee, their counterparts serving on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as well as the various experts and pundits in the media, to underscore the degree to which prejudice has "worked its evil" when it comes to the issue of collusion and the Trump campaign in this regard.

The two senators proceeded to touch on a new angle recently introduced into their investigation, that of the purchase of advertisements on various social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, by the Russians or their proxies. With regard to these advertisements, Senator Burr painted a dire picture. "It seems," he declared, "that the overall theme of the Russian involvement in the US elections was to create chaos at every level."

No one wants to be told that they have been victims of a con; this is especially true when dealing with the sacred trust imparted to the American citizenry by the Constitution of the United States regarding the free and fair election of those who will represent us in higher office. American politics, for better or worse, is about the personal connection a given candidate has with the voter, a gut feeling that this person shares common values and beliefs.

Nevertheless, the percentage of Americans that participate in national elections is low. Those that do tend to be people who care enough about one or more issues to actually get out and vote. To categorize these dedicated citizens as brain-dead dupes who are susceptible to social media-based click advertisements is an insult to American democracy.

There is a world of difference between Russian intelligence services allegedly hacking politically sensitive emails and selectively releasing them for the sole purpose of undermining a given Presidential candidate's electoral prospects, and mimicking social media-based advertisements addressing issues that are already at play in an election. The Russians didn't invent the ongoing debate in the United States over gun control (i.e., the "Second Amendment" issue), race relations (the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri) or immigration ("The Wall").

These were, and remain, core issues that are at the heart of the American domestic political discourse, regardless of where one stands. You either know the issues, or you don't; it is an insult to the American voter to suggest that they are so malleable that $100,000 of targeted social media-based advertisements can swing their vote, even if 10 million of them viewed it.

The take away from the press briefing given by Senator's Burr and Warner was two-fold: One, the Russians meddled, and two, we don't know if Trump colluded with the Russians. The fact that America is nine months into this investigation with little more to show now than what could have been said at the start is, in and of itself, an American political tragedy. The Trump administration has been hobbled by the inertia of this and other investigations derived from the question of Russian meddling. That this process may yet vindicate President Trump isn't justification for the process itself; in such a case the delay will have hurt more than the truth. As William Penn, the founder of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, so eloquently noted:

Delays have been more injurious than direct Injustice. They too often starve those they dare not deny. The very Winner is made a Loser, because he pays twice for his own; like those who purchase Estates Mortgaged before to the full value.

Our law says that to delay Justice is Injustice. Not to have a Right, and not to come of it, differs little. Refuse or Dispatch is the Duty of a Good Officer.

Senators Burr and Warner, together with their fellow members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and their respective staffs, would do well to heed those words.

Scott Ritter is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. He is the author of "Deal of the Century: How Iran Blocked the West's Road to War" (Clarity Press, 2017).

[Oct 01, 2017] Republican civil war looms as Steve Bannon takes aim at the establishment

Notable quotes:
"... Bardella said Bannon had helped villainise McConnell, making him a toxic symbol of the Republican establishment and an albatross around the necks of vulnerable Republicans such as Jeff Flake of Arizona and Dean Heller of Nevada. A seat in Tennessee following Senator Bob Corker's announcement that he would not seek re-election in 2018 could also be a target. ..."
"... Among the "establishment" donors likely to oppose Bannon in a series of running battles are the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch. Bannon himself has admitted there is not "a deep bench" of viable candidates to represent his agenda. ..."
"... "The floodgates are open. You'll see a lot of this, one after another, and Steve Bannon's going to be at the centre of it. He's one for one. It'll be a civil war; it has been for quite some time." ..."
"... Andrew Surabian, a political strategist who worked under Bannon at the White House, told USA Today: "Bannon is plotting a strategy to launch an all-out assault on the Republican establishment. I think it's fair to say that if you're tied to Mitch McConnell, any of his henchmen in the consulting class, or were a Never-Trumper during the campaign, you're not safe from a primary challenge." ..."
"... Additional reporting by Lauren Gambino and Ben Jacobs ..."
Oct 01, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

Already Bannon is touring the country and meeting with candidates who will carry forward such an agenda. He told the Bloomberg agency: "The populist-nationalist movement proved in Alabama that a candidate with the right ideas and a grassroots organization can win big. Now, our focus is on recruiting candidates to take over the Republican party."

The election eve rally in Alabama was a reunion of sorts of those in Bannon's political orbit. Two potential candidates, Chris McDaniel of Mississippi and Mark Green of Tennessee, attended along with Paul Nehlen, a primary challenger last year to the House speaker, Paul Ryan, whose campaign was heavily promoted by Breitbart.

McDaniel described Moore's win as "incredibly inspiring" for his own challenge to Senator Roger Wicker in 2018. "We know Mitch McConnell was rejected tonight and Roger Wicker is just another part of Mitch McConnell's leadership apparatus," McDaniel told the Associated Press.

"We supported Donald Trump because he was an agent of change, and he's still an agent of change. In this instance, he must have been given bad advice to retain this particular swamp creature."

On Thursday, Bannon spent two hours with Tom Tancredo, who worked on Nehlan's behalf and is considering a run for Colorado governor next year. Tancredo, a former congressman, told the Guardian: "He was encouraged by what happened in Alabama and was certainly hoping he can replicate it.

"He's trying to establish an awareness of the fact the Republican party should be standing for the values he and others have tried to articulate over the years. It's a hugely difficult undertaking when you consider the power of the establishment and the swamp. He just kept reiterating: 'I need to try to save the country.'"

Asked about the prospect of a Republican civil war, Tancredo replied: "A good philosophic blood letting is not necessarily a bad thing."

... ... ...

Bardella said Bannon had helped villainise McConnell, making him a toxic symbol of the Republican establishment and an albatross around the necks of vulnerable Republicans such as Jeff Flake of Arizona and Dean Heller of Nevada. A seat in Tennessee following Senator Bob Corker's announcement that he would not seek re-election in 2018 could also be a target.

"Every dollar that is spent on a candidate by Mitch McConnell and the Republican party is a dollar spent against them," Bardella added. "And that's because it plays right into the theme that they're bought and paid for by the establishment."

Among the "establishment" donors likely to oppose Bannon in a series of running battles are the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch. Bannon himself has admitted there is not "a deep bench" of viable candidates to represent his agenda.

But he can expect at least tacit backing from Trump, who was said to be furious about having backed the wrong horse in Alabama: the president even deleted three tweets that endorsed Strange. Bannon also has powerful benefactors in the shape of the billionaire hedge fund investor Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah Mercer. The New York Times reported that Bannon and Robert Mercer began working out a rough outline for a "shadow party" that would advance Trump's nationalist agenda during a five-hour meeting last month at the family's Long Island estate.

Bannon has also been consulting with Henry Kissinger and other foreign policy veterans, Bloomberg reported, and is preparing make the threat posed by China a central cause. "If we don't get our situation sorted with China, we'll be destroyed economically," he said.

Rick Tyler, a political analyst and former campaign spokesman for the Texas senator Ted Cruz, said: "Roy Moore has demonstrated that the establishment and all its money can be beaten. You can only spend so much money in Alabama before it becomes irritating: you can only stuff so much in people's mailboxes or run so many ads on TV.

"The floodgates are open. You'll see a lot of this, one after another, and Steve Bannon's going to be at the centre of it. He's one for one. It'll be a civil war; it has been for quite some time."

Republican memories are still raw from 2014, when the House majority leader, Eric Cantor, was beaten in a primary contest by Dave Brat, a little-known professor backed by the Tea Party. But Bannon could make the establishment versus Tea Party battle look like a mere skirmish.

Andrew Surabian, a political strategist who worked under Bannon at the White House, told USA Today: "Bannon is plotting a strategy to launch an all-out assault on the Republican establishment. I think it's fair to say that if you're tied to Mitch McConnell, any of his henchmen in the consulting class, or were a Never-Trumper during the campaign, you're not safe from a primary challenge."

Additional reporting by Lauren Gambino and Ben Jacobs

[Oct 01, 2017] Tea Party Patriots against Neoliberalism by Bhaskar Sunkara

Notable quotes:
"... The Tea Party recognizes that "one of the primary sort of marks of the triumph of neoliberalism in the US is a very high tolerance of illegal immigration, and that illegal immigration is the kind of one plus ultra of the labor mobility that neoliberalism requires." The rise of illegal immigration represents a new form of capitalism, as opposed to the old "meritorious" capitalism of the post-war period. When right-wing ideologues attack "communism," the argument goes, they are actually conceptualizing neoliberalism. ..."
"... Michaels concedes that the Tea Party is a disproportionately upper middle class movement, but argues that even segments of the top twenty percentile of Americans by income have been hit hard in recent decades. ..."
"... The top one percent have been the big winners of the neoliberal era, while the other 19 percent in that bracket anxiously see their position falter in comparison. ..."
"... people in the Tea Party movement have a problem that is realer than "White male status anxiety," that the economic shifts that are taking place, the more and more extreme inequality, the more and more going to the top, no doubt some people may be unhappy because of loss of status, but many millions more are going to be unhappy because of the loss of actual money. ..."
Oct 01, 2017 | www.jacobinmag.com

Ideas spread in all sorts of directions. I've heard Christian right "intellectuals" haphazardly invoke Gramsci and counter-hegemony and I myself have spent more of my youth than I'm willing to admit reading back issues of National Review . It's probably less of a stretch that some Tea Partiers have favorably nodded toward the ideas on their movement that our friend Walter Benn Michaels expresses in his interview in the inaugural Jacobin .

Here's my summary of Michaels's argument on the Tea Party and immigration, which brings up the question, a question that shouldn't really be a question at all, about the left and open borders. (My thoughts on the over-hyped and over-exposed Tea Party can be found over at New Politics .)

Michaels identifies the Tea Party as a reaction against neoliberalism. He doesn't view the challenge as a serious one, but also stresses that the movement, "is not simply a reaction against neoliberalism from the old racist right." Michaels contests the American left's desire to summarily reduce the Tea Party to racists: "They're thrilled when some Nazis come out and say 'Yeah, we support the Tea Party' or some member of the Tea Party says something racist, which is frequently enough." Michaels finds the subversive content of their political program in an opposition to illegal immigration.

The Tea Party recognizes that "one of the primary sort of marks of the triumph of neoliberalism in the US is a very high tolerance of illegal immigration, and that illegal immigration is the kind of one plus ultra of the labor mobility that neoliberalism requires." The rise of illegal immigration represents a new form of capitalism, as opposed to the old "meritorious" capitalism of the post-war period. When right-wing ideologues attack "communism," the argument goes, they are actually conceptualizing neoliberalism.

Michaels concedes that the Tea Party is a disproportionately upper middle class movement, but argues that even segments of the top twenty percentile of Americans by income have been hit hard in recent decades.

The top one percent have been the big winners of the neoliberal era, while the other 19 percent in that bracket anxiously see their position falter in comparison. Responding to those who place the roots of this angst in the growing diversification of the elite, Michaels says:

. . . people in the Tea Party movement have a problem that is realer than "White male status anxiety," that the economic shifts that are taking place, the more and more extreme inequality, the more and more going to the top, no doubt some people may be unhappy because of loss of status, but many millions more are going to be unhappy because of the loss of actual money. So my point isn't really to deny the phenomenon of status anxiety, it's just to point out the extraordinary eagerness of American liberals to identify racism as the problem, so that anti-racism (rather than anti-capitalism) can be the solution.

Michaels's conclusion is, in sum, that students of Friedrich Hayek and exalters of Ayn Rand are the most visible source of resistance to neoliberalism on the American scene. Such a view, I believe, is as contradictory as it appears...

Bhaskar Sunkara is the founding editor of Jacobin .

[Sep 27, 2017] Bannon Roy Moore Is a Bannonite on Foreign Policy Too by Curt Mills

Notable quotes:
"... We should not be entangled in foreign wars merely at the whim and caprice of a President, Moore writes on his site. We must treat sovereign nations as we would want to be treated. ..."
"... It's too early to tell whether the nationalist hawks will be more or less interventionist overall than the internationalist, neocon hawks were, Daniel McCarthy, editor-at-large at the American Conservative ..."
Sep 27, 2017 | nationalinterest.org

...Steve Bannon told me Wednesday afternoon that he and Moore, who defeated Sen. Luther Strange (whom President Trump had backed) for the Republican primary nomination in Alabama on Tuesday, see eye to eye on global affairs, as well, and that, yes, he is every bit the Bannonite on foreign policy.

Moore, the twice-ousted Alabama Chief Justice, is likely headed to the United States Senate. Bannon and the Trump movement have often been depicted as essentially non-interventionist. My recent reporting indicates a caveat to that, however. While Bannon and his cohort might differ with the blob on confronting Kim Jong Un in North Korea or Bashar al-Assad in Syria or Vladimir Putin in Russia, they are much more suspicious of the government of Iran. ...

... ... ...

The judges website, Roymoore.org, features such language. We should not be entangled in foreign wars merely at the whim and caprice of a President, Moore writes on his site. We must treat sovereign nations as we would want to be treated.

But there are notable divergences from the paleocons. Like Bannon, Moore is a hawk for Israel. We should pass the Taylor Force Act and move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. His writing that the U.S. should not rely on nuclear reduction treaties which leave us vulnerable to foreign powers and that it should reject agreements or policies that undermine Israel's security clearly alludes to the Iran deal. The pair would part company with Buchanan on that.

And like President Trump, Moore, a graduate of West Point, wants a bigger military. More funding should be available to develop a missile defense system and to provide our Navy, Air Force, Army, Marines, and Coast Guard with the most modern technology including weapon systems. Respect for our strength is the best defense. Walk softly and carry a big stick is and should be our guide.

... ... ...

It's too early to tell whether the nationalist hawks will be more or less interventionist overall than the internationalist, neocon hawks were, Daniel McCarthy, editor-at-large at the American Conservative , tells me. My guess is that while the nationalists will speak more provocatively, abort diplomatic agreements, and ramp up `political warfare, they'll engage in fewer large-scale, nation-building interventions. McCarthy adds that religion is important here, as well. Moore and Bannon are both on record as deeply religious. Neoconservative foreign policy is sold as a scheme for secular salvation, bringing the blessings of liberalism and democracy and human rights to a world that eagerly awaits them, says McCarthy. Moore's religious convictions might help to immunize him against a belief in worldly salvation through American arms and advisers...

Curt Mills is a foreign-affairs reporter at the National Interest. Follow him on Twitter: @CurtMills.

[Sep 27, 2017] Moore Victory Shows Populist Movement Bigger Than Trump by James Kirkpatrick

Notable quotes:
"... If Only The God-Emperor Knew: Using Trumpism Against The Trump Administration" ..."
"... Republican Sen. Corker announces he won't seek re-election ..."
"... Associated Press, ..."
"... Corker's departure is widely being interpreted as a sign of the Establishment's inability to control the GOP base, as the election of President Trump, the rise of nationalism and the emergence of alternative media outlets (such as Breitbart and VDARE.com) make it harder for cuckservatives to Republican primary voters in line [ Sen. Bob Corker's retirement is notable for when it's happening ..."
"... Washington Post, ..."
"... And now, we have the ultimate proof in Alabama. Judge Roy Moore, one of the most persistent targets of the Southern Poverty Law Center, is now the Republican nominee for the Senate. And he defeated incumbent Senator Luther Strange despite Strange being endorsed by President Donald J. Trump himself. ..."
"... Of course, Strange didn't just have Trump in his corner. He also had Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell using his PAC to run negative ads against Moore, ads which conservative websites called "defamatory" and which cost many millions of dollars [ McConnell's Super PAC accused of 'defaming ' Roy Moore ..."
"... McConnell's mortal enemy might soon be in his caucus ..."
"... Alabama rally: Trump campaigns in last-ditch effort for Senate candidate Luther Strange ..."
"... President Trump admits he doesn't 'know that much' about Alabama Senate contender Roy Moore, gets his name wrong in interview ..."
"... New York Daily News, ..."
"... During a debate with Strange, Moore suggested President Trump was being "redirected" by Mitch McConnell and others who "will not support his [Trump's] agenda" [ Alabama Senate debate erupts over whether McConnell is manipulating Trump ..."
"... Brexit Hero Farage in Alabama: Judge Roy Moore 'Not Going To Be Sucked Into The Swamp' ..."
"... Sarah Palin endorses Judge Roy Moore for US Senate ..."
"... Western Journalism, ..."
"... Ben Carson Splits With Trump, Basically Endorses Roy Moore in Alabama ..."
"... Talking Points Memo, ..."
"... Gorka: Trump Was Pressured to Endorse 'Swamp Dweller' Strange ..."
"... , Fox News, ..."
"... The Breitbart Universe Unites For Roy Moore ..."
"... The Atlantic, ..."
"... Trump's advisors seem to know this. In the Fox News ..."
"... Roy Moore Wins Senate G.O.P. Runoff in Alabama ..."
"... How Alabama Senate Election Results Could Trigger Trump's Impeachment ..."
"... Trump supports Strange, but says it may be "mistake," ..."
"... Washington Post, ..."
"... Roy Moore: 'I can't wait' for Trump to 'campaign like hell' for me ..."
"... Washington Examiner, ..."
"... Chamber of Commerce: 'Shut Down' Roy Moore & 'Remind Bannon Who's In Charge' ..."
"... Trump should seize on the narrative of his supposed opponents. He is unquestionably being given objectively poor political counsel by his aides!not surprising how utterly incompetent the Republican Establishment is when it comes to political strategy. [ Steve Bannon: We Need A Review After This Alabama Race To See How Trump Came To Endorse Someone Like Luther Strange ..."
"... Trump's N.F.L. Critique a Calculated Attempt to Shore Up His Base ..."
"... Today, those who defeated Trump in the Republican army are still proclaiming their loyalty to their Commander-in-Chief. But Donald Trump, memes aside, is not a sovereign or just a symbol. He is a man who created a political movement!and that movement expects results. The movement he created, and which put him in office, is desperate for him to lead on an America First agenda. ..."
"... If Trump does not give it results, the movement will eventually find a new leader. Roy Moore is almost certainly not that leader on a national scale. But in Alabama tonight, Moore proved he is stronger than the president himself. ..."
"... James Kirkpatrick [ Email him] is a Beltway veteran and a refugee from Conservatism Inc. ..."
Sep 27, 2017 | www.unz.com

[See: If Only The God-Emperor Knew: Using Trumpism Against The Trump Administration" by James Kirkpatrick]

He must have known what was coming. Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, a pillar of the cowardly GOP Establishment , announced he would not be running for re-election on Tuesday [ Republican Sen. Corker announces he won't seek re-election , by Richard Lardner and Erik Schelzig, Associated Press, September 26, 2017]. Corker's departure is widely being interpreted as a sign of the Establishment's inability to control the GOP base, as the election of President Trump, the rise of nationalism and the emergence of alternative media outlets (such as Breitbart and VDARE.com) make it harder for cuckservatives to Republican primary voters in line [ Sen. Bob Corker's retirement is notable for when it's happening , by Amber Phillips, Washington Post, September 26, 2017]

And now, we have the ultimate proof in Alabama. Judge Roy Moore, one of the most persistent targets of the Southern Poverty Law Center, is now the Republican nominee for the Senate. And he defeated incumbent Senator Luther Strange despite Strange being endorsed by President Donald J. Trump himself.

Of course, Strange didn't just have Trump in his corner. He also had Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell using his PAC to run negative ads against Moore, ads which conservative websites called "defamatory" and which cost many millions of dollars [ McConnell's Super PAC accused of 'defaming ' Roy Moore , by Bob Unruh, WND, August 3, 2017] As a result, Judge Moore openly campaigned against his party's own Senate leader during the primary, claiming a victory for him would mean the end of McConnell's hapless leadership. [ McConnell's mortal enemy might soon be in his caucus , by Burgess Everett and Seung Min Kim, Politico, September 18, 2017]

However, and significantly, Moore never campaigned against President Trump himself. Yet Trump certainly gave Moore ample cause. He openly campaigned for Luther Strange, speaking with the incumbent Senator at a major rally, with Strange sporting a red MAGA hat [ Alabama rally: Trump campaigns in last-ditch effort for Senate candidate Luther Strange , by Alex Pappas, Fox News, September 22, 2017]. Trump also said Moore would have a hard time beating the Democrats because they would pour in so much money. He even called Moore by the wrong first name [ President Trump admits he doesn't 'know that much' about Alabama Senate contender Roy Moore, gets his name wrong in interview , by Jason Silverstein, New York Daily News, September 25, 2017]

And yet, revealingly, Moore and his allies framed their insurgency against Trump's wishes as an act of loyalty.

During a debate with Strange, Moore suggested President Trump was being "redirected" by Mitch McConnell and others who "will not support his [Trump's] agenda" [ Alabama Senate debate erupts over whether McConnell is manipulating Trump , by Alex Isenstadt and Daniel Strauss, Politico, September 21, 2017]

UKIP's former leader Nigel Farage said "absolutely" that "the point is to help the president" by electing Roy Moore and suggested The Judge would help deliver on President Trump's agenda [ Brexit Hero Farage in Alabama: Judge Roy Moore 'Not Going To Be Sucked Into The Swamp' by Ian Mason, Breitbart, September 25, 2017]

Sarah Palin channeled Trump's rhetoric by saying Moore would take on "DC's swamp monsters" and "help Make America Great Again" [ Sarah Palin endorses Judge Roy Moore for US Senate , by Randy DeSoto, Western Journalism, August 24, 2017]

Some of President Trump's best-known advisors also backed Moore.

Ben Carson, one of President Trump's own Cabinet secretaries, essentially endorsed Moore, saying he was "delighted" he was running and that he "wished him well" [ Ben Carson Splits With Trump, Basically Endorses Roy Moore in Alabama , by Cameron Joseph, Talking Points Memo, September 22, 2017]. Sebastian Gorka endorsed Moore, hinted the president was pressured into backing Strange, and said it would be a "very great day" for Trump if Strange was defeated [ Gorka: Trump Was Pressured to Endorse 'Swamp Dweller' Strange , Fox News, September 23, 2017]. And of course, Breitbart's Steve Bannon endorsed Moore, but said "we did not come here to defy Donald Trump, we came here to praise and honor him" [ The Breitbart Universe Unites For Roy Moore , by Rosie Gray, The Atlantic, September 26, 2017]

Even before Trump's inauguration, when there were troubling signs the new President was surrounding himself with the Republican Establishment, it was clear that the President's supporters would need to rise against Trump in his own name . The victory of Roy Moore is the best example so far of how this insurgency will play out.

And most importantly, it shows how the populist and nationalist movement is larger than Trump himself.

Trump's advisors seem to know this. In the Fox News interview referenced above, Dr. Gorka claimed "no one voted for Trump, we voted for his agenda." And during his speech in support of Moore, Bannon referenced Jeff Sessions, not Trump, as the "spiritual father of the populist and nationalist movement."

But does Trump himself know this? Already, the Main Stream Media is trying to present this as a devastating defeat for the president personally. The New York Times kvetched about Moore's social views and sneered that his victory "demonstrated in stark terms the limits of Mr. Trump's clout" [ Roy Moore Wins Senate G.O.P. Runoff in Alabama , by Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns, September 26, 2017]. Jason Le Miere at Newsweek suggested Trump had suffered his first major political defeat at the ballot box and hinted his political weakness could trigger his impeachment. [ How Alabama Senate Election Results Could Trigger Trump's Impeachment , September 26, 2017]

This wildly overstates the case. Trump had hedged his bets, suggesting at one point he made a "mistake" in endorsing Strange [ Trump supports Strange, but says it may be "mistake," Washington Post, September 25, 2017]. He also said he would "campaign like hell" for Moore if Moore won [ Roy Moore: 'I can't wait' for Trump to 'campaign like hell' for me , by Sean Langille, Washington Examiner, September 25, 2017].

It's hardly a devastating defeat for President Trump when his supposed enemies are fanatically loyal to him and his "allies" can't wait to stab him in the back.

But there is still a lesson for Trump. The Chamber of Commerce and Republican Establishment picked this fight to "shut down" Moore and show populists who was in charge. [ Chamber of Commerce: 'Shut Down' Roy Moore & 'Remind Bannon Who's In Charge' by Joel Pollak, Breitbart, September 24, 2017] They just got their answer. It's not them.

Trump should seize on the narrative of his supposed opponents. He is unquestionably being given objectively poor political counsel by his aides!not surprising how utterly incompetent the Republican Establishment is when it comes to political strategy. [ Steve Bannon: We Need A Review After This Alabama Race To See How Trump Came To Endorse Someone Like Luther Strange , by Allahpundit, Hot Air, September 26, 2017]

Tellingly, Trump in his messy intuitive way is already embarking on a movement to shore up his base by taking on the pro-Black Lives Matter and anti-American antics of the National Football League [ Trump's N.F.L. Critique a Calculated Attempt to Shore Up His Base , by Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman, New York Times, September 25, 2017]. But such symbolic fights are meaningless unless they are coupled with real action on trade and immigration policy.

Today, those who defeated Trump in the Republican army are still proclaiming their loyalty to their Commander-in-Chief. But Donald Trump, memes aside, is not a sovereign or just a symbol. He is a man who created a political movement!and that movement expects results. The movement he created, and which put him in office, is desperate for him to lead on an America First agenda.

If Trump does not give it results, the movement will eventually find a new leader. Roy Moore is almost certainly not that leader on a national scale. But in Alabama tonight, Moore proved he is stronger than the president himself.

Trump has given the Establishment Republicans their chance and they have failed him. It's time for him to return to the people who have supported him from the very beginning.

James Kirkpatrick [ Email him] is a Beltway veteran and a refugee from Conservatism Inc.

Parsifal > , September 27, 2017 at 7:44 am GMT

Look people, it's time to grasp some basic politics. The heart might have said Roy Moore but a leader can not think with his heart alone. Whatever happened in the GOP primary, Luther Strange was going to remain in the Senate until January. There are big, important votes coming up in Congress and Trump's margin of error in the Senate is virtually non-existent. What sense does it make to alienate, even slight, a sitting Senator that has always voted your way and has never trashed you in public?

Realist > , September 27, 2017 at 8:13 am GMT

Moore's victory means nothing. If Moore is elected it will change nothing. The Deep State rules .they will eat Moore for lunch.

"Trump has given the Establishment Republicans their chance and they have failed him."

Trump has caved to the Establishment Republicans. He will never return.

Randal > , September 27, 2017 at 9:20 am GMT

All seems pretty much directly on target.

It's hardly a devastating defeat for President Trump when his supposed enemies are fanatically loyal to him and his "allies" can't wait to stab him in the back.

As a man who supposedly highly values personal loyalty, does Trump really not understand that the men who pushed him to support Strange are also the men who will be first in line to vote for impeachment the moment it looks as though the leftist establishment has found a pretext that will succeed?

Greg Bacon > , Website September 27, 2017 at 9:28 am GMT

Like Bannon said, the Trump people voted for is gone. If he was ever around, or just being smart enough to know what to say to get votes.

President Kushner, er Trump will not be draining any Swamp anytime soon, not until he drags himself out of the Swamp and back onto sane, dry land.

WhiteWolf > , September 27, 2017 at 9:41 am GMT

The movement better start paying attention to the thoughtcrime laws being passed right now under the banner of "hatespeech". The first amendment isn't just a nice concept. People in other countries are jailed for speaking their mind in the way Americans take for granted.

[Sep 27, 2017] Trump Stumped As Bannon-Backed Roy Moore Wins Alabama Republican Primary By Landslide

According to Occam razor principle that simple explanation of Trump behaviour is probably the most correct. He became a turncoat, betraying his electorate, much like Obama. kind of Republican Obama.
Trump looks more and more like Hillary II or Republican Obama. So he might have problems with the candidates he supports. Isolationism is gone. Promise of jobs is gone. Detente with Russia is gone.
Note the level disappointment of what used to be Trump base in comment section...
Sep 27, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

Trump Stumped As Bannon-Backed Roy Moore Wins Alabama Republican Primary By Landslide Tyler Durden Sep 27, 2017 3:28 AM 0 SHARES

Congratulations to Roy Moore on his Republican Primary win in Alabama. Luther Strange started way back & ran a good race. Roy, WIN in Dec!

In a serious rebuke for President Trump (and perhaps moreso for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell), ousted judge and alt-right favorite Roy Moore has won the Alabama Republican Primary by a landslide

The Steve Bannon-backed candidate, who defied court orders to remove the Ten Commandments from his courtroom and refused to recognize gay marriage after the Supreme Court's June 2015 ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, is leading by 9.6 points with 92% of the votes counted...

... ... ...

However, as Politco reported this evening, President Donald Trump began distancing himself from a Luther Strange loss before ballots were even cast, telling conservative activists Monday night the candidate he's backing in Alabama's GOP Senate primary was likely to lose ! and suggesting he'd done everything he could do given the circumstances.

Trump told conservative activists who visited the White House for dinner on Monday night that he'd underestimated the political power of Roy Moore, the firebrand populist and former judge who's supported by Trump's former chief strategist Steve Bannon, according to three people who were there.

And Trump gave a less-than full-throated endorsement during Friday's rally.

While he called Strange "a real fighter and a real good guy," he also mused on stage about whether he made a "mistake" by backing Strange and committed to campaign "like hell" for Moore if he won.

Trump was encouraged to pick Strange before the August primary by son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner as well as other aides, White House officials said. He was never going to endorse Alabama Republican Rep. Mo Brooks, who has at times opposed Trump's agenda, and knew little about Moore, officials said.

... ... ...

Déjà view -> Sanity Bear •Sep 26, 2017 11:19 PM

AIPAC HAS ALL BASES COVERED...MIGA !

On Sept. 11, the Alabama Daughters for Zion organization circulated a statement on Israel by Moore, which started by saying the U.S. and Israel "share not only a common Biblical heritage but also institutions of representative government and respect for religious freedom." He traced Israel's origin to God's promise to Abram and the 1948 creation of modern Israel as "a fulfillment of the Scriptures that foretold the regathering of the Jewish people to Israel."

Moore's statement includes five policy positions, including support for U.S. military assistance to Israel, protecting Israel from "Iranian aggression," opposing boycotts of Israel, supporting Israel at the United Nations, and supporting direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations without outside pressure. He added, "as long as Hamas and the Palestinian Authority wrongly refuse to recognize Israel's right to exist, such negotiations have scant chance of success."

While those views would give Moore common ground with much of the Jewish community regarding Israel, most of the state's Jewish community has been at odds with Moore over church-state issues, such as his displays of the Ten Commandments in courthouses, and his outspoken stance against homosexuality, both of which led to him being ousted as chief justice.

http://www.sjlmag.com/2017/09/alabama-senate-candidates-express.html?m=1

justa minute -> Déjà view •Sep 27, 2017 2:53 AM

moore misreads the Bible as most socalled christians do. they have been deceived, they have confused the Israel of God( those who have been given belief in Christ) with israel of the flesh. They cant hear Christs own words, woe is unto them. they are living in their own selfrighteousness, not good. they are going to have a big surprise for not following the Word of God instead following the tradition of men.

They were warned over and over in the Bible but they cant hear.

I Claudius -> VinceFostersGhost •Sep 27, 2017 6:27 AM

Forgive? Maybe. Forget? NEVER!! He tried to sell "US" out on this one. We now need to focus on bringing "Moore" candidates to the podium to run against the RINO's and take out McConnell and Ryan. It's time for Jared and Ivanka to go back to NYC so Jared can shore up his family's failing empire. However, if his business acumen is as accurate as his political then it's no wonder the family needed taxpayer funded visas to sell the property. Then on to ridding the White House of Gen Kelly and McMaster - two holdover generals from the Obama administration - after Obama forced out the real ones.

Clashfan -> Mycroft Holmes IV •Sep 26, 2017 11:33 PM

Rump has hoodwinked his supoprt base and turned on them almost immediately. Some refuse to acknowledge this.

"Ha! Your vote went to the Israel first swamp!"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Gdw_MVY1Vo

Déjà view -> Clashfan •Sep 27, 2017 1:00 AM

MIGA !

These attacks on Bannon were one of the most prominent news stories in the first week following Trump's election victory. It didn't take long, however, for a counter-attack to emerge - from the right-wing elements of the Jewish community. The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) came to Bannon's defense and accused the ADL of a "character assassination" against Bannon.

http://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-1.807776

The Wizard -> Oh regional Indian •Sep 26, 2017 10:12 PM

Trump should figure out the Deep State elites he has surrounded himself with, don't have control of the states Trump won. Trump thought he had to negotiate with these guys and his ego got the best of him. Bannon was trying to convince him he should have stayed the course and not give in.


Theosebes Goodfellow -> Oh regional Indian •Sep 26, 2017 10:35 PM

~"American politics gets moore strange by the day..."~

Technically speaking OhRI, with Moore's win politics became less Strange, or "Strange less", or "Sans Luther", depending on how one chose to phrase it [SMIRK]

Adullam -> Gaius Frakkin' Baltar •Sep 26, 2017 11:05 PM

Trump needs to fire Jared! Some news outlets are saying that it was his son in law who advised him to back Strange. He has to quit listening to those who want to destroy him or ... they will.

overbet -> Killtruck •Sep 26, 2017 9:41 PM

Bannon is a true fucking patriot trying to pull this once great country from the sinkhole.

Juggernaut x2 -> overbet •Sep 26, 2017 10:07 PM

Trump better pull his head out of his ass and quit being a wishy-washy populist on BS like Iran- the farther right he goes the greater his odds of reelection because he has pissed off a lot of the far-righters that put him in- getting rid of Kushner, Cohn and his daughter and negotiating w/Assad and distancing us from Israhell would be a huge help.

opport.knocks -> Juggernaut x2 •Sep 26, 2017 11:19 PM

Distancing us from Israel... LOLOLOLOL

https://youtu.be/tm5Je73bYOY

The whole Russiagate ploy was a diversion from (((them)))

NoDebt -> Killtruck •Sep 26, 2017 9:42 PM

I think the reality is that this was a message to McConnell much more than Trump. That message is simple: I'm coming to kill your career. Bannon went out of his way to say he fully supports Trump (despite backing the opposite candidate). And, let's face it, if Bannon buries McConnell, he's doing everyone a service, Trump included.

Oldwood -> NoDebt •Sep 26, 2017 10:08 PM

I think it was a setup.

Bannon would not oppose Trump that directly unless there was a wink and a nod involved.

Trump is still walking a tightrope, trying to appease his base AND keep as many establishment republicans at his side (even for only optics). By Trump supporting Strange while knowing he was an underdog AND completely apposed by Bannon/his base he was able to LOOK like he was supporting the establishment, while NOT really. Trump seldom backs losers which makes me think it was deliberate. Strange never made sense anyway.

But what do I know?

Urahara -> NoDebt •Sep 27, 2017 12:20 AM

Bannon is hardcore Isreal first. Why are you supporting the zionist? It's an obvious play.

general ambivalent -> Urahara •Sep 27, 2017 2:23 AM

People are desperate to rationalise their failure into a victory. They cannot give up on Hope so they have to use hyperbole in everything and pretend this is all leading to something great in 2020 or 2024.

None of these fools learned a damn thing and they are desperate to make the same mistake again. The swamp is full, so full that it has breached the banks and taken over all of society. Trump is a swamp monster, and you simply cannot reform the swamp when both sides are monsters. In other words, the inside is not an option, so it has to be done the hard way. But people would pre