A Family Business of Perpetual War

Exclusive: Victoria Nuland and Robert Kagan have a great mom-and-pop business going. From the State Department, she generates wars and from op-ed pages he demands Congress buy more weapons. There’s a pay-off, too, as grateful military contractors kick in money to think tanks where other Kagans work, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Neoconservative pundit Robert Kagan and his wife, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, run a remarkable family business: she has sparked a hot war in Ukraine and helped launch Cold War II with Russia and he steps in to demand that Congress jack up military spending so America can meet these new security threats.

This extraordinary husband-and-wife duo makes quite a one-two punch for the Military-Industrial Complex, an inside-outside team that creates the need for more military spending, applies political pressure to ensure higher appropriations, and watches as thankful weapons manufacturers lavish grants on like-minded hawkish Washington think tanks.

Prominent neocon intellectual Robert Kagan. (Photo credit: Mariusz Kubik, http://www.mariuszkubik.pl)

Prominent neocon intellectual Robert Kagan. (Photo credit: Mariusz Kubik, http://www.mariuszkubik.pl)

Not only does the broader community of neoconservatives stand to benefit but so do other members of the Kagan clan, including Robert’s brother Frederick at the American Enterprise Institute and his wife Kimberly, who runs her own shop called the Institute for the Study of War.

Robert Kagan, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution (which doesn’t disclose details on its funders), used his prized perch on the Washington Post’s op-ed page on Friday to bait Republicans into abandoning the sequester caps limiting the Pentagon’s budget, which he calculated at about $523 billion (apparently not counting extra war spending). Kagan called on the GOP legislators to add at least $38 billion and preferably more like $54 billion to $117 billion:

“The fact that [advocates for more spending] face a steep uphill battle to get even that lower number passed by a Republican-controlled Congress says a lot, about Republican hypocrisy. Republicans may be full-throated in denouncing [President Barack] Obama for weakening the nation’s security, yet when it comes to paying for the foreign policy that all their tough rhetoric implies, too many of them are nowhere to be found.

“The editorial writers and columnists who have been beating up Obama and cheering the Republicans need to tell those Republicans, and their own readers, that national security costs money and that letters and speeches are worse than meaningless without it.

“It will annoy the part of the Republican base that wants to see the government shrink, loves the sequester and doesn’t care what it does to defense. But leadership occasionally means telling people what they don’t want to hear. Those who propose to lead the United States in the coming years, Republicans and Democrats, need to show what kind of political courage they have, right now, when the crucial budget decisions are being made.”

So, the way to show “courage” in Kagan’s view is to ladle ever more billions into the Military-Industrial Complex, thus putting money where the Republican mouths are regarding the need to “defend Ukraine” and resist “a bad nuclear deal with Iran.”

Yet, if it weren’t for Nuland’s efforts as Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, the Ukraine crisis might not exist. A neocon holdover who advised Vice President Dick Cheney, Nuland gained promotions under former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and received backing, too, from current Secretary of State John Kerry.

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, speaking to Ukrainian and other business leaders at the National Press Club in Washington on Dec. 13, 2013, at a meeting sponsored by Chevron.

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, speaking to Ukrainian and other business leaders at the National Press Club in Washington on Dec. 13, 2013, at a meeting sponsored by Chevron.

Confirmed to her present job in September 2013, Nuland soon undertook an extraordinary effort to promote “regime change” in Ukraine. She personally urged on business leaders and political activists to challenge elected President Viktor Yanukovych. She reminded corporate executives that the United States had invested $5 billion in their “European aspirations,” and she literally passed out cookies to anti-government protesters in Kiev’s Maidan square.

Working with other key neocons, including National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman and Sen. John McCain, Nuland made clear that the United States would back a “regime change” against Yanukovych, which grew more likely as neo-Nazi and other right-wing militias poured into Kiev from western Ukraine.

In early February 2014, Nuland discussed U.S.-desired changes with U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt (himself a veteran of a “regime change” operation at the International Atomic Energy Agency, helping to install U.S. yes man Yukiya Amano as the director-general in 2009).

Nuland treated her proposed new line-up of Ukrainian officials as if she were trading baseball cards, casting aside some while valuing others. “Yats is the guy,” she said of her favorite Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

Disparaging the less aggressive European Union, she uttered “Fuck the EU” and brainstormed how she would “glue this thing” as Pyatt pondered how to “mid-wife this thing.” Their unsecure phone call was intercepted and leaked.

Ukraines Regime Change

The coup against Yanukovych played out on Feb. 22, 2014, as the neo-Nazi militias and other violent extremists overran government buildings forcing the president and other officials to flee for their lives. Nuland’s State Department quickly declared the new regime “legitimate” and Yatsenyuk took over as prime minister.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who had been presiding over the Winter Olympics at Sochi, was caught off-guard by the coup next door and held a crisis session to determine how to protect ethnic Russians and a Russian naval base in Crimea, leading to Crimea’s secession from Ukraine and annexation by Russia a year ago.

Though there was no evidence that Putin had instigated the Ukraine crisis and indeed all the evidence indicated the opposite the State Department peddled a propaganda theme to the credulous mainstream U.S. news media about Putin having somehow orchestrated the situation in Ukraine so he could begin invading Europe. Former Secretary of State Clinton compared Putin to Adolf Hitler.

As the new Kiev government launched a brutal “anti-terrorism operation” to subdue an uprising among the large ethnic Russian populations of eastern and southern Ukraine, Nuland and other American neocons pushed for economic sanctions against Russia and demanded arms for the coup regime. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “What Neocons Want from Ukraine Crisis.”]

Amid the barrage of “information warfare” aimed at both the U.S. and world publics, a new Cold War took shape. Prominent neocons, including Nuland’s husband Robert Kagan, a co-founder of the Project for the New American Century which masterminded the Iraq War, hammered home the domestic theme that Obama had shown himself to be “weak,” thus inviting Putin’s “aggression.”

In May 2014, Kagan published a lengthy essay in The New Republic entitled “Superpowers Don’t Get to Retire,” in which Kagan castigated Obama for failing to sustain American dominance in the world and demanding a more muscular U.S. posture toward adversaries.

According to a New York Times article about how the essay took shape and its aftermath, writer Jason Horowitz reported that Kagan and Nuland shared a common world view as well as professional ambitions, with Nuland editing Kagan’s articles, including the one tearing down her ostensible boss.

Though Nuland wouldn’t comment specifically on her husband’s attack on Obama, she indicated that she held similar views. “But suffice to say,” Nuland said, “that nothing goes out of the house that I don’t think is worthy of his talents. Let’s put it that way.”

Horowitz reported that Obama was so concerned about Kagan’s assault that the President revised his commencement speech at West Point to deflect some of the criticism and invited Kagan to lunch at the White House, where one source told me that it was like “a meeting of equals.” [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Obama’s True Foreign Policy ‘Weakness.’”]

Sinking a Peace Deal

And, whenever peace threatens to break out in Ukraine, Nuland jumps in to make sure that the interests of war are protected. Last month, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande hammered out a plan for a cease-fire and a political settlement, known as Minsk-2, prompting Nuland to engage in more behind-the-scenes maneuvering to sabotage the deal.

In another overheard conversation — in Munich, Germany — Nuland mocked the peace agreement as “Merkel’s Moscow thing,” according to the German newspaper Bild, citing unnamed sources, likely from the German government which may have bugged the conference room in the luxurious Bayerischer Hof hotel and then leaked the details.

Picking up on Nuland’s contempt for Merkel, another U.S. official called the Minsk-2 deal the Europeans’ “Moscow bullshit.”

Nuland suggested that Merkel and Hollande cared only about the practical impact of the Ukraine war on Europe: “They’re afraid of damage to their economy, counter-sanctions from Russia.” According to the Bild story, Nuland also laid out a strategy for countering Merkel’s diplomacy by using strident language to frame the Ukraine crisis.

“We can fight against the Europeans, we can fight with rhetoric against them,” Nuland reportedly said.

NATO Commander Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove was quoted as saying that sending more weapons to the Ukrainian government would “raise the battlefield cost for Putin.” Nuland interjected to the U.S. politicians present that “I’d strongly urge you to use the phrase ‘defensive systems’ that we would deliver to oppose Putin’s ‘offensive systems.’”

Nuland sounded determined to sink the Merkel-Hollande peace initiative even though it was arranged by two major U.S. allies and was blessed by President Obama. And, this week, the deal seems indeed to have been blown apart by Nuland’s hand-picked Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, who inserted a poison pill into the legislation to implement the Minsk-2 political settlement.

The Ukrainian parliament in Kiev added a clause that, in effect, requires the rebels to first surrender and let the Ukrainian government organize elections before a federalized structure is determined. Minsk-2 had called for dialogue with the representatives of these rebellious eastern territories en route to elections and establishment of broad autonomy for the region.

Instead, reflecting Nuland’s hard-line position, Kiev refused to talks with rebel leaders and insisted on establishing control over these territories before the process can move forward. If the legislation stands, the result will almost surely be a resumption of war between military forces backed by nuclear-armed Russia and the United States, a very dangerous development for the world. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Ukraine’s Poison Pill for Peace Talks.”]

Not only will the Ukrainian civil war resume but so will the Cold War between Washington and Moscow with lots of money to be made by the Military-Industrial Complex. On Friday, Nuland’s husband, Robert Kagan, drove home that latter point in the neocon Washington Post.

The Payoff

But don’t think that this unlocking of the U.S. taxpayers’ wallets is just about this one couple. There will be plenty of money to be made by other neocon think-tankers all around Washington, including Frederick Kagan, who works for the right-wing American Enterprise Institute, and his wife, Kimberly, who runs her own think tank, the Institute for the Study of War [ISW].

Kimberly Kagan, founder and president of the Institute for the Study of War.

Kimberly Kagan, founder and president of the Institute for the Study of War.

According to ISW’s annual reports, its original supporters were mostly right-wing foundations, such as the Smith-Richardson Foundation and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, but it was later backed by a host of national security contractors, including major ones like General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman and CACI, as well as lesser-known firms such as DynCorp International, which provided training for Afghan police, and Palantir, a technology company founded with the backing of the CIA’s venture-capital arm, In-Q-Tel. Palantir supplied software to U.S. military intelligence in Afghanistan.

Since its founding in 2007, ISW has focused mostly on wars in the Middle East, especially Iraq and Afghanistan, including closely cooperating with Gen. David Petraeus when he commanded U.S. forces in those countries. However, more recently, ISW has begun reporting extensively on the civil war in Ukraine. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Neocons Guided Petraeus on Afghan War.”]

In other words, the Family Kagan has almost a self-perpetuating, circular business model working the inside-corridors of government power to stimulate wars while simultaneously influencing the public debate through think-tank reports and op-ed columns in favor of more military spending and then collecting grants and other funding from thankful military contractors.

To be fair, the Nuland-Kagan mom-and-pop shop is really only a microcosm of how the Military-Industrial Complex has worked for decades: think-tank analysts generate the reasons for military spending, the government bureaucrats implement the necessary war policies, and the military contractors make lots of money before kicking back some to the think tanks — so the bloody but profitable cycle can spin again.

The only thing that makes the Nuland-Kagan operation special perhaps is that the whole process is all in the family.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com). You also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

image_pdfimage_print

59 comments for “A Family Business of Perpetual War

  1. Gregory Kruse
    March 20, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    Apparently, the easiest and most rewarding thing in life is to start a war. That is as long as you are the scum that rises to the top where you are safe. She should be named Victoria Bonaparte.

    • John P. Hospitalier
      March 25, 2015 at 7:12 am

      Bonaparte was not a bastard like those ones. He used to be a General who saved the French Revolution and fought against european Royalists. He founded European Union unfotunetely destroyed by Britts. Till today, his great job & organization system, remains active. French people are proud of him, but about these two psychopathes in 200 years ? Do you think they shall have a statue ?

      • Markus
        March 31, 2015 at 8:24 am

        What was so great about the french bloody revolution ? It set off Europe into an unprecedented era of war that killed millions of people.

        Easy for an american to glorify the revolution, I guess.

  2. Rexw
    March 20, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    It would be an interesting study to determine how many Americans have died as a result of the actions of this infamous family, still engaging in their neocon activities without any regard for the country.
    The fact that the feckless and corrupt politicians tolerate this behaviour is amazing because not one of their nefarious pursuits have any value for America and they appear to be accountable to no one. It is like giving the USA the big finger and yes, we take it.
    But then, patriotic activities is not the business they are in. Patriotism is not their strong suit. In fact, probably, the opposite is the case.
    What we need is a latter day Senator McCarthy and his anti-American purges. Over-the-top at the time, yes, but what we have today is all too tolerant of those who would bring America down.
    It is happening. The Kagan tribe is the perfect example. All part of Israel’s Master Plan.

    • Larry
      March 21, 2015 at 12:22 am

      “Israel’s Master Plan”? Somewhat in-sync with Likudite Israel’s preferences, yes, but Israel is only a very small part of a much, much larger and organically connected master plan to maximize profits by feeding off of fear and greed worldwide. To focus on Israel, say, and not on the gargantuan American military-industrial complex and its British and other international counterparts, and the many 1,000’s of participating major and lesser armament makers, parts providers, security corporations, ‘intelligence’ operations, profiteering middlemen, and local end-users, shows bigotry or other ignorance on your part. I’m guessing bigotry, but hope I am wrong. BTW, Likud is not my idea of good government in any way, shape, or form. For my part, I’m hoping desperately for the end of neocon influence on American foreign policy.

      • dahoit
        March 23, 2015 at 1:03 pm

        Likud,Labor,what’s the diff?
        These people are Israeli centric traitors working on controlling the big dog America,into serial disaster after serial disaster,with the full throat of the Zionist MSM in full compliance.
        Quit being mealy mouthed,or is it ethnic affinity(or ideology) and call it what it actually is.

    • Bud Wood
      March 21, 2015 at 7:06 pm

      Seems like subjective (self centered) people are drawn to government where they can enrich themselves more readily by affecting policies. No, I doubt that there is any concern to what happens to others when their political cloud is utilized for personal aggrandizement. A lot of such things happen at the end of empire. Or more to the point, happen to push the empire into its end phase.

      • Marcus
        March 23, 2015 at 1:08 pm

        Sounds like Democratic societies are not safe if big capitalism (ultra – reactionary finance capitalism, specifically) decides to invade and expropriate the public space which must remain sacrosanct and inviolate if democracy is to survive. But oligarchs hate democracy and have no incentive for its survival. . They only respected it when they were constrained by force to do so. What allowed a fascist coup to happen in America? Money in politics? Media monopoly (capture) ? The media piece was perhaps the most damaging because it kept Americans ignorant and hostile to their own best interests and the interests of the country. Academia and the church helped it along.

        • Charles
          March 23, 2015 at 4:37 pm

          Well said Marcus except for one key word. “Was”. This is far from over and it is getting more dangerous for us and the world each month. Six years of negative propaganda and re-branding of both the Republicans to Conservative and Kagans disgraced Project for a New American Century to Foreign Policy Initiative have let these scoundrels actually prosper instead of retiring them in shame when they skirted war crimes.
          The fear mongering and anti Liberal propaganda will get worse unless it is stopped or the Republicans have all the power. Even then there is no guarantee that they can turn off what they created. A scary thought. It is criminal and immoral to create an enemy for political purposes where none exists.
          The think tanks are subject to the same laws we all are and they have become bases for political operatives and provocateurs who can make anything happen, or not happen, including militarily.
          How can we prevent this take over? Their blatant use of propaganda could be a start. Its illegal for the military to use propaganda resources here at home. Proof of just one active duty operative working under orders could bring their whole house down. I’d start by sweating Petraeus, Roger Ailes,and Karl Rove as well as more recent republican leadership with at least as much vigor as Whitewater and within an inch of Abu Ghraib.
          When you hear Jon Stewart suddenly calling republicans “Conservatives” you have to wonder what bonus it took from corporate,Lets not forget the knife he put in Dan Rathers back with an edited soundbyte. By their using him so early, we can at least deduce that the gloves are off.

          • Joe B
            March 24, 2015 at 9:09 am

            True, but the DoD has a propaganda command that actively generates scams to deceive both politicians and We the People, and their MIC et al do the rest. DefSec Wolfowitz appointed zionist operatives Wurmser, Feith, and Perl to run offices at CIA, DIA, and NSA that stove-piped fake “intelligence” to Cheney et al to promote Iraq War 2. No doubt there are hundreds of such cases. Congress has not objected to right wing propaganda from government agencies. The federal judiciary is nothing but a right wing scam operation and would never convict them.

    • R Millis
      March 21, 2015 at 10:57 pm

      Proof positive example in how the degraded political structure doesn’t even have the ability to take out Nuland and her family.

      America has become a tragedy.

    • Ryan
      March 22, 2015 at 12:02 pm

      We should also point out that virtually none of the elected politicians have served in the military or have close family members in the military. So in effect, they vote for they vote for the poor and working class to do their violent bidding for them, and die or become maimed in the process. And the longer the violence continues the more money they make through stocks that they invested in prior to the start of the hostilities.

  3. Larry
    March 21, 2015 at 12:12 am

    I like Hillary, but her direct support of these and other neocon war promoters gives me concern that her presidency would become the Hillary-Industrial Complex. After all, as Secretary of State, she promoted Victoria Nuland [Kagan], a Dick Cheney advisor, to her post as an assistant secretary of state, from which she planned, orchestrated, and executed the Ukrainian neo-nazi-spearheaded Ukraine coup that has led to so much death and suffering. And Hillary wasn’t unaware of Nuland’s purpose and what was in store for Ukraine and since the coup has been a key participant in a severe propagandizing effort to deceive Americans and Europeans, which has worked almost perfectly. If one has a concern for positively influencing Russia’s domestic and international policies and behavior, being a trustworthy friend and ally is the only effective way to do so. Undermining them and then stabbing them in the back won’t get you where you want to go. If a President Hillary Clinton means continuing to advance unabated Cheney-Bush neocon warmongering, then I won’t be along for that ride. And it’s not as if Obama wasn’t on board this game of nuclear chicken with Russia either. What the hell are they thinking? It’s very disappointing how Democratic presidents become so in thrall to unnecessary powermongering and war. There must be an insidious mental corruption that envelops a new president, causing a collapse of will, beginning with the fundraising and involving the strategic policy briefings by a raft of vested jingo interests, a tight straitjacket restricting action contrary to those money interests yet providing great leeway for enacting foreign hostilities. Or maybe The White House is haunted. Aha, that’s it! The White House must be haunted by war-loving ghouls and other jilted lost souls.

    • whateveritttakes2
      March 22, 2015 at 1:06 am

      Pardon me Larry, but Hillary and Victoria are two peas in a pod… If you can stomach the one, then you better think twice about the other. Go to Corbettreport.com if you want the full truth on the Clinton family who are just as depraved as the Kagan family.

    • Natalia
      March 22, 2015 at 1:03 pm

      Well said.

    • Joe L.
      March 23, 2015 at 12:29 pm

      Well, from the outside looking in (I am Canadian), it would seem to me that both the Republican and Democratic parties are both poison. Both bring wars, coups and bad things for the world in general. I believe I read an article before which stated that the US has been at war for somewhere around 91% of its’ history, if that is not a military industrial complex, I don’t know what else is and both the Democrats and Republicans are responsible for this. I hope that the American people stop voting for both of these parties and instead shift to a third party. Even if enough people shifted their vote away from the major parties then at least maybe it would make them think about what the American people want and I don’t think that is war.

      • dahoit
        March 23, 2015 at 1:05 pm

        Canada is in no better shape,as Harper is Cruzlike in his idiocy and warmongering.

    • Marcus
      March 23, 2015 at 1:13 pm

      What do you mean when you say “I like Hillary” ? You like her style, her speeches? You like an interview you read in the NY Times, maybe? What has that got to do with the downfall of American democracy and the rise of a savage “4th branch of government” – the MIC? The Clintons are true believers along with the Kagans.

  4. March 21, 2015 at 12:20 am

    The original Das Bild article is at http://www.bild.de/politik/inland/muenchner-sicherheitskonferenz/was-us-politiker-ueber-deutschland-denken-39678276.bild.html

    There is an English translation of it by Tom Winter at http://fortruss.blogspot.com/2015/02/german-newspaper-bild-gets-inside-us.html

    It includes the following translator’s note:

    “This material is visible throughout the German press, and it all comes back to this article in Das Bild, and the source for this Bild article had to be German Intelligence. The German press is full of praise for their peace-making Chancellor, and apparently the Chancellory is committed to making Minsk II a success. Further, this item removes, and was doubtless intended to remove, any doubts about NATO being a US instrument. Also to be noted here is a complete zeroing out of the five or six million Russian-speaking inhabitants of Lugansk and Donetsk; they don’t exist, it’s just Russia.”

    The fact that the German press “is full of praise” of Merkel for Minsk II, if true, along with the major hurt to Germany’s economy resulting from coompliance with U.S. sanctions on Russia that set the German business sector howling for Merkel to end the sanctions may have played a large factor in Germany’s decision announced earlier today to join China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), joining the UK, France, Italy, and Luxembourg, over U.S. objections. https://finance.yahoo.com/news/france-germany-italy-join-china-002209014.html They are backed in doing so by the European Commission, which also recently floated a trial balloon on a EU defensive forces treaty that would be independent of NATO.

    Germany hitching its economic wagon to China’s in a yuan-based infrastructure investment bank has enormous long-term significance. China wants to build a New Silk Road high-speed container cargo rail line from China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, France, and finally Spain, with a transit time of two days. Currently, containers have to take far longer and slower sea routes. The high-speed rail line would have the practical effect of beginning the integration of the European and Asian markets. http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175935/

    U.S. maintenance of an arc of instability from Ukraine to the Red Sea has played a key role in blocking Chinese transportation of goods and raw materials including fossil fuels between China and points to its west. But by instigating war in Ukraine and launching a new Cold War with Russia with its sanctions, the U.S. drove Russia into China’s arms, who came to Russia’s rescue with two natural gas mega-deals, an agreement to establish and develop a manufacturing free trade zone along the China-Russia border, and a public commitment to provide Russia with funding to survive U.S. and European sanctions. Russia responded to the European sanctions by ending the import of goods from Europe and announcing that it will acquire them elsewhere and develop its own capacity to produce them. Bye-bye, about 30 percent of the European export market.

    China has also announced that it will open yuan currency markets this September in the major European financial centers and elsewhere around the globe but not in the U.S., further promoting the BRICS nations’ de-dollarization of the global economy.

    For Europe, the question has not so much been whether to make the transition from the rapidly declining value of the U.S. petrodollar to a currency with a more stable value that is tied to the rising economies, but when.

    The rising economies offer prosperity through investment in infrastructure development and trade, while the U.S. has continued to offer little beyond subugation and the threat of violence. Ivan Pavlov’s pioneering work in behavioral psychology established more than a century ago that positive reinforcement was a far stronger motivator than negative reinforcement. It’s regrettable that American leaders never got that memo.

    • nexusxyz
      March 21, 2015 at 9:32 pm

      The construction of rail lines for goods and pipelines for energy transfer from West to East and East to West would bring energy security and would reduce the value of having a blue sea navy. Aside from being a whole bunch of targets the US Navy would also be pushed further off shore as advanced missile systems are deployed.

    • Jada Thacker
      March 23, 2015 at 1:49 am

      Paul,
      Marbux,

      Thanks for your insightful political analysis.

      But may we agree that the $USD is not currently “rapidly declining in value,” as you state? If it were doing so, then EU countries would not be bolting for the door, as you say.

      And may I point out that Pavlov did not pioneer “behavioral psychology?” B.F. Skinner and those who followed his example did so. Pavlov merely demonstrated conditioned response to stimulus in animals. In addition, you seem to be conflating “negative reinforcement” with “punishment,” which does not act to motivate behavior, but extinguish it. “Negative reinforcement” occurs when the REMOVAL of a stimulus tends to increase the frequency of the preceding behavior of an organism subject to the stimulus. “Punishment” is when the APPLICATION of a stimulus decreases the frequency of the preceding behavior of an organism subject to the stimulus.

      Pavlov never figured this stuff out. Ditto for Washington, D.C.

  5. Toejam
    March 21, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    I think the whole family should go over to the Ukraine and any other wars they are associated with and “volunteer” and fight in that for which they so firmly believe. They actually sound like a bunch of Zionists to me.

  6. Jada Thacker
    March 21, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    “Being absolutely honest, a review of the wars we “won” is a disappointingly short list. Perhaps the War of 1812 is the last decisive victory.”

    Quite on the contrary, the United States did not win the War of 1812 at all, much less “decisively.” In fact, there was no victory for either side.

    Although the US did win the Battle of New Orleans in 1815, the British had already agreed in 1814 to the terms of peace in the son-to-be-ratified Treaty of Ghent — before the Battle of New Orleans was even fought!

    Canadian historian Pierre Berton said of the Treaty of Ghent: “It was as if no war had been fought, or to put it more bluntly, as if the war that was fought was fought for no good reason. For nothing has changed; everything is as it was in the beginning save for the graves of those who, it now appears, have fought for a trifle….”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Ghent

    In my view, a nation wins a war only by achieving peace on its own terms. If this is so, then the US has won few non-North American wars solely by the force of its own arms.

    The Revolution was won without France; WWII was not won without the Soviet Union and Britain. WWI, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan we lost as per the above definition. Only in the Korean War, The Spanish-American War, and the Philippine War did the US achieve peace on its own terms through force of its own arms – though belatedly in the case of Korea.

    Note: The stated war aim of the United Nations forces in Korea was to reestablish the “status quo ante bellum,” which was in fact brilliantly achieved by the Inchon landing in the first few weeks of the war. But the “status quo ante bellum”was not finalized until three years later by the armistice that is still in effect today. The original intent of the US on entering the war was not to invade or “liberate” North Korea, but only to reestablish the 38th parallel as the border between the divided Koreas. The American public — especially its Korean War veterans — seems never to have understood this.

    • Jada Thacker
      March 21, 2015 at 6:43 pm

      Correction:

      “The Revolution was won without France;” should have been “The Revolution was NOT won without France;”

      In addition, my comment was made with regard to F.G. Sanford’s comment (which I quoted in my first sentence above) on the present piece. Oddly, his original comment and those of others seem to have been deleted from the comment file.

      That said, my comment stands on it’s own merit..

    • F. G. Sanford
      March 21, 2015 at 8:12 pm

      If the purpose of waging the Korean War was to re-establish the status quo, it was an expensive proposition, and has encumbered a massive financial expenditure ever since. Kinda like re-mortgaging your house for five times its value and thinking of it as a worthwhile investment for the future. The proposition that you find the outcome laudable suggests that you also subscribe to the “Domino Theory” of communism, and the hellacious fear-mongering that made it part and parcel of the cold war psychosis. That got us into Vietnam, where 58,000 Americans died and about 2 million Vietnamese did as well. You may or may not recall that we actually tortured 29,000 Vietnamese to death under Operation Phoenix, hardly an item we can hold up as a banner of national pride. I note that eight or ten comments, including mine, have mysteriously disappeared. If mine should miraculously reappear, I’ll let it stand on its own merit. We can look at the practical outcomes, or we can immerse ourselves in complex verbal constructs which, as Orwell points out, have no more substance than mere wind.

      • Jada Thacker
        March 22, 2015 at 9:56 pm

        Please don’t shoot at the messenger. I am just stating an often overlooked fact about the goal of the UN resolution, under color of which the US entered the Korean War. The outcome of the war was not “laudable” for any parties involved, and I did not suggest it was. But it was not a military defeat for the US, however expensive it proved to be, because the US achieved peace on the terms it stated when it committed to the war.

        In any event, I am acutely aware of the Cold War psychosis that led to the war in Vietnam, where I celebrated my 19th birthday as an infantryman pulling long range patrols on the Laotian border.

        • F. G. Sanford
          March 22, 2015 at 10:30 pm

          Point well taken – but the point of my original comment was that, regardless of how “victory” is defined, the actual outcomes have been disasters. Very profitable disasters, but disasters nonetheless. I also quoted Cicero, who cautioned that a Nation can survive its fools and scoundrels, but not traitors in its halls of government. When war is premeditated – and any war based on lies is just that – then those perpetrators are traitors. We must take a close look at the current case for war, and decide who is really the aggressor. I’d start with, How did ‘Yats’ get to be the guy?

          • Jada Thacker
            March 23, 2015 at 12:24 am

            “Yats” got to be “the guy” because he’s a banker.

    • Zachary Smith
      March 21, 2015 at 8:25 pm

      Oddly, his original comment and those of others seem to have been deleted from the comment file.

      Odd is right! Not only have they disappeared from the current thread, but somebody seems to have ‘disappeared’ them from Google cache as well. So I put on my tinfoilhat and checked Google. The big brass there seem to be of a disposition to do such a thing, or at least look the other way if somebody else did. ???

      As I type this, I also notice the math check-problem has disappeared from the Reply menu. WTH is happening?

      But back on topic. It’s my opinion that the US victory at New Orleans mattered very much, for I can’t imagine the Brits giving away the place if they’d managed to capture it – treaty or no treaty. Just an opinion…

      Spanish American War: I’ve struggled to understand that one, and despite buying a number of books on the subject, have mostly failed. One thing I DID conclude is that Teddy Roosevelt ought to be removed from Mt. Rushmore, for he wasn’t much better than GWB in being a rich spoiled-brat trouble-making warmonger. Still an opinion…

      Korea: I disagree that this was any kind of solo US victory. South Korea must have had hundreds of thousands of battle deaths, and despite their general helplessness, dead is dead. The UK and Turkey each had more 700 battle deaths. Australia, Canada, and France around 300 each. Thailand, Greece, Holland, Columbia, and Ethiopia all suffered more than 100 war dead in Korea.

      Another conclusion: Inchon was a victory, but it was also a near-insane gamble. And the Joint Chiefs in DC were scared to death of MacArthur. Say what you will about Truman; at least he had the guts to take on the overblown legend.

      An aside: I have two FAT books on the Korean war, and I was shocked to learn that all the US allies in that conflict were completely unmentioned in the Index of either. Also, grubbing out any numbers at all from the internet wasn’t easy either.

      • F. G. Sanford
        March 21, 2015 at 8:55 pm

        Yeah, it’s pretty obvious I got ‘bleeped’. I think it’s because I said, “If Kimberly Kagan had actually ever studied war, as her ‘Institute’ seems to insinuate, she’d know that the ‘war’ against Putin is already lost: it’s all over but the shooting.”

        • March 22, 2015 at 1:14 pm

          I responded very favorably to your excellent original comment and got bleeped as well. Please keep it up. you are great in your response to Robert Parry and never fail to add to the forum.

      • Jada Thacker
        March 22, 2015 at 10:54 pm

        Zachary:

        You are absolutely right that the US did not achieve peace on its own terms by force of its own arms in Korea. Although the US did field the vast majority of men and material of the foreign UN forces, the South Koreans suffered horrendous casualties and made great sacrifices. In the end, of course, the South and the US/UN got what it wanted.

        I suppose the question is whether that outcome could have been achieved by the US/UN alone, or by the South Koreans alone. The latter was not possible. But the former might not have been possible, either. So it may have been presumptuous for me to put Korea into the same category as the Spanish or Philippine wars. Thanks for pointing that out.

        As for the Battle of New Orleans, it is possible that the Brits would have reneged upon the treaty if they had won, but I don’t think so because they had already ratified on their end (even though they knew their New Orleans military expedition was still undecided!) and were waiting for the US to do the same. The Treaty of Ghent did not hinge on battlefield victories, anyway, but because of the commercial pressures that business and labor were bringing upon the warring governments.

        It was a pretty stupid war, made even more stupid after Napoleon’s 1814 defeat — so everybody just defaulted to intelligence and called quits. Neither side gained concessions or property. But there were losers: the American Indians who, without British support, were subsequently by the unfettered American westward movement.

        You may have a point about TR. Hard to say. He is an historical enigma in many ways.

  7. jer
    March 21, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    Ugggh ! ! ! America a.k.a. Babylon

  8. jer
    March 21, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    Arrgggh! ! ! America a.k.a. Babylon The Great is always and always thinking and reaming of wars. Wars, wars and more wars. Thanks to her destiny, and her many right-wing think-tanks, her global conquistadors dwelling deep inside Washington, her defence contractors, and the Huge Huge power of the western media (what) with their non-stop and very virulent and very unrivaled ability to generate and run tons and tons of agitation propaganda, America will always love wars and pursuit of wars. Amen !

    • nexusxyz
      March 21, 2015 at 9:27 pm

      Until the final war with nukes takes place.

  9. nexusxyz
    March 21, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    If the only way the degenerates ‘screw’ funds is through the promotion of conflict to sell arms it will come to an obvious end point when all the continual warmongering triggers a final conflict with Russia and China. Won’t be any pay days after that though.

  10. John Cook
    March 21, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    I find it interesting that Nuland and Kagan are Askenazi Jews, originally from Kasaria where Ukraine is now (Not Palistine) and the Kasars who converted to Judasm around the year 800 called their king “Kagan”.

  11. MarkofDenver
    March 21, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    Remington Rand Corporation was the primary manufacturer of allied ammunition for World War I. Guess whose family ran that business? Union Bank of North Carolina provided Nazi financing for World War II. Guess whose family ran that business? The Carlisle Group controls the patent for Thermite. Guess whose family controls that business? These family businesses and many more like them across the world, were all benefactors of wars that were fought over the last one hundred years. This is just one of many family organizations that have “profiteered” from the global war machine. War is nothing more than a rich man’s family racket and has been since way before Napolean.

    How many bricklayer or grocer’s families do you know that want to start and fight a war, with their own children fighting, to increase their family business prospects? And just to be fair, let’s not forget about the fourth estate. They’ve all done such an admiral job for our country keeping all our families so “well informed and safe.” All real American families should be ashamed of these “mongrel families” that are running the American republic into the ground. Never forget that the love of money is the root of all evil. Truer words were never spoken. If you want to know why the America enterprise is failing, just follow the massive coersion, collusion and fiat money schemes to their logical ends. These families are the real enemies of freedom and should be outlawed as traitors worldwide if you can find an honest judge that hasn’t already been “bought off.”

    • Joe B
      March 22, 2015 at 2:44 pm

      I can avow from extensive experience that there are almost no honest judges in the US, including Maine, Massachusetts, Florida, and the entire federal judiciary there and above them. They are all political appointees, and the politicians are nearly all controlled by the oligarchy, as are the mass media upon which their elections depend.

      Truly the oligarchy have used economic power to wage war upon the US, the definition of treason in our Constitution, and should languish in prison without hope of reprieve. I would suggest a prison in Russia or Iran, as they may not charge us for the service.

      We already have the best defensive weapon in the world – 5000 miles of ocean – and have never advanced democracy nor US interests by foreign wars, which were very deliberately omitted from the federal powers enumerated in the Constitution. The oligarchy warmongers have deliberately violated the Constitution in every way possible. Only by waging war upon its own oligarchy can the US advance democracy.

    • March 22, 2015 at 2:56 pm

      I agree, MarkofDenver, did you see: http://everythingisarichmanstrick.webs.com/watch-video

    • Marcus
      March 23, 2015 at 1:23 pm

      The quote is: “Money is the root of all evil”……..Period! It was clothed in a different wording by persons who were not comfortable with that naked truth

  12. Abe
    March 21, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    I want to know who the men in the shadows are
    I want to hear somebody asking them why
    They can’t be counted on to tell us who our enemies are
    But they’re never the ones to fight or to die

    And there are lives in the balance

    Jackson Browne – Lives in the Balance
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPFdbKLUmQk

    • March 22, 2015 at 1:19 pm

      Thanks, Abe, I think we all want an answer to the question put forth in that song.

  13. Generalissimo Xi
    March 21, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    i think the on sign on the family store says “wars r us”. what a loathsome and despicable pair of monsters. even their ugly faces remind me of their policy; wicked, bloated and self serving. here’s hoping they get what’s coming to them and soon.

  14. Thomas Shultz
    March 21, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    Newland and Kagan are threatening to start World War 3. Very dangerous individuals!

    • March 22, 2015 at 1:25 pm

      I so agree, Thomas, I first realized the danger when I first heard Richard Pearle and found the PNAC statement.

  15. Joe Tedesky
    March 22, 2015 at 1:42 am

    I wish now, I had paid more attention to the name, ‘April Glaspie’. Only back in those wonder stealth bomber days I was to confused to know what was going on. There was also the fact that no real serious reporting was done over April’s wink and a node to Saddam. Plus, we had to go save the Kuwaiti babies.

    I love this site, but where is our MSM at when it comes to having a national discussion about our country’s meddling ways. The Kagan family should be more known about. This information should include exposing all of the NEOCON’s, and what they are up to. Yet, everyday I meet average folk who claim to have never heard these names, such as Victoria Nuland. If it isn’t a bra, or hand bag most people are just flat out clueless. This has to change!

    When people think you are wearing a tin foil hat, just point to these career diplomats, and then there’s your reply. Yes, I realize that this is these (Neo Type) people’s careers, but why do we keep them after all their failures? They are kept alive by the real masters. They are not kept alive by the people. They are surviving thanks to their corporate masters. Which would lead me to believe that these diplomatic devil’s are succeeding upward very well. This is why they are still alive, and they just keep on running! (cue the little pink bunny)

  16. onno
    March 22, 2015 at 6:52 am

    I am amazed that the Kagan-Nuland duo are able to manipulate US Congress and also can manipulate a MSM scheme of lies and contradictions with such a force that the majority of the people in USA and also Europe believe these lies. Like they say if you repeat lies often enough people are going to believe it.

    In addition we shouldn’t forget that Vice President Biden’s son Hunter and the stepson of John Kerry, Devon Archer are deeply involved in Ukrainian gas/oil exploitation scheme in East Ukraine under oligarch, criminal and Kiev appointed governor of Dnepropetrovsk, Kolomoisky. This man also pays Yarosh and his army of 2000+ extremists to murder 160 women and children in Odessa.. Kolomoisky’s company Burisma Holdings, Ltd (see Google) holds the largest drilling rights in UA. No wonder that VP BIden and John Kerry support the massacre in East Ukraine by the Neo-Nazi Kiev government murdering more than 6000 innocent women and children. And let’s not forget the 298 people who were in MH 17 and shot down by Ukrainian Air Force SU 25 as is proven now by many specialists. No surprise that USA and NATO are withholding their ‘evidence’ from satellites pictures and forces the Dutch not to disclose the voice recorder either, now 9 months after the shoot down July 17, 2014, Proving again that USA is evil in their geopolitical/colonial ambitions where killing 300 people is ‘ONLY’ collateral damage serving Washington’s Neocons in their dirty war hungry endeavour.

    But can we expect where a movie like ‘American Sniper’ has become a tremendous cash breaker.

    Apparently Americans believe that WAR is like Hollywood portrays not the dirt and suffering like Europeans and Russia experienced in WW II killing 22 million Russians.alone. Russian people remember and therefore armed themselves under a strong leader like President Putin, so Russia is better prepared for an attack from the West, especially USA and NATO. Today Russia is a nuclear power and 86% of the Russian people stand behind their president. Russia defeated Napoleon and Hitler at Stalingrad even before the Allied invasion on the beaches of Normandy NOT to free Europe but to defend USA colony named ‘Europe’. Europe still has 67.000 US troops stationed plus 120 nuclear war heads. Will Europe ever be FREE. Only when when EU have the courage to side with Russia NOT with the Washington war hungry Neocons like Kgan/Nuland and McCain. Russia is peace, USA is aggression as we can see from the 40+ US attacks against sovereign nations since WW II

    • Yars
      March 23, 2015 at 11:39 am

      ‘Amazed’…? This is what AIPAC does, and has been doing so for a Long time…

    • Serge
      March 23, 2015 at 9:01 pm

      Sooner or later US sword is going to hit the rock…
      Results are easy to predict/. America is not prepared and not ready to what real war against another peer nation looks like.

  17. MrK
    March 22, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    Robert Kagan, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution (which doesn’t disclose details on its funders),

    Here is a hint: the President of the Brookings Institute, Strobe Talbott, is on the Steering Committee of the Trilateral Commission. The Trilateral Commission was founded in 1973, by David Rockefeller and Zbigniew Brzezinksi. David Rockefeller is the grandson of John D. Rockefeller, who founded the global oil monopoly called the Standard Oil Trust, which today is ExxonMobil, Chevron and Philips-Conoco. David Rockefeller’s father, John D. Rockefeller jr., created the Chase National Bank, which became Chase Manhattan Bank, which today is JPMorgan Chase, America’s biggest bank.

    THE TRILATERAL COMMISSION JANUARY 2013
    *Executive Committee

    DAVID ROCKEFELLER
    Founder and Honorary Chairman

    *Strobe Talbott, President, The Brookings Institution, Washington; former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State

    Condoleezza Rice, Professor of Political Science, Stanford University, and Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy, Hoover Institution, Palo Alto; former U. S. Secretary of State; former National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush

    Madeleine K. Albright, Chair, Albright Stonebridge Group, Washington; former U.S Secretary of State

    Strobe Talbott is also a former Secretary of State, like Madeleine Albright (also on the Trilateral Commission membership list), Condoleezza Rice (also on the Trilateral Commission membership list), etc.

  18. A Russian-Canadian
    March 22, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    Could somebody here please kindly explain to me how this family shop could happen in the first place? Do the US have any conflict of interest laws for public servants like Nuland? How could it happen that such a narrow special interest group managed to hijack the policy of a major power like the US? I do not want to start any bickering here, but the US is supposed to be a model of democracy, checks and balances, separation of powers, etc. for Ukraine and others. According to Nuland and her likes, at least. I really think you over there in the US should get cleaning your own mess BEFORE starting to meddle in the affairs of the others. And many thanks to Robert Parry and many commentators on this site for restoring, at least for a bit, my trust that not all Americans are like Nuland, Clinton, etc.

  19. Pat
    March 22, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    The defense contractors supporting the Institute for the Study of War also receive major contracts from the State Department, DynCorp being the biggest. An inspector’s report last April slammed State for waste in its reconstruction work in Afghanistan and noted that 70 percent of the budget went to DynCorp, despite its history of corruption and scandal.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/25/sigar-afghanistan-dyncorp_n_5212156.html

    With its Afghanistan working winding down, DynCorp is looking toward Ukraine as its next gravy train, although contracts won’t necessarily be from the State Department.
    http://iissonline.net/as-afghanistan-work-ends-dyncorp-sees-opportunity-ahead/

    The State Department also contracts with CACI and General Dynamics. I don’t have time for an exhaustive search, but if I could find that much in a few minutes, there has to be a lot more.

    Even if none of the contractors funding her sister-in-law’s “think tank” do business with Nuland’s group (Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs), isn’t this a blatant conflict of interest? Insider trading?

  20. LEE TINKER LOE
    March 22, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    I spoke with a Austrian-German woman in 1963 about the dangers of the US and its warring nature. She said that there would be wars until the US had one on its own soil. I hope she was wrong. Check out David Swanson’s website WorldBeyondWar.org and his book A Global Security System: An Alternative to War. I am working with friends on a conference titled Peace or Wars without End? US Foreign Policy: A Conference to Explore Our Choices.
    Just found this site. Very interesting. Parry is something else. Lee Loe, TX Grandmother for Peace

  21. hegesias
    March 23, 2015 at 7:28 am

    Investigate 9/11. Investigate PNAC.

  22. Serge
    March 23, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    I wonder why all of them did not consider military careers if they are so interested in war related activities? At least they would have put their money where their mouths are.

  23. Gibbo
    March 24, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    What a really vile woman she is! I say to her what she said about the EU when she was plotting the new fascist government in Ukraine with the new governor of Ukraine who is the US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt. Often these US puppet government are ruled from the nearest US embassy as in the case of the Shah’s Iran.
    All these scoundrels need their own Nuremberg trials where they can be charged with starting wars of aggression.

  24. Dennis
    March 26, 2015 at 1:27 am

    Kagan is not an “Intellectual, he is a psychopath, as his deranged wife and most of the war mongering morons in congress, the Pentagon, the White House and state department. They are all complicit in the genocide in east Ukraine. There are thousands of hours of raw footage of the conflicts around Donetsk and Lughansk on youtube showing what the Ukraine Army did to those cities and the people living there. I know first hand as I have a friend who literally fled Horlivka when the rockets rained down on her house. A single working Mother, she lost everything including her pets, home, gardens all the while her daughter is living in Kiev going to university while the Ukraine Army and corrupt government in Kiev is trying to kill her mother and brother! I call that cultural insanity and the direct cause is is the Kagans, the psychopaths in DC, London and New york.

  25. Max Pyziur
    March 28, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    Parry is a liar

    a) There was no coup in Ukraine
    b) Brookings makes information on its donor base available in its Annual Reports; download the PDF and read it. In the 2014 Annual report, the donors are listed starting on p. 20.

    Ignore Parry

Comments are closed.