The Case for Pragmatism

Exclusive: Since American neocons emerged in the 1980s, they have pushed an aggressive “regime change” strategy that has left bloody chaos in their wake. The cumulative impact, including Mideast refugees flooding Europe and overuse of sanctions, is now contributing to a global economic crisis, says Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Crashing global stock markets punctuated by the bracing 1,000-plus point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average at the start of Monday’s trading before a partial bounce-back are a reminder about the interdependence of today’s world economy and a wake-up call to those who think that the neocon-driven ideology of endless chaos doesn’t carry a prohibitively high price.

The hard truth is that there is a limit to the amount of neocon-induced trouble that the planet can absorb without major dislocations of the international economic system and we may be testing that limit now. The problem is that America’s neocons and their liberal interventionist sidekicks continue to put their ideological priorities ahead of what’s good for the average person on earth.

President Barack Obama talks with President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation as they join other leaders en route to the APEC Family Photo at the International Convention Center in Beijing, China, Nov. 11, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the International Convention Center in Beijing, China, Nov. 11, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

In other words, it may make sense for some neocon think tank or a “human rights” NGO to demand interventions via “hard power” (military action) or “soft power” (economic sanctions, propaganda or other non-military means). After all, neocon think tanks raise money from self-interested sectors, such as the Military-Industrial Complex, and non-governmental organizations always have their hands out for donations from the U.S. government or friendly billionaires.

But the chaos that these neocons and liberal interventionists inflict on the world often justified by claims about “democracy promotion” and “human rights” typically ends up creating conditions of far greater horror than the meddling was meant to stop.

For instance, the Islamic State butchers and their former parent organization, Al Qaeda, are transforming Iraq and Syria into blood-soaked killing fields. But the neocons and liberal hawks still think the higher priority was and is to eliminate the relatively stable and prosperous dictatorships of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad.

There is always a fixation about getting rid of some designated “bad guy” even if the result is some “far-worse guys.” This has been a pattern repeated over and over again, from Libya to Sudan/South Sudan to Ukraine/Russia to Venezuela (just to name a few). In such cases, we see the neocons/liberal hawks release a flood of propaganda against some unpleasant target (Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi/Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir/Ukraine’s Viktor Yanukovych/Russia’s Vladimir Putin/Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez or Nicolas Maduro) followed by demands for “regime change” or at least punishing economic sanctions.

Anyone who tries to provide some balance to offset the propaganda is denounced as a “(fill-in-the-blank) apologist” and pushed out of the room of acceptable debate. Then, with no one in Official Washington left to challenge the “group think,” the only question is how extreme should the punishment be direct military assault (as in Iraq, Libya and Syria), a political coup d’etat (as in Ukraine and almost in Venezuela) or economic sanctions (as in Russia and Sudan).

For many Americans trying to do international business, it can be confusing as to where the legal lines are, who is or who isn’t on some black list, what kinds of transactions are allowed or forbidden. I know of one counselor who helps people overcome stuttering who had to reject Skype lessons with a prospective patient in Iran because it wasn’t clear whether that might violate the draconian U.S. sanctions regime.

Spreading the Chaos

Arguably some narrowly focused sanctions against a particularly nefarious foreign leader might make sense. Even a limited military intervention might not upset the entire world’s economy. But the proliferation of these strategies has combined to destabilize not just the targeted regimes but nations far from the front lines and is now contributing to global economic chaos.

In tracing these patterns, you can go back in time to such misguided fiascos as the CIA’s huge covert operation in Afghanistan in the 1980s (which gave rise to the Taliban and Al Qaeda). However, for argument’s sake, let’s start with the neocon success in promoting President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq in 2003. Not only did that war divert more than $1 trillion in U.S. taxpayers’ money from productive uses into destructive ones, but it began a massive spread of chaos across the Middle East.

Add in President Barack Obama’s 2011 “humanitarian” interventions in Libya (via Western bombing operations to topple Muammar Gaddafi’s regime) and in Syria (via covert support for rebels and sanctions against President Assad’s government) and you have two more Mad Max scenarios in two once relatively prosperous Arab states.

These human catastrophes have sent waves of refugees crashing into other Mideast countries and into Europe where the European Union was already stumbling economically, still trying to recover from Wall Street’s 2007-08 financial crisis. After tasting the bitter medicine of austerity for years, Europeans now find their fairly generous welfare systems stretched to the breaking point by refugees seeking asylum.

Having just returned from a visit to Europe, I was struck by the intensity of feelings about the refugee crisis. Some EU nations are throwing up anti-migrant barriers while everyone seems to be squabbling over who should foot the bill at a time when there are financial crises in Greece and other southern-tier countries, which coincidentally are bearing the brunt of the refugee problem.

Toss into this volatile mix of a Europe seemingly close to explosion the Obama administration’s “neocon/liberal interventionist” policies toward Ukraine, where neocon holdover Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland helped orchestrate a 2014 coup to remove democratically elected President Yanukovych after he was demonized in the U.S. mainstream media as corrupt.

Citing “democracy promotion” and “anti-corruption,” the Obama administration backed the creation of a coup regime that has relied on neo-Nazi and Islamist militias to serve as its tip of the spear against ethnic Russian Ukrainians who have resisted the ouster of Yanukovych. Thousands — mostly eastern Ukrainians — have died. Of course, all this was explained to the American people as a simple case of “Russian aggression.”

After the coup, when the ethnic Russians of Crimea voted to secede from Ukraine and rejoin Russia, that became a “Russian invasion,” justifying harsh economic sanctions against Moscow, with the Obama administration strong-arming the Europeans to forgo their profitable trade relations with Russia to punish the Russian economy. But that also added to the pressure on the European economy.

As this madness has escalated, the neocons and their liberal-hawk pals now envision destabilizing the Putin government in nuclear-armed Russia. They don’t seem to recognize that the guy who might follow Putin may not be some obliging Boris Yeltsin but a hard-line ultranationalist ready to brandish the Kremlin’s nuclear arsenal in defense of Mother Russia.

Misguided Interventions

While these various U.S. “hard” and “soft” power interventions are justified by the principles of “human rights,” they often end up working against that goal. A discrete example is the case of Sudan and South Sudan, a crisis that traces back to the demands for a “humanitarian intervention” over Sudan’s alleged genocide in Darfur in 2003.

That horrible conflict was painted in stark black and white colors in the U.S. press, innocent good guys versus evil bad guys, but was actually much more nuanced than what was shown to the American people. The war was touched off by Darfur rebels, but the Sudanese army struck back brutally. The “human rights” community settled on Sudan’s President Bashir as the designated villain, who now faces an indictment in the International Criminal Court.

So, there was great sympathy for carving South Sudan away from Sudan in 2011 and making it an independent country (although oddly Darfur remained part of Sudan). But South Sudan, which possesses significant oil reserves, could sustain itself only if it could get its oil to market and the pipelines went north through Sudan.

And, since the United States and other countries were busy sanctioning Sudan for not turning over Bashir to the ICC, oil companies were unable to assist South Sudan in exploiting its valuable resource, which in turn caused hardship in South Sudan and contributed to a bloody civil war pitting one tribe against another. That led to, you guessed it, calls to sanction South Sudan.

The ongoing tragedy of Sudan/South Sudan is horrific enough, but it is only emblematic of the unintended consequences of rigid neocon/liberal interventionist ideology, which rejects negotiations with “bad guys,” insisting instead on “regime change” or endless punishment of entire populations through sanctions even when those “solutions” inflict more hardship and death.

But now these destructive strategies are going global. They are threatening the economic well-being of the entire planet taking their place along with other misguided theories such as “free-market” absolutism and “austerity” in the face of recessions. The cumulative impact from these various follies has been to put the West’s Middle Class under severe pressure regarding income and purchasing power, which finally has slowed China’s growth and prompted a crash of its financial markets.

That, in turn, is reverberating back across the rest of the world’s stock markets, erasing trillions of dollars in wealth and further reducing the savings of the Middle Class. As this vicious cycle starts spinning, that could mean even less consumer spending and further economic retrenchment.

The prospects for a global recession, if not a full-scale depression, can no longer be ignored. And such economic hardship would only contribute to more death, devastation and destabilization.

Pragmatic Solutions

So what can be done? As dark as the gathering economic storm may be, one silver lining could be that Americans and other Westerners will finally begin pushing back against the powerful neoconservatives and their liberal-interventionist fellow-travelers.

Perhaps, instead of President Obama’s Iranian nuclear deal being a one-off affair that may barely survive a determined neocon assault in the U.S. Congress, it could become a model for pragmatic approaches to other international crises. The core of this pragmatism would be that one doesn’t have to love or even like the leadership of another country to cooperate on global concerns, whether they are economic, geopolitical or environmental.

There also should be a recognition that no country has all the answers or a monopoly on morality. American self-righteousness is not only hypocritical given the many flaws in the U.S. political system from the buying of our campaigns to our repeated violations of international law but it is self-defeating, requiring the endless expenditure of blood and treasure to act as self-appointed global “policeman” whether the world wants it or not.

If pragmatism replaced exceptionalism as the focus of U.S. international relations, there would be some obvious moves that could reduce world tensions and alleviate some of the economic dislocations that are contributing to the deepening economic crisis.

For instance, instead of a potential nuclear confrontation with Russia over Ukraine, what’s wrong with the eastern Ukrainians receiving more autonomy and the right to keep their Russian language? Why shouldn’t the people of Crimea have the right to break their political bonds with Kiev and renew them with Moscow? Why has President Obama bent to the neocon prescriptions of Assistant Secretary Nuland when a little give-and-take could make life better for Ukrainians, Russians and Europeans?

Similarly, why can’t the United States accept a compromise in Syria that includes power-sharing for whatever moderate Sunnis remain and accepts at least the temporary continuation of President Assad’s rule as part of a secular state protecting the lives and interests of Christians, Shiites, Alawites and other minorities? Why not a joint U.S.-Russian-Iranian effort to stabilize the war-torn country, block the expansion of the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, and ease the refugee crisis in the Mideast and Europe?

Yes, I realize that geopolitical pragmatism is anathema to many power centers of Official Washington, particularly the influential neocons, their benefactors in the Israel Lobby and the Military-Industrial Complex, and the many self-interested NGOs of the “human rights” community which favor “humanitarian wars” and seem to care little if their purity leads to even more suffering.

But as the world’s economy teeters and global markets tumble the American people no longer have the luxury of intervening willy-nilly around the globe. International pragmatism, including working with adversaries, may be the only way to prevent the swelling geopolitical pressures from building into a devastating financial crash.

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

42 comments for “The Case for Pragmatism

  1. Mortimer
    August 24, 2015 at 9:04 pm
  2. Jake
    August 24, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    The neocon are not that bright .With all the think tanks they have.Make my self think ???

    • Roberto
      August 24, 2015 at 10:42 pm

      Me too, and my opinion is the most important one.

  3. Nassy Fesharaki
    August 24, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    Bounty

    Her name roots in the ash
    And Leah or Meadow.
    Maddison.

    Her first name
    Of forest; clear
    Has turned ash.

    Only ash
    Only
    Ash.
    The concave and convex site
    Mirror was the hacked;
    That caused shame
    Many lives…
    So far two suicides.

    What is that? Honesty? Loyalty?
    Or hiding, plaster and dress the truth under lies?
    Many sites are hacked but, never one, any one burst like this.
    This breach of trust…
    This bag of dishonest…wealthy and powerful,
    “What if the people learn about us?”
    High bounty is offered because they…
    Are elite…isn’t so?

  4. Abbybwood
    August 24, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    To: Robert Parry
    Chris Hedges
    Robert Scheer
    Mike Whitney
    Pepe Escobar
    Medea Benjamin
    Glenn Greenwald
    Etc.

    PLEASE. Get it together and form a union of clear-headed journalists and put together a press conference at the D.C. Press Club and FILM IT so we can spread it all over the world!

    Speak out against the LIES. Against the PROPAGANDA! Speak out against against the power of Israel over U.S. foreign policy!

    For all those on the planet who are now being oppressed and murdered and made homeless and who are refugees from U.S. imperialism….SPEAK OUT!

    As Jesus said, “Seek ye the TRUTH and the TRUTH shall set ye FREE.”

    The intellectual masses keep getting the “truth” from all of you, but it is but captured on a few websites.

    The TRUTH needs to be blown up into the stratosphere of the information superhighway!

    PLEASE! I speak for thousands, probably MILLIONS of human beings! We need for those of you who are seeking the truth to ORGANIZE and bring the truth to the rest of humanity.

    If you have to create a funding mechanism to do this, then DO IT! It WILL get funded!

    We all have everything to lose and everything to gain.

    • PHIL R
      August 25, 2015 at 6:26 am

      I agree totally. So many independent commentators working away independently and getting nowhere.
      There needs to be a unification amongst these people to spread the message wide and far.
      Add Paul Craig Roberts and john Pilger to that list!

    • Bob Van Noy
      August 25, 2015 at 11:56 am

      I agree abbybwood, I think that would be a great step forward…

    • gonchalabas
      August 25, 2015 at 3:43 pm

      Great idea! Please Mr. Parry, seriously consider this suggestion. You should hold a press conference once a month to clear the propagandized air for the US citizenry. You could add Scahill, Nader, Chomsky, Paul Jay, Stewart, Goodman, and so many other guest speakers. Maybe culminating in a march on washington near the 2016 elections to rout out these necon/liberal hawk types.

    • withertwig
      August 25, 2015 at 6:24 pm

      You speak my thoughts. NPR long ago sold us out; there is not much left to attract Americans who want truth and not propaganda and drivel. Please combine into one network and the financial support will surely come.

    • ilse
      August 28, 2015 at 6:52 pm

      Great idea. Add a few names like Paul Craig Roberts, Pilger, Scahill, Nader, Chomsky, Paul Jay, Stewart, Goodman, and others, but leave out the reference to Jesus.

      Seeking the truth is older than that.

  5. Regina Schulte
    August 24, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    “Democracy promotion” and/or “anti-corruption” as motivation for our brutality in the governments of other nations?? NO WAY; NO WAY AT ALL!!! It’s all to make possible more U. S.
    global corporate power. Read Naomi Klein’s book, SHOCK DOCTRINE; she lays it all out in full view. Follow it up with her book, THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING.

    Who gave this nation the right to go into other countries and topple/assassinate their duly elected leaders? What sane person would claim that we do it for “democracy promotion?”

    • Bob Van Noy
      August 25, 2015 at 12:09 pm

      Thanks Regina Schulte, I remember reading “The Shock Doctrine” and thinking OMG those guys (and they were all guys) at The University of Chicago are insane. The Chicago Boys, the first neocons that I became aware of, were actually allowed to put their outrageous philosophy into effect, resulting in chaos, so similar to the chaos Robert Parry describes above. Since the many CIA/Business interventions around the world beginning with United Fruit? we have all been the losers. It really must stop!

  6. Abe
    August 24, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    Pragmatist parry punctuates Robin Hood Obama’s repeated liberal interventionist and neocon thrusts, with predictable results
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cuihrjLNAo

  7. RogerT
    August 25, 2015 at 12:55 am

    Would someone please clarify the real legal position on war criminality? The UK Petitions Team recently stated: “Under UK and international law, visiting heads of foreign governments, such as Prime Minister Netanyahu, have immunity from legal process, and cannot be arrested or detained”. So baby butcher NetanYAHOO will evade justice on his visit yet President Bashir Al Assad had to flee S Africa for fear of arrest, Are we seeing the usual western double standards at work?

    • Joe Tedesky
      August 25, 2015 at 1:30 am

      Roger T, be careful someone may think your saying that there are double standards going on here. Did you ever see that TV skit where they play who’s in and who’s out? Netanyahu – IN, Assad – OUT, Sterling – OUT, Petraeus-IN, Bankers -IN, People -OUT, Defense Budget -IN, Social Security-OUT….something like that. Now a few words from John Bolton….. Where’s Johnny?

    • Roger
      August 25, 2015 at 5:27 am

      Double standards? Nothing but double standards all over. Money talks, bribery, corruption and bad faith, and lies. If God has a nose he must be holding it hard for the stench.
      Kossovo referendum great; Serbia doesn’t agree – bomb them and try Milosevitch for (our) war crimes.
      Donbass referendum illegal – pay somebody to bomb them.
      Crimea referendum? Ignore the reports from international observers that all was fair and square. Illegal. Therefore the sanctions are legal.
      MH 17? To hell with evidence. We know it was Putin. Let’s shoot ourselves in the foot with more sanctions because we don’t like the man (I do. The only statesman around worthy of the name).
      Greek referendum doesn’t count – we are going to screw them anyway.
      Syrian election a massive success for Assad. People queuing for hours to vote. How strange! We say he is an awful dictator so the popular elections don’t count – must have been rigged. Bomb him. He gasses his own population (actually we did, by proxy) so bomb him some more.
      Chavez/Maduro/Correa etc. bastards who want to screw their populations (who seem to love them) – by getting US corporations out, and using their own assets to improve education, health etc. What swine! Get them out! But the US hasn’t yet.
      Lybia, Iraq, etc. etc.
      God almighty!!

  8. Joe Tedesky
    August 25, 2015 at 1:16 am

    If I were ordered to pick any option which would be impressive enough to change the rational direction of the U.S. I would default to pick an ‘economic crisis’ over ‘catastrophic war’. Then came the 2007-2008 TARP Bailout, and then nothing. Oh yeah, then America was going to vote the bums out who were in. The Tea Party came to America’s rescue by putting more crazy Republicans in. The MSM did a fine sales job promoting the Tea Party Agenda, and for a fraction in time some people got their hopes up. They just wanted their hcountry back you know. By voting in more Republicsn governors along with more congressional repub nut cases, America became even more Gerrymandered than ever before. ‘Occupy Wall Street’ wasn’t as fortunate as their parallel counter part the Tea Party when it came to having a friendly press. America ended up feeling sorry for all the people who were delayed going to work, because of those crazy Occupiers blocking traffic. At the same time the MSM was always quick to remind everyone of how the Tea Party always left the grounds cleaner than before they came to one of their events. Remember they hate municipal workers. The infrastructure is not there to present any objectionable opinion that may be taken seriously enough by a politician to act upon their constituents desires. To bad Saul Alinsky didn’t live long enough to get the Silent Majority a seat at the table. I hope whatever it takes to snap America’s head around to get it’s act together is something other than war. Nice article Robert Parry.

    • Brad Owen
      August 26, 2015 at 5:31 am

      The general breakdown crisis of the Trans-Atlantic financial system, leading to a global “Dark Age Period” will sober up its’ entire leadership (the Oligarchy of the Western Empire). Larouche has been keeping an eye on it since the `87` crash, which he said was the “FDR New Deal” moment way back then, but the financial World has dodged-about, doing everything but the Right Thing. He called it in progress in july 2007, when Japan stopped the “Carry Trade”. It became obvious to everyone in 2008. It’s been hurling downward like a smoking meteor-about-to-crator, eversince. We are in the final trajectory NOW. LaRouche says we are in the “Hundred Days” period NOW…without an “FDR’ at the Helm. “Tarpley.net” has good practical advice on how to dig out of this Global “Great Depression II”, and its’ accompanying “World Fascist Crisis” (a dirigist new “NEW DEAL”). We will have to do a sharp “about face”…governments and PEOPLE are primary, NOT financial houses and their “crackpot” monetary theories which are leading to destruction. A panicky “World War” is indeed a serious threat, and we all must sober up and get real…all our lives are literally riding on a successful resolution of these unfolding events. Forget about “Prophecy” and “End Times” stuff…GET REAL, or we will all be experiencing our own, prosaic, “End Times”.

  9. RogerT
    August 25, 2015 at 1:20 am

    Oops – sorry – I should say Omar Al Bashir – see above

  10. August 25, 2015 at 3:42 am

    The thought of how long all U.S. generals are going to put up with losing impossible wars, when they have been indoctrinated to win winnable ones, increasingly occurs to me.

    Whereas I can believe a psychopathic cabal of neo-cons can arrange a situation where only the most psychopathic generals reach the highest position for a certain length of time, it isn’t a position that can sustained forever. The home market expects a real victory now and again.

    As soon as the U.S. reaches the stage where it needs generals who can actually win wars, the whole thing will rapidly fall apart. That point seems on the verge of realisation. We only need to swivel our heads both east and west to see.

    If the growing confrontations with Russia and China are anything to go by the neo-cons are being already being outwitted on every front.

    At home they are outwitting themselves. Chaos touted as success maybe a recipe Americans can swallow when it occurs faraway from U.S. shores, but it isn’t nearly so certain putting it on the menu for home consumption will work. Taking into consideration the number of discontented veterans going back decades, and the massive amount of arms in civilian hands, I would reckon many parts of the U.S. are closer than a hair’s breadth to widespread civil disorder than the neo-cons are capable of seeing, let alone admitting.

  11. Peter Loeb
    August 25, 2015 at 7:09 am

    THE CHINESE “MONSTER”

    As Geoffrey McDonald recently wrote in COUNTERPUNCH
    (August 13, 2015):

    “The US position is that every aspect of China should be useful
    for America – its domestic markets, its infrastructure, its financial system.”

    When China devalued its currency, all hell broke loose in the rest of
    the world and notably on the New York Stock Exchange. Of course,
    many companies want to export to China and they want to get as much
    money for their exports (much of which is made using China’s cheap
    labor). That is profit to the US (and others). In addition they
    strongly dislike being told by China, once the “sick man” of the world
    and a nation beyond help, how much money they can make,
    how many employees they can hire, what plans they can make for future
    profits.That was always to be a US privilege (or the UK before).

    It has been almost laughable to hear grown men and women,
    experienced economic analysts, almost cry about their CONCERN
    for China and its economy. Boo-hoo!
    The US was never so “concerned” before.In fact, it has been threatening.

    The economic future for China may or may not equal its dreams
    and aspirations.If that is the case, it makes China all the more similar
    to just about every other nation large and small on the planet.

    Robert Parry’s article has contributed much to our knowledge.

    —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

  12. Tom Welsh
    August 25, 2015 at 8:55 am

    The simple truth is that Lord Acton was absolutely right: “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it”.

    As the USA became the most powerful nation in the world, its leaders – political, business, financial – got access to more and more power. And that corrupted them – if not yet absolutely, very thoroughly. Obama is a perfect example of Acton’s thesis that “[g]reat men are almost always bad men”. As President of the USA, he automatically became a great man; and that led him, almost inescapably, to being a bad man. How could he avoid it? Even Abraham Lincoln was seduced into doing terrible things by his notions of what must, and must not, happen.

    The only way this could have been avoided would have been if the leaders of the USA had attended to and followed the advice of Founding Fathers like Washington, Madison and Jefferson – all of whom counselled having no standing armed forces, no central banks, and no entangling foreign alliances. Had Americans resisted the almost insuperable temptation to abuse their power, and minded their own business instead, the world would be a much better (and safer) place.

  13. dahoit
    August 25, 2015 at 11:59 am

    That terrible Lincoln?,saving the USA from dismemberment.
    Abe is number one,in my score sheet.But I’m just an old fashioned patriot,not a historical revisionist.

    • Thomas Howard
      August 25, 2015 at 6:34 pm

      Abe Lincoln is number one if you want to know who is responsible for the most American deaths.

      • Zachary Smith
        August 26, 2015 at 1:26 am

        I’ve been looking over Mr. Howard’s previous posts here, and have concluded he’s a genuine neo-Confederate.

        And he has no doubts about the issues. None at all. Example:

        The author Robert Parry contorts history and facts to a degree that could not possibly be considered a mistake or honest error.

        That was on the thread about right-wing’s distortions about the 10th Amendment.

        The Emancipation Proclamation was not a law ‘passed’ by any Congress or Legislature… Lincoln, with a stroke of a pen, instantly made what was legal illegal… and yet it only applied to the Confederate States…because the Union could still legally keep their niggers as slaves.

        Mr. Howard obviously didn’t approve of Lincoln’s strategy to win the Civil War, perhaps because Lincoln’s method was eventually a winner. Quite unlike the tactics used by the Slavocracy. Probably the use of Lincoln’s image on the US 1 cent piece since 1909 and the $5 bill since 1929 vexes Mr. Howard to no end.

  14. Mortimer
    August 25, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    “a nation that continues in militarism, materialism and racism is headed toward spiritual death”
    MLK
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “Work For Peace”

    Back when Eisenhower was the President,
    Golf courses was where most of his time was spent.
    So I never really listened to what the President said,
    Because in general I believed that the General was politically dead.
    But he always seemed to know when the muscles were about to be flexed,
    Because I remember him saying something,
    mumbling something about a Military Industrial Complex.

    Americans no longer fight to keep their shores safe,
    Just to keep the jobs going in the arms making workplace.
    Then they pretend to be gripped by some sort of political reflex,
    But all they’re doing is paying dues to the Military Industrial Complex.
    The Military and the Monetary,
    The Military and the Monetary,
    The Military and the Monetary.
    The Military and the Monetary,
    get together whenever they think its necessary,
    They turn our brothers and sisters into mercenaries, they are turning the planet into a cemetery.
    The Military and the Monetary, use the media as intermediaries,
    they are determined to keep the citizens secondary, they make so many decisions that are arbitrary.

    We’re marching behind a commander in chief,
    who is standing under a spotlight shaking like a leaf.
    but the ship of state had landed on an economic reef,
    so we knew he was going to bring us messages of grief.

    The Military and the Monetary,
    were shielded by January and went storming into February,
    Brought us pot bellied generals as luminaries,
    two weeks ago I hadn’t heard of the son of a bitch,
    now all of a sudden he’s legendary.
    They took the honour from the honourary,
    they took the dignity from the dignitaries,
    they took the secrets from the secretary,
    but they left the bitch in obituary.

    The Military and the Monetary,
    from thousands of miles away in a Saudi Arabian sanctuary,
    had us all scrambling for our dictionaries,
    cause we couldn’t understand the fuckin vocabulary.
    Yeah, there was some smart bombs,
    but there was some dumb ones as well,
    scared the hell out of CNN in that Baghdad hotel.

    The Military and the Monetary,
    they get together whenever they think its necessary,
    War in the desert sometimes sure is scary,
    but they beamed out the war to all their subsidiaries.
    Tried to make So Damn Insane a worthy adversary,
    keeping the citizens secondary,
    scaring old folks into coronaries.

    The Military and the Monetary,
    from thousands of miles in a Saudi Arabian sanctuary,
    kept us all wondering if all of this was really truely, necessary.
    We’ve got to work for Peace,
    Peace ain’t coming this way.
    If we only work for Peace,
    If everyone believed in Peace the way they say they do,we’d have Peace.
    The only thing wrong with Peace,
    is that you can’t make no money from it.

    The Military and the Monetary,
    they get together whenever they think its necessary,
    they’ve turned our brothers and sisters into mercenaries,
    they are turning the planet, into a cemetery.
    Got to work for Peace,
    Peace ain’t coming this way.
    We should not allow ourselves to be mislead,
    by talk of entering a time of Peace,
    Peace is not the absence of war,
    it is the absence of the rules of war and the threats of war and the preparation for war.
    Peace is not the absence of war,
    it is the time when we will all bring ourselves closer to each other,
    closer to building a structure that is unique within ourselves
    because we have finally come to Peace within ourselves.

    The Military and the Monetary,
    The Military and the Monetary,
    The Military and the Monetary.
    Get together whenever they think its necessary,
    they’ve turned our brothers and sisters into mercenaries,
    they are turning parts of the planet, into a cemetery.

    The Military and the Monetary,
    The Military and the Monetary,
    We hounded the Ayatollah religiously,
    Bombed Libya and killed Quadafi’s son hideously.
    We turned our back on our allies the Panamanians,
    and saw Ollie North selling guns to the Iranians.
    Watched Gorbachev slaughtering Lithuanians,
    We better warn the Amish,
    they may bomb the Pennsylvanians.

    The Military and the Monetary,
    get together whenever they think its necessary,
    they have turned our brothers and sisters into mercenaries,
    they are turning the planet, into a cemetery.
    I don’t want to sound like no late night commercial,
    but its a matter of fact that there are thousands of children all over the world
    in Asia and Africa and in South America who need our help.
    When they start talking about 55 cents a day and 70 cents a day,
    I know a lot of folks feel as though that,
    thats not really any kind of contribution to make,
    but we had to give up a dollar and a half just to get in the subway nowadays.
    So this is a song about tommorrow and about how tommorrow can be better. if we all,
    “Each one reach one, Each one try to teach one”.
    Nobody can do everything,
    but everybody can do something,
    everyone must play a part,
    everyone got to go to work, Work for Peace.
    Spirit Say Work, Work for Peace
    If you believe the things you say, go to work.
    If you believe in Peace, time to go to work.
    Cant be wavin your head no more, go to work.

    GIL SCOTT-HERON

  15. jaycee
    August 25, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    Pragmatism goes only so far in face of the most powerful and sophisticated propaganda system there has yet been. Back in the 1980s, as Mr Parry has reported, the Reagan administration poured tremendous resources into attempts to shape public perception, but with limited results.
    Crazy stories such as Soviet air force squadrons in Nicaragua or “yellow rain” chemical attacks in Afghanistan were trotted out by administration officials, but largely met with scepticism.

    Today, major news agencies lie shamelessly with no affect to their reputations. Last week the Wall Street Journal published a news story which flatly stated that all civilian casualties in the Ukraine have been at the hands of Russian soldiers and that Ukrainian cities across the country are constantly under bombardment from heavy weaponry fired by rebels and occupying Russian troops. Just as crazy, but the underlying narrative of “Russian aggression” has taken hold of the public through constant repetition, and so huge falsehoods are easily unconsciously absorbed. Only a fringe actually bought that Nicaragua had become a Soviet military base back in the 1980s.

    Politicians and the media are as bad as they are because they are being paid to be such. The ability to sell perception rather than facts is much easier now than it had previously been. So the work ahead is partly about “facts”, but also about approaches to undermining systemic false narratives.

    • Alex
      August 25, 2015 at 2:49 pm

      jaycee, as once told Goebbels: “The lie repeated a thousand times becomes the truth.” There was a phrase from him: “Give me the media and I will make the people of any pigs.”

  16. John
    August 25, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    Just to stay on topic, yes the neocons are the bottom of the scum barrel….We have known that for years LOL, I mean several hundred years…..But the talking bobble heads do nothing but talk….It was really hot in Fla. today….: )

  17. Garrett Connelly
    August 25, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    “American people no longer have the luxury of intervening willy-nilly around the globe.”

    Moral depravity contrary to the Nuremberg Principles is not a luxary.

  18. Hillary
    August 25, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    Arch U.S.neocons (Middle East experts) in the US Government such as Mr. Perle, Wolfowitz & Feith in their rush to invade Iraq & proceed with their PNAC agenda dissuaded the US Administration & Media stating that the US would be welcomed with flowers etc…
    ….
    Now we are in the midst of a desperate Middle East refugee disaster worse than the European refugee desperation of WWII.
    Destitute refugees heading for the UK.France ,Germany etc.on foot as a result of a man made disaster.

  19. John
    August 25, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    I can’t believe the moderators of this website are extremely anti 1st amendment…..most of my post are deleted or edited……I say this website has a different agenda than freedom of the press…..They say it’s our way or the highway….now tell me …what’s the difference between this site and the MSM…….It’s all about their agenda……

  20. Erik
    August 26, 2015 at 7:30 am

    There is no concern for human rights behind US interventionism – it has always been intended to suppress socialism and make money. This is simply because US leaders are dumb economic gangsters who share those values. In the US, power is only available to bad people: selfishness and hypocrisy, bullying and collusion are the sole means to corporate power, and thence political power and media power. So the worst have the power. They don’t have to be corrupted, they get there only if they are already corrupt. They don’t have moral values of any kind, and have no political beliefs other than rationales for their own selfishness. Otherwise we would never have heard of them.

    • Erik
      August 26, 2015 at 7:37 am

      Ask a Republican what they believe in: the answer is “winning.” That is what they were taught, and it is what they teach their children. No win and you don’t count or deserve anything. There are no rules or values, just winning. They tell themselves that rule of the people is mob rule, that rule of the rich winners is just by definition. There is no education of such people, no point in reasoning with them. They believe that reasoning is for losers, justice is for wimps; their rationales are nothing but are propaganda lines; if you are not competent at deception you are not a winner and deserve nothing.

      There is no liberal interventionism, just liberal excuses for winning by intervention.

      • Mortimer
        August 26, 2015 at 1:11 pm

        Bravo, Erik, you have written Clear and Present truth on behalf of “we-the-people.”
        Your shout is one of Many still, small voices who suffer in silence from the “survival-of-the-fittest” rule of law structured and empowered by superimposing authors.

        The below is a clear and present case in point: GW Bush and the ownership society
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        To Wit: Ownership society

        The oft-touted term, ownership society by President Bush refers to the theories of mass privatization his administration is in the midst of injecting into the American way of life.

        An ownership society, as defined by the Cato Institute, is “values responsibility, liberty, and property. Individuals are empowered by freeing them from dependence on government handouts and making them owners instead, in control of their own lives and destinies. In the ownership society, patients control their own health care, parents control their own children’s education, and workers control their retirement savings.”

        “Margaret Thatcher saw that private ownership allows people to profit from improving their property by building on it or otherwise making it more valuable. People can also profit by improving themselves, of course, through education and the development of good habits, as long as they are allowed to reap the profits that come from such improvement.”

        —————–^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^——————–^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

        Robert Reich in “What Ownership Society?” states:
        The Republican “Ownership Society” is hokum. Ownership of America is now more concentrated than since the days of the Robber Barons of the 19th century. The richest 1 percent of America owns more than the the bottom 90 percent put together.
        An Ownership Society based on the stock market would be a casino. The Bush administration would like you to put your Social Security payments into the stock market, but beware. If your timing is bad, you could find yourself retiring in a bear market. It’s happened before. That’s one of the reasons Social Security—as social insurance—was invented.
        The Republican rhetoric assumes most Americans can save and invest. The reality is, most Americans are deep in debt. Before they can join the “Ownership Society” they’ve got to pay their credit card bills, their rising variable-rate mortgages and their auto loans. After that, there’s no money left because jobs are in short supply and wages are stuck in the mud.
        It’s true that more than half of American households now own stocks in corporations. But for most, it’s just a few thousand dollars worth. And the total value of their current portfolio is less than they invested. They got lured into the stock market during the late ’90s when stock prices were pumped up with accounting steroids.

        Mark Weisbrot explains in “No Taxes for Owners, Only for Workers”:

        In fact, the problem is the opposite of what Bush asserts. It is that his tax cuts are shifting more of the burden of taxes to middle-class and working-class households.
        Getting rid of the estate — that is, inheritance — tax benefited less than two percent of taxpayers; about half of them got a windfall averaging $3.4 million. Reducing capital gains taxes is another giveaway to the rich, enabling billionaires to pay a lower marginal tax rate on their income from stock sales than that what a nurse or truck driver pays on their wages.
        The real purpose of the Bush team’s tax policy was to rewrite the tax code to create, as Mr. Bush calls it, “an ownership society”: one in which owners do not pay taxes, but workers do.
        Joshua Holland writes in “Corporate Americans” that “George Bush’s ‘Ownership Society’ represents a new form of economic populism — a populism born in the Hobbesian belief that we all struggle alone in a world where life is nasty, brutish and short.”

      • Mortimer
        August 26, 2015 at 2:04 pm

        Mortimer
        August 26, 2015 at 1:11 pm
        Your comment is awaiting moderation.
        Bravo, Erik, you have written Clear and Present truth on behalf of “we-the-people.”
        Your shout is one of Many still, small voices who suffer in silence from the “survival-of-the-fittest” rule of law structured and empowered by superimposing authors.

        The below is a clear and present case in point: GW Bush and the ownership society
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        To Wit: Ownership society

        The oft-touted term, ownership society by President Bush refers to the theories of mass privatization his administration is in the midst of injecting into the American way of life.

        An ownership society, as defined by the Cato Institute, is “values responsibility, liberty, and property. Individuals are empowered by freeing them from dependence on government handouts and making them owners instead, in control of their own lives and destinies. In the ownership society, patients control their own health care, parents control their own children’s education, and workers control their retirement savings.”

        “Margaret Thatcher saw that private ownership allows people to profit from improving their property by building on it or otherwise making it more valuable. People can also profit by improving themselves, of course, through education and the development of good habits, as long as they are allowed to reap the profits that come from such improvement.”

        —————–^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^——————–^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

        Robert Reich in “What Ownership Society?” states:
        The Republican “Ownership Society” is hokum. Ownership of America is now more concentrated than since the days of the Robber Barons of the 19th century. The richest 1 percent of America owns more than the the bottom 90 percent put together.
        An Ownership Society based on the stock market would be a casino. The Bush administration would like you to put your Social Security payments into the stock market, but beware. If your timing is bad, you could find yourself retiring in a bear market. It’s happened before. That’s one of the reasons Social Security—as social insurance—was invented.
        The Republican rhetoric assumes most Americans can save and invest. The reality is, most Americans are deep in debt. Before they can join the “Ownership Society” they’ve got to pay their credit card bills, their rising variable-rate mortgages and their auto loans. After that, there’s no money left because jobs are in short supply and wages are stuck in the mud.
        It’s true that more than half of American households now own stocks in corporations. But for most, it’s just a few thousand dollars worth. And the total value of their current portfolio is less than they invested. They got lured into the stock market during the late ’90s when stock prices were pumped up with accounting steroids.

        Mark Weisbrot explains in “No Taxes for Owners, Only for Workers”:

        In fact, the problem is the opposite of what Bush asserts. It is that his tax cuts are shifting more of the burden of taxes to middle-class and working-class households.
        Getting rid of the estate — that is, inheritance — tax benefited less than two percent of taxpayers; about half of them got a windfall averaging $3.4 million. Reducing capital gains taxes is another giveaway to the rich, enabling billionaires to pay a lower marginal tax rate on their income from stock sales than that what a nurse or truck driver pays on their wages.
        The real purpose of the Bush team’s tax policy was to rewrite the tax code to create, as Mr. Bush calls it, “an ownership society”: one in which owners do not pay taxes, but workers do.
        Joshua Holland writes in “Corporate Americans” that “George Bush’s ‘Ownership Society’ represents a new form of economic populism — a populism born in the Hobbesian belief that we all struggle alone in a world where life is nasty, brutish and short.

      • Mortimer
        August 26, 2015 at 5:00 pm

        About 60,900 results (0.35 seconds)
        Search Results
        Darwin’s Nightmare – YouTube
        Video for darwin’s nightmare documentary youtubeâ–¶ 1:50
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwVgLi0cvfo
        Oct 31, 2008 – Uploaded by Celluloiddreams

  21. Gregory Kruse
    August 26, 2015 at 8:51 am

    When leaders have no trust in diplomacy, war is inevitable.

    • Mortier
      August 26, 2015 at 5:22 pm

      M.Kruse,

      there is no more_
      diplomacy
      in the world
      where we exist/

      now is the force of brutality/
      instant death/
      motivated by an insane
      use of. genocide.
      _ like a death cult
      allied to all rebels
      without a cause
      (sal mineo gay)/
      men whom oppose themselves
      thru fear of the world… .

  22. bfearn
    August 30, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    America’s self-appointed role as the world’s cop has killed millions, left millions more homeless, jobless and in many cases threatened. All for an economic system that rewards far too few with far too much.

  23. September 7, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    Recently got a free Russian courses on skype. I joined the program and its completely good..

    Great tutor provided me nice sessions for Russian learning courses over skype and learned a lot from him resulting in improved Russian language…

    The program available on Skype is completely good for improving and learning Russian language…

    Must try this here to learn Russian using Russian lessons on Skype … http://preply.com/en/russian-by-skype

Comments are closed.