Magical Thinking in US Foreign Policy

Exclusive: The U.S. foreign policy establishment cloaks its desire for global dominance in the language of humanitarianism and “democracy promotion” even when the policies lead to death and chaos, as James W Carden describes.

By James W Carden

Despite America’s myriad problems domestically and internationally, its geo-strategic position remains the envy of the world. Protected in the east by the Atlantic, in the west by the Pacific, to the north by Canada and to the south by Mexico, the United States is, for all intents and purposes, impervious to a foreign invasion.

Its advanced and mobile nuclear arsenal and conventional force projection capabilities further serve as a deterrent against attacks from rival nation-states. The country’s strategic position is enhanced, too, by what Valéry Giscard d’Estaing has referred to as the “exorbitant privilege” – that of possessing the world’s reserve currency. As such, the U.S. does not face the same restraints on spending that other nations do.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power flanked by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers remarks at the Pledging Conference in Support of Iraq at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. on July 20, 2016. [State Department Photo/ Public Domain]

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivering remarks at the Pledging Conference in Support of Iraq at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. on July 20, 2016. [State Department Photo/ Public Domain]

Because the dollar accounts for so high a proportion of the balance sheets of other countries, the rest of the world is tacitly committed to propping up its value. Taken together, America’s isolated and protected geo-strategic position combined with the “exorbitant privilege” of the dollar means, in effect, that the U.S. has an unrivaled geo-strategic position.

Yet since the end of the Cold War, the foreign policy establishment and three successive administrations have committed the U.S. to a dangerous and ill-conceived pursuit of global military and economic hegemony which has only served to undercut the country’s economy and security. It is a pursuit that is frequently cloaked in the rhetoric of humanitarianism and “democracy promotion.”

United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power recently declared in the pages of the New York Review of Books that it is “our self-interest that requires us to get better at improving human security in the service of national security.”

Power – like nearly all members of the foreign policy establishment today – believes (or says she believes) that the way foreign governments treat their own citizens “matters because it can have a direct impact on international peace and security – and on our respective national interests.”

To bolster her argument she takes the example of the Russian government which, she claims, habitually lies to its own people about what it is really up to in Ukraine. “The elimination of critical voices inside Russia,” writes Power, “helps enable acts that are profoundly destabilizing outside of Russia.”

Power’s claims are part of the widely shared, bipartisan consensus among the post-Cold War foreign policy elites who believe that the problem is not that the United States has intervened around the world too much and too often but rather that it has intervened too little. In Power’s view, “we must never be ashamed to ask whether we have been too reticent in pressing certain governments to reform and to respond to the demands of their citizens.”

This last point is a curious claim that, I suspect, quite intentionally skirts the question of whether the U.S., by actively pushing its “pro-democracy” agenda abroad, is itself the instigator of many of those “demands” (by financing and organizing many of the groups clamoring for U.S. intervention).

Financing Destabilization

Efforts – almost too numerous to count – by USAID, the International Republican Institute and the National Endowment for Democracy, often in conjunction with various think tanks, TOR developers (software that enables anonymous communications), and George Soros-funded Open Society Institutes – have sought to materially aid a plethora of  opposition groups across the globe. (They, in turn, seek more U.S. intervention to enhance their political positions within their societies.)

A screen shot of U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland speaking to U.S. and Ukrainian business leaders on Dec. 13, 2013, at an event sponsored by Chevron, with its logo to Nuland’s left.

A screen shot of U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland speaking to U.S. and Ukrainian business leaders on Dec. 13, 2013, at an event sponsored by Chevron, with its logo to Nuland’s left.

Contrary to what the scholar, diplomat George Kennan urged – that diplomacy, properly executed, was necessarily a government-to-government interaction – Power believes that “we need to broaden the spectrum of whom we engage with our diplomacy.”

She writes that diplomats must court “civil society organizations” and other groups such as “teachers association, workers’ unions and leaders in the business community” – never mind the very plain fact that State Department diplomats and Commerce Department officials, among others, have been doing outreach of that sort for some time.

The results of all this U.S. meddling have been little short of disastrous. Take, for instance, the failed state of Ukraine, where USAID and other U.S. institutions spent $5 billion in the quarter century since the fall of the Soviet Union, according to Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland (and that was before the U.S.-backed overthrow of the elected government in February 2014 and the current civil war which has claimed the lives of some 10,000 Ukrainians).

This generation of American “humanitarian” crusaders, as exemplified by the career of Ambassador Power, continually seeks to sacrifice stability on the altar of “democratic” idealism (even when that involves reversing democratic results and contributing to humanitarian suffering). Further, the problem that these efforts engender for U.S. national security interests are legion: war continues to rage in eastern Ukraine, Libya is completely destabilized, likewise Syria and Iraq.

Contrary to what Power would have us believe, the “democratization” crusade undermines, rather than strengthens U.S. national security. As the Greek statesman Pericles famously observed: “I am more afraid of our own mistakes than of our enemies’ designs.”

James W Carden is a contributing writer for The Nation and editor of The American Committee for East-West Accord’s eastwestaccord.com. He previously served as an advisor on Russia to the Special Representative for Global Inter-governmental Affairs at the US State Department.

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55 comments for “Magical Thinking in US Foreign Policy

  1. posa
    August 15, 2016 at 10:36 am

    It’s amazing that self-styled commentators like Carden take these bald-faced liars seriously at all… the latest rage is to white-wash the blood-thirsty neoCon faction as dreamy idealists too.

    They may be evil and insane, but they’re not stupid. The whole Middle East has been set aflame… it will take a century for Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen to recover from the devastation wrecked by US-led military intervention/ civil wars. To date 65 MILLION war refugees have fled the Middle East. They’re not planning to return anytime soon.

    That was the plan ALL ALONG. It was called Operation Clean Break. Just about everything else the US does is pre-planned and vetted for years. And once a bi-partisan consensus is agreed, the bombs start dropping.

    All sorts of propaganda is dispatched to the public… but that kind of stuff is for the weak-minded and clueless. Remember that next time you read an essay about hapless, dreamy idealists in the State Departmentv and Pentagon, razing a whole nation, indeed, a whole region to and reducing it to smouldering rubble.

  2. Skip Edwards
    August 13, 2016 at 11:30 am

    “Further, the problem that these efforts engender for U.S. national security interests are legion: war continues to rage in eastern Ukraine, Libya is completely destabilized, likewise Syria and Iraq.”

    Reply to Quote from article above:
    Wording is so important in understanding a subject. It appears to me from much reading of short articles such as Mr. Carden’s, the word “destabilized” is being used as a refuge for “destroyed”. In the above quotes I would suggest the countries mentioned have been destroyed so far as people who call them home are concerned.

    • Abe
      August 13, 2016 at 2:03 pm

      George Orwell famously wrote that the language and propaganda of totalitarian dictatorship is that of “euphemism, question begging and sheer cloudy vagueness.” He argued that in efforts to “defend the indefensible” totalitarian regimes substitute clinical abstractions for straightforward proper nouns and visceral verbs.”

      The classic texts are George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language” in The Collected Essays, Journalism, and Letters of George Orwell, vol. 4, In Front of Your Nose, 1945–1950, ed. Sonia Orwell and Ian Angus (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Janovich, 1968), pp. 136, 127–40; and, of course, Orwell’s 1984.

      See Jeffrey Herf, The “Jewish War”: Goebbels and the Antisemitic Campaigns of the Nazi Propaganda Ministry, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, V19 N1, Spring 2005, pp. 51–80.

  3. John Puma
    August 13, 2016 at 4:09 am

    This is quaint: “This last point is a curious claim that, I suspect, quite intentionally skirts the question of whether the U.S., by actively pushing its “pro-democracy” agenda abroad, is itself the instigator of many of those “demands” (by financing and organizing many of the groups clamoring for U.S. intervention).”

    The primary question quite intentionally skirted is: “How many of those demands ‘and more’ should be asked first about the U.S. itself?”

  4. Amy Whittlesey O'Neill
    August 12, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    This is the Woodstock generation playing with power they did not build, are fundamentally hostile towards and do not comprehend so they will not succeed in the long term. It’s one thing to go prancing about the world stage giving orders to everybody you don’t like when there are American armies and weapons and wealth backing you up.But if you remain entirely blind by hostility to the true nature of the American people who animate all that power,deeming them backward and in dire need of political correction,then your strategic planning will fail accordingly and you won’t see your ouster from power building or coming.When it finally does,their response will be to torture,march and punish the source of power which appears not to be configured in full submission.The truth is that they were never in submission to begin with,they were just being generous,faithful,and polite.But that only lasts so long with one disastrous outcome after another in blood and treasure.Then what of the world stage?It will bid farewell to Woodstock.

    • Sam F
      August 12, 2016 at 3:03 pm

      Woodstock generation?! Anyone of that description is utterly opposed to the policies you describe. It is best to avoid generational accusations, as the faults and virtues of humanity do not have generational boundaries. You should strongly suspect the source of your Woodstock concept.

  5. August 12, 2016 at 11:28 am

    Obama and the Democrats are just as neocon as any Republican, only they call it humanitarian intervention.

    George Kennan was the major architect of the Cold War. Much of this anti-Russianism is his legacy, even though he may have disavowed it later on.

  6. Abe
    August 12, 2016 at 11:08 am

    “Fatah al-Islam was a near dissolved militant jihadist organization from Lebanon. Once classified by the US State Department a ‘terrorist organization’, magically this designation was lifted in 2010, just after then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took office. The group, led by the ghost guerilla Shaker al-Absi, is believed to have melted in with Al Nusra and Al Qaeda to form a new jihadist cell, one now surrounded by Assad’s Syrian Army forces. As far back as 2007, reports like the one of David Welch, Assistant to Secretary of State, negotiating with Saudi Arabia and Saad Hariri of the American-backed government of Fouad Siniora, in order to funnel aid to Fatah al-Islam, foretell of the current US-Russia-Iran-Hezbollah-Israel symmetry going on in the region. What’s most disturbing about these reports is the fact this same organization planned ambushes and no doubt killed US service personnel in Iraq on a few short years ago. In the final analysis, some American family has dead and buried heroes put in the ground by the same people Clinton and the Obama administration now fund. The funding of Jeish al-Fatah is not in question here, but direct intelligence and advisers is. I hope the reader grasps the significance. […]

    “Our Navy offshore pumping intel in to Special Warfare operatives embedded with Al Qaeda or Al Whatever…. US politicians doing everything in their power to start another war…. a presidential candidate proven a liar 100 times…. Somehow I just do not see all this going well for my country.”

    Aleppo: The Reality Is Not Good News for Americans
    By Phil Butler
    http://journal-neo.org/2016/08/12/aleppo-the-reality-is-not-good-news-for-americans-2/

    • Bob Van Noy
      August 12, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      Too complex for me Abe. Is this article saying that our own “advisors” are imbeds with this group being surrounded by Assad right now and that the group they are imbedded with are a group that America fought against in Iraq??? If so… Let’s be clear so that everyone understands how awful this policy is.

      • Bob Van Noy
        August 12, 2016 at 12:47 pm

        The very first time I read about the theory of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” I asked myself if that made sense and clearly it doesn’t. Not only does it not make sense, but it is a perfect example of pseudo science or “dumb stuff.” So why does the Obama administration condone this “stuff”? You might as well say the enemy of my enemy is my friend until he isn’t… Our military is in an impossible position.

      • Abe
        August 12, 2016 at 12:59 pm

        Let’s be clear so that everyone understands.

        It’s…
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8kMlxkTlbQ

        • Bob Van Noy
          August 12, 2016 at 2:54 pm

          Thanks for that Abe.

    • Skip Edwards
      August 13, 2016 at 2:11 pm

      “In the final analysis, some American family has dead and buried heroes put in the ground by the same people Clinton and the Obama administration now fund.”

      Why is the word “hero” continually used to describe a dead American soldier used as a hit man by corporate oligarchs to further their economic and political objectives toward world hegemony? If these soldiers are defending the United States of America then let’s reinstate the draft and give everyone’s sons and daughters the opportunity to defend our “freedoms” and become hero’s.

  7. August 12, 2016 at 10:35 am

    “Power – like nearly all members of the foreign policy establishment today – believes (or says she believes) that the way foreign governments treat their own citizens “matters because it can have a direct impact on international peace and security – and on our respective national interests.””

    What does militarization of the police and laws short circuiting local democracy on subjects like labeling food and chemical burden in the human body say about the US?

    Power project yet does not look within and see even worse — American holocaust raging world-wide on borrowed money.

  8. F. G. Sanford
    August 12, 2016 at 10:30 am

    Exploitation of “diversity” to achieve destabilization is a theme I’ve mentioned before. Generally, it is used against those governments which are rather middling on a scale ranging from absolute totalitarian to outright socialist. Places like Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Iran, Honduras, Nicaragua and Ukraine are good examples. The result is almost always a fascist regime. Countries like Sweden are mysteriously immune, though that may be changing. Never attacked are the most egregious human rights violators, like Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and of course, Israel. The strategy nearly always results in empowerment of a vocal minority which dubiously benefits the recipient population. It is easier for Empire to manipulate a complicit “strong man” than a parliamentary plurality. Real democracy requires informed dissent and legitimate debate. Democracy always suffers. The strategy implodes eventually. As someone aptly noted during the Reagan administration, “The moral majority is neither.” Perhaps the most successfully exploited group of dupes in recent history was Germany’s “Brown Shirts”. It’s no big secret that Ernst Roehm had certain “proclivities”, and many of his followers were loyal primarily for that reason. Kurt Ludecke’s account, except for his obviously fictitious tryst with a “female” medical student, is a romping frolic of alternative lifestyle paramilitary adventure. The fun ended as soon as those romping frolickers had outlived their usefulness. By then, “regime change” was complete. Americans don’t see themselves vulnerable to that kind of exploitation, but it’s happening before their very eyes. Gone too is the notion that the Atlantic and Pacific are any real strategic obstacles. A wily submarine commander can shadow a big old noisy freighter or tanker, avoid hydroponic detection, and drop off at the lip of the continental shelf. Sitting at three or four hundred feet – easy with today’s technology – he is almost immune to sonar detection caused by multiple returns at the lip of the shelf. Positioned a few hundred miles from New York, Philadelphia, Charleston, Savannah or New Orleans, “Early Warning” don’t mean jack squat. Most modern defense systems rely way too heavily on GPS technology, and elimination of navigation satellites would be a primary objective. MiG-25 intercepters have been claimed to be capable of successful missile attacks on communications satellites…and that’s with 1970’s technology. The likes of Power, Flournoy, Nuland and others, if left to their fantasyland geopolitical exploits, may soon come to discover a new meaning to the term, “Alternative Lifestyle”. It won’t be a romping frolic, either.

  9. August 12, 2016 at 9:21 am

    Powers misuse of ‘reticent’ in “we must never be ashamed to ask whether we have been too reticent in pressing certain governments to reform…” is a common error attributed to a misdefinition in a 1990 Menses ‘word of the day’ calendar, i.e. ‘reticent’ means reluctant to speak, not reluctant. Menses people are high IQ and believe in the power of the mind, and this is precisely the kind of idealism that foments these misdirected foreign policy. Idealism is dangerous.

  10. Tom Welsh
    August 12, 2016 at 8:58 am

    True enough, but there is nothing new in this article. It’s all too familiar.

    “Protected in the east by the Atlantic, in the west by the Pacific, to the north by Canada and to the south by Mexico, the United States is, for all intents and purposes, impervious to a foreign invasion”.

    That has not been true for 50 years. The USA has never been safe since the USSR got the ability to deliver thermonuclear warheads by means of ICBMs. Today, the USA is not a whit safer than any other place on Earth. Actually, it is much less safe than most, because the only way of attacking it is with thermonuclear warheads. After a war with Russia and/or China, New York and Washington would look far worse even than Aleppo does today. (There are still plenty of walls standing in Aleppo, although the buildings to which they belong ar far from complete and are probably unsafe).

    • Sam F
      August 13, 2016 at 8:21 am

      But the US is under no credible risk of invasion, which is the greatest military risk to a government. The risk of nuclear war is not really a risk of forcible change of government.

      The greatest risk to US government is the use of economic and information power to control the mass media and elections, and indeed those have already overthrown democracy completely. So we are now completely safe, as we have nothing more to protect in government.

      • Skip Edwards
        August 13, 2016 at 1:32 pm

        Sam, thank you so much for putting this so simply. What the discussion is really about is democracy. Yes, since the United States of America’s so called Commander – in Chief gave the order to drop those two horrendous atomic bombs on the civilian population of Japan we have not been physically safe. We have now reached the point where we are no longer safe psychologically or emotionally in our homes or in, more importantly, our hearts. We have been taken over by ruthless, power seeking psychopaths addicted to control.

  11. Brad Benson
    August 12, 2016 at 8:12 am

    I don’t think Samantha Power believes any of her rhetoric. No matter how they try to disguise it, it is still aggressive war–the worst of all the war crimes, since it encompasses and makes possible all of the others.

  12. Bob Van Noy
    August 12, 2016 at 8:11 am

    What this article brilliantly points out is America’s “Mad Hatter” foreign policy approach, and underscores the total frustration of anti-war efforts going far back in American History. In fact, possibly as far as Smedley Butler’s Bonus Army. If one carefully reads all of the article that I’ve linked it will become clear that those issues General Butler felt so strongly about have never been resolved going back to America’s Banana Wars that the Obama/Clinton State Department appear to have restarted in Honduras. It’s time to re-occupy Washington and throw the bums out… Each day it becomes more clear that since JFK there has been a Continuity of Government that is all war, all of the time. GWAT indeed…
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smedley_Butler

  13. mahatmadarby
    August 12, 2016 at 8:02 am

    Well enough put I guess. Still, I see no hope in it. The US Empire of the Exceptionals fully intends to achieve “Global full spectrum domination.” I see no reason to think they really care that much about how many people suffer or die in the Middle East or Africa – or now especially Asia/China – to take over the entire world a few million people – even a billion – might be killed – so what? When victory means you own the globe. When you are as big as the Empire of the Exceptionals you can make very big mistakes, create perpetual war and so on, who’s going to do anything about it? For the Empire to destroy itself it would likely destroy huge parts of the world with it. Nuclear war with China and/or Russia seems almost inevitable now.

  14. Peter Loeb
    August 12, 2016 at 7:35 am

    SINCE THE “COLD WAR”???

    “Yet since the end of the Cold War, the foreign policy establishment and three
    successive administrations have committed the U.S. to a dangerous and ill-conceived
    pursuit of global military and economic hegemony which has only served to undercut
    the country’s economy and security. It is a pursuit that is frequently cloaked in the rhetoric of humanitarianism and “democracy promotion.” —James W. Carden, above

    Closer scrutiny of the development of US foreign policy should include Joyce and Gabriel Kolko’s
    documented analysis and redefinition of US foreign policy far beyond the too comfortable
    limitations implied here. Such issues as the use of loans as a means of extortion,
    the significance of the vote on a loan to the UK, the understanding of the so-called
    “Marshall Plan”, the exit from UNNRA by the US because it distributed according to
    need, not according to US political doctrine , the bribes of defeated nations and
    requirements of changes in government (eg France etc.), the threats to send
    the military into Italy and France “to protect American lives”, the Truman Doctrine
    and on and on. The Kolkos begin with the aims and objectives of US policy
    and follow its implementation with frightening accuracy..

    —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

    • Gregory Kruse
      August 12, 2016 at 9:11 am

      This has been the stuff of diplomacy since civilization began, and even before. There has always been a beginning and end to empire, and the American Empire will come to an end some day too, but the devastation that will accompany that end will surpass by far any in the past.

  15. August 12, 2016 at 6:56 am

    “The elimination of critical voices inside Russia,” writes Power, “helps enable acts that are profoundly destabilizing outside of Russia.”

    And who does the esteemed lady think of as being the ‘critical voices in Russsia’? They are certainly not the type of people she imagines. The liberal opposition as represented by publications like the foreign owned Moscow Times or St.Petersburg Times, are openly critical of Russian government policy. However their liberal owners and supporters don’t get enough votes in the Russian Parliament – 5% – which would enable them to have a constitutional voice for their grievances – imagined or real. No, the opposition to Putin comes from likes of Zyuganov and the Russian Communist Party which has 92 seats and Russia’s own Donald Trump, Vladimir Zhirinovsky and his Liberal Democratic Party of Russia; a party which can only be described as militant nationalist with 56 seats in Parliament. Further opposition comes from anti-liberal intellectuals Sergei Glazyev, Alexander Prokhanov and Alexander Duggin. If Putin falls, and he is under increasing pressure from this quarter, the west will have an altogether different Russia to the one imagined by the ineffable Ms Power.

    The impenetrable stupidity and hubris of the US foreign policy elite is such that a very real possibility of a nuclear conflagration is now a distinct possibility.

    • Gregory Herr
      August 12, 2016 at 9:13 pm

      Samantha Power would have been more correct with her above-mentioned quote had she substituted “the States” for “Russia”.

      • Erik
        August 13, 2016 at 5:53 pm

        That’s very true, that the suppression of the critical voices of public debate in the US, by economic control of mass media and elections, has profoundly destabilized the rest of the world.

        Only by systematically debating the issues of foreign policy among thousands of experts of every viewpoint, discipline, and region, with moderated textual exchanges of questions and responses, can we hope to make the truth emerge and make it available to the public. While the public is expert at avoiding inconvenient truth, when available it can disgrace the warmongers and thoughtless blunderers in Congress and the Executive, and avoid some of the more extreme errors of policy. This is the goal of my proposed College of Policy Analysis. Such an institution should be a fourth branch of the federal government, with checks and balances to moderate the other branches.

  16. Sam F
    August 12, 2016 at 6:29 am

    The lust for personal power in Washington is truly a psychpathology, well illustrated by Ms. “Power.” It is a personality defect so extreme as to disqualify all such persons from debate, let alone power. They are attracted to public office solely by their lust to abuse it, and neither seek nor give any reasons for their demand for power: they have only all-purpose groundless excuses and propaganda. One has only to talk to such Washington elected officials to see their severe personality defect. They are insane bullies, a menace to public security, and nothing more.

    This is the problem of tyranny over democracy of which Aristotle warned. The tyrant warmonger must create foreign threats to demand personal power as a false protector, and to accuse his opponents of disloyalty. Their only use of power is to destroy something to prove their personal power. It never occurs to them to do anything at all in the public interest, beyond their self-advertising budget. Invariably they cause a disaster and declare a victory, and the entirety of US foreign policy since WWII is a string of such disasters.

    The US has never established a viable democracy by force, and the necessary preconditions and means are not even debated, because that has never been a goal of the right-wing tyrant traitors. They do not debate policies that may benefit humanity, only excuses for more wars to prove that they can command the winning bully.

    The tyrants are allied with the oligarchy because it has the money and has effected a right-wing revolution by controlling the mass media and elections. They are all traitors and must be removed by all means.

  17. John Hawk
    August 12, 2016 at 6:24 am

    …they all belong to the Bullshit Artists of America club…ugh!

  18. Cassandra Dee
    August 12, 2016 at 3:31 am

    The current civil war in Ukraine has not claimed the lives of 10,000 Ukrainians; the number is five times that.

    Either you or your source have gotten the numbers from the Ukrainian government, perhaps laundered through
    the U.N., who naturally, if you think about it, asks her member state if she wants a statistic about them.

  19. RogerT
    August 12, 2016 at 2:16 am

    Sorry Bill but surely you are aware that the invasion has already succeeded and Americans are now vassals of the Zionist colonial power. Your government is run by dual nationality Israel-firsters who consider you/us as inferior beings. They care not an iota for the USA except for using its troops as cannon-fodder in their destruction of the Middle East and for the planned war on Russia. Whoever becomes president will simply be a figurehead, a joke – as are most Western leaders.

    • Sam F
      August 12, 2016 at 6:46 am

      Well put, and very true.

    • August 12, 2016 at 8:49 am

      The document: ‘A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm’ was a neo-con/zionist policy document first published in 1996, by two neo-con/zionists, Richard Perle and Douglas Feith. it proposed, inter alia, terminating peace negotiations and the destablizing and regime change in Syria, Iraq and Iran, a policy which the US took up with apparent alacrity, though still some way to go.

      In March 2003, Patrick J. Buchanan, referring to the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the report, wrote, “Their plan, which urged Israel to re-establish ‘the principle of preemption,’ (i.e. preemptive war) has now been imposed by Perle, Feith, Wurmser & Co. on the United States.”[6]

      Ian Buruma wrote in August 2003 in the New York Times that:[7]

      Douglas Feith and Richard Perle advised Netanyahu, who was prime minister in 1996, to make “a clean break” from the Oslo accords with the Palestinians. They also argued that Israeli security would be served best by regime change in surrounding countries. Despite the current mess in Iraq, this is still a commonplace in Washington. In Paul Wolfowitz’s words, “The road to peace in the Middle East goes through Baghdad.” It has indeed become an article of faith (literally in some cases) in Washington that American and Israeli interests are identical, but this was not always so, and “Jewish interests” are not the main reason for it now

    • Abbybwood
      August 12, 2016 at 1:07 pm

      According to this Israeli propagandist, all we need is another “false flag” to start a war with Iran:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfoaLbbAix0

      “False flags” appear to be the ONLY way for the U.S./Israel to start wars.

      • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
        August 16, 2016 at 6:42 pm

        9/11 was not a false-flag, idiot!

        • Linden Howe
          August 19, 2016 at 10:57 am

          Oh wasn’t it?

  20. Abe
    August 12, 2016 at 1:31 am

    What “democracy promotion” will make of us all:
    http://theawesomer.com/photos/2010/05/051710_Canned_Unicorn_Meat_1.jpg

  21. James lake
    August 12, 2016 at 12:35 am

    What I would like to know is how this consensus on US policy was built.
    Why is their no decent?

    At least here is the UK there is an anti war movement – actions of the govt are questioned. Even if the UK is the US poodle.

    • Sam F
      August 12, 2016 at 7:35 am

      There is no dissent because economic power controls the mass media and elections. Because economic power suppresses public debate in the primary workplace venue of social interaction. The right wing revolution against democracy has destroyed it completely. Long live the lack of dissent.

  22. August 12, 2016 at 12:00 am

    The U.S. foreign policy establishment cloaks its desire for global dominance in the language of humanitarianism and “democracy promotion” even when the policies lead to death and chaos …

    Just like the abuse and mistreatment of children, physical and otherwise, by parents and other caregivers, ostensibly for the child’s “own good”.

    http://www.nospank.net/fyog.htm

  23. Joe Tedesky
    August 11, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    A question all Americans should ask of all our elected leaders, is who’s interest do they really serve. How many U.S. military lives have been sacrificed to only enrich the people behind the curtain? To further that thought, how many foreign lives have been lost to America’s obscene obsession to conquer every corner of this planet? When will Americans finally figure out that all this war is what has us standing in TSA lines, when enroute to grandma’s place in Florida? Are American people even wondering, why after 15 years of our fighting terrorists that there are more terror attacks than ever before? Do Americans even know how Russia has developed an arsenal of new weapons, such as the Kalibr Club K Container Missile system, which can be deployed to anyplace on this earth where a ship, or a train, and conventional tractor trailer may go? The U.S. has abused it power for many years, and nothing or no one can last that long being on top.

    Paul Craig Roberts posted a new article to day on his website, which I feel compliments Mr Cardens find article here.

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/08/11/rethinking-the-cold-war-paul-craig-roberts/

  24. Abe
    August 11, 2016 at 11:40 pm

    “It is noteworthy that it was the United States that became the largest arms supplier to Ukraine, notes the UAWire, adding the military equipment shipped to Kiev was worth 117.5 million dollars. This information has been confirmed by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence. It should be noted that back in November, when Barack Obama signed the US defense budget for 2016, he allowed for the shipment of up to 300 million dollars worth of weapons to Ukraine, if the administration deems it necessary. The list of possible deliveries included small weapons, munitions, drones, anti-tank weapons and mortars.

    “It’s been officially confirmed that 18 other states, most of which are NATO members, handed over 164.1 million dollars worth of weapons. Moreover, there’s reports that Washington used military contractors to ship even more weapons to Ukraine secretly, to avoid the criticism of those states that refused to send lethal weapons to Ukraine.

    “Ukraine’s strengthening ties with various terrorist groups, including even ISIS, isn’t much of a secret to anyone, since Ukrainian security services openly admitted at the end of last year that they were providing safe heavens for ISIS militants when they need rest, medical assistance or documents to cross borders.

    “Looking at the mild reaction in Washington to these events, one can’t help having the impression that the US decided to transform Ukraine in a sort of Afghanistan, while replacing Al-Qaeda it officially supported back in the Cold War days, with Nazi fighters today. Therefore, Kiev is actively encouraged to embark on various campaigns of state-sponsored terrorism which can possibly lead to more disastrous consequences. We all remember how well US support for Al-Qaeda ended for Washington, with thousands of Americans dying during the 9/11 attacks. But the damage that the fascists in Ukraine can inflict on Europe is yet to be witnessed, yet it’s unlikely that it would be any less damage than has already been done by Al-Qaeda or ISIS, especially if we are to take into consideration the dire economic situation in Ukraine”

    Ukraine Makes State Sponsored Terrorism an Integral Part of its Foreign Policy
    By Martin Berger
    http://journal-neo.org/2016/08/11/ukraine-makes-state-terrorism-an-integral-part-of-its-foreign-policy/

  25. LEE LOE Grandmother for Peace
    August 11, 2016 at 11:10 pm

    People like this author and Robt. Parry and folks from the Institute for Policy Studies should get together and come up with suggestions for people to fill the positions of Sec’y for State, Defense, etc. Make them public — as best they can — showing US citizens that there is an alternative to our present policies. Lee Loe, TX Grandmother for Peace

    • Abbybwood
      August 12, 2016 at 1:05 pm

      The “Deep State” doesn’t give a rip what any of us think.

      Even when we “vote” on November 8th I am afraid that regardless of what any “exit” polls say, Hillary Clinton will “win” in a landslide. Because that is the way they “planned” it.

      The “voters” are just a nuisance to be coped with, not listened to.

      Time will tell.

      Of course all candidates should have to name their cabinets PRIOR to the election so we can compare future Secretary’s of State etc.

      But that will never happen either.

  26. Bill Bodden
    August 11, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    If a doctor of medicine treated his patients the way Samantha Powers deals with problems – that is, obliterate the symptoms but ignore the root disease – he would, or at least should, eventually lose his license.

  27. Randal Marlin
    August 11, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    I agree with James Carden completely. But when I write letters to the Toronto Globe and Mail and the Ottawa Citizen saying much the same thing, they are almost never published. The narrative that Victoria Nuland and the neocons want people to believe appears to have been successfully implanted in the general public’s mind-set. The mass media have vacated their duty and mission.
    Thank you Consortium News for raising the right questions and never letting us forget the key facts that put in doubt the tendentious and pernicious accounts purveyed by the neocons and the media they influence. The US and NATO have been baiting the Russian bear, waiting for the Putin to respond in a way that will allow them to play the well-worn part of outraged injured innocence (think Gulf of Tonkin). Putin has been clever enough to show he is not going to take this lying down, while not responding in a way that would trigger that part of the playbook. A solitary plane buzzing a NATO warship doesn’t cut it, but must have been terrifying for the navy crew.

  28. Randal Marlin
    August 11, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    I agree with Bill Bodden completely. But when I write letters to the Toronto Globe and Mail and the Ottawa Citizen saying much the same thing, they are almost never published. The narrative that Victoria Nuland and the neocons want people to believe appears to have been successfully implanted in the general public’s mind-set. The mass media have vacated their duty and mission.
    Thank you Consortium News for raising the right questions and never letting us forget the key facts that put in doubt the tendentious and pernicious accounts purveyed by the neocons and the media they influence. The US and NATO have been baiting the Russian bear, waiting for the Putin to respond in a way that will allow them to play the well-worn part of outraged injured innocence (think Gulf of Tonkin). Putin has been clever enough to show he is not going to take this lying down, while not responding in a way that would trigger that part of the playbook. A solitary plane buzzing a NATO warship doesn’t cut it, but must have been terrifying for the navy crew.

    • Randal Marlin
      August 12, 2016 at 8:48 am

      This posting should be deleted, as it has been replaced by a corrected version.

  29. John
    August 11, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    I told you folks the US dollar is the only thing that keeps the neocons afloat…now having said that Turkey is contemplating trading with Russia using national currencies leaving out the US dollar…another blow to the dying US dollar. As I have said before the #1 export of America is the dollar. When the downfall reaches more than 25% market share there will be WWIII. There is no other choice for the debt ridden USA…….

  30. Zachary Smith
    August 11, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    “Samantha Power: Liberal War Hawk” is how Robert Parry titled his 6/15 essay last year.

    For instance, in a March 10, 2003 debate on MSNBC’s “Hardball” show — just nine days before the invasion — Power said, “An American intervention likely will improve the lives of the Iraqis. Their lives could not get worse, I think it’s quite safe to say.”
    .
    .
    Similarly, regarding Libya, Power was one of the instigators of the U.S.-supported military intervention in 2011 which was disguised as an “R2P” mission to protect civilians in eastern Libya where dictator Muammar Gaddafi had identified the infiltration of terrorist groups.

    https://consortiumnews.com/2015/06/15/samantha-power-liberal-war-hawk/

    Another proud fixture of Obama’s Legacy.

    The country’s strategic position is enhanced, too, by what Valéry Giscard d’Estaing has referred to as the “exorbitant privilege” – that of possessing the world’s reserve currency.

    The reason the neocons are pushing for wars with Russia and China could come down to the US being on the verge of losing the dollar being the world’s reserve currency. Both nations are working very hard for that to happen, and they’re beginning to have some success.

    hXXp://russia-insider.com/en/another-nail-dollars-coffin-russia-and-india-plan-trade-national-currencies/ri13084

  31. Bill Bodden
    August 11, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    … the United States is, for all intents and purposes, impervious to a foreign invasion.

    But not from decay within as, among other events, our current quadrennial presidential election charade attests.

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