New McCarthyism Targets Trump

Official Washington’s New McCarthyism is painting President-elect Trump as almost a “traitor” for seeking détente with Russia, a moment when peace-oriented Americans face a complex choice, says John V. Walsh.

By John V. Walsh

When President Obama expelled Russian diplomats over the hysterical and unproven accusation of Russia “hacking the election,” Russian President Vladimir Putin refused to be drawn into a petty squabble, saying he would delay any response until Donald Trump assumed office. Instead Putin invited American diplomats and their families in Moscow to join the official holiday celebrations in the Kremlin.

Donald Trump and Governor Mike Pence of Indiana speaking to supporters in Phoenix, Arizona. August 31, 2016. (Flickr Gage Skidmore)

Then came the shock that shook Official Washington: President-elect Trump, in the form of a tweet heard round the world, wrote: “Great move on delay (by V. Putin) – I always knew he was very smart!”

And just to be sure that everyone saw it, Trump “pinned” the tweet which means it is the first thing seen by viewers of his account. This was a first use of “pinning” for Trump. And to be doubly sure, he posted it on Instagram as well. This was no spontaneous midnight outburst but a very deliberate action taken on Friday noon, Dec. 30, the day after Obama had issued his retaliation order.

The implications of this move are, arguably, breathtaking. Trump treated Putin as his ally, not as a hated adversary. And he treated Obama and the bipartisan foreign policy elite of Washington as his adversaries, not his allies – a move that makes perfect sense if Trump’s desire is to rein in the War Party’s New Cold War and to strive for a New Détente with Russia.

If the main enemy is those who are stoking the New Cold War and risking worse, then Trump has placed himself squarely against these war hawks. And stop to consider for a moment who these folks are. Besides President Obama and Hillary Clinton, they represent a full-blown armchair army: neocons, liberal interventionists, the mainstream media, various Soros-funded “non-governmental organizations,” virtually all the important think tanks, the leadership of both major parties, and the CIA and the other U.S. intelligence agencies. This array of Official Washington’s power elite has been working 24/7 at demonizing Putin and stoking tensions with nuclear-armed Russia. Trump took on all of them on with his tweet!

Putin as Ally Against the War Party

As Trump looks for new allies in pursuit of a New Détente and a relaxation of U.S.-Russian tensions, Putin is foremost among them. Thus, in the struggle for peace, Trump has drawn new lines, and they cross national borders. Not since Ronald Reagan embraced Mikhail Gorbachev or Richard Nixon went to China have we seen a development like this. In this new battle to reduce tensions between nuclear powers, Trump has shown considerable courage, taking on a wide range of attackers.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry listens to Russian President Vladimir Putin in a meeting room at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, at the outset of a bilateral meeting on July 14, 2016. [State Department Photo]

Later that afternoon, Maya Kosoff writing for Vanity Fair put out an article entitled “Twitter Melts Down over ‘Treason’ After Trump Praises Putin.” The first batch of such tweets came from “journalists and other foreign policy experts,” the next from Evan McMullin, the former CIA officer who tried to draw off Republican votes from Trump in the general election, who tweeted: “To be clear, @realDonaldTrump is siding with America’s greatest adversary even as it attacks our democracy. Never grow desensitized to this.”

Finally came the predictable rash of tweets calling Trump’s words “treasonous” or “seditious.” In response, Team Trump refused to issue a “clarification,” saying instead that Trump’s words spoke for themselves.

As stunning as Trump’s tweet was in many ways, it was in other ways entirely predictable. Despite the mainstream media’s scorn and Hillary Clinton’s mocking him as Putin’s “puppet,” Trump has held firm to his promise that he will seek peace with Russia and look for areas of cooperation such as fighting terrorism.

So, even when Trump’s Russia comments appeared to cost him politically, he stuck with them, suggesting that he believes that this détente is important. The rule of thumb is that if a politician says something that will win votes, you do not know whether it is conviction or opportunism. But if a politician says something that should lose her or him votes, then you can bet it is heartfelt.

Trump was bashed over his resistance to the New Cold War both during the Republican primaries when many GOP leaders were extremely hawkish on Russia and during the general election when the Clinton campaign sought to paint him as some sort of Manchurian Candidate. Even his vice presidential candidate Mike Pence staked out a more hawkish position than Trump.

Trump stood by his more dovish attitude though it presented few electoral advantages and many negatives. By that test, he appears to be sincere. So, his latest opening to Putin was entirely predictable.

A Choice of Peace or War

What is troubling, however, is that some Americans who favor peace hate Trump so much that they recoil from speaking out in his defense over his “treasonous” tweet though they may privately agree with it. Some progressives are uncomfortable with the mainstream’s descent into crude McCarthyism but don’t want to say anything favorable about Trump.

The 2012 National Christmas Tree with the White House in the background. (U.S. Government photo)

After all, a vote for President is either thumbs up or thumbs down – nothing in between – though voters may like or dislike some policy prescriptions of one candidate and other positions of another candidate. And progressives could list many reasons to not vote for Trump.

But a presidential administration is multi-issued – not all or none. One can disagree with a president on some issues and agree on others. For instance, many progressives are outraged over Trump’s harsh immigration policies but agree with him on scrapping the TPP trade deal.

In other words, there is no reason why those who claim to be for peace should not back Trump on his more peaceful approach toward Putin and Russia, even if they disdain his tough talk about fighting terrorism. That is the reality of politics.

What I’ve discovered is that many progressives – as well as many on the Right – who oppose endless war and disdain empire will tell you in whispers that they do support Trump’s attempt at Détente 2.0, though they doubt he will succeed. In the meantime, they are keeping their heads down and staying quiet.

But clearly Trump’s success depends on how much support he gets – as weighed against how much grief he gets. By lacking the courage to defend Trump’s “treasonous tweet,” those who want to rein in the warmongers may be missing a rare opportunity. If those who agree with Trump on this issue stay silent, it may be a lost opportunity as well.

John V. Walsh, an anti-war activist, can be reached at [email protected]

66 comments for “New McCarthyism Targets Trump

  1. Brad Benson
    January 5, 2017 at 20:57

    I voted for Trump precisely because of his intent to defuse the New Cold War and I continue to support his efforts to end our “stupid wars” and drain the swamp. He can start tomorrow by throwing Clapper, Comey and Brennan out the window of the Trump Tower when they show up to brief him on the phony Russian Hacking Scandal.

    • January 5, 2017 at 22:26

      I like that idea. wud even volunteer to help.

      • backwardsevolution
        January 5, 2017 at 22:53

        Brad and floyd – wow, what a sweet picture you paint! I actually hope (without the window) that that’s exactly what Trump does. In fact, he NEEDS to do this. Just hand them their pink slips and say, “Thanks for your service, but you’re no longer required.”

  2. Brian
    January 5, 2017 at 12:06

    Aug 21, 2015 No, Clinton Operative Donald Trump Is Not Going to “Save” America

    It’s kinda hard to believe I actually had to make this video wherein I had to pretend like any of the words that are coming out of this person’s mouth are even 0.0002% genuine.

    That really just happened. Wow, America. Just… Wow!

  3. Realist
    January 5, 2017 at 05:35

    Maybe Donald Trump reads Consortium News and finds merit in the articles and comments?

  4. Zachary Smith
    January 5, 2017 at 02:38

    … Trump’s success survival depends on how much support he gets…

    I’m altering that conclusion for a reason I believe to be a valid one. Those who have a boatload of money to lose as well as the “agenda-driven” fellows cannot count on Donald Trump having a stroke. Nor on him giving up and resigning. Even a “Kennedy” solution is chancy because Trump is reportedly beefing up his own security.

    So what’s left? Impeachment. Obama has been engaged in setting out all kinds of baited traps which might temp Trump into doing something rash. Trump has given everybody in the world the impression that he’s volatile – prone to fly off the handle and paint himself into a corner. Or worse.

    So if Impeachment comes, Trump is going to need a huge majority of the US population behind him. Enough people to put the fear of God into the Representatives and Senators of both parties who will have been instructed to take his scalp. So it’s not prudent for him to go with Paul Ryan’s or Pence’s agendas; those will cause a hell of a lot of people to join the raving Hillary crowd and be willing to see him eaten by the sharks. Trump promised a lot of things which will help Joe Sixpack, and he’d better deliver. Or get seriously bruised trying to demonstrate he’s really on their side.

    The Neocons and Neoliberals wanted HIllary and her VP backup/twin Kaine, but they’ll be quite happy to settle for Pence.

    Like it or not, the propaganda campaign to turn US citizens into bedwetters afraid of their own shadows has had some success. If Trump tackles the F-35 program, the Washington Post, New York Times, and all similar publications will scream that it’s proof Trump is trying to disarm the US to allow Putin to run roughshod over us. Trump will need a plausible backup for that crappy airplane.


    Medical Care: Killing off ObamaCare is an excellent idea only if something better replaces it. Is there any particular reason Single Payer couldn’t be Trump’s “Signature” legislation? Something like that would deflate the fury and possiby win over many Hillary fans.

    “Tax Reform” where rich people pay less and poor people pay more is totally crazy if Trump plans to court US citizens.

    As we’ve seen from recent Corporate “Fake News” stories, they’re quite capable of inventing Impeachment Crimes out of thin air, but life for the McCarthy types is a lot easier if Trump hands them all they need on a platter after throwing away whatever popular support he has.

    • Zachary Smith
      January 5, 2017 at 13:18

      Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) let slip a terrifying reality when it comes to the power of our nation’s president over “executive branch” agencies like the CIA. In an interview Tuesday with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Schumer said President-elect Donald Trump is “being really dumb” by taking on the intelligence community because if he does “they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.”

      First actual neocon threat I’ve seen. Schumer is right though, and not all of the “intelligence community’s” techniques would be approved by Gandhi.


  5. Mark Thomason
    January 5, 2017 at 02:26

    Not “almost” a traitor.

    The outrage porn goes all the way to traitor. It goes to any and every extreme.

  6. incontinent reader
    January 5, 2017 at 02:08

    Brilliant article.

  7. Ken Hoop
    January 4, 2017 at 20:47

    Craig Summers obvious prefers continued American world hegemony rather than multi-polar balanced spheres of influence or anything close to it and that’s sad.
    Putin can influence Trump to go easy on Iran which can then utilize its allies to pressure Israel into a fair settlement with the Palestinians. Which will ultimately result in a One State solution devoid of rabbinical law.
    Why should Summers even be concerned with Russian hacking when the US has hacked many unthreatening countries into
    oblivion in the recent past and overthrown Mossadegh in 1953?
    Ukraine? Nuland and coterie caused its defection.
    Far better for Europe to come to terms with Russia and US troops to come home from both there and the Mideast.

    • backwardsevolution
      January 5, 2017 at 22:48

      Ken Hoop – good comments. Yes, I think Trump is wrong on Iran. As you say, hopefully Putin can put him straight.

  8. David F., N.A.
    January 4, 2017 at 18:02

    Duopoly Surface Event Timeline

    Nov. 8: “Putin hacks election.”
    Nov. 9: McCarthyism shifts up 3 or 4 gears.
    Dec. 23: Obama signs Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act.
    Dec. 29: Obama boots diplomats.
    Dec. 30: Trump tweets tweet.

  9. jaycee
    January 4, 2017 at 16:49

    The cries of “treason” and “sedition” are wildly overstated, if not factually wrong as there is no official conflict underway with Russia. The assertion that Russia is “America’s greatest adversary”, in context, is simply a rather debatable opinion. In reality, the only official adversary, or enemy, to the U.S. at the present time is the terrorist organization al-Qaeda, as stated in the existing Authorizations for Military Force from 2001 and 2002. It should be kept in mind that high-profile advocates of confrontation with Russia – such as Defence Secretary Ash Carter, CIA boss John Brennan, and Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham – have counselled for an overt tactical alliance with al-Qaeda and associated terrorist organizations in support of regime-change in Syria. McCain has even been photographed meeting with terrorist leadership, and Brennan and Carter are believed to have provided tactical support to such groups in Syria. So a factual label of treason or sedition is best applied to a different faction in Washington.

    • Drew Hunkins
      January 4, 2017 at 17:03

      “In reality, the only official adversary, or enemy, to the U.S. at the present time is the terrorist organization al-Qaeda”

      And just think, Washington’s essentially on al-Qaeda’s side in the Syrian regime change operation by hamstringing Russia every chance it gets; tacitly supporting the anti Assad “rebels;” and running propaganda against any and all leaders, intellectuals or nation-states that have a dissenting view on dismembering Syria and upturning the Assad admin.

  10. D5-5
    January 4, 2017 at 16:37

    I believe it’s unfortunate the Left is divided and arguing when we need to be on the same page to respond to the pipeline industry and such matters, and the neo-con destruction of the last 16 years, in particular under George W. Bush and Obama. The emotionalism and hysteria over Trump is now entirely worn-out and doing nothing but reducing a lot of discussion to quibbling. We need to try to move on together because all the emotion over Trump is distracting from serious issues such as this article indicates. Insider Washington is making an effort to de-legitimize Trump and replace him with Pence. Tomorrow, I believe, is the last chance for this. If that fails, and it will, Trump could be in serious physical danger. I think it’s that serious, and sinister. Whatever Trump was in the campaign, he is not the same now, and is accumulating plus points to sit beside his already considerable negative list. This too is being ignored amidst all the rancor and demonizing. Further ignored is why did the intelligence agencies take so long as cop on the beat to alert us to this Russia-hacking problem? Why not back in the spring when Assange was indicating he was about the drop the bomb on the DNC and The Clinton Foundation? We are now told Assange is “Putin’s dupe,” so he must have been back then also. Apparently the assumption of a slam-dunk for Clinton was so strong there was no need to propagandize until Nov 8. Let’s continue to work together, and to analyze these matters, versus the continuing and by now very wearisome drumbeat of demonizing Trump.

    • Bill Bodden
      January 4, 2017 at 20:57

      I believe it’s unfortunate the Left is divided and arguing when we need to be on the same page

      Insider Washington is making an effort to de-legitimize Trump and replace him with Pence.

      In the past if the Democratic Party oligarchs were threatened by progressives the party and its troops would gang up on these would-be interlopers and bar entry to the inner circle. If necessary, the Republican party would help the Democrats in keeping these blasphemers of duopoly heresy out of the loop. With Trump the situation is similar. He is not a progressive, but he does threaten the duopoly’s control of policy and events.

      There was a lot of talk, probably wishful thinking, that Trump would destroy the Republican Party. With lots of luck, he might help destroy both major parties.

      • D5-5
        January 4, 2017 at 21:33

        To be sure, Trump threatens the neocon/neolib inner playbook as part of this division in the plutocracy, question being whether his playbook can prevail–hence the insiders he has chosen as key staff, like armory. I feel certain he has computer savvy aids also. Trump’s impact may be improvement in foreign policy with a “make business not war” program, leading us to concentrate more heavily on domestic conditions.

  11. Bill Bodden
    January 4, 2017 at 15:55

    Keep in mind if Trump is removed from the presidency for whatever reason – impeachment, ill-health, or other – Mike Pence will become president if he is still around if Trump leaves. Pence will then very likely be much worse than Trump.

  12. Vera
    January 4, 2017 at 15:41

    The opposite of peace is war…take your pick. Of course, most Americans haven’t got the foggiest idea what war is really all about, never having experienced one on their soil.

  13. William Crain
    January 4, 2017 at 14:16

    I didn’t and i never will vote for a Dem or a Repug ~ but i did prefer Trump to the Frump over this very issue/ i mean ISSUE of turning this planet into dust after just 5 billion + years and wrecked, irrevocably all 3 million years of humanity .
    Trump is still a PoS to the core.

  14. Wobblie
    January 4, 2017 at 14:08

    I agree with most of this article. But one thing Mr. Walsh left out is China. China is the whole reason Trump is being nice to Russia. The Trump faction wants to go after China, hence the call to Taiwan and the appointment of China foe Robert Lighthizer to be Trump’s chief trade negotiator.

    • Bob
      January 4, 2017 at 18:29

      Right on target.

    • Brad Owen
      January 5, 2017 at 08:24

      Google “Helga: Donald Trump and the new international paradigm.” Trump wants Gov. Branstad of Iowa to be his ambassador to China. He’s personal friends with President Xi of China, since 1985. Trump was ambushed by Heritage Foundation operatives and Taiwan-hired lobbyists (Dole, Gephardt, Daschle) in an effort to poison relations with China for Trump. It was a setup.

    • rosemerry
      January 5, 2017 at 16:32

      Trump is off the track if he thinks he can separate Russia from its ally China, and Putin certainly will not agree to that. The pro-Russia, anti-China and anti-Iran mix of Trump and his team will have to use tact and negotiations!!!!!

  15. Bill Bodden
    January 4, 2017 at 13:51

    What is troubling, however, is that some Americans who favor peace hate Trump so much that they recoil from speaking out in his defense over his “treasonous” tweet though they may privately agree with it. Some progressives are uncomfortable with the mainstream’s descent into crude McCarthyism but don’t want to say anything favorable about Trump.

    There are many reasons to fear and oppose a Trump presidency, but it is long past time for Americans to operate on principle. Trump is right on detente with Russia. If America’s credo is “All people have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” then it may be time to consider the war hawks are guilty of treason.

    “My country, right or wrong.” In one sense I say so too. My country; and my country is the great American Republic. My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right. Senator CARL SCHURZ, remarks in the Senate, February 29, 1872

    • Truthster
      January 4, 2017 at 22:52

      Right on, my friend.

  16. Brad Owen
    January 4, 2017 at 13:04

    Here is one Green/Progressive that greatly appreciates Trump’s pro-Russia stance. This is probably because I also view daily, the E.I.R. website of the LaRouche people, wherein one finds voluminous writings about the Silk Road/World Land Bridge Project that’s being sponsored by China and Russia and being embraced by the World. The E.I.R. writes voluminously about S.R./W.L.B because it’s their brainchild, their policy for which they’ve advocated for decades. How ironic that it’s the Eurasian quarter of the World that has whole-heartedly embraced it; and its’ only the fleshing out of where FDR wanted to go (where LaRouche has wanted to go all along; continuing with FDR’s Post-war vision), post-WWII, with World development for the former colonies of the 3rd World, whose progress would be overseen & guaranteed, under the U.N. umbrella, by the three Great Republics of the World: the American Republic, the Soviet Union of Socialist Republics (now the de-communized Russian Federation), and the Republic of China (Dr. Sun Yat Sen’s China, since then becoming the post-Mao Peoples Republic of China). Trump’s detente approach towards the Russian Federation holds very great promise for the whole World; a veritable Renaissance in the offing; which also means the death of Empire, which is why his opposition is so hysterically shrill, making fools of themselves. Putin will inform Trump of these matters. And the E.I.R. folks can be relied upon to also inform him.
    Sanders has the right idea on tactics; work with Trump in areas of agreement, strenuously oppose him in areas of total disagreement. The E.I.R. folks will enlighten Trump about physical economics (LaRouche’s area of expertise [it’s the REAL economy, stupid], alongside History) as distinguished from fraudulent Monetarism, and Empire-approved “History”.

  17. Clarence Carey
    January 4, 2017 at 12:35

    I’m personally praying and supporting Trump in his peace effort. Its morally correct and G-d sanction.

  18. mike k
    January 4, 2017 at 12:35

    Politicians are mostly cowardly approval seekers. They lack the ability to discern truth from fiction, or the backbone to stand up for unpopular positions. The scum rises to the top. Politicians in Washington DC are among the most despicable people on this planet. They rival their masters, the uber wealthy in ugliness and opposition to all things good and true.

  19. Mark Thomason
    January 4, 2017 at 12:25

    Americans faced this complex choice ever since the Democrats ran Hillary as a hawk of the liberal interventionists and neocons, owned by corporate interests.

    Trump is very much a lesser evil choice. Bernie was the road not taken for Democrats, the road that would have been a real answer to voter concerns used by Trump’s rhetoric.

    No, I don’t mean Trump will deliver, I mean he said it while Hillary was the face of the problem and nobody else even said it.

    This is not new. This has been stewing for two years.

    The McCarthy style New Cold War unleashed by the Hillary faction is just more fully revealing what they were all along. The Jackson Democrats were always exploiting the Cold War as a route to power, since the “Bomber Gap” and “Missile Gap” campaign lies showed the way.

    • Joe B
      January 4, 2017 at 20:29

      Good point that the “New Cold War unleashed by the Hillary faction is just more fully revealing what they were all along. “

  20. January 4, 2017 at 12:20

    Mr. Walsh

    “…….And stop to consider for a moment who these folks are. Besides President Obama and Hillary Clinton, they represent a full-blown armchair army: neocons, liberal interventionists, the mainstream media, various Soros-funded “non-governmental organizations,” virtually all the important think tanks, the leadership of both major parties, and the CIA and the other U.S. intelligence agencies………”

    Interestingly, you mention the word “war” 10 times in your article – all in reference to the US – while Russia carries on a war in eastern Ukraine to reassert her “sovereignty” over Ukraine, illegally annexes part of a sovereign nation as punishment against the democratic “coup” of the Yanukovych government and props up one of the worst dictators on the planet bombing Aleppo into the Stone Age to preserve Russia’s interests in Syria. An antiwar stance might seem rational, but not every single problem on the planet is the fault of the US.

    Your support for Donald Trump is misguided if detente with Russia is your only guiding principle. Even as a staunch Republican, his negatives far outweigh his positives going into the inauguration on January 20th. Just his promise to move the US embassy to Jerusalem could tip the Palestinians to the third Intifada. How responsible is that (or antiwar)? Indeed, trade wars loom on the horizon with China and Mexico. Immigrants?

    Finally, suggesting that their is no evidence of Russian hacking of the DNC is misguided at best. There is no proof (that has been released by US intelligence), but there is evidence of Russian hacking to influence the election. Independent cyber security firms identified possible Russian hacking based on years of working with these hackers. It’s not even a stretch to imagine that the Russian government was behind the the hacking of the DNC in what Craig Murray called “one of the world’s most clinically efficient intelligence services”. There was a lot at stake for Russia in the US election. Trump openly criticized US intelligence during the campaign. US and EU sanctions are costing Russia tens of billions of dollars to their economy – and going up. Trump has criticized NATO, and Russia is by no means giving up on influencing the outcome in Ukraine. Thousands have died as a result. Reining “in the warmongers” simply views the “west” as the problem while giving a free pass to Russia. “According to the Independent, 2012 (“Julian Assange launches talk show on Kremlin-backed broadcaster Russia”):

    “…….Asked why he had chosen Russia Today Mr Assange said: “In the case we are in at the moment, where our major confrontation is with the West, although we have published material from many countries, RT is the natural partner.” He added that the relationship might not be so comfortable if WikiLeaks had published large amounts of compromising data on Russia…..”

    Here Assange makes his real target known. A “major confrontation with the west” is telling which treats the west as the major problem.

    • Abe
      January 4, 2017 at 16:41

      In fact, Western warmongering is the major problem in Ukraine, Syria, and many other areas of the world where there was no war prior to Washington-instigated regime change interventions.

      Energy politics has figured prominently in Washington’s regime change calculus for Syria and Ukraine.

      Starting in 2005, the US government launched a policy of regime change against the Syrian government by funding Syrian opposition groups working to topple the Syrian government, attempting to block foreign direct investment in Syria, attempting to frustrate Syrian government efforts at economic reform and prosperity and thus legitimacy for the regime, and getting other governments diplomatically to isolate Syria. The Obama administration starting in 2009 continued such policies.

      During protests in Syria that Western mainstream media falsely depicted as a general civil uprising against the Syria government, Western-backed armed assailants murdered both security officers and peaceful protestors in violent terrorist attacks in Daraa in March 2011.

      Western media censored reporting and promoted propaganda concerning the March 2011 terrorist attacks. Ignoring the terrorist forces that instigated and have perpetuated the armed conflict, consistently distorting the facts of the situation, the West has exclusively and persistently blamed the Syrian government and its allies for the destruction.

      Starting in 1997, the US government launched a policy of regime change against the Ukrainian government to support the aggressive eastward push by the European Union and NATO. American international NGOs such as the National Endowment for Democracy, funded by the US State Department through USAID, were prominent mechanisms in multi-pronged regime-change operations in the Ukrainian political space. Mass mobilizations orchestrated in Kiev’s Maidan Square in 2004 and 2013-14 did not reflect nationwide sentiments. Violent demonstrators were handpicked from western Ukraine anti-democratic and neo-Nazi bastions.

      During protests in Ukraine that Western mainstream media falsely depicted as a general civil uprising against the Ukrainian government, Western-backed armed assailants murdered both security officers and peaceful protestors in a violent terrorist coup d’etat in Kiev in February 2014.

      Western media censored reporting and promoted propaganda concerning the February 2014 terrorist attacks. Ignoring the terrorist forces that instigated and have perpetuated the armed conflict, consistently distorting the facts of the situation, the West has exclusively and persistently blamed the Russian government and ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine for the destruction.

    • Abe
      January 4, 2017 at 17:40

      Attention new readers of Consortium News:

      Independent investigative journalism websites like Consortium News have been under attack by the propaganda trolls, who typically show up in the comments section of articles that discuss the West’s regime change wars and deception operations.

      The propaganda trolls attempt to trash the information space by dismissing, distracting, diverting, denying, deceiving and distorting the facts.

      Always insisting that they have “evidence” somewhere, the propaganda trolls aim at confusing rather than convincing the audience.

      Independent investigative journalists continue to present facts and evidence, and point to the mainstream media’s obvious lack of evidence in the torrents of fake news produced about Syria, Ukraine, and the alleged hack of the DNC.

      Along with major mainstream media outlets like the Washington Post and New York Times, the UK Independent (cited by “craigsummers” above) is a leading purveyor of fake news about the alleged hack of the DNC.

      In addition, what “craigsummers” falsely claims “Independent cyber security firms” are actually military contractors that make millions in the US Department of Defense (DoD) and Intelligence Community markets.

      Veteran intelligence professionals have pointed out that the allegations of election hacking are baseless

      Nevertheless, “craigsummers” keeps popping up in the comments to insist that there is “evidence” somewhere.

      • January 5, 2017 at 21:48

        Thanks, Abe. I just take a whiff at such crap [summer or any other season] and skip on to meaningful material. There is plenty of the latter here and on a few other sites.

    • Chris Chuba
      January 4, 2017 at 17:51

      I was going to pass but I just couldn’t refrain when I read the following …

      “punishment against the democratic “coup” of the Yanukovych government”

      There is not such thing as a ‘democratic coup’. Coups are by definition non-democratic. Yanukovych agreed to early elections and called back the police forces, this might have allowed cooler heads to prevail but the gangs rolled into Parliament and Yanukovych fled for his life. This was a coup. Russia reacted by holding a referendum in Crimea to keep Sevastopol from becoming a NATO port. They knew that they would easily win a referendum. Granted, the referendum was initiated in the same illegal manner as the original coup because it was rushed in reaction to events. Both the Kiev govt and Crimean referendum should be recognized.

      Regarding Syria, Putin is doing God’s work. We in the U.S. are supporting Al Qaeda aligned rebels and demanding that Assad be forced to step down because we know that if elections were held in Syria that the Syrians, including the Sunnis, would vote for Assad instead of the Jihadists. The Al Qaeda aligned rebels have never controlled more than 15% of the Syrian population and are now down to 10%. Assad’s government controls 70% of the population. At Aleppo, 90% of the residents of Eastern Aleppo chose to stay in govt held territory rather than take the green buses to rebel held Idlib. Assad is only considered a butcher and the rebels considered good guys because of mindless repetition in western MSM. Western journalists who go to Syria rather than getting tweets from rebel activists get a completely different picture. – Swedish journalist who was recently at Aleppo. – Was in Aleppo in 2012, the New Yorker demonizes Russia on a routine basis and does not praise Assad here but he paints a dark picture of the rebels in 2012.

      • backwardsevolution
        January 5, 2017 at 22:42

        Chris – “Coups are by definition non-democratic. Yanukovych agreed to early elections and called back the police forces, this might have allowed cooler heads to prevail but the gangs rolled into Parliament and Yanukovych fled for his life. This was a coup.”

        Yes, wasn’t there to be an election within a few months time? Of course, the overthrowers didn’t want to wait for an election; they might not have gotten the answer they wanted.

        Cheers, Chris.

    • EyesWideOpen
      January 5, 2017 at 03:21

      Aren’t you busy over at The Intercept propping up Greenwald’s fake piece on ‘fake news’?

      • January 5, 2017 at 08:30

        Greenwald correctly pointed out that the Washington Post article on the Russians hacking the electric grid was completely false.

    • rosemerry
      January 5, 2017 at 16:28

      Well, this is a change! Do you usually read this site? Your views sit very well with all the MSM so you should be happy that all will be well. Every word of your comment could have been taken from the usual America-first polemics assuming the USA has a right to overthrow a Ukrainian leader, hack into and otherwise influence elections anywhere on the globe, support “rebels” in Aleppo and blame Russia for pushing them out, keep on fighting in Iraq 14 years after an invasion based on CIA “intelligence” and all the rest.

  21. tony
    January 4, 2017 at 11:31

    I would love to know who Trump’s ‘behind the scenes’ backers are. He has a mastermind or collection of masterminds that are backing, supporting, and counseling him.
    High-level top brass? Top-level intelligence that wants to avoid war with Russia? Who knows.

  22. Drew Hunkins
    January 4, 2017 at 11:18

    What we’re essentially witnessing in Washington right now is an internecine skirmish between two factions of our ruling class:

    ****on one side essentially stands “Big Oil” and Tillerson


    ****The Zionist Power Configuration, Military-Industrial Complex, DNC, congressmen like Charles Schumer (D-Israel) and J. McCain, and most of the mass media ranging from MSDNC, CNN, NPR, NBC, etc.

    It appears Trump may (may) be leaning toward siding with his Big Oil faction, but it can’t be forgotten that he has also appointed Israeli hardliners and anti-Iranian stalwarts to his admin in the form of Friedman, Mattis and Flynn and some others.

    The US elites are often in agreement on most policy proposals but currently the aforementioned battle is being waged behind the scenes, and these internal squabbles do erupt from time to time, we’re witnessing one right now.

    Big Oil is essentially the ‘market driven empire builders’ while the latter folks primarily make up the ‘military driven empire builders.’ The world renowned intellectual Dr. James Petras has even gone so far as to write that the latter group is carrying out a low intensity coup of sorts to sabotage Trump’s presidency due to his potential to buck the ZPC and military driven empire builders.

    Focus focus focus on Tillerson’s impending confirmation fight, it will tell us a lot about where this is all heading.

    • Brad Owen
      January 5, 2017 at 05:46

      I can see Trump using the guys that he wants, as his personal representatives to do his bidding and dealing, if Congress won’t give his guys the designated positions…middle finger way up high to ’em. He’ll say let’em fill the positions with empty suits, and I’ll make sure they do nothing but twiddle their thumbs all day, and tweet about these do-nothings to the people.

  23. Adrian Engler
    January 4, 2017 at 10:31

    I think what plays an important role here is that there is a strong tendency in the US to view conflicts, especially conflicts in foreign countries most Americans know little about in Manichean terms (good versus evil). Of course, this is not restricted to the US, similar discourses can also be observed in European countries, but the tendency seems to be particularly strong in the United States.

    This was already visible in the conflicts in former Yugoslavia, where there were complex conflicts of interests, and nationalism played an important role on all sides, but it was often portrayed as a conflict that existed because of evil Serbs. The basic mechanism of the idea of “humanitarian interventions” (e.g. Libya) was that someone was given the role of the evil dictator, which allegedly provided justifications for overthrowing him, even if it was likely that the overall situation in the country is worse afterwards.

    The attitude towards Russia is similar. Of course, progressives cannot wholeheartedly support Putin. Putin’s Russia is a good example of an “illiberal democracy”, the scale of authoritarianism is probably somewhere between Orbán’s Hungary and Erdogan’s Turkey. Already Putin’s predecessor Yeltsin was authoritarian, in 1993 he held on to power unconstitutionally and had the army shoot at the parliament – but his authoritarianism was more welcome in the West because he was seen as “pro-Western”.

    I think it would be important to overcome this Manichean attitude. Even though there is, of course, a lot to criticize about the Russian government, it is far from representing pure evil. In the conflicts Russia is involved, there is also a lot to criticize about the opposing sides, the point of view of the Russian government should be taken into account (though not supported in any aspect), and on the whole, Putin generally seems to be a relatively rational actor.

    But unfortunately, this Manichean worldview is not something that is easy to overcome. Partially, it probably has to do with general human tendencies, and the fact that it is particularly strong in the United States could have to do with its religious history, which is deeply ingrained. (Of course, there would be another option, just to keep the Manichean worldview, but to reverse the roles and to see Putin as the force of good against Islamist extremists and Ukrainian right-wing extremists, some anti-establishment groups on the right seem to have chosen this path – that would be just as one-sided, and I find it difficult to say which version is worse.)

    Usually, it was mainly US foreign policy that was dominated by such a Manichean world view, while in domestic politics, there was much more understanding for complex conflicts of interests that cannot simply be reduced to a fight between good and evil. What I would find important is that this understanding for dealing with complex problems in which no side just represents good or evil could be extended to foreign policy. There have always existed traditions in foreign policy that were less Manichean, especially conservative interests-based foreign politics. What I would find important is that the US could overcome the false dichotomy between conservative interest-based foreign politics and Manichean values-oriented foreign politics (which, in my view, is often the ideological cover for a different, more aggressive kind of interest-based politics) and that there are better ways of using ethical principles than just sticking labels of “good” and “evil” to different international actors.

    But this is a long-term goal, I doubt that this can be achieved so quickly. What seems to happen right now, is, unfortunately, the opposite, a Manichean worldview seems to be carried over from foreign politics to Donald Trump in general, including domestic politics. What also used to be more common in the US perspective of foreign politics and seems to have a close connection with the Manichean worldview is the personalization of conflicts. Like it used to be common just to designate some foreign leader as the personal source of evil, many people now seem to focus on Donald Trump as a person. Of course, there are some aspects of Donald Trump as a person that are worth criticizing, there has not been a president who had as little qualification and political experience as him, he sometimes lacks basic respect, and his statements are often contradictory (and often false). But, as far as his political positions are concerned, only some are, from a progressive viewpoint worse than the ones of establishment Republicans, in others, he is just a normal Republican and in still other areas – detente with Russian is just one area -, he is actually more moderate than most Republicans and often also more moderate than many Democrats. Therefore, I think it is important to develop a nuanced approach and not to fall into the trap of extending rather than reducing the Manichean worldview.

  24. Brian
    January 4, 2017 at 09:57

    January 4, 2015 How America Was Lost: from 9/11 to the Police/Warfare State

    “Americans need to understand that they have lost their country. The rest of the world needs to recognize that Washington is not merely the most complete police state since Stalinism, but also a threat to the entire world. The hubris and arrogance of Washington, combined with Washington’s huge supply of weapons of mass destruction, make Washington the greatest threat that has ever existed to all life on the planet. Washington is the enemy of all humanity.”—Paul Craig Roberts

  25. Herman
    January 4, 2017 at 09:47

    We cant have it all with Trump. We’ll have to accept his willingness to sell out the Palestinians and not reign in Israel with his move to establish better relationships with Russia. They may clash at some point but let us hope with a good outcome. Trump seems to be willing to do something courageous accepting that he will only be President for four years, if that.

    Mr. Walsh is right. Pray that those who agree with Trump will have the courage to say so, without adding the debilitating weight of qualifiers. It would be something to behold.

    Even reading the comments, commenters cannot resist burdening their comments with qualifications lest they lose their place.

    • backwardsevolution
      January 4, 2017 at 14:40

      Herman – “We’ll have to accept his willingness to sell out the Palestinians and not reign in Israel with his move to establish better relationships with Russia.”

      Small steps. If Trump were to try to bite off both issues (Russia AND Palestinians) at the same time, just imagine the weight that would come down on him. Better to tackle one issue at a time. I’m hoping that eventually he’ll go after the medical monopolies as well before they bankrupt the country. Split up the media and banking monopolies. There’s much to be done.

      The U.S. is in desperate need of a fighter, and I believe that Trump IS a fighter. Trump has shown more courage than Obama ever possessed, ever! Bush was a puppet for the MIC, and Clinton handed out candy to corporate interests (then collected from them later). Someone like Trump rarely comes along, and you can see why: TPTB fight with all their might to crush people like him, people who want to change the status quo. Help Trump; back him up.

      Great article, John Walsh.

      • msavage
        January 5, 2017 at 00:11

        “Trump has shown more courage than Obama ever possessed, ever!”

        I can agree with you on that, backwards.

      • January 5, 2017 at 21:33

        I quickly came to the same conclusions you have. There’s too much on that platter to pile Nuttyyahoo on too.

  26. alllie
    January 4, 2017 at 09:43

    I’ve been reading Consortiumnews since the 90s. But lately it seems to me, you’ve turned to the right. I find that disappointing.

    Now if you support Trump, well, your choice. But as Trump and the Republicans plan to destroy Medicare, Medicaid, SS, ACA, environmental protection, a woman’s right to choose, etc, I, maybe selfishly, find myself less concerned with his foreign policies than their domestic policies. This is typical of narcissists I have know: Be vicious at home and be nice to strangers. And Trump is the consummate narcissist.

    • Andre
      January 4, 2017 at 11:54

      I wouldn’t say that they turned to the right. In may pieces that are anti-war (and therefore supportive of Trump’s position) the authors acknowledged many issues with Trumps proposed policies, his bigotry, and rashness. While I’m quite concerned about the longterm implications of Trump’s proposed domestic agenda, I would very much like to see more constructive dialogue with Russia, China, and other foreign adversaries. At the same time, the entire apparatus of the US government is so huge and complex, that I don’t have very high hopes for a major change.

      In 2016 election I could not cast my vote for either Hillary or Trump, but for completely orthogonal issues. The media overall seemed to be unfairly pro-Hillary even during the primaries, and the articles that I’ve seen here were relentlessly pointing out that neither candidate was setting a good example as a future president.

    • exiled off mainstreet
      January 4, 2017 at 13:41

      Not Consortiumnews but erstwhile “progressives” have turned “right.” A true leftist position would not countenance a war which threatens our survival. I’m sick of former “progressives” who have jumped the interventionist shark and are looking at destruction as the end result.

    • Kalen
      January 4, 2017 at 15:13

      What this site and many other center left leaning sites fail to tell us that whole politics and electoral process is played for one purpose alone, to divide us every two years by suppressing access to true popular leades who would win at least 140 millions of votes of at least 240 millions of eligible voters. Which I would call democracy and not this farce.

      Instead we are allowed to quarrel about some stooges of oligarchy auditioning for a role of liar and deceiter in chief, master of coercion and influence peddling able to impact or control masses who are excluded from ruling the country be default.

      If we really want to calmly judge the administrations and congress for their stage performance we must do it post factum, realizing that what they promise is 99% straight lies and 1% innuendos, since their posses no real power to rule but huge power to deceive us.

      It is not an accident that Trump campaign was incoherent for workers and against them unfortunately so was Hillary’s if we closely analyse her war mongering and steady slide into globalism that as TTP would have it required scrapping SS as a subsidy or environmental laws as such and impediment to free trade as TPP meant loss of sovereignty.

      Presenting Americans with a false choice divides us debating a lesser evils and loosing moral fabric of our humanity.

    • Evangelista
      January 4, 2017 at 21:52


      You seem to be stuck in election gear. To go forward you need shift out, to neutral first, then into a forward-motion gear. “right” and “left” are not going to take you anywhere, since both are pretty well stripped to naught but clattery grinding and rackety growling. You litany some of the growls: “Medicare, Medicaid, SS”. Some, “environmental protection”, you don’t know what actually is. To begin, check the Oxford Dictionary ‘Word of the Year’, “Post-Truth” and its definition. The post-truth agenda for ‘environmental protection’ if implemented, will ruin the environment faster, and more certainly, than even doing nothing would. “Women’s right to choose” is protected in the Constitution (13th Amendment). All of the squabbling is about illegal legislations and counter-legislations. It is like “ObamaCare”, which is a government “law” requiring The People to buy insurance from an industry the “lawmakers” are working for (instead of for The People), wherefore, “ObamaCare” also is unconstitutional, and so, in the Constitutional United States, illegal. Note that SS (with its attachments) is not illegal because its sponsor is the government, and so The People, wherefore the ‘premiums’ are tax imposed by the government, The People charging themselves. “ObamaCare” would be legal if it was an extension of SS, or likewise constructed (singe-payer – the government, paid for by everyone earning money).

      Next, Trump is not a Republican. Find some archi ves and review the Republican debates and Convention: Trump hijacked the nomination from the Republican party. Notice in the daily news that Trump lands on Republicans as he lands on Democrats. Trump is a freebooting reformer who has boarded the Presidential Bully-Pulpit and who views the Sacred Cows of both established parties as equally good meat for barbecue.

      Finally, Trump is not a narcissist. That is left-over Campaign Hash. It is stale and rapidly going moldy. Take a fresh look at Trump. His presidency is a done deal. Trump is, and is going to be, the next Ring Master for the United States Circus. For the next four years you, with all the rest of us, will have a grandstand seat to what looks likely to be, and should be, the most entertaining show on earth. Especially with Donald Trump for Ring master: He is, first and foremost, before all other things, a Showman, and a showman of the first water. Ring Masters are always the guys in the red and gold vest and with the tails and top-hat. They always stand out and make the most noise. None of them are narcissists. They all introduce and hype not their own acts, but the circus’s acts.

      Look at Congress as two troops of clowns. Note how the Republicans in the House have already jumped into the role, engaging in ridiculous antics (attempting to exempt themselves from ethics oversight) being called on it (by Trump) and falling flat on their faces.

      And don’t worry yourself about immigrants and such, they have their own countries at home. Places to go back to if their luck doesn’t pan out here. Unless you fear losing a maid and dread having to do housework yourself again you haven’t any real cause to complain.

      • msavage
        January 5, 2017 at 00:08

        Nah Evagelista–Trump’s definitely a narcissist. Take it from someone who grew up with one.

      • January 5, 2017 at 21:21

        Wow! I wish I could have said all that ; but Thank You for saying it for me!

      • Alllie
        January 6, 2017 at 13:59

        Rightie slime.

    • Gregory Herr
      January 5, 2017 at 00:00

      The support for Trump in the article and in comments certainly isn’t wholesale or uncritical. We have to deal with the situation at hand and deal with a broad range of issues at home and globally. The prospect of cooperation in lieu of conflict with Russia is important. I’m as concerned as you are about Trump and Congress on the domestic front, but that shouldn’t stop me from supporting avenues of peace.

      • rosemerry
        January 5, 2017 at 16:14

        I agree. The ridiculous Russophobia in so many of both Parties is unjustified,and pretending those who want to avoid war “traitors”, when the same people who say this support Israel and Saudi Arabia, shows hypocrisy.

    • January 5, 2017 at 18:49

      @allie. “…turned to the right.” You obviously don’t get it. Killary Clinton was going to destroy the same things (did you not digest her duplicity in Wikileaks or was that a Russian plot?) I don’t remember her denouncing the VERACITY of Wikileaks just the means and methods. She was going to destroy the social safety net while lip synching Roberta Flack’s “Killing me Softly..” That’s why a lot of progressives including your’s truly couldn’t stomach her. That’s what neoliberals too, kill you softly. Bill Clinton and Obama (how do you distinguish a neoliberal from a neoconservative??) made attempts at it… how quickly you forget Bill’s “Welfare Reform,” or Obama’s Deficit Reduction Committee lead by Wall Streeters like Erskine Bowles and Right Wingers like Alan Simpson. More importantly in “not getting it.” All that sh**t won’t matter if we are nuclear toast. You are being somewhat selfish IMO which you are no doubt entitled to be.

  27. natoistan
    January 4, 2017 at 09:17

    Republicans/Democrats Utilize Public Mistrust of Trump to Legitimize Russia Lies.

    Republicans and Democrats alike are utilizing legitimate distrust of Donald Trump to give credibility to their own lies. If we are buying the Russia narrative, we are buying one of the most cynical manipulations we have seen in recent political history.

    • Sam F
      January 5, 2017 at 08:14

      Yes, the anti-Russia nonsense is indeed “one of the most cynical manipulations” of all time, intended to cover up the fact that the Dems are agents of foreign powers Israel and Saudi Arabia. It shows the contempt of oligarchy for the intelligence of the people.

      Destroy the oligarchy and restore Democracy!

  28. Joe B
    January 4, 2017 at 09:09

    Exactly right. The Reps may not care for humanity, but they don’t like paying for war, so Trump must be given credit on that point over the Dems, so corrupted by Israel/KSA/MIC oligarchy.

    There is a strong progressive majority which is being deliberately fragmented by the Clinton oligarchs. The Clinton supporters must unify both with the critics of warmongering for Israel and KSA, and the Trumpers who simply want economic security in a rapacious oligarchic state. Clintonites will have to admit their mistake in backing an oligarchy shill with no platform beyond the fashion identity issues of the upper middle class.

  29. Josh Stern
    January 4, 2017 at 07:44

    An excellent editorial – kudos to Mr. Walsh.

    “But a presidential administration is multi-issued – not all or none. One can disagree with a president on some issues and agree on others. For instance, many progressives are outraged over Trump’s harsh immigration policies but agree with him on scrapping the TPP trade deal.

    In other words, there is no reason why those who claim to be for peace should not back Trump on his more peaceful approach toward Putin and Russia, even if they disdain his tough talk about fighting terrorism. That is the reality of politics.”

    Perhaps he or some other commentators have practical suggestions for helping the nation’s less tuned-in observers to stay abreast of what is really going on in a range of different policy categories, including the ones he mentions. That sort of useful summary might be one piece of the puzzle to helping the US out of its tweedle-dum tweedle-dee politics.

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