Trump’s Foreign Policy at a Crossroads

Exclusive: Recent U.S. foreign policy – driven by neocons and liberal hawks – has spread chaos and death around the globe. But can “crazy” Donald Trump bring sanity to how the U.S. approaches the world, asks Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

If you wanted to bring sanity to a U.S. foreign policy that has spun crazily out of control, there would be some immediate steps that you – or, say, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson – could take, starting with a renewed commitment to tell the truth to the American people.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Instead of the endless “perception management” or “strategic communication” or “psychological operations” or whatever the new code words are, you could open up the files regarding key turning-point moments and share the facts with the citizens – the “We the People” – who are supposed to be America’s true sovereigns.

For instance, you could release what the U.S. government actually knows about the Aug. 21, 2013 sarin gas attack in Syria; what the files show about the origins of the Feb. 22, 2014 coup in Ukraine; what U.S. intelligence analysts have compiled about the July 17, 2014 shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine. And those are just three examples of cases where U.S. government propagandists have sold a dubious bill of goods to the American and world publics in the “information warfare” campaign against the Syrian and Russian governments.

If you wanted to base U.S. foreign policy on the firm foundation of reality, you also could let the American people in on who is actually the principal sponsor of the terrorism that they’re concerned about: Al Qaeda, Islamic State, the Taliban – all Sunni-led outfits, none of which are backed by Shiite-ruled Iran. Yet, all we hear from Official Washington’s political and media insiders is that Iran is the chief sponsor of terrorism.

Of course, that is what Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states and Israel want you to believe because it serves their regional and sectarian interests, but it isn’t true. Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states are the ones arming and financing Al Qaeda and Islamic State with Israel occasionally bombing Al Qaeda’s military enemies inside Syria and providing medical support for Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate operating near the Golan Heights.

The reason for this unsavory network of alliances is that Israel, like Saudi Arabia and the Sunni-led Gulf states, sees Iran and the so-called “Shiite crescent” – from Tehran through Damascus to Beirut – as their principal problem. And because of the oil sheiks’ financial wealth and Israel’s political clout, they control how pretty much everyone in Official Washington’s establishment views the Middle East.

But the interests of Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states are not in line with the interests of the American people – nor the average European – who are not concerned about militant Shiites as much as militant Sunnis. After all, the worst terror attacks on Europe and the U.S. have come from Sunni extremists belonging to or inspired by Al Qaeda and Islamic State.

This gap between the reality of Sunni-extremist terrorism and the fantasy of Official Washington’s “group think” fingering Shiite-ruled Iran explains the cognitive dissonance over President Trump’s travel ban on people from seven mostly Muslim countries. Beyond the offensive anti-Muslim prejudice, there is the fact that he ignored the countries that produced the terrorists who have attacked the U.S., including the 9/11 hijackers.

This bizarre feature of Trump’s executive order shows how deep Official Washington’s dysfunction goes. Trump has picked a major constitutional battle over a travel ban that targets the wrong countries.

But there’s a reason for this dysfunction: No one in Official Washington can speak the truth about terrorism without suffering severe political damage or getting blacklisted by the mainstream media. Since the truth puts Israel and especially Saudi Arabia in an uncomfortable position, the truth cannot be spoken.

Hope for Trump

There was some hope that President Trump – for all his irascibility and unpredictability – might break from the absurd “Iran is the principal source of terrorism” mantra. But so far he has not.

Nor has Trump moved to throw open the files on the Syrian and Ukraine conflicts so Americans can assess how the Obama administration sought to manipulate them into supporting these “regime change” adventures.

Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland during a press conference at the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, on Feb. 7, 2014. (U.S. State Department photo)

But Trump has resisted intense pressure to again entrust U.S. foreign policy to the neoconservatives, a number of  whom lost their jobs when President Obama left office, perhaps most significantly Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who helped orchestrate the violent overthrow of Ukraine’s elected president and is an architect of the New Cold War with Russia.

Other neocons who angled for jobs in the new administration, including John Bolton and James Woolsey, have failed to land them. Currently, there is pressure to ensconce Elliott Abrams, a top neocon dating back to the Reagan administration, in the key post of Deputy Secretary of State but that idea, too, has met resistance.

The neocon threat to Trump’s stated intent of restoring some geopolitical realism to U.S. foreign policy is that the neocons operate almost as an ideological cabal linked often in a subterranean fashion – or as I. Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s neocon chief of staff, once wrote in a cryptic letter to neocon journalist Judith Miller that aspen trees “turn in clusters, because their roots connect them.”

In other words, if one neocon is given a key job, other neocons can be expected to follow. Then, any Trump deviation from neocon orthodoxy would be undermined in the classic Washington tradition of strategic leaking to powerful media and congressional allies.

So far, the Trump inner circle has shown the administrative savvy to avoid bringing in ideologues who would dedicate their efforts to thwarting any significant change in U.S. geopolitical directions.

What is less clear is whether Trump, Tillerson and his fledgling State Department team have the intellectual heft to understand why U.S. foreign policy has drifted into the chaos and conflicts that now surround it – and whether they have the skill to navigate a route toward a safe harbor.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and

100 comments for “Trump’s Foreign Policy at a Crossroads

  1. Winston
    February 14, 2017 at 05:35
  2. exiled off mainstreet
    February 13, 2017 at 12:02

    This is an excellent view of the situation and excellent advice for Trump if he wants to break free of the neocon strait-jacket. I agree with the subsequent comment that he needs to avoid the Iran trap, which he may have got into in his efforts to gain increased freedom of action against the odious yankee deep state structure, but which was, at the least, a tactical error.

  3. Michael Doliner
    February 12, 2017 at 02:09

    “In other words, if one neocon is given a key job, other neocons can be expected to follow.”

    This is very similar to the way bed bugs operate.

  4. Epiphany
    February 12, 2017 at 01:09

    It is amazing how American’s don’t ask for proof of what they are told by the media and government. They don’t ask for additional information. Even people I know, who are capable of critical thinking, shut down when I ask them to explain how they know something and what evidence they have for whatever it is they have said to me. Who did 911? The terrorists. Who were the terrorists? Um… Arabs? So not Iran? I thought Iran was an Arab country… No, it’s not. So what Arab country? Saudi Arabia? Okay… so did we then bomb and invade Saudi Arabia and regime change them? Um… no… But I thought you just said Saudi Arabia was behind the attack…

    And then they just shut down completely.

    But it doesn;’t matter what the topic is. Iranian nuclear weapons, the coup in Ukraine, whether Russia ever invaded Crimea or Ukraine… They seem fine if the source of all their information is the media or the government. And they don’t get it when you explain that the media gets its information from the government, therefore the two are essentially the exact same source.

  5. February 11, 2017 at 16:20

    This is a very good piece.

  6. Michael K Rohde
    February 11, 2017 at 15:11

    Refreshing candor about “our” foreign policy, which in fact has not been ours for some years now. After several trillions of dollars of treasure and thousands of our youth’s lives, it would be nice to actually name names, in and out of of government, who have been the architect of this failed policy which has so changed our country and the entire world. Who is driving this conduct? Neo-con is a little less than definitive. Who organized these people and their philosophy that has changed the U.S. without the permission of the people who have to live with it, the vast majority of our citizens and voters. As the kids say, WTF?

  7. Jamie
    February 11, 2017 at 13:10

    “If you wanted to bring sanity to a U.S. foreign policy that has spun crazily out of control,”

    After eight years of constant Obama apologetics from Perry — the fiction where we had this great peace-lover who was simply soiled by the dark world and his advisors around him — we now go full circle. Obama gets a pass for his disaster capitalism in the Ukraine, Libya and Syria because he is a good guy. Yet for Trump, he must immediately bring to light all the war-crimes committed by the US and their allies to win Perry’s approval.

    This is ironic, since for eight years Perry has argued about how the sainted Obama can’t do these things because the government and the world are corrupting figures. Yet now Perry feels Trump should just casually release all the secrets of the deep state and, on a whim, just make all foreign policy good and happy and logical.

    This piece is really just a psychological game to setup the prosecution and critique of Trump for all his future crimes, just as Perry set up the fiction that Obama was beyond blame for his war crimes because he was just a really great guy. In Perry’s mind, Trump is going to be guilty for everything America does in the next eight years — just as his mind performed eight years of mental gymnastics to paint a naked imperialist and tool of Wall Street as the bees knees.

  8. bozhidar balkas
    February 11, 2017 at 10:59

    Yes, be 100% sure that the supremacist part of America [dare say, 90% of it] would continue to posit to us fake news.
    After that is done, supremacists can forever interpret their fake news or keep explaining their explanations by an endless number of other explanations.

    And, since, no interpretation, explanation can be evaluated as true-false or right-wrong, they can ever be caught in a lie.

  9. HLT
    February 10, 2017 at 20:30

    Good article! I don’t really understand Bibi Netanyahu and his supporters. Why would he allign himself with Saudia Arabia etc.? Fact is: There is still a Jewish community in Iran, hard pressed during the Khomeini years but still existing and these days left in peace with the synagoge in tact. How many Jewish communities do you have in S.A., Bahrein, Qatar, the Emirates? As far as I know: NON! The ultimate aim of the Saudis etc. will always be to evict the Jews from the Palestine and if they temporarily work together with Israel it is probably much more in the spirit of the Hitler-Stalin pact. Perhaps S.A. and Bibi want to clear the battle field of shiites before they have a go at each other, who knows. Or does Bibi really believe he can form an alliance with S.A. and the ISIS and Al-Qaida off-shots? That would almost be on the scale of ignoring Hitler’s threads towards the Jews in Mein Kampf.

    • John
      February 14, 2017 at 19:35

      Zionists have always allied with those that hate and expel Jews (as Arabs and Persians are both Semitic peoples, and Arabic an Farsi are Semitic languages, the term “anti-Semitic makes no sense here.)

      It is largely because Iran has a large Jewish population, and treats them well (they even get over-represented in the Iranian Perliament.) Iranian Jews, for the most part, follow the Torah, which tells the Jews who follow it that G-d exiled them from Zion for their sins, and they are not to try to return to Zion until both they and the land are ready, which yhey will know, because then G-d will send the Mosiach to lead them back to Zion. Iranian Jews refuse to in any way support Israel, as to do so would be blasphemy.

  10. February 10, 2017 at 19:34

    Trump has nixed Abrams, we dodged that bullet. I’m sure there are more coming. Some GOP are disappointed someone with “much experience” was passed up because of Trump’s “thin skin”. Trump did say he disagreed with Abrams’ war stances. How do they keep dredging up the people from the putrid past? Is experience no matter how vile the only consideration? Lord, where is Hercules to clean the Augean stables?

  11. Zachary Smith
    February 10, 2017 at 19:22

    Headline: “Report: Disgraced Former Baylor President Ken Starr Is The Frontrunner For A Post In Trump Administration”

    It’s difficult to imagine that Trump can believes Ken Starr would be welcomed by his “base”. Even if you completely ignore his Clinton connection, the man’s determination to ignore the rape epidemic at Baylor can hardly be viewed by anybody except perverts as admirable in any way.

  12. sierra7
    February 10, 2017 at 19:14

    The article starts out, “Recent”…..Say what???? Recent????????
    We have had murderous foreign policies for decades that have overturned legitimate governments, slaughtered the common peoples of so many countries……Recent?
    Are you out of your minds???????
    Starting out with a false premise only leads to false conclusions.
    You can do better than this.

  13. February 10, 2017 at 18:58

    Biden has been instrumental in putting out deep state lies about Syria and Ukraine. Guess that’s what he has to do, huh? I believe I read his son Hunter is on the board of a gas company in Ukraine. I don’t think the neocolonialists have any solutions to the massive problems they’ve caused in the Middle East. They should withdraw like the Soviets did in Afghanistan when they realized they were in over their heads.

    So Tillerson may be part of a Trojan horse group to get the neocons in by the back door?! We need printed bumper stickers and tee shirts, “Rid the World of Neocons”.

  14. mike k
    February 10, 2017 at 18:48

    Basically Trump wants to be an all powerful, all knowing God who will be acknowledged as the savior of the World. The possibility that he might fail to deliver this is intolerable to his huge ego. Such men are dangerous, and will do anything to maintain their obsessive delusions of grandeur, even if they have to risk destroying the world to fulfill their insane project. They feel that they are always infallibly right in whatever they assert and do, and will try to destroy anyone who stands in their way. The Trump Ego must be defended whatever the cost. The most powerful nation on Earth has an insane maniac at the helm. He is committed to making America great no matter what he has to risk to do so. Second place is just intolerable to this deluded man.

  15. Zachary Smith
    February 10, 2017 at 18:31

    Currently, there is pressure to ensconce Elliott Abrams, a top neocon dating back to the Reagan administration, in the key post of Deputy Secretary of State but that idea, too, has met resistance.

    Unless Google News is wrong, the “resistance” came from Donald Trump. Hopefully this is true, for willingly taking on an employee who holds you in contempt is a recipe for disaster.

    Now Trump needs to keep a watch on Tillerson, for in wanting Abrams the man has exposed a neocon side to himself.

  16. delia ruhe
    February 10, 2017 at 18:19

    Thanks for that insight, Robert Parry.

  17. February 10, 2017 at 18:02

    Palladium, you should read “All the Shah’s Men” by Stephen Kinzer, to understand Iran better. The CIA in 1953 pulled off a coup to unseat democratically elected Mohammed Mossadegh, because he nationalized the oil company controlled by the UK, and the US-UK installed the dictator Shah Reza Pahlavi who terrorized the people until they overthrew him in 1979. The mullahs were crucial to aiding the revolution and came to power. The Iranians have not forgotten what the CIA did and the clerics have a huge hold on their government. The chant “Death to the US” is because of that period of their history, they do not forgive the US for that coup.

    Also, at the end of WWI when the Ottoman Empire was defeated, the western colonial powers carved up the Middle East lands with no knowledge or concern of the various peoples’ cultures or beliefs. All they cared about was the riches of the lands, they cared nothing for the people.

    Top it off with the final coup of Bush-Cheney invasion of Iraq in 2003, and is it any wonder that the Middle East is a mess, so we have blowback for decades to come or maybe centuries, if we’re around that long, even? Those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it, as the saying goes.

    • evelync
      February 10, 2017 at 18:28

      Thanks a Jessica K!

      You remind me that presidential wannabe VP Joe Biden had the bright idea to solve the sectarian violence in Iraq by dividing no it into 3 parts Sunni, Shia, Kurd.
      Wes Clark asked the poignant question – exactly what street do you use to determine the dividing lines.

      It troubles me that Biden is beloved by some but makes such bad decisions.

  18. February 10, 2017 at 16:01

    Iran are one of the principle state sponsors of terrorism. They hold chants saying Death to Israel Death to the US and they openly funnel hundreds of millions of dollars a year into Hezbollah, Hamas terrorsists. They cause regional turmoil in the Middle East and they should not be given a free pass, because the Saudi’s commit terrorism as well.

    • John
      February 14, 2017 at 19:22

      Hezbollah is a civil defence group that fights Daesh in Syria, and defends against Israel’s aggression in Lebanon. Hamas is the elected government of Gaza – teachers, doctors, garbage collectors, etc.
      To call either “terrorists” is to be less than truthful. Please take your Hasbara elsewhere.

  19. February 10, 2017 at 11:18

    Thanks again to Mr. Parry for great insights and also to all commenters for thoughtful remarks. Great remark about Trump as broken clock! The deep dark fascist corporatist state brought us this mess with a broken duopoly government, anyway, thanks “supreme” court for Citizens United! If Hillary had been installed, right now the GOP would be working on her impeachment, which activity would continue for months!

    Seems Trump’s antiwar stance is based on business concerns and makes sense, but US MIC war stance so entrenched it’s nigh onto impossible to overcome.

    Interesting September Consortium News article I read last night about Netanyahu and Putin advancing business interests between the two countries, and one comment was that US has lost world prestige because of ME wars. Since US is Israel’s biggest political support, rather ironic for the neocons (most of whom are Russian Jews!).

    Gone are the journalistic days of Mike Wallace and Walter Cronkite! On Russia, Americans who don’t want to do their own research will remain uninformed, and I just say to them to dig for some info instead of swallowing pablum fed through corporate media. If they can’t, just shows how Americans are glued to the boob tube (my family included) and won’t think for themselves! Social media makes it worse, too.

    We’re at a biological and also political tipping point, and as bad as Trump’s actions are, it may be better in the long run for things to fall apart. With Hillary it would be status quo onward neocon war state. Trump is a wild card. My personal feeling is that he may be threatened with impeachment either for Emoluments Clause or some extreme action and then will resign. It seems he didn’t expect to win but ran to enhance his “brand”. He doesn’t really want to give up his businesses, so that might be a way out.

    If Pence took over, the protest opposition that started will continue, and the awful GOP might lose Senate in 2018. Still, the Dems are so locked into their Beltway bubble that they still don’t get why they lost. Maybe they will, at least some of them.

    These are difficult but interesting times. All this bizarre human behavior against the backdrop of a ravaged planet by Homo rapiens (not very sapiens, I would say!) This country, sadly, has a very ugly history, what with the genocide of the Native Americans and enslavement of the Black races. To my mind, some heavy karma is being reaped here in the US.

    • Bob Van Noy
      February 10, 2017 at 11:25

      Really excellent summary Jessica K. Thanks.

    • Joe J Tedesky
      February 10, 2017 at 11:30

      Good one Jessica K. Very good.

    • evelync
      February 10, 2017 at 12:58

      Yes! Thanks so much, Jessica K!

      If the Dems play their cards right – embrace New Dealers like Bernie, Keith Ellison, financial reformers like Elizabeth Warren, intellectuals like Cornel West, climate reformers like Bill McKibbon, they could win in a landslide in 2018. But they’d have to come to their senses and ditch the Clinton wing of the party which did not offer any solutions for working people suffering under the policies of the last few decades – thanks, Bill and Hillary Clinton.

    • February 11, 2017 at 19:26

      If you’re serious about Impeaching Trump then get involved!
      You can start here by learning about “The Articles of Impeachment” and “The Emoluments Clause”. ImpeachTrumpFund[dot]Com

  20. Skip Scott
    February 10, 2017 at 10:36

    I am trying to imagine what the Deep State and Mass Media’s response would be to the Trump administration exposing the lies of the Sarin gas attack, MH17, and the Ukrainian Coup. Would they accuse the Administration of more “fake news”? If undeniable proof was provided, it would blow up the entire Orwellian establishment. I can’t imagine the Deep State would allow it to happen. They would either be bought off, blackmailed, or assassinated.
    I wonder if the Trump administration even knows the truth about these events. Interesting times ahead, that’s for certain.

  21. Anon
    February 10, 2017 at 06:42

    For those who haven’t been paying attention, Trump represents a faction of the political elite that understands that the empire suffers from classic over reach and will soon end. Their idea is to end the empire peacefully and rebuild America that will then carry on as a prosperous and powerful normal nation. America first and screw the empire. These are the guys who can do math.

    The other faction, centred around Hillary want to keep the party going and don’t see any problem with the imperial project. They are happy to sacrifice the Republic for the sake of the empire and simply don’t care what the people think. For them, empire is destiny. These are the guys who can’t do math, or don’t care to.

    What you are witnessing is the clash of these two factions.

    It should be noted that the army backs Trump so he will prevail.

    • D5-5
      February 10, 2017 at 11:08

      Sounds good but as recent comments over the weeks have shown some of us have doubts on this optimism: “rebuild America that will then carry on as a prosperous and powerful normal nation.” This is also similar to Thierry Meyssan’s view at Voltaire net. The doubts enter based on the looking at what Trump and his people are actually doing, versus their rhetoric.

  22. Hermann Hagena, Bonn
    February 10, 2017 at 05:07

    @Randal Martin – excellent suggestion! Knowing from first hand experience how US sanctions because of lies from secret services are ruining hard working, decent and honest people from Ukraine who since USSR days, depend on cooperation with Russia: if you force your secret services to open their files on the shoot down of MH17, POTUS will earn the gratitude of men and women in Kiev and the respect of people of good will
    in many other parts of the world, As the German writer Theodor Storm (a judge by profession) said in the nineteenth century: Believing will perhaps earn you a place in paradise – but doubt (and seeking the truth) in the hands of courageous men will smash the portals of hell.
    Hermann Hagena February 10, 2017

    • Bob Van Noy, Sacramento
      February 10, 2017 at 11:01

      ”if you force your secret services to open their files on the shoot down of MH17, POTUS will earn the gratitude of men and women in Kiev and the respect of people of good will”

      Thank you Hermann Hagena for this response, that is what most of us here sincerely want.

  23. Ford Greene
    February 10, 2017 at 03:31

    I feel slight reassurance to read about Trump’s resistance to neoconservative infiltration and control. But isn’t he already out of the pan and into the fire? Brannon’s cultic obsession with the apocalyptic “fourth turning” ideology may make for a much less predicable aiming of military might.

    • Anon
      February 10, 2017 at 06:45

      Don’t believe a word of what you read in the corporate media.

      Its the anti Trump faction that will get us all killed.

      Remember, whatever they accuse others of doing, that’s what they are doing.

  24. Joe J Tedesky
    February 9, 2017 at 23:32

    Great link Bill. This one paragraph from the linked article you provided here, is a good example of what has bothered me the most about Donald Trump the candidate, and now Trump the president.

    From the linked article…

    “Both before and after his election victory, Trump has made dramatically contradictory statements on the US nuclear arsenal. He denounced the agreement, which he referred to as ‘Start Up’ in a presidential debate in October, wrongly claiming that it meant Russia could “create warheads and we can’t”.”

    End of quote from linked article.

    This is comparable to his slamming down his tiny little fist on the lectern during the campaign, and declaring how Obama had just signed a bad deal with Iran that they would not continue building nukes, and now we are going to give Iran ‘our money’….billions of dollars of our money, and Iran will have a bomb so fast it will make your heads spin….and with this lying rhetoric his supporters ate this up as fact.

    No one as I recall went out of their way to correct Trump on his misinformation. Instead to anyone who had listened to Trump would not have known that the money Iran was receiving, was Iran’s own money, which had been seized from Iran due to our placing sanctions on them. No one bothered to update these low informed voters that Iran gave up their quest for a nuclear bomb, as far back as 2003. Talk about getting away with lying.

    It was excruciating to no end everytime Trump the candidate would bring up the thousands of dancing Muslims, who celebrated on 911. Rather than the media make the correction from Muslims to Israelis instead the MSM claimed they could find no video to support Trump’s claims.

    Trump when he talks like this is the classic stereotype to play the cockeyed ranting Unlce who upsets all the children during Thanksgiving dinner, and yet here he now sits in the Oval Office, possibly being the most powerful leader of this peace starved planet. Facts be damned, we will now just wing it.

    Don’t get me wrong like Robert Parry points out how Trump does sometime show signs of hope. Trump’s willingness to strike up a relationship of détente with Russian President Vladimir Putin, is encouraging. Trump’s dislike of trade agreements such as TPP and NAFTA, is a wonderful revelation to discover in a modern day American President. Now the only thing left will be to see if his good out weights his bad, and with that is the unending source of many an article and comment to be written.

  25. John
    February 9, 2017 at 21:59

    OMG ! If I had written this article it would have been deleted by consortium staff……Mr.Parry I will send you a Christmas card after all…Finally !!. On a humorous note there is an article on Zero Hedge about the master Bill Kristol…..His idea of lazy doesn’t include him (check out the buttons on his shirt…..Lol )….Trump’s new way is the old way…..fossil fuels…..The new secretary of state …the great oil barron is now the great deal maker….making and planning hugh deals that include Russia….Hello ! Unfortunately for the neocon’s their mode of operation will be less and less in world affairs unless they adopt Trump’s way…..we as a planet are in the 3rd quarter of fossil fuel reserves when matched with consumption…..Stay tuned……

  26. Bill Bodden
    February 9, 2017 at 21:21

    A stopped clock may be right twice a day, but in between:

    “Trump angrily denounced the New Start Treaty in a 28 January phone call to the Russian leader, according to sources briefed on the call. Reuters, which first reported Trump’s remarks, said the new US president also had to pause the hour long call to ask what the New Start Treaty was. ” –

    Note also the link for a ‘no-nothing approach’ to foreign affairs.

    • Joe J Tedesky
      February 9, 2017 at 23:36

      Bill I replied to your comment here after reading your linked article, but I hit the wrong reply button…see my response which by my accidentally posting it independent of your comment here is instead found below.

    • Anon
      February 10, 2017 at 06:47

      The Guardian is good for keeping abreast of the NeoLiberalCon propaganda narrative, but as a source of news it’s appalling.

      • Bill Bodden
        February 10, 2017 at 13:59

        The Guardian is a mixed bag requiring selective reading. I like the reporting of Spencer Ackerman, who worked with Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden, and Ed Pilkington. The Guardian also has special reports, such as the count on guns in America and cop killings, but many of the opinion pieces are better ignored.

  27. dan
    February 9, 2017 at 21:13

    Excellent brief summary of the situation. Your honesty and objectivity is a breath of fresh air. Thanks.

  28. February 9, 2017 at 20:53

    Interesting Article:
    But,”Will There Be War With Iran?”

    Surely, thinking people must be asking themselves this question, Does the world really need an ‘unnecessary war on’ Iran? And are there some countries in the Middle East that would like a war on Iran?…

    I believe a war with Iran could be the end for our supposedly “civilized” world. Just look at the state of the countries in the Middle East that have already been subjected to the planned wars of the war criminals in our midst. War with Iran will be the final nail in the coffin of this planet, we all live on. And will it all be based on a big lie by those who are maniacs of militarism and who appear to take their orders from countries with a vested interest in all out bloody war with Iran?…

    [read more at link below]

    • John
      February 9, 2017 at 22:20

      No….Not if a deal is made with their crude oil reserves……

  29. Abe
    February 9, 2017 at 20:03

    “US corporate-financier funded think tank, the Brookings Institution, in a 2009 policy paper titled, ‘Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran” would lay out in detail various means of provoking war and regime change against Iran.

    “In it, Brookings explicitly revealed how a ‘superb offer’ would be given to Iran, only to be intentionally revoked in a manner portraying Iran as ungrateful:

    “‘any military operation against Iran will likely be very unpopular around the world and require the proper international context—both to ensure the logistical support the operation would require and to minimize the blowback from it. The best way to minimize international opprobrium and maximize support (however, grudging or covert) is to strike only when there is a widespread conviction that the Iranians were given but then rejected a superb offer—one so good that only a regime determined to acquire nuclear weapons and acquire them for the wrong reasons would turn it down. Under those circumstances, the United States (or Israel) could portray its operations as taken in sorrow, not anger, and at least some in the international community would conclude that the Iranians ‘brought it on themselves’ by refusing a very good deal.’

    “The so-called ‘Iran deal,’ introduced during the administration of US President Barack Obama, represents precisely this ‘superb offer,’ with Flynn’s accusations serving as the ‘turn down’ ahead of the ‘sorrowful’ war and attempted regime change the US had always planned to target Tehran with.

    “In fact, Flynn would seemingly draw almost verbatim from the ploy described by Brookings in 2009, by stating:

    “‘Instead of being thankful to the United States for these agreements, Iran is now feeling emboldened … As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice.’

    “Flynn’s statement is particularly surreal – considering Yemeni fighters are only targeting Saudi warships because Saudi Arabia is currently waging full-scale war on Yemen. Accused on all sides of war crimes, and with the US itself even restricting weapon sales to Riyadh – if only symbolically – in response to Saudi Arabia’s aggression – Flynn still claims that the attack on Saudi Arabia’s warship constitutes justification for putting Iran ‘on notice.’

    “Claiming that Iran is ‘sponsoring terrorism’ throughout the region, when it is currently a major member of the coalition fighting the DIA’s ‘Salafist principality’ in both Iraq and Syria is also surreal.

    “Another prerequisite mentioned in the 2009 Brookings document was the need to move Syria out of the way. It appears that the US’ attempts at regime change in Syria have reached their final conclusion, failing overall, but weakening Syria significantly in the process. War on Iran – a nation taxed greatly in fighting US, European, and Persian Gulf-backed terrorist organization in Syria – may be perceived now as more preferable than before the 2011 conflict began.

    “Meanwhile, the political climate in the West has been so expertly manipulated that the public is either so distracted with identity politics that they are unaware and unconcerned with the prospect of war with Iran, or so hysterical over ‘Islam’ that any nation perceived as being Muslim is seen as justifiably a target of US military aggression – regardless of how divergent any of these alternate realities are from actual reality.

    “Flynn’s statement encapsulates a documented conspiracy drafted under President Bush, implemented under President Obama, and finally coming into full fruition under President Trump, once again illustrating the continuity of agenda that transcends party politics, presidencies, and political rhetoric – driven by immense corporate-financier special interests, not the will of the American public.”

    US Betrays Iran Deal as Predicted – Edges Closer to War
    By Tony Cartalucci

    • Abe
      February 9, 2017 at 20:22

      Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy toward Iran (2009)
      Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution

      Brookings openly discussed that regime change for the purpose of establishing regional hegemony is the only goal of the United States and its regional partners. Attempts to frame the conflict with Iran as an issue of “national security” and “global stability” serving as mere canards.

      Throughout the document, US policymakers admitted that negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program are merely one of several pretexts being used to foster political subversion from within and justify war from beyond Iran’s borders.

      In a chapter titled, “Allowing or Encouraging an Israeli Military Strike,” Brookings detailed how the US will wage war on Iran, through Israel, in order to maintain plausible deniability. Various diplomatic postures were discussed in consideration of the best formula to mitigate complicity amid a “unilateral” Israeli strike on Iran.

      US-Israeli foreign policy is unified with Israel’s defenses a product of vast and continuous US support. Anything Israel does, therefore, no matter the political or diplomatic facade constructed, it does with America’s full backing – hence the inclusion of “encouraging” in the title of the chapter.

      Despite an alleged “fallout” between the US and Israel, Israel continues to receive immense military and political aid from the United States, and Israeli foreign policy is still one with Washington. The purpose of the feigned “fallout” was to produce room between the US and Israel, so that upcoming “unilateral” actions taken by Israel can be disavowed by the US.

      • Sam F
        February 10, 2017 at 07:22

        Thanks Abe, this is an important understanding.

      • evelync
        February 10, 2017 at 12:28

        I’ve been totally befuddled by U.S. Policy towards Iran.
        Everyone knows we messed up the future of Iran after the democratic election of the progressive Mosadegh in the 1950’s with the MI6/CIA coup on behalf of Shell Oil.
        Followed by the brutal regime of torture under our guy, The Shah.
        Iranians finally revolted but instead of someone like Mosadegh they got the Mullahs in charge.


        If we cared about an open democratic government in the Middle East we would not have thrown Mosadegh in prison. We would have welcomed him.

        Why is Iran considered an enemy?
        Why is Saudi Arabia considered a friend?

        ARE WE NUTS?

        • Bob Van Noy
          February 10, 2017 at 13:15

          evelync, TPTB decided long ago perhaps way back to the British Empire how this country should be managed especially because of its oil and strategic location. The American people and the Iranians could find considerable good will if management would allow it… Thanks.

          Oh, the answer to your last question is Yes.

          • Litchfield
            February 10, 2017 at 17:39

            What is TPTB?

          • evelync
            February 10, 2017 at 18:22

            Thanks, Bob Van Noy.
            And Wes Clark’s words from 2004 – “Iran is a multicultural country of 80 million people” – mean nothing to TPTB.

          • evelync
            February 10, 2017 at 23:46

            TPTB = the powers that be

    • Abe
      February 10, 2017 at 14:10

      “This is your real government; they transcend elected administrations, they permeate every political party, and they are responsible for nearly every aspect of the average American and European’s way of life. When the “left” is carrying the torch for two ‘Neo-Con’ wars, starting yet another based on the same lies, peddled by the same media outlets that told of Iraqi WMD’s, the world has no choice, beyond profound cognitive dissonance, but to realize something is wrong.

      “What’s wrong is a system completely controlled by a corporate-financier oligarchy with financial, media, and industrial empires that span the globe. If we do not change the fact that we are helplessly dependent on these corporations that regulate every aspect of our nation politically, and every aspect of our lives personally, nothing else will ever change […]

      “Within the library of the Brookings Institute you will find the blueprints for nearly every conflict the West has been involved with in recent memory. What’s more is that while the public seems to think these crises spring up like wildfires, those following the Brookings’ corporate funded studies and publications see these crises coming years in advance. These are premeditated, meticulously planned conflicts that are triggered to usher in premeditated, meticulously planned solutions to advance Brookings’ corporate supporters, who are numerous.

      “The ongoing operations against Iran, including US-backed color revolutions, US-trained and backed terrorists inside Iran, and crippling sanctions were all spelled out in excruciating detail in the Brookings Institute report, ‘Which Path to Persia?’ The more recent UN Security Council resolution 1973 regarding Libya uncannily resembles Kenneth Pollack’s March 9, 2011 Brookings report titled ‘The Real Military Options in Libya.'”

      Naming Names: Your Real Government
      By Tony Cartalucci

    • Gregory Herr
      February 11, 2017 at 15:28

      Here’s a video that references Cartalucci and “Which Path to Persia?”:

  30. W. R. Knight
    February 9, 2017 at 19:55

    Definition of fascism: a philosophy or system of government that advocates or exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right through the merging of state and business leadership together with an ideology of belligerent nationalism. – American Heritage Dictionary, Houghton Mifflin, 1976

    Now, tell me that Trump is not extreme right. Then look at Trump’s cabinet and tell me that’s not a merger of state and business leadership. Then finally tell me that Trump et al are not belligerent nationalists.

    • Brad Owen
      February 10, 2017 at 06:00

      What you speak of didn’t come in with Trump. It came in, stealthily, with the death of FDR. It gained the upper hand when it killed Kennedy. It became firmly entrenched under clueless Reagan. It has had the steering wheel firmly in hand since poppa Bush ( back-seat president behind Reagan) became president in his own right. It cheerfully dismantled everything FDR built, under “Cecil Rhodes scholar” Clinton. Trump, being a businessman, naturally thinks “I’m gonna run this country like a business”, as an autocratic CEO in charge of things. It is a bad choice for statesman, but perhaps he feels the wicked, bloody fascists in the Shadow State have gone too far, and being an NYC businessman, he probably knows how one must deal with Mafiosi-type killers to get things done. Maybe he’ll be our sonofabitch, to knock the heads of the other sons-of-bitches destroying our country?

      • D5-5
        February 10, 2017 at 10:47

        The following piece, if I’m reading it properly, indicates Trump is essentially in the same “establishmentarian” mode you speak of that preceded him, but suggests he as Version B fascist shadow state is worse than Version A, versus his being “our sonofabitch”? My previous on Richard III seemed to be a breakthrough for me in putting together the disparate elements of Trump between savior and wrecking ball inconsistency, and in the mode of the psychopath as entirely opportunistic or manipulative, which Richard III I believe is a wonderful example of in Shakespeare’s work. And I think this disease of psychopathy essentially characterizes the downhome essential nature of American politics over the period you speak of, with Trump the latest iteration. By now, I’m thinking his postures toward “protecting the American people” are no more plausible than Richard III’s plots and self-serving. This thinking is an attempt to reconcile his inconsistencies. How can these inconsistencies evolve from an integrated program versus being the patchwork of opportunism for essentially personal goals?

        • Brad Owen
          February 10, 2017 at 15:28

          It can be said that some Kings are better for the peasants than are other Kings, even though they are still sons-of-bitches, and ultimately don’t give a flying eff about the peasants, although some Kings understand that all good things worth having are produced by the peasants, and you shouldn’t “beat your plow horse” so to say. I sometimes think FDR, a genuine member of the elite ruling class, genuinely wanted a new deal for the peasants because if you eff with them too severely, they truly wreck the joint and ruin The Game. One of FDR’s complaints about the Wall Streeters was something along the lines of “don’t these bastards understand I’m trying to SAVE their Game?!?” I doubt this dark world can build a true, just and pure society. My wife has to often remind me “remember dear; this is one of the minor Hell Worlds. The Light is to be found elsewhere,” meaning via prayer and meditation, exploring the Inner World of “the Third Eye” to use Mystics’ terms.

          • D5-5
            February 10, 2017 at 16:57

            Brad, if I’m following properly I think our discussion illustrates the complexity we (the Left generally) are up against with the conflict between Trump’s saying some favorable things versus other actions indicating his bullying recklessness in command, and we’re having trouble assessing. This conflict is shown elsewhere in this thread and in consortium news over the past few weeks. I have personally been in disputes with neighbors by even suggesting maybe Trump’s not all bad, as with his stance on Putin and negation of the TPP. I then reconciled the conflict with Trump as psychopathic, emphasis on tactician and “winning” above else, which I assume to be driven by the man’s huge ego.

            So your comment I think focuses the question to does Trump “want a new deal for us peasants” or is he sufficiently unhinged to appropriate whatever course he needs, however ruinous, to fulfilling his plan, whatever that is. I also like the idea to look what the man DOES versus what he SAYS approach, and it is that in particular, lately, that leads me on toward the “unhinged” view, including the idiocy of his travel ban with, as proclaimed, “only” 100 people or so inconvenienced, then his clinging to it righteously.

            This is acceptance of, promotion of, collateral damage, in the form of those innocent people from the 7 nations pushed into difficulties by the precipitate implementation of the ban. Opposition in the courts then brings out the flavor of this man with his belligerent tweets and hostility, and his resistance to further thinking or considering. This is the man I should be waiting for, and patient with, giving him time to come through as a force for good that he has supposedly put himself up to be? The truth is, no. I’m done with him. What he says in his glowing language of restoring America is undone for me by his behavior. I suspect he’s revealing mental problems. I thank you for entertaining my ideas and responding.

        • andreen
          February 13, 2017 at 04:14

          The repeated comparisons between Trump and the Shakespearean Richard III should perhaps not be carried too far. It should be recalled that Shakespeare wrote in the reign of Elisabeth II, the daughter of the man who led the mainly French troops who killed the king. By all non-propagandistic accounts, Richard was a remarkable sovereign.

    • John
      February 13, 2017 at 14:57

      I, for one, would not disagree that Mr. Tribblehead fits the qualifications of the defunition of Fascism.

      However, Obomber and Lady MacBeth do as well. (After all, what is Fealty to Goldman Sachs, and Citigroup, if not an indicator of Far Right status, and what is “American Exceptionalism” if not belligerent nationalism?)

      What is encouraging about the Big Cheeto is that he has ripped the smiley face mask off of our deeply ingrained Fascist state, which allows even the low information types who supported the Red Queen to resist Fascism, when they would have supported it had the Superpredator won (much as they supported it when the Eloquent Mass Murderer was in power.)

  31. Jules M.
    February 9, 2017 at 19:40

    Intellectual savvy? Trump? You’ve got to be kidding. His only ‘savvy’ is how to launch the most vicious attack on any critic to preserve his ” Mirror mirror on the wall show me who’s the greatest of all, ” self aggrandizing personality.

    • John
      February 9, 2017 at 22:17

      Hopefully we all learned something from the wizard of OZ…….The agenda is always just behind and hidden from the regular folks because of the “Big Media Show”……..

  32. Richard Browning
    February 9, 2017 at 19:00

    Am I sending money monthly to an organization that continues to believe that 19 so-called terrorist flew two airplanes into the twin towers that also brought down a 47-story high rise at 5:20 in the afternoon on September 11, 2001? Surely you don’t believe that the Laws of Nature, including gravity, decided to take a holiday on that single day in all of history. Please tell me I am wrong.

    • Kent
      February 9, 2017 at 20:31


      But otherwise, many good articles…some much better than others. It is my fervent hope (as an architect) that Physics 101 is not a completely lost, esoteric science. So far, not so much reason for that hope to be realized.

  33. Hayden Head
    February 9, 2017 at 18:50

    When I taught college composition, I dutifully brought up the effectiveness of an author’s ethos in making his or her case. I don’t think I really “got it,” however, until I began reading Robert Parry’s articles on Consortium. And I’ll tell you why. Parry’s journalist integrity is impeccable. He doesn’t have an ideological bent that requires him to put white hats and black hats on the heroes and villains du jour. Consequently, I am open to his thesis in American’s Stolen Narrative in spite of the fact that I am reflexively opposed to his argument. I have always believed that conservative jurists were preserving the original intent of the Constitution. But because I trust Parry so thoroughly–precisely because of his authorial ethos–I will listen to his argument, weigh the evidence, and who knows, I might even be persuaded.

    So I want to tip my hat to Robert Parry; thank you for maintaining journalistic integrity when it’s in such short supply. But more important, I believe that his brand of measured discourse is exactly what our divided country needs to bring us together in a healthy national discussion. Ethos . . . Aristotle had it right after all.

    • Sam F
      February 9, 2017 at 19:19

      Agreed. Except on “conservative jurists” who are conservative only in the Repub sense of conserving personal wealth and power. Like the stopped clock metaphor, they preserve “the original intent of the Constitution” very well when that is profitable to their rich and powerful sponsors, and ignore it with profound contempt at all other times. I know their conduct from long experience. They are the lowest of the low, memorizing a few patriotic phrases to use when convenient, but having no principles in fact.

  34. Randal Marlin
    February 9, 2017 at 18:46

    “For instance, you could release what the U.S. government actually knows about the Aug. 21, 2013 sarin gas attack in Syria; what the files show about the origins of the Feb. 22, 2014 coup in Ukraine; what U.S. intelligence analysts have compiled about the July 17, 2014 shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine.”

    Good point. Which makes me wonder why Trump doesn’t do this. If the truth supports Russia and Syria and strengthens Trump’s case about the misleading media, why doesn’t he? In addition to supporting his professed views, it would also be supporting the truth, which is sorely in need of it.

    • Sam F
      February 9, 2017 at 19:13

      I would suggest that, if indeed the truth will out on these matters under Trump, some time will be needed to resolve the battles among established interests in the dark state, and then organize the data into some releasable form. Let us hope, and if it does not happen within 6-12 months, we will know more about the admin and the dark state.

    • W. R. Knight
      February 9, 2017 at 20:24

      You ask why Trump doesn’t release the documents which is an entirely rational request. The problem is that Trump is not a rational person and the sooner people realize that the better they will understand him. And irrational people, like the broken clock, can be right on occasions (though probably not twice daily).

  35. evelync
    February 9, 2017 at 18:41

    Thanks, Mr Parry, for pointing out the absurdity of our attacks on and distrust of Shia countries and our allying with and arming Sunni countries, one of which birthed 16 of the 19 highjackers

    our role fomenting the sectarian divisions is criminal.

    I recommend “The Kite Flyer” a wonderful novel about the Shia-Sunni divide in Afghanistan.
    Sunni have the upper hand; Shia second class Citizens.

    We make things worse as Andrew Bacevich says, not better with our decades of regime change.

    I don’t understand how Trump can sound sensible, even thoughtful, on refusing to buckle to Neocon delusions about regime change for Russia and at the same time say ridiculous things about building a wall…..

    It’s mind boggling.

  36. Stiv
    February 9, 2017 at 18:39

    “So far, the Trump inner circle has shown the administrative savvy to avoid bringing in ideologues who would dedicate their efforts to thwarting any significant change in U.S. geopolitical directions.”

    February 1: Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, says the US is “officially putting Iran on notice,” condemning the test as a “provocative” breach of a UN Security Council resolution.
    Iran’s defense minister, Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehqan, officially confirms the missile test, even though other officials have previously commented on it.

    February 2: Trump says, “Nothing’s off the table,” when asked if he might respond to the missile test with military action.
    Ali Akbar Velayati, adviser to Iran’s supreme leader, says the country will continue its missile activity and accuses Trump of “baseless ranting.” He says even Americans are not satisfied with “Trump’s extremism,” calling the leader “inexperienced.”

    February 4: The Iranian air force conducts military drills, including missile systems, radar and electronic warfare command and control exercises. US Defense Secretary James Mattis calls Iran the “single biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world.”

    How about the conversation on START? Was that today or yesterday? In all the excitement I’ve lost track. Is that the action of someone who’s looking to change the way we deal with other countries?

    Now..what were you talking about? Laughable. I am no fan of US policy in the middle east but your constant hallucination that Trump will do anything remotely positive is puzzling given evidence you can see RIGHT NOW. Go on as you will about Obama, but we’ve got bigger problems. And yes, USA war mongering is one of them..destined to continue with a basket case POS leading the charge.

    • Sam F
      February 9, 2017 at 19:08

      As none of us control that policy, and no one here seems naive about it, there is no harm in Mr. Parry’s encouraging words to the unknown but existent rational elements in the administration. He is not one to encourage over-optimism, and such words may do some good in the gap between the extremes.

    • Stiv
      February 9, 2017 at 19:48

      BTW: read at NYT…the bugaboo here at consortium…about Trump s forming “outside in” policy towards Israel/Palestine. What I would like is a closer view of what this could mean. The CIA contributors here should have an insight because it is nothing new. But the times are.

      If trump could pull that off I would surely give him kudos. So, maybe a glimmer of light..not to be pollyannish.

      • D5-5
        February 9, 2017 at 21:19

        This is the problem with Trump. Some see him as a genius of insight and getting the country back. This same genius threatens people who disagree with him and has the empathy of a rolling stone. Seems to me he’s a tactician (nothing actually principled), everything opportunist to his self-worship. He’s probably been worshipped (“love us (me), love us (me)” recent appeal) all his life. Richard III maybe? Except R III had a (wicked) sense of humor.

        • Brad Owen
          February 10, 2017 at 05:14

          Kings deserve no raising of stature (maybe raising of head from shoulders). Richard III should be read as “Dick number three”. Sorry, that’s the regicidal Puritan RoundHead Parliamentarian in me, talking. I’ll now shut up. :-)

    • MP
      February 10, 2017 at 14:57

      Stiv – Perhaps you and I are watching another episode of “something.” The “Dear Leader” worship is quite disturbing.

  37. Rob
    February 9, 2017 at 18:38

    Who needs Victoria Nuland when you have Michael Flynn and Steve Brannon to mess up U.S. foreign policy. They are paranoid Islamophobes who have no aversion to violent conflict.

    • Linda Furr
      February 9, 2017 at 22:48

      to Rob… Michael Flynn and Steve Brannon are not what you’d call charming guys, but what countries have they overthrown to your knowledge? How many people have been killed by their foreign policies? How many refugees have they created by destroying homes and homelands? You’re going wait a long time before you can find a match for Victoria Nuland.

      • Bill Bodden
        February 9, 2017 at 22:56

        Michael Flynn and Steve Brannon are not what you’d call charming guys, but what countries have they overthrown to your knowledge? How many people have been killed by their foreign policies? How many refugees have they created by destroying homes and homelands?

        But what are Flynn and Bannon likely to do in the future? I wouldn’t rule out their the possibility of being as bad as – or worse than – Victoria Nuland.

        • Litchfield
          February 10, 2017 at 14:54

          That is not a very robust response.
          Let’s stick to facts.
          Pence and Bannon will do what Trump tells them to do.
          So far, that crystal ball is cloudy.

          • John
            February 13, 2017 at 05:14

            Apparently when Bannon rearranged the National Security Council, kicking out the Joint Chiefs of Staff to make room for himself, he did not even tell Drumpf what he had done when he put it in front of the Big Cheeto to sign it.

            Mr Tribble Head doesn’t like to read, as has been made clear. To think that he can control those who actually have an agenda seems rather wishful…

      • February 10, 2017 at 17:33

        Well, Palladium, do you know the history of the CIA overthrow of Mohammed Mossadegh, democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran, taken down by a coup in 1953 for the UK oil company which is now BP, orchestrated by US CIA, all because he nationalized the oil company which was treating Iranians as slaves? Recommend you read Stephen Kinzer’s excellent book, “All the Shah’s Men”. The US-UK sympathetic Shah was installed and terrorized Iranians with SAVAK, his secret police. The Iranians finally overthrew the Shah in 1979 with their Iranian Revolution aided greatly by the clerics, and that is how the mullahs came to power. The Iranians have not forgotten what the US and UK did to them.

        In addition, the Sykes-Picot treaty of WWI carved up the Middle East according to what colonialist powers wanted to do with those lands, knowing nothing of the peoples’ cultures or religions in those regions. Is it any wonder we have the mess we see today? And idiot malevolent Bush and Cheney invaded Iraq on false “Intelligence” in 2003, and the world has never been the same! They should be prosecuted for war crimes, but it ain’t gonna happen! They have literally ruined the world for generations to come!

        The western neocolonialist powers had best look at the “mote in their own eye”, to use scriptural language, rather than try to smite the eye of someone else. Those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it.

        • John
          February 13, 2017 at 05:16

          Excellent book recommendation.

    • Wm. Boyce
      February 10, 2017 at 00:58

      Bannon, at least get that right.

  38. Bill Bodden
    February 9, 2017 at 18:14

    Ergo, target Trump with all the virulence we can muster on the policies in which he’s harming the masses but do recognize that a broken clock is correct twice per day.

    That should be a cardinal rule for anyone talking politics.

    • W. R. Knight
      February 9, 2017 at 20:15

      Being 100 percent wrong is almost as difficult (and maybe more so) than being 100 percent right.

  39. Joe J Tedesky
    February 9, 2017 at 18:08

    In our circle of friends, and family I have become the Putin apologize. Why just today while my wife was being suckered in as she watched JohnMcCain on tv with the honorable (not) Senator spouting out the unsubstantiated accusations of how Putin is a killer, and with that my wife who loves me dearly said, ‘how can you defend that Putin after all the people he has murdered’? I just told her of how all these accusations are just that, accusations. Probably not the best answer, but at times I just get tired of bumping up against CNN, or any of the rest of these propaganda mills. Defending the truth is an ever thankless exhausting job, and today I’m pretty exhausted at that, and I haven’t recently had a compliment worth me giving back a ‘your welcome’.

    I feel at times, that by trying to defend the truth, that we are all fighting a losing battle. Think about it, and consider what we all are up against. We are as outnumbered as was Sitting Bull, and you see what they did to him.

    This is why consortiumnews is like an oasis in a very dry desert of reliable news. Tonight the cable networks will be on point, to continue their corrupted version of the truth. By tomorrow morning there will Breaking News to inform us all of yet another unpresidential like outrageous tweet which went on Twitter at 3 pm, and it will all start all over again. This of course will allow those on both sides of the political spectrum to once again piss in each other’s partisan soup. Oh just to be so exceptional and indispensable is such a joy.

    Lastly, does anyone in our established media have any concern at all, of the apparent dangerous mission which is what the USS Cole is performing while we all bicker over nonsense, or are we all more worried about Nordstrom’s decision to not sell Ivanka Trump’s line of products?

    • Drew Hunkins
      February 9, 2017 at 18:27

      “In our circle of friends, and family I have become the Putin apologist.”

      Sounds familiar, I can definitely relate. This is a serious problem in most liberal quarters, as they seem to shut down their critical faculties whenever Russia and Putin are addressed in the mass media. Hey, it’s in the Times and WaPo! and the folks on NPR and PBS speak about it in such serious tones, it’s just gotta be true!

      What smart liberals can’t seem to wrap their minds around is that neocon-Ziocon warmongers have taken over virtually all foreign policy discussion and debate in ‘respectable’ media outlets. Therefore it’s too much of a wild conspiratorial leap for them to make to question every single sentence coming out of PBS, NPR, the Times and WaPo.

      • Joe J Tedesky
        February 9, 2017 at 19:03

        Drew by our not adopting the herd thinking we leave ourselves open to almost anything. Like seriously my patriotism has been questioned in recent times for my stand on how we should deal with Russia. Not that it should matter, but in our family, which is rather large I’m one of three (& the other two agree with me) that who have ever served in our country’s armed forces. Not that my military background should count for anything, but does this mean I must vilify Vladimir Putin if I want to be included in the sharing of a twelve slice pizza? Well it’s not as bad as I make it sound either, but our propaganda mills are surely working overtime to dupe the vast majority of innocents who don’t drill down on our world’s current events, as you and I apparently do.

        Good to have a friend, take care ….Joe

      • Sam F
        February 9, 2017 at 19:42

        Exactly, they do not have the courage to stand apart and seek truth, unless they are among others who can do that. Most are bullied into conformity at work and among friends, even if they have the intelligence and desire for truth, which is rare.

        Among family and friends of other views, I simply state what seems quite true or false, suggest some independent sources, and encourage a moderate stance, accepting good intentions among some opponents. Many will respect skepticism, especially when you admit some possible arguments for an opposing view. When conformists predominate they are afraid of their own kind and afraid to reason.

      • JWalters
        February 10, 2017 at 01:12

        “What smart liberals can’t seem to wrap their minds around is that neocon-Ziocon warmongers have taken over virtually all foreign policy discussion and debate in ‘respectable’ media outlets.”

        Possibly helpful is the fairly brief and readable history, thoroughly documented, of how the Zionists took control in “War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror”, at:

      • Alexandr
        February 15, 2017 at 07:59

        JOE and DREW, from Russia and me as Russian, I am telling THANK YOU for your educational work with your famiily. I haven’t commented here for a while, but read as always. Thanks to all of your guys, and to authors.

    • February 10, 2017 at 00:54

      Oh, how it is so great reading your comment. I have lost progressive friends doing nothing more than standing up for peace and honesty as I have done all of my life. It is better to stand alone with reason and truth than to bend to the warmongering propaganda of the mainstream media and all of the foolishness that has led to so much destruction. I guess we knew that a Trump presidency would not be an easy way forward, but it still looks better than the alternative.

      • Joe J Tedesky
        February 10, 2017 at 02:42

        Wouldn’t it be rewarding if for every war monument dedicated to a war hero, like a Civil War General as it doesn’t matter blue or gray because it’s made of metal or stone, had a mirror image for everyone of the war statues that was a famous person such as Aristotle, Edgar Allen Poe, Tecumseh, and historical women Harriet Tubman, or Eleanor Roosevelt, for the lack of better names, but something other than our country’s love of honoring war, that we start honoring more positive commemorations to mankinds achievements…what’s so great about war?. Why, do we Americans still continue to celebrate war? It isn’t as though we all go to battle to fight all these wars, I mean why encourage something where others other than you will die?

        I’m with you Wayne, I’m still in that moment where Hillary’s loss is like us all dodging a bullet. I have thought for a long time, how if Hillary would have went into the Oval Office, that she would show all these ‘guys’ how to do it by ordering up one of the largest assault invasions ever in wartime history, and quit this messing around with Syria, and then very efficiently on her way to Russia (on day one) she would order our coalition partners to drop a few bombs on Tehran on NATO’s way to Russia…okay, a little bit over the top you say, hmmmm! We’re talking about Madam President Clinton here, we saw, she came, he went, hahaha, or something like that, but at the very least she would be carving out ‘no fly zones’ in Syria just because she can and then oh boy!

        If you have advocated for peace all your life Wayne Spencer I would like to thank you for your service to peace. I’m a great believer in ‘blessed are the peacemakers’ and only hope that these fine peace loving people get the best out of life, and if the peacemakers get what they want out of life then all mankind makes out all the more….huge win, win, for everybody. Wayne wishing you well is like wishing myself well….I will put to practice what I preach when I say to you…..take care Joe

    • Peter Loeb
      February 10, 2017 at 07:34


      “…This is why consortiumnews is like an oasis ….” From Joe J. Tedesky, above

      When there is so very much to develop (and Robert Parry above hits many
      of the relevant points), I continue to be slightly amazed at the absurdity
      of President Trump letting “the American people” into one damning
      file after another. In this, it might be added, he differs in style from
      virtually all past Presidents. In substance, I continually see elements
      of Hitler taking over the Third Reich. There are significant differences.
      But the Zionist groups were very close to the axis. The suffering of Jews
      (and others) created emigrants to Palestine
      (today Israel) and to Palestine only. The international outrage against
      the axis powers provided immunity for Zionists to do whatever they wished
      with the ultimate in cynicism . (See Thomas Suarez, THE TERROR
      STATE, (2017)”, among other sources).

      Any correction, any “truth” will not pervade this Administration just
      as the previous one was never regularly “truthful” about its foreign
      policies, its selection of sights and people to murder, what is really
      going on in Syria etc. etc.

      These will be bitter, bitter years not only in foreign policy but in
      many other areas as well, many areas affecting the
      daily lives and survival of those who supported Donald Trump
      in 2016.

      Among other things, I will be looking forward to consortium
      analyses of Steve Bannon, of the various cabinet ministers,
      of Jeff Sessions and so forth. So far we are picking up bits and
      pieces where we can.

      Good luck in this unhappy land!

      —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

      • Joe J Tedesky
        February 10, 2017 at 11:06

        Peter, what I meant about consortiumnews being an ‘oasis’ was because, one consortiumnews prints news content unlike the MSM, two the comment conversations are often unlike the conversations you may have over a beer at a backyard barbecue. I guess all and all I find consortiumnews to be a refreshing break from my always trying to make my point over all of the MSM inspired noise….lots of noise.

        As I’m sure you’re aware of, that if you were to jump into a small debate at the backyard barbecue and suddenly start talking about the Palestinian suffering that most of the barbecue participants wouldn’t have a clue to what you are talking about. Not so here at consortiumnews comment board where everyone knows what you are talking about….the comments may not always be to what you were hoping the comments to be, but none the less the comment authors normally know as much or more about what topic it is you are bringing up at that moment, and in that regard there is an ‘oasis’ to be found here at consortiumnews …in other words consortiumnews commenters probably would know where Palestine would be on a map if there were still a Palestine to be found on a map of that part of the world….consortiumnews commenters actually read books!

        I will add to how your concern of the Palestinian plight is an admirable concern to have in my opinion. Thanks for the remembrance of that awful Israeli born atrocity, and far as the Hitler alert goes….I’m not going to dispute Trump’s resemblance to any 20th century dictator, but I see in Trump a 16th century monarch…Henry the eighth maybe???

        Have a good day Peter….Joe

        Ps I’m not above watching the hacks on tv, but I have the option of coming to consortiumnews everyday to learn and spend time with you,,and all of the other consortiumnews readers, and in that I park my camel for a refreshing drink of water to be found at this oasis here.

    • Lin Cleveland
      February 10, 2017 at 12:29

      In our circle of friends, and family I have become the Putin apologize. Why just today while my wife was being suckered in as she watched JohnMcCain on tv with the honorable (not) Senator spouting out the unsubstantiated accusations of how Putin is a killer, and with that my wife who loves me dearly said, ‘how can you defend that Putin after all the people he has murdered’? I just told her of how all these accusations are just that, accusations. Probably not the best answer, but at times I just get tired of bumping up against CNN, or any of the rest of these propaganda mills.

      Excellent post, Joe J! Just yesterday a friend told me that this “Trump Era” has caused a rift in her family, too. I replied, “Well, Meathead, we’re all living in the latest episode of All in the Family! I try to avoid all the idiocy but found this quote in a Robert Koehler blog on Common Wonders.

      Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska summed up the outrage thus: “There is no moral equivalency between the United States of America, the greatest freedom-loving nation in the history of the world, and the murderous thugs that are in Putin’s defense of his cronyism.”

      Hopefully, Trump will open the eyes of so many U.S. citizens to the condescending arrogance of the American Empire. The empire has been growing ever bolder since colonization and genocide began on this continent. Our faith in capitalism has left us vulnerable to an ever widening inequality. Now, points out Danny Haiphong the emperor has no clothes, but ” A naked empire remains a dangerous empire.”

      • Joe J Tedesky
        February 10, 2017 at 14:39

        Yes I too hope Trump opens up our condescending eyes, as I also hope he doesn’t necessitate our wondering eyes to become distracted, and thus we all look the other way.

        Thanks for the reply Joe

  40. Drew Hunkins
    February 9, 2017 at 17:50

    Trump’s like that broken down clock on the wall that no one relies on but does happen to be correct twice per day.

    When Trump castigates the violently nutty McCain for bringing the West close to an absolutely batsh’t insane war with Russia and points out the obvious that Washington policy around the globe over the last 70+ years has been conducted by killers, either directly or indirectly, these are some of the very few pronouncements where Trump is spot-on and deserves support from left progressive-populists and anti-war civil libertarians. Another policy decision that was a very welcome move was his immediate vetoing of the TPP.

    The real estate mogul deserves support from any populist-progressive for these two humane and fair-minded executive decisions: his attempts to 1.) tamp down the tinderbox that Washington Russia relations are currently at, and 2.) his trashing of the TPP.

    Clearly there are a handful of other policy proposals rumbling around the corridors of Trump Plaza that must be seriously denounced, such as his attempts to eviscerate the regulatory infrastructure protecting workers, consumers and the environment and his tax policies that will ultimately shift more of the burden onto the shoulders of us working people by slashing the rate the parasitic financial elite and corporate oligarchs pay. His likely looming attacks on public schools are also totally off base and need to be earnestly challenged.

    Ergo, target Trump with all the virulence we can muster on the policies in which he’s harming the masses but do recognize that a broken clock is correct twice per day.

    • W. R. Knight
      February 9, 2017 at 20:10

      In other, simpler words, don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.

    • r rodger
      February 12, 2017 at 17:21

      The FDA (aka The Pharmaceutical Industry), Dept. of Agriculture (aka Monsanto et al.), EPA/ BLM (aka Agenda 21) are monopolies (mostly controlled by industry) that should be busted-up or entirely eliminated. They no longer serve human needs, if they ever did. Trump is right that human-caused global warming is a scam. Most land-based pollution is satisfactorily coming under control … perhaps fracking, nuclear energy and ocean-based pollution deserves more attention, but can be easily dealt with.

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