Democratic Ex-Dove Proposes War on Iran

Exclusive: The Democrats’ rush to rebrand themselves as super-hawks is perhaps best illustrated by the once-dovish Rep. Alcee Hastings proposing stand-by authorization for the President to attack Iran, reports Nicolas J S Davies.

By Nicolas J S Davies

Rep. Alcee Hastings has sponsored a bill to authorize President Trump to attack Iran. Hastings reintroduced H J Res 10, the “Authorization of Use of Force Against Iran Resolution” on Jan. 3, the first day of the new Congress after President Trump’s election.

Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Florida

Hastings’s bill has come as a shock to constituents and people who have followed his career as a 13-term Democratic Member of Congress from South Florida. Miami Beach resident Michael Gruener called Hastings’s bill, “extraordinarily dangerous,” and asked, “Does Hastings even consider to whom he is giving this authorization?”

Fritzie Gaccione, the editor of the South Florida Progressive Bulletin noted that Iran is complying with the 2015 JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) and expressed amazement that Hastings has reintroduced this bill at a moment when the stakes are so high and Trump’s intentions so unclear.

“How can Hastings hand this opportunity to Trump?” she asked. “Trump shouldn’t be trusted with toy soldiers, let alone the American military.”

Speculation by people in South Florida as to why Alcee Hastings has sponsored such a dangerous bill reflect two general themes. One is that he is paying undue attention to the pro-Israel groups who raised 10 percent of his coded campaign contributions for the 2016 election. The other is that, at the age of 80, he seems to be carrying water for the pay-to-play Clinton wing of the Democratic Party as part of some kind of retirement plan.

Alcee Hastings is better known to the public as a federal judge who was impeached for bribery and for a series of ethical lapses as a Congressman than for his legislative record. The 2012 Family Affairs report by the Committee for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington found that Hastings paid his partner, Patricia Williams, $622,000 to serve as his deputy district director from 2007 to 2010, the largest amount paid to a family member by any Member of Congress in the report.

But Hastings sits in one of the 25 safest Democratic seats in the House and does not seem to have ever faced a serious challenge from a Democratic primary opponent or a Republican.

Alcee Hastings’s voting record on war and peace issues has been about average for a Democrat. He voted against the 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) on Iraq, and his 79 percent lifetime Peace Action score is the highest among current House members from Florida, although Alan Grayson’s was higher.

Hastings voted against the bill to approve the JCPOA or nuclear agreement with Iran and first introduced his AUMF bill in 2015. With the approval of the JCPOA and Obama’s solid commitment to it, Hastings’s bill seemed like a symbolic act that posed little danger – until now.

In the new Republican-led Congress, with the bombastic and unpredictable Donald Trump in the White House, Hastings’s bill could actually serve as a blank check for war on Iran, and it is carefully worded to be exactly that. It authorizes the open-ended use of force against Iran with no limits on the scale or duration of the war. The only sense in which the bill meets the requirements of the War Powers Act is that it stipulates that it does so. Otherwise it entirely surrenders Congress’s constitutional authority for any decision over war with Iran to the President, requiring only that he report to Congress on the war once every 60 days.

Dangerous Myths    

The wording of Hastings’s bill perpetuates dangerous myths about the nature of Iran’s nuclear program that have been thoroughly investigated and debunked after decades of intense scrutiny by experts, from the U.S. intelligence community to the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA).

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani celebrates the completion of an interim deal on Iran’s nuclear program on Nov. 24, 2013, by kissing the head of the daughter of an assassinated Iranian nuclear engineer. (Iranian government photo)

As former IAEA director Mohamed ElBaradei explained in his book, The Age of Deception: Nuclear Diplomacy in Treacherous Times, the IAEA has never found any real evidence of nuclear weapons research or development in Iran, any more than in Iraq in 2003, the last time such myths were abused to launch our country into a devastating and disastrous war.

In Manufactured Crisis: the Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare, investigative journalist Gareth Porter meticulously examined the suspected evidence of nuclear weapons activity in Iran. He explored the reality behind every claim and explained how the deep-seated mistrust in U.S.-Iran relations gave rise to misinterpretations of Iran’s scientific research and led Iran to shroud legitimate civilian research in secrecy. This climate of hostility and dangerous worst-case assumptions even led to the assassination of four innocent Iranian scientists by alleged Israeli agents.

The discredited myth of an Iranian “nuclear weapons program” was perpetuated throughout the 2016 election campaign by candidates of both parties, but Hillary Clinton was particularly strident in claiming credit for neutralizing Iran’s imaginary nuclear weapons program.

President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry also reinforced a false narrative that the “dual-track” approach of Obama’s first term, escalating sanctions and threats of war at the same time as holding diplomatic negotiations, “brought Iran to the table.” This was utterly false. Threats and sanctions served only to undermine diplomacy, strengthen hard-liners on both sides and push Iran into building 20,000 centrifuges to supply its civilian nuclear program with enriched uranium, as documented in Trita Parsi’s book, A Single Roll of the Dice: Obama’s Diplomacy With Iran.

A former hostage at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran who rose to be a senior officer on the Iran desk at the State Department told Parsi that the main obstacle to diplomacy with Iran during Obama’s first term was the U.S. refusal to “take ‘Yes’ for an answer.”

When Brazil and Turkey persuaded Iran to accept the terms of an agreement proposed by the U.S. a few months earlier, the U.S. responded by rejecting its own proposal. By then the main U.S. goal was to ratchet up sanctions at the U.N., which this diplomatic success would have undermined.

Trita Parsi explained that this was only one of many ways in which the two tracks of Obama’s “dual-track” approach were hopelessly at odds with each other. Only once Clinton was replaced by John Kerry at the State Department did serious diplomacy displace brinksmanship and ever-rising tensions.

Next Target for U.S. Aggression?

Statements by President Trump have raised hopes for a new detente with Russia. But there is no firm evidence of a genuine rethink of U.S. war policy, an end to serial U.S. aggression or a new U.S. commitment to peace or the rule of international law.

Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at Fountain Park in Fountain Hills, Arizona. March 19, 2016. (Flickr Gage Skidmore)

Trump and his advisers may hope that some kind of “deal” with Russia could give them the strategic space to continue America’s war policy on other fronts without Russian interference. But this would only grant Russia a temporary reprieve from U.S. aggression as long as U.S. leaders still view “regime change” or mass destruction as the only acceptable outcomes for countries that challenge U.S. dominance.

Students of history, not least 150 million Russians, will remember that another serial aggressor offered Russia a “deal” like that in 1939, and that Russia’s complicity with Germany over Poland only set the stage for the total devastation of Poland, Russia and Germany.

One former U.S. official who has consistently warned of the danger of U.S. aggression against Iran is retired General Wesley Clark. In his 2007 memoir, A Time To Lead, General Clark explained that his fears were rooted in ideas embraced by hawks in Washington since the end of the Cold War. Clark recalls Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Paul Wolfowitz’s response in May 1991 when he congratulated him on his role in the Gulf War.

“We screwed up and left Saddam Hussein in power. The president believes he’ll be overthrown by his own people, but I rather doubt it,” Wolfowitz complained. “But we did learn one thing that’s very important. With the end of the Cold War, we can now use our military with impunity. The Soviets won’t come in to block us. And we’ve got five, maybe 10, years to clean up these old Soviet surrogate regimes like Iraq and Syria before the next superpower emerges to challenge us … We could have a little more time, but no one really knows.”

The view that the end of the Cold War opened the door for a series of U.S.-led wars in the Middle East was widely held among hawkish officials and advisers in the Bush I administration and military-industrial think tanks. During the propaganda push for war on Iraq in 1990, Michael Mandelbaum, the director of East-West studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, crowed to the New York Times, “for the first time in 40 years, we can conduct military operations in the Middle East without worrying about triggering World War III.”

Self-Inflicted Nightmare

As we begin the fifth U.S. administration since 1990, U.S. foreign policy remains trapped in the self-inflicted nightmare that those dangerous assumptions produced. Today, war-wise Americans can quite easily fill in the unasked questions that Wolfowitz’s backward-looking and simplistic analysis failed to ask, let alone answer, in 1991.

Former Undersecretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. (DoD photo by Scott Davis, U.S. Army. Wikipedia)

 

What did he mean by “clean up”? What if we couldn’t “clean them all up” in the short historical window he described? What if failed efforts to “clean up these old Soviet surrogate regimes” left only chaos, instability and greater dangers in their place? Which leads to the still largely unasked and unanswered question: how can we actually clean up the violence and chaos that we ourselves have now unleashed on the world?

In 2012, Norwegian General Robert Mood was forced to withdraw a U.N. peacekeeping team from Syria after Hillary Clinton, Nicolas Sarkozy, David Cameron and their Turkish and Arab monarchist allies undermined U.N. envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan.

In 2013, as they unveiled their “Plan B,” for Western military intervention in Syria, General Mood told the BBC, “It is fairly easy to use the military tool, because, when you launch the military tool in classical interventions, something will happen and there will be results. The problem is that the results are almost all the time different than the political results you were aiming for when you decided to launch it. So the other position, arguing that it is not the role of the international community, neither coalitions of the willing nor the U.N. Security Council for that matter, to change governments inside a country, is also a position that should be respected.”

General Wesley Clark played his own deadly role as the supreme commander of NATO’s illegal assault on what was left of the “old Soviet surrogate regime” of Yugoslavia in 1999. Then, ten days after the horrific crimes of September 11, 2001, newly retired General Clark dropped in at the Pentagon to find that the scheme Wolfowitz described to him in 1991 had become the Bush administration’s grand strategy to exploit the war psychosis into which it was plunging the country and the world.

Undersecretary Stephen Cambone’s notes from a meeting amid the ruins of the Pentagon on September 11th include orders from Secretary Rumsfeld to, “Go massive. Sweep it all up. Things related and not.”

A former colleague at the Pentagon showed Clark a list of seven countries besides Afghanistan where the U.S. planned to unleash “regime change” wars in the next five years: Iraq; Syria; Lebanon; Libya; Somalia; Sudan; and Iran. The five- to ten-year window of opportunity Wolfowitz described to Clark in 1991 had already passed. But instead of reevaluating a strategy that was illegal, untested and predictably dangerous to begin with, and now well past its sell-by date, the neocons were hell-bent on launching an ill-conceived blitzkrieg across the Middle East and neighboring regions, with no objective analysis of the geopolitical consequences and no concern for the human cost.

Misery and Chaos

Fifteen years later, despite the catastrophic failure of illegal wars that have killed 2 million people and left only misery and chaos in their wake, the leaders of both major U.S. political parties seem determined to pursue this military madness to the bitter end – whatever that end may be and however long the wars may last.

At the start of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, President George W. Bush ordered the U.S. military to conduct a devastating aerial assault on Baghdad, known as “shock and awe.”

By framing their wars in terms of vague “threats” to America and by demonizing foreign leaders, our own morally and legally bankrupt leaders and the subservient U.S. corporate media are still trying to obscure the obvious fact that we are the aggressor that has been threatening and attacking country after country in violation of the U.N. Charter and international law since 1999.

So U.S. strategy has inexorably escalated from an unrealistic but limited goal of overthrowing eight relatively defenseless governments in and around the Middle East to risking nuclear war with Russia and/or China. U.S. post-Cold War triumphalism and hopelessly unrealistic military ambitions have revived the danger of World War III that even Paul Wolfowitz celebrated the passing of in 1991.

The U.S. has followed the well-worn path that has stymied aggressors throughout history, as the exceptionalist logic used to justify aggression in the first place demands that we keep doubling down on wars that we have less and less hope of winning, squandering our national resources to spread violence and chaos far and wide across the world.

Russia has demonstrated that it once again has both the military means and the political will to “block” U.S. ambitions, as Wolfowitz put it in 1991. Hence Trump’s vain hopes of a “deal” to buy Russia off. U.S. operations around islands in the South China Sea suggest a gradual escalation of threats and displays of force against China rather than an assault on the Chinese mainland in the near future, although this could quickly spin out of control.

So, more or less by default, Iran has moved back to the top of the U.S.’s “regime change” target list, even though this requires basing a political case for an illegal war on the imaginary danger of non-existent weapons for the second time in 15 years. War against Iran would involve, from the outset, a massive bombing campaign against its military defenses, civilian infrastructure and nuclear facilities, killing tens of thousands of people and likely escalating into an even more catastrophic war than those in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.

Gareth Porter believes that Trump will avoid war on Iran for the same reasons as Bush and Obama, because it would be unwinnable and because Iran has robust defenses that could inflict significant losses on U.S. warships and bases in the Persian Gulf.

On the other hand, Patrick Cockburn, one of the most experienced Western reporters in the Middle East, believes that we will attack Iran in one to two years because, after Trump fails to resolve any of the crises elsewhere in the region, the pressure of his failures will combine with the logic of escalating demonization and threats already under way in Washington to make war on Iran inevitable.

In this light, Rep. Hastings’s bill is a critical brick in a wall that bipartisan hawks in Washington are building to close off any exit from the path to war with Iran. They believe that Obama let Iran slip out of their trap, and they are determined not to let that happen again.

Another brick in this wall is the recycled myth of Iran as the greatest state sponsor of terrorism. This is a glaring contradiction with the U.S. focus on ISIS as the world’s main terrorist threat. The states that have sponsored and fueled the rise of ISIS have been, not Iran, but Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the other Arab monarchies and Turkey, with critical training, weapons and logistical and diplomatic support for what has become ISIS from the U.S., U.K. and France.

Iran can only be a greater state sponsor of terrorism than the U.S. and its allies if Hezbollah, Hamas and the Houthis, the Middle Eastern resistance movements to whom it provides various levels of support, pose more of a terrorist danger to the rest of the world than ISIS. No U.S. official has even tried to make that case, and it is hard to imagine the tortured reasoning it would involve.

Brinksmanship and Military Madness

The U.N. Charter wisely prohibits the threat as well as the use of force in international relations, because the threat of force so predictably leads to its use. And yet, post-Cold War U.S. doctrine quickly embraced the dangerous idea that U.S. “diplomacy” must be backed up by the threat of force.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressing the AIPAC conference in Washington D.C. on March 21, 2016. (Photo credit: AIPAC)

Hillary Clinton has been a strong proponent of this idea since the 1990s and has been undeterred by either its illegality or its catastrophic results. As I wrote in an article on Clinton during the election campaign, this is illegal brinksmanship, not legitimate diplomacy.

It takes a lot of sophisticated propaganda to convince even Americans that a war machine that keeps threatening and attacking other countries represents a “commitment to global security,” as President Obama claimed in his Nobel speech. Convincing the rest of the world is another matter again, and people in other countries are not so easily brainwashed.

Obama’s hugely symbolic election victory and global charm offensive provided cover for continued U.S. aggression for eight more years, but Trump risks giving the game away by discarding the velvet glove and exposing the naked iron fist of U.S. militarism. A U.S. war on Iran could be the final straw.

Cassia Laham is the co-founder of POWIR (People’s Opposition to War, Imperialism and Racism) and part of a coalition organizing demonstrations in South Florida against many of President Trump’s policies. Cassia calls Alcee Hastings’s AUMF bill, “a dangerous and desperate attempt to challenge the shift in power in the Middle East and the world.”  She noted that, “Iran has risen up as a pivotal power player countering U.S. and Saudi influence in the region,” and concluded, “if the past is any indicator of the future, the end result of a war with Iran will be a large-scale war, high death tolls and the further weakening of U.S. power.”

Whatever misconceptions, interests or ambitions have prompted Alcee Hastings to threaten 80 million people in Iran with a blank check for unlimited war, they cannot possibly outweigh the massive loss of life and unimaginable misery for which he will be responsible if Congress should pass H J Res 10 and President Trump should act on it. The bill still has no co-sponsors, so let us hope that it can be quarantined as an isolated case of extreme military madness, before it becomes an epidemic and unleashes yet another catastrophic war.

Nicolas J S Davies is the author of Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq.  He also wrote the chapters on “Obama at War” in Grading the 44th President: a Report Card on Barack Obama’s First Term as a Progressive Leader.

 

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78 comments for “Democratic Ex-Dove Proposes War on Iran

  1. Marko
    February 19, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    ” But Hastings sits in one of the 25 safest Democratic seats in the House and does not seem to have ever faced a serious challenge from a Democratic primary opponent …”

    Haha. There’s always a first time.

    Hastings may look back on this bill as the call to action that put an end to his career in Congress.

    • Helen Marshall
      February 19, 2017 at 10:03 pm

      Eighty years old and cruising on down from a record of multiple corruption and bribery. What a standard-bearer for the Democrats. Let’s see if anyone in the Democratic leadership even comments on this.

      It should be unbelievable but like the Queen in Alice in Wonderland, believing six impossible things before breakfast is now a requirement for understanding the political scene in the US.

      • Josh Stern
        February 20, 2017 at 6:37 am

        He introduced the bill on Jan. 3, so it’s fair to say that they’ve been very quiet. Though Mattis and others have started a habit of claiming “Iran is the number one state sponsor of terrorism.” In reality, the U.S. is longstanding champ as state-sponsor of terrorism. In distant 2nd place, Saudi Arabia has now passed Pakistan.

      • Sam F
        February 20, 2017 at 10:43 am

        Hastings was convicted the Senate for accepting a $150,000 bribe while a federal judge, for leniency and returning seized assets to racketeers. A shining example of our nearly universal judicial corruption, convicted only because his incompetence embarrassed his accomplices higher up. He was supposed to be using backdoor bribery channels like overpayments to relatives and political party donations.

        All judges on the East coast are corrupted by pay-to-play party operatives (my expert knowledge is in Maine, Massachusetts, DC, Georgia, and Florida), and regard their job as the subversion of the Constitution and laws for private gain. The corruption flows downward from the Supreme Court, so it is fair to generalize to nearly all federal judges, although the West coast has a better record.

        It is very true that “by framing … vague ‘threats’ to America … our own morally and legally bankrupt leaders and …media are …the aggressor …in violation of the U.N. Charter.” They are well paid by Israel, Saudis, and big business via the DemReps. The problem, as the founders knew well by the warnings of Aristotle, is that demagogues become tyrants over democracy by creating foreign enemies to demand domestic power and accuse their moral superiors of disloyalty.

        They can do this now because economic concentrations control mass media and elections. The founders provided no protection of US government from economic power because it was not concentrated then. The emerging middle class failed to add these protections as economic powers grew. A new War of Independence, from economic aristocracy is needed to restore democracy and eliminate foreign wars of aggression.

    • Michael Hoefler
      February 19, 2017 at 11:14 pm

      Time to get rid of the fools!

      • February 20, 2017 at 11:10 am

        The old fools like Hastings, McCain, Trump and Clinton are the most dangerous. They are near the end of their lives and seem hellbent of seeing just how much devastation nuclear weapons can do before they die.

        In Hastings case I have no doubt that there was a fat cheque deposited ij his bank account from AIPAC, you know to help out his retirement plan.

        • Bill Bodden
          February 20, 2017 at 1:27 pm

          The old fools will be replaced by younger wretches of which there appears to be a bountiful supply.

    • JWalters
      February 20, 2017 at 9:23 pm

      “One [speculation] is that he is paying undue attention to the pro-Israel groups”

      This speculation is consistent with the following segment of a 1998 interview with Kay Griggs, former wife of the U.S. Army’s director of assassination training.

      Kay Griggs: “Even when he [General Al Gray] was General he ran an intelligence operation which was a contract organization trying to hook politicians, and get them. What is the word? In other words …”

      Interviewer: “In compromising situations?”

      Kay Griggs: “Yes, yes. He had and still has an organization which brings in whores, prostitutes, whatever you want to say, who will compromise politicians so they can be used.”

      The above is in Part 2 of the whole interview, starting at 48:00 in the video at
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-SEA9W6pmA

      In Part 1 of the interview she explains the motives behind this.

      Kay Griggs: “I’m talking about the Brooklyn-New Jersey mob. My husband, Al Gray, Sheehan, they’re all Brooklyn. Cap Weinberger. Heinz Kissinger – there’s the Boston mob, which was shipping weapons back and forth to Northern Ireland. And I don’t want to get too deeply involved in that, but it goes – Israel – some of the Zionists who came over from Germany, according to my husband, were – he works with those people – they do a lot of money laundering in the banks, cash transactions for the drugs they’re bringing over, through Latin America, the Southern Mafia, the Dixie Mafia, which now my husband’s involved with in Miami. The military are all involved once they retire. They’re – you know, they go into this drug and secondary weapon sales.”

      The above starts soon after 18:00 in the video at
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQNitCNycKQ
      (Part 1 of interview)

      Further on the following exchange occurs.

      Interviewer: “And directly under whose instructions to sell these weapons, do you know that?”

      Kay Griggs: “Yeah.”

      Interviewer: “Okay, who would that be?”

      Kay Griggs: “Well, uh, [pause] it’s the Israeli-Zionist group in New York.”

      The above starts at 1:06:45 in the same video at
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQNitCNycKQ

      Shortly afterward in the same segment is this exchange.

      Kay Griggs: “It’s kind of like Monica and Bill. I think they put Monica in there to have something on Bill. That’s my own feeling. Sarah McClendon feels the same way. Because …”

      Interviewer: “And Linda Tripp was there to guide the situation.”

      Kay Griggs: “Absolutely, of course. Linda Tripp was Delta Force. Linda Tripp was trained by Carl Steiner, who’s in the diary [her husband’s] with my husband. … And he [Steiner] tried to trip up Schwarzkopf. I mean, he was trying to take, to take the whole Iraqi thing over because they had been baiting, you know using the Israeli rogues in Turkey. They were having little zig-zag wars. It’s all to sell weapons. It’s all about weapons sales, it’s all about drugs, it’s all about funny money.”

      A blackmail factor, combined with financial carrots, and especially if backed up with a death threat, would easily explain how a reasonably intelligent and educated person could act uninformed and irrational. The surface inconsistency becomes easy to understand. A strategic system of blackmail of the sort Kay Griggs described could easily explain a phalanx of politicians lying in lockstep to American voters, and voting against America’s best interests.

      A brief history of Israel’s prominent role in the Deep State is in “War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror” for readers who haven’t seen it.
      http://warprofiteerstory.blogspot.com

  2. John
    February 19, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    Apparently the majority agrees there are radical groups of Islam……Are there also radical groups of Judaism ? What do the Palestinians think ? and what do the big money people think…. and…. how much influence do they have….?

  3. Don Bacon
    February 19, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    Go ahead, Alcee, do it. You won’t get hurt, but many others would be.
    –Sailors on any US Navy ships to be sunk in the Gulf — rockets, submarines
    –40,000 US troops and dependents on Gulf bases — rockets
    –Citizens of Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities, from Hezbollah rockets.
    –Any US troops in Iraq, now an Iran ally thanks to Operation Iraqi Freedom
    –Those affected by nuclear fallout
    etc — Let’s just day that all options are on the table, and Iran has always reciprocated thank you very much Alcee, you worthless worm. Iran (unlike the US) hasn’t attacked anyone.

    • Michael Hoefler
      February 19, 2017 at 11:21 pm

      I was going to say something like what you just stated – just not as eloquently as you.
      This could lead to not only total chaos in the Middle East – but also to brinkmanship with Russia and China – and one helluva world war.
      As you said – Alcee will not get hurt – but others will. Maybe one of the precursors to a career in Congress and in the administration would be going through boot camp with soldiers where they have live ammunition fired over their heads as they crawl 100 yards on their bellies. That might actually awaken them to the dangers of this kind of talk.

      • Bill Bodden
        February 19, 2017 at 11:51 pm

        Maybe one of the precursors to a career in Congress and in the administration would be going through boot camp with soldiers where they have live ammunition fired over their heads as they crawl 100 yards on their bellies. That might actually awaken them to the dangers of this kind of talk.

        It might help if there was a law that required any politician in Congress or the White House voting for war to nominate at least one son or daughter and, if available, one grandson or granddaughter to serve in combat in a war zone.

        • Sam F
          February 20, 2017 at 11:10 am

          Yes, we should examine requirements of direct risk of elected officials supporting war,or supporting treaties like NATO that add foreign war powers that the founders deliberately excluded from the federal powers in the Constitution.

          Every AUMF is illegal under the Constitutional unless action is under a treaty such as NATO or the UN, and those who advocate or vote for it should be imprisoned to make the point. We must also dump NATO until needed again.

        • February 20, 2017 at 5:57 pm

          What a great idea. If they had some blood on the line, they wouldn’t be so eager to spill other people’s. HOW on Earth did a CORRUPT FEDERAL JUDGE known to have been BRIBED ever get electe4d (& re-elected) to COngress? WTF is WRONG with We The People??? Fact is , WE keep on putting these creeps in power! And when someone of integrity comes along (oh, say a Dennis Kucinich) the reply is “He won’t win” so they don’t vote for him :a SELF-fulfilling prophesy. Maybe most AMericans are incapable of doing what it takes to have a REAL small d-democratic government.

      • February 20, 2017 at 11:13 am

        Or take a look at the new movie ” Hacksaw Ridge” and see what the cannon fodder they send to fight have to go through. ( very graphic viewing of the horrors of war.

      • Lois Gagnon
        February 21, 2017 at 8:36 pm

        That’s a great idea. Bet there wouldn’t be enough takers to fill half of the Congress.

    • nexusxyz
      February 24, 2017 at 6:07 pm

      The other thing is the US might attack Iran but it would have no end as the US would not be capable of invading and then occupying Iran. It would be another dumb Necon project without an objective.

  4. February 19, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    We are so obsessed with Trump that we can easily forget that warmongering Democrats are also a problem.

    • nexusxyz
      February 24, 2017 at 6:13 pm

      The US is a problem full stop. The obsession with the military is slowly collapsing the US economy. It’s difficult to see how the US can spend more on the military, more on nuclear weapons, give massive tax cuts, spend on infrastructure and maintain welfare programs without the federal debt growing massively.

  5. Taras77
    February 19, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    Agree with the comments above.

    As a citizen, it is extremely difficult to come to grips with the utter stupidity of the people in congress and the blatant pursuit of money at the end of the trail. It is extreme and there does not appear to be an ounce of embarrassment for this mindless stupidity and blatant in your face corruption.

  6. tina
    February 19, 2017 at 10:47 pm

    what difference do you people make? None as far as I can see. I ” hate Hillary world war three/” , I hate ” trump insane guy with nuclear codes”. Stop bitching and do something. We get it .loud and clear. Now make Trump bend to your will , make him accountable for what you want. Please, just stop writing and do something. By the way I am doing something, not just posting my feelings.

    • Bill Bodden
      February 19, 2017 at 11:53 pm

      What makes you believe we are not also doing something?

      • Jessejean
        February 20, 2017 at 2:32 pm

        Good one Bill. I have lots of newly mobilized “activist” friends who, possibly like Tina, could not hear or understand a thing about Irag, or Obama’s drone campaigns or his deportation schemes or his whistleblower persecutions ( o he’s such a good man) or Killary’s Lybia, Syria, Hundurus and pipeline crimes when I was trying to talk to them about it all, but now think that Marching in the Women’s March and seeing Hidden Figures makes them the new Conscience of America. Super heroes. I despair.

        • Lois Gagnon
          February 21, 2017 at 8:39 pm

          Ditto.

  7. Joe J Tedesky
    February 19, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    So war with Iran is predicated on a bill presented by a once discredited judge, who now wants a hefty retirement plan to fall back on when he leaves the House of Representatives…amazing!

    The government warmonger crowd is determined to put that plan of Brookings to work, regardless of the outcome.

    I keep picturing a cast of characters entering into Trump’s Oval Office and after this small but very influential group departs they leave the Donald with very little left but to do things their way.

    • MEexpert
      February 21, 2017 at 4:41 am

      Isn’t there one sane person in the administration?

      • Joe J Tedesky
        February 22, 2017 at 11:45 am

        Yeah I think it’s the young lady or gentleman who’s serving they’re internship and are constantly send out on a donut run….boy, will that young person have a lot to talk about when they get back home?

  8. bobzz
    February 19, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    This is a fool’s game. China gets a lot of its oil from Iran…

  9. Mike
    February 19, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    Great report.
    Hastings at age 80 must be a senile. His seat in congress should be taken away. He’s a prime example of corrupt politicians in Washington. In my opinion, congressmen & senators should have a term limit and so should supreme court judges.
    Well…. arrogant Netanyahu is in town again and coaching his old buddy, Trump, what do you expect! Have you ever wondered why neocons are so worried about Russia and not Israel. Because Israel owns the United States.

    • Bill Bodden
      February 19, 2017 at 11:55 pm

      South Florida is home to Debbie Wasserman Schultz and many more like her and Alcee Hastings.

    • February 20, 2017 at 9:04 am

      Talking about Netanyahu you know why he comes here it is to check on Israels far west settlements alphabetically going from Alabama to Wyoming. And to pitch for more money for settlements in Israel. You all have a nice peaceful day.

  10. Abe
    February 19, 2017 at 11:40 pm

    Decades of misconceptions, interests or ambitions have prompted multiple blank checks for unlimited war. And the beat goes on.

    Here’s how the Israel Lobby recruits lawmakers:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P10bC0Bxp20

  11. Bill Bodden
    February 19, 2017 at 11:43 pm

    General Wesley Clark played his own deadly role as the supreme commander of NATO’s illegal assault on what was left of the “old Soviet surrogate regime” of Yugoslavia in 1999.

    In that role Clark order British General Sir Michael Jackson to oppose a group of Russian military personnel that had moved into the area. Jackson refused this order saying he wasn’t about to start World War Three.

  12. Bill Bodden
    February 19, 2017 at 11:45 pm

    Fifteen years later, despite the catastrophic failure of illegal wars that have killed 2 million people and left only misery and chaos in their wake, the leaders of both major U.S. political parties seem determined to pursue this military madness to the bitter end – whatever that end may be and however long the wars may last.

    The establishment of another Nuremberg Tribunal is long overdue.

    • MEexpert
      February 21, 2017 at 1:53 am

      Amen to that.

    • nexusxyz
      February 24, 2017 at 6:17 pm

      The end point will be the destruction of the US and civilisation. Our ‘connected’ society is very vulnerable so a major global conflict would collapse everything – the Internet, global supply chains including food supply, power supply, etc.

  13. Randal Marlin
    February 20, 2017 at 12:25 am

    I share Don Bacon’s thoughts about the catastrophe that would result from a U.S.-led attack on Iran. What exactly are Alcee Hastings’ motivations? Does he cling to the discredited ideas about making diplomatic gains through the use of military shock and awe — basically a form of terrorism? Donald Trump, for all his many faults, did have a moment of honest truth-telling, when he pointed out in answer to media indignation about Russia’s alleged (and in some cases real) dirty dealings, that the U.S. also did not have clean hands in relevant respects.

    There are some media sites where American exceptionalism is not an assumed fact (e.g. Consortium News). By this expression I mean the perception that the U.S. is always well-intentioned and its military might is always used for the benefit of the world, not just the U.S., with the corollary that the rest of the world does not have the right to restrict U.S. militarism through international law.

    But the idea of American exceptionalism is deeply rooted in the thinking of mainstream media and the general public. It operates there as a fundamental, unchallengeable premise, facilitating many flawed arguments supporting war. It’s time this preconception, and its role in supporting war, were properly recognized, analysed and scrutinized to a wider extent than hitherto.

    • Sam F
      February 20, 2017 at 11:30 am

      Yes, the hubris of the ignorant will enslave them to warmongers until the US has suffered massive defeats. It will not disappear then, as Hitler’s aggressions were the foolish response to the defeat of the German militarists in WWI. Demagogues will push for endless war until utterly discredited, never caring for the cost in lives, because that is their only path to personal power.

      The US could fade away in poverty like UK when deprived of world empire, but I think the US is too large and self-delusive for that. The example of Germany suggests that the US must be invaded by its enemies as Germany was in WWII, to silence the warmongers. But perhaps being completely marginalized, embargoed, refused all cooperation, and surrounded by its former victims and more civilized nations will be enough to form a middle path of delusional senility with heavily conflicted political divisions.

      • Adrian Engler
        February 20, 2017 at 12:53 pm

        I hope that the invasion and the occupation of the United States is not the only possibility to make it give up wars of aggression (regime change).

        I suppose it would be quite difficult to uphold this aggressive militarism and disrespect for international law if it was unequivocally condemned by most of the rest of the world. If US actions were unanimously condemned and there was no financial support from Europe and Japan for US aggressions, it would probably be difficult to sell these wars to the US public.

        I suppose that this is also one of the main reasons why it is so important to the US war party to demonize Russia. They want Europeans to feel threatened by Russia and dependent on the United States, so that it will be difficult for them to condemn rogue US actions.

        • Sam F
          February 20, 2017 at 1:52 pm

          Yes, isolation and sanctions against the US might be effective if very broad. First its control of finance and trade must be eliminated, and its presently-bribed allies offered equivalent incentives.

      • Bill Bodden
        February 20, 2017 at 1:33 pm

        Yes, the hubris of the ignorant will enslave them to warmongers …

        And an ignorant majority will enslave the nation to the warmongers.

  14. CitizenOne
    February 20, 2017 at 1:02 am

    From the article:

    “Alcee Hastings is better known to the public as a federal judge who was impeached for bribery and for a series of ethical lapses as a Congressman than for his legislative record.”

    I’m sure he was paid very well for his efforts.

    Turncoats abound in the Democratic Party. I will never respect them for allowing Debbie Wassermann Schultz DWS who was the Chair of the DNC to advocate ending Net Neutrality while she also allegedly was the person responsible for electing democrats. With the major main stream media owned by a handful of giant corporations aligned with republican positions and ISPs lobbying for pay to play access to the Internet, DWS was doing more to hurt Obama’s chances for reelection than helping him. But she was tolerated by democrats when she should have been fired for trying to create a limited free speech platform on the Internet.

    Later she was disgraced for sabotaging Bernie Sanders at the Democratic Convention and resigned. Her plan to scuttle Bernie Sanders would later leave Hillary Clinton as the democratic candidate. Shockingly, Obama thanked her for her service and Hillary appointed her to campaign manager for her “great work”.

    There were hopes in the early days of Hillary’s defeat that democrats would ferret out the rot inside their own party which caused the loss of the election by the likes of DWS and that the democrats would reform their party. But sadly this is not the case.

    The democrats tragically seem to be beholden to monied interests just as much as republicans and are prepared to sign on to neocon dreams of war just as Hillary was ready to make Russia the enemy.

    This sad tale is just a single instance of a democratic politician playing to neocon dreams in a political party which is filled filled with Washington pay to play DINOs where democrats wish to be liked by the power structure and are well paid for their service to republican causes in a feeble attempt to curry favor and get money.

    Obama refused to unilaterally impose Obama Care even though the democrats had a super majority in the Senate until republicans joined in harmonious support. That predictably never happened.

    Obama went along with plans to overthrow Ukraine and support regime change in Syria.

    Obama went along with all of the plans neocon for foreign aggression, never pulled out of Gitmo, signed a bill ensuring its long term survival on the way out the door knowing it would not hit him on his butt. Signed off on the National Defense budget without any concerns even though it granted the military everything they wanted.

    In short, Obama was a DINO as was Hillary as are many democratic members of Congress like the “Blue Dogs” and Nancy Pelosi who was the person who killed Single Payer healthcare. Yes that is true. Nancy Pelosi killed single payer.

    I think that Trump has more guts than Obama. Trump is going to bring the military budget in line more than Obama. He has been an ardent opponent of the wasteful F35 program and he seems to have a stronger tone on dealing with the military budget excesses than Obama.

    Obama was just a cool dude we all expected to have more of a spine than he ever really had. Bernie Sanders had more backbone than Obama and he made more sense to Americans too. He was not a gun control supporter for example.

    I am reminded of a quote from Harry S. Truman, “If a voter has a choice between a Republican and a Democrat who acts like a Republican, he’ll vote for the Republican every time.”

    So went the last election. No surprises there.

    Good luck to the democrats as they continue to insinuate themselves with the neocons. They’ll need it in the next election. They are going to lose big time as long as they attempt to carry water for the neocons.

    • Michael Hoefler
      February 20, 2017 at 5:18 am

      You are spot on, CitizenOne!

      The efforts of Jill Stein organizing a recount in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania showed how the election was stolen by the repubs and Trump. She talked about how she was blocked by the repubs and the Trump lawyers in both MI and WI – who eventually involved a judge in both states to block her recounting efforts. There were more than enough uncounted votes to swing the election to Hillary.

      However – the efforts of the Clinton machine and the DNC scuttled the campaign of Bernie Sanders – effectively cheating him out of the nomination that should have been rightfully his. IMO – we should be looking at a President Sanders right now. He would have beaten Trump easily. Plus he would have had big coattails turning the Senate back to the Dems and probably doing the same with the house.

      Instead of blaming Russia – the Clintons and their ilk have only themselves to blame. In her lust for power and greed for the spotlight – Hillary and the Clinton machine screwed themselves and the American people big time. I hope they slink off with their tails between their legs never to return to political life.

    • Bill Bodden
      February 20, 2017 at 1:41 pm

      Other than this – Trump is going to bring the military budget in line more than Obama – I agree with you. Trump has been talking about building up the U.S. military. Its budget is equal to the next 10 or 12 military budgets COMBINED and that includes nations that are considered allies.

  15. Zachary Smith
    February 20, 2017 at 1:18 am

    “We screwed up and left Saddam Hussein in power. The president believes he’ll be overthrown by his own people, but I rather doubt it,” Wolfowitz complained. “But we did learn one thing that’s very important. With the end of the Cold War, we can now use our military with impunity. The Soviets won’t come in to block us. And we’ve got five, maybe 10, years to clean up these old Soviet surrogate regimes like Iraq and Syria before the next superpower emerges to challenge us … We could have a little more time, but no one really knows.”

    Wow! I found this to be an amazingly informative essay chock-full of nuggets like this.

    One is that he is paying undue attention to the pro-Israel groups who raised 10 percent of his coded campaign contributions for the 2016 election. The other is that, at the age of 80, he seems to be carrying water for the pay-to-play Clinton wing of the Democratic Party as part of some kind of retirement plan.

    I’d guess it’s a little of both, and unless they have something on the man which could put him in prison for the rest of his days, the beneficiary could well be one or more relatives. And payment could come from either bunch – Zionists or Clintonites.

    Regarding the South China sea, Trump is playing with fire and may not even know it. From all accounts China has now reached the point where that nation figures it can stand up to the US in a conventional war. But there is no telling what would happen if one or more of the big US carriers gets sunk in such an affair.

    • TT
      February 20, 2017 at 11:07 am

      General Norman Schwarzkopf was asked why Saddam Hussein was not captured of killed during the first Gulf War. He stated it was not the objective of the mission. The objective was to get Saddam’s arm out of Kuwait. For Wolfowitz and other neo-cons to say “we screwed up” by leaving him in power is just incorrect.

    • MEexpert
      February 21, 2017 at 2:04 am

      “We screwed up and left Saddam Hussein in power. The president believes he’ll be overthrown by his own people, but I rather doubt it,” Wolfowitz complained.

      I suppose the president felt that the people can overthrow a well armed Saddam army with clubs and sticks. The Shiites in south of Iraq begged to get some arms but Bush refused. The result was a wholesale massacre of civilians. General Schwarzkoph lamented about this in his memoirs. He saw Saddam’s helicopters bombing on the civilian targets, but he was under orders not to intervene. There were no safe zones set up similar to the ones they want to set up now in Syria.

  16. Realist
    February 20, 2017 at 3:23 am

    Before you know it, it’ll be dogs and cats living together. So, because Trump has staked out the anti-war position, lifelong peacenik Democrats must now reflexively join the War Party. Sounds like they are being opportunists rather than ideologues. AIPAC cash is the coin of the realm in American politics, especially in South Florida. Time for another shellacking in 2018, which will happen big time if Trump can ever find a courageous articulate spokesperson to counter the false narrative the media uses against him rather than relying on his erratic personal tweets. I’m concerned about the anti-Trump establishment’s push for more real wars against Muslim countries, rather than the phoney hue and cry over more rigorous vetting of immigrants from select Muslim countries currently involved in wars and terrorist activity.

  17. Brad Owen
    February 20, 2017 at 5:04 am

    This is the left-over ideas of the post-WWII Anglo-American Imperium. That era is over. The new era is beginning with China-Russia-Japan-USA-India, managing World relations, and focused on Nation-Building, instead of war-fighting;and Trump the deal-maker/real-estate magnate wants to get a piece of this action for the American citizens. The war party is giving way to the Nation-Builders. Persia is a very big, very old place. It is where Roman Emperors go to die.

    • Brad Owen
      February 20, 2017 at 5:23 am

      To ease the discomfort of the overlords in London; where ever USA goes, She’ll bring along Her four other Sisters…let’s go build some Nations, instead of blowing them up.

  18. Cat
    February 20, 2017 at 5:04 am

    Pharaoh+Zionism+Antichrist = Armageddon.

  19. F. G. Sanford
    February 20, 2017 at 5:09 am

    Yep, Wolfowitz sure set the tone for cleaning up those “old Soviet surrogates”. Clinton went on to pick the most promisingly successful, tolerant, multicultural, secular, socialist and progressive country of the whole bunch – Yugoslavia – and turned it into a hellhole. Today, drug trafficking and organ harvesting are the corrupt Kosovo government’s most notable achievements.

    This article started with Alcee Hastings, and went on to paint out the big picture from one tiny leaf in the surrealistic mural of the delusional American political landscape – a reality that exists only in the troubled imaginations of those who subscribe to a conjured narrative.

    The Nuremberg courthouse is still there. I regret that the proceedings will no longer be filmed in black-and-white under the harsh lighting required of the equipment of the day. But the resolution of those documentary films adequately depicted the utter seediness and viscidity of the subjects. I won’t live long enough to see it happen, and many of the most deserving war criminals won’t either, but if the United States continues on this path, those trials will certainly occur.

    I would enjoy watching John McCain, Lindsay Graham, Amy Klobuchar, Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheny, Hillary Clinton, Nancy (“impeachment is off the table”) Pelosi, Chuck Shumer, James Clapper and yes, even Barack Obama – squirming in the dock while wearing those cumbersome headphones. There’d be that bewildered expression on their faces as they waited for the English translation of statements by the Chinese, Russian and Iranian prosecutors – the “Conqueror Worms” finally reduced to the status they deserve.

    Perhaps the greatest satisfaction would be knowing that they would routinely undergo “body cavity searches” to insure that, like Hermann Goering, they had not secreted cyanide capsules to evade the hangman’s noose.

    If these people were to receive “American Justice”, that’s exactly how they’d end up. International law is crystal clear. An invasion of Iran would end just like “Operation Barbarossa”, with the same international consequences. It may be the only way justice can be done.

  20. BUTCH
    February 20, 2017 at 9:09 am

    ALCEE HASTINGS IS A ZIONIST LUCIFERIAN!! NEOLIBERALS AND NEOCONSERVATIVES ARE ALL ZIONIST LUCIFERIANS! THE ZIONIST LUCIFERIANS ARE THE MOST BLOOD THIRSTY, LYING, CHEATING, WAR MONGERING RACE OF PEOPLE ON THE PLANET, AND WHEN THEY START A WAR THEY WANT ANOTHER COUNTRY TO FIGHT IT! THEY HAVE TAKEN OVER MOST COUNTRIES ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CONCERNS, AS WELL AS THEIR GOVERNMENTS! WE WILL NEVER GET OUT FROM UNDER THE TERRIBLE SHAPE OUR COUNTRY IS IN! ALL THE MEDIA AND BANKERS ARE TO, AND THE POLITICIANS–THEY ALL HAVE DUAL CITIZENSHIP–WHO DO THEY PLEDGE THEIR ALLEGIANCE TO???
    In 1981, Hastings was charged with accepting a $150,000 bribe in exchange for a lenient sentence and a return of seized assets for 21 counts of racketeering by Frank and Thomas Romano, and of perjury in his testimony about the case. In 1983, he was acquitted by a jury after his alleged co-conspirator, William Borders, refused to testify in court, resulting in a jail sentence for Borders.[3]

    In 1988, the Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives took up the case, and Hastings was impeached for bribery and perjury by a vote of 413-3. He was then convicted in 1989 by the United States Senate becoming the sixth federal judge in the history of the United States to be removed from office by the Senate. The Senate, in two hours of roll calls, voted on 11 of the 17 articles of impeachment. It convicted Hastings of eight of the 11 articles. The vote on the first article was 69 for and 26 opposed.[1]

    The Senate had the option to forbid Hastings from ever seeking federal office again, but did not do so. Alleged co-conspirator attorney William Borders went to jail again for refusing to testify in the impeachment proceedings, but was later given a full pardon by President Bill Clinton on his last day in office

    • JWalters
      February 20, 2017 at 9:40 pm

      Don’t make the mistake of equating a limited cabal with an entire ethnic group (“race”). It knocks the legs out from under your case. Increasing numbers of Jews, especially the younger generations, are becoming adamantly anti-Zionist, and thus valuable allies in the fight against the Deep State.

      • N Dalton
        February 21, 2017 at 4:16 am

        Your `Don’t make the mistake of equating a limited cabal with an entire ethnic group (“race”) is absurd and rather insulting in view of what happend to the ” entire ethnic group (“race”) of Germans ….. it knocks the legs out from under your case !

        Obviously your ` Increasing numbers of Jews ` takes indeed the cake – considering the fact Jews / Israel is still milking Germany – ” especially the younger German generations ” have been paying out more than $61.8 Billions“in Third Reich Reparations.

        • Brad Owen
          February 21, 2017 at 9:57 am

          You got the tail wagging the dog. The Western Empire wants you to believe the way you do. It deflects attention from what Cecil Rhodes RoundTable Group, and the Synarchist Movement for Empire (universal fascism) have wrought, or is attempting to create: a revival of the Roman Empire, and PREVENTION of a similar rise of a competing Muslim Empire, which wrecked the previous Roman Empires West (northern Africa, Spain, Portugal, parts of France and Italy) and East (the entire Empire, even its’ capital Constantinople, now Istanbul). Zionism is the placing of a pawn of the Western Empire, into the middle of hostile territory, to justify “coming to its’ rescue” when threatened by the surrounding Muslim nations. Germany WAS the Holy Roman Empire up to Napoleon’s time. Their 64 billion$ is an investment to safe-guard the new Roman Empire, glibly referred to as globalization and EU and NATO. The new Nation-Building Bloc (BRICS+Brexit+ USA now shifting to this alignment, followed by the three other “Sisters” Australia, Canada, and N.Z.) will put a stop to this agenda however, and substitute nation-building for war, rendering war obsolete.

          • Cal
            February 21, 2017 at 12:02 pm

            “” Zionism is the placing of a pawn of the Western Empire, into the middle of hostile territory, to justify “coming to its’ rescue” when threatened by the surrounding Muslim nations. “”

            You sound like Chomsky. ….the US is ‘using Israel’ is his constant refrain. Its bullsh@t.

          • Brad Owen
            February 21, 2017 at 1:16 pm

            To CAL above: that’s the plain history of it. The Israel thing was mostly the doings of Cecil Rhodes and his gang. All you have to do is read a map. Israel is the doorstop to keep the door closed to Africa, where ALL of the European Empires owned almost all of it. Israel also keeps the ME focused on ITSELF with its’ hostile behavior towards its’ close neighbors. FDR’s O.S.S guys dug up the history of the Synarchist Movement for Empire, created by some of Napoleon III’s generals, and the most regressive faction in the Catholic church, in the 1890’s, which spawned ALL of the fascist movements, and the even-more-feverish NAZI movement (with City-of-London and Wall Street help, G.H.W. Bush’s dad being the bag-man for the NAZI Party in the lean thirties, before Hitler came to power). You might notice there’s not a whole lot of Jewish names in this crowd (BTW a lot of Royal and Titled families of ancient heritage, throughout Europe, are implicated in all this mess; might as well call them the children of Rome, wearers of the Purple). So get a clue, pal. Some members of the Jewish community were just happy to be of money-handling service to these ruling-class dynasts, so as to avoid persecution. BUT, ironically, ALL of this lurid history is about to become irrelevant, as Nation-Building will replace War-Fighting as humanity’s most strenuous endeavor; and China, along with Russia and eventually India and Japan, will assume leadership of the World. The deal will be sealed when USA gets on board, and FDR’s vision for the post-war World will finally be fulfilled; the imperial fascists finally being put to rest by the three great Republics: the Russian Federation, the USA, the People’s Republic of China, and getting back to the U.N.’s mission of Peace-Keeping mainly via Nation-Building.

  21. Hangemall123
    February 20, 2017 at 9:13 am

    Anyone who co-sponsors this military madness bill will be “Put On Notice.”

  22. onno
    February 20, 2017 at 9:36 am

    I am so sick and tired to hear these US warmongers and neocons who want a war to enforce their bullying on free sovereign nations. Most of these Congressmen/women have NEVER experienced a war and should be sent to the war zones in Ukraine or Iraq/Syria to see the suffering of the people and especially children who are traumatized for life. I experienced WW II under the Nazi’s in the Netherlands where bombing and executions of Dutch men was a daily happening by the SS to intimidate the people. Hunger and cold did the rest. So let these pro-war ‘sickies’ experience the real war and realize that wars are not like the American movies of Hollywood. But in case of WW III I am convinced that the American people will experience directly the same suffering the US imposed upon Nagasaki and Hiroshima, but this time it will be NYC, Washington, LA, Chicago and Boston that will enjoy REAL WAR and 9/11 will look like a X-mas party.

  23. TT
    February 20, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Anyone who sponsors the use of force should be the first to put on a military uniform and go fight.

  24. February 20, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    Start calling your reps, senators, and lambasting them, even daily till they get clear that we are watching and will not put up with this warmongering mentality any longer! I called Senator Rand Paul’s office, although I’m not from Kentucky, to thank him for speaking out on TV shows against neocons Abrams and Bolton even being considered and his statement yesterday that we’re lucky McCain is not in charge. I said I hope he gets on more programs and more frequently if this lunacy continues, a lone voice of sanity, it seems.

    We’ve been living in an Orwellian age for awhile now and morality has gone out the door with replacement by greed. Hastings is bonkers with his own greed and selfishness. I loved Helen’s mentioning the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland, that now it’s possible to believe six impossible things before breakfast. Unfortunately, now the results of that are tragic, and this country we live in has destroyed whole nations within the last 15 years and cannot be permitted to destroy yet another! I know I sound like a broken record, but I believe we must get out and protest!
    RID THE WORLD OF NEOCONS!
    OPPOSE NEOCON WARMONGER INSANITY!
    NEOCON CHICKENHAWKS MADE A MESS OF THE WORLD AND STILL WANT TO SCREW UP MORE!

    • JWalters
      February 20, 2017 at 9:41 pm

      Good strategy.

  25. Abe
    February 20, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    “Syria’s current conflict, beginning in 2011, was the culmination of decades of effort by the United States to subvert and overthrow the government in Damascus. From training leaders of opposition fronts years before ‘spontaneous’ protests erupted across Syria, to covertly building a multinational mercenary force to both trigger and leverage violence thereafter, the United States engineered, executed, and perpetuated virtually every aspect of Syria’s destructive conflict.

    “Enlisting or coercing aid from regional allies, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Jordan, and Israel, Syria found itself surrounded at its borders and buried within them by chaos.

    “‘Bringing Real Muscle to Bear Against Syria’

    “But recently revealed CIA documents drawn from the US National Archives portrays recent efforts to undermine and overthrow the Syrian government and the Syrian conflict’s relationship with neighboring Lebanon and its ally Iran as merely the most recent leg in a decades-long campaign to destabilize and overturn regional governments obstructing US interests.

    “A 1983 document signed by former CIA officer Graham Fuller titled, ‘Bringing Real Muscle to Bear Against Syria’ (PDF), states (their emphasis):

    “‘Syria at present has a hammerlock on US interests both in Lebanon and in the Gulf — through closure of Iraq’s pipeline thereby threatening Iraqi internationalization of the [Iran-Iraq] war. The US should consider sharply escalating the pressures against Assad [Sr.] through covertly orchestrating simultaneous military threats against Syria from three border states hostile to Syria: Iraq, Israel and Turkey.’

    “The report also states:

    “‘If Israel were to increase tensions against Syria simultaneously with an Iraqi initiative, the pressures on Assad would escalate rapidly. A Turkish move would psychologically press him further.’

    “The document exposes both then and now, the amount of influence the US exerts across the Middle East and North Africa. It also undermines the perceived agency of states including Israel and NATO-member Turkey, revealing their subordination to US interests and that actions taken by these states are often done on behalf of Wall Street and Washington rather than on behalf of their own national interests […]

    “A concerted, continuous conspiracy to manipulate events across the Middle East and North Africa and project American hegemony throughout the region spanning now seven US presidencies is perhaps the most telling evidence that deeply rooted special interests – a deep state – not America’s elected representatives, crafts and executes US policy at home and abroad.

    “Power is Held by Unelected Special Interests, Not Elected Representatives

    “The notion that the recently elected US president, Donald Trump, can, is willing to, or is able to suddenly oppose the immense corporate-financier interests driving a concerted conspiracy spanning three decades lacks any basis in fact. In reality, those who President Trump surrounded himself with both during his campaign for the presidency and upon assembling his cabinet, are among the very conspirators behind this decades-long agenda.”

    Continuity of Agenda: Destroying Syria, Since 1983
    By Tony Cartalucci
    http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2017/02/continuity-of-agenda-destroying-syria.html

    • Sam F
      February 20, 2017 at 9:29 pm

      Thanks, Abe; this is very interesting information.

  26. Bill Bodden
    February 20, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Bumper sticker observed in Key West, Florida: GOOD LAWYERS KNOW THE LAW – GREAT LAWYERS KNOW THE JUDGE.

    • Sam F
      February 20, 2017 at 9:37 pm

      Very true. But to “know the law” among lawyers only means knowing how to lie using legal citations, a matter of non sequiturs and false citations, etc. That gets nowhere unless the judge’s prejudice is known, which depends solely upon bribes and other paybacks. So the “good lawyer” who knows the law doesn’t get anywhere if representing a disfavored party, or without knowing the back channel to the judge. Law firms always have someone with connections to each judge, and they usually send a Jewish lawyer to appear before Jewish judge, and Italian before an Italian, a woman before a woman, and a repub before a Repub. It would be a waste of time to send anyone else.

    • Cal
      February 21, 2017 at 12:07 pm

      Car bumper sticker seen on I-95—-‘Would the last American out of Florida please bring the flag’

  27. Vera
    February 20, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    The next world confrontation should hit the US full force – so that all those imbecile war mongers get to feel close-up what hell war is. Perhaps after this war these people, if still alive, will be less sanguine.

  28. Darrel Slugosi
    February 20, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    Iran would gladly build and sneak in a nuclear bomb, of their own making, into Moscow,New York City, Israel or Saudi Arabia. They would act exactly like North Korea if they had a few , They would be the most likely candidates to initiate a conflict or war if they felt threatened . They are the only country to threaten to wipe Israel off the map. AND all it takes is one unstable leader there to get the ball rolling. There fore the whole world must prevent them, at any cost , from obtaining Nuclear weapons. They really don’t need nuclear power and their motives should never be trusted. They are fundamentalist in their world view. Imagine if Dash ( who are Sunni Fundamentalists) was given that opportunity . Its not the majority of Iranian Muslims I am worried about , its the fundamentalists who rum the country.

    • Sangy
      February 21, 2017 at 1:46 pm

      The only country that has contemplated and carried out the use of nuclear weapons is the U.S.
      Far more empirical evidence to distrust our fundamentalism than the Iranians – however flawed their leaders may be.

  29. Stiv
    February 20, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    Thank you for this comprehensive overview of the situation in the mideast. Who knows what Hastings is up to, but I have let my federal House and Senate reps know my feelings. We need to get rid of Feinswine for sure!

    I believe we will be at total war somewhere very soon. Trump will need this to (1.) Rally support for his dysfunctional government (2.) Prop up his tough guy “manhood”.

    When all else fails…

    Now, some would say we should back off the crazy poot…let him have his way and maybe he won’t start a war. I believe this is exactly the wrong way of proceeding. By allowing him to fortify a fascist state, we only increase the possibility. Keeping him busy defending his image here at home might buy us time to derail a march for war and the rest of the odious Trump agenda. Strong candidates will be needed in 2018.

    I don’t know if it’s unrealistic to hope there are portions of the Military establishment who are sane and willing to step in if Trump decides to do something impulsive, but I’m counting on it. Surely generals don’t want to be setup for failure….they’ve seen that already and surely they know the danger we are in. I was hoping for something better from Flynn but he’s a crazy as the poot himself.

    Bolton? We are dead….

  30. Tony Mike
    February 20, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    The man is an embarrassment to the DNC but is a great sycophant and quisling to his jewish overlords. His past should have disqualified him but his loyal followers are too ignorant to understand the harm he will cause. He more than likely did not even write the legislation and only signed it brought to him. Let’s hope his congressional is ground zero when the war that he helped to sanction begins.

  31. dineesh
    February 21, 2017 at 12:27 am

    American people should make war on the Democratic Ex Dove who proposed war on Iran.
    Is this person living in the world of lalaland of mental disease that cannot be cured by even the Satan.

  32. Tom Baker
    February 21, 2017 at 12:37 am

    Anyone who thinks the US should attack Iran is a madman! Aren’t we fighting in enough places? And what would such an attack accomplish?? Unlike most of our imperial victims, Iran is a powerful country. And what reason is there for such an attack?? Because we (think we) can? It’s time progressives and Democrats started working for peace, and stand up to the warmongering of both major parties.

  33. Cal
    February 21, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    Wonder what the zios and neos have on Hastings to blackmail him this time. Must be big.

  34. stan
    February 23, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    If we stop thinking of the republicans and democrats as leaders of our nation, and think of them as gangsters running their own business syndicate, fighting against other business syndicates, then it all makes sense.

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