Trump’s Slide into Endless-War Syndrome

Much like President Obama, President Trump was elected as the relative “peace candidate” but – once in office – has veered into Official Washington’s neocon “logic” of endless war, as Ivan Eland describes.

By Ivan Eland

During his campaign for the presidency, Donald Trump touted his nationalist “America First” foreign policy, which implied that he wanted to stay out of foreign brushfire wars. Even before that, he tweeted his disapproval of American involvement of the Afghan War.

The photograph released by the White House of President Trump meeting with his advisers at his estate in Mar-a-Lago on April 6, 2017, regarding his decision to launch missile strikes against Syria.

Yet now he has delegated the authority to his Secretary of Defense to send several thousand more troops to Afghanistan to join the almost 9,000 that remain there advising and assisting Afghan forces and hunting Islamist terrorists. And that is not the only instance in which the Trump administration has gone against his original inclination or is contemplating it.

Trump appears to be delegating the troop re-escalation decision for Afghanistan to Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, because the president wants to be able to dodge responsibility in case that policy is ultimately unsuccessful, just as he blamed the botched Special Operations raid in Yemen on the military. Re-escalation is likely to fail, because the administration has no strategy for turning the already-lost conflict around. Adding 3,000 to 5,000 troops, according to a U.S. military that never wants to admit losing a war, would allow American troops to “advise” Afghan troops in battlefield areas, instead of remaining at higher headquarters, and also to call in U.S. air and artillery strikes in support of those local forces.

Yet the Afghan War is the longest conflict in American history, and no conception of “success” can be realistically imagined. How can an augmented force of 13,000 or 14,000 American advisers have success helping a still pathetic Afghan military (even after 16 years of U.S. training), when 100,000 much more potent U.S. combat troops could not defeat the Taliban during all those prior years of conflict?

And if the Taliban’s gains on the battlefield aren’t enough, the continued U.S. military presence in Afghanistan has caused some Islamist militants to pledge allegiance to the even more radical and brutal ISIS group. One can easily see that when the 3,000 to 5,000 troops have little effect on the battlefield, which is the probable outcome, the military will begin demanding a more sizeable re-escalation of the endless conflict.

Should we give the U.S. military a blank check for perpetual war until it comes up with a face-saving way to exit with honor? Such a ruse didn’t fool anyone in the Vietnam War.

India’s Interests

The original U.S. enemy, Al Qaeda, is already a spent force in that part of the world. In addition, the Indian government is assisting Afghanistan economically and Afghan forces militarily and would have an incentive to do much more if the United States withdrew from the fight. India doesn’t want its arch rival Pakistan’s support of the Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan to result in a Taliban-controlled or influenced Afghan government that will augment Pakistan’s power in the South Asian region. Thus, the United States could let India, which has greater strategic interest in this local war than does the United States these days, take over countering the Taliban and ISIS in the region.

Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter pilots fly near Jalalabad, Afghanistan, April 5, 2017.  (Army photo by Capt. Brian Harris)

In addition to re-escalating an already unsuccessful Afghan War, some in the Trump administration want to ramp up the fight in Syria and assistance to the Saudi Arabian-led coalition against the Houthi rebels in Yemen, who are loosely aligned with Saudi-rival Iran.

Trump, seemingly only to prove he was tougher than President Obama was in Syria, mounted a for-show cruise missile attack on a Syrian air base after an alleged chemical weapons attack by the Bashar al-Assad regime. Before the U.S. attack, the Trump administration warned the Russians and the thus the Syrians that it was coming, thus severely mitigating its effect.

Lately, however, some in the Trump administration want to widen the war against ISIS in Syria to include Iranian-sponsored militias that are also fighting ISIS. Yet the perils of escalation in Syria became apparent when a Syrian government plane dropped bombs near U.S.-sponsored rebels, U.S. aircraft shot down the plane, and then the Russians declared that any American aircraft flying over Syrian government-controlled areas would be tracked as potential targets. Russian downing of an American aircraft or vice versa would be an unneeded and dangerous escalation between two nuclear-armed great powers over the outcome of a civil war in a country that is not strategic to the United States.

The desire of some Trump administration officials to go after Iranian-sponsored militias in Syria is part of a larger Trump inclination to support Saudi Arabia in its regional rivalry with Iran in the Persian Gulf. That regional rivalry is also playing out in the destitute country of Yemen, with the United States selling the despotic Saudis a fresh batch of expensive military equipment, some of which will probably be used to kill Houthis in Yemen, including lots of civilians. Yet if Syria is not strategic to the United States, the poor nation of Yemen is certainly not either.

In the Syrian civil war, the United States should sit back and watch its adversaries fight each other — ISIS and other radical Sunni Islamists versus Iran, Iranian-sponsored militias, the autocratic Syrian government, and Russia. In the internecine conflict in Yemen, the Saudi coalition, which has already killed many civilians, is hardly better than Iran. In the Afghan civil war, the United States should accept defeat, withdraw its forces — instead of re-escalating the war — and let India fully take over assisting the Afghan military in its fight against the Taliban and ISIS.

In sum, Trump should avoid getting co-opted by the U.S. military and honor his campaign rhetoric, which implied staying out of non-strategic brushfire wars.

Ivan Eland is Senior Fellow and Director of the Center on Peace & Liberty at the Independent Institute. [This article also appeared as a blog post at HuffingtonPost.]

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118 comments for “Trump’s Slide into Endless-War Syndrome

  1. Abe
    July 22, 2017 at 2:39 am

    “In the Syrian civil war, the United States should sit back and watch its adversaries fight each other — ISIS and other radical Sunni Islamists versus Iran, Iranian-sponsored militias, the autocratic Syrian government, and Russia.”

    Stunning ignorance condensed into a single moronic sentence.

    If Consortium News wants to commit harikari by publishing such Huff Post tripe, I really prefer not to watch.

    • F. G. Sanford
      July 22, 2017 at 4:10 am

      Yep, with one word: “civil”, Eland blew his entire claim to geopolitical literacy. Military defeat is what keeps the neocons in business. And business is booming. Why stop now?

    • Tom Welsh
      July 22, 2017 at 6:12 am

      Exactly. If the USA were to “sit back and watch” for a year or two, all the trouble would die down and the Middle East would return to such peace as may be possible in the presence of Israel.

      The Americans need to keep “trying to help”, to keep the fire burning hard.

    • Sam F
      July 22, 2017 at 10:45 am

      The apparent intent was to merely suggest that the interests in the Mideast are not ours, leaving out the US puppeteers, so the intended audience was not really this one.

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 22, 2017 at 10:49 am

      Here is what happens when you decide to train the enemy of your enemy.

      https://www.sott.net/article/356963-Secretive-CIA-Syria-program-details-exposed-by-murder-of-3-Green-Berets-at-Jordanian-air-base

      Our military has put our uniformed men, and women, into some pretty awful situations. Commanding our service people to train indigenous recruits wouldn’t be all that bad, but the indigenous who we train are all but tired of our American presence, and besides all that some of the trainees are terrorist who at times are the same terrorist we are suppose to be fighting.

      It’s darn hard fighting a war, when the terrorist looks exactly like the guy who sold you an apple during the day. Who’s the bad guys, anyway?

      • Bob Van Noy
        July 23, 2017 at 10:31 am

        THANK YOU JOE! I absolutely hate the duplicity and vagueness of that supposed concept. I reject it and call anyone who asks an American soldier to apply that silliness a traitor! Anyway, thanks Joe, you’re the best…

        • Bob Van Noy
          July 23, 2017 at 10:33 am

          Typical, Non-serving Neocon BS.

        • Joe Tedesky
          July 23, 2017 at 8:16 pm

          Bob our government has been abusing our uniformed members in the military, and it’s about time it stops. Thanks for the reply, and if I’m the best we’ll I’m right behind you. Joe

    • July 22, 2017 at 11:05 am

      Yes, every journalist has a bias(and that can be a good thing), but prescribing doing nothing indicates a callous indifference to human suffering, a lot of which we could have prevented by encouraging negotiations.

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 22, 2017 at 12:06 pm

      Once again the comment I want you all to read is hung up in moderation. That moderation thing got to go.

      I was attempting to join in on this conversation where I point to how our soldiers are hampered with the up hill climb of trying to train a ally who is really our soldiers terrorist adversary. Hope you all get a chance to read what I left here, and see the article linked to my comment.

      • Virginia
        July 22, 2017 at 12:39 pm

        Joe T. You said, “Hope you all get a chance to read what I left here, and see the article linked to my comment.”

        Where?

        • Virginia
          July 22, 2017 at 12:42 pm

          Oh, I think you mean by moderation, your comment is being reviewed. Hope we get to see it, too. Try again, Joe T.

          • Joe Tedesky
            July 22, 2017 at 4:34 pm

            Don’t change that dial.

      • July 22, 2017 at 2:24 pm

        JoeT…I had that happen once when I corrected my grammar…but somehow in the back of my mind was that I had said something offensive that needed moderation!

        • Joe Tedesky
          July 22, 2017 at 4:36 pm

          I know why it’s being moderated, I have a link attached to it. I would post my comment without the link, but besides cluttering up this comment board, the link on this particular post of mine, is what the comment is all about. Thanks for the comment Bob, and Virginia. Joe

          • Joe Tedesky
            July 22, 2017 at 10:21 pm

            I was wrong I tried finally posting my comment without the link, and my comment still went to moderation. I guess the algorithms are sensitive to some wording I used…which brings me to ask, why does this site use moderation censorship in the first place?

          • Zachary Smith
            July 23, 2017 at 2:31 am

            …why does this site use moderation censorship in the first place?

            Recently there has been a surge of posts by Zionists demanding that Mr. Parry curb the foul goyim posting here. There may have been other forms of pressures as well.

            BTW, I’m in “moderation too. Bad language, among other sins.

          • Joe Tedesky
            July 23, 2017 at 8:15 pm

            If you are on to something Zachary, I must say I’m flattered that the Zionist troll would block my comments. Thanks for your input, you are good. Joe

    • Homer Jay
      July 22, 2017 at 1:47 pm

      Yes, I am immediately apprehensive about any article that suggests we are “losing” in our many wars. While we earthlings are losing, all the important people are winning or else it would not continue. MIC booming=victory. In their eyes nothing is broken…as several have already suggested here.

    • Zachary Smith
      July 23, 2017 at 2:21 am

      In the Syrian civil war, the United States should sit back and watch its adversaries fight each other — ISIS and other radical Sunni Islamists versus Iran, Iranian-sponsored militias, the autocratic Syrian government, and Russia.

      I’m sitting here with globs of egg splattering my face, for I stopped reading the Eland essay precisely one sentence before this and wrote my comment.

      You and I had a discussion about Mr. Eland a couple of years ago, and I think it needs to be put on display again.

      https://consortiumnews.com/2014/09/03/how-to-handle-the-isis-threat/

      I’ve laid off of him most of the time since then because he has mostly refrained from the Libertarian Bull ****, but this latest crap is pretty bad. It follows a pattern. From an essay titled “Should We Stop The Next Genocide”, Eland is quoted thusly:

      “It’s not our responsibility, to put it bluntly,” Eland says of ethnic cleansing.

      Eland blames Lincoln for the Civil War, same as the neoConfederates do. He has a half-assed theory about how well things would have worked out if Lincoln hadn’t been such a louse. From one of his books:

      In sum, a close study of Lincoln’s presidency leads to thoughts of tearing down the Lincoln Memorial.

      To find the root cause of why Mr. Eland is a true-blue Libertarian Isolationists one needs to look carefully at his essay: “Warfare State to Welfare State Conflict Causes Government to Expand at Home

      h**p://www.independent.org/pdf/tir/tir_18_02_02_eland.pdf

      Some Libertarian Doctrine from this:

      First Precedent for Social Security: Revolutionary War Pensions
      Today’s Social Security retirement pensions, created by the Social Security Act of 1935, have their roots in pensions for fighters in the Revolutionary and Civil wars.

      I don’t know if Mr. Eland believes the US ought to have stayed with Britain, but he clearly thinks the soldiers who fought the revolutionary war shouldn’t have gotten any pensions. Ditto for the scum who fought for the Union in the Civil War.

      Mr. Eland hates government with a passion. Taxes are plainly evil. Regulations are evil. Did you know that Government has No Right to ban smoking in public places? Mr. Eland does.

      This is pure crap all right, but that’s the way True Blue Libertarians swing. Government is evil.

      Next time some crappy little tyrant in some pissant little country films his soldiers emptying a hospital maternity ward with pitchforks and posts the video on youtube, just remember, it’s none of our damned business.

      • Gregory Herr
        July 23, 2017 at 6:27 am

        Thanks for referencing your discussion with Abe from nearly 3 years ago (already!). Sheds light on another deceptive crank.

        • July 23, 2017 at 10:02 am

          I’ll second that…I wasn’t aware of CN at that time, but that’s very impressive research, Zachary!

      • Virginia
        July 23, 2017 at 7:35 pm

        Thank you, Zachary. I’ll take a look. …a study rather!

  2. Dr. Ip
    July 22, 2017 at 4:31 am

    It’s really a pity when one has to stoop to quoting Abba. But it’s at the heart of the problem. War = Money:

    Money, money, money
    Must be funny
    In the rich man’s world
    Money, money, money
    Always sunny
    In the rich man’s world
    Aha-ahaaa
    All the things I could do
    If I had a little money
    It’s a rich man’s world

    And, in case you haven’t realized it yet, “rich man’s world” is the operative phrase here. Most of these mega-rich warmongers are men, who have nothing but greed to drive them. Greed for power. (Don’t they ever get tired of the dick-measuring contests?)

    It seriously makes me think of apocalyptic scenarios where the earth is cleansed of this nasty human species, and only a never-ending cat video loops on over the eternal Internet, unwatched by human eyes.

    • Tom Welsh
      July 22, 2017 at 6:09 am

      There are reasons why Abba has been so popular for so long. Truth is truth, no matter how simply expressed.

  3. john wilson
    July 22, 2017 at 4:48 am

    As far as I know, Trumps didn’t have any business interests in the arms industry before he became president, so saying he would get out of wars during his campaign probably seemed quite logical to him. However, once he was in office the goons in the deep state soon showed him that the arms industry in America is the biggest business there is and that any kind of peace proposals was would seriously undermine these great enterprises. I would imagine that this is what turned Trump’s head and being a business man himself probably wondered if he might get into this racket himself ! Who knows, but something changed his mind and it certainly wasn’t any kind of compassion or philanthropic ideals?

  4. Tom Welsh
    July 22, 2017 at 6:08 am

    “Trump appears to be delegating the troop re-escalation decision for Afghanistan to Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, because the president wants to be able to dodge responsibility in case that policy is ultimately unsuccessful…”

    Maybe someone should dig up President Truman’s desk sign “The buck stops here” and put it on Trump’s desk?

    • Bob Van Noy
      July 22, 2017 at 9:17 am

      Tom, I’m reading “The Hidden History of the Korean War” by I.F. Stone which seems to be indicating that that War was just more of the SOS as now. So I’m thinking that we probably have to revise All Hidden History going back to???

      These may be interesting times, but they’re also heartbreaking… Basicly the Military Cannot be Trusted, And; they’re incompetent!

      • Bob Van Noy
        July 22, 2017 at 9:32 am

        Ideally we cannot even discuss a defense strategy until our offense is stopped and withdrawn. As was often said in the last throngs of Vietnam, “Why don’t we declare victory and come home”?

        • Bob Van Noy
          July 22, 2017 at 12:44 pm

          I know… throws. Sorry.

  5. Mike Morrison
    July 22, 2017 at 7:50 am

    And the war in Ukraine. May I introduce you to the resistance? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dyxjt14CuQo

  6. j. D. D.
    July 22, 2017 at 8:03 am

    Bugus analysis. Completely ignores the concrete steps President Trump has made toward peace in cooperation with Russia and China, the precondition for peace anywhere in the world. Trump has been under unprecedented pressure to drop this orientation by a joint effort of both the neocon Republicans and the Obama Democrats, and has responded courageously in the face of it. Now we have an expanding cease-fire in Syria, Trumps order to the CIA to cease funding terrorists (“moderate opposition), and a scaling down of the rhetoric regarding N. Korea since the G20 meeting(s) with President Putin. While President Trump has his shortcomings, especially regarding domestic economic policy, he deserves support for seeking cooperation with the world’s two other major powers. To compare his efforts, in response to the inherited wars and crimes of the past two administrations, as s slide into “endless-war,” is what the President would call “fake news.”

  7. mike k
    July 22, 2017 at 8:35 am

    As long as the MIC rules America, there will be endless wars. As long as capitalism is the true religion of America, the greed and power addicts will do as they please. As long as unbridled selfishness is the religion of America, cruelty and violence will be our policy in the world. The only way out of this fatal spiral is for a large portion of the populace to have a moral awakening. How to accomplish this remains our only hope of planetary survival.

    Having now understandably rejected the flawed religions of the past, the intellectual leaders of today are ill prepared to galvanize the masses to the needed spiritual awakening. I hesitate to even mention the word ‘spirituality’ among modern folks such a those gathered on this blog. It seems so passe and awkward to use a term that so many have rejected as being not only useless, but downright harmful. I remember well my student days at the University of Chicago, where to admit to having spiritual or religious ideas was to be labeled a fool by one’s peers. The zeitgeist there was that surely science and reason provided the only real answers to any problem. Nietzsche’s dictum that the old God was dead was roundly accepted and welcomed. His further idea that the New God(s) were yet to be found was ignored. The Godless society that has prevailed has not turned out to be the scientific utopia that was anticipated. Something precious was trampled in the rush to rid society of superstition.

    As T.S. Eliot and others began to realize, we find ourselves wandering in a wasteland devoid of meaning and true human values. As Carl Jung put it, we are modern men in search of a Soul.
    Dostoyevsky understood that a world where ‘all things are permitted’ becomes a meaningless nightmare of uncontrolled egotism – such as we are experiencing now in the twilight of world civilization. How we find a way out of this cul de sac of culture will determine our fate in these possible final days of humanity.

    • Brad Owen
      July 22, 2017 at 9:18 am

      Spirituality is my mainspring. We are spirits who have donned these “meat suits” to undergo the consequences of our previous actions while wearing previous “meat suits” we had to give up, upon “death” (transition to spirit). This merry-go-round goes round & round, meat suit after meat suit. It does, however, have its “up” times and its “down” times, thus giving the illusion of “progress” and “regress”. If one grows tired of this merry-go-round ride, one must beat a retreat to high ground (usually considered the eye-center, or third eye). One does not make this journey with a caravan of goods & belongings, family & friends, etc…Its a solo climb uphill. A strong sturdy Guide & Guardian is strongly recommended for the climb…and that is when The Quest begins, becoming the Prime Objective in this life: to find The Guide for the journey. Upon finding THAT, everything else will fall in place, so don’t be hasty in the seeking. The Guide will find you when you are in right earnest.

      • mike k
        July 22, 2017 at 11:41 am

        The point is that there is no “rational self-interest” reason for those fomenting ceaseless wars to stop. Any more than there is such an interest for those in the pesticide industry to stop poisoning thousands of children. Madeleine Albright was right on the money when she said the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children was “worth it.” We live in a culture that teaches and rewards selfish behavior. Ayn Rand, the uber-capitalist, condemned altruism as the number one enemy of mankind. Milton Friedman agreed with his fellow capitalists that compassion was an economic weakness sure to be exploited by your competitors, who in fact are your enemies.

        A world of mutual concern for each other’s well being cannot be constructed on the basis of this destructive belief system. Whether you call the alternatives to these false beliefs spiritual or not does not really matter much. They are realities by any name, and must be respected at our peril. A society cannot be better than the moral standing of it’s citizens. Without that, such systems will self-destruct. This is the biology, sociology, psychology, and fundamental physics of living systems.

        • CitizenOne
          July 22, 2017 at 1:29 pm

          Mike,

          Well said. “A society cannot be better than the moral standing of it’s citizens” another way to look at it is we get the society we deserve. When vast swaths of this nation support banning foreigners simply because they come from a different culture there is very little to no hope that we will care at all when our bombs rain down on their wretched nations filled with their wretched masses.

          Such callousness can be partially forgiven given because of the massive spin by the media presenting every US aggression as a defense of our interests or because of some enemy provocation. We have seen the lies and deception in Ukraine and Syria. Most people however honestly believe what the news says is mostly truthful. They believe the Russians attacked Ukraine threw the election for Trump when in fact it was the media itself that did that and the Russian thing is a giant diversion with the synergy of boosting the military budget for more and more foreign wars.

          Looking back I am stunned at how much news coverage of the excesses and abuses by our military are simply absent from today’s media. The neocons have done a brilliant job of making plausible arguments about the publication of any negative coverage of the military or any coverage at all to the point where there is no mention or if there is and it makes them look bad then you are defined as giving aid and comfort to the enemy and are guilty of sedition and treason.

          There is a clear bias toward favoring republicans but democrats know they need to walk the walk too. Trump was never really a republican to begin with. He is a neophyte and an outsider and he is letting the cat out of the bag by laying bare the fakeness of the news. That is why they are going so hard at him.

          It is clear he has had many meetings with foreign heads of state which went extremely well and the media acts as if there must be some mistake just like they couldn’t figure out how he “figured out” how to manipulate the press, forcing them to give him dominant coverage.

          Unfortunately, people in the end believe the propaganda. Edward Bernays insights into the human psyche worked well for Betty Crocker and they work for Uncle Sam and the media.

          The problem is we have reached the maturation of a corporate run government. No longer does the media serve the people or cover the issues of importance to them and no longer do the politicians act on their behalf or for their interests. Everything is just done for money at the behest of corporate lobbyists.

          Without a moral code or ethics and an absence of rules and regulations nor any credible threat of punishment for wrongdoing you have the perfect storm of corruption in high places that is occurring. Ayn Rand might as well be running the show offering free suicide pills to end the peoples worthless lives. As it is, our healthcare system is getting close.

          Whether we realize it or not there is probably just as great an effect on what we do not see or do not know on our beliefs, wants and desires that control our actions as the effect of what we do see andknow and hold to be true. What I see happening is that people are inch by inch giving up their individual rights and liberties and are increasingly being defined as unworthy or at least a whole bunch of us as unworthy. We are also acting in unworthy ways and perhaps we are unworthy. Just search Googles top ten web search strings. I hope you are as horrified as me to see that such vacuous, vapid nonsense is at the top of everyone’s thought process.

          Meanwhile, the fear of global warming has changed into a complete absence of the merest mention of it in the main stream media leaving me to wonder if people will even know what that means or what it is referring to in the future. Most people I know have that blank look stare when asked if they have heard about about Citizens United or McCutcheon vs FEC even though those rulings have probably have had the most profound impact on the sad state of our government and politics right up there with gerrymandering which nobody is talking about. (except Arnold). Everybody seems to take it as a fact that the Russians threw the election and Hillary would have won if not for the Russians.

          Meanwhile, nobody has a question in their head when James Comey (the guy who threw the election) gets up and blames the Russians. We are at a point where even farcical irony like this is lost on everyone. We just blankly stare at the screen.

          Most folks are just being led down the path by their noses with eyes closed either willingly or unbeknownst to them.

          • July 22, 2017 at 2:53 pm

            …”Ayn Rand might as well be running the show offering free suicide pills to end the peoples worthless lives.”…
            Citizen One:…I’m afraid her disciples are running the show!

        • Brad Owen
          July 22, 2017 at 1:33 pm

          I’m sorry. I thought your point lay elsewhere. It is good to struggle to make manifest The Good, to displace The Evil. It exercises our “moral muscles” so-to-say. In this case one doesn’t need the Guide for the Inner Journey. One needs to ally with the Avatar (as the Hindus call it; a sort of Ministering Angel of Righteousness, comes to restore The Good in a World too far gone into Evil for the people to dig themselves out of it. That was Krishna’s role in the Great War of the Mahabharata, if I understand correctly. I take a generic view of spirituality, believing all Creeds tried their best to describe the Great Reality, although all fall short of perfect description of that which is beyond mere words).

    • Dave P.
      July 22, 2017 at 10:43 am

      mike k: Very good. You have correctly indentified the root of the Evil. I think Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn has also echoed these thoughts in his writings.

      • Bob Van Noy
        July 22, 2017 at 2:40 pm

        Thank you Dave P. I found this Harvard speech by Aleksander Solzhenitsyn here speaking about truth…
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuVG8SnxxCM

        • Dave P.
          July 22, 2017 at 6:05 pm

          Bob Van Noy: Thanks. I remember watching him on TV deliver his speech at Harvard in 1978.

    • Sam F
      July 22, 2017 at 11:07 am

      The failure of moral education in a rational society is largely due to the control of mass media by economic concentrations, linked to unregulated business, which prevents all public debate of rational morality, which is essential to its operation. Moral education requires a forum.

      The problem is that moral standards, while rationally applied, are not in themselves rational. One can rationally accept a social contract so long as it is beneficial to the individual, but individuals can always realize more profit by its violation, and real scoundrels make a science of that, praising the lord and wrapped in the flag du jour. Moral education requires moral examples, praise, reproof, etc., brought out in literature and discussion, so that the principles are accepted even where unprofitable, so that the social contract rises from “Do unto others enough to make a profit” to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

      So the restoration of higher social contracts requires the restoration of democracy. That in turn requires constitutional amendments restricting funding of mass media and elections to limited individual contributions. That cannot be done because it requires those very tools of democracy. Cultivating the wasteland requires draining the swamp, but the carnivores of democracy must first be destroyed.

      That is not likely to be a peaceful operation.

      • mike k
        July 22, 2017 at 12:01 pm

        I agree with all you have said Sam, but I think that the revolution of values that we seek cannot be achieved except through peaceful means. The history of violent revolutions tends to prove that. When Che Guevara said, “The heart of the true revolutionary is filled with love” unfortunately his behavior and that of many of his fellow revolutionaries often did not live up to that ideal. Good intentions can pave the road to hell. The excuse of humanitarian goals has led to much bloodshed, and not much else.

        Our basic challenge is how to foster a revolution in consciousness through voluntary, educational means. This is possible, but not easy. And at this point in our tragic history of fundamental mistakes, there is no guaranteed solution available. The solution awaits our actively inventing it. And it is unfortunately true that there may turn out to be no real solution to all our difficulties short of destroying ourselves. We may very well choose to reject the means of our salvation from ourselves. Such is the nature of hubris, and it’s blindness.

    • July 22, 2017 at 11:52 am

      Yes Mike, but whatever one’s religious or spiritual beliefs, what still rings true is that it is all about choices and there is always one that is right/wrong even though it’s not always clear. Today, unfortunately for many it’s all about winning and cheating is okay…just look at our politicians and celebrities featured in the press. Great literature like Dostoyevsky helped me grapple with my own moral compass but how many people deal with ethical issues in the era of texting?

      • mike k
        July 22, 2017 at 12:05 pm

        Bob, we need to devise ways for more people to grapple with their moral compass. Without it, we are cooked! Spiritual wisdom needs to be simplified, and made accessible to more people. I have a small group methodology in mind, that could become widespread.

        • mike k
          July 22, 2017 at 12:14 pm

          Small groups are the ideal environment for people to pursue the second education they desperately need.

    • Virginia
      July 22, 2017 at 12:27 pm

      Mike, I think you know that I am spiritually minded from my posts. But I do believe the Establishment’s long-term plan for the US has been to dumb down education and corrupt youth and families to “anything goes” non-standards. Thinkers, religion and morals get in the way of their goals of world domination and a slave-wage working class (humans as commodities). Just the other day I heard it said that a robot would be more indispensable than the lives of humans, more valuable! What perverse thinking, but isn’t that the actuality we see today? There is so much evil in the world today that I just speculated to my husband wondering if it would be possible for the woman who discovered and founded my religion to be able to do that today. It’s a good thing it happened when it did, in the 1860s, because there would have been a great deal more evil to operate against such a religious undertaking today. But of course that resistance is still very great to it’s practice and continuance, as I’m sure every religious or morally minded person is finding. You, Mike, just mentioned it, that “… to admit to having spiritual or religious ideas was to be labeled a fool by one’s peers.” Materialism — the prince of this world — has sought out many inventions!

      With that said, I must say that it is the Christliness that I see and feel in the authors and the commentators on CN that has attracted me to this site. And I’ve wanted to say that to you all many times. That might not be the word you would use about yourselves, but the warm, hospitable, generous love, care and concern you feel for others across the globe is palpable. And how oft have I seen here the idea expressed that you are truth-seekers? Certainly there’s a lot of exposure and condemnation of certain evils in the world and thorough explanations about what we’re up against. That is necessary, but everyone here on CN has right motives (trolls excepted). We are aiming for solutions to bless all mankind and to injure none.

      May I quote one more thing: “First the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.”

      • July 22, 2017 at 2:15 pm

        Virginia,… Your sensitive observations are greatly appreciated and yes, I believe your description of the establishment’s attitude has very nearly become “give them bread and circus”.

        • Virginia
          July 22, 2017 at 2:34 pm

          Thank you, BobH. And by the way, every time I see your name I think Bob “Hope.” I’m sure that fits you perfectly! We’ll never give up on that. We’d better never.

          • July 22, 2017 at 2:59 pm

            Thanks Virginia…I’m old enough to remember Bob Hope the comedian, but being associated with hope is a lot better than being Bob “Hopeless”…Cheers!

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 22, 2017 at 5:05 pm

        Virginia although I quit going to church years ago, I do believe that our Creator God is all around us.

        “John 18:37 “Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world–to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”

        I have often thought, that rather than speak to the many miracles that Jesus performed, that we should study the political landscape of his time, and less the miracles to see just what kind of person Jesus was. I also think it would be more beneficial if church was less about pomp & circumstance, and more about us attempting to be more like Jesus the man that he was.

        • Virginia
          July 22, 2017 at 6:00 pm

          JoeT, I tried to respond to you but got cut off. (Is that moderation?) Wanted to say you’ve just spoken of my model, and bearing right witness must be our responsibility, too. Here are two ideas to consider: “Evil comes to you for life and you give it all the life it has.” And, …”The good you do and embody gives you the only power obtainable.”

          • Joe Tedesky
            July 22, 2017 at 10:12 pm

            Your quoting Mark 4:28 gives hope to the many who await a good harvest. Virginia your quote also shows the hope you must have to maintain such a positive outlook, and that is the hardest crop to raise if ever there was one.

            The saddest part for the Christian religion in America, is due to the fact that the loudest voices Americans hear from the Christian community, are the voices of the misguided self righteous who so feel required to condemn rather than save souls, and with this the flock migrates to yonder fields. I guess no one told these Christ followers that they are not suppose to judge, because that’s God’s job. Between Christians who feel so empowered, as to encourage their U.S. lawmakers to do everything they can, as to wipe the Muslim off the face of this earth. I mean, how Jesus like is this?

            Virginia you complimented this comment board with one of the nices comments ever written here about this sites many, and various, comment posters. You call all of us truthseekers, and yet amongst us there is ever type of human possible. Atheists, Agnostics, Jews, Muslims, Hindu, and wandering Christians, also etc. faiths that are too many to mention here, and yet you see us all as truthseekers and associate us all to no doubt the most truthful person who had ever walked the face of this earth none other than God’s own son Jesus. I really value what you said, as something for us all here to be proud of. Yet, if the world did revolve around the truth there would not be any thing here to compliment, and if that were the norm would that not be a pleasant thing to behold?

            If your comment gets moderated you will know it, because after you hit ‘post comment’ your comment will appear and it will have written on it ‘your comment is awaiting moderation’. I’m not sure what happened to your getting cut off, but as you well know computers are agile and relentless when it comes to coughing up what went wrong…it’s always the users fault.

            Also, after you hit post comment, reload the page one more time, and an edit button will appear, so as you may correct your comment where needed…you get 5 minutes to do this. I always copy my comment before hitting ‘post comment’, and then after reloading the page I proof read my comment…then often after timing out on the edit I will see my misspelling, and sometimes poor use of words. Actually there is not one comment I have written here on this site that I wish I could rewrite, but if you have read enough of my comments you will have already discovered this.

            Take care, and as they say at the end of a prayer…Amen. Joe

    • Bob Van Noy
      July 22, 2017 at 7:30 pm

      Many thanks For the civil and thought provoking thread here by mike k., each responder has contributed valuable points to the dilemma that confronts all. I have no doubt that this group could reach a consensus, in time. So why isn’t there something like A Foreign Policy Institute on line with moderation and security where ideas are discussed as an open source kind of advisor. If one goes to any policy institute and immediately goes to their bookshelf, a discerning reader will quickly find their bias. A broader approach such as we see here which includes life experiences is much more viable. Of course l’m assuming that a democratic solution is the desired result…

      • July 22, 2017 at 7:45 pm

        BobV…I believe each of us in our own way are here in some kind of quest for truth…unfortunately those in charge of foreign policy are more concerned in obfuscating the truth.

  8. David Hungerford
    July 22, 2017 at 8:55 am

    The assumption is that Trump controls the military. No supportive evidence is given.

    He is in trouble only because of his efforts toward normalization of relations with Russia and ending the neo-con strategy of regime change. Those who want an aggressive policy toward Russia and favor regime change wars include deep state forces like the CIA/NSA. the Soros liberals, and the Israel lobby. The NY Times is frantic to remove him based on the “Russiagate” hoax. The Senate has blocked all but a few of his administrative appointments to the Departments of State and Defense.

    These things must be taken into account.

    • mike k
      July 22, 2017 at 12:12 pm

      Yes. The military controls trump – it is a bull he cannot ride.

      • July 22, 2017 at 7:48 pm

        “it is a bull he cannot ride.”…brilliant metaphor, Mike,

    • Bob Van Noy
      July 22, 2017 at 12:40 pm

      I’d like to refer all in this thread to the piece written by Greg Maybury on this subject and please take full advantage of his extensive text links. He presents, I think, a compelling documentation of America’s international collusion.
      http://poxamerikana.com/2017/06/26/the-rise-and-rise-of-the-regime-renovators-another-splendid-little-coup/

      • July 22, 2017 at 8:00 pm

        Bob V…Greg has an impressive website/well documented

  9. Michael Kenny
    July 22, 2017 at 11:25 am

    The weakness in Mr Eland’s argument is in the first sentence. Trump’s “America First” foreign policy “implied that he wanted to stay out of foreign brushfire wars”. And later: Trump should “honor his campaign rhetoric, which implied staying out of non-strategic brushfire wars”. Of course what Trump “implied” is an entirely subjective concept. And if it was only “campaign rhetoric” why would anyone have expected him to honour it once in office? In addition, one might ask what is a “bushfire war” and what is the difference between an ordinary bushfire war and a “strategic” one? Trump is a master of doubletalk and Mr Eland, and others, heard what they wanted to hear and believed what they wanted to believe. Where Trump’s little scheme went wrong was that Putin’s American supporters hyped Trump’s comments into a “promise” to capitulate to Putin in Ukraine, thereby painting Trump into a corner from which he cannot now escape and bringing Russiagate down on his head. There is no way Trump can now escape from the suspicion of treason other than by getting Putin out of Ukraine. So far, he’s not capitulating to Putin but he also seems to be afraid to tackle Putin head-on, which in its turn is further fuelling Russiagate suspicions that somebody in Russia has some sort of “grip” on him. Trump’s classic tactic of saying everything and the opposite of everything but then doing more or less nothing has trapped him! He needs a war to validate his presidency but he doesn’t want to fight Putin, so he is thrashing about trying to find another target. First it was China, then North Korea, then Iran. Now, he has fallen back on Afghanistan. Once he’s eliminated all the other possibilities, he’ll come back to Putin, which probably means Syria. That’s the only way to “kill” Russiagate!

    • j. D. D.
      July 22, 2017 at 11:57 am

      Putin is not “in Ukraine,” as any regular reader of Mr. Parry’s excellent and well-documented reporting on that subject would immediately recognize. Time to lay that myth, created by Obama, aside.What is “in Ukraine” is a right-wing regime, supported by real neo-Nazis and sections of our own State Dept, which came to power via a violent and illegal coup against the elected government.

      • mike k
        July 22, 2017 at 12:15 pm

        Well said.

    • mike k
      July 22, 2017 at 12:09 pm

      If war with Russia is the only way out for Trump now, it’s also a sure way for us all to go out!

      • mike k
        July 22, 2017 at 12:18 pm

        I try to keep in mind that Michael Kenny is not really a troll, it’s just that he is consistently wrong!

        • Virginia
          July 22, 2017 at 12:33 pm

          I always love a bit of humor. That’s funny, Mike.

    • backwardsevolution
      July 22, 2017 at 12:34 pm

      Michael Kenny – Trump doesn’t have to kill Russiagate. It’s already dead. Only complete fools and idiots (like the people fomenting perpetual wars) believe in Russiagate.

      So the press and military egg Trump on, and when he doesn’t jump they label him Putin’s puppet. Nice try, but a dud. “Oh, look,” they say, “he’s painted himself into a corner. He’s trapped.” The only people trapped are those with delusional thinking.

      I agree with the author of this article (with a few exceptions). Get out! Without the U.S. in there, Israel would have to come to the table, along with all the other Arab countries. They’d have to compromise. Let them hash it out. I promise you that there would be a lot fewer deaths if the onus was put directly on their own shoulders. It’s now their necks on the line.

      The U.S. and its allies wanted to take out 7 countries in 5 years (or was it 5 countries in 7 years – who can keep up!). The U.S. orchestrated the coup in Ukraine. Get out! It is not your business.

      Or was it all about business in the first place? The business of arms dealing, weapons manufacturing, the business of stealing water, oil, whole countries, you name it.

      Without U.S. involvement, these wars would fold.

  10. Johnny
    July 22, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    Ken O’keffe has the correct understanding of world problems. Study his videos on YouTube.

  11. Skip Scott
    July 22, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    I have often been called isolationist and protectionist, but I prefer the label anti-globalization peace activist.
    It would be great if Trump would close all the foreign military bases, bring the soldiers home to rebuild America, and negotiate bi-lateral trade agreements that demand respect for human rights and the environment, and fairness to workers. Ain’t gonna happen, but it’s nice to dream.

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 22, 2017 at 5:09 pm

      I’m a dreamer too, Skip.

      • Gregory Herr
        July 22, 2017 at 7:14 pm

        John Lennon was right to Imagine.

        You may say I’m a dreamer
        But I’m not the only one
        I hope some day you’ll join us
        And the world will be as one

        • Joe Tedesky
          July 22, 2017 at 10:43 pm

          Thanks Gregory, I have been a Beatle fan since they came over in 1964.

  12. Gregory Herr
    July 22, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    “Should we give the U.S. military a blank check for perpetual war until it comes up with a face-saving way to exit with honor?”

    The check is deposited and the only way to gain honor is to do what is honorable. Wrongs can’t be righted and dead children can’t be returned to their mothers, but courses of action can be changed for the better. I suppose it’s useless to suggest what “success” in Afghanistan might have looked like because from the U.S. point of view it was never about civil institutions and public infrastructure that the Afghan people could find worth fighting for as an alternative to the anachronistic Taliban. For the U.S. military it has only been about bases and “forward presence” and perpetual war-gaming…and add to that the fact that the CIA likes their drug money, so there you have it.
    The course of action that should be taken in Syria is to help the Syrians rid their country of the barbarous militant factions we propagated in the first place, allow the Syrians to secure their borders and then go about respecting international law and the processes of diplomacy and peace. But we know that’s not going to happen any time soon enough and we know what interests the U.S. is pursuing in Syria and elsewhere.

    That Eland characterizes the conflict in Syria as a civil war is beyond ignorant…it’s treacherous. I’m with Abe…it bothers me that CN publishes this.

    • Gregory Herr
      July 22, 2017 at 1:49 pm

      I’ve been missing Bill Bodden here and did some checking last night and am afraid for the worst. His last comment was June 16 and a William Bodden was killed in a traffic accident June 17 in Oregon. He was 84. I just want to express my respect and appreciation for his views and contributions.

      • mike k
        July 22, 2017 at 2:33 pm

        thanks Virginia. I value your clear and sane voice here.

      • mike k
        July 22, 2017 at 2:35 pm

        Sorry to hear of Bill’s death, if it is him. His absence here is probably enough to confirm it. He was a strong voice for truth.

      • backwardsevolution
        July 22, 2017 at 2:38 pm

        Gregory – yes, I’ve been missing his presence too and wondered where he was, but then thought he was maybe away on a holiday or something. He was always a very kind and gracious man and added so much to the conversation. I hope the man in the accident is not our Bill Bodden. If it is, then he will be sorely missed.

      • Skip Scott
        July 22, 2017 at 3:19 pm

        I’ve been missing Bill’s insightful comments. So sorry to hear of this tragedy, if it’s him. The dates seem to make it appear to be the case, but I suspect there are many Bill Boddens. I friend of mine worked for a large IT company where there were 17 other people with his same first and last name employed at the same company. If a family member thinks to check in here at CN, it’d be nice to have confirmation.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 22, 2017 at 5:16 pm

        Gregory you took the words right out of my own mouth. I’ve also been checking on another site to see if Bill Bodden has posted anything, and he hasn’t. I could be wrong, but Bill I know was older than me, and I’m 67, so he could be the 84 year old your referenced. Let’s all hope our Bill is okay, and that he is just maybe developed writer fatigue.

      • Sam F
        July 22, 2017 at 8:33 pm

        Bill Bodden has been a very mature and considerate commenter, a good person who will certainly be missed if he is gone.

        • Joe Tedesky
          July 22, 2017 at 10:26 pm

          Since you brought up Bill Bodden earlier, I put Bill’s name in this sites search box, and although I haven’t yet found any of Bill’s comments saying how old he is, I did see a comment where Bill references getting an email from Senator Ron Wyden, and Wyden is from Oregon…so with that piece of information I will continue on reading Bill’s comments.

    • backwardsevolution
      July 22, 2017 at 2:01 pm

      Gregory – “…help the Syrians rid their country of the barbarous militant factions we propagated in the first place.” And:
      “That Eland characterizes the conflict in Syria as a civil war is beyond ignorant.”

      Totally agree with everything you’ve said. Without U.S. involvement, none of this would have happened.

    • Skip Scott
      July 22, 2017 at 3:22 pm

      Me too. Words matter. For the average person the misstatement might be excusable, but not for an accredited journalist, especially somebody here at CN. I would think Mr. Parry would demand a higher standard.

    • July 22, 2017 at 4:12 pm

      Well said, Gregory…”Wrongs can’t be righted and dead children can’t be returned to their mothers, but courses of action can be changed for the better. “

  13. Bob In Portland
    July 22, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    Consider all the “Russia-Putin-Trump-Treason” stuff as negotiations between Trump and the CIA. Guess who won?

  14. mike k
    July 22, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    The details of our possibly terminal decline are interesting and important, but I keep harking back to the inner sickness of civilization and it’s possible cure. Some Greeks long ago figured out that we were the cause of our deepest problems. They were way ahead of Pogo on that one. They inscribed two elements necessary for a cure of our human malaise above the entrance to the sanctuary of the Oracle of Delphi: Know yourself. And nothing too much. Self knowledge and the golden mean.

  15. Mild-ly Facetious
    July 22, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    “The idea of equality is a by-product of the sentiment of envy. Since it must always prove beyond human ower to raise the inferior mass to a superior stratum, apostles of equality must ever be inferiors seeking to reduce their betters to their level. It follows that a nation that once admits this doctrine of equality will be dragged by it to the level, moral, intelletual and political, of its most worthless class.”

    ? Scaramouche
    (Trumps new Director of Communications???)

    • mike k
      July 22, 2017 at 6:19 pm

      The quote obviously comes from an elitist, with all the slimy superiority and condescension of that supposedly upper class. Pretty self serving stuff; that’s all they know really.

  16. Miranda Keefe
    July 22, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    Some good points in this article until at the very end it labels not only ISIS as “our” adversary, but then says Syria and Russia are “our” adversaries.

    No, they aren’t. They are adversaries of the US government only if the US government makes them that way. Neither Syria nor Russia have anything against the US and weren’t opposing the US until the US started a proxy war in Syria and began intimidating Russia.

    I won’t even go into the misleading use of “our” that conflates we the people with the government.

    • mike k
      July 22, 2017 at 6:23 pm

      Capitalism sees adversaries everywhere.

  17. July 22, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    I, too, had wondered about Bill Bodden. Thank you for checking, Gregory, and if it is our friend Bill who died, bless his soul on its journey.

    It’s hard to make any sense of what is happening in the Disunited States. The country to me is bonkers, not because of Trump but karmically because of the USA / Israel caused wars and because of the religion of capitalism, which is “get it for yourself”. Many, many people are struggling just to get by. Reading Drudge often shows how nuts things have become.

    I also think we’re seeing worldwide effects of too many people living in the distorted excessive ways humans have been consuming. The rich make it worse. It is what the ecologist Garrett Hardin called “The Tragedy of the Commons” in an essay 50+ years ago. And now that has been complicated by war.

    Someone here mentioned that Trump might bear in mind Truman’s desk slogan, “The Buck Stops Here”. Truman was the guy who ordered the atomic bombs to be dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    I like the fact that news, distorted as it may be, indicates that the USA has lost its “exceptional” luster. The dollar is going down. Lies can only be told for so long and truth will catch up.

  18. F. G. Sanford
    July 22, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    When empire wages war, there is never victory. there can be none, because empire defines victory as vassalage. Vassalage leads to quagmire. Every quagmire becomes a cash cow for the divisive factions spawned by the bureaucracy inherent in empire. In our case, those factions are the neocons, the financial elite and the MIC. Quagmire profits are funnelled to think tanks, political action committees and media outlets. Globalism is the inevitable product of an expanded financial elite which must control international transactions unique to empire. These international activities eventually become more profitable than local or national interests, and supplant loyalty to the nation-state. At the same time, cultural unity and national heritage are subverted by false calls to patriotism. That unity is the enemy of globalism, which further seeks to destroy it by creating havoc through refugee infusions, multiculturalism, so-called “inclusiveness”, identity politics, and elevation of “wedge issues” above real economic and social necessities.

    “Culture shock” is currently being used as a weapon by the globalists. It drives the focus of indigenous populations toward international rather than local or national political solutions. Most anthropologists will confirm that the culture of a population is more resistant to change than its collective DNA. Infusion of refugees is not an accident; it is a strategy. And, it is working.

    California Pennsylvania recently accepted an influx of Roma people who were being “persecuted”. The complaint is that they defecate in public on city streets. Tucker Carlson had a guest who defended this, claiming that, “These are people from rural areas who are not aware of cultural norms.”

    I lived for years in a big European city with a large Roma population. They routinely defecated on the street. Petty crime was something in which they engaged with pride. It is part of a cultural heritage. They do their best to keep their children out of public schools with the most incredibly creative deceptions. They do not want them to absorb host nation cultural values. Every day, I had to pass a traffic stop. There was a Roma girl with a cup and a hand-made sign which said, “My baby is hungry – please help.” It was always the same sign. But every couple of days, it was a different girl. Get ready America, the globalists have only just begun. They’re already planning the next quagmire.

  19. July 22, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    I believe a number of countries are all part of: “The Coalition of Carnage”
    [More info on this at link below]
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2017/07/the-coalition-of-carnage.html

  20. deang
    July 22, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    Yet, at the same time Trump was saying he wanted to get out of the Afghan war (which might be more accurately called the endless US attack on Afghanistan), he was also decrying a claimed weakening of the US military supposedly by Obama and saying he would build the military budget back up again, yet another contradiction of his (also a lie, obviously, since no US president has ever done anything but increase the military budget, each one setting new high-spending precedents). Given Trump’s bellicose personality, though, no one should have thought he would be a “peace candidate,” and until this article I had never heard anyone refer to him as such. Is this article yet more speculation about Trump’s appeal? If so, it’s more wishful thinking about the US electorate than anything else, as study after study has shown that racism is what most explains Trump’s appeal.

    • F. G. Sanford
      July 22, 2017 at 6:00 pm

      Name just one study. Just one, by a legitimate social scientist or political analyst. Rachel Maddow doesn’t count. Go ahead. I dare you. I double-dare you. Just one. We’re all waiting.

      • mike k
        July 22, 2017 at 6:35 pm

        I’m not waiting. There probably is no such study. But I like the rest of the comment. Every gets to exagerate a bit now and then; can’t stop ’em, so might as well accept them. After all, I’m one too.

      • Abe
        July 23, 2017 at 1:37 am

        Back in comments on the Magnitsky drama, a courageous Bill Browder/Russia-gate “truther” named “Roy G Biv” exclaimed that it was “astonishing that so many people will take on blind faith” anyone’s “story” but Browder’s.

        Maddow has oodles of blind faith when it comes to Russia.

        Not asking questions about why being a Browder “story” is dangerous business, Maddow furrowed her brow and took the plunge, performing her signature “excellent show” for an American audience on Browder’s behalf
        https://twitter.com/billbrowder/status/845179101048582145

        Apparently Maddow doesn’t want to be killed for asking any questions.

        Predictably impressed by the courageous “journalist” at MSNBC, “Roy G Biv” further opined: “actually Rachel Maddow has been very good on facts about this case. Don’t know why you denigrate her […] she is a Rhodes Scholar, studied at Oxford and has a PhD from Stanford in political science. That should count for something even to the most cynical.”

        Sad.

        • Skip Scott
          July 23, 2017 at 10:38 am

          Hi Abe-

          I see you’ve kept up on the Magnitsky comment stream. I made a reply to the comment you quote above. I’ve noticed a tendency for some I’m tempted to describe as trolls to arrive late on these comment streams to spout their MSM BS. I believe it is their strategy to have the last say and go un-refuted.

        • Abe
          July 23, 2017 at 12:55 pm

          Yeah, Skip, a whole gaggle of Browderista “truther” trolls just happened to slither in after hours to explain that “mainstream media reporting” is “just like peer review science”.

          During her 23 March 2017 MSNBC “excellent show”, faith-based Maddow was so enraptured that Browder barely got a word in.

          During his appearance on the Maddow Act, Browder only spoke for a minute and a half of Maddow’s five and a half minute segment of bloviation and hard-hitting non-questions.

          But don’t worry, “activist” Browder still managed to say the Russians are “coming after me.”

          In fact, Maddow was such a good Browder “story” teller that now there’s concern she might throw herself from a fourth floor window.

          Oh well, Skip, we’d better get back to work for the “deep state”.

  21. mike k
    July 22, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    every (one). Damn, I did it again. Just goes to show,,,,

    • F. G. Sanford
      July 22, 2017 at 7:35 pm

      Mike – I voted for Obama twice…the second time despite my mounting disappointment. I voted for Bernie in the primary, despite the fact that he’s a foreign policy disaster. But I couldn’t vote for Hillary. Hands down, she’s just too dangerous. I thought about voting for Trump – just to “stick it” to the crooked Democrats, but I couldn’t bring myself to do that either. Race had little to do with it. Now, there’s a rumor that Maxine Waters will run for President in 2020. If Maxine was working the counter at the local Waffle House, I’d probably be dropping by for coffee every morning. I’d be trying to pick up a conversation. If she called me “hon”, as waitresses in the South are inclined to do, it would probably give me goose bumps. I bet Maxine would be a hoot to hang around with, and at my age, I think she’s kinda “hot”. But I won’t be voting for Maxine. It’s not because of race. It’s because she’s a ding-a-ling. Lovable, but a ding-a-ling. There’s just no getting around it. And, other than opinion pieces and editorials, there’s not a single valid study based on empirical data in any “learned journal” which credits “racism” for Trump’s victory. Clinton derangement syndrome appears to be incurable and perhaps fatal. We must find a cure!

      • mike k
        July 22, 2017 at 8:16 pm

        I don’t vote anymore. Waste of time. I don’t want my vote to validate their phony election scam. What if nobody voted? What then? Maybe they would have to drop the lie that this is a democracy. They are all disgusting scum. You don’t get to be president unless you are a liar, a thief, and a murderer. Nobody would trust you if you didn’t have those credentials. I voted by not voting. The sound of silence, eh?

        • July 22, 2017 at 9:24 pm

          “I don’t vote anymore. Waste of time.”…I can understand your frustration with the system, but don’t give up! If you vote third party at least they know that you are committed to something better and not simply apathetic. For instance I voted Jill Stein without knowing where the hell she stood on foreign policy(none of them will talk about the 3rd rail, Israel, if they can help it). Nevertheless if numbers grow for Greens or Libertarians the other parties may reconsider policy. If pressure comes from within it will need statistics to support a new direction, but apathy and cynicism leave no trail.

        • Joe Tedesky
          July 22, 2017 at 10:39 pm

          You know mike if the voter count was low enough, this would work against legitimizing the election results. If it worked to rid South Africa, and Cuba, of terrible government oppression, then why not do it here?

  22. SteveK9
    July 22, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    Simple advice, get out of Afghanistan and everywhere else that we are killing people.

  23. Hans Zandvliet
    July 22, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    Good to critisize Trump for breaking his most important election promise: pull out of the wars.
    However, rather nauseous to read the proposed alternative to let India mudle on in Afghanistan to add to the mess the US would leave behind.
    I think China has a much better idiea about solving conflicts, by admitting India AND Pakistan to the SCO last month: cooperation offers much better oportunities for solving problems than letting India take over from the US in Afghanistan.

  24. tina
    July 22, 2017 at 11:49 pm

    All of you here who have posted, Killary, Cankles, Shillary, Billary, Whatever , how you demeaned one person, this is Steve Bannon’s world. Blow it up and let’s see how the dust settles. Maybe Bannon is correct, let us just blow this democracy project to smithereens. And by the way, all of you on consortiumnews posters, can you prove that Ms. Clinton would have taken the good ole USA into a new war? Yes, the Harpie, the bitch, the compromised, the wife of an unfaithful husband, Gee, I really love Donald trump because he is inscrutable, no one can touch him. He is the poster boy for scruples and integrity. I love Trump.. and the Clintons should just go away.
    God Save The Trumps.

  25. CitizenOne
    July 23, 2017 at 12:37 am

    Reuters news:

    “House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said Russia’s “outrageous and unacceptable” behavior in the 2016 U.S. election and in Europe “demand that we have strong statutory sanctions enacted as soon as possible.””

    What the heck. Nancy Pelosi has signed onto sanctions against Russia like the Salem Witch Trials burned young girls with no evidence.

    The German government concluded that there was no interference in the German election by Russia. What evidence is there that Russia interfered in the German election? The Germans have found no evidence but Nancy Pelosi doesn’t care about that. She wants to create a pandemic of Russian election interference which has no basis. The Germans have acquitted the Russians but we here under the media political cabal of anti Russian scapegoating see our entire government following Obama’s lead to enact sanctions and attempt to isolate Russia from the Western World with more sanctions and more war mongering by the press and our government.

    I fear that our isolationist cold war mentality will cause a grander view by the rest of the World that the USA is hopelessly lost in a Russia-gate conspiracy theory which seeks more sanctions against Russia based on nothing will take form. Europe will be more afraid of the USA than it is of Russia. Putin merely has to sit back and watch as European nations in ever increasing numbers come to doubt the leadership of the USA and will see the USA as more of a threat than Russia.

    The propaganda and the result of it will further seek to destroy any relations with Russia via more economic sanctions only to create more tensions between the super powers and further isolation of the USA from the rest of western civilization.

    We need desperately to see the real reasons why we have a democracy which is a fiction. What we have is a war machine that is excited and ambitiously hopes to break any detente with Russia and recreate an arms escalation between the two super powers.

    I am saddened by the renewed efforts to define Russia as an existential threat when we could under Trump forge economic relations which Russia seeks.but which the USA denies in order to create a new cold war with Russia for the benefit of the defense contractors who require us to be at war with Russia so that they can justify their ambitions to wage war.

    No good will come of our upside down foreign policy. The only beneficiaries will be the manufacturers of arms and weapons. The continuous attacks on Russia by all of our elected representative with the fake grievance that Russia somehow threw the election coupled with actions to create more sanctions against Russia as a result of the factless assessments by our national security agencies that Russia had everything to do with control of our democratic system of government resulting in new efforts by our Congress with new sanctions against Russia is just more war mongering by both democrats and republicans.

    There are many domestic reasons why the election went to Trump. Democrats need to undergo a self introspection for the reasons that they spoiled the election. The media needs to do the same.

    But I think it unlikely that they will do this.

  26. Zachary Smith
    July 23, 2017 at 1:06 am

    I was nodding in agreement as I read this essay until I got to this part:

    Yet if Syria is not strategic to the United States, the poor nation of Yemen is certainly not either.

    It was at this time I realized I had not seen the word “Israel” in the piece. Surely Mr. Eland is aware that the destruction of Iraq, Libya, and Syria was “strategic” to exactly one nation – the little shithole named Israel.

    Israel routinely gets 99-0 or 100-0 votes in the Senate, and not much smaller ones in the House of Representatives.

    On Dec. 19, 2014, President Barack Obama signed the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014—a landmark piece of legislation that dramatically enhances America’s relationship with the State of Israel.
    .
    .
    .
    This bipartisan legislation was adopted by unanimous consent in the Senate on Sept. 18, 2014. The House of Representatives originally passed the legislation on March 5, 2014 by a resounding vote of 410-1. The House subsequently took up and passed the Senate adopted version.

    Lining up to kiss Israel’s backside is actually smart politics for congresscritters. If you behave as the Zionists direct you to do, you’ll be permitted to stay in office and very likely get some big money contributions. Bucking them doesn’t work out nearly as well – hence the string of near-unanimous votes.

    h**p://www.aipac.org/learn/legislative-agenda/agenda-display?agendaid={D9F4B5E3-4883-4800-97FB-7D5655789AAA}

  27. Mild-ly Facetious
    July 23, 2017 at 10:37 am

    mike k — “I don’t vote anymore. Waste of time.”

    It very well will become the Moot Point if Trumps Anti-American PRESIDENTIAL ADVISORY COMMISSION On ELECTION INTEGRITY gets to legalize voter suppression.

    Another disturbing trend is Trumps feeler inquiry into Pardons. Pardons for himself and or members of his family. Add to that his indiscreet mischief into possibilities of firing Mueller, Rosenstein, or Sessions.

    Trumps words,attitudes and actions hint of dictatorial arrogance. His propaganda offering of “drain the swamp” has proven to be a haymaker of a lie as the swamp has become a swimming pool of Wall Street crooks and cronies.

    TRUMPS REAL AGENDA is one of Decimation and Discrimination- a full on assault on every principal of Democracy.

    — “It follows that a nation that once admits this doctrine of equality will be dragged by it to the level, moral, intelletual and political, of its most worthless class.”
    Scaramouche

    • Mild-ly Facetious
      July 23, 2017 at 10:44 am

      The above Scaramouche quote is the very infrastructure of the rally cry “Make America Great Again…”

  28. Mild-ly Facetious
    July 23, 2017 at 11:55 am

    Stoking Trumps hard right agenda.—–

    From http://www.axios.com/how-trump-thinks-about-pardons-2464087550.html

    Anthony Scaramucci gave his first interview as White House communications director to Breitbart’s Matt Boyle. The two sounded like old friends, with Scaramucci kicking off the early-morning SiriusXM’s “Breitbart News Saturday” interview by jokingly asking Boyle, “Did you send your job application form in yet, Matt?…Do you need my email so I can get your resume over here?”

    Boyle laughed and replied: “Anthony, I’m honored, maybe we can talk about that later.” Scaramucci praised Breitbart for capturing “the spirit of what is actually going on in the country, where there’s a large group of people…who’ve been disaffected from the economic franchise.” (FWIW: I asked Boyle whether he’d seriously consider a job in the White House press shop and he declined to comment.)

    Between the lines: Sean Spicer had a terrible relationship with Breitbart, the right-wing outlet whose alumni, including Steve Bannon, now work in the White House. Scaramucci now appears to want to elevate the outlet in general, and Boyle in particular. By giving Boyle (Breitbart’s most unrestrained attack dog) such prominence from the outset, Scaramucci is signaling that the President wants to make better use of conservative/friendly media outlets to transmit his messages without a critical filter.

  29. July 23, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    Tina, whoever becomes president gets taken over by the war machine. What proof is necessary to know that Clinton would have gone to war against Assad and Syria? She said in campaigning she would and praised Trump’s Tomahawk missiles. She unleashed the dogs of War in Libya, surely you remember.

    BTW, this “democracy project” has been “blown to smithereens” for some time now. Where’s the dust settling, in a landfill? In Mosul? Any democracy of USA is a mockery, with what’s transpired in the last 14 years, or even prior.

  30. Anonymous
    July 23, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    We have seen how some of the Puppets of the American Shadow Regime Publicly saying that they want to make the President a Liar like they themselves are, and there was No evidence of Russia meddling in America’s Election as was stated in May of this year at http://dailycaller.com/2017/05/04/dianne-feinstein-says-she-has-not-seen-evidence-of-trump-russia-collusion-video/ .

    They want to do this by making him sign that Russia meddled in America’s Election, even though there is No evidence of that.

    There are Americans who think that President Donald Trump Should Ask Them to Provide what they think is Evidence, because the American People have a Right to Know these things.

    We Know that Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Proof, and the American People have seen No evidence after a year of Lies.

    There are Americans who think that President Donald Trump Should Veto that Bill unless Proof is Provided.

    This is because this will assist with Electing up 300 Independents called Trump Independents to contest the 2018 Election, where Trump Independents are not able to win the Primary against Establishment Republicans, while there are a few Decent Republicans, who would Not be challenged in the Primaries or at the Election.

    The Countries of the World are Not ignorant like America Contemptuously thinks they are, and they Know how the Predominantly White America has placed Economic Sanctions on Black Haiti, by means of their Allowance and Approval of of the Clinton Foundation withholding 10 Billion Dollars that was Donated to the Black People of Haiti, for Humanitarian Relief and Reconstruction of their Country after the Earthquake of 2010.

    The World Knows that it is Lies that a foreign Country meddled in America’s Election.

    This is Why Many People of foreign Countries may Decide to Boycott American Goods and Services.

    These Sanctions would be Unofficial Sanctions because of America’s Arrogance and Injustices against the Non White People of Haiti, which are Sanctions on that Country.

    We we Know what President Bill Clinton said in that Video regarding caring for the People of Haiti were Lies, and the Video is Titled: Presidents Obama, Bush, and Clinton: Help for Haiti at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jta-4JLawYI .

    There is a former CIA Officer who said that President Barack Obama has a few Billion Dollars in Offshore Accounts, because he was a Puppet to the Shadow Regime.

    The Shadow Regime does Not want President Donald Trump to succeed, because they want to be the Dictators of America, and they do Not care if Many People of the World Boycott American Goods and Services.

    This is because they would rather be the Dictators of a Third World America rather than that a Democratic America that is Free and Prosperous.

    The Truth of the matter is that Many of those in Congress and the Senate were Selected because they are Psychopaths, while there are a few Decent ones in Congress and the Senate, as Senator John McCain and others Knows this.

    Those who are Selected by the American Shadow Regime are those Psychopaths who have been Observed to have Great Enjoyment during Orgasms after Masturbating over Films of Wars, and these include both males and females, and these would Include Many in the Puppet Mainstream Media along with the Congress and the Senate, and we Know who the Shadow Regime and their Puppet Democrats and Puppet Republicans wanted for President, and it is the same one as who Effectively and Equivalently Placed Sanctions on the the People Haiti, even though they are Wealthy People, and these Psychopaths Constantly Need New Victims, because they become Bored with Old Victims, and Economic Sanctions is one of their Evil Methods.

    The Mueller Sham investigation is Illegal, because a crime had to be mentioned before the Attorney General or Deputy Attorney General could appoint a special counsel, and the American Shadow Regime will be able to Bribe or Intimidate People to manufacture Lies against President Donald Trump, and Mueller Should Insist that the Clintons give the 10 Billion Dollars that they owe to Haiti, since 2010.

    We have Clearly seen with Senator Sanders, that if Americans want a Political Revolution, then they will Need their own Political Party, and there are Americans who think that they Should Not waste time with this, and they should Not succumb to any Delaying tactics by Senator Sanders or President Donald Trump, or anyone else.

    There are Many Americans who do Not want another Hardened and Compulsive Liar in Washington, as their Already are far Too Many Hardened and Compulsive Liars in Washington, and in the Mainstream Media, who are the Bribed and Corrupt Psychopathic Puppets of America’s Shadow Regime Septic Tank, where the Solids Rise to the Top.

    There are Many Americans who hope that President Donald Trump will Refuse Steadfastly to be Compromised by these People, because these Americans want America to be a Constitutional Republic and a Constitutional Democracy.

  31. sierra7
    July 25, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    I would recommend listening to Chris Hedge’s series of lectures on the ills of what ails America………
    No links; there are numerous access sites for his talks…….just place his name and add “utube”…….
    There is no easy solution to what we agree/disagree with what is “good” or “bad” about what direction we have been/are taking as a nation…..History tells us that there is always a “most powerful” tribe/culture/nation that prevails either thru accidents of history or because the leaders of cited countries choose to conquer others…..America in the 20th century is no different even if we preach otherwise. I would suggest also a more than casual peruse of the creation of the CIA in the late 1940’s and really read the words that give all future presidencies their own “private” army to carry out ideological attacks on others…the most out front are the “cold wars” conducted mostly covertly but overtly also such as trying to settle the demarcation of Korea after the surrender of Japan. History also demonstrates brutally that almost all those “nations” who take the initiative to conduct continuing violence on others almost always die violent deaths…..or experience internal convolutions that include civil wars, military overthrows from within, capital flight (in the modern capitalist era)……but they do go down………will that be the fate of our country? We have a Congress (both House and Senate) that have cowardly abrogated their responsibilities to “declare war”, the final line between a “democratic” process and authoritarian rule by any individual president; a multi-level justice system that penalizes the poor over the wealthy; a totally corrupt financial system that the leaders of our institutions refuse to remake or at least in the case of bringing back the best rule we have had for decades, the Glass-Steagal Act; the Citizens United ruling, a judicial error internal of the Supreme Court that has endured over decades and continues to escalate to give the US true corporate rule; perpetual wars waged not by a national draft but increasingly be private “enterprise” in order to control, propagandize and keep the “common folk” unsure of what their government is doing.
    What is in store for our country?

  32. Mary White
    July 25, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    Certain elements want a lower human world population. They may be the same group(s) who profit from wars.

  33. July 27, 2017 at 2:29 am

    “Trump” has a title. It’s called ‘President of the United States of America’ and your attempt to delegitimize him by not even respecting his title (which makes him the most powerful person on Earth besides Jesus Christ) is very revealing and very self-destructive. So, please continue.

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