Learning to Love Perpetual War

The transformation of the Democratic Party into the perpetual war party – accelerated by the Russia-gate hysteria – is personified by Rep. Barbara Lee who voted against the “war on terror” resolution in 2001, as Norman Solomon explains.

By Norman Solomon

For Americans who oppose perpetual war, no member of Congress has been more admired than Barbara Lee. Ever since she cast the only vote against a blank-check war resolution, three days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Oakland Democrat has earned a reputation for bravely speaking antiwar truth to militarist power.

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-California

But, now, the core wisdom of her eloquent speech on the House floor nearly 16 years ago is under threat — from Lee herself.

When Lee beseeched her colleagues to “think through the implications of our actions today, so that this does not spiral out of control,” she was looking far beyond the politics and passions of that moment on Sept. 14, 2001. Now, in a July 7 tweet, she has stepped away from steadfast support for the necessity of diplomatic initiatives.

Finding alternatives to war must include diplomacy. In the case of the “war on terror” that Lee resisted from the start, what spiraled out of control was endless and boundless war. These days, the escalating tensions with Russia could spiral out of control all the way to nuclear holocaust.

That’s a major reason the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the symbolic hands of its Doomsday Clock even closer to apocalyptic midnight early this year. The nuclear peril is terribly real, and it’s growing.

For that overarching reason, former Sen. Sam Nunn joined with three seasoned ex-diplomats to co-sign an open letter in late June, urging Presidents Trump and Vladimir Putin to discuss four specific proposals for reducing the dangers of nuclear war. Nunn — drawing on his experience as chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee — knows that top-level talks between the Russian and U.S. governments are crucial to reduce the risk of the world blowing up.

But Lee addressed the Trump-Putin meeting at the G20 summit in a very different way. Right after it was over, she sent out a tweet that denounced the very idea of the two presidents sitting down and talking: “Outraged by President Trump’s 2 hr meeting w/Putin, the man who orchestrated attacks on our democracy. Where do his loyalties lie?”

Yet real diplomacy often requires that leaders we don’t like — at the top of a foreign government and maybe our own — sit down together, talk and negotiate. In the case of the world’s two nuclear-weapons superpowers, that could turn out to mean the difference between coexistence or co-annihilation.

During her historic 2001 speech on the House floor, when she insisted that “some of us must urge the use of restraint,” Lee was refusing to be swept up in the easy and dangerous conformity of the times. She saw that militarized confrontation would be a tragically unwise alternative to diplomacy.

Lee now seems to have cast aside such understanding, at least as far as relations with Russia are concerned. Her constituents, as well as other supporters in California and beyond, should encourage her to return to it.

Certainly, Lee deserves credit for ongoing efforts to repeal the 2001 war authorization. Yet this month she veered way off the peace track by proclaiming that she was “outraged” because Trump and Putin had a meeting.

In the aftermath of 9/11, Rep. Lee offered profound insight and leadership instead of confusion and fear. That’s why the saying “Barbara Lee speaks for me” took hold and lasted. But now we must let her know when she no longer speaks for us.

Norman Solomon is the author of “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death” (2005). [This article first appeared in San Francisco Chronicle at http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/When-Barbara-Lee-doesn-t-speak-for-me-11305910.php ]

 

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92 comments for “Learning to Love Perpetual War

  1. Joe Tedesky
    July 25, 2017 at 1:45 am

    The Democrates need to get new leadership.

    • Realist
      July 25, 2017 at 8:57 am

      They need to get some brains with which to start thinking logically, instead of reflexively following the warmongering agenda set by the Neocons and adopted by Obomber and Killary, cowardly by him, and recklessly by her.

      I know the comparison is always considered bombastic cliche, but, frankly, both parties acting together are showing us how Germany committed national suicide back in the late 1930’s and took millions of other innocents with them to the grave. Neither the leaders nor the followers will see or admit the truth. This is group think to the power of infinity. Every last one of them is afraid to be the honest person who sticks his neck out and announces that the emperor has no clothes.

      If Trump wants to go down in the history books as a noble figure rather than another craven coward, he should tell the leadership of both parties that he is vetoing their absurd sanctions legislation and is immediately, as chief executive in charge of all foreign affairs and as commander in chief of the armed forces under the constitution, ending American involvement in all the wars in the Middle East, normalizing relations with Russia, ending the sanctions, and recognizing the status of Crimea as part of the RF. Furthermore, he should give Poroschenko one week to fully implement the Minsk Accords or have the breakaway oblasts recognised as the new state of Mallorossiya.

      He should tell the maniacs in the congress, if they don’t like it he’ll see them in the Supreme Court, which should uphold his authority, unless they too piss on the constitution and make themselves look disgusting in the history books. Address the nation on national television, Donald. Commandeer the time. This is a national emergency, speak every night of the week if you have to. Explain the dangers of the witch hunt congress has been conducting and present real evidence by declassifying all the so-called evidence the intelligence agencies refuse to divulge. They’ve got nothing. If they did, we would have seen it up in lights by now. Declassify all the data from the Malaysian jet shoot-down too, which will surely implicate Ukraine rather than Russia. Dump ALL the data on ALL the issues, proving that the American people have been fed nothing but false narratives for years. Sure, they might send an assassin after you, Donald. But maybe those generals you packed your cabinet with will show some honor like Smedley Butler and protect your ass as he did Roosevelt’s. I’m sure you’re feeling like a target as things already stand, which may explain the erratic decisions you have been making.

      Why isn’t the Attorney General already investigating the traitorous actions of Obama, Clinton, Biden, Power and Rice in deliberately putting the nation in harm’s way by fomenting coups and foreign wars to an even greater degree than the despicable George W. Bush and Dick Cheney? That’s the investigation that should be ongoing in congress, rather than the cover up to protect those bastards and the scapegoating of yourself, Donald. Not the job you thought you signed on for, eh, Donald? Nevertheless, it’s the job that is called for to save this country and the world. If you are just going to let the warmongers precipitate Armageddon, as they surely will since they are not relenting one iota, you might as well resign the presidency and enjoy the end days in Mir-a-Lago. At 70 years of age, most everything you do should be for future generations, moreso than for yourself. One way or the other, this is the last chapter of your life to be written, Donald. Might as well go down swinging, and protecting the people of the world, not some insane neocon agenda of world conquest. Don’t act as gutless as Obama did, or as stark raving mad as Hillary still does. Come on, man, last chance to do the right thing.

      If you need revenge as a motivator, all this shit is happening to you, Donald, because Hillary still wants the oval office. If you can see that her agenda is to humiliate you and drive you from office so she can later be elected after the congress has effed up everything on your watch, you should fight back against the witch.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 25, 2017 at 9:36 am

        Way to go Realist. This comment you wrote here should be converted into a bullet point check off list of things to do in our nation’s capital, and the sooner done, the better.

        I just happened to catch Tucker Carlson interview Tulsi Gabbard last night on 7/24/17. Boy, that Tulsi is amazingly sticking to her guns on her mission to bring a bill to the floor of the house to quit aiding and arming the terrorist, and her second bill is to quit going after Assad. I see hope in her.

        I will tell you this Realist, again your comment here hit the nail, or nails, on the head. I would love to see everything you brought up be accomplished.

      • Virginia
        July 25, 2017 at 10:57 am

        Realist, I’m emailing your comment to the Whitehouse with another recommendation that somebody there read CN daily. Hope you don’t mind. Of course, Trump will listen, right! Would that he would! You said it all so well. BTW, that address is admin@whitehouse.gov. (Correct me if I’m wrong.)

      • John Neal Spangler
        July 25, 2017 at 11:13 am

        Well said Realist, I agree totally

    • Skip Edwards
      July 25, 2017 at 12:40 pm

      Joe, what you say is true; and I also must say that I am highly disappointed in Barbara Lee’s opposition to the Trump – Putin talks. I surmise that her statement is in response to tremendous pressure placed on her by the Democratic Party establishment. The Party elite all the way down to local levels are hoping to use the Trump disaster to take back control of both houses in ’18 and the Presidency in 2020. What they will not accept is the disaster the Party has been for our country since Bill Clinton sold us all out. What we need is a new Party, not a re-painted cover up of the real Democratic Party.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 25, 2017 at 4:14 pm

        Skip along with Barbara Lee, isn’t the new Maxine Waters making all the news in the wrong way? I remember when Waters stood up to the CIA over drugs being distributed in her district in California. Barbara Lee was someone for us peacenik’s to point to for inspiration, and an example, to try and get other politicians to adhere too. Nothing last forever, I guess, but it’s still saddening when you lose it.

        The Democrat’s better come to their senses soon, or they will miss the boat in 2018. I mean, all this Russia garbage is only going to bring them down, even lower than they have already sunk. The Democrat’s are too worried about Trump, and they are missing the opportunity to confront the real issues the voters care about. Trump wasn’t wrong when he campaigned to lift all boats, and make America great. If the Democrat’s were smart, they would study Trump’s campaign promises, and see where Hillary didn’t take them.

        The other thing the Democrat’s better do, is they should campaign in every state. Especially the Democrat’s should campaign in the Electoral College states where they loss the election in.

        I personally would love to see the Democrat’s become the party of who will end this constant war on terrorism, and be the party of the average Joe & Josephine’s concerns. People want good career jobs, and a safe place to live. People don’t want someone like Hillary who only exploits the women, and gays, she so pretends to represent. Maybe that’s it, people want someone who is genuine, and not a phony who is a real chameleon when it comes to their political philosophy.

        Maybe the Dem’s ought to go out and talk to their voters, that would be a good place too start, and leave the Kremlin alone.

        Always good corresponding with you Skip take it easy shipmate Joe

      • Tomk
        July 26, 2017 at 12:24 am

        Given how DC works — who knows what “they” have on her by now….

  2. john wilson
    July 25, 2017 at 4:00 am

    What’s the difference between the Democrats and the Republicans? Nothing, because they both treat the public with contempt and they both love war. Why anyone votes for either is beyond me.

    • mike k
      July 25, 2017 at 7:43 am

      Amen. What if they gave an election, and nobody came? But wait…….the mass of the people are asleep, dreaming the dreams fed to them by the main stream media. Mission control, we have a problem.

      • July 27, 2017 at 8:40 pm

        Or the old bumper sticker: DON’T VOTE, IT ONLY ENCOURAGES THEM.

    • Nancy
      July 25, 2017 at 8:57 am

      The difference is that the Democrats give you a big, sloppy kiss before they screw you.

      • Skip Edwards
        July 25, 2017 at 12:47 pm

        Yep, they are very good at using foreplay to get what they want but turn very abusive in the actual performance.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 25, 2017 at 4:17 pm

        Nancy is that what that was? Oh, and I didn’t like it one bit. Good, and humorous, comment. Joe

  3. Kim Dixon
    July 25, 2017 at 5:03 am

    I’m someone who cried in grade school in NYC in 1962 as our nuns told us today might be our last day on earth. I’m someone who joined millions in the anti-nuclear protests of the 1980s, because nuclear Armageddon was always in the back of our minds.

    I’m someone who feels as if we’re living in a horror film, as all of that has been forgotten. A horror film, in which Russians are devils again, in which madmen are screaming that we’re better “dead than ‘Red’.” A horror film, in which utterly immoral, entirely idiotic Democrats have joined with the most malignant Republican Neocons to endanger all the world’s children, again. And this time, for absolutely no reason at all. The Russians aren’t coming; the Kagans are.

    The only point at which most will understand what’s actually at stake will be when the first nuclear device ignites in anger. And then, it will be too late.

    • mike k
      July 25, 2017 at 8:02 am

      Excellent post Kim. I was on the streets protesting in the 80’s too. I remember a fall 1983 day when my wife and I were walking in a light rain, going door to door in a suburban neighborhood with handouts urging people to see the movie The Day After, with Jason Robards. The film depicted the aftermath of nuclear war. There was apparently little response to our efforts, but we continued on, putting up posters, taking part in a small local group of activists. Those were days of youthful hope. But now the sleep of those who should be concerned is mostly too deep to penetrate. It looks like we may be doomed to die in our sleep.

      • Realist
        July 25, 2017 at 9:27 am

        Somebody in the country will have to rise up and depose the maniacs who are setting up, not only the country, but also the world for total destruction. Honestly, it won’t be the average guy in the street who does this. Someone in a position of leadership and authority will have to take on the onus. The president, who is presently himself a target of an out-of-control warmongering Deep State is the logical choice, if only Trump realised this and had the necessary courage. I hope he does, but I am dubious. I kind of suggested what he should do up above.

        If he can’t or won’t do the right thing, somebody else with a high profile should start leading the cause. I don’t see a single goddamned Democrat or Republican who even half-way qualifies for the task or seems inclined to try, except maybe Rand Paul and Tulsi Gabbard. Maybe just Rand Paul if Gabbard votes for the latest batch of sanctions against Russia for imaginary transgressions. Maybe it will take someone in a completely different walk of life, but, because of the herd instinct of the human animal, it will have to be someone well known, maybe in big business, the media, show biz, or the military (ugh to all those sorts, generally speaking). Or maybe someone in the arts, sciences, humanities, teaching or religious avocations. Unfortunately, all that most of these sorts seem to want to do these days is bash Trump, as though he were the cause of all our international crises. He’s just the fall-guy who conveniently got the job pretty much by accident. Most of the would-be leaders who could extricate us from this predicament are themselves just lemmings caught up in the herd mentality. The powers that be have divided us well: half the country will never trust any potential leader simply because he identifies with some party, value or movement that is anathema to them. Basically, the electorate has become ungovernable, so the authoritarians and the neocons entrenched in the Deep State have taken over.

        Oh, geez, did I ultimately come to the same sorry conclusion that you did, Mike? I don’t like being doomed, but I don’t see the way out either. Unless even the bad guys don’t ultimately have the will to start Armageddon. Can you see the likes of Dick Cheney or John McCain standing down if they simply cannot get their way?

        • mike k
          July 25, 2017 at 11:26 am

          Realist, that sorry conclusion has caused me more pain over most of these 86 years I have been around, than I can express in words. I have done, and still do everything I can to wake those who refuse to wake, and to deter others from their destructive behavior, but from all my efforts to help my fellow substance addicts, and all my peacemaking efforts, and all my studies of history, psychology, real spiritual paths, cosmology (yes, it is relevant) – I have been forced by my commitment to truth no matter what to conclude that our chances of doing the basic work on ourselves necessary for survival and a happy life together are extremely remote. Again – sorry about that. And I am deeply pained to say this truth. If it disturbs anyone, I will take that as a hopeful sign. I continue to work for a better world as best I can, whether it will ever come to pass or not. I try to take the stance of the karma yogi, and leave results to something beyond myself, what some might choose to call a higher power.

        • Joe Tedesky
          July 25, 2017 at 4:29 pm

          Realist, the little history I know points to what your saying. That we the people do well, when one of those elites, whether through compassion for the commons, or financially it made sense, or both, decided to reach down and pick up all us little people to a new level of decency. Like FDR did back during his time in office. This type of leader doesn’t come by all too often, but when they do, it is a God send deliverance for the people they effect. Kind of like the reverse of a bad leader, these special someone’s do raise the standard of living. A leader such as you described, would also set the bar high for their fellow congress people, and judicial judges…so it’s a win, win, when done right.

          As usual great comment Realist, your really on the ball today, well maybe everyday, but today is no exception to the quality you bring to this sites comment board. Joe

        • July 27, 2017 at 8:49 pm

          He who controls the issuance of money controls the politics, and therefore the military. The banksters also control the media. The public must insist on a real public media where any legitimate topic can and should be discussed and the public must own and control the public currency.

          The current system precludes any real, positive change because it was designed by the banksters and is backed by the duped people of the police and military. Aspiring politicians and media pundits know where the power is and are careful to pay homage to the system even if they are allowed to rail against the system’s puppet politicians. It’s a giant game of Whack-a-Mole.

    • Bob Van Noy
      July 25, 2017 at 9:10 am

      Thank you Kim. As someone who was in AIS (Advanced Infantry School) at 18, in October of 1962, I can tell you that we were plenty frightened too. Even more frightening for me and my New Brothers was assembling in Florida in the Spring of 1963 with the 101st. Airborne, preparing for an Airborne invasion of Cuba. We ended that day by flying back home so I thought it was an “exercise in readiness”. Years later, thanks to Errol Morris’s film “Fog Of War” (2003), I learned that the Soviets had left behind a contingent of troops armed with battlefield nuclear weapons and had Castro’s approval to use them in the event of invasion…
      When I saw that segment, nearly alone in an Art House Theater my hands immediately began to sweat with a renewed sense of doom.
      I’ve subsequently learned Kim, that President Kennedy, who was murdered months later, his Brother Bobby, Nikita Khrushchev, and a handful of loyal friends literally saved us all of from an out of control Joint Chiefs who wanted to fight Commies everywhere. Much as it is now. I’ve since learned that it’s brilliant geostrategists like the Kagans, who in the comfort of their think tanks, make really poor decisions that effect the lives of people that I’m sure they consider expendable. It seems that Americans are constantly fighting some proxy war for some abstract unknown. I say it’s time to stop and seek Peace! We desperately need a totally honest Peace Candidate, and that might not be Bernie Sanders.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 25, 2017 at 10:26 am

        A lot of people don’t know that on the evening Nixon announced the mines being placed, and activated, inside Haiphong Harbor, that our nation went into a simpler defcon status that our country did during the Cuban Missile Crisis. I realized it, because I was standing watch in the communications room with none other than our base captain, and the captain was reminiscing of how this Haiphong Harbor episode was strikingly the same as when the U.S. insisted that Russia remove it’s missiles from Cuba.

        Realizing how no civilian during that time had had any idea of how close our country came to going to war, made me wonder to how often we have been to this defcon status, and how totally in the dark the average Jack and Jill had been left to be. With this recollection I doubt very seriously the public will have any real warning before the bombs go off.

        The world has been growing smaller, and smaller, with each passing moon. I would suggest, we realize this shrinkage, and accept the fact that the world has shriveled down too such a small spec of a tiny little globe, and that because of this we should make war obsolete. We just don’t have enough room to wage all of these wars. Oh, and by the way, why are we fighting all of these wars anyway…and don’t say to fight terrorism, or to guard against the Russians. It maybe more correct to say, because we need to support an arms industry.

        Bob take care my friend Joe

        • Bob Van Noy
          July 25, 2017 at 10:56 am

          You’re a good guy Joe. Thanks…

          • Joe Tedesky
            July 25, 2017 at 11:19 am

            I’m only following your lead.

        • mike k
          July 25, 2017 at 11:48 am

          Thanks for your experience Joe.

          • Joe Tedesky
            July 25, 2017 at 4:31 pm

            Coming from you mike I will treasure your compliment for a longtime.

      • Virginia
        July 25, 2017 at 11:25 am

        Agreed! Bob. Too many former Bernie supporters will not go back to him. I, for one. We need a carry-through candidate. Maybe Tulsi Gabbard can be recruited; but no matter whom, imagine the crucifixion that one will be put through! It will require a brave soul; Tulsi has one.

        And Joe T, I just saw a little bio on Jane Fonda’s exposing what Nixon was doing and how he planned to leave North Vietnam devastated. That’s how the US is leaving lots of countries today (that is, if the US “leaves”).

        Thanks for your posts, Bob and Joe.

        • mike k
          July 25, 2017 at 11:50 am

          Bernie sold his follower’s out. That did more harm than simply not running would have done.

      • mike k
        July 25, 2017 at 11:29 am

        Thanks Bob. Your remarks are very helpful to me. You are a friend of truth, and that counts for a lot – maybe everything.

      • Bob Van Noy
        July 25, 2017 at 1:28 pm

        My love and thanks to you all!

      • Brad Owen
        July 25, 2017 at 2:50 pm

        Dennis Kucinich is a genuine peace candidate. Don’t know what he’s doing these days.

        • Brad Owen
          July 25, 2017 at 2:52 pm

          His Congressional District in Ohio was gerrymandered out of existence.

    • Skip Edwards
      July 25, 2017 at 1:58 pm

      Kim, You are correct, “The Russians aren’t coming; the Kagans are.” And all the other oligarchs who control our country. A friend who was a professor at the Univ of Virginia sent this out recently, “www.monbiot.com/2017/07/21/missing-link/
      Missing Link By George Monbiot 21st July 2017
      How a secretive network built around a Nobel prizewinner set out to curtail our freedoms, published in the Guardian 19th July 2017”

      Read this article and all the links and send it out to as many friends as you can. It summarizes very distinctly the many books out which cover Dark Money, the Deep State, who actually runs our country, etc. Many years ago, I am 72, we were filled with anti-USSR information (I have come to realize that propaganda has many faces) by the MSM that while the USSR had elections, the voters only had one choice to vote. That choice was provided by the Communist party (which we now know were the Russian oligarchs). Today in the United States of America, our country, we are given two candidates to vote (any 3rd party candidates or primary party “rogues” are forced out or made ineffective by their respective party) and these are selected by the Party establishment by way of our oligarchs. Two different faces on two sides of the same coin by the US, a coin with with the same face on both sides of the same coin by the USSR. Those dirty communists we were taught to think; and now, we are learning “those dirty super rich capitalists” might have been the enemy all along. I believe history will prove democracy and the vote were merely smoke screens to provide the super rich and their cronies cover to rob the resources of the world. Unregulated capitalism and communism by dictatorship are really two side of the same coin so far as the vast majority of people in the world are concerned. When will we rise up and demand true economic and social justice for all. Just how many billions/millions of dollars is any person worthy of owning? I say none when that money controls the governments which are forced on us.

      • Brad Owen
        July 25, 2017 at 2:57 pm

        Yes. When one thinks about it, the “dictatorship of the Proletariat” is a Country that is run like one giant Company Town. I heard that a famous Russian joke goes something like this: under communism, Man abuses Man; but, under capitalism, it’s just the reverse.

  4. j. D. D.
    July 25, 2017 at 8:26 am

    Contrast Lee’s cowardice to the courage of Rep.Tulsi Gabbard, who was consistently spoken out against regime change,refusing to allow peace to be a partisan issue, and has supported President Trump when he has moved in that direction. And, unlike the opportunist Democrats who dangerously claim Russia to be our “adversary” while maintaining a stony silence on the crimes of Wall Street Tulsi, who is an original sponsor of HR 790, has continued to fight for Glass-Steagall to break up the “too big to fail.”.

    • mike k
      July 25, 2017 at 11:31 am

      Let’s hope that Tulsi gains more support, and the power to do the good in her heart.

  5. exiled off mainstreet
    July 25, 2017 at 9:06 am

    This shows how so many erstwhile antiwar people have jumped the shark and joined those advocating support for what are really el qaeda types to the extent of, in effect, demanding war against Russia on that basis.

    • mike k
      July 25, 2017 at 11:52 am

      Real antiwar people never fall for the war con.

  6. David Hungerford
    July 25, 2017 at 9:30 am

    Lee’s about-face shows once again that any consistent maintenance of principles is impossible for any length of time in the context of either of the duopoly parties. It is still more grounds for efforts to create an Independent Workers’ Party. Conditions for it have never been better.

  7. Michael Kenny
    July 25, 2017 at 9:35 am

    The problem with so many US commentators is that they always depict the current bad relations between the US and Russia as America’s fault. The US should negotiate with Russia. Fine, but negotiations take two. The US negotiating with Russia is a waste of time if Russia is unwilling to negotiate with the US. US-Russian relations were excellent until Putin invaded Ukraine. Putin shows no inclination whatsoever to negotiate with anybody about Ukraine. Ukraine is not Russia’s to take nor America’s to give. Ditto for Syria. Thus, it would be interesting to know what Mr Solomon thinks the negotiations should concern, what he thinks the US should concede to Russia and, more importantly, what Russia should concede in return.

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 25, 2017 at 10:31 am

      I would suggest Michael you go into consortiumnews archives, and read some of the articles posted here on this site, and at least get a fair and balanced reporting of the mess made by the Neocons in Ukraine. Then we can talk. Joe

    • Realist
      July 25, 2017 at 11:04 am

      You are either incredibly ill-informed or you are trolling this site. Russia did not invade Ukraine. Russia did not start the war there. Washington did. It sprang from the coup we instigated. Read about Nuland, Yats, McCain, F the EU, Odessa and dozens of other key events you seem totally oblivious to. What do you mean Putin won’t negotiate on Ukraine? He was instrumental together with Merkel (Germany) and Holland (France) is crafting the Minsk Accords with Poroshenko, which the Ukrainian strong man refuses to honor after signing his name to them. Putin is not going to give up Crimea, which is mostly Russian, was a part of Russia for 300 years, the site of Russia’s only warm water port, and NOT invaded or seized by Russia, but which seceded from Ukraine–as was its constitutional right– and petitioned, after a plebiscite, to reunify with Russia after the coup which threw out Yanukovich, the legitimately-elected president. You know nothing about the facts, yet you make ridiculous provocative statements. I know you are just parroting numerous American politicians and media personalities, but it is easily demonstrated that they are LYING. So, either go learn something or stop lying yourself.

      • mike k
        July 25, 2017 at 11:40 am

        Thanks Realist. Most of us here are tired of responding to his nonsense. If he is not a paid propagandist, he still puts out their lies consistently. In any case, he is a troll and does not deserve our attention. From now on I will observe the wise cyberspace dictum: Don’t feed the trolls!

        • mike k
          July 25, 2017 at 11:43 am

          A sure sign of a troll is that they refuse to enter into real dialog, Most of them know by experience that they will come up short in such an encounter. Their stony silence when they are rebutted is a tip-off.

      • July 25, 2017 at 7:58 pm

        Also, Realist(as you probably know) Crimea was only made part of Ukraine by an administrative transfer in 1956. Obviously Khrushchev never envisioned the dissolution of the U.S.S.R..

    • Gregory Herr
      July 25, 2017 at 12:00 pm

      You know those dolls with pull strings and prerecordings? That’s what you remind me of…impervious to thought because there is no brain there….no light behind the eyes because there is no soul there.
      One thing that was a waste of time was Lavrov negotiating a ceasefire in Syria in 2015…because the U.S. just used it to buy time for their flailing mercenaries and then the Pentagon ignored it anyway, killing Syrian soldiers while protecting the position of headchoppers.

      • Gregory Herr
        July 25, 2017 at 12:07 pm

        You’re right Mike…I’m done with it. It’s just that his mendacity represents or reflects the insidious nature of all that is wrong in this world…his callous misrepresentation of why blood is being spilled in Syria and Ukraine boils my blood.

      • Gregory Herr
        July 25, 2017 at 3:40 pm

        I am sorry and wish to extend apologies to Michael Kenny and CN readers. My comment is inappropriate to public discourse and is especially not the sort of thing wanted or needed at a site that so many fine people attend.
        Over the past few years I have become increasingly aware of so much trouble in this world, so much unfairness and mendacity. I am to a point where I fear for the future of children I deeply love and am personally frustrated with so much difficulty that I and so many others have in earning even a modest living…up against the greed and exploitation of those who care for nothing but themselves. I am angry with warmongers, polluters, and exploiters of others….I am angry with people who lie and stand with those who do so much harm…but that is no excuse for making a snide comment out of anger and based on an image that popped into my head…

        • Joe Tedesky
          July 25, 2017 at 4:44 pm

          Gregory stop apologizing for being a decent human being, and by the way unless it’s my old sailor talking self reading what you wrote, I didn’t see anything offensive inside your comments. In fact, nothing of what you wrote here had only four letters to it.

          I would like to invite more diverse opinions to this comment board, but I’d like these opposing views to come with some facts to back up their claims. Michael Kenny, wrote his comment well, but he left out the facts to why Russia is the aggressor. It would seem important to me, that if you are going to make an adverse argument of what the majority here say and think, then facts should be thrown out most liberally to give a foundation to what it is your trying to sell in our little comment market place.

          But Gregory, we are all with you, so go ahead and cuss and swear all you want. Well, maybe Robert Parry’s rules should be observed, but what you wrote here is well with inside the lines that this site has set for it’s code of comments.

          Take a deep breath, throw a ball up against the house for a half hour or so, but know you are fine with me, and I think it safe to say I speak for a lot of others here as well Gregory. Joe

          • Realist
            July 26, 2017 at 2:51 am

            Dr. Joe is right, Gregory. You had every reason to believe that Mr. Kenny was either woefully uninformed or deliberately trolling this site. Sometimes difficult people need a snide rejoinder to their nonsense. Obama could sure dish it out but never got criticised for it. Yet Trump, who like it or not is the only man in office with the power to lessen all the military tensions Washington has created, gets bashed from both sides of the spectrum for being only marginally more contentious than Obama or Hillary. That is some combination of bullying and hypocrisy on the part of the congress which dances to the tune of the Neocons and the Deep State. Mr. Kenny is acting either under the unwitting influence of these people or in collusion with them and you don’t have to like it, Gregory. Besides, you did not deliver an “ad hominem” attack against the guy, telling him to sit down and shut up because he is inherently an asshole. You expressed your emotional response to his ignorance, stupidity or complicity with propaganda and explained why it bugs you. Buck up, you did not embarrass or dishonor yourself in any way.

        • backwardsevolution
          July 27, 2017 at 12:58 am

          Gregory Herr – no need to apologize, man. You said nothing wrong. Whenever I read one of Kenny’s posts, one thing stands out: Ukraine. That is all he cares about, nothing else.

          Snide comment? Tame by my standards. Was just watching Braveheart. Here’s how Longshanks dealt with idiots:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4S7QARslq74

          • Gregory Herr
            July 27, 2017 at 11:06 pm

            Joe, Realist, and B.E. …even though this is cyberspace and lacks what we normally think of as human contact, over time it seems like we get to know a part of ourselves and a part of each other in meaningful ways…so I thank you for not only what I learn from the expression of your ideas and wealths of information and experience, but also for the space to “be myself” (within limits of course)…I think many of us here share some common ground that is often hard to find in this world of contention. So I “have your back”, as it is said…thanks for having mine.

  8. Virginia
    July 25, 2017 at 11:48 am
  9. Dave Lombardo
    July 25, 2017 at 11:56 am

    There is racism in America, and it is against the foolish white population. Barbra Lee and others will never forgive white people for slavery and don’t mind seeing the boot put to them. Against war in the middle east, but war in Europe between America and Russia is a good thing as it will pretty much end the White race.

  10. mike k
    July 25, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    So the problem in America is persecution of “white” people? You are just a stupid troll Dave Lombardo. Why don’t you take your racist garbage somewhere else?

    • Dave Lombardo
      July 25, 2017 at 1:30 pm

      LOL, either you are dumb white fool, or another race. There is nothing racist about what I said, you have just been conditioned to believe any comment that does not fit your teachings is racist.

      • mike k
        July 25, 2017 at 2:03 pm

        Dave, science tells us there is no such thing as race the way most people understand that word. All the white, black, brown, red, yellow BS is just made of stuff to exalt some group and demean others. When I say your post exposes you as a racist, I mean your words reveal that you believe there is such a thing as various human races. From that premise, all sorts of very bad things flow. So take your racist thinking somewhere else, you won’t find it supported here. If you persist, I will just put you on my troll list and not respond to you further.

        • Dave Lombardo
          July 25, 2017 at 4:53 pm

          I would be happy to be on your troll list as I feel you are fool. People are different and its not just in the DNA, but in culture and what they value in a society. Stating this is not racist, but fact. Saying anyone who is different than you is a lower class of human or should be killed is racist. I have not said any of these things, but state an opinion that people do not always mix well. You are the mindless Soros troll, shame on you.

        • Dave Lombardo
          July 25, 2017 at 4:58 pm

          Forgot to mention that you science comment is incorrect. DNA is what makes us look different, what gives our inherent abilities, culture and upbringing is how you use them. If you care to look at IQ scores from different parts of the world you will see a difference exists. In saying this do I in no way fell that one race should insubordinate others.

  11. Mild-ly Facetious
    July 25, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    The Plot to Scapegoat Russia: How the CIA and the Deep State Have Conspired to Vilify Putin

    by Dan Kovalik

    http://www.axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_76705.shtml

    • Virginia
      July 25, 2017 at 2:10 pm

      Mild-ly, Thanks for sharing the book review.

      The title of this article, “Learning to love Perpetual War”– I had to engage in immediate reversal: Love does not tolerate war, not in Love’s true essence. Love is entirely good, loves good and promotes good. Love is impartial and universal. This phrase, “Learning to Love Perpetual War,” — underneath that could only be hate, and of couse, that perversion is what is meant by the author.

      May all come into the light and pray, “Teach us to love.”

      May all seek to learn more about ontology, the true essence and relations of all things.

  12. Kat Gun
    July 25, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    Great article Norman and lots of thoughtful comments. I pray that the tide is turning. In the UK, you may have seen or been aware of the full frontal assualt on Jeremy Corbyn, elected as leader of the beleaguered Labour Party, twice in 12 months, each time increasing his mandate and the number of Labour Party members. It us now the biggest socialist party in Europe with over 600,000 members. JC is a life long peace activist, despite his accusers, he helped to build the road to peace in Northern Ireland and South Africa. On the US side, I agree, Tulsi Gabbard is truly an exceptional woman. There is a growing movement of people tired of war, tired of injustice. Perhaps some of you have heard of George Webb of YouTube fame. He has, for the last 270 odd days been reporting daily on the corruption inside the USG. It crosses party line but many of the big hitters are the Democrats. He has teamed up with Jason Goodman and Patricia Negron and put out daily hour long analysis on Crowdsource the Truth.

  13. Mild-ly Facetious
    July 25, 2017 at 1:55 pm
  14. LJ
    July 25, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    Well, Barbara Lee is, has been and will be ineffectual but she is a Democrat and Obama Administration Economic Policies ensured that cash flowed heavily into he district for the last couple years. She is in absolutely no danger of losing her seat regardless of Mr. Solomon’s moral Indignation at her flip flop and the fact is she was consistent at least in regards to limiting Presidential Authorization of Military Force and was kicked to the curb regarding Congressional Oversight for Use of Force by Ryan pulling procedural maneuvers. The House doesn’t want the responsibility of living up to it’s Constitutional Obligations regarding Declaration of War, oversight, whatever, anymore.. She holds Ron Dellums old Congressional seat. Any of you history buffs will recall that Dellums was regarded as anti war and supposedly anti establishment but when he eventually became Head of the House Committee that dealt with the Military Affairs and Procurement he was seen as reliable and non confrontational by both Presidents and fellow Congressmen and women. He was a good team player for the MIC and the Pentagon. He became Mayor of Oakland and did nothing. Cool dude. That was Pre Jerry Brown and his 10K Revolution. Barbara Lee may follow the same path. Oakland is not the same but it’s still multi cultural and very liberal. Times change. Barbara Lee reflects her constituency. These people are living well and they really don’t want to change anything. This is the Home of the Golden State Warriors (for now). We’re World Champs.

    • mike k
      July 25, 2017 at 2:09 pm

      Aaaaahhh……Comfort and ease trumps everything, doesn’t it? As for the Warriors, wait till next season!

    • LJ
      July 25, 2017 at 9:50 pm

      Have to fact check myself Yep, I remembered wrong but not for long.. Brown was Mayor of Oakland from 1999 to 2007 when Dellums was elected and he served 4 years . In the last 2 of his term he became increasingly disinterested and really didn’t accomplish much as Mayor but he got out of the way in a fairly graceful manner. He was always kind of a classy, well dressed, soft spoken guy. I remember as head of the Armed Services Committee he was highly regarded and his earlier left wing positions did not prove to be much of a problem for anything Clinton wanted to do. I believe that the Congressional Districts have changed Dellums was elected around 1970 from Oakland Berkeley area . Lee succeeded Pete Stark who was a left wing pro labor Liberal. I used to vote for Stark every decade or so. His district extended south to Fremont as I recall and now the 13th stops in San Leandro. Anyway point being, Stark could not head a committee when it came time to try to pass HillaryClinton Care . He wasn’t a team player like Dellums and Lee so he couldn’t get a Committee Chair ( Oh you better believe he was what we now call a single payer guy) even though he had over 20 years seniority. That’s no BS although it was blamed on his temper and a floor fight he had with JC Watts as I recall

  15. wholy1
    July 25, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    “Learning to love” or . . . , “casually dismissing” by the dumbed-down, debt-ridden, drugged, debilitated, desensitized, demoralized, decadent, debauched, denying, “Merkaan Mushroom” populace CHOOSING to remain vegetating on the corp-owned MSM/social media’s disinfo-DISTRACTION dung in the darkness of Plato’s cave?

  16. Abe
    July 25, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    Norman Solomon can’t quite figure it out.

    Solomon was elected as a pledged Bernie Sanders delegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention. A resident of Marin County, he represented California’s 2nd congressional district, the northern neighbor of Barbara Lee’s 13th congressional district headquartered in Oakland.

    Solomon was the coordinator of, the Bernie Delegates Network independent from the official Sanders campaign organization.

    Lee mimic Sanders in more ways than one.

    Like Sanders, Lee supported Israel’s “right to self-defense” during its brutal attacks on civilians and infrastructure in Gaza. She continues to support robust military aid to Israel.

    Actually, it’s pretty clear who Lee speaks for.

    She consistently favors bills promoted by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the US-based lobby that supports the policies of the Israeli government.

    Back in 2011, Lee voted for funding Israel’s deployment of the so-called “Iron Dome” missile system:

    “the greatest impediment to advancing new US policies that could help bring peace and justice to the Middle East come not from the Ros-Lehtinens and Chuck Schumers and Steny Hoyers of Congress, but from ‘friends’ in Congress who sometimes say the right thing, but their actions often perpetuate a deadly status quo. […]

    “Barbara Lee presents herself as an opponent of Israel’s continued military occupation of Palestinian lands. She has, after all, packaged herself as a ‘renegade for peace and justice’, the title of her autobiography. To that end, Lee has shown a willingness to not support some of the most egregious of AIPAC resolutions supporting Israeli oppression of Palestinians that come through congress on a regular basis, and on rare occasions even actively opposes them. […]

    “It seems, however, that political expediency often gets in the way. […] Barbara Lee continues to play it safe for the most part, working, as she says, ‘behind the scenes’. Instead of aggressively going after the truth of what happened and showing a willingness to hold Israel accountable for its actions, she calls for support for the policies of President Obama, which are clearly a failure.

    “Obama’s muted criticisms of Israeli policies are accompanied by unprecedented generous rewards while Israel ignores these ‘concerns’. It is no wonder that Israel is then bulldozing Palestinian homes at a record pace, at the same time building and expanding settlements contrary to international law. Israel knows it will get all it wants from President Obama and congresspeople like Ros- Lehtinen and Lee.

    “This was made crystal clear to us when Barbara Lee supported Obama’s extra gift to Israel under the guise of ‘Iron Dome’, a program of dubious military value that meant an extra $200 million (for starters) from US taxpayers for the Israeli military, above and beyond the regular $3 billion annual subsidy. The vote […] was one of the rare times that military aid to Israel was standing alone, and not part of an overall foreign aid package. Barbara Lee refused to join progressives like Dennis Kucinich, John Conyers and Pete Stark in opposing this further subsidy to a state that refuses to end its military aggression against the Palestinian people. With this vote, she did not look like a renegade, but rather like a conformist supporting militarism and occupation, while we live at an ‘hour in history needs a dedicated circle of transformed nonconformists’, as Martin Luther King said years ago.

    “Lee’s policies (and Obama’s) are reminiscent of those who called for ‘constructive engagement’ with apartheid South Africa. We know, however, that there is an alternative; namely a call for human rights, a call for the rule of international law, and the end of US military aid that supports an unjust system of oppression.”

    Congresswoman Barbara Lee, and the silence of friends
    By Jim Harris
    http://mondoweiss.net/2011/01/congresswoman-barbara-lee-and-the-silence-of-friends/

  17. Kelli
    July 25, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    They love ISRAEL and the Israel lobby. The US is using taxpayer dollars to bring about suicide..if we do not get these treasonous individual out of power, the doomsday clock will hit midnight. The Us government and Israel are the enemy of the American people.
    The elites will not give up power without a fight. They have lavish bunkers and underground tunnels they can run to and wait til most Americans are dead with those few remaining enslaved to the elites.

  18. wholy1
    July 25, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    What the HELLo should One expect after that many years of such close proximity to such EVIL as the “United SNAKES ‘Feral’ government-now-corp wholly-owned “legisTRAITOR” branch? Succinctly put: she/”it” (yes, as in corporate “person OR other animal”) has “sold out”? No longer a very unique and special “wo[mb]Man” created in the image of the almighty “Author”? Yeah, I know . . . dirty ‘ol pasty white-boy RACIST blah,blah,blah.

    • mike k
      July 25, 2017 at 8:07 pm

      Try to write more simply and understandably. Go back over your stuff and correct typos and grammatical glitches. If people can’t understand you, then you have failed to communicate.

      • Virginia
        July 25, 2017 at 8:54 pm

        Thanks, Mike.

  19. July 25, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    Many outstanding comments, Realist outstanding, and it does feel like nearly the end. If the US can’t get off its perpetual war mentality, I feel Gaia, Mother Earth, will issue a harsh lesson karmically. Iraq is going to Russia for support, in fact saying that they’ve had enough of the US. The EU warns the US that further sanctions on Russia will hurt the EU more than Russia. But the House votes sanctions, anyway.

    We should all put our energy into thought that the US will get its lesson. We all may suffer repercussions, but sometimes that has to happen, and it’s happened before. The world is now going through a crisis, precipitated by the US led wars concomitantly with a huge human population living beyond earth’s limits.

    The US government, as Dr. King warned, has died spiritually. We all must put our thoughts into opposing war and helping the rest of the world to recover from the nightmare created by these government evildoers. Mother Earth will aid us.

  20. mike k
    July 25, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    Karma has nothing essentially spiritual about it – it is simply the ongoing results stemming from past actions. Actions have consequences, it’s just the way things work. There is no need to conflate this simple and obvious law with any profound spiritual ideas, Doing so can lead to a lot of confusion.

  21. mike k
    July 25, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    The new sanctions on Russia are all about some deep state players trying to thwart Russia’s pipeline plans.The whole one belt silk road is a huge threat to US Oligarch’s ambitions. War is in no way separate from other capitalist machinations. The US Capitalist Mafia Deep State uses everything it can to feed it’s greed for wealth and power. The military is just another tool to dominate others. To call this vast military machine of the US a defense department is a sick Orwellian lie blared constantly at the people. Like the Mafia, the scam is to tell the people “we are here to protect you from your dangerous enemies.” The truth is that these supposed protectors ARE our worst enemies..

    • Realist
      July 26, 2017 at 3:11 am

      Yes, it’s called “hybrid war,” and Washington has never ceased being at war with Russia, even during the interim between “cold wars.” Congress basically launched the equivalent of a nuclear-tipped missile at Russia yesterday with that latest sanctions legislation, which punishes Russia for something it didn’t do and for which not a shred of evidence has ever been divulged. Congress, following its marching orders from the neocons and the Deep State, is so inured to the collateral damage that it routinely causes to it allies that it doesn’t care what economic hits the Europeans have to take as long as Russia suffers. It’s madness and it’s evil. The kind of stuff we would condemn any other nation for doing.

  22. mike k
    July 25, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    We have met the enemy, and it is SOME of us. (Little correction of Pogo.) Not all of us are each other’s enemies, thank god.

    • mike k
      July 25, 2017 at 8:35 pm

      And btw my god is a humble one who doesn’t go around flaunting a capital letter to show what a hot shot she/he/it/ (unnameable) is.

      • Virginia
        July 25, 2017 at 9:00 pm

        But I don’t suppose, Mike, that you oppose another person’s God (She/He/It) “capitalized,” or by so, “set apart.” That wouldn’t sound much like you. (Did I get it wrong again? Hope not.)

  23. Mike Myshkin
    July 25, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    What Barbara Lee understands – and Norm Solomon does not – is that Trump is the greatest threat to democracy ever faced by this nation. To suggest that any action Trump might take, such as meeting Putin, is taken for any other reason than crass personal interest betrays a frightening level of naïveté.

    • Realist
      July 26, 2017 at 3:17 am

      As one registered Democrat to another, go crawl back to the Democratic Underground site. Or is it Daily Kos? You guys have been led down the garden path by Hillary and now embrace pure partisanship over objective reality. You’re not even sticking up for any ideology, just pure hatred and retribution. Enjoy World War III when it arrives, it’ll be on you.

    • Virginia
      July 26, 2017 at 12:04 pm

      Mike Myshkin, You will hopefully have a different view after reading today’s CN article https://consortiumnews.com/2017/07/26/macrons-maneuvers-on-the-new-cold-war/

    • LJ
      July 26, 2017 at 2:49 pm

      Trump in historical terms is a nobody, a pimple He’s not even really rich by today’s standards. ..He will not benefit from this deal , he probably won’t even be allowed to construct a Presidential Tower to store records of all the things he’s not accomplishing. In short, you are way wrong. . Hillary Clinton has more megalomania stored in a hair on her ass than Chump has in his whole body. She was a far greater threat to this nation. Trump will be lucky to not be forced from office and nobody likes him. The smart money says he’s like The Eagles said Already Gone. One thing I’d like to add, opinion, what is truly sad is that Chump is the Third worst President in a row until the next who will be the 4th. What ails this nation cannot be cured. It’s like what’s in McCain’s head. The rot is in all 3 branches of government and in the bureaucracies that support this political economic system. No cure, terminal. Maybe Chump can bring it on faster but it’s going to end badly any way you look at it.

  24. Carl Rising-Moore
    July 26, 2017 at 2:19 am

    I am saddened by Representative Lee’s comment about Trump meeting with Putin.
    She has been a great leader that spoke the truth. Millions on both sides love her for that… including me.
    But for her to make negative comments about a meeting that that resulted in a ceasefire in Syria demonstrates that she is following the Russia phobia mentality of her political party.
    A sad day for me and millions in America and especially in Syria.

    • July 26, 2017 at 7:04 pm

      I agree but find it odd that she came on board the Demo Russia bashing wagon just before Schumer admitted it was a policy failure.

  25. Teresa Meade
    July 26, 2017 at 11:21 am

    The problem with Solomon’s criticism of Rep. Lee is that he assumes that Putin and Trump are meeting to end war. I don’t think Trump has any sense of negotiation about war, and if real policy was being discussed, there would have been AT LEAST a US translator. They were talking about Trump’s business and covering up for Don Jr., etc.

  26. Stiv
    July 26, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    The CN circle jerk continues…

    As Teresa surmises, the objection is to Trump’s mode of operation..which certainly doesn’t bode well for transparency or any certainty over what was discusssed. Maybe they’re laughing at the CN clowns patting themselves on the back over their uber knowledge of all things in war and peace.

    Twitter is not a source for determining policy. Don’t read too much into it. ( Do I need to remind you..as the clown pres shows us just about daily ).

    Frankly ( and I have voted for Lee for many many years ) she has been a bit of a disapointment through the years. Her crowning moment will remain that…couragious and with foresight. Other than that, there is little to note.

    Until….she has recently allied with a certain congressman from Kentucky to take on sentencing laws that discriminate against low income populations. Yes! Kudos for both her and he-who-shall-not-be-named.

    • LJ
      July 26, 2017 at 10:26 pm

      Might be confusing her with Harris who has co-authored a Senate Bill with Paul Rand

  27. Pft
    July 26, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    You cant stay in Congress for 16 years w/o making peace with the Deep State Powers that Be. They are all actors in the fiction of a play we call a Democracy. I do believe Hollywood scripts much of it. Lol

  28. July 27, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    Well Trump has business interest in Russia. So it’s a conflict of interest for him to speak with Putin. Someone else could have done it. AFORSHIORI; they had a SECOND and unrecorded meeting. Disgraceful!

    How can Trump be held accountable for things if there’s no paper trail?

  29. July 28, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Don’t hide amongst The Heard
    Don’t look the other way
    And don’t believe
    A single word they say
    Speak out while you can
    Or face the consequence
    You may never have the chance again
    To stand against The Man

    Won’t you stand with me Brother
    Won’t you join me in this Fight
    Shoulder to shoulder
    It’s time to set things right

    Their lies have plunged us into war
    In their greedy quest for more
    Bear the Mark!. Guard the door!
    Where have we heard this before?
    It’s time to oppose
    Those upon the throne
    And take away their power
    Because they wish to own
    The souls of those who meekly stand
    Divided and alone

    Won’t you stand with me Brother
    Won’t you join me in the Fight
    Shoulder to shoulder
    It’s time to set things right
    Together we can do it
    Together we are strong
    Together we will shift the tide
    The Battle has begun

Comments are closed.