Playing Politics with the World’s Future

The strategy of neutering President Trump in his dealings with Russia – and his administration’s own ignorance about complex Mideast issues – are combining to create grave dangers, writes ex-British diplomat Alastair Crooke.

By Alastair Crooke

Finally … the U.S. Congress has produced a piece of legislation. And it passed with quasi-unanimous, bi-partisan support. Only its substance is not so much a deep reflection on the foreign policy interests of America, but rather, the desire to hurt, and incapacitate the U.S. President in any future dealings with Russia. (And never mind the worrying impulse towards conflict with Russia this entails, or its collateral damage on others).

President Trump discusses his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7, 2017. (Screenshot from Whitehouse.gov)

The aim has been to see President Trump hog-tied, and “tarred and feathered” for his “risky behavior” on Russia. This aim simply has overpowered any other considerations – such as likelihood that the outside world will conclude that America’s ability to pursue or even to have a foreign policy is non-existent in the face of its internal civil war.  It is a key juncture. For an overwhelming majority of Democratic and Republican Senators and Congressmen, bringing down “The Donald” is all – and the devil take the consequences for America, in the world.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-California, blandly stated that the concerns of U.S. allies come second to the need to punish Russia for its election interference. When asked whether the bill took account of European Union’s interests, one of the main authors, Senator John McCain, R-Arizona, said simply: “Not that I know of. Certainly not in the portion of the bill I was responsible for.”

Another of the bill’s author, Bob Menendez, D-New Jersey, laconically replied to the same question: “Not much, to be honest with you.”

McCain carelessly then quipped that essentially that it was “the job of the E.U. to come around to the legislation, not for the legislation to be brought around to them.”

The U.S. President had little option but to sign the legislation, but that does not mean that diplomacy is completely blocked. As expected, he issued a Signing Statement (see here), in which, while accepting the mandate of Congress, Trump took issue with the new Congressional encroachments into his prerogatives (Article Two of the Constitution) in terms of foreign policy, and he reserved the right to decide on how the Congressional mandate might be implemented (i.e. in respect to the quadrilateral negotiations over Ukraine). He has some wriggle room, especially in terms of how the legislation is enforced (or not, as the case might be), but certainly not enough wriggle room to mollify Europe – or, more pertinently, to persuade Russia that America now has anything, substantive to offer; or were it offered, able to be delivered. In other words, for Russia, the U.S., effectively, is severely agreement-incapacitated.

Medvedev’s Assessment

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev wrote in response:

Red Square in Moscow with a winter festival to the left and the Kremlin to the right. (Photo by Robert Parry)

“The signing of new sanctions against Russia into law by the U.S. president leads to several consequences. First, any hope of improving our relations with the new U.S. administration is over. Second, the U.S. just declared a full-scale trade war on Russia. Third, the Trump administration demonstrated it is utterly powerless, and in the most humiliating manner, transferred executive powers to Congress. This shifts the alignment of forces in U.S. political circles.

“What does this mean for the U.S.? The American establishment completely outplayed Trump. The President is not happy with the new sanctions, but he could not avoid signing the new law. The purpose of the new sanctions was to put Trump in his place. Their ultimate goal is to remove Trump from power.” (Emphasis added).

The key new provision in law is dubbed The Russia Sanctions Review Act of 2017.  It codifies into law past sanctions on Russia imposed by previous Administrations, and prohibits the President from lifting any existing sanction against Russia without the prior permission of Congress. The law states that the process of securing such consent requires that the President send to Congress a (prior) report stating and arguing the presumed benefit that would accrue to the U.S. through the lifting of any sanction. The Congress then may institute hearings on the President’s report, and on the merit of his argument about the potential quid pro quo – justifying his proposed action. In the light of these hearings, Congress may then consider a resolution of approval or disapproval (within 30 days of receiving the President’s statement).

The influential Lawfare site points out, however, that “the provision is drafted quite broadly to cover actions that have any ameliorative effect despite falling short of formally lifting sanctions. For example, congressional review is required for a waiver, “a licensing action that significantly alters United States’ foreign policy with regard to the Russian Federation,” and any action which would allow Russia to regain access to properties in Maryland and New York” (Emphasis added).

In short, Congress gave itself a 30-day review period to vote down any changes Trump tries to make in terms of America’s foreign relations with Russia.

Offending Europe

These are the teeth, but the Act has other little flourishes: The legislation targets the Russian energy sector, allowing the U.S. to sanction companies involved in developing Russian oil pipelines. It  “would almost surely affect a controversial pipeline project between Russia and Germany known as Nord Stream 2, which is owned by Gazprom but includes financial stakes from European companies. The project aims to carry Russian natural gas under the Baltic Sea, bypassing countries like Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic States,” as the New York Times reports.

Russian President Vladimir Putin walking in the Kremlin’s Alexander Garden with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. May 10, 2015. (Photo from: http://en.kremlin.ru)

Some may see these events simply as the riposte to alleged Russian intervention in America’s internal affairs (as Feinstein has argued), but polls (even CNN polls) suggest that there are very obvious political limits to the Establishment (in both parties) using “Russia-gate” as a mechanism to mobilize and widen public support for removing President Trump. Polls indicate that 79 percent of Republicans are “not at all” or “not very” concerned about Trump’s alleged links with Russia, and that inversely, precisely the same proportion, 79 percent, of Democrats precisely are “very” or “somewhat” concerned. (55 percent of Independents side with Republicans with 37 percent “not at all” and 18 percent “not very” concerned). The point here is that the Republican support for Trump’s desire for détente with Russia has not eroded one jot, whereas the “concern” of the Independents and even among Democrats is eroding somewhat.

This is the crux: the clique around former CIA head John Brennan et al have put their shirt on “Russia-gate” to bring down Trump – claiming scandal.  But what goes around – quite often – comes comes around. Unless the Establishment can keep up the tempo of innuendo or produce new revelations, “Russia-gate” may just become a stale narrative – or a butt of satire. Worse, the meme could turn and bite the hand of those who have been feeding it. There may too be other skeletons in the cupboard, but belonging to the other party: like who paid Fusion GPS (who were commissioned to produce the “dirty dossier” on Trump)? Might the murdered Seth Rich story take another turn? Or, the fugitive former DNC Chairwoman’s IT staffer, Imran Awan, give the narrative a different twist? Or something as yet unknown.

Vague Sanctions

How far will the anti-Russian attrition go? The Ron Paul Institute sees in one section of the Act, the possibility that websites which take a line in opposition to Russia sanctions could be held to be doing the work of Russian intelligence – by seeking to influence readers in a manner that Russian intelligence would want. Might this be interpreted as “engaging in transactions” – albeit, over the internet? (The Act specifies punishment for “persons” who are “engaging in transactions with the intelligence or defense sectors of the Government of the Russian Federation.”)

Then-CIA Director John Brennan addressing officials at the Agency’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia. (Photo credit: CIA)

The author writes, [that] at first sight, one might think he is reading too much into the text, “however as a twelve-year Capitol Hill veteran bill-reader, I can assure you that these bills are never written in a simple, expository manner. There is always a subtext, and in this case we must consider the numerous instances where the Director of Central Intelligence and other senior leadership in the US intelligence community have attempted to establish the idea that foreign news channels such as RT or Sputnik News, are not First Amendment protected press, but rather tools of a foreign intelligence organization.”

So, are Trump’s hopes for détente with Russia all done? Too early to say, I suggest. Medvedev seems categoric, but maybe his dark prognostication is intended more to underline to Americans that their relations with Russia are not some domestic “game show” – but rather, are profoundly serious. For the time being, substantive U.S. politics with Russia will be on “a long vacation.”

The deeper question is whether the U.S. Deep State is overreaching itself.  First, we have this sanctions bill, and then the news that special counsel Robert Mueller, as part of his investigation into the Trump campaign’s potential dealings with the Kremlin, is using a Grand Jury to issue subpoenas. While the use of a Grand Jury does not necessarily mean an indictment is imminent, it is a tool to compel witnesses to testify or force people to turn over sensitive documents that may aid investigators in their probe.

It is a sign of a yet more aggressive approach to gathering “Russia-gate” evidence – a search that will now encompass all the Trump family’s financial affairs. Overreach? (So far, evidence of misdeed, is missing.)

As indicated earlier, Trump’s Republican base (unlike support from the Republican establishment) is not eroding, but rather is becoming angered and resentful. The more the MSM and the East Coast élites attack the deplorables’ “alt” news and websites – the greater the pushback, it seems. The divisions in America are too embittered now, for any thought that America can somehow re-wind the tape, and just start again with Obama having left office – as though Trump never had happened.

Strategic Incoherence

Whereas, America’s Russia foreign policy clearly has been zombie-fied for now, the policy dysfunction goes much wider than Russia (and this cannot be laid at the feet of the Deep State). The policy in the Middle East simply, is strategically incoherent:

President Donald Trump participates in arrival ceremonies with Palestinian Authority’s President Mahmoud Abbas, May 23, 2017, in Bethlehem. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Last Tuesday, President Trump, standing beside Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri heaped Lebanon with praise: “Lebanon is on the front lines in the fight against ISIS, al-Qaeda and Hezbollah,” Trump said.  Hariri had – delicately – to correct the President: Hizbullah is a member of his governing coalition, and is a part of his government, and is his ally in parliament. Actually, Lebanon is fighting ISIS and al-Qaeda in Syria, precisely via Hezbollah.

But this trivial incident should not be written off as some distracted President “mis-speaking”: rather it is symptomatic of how dysfunctional the West Wing has become in respect to the Middle East. There seems to be no adult in the team – just jaundiced ignorance that does not bother to try to understand Middle East complexities.

Joe Scarborough sums this condition well in an article which – whilst highly complimentary to the personal qualities of Trump’s family – also warns against “the stubborn arrogance that often infects the winning side of Presidential campaigns.” Trump’s victory led his son-in-law to believe “he could reinvent government like Al Gore, micromanage the White House like James Baker, and restructure the Middle East like Moses. Kushner’s confidence seemed to reach its apex,” Scarborough continues, “whenever the subject turned to Middle East peace. His bizarre belief that the world began anew the day Trump was inaugurated was exposed again this week when a leaked audiotape caught Kushner telling White House interns: “We don’t want a history lesson. We’ve read enough books.”” 

Well perhaps he needs to read some books on Iran, before deciding to call Iran in default on JCPOA (the accord that tightly restricts Iran’s nuclear program). He does not need to like Iran, but merely to understand that it is a major regional power (with real “battalions” at its command), and, unlike most in the Middle East, is capable of acting shrewdly, effectively and forcefully – if needs be.

Mishandling a Crisis

The sense of an absence of strategic knowledge in the West Wing is not confined to Trump’s adversaries, by the way. Iran sees the U.S. calling “Iran in default of JCPOA” as merely serving to cement its fast growing alliance with Russia and China – but the complaint has also found an (unexpected) home in Israel, too – for example, see this, from one of Israel’s most well-connected journalists, Ben Caspit:

President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at joint press conference on Feb. 15. 2017. (Screen shot from Whitehouse.gov)

“The story that best illustrates this situation occurred last week when the Temple Mount crisis threatened to ignite the entire Middle East in a global conflagration originating in the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Throughout that entire crisis, the US administration was effectively AWOL. Although they attempted to take credit for some deep involvement in efforts to reach a solution, the truth is that the Americans were not a significant factor during the harshest days of the crisis, when it looked like the entire Middle East would spiral downward into a new round of violence.

“President Trump himself was not involved in events as they unfolded. His special envoy, Jason Greenblatt, lost his standing as an ‘impartial mediator’ in the very first days of the crisis. One senior Palestinian source told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity that ‘Greenblatt picked a side and represented Netanyahu throughout the crisis … the Americans’ behaviour throughout the crisis only furthered the feeling prevalent in Ramallah over the past few weeks that Greenblatt and Jared Kushner are irrelevant.”

“ ‘They are completely unfamiliar with the other side,’ [another Palestinian source told Caspit] ‘they don’t understand the region, and they don’t understand the material. You can’t learn about what is happening here in a seminar lasting just a few weeks…’

“A senior Israeli minister speaking on condition of anonymity added, ‘The Americans aren’t really a presence here. They let us do whatever we want. They don’t set the tone, and they don’t dictate the agenda.’

“Ostensibly, this near freedom of action should be the dream of the Israeli right. But even among them, people are beginning to express their concern about how things are unfolding. ‘This was as clear as can be during the Temple Mount crisis. There was no responsible adult in the mix.’ ”

Alastair Crooke is a former British diplomat who was a senior figure in British intelligence and in European Union diplomacy. He is the founder and director of the Conflicts Forum.

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90 comments for “Playing Politics with the World’s Future

  1. Chris
    August 6, 2017 at 9:58 am

    Would love to see Consortium News delving more into the new Google and Facebook censorship. I have placed a number of posts up on the subject over at the Discussionist news section today. https://www.discussionist.com/?com=forum&id=1014

    I also put together a large post on what Google is censoring…… and not censoring.

    Google and You Tube Censorship Exposed: Terrorists Get Free Pass While Alternative Media is Demonetized / Buried by Algorithmic Search Engine

    https://clarityofsignal.com/2017/08/04/google-and-you-tube-censorship-exposed-terrorists-get-free-pass-while-alternative-media-is-demonetized-buried-by-algorithmic-search-engine/

    • August 7, 2017 at 9:45 am

      Google has been in a business of censorship for a while already. The Facebook is a place to avoid. The sooner the people, en masse, abandon the advertisement & snooping empire of FB, the sooner FB wilts way.

      • Reader
        August 7, 2017 at 1:51 pm

        You are no doubt right about this. Are you — is anyone — aware of an appropriate replacement for it? The ability to share articles and comment on them among a group of far-flung acquaintances is, after all, of some utility. But it would be nice to do so on a platform that elicited more confidence, as regards its impartiality, etc.

  2. mike k
    August 6, 2017 at 10:53 am

    “….the policy dysfunction goes much wider than Russia (and this cannot be laid at the feet of the Deep State).”

    Surely Mr. Crooke misspoke here. The whole history of the Middle East has been and is a result of the Deep State’s violent and chaotic interventions. Sometimes those who use the term Deep State seem to imply that the plans of this nebulous entity represent a seamless and consistent strategy, rather than the blundering, ignorant, error filled record we actually see in their operations. We should keep in mind that the producers of widespread chaos are chaotic in their own right also.

    • August 6, 2017 at 12:07 pm

      “Sometimes those who use the term Deep State seem to imply that the plans of this nebulous entity represent a seamless and consistent strategy, rather than the blundering, ignorant, error filled record we actually see in their operations.”…Good point, Mike K, rather than a coherent ‘Deep State” Hollywood version, it’s more like a bunch of schoolyard bullies vying to see who can be the toughest.

      • mike k
        August 6, 2017 at 1:56 pm

        Yes Bob, that is a good description of their behavior. It reminds me of the TV reality show Survivor. They have to cooperate with others to empower their schemes, but only until the time is ripe to stab their “partners” in the back!

      • Adrian Engler
        August 6, 2017 at 2:14 pm

        I think that is very important. For example, the idea that toppling a government in a country without strong democratic traditions and armed anti-democratic Islamist extremists waiting in the wing will lead to a blooming democracy is rather absurd. In most of today’s developed democracies, the emergence of a democratic political culture required a long process, this is certainly not a kind of “natural state” that emerges automatically when a dictator is killed. I don’t doubt that some people in the deep state understand this and actually are in favor of chaos, violence, and instability in Middle Eastern countries, but these regime change wars could hardly have gathered so much support if there had not been many people who really believed in these absurd fairytales that after regime change war, blooming democratic pro-Western political systems would emerge.

        I think that the developments in Iraq really demonstrate that there was hardly a coherent plan worked out by a superintelligent evil force. Neither the fact that many Sunnis with military training would join extremist groups after the Iraqi army was dissolved and they were unemployed nor the fact that Iraq’s Shia majority would seek an alliance with Iran should have been particularly surprising. Especially the latter development was hardly what the neocon strategists intended, but probably many of them were so clueless that they did not take this into account and/or they thought it would not matter because they thought that in Iraq and other weak countries, there would be such an easy victory that their real goal, war against Iran, would come closer.

        Also the relationship between the US foreign policy elite and Israel is probably much more complex than some people think. I think that there are indications that in Israel, especially in the intelligence services, there are many people with an excellent understanding of complex problems in the Middle East. But, of course, the Israeli government often deliberately mistepresents their findings in order to advance certain Israeli goals – certainly in public, but probably, also in secret, US officials hardly receive unbiased information from Israel. Then, in the US, there is some mixture of ideas from American officials that are probably often based on a completely flawed understanding of Middle East countries and information from Israeli sources that would probably be much more competent in these questions, but misrepresent key facts (e.g. about Iran).

        • August 6, 2017 at 3:21 pm

          AdrianE,…”I think that the developments in Iraq really demonstrate that there was hardly a coherent plan worked out by a superintelligent evil force.”…yes indeed, there was nothing remotely intelligent about U.S. involvement in any of the MidEast conflicts. I believe this is because many of the neocons can only conceive of “nation-states” so they can simplify relationships into “friend” or “enemy” nations without delving into the nuances of ethnic and religious factions that make countries like Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria very complex artificial nation-states. They(the neocons) envision bombing as a solution without any consideration of what would be left behind. Their tendency to dehumanize the enemy nation-state makes human beings an abstraction of the mind and those abstractions become mere statistics to a public back home that fails to realize that the simplest solutions have actually made their lives more precariously complex.

        • Mulga Mumblebrain
          August 6, 2017 at 4:06 pm

          What happened to Iraq was planned, long ago, by the Zionazis in Tel Aviv. It is outlined EXPLICITLY in the infamous Oded Yinon Plan of 1982, where Iraq is nominated as the first Arab state to be attacked and split into powerless statelets along sectarian lines, EXACTLY as happened. The same process is in train in Syria and intended for Iran, and Egypt, later.

        • Joe Tedesky
          August 6, 2017 at 5:00 pm

          Adrian, read this excerpt from James Risen “State of War: The Secret History of the CIA, and the Bush Adminstration”

          “After Chalabi, there was no Plan B. “Part of the reason the planning for post-Saddam Iraq was so nonexistent was that the State Department had been saying if you invade, you have to plan for the postwar,” recalled one former official in the Bush White House. “And DOD said, no you don’t. You can set up a provisional government in exile around Chalabi,” and then the U.S. military could swiftly pull out. “DOD had a stupid plan, but they had a plan. But if you don’t do that plan, and you don’t make the Pentagon work with State to develop something else, then you go to war with no plan.”

          • Bob Van Noy
            August 7, 2017 at 10:16 pm

            Joe, I recall a Colonel in the invasion force stating, “this is not the war we gamed for,” and I’ll provide a post War assessment that proves that they mostly didn’t know what they were doing. So Both the Invasion and the Post War planning were atrocious…

            http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB207/index.htm

        • Joe Wallace
          August 7, 2017 at 4:15 pm

          Adrian Engler:

          You write that “Neither the fact that many Sunnis with military training would join extremist groups after the Iraqi army was dissolved and they were unemployed nor the fact that Iraq’s Shia majority would seek an alliance with Iran should have been particularly surprising.”

          Some time after the American invasion of Iraq, when it was clear that the Iraqi head of state would be a Shiite, Iran sent a delegation to an Iraqi city. The U.S. was outraged and acted as though it had been betrayed. What the U.S. seemingly forgot (or never knew) is that Iraq, like Iran, is a majority Shiite nation in a Muslim Middle East that is overwhelmingly Sunni. Genius was not required to foresee that in a Muslim world where Shia are in the minority, two majority Shiite neighbors would naturally reach out to one another.

    • August 6, 2017 at 10:57 pm

      As Gen. What’s his Name revealed in 2003(?) he was shown a pentagon document whereby the USA was going to attack Iraq, Somalia, Iran, Libya, Lebanon, Syria and Sudan, Five of seven have been attacked so I guess the do have playbooks they follow.

      • backwardsevolution
        August 7, 2017 at 2:24 am

        BannanBoat – General Wesley Clark. You can find his short video on Youtube. Just type in “7 countries in 5 years – Wesley Clark” and it’ll come up. Watch the one that’s 7 minutes and 37 seconds long.

    • john wilson
      August 7, 2017 at 3:51 am

      No Mike, there is nothing about the deep state that is blundering, ignorant or error filled. They are actually intelligent men and women who calculate every strategy and devious plan they come up with.

      • Brad Owen
        August 7, 2017 at 5:08 am

        I’m inclined to see it the same way as you do. Their moves are in the interest of an Empire and the Oligarchy that rules over it, and sovereign Nation-States are the greatest obstacle to Empires, and must be broken and subjugated to Provinces. That Oligarchy is comprised of members who’ve had the most successful experience at operating Empires, and their combined operation accounts for controlling/influencing three-quarters of the World. The last outstanding, independent quarter is the Eurasian quarter, hence all the geopolitical drama in confronting it in order to break it too. The project is doomed to failure however, because it’s oligarchical system of economics (for the 1%ers) is flawed and has dead-ended. All that’s left is the final financial melt-down. The only system that has demonstrated success is what has been historically called the American System of Political Economy, which only operates well within a Sovereign Nation-State setup, implicitly recognizing the fact that THAT Nation’s wealth IS its people, trained and organized into a creative, inventive, productive labor force (and not to be maltreated as subjugated serfs suffering the immiseration of austerities in order to keep up the Oligarchy)…economics for the 99%ers.

        • backwardsevolution
          August 7, 2017 at 8:02 am

          John Wilson/Brad Owen – totally agree, it’s a well-oiled, planned and carefully crafted machine.

  3. alley cat
    August 6, 2017 at 11:03 am

    “There seems to be no adult in the team…”

    “There was no responsible adult in the mix”

    The Saker used a colorful analogy in his post of July 31: “Washington D.C. is starting to look like a kindergarten on LSD—something both funny and disgusting.” (In the next few sentences, he fleshed out the comparison with “outright scary”)

    Officials back there need to check the water filtration system. Maybe someone is dumping crack cocaine into the city water supply.

    How else to explain what is taking on all the hallmarks of collective insanity? A collective insanity manifested by uncontrollable homicidal/suicidal rage. Seriously. To rational minds, backing nuclear Russia into a corner for the kill while broadcasting your intentions, when the result could very likely be the extinction of the human race, defies explanation. Unless our neocon deep-staters and their congressional spear-carriers are gambling that the Russians, being less insane than they are, will always retreat from a nuclear confrontation, and will ultimately prefer death by a thousand cuts, leaving the neocons to impose their de facto slavery on all of us without a fight.

    Maybe U.S. neocons don’t have children. Or if they do have children, maybe they just don’t care much about their fate. At least, no more than they care about the fate of humanity in general. Into every life a little radioactive rain must fall, right? Assume the worst about this cabal of sociopathic megalomaniacs and you will almost always be right.

    • Joe Tedesky
      August 6, 2017 at 11:26 am

      You concern for our children’s future is right on alley cat.

      • CitizenOne
        August 6, 2017 at 12:24 pm

        I am concerned for our future too Ted. My children are concerned. That makes me more than concerned. I’m concerned that our children are concerned. They are concerned about us not them. They are concerned about America’s presence on the world stage and all the wars we are involved in. We shouldn’t be such a warmongering nation.

        But there may be a thread left to pick at to unravel this law. I forgot about the signing statement. It clearly challenges the constitutionality of many sections. If SCOTUS struck it down it would be a rebuke to the overreach and frenzied group think in Washington. I agree with your assessment that the average Joe is unconcerned about the Russians but they are very concerned about our leaders.

        • Joe Tedesky
          August 6, 2017 at 5:07 pm

          I’m with you CitizenOne, our children are our legacy, and besides all that, we love them. So, anything that could interrupt a nuclear war, would be most welcome.

          b over at moonofalabama has an interesting write up, and one that makes tons of sense.

          http://www.moonofalabama.org

          You might want to read this today, because b changes his post everyday, but this article I’m referring you to is posted under August 6, 2017 if in case you only get to it tomorrow.

          • CitizenOne
            August 6, 2017 at 5:45 pm

            I read it. Agree with what was said. But there was also a thing that was acknowledged by the Russians. While the history of sanctions used as tools of foreign policy are well documented and historically are hard to lift, the Russians also note that the use of the tactics in domestic politics is “a novelty”. It is what i have been saying too. Not only that but Trump is correct that the law is unconstitutional.

            I’m not writing this off because it’s different this time. If the law were found to be unconstitutional overreach by Congress then perhaps the sanctions would be thrown out with the unwarranted and unconstitutional power grab.

            It may be better that he signed it with the signing statement since it can now proceed with all objections firmly stamped on page one right over to the Supreme Court. A veto would just led to an override anyway without his ability to put his two cents in.

            This needs to be a constitutional test.

          • CitizenOne
            August 7, 2017 at 11:58 pm

            Joe,

            Why are we skirting around the issue at hand. I have no idea. The problem was solved a long time ago until the Supreme Court of the United States decided to roll back every campaign finance regulation in what might be the largest and most impacting influence in elections in a hundred years.

            See Tillman Act

            Tillman Act of 1907 Great Seal of the United States
            Long title: An Act to prohibit corporations from making money contributions in connection with political elections.
            Nicknames Corporate Donations Abolition Act of 1907
            Enacted by the 59th United States Congress
            Effective January 26, 1907

            They knew more about how to keep election money from corporations out of elections one hundred years ago than we know today. They knew the reasons it was poisonous to democracy. The Congress acted and prohibited corporations from making money contributions in connections with political elections.

            We live in an era where the Supreme Court has eliminated the laws which were hard won by more progressive Congressmen a century ago.

            Everything we face is a result of that usurpation of power which our forefathers fought against.

            The media is culpable in failing to air a single story about this upending of historical laws which preserved our democracy. It is just that simple. Corporations have been enthroned and the money influences will conspire to prey upon the peoples prejudices until all the power is concentrated in the hands of a few and the Republic is destroyed. Abraham Lincoln saw it coming. It is here.

        • rosemerry
          August 9, 2017 at 1:08 pm

          SCOTUS has been taken over by Trump’s choice of Gorsuch. No hope for the foreseeable future.

    • CitizenOne
      August 6, 2017 at 12:01 pm

      You said:

      “congressional spear-carriers”. More like spear throwers. I prefer “evil doers” the coin that Dubya termed. Wait, reverse that.

      You would think there would be plenty of laws after all these years that make dealing with foreign intelligence agencies against the law. This law specifically singles out the hit list published by the neocons from PNAC. PNAC was essentially a declaration that America was the new dominant world power and that America would act to extend and preserve our global interests via waging wars. The central Cheney policy was diplomacy is futile, friends are worthless and enemies must be destroyed. It is a sociopaths wet dream. “Kill em all and let God sort it out”. PNAC listed Iraq, Syria, Iran and North Korea as the new “Axis of evil”. Now they are lumping Russia in there too. Do the democrats understand what this means? I cannot believe how stupid and short sighted these folks are.

    • mike k
      August 6, 2017 at 2:04 pm

      Like I said above, alley cat, they are behaving like typical long term (power) addicts when their supply is threatened (end of Empire). For them in this situation, anything goes – even nuclear war. Addicts can do very crazy things including murder and suicide. Been there – I know what that’s like. Of course their behavior doesn’t make sense, not even to them. That’s why part of their possible healing includes being restored to sanity.

      • alley cat
        August 6, 2017 at 6:13 pm

        Appreciate the comments, mike k. Must be rough losing an empire but the neocons declared war on us, not the other way around. No one can peacefully coexist with them. Best policy is to treat them like rattlesnakes, who’ll still try to bite you even after you cut their head off.

  4. Bob Van Noy
    August 6, 2017 at 11:39 am

    The US congress has managed to separate itself from The American People. No matter which political heritage you support; each person voting For this bill should be replaced by a candidate who supports Peace, bottom line. And, President Trump, no courage…none.
    This legislation may be the single worst thing this formerly great country has Ever produced, No thanks to you, our leadership…

    • CitizenOne
      August 6, 2017 at 12:06 pm

      Totally agree. They need to go. Every last one of them. Not one single democrat had the guts to say no to this terrible law. Bernie Sanders and Rand Paul. The only sane people.

      • August 6, 2017 at 3:21 pm

        I’m afraid that Bernie Sanders said he voted against the bill only because Iran was included, and that might interfere with the anti-nuke agreement many countries reached with Iran.
        Bernie seems as anti-Russian as any of these irresponsible moronic lunatics.
        Can you believe Tulsi Gabbard voted for this?

      • rosemerry
        August 9, 2017 at 1:10 pm

        Bernie agreed with the anti-Russian part, not the sanctions on Iran. what hope is there? Tulsi Gabbard was in with the rest.

  5. CitizenOne
    August 6, 2017 at 11:42 am

    Alastair Crooke wrote”

    “How far will the anti-Russian attrition go? The Ron Paul Institute sees in one section of the Act, the possibility that websites which take a line in opposition to Russia sanctions could be held to be doing the work of Russian intelligence – by seeking to influence readers in a manner that Russian intelligence would want. Might this be interpreted as “engaging in transactions” – albeit, over the internet? (The Act specifies punishment for “persons” who are “engaging in transactions with the intelligence or defense sectors of the Government of the Russian Federation.”)”

    If the law is ever used that way it would be overreach. The law itself is unconstitutional and an overreach. The SCOTUS needs to weigh in on this law that instantly makes Russia our number one enemy.

    All these investigators have had plenty of time to provide the American people with some evidence. It can’t just be about a campaign person meeting with a well known Russian lawyer who has been in Washington for years and there is no secret they want sanctions lifted and hire people to sell the idea here. BTW, that too just became illegal. So there is no way for Russia to even have a path forward toward negotiations since having anything to do with them violates the law.
    None of this has even one grain of integrity if they are not charging James Comey with election tampering by reopening the investigation into Hillary Clinton days before the election. That bombshell of an October Surprise was the culmination of years of preparation by the committee investigating Hillary. Reopening the investigation amidst all the fanfare the media could muster most certainly did influence voters. If Congress is going to ignore the thing we know had an influence on the election and go blaming scapegoats then they are up to something else.

  6. Michael Kenny
    August 6, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    Diplomats speak with forked tongues! “Polls indicate that 79 percent of Republicans are “not at all” or “not very” concerned about Trump’s alleged links with Russia”. Then: “Republican support for Trump’s desire for détente with Russia has not eroded one jot”. “Trump’s alleged links with Russia” and “Trump’s desire for détente with Russia” are two totally different things. One can be concerned about the one and unconcerned about the other, and that begs the question whether Trump actually desires détente with Russia or whether a few offhand remarks of his were hyped into that “desire” by Putin’s American supporters. And this in a section of the article entitled “Offending Europe” in which the Mr Crooke produces no evidence, not even a cherry-picked quote out of context, that anybody in Europe is “offended”. And later: “As indicated earlier, Trump’s Republican base …is not eroding, but rather is becoming angered and resentful”. I can find no earlier indication of any such thing. Even assuming the poll Mr Crooke mentions is accurate, it says nothing about anger or resentment, nor, indeed, that such emotions are “becoming” anything. The poll addresses people’s views on Trump’s alleged links with Russia, not any possible anger or resentment towards “the MSM and the East Coast élites”, nor does it provide any evidence of a present or future “pushback”. But having pommelled us with the “Trump is untouchable” argument, Mr Crooke suddenly shoots off in the other direction! Essentially, he argues that the Trump White House is incompetent and suffers from “strategic incoherence”. And if the Israelis are getting nervous, what chance has Trump of surviving? I don’t see the, well, coherence of the two parts of the article. Trump is first a good guy and then a bad guy!

    • Adrian Engler
      August 6, 2017 at 2:36 pm

      Perhaps the reason why no quote about representatives of European countries being offended about the US threat to use sanctions against European companies that collaborate with Russia in relation with gas pipelines was mentioned is that this is considered common knowledge, and references can be found very easily and without cherrypicking.

      See e.g. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-russia-sanctions-germany-idUSKBN197156 (Germany threatens retaliation if US sanctions harm its firms), http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-40299760 (New US Russia sanctions bill riles Germany and Austria), http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-russia-france-idUSKBN1AB1MS (France says US sanctions on Iran, Russia look illegal), https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-russia-eu-idUSKBN1AI285 (EU’s Juncker says ready to retaliate if needed over new US sanction on Russia)

      Already during the Cold War, European countries bought gas from the Soviet Union. The US did not like it, and there were attempts to prevent this, but there have always been limits to how much European countries are ready to sacrifice their economic self-interest in order to please the United States. When the US could not prevent Western European countries from buying Soviet gas during the Cold War, it is even more preposterous if US politicians think they can bully EU countries into giving up Russian gas now.

      • Bob Van Noy
        August 7, 2017 at 2:23 pm

        Adrian please read Greg Maybury’s latest article which I will link. He’s an Aussie, but makes quite a case I think why America has crossed an unforgivable line. It is very worrisome.

        http://poxamerikana.com/2017/08/04/with-friends-like-these-who-needs-allies/

      • rosemerry
        August 9, 2017 at 1:12 pm

        Does John McCain still have such influence that his words count? This is the “US Senate”-hard to believe the US population wants such reps.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain
      August 6, 2017 at 4:37 pm

      You’re quite incorrect regarding European reaction to these sanctions, Kenny. I’ve seen numerous examples of Europeans outraged at the sheer arrogance of US extra-territorial sanctions on their relations with Russia, particularly in regard to hydrocarbon imports. It is infuriating to think that deranged Yankee Exceptionalist psychotics are driving humanity to extinction. Are they some sort of End Times fanatics, slobbering in anticipation of their ‘Rapture’, or just the general type with their innate hatred of humanity?

      • mike k
        August 7, 2017 at 2:00 pm

        They are blinded by power addiction and the hubris that accompanies it.

    • Joe Tedesky
      August 6, 2017 at 5:18 pm

      Read this link Michael. Also be sure to see at the bottom of this dw site the other articles which are available to learn more about how the Germans feel about these sanctions being put in place on Russia.

      http://www.dw.com/en/us-bill-on-russia-sanctions-prompts-german-austrian-outcry/a-39270624

  7. DFC
    August 6, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    The problem with Russia goes much deeper than that. Trump is powerless to lift any sanctions imposed by previous administrations. These sanctions are a REAL problem for Russia, just look at the lengths they went to have the Magnitsky Act repealed. The choice presented to Russia is now black & white, either capitulate to Washington, or build another economy outside Washington’s sphere of influence, this will include countries like China, Iran and North Korea. So when the United States wishes to exert influence against Iran, to begin the process of Middle East Peace, there will be no incentive for the Russians to cooperate. Iran will simply run to Russia for support. Right now the only thing that is giving Russia pause, to going all out belligerent against the United States is Trump’s conversations with Putin and their belief that “Trump is a reasonable person”. How long that will last is anyone’s guess. This act essentially puts Congress in charge of US Foreign Policy, something they are unprepared and ill designed to run. Congress could not get its act together to modify the Affordable Care Act, never mind at some future date to repeal this bill. As the bill is incorporated into the landscape of the American economy, and businesses become accustomed to operating with in its constraints, when the time comes for urgent need of repeal, there will be some company in a state like Kansas that has grown rich over the sanctions and they will pressure the Kansas Senators to keep the sanctions in place as removing them will cause grievous harm to his/her constituents. This is the clusterf_ck and the repercussions will be ENORMOUS.

    • Zachary Smith
      August 6, 2017 at 1:56 pm

      This is the clusterf_ck and the repercussions will be ENORMOUS.

      I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately there is one statement you made which may turn out to be wrong.

      Congress could not get its act together to modify the Affordable Care Act, never mind at some future date to repeal this bill.

      Recall how the vote on the Sanctions Bill was virtually unanimous. Well, there is a possibility something similar will happen with Health Care.

      Democrats offer pro-corporate health care “compromise”

      The response of the Democratic Party to the debacle for Trump and the Republicans was to offer their services in implementing the demands of the insurance giants for “repairing” Obamacare so as to better ensure reduced costs and fatter profits. The last thing the Democrats wanted was for the mass opposition to the Republican plans to take the form of an organized movement to expand health coverage to the 28 million people totally abandoned by Obamacare and replace that corporate-dominated, anti-working class scheme with guaranteed, good quality health care for all.

      Giving Big Insurance an even better deal than they got with Obamacare is something the Republicans can probably live with.

      I was an ignorant Republican for most of my life, but my adopted party – Democrats – have totally sold out. They’re turning out to be nothing except Republican-Lite *hores these days.

      h**p://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/08/05/pers-a05.html

      • DFC
        August 6, 2017 at 4:57 pm

        Zachary, I was just using the ACA to illustrate the stodginess of the Congressional process. If the time comes to repeal the sanctions bill, and Congress can’t get a majority for (say domestic business reasons) Putin will not wait around decades for it to eventually happen. Funny, I was the reverse, a Dershowitz Democrat (civil libertarian), who cut loose after the Wikileaks revelations. I made the mistake of voting very early, with regret, but I still thought the election was a forgone Hillary conclusion. Now I am still trying to figure out where DT came from, what forces are driving is politics, but everything out there claims the Russians are responsible. I don’t buy that.

    • mike k
      August 6, 2017 at 2:13 pm

      Trump’s little chat with Putin was blown away by DT signing this bill, and many other signs. Putin is not stupid, he sees better what is going on here in the States better than most of it’s deluded citizens do. He will take the appropriate measures to respond, along with China – their leader is not stupid either. I guess that just leaves our leader to color stupid…..

    • Mulga Mumblebrain
      August 6, 2017 at 4:42 pm

      Russia’s best option is to arm to the teeth, seek economic relations with China, India, Iran etc, await European disgust at being treated like serfs by their Yankee masters growing to the point where some European leader grows a spine, and pray that the USA will collapse from its own moral, spiritual and intellectual corruption, without destroying humanity in a final fit of Death-worship, the one, true, American religion.

      • mike k
        August 6, 2017 at 9:48 pm

        My thoughts exactly. The joker in the deck is the power crazy truly insane folks behind the US world domination obsession. Don’t count out the dog in the manger attitude that says if I can’t have my wishes, I’ll just kick over the gameboard and kill all my enemies, even if I die too in the process. Same attitude some of our mass shooting killers manifest on an individual level. The dudes at he top are really off the charts insane. Nuclear annihilation just might be the final card they play if they are about to lose the game. I’ll show you – KBAMMMM!!!!

      • rosemerry
        August 9, 2017 at 1:16 pm

        Dis you notice in the G20 meeting in Hamburg that Pres. Putin managed to speak courteously and negotiate with all the leaders who were there. The terms used by the USA about him bear no relationship to the behavior of him and his diplomats (the USA seems to lack any of these!)and their ability to compromise and treat others politely and fairly.

    • backwardsevolution
      August 7, 2017 at 2:50 am

      DFC – “…when the time comes for urgent need of repeal, there will be some company in a state like Kansas that has grown rich over the sanctions and they will pressure the Kansas Senators to keep the sanctions in place as removing them will cause grievous harm to his/her constituents.”

      You mean “grievous harm to his/her corporate campaign contributors”. They could care less about constituents.

      The benefits to American corporations have already been factored into this bill. It is the reason the bill was put forward and the reason it passed with flying colors. The corporations are rubbing their hands together.

      This was never about Russia-gate (which they know is a complete lie), but about sidelining Russia.

      • DFC
        August 7, 2017 at 12:19 pm

        BACKWARDS: Sorry, by constituents I meant corporations (I thought that was implied, but not clear enough I guess). You have it exactly, sidelining Russia. I thought I would share a little bit of American History with you all, as it is too politically incorrect to teach in American schools anymore:

        HOW OIL LED TO PEARL HARBOR.

        Few people realize that it was oil — the shortage of oil — that precipitated the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

        In the summer of 1941, before leaving for Placentia Bay, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt had ordered a freeze on Japanese assets. That measure required the Japanese to seek and obtain licenses to export and pay for each shipment of goods from the United States, including oil.

        This move was most distressing to the Japanese because they were dependent on the United States for most of their crude oil and refined petroleum products. However, Roosevelt did not want to trigger a war with Japan. His intention was to keep the oil flowing by continuing to grant licenses.

        Roosevelt had a noose around Japan’s neck, but he chose not to tighten it. He was not ready to cut off its oil lifeline for fear that such a move would be regarded as tantamount to an act of war.

        That summer, while Roosevelt, his trusted adviser Harry Hopkins and U.S. Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles were attending the shipboard conference off Newfoundland and Secretary of State Cordell Hull was on vacation at the Greenbrier in West Virginia, the authority to grant licenses to export and pay for oil and other goods was in the hands of a three-person interagency committee.
        It was dominated by Assistant Secretary of State Dean Acheson, whom one historian described as the “quintessential opportunist of U.S. foreign policy in 1941.”

        Acheson favored a “bullet-proof freeze” on oil shipments to Japan, claiming it would not provoke war because “no rational Japanese could believe that an attack on us could result in anything but disaster for his country.”

        With breathtaking confidence in his own judgment, and ignoring the objections of others in the State Department, Acheson refused to grant licenses to Japan to pay for goods in dollars. That effectively ended Japan’s ability to ship oil and all other goods from the United States.

        Acheson’s actions cut off all American trade with Japan. When Roosevelt returned, he decided not to overturn the “state of affairs” initiated by Acheson, apparently because he feared he would otherwise be regarded as an appeaser.

        Once Roosevelt perpetuated Acheson’s trade embargo, the planners in Japan’s imperial military headquarters knew that oil to fuel their fleet, as well as rubber, rice and other vital reserves, would soon run out.

        By the end of the year at the latest, Japan would need to capture new supply sources in the oil-rich Dutch East Indies, which the United States would surely oppose. And to protect its long exposed flank as it moved south, the Japanese Navy would have to deliver a knockout blow to U.S. naval and air power in the Pacific.

        Without oil, Japan could not survive a long war. THE BLOW WOULD BE DELIVERED AT PEARL HARBOR.

        http://www.salon.com/2013/12/05/oil_led_to_pearl_harbor/

        And we all know how this ended, with NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

        • backwardsevolution
          August 7, 2017 at 2:11 pm

          DFC – fascinating! Thanks for posting that. I had always thought that Japan was just mean and nasty and out of the blue, for no reason at all, attacked Pearl Harbor. That is, until one day I read a tiny, four or five sentence article somewhere in the back of some newspaper during the early 80’s. I remember it made me stop and think: what the ….? The article mentioned this oil embargo, and it all made sense. Countries don’t just attack like that without a very good reason, especially not against the United States.

          But I had never heard about this three-person interagency committee or what Dean Acheson did. Did Roosevelt instruct Acheson to do this while he was out of the country so that no dirt would fall on him? Did Acheson act out of instruction from the Deep State, against Roosevelt’s wishes? Was Roosevelt secretly happy about this trade embargo, or was he afraid that he would be seen as an appeaser if he reversed the order, kind of like Trump with Russia?

          Do you think the Deep State could have been operating even back then against the wishes of a sitting President, in effect forcing his hand?

          Thanks, DFC. Very interesting.

          • Brad Owen
            August 8, 2017 at 5:54 am

            Roosevelt was an enemy of Wall Street and welcomed their enmity (he said in a speech that W.S. HATES him; and that he welcomes their hatred. He meant to break them). Unlike his famous uncle that believed in Anglo-American world rule, Roosevelt agreed with our traditional foreign policy that we must be wary of the British Empire and indeed all Empires (including Japan, which was wooed and recruited by King Edward VII for Imperial mis-adventures: Japan’s imperial war actually lasted from 1905 to 1945 when we put a stop to it). The financial House of Morgan was a notorious source of British influence within our Nation since the 1840s. You can honestly we’ve been subjected to Deep State influence allied to imperial interests that we fought against since 1776. The concept of American Tories is very real, although they are more typically referred to as Anglophiles. In 1940 Roosevelt’s OSS guys loyal to him, worked with French intelligence to dig up Intel on Synarchy Internationale, already a hundred years old at that point, who were the founders of such concepts as Fascism and NAZIism as just more modern, virulent versions of the same old oligarchic imperialism and Empire. FDR knew the REAL enemy was (see Synarchy against America, from EIR search box),he knew what Anglo-Dutch-French shenanigagans had wrought (it turned into a Frankenstein’s monster they could no longer control).His uncle was naive and child-like in his mind, about such things as Empire and silly race theories.

        • Herman
          August 7, 2017 at 2:18 pm

          DFC, I remember a talk given by Dean Acheson at the University of Michigan in the late 60’s. He talked about the oil embargo and told the audience that he never guessed the Japanese would react as they did. I think the tone of his remarks were suggesting how dangerous brinkmanship was and is and he personally felt some responsibility for his miscalculation.

  8. Zachary Smith
    August 6, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    Might this be interpreted as “engaging in transactions” – albeit, over the internet? (The Act specifies punishment for “persons” who are “engaging in transactions with the intelligence or defense sectors of the Government of the Russian Federation.”)

    I’d dismiss this as crazy except for the background against which it must be viewed. Remember the PROPORNOT stuff? That has evolved into some very real actions by Google and others. Actions which actually limit online access by making sites difficult or impossible to locate. The internet is a real problem for Big Everything, and the Powers That Be are beginning to “reform” it into something they can control. From my viewpoint Congress has gone berserk in passing this in the first place. Forget the Supreme Court – when push comes to shove, it’s going to be squarely on the side of Big Everything. If there was any doubt whatever, the installation of Neil Gorsuch nailed that one down.

    Title: “EU warns US over ‘America first’ Russia sanctions bill”

    Europe is going to draw the line somewhere regarding the mindless putzing around by the US, and this could be the breaking point.

    h**p://www.cnn.com/2017/07/26/europe/russia-us-sanctions/index.html

    From the Moon in Alabama site today:

    Sanctions by Congress are quasi eternal. The 1974 Jackson-Vanik amendment restricted trade with the then “Communist block”. It was supposed to press for Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union to Israel. But even after the Soviet Union broke down in the early 1990s, after the “communist block” had disappeared and long after any limits on emigrations had been lifted, the law and its economic sanctions stayed in place. It was only lifted in 2012 and only to be immediately replaced by the ludicrous Magnitsky act which immediately established a new set of sanctions against the Russian Federation and its interests.

    The new additional sanctions, like the Jackson-Vanik amendment and the Magnitsky act, were shaped by domestic U.S. policy issues. There is nothing Russia could have done to avoid them and there is nothing it can do to have them lifted.

    Yes, Congress has gone completely bonkers in declaring a “forever” trade war.

    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/08/sanctions-against-russia-are-a-failure-of-us-strategy.html

  9. August 6, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    Trump and Putin had some secret talks that the “intelligence” agencies and the Pentagon don’t like. That tells me that our two countries are going to steered in the right direction.

  10. ranney
    August 6, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    Wow this was a far ranging and scary account of current affairs, Alastair, and readers comments seem to be all over the place.
    Thanks for the link to Trump’s signing statement. It seems his lawyers were all over this bill (thank god). I was struck by how many sections of the bill appear to need to be presented to the supreme Court to ascertain legality. Lets hope that happens soon.
    I was intrigued by the question ” Who paid for Trump’s dirty dossier?” I thought we knew that – more or less. Wasn’t it the DNC in coordination with Hillary’s campaign? Clearly it wasn’t the Trump campaign. Then there’s the question of who killed Seth Rich and other stories out there that have been ignored. Thanks for pointing them out Mr Crooke.
    Then we get into the whole middle east muddle which now appears to be worse than I could ever imagine thanks to Jared and others who are so arrogant they can’t see beyond their upturned noses.

    And here’s a scenario for all of us to enjoy, or maybe just ponder: The probe into Trump’s affairs finally provides his back taxes (thanks to subpoenas) and the world discovers that he is a major crook. As a result the House and Senate impeach him and take him out – never mind the Russians, everyone breathes a sigh of relief, and the Russian story gets unresolved and put away in a drawer to bring out at another time – and the entire US goes on thinking that Russia is an evil country run by an evil monster. But we did get get rid of Trump. How’s that for a plausible fantasy?

    I was thinking about this Evil Russia thing last night after watching a BBC mystery set in 1946. The British, just like America, believed right after the war that Stalin’s Russia was out to expand it’s territory. It wasn’t until decades later when more documents were available that historians learned that Stalin had no intention of expanding, he had his hands full just trying to get Russia and its immediate satelites back on their feet after losing 27 million people in the war. That myth has stayed with us for 70 years. Stalin was definitely not a nice guy, but we confused our hatred of his internal policies with a hatred for the whole country and we have never let up. It’s time we let go of our Russia phobia and realized that they could make good partners (as Putin frequently says) if we would only open our eyes and see that. But as a country we have our nose up in the air as high, or higher, than Jared Kushner’s ignorant stance.

    • Zachary Smith
      August 6, 2017 at 7:37 pm

      The British, just like America, believed right after the war that Stalin’s Russia was out to expand it’s territory. It wasn’t until decades later when more documents were available that historians learned that Stalin had no intention of expanding, he had his hands full just trying to get Russia and its immediate satelites back on their feet after losing 27 million people in the war.

      Could you please provide a link or book title for those documents you speak of. They would contradict everything I thought I knew about Stalin and his attitudes.

      • ranney
        August 6, 2017 at 8:37 pm

        Zachary, I’m not sure which book I read this in, but I believe it was one of William Blum’s : either Democracy, Americas deadliest export” or “Rogue State”. Like you I was surprised when I read it, but it makes perfect sense when one thinks about the state of Europe after the war., and particularly Russia which was absolutely devastated. If you try to google something abut this, all you will get is the usual propaganda; the cold war started almost immediately after the war. And it was apparently no secret at the time that the US had provided Russia with shiploads of military supplies and medical too because once Hitler attacked Russia it became Churchill and Roosevelt’s hopeful plan to bury Hitler in the Snows of Russia – and indeed, it did work out that way. Russia won the war for us all by destroying the Wermacht (sp?) and had 27 million of its sons (and daughters) killed. This is not a story that many in the US have heard. The military/industrial complex was very concerned about the fate of capitalism, because communism was quite popular in both Europe and America at the time. Today we have had 3 generations (75 years) of non stop propaganda against communism. If you look at our history over the past 75 years you will see us interfering and, on occasion violently overthrowing, governments in Central and South America and in the middle east and in Asia that showed strong trends toward socialism. I’m sure you can name a bunch of them your self. The ultimate point behind all that was that capitalists couldn’t let a socialist country succeed or people would start to question capitalism. (Yes, we’re probably talking about “Deep state” now) This is one reason we have spent so many decades trying to undermine the economy of Cuba, we didn’t want a socialist country on our doorstep succeeding.
        If you haven’t read any of William Blum’s books I suggest you try one and see what you think.

        • Zachary Smith
          August 6, 2017 at 9:12 pm

          Thank you. First thing I did was to see if the local library had any of Blum’s books – and they didn’t! On a hunch I made this google search:

          “william blum” “consortium news”

          Bingo! He has been and remains a prolific author here, and just from the snippits I can see in the search results looks very promising as a “catch-up” author. Example:

          First: Wallace would have naively trusted Stalin and been royally used by him.

          If Mr. Blum understood that, he clearly has a superior grasp of the reality back then. So I’ve got some reading to do…

          But consider this – despite the Soviet Union’s awful losses, Stalin was active till the end, spending ten thousand lives in Manchuria in a land grab, and then demanding a part of the Japanese Occupation. He spent another 81,000 lives in the Battle of Berlin, despite not being challenged by the US or British. Russia was indeed torn to pieces, but without the deterrence of the A-bomb, his armies still could have made the trip to the English Channel a cakewalk. He made another try for the remainder of Berlin with his blockade of the city. Stalin was directly responsible for the Korean War. Manpower losses just didn’t bother the man, and in my opinion that was an enormous factor in the Japanese surrender. The Japanese figured they could grind down the US with fearsome totals of dead and wounded, but they knew Stalin didn’t give a damn.

          I’ll definitely try to do some of that “catching up”.

          • ranney
            August 6, 2017 at 10:16 pm

            Well, I’m glad you’re going to try William Blum – you’ll like the documentation he gives in the notes in the back of his books. You made a lot of statements about Stalin and I certainly agree he was not a good guy, but I think you’ll find somewhere in Blum’s books a counter argument for some of the actions you named. And now it’s my turn to ask: where did you get the idea that Stalin is responsible for the Korean war? That’s a new one to me.

          • Zachary Smith
            August 6, 2017 at 11:50 pm

            And now it’s my turn to ask: where did you get the idea that Stalin is responsible for the Korean war?

            It’s an opinion, of course, but not an unreasonable one. From the Korean War wiki –

            By mid-1950, North Korean forces numbered between 150,000 and 200,000 troops, organized into 10 infantry divisions, one tank division, and one air force division, with 210 fighter planes and 280 tanks, who captured scheduled objectives and territory, among them Kaesong, Chuncheon, Uijeongbu, and Ongjin. Their forces included 274 T-34-85 tanks, 200 artillery pieces, 110 attack bombers, and some 150 Yak fighter planes, and 35 reconnaissance aircraft. In addition to the invasion force, the North KPA had 114 fighters, 78 bombers, 105 T-34-85 tanks, and some 30,000 soldiers stationed in reserve in North Korea.

            Point 1 – Stalin had given NK some very good and quite adequate amounts of equipment suited for offensive warfare.

            Point 2 – The US had been putting out all kinds of ideas that the region was outside of US protection. Truman had said the US had a “hands-off” policy regarding Formosa. Dean Acheson gave the clear impression the same was true for South Korea. Senator Connally declared South Korea was unimportant and likely to be abandoned. Finally, Congress voted down a tiny 10 million dollar aid bill for South Korea. Net result was that SK was diplomatically out on a limb, and had been denied any airplanes, tanks, or artillery for the much smaller SK military. I’m going to compare this to Obama’s forbidding Iraq to have an air force at a time ISIS was growing like a weed – an open invitation.

            Point 3. When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, he went hat in hand to Bush Daddy for permission. That’s what client states do – they ask permission. Very hard for me to imagine Kim didn’t do the same thing.

            Point 4 – The USSR now has nukes and isn’t feeling exactly helpless anymore. The whole of South Korea appears to have been laid out on a platter for him, and since he has plausible deniability, I believe Stalin decided to go for it. It would be a test of a new strategy of having somebody else doing your fighting for you. North Korea, North Vietnam, etc. Little to lose, much to gain.

            Later on the USSR used the Korean war to test the new jet fighters it had been developing. They compared extremely well with those of the US. Strategy test, weapons test.

          • David Smith
            August 7, 2017 at 3:25 am

            Z.S. the reason the US didn’t give S. Korea tanks is they were making repeated incursions into N.Korea and couldn’t be trusted. The S. Korean military was also very busy lining up thousands of S.Korean citizens in front of ditches and shooting them filling the ditches with corpses(photos can be seen on the internet). There was no “hands off Formosa” Taiwan was used as a base for harrasment of China by air and sea(and to bring KMT heroin into the USA).

          • backwardsevolution
            August 7, 2017 at 3:31 am

            Zachary Smith – look at what we read on a daily basis at Consortium alone – the half-truths, the lies, the omissions – and then start multiplying this over centuries. It all depends on who writes the history and whether the authors are solely guided by the truth, no matter which side comes out looking uglier, or by other reasons. Speaking for myself, I cannot tell you how many times during the past couple of years I’ve said to myself: “Wow, I’d never heard the other side before! In fact, I never even knew there was another side.”

            Be careful who you read.

          • E. Leete
            August 7, 2017 at 10:25 am

            a snip from “Blackshirts and Reds” by Michael Parenti (whom Bill Blum would advise you to read, I am certain):

            History was turned on its head, transforming the Blackshirts into victims and the Reds into criminals. Allied authorities assisted in these measures.

            Under the protection of U.S. occupation authorities, the police, courts, military, security agencies, and bureaucracy remained largely staffed by those who had served the former fascist regimes or by their ideological recruits-as is true to this day. The perpetrators of the Holocaust murdered six million Jews, half a million Gypsies, thousands of homosexuals, several million Ukranians, Russians, Poles, and others, and got away with it-in good part because the very people who were supposed to investigate these crimes were themselves complicit.

            In comparison, when the Communists took over in East Germany, they removed some 80 percent of the judges, teachers, and officials for their Nazi collaboration; they imprisoned thousands, and they executed six hundred Nazi party leaders for war crimes. They would have shot more of the war criminals had not so many fled to the protective embrace of the West.

            What happened to the U.S. businesses that collaborated with fascism? The Rockefeller family’s Chase National Bank used its Paris office in Vichy France to help launder German money to facilitate Nazi international trade during the war, and did so with complete impunity. Corporations like DuPont, Ford, General Motors, and ITT owned factories in enemy countries that produced fuel, tanks, and planes that wreaked havoc on Allied forces. After the war, instead of being prosecuted for treason, ITT collected $27 million from the U.S. government for war damages inflicted on its German plants by Allied bombings. General Motors collected over $33 million…

            an intro here (a great site on its own):

            http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Parenti/BlackshirtsReds_Parenti.html

            and again I say, it’s all just a little bit of history repeating – history on repeat on steroids kaboom – unless we all start seriously campaigning for a just cap on personal fortunes to dig out all the terrible problems by their taproot cause

            we cannot continue our march to extinction without arriving at our destination someday

            but there IS A WAY out of the nightmare

          • Bob Van Noy
            August 7, 2017 at 10:54 pm

            In response to E.Leete above. This seems a good spot to indicate where Churchill was at at this time because the Neocons base their delusion on his Cold War assumptions.

            This from the BBC, t it led “Churchill’s Myth”

            ‘’Churchill’s line in The Gathering Storm has carried conviction for two reasons: after 1940 no-one wanted to be associated with appeasement because it had failed; after 1945 everyone wanted to have been prescient about the virtues of ‘The Grand Alliance’. And the very march of events after 1945 seemed, in Churchill’s own eyes, to point up the morality of his stand in the 1930s. The West began to oppose Stalin and Communism in a way that it had never opposed Hitler – it was seen to be standing up to the bully, not to be negotiating with him – and Churchill’s general view seemed to be vindicated, at least in his own eyes. From 1945 onwards, few cared to question whether this Churchillian refusal to negotiate with Stalin, or any other dictator, actually makes things worse – that would have sounded as though excuses were being made for misrule. And so we have come to our current Rogue’s Gallery: Hitler, Stalin, Nasser, Castro, Ghaddafi, Saddam and Bin Laden, all cut from the same cloth, all of whom must be ‘stopped’ because ‘appeasement’ is always wrong. How do we know that? Churchill told us so.’’ BBC

            Is Churchill’s Myth the source of Neocon long term planning?

            http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwtwo/churchill_gathering_storm_01.shtml

        • backwardsevolution
          August 7, 2017 at 3:39 am

          ranney – great post. “Today we have had 3 generations (75 years) of non stop propaganda against communism. If you look at our history over the past 75 years you will see us interfering and, on occasion violently overthrowing, governments in Central and South America and in the middle east and in Asia that showed strong trends toward socialism.”

          Yep, almost always socialist countries who lack a US-approved central bank. And people who actually believe that their politicians would ever entertain single-payer healthcare should keep this in mind.

    • David Smith
      August 7, 2017 at 1:39 am

      Z S. your comments re Stalin in WWIi are a slurry of false statements. Re “land grabs” the USSR honored all agreements with the Western Allies. The USSR conquered Austria but withdrew leaving it to ” The West”. The West asked USSR to join against Japan, and USSR pledged to enter three months after Germany’s defeat(August 6. 1945) and in three weeks conquered Manchukuo with the Red Army stopping at 38th parallel Korea as per agreement and waited for US forces to land in Korea(after VJ day). Certainly if USSR had violated the agreement and occupied all Korea much misery for Koreans would have been avoided.The USSR withdrew from Manchuria promptly for China. USSR was promised part of occupation of Japan and a physical presence in Germany’s Ruhr, both agreements were broken. As for “land grabs” the USSR could have easily invaded Finland(which had helped Germany attack) but did not and offered Finland an easy peace with trade agreements very favorable to Finland. As for USSR’s “monstrous military losses’ at the hands of Germany, these are a fiction of the nazi fanboys actual losses were 1:1 with Germany. One million of Soviet losses were troops that surrendured in the first month of Germanys invasion and were murdered by the Germans by putting them in POW camps that were open fields enclosed with wire, no food no water no shelter, the Germans herded Soviet POW’s in and locked the gates until they were all dead. The Soviets did not mistreat German POW’s but did sentence them to a well deserved seven years labor they all returned to Germany in 1952. As for Soviet war crimes against German civilians, it was a tiny fraction(and in response) to what Germans did in the USSR. One enduring myth is that the USA gave massive supplies to the USSR the truth is the USSR had to pay up front for everything and the US wouldn’t accept rubles, the Soviets had to pay in gold bullion, why the US ended the war with a massive gold reserve. Another myth is the Soviets used crude human wave tactics. The Soviets didn’t waste men they stood off with tanks and hammered the Kraut with high explosive rounds till it was quiet then the infantry tossed grenades in every hole. Soviet Deep Operations war fighting doctrine is very sophisticated and the only coherant doctrine used by any side in WWII, but if you try learning about it from a google-turd search you get nothing but nazi fan boy propaganda.

      • Zachary Smith
        August 7, 2017 at 12:17 pm

        I’ve never before seen such a collection of nonsense, but this one surely takes the cake.

        As for USSR’s “monstrous military losses’ at the hands of Germany, these are a fiction of the nazi fanboys actual losses were 1:1 with Germany.

        WW2 German troops were fighting for the worst of causes, but they represented one of the finest armies of the ages. Better trained, better motivated, better tactical doctrine, and better weapons. The casualty counts of their enemies reflected that.

        That’s it – I’m not going to otherwise interfere with your fantasies.

    • Brad Owen
      August 7, 2017 at 12:11 pm

      The British and American public (the 99%ers, as OWS called us) were played for fools by to co-reigning Oligarchy (the 1%ers, as OWS called them) right after WWII. People forget that the Fascist/NAZI Movement (subsumed under the Synarchist Internationale, as described in EIR, in existence for a hundred fifty years now, and counting) was also World-wide, just as was Socialism/Communism. It was the Oligarchy’s answer to Militant workers movements (Communism). You can call it the Militant Movement of the Oligarchs constituting the Managerial Elite, in answer to Communism. It also represented the modernization of old European Empires. Look at Hitler’s allies: Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland (the part containing Prussia), Ukraine (Stephan Bandera). USSR was undoubtedly conducting a “cleansing program”, resulting in the Warsaw Pact. We helped defeat the battlefield NAZIs, BUT the Boardroom NAZIs were left intact on our side, and the RatLines were begun, to extract “useful” NAZI assets. And the work of re-colonizing the World was begun under the rubric of fighting Communism, whereas, if FDR had lived, he would have blown the whistle on Synarchism, and its components in Wall Street and City-of-London, seeking a dirigist/social democratic alliance, cooperating with USSR and China, to shut down the Synarchist threat to the World (what the World is suffering under right now).

  11. mark
    August 6, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    Washington is looking more and more like a kindergarten on LSD. There are no grown ups in the room. US politicians, officials and diplomats are universally either delusional, congenital liars, arrogant, corrupt, irredeemably ignorant, or some combination of the above.

  12. Herman
    August 7, 2017 at 9:45 am

    “Last Tuesday, President Trump, standing beside Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri heaped Lebanon with praise: “Lebanon is on the front lines in the fight against ISIS, al-Qaeda and Hezbollah,’” In Charlie Brown’s words-Good Grief.

    As to Congresses actions, it has completely lost its senses. I always thought it was only very stupid people who acted without understanding possible, even likely consequences. Now it seem a whole gaggle of Congressman and opinion shapers who are reckless to the point of putting the whole world in danger.

    Crooks is a very smart man which speaks to this article and others and not just for coming up with the gem about Trump and Hezbollah.

    • Skip Scott
      August 8, 2017 at 7:24 am

      Last Tuesday, President Trump, standing beside Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri heaped Lebanon with praise: “Lebanon is on the front lines in the fight against ISIS, al-Qaeda and Hezbollah,’” In Charlie Brown’s words-Good Grief.

      Like the comedian Ron White says “You can’t fix stupid.”

  13. E. Leete
    August 7, 2017 at 10:42 am

    Sigh. We humans actively or passively support continuation of the *mere custom* – and it is precisely that; just tradition, just custom, remaining lethally unexamined – to allow human beings to go after and attain the size of extreme overfortunes that allow them to buy government critters’ loyalty and obedience to the dictates of these wealthpower giants – who are in possession of amounts of wealth it is physically impossible to self-earn – and, in spite of the fact that wealth and power go together like two ears on a rabbit we then throw away our precious hours being daily surprised and or outraged about what has always been perfectly predictable – and predicted. What in the name of bloody blue blazes are we doing, Friends? I realize there are always more people just waking up to how thoroughly they have been bamboozled – but for those of us who know damn well what the score really is, WHEN do we stop rehashing our opinions and get down to the non-optional work of educating until the majority is certain that allowing overfortunes has to end and determined to do so to save every species and this pretty planet??

    • mike k
      August 7, 2017 at 1:02 pm

      We are trying to wake people up. CN is one of many ways. It’s hard o get people to listen to things they don’t want to hear. That’s the problem. It will take a major shock to get people’s attention. But by then it may be too late to do anything constructive to halt our rush to extinction. Sorry, that’s just how it is. I
      Deeply wish it wasn’t….but it is what it is. I have good ideas of what we need to do to turn this around, but they fall on deaf ears. They have ears but do not hear. The Cassandra complex is the would be awakener’s lot.

      • Virginia
        August 7, 2017 at 2:10 pm

        Mike, Yes, that’s what we are engaged in here at CN — trying to wake people up. I would say, though so much evil is exposed here, to a significant degree we abide in the “morale of truth.” And we find support in one another’s efforts.

        From Merriam – Webster’s: Definition of morale
        1
        : moral principles, teachings, or conduct
        2
        a : the mental and emotional condition (as of enthusiasm, confidence, or loyalty) of an individual or group with regard to the function or tasks at hand The team’s morale is high.
        b : a sense of common purpose with respect to a group : esprit de corps The ship’s morale improved after two days of shore leave.
        3
        : the level of individual psychological well-being based on such factors as a sense of purpose and confidence in the future

  14. Virginia
    August 7, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    Thank you, Mr. Crooke.

    The Deep Dark State is up to even more than readily meets the eye. Your article calls for even more alertness. It’s not enough to just control most of the American mind through MSM, another underlying goal (among so many), is to cut the other 30% off from access to alternative sources, or even to lock us up if we do. (That percentage was pulled from the air. Does anyone know what percent look to other sources for news and analysis?)

    • mike k
      August 7, 2017 at 12:52 pm

      I don’t know the number, but I am sure it is much less than 30%.

      • Virginia
        August 7, 2017 at 1:54 pm

        I actually thought so, too, much less than 30. At least we know that more and more people are turning to other sources. But we also know, unfortunately, that many have no sources — are apathetic by-standers. I keep thinking and saying that we at CN need to establish a way to communicate in case Congress has its way on censoring certain internet sites. Maybe we could start with a membership in CN — not to block anyone out but to establish a way to circumvent what’s looking more and more inevitable.

        • Chucky LeRoi
          August 7, 2017 at 4:18 pm

          Virginia and mike, I love CN as much or more for the commenters as the articles. Much to be learned here. Was it Sam Clemens who said “If you don’t read the newspapers you are uninformed. If you do you are misinformed.”?

          Maybe someone with a statistics background and some spare time could figure out a “total news gathering population/alternative news gathering” ratio. I think knowing that number would be helpful, because it would be good to know if there is some kind of pressure that sheer numbers could provide, and to see how the ratio is changing – assuming it is. Sheer growth here and elsewhere is good, but is it enough? And as you indicate, how long before the First Draft gang pulls the plug? To really go out on a limb, are we going to go back HAM radio? Recently someone (here?) was bemoaning junking their mimeograph machine.

          I am also trying to figure out if determining the ‘apathetic bystanders’ number is like trying to prove a negative. Trying to find out how many people are not doing something would be difficult. Add to that, we unfortunately all have the experience of bringing up facts and opinions we pick up here and elsewhere and getting some variation of the “Yeah-So what-You are crazy” reaction. In the foliage/nursery business the joke was “You can bring a whore to culture but you can’t make her think.”

          It may seem like a leap here, but some earlier comments were about the lack of concern for the future and our children. (Only one feature among many, but it has been often noted that the Call Them What You Will/1%’ers have very few children themselves.). The comments then morphed into the inmates are running the asylum, we are running out of time, etc. (Not disparaging, just condensing.) Then your questions. It all comes together: The powerful really don’t care, they are crazy, and are enough people recognizing this that we can have some effect on reversing the trends? For me, that’s why it would be good to know.

  15. dunno
    August 7, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    As I was waking up this morning and listening to some headlines on NPR (National Propaganda Radio), I started thinking to myself (rather simplistically) that most of the world’s problems are caused by two religious ideologies – Wahhabism and Zionism. Saudi Arabia is able to spread its poisonous ideology, death, and destruction because it has the oil revenue, which gives it the clout that it has throughout most of the world. Zionism has always had the support of rich Jews, such as the various members of the Rothschild dynasty and their ilk. Zionist ideology is also spread worldwide through the Chabad-Lubavich movement. Zionism and Wahhabism have melded for economic and political purposes. They present a dangerous threat to world peace and (obviously) to peace in the Middle East.

    Russia is a model of kleptocracy, the most criminalized country in the world. China, with its brand of communism, is just as corrupt.
    The Republic of Bananastan (formerly known as the USA) is being held hostage by a chaotic criminal clown, aka the Joker. The elitists (CFR, Atlantic Council, Bilderberg, NATO, Rand, Aspen, ad nauseam) who run the show from behind the scenes will just keep on keeping on. The US-UK Empire must continue to rule the world at all costs along with its NATO vassal states. Geopolitical strategies of nation destruction and occupation will continue and will succeed. Zionists and Wahhabists will continue to have enormous and undue influence upon USUK’s foreign policy in the Middle East, Southwest Asia, Russia, Ukraine, and in East and West Africa.

    The nuclear Titans: USUK-NATO, Russia, China, and Israel will continue to play musical chairs until the music finally stops for better or for worse in a worldwide nuclear disaster. In the meantime, all of the above-mentioned entities will continue their bullying and their bellicosity in order to acquire the control of someone else’s land and resources, because they can. All bullying and bellicose nations, including Bananastan, are thugocracies once the patina of rectitude is removed. All of them are vying for turf in a vulgar display of gang warfare. Their are no good guys running these gangs. All that these gangstas are really after is some other gangsta’s action, whether it be in Iran, Qatar, Venezuela, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, the Congo, Somalia, Ethiopia (Hell, all of Africa), Ukraine, or Russia. It is just all gang warfare on a global scale, all of the time.

    Occasionally clownish and demagogic criminals like Donald Trump, Fidel Castro, Silvio Berlusconi, or Muammar Gaddafi come along to distract us from humanity’s real purpose, i.e., to steal from your neighbor and destroy him, and,while you at it, steal his wife and daughters and murder his sons. Think ISIS! All of these thuggish think tanks that pull the strings are just as ruthless as ISIS at heart; they only pretend, most of the time, that they are not. They are all run by thieving and mass-murdering war criminals who pose as statesmen and business leaders. All modern warfare has only one single purpose – economic advantage through theft.

    • mike k
      August 7, 2017 at 2:34 pm

      Your broad brush painting gets a little wild dunno. Russia the most criminalized country in the world? I would put the USA up against them for that title. And Castro and Gaddafi are clownish and demagogic criminals? They are both heroes of socialism that were demonized by the US in my book.

      • backwardsevolution
        August 7, 2017 at 3:22 pm

        mike k – dunno does get a lot right, even though he goes too far re Gaddafi and Castro. These two were just a little (or a lot) too socialist for the West’s liking. I mean, how is a capitalist supposed to loot with guys like this around? “What type of idiot looks out for the little guy?” they’d say.

        Trump is too socialist for our crony capitalists too. Ending TPP? What? Why, that’s sacrilege! Talking about NOT touching entitlements? What? Speaking of single-payer? What? Wanting to end wars, reduce NATO? Drain the Swamp? Securing borders? What? He must go!

        You’re either on the same page as these monsters, or you’re vilified or, worse, murdered. They tried to get Castro so many times, but were unsuccessful.

        • backwardsevolution
          August 7, 2017 at 3:31 pm

          If you don’t go along with these criminals, your country is sanctioned or embargoed and you are brought to your knees.

          The U.S. couldn’t embargo their own country when Trump was elected, so they just embargoed Trump.
          Shut him down. Wrapped him up in a tight cocoon and hung him from a tree.

    • backwardsevolution
      August 7, 2017 at 3:02 pm

      dunno – good post.

      Wahhabism and Zionism, but there are a few more “ism’s” to add to the mix: capitalism (and I mean crooked, crony capitalism) AND globalism AND propagandism.

      We need to invent an “ism” that better describes the spreading of lies. Propagandism just doesn’t cut it. Can anyone come up with a short, concise description that the public could understand? Bernayism?

      If we want to fight these guys, it seems to me we should make it easy to understand. The simpler, the better. Anyone got any ideas? Think on it.

      • E. Leete
        August 8, 2017 at 6:00 am

        Argh! What you and everybody else needs to finally come to understand is precisely this: You CAN’T win a fight with these guys; you CAN’T win a fight with wealthpower giants! They have trillions and money is power – power to influence and control – power to make human history be what they say it will be! Worse, they have the power to go on creating MORE legal thefts every time you shut one of their avenues down! See how that works? You CAN”T get ahead of somebody who already has the power to keep manufacturing new legal thefts to keep power in their hands. (God this is all so crazy it may be crazy to even try to speak to the craziness!) THEIR power to conceal their true identities and deeds IS ALWAYS going to exceed YOUR power to discover and expose their true identities and deeds.

        The ONLY way to win this fight is NOT TO HAVE IT. You have to get RID of wealthpower giants, not keep trying and failing to ever get one up on them – doesn’t ANYBODY see this is true?? To fight them is to send everybody exactly the wrong message – the message that it is good to fight wealthpower giants, it is right to fight wealthpower giants, it is just to fight wealthpower giants, it is NECESSARY to fight wealthpower giants – and it will always be good and right and just and necessary to fight wealthpower giants. And it’s all BULLSHIT – it’s all just completely completely unnecessary because once people know the very most basic things about economics it is TRANSPARENT that there is not one REASON to have wealthpower giants on this planet, PERIOD. There is NO reason to have them around, to allow them to form in the first place and there never was and their never will be and there is EVERY reason NOT TO have them!! Don’t have them and there is no fight, there is no one to fight.

        When you say come help me fight with wealthpower giants instead of showing others why there is no reason to have them in the first place you are leading others into yet another round of hope-fatigue until they burn out. Every movement that even shows a sign of stirring people gets sabotaged, co-opted, overtaken, etc etc by – who? by people with the wealthpower to make that happen! DUH

        I find it simply incredibly tragic that even those who deem themselves awake just keep on trying and failing to deal with but a few of the millions of extremely negative consequences of allowing overpay-underpay instead of solving every problem at once by outlawing overfortunes. The endless regurgitation of opinions and facts that go nowhere near the solution is part of the problem. And those who will pay the final price of our failure to rid the planet of the idea to allow unlimited personal fortunes are currently being tucked into bed at 7pm. Unless of course they live in Haiti or Yemen or Iraq or Syria or Libya or on and on and on…

        in that case they are already beastly dead.

        Shame on us. Fools still without the first clue, lying to ourselves that we should fight wealthpower giants when we could rid ourselves of them with some proper focus and discipline.

  16. Virginia
    August 7, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    EU Leaders and Member Countries:

    Please see Mr. Crooke’s article, from which I quote:

    “When asked whether the bill took account of European Union’s interests, one of the main authors, Senator John McCain, R-Arizona, said simply: “Not that I know of. Certainly not in the portion of the bill I was responsible for.” …McCain carelessly then quipped that essentially that it was “the job of the E.U. to come around to the legislation, not for the legislation to be brought around to them.””

    Merkel has expressed your autonomy. Maybe now’s the time to exercise it, for the good of all. Liberty and justice for all.

    • Bob Van Noy
      August 7, 2017 at 9:03 pm

      Excellent site Robert Billyard, you’re a natural for conversation on this site please stay with us and help us find a way through the maze…

    • Bob Van Noy
      August 7, 2017 at 9:08 pm

      Robert Billyard, also please visit Greg Maybury’s site that I will link because it gives an Australian view and slightly different perspective. We have a brief opportunity to come together by combining intellectual resources.
      Thanks…

      http://poxamerikana.com/2017/08/04/with-friends-like-these-who-needs-allies/

  17. August 7, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    The deep state sees sowing chaos, war and mayhem in the Middle East as in our – (read “their”) – “interests” so that is exactly what they’ve done. They have destroyed or are trying to destroy the more secular Middle Eastern states that don’t jump on Washington’s command. They do not care what shambles and suffering is left in the wake of this destruction. One does the minions of the deep state a deserve if one imagines them to be moral, ethical human beings with even a shred of compassion or human sentiment. The deep state (which includes the CIA) is where the amoral psychopathic children of our ruling oligarchs go to find their excitement and meaning in life. The chances for planetary survival would absolutely soar if we could simply pack the lot of them up, load them on a large spacecraft, and fire it pronto out into the blackness of space minus the fuel for a return trip.

  18. E. Leete
    August 8, 2017 at 6:26 am

    so very very strange

    super overpaid people are humans – they are not another species with brains we cant even imagine, with reading speeds in the millions of words a second, who can dictate to 5000 secretaries simultaneously

    we are completely complacent about paying bill gates US$500,000 for every hour he has worked

    what happened to equality?

    Don’t we like equality?

    and money is power, and super overpay is super overpower – don’t we like liberty?

    do we get a buzz out of imagining these people are a vastly superior species?

    and if they were a vastly superior species, would they be working harder to read a million times faster? would they need heaps of money to keep their engines running? do they need a million times as much food or alcohol to run efficiently? so why do we want to pay them more? for what?

    does it make us feel great to have these giants of wealth among us? does it make us feel a little bit gianty inside us? what happened to righteous envy? what happened to our sense of equality and justice? what happened to our SELFrespect?

    why does it never occur to us that their super hyper overpay comes out of our pockets?
    that there is some connection between our wageslavery and their super overpay?
    what happened to our righteous anger at subsidising superwealth? at working some or most of the time to provide these giants with goods and services?

    it isnt as though we dont care about money – we go on strike for better pay – we dont throw money around – we worry about bills –

    and yet we are completely complacent about super overfortunes

    do we think god drops their pay from the sky? are we so asleep that we dont notice that their money – excuse me, the money they have – comes across countless counters out of human pockets?

    do we not suspect that money is power, and that therefore we are giving them not only our earnings in return for nothing, but our fairshare of democratic power in return for tyranny?

    the founding fathers of america passed laws to limit fortunes – ie, to prevent overpay, to prevent the raking of money, to prevent legal theft of money and power, which they knew would be the end of democracy and freedom

    pretty obvious when you think about it that money is power, that super overpay is super overpower is tyranny/fascism, corruption [and corruption means thorough breaking] of government

    a us senate committee in the 1950s warned that big business was bigger than government
    Lincoln, at the end of the 19th C, and Jefferson at the beginning of the 19th C, warned against the corporation
    [why didnt they limit fortunes to the maximum earnable, or to 10 or 100 times the earnable? – they werent powerful enough – the money power was already too powerful]

    the prevention of the uropean tyranny americans fled from, the american freedom they are so proud of, depended entirely on preventing overpay – preventing money raking money, preventing the second million being easier to rake than the first thousand to make by work, preventing money multiplying like rabbits after the first million, etc

    the raking economy is now 20 times the working economy – ie, raking money instead of making money is well away – it means that 20/21sts of all money got is got by raking, not making by working – 1% are creaming off 20/21sts of world earnings

    the founders understood it, common sense understands it, and americans are proud of their history – and yet, the fundamental of liberty, prevention of concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a few [= massive theft] has for 200 years been utterly ignored

    and everywhere in the world, wealth and poverty has been the common way of history – 99% of people are underpaid — 75% of americans are underpaid – and that means that the most underpaid is very underpaid [robbed] indeed – and the level of protest inside america is invisibly small

    it seems that most people think that the super overpaid somehow deserve the money, that it belongs to them
    that taking it off them would not be fair, would not be gentle and kind –

    the idea that the super overpaid are legal thieves is completely outside the human view

    the idea that raking money is legal theft – of not just money but democratic power too – is totally beyond power of the human mindset to conceive

    i suspect there is an illogical loop argument going on: they have a lot of money/power, therefore they are great – they are great, therefore they deserve a lot of money

    some people will even get angry if you challenge the right of the super overpaid – these people have done great things! they cry

    they didnt work more than 50% more than the average person – in fact, considering that there are figures that the american homemaker does over 90 hours a week, and the british homemaker 70 hours a week, i dont think that any of the superrich work harder than the average – and the poor of course work harder than average [excluding the unemployed, which the ptb, those same super overpaid, arrange to always exist, so that the employed are cowed and ‘happy’ with their pay]
    [unemployment can be got rid of very easily: just lower the point at which overtime rates kick in, and employers will employ more people rather than pay overtime – the overtime kick-in point can be ‘floated’, go up and down as the economy expands and contracts – thus keeping full employment without under-employment or overfull employment [shortage of workers] – employment is an unalienable right, because it is right we have in nature – society’s only excuse for existence is if it does better than nature – the swedes have had a 32 hour work week before overtime kicks in for decades]
    and this is one major way the worker is kept quiet, while being robbed

    the worker has been taken for a sucker since forever – and very few are the protests, very few are the grumblings

    no one asks, and seemingly no one cares, how much more they would be paid if no one was being overpaid: every family in the world would be getting US$200,000 for working average hard – every working person in the world including homemakers and tertiary students would be getting US$40 an hour if no one was being overpaid

    and there would be no oppression and robbery from above, no fascism, no unliberty, no inequality, no injustice, no war, no misery caused by underpay and the wars it generates

    justice has been a cause of happiness forever, and nobody wants it – everyone is reveling or at least not grumbling at all at the theft of 90% of world income by 1% of working people, and the natural gigantic resentment and violence which that generates

    americans cry: why does the world hate us? – 90% of working people are on 10th to 1000th of the world average pay — ie, they are earning US$40 an hour, they are producing US$40 worth of goods an hour, and getting between $1.50 and 1.5cents an hour –
    obviously they would be far better off without society, in a state of nature, where their work would be rewarded by goods in full – fish and get paid with a fish, pick berries and get paid in berries

    the american dream of freedom from tyranny – and justice and fairpay for all, after 200 years of ignoring the fundamental of freedom and democracy, has come to 1% taking US$70,000 a year off every family in the world – and giant violence escalating war and weaponry to extinction soon – the self murder of 6-7 billion humans, the entire species [and every other species]

    very very strange

    are we giant masochists? are we in love with death and destruction? are we bored sh**less by life and want urgently to end it all? or are we just so childish that we just want all the cake, and are grabbing for all we are worth, and destroying the cake?

    why aren’t we pursuing our happiness? why are we destroying 99-100% of our birthright happiness?

    i suspect that some people are passionate about being honest – about earning an honest dollar – so passionate are they about this, that they say in their hearts: i’d rather have less than i deserve than more, just so i can be sure i’m honest – but is this honorable attitude leaving a few free to destroy democracy, freedom, everything good, peace, and all life?

    if it is the ordinary person’s superabundant love of the superrich that is the reason, consider the misery of wealth, of overpay: fairpay satisfies all needs, all major wants, and millions of minor wants – there is just almost nothing for overpay to add to pleasure [how much pleasure is there in solid gold taps?] – and overpay adds greatly to danger – being the bear with all the honey in a forest of bears [ceausescu, french plutocracy guillotined] – the net benefit of overpay is therefore very negative – separation and isolation from the human tribe, where being part of the human tribe is the biggest fun for a human – imagine a chimp cut off from his group – imagine a person who steals everyone’s wallets at a party

    and then there are those who still argue from the assumption that the USA cannot be that diabolical
    but there is no logical reason to believe the u.s. government is going to be any less diabolical than other govts – there is every reason to believe that u.s. govt is going to be exactly as diabolical as other govts
    the u.s. govt is made from the same gene pool as other govts
    the constitution does not make governments virtuous

    Jesus said to be as cunning as serpents as well as harmless as doves – the inability of the people to be realistically cynical of govts is the shield behind which rogues can hide – people’s lack of realism, their idealisation of the govt, is the protection for rogues

    remember that it is the biggest rogues who are most energetically driven towards power – which also means that the fighting is most intense and nasty and brutal where the fighting is hardest – among the biggest rogues for the biggest prizes
    there may be idealism and nobility in the govt – but there may be rogues hiding there too – rogues who use threats intimidation murder to get what they want

    there is no reason to distinguish criminals from govt, as though the two can never meet – rogues use disguise – they can be behind the govt – they can buy govt – they can intimidate govt – there is no absolute distinction between those who get great fortunes by legal means and those who get great fortunes by illegal means – money/power can buy a lot of legality- obviously rogues can be too big for govt, they can buy too many, threaten too many

    the law was compared to a spider’s web 2500 years ago: that the little flies are caught, yes, but the bigger ones break through – so the constitution is no guarantee of virtue – essential for the constitution to have any power is that no person be anywhere near as powerful as the government – and a u.s. senate committee reported in the 1950s that big business was then more powerful than govt

    The Founding Fathers knew that the Republic’s existence depended on prevention of wealth concentration – yet America has failed miserably at preventing wealth concentration. Money is power is corruption. We have hourly pay peaking up to a million times average. That means power peaking up to a million times average. We have fortunes of US$50 billion while 50% of Americans have fortunes less than $2000.

    if you want to be happy, you have to be as realistically cynical as Jefferson who said merchants have no country, and spoke of the rich preying on the poor. Democracy means power with the people, and that means money with the people, ie, no wealth concentration.

    if you have a million times as much power as the average person, how long would you be able to care about the average person? – how often will you let deaths of average people interfere with your plans, when you are powerful enough to break through the web of the law with greatest ease?

    Power corrupts – it means the most brutal, inhuman, are the most attracted to unlimited power and wealth. We know psychopaths, we know sociopaths – the only reason we imagine there are no psychopaths among the rich is that the rich never come available for psychiatric study – the superrich are deferred to, bowed to, exempted everywhere – do the police treat rich and poor with impartiality? – quite the contrary – how long before you take this deference for granted?

    How much pity and humanity can you extend to ants? – it is as hard for the superpowerful to feel common humanity with those whose power is like that of ants in proportion to the superrich

    Business itself is full of plots, counterplots, spying, betrayal, backstabbing, corporate infighting. Do you imagine that the ones who emerge victors in this supreme fight are free from overweening pride?

    wealth begets insolence – ancient greek saying.

    Is it hard to understand that money is power, that extreme range of power is undemocratic [besides being unjust, since no one can work much harder than the average person, who works 50-60 hours a week [homemakers 70-90]

    Why did the American people utterly neglect the foundation of freedom, prevention of wealth concentration? Had they not just escaped from tyranny that depended completely on relative wealthpower?

    But they didn’t say, with Babeuf: let us have an end to this master/slave, rich/poor model of organizing ourselves – they didn’t say, with French and American revolutionary ideals: liberty, equality, fraternity – they said, with the Pakistani peasant: the landlords oppress the poor, may I be a landlord.

    Unlimited overpay means unlimited underpay means unlimited violence – the human has so far invariably sown unlimited overpay and reaped unlimited violence – unlimited power in the hands of few – unlimited corruption – unlimited attraction to unlimited wealth for the evil – unlimited power to undermine every institution of decency and human dignity: democracy, equality, fraternity, freedom – unlimited power to generate wars to give them more opportunities for unlimited profits – and kill unlimited numbers with zero consequences.

    Justice is everything good: peace, happiness, order, democracy, freedom.

    Injustice (Unjustice, not-justice, justice not) is everything bad: war, crime, unsafety, chaos, corruption, tyranny.

    WHEN WHEN WHEN WHEN WHEN WHEN will there be a will to justice, to limited fortunes for limited contribution, to avoidance of unlimited overpay and overpower, unlimited corruption, unlimited freedom for evil?

    WHAT HERE IS HARD TO UNDERSTAND???

  19. Zachary Smith
    August 8, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    I just ran into an interesting article at the Russia Insider site. It was written by a Putin-can-do-no-wrong person, but that may not be relevant to what he is saying.

    “Russians Should Urgently Repatriate Their Assets From the West”

    Previous asset grabs in history came suddenly, violently and caught the victims unawares. US Congress has served a notice of 180 days to Russians that their personal views and ideology, if in favour of their own country, makes them fair game for being hunted. Russians social media accounts, blogs, private conversations and paparazzi press will be scanned by the long arm of American intelligence agencies. Anyone expressing patriotic or nationalistic views and support for President Putin will face instant repercussions. There will be no appeal once the monies are seized.

    h**p://russia-insider.com/en/politics/russians-should-urgently-repatriate-their-assets-west/ri20627

    Who knows what other ramifications of this crazy law there will be. Will Mr. Robert Parry be at risk? Will those of us who comment be at risk? Will people who merely read the essays here be at risk? In one sense this isn’t as bad as the insane proposal to make the defense of Palestinians a felony, but in another the increased risk of conflict with a nuclear power is much worse.

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