The Strangelovian Russia-gate Myth

The Strangelovian palaver of Russia-gate is embraced by many liberals as some totem to ward off the vile Donald Trump, but this dishonest process only furthers the cause of American Empire and risks global destruction, says poet Phil Rockstroh.

By Phil Rockstroh

The effects of humankind created climate chaos are proving to be more devastating than even the grimmest predictions. Today’s wealth inequity is worse than in the Gilded Age. Around the world, the U.S. empire wages perpetual war, hot and cold, overt and covert, including military brinksmanship with the nuclear power, the Russian Federation.

Peter Sellers playing Dr. Strangelove as he struggles to control his right arm from making a Nazi salute.

Speaking of the latter, the U.S. media retails a storyline that would be considered risible if it was not so dangerously inflammatory i.e., L’affaire du Russia-gate, wherein, according to the lurid tale, the sinister Vladimir Putin, applying techniques from the Russian handbook for international intrigue, Rasputin Mind Control For Dummies, has wrested control of the U.S. Executive Branch of government and bends its policies to his diabolical will.

Ridiculous, huh? Yet the mainstream press promulgates and a large section of the general public believes what is clearly a reality-bereft tale, as all the while, ignoring circumstances crucial for their own economic well-being; their safety, insofar as a catastrophic nuclear exchange; and the steps required to maintain the ecological criteria crucial for allowing the continued viability of human beings on planet earth.

A socio-cultural-political structure is in place wherein the individual is bombarded, to the point of psychical saturation, with self-serving, elitist manufactured media content. Decades back, news and entertainment merged thus freedom of choice amounts to psychical wanderings in a wilderness of empty, consumer cravings and unquenchable longings. Moreover, personas are forged upon the simulacrum smithy of pop/consumer culture, in which, image is reality, salesmanship trumps (yes, Trumps) substance. Among the repercussions: A reality television con man gains the cultural capital to mount a successful bid for the U.S. presidency.

Trump’s ascendency should not come as a shock. Nor should desperate Democrats’ embrace of Russia-gate/The Russians Are Coming mythos. In essence, U.S. citizens/consumers are the most successfully psychologically colonized people on planet earth. In the realm of the political, Democratic and Republican partisans alike, on cue, are prone to parrot the self-serving lies of their party’s cynical elite, who, it is evident, by the utter disregard they hold towards the prerogatives of their constituency, view the influence-bereft hoi polloi with abiding distain … that is, in the rare event they regard them at all.

The crucial question is: Whose and what agenda does the Russia-gate yarn serve? The answer is hidden in plain sight: the profiteers of U.S. economic and militarist hegemony. The demonization and diminution of Russian power and influence is essential in order to maintain and expand U.S. dominance and the attendant maintenance and expansion of the already obscene wealth of capitalism’s ruling elite.

While It might seem we are mired in an (un-drainable) swamp of complexity, in reality, the political landscape is a bone-dry wasteland, wrought by a single factor — the addictive nature of greed.

Moreover, the reality of Beginning Stage Human Extinction crouches just beyond the line of the horizon. All signs auger, we lost souls of the Anthropocene must alter our course. Yet, we, stranded in the mind-parching wasteland of late-stage capitalism, collectively, continue to stagger, mesmerized, towards mass media mirages leading us further and further into the hostile-to-life terrain.

Gen. Jack D.Ripper, played by actor Sterling Hayden in “Dr. Strangelove.”

Yet the wasteland’s Establishment media outlets are doing a dead-on, although straight faced, impression, right out of Stanley Kubrick’s satirical film of Cold War era madness, “Dr. Strangelove, “of Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper’s roiling with paranoia ranting about a Russian “conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.”

Hyperbolic? Take at perusal at the cover story of the Washington Establishment mouthpiece Newsweek, headlined: “PUTIN IS PREPARING FOR WORLD WAR III — IS TRUMP?”

A sphincter-clinching tale of woe and warning promulgated by the same governmental entities and their corporate media stenographers who waxed apocalyptic about Iraq possessing weapon’s of mass destruction; that an immediate NATO bombing campaign must be launched against the government of Muammar Gaddafi or else a mass slaughter of the innocent would be imminent; and regime change in Syria must proceed because Assad is gassing his own people.

Just what sort of an embittered cynic would call into question the credibility of and mistrust the motives of such paragons of probity? Yet, somehow, in regard to Russia-gate, liberals display scant-to-zip skepticism towards the stories peddled by this unelected, unaccountable clutch of hyper-authoritarian prevaricators. In fact, they are, in a cringe-worthy spectacle, allowing themselves to be played like Dollar Store kazoos.

Terror of Tweet-Town

Although, I get it. The tangerine-tinged Terror Of Tweet-town represents a hideous affront to common sense and common decency. But the same applies to his antagonists in the anti-democratic institutions of the U.S. National Security State and Intelligence Community. While the mission statements of the bureaucracies in question declare they exists to protect the nation from all manner of threats to the safety of the citizenry, a study of their history and present-day operations reveals, their modus operandi serves to ensure obscene amounts of wealth continue sluicing into the already bloated coffers of the profiteers of global-wide operations of capitalist plunder.

I understand the desperate need for hope. To crave the quality is inherently human. Even to the point of being whipped into a tizzy by the Russia-gate imbroglio. Yet: All and all, an obsessive focus on Trump, the Orange Scylla, buffets one into the maw of the Washington Establishment’s Charybdis.

Again, I understand the sense of desperation: Trump’s smug, bloated face, the grandiose squawk of his voice, and his crass, mean-spirited, petty-minded pronouncements and middle-school bully taunts deserve to be resoundingly rebuked. His hubristic posturing simply begs for comeuppance. One is prone to grow plangent with magical thinking. One longs to witness the bully smirk smacked from his face as he is dispatched in disgrace, Richard Nixon-style, to his parvenu palace at Mar a Lago.

But the effect of banishing Nixon was cosmetic. The accepted Watergate storyline, of probing, political inquest and Constitutional redemption, served as a palliative administered to the U.S. public in the rare case the slumbering masses might have desired to delve deeper into the heart of darkness of U.S. empire thus might begin to question the mythos of American Exceptionalism and doubt the uplifting denouement cobbled onto the scandal by the political and media elite, e.g., the system of checks and balances functioned as the nation’s Founders intended. Granted, the system did work as designed, only not in the cliched manner portrayed by its apologists; it worked in the manner in which it was rigged, to wit, to preserve the secrets of state. The long national nightmare was far from over. In fact, it has been normalized.

When the unthinkable becomes quotidian, by means of the normalization and systemic codification of crimes against the greater good of humanity, there is a good chance the dynamics of empire-building are in play. Empires are not only inherently entropic but they are anathema to the democratic processes crucial to maintaining a republic.

A scene from “Dr. Strangelove,” in which the bomber pilot (played by actor Slim Pickens) rides a nuclear bomb to its target in the Soviet Union.

The vast amounts of wealth acquired by means of plunder render a nation’s elite not only craven with cupidity but prone to become so dismally shortsighted, even, judging by the evidence of their reckless actions and crackbrain casuistry, bughouse mad. The present U.S. nuclear saber- rattling at North Korea and the economic aggression and militarist posturing deployed against the Russian Federation are proof of the declaration. A military empire’s unchecked, monomaniacal, more often than not self-destructive, impulse for domination are monstrous traits. The death and carnage strewn in the wake of the imperial monster’s presence in Libya and Syria illustrate a grim testament to the fact.

History reveals, overreach and the passage of time renders the aspirations of imperium a nimbus of dust; its grandiose pronouncements a cacophony of strutting clowns; its belief in its inviolable nature and its trumpeted tales of vaunted exceptionalism the stuff of asylum-dweller gibbering. On the contrary, a sense of perspective imparts the knowledge, late empire is a fool’s inferno played out on a landscape ridden with exponentially increasing decay.

The storylines of the beneficiaries and operatives of vast systems of runaway power concoct are, more often than not, self-justifying fictions. Cover stories and flat-out prevarications, rolled out for the purpose of hiding the prevailing order’s actions and motives, come to dominate the socio-cultural-political sphere. Views running counter to reigning narratives are apt to be marginalized and/or met with scorn, rage and revulsion. A dangerous one-sidedness prevails.

Analogous to the laws governing thermodynamic equilibrium, when a governor (or speed limiter or controller) switch has been rendered inoperative, a state of thermic runaway comes into play. We are talking the stuff of runaway trains, flaming out super novas, nervous breakdowns, and overreaching empires. By suppressing countervailing views, empires create chaos and carnage and will, in the end, meet their demise by self-annihilation. The rage for total dominance and attendant overreach of capitalist/U.S. militarist hegemony has wrought the phenomenon on a global-wide basis.

The governor switch within the greed and power crazed minds of the corporate, military, and governing elite, by all indications, is inoperable. Impervious to the consequences of their recklessness, ranting about Russians, they careen through the Anthropocene. At present, the whole of humankind is held in the thrall of a trajectory of doom. Yet their power is hinged on the ability to dominate the storyline.  Withal, complicity translates to destiny usurped. Conversely, the first measure towards a restoration of equilibrium is to call out a lie.

Phil Rockstroh is a poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living, now, in Munich, Germany. He may be contacted: philrockstroh.scribe@gmail.com and at FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/phil.rockstroh

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169 comments for “The Strangelovian Russia-gate Myth

  1. Frank
    December 30, 2017 at 3:20 am

    Oh dear I have lost my password

  2. Zachary Smith
    December 26, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Some Exxon Trolls have already hijacked this thread with Denier stuff, and there is no other place to put this, so why not here?

    Louisiana, Sinking Fast, Prepares to Empty Out Its Coastal Plain

    Welcome to the Future. Be assured this is merely the smallest glimpse of that future.

    The draft plan, a portion of which was obtained by Bloomberg News, is part of a state initiative funded by the federal government to help Louisiana plan for the effects of coastal erosion. That erosion is happening faster in Louisiana than anywhere in the U.S., due to a mix of rising seas and sinking land caused in part by oil and gas extraction. State officials say they hope the program, called Louisiana Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments, or LA SAFE, becomes a model for coastal areas around the country and the world threatened by climate change.

    What will it be like when the numbers of displaced people mushroom into the millions? Hundreds of millions?

    Now chant after me: Al Gore is fat, and Global Warming is a conspiracy.

  3. December 25, 2017 at 11:31 pm

    RE “when a governor (or speed limiter or controller) switch has been rendered inoperative” ~ Rockstroh
    AN ASIDE: Isn’t this essentially what we and the Israelis did to destroy some of Iran’s centrifuges by unleashing Stuxnet® on them?
    A PERTINENT QUESTION: Do we really want to prolong the misery? This is the godawful bed we baby boomers made for ourselves. Perhaps we should just wish the younger types the best of luck, take a ‘chill pill’ and sleep on it. Sweet dreams, everyone!

  4. Mild-ly - Facetious
    December 25, 2017 at 11:14 am

    MERRY CHRISTMAS !!! — One and All!

    Isaiah 6
    (KJV)

    6 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

    2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.

    3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

    4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

    5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.

    6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:

    7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.

    8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

    9 And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.

    10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

  5. December 25, 2017 at 4:54 am

    Rockstroh, please learn proper grammar and punctuation. Mistakes buzz like flies around your 20-dollar words, themselves not always well chosen.

  6. December 24, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    How odd that you would write such a piece with verbiage obviously intended to be understood by an elite few! I can only surmise that you, like the elite you criticize, only seek to impress the elites of your choice. Seriously, it’s obvious you do not have a message for the masses. While it is those ‘masses’ who need to correct the ills you enumerate. As you cricize Mr. Trump, you side with the great bureaucracy that George Wallace threatened with being thrown across the Potomac with their briefcases. Indeed it is those entrenched bureaucrats who do the bidding of their puppeteers ‘the warmongers’.

    Keep trying. Perhaps you can one day appeal to the true peace loving commoners you have consciously avoided.

    Thank you,

    Ross Best

  7. Joe Wazzzz
    December 24, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    Can you say “sesquipedalian?”

    • Joe Wazzzz
      December 24, 2017 at 6:26 pm

      Put simply, it should be obvious to everybody by now that the road to world war is not something that can be altered. Each one spring from the last. The stupidity of mankind has a life of its own and will not be thwarted by reason. WWI and WWII are perfect precedents. At this point, it seems that our energies would be better spent safely positioning oneself and those one cares for.

  8. Mark Thomason
    December 24, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    Evil as this is, the war mongering is being done by Democrats, not Republicans. It is being done on behalf of the outrage over Hillary losing.

    This is not something inflicted on us by Trump. This is inflicted on us by those Trump defeated.

    Trump is bad. They are worse. Between them, they are leading us into disaster.

    • Abe
      December 24, 2017 at 3:16 pm

      The warmongering is totally bipartisan.

      The US Republican-Democratic corporatist duopoly and mainstream media constantly advance war propaganda, particularly demonization of Russia and China, to enrich the military-industrial complex.

      The massive Western arms buildup continues, with periodic terror attacks to marginalize any annoying critics.

      • Mark Thomason
        December 25, 2017 at 12:03 pm

        Republicans are mongering different wars. There are so many right now, it matters to keep them separate. They can only be ended one-by-one, just the way there were started. The Democrats are mongering some huge, dangerous wars, the Republicans smaller wars more murderous and bloodthirsty for being so near to safe to our side compared to the frenzy of killing they invoke.

      • Abe
        December 27, 2017 at 6:51 pm

        Mark, you keep going on about “different wars”.

        You insist that “it matters to keep them separate” and there are “so many right now”.

        OK, let’s have your post-Vietnam lists of the Democrats’ “huge” wars and the Republicans’ “smaller” wars.

        The we can see whether or not the war mongering is as “different” as you have alleged.

  9. Perry Logan
    December 24, 2017 at 9:23 am

    This is weird. The same people who believe the DNC rigged the primaries–for which there is no evidence–are the ones who say there is no evidence for Russiagate…for which there is plenty of evidence.

    • Mark Thomason
      December 24, 2017 at 1:29 pm

      No evidence? Ask Donna Brazile, who ran the DNC and revealed it.

      You just don’t want to see the evidence.

    • Abe
      December 24, 2017 at 2:25 pm

      The 2016 presidential election interference was performed by the national Republican and Democratic Parties, not the Russians.

      American investigative journalist Greg Palast, author of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, discusses the actual theft of the 2016 election, not the “Russia did it” fiction eagerly peddled by both the Republicans and Democrats
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=909&v=h-yJGrgMqQI

      Voter-purging operations using Crosscheck and other systems resulted in discriminatory disenfranchisement of registered voters in violation of federal law.

      Additional efforts by the Democratic and Republicans Party machines to preserve the political duopoly include discarding certain types of ballots, including mail-in ballots, provisional ballots, and ballots that indicate No Party Preference (NPP).

      All the election rigging games were on full display in the California Democratic primary race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. California law requires random checking of voting machines in the precincts. But in the California primary, the audited precincts were pre-designated, not random. Two million mail-in ballots, provisional “placebo” ballots, and “other” votes remained counted two weeks after the Democratic Party declared Clinton the victor.

      Let’s be very clear. US election manipulation is a Republican-Democrat duopoly enterprise, and pro-Israel Lobby operatives are thoroughly embedded in both camps to ensure there are no disruptions of the all-too-generous support for Israel.

      • Abe
        December 24, 2017 at 5:31 pm

        There is plenty of evidence for Israel-gate, and no evidence for the Russia-gate that the pro-Israel Lobby so desperately attempts to peddle.

        For decades, and especially since the Six-Day War in 1967, the combination of unwavering US support for Israel and the American military effort to enforce so-called “democracy” and “regime change” throughout the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region has jeopardized not only US security but that of much of the rest of the world.

        The fact that the Hasbara troll army is crawling out of the woodwork to say anything and everything otherwise is really not so “weird” at all.

      • Bill Cash
        December 27, 2017 at 11:38 pm

        I read Palast’s book and I don’t remember him mentioning Russia. The book was an investigation of the voter suppression occurring in this country.

        • Abe
          December 28, 2017 at 5:12 pm

          Palast has documented the decades-long stripping, hacking and flipping of votes in American elections.

          Palast focuses on Republican and Democratic party machine attacks on the right to vote of Black, Latino and Asian-American voters.

          However, Palast’s investigations specifically ignore pro-Israel Lobby influence in Republican and Democratic party voter suppression initiatives.

          The pro-Israel Lobby has a decided interest in not counting the rejected provisional, absentee or “spoiled” ballots.

          Based on their historical experience of oppression, minority communities in the US generally tend toward popular solidarity with the Palestinian people, opposition to Israeli apartheid and military aggression, and support for the BDS movement of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel.

          Zionist ideology dictates that Jewish people be granted greater privileges by the Israeli state than its non-Jewish subjects. The result is necessarily a system of apartheid and inequality in Israel. Systematic dispossession and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, along with other forms of brutal violence by Israeli police and military, are daily practices of the Israeli state. These practices are understandably offensive to US minority voters.

          • Skip Scott
            December 29, 2017 at 9:57 am

            Thanks Abe. Ever notice how Mr. Cash never responds to a rebuttal, and slanders commenters here without presenting any evidence based arguments? Kind of reminds me of our old troll Michael Kenny. Guess he finally got 86’ed.

    • Skip Scott
      December 24, 2017 at 3:39 pm

      Did you even read any of the DNC emails provided by Wikileaks? Why do you think Wasserman-Shultz resigned?
      As for RussiaGate, please list some REAL evidence that the Russians hacked the DNC, and provided the emails to Wikileaks? If they had any at all, the NSC would have known about it in real time. We wouldn’t have had a year of theater with nothing substantial to show for it. RussiaGate is all about preventing any possibility for detente with Russia. The MIC needs their boogeyman.

      If all this is new to you, I suggest you look into the archives here at CN, especially those by Robert Parry, VIPS, and Stephen Cohen.

  10. Socratizer
    December 24, 2017 at 9:16 am

    Nice thoughts; convoluted, self-conscious, almost unreadable prose.

  11. Stephen Berk
    December 24, 2017 at 4:12 am

    Just an addendum to my above statement, which will tie it to the “Russia-gate” theme of the piece I was commenting on. Of course Russia-gate is a laughable lie. Imperial states at all stages project their own ambition, hatred and other dark impulses onto another power that represents a potential challenge. Russia is today is far from what the Soviet Union was. It is even capitalistic. But our die-hard imperialist elite does the accustomed thing of projecting our own national evils onto Russia. By the way, the US ruling policy makers were not going for a Sunday picnic when the USSR fell. They actively participated in its fall and then got their man, the incompetent Boris Yeltsin, into power. Happiness for the US imperialists (mainly the neocons). They could control him. But they cannot control a competent, highly intelligent Putin, who looks after Russia’s actual interests in the world, as every leader of a great power does. Russia is not the meddler. Meddling is the US ruling elite’s middle name. Recently, to name one among many horrendous US interventions was the fomenting of an anti-Russia coup in Ukraine, on the Russian border. Some of the people they installed were members of a party that models its ideology on the Nazis. US elites project this kind of aggression, which they do all the time, onto Russia, in part because they fear that a revamped Russia allied with a newly powerful China will get in US imperialism’s way. That, my friends, is probably true. The US simply needs to stop fomenting color revolutions to bring countries, particularly those surrounding Russia into the US military/imperial orbit. The American ruling elites need to claim a new role as one among many and not the big enchilada (or superpower). Such a change would bring us respect and friendship from other world nations, as opposed to today’s prevalent fear and loathing.

    • Skip Scott
      December 24, 2017 at 8:21 am

      Stephen Berk-

      Thank you for these two comments. It is good to hear that at least your views are acceptable in today’s academic world. I had thought that corporate influence had reinstalled gag rules on professors. The student’s feelings of despair are understandable, but at least the draft is gone. Now they just have to worry about graduating with a mountain of debt (and so few decent paying jobs to build a life with), at least until the mushroom clouds appear on the horizon, or industrialized agriculture fails and mass famine ensues due to climate change. I pray for evolution rather than revolution. We must learn to wage peace in a multi-polar world. Maybe your years teaching will help our youth to bring it about.

      • Dave P.
        December 26, 2017 at 4:45 am

        Skip Scott – Yes, my thoughts were the same after reading Stephen Berk’s excellent comments written from his experience as an academic. It feels good to know that today’s college students are aware of these issues under discussion here on this site.

  12. Stephen Berk
    December 24, 2017 at 3:40 am

    There have been a great many insightful comments, both long and short, on American imperial decline and comparing it to the decline of previous empires. They mostly make the same basic points. Rockstroh, who represents the short form, does it rather well, managing to include many of the major points. I’ve been teaching U. S. history for about 47 years on the university (CSU Long Beach) level, where I had my career, to a little community college on the Northwest Oregon coast, Clatsop Community College, in retirement. I’ve thought of the US as an empire since graduate school, during the Vietnam War era. It wasn’t that the faculty at the University of Iowa, where I did my doctorate, who were talking about the current imperial thrust, though most opposed the Vietnam War, and a great many quite openly. But students all over the country, accompanied by many professors in the know, who did teach against the grain, were in massive revolt against imperialism disguised as the spread of democracy. Left academics, like Howard Zinn, were of great inspiration to anti-imperialist students. Same with William A. Williams, Walter LaFeber and Noam Chomsky. And many of my generation of U.S. history academics have been influenced by their critical perspective. It was the Vietnam War that turned the tide in the sixties, when huge numbers of academics gained the knowledge and courage to “name the system.” Time was, as late as the mid sixties, when speaking against latter day empire would peg you as a radical. Some academic activists even lost jobs over the issue. Today, however, virtually all college and university history and other social science students are well aware that the US is an empire and its wars imperial wars. Talking about these things is no longer provocative. I think it is good that students have their eyes more open than many of their forebears in the Vietnam era. However, there is a pervasive feeling of helplessness, well taken by progressive students. They know that regardless of which party is in power the underpinnings of imperial policy that began in the Cold War remain in place. And they have no idea how to oppose such a juggernaut with roots in Washington and Arlington, VA (where the Pentagon sits). So they tend to bury themselves in their work or the multitude of distractions the capitalist establishment generates for them. Empires beget their war lovers at the top, and it takes a powerful political movement to unseat entrenched imperialist politicians and bureaucrats. But as David Kennedy portrayed in his 1987 work, “The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers,” empires all go through a self generating cycle culminating in vast and expensive imperial overstretch, massive public debt, the explosion of poverty and decay of institutions and infrastructure at home, and finally collapse. They do so largely because they become obsessed with conquest and fail to tend their own garden. Deploying its bases all over the world, the American empire today, like the British before it, spends its treasure and resources abroad, in places where they are not wanted. At the same time, they let their homelands go to wrack and ruin. Empires all end up cannibalizing themselves, turning rotten inside, while trying to control (in this case through bases rather than colonies) the world. They’ve all wanted to control the world. But to Rome, the known world was Europe and North Africa. The US now, and it may be the first to do so, wishes to control the policies of countries all over the actual planet. Even the British empire, far flung as it was, had no such ambition.So the grandiose US imperial project to be the earth’s superpower is failing. As many wise statesmen, including the old cold warrior, George Kennan wrote, not long before his recent death in his late nineties, the US is way overstretched imperially and needs to sharply pull back or go the way of the other empires. Before they die, empires flail about, in brush wars which become costly quagmires they never actually “win.” We in the US are in this declining part of the cycle. We will soon be a mere regional power and ultimately a spent force, as Spain was in the 1890s. Of course we could reverse this process by giving up empire, as the Dutch did with excellent results. But imperial grandiosity is a drug, more powerful than heroin, that politicians shoot themselves up with, especially within the federal government. These days I like to get my students to read General Smedley Butler’s classic 39 page booklet, “War is a Racket.” It is posted on line and can be bought from booksellers. Butler, a Marine general, the most decorated soldier in U.S. history, exposes all the graft, corruption and enrichment of a powerful elite that came out of the war he had fought in, World War One. But he castigates all war, and given his own experience, that makes his statement most effective and really something to reckon with. So far the economic elites and their political lackeys have failed to respond.

  13. Paolo
    December 23, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    «let the poets pipe of love / in their childish ways»
    Cole Porter

  14. December 23, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    January 5, 2017
    When Gangsters Are In Control

    When gangsters are in control, endless wars slaughter millions of souls
    And countries are destroyed by the hit men of the gangster ghouls
    The unethical money changers finance their dirty depredations
    And corporate cannibals profit from the bloody confrontations

    Government by gangsters is now “the rule of law”
    And “justice” is in the hands of criminals and outlaws
    The language is twisted and debased
    To suit these evil demons of the “human race”

    Fancy titles and Houses of ill repute
    Is where these villains consort and debut
    Making “laws” to screw the masses
    Yet, people continue to vote for these asses

    If there really was “law and order”
    These gangsters would be charged with genocide and murder
    Instead these war criminals parade on the world stage
    When they should be in a big enormous prison cage

    They sell arms and weapons to bloody head choppers
    They don’t know the meaning of improper
    Grovelling and saluting financiers of terrorism
    They are in bed with the dictators of barbarism

    Such is the sick state of the world today
    And much, more could be said, of the gangsters’ way
    Evidence abounds of these criminals roles
    That’s why we know gangsters are in control…

    [more info at link below]

    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2017/01/when-gangsters-are-in-control.html

  15. December 23, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    SPOT ON !!!!!!!!!!

  16. December 23, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    A brilliant article by a poet/visionary. Too true to bear. May you wander into the Christmas market, the Cathedral, or a deep pine forest over the holidays.

  17. Al Pinto
    December 23, 2017 at 11:21 am

    “The governor switch within the greed and power crazed minds of the corporate, military, and governing elite, by all indications, is inoperable.”

    I would take it a step further… There is no such thing as “governor switch”, it had been removed long time ego. In order for having some kind of control, the very first step required is adding a “governor switch” to this runaway train prior to turning it on. The question is, how can this goal be achieved? Under the current political and economic condition, this is just a pipe dream.

    Nobody should believe that electing different representatives would make a difference. These officials have no interest, financial or otherwise, to pass resolution that would change quid-pro-quo. Even if in remote chances of all the representatives will be new after the next election cycle, this will not change. How the representatives perform is just the symptoms, who are behind them are the ones providing the direction.

    And yes, every Empire had met its fate and fell; some had fallen by external forces, while other crumbled from within. The US crumbling internally is not an option, for the reason see above. Crumbling by eternal force would require “A”, a stronger country, or “B” countries ganging up on the US. Neither of these are in place at the current time and the chances are that they will not be any time in the near future for number of reasons…

    The US had been using economic sanctions against countries that would become stronger than the US itself. These sanctions will ensure that the countries developments are crippled and focused on their survivals, instead of becoming greater political and economic force than the US.

    The 800+ military basis around the world will keep other countries financially and economically dependent on the US. The distributed military basis with nuclear weapons will make any country, or countries collectively have very little chance of attacking the US mainland.

    So, yes, every Empire had crumbled in the past, but the US Empire is not any Empire. And even if by a remote chance coalition of countries could corner the US, it has enough nuclear weapons to annihilate world three times over. So, be careful what you wish for…

  18. December 23, 2017 at 10:50 am

    Mr. Rockstroh, you have a lot to say. But pity we poor mortals who must read with a thesaurus, dictionary, encyclopedia and google search at our disposal. Still, I enjoy reading what you write and your insights are extraordinary. Hard to miss the straightforward note about Newsweek’s cover. It is enough to scare the hell out of all of us. Why is it the monstrous liars manage to turn things around so that the perpetrator becomes the prey? We find ourselves hoping that Putin will continue to keep his cool and continue to press for normalcy.

  19. Babyl-on
    December 23, 2017 at 8:04 am

    I despair when I read all these comments which seem to be obsessed with left/right progressive/conservative analysis of our current political conditions.

    The election of Donald Trump is a serious wound to the Imperial Western powers. Trump – remember – is not a politician but now that he is elected he becomes a politician. Now he has a “base” like politicians have and so on. But the first understand is the correct one. Trump is not a politician, not a leader of anyone, does not have a political base. Trump was elected as a proxy for discontent he was elected to take a hammer to the established Neoliberal power structure not to lead anybody. All those stupid deplorables are the friends and neighbors of the “progressives” the Imperial oppression falls on them just as it does for all of us.

    Terms of left/right are no longer meaningful when the center is collapsing. Left/right refer to a center when there no center or a weakened center the terms no longer have the meaning they had before.

    In my view what is happening is a global or rather Western international insurgency against the Neoliberal Empire, Catalonia is an expression of that insurgency and there are more examples every day now.

    The way forward is to stop all the identification and exclusion and recognize that the multi-letter bathroomers and the igno-deplorables are both the victims of same Imperial Neo-feudalism. Together they are an insurgency apart they are pathetic. Insurgents fighting among themselves is exactly what the Empire promotes day in and day out through algorithms on “social media” and by every other power they have.

  20. Realist
    December 23, 2017 at 6:21 am

    Joe Tedesky and other Jill Stein voters, the Russia-gaters are coming for YOU next! They have just implicated presidential candidate Jill Stein herself in the great collusion conspiracy!

    “The collusion circus is coming for Jill Stein. The US Senate Intelligence Committee has asked the 2016 Green Party presidential candidate to hand over documents amid accusations she was part of a Russian plot to elect Trump.
    The news was met with delight by some pro-Hillary Clinton Democrats who have long expressed a visceral hatred of Stein simply because she had the audacity to run for president — an act which they say hurt their candidate’s chances of winning by unnecessarily splitting the vote on the left. In the greatest democracy in the world (supposedly) Stein committed the unforgivable sin of running for office and winning some votes. There can only be one explanation for this, the ‘Russiagaters’ say: Stein was a Russian plant, designed to pull votes away from Clinton to tip the election in Trump’s favor. In their increasingly warped minds, nothing else could possibly make sense.”
    (From: https://www.rt.com/op-edge/413960-jill-stein-collussion-russiagate/ )

    If you folks voted for her, you were obviously in on the conspiracy to block Hillary from taking her rightful place in history as this tyranny’s first woman supreme leader. You know who you are. You divulged your vote on these pages. The evidence is right on the archives of this web site, and now you will pay… if the daft Democrats have anything to say about it. The Democrats have sure done an amazing complete and rapid turn to totalitarianism. It took Darth Vader a lot longer to fully embrace the Dark Side of the Force. And, Secretary Clinton transmogrified way faster than it took Senator Palpatine to morph into the evil Emperor. Someday this will all make for a spectacular action film.

    • Joe Tedesky
      December 23, 2017 at 1:36 pm

      Realist thanks for the warning, but you must have missed a post I made about two months ago where I admitted to how in the end I didn’t vote for Jill… what a development. It’s a long story, but when the time come…get ready for this, I voted for Madam Hillary….a truly long story, but one with a certain sense of rationale. As it turned out, thank goodness, Hillary didn’t win.

      Although Realist I’m glad you though of me, and I truly appreciate the warning. I also know you added some humor to your post, so I’ll be glad to play the role of the straight man for the benefit of your having some fun. I always look forward to reading your comments Realist, so keep it up. Joe

      Ps if you want the long version of why I voted the way I did then ask me, but at the time of the voting it all made sense to me….here’s a clue, I didn’t vote for Hillary in as much as I voted against the racism that Trump represents.

    • Gregory Herr
      December 23, 2017 at 5:47 pm

      Can the grasping at straws to rationalize Clinton’s electoral defeat get any lower or more bizarre? For the party I supported nearly my entire adult life to attempt to delegitimize my voice and my vote (a turn towards totalitarianism) is painfully ironic.
      Stein made the trip (in her own words) “with the goal of reaching an international audience and Russian officials with a message of Middle East peace, diplomacy, and cooperation against the urgent threat of climate change.”
      Those sentiments or policy frameworks, among others, were precisely why I voted for her. But the Democrats apparently are afraid to compete for the American mind…they just want us to hand over the keys to the car, march in goosestep, or STFU. Democracy, freedom of expression, and the sanctity of vote indeed.

    • Bill Cash
      December 27, 2017 at 11:32 pm

      You realize the republicans are in complete control of the government and investigations? Hillary has nothing to do with it. They are also investigating Hillary, the FBI and the Justice department and they will investigate many other things just to divert attention from the Trump investigation?
      You people out here seem to think Mueller is dirty. He’s probably one of the most honorable men in Washington. I’ve never seen any of this group come out with any real evidence about anything.

      • Skip Scott
        December 29, 2017 at 9:52 am

        That’s a really high bar you’ve set to call Mueller one of the most honorable men in Washington. He’s probably almost as honorable as James Clapper and John Brennan.

  21. December 23, 2017 at 4:08 am

    Stwerling Hayden…my dad used to crew on the Wander Bird. Must be why he voted for Nixon,lol.

  22. December 23, 2017 at 3:42 am

    Poor poor little Trumpkin…all he wanted was a little detante with that nice little man Pootie Poot…so misunderstood when all he wanted was bread and roses for everyone!.

  23. exiled off mainstreet
    December 23, 2017 at 3:35 am

    This article is artistically excellent and says it all on the subject being examined.

  24. Zachary Smith
    December 23, 2017 at 2:35 am

    Considering the organized nature of the trolls appearing on this thread, here is a headline to think about.

    NY Times Frets About Russian Propaganda, Ignores Massive Troll Farms Run by America and Its Allies

    The software used to bombard the evil Russians is just as available to the TrumpBots and Hillary Dead Enders. And you can bet that Exxon has just as much access as Zionists defending their thieving and murdering. One of two guys or gals munching Cheetos in front of their computer monitors can create dozens or even hundreds of “personalties”. All chanting the themes they’re paid to push, and probably with access to substantial libraries prepared for them by their employers.

    h**p://russia-insider.com/en/ny-times-frets-about-russian-propaganda-ignores-massive-troll-farms-run-america-and-its-allies

    • Will
      December 26, 2017 at 2:09 am

      Discloser…I’m just a dude posting on my lunch break and I do not care for Hillary, but the level of assuredness among some of the posters here as they assail the deep state and the Zionists stinks something fierce of some sort of lefty Alex Jones wannabeeism. I can barely spell or punctuate much less operate my computer, so massive trolling is a little beyond my means. I come to read and learn but not from people that display that wacky Alex jones-yness. you know who you are because you are the ones who can’t be bothered to debate or explain when other people have serious doubts regarding your schtick. but back to what you have said: In fact the US government itself has and uses programing to manipulate social media (allegedly only in other people’s countries) but that doesn’t mean it’s Ok for other people to do it to us. And really…Hillary dead-enders? I can hardly think of anyone who voted for Hillary who didn’t hold their nose before doing so. I think the more common unifying force is extreme distress caused by Trumpkin’s ascendancy, however that may have occurred (personally, I think a bitch shoulda come to Wisconsin a little more).

      • Abe
        December 27, 2017 at 4:44 pm

        Conventional Hasbara propaganda troll ‘”Will” here claims to be “just a dude posting on my lunch break” but also claims that he “can barely spell or punctuate much less operate my computer”.

        Hilarious.

        Hasbara troll army cover stories, those charming li’l details meant to “convince” us that the troll is a “real person”, read just like the “Engrish” on T-shirts in Asia
        http://www.engrish.com/wp-content/uploads//2017/04/shes-choice.jpg

        In fact, it’s all the Inverted Hasbara (false flag “anti-Israel” / “anti-Zionist”) propaganda troll “posters” that loudly “assail the deep state and the Zionists” and “display that wacky Alex jones-yness [sic]”.

        • will
          December 30, 2017 at 6:08 pm

          But “abe” that’s exactly what I am-a “conventional” guy who works for a living and who occasionally bobs back and forth between reading what the idiots at Talking Points Memo post and the idiot comments there that follow; and reading what appears to be the mirror image here-one sort of hopes to triangulate between the two extremes and find some sort of truth. Let me tell ya Abe…you don’t come off as totally authentic (you post a lot…do you have a job other than posting?), and I of course know the truth of the situation even if your readers don ‘t: I’m just a somewhat well read guy who can truly only infer what Hasbera is, because frankly, I’ve never heard the word from anyone other than you- I refuse to Google it for that very reason. anyway Abe, you just keep on thinking I’m whatever it is you think I am and doing whatever it is you do, and i’ll keep asking questions.

        • Abe
          December 31, 2017 at 9:51 pm

          Check out the awesome “Discloser [sic]” from our latest Conventional Hasbara (pro-Israel / pro-Zionist) propaganda troll: comrade “Will”.

          “Will” masquerades as a “dude” with “a job other than posting”.

          Hilarious.

          Comrade “Will”, who “can barely spell or punctuate much less operate my computer”, somehow manages to “bob” around internet sites that feature independent investigative journalism critical of Israeli government interference and pro-Israel Lobby influence on American elections and foreign policy.

          Hasbara workin’ “dude” comrade “Will” refuses to “Google” the word Hasbara for that very reason.

          Of course, “Will” and his “somewhat well read” Hasbara troll army pals all “know the truth of the situation”.

          With Israel-gate breaking out in the news, “Will” and the spelling-challenged Hasbara troll gang “bobs back and forth” loudly “asking questions” all over the internet.

          Since “Will” so “exactly” informs us that he “works for a living”, we can truly only infer there’s a paycheck involved.

      • Virginia
        December 28, 2017 at 1:35 am

        Hi Will, I think most of the commentators here distinguish between Zionists and Jews. I came to CN several months after reading rt.com everyday. Believe it or not, you get very good balanced reporting there (and rt makes a disclaimer after articles stating the views expressed are the author’s alone.) With rt, my phone doesn’t allow me to see or contribute to the blogs, which is kind of a blessing. Somehow rt.com was a good segue into my becoming a big fan of CN. I hope you will continue and keep forever broadening your scope as well. I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned here and how scholarly many contributors are. And underneath all that, I believe almost everyone here is a seeker for truth without concern where that truth may fall — only that it be uncovered and come to light and that something be done about it, if needed, whenever possible.

  25. Joseph A. Miller
    December 23, 2017 at 12:23 am

    So many demented, clownish people commenting, displaying their cringe-inducing ignorance. A few facts:

    Trump chose for Secretary of State a man with zero diplomatic experience. None. He has, however, helped engineer a $500 billion oil deal with Putin’s government. Gee whiz, what a coincidence, oil being Russia’s top export and all.

    Trump’s commerce secretary used to be affiliated with the Bank of Cyprus, a major conduit for Russian mob money. I’m sure he knew nothing about it, nothin’ at all!

    The top Russian mob figures in New York all had residences in Trump Tower or Trump World Tower. No fewer than 63 Russian mob figures have purchased Trump properties in Florida. One of the Russian Mob figures in Trump Tower was on the floor below Trump’s own residence, but I’m sure the two never met. Two Russian mobsters were running an operation OUT OF Trump Tower itself. They were ultimately busted by the same DA that Trump fired three months after becoming president.

    Trump’s campaign manager for six months was Paul Manafort, henchman for Viktor Yanukovych. Manafort was paid $12 million for his services by Putin’s government. He also helped alter the 2016 Republican platform on Ukraine to conform to Putin’s wishes. Shucks, that could have happened to anyone!

    Trump has LIED repeatedly about whether he knows Putin or has met him. He has LIED, under oath, about knowing Felix Sater, Russian mob figure. He joined the Bayrock Group, founded by former Soviet government official Tevfik Araf. He has LIED repeatedly about having no interest in Russia or whether Russian investors put money into his enterprises. Trump has attacked NATO, has attacked the EU, has taken Putin’s side on every major issue. Trump has DEFENDED Putin from charges that Putin has murdered opponents and critics.

    There is more, but you get the point.

    It is a FACT that an army of Russian trolls worked diligently to push Trump or undermine Clinton. Whether you poor folks believe it is immaterial. But you’re going to look really foolish when all this is done.

    • David A Hart
      December 23, 2017 at 1:29 am

      Wanting it to be so is not going to make it so. I am pretty sure YOU will be the one with egg all over your face when all is said and done. A horrible candidate for the Democrats ran a horrible campaign, and lost the election to the WORST CANDIDATE IN THE HISTORY OF THIS COUNTRY. And she is unable to admit that fact to herself. Hence, the “Russia-gate conspiracy.” Nothing but mindless drivel. I will concede that if Trump goes down, it will be because of his financial improprieties, not any “collusion” on the part of his campaign.

    • Zachary Smith
      December 23, 2017 at 1:46 am

      Trump is a known shady figure, and probably a criminal in many of his old business transactions. The Russian Mafia is definitely a bunch of criminals, and I don’t doubt the two parties have interacted in the past.

      Where the Hillary Troll errs is his/her belief that Trump’s associations/connections with the likes of Felix Sater eight or nine years ago has anything whatever to do with the fantasies of his hero Hillary and the neocon NYT and the Bezos’ WP.

      Trump may indeed be taken down on account of his old crimes, but until actual evidence is provided for the claims by the current guys working on a coup, the Hillary Trolls like this fellow are just nuts.

      In the event the investigators pull an “Al Capone” by convicting Trump of some kind of crime in some business dealings decades ago, that will NOT be justification for whooping it up and bellowing that this demonstrates he was guilty of colluding with the Russians to steal the election of 2016 after all.

    • Abe
      December 23, 2017 at 2:05 am

      Our latest aggressive Hasbara troll “Joseph A. Miller” is loaded with oodles of facts that point, quite inconveniently, at Israel not Russia.

      In fact, Trump’s connections are with Russian Jewish mob figures in New York. Of course, the Russian Jewish mafia launders its money in Israel.

      Of course, it’s immaterial for Israel which pro-Israel puppet – Haim Saban’s Clinton or Sheldon Adelson’s Trump – occupies the White House.

      The Russian Jewish mafia in Israel began with the mass immigration of Russian Jews to Israel in 1989.

      Russian Jewish mafia crime figures such as “boss of bosses” Semion Mogilevich acquired Israeli citizenship and laundered money through Israel.

      Israel as the ideal place for the Russian Jewish mafia to launder money. Israel’s banking system was designed to encourage aliyah, the immigration of Jews, and the accompanying capital. Following the trend of global financial deregulation, Israel had also implemented legislation aimed at easing the movement of capital. Combined with the lack of anti-money laundering legislation, “Russian” Jewish organised crime found it an easy place to transfer ill-gotten gains.

      Born to a Jewish family in Moscow, Felix Sater is the son of Mikhail Sheferovsky (also known as Michael Sheferofsky), an underboss for Mogilevich. The family immigrated to Israel when Felix was 8 years old, then came to the United States, living in Baltimore, eventually settling in New York. Felix adopted the surname Sater (the family name was Saterov at some point).

      There is more, but you get the point.

      As Russia-gate is revealed as Israel-gate, the Netanyahu regime and pro-Israel Lobby connections with Russian Jewish organized crime become more evident.

      So keep blabbering more facts, comrade “Joseph A. Miller”. I like you.

      • Skip Scott
        December 23, 2017 at 8:02 am

        Thanks Abe for your continuing education of the Russian Jewish mob and its history. I am curious about Putin’s response to the mobsters. I know he tossed some of them, and I think the criteria he used was whether they kept their capital in Russia, or attempted to export it. I would really appreciate any useful links you could provide to further my education of the Russian Jewish Mafia. So far I’ve only gotten bits and pieces, mostly from you and the Oliver Stone Putin interviews.

      • Joe Tedesky
        December 23, 2017 at 1:20 pm

        Abe you took the words right out of my own mouth, and said it much better than I. This Russia-Gate travesty should be an investigation into Israeli and Zionist Oligarchy influence, and not Putin’s Russia influence. The one fact left out of Joe Miller’s fact filled rant, is that Russia did not throw the 2016 election in Trump’s favor. Trump could have all the Russia-Zionist friends he wants, and still Russia had little to no effect on the outcome of America’s 2016 presidential election. Also who was Mike Flynn carrying water for when he approached the Russian Ambassador? Flynn was sponsoring Netanyahu’s request to have Russia help Israel out when the UN voted regarding Israeli settlements. Joe

    • Skip Scott
      December 23, 2017 at 7:52 am

      If I recall correctly, RussiaGate’s premise is that the Russians hacked the DNC and supplied wkileaks. I believe sufficient evidence has been gathered by VIPS to refute that claim. How about Russian mobsters like William Browder whose sole obsession is getting back to the raping of Russia he enjoyed under Yeltsin. It seems there are Russian mobsters on both sides of the divide. How about the Uranium One deal and team Hillary? I am no fan of Trump, but neither do I like being played for a fool. Criminals abound in politics, but choosing to see only one side of the story is nothing short of willful blindness. You only want to consider what fits your own narrative.

      • Joe Tedesky
        December 23, 2017 at 1:25 pm

        Yeah Skip, let’s talk about the real criminal behavior, that there is plenty of evidence to provide for a coherent investigation which could lead somewhere, over an investigation that is no better than being called a ‘witch hunt’. On the other hand, what secrets do the Clinton’s hold over everyone? Joe

        • Skip Scott
          December 23, 2017 at 2:10 pm

          Hi Joe-

          Yeah, I think Mueller’s challenge is to prosecute Trump without bringing in Hillary’s dastardly deeds and the fact that RussiaGate is really IsraelGate via the Russian Jewish mob. He can only go so far using real facts before he runs into problems with where the truth leads. The Kremlin/Wikileaks connection is something he and his buddies in the Intelligence community are trying to create out of thin air, and are failing miserably. Their only hope is to leverage someone to tell the right lie for them in exchange for leniency. Maybe not so hard to do; but without any supporting hard evidence, it will look like a setup to anyone paying attention.

          • Joe Tedesky
            December 23, 2017 at 2:46 pm

            Mueller guiding the Russia-Gate investigation while avoiding Hillary crimes Skip, is like a Pilot steering a large ship through barrier reefs, and trying not to go aground. Joe

    • mike k
      December 23, 2017 at 9:00 am

      Joe Miller starts off by grossly insulting everyone on this blog. Typical troll behavior. They are not known for tact or finesse.

      • Abe
        December 23, 2017 at 3:41 pm

        Unlike all those other tact and finesse impoverished trolls who noisily complain about “ineffectual data dumps” whenever someone mentions Israel, comrade Yosef here is positively effusive with ever-so-helpful li’l data dumps of his own.

        Definitely worth tolerating a few gross insults, eh?

      • Will
        December 26, 2017 at 1:53 am

        Is it grossly insulting to point out that there seem to be a lot of conspiracy theorists here among the many commenters, many of whom who see Zionists behind every bush?

        • Skip Scott
          December 26, 2017 at 9:24 am

          How about providing an evidence based rebuttal, instead of just slandering your fellow commenters?

        • Gregory Herr
          December 26, 2017 at 2:10 pm

          Ah yes…those magic two words intended to broad-brush opposing views with unsubstantiated “taint” and truncate discussion of facts and evidence. Do you realize, Will, that the accusation of Russian government collusion with the Trump campaign is a conspiracy theory? What is more, it’s an unsubstantiated one. So you might want to check your head for tin foil.

    • Will
      December 26, 2017 at 1:36 am

      Joseph Miller: the answer above is that all those Russians mobsters were Jews, so they don’t count as real Russians. Perhaps Consortium news could look into who is Jewish among Trumpkin’s Russian friends and who are not.

      • Abe
        December 27, 2017 at 4:00 pm

        All those Russians mobsters are not only Jews but the majority are Israeli citizens, so they count as real Israelis.

        Israel-gate reveals Israeli government interference and pro-Israel Lobby influence within both the Trump and Clinton campaigns, and evident pro-Israel bias in the Trump administration.

        When the facts of Israel-gate are presented, Hasbara trolls immediately complain about “data dumps” and clamor to “doubt” and “debate” them away.

        Hilarity ensues.

    • Bill Cash
      December 27, 2017 at 11:27 pm

      Thanks for some reality. The group think out here about Russia, Trump and Putin is really bad. You are bringing some facts to the table but they aren’t facts this group wants to hear. I suggest they read David Cay Johnston’s book on Trump. They should read Julie Ioffe’s article on the Russians in the Atlantic Magazine. She actually went to Russia and talked to people there. Many of them think they did interfere in the election.
      Is the group out here aware that Putin just threw his opposition out of the race for president and is making it impossible for him to challenge it in the courts? What a great guy!
      If you get on the blogs, you can see the Russian trolls all over them but nothing will make this group believe Russia did anything.

      • Virginia
        December 28, 2017 at 1:16 am

        Bill Cash — It takes a lot of research and then one must decide for himself, but this Navalny fellow who cannot run in Russia’s election would get less than 10% of the vote. It’s more than rumored that he was tapped and trained by Bill Browder and both of them by the CIA. The thought was the US — oops, I meant the CIA — would have another Yeltson-type puppet as head of Russia. (Always good for exploiting Russia’s assets!) In addition, Russia does have laws regarding “assembling without permits” and other laws which Nalvalny has broken. I haven’t kept up with all of it, but we can’t take anything anymore at face value.

      • Skip Scott
        December 29, 2017 at 9:48 am

        Wow, I’m really impressed that Ioffe actually went to Russia and talked to people. Did she talk to any of the 80+ pct. that approve of Putin, or did she have a chat with Pussy Riot? Navalny is our replacement for Yeltsin. Problem is he’s a convict and not eligible to run. Not to mention his ties to Browder and the CIA. You just can’t get over the fact that some folks don’t go along with propaganda rags like The Atlantic. I’m sure you can find many websites where the “group think” is more to your liking.

  26. Rob Montgomery
    December 22, 2017 at 11:53 pm

    Not the first commentary to opine that the Russia-gate circus would be darkly funny except it is so fraught with the potential for truely catastrophic consequences,at least in part-as others have pointed out- because (supposedly) liberal, left of centre influential people cannot bring themselves to expose the absurdity of the claims of “collusion” in their desperation to reverse the “calamitous” election loss by tee hee we came we saw he died” Clinton.

    • Will
      December 26, 2017 at 1:31 am

      Why is some level of collusion absurd? Trumpkin and his minions are in business with a lot of wealthy Russians and they have consistently lied about their contacts. Of course, they lie about everything, but still “no Contact” > “No Collusion” > “it wasn’t me that did it.” and finally> “everyone does it, so it doesn’t matter.” Admittedly, you’d think the Ruskies would have worked harder to elect Sanders rather than the patently incompetent Trumpkin gang….unless of course, the Ruskies had evidence of serious criminal behavior by Trumpkin back when all those Russians were showering him with cash investments in a east coast real estate environment in which it has traditionally been difficult to succeed if you’re not willing to “collude” with local organized crime figures. The thing is, whether or not the US has unfairly hemmed in Russia via NATO, Putin is no prince. He’s the ex head of the KGB and it seems like he has had people that annoyed him killed from time to time. Perhaps it’s untrue that it is his personal fortune that is being held in limbo by the Maginski Act, but one does hear that.and Consortium News tends to focus on the rather narrow question of whether any suspected election collusion yielded measurable positive results rather than disproving the “Manchurian candidate” angle.

      • Skip Scott
        December 26, 2017 at 9:17 am

        Will-

        If you can find the time during your lunch hour, I suggest that you read Putin’s speeches and interviews that can be found on the internet, along with watching Oliver Stone’s Putin interviews. I get a completely different picture of the man than the one painted by the MSM. Also bear in mind that Putin has enjoyed a 60-80+ pct. approval rating inside Russia during his entire tenure. He has improved life expectancy and the standard of living there, and has rebuilt a country that was almost destroyed by our man Yeltsin. None of the murders Putin has been accused of have been proven, just as none of the murders associated with the Clintons have been proven. I think it is fair in both cases to give the benefit of doubt.

        As for disproving the “Manchurian candidate” angle, exactly what evil would ensue by pursuing detente with Russia? The MIC would lose their boogeyman, and the some of the big $$$$ they haul in. The PNACers would lose their dream of empire, and have to share spheres of influence in a multi polar world. Do you really think that Russian tanks would come rolling up Park Avenue and Wall Street? Trump just tried to make Jerusalem the capital of Israel. Do you think a Russian stooge would do that? I am no fan of Trump, but the whole “Manchurian candidate” angle falls apart upon any reasonable inspection, along with the rest of RussiaGate. If you are looking for serious foreign meddling to the point of installing “Manchurian candidates”, I would take a hard look at Israel.

        I strongly suspect that Trump has had plenty of dirty financial dealings, and some of them with criminal elements inside Russia. Hillary and the Clinton foundation have also had similar dirty dealings inside Russia. I would be completely in favor of cleaning house of all the crooks, but that is not what the Mueller investigation is about. If they went after all the crooks, Washington DC would become a ghost town.

        • Gregory Herr
          December 26, 2017 at 1:50 pm

          Skip–
          Will would do well to carefully consider and act upon your suggestions.

          But this is the part I was waiting for:
          “I strongly suspect that Trump has had plenty of dirty financial dealings, and some of them with criminal elements inside Russia. Hillary and the Clinton foundation have also had similar dirty dealings inside Russia”.

          What Will apparently fails to distinguish is the difference between shady business dealings and the accusation that the Russian Federation, under the authority of President Putin, worked in collusion with the Trump campaign to somehow get Trump elected. The difference is so great that it is astounding to me to think that anyone with a bit of sense could confuse this.

          Another suggestion for Will would be to study the section of Naomi Klein’s book “Shock Doctrine” that pertains to U.S. “interference” (too mild a term) in post-Soviet Russia.

          • Gregory Herr
            December 26, 2017 at 1:59 pm

            By the way Will…Putin was not the head of the KGB (as if that fact alone would somehow “stain” him)…he was an intelligence analyst. George Bush, Sr. was the head of the CIA.

          • January 1, 2018 at 1:57 pm

            I’ve read The Shock Doctrine and understand what we did there and that the Russians were ripped off. I blame Bill Clinton and to a lesser extent BushI and Reagan for blowing the opportunity to support that Scandinavian style social democracy that Gorbachev was apparently attempting to set up. On the other hand, Kompromat is not unheard of and Trumpkin owes billions to oligarchs and gangsters who could easily use their knowledge of Trumpkin’s business practices to blackmail him, or they could just call in the loans. There are time lines that really do appear to show rather suspicious cause and effect related to Trumpkin’s campaign possibly coordinating w/ the Russians. I suppose it’s possible Reality Winner will rot in prison for being set up to steal fake documents…I suppose that the video montages of Putin and Trumpkin using the exact same words in various speeches is possibly a coincidence or that the well documented Russian use of fake news outside of US politics is not something that has spread to our campaigns. As far as Russians liking Trumpkin, I used to hang out with a bunch of Russian grad students at the rifle range and they all thought he was great…but then there are the woman from Pussy Riot who have eloquently expressed some reservations with the homophobic authoritarianism displayed but Putin. Of course Putin says he doesn’t hate gay people, he just wants to outlaw homosexuality to up the birth rate so he can have a bigger army…which brings me to the fact that countries like Finland,Latvia and Sweden are quite concerned about Russia right now. Maybe that’s something our CIA has created…except the CIA has really had a poor record of actually succeeding in most things they try to do.

            So, to sum it up, I will admit that our desire to surround Russia with NATO signatories and all those military bases is not a great idea and quite dangerous,especially to the “little” people who die in the resultant proxy wars. none the less, as long as Trumpkin continues to lie and these matters exist, I’m not gonna say this is all the product of the deep state attack on our democracy or that Trumpkin is anything but a would be dictator. I have a hard time believing either Trumpkin or his friends have our or the Russian people’s best interest at heart when they consider teaming up with Russia against China and/or our other rivals-frankly, at least poor Americans can afford real booze unlike the Russians who often drink cleaning fluid-I sort of imagine that a real Russian/US detante as Trump imagines it would involve poor Americans having to switch to drinking cleaning fluid as well.

  27. Zachary Smith
    December 22, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    Just a thought, but in my opinion author Phil Rockstroh would be well advised to lay off the $50 words and phrases. I found them to make for quite unfriendly reading.

    • Zachary Smith
      December 23, 2017 at 1:58 am

      I examined this link and found some serious nonsense. Fortunately the materials at that site are usually much better.

  28. Virginia
    December 22, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    As soon as I saw the word palaver I knew the article was by Phil Rockstroh.

    Thank you for taking the important measure of “calling out the lie” and giving the so needed warning. The mesmerized masses ought to be just a tiny bit more self examining. If they would simply allow themselves to entertain the thought, “I might be wrong!” surely many a querying suspicion would come to their minds. For example, they might begin to connect the dots that the very same frenzied-about-Russia media outlets are owned by the elites whose colleagues and supporters are out to make money via chaos, unrest and wars; and they don’t care how many are killed or maimed or starved or sodomized or enslaved along the way. In fact, the more uneducated, enslaved or low wage laborers the better! The more minerals and oil fields they can exploit, too!

    I watched a video of Louis Farrakhan delivering a message to Donald Trump (a Nov 16, 2017 video, I believe), and it was right on the mark. I had heard only negative propaganda about this man before, so I recognize that I had been unfair in my opinion of him and duped. I now know he deserves to be listened to and supported by the likes of us, the readers and commentators at CN. I highly recommend your taking a listen. He is so balanced, level headed, has a wonderful humble, serious, solemn, grave, yet loving demeanor; and he knows exactly where our country/our world is headed if we don’t change and soon. As do we who agree with this article by Phil Rockstroh!

    • john wilson
      December 23, 2017 at 5:52 am

      Hey Virginia, your last sentence suggest you are smoking some seriously strong stuff and we would like to know where we can get some !! Whilst I am glad Trump won, this is only because I loath Hillary Clinton who is a war monger and soiled goods. Few people who run for high office have a clean sheet and in the case of Trump and Hillary, it was a case of the lesser of the two evils.

      • mike k
        December 23, 2017 at 9:04 am

        As if your “vote” amounts to dip squat in this rigged Deep State Mafia Game.

      • Virginia
        December 28, 2017 at 12:46 am

        John Wilson — You address the above to Virginia, and then stray into topics unrelated to anything I said. In fact, you sound a bit trollish — very unlike yourself. Can’t help you though, because I neither smoke not drink. However, you could pray for a sound mind, if that’s not too much like looking down a rabbit hole for you.

    • Will
      December 26, 2017 at 1:13 am

      Farrakhan definitely makes good sense when he speaks publicly- even at the height of his defamation back in the 1980’s and 90’s he talked a great game . Not sure whether that means he’s sorry he helped off Malcolm X or whether he has since dumped all that Elijah Mohammed quackery- admittedly, I have not kept up.

      • Virginia
        December 28, 2017 at 12:53 am

        Will, Thanks for confirming what I so recently discovered in Farrakhan. He’s remarkable and an obviously deeply spiritual man. He’s been on a long consistent yet evolving journey. Again, I recommend him to our fellow CN readers.

  29. December 22, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    Unfortunately, the ignorance of Americans in general on history and their over-reliance on TV for news allows this charade to continue. Short attention spans of programmed consumers is what we’ve got. The dreadful duopoly that passes for government never gets a thing done for the people, only for politically and economically powerful. But the mask is being ripped off this “exceptional” nation, as more nations see the hypocrisy of the bully USA, witness the UN vote on Jerusalem, condemnation of Trump and Haley. As more business gets conducted without the dollar, the world can eventually turn away from believing the US empire is something it never has been, as all empires have their day. I welcome the comeuppance of the US as well as that of Israel.

    A good piece by Phil Rockstroh, and your comment hit a home run too, Annie.

    • john wilson
      December 23, 2017 at 5:44 am

      Actually, Jessica, I’m not sure you are entirely right about the average American being completely in the hands of the media etc. If this was really the case, then Hillary should have won and Trump should have lost big time because as you know, the MSM were behind Hillary 99% of the time. Clearly, a large percentage of Americans were not influenced by the MSM because they voted for Trump.

      • mike k
        December 23, 2017 at 9:06 am

        Perhaps they were influenced by the MSM, but adversely.

        • David A Hart
          December 23, 2017 at 1:09 pm

          Oh, come on> It was Russia!!!! Those dastardly Russkies want to take over the US “deomcracy” because here in the good ol’ USA, we are FREE. And everyone wants to be like us! Overweight, hooked on opioids. sitting in our recliners with a six-pack of beer watching young men beat their brains out for the glory of our billionaire-owned sports teams! Families where both the mother and the father work ungodly hours just to make the mortgage payments on a house that is almost back to the value it was when they bought it. Families sending their kids to college to obtain massive debts in the tens of thousands of dollars to prepare them for a job as a Starbucks barista. Yep, this is the land of the free and home of the brave, and shame on those Russkies for trying to take us over!

        • Will
          December 26, 2017 at 12:56 am

          Or the not so main stream media, if one is to believe the rather well written article on Pizza-Gate in this month’s Rolling Stone.

  30. December 22, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    Phil, you wrote:

    “U.S. citizens/consumers are the most successfully psychologically colonized people on planet earth.”

    Than why do most people distrust politicians and mainstream media? I hear the above sentiment a lot these days but I don’t see it from most people I know or relate with, including online. Take for example the Trump loving crowd, do they really love Trump or what he represents? He represents different things to different people, but in general these days most people (outside of wealthy people who stand to gain from GOP policies) who support the GOP do not do so because they like or trust the GOP, some are fooled by the GOP, but most give their support because they hate the alternative of voting for the Democrats or some 3rd party. The same goes for the Democrat voters, most do not like or trust Democrat politicians but vote Dem because they hate the alternative. What we have had in America is that most people do not vote to support someone (Sanders is an anomaly), they vote to stop people whom they hate from gaining power. The GOP voters tend to hate “liberals” and the Dem voters likewise tend to hate GOP voters, or at least they hate their vision for America.

    Secondly, the Russia theater of the absurd is not believed in by most people, the people on the left that go along with it do so because of a variety of reasons, wishful thinking being the most common, but mostly they hope to remove Trump and damage the GOP brand as their reason for supporting the Manchurian Candidate version of reality.

    Also, your version of why the “establishment” wants to demonize and harm Russia is too simplistic. You blame it on greed, the desire to maintain and expand US dominance over the world for the sake of money. But if that were the case then why Russia? Russia is not a major economic threat to the US. Why can’t America be friends and allies with Russia like they are with Japan and Germany, ex-enemies who are much more a threat economically than Russia? We need to look back 10 years for the answer. Putin declared Russia on a number of occasion in 2007-2008 as seeking a multipolar world, not a unipolar world. He and Medvedev gave speeches laying out their vision of a new world order, where the current dominant world order was being rejected by them. They didn’t want to go along with the dominant establishment and made it clear in 2008 when they made it clear they were not going to tolerate NATO encroachment into their “sphere of influence” which led to their invasion of Georgia in 2008 and helping the 2 breakaway regions to declare themselves independent. Georgia was about to be brought into NATO, but Putin made it clear Russia was not going to tolerate that and by brute force showed what he meant.

    Ever since the dominant establishment in the world has been in a cold war with Russia. Which turned into a hot war in Ukraine and Syria.

    Why did Putin make that decision in 2007-8 to reject partnership in the “establishment?” Why did he declare his opposition to taking part in the “unipolar” world order and then take military action to show he meant business? My belief is that he made a deal with China to take on the establishment. Chinese leadership, I believe, thinks they will never be accepted by the dominant establishment as an equal partner without dramatic changes to their political system. The dominant countries like America and Western Europe are seen as to influenced by politically-correct mindsets to tolerate an equal partner in China with their current political system. The influence of people who speak out for human rights and battling corruption in China or Tibet are seen as potential threats to the Chinese leadership because those people have so much influence in the dominant establishment’s media. China does not want the Chinese people plugged wholesale in to the dominant establishment media or mindset because the fear revolution. I believe they saw in Russia a potential partner to establish a counter-establishment to protect their political system from change. I believe Putin saw in the dominant establishment untrustworthy partners, fearing their intentions were not honorable when it came to him personally, and to Russia in general, so he accepted China’s offer and plan for the future of a new counter-establishment to compete with the dominant one.

    This has led to our current predicament. It isn’t about greed or money of Americans per se, it is about stopping nations from joining the China-Russia counter-establishment which seeks to take away the dominant place of the current establishment. It isn’t about Russia vs America, it is about the entire dominant establishment (consisting of very powerful corporation and people of America, Brits, Germans, French, Arabs, Japanese, Australasia, Canada, Latin America, etc.) vs Russia-China. And the reason they are attacking Russia instead of China is because they feel they cannot do the same to China due to so many corporations being dependent on China to such a large degree.

    • David A Hart
      December 23, 2017 at 1:24 am

      Look at the way the “establishment” treated Russia immediately following the fall of the Soviet empire. They circled like buzzards, waiting to swoop in and take everything they could for themselves. “Disaster capitalism” was how we treated Russia, and life in that country was grim indeed. What leader wouldn’t look at that kind of greedy and uncaring attitude and want just the opposite for their country and their people? (We pretty much know the answer to that–anyone who is the “leader” of the “free” world, aka, the president to the United States). WE meddled in the election/political affairs of Russia in 1996, and bragged about it to the world. I much prefer the Chinese/Russian model of economic co-operation and desire to build up economies rather than make everyone subservient to one huge behemoth. It could all have been so different for the United States.

      • December 23, 2017 at 4:06 am

        yup, Bill Clinton did nothing to support social democracy in Russia and the Chicago school boys swooped in. Doesn’t mean life is better or safer with Trumpkin at the helm. QA whole ‘nother kind of disaster capitalism is a commin’

      • Joe Tedesky
        December 23, 2017 at 12:52 pm

        At least you David saw the American ramshackle of Russia for what it was. More Americans need to know this. Joe

        • Will
          December 26, 2017 at 12:44 am

          The “ramshackle of Russia” couldn’t have happened without help from quite a few Russians…

      • December 23, 2017 at 6:01 pm

        Not just Russia, but also Yugoslavia, which Putin has mentioned in speeches that he sees as a great injustice. So yeah, he had good cause not to trust the leaders of the establishment system. But that doesn’t make the Chinese led system better, for one thing their dictatorial system is sorely lacking in human rights, Russia is not so great at it either although much much closer to the establishment consensus on human rights than China. Unless China makes changes to their system the threat of revolution will always be simmering and paranoia is no way to live your life.

        The dominant establishment may be much better on human rights, but the simmering anger and discontent over the financial exploitation of the hoi polloi from the left, along with the anger and discontent from racial/ethnic nationalists on the right, is leading the establishment system to ruin if they don’t do something to fix it soon.

        What power do they have to sway the developing nations to their side in the battle for world dominance if their own populations hate them so much and are clearly being exploited? Clearly the Western Alliance needs a new vision if they want to win the current “war for the world.” We need people like Tulsi Gabbard, or even Bernie Sanders, who are not sold out to finance, who are do-gooders at heart, otherwise it will only get worse for that alliance if the current exploitative model of being led by the selfish financial concerns of the wealthy continues to set their course for the future.

        Right now they are led by the philosophy of “Cutting off the nose to spite the face,” not only by the neoliberal center-left leaders, but also by the nationalist right leaders. Both leading forces in the Western Alliance (dominant world establishment) are going down the road to ruin, leaving the Russia-China alliance to pick up the pieces (more alliances).

        • Dave P.
          December 24, 2017 at 1:49 pm

          I agree with a lot what you have said in both of your comments. I do want to add that Russia-China cooperation is by no means an alliance. It is more like a partnership to defend themselves from the bullies, i.e. Western Alliance. Russia is an European country with common history with those countries. It seems to me, that their preference will be to have close ties to Europe.

          Given the history of Colonialism and Imperial domination for more than four centuries, The West should not lecture other Nations about the human rights. Ask the Native Americans and blacks here, and the indigenous people across Mexico, Central and South America – and people of Asia and Africa too. Civil Rights bill was passed in 1965 in U.S. here granting Blacks equal rights on paper.

          Der Spiegel, the conservative neo-liberal leaning paper in Op-Ed article ” The End of The End of History” last month at least included a few accurate lines about this:

          “. . . In truth, the domination of the world by Europe and the United States has only lasted two centuries. Before that, China was already an economic leader. And the history of the rise of the West cannot really be attributed to but a single cause. This ascent was helped along by genocide and slavery; colonialism allowed Europe to plunder ideas. It was in China that the technologies for iron and steel production were first invented, as well as paper currency, gun powder and the compass. . . ”

          And I would add to that in addition the rise of The West was accomplished by brutal plunder of the resources of the colonized countries which is in some ways continues today. The West is sensing that China will be a threat in that in a few decades. So, the human rights you have mentioned are being taken away bit by bit in the Western Countries.

    • mike k
      December 23, 2017 at 9:16 am

      Your interpretation seems to bypass the huge elephant of the USA Deep State’s overriding push for world domination. Ignoring this elephant is the opposite of a clarification – and it makes it seem almost as if the US is behaving like a rational actor, which it is most definitely NOT.

      • mike k
        December 23, 2017 at 9:19 am

        (This comment is meant as a response to Kali Ma’s remarks posted above.)

      • December 23, 2017 at 6:09 pm

        That is assuming the “deep state” is a single unified thing which acts independently from all other influences. I see the “deep state” as many influences with many personal agendas (global ultra-wealthy people), global corporate agendas (globally powerful entrenched banks and industry), national agendas (Saudis and Gulf States, Israel, and many other lesser influential nations), plus the political based influence from American politicians and governments, naitional and state.

        • Will
          December 26, 2017 at 12:53 am

          @ Kali Ma “That is assuming the “deep state” is a single unified thing which acts independently from all other influences” Heh…not sure your penchant for rational thinking is gonna go over well here…

  31. December 22, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    Sweet! A well thought out and nicely rendered analysis of our rather dire straits.

  32. Abe
    December 22, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    The commenter makes a loud declaration with no actual evidence to evaluate. Period.

      • Abe
        December 23, 2017 at 12:19 pm

        Yosef, bubi! You’re doing an excellent job vomiting up a nice li’l roster of all those Russian Jewish mafia chums of Trump.

        It’s funny how you never mention that they’re Israeli dual citizens or Jewish, or that Clinton has her own pod of Kosher Nostra pals.

        Some might say you’re displaying “cringe-inducing ignorance”. But I think you deserve major points for effort. By all means, keep puking!

        That illegal gambling operation that took up the entire 51st floor of Trump Tower was run by the Russian mobster Anatoly Golubchik and Vadim Trincher, a dual citizen of the United States and Israel, Trincher’s son Illya, Hillel Nahmad, the son of a billionaire art dealer and heir of a descendant of a Jewish Lebanese art family, and a follower of Chabad-Lubavitch.

        “This is the top of the top of the top in organized crime in Russia,” according to the prosecutor. The ring answered to Russian mob boss Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov, whose organization is tied to Russian Jewish mafia “boss of bosses” Semion Mogilevich.

        Tokhtakhounov, who holds both Russian and Israeli citizenship, is one of the world’s most notorious Russian Jewish mafia bosses, known as the “Little Taiwanese.” In 2008, Forbes named him the world’s third most wanted, after Osama bin Laden and el Chapo. He is accused of bribing of judges in the 2002 Winter Olympics, where a Canadian figure-skating team were denied their gold medal.

        Seven months after he was busted in 2013, Tokhtakhounov appeared near Trump in the VIP section of the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow. Tokhtakhounov operated out of Trump Tower, just three floors down from Trump’s penthouse, what prosecutors called “an international gambling business that catered to oligarchs residing in the former Soviet Union and throughout the world.”

      • Abe
        December 23, 2017 at 12:38 pm

        To quote comrade Yosef, there is an “ENORMOUS amount of publicly-available evidence” about Trump’s relationship to the Russian Jewish mob in Israel.

        Hasbara trolls, and all those “verification” experts at the “First Draft” coalition, curiously neglect to mention the Jewish part and the connection to Israel.

        Fortunately, the press in Israel is somewhat less “cringe-inducing” when it comes to Trump’s Russian Jewish mafia Israeli connections:

        “In the Israeli documentary ‘Thieves in Law’ (2010), Tokhtakhounov recalled his life in Israel in the early 1990s. ‘I understood that it’s hard to live with a Russian passport, ’cause you have to renew the visa all the time. I had a Jewish lover so we went to Israel. We got married, moved to Israel and I got the papers. I lived in Israel for six months. Then I realized it’s not for me. My wife dies, we buried her and I moved to Paris,’ he said in the movie.

        “While Tokhtakhounov was hiding in Russia, his associate, according to the court documents, was running a crime operation from Trump Tower. Vadim Trincher, an emigrant from the former Soviet Union who holds American and Israeli citizenship, moved to Trump Tower in 2009.

        “According to the sealed indictment issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York in 2013 as a result of the surveillance operation, ‘VADIM TRINCHER, a/k/a ‘Dima,’ was a participant in the enterprise, the Taiwanchik-Trincher Organization, and was a leader of it. In that capacity, TRINCHER participated in and profited from various crimes, which he committed along with other members and associates of the Taiwanchik-Trincher Organization. Among other things, TRINCHER oversaw a high-stakes illegal sports gambling business that catered almost exclusively to oligarchs living in Ukraine and the Russian Federation. … Members and associates of the Taiwanchik-Trincher Organization and their co-conspirators employed a sophisticated money laundering scheme to move tens of millions of dollars in proceeds from the gambling operation from the former Soviet Union through shell companies in Cyprus into various investments and other shell companies in the United States.’

        “The organization laundered millions of dollars, with $10 million paid to Tokhtakhounov himself. Trincher pled guilty to conspiracy to commit racketeering, and was sentenced to five years in prison.

        “Another part of the scheme was operated by the organization’s younger generation. According to court documents, Trincher’s son Ilya and Hillel ‘Helly’ Nahmad, a prominent art dealer who lived on the 51st floor of Trump Tower, ran an ‘illegal international gambling business that catered to multi-millionaires and billionaires’.

        “Nahmad is the scion of a family of Jewish bankers from Syria. He owns Helly Nahmad Gallery, in Manhattan, which has exhibited works by Picasso, Modigliani and Kandinsky. Nahmad pled guilty to gambling charges and received a one-year prison sentence. Having served his sentence, Nahmad continues to be a prominent figure in the art world and to live in his Trump Tower residence.”

        The Russian Crime Organization That Operated in Trump Tower
        By Taly Krupkin
        https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-1.779006

        • Skip Scott
          December 23, 2017 at 2:13 pm

          Thanks a bunch Abe. I am truly enjoying the continuing education you provide for us here at CN.

  33. Joseph A. Miller
    December 22, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    There is an ENORMOUS amount of publicly-available evidence about Trump’s relationship to the Russian mob and the Russian leadership in general. There is a complete consensus among the intelligence and security communities about the Russian cyber war on Trump’s behalf. Articles like this are simply bald-faced damned lies. Period.

    • mike k
      December 22, 2017 at 9:04 pm

      Ignorant, deluded, or simply a troll? Who knows – but one or another…….

      • Joseph A. Miller
        December 22, 2017 at 11:53 pm

        No. An honest person–unlike you–who has been examining the evidence. Ignorant? I’ll mop the floor with your pathetic, know-nothing assertions. I have facts. You have lies and delusions. Trump is a criminal. Trump is a traitor. We’ll all see in the end who was right. And it ain’t you, buddy.

        • Zachary Smith
          December 23, 2017 at 1:32 am

          The Hillary trolls sure are becoming aggressive.

          • December 23, 2017 at 4:02 am

            No fan of Hillary, but the truth would certainly appear to be that it’s struggle in which either the neocon/neo liberal run “Full Spectrum Dominence” prevails, or the future in which Trumpkin, and his friends hope to rule the world as partners with Putin’s oligarchs…and believe me, Putin’s oligarchs and the Trumpkin boys do have that one belief in common: Global warming will be good for business,and the southern cones will both wither in that hot hot sun, while the new Russian/US alliance harvest the bounty of both the northern territories and Siberia. f course, we’ll both need to build some walls to keep out the little brown people fleeing the apocalypse. So… Please tell me which plan is the least insane…I’m all ears!

        • john wilson
          December 23, 2017 at 5:38 am

          Do you have one fact to prove that the individual voter for Trump was in any way influenced to vote the way he or she did because of something the Russians may have done? As has been pointed out may times with complete justification, the average American doesn’t actually follow anything but whats on TV or in the press which you may recall were 99% behind Clinton. Trump won because he had no previous political baggage; he had an attractive message to large sections of the population and most importantly, Hillary Clinton was soiled goods with no message except that Putin was bad.

          • RnM
            December 23, 2017 at 3:39 pm

            And don’t forget her coughing fits, and the video of her, on September 11, 2016 inNYC, being dragged into a waiting limo/ambulance van.
            The troll would deny that, or say that it was a Russian doing the camera work.

          • Perry Logan
            December 24, 2017 at 9:21 am

            “The average American doesn’t actually follow anything but whats on TV or in the press which you may recall were 99% behind Clinton.”

            Not at all. The media systematically built up Trump and Bernie at Hillary’s expense:

            http://www.mediaite.com/online/harvard-study-says-media-coverage-built-up-trump-tore-down-hillary/

        • mike k
          December 23, 2017 at 9:22 am

          Trolls always overplay their hands and reveal their underlying ugliness. They just can’t help themselves! So sad…………

          • mike k
            December 23, 2017 at 9:23 am

            (This was a reply to Joseph Miller.)

      • As Reported by the MSM.. lol
        December 23, 2017 at 12:35 am

        …or a down to earth, honest to goodness Franz Liebkind. lol

    • Annie
      December 23, 2017 at 5:02 pm

      Where did you pop up from Mr. Miller? You obviously have not read up on this issue otherwise you wouldn’t have made the claim that the whole of the intelligence community came to a consensus. Three agencies, and all hand picked analysts, no doubt with a preexisting bias, analysed the data . There was no definitive conclusion only an assessment, which was their best guess based on the evidence was the Russians hacked our elections. I don’t call that proving your case, and it’s certainly not science.

  34. Stronger Together!
    December 22, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    We are trying to use the Cimate Change issue to fix this mess:

    Ottmar Edenhofer, lead author of the IPCC’s fourth summary report released in 2007 candidly expressed the priority. Speaking in 2010, he advised, “One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. Instead, climate change policy is about how we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth.”

    Or, as U.N. climate chief Christina Figueres pointedly remarked, the true aim of the U.N.’s 2014 Paris climate conference was “to change the [capitalist] economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution.”

    h**ps://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/18/ipcc-official-%E2%80%9Cclimate-policy-is-redistributing-the-worlds-wealth%E2%80%9D/

    But the problem is the stupid skeptics are attacking all the science and so itis not as easy to manipulate the people anymore:

    The late Stephen Schneider, who authored The Genesis Strategy, a 1976 book warning that global cooling risks posed a threat to humanity, later changed that view 180 degrees, serving as a lead author for important parts of three sequential IPCC reports. In a quotation published in Discover, he said: “On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, on the other hand, we are not just scientists, but human beings as well. And like most people, we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change. To do that, we need to get some broad-based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of the doubts we might have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.

    h**ps://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2013/02/05/in-their-own-words-climate-alarmists-debunk-their-science/2/#6e85d49a45c4

    And thanks to Trump it is getting even harder to twist the science to allow us to redistribute the world’s wealth. With Hillary Clinton it would have been full speed ahead. So, as Obama said, people need to get out there and vote! He / we can’t do it alone. Stronger Together !!!

    • mike k
      December 22, 2017 at 9:16 pm

      This is just human caused climate change denial in drag. The overwhelming judgment of climatologists worldwide is that our industrial activities are changing the Earth’s climate in very dangerous ways. This NEARLY UNIVERSAL JUDGMENT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MANIPULATING POLITICS, SENSATIONALISM, OR ANY ATTACK ON CAPITALISM.

      The blatant plug for Trump tells all about where this poster is coming from. The next thing we will hear from similar sources is that the whole climate thing is a Russian/Chinese plot to destroy America! Pure baseless Trumpian fabrication, with no proof whatever – just hot air (not cool!)

      • As Reported by the MSM.. lol
        December 22, 2017 at 11:46 pm

        If it is nearly Universal Judgement you all ought to try telling the TRUTH then, at that point you might start getting more adherents. Meanwhile you are FINE with all this:

        NASA Hiding pre-1980 Hurricane data here:

        h**p://www.wsj.com/video/opinion-journal-how-government-twists-climate-statistics/80027CBC-2C36-4930-AB0B-9C3344B6E199.html

        Hiding pre 1978 Artic ice here: NOAA : Hiding Critical Arctic Sea Ice Data

        h**ps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIEGo8E9s_8

        Inventing Indian Ocean Sea Level Rise Here:

        h**ps://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs41748-017-0020-z.pdf

        All Climate Models Running too Hot Here:

        h**ps://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/09/18/new-climate-calculations-could-buy-the-earth-some-time-if-theyre-right/?utm_term=.7302939a2fbf

        And it goes on and on….

        Thank God people are turning off the MSM and are starting to do their own research. As we have seen from Wikileaks, the Democrats have no problem corrupting an election, so it stands to reason they would have no problem corrupting the climate record if it served their agenda.

        All this is, is another Progressive Democratic Vote Harvesting Scheme piggy backed onto a Global Wealth Redistribution Scheme. Instead of dividing people by their skin color, they are now dividing people via their environmental beliefs. And it is a good investment: if global warming is your “issue” they have you locked in for life, as AGW will take centuries to correct.

        About the only Universal Judgement that exists is “As Reported by the MSM”. What this is is FRAUD and Trump and a good literate and well read percentage of the population is onto you.

        Meanwhile lets us all know when the North Pole finally melts and New York finally disappears into the sea, we have been living through DECADES of failed predictions.

        • Zachary Smith
          December 23, 2017 at 2:02 am

          Meanwhile lets us all know when the North Pole finally melts and New York finally disappears into the sea, we have been living through DECADES of failed predictions.

          This poor dip doesn’t even understand that the disappearance of Arctic ice has nothing at all to do with sea levels.

          • tpmco
            December 23, 2017 at 7:00 am

            How about Antarctica? How about an undersea volcano building in 5,000 meters of ocean? How about a massive asteroid striking in the ocean off the east coast—I mean we’re not even ready for that?

            We need to expand our mindset that we should produce energy differently, and move people around differently, and quit building on fertile ground, and start moving to higher ground. These are things we should be doing in earnest—now!

      • siberiancat
        December 24, 2017 at 1:52 pm

        There is no such overwhelming judgment. There are high profile scientists, like for example Freeman Dyson, who are very critical of the extrapolation of computer climate models as a basis for public policy.

    • Zachary Smith
      December 22, 2017 at 11:12 pm

      First, a look at the author of the old Forbes piece. From the Exxonsecrets site:

      Larry Bell is a professor of space archetecture at University of Houston. He also writes a weekly column called The Bell Tells You for Forbes.com. The topics of his columns range from defense of hydrofracking to climate denial. He has written articles against wind energy, eco-friendly light bulbs, and various energy policies.

      More on this denier nut:

      h**ps://www.desmogblog.com/larry-bell

      Not let’s look at some of the people he named in his crap article in the crap magazine.

      Ottmar Edenhofer

      Edenhofer completed his Diploma in Economics with honors at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. He belonged the Jesuit Order from 1987–1994 and earned a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy with summa cum laude at the Munich School of Philosophy. During this time he also founded an enterprise in the public health sector and lead a humanitarian aid organization in Croatia and Bosnia from 1991–1993. After leaving the Order, Edenhofer worked as a research assistant from 1994–2000 and completed his PhD in Economics with summa cum laude at the Technical University of Darmstadt in 1999 under the supervision of Carlo Jaeger

      An economist who presumably knows as much climate science as your average high-school drop-out. Makes me think that “lead author” is applied to anybody who wants to work for the IPCC for nothing or next to nothing. BTW, this fellow’s wiki says he is a great admirer of Karl Marx.

      Christiana Figueres

      Growing up in La Lucha, Figueres attended the local Cecilia Orlich grammar school. She moved to the German Humboldt Schule in the capital and later graduated from Lincoln High School. She travelled to England for a year of A Level studies before entering Swarthmore College[8] in Pennsylvania. As part of her studies in anthropology, she lived in Bribri, Talamanca, a remote indigenous village in the Southeastern plateau of Costa Rica for one year, designing a culturally-sensitive literacy program which was used by the Ministry of Education for several years.

      Figueres joined botanist Dr. Russell Seibert to improve nutritional conditions in Western Samoa using highly nutritious plants.[citation needed]

      She then went to the London School of Economics for a master’s degree in social anthropology and graduated in 1981.

      Anybody see any qualifications here for the IPCC? My theory of “free or cheap worker” looks even better.

      Stephen Schneider The Forbes author simply isn’t truthful about this actual scientist.

      But that’s what Deniers do. They lie, and the world dies. Eager beavers seem to be always available to spread this muck around. Assuming that’s what they are – and they’re not actually on Exxon’s payroll.

      • As Reported by the MSM.. lol
        December 23, 2017 at 12:12 am

        And another full blown NUT here. Angela Merkel, ever hear of her?

        Merkel, at her press conference (about Trump pulling out of the Paris Accord), said, “This Paris climate accord is not just some accord or the other. It is a central accord in defining the contours of globalization.” She added, “I believe that the issue of Paris is so important that one simply can’t compromise on it.”

        h**ps://www.newyorker.com/news/amy-davidson/angela-merkel-and-the-insult-of-trumps-paris-climate-accord-withdrawal

        Now that is pretty bizarre statement / worry when the planet is supposedly facing a climatic disaster with New York & Venice soon to be under water. Merkel is worried about globalization? (Do you think she might have been accidentally reading Ottmar Edenhofer? lol)

        But that fits with how other countries veiw the Paris Climate Accord:

        Despite the Paris Agreement, China and India Continue To Build Coal Plants

        h**p://instituteforenergyresearch.org/analysis/despite-paris-agreement-china-india-continue-build-coal-plants/

        As Beijing Joins Climate Fight, Chinese Companies Build Coal Plants

        h**ps://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/01/climate/china-energy-companies-coal-plants-climate-change.html?mcubz=3

        It is your side, day after day, that feeds the Skeptics. Why not just report the facts? It makes us all wonder. If anyone is destroying the planet, it is you all, with your inability to report the facts as they are.

        But that’s what pellet fed MSM Alarmists do. Eager beavers seem to be always available to spread this muck around. Assuming that’s what they are – and they’re not actually recieving grants and subsidies from the government payroll.

        • Zachary Smith
          December 23, 2017 at 1:29 am

          Why not just report the facts?

          Good idea, and this person ought to try it sometime. What Angela Merkel believes or doesn’t believe; says or doesn’t say about most anything is irrelevant to me.

          Regarding China, it’s true that there are many stupid/dishonest companies. Most likely it’s an investor scam of some kind.

          Despite declining coal use, loopholes in government policy mean new coal projects continue to spring up across China

          h**ps://unearthed.greenpeace.org/2016/07/13/china-keeps-building-coal-plants-despite-new-overcapacity-policy/

          The Chinese appear to be the world’s leaders in photovoltaic power generation, and these new coal plants (and probably the old ones too) will soon enough be abandoned hulks. Same is true with India.

          In January last year, Finnish company Fortum agreed to generate electricity in Rajasthan with a record low tariff, or guaranteed price, of 4.34 rupees per kilowatt-hour (about 5p).

          Mr Buckley, director of energy finance studies at the IEEFA, said that at the time analysts said this price was so low would never be repeated.

          But, 16 months later, an auction for a 500-megawatt solar facility resulted in a tariff of just 2.44 rupees – compared to the wholesale price charged by a major coal-power utility of 3.2 rupees (about 31 per cent higher).

          “For the first time solar is cheaper than coal in India and the implications this has for transforming global energy markets is profound,” Mr Buckley said.

          h**p://www.independent.co.uk/environment/india-solar-power-electricity-cancels-coal-fired-power-stations-record-low-a7751916.html

          This poster uses “lol” in connection with the planet dying of Global Warming. Whoever he/she is, they’re most certainly a psychopath.

          • As Reported by the MSM.. lol
            December 23, 2017 at 9:41 am

            /What Angela Merkel believes or doesn’t believe; says or doesn’t say about most anything is irrelevant to me./

            Ah, yes! The circle closes! “What Barack Obama, Al Gore or Leonardo Dicaprio believes or doesn’t believe; says or doesn’t say is irrelevant to me.”

            I think what the other side is looking for is more nuanced arguments: We are not reporting Hurricane activity prior to 1980 because… We are not reporting Arctic Ice coverage prior to 1979 because…. We are adjusting the levels of the Indian Ocean upward, despite what the tide gauges say, because… ALL of our Climate Models are running hot and we drove all the scientists out of the field who reported this to us, because…

            Using the words: Nazi, Deplorable and Psychopath to win an argument in the past might have been effective, but now all they seem to do is serve as a badge of honor.

            And studies like the following are funny, but also appalling when you think about the money poured into them and the deception they promulgate:

            Climate change study predicts refugees fleeing into Antarctica

            Climate change will force refugees to move to Antarctica by 2030, researchers have predicted. Refugees are expected to move to Antarctica because of the rising temperatures that will see the population of the continent increase to 3.5 million people by 2040.

            h**p://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/earthnews/3353247/Climate-change-study-predicts-refugees-fleeing-into-Antarctica.html

            It is 22 years until 2040, so if you all start now, that will be 150,000 people per year to reach that figure. Or is the plan to move them all in 2039?

            lol. lol.

            Or, maybe we should consult Stephen Schneider, before making such a hasty decision…
            “To do that, we need to get some broad-based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of the doubts we might have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.”

  35. Bill
    December 22, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    You don’t get around to mentioning Obama and Hillary Clinton who have been the head hucksters pushing the Russia-did-it story.

    • Annie
      December 22, 2017 at 7:02 pm

      Right on Bill, and not to mention Obama escalated the cold war during his administration. Not to mention he expelled 35 Russian diplomats in retaliation for US election hacking, reinforcing the idea that Russia was guilty, and he did without any proof.

    • RnM
      December 22, 2017 at 8:55 pm

      Agreed, Bill. Thanks.
      I’d take it one step further than you, however, and say that the whole damn Russia-gate phenomenon rests squarely on Hillary Clinton, driven by her nixonian self-sense of (in her own mind) ownership of the Presidency. A delusion driven by fawning syncophants, none of whom apparently had the rocks to tell her where the dog died. It is staggering to think of the wasted time and resources spent on this avoidable charade, not to mention the peril to human life.

  36. mike k
    December 22, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    The problem is that nukes are very addictive for the power obsessed. Giving them up is unthinkable for these addicts. They would rather die.

    • mike k
      December 22, 2017 at 5:38 pm

      And that is very bad news for the rest of us.

    • David A Hart
      December 23, 2017 at 1:13 am

      While I am not in favor of ANY country possessing nuclear weapons–I think they should ALL be banned–I would vernture a guess that the reason North Korea has them is because their leadership does NOT want to die, and they see the possession of functioning nuclear weapons as the only thing that is keeping the US from attacking and overthrowing the government of the DPRK. So, actually, they would rather NOT die.

      • Zachary Smith
        December 23, 2017 at 2:13 am

        I don’t doubt your sincerity, but most everything you’ve written here is nonsense. Banning nuclear weapons at this stage in the planet’s technology development is as unreasonable/impossible as banning the bow and arrow a thousand years ago.

        The US was fully deterred from attacking North Korea for the past sixty odd years because of the bloody nose we took during the Korean war. In my opinion, even if North Korea was totally disarmed, that would have kept them safe. But NK has had many weapons of its own which vastly reinforced their safety.

        The NK nukes are NOT about keeping the leadership alive. They’re about something else entirely.

        • David A Hart
          December 23, 2017 at 1:00 pm

          And your information about this is just as “certain” as is mine. The Agreed Framework of 1994 would have takn care of the nuclear weapons problem in North Korea for once and for all. Kim Jong -un knows that he cannot reunify the peninsula under his rule–even if he makes one attempt, North Korea will be incinerated, and the military powers in the US won’t lose a night of sleep over 3-4 million killed. They certainly didn’t in 1950-53. The US did not fulfill even ONE promise made to the North Koreans, thanks to a dis-functional political system that puts party loyalty ahead of doing what is right. No way was the 1994 Republican controlled Congress going to give Bill Clinton a foreign policy victory, especially on North Korea. After waiting 6, 7 years for SOME kind of positive result to the Agreed Framework, the North Koreans began again to pursue development of a nuclear warhead–and who could blame them? Remember that this is a country that had 1000 nuclear weapons aimed at their country from South Korea from 1958-the mid-1990’s. You don’t think they saw that as a threat to overthrow their regime?

        • Rob Montgomery
          December 23, 2017 at 3:02 pm

          Not sure what history of the Korean War you read but even if America got a “bloody nose” that didn’t compare with the death and destruction visited on the people of North AND SOUTH KOREA by the US.

      • Annie
        December 23, 2017 at 3:21 am

        David, I agree with you, it would be wonderful if the world disowned nuclear weapons, although that will not happen. I haven’t a clue why Zachary said what you wrote was nonsense, or why he compares the possession of nuclear weapons to bows and arrows used by primitive people primarily as a weapon to acquire food. During the Korean war Truman threatened to nuke Korea, which was fortunately only a threat, but they did drop enough napalm and bombs to practically destroy it. It wasn’t us that got a bloody nose in that war. Russia was North Korea’s main ally and when the Soviet union collapsed nuclear proliferation in North Korea really got underway. Nuclear weapons in North Korea no doubt is a deterrent to US aggression.

  37. Clif
    December 22, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    Alger Hiss all over again. And Nixon made his name off it, what a legacy.

  38. Abe
    December 22, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    The Strangelovian Israel-gate Reality

    In the early 1960s, Americans shaken by the Cuban missile crisis were alerted to the danger of accidental nuclear war by novels and movies such as the 1962 book and 1964 film Fail-Safe, about a US president forced to drop an atomic bomb on New York after America accidentally attacks Russia. The United States Air Force declined to cooperate in the production of the film, disliking the premise of a lack of control over nuclear strike forces.

    When Fail Safe opened in 1964, it garnered excellent reviews, but its box office performance was poor. Its failure rested with the similarity between it and Stanley Kubrick’s mutually assured destruction satire, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, which appeared in theaters first.

    “not saying we won’t get our hair mussed”
    The War Room Scene
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuP6KbIsNK4

    Stanley Kubrick started with nothing but a vague idea to make a thriller about a nuclear accident that built on the widespread Cold War fear for survival. While doing research, Kubrick gradually became aware of the subtle and paradoxical “balance of terror” between nuclear powers. At Kubrick’s request, Alastair Buchan (the head of the Institute for Strategic Studies) recommended the thriller novel Red Alert by Peter George. Kubrick was impressed with the book, which had also been praised by game theorist and future Nobel Prize in Economics winner Thomas Schelling in an article written for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and reprinted in The Observer, and immediately bought the film rights. In 2006, Schelling wrote that conversations between Kubrick, Schelling, and George in late 1960 about a treatment of Red Alert updated with intercontinental missiles eventually led to the making of the film.

    In collaboration with George, Kubrick started writing a screenplay based on the book. While writing the screenplay, they benefited from some brief consultations with Schelling and, later, Herman Kahn. In following the tone of the book, Kubrick originally intended to film the story as a serious drama. However, as he later explained during interviews, he began to see “nightmare comedy” inherent in the idea of mutual assured destruction as he wrote the first draft. Among the titles that Kubrick considered for the film were Dr. Doomsday or: How to Start World War III Without Even Trying, Dr. Strangelove’s Secret Uses of Uranus, and Wonderful Bomb.

    Dr. Strangelove primarily focuses its satire on the theory of mutual assured destruction (MAD), in which each side is supposed to be deterred from a nuclear war by the prospect of a universal cataclysmic disaster regardless who “won”. Military strategist and former physicist Herman Kahn in the book, On Thermonuclear War (1960) used the theoretical example of a doomsday machine to illustrate the limitations of MAD, which was developed by John von Neumann. The concept of such a machine is consistent with MAD doctrine, when it is logically pursued to its conclusion. It thus worried Kahn that the military might like the idea of a doomsday machine and build one.[

    Kahn, a leading critic of MAD and President Eisenhower administration’s doctrine of massive retaliation upon the slightest provokation by the USSR, considered MAD foolish bravado, and instead urged America to plan for proportionality and thus, even a limited nuclear war. With this logical reasoning, Kahn became one of the architects of the flexible response doctrine, that while superficially resembling MAD, allowed for responding to a limited nuclear strike, with a proportional or calibrated, return of fire.

    To refute early 1960s novels and Hollywood films like Fail-Safe and Dr. Strangelove, which raised questions about US control over nuclear weapons, the Air Force produced a documentary film, SAC Command Post, purportedly demonstrating Air Force responsiveness to presidential command and its tight control over nuclear weapons.

    Questions today concern nuclear proliferation and co-option of US nuclear doctrine by a foreign power, notably Israel.

    Israel constantly attempts to leverage US conventional and nuclear assets to supplement its own offensive arsenal of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.

    Israeli government meddling, pro-Israel Lobby interference in American elections and foreign policy, and pro-Israel think tank efforts to shape US strategic doctrine – in short, the emerging scandal of Israel-gate – must be addressed decisively.

    Israeli interference in US policy in the Middle East and Israel-instigated disruption of the US-Russia relationship now threatens to unleash a catastrophic nuclear war, either triggered directly by Israeli belligerence or indirectly by Israeli meddling.

    As the Russia-gate myth is revealed, the Strangelovian Israel-Gate reality must be addressed.

    For the sake of world peace and stability, Israel must surrender its WMD arsenal.

    • mike k
      December 22, 2017 at 5:26 pm

      Abe, your final sentence reminded me of a conversation I had with an elderly lady who was discovering she was an alcoholic. When I suggested she go to an AA meeting she said, “I’d rather die!” (unfortunately she soon did die an alcoholic death.)

      Asking Israel to surrender it’s nukes would probably elicit the same response……and possibly the same result.

    • irina
      December 22, 2017 at 6:20 pm

      And the MAD doctrine was the catalyst for MAD magazine
      featuring “Who, me worry ?” Alfred E. Neuman. (Also, too).

    • david
      December 22, 2017 at 10:14 pm

      you are gonna answer to the Coke Cacola company for those wonderful comments

    • CitizenOne
      December 31, 2017 at 3:13 pm

      How is it posters here can cry foul ball when Russia is blamed for the election, defend Putin and Russia and then turn around and blame Israel? If the exercise is meant as a comparison between Russian and Israeli Influence. Then I agree Israel probably had more influence than Russia BUT I think neither of those nations had a significant effect at least not by the hand of Putin or Netanyahu.

      Of course Israel has way more influence in our national politics than it has a right to and we provide way more aid and weapons to them than we should. But then again that is also true of the Saudis. One could construct an argument that the Saudis rigged the election. One might hypothesize that the Saudis did it because Trump adamantly denies global warming which is great for their business model. We also supply the Saudis with tons of weapons too. They have way more influence since such an enormous chunk of the stock in the US is Saudi held. Theoretically, if the Saudis were displeased with us they could choose another exchange currency which would have huge financial implications. Can Israel do that? No they cannot. One could argue that the Saudis have more control over the USA than Israel. It was George Bush who was entertaining the Bin Ladens as part of a Carlyle Group meeting in New York during 911 Oh my! Its a conspiracy! http://secretsofthefed.com/101209/

      Also, 90% of the support for Israel comes from Christian groups originating in the USA. The most supportive groups are part of the “end times” cult and believe that until Israel is restored to its former glory, The messiah won’t come. These are the groups waiting for Armageddon to originate in Israel presumably by a Nuclear war. These are the Christians who are more than happy that Israel is chock full o nuts (and nukes).

      Anyway, let me make myself perfectly clear. I am not saying that Israel has no influence or Russia either. What I am going to stick to however is what effect our own corrupt politicians and our own fake domestic news had on the election. After all this is all about Russia Gate.

      In my opinion, Russia and Israel and China and Saudi Arabia and every other country on down the list has a vested interest in the outcome of US elections. Many nations influence US politicians in numerous ways.

      However, there are far larger and more effective levers used by our own fake media and our own corrupt political processes which have become toxic.

      More importantly they are not being discussed by the press. The MSM has substituted a fair minded assessment of the political election process in the US which resulted in Trump with a foreign devil which happens to be our favorite boogeyman. Russia. They have done this as a smokescreen deliberately for two reasons:

      1. To hide and therefore to preserve the corrupt election rigging that is based right here in good old fashioned American election laws so as to preserve and protect what they do not want to see ended. Hence the silence about those reasons and the reason for the foreign devil scapegoat a.k.a. Russia Gate

      2. For the further profits of the Military Industrial Complex which already receives 700 billion dollars a year. Just to put that in perspective it would take only 42 billion to give every eligible citizen graduating high school to receive a free college education. This largest portion of out government and the huge defense contractors all know that their business prospects look dim when there is peace in the World. Russia Gate puts the defense contractors back in black. Cha Ching.

      People on this website are awfully angered and are astutely aware of all the details leading to arguments against the Russians and Putin had anything to do with the elections. But then, they completely miss their opportunity to bring up the real reasons for election rigging (gerrymandering anyone) and instead hurl the accusations against some other foreign scapegoat thusly guaranteeing that the real reasons for election rigging will ever be discussed even here on this most investigative website.

      You might have more easily just supported the Russian theory and saved yourself a lot of heartache.

      I also understand that George Soros and Sheldon Adelson (both Jewish) have done a lot to influence elections but probably the Koch brothers (both Christian) have done more. We shouldn’t be looking at their religion but questioning how is it legal for a religious zealot billionaire to dangle 100 million in campaign funds to the candidate who most convincingly convinces him they are going to be Israel’s BFF if they are elected. How is it legal and what can be done to stop it.

      You can bitch about Israel but there are plenty of very rich entities around the world and here in this country some Jewish and some Christian that throw money at Israel and Christians are the biggest group. The Israelis don’t even have to ask for money.

      What we need to do is figure out how to prevent billionaires, special interests and mega media corporations from rigging elections with billions in dark money.

      If we don’t do that we can kiss democracy goodby.

  39. Annie
    December 22, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    Everyone I know who voted for Trump doesn’t buy Russia-gate, and everyone I know who voted for Hillary, democrats, are believers. Of course the democrats I speak of had little to say that was negative about Obama during his two terms in office, and continue to be unaware of how his administration’s anti-Russia sentiment fueled what is happening now. If they had been more aware, more critical of his policies maybe they wouldn’t be such puppets of the press and mass media. If writers weren’t so name calling when it comes to Trump as was the case in this article and the mainstream media didn’t engage in the same type of rhetoric maybe his base could look at his policies more objectively, and not be forced into a defensive position. Another example of this is for the anti-Trump base to gather a group of women who made a documentary on his sexual inappropriate behavior while at the same time they are constantly attacking his wife’s dress code which I think is misogynistic. Not a diplomatic approach to things, but divide and conquer, which allows both parties to engage in the same greedy capitalistic policies that both parties participate in.

    “The tangerine-tinged Terror Of Tweet-town represents a hideous affront to common sense and common decency.” This line was totally unnecessary and inappropriate. This is the kind of rhetoric that is divisive and anyone reading it that was pro-Trump would immediately turn off any viable things the author had to say.

    • December 22, 2017 at 7:23 pm

      But the pro-Trump crowd doesn’t need to hear what the article was saying. They believe it already because their pundits tell it to them too.

      This article was attempting to get the pro-Democratic Party crowd to pay attention; so the use of their language about Trump and explaining that he understands that and sympathizes with it was intended to get them to listen and consider it all. I often find I need to use such language to get cultural liberals to not immediately dismiss me as a pro-Trump person.

      One of my old friends from High School forty-five years ago, with whom I recently re-established a Facebook friendship, thought I was exactly that when I posted a Robert Parry article from here until I explained to her that wasn’t so.

      She figured I was a right winger and then was surprised I was for Black Lives Matter and NFL kneeling. It severely confused her. She was totally unaware that there was a Leftist rejection of Russiagate and didn’t know who Parry was, so assumed he was some alt-right pundit. She even admitted she didn’t read too far into the article before she dismissed it as that and quit reading.

      • david
        December 22, 2017 at 10:11 pm

        I have asked two military retirees, one navy, one airforce, if they knew about what happen to the USS Liberty,, they knew nothing

        • Zachary Smith
          December 23, 2017 at 2:42 am

          One of my US Senators (Young) graduated from the US Naval Academy, so he ought to know about the USS Liberty. Given the way he constantly kisses Israeli heiny, I don’t think he cares about the dead sailors.

          In my opinion that’s a LOT worse than not knowing about the attack.

        • December 23, 2017 at 3:45 am

          I know what happened to the Liberty,but Trumpkin is still a major piece of russian owned kaka.

      • Lois Gagnon
        December 22, 2017 at 10:22 pm

        I can relate to what you’re saying about what I would refer to as the shallow left. They believe everything they’re told by NPR, the NYT, the WaPo, CNN and MSNBC. They don’t bother to read investigative reporters like Robert Parry. I post articles all the time on FB and suggest web sites yet not one classic liberal that I know of has bothered to investigate. Even if they do read some of the articles they refuse to believe the veracity of the author. They appear to be creatures of habit. They’re quite comfortable in their sense of moral superiority and don’t take criticism any better than their counterparts on the right.

        Both parties have worked diligently to keep people loyal to their camps. I grow weary of attempting to appeal to liberals who think they’re progressives when they refuse to even consider that they might be mistaken about anything at all.

        • David A Hart
          December 22, 2017 at 10:56 pm

          I post from Consortium News and Counterpunch constantly, undoubtedly to the consternation of most of my friends (who can be characterized as middle-of-the-road Democrats; establishment-types, if you will). I had despaired of ever making any inroads in anyone’s thinking or listening to anything I had to say, until I got a message from an acquaintance of mine from the 2 years I lived in Chile. We never actually met, but contacted through Facebook. He sent me the following note, which changed my thinking about posting–I was ready to give up, until I read this:

          “Hi, David–of all the people I follow Facebook, I’m grateful for your under-represented political perspective and content you share. In particular, it’s refreshing to learn about your views and read the articles you post on foreign policy, given the media’s blatant manipulation of that topic. I always look forward to reading what you post, whether it be on Iraq, Russia, Syria, North Korea, or myriad other countries. Even if my initial reaction is opposition, I’m thankful you’re essentially providing me a free education from a lens I’d otherwise likely overlook. I’m impressed that clearly the core of your philosophy is fighting the abuse and exploitation of the poor, marginalized, and misunderstood. Spreading information with that ethos makes you a noble person, and I value that virtual inspiration. I hope you’ll continue even when friends and strangers alike criticize you–you never know how many people are quietly supportive and appreciative! “- Elliot

          Now I no longer care what anyone else may think about my posting–I am going to do it, even if it changes only one person’s perspective. We HAVE to keep fighting the good fight as long as we have breath.

          • DCV
            December 23, 2017 at 8:30 am

            This is helpful, inspiring and true. We change minds one person at a time. Thanks for posting it.

          • Lois Gagnon
            December 23, 2017 at 8:39 pm

            I do have one friend who never responds to my political posts who I only see once a year. When I saw her this summer she thanked me for my posts that give her a different perspective from what she gets from everyone else. For that reason, like you I will continue to post because at some point a spark may ignite in someone’s mind when they least expect it.

            Creating a critical mass is hard work, but we have no alternative. It just gets frustrating sometimes how stubbornly blind so many supposedly open minded people can be.

          • Emily Tock
            December 24, 2017 at 6:30 am

            Thanks so much for posting this! I am in the same situation regarding trying to ignite an awakening amongst my fb friends/family, and have felt similar despair. I have a degree in Russian, lived there for 4 years in the early 90s, was married to a Russian, and taught Russian for years in the States. All of these things apparently make me suspect as a Kremlin stooge amongst my friends/family/workplace (I no longer work there…). Your post gave me hope that I too will eventually be able to influence just one person to open their minds a bit.

        • December 23, 2017 at 3:48 am

          Robert Perry is amazingly selective in what he chooses to look into….which allows for a comments section where trump supporters, Russian trolls and wack ass lefty conspiracy theorists can feel right at home

          • Rob Montgomery
            December 23, 2017 at 2:53 pm

            It’s childishly pathetic-you should be embarrassed but clearly not- to dismiss anyone who does not share your views in that way.

        • M. L.
          December 25, 2017 at 4:05 pm

          Yes, Lois, excellent comment and it mirrors my own experience almost entirely. Sometimes, I have attributed it to intellectual sloth, but sometimes, it’s relentless indoctrination by the “liberal” media sites you mentioned that allows them to interpret all things political through that particular lens.

      • Annie
        December 22, 2017 at 10:31 pm

        He says he gets it, so he’s saying he is in agreement with the perception the “left” has, and his choice of words are demeaning, “…a hideous affront to common sense and decency.” Not to mention his attack on Trump’s do. I know he’s trying to make a connection with the so called left in this country..
        You referenced a friend who thought you were pro Trump because you don’t go along with the long told lie that the Russians hacked our elections, and your friend thought that translated into you’re a Trump supporter. Well, I had a friend whom I’ve known since J.H. and knew I supported Sanders, but because I didn’t attack Trump in language similar to the above, she became very attacking and abusive on three occasions, and sent me a nasty letter to boot. She never saw the hypocrisy of it all. We no longer speak. The so called left that he is trying to appeal to are really not all that progressive. Most that I know are affiliated with the democratic party and therefore see themselves as liberals. Not one of these dems was ever critical of Obama’s positions, including his going along with Clinton in the assault on Libya. They don’t even know the democratic party hasn’t been very democratic at all, and courts the 10% while they sideline the liberals in their own party, since they don’t see them as living in the real world, where money talks and gets them elected. 

        I don’t even remember these kinds of verbal assaults made on Bush and Cheney, and they are responsible for a great deal of carnage, so was Obama. I know Mr. Rockstroh is a poet and a  lyricist so maybe he took some poetic license here. 

    • backwardsevolution
      December 23, 2017 at 3:34 am

      Annie – I agree with you. But the Washington elite and the media don’t dare back off Trump; they can’t. Because if they did, if they let go of the tight leash they’ve got Trump on, he’s likely to revert to what he promised during the election campaign: stopping the wars, bringing the troops home, unwinding NATO.

      The elite and the media are working overtime trying to keep the heat on Trump, smear him any way they can, in order to retain the Democrat base and win over other independents. Paint him as the devil. No way they want any Democrats to start saying, “Okay, I can live with him. Some of what he says might actually be good for the country.”

      Hard to say what Trump might have done had he been able to act. The opposition started with collusion between Trump and Russia. Then they tried to get him on obstruction. Then onto his past tax returns, his sexual escapades, and then his mental health.

      They figure if they can just hold their base (using fake news and lies), they can impeach him in 2018.

    • December 23, 2017 at 10:59 am

      Annie, well said. Crude discourse has become the norm up and down the line. Obama had a different twist, patronizing rather than bombastic, but it projects a lack of respect and an attempt to injure, rather engage those on the other side. Yes, Mr. Rockstroh, like so many others weaken their message by Trump bashing but I think he perceives, like most others, it gives him more cred with his audience.

      • Dave P.
        December 23, 2017 at 1:35 pm

        Yes Herman, I agree with you. Obama was of the same mold – a rather shallow person. He turned out to be a kind of latte sipping city slicker, clever with his words with his baritone – under the guise of his stint as a social worker and doing good for blacks etc. If one carefully listens to his various utterings about Russia, Putin, and other topics it is all there. He fooled us all in a big way, and is still doing it. He is still very dangerous to the well being of the World and Africa – because he is so effective with his words.

    • Al Pinto
      December 23, 2017 at 11:25 am

      @ Annie…
      “The tangerine-tinged Terror Of Tweet-town represents a hideous affront to common sense and common decency.” This line was totally unnecessary and inappropriate. This is the kind of rhetoric that is divisive and anyone reading it that was pro-Trump would immediately turn off any viable things the author had to say.”

      Well said Annie….

      Trump is not the reason why this country is the shape it is currently. Trump is the symptom of the system…

      • Annie
        December 23, 2017 at 2:47 pm

        Bacwadevolution, Herman and Al Pinto. Thanks for the backup. The political discourse is extremely crude and I don’t remember anything like it, and  see  the constant demeaning barrage of criticism,  in one form or another, is to insure Trump keeps in lockstep with our Hegemonic,  anti-Russia and pro Israel agenda. Unfortunately he is all too accommodating. I have a cousin who is an international lawyer, affiliated with the military. He insisted I voted for the lesser of the two evils, which in his book was Hillary, and she is someone I would never give my vote to. To sum up, it all came down to Trump’s position on Russia. He insisted the country was a danger to us and I should be afraid.  I said I would be if Russia toppled one Middle Eastern country after another, crossed sovereign borders to target terrorists and in the process killed many more civilians then their intended targets, and ensnaring the US with anti-ballistic missiles. However he saw Russia’s annexation of Crimea as the greater evil and it was in breach of international law, and it must not be tolerated. He was even blaming Russia for Brexit. Interesting since this has more recently become another piece of propaganda. He no longer will talk to me since I didn’t  follow his orders, very democratic of him. He also saw my take on things as very anti-American. Unfortunately his sense of democracy doesn’t include a diversity of opinion.   

    • CitizenOne
      December 30, 2017 at 10:07 pm

      It is true what you say that every democrat has signed on to Russia Gate. They are largely useful idiots who have a very naive view of the BS which is trotted out for their not so close inspection.

      The problem with the democratic party in general is it doesn’t think, is limp wristed in its approach to forging legislation and is easily led by the polls and the press. I can’t think of the number of stupid things that the democratic party has done but they make the Washington Generals look brilliant as our hapless democrats face the savvy Republican Harlem Globetrotters.

      It’s a foregone conclusion who is going to win. And even when some democrat gets a spine, the media can just turn off the camera and the mike and it basically never happened.

      So they have this one chance provided to them courtesy of the military industrial complex to ding trump. It’s either sign up for Russia Gate or out go the lights on any other thing you have to say.

      But they have had the home court advantage before and they also blew it big time. They are the paid losers no matter which way the majorities fall.

      Just compare the roughshod railroading of republican bills where democrats are never even consulted versus when democrats have the reigns and absolutely refuse to make any move without complete bipartisanship and love and kisses.

      It is a rouse. The love and kisses is a smokescreen for just plain giving up and voluntarily losing.

      The only things that democrats perennially bring to the table are hugely unpopular. Nobody really thinks making firearms illegal will accomplish anything but they keep smearing themselves with gun control feces just to look and smell terrible in front of America.

      Again, the media provides the bait covering every event and the democrats come out and whine about how we need to ban guns then everyone says that is totally too simplistic and would hurt law abiding citizens more than criminals while doing nothing to prevent illegal weapons and everyone gets mad at the democrats. It’s like a broken record. The democrats keep poking their eyes out on purpose over and over. They really truly must require that people hate them at this point.

      But in the end it is the giant corporations which hold the power. In particular among them are the 5 giant corporations that own all the TV stations, radio stations, magazines and newspapers in the country. The consolidation in the media and the lack of diversity and by that I mean lack of widespread exposure of differing views for the majority of people means the majority fall in line with the propaganda.

      Propaganda states have been so successful in so many nations and in so many times throughout history that there is little doubt that it will work extremely well right here and right now. In fact it is working extremely well right here and right now.

      Hence the spectacle of Russia Gate right in front of your eyes.

      The war mongers will have their way in the end there is little doubt and the cold war will continue. We will continue to hate the Russians and view them as our mortal enemy because we are told they are.

      It is all very Orwellian. The daily hate. The time spent every day in the media devoted to excoriating, vilifying, demonizing, and hating our defined and directed enemies causing the blood to boil in patriotic citizens who have no idea they are tools or the MIC.

      The poor politicians are just caught caught in the web of deceit. They are offered only the chance to read from a script or never be heard from. It is all a charade and one that is growing ever more dangerous as the inconvenient truth is completely hidden in a sea of convenient lies which enrich the rich and impoverish the impoverished.

      Trump has had to learn how to navigate this mine field and given his age and success at being a businessman for a long time I think he has done a remarkable job of keeping it together especially given his pugnacious nature. He has gone to war with Washington and in the end they may now have trained him but he has clearly left his mark.

      Unfortunately, eventually becoming a tool for the MIC is not a really great outcome even if he is a fighter.

      It is like the odds are just too stacked against any politician who might try to fight the fake news which is really propaganda. I wish people would label it as propaganda since fake news can just be some complete fake thing whereas propaganda is a lie that serves an agenda.

  40. mike k
    December 22, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    Thanks for a great piece, Phil. Your vision is clear and penetrating. May your words awaken many from their cultural trance state.

    • JWalters
      December 23, 2017 at 3:53 am

      It turns out that small independent news outlets can have an effect on the public discourse when 3 or more of them get onto the same topic at the same time.
      “Small independent news outlets have outsized impact”
      http://mondoweiss.net/2017/11/independent-media-impact

      The second and third sites apparently help the discussion reach a critical mass. This suggests it would be worthwhile for CN readers to put links to CN articles at 2 other websites, the more mainstream the better.

      • MichaelWme
        December 25, 2017 at 7:40 am

        Sadly, almost all comment sites ban links.

        The reason is that the links might be to malware sites, but this has the convenient advantage of preventing clickable links to sites like CN.

      • M. L.
        December 25, 2017 at 3:56 pm

        CBS begin shutting down reader comments last week. I have been banned from commenting there for almost a year now. Too much talk of socialism and the not-so-comic con of our duopoly made them very nervous I would guess, as my comments were always civil. I would recommend this site as well as CounterPunch, Truthdig, The Intercept, and WSWS. They never actually told me I was banned… they just wouldn’t allow me to comment and a black screen would appear telling me I was “already logged in.” Hmmmmm…..

        • Bob
          December 30, 2017 at 3:35 pm

          ABC shut down its message boards where you used to be able to talk about a subject of your choice. When people started regularly trashing Hillary Clinton, the political message board disappeared.

    • j. D. D.
      December 23, 2017 at 2:03 pm

      The author points out the provocative Newsweek headline featuring President Putin, “Putin is preparing for WWlll, yeah that’s bad news.” Actually it’s fake news, as the United States has a president that for the first time in more than a decade who has an actual personal relationship with the Russian president, a relationship which has already brought an end to the bloody war in Syria, the destruction of ISIS, and the defeat of a terrorist plot in St. Petersburg. It is this relationship, along with Trump’s deeper friendship China’s Xi, having already brought about major trade deals, which are the real targets of the Mueller investigation /coup d’etat.

    • December 25, 2017 at 1:01 am

      I agree! VERY well done! Many thanks Phil!!!!

Comments are closed.