Responding to Bernie’s Promotion of the New Cold War

In this op-ed, Caitlin Johnstone responds to Bernie Sanders’ promotion of unproven allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

By Caitlin Johnstone

In an otherwise fine video response to Tuesday night’s vapid, flag-waving State of the Union address, Bernie Sanders once again promoted the neocon think tank-generated and unproven claim that Russia interfered in America’s 2016 elections via “cyberwarfare,” and repeated the completely baseless insinuation that they colluded with Trump to do so.

Bernie Sanders’ video response to Donald Trump’s State of the Union address.

“How can he not talk about the reality that Russia, through cyberwarfare, interfered in our election in 2016, is interfering in democratic elections all over the world, and according to his own CIA director will likely interfere in the 2018 midterm elections that we will be holding?” asked the Vermont Senator. “How do you not talk about that unless you have a very special relationship with Mr. Putin?”

This is not an exception to the rule for Sanders, but one more addition to an already consistent and deliberate pattern. In February of last year Sanders delivered a widely viewed video message to his massive online audience solely geared at promoting the Russiagate narrative. At the end of March, he did it again.

In May, he did it againOver and over and over again, month after month after month, Sanders has been using his immense platform as the most popular and trusted politician in America to sell these world-threatening cold war escalations to the millions of Americans who adore him.

This is a big deal. This is not some petty quibble with Sanders’ policies like disagreeing with the specifics of his stance on free trade or fracking. This is not some minor detail which can be dismissed with accusations of purism and impracticality and “Hey, no politician is perfect.” This is the single most pressing issue of our time, and Bernie Sanders is currently, actively marching our world in the exact opposite direction of where it needs to be heading. There is no threat to our species more imminent and dangerous than the threat of annihilation in a nuclear holocaust, and Sanders is helping to manufacture consent for escalations which make that possibility more and more likely. This is a huge problem, and we need to talk about it right now.

I keep getting shushed and dismissed by American progressives whenever I try to bring this up, and that pushback is getting a lot more heated now that Sanders is preparing for the possibility of a 2020 presidential run. As an aggressive promoter of Bernie-or-Bust in the Democratic primary contests, I must say that some of the “DO YOU WANT TRUMP TO WIN??” responses I’ve been getting have been giving me flashbacks, and they aren’t coming from the direction I’m used to.

I sit in a weird space on the political left with regard to Senator Sanders because I have never been one of the nasty, vituperative lefties who constantly shit on Bernie and call him a “sheepdog” or anything like that, but I also haven’t been able to look past his dangerous capitulations to the establishment, so I tend to catch flak from both sides of the debate. I recognize how pervasively toxic the US political climate is and how sane Sanders is in comparison, but at the same time his relentless promotion of a blatant psyop designed to manipulate the public into consenting to geopolitical agendas which have been in place since long before Russiagate is a very big problem that needs to be addressed.

It’s like if you found the perfect boyfriend with a great personality, a rockin’ bod, and an amazing lifestyle… who also happens to murder a prostitute once in a while. All the other truthful and undeniable things Sanders said in his State of the Union response were eclipsed by his promotion of an extremely dangerous agenda like a tiny piece of cat poo on an expensive French cuisine. It’s absolutely unforgivable, and it should be loudly and aggressively resisted by every clear-eyed rebel on earth.

I’m not even saying I’ll oppose Bernie’s presidential run if it comes down to that in 2020. If that’s the direction the American people want to take this thing as part of the awkward two-steps-forward, one-step-back shuffling movement that any shove toward freedom will necessarily look like, I don’t imagine that I will try and stop them. As horrible as Sanders’ foreign policy is I understand that Americans are in an abusive relationship with oligarchy, and if they genuinely feel he’s their best shot at sane domestic policy and a real healthcare system I don’t at this time think it’s my place as an Australian to tell them not to go that route to escape the abuse.

I can however promise that I will never, ever stop aggressively fighting the Russiagate establishment propaganda that Sanders has been consistently promoting. The further into cold war escalations we get, the more likely it is that a nuclear weapon could be discharged in the chaos and confusion. There are too many small moving parts to be able to predict and control how these escalations will unfold, which is why we came within a hair’s breadth of total annihilation on more than one occasion in the last Cold War.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium. Follow her work on FacebookTwitter, or her website. She has a podcast and a new book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.

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224 comments for “Responding to Bernie’s Promotion of the New Cold War

  1. zman
    February 5, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    Well, now Bernie has completely outed himself as a co-conspirator. If he has any bitching to do, it should have been towards the Democraptic Party itself…whose actions he dares not mention. This whole phony ‘the Russians did it’ ploy has failed, except in the MSM. Now Bernie chooses to go public with his collusion in this side trip to the Twilight Zone. Good, the public needs to know he is as phony as Trump and neither are any better than Killery. After all, they have the same paymasters, if you look deep enough.

  2. lisa
    February 5, 2018 at 4:21 am

    Agree 100%. Bernie is breaking my Berner heart with his adoption of this baseless and extremely dangerous Dem/neocon propaganda. I now know that I vastly overestimated his integrity.

  3. Mike
    February 4, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    In turbulent seas of sirens. political whores most of them. Bernie offers safe harbor from being led to and cast onto the rocks by ideological corruption of the republicans. We must purge the fascists and their media whores. Republicans have been destroying the nation for decades, making us subservient to Israel and depriving the people of basic services that are available in every other industrialized nations of the world. I’m a freeman and Russia and Israel and others need to butt out or have their heads caved in. The Talmudist, better go back to counting their pennies and butt out of the peoples government. GET RID OF WALLSTREET AND START BUILDING A BOX AROUND THESE F’N FREAKS. Get the Talmudist and Mossad out of the white house.

    That insane tax bill. Imagine borrowing money to hand to the rich, meanwhile the country is falling apart. ONLY WALLSTREET COULD WRITE SUCH A TOTALLY CORRUPT TAX BILL AND CANDY COAT IT WITH A FEW PENNIES FOR THE PEOPLE. THESE SAME F’N CREEPS THAT DON’T PAY AND HAVE YOU WORKING TO DEATH FOR FOOD OR RENT BUT NOT BOTH. TIME TO TAKE THEM OUT. WE NEED AN FDR TO CLEAR OUT ALL THE RAT’S NEST OF CRONIES CAPITALISTS SUCKING ON US LIKE PARASITES.

    Now one sees the corruption of this? Why is trump not impeached? World class looser and the republicans backup that creep which makes them complicit in obstruction or justice. I suggest we take Humanity, Trucker, that Jones Creep and others and indite them as co-conspirators with Trump. Since freedom of speech doesn’t allow direct attack on these sick people, I suggest we break them up. We need to start breaking up all the media giants. Also put heavy heavy control on how much news wire content is allowed to be used. Time reports started reporting again instead of the spoon feeding of BS from the news wires. We need more voices to defend the democracy. The feud between CNN and FOX is a prime example of media giants begging to be broken up. Let’s deal with the root of the problem. The propaganda machines have become too powerful. BREAK THEM UP.

    Is our government and it’s people really that stupid. Trillions of tax liability was unloaded from corporations and put onto your balance sheet. You will pay more taxes and you will owe allot more.

  4. February 4, 2018 at 1:30 am

    Please continue publishing Caity’s articles. She is a beacon of truth. Her archives are a treasure trove too.

  5. Patrick Kerrigan
    February 3, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    Saunders must know that Russia gate is a complete nonsense and that it is the work of a bunch of moronic low lives.

  6. Sue
    February 3, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    I believe Bernie. Something is up with ?rump and Putin. Doesn’t enforce sanctions. Allows (KGB) FSB leaders into the country–we hear about it after the fact from the Kremlin.

    • zman
      February 5, 2018 at 12:21 pm

      If you believe this load of tripe, then you’ve taken the bait. There is no reason for those sanctions you seem to desire. It’s all bullshit and bluster based on lies and I’m ashamed to have to admit that there are a lot of gullible Americans that have swallowed it hook, line and sinker. Is it any wonder the rest of the world views the US population as unintelligent drooling fools? Bernie is a shill, deal with it. It was plain for anyone to see as soon as he let Killery screw him and him supporters and he went with it…not to mention running as a democrat when he was an ‘independent’. If there was any hacking/manipulating done, it was done by the usual suspects (crime gangs), the Democrats and Republics. It’s not like they haven’t been caught at it before. If they keep at this, the Russians might just let go of some of their intel showing what is really going on in US politics.

  7. February 3, 2018 at 6:42 am

    Bernie lost me when he decided to join the establishment Democrats instead of the Green Party, so as far as voting for him or any other Democrat, that will never happen for me. She is right on about the so called Russia gate lie, that he is pushing, along with all the other Democrats, including Kennedy, that Russia hacked our election! It is a case of Republican strategy of telling the lie, repeatedly, until you believe it yourself. There is no there there.

    • zman
      February 5, 2018 at 12:28 pm

      Yes, yes and yes. I have to admit, I liked Bernie before he decide to run as a dem. I haven’t voted for either gang for years and I was not about to even for Bernie. The convention crap, as I watched Bernie roll over, convinced me once again there are no alternatives in the Dem party…not even in the Repugs, they all tell the same lies and drag us in the same direction, down.

  8. February 2, 2018 at 10:22 pm

    This is not your typical Johnstone riff. It’s tentative, hopefully prudently. But I doubt it. I think Caitlin is truly confused about Bernie.

    I’m not. Bernie is a throwback—some good points, some bad. Withal, let’s let him drift away and find someone other standard bearer for progress.

  9. E.K.
    February 2, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    I agree with you to the core. I am so heartened by your perspective and voice.

    Kipling: “If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs…..

    …If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,”

    THANKS AGAIN

  10. Sal b daidone
    February 2, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    This article is the typical rant without explanation. Its personal insult opinion without analytical content. Its what all sides of the media present as intelligent reporting, bullet points connected together followed by a “therefore”. Any freshman course in analytical writing would give this article a D. I’m sure this writer believes she is much more then I’ve described. This article doesn’t bolster her self esteem.

    • E.K.
      February 2, 2018 at 7:21 pm

      What are YOU blabbering about? This is her opinion and observation. It IS an opinion piece. It certainly says a lot to some people. Maybe you need to do some analytical thinking.

  11. Bob In Portland
    February 2, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    I tried to find out something about Caitlin Johnstone’s background and the best that Google could do was link to a book about astrology from 2009 written by “Caitlin Johnstone”. A different person? Dunno, but her absolutely invisible history makes me curious. Where did she go to school? Who did she work with, how did she get to a position where she has become a thought leader for the progressives?

    These are just the questions I ask when someone becomes an icon for a faction of the political spectrum. So far I have no answers.

    • Bob In Portland
      February 2, 2018 at 4:16 pm

      Oh yes, she writes for Medium.com, which is owned by a billionaire who made his money in the internet.

      Yeah, I always trust billionaire entrepreneurs, especially ones who made their money on the internet.

    • E.K.
      February 2, 2018 at 7:26 pm

      OH OH here come the trolls. Why are you reading these sites if you are not interested in this point of view? You mean someone needs to have some kind of expensive degree to be a valuable human with an opinion? Maybe someone who believes in religion but not in something unprovable like astrology? And also, you are lying. There is plenty of info about her.

      • johnnieandroidseed
        February 2, 2018 at 7:50 pm

        “…someone who believes in religion but not in something ‘unprovable’ like astrology?” That’s rich. Sky fairies creating the universe are real but finding patterns in the stars false? There is zero empirical evidence that god(s) exist. If there was verifiable evidence, there would be no need for faith.

      • Bob In Portland
        February 2, 2018 at 8:13 pm

        Excuse me. You are calling me a troll? At least read what I post. I wrote this almost a year ago:

        https://caucus99percent.com/content/okeydoke-americans-were-supposed-get

        Name check what I wrote back then with the story below that ran here a couple of days ago:

        https://consortiumnews.com/2018/01/28/unpacking-the-shadowy-outfit-behind-2017s-biggest-fake-news-story/

        Now, maybe you trust good billionaires versus bad billionaires. That’s on you.

      • Bob In Portland
        February 2, 2018 at 8:41 pm

        Yeah, I’m interested in what’s published here. I never said anything about an expensive degree. In fact, people with expensive degrees are more likely to be beholden to the status quo. Also, you misread my comments. I don’t believe in astrology or any religion. The comment was about ThereisaGod’s comment, which suggests she/he is not only a believer in God but also someone who sees evil in the Democratic Party but not in the Republican Party.

        Living in the US for close to seventy years one thing to understand about propaganda is that each targeted group is fed its own brand of propaganda. I’m trying to figure out the point of Johnstone’s piece (repeated elsewhere on the net). Certainly not to rally progressives around another better candidate. There isn’t any. So after your anger fades, do you organize? Do you run? Or do you feel discouraged?

        E.K., you may not have noticed, but back last year during the debates it was clear that Sanders wasn’t going to confront the MIC. When Hillary talked about a “no-fly zone” over Syria she was threatening an air war with Russia, which was actually fighting ISIS, do you remember Sanders’ response?

        One very common trait of humans is to find an icon and default let them decide the big questions. How many people say, “Hey, I’m a feminist so I listen to Gloria Steinem.” Steinem has a long history working for US intelligence going back to the fifties. How about that daring young Senator, John Kerry, who’s fighting to uncover the dirt of Iran-contra? Well, look at him now, having spent four years embracing the lies of the Deep State.

        I’m not saying that Johnstone is wrong about Sanders, but unless she’s got an alternative what’s the point of this? Why direct it strictly at Sanders when the entire political culture is controlled.

        Hoover kept tracks on politicians with entries on the back of index cards. We are facing a much better surveillance system these days. And no one gets by these guys.

  12. Bob In Portland
    February 2, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    What’s better? Voting for a politician who kowtows to the MIC or someone who’s worked for it. You can go through every President since Dealey Plaza and find how they fit in the CIA puzzle, with the exception of Trump, who bumbled his way into the White House by running against the most execrable Democratic candidate in history.

    I suspect that Sanders would have functioned better in the WH than either of two finalists. Would he have been better, regarding our foreign policy, than Obama? No. Dubya? Bill Clinton? GHW? Reagan? Carter tried to trim back the dirty ops part of the CIA and got the October Surprise for his troubles. Maybe Nixon? How about Johnson?

    Rather than attack Sanders for not being pure enough, perhaps a reexamination of the system would be in order here, because you’re not going to find a politician who hasn’t learned the lesson of Dealey Plaza, even if you haven’t.

  13. Qalbi Wilson
    February 2, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    I agree. He’s not pure by a longshot. Vermont makes weapons of mass distruction and keeps his constituency employed. You’re right. The best (perhaps) of the worst but won’t mind killing as any good US president is want to do. Blurney!

  14. Patricia Victour
    February 2, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    Excellent and cogent article. Won’t be seeing it in the NYT or WaPo you can bet.

    • Patricia Victour
      February 2, 2018 at 1:51 pm

      I was really bummed that Bernie just laid down and took the DNC throwing him under the bus. Now this Russiagate support from him. I am truly sad – he was our last, best hope.

      • Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
        February 2, 2018 at 2:30 pm

        B.S. was your last best hope??!! Really?!

  15. Rob
    February 2, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    I wish Bernie would speak out more forcefully about how the DNC/Democratic establishment railroaded and bilked him (and his supporters!) in the ’16 primary.

    I agree strongly with his notion of a political revolution. But it needs to sweep away the rotten Democratic establishment, too.

    • Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
      February 2, 2018 at 1:20 pm

      Would you please describe a viable scenario of a “Political Revolution”. Thanks.

      • Daniel
        February 2, 2018 at 9:12 pm

        Unless we establish a legitimate election system, there’s no possibility of a “Political Revolution” through electoral politics. I suggest we need a mass movement demanding:

        1. Everyone is automatically registered to vote on their 18th birthday (or upon naturalization) and removed on their deaths. Everyone else gets to vote. (And a voter ID should be fine as long as it’s free and easily acquired by every adult citizen).

        2. Only paper ballots filled out in ink and hand counted several times with witnesses from any interested parties.

        3. Equal access to the polls. Extended election periods. Perhaps a Thursday through Monday?

        4. End gerrymandering.

        5. President elected by popular vote (end the Electoral College).

        6. Apportion Senators by populations, not by States – the way we do Congress persons. It’s completely undemocratic that a vote for Senator in WY is worth 16 times more than a vote in CA.

  16. Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
    February 2, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    Best thing about Bernie Sanders is his initials……”B.S.” simply describes him very well……………

    • Nancy
      February 2, 2018 at 12:52 pm

      Yes. Brings to mind Obama’s initials–BO.

      • Daniel
        February 2, 2018 at 4:27 pm

        And now we’re all reeling with the DTs.

  17. Elan
    February 2, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    Whether we agree or not, Trump may be in the clutches of Putin for his business deals and dirty business he had with criminals. But that is better for the country for keeping a threat-free situation between two big military powers. There is no better way to keep peace however absurd it may sound.

    With that in mind questioning Russians support for Trump is obvious and more “patriotic”. It is sad Bernie has been echoing the crap the Democratic party was spewing all the time after their crappy candidate lost. But we need to move forward to ignore all those Russian allegations even if it comes from Bernie and focus on our lives in the US. Bernie may or may not run for president, but his campaign for Medicare for all is more important than any other main stream noise. Let us focus on those social issues.

    Ignore the useless of Russiangate matters.

    • February 2, 2018 at 7:38 pm

      Elan, you can turn your remark a little by saying doing business with another country is a good way to keep the peace. That makes a lot of sense The more interaction, the less chance for conflict.

    • February 3, 2018 at 9:22 am

      Elan, I can’t bring myself to consider a candidate as qualified who is willing to inflict war on other people. Do we even deserve Medicare for all if we elect a war monger? The death toll from our foreign wars since 9/11 is now approaching 20 million. Is saving a few American lives worth killing many times more than that in foreign lands? That’s a slipperly slope that my morals can’t walk down.

      • Bob In Portland
        February 3, 2018 at 3:14 pm

        Not sure that “deserve” is the right term. A lot of us NEED Medicare.

        There was a story back around 2009 or 2010, I think, of a survey of men in Afghanistan asking them about 9/11. Ninety percent had never heard of it. They were fighting Americans and all they knew was that America attacked them.

        My point is that most people in the world don’t know what’s going on in the bigger picture. Most of us are like farm workers picking strawberries (as I did in my youth). Your work is directly in front of you. You work the row you are assigned, when you get to the end you start another row. At the end of each row you may stand up to straighten up your back for a second, you may look around to check the weather, whatever. But you don’t have the time or inclination to find out where the strawberries go.

        Making the lot of the working class worse brings out the dog-eat-dog and further erodes the empathy that is necessary to function as a society.

  18. Elan
    February 2, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    “leftist infiltrator” – I doubt you on this question. I have seen the way trolls and infiltrators argue as if they are more knowledgeable and polite while hitting below belt. Please, if you are true leftist, stop this kind of argument.

    Another point, Kshama Sawant is not a corporate Democrat. She is a Socialist party member.

    Please avoid attacking the poster.

  19. Maxim
    February 2, 2018 at 11:30 am

    You don’t need to worry. Bernie won’t get elected, ever. “They” won’t allow it. Past is prologue. If you vote Rep or Dem, you’re an accessory to murder. Americans need to take a good, long look in the mirror.

  20. ,
    February 2, 2018 at 11:28 am

    Every single member of congress, including Bernie Sanders, should be in prison for accepting bribes, and many more serious human rights abuses. Being a senator means being corrupt. The deadly wars we are now waging would not be possible with an honest, ethical congress. Our politicians are the shame of the Nation.

  21. GM
    February 2, 2018 at 11:25 am

    It’s worth noting that during the 2016 primaries Bernie avoided discussing foreign policy like the plague.

  22. February 2, 2018 at 9:58 am

    From the article:

    “I’m not even saying I’ll oppose Bernie’s presidential run if it comes down to that in 2020. If that’s the direction the American people want to take this thing as part of the awkward two-steps-forward, one-step-back shuffling movement that any shove toward freedom will necessarily look like, I don’t imagine that I will try and stop them.”

    Really? Starting up supporting Sanders as the best alternative in the last election his foreign policy stance moved me quickly away If there is one thing the Presidents can do, it is make war and who wants a guy making phony and dangerous claims to get elected. Yes, I would like to see universal health insurance and a more equitable distribution of our wealth, but why pick a demagogue and political hack who uses such explosive material to get elected.

  23. Robbi Gomes
    February 2, 2018 at 8:23 am

    Bernie is a shill! He was bought by Hillary to enlist the “progressive left” to get involved in the election, hate Trump, and vote for her. It didn’t work because “progressives ” are not a large block, and many would never switch from him to her. she was such a terrible candidate.and lt’s be honst for once, Trump was a phenominally good candidate. He has only gotten better since then plus the tax break for the working man and his anti-immigration stance makes him the sweetheart of the working class. Finally, the democrats don’t want to solve poverty, they want it to reman the same or get worse in the U.S. so they can win elections promising hand-outs. Bernie scares them.

  24. triekc
    February 2, 2018 at 8:09 am

    I started a Sanders Meetup group, gave hundreds of dollars and considerable time supporting him in the Primary, knowing he was far from perfect, but a far better choice than the establishment candidates. I was uncertain if his support for militarism and war represented his core beliefs or what he presented to the public to maintain any chance of getting elected in our society that has been brainwashed to support fraudulent militarism and illegal endless war. One could not present themselves as a democratic socialist AND an advocate of reducing militarism and ending wars, and expect to have any chance at being competitive in a national election, Green Party candidates have proven this for decades in U.S. national elections. But Sanders showed his true fealty to oligarchy when he did not join Jill Stein, or run as an independent, but chose to shill for the bankster, war monger Clinton, and corporate DEMs in general. Sanders, Warren, Booker, etc are part of the oligarch con, they are given a platform to talk about ideas the majority of Americans systemically support, but the corporate DEMs never allow these ideas to get anywhere near a debate and a vote. I am uncertain if these modest progressives are dupes or world-class con artists, but they facilitate keeping the left in the U.S. believing in the charade two-party system, that DEMs are the opposition. It saddens me so many young people continue to support Sanders. I observed their energy and enthusiasm at his rallies, too bad they waste this energy on a man that has no chance of ever being elected President. Sanders is approaching 80, some of the other “progressives” are similarly aged. Are septuagenarians, career politicians who spent decades as elected national representatives, supporting the policies that got us to where we find ourselves today, accelerating towards near-term extinction from global war/destruction biosphere, the best candidates we have to lead the left in the U.S.? We need a younger, highly competent, charismatic, activist, wealthy person, with unimpeachable integrity, strength, bravery, to rise up and unite the millions of younger people, to support an ecosocialist platform.

    • Virginia
      February 2, 2018 at 3:43 pm

      You and I both, Triekc. I want my $1550 back. But since then I’ve gone so far to the right that even I’m surprised. I’ve totally gotten away from identity politics, which pales in comparison to the huge issues facing us.

    • Gregory Herr
      February 2, 2018 at 4:43 pm

      triekc– I appreciate where you’re coming from and support the gist of your comment — but I would like people to reconsider the idea that our electorate cannot be swayed from supporting fraudulent militarism and the economics of unbridled capitalism.

      Of course some things people just don’t want to hear, but when enough people begin to understand and agree the tide can turn. It may take more election cycles than we have time for and it will certainly be met with resistance from powerful forces–but it isn’t all that difficult to demonstrate the fraudulent nature of our militarism, the phony pretexts and outright falsehoods; it isn’t difficult to lay bare the consequences of war and the outlandish expenditures that feed destruction; it isn’t difficult to show that investment in human capital, civil infrastructure, and global cooperation (win-win trade, research, and development) as priorities rather than crumbs could transform economics worldwide. Broompilot contemptuously refers to promises of “free stuff for everyone” while ignoring the reality that the “system” is gamed for the priorities of the few. We certainly can make education and health care affordable and produce a secure standard of living. We certainly can build rather than destroy.
      Big Oil could “own” alternative energy and the MIC could turn its swords to plowshares–of course transformations take time, ingenuity, and much effort, but we have to start with the belief and the WILL that we can. We don’t have the luxury of just accepting the status quo or “conventional wisdom” about what is politically tenable. Swim or sink, fight or die…but if we have to die, let’s at least state our case and stand our ground. I won’t forgive myself if I die crying rather than trying. Plant seeds of awareness in the soil of our youth. Some of them may grow to mighty trees.

  25. nice2blucky
    February 2, 2018 at 3:40 am

    MLK Jr.: “ Cowardice asks the question, “Is it safe?” Expediency asks the question, “Is it politic?” And Vanity comes along and asks the question, “Is it popular?” But Conscience asks the question “Is it right?” And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right.”

    • Virginia
      February 2, 2018 at 3:34 pm

      I think today there’s too much looking at society to determine what is right and too little looking to one’s individual conscience. There’s too much indoctrination of society to do it that way. I wonder if one truly finds his peace and ease in doing that.

  26. Broompilot
    February 2, 2018 at 2:35 am

    I never saw Sanders as anything but a shameless panderer – “free stuff for everyone”. He never sold those ideas in his 30+ year career and the country wasn’t going to buy them in 2016. And if they did, they would have been duped. The Dems, for all their faults, could have easily defended their decision to not support Bernie. Wasserman-Schultz resigning over that was unnecessary. There was no Socialist movement in the US for him to lead, though he may have created one among the youth hoping to get out from under their student loans somehow.
    And I don’t recall so many four letter words here before. This bunch has been better than that in the past.

    • Daniel
      February 2, 2018 at 4:16 pm

      Actually, polls have show for decades that majorities of USAmericans want what you might call “socialist” or “progressive” policies. Take Sanders’ Expanded Medicare For All plan. 60% of USAmericans favor it, despite the MSM and both party establishments’ constant bad-mouthing of it. That includes 88% of likely Democratic voters. Even a majority of Republican voters who earn the median individual income ($30K) or less support it.

      After producing the fraudulent report that it add trillions to the national debt, the very conservative Tax Policy Center was forced to acknowledge that Sanders’ Expanded Medicare For All Plan would SAVE the average household $4,300 per year. And that’s AFTER any increase in taxes. The reason is simple: Medicare costs far less per treatment than private insurance.

      Here’s what the report said:

      “Households in the bottom fifth of income would on average receive a net gain of more than $10,000, and those in the middle fifth of income would have an average gain of about $8,500.” So half of households would save far more than $4,300. Of course, even though our total nationwide healthcare costs would drop, someone would pay more. “Those in the top 5 percent of income would see a net loss of about $111,000, TPC said.” Almost all of that increase comes from the top 1%.

      http://thehill.com/policy/finance/279201-study-most-would-see-net-benefits-from-sanderss-proposals

      And of course, since it’s 100% paid for, it wouldn’t add a penny to the debt (unlike our current system).

      The question is NOT, “how would we pay for it?” The question we need to ask our neighbors is “What will you spend all the money you’ll save on?” Because I’ll bet they’ll spend it on goods and services that will actually create even more jobs and build our economy even more.

      • Broompilot
        February 3, 2018 at 1:49 am

        I could not agree more Daniel – people have favored socialist policies since the New Deal. But since 1971 the political trend has been accelerating towards de-regulation and neoliberalism and nothing Bernie has done, or anyone else for that matter, has been able to slow that train down any more than a deer on the tracks.

  27. Fran Macadam
    February 2, 2018 at 1:55 am

    Crazy Bernie no doubt thinks it was Putin who stabbed him in the back instead of Hillary. Maybe he blames the Russians for forcing him to find that out, instead of his own guy Seth Rich passing on the treachery to Wikileaks. Maybe Bernie just preferred to have democracy die in darkness and the news wasn’t fit to print rather than find out.

    Or, he knows it’s BS but he’s just another lying pol, ’cause he can’t be that dumb.

  28. mrtmbrnmn
    February 2, 2018 at 1:03 am

    “Putindiditism” is a highly contagious (and perhaps ultimately fatal) mental disorder. Like the invasion of the body snatchers, it snatches your brain and critical thinking powers and turns them to incoherent mush. The entire political, media, security & intelligence (duh!) establishment is infected. The first strains of this lunacy could be detected in the Wall Street/ War Street/ Washington DC Axis of Evil’s tool Barry Obama. The first full blown case, Patient Zero, was the Queen of You Owe Me, the sore loser herself, Hillary. Being right about Wall Street did not provide immunity to Bernie. So far, there seems to be no cure.

    • Virginia
      February 2, 2018 at 3:30 pm

      mrtmbrnmn, You reminded me of a conversation I had last night. We were speculating facetiously that both humans and human-like robots are programmable. Our emphasis here is to combat this, deprogram humans. And that’s not an easy task.

  29. Loup-Bouc
    February 2, 2018 at 12:21 am

    Thank you Caitlin Johnstone. How sad: Bernie a Democrat establishment, neocon, liberal-hawk stooge.

  30. Kalen
    February 1, 2018 at 11:35 pm

    After horrible betrayal of 12 million millennials who gave him money to run, now Sanders refused to wait for undertakers and buries himself politically with utter nonsense accusation while it was in large part he who unmasked Hillary as an neocon and oligarchic stooge not much different from flaccid clown of oligarchic reality show called politics and betting parlor called elections.

    He showed himself as a despicable character making many to question his former seemingly reasonable or even progressive political legacy and by endorsing a crook and liar demeaned usurped socialist self-label.

    • Virginia
      February 2, 2018 at 3:25 pm

      Sanders espoused views during primaries coincided with many of Trumps, which had a lot to do with Trump’s getting elected. How many Sanders supporters turned to Trump? Anyone know?

      • Daniel
        February 2, 2018 at 4:03 pm

        What I’ve read is that only a small percentage of Sanders supporters voted for Trump. In fact, a higher percentage of Sanders supporters voted for HRC than had HRC supporters in 2008 who voted for Obama.

        More people who voted for Obama in 2012 voted for Trump than the total number of votes to 3rd Party candidates in 2016.

        Although I have next to zero faith in the legitimacy of election tallies, these were based on exit polls, which do seem to still accurately reflect how people actually voted.

        • Daniel
          February 2, 2018 at 8:55 pm

          And here’s an interesting statistic that comes from the actual vote tallies. More people who voted for other positions on the ballot left the line for President blank than voted for all 3rd Party candidates combined! Those are people who were motivated enough to vote, but who refused to vote for either the Democrat or Republican!

          About half of the adults in the US are registered to vote. About half of registered people bothered to vote. And about half of voters voted for HRC or Trump.

          So, about 12% of the adults had votes ascribed to Trump. What a democracy!

  31. Joe Dante
    February 1, 2018 at 11:33 pm

    USA has its hand in every country so everyone in the world has the right to attempt to interfere in its elections and policy. Sometimes it’s literally your life on the line trying to affect America’s foreign policy. Even if the Russian narrative were true, it would be fully justified after Obama sent a large number of troops right on Russia’s border and Clinton repeatedly stated she would continue Obama’s foreign and domestic policy.

    Here is a great academic study on the Russian collusion myth for anyone interested. It takes apart all the major collusion claims and points to dark money infusion and the financial world negotiating with Trump to get tax cuts into his agenda being what got Trump across the finish line at the end of the election.

  32. BobS
    February 1, 2018 at 11:28 pm

    So is the plan to run a few Caitlin Johnstone articles to soften up your readership- at least the few who don’t already read him- for Alex Jones?

    • backwardsevolution
      February 1, 2018 at 11:36 pm

      BobS – “…to run a few Caitlin Johnstone articles to soften up your readership.”

      More like to “smarten up” the readership.

      Bernie Sanders has folded in two unforgivable ways:

      1. He embraced the very person (Hillary Clinton) who stabbed him in the back during the Democratic primary.

      2. He embraced Russiagate.

      Two disastrous, misguided choices. No thinking person would touch him with a ten foot pole.

  33. Jane Voice
    February 1, 2018 at 11:25 pm

    You all are great thinkers. Espousing theories, ideals, and concerns. But who enacts real, positive change in our democracy? Those we elect. Give that your attention.

  34. BobS
    February 1, 2018 at 10:47 pm

    “The Intel Committee is in possession of a four-page memo outlining this collusion.”

    Now that’s some real comedy.

    • backwardsevolution
      February 1, 2018 at 10:53 pm

      BobS – no, that’s some real tragedy.

  35. backwardsevolution
    February 1, 2018 at 10:35 pm

    Caitlin – good article. “It’s like if you found the perfect boyfriend with a great personality, a rockin’ bod, and an amazing lifestyle… who also happens to murder a prostitute once in a while.”

    Yes, turn a blind eye and a deaf ear. Children do this because they MUST; they are dependents who have no choice but to remain loyal to their caretakers because their very life depends on it.

    But adults do have a choice, yet most remain dependents their whole lives, led around by the nose from cradle to grave with little or no self-reflection, inner core, strong values. For them, it’s not about doing what’s good for the country or the world, but what’s in it for me.

    The Progressive Left is all about identity politics. Like the girl who is willing to overlook her boyfriend’s killing a few prostitutes, the Progressive Left’s values are all over the place, with the threat of nuclear war taking a back seat to their own individual wants and wishes.

    Trump wanted to end NATO or at least cut it right back. Did the progressives back him up? No, they put their faith in Russiagate.

    Trump wanted to stop all the wars. Did the progressives back him up? No, they did not. You HAVE a President sitting right in front of you who wants to stop wars, and yet you vilify him. Stupid is as stupid does.

    There WAS actual collusion during the last election between handsomely-paid-off Russian officials and the Hillary Clinton campaign/DNC/FBI/CIA/Department of Justice. The Intel Committee is in possession of a four-page memo outlining this collusion. Unlike the Russiagate witch hunt, this stuff actually happened and there is evidence to prove it. Is the Progressive Left calling for the release of this memo? Hell, no!

    What do YOU want? Where are your priorities? Do you want to clean up the Swamp, or do you want it to continue? What’s in it for you? If there was no Swamp, there would be less military spending (for defense only) and more money available for health care; there would be fewer monopolies, allowing for lower prices overall for cable, Internet, pharmaceuticals, etc.

    Are you for the Swamp or against it? The choice is right in front of you.

    Open your eyes. What do you value most? Is it life?

    • Joe Dante
      February 1, 2018 at 11:53 pm

      Let’s use Afghanistan as an example. How did Trump want to stop this war? He is trying to escalate it. His campaign talk said otherwise but he has put the same Goldman Sachs/Exxon swamp in his administration as Obama. Nevermind his rhetoric with North Korea who have been offering to end their nuclear weapon program in exchange for U.S. troops away from their border and an end to U.S./South Korea military excersices during their harvest periods which cause starvation because soldiers help with the harvesting and they cannot while being at ready during these exercises. Please explain what wars Trump is stopping?

      • backwardsevolution
        February 2, 2018 at 12:55 am

        Joe Dante – totally agree with what you’ve said. I have always said that if North Korea gives up its nukes, it’s toast. At least North Korea is joining South Korea at the Olympics. That’s one good sign that things are not so out of kilter as some would have us believe. Lots of posturing and bellowing. I can handle that, providing that’s all there is.

        I do not like Trump’s stand on Iran, the Jerusalem move, and Afghanistan. All foolish.

        What I am saying, and strongly believe, is that if Trump had been given free reign, able to follow through on what he said during the election campaign, he would have followed through. He does not believe in NATO, the sheer size and expense of it, and he is not interested in anything other than what’s on U.S. soil. I think he could give a flying frig about what’s happening anywhere else in the world.

        But Trump has been under unrelenting attack ever since he became President. The media has crucified the guy, with 93% negative new stories. His administration has been “leaking” like a sieve. The intelligence agencies have vilified him. There are daily calls for his impeachment.

        When this Russiagate hoax is laid bare for everyone to see, when the treasonous behavior of Hillary Clinton, the DNC, FBI, CIA and the Department of Justice is exposed (for trying to set up and frame a duly-elected President), maybe then he can govern.

        Paul Craig Roberts said when Trump was elected that he would have a very hard time getting good people to help him govern. When all you’ve got is people from the Swamp to choose from, and they’re doing everything they can to usurp you, it’s pretty difficult.

        You can’t govern a Swamp when the Swamp is out to get you.

        I’m probably cutting Trump too much slack, but it’s what I believe. Let’s see what happens when the traitors are behind bars.

        • Daniel
          February 2, 2018 at 3:43 pm

          It still amazes me that Trump supporters – who KNOW the MSM lies to us constantly – totally believe the MSM narrative about Trump. They still believe that Trump is an “outsider” and that the Establishment is the “Resistance” against him, despite the fact that the MSM created and promoted the Trump Brand for 4 decades, and he filled his Administration with Establishment insiders (Goldman Sachs, Military-Industrial Complex).

          The fact that he has continued or escalated the NeoCon foreign policies and NeoLiberal economic policies is being excused with the same talking points that Obama-bots used for the previous 8 years. Here at CN, Robert Parry criticized Obama’s continuation of the NeoCon agenda, but consistently suggested he was “forced” to do that. Today, Trump supporters insist that Trump is being “forced” to do the same.

          Take your NATO reference. The Trump Administration has overseen the greatest growth of NATO since the Clinton Administration. NATO funding is at historical records, as is troop and equipment deployments. Since he moved into the White House, NATO has held its two largest-in-history war games, both along Russia’s borders. He pushed the enfolding of Montenagro into NATO, and has moved thousands more US troops including armored divisions into NATO bases near Russia.

          You also refer to the coming arrests. What was your response on election night when Trump took the stage to chants of “Lock Her Up” and admonished his fans to stop. He said that was “just for the campaign” and told his supporters that they should honor the Clintons for their decades of selfless service to our nation.

          How about when President Trump® appointed Alexander Acosta Labor Secretary? Acosta was the FL Attorney General who muscled in on the Jefferey Epstein child sex-ring case, and cut the deal where Epstein copped to a single minimal charge (soliciting a minor), prevented witness testimonies, buried their statements and depositions, and sealed the books on who Epstein’s “clients” were.

          http://lawnewz.com/high-profile/trumps-new-labor-secretary-pick-protected-convicted-pedophile-billionaire-jeffrey-epstein-from-prosecution/

          Dershowitz’s name was in Epstein’s little black book with the mark that indicated (according to an Epstein employee) that he as a “client.” So was Bill Clinton, along with Prince Andrew and a whole slew of other big, important people, INCLUDING Donald Trump.

          We were played throughout the election cycle, and are being played today.

  36. BobS
    February 1, 2018 at 10:34 pm

    Have you considered adding an astrology column penned by Caitlin Johnstone?
    Might be a way to add page views.

    • backwardsevolution
      February 1, 2018 at 10:39 pm

      Why not, BobS? After all, you are providing the “Comedy Section”.

    • E.K.
      February 2, 2018 at 7:42 pm

      When religion, an unprovable supernatural concept rules a majority of world peoples and cultures, what is so out in the field about considering astrology as a metaphor? I have no knowledge of Caitlin’s prior interests, but I see, you are trying to sling any mud you can find, even if it isn’t much at all.

  37. elmerfudzie
    February 1, 2018 at 10:20 pm

    Without campaign finance reform and a ban on legal infringements that prevent a voter to write-in their candidate (s), there is no hope of creating a legit third party. Campaign finance reform cannot stand alone, it must be accompanied by the one-person-one vote system and it cannot become a reality until the American citizenry at large demand a halt to the electoral college. The new POTUS must promise to eliminate the US Patriot and NDA Acts on his/her first day in office or face impeachment. These issues are fundamental to the preservation of democracy itself. Until political third parties are given, by law, free and equal air time (prime time) in both the MSM and Clear channel radio conglomerate (s) we might as well stay home and do absolutely nothing on any election day (state or federal). The Bernie types, so called Dems and Republicans are nothing but Hollywood-like characters, fictions one and all, and I give a damn who’s who inside the beltway anymore It’s ONE BIG FARCE!!!!

  38. Bob Van Noy
    February 1, 2018 at 10:01 pm

    Thank you Caitlin Johnstone for another excellent article.

    “This is the single most pressing issue of our time, and Bernie Sanders is currently, actively marching our world in the exact opposite direction of where it needs to be heading.”

    So true, we’ve been needing a broad public conversation about Empire and bringing our troops back home. President Kennedy was grappling with this issue for years before he was assassinated, and I’m convinced that he had made up his mind that it was simply unnecessary. America had a chance at that moment to establish an era of international cooperation but TPTB were determined that that would not happen.

    Ending the Neocon quest for World Domination, should be the first demand of the upcoming election cycle.

  39. Earl Simmins
    February 1, 2018 at 9:58 pm

    I’m from Joisey we know what a sleezebag Trump is we have seen it first hand. If you believe he hasn’t colluded fly up here l’ll get you a good deal on a bridge to NYC

  40. Edward Frederick Ezell
    February 1, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    If Russia, China, Canada, Mexico, Japan, North and South Korea, Germany, France, the UK and every other country in the world with reasonably sophisticated communications and intelligence operations and an interest in US policy did not meddle in the US elections by spreading propaganda – that would be surprise. If any of them collaborated with knowing Americans to do that – that might be a crime for the collaborating Americans and, for that reason, and also because it probably does not have sufficient upside for the meddler, unlikely.

  41. Delia Ruhe
    February 1, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    It would seem that Bernie stands as proof that you can’t just sip a little of that KoolAid. It’s like trying to eat just one potato chip.

    • Nancy
      February 2, 2018 at 12:40 pm

      Excellent!

  42. BobS
    February 1, 2018 at 9:11 pm

    Caitlin Johnstone?
    The Mike Cernovich groupie?
    Jesus, when does consortiumnews start cross-posting on Breitbart?

  43. cmp
    February 1, 2018 at 8:31 pm

    Shortly after the November 8th 2016, made for TV, “..500 Day, Jerry Springer Show..” I showed up at my local Progressive meeting and I talked to all in the room about “cyclical personality worship when the obvious real enemy has always been — money.”

    I also stood in that room of some 60 people, and stated; as well, “..don’t you dare feel sorry for Bernie, or yourselves. .. It was you, you who got us further at tearing down the Paper Wall ($), more than any one else that I have seen in my lifetime.. .. Don’t pat Bernie on the back – pat yourselves on the back..” .. Then I said, “.. If you want to be really mad or feel sorry for yourself, then consider this, you can’t rely on a system built for crack addicts, and our government has been intentionally built for crack addicts to be living in a crack den. ..That is America’s biggest drug problem..” .. With their jaws dropped, they took my eulogy.

    Surely, we all know, that the greatest examples of ageism, chauvinism, racism and class warfare in the world, are present even more today by being Built In to our systems of lobbying and campaign finance. We don’t have to look to deep to prove just who buys & owns our democracy. (and consequently, just who it works for). The lowest common denominator for “donations” has always statistically been: Old, Male, White, and very Rich.

    And TODAY, right now, my State Legislature is pushing a Bill down on my State that Will Prohibit municipalities from requiring that nonprofit organizations disclose their donors and file as a political action committee, this allows for unfettered secretive spending by any organization with a 501-c (3) or 501-c (4) classification.

    And, once again, I ‘am hearing so very little. (..certainly nothing from the two major parties..) .. So I ‘am still wondering — where will the outrage come from for the laws of enabling the crack pushers and the crack addicts to perennially just keep laughing at all of us?

  44. RandyM
    February 1, 2018 at 8:12 pm

    America is an empire, and despite their squabbling over the details most Americans left and right believe in it. We really do see ourselves as the indispensable nation. Those of us who don’t are pretty small in number, and those of us who see “Russiagate” as the fraud it is are also small in number. It’s no surprise then that Sanders goes along. I couldn’t say whether he believes it or not. Hope he’s not that dumb.

    • Nancy
      February 2, 2018 at 12:39 pm

      He’s certainly not dumb–he’s just another phony lying politician. It’s the people who believe otherwise who are the naive, uninformed dummies.

  45. Branko
    February 1, 2018 at 8:05 pm

    Caitlin,you either fight or you don’t!
    Bernie has always been a warmonger, he was against the war in Iraq, but he voted “yes” on funding it.
    I’m tired of people telling: yes but, he/she did this and that….what a silly mentality.
    You are either for war or against it.
    Who would care about universal health care if we are gone as a species…

  46. February 1, 2018 at 8:01 pm

    Obama is not Bernie, Obama was never the “change the system” guy that many hoped for, he was the “lets make the system more caring” guy. With Bernie I am not so pessimistic as many like you are about him due to his going along with the establishment Dem foreign policy mad-libs, because:

     1) He is old and is giving less of a shit about his future in politics as time rambles on.

    2) He may be for a peace and love vision for foreign policy even though he goes along with the establishment for pragmatic reasons ? and if so that doesn’t necessarily translate into him going along with it if he wins the presidency just because Obama didn’t get to everything he ran on. 

    3) Obama was a party man who wanted a “kinder gentler” version of the New Democrats that came to power under Bill Clinton. Bill had helped push the Democrats of the counterculture 60s-70s more to the right because of wanting the financial support from centrist 1 percenters who were socially conscious to one degree or other but not “too” socially conscious. You know, the people who think weed is alright, who want their names on buildings they donate or on charities they create, i.e., they “care,” but don’t want to go down the radical path they feared the countercultural great awakening of the 1960s was pushing the Democrat party down. 

    4) Bernie is the type of guy they feared, pushing a more “power to the people” version of America. He is not an Obama democrat which is a little left of the Clinton New Democrat, he is far to the left of them, a counterculture guy in spirit. That is why I don’t buy into the idea that he is being sincere in going along with the establishment consensus, but rather his knowing that if he fought them than they would seek to seriously damage him using the establishment media and money people. My guess is that he is rationalizing a “who needs that?” vision for now.

    5) I think he is probably pragmatic rather than sincere in those party affirming declarations because he knows the Dem establishment would put a lot of energy into demonizing him if he went radical like Tulsi Gabbard. Otherwise why would he be so close and have the support of so many who want to radically change American foreign policy?

    6) That says to me that he won’t be like Obama with the big hoopla of promises for a new day that didn’t come to fruition. Obama was never about the big change ideas like Bernie has been. 

    7) Of course I could be wrong, but he is the guy who can win most easily. Tulsi I believe can win easily as well. Either one can overcome anyone on the right because they will both get the Dem base and even some centrists and people on the right out to vote because they both have the smell, the stink, of big positive change.

    But the Dem establishment will fight against both–they don’t trust Bernie on foreign policy either, but they can’t fault him on that because he goes along with them. They really don’t like Tulsi. “Men and people will fight ya down…” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImQewFMzIzI

  47. Gregory Herr
    February 1, 2018 at 7:55 pm

    Someone who is “sane by comparison” isn’t going to cut it. We need a well-rounded principled sanity that doesn’t capitulate when the going gets tough. If Bernie doesn’t have the wherewithal or broad understanding to think through (or see through) the nonsense of “Russia did it” then he is obviously unfit to lead in the kind of transformative direction that is called for. We need truthtellers–like Joe T. said—and that means the unvarnished truth with calls for reformation. Bernie will produce half-measures at best that will be cut down to quarter-measures because he doesn’t have “what it takes”. Sorry, but I can’t reconcile his kowtow to Clinton and his idiocy over Russia with anything resembling what this moment in history calls for. Better deals for students, incremental minimum wage hikes, and even single payer (if he could get it done) is simply not nearly enough.

  48. Rose
    February 1, 2018 at 7:55 pm

    Would love to see a response fromBetnie!

  49. RenoDino
    February 1, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    I’m OK with Bernie saying the Russians meddled in our election as long as he says the United States meddles in the elections of every other country in the world, including Russia, and it all needs to stop now. Unfortunately, he has a big blind spot that prevents him from seeing he’s being played when it comes to the war machine or he’s an old cold warrior at heart. Either way, he’s lost my support.

  50. HenryCT
    February 1, 2018 at 7:43 pm

    There are several years before the 2020 election cycle and time enough for Russiagate to implode.

    • will
      February 1, 2018 at 9:43 pm

      Russia gate itself may,as you say ” implode” but I’m pretty sure Trump has a real obstruction problem. whether it was knee jerk obstruction because those folks lie reflexively about everything or not, Trump and his people either did it and lied/obstructed or they took the bait and lied./obstructed

      • Seer
        February 2, 2018 at 9:46 am

        They ALL lie and obstruct. It’s The System!

        That people STILL cannot figure this out is a sure sign that the ship is going to go down. It is NOT fixable as it’s nothing but a big Ponzi, MIC, wars or not. Bankers’ system, and it’s hugely flawed (corruption is there, but it’s not THE reason).

        When the USD collapses, which it will, no one is going to be able to save the System (it exists by way of the global economy now, via the petro-dollar).

  51. jean palmer
    February 1, 2018 at 7:37 pm

    I’m a big admirer of your insightful writing Caitlin. Thank you for keeping on keeping on. It must be very challenging with all those trolls out there. It’s nice to see supporters here. 500 claps!

  52. February 1, 2018 at 7:36 pm

    Bernie Sanders, if he chooses to try again, has to run as a Democrat. The official Democrat Party stance is that the Russians meddled in the election. For all we know, they did—and have done so since forever. Given how often the US has inserted itself into other countries’ elections, including Russia’s, it would be surprising if they DIDN’T do a little propagandizing. Ergo, if Bernie doesn’t pay lip service to the accepted narrative, he has no chance whatsoever at gaining support from those Democrat voters who aren’t brainwashed Clinton cultists but who nevertheless are firmly convinced of that narrative.

    I love Caity, but she’s a purist. She says she’s not, but when it comes to certain issues, she very much is. This is one of her hobbyhorses, and she tends to not see the forest for the trees.

    The question is not whether Bernie Sanders seems to buy into the Russiagate narrative. The question is how much attention he gives it. If one takes the time to check, it turns out the answer is “next to none.” He mentions it…and then goes on to something that actually matters. Nevertheless, his simply mentioning it is enough to set off fireworks among those who think anyone who even appears to embrace the simple possibility as a corporate DNC stooge.

    As for his age, so long as his running mate shares his agenda, I wouldn’t care if the man were 98 in 2020. Indeed, it would be lovely to see an administration the reflects the way things should operate instead of the mess we’ve had at least since Reagan needed caregivers. The whole point of the Sanders strategy is that one person is no more important than any other; it’s the synergy of a whole bunch of likeminded people working together that gets the job done. He happens to have a great deal of experience to share, and partnered with a likeminded if less experienced VP candidate, there is no reason he’s less viable a candidate than anyone younger.

    • Gregory Herr
      February 1, 2018 at 8:09 pm

      I tire of “political considerations” and “conventional wisdom” about the games that “must” be played. People might be surprised at the support a person could get for displaying good sense and a grasp of facts and context. The attitude towards the Russian Federation matters a great deal–the “official” Democratic Party stance needs to change, and if Bernie can’t change it, he needs to go back to the Senate and work on single payer rather than ad his voice to b.s.

    • Darius
      February 1, 2018 at 8:28 pm

      Yes. Sanders already has to contend with the likelihood of becoming a target, just like Jeremy Corbyn. When I heard that portion of the speech, I assumed he was throwing a bone to the Democrats, rather than picking a fight with them over it. Pick your battles. That one’s not worth it.

  53. SABootay
    February 1, 2018 at 7:29 pm

    I gave hundreds of dollars, phonebanked and marched for Bernie during the Primaries. I’m done with him now that he’s promoting the New Cold War. So disappointing.

  54. dahoit
    February 1, 2018 at 7:05 pm

    Sanders zionist past just cannot escape him.

  55. Wink Edelman
    February 1, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    Amen.

  56. ThereisaGod
    February 1, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    The mind-rot and hysteria amongst the Democrats appears to be terminal.

    • Bob In Portland
      February 2, 2018 at 4:10 pm

      ThereisaGod, if you think that this is a manichaean struggle between good and evil, Republicans and Democrats, you probably aren’t ready to deal with the subtleties of America’s political landscape.

      Also, God doesn’t exist.

      Glad to help out.

  57. February 1, 2018 at 6:46 pm

    I have to disagree with Caitlin on Bernie. I think he was a sheedogger for The Democratic Party. He’s an awful faker who would have Americans, and others, think that bankers are socialists. As others have noted, Bernie, the ardent supporter of the military-industrial complex, if elected and free to show his devotion to that huge publicly subsidized obscenity, could never therefore pay for his social programs.

  58. nice2blucky
    February 1, 2018 at 6:46 pm

    .
    As difficult as it is to stomach, it must be considered how many influential figures have bought into the Russia-Gate narrative. The Young Turks (TYT), and online video news-aggregate and opinion media operation is a good example of what impact Sanders “recognition” of Russia-Gate has politically. The peace of mind and comfort that Sanders timely pronouncement bestowed upon Cenk Uygur, Ana Kasparian, John Iadarola, and Ben Mankiewicz who, afterward, raved and gushed over Sanders’ speech; the elation on Uygur’s flush face was clearly attributable to (and it could be argued, because of the speech in its entirety, but more likely, precisely because of the cherry) because of Sanders reference to Russia-Gate in this specific platform.

    For Ugyur, Kasparian, and Iadarola — all of whom were vociferous supporters of Sanders all along — Sanders nod to Russia-Gate is simply affirmation of feelings for Sanders.

    But for Clinton supporters, such as Ben Mankiewicz, HRC’s loss may have been more psychologically devastating,to have been not-only already alienated by Sanders’ supporters, contempted-by and contemptuous of (especially after Clinton’s “loss”) — and exacerbated by the same Sanders’ supporters (and others) who have not bought into unproven Russia-Gate allegations (as well as implications from buying into the evidence-free propaganda).

    It is unfortunate that the combination of cognitive dissonance, personal arrogance, and whatever shortcomings are attributable to otherwise (or sometimes) intelligent, rational people are incapable of identifying something as simple as a proven fact, will forever stunt discourse regarding what is implied and can be inferred by the actual truth, motives, meaning, better options, focuses, political strategy, who and what is good, bad, necessary, irrelevant, etc., etc, etc. Discussion with these people will always be skewed or incongruent.

    An irony that will likely never be understood by the likes of those who lock, stock, and barrel believe the Russia-Gate narrative, and who are seemingly in many ways rational and intelligent and who certainly self perceive themselves as such) are ultimately sensitive about being confronted by an overwhelmed minority who properly view Russia-Gate as unproven.

    Yet, Sanders’ nod to these widely held beliefs, through dogmatic insistence of the media and elements behind US government institutions and agencies, that will mend and bridge — if not the political divide between Sanders’ present supporters and many self-identifying liberal Democratic voters, former HRC supporters, Russia-Gate believers) — this appeasement will serve to placate and sway enormous numbers of self-identifying liberal Democratic voters, former HRC supporters, Russia-Gate believers to not only support Sanders, but to do so proudly.

    Bernie Sanders is flawed. His most apparent weakness is foreign policy. At the same time, the waters Sanders must traverse are tricky. Neoliberal Democratic-Party voters are gullible and easily manipulated by corporate Dem hierarchy; there are certain catch phrases and themes that they are attuned to, and without that appeasement they are otherwise deaf to. Sanders’ political acumen is virtually unparalleled and this simple (arguably contemptible) act will be enormously beneficial.

    It can also be argued that, now, having so publicly attached himself to this viewpoint, that, as a leader who has earned the trust of those by aligning himself which the Russia-Gaters, through revelations he is much better positioned to walk those followers back.

    Anyone who wants to argue the calculous of Bernie Sanders’ judgements (as President) vs. other’s judgements — Trump or other Republicans, or corporate Democrats — and doesn’t prefer Sanders’ (actual) diplomacy is doing a disservice to Sanders.

    It would be nice if Sanders was leading the way in getting the DNC servers analyzed, etc., but given the national atmosphere, is that his best option, his most viable path to the White House in 2020? I doubt it.

    We, some people, have certain liberties that otherwise limit certain politicians in certain circumstances. The public is too ignorant, too gullible, and too fickle for Sanders to jeopardize his path to the Presidency.
    Investigations are still underway and Sanders doesn’t need to be 100% on Russia-Gate right now. As comforting as it would be to people like me; what does it do for him or to change the atmosphere of Russia-Gate right now?

    Not to underscore the import of this fight, but it is a politically complicated position for someone who is otherwise right on the money as a champion of a diverse and comprehensive domestic agenda.

    And Sanders did not tie himself to Russia-Gate, irrevocably. The degree of criticism he deserves he is willing to shoulder, in order to bring along Democratic voters (and others) who’ve become ensnared within the Russia-Gate narrative.

    Should a President Sanders Administration propagate misinform, disinform, and/or lie, it must be fought back, in that respect. Should a Sanders Justice Department fail to properly evaluate, investigate, and or put into context the apparent Deep-State activities and domestic influences, at least along side potential foreign intelligence activities, then Sanders should answer for that.

    It is a mistake to blow out of proportion the consequences of Sanders ability to shape the Russia-Gate investigation or to disqualify Sanders as a Presidential prospect. Yes, Sanders is using Russia-Gate to placate Democratic voters.

    But Sanders in no way cast aspersions or vilified those who do not accept the Russia-Gate narrative. He did not betray the pursuit of evidence or truth. He simply implied sympathy for those with concerns — a savvy political appeasement to a large swath of voters who are otherwise share ideological kinship with Sanders or will benefit from Sanders’ policies.
    .

    • February 1, 2018 at 7:44 pm

      If Sanders says things like this now, due to the pressure of the establishment, do you really expect him to not go along with the MIC/Security State if he were to become president?

      Sorry.

      He’s lost my support unless he makes some major changes in his point of view.

      • nice2blucky
        February 1, 2018 at 8:54 pm

        .
        I doubt that Bernie Sanders ever had your support if this is all it took to lose it. Surely some previous position or moment of him appearing to side with the Russia-Gate narrative already turned you off.

        I don’t agree with Sanders’ viewpoint or conclusion on this and other foreign policy issues, but there are bases for accepting his political posturing on these issues.

        While I accept that you are entitled to support on not whomever you like, I do not agree with your rigid view of ideological and/or policy imperatives, such that, given Sanders consistent history and his impact championing issues that you likely do agree with, and more so compared to others who may vie for President in 2020; and

        I don’t know anything about you, so to cast you as a “leftist infiltrator” disparaging Sanders or the most progressive candidates within the Democratic Party as a means of undermining the progressive movement, as opposed to simply being a hard-line leftist — something I do not oppose, but question the strategic wisdom and lament untimely or contextually vague activity as consequential to undermining leftist issues — is potentially unfair.

        However, there is effectively no difference between being an infiltrator and without context acting against the best 2020 Democratic Presidential candidate. To cherry pick and nitpick the best Democratic-Party candidate is a mistake.

        Chris Hedges made the same mistake in 2015/2016. Hedges — on whether Sanders would support the eventual Democratic nominee in the 2016 General Presidential Election — rather than take Sanders’ solicited response to a set-up question as a challenge to not put Sanders in that position, wrongly concluded that Sanders was sheep-dogging otherwise 3rd-Party voters into the Democratic Party and actively disparaged Sanders — without ever putting Sanders clear and consistent history of championing progressive causes, and during the Democratic Party Primaries, when doing so only hurt the most viable progressive Democratic Party candidate for President since FDR.

        To support candidates like Sanders in Democratic Party Primary Elections can only help 3rd-Parties, such as Greens, through good will, and to win on issues, such as Single-Payer healthcare, etc.

        Bernie Sanders is not a savior. Congressional dynamics do matter. But to have someone like Sanders controlling the levers of power within the executive branch is monumental.

        It’s bad enough the objective of corporatist Democrats, as Kshama Sawant, notably said on DemocracyNow, “…because of a recalcitrant Democratic Party establishment, for whom, although defeating Trump is the priority, a bigger priority for the Democratic Party establishment is to defeat the agenda of working people to really fight for the massive social change, because the interests of ordinary working people and the interests of Wall Street are diametrically opposite. The interests of Wall Street are completely antagonistic to the interests of ordinary working people. So as long as we tie ourselves—forget about individuals. As long as we tie ourselves to a party that is tied to Wall Street, our movements will reach a graveyard in the Democratic Party.”

        It is unlikely that Sawant agrees with Bernie Sanders on everything, but her activity was against the corrupt Democratic Party, not against Sanders.

        Jill Stein offered to allow Bernie Sanders the Presidential slot on the Green Party in her place, with her as VP, knowing Bernie Sanders is less progressive than she is, knowing Bernie Sanders shows weakness on foreign policy.

        I think Bernie Sanders has earned a little leeway on issues like this to evolve.

        It is truly unfortunate that many Democratic voters lack the capacity to act or respond intelligently to anything but anti-right themes. These are people who’ve abdicated support or opposition to any issue that is not sanctioned by the D-Party establishment.Sanders would almost be politically derelict to not acknowledge that reality. These fools are on a string; so Sanders has made a play to pull those strings.

        For you to not recognize or accept that reality is a limitation. You have bases for cutting Sanders some slack.
        .

    • February 1, 2018 at 8:03 pm

      Good points, but I think Sanders’ SOTU rebuttal could have stood on its own if he had simply omitted the Russiagate nod altogether. That would have maybe left the establishment Dems wondering at the omission, but would have spared those who know it’s a crock from having to call it out as a crock and write comments about it, as opposed to being able to focus on what is going and consistently so about Sanders’ positions.

      As a former Bernie-or-buster, I’m consistently disappointed by Bernie’s Russiagate forelock tugging. My most recent hopeful thought is that he, knowing it’s BS, but popular BS, is trying to ride the wave to stay relevant in the minds of a larger group, and knowing that if a full and honest investigation were ACTUALLY CONDUCTED (because “Russians”, ok, sure, if you insist), it would dispel the Mook+Podesta-concocted fantasy once and for all, and might even lead to some other truths about REAL election improprieties, which will continue to foul future primaries and elections if unchecked.

      But I’m also frankly weary of necessary prevarications of any sort, and to any end. I used to love Bernie because spoke more truthfully than anyone else about difficult issues. His play on Russiagate is a big turd in the punchbowl.

      • nice2blucky
        February 1, 2018 at 9:15 pm

        .
        TYT’s main hosts — often forcefully progressive and with a strong following — have been pushing the Russia-Gate blather for well over a year and are too deeply invested to 180? out of it.

        If you watch Cenk Ugyur’s response, his face flush… practically orgasmic.

        It’s a catch-22; if you consider the plus-minus to Sanders’ tiny-little nod to the D-Party extremists (extremely blind and often deeply stupid, to boot), it was Sanders for the win.

        Anyone who holds this as a litmus test issue for Sanders was never with him and would likely never be.

        For Sanders to win the Presidency, he only needs to get through the D-Party Primaries. His biggest enemies are the corporatist Democrats, and this diffuses what would (otherwise) surely be used to wedge him out as “not a real Democrat”.

        I audibly groaned when Sanders said what he said. But if you look at reactions from Clinton Democrats, still under the spell and not wanting to support Sanders “because…”, but looking for reasons to not bang their heads against Sanders’ faithful, Sanders reaching out “in this specific way” will go a long way to placate corporate-voting — because their real concern is of winning the Presidential General — and bring them to his issues.
        .

    • Daniel
      February 1, 2018 at 8:33 pm

      This is not an aberration. And I am so tired of hearing this “4-D Chess” argument, whether made by Obama-bots, Trump supporters or Bernie holdouts.

      Sanders has been fully onboard the “Russia Did It” bandwagon since even before he broke his promise to we supporters by endorsing HRC before the Convention. I realize I was a sucker to hold out hope until then, but if he had kept his repeated promise for a “Contested Convention” and stood before those delegates and made the case for why they should vote for him to beat Trump, I would still respect him even if the DNC voted against him.

      We who worked on his campaign sent him undeniable evidence of election fraud throughout the Democratic Primaries. First, he ignored us, then he stopped even taking our calls. But he never stopped cashing our checks. Finally, he publicly stated there was no fraud (even after the New York Democratic Party was proven to have purged 1/4 million voters, including 130,000 from Bernie’s hometown of Brooklyn).

      Whatever excuses Bernie holdouts make (and I’ve heard them all, including that he was beaten up the day before the Convention and his family was being held hostage), the simple fact is that he ignored the undeniable election “meddling” and betrayed his supporters.

    • alley cat
      February 1, 2018 at 10:50 pm

      Bernie Sanders: “There is no debate: every U.S. intelligence agency acknowledges that Russia interfered in our 2016 election clearly in support of Donald Trump’s candidacy.” (May 10, 2017)

      nice2blucky: “He [Bernie Sanders] simply implied sympathy for those with concerns—a savvy political appeasement to a large swath of voters who otherwise share ideological kinship with Sanders or will benefit from Sanders’ policies.”

      I see that RT has posted a clip of MSNBC ‘analyst’ John Heilemann interviewing Senator Chris Murphy and asking (yes, with a straight face—watch the video) if it’s “possible that we actually have a Russian agent running the House Intel Committee on the Republican side [referring to Senator Nunes]?”

      Heilemann’s cynical smears are a predictable consequence of the dangerous hoax Bernie is now endorsing. Bernie turned the truth on its head when he said last May that there was no debate about Russian interference in our election. I would submit that Bernie’s brazen dishonesty is not “savvy political appeasement” but rather just contemptible political expediency at a time when this country is in dire need of principled leadership. Bernie and the neocons are playing with nuclear matches while Washington burns.

      • Gregory Herr
        February 2, 2018 at 3:35 pm

        Daniel–I agree that “betrayal” is a salient descriptor for what Sanders pulled at the Convention.
        alley cat–if Sanders does not suffer from a poor research staff, incuriousity, laziness, or sheer blindness of the mind, then the explanation must certainly be “contemptible political expediency”.

    • Joe Dante
      February 2, 2018 at 12:02 am

      If you think Sanders has a chance at winning the presidency you all should go read some of the democrat base messages. They hate the man more than Trump, they will never show up in big numbers to vote for him.

      • nice2blucky
        February 2, 2018 at 4:21 am

        .

        Joe Dante: “If you think Sanders has a chance at winning the presidency you all should go read some of the democrat base messages. They hate the man more than Trump, they will never show up in big numbers to vote for him.”

        This is simplistic nonsense, defeatism with arguable aspects generalized and irrelevant; it is speculative sophistry at best.

        It is unmitigated gall to peep out snipes, knowing the Democratic party apparatchiks will be spouting similar corroborating drivel from now until they day the dread when Bernie is the 2020 Democratic Party nominee.

        As if earnest, coyly casting others, not you, as rabidly anti-B; and therefore, it is those whom you’ve witnessed manifesting steeled hatred for Bernie, not you. You are simply a witness to truth. I don’t think so.

        You’ve said nothing, and it is not unreasonable to infer that you either do not support Bernie personally and/or don’t mind undermining his viability and introducing degrading negativity.

        Why not profess unyielding loyalty to Bernie Sanders’ progressive causes, and, as if on a crusade present Sanders from a positive viewpoint? It oughtn’t be difficult. Polls show Sanders with 80%+ popularity within the Democratic Party; he is also widely popular with Independents, minorities of all ideologies, and many Republicans view Sanders favorably and support and will benefit from Sanders’ policies and legislative agenda. So it is not unreasonable to simply believe that Bernie’s message will continue to resonate with majorities of people.

        In 2008, 25% of Hillary Clinton supporters didn’t vote for Barack Obama, yet Obama won the Presidency twice. 100 million eligible voters did not vote in 2016.

        Joe Dante: you may be right, but there is nothing absolutely more likely about your specious and highly speculative assertions. The only thing clear is that you know nothing and have proven nothing.
        .

      • CTPatriot
        February 2, 2018 at 9:50 am

        If you look at polling of Democrats, you’ll learn that the people you are referring to as the “democrat base” are not actually a majority of the Democratic Party’s voters, but rather a very noisy 11%. That’s the haters who won’t show up. Some 84% of the Democrats have a very positive view of Bernie. I’m not at all worried about Democrats or Independents or even populist Republicans (once they figure out that Trump’s populism is as fraudulent as Obama’s was if not moreso) coming out for Bernie in 2020. Many of them would have voted for Bernie over Trump in 2016 if they had had that choice.

        I see things the same as nice2blucky when it comes to supporting Bernie in 2020. He’s far from perfect and I am very upset with him for the RussiaGate nonsense as well as his supporting Hillary (although he slyly used that as an opportunity to go around the country pushing his populist policies). I’m willing to forgive him for these things because I see it more as the game he has to play right now to remain in the good graces of those who could easily paint him out of the picture as they once did to Kucinich and other progressives who tried to run against the establishment.

        One thing we know about Bernie, he will be a dogged fighter for the people domestically as president. And hopefully he will prove pliable on foreign policy. We will have our work cut out for us on that one. I believe we can win on that too.

        • Joe Tedesky
          February 2, 2018 at 11:24 am

          It is possible CTPatriot that with Bernie in the White House, that the way he would tame the MIC worldwide aggression would be through his slashing the huge budgets of the Defense Delartment, and Homeland Security.

          I think that most of us here at ‘the Consortium’ would like to put our faith in Sanders, but for many by having the wool pulled over their eyes so often during our U.S. election seasons, is hard to swallow. Like I said above to Realist, that the Einstein quote about doing the same thing over, over again, may apply here to our country’s voter insanity. Joe

    • February 3, 2018 at 7:47 am

      @ nicetobucky:

      Fortunately, I do not need to worry about Sanders’ position on Russia-gate. I won’t vote for him because he has supported foreign wars and the MIC. I don’t vote for war criminals or war criminal wannabes.

  59. February 1, 2018 at 6:33 pm

    I’m happy to see Caitlin Johnstone get some airtime on this website. She’s great, though potty-mouthed (which I do not like).

    She’s right to worry about the possibility of a nuclear holocaust, which even those who posses faith should worry about.

    Regarding faith, Those who don’t possess it (and I include in that those whose faith is different than mine) put themselves in an impossible position. When it comes to serious matters like elections (Are we not yet clear on how useless – because the electoral system has been captured – they are?!), good people (Noam Chomsky, Robert Parry, Caitlin Johnstone) fret over which evil is the lesser. Their view is that if we, imperfect humans, can’t fix it, then it can’t be fixed. Their view is that we are our own savior.

    The Democratic Party isn’t the solution to the Republican Party. The UN isn’t our savior. And we are, as William Blum pointed out, outgunned. And in need, therefore, of a real, powerful savior. He won’t come from us.

  60. alley cat
    February 1, 2018 at 6:33 pm

    “..the most popular and trusted politician in America…”

    Which ain’t sayin’ much these days, is it? I mean, I literally wouldn’t trust any American politican farther than I could throw them. (That being as good a test as any, I voted for Jill because she was obviously lighter than any other candidate.)

    “…some of the ‘DO YOU WANT TRUMP TO WIN??’ responses I’ve been getting..”

    Bernie is too old to run in 2020, but if by some miracle he should get the nomination, he’s still not getting my vote for three main reasons: 1) Israel, 2) Israel, and …uh … 3) Israel (although not necessarily in that order). Oh, yeah, and then there is the little matter of his craven support for the scheming witch who repeatedly stabbed him in the a– with a bayonet during the primaries and cackled about it (the cackling stopped when Seth Rich leaked her emails). Yes, pushing the Russiagate hoax is right in character for good ol’ Bernie. Most importantly, I won’t be voting for him because I’ll be voting for Jill, who is just about the only politician I know who doesn’t automatically trigger my upchuck response.

    Would I want Trump to win again? No way! But like I said in the last election, if Il Duce won, it was because not enough Americans voted for the only non-imperialist, non-warmonger, non-insane candidate, Jill Stein. Their fault, not mine.

    • joe
      February 1, 2018 at 9:45 pm

      Why does it have to be a choice between one Jew or another, if not a choice between one extremist zionist or another? Doesn’t that tell us something about their foreign policy and oligarchy and media connections? Can we have an American for a change, of any other background, and not owned by oligarchy?

      • alley cat
        February 2, 2018 at 12:35 am

        Joe, what difference does it make whether someone’s an ethnic Jew or an ethnic Anglo-Saxon? As far as being an extreme zionist, my entire congressional delegation (Oregon) talk and act like extreme zionists, while only one of them is an ethnic Jew (Wyden).

        Most American politicians are always trying to out-neocon and out-zionist each other—because of their fear of AIPAC I suppose—but many of them probably have a natural affinity for racist-facist zionism as well.

        It’s evident that zionists like Chuckie Schumer have a conflict of interest that few U.S. politicians have: religious and ideological loyalty to a foreign country that shares few values with American democracy. To even acknowledge this conflict is an inviolable taboo in the U.S. news media.

        I, like you, wonder how long this situation can go on.

      • Bob In Portland
        February 2, 2018 at 3:33 pm

        Is there a reason why you worry about Jews and not Episcopalians, Methodists, Quakers, Catholics et al? I do believe there is a reason, but it’s not what you think. Like all of the above there are Jews in the Deep State, but as has been shown in previous eruptions of fascism in the world, Jews and other minorities are useful scapegoats when the S hits the fan.

  61. Abe
    February 1, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    That Sanders’ voted “Nay” on the June 2017 “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” introduced by abject pro-Israel Lobby shill Ben Cardin demonstrates Sanders’ main function (when he’s not sheep dogging for the Dems): making the Senate appear to be something other than the monolithic pro-Israel voting bloc it truly has become.

    Sanders has been all in for America’s “regime change” wars. Sure, Bernie makes excuses and afterward bemoans the easily predictable civilian casualties. But like rest of the warmongers in the Senate, he has repeatedly enabled US “regime change” wars with his votes. Make no mistake, the sanctions Bernie is so eager to impose on Iran and the Russian Federation are acts of “regime change” war.

    “Enough of the emails” Bernie’s speeches remain irrelevant is because he always, ALWAYS stops short of saying what is really so (like the fact that the Benghazi emails revealed Clinton’s involvement in illicitly financed terror and two “regime change” wars in Libya and Syria).

    Sanders’ view that “the United States must play a more even-handed role in the Middle East” has nothing to do with any kind of actual fair and impartial treatment of nations in the region. Pro-Israel Sanders conveniently neglects to mention the de facto Saudi-Israeli alliance against Iran and Syria. He assiduously avoids any mention of Israeli and US support for Saudi-backed terrorists in Syria, and is perfectly happy to ignore Israel’s stockpile of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.

    • Lisa
      February 2, 2018 at 12:07 am

      “Pro-Israel Sanders”

      He is included on the dual citizenship list of senators (Israel-USA). These dual citizens are mainly Democrats (Senators – 11 D, 2 Independent, House of Rep. – 26 D, 1 R.)
      In Australia, I’ve understood, there is a request for members of government to abandon their other citizenship than Australian. Why not in USA? Which loyal patriot would hold another additional passport than American?

      • Abe
        February 2, 2018 at 1:39 am

        The so-called “dual citizens” list is an Inverted Hasbara (false flag “anti-Israel” / “anti-Zionist” and fake “anti-Jewish”) propaganda canard that surfaces when Israeli government actions or the pro-Israel Lobby are under scrutiny.

        The “dual citizens” propaganda canard came into prominence after the Israel-initiated war in Lebanon in 2006. Israel’s shaky military performance, flooding of south Lebanon cluster munitions, use of white phosphorus in civilian areas brought censure. Further Israeli attacks on Gaza brought increasing pressure on the neocon-infested Bush administration for its backing of Israel.

        A Facebook post titled “List of Politicians with Israeli Dual Citizenship” started circulating. The post mentioned “U.S. government appointees who hold powerful positions and who are dual American-Israeli citizens.”

        With the change of US administration in 2008, new versions of the post appeared with headlines such as “Israeli Dual Citizens in the U.S. Congress and the Obama Administration.” Common versions included 22 officials currently or previously with the Obama administration, 27 House members and 13 senators.

        The Inverted Hasbara propaganda “dual citizens” posts are false for a variety of reasons, not least of which is their misrepresentation of Israeli nationality law.

        • Lisa
          February 2, 2018 at 12:51 pm

          Abe, I wondered a bit about the list as there was a spelling error in the headline.
          What is the truth on the dual citizens in the Congress in that case? The list, which you are calling “false flag propaganda”, appears not only on Facebook, but on many other, quite respectable websites as well, even enlarged to contain the time of Obama administration.

          In a Forbes article on the dual citizenship I found the remark:
          “Currently, there’s no disclosure requirement in U.S. law regarding dual citizenship when running for office, and nothing specific in conflict of interest rules when running for office as a dual citizen.” Is the dual citizenship under some “secrecy”?

          My opinion is that for members of government, not only for President, it should not be allowed to hold two passports, whatever the reasons for having obtained them are, and the voters should know about the candidate’s citizenship status.

          • Abe
            February 2, 2018 at 2:45 pm

            Although the U.S. government does not endorse dual citizenship as a matter of policy, it recognizes the existence of dual citizenship and completely tolerates the maintenance of multiple citizenship by U.S. citizens. In the past, claims of other countries on dual-national U.S. citizens sometimes placed them in situations where their obligations to one country were in conflict with the laws of the other. However, as fewer countries require military service and most base other obligations (such as the payment of taxes) on residence and not citizenship, these conflicts have become less frequent.

            A U.S. citizen may lose his or her dual citizenship by obtaining naturalization in a foreign state, by taking an oath or making an affirmation or other formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state or political subdivision thereof, by serving in the armed forces of a foreign state, or by performing certain other acts “voluntarily and with the intention to relinquish U.S. nationality”.

            One circumstance where dual citizenship may run counter to expectations of government agencies is in matters of security clearance. For example, any person granted a Yankee White vetting must be absolutely free of foreign influence, and for other security clearances one of the grounds that may result in a rejected application is an actual or potential conflict of national allegiances.

        • Abe
          February 2, 2018 at 2:39 pm

          The “dual American-Israeli” list is a Hasbara propaganda canard. Israeli law distinguishes between the Law of Return, which allows for Jews and their descendants to immigrate to Israel, and Israel’s nationality law, which formally grants Israeli citizenship.

          The Law of Return grants all Jews the right to immigrate to Israel and almost automatic Israeli citizenship upon arrival in Israel. The Law of Return does not itself determine Israeli citizenship; it merely allows for Jews and their eligible descendants to permanently live in Israel. Israel does, however, grant citizenship to those who immigrated under the Law of Return if the applicant so desires.

          Israel does allow its citizens to hold dual (or multiple) citizenship. A dual national is considered an Israeli citizen for all purposes, is entitled to enter Israel without a visa, stay in Israel, engage in any profession et cetera according to Israeli law. Under an additional law added to the Basic Law, the Knesset (Article 16A), Knesset members cannot pledge allegiance unless their foreign citizenship has been revoked, if possible, under the laws of that country.

          A non-Israeli Jew or an eligible descendant of a non-Israeli Jew needs to request approval to immigrate to Israel, a request which can be denied. Within three months of arriving in Israel under the Law of Return, immigrants automatically receive Israeli citizenship unless they explicitly request not to.

  62. Lisa
    February 1, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    I tried to reply to Desert Dave’s post, the site had some difficulties and my reply landed further down.

    “The democrats and the FBI are fighting tooth and nail to prevent its publication, so it must be good.”

    Yes, Dave, it is just astonishing what they have attempted. But one major argument is missing – how could they not come to the simple conclusion that the memo is a creation of the “Russian conspiracy”? Everything else, negative to the Democrats, seems to be originating from Russia / Putin.

    • Daniel
      February 1, 2018 at 8:14 pm

      MSNBC already asked if Congressman Nunes is a “Russian Agent.” LOL. These Democrats are giving Conspiracy Theorists a bad name.

    • February 1, 2018 at 10:09 pm

      Good one Lisa. In fact they have. There is a piece on RT on MSM accusations that surely David Nunes must be a Russian agent.

      • Lisa
        February 1, 2018 at 11:48 pm

        Really, Dave? I had missed that.
        But it does fit very nicely into their anti-memo narrative.

  63. ,
    February 1, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    Sanders as another “least worst” candidate? When are we going to get over the delusion that real change can take place through voting??

    • ,
      February 1, 2018 at 6:01 pm

      Sanders is a politician. That is to say, he is a cowardly, two face liar. Nuff said.

      • Bob In Portland
        February 2, 2018 at 4:04 pm

        Cowardly, when he won’t do what no presidential candidate would do since JFK?

  64. ,
    February 1, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    It’s bad enough that the bogus “socialist” Sanders carries water for the same democrats that stabbed him in the back, but now he has to double down on their world threatening revival of the cold war at it’s worst. That so many Americans wanting a better world still support him is a testament to how shallow their political thinking is. Blatantly, willfully stupid describes them to a tee.

    • Sunrise Skipper
      February 2, 2018 at 10:00 am

      Please clarify your meaning by means of upper-case: Democrat is a party; democrat is a person.

  65. welshTerrier2
    February 1, 2018 at 5:44 pm

    Kudos to Ms. Johnstone … She gets a B+ but not an A.

    While, yes, one nuke can ruin your whole day, we need to understand the issue in a much broader context than the corrupt cabal of Cold Warriors pushing for confrontation. War with Russia, or empire, or feathering their military-industrial nest might be the “ends” but, in this case, it is the “means” that are most disconcerting.

    There was a great line in the Watergate movie, All the Presidents Men, delivered by Deep Throat:
    “The list is longer than anyone can imagine. It involves the entire US intelligence community. FBI, CIA, Justice. It’s incredible.”

    We cannot sustain ourselves as a nation if our institutions, both our government and the corporate-controlled media that reports on it, feed us a Deep State pack of lies to manipulate public perception. A handful of heroic reporters may be able to reach a few of us but the volume, marketing and technology wielded by the mass media puppets overwhelm their enlightened message. The outcome is that we are seen as conspiracy nuts or Russian dupes or traitors or worse.

    The psyops Ms. Johstone refers to in her excellent article is what ultimately will destroy us. It has become almost impossible to create an informed electorate. What power is left to the individual if all the information they can obtain is tainted?

    As for Bernie Sanders, yes, how disappointing that his populism lacks the courage to tell the truth about Russiagate. Populism doesn’t mean, or at least shouldn’t mean, caving in to the widely held believe. It should mean fighting for truth and fighting for what is in the best interest of the populace. This is very sad, indeed, Mr. Sanders.

    Would I be willing to choose the lesser of the evils in a Trump-Sanders 2020 election? Would I be a “purist” and demand that Bernie denounce Russiagate for the utter perversion of the truth that it is before I could vote for him? You’ll have to make your own choices on that one. I haven’t decided yet. Bernie’s Russiagate statements are deeply disturbing and very hurtful to his supporters, to the country and to peace on the planet.

    • Nancy
      February 2, 2018 at 12:22 pm

      If Bernie is onboard with Russiagate, he is certainly owned by the whole corrupt system.
      Bernie has shown us who he is–we should believe him.

      • Bob In Portland
        February 2, 2018 at 3:28 pm

        Okay, I’ll come join you if you can find a candidate with Sanders’ domestic policy while standing up to the MIC. And that would be who?

        Fifty years after the JFK assassination we have a government that is still withholding evidence, has destroyed evidence of its own complicity, has lied countless times after the fact. What President since has stood up to the MIC?

        Thanking you in advance for your detailed list.

  66. February 1, 2018 at 5:43 pm

    We all must join forces with you, Caitlin Johnstone, and make this a resounding chorus. Cindy Sheehan is again speaking out to mobilize as are the folks at Black Agenda Report. We’ve got to mobilize against war and threat of nuclear war, never again to do as Truman did. What about Dr. King’s family at the center in Atlanta?

  67. Annie
    February 1, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    I also supported Bernie Sanders in his presidential run, but remember all too well his speech at the Democratic National Convention, where he threw his support behind a militaristic Hillary Clinton and was willing to lie about his own democratic party, who betrayed him. He denounced the Republicans for supporting the 1% in this country but failed to mention that the democrats represent the top 10%, and failed to mention that Hilary fully supported her husband’s agenda when he took the Democratic party to the far right, even though it’s been going there for years, and she has shown on her own she is no different. I certainly support his more socialist agenda in the States, but his ravings about Russia are disturbing, and I guess it’s no different then his willingness to follow his party’s propaganda line as he did during his speech at the DNC. If you’re honest you know that politicians aren’t, and if you vote you know you’re also voting in their lies. Ironic that articles have been written about Bernie that accuse him of being a Russian stooge as well. On some level he may also be counter attacking that accusation, and to some, especially old timers, who continue to believe that a socialist agenda is linked to Russia and communism, and all you have to do is go to Facebook and see that bullshit played out. It doesn’t surprise me that the Democrats continue to push Russia-gate since it was under the Obama administration that the second cold war really took off. If he planning to push Russia-gate I don’t think his progressive base is going to support that, if he runs for president, once again.

    • will
      February 1, 2018 at 9:23 pm

      Didn’t know Sanders had become a democrat.

      • Annie
        February 1, 2018 at 11:09 pm

        Of course he became a democrat, and didn’t run for president as an independent. .

  68. Larry Gates
    February 1, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    This is EXACTLY how I feel about Bernie, and well said.
    My first choice for 2020 is Tulsi Gabbard, but if Bernie runs away with it I will vote for him, in spite of his possibly dangerous nonsense about Russia-gate. Hillary fans call me a purist. I’m not.

    • Seer
      February 2, 2018 at 8:35 am

      Ron Paul and Tulsi Gabbard. Not going to happen. Would be the ONLY combo that I’d consider to suck me back into the perpetual voting fraud that is US elections.

      • Bob In Portland
        February 2, 2018 at 3:24 pm

        As much as I’d rather see Gabbard on television rather than Trump or Pence, I’d suggest any liberal do some back-checking on her, too. And Ron Paul?

  69. Zim
    February 1, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    Thanks Caitlin for filling some of the void left by Mr’ Parry’s passing. Spot on essay. I’m so sick of the RussiaGate BS I want to vomit.

    • Bart Hansen
      February 1, 2018 at 7:47 pm

      A couple of years ago the narrative was “Russia invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea”. The switch to Russia has sullied the very democracy we hold dear hits home better to the Great American Public. Next, Russia will be accused of polluting our “precious bodily fluids”

  70. Joe Tedesky
    February 1, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    I am right there with you Caitlin. I too go back and forth with these political hero’s of ours. It happened during Joe Kennedy’s III Democrat State of the Union Address, where young Joe briefly mentioned to how the Russians were ‘knee deep into disrupting our democracy’. Ugh. The rest of Kennedy’s speech was fairly inspiring, but when he dropped that Russia BS, all I could think of to at least give Bobby Kennedy’s grandson a bit of a break, was that no doubt young Joe was playing to the Democrat Party’s higher echelon’s wishes and desires. None the less, we need truth tellers, and for real straight shooters to appear on the political scene, as for them to run in our elections.

    So Caitlin I’m jumping for joy that you just posted your second article on Robert Parry’s consortiumnews, as this is something to celebrate. Keep up the great work, because you are good at it, and we readers here at ‘the Consortium’ need you. Joe

    PS I enjoyed the ‘prostitute killing boyfriend’ metaphor, it made me laugh.

    • Desert Dave
      February 1, 2018 at 5:03 pm

      I heartily agree. Thank you Caitlin for your razor sharp thinking.

      You are probably right that Russiagate is the most important issue of our times, as it goes to the heart of systemic corruption within the US, and because nuclear weapons are real. One nuclear bomb can ruin your whole day.

      Much as I like Bernie, and was #bernieorbust up until his inexplicable cave-in at the convention, his foreign policy and embrace of Russigate are both embarrassing and extremely dangerous. I loved Caitlin’s “prostitute murderer” metaphor. As my Dad would say if he were still here, Bernie’s foreign policy is the Turd in the Punchbowl.

      It will be interesting to see how the foofaraw about the Intelligence Committee memo shakes out. The democrats and the FBI are fighting tooth and nail to prevent its publication, so it must be good. I’m guessing it will show that McCabe and the FBI jumped on the Steele Dossier as a way to wiretap Trump’s people, and then because they had all the intercepts, to catch Flynn and Sessions and others in their (rather innocuous) lies about Russian contacts. If the document is solid, it will show that the whole of Russiagate was concocted for political gain. Maybe it will be a nothingburger, but it would be such a delight to watch the NYTimes, WaPo, FBI, Mike Pompeo, Obama, McCain, HRC die-hards, most of my friends and family, and pretty much everybody eat crow.

      • Joe Tedesky
        February 1, 2018 at 5:21 pm

        Hey Desert Dave, here is another article by Caitlin Johnstone, where she points in the right direction to where this Russia-Gate nonsense is taking us. Joe

        https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2018/01/28/russiagate-isnt-about-trump-and-it-isnt-even-ultimately-about-russia/

        • Seer
          February 2, 2018 at 8:28 am

          Of course it’s all about looking to thwart competition. The underlying golden egg, and the thing that has therefore dictated the policy, is the petro-dollar. China’s rise can only be short-term as it is energy-deficient. Focusing on China is a mistake. However, what China is doing now is to utilize its existing “cash” positive balance sheet to shift the oil trade markets away from the USD. Like everything, this won’t hold. BUT, it would be enough to knock the USD from being the world’s reserve currency, and thus end US global dominance.

          The ME oil-producing countries have mostly been captured by the US: Iraq, Libya (both of which presented threats to kicking the legs out from under the USD- gold-backed currencies). No need to state the obvious with regards to the position/side the Saudis hold/are on. Afghanistan is a pipeline route, as well as others (count Syria as well, along with it’s oil- not sure how much oil they have, but I think it’s more than minimal, but less that the majors). Russian influence int Syria is undesirable (by the US). Iran is the big target; if it tips hard away from the USD (China key in this picture) then that’ll likely push the USD under (combined Iranian and Russian oil impact on markets would be larger than US-backed market impact).

          Oil is the real gold. Russia and Iran, combined, are therefore wealthier and present the greatest threat economically. Cheap oil will win out, and the US’s oil base is anything but cheap (most would be way underwater if not for the flood of FIAT USD [available only to the corporate players to funny-up their books]).

          I recently read John Micheal Greer’s TWIGHLIGHT’S LAST GLEAMING. Highly recommend it. I think it’s pretty darn close to “seeing” how this is going to all go down.

          • Sunrise Skipper
            February 2, 2018 at 9:53 am

            I think we will see China move even more aggressively to alternate energy, thus decreasing their oil deficit’s importance. Still, the New Silk Road involves oil and natural gas pipelines from Central Asia and Russia, so don’t count China out.

          • Joe Tedesky
            February 2, 2018 at 11:03 am

            Nice commentary on the Middle East oil wars, Seer. The only solution I see is a diplomatic one, where the U.S. takes up the title Putin always uses when referring to the U.S. in a kind way, and that is the U.S. join the rest of the world, and become the world’s ‘partner’. Joe

      • February 1, 2018 at 7:34 pm

        You know how a vaccine works? It basically infects the host with a dead version of the virus so the host can develop resistance to it, thus if the host ever gets infected with the living virus it is already immune to it.

        Right now the mainstream media is doing its best to vaccinate the cultural liberals to be immune to the Nunes memo. Just take a gander at the articles posted over at Common Dreams or watch some MSNBC.

        Meanwhile the cultural conservatives have been convinced the train wreck was a deep state operation intended to kill off the GOP members who voted to release the memo and a coup is taking place.

        As Bette said, “Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.”

      • Virginia
        February 2, 2018 at 3:12 pm

        Dave — the now out MEMO addresses the Steele dossier as reason to spy on Carter Page, not once but 3 or 4 (90-day) times. It can be read on RT. McCabe is using his vacation days till he reaches retirement (pension eligibility). Will anyone lose a job or be punished? We’ll have to wait and see. The MEMO was revealing but seemed far less damaging than I was expecting.

    • jean palmer
      February 1, 2018 at 7:35 pm

      Joe III is also again legalizing marijuana and is against medicare for all/single payer health care. He received half a million$ from BIG PHarma (BIG in his home state) in bribes, er campaign contributions. He’s wayyyyyyy behind the American people and progressives – like out of another century. And he is a sheep in going along with the McCarthyite RUSSIARUSSIARUSSIA psyops propaganda. His bubble here in Massachusetts is not in tune with the rest of the country. He’s big in Mass but will flop elsewhere – typical decision of the Dem higher ups – probably a highly paid, loserconsultant suggestion to have him give the response. Wonder who wrote his speech?

      • Joe Tedesky
        February 1, 2018 at 9:20 pm

        Thanks for the warning. I always say you learn something new everyday. I’ll have to learn more about young Joe the turd, I mean third.

    • will
      February 1, 2018 at 9:22 pm

      My assessment is Russia is in fact ‘knee deep into disrupting our democracy’ while we are up to our to nipples it disrupting their democracy…except of course, it isn’t much of a democracy either.

      • Joe Tedesky
        February 1, 2018 at 11:15 pm

        Everyone will, is allowed to their own opinion. I only think the Russian involvement into our American politics is very over blown. You can bet it all on the fact that if the Mueller investigation would have come up with some iron clad evidence of high espionage crime were committed by the Russians, well that leaked out news would have been a volcano of disruption to our apathy afflicted American lives….but, that didn’t happen.

        I’m not being smart with you will, but if you have concrete proof of Russian interferences, other than ‘puppy ad’s’ on Facebook, then please feel free to expand upon your allegation. Joe

      • Seer
        February 2, 2018 at 8:32 am

        Putin already knows that all it has to do is step aside, that the US is going to self-destruct and that Russia doesn’t need to do anything other than stay alive through the blast.

        Net exporters of energy have the real power. US is NOT one of these. Value of energy will only increase, and as that happens the petro-dollar will collapse, thereby ending US world domination.

        Those who control the books control that game. Eventually REAL resources will pry open the books, at which point the chips get called in.

    • Realist
      February 2, 2018 at 3:53 am

      Joe Kennedy III? He also “loves Big Brother.” Believing in the endless war against “Eurasia” is required thinking to achieve status in the Inner Party, certainly if you want to have your political future blessed by the DNC. Do not fall for the sweet talk of any politician who demands a potential nuclear confrontation with Russia as a pre-condition for fixing all of America’s domestic problems. Cross him or her and their party off your list for the next election. Write in “none of the above” if you must. Such fully-licensed, party-approved, official spokesmen are frauds who will not keep their promises in any event. In the words of the immortal Dubya, why would I want to ever “get fooled again” and vote for someone just because of their last name? After the Clinton fiasco (following the Bush fiasco complements of the GOP), do the the Dems think they are being clever by flashing yet another Kennedy visage on the boob tube?

      And, yes Joe, I too like Caitlin’s irreverent feistiness.

      • Joe Tedesky
        February 2, 2018 at 11:12 am

        Thanks Realist, because after a while a person can end up falling for the same deception, and mostly because they believed in a speech delivered by a fairly descent looking person of quality. We voters may not be able to change this format, but we sure as hell can learn from our voter mistakes from previous elections. What was that Einstein said about doing the same thing over, and over again, while expecting different results….well that explains it, we voters have been commercially designed by our masters to be insane. Joe

  71. Patty C
    February 1, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    I’m still a Bernie supporter on domestic issues but I agree with Caitlin’s observation about Russiagate. I’m not with Bernie on that and I’ve told him so on several occasions. No politician is perfect and that is why it’s up to all of us to challenge them when we think they are wrong. The good ones will honestly address our concerns even when they don’t agree with us.

    • February 1, 2018 at 8:40 pm

      Well reasoned,…but it remains deplorable that Bernie refuses to criticize(if not attack) the DNC(the real cause for subverting his election)and continues to take a me-too attitude on Russiagate.

      • Seer
        February 2, 2018 at 7:58 am

        Exactly. The issue at heart should more aptly be DNCgate. The REAL corruption of elections, FAR bigger than anything the Russian did or could have thought to do, is homegrown, homegrown by the top levels of same party that ousted Sanders, the same Party that demonstrates time and time again that when it comes time to actually DO peace or civil liberty it utterly fails.

        Until the Deep State is rooted out we will continue on our path to our ultimate destination of annihilation via war.

    • Gilbert Doctorow
      February 2, 2018 at 2:07 am

      Wonderful reasoning! Takes the cake!
      My friend, when you are dead, incinerated in the nuclear holocaust which Bernie’s policies will bring on by going for the jugular against Russia, then Bernie’s domestic program will not count for much. Focus your mind: better to live for another decade, or two or three in a world of coexistence. Will give you plenty of time to find new leaders who can fix the U.S. domestic problems later on.

      Somehow folks have forgotten or never learned the Better Red than Dead lessons.

      And yes, Bernie is too damned old. Cannot learn any new tricks…

      • Realist
        February 2, 2018 at 3:24 am

        Correct on both counts.

        Since Bernie is generally sane on domestic issues and also claims not to kowtow to the Jewish lobby (both big pluses in the progressive community that quite possibly determined the last election by staying away from Clinton in droves), perhaps he sees fit to ostensibly “love Big Brother” to pry that nomination from the DNC this time round. He would never get the Dem nomination by aping Trump and playing the “peacenik” when everyone to the left of Dick Cheney is a warmonger these days. And the Trump Redux gambit probably won’t work again in the general. Every Democratic candidate also runs left and governs solidly right these days, so that would fool no one.

        Just maybe he would soften on the sabre rattling once in office, as he, as well as I and all the recognised potential candidates (Trump, Clinton, Biden, Kerry), are getting far too old for this brinksmanship shit. Not saying I would count on that. What softened up Reagan? (Who was also too old when he ran and probably suffered from Alzheimer’s.)

        Of course, none of the “young blood” (Camilla Harris, Cory Booker) floated as alternatives to the old praetorian guard seem to want peace in the world, if that will hurt their party’s chances. This dance upon a knife’s edge (in stridently challenging Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and the Greater Middle East) seems destined to continue through at least the end of however many terms Trump’s successor serves (could be as distant as 2032!). All these old warmongering fossils will be dead (or close to it) by then anyway, so what is their motivation to preserve the lives of others? Not as strong as it should be, it seems to me.

      • February 2, 2018 at 11:36 am

        Gilbert Doctorow et.al….Ahh…but therein lies the rub! Like Bernie, I’m 76 yrs old and can’t think of decades in my future but can only pass on your good advice to my children and the next generation. Nevertheless, it’s always reassuring to know that there are other like-minded first responders at CN to rail against the prevailing winds,

      • Bob In Portland
        February 2, 2018 at 3:21 pm

        One problem with the American public is the entrenched belief in the truth of our media and the general goodness of American policy. Granted, that has been chipped away here and there, but Mr. Doctorow believes that Sanders could function by going against our military-industrial complex. Look at the careers of any politician who went up against the MIC. Much like the Buddhist monks of Vietnam setting themselves on fire, those who want to martyr themselves get obliged.

        Is Bernie too old? Yes, like Trump, Clinton, Biden et al. But considering the younger politicians I don’t see any degree of honesty against the MIC.

        Until a large enough sector of the American public recognizes the American political terrain for what it is, an oligarchic dictatorship disguised as a two-party system, then a sliver of the Left will whine about politicians being meek re. the MIC without realizing the reason why.

      • Dave P.
        February 3, 2018 at 3:32 am

        “My friend, when you are dead, incinerated in the nuclear holocaust which Bernie’s policies will bring on by going for the jugular against Russia, then Bernie’s domestic program will not count for much. Focus your mind: better to live for another decade, or two or three in a world of coexistence. Will give you plenty of time to find new leaders who can fix the U.S. domestic problems later on.”

        Excellent suggestion by Gilbert Doctorow. Very true. But way the things now stand, humanity may not last that long. The historical track record of U.S. does not favor peaceful coexistence with other Nations beyond the West, no matter how much we may wish for this peaceful coexistence on this planet. American Indians, people of rest of Americas south of us , and many other Nations can vouch for it.

        As a most trusted politician on his resume now, Bernie Sanders will most likely turn out to be even more dangerous than Barak Obama in whom we put all our trust to bring peace on this Earth. On the top of drone wars, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Obama recolonized Africa – the land of his father and ancestors of Black Americans – again by multiplying the number of U.S. bases in Africa. We forget easily that immediately after Trump’s victory, Bernie became Chuck Schumer’s chief lieutenant as an outreach director of the Democratic party. Bernie is a Chuck Schumer man; a fake Socialist.

        How many times people want to be fooled!

    • jacobo
      February 2, 2018 at 3:31 am

      Whatever his progressive domestic agenda, given the cost of these perpetual wars, no way, if elected in ‘20 would he be able to make good on said agenda. Even if he’s able to take back the trillion or so.that the new tax bill gave away to corporations & the mega rich, the buildup for WWIii will swoop up all of that. Good as he may seem on domestic issues, his warhawkishness gonna do us in.

      • Seer
        February 2, 2018 at 8:04 am

        TPTB/Deep State would threaten to pull the economic rug out from underneath him (collapse the economy) if he didn’t play along. Greatest fear is massive unrest at home. Easy enough for TPTB/Deep State to create that environment: they do it all over the globe, they know how it’s done.

  72. Zachary Smith
    February 1, 2018 at 4:26 pm

    I’m not even saying I’ll oppose Bernie’s presidential run if it comes down to that in 2020.

    I’ll put myself on record as opposing a 2020 Sanders run for president. The man is WAY too old, even if he was otherwise that “perfect boyfriend”, and he sure isn’t!

    Sanders might (might!) have delivered on the domestic front, but as we re-learned from Obama, money talks, and bullshit walks. Regardless how that part turned out, on the foreign policy front Sanders would have been at least as bad as Hillary.

    Excellent essay!

    • JoeD
      February 1, 2018 at 5:21 pm

      There’s absolutely no proof of that. Sanders has consistently come out against war. He voted against the Iraq War. He voted against the Patriot Act. He is not beholding to big money interests. You are deceiving yourself if you think he’s like Hillary Clinton, a right-wing neocon.

      • jean palmer
        February 1, 2018 at 7:30 pm

        He authorized the housing of F35 in his home state of Vermont – in Burlington. His support of this propaganda about Russia is frightening. Most of the corruption in 2016 was in the Dem primary by the Clinton campaign – and he not only supported her (I understand he probably had to make that deal to run as a dem) but he doesn’t even speak about the corruption – still ongoing with the DNC and the DCCC. The dem party is too corrupt at this point; Bernie should know that and move on.
        .

        • robjira
          February 1, 2018 at 8:50 pm

          Exactly, Jean; the F-35 is not being developed just for show. Furthermore, in one of the debates with Clinton, Sanders clearly signaled there would be no substantial change in foreign policy during his administration, apart from offering token consideration to the aspirations of Muslims and Christians in Palestine.
          Politicians of both the left and right wings of the War Party revealed who their real constituency is (and has been) some time ago; the Lords of Capital.

          • will
            February 1, 2018 at 9:46 pm

            The shit pile that is the F-35 was developed mainly to make assloads of cash for the makers of the F-35.

        • Dave P.
          February 2, 2018 at 6:03 pm

          I agree.

      • Daniel
        February 1, 2018 at 8:00 pm

        I campaigned and voted for Sanders because of his mostly excellent domestic policies, and with the hope that we could sway him to be then least warlike President. And we did seem to be swaying him as his rhetoric (especially as regards Palestine) was softening. But I refused to ignore his actual record. Sanders voted against the Iraq War. Otherwise, he voted for wars and Empire’s military adventurism quite consistently. For instance, he voted for:

        Bombing Kosovo: March 11, 1999, H Con Res 42
        Invading Somalia: May 25, 1993, S J Res 45,
        Iraq War Crimes Tribunal (leading to the sanctions that killed 1/2 million Iraqi children under age 5): Nov. 13, 1997, H Con Res 137
        Sanctions against Iran and Iraq: July 26, 2001, HR 1954
        Global War of Terror: Sept. 14, 2001, H J Res 64

        He voted to allow the UN to impose the “No Fly Zone” in Libya that turned NATO into al Qaeda’s air force and destroyed the most prosperous country on the continent.
        He voted to give the Ukrainian Nazi putsch regime $1 billion of our tax dollars.

        He refers to the legitimate, democratically-elected President of Syria as the “world’s worst dictator” and referred to Bolivarian socialist President Chavez as a “dead dictator,” and voted for sanctions against Venezuela. And of course, as Caitlan highlights, he is fully onboard the existentially dangerous “Putin is Hitler” Cold War II train.

        • Nancy
          February 2, 2018 at 12:11 pm

          Correction–Hugo Chavez was president of Venezuela, not Bolivia.
          Otherwise, I’m in full agreement with your comment.

          • Daniel
            February 2, 2018 at 2:34 pm

            The socialist revolution in Venezuela that was led by Hugo Chavez is called the “Bolivarian Revolution.” It’s named after the great, early 19th century South American revolutionary Simón Bolívar.

          • ToivoS
            February 2, 2018 at 3:10 pm

            Bolivarian refers to a South American ideology, not the country of Bolivia. Chavez championed that notion. It is confusing, that is for sure for most North Americanoes.

      • Sam F
        February 2, 2018 at 9:10 am

        As far as I know, Sanders has not opposed Mideast wars or secret operations for Israel in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, etc, and his silence is suspect because he is Jewish. I would expect him to engage in secret wars for Israel, and to rationalize any evident bias with more hopey-changey for “negotiations” with Israel someday soon maybe. Contrary information welcome.

        Of course if he were anti-zionist, he might accomplish more by being Jewish. That would require evidence.

      • Stefan
        February 2, 2018 at 5:30 pm

        Proof that he has been pro war is on record.
        Sanders has a solid pro war, pro liberal intervention / regime change stance.

    • Virginia
      February 2, 2018 at 2:54 pm

      Me, too, Zachary, from a former avid supporter. Bernie didn’t take the reins when he should have and run with them. What a loser!

      It’s so tiresome what these Dems and even Reps claim about Russia, hacking, collusion; when in fact there is so much staring everyone in the face on DNC and Hillary colluding with Russia, lying, and everything else. The MEMO is out. It will seem just the tip of the iceberg for those who read here at CN and keep up. But an important start!

    • Bob In Portland
      February 2, 2018 at 3:10 pm

      And who would you support instead? As it is, Sanders is a longshot, and it would apparently be impossible for him to win the Democratic nomination.

      So let’s see the candidate any of you would back? Someone from the Green Party? I voted Green last election because I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror and vote for Clinton. Biden? Any of the minor chumps who showed up for the first couple of debates? When you start digging they all have Deep State connections, which should indicate the state of American politics.

      • Kan
        February 2, 2018 at 5:34 pm

        I too voted Green for the same exact reason. My (corporate) dem friends bashed me for it, even though they are the clueless goats. I was the one that caused queen Hillary to lose, and Trump to win. I am sure many of us have heard it a zillion times.

        I pose the same question, who else is there to back going forward? My one sane friend tells me, there isn’t anyone, at least at the moment. They swamp is corrupt and it needs to be drained for anyone to have any impact. The only thing we can do, he suggests, is fight at the local and state levels for change. I don’t have much hope for any real change at the higher levels for 2020.

        If you watched prior to the SOTU the ABC interviews of people in the swing states who decided to vote for Trump, most of them are happy that they voted for him, and are happy with his results. I know, it is ludicrous. But, why should they not be? The dems haven’t offered up any solutions for the people who were, and still are, hurting. If Trump isn’t shot or impeached by the next election, I bet he will win a second term, especially if he is saving the war card closer to election.

      • Zachary Smith
        February 2, 2018 at 11:12 pm

        It would have to be a non-criminal with a history of supporting liberal/progressive ideas. At this moment I don’t know of any democrats satisfying both criteria. Joe Biden? I stay home. The Democratic bench has been deliberately kept bare.

        I did say I wouldn’t “support” Sanders, but in the extremely unlikely event he became a candidate I’d possibly vote for the man. I say “possibly” because I truly don’t know where he stands on a lot of issues. If he is an “Obama Lite”, no way.

        I believe I’d have to add one more qualification – that he pledge to remain for only one term, and have some world-beater of a VP running with him. Once again, but who would that be? Are there any Democrats promising to curb the Wars For Isreal? Promising to do their best to get Single Payer? Promising to fight to stop the world from dying of Global Warming?

    • February 3, 2018 at 4:05 am

      I don’t vote for war criminals and war criminal wannabes; I’ve experienced war up close and personal. Anyone who would willingly inflict war on other human beings is not qualified for public office.

  73. Sam F
    February 1, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    Excellent remarks by Ms. Johnstone. I too cannot trust Sanders, and place an inexcusable foreign policy of mass murders above any possible domestic policy gains. He is apparently another MIC/zionist sheepdog sent to betray idealists. Let us get rid of him. Let’s have really progressive candidates, and discard these traitors of the oligarchy.

    • JWalters
      February 2, 2018 at 12:34 am

      I agree on the repulsiveness of Bernie’s position, but I suspect a different reason. I suspect Bernie shifted his course under threat of assassination. Since he might be willing to risk assassination of himself, a threat might be instead directed at a beloved grandchild. The people he called out in the election, the “oligarchy”, murder on a mass scale. So their threats are credible. I suspect a number of key public voices are controlled in this manner. They are free to talk about their “signature” issue, but any threat to the oligarchy is off limits. So no quoting Ray McGovern on the USS Liberty, neither on Israel’s attack or cover-up. It seems to me a plausible explanation for a puzzling behavior.

      • Broompilot
        February 2, 2018 at 2:13 am

        Ridiculous.

        • Don Feeney
          February 2, 2018 at 10:29 am

          Agree.

          • Maxim
            February 2, 2018 at 11:19 am

            Why?

      • Sam F
        February 2, 2018 at 8:34 am

        There are also other ways that groups improperly influence officials, to avoid direct threats. The effect may amount to persuasion, balancing of competing interests, threat of denial of benefactors or party benefits, threat of insufficient support, threat of political opposition, or threat of physical harm, for example:

        1. Surrounding them with advocates of X (Russia threatens invisibly, etc);
        2. Persuading friends and associates to persuade or pressure them;
        4. Arguing that mass media or the public will oppose their favorite legislation unless they do X
        5. Bargaining (we give you Y Tuesday if you give us X today);
        6. A needed potential or present benefactor insists on excluding Y;
        7. The party will not support your campaign if you push for Y;
        8. A poll suggests that voters will prefer opponents if you push for Y;
        9. Party activists warn that voters will prefer opponents if you push for Y;
        10. Party, benefactors, or other legislators will support opponents if you push for Y;

        There are also lesser dirty deeds that parties or factions attempt before violence:

        1. Character assassination: the secret message, rumor, or declaration to family, friends, or benefactors of infidelity, dishonesty, extremism, etc.;
        2. Public libels to social group, benefactors, party, and the public;
        3. Actual denial of campaign funds, legislative support, perks or pleasures;
        4. Lesser crimes close to home, such as vandalism, theft, and harm to unprotected persons;
        5. Making numerous assassination threats or attempts such as gunfire, armed squad attacks, vehicle sabotage, bomb threats, etc.

        I have been the victim of all of these pressure tactics, simply as a charity executive promoting nuisance ordinances in a town council, so I’m sure that this is just page one of the playbook in national politics.

        • Sam F
          February 2, 2018 at 8:49 am

          I should mention alternatives to the published false dossier, used by the unscrupulous opposition:

          1. Planting false information as above, with family, friends, associates, benefactors, and supporters;
          2. Sending the false dossier secretly (hence unopposed) to officials, judges, and other legislators;

          These methods are far more effective if done by an enforcement, investigative, or intelligence agency with credibility, and can be done by any rogue or faction within an agency. Very few targets question or even reveal such information, because they feel honored, elevated, and empowered by the communication, and may gain social or other advantages by using it against the target.

        • JWalters
          February 2, 2018 at 11:48 pm

          Thanks for sharing your personal experience, and the much-needed reality check. Naturally the oligarchy-owned mainstream news outlets don’t mention that they are using these tactics. So most people truly have no idea they are going on. So they don’t consider them in their efforts to explain current events. Big mistake.

      • ger
        February 2, 2018 at 10:15 am

        What I call the Ross Perot treatment. Ross, as a candidate, was a threat to the Clinton Mafia during the 1992 election …. especially the powerful talking charts demonstrating the effect of the NAFTA sooooosshhh as money and jobs flew out of the US workers pockets. The threat to wall street money behind Clinton was enough to get Ross a ‘horse head’ in his bed … figuratively speaking.

        • irina
          February 2, 2018 at 11:48 am

          Whatever it was that Obama said to Bernie at their meeting in early June of 2016
          completely took the wind out of Bernie’s sails. His demeanor immediately became
          extremely meek, and stayed that way right through the dnc convention.

          • Antiwar7
            February 2, 2018 at 12:10 pm

            Really?

            If so, that’s interesting. I’ve found the expressions on politicians’ faces are the most informative thing about them. Especially at a press conference after a joint meeting, if you want to see who won or lost in a political deal, or a merger, etc.

            Cool romanesco.

          • JWalters
            February 2, 2018 at 11:50 pm

            Thanks for that observation.

          • February 7, 2018 at 11:14 am

            Yes! I remember thinking the same thing, but since forgot until you just reminded me. Thank you.

      • GM
        February 2, 2018 at 11:11 am

        No, not very plausible at all.

      • Kim Dixon
        February 2, 2018 at 11:20 am

        Sure. That’s it.

        And,”they” have been threatening Sanders’ beloved grandchild since before s/he was born…

        https://www.counterpunch.org/2015/07/21/bernie-out-of-the-closet-sanders-longstanding-deal-with-the-democrats/

        • Nancy
          February 2, 2018 at 12:05 pm

          Yes–Bernie long ago sold out to the Democrats. This Russia BS is just the latest example of his phony socialist leanings.
          Everyone should read this piece.

        • Kan
          February 2, 2018 at 5:18 pm

          That was a brilliantly written piece that outlines his history and ties with the corporate and militaristic dems. For certain he is part of the swamp and constantly bows to the corp dems demands. We saw it during the Hillary run when all of his supporters, including myself, were let down, and we are seeing it now with this constant russiagate and warmongering.

          Excerpt:
          “But Bernie cleaned up his too-radical act after his 1988 defeat. He went to “liberal” Harvard’s imperialist Kennedy school and came back to work in tandem with the corporate and militaristic Democrats under the guise of an “independent” and third party political identity. He’s been on the not all-that-left wing of the dismal dollar Dems ever since.”

        • JWalters
          February 2, 2018 at 11:50 pm

          Thanks for that link. An interesting article.

        • February 3, 2018 at 3:57 am

          See also this article from 2015: http://www.globalresearch.ca/democratic-party-primaries-progressives-as-political-contraceptives/5490884

          Bernie was far from the first to sell his soul to the DNC.

      • Susan Peehl
        February 2, 2018 at 11:22 am

        With all the talk about who could potentially be blackmailed in our government, it does make you wonder, and as with most everything these days, one needs to read between the lines.

      • bullybe
        February 2, 2018 at 11:42 am

        Watch Godfather again. Threats of homicide are only one means of securing cooperation. Sanders may also have an unsavory desire or two that has been capitalized on. The American people by and large fail to realize that someone you don’t know is someone you don’t know. What a cryin shame.

        • JWalters
          February 2, 2018 at 11:51 pm

          A valid point.

      • Bob In Portland
        February 2, 2018 at 3:06 pm

        You have to look at the terrain. I agree with J Walters. You can so far and no farther regarding the CIA’s false story about Russia hacking.

        You will also notice that nobody, NOBODY, in the mainstream press has mentioned the CIA in connection with this false story when its fingerprints are all over it. You will also notice that no one in the MSM has written an article about all the places where the US has interfered with other countries’ elections or overthrew them.

        There is absolutely no one in Congress who will point a finger at the CIA. The last President who truly tried to rein in the intelligence and military was JFK. If you haven’t admitted to yourself who murdered him, then Sanders’ position isn’t the real concern. It’s yours.

        I’d ask Johnstone to offer up a legitimate alternative of any politician above dogcatcher who will stand up to the military-industrial complex.

        • JWalters
          February 2, 2018 at 11:56 pm

          Excellent points.

          “I’d ask Johnstone to offer up a legitimate alternative of any politician above dogcatcher who will stand up to the military-industrial complex.”

          THAT IS THE KEY QUESTION. And that includes stand up to the Israelis. The answer is NO ONE. The next question is – WHY NOT?

          • JWalters
            February 3, 2018 at 12:09 am

            The only plausible reason is coercion in some form.

            During his brief moment in the national spotlight Sanders used the term “oligarchy” repeatedly, and criticized Netanyahu, both dangerous to the oligarchy and extremely taboo in the US mainstream discussion. Then he was neutered.

      • Vesper
        February 2, 2018 at 5:03 pm

        You can do better than this grasping at straws

        • Kiza
          February 3, 2018 at 3:09 am

          This is the only comment I agree with. Bernie is yet another political sh**bag. What is he doing in politics if “his grandchild has been threatened”? What a moronic notion, I cannot believe I am seriously reading such commenting stupidity at CN after an honest article?

          Let us create more conspiracy theories instead of addressing the real issues – typical left!!!!

      • Stefan
        February 2, 2018 at 5:29 pm

        Shifted?
        Sanders have been voting for wars and interventions for over 30 years.
        Only one time did he vote against a war, but that vote was against Bush, not the war itself, as his record has proven over and over.
        Sanders is a warmonger.

    • Lily
      February 3, 2018 at 11:39 pm

      Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was invited to give a big foreign policy speech at Westminster College, a distinguished venue where former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1946 gave his famous “Iron Curtain” speech.
      But Sanders didn’t use this opportunity to speak about an existential enemy. Instead, he used it to advocate a progressive foreign policy, one that called on America to focus on the well-being of individuals around the world. https://www.vox.com/world/2017/9/21/16345600/bernie-sanders-full-text-transcript-foreign-policy-speech-westminster

      check out http://www.foreignpolicy-info.com this site compares Bernie’s and Hillary’s foreign policy with links to varied sources

      I’m not waiting for the Savior.
      At present, Bernie is the best we have, and he is pretty amazing.
      Some will always focus on what’s not perfect, I hope most will focus on supporting the best in Bernie, and showing appreciation for his ideas we agree with, and letting him know, that his falling into the blame Russia trap is abhorrent to us and we expect him to see what ever Russia may have done in the context of what the U.S. routinely does to countries whose leaders it dislikes.

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