Austin Bombings, Russophobia and the Law of Immutable Vulnerability

The Austin bomber offered a frightening reminder how vulnerable the U.S. is to asymmetrical attacks – something that should be kept in mind as U.S. leaders exacerbate tensions with Russia and other targeted regimes, writes David Hamilton.

By David Hamilton

Austin’s bomber revealed many things. Despite being inexperienced and not terribly bright, he terrorized a major city, stretched police resources to their limit, significantly disrupted commerce and grabbed worldwide headlines. He doubtless also caused the CEOs at UPS and Fedex to have nightmares.

FBI, ATF and local police investigate an explosion at a FedEx facility on March 20, 2018 in Schertz, Texas. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Try to imagine what a very smart person with some professional training in explosives, ideological motivation and a strategic plan might be able to do, especially with a small and skilled support group.

The crucial factor is that significant targets are so limitless and far-flung that they simply cannot be secured. Forget blowing up random people while on surveillance cameras, what about those electric power lines crossing the desert to the far horizon? The power grid is flagrantly exposed. What about flyovers?  Or the petro-chemical plant sitting beside the ship channel? Any bridge? Or Edward Abbey’s idea of a boat bomb floated against Glen Canyon Dam? Our ubiquitous, complex and crumbling infrastructure and our open society provide unguarded targets ad infinitum.

The immutable vulnerability cannot be eliminated by military means. We cannot patrol below every power line and bridge. No border wall will matter, just another target. Besides, our principal enemies are internal, not an alien invasion. The Austin bomber was not a Russian.  Nor was Timothy McVeigh or the perpetrators at Parkland HS or at the Pulse nightclub or at the Mandalay hotel Las Vegas or at Sandy Hook Elementary, all terrorist attacks by white male Americans with no criminal record who probably considered themselves Christians.

There is no military means to fully guarantee our security. It is statistically irrefutable that having guns increases one’s likelihood of getting shot. Our safety will instead be primarily dependent on how we treat others, as human beings and as a nation.

But there are those who are actively trying to convince us that Russia, among others, is our existential enemy and we should obsessively worry about them instead of the real factors affecting our lives.  These war mongers are thereby promoting a distraction from what is truly meaningful in the interest of winning our support for future U.S. aggressions, specifically war with Russia, Iran and Syria in Syria, U.S. instigation of regime change taken to its logical conclusion.  Considering the actors involved, at the end of that path could await mutual annihilation.

The essential issue is simply power; the ability to control others for one’s own advantage.  The US capitalist elite is trying desperately to maintain their post WWII crusade for world dominance in the face of other growing power centers and despite the ineptitude of the Insane Yellow Clown leading them.  They are particularly alarmed over the growth of Russia and China, their developing alliance and their expanding influence and stature worldwide relative to the U.S.

We might reasonably ask why the US doesn’t settle for a multi-polar world of mutually respectful global citizens.  The answer would unfortunately be that doing so would be totally out of character for those who actually make the decisions in our country.  Old habits of asserting hegemony die hard.

Before we allow our government and its compliant media to cast some country into the role of being our adversary, we might wish to ponder just why that country is our existential enemy whose subjugation merits risking the annihilation of all past human achievement along with our progeny.

Want real security?  There is clearly one most effective way to get it.   Don’t make enemies.

Today, our “liberal” media heap daily scorn on Russia and its president Putin while slavishly befriending the autocratic religious fanatics that compose the Saudi monarchy.  How have I missed a comparable outpouring of disgust at Russian homophobia and the Saudi law allowing execution by stoning for “homosexual behavior”? Would one rather be gay in Moscow or Mecca?  Could the Saudi’s being annual multi-billion dollar benefactors of the owners of the US military-industrial complex be linked to the conscious campaign to convince us of the diabolical nature of all things Russian?

To be a peace activist at this time requires continuous pushback at the concerted propaganda campaigns perpetually being conducted in the U.S. corporate news media and among their collaborating politicians to demonize their next prospective victims; currently Russia, China, Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea along with other various non-state actors, usually Muslims or leftists.

Regardless of how reprehensible one considers the domestic policies of these “enemy” nation’s leaders, there is literally nothing worth risking Armageddon. Without complete nuclear disarmament, human survival requires that diplomacy take place. That requires talking to other nuclear powers in a non-adversarial manner, especially between the two nuclear super-powers who together possess over 90% of all such weapons.

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63 comments for “Austin Bombings, Russophobia and the Law of Immutable Vulnerability

  1. Zhu Bajie
    March 27, 2018 at 3:53 am

    Can Americans live without an apocalyptic enemy?

    • Beard681
      March 28, 2018 at 11:20 am

      Apparently not.Just read these comments. Almost every one blames some conspiracy, race, economic cabal or religious group or just “Americans” in general.

      The problem is the incentives as opposed to the penalties for war mongering are just to great. Look who benefits from conflict – the generals, the military contractors. the media (ratings!), the various civil servants throughout the bureaucracy and of course the posturing/preening politicians.

      The only solution is universal military service – so the average person can see the human and economic waste of it all.

  2. RoyTyrell
    March 27, 2018 at 1:47 am

    Best op-ed I’ve read on our current situation to date.

    These are very dangerous times and America’s capacity for self critical thinking (if it ever had it) is long gone.

  3. March 26, 2018 at 6:33 pm

    On what basis of proof do you offer “all terrorist attacks by white male Americans with no criminal record who probably considered themselves Christians”?

    Do you even know what a Christian is, or what constitutes Christian faith? Do you really think that any of it comports with what Jesus clearly taught? Now it might be some insane persons are so deluded that they think they are Jesus Christ, or that they are Christian without any basis for saying so, out of complete ignorance, but that has nothing to do with the above statement.

    It is irrelevant to what Christianity is to smear Christians with the actions of terrorists whose motives are completelty contrary to Christianity.

    • Anon
      March 26, 2018 at 8:31 pm

      The statement seems to refer to persons who did not consider themselves opponents of Christianity.

  4. March 26, 2018 at 10:14 am

    The common sense look at the world by my CN writers is very impressive and very much appreciated, a glimmer of hope that at least some understand. Two short comments by the author summed up the article:

    ” Our safety will instead be primarily dependent on how we treat others, as human beings and as a nation.”

    His other :Don’t make enemies.”

    Didn’t Putin say in his state of the nation address that Russia was not looking for enemies, they were looking for friends. I suspect that remark did not register well with the I hate Putin crowd, just made them all the more hateful toward this guy.

  5. Skip Scott
    March 26, 2018 at 9:13 am

    “Try to imagine what a very smart person with some professional training in explosives, ideological motivation and a strategic plan might be able to do, especially with a small and skilled support group.”

    This is why I have always believed that our domestic “terrorism” is mostly false flags and BS, and is used to justify our resort to police state tactics. It takes very little imagination to come up with a plan that would completely destroy our economy, and could be easily executed by “a small and skilled support group”. The fact that it hasn’t happened reveals that the vast majority of the world’s people are basically good folks, and that even includes those “evil Ruskies”.

  6. kouldb
    March 26, 2018 at 7:55 am

    Indeed. Well said!

  7. TB
    March 26, 2018 at 2:35 am

    “…having guns increases one’s likelihood of getting shot.” only works if you conflate suicides with homicides and accidents. The japanese have proved since forever that restrictive gun laws do not prevent suicides. Cherry picking data is just that. DO NOT DO.

    • rosemerry
      March 26, 2018 at 5:07 pm

      It does increase likelihood, and you are just as dead if you kill yourself or accidentally kill someone with a gun, as so many toddlers do in the USA.

      • TB
        March 26, 2018 at 11:09 pm

        Parenting issue. I have not been killing people with firearms since I was 6 years old.

        Guns are inanimate, not unlike your grey matter.

  8. Chumpsky
    March 25, 2018 at 11:07 pm

    “Want real security? There is clearly one most effective way to get it. Don’t make enemies.”

    No. Build friendships and bridges based upon mutual respect, win-win policies/projects and non-judgemental discourse/education.

    Such begins at home. Demonizing the foreigner is just a pathological form of denial by failing to tackle domestic issues. Preaching such hypocrisy via a political agenda brings only instability and a lack of security as internal resentment builds as we see today via the fractured two main political parties.

  9. geeyp
    March 25, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    When I read all attacks caused ….”white male Americans”…. my first thought is it’s white males who are the most well known for dropping a dime on major secrets happening in our society. Manning, Assange as a conduit, Snowden, William, Thomas, Kiriouku (sp.), Sterling (African-American). The list goes on. These people risk everything. Some of these events the author discusses, like Oklahoma and Massachusetts, are not investigated properly, and there is more to them than the author is aware.

  10. natoistan
    March 25, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    Moscow to West about MH17 & Skripal & Syria: ‘Stop demonizing Russia!’

    Instead of accusations and threats, Russia demands facts. From the MH17 case in Donbass to chemical attacks in Syria to the Skripal poisoning in Britain, the West only throws accusations against Russia without giving any proof, the Russian Foreign Ministry said, adding that such an approach “will not work.”

    The Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department for Nonproliferation & Arms Control, Vladimir Ermakov, gave his statement at a meeting with the representatives of foreign embassies in Moscow.

    “The Western countries have never presented proper evidence to substantiate their claims in any of the recent high-profile international incidents, including the downing of the Malaysia Airlines jet over Eastern Ukraine or the alleged instances of the use of chemical weapons in Syria. They, however, always treated their own statements as “ultimate truth,” Ermakov said.

    Although the ambassadors from the UK, France and the US did not bother to attend the meeting with the Russian Foreign Ministry’s officials over the Skripal case, they sent their representatives with harshly worded statements. A US representative warned that Washington “will hold Russia accountable for its illegal actions,” reiterating that the US stands in complete solidarity with UK. His French colleague also expressed the “full solidarity of France with the UK,” following what he called a “chemical attack that was conducted on its territory.”

    “Do you want to investigate [the Skripal case]? We are ready for a joint investigation. If you do not, then it is a different question entirely,” Ermakov said, and pointed out that CCTV cameras are mounted almost “everywhere” in the UK and the British authorities must have had records showing what exactly happened in Salisbury.

    “You have everything recorded. Share [the evidence] and we will help with the investigation,” the diplomat added.

    Ermakov then drew attention to the fact that it is not the first time that the western powers have refused to disclose evidence that could be crucial for a high-profile international investigation but could prove undesirable for the agenda promoted by the West.

    “We know how some mechanisms that you consider to be ‘reliable’ worked in Syria: it was a total fake,” Ermakov said, referring to the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which was tasked with investigating the instances of the alleged chemical weapons used in Syria.

    Then, referring to the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in 2014, Ermakov rhetorically asked, “Does the US really have no … data about who exactly shot down that Boeing?”

    “You did have everything recorded, you had a satellite [monitoring the situation] over there,” Ermakov added.

    He then said that the US preferred to “stay silent” and never shared its data following the incident despite the fact that the investigation into the attack on the jet became de facto deadlocked. The diplomat also drew attention to that fact that the West “blamed Russia even before the Boeing hit the ground.”

    Six months after the inquiry into the Flight MH17 crash in Ukraine had entered its fourth year, the Dutch investigators have not provided any tangible results. The probe has been recently extended for yet another year. The Western politicians, meanwhile, continue to blame Russia for the incident.

    The Russian Embassy in the US has demanded that Washington present evidence of Russia’s illegal actions in light of the alleged poisoning of the former Russian intelligence officer and British spy, Sergei Skripal, in the UK. It published its commentary on the situation around the Skripal case in Facebook.

    “We strongly urge Washington to furnish us with the evidence on Russia’s illegal actions it mentioned,” the document said. “If such evidence really exists, it can be provided fast enough, Or else, there is an opportunity to admit its absence and to bring apologies to us, the way all decent people would do it.”

    The embassy also expressed astonishment “over certain incompetent judgments” passed by the White House press secretary, Heather Nauert, who claimed Russia was bearing responsibility for Skripal’s poisoning.

    “We would like to make a reminder that any kind of forceful rhetoric in the dialogue with Russia is counterproductive, although we cannot ban its use for domestic purposes here,” the embassy said. It stressed the importance of explanations for a number of facts related to the Skripal poisoning.

    The commentary called on the West to stop demonizing Russia:

    “Stop demonizing Russia. Stop threatening Russia and Russian diplomats, whose new expulsions some politicians continue pressing for. It is time you stopped charging us with all the imaginable things.”

    • Sam F
      March 26, 2018 at 8:24 pm

      Important points to the general public in the US. But many see that demonizing is standard practice for tyrants, described by Plato and Aristotle, and that the US is ruled by primitive tyrants due to the control of mass media and elections by money power, which in an unregulated market economy is controlled by the least ethical. The bully-boys want Russia, China, or Korea to respond in kind; the US tyrants will provoke, accuse, lie, and subvert until they have excuses to claim a grave foreign enemy, from which they will heroically save the housewives and chickenhawks, by mortaging future generations for military graft to build monuments to themselves.

  11. Realist
    March 25, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    It has occurred to me many times that the situation in America could easily start to emulate the long reign of terror that enveloped Northern Ireland and Britain through much of the 20th century, with car bombs going off almost on a daily basis and once within blocks of a public appearance by the queen. If enough people are made angry enough, you don’t need an organised movement to buck the establishment, although they did have that in the form of the IRA. Timothy McVeigh showed what could be done by one fanatical rebel against what he considered the depravities of his government.

    If the establishment decides to systematically beat down all protesting opposition, as it did to the “Occupy Wall Street” and “Black Lives Matter” movements, the opposition will move underground and change tactics from peaceful protest to violent opposition, to bombings, ass asi nations, and sabotage of public works. Then the militarized police forces will double down in their repression and violence will become a daily occurrence as it was in N. Ireland and G. Britain.

    We had an abbreviated taste of that right here in the USA with the Weatherman Underground, the “Symbionese Liberation Front,” and some factions of the Black Panthers back in the 60’s. In fact, it may be that the government might even want to encourage the re-emergence of such movements to excuse an even greater effort to come down like a ton of bricks on the whole of American society and cow it into submission.

    “False flags” don’t have to be directed only towards the Russians or Islamic terrorists–real or imaginary. So far, “only” shootings are an outgrowth of the desperation that some apparently feel, but they will once again discover high explosives and even chemical and biological weapons, especially when governments light the way with their false flags. Whenever no evidence or possible motive for serious allegations are produced, when the laws of physics and chemistry seem to be violated by the establishment’s narrative, when the targets of the ensuing propaganda are offered no chance of rebuttal, when immediate sanctions, repressive actions, or the deployment of troops are put into place before the situation can be methodically and rationally analysed, suspect a false flag, the purpose of which is to unleash the force of the state on the civilian population or a foreign target. The world has seen this all before too many times.

  12. exiled off mainstreet
    March 25, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    The article is interesting and does not even mention the most vulnerable targets: nuclear power plants.

    • Zachary Smith
      March 26, 2018 at 12:06 pm

      There’s a really fine line a person has to walk when writing about terrorism with the real possibility of putting ideas into empty heads which might not have gotten there otherwise. I winced when reading some comments by “experts” about the Texas bombings describing the mistakes being made by the criminal(s). Did they really have to go into that kind of detail? Yet citizens need to learn about “issues” before they can agitate with their Senators/Representative, or take precautions. It is a problem.

    • T
      March 27, 2018 at 5:14 am

      > the most vulnerable targets: nuclear power plants.

      That is simply wrong: while the result of a successful attack on such a plant might be among the most catastrophic, they are far from being the most vulnerable.

      – There are organized systems of protection and prevention at the national and international level, with people who spend their time thinking about possible forms of sabotage, and how to counter them.

      – Basic aspects of their design, such as the “containment”, intended to protect against the intrinsic hazards of their operation, also provide some protection against external attacks that does not exist in many other possible targets.

      (But, as in other industrial facilities, cost-cutting and related refusals to face facts undermine safety measures. There were published warnings about the potential damage from tsunamis to critical installations along the Japanese shoreline years before Fukushima…)

      This is not to claim it would always be impossible, just that most other targets are considerably more vulnerable.

      And Chernobyl and Fukushima, Hanford and the Urals black site, prove that no terrorist intent is needed for things to go disastrously wrong in the atoms-for-peace-and-war industry.

    • Beard681
      March 28, 2018 at 11:08 am

      Most vulnerable? Really? Have you ever tried to enter one? I have worked at several, and even well before 9/11 they were fortified armed camps.

      Not in favor of Nuclear Power myself. Like most government sponsored “save the world” technologies they are not economic. Just calling out the obvious.

  13. Joe Tedesky
    March 25, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    “How have I missed a comparable outpouring of disgust at Russian homophobia and the Saudi law allowing execution by stoning for “homosexual behavior”? Would one rather be gay in Moscow or Mecca?”

    This is one of the best come back lines I’ve heard yet…. send this to Don Lemon & Rachel Maddow, and oh maybe Anderson Cooper as well. Just brilliant. Why didn’t I think of this?

    • Zhu Bajie
      March 27, 2018 at 5:48 am

      Quite possibly they hate Muslims as much as they do Russians.

  14. ranney
    March 25, 2018 at 5:10 pm

    Who is David Hamilton? I do like to know something about the person who is expressing a strong political opinion. I hope Consortium’s editors will provide at least a modicum of that; yet lately I’ve noticed a periodic lack of information about authors. At first I thought it was a one off mistake, but now I’m beginning to wonder. I for one, would like to know even just a bit about who wrote what I am reading. Please Consortium, give us some background – I, at least, would like to have even a mild clue why a previously unknown author is included on CN’s page.

    • Zachary Smith
      March 25, 2018 at 6:03 pm

      Why not put in the author’s name in the CN search box? When I did I found that a Mr. David P. Hamilton has written here before.

      Understanding the ‘Fake News’ Hysteria
      October 16, 2017

      h**ps://consortiumnews.com/2017/10/16/understanding-the-fake-news-hysteria/

      Sometimes I check unknown authors – especially if I suspect they have suspicious motives.

      Regarding this essay, I’d remark that Mr. Hamilton addresses two different issues and isn’t entirely successful in tying them together.

      Want real security? There is clearly one most effective way to get it. Don’t make enemies.

      That prescription won’t work with “domestic” enemies, and nor will it be successful with nations like Israel. We’re their Very Best Friend, and they still treat us “like a borrowed mule”, to dredge up an old phrase. Hitler’s Germany and Hirohito’s Japan would have laughed at any nation trying to avoid their attention by being “peaceful”.

      All that said, avoiding being “exceptional” or “above the law” really is a good rule of thumb.

      • Zhu Bajie
        March 27, 2018 at 5:46 am

        Tens of millions of US Fundamentalist voters like Israel because they think a Jewish state will bring Jesus back, to reward them and punish the rest of us.

    • David P. Hamilton
      March 25, 2018 at 11:38 pm

      ranney, David P. Hamilton is an old straight white guy who lives in Austin and has been involved with the left since sit in demonstrations for desegregation in 1963. Later in sds and Radical Education Project and much more. Now involved with DSA.
      David P. Hamilton

    • TB
      March 26, 2018 at 2:41 am
      • ranney
        March 26, 2018 at 2:52 pm

        Thank you to Zachary, David Hamilton and TB for helping me out! I really liked your article David, but I am wary of just accepting information in a vacuum where I don’t know anything about the source. I would think most other CN readers feel the same.

  15. Michael Meo
    March 25, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    When the individual nations of the northern part of Germany united, in 1870, into the so-called “Second Reich,” the architect of that unification, Otto von Bismarck, rested the continuation of that new nation upon the well-known device of the Balance of Power. That is, the creation of a novel state within the European state system was disruptive, and there was a consequent danger of war: the very creation of the new nation took place as a consequence of a war with France, until that time the dominant Continental power. So Bismarck quite self-consciously balanced the foreign policy of the Second Reich, keeping so far as possible the former rival Austria-Hungary as an ally, and initiating treaty relations with the possible rival Tsarist Russia.

    When a new German Emperor, Wilhelm II, dismissed Bismarck as chancellor, it was the start of a repudiation of the use of the Balance of Power as a basis for foreign relations. Pretty soon the First World War resulted, in large measure because Germany no longer acted in concert with the whole of the surrounding powers, attempting to maintain such a balance.

    In the case of the United States, the last President explicitly to found foreign policy upon application of the Balance of Power was Richard Nixon. By reaching out to a historic antagonist, Communist China, Nixon reduced the possibility of armed conflict with the Soviet Union. That pacific step was discarded as the foundation of American foreign policy once the Soviet Union imploded 20 years further on: the Clinton Administration was quite explicit, and the Bush Junior Administration quite boastful, about “full spectrum dominance,” the policy of imposition of U.S. hegemony upon the entire world, by force, for ever.

    The only thing I can say about the historic record of such a hegemonic approach is, that it never worked. Whether or how soon it will result in another catastrophic war I cannot say, but it does not bode well for the future.

    As the author of this post points out, the best, if not (although very likely) the only, means of ensuring lasting peace is, to make friends and allies. To moderate our foreign relations with taking into account the valid interests of other, competing, world powers. Such moderation is exactly what is now, and has been for the last 30 years, missing int he foreign policy of the United States.

    • Al Pinto
      March 25, 2018 at 7:44 pm

      “The only thing I can say about the historic record of such a hegemonic approach is, that it never worked. Whether or how soon it will result in another catastrophic war I cannot say, but it does not bode well for the future.”

      Not exactly, there had been empires back in the days that lasted for centuries, like the Roman Empire. Granted, it’s been a while that there has been one in the more current history. Certainly, the US acts more and more as a self-appointed empire, that has no regards to any other nation’s interest. It’s good to see that other nations started to draw the line in the sand. Maybe they can keep the US in check and ensure that our bright future is not part of a mushroom cloud….

      • Zhu Bajie
        March 27, 2018 at 5:42 am

        Pre-modern empires didn’t govern ordinary people very closely. They didn’t usually tell subjects how to dress, for example, while one of our major excuses for our Afghanistan follies is that we don’t like the women’s fashions.

    • Zachary Smith
      March 26, 2018 at 2:29 am

      When a new German Emperor, Wilhelm II, dismissed Bismarck as chancellor, it was the start of a repudiation of the use of the Balance of Power as a basis for foreign relations. Pretty soon the First World War resulted, in large measure because Germany no longer acted in concert with the whole of the surrounding powers, attempting to maintain such a balance.

      Considering what has been happening recently, this part of your post bothered me. I’m of the opinion that WW1 likely wouldn’t have happened as it did – if it happened at all – without the presence of that dip**** German Emperor. Way too much power in the hands of a an unstable personality.

      Compare that to how Congress has, for the past half century at least, been dumping more and more power into the hands of the Executive Branch. A relative remarked the other day on the way Trump was able to start a trade war with the rest of the world without asking for any authority – he had plenty of powers already granted to other presidents. And then there is stuff like this:

      ‘It is the president’ who decides on going to war, regardless of John Bolton’s rhetoric: National security expert

      And it is the President who singled out the warmongering nut Bolton to assist him with his fantasies which resemble those of Emperor Wilhelm II. Trump put Haley in the UN. Pompeo at the State Department. The Torture Lady who has zero respect for the Law at the CIA. And now Bolton.

      The situation in the US these days is that we have an Elected Emperor, a guy with almost god-like powers who is always grabbing more. Bush tortured people, started a war of aggression, and hasn’t suffered the least bit. Obama took all that and added Power To Execute anybody he saw fit, including American Citizens. The foul-mouthed adulterer and torture fan and Israel suck-up in the White House continues the tradition of grabbing more.

      Very bad situation, I think.

  16. Mark Marshall
    March 25, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    I agree with your overall point, but regarding this: “Nor was Timothy McVeigh or the perpetrators at Parkland HS or at the Pulse nightclub or at the Mandalay hotel Las Vegas or at Sandy Hook Elementary, all terrorist attacks by white male Americans with no criminal record who probably considered themselves Christians”: in fact the shooter at the Pulse nightclub, Omar Mateen, was a son of Afghan immigrants and a Muslim who certainly did not consider himself Christian.

  17. Winston Warfield
    March 25, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    You make perfect sense in a reality based world. Unfortunately America’s elites have long since divorced themselves from that world and now live in a power-mad insane asylum.

  18. Tom Welsh
    March 25, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    “We might reasonably ask why the US doesn’t settle for a multi-polar world of mutually respectful global citizens”.

    How can it do that when Americans know intuitively that they are immensely superior to all mere foreigners, and that God has given them ownership of all the world’s resources?

    • Martin - Swedish citizen
      March 25, 2018 at 5:07 pm

      Surely and hopefully not all Americans. :)
      Sadly, this fallacy is not seldom found in my country as well.
      I really think this + the realisation that security comes from mutual respect and trust is what people and governments in the West need to realise.
      It may sound presumptuous to say so, of course. Isn’t this also at the heart of Christianity, and most likely most other beliefs, as well, btw?

  19. jose
    March 25, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    The main point is clearly spelled out “The essential issue is simply power; the ability to control others for one’s own advantage.” By internalizing this war hawk motto, we could see why a lot of things are the way they are. The remaining points such as “Austin Bombings, Russophobia and the Law of Immutable Vulnerability” are just ancillary to their end game. A way to divide and conquer so to speak.

  20. Tom Welsh
    March 25, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    “How have I missed a comparable outpouring of disgust at Russian homophobia…?”

    I assume this question is ironic, as the context suggests.

    So my only complaint is about the absurd non-word “homophobia”. The only thing in its favour is that it does not mix two different languages: both parts are Greek.

    However the fact remains that “homophobia” means “fear of the same”. It always reminds me of this immortal dialogue:

    Judy: I know I’m different, but from now on I’m going to try and be the same.

    Howard: The same as what?

    Judy: The same as people who aren’t different.

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0069495/quotes/?tab=qt&ref_=tt_trv_qu

  21. Jeff
    March 25, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    First of all, you’ve got to watch your language. “as U.S. leaders exacerbate tensions with Russia and other targeted regimes”. Russia does not have a regime. It has a democratically elected government. Or, put another way, if Russia’s government is a regime, so is the US’s. Republicans have turned the US from a nation of laws to a nation of men. A nation of laws doesn’t delay the nomination of a supreme court judge or an election to fill vacant legislative seats for partisan advantage (as is happening in Florida and Michigan and Wisconsin (although a judge has ordered Wisconsin to hold the election)). A democratic nation of laws doesn’t arbitrarily sweep people off the voting rolls and erect artificial identification barriers which prevents people who are valid electors from voting. Nor does it deliberately reduce the number of polling stations in an attempt to dissuade voters from voting by making it so painful. By complaining about Russian and other targeted regimes without complaining about our own regime reveals a bigotry as broad as the Amazon.

    The moment that the Russian election was over the almighty AP declared it a sham and our lap dogs in Europe started yapping in unison when they were ordered. But consider a few things. Russia conducted a world wide election and tried to garner votes from as many Russian citizens as they could. I’ve lived overseas. The US does exactly zippo to garner American votes from expats. The Russians had no real choice in the election we are told. Really? There were 8 candidates for the Russian presidency. All eight were on the ballot for the election. In the 2016 election in the US, there were 4 candidates but only 2 of them were on all the ballots. Various American political subdivisions have different rules and so Jill Stein and Gary Johnson were excluded from many ballots. So explain the Russians had no real choice with 8 but, presumably, we had plenty of choice with two warmongers on the ballot to me again. They, too, had debates so the electors could make informed decisions. Seven of the eight candidates were at the debate. The eighth, Vladimir Putin, chose not to participate. His choice. It’s a choice that Jill Stein and Gary Johnson would have loved to have made. As it was, they were excluded from the debates which only featured the candidates of two parties. It took the hated RT, derided as just a propaganda outlet, to organize a debate that included the Green and Libertarian party candidates. I’m far more inclined to view MSNBC and the NYT as propaganda outlets than RT which I haven’t caught lying to me once. This attitude of making actual information available to the electorate carries beyond debates. Megyn Kelly interviewed Vladimir Putin. In the United States, we got a James O’Keefe style edit of the interview that was played. The Russian public got the whole, unedited interview. Remind me again, why do we have the better system?

    It’s not that I want to portray the Russian government as the greatest thing since pizza and canned beer. I don’t. But I do think that the Biblical injunction to remove the beam from your eye before you complain about the mote in mine applies here. But having excoriated Mr. Hamilton for bias, let me agree with the rest of him. Security does not flow from the barrel of a gun. It is the result of not having made any enemies. It is a lesson that the US hasn’t learned because we are an imperium and have no need to not make enemies…..

    • KiwiAntz
      March 25, 2018 at 4:48 pm

      Your absolutely bang on with your comments especially concerning the West’s hypocritical use of the word Russian regime as opposed to their so called democracy regime? Also,with the RT Channel, they present both sides of the arguments & multiple views from a vast array of commentators & all of them are allowed to disagree with each other? Contrast that with the total groupthink narrative of the Corporate MSM in lockstep with the Political class? Only one view is ever put forward, their view, with no attempt to listen to other voices? That’s called Propaganda & the stark difference that RT news makes is crystal clear, they educate discerning viewers with real information whereas the MSM distorts & disinforms its audience with lies & deceit!

      • Dave P.
        March 25, 2018 at 5:54 pm

        KiwiAntz, well said. That is exactly why the Rulers in the U.S. and Europe are so afraid of RT and Sputnik News; and they are bent upon banning them from The West. This is their Free World they tout in the MSM every day. What a joke!

    • Martin - Swedish citizen
      March 25, 2018 at 5:25 pm

      Lap dog is exactly what came to mind watching the Nordic prime ministers meet Obama in autumn, 2016. Embarrassing, to say the least.

      And KiwiAntz, I agree, perhaps the choice of words “regime” was just a mistake here, but it is used very consequently in Swedish media as well, to the point of making the difference meaningless between regime and government, and making our journalists appear daft, and many probably are, although the intent is propaganda. Of course, one should choose words carefully!

    • Realist
      March 25, 2018 at 6:59 pm

      Excellent points all, Jeff.

    • geeyp
      March 25, 2018 at 7:46 pm

      You are right. I have never seen scenes showing voting taking place in other countries for elections held here like I did this time for Russia.

    • March 25, 2018 at 9:24 pm

      Interesting point Jeff!…now that I think of it the word “regime” is most often used in a pejorative sense.

    • kouldb
      March 26, 2018 at 7:57 am

      Truer words never spoken. Russia is not your or my biggest enemy right now. And the “free world” is not as free as the establishment likes to makes out.

    • rosemerry
      March 26, 2018 at 5:00 pm

      Bravo Jeff. For 18 years Vladimir Putin has spoken on the record and since 2004 explained to the USA what needs to be done for peaceful coexistence. All the US “Administrations” have ignored his words and castigated him in an increasingly frantic way, right up to the present and obviously going on. His behavior is invariably courteous and respectful, and other world leaders seem to find that helpful for discussions. The contrast is marked, with all POTUS unwilling to accept Russia as a genuine power/partner, just an enemy or to be discarded.

    • Dave P.
      March 27, 2018 at 3:48 am

      Jeff – Excellent observations. Very true.

    • Zhu Bajie
      March 27, 2018 at 3:56 am

      All governmental arrangements are regimes.

    • Aged Oz Journo, Melbourne
      March 27, 2018 at 9:58 am

      Well spotted; the good Mr Hamilton’s description of the government of the Russian Federation as a regime was, in essence, a minor error which could have been remedied by more stringent sub-editing.

      Like you, Jeff, I “agree with the rest of him”, and would be grateful if Consortium were to publish more of his work — along with full accreditation.

      Fraternal best wishes.

    • Peter Loeb
      March 28, 2018 at 6:02 am

      BLACK DEATH

      This may seem irrelevant but…

      It continues to amaze me that so many praise the efforts and\”articulateness” of the young
      “March for Our Lives”. They were invited to the White House, visited the President.
      One can legitimately be proud of their efforts despite probable failure.

      To UNARMED African American men are shot by the authorities (police). They die.
      There are a few weak articles. The survivors (grandmother, Setphon Clarke’s
      two children etc.) are NOT invited to the White House. There are demonstrations
      in Sacremento CA.

      Evidently it is OK to shoot persons of color dead in America these days.

      Maybe Stephon Clark. had a checkered career. I don’t know. Incriminating
      evidence is that he was wearing a “hoodie”.. Our beloved federal
      government pressed no charges.He was holding a smart phone which
      police first claimed was a “toolbar”. The poor police whose lives were
      “threatened” by a smart phone.

      The unarmed African American in Louisianna shot dead? No charges
      pressed against the officers. by Louisianna or the US Government.

      No speeches.

      Some professional basketball players joined in the protest. kSpecific
      mention sanitized on radio broadcast…

      Killing African Americans in their grandmothers’ yards (St;phon Clarke) is
      acceptable once more.

      Their names will soon be forgotten.

      There are no calls for legislation. There is only silence.

      Just another “nigger” ??

      In Louisianna the Mayor said he regretted the loss of the victim’s
      life but was relieved none of the officers was harmed.

      I cannot end without noting the likenesses to Israeli murders of
      Palestinians. Some Israeli companies have been involved
      helping police forces obtain lethal weapons, expertise in so-called
      “crowd control”. No statements have been made from these
      companies. Israeli’s are our “allies” it is said.

      What kind of world are we living in?

      —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

    • Joe Wallace
      March 28, 2018 at 7:08 pm

      Fine comment, Jeff!

  22. Tom Welsh
    March 25, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    “They are particularly alarmed over the growth of Russia and China, their developing alliance and their expanding influence and stature worldwide relative to the U.S.”

    Their developing alliance which was caused purely by the US government’s blundering attempts to harm them.

    • Lois Gagnon
      March 26, 2018 at 2:14 pm

      US elites excel at shooting themselves and unfortunately the rest of us in the foot. Or should I say the head?

    • Sam F
      March 26, 2018 at 7:59 pm

      Exactly so, and the “blundering” is really deliberate provocation to create the foreign enemies needed by tyrants to demand domestic power as fake protectors, and to accuse their moral superiors of disloyalty. We have primitive tyrants as politicians because we have allowed mass media and elections to be controlled by money power, which in an unregulated market economy is controlled by the least ethical. The extreme left in Russia and China have likely been strengthened by the imperialism of the US since WWII. They are learning the technical and incentive strengths of the US, while we descend into the abyss of political tyranny, for tyrants learn nothing.

  23. Martin - Swedish citizen
    March 25, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    ”Our safety will instead be primarily dependent on how we treat others, as human beings and as a nation.”

    ”We might reasonably ask why the US doesn’t settle for a multi-polar world of mutually respectful global citizens.”

    Aren’t these quotes a succinct statement of what is most needed in Western foreign policy?

    • Tom Welsh
      March 25, 2018 at 2:05 pm

      “Aren’t these quotes a succinct statement of what is most needed in Western foreign policy?”

      They are also a succinct statement of everything that Western governments (and their owners) are desperately determined to prevent.

    • Sam F
      March 25, 2018 at 8:30 pm

      Yes, the US cannot achieve security by treating others as human beings, settling for a multi-polar world, because it is a system in which only bullies rise to power, tyrannizing their moral superiors, and forcing and propagandizing citizens to agree or to fear resistance.

      Our unregulated free market economy allows the unethical bully to prevail in nearly all areas, including politics. Tyranny is a subculture, a groupthink of bullies who tyrannize each other, and the worst of the bullies rise to the top. This is why the US founders opposed a standing military, and they were right.

      If democracy is ever restored in the US, it must be stabilized by amendments to protect elections and mass media debate from economic power, better checks and balances within the government branches, purging the corrupt judiciary and Congress, monitoring of government officials for corruption, and regulation of business so that oligarchic bullies and scammers do not rise to control economic power.

      Only then can literature, media, education, and public interaction encourage moral community, and only then can public debate find the moral policies that honor the rights of all persons and seek justice for all.

      But the moral thinkers and concerned citizens cannot prevail by reason and education in our society of economic tyranny, they must come to understand force, the only language of tyrants. Otherwise they consent to the enslavement of all humanity. The challenge is to speak the language of force without losing moral perspective.

    • rosemerry
      March 26, 2018 at 4:53 pm

      When we look at the US or UK “diplomats” we can see that the use of such methods is low on their priorities.
      Compare Hillary Clinton , John Bolton! or Boris Johnson with Sergei Lavrov.

      • Joe Wallace
        March 28, 2018 at 7:32 pm

        rosemerry:

        Why does the U.S. so seldom resolve problems with diplomacy? Is it because of the way we’ve been conditioned?

        In the U.S., of course, it’s mostly men, or bellicose women in the mold of Hillary Clinton, Samantha Power, Condoleeza Rice, Nikki Haley, who are charged with responsibility to pursue the national interest, and real men are aggressive. They are men of action, men like John Bolton, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, men whose first impulse, when confronted with resistance, is to resort to violence. They can’t be bullied. They don’t back down. They’re not subject to restraint. They’re dominant; they have the courage to TAKE. That’s how real men roll.

        Not for them the namby-pamby give-and-take of diplomacy. Diplomacy is for sissies who negotiate and compromise, as though their opponents were on an equal footing, their interests worthy of respect. For a real man, what could be more demeaning than to submit to such a process and abide by its outcome?

        Even if history showed that diplomacy offered better prospects for lasting, peaceful resolutions of problems, it probably won’t catch on in the U.S. Why? Except for coercive diplomacy, which imposes a policy backed by force, a policy to which the other ACQUIESCES rather than AGREES, diplomacy is in its purest form a win/win transaction that serves the interests of ALL parties. It therefore lacks what the U.S. seeks through diplomacy, the psychological satisfaction that comes of DOMINATING another party.

        Because diplomacy in its purest and most ideal form does not make one party subservient to another, its value is disparaged. It is not seen as a WEAPON that compels obedience. Maybe diplomats, and diplomacy, need better press coverage to be viewed more favorably in the U.S. Perhaps an ambassador, taking a sheaf of papers from a diplomatic pouch, would be seen in a more favorable light if it were reported that he was drawing a peace treaty from a holster.

        • Rob
          March 29, 2018 at 11:43 am

          Your description of men and women in positions of great power leaves out what may be their most important characteristic: They don’t care about consequences for other people. Most likely, they lack the capacity for empathy, but the bottom line is that inflicting pain and suffering on others is of no concern. Such a mindset is the literal definition of sociopathy/psychopathy. That’s right, we are ruled by a group of sociopaths, who, throughout history, have had a strong propensity for rising to the tops of their nations. America’s democratic institutions have tended to limit the rise of such people until now, when those institutions are breaking down. Is there a possibility of turning back at this point? Of course there is, but I’m not optimistic.

    • Anna
      March 27, 2018 at 4:41 pm

      ”We might reasonably ask why the US doesn’t settle for a multi-polar world of mutually respectful global citizens.”

      1. MIC and the war-related profits.
      2. Wolfowitz doctrine and the taking (stealing) other nations’ resources for free.
      3. The delusion of “promised land” and the tribal solidarity in getting the promised land by any means, including the dishonest and criminal means such the ongoing wars of aggression in the Middle East and the disloyalty of Israel-firsters to the country of a dwelling (the US).

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