Antifa or Antiwar: Leftist Exclusionism Against the Quest for Peace

The War Party’s ultra-left wing uses different arguments to arrive at the same conclusions: Syria and Russia are enemies. Instead of practical solutions to real problems, they spread suspicion, distrust and enmity, argues Diana Johnstone.

The Kremlin in Moscow under a full moon, March 2016. (State Department)

By Diana Johnstone  

Special to Consortium News

CounterPunch has astonished many of its old fans by its current fundraising ad portraying the site as a prime target of Russia hostility. Under the slogan, “We have all the right enemies”, CP portrays itself as a brave little crew being blown off the water by an evil Russian warship out to eliminate “lefty scum.”

Ha Ha Ha, it’s all a joke of course. But it’s a joke that plays into the dangerous, current Russophobia promoted by Clintonite media, the deep state and the War Party. This is a reminder that Russophobia finds a variant in the writing of several prominent CounterPunch contributors.

Yes, CounterPunch continues to publish many good articles, but appears also to be paying its tribute to the establishment narrative.

Put on the defensive by the “fake news” assault against independent media, CP senior editor Jeffrey St Clair seemed to be shaken by Washington Post allegations that he had published articles by a “Russian troll” named Alice Donovan. St Clair never publicly questioned the FBI claim that the ephemeral plagiarist worked for the Kremlin, when she could as well have been planted by the FBI itself or some other agency, precisely in order to embarrass and intimidate the independent website.

The ‘Step Toward Fascism’

The anti-Russian attitude on CP is promoted mainly by the same writers who stigmatize the slightest suggestion of building a broad non-ideological antiwar movement as a step toward “fascism”. This leftist exclusionism goes against the traditions of the website founded by Alexander Cockburn and St Clair, and indeed, CounterPunch was fiercely attacked less than three years ago for its “red-brown”, or “QuerFront” tendencies.

The attack, originating on a German site, warned that leftists who publish on CounterPunch “are unwittingly helping to promote the agenda of the far right”. This article spelled out the Antifa doctrine:

The idea of a red-brown alliance, or Querfront (German for ‘transversal front’), has been a recurrent motif in far-right thought over the past century. Craving the legitimacy that an alliance with progressive forces can provide, reactionaries seize on ostensibly shared positions, chief amongst them opposition to corrupt élites, to create the impression that progressives could benefit from making common cause with them.

Querfront (also known as ‘third position’) propaganda can be highly seductive. Today’s (crypto)-fascist and other hard-right suitors, for example, focus on the commonplace left themes of opposition to war and corporate globalisation, the depredations of the ‘banksters’, civil liberties, and Palestinian solidarity.”

So, you genuine leftists, beware: if someone seems to agree with you, it may be a far righter out to ensnare you into her web.

The article gave advice on how to tell a QuerFront argument from a true leftist one:

A serious left analysis, say, of US support for Israeli apartheid will start by looking at the documented record of US foreign policy as a whole”, whereas the red-brown, QuerFront third-positions position will say: “A foreign lobby has taken over the US government and media, and is forcing the US to act against ‘American interests’ and ‘American values’, and anyone who says otherwise is a Zionist infiltrator.”

So you mustn’t blame Zionists for Israel, it’s all Washington’s fault.

CounterPunch contributors singled out as dangerous right-wingers included Ralph Nader, Alison Weir, Ron Paul, Gilad Atzmon, Israel Shamir, Paul Craig Roberts and even Alexander Cockburn himself.

In his reply to the article, published on its website, St. Clair seemed to understand exactly where this was coming from.

Caity Gets Counter-Punched

Caitlin Johnstone: Counter-punched.

Thus it was surprising when, last July, CounterPunch ran a whole series of articles attacking independent antiwar blogger Caitlin Johnstone (no relation) for some inconsequential remark about her willingness to join in opposing war even with male supremacist Mike Cernovich. The purists pounced on the incongruity of a hypothetical Caitlin-Cernovich alliance as an opportunity to ridicule the more general principle of a broad single-issue antiwar movement. For this minor heresy, Caitlin Johnstone was denied her right to respond on the site calling itself “the fearless voice of the left”.

On July 11, 2017, Yoav Litvin opened fire in an aggressive style that may have been fortified by his service in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). Exclusion is a habit one can learn in the IDF. It’s ours, you have no right to be here, get out! That goes for the occupied left territories too. They decide who can stay and who does not belong.

In an interview last year, Litvin prided himself on adopting “the positive aspect of Zionism,” which is “the image of a Jew who is a fighter.” As a result of Jewish experience of persecution, he said, “We can lead a fight with all our brothers and sisters in minority communities.”

Fight against whom? In order to accomplish fundamental change, one needs to build majorities. Jews leading a fight of minorities will go where? Into the dead end of identity politics?  

On July 28, CounterPunch published an even more contemptuous piece in the anti-Caitlin series: “Enough Nonsense! The Left Does Not Collaborate with Fascists”, by Eric Draitser. The Draitser rhetorical pose was to claim to prefer being water-boarded rather than having to write about Caitlin’s “doltish” prose, but felt obliged to do so in order to stop the advance of fascism.

Still, he does not easily tire from coming back to the subject.

As moderator of CounterPunch Radio, Draitser has promoted himself as the voice of CP and thus as a leading authority on what is or is not “left”. His role as mentor was demonstrated on his hour-long April 19, 2018 podcast with CP editors St. Clair and Joshua Frank. Draitser set the tone by elaborately ridiculing those who profess to be afraid of World War III. As if nuclear war were anything to worry about! What nonsense, he implied, getting all three to chortle contemptuously at the mention of Caitlin Johnstone, noted for such absurd concerns.

The Hilarity of World War III

Draitser dismissed the danger of World War III with his own original “class analysis”: since Russia and the United States are both ruled by Oligarchs, they have too much in common to reasonably want to throw nuclear missiles at each other. (In other words, what was precisely the Marxist view of imperialist war.) St. Clair hesitated at this, noting the prevalence of irrationality in high spheres. But Draitser dismissed this objection and forged ahead undisturbed, managing what he called a “fun conversation.”

The exclusionists are less concerned about war with Russia than about the failure of “the left” to be sufficiently critical of Russia – as if a shortage of Russophobia were a real problem these days. Shortly before the anti-Caitlin campaign, Litvin interviewed Draitser and their fellow anti-fascist watch dog, Portland State University geography instructor Alexander Reid Ross, who also publishes frequently on CounterPunch.

Draitser complained that: “You see a lot of leftist academics, intellectuals and activists who have in many ways abandoned a real class analysis in favor of a loosely defined politics of opposition. Within this mindset, everything that opposes the United States, Israel, the Saudis or the EU is automatically good and should be supported irrespective of its qualities.”

That simplistic dismissal of the antiwar “mindset” qualifies Draitser for his future place in mainstream media.

Ross’ Red-Brown Chaos

Reid Ross, went him one better. “I see a number of red-brown alliances forming today, particularly in the field of political geography. A number of far-right groups view the modern-day axis of Syria, Iran and Russia as a kind of international counterweight to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which has always been seen by fascist groups as a kind of nemesis led by the nations that defeated the Rome-Berlin axis in 1945.”

This is pure delirium. The nemesis that did the most to defeat the Rome-Berlin axis in 1945 was the Red Army. By conjuring up unidentified “far right groups”, Ross manages to identify Syria, Iran and Russia with the fascist Axis powers in World War II. In reality, NATO has been a magnet for attracting European fascists, from Italy, where they cooperated in clandestine “Gladio” operations to destroy the left, to Ukraine, where genuine fascists are in a “partnership for war” with NATO.

Most Americans have not been well educated in the complexities of modern history. In his Antifa hoodie, Ross can dazzle his audience with a plethora of unfamiliar facts strung together by extremely questionable analysis, unchallenged by genuine experts.

Reid Ross: Article pulled. (Photo European Graduate School.)

In the Litvin interview, both Draitser and Ross add their small bit to prevailing Western Russophobia by dwelling on Putin’s alleged support for European right-wing groups. Both stress the danger represented by Russian ambitions to establish a Eurasian empire, based on the ideology of Alexander Dugin.

Dugin is a religious reactionary, a tendency that may alarm Jews still haunted by Tsarist pogroms. They are also alarmed by Dugin’s devotion to the thought of German philosopher Martin Heidegger, an ardent believer in Nazism and party member. This is ironic, since Heidegger has been the favorite of a whole line of post-World War II French philosophers, from Sartre to Foucault, considered to be “on the left”. This merely shows that philosophy can be a source of great confusion.

In an Intercept article last September, Ross was quoted as saying that, “Assad is a figure that is central to a realization of Eurasionism,” embodying the idea that, “Russia will lead the world out of a dark age of materialism and toward an ultranationalist rebirth of homogenous ethno-states federated under a heterogeneous spiritual empire.”

It’s hard to see what is so terrifying about such a vague aspiration, with so little chance of realization. But it does provide a new angle for condemning the Russian connection with Syria.

Ideological ‘Iron Curtain’

Ross went so far on March 9 in his vituperations, that the Southern Poverty Law Center, which first published his article on its “Hate Watch” site, felt obliged to withdraw it. The title perfectly echoes the QuerFront accusation earlier leveled against CounterPunch: “The Multipolar Spin: how fascists operationalize left-wing resentment.”

In this gem of guilt by association, Ross applied the “six degrees of separation” theory to show that people have been seen with the wrong people and thus must be red-brown. The long list of untouchables included Ray McGovern, Brian Becker, Global Research, Margaret Kimberly of Black Agenda Report, Daniel McAdams, “conspiracy theorist” Vanessa Beeley, and special focus on Max Blumenthal, guilty of having spoken favorably of a “multipolar world.”

The main problem with “multipolarism”, according to Ross, “may be that it supports not the emergence of Russia as a world power but the rise of the Kremlin’s authoritarian conservative political ideology.”

So, we may conclude, we need an ideological Iron Curtain to protect the “liberal leftist” West from Russian “authoritarian” conservatism.

Westernizes vs. Slavophiles

Russian relations with the West have historically been marked by ideological rivalry between Westernizes and Slavophiles. It is obvious that Dugin is no more than the latest prophet of Slavophilia, the idea that Christian Russia is a beacon of virtue to the world.

Historically, Westernizers in Russia have repeatedly gained influence and then lost out, because their overtures to the West were rebuffed on one pretext or another. (The British geopolitical tradition, based on the timeless dictum divide et impera, has traditionally favored policies to keep the continent divided) This merges easily with the Brzezinski doctrine of maintaining separation between Western Europe as a whole and Russia to maintain U.S. global hegemony.

Western rejection of Russia naturally favors a rise of the Slavophiles. It also obliges Russia to look to Eurasia rather than Western Europe. This is happening again.

Gorbachev: His dream.

Vladimir Putin is clearly in the Westernizing tradition. Not an ignorant buffoon like Yeltsin, ready to give away the shop to get a pat on the back from Bill. But rather someone who, as an intelligence agent (yes, KGB people learn a lot) lived in the West, spoke fluent German, and wanted Russia to have a dignified place in Europe – which was the dream of Gorbachev.

But this aspiration has been rudely rebuffed by the United States. Russians who yearned to be part of Europe have been disappointed, humiliated, and finally, angered. All their efforts at friendship have been met with increasingly outlandish portrayals of Russia as “the enemy”.

And yet despite everything, Putin persists in demonstrating his desire to work with Western partners, both by cutting back on military spending and again proposing to keep the pro-Western Dmitry Medvedev as Prime Minister.

If the West were really worried about Duginism, the remedy has always been obvious: improve relations with Putin.

Even Stalin did not really consider it Moscow’s job to convert Western Europe to communism, and it is certain that Putin has no illusion about converting his Western neighbors to Duginism. Russia is not out to change the West, but to make peace and do business, with whoever is willing.

The Russophobic exclusionists really constitute the ultra-left wing of the War Party, which uses different arguments to arrive at the same conclusions: Syria and Russia are enemies. They offer no practical solutions to any real problem, but spread suspicion, distrust and enmity. They discredit the very idea of joining with Russia in peaceful mediation between Israel and Iran, for example. The real thrust of this odd campaign is to minimize the danger of war with Iran, or of direct confrontation with Russia, as Netanyahu continues to drag the United States and its European sidekicks deeper into Middle East wars on behalf of Israel’s regional ambitions.

Diana Johnstone is a political writer, focusing primarily on European politics and Western foreign policy. She received a Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota and was active in the movement against the Vietnam War. Johnstone was European editor of the U.S. weekly In These Times from 1979 to 1990, and continues to be a correspondent for the publication. She was press officer of the Green group in the European Parliament from 1990 to 1996. Her books include Queen of Chaos: The Misadventures of Hillary ClintonCounterPunch Books (2016) and Fools’ Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO and Western DelusionsPluto Press (2002).

321 comments for “Antifa or Antiwar: Leftist Exclusionism Against the Quest for Peace

  1. Abe
    May 29, 2018 at 00:07

    In her Meldungen aus dem Exil (Messages from exile) blog article, “CounterPunch or Suckerpunch?”, Élise Hendrick presents a straw man argument to portray
    critics of US economic and foreign policy, and opponents to US-sponsored Israeli apartheid, as “white supremacist” and “fascist”.

    The typical straw man argument creates the illusion of having completely refuted or defeated an opponent’s proposition through the covert replacement of it with a different proposition (i.e., “stand up a straw man”) and the subsequent refutation of that false argument (“knock down a straw man”) instead of the opponent’s proposition.

    In other words, substituting a person’s actual position or argument with a distorted, exaggerated, or misrepresented version of the position of the argument.

    Hendrick packages her straw man argument in a convenient propaganda narrative about a “red-brown alliance” and “Querfront (also known as ‘third position‘) propaganda”.

    Hendrick’s primary straw man example of Querfront propaganda concerns US support for Israel:

    “A great deal of the appeal of Querfront propaganda is likely due to its simplicity. A serious left analysis, say, of US support for Israeli apartheid will start by looking at the documented record of US foreign policy as a whole and the history of US policy in the Middle East in particular, examining the institutional structures that consistently produce some version of the same outcome – in this case, massive US military and diplomatic support for Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land and its racist internal regime – all of which requires considerable research and intellectual effort to develop, verify, and understand. The third-positionist version, on the other hand, shines in its elegance: A foreign lobby has taken over the US government and media, and is forcing the US to act against ‘American interests‘ and ‘American values‘, and anyone who says otherwise is a Zionist infiltrator. A moment’s informed scrutiny will raise doubts about this account, but it is not designed to appeal to those who are inclined to dedicate a moment to scrutinising convenient narratives.”

    In the propagandist language of Hendrick’s purported “reserach and “analysis”, the reality of pro-Israel Lobby influence on American electoral politics, and US foreign and defense policy, is dismissively termed “Lobby Hypothesis” or “Lobby Fetishism”.

    Sidestepping the documented record of pro-Israel think tanks, pressure groups, and propaganda organizations, meddling in American politics and attempting to direct US foreign policy, both in the Middle East and toward Russia, Hendrick presents a straw man version that is shunted aside in a sentence.

    Hendricks frames her straw man narrative in order to define Querfront propaganda as any writing supportive of the notion that the US foreign policy is “being subverted by foreign (Jewish) influence”.

    For Hendrick, acknowledgement of the reality of the pro-Israel Lobby is a “racist” thoughtcrime that must be expunged from independent investigative journalism.

    A moment’s informed scrutiny reveals that Hendrick’s convenient narrative is pure Hasbara propaganda.

  2. Abe
    May 28, 2018 at 18:32

    Johnstone mentions a July 2015 “attack, originating on a German site”.

    Actually it is the German language blog of Élise Hendrick, a translator and lecturer based in Cincinnati, OH.

    According to her blog’s “about” page, Hendrick also writes political commentary, which has appeared in the online newspaper Neue Rheinische Zeitung as well as the alternative Jewish magazine Der Semit.

    A September 2014 interview with Hendrick published online includes a foray into purported “anti-Jewish racism”

    Ready to accuse CounterPunch of providing “a ‘left’ platform” for white nationalism and racism, Hendrick mentions an “important factor at work: The accusation of antisemitism has been used with such cynicism against those who express any criticism of the US-sponsored crimes of the State of Israel that people can easily be convinced that there is no such thing as antisemitism at all”.

    Hendrick obviously prefers to focus on an alleged “red/brown alliance situation” rather than give further consideration to Hasbara propaganda, and the use of bogus “anti-Jewish” / “anti-Semitic” accusations by the Israeli government, pro-Israel Lobby, and their army of propagandists.

    • Jeff Blankfort
      June 1, 2018 at 01:43

      Hendrick is a fervent Jewish tribalist and not the only one that has penetrated the porous ranks of the Palestine solidarity movement posing as an anti-Zionist. They have done far more damage than any collection of Zionists in addressing the outsized influence of the Israel Lobby/Jewish Establishment over not just the Israel-Palestine conflict but the entire region. That has earned me a spot in her imagined “red-brown” alliance along with CounterPunch. With her good friend, Emma Rosenthal, in LA,who had the audacity to call her blog, Cafe Intifada, they area ever on the watch for anyone on the Left who they can label as antisemitic.

    • Abe
      June 1, 2018 at 17:36

      Pro-Israel Lobby gatekeepers and damage control squads on the ‘left’

  3. Maria S Calef
    May 28, 2018 at 12:39

    so call left are just the CIA in disguise. NATO the common enemy of the anti-imperialist movement, because since the cold war era NATO have been a crimanl right arm of USA expansionism and domination. NATO supported Gladio- a CIA secret operation to commet terrorist acts and blame the Red Army and other lefts. Nobody who respect herself or himself can support predetory war, interventionist war, colonialist war, and wars for regime change. NO decent and conscious individual could support USA NATO interventionism, and military aggression to any country regardly what kind of government. Ant-imperialists from any angle cannot support USA intervention, to Syria, Venezuela, or any other country. By the way, no need to be leftis to condemn imperialist internvention, military aggression, and regime change in everywhere or elsewhere. To be selective ant-war, it is opportinism and CIA in disguise..

  4. Free Soul
    May 27, 2018 at 21:58

    Well done, Diana Johnstone, thank you for the good work

  5. John Kirsch
    May 27, 2018 at 08:24

    Apparently Consortiumnews is now CounterPunch. How this takeover occurred is a mystery. The only thing I know is that I don’t like it. I have the feeling that the people commenting here have been fighting with each for a long time. All this article has done is give them an opportunity to keep lobbing shells at each other.

    • May 27, 2018 at 12:19

      John – Of course it is clear to those who understand this discussion that Consortium News is “not” Counterpunch as CN does not publish CIA pro-war, pro-regime change propaganda and does not attack anti-imperialist commentators while barring them from responding to such attacks. Your “feeling” that “people commenting here have been fighting with each other for a long time,” is meaningful in the sense that CN has stood and continues to stand strongly as an anti-imperialist voice, opposing regime change wars and exposing pro-war propaganda while Counterpunch has sadly become yet another propaganda outlet publishing the same pro-war nonsense one can find anywhere and everywhere in MSM. This distinction is hardly lost on the people living in those nations where the real “shells” are being lobbed by Western and Western backed militaries and jihadists.

    • May 27, 2018 at 12:34

      Consortium News is now Counterpunch? Meaning?

      • John Kirsch
        May 28, 2018 at 11:51

        Meaning that, as a long-time reader (and occasional contributor) to CN, I’d come to rely on it for lucid, accessible perspectives on issues of the day. The articles required a certain level of prior knowledge on the part of readers but not so much as to make them inaccessible. This article, and especially the comments on it, are a departure. The article itself is densely written and hard for those not well versed in the issues to understand. The comments are even worse. They are almost hermetically self-referential, many of them focused on issues pertaining to CounterPunch, a site I visit less and less frequently. I hope this article and the off-putting comments don’t represent a permanent change of direction for CN. That would be a real loss.

  6. George Lane
    May 26, 2018 at 18:06

    I won’t get into this whole debate going on here but I have to say when CP denied Caitlin Johnstone her right to reply it left a bad taste in my mouth, especially considering they continue to publish Louis Proyect, who has continually cited Bellingcat as the place to get “fact-based” reporting on Syria and who ignores the mountains of evidence against the Western narrative on the White Helmets. They also published a week or two ago an absolutely disgusting and sadistic article by an Australian “philosopher” who was essentially celebrating the inhumane treatment of Assange. Counterpunch will publish trash like this, but will deny Caitlin Johnstone her right to reply?

    • Skip Scott
      May 27, 2018 at 07:16

      St. Clair has ruined C.P. CounterPunch and DemocracyNow have both lost their way. Thank goodness we’ve got ConsortiumNews, Information Clearing House, Global Research, and others to fill the void.

      • Marty
        May 28, 2018 at 00:44

        “St. Claire has ruined Counterpunch.”. I couldn’t agree more.

    • May 28, 2018 at 10:13

      George Lane et al,

      I am the film editor at CP and 9 out of 10 of my articles are film reviews. And for every 1 of my articles that deal directly with Syria, there are at least 10 by people such as Robert Fisk that agree with you. This is a cognitive deficit of Diana Johnstone and all of you pro-Assad people posting here. Diana is pissed off because Alexander Reid Ross wrote just one article that went against the Consortium News/UNZ/Russia-Insider line, even though his other 10 had nothing to do with Syria or Ukraine, etc. If you people were so secure in your ideological constructs, you wouldn’t squeal like pigs every time something came along that you disagreed with.

      • George Lane
        May 28, 2018 at 11:28

        Thanks for your reply, although I don’t see the need for the name-calling.

        Would you care to address then the evidence against the Western narrative of the White Helmets and the analyses of the chemical attacks by people such as Theodore Postal or Seymour Hersh who contradict the Bellingcat line, who in one of your CP articles you described as the place to get “fact-based reporting” on Syria? Does not buying the Bellingcat line or the White Helmets propaganda necessarily make one an “Assad apologist” or “conspiracy theorist”? Were those who questioned Iraq WMD likewise “Saddam apologists”, or those who questioned Viagra for Libyan troops “Ghadaffi apologists”? Or are these, as I have been told (yelled at) before, completely separate issues and the clear and recognized lies told about Iraq and Libya and myriad other countries the US has bombed ought to have no bearing on Syria at all and therefore we should believe Bellingcat who have a clear pro-NATO stance?

        • May 28, 2018 at 19:24

          I don’t see any point in defending my views on Syria here since writing comments here is not my preferred medium. I am only interested in showing how absurd it is to label CounterPunch pro-war. Since 2011, there probably have been 25 pro-Assad articles for every one against. I see the same libel directed at Democracy Now that has about the same ratio. It is a sign of Diana Johnstone’s diminished intellectual capacity that she wrote such a stupid article. It was not even worth Jeff St. Clair writing a reply.

          • George Lane
            May 28, 2018 at 21:04

            Okay that’s fine I don’t like to get into drawn out comment sections either but respectfully I’ve never read you seriously engage with the other side, other than dismiss anything that doesn’t fit into the Bellingcat line as apologies for the brutal dictator Assad or as conspiracy theories. If you have seriously engaged with such criticisms and viewpoints, I would like to read it, but thus far I have read you only flippantly dismiss other writers with ad hominems or simply ignore the many pieces of evidence that for example point to the White Helmets being a Western-created and funded propaganda operation rather than a neutral civilian humanitarian organization, or that point to Assad not being behind the chemical weapons attacks in Ghouta 2013, Khan Sheikhoun 2017, or Douma 2018, to take the biggest of such events. This coupled with your seemingly uncritical acceptance of Bellingcat’s reporting, which again always takes a line on Syria precisely sympathetic to the NATO line, gives me the impression that you are not operating in good faith on this matter.

            I don’t think one must necessarily be an unhinged conspiracy theorist or an admirer of Assad to take the reporting of people like Seymour Hersh, Sharmine Narwani, Elijah Magnier, Robert Fisk, Eva Bartlett, Vanessa Beely, and the critiques of academics like Piers Robinson, Theodore Postal, or Tim Hayward seriously. This unfortunately is nonetheless the impression I get from your articles, that all of these people must be crazy or stupid, and that we should look towards Bellingcat for objective, as you say, “fact-based” reporting.

            Anyway we are not going to convince each other here but I will just say, as someone who does not have any skin in the game of this intra-leftist spat, I find myself to be more sympathetic to the insane Assad-loving conspiracy theorists than to the proper, objective intelligent analyses of the Atlantic Council-connected and NED-funded Bellingcat and writers like yourself and Franklin Lamb.

          • Oakland Pete
            May 30, 2018 at 12:11

            Louis: I disagree with your last sentence. He composed it and is holding back. He should publish. I expect you know a lot of discussion away from Consortium is happening about all this in the bay area left. We are divided on it and it’s important. But I agree with your reluctance to use the comments section here, where George dings you for name calling while the others use that with abandon.

          • Jeff Blankfort
            June 1, 2018 at 01:46

            Did you have your White Helmet on while writing that Louis, speaking of diminished intellectual capacity?

            Looks like you’ve been wearing it for some time?

      • Abe
        May 28, 2018 at 16:15

        Louis Proyect can’t stop squealing “alt facts”, or as “Oakland Pete” admiringly calls it, “using truth”, or as the rest of us call it: lying.

        Let’s review a few more of Proyect’s many unrepentant “disgreements” with basic points of fact:


        Proyect complains, “Diana is pissed off because Alexander Reid Ross wrote just one article that went against the Consortium News/UNZ/Russia-Insider line, even though his other 10 had nothing to do with Syria or Ukraine, etc.”

        Proyect’s statement is false.

        In fact, a simple author search at CounterPunch reveals that Alexander Reid Ross has written 52 posts and co-authored 3 others, and has written additional articles about both Syria and Ukraine.

        Johnstone accurately stated that Ross “publishes frequently on CounterPunch”.

        Ross’s 55 posts since 21 February 2011 are roughly as frequent as Johnstone’s 62 posts for the same period, even though Johnstone began writing for CounterPunch nearly 8 years earlier.


        Proyect complains in his earlier post (May 22, 2018 at 11:33 am) that “Boo-hoo. Diana Johnstone complains about Alexander Reid Ross setting the tone for CounterPunch.”

        Again, Proyect’s statement is false.

        Johnstone never said that Ross set the tone at CounterPunch.

        In fact, Johnstone explicity said “Draitser set the tone” in an April 19, 2018 podcast with CounterPunch editors St. Clair and Joshua Frank.

        Draitser also set the tone of the earlier July 11, 2017 interview with Yoav Litvin, published by Mint Press. Textual analysis of the interview reveals that Draitser (1403 words) talked almost twice as much as Ross (789 words).

        While Draitser clearly set the tone of the interview with Litman, Johnstone notes that Ross attempted to surpass Draitser in terms of “pure delirium”.


        Proyect complains in his earlier post (May 22, 2018 at 11:33 am) that CounterPunch “published close to a hundred by Johnstone that monotonously repeat talking points.”

        Yet again, Proyect’s statement is false.

        In fact, Diana Johnstone has authored 98 articles and co-authored 3 others (2 with Jean Bricmont and 1 with Maidhc Ó Cathail) for CounterPunch since her work first appeared on the site in April 2003.

        Of her 103 published articles at Counterpunch, Johnstone wrote 30 before she was first interviewed by RT in April 2010.

        RT Network launched on 10 December 2005. In recognition of Johnstone’s fact-based reporting and analysis published at CounterPunch, she was invited to contribute at RT.

        Since her first interview with RT in 2010, Johnstone’s work has appeared 71 times on CounterPunch, while it has appeared only 28 times on RT.


        Proyect launches his latest complaint with a proud declaration that “9 out of 10 of my articles are film reviews”.

        In fact, Proyect has also used “alt facts” and Russophobic “arguments” in his CP film reviews, as noted here:

        What Johnstone and others disagree with are the and pro-“regime change” propaganda of Draitser, Roth, Litvin, Proyect, McKenna and their ilk.

        Proyect, McKenna and others persist on their own fools’ crusade to persuade us that anyone opposing Israeli-Saudi-U.S. “regime change” wars is somehow “pro-Assad”, “pro-Putin” or “fascist”, facts be damned.

        Hannah Arendt, in her The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951) warned that “The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists.”

        With their profound affection for “alt facts”, Proyect and the “regime change” propaganda bloc go to extraordinary lengths to prove that they are unrepentant “ideal subjects”.

        • Abe
          May 28, 2018 at 17:30

          Proyect remains “evidence-averse”.

          He can only squeal “alt facts” louder

          • May 28, 2018 at 19:35

            Yes, you are right. I am not sure how I miscounted Ross’s articles but whatever… Any fool who follows CounterPunch knows that Mike Whitney, John Wight, Jonathan Cook, Barbara Nimri Aziz, Aidan O’Brien, Robert Fisk, Pepe Escobar, Gary Leupp, Margaret Kimberly, and others far too numerous too mention have written much more in line with Consortium News than me, Yoah Litvin, Alexander Reid Ross and Eric Draitser. In fact, it probably galls you that Draitser changed his mind as has Franklin Lamb. If Diana Johnstone’s brain wasn’t so calcified, she’d probably see things more clearly. I guess her ardor for Marine Le Pen is so all-consuming that no change is possible.

        • Abe
          May 28, 2018 at 22:27

          Alexander Reid Ross, Eric Draitser, Louis Proyect, Yoah Litvin, and other fake “anti-fascist” creeps all demonstrate that distinctive form of Jew-baiting:

          the appeal to “anti-Semitism”.

          It’s the oldest Hasbara trick in the book: terrorize Jewish people with the specter of a “second Holocaust”.

          Ross, Draitser, Proyect, and Litvin attempt to portray opposition to Israeli-Saudi-U.S. “regime change war” as synonymous with “Jew hatred”.

          This fake “anti-imperialist” / “anti-fascist” creep brigade openly shills for the Israeli-Saudi-U.S. Axis.

          Here’s a recent shill job by Ross at Haaretz

        • June 2, 2018 at 22:25

          Abe – great post. I’d thought the regime change lobby from CP had quieted down a bit on this article, but apparently not. I was rather amazed, (I shouldn’t have been) at Proyect’s comment:

          “It is a sign of Diana Johnstone’s diminished intellectual capacity that she wrote such a stupid article.”

          I’m sure that in Proyect’s mind, limited as it may be, such childish nonsense constitutes some sort of “argument.” Quite amazing actually. Your analysis is spot on Abe. I greatly appreciate the depth and detail you provide in your posts. Thanks.

  7. NavyVet
    May 25, 2018 at 08:51

    I have not been following this debate, but after reading this highly interesting article would like to offer my two cents.

    I don’t care what ideology some one professes. If they want to STOP THE FUCKING WARS, then I’ll count them as an ally.

    • JanJ
      May 25, 2018 at 11:33

      Agree with you. I don’t have to agree with them on everything in order to agree on this particular issue.

  8. Oakland Pete
    May 24, 2018 at 21:31

    I’ve just been informed that Diana Johnstone is ill. I am going to sign off on this discussion in respect for her. She has been a tireless voice against imperialism, and her book exposing Hilary was great. I also want to retract a diss against St Clair I made elsewhere here. No matter what anyone’s gripe against him is, he is a decent human being. Let’s all hold out good wishes for DJ.

    • Abe
      May 26, 2018 at 15:49

      A tireless voice against imperialism:

      “This is just propaganda that is being spread not only by the French establishment but also by the whole Western, NATO establishment.

      “The real issue here is that there is a growing criticism of the European Union (EU) in France, and the whole Western establishment is panicked about this. Ever since the Brexit, they’ve been afraid that this pro-national sovereignty tendency in France, which manifests across the whole political spectrum, could gain momentum and that France might leave the EU and NATO. And of course the whole globalizing elite absolutely don’t want this to happen […]

      “Resisting globalization is just the most basic self preservation impulse; people want to preserve their countries as places where you can live decently. That is demonized as being nationalism and nationalism is demonized as fascism and racism.”

    • Abe
      May 26, 2018 at 16:08

      “It’s always this moral posturing that comes out of the United States.

      “Now I don’t think anybody believes that outside the United States, but that’s what’s happening.”

      The United States and Israel love sanctions on everybody but the United States and Israel.

      • May 27, 2018 at 12:36

        Thanks for sharing that. I’d missed it.

  9. Robert Emmett
    May 24, 2018 at 10:51

    Can’t help it. Just have to add a hearty recommendation of articles by C.J. Hopkins and Uri Avnery still on the front page of Counterpunch site, regardless of the vagaries, real or imagined, of its operators. Oh, and has anyone even asked the Cui bono question from all this bruhaha? Rather the inverse: who doesn’t benefit from this board-jacking, since CP currently is fundraising on its site? Probably just a coincidence. But since you’re going all conspiracy plus ultra, how about a serving of goosey-gander?

    • FB
      May 24, 2018 at 11:35

      Nobody is denying that CP REPRODUCES decent work that appears ELSEWHERE [along with its steady stream of in-house koolaid]…

      Just the other day we saw a tremendous piece by Ajamu Baraka…full of insightful references to historical black American resistance figures which I spent hours looking up and opening a whole new window of knowledge…

      But this is exactly how co-opting works…of course you throw some legit stuff in there to gain creds…you can’t just run koolaid 24/7 otherwise you are simply CNN or NYT…

      You haven’t learned anything from the Church Committee…not to mention Bernays or Goebbels…

      I have been extremely encouraged to see so many commenters here posting their own thumbs down about the ‘turning’ of CP…

      Only a couple of dingbats in the ‘nay’ camp…and their arguments are nonexistent…more like trolling…

      It all boils down to this…why do they have a former CIA man who is on the Soros, Ford, Omidyar and Rockefeller payroll as a ‘columnist’…?

      At the same time they for years had been touting a ‘matching’ donation scheme from a ‘generous donor’ who of course wished to remain anonymous…

      These are very legit questions that have nothing to do with CIA invented smear word ‘conspiracy theory’…which is all you’ve got…

      We see here on this thread alone that real progressives have figured out that CP is fake as three dollar bill…and we reject that…we don’t need snakes in our midst…

      • Oakland Pete
        May 24, 2018 at 17:22

        Wait a minute! First Counterpunch did not allow dissenting views, but now FB says that “Nobody is denying…”. And of course, when I claim DJ supports LePen the response is to quote Orwell. Just can’t handle truth, can we? Because we all know that anyone using truth is a Hasbara troll, a CIA plant, hilarity ensues…

        Get a grip: Either you can debate with civility or resort to name calling. FB, Gary, Sanford, Abe, too many others, obviously fall into the second camp. So the question then becomes: Are you really willing to “build bridges” to fascists, and is this really an example of being non-sectarian? Or is it an example of losing sight of fundamental ethics?

        Part of the issue here is that battles are actually being fought, and it’s between the left and fascists. It’s all over the news. Which side are you on? Antifa or fascism? Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Berkeley and Charlottesville last year to give their answers.

        It is troubling to see what the answer of Consortium contributors has been. Diana Johnstone has taken a consistent side. She has attacked and smeared Trotskyists and Antifa, while supporting European fascists. You can scream “Hasbara troll” all you want, but that’s simply a fact.

        Israel, Palestine, Syria, the Russia crap, are all separate in the immediate sense. I fully agree with most of you here on all of that. But I will not cross that line to alliances with fascism, and it’s real. Use that link I gave in response a couple comments down. And notice that Counterpunch gave Johnstone the courtesy of publishing views they dislike.

        • Mike
          May 25, 2018 at 07:01

          Well said

        • Kyle
          May 25, 2018 at 14:56

          Wholeheartedly agree with you. CP has repeatedly pointed out that the “alt-right” is adopting left rhetoric as a means to attract more people to their side.Purpose: for children (3-6 years) who want to start playing basketball.

          It doesn’t matter if they are “anti-war” they are still xenophobic, proto- or straight-up fascists. Side with Mike Cernovich… really?
          Ralph Nader is a right-wing contributor to CP… haha, that was a hoot.

        • Abe
          May 25, 2018 at 15:56

          “Oakland Pete” rants on about “two issues” purportedly “dominating” Diana Johnstone’s article and the discussion:

          1) “DJ supports LePen” / “fascist sympathizer”, and

          2) “Counterpunch did not allow dissenting views”.

          Both of these claims by “Oakland Pete” are false on their face.

          “Oakland Pete” keeps repeating these false claims.

          “Oakland Pete” is an obvious troll.

          For the last time, let’s briefly examine each of these false claims by “Oakland Pete”:

          1) “DJ supports LePen” / “fascist sympathizer”

          “Oakland Pete” loudly declared that Johnstone’s 21 April 2017 article at Counterpunch “put both issues to bed” (May 24, 2018 at 3:50 pm).

          However, examining her actual article, there is no evidence in Johnstone’s report on the seven first-round French presidential candidates that she in any way “supports” Marine LePen or fascism.

          2) “Counterpunch did not allow dissenting views”

          Johnstone made no such general claim about CounterPunch. Her actual remark was:

          “Caitlin Johnstone was denied her right to respond on the site calling itself ‘the fearless voice of the left’.”

          That’s it. Both claims by “Oakland Pete” are false.

          “Oakland Pete” repeatedly makes claims that are unsupported by facts.

          In typical troll fashion, “Oakland Pete” loudly claims to be “daring to tell the truth” when, in fact, he is obviously and rather crudely lying.

        • May 26, 2018 at 00:15

          Thousands of demonstrators who took to the streets of Berkeley and San Francisco last year were strange in that they gathered to face down a bunch of right wing loonies, but didn’t seem to notice when, a month later, the Navy came to San Francisco Bay with its nuclear aircraft carriers and submarines, and its f-16 fighter bombers for Fleet Week and the Blue Angels Air Show.

          • Oakland Pete
            May 26, 2018 at 12:49

            Ann, you know what this debate is over. I’m surprised you are dissing those who are standing on the same side you are. Black Agenda Report has always stood with the resistance to fascism. Fascists came to Berkeley demanding “No Marxists in Berkeley”. We had to stand up to this assertively. Why someone did not organize a demonstration against Fleet Week is another story.

          • Abe
            May 26, 2018 at 15:01

            This “debate” that never was is definitely over.

            Reality is always “dissing” comrade “Oakland Pete” and the rest of Team Hasbara.

            Black Agenda Report standing with the resistance to fascism:

            For the trolls, facts are so darn “dishonest”.

        • Jeff Blankfort
          May 28, 2018 at 00:14

          I found Diana Johnstone’s take on the French election quite interesting when I interviewed her on my radio program a year and since I know her and have known and respected her for a number of years. I take her opinions seriously and certainly more so than US activists who are inclined to view everything through their particular ideological filter which works most of the time but not always.

          But these are strange times beginning with the election of the loutish Trump over the most overtly hawkish candidate ever to run as a Democrat, threatening to stand up to Putin after her former press spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland Kagan, had helped engineer the coup in Ukraine.

          Since the election, the Democrats have clearly become the War Party with Russia as its target. This can only make us wonder what Clinton would have done had she become commander in chief. That Trump seems to be itching for a war on Iran and that there is no indication from the US Left that they seem to care is something that should be troubling everyone while Consortium News has kept on top of it.

          So whereas my gut reaction to the prospect of a Marine Le Pen presidency was identical to yours, I was open to hearing a different viewpoint from someone on the ground in Paris whom I respect.

          Below is the summary I produced after our interview and if you are interested, you can hear it by clicking on the link:

          “Long time Paris based journalist Diana Johnstone critiques the conventional liberal, left view in France and in the US that the victory of Emmanuel Macron over Marine Le Pen in the French election was necessary to prevent a “fascist” from becoming president of France.

          “She argues that Le Pen’s policies are far removed from those of her father, Jean Marie Le Pen, and what the National Front used to represent and were largely indistinguishable from those of Left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon (who refused to endorse Macron) pointing out that Le Pen received 63% of the worker vote against Macron which allows the intellectual elites who backed the corporatist Macron and who pretend to be anti-fascist to dismiss the workers as fascists.

          “She also takes on the groups that call themselves “anti-fa” who have also appeared in the US and pretend to be the vanguard against fascism when the problem is not fascism but the excesses of globalism.

          “Of all the major candidates in the election, she points out, Macron was the most anti-labor. most hawkish towards Russia and pro-NATO, the strongest supporter of the EU and of the globalist agenda and received heavy backing from the economic elite.’

          I also happen to share her feelings about anti-fa, having seen what its earlier incarnation, the Black Bloc had done in Seattle at the WTO and five years later at an anti-EU protest in Greece. Groups that hide their faces are openly inviting police infiltration, something that should be obvious to those of my friends who support them, but apparently isn’t.

          • Skip Scott
            June 1, 2018 at 07:09


            Thanks for this post.
            “She also takes on the groups that call themselves “anti-fa” who have also appeared in the US and pretend to be the vanguard against fascism when the problem is not fascism but the excesses of globalism.”

            I couldn’t agree more. The crux of the issue for the direction of our future is Nationalism vs. the forces of Globalization. If we go the route of Globalization we will have a world under the complete control of multi-national corporations. If there is any hope for “the people” it lies in a return to National sovereignty. Our current path of ever increasing income inequality is a direct result of Globalization and will only get worse if these forces continue to grow unabated.

            I posted this joke in an earlier comment thread, but it fits well here too:

            A unionized public employee, a member of the Tea Party, and a CEO are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table there is a plate with a dozen cookies on it. The CEO reaches across and takes 11 cookies, looks at the Tea Partier and says,”look out for that union guy, he wants a piece of your cookie.”

      • Abe
        May 24, 2018 at 19:22

        In her article, “The Main Issue in the French Presidential Election: National Sovereignty” (April 21, 2017) at CounterPunch, Diana Johnstone discussed 7 of the 11 first-round French presidential candidates (their number of mentions in parenthesis):

        Jean-Luc Mélenchon (12), François Fillon (10), Emmanuel Macron (8), Benoit Hamon (8), Marine Le Pen (7), Francois Asselineau (6), Nicolas Dupont-Aignan (1), Philippe Poutou (1).

        Concerning Le Pen, Johnstone noted:

        “Among the leading candidates, the only clear anti-war policy is that of Marine Le Pen, who favors immediate withdrawal from both Afghanistan and the NATO command, describes the current French government policy of supporting the Syrian opposition as ‘totally irresponsible’, calls for recognition of a Palestinian State and opposes threats to bomb Iranian nuclear sites, which have not been proven to be military.”

        Johnstone was not promoting Le Pen. She was reporting on the French election.

        Delusional troll “Oakland Pete” has repeatedly attempted to label Johnstone’s writings as the diabolical work of a “fascist sympathizer”.

        Despite troll claims that “Israel, Palestine, Syria, the Russia crap, are all separate in the immediate sense”, these are precisely the issues that fuel Hasbara opposition to Johnstone’s writings on European politics and Western foreign policy.

      • May 27, 2018 at 12:40

        “why do they have a former CIA man who is on the Soros, Ford, Omidyar and Rockefeller payroll as a ‘columnist’…?” Who’s this?

        Ray McGovern is a former CIA man and I’m glad he’s here. Colleen Rowley is former FBI and I’m glad to see her here. That doesn’t mean I’m glad to read whomever you’re talking about in Counterpunch, but I don’t know who that is.

    • May 24, 2018 at 12:35

      Robert Emmett – Geeze Bob, I “can’t help it” either – yes by all means while your at CP reread articles by staff writers such as Louis Proyect and Melvin Goodman to better understand why we on the “left” should believe the CIA narratives supporting regime change in Syria. The “cui bono” question indeed must be asked of any site that presents itself as “left” or “progressive” yet peddles the same illegal immoral CIA regime change propaganda that is ever present in MSM. Who indeed “benefits” when the so called “left” shills for war?

      But hey, that’s “probably just a coincidence” – right? Sadly CP in it’s current formulation is “progressive” or “left” in only the most Orwellian sense that such words could be used. To pretend that staff writers shilling for illegal imperialist wars of aggression constitutes simply: “vagaries, real or imagined” tells us a great deal about your ethical compass – “real or imagined.” And of course god forbid that challenging Counterpunch’s war mongering would somehow interfere with their current “fundraising.” Really?

      • Oakland Pete
        May 24, 2018 at 13:35

        So Gary thinks the moral compass needle points toward Marine LePen and away from Antifa. Hmm… I sense a pattern there.

        • May 24, 2018 at 13:43

          Oakland Pete – oh yeah, I almost forgot that in your world opposing U.S. and Western imperialism and regime change wars – “points to Marine LePen.” Wow! Hey, don’t tell me! Let me guess! “War is peace!” and “Love is hate!” Right? I think I’m sensing a pattern too, unfortunately.

          • Oakland Pete
            May 24, 2018 at 15:50

            Two issues are dominating this article and the discussion: Counterpunch has not allowed dissenting views; and I am accusing Diana Johnstone of sympathy for fascist movements, specifically Marine LePen. Gary, above, ridicules this. So to put both issues to bed, here is the link to an article in Counterpunch by Diana Johnstone advocating for Marine LePen. I fully expect the howls of protest that I am an “Hasbara troll” for daring to tell the truth. But read it for yourself:


          • JanJ
            May 25, 2018 at 12:11

            I just read the Johnstone article referenced by Oakland Pete. It outlines the positions of several major French candidates, presumably as stated by the candidates themselves. I do not see it as advocating for any single candidate. The article does appear to sympathize with those hurt by globalization. I found it interesting, perhaps not in the way Oakland Pete intended.
            Johnstone did not delve into whether any candidate, Le Pen or the others, actually intends to do as they say.

      • Robert Emmett
        May 25, 2018 at 08:18

        No thanks. I don’t like what Proyect says or how he says it and I disagree with what Goodman says. But so what? So, I’m trying to sort out what’s OK to do among “real progressives”. Go to CP, don’t go. Don’t go unless you’ve got the goods on all the nefarious “kool aidey” ways of anyone who has had anything to do with the site? Hey, by all means, challenge all warmongers. And let me know when you finally have winnowed down the approved list of who gets to speak or be heard on the true left, or whatever you decide to call it, will you? My guess is it will come down to about three guys who happen to dominate this comment board.

    • May 26, 2018 at 00:24

      I’m with you on C.J. Hopkins and Uri Avnery.

  10. Stygg
    May 23, 2018 at 19:59

    C’mon people–binary thinking is a trap. So many of these comments seem to buy into a worldview that sees no middle ground between “we must not under any circumstances even talk with the right about our agreement on certain issues, let alone consider any kind of collaboration” and “let’s march with brownshirts!”. Can we not do nuance anymore? Just have to throw out the word “fascist” to cause chaos on the left?

  11. May 23, 2018 at 15:48

    Wow! The war-mongering neocon policy supporting regime change trolls claiming to be “progressives” just won’t quit posting on this. It appears Ms. Johnstone’s comments hit very very close to home indeed. If issues of supporting or not supporting the CIA’s illegal immoral regime change wars in the Middle East are not “appropriate” to discuss here at this important site, where I would ask is the appropriate venue to do so? Certainly not at Counterpunch as they’ve managed to almost entirely eliminate the anti-imperialist voices who were once published there. The trolls are out in droves on this article and it speaks volumes regarding the importance of this discussion.

  12. FB
    May 23, 2018 at 14:50

    Let’s step back and take a good hard look at the core of the debate here…ie the supposed merits [or not] of setting aside ideological differences and finding common cause with those at the ‘other’ end of the political spectrum…

    Here’s a useful article from yesterday by Caleb Maupin that talks intelligently about the reality of such ideological divides and how realpolitik actually plays out…in this case a good historical review of the Nixon years…

    We note here a few interesting facts that many are surely unaware of…including the fact that Nixon pushed for a universal income amounting to $10,000 a year for a family of four in today’s dollars…

    ‘So let us place a floor under the income of every family with children in America-and without those demeaning, soul-stifling affronts to human dignity that so blight the lives of welfare children today.’

    That from his 1971 State of the Union address…

    We also get from Maupin’s piece a useful review of the characters on the opposing side…the Rockefellers, Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand and her protege Alan Greenspan…

    What is really interesting is taking this little history lesson and looking at a graphic arc of US income distribution over the last century…

    That’s a graph of the top 0.1 percent’s share of national wealth from 1913 to 2012…

    We see here quite plainly that this super-rich segment’s share of the pie went from 25 percent of everything in 1913 to a low of just SEVEN percent in 1978…

    From that point in time the graph shoots up and continues climbing to this very day again reaching now the heights of the Robber Baron era topping 22 percent of the pie…

    This graph from a 2014 study from two scholars at UC Berkeley and the London School of Economics…[pdf]

    When I first looked at this graph it seemed as though a switch was flipped right around the last years of the 1970s…

    And looking at the nice review by Maupin of the political upheavals at the time, that is indeed the inescapable conclusion…the Ayn Rand and Chicago School, supported by the Rockefeller and co deep state establishment won…

    They got rid of Nixon…and as Maupin points out…they teamed with the clueless ‘left’ of the era, which was of course co-opted by the CIA and their Ford and Rockefeller proxies through Operation Mockingbird…

    Ie…the ‘left’ of the day played the role of useful idiots in enabling a Tectonic Shift in US economic reality, whereby the robber baron class was once again given free reign to siphon off the nation’s wealth to the very top, super-rich elite…

    So what is the lesson for today…?

    We on the socially progressive side are repeating the exact same mistakes of yesteryear…we are even allowing ourselves, as in the quite obvious case of CounterPunch, to be fully co-opted by the same claque…ie the Fords, Rockefellers, Soros etc…[we know quite well what happened back then thanks to the Church Hearings…but nothing has changed…the same ‘gang’ is still operating quite openly by funding and co-opting fake left media]

    And today’s faux ‘progressives’ make the same mistake of aligning reflexively against a perceived ‘enemy’ on the ‘populist’ side…without understanding the bigger picture and the bigger game in play here…

    We must realize that the Randian ideology of ‘individualism’ and its concomitant impulse towards ‘greed is good’…is completely unnatural to our species where collective and social cohesion has defined our ability to survive over the ages…

    The ordinary folks who may support populist positions such as those of Le Pen and others may not be politically sophisticated like a lot of the smarty-pants here who can recite Trotsky chapter and verse…but they know quite well what is real and they know that we are getting ripped off…

    And that should be enough for any honest progressive…

    Once again Maupin brings some good clarity on this issue of the unnatural state of the Randian ideology which has clearly won [through massive brainwashing of even the poorest among us]…

    ‘The widespread promotion of Ayn Rand’s writings is relevant to the question, because Rand’s mindset has a lot in common with that of mass murderers. Rand espoused a concept called “the virtue of selfishness.” She argued that altruism and empathy, or any form of compassion for others, was the root of society’s problems.’

    A similar but more comic take is given by the writer Jason Holland…

    ‘Sinners who practice the devil’s magic, otherwise known as sharing, are a vile ghastly lot; an aberration to the natural order.

    They are enemy.

    And it is equally a sin to be consumed with such malignant indolence where a people would not extract the resources beneath their feet for profit.

    Know then it is justice for the lord’s army to lay waste to that which impedes his holy capitalist dictum.

    The lord giveth his blessing to launch crusades for profit as they are only a form a worship, all done for the greater good of money. Praise be!’

    This is just plain obvious as the nose on your face…there is no need to get into contortions about what side of the ideological fence this or that person may or may not be…

    What is the point…?

    It comes down to a much more basic idea that transcends political ideology…it is the essence of who we are as a species…social animals who thrive as a community…not as the psychopathic aberration of greedy individualists as our mass indoctrination would have us believe…

    That ordinary people are waking up to this fact [deplorables] and reacting in the right direction is all to the good…and we must seize on this gift…

    As we have seen from the sweep of history in that graph above…we have allowed ourselves to be enslaved once again…for being stupid and being tools of the likes of the Randians…

    We also see that defenders of the fundamental and most natural idea of social cohesion can come from surprising places…ie Nixon…[so why not Le Pen…is Micron doing anything good for labor…see the months of riots going on…]

    The misplaced opposition to such unexpected gifts can come directly from those from whom we least expect…ie the fake ‘left’ of today…

    Let us not be stupid…I for one am very glad to see this excellent and serious website going in just the right direction…

    We need to build bridges not walls…

    • Oakland Pete
      May 23, 2018 at 17:01

      FB: Fair enough, even if the quip about citing Trotsky chapter and verse is an example of that implied insult that just can’t be avoided. But at least you have addressed the issue rationally. Let’s look at what FB has said: Nixon wasn’t so bad, because he had good ideas. OK, his guaranteed annual wage sounds good. He also oversaw the establishment of the EPA. But he also overthrew the Allende government in Chile and conducted the Christmas bombings in Vietnam.

      So with these types that FB thinks we should support under the guise of “building bridges”, we get a good government program here, a little genocide or fascism there, and it all comes out in the wash. This is why we need to do our homework and investigate the ideas of those who have paved the way before us, or we are condemned to relive history. United fronts with those who are truly progressive are fine; and we don’t have to have an elaborate litmus test to discern who qualifies, just common sense.

      As for the analogy with Maoists overturning literature tables in another comment: Overturning lit tables of other leftists, or anyone in general, is bullshit – obviously. But what about a lit table that contained The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Mein Kampf? For me, that one is fair game. For most here, it isn’t. And yes, we are being asked to choose. I have, and so have Diana Johnstone and FB.

      “And that should be enough for any honest progressive…” says FB in his rationale of supporting LePen. What about a progressive Jew? After reading the founding positions of her party, holocaust denial might give that Jew some pause. And if they have doubts, why don’t we? Why are we told we must choose between LePen and Macron? Might there be a third way?

      Let’s not parse what we are talking about here. FB has admitted to that which most try to avoid: We are being asked to support the red brown alliance concept. That means allying with fascism. This is completely apart from the issues of Syria or Palestine. Either you support that alliance or you don’t. I’m sorry to learn that Consortium News and most of its readers do. I don’t. It’s really that simple.

      • Abe
        May 24, 2018 at 15:54

        Hasbara propaganda troll “Oakland Pete” keeps conjuring hysterical images of the antiwar movement as a hotbed of “fascists”, “nazis” and “racists” with burning “hatred” in their eyes, all standing around “a lit table that contained The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Mein Kampf”.

        Right-wing Israelis conjure the same images of Jewish “leftists” who oppose the illegal occupation of Palestinian land.

        Not to mention pro-Israel Jewish extremists in the United States

        Loud rants from “Oakland Pete” and other Hasbara troll bloc posters take particular aim at the “progressive Jew” readership of CN.

        Israel and the pro-Israel lobby seek to dissuade Jewish progressives from accessing fact-based information from real independent investigative journalism sources like Consortium News.

        The writings of Diana Johnstone receive special attention from the Hasbara troll bloc posters, and ridiculous bloggers like Louis Proyect and Tony McKenna, because of her observations like this one from her May 4, 2018 CN article:

        “The Middle East nations attacked by the West – Iraq, Libya and Syria – all just happen to be, or have been, the last strongholds of secular Arab nationalism and support for Palestinian rights. There are a few alternative hypotheses to Western motives – oil pipelines, imperialist atavism, desire to arouse Islamist extremism to weaken Russia (the Brzezinski gambit) – but none are as coherent as the organic alliance between Israel and the United States, and its NATO sidekicks.”

        • Oakland Pete
          May 24, 2018 at 18:03

          You are a pathetic liar. I did not take any of the positions you ascribe to me. You take a phrase from its context and apply it to something else entirely. The fact that Robert Parry and Joe Lauria have sent you a letter of gratitude for your comments exposes them as well.

          Readers: Use the link provided above to discern who is telling the truth about Johnstone’s advocacy of LePen and whether Counterpunch publishes dissenting views.

          • T
            May 26, 2018 at 09:32

            > Readers: Use the link provided above to discern who is telling the truth about Johnstone’s
            > advocacy of LePen

            I just did (thanks for the link…). It is certainly not you: it is quite clear from the article that Johnstone’s sympathies lay most with Asselineau and Mélenchthon.

            And apart from the fundamental problem of political movements and groups that define themselves by what they are against — “anticommunist”, “antifascist” etc. — rather than what they are for, people should be aware that Johnstone is referring mostly to “antifas” in Western Europe. And there really is a strong influence of Hasbara and NATO agents among them — people have taken to calling this grouping the “transatlantifas”.

    • Kelpie
      June 1, 2018 at 02:10

      FB, great comment. Hear Hear. Bridges not walls! Get out of Berkeley and Portland and talk to your fellow citizens. Try not to call them names.

  13. Antiwar7
    May 23, 2018 at 11:21

    I’m so glad you’re publishing Diana Johnstone, after her “roughing up” at the hands of Counterpunch. Her analysis is always knowledgeable, consistent, well-written, and antiwar. Please keep it up despite the trollish comments.

  14. S. Black
    May 23, 2018 at 08:54

    Thanks for this, Ms. Johnstone. I completely agree that at this moment in history, those of us who are not running things (which is most of us) need to come together in defense of our rights and freedoms as human beings. Given what we’re up against (Deep State, oligarchy, globalists) we cannot afford to divide along ideological lines, particularly the various flavors of “isms.” Given the seriousness of our situation, these intellectual squabbles are silly and counterproductive.

    I believe we need to reach out to those who hold different viewpoints (yes: racists, sexists, armchair capitalists), recognize our common humanity, and join forces to overthrow the monster that has taken over America and is attempting to take over the world. The odds are heavily in their favor, and all we really have at this point is our vast numbers. This is why they are trying to distract and divide us.

    • mike
      May 23, 2018 at 12:46

      “and join forces to overthrow the monster that has taken over America and is attempting to take over the world.”

      Tut-tut S. Black. If you mean Trump, why he is just exercising his “sovereignt-ist-ism” tendency (right Diana?)
      You know, like Le Pen. And everyone knows what a socialist utopia the Brexit U.K. has become. Why wouldn’t we want to emulate that?

      • S. Black
        May 23, 2018 at 13:58

        Trump?? Le Pen?? You think this is about specific people?

        No, Mike. The “monster” to which I referred is the growing totalitarian control of populations under global corporatism. It’s been developing and gaining strength steadily since at least Reagan. You know: trickle down economics, mergers, acquisitions, and takeovers, invalidating the Sherman Antitrust Act, assault on labor unions, the disappearance of local business as giant corporations monopolize commerce, GATT/WTO, NAFTA, the outsourcing of jobs, emergence of powerful gigantic transnational corporations, the easy purchase of “elected representatives,” the 1996 Telecom Act which consolidated the mass media under a handful of corporate giants, the elimination of Glass-Steagall, the post-9/11 emergence of the surveillance state, the militarization of local police departments, the use of psy-ops and censorship to restrict the flow of information to the public. And, of course, the use of trade agreements and military intervention to extend control around the globe. That monster.

        These things occurred under both Republican and Democratic administrations. Trump had nothing to do with it, and this has nothing to do with our feelings about specific individuals. It’s bigger than that.

        • backwardsevolution
          May 24, 2018 at 02:56

          S. Black – excellent post.

        • Skip Scott
          May 24, 2018 at 06:55

          Spot-on S.Black!!

        • Skip Scott
          May 25, 2018 at 06:46


          You’re a really smart guy, but you are one weird dude. Have you ever thought about therapy?

        • Skip Scott
          May 25, 2018 at 07:10


          BTW, I do agree that we shouldn’t “join forces” with racists. However, racism and many other “identity” issues of our times have been evolving in the consciousness of our species over recent decades. I think back to the 60’s and how the MSM treated Martin Luther King. It is ironic that our government made a national holiday in his honor, when it was a faction of that same government that was responsible for his assassination. There is still racism in our society, but much less today than when I was young. Many people are not even aware that they still hold some racist views, and thankfully the young people are leading the way toward a more just and inclusive society. If we hold to a “purity” test in all our relations none of us will ever come together to solve any problems. If we only choose to be friends with people we agree with about everything, the planet will be full of very lonely people.

          This hasbara troll wishes for peace in a multi-polar world.

        • Abe
          May 25, 2018 at 12:33

          The adjective “spot-on” means “exactly correct or accurate”, at least according what is generally accepted as the English language.

          “Skip Scott” and “backwardsevolution” have a record of applauding Hasbara

        • Skip Scott
          May 25, 2018 at 12:46


          I long to see the day when you are unsure of yourself about something. I am reminded of this Zen story when I think of you.

          Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era, received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.

          Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring. The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. “It is overfull. No more will go in!”

          Like this cup, Nan-in said, you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?

      • T
        May 26, 2018 at 09:36

        > And everyone knows what a socialist utopia the Brexit U.K. has become.

        Since Brexit hasn’t happened yet (and might not at all), it would be a bit difficult for us to know that, wouldn’t it?

    • Abe
      May 23, 2018 at 16:05

      The remark by “S. Black” is false on its face.

      Not one CN contributor has even remotely suggested that one should “join forces” with actual “racists”, “fascists”, or “nazis” for any reason.

      Obviously false remarks are used to keep these ridiculous Hasbara propaganda “red-brown” smears on life support.

      Among the reasons why Hasbara propaganda trolls keep running with these “ally with racists” smears are Israel’s historic alliance with Apartheid South Africa, and European Zionist racist attitudes toward Palestinians.

      Inverted Hasbara (false flag “anti-Israel”) propaganda troll “Oakland Pete” declares “I actually oppose Israel” then immediately smears the antiwar and Palestinian solidarity movements as “vile anti-semitism”.

      • S. Black
        May 23, 2018 at 16:48

        Pardon? Abe, I have no idea if any CN contributors have suggested that one should “join forces” with actual “racists”, “fascists”, or “nazis” — and I certainly did not make that claim.

        I said (and I quote), “I believe we need to reach out to those who hold different viewpoints (yes: racists, sexists, armchair capitalists), recognize our common humanity, and join forces to overthrow the monster that has taken over America and is attempting to take over the world.”

        I didn’t say anything about “fascists” or “nazis.” You inserted those words, and I suspect the reason you did so is that they work better for name-calling, labeling, and emotion-triggering.

        Please don’t misquote me in the future.

        As for “Hasbara,” I had to look the word up. Sorry, but Israel does not interest me. I loathe their treatment of the Palestinian people, but beyond that, my interests lie elsewhere.

      • Abe
        May 23, 2018 at 18:50

        That was not quotation, comrade “S. Black”

        This is quotation from your May 23, 2018 at 8:54 am remark:

        In the first paragraph, you state that you (quote) “completely agree” with Ms. Johnstone.

        But in the second paragraph, you state that you (quote) “believe” that “we need” to “join forces” with “yes: racists”.

        I noted that your remark is “false on its face” because what you purportedly “believe” about “racists” clearly does not “agree” with the article by Ms. Johnstone or any other CN contributor.

        Appeals to “racists” and similar so-called “different viewpoints” are typically advanced by Inverted Hasbara (fake “anti-Semitic”) propaganda trolls attempting to smear the CN site.

        With Israel increasingly in the news, Hasbara troll comments have been on the rise.

        I never claimed that “S. Black” said anything about “fascists” or “nazis” (which do tend to be “racists”), but the Hasbara trolls have been chattering quite loudly about such “different viewpoints”.

        In any event, the peculiar “belief” and “interests” of “S. Black” have been duly noted.

      • Oakland Pete
        May 23, 2018 at 20:04

        Sorry Abe, but you’re wrong as usual. First, you and others can’t stop using this “Hasbara troll” smear for anyone with whom you disagree. As I wrote in another comment, I’m known to be anything but, including by a regular contributor here: Rick Sterling. Certainly I never smeared the antiwar and Palestinian solidarity movements as vile anti-semitism. I’m part of both, have been for half a century, and your comment is a bald faces lie.

        But I know for you facts are inconvenient while defamation is so much more fun, so I’ll move on. Diana Johnstone has endorsed European candidates like Marine LePen, whose party was founded on the principle of holocaust denial and now focuses on immigrant bashing. She’s made a point of attacking Antifa with slanders, while remaining silent on their adversaries. I’m not seeing any denial of that here, but plenty of agreement. You’re being dishonest if you deny this.

        I know your comment was posted before that of FB found above, but he lays out the debate pretty honestly, with no disagreement from other commenters. He states that we should ally with anyone who opposes imperialism, even racists. I’ve described examples of how fascism has make inroads into the left, and so has Proyect. You might have noticed that I called him out as strongly as I have you when he displays his own dishonesty.

        It’s part of my point: We are being asked to chose between two arguments, one of alliances with fascism, which is argued here, despite your denial of it; and alliances with imperialism, advocated by Proyect and McKenna. It’s a false choice, advanced by dishonest advocates. In order to advance your perspective you rely on personal insults and slanders. It seems to be a knee jerk reaction for you in particular. For all its faults, Counterpunch is far more allowing of divergent views. Readers should check in to see.

        • FB
          May 23, 2018 at 20:16

          Oakland Pete…I never said we should ‘ally’ with ‘racists’…

          Your self-styled creds of 50 years as a justice warrior ring hollow when you can invent quotes on this forum…

          • Skip Scott
            June 1, 2018 at 07:20

            I was accused of the same thing by Abe. I was actually responding to a comment by S. Black, but Abe mistook it as my responding to an earlier post up the thread by S.Black that I hadn’t even read. I am not at all in favor of an alliance with racists, but I also understand that racism has a lot of subtleties that are still persistent, and we need to dialogue about those subtleties rather than create some “purity” test and throw labels at each other. Stopping the “Forever War” should be our top priority.

      • Oakland Pete
        May 30, 2018 at 13:41

        Abe: Nope, wrong again. I never smeared either of those movements, and have spent a half century of time and energy in both. I’ve written and had published accounts of specific actions. I don’t want to say where, because I don’t want visits from those I oppose. You need to stop lying, Abe. One way you do it is by ascribing “smears” to me that I haven’t made.

        To clear up another point you made: I spent a long time considering myself a “trot”, so sometimes I slip and still claim that handle. I also have differences with them on some basics, so now avoid describing myself as such. But they are an honorable current and I have responded to slanders against them. Fascists are not an honorable current and I oppose all alliances with them. One current is our ally, even if we have disagreements with them. The other is the enemy. We must be clear on this.

        I pleaded with JSC to respond to this, but he doesn’t want to do so out of respect for DJ’s health. I initially thought he was right, and said I would follow that lead. Then she came out with her third slander on the left, this time May 68. So I hope he publishes an article that addresses these issues on principle. I understand if he doesn’t want to enter this comments section, as steeped in dishonest bile as it is, thanks in large part to Abe and encouragement from the editors.

        That doesn’t mean I agree with JSC on everything, or with Proyect. I have said repeatedly that I come to the same end conclusions as DJ on mideast issues. Dishonest thinkers like those found in excess here seem to label everyone who doesn’t buy one side as automatically on the other side. This time the comments were in response to a series of articles attacking left currents, and they deserve response and clarification. Sadly, commenters here are too typical of online masters of insult.

        No matter how strident the denials, DJ has written favorably on LePen’s politics and unfavorably on all those who oppose that, dishonestly lumping all of them together in some mythical pro-imperialist basket. I keep saying, as do Trotskyists, that we should follow a third path of opposing both imperialism and alliances with fascists. Just reading the comments saying we must ally with anyone who opposes the most pressing war issue, even those with whom we have more fundamental disagreement, shows that this red-brown alliance concept is real. This is not the only forum debating this.

    • Oakland Pete
      May 24, 2018 at 18:10

      So here we have it: Join forces with racists, sexists… and run slanderous articles denouncing Trotskyists and Antifa. Let’s not forget to smear Counterpunch for not publishing dissenting views. Here’s one of the articles that Johnstone wrote supporting fascists in Counterpunch, because you all like to see links to articles proving you’re right. Oops! Wrong logic! Must be Hasbara troll! Hilarity ensues!

  15. Zan
    May 23, 2018 at 08:10

    The armchair radicals like Draitser and Ross and to some degree St. Claire are essentially the Tucker Carlsons of marginally popular, obscure samizdat. they pay lip service to antiwar and eco sentiments, but it mostly amounts to smarm and intellectual cockgazing. st. claire peddles his gonzo celebrity mingling and ross presents a faux feminist antifa purity, but none of these idiots is actually willing to sacrifice what is necessary to combat ecocide and nuclear war. they would rather unsest assad than work toward a world stable enough cooperate on the problems that will kill is all. they really are rabid badgers.

    • Oakland Pete
      May 24, 2018 at 18:11

      Yeah, and then they publish Diana Johnstone. You guys are a piece of work.

  16. Mike
    May 23, 2018 at 07:19

    Mr. Lauria, this website is out of control. Now that you have succeeded in pitting the left against the right on these pages, what next? You think this is healthy debate? Of course you don’t; not when you add an overwrought disclaimer to a rebuttal of someone who finds Le Pen palatable. I cannot support this kind of tripe.

    • Zan
      May 23, 2018 at 08:12

      there are only two unpalatable realities now, dwarf: ecocide and nuclear holocaust.

      get your priorities straight.

    • Oakland Pete
      May 23, 2018 at 11:29

      Mike, I think you are absolutely right. I feel dismayed by too much of this.

      Those of us trying to thread a needle of political ethics find ourselves squeezed on one side by those who find common cause with imperialism. In this debate they are associated with Counterpunch, with some validity, but not entirely. Counterpunch still runs articles from both sides of this debate and the sane group that is in neither camp. The personal shortcomings of St Clair or Draitser are insignificant in this, although it is true that they have come to this position. The organization most representative of it in the U.S. is the International Socialist Organization – those who actually hold the views ascribed to Trotskyists by Johnstone and the commenters here.

      The other side, represented more fully by Consortium, with far less civility in the discussion, has swallowed the concept of the red-brown alliance. That perspective is led by Johnstone, echoed by a comment from S. Black above, that says we should ally with racists and others against imperialism. What that logically leads to is marching with fascists. That’s not a projection of a possibility, but occurring in the present. Johnstone has taken it far enough to embark on a slander campaign against the left; her present targets are Trotskyists and Antifa. That’s only the beginning, since she has already come out for free speech for fascists, including nazis; and has endorsed fascist parties in Europe. Commenters here support this view.

      I keep saying I won’t read this website any more. Trying to convince readers that alliances with fascism is ethically unspeakable and in what should be a secondary consideration, discredits our movement, seems to get no response. This is the brush zionism disingenuously uses to tar support for Palestine; but it’s becoming all too true for many. But when I see only you, and a handful of trots who weighed in on this after the first article smearing them, I know I will soon leave for good. It’s sad to see a once great news and commentary website lose its moral compass, but we have to move on. I’m sorry I allowed myself to be baited by the fascist cretins in the comment section, but I’m done. Thanks for your comment.

      • S. Black
        May 23, 2018 at 12:13

        Purity is a self-defeating trap. Perhaps it offers a comforting sense of security and order. However, purity thinking tends to be illogical. In a vital, necessary, and extremely difficult battle, accepting assistance from someone with a bad label does not in any way lend support to their bad label, nor does it transfer the bad label to oneself.

        Sometimes we need to step outside our comfort zones in order to do what we need to do.

        • Deniz
          May 23, 2018 at 12:36

          Isn’t the Utopian vision of equality among culture and races, the biggest self-defeating purity trap there is? I admit that it is a beautiful work of art, that is both profound and mesmerizing. But the reality of our evolution in which we try to kill off people with minute difference in DNA is not just the purview of white, republican southerners but an experience that occurs throughout human history. It is like saying that I am going to discount the humanity of anyone who succumbs to greed.

          The racist republican movement, or whatever it is, while obnoxious and vile, is not responsible for regime change in the middle east and the ensuing genocide that it created. That is clearly solely the responsibility of the Imperialists, whether it is a Rockefeller, Bush, or Rothschild or the various arms dealers, bankers and oil barons that run our planet.

          • Oakland Pete
            May 23, 2018 at 14:11

            At least we didn’t see another tirade of insults to this. I understand the idea of marching with those outside our views for a common cause. Trots call this the united front strategy, and it’s valid. But it has limits. Just think how this would play out: You come to a march against imperialism, perhaps in solidarity with Palestine or Syria. But next to you is a fellow marcher with a sign that reads “Fuck the Jews”. How do you react? Is there an ethical question here, or is this just a tactical alliance against imperialism?

            This is not idle speculation. I attended an ANSWER demonstration a few years back in which a group of Arab youth began chanting exactly that. I tried to stop them, to no avail. The following Tuesday we had a security contingent meeting to assess the situation, and I said we had failed in that we allowed this group to potentially discredit our movement with vile anti-semitism. We were lucky that no journalists caught that, because you can bet it would have played out across the evening news. Zionists would have had a field day with “I told you so” type comments.

            I also attended a Syria forum a year ago in which the moderators tolerated, and in one case approved of, a fascist heckler who shouted out anti-semitic comments. His point was that defense of Syria was fine, but “Trotskyites and Jews” had taken over the antiwar movement. Sadly, the moderators did nothing to quiet him, one shook his hand and acknowledged a friendship with him, and another dismissed it as inconsequential.

            So this is not an abstract argument. Real fascists, like nazis or their sympathizers, are reaching out to the left for alliances. Some are taking the bait with the rationale of non-sectarianism. Their propagandists, led by Johnstone, are in high gear, splitting the left with attacks on those they know will never go along with this red-brown alliance. That means Antifa and Trotskyists; but we are just the beginning. Remember the lessons of Germany, and apply them now: “First they came for the Trotskyists, but I said nothing because I was not a Trotskyist…” We all know the rest.

            No matter what those like Abe or FB say, I’m not a “Hasbara troll”. I actually oppose Israel, this Russia themed farce, western intervention everywhere, and all the standard issues; and I have the track record to back that up. Paul Larudee, who is the friend of the fascist I mentioned above, knows that. He posted in this comment section. Rick Sterling, who writes for Consortium, knows it as well. This is about fundamental ethics and common sense. We do not ally with fascists under any circumstances. Democrats, anarchists, Libertarians, whatever – I’m OK with it. But not fascists. Ever!

          • May 23, 2018 at 15:23

            The DNA gets mixed more an more every day and that will continue at an ever-accelerating rate. I wouldn’t count on that to keep the status quo of rivalries.

          • Deniz
            May 23, 2018 at 17:24

            “But next to you is a fellow marcher with a sign that reads “Fuck the Jews”. How do you react?”

            Assume that is similar to someone saying “Fuck the Turks” “Nuke the Muzzies”, “We need to kick the Turks out of NATO”, or “gobble, gobble”, in my formative years; I generally ignore it and gravitate towards people who dont say those things.

            Saying those things makes one an asshole, not a criminal.

        • Oakland Pete
          May 24, 2018 at 18:13

          Is truth self-defeating? Or are juvenile insults more so? And is refusal to ally with fascists unreasonable purity? Because those are the real questions.

  17. Robert Emmett
    May 23, 2018 at 07:02

    Yes, we must first flay the devil out of each other ‘cause it’s not like that’s a neverending task. Er, wait, first label the other then flay, or, wait, flay the label then the other. Hang on, I think I’m getting close to it.

    • Oakland Pete
      May 24, 2018 at 18:17

      You can ridicule this all you want, but if I have a forum for exposing what I think is a real threat to our movement, advanced by a slick propagandist, and which finds support from a website that should be an exchange of left views, I’ll use it. That threat is of a very wrong alliance with fascism, that slick propagandist is Diana Johnstone, and I am using the truth to make my case. My only reservation is that too many here are so closed minded that they can’t even take it seriously, much less engage in civil discussion.

  18. LarcoMarco
    May 23, 2018 at 04:38

    I’m reminded of the quote attributable to Lenin, “Split, split, and split again.”

    I also recall the Maoists who overturned another radical group’s display table. “Nobody wanted to read their literature, anyway.”

  19. Oakland Pete
    May 23, 2018 at 00:10

    FB: Have you ever seen those tough guys who flip the bird at someone from a car window, but won’t pull over? There are a lot of similar types on the internet, full of insulting bluster, but are really punks hiding behind a keyboard. Tell you what: I give Lauria permission to give my email address to you. Write me privately, and we can sort this out.

    One thing has certainly caught my notice: Trump supporters can post here without any blowback, as can those who defame leftists. When anyone calls out ignorant or insulting blowhards, or tells the truth about Trotskyism, they receive all manner of hostility. And then the editor doesn’t allow a reply box. An obvious example is FB with his last.

    I have to retract my previous statement that this is a valuable debate. It’s digression into slick sounding pretend leftism by its enemies. I expect I might see some of you at an event like the one in Berkeley August 27. You will be sporting swastikas and claiming anti-imperialist credentials. And lest I forget, insulting workers for being such.

    • Abe
      May 23, 2018 at 03:13

      Hasbara propaganda troll “OaklandPete” and his pals keep getting louder and loonier with every post.

      The method to their Hasbara troll army’s madness: these false accusations of “anti-semitism” and “fascism” are meant to disorient new antiwar and progressive activist readers of Consortium News.

      • robjira
        May 23, 2018 at 09:05

        Seconded. The tactic / behavior (which in a stunningly ironic display of “projection” is used by this particular clique) eerily resembles something desribed in The Turner Diaries, the one book I personally have encountered that merits burning.
        You are exactly correct Abe, in desribing this tactic as disorienting; with the preponderence of narrative and counter-narrative, and the dwindling resources of “on the ground” reporting I hardly know where reality ends and propaganda begins. Please keep posting; you’re one of the good ones.

      • Oakland Pete
        May 23, 2018 at 11:40

        If this is all you can say, your constant personal insults and accusations of being an Hasbara troll, you only expose the bankruptcy of your ideas. Commenters should read the articles and comments and try to fully grasp what is being debated here, because our movement is on the ropes. It should be instinctive that we do not support, in any way whatsoever, those who express fascist ideas. It doesn’t matter how good their anti-imperialist credentials are. Fascism represents all we stand against. That does not mean support for Israel or imperialism in any way. We are supposedly here to inform ourselves, and that leads to independent thought. Don’t buy into this narrative that we must be in the camp of imperialism or fascism. There is another way, and the means to inform yourselves of it is readily available. Think about it: do you really want to march with the klan or the nazis? Really?

      • Oakland Pete
        May 24, 2018 at 18:20

        Hasbara troll. You must have that phrase on a select key, you use it so much. Jesus Christ, don’t you ever tire of listening to yourself? And who are my pals, exactly? I’m defending Jeffery St Clair here, not because we are buds (we aren’t), or because their is not a grain of truth in what is being said, but because he is being slandered. I have that much principle, a concept foreign to you.

  20. May 22, 2018 at 20:31

    Great article
    Being anti war and a Gramscian leftist I can relate to this article in it totality .
    I luv all these new age lefties or as I refere to some of them as CRUISE MISSILE LEFTIES
    Having a strong union background and extensively read on most things related to the left I find post modern political discourse empty vacuous and devoid of any historical social context.
    Perfect example would be looking at class structure and economic realities of the post modern era. The simple fact that circa 40 trillion dollars have been spent on military and military adventures by pax-americana since the fall of the soviet union. These figures are including bracket creep inflation. The gap between the general populace and the 0.1 percent exceeds the Gilded age /Robber bARONS EPOCH.
    Just think of if that money was spent on infrastructure on education health . How that bwould have increased the velocity of money and basic economic principles of wealth distribution , and growth.
    No We have destruction of nations states people and humanity.
    Why did they bother to defeat Hitler?
    Fascism is alive and well in the west it is called the Corporate State .

    • FB
      May 22, 2018 at 21:00

      I basically like your comment…but your quip about ‘velocity’ of money is unfortunate…

      Sounds like someone who actually takes seriously the pseudoscience of ‘economics’…don’t forget that supply-side Jesus will make everything alright…

  21. KiwiAntz
    May 22, 2018 at 19:25

    There are no “right wing” or “left wing” Political parties in America? There is only one Party comprising both sides of the same coin? One side says Republican, the other side says Democratic, but really there is only one united Party?? The War Party of America! That’s it! A combined War Party masquerading as a practicing Democracy but really is a Obligarcracy responsible for staging endless resource War’s & spreading chaos & destruction in the World? How long will this last? Who know’s, but attempts are well underway to fight back by those affected Countries by rebuilding their arsenal’s with new advanced weapons & to get out of the tyrannical US dollar & swift system & bypassing it’s Central Banks? America uses economic warfare as the first act of war by committing financial terrorism against Countries they don’t like, trying to bend them to their will? The second act is to demonise those Countries Leaders & fund or arm the opposition in order to overthrown that Govt by Color revolution coup? If that doesn’t work then they stage fake atrocities to provide a excuse to invade & destroy those Countries?? The War Nation & War Party is actually so predictable, to the point of being laughable, but it isn’t a laughing matter as millions are dying & Countries are being destroyed by this evil empire of War!

  22. John Kirsch
    May 22, 2018 at 17:11

    One of the things I’ve always valued about Consortiumnews is the clarity and relevance of the writing. So I’m distressed to see this article appear. It appears to be an example of score settling, of interest only to readers of CounterPunch. So why has this article been posted on Consortiumnews?

    • Oakland Pete
      May 22, 2018 at 19:28

      I agree, and would include Johnstone’s last article defaming Trotskyism. If she wanted to go after ultraleft (if that is a fair description) critics of Syria who have given backhanded support to imperialist rationales, I would have agreed. But she used what seemed to be a fair criticism of that to jump to attacking the foundations of Trotskyism. For those who point out her qualifications of that, just read the response by the World Socialist Web Site, who she singled out as an exception.

      Johnstone has an agenda, and it is to defame the left, just as she has done in this article against Antifa. Her motives are disclosed by her support for European fascist parties. She is not just settling a score. She is advancing a more complete narrative of the red-brown alliance, for which she is a champion. She fools readers by employing an old tactic: Begin with a valid argument, in this case the faults of Counterpunch, get your audience nodding in agreement, and then use that mindset to advance to a position that does not follow. She’s not alone. It’s insidious, and has fooled most commenters here.

      • John Kirsch
        May 23, 2018 at 10:45

        To be honest, I have little interest in discussions of “Trotskyism” and the merits/demerits of CounterPunch. What I am interested in is seeing Consortiumnews continue to be a source of clear, concise, fact-based articles about vital issues. That’s why I’m concerned about this article. It is a sign that Consortiumnews is becoming an arena for insiderish, interminable discussions about smelly little orthodoxies.

        • Oakland Pete
          May 23, 2018 at 20:21

          Your complaint should be taken up with Joe Lauria. He chose to publish an article by Diana Johnstone that he knew would be divisive, as it contained attacks on the fundamental ideas of a left current and slandered its adherents. It got a strong reaction, including from me, but this is to be expected given the content of the article. Now, after all the commentary that seems to alienate you and others, Joe chose to publish another divisive and slanderous article by Johnstone. We see all manner of denials, especially from Abe, about her sympathies with European fascist parties, in spite of her own words regarding them. You may think orthodoxies with which you disagree are “smelly”, but you are falling into that same slander and insults that creates the reactions you decry. Who began this? When did Antifa or Trotskyism go into attack dog mode against Johnstone or Consortium? Don’t bellyache when you slander someone and they respond. Grow the fuck up.

        • May 26, 2018 at 00:36

          Diana critiques a tendency given considerable space in Counterpunch, but that’s not the only place it manifests. I’m glad Joe Lauria published this.

          • Oakland Pete
            May 30, 2018 at 13:58

            Her problem is that she assigns positions Trotskyists rejected by Trotskyists, and does not do so out of ignorance. That has been my point. Have you noticed that a lot of us here in the bay area have a fundamental disagreement with the position you and Glen have taken on the red-brown alliance concept, but refrain from public response because you are part of our movement? Instead I’ve replied to you privately, and received a lot of incoming from those you know who are dismayed at you and BAR’s stance on this.

            The people you and DJ are attacking are your publishers and political comrades. Jeffrey has given plenty of print space to you and those who represent the ideas being defended here. Not every article has been honest, and I might make different choices. CP isn’t perfect, but they are head and shoulders above what I read here. When someone publishes smear articles, as Johnstone’s have been, they deserve response. Here in this comments section the responses are dominated by petty insults and false accusations of being Israeli propagandists.

          • Abe
            May 30, 2018 at 18:35

            Here “Oakland Pete” employs a standard Hasbara troll deception tactic by using the phrase “Israeli propagandists”.

            Hasbara trolls have attempted to use various “Israeli” ploys several times before in comments at CN.

            “Hasbara” describes a mode of propaganda behavior.

            The word “Israeli” refers to a social identity concept.

            The phrase “Israeli propagandists” is not factually accurate (that’s the reason why I never use the phrase), because there’s no way for readers to know if the propagandist is “Israeli” or not.

            Hasbara propaganda trolls include many Americans (living in the US or traveling abroad), as well as other nationalities, and are by no means exclusively “Israeli”.

            But Hasbara propaganda, in both its Conventional and Inverted forms, can be clearly identified by readers, regardless of whether the propagandist claims to “oppose Israel”.

            The term “Hasbara propagandists” accurately describes the blogger bloc of Ross, Litvin, Draitser, Proyect, as well as obvious troll “Oakland Pete”.

            “Oakland Pete” predictably peddles the “Israeli propagandists” line here.

            Hilarity ensues.

    • May 22, 2018 at 20:21

      “So why has this article been posted on Consortiumnews?” – Uhh, perhaps because Consortium News isn’t interested in being another site that shills for (or remains silent in the face of) the nonstop regime change CIA propaganda being spewed not only by MSM, but even sites like CP that were once not that long ago considered “progressive” – uh – just guessing. Discussing what has happened at Counterpunch these last few years is a rather important matter to anyone who actually cares about honesty and integrity in what is in this case being passed of by CP as supposedly “progressive” alternative media journalism.

      It has been those who repeat the tired CIA regime change lines that seem to have found this article most disturbing. I applaud Consortium News for having the integrity to deal with this issue. The editors at CP have every right to support the neocon imperialist regime change line if they so choose. They also have every right to attack those who challenge that view. What they don’t get a free pass at is avoiding any critical analysis of such unethical and pro-imperialist behavior. Pretty simple really.

      • FB
        May 22, 2018 at 21:07

        Agree…CP has been compromised and it is now a Trojan Horse…this is dirty work…

        Glad to hear so many here calling this spade a spade…

        It’s not about Ms Joshnstone…no one is always right or always to our liking…but scumbags like St Clair and his ship of fools are beyond the pale…

  23. Abe
    May 22, 2018 at 16:39

    Atlantic Council “regime change” propaganda gets propagated by “useful idiots” like Joshua Frank, managing editor of Counterpunch.

    In an April 2017 Counterpunch piece titled “On That Gas Attack: We Don’t Need Conspiracies to Oppose US War in Syria”, Frank cited two leading Uk-based conspiracy theorists – Dan Kaszeta and Hamish de Bretton-Gordon – who have long histories of lying about responsibility for “chemical attacks” in Syria.

    Kaszeta and de Bretton-Gordon began peddling their fact-free claims on the Brown Moses blog of a fellow UK-based propagandist, fake “citizen investigative journalist” Eliot Higgins.

    Fake ‘chemical weapons expert” Dan Kaszeta continues flogging evidence-free Israeli intelligence claims about “chemical use” in Syria for the Higgins and the Atlantic Council’s Bellingcat blog.

    Frank demonstrated the serious lack of discernment among certain “progressive” journalism outlets.

    “So let’s quit peddling baseless theories” exclaimed Frank, having just given props to prime purveyors of baseless theories used to justify US military intervention in Syria.

    Interestingly, four months earlier, after the Washington Post / PropOrNot imbroglio hit the media, Frank was successful in arranging the removal of CounterPunch from PropOrNot’s infamous “List” of alleged “Russian propaganda outlets”.

    However, there was no follow up investigation of any sort by Counterpunch. Frank did not venture beyond merely dismissing PropOrNot as “juvenile”, “amateurs” and a “shady little group”.

    In fact, Frank had precisely played PropOrNot’s game. In his initial email to the group, Frank “provided them with evidence” – a link to an article he wrote which was critical of Russian involvement in Syria – to demonstrate that “CounterPunch was not in the pocket of Russians”.

    PropOrNot thanked Frank for “reaching out”, and after an exchange of emails with the group, Frank saw fit to report that “PropOrNot assures me they are not funded by the Pentagon or associated with the Hillary Clinton campaign or anyone else.”

    Frank declared that “PropOrNot’s blacklist is not just frivolous, it’s potentially dangerous as it directly discourages dissenting points of view”.

    But the PropOrNot propaganda operation, including the mainstream media circus that surrounded it, represent more than a discouragement of “dissenting” viewpoints. In reality, the “fake news” brouhaha is a direct assault on fact-based independent investigative journalism, aimed at marginalizing or eliminating resistance to the West’s hybrid war efforts.

    • FB
      May 22, 2018 at 17:34

      Abe…thanks for reminding me of that silly article by the goofball Joshua Frank…remember it well…

      This is the typical ‘Uncle Tom’ virtue signaling when it comes to black and white issues like Syria…

      Of course it’s a ‘conspiracy theory’ that Assad did NOT gas these Salafi Jihadist fanatics in Idlib…while the say-so of the imperialist-backed terrorist PR outfit White Helmets would never be questioned…

      What a joke…who can take Frank…St Clair or any of the CP dingbats seriously…Draitser is the most egregious example of a turncoat…I remember when he sounded like a truthful messenger…

      so much for that…

      • Toby McCrossin
        May 22, 2018 at 21:17

        I have to agree with you FB. I just listened to Counterpunch Radio’s 100th episode and it’s truly disheartening to hear that St Clair and Draister have swallowed the Russiagate and Assad: Exterminator of the Innocents narratives hook, line and sinker. St Clair has taken to calling anti-war progressives the “Sputnik Left” as if listening to Loud and Clear is somehow infecting our brains with conspiracy worms. Sure, the Russian government has an agenda when it gives a platform to leftists in the US that they otherwise wouldn’t have and perhaps it could be described as “using” them. But those on the left who take advantage of that platform are also “using” the Russian government. As they say, “politics makes strange bedfellows”. Brian Becker, Chris Hedges, Lee Camp, Abby Martin, etc. all say that they have complete editorial control over their programs.

        The Counterpunch team is, unfortunately, alienating a good number of their supporters. Smearing readers as conspiracy theorists while pedaling evidence-less conspiracies of one’s own is sadly ironic. Unfortunately there is a rich tradition of nationalism transforming butterflies into slugs. Kropotkin supported his side in WWI and Hitchens became an hysterical booster of the war in Iraq. I think Draister and St Clair have allowed their own nationalism to cloud their judgement in these matters.

        As to their cavalier rejection of any possibility of WWIII, perhaps someone should tell the Russians. They seem to preparing for it.

        Oh, wait…I’m just a Russian-propagandized, faux-leftist conspiracy theorist. Capitalists would never attack other capitalists like they did in WWI because the world is stable now. Yeah, whatever Draister…

    • Yoav Litvin
      May 23, 2018 at 00:10
      • Abe
        May 24, 2018 at 23:04

        Themes of “protection” and claims about a growing “threat” of anti-Semitism are employed across the spectrum from Conventional Hasbara (overtly pro-Israel / pro-Zionist) to Inverted Hasbara (false flag “anti-Israel” / “anti-Zionist” and fake “anti-Jewish” / “anti-Semitic”) propaganda.

        Yoav Litman presents an interesting case in point.

        In the opinion piece on “The Contemporary Jewish Dilemma: Adopt or Reject Zionism and White Supremacy” published by Telesur 7 December 2017) Litmin urges “Jews worldwide” to “fight for the soul of Judaism, and by extension, that of humanity”.

        Self-declared “Jew who is a fighter” Litvin substantiates his points primarily by citing his own articles.

        In the Telesur article, Litvin attempts to build his case around discussion of “whiteness” and “identity”, but its by no means clear he understands what any of it means.

        A staple image of “whiteness” is the cinematic trope portraying a white character rescuing people of color from their plight.

        We’ll get back to that.

        To illuminate the choice for Jews to “oppose both fascism and Zionism”, Litvin links to his article, “To oppose Trump, Jews must join the fight against fascism and Zionism”, published at Mondoweiss (9 February 2017) and The Palestine Chronicle (10 February 2017).

        In that article, Litvin urges American Jews to “fight against all ethno-centric, exclusivist forces, including fascism, White supremacy and Zionism. The long history of trauma and persecution must guide Jews in a quest to vanquish these forces alike toward a vision of justice, freedom and equality for all.”

        American Jews are left to imagine what that noble “quest” might specifically involve beyond “opposing” the Trump administration and Israeli politicians.

        Does the “fight” include Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, or is that too “exclusivist”?

        To illuminate what it means to “get onboard a notion of a worldly ‘just Jew,’ one who champions and comprises, together with others, movements of social justice and equality”, Litvin links to his article, “The emergence of the Just Jew”. published at Mondoweiss (18 February 18, 2017)

        In that article, Litvin bemoans the “failure of Zionism to live up to its promise of protecting all Jews” and presents the image of “a new and further evolved form of Jew”.

        Litvin invokes a return to “the roots of Judaism” and cites a passage from Devarim (Deuteronomy), the fifth book fifth book of the Torah, insisting that it promotes “a persistent quest for justice”.

        Of course, Devarim also promotes war and slavery, but Litvin prefers to not cite those particular passages.

        Eschewing all that other stuff in Deuteronomy, Litvin’s “just Jew” is all good things:

        “unwedded to nation state and utilizes a collective knowledge and history of survival, trauma and oppression as both victim and victimizer to unite with other Jews, and join Muslim, immigrant, Palestinian, Black and Brown, LGBTQ, indigenous and other minority communities in the battle to oppose fascism, ethno-supremacy, apartheid, crony capitalism and bigotry of all kinds, including anti-Semitism and Zionism.”

        Armed with his new “propaganda tool”, the image of heroic Jewish leader of “a global community of resistance, which promotes a sustainable and egalitarian future for all humanity”, Litvin marches himself off, ready to “fight”.

        And “fight” he does.

        Here’s the problem with Litvin’s brand of Hasbara:

        Litvin’s “just Jew” remains a “white savior” narrative:

        Humanity won’t achieve its long-awaited sustainable and egalitarian future without the “just (and, as chance would have it, American) Jew”: a global mashiach “unwedded to nation state”, anointed by the “long history of trauma and persecution”, heroically leading the “fight” for freedom and justice for all.

        Full of his “just” self, Litvin has been waving his new “propaganda tool” around quite a bit, leading to some pretty hilarious blog and Twitter “fights”.

        But no matter how Litvin attempts to ‘splain’ it, it’s “just” more Hasbara.

      • Abe
        May 26, 2018 at 06:35

        Litvin doubles down on his heroic “fight” for “self-worth”

        Hilarity ensues.

      • Oakland Pete
        May 30, 2018 at 14:05

        Yoav: I agree with you on this, so please don’t take me wrong when I say your article on Caitlin was correct, but JSC should have given her the space to respond. That’s only honest. On balance, Counterpunch has given both sides of these arguments far more print space than others, and deserves acknowledgment of that. That does not mean any of us can’t have disagreements. Part of the problem here is that the comments are dominated by the type of remarks we see from Abe. Yoav is right: He’s full of shit.

        • Abe
          June 2, 2018 at 16:06

          “Oakland Pete” does his usual “agree and disagree” shtick, mumbling about “both sides”, and assiduously avoiding “the type of remarks” that involve actual facts.

  24. deschutes
    May 22, 2018 at 16:36

    Nice to finally come across an article which calls out CounterPunch for its anti-Russia stance. The belligerent Joshua Frank (as well as St Clair) is very anti-Russia. I pointed this out years ago to Bill Blum and he couldn’t believe it at first, but came round. The CP editors are quite condescending and arrogant imho.

  25. May 22, 2018 at 15:58

    Rob, I was not suggesting that “men are bad and women good”, I was only stating that the patriarchal viewpoint is dominant and females are adopting it, and the women you mentioned (Thatcher, Meir, Clinton, etc) all adopted the aggression mode. I am sorry to sidetrack this discussion, as I note that many commenters at CN are clearly very thoughtful. How could anyone consider WWIII a “fun conversation”, if Eric Draitser thinks that?

  26. Abe
    May 22, 2018 at 15:20

    The “Multipolar Spin” article waved about by lecturer Alexander Reid Ross refers to a report by a New York City “research institute” called “Data and Society”.

    This purportedly “independent” group is funded by “entities” like the Open Society Foundations, White House Office of Science & Technology Policy, and New America, which itself receives funding from Soros’ Open Society and the U.S. State Department.

    The “Data and Society” group’s 2017 report on “Media Manipulation and Disinformation Online” warns of the the “use conspiracy theories as propaganda tools” by what it terms “hyper-partisan” (identified almost exclusively as “far-right”) news platforms, media outlets, and online activity.

    The report ignores the reality that mainstream media commonly use conspiracy theories as propaganda tools. The war propaganda that led to the U.S. invasion of Iraq is a prime example.

    The “Data and Society” report alleges that mainstream media are somehow “vulnerable”.

    The circularity of argumentation in the report is reflected in the fact that “lack of trust in the media” is cited as a reason for “growing distrust in the media”. The “Data and Society” group seems vexed by the the demise of mainstream media:

    “The extent to which the historically low levels of trust in mainstream media can be traced back to media manipulation is unclear, but it is worth noting that distrust of the media can become a self-perpetuating phenomenon. Groups that are already cynical of the media – trolls, ideologues, and conspiracy theorists—are often the ones drawn to manipulate it. If they are able to successfully use the media to cover a story or push an agenda, it undermines the media’s credibility on other issues. Meanwhile, more members of the public are exposed to its weaknesses and may turn to alternative news sources.”

    So “trolls, ideologues, and conspiracy theorists” are to blame for the mainstream media’s credibility issues, not the media’s own well-documented faults.

    One the “significant impacts” of media distrust noted in “The “Data and Society” report is that people are purportedly “less likely to access accurate information”. Of course, this presumes the notion that mainstream media present accurate information, which has been proven false in numerous instances.

    The most conspicuous feature of the 2017 “Data and Society” report is its preoccupation with right-wing media depictions of “Jewish” people and concerns (mentioned 13 times). The report completely side-steps right-wing Jewish media depictions of Muslims and other faiths.

    Jewish anti-Islamic and/or ethnonationalist depictions, Jewish and Christian Zionist pre-occupation with alleged “threats to the existence” of Israel as a “Jewish state”, media propaganda widely broadcast by pro-Israel Lobby groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and online Hasbara propaganda are of no concern to the “Data and Society” group.

    Now we have partisan propagandists like Ross, Litvin, and now Draitser, openly peddling Hasbara propaganda.

    The Hasbara propagandists’ preoccupation with “alt-right” media is a smokescreen.

    Right-wing and left-wing pro-Israel, pro-Zionist, pro-Jewish propaganda (Conventional Hasbara), as well as false flag “anti-Israel” / “anti-Zionist” and fake “anti-Jewish” / “anti-Semitic” propaganda (Inverted Hasbara), are completely ignored by these chatterers.

    Hasbara propaganda advances its own signature brand of conspiracy theories to distract and divert attention from Israeli government policies and military actions, Israel’s meddling in American electoral politics, pro-Israel-Lobby influence on American foreign policy, and the predominance of pro-Israel warhawks in U.S. policy think tanks.

    In fact, both the Clinton and Trump campaigns were heavily funded by pro-Israel Lobby figures and groups, and “1000 percent” Israel Firster Trump has installed a war cabinet teeming with pro-Israel warhawks.

    This is reality, not conspiracy theory. But Hasbara peddlers like Ross, Litvin, and Draitser would very much rather talk about something else.

  27. May 22, 2018 at 15:09

    Great stuff. I have thought, for some years now, that CP was part of what I call the STASI left and I have many reasons to believe that–most of the “left” is in fact in that camp in my view. The one way that the left could recapture some power is through an alliance with the anti-war right–but leftists, when this comes up, are even more opposed to that than they are opposed to the Imperial project. Why? Whether conscious or unconscious a left/right anti-imperialist and anti-corruption alliance is worse than imperialism itself to many on the “left.” We see a movement in Europe, particularly in Italy for a left/right alliance. We need it.

  28. FB
    May 22, 2018 at 14:52

    Great to see Ms Johnstone calling out the dirtbag outfit counterpunch…

    Normally I have little interest in spats among writers…since the reader is not very well served by such debates…

    However in this case it is apparent that CP has long been a deeply compromised outlet…for instance their ‘national security columnist’ former CIA man Melvin Goodman, who currently draws his paycheck George Soros…and who seriously tells people there is no such thing as a ‘deep state’…

    And who can forget St. Clair’s drug-induced fantasy piece about Putin’s alleged trip to the Grand Canyon with his ‘son’ [Putin only has two daughters and has never visited the US Southwest]…where Putin and ‘gang’ spent allegedly spent their time being drunk all the time, firing their guns into the air, bashing in catfish heads with rocks…and shitting and pissing everywhere…

    Not to mention the regular spewings of sociopath Louis Proyect…a self-styled ‘film critic’ whose background is actually a low level flunky in IT administration…

    No need to even mention ‘Dr’ Susan Block and other loonies that feature prominently in the psilocybin world of ‘Doobie’ St. Clair…

    It is true that we sometimes see some good selections on CP [Ajamu Baraka and Jason Holland to name two]…but readers need to ask themselves whether this outfit has been co-opted by Soros-type reality-shapers with deep pockets…where does CP get its cash…nobody knows…

    • backwardsevolution
      May 22, 2018 at 15:17

      FB – “Where does CP get its cash?” Yes, I’ve wondered this too. For a long time, whenever Counterpunch would ask for donations, they would say your donations were being matched by someone else. If that “someone else” was someone like George Soros, then you can see how an organization can get bought.

      I don’t even go to their site anymore. Such a change, and not for the better.

    • Joe Tedesky
      May 22, 2018 at 16:38

      Yeah and what about Amy Goodman and Democracy Now? What happened there?

    • Oakland Pete
      May 22, 2018 at 18:40

      FB: I don’t like Proyect’s politics either, but I respect that he is a worker – which you characterize as “a low level flunky”; but then, my politics and yours are obviously different. Also, your pretend outing of Counterpunch finances is more suspect than St Clair’s. He gets his money from the same method as Lauria, and in my case (at least in the past), from me.

      • FB
        May 22, 2018 at 21:16

        That’s pretty funny ‘Oakland Pete’…

        I’m not ‘pretend outing anything…since no one knows who CP’s sugar daddy is…

        I merely pointed out the fact that they have decided to embed into their operation a former CIA professional liar as ‘national security columnist’…and this guy does get a paycheck from Soros and all the other ‘good guys’ we have come to know and love since Operation Mockingbird…

        The fact that you are sore about that tells me you are a dork…as was my initial suspicion regarding your BS rant against Mugabe…

        As for the sociopath Proyect…well I’m glad you ‘respect’ a ‘worker’…hope you two enjoy some quality time together real soon…

    • Oakland Pete
      May 24, 2018 at 18:28

      Yeah, Counterpunch is a bunch of dirtbags. They even published an article recently that advocated supporting fascists in France! Hard to believe, but click on the link to see for yourself:

  29. robjira
    May 22, 2018 at 14:23

    I remember it being Ralph Nader who recommended finding common ground with “conservatives” in order to forward progress on salient issues like economic inequality, public health care / education, and peace. His implication at the time seemed to be that once issues vital to human survival had been meaningfully addressed, there would be time enough for more divisive, “identity” issues.
    But since a common progressive meme is, “Nader gave us Bush!” it comes as no surprise these days that any mention of broad cooperation would be dismissed as some form of “consorting with the enemy.”
    All this back and forth between “leftists” reminds me of the following; at the breaking point of the Roman senatorial crisis, Gnaeus Pompeius and his adherents vociferously argued against sending envoys to negotiate with Caius Caesar-that such action indicates weakness. After the Pompeiian contingent had fled Rome, Caesar argued before the remaining senators (while making a case for negotiations with Pompeius) that it is the refusal to negotiate itself that demonstrates a “poor and weak spirit.” I submit that within this anaogy the “establishment” left (as represented by CounterPunch, et al) mirrors the Pompeiian view, while those just after peace with our global brothers and sisters are reflected in Caesar’s…odd as that may sound.
    As for the whole internecine strife amongst Trotsky adherents, it might be worth bearing in mind that modern interpretations of “Trotskyism” probably have about as much to do with Trotsky’s own personal opinions as modern “Chritianity” does with whatever Jesus himself may have felt.

    • Joe Tedesky
      May 22, 2018 at 16:36

      All this baloney about a dead Bolshevik is just time consuming, and wasteful blabber. In fact robjira if I were a CIA or Mossad agent looking to disrupt the Left, I couldn’t think of a better way to do it than to introduce such drivel over Trotsky as this is into the debate. You must admit that it takes away from what we should be concerned with. Joe

      • robjira
        May 22, 2018 at 17:42

        Agreed Joe; people have become so focused on maintaining their respective “street cred,” that peace and opposing rapacious economic behavior are falling by the wayside.

        • Oakland Pete
          May 22, 2018 at 18:43

          Joe and robjira: If all this is “baloney about a dead Bolshevik”, then why did Diana Johnstone, who you support, raise the issue? When we are slandered, we respond. Don’t like it? Then STFU.

          • robjira
            May 22, 2018 at 19:36

            I suggest rereading Joe’s reply to my initial comment. It sounds like you’re still distracted by the (at best) peripheral issue of what does or does not constitute “Trotskyism (whatever that might subjectively be).”
            The prize all eyes should be on is building broad-based resistance to US capitalist inspired imperialism, and the threat to human survival it represents.

          • Joe Tedesky
            May 22, 2018 at 20:59

            Okay, in as much as I’m totally a fan of Diania Johnstone, I could have done without the conversation she raises, but that’s just me… I wouldn’t want to spoil a good rap session.

            Here again as much as I admire and value high minded intellectualism in a great way, I see this arguing to who, what, is truly Leftist is a distraction away from where and how to make the masses of the commons meet in such a unified way as to bring about reform. Trust me the average citizen isn’t worried at this moment in time if they match up correctly to a Troysky or a Gandhi…. the people simply want change.

            For starters; Change where these endless wars become ended wars, change from where concern over blowback from instigated terrorism is a distance memory, changes for job opportunities that provide careers and not just pay check to pay check subsidies, changes for a lot of things, but not being still birthed with some heady bullshit that has no finality to its ongoing debate. Oakland just give me one reason I should be persuaded to listen to you, and then I’ll STFU. Joe

            Ps enough with the ‘slander’ bullshit. Grow up.

  30. Tom
    May 22, 2018 at 13:28

    Russia and Syria are enemies? Wrong.

  31. David G
    May 22, 2018 at 13:12

    I only began reading Counterpunch regularly around the end of last summer, after the anti-Caitlin Johnstone flurry recounted here was over. In fact, I don’t think I had ever heard of Caitlin until she started appearing here at CN.

    While Caitlin’s pieces are very capably written, they don’t break any fundamentally new ground politically compared to other things published here, so it mystified me that each of her pieces (but not comparable CN pieces by other authors) seemed to attract at least one rather vicious comment seemingly reacting to something other than the well-supported, humane article I had just read.

    So my thanks to Diana Johnstone for cluing me in on what has been going on behind the scenes.

    As for CP itself, I’ve now been reading it long enough to realize it is a very problematic place editorially, not withstanding the fact that, as Diana says, it undoubtedly continues to publish many good articles.

    Even the CP pieces by Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Frank on l’affaire Alice Donovan/Sophie Mangal, while admirably detailed and transparent on a procedural level, betrayed a lamentable lack of self-awareness of any more basic problems at CP that perhaps made that strange episode possible.

    • May 26, 2018 at 01:01

      Counterpunch is an outlet that publishes some great stuff and some trash. It’s not an oracle. I keep visiting the site to read C.J. Hopkins, Uri Avnery, Jonathan Cook, Robert Fisk, and others. Diana Johnstone used to be on that list and I’d be glad to see her byline there again, though that seems unlikely.

  32. Sam Williams
    May 22, 2018 at 11:40

    Oh goody! A spat between editorialists. Whose interpretation is right? The history, itself, is irrelevant. After a few more in this series, we can crown either Johnstone or McKenna winner. Will this escalate into a war between Consortium News and CounterPunch? Stay tuned.

    • May 22, 2018 at 12:09

      Supporting versus not supporting U.S. regime change illegal immoral “humanitarian” wars is hardly “a spat” unless one doesn’t consider the lives and deaths of others an important issue.

    • David G
      May 22, 2018 at 13:29

      I’ve appreciated the recent Diana Johnstone articles for giving some context to the baffling accommodation being made by various wear-it-on-their-sleeves “leftists” to the agenda of the U.S. perpetual war machine.

      I trust the CN eds will continue to primarily cover the world at large, and not give the site over to hall-of-mirrors debates among commentators. But this much I found useful.

      (Still, if by any chance there is a CN vs. CP softball game scheduled at some point, I’d love to know the time and place.)

    • May 22, 2018 at 15:15

      Make fun of it all you want but the issue here is and has been a conflict between those of us on the left who believe an alliance with the anti-war right (libertarians and paleo-conservatives) and ourselves may be the only way to have some strong influence in the world and those who refuse to make any alliance with non-Marxists or whatever it is they are. There is no and has been no future for the left as an isolated entity. The only people who benefit from this isolation is the Deep State which uses what I call the STASI-left or fake opposition encouraged and funded by the East Germans back in the day.

      • Oakland Pete
        May 22, 2018 at 19:38

        No, the question is not alliances between Marxists and non-Marxists. The issue is alliances between sincere anti-imperialists and fascists. I don’t march with those who deny the holocaust, wave swastikas, shout insults to Jews, wear pointy hats labeled KKK, or murder activists like Heather Heyer. I don’t support them in any way, unlike Diana Johnstone and friends. If you do, go for it. You are the enemy, more so than Proyect, McKenna, or St Clair.

        This is the most fundamental question of political ethics imaginable. Not only have those who support Johnstone’s narrative lost their moral compass, they have discredited our movement. This is not about Syria; I agree with DJ on that. This is about fascism, and it’s wrong, period. Get a clue, commenters: You don’t break bread with nazis. Ever!

        • FB
          May 22, 2018 at 21:35

          Did you just eat another box of crayons Oakland Pete…

          Ms Johnstone coming out in favor of Ms LePen is NOT quite burning crosses with the KKK…

          I agree with many here [like Banger] who speak sensibly…we need to bring the common people together and stop this BS about some fake left that doesn’t even exist…except maybe by deep state sponsorship as with CP…

          Ms Le Pen is far better in any case than the mini-Hitler E. Micron…

          • Oakland Pete
            May 22, 2018 at 23:50

            Yeah, box of crayons. You don’t deserve a response.

        • May 23, 2018 at 15:36

          Ralph Nader?

      • Toby McCrossin
        May 22, 2018 at 21:35

        The left can’t make alliances with fascists. Conservative workers, sure. Their interests are largely the same as ours…a living wage, infrastructure, health care, end to the wars, etc. But outright fascists? Never.

  33. May 22, 2018 at 11:33

    Boo-hoo. Diana Johnstone complains about Alexander Reid Ross setting the tone for CounterPunch. He has written 11 articles over the years and only one of them is targeted at Marine Le Pen apologists like her. Meanwhile today’s CounterPunch has an article by Gary Leupp that is in sync with the pro-Putin stuff shoveled out here exclusively. You people can’t stand that CounterPunch publishes a single article by Ross that you disagree with while it has also published close to a hundred by Johnstone that monotonously repeat talking points. Are you upset that someone disagrees with you? Too bad you can’t have them murdered like they do in Syria.

    • Joe
      May 22, 2018 at 12:07

      Or like they do in GAZA….boo-hoo you.

      • May 22, 2018 at 12:52

        You people blathering about Gaza. If you hate Tony McKenna, you should hate Hamas even more.

        Hamas ditches Assad, backs Syrian revolt
        Omar Fahmy, Nidal al-Mughrabi

        CAIRO/GAZA, Feb 24 (Reuters) – Leaders of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas turned publicly against their long-time ally President Bashar al-Assad of Syria on Friday, endorsing the revolt aimed at overthrowing his dynastic rule.

        The policy shift deprives Assad of one of his few remaining Sunni Muslim supporters in the Arab world and deepens his international isolation. It was announced in Hamas speeches at Friday prayers in Cairo and a rally in the Gaza Strip.

        Hamas went public after nearly a year of equivocating as Assad’s army, largely led by fellow members of the president’s Alawite sect, has crushed mainly Sunni protesters and rebels.

        In a Middle East split along sectarian lines between Shi’ite and Sunni Islam, the public abandonment of Assad casts immediate questions over Hamas’s future ties with its principal backer Iran, which has stuck by its ally Assad, as well as with Iran’s fellow Shi’ite allies in Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement.

        “I salute all the nations of the Arab Spring and I salute the heroic people of Syria who are striving for freedom, democracy and reform,” Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, visiting Egypt from the Gaza Strip, told thousands of Friday worshippers at Cairo’s al-Azhar mosque.

        “We are marching towards Syria, with millions of martyrs,” chanted worshippers at al-Azhar, home to one of the Sunni world’s highest seats of learning. “No Hezbollah and no Iran.

        “The Syrian revolution is an Arab revolution.”

        • b.grand
          May 22, 2018 at 18:25

          2012. That “Hamas ditches..” was from Feb. 24, 2012. Times have changed. It’s you and your fellow disinfo peddlers that we hate.

        • Zan
          May 23, 2018 at 07:58

          your take on the idlib and douma “gas attacks” fully outed you as an unbalanced ideologue perfectly in league with bellingcat/atlantic council warmongers. you wont come back from that.

        • T
          May 26, 2018 at 13:42

          > Louis N. Proyect
          > May 22, 2018

          > You people blathering about Gaza. If you hate Tony McKenna, you should hate Hamas even more.

          As someone has already pointed out, that Reuters report was from 2012.

          And more importantly, Hamas has always had strong ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, and at that early stage of the Syrian (foreign-sponsored and -armed) rebellion, the Syrian MB (at least its terrorist wing) was still playing a major role in the rebellion.

    • Abe
      May 22, 2018 at 15:58

      Fake journalist Louis Proyect enjoys giving other fake journalists, like Tony Mckenna and Alexander Reid Ross, a friendly “left” reach around.

      Adoring Bellingcat fanboy Proyect routinely gives fake “citizen investigative journalist” Eliot Higgins a li’l reach around over at the Atlantic Council’s “home of online investigations”

      After the Douma false flag incident in Syria, the unrepentant Marx brother posted a “false flag” article complete with its own hilarious Inverted Hasbara (fake “anti-Jewish”) troll for Proyect to pretend joust in the comments.

      Of course, Proyect got kudos from a “regime change” enthusiast who posted a link to a British “anarchist” blogger insisting that the “international system itself is collapsing under the weight of its own impotence” because the Israeli-Saudi-U.S. Axis isn’t free to bomb whatever it wants to in Syria.

      And whenever Higgins has something “interesting” to Tweet, Proyect positively trembles with delight.

      Thanks to the bought and paid for “special relationship” between Israel and the United States, there is increasing convergence between Hasbara propaganda and Israeli-Saudi-U.S. Axis “regime change” propaganda (peddled by “First Draft” coalition media “partners” at the New York Times, Washington Post, BBC, UK Independent and Guardian, as well as Higgins and Bellingcat).

      Proyect and pals have their rosy “left” palms ever ready to assist.

      • FB
        May 22, 2018 at 16:10

        Abe…most excellent dismantling of the clown Proyect…

      • May 22, 2018 at 20:32

        Abe – you killed me that little sequence of brilliant observations. I’m left with nothing but a guilty smile.

      • May 24, 2018 at 16:24

        Excellently stated. Thank you.

    • May 22, 2018 at 16:29

      Well, you can choose MSNBC, CNN, FOX, NYT and all the rest of them as your source of “truth” but RT is, over time, far more accurate–mainly because their opinion is much, much, much broader than the US mainstream and their track record in plain news-reporting is superior to the Western mainstream. You could easily see this in reports about the Ukraine war, the Syrian war in detail. The best source, of course, on these wars has been Vineyard of the Saker and Moon in Alabama. They checked troop movements almost day-to-day while the NYT and others just make up stuff. You probably believe Assad launched a gas attack recently because he had the area surrounded and the battle won so, all of a sudden, for no reason other than attempt to bring the U.S. into the war he endangers his success by an utterly stupid act. This is what the mainstream tells us without evidence just making a myth. Because it’s repeated over and over and over again by the propaganda organs it become true. Or, for example, the fact Russia stole the election, again no evidence other than maybe Flynn talking to a Russian diplomat as if that was treason. But if it is repeated every day by the news and entertainment media it becomes true.

      The real issue here between competing “lefts” is between those who believe the media Narrative and want the left to tilt at windmills with identity politics on the one hand and a grossly degraded form of Marxism and a left that wants to make common purpose with the libertarian and paleo anti-war/anti-Empire right. One side leads to a dead end of always being ignored–this is how the CIA has always liked it and on the other side a chance to remake the U.S. political landscape as they have done in a protean way, in Italy.

      • Skip Scott
        May 23, 2018 at 07:52

        Great comment Banger!

      • May 23, 2018 at 15:44

        I really like RT too and nothing in the west seems to rival it. Hopefully, the Russians themselves will have a station like it someday.

    • May 22, 2018 at 17:17

      The real issue for most of this (some writers have dubious connections though), is the hyper-sectarian attitude towards difference of opinion on the left which serves no good purpose, which I assume is mostly the product of an unwillingness to be fair in the same way that you or I desire others to be fair to us. Egotism is a problem for intellectuals for obvious reasons, i.e., they feel superior and often have intolerance for views which they see as coming from a less intellectually gifted source. How about some time for ourselves? Become grounded? Maybe get to a place so we can turn off the world and have some time to dive into our souls or some such? Be here now baby~

  34. May 22, 2018 at 11:31

    Dear Diana Johnstone – thank you, thank you, thank you! This analysis has been needed for some time now. I am so sick of the CP crew promoting themselves as “progressives” and “leftists” while they shamelessly shill for the same CIA regime change propaganda one finds virtually everywhere in MSM, and simultaneously cull and disappear real anti-imperialist voices. Go figure? If it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck . . . I used to wonder if one of the editors was perhaps secretly on the CIA payroll operating CP in a manner similar to how “Partisan Review” was used to shape “progressive” opinion toward the direction of U.S. empire during the Cold War. After the collective CP attack on Caitlin Johnstone I stopped wondering.

    It became quite clear that collectively CP simply “can’t handle the truth” – when voices like yours and Andre Vltchek’s suddenly disappeared, while attacking Caitlin Johnstone became THE topic of day for these pathetic little minions of Western power. I really think CP should consider combining forces with Democracy Now, which has also managed to effectively morph into a conduit for CIA regime change propaganda on both Libya and Syria. Perhaps they could call the joint effort something like: “Counter Democracy,” or “Democracy Punch?” Just a thought.

  35. Mark Thomason
    May 22, 2018 at 10:46

    The importance of antiwar over other considerations is only one aspect of this.

    The other is the importance of the Team Hillary attack on Trump. Russia-is-coming for them is not about Russia at all, and it does not matter if Russia is really coming. They don’t really want the war they in effect advocate, they just want to attack Trump on anything and everything possible, and not as mere incidental to defend Her as the Cause.

    The problem here is that Team Hillary has betrayed us all. They are the problem.

    • May 22, 2018 at 11:24

      I would argue that Team Hillary does want war. She’s proven to be a warmonger and a war criminal, and said she’d attack Iran. And they are not the only faction that is pro-war on the left. The whole point is that there are so-called progressive lefties who are attacking anyone who wants to work with someone who comes from a rightwing or conservative POV toward an anti-war movement. This includes Progressive Army, who has attacked Caity Johnstone and many other of us for saying we would accept anyone into an anti-war movement, no matter your ideology, to come together in a common cause.

      • Rob
        May 22, 2018 at 12:01

        One slight, but significant, clarification is in order. Hillary Clinton is not a leftist or a progressive, though many of her loyalists believe that she is. Hillary is both a corporatist and a militarist, which places her firmly in right-wing world. The fact that she has more progressive tendencies than Mitch McConnell does not place her on the left side of the political spectrum. I believe that most Consortium New readers would agree.

        • May 22, 2018 at 16:32

          True, but you ignore an important part of the left that is “culturally left” as per identity politics and the culture wars. I, personally, don’t consider that “left” but most people on the right identity the left as just that.

        • May 24, 2018 at 16:25

          I thought that was a given! Yes. She’s as far left as Dick Cheney.

  36. ThomasGilroy
    May 22, 2018 at 10:28

    This is an exceptionally good article pointing out the divisions within the complex radical (hard) left. The priority for some are anti-imperialism, for others, anti-racism (anti-fascism). Stephen Gowens writes at his site ( via @GowansStephen):

    Kolhatkar’s professions of neutrality notwithstanding, it’s clear whose side she’s on in the matter of the US war to impose neo-colonial slavery on Syria (and after Syria, Iran)………In any event, whatever left Kolhatka is part of, is not a left that has much to do with challenging and overcoming a real world system of domination, oppression and exploitation. It’s a left whose goal is the absence of conflict, not the presence of justice; it’s for pious expressions of benevolence, not engagement with a real world struggle against dictatorship on an international level

    For the extreme leftist Stephen Gowens, anti-imperialism takes priority. The 2016 Presidential campaign between the hawkish Hillary Clinton and the racist Donald Trump highlighted those divisions. Chomsky supported the HRC candidacy whereas many on the far left like Bill Blum supported Trump (a red-brown alliance) ( by @NatCounterPunch):

    “My main concern is foreign policy. American foreign policy is the greatest threat to world peace, prosperity, and the environment. And when it comes to foreign policy, Hillary Clinton is an unholy disaster”………I would vote for Trump.”

    John Pilger makes the same case for Trump: “The danger to the rest of us is not Trump, but Hillary Clinton”. Other examples of the red-brown alliance are the British “Stop the War Coalition” and the former British Respect Party – an anti-Zionist Party. The issue of Israel highlights the brown-red alliance. The convergence of the far right and the far left was strengthened by opposition to Israel and Zionism.

    Excellent article – and links.

    • Joe
      May 22, 2018 at 12:10

      I agree with Thomas Gilroy ….this is an exceptionally well written article and demonstrates the dexterity of the lady. Bravo.

    • May 22, 2018 at 18:09

      Gowans just makes things up.

      • ThomasGilroy
        May 22, 2018 at 19:43

        Good counterpunch by Counterpunch.


      • Zan
        May 23, 2018 at 07:59

        as oppose to eliot higgins?

        are you practicing stand up now?

    • Abe
      May 22, 2018 at 22:47

      Conventional Hasbara (overtly pro-Israel / pro-Zionist) propaganda troll “ThomasGilroy” delivers the latest ham-handed Hasbara effort to smear any and all “opposition” with sinister-sounding labels like “brown-red alliance” and the ever-popular “fascist”, facts be damned.

      Comrade “ThomasGilroy” has been busy pushing Israeli-Saudi-U.S. Axis “regime change” propaganda. Check out his effort from a few days ago at

      The I.S.US Axis wants to eliminate resistance to its upcoming military adventures.

      • ThomasGilroy
        May 23, 2018 at 09:49

        Rick Sterling left out a couple of important events associated with Bashir Assad which included his support for jihadists entering the Iraq theater to undermine the US invasion of Iraq ( I used four separate sources to verify Assad’s convenient support for the jihadists. I have more if necessary.

        You attacked the sources which is a reasonable strategy. However, it’s a rare journalist that doesn’t have a political agenda. The question is not so much if the journalist is an advocate, but whether he/she is credible. Is he/she “loose” with the facts? Attacking the source is meaningless without discrediting the journalist – or providing a counter argument to his/her point of view. You did neither. Syria unequivocally served as a launching point for jihadists entering the Iraq theater supported by the Assad regime.

        By the way, I thought you might be interested in one of the latest articles from the investigative journalists at Bellingcat – the Russian military caught “red”-handed in Eastern Ukraine in January, 2015 – something the Russian military has denied for years (“Full Report: Russian Officers and Militants Identified as Perpetrators of the January 2015 Mariupol Artillery Strike” via @bellingcat

        • FB
          May 23, 2018 at 12:42

          Thomass Gilroy says…

          ‘…you might be interested in one of the latest articles from the investigative journalists at Bellingcat…’

          Oh sure…we’re all ‘interested’ in what underwear salesman Eliot Higgins has to say about anything…

          I remember these Bellingcat clowns trying to argue with Ted Postol, an actual scientist, about the fake gas story of Khan Shaykun in 2107…

          Here is Prof Postol’s debunking of the Bellingcat BS…[pdf]

          It is astonishing that we live in a time when a major news outlet like the NYT relies on completely amateur ‘analysts’ with no formal training in any hard science whatsoever…and with no physical access to the alleged site…

          Not to mention the fake Soros-funded ‘human rights’ outfit HRW…

          The fact that anyone would come on this website and try to push these amateur clowns certainly shows a lot of chutzpah…

      • Butterfly effect
        June 2, 2018 at 15:25

        I noticed a “red-brown alliance” in my multivitamin this morning. I also found a packet of Miracle Reds hiding in the pantry, a “revolutionary” new superfruit containing lycopene, which turned out to be nothing more than a deceptive Hasbara marketing campaign.

  37. Paul Larudee
    May 22, 2018 at 09:32

    When your views depend upon whether they are right or left, or whether they belong to any school of thought, or whether they agree with someone else’s, you have stopped thinking for yourself and have turned over the control of your mind to someone else.

    • FB
      May 22, 2018 at 15:02

      Paul Larudee…

      What does that have to do with anything…

      ‘Left’ is just a label, true, but Ms Johnstone’s point is that the dirtbags at CP are using that label to project credibility with people who are anti-war and anti-imperialist…while in reality being a Trojan Horse to promote a mainstream agenda like demonizing Assad and Putin…

      Really not a very intelligent comment…

      • Paul Larudee
        May 23, 2018 at 00:15

        When your views depend upon whether they are right or left, or whether they belong to any school of thought, or whether they agree with someone else’s, you have stopped thinking for yourself and have turned over the control of your mind to someone else.

        It has to do with judging the worthiness of a person, or an opinion, or an analysis on the basis of whether it fits an agenda or a cause and not on the basis of whether it stands on its own merits. Seekers of truth or even knowledge do not judge persons or ideas on such a basis, which is the promotion of prejudice and is intended to intimidate those who wish to “belong” into shedding their opinions for the sake of the common goal. This is commonly known as a lynch mob.

      • Paul Larudee
        May 23, 2018 at 11:53

        Very odd that you would say that it’s not an intelligent comment, since it is supportive of Caitlin’s argument and yours. Try reading it again.

    • Oakland Pete
      May 22, 2018 at 15:02

      This from someone who thinks anti-semitism is worth embracing. Even your former employer, the International Solidarity Movement, is wary of you. If you knew the origins of the terms “right” and “left”, being from the revolutionary assembly in France, you would understand that they have meaning – even if the meanings are being distorted. I’m on the left, without hesitation, but was not sure where you were after that Syria forum. Now that you seem to dismiss the whole concept, I’m suspecting your sympathies are all wrong. We must oppose Israel from a perspective of humanity, not anti-semitism; and that is crucial for our movement.

      • Paul Larudee
        May 23, 2018 at 11:40

        Sorry to find the two of us at odds, Pete. I’m quite familiar with the origins for right and left. I never said that they don’t have meaning. My problem is with the tendency to accept a person or assertion or analysis or precept on the basis that it “belongs” to the left or right rather than on its factual or logical basis. For example, we must reject an analysis because it is made by someone published on Global Research, regardless of whether the analysis makes sense or not, because to do so would encourage a “rightist” website. That is the kind of reaction that cedes the ability to think independently to the group to which one wishes to be associated, i.e. lynch mob mentality.

        It is also not true and unkind to say that I think anti-Semitism is worth embracing. I have never said anything anti-Semitic in my life and I don’t hate Jews. I like to think that accusations of this sort bring my Jewish friends closer to me because they know that the accusation is spurious. However, it is true that the definition of anti-Semitism has stretched beyond recognition and is being used as a weapon. Very sad, and creates unnecessary adversaries.

        • Oakland Pete
          May 23, 2018 at 20:41

          Paul: You know how I felt when that fascist shouted “You’re a Jew” at Richard Becker. I was dismayed when you shook his hand, and still am. I was also dismayed that Richard did not defend himself against that and only spoke up for ANSWER. I was also dismayed that CS, who I expect you know, complained about that in the email discussion that followed, and got short shrift for it. In case you don’t realize, a group of Jewish women sat next to us at that forum, and were outraged by the remarks and your response to it. One broke down in tears. I’m not Jewish, but I fully understand and sympathize with their sensitivity on such remarks. We all should, or really, must.

          I don’t like that we are at odds over this either, but principles are important – especially this one. We are seeing one agreement after another with a smear job on Trotskyism and Antifa, written by someone who allies with anti-semitism in Europe and defends “free speech” for fascists. And now I’m being smeared by half the commenters here for being a “Hasbara troll”. You, of all people, know the lie of that. You know of my activism at the Zim pickets, because we walked that line together and you read my article in Counterpunch about it. You also know my son just got back from a three month stint for the International Solidarity Movement, which you represent, in the West Bank. He was uncomfortably close to horrific violence, and stood up to the IDF in dangerous work. You bet I was worried. So I’m righteously offended at being called an agent of Israel by stalinoid retreads.

          You got yourself into this one with me a while back with your defense of Alison Weir. My son was a member of Students for Justice in Palestine, and you know how they treat her as a pariah. My son was almost expelled from his university for his Palestine activism in SJP. Zionism loves to paint their adversaries as anti-semitic. So why does Alison appear on fascist talk shows? She puts the interests of herself ahead of movement activists and credibility when she does that. It’s why I am so adamant that yes, right and left matter. We don’t march with fascists! We don’t befriend them or shake their hand! And this is real, not a “Hasbara invention”.

          • Paul Larudee
            May 24, 2018 at 00:44

            OK, this is the first I heard anyone shouted “You’re a Jew” at the event. I heard shouting, but I didn’t know what was said. I said hello to someone I knew without knowing that he had said anything. I don’t even remember who it was. So I clearly understand the reason you and the others were upset, but it is also how misunderstandings occur.

            As far as Alison Weir is concerned, she has never said anything anti-Semitic in her life and neither have I. Her appearance on a racist show (I’m taking your word for it) should be placed on the same plane as appearing on a racist Zionist show such as Bill Maher. But it isn’t. Alison is doing way too much good work to be ostracized for appearing on that program. She has thousands of followers that are not racists. It’s not good to split the movement this way. No one has ever ostracized the “pro-Palestinian” racists who think that a state that requires a pedigree for admission is still a good idea. And that’s good. We should work together based on our points of agreement, not divide ourselves based on our points of disagreement. I have no doubt that there are fascists, but the meaning of the word appears to have expanded well beyond the followers of fascism and is more of an epithet. This is not a constructive course of conduct.

  38. May 22, 2018 at 08:43

    This is kind of over my head but I found it interesting,meanwhile since I am not smart enough to engage in these kind of political arguments I actually do something in the real world like organizing an anti-war, anti-nuclear weapons protest on Veterans Day at McPherson Square in DC. I have already applied to the National Parks service and have a permit for McPherson from 8 AM until 8PM on November 11 and I have use of the Yippie Rock Against Racism sound and stage. The permit is under the name Veterans and Friends Against War and Nuclear Weapons. Hope to see you all there. John Penley… PS I have been arrested more times[ 3 ]and have spent more time in jail [13 months] for protesting against nuclear weapons and massive nuclear dumping at the Savannah River Site bomb plant near Aiken, SC

    • Adam Kraft
      May 22, 2018 at 10:19

      Cheers brother.

    • May 22, 2018 at 11:26

      You’re walking the walk. Thanks for posting. Best of luck on your march! You could also coordinate with the Women’s March on the Pentagon, going on in October. Cindy Sheehan is coordinating it and it’s gaining steam.

    • David G
      May 22, 2018 at 11:51

      Right on! Thanks for participating here, as well.

    • FB
      May 22, 2018 at 16:14

      Full props John Penley…

      Yes…Real Action is what it’s all about…

  39. May 22, 2018 at 08:11

    I quit as a regular reader of CP during this post election insanity and only scan articles from time to time. I note vitriolic objections to both the article and within commenters. And to that I say, isn’t it time we humans wake up and embrace a common desire for working together to be better, consume less, and protect our already ravaged planet? Ideologies from the past can only go so far, they are rooted in past thinking and must be brought up to date. I also note that it’s still the male of the species attempting to dominate. Many females then follow. If humans can’t wake up soon and embrace a sustainability ethic, we will doom ourselves. Western governments are doing the most to help corporate capitalism finish us off, along with the viciousness of zionism. Even Xi in China is trying to develop better ecological practices, and Putin in Russia wants to develop mutual cooperation. Only the US, Israel, and KSA continue to keep humans in a dark age.

    • Adam Kraft
      May 22, 2018 at 10:26

      HRC was a leader of global domination, not a follower. Yes, seeking sustainability is part of the solution, but seeking personal enlightenment is closer to the root. Living outwardly, kindness and fairness to oneself and others is where it begins for me.

    • May 22, 2018 at 11:28

      Well said, Jessika. That’s what we’re trying to do. Unfortunately, lots of our effforts are attacked by other lefties, who would rather take down fellow journalists because of their staunch ideology than work together. Diana is addressing this. I would hope it will stop, but the attackers seem to have an agenda, and it’s not an anti-war one.

    • Rob
      May 22, 2018 at 12:11

      Sorry, but I’m not buying the “women are inherently good, men are inherently bad” trope. Women have the same ability to think as men, and many of them come to the same conclusions. Do I really need to point out such examples of “bad” women leaders as Margaret Thatcher, Golda Meir, Indira Gandhi and Hillary Clinton to make my point?

  40. John Kirsch
    May 22, 2018 at 06:56

    I found this article to be densely-written and hard to follow. It assumes too much prior knowledge of the relevant issues.

  41. Dieselito
    May 22, 2018 at 01:53

    who said “a day will come when fascists will end up calling themselves antifascists”. Winston Churchill?

    • john wilson
      May 22, 2018 at 04:32

      When prime minister Mrs May gave her ludicrous speech about the Skripals and the Salisbury poisoning farce, Ben Bradshaw, a Labour MP, was practically foaming at the mouth in his hysterical eagerness to blame the Russians and he lapped up May’s bull like a dog half dying of thirst. He wasn’t alone, as most of the Labour party concurred and like that idiot Bradshaw, did so without the slightest evidence or proof. One would have thought that the ‘left’ if not sympathetic to Russia, then they would at least not exhibit such open hostility when Russia is more in tune with their ideology than anyone else.

      • Rob
        May 22, 2018 at 12:21

        The British Labor Party is much like the American Democratic Party in that it has long been dominated by corporatists and hawks. Tony Blair was the UK’s version of Bill and Hillary Clinton. Thus, it is unsurprising that many Laborites have jumped on the anti-Russia bandwagon. Those same people also have a mortal dread of Jeremy Corbyn becoming Labor’s leader, just as establishment Democrats fear Bernie Sanders and his supporters taking control of the party.

      • Oakland Pete
        May 22, 2018 at 15:05

        Perhaps you don’t see the difference between the Labour of Corbyn and that of Tony Blair. Or perhaps you do, but are one of so many who want to defame “the left” with misleading comments.

    • backwardsevolution
      May 22, 2018 at 13:47

      Dieselito – Huey Long said it: “When Fascism comes to America, it will be called anti-Fascism!”

      This is what I see happening with the black-hooded Antifa. Shutting down free speech, all in the name of apparently fighting “fascism”. Who’s the fascist now?

      • Oakland Pete
        May 22, 2018 at 20:59

        Yup, no free speech for fascists. Those whose speech is being shut down by Antifa wave swastikas, declare support for the KKK, shout insults to Jews, murder antifascists like Heather Heyer, and declared “No Free Speech for Marxists” as their slogan when they invaded Berkeley on August 27.

        They also attacked the crowd with goons. In one instance I witnessed, the crowd beat up a goon who used pepper spray randomly on the crowd, and it was Antifa who finally waded in to save the guy from serious injury or worse. He certainly got a righteous butt whupping.

        A few minutes later I watched Frank Somerville of KTVU browbeating an Antifa activist who didn’t want to disclose his identity to a mainstream reporter. Somerville was a pain in the ass, but the discussion ended with a fist bump and an agreement to disagree. Then on the air Somerville reported he was “the victim of hate”. He lied, and I watched the entire encounter.

        The narrative about Antifa is false. Johnstone repeats it, and so does backasswardsevolution. I’ll tell you who are the fascists: nazis and their supporters. That includes someone who supports a party that was founded on the principle of holocaust denial and now lies about Antifa: Diana Johnstone.

        • T
          May 26, 2018 at 15:33

          “Oakland Pete”, I can no longer believe that it was merely your being offended by one snide aside about certain Trotskyists that makes you keep repeating this falsehood:

          > That includes someone who supports a party that was founded on the principle of holocaust denial
          > and now lies about Antifa: Diana Johnstone.

          That sentence contains two statements of fact; both of them are untrue. I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt about “Antifa”, since you apparently live a long way away from Western Europe, and presumably do not know much about the activities of what goes by that name there (just as I do not know much about what people calling themselves “Antifa” do in the Bay Area).

          But I am beginning to suspect an ulterior motive…

  42. John McCarthy
    May 22, 2018 at 00:22

    Eric Draitser, by the way, used to himself hold positions very similar to those you quote him in this article as denouncing. It appears that he was either threatened or bought off. Here is a link to an article he wrote in 2915 about why Leftists should defend Russia. This was of course back before attacking Russia became so lucrative. . .And here also is a link to a whole page of his articles featured at GlobalResearch.Ca, a fact which, I guess, by the standards of his buddy Reid Ross, would make Dreitser a Champion of the Red-Brown Alliance. .

    • John McCarthy
      May 22, 2018 at 00:24

      He wrote it in 2015, not 2915. Typo. Sorry.

    • May 22, 2018 at 11:29

      Interesting. Thanks for posting.

    • FB
      May 22, 2018 at 15:05

      John McCarthy…thanks for the details…

      Draitser has no more credibility…just like St. Clair, Mel Goodman, Proyect, Franklin Lamb, or the other various miscreants embedded in the CIA and Soros co-opted CP…

  43. jimbo
    May 22, 2018 at 00:21

    Might this be why I was not offended when in his remarks about Charlottsville Trump said there were good people on both sides?

    I’d also like to say I respect people who don’t give a shit, friends who say, “Jimbo, I don’t want to hear your bullshit today,” and then we talk about goofy dreams we had.

    • Oakland Pete
      May 22, 2018 at 15:06

      So when fascists organize to murder, not giving a shit is commendable? What are you even doing here?

  44. George Hudes
    May 21, 2018 at 23:57

    This is a truly tedious rant and one wonders what desperation leads Johnston to misquote Litvin, who says: ” We can charge together with our brothers and sisters of all the minority communities”; and not, as Johnstone corrupts it to facilitate taking off on her rant of snide personal vilification, “We can lead a fight with all our brothers and sisters.”

    • May 22, 2018 at 00:10

      Here come Yoav’s flying monkeys. LOL.

    • Abe
      May 23, 2018 at 17:37

      Yoav Litvin quotation:
      “we can lead a fight. We can charge together with our brothers and sisters of all the minority communities”

      As cited by Diana Johnstone:
      “We can lead a fight with all our brothers and sisters in minority communities.”

      In fact, Johnstone did omit the words “We can charge together” and “of […] the”. and repositioned the word “all”. Nevertheless, she fully preserves the meaning of Litvin’s remarks, while only slightly diminishing their grandiosity.

      Here are Litvin’s “Jew who is a fighter” remarks in their full glory, from the video interview with Craig Gordon of Now Age Conversations (video published online in February 2017):

      “Jews should be, you know, everybody should be sensitive to this. But Jews especially. You know, I was raised on this whole notion of ‘Never again’ and ‘You have to be weary [sic] of the signs’ and, and ‘You don’t want to be one of those Jews’. And this is uh, you know, this is something that I also claim in the article that I got some flack for. A kind of positive, uh, aspect, if you will, of Zionism, which created an image of a Jew who is a fighter. Who is not necessarily gonna take it. And you know, you can, you can, you can claim that’s, that’s propaganda, and I accept that. But I’m trying to take this image and be like, ‘Hey, we’re not those Jews in the ghettos anymore. We went through all that. And we can lead a fight. We can charge together with our brothers and sisters of all the minority communities because we have been there, we recognize this.’ So that’s what I’m trying to say.”
      [see video segment at minutes 11:35-14:00]

      It’s not clear what ghetto Litvin “went through”.

      What is clear is that Diana Johnstone handles her quotations far better that Litvin.

      Witness Litvin’s handling of Caitlin Johnstone’s April 21, 2017 article. Many alt-right figures had criticized Trump’s April 7, 2017 Shayrat missile strike for being an apparent reversal of his policy towards war in Syria and the Middle East.

      Cailtlin Johnstone quotation:
      “When I say the alt-right is overwhelmingly opposed to military interventionism and regime change wars, or that it was understandable for them to hope that Trump was going to drain the swamp, bitch slap the globalists and stand up to the deep state, I get a lot of pushback from people who insist that they’re nothing but a bunch of stupid racist warmongering fascists who value nothing but power and money. And when I say that they are mostly decent people with a solid moral code who will not hesitate to turn against Trump if he steps out of line, I’ll likely get people arguing that the Trumpsters will stay loyal to their God Emperor no matter what. Those people will be wrong, and they should spend less time in the lefty echo chamber.

      As cited by Yoav Litvin:

      “Johnstone claimed American fascists ‘are mostly decent people with a solid moral code’.

      Yep, you read that correctly.”

      Yep, Litvin read that most incorrectly, and with no apologies.

      ‘Cause he’s a “sensitive”, you know, “Jew who is a fighter”.

      Johnstone made it crystal clear for those of us who can read that she isn’t calling for some alliance with white nationalism, and she opposes any ideology that calls for a white ethnostate.

      But Litvin is still at it because, you know, he can “lead a fight”.

      We recognize this.

      • May 24, 2018 at 16:32

        Thanks for pointing out exactly how Litvin writes. He completely misrepresents Caity in all his ill-written screeds about her. It’s laughable, but it’s also borderline libel.

    • Abe
      May 26, 2018 at 06:59

      No need to wonder what desperation leads Litvin to identify soldiers from the Israel Defense Force (IDF) and the association of U.S. military Veterans for Peace:

      “So, when Johnstone attempts to mock me for my IDF service, she is also mocking all of these impressive anti-war activists, including the association Veterans for Peace in its totality.”

      It is his simplistic understanding of identity.

      “Fighting” hilarity ensues.

  45. May 21, 2018 at 23:41

    Wonderful article! I’m so glad to see this. Having been on the front lines as an anti-war humanist defending Caity against Litvin (who stalks her), St Claire, Draitser and Frank, and being taunted, blocked and maligned on Twitter and Facebook by this good ol’ boys club at CP, it’s great to see an expose on whatever the hell they think they are doing. Maybe they’re now towing the neoliberal line like Salon, Mother Jones, DemocracyNow! and NPR. Who knows. In any case, I boycotted them nearly a year ago for their attacks on Caity and many of her readers, simply for being willing to reach across ideological barriers to help form a robust anti-war party at a very desperate time. That they chuckle about WWIII starting shows you just who they really are. I wonder if they own Raytheon stock. In any case, I hope the actual progressive, anti-war writers at CP leave them in a lurch and move to Consortium News, as you have. Brava, Diana!

    • May 22, 2018 at 00:08

      You’re such a nut. How can I stalk her when we’ve mutually blocked each other for over a year? The fact is her husband Tim Foley stalks me via several socks, and admitted to it on this podcast. Better luck next time, Mary.

      • May 22, 2018 at 00:13

        That was a great episode. Thanks for proving my point. I’m glad Tim defends his wife against you. You’re a horrible person. She blocked you? And you listen to all her podcasts and read all her articles still. Hmmm. Isn’t that interesting?

        • May 22, 2018 at 00:23

          Lol. Read all her articles? I’d rather get a filling at the dentist. But when I’m mentioned, I listen.
          In any case it’s been nice. Your idol has been shown to be a fascist shill and con job, as are her defenders. In case you missed it-

          • jimbo
            May 22, 2018 at 01:52

            I’m sorry but I’m the kind of guy who buys almost any line if it makes sense but that article you linked about Catlain Johnstone was a hit piece plain and simple more easily picked apart than a Tinker Toy windmill. All one has to do is just read a few of Catlain’s articles. and immediately see the lie about her you posted. You should apologize to her. Really. It wasn’t nice. Go on. Say it. I’m … sorry … Cat … lain … Oh jesus! Why we adopted you I’ll never know. Yes, Yoav, you are adopted. Your real father is Glenn Beck and your mother is Debbie Wasserman Shultz (nee Himmler).

          • Adam Kraft
            May 22, 2018 at 10:50

            A phony ‘progressive’ site that sources info from, The Guardian, and the Washington Post, buying into Russiagate and other legacy press propaganda serves our psychopathic masters. Give me Catlin Johnstone any day. Get to know her better – follow her on Twitter, read or listen from her sites.

    • May 22, 2018 at 11:40

      Mary – thanks for your insightful posts. You’re right on the money with calling out the neoliberal war mongering not only at CP, but also: “Salon, Mother Jones, DemocracyNow! and NPR,” etc. I am totally with you in your support for both Diana and Caitlin – two of the most important voices writing today on global issues. CP has rendered itself totally irrelevant to anyone who can think for themselves. So glad Diana is being published here at Consortium.

      • May 24, 2018 at 16:33

        Thank you, Gary!

    • FB
      May 22, 2018 at 15:14

      Mary…excellent comment…

      I’m sure the CP ‘boys’ have something to show for their good servitude…Mel Goodman [CP’s national security columnist is on the Soros payroll…]

      Goodman’s day job is a ‘senior fellow’ at the stink tank Center for International Policy…

      Have a look at their funding…

      A who’s who of dirtbags…

      Soros Open Society Foundation…

      Rockefeller Foundation…

      Omidyar Network…

      Ford Foundation


      Hey…the gang’s all here…

      One needs to ask what kind of swag this toady is slipping to St Claire, Frank, Draitser etc…

      • May 24, 2018 at 16:35

        Ugh! It just keeps getting worse and worse. I see Litvin is up here trying weakly to defend his indefensible hit pieces and propaganda, but I notice he nor anyone else is defending CP’s funding source? Hmmm. One must wonder.

  46. tina
    May 21, 2018 at 22:40

    hi joe tedesky. ,

    I have spent the last 6 weeks at our local VA with my dad. Army 1958-1962. All those people are so wonderful, my dad is not well. I see so many vets, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Lebanon, even our own country, they call them accidents. The VA is the only place where people just shut up and acknowledge each other for their service. They do not care how they got there, they care because the believed in something. All of our bickering does nothing to help. They believe in a better future, in their wheelchairs smoking cigarettes, the young ones wit PTSD , the last ww2 ones, What did we ever do? I never joined the military because I dislike that, but I learned that these people really believe , and for the most part , when they are done , we do not care about them.

    • J. Decker
      May 22, 2018 at 05:27

      I hope Joe responds to you and in the interim may I, with the deepest respect, address you and your father. I am of the Bay-Boomers age but your father’s generation, bought into the “Nazi Invader” propaganda, just as the next war and generation (mine) bought were drafted into Vietnam as we were proselytized “it’s a fight against Communism”. Then they applied the same in varying scenarios to Afghanistan. Iraq, Libya, Syria, and N. Korea.

      Time we all saw through the evil of the industrial-banking-military complex.
      Don’t tell your Dad. Just hug him and tell him you love him!

    • Joe Tedesky
      May 22, 2018 at 08:57

      Hey tina, it’s heart warming to see there are still daughters out there who will stick by their dad in desperate times… good on you.

      When I was 12 I played drums in a little combo that was just starting out on our musical journey. Our band played a lot for free at the VA hospital. Like you tina we saw some pretty sad sights. I guess some could conclude that these vets got themselves into the situation they got into by being patriotic, but there again can a person judge with such absolutism, or could they even surmise what it’s like to believe in that you are doing the right thing. I always omit the vet from my criticism of our on going wars, for it’s not the vet I have a problem with, but with the very top of the chain of leadership that gets me going.

      I hope all goes well for your dad, as I especially hope you are doing fine dealing with the circle of life. I like to reflect on where we were during better times, and not so much on the suffering in the end. Just me, I guess, but I do wish you well. Joe

  47. Steven S Wolf
    May 21, 2018 at 22:26


    Much appreciated. You have made a new ardent fan of your writing today. Thank you! <3

  48. franck-y
    May 21, 2018 at 21:55

    We are many who appreciate DJ in France. You can watch and ear her in this video at 56.00:
    Russophobia : la maladie sénile de l’impérialisme :

  49. andy
    May 21, 2018 at 21:53

    war is the number one issue. until the murdering stops the murderer can not be reformed or corrected. so yes…. people like rand paul are a lot more appealing than chuck shumer. once the warfare ceases, then we can deal with other issues.

    • May 21, 2018 at 23:43

      Agree. Knee-jerk reactions to who’s in what party (when both parties are mostly corporate/capitalist/pro-war) at this time serves no one. We need an alliance on the issues, not stupid party ideology.

    • May 22, 2018 at 00:49

      Agree I’d vote for rand Paul over most war mongering establishment democrats any day, even though I find his economics odious. And I say that as a life long Democrat, who still refuses to give up his party membership.

      • Dave P.
        May 22, 2018 at 02:36

        As a progressive Democrat, I will vote for Rand Paul too though I do not agree with his economics. There is no such thing as progressive Democratic party out there; it is a Corporate Wall Street War Party. The decline of Progressive Democratic Party started long time ago, during Carter’s time and Clinton sold the Democratic Party out to Wall Street, one hundred percent.

        The single important question in the World today is to stop spending on armaments and stopping wars, so that these resources can be used for solving pressing economic, and environmental problems and meet the basic human needs. All kinds of Coalitions should me made to do that. Russia is not the problem, they spend a tiny fraction of what we spend on armaments.

        This so called “Left” – Democracy Now, NPR, Counter Punch and others – we are discussing here are in line with the Corporate Wall Street Democratic Party’s agenda of making Wars.

      • Oakland Pete
        May 22, 2018 at 15:12

        Mary and Eric: Ever think there is a door number three? Or is voting for something worthy “throwing away a vote”? Or is voting for president anything important anyway? There are much better ways to make a difference.

        • May 24, 2018 at 16:37

          Agree, Oakland Pete. I voted for Jill Stein because I actually *GASP* support her party and platform. What a novel concept :) So knowing she wouldn’t win, I let my recorded vote for her work as a protest against the big 2 (1?) parties. And yeah, voting isn’t going to make any change… they made sure of that with the Citizens United decision.

  50. lysias
    May 21, 2018 at 21:34

    If war between countries run by oligarchs cannot happen, how did World War One happen?

  51. Tim
    May 21, 2018 at 21:31

    There are many, many, many Trojan Horses out there.

    • Abe
      May 21, 2018 at 22:18

      Wannabe “fighting Jew” cum “progressive army” strutter Litvin imagines that loudly shouting “anti-Semitic” and “fascist” somehow constitutes a devastating critique.

      Hilarity ensues.

      • May 22, 2018 at 00:02

        I’m laughing. He’s a joke. AND a stalker.

      • May 22, 2018 at 00:17

        He’s been pushing that sorry nothing of an article for the better part of a year. So sad.

      • May 22, 2018 at 07:13

        Abe, I read your comments on CN often and thought you might be the one to ask. Why do so many on the ” Left” have such a visceral hatred of Russia. Is it about Trotsky? The Purges in the 30’s? Something else? This hatred seems to “trump” everything else, that they seem to be willing to risk a nuclear war rather than make peace with Russia. They are not alone, of course, but they are up front leading the charge.

        • Oakland Pete
          May 22, 2018 at 15:14

          Herman: Why are you asking an anti-Trotskyist about Trotsky? Why not read the man himself? Or do you really think this “hilarity ensues” line is clever?

        • Joe Tedesky
          May 22, 2018 at 16:07

          Herman I content that the reason the limousine liberals hate Russia, is because the American MSM has portrayed the Russian people as their being diehard homophobes. May I bring back the memories of the Pussy Riot girls demonstrating their dislike of Putin in a Russian church. Do you recall how the Pussy Riot girls were all the rage when they visited America, and even made an appearance on the Bill Maher show? Add to that of how during the Sochi Olympics all the MSM could show on our American television sets was Russians beating up on unsuspecting innocent gay people. Case in point, was all this rubbish about Russians being awful towards gays a set up, and was also the promoting of this trumped up hate done by useful idiots such as Harvey Fierstein, and Dan Savage, a clever plan to discredit Putin? Let’s not forget the biggest Russophobe of all Rachel Maddow, who is also gay as well, and for this last year when has Rachel not beat down into dust Putin and his Russian people? I can understand the fear a gay person would have of such a country of homophobes, but what I question, is too how much of this Russian bashing over their treatment of gays, is CIA inspired and influenced.

          Russian may not be as far a long as America is on their attitude towards the gay orientated, but it wasn’t that long ago that the U.S. wasn’t that accepting of the gays either. Although when trying to overthrow a government the CIA or any spy agency, is going to reach for the lowest hanging fruit. In Russia’s case apparently the lowest hanging fruit is their slow walked approval of complete freedoms of the gay is still a work in progress, compared to the new attitudes Americans have cultivated in regard to the acceptance of the gay community. None the less American gays are falling for this propaganda, and I don’t know how you overcome it. Joe

    • John
      May 21, 2018 at 22:41

      The article you link is, quite literally, slanderous. Thanks for providing evidence to further Diana Johnstone’s point.

      • May 22, 2018 at 00:02

        He can’t stop, it seems. He’s been attacking Caity for a year and it doesn’t seem to ever be enough.

    • May 21, 2018 at 23:56

      Progressive army thinks everyone is a fascist who *gasp* has the temerity to step outside of political ideology to support shared issues. You know, what normal folks do. Have you stopped stalking Caity yet, BTW? I still laugh when I recall you made a big deal out of where she got her journalism degree, questioning her writing chops, when you’re not even a writer and have no journalism degree yourself. Then there’s your IDF indoctrination. Yikes!

    • Abe
      May 22, 2018 at 00:13

      So let me be direct, Yoav, with a humble request, and please understand this is not personal – I am perplexed and troubled by your piece, which does not substantiate your hypothesis and uses common dog whistles, ones that are offensive to many Jewish people, including myself. Furthermore, it omits the obvious real culprits – the Israeli-Saudi-U.S. Axis warmongers and their NATO & GCC “friends” – and lacks any kind of remotely intelligent political analysis. It is a reactionary and hilarious Hasbara piece, no two ways about it. As such, I ask you to do the right thing and retract it, recognizing that you will not because of all that “fighting Jew” drivel of yours.

      • May 22, 2018 at 00:36

        Lol! Thanks for reading my recent on Lee Camp’s banking dog whistle. Reading your comments here together with delusional Mary has made my eve :-)

        • May 22, 2018 at 11:35

          It appears everyone is delusional except you (yet again). Funny, that.

      • May 22, 2018 at 11:35

        Well said, Abe.

    • Jake G
      May 22, 2018 at 06:26

      So you and that article base your claims on “This article has been removed pending further review.”

  52. Pft
    May 21, 2018 at 19:44

    Alt news on the internet has now been almost fully neutralized. Not that there are not interesting articles with some truth, but the volume and extent of the truths provided can be muted. Writers need to eat, blogs need to make money to pay them and their bills. The Atlantic Council will decide the limits and FB, Google, Twitter will enforce these limits

  53. May 21, 2018 at 19:43

    This all said, if we can call libertarians right-wingers on domestic fiscal policy, the likes of Ron Paul are dangerous right-wingers domestically. So, too, is Paul Craig Roberts. Any time he ventures outside of critiques of the bipartisan foreign policy establishment and into economic issues, I read him with double scrutiny.

    • May 22, 2018 at 00:56

      I’m with Frederick Douglass: “I will stand always with anyone to do right, and no one to do wrong. While you wobble over economics and spurn those without which there will never be enough to stop imperialistic war in its tracks, millions of Pettitte have died at the hands of this country. Good job. Keep arguing about bullshit. I’ll be with whoever I need to be with, occupying the moral high ground of opposing all war. What the Fuck happened to the left?

      • May 22, 2018 at 08:52

        Worrying about capitalism and its enablers in this country is bullshit? THAT IS part of ‘the left.’ Just as the left is not all domestic issues, it’s also not all foreign policy issues.

        Sorry, but if you think that worrying about libertarian types enabling late-stage capitalism is BS, i want little to do with you.

      • FB
        May 22, 2018 at 16:25

        Eric…excellent comment…

        Bears repeating…’I will stand always with anyone to do right, and no one to do wrong.’

        Labels don’t matter…Truth does

    • Rob
      May 22, 2018 at 12:46

      It may be a bit off topic, but someone has to say it. Libertarianism is a fraud and a hoax. While it purports to value personal liberty and individual responsibility above all else, its true essence a desire that wealthy people and corporations be allowed to make and keep as much money as possible. Why non-wealthy people think that such a system would promote individual liberty and freedom is a mystery to me. The dominant global neoliberal system already demonstrates just the opposite. At any rate, the role of the Koch brothers in the founding of the Libertarian Party and the CATO Institute should serve as a warning to all those who are tempted by the superficial appeal of libertarianism.

      • Skip Scott
        May 23, 2018 at 07:37

        I believe there is a genuine debate to be had about the extent of the role of government in a free society, and also that you are over simplifying the Libertarian stance on economics. While I usually fall on the side of the Progressives, I respect people like Ron Paul. For instance, Libertarians are anti-war, and were completely against the 2008 bailout, and are against the Federal Reserve (which is neither federal, nor a reserve). I agree with them on all these issues. I believe we should join forces with these folks to fight the War Machine, and worry about debating the extent of the reach of social programs later.

    • FB
      May 22, 2018 at 15:32

      You’re off base on Paul Craig Roberts…so I doubt you ever read him…

      He is right on the money about the ‘fake left’ as embodied by the sellout CP…

      The fact that this former Reagan man has come full circle [although loath to admit it so plainly] is a source of hope for me personally…

      Most important he is 100 percent pro-truth and is standing on the right side in what is today’s version of the Spanish Civil War…Syria…

      Any two people will never agree on everything…but like many commenters here have pointed out [not to mention Bill Blum]…the number one issue is foreign policy and antiwar…we need to stop regime-change bingeing…

      Only then can we move on to other pressing issues…

      • May 22, 2018 at 17:28

        Response says posted, but I don’t see it.

        First, I’ve read Roberts.

        Second, I think he’s moderated his stances on economic issues.

        Full circle? Full circle would include apologizing for his past part in feeding the late-stage capitalist beast.

        Instead, a year ago, he called Wiki’s entry on supply side economics “propaganda.”

        So, no, I don’t think I’m off base.

        Call me back when that apology comes out.


        As for the No. 1 issue … for policy may be the No. 1 issue at Consortium News. It’s far below the No. 1 issue for me. National health care, guaranteed paid family leave time, guaranteed paid vacation time, and other things are all far higher on my list.

        • FB
          May 22, 2018 at 21:59

          You’re hopeless Gadfly…

          Where do you think more social spending is going to come from if not from the trillions wasted on imperialist wars and the deep state…

          Not to mention that your attitude is ugly selfish because you’re bitching about healthcare while people in Yemen don’t have a grain of rice to eat…

          Go and cuddle with your fake left buddies at CP…

          • Skip Scott
            May 23, 2018 at 07:20

            Good reply FB. SocraticGadfly is just another sheltered latte-sipper who won’t wake up until the mushroom clouds appear on the horizon.

  54. May 21, 2018 at 19:38

    Thank you Diana Johnstone for a nice job of separating the baby from the bathwater on CP. I would like to call commentators here to another website with a different concept. I have been using Quora recently, not to get news, but to dialogue with others on various subjects, often using CN and other news websites I respect to back up an argument. On Quora questions are asked on various subjects of member interest. The questions range from the inane to the well informed and like most websites there are many trolls with rhetorical questions. Answers can be “upgraded” or “downgraded”(rare) but often result in an interesting dialogue that can satisfy curiosity on specific subjects as there are many erudite answers in the more esoteric categories, Apart from the trolls, the politically spiced questions can reflect a certain amount of ignorance and, of course, you need to judge if they’re genuinely curious. Some are open-ended opinion questions i.e. “what do you think of Racael Maddow?”( I’m sure a lot at CN would like to tackle that one). Anyway if you include a CN link in your answer, you may also be helping this website expand readership and who knows, maybe even change someone’s mind!

    BTW, Quora has a lot of English speaking foreigners(many Russian) with an interesting perspective. There are also a lot of kids that use it to do their homework(but these are readily identifiable). You will need to use your real name or comment as “anonymous”.

  55. Donald
    May 21, 2018 at 18:36

    Some lefties make up for their lack of power by aligning with the powerful. Others don’t go quite that far, but get a kick out of demonstrating their supposed moral superiority.

    I think Caitlin Johnstone made a mistake with Cernovich, but we all make mistakes, even serious ones sometimes. I need more proof before I start assuming the worst about people.

  56. May 21, 2018 at 18:28

    i too, got ‘ counterpunched ‘ over 15 years ago. when Alexander was the final word, he loved my work and posted me. Once he passed away, St. Clair got into a ‘ pissing contest ‘ with me over another writer. Each time I went on the site , there was this other guy’s ‘ cartoonish and highly enraged anarchist ‘ crap. And my columns were nowhere to be found. I confronted St. Clair and asked him why? I made the fatal error of insinuating that this other writer was a pal of his. He called me a ‘ Pissant ‘ and to this day refuses to post my columns, which are regularly on Global Research, World News Trust, Nation of Change, Off Guardian, ICH and even on Robert Parry’s site, before he passed.
    I’s a shame , because the CP site has many great writers on.

    By the way, I have an internet interview show and would like to interview both Johnstones on the subject of the phony left and this empire. Ask the editor to give my email address

    • Sam F
      May 21, 2018 at 19:21

      Hello Philip, good to know that others observed a change at CP. They published an article of mine, and reviews of my book, but did not even reply to a recent submission of an article that seemed very fit to me.
      I recall enjoying your recent ICH article “The “Pimps”, “Whores” and “Johns” of the Military Industrial Empire”

      • May 21, 2018 at 23:59

        CP really changed. And I don’t know where these new guys like Litvin came from. He’s not even really a writer, he’s a neurologist and an amateur photographer. And I can’t figure out why they vehemently defended his really poorly-written hit pieces or his babyish attacks on people who defended Caity against them. It’s just weird. Thankfully, more and more people are realizing this and staying away from CP.

        • May 22, 2018 at 07:06

          Mary, its called freedom of speech. One does not have to be a “writer” to express a point of view.
          In case you hadn’t noticed, there are many “poorly-written pieces” on the internet.
          And many will be offensive to you…and me.
          Its not what’s written that should drive you to despair, but your seemingly overly-sensitive reaction to such articles.
          As my old Mum used to say…”Just consider the source”.

          • May 22, 2018 at 11:39

            Sorry, Dennis, but when a colleague and friend of mine who works harder than any journalist writing these days is relentlessly attacked, slandered and stalked, I’m gonna speak up about it. That’s also ‘freedom of speech’. And yes, I will complain LOUDLY when once-respected news outlets allow people without even rudimentary journalistic writing skills to infiltrate and lower the standards of their content.

        • FB
          May 22, 2018 at 15:39

          Mary…I never heard of this Litvin clown until today…

          But I just found his blog and it says he is a psychologist…a pseudo-science that has nothing to do with neurology…which requires a medical degree…

          • May 24, 2018 at 16:42

            Which he doesn’t have, apparently. So he’s even lying about his own level of education, while berating others’. It is a typical narcissistic tactic.

    • Oakland Pete
      May 21, 2018 at 20:04

      Philip: You are in good company. I’ve talked to several former CP regulars who have been treated similarly. I have. Much as I disagree with DJ on important issues, she is spot on with her criticism of CP. Draitser and St Clair are arrogant pricks. Draitser ran an article fawning over Mugabe/Zimbabwean state a couple of years ago. When I called him out on it, citing examples of the kleptocracy I had seen there and been told about by its citizens, he confessed to never having been there. Most of us would not write articles claiming expertise about a country we had never visited, but not Draitser.

      DJ cites a “funny” remark by JSC, bringing to mind another one he said about “trotskyites”, who he insulted – afterwards claiming it was all in jest. Sound familiar? Perhaps DJ and JSC can kumbaya on their hatred of trots. I sympathize with other commenters here who are skeptical of DJ’s overall narrative. My experience with reading her and Counterpunch is that the old adage about broken clocks being right twice a day applies to both of them all too well. Sorry, but the label of red-brown sympathizer or promoter applies to Diana Johnstone; but not to Caitlin, who just made an ill-advised and likely ill-considered remark to that effect.

      • OLG
        May 21, 2018 at 20:56


      • Drew Hunkins
        May 21, 2018 at 21:23

        DJ’s correct 95% of the time, her scholarship and analyses are some of the finest in the world. Her only sin in Trot eyes is that she has the courage and sound erudition to call them out on their obfuscations and distortions.

        • Oakland Pete
          May 22, 2018 at 15:23

          No, it’s that she cites a current of thought condemned and rejected by Trotskyism, led by Trotsky himself, and assigns that thought to those who rejected it. That’s dishonest; and so is Drew.

        • Abe
          May 22, 2018 at 19:26

          The shrill claims of “Oakland Pete” notwithstanding, there are in fact various currents of thought that self-identify as “Trotskyism”, and various organizations that make appeals to the writings of Trotsky.

          Some Trotskyist organizations claim to be the original Fourth International founded in 1938, while others make no attempt to claim any relationship to the Fourth International in an organizational sense and argue that it no longer exists. Various Trotskyist organizations claim to represent a continuity from the Fourth International or to have re-established it, while others argue that the title “Fourth International” is so discredited that a Fifth International or another new organisation is needed. Trotskyist organizations range in size from those having thousands of adherents in dozens of countries to tendencies which can barely claim a dozen members in three or four countries.

          • Oakland Pete
            May 22, 2018 at 21:16

            The shrill claims of Dishonest Abe notwithstanding, the simple fact is that those currents represented by Louis Proyect, Tony McKenna, and their supporters, are explicitly NOT part of the Trotskyist movement. They are loosely described as Shactmanites, that is the current that was expelled from Trotskyism in 1940 and are mostly in the International Socialist Organization in the U.S. and the Socialist Workers Party in the U.K. There are others who follow this line of backhanded support for imperialism (while, of course, claiming not to) in Europe; but they explicitly detached from Trotskyism a few years ago.

            Abe’s historical arguments in his second paragraph are true; but they have nothing to do with his original point in his first paragraph. He is using a timeworn tactic of being factual, sounding reasonable, and implicitly relating that to the point he is trying to make – when the two are not relevant to each other. He is a manipulator who relies on the ignorance of readers to sell a slander. It’s a used car with the odometer turned back – back to the stalinist falsification of history. It’s a lemon – don’t buy it.

      • FB
        May 22, 2018 at 15:51

        And what pray tell do you know about Zimbabwe ‘Oakland Pete’…

        Sounds to me like you are just a koolaid gulping fool…

        Mugabe for all his warts did the right thing in taking back the land from white plantation owners…that’s what got the imperialist press all fired up…[corruption and kleptocracy poison arrows are never aimed at faithful servants of empire like KSA and many others]

        Zimbabwe is on the right track now…but the people still respect Mugabe and his legacy…

        As for Ms Johnstone…she may not be right all the time but she is always pro-truth…and that’s what really counts…

        • Oakland Pete
          May 22, 2018 at 21:35

          After several trips to Zim, being friends with those who were born and raised there, and speaking with them and poor people who want change, I know a little – certainly more than you.

          At the lake border crossing between Zim and Zambia I watched poor people waiting in line to cross while border agents watched a soccer game. They all complained about the government. Then a caravan of Mercedes pulled up with a goon squad and a party honcho, dripping with jewels and fine looking women. Yes, they advertised that they were ZANU-PF. They went in to the immigration office, and everyone jumped to attention. They waltzed through for a dam tour to the disgust of those waiting. In the meantime, I was hustled for a sixty dollar bribe for nothing. Waiting truck drivers were forced to watch me paying, the idea being that they were expected to do the same.

          Crossing the countryside you will see those farms lying fallow. Agriculture has been destroyed in Zim. It was not turned over to the peasantry or agricultural workers. It was stolen by goon squads who didn’t know how to farm. They just burglarized the houses, vandalized what they couldn’t steal, and moved on. That isn’t to support the white farmers. They were racists who deserved to lose their farms, and rejected prior attempts at a gradual solution. But a better method, one truly representing the revolution, should have been implemented. It wasn’t because the Mugabe government was a kleptocracy. It completely degenerated and left Mugabe very wealthy and his closet friends and family on a far different level from the people.

          The new government is run by a man the people call “the crocodile”, and for good reason. His job under Mugabe was to murder his opponents. He will likely make his deals with imperialism, just like the ANC has. Do you really think that just because a new boss is black that all has been resolved? That is incredibly naive. The revolution will happen when the working class takes power from the black and white bourgeoisie – who call themselves revolutionary, or at least progressively non-racist, but aren’t. That will not likely happen in Zim until it’s complete in South Africa.

          Sorry, FB, but you don’t know shit.

    • May 21, 2018 at 23:46

      Interesting, Philip. Shows a history of their horrid behavior. For standing up for Caity, along with the vast majority of people who read their hit pieces on her, I was also attacked by Frank, St Clair, Litvin (who’s not even a writer) and those other jerks. I wonder if they are controlled opposition for Clinton like so many other former-lefty outlets.

    • May 22, 2018 at 11:58

      Philip – thanks for sharing that. I’ve read some of your excellent work at Global Research and Off Guardian. Your comments shed some light on the ego issues that combine with the ideological issues at play at CP. I can remember years ago when I still occasionally read an article by St. Clair noting at the bottom of his post a section discussing, if I remember correctly: “What I’m listening to lately” – a listing of the music he happened to be currently listening to. I found myself thinking: “what kind of egomaniacal narcissist thinks I or anyone else has the slightest interest in you as some sort of ‘celebrity’ journalist who’s interests I should fawn over?” Apparently my gut response wasn’t far off.

  57. Drew Hunkins
    May 21, 2018 at 18:04

    Phenomenal piece. Merely reinforces why I’ve always considered Diana a hero of mine. Bravo Ms. Johnstone!

  58. Mohamed Elmaazi
    May 21, 2018 at 17:49

    There are many good points made here, but there is also a bit of “straw man” as well.

    The author laws out perfectly reasonable critiques made by those on the left:

    1) such as the danger of “horse shoe” red-brown alliance, history has shown that a systemic critique & challenge is necessary to tackle imperialism – far-right reactionaries don’t have the same critique as far left.

    2) that US foreign policy is controlled by Israel, rather than the fact that US elites see it as being in their interests thereby

    3) Russia is a right-wing oligarchic state, the fact that they have betrayed the Kurds in Syria in favour of the Islamo-chauvanist Turkish military allied with FSA/ex-ISIS militants/Salafi-jhadists shouldn’t not be ignored

    4) Russian states connection to other far-right elements in Europe has been documented

    5) one needn’t be a Russiaphobe to want to be aware of the realities of Russian authoritarianism & state violence as well;

    6) The author quotes CP: “Russia will lead the world out of a dark age of materialism and toward an ultranationalist rebirth of homogenous ethno-states federated under a heterogeneous spiritual empire.”

    And then wtites: ‘It’s hard to see what is so terrifying about such a vague aspiration, with so little chance of realization’

    Seriously? It’s terrifying regardless of how likely it is. And let’s be clear here, its not that unlikely. Had the Bolshi’s not succeeded, Russia would likely have been the first truly Fascist state.

    Conclusion: the author is trying to tie in far too much here. She raises legitimate critique but by the end it’s almost as though she is saying the left shouldn’t critique reactionary powers in Russia or Syria at all.

    • Janet
      May 21, 2018 at 18:42

      Mohamed Elmaazi: Your allusions to anti-Russia remarks (#3,4,5) are quite simplistic and naive. Reducing Russia to a “right-wing oligarchic authoritarian state” is to ignore, or be ignorant of, the internal dynamics of Russian politics. The Russian Federation has a multi-party system. Whereas in America, two major parties control elections, Russia has, as of 2018, representatives from six parties in the federal parliament, the State Duma. As for “state violence,” just pick up a newspaper on any day of the week to see which non-threatening country the US has decided to bomb for its resources. The US uses state violence to coerce and bully its allies and opponents into working in our interests. The most recent case in point is Trump’s threats of sanctions and more if the EU continues trading with Iran. Sanctions, as a form of state violence, were responsible for over 500,000 deaths, many children, in Iraq before GW Bush actually invaded and unleashed even more state violence on the Iraqis. And, finally, the claim of “Russia’s supposed connection to other far-right elements in Europe” is a bit vague. What sort of connections are we talking about here? Trade? Military? Diplomatic? And who are these “far-right elements”? Surely we cannot be talking about the neo-Nazi regime that President Obama helped install in the Ukraine after his illegal coup, and that President Trump is now arming with lethal weapons? No, we cannot be talking about them because the West is actually using them to provoke Russia into a hot war right on its border. One thing is for sure — Putin doesn’t pose for photo ops with Nazis (as have Senators McCain, Graham and Klobuchar). Given the spurious comments and accusations in your post, I’d say it is you who are setting up a straw dog — a Russian straw dog. You have been smitten by the Russiagate fever.

      • backwardsevolution
        May 22, 2018 at 00:16

        Janet – very good post.

      • May 22, 2018 at 01:00

        Spot on

  59. voza0db
    May 21, 2018 at 17:41

    As an animal that lives in Europe, I can only wait for Trump to be reelected, and better yet, that the next president of the UST is even more American than Trump.

    For me, personally, Trump is the best president the people (or at least the electoral college!) could have elected!

    If you don’t understand why… please keep it like this!

    • Strngr - Tgthr
      May 21, 2018 at 19:48

      I don’t understand this comment at all? I hope / pray it was sarcasm. The EU is a shambles now with “Euro-politicians” Trump wannabees going around promising to exit the EU. Once these countries do, Putin will pick them off like grapes on a vine. Witch is why, no doubt the American intelligence agencies saw Trump as an internal domino threat campaigning to make piece with Russia and with draw from Syria. (Who would not spy on him?) The whole western world, the only place you will get true social justice is becoming fractured beyond repair. Obama (and Hillary) saw this all coming witch is why he campaigned against Brexit and said England would go to the back of the line – but Trump just congratulates these break away nations witch will only make are job harder in the end to create a stable harmonious and peaceful world government.

      • May 21, 2018 at 19:56

        So explain to us how “Putin picks countries off”. Help me. What does this mean?
        If Britain leaves the EU,( a trading block), how will Putin then be able to pick off other EU countries?
        You mean economically?
        Witch (sic) is it?

        • Strngr - Tgthr
          May 21, 2018 at 20:34


          Russia’s influence is much more than propaganda and fake news

          • May 21, 2018 at 21:50

            Yeah we know….Russia is trying to take over the World with its (1) foreign military base.
            As opposed to the US’s (900), with troops in over (150) countries.

          • May 22, 2018 at 01:08


      • John
        May 21, 2018 at 22:56

        What is it that you have against “piece”? (I am guessing you meant peace?)

        Seriously, this seems to be your main objection, that peace with Russia (a nuclear superpower) is somehow a bad thing.

        There is social justice in the Western World? Really? You call the slaughter of unarmed people of color and Palestinians “Social Justice”?

        “world government” is obviously something that you see as a positive thing, as long as it is led by colonial settler states (like the US and its pitbull Israel) who consider themselves above international law (Something, incidentally, that Russia is a strict adherent of.)

        I still am quite shocked that David Brock is sending out paychecks.

        • Strngr - Tgthr
          May 22, 2018 at 00:06

          Well, how are you going to regulate the Climate without a world government? Not going to happen. And as the rich nations are causing all the global warming that is a Social Justice Issue, witch we can and will fix (once Trump is gone). Furthermore as the rich nations are going to pay the poor country’s for what they did, it only makes sense that those countries paying have influence over how the money is spent and used to see that they don’t waste it or make the same mistakes we did. It is not “colonial settler states” that will be controlling the world but those nations with a conscientious concern for the well being of the planet. Big difference there! Furthermore that is not Russias dream, just to interfere with this. And yes it was supposed to say “peace”. Happy now?

    • Oakland Pete
      May 21, 2018 at 20:15

      voza: Please, stay in Europe. There certainly are plenty of Trump type parties to vote for there. By the way, readers: How many of you know that Diana Johnstone supports those parties? You know, the Marine LePen/Nigel Farage type ones. Yup, the red-brown alliance phenomenon is real. No wonder she is so keen on denouncing Antifa! Don’t want to resist those guys who sport swastikas and denounce Jews, do we? Or are some still buying into the bullshit that Antifa attacks MAGA hat types? As for Trump, or Hillary (who DJ exposed well in her book): Why choose between them? For that matter, why choose between fascist sympathizer Diana Johnstone and imperialist supporters like St Clair or his buddy Ashley Smith; or Pacifica Radio’s voice for war, Amy Goodman? Think there might be another choice?

      • Strngr - Tgthr
        May 21, 2018 at 20:40

        Nigel Farage is neck deep with Putin to destroy the EU. Dark Axis: Putin / Trump / Farage / Assange:

        Trump-Russia inquiry is told Nigel Farage may have given Julian Assange data

        • May 21, 2018 at 21:32

          It’s a lie that Nigel Farage wants to “destroy the EU”.
          He merely does not want Britain to be in that trading bloc any longer.
          And stop the EU interfering with Britain’s sovereignty.
          Nothing more, and nothing less.

          And whats wrong with “giving Assange data”?
          Assange is a journalist who has a 100% record of publishing the truth.

          You and I Mr. Strngr-Tgthr live in a parallel universe.

          • May 21, 2018 at 22:37

            And just today we are told that the Italians are going to form a coalition Government with the same goals being touted by Nigel Farage. Like Great Britain, they are tired of a bunch of unelected bureaucrats in Brussels interfering with their sovereignty. It’s not Putin and Nigel Farage who are going to destroy the EU, but the bankrupt overreaching EU project is going to destroy itself from within

          • Strngr - Tgthr
            May 22, 2018 at 00:17


            Listen to this and get back to us about Farage. lol


          • backwardsevolution
            May 22, 2018 at 00:21

            Dennis – good comments.

      • John
        May 21, 2018 at 23:05

        I have extensive contacts within AntiFa, the locals that actually confront Nazis at their major gatherings (i.e. AmRen conference, Charlottesville, etc) as opposed to those who attack well known local news reporters (as has happened in the Bay area). If you were actually after those who prop up Nazis, you would be attacking the Hillary supporters (as she sponsored Banderists – Pravi Sektor, Svoboda, in Ukraine, as is well known).

        There is a blue-brown alliance (as evidenced by the Democratic alliance with Banderists), and the red-brown alliance only exists if you consider Republicans as Red.

        I have seen no actual evidence of a left-brown alliance, with the exception of non-sectarian anti-war activity, which is a purely ad-hoc single issue campaign, something that anyone who has experience outside of the uber-sectarian left should be well familiar with. (Think Moral Mondays for a good example.)

        • Oakland Pete
          May 22, 2018 at 12:16

          John: I don’t know where you’ve been, but here is one example of where I’ve been: A little over a year ago the Syria Solidarity Movement held a forum about the war on Syria. One of the organizers was Paul Larudee, whose comment appears above. A fascist attended, and after complaining that Jews controlled the antiwar movement, shouted out at Richard Becker “You’re a Jew!” For those who don’t know, Richard is the west coast director of ANSWER. None of the organizers tried to stop him, but I did. Some Jewish women in the audience broke down in tears over this overt antisemitism and the silence of the organizers. Larudee’s reaction: He walked over to this fascist and shook his hand. Afterwards, when one of the Jewish women complained in an email discussion, Larudee admitted to a friendship with this fascist. Rick Sterling, who also writes here on CN and was a forum leader, dismissed the concerns as inconsequential.

          I know some commenters here think the warnings about a red-brown alliance are a myth, but they aren’t. There are many leftists, like DJ, and too many others found here, who are too friendly with fascism to be above concern. And before anyone rushes to unwarranted assumptions, I, like most of the attendees at that forum, share Diana Johnstone’s basic position on Syria.

  60. mike k
    May 21, 2018 at 17:05

    For me, the article hashes over a lot of complicated meaningless BS that I can’t learn much from. Much ado about nothing. I like to feed on things simpler and more solid. The war against Russia is based on US oligarch’s drive for Global supremacy, period. It’s that simple folks.

    • Sam F
      May 21, 2018 at 18:33

      Yes, it seems to consider significant, the problem of fascists concealing their fascism by pretending that anti-fascists are really fascists. That seems a rather small risk, unless it has changed the character of CounterPunch, but it does seem quite anti-zionist today.

    • May 21, 2018 at 23:48

      Pretty sure this article is more about so-called leftists attacking and misrepresenting other leftists, thereby undermining the antiwar movement.

      • Oakland Pete
        May 22, 2018 at 12:06

        Mary: “Leftists attacking other leftists”? Perhaps you didn’t read Diana Johnstone’s article attacking Trotskyists a couple of weeks ago. For that matter, why is Johnstone attacking Antifa? For all its faults, Counterpunch still publishes good articles, and here is one telling the truth about Antifa:

        DJ was great when she exposed the horrific banality of Hillary. When she finds her new hero in Marine LePen, she has crossed over to the class enemy. We should march with democrats against imperialist war, if they are willing; but alliances with fascism are a betrayal under any circumstances.

    • May 22, 2018 at 01:05

      Yeah nothing to worry about when those oligarchs you mention employ their media goons to smear people shining the light on the mechanisms of their control. Move along, nothing to see here.

  61. Joe Tedesky
    May 21, 2018 at 16:56

    During the 2016 presidential campaign I always thought that Trump beat the liberals to punch, like his wanting to reach out to Putin for détente. Is this Querfront? I also think Counterpunch has been infiltrated by the Mossad. I’m referring to Draitser, he smells to high heaven of his being a Mossad agent.

    • FB
      May 22, 2018 at 16:02

      Joe T…agree…

      The whole CP operation stinks of compromat…

      • Joe Tedesky
        May 22, 2018 at 21:08

        Good, then it’s just not me.

  62. Jams O'Donnell
    May 21, 2018 at 16:51

    Yep. If the Pentagon/establishment shares your view, then it’s wrong.

    Or even simpler – resist those with the most power.

  63. May 21, 2018 at 16:40

    Besides people like Ross, the others I see as mostly succumbing to “knee jerkism.” They take something, for example of what Caitlin Johnstone wrote about sharing info with people on the right if it can help in your attempt to get the higher minded message out, and then react mindlessly. I saw writers on the left act out in a knee jerk manner without giving much thought or consideration to what they were saying or what Caitlin was trying to say. I see similar attitudes towards Jordan Peterson by people who haven’t really given him a good listening. They react on the basis of knee jerk attitudes and end up making fools of themselves (sidenote: watch the Peterson/Russel Brand conversation on youtube, ) Just like the writers on Counterpunch did in respect to Caitlin. I also see similar attitudes towards a variety of issues by people on the left (attitudes towards Modi even though they really know nothing about what it is all about) because of one reason – KNEE JERK EMOTIONALISM. Calm down guys, the kid who is always first to raise his hand in class is not doing so because he feels he has the right answer, he does it because he wants to prove himself to the rest. You guys don’t need to jump of the mark on each and every issue as if you are the Jesus and we your flock. Maybe grab some bud put on some tunes and chill the funk out? Yeah? There’s a lad.

    • May 21, 2018 at 20:05

      Well said!

    • May 21, 2018 at 22:36

      BTW…the Russell Brand- Jordan Peterson interview I found very edifying…thanks!

    • backwardsevolution
      May 22, 2018 at 00:27

      Kali Ma – yes, I listened to the Russell Brand/Jordan Peterson interview a few months back and thoroughly enjoyed it. I think that Brand learned a thing or two.

      • May 22, 2018 at 16:56

        There is a new one as well.

        • backwardsevolution
          May 23, 2018 at 06:57

          Kali Ma – well, I had to bite and I was glad I did. Russell Brand is a very intelligent person. He’s open to new ideas and willing to see both sides. He contributed greatly to the conversation and made good points. He is a thinker.

          Jordan Peterson is wonderful. Very interesting talk on dominance hierarchies and the differences between the structured conservatives and the creative left. I especially like what he had to say about the importance of maintaining free speech. I agree with much of what he has to say. My only wish is that he knew history better.

          Thanks for posting that, Kali Ma.

    • Skip Scott
      May 28, 2018 at 10:10

      Kali Ma-

      Well it took me a while to get around to, but thank you very much for the Peterson/Brand interview link. Very educational.

  64. May 21, 2018 at 16:16

    Good piece.

    To riff on an old cliche, “The enemy of my enemy often is not, and should not be, my friend, but my ally of convenience.”

    That said, even alliances of convenience can be carried too far, or leaned on too hard.

    Caveat emptor.

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