Climb Down From the Summit of Hostile Propaganda

Public reactions to an open letter from academics, journalists and politicians asking for co-existence with Russia show many Americans don’t buy the media’s bellicose spin, as Norman Solomon explains.

By Norman Solomon

Throughout the day before the summit in Helsinki, the lead story on the New York Times home page stayed the same: “Just by Meeting With Trump, Putin Comes Out Ahead.” The Sunday headline was in harmony with the tone of U.S. news coverage overall. As for media commentary, the Washington Post was in the dominant groove as it editorialized that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is “an implacably hostile foreign adversary.”

Contempt for diplomacy with Russia is now extreme. Mainline U.S. journalists and top Democrats often bait President Trump in zero-sum terms. No doubt Hillary Clinton thought she was sending out an applause line in her tweet Sunday night: “Question for President Trump as he meets Putin: Do you know which team you play for?”

A bellicose stance toward Russia has become so routine and widespread that we might not give it a second thought — and that makes it all the more hazardous. After President George W. Bush declared “You’re either with us or against us,” many Americans gradually realized what was wrong with a Manichean view of the world. Such an outlook is even more dangerous today.

Since early 2017, the U.S. mass media have laid it on thick with the rough political equivalent of a painting technique known as chiaroscuro — “the use of strong contrasts between light and dark, usually bold contrasts affecting a whole composition,” in the words of Wikipedia. The Russiagate frenzy is largely about punching up contrasts between the United States (angelic and victimized) and Russia (sinister and victimizer).

Countless stories with selective facts are being told that way. But other selectively fact-based stories could also be told to portray the United States as a sinister victimizer and Russia as an angelic victim. Those governments and their conformist media outlets are relentless in telling it either way. As the great journalist I.F. Stone observed long ago, “All governments lie, and nothing they say should be believed.” In other words: don’t trust, verify.

The Trumps leaving Helsinki on Monday. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Often the biggest lies involve what remains unsaid. For instance, U.S. media rarely mention such key matters as the promise-breaking huge expansion of NATO to Russia’s borders since the fall of the Berlin Wall, or the brazen U.S. intervention in Russia’s pivotal 1996 presidential election, or the U.S. government’s 2002 withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, or the more than 800 U.S. military bases overseas — in contrast to Russia’s nine.

An Open Letter for Sanity

For human survival on this planet, an overarching truth appears in an open letter published last week by The Nation magazine: “No political advantage, real or imagined, could possibly compensate for the consequences if even a fraction of U.S. and Russian arsenals were to be utilized in a thermonuclear exchange. The tacit pretense that the worsening of U.S.-Russian relations does not worsen the odds of survival for the next generations is profoundly false.”

The initial 26 signers of the open letter — “Common Ground: For Secure Elections and True National Security” — included Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, writer and feminist organizer Gloria Steinem, former UN ambassador Gov. Bill Richardson, political analyst Noam Chomsky, former covert CIA operations officer Valerie Plame, activist leader Rev. Dr. William Barber II, filmmaker Michael Moore, former Nixon White House counsel John Dean, Russia scholar Stephen F. Cohen, former U.S. ambassador to the USSR Jack F. Matlock Jr., Pulitzer Prize-winning writers Alice Walker and Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel, former senator Adlai Stevenson III, and former longtime House Armed Services Committee member Patricia Schroeder. (I was also one of the initial signers.)

Since its release five days ago, the open letter has gained support from a petition already signed by 30,000 people. The petition campaign aims to amplify the call for protecting the digital infrastructure of the electoral process that is now “vulnerable to would-be hackers based anywhere” — and for taking “concrete steps… to ease tensions between the nuclear superpowers.”

We need a major shift in the U.S. approach toward Russia. Clearly the needed shift won’t be initiated by the Republican or Democratic leaders in Congress; it must come from Americans who make their voices heard. The lives — and even existence — of future generations are at stake in the relationship between Washington and Moscow.

Ellsberg, who details how easily nuclear war can start in his new book “Doomsday,” signed the open letter.

Many of the petition’s grassroots signers have posted comments along with their names. Here are a few of my favorites:

*  From Nevada: “We all share the same planet! We better learn how to do it safely or face the consequences of blowing ourselves up!”

*  From New Mexico: “The earth will not survive a nuclear war. The weapons we have today are able to cause much more destruction than those of previous eras. We must find a way to common ground.”

*  From Massachusetts: “It is imperative that we take steps to protect the sanctity of our elections and to prevent nuclear war anywhere on the earth.”

*  From Kentucky: “Secure elections are a fundamental part of a democratic system. But this could become meaningless in the event of thermonuclear war.”

*  From California: “There is only madness and hubris in talk of belligerence toward others, especially when we have such dangerous weapons and human error has almost led to our annihilation already more than once in the past half-century.”

Yet a wide array of media outlets, notably the “Russiagate”-obsessed network MSNBC, keeps egging on progressives to climb toward peaks of anti-Russian jingoism. The line of march is often in virtual lockstep with GOP hyper-hawks like Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham. The incessant drumbeat is in sync with what Martin Luther King Jr. called “the madness of militarism.”

Meanwhile, as Dr. King said, “We still have a choice today: nonviolent co-existence or violent co-annihilation.

This article originally appeared on TruthDig.

Norman Solomon is the coordinator of the online activist group RootsAction.org and the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. He is the author of a dozen books including “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.”

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145 comments for “Climb Down From the Summit of Hostile Propaganda

  1. Pat Moore
    July 24, 2018 at 7:40 am

    This old lady from NC joins with others who speak against corporate control of the world, manifested in war, environmental degradation, and exploitation of workers. If we survive, it will be through the efforts of people
    who band together to live cooperatively and choose life.

  2. July 23, 2018 at 4:27 am

    I am Agneta Norberg,living in Stockholm,Sweden.In 1970 I visted by then, Leningrad now St Petersburg, and understood the terribel lies I had been exposed to, via media and history, through my entire life. I learned by watching the many exhibitions, that the Soviet Union had saved the entire world from the Nazis and payed a terrible high prise: 27 million people died, the Nazis destroyed, completely or partially,15 large cities,1710 towns,70.000 villages 60 million buildings were destroyed,25 million people were made homeless 32 industrial enterprizes were destroyed, 10.000 Power stations,3000 oilwells,over 1000 coalmines.65.000 km railway tracks ,86.000 miles main highways destroyed, the nazis transported or consumed 7 million horses,17 million cattle, 20 million hogs, 27 million sheep and goats,110 million poultry.
    40.000 hospitals and medical centres destroyed, 64.000 schools and colleges, 43.000 public libraries with over 100 million books.44.000 Theatres,3000 churches 400 museums.

    • Gregory Herr
      July 23, 2018 at 4:20 pm

      Devastation on a scale that overtakes comprehension. There can be no wonder why the Russians stand by a leader who is committed to principles of international law while being steadfastly prepared and resolved to defend his nation and her people from another invasion.

  3. b.grand
    July 21, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    Lee Stranahan riffs on his SOROS DOCUMENTARY, (He’s in Budapest.) Q-Mania, Fake News, Trump-Putin …..
    & BILL BROWDER …

    Quick message about STAYING FOCUSED on #Browdergate
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roPogUT9oyE

  4. hetro
    July 20, 2018 at 11:26 am

    Maybe you guys can set me straight. Yesterday I posted here with a link from Zero Hedge plus made a comment on Mark L as an example of the automatic knee-jerking on continual display that has corrupted “discourse” in America to blind obedience to official script from what I will call The Establishment. This comment was deleted.

    I don’t get it. The comment on Marc L was in vein with other responses to him that remain here. Is Zero Hedge a no-no source for this site? I am being cut here there and everywhere (as with TAC) and and . . . Well, I’ll shut up.

    This Zero Hedge is very interesting because it references polling that shows Americans generally are not responding to Democratic driven hysteria and propaganda, which in turn suggests they will not do well in November or 2020.

    Now if this is cut I would really like to know why.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-19/gallup-shows-how-much-americans-really-care-about-situation-russia

    • Skip Scott
      July 20, 2018 at 1:44 pm

      Hi hetro-

      I have also noticed that some of my comments get deleted when I call a troll a troll. But sometimes they stay put. I can’t see any consistent reasoning behind what they decide to delete. I have also noticed that sometimes an entire thread will disappear because the original comment was found objectionable. That said, this is the best comment board I’ve run across. There will always be a few knuckleheads, and CN supplies the best articles that combat the “Mighty Wurlitzer” of MSM propaganda. Hope you stick around.

      • b.grand
        July 20, 2018 at 2:38 pm

        This is indeed a high level site for both writers and commenters. But, for a truly interactive comment section, have you been to Unz Review? Perhaps it is proprietary software. [Ron Unz designed it.] Really facilitates exchange. Moderation is extremely minimal, so yes, there are trolls. (He even has a Troll button!)

        • Skip Scott
          July 21, 2018 at 8:01 am

          Thanks. I’ll check it out.

  5. Francis Lee
    July 20, 2018 at 5:52 am

    The global war party is not only a feature of the United States, but also has large and active movement in Europe (particularly Eastern Europe) and Oceania. Subsumed under the general heading of war party are political elites, national surveillance organizations (whom we would call ‘secret police if the other side used them), the media both private and state run, the think-tanks, various institutions, like the ‘Open Soceity’ AEI, AIPAC Council for Foreign Relations and so on and so forth. (Just as a side bar there was a very good BBC report on Panorama entitled The War Party which examined various neo-cons and elicited their views. It was fairly balanced but was in 2013. Of course nothing of a similar kind could happen today.) As part of its grand strategy of the construction of a global empire the present war coalition in the US wants unconditional surrender of Russia and a return to the Yeltsin era. That seems an unlikely outcome, so that the opposite – war – becomes increasingly likely. Of course it would never be presented as such but in essence the war party is a type of ‘death-cult’ not disimilar to the fanaticism of similar death cults such as Wahabbist Islam as financed and spread by ‘our ally’ Saudi Arabia.

    The revolutionary and messianic doctrines inherent in these belief systems and practises, are underpinned by a suffocating self-righteouenss, cynical opportunism, scant knowledge of history, and belief in human perfectibility. Anyone on the outside of this belief system is an enemy, a heretic and should be deserving of the most rigorous sanctions. So a situation arises when people are massacred ‘for their own good.’ Messianic doesn’t begin to described this.

    Suffice it to say we are heading toward the cliff of extinction with Eros eclipsed by Thanatos.

  6. KiwiAntz
    July 20, 2018 at 3:34 am

    The hysterical response by the talking heads of the MSM & the shrieking behaviour of crooked Deepstate Politicians was a sight to behold this week, over the Trump vs Putin meeting, I’ve never seen anything like it, it’s unbelievable how ridiculous the reaction has been, a full blown meltdown by the Deepstate! And congratulations Mr Trump for extending an olive branch for peace & better relations to Mr Putin just as you did with Nth Korea & Kim Jong Un & under great pressure & duress by scumbags who want to drag us into another World War! This was a sign of strength not one of weakness, as the Fakestream media attempted to frame it as, because you make peace with your enemies not your friends! You sir, deserve the Nobel Peace prize for attempting this & Obama, the drone President & the most undeserving, charlatan recipient of this prize should hand his back & give it to Trump instead! Trump, no matter what is a man of his word & has a checklist of things he wants done & is getting things done despite the crude & vicious attempts to overthrow his Presidency by a real-time,slow motion coup!

  7. b.grand
    July 20, 2018 at 3:15 am

    Lee Stranahan from London, on BILL BROWDER, Helsinki, etc.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NsRSiXUV9Q&feature=youtu.be
    THIS is the Man Putin Said Gave Hillary Money

    • KiwiAntz
      July 20, 2018 at 4:02 am

      Browder also stole & ferreted out 1.3 billion of ill gotten gains from the Russian State! The man’s Traitor & a coward & should be extradited back to Russia & thrown in a Siberian Gulag to rot for the rest of his life!

    • Bart Hansen
      July 20, 2018 at 3:59 pm

      And the MSM script seems to be to identify little Sergei M. as Browder’s lawyer. Wrong – he was a tax accountant.

  8. July 19, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    Interesting link below.
    ————————————————————–
    THIS A KEY MOMENT IN WORLD HISTORY: Deep State in Total Panic & Fully Exposed

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZCQm3o1lNE

    • HiggBo
      July 19, 2018 at 7:57 pm

      I dont think they would dare killing him. Even if they would poison him with something that cant be traced, him getting cancer, etc, the people behind him would start a civil war. The deep state knows this. The only way they can get rid of Trump is by legal means. And I am sure they are sweating their balls off in fear that he actually might get health problems on his own and die in the next 6 years. Because if that happens they will get the blame.

  9. Bill
    July 19, 2018 at 11:23 am

    Selling out your allies to appease a strong man is not the way to negotiate. That script has been played out before and it never worked. Trump was totally unprepared for this summit but Putin wasn’t.
    I don’t understand the love for Putin on this site but it’s certainly there. He’s not the straight shooter many of you believe him to be.

    Putin had an agenda, Trump had nothing. Negotiations should be done on even terms. Trump doesn’t like anything recorded so he can make up anything he wants afterwards.

    I bet there is a recording of this summit but it’s in Russian hands.

    • July 19, 2018 at 12:43 pm

      2 articles in response to why Putin may not be a “straight shooter”:

      https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/07/19/forget-trump-military-industrial-complex-still-running-show-with-russia.html

      https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/07/19/russia-sovereign-and-well-protected-from-financial-storms.html

      As for Hillary and which “team” to “play for”: The philosophical precept that competition is the catalyst for economic sustainability denies any human connection to the metaphysical; we are nothing then than a pack of zombies competing for social and material status.

    • Steve
      July 19, 2018 at 8:04 pm

      Putin is a nationalist working to do his best for his own country’s interest. It is a logical false dilemma to claim that if he is not a saint, then he must be a “thug”. His country is confronted by the most powerful country that has ever existed on the planet, nominally allied” with hordes of vassal states. This powerful country has nearly its entire intellectual and ruling elite screaming vile hatred for himself and his country, and they are pushing their bases closer and closer to Russia.

      Do I state the situation accurately or do I exaggerate? Is that situation any different than it was June 21, 1941, the day before Nazi Germany and 6 allies attacked the previous State headquartered in Moscow. You know the day before the war started that killed 27 million Russians?

      So you think Russians, who are humans just like us, do not have any reason to fear the US and NATO? After they watched what the same crowd did to Iraq, totally pulverizing a country of 25 millions, leaving 1 million dead,1 million foreign refugees, and 4 million internally-displaced refugees? And where is the crying or concern in the US for that suffering?

      No the Russians are fully aware of what the US is capable of doing to any society sufficiently demonized by its corporate “press”.

      Meanwhile, this “awful” Putin, who enjoys 70% approval rating in his own country, has setup ZERO bases in countries adjoining the territory of the US, maybe no more than 5 foreign bases altogether, while the USA has 800 foreign bases. But somehow Putin is the aggressive adventurer threatening the world? He has just CUT Russia’s defense budget again, already 1/10th the US and 1/15th all of Nato, while the US continues feeding more and more money to its military monster. But its Russia that seeks confrontation?

      Please look at the situation objectively, like a space alien come to earth to find out what all the trouble is. Who is well-armed and angry and aggressive and threatening, and who is just trying to find a way to have reasonable security without having to crawl on its belly to foreign domination?

      • July 19, 2018 at 8:54 pm

        Excellent assessment. I wish you could broadcast it to the rest of our confused citizens.

        • Dave P.
          July 19, 2018 at 9:20 pm

          I agree. An excellent analysis. So true.

      • Realist
        July 20, 2018 at 2:54 am

        Thank you. The knee-jerk warmongers never have a leg to stand on when logic and facts are brought to bear on the situation. Their hatreds and paranoias boil down to the simple conditioning they have experienced in school, home and church since early childhood. In America, we are even famous for hating many of our own fellow citizens because their appearance or backgrounds are different–sometimes vanishingly. That’s not to say that we Americans have a monopoly on allowing our primitive lizard brain (the amygdala) and stress hormones to govern most of our behavioral responses. That is all too universal in the human species.

        As a life-long observer and appraiser of reasoned thought in the arenas of higher education, I would assess Mr. Putin as an exceptionally disciplined, honest and rational thinker who takes great pains to avoid conflict and damage to either party in a dispute. He will never be the one to burn bridges. He is always reactive rather than proactive, at least in dealing with the very unpredictable and dangerous Washington regime. That is to say, he is a counterpuncher whilst Washington invariably comes out swinging, looking to intimidate its opponents and “allies” alike.

        One might think that liberal Democrats could appreciate his style as it is one that has historically characterised them more so than Republicans, at least until Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton took on the mantle of party leadership and made knee-jerk bellicosity a most important part of their “diplomatic” tool kit. I think one could even trace the evolution of Obama’s rhetorical skills at trash talking, first against the Republicans and later against the Russians, if one were so inclined to do such a study. Mr. Trump is also a world class trash talker, which is how he captured his party’s nomination. Trash talking is an attempt to appeal to emotion rather than reason and is nothing new as a rhetorical device used to win arguments or elections. If one actually reads Putin’s public remarks (which hardly any Americans, especially most politicians, ever do) one could never honestly say that the man resorts to base emotion, insults, or wild logic. No trash talker he. Quite the contrary, he is a textbook study of cool, calm, reasoned logic employing only verifiable facts. He is also a stickler for the rule of law, playing strictly by the rules and abiding by the agreed upon definition of terms rather than making shit up ad hoc as his opponents so often do. He also invariably keeps his word.

        Finally, if the English translations of his Russian words are an accurate reflection of his thinking and rhetorical skills, the man is simply a first class organizer and communicator of ideas. He is not only persuasive, he is usually quite eloquent. He is far from the dishonest huckster that American hack politicians would have you believe.

      • Gregory Herr
        July 20, 2018 at 6:13 am

        Very well said Steve. “Humans just like us”, with an admirable history cultivating fine arts and hard science. And the experience and understanding of human suffering is not lost upon the Russian people.

        Realist–very much agree with your assessment of Putin. He has been remarkably consistent over the yearrs. I admire his attention to detail and his demonstrated ability to delve into a wide range of issues and expand personal horizons (skating and piano). Moreover, Putin has manners–he is polite. Russian representatives in government as a whole generally exhibit a sense of graciousness.

      • July 21, 2018 at 9:47 am

        Good post.

    • hetro
      July 20, 2018 at 11:36 am

      I will try to say this nicely. Dear Bill, you’re offering us here unfortunately very worn-out commentary that was possibly in vogue in 1953, as support to Joseph McCarthy. Here is the giveaway you should look at, for maybe a self-check. You state Putin suckered Trump entirely and there must be a recording of it somewhere, but it’s not available. So all this supposition is your imagination, driven by your automatic rejection of anything Russian. Let’s get some facts out on your thesis here, to start with. Let it roll, I’m ready.

  10. July 19, 2018 at 7:55 am

    The real point here, amidst all this hyped-up human insanity, is to get off the personality parade and realize this is about life on Earth, not Donald Trump or Vladimir Putin. The need for a march is as in the past when people realized the extreme dangers of nuclear power. We humans are actually at a tipping point on Earth with 8 billion people and we need to act rationally, stop wasting and littering and overconsuming. Instead, with our mad media age, people are losing it, too many. And the military is far too much in control of our lives. This does not bode well for our future. Our Pacific Ocean is already catastrophically contaminated by the Fukushima disaster, caused by nuclear irradiation. This “adversary” business caused by belief that life is all about making money threatens to destroy us all.

    Forget these stupid cliches about ‘tinfoil hats’ and other slogans made up by media people who are trying to pour thoughts into our heads! We need to think for ourselves, clearly and rationally. If we don’t, i am convinced that Mother Earth will wipe the fleas off her back!

  11. mbob
    July 18, 2018 at 10:35 pm

    Thanks for the article. Regardless of all his flaws, Trump is absolutely in the right on this issue. He demonstrates true courage. Heroism, really. It’s the whole world against Trump — and he’s the one who’s right. I’m admiring him.

    My man Bernie, though, is now a true disappointment. I’ve been with him until now, but if he’s not on the side of peace, then the fact he’s right about wealth inequality and the rigged economy carries a lot less weight.

    Is there anyone out there who supports Trump on peace with Russia and decries economic injustice like Sanders?

    • Skip Scott
      July 19, 2018 at 10:39 am

      Jill Stein

    • July 19, 2018 at 11:23 am

      Sanders is a complete phony. Anyone with half a brain knows we can’t have economic justice here in the U.S. while waging wars and wreaking havoc around the world. It’s mathematically impossible.

      • mbob
        July 19, 2018 at 1:22 pm

        Nancy (mainly, and Skip, a bit) —

        Sanders may or may not be a phony. For me, the evidence is not definitive. (And, for me, the evidence points the other way.)

        But your, Nancy’s, “Anyone with half a brain” statement is wrong. It’s certainly not mathematically impossible to have economic justice at home while waging war elsewhere. A counterexample is (or was) mafia hometowns. The mafia was reputed to ensure clean and honest hometowns while exporting their crimes elsewhere. It’s *absolutely* possible for the US to have as close to an economically just system at home as one desires, while exporting our violence elsewhere. That’s certainly not moral or desirable; nor am I advocating it. But there’s nothing impossible about it. Moreover I think it *was* close to how our country operated for a number of decades.

        And while Sanders remains, in my mind, preferable to Stein, I am becoming less impressed with him. He should have stood up for Trump. I have not seen any support for Trump on peace with Russia from either Sanders or Stein.

        Still, Sanders’ powerful focus on economic injustice is better politics — and more likely to work — than Stein’s scattered approach. Our country goes to war because it benefits parts of the wealthy elites; not because it makes us or our allies safer. The most assured way for the US to achieve peace is to retake control of our country from the wealthy. That’s Sanders’ (stated) agenda.

        (FWIW, I have a number of health issues. Some are serious. But there is only one issue at the root of all of my other health problems. Fix it, and the rest will go away. My doctors — and I — focus on that one as much as possible. That’s what Sanders appears to do. It’s not what Stein does.)

        • Skip Scott
          July 19, 2018 at 1:46 pm

          I don’t think there is anything “scattered” about Stein’s approach. The Green party has a very cohesive platform, and it includes peace, and a redistribution of revenues away from the MIC. Their problem is complete lack of exposure. They’re more scared of the Greens than they are of Bernie.

          • Realist
            July 20, 2018 at 3:23 am

            No Democrat or Republican ought to hold the office of president for the foreseeable future if planet Earth is to survive the numerous crises being laid upon it by its human population load. If this could magically happen, the candidate would be someone from, most likely, the ranks of the Greens, the Libertarians, or the Socialists, with a vanishingly small chance for anyone more exotic, like a communist, maybe an independent if he or she could organize in 50 separate state races.

            Trump is functionally an outsider, though he calls himself a Republican. Moreover, you see his widespread rejection amongst the Republican inside power elites. Madman John McCain has more support amongst Republican insiders. Unfortunately, such rejection would be even more widespread by both parties if a Green, Libertarian or Socialist were elected to the office. What this suggests to me is that nothing is going to get meaningfully turned around in this country until it experiences major economic and political collapse.

            Frankly, I think that’s what all the insiders are really waiting for, just allowing things, like deficit spending, the national debt, trade imbalance, infrastructure decay, erosion of education and health services, a designed crash of all pension funds public and private, grand theft by the MIC, and wars on a dozen fronts by a bloated military to drift until they reach critical mass and crash the whole system, after which they hope to rewrite the constitution, pick up the pieces for themselves and make out like even more rapacious bandits… unless perhaps an American Putin can come along and restrain the feeding frenzy by the aristocracy. We should be so lucky.

          • Skip Scott
            July 20, 2018 at 8:13 am

            Realist-

            I’m sure you’re right. I think the only thing we could hope for initially from a Green Party president is an effective use of the bully pulpit to speak the truth directly to the American people, and thereby undermine the PTB. If the President did a good job of it, then the mid-term elections could be when they begin to tip the balance in the congress. It’s the only hope I see for evolution rather than revolution. I doubt the Deep State would let it happen, but it’s what I hope for.

        • July 19, 2018 at 5:52 pm

          Economic justice has never existed in the U.S. unless perhaps you were a white male during the “golden era” from 1945 to roughly 1975 which was also the era of the rise of plastics and pesticides.

    • hetro
      July 20, 2018 at 11:48 am

      Very nice thread here, hope I’m replying properly. I’m working the tab on mbob’s comment. Sanders lost me in June of 2016 when he meekly allowed the nomination to Hillary, following what had sounded like a fiery “will fight for every last vote at the nomination.” Further, his weakness on foreign policy is not helpful. I have also recently seen polling (sorry don’t have the link) that those who ID with the Democrats (ain’t me) are eager for new faces, and that excludes Sanders, Warren, Biden. It’s also understandable that my fervent wish of the last two years–that vibrant new INDEPENDENT candidates and parties would emerge–is not happening. Millennials are sick and tired of politics period. I see expecting “revolution” as kindred to expecting that from Soviet Russia or Marcos’s Philippines. Not likely I think, especially given the brainwashing and demonizing power being currently exercised (look at what immediately happened to Ocasio-Cortez in the brainwashing department). I fear increasing violence as the current governing schemes in this country collapse.

    • Jeff Davis
      July 20, 2018 at 8:22 pm

      I’ve been on the internet since ’97. I’ve been participating in comments since commenting began. I’ve been to all sorts of websites: left, right, and center. And reading through these comments here on Consortium news — perhaps it’s just this one article at this one moment in history — I’m almost astonished. Nearly every commenter sounds like a rational, sensible human being. This crowd gets the award for the most sanity found on any website. Congratulations, from this old cynic. I had lost hope that there were such people on the planet. You are from planet Earth, right? ;-} That said, we’re still all doomed, ’cause there just aren’t that many of us. I love youse guys. Endeavor to persevere.

      • JMMorgan
        July 21, 2018 at 7:02 pm

        Jeff Davis, you voice my thoughts—so rewarding to come here for fine content and fine comments.

  12. July 18, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    We should organise a march on Washington, in suport of The President, for his stands on Russia!!!!!!

    • mike k
      July 18, 2018 at 5:32 pm

      Excellent idea. Where is the Peace Movement when we need them most?

  13. hetro
    July 18, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    We need to assess Trump rationally, in terms of both positives and negatives, and stop the automatic demonizing. Whatever one’s evaluation of the man, he deserves a thoughtful appraisal. The stupidity of the brainwashing cannot hold indefinitely. No matter how much I am critical of this man, I hope he remains safe and continues as System Undoer. The shrieking we’re hearing from the Establishment Camp is beginning to sound like panic and despair. Trump is on a roll.

    • mike k
      July 18, 2018 at 5:34 pm

      Yes. We need to maintain openness and flexibility in evaluating Trump’s behavior. Black and white thinking is a trap.

      • Marc L
        July 19, 2018 at 2:43 am

        NO! NO, we absolutely do NOT need to do any of that, you clearly sheltered, privileged, tin-foil-hat-wearing, cis-gendered, undoubtedly white, relatively well-off, NACHTMARES.

        • Realist
          July 19, 2018 at 3:44 am

          Bellevue? We caught your escapee. He’s hiding out on the Consortium News forum.

        • Kamfrenchie
          July 19, 2018 at 7:40 am

          Marc did you just assume their gender and color ?

    • July 21, 2018 at 9:58 am

      The fear of the Deep State is that the Democrats may fail to win a majority of the House in November. Such an outcome would suggest that Trump is likely to win re-election in 2020 and further disintegrate the Democratic party as its progressive and neoconservative factions attack each other over the party’s failures.

  14. hetro
    July 18, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    Some wonderful comments here–thank you all.

    From David Stockman yesterday:

    The Vlad and Donald show in Helsinki Monday was simply brilliant and breathtaking – we’d say even a beautiful thing to behold.
    Between them, they left CNN’s nattering nabobs of neocon nonsense sounding like the shrieking monkeys they actually are.
    https://original.antiwar.com/David_Stockman/2018/07/16/the-vlad-and-donald-show-a-glorious-blow-for-peace/

    • Dave P.
      July 18, 2018 at 9:16 pm

      An excellent article by David Stockman. Thanks for the link.

      • Realist
        July 19, 2018 at 3:38 am

        Yes, every column that Mr. Stockman writes is usually a gem, with the sentiments of Paul Craig Roberts but supported by a boatload of facts and figures.

        Uncanny how two stalwarts from the Reagan administration have become the wisest and most outspoken critics of the dangerously bellicose and utterly wasteful foreign policies that originated in those years. Whereas the liberal Democrats (rightfully) dumped all over the Reagan-Bush sponsored Central American death squads, and later Bush-Cheney’s Middle Eastern warmongering, yet adopted those same policies once their man Obama and his sidekick Killary were in the White House. Both sides preach principles but practice bald partisanship which serves only to ossify policies of perpetual war. Nothing will change unless we can find more individuals willing to identify egregious error when its occurs in their party’s policies and advocate for corrective actions even if (more like, especially if) supported by the other side.

        • Skip Scott
          July 19, 2018 at 8:54 am

          For that to happen, we have to completely purge the so-called “Intelligence Community” and get the money out of politics.

        • Dave P.
          July 19, 2018 at 11:05 am

          Obama, Killary, and Bill are the three most treasonous leaders in the Democratic Party. Treasonous to the working class, and to the heartland America, and very dangerous to the World out there, worse than the Republicans. Just look at their deeds: overturning the Glass-Steagall legislation, expansion of NATO, bombing and destruction of Serbia, destruction of Yugoslavia, Libya, and Syria, expansion of bases all over Africa by Obama. Africa had freed itself from Colonial rule with violent struggles, Obama outdid all the preceding presidents to bring it back under the West’s control and exploitation. He is out there making speeches there in South Africa now.

          We worked so hard as volunteers during the week ends to elect Barak Obama. We had been active in all the campaigns since McGovern in 1972. I finally quit voting for Democrats in 2010 after the destruction of Libya by Obama and Hillary, and then starting to arm the Jihadists in Syria. I have voted for Dana Rohrabacher here during the last two elections, who is from our town here, though I do not agree with many of his domestic and foreign policies etc. He is one of the very few left in the Congress who are sane. Hollywood money, Rob Reiner and his ilk are in overdrive to defeat him.

  15. willow
    July 18, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    I clicked on the link to the petition in the article, signed it and shared it on social media. I encourage everyone to do the same.

  16. anastasia
    July 18, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    If they don’t have a boogieman, the oligarchs in our country can’t all make as much money as they have made. If they don’t have a boogieman, our security agencies will be sitting on their thumbs. If we don’t have a boogieman, how will our elected fill their campaign coffers (as well as their personals coffers) with corporate arms’ money? They need a boogieman, a devil, and that is why Putin’s name is never mentioned by our elected leaders and by the media without following with the words, “evil” and “thug”. Blow all that hot air and smoke away, and all you see is a Christian country, with a very seasoned and adept Christian leader who acts very restrained against the tremendous provocations toward his country by the Untied States.
    Blow all that hot air away, and you find a leader to be admired. I am not a Russian troll. I’m jealous.

    • July 18, 2018 at 9:58 pm

      I don’t think you need at all to be jealous.

      I find it questionable whether it is necessarily a good thing that Putin is a Christian. And I especially do not think that it is at all a good thing that Russia is a “Christian country.”

      When it comes to religion and the interaction between church and state, Putin’s Russia is far removed from the official atheism of the Soviet era. Under Putin, the Russian Orthodox Church has assumed a prominent position, both culturally and politically, and the “traditional values” that church leaders champion are becoming government policy. In many ways, modern Russia is the Religious Right’s ideal society.

      For instance gay rights are under attack in Russia. Religion classes are mandatory in Russian public schools. Women’s rights are in a steady retreat in Russia. Certain religions are banned in Russia. Freedom of the press in Russia is rapidly disappearing.

      And the Religious Right in America see Russia as a model for the United States.

      https://www.au.org/blogs/wall-of-separation/to-russia-with-love-why-the-religious-right-is-rootin-for-putin

      That does not at all mean that this obsession here in the United States that Russia is our enemy, and that Putin represents some absolute evil, is a good and healthy thing and is not a dangerous thing. We should no more refuse to talk with or have dealings with Putin than with the leaders of the old Soviet Union, even if we had fundamental disagreements with them.

      Some of the people who are screaming loudly about Russia and Putin are staunchly committed to maintaining friendship with apartheid Israel, and have welcomed Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in this country with open arms. And are silent about our friendship and support of Saudi Arabia and its Crown Prince, and about Saudi Arabia’s bombing and starving the people of Yemen.

      • July 19, 2018 at 12:10 am

        And I signed the open letter.

    • Realist
      July 19, 2018 at 3:17 am

      You want names?

      Even if he didn’t originate the policy, he still let them get away with it to the tune of half a million dead and millions on the run for their lives: Barack Obama. Probably even closer to the source: Hillary Rodham Clinton.

      Permission granted to start kicking ass.

      • Skip Scott
        July 19, 2018 at 8:50 am

        Don’t forget Bibi!

  17. HiggBo
    July 18, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    I liked how Trump used JFKs words to explain why its good to talk to Putin. And all his blind critics stormed into that trap like it had free money in it. Yet it doesnt matter, because all reason has left the media and nobody even realized that they fell into a pit, exposing their hypocrisy, and of course also made the public think that there was no pit. They all look like a bunch of rabid fanatics. No more, no less.

    It is shocking to see how much they are trying to manipulate the public. I thought that would be over due to the Internet, but it has actually gotten MUCH worse than ever before. The worst examples I could find in history were in Germany, in 2 instances. Nazis and communists. They got pretty close to what we have now. Scary times. Very scary times.

  18. bobzz
    July 18, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    In my dream the TV cameras focus on the President seated behind the Oval Office as he addresses the nation: my fellow Americans, this Russiagate folderol has become unhinged, and I am here to address it. I am asked who I believe, President Putin or my own intelligence sources. I answer that I believe the facts. And then he could begin ticking them off like the download speed, which is consistent with a leak, not a hack. He could raise tough questions: why did the DNC refuse to turn their computers over to the FBI instead of giving them to Crowdstrike (which is headed by an anti-Putin CEO)? He has people like Bill Binney and other professional data experts to assist him in building a FACTUAL case, which is important for a man whose reputation is not pristine for handling facts. He could explain why Russia is building its defenses in response to America and NATO moves right up to their border. He can and should present the many facts in his favor, or he is going to continue to be eaten alive because his reflexive defensive statements are confusing, inconsistent, and therefore, unpersuasive.

    • James
      July 19, 2018 at 1:02 am

      Spot on statements. Lets hope Trump stands by his statements & takes the heat to the warmongers.

      • Dave P.
        July 19, 2018 at 2:57 am

        Rand Paul is doing all to shine light on how important it was for the two leaders, of U.S. and Russia to open this dialogue.
        Here is the link on Youtube to Rand Paul’s address today.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSN3kyhXq80

  19. July 18, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    F. G., fantastic top song for the “CIA Follies”! Stephen J., excellent post, as usual.

  20. F. G. Sanford
    July 18, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    America’s intelligence community – as American as French Fries and Burger King! For a good time, sing along to the 1974 commercial!

    See it our way, See it our way, See it our way, at CIA
    Hold the truth and don’t upset us, Mainstream news will help abet us,
    We control the narrative, so mind what we say,
    Kuwaiti baby incubators, anthrax letter agitators,
    Gulf of Tonkin speculators – have it our way,
    Libyan Viagra rapers, yellow cake and Ellsberg papers,
    JFK autopsy capers – lost in the fray-

    See it our way, See it our way, See it our way, at CIA
    When The Liberty was sinking, what was Lyndon Johnson thinking
    Iran Contra cocaine linking must be the prize-
    All that crazy Kool-Aid drinking, Nazis in Ukraine are stinking,
    Paris Peace Talk treason winking, pushing those lies,
    Keep the hostage crisis going, Reagan’s lead is slowly growing
    Governments we’re overthrowing won’t realize-

    See it our way, See it our way, See it our way, at CIA
    Saddam had a weapons program, never mind the curve-ball flimflam
    Neocons will hit a grand slam it’s a safe bet
    We can overthrow a nation, Panama Peru or Haitian,
    Here at home a suicide erases the threat.
    Speaking in those first few hours, Trump said bombs were in the towers
    Ever since our secret powers started to fret-

    See it our way, See it our way, See it our way, at CIA
    Those dead pictures of bin Ladin – simply were too ghastly maudlin
    Take our word there was no fraud in – any of that!
    Surprises cooked up for October mystify the doubting prober
    Pundits with their faces sober can’t smell a rat,
    All the Mockingbird reporters coached at CIA headquarters
    Tell the story just the same, they’ve got it down pat-

    See it our way, See it our way, See it our way, at CIA
    Airline shoot-downs blamed on rebels, false-flag gas and barrel bombshells
    Weren’t staged to help the cartels trust what we say,
    We would never rig elections, we just make some small corrections,
    Hoping our deflections make it go the right way
    If we hack into computers, we’re not really cheating looters,
    We must fool the prosecutors, that’s how we play –

    See it our way, See it our way, See it our way, at CIA
    Just because we’ve lied forever, you must trust this new endeavor
    We think we’ve been clever blaming all this on Vlad-
    Our intel assessment’s certain, that’s why we put lots of dirt in
    Putin wants the Iron Curtain that he once had
    Hillary would be our savior, she would change Vlad’s bad behavior
    She sold him ur…anium but that’s not so bad-

    See it our way, See it our way, at CIA, at CIA

    • mike k
      July 18, 2018 at 12:44 pm

      Love it F.G. Keep em coming! This reverential attitude towards the spooks that the MSM and phony pols put out is absurd and disgusting. They are worshiping the worst human filth in our world.

    • Alcuin
      July 18, 2018 at 1:24 pm

      Speaking in those first few hours, Trump said bombs were in the towers
      Ever since our secret powers started to fret-

      ###
      Brilliant

    • Bob Van Noy
      July 18, 2018 at 1:43 pm

      As always, many thanks F. G. Sanford…

    • Skip Scott
      July 18, 2018 at 3:50 pm

      F.G.-

      You’ve got real talent. Thanks for the laughs.

    • Sam F
      July 18, 2018 at 4:14 pm

      A very funny condensation of the story; thank you.

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 18, 2018 at 10:35 pm

      I’ve hung around song writers, I’ve even written a few myself, but F.G. you are totally a professional with your prose man. Seriously I’d take you to the studio anytime. Once another writer and I had to take all the sports celebrity names out of a demo tune, and put in cliches and catchy little trivia because no one wanted to pay the sports celebrities any royalties… with your talent F.G. We could have saved a ton of valuable studio time… you got the knack. Joe

  21. Larry Gates
    July 18, 2018 at 11:59 am

    The oligarchs, the military/security complex, the neocons, the liberal interventionists, Wall Street, the DNC, and the national media are all in deep denial that Hillary Clinton actually lost to obnoxious Donald Trump. They refuse to accept that Trump is the legitimate President of the United States. But he is. No one seems to care about the content of the Clinton/DNC emails which clearly demonstrate she cheated Bernie Sanders out of the Democratic nomination. Instead, they – with no real proof – insist that it is a FACT that Russia stole the election for Trump. The media still acts like Wall-Street-loving, working-class-hating, warmongering Hillary Clinton is our true but exiled president. She wanted war with Russia and the media is doing everything they can to give it to her.

    • Realist
      July 19, 2018 at 2:59 am

      “She wanted war with Russia and the media is doing everything they can to give it to her.”

      Yes, she’s wanted this ever since she was a “Goldwater Girl” during the 1964 election.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbIfVEboAzg

      • Realist
        July 19, 2018 at 3:09 am

        But let me give Barry Goldwater his due. Unlike Mrs. Clinton who has remained an unreconstructed warmonger and backstabbing in-fighter, at least Goldwater in his last years mellowed and criticised the internal dissension and bellicosity in American politics, focussing especially on the “politics of personal destruction” that had emerged in the 1990’s. Mrs. Clinton has shown no such growth. Quite the opposite.

  22. July 18, 2018 at 11:33 am

    The author states rightly: “Often the biggest lies involve what remains unsaid. For instance, U.S. media rarely mention such key matters as the promise-breaking huge expansion of NATO…” The corporate media are a sick joke and cover up the crimes of the treasonous war criminals in NATO. More at article link below.
    ——————————————

    July 14, 2018
    The Diabolical “Work” of NATO and Its Allies: Why Are These War Criminals Still Free?

    NATO’s recent meeting or summit in Brussels July 11 – 12, 2018, could be described as a gathering of heinous hypocrites. [1] There are millions of people dead, millions are refugees, their countries have been destroyed and our ruling hypocrites spout the words “rule of law.” Has there ever been a gang of human reptiles (are they even human?) so evil, dressed in expensive suits [and dresses] and operating out of houses of power called “parliaments” and other houses of ill repute? These criminals, or gangsters, or bandits, or reprobates (Add your own epithet) are up to their filthy necks in the blood of the victims of their planned carnage.

    Yet it was reported: “The summit will also discuss the fight against terrorism.” Gee! Does that statement about fighting “terrorism” smack of hypocrisy? There is evidence that NATO and its members have, in fact, been consorting with, and supporting, terrorists. [2]…
    [much more info at link below]

    http://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2018/07/the-diabolical-work-of-nato-and-its.html

    • mike k
      July 18, 2018 at 12:48 pm

      There are indeed diabolical persons at the highest levels of government and finance. Those who like to pretend that there is no such thing as evil abroad in our world are deeply self-deluded.

  23. Skip Scott
    July 18, 2018 at 11:30 am

    mike k

    Click on the underlined word “petition” in the text. It is a link.

  24. Larry Gates
    July 18, 2018 at 11:23 am

    I despise Trump and agree with him no more than once in a blue moon. I can’t remember another tweet I had a favorable opinion of, but I actually liked the one he put out this morning: “Some people HATE the fact that I got along well with President Putin of Russia. They would rather go to war than see this. It’s called Trump Derangement Syndrome!”

    Like Joe Tedesky (below), I remember the good old days back in the ’60s when being on the political left entailed believing in peace and working for peace. Trump Derangement Syndrome is real. It has poisoned the Democratic Party as well as the national media. Our whole country has gone insane.

    • Jeannie
      July 18, 2018 at 9:28 pm

      Larry–excellent comment. I was getting a little alarmed at all the T-rump praising, just because he is fighting the corrupt intelligence community over their war mongering. I’m glad he is resisting the deep state but that does not make him a good guy. He’s just an autocrat that like Erdagon in Turkey, had to 1st take down the other guys’ power structure before he could have complete control. Believe me, no body praising T-rump here, will like him if he gets his way. And astrologically speaking, he has some real good luck coming his way this next year. Be careful what you wish for.

  25. July 18, 2018 at 11:20 am

    I also called Schumer’s office to say that the reaction to this meeting is absurd, that i am old enough to know that US Presidents have met with Soviet/Russian presidents many times in the past and this is being blown all out of proportion. Used Lincoln’s “house divided” quote and said there are plenty of problems in this country that Congress should get on to attend to.

  26. July 18, 2018 at 11:04 am

    Very good essay by Norm Solomon and kudos to The Nation for publishing the letter mentioned. I liked the term ‘Manichaen’ in reference to the dialogue duality and ‘Chiarascuro’ to describe the thick slaver of vitriol from the jaundiced journalism of today. As Abraham Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Someone on MSNBC compared the Helsinki meeting to Kristellnacht (sp?)! As a few here note, a major problem is Americans getting their information from TV groupthink (deep state dominated).

    I just called the White House to commend President Trump for meeting with President Putin, and expressed hope there would be further constructive meetings.

    • Jeannie
      July 18, 2018 at 9:33 pm

      Bill Binney was on Counterpunch explaining how the VIPS are trying to expose the intelligence community’s infiltration of the cable news companies. It’s was extremely enlightening. You would have liked it I think.

      • Skip Scott
        July 21, 2018 at 8:14 am

        Trying to find this interview on counterpunch. Do you have the date or other helpful info?

  27. Unfettered Fire
    July 18, 2018 at 10:48 am

    After 40 years in operation, we can finally assess the global libertarian economic fascism known as neoliberalism. The results are in. The world has rejected it. This is why Russia and China are leading the way in international banking methods that seek to support nations, not shake them down. The financial terrorism must end. This includes war profiteer propaganda.

    Neoliberalism, the global economic policy of the past 40 years, is structured on the false premise that human nature is selfish, which flies in the face of thousands of years of cooperative evolution as social beings. In fact, we shun those who exhibit ruthless self-centeredness as mentally deranged sociopaths.

    When Margaret Thatcher said “There’s no such thing as society”, it was a green light to privatize the government, who’s sole function is to protect the citizenry from predatory capitalists. This marked the beginning of the end of the democratic experiment, as discussed in the Trilateral Commission report, Crisis of Democracy, in 1973. (If you want to know what the greatest threat to democracy is, it would be neoliberalism.)

    As a result, our value system has been turned upside down. Sick people are more valued and profitable than healthy… violent people are more valued in a prisons-for-profit society and dull students are more valuable to increase tutoring school profits.

    “How many parents … send their children to school so central planners can mold them into functionally illiterate cogs in a centrally planned machine, having just enough knowledge to do their preassigned task? How will such cogs be able to think critically, much less sustain liberty and the American experiment? The short answer is that they will not – and that is the point.”

    – The authors of Crimes of the Educators: How Utopians are Using Government Schools to Destroy America’s Children

    This is why government should protect the public sector from predatory capitalists, who program themselves like machines, though they are made up of people, people who choose to destroy society. Neoliberalism is designed to starve the public sector of fiscal investment so that private companies can come in and “save” it. Privatization has come to mean inferior quality, unaccountability, no respect for rights and protections and, of course, higher prices.

    The financialization of the economy has resulted in trillions of QE flooding into the finance sector, where it’s been spent on speculation, world-wide asset purchasing, stock buybacks and new financial services and products, while the industrial economy is left withering on the vine.

    MMT (modern monetary theory) teaches that the government is structured to issue its own currency, but there are many self-appointed private bankers in every presidential cabinet, usually Citibank with the Dems and Goldman Sachs with the Reps, who heavily influence how that new money gets spent.

    The solution is to drive out the private commercial bankers from government, utilize government’s authority to create money for public purpose again and to further decentralize power with more public banks nationwide.

    Warren Mosler explains how the government creates money ex nihilo (out of thin air):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=480sGei5ZsA?

  28. Les
    July 18, 2018 at 10:37 am

    The power of voting compared to the power of the lobbyists renders voting irrelevant.

    The rot of US political structure goes far deeper than voting.

    • Joanne Yarwood
      July 18, 2018 at 9:00 pm

      And voting is the only weapon working American has

  29. Lynne
    July 18, 2018 at 10:36 am

    Thanks for this article. I posted a link to the petition on my FB Wall.

  30. Jeff Harrison
    July 18, 2018 at 10:24 am

    I would like to think that the American people can tell the bullshit from the truth. Unfortunately, you have to at least hear the truth before you can tell the difference between it and the bullshit. Unfortunately, the US has embraced our inner Nazi and now practice Joseph Goebbels famous quotation: tell a lie, tell it often enough and it becomes truth. We have doubled down on our insistence that our lies become truth (and don’t kid yourselves, we’re the ones doing most of the lying) by kicking RT and Sputnik to the curb and demanding that they register as foreign agents and denying them White House press passes.

    It is interesting that The Nation is the source of this open letter considering that The Nation is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democratic party and the home of the most rabid Hillary-bots who believe with all the fervor of the evangelical christian that Russia stole Three Name’s coronation and that she had nothing to do with her own defeat. Thus it focuses on a new relationship with Russia which is merely a symptom of a need for a new relationship with the world. The world does not want an new imperium.

    • July 19, 2018 at 11:49 am

      I think the Nation is playing both sides as they often do.

  31. Pandas4peace
    July 18, 2018 at 10:22 am

    Beautiful!

  32. Dario Zuddu
    July 18, 2018 at 10:15 am

    I am sorry, but it is absolutely impossible to concur with the central tenet of this article, sheepishly adverted by other fringe media outlets, i.e., that most Americans do not embrace the bellicose “media”‘s stance on the Russia-Trump debate.
    American readers’ comment on those very press articles indicted by Mr. Solomon, which through the days have vastly outnumbered the signatories of the “common ground” petition, make it clear that the public has also been largely blinded by Anti-Trump resentment into overlooking the basic foreign policy issues underlying the US-Russia relations.
    The constant flow of vitriolic, almost hysterical stabs at how Trump would have betrayed America and surrendered to Putin, has not come only from the media.
    The available evidence regarding how the public looked at the Helsinki summit is overwhelming in showing that most Americans are just not sensitive enough to the issue of war to be able to set aside their partisanship.
    The road is neatly cleared: most Americans would perfectly accept a very sharp deterioration of US-Russia relations – as they did with their beloved Obama – if that meant to see Trump fall.
    It is time to face the fact that the majority of the US public is simply and totally unsuitable to handling the immense responsibility of citizens of the country with the most devastating nuclear power on earth.

    • Sam F
      July 18, 2018 at 5:04 pm

      It is not the citizens, but the mass media and campaign bribery of oligarchy, that prevent democracy from working.

      • Dario Zuddu
        July 19, 2018 at 10:11 am

        No mass media or oligarchy campaign can justify the comments made by legions of Americans on the Helsinki Summit.
        When the two top nuclear powers meet to discuss ultra-sensitive global issues, you need to be able to reset your priorities and place world peace at the top of the list.
        Way too many Americans have proven completely incapable of doing so.
        Partisanship exists everywhere, but in the US this problem is compounded by other structural issues.
        A gigantic body of historical evidence exists to support the view that most Americans are just not sensitive enough to war as other people may be (which makes sense historically: they have never been bombed – Pearl Harbor was limited to a remote military post very far from the mainland – and since 1812 they have not even been invaded by any foreign army; throw in the fact, among million others, that it’s the only country in the world that actually used nuclear weapons against anyone and you get the picture).
        The Helsinki Summit episode atrociously reinforces this view.
        Plenty of Americans, way more than those who signed the common ground letter, obsessed hysterically about the alleged “Russian” hacking episode, completely obfuscating the core issue of developing a positive, constructive relations with Russia.
        And I’m setting aside Americans’ lack of reciprocity thinking, since theirs is the country that intervenes THE MOST in other countries’ internal affairs, indisputably .
        Mass media and lobbying power are absolutely inadequate to explain away this attitude.

    • July 19, 2018 at 11:53 am

      You’re talking about the phony liberal class. They are not the majority in the U.S. The majority does not even vote they are so disgusted with the so-called “democracy” we are supposed to be worried about.

      • Dario Zuddu
        July 19, 2018 at 12:03 pm

        Nancy,
        The majority of eligible voters DOES vote in the US.
        It’s just that the actual voters’ turnout is abysmally lower than in the rest of the western world (check the figures).
        But this has not started recently. It has always been the case in contemporary history. And that is exactly one piece of the supporting record that I mentioned above suggesting that too many Americans just don’t care enough of foreign affairs in general (most Americans, as of this day, don’t even have a passport), not just about war and peace.

    • Jeff Davis
      July 20, 2018 at 9:30 pm

      You’re mostly right. There will always be people who will be unreachable, whether due to partisanship, prejudice, or ignorance, or simply because they’re too busy with day-to-day survival to escape the barrage of mainstream media propaganda and search for the truth. (Although the internet makes it a whole lot easier these days to find “the other side of the story”.)

      That said,

      “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”? Mark Twain

      We saw this aptly demonstrated — instantaneously — in the immediate aftermath of the Trump-Putin press conference in Helsinki. Even before the press conference hall had emptied, the mainstream media had its screeching outrage blaring on all channels and at maximum volume. This is what they do, and they are good at it. This can be discouraging, but take some comfort in knowing that the truth is going to be catching up, and the truth is stronger than the lie.

  33. hank
    July 18, 2018 at 9:44 am

    As we know from THE DEVIL’S CHESSBOARD and THE SECRET TEAM, the CIA controls MSM to a significant degree. The Deep State provides the Government with “its Reality” via CIA, NSA and various other agencies. The masses are busy with day to day living and mostly accept what is presented on TV. Thus we see how events can be manipulated.

    • July 18, 2018 at 10:22 am

      hank – spot on. The same folks who assassinated the entire elite level of progressive leadership in the 1960’s in JFK, Malcolm, Martin & Bobby in order to reign in the collective calls for social change at home and peaceful co-existence abroad are the ones bringing us the current Orwellian reality. A populace that can be made to believe in a “magic bullet” and that refuses to question how it is possible that steel & concrete buildings can simply disintegrate into thin air, can be made to believe pretty much anything one would surmise. We see the evidence daily and it does not bode well for the future. What is most stunning to me is that many otherwise thoughtful intelligent and kind people that I know (friends & family) are buying this nonsense and seem absolutely incapable of anything resembling the most basic critical thinking process.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 18, 2018 at 10:39 am

        Great comment Gary. Joe

      • Bob Van Noy
        July 18, 2018 at 11:05 am

        I’m going to post this again to underscore just how quickly and violently things changed in 1963. These are small town, deeply honest citizens, being humiliated and eliminated. In all, serious treason…

        A relatively vibrant Press was modified violently in the days and weeks following November 22, 1963. Some careers were enhanced, some lives were lost. If some contemporary student of History or Journalism wanted to study the decline of American Democracy they might begin by reading all of the linked article below about a Journalist named Penn Jones…

        http://spartacus-educational.com/JFKjonesP.htm

      • Jeannie
        July 18, 2018 at 9:36 pm

        Gary–wow! Perfect comment!

  34. Joe Tedesky
    July 18, 2018 at 9:23 am

    It’s apparent that there are many Americans who neither fear war, or they believe that war will never happen, and this I truly believe is a result of these Americans having never experienced war first hand. It’s all an imaginary threat if it’s anything at all. Why any war that is to be will not be fought here, because we fight them over there. Lastly America is the sole super power, and everybody knows that, so where’s the worry?

    Reflecting back on the sixties when Left Wing meant peace marches, and advocating for peace, is now a distance memory of a mass ideology which helped to wing down the Vietnam war. Back then these anti-war protesters were all we had to beat down the warmongering DC mindset. The peace advocate of the sixties was determined to bring peace to the world. The music of its era reflects this mindset. Maybe we should have a national oldies day, and try and catch that spirit again… Joanne Mitchell, Richie Havens, anyone?

    If you had told me some fifty years ago that the Left would someday be the purveyors of war instigation, I would not have believed you, but turning points and the truth often don’t reconcile in a society gone mad.

    • Gregory Herr
      July 18, 2018 at 6:52 pm

      You’re groovy man. For What It’s Worth:

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gp5JCrSXkJY

    • Jeannie
      July 18, 2018 at 9:45 pm

      Joe, I’m 73 and share your thoughts and memories. And I also remember how the struggle for peace robbed me of my own inner peace, made me furious at my country for allowing the murders of my heros to go unpunished, and at last psychologically banished me to a tiny wind battered cabin on the Oregon coast for my sanity. But I tell you what, I see redemption on the horizon. That little Emma Gonzalez girl is the best representative of what’s coming and I for one am going to do all I can to clear a path for those brilliant, peace wielding kids.

    • Dave P.
      July 18, 2018 at 10:35 pm

      Great post Joe.

      “. . .and this I truly believe is a result of these Americans having never experienced war first hand.”

      Yes, that is why Americans are so unconcerned with the War and its consequences.
      My wife has been watching CNN these two days at home. These people in MSM and the Ruling Establishment have really gone insane, it is very unnerving to watch. They want to hang the elected President for standing with the Russian President at the same platform. It was never like this even during the darkest days of the cold War. The Political and Diplomatic Establishment on both sides were reasonable people willing to talk to each other and compromise.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 19, 2018 at 10:17 am

        I hear ya Dave. I have been marked a Trump supporter by default only because I try to make in my mind sense of this whole thing. We Americans have truly loss our minds. Joe

  35. Kalen
    July 18, 2018 at 9:21 am

    This sorry spectacle that MSM propaganda poodles produced yesterday was not only symptoms of untamed unquenched hatred to Trump or just existential threat of CIA and security apparatus terrorizing media as well as elected officials to follow McCarthyite hallucinogenic hysteria but much more dangerously reveal American totalitarian culture embedded into seemingly open society, as Chomsky posited quarter of century ago that prevent any rational debate among population.

    Americans, and that disease spreads with globalism, do not learn lessons. It is against American religion of anti-intellectualism and required for Horkheimer’s subjective reasoning i.e setting a goal before devising some crude sophism as official justification for it.

    Americans like trained monkeys, even educated in Ivy League schools, reject debate and go straight for verbal fight often as a foreplay to violence since their goal is not to learn anything from one another but to dominate. So instead of questions and answers they have verbal attacks and responses and if deemed necessary violence and verbal intimidation that is ultimate goal of any American “debate”.

    And unfortunately it showed in this debate about Helsinki summit as well.

    • Sam F
      July 18, 2018 at 5:19 pm

      Yes, but what passes for debate in the US is media narrative and blog commentary, which like the unregulated economy, is where the bully wins and ascends to economic and political power. Although it makes the public character of the US, it does not reflect the character that citizens would show if mass media and elections were protected from economic power, and the economy were regulated enough that primitive tyrants could not rise to control economic power.

  36. July 18, 2018 at 8:58 am

    Aside from the usual swipe at Russia for interfering in our election while ignoring our far greater efforts to interfere with theirs, I will sign the petition.

    I rarely watch the news and when I do it is merely infotainment. I read the transcript of the press conference b Putin and Trump and was struck by the number of specific proposals floated by both.

    I think the major media has deliberately ignored those proposals, choosing to bury them by attacking Trump and Putin and engaging in the smear tactic that anything Putin and Russians say is a lie

    You have to believe this is more than just yellow journalism, that the intent is to ramp up hostility toward Russia and we can only speculate, to what end?

    If the reason is staring us in the face, we all should be worried.

  37. mike k
    July 18, 2018 at 8:41 am

    “I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace than to risk peace in pursuit of politics. I will not make decisions on foreign policy in a futile effort to appease partisan critics, the media, or Democrats who want to resist and obstruct.” ~ Donald Trump

  38. mike k
    July 18, 2018 at 8:37 am
    • Pandas4peace
      July 18, 2018 at 10:27 am

      Great commentary. Thanks for sharing.

      • mike k
        July 18, 2018 at 10:49 am

        Thanks for your comments. Pandas are a wonderful symbol for peace and love. Cuddly vegetarian bears.

  39. mike k
    July 18, 2018 at 8:26 am

    There is certainly a lot that is terribly wrong with Donald Trump’s policies, but this does not justify the totally illegal and immoral attempt to unseat him on the basis of a bunch of concocted lies. Some of us are called upon to hold our noses, while defending Trump and the office of the Presidency from unconstitutional fascist style attacks. The ugly warmongering being used to attack Trump constitutes a clear and present danger that must be countered to preserve our very existence.

    When forces within our society are willing to risk the extinction of humanity for narrow political and economic gain, it is time for us to wake up and call a halt to this madness.

  40. mike k
    July 18, 2018 at 8:09 am

    It would help if the author had included a link to he petition he mentioned. I hope that the media’s hysterical warmongering is waking more people up to their totally biased fake news propaganda.

    • Lynne
      July 18, 2018 at 10:34 am

      The link is in the article.

      • mike k
        July 18, 2018 at 12:52 pm

        Thanks Lynne.

    • Sam F
      July 18, 2018 at 6:30 pm

      It is fortunate that the mass media do not have the sense to avoid straining their credibility, aware that they can retain the greatest fools with no more than programmed low entertainment. Their steadfast underestimation of their audience will destroy them; and the sooner the better.

      • Skip Scott
        July 19, 2018 at 8:42 am

        “Their steadfast underestimation of their audience will destroy them; and the sooner the better.”

        God, I hope so. But I am forever and constantly amazed at just how gullible the average citizen can be. And the extent of the power wielded by the MSM’s masters is such that it may well take violent revolution to bring them down. I think it will probably be “bread and circuses” until the mushroom clouds appear on the horizon.

        • Sam F
          July 19, 2018 at 11:16 am

          Yes, very likely. I think you have a song there in that last line.

      • vinnieoh
        July 19, 2018 at 10:07 am

        I shared a cubicle for some time with a highly educated ecologist, in fact working on his doctorate at the time, and we talked in between our respective obligations about many things. The one subject that I particularly remember was about popular media. I lamented how low, crass, shallow, etc, etc, I found it. He maintained that the media can only operate in the realm of the “lowest common denominator,” that any other mass media endeavor would be doomed as a loss leader and that it is what it is, and will always be so. Which basically indicts not only the media, but the audience. It wasn’t so much I objected that he may be right about how things now exist, but more so his cynicism that it can only be this way, and will always be thus.

        • Sam F
          July 19, 2018 at 11:19 am

          Yes, but the LCD constraint is imposed by mass media funding from advertising, which should be prohibited. If we had a constitutional amendment to restrict their funding to limited individual contributions, and to require political balance in their operations at all levels, with public auditing, they would have to behave better. Meanwhile take them over and give them (with advance notice) to the universities.

  41. Kim Dixon
    July 18, 2018 at 7:57 am

    Norman is absolutely on point. For an eye-opening exercise, go to any of the NYT’s recent articles on Trump and Russia, and peruse the readers’ comments, ordered by popularity.

    Educated, socially-evolved Times readers have been transmogrified into fear-freak Russophobes by the Democratic Party misleadership and by their tools such as the Times and MSDNC. The NYT’s readers’ rhetoric is indistinguishable from that of the worst McCarthyites of the 1950s… the essential difference being that anyone able to post a comment today can pierce the anti-Russian propaganda with 30 minutes and a search engine… but these tribalists choose ignorance, instead. And that’s the NYT. If you’d care to be shocked some more, check the more-uniformly Democratic comments on AlterNet, DailyKos, etc. The readers there are absolutely bloodthirsty, as they jettison even their identity politics, and make homophobic jokes about Trump and Putin, as they suicidally lobby for WWIII.

    This is an unprecedented turn of events, and one which may lead to our extinction. With ostensible liberals screaming for “retaliation” against a “hostile power”, what will happen when President Booker/Harris takes office, and ramps up the aggression against the only other nuclear superpower able to end civilization in an afternoon? Who is left to protest escalation and Armageddon, when those who were once antiwar and anti-nuke have been utterly gutted and turned into warmongers?

  42. Jose
    July 18, 2018 at 7:34 am

    Those of us that did not buy into the US media bellicosity should be commended. The main media are not serving the interests of the people. The media are a pack of liars and deceivers. Don’t believe them.

  43. Realist
    July 18, 2018 at 7:17 am

    You’d think we don’t have any problems right here at home in America the way we go looking for trouble in every corner of the world. How about our fearless leaders try slaying some home-grown dragons before raising hell elsewhere?

    • Sam F
      July 18, 2018 at 6:21 pm

      Exactly the problem, as they are the domestic dragons, the worst of which would disappear if NATO et al were abrogated and the Constitution amended to prohibit offensive actions including covert.

    • Joe Wallace
      July 22, 2018 at 5:17 pm

      Realist:

      “You’d think we don’t have any problems right here at home in America the way we go looking for trouble in every corner of the world. How about our fearless leaders try slaying some home-grown dragons before raising hell elsewhere?”

      Dead right. We should be grateful that there is not some omnipotent superpower greater than ourselves that intervenes in our affairs to protect U.S. citizens under the doctrine of “responsibility to protect” (or R2P), one of the rationales we use to meddle in other countries’ affairs. Look at the poverty and the wealth and income inequality that contribute to a culture of despair that has caused so many of our citizens to commit suicide or to destroy their lives with opioid addiction. Look at the declining health of a population that suffers under a health care system that places profits over people. Look at the mass shootings. Instead of “raising hell elsewhere,” you’d think we might find the time to deal with some of our own problems.

  44. Tom Welsh
    July 18, 2018 at 5:48 am

    ‘The petition campaign aims to amplify the call for protecting the digital infrastructure of the electoral process that is now “vulnerable to would-be hackers based anywhere”…’

    That completely misses the point, which is that it doesn’t matter how people vote. Power will inevitably remain in the hands of those who control the political party systems, and thus nominate the candidates. It has been seen over and over that, in the USA, no independent candidate can possible be elected. And no one can be elected as a representative of the Republican Party or the Democratic Party who has not pledged allegiance to the leaders of that party. Finally, while maintaining a public show of disagreement over carefully chosen issues, the two parties make sure that those elected to power carry out the policies that the Deep State prefers.

    The most recent US presidential election illustrates these facts perfectly. Mr Sanders was the popular favourite among Democrats, but was cynically excluded by secret double-dealing with the party. And Mr Trump was, in effect, an independent candidate who cleverly disguised himself as a Republican and flew under the radar all the way to the White House. The main reason why he is so universally execrated is that he is the first person in 200 years to defeat the elaborate safeguards designed to keep independents out of power.

    And that, apart from all other considerations, is why he should have the support of all decent people.

    • dahoit
      July 18, 2018 at 2:42 pm

      Thank for your post.

  45. Tom Welsh
    July 18, 2018 at 5:37 am

    ‘As for media commentary, the Washington Post was in the dominant groove as it editorialized that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is “an implacably hostile foreign adversary.”’

    That statement is in fact partly true.

    1. Mr Putin can be rather implacable when dealing with threats to his country or its allies. So much the better for him, and them.

    2. Mr Putin is absolutely not hostile to the USA, as his hundreds of public statements since 2000 make abundantly clear to the most uninformed of simpletons. On the contrary, he is forever expressing his friendship and his desire to work constructively together.

    3. Mr Putin certainly is foreign – from an American point of view. Just as all Americans are foreign from his. So what? Are the Americans actually admitting that they regard all foreigners with hatred and contempt?

    4. Mr Putin, or rather Russia, can be described as “an adversary” of the USA, but only in a rather narrow and perverse sense. The Russians, as I have said, desire friendship and cooperation with the USA. But they are, as one of the world’s great nations, an economic rival; and they also happen to be the only nation whose military power is roughly equal to that of the USA. This means that Russia can defend itself, and therefore cannot be bullied. To the Americans, this is enough to inspire undying hatred and malice.

    • Skip Scott
      July 18, 2018 at 11:37 am

      Tom-

      The people who control our government will not accept a multi-polar world. If Putin will not allow Russia to become another vassal and be looted by people like Bill Browder, then they must destroy him. The MSM is a completely controlled mouthpiece of these very same people, and the sheeple just soak up the propaganda. It is an Orwellian world.

      • Dave P.
        July 19, 2018 at 12:45 am

        You are spot on, Skip. They will not quit, even if there is nuclear war, until they subdue Russia and make it a vassal state to be looted.

    • HiggBo
      July 18, 2018 at 1:25 pm

      The USAs problem isnt Russias military, its the vast REAL support Putin has among his people. Even through all their efforts funding opposition and NGO propaganda, pro-western parties still didnt even reach 2% in the last election.
      However, in their own country (and western allies) this has led to the belief that Putin is the devil. They essentially paved the way for massive conflict one day. They are the biggest warmongers history has seen in a long time. And once again, just like so many times before, all the establishment supports them.

  46. Paolo
    July 18, 2018 at 3:55 am

    The tragic irony is that these warmongering nuts that are leading us to nuclear doomsday are about the same who want to “save the planet” from CO2.

    • Tom Welsh
      July 18, 2018 at 5:39 am

      If the US armed forces were abolished – or even restricted to their own nation’s territory – a vast amount of energy would be saved, together with the enormous amounts of greenhouse gases and other pollution they generate.

    • mike k
      July 18, 2018 at 8:04 am

      Wake up Paolo. Our planet is seriously threatened by rising levels of CO2. This is scientific fact, not political opinion.

      • Pat Penick
        July 18, 2018 at 9:24 am

        His main point was one of irony which you missed entirely. Co2 debate elsewhere please.

        • Paolo
          July 18, 2018 at 11:50 am

          Thanks Pat.
          Political ultra-partisanship kills irony. How sad

      • irina
        July 18, 2018 at 10:00 am

        Nuclear war by accident or design is a far more urgent threat.

        Remember Chelyabinsk ? February, 2013 ? The space rock that flew overhead, fragmented and
        created a small ‘gold rush’ of fragment seekers hurrying out to the frozen lake to gather remnants
        before the ice thawed ? That was just a small bolide, one of many that constantly make near flybys
        and sometimes impact our planet.

        Well, right next door to Chelyabinsk is a large Russian air force base, the Shagol Air Base. LIterally
        on the outskirts of the city (a fairly large city at over 1 million people). What if the bolide had been
        bigger, and had impacted that air base at a time of heightened international tensions ? If you think
        that is not even a remote possibility, please take the time to google ‘The Tunguska Event’ and read
        about what happens when a moderately sized bolide explodes over our planet.

        It would be the ultimate irony for WW3 to be triggered by a rogue space rock, but it could happen.

    • Robert Emmett
      July 19, 2018 at 3:07 pm

      I find some truth in this. Ah, the deceptively induced cause célèbre, eh Paolo?

      An attempt to up the irony ante: how is it that many more people who’ve been alive since the end of WW2 seemingly do not see how the US has been hell bent, most glaringly since the collapse of the USSR, on doing the exact same thing it once accused the old Soviet Union of wanting to do (forcefully spread it’s ideology to every corner of the globe)? In this pursuit, GovCorp was/is willing to waste massive amounts of scarce resources, to stockpile diabolical weapons, to induce widespread fear, to disperse a seemingly never ending stream of lies and to risk an ongoing game of “chicken” in which some friend or foe forgets to “blink”. Highly placed military officers (most notably Curtis LeMay) urged the use of nuclear weapons on N. Korea, N. Vietnam and during the Cuban missile crisis. No, it can’t happen here!

      “I learned to hate the Russians all through my whole life
      If another war comes, it’s them we must fight
      To hate them and fear them, to run and to hide
      And accept it all bravely with God on my side” (B. Dylan, circa 1963)

  47. Matt Krist ,Germany
    July 18, 2018 at 3:34 am

    Helsinki was “Champions League”!From both: Trump and Putin.The world should give peace a chance.Time now is good for more konstruktive talk and less (no) war. In our anglo-american -mainstream medias journalists cry,scream scratch and bite in their comments, writing about Mr Trump.That shows me :he has made a very good job.God bless them both. Putin and Trump!

  48. Alcuin
    July 18, 2018 at 2:52 am

    Putin referred to the JFK assassination in his post-summit interview with Chris Wallace. I wonder if he and Trump discussed it privately earlier.

    • Gregory Herr
      July 18, 2018 at 8:01 pm

      Thanks. Glad I got to catch this interview. I had to laugh when Putin (gotta love his composure) told Wallace “but you are interrupting” after Wallace repeatedly interrupted Putin by saying “I’m not trying to interrupt”.

      During one stretch Wallace brought up civilian casualties in Syria (with the usual accusations against Assad and “Moscow”). Putin referred to Raqqa–which Wallace tried to downplay–and said this to Wallace:

      “You are completely deceived and I am very sorry that you do not know the real situation about Syria. A huge proportion of [the] civilian population of Raqqa died. It was erased from the face of the Earth. It reminds [me of] Stalingrad from WW II–and there is nothing good about it.”

      • Alcuin
        July 19, 2018 at 11:13 am

        Yes, I too was struck by that part. A former Blackwater contractor told me recently that tales told about the brutality of Mattis in Fallujah are not merely tales. That would tend to make Putin’s words here more credible. This interview and Oliver Stone’s four hours of interviews with Putin make him seem like a relatively straight shooter — certainly straighter than Brennan and the FBI weasels.

        • Skip Scott
          July 20, 2018 at 8:22 am

          I wish more people would see Oliver Stone’s interviews of Putin, and his other speeches and interviews on the internet as well. Brennan and Clapper, and all their lackeys, would be behind bars in a just world.

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